Tag Archives: Nigeria

See FG’s plans to increase states to 42, run a restructured governance economy

A document has been circulating on the social media claiming that the Federal Government of Nigeria will be proposing a bill to increase the state’s to 42 (7 for each geopolitical zone), and restructure the economy.

According to the document, the states will control is own resources.

Jungle Journalist Media Limited has not been able to confirm if the information is genuine, but the allegedly proposed bill is a very interesting one that everyone needs to study.

Below is the kite being flown by the Federal Government on Restructuring:

Nigerian Economic Restructuring Bill 2021

[1] Nigeria will be made up of 42 states, with seven per each of her constituent geo-political zone. These shall be:

South-South
[1] Bayelsa State – Yenagoa
[2] Western Ijaw State – Patani
[3] Rivers State – Port Harcourt
[4] Cross River State – Calabar
[5] Akwa Ibom State – Uyo
[6] Edo State – Benin
[7] Delta State – Warri

North East
[1] Mambilla State – Gashaka
[2] Taraba State – Jalingo
[3] Adamawa State – Yola
[4] Borno State – Maiduguri
[5] Yobe State – Damaturu
[6] Bauchi State – Bauchi
[7] Gombe State – Gombe

South-East
[1] Anioma State – Asaba
[2] Orashi State – Omoku
[3] Anambra State – Awka
[4] Imo State – Owerri
[5] Enugu State – Enugu
[6] Abia State – Umuahia
[7] Ebonyi State – Abakaliki

North-Central
[1] Abuja State – Abuja
[2] Gurara State – Kafanchan
[3] Benue State – Makurdi
[4] Plateau State – Jos
[5] Nasarawa State – Lafia
[6] Kogi State – Lokoja
[7] Niger State – Minna

South West
[1] Kwara State – Ilorin
[2] Oyo State – Ibadan
[3] Ogun State – Abeokuta
[4] Lagos State – Ikeja
[5] Ondo – Akure
[6] Ekiti – Ado-Ekiti
[7] Osun – Oshogbo

North West
[1] Sokoto State – Sokoto
[2] Kebbi State – Birnin Kebbi
[3] Kaduna State – Kaduna
[4] Katsina State – Katsina
[5] Kano State – Kano
[6] Jigawa State – Dutse
[7] Zamfara State – Gusua

[2] Each state will be responsible for creating and funding its local governments as it deems fit. Local governments will be funded internally by the charging of a local tax, which will be augmented by a state grant representing no more than 10% of tax.

[3] Over a 35 year period, we gradually migrate back to the 1957/58 revenue sharing formula agreed by our founding fathers at the Lancaster House Conferences in London under which the federating units will control all the resources within their domains and remit 50% to the centre

[4] Our federating units will keep 50% of all the revenue that they generate, put a further 20% into a central pot called the Excess Federation Account to which everyone can have access as the need arises, 10% will go into a geo-political zone account and the remaining 20% will go to into the Federation Account used to run the federal government

[5] With regards to all other resources, we shall move towards this immediately but in the case of oil and gas, the move will have to be gradual due to how dependent we have become on these two resources. A gradual migration shall take place over the next 35 years in this manner: 2000 – 13%, 2021 – 18%, 2023 – 20%, 2025 – 25%, 2030 – 30%, 2035 – 35%, 2040 – 40%, 2045 – 45%, 2050 – 50%

[6] Every one of our 42 states will be set a target of generating at least $2bn in export revenue. Any state government that attracts inward investment to the tune of $1bn, will get a corresponding grant from the federal government

[7] Any state that fails to generate as much revenue as it spends for two consecutive years as from 2020, will be subject to an immediate declaration of a state of emergency. It shall be administered centrally by the federal government until its books are balanced

[8] Every state must seek to generate at least 30% of its internal revenue from manufacturing and services, with a migration away from primary products to value added production

[9] Every state is free to create more local governments provided they meet the necessary criteria which includes holding a referendum and the fact that the local government area is self-sustaining. To be recognised as a local government area, basic facilities that must exist within the domain include 20 primary schools, five secondary schools, a local government headquarters, at least one vocational training college and at least one public health centre

[10] All local and state governments will as a matter of course award supply contracts to companies that manufacture products within Nigeria. Only as a last resort will companies that manufacture products abroad be granted government contracts.

‘Benin Republic ready to be Nigeria’s 37th state’, says Nigeria’s minister

The Federal Government has said the President of Benin Republic, Patrice Talon, had expressed readiness for his country to be part of Nigeria.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who stated this shortly after a closed-door meeting with Beninoise Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Aurélien Agbenonci, said the Beninoise president gave the offer when he visited President Muhammadu Buhari, a few weeks back.

“The President of Benin said as far as they are concerned, they want (not just saying it like that) but in reality, Benin should be the 37th state of Nigeria,” he said.

“We should really be one. They charged us to come together at ministerial level, to work out a framework for a sustainable relationship.”

Onyeama said, at the visit, both presidents discussed agreements between the two countries on how to put the issue of smuggling to an end, once and for all, as a follow up to the presidents’ meeting.

Before Nigeria drifts like Rwanda

By Okechukwu Keshi

The pains of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda were relived sometime in 2018 when it was reported that four mass graves were discovered traced to the genocide in the East African country dating back to over 20 years.

