"Trust in Nigeria's Future"

"Trust in Nigeria's Future"

Thursday 26 December 2013

Obasanjo had a killer squad as president — Former associate

ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo
A former associate of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr. Richard Odusanya, on Saturday alleged that the former chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees was in charge of a killer squad that was formed under the military regime of late Gen. Sani Abacha.
Odusanya reportedly worked behind the scenes when Obasanjo was in power.
In a live interview, with an online news portal, Sahara Reporters, Odusanya  alleged that the former President lodged the killer squad at a State Security Service headquarters, known as ‘Yellow House.’
He appeared on the programme alongside Mr. Segun  Seriki, a PDP member in Ogun State and a member of the House of Representatives in the Third Republic, under the Social Democratic Party.
According to Odusanya, the squad was used for political assassinations and was responsible for the unresolved killings of politicians under Obasanjo’s administration.
He further alleged that Obasanjo knew about the murder of the former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige, and a South-South politician, Chief Harry Marshall.
Odusanya said, “I believe that a killer squad created during the Abacha regime was kept by Obasanjo and housed at SSS headquarters, known as Yellow House, and was used for political assassinations.”
Explaining Obasanjo’s alleged link with Ige’s death, Odusanya said, “The night Chief Bola Ige was assassinated, a top PDP member confided in me that Obasanjo told him Bola Ige was down.”
Concerning the murder of  Marshall, he said, “I also took a gift to Marshall and he was assassinated just a few weeks later.”
Odusanya also alleged that the ex-president benefitted from an account with the defunct Trans-International Bank and that from the funds in the account,  Obasanjo,  asked him to deliver a Peugeot 607 and the sum of N500,000 to  a woman (name withheld).
When contacted for Obasanjo’s comments, his Chief of Staff, Mr. Victor Durodola, said his boss was not available to react to the allegations.
He challenged those who made the allegations to come out with their evidence.
Durodola said, “The former president is not available. Therefore, he is not in a position to respond to the allegations.  However, my personal comment is that these are people who indulge in blackmail.
“Why are they using online television? They should come to Channels, AIT, or NTA; these are television stations that are known.
“Definitely, that is not Obasanjo’s character they are describing and everybody knows that. Of all the military rulers, the issue of killer squad cannot be attributed to him. That was not his style. He is not around now but I doubt if he would even give it any attention whatsoever.
He stressed that the ex-president could not have been responsible for the unresolved killings under his administration.
He further argued that Obasanjo had no reason to be involved in Ige’s assassination.
“We would like to see it (the interview) but these are issues you know cannot be possible. The killings were unresolved, yes, but you know that nobody could have attributed that to him. He would kill his minister for what? So that he (Obasanjo) could be minister?” Durodola said.
Another Obasanjo aide, Vitalis Ortese, told one of our correspondents on the telephone that the allegation was a non-issue.
He said, “I don’t know them. Let them prove the allegation. I don’t know any Segun Seriki or Richard Odusanya.”
Also reacting to the allegations, Bola Ige’s eldest child, Mrs. Funsho Adegbola, told SUNDAY PUNCH that her father’s killers are still alive.
Adegbola, a lawyer, called for the reopening of the Bola Ige murder case.
She said, “I can’t put anything past them. I haven’t seen the interview. I don’t know the content of the report but I can’t put anything past them. I believe the people who killed my father – the foot soldiers and the people who sent them – are alive. They are not people from Mars.
“A murder case can go on for 30 years or more. If there is political will and the government wants to show that people should pay for their crimes, this can be done. The family can’t do anything about it because it is the state versus the suspects. The family can’t sue; it is the state that can take action.”
Ige, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was shot dead in his Ibadan home on December 23, 2001.
Following a mass protest over the killing, the Federal Government had deployed troops in the South-Western state to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
While security agencies had arrested some suspects allegedly involved in the murder, including the then deputy governor of Osun State – Ige’s home state – Mr. Iyiola Omisore, they were however discharged and acquitted.
Just like Ige, Marshall Harry, who was the National Coordinator, South-South geopolitical zone of the All Nigerian Peoples Party Presidential Campaign was murdered by at his  No,28 Karaye Close, Garki II, Abuja residence on March 5, 2003, barely a month to the presidential election in which Obasanjo was re-elected.
The ANPP chieftain was said to have been killed in the presence of his daughter and his niece, Loliya Harry.
The only security guard in the house, Mr. Polini Aniya, said the assailants numbering about five forced their way into the ANPP chieftain’s residence around 3am.
The ANPP, and it presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, had insisted that agents of the PDP and Federal Government assassinated Harry.
At Harry’s burial ceremony, Buhari, alleged that in its desperation to rig itself into power, the PDP-controlled Federal Government bankrolled assassins to eliminate political opponents.
After the incident, the police arrested four suspects in connection with the murder.
However, after seven years in detention, the accused standing trial for the murder were discharged and acquitted by an Abuja High Court.
The court cited lack of enough evidence to sustain the charge against them.  PUNCHNG

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Kwankwaso declares free education in Kano

By AbdulSalam Muhammad.
KANO – In a bid to address educational backwardness of the state, Kano state Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has declared free and compulsory education at level in the state.
Kwankwaso who made the declaration during the presentation of 2014 appropriation bill to the House of Assembly revealed that the gesture would commenced from 2014 academic year.
Kwankwaso stated that “in our collective resolve to drive a knowledge base economy, government has already concluded arrangement to adopt a free education for all indigene at all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the state.”
The Governor added that “this is in addition to sponsoring of Kano indigenes to pursue their various degree programmes locally and internationally”, pointing out that the commencement of the free education for all Kano state indigenes from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions starting from the new academic session in 2014.”
In order to ensure effective implementation of the new programme, the Education sector got the largest share of the sectoral allocation with over N20billion with Ministry of Education N15.22billion; while its ministry for Higher Education counterpart got N5.61billion.
Other policy programmes in 2014 fiscal year under education include, N6.5 billion for the continuation work at Schools for Islamic Studies in each of the 44 LGAs
Kwankwaso revealed that N2 billion has been set aside for the continuation of 44 Technical Schools one in each LGAs; adding that N241 million has equally been earmarked for the procurement of 15 mobile computing solar powered container box.
He said that N250 million was also earmarked for the establishment of another boarding primary school in the state, adding that N1.3 billion has been allocated for the Construction and furnishing of 268 additional classrooms in the state.
The Governor further stated that Northwest University got N3billion for the continuation of construction of Faculty building, senate building and other infrastructure, adding under the 2014 approriation bill N586 million was earmarked for the continuation work at former Magwan Water Restaurant to First Lady College.

