Anambra Election, Let The Truth Be Told By Stanley Mbamelu

For an ex governor to dabble into politics to sponsor another candidate, in less than three years, different from the person he described as a guru,

whom he presented to Ndi Anambra, calls for some questions. However, when a public figure throws himself into the vortex of political discourse, it is only fair to objectively x-ray him to make an informed opinion about his person

In this connection, to do otherwise would amount to being a by-stander to a more subtle criminal enterprise which involves using the machinery of lies and the mechanics of manipulation to oust a performing incumbent governor, just because he has failed to hand over the keys to the state treasury to him.

Invariably, godfatherism and gluttonous lifestyle are twin political evils. First, in 2003, we all joined forces under the umbrella of APGA and the magnetic leadership of Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, Eze Igbo gburugburu, to wrest power from the clutches of a powerful cabal who formed a criminal enterprise against the state and its people. The evilisms of this criminal enterprise deprived Ndi Anambra the dividends of a true democracy.

Consequently, it is heartbreaking that the same man who benefited from the defeat of the evils of godfatherism has now morphed into a more dangerous godfather. As his influence grew, he became more manic and less discreet. A man consumed by hatred, backbiting, backstabbing, jaded jealousy, unparalleled love for money and fixation to be in power for life.

Incontrovertibly, he had said that he referred to his successor as a realist because of his astute financial management skills and that he had great respect for the realist, both as an individual and an accomplished banker. That was ex governor speaking in anticipation of his receiving billions of Naira from Anambra state treasury. Today, the realist has refused to pay the self-acclaimed godfather and he is using all invectives to describe him and even vowed to use the last drop of his blood to remove him from office. Is he God?

Shamelessly, in a rally at Onitsha, he said that he was the major sponsor of Governor Willie Obiano and that he owes Anambra people a duty to remove him from office. The utterance smacks arrogance and depraved indifference to the sensibilities of Ndi Anambra. However, analysts know that his reason for dubiously plotting to remove a performing governor is because he has refused to pay him billions from the state treasury, pure and simple. Thank God, for Governor Willie Obiano’s principled stand against such criminal request, the state civil servants and pensioners would be dying of hunger while the godfather would continue to get unconscionably richer at their expense.

It is self-referential that same former governor, who did not even say “thank you’ to people who sponsored and supported his governorship election, is now complaining about being a major sponsor of Obiano and demanding to be paid billions of Naira for his efforts. How much did he pay to an elderly woman popularly known as Mama APGA, just to mention but a few, who gave her life mobilizing women at the grassroots to support his campaign; the poor woman died, complaining of his mindless ‘use and dump’ attitude.

The former governor also said that his successor could not complete the projects he started. But the same person told the whole world while brandishing enlarged checks depicting billions of Naira, swearing that he had already paid for all the projects in cash. It is pedestrian for him to turn around to say that these projects are abandoned. How could a serving governor abandon such projects already paid for in cash when he knows that simply enforcing the completion of those projects would be to his own credit?
Clearly, it only a deranged billionaire or pathological liar with rendezvous in Ikoyi, courtesy of EFCC, and other expensive areas would try to convince the public that he has only two pairs of shoes to manipulate them in order to conceal his financial misdeeds. Also, it is important to remind him that he went to school with human beings not ghosts who can attest to his character since he has decided to open the door for such discussions.

Anambra And The 2017 Governorship Election By Emeka Arinze

Ndi Anambra are today going to poll for gubernatorial election. The election is very important to all stakeholders, especially the thirty-seven political parties which fielded candidates for the election.

The last governorship election was conducted in the state on Saturday, November 16, 2013.

Anambra state, in 2007, began the journey to staggered election in Nigeria, following the Supreme Court judgment which declared that the tenure of a governor begins from the date he was sworn-in. This changed the date and tenure of governorship elections in Nigerian politics.

Already, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has promised that INEC will conduct a credible poll that will be acceptable to all. According to Professor Yakubu, to ensure transparency, the result of the election will be pasted at every polling unit, which is a basis for testing the integrity of the final result to be declared by the umpire.

Two million, one hundred and fifty- eight thousand, one hundred and seventy-one eligible voters were registered for today’s election, while twenty-three thousand Ad hoc staff were recruited, trained and mobilized for the exercise. According to INEC, accreditation and voting take place simultaneously between eight o’clock in the morning and two o’clock in the afternoon in all polling units in the state.

Therefore, as Anambra electorate exercise their franchise, it is pertinent to remind them that voters must be at the polling station early to present themselves for accreditation before voting. They should obtain a ballot paper from the presiding officers and proceed to a screened compartment to thumb-print on the space beside the symbol of the political party of their choice for the election.

