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We Can’t Restructure Nigeria Without Tackling Tribalism, Nepotism —Jonathan |The Republican News

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan: we can’t restructure Nigeria without tackling tribalism and nepotism

■ We can’t restructure Nigeria without tackling tribalism, nepotism — Jonathan

■ 1999 Constitution, fraudulent — Ayo Adebanjo

■ How Nigeria can be restructured — Nnia Nwodo

■ Nigeria has worst model of federalism globally — Jega

By Henry Umoru & Luminous Jannamike

Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday differed with immediate past President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, Afenifere chieftain Ayo Adebanjo and former chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, over the restructuring of the country.

While Jonathan said Nigeria can’t be restructured without first tackling challenges that polarise the country, such as tribalism and nepotism, Nwodo, Adebanjo, Jega insisted it remained the only way out of the country’s myriad social, economic and political problems.

Jonathan, in his opening remarks as chairman of Daily Trust 18th Dialogue in Abuja yesterday, said the restructuring of Nigeria into 12 states by Yakubu Gowon at the outset of the civil war was to protect it from disintegration.

He said Nigerians have intensified the calls for restructuring because the federal system of governance handed to the country by the British could no longer accommodate the complexities of the nation.

The former president said he believes that the amalgamation of northern and southern Nigeria was not the problem but the divisive politics that had greatly affected the nation’s unity.

Jonathan, who asked Nigerians to first restructure their minds, noted that restructuring alone might not address all the challenges in the system.

He said:  “Within these six decades, our political space has assumed many colourations. We have gone from 12 regions to 36 states and 774 local government councils and moved away from when the different regions had different arrangements to manage the local government level to a unified local government system across the country.

“Yet, all that do not seem to have provided the answer to the questions of the administrative structure of our country and how best it should be governed.  As president, I had the privilege of celebrating our nation’s golden jubilee in 2010 and the centenary of our amalgamation in 2014.

“When we were to celebrate these milestones, some Nigerians saw our intention, arguing that the amalgamation was faulty. They insisted there were no reasons to celebrate because they believe the amalgamation has not helped the growth of our country.

“My belief is that all nations have their unique history; the amalgamation is not the problem in my belief, rather, there was too much emphasis on divisive politics and this has greatly affected our nation’s unity.

“As a country, we have our peculiar challenges and should devise means of solving them but we should not continue to tilt our spleen on the amalgamation.  My conviction is that discussion on restructuring will not help except we restructure our minds because some of the challenging issues at the national level still exist at the state and local levels.

“How do we restructure to make sure that those things don’t happen again? This shows restructuring alone may not solve all the anomalies in our system. I believe that restructuring for a better nation is good but there are other fundamental issues we should also address.

“We cannot restructure in isolation without tackling the challenges that polarise our nation. These include nepotism, ethnic and religious differences as well as lack of patriotism. The issues of tribe and religion have continued to limit our unity and progress as a nation.”

1999 Constitution, fraudulent — Adebanjo

Disagreeing with the former president at the Dialouge, with the theme, ‘’Restructuring:  Why? When? How?’’, Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said restructuring was the only way the country could get out of its present quagmire.

He said the 1999 constitution was fraudulent and did not articulate the collective will of the people, having been imposed on the nation by the military, stressing that the country must return to the 1960 Independence Constitution when the regions had autonomy.

He said:  “My view is that 1960 and 1963 constitutions gave us more freedom and autonomy which we are all agitating for.  Why we are emphasizing restructuring now? Because the 1999 constitution is fraudulent; it does not represent the choice of the people.

“Interestingly, when we talk of restructuring, some of our friends from the North will say ‘they want to break the country’. But, anyone opposed to true federalism which is restructuring is the one who wants to break the country.

“The question of insecurity the country is facing now is because the governors do not have control over the security agencies in their states. That is what we need to address now.

“Where should the Presidency go in 2023? That is not the question now. The key question is to first keep the country together. Then, let us make the question of presidency constitutional, not gentleman’s agreement.

“Anybody talking about the election without changing this constitution does not love this country.  It is the 1999 constitution that has made Northern Nigerians believe if they don’t support anybody, he or she cannot be president.

“All the agitation about Biafran separation is because they (Igbos) feel excluded under the constitution. I only hope the progressive elements in the North will persuade President Buhari to restructure the country now before everything burns to blazes.

“The Constitution we have now is a fraudulent constitution, it is not our constitution. Most importantly, it has failed, and everybody testified to this fact. It is simply not working.

“To save us from this situation, we must impress upon President Buhari to change the constitution to one that everybody agrees to.”

