Pointblank News http://pointblanknews.com/pbn ...Just the news Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:36:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6.1 Women Groups Condemn Abuja Bombing and Abduction of School Girls in Borno http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/women-groups-condemn-abuja-bombing-and-abduction-of-school-girls-in-borno/ http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/women-groups-condemn-abuja-bombing-and-abduction-of-school-girls-in-borno/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:36:04 +0000 Our Reporter http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/?p=25506
  • WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014.
  • The Women Arise for Change Initiatives and the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) in a statement jointly signed by the Leaders of the two groups; Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin and Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, condemn in strong terms, the continued terror attacks on Nigerians and call on the government of the day to live up to her responsibility of protecting lives and properties within the republic.
  • The duo made this call yesterday, while responding to the most recent bomb blast on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital Abuja, which killed scores of people during rush hour on Monday morning, several dead bodies were seen all over the scene of the blast few minutes after the explosion, turning the park to a gory site. As at yesterday, over 71 people were reported dead with about 130 receiving treatment at various hospitals in the FCT.
  • Beyond this incident on the 14th April 2014, 100 young school girls were also  abducted in Borno State.  In condemning the attack, the two rights activists accused the Goodluck Jonathan Government of failing to successfully address  the insurgency  while warning politicians across divides to stop playing politics with human lives .
  • According to Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, ‘Innocent Nigerians are being killed on daily basis, We cannot continue to fold our hands as citizens, Nigerian citizens must hold the government accountable for the numerous killings and wanton waste of lives of innocent citizens.’
  • As noted further by Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi ‘ the government has the responsibility to protect human lives within its territory. Thus it is critical for the government to do all within her power to ensure that these killings stop; armed conflict retard economic growth and limits the enjoyment of human rights, therefore, should not be tolerated in any form by the government’.
  • The two groups further condemn the terrorists for the abduction of the 200 girls and their continued target of innocent women, children and girls; stating that ‘ Women and girls have been victims of these conflicts.  The insurgency has exposed this group of people to destitution, physical and mental insecurity. We are concerned that when women and girls are abducted in this manner during conflict, they are often exposed to untold hardships of sexual violence and bodily assault as part of the spoils of war.’
  • Nigeria has adopted the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and 1820 which address, amongst others things, the need for state parties to take steps to prevent further violations of women’s rights in conflict situations, and to protect and ensure women’s participation in post-conflict reconstruction processes. We call on the government to derive methodology to protect women and children in conflict areas.
  • We also demand that the government ensure the release of these innocent girls and others that have been abducted by the terrorists in the past.
  • Thank you.
  • Dr. Joe Okei- Odumakin.                           Dr Abiola Akiode Afolabi
  • Women Arise.                                  WARDC
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APC Blasts Jonathan, Calls Him Insensitive http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/exclusive/apc-blasts-jonathan-calls-him-insensitive/ http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/exclusive/apc-blasts-jonathan-calls-him-insensitive/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:30:56 +0000 Our Reporter http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/?p=25503 The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said President Goodluck Jonathan
is exhibiting the traits of an insensitive and utterly hardhearted leader
by returning to his illegal campaign trail, barely 24 hours after 75 of
his compatriots died in a bomb blast in Abuja, and as news broke that 200
school girls have been abducted by Boko Haram in Borno.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by its Interim National
Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also renewed its call
on the President to urgently convene a
stakeholders’ summit and
pursue a nonpartisan approach towards ending the insurgency, as it is now
very obvious that the challenge posed by it is beyond the capacity of the
government.

It said the President’s quick return to the hustings was reprehensible and
has shown that his visit to the scene of the blast was merely to avoid the
kind of flak he has received for refusing to visit Yobe, where 43 school
children were massacred recently, rather than a genuine show of sympathy
by a truly compassionate leader.

”The message that President Jonathan is sending to Nigerians is that
keeping his plum job, at all cost, is more important to him than the
security and welfare of the same people who voted him into office.
Otherwise, the President would not have rushed back to his illegal
campaign trail at a time he should be leading the nation in mourning the
dead.

”A President who said his ambition is not worth the blood of anyone is now
dancing gleefully on the graves of over 70 of his compatriots. What is so
important about the illegal campaign stop in Kano on Tuesday that could
not have waited for the smoke to clear from the scene of the deadly blast
on Monday? Who will President Jonathan rule over when his countrymen and
women are being daily mowed down under his watch?

”Without mincing words, President Jonathan erred badly by not showing
enough sympathy for the victims of Monday’s blast. More people died in the
blast than from Kenya’s mall shooting last September, yet President Uhuru
Kenyatta declared three days of national mourning during which flags at
public buildings flew at half mast and the people of Kenya prayed for the
dead and the injured.

”In 2012, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari ordered the immediate postponement of all
activities long planned to mark his 70th birthday, following the death in
a helicopter crash of Gen. Azazi, Gov. Yakowa and others in a helicopter
crash in Bayelsa. Such is the stuff of a great leader.

The party urged President Jonathan, as a father, a leader and a human
being, to take a moment of deep introspection, to reflect on his actions,
adding: ”Perhaps he will realize that long after the glitz of office would
have dimmed and the retinue of lick-spittle aides would have vanished, a
leader would be remembered more for his humanity than his vanities.”

APC said it was imperative for the President to hearken to the voice of
reason because his aides and party officials, desperate not to be pushed
off the gravy train, would rather blame everyone but the President and
themselves for the woes that have befallen Nigeria under
the
President’s watch.