One of Nigeria's hairiest women, Queen Okafor, tells her story

26 year old Queen Okafor is one of the hairiest women in Nigeria. In an interview with Sunday Sun the Anambra state born lady said she was born without much hair on her body, but gradually began sprouting them five years ago, at age 21.

In this Sun interview, Queen talks about the challenges of living with such unique features and how she's dealt with it all these years. Find her sad and heartwarming story below...
“My name is Queen Nonyerem Okafor. I am from Anambra State. We are five children from our parents, three girls and two boys. I inherited the hairs from my mum and it runs in the family. Once you get to 21 to 23 years  in our family, you start experiencing hair growth. I am 26 years old now, when I was in secondary school, much hairs were not on my body. It started when I finished my secondary school. I am not granting you this interview as if I need help or money, no! I want to tell my story and what it means to be a hairy woman. All I need is for an NGO to take up my case as a woman with abnormal conditions and also to act in the movie industry.” Continue...
“The first time it started to grow on my body, I was ashamed, but someone advised me that I shouldn’t bother, that it is a blessing not a curse. The person told me that I am unique, besides, wherever I go, I would be recognised. She advised me that I shouldn’t be ashamed, rather that I should be proud of myself. It was her that gave me strength and boosted my self esteem. Some people think that I am a man. Some think I fixed my breast to deceive people. Men especially find it difficult to believe that I am a woman. It was when we interact that most men are reassured that I am a woman. It has made me to be very popular and recognised in public. It has boosted my confidence to socialize. People want to identify with me to know the stuff I am made of. Some want to find out where this girl is coming from. People call and dash me money because of my hairy nature, but I don’t beg for money.”

“Before the advice came, I was asking God why all these now? I was thinking of what to rub to clear the hair from my skin. I rubbed tortoise faeces and a lot of things people recommend for me to use, but it didn’t remove them, rather it caused more harm than good as I started growing bumps and sores while the hair was still coming out. So, I stopped rubbing those things. I suffered those lumps trying to stop the growth,” she narrated.
“When there is much heat, I feel terrible, it doesn’t itch but it really inconveniences me most times. That`s why I have to wear or put on light cloths because sweat soaks my dress when I go out. Once you see me, you know that heat is dealing with me as a result of my hairy skin. I used to shave it off but if I want to shave all, it will cause me lumps all over my body. She said she had not taken the medical option seriously. “I have not gone to hospital. I don’t care anymore because it is from within my blood and it is  hereditary. I don’t need it because I can`t be using my money on something that refuses to free me. A doctor had advised that surgery can remove it, but not in Nigeria. Maybe outside the country, but I am not interested.”

"A man that is meant for me will come when the time comes. It is not a problem. I will get married, after all, there are other disabled people that are married despite their condition. When I was 18 or 19 years old, I was supposed to have married, but it was just that the man was a hot tempered person. He was my suitor and we ended it there. He was seeing the hair coming little by little. People are appreciating me and a lot of people are still coming for my hand in marriage.  I have been seeing many men coming to ask me for relationship, even one claimed he is from a European country that he came back to Nigeria to look for a woman to marry. But most men just want a fling, they don’t want serious relationship. I was doubting if he was real or not. I have admirers just like every other girl. Most times, I have admires more than normal girls. But most men are not sincere,  my mother would say that love is not by lip service. I have been hearing things like, I want to marry you, but after sleeping with you, the man will end up dumping you for another woman. My boyfriend likes me the way I look and I have not been dumped because I am hairy. Men don’t break my heart. I don’t trust men easily because I wouldn’t allow myself to have emotional breakdown. I can`t wait for my heart to be broken. In my village, an old woman has advised that she knows that I am not yet married, but I should believe that my own person is coming. She said that when my husband will come, I will find it difficult to believe that the man is my own. She told me that is how her own daughter looks. But now I have come to appreciate how I am created,” she said.

“I came to Lagos last year to see whether I can stay in Lagos or not. Other times I have been coming and going. But the truth is that I have been enjoying my stay in Lagos now because something good is happening. Anytime I go out, people will notice my presence and look at me. For instance, the first time I went to Ladipo Market, people besieged me, both traders and touts snapping me with their phones and video. You would be shocked how they gathered and caused chaotic situation that day, you would have written it as big news, to the extent that I went to a shopping complex and they started clapping for me, calling me Eze Nwanyi, which means Queen. They were hailing me so much. It was the most embarrassing day of my life. The traders and touts left what they were doing to follow me around and saying all sorts of things, if not for one man that offered to give us a lift, we wouldn’t have escaped those boys. There was a time I went to Alaba International Market with a sister and traders were peeping through the window to see my face and they were saying, ‘she is all hairs oh!’ Someone has stepped down from a bus because of me, a lady. Both of us were entering a bus at Mile 2 and immediately she glanced at me she changed her mind and immediately alighted from the bus despite that the bus conductor was urging her to enter, that was the only time someone refused to ride in the same bus with me."
"If I have the opportunity of becoming an actress, I can do that but it is to get the right person to help me. I need somebody to help me because I am perfect in everything I do. I need someone to put me through but people tell me that for some producers or directors, all they are after is to sleep with you.  I have not encountered that yet, but people have been telling me to be careful. People get easily attracted to me.

