The Guardian Newspaper of Friday 13 June, 2008, published a letter by Ethnic Nationalities Movement, titled Abacha and Nigeria, written on behalf of the Movement by S.A. Asemota, SAN, rproduced here for public interest.
“The Times Online of April 19, 2018 under the Title ‘The New Scramble for Africa begins, modern imperialism on the resource-rich continent will be less benign than the old Colonialism ‘by Mathew Parris who had this to say:
‘Fifty years ago, the decolonisation of Africa began. The next half-century may see the continent decolonised. But the next imperialism will be less benign. Great power isn’t interested in administering wild places any more, still less in setting them: just raping them. Black gangster government sponsored by self-interested Asian or Western power could become the central story in 21st century African history- But a solution beckons’: buy your own gang. You hardly need visit and are certainly not required to administer the gang’s territory. You simply give it support, munitions, bribes and protection to keep the roads and airports open; and it pays you with access to resources. You dress up the arrangement as helping Africans to help themselves.
The French, who have been doing this in their former African Possessions for years, lead the way. But it is when China, then America and perhaps even Russia or India follow, that the scramble for Africa will truly be resumed:
“It is this context that we of the Ethnic Nationalities Movement see the alleged statement of General Buhari that “All the allegations levelled against the personality of the late Gen. Sani Abacha will remain allegations. It is 10 years now, things should be over by now.” He added “rather than maligning Abacha, the former ruler deserved to be praised for initiating developmental ideas that moved the country forward.”
“ General Babangida was also reported to have said. “ It is not true that he looted public treasury. I know who Abacha was because I was close to him.” General Abubakar was reported as having said. “ It is quite unfortunate and unfair to accuse the family of the late Sani Abacha of looting public funds. But now, we have been seeing what is happening .”
“ If these statements are correct, then, the former Heads of state are openly advocating gangsterism and should long have been held responsible for bringing Nigeria and Nigerians to the contempt with which they are regarded in the world. The Ethnic Nationalities Movement is not surprised that the three former Heads of State are unable to distinguish between right and wrong, criminals and honest Nigerians, because the method by which they became Heads of State was treason against the Constitution and the people of Nigeria as they were unfortunately able to ride rough shod on the people of Nigeria to become Heads of State and one of them executed some soldiers including General Vatsa who were alleged to have attempted to stage a coup the same method by which he and the two others became Heads of State.
“In a situation where the same act can produce two results, one – Heads of State, the other the gallows, must have to blurred the reasoning of these Heads of State to say in effect that “Abacha served Nigeria well.” On the contrary, Abacha and others like him made Nigeria to become a critical weak state unable to foster “an environment conducive to sustainable and equitable economic growth, aren’t and accountable political institutions; aggressions and meeting basic needs of the people.”
“Gangsterism has permeated all the facets of our public life and for these three Heads of State to make such statements is to add insult to injury and further compromise honest and hard working Nigerians who want and are working for a better Nigeria. Abacha exhibited gangsterism when his agents murdered Kudirat Abiola only to arrest law-abiding citizens including the leader of Afenifere, Chief Ajasin and Abraham Adesanya for the murder which Abacha himself through his agents committed. He executed Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni eight . gangsterism continued with the sacking of Zaki Biam and Odi and this has continued with Obiaruku massacre and the sacking of Ijaw villages and towns.
“All these are in addition to looting the country’s treasury dominated by politicians who are alleged to have obtained ‘security clearance.’ The attitude portrayed by the unfortunate statements of the three former Heads of State is that of gross insensitivity as if the feelings of the relatives and Nationalities of those who were brutally murdered by Abacha’s activities for them do not matter and count for nothing.
We of the Ethnic Nationalities Movement say with emphasis that Nigeria will not be re-colonised either by foreigners or by gangster leaders.
One Year Anniversary: Governor Wike Sues For Unity
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on Rivers people no matter their political affiliation to join hands with his administration to build a stable and vibrant economy.
In a state-wide broadcast to mark the first year of his second term in office today, Governor Wike noted that the state can overcome the present global economic situation if citizens come together in unity of thought and purpose.
“Yes, we can if we resolve to downplay our individual differences and work together for the common good of our heritage, our lovely State, our communities and our people. As a government, we welcome constructive criticisms devoid of politics and mischief, because they serve to make us better performers.
“This is a time for governance, not politics, and we welcome everyone on board to create an environment that promotes balanced economic growth, thriving private investments, boundless opportunity and a State we can truly call our pride and heritage.
“For us, nothing matters more than Rivers State, our people, our interests, our treasures, our enormous resources and assets, our accomplishments and our greatness,” he stated.
The Governor pointed out that within the last one year, his administration had embarked on urban renewal programme in the State capital and the construction of the multi-billion naira three flyover projects at Rebisi, Okoro-nu-Odo and Rumuogba.
