Tag Archives: Nigeria

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.

‘Nigeria must make the right decision now, only Igbo man can fix her’

The Lagos Branch Spokesperson of Global Initiative for Good Governance (GIGG), Comrade SunnyChuks Isaac, has opined that only an Igbo man can fix Nigeria at this point because she has gone very deep into tough times that unless something is done fast, our condition may get out of hand.

SunnyChuks while speaking on a TV program on Wednesday said that the present recession could’ve been avoided if the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had taken professional advice, engaged the services of seasoned economists that would’ve given us a better chances of defeating recession, notwithstanding the Coronavirus pandemic we experienced. This is not time to defend economic policies on paper that never translated in our lives, this is time to hand over to proven entities to help Nigeria survive. I am certain that we have not run out of solutions. This is why I have cued into this clarion call to use wisdom to save our nation.

As a matter of clarity, I was among the few that insisted that Nigeria don’t need a president of Igbo extraction, but events of recent have made me to reconsider that position because the diversity of the Nigerian entity is such that until equity and fairness is applied, Nigeria will continue to crawl in the woods when other countries are developing at a flashlight speed.

The issue of agitation, insecurity and dwindling economy has continued to escalate the precarious situation and unemployment is at its peak like we never had it at any other time simply because we have been expecting to keep doing the same thing to get a different result.

But I stand to argue that the Igbos have been the only race in Nigeria that has proved that they can turn around desperate situations when the need arises, and so we need that tenacity to bear in Nigeria now. The managerial experience of the Igbo race will turn around Nigeria, therefore we must not keep sacrificing our chances of recreating a progressive Nigeria on the alter of Igbo-Phobia.

“I am calling on every well meaning Nigerian to rally support for the quest to have Nigeria President of Igbo extraction in 2023 as this will help address a lot of factors that had held Nigeria down on its knees.

“I do not believe that any nation can progress with infighting and acrimony among the composing entities and we have seen that this particular cankerworm have continued to eat up our fabrics and unless we do something to address it, Nigeria may have worse challenge in the nearest feature.

“We must first of all give a sense of belonging to Igbos to reintegrate them back into the mainstream as part of the Nigeria project which will help to bury the notion that Nigeria belongs to the Norrh alone.

“This is not a time to pretend that all is well, we all know that Nigeria’s unity lies in her diversity and it was on these principles that the founding fathers instituted the concept of Federal Character and broke her down into geopolitical zones. This must be a pattern to adopt and salvage her as a nation. This is the time to borrow the wisdom of our founding fathers because our own wisdom have not fared us well.

RECESSION: ‘We must end corruption, strengthen our institutions, introduce death sentence’ – Eholor

Democracy Observer-General and founder of human rights group, One Love Foundation, Chief Patrick Eholor has said that unless Nigerians begin to fight corruption with a greater frenzy, the second wave of the recession will bite much harder than the first.

Eholor, in a telephone interview with Jungle Journalist Media Limited, suggested a strengthening of our institutions, trial and death execution/life imprisonment for defaulters, and recovery of stolen funds back into the economy.

His words: “It’s an unfortunate circumstance that Nigerians have found themselves. You deserve those who govern you, and unfortunately, we have never had the opportunity to choose who governs us. We’ve never had leadership in this country, just banditry and bandits who call themselves leaders instead of them referring to themselves as emperors.

“The only way we can salvage this situation is to strengthen our institutions and if possible, to have a proactive law to try every corrupt civil servant and politician, service chiefs and others; to introduce death sentence or life imprisonment for those who have stolen our common patrimony and recover the moneies they have stolen and put that money into infrastructure, health sector, educational sector and other public interests, and reduce the number of churches and mosques we have in this country.

“Unfortunately, most of them have become merchants of misery, and I therefore suggest we borrow a leaf from China and Rwanda.

“If we follow suit, a better Nigeria is possible. Don’t forget the trademark of president Muhammadu Buhari that if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us”, he argued.

COVID-19 staging a comeback, Nigeria’s health minister warns

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has warned that a second wave of COVID-19 outbreak is imminent in the country following the recent EndSARS protest, where many protesters threw caution to the wind and violated the COVID-19 protocols.

This is coming as some countries in Europe are experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 infections and considering fresh lockdowns.