How Nigeria can be restructured — Nwodo

Aligning with Adebanjo, immediate past President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, made a strong case for restructuring, adding that the 1999 Constitution overthrew the sovereignty of the regions over their natural resources and domestic security and brought about a fall of education standards, economic well being, and a rise in insecurity nationwide.

He said:  “We should restructure because the constitutional history of Nigeria shows that the only constitutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria made by all the ethnic groups in Nigeria, were the 1960 and 1963 Constitutions.

“The 1999 Constitution overthrew the sovereignty of the regions over their natural resources and domestic security unleashing in the process an unprecedented fall of education standards, domestic security, and economic well being.

“We must do all we can to restructure before the next election in 2023 because the level of dissatisfaction in the country as evidenced by the last ENDSARS protest gives one the impression that any delay may lead to a mass boycott or disruption of the next elections to the point that we may have a more serious constitutional crisis of a nation without a government.

“To restructure Nigeria, we need a constitutional conference of all the ethnic groups in Nigeria. To use the current National Assembly as the forum for constitutional amendment grants a tacit recognition of the overthrow of our democratic norms by the enthronement of a military constitution by which they are composed.

“The outcome of the constitutional conference must be subjected to a public plebiscite in which all adult Nigerians should have the right to vote. This process should be open, it should be supervised by international agencies to validate its transparency and thereafter usher new elections based on its provisions and structure.

“This process, in my view will ultimately refocus our country breed a democratic culture that emphasizes more on selfless service rather than individual enrichment, promote genuine unity instead of ethnic bigotry and challenge our capacity to exploit our abundant potentialities to make life more abundant for our people.

“In a restructured Nigeria, northern Nigeria will earn more from food production than other regions. So, must do all we can to restructure before the next civilian election in 2023.”

Nigeria has worst model of federalism globally — Jega

In his remarks, former chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega, also made case for restructuring, noting, however, that restructuring without a corresponding improvement in good governance would not work.

He said:  “Across the world, about 25 countries, which represents 40 percent   of the global population practice the federal system of government.  What is clear is that when you look at the Nigerian context, not only has there been a long military rule but in the 20 years of civilian rule, we have not made significant progress.

“Nigeria is one of the worst models of political accommodation of diversities, power as well as resource sharing.  What account for the difference between Nigeria and other countries with more effective management of their diversity are elite consensus and good governance.

“Bad governance and over concentration of power at the centre is a recipe for disaster.  For its stability, progress, and development as a modern nation-state, Nigeria’s current federal structure needs refinement and improvement or some form of what can be called restructuring.

Earlier in his address, Alhaji Kabiru Yusuf, Chairman of Media Trust Ltd, organizers of the event, recalled that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, while campaigning in 2015, pledged widespread constitutional reforms in the form of true federalism.

Noting that the party even set up a committee, headed by Governor Nasir el-Rufai  of Kaduna Stateto look into the matter, Yusuf said the el-Rufai Committee accepted the idea of restructuring, such as state police, revision of revenue sharing formula and abolition of the third tier of government.

He said the recommendations of the Elrufai-committee were accepted by all the organs of the APC but expressed regret that not much had been heard about the issue since the party won a second term two years ago. (Vanguard News)

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Despite Criticism, FG Signs Nigeria-Niger Republic Rail Project MoU |The Republican News



In what looks like ignoring critics, the Federal Government on Monday announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mota-Engil Group for the construction of the $1.959bn Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail project.

EyewitnessMedia gathered that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while the Managing Director, Mota-Engil, Antonio Gvoea, signed on behalf of the contracting firm.

The $1.96bn Kano-Maradi rail line connects Nigeria and Niger Republic.

The Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojiekwe, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the new railway corridor, located in Northern Nigeria and Maradi in Niger Republic would run through three states.

He outlined the states as include Kano, Jigawa and Katsina, adding that it would go through the territory Niger Republic as far as Maradi.

“Other cities that will be affected by the rail line in Nigeria are Danbatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina and Jibiya,” the FMT said.

It added, “The 283.75km rail line, besides developing freight and passenger transport as it will be integrated with road transport, will make great contribution to the local economy.”

The ministry said the project would also contribute in developing the social sector.

It said the project duration was for 36 months and the contract type was engineering, procurement and construction.

The signing ceremony was also witnessed by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Magdalene Ajani; Director, Legal Services, Pius Oteh; Head of Legal, Mota-Engil Group, Cameron Beverley; and Magajin Garin Kano, Muhammad Wada; among others.

However, pan-Yoruba sociocultural group, Afenifere, kicked against the move, saying that with so much deficit in the country’s transport infrastructure, the government was headed the wrong direction with the rail project.

