"Trust in Nigeria's Future"

"Trust in Nigeria's Future"

Wednesday 31 July 2013

Reaction on facebook over Igbokwe`s view on deportation" of Anambra indigenes from Lagos

A prominent Igbo son in Lagos this afternoon threw his weight behind the deportation of his kinsmen and women by the Lagos State Government. Engineer Joe Igbokwe, a radical newspaper publisher and politician from Nnewi in Anambra State, launched a robust defence of the action in an article which he published on his Facebook page. In the article entitled “The So-called Onitsha Deportation: Time To Put The Records Straight and Stop All The Lies”, Igbokwe, the Lagos Publicity Secretary of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and General Manger of the Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA), wrote:
“Since the movement of some destitutes from Lagos to Onitsha in Anambra State to re-unite with their families as requested, many have decided to play politics with it. Many have called it deportation, some called it descent to Nazism, some gave it ethnic colouration while some said it is the story of Nigerians made ‘illegal aliens’ in their country.
“The truth of the matter is that Lagos has said that it will not accept a situation where people enter buses from Sokoto, Ibadan or Onitsha or Aba to come to Lagos to beg and in the night sleep under the bridges and roads sides and thereby constituting danger to themselves and to the society at large. Some women among them have been raped or sexually abused. Some of them have been recruited into armed robbery and some other gangs. Some have been used for ritual purposes. Some have been killed and dumped.
“Most of these people are picked up mentally retarded, terribly abused, sexually dehumanized, hungry, weak, and memory lost. What Lagos does is to pick them up and take them to rehabilitation centres. There, they are rehabilitated, until they are strong enough to talk and give account of themselves. Some of them after recovery may decide to engage themselves by joining skill acquisition centres we have all over Lagos, some may decide to join their kits and kins in their States of origin. After interrogations and investigations those willing to go are taken to a central place close to their towns to find their way. They are provided with logistics for that. Even though they may not admit it just to get sympathy and attention.
“The so-called Onitsha deportation is not the first time this has been done. Lagos has taken destitutes to Oyo, Osun and some States in the North in the past. Lagos has gone to Akwa Ibom recently to pick her destitutes too.
“Before moving these destitute to Onitsha, Lagos State Government wrote to Anambra State Government on the matter and there was no reply until the State decided to move them to Onitsha. Now the political jobbers call this deportation. Lagos does not deport people. Lagos is the home of all Nigerians. But Lagos frowns at people who come to Lagos to become a threat to security of lives and property. It borders on security issues.
“Millions of Ndigbo living in Lagos are critical stakeholders in the State. They control all the markets. They control commerce. 80% of rich South Easterners made their fortunes in Lagos. They are in transport, commerce, engineering, oil & gas, construction, estate, banking and finance, artisans etc. Now, tell me how Lagos has been deporting other Nigerians. Are we saying that Lagos has brought 1000 Luxurious Buses and moved from street to street, forcefully ejecting Igbo people from their houses packed them inside buses and moved to the East? A school of thought has said that there should be a balance between citizens’ rights and confronting security challenges. Lagos does not indulge in irresponsible, dishonest and unquestionable activities. Decisions are taken in the overall interest of Lagosians, Ndigbo inclusive. It is all about security.
"Lagos is the only State in Nigeria where almost every graduate heads to after graduation, it is a place to be in terms of anything business, it is the commercial hub of Nigeria, the ‘heads’ of all Nigerians and city you can call your own if you abide by the rules. It is the economic nerve-centre of Nigeria. Lagos is the pride of Nigeria.
“The Governor of Lagos State is an exceptional governor, a detribalized Nigerian, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who is level-headed, disciplined and lettered. He does not engage in meaningless and frivolous things. He understands the strength, of diversity and plurality in a State like Lagos. He knows also that all ethnic nationalities drive the economy of Lagos. He cannot toy with the destiny of Lagos.
“Politics of 2015 is fast approaching. I know that ethnic chance takers, political opportunists and the rudderless opposition in Lagos have been taking advantage of the so-called Onitsha deportation to score cheap political points. No, it can never happen. We have to set the records straight. Boko Haram is a security challenge in Lagos as well as the whole of Nigeria. People say Lagos is the safest State in Nigeria. Yes, I agree but remember Lagos has achieved this as a result of activities, taking hard, drastic and tough decisions, within the rules of engagements and rules of law to get things done.
“I have been in Lagos since 1986 and I know the situation here. I work for Lagos in various capacities. Mr. Ben Akabueze has been working for Lagos as Commissioner for Budget & Planning for years now. There are also countless of Igbos working in various parastatals, Agencies, and Local Governments. I know the strength of my people here. I know that they have made great successes here more than what they have in the whole of South East. Let us not play politics with this matter. Let us show understanding.”

