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Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. By Chido Nwangwu

Finally, if any of the President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity!

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Special to USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston.                                                                                  Follow USAfrica at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido and Twitter.com/Chido247

 

 I believe and have made the political economy point that lawlessness and insecurity affect domestic production and international business worthiness of any country. The recent, very bold attacks on the Nigerian Police headquarters and the United Nations building in Abuja (Nigeria’s federal capital) on Friday August 26, 2011 by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram left a weak profile of the President Jonathan and his team — in the eyes of the local and international communities. I wrote the  USAfrica special report 10 years ago– on October 17, 2001 — warning that some radical Islamic groups in Nigeria have some level of inspiration and informal links to international terror organizations. Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. 

USAfrica, December 17, 2011: As the year 2011 draws down and we embrace the promise of 2012, a recurring concern for Nigerians and the international communities remains: are we safe going about our every day lives or investing to do business in most parts of Nigeria?

First, is your quiet, unspoken prayer as you head to your village or run a small business in Maiduguri, Kano, Aba, Damataru, Yobe, Kaduna, Yenagoa, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Uyo, Jos one of the following: may the evil eyes and bazooka of kidnappers not see me; and, may the lethal bombs of the violent agitators of Boko Haram, MEND and others set their gps in the same zone I may go… Amen!

Second, amidst all the palaver, Nigerians continue to wonder if their federal state of insecurity would continue into 2012, despite the fact of a whopping federal government budget of N4.749 trillion (Naira) — the equivalent of $30.64 billion — with the security and defense allocation bagging the lion’s share of N921.21 billion (Naira) — the equivalent of $5.9478 billion.

Third and sadly, the official allocation of security votes/budget and the personal, discretionary set aside slush funds also called “security” votes have not given Nigerians reasonable “security” from kidnappers, common criminals, terror brigands, radical fundamentalists like the brazen Boko Haram and a rag-tag ethnic armies, area boys and area girls, and so on and so forth.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan

Fourth, Nigerians, from all sections and faiths and economic status, have expressed their displeasure at the evident incapacity of the federal government led by President Jonathan and state governors to perform the most basic function of providing security and safe environments for the citizens. The unrelenting bombs and violent attacks and kidnappings from the Niger Delta (specifically, Bayelsa State – Jonathan’s home state) to the middle belt Plateau State areas of Damataru/Jos and now more dramatic in Maiduguri/Borno State, have combined to make life and movement much more dangerous for families, millions of unemployed youths and investors in Africa’s most populated country of almost 110 million people.

Fifth, I believe and have made the political economy point that lawlessness and insecurity affect domestic production and international business worthiness of any country. The recent, very bold attacks on the Nigerian Police headquarters and the United Nations building in Abuja (Nigeria’s federal capital) on Friday August 26, 2011 by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram left a weak profile of the President Jonathan and his team — in the eyes of the local and international communities. I wrote the  USAfrica special report 10 years ago– on October 17, 2001 — warning that some radical Islamic groups in Nigeria have some level of inspiration and informal links to international terror organizations. Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. 

Sixth, there is this special extraordinary budget item, in itself, a remarkable mockery and Orwellian twist called “security vote.”  For the rookie and uninitiated in Nigeria’s political business, “security votes” are not accounted for; you spend and use it for whatever you decide as an elected official or political  appointee as rising to the level of “security” interest. They are Not part of the accounting for Statutory security allocations to the Police and related security agencies.  Nigeria’s President, the Governors and the key national parliamentary leaders (Senate President & Speaker of the House), from my sources, in that order — get the highest allocation of “security” votes/budget. Note, too, that the President, Governors (and USAfrica learned a long time ago that local government officials and ministers and some legislators) have juicy budgets/allocations of several monthly millions for this famous and much sought after “security votes.”

USAfrica reliable sources in Nigeria informed me about  the embarrassing “interceptions” of the “movement” of “security” budget money from the home state of 16 Governors: 2 from the eastern Igbo states, 3 from the Niger Delta states, 3 from the southwest and 8 from the middle belt and the upper  northern region. There are many unreported events.

Finally, if any of the President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity! Nigeria, we hail thee….                                                                                                                              •Dr. Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks since 1992, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com;  and recipient of several journalism and public policy awards, was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans.

