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Boko Haram Can’t Divide Nigeria …JTF Arrests 158 Suspects -The Tide Survey



Nigerians have dismissed as impracticable the impression that the security threat which the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram poses today is capable of dividing the country along religious lines.

This is the aggregate view of Nigerians sampled in an opinion survey conducted on-line by The Tide.

A Port Harcourt-based Solicitor and Advocate, Mr Reginald Nnwoka said Nigerians had grown beyond the level of being divided by security threats of the kind which a handful of unguarded  terrorists today pose.

The legal practitioner is  confident that governmental structures properly rooted in our current democratic experience and on-going efforts to properly equip the security forces would check the excesses of the Boko Haram  at the right time.

Nigerians, he said, had grown to overcome ethnic, religious and tribal differences as evidenced in the kind of cross- cultural, cross-religious and cross-ethnic marriages being consummated in the country in the past many years.

While conceding that the Islamist extremist group poses a threat to the stability of the nation, he called on President Goodluck Jonathan to prove to Nigerians that he is indeed the Chief Security Officer of Nigeria by tinkering plausible ways of equipping the security agencies to rise up to the challenge.

Another legal practitioner, Mr Amglad Imabibo said it was actually sad that some Nigerians were deliberately playing out a script written by a foreigner that Nigeria will be divided by 2015.

Barrister Imabibo decried what he described as double speak by many influential northerners and said unless adequate steps were taken to curb the excesses of Boko Haram, Nigerians stand to face more devastating security challenges.

He ruled out the possibility that a handful of terrorists could divide Nigeria but warned that unless all Nigerians unite against the terror organisation the group could inflict unimaginable harm to the secularity of our constitution.

A contractor, Mr John Igani said if division of the country would bring about the much-needed peace and development why should anybody break his head over it.

A Bauchi born transporter of cows, Alhaji Ganiyu Shettima said whoever was calling for the division of Nigeria along any lines was on his own.

According to him, he had raised a family of six children, four boys and two girls with an Onitsha born woman, Adaeze and could not break that union for any reason. He said since his first wife, Ramatu whom he married according to full Islamic rites died in September 1998, his major source of joy had been his current union with Adaeze.

Another young secondary school leaver of dual parentage, Haruna Nkem Haruna, who has an Igbo mother and Kanuri father said although he spends more time with his father in Kwara since the marriage of his parents was estranged , his father had not abandoned the needs of his mother, his two younger sisters and himself.

According to him,  while he is a Muslim, his two younger sisters are Christians and wondered how the division of Nigeria across religious lines would affect his once happy family.

Mr Haruna vowed to support all positive forces including the Federal Government to defend the unity and security of Nigeria and hoped that all men of good would unite against the negative distraction which Boko Haram today represents.

On her part, a Port Harcourt-based trader who deals on pork meat, Mrs Comfort Isetima said her last two children were fathered by a butcher-husband of Hausa extraction who lives and plies his trade in Port Harcourt with whom she has co-habited happily.

Although her husband is a moselm from Kano and  she a Christian from Rivers State, they had never considered religion as a negative variable for their union, and wondered how anyone could impress on them such unsolicited separation on account of division of the country along religious lines.

A youth corps member serving in Port Harcourt, Miss Tosin Adetokunbo said at the end of her service year, her spouse Malam Adamu Ibrahim from Sokoto and herself hope to get married according to Christian marital rites, herself being a Methodist even if the groom to be is an avowed moslem.

The understanding between them, according to her, is that after the consummation of their marriage, she would study the benefits of Islam and  thereafter consider sharing her husband’s religion.

Where will a divided Nigeria based on religious and ethnic differences keep them and the love they have shared since  their first year in the university?

She called on youths corps members believed to be beacons of national unity and integration to join forces with all constituted authorities in preaching peace instead of violence, love instead of hatred and social cohesion instead of religious divisions.

Out of a total of 97 respondents who reacted to our questionnaire, only two expressed pessimism that Nigeria could come  out of its unity.

Meanwhile, the Joint Military Taskforce has arrested 158 suspected members of the Islamist Boko Haram organisation in raids in the northern city of Kano.

Boko Haram said it carried out a series of bombings in Kano last Friday in which at least 185 people died.

The group says it wants to overthrow the Nigerian government and imposes Islamic law.

There were two casualties from Tuesday’s dawn raids, carried out by the Nigerian Joint Military Task Force.

One resident of Kano said officers had encircled a house where a Boko Haram suspect was believed to be hiding. The shoot-out lasted several hours.

“They began shooting, and he fired back… This was followed by a barrage of gunfire by the security men,” Mohammed Maikubi Bala told our correspondent.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Amnesty said the Nigerian government should do more to tackle the group.

“The Nigerian government has repeatedly failed to prevent, investigate, prosecute or punish these acts,” it said.

The key suspect in a Christmas Day bombing on a Catholic church – believed to be a member of the Islamist sect Boko Haram – escaped from police custody earlier this month.

At least 40 people died in that attack.


