Friday, 29 February 2008

Expired Politicians

There is a reported fresh plot by some aggrieved members of the House of Representatives to make the lower house ungovernable for the speaker, Dimeji Bankole, in order to unseat him.
The plot is allegedly being hatched by some 'old school' politicians loyal to a former president.
The plot is to ensure that the House of Representatives is disorganised so they don't unanimously vote for progressive candidates during the forthcoming national convention of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The points raised against Bankole and the leadership of the House are:
•non-confrontational policy with the Executive;
•tight fiscal policy;
•insistence on probity on matters that could be ignored;
•disparity in allowances of members and senators; and
•cut in cost of transportation.
The others are medical, oversight and overseas travelling allowances; and the alleged "smuggling" of N60 billion for the Federal Road Maintenance Agency into the 2008 budget, among others.
It's disheartening that some of these 'expired' politicians have not come to terms with the current trend in the country.
Someone should please inform them that it's not business as usual and their alleged blackmail tactics will fail woefully.
If the speaker is involved in any scandal he should be removed but if he is strict to ensure probity then he has the support of all Nigerians.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Kogi Killings

Several people were feared killed yesterday when policemen drafted to maintain peace at Okene in Kogi Central went on a killing spree.
Several others were also maimed in a reprisal attack to avenge the killing of a riot policemen by unidentified youths in the area on Monday.
Unconfirmed reports about 20 persons were killed durring the attack.
About 5,000 people are also said to have been rendered homeless while 65 residential houses and 150 stalls were set ablaze by the policemen who were allegedly avenging the killing of their colleague.
How Long will these senseless killings continue? Is this the best approach to tackle indiscipline?
Our police should be more civilised.


Hurray!!! Am a year older today. Thank God for his grace.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Yaradua: Which Way Foward?

It was celebrations galore at the presidential villa yesterday after the tribunal upheld the election of president Yaradua.
Though the opposition is heading for the Supreme Court, it appears the coast is clear for Yaradua to unleash his magic stick and become his real person.
There is abslutely nothing to panic about now and one expects that he wields the big stick to sanitise the system.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Yaradua's Victory

The presidential election tribunal today upheld the election of president Umar Yaradua.
The tribunal has dismissed petitions by opposition candidates, Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar for lack of merit.
Today's judgement has elicited mixed reactions as some feel its fair while others are of the opinion that it was manipulated to favour the 'powers that be'.
Whatever opinions people hold, i feel the important thing is that we have to right the wrongs of the past despite all odds...even if removing the president will correct the injustice in the system.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Electricity Tariff Increase

The Federal Government has dismissed plans to increase electricity tariff.
President Umaru Musa Yaradua is reportedly worried about the perception that the Federal Government is not respecting agreements reached over the privatisation processes.
On would have wondered at government's justification for increasing electricity tariffs when there is still apparent inadequate power supply despite the billions of dollars pumped into the sector.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Apology Galore

The presidency is reported to have sent three top ministers to plead with the speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, and his members over ill-treatment metted out to him during th national awards.
The speaker was given a lower award to spite his office.
What i dont understand is if the presidency will withdraw the national award and give him what he truely derserves; a GCON.
It's time we speak up to correct the injustice in order to move this country foward.


MEND claims its leader, Henry Okah, who was recently extradicted from Angola over gun running allegations has been killed by security operatives.
MEND claims in an email that Henry Okah was shot dead in Kaduna during an interogation.
The presidency has denied the allegations.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Too Many Deaths

The Director of Army Public Relations, Solomon Giwa-Amu, has died in an accident on the Abuja-Kaduna road.
Brig.-Gen. Giwa-Amu reportedly died as a result of injuries he sustained following a road accident along Abuja-Kaduna road.
This is coming barely weeks after the death of ACF chairman, Sunday Awoniyi, on same road.
Maybe more serving government officials will have to die on the road before government sees the urgency in fixing this 'important' road and others acros the country.

Monday, 18 February 2008

ASUU Strike

University teachers will today begin a one-week warning strike over their demand for the reinstatement of their 49 sacked University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) colleagues.
ASUU is bothered that in spite of all its efforts, the government has not shown any commitment to its promise to resolve the crisis.
ASUU is also worried that despite the reports of the various committees set up by successive governments that the sacked lecturers be reinstated, the problem remains unresolved, for strange reasons.
This case has dragged for too long and a responsible government should have resolved it years ago.
Can we sort this once and for all so we don't get distracted again?