According to reports by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), more than 200 bodies were disinterred from the sites, which were found in the the Gasabo district near the Rwandan capital of Kigali.

The report further stated that the exercise was ongoing as others were yet to be exhumed. It is reported that an approximate 3,000 residents of the district were missing following massacres that occurred during the 1994 genocide, when some 800,000 people, mostly members of the Tutsi ethnic minority, were killed by ethnic majority Hutu militias over 100 days and local residents in Gasabo believe the mass graves could contain all of the missing victims’ bodies.

The discoveries then raised fresh concerns over how long the sites were known to the locals as the sites were reportedly identified by the residents. Another worrisome issue was that many of those convicted of perpetrating atrocities during the genocide are released, but they have done little to reveal the whereabouts of the missing persons.

The Rwanda 1994 genocide, which is regarded as the greatest tragedy in the country, is a very sad reminder and should by all means be jettisoned to the dustbin of history. On April 6, 1994, the plane carrying President Habyarimana and President Cyprien Ntariyamira of Burundi was shot down by rocket- fire. The masterminds of this assassination was not known but the assassination served as the fuse that erupted the violence.

Before Jack could be spelt, and even before the national radio had announced the assassination, death lists were circulated to as the identification of the Hutu opponents. This was basically targeted at those who supported the democratic movement or promoted human rights.

Those assassinated were several ministers on the transition government, which included members of the democratic opposition such as Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyima. When the killings were extended, it dawned on the world that the killings were an approach to eliminate every single Tutsi, though Hutu intellectulas and opponents were involved.

As no other means could provide an adequate identification of the Tutsis, the identity cards demanded at road blocks mounted by the militias served as the signature on the death warrants for the Tutsis. Not satisfied with the results from the road blocks, the militia leaders partitioned the territory under their control so that one man was allocated for every ten households to enable them conduct a thorough search for Tutsis in their immediate localities. The incident degenerated to the point that every Tutsi family could be denounced by someone who knew the family personally: giving rise to teachers killing their pupils, customers killing shop owners, neighbours killing their neighbours, and husbands killing their wives to spare them experiencing a more terrible death.

The incident degenerated to the point that churches where the Tutsis have gone to seek refuge were invaded by the militias. The church scenes even constituted the worst massacres. For example 2800 murders were recorded in Kibungo; 6000 in Cyahinda, and 4000 in Kibeho.

Marriage links neither provided a succour as children of mixed marriages take the ethnic group of their father. Though some Hutu killers-including the militia-had Tutsi mothers, so intense was the indoctrination programme that the family links were of no effect.

The situation was that bad such that the mass media which serve as catalyst for nation building contributed to the escalation of the violence. A statement credited to Radio Mille Collines at the end of April reads thus: “By 5 May,the country must be completely cleansed of Tutsis. Even the children were targeted: We will not repeat the mistake of 1959. The children must be killed too”. It is alleged that the media directly influenced the Hutu peasants, with a strong conviction that they were under threat, thereby encouraging them to ‘make the Tutsis smaller’ by decapitating them.

Furthermore, allegedly there was no balanced reportage of the massacre by the world press as reviewing headlines in the French and English language press in the first weeks did not capture the massacre in its true picture but presented it as a civil war.Such headlines were ‘Rwanda on fire’, Fierce clashes’,’Slaughter’,’Massacre’, ‘Civil War’, ‘Bloody Horror’,’Rwanda Anarchy’,Fall of Kigali Imminent’, among others.

Unfortunately, the genocide spread in at an astronomical progression to cover the whole the country under the control of the government army, and the estimation is that by the end April there were 100,000 persons killed. Amid this, there was no known effort by the media to draw a distinction between assassinations of specifically targeted Hutus and the systematic elimination of the Tutsis.

For instance, it took not less than three weeks before world- leading media houses in their editorials finally compared the genocide in Rwanda with Germany under Nazism and referring to it as a genocide. The world ‘genocide’ rarely appeared in the main headlines.

In world history, genocides are heralded by warning signals just like the “killer herdsmen” ,”the bandits”are ravaging parts of Nigeria leaving in their trail scores of deaths, rape and maiming.

The irony of the whole episode is that the most appropriate quarters pay lip service to it by branding the vicious killers in a lesser robe or painting the situation in a lighter scale.

Between 1991 and 1994, the signals were very strong in Rwanda and the alarm bells rung intensely. The UN Human Rights Commission even reported some of these signals.Thousands of militia members received arms and military training by the Rwanda Armed Forces (FAR) between 1993 and 1994. The number grew from 5000 to 40,000. This enabled the militias to take on both the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and internal opposition.

It will be recalled that in 1992 a document allegedly emanating from the FAR headquarters drew the distinction between the principal enemy and their supporters. The first is that:”Tutsis inside the country or outside, extremists and longing to return to power, who never recognised and never will recognise the reality of the 1959 social revolution, when Tutsis were thrown out of power, and would take power back in Rwanda by any means possible, including the use of arms. The second is described as: “Anybody who gives any kind of support to the main enemy” (the Hutu opposition).

Indeed, racist ideologies are evil and should not be supported ,and ethnocentrism as a variant of tribalism sees members of an ethnic group as superior to others. In Germany Hitler’s grand plan was built on intense European anti- semitism which was carried out by singling out Jews as the source of all Germany’s ills. In Rwanda, the Hutu radicals are inheritors of the colonial lunacy of classifying and grading different ethnic groups in a racial hierarchy.