The Publicity Secretary of, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, told newsmen that many Nigerians were against the move by government to construct the rail line, adding that President Buhari was more interested in constructing a project outside Nigeria than in developing roads within Nigeria.

Odumakin said, “It is an unfortunate development. We know the state of Nigerian roads. We know that our roads are in a very bad shape, for instance, look at the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the roads to the East, to Port Harcourt and the rest of them.

“They are not Buhari’s priority; rather his priority now is the line to Maradi in Niger Republic. They are more interested in their kith and kin who are Fulanis outside Nigeria than in Nigeria itself.”

He added, “It is unfortunate. So the Afenifere and many other Nigerians out there are not in support of this initiative. In fact, how can we support it?”

A Public Affairs analyst, Bala Zakka, argued that it was more economical to decongest Apapa ports than to construct a rail line to its Niger counterpart.

He said, “It would make more sense if you construct a rail line out of Apapa to the hinterland so that trucks can be cleared from Apapa. It is better you take cargoes to Edo State or Osun State than everybody comes into Apapa.

“What would be beneficial to me as a Nigerian is to decongest Apapa via rail than going to Maradi. It is 10 times economical for you have railway out of Apapa to places out of Lagos. This will lead to development in other states.”

The analyst said that the government has continued to ignore the advice of technocrats, and the best time to have dealt with this issue was when it was still itemised for consideration. Zakka said what was left was to wait and see the effects of the policy.

Similarly, a professor of economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, advised the government to focus on cargo now that the deal had been signed.

He said, “Rail project is very important as part of the transport infrastructure. My only worry is that the government is more concerned about passengers than goods. Whereas it is better to have the rail constructed so it can move goods because moving goods via rail is very important.

“It is more important to consider trains that will move cargo which will decongest our roads.

“What the government has been doing has been light rail. Light rail cannot carry cargo and the government is doing light rail. The government must also make sure that whatever is spent on the project is recovered.”

The university don said the best way it can be recovered was via cargo operations. He asked that the government should do a rail for cargo which can be utilised for human beings and goods.

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EXCLUSIVE: Trump Administration Considering Military Action Against Terrorist Groups In Nigeria |The Republican News

President Donald J. Trump

By Editor-in-chief

The United States under the leadership of President Donald Trump is strongly considering a military action against terror groups in Nigeria. This came after several considerations after designating Nigeria as a country of concern in terms of religious freedom and unabated violence which has both religious and ethnic cleansing colouration. And the cold attitude of the Buhari’s government in dealing decisively with these terror groups.

A very reliable source close to The Republican News within an important office in the United States hinted on a plausible consideration for military action against all terrorists groups in Northern Nigeria.

Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

The information is very reliable and the debate that just took place in the US Congress about insecurity caused by these Northern Nigeria based terror groups, namely, Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, Fulani bandits and splinter group of Boko Haram known as ISWAP, further buttressed the hint on possible military action in Nigeria.

The link below is the US Congress debate on insecurity in Nigeria and the impact of such on West Africa and the continental Africa and the rest of the world di to her large demography. They discussed also the need for the United States to do something before it is too late.

Trump administration has earlier designated Nigeria as a country of particular concern, CPC, for religious freedom. This is the first time Nigeria is being added to the list which paves way for potential sanctions if the country does not improve its record. But the administration is now going further to discuss possible military action due to few reasons that are of great concern to them.

Like US foreign Secretary, Pompeo said recently, “No country or entity should be allowed to persecute people with impunity because of their beliefs. These annual designations show that when religious freedom is attacked, we will act.”

Some of the reasons of concern is the inability of Buhari’s administration to bring any members of these terrorist groups to book after series of heinous crimes against humanity. So, the Trump administration believes that there is some element of complicity and some degree of approval of these crimes by the government.

Another concern, which was buttressed by the debate by United States Congress is the possibility or danger of full-blown civil conflict, which judging by the demographic capacity of Nigeria, would cause huge human catastrophe that would overwhelm, west Africa and the entire continent. So, they are very worried of the impact of refugees influx that not only would overwhelm Africa, would touch on Europe and the United States for obvious reasons.

Further on their concern is the danger of the newly formed splinter group from Boko Haram terrorists, which has allegiance to ISIS and known as ISWAP. Islamic State West African Province, ISWAP poses serious threat in that they are very capable of exporting their terror to the United States and its allies. So, this is of serious concern to the administration of Trump.