"Why I pieced my nose was because it is fashionable, though I know I look weird already, I don’t give a hoot. It is my body,  I accept the fact that I am strange. A woman has toasted me at Elegushi Beach while I was there with my friends. On that day, she called me and gave me her complimentary card and begged me to hop into her car, but I refused. She insisted and begged to be my friend, but my mind told me that she is a lesbian and she was inviting me to Ajah. I turned her offer down because I know that most lesbians are into cultism. Some women will see me and extol my qualities, saying that they see women with hairs but that my own is the highest. In fact, one said I am the queen of hairy women. I met a guy at a supermarket and he was obsessed about me, before you knew it, he started telling me that he liked me, that I am beautiful and all that. Normal toasting, I thought he was like every other man as usual,  but after the toasting, he went straight to the point, to tell me that he would like to have sex with me through my anus, promising to give me half a million naira. But I rejected it immediately, God forbid! I can`t tamper with my anus.  I stopped seeing him and refused to pick his calls. I can`t do that. Another man begged me to bear him a child that will look like me, also promising to reward me handsomely. When I am praying, I plea with God to help me overcome them. Nobody can rape me because I am fearful, but men see me and get sexually aroused because I look special because of the hairy skin, but I have not been embarrassed or raped. Being hairy gives me protection as people see me and get afraid of me. Those guys who attack people see me and hail me. They will not like to do anything bad to me."

Import waiver granted First Lady to import 200 cars: Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala replies Sahara Reporters

Sahara Reporters published a report a few days ago, claiming that the office of the 1st Lady obtained import waiver to import 200 BMW cars for her “Africa First Ladies” summit in 2012. The ministry of Finance says the report is false. Saharareporters insists it's true & has responded. Find a statement from the ministry of finance below and SR's response after the cut...
Saharareporter's story on waiver granted office of the First Lady is a complete distortion 
The story by Saharareporters on the so-called waivers scandal in which the notorious news website made outrageous allegations against the Office of the First Lady is a false exclusive based on distorted information.
The website merely extracted and distorted information on the list of beneficiaries of the revised waivers policy which the Federal Ministry of Finance voluntarily published as part of its drive for transparency and accountability. Continue...
The revised waivers policy replaces the old regime of individual waivers with the objective of boosting key sectors such as agriculture, power, gas and mines/steel. The strategy is to deploy waivers as a stronger tool of economic development.
Part of the information published by the Federal Ministry of Finance was a list of state governments, private sector organizations and other institutions which were granted waivers to bring in vehicles for various events including sports festivals, conferences and workshops. This practice did not begin with the Jonathan administration.
Beneficiaries of the waivers for vehicle imports include state governments such as Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Lagos as well as organizations such as the continental First Ladies Forum which was granted a waiver for vehicles required for their event hosted by Nigeria. The First Lady did not in any way personally benefit from this waiver.
It is important to recall the fact that the country has a nascent leasing industry and no company in the sector currently has the quantity and quality of vehicles required for such events. Government is encouraging private sector organizations with the requisite focus and expertise in this area and the hope is that soon it would no longer be necessary to grant such waivers.
The resort to falsehood by Saharareporters based on a distortion of information voluntarily made available by government underscores the desperation of this scurrilous medium and its paymasters.
Paul C Nwabuikwu
Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance. 

The Truth about the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Waiver Policy

1.      You may recall that the
Punch Newspaper published editorials accusing the government and the Federal Ministry of Finance of running a corrupt waiver policy, and challenged the Federal Ministry of Finance to publish those waivers. (http://bit.ly/1jCH3j4)  

2.     The Federal Ministry of Finance categorically refutes the allegation that it is running a corrupt waiver policy.

3.      Two years ago the Executive introduced a total reform of the waiver policy. Waivers are now only granted on a sectoral basis. This means that every company in the sector enjoys the same waiver privileges. All companies or entities involved in a sector or given activity will benefit from the same waivers once they meet the necessary criteria.

4.      The Federal Ministry of Finance published an abbreviated version of the full waiver report in several newspapers. It was also announced that the full version is available at www.budgetoffice.gov.ng and on social media (http://on.fb.me/1fWHYG5).

5.      The SaharaReporters claim that the Federal Ministry of Finance surreptitiously released an updated waiver list on the web only on December 22nd, 2013 is categorically false. In the spirit of transparency, the full waiver list was made public on December 3rd  

6.      For the avoidance of doubt: the Federal Ministry of Finance has never denied issuing waivers to African First Ladies Forum conference. This official event for First Ladies of all the other African countries necessitated vehicles for the transport of these visiting dignitaries. The waiver granted for this occasion is similar to other waivers issued to various state governments and government institutions such as Rivers, Lagos, and Akwa Ibom for similar official sporting and conference events.

7.       As always The Federal Ministry of Finance welcomes all legitimate inquiries and criticisms. The Ministry of Finance cannot be expected to remain silent when falsification and distortion of facts occurs.

Paul C Nwabuikwu
Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance.

Sahara Reporters Response below...
By Omoyele Sowore 
Dear Minister Of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala : It has come to our attention that your Special Assistant on Media, Paul Nwabuikwu, is circulating a press statement to a select group of news outlets and bloggers describing as false a report by SaharaReporters about import waivers obtained by Mrs. Patience Jonathan’s office to import 200 BMW cars for her “Africa First Ladies” summit in 2012.

While your aide’s statement did not dispute the existence of waivers that were ultimately granted to Coscharis Motors to import the cars, he went to great lengths to accuse SaharaReporters of distorting the information released by your office.

We are not in the least surprised that you would authorize your aide’s misleading press release aimed at casting aspersions on us. This mendacious release is consistent with your style of responding to legitimate questions about your conduct as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance. You have established a reputation for intolerance of principled and accurate media reports once they raise questions about your ministerial judgments or reflect poorly on your performance.

You would recall that, on December 3rd, 2013, you published a doctored list of beneficiaries of import waivers in response to pressures mounted on your office by Nigeria’s PUNCH newspaper. Without question, you had hoped to bamboozle the public with this incomplete list. However, we refused to accept your list for publication, having received information from officials who should know that your list was distorted and incomplete, indeed an attempt to hoodwink gullible reporters and Nigerians. Yesterday, your office surreptitiously released an updated list on the web. It is this fuller list that revealed part of how the First Lady has benefited significantly from the questionable dispensation of import waivers to politically connected individuals and firms. We duly acknowledged our source.
 The tone of your aide’s press statement makes it clear that you had hoped that your updated list would not become public knowledge. That explains the harsh and predictable attack on our medium.

Since your statement claimed that Mrs. Jonathan did not benefit from the imported BMWs, we urge you to go a step further: produce the list of beneficiaries and providing the chasses numbers of the BMWs imported under the questionable waivers you granted to Coscharis Motors in 2012. In addition, we challenge you to provide evidence that Coscharis Motors imported the vehicles for which the waivers were granted.

