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Udom Thankful For Re-election As Wike Forges On With Judges’ Quarters

By Akanimo Sampson
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in Southern Nigeria, has expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the iconic Judges Quarters  being constructed for members of the bench by his administration.
The news came as Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State on Sunday at the Qua Iboe Church in Uyo, the state capital, celebrated the electoral victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded elections.
He was accompanied by his Wife, Martha, members of his family, State Executive Council and top politicians to worship God for seeing them through successfully.
Udom’s media handlers said their principal was so emotional as he rendered songs of testimony, acknowledging God for his benevolence.
While citing the book of Psalms 66 verses 19 and 20, the former bank top executive turned politician thanked God for His grace and mercies throughout the campaigns and the elections, pointing out that God honoured the church and His word by not allowing the devices of men to prevail despite the intimidation and militarization during the elections.
While recounting that he started his campaign in the church, and thanked God for being faithful to him, the pro-industrialisation  governor added that the victory has energised people’s faith in God, and wondered how it could have been if the victory eluded them.
In his homily, the resident pastor, Ibup Emah, who preached on the theme : Exploits of Faith, taken from Heb 11 verses 1-40 said every believer is called to a life of exploits, adding that the strength of the enemies is buoyed by ignorance on the capabilities of God.
He said faith without work is dead, urging all to jettison complaining and proclaim the power of God in all circumstances, and described Governor Emmanuel as a man of faith who makes boasts in his God.
The service was also attended by Director General of Divine Mandate Organisation, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, PDP Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, Senator Effiong Bob, Senator Bassey Albert , Senators Elect, Chris Ekpenyong, and Dr Akon Eyakenyi. Others were Deaconess Owoidighe Ekpotai, members elect for National and state House of Assembly, Local Government Chairmen, Chairmen of boards and parastatal among others.
However, Governor Wike who was accompanied  by the PDP National Chairman,  Prince Uche Secondus and other Rivers leaders inspected work at the Judges’ Quarters.
At the facility, the contractors were in the process of constructing Internal Roads , while majority  of the buildings  have been completed. Construction workers at the project  site sang the praises of the governor as he embarked  on the project  inspection.
Before the general elections, Governor Wike had said that work will continue at project sites despite the electioneering process, pointing out that his projects  will always  speak for  him at all times.

 

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Why I challenged Gov Bello – Wada

By Boluwaji Obahopo

LOKOJA—Former governor of Kogi State, Capt. Idris Wada (retd.), has congratulated the incumbent, Yahaya Bello, on his Supreme Court victory last Tuesday.

He said his reason for challenging Bello up to the apex court was not borne out of selfishness but for purposes of judicial interpretation and posterity.

Wada, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Jacob Edi, said: “I wish to congratulate Governor Bello on his victory and wish him a successful tenure of office.

WadaWada
Wada

“Our search for justice, which terminated last Tuesday, has been a long one, from the tribunal through the Appeal Court up to the Supreme Court.

“It is instructive to note that our pursuit of justice was not hinged on selfish, ethnic or such other chauvinistic sentiments.

“In the circumstance we have found ourselves, in the immediate post-election days, we were convinced about the authenticity of the mandate given to us by the people of our dear state.

“It will be on record that when we felt the mandate was not only threatened but stolen, we approached the judiciary for interpretation as provided by our laws. We have pursued our convictions to the highest court in the land.

“As patriotic citizens, we shall abide by the judicial pronouncements. No doubts, our gesture has left an indelible mark on the development of our jurisprudence.

“It is hoped that at some point in the future, our efforts will be a reference point for generations yet unborn.”

Wada thanked all his supporters, especially members of his party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for standing by him.

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Will Peter Obi Lead Igbos to the Promise Land?

Many Igbos and other Nigerians  have lost faith in the Nigerian Experiment and many are disillusioned about the chances of attaining equity in the one Nigeria experiment which for one thing has not worked in the past. It will take one with a free mind and an escalated level of objectivity and consciousness to deductively arrive at this inescapable conclusion.

Many people see the above pictures as ultimate Anointing for Peter Obi by one and only Ikemba 1 even when it was done within the context of Anambra Politics. Can this Anointing be stretched to National Politics? Many of us ask this question whether those of us Christians can coexist with the ideology of Islam?

Many people are not able to answer or address this question and provide rationale for such existence in an environment where one religion is seen and used as a state religion and anyone who does not believe in it is regarded as Infidel and often targeted for attacks. Understandably emphasis for many peopl is focused on survivability and issues of economics which they use to justify their current status quo for being part of Nigeria.

Assuming that PDP comes to power again and Peter Obi assumes the Vice Presidential mantle, is he being positioned in for the Presidency after the era of the North? Remember that despite the fact that Nigeria practices so called Democracy, the system it uses is based on the unwritten rule of one president from the south will be succeeded by another president from the north. this is wrong if we will use such criteria it should have been one president from the north, one president from the west and one president from the east in line with existing colonies which the British amalgamated to form one Nigeria but this is not the focus point here.

But in the past Igbos have been there, you remember a man called Ekwueme and his debacle. But be that as it may the Igbos hold the answers to these questions in their own hands. Whether we seek for independence or choose to remain as part of one Nigeria the process involves much leadership skills and talent. This is our manifest destiny and whether such decision is done now or later, at some point it must be undertaken because we are free people. Nnamdi Kanu’s call for election boycott is not the answer, I see such pronouncement as exercise in futility, and an example that will produce an unfavorable result for Ndigbo.

These small minded mentality of some of our Igbo leaders and governors of today has not served us well. But this decision of remaining as part of one Nigeria or seek Independence may ultimately be made by the younger generation of Igbos and others in the Biafran territories, who seems more poised to take on the leadership mantle.