Voters should ensure that they thumb print properly and correctly in the box provided and not invalidate their vote. Notably, a vote can be invalidated or made void if a voter writes his or her name in the box provided for voting or fails to thumb print at all. If a voter thumb-print in two boxes for two political parties or decides to thumb-print in-between the boxes provided for each political party, the vote will be considered void.

Voters are therefore strongly advised to avoid costly mistakes, if they want their votes to count. After voting, the voter would then proceed to the ballot box provided by INEC. The voter quietly leaves the boot where he or she has voted, after the finger has been marked with ink. The voter can stay within the polling station until the votes are counted by the INEC officials.

Meanwhile, INEC authority has assured that people living with disability, PWDs would be given opportunities to enable them perform their civic responsibility once they show evidence of registration.

There are some stipulated electoral offences to be avoided which include improper voter card, impersonation, voting when not qualified and dereliction of duty by poll officials. Others are canvassing for votes at the polling stations and snatching or destroying election materials. These offences have various penalties such as fine and prison terms attached to them.

Governments have repeatedly assured Ndi Anambra and Nigerians that adequate security has been put in place to protect and safe-guard the electoral personnel and voters who are now free to discharge their civic responsibility. It is against this backdrop that the electorate and other stakeholders in the 2017 Anambra state governorship election project are advised to go out and exercise their franchise.

Election of this nature is very vital to enthrone credible leadership. Apathy cannot pay. No one should be blamed if you fail to go out to choose your leader. Today’s election is the opportunity of the masses to propel the state to growth and development. Do not shirk in your civic responsibility. Stand up to be counted among those who love their state and their country and want it progress by electing a credible governor today.

Anambra Election - An Appeal To INEC By Ejike Anyaduba

There is no doubt that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has taken effective care to ensure that Anambra State witnesses a free and fair election tomorrow.

Nothing will be more gratifying than this realization. It is hoped that the present crop of INEC leadership, headed by Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, is coming to the state as an unbiased umpire to change the perception that election results do not always reflect the wishes of the electorate. The world prays that Anambra election will not be a confirmation of this perception. This is because we know how diminished a people can be each time their collective aspiration is made of no importance. It vacuums them of hope, and can set them on a path of destruction.

Tomorrow’s election therefore offers INEC a chance to write its name in gold – an opportunity to undo the wrongs of the past. Professor Humphrey Nwosu, the erstwhile boss of INEC, is remembered today with fondness by majority of Nigerians, not because he plied his pedagogy in the political science department of many a Nigerian university. Not at all! He is remembered because he dared to be different and conducted what has come to be known as the freest and fairest election in Nigeria. The opportunity is here with INEC. It should seize it and act in good conscience.

No one should be allowed to stultify genuine efforts to have an equitable election. Ndi Anambra can distinguish between the command of God and the threat of man. Rational thinkers get worried when reference was made to the Edo governorship election. Till date, a lot of people are not enamoured of the conduct and will be loath to have it repeated elsewhere. It may be argued that the election was equitable, at least, to the extent that the Supreme Court affirmed it. However, no argument captured the damage done to the psyche of Nigerians who had thought the new leadership of INEC was different from what it had been. It is our prayer that Anambra should be spared that type of election.

As a rule, Anambra is a pleasant state to govern. The people have no great expectations from government. They are sufficient onto themselves and can, on occasion, stand in for government. The state occupies a foremost position in Igbo land because of her unique potentials. It is not without reason that elections in the state are treated with great care.

Anambra voters are sophisticated and do not need encouragement to accept or reject a leader as they deem wise. However, if deprived the right of choice, they can prove most intractable. The state can make noise enough to get the nation worried. We are not unaware of how important a peaceful Anambra State is to Nigeria and vice versa. It will be wrong to task the peace by doing anything untoward during the election. A challenged governorship election in Anambra may worsen the volatile peace in the country. For this, our dear INEC should resist every attempt to subvert the due process of the exercise.

It will be a disservice to our people if their effort tomorrow is made of no effect just to satisfy a few interests. Our people appreciate the rat race involved in this election and cannot pretend to be unmindful of efforts to subvert the will of the people. But to achieve that through any connivance with the refereeing authority will be injustice to all.

INEC owes the state a duty to resist any temptation by those determined to lead the state against the dictates of her conscience. What happens after the election derives from how fairly the commission chooses to conduct it.

Governor Ambode: Fix Dangerous And Dilapidated Lagos School Buildings! By Bayo Oluwasanmi

I don't have the words to describe the rot, the stench, the inhuman condition of the Lagos State school buildings. Shame on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for allowing our children to learn in pig puddle buildings. Shame on the governor for ignoring and neglecting our children and for denying them the best learning environment that our children deserve.

