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Revisiting A Letter By Ethnic Nationalities Movement

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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.

 

Bright Amirize

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Wike Hands Over More Residential Quarters To Federal Agencies …Begins Ogu/Wakama Road Project Construction, Soon

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has handed over residential quarters and office spaces to Federal Government agencies in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area.
The accommodation facility is made up of 48 units of one bedroom flats, 24 units of two bedroom flats and two multi-purpose halls.
The facility, which was constructed by the Wike-led administration to solve housing needs in the area, was handed over to the Chairman of the council, Navy Captain Victor Erasmus (rtd).
Wike, who visited the area, yesterday, directed the council chairman to commence the allocation of the accommodation to the various federal agencies in the area.
He said workers in those federal agencies provide services to the state and the accommodation support would enhance their performances.
“We do not like to discriminate. Workers of federal agencies serve the interest of the state. If they do not have accommodation, it will affect their performances.
“We built some of these residential houses because we found out that most of the staff of these federal agencies still come to work here from Port Harcourt.
“Today, we are formally handing over the houses to the council chairman, and I have directed him to allocate them to the benefitting agencies, National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), Nigeria Immigration Services, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), State Security Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp, National Population Commission, National Identity Management Commission and the National Orientation Agency,” he said.
The governor also inspected the extent of work done at the Government Secondary School, Ogu, and expressed delight at what has been accomplished at the Girls’ Section of the school.
“I have come to inspect the Secondary School here. We have seen the Girls’ Section, and you can see that the contractor has done well.
“We shall release more funds to them so that they can complete the project before December, 2020.
“Schools will reopen on the 5th of October, 2020. We want the Girls’ Section to be ready for them. After that, we shall focus on completing the boarding facility for the school,” he stated.
The governor also assured that funds would soon be released to mobilise the contractor for the construction of Ogu-Wakama Road project.

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Nigeria @60: Wike Calls For National Unity

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As Nigeria marks her Diamond Jubilee Independence Anniversary, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has urged Nigerians to continue to work towards the unity, progress and development of the nation.
The governor made the call during the Inter-denominational Church/Thanksgiving Service held in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee Independence celebrations at the St Paul’s Cathedral, Diobu, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Wike, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, noted that it was the responsibility of all citizens to make the country great as all persons must work and keep the hope of achieving a great nation alive.
He eulogized the sacrifices made by our founding fathers, and regretted that their dreams of a prosperous nation was bedevilled with the challenges of insurgency, poverty, unemployment and fragmented democracy.
“As we go through the passage of nationhood today, we need to pay respect and begin to think about the sacrifices that were made by our founding fathers who sacrificed everything important, who were so heroic and so patriotic in their course to make sure we can be called a nation”, the governor stressed.
The governor was optimistic that Nigeria would be a great nation, and urged all to pray for the peace and unity of the country.
“It is by his infinite mercy that we have remained as a nation. I urge us to continue to pray for the unity, progress and development of Nigeria. There is so much more God wants to do for us as a nation”, he added.
Wike said, “We need to pray because we know God has been answering our prayers and that is why, today, we are able to celebrate, even in the midst of the global pandemic, our nation is still one”.
Earlier in his sermon, His Lord Bishop, Diocese of Niger Delta North, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Budu Ihunwo, charged all to rededicate themselves to God and to remain patriotic to national growth.
The Bishop, who represented by Ven Kingsley Ogbonda, suggested that government should explore other areas in agriculture, security, hospitality, education and transportation to diversify the economy.
He said, “Nigerians have allowed ethnicity and religion to eat deep into our system”, noting that the solution is to humble ourselves in brokenness before God, strengthening the hands of those who mean well for the nation and the need to lay fresh firm foundation for the nation to move forward.
Special prayers were made for the nation and her leaders, Rivers State, the State Executive Council, the Judiciary and the Legislature.
Prayers were also made for the governor and his family and for the church and her leaders.
The service was also attended by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani; the Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Adama Iyaye-Lamikanra; the service chiefs, the state Chairman of PDP, State Executive Council members, former deputy governors, chiefs, elder statesmen and other top government functionaries.