In Nigeria, it is hightime the appropriate quarters confront the situation frontally lest we drifted to anarch as Rwanda did!

Implosion looms in PDP

Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), may implode unless leaders of the party rally round to rescue the ship from drifting.

This is coming barely 10 months to the party’s elective national convention where new leadership of the party will be elected. It was gathered that the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee (NWC) may not be allowed till December when its four-year tenure will expire.

The leadership is accused of poor management of the party’s affairs, as well as creating conflicts in state chapters during last year’s state congresses. Multiple sources informed New Telegraph that governors elected on the platform of the party are not happy with the leadership and are in the forefront of those demanding that they should go before the expiration of their tenure.

According to a party source,
“Before, it was only the National Chairman who was the target. But I can tell you, the entire NWC is going. A caretaker committee will be appointed which will serve out their tenure and conduct a national convention in December.

“The party is broke. The governors are no longer bringing money because they are not happy the way the NWC is running the party.”

It was, however, gathered that some party leaders are worried that the crisis might get out of hand, if a caretaker committee is appointed, and advised to avoid what happened during the Markarfi/Sheriff era.

Instead, they suggested that none of the current NWC members should be allowed to seek re-election or serve in any other capacity at any level. The source disclosed that the anger against the NWC is the festering crisis in South-West, which they blamed on the party leadership.

They accused Secondus of supporting former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose to wrestle the party structure from Governor Seyi Makinde, the same way he has handed the Cross River State structure to Senator Liyel Imoke.

A member of the party from South-West told New Telegraph that the National Chairman knows that Makinde, as a sitting governor, should be the leader of PDP in the zone, but he chose to side with Fayose to spite the Governor.

“When Fayose was governor, he was South-West PDP leader. Did Bode George who was even Deputy National Chairman, contest it with him? Secondus knew about this because he was Deputy National Chairman then.
Why did he want to hand the structure over to Fayose who left office since 2018?” the source asked. There was speculation that Makinde might join the African Democratic Congress (ADC) when his supporters exited PDP WhatsApp platform last week.

The source, however, assured that the governor was not leaving PDP. About four governors are rumoured to be on their way out of the party.

Though no name was mentioned, Zamfara and Cross Rivers State governors are believed to be on the list. Two weeks ago, a group which styled itself “7Alive”, from Cross River State, accused the National Chairman of disrespecting Governor Ben Ayade.

The group, in a letter to the National Chairman, noted that “From May 1999 to May 2007 when Mr. Donald Duke, was governor, all through his tenure, the administrative running, the party structure, leadership, instructions and directives on what to do and how to manage the party had always centred around the governor.

“The same norms and traditions were transmitted to Senator Liyel Imoke as governor of Cross River State from May 2007 to May 2015….”

They group wondered why the same privilege was not extended to Governor Ayade by the NWC, adding, “It is no longer a secret that some members of the National Assembly, whose re-election to the Green and Red Chambers was facilitated by the governor, have now formed an opposition wing in Abuja, to conspire to seize the structures of the party in the state.”

Ayade’s candidate, Dr. Stephen Odey, who won the December 5, 2020 Cross River North senatorial re-run election, lost to a member of House of Representatives, Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, in court, which said Odey was not properly nominated at the PDP primaries.

The governor believed it was a conspiracy with the party leadership. It is not known the grouse of Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle, against the party, but the governor had accused the PDP of injustice when Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
New Telegraph also learnt that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who many believed put the present NWC in office, has more than once, accused the leadership of poor management of the party affairs.

Wike is demanding that the governors should be allowed to conduct the June primaries to select PDP candidate for the November Anambra governorship election. This, party source believe, is a vote of no confidence in the NWC to conduct credible party primaries.

The source revealed that Wike’s grouse against the NWC was the way they handled the minority leadership in House of Representatives.

According to the source, the governor was told to nominate minority leader of the House, only for Ndudi Elumelu to emerge against Wike’s candidate. Up till now, the leadership crisis has not been resolved, which Wike considered as weakness on the part of the NWC.

Last December, the party set up a six-man reconciliation and strategy committee headed by former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki. The committee is yet to intervene in any of the crises plaguing the party.

Although party source explained that it was because Saraki has not been around, this reporter gathered that some party leaders expressed reservation on Saraki heading the committee.

New Telegraph was told that the former Senate President betrayed the governors during the 2018 PDP presidential primaries in Port Harcourt.
According to the source, the governors wanted one of them, Governor Aminu Tambuwal as PDP presidential candidate and had enlisted Saraki’s support, only for him to also declare interest in the party’s ticket.

“The governors were not just angry with Saraki for declaring interest, but they discovered that he was working for Atiku (Abubakar). Right there in Port Harcourt, he was negotiating to become Atiku’s campaign DG, which was given to him eventually. “So, the governors see Saraki as part of the problem. He is not the right person to head the committee.

“Since the committee was appointed, have they intervened in any of the crises? Wike was the one who went to South-West to reconcile Makinde and Fayose. This was what people expected the Saraki committee to do.

“When (Seriake) Dickson was chairman of reconciliation committee, you could see him going round to reconcile members,” the source recalled. PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, denied any knowledge of the planned sack of NWC.