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Nigerian Rebasing And The Making Of A Phantom Economy http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/nigerian-rebasing-and-the-making-of-a-phantom-economy/ http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/nigerian-rebasing-and-the-making-of-a-phantom-economy/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:29:36 +0000 Our Reporter http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/?p=25496 And so storm tossed and weather beaten Nigerians woke up on Saturday, April to hear from the figure crunchers that people her so-called economic bureaucracy that it is the biggest economy in Africa, the 26th biggest in the whole wide world (as my little kids are wont to put it).  They pinched themselves in expectation that just by the same stroke of miracle that transformed the shamble they have as an economy overnight, their worsening fortunes may take an upward review. They know that it is no mean issue to be the biggest economy in Africa and the 26th biggest in the world. So they were right in expecting that their plunging fortunes in the hands of rapacious share-reapers that pass off as Nigerian leaders, will improve. But their hopes for relief from the unending economic siege they have been going through were sealed by the same figure crunchers who told them not to expect anything new from the dreary and miserable lives they have been living even in the face of continued flow of oil resources.
Hear the guy that heralded this overnight miracle, Yemi Kale, the head of Nigerian Bureau of Statistics “Rebasing does not change what was already there, it’s just about measuring better and more accurately, It does not mean that within 24 hours something miraculous has happened.”  In other words, our economy achieved a miraculous 24 hours turn around while our fates will continue to dwindle?  Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the leading figure cruncher and the Minister of Finance was to drive this truth further home when she told Nigerians not to expect any change in their pitiable standard of living but that the end of the fangled statistics was to make investors look Nigeria’s way. So all it needs any economy desiring foreign investment is to churn out huge figures and pronto, investors will come hurtling down? However this optimism about investors suddenly reversing their negative outlook on Nigeria was quickly rebuffed by the World Bank, which, seeing through the phantom script from where this econometrick was drawn, told Nigerians that the bogus claim of being the biggest economy does not drive investment. The World Bank President was to drive the points home few days later when he stated that Nigeria is the country with the third highest rate of poverty in the world, hosting 17 per cent of the total world’s poor after India and China. You can understand with China and India with over one billion people each but with Nigeria with just a bloated 170 million hosting a huge 17 per cent of the world’s poor? Let us remember that the same World Bank had reported earlier that over 100 million Nigerians are living on below N300 a day!
So how can’t the largest economy in Africa impact on the people so that they stop living the humiliating lives of world leading economic refugees who can do just anything to escape from a fabled fast growing economy, are so disrespected to the extent that Nigerians are perhaps the most abhorred people on earth? How can’t such a miraculous stroke of fortune translate to a more secured life for poverty-wracked Nigerians?
For me, I wanted to be sure of my facts before I question the ludicrous statistics that birthed this sham. I goggled for the ten biggest banks in Africa and no bank in Nigeria came up. In fact, the first four biggest banks in Africa were South African Banks; Standard Bank Group, ABSA Group, First Rand, Nedbank. Yes, the same South Africa we have displaced through witchcraft and voodoo as the biggest economy in Africa? Something is wrong somewhere.  The rest six richest banks were spread like this; two in Egypt, two in Morocco, one in South Africa and one in Algeria? Where was Nigeria? So where is its miraculous wealth domiciled?
I goggled for the top ten biggest companies in Africa and lo and behold, none was Nigerian. Top on the list was an Algerian company, Sonatrach, followed by an Angolan company, Sonangal. The remaining eight, Sasol, MTN Group, The Bidvest Group, Eskom, Shoprite Holding, Sanlam, Vodacom Group, Imperial Holdings, are all South Africans! So what really drives the fabled growth of the Nigerian economy? Public stealing, corruption, kidnapping, armed robbery? The jury is still out but soon and very soon, the bubble will burst.
I goggled the top ten universities in Africa for sound and quality education drives a healthy and strong economy. I found out that it is a two-legged race between South Africa and Egypt. Nigeria was clearly lost in the race. Egypt has four of the top ten Universities in Africa; Cairo University (1st), Ains Shams University (8th), Alexandria University (9th), Mansoura University (10th). South Africa has six of the ten best universities in Africa; University of Cape Town (2nd), University of Pretoria (3rd), Universiteit Stallenboach (4th), University of the Witwatersrand (5th), University of the Western Cape (6th). Nigeria only featured at the 26th spot (Obafemi Awolowo University), followed by University of Lagos (39th).
I went to the power sector and lo and behold, the very South African economy we just displaced generates 47, 700 megawatts of electricity while Nigeria has for the fifteen awful years of the PDP misrule been oscillating like a jinxed retard between 1,000 megawatts and 3,000 megawatts. Last year, we remember this government that is so much in love with crunching flattering figures, boasted that it will generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity by June and up it to 10,000 megawatts by December 2013. Today, we are in April and the current generation level of Nigeria hovers just above 2,000 megawatts which has thrown a greater part of the country to complete darkness for most of the year! So what drives the much hackneyed growth of the Nigerian economy? Darkness? Perhaps the only such case in the world!
For purposes of brevity, I am restricting myself to these certain, measurable and verifiable indices of wealth and economic growth in seeking answers, like millions of bemused Nigerians to the many loose ends trailing the so called rebasing of the economy. Pray, what are the drivers of the fabled growth of the Nigerian economy? Poverty? Insecurity? Unemployment? Darkness? Corruption? Which driver is behind these miraculous developments? For a country that has no idea what its real population, the number of jobless citizens, the poor, those in and out of school are, a nation that does not know how much fuel it consumes, imports or even sells, how did it arrive at the present figure it is hurling so embarrassingly on a world that knows the huge sham contents of our national governance?
Coming to the real facts, are we now expecting that with Nigeria rated by the statisticians at Nigeria Bureau of Statistics as the largest economy in Africa, is it not right and proper for Nigerians to stop besieging the South African embassy and the embassies of just every country to escape from the hell hole thieving leaders have made of Nigeria? Who will dare leave a fast growing economy to endure humiliations, insults and embarrassments in other lands as Nigerians do just to survive?
Nigerians, especially those in government are funny people. They are the reasons why Collin Powell the former American Chief of Staff concluded sometime ago that Nigeria is a nation of scammers. They are upping their scamming game by the day. They are more interested in churning out funny and bogus statistics to cover their well known deficiencies. They cull patronizing statistics where governance has failed. Check out the type of statistics they keep throwing at all of us; ‘Nigerian economy (does Nigeria really have an economy in the real sense of it?) is growing in double digits; the third fastest growing in the world’, Inflation is coming down astronomically by the day’, ‘prices of goods and commodities are crashing by the day’, ‘the government creates millions of jobs every year’-the Nigerian Immigration recruitment tragedy was just a scam created by the opposition to rubbish this hard working government. ‘Nigeria will soon become the biggest economy in the world’, ‘standard of living is rising’, ‘unemployment will soon fizzle out’ and the scam and sham figures continues.
Their claims are always outlandish, bogus and specious, which all the more unravel them easily on contact with truth and facts. They have therefore created so much yawning paradoxes of a country growing on the stubble of total and overwhelming unemployment, embarrassing and record beating corruption, total and complete infrastructural rot, embarrassing governmental cluelessness, total power outage, mangled and corruption ridden energy sector, alarming general insecurity, near-total dearth of industries and other critical drivers of the economy. This must be the biggest parody in the world!
But all these come unstuck when juxtaposed with reality and facts. It is tragic that Nigerian economists and statistics merely cook figures and hope to bluff their ways through the doubts and skepticisms of Nigerians who are objects and victims of their wonky arts. Much of what they spew are just mere figures, stripped of logic, full of so many rough edges, inconsistences and quite parallel with facts. That is why the bests of them are easily bested by a roadside mechanic on economic (I mean real economic) issues. That is why they exist on bluffing and hubris  and not ready to engage any one on debate. They manufacture figures only they and their patrons subscribe to. That is their tragedy for economics must align with facts and reality so as to convince and have any meaning with the people. It is not about juggling flattering figures and throwing it at every person’s face like a dullard given the liberty to write his own results in an examination. It must be ready to answer all puzzles and emerge from every doubt stronger, not merely on how it aligns with the facts but how it rubs off on the people. It must have a nexus, an interconnection and an interface. So there is no talk of a fast growing economy in the midst of astronomical unemployment, grinding mass poverty, non availability of power, dearth of infrastructure, absence of industries, country-wide insecurity. It is a sham and the world knows and that is why nothing will change even after these bogus claims.
Peter Claver Oparah.
Ikeja, Lagos.
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Yesterday’s Men, Today’s Men and Tomorrow’s Men: The Period 1985 to 2015 http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/yesterdays-men-todays-men-and-tomorrows-men-the-period-1985-to-2015/ http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/yesterdays-men-todays-men-and-tomorrows-men-the-period-1985-to-2015/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:19:52 +0000 Our Reporter http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/?p=25488 Nigeria’s yesterday’s men live in comfortable irrelevance, today’s men in comfortable relevance and tomorrow’s men in uncomfortable irrelevance…Ena E. Orugbo