It is not known at the time of this report, the nature of this possible military action and how long it would last. Another fact is would this administration military action be considered by Joe Biden administration if he is finally considered the winner of the last election? Could we see the United States military stay too longer to completely deal with all the terror groups in Northern Nigeria or would it be a swift military action to downgrade their capacity to attack? Either way, many Nigerians especially those civilians in the North, would welcome such action.

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Nigeria Is At Risk Of Becoming A Failed State —Financial Times |The Republican News

Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

■ With kidnapping and insecurity rife, the government needs to restore trust
  

by The editorial board

More than 300 Nigerian schoolboys were reunited with their families last weekend, days after they had been abducted by kidnappers from their dormitory in the country’s north-west. The kidnapping revived memories of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls abducted in Borno state in 2014. Just as then, Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group, claimed responsibility.

The government insists no ransom was paid. Scepticism is warranted. In a country going backwards economically, carjacking, kidnapping and banditry are among Nigeria’s rare growth industries. Just as the boys were going home, Nigerian pirates abducted six Ukrainian sailors off the coast.

The definition of a failed state is one where the government is no longer in control. By this yardstick, Africa’s most populous country is teetering on the brink.

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 pronounced Boko Haram “technically defeated”. That has proved fanciful. Boko Haram has remained an ever-present threat. If the latest kidnapping turns out to be its work, it would mark the spread of the terrorist group from its north-eastern base. Even if the mass abduction was carried out by “ordinary” bandits — as now looks possible — it underlines the fact of chronic criminality and violence. Deadly clashes between herders and settled farmers have spread to most parts of Nigeria. In the oil-rich, but impoverished, Delta region, extortion through the sabotage of pipelines is legendary.

Extortion is a potent symbol for a state whose modus operandi is the extraction of oil revenue from central coffers to pay for a bloated, ruinously inefficient, political elite. Security is not the only area where the state is failing. Nigeria has more poor people, defined as those living on less than $1.90 a day, than any other country, including India. In non-Covid-19 years, one of every five children in the world out of school lives in Nigeria, many of them girls.

The population, already above 200m, is growing at a breakneck 3.2 per cent a year. The economy has stalled since 2015 and real living standards are declining. This year, the economy will shrink 4 per cent after Covid-19 dealt a further blow to oil prices. In any case, as the world turns greener, the elite’s scramble for oil revenue will become a game of diminishing returns. The country desperately needs to put its finances, propped up by foreign borrowing, on a sounder footing.

In its three remaining years, the government of Mr Buhari must seek to draw a line in the sand. It must redouble efforts to get a grip on security. It also needs to restore trust in key institutions, among them the judiciary, the security services and the electoral commission, which will preside over the 2023 elections.

More than that, Nigeria needs a generational shift. The broad coalition that found political expression this year in the EndSARS movement against police brutality provides a shard of optimism. At least Nigeria has a relatively stable democracy. Now Nigeria’s youth — creative, entrepreneurial and less tainted by the politics of extraction — should use that system to reset the country’s narrative.

A new, slimmed-down state — ideally one with fewer, bankrupt regional assemblies — must concentrate on the basics: security, health, education, power and roads. With those public goods in place, Nigeria’s young people are more than capable of turning the country round. At the present trajectory, the population will double to 400m by 2050. If nothing is done, long before then, Nigeria will become a problem far too big for the world to ignore.

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BREAKING NEWS: UK Parliament Invokes Sanctions On Nigerian Officials Over Lekki Shooting |The Republican News

British House of Commons

In an outright condemnation of police brutality and killing of unarmed protesters, members of the U.K Parliament on Monday unanimously called for selected sanctions against Nigerian government officials and military officers who participated in human rights violation during the #EndSARS protest.

The debate which was based on an e-petition calling for sanctions against the Nigerian government signed by over 200,000 was supported by all parliamentarian when it was deliberated at the Westminster Hall on Monday evening.

All chamber members spoke across ideological divides to condemn the U.K. Government for standing neutral while the Nigerian government violated young protesters.

Citing the shootings at Lekki, Oyigbo, Delta as well as the unjust victimization of protesters after the protest and the freezing of protesters accounts, parliamentarians described President Buhari’s administration as nothing short of a dictatorship.

Members agreed that state actors and their family members should not have access to the freedom, liberty and security they deny their citizens at home in the UK.

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How Abacha, Abiola Died: Susan Rice Gives Account, Says Many In Nigeria Think She Killed Abiola |RN

MKO Abiola, Gen. Sani Abacha

‘To this day, many people in Nigeria think I killed him.’