You should also do the Nigerian public the great service of explaining why presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, claimed that the Federal Government had not contributed a dime to the importation of the BMWs, when your office had indeed granted waivers worth N560 million to the controversial auto dealer.

Since you claimed that your latest release was driven by your desire to ensure transparency, we await a detailed response to the issues raised here.

Omoyele Sowore
For Saharareporters.com

Not again. Rihanna shades the heck out of Chris Brown

On Sunday night Rihanna's cousin re-posted a hilariously disrespectful meme (viral humorous image) on Instagram featuring Chris Brown & Rihanna. And instead of overlooking it, Rihanna couldn't resist co-signing. Her reply after the cut...

Rapper eLDee advocates for gay right

In support of Virgin Group CEO, Richard Branson, rapper eLDee wrote;
"Hopefully, one day soon, Africa will realize that the #anti-gay sentiment is no different from racial or religious discrimination. #RaceCreedSexualOrientation #Discrimination

Photos: Governor Fashola pays condolence visit to the Ogunros

The family of murdered Mr Sesan Ogunro during a condolence visit by Lagos State Governor, Raji Fashola today. A pic of popular music video director Sesan with Governor Fashola below..

‘Small-time robbers killed advertising guru, Sesan Ogunro’

LAGOS — There are indications that prominent marketing communications guru, Mr. Sesan Ogunro, Group Managing Director, Eminent Communications and Spot-On Media, might have been killed by a gang of small-time robbers who were out to steal cars. This could contradict speculations that his killers were hired assassins.  Police sources disclosed that findings from their investigations so far revealed that Ogunro was a victim of a robbery gone bad.
A source who spoke to Vanguard on anonymity, said a visit to the crime scene, interviews from eyewitnesses and intelligence gathered so far, pointed to the fact that the robbers were immature, and could not control their anxiety.
According to the source, “we’ve been to the scene and we’ve spoken to eyewitnesses. It is obvious that the gunmen were small-time robbers and nobody would have hired such as an assassin.
Target was his Mercedes Benz SUV
“Their target was his Mercedes Benz SUV, but they felt threatened when he threw the key at the floor and they shot him. I see no reason why they would have done such.
“When we visited the scene, we recovered the expended cartridge that was used and we believed that it was fired from a locally-made gun.”
Spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent, said the command was on the trail of the bandits.
In a statement, she said: ”About 22:42 hours on December 22, a distress call was received by the Alausa Division of the Police Command. It was gathered that four armed men operating in a Honda Odyssey attempted to snatch a Mercedes Benz ML SUV belonging to Mr Ogunro.
“The man resisted and threw away the key of the SUV, hence the armed men shot him. They abandoned the Honda Odyssey and escaped with a red Toyota Yaris car belonging to the wife, who was standing with him at the scene.
“The scene was visited immediately by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and a team and the incident was confirmed. The DPO also visited the victim at the Lagoon Hospital where he was receiving treatment, though in critical critical.”
She said none of the relatives had made statement on the incident.
The Police spokesperson explained that the Honda Odyssey was confirmed to have been snatched from somebody identified as Ali Balogun at Ebute-Metta at 8pm.
The owner was reportedly dropped off at Jobi-Fele Way in Alausa, Ikeja, from where she was taken to the station.
Braide said the police had begun investigation into the incident and the search for the fleeing hoodlums.
Vanguard further gathered that Ogunro sighted the bandits harassing his wife and children in the Toyota Yaris car they came in at the entrance of their church, the International Church of Christ, along Jobi-Fele Way in Alausa, where he attended a Christmas Carol service.
After the attack, the killers were said to have thrown out Ogunro’s son and grandchildren from the rear of the car before speeding off with it.
They were also said to have abandoned the car they originally came in, which is now in the custody of the police at the Alausa Police Station.
Our source also stated that the slain Ogunro was first rushed to the Lagoon Hospital on Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, before he was transported in an ambulance to the hospital’s headquarters in Apapa for special attention.
Ogunro shot with dane gun ”You know because he was shot with a dane gun, the pellets spread all around his stomach and perforated his internal organs. 
Fashiola consoles family
Meanwhile, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, paid a condolence visit to the Ogunro family, describing the late advertising guru as a man with a truly restless spirit and master of his art.
Fashola, who was at Ogunro’s Ogudu GRA residence, was received by the widow, Mrs. Dupe Ogunro and the children of the deceased.
Some of the children present during the visit were Mrs. Damilola Gbadebo-Ogunro, Mr. Timayo Ogunro and Miss Fade Ogunro.
Fashola at the occasion added that his administration and indeed the Nigerian nation have lost a most resourceful personality who will surely be missed by all.
Said he: “On behalf of my wife, Dame Emmanuella, the Government and people of Lagos State, please accept my condolences and be assured that we are in prayers with you and members of your family for the peaceful repose of the soul of your husband and for the Almighty God to grant you the fortitude to bear this loss.”

Jonathan admonishes politicians, says Nigeria belongs to all

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday admonished politicians and statesmen that were heating up the polity saying that the country belongs to all Nigerians.
The President was speaking at the Christmas day service at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Anglican Communion, Gwarimpa, Abuja.
He said that the nation belonged to every Nigerian;, “the common man,  traditional rulers, religious leaders, our men, our women.”
Jonathan specifically cautioned the politicians against making inflammatory statements that could heat up the polity in the name of politics.
President Goodluck Jonathan (4th r) leading other fathers in the presentation of a special song during the 2013 Father's Day celebration at the Aso Villa Chapel Abuja on Sunday (16/6/13).“For us at this time especially, we the politicians, we think we own this country and begin to think about next election and doing what we ought not to do, making statement we ought not to make, writing letters we suppose not to write.
“This country belongs to our statesmen, traditional rulers, religious leaders, our men, our women, our youth. Nigeria does not belong to any politician or group of politicians.’

President Goodluck Jonathan (4th r) leading other fathers in the presentation 
of a special song during the 2013 Father's Day celebration at the Aso Villa 
Chapel Abuja on Sunday (16/6/13).President Goodluck Jonathan (4th r) leading 
other fathers in the presentation of a special song during the 2013 Father’s 
Day celebration at the Aso Villa Chapel Abuja on Sunday (16/6/13).