Introduction

The Abachites thought Abacha was indispensable so adopted linear thinking, the Objites believed Obansanjo was incomparable thus sold him a dummy and the Yar’adites knew Yar’adua was incurable hence suppressed the truth. It is therefore pertinent to ask, what are the Gejites thinking, believing and knowing? Jonathan 2015, Jonathan is unbeatable and Jonathan must run. In view of the foregoing, there is need to peruse yesterday’s men, today’s men and tomorrow’s men to connect the dots, depict patterns/blocs and validate postulations. This piece however focuses on the period 1985 to 2015, key political events and personalities that were, are and would be relevant in Nigeria for evenness and robustness of findings.

Yesterday’s Men

MKO was the symbol of elegance, financial success and mind blowing philanthropy. He was also a darling of previous and incumbent Governments at the time, recipient of over 250 traditional titles and focus of several weighty allegations such as the bible sinking and ITT scandals. Armed with undeniable accomplishments and propelled by his military, national and international goodwill, MKO decided to enlist for the 1993 Presidential race (Marathon) to Aso Villa. The end result of his decision to enlist in the 1993 Marathon is well known and points that goodwill is sufficient to enlist and win a race but not enough to collect the prize. A lack of an explicit contingency plan made MKO’s post annulment efforts disparate, fruitless and trusting.

 Today’s Men

The rerun of the annulled 1993 Marathon to Aso Villa was deferred to 1999 and as a contingency plan OBJ was enlisted into the race. He won the 1999 race, collected the prize (certificate of return) and repeated the same feat in the 2003 Marathon. Propelled by the sheerings from Objites, OBJ tried to enlist himself in the 2007 Marathon but failed because you can’t take a wrong route to the right destination. Reeling from the defeat of the third term dream, OBJ abruptly enlisted Yar’adua into the 2007 race. Yar’adua won the race and collected the prize but was later handed to Jonathan at his demise despite orchestrated dribbling from Yar’adites. Since life abhors a vacuum, Gejites are now here, active and have become increasingly influential.

Tomorrow’s Men

Figure 1: Statistics of influence levels for Nigeria’s political blocs

Figure 1 above shows the statistics of influence levels for different power blocs in Nigeria. The graph shows that the rate of loss in relevance of power blocs in Nigeria is directly proportional to the length of absence of their benefactors from Aso Villa. For example, Objites have lost about 50% of their influence in the Nigerian polity between 2007 and 2011. This can be attributed to the prevalent lack of ideology and presence of sycophancy in Nigeria’s power blocs. However, new blocs such as Saharites are emerging and evolving on the tide of new media. Though recent events like the ‘Sanusi airport show’ points that promoters of Saharites are Apcites and not Nigerites (tomorrow men) as they have posed, posterity will judge.

