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
 
Today, we see a renewed interest and courageous fight for self government, regional autonomy, secession, sovereign national dialogue, fiscal federalism, etc. The reason for this frustration, anger and fights is not only because of the economic and political injustice but lack of coherent national core value system that gives sense of patriotism and empowers the peoples of Nigeria to believe in themselves and their national leadership. Since Nigeria gained independence in 1960, she has had many kinds of government – unitary, parliamentary, Military and for the last thirteen years, a democratic presidential system. Yet, despite Nigeria’s enormous human potential and abundant natural resources, the promise of these various governments has been a dismal failure. The nation’s leaders have not kept their promises but floundered and left the Nigerian masses worse than when they were under their slave master, Britain.

 
Let us review compactly the history.

 
The Era of Military Juntas

 
In October 1975, General Gowon was overthrown in a coup, on the anniversary of his ninth year in office, after he could not keep his earlier promise to return power to a democratically elected government in 1976. He announced an indefinite postponement of a programme of transition to civil rule. The late Murtala Mohammed, the new head of state promised a 1979 restoration of democracy. On February 13, 1976, Murtala Mohammed was killed in the traffic on his way to work. On February 14, 1976, General Murtala Mohammed was succeeded by General Olusegun Obasanjo who pledged to pursue his predecessor’s transition programme. In 1979, Nigeria adopted and approved a new Constitution.

 
On October 1, 1979, Nigeria momentarily returned to democratic system of government. General Obasanjo handed over power after completing the remainder of three years of Murtala-Obasanjo military regime to Alhaji Shehu Shagari as first elected Executive President and the first politician to govern Nigeria since 1966. Five parties had competed for the presidency, and Shagari of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) was declared the winner. The other parties were: Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), National People’s Party (UPN), Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP), and People’s Redemption Party (PRP). The conduct of the general elections was criticized by opposing parties and the media. Violence erupted in some parts of the west. On September 1983, Alhaji Shehu Shagari was re-elected president of Nigeria. Three months later, following a coup d’état on December 31, 1983, the military returned to power. Major-General Muhammad Buhari was named head of state.

 
From August 1985 to May 1999, Nigeria was basically ruled by various military dictators and corrupt civilian politicians – namely military dictator Ibrahim Babangida, Ernest Shonekan, military dictator Sani Abacha, and Abdulsalam Abubakar. It was an era of decrees, indiscipline, ethinc cleaning, visionless economic programs that destroyed the nation’s currency-Naira and basically rubbished the Nigerian economy, which actually elevated greed, bribery, and corruption and enthroned most of the crooks, cronies and pathetic personalities we have today as political leaders in the nation. The military despots looted the national treasury and left the Nigerian economy with a horrendous national debt. During these various regimes most of the nations’ institutions collapsed.

 
The Return to Democratic Governments, Political Hooligans and Lawlessness

 
The cancellation of the 1992 democratic elections won by Chief M. K. O Abiola and his sudden demise in prison provoked riots and civil disobedience by thousands of human rights activist, pro-democracy activists, media and ordinary citizens. The return to democracy at point was non-negotiable. The political wrangling and maneuvering of that period eventually led to the surprising win of a former military ruler, Olusegun Obasanjo, a prisoner of Sani Abacha, from Southwest and same state with MKO Abiola. Many have written that Obasanjo’s civilian presidency 1999-2007 was a compensation for Chief Abiola’s mysterious death and denial of his rightful winner of the 1992 presidential elections. In 1999, Nigeria returned permanently to a democratic presidential system of government, however, political instability, poor leadership, religious ignorance and intolerance and violence, ethnic hatred, moral degradation, corruption, injustice, indiscipline and irresponsibility quickly marred the nations’ prospect for development and progress. Until today, Nigerians have not really enjoyed any genuine freedom or political peace and national prosperity, despite abundant natural and human resources God endowed but business as usual – a vicious circle of myopic, incompetent, and irresponsible politicians as leaders. In a nutshell, Nigeria has been ruled by fools and idiots as IBB and OBJ revealed to Nigerians during their squabble last year.

 
During the 8-year presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo, corruption, political thuggery, godfatherism, political assassinations, Niger Delta militancy, armed robbery, kidnapping, religious intolerance, radical Islamic fundamentalism and lawlessness reached its zenith. Before he completed his two-term reign, he began to campaign for Alhaji Yar’adua, the then governor of Katsina State, and surprisingly handed the presidency to a sick man, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, another Northerner to be the president of Nigeria. President Yar’Adua took office in May 29, 2007 and in his inauguration messianic speech , he admitted that Nigerians were going through hell and promised to create 40 million jobs within 10 years, lower interest rates, reduce inflation and achieve realistic exchange rate for Naira. His seven-point agenda was crystal clear, but then he reversed all the Economic agenda of his predecessor, refused to support the CBN monetary policy which was the second phase of PDP economic agenda. He reversed most of the economic reforms and most laws of his predecessor and re-deployed Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the anti corruption czar to the Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru, Plateau State, Nigeria and finally sacked him. Nigeria returned to the same vicious circle of incompetence and lawlessness.

 
During Yar’Adua’s watch, Nigeria entered into a state of hopelessness, until his demise in May 2010. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, his VP and a civilian from oil rich South-south finished the term and then in April 16, 2011 overwhelmingly won the presidential election, which has been adjudged to be the freest and fairest election in the nation’s history. However, since his inauguration on April 29, 2011, the country has been besieged with radical Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. Hundreds of innocent citizens have been killed and thousand displaced in several Northern states.

 
President Jonathan styled his leadership as transformational unlike his predecessor, the late Alhaji Yar’Adua, who called himself a servant leader. Within months into his presidency despite the challenges from opposition regarding the election, President Jonathan rather than focus on the security challenges, economy and other social problems confronting the nation, embarked on constitutional amendment with a concocted six-year single tenure for the president and governors. Public opinion fumed against such insensitivity and just within weeks, the National Assembly tossed out that part of the bill, saying it is untimely and suspicious. Just this week, the president promised that the Constitutional Amendment will be ready in June 2013 and that it will be people’s oriented constitution. The President has not performed despite that he brought in technocrats in his cabinet including Nigeria’s pride in the likes of Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former World Bank president, Prof. Barth Nnaji and others to focus on the nation’s comatose economy and ecliptic power supply. Shockingly and surprisingly, Prof. Barth Nnaji resigned last week as Minister of Power due to conflict of interest in the privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria as was insinuated. His resignation shocked millions of Nigerians including nations around the world. His resignation and forced out of office will be reserved for another article, but I suffice to say that Prof. Nnaji is not a crude politician but a scientist, an innovator, inventor and scholar of international repute. Many who he knew him, trusted his expertise and leadership, but also had fears whether he will survive in an environment filled with conflict, irritation, abuse and corrupt people.

 
Prof. Nnaji before his courting by President Jonathan was a professor and researcher at one of the finest universities in the U.S. – University of Massachusetts (UMASS) and a consultant to NASA. In less than one year, he assumed office; Nigerians began to see some “LIGHT” now I’m afraid, we are going back to our routine “DARKNESS “again. It’s sad that decent people can’t be good politicians and leaders in Nigeria. He was sincere and honest to declare his business interest in the privatization of the power sector. After all, it is an area of his expertise. A typical Nigerian politician will find a way to hide such business interests and continue to dupe and siphon the government and the public. During the so-called privatization exercise during Obasanjo’s administration, most of the federal business entities were auctioned off to family members, friends and to businesses where some of the ruling politicians had enormous interest in. In Nigeria, it is not a secret that many of our leaders built their private businesses with public funds while serving in government. Prof. Nnaji is an exception and now shows our corrupt politicians how to separate personal interest from public service.

 
And so, since the return of a democratic government 14 years of ago, Nigeria has not had good leaders but hooligans and military gangsters masquerading as politicians that piloted the affairs of the country. Nigeria as a nation has not really enjoyed any genuine political peace and national prosperity despite enormous blessings that God endowed on her but violence, bombs, terrorism and irrational killings of innocent citizens. Today, Nigeria is ruled and governed by military and political dictators that continue to deny the people of Nigeria security, order, peace and basic needs of livelihood. For fifty-two years, Nigeria has had military dictatorship, political hypocrisy, and extravagantly indulgent corrupt judicial system that oppressed the poor, women, young people, children and minority members of the nation. Despite her enormous human potential and abundant natural resources, the promises of democracy have been a dismal failure. After 13 years of democracy, people are yet to see the so-called “Dividends of Democracy”.

 
Niger Delta Militancy and Oil Pollution

 
It is because of the injustices in our nation that led some courageous men to form peaceful groups and unfortunately some militant groups to battle against the biased, discriminatory and satanic system that they live in. Today, we have MASSOB, OPC, MEND, BAKASSI, and Niger Delta militants fighting against injustice in the federal system. Today, we are witnesses of the renewed fight and courageous call for self government and peaceful division of Nigeria.

 
Let us forget about the 1960’s butchery of the Igbos and fast forward to the 1980’s. Military despot Sani Abacha persecuted, arrested and imprisoned many notable Nigerians including Ken Saro Wiwa, leader of the Movement for Salvation of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), for treason and punishable by death for criticizing his government. Sani Abacha carried out ethnic cleansing in Ogni, Okirika, and Adoni - oil rich Delta regions of River State. On October 31, 1995, Abacha’s civil disturbances tribunal found the writer and environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other MOSOP leaders guilty and sentenced them to death by hanging. Despite appeal for mercy from the human rights organizations, statesmen, religious leaders, international governments and world leaders including the Commonwealth and iconic figure like Nelson Mandela, on November 10, 1995, all 9 MOSOP leaders and activist were hung. Ken Saro-Wiwa, a writer, playwright and environmentalist was hung simply because he called the government’s attention to the oil spillage and environmental pollution and degradation in his hometown, Ogni. The military despot, Sani Abacha and his cohorts were so ignorant and visionless, that they refused to listen to the world renowned environmentalist. Few years ago, the United Nations (UN) carried an investigation and confirmed of massive oil pollution in Niger Delta region. The report from the United Nations Environment Programme, the first of its kind in Nigeria, was based on two years of in-depth scientific research. It found that oil contamination is widespread and severe, and that people in the Niger Delta have been exposed for decades – the report said. The report provided irrefutable evidence of the devastating impact of oil pollution on people's lives in the Delta - one of Africa's most bio-diverse regions. It examined the damage to agriculture and fisheries, which has destroyed livelihoods and food sources of the Niger Delta region and its environs. One of the most serious facts to come to light is the scale of contamination of drinking water, which exposed communities to serious health risks. Amnesty International Global Issues Director, Audrey Gaughran, who has researched the human rights impacts of pollution in the Delta Region, also said, "This report proves Shell has had a terrible impact in Nigeria, but has got away with denying it for decades, falsely claiming they work to best international standards." The UN and Federal Government of Nigeria reported that it would take about a $1 billion and up to 30 years to clean. We now know it will take 50 years or more to cleanup and restore normalcy to the area devastated with oil pollution and ongoing oil spillage.

 
Eye witnesses report that the Niger Delta oil pollution is much worse than the 2010 British Petroleum (BP) oil leak in the Gulf Coast, which affected the ecosystem and fishing businesses of those that live around the coastline of Louisiana State, USA. The business owners and citizens fumed and when it is all said done, BP paid out nearly $750 million to compensate businesses, fix the leak and cleans their mess. Until today, BP is still faced with litigation, lawsuits, reparation and compensation for oil spillage in the Louisiana coastline. Oil pollution has been going on in the South-south and some Southeast communities for years. The BP oil spill was rated the worst oil spill in US history even though it was just about 7 month’s oil leak. The Niger Delta region oil pollution is been going on for 50 years. When will the Nigerian government clean the Niger Delta regions? When will the president and his environmental Minister push for reparation from Shell as well as enforce stringent laws and policies on multi-national oil companies operating in Nigeria to protect the environment? This is a challenge of this and future governments which demands a lot of capable and skilled hands as well as calls for compassion of the health and well-being of the citizens of those regions.

