Since penultimate Tuesday, when, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office as Acting President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the hitherto edgy citizenry, that eventually heaved a sigh of relief over the nation-saving resolution of the National Assembly, have had to endure countless repulsive vituperations, in the name of legal, even illegal interpretations of the law makers’ action.
Frankly, an issue like the replacement of an ailing President, who left his presidential duties, since November, last year, for a medical vacation in Saudi Arabia is a public issue deserving public discourse. It is even more so, when, the process for the change of guides was slightly different from what the 1999 constitution clearly states in both sections 144 and 145 of the same body of laws.
Instinctively, were the constitution to be followed strictly as contained in either sections, what obtains now would not be so much different, but even worse for apologists of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who had repeatedly insisted that the Presidential seat be left vacant, exercise of exclusive presidential powers stay stagnant and pressing national needs wait for as long as his medical vacation lasts.
Instead, constitutionally speaking, an outright impeachment was canvassed by many well-informed Nigerians, since not even members of the Federal Cabinet had been allowed to see Yar’Adua, and state for sure, the true level of incapacitation, whether temporary or permanent.
In the midst of those arguments, what the National Assembly eventually resolved, and which they hinged on the rule of necessity, was, by all standards, a soft-landing for the ailing President and a bold attempt to save Nigeria from another protracted constitutional crisis and political impasse.
Issues of these kind, quite frankly, should naturally ignite public debates, afterall as the sages often held, society owes its knowledge not to those who have agreed but to those who have differed, for, in such, do inventions and hidden wisdom come to light.
But in exercising that right to free speech and hold an opinion, some Nigerians under the aegis of the Northern caucus of the House of Representatives, Methinks crossed the line, when they threatened to fight Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, if he ventured to dissolve the Executive Council of the Federation, (EXOF), often also called the Federal Executive Council (FEC) a body of ministers assembled by the ailing President, shortly after he assumed office in May 2007.
Rising from a meeting in the abode of a Northern member of the House of Representatives, in Abuja, last week Wednesday, the law makers, who, themselves, were part of the National Assembly that endorsed the resolution to have Dr Jonathan assume office as Acting President turned around place strange limits, beyond which Jonathan must not thread, if he is not to incur their wrath. One of such is an ‘order’ to Jonathan to retain all ministers appointed by his boss, whether they are doing well or not.
Their view came after several others, particularly, one by a set of politicians, also of the Northern extraction insisted that the North must be allowed to complete its eight-year-term as President, since Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a southerner, from the South-Western geo-political zone had had the South’s turn of eight years.
Annoying, as these public comments are to many well-meaning Nigerians, I also have condoned them because, it has, for ages, remained my sacred vow to see others’ views, no matter how unpalatable, as an exercise of an individual’s right to hold and voice an opinion, as the constitution entitles such individual to do.
But when, in exercise of such a right or rights, an individual or individuals wear the toga of political ambulance – chasers, willingly buoyed by amentia, play God, and seek to impose their views on a nation, in such a manner depicting apparent amblyopia, reason dictates that such fellow citizen or citizens be saved from themselves and from the criminal folly of brewing inter-tribal altercations, not healthy for the sustenance of the nation’s fragile unity.
For this reason alone, will I ask the following questions? Which section of the Nigerian constitution forbids a sitting president to sack Ministers that he either appointed or inherited? If none, why then, should anyone write a fresh constitution without the notice of all Nigerians? By the way, which section of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria divides the country into North and South? Where do they place the Niger Delta, an area where salaries and other freebies to the Ministers, now being dressed as untouchables, will be sourced?
I ask because it is gradually being considered acceptable for some Northern elements to wake-up from the wrong side of their large beds, crafted with Niger Delta resources, to dictate where and how Nigeria must go and simply have all others fall in line.
Perhaps, now is the time to tell those who care to listen that an incunabulum of the kind now being employed to test the political waters, sounds like broken record to the ear because not only has it been said repeatedly, it smacks of political evection that should be ignored. But should I?
When the National Assembly reasoned that even if there a was serving Vice President, that there still existed, a huge gulf in the exercise of exclusive Presidential powers which only an Acting President or a Substantive President could exercise, and accordingly resolved, unanimously that Vice President Goodluck Jonathan filled the void, where were the members of the Northern caucus of the House? Why did they not, there and then, spell out the ‘do’s and don’t’ of an Acting President as contained in their ‘new’ constitution as different from ours?
Their seeming ambivalence presents, in my view, features of amanuenses, not merely taking dictations from an unseen voice but also playing-out a script authored by a masquerade or more. That is not what Nigeria needs at this trying time.