Ehanire’s warning came just as Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, threatened, yesterday, to reintroduce COVID-19 restrictions in churches over alleged violation of COVID-19 protocols by worship centres

Apart from the COVID-19 breaches experienced during the EndSARS protest, the minister warned of outbreaks of the second wave of the virus in Europe and the Americas, also fuels the concern that Nigeria is not totally safe. He attributed his prediction to the high volume of human traffic between Nigeria and those countries, adding that the disruption in response caused by the #EndSARS protest, had become a source of worry to the government.

He further noted that reopening of schools would likely precipitate the second outbreak as had been experienced in parts of the world, warning that Nigeria had no reason for complacency, but every reason to wake up.

Addressing the 26th Scientific Conference and the Annual General Meeting of the Guild of Medical Directors (GMD), the minister observed that Lagos State suffered the double impact of being the most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and also the #EndSars protest, putting the resilience of the institutions and systems to the test.

He said, “Lagos is a major international travel entry point and an extensive, vibrant metropolis. The risks are corresponding. I, therefore, solicit your support now, with propagating known effective public non-pharmaceutical measures, increasing your index of suspicion and caution, and above all cooperating with public health officials to prepare for, and respond to all emerging health challenges.

The minister announced that a national post-COVID-19 sustainability plan had been developed to guide the nation’s return to normalcy and ensure that all sectors, especially the health sector, were better strengthened and urged medical directors to embrace the many opportunities arising as a byproduct of COVID-19 and to join in the rebuilding and modernisation effort of the nation’s health system.

He stressed the need for them to explore financial facilities made available to the private health sector by the Central Bank, pointing out that the pharmaceutical industry had started off well in that regard.
EARLIER, President of the GMD, Prof. Femi Dokun-Babalola observed that the COVID-19 pandemic had been challenging for private medical practitioners, saying that it had estimated that about 2,500 health workers were infected with the disease out of a total of 60,000 infections nationwide.

“This is also likely to be a gross underestimate. Seroprevalence studies carried out in Minna by Majiya et al, a seroprevalence rate of 37.1% was recorded among healthcare workers. This suggests that more than one in three health-workers in Nigeria have been exposed to COVID-19. It underlines the need for continuous vigilance as we carry out our duties as healthcare workers in Nigeria. We have lost some of our members to the COVID-19 crises, including Prof. Lovett Lawson of Zankli Hospital, Abuja, and Dr. Bello Katagum of NIIMA Hospital, Bauchi. This list is not exhaustive. Several of our colleagues in the Nursing and paramedical professions have also paid the ultimate price,” he said.

Dokun-Babalola, who noted that the Guild had to grapple with the “#EndSars’ unrest in the country, appealed to the government to speedily address the yearnings and agitations of the protesters and desist from the use of excessive force in confronting them on the streets.

He promised that the Guild would remain steadfast in their commitment to curb COVID-19 in Nigeria, especially through improved health security as a backstop to the health system and support towards achieving health-related SDGs.

MEANWHILE, Wike said that if observed breaches of COVID-19 protocols in the state were not immediately corrected, the state government would review restrictions in worship places.

He gave the warning at the Saint Thomas Anglican Church in Mile 2, Diobu, Port Harcourt, during a special thanksgiving service, saying he observed during the service that more than 80 per cent of worshippers did not wear face masks.

He warned that if it continued, the government would be compelled to revisit its position on the number of worshippers allowed per session of such church services.

“85 per cent of those who are here are not wearing face masks. That is the problem we have. Nobody wants to obey simple instructions. The mere fact that we have agreed that we should worship does not mean we should disobey the protocol.

“My Lord Bishop, encourage our people to wear their face masks. It is very important. If this continues, then I will go back and review the restriction to say it cannot be more than a particular number,” he warned.

A rabblerouser like Nnamdi Kanu cannot hijack our genuine struggle for a new Nigeria – Patrick Osagie Eholor

Says, ‘We will flush out all the bad leaders’

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu cannot come in disguise to hijack the genuine #endsars protest. We will not allow him to do that. People fought for one Nigeria. We are going to remain one Nigeria. Our problem is not about tribe or ethnicity. Our problem is about bad leadership. Now the people have finally wake up to say they want their right because their right is their life. That’s what we should focus on not on Nnamdi Kanu. For me, I don’t take him serious. If you’re a serious person who wants to agitate for your people you should be here for the struggle just like as I am here for the struggle. That’s what they call a patriot and a democrat. Kanu is just a rabble-rouser.