 
Boko-haram Jihadist Sect and Insecurity

 
Since the return to democratic government in 1999, there have been ethnic, religious, economic, and political motivated violence and conflicts that have decimated thousands of innocent lives in Nigeria. Since the last decade, we have witnessed rash of rampage and despicable acts of violence, looting, killings and wanton massacre of innocent Nigerians by Boko-Haram sect in many cities and states in the North. This ignorant, intolerable, irrational rampage and despicable acts of killings and massacre are getting worse each day. From 2007 till date, an estimated 3,000 or more Nigerians have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced and their means of livelihood shattered. Since 1999, an estimated 14,000 innocent Nigerians have been massacred while the Federal Government, State, Local and Security agencies remain incapable of stopping the murderous sect. The government and security agencies –especially the police have failed in their basic duty to provide security and protection of innocent human lives. They all should resign and give way to competent and capable hands – including international community to handle the security and terrorist challenges that are confronting the nation.

 
The wise and great Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark recently spoke truth to power, when he called on IBB and other Northern leaders to speak out against Boko-haram. Nigeria needs wise, courageous and compassionate leaders like him. In the last two years, check the record, go and read public statements made by many Northern politicians, religious leaders and elders – no one has had the courage and temerity to condemn the murderous activities of Boko Haram. Rather, they blame it on poverty and their past leaders. If there were any courageous politician and leader in the North, the Jihadist and murderous activities of Boko Haram would have been curtailed –if not out rightly stopped. By the way, Boko Haram is the religious-political army of the Hausa/Fulani Oligarchy. Boko Haram did not start in 2009 as stated; it has been in existence since the history of Nigeria. Boko Haram mushroomed into this militant movement to fight for return of power to north and without question there are politicians and powers behind them. And they won’t stop until power returns to the North. I wrote a few years ago, that Nigeria must brace up for the murderous activities of Boko Haram. Boko Haram is our “intifada” and their ultimate desire is to impose the “Rule of Allah” in Nigeria. This is the universal teaching of Islam worldwide – to make Islam worldwide religion. And I don’t have any qualms about Boko Haram establishing an Islamic/Sharia State, but I have serious problem about “Islamization” and “Somalization” of Nigeria and imposing Sharia and the Rule of Allah upon Nigerians who disagree with them. They should know by now that Nigeria is a multi-religious nation.

 
I ask, when will this despicable and wanton killings of innocent Nigerians stop? When will the Federal Government take action about these lecherous killings of innocent Nigerian citizens in the North? When will the Federal government bring to justice the perpetrators and the sponsors of these heinous killings and cowardice acts against innocent Nigerians? When will this foolishness stop in our nation? When will all Nigerians stand together, unite, and condemn this immoral and satanic massacre of innocent citizens and God’s children? When will Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) engage in serious Ecumenical and interfaith dialogue with Islam and Muslim leaders not just a council meeting with Catholics, Protestants and Pentecostal but ecumenical –interfaith dialogue with Islam and the Imams? The leadership at CAN – especially the Pentecostal pastors and bishops shave failed woefully in their calling and divine mandate to build the kingdom of God. For decades, they had focused on prosperity and materialistic message rather than preaching the adulterated gospel of Jesus Christ – the gospel of the kingdom of God on planet earth. For years, they had been after their own selfish and worldly interests while their sheep and flocks of God are dying and perishing everyday.

 
Way Forward –

 
Amend the Constitution to Address the Injustices in the Federal Government

 
It is an acceptable fact that the 1999 Constitution is over due for review and amendment considering the inadequacies and anomalies in our society. Despite my skimpy knowledge on matters of constitutional matters, I have always argued that the constitution that we have today is not only deficient to the ethos of presidential and democratic system of government that we clearly copied from the United States of America, but, additionally does not accommodate the true aspirations of all Nigerians. The current political, social, economic and religious turmoil in the nation can be checked and minimized based on the quality of our constitution, patriotic legislation and honest enforcement of those laws. In fact, many Nigerians are clamoring for Sovereign National Conference to address the inadequacies and injustices in the Nigeria Federal Structure. Even, some are calling for true federalism rather than amendment of the constitution. However, the constitutional amendment can give the people an opportunity to revamp and fix the injustices in the federal structure, in order for the nation to make progress.

 
I also think that amendment of Constitution should not be left solely into the hands of the Legislative body. The Constitution Amendment Committee should include constitutional lawyers, judges, liberal scholars, thinkers, leaders of thought, historians, traditional and religious leaders, ex-presidents, governors, senators, diplomats and frankly fewer politicians and legislators. The current political, social, economic and religious turmoil in the nation can only be checked and minimized based on the quality of the constitution, patriotic legislation and honest enforcement of those laws. Nigeria should rethink of her current political culture and figure out the best methodology the nation can tailor and construct its constitution and political systems in order to produce credible candidates, knowledgeable electorates, build strong democratic institutions and entrench patriotic values that are capable of yielding the expected progress and dividends of democracy.

 
Educate the Citizens and Develop a National Core Value System (Patriotism)

 
The culture of learning which was strong and admired by Nigerians has eroded due to weak educational leadership and corrupt government leaders. Since the return to democratic government in 1999, the portfolio of education has been held by corrupt and incompetent politicians. Moreover, most of the governors of the various states in Nigeria have been visionless and myopic. The university campuses have become centers for raping young girls, gang activities, cultists, in addition to constant strikes, poor lecturers and lack of funds. Everything nowadays is driven by money even the university admissions are now bought by rich people for their sons and daughters. The schools are also dilapidated and teachers who cannot write simple correct sentences or speak it are teaching our children.

 
The picture is evidence of lawlessness and purposeless education in present day Nigeria. That is why many young Nigerians are dying to leave Nigeria – even to the nearest neighboring countries like Ghana or South Africa to attend university. Those of them who are extremely lucky to travel to the European Union and United States are excelling in their studies and academics. Why would the young people live in a nation that does not care for them, recognized as the future leaders of the country, receive proper training, developed and prepared to take over the running of the country at some point? Why would they live in a nation without job after their university education and unemployment roaring at almost 80%? President Jonathan must declare state of emergence in the education sector. Nigeria needs a massive educational restructuring. The government must find ways to tap into the uncommon Nigerians scattered around the world – by seriously fighting insecurity, providing basic infrastructure , setting up attractive incentives and conducive working environment to be able to attract some of these Nigerian geniuses in Diaspora back to Nigeria. Nigeria does not lack the brains, but the political will to galvanize and harness her God given resources - human and natural. However, I'm afraid to say that the new wave of suicide bomb blasts in Nigeria may be a clear indication that Nigeria is becoming a terrorist pariah state. The cabals – the ‘satanic cult” and "powers to be" that are so entrenched must be destroyed in order to restructure the society. The state of education sector in Nigeria today clearly points that Nigeria has become a lawless and disorderly nation. To fix these anomalies, will take some form of revolution. There cannot be strong and great leaders without massive education reform and restructuring.

 
Also, there cannot be strong, moral and courageous leadership without a well-defined set of core values that will shape the lives of those called to lead. Core values are constant and passionate beliefs that drive lives, business decisions or nation’s priorities. Core values determine and shape daily actions of people, business or government leaders. They are hidden motivations that dictate every decision and determine life’s priorities. Vision, passion and purpose are driven by core values. Without core values or code of conduct, people, families, businesses or even nations will have a broken focus? Dr. Mike Murdock, one of the great wisdom teachers of our contemporary time said, “The passion of our daily routine is the hidden secret for our success, people fail because of broken focus.” Daily routines are core values or value systems that drive and determine life’s success. Daily routines determine and shape our daily actions.

 
The same is true of a nation. Core values ask the question, why do I do what I do? Developing national core values and the passion for why we as a nation will be the secret to our nation’s success. Well-defined strong national core values will not only contribute to our nation’s success but also will also inspire people to reach their fullest potential, embrace good change, communicate what is important and enhance credible leadership. Core values are not only applicable to individuals or business organizations, families or churches, but also to nations, states and cities. Without a strong national value system no nation can flourish and be successful.

 
There has to be patriotic decisions and passionate actions that determine and drive our nation’s priorities. The problem is that the framers of the first Nigerian constitution were not Nigerians but slave masters. Nigeria's first constitution was written by the British people in 1922. These are people who did not understand our culture or value systems of the myriad groups that make up Nigeria. Since then, the constitution has been revised a few times without the constitutional experts but dictators and stooges of a gangster government, who evaded radically revamping the constitution to accommodate the social, cultural, religious and tribal norms of all the variant groups that make up Nigeria. The fundamental rights as defined in our constitution today does not contain defined set of core values such as character, honesty, genuine integrity, discipline, character, trust, truth, commitment, dedication, patriotism …that are capable of producing patriotic citizenry, credible leaders, spur nation building, promote good business culture and inspire people to embrace good change in-order to reach their potential.

 
I am convinced that in order to build a respectable and prosperous nation that we aspire and dream to have, there must be first of all a set of well-defined core values or code of conduct that will help to create an environment in which government, businesses, investment and people can thrive and prosper. Trust, integrity, honesty and sincere character are seriously lacking in our society in all levels. How can a nation make progress without trust? Trust is lacking among Nigerians. Ijaw, Igbo, Yoruba , Hausa-Fulani, etc., do trust each other instead they hate each other with passion. How can a nation make progress in such a hateful and mistrust environment?

 
I think the time is now for Nigerians to have a serious dialogue and discussion on how to move forward as a nation. There is too much suffering and hopelessness. There is anger and frustration everywhere in Nigeria – the Boko Haram, MEND, Niger Delta militants, MASSOB, CPC, Bakassi people of the oil rich island, and then unemployment, dilapidated infrastructure, death-trap roads, religious ignorance and intolerance, insecurity, corruption and so on. Nigeria is at a tipping point. These frustrations and disagreements must be handled courageously through national dialogue and debate.

 
Last year, the Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka made a direct call to the political leaders and warned of people’s anger and frustration concerning the senseless killings, corruption, and incompetent political leadership. He called for dialogue and discussion on how to move the nation forward. The former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar in an interview that month also called for all ethnic groups in Nigeria to sit on the roundtable to renegotiate their continued co-existence. Those calls are sincere, honest, and courageous calls.

 
The nation needs a dialogue – sovereign national conference or national dialogue, no matter what it is called; all the people groups of Nigeria must sit down to chart their destiny. The dialogue and agreed ideas must be documented and cherished as the basis of democratic system government. Any document produced from the dialogue should be used to govern the affairs of the state and its people. It should provide defense, administer justice, and order, in which people could go in safety about their business. It should have checks and balances that provide more realistic safeguards – constraining absolute power of the federal government, security of its citizens and welfare of all Nigerian people. The documents must set a well-defined set of core values that will shape the lives and especially those who are called to lead.

 
Final Words

 
A lot has been said and written about the amalgamation of Nigeria as a nation. The late visionary leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo once observed that Nigeria is not a nation, but merely a geographical expression. Many notable visionaries and leaders of thought have also referred the Nigerian nation as merely a political expression for the economic and political interest of the colonial masters. The amalgamation of Nigeria as a nation is an issue that must be addressed if we really desire to live in peace and fulfill our destiny. I believe that without genuine forgiveness and reconciliation, there cannot be order, unity and peace in our country. We cannot move forward as a nation and fulfill our common purpose and destiny until ethnicity, tribalism and injustice are addressed in our country. We truly need a national identity that harbors ethnicity but promotes national identity entity, if not we break the Union. The amalgamation of Nigeria has been costly. The impelled amalgamation of the variant groups that make up Nigeria today has been problematic and costly to manage due to ethnic jingoism and diverse dynamics of interests of the various groups. In essence, our challenges clearly shows that we have not grown-up as a people, but still immature in our way of doing business with each other and with outside world. The tendencies and acts of childishness are still evident in our everyday life and living. Since Nigeria gained her independence in 1960, she has had only turbulent periods of political crisis, religious violence and ethnic warfare that led to unforgettable genocidal civil war of 1967-1970 that claimed more than two million lives and left her surviving citizens with so much bitterness, hatred and rage against one another. At fifty-two years of self-government, Nigeria continues to flounder due to bad leadership, culture of impunity, culture of callousness, covetousness, greed, money worshippers, egotism, avarice, hatred, and rage. I think it is time for Nigerians to genuinely forgive one another, bury its tumultuous past and fractured history in-order to live together and peacefully again. Without genuine forgiveness and reconciliation, there cannot be unity, peace, and prosperity. The declaration for the end of the war slogan: “No Victor No Vanquished” should be revisited and properly implemented, otherwise Nigeria will continue to flounder and not reach its full potential.