Soye Jamabo

President,Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie (left), in a handshake with the Secretary to Government of Federation (SGF),Senator Anyim Pius Anyim (right), at a meeting between Federal Government and ASUU in Abuja on Monday.With them is the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu

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Wike, Pride Of Nigeria’s Democracy, NUJ Affirms



The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has described Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, as an exhibit of pride to democracy in Nigeria.
The NUJ also noted that Wike has redefined governance through demonstration of democracy in action with his service to Rivers people.
The National leadership, the 36 State Executives, and the FCT, including members of the NUJ across the country made the assertion in Port Harcourt during the inspection tour led by the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim of both completed and ongoing projects being undertaken by the governor in the state.
The National President of the NUJ, Chief Chris Isiguzo, said the 1999 Constitution bestows on the media the responsibility to hold governments accountable to the people.
Isiguzo posited that having placed the projects side-by-side with the expectations of the populace, it was obvious that the governor’s investment in critical infrastructure would remain lifelong empowerment tools for the people.
”We were at the Mother and Child Hospital. We took time to look at the facilities there. That can easily be said to be first of its kind in the country.
”At the much-talked about Real Madrid Football Academy, where they are going to train the young ones, we saw that they have good facilities. At the moment, they have also offered admission to 140 pupils.
”That’s also to catch-them-young, and I want to believe that by the time this kind of resources is continuously invested in sports development in Nigeria, it’s just a matter of time, it will gain its pride of place in sporting world.”
On her part, the National President of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs Ladi Bala said that the projects she had seen were entirely unique, unprecedented and very uncommon in the country.
According to Bala, the Emmanuel Chinwenwo Aguma Judges’ Quarters stand out as first of its kind in Nigeria, with its serene ambiance that would translate into enhancing the productivity of judges of Rivers origin.
”I believe that democracy is at work in Rivers State, and, for Rivers people, I want to congratulate them, and to say, this is the true reflection of what democracy should be across board.
”I want to call on other governors across the country to borrow a leaf from what the governor of Rivers State is doing. Wike is working, and we are very proud of what we have seen here”, she added.
In his reaction, the National Internal Auditor of NUJ, Muhammad Tukur, stated that Wike was a committed leader with the vision of uplifting the standard of life of his people.
Tukur, who expressed gratitude to Wike for his support to the NUJ National Conference in Port Harcourt, said that his show of love for journalists confirms his commitment to the welfare of the people.
On his part, Chairman of Oyo State Council of the NUJ, Comrade Ismail Ademola Babalola, asserted that the Mother and Child Hospital, and the Real Madrid Football Academy were part of projects Governor Wike was using to secure a productive future for the youths of the state because they meet global standard.
Also speaking, the Vice President of NUJ North Central Zone, Chief Wilson Bako, commended the quality of the various roads and flyover bridges constructed in the Port Harcourt metropolis to make the city tourists’ destination of choice.
In the same vein, the Vice Chairman of NUJ in Jigawa State, Comrade Larai Musa, said she has confirmed all that the news media had carried about Wike and his projects’ mantra, and asserted that it was leaders like him that were needed at the national level.
Also, Comrade Ikechukwu Ordu of Enugu State Council of the NUJ noted the need for other political leaders to emulate Wike in providing dividends of democracy to Rivers people and changing the fortunes of his state.
Also from the Enugu State Council of the NUJ, Comrade Ugochukwu Chukwudieke, said she was completely overwhelmed by what Wike has done in constructing the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover Bridge, Rumuogba Flyover Bridge, and Rebisi Flyover Bridge delivered within one year.
Chukwudieke also praised the quality of work on the Rumuola Flyover Bridge, Ogbun-nu-Abali Flyover Bridge, GRA Junction Flyover Bridge, and the Orochiri-Wurukwo flyover project at Waterlines Junction by Aba Road.

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Stop Constitution Review, CNG Tasks NASS



The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), yesterday, called on the National Assembly to suspend the review of the 1999 Constitution, describing it as ill-timed and uncalled for, particularly in the face of the growing agitation for Nigeria’s break-up.

It also urged the National Assembly to invoke the doctrine of necessity to organize a Biafra referendum as the final step towards the separation of the Igbo from the rest of Nigeria.

This was part of the presentation which CNG made before the leadership of the National Assembly against the backdrop of the disturbances created by certain interest groups in the South-East, in the form of the agitation for a separate state of Biafra.

Briefing journalists in Abuja after the presentation, CNG Spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, noted that the Biafra agitation in the South-East had turned violent, alleging that the aim of the unrest in the region was to instigate reprisals by northerners against people from other parts of the country.

He said, “We demanded the immediate suspension of the ongoing exercise for the review of the 1999 Constitution and to concentrate on the first priority of determining who and what actually constitutes Nigeria as a nation in the present circumstance in which the Igbo, by taking up arms against the Nigerian state for the third time, have foreclosed every hope for the rest of us to continue coexisting with them as one nation.

“In order to achieve the final separation of the Igbo from the rest of Nigeria, we also demanded the NASS to organize a referendum by seeking the cover of the same Doctrine of Necessity invoked by Nigeria’s federal parliament that paved way for former President Goodluck Jonathan’s takeover by declaring the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua unfit.