Hundreds of school buildings in Lagos and across Lagos State and throughout the country are literally falling apart. Majority of students in Lagos attend schools under conditions that are unhealthy, uncomfortable, and unsafe. Conditions in school buildings are so bad that it poses health and safety hazards ranging from crumbling buildings, leaky roofs, with rodents and other crawlers roaming freely in classrooms. All over the place, aging buildings are not getting needed repairs or being rebuilt. Money meant for maintenance and construction of school buildings ended up in private pockets. As a result, the climate in which our children learn and teachers work is deteriorating and its taking a toll.

Dilapidated facilities hurt both students and teachers. Research shows classroom environment and climate, environmental hazards, heat, and other pollutants, adversely impact students' ability to learn and their short and long-term health. The life of students and teachers are under serious threat as teaching is conducted in old dilapidated buildings with visible cracks, leaky roofs, falling ceilings, bare dusty floors with no furniture. Students have no access to desks, they have to sit on floors. Many are compelled either to carry benches or chairs from their various homes to school daily.

Lagos public schools are falling into disrepair at a time when the children they serve have greater needs, with more low-income students, underrepresented poor students, and students with intellectual and developmental disabilities enrolled than at private schools. The state of dilapidated Lagos school buildings creates a perfect storm. You have children who are already vulnerable, children who are already at risk for a variety of factors, and you put them in buildings that are falling apart, it's hard to get both academic, attendance, and achievement scores up in that situation.

The body of evidence from across the world validates the fact that the condition of school infrastructure has a strong impact on learning outcomes of students. The World Bank reports says that learning outcomes in Nigeria are below par on students learning in other parts of the world. This means there's even greater need of addressing the infrastructural challenges in Lagos schools. The US National Clearinghouse for Educational Statistics notes that the condition of a school building may have a stronger influence on student performance than the combined influences of family background, socioeconomic status, school attendance, and behavior. The report adds that students who attend schools with better buildings have test scores ranging from 5 to 17 percentile points higher than students in substandard facilities.

It's also disturbing to note that despite hefty allocation of N92.4bn for education in 2107 Lagos State Budget, many school buildings are still uninhabitable for human beings. Every year money is being earmarked for education. However, a visit to the schools present a sorry state of affairs where no such utilization was made. The prevalence of damp, leaky classrooms and asbestos ridden buildings means students and teachers are struggling to learn and teach in conditions damaging to their health and education. How can you expect Lagos students to compete with the world's best when the school buildings are substandard? Performance of students under the current school buildings are not meeting the basic standards that Lagosian taxpayers and Lagos State economy expect.

School infrastructure investments are important to the Lagos State economy because apart from creating jobs and directly providing resources for school repair, it will increase students' performance and motivates teachers to give their best. More importantly, it's the only real means to eradicate the gaping disparities between school buildings in private schools and in wealthy communities like Lekki and in areas like Gbagada. Appeals by community activists and education advocates to the governor to repair the buildings yielded no positive result. Mr. Ambode should fix dangerous and dilapidated school buildings and replace them with new buildings so that our children can have a safe and sound learning environment where they can focus on their studies rather than cracked roofs, walls, rodents, and other infrastructural problems.



This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rethinking Security For A New Nigeria By Atiku Abubakar

I was pleased when I received the invitation to speak at this conference of the South East Zone of the Nigerian Political Science Association. The theme of the conference, “State, Security and Economy in Nigeria” is very appropriate and timely, especially at a time when the South East is in the news a lot on a matter bordering on security.
As you know, I am from the North East of the country which has been devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency in the last few years in what is obviously Nigeria’s longest domestic war. Here in the South East, the Nigerian Army is engaged in what it calls Operation Python Dance II, partly in response to threats to public peace. Both cases, for different reasons and in different ways, have involved threats to the Nigerian state, to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
But these are not the only manifestations of insecurity in the country. Here in the South East also, kidnapping and armed robbery remain at high levels. In the nearby Niger Delta, kidnapping, armed robbery, oil theft and vandalism against oil installations remain major concerns. The same goes for portions of the South West. Across the North, especially North-Central, and increasingly all over the country, clashes between farmers and Fulani herders continue to cost enormous amounts of lives and property. And let’s not forget the numerous intra- and inter-communal clashes often over land and other resources among farming communities across the country.
It is safe to say that Nigerians have never felt this insecure, in the post-civil war period. That feeling is made worse by the nature of news coverage in this era of 24-hour news cycle, and social media feeds which, together, easily create the impression that we are under siege. Although the vast majority of our people go about their normal businesses, many do so in fear and apprehension. Thus it is important to address these manifestations of insecurity. The primary responsibility of any government is the security of its people.  Without public security there would be little justification for government.
Thankfully the Federal Government has made significant progress in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency, although major challenges still remain, including sporadic attacks on soft targets by the group and the need to return the displaced persons to their homes and businesses and restore of normalcy in the area.
There is little doubt that these security challenges have had a negative impact on our economy as investors typically shy away from areas of insecurity and instability. The example of the North East is there for everybody to see. When you add our infrastructural deficits and policy inconsistencies, as well as our dependence on and fights over unstable oil revenues, attracting investments becomes even more difficult.
So how can we rethink security in the context of wide-ranging manifestations of insecurity in the country?
As you know, no one person would have all the answers to these security and other challenges. As political scientists you are perhaps better placed to proffer solutions to our security challenges, especially those of you with an interdisciplinary bent who rightly go beyond the narrow confines of politics to incorporate historical, social, economic and psychological factors in your analyses.
As a group of teachers and researchers gathered here, your deliberations would add to our understanding of these difficult challenges and how we can meet them so as to improve our country and ensure greater security, peace, unity and stability.
I hope to raise some questions along those lines and make some suggestions on how we can begin to answer those questions.
 