 
Rev. Dr. C. Kingston Ekeke reports - Rev. Dr. C. Kingston Ekeke is a public theologian, author, and leadership scholar. He is the president of Leadership Wisdom Institute.

 
Note: The content of this essay was taken from some of my past writings and especially from my book: Leadership Liability – A Clarion Call to Courageous, Compassionate and Wise Leadership, published by Author House, March, 2011.

 
*READ "Nigeria – The Cost and Consequences of Coerced Amalgamation – Part 1" at => http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2012/08/24/nigeria-the-cost-and-consequences-of-coerced-amalgamation-part-1

 
Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria showing Bakassi peninsular and parts of Cameroon

-Masterweb Reports
 
The south-eastern part of Nigeria is the home of the Igbo speaking people. They constitute almost 100% of the population of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States, and about 30 to 50% of the population of Delta and Rivers States. Because Igbo people are highly mobile and itinerant, they can be found in significant numbers in all major cities of Nigeria, as well as in other parts of the world. In North America, the population of Ndi Igbo is probably in the millions in the US, and in the thousands in Canada. The Igbo language itself is highly dialectical. Thus one can expect variation in certain rites and practices from one part of Igboland to another, and even from one town to another. Birth, marriage and death are rites that are held in great esteem amongst Ndi Igbo. This article is about Igbo traditional marriage. The Internet contains a plethora of articles, publications and even books written on Igbo traditional marriage. One noteworthy source is the book titled “Marrying Wealth, Marrying Poverty (2007)” published by Tafford Publishing, Canada and UK, and written by Dr. Patrick Iroegbu. A chapter from this book, titled “Stages, Strategies and Symbolism of Traditional Marriage in a Changing Igbo Society” was posted in Kwenu (www.kwenu.com) in 2007. Dr. Iroegbu described the key elements of Igbo traditional marriage using practices from the Mbano area of Imo State. This write-up will focus on the traditional marriage practices prevalent in the northern parts of Igboland, namely, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi States.

 
There are a number of principles that underpin Igbo traditional marriage that are worth reiterating. One of them is that marriage in Igboland is not between one man and one woman. Rather it is between families and to a great extent between clans or even villages. Another principle is that marriage is regarded as sacrosanct. Divorce or separation is not common. However in extenuating circumstances (which include flagrant abuse and neglect, promiscuity, acts likely to cause illness, death or embarrassment to member(s) of the family), the marriage may be set aside in accordance with rules and practices prevalent in the locality. The introduction and practice of Christianity in Igboland have helped to preserve the sanctity and reverence of Igbo marriages. A third principle of Igbo traditional marriage is that dating or any kind of relationship between the man and the girl before they get formally married is not encouraged.

 
Finding the Right Partner:

 
Both the man and the lady normally attain the appropriate age before they enter into marriage. Underage marriage is very rare among Ndi Igbo. For the man in particular, he needs to accomplish a number of well defined tasks before he is judged to be ready for marriage. In most parts of Igboland, there are defined rites of passage. These include initiation into the masquerade and age grade societies. In parts of Udi LGA in Enugu State, the rite of manhood called “iwa ogodu” was what a son and his father had to do to indicate that the boy has come of age. This ceremony involves the father buying a cow and the son parading the cow in the market place. At the right moment, the son being initiated would be expected to cut off the tail of the cow with one stroke of a well sharpened machete.

 
Following the initiation to manhood, the ready to be husband is expected to have acquired the infrastructure and the skills necessary to make a living for himself and his would be family. Such infrastructure includes a house for himself separate from that of his parents. His skill set would include the ability to successfully and profitably farm a sizable plot of land for crops such as yam, cocoyam, corn, beans, cassava, peanuts; and the ability to tend palm trees either for the wine or for the palm fruit. These days, farming, fishing or palm tree tending skills are no longer adequate to demonstrate the readiness of the young man for marriage. Getting formal education at least to the secondary school level, (but preferably to the post secondary level) is necessary, coupled with landing a permanent, good paying job. Another alternative is for the young man to undergo many years of apprenticeship and establish himself firmly as an artisan (carpenter, mason, plumber, painter, motor mechanic, electrician, welder, etc), or as a trader in a specialty area such as clothing, shoes, electronics, building materials, hardware, jewellery, foods, etc.

 
For the girls, the right of passage is not as well defined as for the boys. However, acquiring culinary, child care and home management skills is mandatory. In addition, most families these days would strive to educate their daughters to the secondary and even post-secondary level. Girls also strive to acquire professional skills through formal education, and some seek to establish themselves in trades such as dressmaking and hairdressing. For a girl aspiring to be married, she is expected to look her best and be of the best behaviour at all times. Some communities would go to the extent of organizing their marriageable girls into dance troupes where the girls do the dancing, while the men and the women provide the vocals and the instrument back up. Learning these dance steps usually takes several years and a great deal of hard work. The outing and showcasing of the dance troupe is widely advertised and takes place over several weeks and in several venues. The dancers are exquisitely decked up to orchestrate their femininity. Within weeks of the launching of the dance, most of the girls are often scooped up by eligible bachelors, some of the men coming from distant towns, but who might have seen or heard of the dance.

 
Igbo tradition does not encourage girls to go out in search of husbands. Regardless of the status of the girl, she must wait until the prospective husband approaches her family. Thus, it is the man who does the hard work of finding the right partner, while the girl and her family have the easier of task of saying yes or no. The common denominator here is that all members of the respective extended family are involved in this very important task. Often relations of the man identify the prospective bride and inform the man. Once he gives his consent, the relatives will carry out a detailed investigation of the girl and her family history. The investigation will dig into the background of members of the girl’s family going as far back as possible, looking for any incidents of recurring diseases, abominable acts, problems with bearing children, insubordination or other marital problems. Once the background check has been completed to the satisfaction of the man’s family, then the formal marriage rites will proceed. During each of the several steps and stages of these marriage rites, the family of the prospective bride will continue to check out the groom’s family looking for essentially the same undesirable traits. The key concern for the bride’s family would include the ability of the man to take care of their daughter and any children that she would have.

 
Initial Inquiry by the Groom (Iku Aka):

 
This is the initial and official declaration to the parents of the girl by the would-be groom that he is interested in having their daughter as a wife. The prospective groom is accompanied by a small group made up of close family members such as his parents, one or two uncles and aunts. The visitors come with kola nuts and a small amount of palm wine. Before the kola nut is broken and shared, the suitor’s party would state their intention to the bride’s family. The prospective bride would then be asked for her consent to accept the kola nut. If she fails to give her consent then the process comes to an end. On the other hand, if she consents, then the kola nut and the wine is accepted and shared. Further visits are then scheduled before the groom’s party leaves.

 
Second and third visitations (Mmanya Nne na Nna, Mmanya Ikwunne, Mmanya Umunna, Mmanya Isi Ada)

 
If the initial introductory rite (Iku Aka) is positive, the groom’s party will receive a list of what other steps are involved and what the requirements of the bride’s clan or town are. There are variations from one town to another. With each additional visitation, the size of the groom’s party continues to increase until the apex visitation which is the Igba Nkwu ceremony. The first visitation to the bride’s family is for the purpose of Mmanya Nne na Nna (wine for the bride’s parents). The groom’s party is limited to about 6 to 10 persons, and their gifts will include kola nut, palm wine, beer, soft drinks and tobacco. The bride’s family will prepare food and serve the visitors. The third visitation at the bride’s home is for the purpose of Mmanya Umunna, which is to inform the extended family from the bride’s father’s side that someone is interested in marrying their daughter. For this visitation, the groom’s party may number up to 20, and the number and assortment of gifts and drinks also increases. A goat is often a part of the gifts. The hosts will also prepare assorted meals for the visitors.

 
In some communities, the rites of Mmanya Ikwunne and Mmanya Isi Ada are also mandatory. The former is to inform the relations of the bride’s mother that someone wants to marry their daughter. The latter is for the first daughter of the bride’s father or family. The groom’s party is limited in both cases, and the gifts are identical in scope and size, but they must include kola nuts, palm wine, beer, soft drinks, heads of tobacco and snuff. The consent from all these distinct family members must be secured before the final marriage rites are agreed to and scheduled.

 
Bride wealth/Dowry Settlement:

 
This rite may be done as part of Igba Nkwu, but in general, it requires a visitation to the bride’s family. In the past, at the end of the lengthy negotiations which can take a whole night, money does change hands. These days the exchange of money does not take place, but the negotiations do still take place. Because of the difficulty in determining the value of a wife to a man, most families settle for a commitment from the groom that he would take good care of the bride and her children, and that he would assist the bride’s family with the training of the bride’s siblings. At the start of the dowry or bride wealth negotiations, the bride’s family will extol her virtues and accomplishments. Usually broom sticks are used to represent money. Thus, at the start, the bride’s family will present a huge bundle of broom sticks which is what they believe their daughter is worth. The groom’s party will then go out and consult with themselves and come back with a counter offer which is in the form of a much reduced bundle of broom sticks. The bride’s family will again go to their own meeting and agree on a slightly reduced amount. This back and forth session will continue until a final count (amount) is agreed to.

 
Igba Nkwu/Mmanya Nkute:

 
This is the final ceremony to consummate the marriage, and it takes place in the bride’s family compound. The guest list from both the groom’s and bride’s families is often unlimited. Depending on the resources of the two families, several hundreds or even thousands of people come to witness the occasion. The entire extended family system, going as far back as they know is invited. Both the groom and bride would normally invite their friends, colleagues and co-workers in addition to members of their respective extend families. As is the case with other rites that come before Igba Nkwu, some communities specify items that the groom must present to the bride’s family. These would include kola nuts, palm wine and other assorted drinks, heads of tobacco, snuff, cloths, jewellery, etc. For the bride’s family, it is also the occasion to show their love and care for their daughter. They would give her presents including cooking utensils for her new home. The bride’s compound is typically decked up for the event with extra chairs and tables brought in for the numerous guests expected. Oftentimes, dance groups and musicians are in attendance to entertain the audience.

 
The Igba Nkwu ceremony kicks off with the arrival of the groom’s party with their drinks and other gifts. They are led to the area reserved for them. Next the bride’s family comes out to greet their in-laws. Meantime, the bride and her maids are inside the house getting dressed. Once most of the guests are settled in their respective places, the bride and her maids make the first appearance. This is primarily to greet the in-laws. They dance regally around the venue while relatives spray money on them. Following the appearance of the bride, the groom’s party presents their gifts to the in-laws. Relatives of the bride will check the items to make sure that they are in accordance with their specifications. Any shortfall of omission usually means that the groom has to make up for it by cash payment. Once the drinks and other gifts are accepted, the kola nuts are broken and shared.

 
In some communities, the bride and her party will make a second appearance. This time they will carry boiled eggs in trays. They will give these eggs to the guests who in turn will put money into the trays as payment for the eggs. The significance of this ceremony is to show that the bride is capable of making money by trading. Before the drinks are shared, the bride and her party make another appearance. This time, the bride kneels before her father to receive his blessing. After the blessing, the father pours palm wine into a cup and hands the cup over to his daughter to give to the groom. The groom is usually well hidden among the crowd to make it difficult for the bride to find him. The bride and her party will keep searching everywhere until they find him. Once she does that, she will offer him the cup of wine, which he sips and hands back to the bride for her to sip as well all to the applause of the audience. Both the groom and the bride now go before each of their parents to get their prayers and blessing. Once the blessings are given, the newly married couple will dance together to entertain their guests. While the dance is going on, money is sprayed on them as well as on their parents and other relatives. Meantime, the bride’s family serves assorted food items that have been meticulously prepared to all the guests wherever they may be seated.

 
These days, Igba Nkwu also features the cutting of a cake by the newly married couple. Once the cake is cut, the couple then takes their seat at a conspicuous location in the compound. Relatives, friends and well-wishers then take turns to present gifts to the couple. The eating and drinking and general merry-making goes on till late into the night. As the party begins to wind down, the family of the groom will by way of a song indicate that they are about to leave, and that they have to take their wife with them. Most of the time there are no issues, and the parents of the bride will present their own gifts to her to take to her husband’s place. The parting of the bride from her family is always an emotional one, but in the end, the bride must join her husband’s party as they make their way back to their place.

 
Post Igba Nkwu Rites:

 
These days, the Igba Nkwu and traditional marriage rites are almost immediately followed by church wedding. Sometimes, the church wedding takes place the next day or within a few weeks of Igba Nkwu. This time, the groom’s family is responsible for organizing the wedding and the reception that follows the wedding. Depending on the resources of the groom, the reception party is often lavish and more gifts are showered on the newly weds.

