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Chinese Jets Intercept U.S Surveillance Plane: U.S Officials |The Republican News

 

P-3 surveillance plane                   © Joshua Replogle/AP Photo P-3 surveillance plane  

WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) – Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the South China Sea on Wednesday, with one coming within 200 yards (180 meters) of the American aircraft, U.S. officials told Reuters.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial reports showed that the U.S. P-3 Orion surveillance plane was 150 miles (240 km) southeast of Hong Kong in international airspace when the Chinese aircraft carried out the unsafe intercept. One Chinese aircraft flew in front of the American plane, restricting its ability to maneuver.

The Pentagon confirmed that two Chinese jets had carried out the intercept, saying it was “unsafe and unprofessional.”

“We continue to review the facts of this incident and will convey our concerns through appropriate channels with the Chinese government,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Commander Gary Ross said in a statement.

A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

China is deeply suspicious of any U.S. military activity around its coastline, especially in the resource-rich South China Sea, parts of which are disputed by China and its smaller neighbors, including the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Incidents such as Wednesday’s interception are not uncommon.

Earlier this month, two Chinese SU-30 aircraft intercepted a U.S. aircraft designed to detect radiation while it was flying in international airspace over the East China Sea.  (REUTERS)

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Federal Judge Throws Out Life Sentences For DC Sniper Malvo, Says It’s Unconstitutional

 

Washington area sniper suspect John Lee Malvo is escorted by Fairfax County Sheriffs out of Fairfax County juvenile court in Fairfax, Virginia, in this November 15, 2002, file photo. Convicted Washington sniper Lee Boyd Malvo said the devastated reaction of a victim's husband 10 years ago made him feel like "the worst piece of scum on the planet," The Washington Post reported on September 30, 2012.© REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid/Files Washington area sniper suspect John Lee Malvo is escorted by Fairfax County Sheriffs out of Fairfax County juvenile court in Fairfax, Virginia, in this November 15, 2002, file photo. Convicted Washington sniper…  

 

NORFOLK, Va. — A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson in Norfolk said Malvo is entitled to new sentencing hearings after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional.

Malvo was 17 when he was arrested in 2002 for a series of shootings that killed 10 people and wounded three in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, causing widespread fear throughout the region.

His accomplice, John Allen Muhammad, was executed.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh, who helped prosecute Malvo, said the Virginia attorney general can appeal Jackson’s ruling. If not, he said he would pursue another life sentence.                (AP)

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El-Rufai Is A big Liar, Says Jonathan

 JonathanEl-Rufai
            Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has described Governor Nasir el-Rufai as a big liar, urging Nigerians not to take him seriously.

Jonathan said this in a statement by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, on Friday, while reacting to el-Rufai’s claims on the disbursement of Ecological Fund under the Jonathan’s administration.

El-Rufai had on Thursday at the National Executive Council meeting, said, “What President Goodluck Jonathan did was to take N2bn each from the Ecological Fund and give to some PDP states. Any PDP state that was not his friend, like Kano and Kwara, didn’t get.”

However, the former President said it was only the states that met the criteria for accessing the fund that received it.

Jonathan said even some states governed by his staunch supporters like Akwa Ibom and Ekiti did not receive the fund as well.

The statement read in part, “It is so easy to expose Mallam Nasir el-Rufai as a liar as Akwa-Ibom, a PDP state governed by the then Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and a close confidante of the then President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, did not get the monies alluded to by Mallam el-Rufai from the Ecological Fund as did multiple other PDP states including Ekiti state, a state governed by a thoroughbred patriot and Jonathan supporter, Ayo Fayose.”

Jonathan said states ruled by the Labour Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance also received the fund.

He added, “Also, it is false that non-PDP states did not get monies from the fund. Nemesis catches up faster with liars than any other agent of evil.  El-Rufai was probably led by the gods against his own sinister plot to confess in another breathe that states under non-PDP parties like APGA and Labour party also benefitted.