When probed further, Ologbondiyan promised to call back, but has not at the time of filing this report.

New Telegraph

Stay clear of 2023 Presidential Election, MASSOB warn Jonathan, Tinubu, Bello

Leadership of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) have condemned the subtle political move by some Northern APC governors to lure and influence Goodluck Jonathan to vie for 2023 presidential election.

According to Uchenna Madu, Leader of the organisation who spoke to Jungle Journalist Media Limited through a Press Release, “This is a dangerous systematic way of creating and re establishing another political discord among the people of old eastern region.

His words “Former President Goodluck Jonathan and his Ijaw kinsmen should be wise enough to discern this subtle and hypocritical moves of Arewa Governors. The Sultan of Sokoto, the Aso Villa cabals, the Frontline emirs, the Arewa opinion leaders and Islamic gurus both in Nigerians/foreigners are perfectly aware and systematically pushing for a Goodluck Jonathan one tenure administration. Their ultimate political aim is to sideline and frustrate the golden chances of Ndi Igbo or Southeast zone to emerge as president of Nigeria.

“Former President Goodluck Jonathan and his Ijaw kinsmen should avoid and discard this destructive and political end of Ijaw ethnic nationality in Nigeria. The people of Southeast and the indigenous Igbos in South South region have always supported the Ijaws mostly on the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan during his political travails in the hands of Arewa leaders.

MASSOB also warned Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Gov Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to bury their presidential ambitions in 2023 because “it is sacrosanct for the Southeast zone to produce the next president of Nigeria”, he argued.

“It is not about sentiment or selfishness to support the Southeast zone, it is the turn of Southeast zone to produce the next president of Nigeria according to the zoning arrangement.

“Nigeria is already sitting on a explosive time bomb that will eventually explode in 2023 if justice and national integration are not done to the people of Southeast in producing the next president of Nigeria. The Hausa Fulanis are seriously plotting to scuttle and frustrate the chances of Southeast zone to produce the next president of Nigeria.

“MASSOB warns All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to immediately commence picking of their presidential candidate from Southeast zone for 2023 presidential election. If the political conspiracy against people of Southeast prevail, we shall once again proove that Ndigbo have the capacity and capability to make or mar Nigeria. 2023 shall determine if Nigeria will continue to exist or not”, Comrade Uchenna Madu stated.

COVID-19: FG plans another lockdown of Lagos, Abuja, other cities

The Federal Government on Friday said it is contemplating a targeted lockdown in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna and major cities in Nigeria as the number of COVID-19 cases soars in the West African nation.

Although recoveries from the disease in the country have crossed 100,000, the Nigerian government is worried that with more than 127,000 infections, many citizens are not adhering to the safety protocols.

“Certainly, even if we are going to have a lockdown, it is not going to be a total lockdown. A couple of weeks back, we analysed the data and we identified the hotspot local government areas,” the National Incident Manager of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Mukhtar Muhammad, said.

“Mostly, the areas affected are the urban local governments in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Plateau. Even in most other states, it is the urban areas that are involved. So, if we are going to have any restrictions, it will be in these areas.

“The urban areas are the most affected and that is why we have these superspreaders and that is where we are going to target. We have analysed that and we are advising the states based on the data that these are the focused areas where these transmissions are more than the others.”

41 Million More Doses

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire on Thursday noted that the country has secured additional 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as the fight to tame the disease gathers steam.

However, the date of the vaccine’s delivery into the country remains unknown as vaccine manufacturers struggle to meet global demand in time.

“We do not have an exact date,” Dr Ehanire said on Channels Television’s Politics Today. “The date it comes out depends on when the manufacturers are able to deliver, and that is not something that any country can enforce at this time.”

Profile of the new service chiefs (1)

Profile of AIR VICE MARSHAL ISIAKA OLADAYO AMAO..Chief of Air Staff

Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao was born on 14 Sep 65 at Enugu. He hails from Oshogbo LGA of Osun State. He attended the following academic schools: Nuhu Bamali Pry School Kaduna from 1971 – 77, Command Secondary School Kakuri Kaduna from 1977 – 82, Federal College of Freshwater and Fisheries Technology (FCFFT) New Bussa from 1994 – 96, University of Madras India from 2002 – 2003, Kaduna Polytechnic from 2005 – 2006 and National Defence University China from 2012 – 2013.

He enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on 19 Jan 1984 as a member of 35 NDA Regular Course and was commissioned as Pilot Officer on 20 Dec 86. He started his Primary Flying Training at 301 Flying Training School (FTS) Kaduna from 1987 – 1989, did the Basic Flying Training at 303 FTS Kano from 1990 – 92 and Tactical Fighter Training at 99 Air Combat Training Group (99 ACTG) Kainji from 1993 – 99.
Thereafter, went for Instructor Pilot Course at 301 FTS Kaduna from 2004 – 2005.

