BENUE STATE, NIGRRIA MOURNS 


The killing of about 73 natives of Benue State by rampaging armed herdsmen left the State in werping and pains. Benue State became a river of blood and tears. 


The killings by herdsmen has become so worrisome as there are not yet any concrete and measurable strategy by the federal government to halt their menance. The cattle colony being proposed by the Federal Government is like saying kudos to the herders. The first thing is to bring under the law. 


One notes that cattle herding is a private business just like farming; both need lands. It is being asked: Is it empirical to advocate that the farmers should give away their lands to the cattle rearers who have openly, consistently and stoutly opposed ranching? Unlike the farmers, the herders have an option of ranching which gives them many advantages, which include living settled lives: the purpose of setting up the normadic education policy. Establishing cattle colony has both short term and long term consequences. Presently, many refer to it a process of colonialism. There is no doubt that it will breed future violent conflicts which the consequences may be more destructive. 


I think the issue will not be resolved by land conscription by the government by any method but by enabling the parties sit and discuss and may be come to terms on a road map to sustainable peace. 

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RECENT KILLINGS IN NIGERIA


​LET ME NOT BE SILENT AMIDST INJUSTICE
Sincerely, we are not building a nation. Nations are not built by speeches, but by deeds. When you listen to our leaders, you will think that they genuinely believe in peace and unity of this country as a people. Sad to state that if you evaluate their conducts and actions, you may start crying. How many can walk their talks on unity based on equity and justiice? It is jard to find or get. They are great hypocrites. There is so gross pretence in our country. The quest for political positions and patronages have blinded many and made the others dumb. While ethnicity and religion have robbed the conscience of the country. Otgerwise, why are people silent on the recent killings?

Many are criminally silent on the killings going on because they want to protect certain parochial interest(s) and/or obtain certain favour(s). Many, like the chameleon, have moved away from the positions they held in the past in similar situations to that of rationalizing the present killings. This is very painful. I know that justice has no ethnicity, religion, gender or age. Anyone can be a victim of injustice. So, I will always remind myself that there is always a tomorrow and it comes with surprises. Yes, tomorrow comes with its packages. The truth of life is that tomorrow often comes with baggage of surprises and unique situations.So I speak out in important or crucial moments so that I can find strength tomorrow. I therefore implore all to speak out! Say NO to the killings going-on! 

The killings have exposed the hypocrisy in many who parade themselves as part of the conscience of the country. I am not from the North Central; Benue State or Taraba State. I am speaking out because life is sacred! It could be anyone or the people tomorrow! Life has a way of unleashing tricks on persons and people. Let justice be done always, and there will be peace always

NIGERIA POLICE AND INFRACTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF CITIZENS 


It is disheartening to read that the Imo State Police Command is keen on frustrating a peaceful protest. This is disheartening because the same Command has never raised any issue with or aborted any Pro-Imo State Government rally. 

What is now unfolding, therefore, is a deliberate and calculated abuse of the fundamental right of citizens to associate and express themselves. This should be condemned. 
The duty of the Police, during peaceful rally or protest, is to provide security to ensure that the participants in the peaceful rally or protest are not harassed by those opposed to their expression of their views, miscreants and hoodlums. Next, so that the participants do not take the law into their hands. 
It is important to note that the instant peaceful rally is not a professional rally but a sit in a place solemn rally which will not bring the participants in contact with  those not for the rally. Anyone not interested in the rally or opposed to it has not business going there. Police is needed to ensure that level of discipline and not frustrate the rally. 
The Police is to watch the conduct of the participants. If any breaks the law, no doubt, such a person is to be picked by the Police and subjected to the due process of law. This is what the Police is expected to do, and not to concoct unfounded reasons to deny citizens their guaranteed right of association and free expression. 
I hereby call on Mr. President, the Inspector General of Police, the Police Service Commission (PSC) and well meaning Nigerians to call on the Commissioner of Police, Imo State not deny these citizens their right to freely assemble and freely express themselves which are constitutionally guaranteed rights. 
The organisers should be taken by their words. Their letter and the press release speak for themselves. If they infringe the penal law, they verily know that they are accountable.
Let us grow our democracy. The Nigeria Police Force is not established for those in power only. It exists for all the citizens. It must endeavour to isolate itself from taking side on issues and abusing rights of citizens.
I call for rule of law and justice! 
 

(The Notification Letter to the Commissioner of Police, Imo State and the Press Release by the Group on the reaction of the Commissioner of Police.) 
A PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE IMO PEOPLES ACTION FOR DEMOCRACY (IPAD) AT THE END OF THEIR EMERGENCY MEETING ON THE PLOT TO SCUTTLE THEIR PEACEFUL RALLY BY THE IMO STATE GOVERNMENT USING THE POLICE.
The Imo Peoples Action for Democracy (IPAD) has noted with dismay the plot by the Imo State Government to use the Imo State command of the Nigerian Police to scuttle our peaceful rally scheduled to commence on 18th December 2017 in Owerri. 
As a responsible Organization, we had earlier written to both the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Services to inform them of our rally and for them to carry out their constitutional obligation of providing protection for the rally. While the later saw no problem in a peaceful rally, the former could not conform to the provisions of the constitution. 
The Imo State command of the Nigerian Police which the public presently perceive as compromised by the Imo State Government, expectedly raised objection to our peaceful rally citing flimsy reasons. After a careful review of the development, we hereby state as follows:
1. That our rally has been planned to be peaceful and non confrontational and cannot be a threat to peace and security in the state.