For the avoidance of doubt, it was not a plot by the Acting President that his Boss be ill, so that he could act. He instead, did everything to defend Yar’Adua’s absence, up to a point that even protesting civil society groups, led by Nobel Laurete, Prof. Wole Soyinka threatened to attack the loyal Vice President, and reluctant President in waiting.
Not only that, even when, it became too obvious that his studied defence of his boss was not assuaging the pains of disappointed Nigerians, Jonathan was persuasive in preaching patience, unity and peace, as he led countless prayer sessions for Yar’Adua’s quick recovery.
Jonathan’s ascendancy to the presidential seat was reluctant, but ultimately powered by patriotism, unwavering nationalism and the need to ensure the success of his Boss’s Seven-Point Agenda, a development plan into which the Acting President has put virtually everything, his soul, body and time. And still willing to do more.
That is why it must be said that if in defence of that same agenda, Acting President Jonathan finds a clog in the wheel of progress, be it a Northern or Southern cabinet Minister or any other for that matter, he should not hesitate to remove, for the interest of all and the well-being of the nation. Enough is indeed enough.
Happily, that Jonathan has, thus far, carried out the functions of his new position of thrust indubitably is for all to see and so, nothing should restrain him from living out the dreams of the joint Yar’Adua/Jonathan Presidential ticket by which both Yar’Adua and Jonathan earned majority votes of Nigerians. Infact, the impression needs not be created that Jonathan was appointed by Yar’Adua, along with all other ministers after, the elections that brought them to power. Instead, Jonathan is a joint heir to the throne sorry presidency and for which singular reason, many Nigerians, particularly those of the deprived Niger Delta region and the South/South geo-political zone lined-up behind the Yar’Adua/Jonathan joint ticket to achieve eventual victory.
That is why such inflammatory statements, aimed at everything except unity and progress of the country must be discouraged.
But I have a worry. Who will tell the so-called Northern elements, who are, today, counting presidential years, that should Nigerians join in such tenure census, Jonathan or any other Niger Deltan, should, infact, enjoy another four years, in addition to the “Acting one and half-or-so,” in case Yar’Adua stays far longer than their joint tenure, in Saudi Arabia?
My Agony is that very few will willingly voice such truths because in Nigerian politics, most are moved to action not so much by their intellect or reason, but by their desires and appetites, and so, have been sufficiently cowed into believing that the North alone has those freebies to give.
That being so, let us, even in our silence, demonstrate our support, loyalty and respect for the office of President, as the Chief Executive, on whose table the buck stops. That, without doubt includes non-performing ministers. Or doesn’t it? And since we are agreed that it is the prerogative of a President and Commander-In-Chief, whether substantive or acting, to decide the composition of his team, to question Acting President Jonathan’s authority in that direction, Methinks is to stretch the individual’s right to free speech, a little too far. And should be checked. That is the truth.
Mbede, Akiri Oil Wells: Court Restrains FG From Deducting Rivers Funds …As RSG Moves To Rejig Sanitation Strategy In PH
The Federal High Court has restrained the Federal Government and her agencies from deducting funds meant for Rivers State in respect of the Mbede and Akiri Oil Wells.
Justice Tawo Tawo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, gave the ruling, yesterday, in an Originating Summons filed by the Attorney General of Rivers State against the Attorney General of the Federation, the Attorney General of Imo State, the Accountant General of the Federation, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the Minister of Finance.
The Attorney General of Rivers State moved the Originating Summons: “Pursuant to Order 3 Rule 6, 7, and 9 of the Federal High (Civil Procedures) Rules 2019 Section 7 of the National Boundary Commission (Establishment) Act Section 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the inherent jurisdiction of the Federal High Court as preserved by Section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution.”
The immediate past Imo State Governor, Hon Emeka Ihedioha had written to the President demanding revenue from the Federation Account in respect of the Mbede and Akiri Oil Wells.
But the Rivers State Government went to court over the matter.
Ruling in the matter, the court declared that Rivers State Government is entitled to continue to receive and retain revenue from the Federation Account and other accounts maintained for the purpose in respect of revenue derived from oil wells within the territory of Rivers State based on the 13 per cent derivation formula currently applied by the 4th Defendant.
The Federal High Court further declared that the Rivers State Government (represented by the Plaintiff on record) is entitled to receive and retain revenue from the Federal Account as provided for under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) in respect of revenue drive from the oil wells generally referred to as Akiri and Mbede Oil Wells located within the Rivers State territory.