Student drank urine to survive DEA cell; settles suit for $4.1 million

Watch this video
A University of California San Diego student left unmonitored in a holding cell for five days by the Drug Enforcement Administration has settled a lawsuit for $4.1 million, his attorney said Tuesday.
This was a mistake of unbelievable and unimaginable proportions," said attorney Julia Yoo.
Daniel Chong, 25, drank his own urine to survive and even wrote a farewell note to his mother before authorities discovered him severely dehydrated after a 2012 drug raid in San Diego.
Chong was detained on the morning of April 21 when DEA agents raided a house they suspected was being used to distribute MDMA, commonly known as "ecstasy."
A multiagency narcotics task force, including state agents, detained nine people and seized about 18,000 ecstasy pills, marijuana, prescription medications, hallucinogenic mushrooms, several guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition from the house, according to the DEA.
It wasn't until the afternoon of Wednesday, April 25, that an agent opened the steel door to Chong's cell and found the handcuffed student, Chong's attorney Gene Iredale said last year.

Read full story here  San Diego (CNN)

Visa bond: We will retaliate, FG insists

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru

THE Federal Government on Tuesday insisted on retaliatory action  against  British citizens if their government  went ahead  with  its plan to impose a £3, 000  visa bond on visitors from Nigeria and five other Commonwealth countries.
It expressed displeasure that Downing Street, which had already  set November as the discriminatory policy’s commencement time, had not deemed it neccessary  to formally communicate to it on the next step of action.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru,  had at a meeting with the British High Commissioner, Andrew Pocock, conveyed the desire of Nigeria to retaliate the policy.
 The spokesperson for the ministry , Ogbole Ode, said  in a statement in Abuja, that  the British authorities were  already aware of the Federal Government’s position on the matter.
The statement reads, “Media reports in Nigeria on Monday,  July 29, 2013, indicated that the United Kingdom  Government will begin to implement from November, 2013, the £3,000  cash bond  for first-time visa applicants from Nigeria, and five other Commonwealth countries. The other countries are India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. These media reports themselves were quoting the Financial Times of London.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to receive any official communication on the final decision of the UK government on this matter. The Federal Government has already conveyed its objection to the bond payment to the UK government. This was done  when the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador  Ashiru, summoned the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Andrew Pocock, to the Tafawa Balewa House, on June 25,  2013.
“If and when a communication to that effect is received, the Federal Government  will take appropriate steps to reflect its national interest. ”
When contacted, the spokesman for the British High Commission in Abuja, Rob Fitzpatrick, said,  “No final decision has been made” on the  controversial policy.
He said, “As British Prime Minister David Cameron has said,  we want the brightest and the best to help create the jobs and growth that will enable Britain to compete in the global race. So, for example, if you are an overseas businessman seeking to invest and trade with world class businesses, one of the thousands of legitimate students keen to study at our first-class universities or a tourist visiting our world class attractions, be in no doubt: Britain is open for business.”
It will be recalled that Ashiru, at the meeting with Pocock, warned that the government would retaliate the discriminatory policy.
On Monday the British  government  defended a campaign  advising  illegal immigrants to “go home or face arrest.”
Two trucks, each displaying a large  poster with a number for migrants to send  text  messages if they desired  to return to their countries , were  seen in six London boroughs for a week.
It was learnt that posters, leaflets and advertisements in   newspapers  would  run for a   month to further promote the campaign, a pilot scheme by the interior ministry.
A member of the Liberal Democrat Party,  the    junior partner in the coalition government with  the Conservative Party and  Business Secretary, Vince Cable,  called the campaign “stupid and offensive.”
The opposition Labour Party’s home affairs spokeswoman, Yvette Cooper,  also said the scheme was “ludicrous.”
But  Prime Minister David  Cameron’s spokesman defended the  campaign,   saying it was  clear  that it was  “already working”  as some  illegal immigrants  had  voluntarily agreed to leave  the UK.