The president called on Nigerians to use the occasion of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ to pray for the country to overcome its challenges, particularly, insecurity.
He noted that his administration had done appreciably well in addressing the challenge of terrorism.
“For those who know about terrorism, countries that are infested with terror hardly get out of it.”
He gave the example of the incidences in Abuja, saying even the police headquarters was bombed as well as the UN building right here in the seat of government.
But for the proactive measure taken by the government and our military, may be the next target would have been the State House, Jonathan lamented.
“So, we have to thank God that we have been able to bring it to a reasonable level, though we are far from getting there.
“There are a lot of challenges but we have to thank God,” he said.
Jonathan also reiterated that his style of leadership was neither high handed nor dictatorial as expected in some quarters.
Citing Biblical reference, the president said that the Jews expected Jesus Christ as a saviour that would liberate them even with violence, from the Romans invasion.
“Whenever we go through the story of Christ and leadership, it reminds you of the circumstances of the Jew in the face of the political situation today.
“When Christ was born, the Jews were told that God has giving them a King, a saviour, these are the key words.
“The Jews were being dominated by the Romans, it was like when we were under the colonial masters, the Romans were governing them.
“So, when they said that there was born a king and a Messiah, they were thinking they were getting somebody who will come and lead them to war and throw away all the Romans for them to be free.
“But when Christ was born, I believe a number of the Jews were disappointed, the war they expected was not his own style.
“So today, we have similar situation, the expectations of the people are hardly met by leaders,” he said.
The president assured that his administration would do its best to lead the country aright and to its desired destination.
Earlier, in a sermon focused on Peace and Joy, the Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, said Christmas was a reminder of the Peace and Joy that the birth of Jesus Christ brought to the world.
Okoh, who is also the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, said that Jesus Christ came to reconcile God with man and to take the sins of mankind away and make the world a better place.
According to him, enduring peace can only be found in Jesus Christ, adding that “by nature, God is peaceful.
Okoh urged Nigerians, especially Christians, to embrace the lessons of Christmas, to be a source of peace and joy to others
He added that  it was in the interest of the country to ensure that peace reigned as there was no other country to go to.
The clergy urged Nigerians not to join anyone to cause trouble that could lead to a situation of war.
Prayers were offered for the peace of the nation, the president, his family and all Nigerians.
Those present at the Church service include, the mother of the President, Madam Eunice, First lady, Dame Patience, and Sen. Phillip Aduda, PDP-FCT.
The Ministers of Information, Labaran Maku, Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade and the Minister of State, FCT, Mrs Jumoke Akinjide, service chiefs and presidential aides were also at the service (NAN) Vanguardngr

Monday 23 December 2013

Boom! Boom! Ghen!! President Jonathan finally replies Obasanjo's letter

President Jonathan has finally replied former president Obasanjo's, OBJ`S LETTER TO JONATHAN where he accused Jonathan of taking actions calculated at destroying Nigeria. President Jonathan's reply below...

His Excellency,
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR
Agbe L’Oba House, Quarry Road,
Ibara, Abeokuta.
RE: Before It Is Too Late

I wish to formally acknowledge your letter dated December 2, 2013 and other previous correspondence similar to it.

You will recall that all the letters were brought to me by hand. Although both of us discussed some of the issues in those letters, I had not, before now, seen the need for any formal reply since, to me, they contained advice from a former President to a serving President. Obviously, you felt differently because in your last letter, you complained about my not acknowledging or replying your previous letters. Continue...

It is with the greatest possible reluctance that I now write this reply. I am most uneasy about embarking on this unprecedented and unconventional form of open communication between me and a former leader of our country because I know that there are more acceptable and dignified means of doing so.

But I feel obliged to reply your letter for a number of reasons: one, you formally requested for a reply and not sending you one will be interpreted as ignoring a former President.

Secondly, Nigerians know the role you have played in my political life and given the unfortunate tone of your letter, clearly, the grapes have gone sour.  Therefore, my side of the story also needs to be told.


The third reason why I must reply you in writing is that your letter is clearly a threat to national security as it may deliberately or inadvertently set the stage for subversion. 

The fourth reason for this reply is that you raised very weighty issues, and since the letter has been made public, Nigerians are expressing legitimate concerns. A response from me therefore, becomes very necessary. 

The fifth reason is that this letter may appear in biographies and other books which political commentators on Nigeria’s contemporary politics may write. It is only proper for such publications to include my comments on the issues raised in your letter.

Sixthly, you are very unique in terms of the governance of this country. You were a military Head of State for three years and eight months, and an elected President for eight years. That means you have been the Head of Government of Nigeria for about twelve years. This must have, presumably, exposed you to a lot of information. Thus when you make a statement, there is the tendency for people to take it seriously.

The seventh reason is that the timing of your letter coincided with other vicious releases. The Speaker of the House of Representatives spoke of my “body language” encouraging corruption. A letter written to me by the CBN Governor alleging that NNPC, within a period of 19 months did not remit the sum of USD49.8 billion to the federation account, was also deliberately leaked to the public. 

The eighth reason is that it appears that your letter was designed to incite Nigerians from other geopolitical zones against me and also calculated to promote ethnic disharmony. Worse still, your letter was designed to instigate members of our Party, the PDP, against me. 

The ninth reason is that your letter conveys to me the feeling that landmines have been laid for me. Therefore, Nigerians need to have my response to the issues raised before the mines explode. 

The tenth and final reason why my reply is inevitable is that you have written similar letters and made public comments in reference to all former Presidents and Heads of Government starting from Alhaji Shehu Shagari and these have instigated different actions and reactions. The purpose and direction of your letter is distinctly ominous, and before it is too late, my clarifications on the issues need to be placed on record.

Let me now comment on the issues you raised. In commenting I wish to crave your indulgence to compare what is happening now to what took place before.  This, I believe, will enable Nigerians see things in better perspective because we must know where we are coming from so as to appreciate where we now are, and to allow us clearly map out where we are going.

You raised concerns about the security situation in the country. I assure you that I am fully aware of the responsibility of government for ensuring the security of the lives and property of citizens. My Administration is working assiduously to overcome current national security challenges, the seeds of which were sown under previous administrations.  There have been some setbacks; but certainly there have also been great successes in our efforts to overcome terrorism and insurgency.