“The fact remains that the Ecological Fund is a specialised fund with certain constitutional requirements which must be met before a state can access the funds. Every state benefitted from the fund under President Jonathan, who bent over backwards to accommodate states that had difficulty meeting the criteria for accessing the fund.”

He said el-Rufai’s ‘sinister’ narrative was intentionally silent on the over N10bn specially deployed to fund the Great Green Wall project in some northern states, in view of the need to work with the rest of Africa on the African initiative to check desert encroachment in the Sahel.

The states included Zamfara, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Adamawa, Yobe, Borno and Kano which belong to el-Rufai’s class of ‘non-friendly’ states that he claimed never benefitted from any discretionary fund.

The former President said the similar principle applied to the conditions for accessing the Universal Basic Education Fund, where some states have not had access to what is due them because they have yet to fulfil the mandatory criteria for allocation.

“Would it then be right in the name of el-Rufai’s position on equity to blame the failure of those states to access their UBEC funds on Jonathan?”, the ex-President asked.

The statement added, “It is really sad that judicious presidential interventions to tackle emergencies and other pressing national needs are being interrogated in a rather facile manner, by those who never get tired of playing dirty politics.”

Jonathan said the Kaduna governor was in the habit of telling lies against him. Citing several alleged instances.

“Nigerians may recall that this is not the first time that el-Rufai has vented his known passion for lying against the former President. The public will recall that in October 2015, he falsely alleged that former President Jonathan spent a whopping N64bn on Independence Day celebrations, during his tenure when in fact only N333m was spent,” the statement added.  (Punchng.com)

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Biafra 50 Years On: Reflections And Hopes; Speech By Nnia Nwodo (Ohanaeze President General

drjohnnnianwodo

Fifty years after Biafra and the end of the civil war, Nigeria for the very first time organised a conference to commemorate Biafra, the war and its aftermath.

In the conference were, the Acting president Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the former President, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo, and the President general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo Jnr, among others at the Shehu Musa Yar Adua center

Below is the full speech:

50 YEARS AFTER BIAFRA: REFLECTIONS AND HOPES
PROTOCOLS:

1. I am grateful to Shehu Musa Yar Adua Foundation, Ford Foundation and OSIWA – the co-sponsors of this event for your kind invitation. I commend your foresight in convening this conference, the first major conference discussing Biafra outside of Igboland. Nigeria. In hosting this conference the Yar’Adua Centre, which is best known for promoting national cohesion, honours the legacy of a great patriot: Shehu Musa Yar Adua. He died building bridges of understanding across our nation. I salute his family and associates for sustaining the legacy of Shehu through the works of this Foundation.

2. It is significant that you have chosen to harvest sober memories of Biafra. By so doing, you help us to wisely situate today’s talks of Biafra in the proper context: namely, as an opportunity for nation building; and not – as an invitation for invectives or recrimination.

3. 50 years ago, Nigeria faced disintegration by the declaration of the Republic of Biafra. Biafra was born out of the political crisis which engulfed Nigeria at that time. The crisis began with the struggle for leadership in the Western Region of Nigeria, the declaration of state of emergency in the West, the coup of January 1966, the counter coup of July 1966, the pogroms, the declaration of Biafra and the commencement of a police action that turned into a three years civil war.

4. I hope that our gathering today may contribute to the body of knowledge or body of lessons from the war. Lest we forget, there is wisdom in the words of George Santayana that: those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it. That is why I thank you for the chance for us to collectively remember, reflect, hope and seek ways to build anew.

5.My most heartfelt reflection is that in the Nigeria-Biafra conflict, we can and should acknowledge the sacrifice – in blood, suffering and toil – by millions of citizens on both sides of that divide. They shared a common hope for their sacrifice: namely, that out of that war, we shall build a nation where no man is oppressed. The only difference was that for one side, Nigeria was that nation. For the other it was Biafra.

6. Let us spare a thought for every victim of that conflict and the crises before that: the leaders and the soldiers, ordinary men, women and children. Each one loved life; had hopes and dreamt dreams. They died prematurely and often, painfully.