Those clamouring for northern President are jokers –Ohanaeze


Ahead of the 2015 general Elections, pan-Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has asked those clamouring for a President of a Northern extraction to banish such thought.
President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Kano State chapter, Chief Tobias Idika, in a statement on Tuesday, bemoaned the plight of the Igbos within the country’s political configuration, saying it appeared that people of the South-East were no longer Nigerians.
He said, “The truth is that it appears the South-East is no longer part of this country. If it were to be in an ideal society, where justice and equity reign supreme, our brothers from the North should have had that moral obligation to graciously surrender power to the South-East at the expiration of President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure.
“For informed minds, the history of politics and power sharing in this country has never favoured the South-East since independence and it is obvious that since the civil war, our brothers from the North believe that we are a conquered people and should not be considered in the socio-political cum economic arrangements in Nigeria.
“The same power they seek was with them for over three decades, and yet the North is counted as the poorest and most backward in terms of education and human development. It then means that those who clamour for power in the North do so for their own selfish aggrandisement.
“What is the need of clamouring for power when they cannot use it to develop their region?”
He added, “The point I want to hit on the head remains that immediately after President Goodluck Jonathan, power must shift to the South-East. Ndigbo must have their turn and it is non-negotiable. My advice to our brothers in the North is to be considerate and stop seeing political power as their birthright. At this point, one begins to think that some cabals in the North manufactured the Boko Haram just to stampede Nigerians into agreeing to their terms of taking power back.”
Giving what could be described as a blow-by-blow account of Monday night’s carnage perpetrated by the Islamist Boko Haram sect in Kano, Idika,who is also the President-General, Leaders of Ethnic Communities Resident in Kano State, said 45 people lost their lives.
According to him, it was not the first time non-indigenes were being targeted by the group.
He, however, commended the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 1, and the state Commissioner of Police, Musa Daura, who, according to him,were at the scene of the incident for an on-the-spot assessment.
He said,”On Monday, July 29, between 9 and 9.30pm, terrorists invaded Sabon Gari, an enclave for non-natives and planted Improvised Explosive Devices, which exploded almost simultaneously at Enugu/Igbo Road, near International Hotel and on New Road, directly opposite the popular Ado Bayero Square, precisely at No. 38, 39, 40 and 41.
“At 41, New Road, Christ Salvation Pentecostal Church was also bombed at the peak of evening worship. Ohanaeze’s account can confirm 39 deaths on New Road and six on Igbo/Enugu Road. Also, unspecified number of people got injured. The team of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Kano State chapter, arrived the scenes at about 9.30pm and witnessed the moving of dead bodies and the wounded by security agencies, mostly the Army.”

Police, hoodlums accused of killing undergraduate, friend...