The senior officer had served in following NAF Units: 99 ACTG Kainji as Trainee/Sqn Pilot from 1993 – 2004, 301 FTS Kaduna as Instructor Pilot/Sqn Pilot from 2004 – 2007, HQ NAF Abuja as Air Assistance to Chief of Air Staff from Sep 08 – May 10, Nigerian High Commission London as Deputy Defence Adviser from May 10 – Aug 12 and Ag Defence Adviser from Nov 11 – Feb 12, Defence Headquarter as Assistance Director of operation from Aug 2013 – Jan 14, 99 ACTG as Commander from 25 Jan 14 – 20 Jan 15, 75 Strike Group (75 STG) as Commander from 20 Jan 15 – 16 Feb 16, Air Component Commander of operation ZAMAN LAFIYA / LAFIYA DOLE (North East operation) from 13 Feb 15 – 16 Feb 16, doubled as Acting Deputy Theater Commander (Air Ops) for operation LAFIYA DOLE from 4 Jan 16 – 16 Feb 16, Director of Policy (DOPOL) at HQ NAF, Abuja from 16 Feb – May 27 and Director of Operations (DOO) at HQ NAF, Abuja from 27 May – 6 Sep 16, Director of Training (DOT) at HQ NAF, Abuja from 6 Sep 16 – 22 Dec 16 and Director of Operations (DOO) at HQ NAF from 22 Dec 16 – 29 Jan 18.
He is presently the Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command (TAC).

He is a fighter pilot and has participated in various operations such as: Draw Down of AFISMA operation in Mali from Aug 2013 – Jan 14, operation ZAMAN LAFIYA from 20 Feb – 19 Jul 15 and operation LAFIYA DOLE (North East operations) from 19 Jul 15 – 16 Feb 16.

His decorations include: Forces Service Star (FSS), Meritorious Service Star (MSS), Distinguished Service Star (DSS), General Service Medal (GSM), River Benue Star (RBS), Passed Staff College (psc) and Fellow National Defence University (FNDU) China.

The senior officer has attended several military courses which include: Junior Division Course at Armed Forces Command Staff College (AFCSC) Jaji from Jun – Dec 1986, Senior Division Course at Defence Services Staff College India from 2002 – 2003, Defence Course at National Defence University China from 2012 – 2013, Aircraft Accident Investigation in Civil Airline at NCAT Zaria and Aircraft Accident Investigation Course at Karachi, Pakistan.

He has the following academic qualification: MSc in Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Madras, India, Master of Military Science and Strategy (MMSc) and Advance Diploma in Defence and Strategy Studies from NDU China, Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy from Kaduna Polytechnic, National Diploma in Freshwater and Fisheries Technology from FCFFT New Bussa and Nigerian Defence Academy Certificate of Education.

AVM Amao is happily married to Mrs Elizabeth Olubunmi Amao and they are blessed with 3 lovely boys. His Hobbies include: reading, dancing, travelling, playing volley ball and golf as well as fish farming.

Profile of the New CDS: Major General Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea (LEO) Irabor

If you decide to count the men in uniform that are completely loyal to Nigeria and her integrity, General Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea Irabor undoubtedly counts among the top ten.

He was recognized with the Nation Builders Award of Excellence in Soldiering on the 27th of November, 2020. Major General Irabor who is currently the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command, Minna has lived most of his adult life for Nigeria and her national security. His most recent postings have been highly strategic because of the calibre of officer General Irabor is.

Major General Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea Irabor was born on 5th October 1965 in Aliokpu Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. He gained admission into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna as a member of the 34 Regular Course in 1983 and was commissioned Second Lieutenant on 28 June 1986 into the Signals Corps of the Nigerian Army.

Major General Irabor attended several military and civil courses both locally and abroad. He attended Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) for his Junior Staff Course in 1995 and Ghana Armed Forces Staff College Teshi, Accra Ghana for Senior Staff Course in 2000/2001 amongst other several military courses. Also, he attended National Defence College in Bangladesh in 2010 and Harvard Kennedy School of Government, USA in 2012 and 2017. Major General Lucky Irabor is a trained Engineer from Obafemi Awolowo University and interesting, he holds two Masters Degrees from University of Ghana, Accra and Bangladesh University of Professionals, Dhaka.

General Lucky was the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole counterinsurgency force in north-east Nigeria. Operation Lafiya Dole is the name given by the army to its operation to defeat the Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria. As the dedicated leader of this command, the following successes were recorded within a short period:

Always in the forefront of his assignment, as Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE, he was in charge of 3 Divisions from the Nigerian Army, an Air Task Force and a Maritime Component. Major General Irabor was responsible for the capture of Alargano Forest – the acclaimed spiritual base of Boko Haram Terrorists. He also planned and executed the conduct of Operations CRACK DOWN 1 and 2, RESCUE FINALE and DEEP PUNCH which led to the clearance of SAMBISA FOREST, destruction of BHT camps and enclaves, capture of several weapons, vehicles and equipment belonging to BHT as well as rescued well over 20,000 civilians abducted by BHT, including 2 Chibok Girls. Furthermore, the impact of the operations he conducted forced the BHT to release a total of 103 Chibok Girls in two instances. As Force Commander MNJTF, he successfully planned and conducted Operation AMNI FAKAT within the Lake Chad Basin Area which led to the clearance and domination of Gashigar, Arege and Metele as well destruction of several terrorists’ camps and IED making factories. During his tenure, over 25,000 hostages were liberated.

After completing his time at the Operation LAFIYA DOLE, General Lucky Irabor also graciously served as the head and Field Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF). The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) is a combined multinational formation, comprising units, mostly military, from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. It is headquartered in N’Djamena and is mandated to bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency.