Security is not just law and order
We have the tendency to look at security narrowly as a simple law and order thing: if there is insecurity, deploy security forces and quell it; arrest rule breakers try and possibly punish them. Looked at that way the various manifestations of insecurity that I have highlighted would call for simply more police, civil defence, army, and the like. However important those may be, security is more complicated than that. It will be more useful to try to identify the factors that conduce to a particular form of insecurity and to see if they are connected to those of others, thus allowing for a more holistic analysis and policy responses.
You can deal with the leadership of groups that threaten national security and the sovereignty of the state according to the law, but you also need to address the grievances around which they are able to rally their followers, as well as create a society where young people are educated and gainfully employed. These would make it difficult for them to become easy fodder for demagogues of any hue.
 
For instance, is the Niger Delta militancy, including pipeline vandalism, mere criminality or linked to the politics of resource control and environmental activism? Are the herdsmen-farmer clashes simply a result of ethnic hatred, attempts at domination or the struggle over land and its resources as such resources shrink due to population growth, increasing desertification and climate change as well as our inability to change to more modern methods of animal breeding? How do we account for the epidemic of kidnapping and cultism in these parts of the country? And to what extent are these violent crimes and militancy linked to the proliferation of small arms resulting from the prolonged armed conflicts in the West African and Sahel sub-regions, as well as our porous borders? Are these criminal enterprises connected in anyway to the youth bulge and rise in unemployment and underemployment? And how is the IPOB and similar separatist and militant groups able to recruit thousands of young people to their misguided belief that another civil war is in the best interest of the Igbo or any group?  What does it say about our educational system and the attention we pay our youth that the recruits to these militant and separatist organizations fail to see that thecontexts of our political make-up and disagreements in 1966 are vastly different from those of the contemporary period, thus making them fall prey to the modern-day demagogues and the fantasies they promote?
As social scientists, what steps would you consider critical to optimizing Nigeria’s development and positioning for the economy of the future?
Let me suggest that in order to ensure a lasting improvement in our security we must do the following as a matter of urgency, and not necessarily in this order:
–          Enlarge and properly equip, train and remunerate the police force. This is rather obvious. Internal security is primarily the responsibility of the police and domestic intelligence agencies. Our current police force of about 300,000 is inadequate to police 170 million people, especially with inadequate equipment, training and remuneration. But beyond that:
–          We have to improve our economy urgently. So steps to inject life into the economy are critical: We must drop all excuses and improve power supply in the country. Without power we cannot really industrialize, and without industrialization we really cannot have a modern, self-sustaining economy. In addition to power, such other critical infrastructure as roads and railways need urgent repairs and expansion. Work to effect these would create immediate employment for thousands of our young people in addition to their contributions to facilitating trade and the movement of people. If we have to borrow money to build roads, bridges, air and sea ports and railways, it is justified because of the boost that they will give to our economy and job creation. If we do not improve our economy urgently, I worry that the internal operations periodically carried out by the army – whether it’s Python Dance, Crocodile Tears or Lafia Dole – will become a permanent and dangerous feature.
–          As we work to improve our economy we must listen to the agitations of those complaining about marginalization or exclusion or the unwieldy nature of the federal government. From their various angles, they clamour for a new structure of relationships of the various components of this country.  We must learn to provide answers to their questions, proffer explanations for their concerns, and provide solutionsto the reasonable issues they raise. Dismissing them or shutting them down is no substitute for a reasoned study of the issues and the difficult work of effecting changes to make our country work better. Every segment of the population and section of the country should have a sense of belonging. Thus we must address expressed grievances of exclusion and marginalization in order to forge greater unity as a country.