7. For those of us that survived the war and others who came afterwards, we are both heirs to the sacrifices of fallen brethren. Let us commit ourselves today and always to their hopes for peace and justice. Anytime that we are violent, anytime that we are unjust in the exercise of our public trust, anytime we lower the ideals of this nation, we betray them; and we act as if they died in vain. As we honour their memory, today my worry is not only about the rising feeling of marginalization of Igbos or any other group but that our nation may emerge from this conflict a more united and prosperous country.

8. At the end of the war, in spite of a policy of no victor no vanquished by the Government of General Yakubu Gowon, an unconscionable policy of impoverishment of Biafrans was unleashed by the federal government. Every bank deposit of Biafrans that had encountered a transaction whether by deposit or withdrawal was reduced to £20. Massive savings were completely wiped out. Capacity for investment and recovery from the war was shattered. Whilst this poverty pervaded, the Indigenisation Decree was promulgated enabling other Nigerians, except Biafrans to acquire commanding heights in the indigenised companies which held at that time the critical and commanding heights of Nigeria’s private economy.​

9. Nevertheless, on the issue of reconciliation, we must give due credit to the resilience of the people from the war affected areas and the generosity of millions of other Nigerians that opened their hearts and homes to their friends and neighbours that were victims of war. In many ways, it was by these incredible citizen to citizen relationships that Nigeria achieved one of the most remarkable post-conflict people to people reconciliation and reintegration in modern times.

10. Before the war national unity was the norm. A Biafran was a member of Northern Nigeria House of Chiefs. Biafrans lived freely and invested in all parts of Nigeria. In Lagos Dr Azikiwe was elected leader of Government Business. Mbonu Ojike was elected Deputy Speaker. In Enugu Alhaji Umoru Altine, a Fulani man was elected Mayor of Enugu. Mr Willougby a Yoruba man, was Accountant General.

11.On the economic front, the economy was buoyant. Import substitution industries grew rapidly and were more profitable. In the North, groundnut production and export fuelled economic growth. Textile industries flourished, agriculture boomed. Ahmadu Bello University thrived with outstanding international reputation.

12.In Lagos and the entire Western Region growth was phenomenal. Cocoa was a dependable foreign exchange earner. Cement, soft drinks, rubber, beer, soap and other import substitution industries grew phenomenally. Lagos, Ibadan and Ife housed universities of world standards. The first television station in black Africa was built. The first stadium in Nigeria was also built in the West.

13.In the Eastern Region palm produce grew the Eastern economy. Coal was mined and exported. Beer, cement, cashew nuts, tyres, aluminium, steel and soft drink factories grew rapidly. University of Nigeria was built and run by Americans.

14. Reflecting on 50 years after the Nigeria-Biafra conflict, it would seem to me that we have made very elaborate efforts: constitutional, political and administrative to ensure a united Nigeria. We must not shy away from giving our nation its due credit, after all, some other societies with challenges like ours did not fare as well as we did.

15. However, we should not rest on our oars. Unity is not an end in itself; and ultimately, the best way to sustain our unity is to apply it to achieve a higher objective; namely, nation building.

16. Our political system is jaundiced, unfair, exploitative and unsustainable. Since attainment of independence the civilians have not been able to agree on a political structure. Our present constitution and the previous 1979 constitution were impositions of the military – an unrepresentative and dictatorial corps whose decrees were seriously influenced by the lop-sidedness of their composition.

17. The economic and development data from Nigeria is unencouraging in many sectors. Our law and order system including the police, the court system and the penal system has been characterised by impunity, incompetence and indiscipline.

18. On the global Terrorism Index Nigeria ranks 3rd after Iraq and Afghanistan and ahead of Pakistan and Syria. The World Economic Forum ranks Nigeria 127 out of 138 on the Global Competitiveness Index. The UNESCO ranks Nigeria with Chad, Pakistan and Ethiopia as the worst educational system in the world. Nigeria, according to the report, has the highest number of children out of school and one of the world’s worst education systems due to a combination of corruption, conflict and lack of investment. In the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Program, Nigeria ranks 152 out of 188 countries and is the lowest among OPEC countries. The data points to a bleak future as we march to post-oil world without a coherent plan to reduce conflict and build a new national consensus.