In 2015, when the political process of expanding the MNJTF was reinvigorated and led to swifter progress, including the expansion of troop numbers and mandate, and relocation of the HQ to N’Djamena, Chad, there were meetings held between the military forces of Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria targeted towards restoring peace and security in the various territories of these three Nations. There were very vital structural changes after these meetings like the increase in the numbers of soldiers, the creation of a new Concept of Operations under the supervision of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, and the move of the HQ to N’Djamena. It was agreed that a Nigerian officer would be the Force Commander for the duration of the mission against Boko Haram, with a Cameroonian as Deputy Commander and Chadian Chief of Staff.

While the then Major-General Tukur Yusuf Buratai was appointed first Commander of the rejuvenated MNJTF in May 2015, his command was short lived as in July 2015 he was appointed Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff. After General Buratai, there were two other Army Generals appointed to the same position of Commander of the MNJTF before Major General Irabor was appointed in May 2017.

Having served brilliantly as the head and Field Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), General Irabor was transferred to Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja. Here, he was the Chief of Defence Training and Operations. During the outbreak of the dreaded COVID 19, he successfully headed a Committee that was put in place to interface with all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria managing the COVID 19 Pandemic. This Committee set up 17 isolation and treatment centres spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

Being a very proactive professional soldier, General lucky coordinated the planning and execution of Operation 777 in all DHQ led operations leading to the successful conduct of the 2019 General Elections. He initiated training and operational actions intended to optimize the effectiveness of the Armed Forces of Nigeria including the recently conducted first-ever Defence HQ Training Conference. He is also responsible for the coordination of all activities of the Department of Defence Training and Operations, Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

General Irabor without doubt, is a highly committed trainer and disciplinarian.

Like the fine utility Army General that he is, his services are almost needed everywhere. During the most recent posting by the Nigerian Army in July 2020, Major General Irabor was posted the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) in Minna, Niger State as the new Commander. The Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC Minna) is a research-oriented formation in the Nigerian Army. It is headquartered in Minna in the Niger State. TRADOC is charged with doctrinal training and combat development, supervising training centers. It also serves as a senior think-tank in Nigeria. TRADOC was formed in 1981 under the leadership of Major General Geoffrey Obiaje Ejiga, and currently supervises all the Army’s schools, as well as an army depot.

This humble General continues to ensure proper military recruitment, basic training and education of officers and men of the Nigerian Army. TRADOC supports army training and coordinates research on the development of army corps and schools. It serves as a liaison between the army and educational establishments in ensuring the professional development of junior officers in the field. When multiple army divisions concurrently deploy, TRADOC serves as a corps headquarters to direct the operational tasks of the divisions.

As a man who knows how to handle people and situations, apart from the organizational departments of TRADOC, General Lucky has the big task of taking care of 18 corps training schools, as well as a museum, a training depot and a command college and the Nigerian Military School at Zaria. Due to his sterling qualities, he has consistently won several commendations like the Chief of Army Staff Commendation Award.

Currently as the Commander Training and Doctrine Command Nigerian Army, he successfully coordinated the conduct of Senior Staff Course Qualifying Examination 2020 and Captain to Major Practical Promotion Examination 2020.

Furthermore, Major General Irabor, from hard work, dedication and selfless service in the course of his career, has rightfully earned the following Honours and Awards: Forces Service Star (FSS), Meritorious Service Star (MSS), Distinguished Service Star (DSS) and Grand Service Star (GSS). Others include Command Medal and Field Command Medal (FCM). He was also awarded the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) peacekeeping medals for operations in Sierra Leone and Liberia as well as medals for United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) and United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

To put in summary, Major General Lucky Irabor has held several appointments in the course of his loyal service to Nigeria and her people. Notable amongst which are Academy Adjutant at the prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy, Commanding Officer 515 Signal Regiment, Commander 53 Signals Brigade, Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Army Staff, Coordinator Nigerian Army Aviation, Deputy Theatre Commander/Land Component Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Force Commander Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and currently the Chief of Defence Training and Operations.

Seeing all the above and very many not written here, you realize that General Irabor is indeed deserving of anything good that Nigeria has to offer. He is a man truly committed to Project Nigeria. One can without doubt observe that he is a soldier that stays alert, fit, and always battle-ready.

This senior officer is widely travelled. He is happily married and blessed with children. His hobbies include reading, jogging and listening to good music.

NPHCDA, NCDC announces plan for COVID -19 vaccine distribution in Nigeria

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NCDC, has announced a distribution plan for the COVID-19 vaccine in the country, saying that the rate of infection in each state was the criterion used in the distribution.

It revealed the plan alongside the publication of the latest infection rates for the disease by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on its verified website.

Based on the rate of infection in the states, the distribution list of the COVID-19 vaccine indicated that Kano State will receive three thousand, five hundred and fifty-seven the highest, followed by Lagos, three thousand, one hundred and thirty-one.

The least vaccine, six hundred and sixty-one will go to Nasarawa State while Anambra State will receive one thousand, three hundred and seventy-nine among other states.

The NPHCDA said that though all of the states were getting less than four thousand vaccines from the first batch, the federal government had advised that frontline workers, like those in the health and security sectors, be given priority, as well as the elderly.

The agency said that the vaccine, expected to be administered in January and February, would be done in compliance with WHO standards as the federal government was also sourcing for more vaccines from other countries like Russia.