2. That the 1999 constitution as amended has given us the right to peaceful rally which the police cannot remove.

3. That the police should refrain from being used as a tool to suppress the civil rights of the citizens.

4. That we are perplexed as to why a sponsored pro government group “Rochas Mandate” would be allowed and protected to hold a rally on the 15th of December and then decide to scuttle a peaceful rally of the people. 

5. IPAD will continue with her peaceful rally as scheduled on the 18th of December 2017.

6. That the Imo state government and the Imo state command of the Nigerian police should be held responsible if the rally is attacked by paid agents since they have shown strong intent to scuttle the rally.

7. That the Inspector General of the police should immediately call the Commissioner of Police in Imo to order to ensure he respects the right to freedom of assembly in Imo state.

8. That we commend the DSS command in Imo for displaying an uncommon maturity in appreciating and respecting our right to peaceful assembly.
Signed:
Aku Obidinma                                  Marjorie Ezihe

(Coordinator)           (Secretary Org. Committee)

ANAMBRA STATE HAS DECIDED! 


​ANAMBRA STATE HAS DECIDED! 
FINAL RESULT:
APC 98,605 
APGA 233,445
PDP 69,954
You will find that APC got less than half (i.e. 50%) of the votes cast for APGA. PDP got less than one-third of the votes cast for APGA. These are landmarks to be analysed. 
APC is the party at the center and has many bigwigs. It campaigned strenuously and spent well too. It brought former and incumbent Governors to campaign for its candidate. Mr. President campaigned for him too. So, what really happened? 
PDP’s campaign was driven by the former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi: a man well respected in the State. The Governor whose tenure was successful and empowering. His tenure is filled with several positive landmarks. Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan also campaigned for the PDP candidate. So, what really went wrong?
Some are now asking: is the result an indicator of the expected pattern of voting in the South East States in 2019? I am hesitant to x-ray the situation now as it is too early. It is important to watch the political build up and certain anticipated political events.

HOW WE FIGHT CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA 


One point that the government keeps missing is that many Nigerians do not believe that the fight against corruption is not more of a witch hunt and big story full of propaganda . A fight that those who raise critical issues are called names, especially ‘wailers’ and castigated by the spin doctors of government. 
 I have been called a ‘wailer’ for simply raising a critical issue in a post. I confess that I wholly support the fight against corruption an also, I want it to succeed. However, I am convinced and have maintained that the State does not fight corruption with double standards and/or fairy tales. You fight corruption with concrete facts. Also that the State must fight corruption within the extant legal framework. 
I now come to the reason for this post. It is the recent allegation by the EFCC that certain persons (referred to as a cabal) want to tarnish the “unblemished integrity” of its boss, Magu. As a citizen, I consider the allegation serious. I believe that every responsible and responsive Government it serious and tackle the alarm with swiftness. Why? Magu should be the face of the anti-corruption fight in the country, after of Mr. President. 
Interestingly, both – Magu and Mr. President – have harmonious working relationship. Also, both have the legal power to cause the arrest of persons reasonably suspected of having committed economic and financial crimes. 

So, the alarm by EFCC that some persons have concocted plans to buy properties in foreign countries in the name of its  boss, Magu is one that should invoke critical reactions. There is no doubt that for the EFCC to blow this whistle, it should have it facts and figures; the alarm is not to harass us with unfounded allegations and tales by the moonlight. I will be right to state that, by now, the EFCC must have outgrown acting on rumours and hearsay. So, I take the said alarm very serious. I think that the Federal Government and every Nigerian should too. 
However, I have my worry and my concern. It is patriotic. The worry and the concerned are aptly captured in a short post on my Facebook wall: “Nigerians no be mugu! Nigerians no be mumu. Magu cause the arrest of those who bought the houses, if you are saying the truth.”I tweeted a similar post. I verily believe that only the arrest and successful prosecution of these ‘enemies of our country’ will help the EFCC. As it will  demonstrate that the EFCC is real and not full of diversionary or propaganda tactics. If no person is charged to Court, at least, for the alleged act, it will further affect the credibility of the EFCC. One may ask then: how do expect Nigerians  to continue to believe the EFCC? This is a tough question. 

​MONKEY POX AND YOU


The Federal Government has confirmed there is monkey pox in the following States: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo. Lagos, Nasarawa and Rivers, and the Federal Capital Territory. There are 74 reported cases. It means that the virus is spreading. 

The irony is that the Federal Government is not doing much to avert the spread across the country. The public awareness campaign is low unlike the Ebola situation. The Federal Government should ensure that not all the States are affected. 
The State Governments are also not doing much too. This is the time or situation to utilise the security vote they annually appropriate. The situation is one of human insecurity. 
As citizens, we should create the awareness too. Educate our families and neighbours on the available preventive strategies. Together, we can overcome the virus. 
Ask yourself: Do I wash my hands after use with soap? Do my wards wash their hands regularly? Safe environment is a right too.