 
Traditionally, the first night that the bride spends in her new husband’s home is the night of Igba Nkwu. The following morning, the bride is expected to be up early to sweep the entire compound of her husband’s family. Other women married in the family as well as Umuada will join in the sweeping. The men folk will shower the new wife with money as she goes from one compound to another. On the fourth day of her stay in her new home or shortly thereafter, the new wife makes her visit to her parents place. This is referred to as Nnalu. The husband has to give her presents to give to her relatives according to the tradition of the area. These would include toilet soaps, bar soaps, items of clothing, food items, jewellery, palm wine, and assorted drinks, etc. The bride will spend a couple of days with her parents and relatives before returning to her husband.

 
Dr. Chris Chiwetelu

 
*Photo Caption - Map of Igboland (homeland of Ndigbo of Nigeria )

-Masterweb Reports
 
There is no doubt that the Niger Delta region is blessed with natural resources. Apart from oil, the region is also endowed with some of the country’s most fertile land. Ironically, inhabitants of the region are not reaping the fruits of nature’s bounties as much as expected because of years of environmental degradation. Thus, majority of its people are still living and dying in poverty.

 
Assessing the level of poverty among the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria in 2006, the Central Bank of Nigeria, observed that south-south geopolitical zone is the worst hit by poverty among the three zones in southern part of the country. Before the oil boom era, more than 95 per cent of the people in the region were engaged in agriculture. Since Shell first struck oil in Oloibiri in 1956, unquantifiable oil spills have continued to pollute the water and soil while dangerous gases from gas flares poison the air across the region, destroying the livelihoods of fishermen and farmers.

 
To make matters worse, the Nigerian nation had come to depend almost entirely on crude oil for economic survival. The result, of course, is inadequate investment in the agricultural sector. Indeed, annual production of both cash and staple food crops dropped significantly since oil money came into the economic matrix. For example, although Nigeria was the world’s largest cocoa exporter in 1960, cocoa production has since dropped to a dismal 250,000 Metric Tonnes per annum placing her behind Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire. Similarly, other cash crops such as rubber, palm produce, cotton and groundnuts, which were major foreign exchange earners before oil, have lost their export appeal.

 
Recognizing that Nigeria was once able to produce enough food to feed its people, as well as supply raw materials to local industries and still have enough for export, the Federal Government seems poised for a change of course. According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the production of locally milled rice would increase from 2.21 metric tonnes to 6.4 million metric tonnes annually by 2015. To achieve this, he said that the government would attract 100 large rice millers into the country and form cluster rice farms around the mills. Obviously, the high rate of rice importation gives government officials the jitters, considering the country’s ever growing population. Nigeria is not only the largest consumer of rice in Africa; it also eats more than it produces. One can, therefore, understand the minister’s eagerness to turn things around. He has promised to make agriculture earn for the nation what crude oil does at the moment.

 
As part of the efforts to make good this promise, Nigeria recently sealed a deal with a US manufacturing firm, for the production of 300,000 tractors with a view to encouraging large-scale farming. The partnership, involving delegates from USAID and the U.S. Bureau for Food Security (BFS), is expected to attract an investment worth 60 million dollars into Nigeria’s agricultural sector. Dr. Adesina said that the ultimate goal was to create employment for our teeming graduates as it is estimated that roughly 4 .5 million youths were entering our already saturated labour market every year. Another country which has shown interest in the development of modern agriculture in Nigeria is Israel. This is a country that is exporting food and earning as much as $714 million yearly, while Nigeria is spending billions of naira on the importation of food. Interestingly, Israel that is reaping huge sums from the exportation of agricultural produce is in the heart of the desert, unlike Nigeria with abundant fertile land. So, the Jewish State owes its success in agriculture to the deployment of modern technology. They have demonstrated in various spheres of life that technology is the key to economic power in the modern world.

 
Last year, the Israeli ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Moshe Ram, said he was happy that Israel was collaborating with Nigeria to return the Niger Delta to a major food-producing zone in the country. He recalled that palm produce used to flourish in the region and expressed happiness that Israeli expertise would help to bring back those days of glory.

 
In fulfillment of the pledge, the Israeli embassy is collaborating with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to rejuvenate and modernize agricultural practices in the oil-producing region. The NDDC has also entered into partnership with other stakeholders in its efforts to reactivate the agricultural potential of the Niger Delta and empower farmers to reclaim their livelihoods.

 
The Managing Director of the commission, Dr.Chris Oboh, said it was very necessary that agriculture was revived to make it a major economic activity in the Niger Delta region. He made the pledge at a ceremony to formally welcome 11 trainees from India, who received specialised trainings on mechanised farming and repair of farm equipment. “We are focused on diversifying our local economy in a manner that will drastically reduce our dependence on oil,” Oboh said.

 
He said the commission would vigorously pursue programmes that would boost agriculture to make it rival the oil sector as a major income earner in the region. Oboh urged the beneficiaries of the training to use their skills and knowledge to further boost the development of agriculture in the region.

 
The NDDC had been running agricultural training programmes in conjunction with Songhai Delta, a reputable capacity building and youth empowerment centre based in Amupke, Delta State. The scheme aimed at training youths in Niger Delta in various aspects of agriculture, took off in January 2008. The NDDC said it has trained over 6,500 youths of the region in various agricultural practices.

 
The commission has promised to increase food supply by building rice processing mills across the oil producing states to produce rice in commercial quantity. According to Dr. Godspower Amadi, NDDC’s deputy director, agric and fisheries, “we started commercial rice farming as far back as 2007 with nine pilot farms in the region. Our giant rice processing plant at Elele Alimini in Rivers State will soon start churning out tonnes of high quality rice.”

 
Today’s farming cannot be anything but science-driven with the requisite technical sophistry. The NDDC is well aware of this fact, hence its contributions to the transition from subsistence farming to modern agricultural practices. Just last year, the interventionist agency donated 27 tractors to the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) group, for delivery to farmer cooperatives in their respective host communities. The OPTS is supported by the major oil companies.

 
Engineer Anthony Abolarin of Total, who received keys to the tractors on behalf of the OPTS members, described the event as unique and monumental. He said that the handing over of the tractors by the NDDC demonstrates the level of understanding and cooperation between the commission and oil companies.

 
It is only through this kind of intervention that the oil producing communities and indeed the entire country can be empowered to meaningfully engage in mechanized agriculture that would make Nigeria to become self-surficient in food production. It will also help the nation to reduce its ever-rising food import bills, which according to the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Dalhatu Tafida, stands at about 10 billion dollars annually.

 
This worrying situation is stirring some state governments into action. The Rivers State government is one of those that have taken up the challenge. According to the Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, agriculture would be made the mainstay of the state economy in no distant time. Thus, the government has put pen to paper with an Israeli-based firm, LR Group Limited for a multi-billion naira 2000-hectare farm in Etche Local Government. Governor Amaechi said the development was part of the efforts by his administration to shift emphasis from oil-dependent economy to an agro-based economy.

 
The administration of Senator Bukola Saraki and the present government of Abdulfatah Ahmed took Kwara State to a new level of commercial agriculture. Saraki cleared the grounds for agrarian revolution when he invited white Zimbabwean farmers in 2004 to introduce modern technology to farming in the state.

 
Apparently, the message is beginning to sink in. Technology is the key to the agricultural revolution needed to lift Nigeria from the status of a mono-cultural economy.

 
Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( ifeatuagbu@yahoo.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

 
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

-Masterweb Reports
 

(Onitsha- Nigeria, 3rd September 2012)-In 2007, Nigeria’s total debt stocks, both domestic and foreign, came down to about $16.5Billion from over $46Billion in 2005. While domestic debt remained at about $13Billion (N1.8trillion, using an exchange of N140.00 per US Dollar), foreign debt was heavily rescheduled downwards to about $3.5Billion from its all time high of $36Billion in 2005, thanks to the sagacity of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who led the country out of the external debt burden with the payment of a whopping sum of $12Billion to liquidate the debt of $18Billion. Nigeria’s external foreign exchange reserves as at that time was $60Billion excluding $20Billion in the excess crude oil account. But as at July 2012, the country’s excess crude oil balance and foreign reserve accounts have been depleted to $6.9Billion and $36.93Billion respectively. Globally, as of July 2012, China’s foreign exchange reserves had risen to $3Trillion from $2.3Trillion in 2010 and $700Billion in 2006; the Country of Taiwan under this same period (July 2012) had $391Billion; Brazil $376Billion; South Korea $312.3Billion; Hong Kong $294Billion; Singapore $243Billion; and Indonesia $106Billion (WIKIPEDIA 2012). It is important to point out that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product in 1965 was far ahead of those of Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Indonesia. For instance, in 1965, Nigeria’s GDP was $5.8Billion whereas those of Indonesia and Malaysia were $3.8Billion and $3.1Billion respectively (source: National Open University of Nigeria 2004). The last time Nigeria recorded federal budget surplus was in 1997 during the Abacha’s inglorious epoch when N37Billion budget surplus was recorded. From the 1999 budget till date including the draft 2013 budget of N4.929Trillion (about $31,5 Billion, using an exchange rate of N155.00 per US Dollar), it has been budget deficits or “loans for budget execution” all through.

 
Today, as at March 2012, Nigeria’s total debt profile, both domestic and foreign, had risen to N6.8Trillion or $44Billion, out of which domestic debts accounted for N5.96 Trillion or $38.3Billion(DMO 2012),from N1.8Trillion or about $13Billion in 2007, while the foreign aspect increased to N919Billion or $5.9Billion from about $3.5Billion(about N495Billion) in 2007. Apart from the foreign debts where the36 States and the FCT have a share of over $2Billion, the N5.96 Trillion domestic debt is solely owed by the Federal Government on behalf of 160 million Nigerians. From records available to Intersociety, the least owing State in Nigeria, domestically, owes at least N2Billion, whether as “loans” or “credit facilities”. While few States such as Anambra have refused to be loan-ridden, many others like Imo and Abia have local debts overhang of over N100Billion and N50Billion respectively. Lagos State also maintains a heavy burdensome foreign debt of over $790Million or about N118Billion and undisclosed domestic debts believed to be running into tens of billions of Naira. Though most of the 36 States in Nigeria shrouded their domestic loans’ status in secrecy, but our findings indicate that 70% of these States owe between N20Billion and N150Billion each to the local lending institutions with very hash borrowing conditions including high interest rates and penalties.

 
Nigeria’s budget policies have remained crudely stagnated and one of the most fraudulent, anti development and anti people in the world. A careful study of the country’s national budget policies sadly shows that 70% to 80% of the annual budgets have consistently been stomached by less than 0.5% of the country’s population particularly the 17,500 top elected and appointed public officers in the country, in the form of “recurrent expenditures”(personnel and overhead costs). There are 13,500 top elected public officials in Nigeria with the 774LGAs (local government areas) accounting for roughly 92% or 12,788, comprising 8,692 LGAs councilors and 3,096 LGAs executives. And there are 4,000 top appointed public officials in the country, bringing the total to 17,500 top public officers managing Nigeria’s public affairs. Further break down shows that there are 1,152 State lawmakers, 469 Federal lawmakers, 72 elected State executives and two elected Federal executives, bringing the total to 1,695 elected State and Federal lawmakers and executives. In the area of top Federal and State appointed public officials in the country, there are 2,592 top State appointed executives, 470 Federal appointed executives and 934 top Federal and State judicial officers, bringing the total to 3,996.There are approximately 24,165 inferior and unconstitutional public aides in Nigeria recruited by the 17,500 top elected and appointed public officials recognized in the Salaries & Allowances amended Act of 2008.Despite the fact that the Act in quote as well as the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended, does not recognize these inferior public aides, their sustenance under “allowance pay” has continued to be borne by Nigeria’s lean public wealth. Between N15Billion and N20Billion is spent annually to maintain these 24,165 inferior public aides. The 12,788 LGA top officials in Nigeria hire about 13,000 inferior aides in the form of “personal assistants” with average monthly “allowance pay” scale of N20, 000/N30, 000 per “PA”. Average of one “PA” is attached to one LGA official.