Conclusion

This piece has perused Nigeria’s power blocs across yesterday’s men, today’s men and tomorrow’s men. MKO was discussed alone in yesterday’s men because he represents the system or power bloc of that era. However analysis of yesterday’s men shows that MKO made two tactical errors, trusted men with uncertain antecedents and lacked a well thought out contingency plan that envisaged the annulment of the 1993 Presidential race, marathon. These costly mistakes were replicated by OBJ while in office when he bought the dummy that the third term dream was unbeatable or the dream of an incumbent cannot be defeated. This singular decision eroded the OBJ’s brand value and his most cherished statesmanship.

In the same vein, Yar’adites had dribbled and lied to Nigerians so much that they then began to believe their own lies. Yar’adites amazingly believed the lies that they could force or frustrate Jonathan to resign his birth right, maintain the status quo or instigate a military takeover. So what’s now trending? Gejites have adopted line thinking like Abachites, bought a dummy like Objites that an incumbent cannot be defeated, lied like Yar’adites that Jonathan’s Government is at its peak and assumed like Abiola that goodwill is sufficient. Gejites like the Abachites, Obijites and Yar’adites have three key objectives. Substantiate their sugar and lead coated loyalty to Jonathan, consolidate their relevance/maintain status quo and erode Jonathan’s brand.

Lastly, if Abacha, Abiola, Yar’adua and Obansanjo were to advise Jonathan concerning his likely decision to enlist for the proposed Marathon to Aso Villa in 2015, what do you think they would say? Fortunately Obasanjo is still active, here and has already voluntarily spoken though the channel, intent and timing is questionable. The ‘decision’ to enlist in the proposed 2015 Presidential race is entirely Jonathan’s but it is pertinent to state for posterity that the ‘final decision’ to seal victory (collection of the prize) is entirely GOD’s. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says the race is not to the swift nor battle to the strong but time and chance happen to them all and 1 Corinthians 3:6 says, I have planted Apollos watered; but GOD gave increase.

Dr Ena E. Orugbo is a Forensic Decision Analyst/Public Infrastructure Expert

classyena@yahoo.com

]]> http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/yesterdays-men-todays-men-and-tomorrows-men-the-period-1985-to-2015/feed/ 0 Jonathan Challenges Kwankwaso To Account For N225 Billion Local Govt. Funds ….Says: He Diverted Campaign Funds http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/exclusive/jonathan-challenges-kwankwaso-to-account-for-n225-billion-local-govt-funds-says-he-diverted-campaign-funds/ http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/exclusive/jonathan-challenges-kwankwaso-to-account-for-n225-billion-local-govt-funds-says-he-diverted-campaign-funds/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:11:40 +0000 Our Reporter http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/?p=25483 President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on Tuesday in Kano blew open the
political rivalry between him and Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso as he
graphically told the world how Kwankwaso worked against his political
interest in 2011.

President Jonathan also accused Kwankwaso of diverting Local Government
allocations and taking credit of Federal Government projects in Kano.

Pointblanknews.com recalls that Governor Kwankwaso had given reasons why
Kano people would not welcome Jonathan to the state accusing him of
marginalizing the people of the ancient city.

Kwankwaso also regretted voting for Jonathan in 2011, but President
Jonathan declared on Tuesday that Kwankwaso has always worked against his
political interest.

“I am regretting for voting President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011
Presidential Election, as he has done nothing to move the nation forward.
Only a few people are enjoying in Nigeria at the expense of the
generality of the citizenry” Kwankwaso had said.

The President insisted that, “PDP must recapture Kano in 2015.”

He further challenged Governor Kwankwaso to account for over N225 billion
Local Government funds he received from the Federal Allocation within two
years.

“We read in some of the Daily Newspapers that the Governor of Kano state,
Kwankwaso, said he regretted voting for me. Let me tell my good people of
Kano that Kwankwaso did not vote for me or Vice President Namadi Sambo
whether in the primaries or the main election.

“We have accommodated a lot, but we talk less. Those of you from Kano in
PDP knew what happened that when we entered that Eagle Square; by the time
the counting got up to half-way—when it was clear that I was to emerge as
the candidate, Kwankwaso left the venue.

“Even the little money my campaign office provided for refreshment and
transportation for Kano delegates, Kwankwaso refused to give them that
money. He did that so that the Kano delegates will be angry, so that they
would not vote for me.

“Even in the main election, the little money my campaign office sent to
Kano state, Kwankwaso refused to release that money to anybody; now, how
can Kwankwaso tell me that he voted for me,” President Jonathan wondered.

“Some of you will be asking questions why is it that today, your President
is not wearing the PDP dress; I decided to appear this way because there
is somebody here in Kano who has been campaigning that the person wearing
this bowler hat is a devil.

“I am here to tell you briefly what the Federal Government has done to
Kano people and I want you to ask yourself whether such a person who has
been able to do all these things for you be a devil.

“Federal Government has taken Kano as a major focus for its agricultural
transformation agenda. The farmers of Kano are benefitting enormously from
Federal Government Growth Enhancement Scheme.

In the last two years, a total of 760,000 farmers in Kano state have
benefitted from the Federal Government’s subsidized fertilizer programme
and free improved seeds for maize and rice.”

President Jonathan also revealed that over 70 percent of Kano farmers are
benefitting from Federal Government’s fertilizer subsidy scheme also
stated that within a period of two years, about 76, 000 metric tons of
subsidized fertilizer have been supplied to Kano farmers.

President Jonathan also used the occasion to send his condolence to the
families of those who lost their lives in last Monday’s Abuja bomb blast.

“Let me at this point express my deepest condolence again to the family
members of those who lost their lives in the bomb blast in Abuja on
Monday. I was at the scene of the incident, I also visited the hospitals,
but I was so shocked that I couldn’t even talk.

“Again, I express my condolence to the direct family members of the
victims and, indeed, the whole country; and I want to re-emphasize that
terror will not stop Nigeria from moving. We will continue to move from
strength to strength. We also continue to encourage security agencies. We
are looking at different options and we promise Nigerians that we will do
our best and we will continue to do our best to make sure that we live
peacefully in this country,” Jonathan said.