19. On the positive side, there is a global consensus that Nigeria is highly potentiated. With a population of about 182 million people, by current estimates; and with our vast mineral and material resources; a well-organized Nigeria should be a land of plenty that supports its people and a leader in the comity of nations. Sadly, this is not the case.

20. Almost every Nigerian is agreed that Nigeria is not working but there is no clear consensus on why; or on what to do about it. Some say that it is merely a problem of leadership and once that is fixed all other things will fall in place. Others say that it is a problem of corruption. Once you tackle that, everything will be fine. Others have said that our problem is one of law and order; some say it is more fundamental and has to do with control of resources, structure of the Federation and thus requires more equitable sharing of revenue and the devolution of powers. Others say it can be fixed with power rotation and a more level playing field. It has been said that it could be a bit of all of the above; and that Nigeria cannot be fixed without a fundamental change of values and attitudes. Whatever the case, it will not profit us to pretend that we do not face existential challenges.

21. These challenges are worrisome; especially to our younger ones who must face the fact that the next 50 years could be even more challenging and there is a good chance that we could be left behind if we fail to take action today. For instance, it is estimated in some quarters, that by 2050 – that is in 33 years’ time – Nigeria could be the 4th most populous country in the world. That means that Nigeria, which is just twice the size of Texas; would be more populous than all the United States of America. Meanwhile, as of today, we have a GDP that is barely 2% of that of the United States.

22. At the same time, in the years ahead, we could face very severe ecological challenges that will impact negatively on our economy. The desert is encroaching southwards at a speed of up to 6 km per annum. Thus within 33 years we could lose about 200 km of land to the desert – across the north. This can only exacerbate competition for arable land in the north and elsewhere – with dire political consequences.

23. In the South East, we could expect more ecologically-induced dislocation. For instance, the government of Anambra State estimates that about 40% of the State is threatened by erosion. In the South-South, by 2050 we could be dealing with the reality of a post-oil economy and yet have massive environmental degradation that is yet unattended to. There is also the possibility that much of the mangrove ecosystem could be lost to deforestation. Lagos could have a population of up to 50 million people and face unbearable challenges of massive urbanization.

24. We must become more responsive to the world around us, or we and our children will be left behind. These are some of the fears and anxieties of our youths. We have for too long allowed the bitterness of the war and its lingering feelings to dictate our political relationships. The coalition that fought the war is still in control of Nigeria engaging in rhetoric that fuelled the war in managing renascent Nigeria. The young men and women who were not part of the war are frustrated by this impasse.

25. Those who are in the East fuel strong agitations for separation in the face of clear treatment as second class citizens. War is the primary instrument of military dictatorship while negotiation and agreement are the essential ingredients of civilian democracy and political diplomacy. Nations are not created and sustained by street warfare. The federal government of Nigeria must instruct its police and army to promulgate a ceasefire and disengage from further unproductive street warfare with IPOB and MASSOB. There are no problems which cannot be resolved by negotiation.

26. We do not want any more wars.We have shed enough blood without producing corresponding political results. 50 years after Biafra the time is now overripe for a fresh approach. We must immediately commence discussions and fruitful negotiations about our political future. In the era of assymetrical warfare, war is no more an easy option for states, therefore we must negotiate our way out of a sense of national despair to a new national consensus that unlocks our national possibilities.

27. Nigeria, blessed as the richest and the most popular nation in Africa has enormous potentials. Every part of Nigeria can survive as an independent country. The North with its mineral and agricultural potentials can build a strong nation. The West with its cocoa, oil, indomitable intellectual know how and commerce can build another Britain. The South South with its oil, notwithstanding its declining economic potency can transform its area before oil ceases to be a major foreign exchange earner. The East with industry, outstanding innovation and little oil may still emerge as the African wonder. But none of these little enclaves will rival the capacity of a united and reconciled Nigeria. We must all rise up and save this nation from a trajectory that will make a break up a more viable option.