“We further demanded NASS to prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria to invite the United Nations as well as the African Union and ECOWAS, to initiate the process of self-determination to mandate the Biafrans out of the Nigerian union by leveraging on the several relevant international treaties and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory.

“Today, everyone can see that the diabolical scheme planned and exhibited in the actions and clamours of IPOB, supported morally and politically by the vast majority of the pliant and affrighted Igbo elites, politicians, traditional rulers, business persons, and the larger population of this ethnic group has pushed Nigeria to the precipice.

“We are convinced that this renewed violent determination of the Igbo to see through the secession of the South-East from Nigeria is now real and cannot be avoided or deferred any longer without terrible consequences.

“In order to avoid such mishaps and unnecessary devastation on all sides, particularly the South-East whose leaders and agitators are now bent on driving it over the brink into a catastrophe, CNG is of the view that resort to available means of actualising the separation of the South-East from the rest of Nigeria is today a vital task that must be undertaken by all.”

Suleiman also argued that in order to prevent a descent into another civil war, and to forestall mass killings and untold sufferings, CNG has committed to the call for a referendum that will finally separate the South-East from Nigeria.

He added, “In this connection, we are hoping the NASS will come up with a framework to be agreed upon in the course of the referendum and its final implementation in the South-East or any enclave that wishes to secede from Nigeria.

All identified indigenes (Igbos) of the enclave or entity that called for secession (South-East) must leave the territory of Nigeria and assemble in their designated enclave for the purpose of the exercise.

“The outcome of the referendum shall be final, irreversible and shall not be reviewed or reconsidered for any other reasons. Citizens of the breakaway enclave shall be deprived of any automatic rights to return to the territory of the rump Nigeria, or to be admitted to live in any of its parts.

“We are aware that all this while, the North continued to bear the brunt of the violent agitations for secession with equanimity, stoical calm and resignation.

“Therefore, as the CNG recommits to the pursuit of a final constitutional separation with Biafra, we urge the North to remain the bulwark of respect, integrity, dignity, decorum, tradition, decency, morality, civilization, etiquette, good behaviour, politeness, accommodation, and all other positive traits with the assurance that the good will ultimately prevail over evil.”

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PDP’s Performance Has Diminished APC In Rivers, Wike



The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says with what his administration has achieved, and is still doing, in terms of delivery of critical infrastructure, nobody in the state needs to talk about the All Progressives Congress (APC) anymore.
The governor made the assertion at the flag-off of construction work of the Ogbum-nu-Abali/Eastern-Bypass Road project, yesterday, in Port Harcourt.
Wike explained that the previous administration politicised the reconstruction of the Ogbum-nu-Abali/Eastern-Bypass road and actually failed to accomplish it.
The governor said he has defied those political intrigues, and has genuinely interfaced with the people to understand the economic benefits a dualised road in the city centre could attract.
According to Wike, with the level of infrastructural development around Ogbum-nu-Abali, there would be a spike in the value of property and enhanced economic activities.
“I know that the people of Ogbum-nu-Abali resisted the dualisation of this road because of lack of information. When I met with the community leaders, they said look, they have houses bequeathed to them by their grandparents.
“I told them that whether they like it or not, if I don’t dualise it today, tomorrow somebody else will do it. And you don’t know who is coming.
“So, it’s better done now that I am a governor than when you don’t know who is coming. And the economic benefit of this road is too much, which you may not understand now.”
Speaking further, Wike stated that the entire Old Government Residential Area (GRA) has been given a facelift with quality road projects.
“This is the only place remaining. Old GRA cannot be like that and then we will leave this place. We have done the Rebisi flyover, the Oru-Abali flyover. There is no way this place will not be dualised at all. It’s not possible.”
Performing the flag-off, the member representing Port Harcourt Federal Constituency 1, Hon Kenneth Anayo Chikere, said the formal flag-off ceremony has ended several speculations about the possibility of executing the project.
“This day witnesses the eventual actualisation of the Ogbum-nu-Abali/Eastern Bypass Road project. Thank you governor for the Ogbum-nu-Abali/Eastern Bypass Road project!
“Thank you governor, for the Ogbum-nu-Abali internal roads, completed, commissioned and profitably in use. Thank you for being a worthy son and governor! Thank you for the exemplary leadership, the infrastructural and human development in all sectors.”
The Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi, while giving the project description said the dualisation of the Ogbum-nu-Abali Road will extend all the way to the ongoing Eastern Bypass dualisation.
“Today, Ogbum-nu-Abali Road is a 7.3m wide single carriage way, with a cross section of approximately 8.5m width inclusive of the drains on either side of the road. After reconstruction and project completion, we will have a cross section of 18.1m width on the axis extending to Eastern Bypass and 17.35m width along Ogbum-nu-Abali Road.
“This cross section is made up of 2 carriageways, each measuring 7.3m wide, both of which will be separated by a median of 1.5m width along the extension to Eastern Bypass and a median of 750cm width along Ogbum-nu-Abali Road.
It includes 1m wide drains on either side of the road, and of course, street lighting to ease movement at night as well as enhance security.
The commissioner said, the project like many others commissioned or ongoing will be built to design specifications aimed at guaranteeing minimum life-span requirement of 30 years.

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