President Jonathan expressed appreciation to Kano people for the warm
reception accorded to him, saying, “let me thank the good people of Kano
state for the reception. From the airport to this venue, people lined up
to welcome us.”

While formally welcoming Shekarau, President Jonathan described him as a
man of the people, “you all know Shekarau very well. He is the man of the
people, When he was a governor, he was a member of ANPP, I visited him two
or three times as the Vice President of the PDP; but because Shekarau is a
Nigerian, a well-learned man, an intelligent man, he received me in all
the occasions I came here.

“These are the kind of people that Kano needs to project and follow. We
thank Shekarau for joining the PDP today. He is fully welcomed and fully
integrated into the party,” President Jonathan said.
Malam Shekarau during his speech, he described the day as memorable and
promised to protect and promote the interest of the Kano masses so long
as he remain in politics no matter the party platform.

“As long as I remain in politics, I will be dedicated and do all within my
ability and capability to remain loyal to the party so as to do everything
within our power to show our solidarity and support to the party.

“I wish, first of all to pledge my commitment and that of my new members
who made the choice to join PDP with me; to work ardently together with
the party the achieve the ideals of democracy, inclusion and development
to which our dear party, PDP, is committed at the Local, State and
national level.”

Among those in President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s entourage include Vice
President Namadi Sambo, Senate President, David Mark, Deputy Speaker,
House of Representatives, Chief Ikedioha, chairman PDP Governors Forum,
Godswill Akpabio, Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina states, Governor
Dakingari of Kebbi state, National Chairman of PDP, Adamu Muazu, Minister
of Information Labaran Maku, among others.

Pointblanknews.com reports that businesses activities and vehicular
movement were grounded for several hours within the Bompai axis as
thousands of residents came out to receive the president.

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Nigeria Has No Business With Poverty http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/nigeria-has-no-business-with-poverty/ http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/nigeria-has-no-business-with-poverty/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:04:28 +0000 Our Reporter http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/?p=25480 The vast availability of human and natural resources in Nigeria is enough to shut the door permanently against poverty, but ironically, the reverse is the case.Nigeria is currently gripped by economic instability, insecurity, decaying infrastructure and poverty. Despite the fact that we are blessed with a whole lot of natural and human resources – Nigeria makes about $100 billion annually on the sale of oil alone. How do we explain this oddity? Corruption has eaten deep into our system, and has suddenly becomes a viral disease that it cure is far-fetched.

As at 2012, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) provided data that showed that about 61% of the Nigerian population lives below the poverty line. Honestly, I wasn’t shocked with this figure. Nigeria has long time ago misplaced its priority, and the only remedy and correcting factor remains the willingness of the people for a true change. Unfortunately, the Nigerian populace has been divided along ethnic and religious lines. This has paved the way for our leaders to exploit our weakness and therefore making it hard for us to dislodge them.
How long will this viral disease called corruption last? This will surely depend on our ability to withstand the tsunami of ethnic and religious divisions and begin to see Nigeria as a single entity, whose survival and greatness depends on us all.
The Nigerian democratic system is in a complete shambles, and our leaders are more of mafias than people-oriented. Every average Nigerian politician is self-centred and cares less about national development or what the future holds for our dear motherland. The youth have also fallen into a deadly trap; the leaders of tomorrow are left with no option but to queue behind and make themselves willing tools in the hands of our leaders.
I must confess that with the little I have travelled around the world, I am yet to come to term about the high rate of poverty in our country. When I looked at European countries and discover that they have little or no major natural resources, the more annoying and disgusting the whole scenario looks. Even the high rate of destruction in Europe during the Second World War could not deter development in most parts of the continent.

Some have blamed the current situation of the country on our population, a theory shared by some of our elites. Could this be true? Recently, the World Bank gave them an excuse as Nigeria, China and India were ranked among the top five countries in terms of number of poor. So this has suddenly given the economic minister and the Nigerian government the needed proof to support their failure and continue to cruise on in corruption.

China and India, have a population of 1.351 billion and 1.2 billion respectively, with much less natural resources compared to Nigeria. Yet these countries can boast of constant electricity supply, good road networks and less poverty per capital compared to Nigeria. We are endowed with huge natural and human resources that could cater well for a population of 160 million.

The point remains that until we see the need to tackle corruption with all sincerity and ensure that those who stole from the national treasury do not walk freely in our society, the situation will persist. The government said there was a lot of hype about corruption in Nigeria, I guess Robert Mugabe should have given them a reason to think twice and face the reality on ground. All hope is not lost as I have faith in the Nigerian people, and believe that the time when we will collectively fight against our common enemies is drawing close.

Comrade Ahmed OmeizaLukman

Donetsk National Technical University, Ukraine.

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APC’s Body Language, Utterances Promote Insurgency, PDP Insists http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/exclusive/apcs-body-language-utterances-promote-insurgency-pdp-insists/ http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/exclusive/apcs-body-language-utterances-promote-insurgency-pdp-insists/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:01:10 +0000 Our Reporter http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/?p=25478 The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reiterated calls on Nigerians to
stand up and resist unpatriotic elements whose actions and utterances have
continued to fuel insurgency in the country.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in a statement on
Tuesday said inflammatory utterances by certain key politicians against
the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan, sparked off hatred against
the administration by their followers, while attracting impudent
insurgents, who started demanding the ouster of the President with
threats to cripple the system through acts of terrorism .

“When the PDP, said that the All Progressive Party, (APC) is responsible
for the spate of terror in Nigeria, many had an emotional response, but it
is now time to dispassionately focus on the facts in order to stop the
carnage on innocent Nigerians.

“Whilst we concede that insurgency existed in the nation before the advent
of the current administration, we wish to point out that inflammatory
utterances from leaders, many of whom by design or otherwise are now
chieftains of the APC have succeeded in emboldening them to launch large
scale attacks , maiming and killing
our people, believing their actions enjoy the approval of such leaders”,
the statement said.