Those who continue to down-play our successes in this regard, amongst whom you must now be numbered, appear to have conveniently forgotten the depths to which security in our country had plunged before now.

At a stage, almost the entire North-East of Nigeria was under siege by insurgents. Bombings of churches and public buildings in the North and the federal capital became an almost weekly occurrence. Our entire national security apparatus seemed nonplussed and unable to come to grips with the new threat posed by the berthing of terrorism on our shores.

But my administration has since brought that very unacceptable situation under significant control. We have overhauled our entire national security architecture, improved intelligence gathering, training, funding, logistical support to our armed forces and security agencies, and security collaboration with friendly countries with very visible and positive results.

The scope and impact of terrorist operations have been significantly reduced and efforts are underway to restore full normalcy to the most affected North Eastern region and initiate a post-crisis development agenda, including a special intervention programme to boost the region’s socio-economic progress.

In doing all this, we have kept our doors open for dialogue with the insurgents and their supporters through efforts such as the work of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and the Peaceful Resolution of the Security Challenges in the North-East. You also know that the Governor of Borno State provided the items you mentioned to me as carrots. Having done all this and more, it is interesting that you still accuse me of not acting on your hardly original recommendation that the carrot and stick option be deployed to solve the Boko Haram problem.

Your suggestion that we are pursuing a “war against violence without understanding the root causes of the violence and applying solutions to deal with all the underlying factors” is definitely misplaced because from the onset of this administration, we have been implementing a multifaceted strategy against militancy, insurgency and terrorism that includes poverty alleviation, economic development, education and social reforms.

Even though basic education is the constitutional responsibility of States, my administration has, as part of its efforts to address ignorance and poor education which have been identified as two of the factors responsible for making some of our youth easily available for use as cannon fodder by insurgents and terrorists, committed huge funds to the provision of modern basic education schools for the Almajiri in several Northern States. The Federal Government under my leadership has also set up nine additional universities in the Northern States and three in the Southern States in keeping with my belief that proper education is the surest way of emancipating and empowering our people.

More uncharitable persons may even see a touch of sanctimoniousness in your new belief in the carrot and stick approach to overcoming militancy and insurgency. You have always referred to how you hit Odi in Bayelsa State to curb militancy in the Niger Delta.  If the invasion of Odi by the Army was the stick, I did not see the corresponding carrot.  I was the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State then, and as I have always told you, the invasion of Odi did not solve any militancy problem but, to some extent, escalated it. If it had solved it, late President Yar’Adua would not have had to come up with the amnesty program. And while some elements of the problem may still be there, in general, the situation is reasonably better.

In terms of general insecurity in the country and particularly the crisis in the Niger Delta, 2007 was one of the worst periods in our history. You will recall three incidents that happened in 2007 which seemed to have been orchestrated to achieve sinister objectives.  Here in Abuja, a petrol tanker loaded with explosives was to be rammed into the INEC building. But luckily for the country, an electric pole stopped the tanker from hitting the INEC building.  It is clear that this incident was meant to exploit the general sense of insecurity in the nation at the time to achieve the aim of stopping the 2007 elections.  It is instructive that you, on a number of occasions, alluded to this fact.

When that incident failed, an armed group invaded Yenagoa one evening with the intent to assassinate me.  Luckily for me, they could not.  They again attacked and bombed my country home on a night when I was expected in the village. Fortunately, as God would have it, I did not make the trip.

I recall that immediately after both incidents, I got calls expressing the concern of Abuja.  But Baba, you know that despite the apparent concern of Abuja, no single arrest was ever made. I was then the Governor of Bayelsa State and the PDP Vice-Presidential candidate. The security people ordinarily should have unraveled the assassination attempt on me. 

You also raised the issues of kidnapping, piracy and armed robbery. These are issues all Nigerians, including me are very concerned about. While we will continue to do our utmost best to reduce all forms of criminality to the barest minimum in our country, it is just as well to remind you that the first major case of kidnapping for ransom took place around 2006. And the Boko Haram crisis dates back to 2002. Goodluck Jonathan was not the President of the country then. Also, armed robbery started in this country immediately after the civil war and since then, it has been a problem to all succeeding governments.  For a former Head of Government, who should know better, to present these problems as if they were creations of the Jonathan Administration is most uncharitable.  

Having said that, let me remind you of some of the things we have done to curb violent crime in the country. We have reorganized the Nigerian Police Force and appointed a more dynamic leadership to oversee its affairs. We have also improved its manpower levels as well as funding, training and logistical support.

We have also increased the surveillance capabilities of the Police and provided its air-wing with thrice the number of helicopters it had before the inception of the present administration. The National Civil Defence and Security Corps has been armed to make it a much more effective ally of the police and other security agencies in the war against violent crime. At both domestic and international levels, we are doing everything possible to curb the proliferation of the small arms and light weapons with which armed robberies, kidnappings and piracy are perpetrated. We have also enhanced security at our borders to curb cross-border crimes.

 We are aggressively addressing the challenge of crude oil theft in collaboration with the state Governors. In addition, the Federal Government has engaged the British and US governments for their support in the tracking of the proceeds from the purchase of stolen crude. Similarly, a regional Gulf of Guinea security strategy has been initiated to curb crude oil theft and piracy. 

Perhaps the most invidious accusation in your letter is the allegation that I have placed over one thousand Nigerians on a political watch list, and that I am training snipers and other militia to assassinate people. Baba, I don’t know where you got that from but you do me grave injustice in not only lending credence to such baseless rumours, but also publicizing it. You mentioned God seventeen times in your letter. Can you as a Christian hold the Bible and say that you truly believe this allegation?

The allegation of training snipers to assassinate political opponents is particularly incomprehensible to me. Since I started my political career as a Deputy Governor, I have never been associated with any form of political violence. I have been a President for over three years now, with a lot of challenges and opposition mainly from the high and mighty. There have certainly been cases of political assassination since the advent of our Fourth Republic, but as you well know, none of them occurred under my leadership.