The hoodlums in action. Insert: Nwainokpo

Policemen attached to the Badagry Police Division, Lagos State, and some hoodlums have been accused of killing a 25-year-old undergraduate of Delta State University, Ifechukwude Nwainokpor, and his friend, identified simply as Kazeem.
An eight-minute video clip of the gruesome killing, which was made available to PUNCH Metro, showed the two victims handcuffed together. They were covered in their own blood and beaten to death with sticks. Tyres were also put round   their necks.
An irate mob could be seen in the video, shouting, “die, die, burn them, burn them.”
At some points in the video, a policeman was seen interviewing the boys. He asked who sent them (victims) to rob the area, an accusation they denied. One of the hoodlums, holding a sharp object attempted to cut off the private part of one of the victims.
Nwainokpor could be seen pleading with the hoodlums and policemen to spare his life, saying he could identify himself if given a chance. His plea, however, fell on deaf ears.
Our correspondent, who visited the family of Nwainokpor  on Tuesday, learnt that the lynching took place around 3pm on July 21, 2013 in Ajara area of Badagry, a community not far from Nwainokpor’s family home.
His father, Samuel, told PUNCH Metro that his son was arrested while passing through a street in the area  but a misunderstanding later ensued and the hoodlums pounced on  him  and Kazeem.
He added that  Nwainokpor, who was nicknamed Ify, was a final year student of Geology and Mining.
He said, “On that particular day, I was in Ghana when I received a telephone call  that I should come immediately. My wife was in Delta State taking care of her   mother.
“When I arrived two days later, my relatives and the caretaker of my house  told me that my son was killed in the Ajara area along with his friend. I was devastated.
“I got my son a  temporary job with a Customs licensed  agent since their lecturers were on strike.  He worked everyday except on Sundays when he visited his  friends. On that day, he went to see Kazeem and they were strolling around Ajara.”
Samuel said because there had been a robbery in Ajara four days earlier, some of the residents were on the lookout for strange faces.
He added that when the youth  saw two unknown young men, they  accosted them and an argument ensued.
He said the youth  called the head of the vigilante group   in the area, one Asiribo.
He said, “Asiribo came to the scene with a locally-made pistol and handcuffs. He handcuffed my son and his friend  before asking them questions.
“Later, it was decided that the boys be taken to the Baale, Agano Oniyon of Agamade Ajara. But as they were going, Asiribo, while trying to return his gun into its  pouch, mistakenly shot himself in the stomach and died.”
Samuel said Asiribo’s death infuriated the youth, who  blamed the boys for  his  death.
“The mob picked up sticks  and beat them to death. Policemen were there,”   he  said.
Holding back tears, the retired immigration officer   added  that the police treated the matter as a robbery case. Beating  his chest,  Samuel said there was no way his son would have been involved in  armed robbery.
He said, “I have been living in Badagry since 1982. I have  only two children and Ifechukwude  is the  first. Ironically, he was born in that same area where he was killed.
“I have lived in this area without any trouble and  the residents  can tell you that my sons are good  boys.”
Nwainokpor’s boss, Aloysius Onyenibedi, described him as an honest and hardworking person.
“I trusted him to the extent that I used to keep a lot of money with him. He was good to my children and was honest,” he said.
The Nwainokpor family berated the Divisional Police Officer, Badagry Police Station,  Dankoli Mohammed, for the manner he treated the case.
Samuel said when he approached the DPO, he was told that his son was killed at midnight for armed robbery.
He said, “When the policemen came to take the corpses, guns were planted on them. Policemen at the station told the DPO that they were robbers. Their corpses were taken along with that Asiribo to Badagry General Hospital’s mortuary.
“The following morning, the DPO released Asiribo’s corpse for burial without investigation. My relatives went to the station and after showing the DPO the video, the matter was transferred to the Area K Command.
“At Present, Asiribo’s son has fled, while the DPO has been unable to identify the policemen who were present at the scene when my son  and his friend were killed.”
PUNCH Metro however learnt that through the video, some people had arrested one of the perpetrators. The suspect had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department,  Panti, Yaba.
The spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, said, “The incident is quite pathetic. Even if they were armed robbers, no one has the right to take the life of another. Why then do we have the police and the judiciary? The Nigerian police as well as the law condemn mob action and jungle justice. The commissioner of police has set up a high- powered investigation body to investigate the matter.”