–          We must, therefore, restructure our polity by devolving powers to states urgently, including allowing state police for states that so desire. I’ve said repeatedly that we do not need federal roads, federal schools and federal hospitals. These should be handed over to the states where they are located along with the funds hitherto expended on them by the federal government. We must decongest the Exclusive Legislative List and transfer much of what’s there to the Concurrent List. The Exclusive List should contain only those matters that the centre is best positioned to handle such as Defence, Immigration, Customs and Excise, Foreign Policy,Currency and Monetary Policy, and Standards and Measures. Devolution of powers and resources to the states should allow for local control of resources derived therein while the federal government retains taxation powers. State police will no doubt improve security at the local levels and the nation as a whole. I have heard critics who say our governors will abuse state police. I reply that the fear that someone might abuse state police is not the reason not to do what we know we need badly. We cannot shy away from doing what will obviously improve security in the country just because some governors might seek to abuse their powers. Societies improve and become more civilized and democratic not by avoiding doing the right thing but by constantly challenging wrong-doing, especially by officials and those in powerful positions.
–          We must improve and expand our educational system. Modern economies require educated and highly trained workforce. We must not only absorb the millions of school-age children who are out of school but also diversify our educational offerings to provide relevant vocational training for our youth to enable them to quickly become gainfully employed. This will help improve productivity in our country. It will also help to improve security by denying extremist groups and dangerous demagogues a reserve army of idle labour from which to recruit.
–          There is a critical need for us to continue to improve transparency in governance, including how we communicate with the people. This will help inform and educate them as to the choices made by government including political appointments and provision or denial of services. In a democracy, citizens are entitled to knowwhat their government is doing and the rationale for same. And they are entitled to answers to their questions and concerns.  But when governments behave like an army of occupation, viewing citizens’ questions and concerns as irritants, transparency and accountability are not served.  That is wrong and helps to stir ill-feelings and threats to peace.
My dear friends, in my view, these are some of the things that would be involved in rethinking security for a new and improved Nigeria.
Let me conclude by making one thing clear: at no time did the elite in Liberia, Somalia, Rwanda or South Sudan come together and agreed to destroy their countries. The tragedies that befell those countries in their recent history came about from incremental statements and actions and inactions by individuals, groups and institutions that added up to the mindless violence and destruction that followed. We must take every threat to our corporate existence seriously and address them with the firmness and resolve that it deserves.  We must isolate extremist groups and stamp out violent ones while we seriously and methodically address the issues that tend to bring them about. We have a right to agitate for equitable treatment and representation in government and government services. And government has a responsibility to address those concerns. But as elite, we also have to be mindful of using extremist groups to threaten the corporate existence of the country in the hope of winning some concessions. Once unleashed, we may not be able to control such groups. It may be impossible to put the genie back in the bottle, as it were.
I express my profound appreciation to the Nigerian Political Science Association, South East Zone for inviting me to deliver this keynote address.
I wish you all fruitful deliberations. Thank you for your attention.
. Being the Keynote Speech by Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, at the Annual Conference of the Nigerian Political Science Association, South East Zone, with the theme: “State, Security and Economy in Nigeria,” at the Abia State University, Uturu, on November 13, 2017.

President Buhari’s Silent Support For The South-East By Garba Shehu

President Muhammadu Buhari’s two-day visit to the South-Eastern states of Ebonyi and Anambra is taking place at the most opportune juncture, to show support to a governor who has done so much in promoting the President’s policy on food self-sufficiency and to to endorse his party’s candidate in a crucial vote to install a new governor through an election at the weekend in Anambra.
Given the unfortunate secessionist winds sown by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB the President’s visit should be seen as part of the measures promised by the administration, following successful cooperation between the federal government, the region’s five governors and the cultural leadership of the people, the Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo. This joint effort has in no small means achieved success in putting out the fires ignited by IPOB. The visit should go further in soothing frayed nerves and provide an opportunity to listen more to the cries of the people of the region.

This visit should give the nation a clear break in the mindset from the negativity that characterized the perception of the Buhari administration in the region, following his victory in the 2015 election in which a majority cast its lot with the former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan by giving him 2,464,906 votes, against Muhammadu Buhari’s 198,248 (more or less the same votes he got from one or maximally two of some local council areas in a populous State).

Following the outcome of this election, some of the politicians who lost began to whip up fears of vendetta against the the region even when there was no basis at all for this. It may have been a defensive strategy. But it nonetheless led to emotional responses to the President expressed through anger, paranoia, fear, frustration, resentment and confusion.