Regarding the over one thousand people you say are on a political watch list, I urge you to kindly tell Nigerians who they are and what agencies of government are “watching” them. Your allegation that I am using security operatives to harass people is also baseless. Nigerians are waiting for your evidence of proof. That was an accusation made against previous administrations, including yours, but it is certainly not my style and will never be. Again, if you insist on the spurious claim that some of your relatives and friends are being harassed, I urge you to name them and tell Nigerians what agencies of my administration are harassing them.

I also find it difficult to believe that you will accuse me of assisting murderers, or assigning a presidential delegation to welcome a murderer. This is a most unconscionable and untrue allegation. It is incumbent on me to remind you that I am fully conscious of the dictates of my responsibilities to God and our dear nation. It is my hope that devious elements will not take advantage of your baseless allegation to engage in brazen and wanton assassination of high profile politicians as before, hiding under the alibi your “open letter” has provided for them.

Nevertheless, I have directed the security agencies and requested the National Human Rights Commission to carry out a thorough investigation of these criminal allegations and make their findings public.

That corruption is an issue in Nigeria is indisputable.  It has been with us for many years. You will recall that your kinsman, the renowned afro-beat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti famously sang about it during your first stint as Head of State. Sonny Okosun also sang about corruption. And as you may recall, a number of Army Generals were to be retired because of corruption before the Dimka coup.  Also, the late General Murtala Mohammed himself wanted to retire some top people in his cabinet on corruption-related issues before he was assassinated.  Even in this Fourth Republic, the Siemens and Halliburton scandals are well known.

The seed of corruption in this country was planted a long time ago, but we are doing all that we can to drastically reduce its debilitating effects on national development and progress. I have been strengthening the institutions established to fight corruption. I will not shield any government official or private individual involved in corruption, but I must follow due process in all that I do. And whenever clear cases of corruption or fraud have been established, my administration has always taken prompt action in keeping with the dictates of extant laws and procedures. You cannot claim to be unaware of the fact that several highly placed persons in our country, including sons of some of our party leaders are currently facing trial for their involvement in the celebrated subsidy scam affair. I can hardly be blamed if the wheels of justice still grind very slowly in our country, but we are doing our best to support and encourage the judiciary to quicken the pace of adjudication in cases of corruption.

Baba, I am amazed that with all the knowledge garnered from your many years at the highest level of governance in our country, you could still believe the spurious allegation contained in a letter written to me by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and surreptitiously obtained by you, alleging that USD49.8 billion, a sum equal to our entire national budget for two years, is “unaccounted for” by the NNPC. Since, as President, you also served for many years as Minister of Petroleum Resources, you very well know the workings of the corporation. It is therefore intriguing that you have made such an assertion. You made a lot of insinuations about oil theft, shady dealings at the NNPC and the NNPC not remitting the full proceeds of oil sales to the of CBN. Now that the main source of the allegations which you rehashed has publicly stated that he was “misconstrued”, perhaps you will find it in your heart to apologize for misleading unwary Nigerians and impugning the integrity of my administration on that score.

Your claim of “Atlantic Oil loading about 130, 000 barrels sold by Shell and managed on behalf of NPDC with no sale proceeds paid into the NPDC account” is also disjointed and baseless because no such arrangement as you described exists between Atlantic Oil and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company. NPDC currently produces about 138, 000 barrels of oil per day from over 7 producing assets. The Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD) of the NNPC markets all of this production on behalf of NPDC with proceeds paid into NPDC account.

I am really shocked that with all avenues open to you as a former Head of State for the verification of any information you have received about state affairs, you chose to go public with allegations of “high corruption” without offering a shred of supporting evidence. One of your political “sons” similarly alleged recently that he told me of a minister who received a bribe of $250 Million from an oil company and I did nothing about it. He may have been playing from a shared script, but we have not heard from him again since he was challenged to name the minister involved and provide the evidence   to back his claim.  I urge you, in the same vein, to furnish me with the names, facts and figures of a single verifiable case of the “high corruption” which you say stinks all around my administration and see whether the corrective action you advocate does not follow promptly. And while you are at it, you may also wish to tell Nigerians the true story of questionable waivers of signature bonuses between 2000 and 2007.

While, by the Grace of God Almighty, I am the first President from a minority group, I am never unmindful of the fact that I was elected leader of the whole of Nigeria and I have always acted in the best interest of all Nigerians. You referred to the divisive actions and inflammatory utterances of some individuals from the South-South and asserted that I have done nothing to call them to order or distance myself from their ethnic chauvinism. Again that is very untrue. I am as committed to the unity of this country as any patriot can be and I have publicly declared on many occasions that no person who threatens other Nigerians or parts of the country is acting on my behalf.

It is very regrettable that in your letter, you seem to place sole responsibility for the ongoing intrigues and tensions in the PDP at my doorstep, and going on from that position, you direct all your appeals for a resolution at me. Baba, let us all be truthful to ourselves, God and posterity. At the heart of all the current troubles in our party and the larger polity is the unbridled jostling and positioning for personal or group advantage ahead of the 2015 general elections. The “bitterness, anger, mistrust, fear and deep suspicion” you wrote about all flow from this singular factor.

It is indeed very unfortunate that the seeming crisis in the party was instigated by a few senior members of the party, including you. But, as leader of the party, I will continue to do my best to unite it so that we can move forward with strength and unity of purpose. The PDP has always recovered from previous crises with renewed vigour and vitality. I am very optimistic that that will be the case again this time. The PDP will overcome any temporary setback, remain a strong party and even grow stronger.

Instigating people to cause problems and disaffection within the party is something that you are certainly familiar with. You will recall that founding fathers of the Party were frustrated out of the Party at a time.  Late Chief Sunday Awoniyi was pushed out, Late Chief Solomon Lar left and later came back, Chief Audu Ogbeh and Chief Tom Ikimi also left. Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo left and later came back. In 2005/2006, link-men were sent to take over party structures from PDP Governors in an unveiled attempt to undermine the state governors. In spite of that, the Governors did not leave the Party because nobody instigated and encouraged them to do so.