Justice Tawo declared that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, represented by the 1st Defendant on record), are not entitled to give directives to the 4th Defendant with regard to distribution of public revenue from the distributable pool account, including the Federal Account and that they are not entitled to interfere in any manner whatsoever with the distribution of public revenue from the distributable pool account, including the Federation Account.
The court held that the Government of Imo State (represented by the 2nd Defendant) is not entitled to alter or cause to be altered, to deny or cause to be denied, whether through the instrumentality of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (represented by the 1st Defendant) or any manner howsoever the revenue due to the Rivers State Government in accordance with the principle and formula for distributing public revenue for the time being under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Justice Tawo further declared that until the conflicting claims over Akiri and Mbede Oil Wells by Rivers State and Imo State (represented by the 2nd Defendant in this suit) are resolved by the National Boundary Commission, the 4th Defendant cannot deny the Rivers State its due share of public revenue under the Constitution (as it is currently being distributed), or in any manner after the sharing formula or reduce the share of public revenue due to Rivers State on account of the claim of Imo State (represented by the 2nd Defendant) to the said Akiri and Mbede Oil Wells.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Executive Council has directed the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) to develop a comprehensive plan to rejig the sanitation arrangement in the state.
The State Executive Council reached the decision at a meeting presided over by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, yesterday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim told journalists after the meeting that RIWAMA has two weeks to submit its report.
Nsirim said: “Rivers State Executive Council reviewed the sanitary condition of the state capital after an interaction with the sole administrator of Rivers State Waste Management Authority (RIWAMA), and directed the sole administrator of RIWAMA to develop a comprehensive plan that will rejig the sanitation arrangement in the state.
“The RIWAMA boss has two weeks to present his comprehensive plan to the council.”
He also stated that the Rivers State Executive Council set up a committee to outline the modalities for the implementation of the owner-occupier policy for judges.
“The State Executive Council also set up a committee to work out modalities for the owner-occupier government policy for judges who will retire from service.
“This is to ensure that judges who retire from service in the state have decent accommodation. That committee is headed by the Secretary to the State Government, attorney-general of Rivers State is secretary, commissioner for housing, commissioner for finance, commissioner for social welfare, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Lands and Hon. Justice Adolphus Enebeli, representing the judges, will be members.
“That committee has two weeks to submit its report,” he said.
Rivers Police Burst Baby Factory In PH …Rescue 24 Children, Four Pregnant Teenagers
The Rivers State Police Command has burst another baby factory in the Woji axis of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and arrested the alleged child trafficking syndicate in the state.
The police command also rescued 24 babies and four pregnant teenage girls from the facility.
Disclosing this to newsmen, yesterday, at the state Police Command Headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said the baby factory was burst by men of the Eagle Crack Squad who acted on credible information.
Omoni, who said that the four female teenagers were found in the baby factory, explained that the E-Crack team had recorded the feat by rescuing the 24 babies aged 1-2 years old, last Tuesday.
According to Omoni, “Today, I am glad to inform you that operatives of the Eagle Crack in a covert operation, yesterday (25/2/2020) at about 1530hrs, burst a child trafficking syndicate at Woji in Port Harcourt, where 24 babies between the ages of 1 and 2 years and four pregnant teenagers were recovered.
“The babies and the pregnant teenagers, who are frail and malnourished, are currently receiving medical attention at the Police Clinic, while investigation is still on with a view to making more recoveries and bringing the masterminds to justice.
“The command is hereby appealing to the public, particularly residents of the state whose babies are missing to come forward for identification and collection.
“They are also enjoined to increase their security consciousness by reporting any suspicious movement around them to the nearest police station, via the following security numbers.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Mustapha Dandaura, wishes to appeal to the public to continue to have faith in the command, as he is poised to sustain the existing peace in the state and will continue to remain professional and focused in the discharge of his constitutional responsibilities, while strongly soliciting for your support and cooperation”, Omoni added.
On the issue of late mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, and four others popularly known as the ‘Ikoku Four’, Omoni, who confirmed that the autopsy report had been submitted, quickly added that the state commissioner of police, will address the public once investigations are concluded.
He also said the police command has launched investigation into the alleged killing of a bureau de change operator in the GRA area of Port Harcourt with the view unravelling the identities of those behind the incident.
In her remarks, counsel to the Founder of the alleged child trafficking syndicate, Tender Life Foundation Initiative, Barrister Eunice Onyema Uchendu, denied that the organisation was a baby factory, arguing that there was nothing illegal about the organisation’s operations.
Responding to questions at the police headquarters during the briefing, particularly on the police allegation against the facility and its founder, Uchendu clarified that the organization was dully licensed by the Rivers State Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation to undertake the business as a holding facility in the state.