The party observed that such utterances would likely have prompted
donations in support of insurgency from followers of such leaders, who
thought they were sponsoring a worthy cause.

It noted that these key figures never condemned acts of terrorism and the
killings until well-meaning Nigerians started pointing accusing fingers at
them. “They rather blamed government for not reaching out to pacify the
terrorists instead of helping to find solutions. They relished in
comments which inspired violence and embolden insurgents against the
system” the statement said.

The party insisted that it was not a coincidence that after General
Muhammadu Buhari beckoned on his supporters to go on lynching spree should
he lose the 2011 presidential election, an unprecedented violence broke
out, claiming the lives of hundreds of innocent Nigeria.

“Not satisfied with the enormity of the mayhem and bloodletting of 2011,
Buhari on the 14th of May 2012 said, “If what happened in 2011 (alleged
rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the
baboon would all be soaked in blood.’’

“Nigerians have not forgotten that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar,
in a spirited bid to stop President Jonathan from contesting the 2011
election declared on the 14th of December 2010 that “those who make
peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable”

“Atiku’s statement was collaborated by one his close associates, Alhaji
Lawal Kaita, who in October 2010, while rejecting the emergence of a
President from the South, also said, ‘the North is determined, if it
happens, to make the country ungovernable for President Jonathan or any
other Southerner who finds his way to the seat of power……Even if he uses
incumbency power to get his nomination on the platform of the PDP, he
would be frustrated out.’

“On the 23rd of January 2014, APC Deputy National Secretary, Malam Nasir
El-Rufai, said “The next election is likely to be violent and many people
are likely going to die. And the only alternative left to get power is to
take it by force; this is the reality on ground.

“Are we not now witnessing a foretaste of the bloodbath promised by Buhari
and El-Rufai? Is this not the “violent change” promised by Atiku? How many
people have to die before Nigerians call a spade a spade and not a farming
implement?

“We were not surprised when Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi now a
leader in the APC, in inciting his followers recently said, ‘I came to
Bori to prove to you that you don’t need to run away from violence. If a
man is chasing you with AK-47, you should carry machine gun and the man
will call for peace.’

“We also recall recent statement by the Borno state governor, Alhaji
Kashim Shettima wherein he posited that the insurgents were better armed
and better motivated than our security forces. This was deliberately
directed at weakening and undermining the security forces while
emboldening insurgents. No wonder that after Shettima’s statement,
insurgents were encouraged to launch more deadly attacks on our security
forces and staged a comeback to the Federal Capital Territory. This is in
addition to statements by Governor Nyako of Adamawa State who
continually, ridicules the office and person of the President to portray
the administration as weak in fighting terrorism”, the statement said.

The party insisted that the reason the APC leaders were promoting
insurgency was not only to distract the President and rubbish his score
card but also to unleash unprecedented mayhem, divide the people and
forcefully take over power when it loses the 2015 general election.

It said that its statement Monday which again linked the Nyanya bombing to
the utterances of the opposition was a clear stand and a warning that the
PDP would henceforth go beyond shedding tears at each carnage, to
exposing the enemies of the nation, so as to limit all reckless statements
which have been fueling insurgency.

“It is easier to stop at shedding tears after each carnage. This, the PDP
has severally done. The difficult part however, lies in attempting to
limit reckless statements which fuel violence. We believe this will go a
long way to stopping those who instigate violence through utterances and
shed crocodile tears thereafter” it said.

The party vowed to continue to protect the welfare and interest of
Nigerians adding that the citizens and the Federal Government will not
succumb to the designs of unpatriotic elements.

“Indeed, the peace, unity and stability of this country remain
non-negotiable. They can bomb and attack, but one thing is sure; they
cannot kill the Nigerian spirit in our people and our collective resolve
to live together as one nation under God.

“The leadership of the PDP and the government we formed shall not be
cowed, intimidated, harassed or tele-guided by acts of terrorism. The PDP
is willing, able and ready to sustain the unity and stability of this
country. We therefore call on all Nigerians to stand up and collectively
defend our common destiny by openly condemning acts of terrorism and
exposing those behind them”, the statement said.

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Assassination Attempt Upon My Life By Agents Of Lagos Govt. http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/news/assassination-attempt-upon-my-life-by-agents-of-lagos-govt/ http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/news/assassination-attempt-upon-my-life-by-agents-of-lagos-govt/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:55:38 +0000 Our Reporter http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/?p=25475 ..By Ebun-Olu  Adegbouruwa

On Monday, April 14, 2014, at about 3a.m, armed men stormed my house, at Plots 1-3, Ebun-Olu Adegbouruwa Lane, Itedo, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. They were about eight of them in number. They were well armed with short guns. They scaled through my fence, tied my security man and my driver, at my gatehouse. They asked if the compound belonged to Adegboruwa, if Adegboruwa had a mobile police guard, if Adegboruwa lived alone or had tenants, and whether my neighbour had policemen on patrol.

They then started to demolish my window burglaries, they scaled upstairs to my terrace, to break into my living room upstairs, by which time I had already called for help, from the neighbours and from the police. They then tried to gain entrance into my kitchen downstairs, without success. They then descended upon my security man and driver, beat them up mercilessly and started uprooting my burglary with the heavy instruments that they brought. It was at this point that the police arrived, but the police could not gain entrance into my compound, because my security man had been tied. I saw the armed men myself from my location upstairs. They looked very mean and determined, possibly not the usual armed robbers after material things.

I do believe that this was an assassination attempt upon my life, by the enemies of the people of the masses of Nigeria, and in particular the good people of Lagos State, in the Lekki-Ajah axis. One of my neighbours has since confirmed that he actually saw a car that dropped off these armed men around my fence at about 2a.m. They were sent on specific instructions.