That was the opening line in the riveting account of the last hour of the late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola as told by Ambassador Susan Rice. She was one of the visiting American diplomats in whose presence the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election died on 7th July 1998. More significantly, Rice was the one who served Abiola the famous last tea. For the past 22 years, the former National Security Adviser to President Barack Obama has refrained from speaking on what exactly happened that day. But in her memoir, “TOUGH LOVE: My story of the things worth fighting for”, Rice recounts not only how Abiola died but also confirmed the street gossip about the last hour of the late General Sani Abacha.

In the memoir, Rice also recounts how she was conceived in Lagos during the two years her parents spent in Nigeria at a time her father was helping in the establishment of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after independence. As the American diplomat with Africa as her brief, Rice also recalls many of the crises on the continent, especially the one that eventually led to the death of Col Muammar Ghadafi in Libya and the encounters she had at different times with African leaders, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo who on one occasion was “nonchalantly hurling well-picked chicken bones—much to our amusement—backward over his shoulders across the presidential suite.” Now, let’s begin with the story of one of the most momentous periods in Nigeria’s political history from Rice, a former US Ambassador to the United Nations: The death of Abacha and Abiola.

In early July 1998, I traveled to Nigeria with Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Pickering, who was then among the most senior career Foreign Service Officers. As assistant secretary of state for African Affairs, I had gotten to know Pickering, my immediate boss, as a wise, fast-talking, and deeply knowledgeable diplomat. Having served as ambassador to six major countries and the United Nations, Pickering had seen and heard almost everything. The purpose of our trip to Nigeria was to encourage a responsible political transition. The nasty former dictator, Sani Abacha, had died a month earlier in the company of prostitutes. Viagra was reportedly involved. His interim successor was a moderate leader, Abdulsalami Abubakar, who hoped to shepherd Nigeria through a democratic election to select its new leader.

A primary objective of our visit was to meet the wrongfully imprisoned opposition leader, Moshood Abiola. He was the presumed winner of Nigeria’s 1993 election, but the results were annulled, and he was later arrested. We hoped to negotiate his freedom so that he could participate in the upcoming election.

Along with Pickering and U.S ambassador to Nigeria Bill Twadell, I met Mr. Abiola in an austere government guesthouse on the vast presidential complex in the capital, Abuja. A large and imposing man, Abiola came with his minder shortly after we arrived. Pickering, a former ambassador to Nigeria, knew Abiola from years past and greeted him warmly. Abiola, robust and happy to see us, sat on the couch and began to tell us how poorly he had been treated during his four years in prison. He was wearing sandals and multilayered traditional Nigerian dress. I noted that his ankles were swollen.

About five minutes into the conversation, Abiola started to cough, at first mildly and intermittently, and then wrackingly with consistency. He said he was hot, so I asked his dutiful minder, “Please turn up the air-conditioning.” Noticing a tea service on the table between us, I offered Abiola, “Would you like some tea to help calm your cough?”

“Yes,” he said, with appreciation, and I poured him a cup. He sipped it, but continued coughing. Increasingly uncomfortable, Abiola removed his outer layer, leaving one layer on top. I shot Pickering a worried glance.

The coughing became dramatic. I told the assembled men, “I think we better call for a doctor.” No one argued. The minder immediately placed the call. Abiola asked to be excused and went into the bathroom of our meeting room. When he emerged, he was bare-chested and sweating profusely, barely able to talk. He lay down on the couch writhing and then rolled facedown onto the floor. The doctor arrived promptly, took a quick look at him, and declared that Abiola was having a heart attack and must be transported to the hospital immediately. The men labored to lift the heavy Abiola into a small car, and we rushed to the nearby, rudimentary presidential hospital. I grabbed his eye-glasses off of a side table where he left them, his only belonging, thinking of his daughter Hafsat in the U.S whom I’d met before we left. The doctors worked on him, furiously, but within an hour they pronounced him dead.

We braced for violence. Abiola’s sudden and mysterious death would hit like a bombshell in Nigeria’s political tinderbox. Conspiracy theories would spread like metastatic cancer. Serious unrest throughout Nigeria was possible. Washington would hyperventilate, since it’s not every day a major figure drops dead with senior U.S officials. His family would need to be told. And, urgently, Nigeria’s acting president would have to hear directly from us, even though his minister was present at the hospital and knew how it went down.

Ambassador Twadell panicked and urged me and Pickering to rush to the airport and leave the country immediately. “Hell no,” we said. This delicate situation required deft management, not a hurried exit in a cloud of suspicion.

Right away, I called National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, my former boss, briefed him, and dictated a White House press release. Then we went to the Nigerian presidential palace to relay the entire drama to the acting president. We urged him to issue a careful statement to announce the establishment of an autopsy by international experts, in order to quell rife speculation and limit the potential violence. The acting president did both.