You reap what you sow. Tinubu has not been a good person. He is finally reaping what he sowed. He is not the only thief we have. But the problem we always have in Nigeria is about ethnicity. When we were pursuing Abacha, the northerners would say “is it only Abacha that stole?” A thief is a thief. Tinubu is a thief. He has been taking money and milking the Nigeria citizens. That’s what has finally caught up with him. I have no sympathy for him. And don’t forget that most of these people are going to pay a very severe price especially for those who are there now who have not condemned the justification of the military shooting the unarmed civilians (at the Lekki Toll Gate).

Let me tell you, Nigeria is going to be a pacesetter because the world is watching Nigeria. I can assure you the commander, President or whoever gave the order(to shoot) because soldier doesn’t shoot without order. They are all going to the Hague. The International Criminal Court of Justice(ICCJ) and they are going to spend time with Charles Taylor(former Liberian President) and other notorious criminals who are already there (in jail). That’s going to be their last vacation point. Believe me. It is never going to be business as usual.

Let me come back and focus on Edo State. We saw Governor Godwin Obaseki and his security team patrolling everywhere which is commendable. It is good for our safety. Most of the soldiers are zombies same with the police. That’s why we want the police to be reformed. So, Obaseki patrolling the town with security agents cannot solve the problem. We don’t want the massacre that happened in Lekki to happen in Edo State. What he should do is to engage the people, not through Crusoe Osagie(the Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy to the Edo State Governor). We don’t need Crusoe to talk to us. We need the man we voted for to come and address the people. You will see the likes of Donald Trump who has issues with Americans, taxation, election rigging, Chinese, Covid-19 etc still address the press on a daily basis. When was the last time Godwin Obaseki addressed the press? There is what they call Meet the Press when you have to talk to the press and the press have to transmit what you are saying to the citizens to them. I am not the governor of this state but I speak more than the governor authoritatively.

Yesterday, I had a confrontation with the military men. They were going to whip me and I said they cannot do that as they’re going to repeat what happened in Lekki here. Soldiers are supposed to defend our sovereignty. They’re not supposed to police us. Police are supposed to police the people and the people are supposed to police the police. That’s the right thing in an ideal society. But because we have lost it here we don’t know what we’re doing. Thank God that finally we are going to flush out all the bad leaders. We don’t have environmental disasters. What we have over time is leadership disaster. Now, people are ready to take back power because power belongs to the people.

Patriot Patrick Eholor is the founder of One Love Foundation, a civil rights group advocating for a better Nigeria.
Over the years, One Love Foundation has taken proactive steps towards the reform of the Nigerian Police.

Nigeria is Doomed, Sitting on Time Bomb, says MASSOB

The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) described the deteriorating situation of Nigeria as irredeemable and cancerous.

In a Press Statement signed by its leader Uchenna Madu, MASSOB said that the parasitic virus affecting the Nigerian state has eaten so deep into her bones and marrows and has left it permanently on a sick bed.

It read “Nigeria as an entity can no longer stand up or walk around. Nigeria is doomed forever. Nigeria await the explosion of her time bomb.

“The current End SARS protest going on in the southern and Middle Belt regions, ravaging the already dead entity called Nigeria is just the beginning of the end of the remaining carcass of Nigeria. The protest have exposed the beneficiary of the criminal activities of police SARS and Aso Rock SARS.

“President Mohammadu Buhari and his Fulani cabals are the real and dangerous SARS terrorizing the southern and Christian dominated Middle Beltan regions.

President Mohammadu Buhari, his fulanistic cabals, Chief of Army staff, Chief of Naval staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Defense Staff, Inspector General of Police, Comptroller General of Nigeria Custom Service, Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration service, the Senate president, Speaker of National Assembly and MIyetti Allah are the real and original SARS like that are terrorizing the citizens and also making public caricature of the Nigeria state.

“MASSOB reminds the youth of Southwest, Southeast, Southsouth and North Central (Middle Belt) that their counterparts from Arewa land (Northeast and Northwest) are the real beneficiaries of president Mohammadu Buhari’s partial governance. We must keep the tempo of this constitutional and legal protest. It is our inalienable rights and heritage.

“Nigeria can never be redeemed again, president Mohammadu Buhari has finally buried the remaining carcasses of Nigeria with his primitive fulani terrorist agendas. His Fulani terrorist activities unleashed against the rest of indigenous ethnic people has awoken the spirit and consciousness of their future survival and existence.

“The high spirits of self determination has engulfed the people of Middle Belt, Southwest, Southeast and South south regions respectively. President Mohammadu Buhari remains the last president of Nigeria.”

Comrade Uchenna Madu,
Leader of MASSOB.