Nigerians will recall that on March 27, 2014, the Federal High Court, Lagos, delivered judgement in my case with Lagos State to the extent that collection of toll fee on the Lekki Ikoyi bridge is illegal. It was just yesterday, Monday April 14, 2014, that I argued against the request by Lagos State, to stay the execution of the said judgment. Thus, this is just a case of the witch cried yesterday and the child died today.

I believe that those who have vested interests in the continued collection of the illegal toll fee are at the bottom of this assassination attempt, as a way of discouraging me or stopping my legitimate struggle against illegality, oppression and all undemocratic tendencies of our governments. I will not give up on this struggle, no matter the intimidation and harassment, that I may face. It is a cause that cannot be stopped.

Consequently, I call on Nigerians to hold the Lagos State Government and all those who have vested interests in the Lekki Ikoyi bridge toll fee, responsible for any harm that may come my way. Our government must be open to legitimate opposition and transparency in their affairs. It is not by attempting to snuff the life out of people, that government will escape its statutory accountability to the people. My life is in the hands of God, therefore I do not fear what man can do to me. I know that ultimately, those who are now after my life, will one day face the Supreme Court of God, where they will have to account for all their misdeeds, including their corruption and mis-governance.

This struggle will continue, because I know that victory is certain, through God.

Thank you all.
EBUN-OLU ADEGBORUWA, ESQ.

 

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There Is Nothing Progressive About The APC http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/there-is-nothing-progressive-about-the-apc/ http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/there-is-nothing-progressive-about-the-apc/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:49:19 +0000 By Femi Aribisala http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/?p=25473 APC’s definition of “progressive” is one where it is, to all intents and purposes, a Muslim party.

Three well-worn parties in Nigeria, the ACN, CPC and a wing of the APGA had a makeover, refashioning themselves as the APC (All Progressives Congress). But the question remains: what exactly is progressive about this marriage? Is it not like changing NEPA to PHCN with no improvement in electricity?

Regressive alliance
Rather than being a progressive party, the APC is regressive. Indeed, it is a cruel joke to describe it as progressive. A party led by a former military dictator and a civilian dictator cannot be progressive. Can any right-thinking person actually mistake Buhari
for a progressive? Would a progressive truncate a democratic government? Would a progressive muzzle the press? Would a
progressive arrest and jail people without trial? Would a progressive call for rioting and bloodletting if he loses an election? Certainly not!

Whatever Buhari might be, he is not progressive. Instead, he is a dyed-in-the-wool antediluvian politician. At 71, he belongs to the old school of Nigerian leaders that see the country in black and white, North and South, Muslim and Christian. Not once, in all his years in the public eye, has he uttered an original idea. Yes, he has been head-of-state before, but it was by force of arms. Nevertheless, there is no indication whatsoever that Buhari has any understanding of Economics. He has never enunciated any kind of economic policy. As a matter of fact, he has hardly enunciated any policy whatsoever; beyond making platitudinous statements that he will wipe out insecurity in the country.

On his part, Buhari’s partner, Bola Tinubu, is anything but progressive. There is nothing progressive about a man who chooses ACN candidates capriciously in his bedroom, installs his wife as Senator for Lagos State, and foists his daughter on hapless market-women as the Iyaloja of Lagos State. The biggest indictment of Tinubu as a non-progressive is the difference between what he achieved as two-term governor Lagos State and what his successor Babatunde Fashola’s has achieved. Undoubtedly, Fashola has put Tinubu to shame.

Corruption alliance
Sometimes in Nigeria to be progressive is regarded as meaning to be against corruption. Can the APC be said to be an anti-corruption party? The answer is a capital “No!” If, as many people seem to be insisting, Buhari is sworn against corruption, then the big question is what is he doing with all the PDP thieves and crooks that are now supposedly crossing the carpet to the APC? Even more important, what he is doing with Bola Tinubu? Nobody would accuse Tinubu of being an apostle of anti-corruption. Certainly, he is not the second-coming of Tunde Idiagbon.

Former EFCC Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu once described Tinubu as a looter of public funds of “international dimensions.” Tinubu was investigated for operating illegally nothing less than 16 foreign bank accounts while serving as Lagos State governor. His educational credentials are notoriously bogus. He falsely claimed to have attended a non-existent school, St. Paul’s School, Aroloya; as well as my alma mater, Government College Ibadan. He also claimed he attended the University of Chicago, when he obviously did not.

Anti-democratic party
The partners in the APC alliance are hostages of their past. At their marriage ceremony, they declared their resolve: “to form a political party committed to the principles of internal democracy.” Only the gullible and those suffering from amnesia will believe this.
The ACN is unapologetically anti-democratic. Its leader, Bola Tinubu, does not have the word “democratic” in his dictionary. Tinubu lost the primaries for the Lagos gubernatorial candidate of the AD (Alliance for Democracy) in 1999, nevertheless, he got the godfathers of the “Afenifere” to prevail on the winner, the late Funso Williams, to step down for him.

Bisi Akande has been the party chairman of the ACN “forever.” The same goes for party spokesman, Lai Mohammed. The ACN avoids national conventions like the plague. Primaries are not held to determine its candidates for elective offices. They are selected, as opposed to elected, and then imposed on the party. Indeed, in a moment of exuberance, Akande declared that democracy has no place in the internal arrangements of the ACN. Hear him: “Anyone that is not comfortable with that should go and contest in another political party.” Why should anyone now believe that these same dictators have suddenly turned democratic, simply because it is now convenient for them to sing a different tune?

Similarly, Buhari’s democratic credentials are non-existent. As self-imposed Head of State, Buhari had no regard for human rights. Immediately he seized power, he announced that he would “tamper with” the press. Soon, the infamous Decree Number 4 was promulgated which made even the publication of the truth a punishable offence. Under this cover, Buhari jailed innocent journalists, including Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabo. He abolished civil liberties, promulgated retroactive decrees enabling him to kill Nigerians through jungle justice, proscribed civil society organizations and professional groups and exercised “absolute” power illegally.