He said that the dualization of Kira- Sapkenwa-Bori-Kono Road straddling three local government areas in Ogoni heartland has reached 92 percent completion.
The Oyibo(Mbano camp) road to Iriebe linking Oyigbo and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas had been completed while Alesa-Agbonchia-Oyigbo, Rumuakunde/Isiodu and the second phase of Isiokpo community Roads had also been completed.
Rumuji-Ibaa-Isiokpo, Omoku-Egbema, Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye, Ula Ehuda-Odioku-Anwunugboko-Ubeta-Ihuechi-Odiereke, Umueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Umuelechi-Eberi, Eteo-Sime-Nonwa and Abonnema Ring Roads have reached various stages of completion.
In addition, the governor said, work has commenced on the expansion of the entire stretch of Ikwerre Road from Education Bus Stop to the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
According to him, the long abandoned roads to the coastal communities of Opobo and Andoni in Opobo/Nkoro and Andoni Local Government Areas has almost been delivered with appreciable work already done on the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road.
On healthcare delivery, the governor said the Mother and Child Hospital has been furnished, equipped and only undergoing necessary testing and preparations for commissioning.
The Braithwaite Memorial Hospital, he said, has been fully equipped and converted to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) leading to the accreditation of the programmes of that facility for the training of medical students by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.
Governor Wike stated that the regional referral hospitals in Degema, Bori and Degema are presently being equipped while structural work is on-going on the ones located in Omoku and Etche.
The State Chief Executive pointed out that funds had been released for comprehensive upgrade of Enitonnia High School, Comprehensive Secondary School, Borikiri, Obama High School, Degema, Community Secondary School, Tombia, Community Secondary School, Omuanwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area and Kalabari National College, Buguma.
Others include, Community Secondary School, Kugbo in Abua/Odual Local Government, Community Secondary School, Obeakpu in Oyigbo Local Government and Community Secondary School, Eteo in Eleme Local Government Area.
On Real Madrid Academy, Governor Wike announced that the construction of students’ hostels is progressing and that the school would soon open for simultaneous football and related training programmes.
He said in line with the promise to refocus on agricultural development, the Datco Cassava Processing Plant with a guaranteed off-market opportunities for 3000 local cassava farmers would soon be completed to stimulate cassava revolution in the state.
The governor regretted that despite the advisories and regulations on social distancing and compulsory wearing of face masks, most residents are flouting the directives to the collective peril of all.
“These are all irresponsible and risky behaviour in the face of the invisible and ravaging pandemic and the enormous threat it poses to public health and the safety of human lives.
“We shall bring the full weight of the law to bear on every recalcitrant person, business or institution, irrespective of status who decides to treat the existing orders and regulations for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our State with contempt.
“Government may be forced to reinstate lockdown if members of the public continue to flout and disregard the established regulations on social distancing and the compulsory wearing of face masks,” he said.
Governor Wike however, commiserated with the families of those that lost their loved ones to the pandemic and prayed for the peaceful repose of their innocent souls.
He said that while we pray for the quick success, for the global search, for vaccines, the responsibility still rests on everyone to strictly comply with the established mitigating measures.
A Statewide Broadcast By His Excellency Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS, POS, To Mark The First Year Of His Second Term In Office …My Dear Good People of Rivers State
Rivers State Set To Inaugurate Cassava Plant …To Employ 4,500 Persons
The Rivers State Cassava Processing Company located at Afam, Oyigbo Local Government Area will soon come on stream.
Governor Nyesom Wike who stated this Thursday after inspecting the plant, pointed out that the company when fully operational would employ 4,500 persons and also boost agriculture in the state.
He stated that the State Government has 70 percent equity share in the project which is in partnership with Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) of Nigeria.
“We are quite happy that this project which was initiated by the previous administration in 2012 and abandoned has come to the stage of completion.
“When we came on board and saw the usefulness of this project to our economy, we did not hesitate to release funds to complete it.
“As you can see this project which is about 90 percent complete would have been commissioned this month if not for the COVID-19 pandemic which has negatively impacted global economy.
“Let me commend the management of this plant for fast-tracking the completion and the novel initiative that will use mobile machines to collect cassava from the farmers at their various clusters.
“This, will no doubt, reduce the challenge of logistics and increase farmer participation, ” the governor stated.
Earlier, the Managing Director of the Rivers State Cassava Processing Company, Ruben Giesen noted that the cassava processing plant when completed would increase income for small holder farmers by providing an enabling environment for them to sell their cassava tubers.
He also disclosed that the plant would produce about 45 thousand metric tons of cassava flour daily while about 12 thousand metric tons of cassava tubers would be needed for collection by its mobile plants from farmers around the state for processing.
Mr. Giesen commended the State Governor for embarking on the project, which he described as the first of its kind in sub-saharan Africa.
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