Next, Pickering, Twadell, and I went with former Nigerian Foreign Minister Baba Kingibe to see Abiola’s wives and daughters. All of us walked in together, but soon I realized that I was effectively alone in the room with these distraught women. The men had hung far back and left the job to me—just like the pouring of the tea. I proceeded to explain that their husband/father was dead. He had died of an apparent heart attack that began in our meeting. The doctors did all they could to save him but could not. The ladies’ wailing was so intense, it haunts me to this day.

We briefed the press, and I returned to the U.S embassy to write the official cable to report what had happened. As a senior official, I almost never wrote up cables summarizing meetings but in this case there was no more efficient way to ensure we got this very important history straight.

As I was typing, I heard in the distance on the CNN a familiar voice of indignation. It was none other than the Reverend Jesse Jackson, then serving as President Clinton’s special envoy for the promotion of democracy in Africa. Reverend Jackson served capably in this role, and with good intentions, but on this occasion, I could have throttled him. He was riffling about how Abiola died under suspicious circumstances in a meeting with U.S. officials. I could not believe my ears—our own guy implying we were killers! Immediately, I placed a call to his longtime aide Yuri and asked them to shut the Reverend down. “Please, just get him off the set.” That happened, even as I was still watching the segment.

We stayed overnight in Nigeria to try to calm things, offer any needed assistance to the government, and make an orderly departure. Fortunately, despite deep public upset, no significant violence occurred. The autopsy eventually confirmed the cause of death as a heart attack. Nonetheless, it was Nigeria where conspiracy theories abound. The most popular, which still has currency over twenty years later, is that I killed Abiola by pouring him poisoned tea.

From that experience, I found that being a woman policymaker comes with unique hazards. The men would not have offered, much less thought, to pour the tea. They may have swiftly called for a doctor. They may not have been able to break the bad news to the wives. Not for the first time, it was I, not they, who took the public fall for a crime nobody committed.

NOTE: Rice also wrote a brief on her Nigerian connection:

Almost immediately after their wedding, my parents moved to Lagos, Nigeria, where Dad had been sent by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as a research advisor to help establish the Central Bank of Nigeria in the wake of the country’s independence. Mom took leave from the College Board and worked for the Ford Foundation as an educational specialist for West Africa. Their two years in Nigeria, punctuated by travel around West Africa and Europe, were, by all accounts, enjoyable. They amassed an impressive collection of Nigerian art, including valuable sculptures that were a visual fixture of my upbringing.
I was conceived in Nigeria. Toward the end of their stay, Mom became pregnant with me, and I have long amused myself with the hypothesis that my origins in Nigeria, combined with my Irish and Jamaican ancestors, explain a lot both about my temperament and attraction to all things international. (Factnote)

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Britain: Time To Dismantle The Nigerian Contraption |The Republican News

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

By Agency Report

The Prime Minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson has a choice either to make history or follow the dehumanizing history of his forebears for lumping Northern Nigeria and  Southern Nigeria Protectorate together, against the people’s volition in a forceful Amalgamation in 1914 by Lord Frederick Lugard.

Devoid of cathartic memories, the solemn event marked the divorce of the union from the very beginning.

Boris Johnson would be doing so either by reversing the travesty of history – should I say the tragedy of history – choreographed by his progeny who colonised and forcibly coerced the people into a nation without identities or solidarized with the people in their current quest to extricate themselves from the shackles and manacles of Northern domination.

By siding with the #EndNigeria protests tweaking globally, it’s important that the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, the Queen of England and the entire country leadership add their voices to that of a traumatized Nigerian generation of youths calling for an end to the marriage of convenient contracted by the British Colonial Masters.

Boris Johnson would be healing the wounds consciously and peniciously inflicted on the dehumanized people  occupying a troubled space in order to avert the coming anarchy.

The Prime Minister mustn’t be ignorant of the fact that the country he’s presiding over now once played an ignoble role by viciously hobbling together diverse cultures; traditional ethos, religions and their ancillary totems, tongues without similitude in lifestyle and social heritage or orientation.

Aside, Mr. Boris Johnson owes it an obligation to stand up and be counted, not only as the Prime Minister of Great Britain alone but so much as a global leader who must not avert his gaze away from a formerly colonised nation by his country.

It’s evidence that General Muhammadu Buhari has literally empowered the Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani marauding herdsmen beasts and the bloodthirsty bandits in his own part of the country to overrun southern part of Nigeria who are predominantly Christians.