Mayhem party
APC leaders burnished their “progressive” credentials by threatening to throw the entire country into chaos if INEC did not register their party. Once registered, they proclaimed their unique definition of progressive by calling on their members in the national assembly to block the passage of the 2014 national budget. Presumably, this would have really made Nigeria progress even faster. The party made the grandiloquent promise to: “offer our beleaguered people a recipe for peace and prosperity.” However, their jaundiced way of achieving this was by undermining the nation’s security by asking that new service
chiefs should not be confirmed in the Senate.

Buhari’s strange recipe for promoting national peace and prosperity is by ensuring that: “the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood” if APC loses the 2015 election. That would really be progressive. When he lost in 2011, his “progressive supporters” went on a rampage, looting and killing. Today, this APC party of peace and prosperity cannot seem to conduct simple ward congresses without violence. In Ondo State, one Bosun Adegorola was shot dead and 15 others seriously injured during the APC ward congresses in the state.

In Ogun State, two separate APC factions held parallel congresses, leading to two different executives in all the wards in the state.

The APC is a ticking time-bomb waiting to explode. It has imported the trouble-makers of the PDP into its ranks, and they have promptly become trouble-makers in the APC. They are now engaged in a battle for supremacy with the older APC members. In Kwara State, for example, older members of the APC are engaged in guerrilla warfare with PDP defector Bukola Saraki. In Kano State, daggers were drawn between former Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, and PDP defector, Musa Kwankwaso. The upshot of this was the defection of Shekarau to the PDP.

These fights in APC ranks are duplicated right across the country. Almost everywhere, the APC is engulfed in brushfires as these
so-called progressives are engaged in a free-for-all. Of course, the biggest of these ridiculously progressive fights is yet to come. When it is time to choose its presidential and gubernatorial candidates, this coalition of strange bedfellows can be expected to implode.

Muslim party
Nigeria is a secular state. The polity maintains a delicate balance between Christians, predominantly in the South; and Moslems,
predominantly in the North. This has led to the convention whereby if the president of Nigeria is Christian, the vice-president is Muslim; and vice-versa. The formation of political parties on religious lines is proscribed in Nigeria. Nevertheless, APC’s definition of “progressive” is one where it is, to all intents and purposes, a Muslim party.

All the “timber and caliber” of the APC, occupying the key positions of the party, are Muslims. Muhammadu Buhari, the party’s leader from the North, is Muslim. So is Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the party leader from the South. Bisi Akande, the National Chairman is Muslim. Aminu Bello Masari, the Deputy National Chairman, is Muslim. Tijani Musa Tumsah, the National Secretary, is Muslim. Nasir el-Rufai, the Deputy National Secretary, is Muslim. Lai Mohammed, the National Publicity
Secretary, is Muslim. Sadiya Umar Faruq, the National Treasurer, is Muslim. Shaibu Musa, the National Financial Secretary, is Muslim.

Abubakar Ledo, the National Youth Leader, is Muslim. Muiz Banire, the National Legal Adviser, is Muslim. Bala Jubrin, the Deputy National Auditor, is Muslim. Sharia Ikeazor, the National Women Leader, is Muslim.

In the multi-ethnic, multi-religion Nigeria of today, there is nothing progressive about this. As a matter of fact, it is downright
retrogressive. There is no single Christian holding a national office in the APC. Christians are relegated to the zonal offices. For
example, Tom Ikimi is the National Vice-Chairman, South-South; while Otumba Niyi Adebayo is National Vice-Chairman, South-West.

Muslim/Muslim ticket
When Buhari conducted his “progressive coup d’état” in 1983, overthrowing an elected democratic government to become head of state, his deputy, Tunde Idiagbon was also a Muslim. Worse still, both of them were Fulani given the fact that Idiagbon’s mother was Fulani. This fake progressive agenda is yet again in the offing. The party is testing the water and is already in crisis because of the determination to field Buhari as presidential candidate and Tinubu as Vice-Presidential candidate.

This kite of a Muslim/Muslim ticket will not fly in the Nigeria of today. People argue that it worked in 1993, when a Muslim/Muslim Abiola/Kingibe ticket prevailed. However, 2015 is not 1993 and Buhari is not Abiola. Abiola was educated in Christian schools and he endeared himself to virtually all strands of Nigerian society with his generosity. Buhari, on the other hand, is known to be a rabid Muslim who has uttered many anti-Christian statements in the past until it now becomes necessary to seek Christian votes in the quest for political power.

The mere notion of a Muslim/Muslim ticket is already tearing the makeshift fabric of the APC apart. Should the party remain bullish in this regard, the Christian hewers of wood and drawers of water within its ranks can be expected to declare: “To your tents O Israel!” Already, turncoats like Femi Fani-Kayode are already making plans to ditch the new-fangled party over this very issue.

  By Femi Aribisala

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Gunmen Kill Soldier in Bauchi, Cart Away Dynamites http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/exclusive/gunmen-kill-soldier-in-bauchi-cart-away-dynamites/ http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/exclusive/gunmen-kill-soldier-in-bauchi-cart-away-dynamites/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:47:19 +0000 Our Reporter http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/?p=25470 Unknown gunmen Tuesday in Shira, Bauchi State, killed a soldier and carted away huge quantities of dynamite belonging to Mothercat, a local construction company.

Dynamite is a very powerful explosive used by construction companies to blast rocks and huge boulders.

Details of how the attackers struck were sketchy, but a military source confirmed to Pointblanknews.com that one soldier was killed by the gunmen before looting the explosives.

Another source claimed that some soldiers gave the gunmen a hot chase and recovered some of the stolen dynamites.

Mothercat is one of the construction companies handling the Kano-Maiduguri expressway.

This is the first time gunmen would be targeting dynamites used by construction companies.

A security source hinted that dynamites may have been used in the early Monday attack that killed over 100 persons in Abuja.

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