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• Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwuhttp://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html

Jonathan’s Boko Haram problem and firing of Ringim. By Chido Nwangwu http://usafricaonline.com/2012/01/25/jonathans-boko-haram-problem-and-firing-of-ringim-by-chido-nwangwu/

Related and prior reporting on the Jos crises on USAfrica, click here: http://usafricaonline.com/2011/08/16/10-killed-in-renewed-violence-near-jos/

News archives related to Jos, here http://usafricaonline.com/?s=jos 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com  on  July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=USAfrica+Chido+Nwangwu+al-qaeda+terrrorism+nigeria&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 http://usafricaonline.com/tag/al-qaeda/ 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com  on  July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Pamoja60660

    December 31, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Speak on Chido!  That is WHY I remain 'STUCK'  as SAFETY is a huge issue for me!

  2. Attorney Okey Obi Dike

    December 27, 2011 at 3:56 am

    We are not ready to build a nation. Most of our leaders do not understand nor appreciate what their sworn constitutional duties are. It’s all about the pomp and pagentry of the office. It’s about what I can get out the office, so at the end of their tenure, the become billionaires. We do not understand the essence of government. When a government fails to provide an environment where it’s citizens are secured in their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the core reason for government ceases to exist. The people have a natural right to reject the charade. A free people have no business accepting a government that has a morbid aversion to their interests and welfare. The tragedy of Nigeria is that we accept this crap. I miss President Emeka Ojukwu. The last Nigerian leader with the balls of steel.

    From Attorney Okey Obi Dike
    Houston Texas

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AFRICA

World SOCCER SHOWDOWN: South Africa backs Morocco; U.S under pressure

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  • USAfricaonline.com  •  @Chido247  @USAfricalive

“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity, and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” said the SAFA president Jordaan.

Johannesburg – South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco that South Africa will give its unqualified support to secure another World Cup on the African continent in 2026.

Morocco is vying to stage the world’s biggest football prize against a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The Moroccan delegation comprises ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Jordaan said it would be great for Africa to have a second bite of the World Cup cherry, adding Morocco’s bid was Africa’s bid.

Jordaan assured Morocco that he would personally lobby for the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) and the rest of the continent to rally behind the Moroccans.

In his remarks, Antoine Bell said Morocco had all the ingredients to host another spectacular World Cup.

“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.

By giving Morocco its support, South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent, Bell said.

“When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco. South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid,” added Bell. African News Agency

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Catholic priest Etienne killed by militia in DR Congo, after a wedding mass

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  @USAfricaLIVE

Goma – A Catholic priest was found shot dead hours after he said mass in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province, a member of the church told AFP.

“Father Etienne Sengiyumva was killed [on] Sunday by the Mai Mai Nyatura (militia) in Kyahemba where he had just celebrated a mass including a baptism and a wedding,” father Gonzague Nzabanita, head of the Goma diocese where the incident occurred, told AFP.

The Mai Mai Nyatura are an armed group operating in North Kivu, in eastern DRC.

Nzabanita said Sengiyumva, 38, had had lunch with local faithful before “we found him shot in the head”.

North and South Kivu provinces are in the grip of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.

Last week unknown assailants kidnapped a Catholic priest in North Kivu, demanding $500 000 for his release.

Eastern DRC has been torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fuelled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region’s mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Nigeria’s LOOTERS LIST and Buhari’s selective corruption targets. By Majeed Dahiru

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PDP vs APC Looters List and Buhari’s selective corruption targets

By Majeed Dahiru

Special to USAfrica {Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @USAfricaLive

 

Timipriye Silva, a former governor and PDP chieftain, who became a founding member and financier of APC, had his corruption charges quashed by a federal high court and Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to appeal the N19.5 billion fraud case.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to Nigeria’s First and Second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, the PDP appointed former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from [Buhari’s Information Minister] Lai Mohammed’s list.

For a party that has been accused of destroying Nigeria by squandering accrued oil revenues estimated at over $500 billion in sixteen years, it is confounding that Lai’s list is not only exclusively comprised of PDP looters but also captures the last two years of PDP’s last lap in power and included just Goodluck Jonathan’s associates, who supported him against candidate Buhari, while also relating only to funds used in the last electioneering campaign of the PDP.

Whenever the obviously abysmal performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration appears to be gaining sustained attention, and leading to murmuring within the rank and file of his supporters, a tale of humungous looting by opposition elements is usually spun and thrown into the public space to distract people away from the core issue of the failure of governance.