Friday, 15 February 2008

Generational Humiliation

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, was yesterday humiliated again by the powerful forces controlling Aso Rock.
The speaker was conferred with the honour of CON rather than his deserved GCON.
This is the second time running that the number four citizn will be so humiliated.
First, he was barred from attending a PDP caucus meeting in Aso Rock even though it was his right as a member and one of the highest ranked public office holder of the party. The party later apologised but the deed had been done.
To have degraded his office again during the national awards ceremony gives me great concern.
Is it because he is young? Did he choose himself as the speaker? Is it a bad omen to fight injustice?
This is indeed an insult to my generation and i feel this should be the last episode by the carbal that does not mean well for this country.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Media Clampdown

I was a victim of recent clampdown on the media when i was arrested last month in Ibadan, Oyo State, for daring to go near a disputed statue to do my report.
I have also read how many of my colleagues are brutalised by either political thugs or the men in black.
Some state governments have also gone a step further by threatening to jail journalists who report their findings...Akwa Ibom State is a reference point.
Lately, the attack on journalists and EFCC officials attending a workshop in Ibadan shows the tide of political harassments and intimidation.
It's time the federal government steps in to check these excesses.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Political Rascality

A coalition of human rights organisations in Lagos State yesterday took to the streets, protesting against violence against women in the country.

The protesters demanded that a member of the state House of Assembly, Korede Osunsanya, representing Eti-Osa Local Government, be removed for allegedly assaulting a female staff of Sterling Bank.

The pregnant victim was said to have fainted under the barrage of blows from the furious lawmaker.

The protesters marched from the secretariat of the Civil Liberties Organisation, along Allen Avenue, to the state House of Assembly to submit a petition against the lawmaker.

What manner of rascality is this? Is this what they mean by servant-leader politics?
It's time these forms of abuse are checked.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Niger Delta Promises

The federal government has again made 'wonderful' promises to develop the Niger Delta region for fear of being blacklisted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and other Western nations.
Is it now that the federal government has suddenly realised its responsibilities?
I want to find out if they are going to shelve their budgeted 444 billion naira meant for security in the Niger Delta or convert it for development purposes.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Police Raids

One of my friends (journalist) was arrested last Friday by the police on his way back from work in Lagos. His offence was that he boarded a commercial motorcycle after 10pm. He was not only arrested, he was assaulted and had his ID card seized by the policemen.
Fortunately, he was able to send me a text before they seized his phones. I got to the stattion and was informed i cant see him until after some hours. I called some top cops and they promised to intervene so i had to wait patiently for over 5 hours with another friend/colleague (Ugochukwu Emezue of Silverbird television)who had come to lend me support to seek bail for our detained colleague.
Help finally came when the super cop arrived to order his bail. I sought to know my colleague's offence and i was told he was arrested during a raid on a blackspot. I was confused and asked my colleague why he had to visit a criminals den at night but he denied all the police said and narrated how they were indiscriminately arresting people on the streets and laying false claims.
I confronted the policemen with my colleague's version of the story and all they could say was that they were doing their job and one of them asked 'wetin him dey do outside for past 10pm?
Is it now an offence to get home late from work? What if my coleague did not send me a text? What is the fate of others arrested with him who have no one to make a case for their bail?
I was also greatly disappointed at the rate which policemen at Ojodu police station, Lagos, were openly collecting bribe money from relatives of suspects.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Fresh Elections

The recent pronouncement by the Appeal Court which finally put a ceiling on Ibrahim Idris claim to the governorship seat of Kogi State has to some extent brought hope to the opposition.
It's not about cancellation of the election and ordering for fresh polls. Can we get it right now? What has happened to the electoral system? Are we not going to use same electoral officers again?
I feel this is the time to right the wrongs and ensure transparency to serve as a test case for forthcoming polls.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Budget Passage

I read reports in the media last week that the national assembly had concluded plans to pass this year's budget yesterday. I waited endlessly and nothing of such happened.
Are we back to the years when budgets were delyaed untli past the first quater before they were passed?
I feel it's right to ensure transparency, accountability and all that but if at the end the budget fails to achieve its set objectives then what can we say we have achieved?

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Endless Strikes

The law courts were under lock an key yesterday following a strike action by judicial workers over government's failure to implement agreements reached with them.
The strike paralysed judicial activities across the country and denied some suspects awaiting trial an opportunity to be heard or granted bail.
It's baffling that government will always wait for strike actions to take its toll on activities before they fix problems.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Sweet End to Football Fever

What a relief for all the hypertensive Nigerian football fans who have had their BPs checked severally since the Africa Cup of Nations kicked off. I hope the seven supporters of the super eagles who were hospitalised after our match against Mali have not been rushed back to the hospital.
We have finally been kicked out of the competition so we can be spared the nervous moments for once.
I keep asking myself why i should develop high blood pressure for people who are making their money and not attaching any form of patrotism to their trade.
Something is generally wrong with the entire system and until we begin to profer solutions we may still fall like pack of cards in all sectors when it matters most like our wing-less pigeon eagles did against Ghana.

Friday, 1 February 2008

419 Lawmakers

The chairman of the senate committee on national security and intelligence, Nuhu Aliyu, has backed out of plans to name his colleagues who are fraudsters.
He had threatened to name all those he investigated for fraudulent acts while he served as the assistant inspector general of police.
He has now made a volte face and apologised to his colleagues saying he does not want to lose his friends in the senate.
Does this imply that his friends are fraudsters? How come a top cop is chickening out after shouting at the rooftop?
This is a great sign that corruption may take a longer time to wipe out from our system.