28. The challenges ahead are beyond Biafra. Just like the challenge in North East Nigeria exploded in our face and has engaged our nation for almost 9 years; we could face challenges anywhere and anytime. In my view, if we fail to build a nation that caters fairly for all its citizens; and prepares us for the world of tomorrow – there will be new challenges in the future.

29. We must find creative ways to manage a complex multi-ethnic and multi-religious state. History teaches us that no society is static; the status quo cannot endure forever. We must find creative ways to promote political, economic and social justice within a nation and between the people that comprise it. If not, then we are invariably opening the doors to future threats of chaos, disorder and societal dislocation.

30. The final challenge of our generation is to show that we learnt the right lesson from that sad conflict of 50 years ago. We must bequeath our children with a nation that works for all and one that looks ahead. We want a Federal Republic of Nigeria which is collectively owned by all Nigerians as opposed to a Federal Republic that will be perceived as a the private property of one group or groups of ethnic groups depending on who is in office. The categorical destination is a Nigerian Nigeria under the collective hegemony of the people of Nigeria. In order to achieve this we must have a flexible federation; strong enough to guarantee our collective defence and protect individual rights, agile enough to react to emerging tensions and threats, yet expansive enough to allow each state room to develop at its own pace. We must create a national order whereby each state bears the primary responsibility for its development.

31. Today majority of Nigerians are yearning for a restructuring of the federation. The beneficiaries of our current system are resisting it. A famous British Prime Minister in the wake of nationalist struggles in colonial Africa said to the British ‘there is a wind of change blowing throughout Africa. Those who resist it do so at their own peril’.

32. Nigeria cannot prosper, as it should, unless we redress some aspects of our current condition. I believe we have enough men and women of vision and experience, in every part of the country, to help us plot a bright future. I commit Ohaneze Ndigbo to this path. It may be difficult but it is doable.

33. True leadership evolves in historical circumstances like this. Our country is at cross roads. You can feel the tension every day. It is palpable, it is potent, it is real. Let us wake up to the change imperative at this moment and claim a glorious judgment by History.

34. Thank You for your kind attention.

JOHN NNIA NWODO
PRESIDENT GENERAL, OHANEZE NDIGBO
ABUJA 25TH MAY, 2017

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Africa Is Not Poor, We Are Stealing Its Wealth |The Republican News

It’s time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.

 Our climate crisis was not caused by Africa, but Africans will feel the effect more than most others, writes Dearden [Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters]Our climate crisis was not caused by Africa, but Africans will feel the effect more than most others, writes Dearden [Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters]

by Nick Dearden

Nick Dearden is the director of UK campaigning organisation Global Justice Now.

Africa is poor, but we can try to help its people.

It’s a simple statement, repeated through a thousand images, newspaper stories and charity appeals each year, so that it takes on the weight of truth. When we read it, we reinforce assumptions and stories about Africa that we’ve heard throughout our lives. We reconfirm our image of Africa.

 

That’s the essence of a report (pdf) from several campaign groups released today. Based on a set of new figures, it finds that sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor to the rest of the world to the tune of more than $41bn. Sure, there’s money going in: around $161bn a year in the form of loans, remittances (those working outside Africa and sending money back home), and aid.

But there’s also $203bn leaving the continent. Some of this is direct, such as $68bn in mainly dodged taxes. Essentially multinational corporations “steal” much of this – legally – by pretending they are really generating their wealth in tax havens. These so-called “illicit financial flows” amount to around 6.1 per cent of the continent’s entire gross domestic product (GDP) – or three times what Africa receives in aid.

Then there’s the $30bn that these corporations “repatriate” – profits they make in Africa but send back to their home country, or elsewhere, to enjoy their wealth. The City of London is awash with profits extracted from the land and labour of Africa.