INTERVIEW: How Nigeria can effectively become a functional state again from 2021-Activist Eholor

Human Rights defender, Patrick Eholor granted an exclusive interview to newsmen on January 1st, 2021.

Eholor, who is the President of One Love Foundation touched several pressing issues in the country. Jungle Journalist Media Ltd was there.
Excerpts:

Good will to friends, family and compatriots

Nigeria is like the Bible from Genesis to Revelation when you look at the problems facing us. No one can really read Genesis to Revelation in one day.

Throughout our life time we will continue to read the Bible for better understanding.

I must thank members of my household for the support that they have given to me over these years. I also thank my friends who have tolerated me because I am not easy to cope with. The kind of advocacy I champion sometimes becomes very uncomfortable for my friends and my family given the fact of the kind of government we have in this country, because when you talk, they will use DSS(Department of State Services) operatives or police to harass you. It becomes very worrisome for my friends and my family. So, I want to thank them for their prayers, their love that they have given to me over the years.

Captain Wells Hosa

Let me thank Captain Hosa Okunbor for his generosity and wish him good health. God will give him a long life and take away any pain from him. Captain Hosa Okunbor is a good man.

Some of the issues EndSARS protest was trying to address

We are talking about reforming all institutions in Nigeria. It would amuse you that Nigeria is the only country that has men more powerful than institutions.

Lets talk about the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Let us ask them why they’re not declaring the revenue that they collect? Why are they congesting the seaports? Why do we have only one seaport in Lagos? Can’t we have seaports in the different geopolitical zones?

Officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service

Lets talk about the Nigeria Immigration Service(NIS). Why is the immigration not enforcing rules at our borders? Why are our borders so porous?

What are the Customs doing in Ekiadolor on the outskirt of Benin? What are they doing in Ore(in Ondo State)? Customs are supposed to protect our borders and airports, not Benin City.

Men of the Nigerian Customs Service

Let lecturers who are involved in sex for grade be shown the way out of our institutions.

Lets talk about the military who use horsewhip to beat innocent citizens. The military are supposed to be people who protect our sovereignty. They are not supposed to use horsewhip to dehumanise our people.

We have pastors who have turned our father’s house to a den of thieves. Pastors who are talking about miracles, who could not find a solution to Covid-19.

President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof Yomi Osibanjo

The President’s New Year message to Nigerians

I stopped listening to President Muhammadu Buhari’s broadcast when he did a 12 minutes broadcast when there was a massacre at Lekki and he did not acknowledge those that were massacred because they were not his biological children.

I want to tell him that those people are his children. He should have done the noble thing by at least sympathising with the families of those who lost their lives. He should have also done the noble thing by sympathising with the families of the policemen/women who lost their lives during the #EndSARS protests. His 12 minutes broadcast was so empty. Because of that I was so discouraged and I have vowed never to listen to any of his live broadcast again.

Mr Godwin Obaseki of Edo State

Why I took Governor Godwin Obaseki to court over primary school leaving certificate

What I was doing with Governor Godwin Obaseki in that regards is not to witch-hunt him. I have said it several times and I am not ashamed to say it, that I don’t have a university education. I am a farmer. It doesn’t make me inferior. I have my Primary Six School Leaving Certificate from Oza Primary School, Benin.

That’s very important for me. For Obaseki to say that he will give Primary Six School Leaving Certificate to all pupils without letting them sit for an examination is ridiculous.

That’s reducing our educational standards. That’s why I went to court to challenge him. I gave him 24 hours to respond which he refused to do. We are in court already and the court will interprete that.

Call for legalisation of ownership of arms and ammunition

A few days ago, Prof. Itse Sagay, a reputable lawyer, supported what I have been canvassing for over the years. Now, Fulani herdsmen have taken over our state. They go to our farms, they rob our people, they rape and kidnap our women. We cannot continue to let that happen.

If we are allowed to carry arms like the Americans and Israelites that nonsense would not happen. You will think twice before talking about coming to my house to attack me knowing that I am well armed and you know what the outcome would be.

I am also taking the Federal Government to court as regards this so that we can fight for the rights of the citizens to bear arms and ammunitions for self defence.

How we can get out of recession

I don’t know who advised President Buhari to reopen the borders. Shutting down the borders was a very good thing. Recently, Senator Yaya Abdullahi, the Senate Leader, disclosed that there is a proliferation of arms and ammunition to Nigeria through our borders in the north. How can a country be importing candle when we can produce it? How can we be importing fuel from Niger?

We are surely going to experience a deeper recession soon. The reason is that President Buhari doesn’t have a good economic team to advice him. We are a big blind country where people who forge their certificate are more respected than those who have genuine educational qualification.

That’s why it is going to be very difficult for us to leave this quagmire. Our reserves have been depleted. Our oil has dwindled. As a matter of fact, in the next six years nobody will buy our oil again because everybody will be driving battery or solar operated cars.

We are moving backwards because of quota system which we need to stop. Those who score poor marks from the northern part of the country are given consideration in admission into higher institutions against those who scored higher from the south. These people with poor scores end up heading departments, ministries and government agencies. I am not saying that there are no smart and intelligent people from the north. We have people like Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and late Balarabe Musa who are very intelligent people from the north. Such people should be given such sensitive appointments not the dullards.