Like a fit of deja vu, the recently unveiled list of looters by Lai Mohammed, a fellow who comes across as more of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief propagandist than a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria in charge of information and culture, didn’t come as a surprise. The list is all too familiar as the unveiling was a summarised rehash of politically exposed individuals who are members of the opposition party, close associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly his appointees in government, who have been named and shamed several times in well-coordinated media trials.

First on Lai’s list is Uche Secondus, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lai had this to say of Secondus: “On the 19th of February 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA”. An unidentified former financial secretary of the PDP was similarly accused of “taking” N600 million from the same office of the National Security Adviser. Lai Mohammed also re-revealed that frontline member of PDP and media mogul, who deployed his media power to promote Goodluck Jonathan by de-marketing the Buhari candidacy in the run up to 2015 presidential election, Raymond Dokpesi, is on trial for “taking” N2.1 billion from the office of the then NSA. Lai also reminded Nigerians that his shouting match and former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh is on trial for “collecting” N1.4 billion from the same office of the NSA.

Lai Mohammed’s expanded follow up list included the usual suspects – former ministers, PDP state governors, service chiefs, presidential aides, associates and family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who were collectively accused of looting Nigeria of close to $2.1 billion through the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

The choice of words like “took” and “collected” deployed by Lai to describe the manner in which those named received these monies was deliberate for the maximum effect of propaganda, portraying the accused persons as looters who broke into NSA vault and catered away boxes of cash at something akin to a gun point.

While the clamp down on PDP looters who supported Goodluck Jonathan and are still members of the former ruling party has been heavy handed, others who decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of the 2015 elections and supported candidate Buhari’s campaign with their share of loot have been forgiven. For example, former NSA, Sambo Dasuki is being treated as an apostate for his role in the disbursement of funds that were used to oil Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering effort. He has been kept in detention illegally and in defiance of several judicial rulings. Judging by the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption standard of an accusation being tantamount to guilt, in clear contempt of court proceedings by the resort to the naming and shaming suspects even before investigations and criminal prosecution are concluded and convictions obtained, it becomes curious that Lai’s list didn’t reveal any new name. Rather some names were either missing or omitted from what is a familiar list. This appears so because the bulk of PDP bigwigs who “destroyed” Nigeria in sixteen years of national rule are firmly in control of the APC, from its elected national executives to the National Assembly and appointed members of the federal executive council. The majority of APC-elected governors were also former members of the PDP. Even recently decamped PDP members to APC, such as Musiliu Obanikoro and Sulivan Chime, who have been prominently named and shamed in the recent past, were conspicuously missing from the released list of looters.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to the first and second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, a former PDP appointed managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from Lai’s list. Also missing on that list is Bola Shagaya.

Arguably one of Africa’s richest women, with a reputation for close business and political ties to all first families in the past two decades, Bola Shagaya was exceptionally close to the Goodluck Jonathan family. Often described as a bosom friend of former first lady Patience Jonathan, she has been accused, in numerous instances, allegedly, of acting as Patience Jonathan’s front for the laundering of illicit money estimated at over N13 billion, while engaging in other fraudulent activities involved in state capture. All that may be in the past now as she has found her way back to reckoning with the marriage of her son, Seun Bakare to Damilola, the daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. Little wonder then, Bola Shagaya’s name is not on Lai’s looters list.

In a clear display of the arrogance of ignorance, the Buhari administration has narrowed its war on corruption to the hounding of members of the Jonathan administration, other individuals and organisations that were known to have worked against the emergence of the President [Buhari] in the 2015 presidential elections. This is clearly evident in the selective nature of the current anti-corruption effort.

The tone of generalisation of the PDP as the problem of Nigeria, as an indicator of corruption, should make all members of PDP (both former and present) and their collaborators in other parties guilty, hence qualifying them for naming and shaming, while being liable for criminal prosecution.

Therefore, Buhari’s list of looters is devoid of integrity, because his selective war on corruption is indicative of corruption in itself. All that is required of a former PDP looter is to get baptised into APC and profess Buhari as the saviour of Nigeria. This is precisely responsible for the failure and ineffectiveness of the war on corruption. Nothing has changed as the current APC looters continue to loot Nigeria, while the redeemed former PDP looters continue to enjoy their loot in hibernation under the abundant grace of the infallible Buhari.

• Dahiru is based in Abuja 

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