 
Further, the 2,664 State executives including the country’s 72 governors and deputies hire about 6,000 inferior aides called “senior special assistants”, “special assistants”, “executive assistants” and “personal assistants” with average monthly “allowance pay” scale of N100,000 each, on the premise of two aides per State executive. The 1,152 State lawmakers in the country hire about 2,300 inferior aides called “special assistants” and “personal assistants” with monthly “allowance pay” for each of them ranging from N50, 000 to N100.000. Average of two aides is attached to one State lawmaker. The 472 federal executives including the President and the Vice President hire 960 inferior aides called “ senior special assistants”, “special assistants”, “executive assistants” and “personal assistants” with monthly “allowance pay” ranging from N100,000 to N300,000 for each aide. Average of two inferior aides is attached to a federal executive.The 469 federal lawmakers hire about 950 inferior aides called “senior special assistants”, “executive assistants”, “special assistants” and “personal assistants” with monthly “allowance pay” ranging from N50, 000 to N150.000 per aide. Average of two inferior aides is attached to a federal lawmaker. The 934 Federal/State top judicial officers (justices and judges) hire about 950 inferior aides with monthly “allowance pay” ranging from N50, 000 to N150, 000. Usually, average of one inferior aide is attached to a top judicial officer, but in the case of CJN, CJs, Grand Kadis and Presidents of the Customary Court of Appeal, average of two inferior aides is attached to each of them.

 
According to the Vanguard Newspaper of June 7, 2010, “over 60% of the N31Trillion spent between 2006 and 2010 fiscal years went for recurrent expenditures, out of which N10Trillion was spent to sustain the 17,500 top Nigerian elected and appointed public officials”. Also N12Trillion went for the execution of capital projects and debt servicing, while the remaining N9trillion was spent on overheads and other public/civil servants in the country. Out of the N12Trillion said to have been spent on capital expenditures and debt servicing, over N2Trillion went for debt servicing. This means that only N9Trillion was spent on the execution of capital projects that service Nigeria’s 160million population including her 17,500 top public officials. In the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years, for instance, over N1.1Trillion was spent on Nigeria’s debt servicing particularly on her local debts. In the 2012 budget of N4.877Trillion, a whopping sum of N559.6Billion was earmarked for debt servicing. Nigeria, according to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala and the Vanguard Newspaper (11th August 2012),” has made a total budgets of N32.24Trillion between 2005 and 2013”, a period of eight years, yet they have substantially remained “budgets of intestine”, feeding fat less than 1% of the population and starving the remaining 99% of the Nigerian population(160m). The breakdown shows that in 2005, the Federal budget was N1.8Trillion; 2006 N1.9Trillion; 2007 N2.3Trillion; 2008 N3.58Trillion; 2009 N3.76Trillion; 2010 N4.61Trillion; 2011 N4.484Trillion; 2012 N4.877Trillion; and 2013 N4.929Trillion(draft) with a projected revenue of N3.891Trillion and revenue deficit of over N1trillion earmarked for the 2013 draft budget.



 
Further, out of the 2012 budget of N4.877Trillion, only N1.3Trillion was earmarked for capital expenditure, with additional N200Billion from the oil subsidy removal proceeds making the total N1.5Trillion. Sadly and shocking too, only N404Billion or 31% had been released for the execution of capital projects as of the end of July 2012 whereas releases for recurrent expenditure were at over 70%. Nigeria has the lowest public service productivity index in Africa, and by extension, in the whole world. Four out of every five Nigerian public/civil servants are pathologically lazy, unproductive and fraudulent. The job satisfaction index among them is very low and the culture of wealth accumulation is very high. An average Nigerian public/civil servant aspires at all costs to be an expensive property and estate owner, and lives far above his or her income. This explains why the country’s budgets have substantially remained oil, gas and deficit (loan)-based. While oil & gas contributes to 95% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, it contributes 80% to the country’s annual budgets. In the 2011 budget of N4.484Trillion, a whopping sum of N852Billion was borrowed to finance the budget. In the 2012 fiscal year, N744Billion was borrowed to finance the revenue shortfalls in the year’s budget of N4.877Trillion and in the incoming 2013 draft budget of N4.929Trillion; another whopping sum of N727Billion has been earmarked for borrowing to make up the expected revenue shortfalls. This is in spite of enormous revenue potentials including availability in enormous commercial quantity of roughly 33 solid mineral deposits in the country.

 
It is rudely shocking and disbelieving that the staggering sum of over N1.15Trillion is spent annually on 17,500 Nigerian public managers including their over 24,000 inferior aides, whereas less than 30% of the entire budget is merely allocated for the maintenance of the 160 million Nigerians through the provision and maintenance of critical infrastructures and other social amenities. According to the Nigeria’s Salaries & Allowances amended Act of 2008, N1, 13Trillion is spent on the 17,500 Nigerians annually with over 90% going into allowance packages. Before the 2008 amendment of the Act, N755Billion was spent annually to service these 17,500 top Nigerians. Out of this whopping sum of N1,15Trillion, N592Billion is spent on 12,788 LGAs’ top officials; N300Billion is spent on 2,664 State executives; N98.3Billion is spent 472 federal executives; and N60.4Billion is spent on 469 federal lawmakers excluding the whopping sum of N100Billion spent annually on the so called “constituency projects”. For the 1,152 State lawmakers, N40.9Billion is spent on them; N18.5Billion is spent on 792 State top judicial officers; and N14.8Billion is spent on 142 top federal judicial officers.

 
Apart from this huge public expenditure on the 17,500 top public managers in Nigeria with their over 24,000 inferior aides, many, if not most of them, both past and present have stolen roughly $500billion from the country’s public coffers since 1960. From 1995 when the total stolen wealth was put at $55Billion, it increased to $60Billion in 1999 and quadrupled to $250Billion in December 2006 (Ribadu & EFCC 2007). Malam Nuhu Ribadu and the World Bank also believe that $380Billion and $300Billion respectively had been stolen by Nigerian political criminals between 1960 and 2006. We at Intersociety believe that over $500Billion had been stolen between 1960 and August 2012. The stealing has become a habitual practice in Nigeria’s public governance.

 
The Part Two of this research-statement is being worked on and will be released in coming days.

 
Signed:

 
1. Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, BOT. International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Nigeria +234(0)8033601078, +234(0)8180103912
umeagbalasi@yahoo.com, info@intersociety-ng.org
Website: intersociety-ng.org

 
2. Comrade Justice Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk

 
A Research-Statement By Intersociety Nigeria

 
*Photo Caption - Disgraced and Jailed Delta State Governor, James Ibori 

-Masterweb Reports

 
With barely one month to the expiration of the ten-year window of grace allowed by the International Court of Justice for an appeal on the ill-fated judgment on Bakassi, hope seems to be dwindling by the hours as the Nigerian government is yet to make any categorical statement on the Bakassi problem.
 
It could be recalled that after the ICJ judgment in 2002, former president Olusegun Obasanjo had unilaterally signed what is today known as Green Tree Agreement (GTA) on June 12, 2006 with President Paul Biya of Cameroon, under the pruning supervision of representatives of United Kingdom, United States of America, France and Germany, transferring the territory.
 
Initial protest against the ceding:
 
In 2006 shortly after the signing of the Green Tree Agreement in New York, United States of America, some Bakassi indigenes, who foresaw the implications of the ceding, had protested and consequently challenged it at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
 
The plaintiffs were Chief Tony Ene Asuquo, Chief Orok Eneyo, Chief Emmanuel Effiong Etene, Ndabu Eyo-Umo Nakanda, Emmanuel Okokon Asuquo, Ita Okon Nyong and Richard Ekenyong.
 
They had asked for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the federal government from expelling or removing them from Bakassi or handing their homeland to Cameroon. The court case was won by the Bakassi people but the federal government refused to recognize the judgment.
 
Apart from the rejection of the High Court ruling by Abuja, the litigants were also intimidated and threatened. Chief Etene and his partners have gory tales to tell about their experiences in the hands of Nigerian authorities. But, despite this, the struggle for the soul of Bakassi had continued. Many lives have been lost, one of which was that of Chief Tony Ene.
 
Investigations revealed that when the Nigerian government blatantly refused to honour the court injunction stopping the ceding, out of annoyance and frustration, Ene decided to form a militant group, known then as Bakassi Movement for Self-Determination. This was to press home the emancipation of his people, but he paid the supreme price for daring the government of the day in the early hours of August 22, 2006 in a questionable circumstance.
 
This writer gathered that Ene died along Calabar-Itu road at Odukpani axis while on a mission to petition the then Cross River State government for the release of Richard Ekenyong who was one of the plaintiffs in the Abuja case. Ekpenyong was detained by the State Security Service allegedly on the order of the government of Cross River State, coerced by Abuja. Eyes witnesses at the purported auto-clash site painted a gory picture of what actually transpired.
 
While bemoaning the fate of his people and the untimely death of Ene, Chief Eyo Nakanda who spoke with reporters shortly after the death of the Bakassi militant leader, had said “Tony is the first martyr of the struggle for the freedom of the Bakassi people”.
 
A government house source also disclosed to our reporter that “it was clear that activities of Ene and his group stood on the way of the purported N3 billion ‘largesse’, which was budgeted for the settlement of Bakassi”.
 
The ceding and the pains:
 
It remains a fact that despite all entreaties to convince the country’s leadership to change its mind, Nigerian authorities, on August 14, 2008 at the Peregrino Government Lodge in Calabar, finally transferred the territory to Cameroon despite the tears and groans of a people whose only strength was their voices which at that point was rendered useless by the high and mighty in Aso Rock.
 
That day, thick darkness of uncertain future had eclipsed that part of the world. Some Bakassi indigenes who witnessed the sober ceremonies had psychological and emotional break-down as they visualized bleak future for their posterity.
 
Old men in their respective villages received the sad tales with rude shock, instigated by fear of losing their heritage, culture, identity, source of livelihood, history, sepulchers of their fathers and indeed everything that matters in life. This shock led to sudden unexplained sicknesses and early graves. It was not a bad dream but an absolute reality; they were being given out cheaply without being conquered in war.
 
To some of them, the very thought of Cameroon had sent goose pimples down their spines but they were consoled with a promise that the federal government would look into their welfare and properly resettle the emotionally bruised people. Four years after, the assurance has tacitly become a mirage.
 
From August 14, 2008, many Nigerians have variously made several submissions on the Bakassi problem which gets complicated by the day. Factions with diverse interest have not also help matters. This is because, while majority of the Bakassi people are crying out for their homeland, others are groaning about the federal government’s inability to properly resettle the Bakassi people.
 
Expressing his frustration in a chat with our reporter in Calabar after being chased out of Atabong (now Idabato) by the brutality of soldiers of the Central African country, a 81 year old Chief Ita Asuquo noted with nostalgia that the federal government’s action on Bakassi reminds him of the story of Ikemefuna; the ill-fated lad from Mbaino as contained in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.
 
Chief Ita recalled that Ikemefuna had regarded Okonkwo as a father who, apart from playing the role of providing for his household, was destined to be a pillar of strength and protection to his family members.
 
“In that book, it was Okonkwo, Ikemefuna’s ‘father’ who unleashed on the innocent lad the final and fatal blow which killed him. If Ikemefuna must be sacrificed to the oracle of the hills and caves, must he be slain by his own ‘father’? Bakassi has been slain by a ‘father’ whose natural responsibility was to protect.
 
“Moreover”, he continued, “like Banquo’s ghost in Shakespearean classic-Julius Ceasar, the ghost of Bakassi has refused to go away and shall never go away. It daily haunts our national psyche, particularly when Cameroon’s cruelty on Nigerians is brought to the fore as narrated by some of those who are daily escaping from the peninsular,” Ita had submitted painstakingly.
 
The Chief-turned-refugee therefore warned Nigerian government to ensure nothing evil happens to the leader of the Bakassi Self Determination Front, Mr Ekpe Ekpenyong Oku over the recent development at the peninsular, stressing, “the sacrifice of Tony Ene is enough, and as they say, enough is enough”.
 
Gory tales from Bakassi
 
Furthermore, Nigerians from all walks of life today believe that Bakassi’s sad tale is fallout of international judicial ambush against Nigeria, and which the country’s leadership in its warped wisdom fell into sheepishly.
 
It is also very true that the story of Bakassi cannot all be told in a hurry. Few days ago, international media practitioners from United States of America and Germany had visited Bakassi for an on-the-spot assessment of situations in the ceded territory. As part of their routine, they had audience with a cross section of the Bakassi people.
 