Service chiefs should go

The service chiefs have overstayed their legally approved time in service. They should be eased out.

As it is now they feel they owe their allegiance to President Buhari, not Nigerians. That’s the reason they do things that tends to get Nigerians angry. They have tried their best which is not good enough for Nigerians.

On Senator Godswill Akpabio and NDDC

Senator Godswill Akpabio has often been accused of illegality when he was the governor of Akwa Ibom State and it is a big surprise that he was appointed into the federal cabinet after he was encouraged to decamp to the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) with a remark that his sins would be forgiven. The man who was prosecuting him, Festus Keyamo, was made to be his subordinate. Is it not wrong? President Obasanjo created the NDDC as an interventionist agency to help the Niger Delta region. The constitution does not give anybody in the Presidency any major say in its affairs only for it to be hijacked by the Presidency.

The youths of the Niger Delta would investigate the way funds meant for the NDDC has been used over the years, and whoever is involved in diversion of such funds would have to pay for it. I am already in court with them and I am using the FOI Act to expose them and prosecute them. They are going to end up in jail.

On Professor Yemi Osinbajo

He should resign honourable from his position as Vice President. He has shown that he is a law breaker not a law maker. He cannot say he is not aware of the many illegalities going on around him in the Presidency and which he has never raised a voice against.

Nigeria is now the world’s second-biggest bitcoin market after the US

Uwagbale Edward-Ekpu

During the police brutality protests in Nigeria in October, bitcoin saved the day when the government shut out protesters from using local payment platforms for collecting donations to support it.

The young, tech-savvy protesters quickly switched to using bitcoin, and in about a week bitcoin accounted for around 40% of the nearly $400,000 raised. It was just one high-profile example of how young Nigerians increasingly use bitcoin to navigate a complicated and restrictive banking and monetary system.

In the last five years, Nigeria has traded 60,215 bitcoins, valued at more than $566 million which, apart from the US, is the largest volume worldwide on Paxful, a leading peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace. The data scraped from Coin Dance shows from the beginning of May 2015 to the middle of November this year, bitcoin trade in Nigeria have increased yearly at least 19% in volume since 2017, and the highest volume (20,504.50) was traded in 2020.

Bitcoin trade had its highest spike of 30% this year during the national lockdown in the country and the highest volume traded during the peak of the pandemic. between January and September, Paxful was reported to record a 137% increase in new registrations in Nigeria.”

The company says Nigerians make up around a quarter of its customer base with 1.3 million registered accounts. “They mostly use the platform for peer-to-peer and arbitrage trading,” says Nena Nwachukwu, Paxful Nigeria regional manager. “Remittances is also a popular use case.” Nwachukwu says bitcoin transfers are “much cheaper and faster than using traditional money transfer operators.”

The growing uncertainty and instability around the Nigerian naira, which has had increasingly divergent official and parallel exchange rates with the US dollar, has created an opportunity and practical use case for bitcoin trade in Nigeria. The divergent rates have long been a striking feature of Nigeria’s economy but more so in the last half decade as the country’s financial authorities have attempted to micro-manage the supply of foreign exchange and “defend” the naira.

In the last couple of years, other African countries, most prominently Zimbabwe, have seen a spike in cryptocurrency trade led by bitcoin, due to currency fluctuations and uncertain monetary policy. In some cases limits to the trade has been prompted by a lack of reliable local platforms.

“The lack of bitcoin liquidity was the first obstacle to solve to introduce bitcoin to Africa,” says Ray Youssef, co-founder of Paxful.

Nigerians are often restricted on international platforms such as PayPal, which does not allow payment to Nigeria, and local banks place a cap on international transactions and charge high fees for transactions due to dollar deficiency.

“People want to be able to buy and sell, transact internationally and the more the traditional channels are being restricted the more people trade crypto and mainly bitcoin,” explains Eleanya Eke, co-founder of Buycoins Africa. “And the best thing about it is that it’s almost impossible to stop. If you block the exchange it moves to Peer-to-peer platforms that are non-custodial.”

The increased awareness and availability of easy-to-use bitcoin platforms to Nigerians have largely increased bitcoin liquidity in the country, therefore solving the first problem hindering adoption. Nigerians now have several formal and semiformal bitcoin platforms to use, ranging from international platforms including Paxful, Binance, and Luno, and local ones such as Quidax, Busha, and BuyCoins. However, long-term watchers say most trading in the country is done on informal channels such as Telegram, WhatsApp bad WeChat.

“Globally, there was a shift to online transactions from the physical,” says Osaretin Victor Asemota, a Nigerian tech investor. “In Nigeria, as banks were closed, the agency outlets recorded much higher transaction volumes. I think this shift was inevitable, and it is not a temporary pandemic boost.”

Bitcoin traded as low as $3,600 in March due to a massive sell-off on global financial markets has this month surged past $20,000 for the first time. While in the past, the value has increased like this only to later dropped drastically in a few weeks, some analysts say this increase may continue into 2021 as it appears it is due to the growing interest of institutional investors in the cryptocurrency.

Institutional investors such as MassMutual and MicroStrategy were reportedly planning to purchase hundreds of million-dollar worth of bitcoin, while PayPal, a top global online payment company recently added cryptocurrency to its functionality, letting people use bitcoin to pay for things online.