OPINION: Africa’s natural resources – From curse to a blessing

There are also more indirect means by which we pull wealth out of Africa. Today’s report estimates that $29bn a year is being stolen from Africa in illegal logging, fishing and trade in wildlife. $36bn is owed to Africa as a result of the damage that climate changewill cause to their societies and economies as they are unable to use fossil fuels to develop in the way that Europe did. Our climate crisis was not caused by Africa, but Africans will feel the effect more than most others. Needless to say, the funds are not currently forthcoming.

If African countries are to benefit from foreign investment, they must be allowed to – even helped to – legally regulate that investment and the corporations that often bring it.

In fact, even this assessment is enormously generous, because it assumes that all of the wealth flowing into Africa is benefitting the people of that continent. But loans to governments and the private sector (at more than $50bn) can turn into unpayable and odious debt.

Ghana is losing 30 per cent of its government revenue to debt repayments, paying loans which were often made speculatively, based on high commodity prices, and carrying whopping rates of interest. One particularly odious aluminium smelter in Mozambique, built with loans and aid money, is currently costing the country £21 for every £1 that the Mozambique government received. British aid, which is used to set up private schools and health centres, can undermine the creation of decent public services, which is why such private schools are being closed down in Uganda and Kenya. Of course, some Africans have benefitted from this economy. There are now around 165,000 very rich Africans, with combined holdings of $860bn. But, given the way the economy works, where do these people mainly keep their wealth? In tax havens. A 2014 estimate suggests that rich Africans were holding a massive $500bn in tax havens. Africa’s people are effectively robbed of wealth by an economy that enables a tiny minority of Africans to get rich by allowing wealth to flow out of Africa.

So what is the answer? Western governments would like to be seen as generous beneficiaries, doing what they can to “help those unable to help themselves”. But the first task is to stop perpetuating the harm they are doing. Governments need to stop forcing African governments to open up their economy to privatisation, and their markets to unfair competition.

OPINION: Investment in Africa – There’s room for everyone

If African countries are to benefit from foreign investment, they must be allowed to – even helped to – legally regulate that investment and the corporations that often bring it. And they might want to think about not putting their faith in the extractives sector. With few exceptions, countries with abundant mineral wealth experience poorer democracy, weaker economic growth, and worse development. To prevent tax dodging, governments must stop prevaricating on action to address tax havens. No country should tolerate companies with subsidiaries based in tax havens operating in their country.

Aid is tiny, and the very least it can do, if spent well, is to return some of Africa’s looted wealth. We should see it both as a form of reparations and redistribution, just as the tax system allows us to redistribute wealth from the richest to the poorest within individual societies. The same should be expected from the global “society”.

To even begin to embark on such an ambitious programme, we must change the way we talk and think about Africa. It’s not about making people feel guilty, but correctly diagnosing a problem in order to provide a solution. We are not, currently, “helping” Africa. Africa is rich. Let’s stop making it poorer.

Nick Dearden is the director of UK campaigning organisation Global Justice Now. He was previously the director of Jubilee Debt Campaign.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own

Source: Al Jezeera

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Adopt National Confab Recommendations, Jonathan Urges FG

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Former President,  Goodluck E. Jonathan

Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has advised the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to consider implementing the recommendations of the National Conference conducted during his (Jonathan) tenure.

Jonathan said that he decided to conduct the national conference while in office in order to address some key challenges confronting the country, adding that the conference was organised in the interest of the nation and the recommendations were taken by Nigerians from across the country.

Speaking as one of the guests at the Golden Jubilee Anniversary Lecture and Documentary on Rivers State, in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, the former President noted that he resolved to conduct the conference after Prof. Ben Nwabueze led the Patriots to him, requesting for the conference and added that the reasons the Patriots gave him on the need for the national conference were in the country’s interest.

He said: “I insisted on the National Conference after Prof. Ben Nwabueze led the Patriots to demand a National Conference to address those areas regarding our growth.

“Every decision taken at the National Conference was by consensus. If the government implements the recommendations, some of the things agitating our minds will be addressed,” he said.

The former President also spoke on the practice of true federalism, stressing that every part of the country is viable, but should be encouraged to generate revenue.