Those who spoke included a 24 year old Asuquo Nyong Okon, Mrs Arit Essien, Prince Edet Etim Okon amongst others. All of them spoke in agreement about their gory experiences in the hands of the Cameroon gendarmes. 
 
Mrs Arit Essien, who betrayed emotion during her submission said, “Cameroon people treat us like animals and force us to pay plenty of money when their patrol boat accost us in the sea before we are allowed to pass to our villages which are now in their country.
 
“Whenever they visit your village, the people would run into the bush and those the Gendarmes would arrest in the village would have to pay a mandatory fee for Gendarmes’ welfare and transportation through a special contribution or they would beat you to a pulp. Some time, they would seize all the fishing nets and engines of our fishermen and would tell our people not to fish in their waters again.
 
"Bakassi is our ancestral home. We all know that the struggle for the soul of Bakassi is the oil, so if they want to take the oil, let them take the oil and leave our native home to us. If the Nigerian government is not ready to accommodate us, please help us stand on our own as a country.
 
“We are crying to the Nigerian government to help us because if they leave us at the mercy of the Cameroonians, they would kill us all. We all know how Cameroonians treat Nigerians. We are the Efiks tribes in our country home and we cannot abandon our land. If the Cameroon people want to kill us all, we have no option, we are ready to die”, she sobbed uncontrollably.
 
Furthermore, our reporter who monitored the happenings in the ceded territory submitted that the mood in Bakassi is that of disappointment, apprehension and annoyance. Majority of Bakassi people hope the ceding of their homeland would be reversed miraculously before October 12 timeline.
 
Chairman of Bakassi local government area, Dr Ekpo Ekpo Bassey told our reporter recently that all hope was not lost, adding “the Calabar Chiefs who signed the treaty of protection with the British did not tell the colonialists to give out part of Efik kingdom to the Germans. We were not colonized as such the Anglo-German treaty is not binding on us. We shall get back our land by God’s grace”.
 
In his opinion, amidst great annoyance, Etinyin Etim Okon Edet, paramount ruler of Bakassi , expressed unshaken believe that the peninsular shall come back to the real owners.
 
Addressing members of the House of Representatives Committee on Treaties and Agreement penultimate week, he had retorted angrily “Nigeria should leave us alone. There was a Bakassi before a political Nigeria and there was Bakassi before a political Cameroon.
 
“We have not been fairly treated by this nation and what we are looking for now is to go back to our area by any possible means. We don’t even want that so-called relocation or resettlement any longer. We have been left to roam in the streets for almost ten years now; some of our people who chose to remain in the ceded villages are now at the mercy of the gendarmes.
 
“Thousand of returnees were camped in an open field for months with their wives and children. Thereafter, the Cross River State government built for us a refugee camp. This camp could not contain influx of thousands of Bakassi returnee. I left my palatial mansion at Abana to the Cameroonian”, he stated.
 
Militants’ activities and declaration of independence
 
Furthermore, the Bakassi militants themselves have also been speaking from the creeks. The leaders of the militants group, Ekpenyong Oku said his people are ready to lay down their lives and that the boys have already taken over some villages in the peninsular, and added “we shall soon send video clips of our activities for all to see”.
 
In a message posted on the internet few days ago, Oku, who addresses himself as ‘Commandant-General’ said “the whole world should answer this question: if you own a land, and one inch of that land is taken by your neighbor without your consent and or approval, how will you feel?”
 
He thereafter went spiritual and said, “O Time, thou determine all things. If indeed this is the time, manifest thyself for all to see that thou have come. The people of Bakassi have been in bondage for about 10years with their land and resources taken away. They are homeless and some have died. Those who are now living have no hope for the future.
 
“Time, manifest thyself. If blood would be required to set the people free, take mine. As you confronted pharaoh, oh Time, do so now. Everybody here (militants in the creeks) has deserted food, Time, take this as a sacrifice and assist us on this onerous journey as we do not know when we shall return.
 
“Bakassi, land of our birth, we pledge to you, neither silver nor gold shall dissuade us from taking you back. We did not choose the land of our birth neither did we choose our parents, the Almighty placed us there, and we were uprooted in a broad-day light by a president who was supposed to protect us”.
 
Oku therefore disclosed that his group, apart from taking over Ine Ekoi village, “are now at Akpa Ukwak quite close to Akpankanya”, stressing “from our observations, no Cameroonian army is in Akpankanya. There is a satellite tower built at Abana, to monitor Akwa Ibom and Cross River with a mast. Firstly, we must bring it down and that will now turn to a full scale.... The Defence Minister at Yaoundé recently visited Abana and Akwa . We are yet to get full details from our intelligence.”
 
This indeed is the general mood in today’s Bakassi.  A one-time Chairman of Bakassi, Chief Emmanuel Etene in an advice said, “Nigerian government for once must be proactive because with what we are hearing, whether one believes it or not, a big problem approaches”
 
The final step
 
There are myriads of questions about Bakassi –the small but rich island which has surreptitiously become a global centre of attention. Some of these questions are: what would be the fate of the Bakassi people after the October 10, 2012 timeline? What is the way forward?
 
Answers to these questions may not be forthcoming but this writer recalls that during the visit of members of the House Committee on Treaties and Agreements to Bakassi penultimate week, Chairman of the Committee, Hon Yacoub Bush-Alebiousu, had given a glimpse of hope.
 
According to Alebiouse “nobody can feel the pains of Bakassi people than the people themselves. I can really appreciate why you are so bitter. I have sat here and I have tried to imagine what you are passing through, but I haven’t been able to because I am privileged to have an abode, to have shelter and not to roam the streets.
 
“We have listened to you; we would like something in writing. Those things in writing are what we would use to show and tell everybody, look the agreement has already been breached at this point and if at this point the people are passing through such ordeal, what do you think would happen after that October date?”
 
He promised the resolved of Nigerian government/National Assembly to do everything within its power to protect Nigerian citizens, and with such assurance, hope was rekindled particularly as the discussion revolved around revisiting the judgment.
 
But in his reaction to this, a Calabar-based legal practitioner, Barr Okoi Obono-Obla described as ‘medicine after death” any effort at revisiting the ICJ judgment.
 
Obla posited “the Judgment has been unequivocally accepted by Nigeria with her signing the Green Tree Agreement on the 12th June, 2002 in New York, the United States of America. Nigeria cannot therefore be allowed to approbate and reprobate.
 
“The equitable doctrine of estoppels shall operate against Nigeria in the event that she makes any attempt to repudiate the Green Tree Agreement signed nearly six years ago. Generally when estoppels bind a party to litigation, he is prevented from placing reliance on or denying the existence of certain facts. Therefore from the point of view of the party in whose favour it operates estoppels, it could be regarded as something which renders proof of certain facts unnecessary.
 
“It is clear that Article 61 of the Statutes (ICJ’s) shall not avail Nigeria in the event she makes an application to the ICJ for the revision of the judgment delivered on the 10thOctober, 2002 in favour of Cameroon. It is certain that no Lawyer worth his salt will ever proffer such advice to Nigeria to gamble by making such a frivolous application to the ICJ”, he had posited.
 
Corroborating, Professor Akin Oyebode, renowned international law scholar and Head of Department of International Law and Jurisprudence of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Lagos, in an interview recently, submitted that the possibility of a review is remote with a very big proviso.
 
According to him, “there must be new facts. In law, we have what is called Res Judicata. It means that a decided issue cannot be re-litigated except new facts emerge which were not before the court when the case was decided”.
 
Towing that same line, a professor of law in the University of Benin, Professor Itse Sagay had, shortly after the judgment submitted “we cannot apply for the revision of the judgment as some laymen have suggested because we cannot meet the conditions for revision. An application for revision can only be made, when it is based on the discovery of some fact of such a nature as to be a decisive factor which fact was when the judgment was given, unknown to the Court and also the partly claiming revision, always provided that such ignorance was not due to negligence (Art 61).
 
“We cannot claim that we did not know that the Kings, Chiefs and peoples of Bakassi, did not give their consent to the so-called cession of Bakassi, or that the inhabitants of Bakassi are Nigerians. Indeed these points were canvassed before the Court and in effect, rejected. Can we or the Court claim not to know the indispensable nature of self-determination or even plebiscite? In any case self-determination is not a fact, but a legal principle,” he had stated.
 
This may have explained why the Nigerian government has been dragging its feet since 2002 when the judgment was given.
 
But the Bakassi people have insisted that they are in possession of unchallengeable fresh facts which shall help to repudiate the ICJ judgment, and that the government should exploit this last chance. They argue that if the Efiks/Bakassi natives were involved in the legal team that represented Nigeria at The Hague, the story would have been different.
 
In a stakeholders meeting at Ikang recently, they faulted the ICJ judgment which was based on Anglo-German treaty of 1913, stressing that at no time was Bakassi a colony of Great Britain, which should have given the Britons authority to enter into any agreement with the Germans on behalf of the Bakassi people, and that even at that, “the purported 1913 Anglo-Germans.
 
Treaty was not endorsed by the parties. This renders that document invalid and illegal”.
 
Besides, experts believe the situation is not completely hopeless as the Nigerian authorities could salvage the situation through a ‘buy back deal’.
 
On this, Professor Akin Oyebode said “in my honest view, the only way to reset the relationship between Nigeria and Cameroon is either we go to war and win the territory back by force of arms, which is not unheard of in history or we buy back the Bakassi Peninsula from Cameroon. After all, Alaska was sold to the US by Russia”.
 
Lending his voice, a former General Manager of Cross River State Newspaper Corporation and commentator on national issues, Pastor Daniel Ubi said “the best option open for Nigeria is to buy back at least part of the peninsular for the Bakassi people.
 
“If appealing the ICJ’s judgment has become a technical impossibility, Nigeria should diplomatically initiate a buy-back deal with Cameroon. At least Western Bakassi that stretches from Abana to the left hand flank of Atabong down to Atai Ema, Archibong Town and Akwa axis could be bought back for the Bakassi people.
 
“It is not out of place to employ the services of experts in international relations to begin a process of a buy back deal. If Cameroon wants to explore oil in the said area, well, there could be a deal on this. Why sent a people to war on an issue which they cannot directly be blamed?
 
‘Whatever amount Cameroon would demand could be paid within a stipulated period of time. This would help the Bakassi people return home since there is no place in the world which the people would now call their home, especially as the possibility of living under Cameroonian government is very remote”, he had suggested.
 
Furthermore, some Nigerians are of the opinion that since the GTA has been blatantly violated by the Cameroonians, Nigeria could exploit this loophole to its advantage.
 
Leading this group is a member representing Odukpani and Calabar Municipality in the House of Representatives, Amb Nkoyo Toyo who, last week, raised an alarm that apart from forcing the people of Bakassi to change their identity overnight and imposing strict taxation on them, Cameroonians are maltreating, maiming and murdering scores of Nigerians daily, against the terms of the GTA. She appealed to the United Nations to call Cameroon to order.
 
“It appears the Cameroonian government is trying to use excessive force to establish its dominance over the Bakassi peninsula. This violates the already illegal Green Tree Agreement, and is a perfect opportunity for Nigeria to renegade on that Green Tree Agreement, not only on the grounds of responsibility to protect her citizens, but also on the grounds of a void treaty which has already been violated”, Ambassador Toyo submitted.
 
Professor Akin Oyebode seems to be in support of this position when he opined that “the GTA provided for the protection of Nigerian residents in the Bakassi and that Cameroon should not harass them and they should be allowed to carry out their activities without fear or molestation peacefully and peaceably.
 
“So the harassment of the fishermen in the area constitutes a material breach of that agreement which authorizes Nigeria to withdraw from or terminate that treaty. Under the law of treaties, we have a provision on termination of treaties where there is what we call material breach. If you look at Article 60 of the Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties, there is a basis for Nigeria to either withdraw or terminate the Green Tree Agreement. These are loopholes for Nigeria to exploit and win back the Peninsula from Cameroon”, he had submitted.
 
But some Nigerians have variously raised objections to this, stressing that the said maltreatments are mere allegations and speculations which cannot be substantiated. To this, the Bakassi natives say they have good and tangible proofs to nail Cameroon, and as such have called on Abuja to give them a chance to prove their assertion.
 
It is against this backdrop that Nigerians from Bakassi to Badagry, Wuse to Dutse, Ondo to Sokoto are unanimously praying for a way out of the imbroglio. October 12, 2012 beckons for a decision which shall assist in wiping away the unending tears of the Bakassi people.
 