Nigeria: Days of Crude Oil Are Numbered – Govt

STRONG indications emerged Monday that hardship looms in Nigeria following the nation’s over-reliance on oil as the Federal Government has raised the alarm that the days of crude oil are numbered.

According to the Federal Government, it has become imperative for Nigerians to start making effective utilization of its oil wealth when it matters most before the commodity becomes worthless.

Speaking Monday in Abuja at an interactive meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva cautioned that based on a forecast in the global oil industry, oil will in the next 20 years become less relevant in the global energy mix as the world looks beyond oil and seeks alternative sources.

The meeting, which was presided over by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, with the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and other leaders of the National Assembly in attendance is aimed at discussing the details of a draft copy of the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB).

Sylva who pleaded that Nigeria should make use of the best of the remaining days of the relevance of petroleum in the global market, however, sought the cooperation of the National Assembly for speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill ( PIB) forwarded to both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Minister who spoke on the intendment of the bill said that having wasted 20 years in putting in place required laws for the regulation of the oil industry, the country needs to quickly pass the PIB to make the best of investments from the sector before 2040, already forecasted for 50 per cent loss of relevance of crude oil in the global market.

The Minister said: “It is quite unfortunate that since the year 2000 when attempts were made to come up with a draft copy of PIB, to 2007, 2009 and 2012 when draft bills were submitted to different sessions of the National Assembly by the executive arm of government without passage, up till 2018 when the legislators came up with one; that we are yet to put on the ground required laws for effective regulation of the oil industry.

“Twenty years have been wasted in putting the laws in place for a sector that has 20 more years of full relevance going by forecasts already made.

“Forecasts in oil industry circles indicate that oil will play less and less role in the global economy.

“Specifically, by the year 2040 which is 20 years away, the relevance of oil in the global economy will reduce by 50 per cent”

According to Sylva, the PIB as drafted and passed to both Chambers of the National Assembly, if expeditiously considered and passed, will serve as the foundation of investments, adding that one of the central aims of the bill, is to make Nigeria an attractive investment destination.

He warned saying, “The days of oil are numbered; deposits of coal did not run out before the world moved away from it. Today the world is talking about alternative energy and we should also move we should take advantage of making hay while the sun shines.”

Earlier in his opening remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said that though the PIB seemed to be jinxed since 2007 and 2019, the fresh effort will surely see the light of the day, adding that it is difficult to put a time frame on when the jinx would be broken through the passage of the bill because details of its contents must be understood and thoroughness applied in its consideration.

Lawan who disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s communication will be read today said that the Ministry must be around to educate the National Assembly on the content of the Bill, adding, “the essence of this meeting between the leadership of the National Assembly and officials of the Ministry of Petroleum and NNPC is to discuss the essence and focus of the Petroleum Industry Bill that has been sent to the National Assembly about two weeks ago.

“We announce that the Bill is now in the National Assembly even though it is not before the National Assembly. By tomorrow when the letter of transmission is read on the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives, we will know what it is the Bill.

“The essence of this meeting is for us to understand what is in the Bill. That is the essence and purpose of the meeting.

This is just for us to interact with you on the content of the Bill so that we have some first-hand information, understanding, and idea of what is in there and of course from there the interaction will continue maybe at another level with our committees for the processing of the Bill by the National Assembly leading to its eventual passage by the grace of God.

“The PIB is said to be jinxed. Actually for a long time, roughly from 2007 to 2019, it was either the Bill was sponsored by the executive and not passed by the legislature as was the case in 2007 and 2011 in the 6th and 7th Assembly.

“In the 8th Assembly, the legislature sponsored the Bill by breaking it into three Bills which were passed but there was no assent.

Now the Bill is an executive Bill sent to the National Assembly. The two chambers promised even during our campaigns that we want to break that jinx.

We want to see an oil industry in Nigeria that is properly regulated and that does not only sustains the investments we have but attract even more investments. We want to see an oil industry that is very competitive and oil resources that are beneficial to Nigerians.”

Speaking in the same vein, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, said that though the bill will be considered and passed speedily, thoroughness will not be sacrificed.

Gbajabiamila said, “Oil represents the livewire of our Nigeria’s economy, making the PIB the most important piece of legislation that will come out of the 9th National Assembly in months or years to come.

“We will pass the bill speedily, but not sacrifice thoroughness at the altar of speed. We have assembled a crack team of legislators who are versed in the workings of the industry.”

Vanguard