The charge that I was involved in anti-party activities in governorship elections in Edo, Ondo, Lagos, and Anambra States is also very unfortunate. I relate with all Governors irrespective of political party affiliation but I have not worked against the interest of the PDP.  What I have not done is to influence the electoral process to favour our Party. You were definitely never so inclined, since you openly boasted in your letter of how you supported Alhaji Shehu Shagari against Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe and others in the 1979 presidential elections while serving as a military Head of State. You and I clearly differ in this regard, because as the President of Nigeria, I believe it is my duty and responsibility to create a level playing field for all parties and all candidates.

Recalling how the PDP lost in states where we were very strong in 2003 and 2007 such as Edo, Ondo, Imo, Bauchi, Anambra, and Borno, longstanding members of our great party with good memory will also consider the charge of anti-party activities you made against me as misdirected and hugely hypocritical. It certainly was not Goodluck Jonathan’s “personal ambition or selfish interest” that caused the PDP to lose the governorship of Ogun State and all its senatorial seats in the last general elections.

You quoted me as saying that I have not told anybody that I will seek another term in office in 2015. You and your ambitious acolytes within the party have clearly decided to act on your conclusion that “only a fool will believe that statement” and embark on a virulent campaign to harass me out of an undeclared candidature for the 2015 presidential elections so as to pave the way for a successor anointed by you.

You will recall that you serially advised me that we should refrain from discussing the 2015 general elections for now so as not to distract elected public officials from urgent task of governance. While you have apparently moved away from that position, I am still of the considered opinion that it would have been best for us to do all that is necessary to refrain from heating up the polity at this time. Accordingly, I have already informed Nigerians that I will only speak on whether or not I will seek a second term when it is time for such declarations. Your claims about discussions I had with you, Governor Gabriel Suswam and others are wrong, but in keeping with my declared stance, I will reserve further comments until the appropriate time.

Your allegation that I asked half a dozen African Presidents to speak to you about my alleged ambition for 2015, is also untrue.  I have never requested any African President to discuss with you on my behalf.  In our discussion, I mentioned to you that four Presidents told me that they were concerned about the political situation in Nigeria and intended to talk to you about it.  So far, only three of them have confirmed to me that they have had any discussion with you. If I made such a request, why would I deny it?

The issue of Buruji Kashamu is one of those lies that should not be associated with a former President.  The allegation that I am imposing Kashamu on the South-West is most unfortunate and regrettable.  I do not even impose Party officials in my home state of Bayelsa and there is no zone in this country where I have imposed officials.  So why would I do so in the South West?  Baba, in the light of Buruji’s detailed public response to your “open letter”, it will be charitable for you to render an apology to Nigerians and I.

On the issue of investors being scared to come to Nigeria, economic dormancy, and stagnation, I will just refer you to FDI statistics from 2000 to 2013. Within the last three years, Nigeria has emerged as the preferred destination for investments in Africa, driven by successful government policies to attract foreign investors. For the second year running, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Investments (UNCTAD) has ranked Nigeria as the number one destination for investments in Africa, and as having the fourth highest returns in the world.

Today, Nigeria is holding 18 percent of all foreign investments in Africa and 60 percent of all foreign investments in the ECOWAS Sub-Region. Kindly note also that in the seven years between 2000 and 2007 when you were President, Nigeria attracted a total of $24.9 Billion in FDI.  As a result of our efforts which you disparage, the country has seen an FDI inflow of $25.7 Billion in just three years which is more than double the FDI that has gone to the second highest African destination. We have also maintained an annual national economic growth rate of close to seven per cent since the inception of this administration. What then, is the justification for your allegation of scared investors and economic dormancy?

Although it was not emphasized in your letter of December 2, 2013, you also conveyed, in previous correspondence, the impression that you were ignorant of the very notable achievements of my administration in the area of foreign relations. It is on record that under my leadership, Nigeria has played a key role in resolving the conflicts in Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Guinea Bissau and others.

The unproductive rivalry that existed between Nigeria and some ECOWAS countries has also been ended under my watch and Nigeria now has better relations with all the ECOWAS countries.  At the African Union, we now have a Commissioner at the AU Commission after being without one for so long. We were in the United Nations Security Council for the 2010/2011 Session and we have been voted in again for the 2014/2015 Session. From independence to 2010, we were in the U.N. Security Council only three times but from 2010 to 2015, we will be there two times.


This did not happen by chance.  My Administration worked hard for it and we continue to maintain the best possible relations with all centres of global political and economic power. I find it hard therefore, to believe your assertions of untoward concern in the international community over the state of governance in Nigeria

With respect to the Brass and Olokola LNG projects, you may have forgotten that though you started these projects, Final Investment Decisions were never reached.  For your information, NNPC has not withdrawn from either the Olokola or the Brass LNG projects.

On the Rivers State Water Project, you were misled by your informant. The Federal Government under my watch has never directed or instructed the Africa Development Bank to put on hold any project to be executed in Rivers state or any other State within the Federation. The Rivers Water Project was not originally in the borrowing plan but it was included in April 2013 and appraised in May. Negotiations are ongoing with the AfDB.  I have no doubt that you are familiar with the entire process that prefaces the signing of a Subsidiary Loan Agreement as in this instance.

 Let me assure you and all Nigerians that I do not engage in negative political actions and will never, as President, oppress the people of a State or deprive them of much needed public services as a result of political disagreement


I have noted your comments on the proposed National Conference. Contrary to the insinuation in your letter, the proposed conference is aimed at bringing Nigerians together to resolve contentious national issues in a formal setting. This is a sure way of promoting greater national consensus and unity, and not a recipe for “disunity, confusion and chaos” as you alleged in your letter.

Having twice held the high office of President, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I trust that you will understand that I cannot possibly find the time to offer a line-by-line response to all the accusations and allegations made in your letter while dealing with other pressing demands of office and more urgent affairs of state.

I have tried, however, to respond to only the most serious of the charges which question my sincerity, personal honour, and commitment to the oath which I have sworn, to always uphold and protect the interests of all Nigerians, and promote their well-being.

In closing, let me state that you have done me grave injustice with your public letter in which you wrongfully accused me of deceit, deception, dishonesty, incompetence, clannishness, divisiveness and insincerity, amongst other ills.

I have not, myself, ever claimed to be all-knowing or infallible, but I have never taken Nigeria or Nigerians for granted as you implied, and I will continue to do my utmost to steer our ship of state towards the brighter future to which we all aspire.

Please accept the assurances of my highest consideration and warm regards.