Joseph Kingston reports from Cross River State, Nigeria.
 

*Photo Caption - Bakassi Self Determination Front flag ( Flag of purported new 'Bakassi Democratic Republic' ).

-Masterweb Reports
 
Soloman Onwukaife, an 18-year-old Nigerian American teenager Sunday morning around 4.30 am at an Austin, Texas-area (Cedar Park) Walmart shot five people in an earlier dispute over a girl. Onwukaife and the gunshot victims after the dispute at a different location, agreed to meet at the Walmart store for a fight. "This stemmed from a party that occurred possibly somewhere either in Williamson County or Leander, in which there was alcohol consumed at that party," Henry Fluck, Cedar Park Police Chief said  in a press statement.

 
According to Cedar Park police, fight broke out in the Walmart parking lot and Onwukaife began shooting hitting five people. The incident took place at a time when there were few customers in the Walmart store parking lot. No Walmart employee nor customer was injured in the shooting. The store closed briefly (as police sealed-off the area conducting investigations) and re-opened at 9 a.m. "This morning at 4:30 a.m. I heard a 'pop, pop, pop,' like firecrackers. All of a sudden I saw police and ambulance," an unidentified woman told reporters.

 
19-year-old Shayne Davis, 22-year-old Leland McGlocklin, 19-year-old Zacharia Gietl, 18-year-old Cody McGrath and an unidentified victim were wounded and taken to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center. Davis, McGlocklin and McGrath remain in critical condition. Gietl, was treated and released the same day (Sunday). Onwukaife who suffered facial injuries was treated and handed back to police. He has been charged in court with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the incident.

 
Gietl told police the dispute began when a man choked a woman at a nearby party earlier in the evening (Saturday) and several people agreed to fight at the Walmart parking lot. He said he was not at the party but went to the parking lot to stop his friends from continuing the fight.

 
*Photo Caption – Soloman Onwukaife in police custody

-Masterweb Reports
 
Two retired generals and former heads of state stirred up a hornet’s nest recently when they proffered solutions to the growing insecurity and hopelessness in the country. Coming on the heels of a war of attrition between them, there was enough reason for Nigerians to be guarded about the intervention by Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida who ruled Nigeria cumulatively for 19 years.

 
The periods that these generals ruled (1976-79; 1985-93; and 1999-2007) were about the most glorious of the nation’s history, not in terms of development or genuine attempt to redefine the future of the country, but in terms of hope and desire on the part of Nigerians to lift up their country and make it a global contender. As it turned out, Obasanjo and Babangida made sure theirs were the years of the locust. Obasanjo and Babangida orchestrated perhaps the greatest despoliation of Nigeria, its wealth as well as human and material resources.

 
Obasanjo and Babangida talked about the greatness of Nigeria and Nigerians, but they did everything possible to undermine the country and its people. They had the opportunity to write their names in gold as true statesmen, but they botched it. Of course, on the personal level, both Obasanjo and Babangida have received adequate response to their unwelcomed intervention so I shall not dwell on that. I shall focus on the thrust of their intervention.

 
“Nigeria’s existence not negotiable – OBJ, IBB”, was how one newspaper headlined the intercession of the retired generals the morning after. The paper reported Obasanjo and Babangida as saying that “the worrying trend emerging from the violent attacks, bombings and mindless killings of innocent Nigerians was creating room for doubt about the end of the carnage, but that ‘the continued unity of this nation is not only priceless, but non-negotiable’”.

 
I wonder what our rulers really mean when they say the “unity of Nigeria is not negotiable”. If you hear this glib talk from people who actually did something to advance the unity of Nigeria, then it is understandable. It becomes worrisome when those who advance this proposition are those who have done everything possible to undermine the unity of the country. In simple terms, “negotiable” means “open to discussion; not fixed, but able to be established or changed through discussion and compromise”. Considering the current state of the nation, the social and political upheavals that go to the very core of national existence, only a masochist will deny that this is time to “negotiate” Nigeria.

 
A nation is usually united around a common national ethos, a set of values and principles that are abiding. Not so in Nigeria. For the ruling class in Nigeria, the only unifying factor is corruption, as one of their own, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, eloquently espoused in his speech at Chatham House, London, in June. For the majority of Nigerians, the unifying factor is a life of grinding poverty and hopelessness. No country sustained by corruption and the poverty and hopelessness of its citizenry can survive for too long.

 
In a sense, therefore, the real threat to the unity of Nigerian has come from those who have succeeded in dividing Nigerians through their pillage and misuse of our patrimony. Our rulers know that the country is not working because of massive corruption and that we can’t sustain the current system for too long. Yet, because our elite, and in some cases ordinary Nigerians, seem satisfied with the proceeds of corruption, they are blind to the danger we are all entrapped in. While we are nibbling at the seams of the nation, we willfully assume that the country will still hold together and that things will get better. It is this same false hope that led us to the London Olympics after just three months of preparation. The London games ended without any medal for Nigeria. Anybody who understands Nigeria will not be surprised that this may yet be our worst Olympics. Regrettably, our youths on whose shoulders the survival of this nation rests, appear to have imbibed the worst examples of the “wasted generation” before them. That is the real tragedy of our situation. Only recently, the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy held a lecture to mark the 2012 International Youth Day. It was meant as a sober occasion for our youths, the greatest resource of our nation, to reflect on their role and contribution to national development as well as the responsibility of the government to the youth. Many of the so-called youth leaders that came for this event arrived with much enthusiasm, with retinues of aides in tow. All someone close by could mutter was: “if these people ever come close to power, they will do worse than our current crop of rulers”.

 
When I look at corruption in Nigeria, our dismal showing in London, the attitude of our dehumanised and traumatised youths, and the war mongering going on, it all makes sense to me. The conclusion I have arrived at is that it is necessary but not sufficient to do critiques of sectoral deficiencies of our problems as a nation. Nigeria has collapsed. It is imperative, therefore, that the systemic dysfunction in Nigeria is confronted and changed to cater to all in a truly law governed country. And the only way to do this is to “negotiate” Nigeria through a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), not just of so-called ethnic nationalities, but also of marginalised and pauperised people of Nigeria.

 
Part of the reason corruption thrives so much in Nigeria is the structure of the country. Political violence is rife, states and ethnic nationalities are threatening secession, yet there are people who still insist that it is forbidden to question the status quo. Those who are really concerned about Nigeria and genuinely fear that the country will break up if it goes the route of SNC, as opposed to those who mouth “the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable” should rest assured that it won’t happen without a very bloody war or wars. It is not exactly clear which ethnic nationality wants to embark on that futile journey. The greater prospect now is that of anarchy (as in Somalia) or the rise of fascism through what Edwin Madunagu describes as “a coalition of the most unlikely bed-follows’”.

 
What Nigeria needs now is a radical change that will redefine the country and create a new national ethos. It is for this reason that all those who have bled the country and brought it to its knees should be wary, not just of social media, but also the street anger of Nigerians.

 
This street anger must fester and yield positive results if we are to achieve a national renewal and end what a colleague has described as the hackers’ paradise called Nigeria.

 
Chido Onumah, Coordinator of the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy, Abuja, Nigeria ( Email: conumah@hotmail.com )

 
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria

-Masterweb Reports
 
Dating back to Fredrick Lugard's days, people at the top always desire to keep the masses in the dark while they rebarbatively divide and conquer. Thank goodness, there are always few brave souls who risk it all to fight every insidious “dual mandate”. They creatively use the media to liberate the oppressed and to give voice to the disenfranchised. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of every true democracy.

 
When the likes of current Nigeria's Senate President Mark David call for heightened media censorship, Nigerian independent website operators should loudly protest. Citizens ought to draw a line in the sand and peacefully declare that the dog is not going to hunt anymore.

 
Nigerian website operators are today's freedom fighters with battle scares to prove it. They have written and/or published articles that attracted the wrath of the big wigs. Some have used that badge of honor to garner more credibility and popularity.

 
The pioneering websites are: NigerianVillageSquare.com, NigeriamasterWeb.com, NigeriaWorld.com, ElenduReports.com, SaharaReporters.com, NigerianVoice.com, etc. I hope NigeriansInFrance.com and AfricanUndisguised.com are restored soon. Nigerians should regularly visit each of these websites to show support and to keep them in business. Nigerians need more websites to haunt the do-nothing-good politicians.

 
Legendary Fela used his music and fame to fight the power. Likewise, these websites employ their sites as powerful thorns on the side of errant leaders; proving the pen is mightier than the sword. How these people muster enough courage to operate their websites should be studied, commended, and replicated in other aspects of Nigerian society.

 
The websites perform other societal functions. For example, after reading about a woman with serious sickness, a reader contacted the NigeriaWorld operator. He was prompt in tacking down the news reporter to find the sick woman. A Harvard-trained surgeon Dr. Brian Camazine had volunteered to perform the surgery pro-bono and an anonymous reader had agreed to chip in N400,000 the newspaper article sought to treat the woman. Reporters covering such pleas should include adequate contact information, in case a reader has the wherewithal to assist.

 
The websites foster training ground for budding writers. Seasoned authors can use the venues to mentor future writers and to showcase their craft. Hats off to prolific Internet writers, such as Rudolf Okonkwo, Peterside Chamberlain, Nasir El-Rufai, Okey Ndibe, Femi Awodele, Femi Ajayi, and others. One does not have to agree with everything writers publish to appreciate their contributions. We need more authors to write about what we need to know, not just what they think we want to read.

 
My favorite contributors are: Rudolf Okonkwo and Peterside Chamberlain and Nasir El-Rufai. These writers know how to breakdown complex topics so the average reader can understand them. Mr. Okonkwo's pieces are esoterically great; read his articles!. Mallam El-Rufai's articles are often right on; however, the reader needs to know that the Mallam's nursing a political ambition. I miss Mr. Chamberlain's financial articles.

 
Surviving In Biafra by Alfred Uzokwe is a book one of the sites helped popularize. It's a unique book that narrates that vicious civil war via a child's lens. To obtain a copy of the book, either ask your local library to stock it or buy one.

 
It's ironic that some Nigerian websites are censoring contributors. Some of the writers think their work became too thorny that some politicians called in censorship favor. While a few others think there are tribal or regional politics being played beneath the surface. Some websites want exclusive right to articles they publish. Then there are personal fall outs that result in writers being banned. Whatever the reason(s), the duties of these websites are too important to allow them to be attenuated.

 
It's a competitive business but the websites could emulate NigerianVoice and Nigerian Village Square and Sahara Reporters who publish articles without exclusivity requirement. These three sites are progressive and delightful, in deed. Sahara Reporters goes a step further by advertising competing websites. Bravo to NigerianVoice.com! It's a comprehensive website with instant publishing and editing functions.

 
Unfortunately, a few writers have traded their fame for seats at the fleecing table, once the price is right. These people pen critical articles about the government or politicians but as soon as their bread is buttered, they begin to sing a different tune.

 
Website owners have their work cut out for them. While they remain the vanguards of Nigerian fledgling democracy, they should have enough courage to broadcast news from their pipelines without fear or favor! Finally, it's up to the readers to collectively let the leaders know they won't stand for media censorship of any kind. That is the essence of a democratic Nigeria.

 
Chuks U.C. Ukaoma resides in Austin, Texas, USA. Read his other articles on this and Yahoo website. Email: chuksucukaoma@yahoo.com

 
*Photo Caption - Chuks U.C. Ukaoma, Article author

-Masterweb Reports
 

When a balding and greying old man in his 60’s who should be a retired and resting grandfather spends all his time being a cowardly wimp that hides behind his computer to pimp and recycle nothing else but hate and abuse against everything and everyone on the internet then it is obvious that there is a problem somewhere. It makes one to imagine how embarrassed his relations and siblings would be reading the recycled trash from the sick OSUJI.

 
It is not surprising that most websites chased him away from their sites and he found refuge in junk forums that can tolerate the trash that he posts. The same forums he once declared he was quitting only to display his lack of character and confusion by swallowing his vomit and running back because he could find no life outside being a sadist and a psychopath on the internet.

 
Ironically the OZODI OSUJI that wishes others dead is an anti-social coward who for more than 40 years has been lost in America as he has never travelled home and who is too afraid even to mix with people , yet he hides his delusional and cowardly head behind his computer asking that others be killed.