According to her, “the organization is not a baby factory but a transition home where parents give their children for rehabilitation”.
Also speaking, the Programme Officer of the home, Mr. Oniche Richard, explained that the home was licensed to cater for destitute children from four local government areas of the state, which include, Andoni, Etche, Gokana and Tai local government areas.
He emphasised that the home targets orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS, and discountenance claims by the police that the facility was an illegal entity.
Mystery Of Love And Success (1)
It is with great joy that I welcome you to this maiden edition of “Thinking Corner with Bishop Victor Uzosike” every Thursday. I will be sharing with you, undiluted, deep secrets about life, love and success as revealed to me by God.
These secrets are major keys to supernatural blessings and transformation of lives because God reveals them to His servants for the edification of mankind. It will be served fresh, spiced with power and authority to enable you live a happy and victorious life. Jesus told His disciples in Mark 4:11 thus:
“…Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these] things are done in parables:(KJV)
In ancient times, mysteries were kept from people; through parables and people would go around seeking for the meaning of those parables. Mysteries are key to human existence. Today, the penchant search for man to connect to a higher power is enormous. God has written His word and has made it clear that even the physical things we see are reflections of His divine existence.
Talking about mysteries of the Kingdom, love – genuine love is a key ingredient. It is so powerful that we find that Jesus could not explain everything to everybody. But he called his disciples and said to them, it is given to you to know. What you know, is what you can command. The knowledge you have is your power to command. This is why the secrets of God are hidden in His word. One of these great secrets is the power of love. This is captured succinctly in 3John 1:2 which says: Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (KJV)
God’s agenda is key. He wants you to prosper. Jeremiah 29:11 gives an insight into this and says: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (KJV)
There is a major mystery I am about to share with you. I have personally benefitted from it; and as a custodian of this supernatural mystery, I position myself boldly as an oracle of God, that the mysterious power of God’s love is key ingredient to life’s success. This is why in Mark 12:29-31, Jesus Himself admonished us thus: And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment. And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (KJV)
This is how the Goodnews Bible translates it in Mark 12:29-31: Jesus replied, “The most important one is this: Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second most important commandment is this: Love your neighbour as you love yourself. There is no other commandment more important than these two.”(GNT)
Jesus unveiled the mystery of the love of God and made it the highest commandment. He said that there is none greater than this.
You need to see the power of this love which was first reflected in Deuteronomy, by Moses when he gave the commandment of the love of God to the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 6:5 says: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (KJV)
You are not allowed to love anything more than God. Not even your wife because your soul belongs to God.
Why is love a mystery and why did Jesus make it the highest commandment? He said there is no other commandment greater than this. Why is this commandment so powerful?
God manifests Himself in love. And by this mystery, you cannot be blessed where you don’t love. You cannot succeed where you don’t love. If you hate a community, tribe or nation, don’t stay among them, because you will never succeed.
Daniel 4:17 says: This matter [is] by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the Kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.(KJV)
I even found in the Scriptures that even the children of Israel, did not go into Egypt to hate the Egyptians.
Genesis 39:1-5 says: And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD [was] with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all [that] he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time [that] he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.(KJV).
Joseph had one of the worst experiences anybody could have. He had his destiny truncated by his own brothers. In today’s world, Joseph could be said to have been kidnapped; violated by his own brothers, abused, sold out and made a slave. When a man is made a slave, it means that he has been stripped of all honour, rights and privileges. But Joseph waded through and rose in the midst of such traumatic challenges. He found himself in Egypt, a slave, but he prospered right in the face of the man that bought him. Your circumstance does not define you. It is the mystery that governs your heart and soul that defines your destiny. Joseph was able to break out of the cocoon and snare, simply because he loved the man. He prospered in the house of his master because God was with him. Anywhere there is genuine love for God, His word, His Kingdom and for the people, God shows up. Any carrier of love is a carrier of God. Many are wondering why they don’t succeed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria or any other place they are residing, they toil and get nothing. Whether you are biologically from Rivers State or not, it doesn’t matter. Where you are, the key to your success there is genuine love. Every carrier of love is a carrier of God, doors cannot lock against such, neither will gates close against the person. Joseph was a slave but the Bible reveals that because he carried the love of God, he prospered in the house of his master. Every lover of God and mankind; any one that displays genuine love for God, His kingdom, His word, will be a carrier of God. Joseph broke through every limiting factor, smashed barriers, only by the instrument of love. My prayer is that the mystery of love and success be open to you as you read.
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