Boris Johnson


Androitly, General Muhammadu Buhari and his hallelujah boys have been seeking escape routes in clumping roads. They have been throwing spit into the air and collecting it with their faces. They have been down playing the slaughtering of innocent citizenry in their thousands on the basis of religious beliefs, ethnocentric differences and unremitting brutality against those calling for the dissolution of the Nigerian State.

But the Nigerian President and his minders have refused to ask themselves a subtler question: Is unbending confrontation, castigation of patriotic citizens or brutalizing the nation’s youths more effective in achieving the desired changes the people are clamouring for? Each time I point out the figures of Boko Haram insurgents’, Fulani herdsmen terrorists’ and the dreaded bandits’ victims operating in the Northern parts of the country’s, their first instinct is usually to question the anecdotal evidence and reject the credibility of the data.

The global community is aware that General Buhari’s Presidency, as a matter of official policy, has legitimized falsehood. As I write, one twelfth of Katsina State citizens, General Buhari’s home state are in IDPs camps, dislodged by Boko Haram terrorists.

Yet, Buhari is releasing the arrested Boko Haram terrorists back to the society in the name of ‘repentance’! He even released fund for their foreign education, a strategy that encouraged Northern youths to be enlisted into Boko Haram terrorist groups.

The Prime Minister should spare a thought about the Great Britain being forcefully yoked together in an unwholesome amalgamation between Great Britain, Germany, France and England of different nationalities being one country.

I know it would be in utter horror for the Prime Minister to subscribe to such banal rape of social existence and violation of the code of human cohabitation.

The Great Britain did just that by lumping together Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, Edos, Efik and the over five hundred other ethnic nationalities in one country.

The British Government ignominiously ensured in the late 1960s that the attempt of the Igbos to break away and forge their own destiny was thwarted.

If homogeneity and self preservation isn’t important the British would not have voted in the Brexit standoff for its independence and economic separation from the rest of the European countries.

The Nigerian youths have come to the realization that Nigeria need to hold her own Vienna Conference to settle the matter of real nationalities and national boundaries. Nigerians are now awake to reset and reshape a dysfunctional political structure inherited from the British colonial masters and do away with the insane and midnight birth of Nigerian amalgamation in 1914.

Mr. Boris Johnson has been put on notice by this reminder that the amalgamation document Lord Frederick Lugard signed on January 1, 1914, as the governor of both the Northern Nigeria Protectorate and the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria consolidating the two countries as one, followed by declaration of Nigeria as an independent state, forty-six years later in 1960, has expired since 2014.

The #EndSARS and #EndNigeria protests are spontaneous revolutionary movements presently convulsing General Buhari’s Presidency to its foundation. The British Government has a choice to either rewrite and reinvent her own chequered history of romanticizing with banality and the deliberate asphyxiation of the Nigerian people or remains stoically impervious to her perfidious preoccupations of letting humanity down.

(Source: The Nation)

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Igbo Apprenticeship System Reason Others Resent The Igbo Because They Kept It To Themselves —Aisha Yusufu

Aisha Yusufu

Nigerian activist, Aisha Yesufu has stirred up a debate on Twitter after sharing her opinion that the Igbo apprenticeship system have contributed to why many people from other tribes resent Igbos.

It is given that the age long Igbo apprenticeship system has produced a lot of multimillionaires of Igbo extraction to the wonder of many from other tribes.

The Igbo apprenticeship system allows a businessman take a young person to learn about his business and eventually get settled (given start-up capital) after an agreed period of time, which usually lasts between 5 to 7 years. During the service period, the younger person (servant) serves the businessman (master) while learning the business.

The Igbos have used the system to build themselves and relatives into renowned business men and women even where apprentices have little, or no formal education.

A Twitter user had said: “The Igbo’s apprenticeship program is the only ‘MBA’ class in the world that teaches the real intricacies of running a business, the practical application of SWOT and PESTEL analysis. And when you graduate, they’ll give you seed capital to start the business. A system that works.”

In replying the tweet, Aisha Yesufu pointed out that “The Igbo apprenticeship is an amazing system and the reason Igbos are great in business.”

However, she went on to say that “Everything has it’s advantage and disadvantage and that same system has also portrayed Igbos as clannish people who only employ their own people and never assimilate”

Her tweets opened up a debate as she went on to state that the apprenticeship system have contributed to Igbos been resented the same way Jews are resented.

She went on; “These are my opinions and thoughts over the years and I might be completely wrong but this is how I see it

“There is a need to take a deliberate look at the Igbo apprenticeship system & begin to look at ways of inclusion. It can start with 5% inclusion of others. When you always go to your village to bring those that will work for you how do you expect the people where you are to feel?