He also spoke on the Niger Delta, saying that a lot of funds came to the interventionist agencies saddled with the responsibility of developing the region, but that very little was done in terms of projects arising from the issue of tenure and the lifespan of the office holders.

He said that state governments should do more with the direct 13 per cent derivation that come to them.

“The interventionist agencies leave behind uncompleted projects. The 13 percent that come to the states, I have seen better utilisation of that money,” he said.
Speaking further, the former President argued that reforms should ensure that more resources get to the states, rather than the interventionist agencies already affected by politics.

Jonathan, who was accompanied to the venue by Governor Nyesom Wike, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and members of his National Caretaker Committee (NCC), took a swipe at the situation where council chairmen collected allocations without using them to impact on the people only to sit down and wait for another allocation.

The former President declared that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, was working hard to transform the state and take it to greater heights.

He said: “Having had the opportunity to serve at the state level for eight years and at the centre for eight years, I can attest to the fact that Wike is working.

“Every day I watch television, I see programmes going on. Commissioning of projects are taking place. It takes somebody with commitment, somebody with foresight and somebody with a strong team to achieve all these,” he said.
Jonathan stated that he was not surprised that Governor Wike was living up to the expectations of the people, “because as a minister, Governor Wike excelled.

“Let me specifically thank the Governor of Rivers State, somebody who worked with me, somebody I believe in. That is why I conferred on him the prestigious title of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).”

He said that the states in the Niger Delta had achieved more in terms of development since they started accessing 13 percent derivation than interventionist agencies have achieved.

Also speaking, National Caretaker Committee Chairman of PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said that only PDP has the capacity to embark on the restructuring of the country.

He said: “In PDP, we believe that our Federation needs to be fixed. We will ensure reforms in a manner that every federating unit will know that they will not be abandoned.”

In his lecture entitled ‘Democracy and Development in Nigeria: The Case of Rivers State’, Prof. Godini Darah, advocated resource ownership for the Niger Delta.
Professor Darah also called for the practice of true federalism, adding that it was no longer workable for the wealth of the state to be used in developing non-viable states in the name of federalism.

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How Chisom Anekwe Died In Our Facility, Magodo Specialist Hospital Explains

Magodo Specialist Hospital has responded to the tragic incident that occurred in their facility on April 30, 2017.

In a statement signed by Samuel O Isong on behalf of the hospital, the hospital explained what transpired before Mrs. Chisom Anekwe passed on at the hospital during childbirth.
Following the incident, friends and family had demanded that the hospital be investigated and that the federal government ensures that incidents like that do not occur again.
The hospital has said that it couldn’t comment on the matter at the time it occurred because the case was under investigation.
 
Read the full statement below:
 
We are deeply saddened by the death of Mrs Chisom Anekwe. We wish to express our sympathy to the family and friends on this unfortunate and tragic incident. We pray that God will comfort them and grant them the fortitude to bear this great loss. We are however compelled to address the postings on the social media which are untrue. The facts have been markedly falsified and distorted. It would appear that deliberate attempts were made to damage the image of the hospital and the integrity of the attending doctors and nurses based on false premises. It has become necessary to state the hospital’s account within the limits of professional ethics in order to give members of the public a balanced perspective.
We wish to state that the case is presently under investigation by statutory bodies such as the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and the Lagos State Health Facilities Accreditation and Monitoring Authority (HEFAMA) and as such, the hospital would not want to do anything that would prejudice such investigations. It is also hoped that a post mortem examination would help to unravel the cause of this unfortunate incident.
 
Mrs Chisom Anekwe was a pleasant and gracious lady who was well liked by staff and other patients. We were delighted when she registered for antenatal care in Magodo Specialist Hospital for her third baby. She had had 2 previous successful deliveries in this hospital in 2012 and 2015 respectively.
During the index pregnancy, she developed hypertension at a time when the baby was not yet matured for delivery. Hypertensive diseases (pre-eclampsia) are the leading cause of death associated with pregnancy worldwide. She was offered admission to control and monitor the blood pressure on 26 April 2017 but declined and went home. She later returned on 27 April 2017 because of headache and inability to sleep. She was placed on BP lowering drugs and was regularly seen by doctors and nurses including gynaecologists. At least 3 gynaecologists attended to her individually or jointly during her admission.
 