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RSG Reopens Schools Next Monday Stakeholders Work Out Modalities This Week

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Following the directive by the Rivers State Government for all secondary schools, universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and other tertiary institutions in the state to reopen next Monday, the state Commissioner for Education, Prof Kaniye Ebeku, has said that various stakeholders in the education sector in the state would meet within the week to work out modalities towards the full reopening of schools except the primary schools.
Although Ebeku did not give the exact date for the meeting, he, however, said that the meeting would deliberate on critical issues to determine the next class students that would resume and the number of students to be taken into each classroom to ensure social distancing, acceptable school hours as well fees to be paid by students, among others.
The commissioner stated this via text message while responding to questions by The Tide on the way forward on the reopening of schools by the state government.
It would be recalled that the state government had, last Friday, announced that the State Executive Council had approved the full resumption of schools in the state with effect from Monday October 5, 2020.
The council took the decision at an emergency session presided over by the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, last Friday, at Government House, Port Harcourt.
Ebeku, who announced this while briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, explained that all secondary schools, vocational centres, universities and other tertiary institutions in the state, were affected by the directive.
He, however, stated that the council did not approve the reopening of primary schools based on expert medical advice.
Ebeku added that the council also approved the setting up of a Seven-man Task Force to Monitor and Enforce the Compliance of Covid-19 Protocols in the various schools.
The task force, he said, has the Administrator of Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Amb Desmond Akawor as chairman while the Head of the State Civil Service, Barrister Rufus Godwins; Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike; Commissioner for Social Welfare, Mrs. Inime Aguma; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Nwankpa; and Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim are to serve as members.
According to the council’s resolutions, the Commissioner for Education, Prof Kaniye Ebeku is to serve as secretary.
However, some parents and students in the state have commended the state government for the reopening of schools about six months after the education institutions were closed to check the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
One of the parents, who spoke with The Tide, Mr Chinwendu Nwubi, said parents have long anticipated the gesture, adding that the news was, indeed, received with admiration.
According to him, students in the state have suffered untold educational backwardness as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and urged the state government to ensure that they monitor compliance by the schools in the state.
Also speaking, a student of Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Rumuola, Port Harcourt, Miss Ifenyinwa Amaliri, lauded the state government for reopening of schools.
According to her, students have suffered much during the pandemic, noting that many students have been involved in various anti-social activities during the period the schools were closed.
Speaking earlier after the SEC meeting, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, also announced the reopening of public places such as parks, cinemas and restaurants that would operate within the hours of 6am to 9pm daily.
Nsirim stated that night clubs and bars as well as Oil Mill Market and Slaughter Market, Oginigba, remain closed.
He said that all the reopened public places must adhere strictly to the Covid-19 protocols or face severe sanctions.
In her remarks, the Commissioner for Social Welfare, Mrs. Inime Aguma, said that the government reviewed the compliance of citizens as it relates to Executive Order 16 on the conduct of marriages in the state.
Aguma stated that henceforth, applications for marriages must be accompanied with an affidavit stating that there would be no reception.
According to her, a fine of N100million awaits defaulters of the extant regulations.
She added that local government chairmen were to be held responsible, if they fail to monitor compliance in their various areas.
Speaking further, the Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, said that the council also reviewed issues regarding public burials during the Covid-19 period.
According to him, all public burials in the state are to be conducted in line with the Official Gazette of the state which stipulates that not more 50 persons are allowed at such ceremonies.
Chike stated that henceforth, families applying for burials must provide death certificates and an affidavit that they must adhere strictly with all Covid-19 protocols.
He said that defaulters would be liable to a fine of N100million while local government chairmen are to ensure that the directives are complied with in their various areas.

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