“Just like the Jews, Igbos are resented & I have always wondered why? Is it because they are successful and can achieve anything from nothing? Is it the resilience? I concluded it is because it seems no matter how long they stay with you or you with them you are never one in biz

“A situation where as a business person you only employ your people via the apprenticeship model & no matter how long you stay in a place you never employ the indigenes there except to load and off load. there will be resentment. More if it is not one off experience but the norm

“The Jews too have that trait. Family businesses. Helping each other grow in business and capacity to gang up(if na one naira na one naira) on business issues are common traits shared by both Igbos and Jews. The others feel like outsiders not allowed to share in the goodness

“Systems are to be looked at and upgraded from time to time. It is also important to look at how things are perceived by others. You don’t have to change but just know this is how this action is seen by others

“In all the riots I witnessed as a child, I always say it is more economical than religion. Host community usually think it is the others that kept them impoverished. They feel those monies would have been theirs if these people weren’t there. People don’t blame their lazy selves.

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Chevron Nigeria To Fire 25% Of Employees To Reduce Cost |The Republican News

‘Femi Asu

Chevron Nigeria Limited has said it will slash its workforce by 25 per cent as it is reviewing its manpower requirements in the light of the changing business environment.

CNL disclosed this on Friday in a statement entitled ‘Chevron Nigeria Limited reviews workforce in accordance with business exigencies’.

The oil major said it would continue to evaluate opportunities to improve capital efficiency and reduce operating costs.

CNL’s General Manager Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Esimaje Brikinn, said, “The aim is to have a business that is competitive and have an appropriately sized organisation with improved processes.

“This will increase efficiency and effectiveness, retain value, reduce cost, and generate more revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

According to him, the new organisational structures will, unfortunately, require approximately 25 per cent reduction in the work force across the various levels of the organisation.

“It is important to note that all our employees will retain their employment until the reorganisation process is completed,” Brikinn said.

He said there were no plans to migrate Nigerian jobs outside the country.

He said, “We have prospects for our company in Nigeria; however, we must make the necessary adjustments in light of the prevailing business climate; and we need everyone’s support to get through these tough times stronger, more efficient and more profitable, in order to sustain the business.

“We are actively engaging our workforce to ensure they understand why this is being done. We will continue to consistently engage all relevant stakeholders, including the leadership of the employee unions as we continue this process of business optimisation.” (Punch)

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Auschwitz Memorial Director, Cywinski Offers To Share Nigerian Boy’s Blasphemy Jail Term |RN

Auschwitz Memorial Director, Piotr Cywinski

Nigerian boy Omar Farouq has been sentenced to 10 years for blasphemy by a Sharia court. Now the head of the Auschwitz Memorial is offering to serve part of the sentence, slamming it as “disgraceful” for humanity.

The head of the Auschwitz Memorial in Poland has urged Nigeria’s president to pardon a 13-year-old boy who was jailed on blasphemy charges — even volunteering to serve part of the prison term himself.

Piotr Cywinski urged Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the case of Omar Farouq. The teenager was accused of making blasphemous statements about Allah in an argument with a friend and was sentenced last month by a Sharia court in northwestern Kano state to 10 years in prison.

Cywinski said that if the president couldn’t grant Farouq clemency, then 120 adult volunteers, “myself personally among them,” should each serve a month in a Nigerian prison in the boy’s place.

As the director of the Auschwitz Memorial at the site of the German Nazi extermination camp, “where children were imprisoned and murdered, I cannot remain indifferent to this disgraceful sentence for humanity,” Cywinski said in the letter, which was posted to the memorial’s Twitter account.

“He should not be subject to the loss of the entirety of his youth, be deprived of opportunities and stigmatized … for the rest of his life.”

Two spokesmen for Nigeria’s president declined to comment on Cywinski’s unusual appeal on Saturday.

Baba Jibo Ibrahim, a spokesman for the Kano State Judiciary, told Reuters he had not seen the letter, but said the president had the power to pardon the boy.

UN slams sentence

The blasphemy jail sentence has been widely condemned by rights groups, with UN children’s agency UNICEF accusing Nigeria of violating international accords.

Nigeria, with its population of 206 million, is deeply divided along religious lines. The majority of Nigerian Muslims live in the north while the Christians are concentrated in the south. 

Blasphemy against Islam carries a death penalty in the 12 Nigerian states that apply Sharia law, although executions are rarely carried out. Some offenders have had their limbs amputated under the religious law.

The Auschwitz Memorial commemorates the victims of Germany’s Nazi forces at the Auschwitz concentration camp. More than a million people, most of them Jews, were murdered at the site during World War II.

Source: Deutsche Welle

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