She remained stable until the early hours of 30 April 2017 when she complained of sudden severe abdominal pain. It emerged that she did not take the medication prescribed to reduce her blood pressure the previous evening. The nurses and doctors including a gynaecologist came to see and made a diagnosis of placental abruption, a condition in which the placenta is detached from the womb before the onset of labour.
Placental abruption is a known complication of hypertension in pregnancy and in this condition, the patient would lose a lot of blood and the baby would suffer from nutrient and oxygen lack and is usually born dead. On assessment, the patient was in shock. Immediate steps were taken to resuscitate her with intravenous drips and oxygen while attempts were made to obtain blood for transfusion. The staff then prepared for emergency caesarean section to try and save the baby. The team including gynaecologist, anaesthetist and paediatrician were called and they attended. But before starting the operation, the doctors needed to confirm that the baby was still alive by listening to the heartbeat. Unfortunately, the baby’s heartbeat was not heard.
 
This necessitated a change of plan. They decided not to proceed with the operation because the baby was already dead and the operation could be dangerous for the mother in that situation. A further complication of placental abruption is disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC) a condition where the blood fails to clot. This could lead to excessive and uncontrollable bleeding during a caesarean operation. This was explained to the husband who gave consent for labour to be induced. Labour was induced and she was monitored throughout. She then had a normal delivery of the baby and placenta following labour induction.
 
Resuscitation of the patient continued and she was given drips and blood transfusion to replace what she had lost. She was continually monitored by nurses, doctors and gynaecologists. She was never left on her own contrary to the postings on social media. There was initial improvement in her condition, which appeared to be stabilizing. But when it unexpectedly started to deteriorate, it was decided after consultation with the husband to transfer her to another hospital.
 
The story on social media suggested that the patient fell into labour, called for help and nobody came. This is not true. The claim that the patient fell into labour was contradicted by the same social media post which alleged that labour was induced without the husband’s consent. The patient never fell into labour and when she developed placenta abruption, the doctors and nurses including the gynaecologist attended promptly. For most of the time, 2 gynaecologists jointly attended to her along with other doctors and nurses. The patient was monitored continually during the management of this severe emergency.
 
The decision not to proceed with caesarean section was taken in the patient’s overall best interest and according to standard medical practice. The theatre was prepared and the team of gynaecologist, anaesthetist, paediatrician and others assembled ready to do the operation. They did not proceed because of consideration of the patient’s overall best interest. Ironically, it would be financially more rewarding for the hospital to do caesarean section rather than offer vaginal delivery. We placed our patient’s interest above any potential financial gain.
 
The story also claimed that the “doctor sneaked out of the hospital”. This is untrue. Two gynaecologists were jointly attending to the patient and when her condition appeared to be stabilizing, one of them left with a plan to return after a short while. And when he was contacted that the patient’s condition was deteriorating, he immediately made his way back to the hospital and later proceeded to the hospital where the patient was referred to support the family. He left the referral hospital after he was physically assaulted by the patient’s husband.
 
We care very passionately about the health and lives of our patients. The hospital is well equipped and adequately staffed. The hospital is fully accredited by the relevant statutory authorities. We are very sorrowful about losing this patient. The death of any young person is regrettable and must be guarded against. We have handled many difficult cases successfully in the past and did our best in this situation. But we also are humble to recognize that doctors and nurses may care, it is God that heals and that despite human best effort, death may still occur.
We are greatly distressed and saddened by the death of this young woman who had been our patient for over 5 years and had her 2 babies successfully under our care. Our hearts and prayers are with the family. We pray that God in His infinite mercy will comfort them and grant them the grace and strength to bear this great loss. We pray that the almighty God will take care of the children and the family she has left behind.

 

Source: pmexpress

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