I recall that when he spoke on the subject of political patronage at the U.S Institute of peace, he described the way most democracies work that the one who gave 95 percent did not get the same as the the one gave five percent votes but said emphatically that “I’am a different kind of leader.” He said, more or less in these words that he would be fair and just to all citizens irrespective of the way they voted and went on to add that this country’s constitution protects all citizens, all parts thereof by making specific provisions for fair and balanced distribution of appointments and projects known the federal character principle.

This was misconstrued and used to whip up sentiment against him in states that did not vote for him, even after the transcripts of what he actually were published.

This negativity had prevailed in spite of the conscious effort the President made to reassure the South-East by giving four of the region’s five states four senior cabinet posts, which are foreign affairs; industry, trade and investment; science and technology and labor, employment and productivity.

And given the choices he made, the South-East Ministers today rank among the best this country has ever had if you look at their individual performances.

If you go through the online newspapers of the country, everyday, every week and every year there are stories about marginalization against a people for whom the President is doing so much to ensure their security,dignity and prosperity.

Beyond these misplaced fears, these south-easterners are a people known for their creativity, industry and hard work, from whose sweat the economy has benefited immensely. But it is equally true that they have not been served in due proportion by successive administrations in post-independence Nigeria. Had governments of yesteryears discharged their responsibilities to the region, and to the country at large, we might not have been in a situation of tensions and anger leading to violence and secessionist agitation which have their roots in the lack of infrastructure and opportunity for citizens to excel. By God, today’s investments in infrastructure and people should change all that.

Beside the issue of political representation, federal roads in the South-East are a perpetual issue in our country. But each state in the country complains of bad federal roads. However, contrary to the notion that nobody in this government is doing anything about those roads, the region has a good number of roads paid for by the federal government that are under either completed or undergoing repairs/construction.

As of May this year, there are 600 was kilometers of roads that are under rehabilitation/ construction across the South East zone’s five states which include:

• Rehabilitation of Owerri – Umuahia Road Sections I, II, III in Imo/Abia States
• Rehabilitation of Enugu – Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway Section II
• Ongoing construction work on the Rehabilitation of Enugu – Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway Section II
• Rehabilitation of Ikot Ekpene – Ikot Umuoessien – Aba Road in Abia / Akwa – Ibom States.
• Ongoing construction work on the Rehabilitation of Ikot Ekpene – Ikot Umuoessien – Aba Road in Abia / Akwa – Ibom States
• Ongoing construction work on the Rehabilitation of Enugu – Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway
• Ongoing construction work on the Rehabilitation of Ikot Ekpene – Ikot Umuoessien – Aba Road in Abia / Akwa – Ibom States.
• Enugu-Aba- Port Harcourt Expressway, which runs through Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi States covering about 31 roads as well as construction of pedestrian bridges and flyovers, traffic signs and lights; the outstanding section of Onitsha-Enugu Road.
• Umana-Ndiagu-Adaebele-Udi Road in Ndiagu, Nsukka—Oboloafor -Ihamufu Road
• Ninth Mile-Nsukka-Oboloafor Road.
• Ohafia-OsoRoad (In Ebonyi and Abia States: 11.7 km)
• Nnenwe-Uduma-Uburu Road, Section1 (14 km in Enugu/Ebonyi)
• Rehabilitation of Abakaliki-Afikpo Road; Section 1 (20.5 km)
• Rehabilitation of Abakaliki-Afikpo Road Section 11 (19.5 km)
• Construction of Obubra-Ikwo-Onueke-Nkomoro-Agba-Ezekuna-Ogboji-Nara-Cross River Border Road (7 km)
• Aba-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway (section 11)
• Umuahia Tower-Aba Township Rail/Road Bridge Crossing (56.1Km)
• Rehabilitation of Lokpanta-Umuahia Tower (59.5km)
• rehabilitation of Calabar-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene-Aba-Owerri Section 111
• Ikot-Ekpene-Ikot Umuoessien-Aba Roadin Abia/Akwa-Ibom (43.2km)
• Owerri-Umuahia Road, Sections 1,11 and 111
• The Ikot-Ekpene Border: Aba-Owerri Dualisation Road Section 1, Phase 1 (11.26km)
• Mbaise-Ngwa Road Ohase 1 (14 km)
• Amanwaozuzu-Uzoagba-Eziama-Orie-AmakohiaRoad (10km)
• Oba-Nnewi-Okigwe Road Section 11, among others

Of course there is the SECOND NIGER BRIDGE about which so many lies have been told to our brothers in the South-East.

A past president laid the brick once. Thereafter, he did nothing to actualize it. Having forgotten a promise made, he had a ceremony organized for him to inaugurate the project when the time to seek re-election came.