 
Not only those who run naked are mad. OZODI OSUJI is a sick, frustrated, depressed, rejected and tormented soul who is living out the demons of his life on the internet . The only unfortunate thing is that instead of committing suicide to end his shambolic life, the old wreck disturbs innocent people with his demons on the internet. His picture above is the true image of an old, delusional, greying and bald wreck of a man who urgently needs help to free him from the self consuming demons that devours his soul and makes his life a miserable existence.

 
Below are excerpts of OZODI OSUJI’s tirades against Nigerians, Africans, Igbos, Obama, Americans, etc., calling all and every group all kinds of unprintable names which is proof of the man’s insanity.

 
Excerpts of Ozodi Osuji Abusing Nigerians:

 
“Force is necessary to make Nigerians give up their thieving ways and learn to live by the rule of law. (Nigerians are so devious that they have learned to talk about “the rule of law”; they fling that phrase at your face but nevertheless continue in their thieving ways; these people bastardize everything good that comes their way that one cannot afford to listen to the glib utterances of good intentions that come out of their filthy mouths.” -Osuji
 

Nigerians need a period of merciless treatment to make them become decent human beings. As it is, they are worse than predatory animals!” -Osuji

 
“ Do not listen to their glib talk; point guns at their heads and compel them to do things that they ought to be doing and refused to do. If they refuse to do as asked kill them. Their existence is of no use, any way. What is a Nigerian living for, what is he contributing to science and technology or even political discourse other than makes noise?” -Osuji

 
“These people want to live at all costs but living for what they have no clue. They are afraid of death. Fire a gun into their crowd, kill a few of them and the rest of them, like lily livered cowards, run for cover; they run into underground burrows and from there make noise.” -Osuji

 
“Nigerians for too long have been criminals and it will take an equally long time to redirect their behaviors from criminality to law abiding.” -Osuji

 
“I am asserting that Nigerians are peacocks, vain, proud, egoistic, and narcissistic. In effect, I am saying that they are mentally ill.) (What is a Nigerian but a pure egotist, a narcissistic personality! The narcissistic personality disordered person fancies himself special and better than other persons and wants other persons to admire him because he is better than them. Believing in the illusion of his personal superiority he justifies exploiting other people, in his eyes, using inferior persons for his good, and discarding them as pieces of scrap iron when they are no longer useful to him.” -Osuji

 
“If you ever engage in any kind of business activity with Nigerians, instead of working to make the business a success they put their little brains to cheating you, robbing you; they seldom seek positive ways to make things work well. These people get other people to do all the work, and then steal from them! These people’s ingenuity lies in putting their little minds to criminal thinking and activities and seldom in being productive persons. They are crooks of the first order.” -Osuji

 
“It seems appropriate to call Nigerians thieves. Why so? Consider that in the main, their politicians seek public offices: legislative, executive, judiciary and bureaucratic to loot the national treasury. They seek political and bureaucratic offices as opportunity to steal to their hearts satisfaction not because they want to do anything useful for their people. Political offices are seen as avenue from which they become rich and while at it be called very important persons.” –Osuji

 
( Read more at:- http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/ozodi-thomas-osuji/a-case-for-dictatorship-for-nigeria.html and http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/ozodi-thomas-osuji/are-nigerians-crooks-12.html )

 
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Excerpts of Ozodi Osuji Abusing Igbos:

 
“Yorubas could feel insulted by squatters claiming ownership of their land and attack and kill a few of them and the rest of them would carry their loads on their sorry heads and march to the East. They would not even have the courage to stand and fight to death. When the going gets tough they always run to their tribal enclave.These people routinely insult Hausas and Hausas, not being as patient as Yorubas are, often pick up their machetes and start slashing at any Igbo in sight.” –Osuji

 
“One of the annoying traits of Igbos is their arrogance and lack of political realism. Igbos generally have naïve views of human nature. They put folks down and expect those folks to like them! How naïve can you be! If you put folks down they want to kill you! And make no mistake about it: every human being has the capacity to kill other human beings if he so desires it. I have the capacity to kill you and you have the capacity to kill me. Therefore, I must respect you and you must respect me if both of us want to live together, get along and not harm one another. This existential realism notwithstanding, Igbos insult other people; it is as if they are unaware that those they insult could hate and kill them. They do not seem to have the capacity to learn from their sorry history where those they degraded, Hausas, killed them. They are like insane persons: they keep on engaging in the same behaviors while expecting different results. The fact is that if you insult folks they would not like you and some will not only put obstacles on your path but would occasionally kill you! And you are not invincible despite your childish arrogance; anyone who so chooses it can kill you. You are a human animal who lives in flesh; and like everything in flesh you can be put down; you will die and rot and smell to high heaven.” –Osuji

 
( Read more at:- http://www.nairaland.com/873527/why-igbos-always-go-looking and http://www.chatafrik.com/articles/nigerian-affairs/item/113-why-it-is-unlikely-an-igbo-would-be-elected-the-president-of-nigeria.html?tmpl=component&print=1 )

 
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Excerpts of Ozodi Osuji Abusing Africans:

 
“In my view, the African is an emotionally retarded creature; he is unable to love and work for his fellow human beings.” –Osuji

 
“If Satan is an actual entity, not mere figment of our imagination, I would not hesitate calling Africans the children of Satan. I have never seen a more devilish people in my entire life!” –Osuji

 
( Read more at:- http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17862&Itemid=46 )

 
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Excerpts of Ozodi Osuji Abusing Obama:

 
“I have visceral hatred of Barrack Obama; I have tried to accommodate him but the fact is that I simply do not like the man." -Osuji

 
"I have wondered why I cannot stand this Obama person. Now I get it. He makes complicated that which is very simple. He comes across as a college professor who in an effort to seem knows it all talks loquaciously and volubly about a matter that can be talked about in simple and understandable prose, and like a college professor he comes across as not knowing what the hell he is talking about.” -Osuji

 
( Read more at:-http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/ozodi-thomas-osuji/why-i-do-not-like-barrack-obama.html )

 
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Excerpts of Ozodi Osuji’s Hate Writings On America Where He Lives:

 
“Empirical observation indicates that white Americans are mostly sociopaths, antisocial personalities and criminals. They enslaved and killed other people just so that they kept their useless lives in existence. They killed Indians and stole their lands and enslaved Africans and do not exhibit the slightest sense of remorse or guilt from these hurtful behaviors; indeed, they seemed to have enjoyed doing so, classic symptoms of sociopathy.” –Osuji

 
“I predict that before the end of this century, when a significant percent of the people no longer desire to live at all costs and, therefore, no longer fear death, that the evil empire called America will decline. The criminal empire can only exist for as long as people desire to live as separated egos and fear death and want to buy time for as long as they could.” –Osuji

 
“‘What is America but hell on earth? America is a country where folks decide not to live on the basis of love but on the bases of criminality. They can only tolerate their useless existence by taking drugs to deaden their conscience. They are mostly addicted to drugs for drugs enable them to tolerate their criminal behaviors. These people cannot intimidate one; one should pity them rather than fear them.” –Osuji

 
( Read more at:- http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/ozodi-thomas-osuji/on-americas-racism-15.html )

 
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Lawrence Nwobu (lawrencenwobu@yahoo.com )

 
*Note: Ozodi Osuji's listed contact info are as follows: Emails: ozodiosuji@yahoo.ca or Ozodi@africainstituteseattle.org Phone +1 206-853-4245

 
*Photo Caption – Ozodi Osuji

-Masterweb Reports
 

The recent clamor for subsidy thieves to be prosecuted is as illusionary as hoping that Lucifer will betray the Queen of the Coast. I have reiterated in an earlier piece, 'Shut Up! Nigerian Government Cannot Prosecute Subsidy Thieves' that those who hoped that subsidy thieves will be prosecuted will be disappointed at the crash of their optimism. Recent events have shown that successfully prosecuting those who stole N1.7 trillion naira that belongs to the Nigerian people under a fraudulent subsidy regime as revealed by the Farouk Lawan led Subsidy Probe Committee of the House of Representative reports and the recent Aigboje Aig-Imoukhede Presidential Review Committee is a mirage and can never happen.
 
 
The CBN was first contracted to rubbish the report, later the NNPC joined fray. Their attempts to discredit the subsidy probe report failed to impress both the Nigerian people and the Nigerian media. They changed tactics; the Attorney General of the Federation came with his own version of the understanding of the report and was short of calling it an ill prepared document which needs proper reconstruction. Nigerians ignored him and continued with calls for the prosecution of oil thieves. The Lawan $3 million dollars bribery scandal came and Nigerians refused to be distracted from the substance of the matter. Now the government has directed the EFCC to investigate the reports and prosecute offenders. That is where the matter will finally die due to imbecile prosecution.
 
 
The EFCC have buried different cases of corruption due to inconclusive investigations or haphazard prosecutions. In some cases there is deliberate collusion between the EFCC, the suspects and the Judiciary to encumber the cases so that nothing will come out of it. What happened in the Erastus Akingbola case where the Judge dismissed the suit for incompetent prosecution is a case at hand.
 
 
The only achievement of the subsidy probe is information. This information will be vindictively handy in the day of revolution or reckoning when the Nigerian people will reclaim their commonwealth from the hands of thieving leadership. The second gain is that the thieves will reduce their tempo and this reduced tempo will save the nation billions of dollars of hitherto stolen funds.
 
 
The expectation that Goodluck Jonathan will prosecute the fingers that fed his presidential election is wishful thinking. During Obasanjo era, the former president refused to surrender Babangida for prosecution. The Dr Pius Okigbo Committee report on the squandering of $12 billion dollar gulf oil windfall disappeared from all public records during the tenure of Olusegun Obasanjo. All attempts by the Nigerian people to pressurize Obasanjo to prosecute the Babangida fell on deaf ears because the later was the leader of the people who dragged Obasanjo into the State House in 1999.
 
 
Umaru Yaradua was not able to surrender James Ibori for trial. He frustrated all earlier attempts by the Metropolitan Police to arraign James Ibori for money laundering charges. He sent a high powered letter and delegation from Aoondoaka, then Attorney General and Minister for Justice of Nigeria to convince the British police that Ibori was a clean man. Ibori had used Delta State funds to bankroll his presidency with the permutations that Goodluck Jonathan will be dropped as Vice President after Yaradua’s first tenure.
 
 
There is yet no record in Nigeria where a political godson led the arraignment of the godfather for corruption related matters. Godsons and godfathers quarrel in Nigeria over control of state resources but their disagreement has never degenerated to the extent of the godson and incumbent dragging his benefactor to the courts for fraud related matters. It is a no go area for Nigerian politicians. Goodluck Jonathan cannot be an exception. He cannot be different from the tradition that trumped him up.
 
 
Goodluck Jonathan would still have won the 2011 presidential elections without the assistance of the huge funds deployed at the time. The hawks convinced him that without a huge financial chest, his presidential dream is finished, and such reasoning commenced the process of the looting of national treasury unprecedented in the history of Nigeria. Therefore, the people who used different guise to mobilize those funds cannot be victimized through fraud related prosecutions. Funds were mobilized from Fuel Subsidy bills, Pensions, Capital Market, Customs, Federal Inland Revenue, Ministries, Departments and Parastatals of Government. The fronts refused to surrender the privilege even after the elections had been concluded. The presidency preferred to confront the masses by removal of fuel subsidy than face the blood sucking oil mafia.
 
 
The earlier this government runs affairs by telling the truth, the better for all. The opposition Action Congress of Nigeria had earlier called on President Jonathan to apologize to Nigerians over the subsidy scandal. This is the best he can do under the circumstances. Let him apologize to Nigerians for allowing his party men and their friend’s costly indulgence in endless sharing of subsidy national cake and promise to block all loopholes whereby such thievery will occur in the future. Nigerians will likely appreciate an admittance of wrongdoing and a verifiable evidence of preventing future occurrence than the current circus show.
 
 
The politics of N1.7 trillion naira subsidy thefts is a time bomb which will likely explode on the thieving politicians and their business associates in the not too distant future. Equally, the possibility of Goodluck Jonathan betraying his helpers is rare and such optimism is an expensive mental exercise. This cartel is so oiled and powerful that crumbling the Jonathan administration will take them a few weeks and for a president already frightened by Boko Haram Jihadists, he cannot afford another battle with the oil thieves.
 
 
Obinna Akukwe