When the Obi of Onitsha reminded the then presidential candidate of his earlier promise to do bridge, he got angry. He stopped short of calling the Obi a liar in his palace by outrightly denying ever making the promise.

Now, on the Second Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Anambra State, the contractor had re-mobilized to site. In the budget proposals read last week at the National Assembly, President Buhari listed this bridge as one of the administration’s priority projects and announced an an allocation of 10 billion Naira expenditure for 2018.

Other projects for the South East include:

AIRPORT TERMINAL BUILDING

• Construction of New International Terminal in Enugu.

COASTAL RAIL PROJECT

• The coastal rail line has its route alignment passing through Aba in Abia State and Onitsha in Anambra State.

MARITIME ACCESS

With the dredging of the river Niger commissioned by NIWA, the yearning for maritime access to the sea by the south-east and the North as well, is just a matter of time for it to be realized.

Good projects apart, in the South-East as in all other subregions,

good governance is also necessary and the steps the federal government is taking to deal with corruption, terrorism, banditry and lawlessness have the effect of lifting this country out of poverty and lack of development. The country’s efforts to modernize its trade and investment by easing the process of doing business has already attracted the attention and acclaim of the world, and is giving Nigeria a quick rise in the ranking of countries. Known for their industrial and commercial prowess, there is no gain saying who the biggest beneficiaries are.

On the basis of these projects alone, no one should have any reason to doubt the good intentions of the President towards the South-East. Even if some of the people may not support the government, they cannot deny that their region has got a fair deal from President Buhari. The President in his conscience is clear on all fronts that he has been fair to the region and will continue to encourage the efforts of each state as it strives to excel in one endeavor or another. The federal government’s support of Ebonyi state’s rice growing schemes leaned on a permanent solution to the fertilizer supply crisis in the country bears true testimony to a successful partnership between the center and the subregion. In the field of agriculture alone, we have seen this new synergy in the functioning of the governments at the center and the state. This is cooperative federalism at work, and at its best. Which in turn has led to a beneficial relationship based on mutual respect, hope and trust between the governor and the president in spite of political party differences.

The fruit of this type of relationship commends itself to other leaders in the country to shed old mindsets and maintain caution while making statements and to not get carried away by emotions leading to unnecessary tensions.

To help the nation move forward as one, the media for their part must decide against making unsubstantiated allegations and aspersions being leveled against the leadership at the center for the mere fun of catching the headlines. The country needs this to maintain the delicate balance of the relationships between our diverse population and to avoid weakening our democracy. We need to do this and more to achieve something of substance for the nation.

Finally, it is to be hoped that beyond putting out the fire of these misplaced fears, President Buhari’s visit would help to put the spotlight on the silent achievements of his administration in this distinct region so that the ordinary citizen will be reassured that he/she matters, and be rid of the notion that they are getting the short end of the stick.

Reflections On Rotimi Amaechi And Nyesom Wike By Pius Adesanmi.

 

Today, the convoys of Rotimi Amaechi and Nyesom Wike clashed in Port Harcourt. Tomorrow, the airwaves will be flooded by their aides. There will be narratives and counter-narratives. Colourful lies will clash with colourful hyperbole. Aides will be locked in a competition to win public sympathy for their bosses. On all sides, the scramble for the winning story actually starts tonight.

Citizen, let me advise you. Let the aides do what they are paid to do. You have no dog in this fight. It is just two irresponsible Nigerian leaders involved in a street fight. Who is right and who is wrong between Wike and Amaechi is none of your business. Both men are mountains on your back. They are your oppressor. In these tough economic times, do not be misled by aides to waste your precious data taking sides with one man against the other. The only way this applies to you is that you are the grass beneath the feet of the two elephants going at it naked in public.

You want to know how you are the grass? Come with me.

Thanks are due to Sahara Reporters for providing photographic slides of the street location of the skirmish in Port Harcourt. They are fighting in dirty, rain-soaked streets. Evidence of horrible drainage abounds in the photos. There is some flooding. Everything looks jaga jaga like the streets of urban Nigeria look whenever the rains come.

Between the two shameless adults fighting in streets without proper drainage, you can account for nearly twenty years of visionless and irresponsible leadership of Rivers, one of Nigeria's richest states. These would cover Rotimi Amaechi's years as Speaker of the State House of Assembly and Governor, as well as Wike's two years as Governor thus far.

Two men, twenty wasted years in the life of a state, twenty wasted years in the lives of the citizens! Yet they are there in the streets of Port Harcourt, fighting against the backdrop of the very urban poverty and planlessness that are evidence of their combined failure of leadership. The lack of any capacity for sober reflection on the part of these two men is galling. Anyway, if there was anybody capable of sober reflection in the leadership of Nigeria, we would not be here, would we?

The only other thing that should concern you is the detail that there were armed soldiers in Amaechi's convoy. No soldiers were reported in Wike's convoy. Allah be praised for that one.

The irresponsible use of the Nigerian Army is one area where it has been tough, really tough, so tough for us to develop enough civic consciousness in the people and mobilize them, even at the symbolic level, against such primitive practices in the 21st century.

Nationally, we are at a stage of psychological and prelogical development which has a very large swathe of our citizens form a Greek chorus of praise every time the military is misused in civilian spaces. I do not know the solution to this sociopathy because many among those who should form the public enlightenment and reorientation cohort draw a line the moment it comes to the misuse of the military and instead transform themselves to the intellectual vanguard of the military in civilian spaces.

For now, if you support the government of the day, every use of the military is welcome. When we support this demented violations of governance and democratic ethos by the Nigerian ruling class, you end up in a situation in which soldiers form part of the convoy of a Federal Minister! It could be that people just do not understand that there is a direct line from using the military for routine law enforcement to using the military to drive civilian Ogas around town. I understand that in certain cases, soldiers even carry madam's hand bag when she is going to the market.

On what basis is Rotimi Amaechi going around the streets of Nigeria with armed soldiers in his convoy? How is this even imaginable? How is this even allowable?

One of Nigeria's great sons, also from Rivers state, was murdered by the Federal Government many years ago. Ken Saro Wiwa went to the hangman asking a question we must repeat again and again:

What manner of a country is this?

What manner of a country is this?

What manner of a country is this?

PDP, APC Need Remolding — Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says both the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) need to be rejuvenated for Nigeria’s democracy to be strong.

Obasanjo made the observation when he received one of the PDP national chairmanship aspirants, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, on Saturday in Abeokuta.

The former president remarked that both the ruling and opposition parties need to be strengthened for the country’s democracy to be salient and strong.

“I have also said that the two parties that are there, the one in government and the one in opposition are both wobbling parties.

“I still believe that the two wobbling parties can still be made strong. They can,’’ Obasanjo said.

He re-emphasised that he was no longer interested in partisan politics in Nigeria.

He said that he left PDP when he discovered that the party had been destroyed beyond what he could be associated with at that point.

Obasanjo said there was no reason PDP should not have ruled Nigeria for 50 years as believed by some people, but that the party caused its own problem.

“That has happened in some other countries like Germany, where a party runs the affairs of the county for decades, but of course, that is not the history in our own case.’’

Obasanjo said that those who destroyed the PDP were still in it and that they would not leave until the running of the party was taken over by determined, selfless, upright, and honest people.

“If we are just saying PDP has a crisis, which is self-made and that the Supreme Court had resolved the crisis for us, we are just deceiving ourselves.

“The Supreme Court has taken a right decision as an apex court should, but as a party, only that cannot help you to do it all.’’

He prayed for PDP to get its national convention right, saying the chairmanship of the party was very important.

“I had four PDP chairmen under in eight years.

“So, I know what it takes to have a good or bad chairman for a party,’’ Obasanjo said.

He advised Dokpesi to use his media assets well for the interest of the country to avoid and correct past mistakes.

Obasanjo, who said that he and some other Nigerians work hard for the success of the party and the county, advised PDP to manage its success.

Speaking earlier, Dokpesi, the founders of Daar Communications, said he was in Abeokuta to seek the prayer and blessings of Obasanjo in his ambition of becoming PDP national chairman.

He said that anyone aspiring to be national chairman of a political party must consult with the former president.

“I am much aware that you are not interested in patrician politics but you are the father of the nation.

“You are much committed to the unity, stability and continue the existence of this country.

“You have dedicated all your life to the building of this country.

“Therefore, anything that is good for this country is a matter of interest to you,’’ Dokpesi said.

He said that PDP would continue to plead for the forgiveness of Obasanjo for its trespasses and transgressions.

Dokpesi stressed the need for both the ruling and opposition parties to be strong “even as 2019 is fast approaching’’.

He was accompanied to Abeokuta by Sen. Yisa Braimoh and PDP governorship aspirant in Delta State, Dr Esther Uduehi. 

About us

The Reflector Newspaper aims at informing and interpreting the news, ranging from politics to economy, technology, entertainment, health, education and foreign issues. We pride on keeping our readers abreast of trending in both national and global issues based on proven facts.

 

..... at The Reflector Newspaper....

...."We Speak the Nation's Mind."

 

Last posts

Newsletter

Subscribe here to get the breaking news as it happen