I have always observed Peter Obi’s Political moves with keen interest. His trip to the Vatican to meet and receive Papal blessings for the office he is currently seeking was a good move to many people. Until the big decision is made of whether to remain as part of Nigeria we will look up to the PDP government (If they win power again) to see if some wrongs of the past can be ameliorated) If not if Buhari remains in power, all hope may be lost by not only Igbos but many other Nigerians as well

Written by Okechukwu P. Oranika (Odezuligbo 1)

 

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Why Britain is opposed to the freedom of Biafra

Author:  Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe. Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is visiting professor at Universidade de Fortaleza and specialist on the state and on genocide and wars in Africa in the post-1966 epoch – beginning with the Igbo genocide, 29 May 1966-12 Jan 1970

Source: Rethinking Africa

Igbo genocide, Britain and the United States

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe*****

Conqueror’s concord

In Empire: What Ruling the World Did to the British (London: Viking, 2011), Jeremy Paxman allocates just 12 lines of his total 368-page study to British-occupied Nigeria in west Africa. But Paxman’s pithy commentary undoubtedly speaks volumes of the mindset of the occupation regime on the very eve of its presumed departure from Nigeria in October 1960. This is clearly a regime that is not prepared or willing to abandon the bounty harvest or lucre that is its Nigeria. Instead, it is exploring across a spectrum of strategies to subvert the very goal of the restoration-of-independence movement for the peoples which the Igbo, one of the constituent nations in Nigeria, had led since the 1930s.Using state archival material, Paxman presents the crux of the panoramic conversation on the subject in Lagos (Nigeria’s then capital), in January 1960, between James Robertson, the outgoing occupation governor, and visiting British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (Paxman, 2011: 272):

 

harold-macmillan-Biafra-news(Harold Macmillan) MACMILLAN: Are the people fit for self-government?  Sir James Wilson Robertson-Biafra-news(James Robertson)ROBERTSON: No, of course not.

According to Paxman, James Robertson reckons that it would take “another 20 or 25 years” for Nigeria to be “fit for self-government” (Paxman: 272; added emphasis). Instructively, this is the same Robertson who had, prior to his Lagos meeting with Macmillan, “concluded” the “terms” of the British “exit” from Nigeria in “negotiations” with the country’s restoration-of-independence movement – begun 15 years earlier and had been chaired successively by two previous occupation governors including sessions scheduled and held in England (Herbert Ekwe-EkweBiafra Revisited, 2006: 27-43, 121). This is the same Robertson who had just rigged the December 1959 countrywide elections in Nigeria (part of the restoration-of-independence “package”) in favour of the Hausa-Fulani north region, as Harold Smith, a member of the occupation regime in Lagos at the time, would recall years later (Harold Smith, “A squalid end to empire”, The Free Library, 1 November 2008; Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “Elections in Africa – the voter, the court, the outcome”, 2013: 810-811). Furthermore, this is the same Robertson whose predecessor, in Lagos, had earlier rigged the countrywide census results – again, in favour of Britain’s Hausa-Fulani north regional clients (Smith, “A squalid end of empire”), aimed at ensuring that the latter, with a fabricated population majority in the country, has the “electoral clout” to safeguard for the (British)conqueror-state the vast arena of its strategic and economic assets in Nigeria in perpetuity (Ekwe-Ekwe, 2006: 18-114; Herbert Ekwe-EkweReadings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature, 2011: 1-6).  As this study will demonstrate, this north region constitutes the core of Britain’s local clients in Nigeria, vehemently opposed to African independence – and, therefore, the British exit! Consequently, it would play a key role in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide which it undertakes in concert with Britain. Pointedly, on the broader stretch of the politics of liberation of the Southern World, during this post-Second World War epoch, the north Nigeria region has the unenviable accolade across this hemisphere of being home to one of the few peoples who wanted the continuing occupation of their lands by one of the pan-European powers of global conquest since the 15th century CE (Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “Léopold Senghor”, The Literary Encyclopedia, 30 June 2002).

So, given James Robertson’s apparent “unfavourable prognosis” on Nigeria illustrated in Empire, Prime Minister Macmillan asks his governor for advice on the way forward for the British continuing occupation of Nigeria (Paxman: 272): “What do you recommend me to do?”
ROBERTSON: I recommend you give it to them at once.

Really? Why? Doesn’t Robertson’s suggestion to his boss sound wholly contradictory to the tract that this conclave had trodden so far? Well, no, not really… Both prime minister and governor have no disagreement, whatsoever, on holding onto British “interests” in Nigeria in perpetuity; they do not believe that they are necessarily bound by the “terms” of the envisaged British “exit” from Nigeria “negotiated” since 1945 even though, ironically, these had largely preserved British “interests”, thanks to the veto-power that its Hausa-Fulani north region subalterns would exercise in the “new” dispensation (Ekwe-Ekwe, 2006: 40-43, 121); most crucially, both men do not subscribe to the inalienable rights of Africans to recover their conquered lands.

It is the case, though, that if the British officials were to renege on their “exit” from Nigeria at this 11th hour, they would have to contend with a serious crisis – at least in the short/medium term – right there on the ground in Nigeria: “The alternative [is] that most talented people [read: the Igbo and those others elsewhere in south Nigeria who demanded and supported the drive towards unfettered restoration-of-independence for the peoples during these past 30 years] would become rebels and the British would spend the next two decades fighting to stave off what [is] inevitable, while incurring the opprobrium of the world” (Paxman: 272).

As the Lagos deliberations end, nine months before the designated British departure date (1 October 1960), both prime minister and governor needn’t agonise, too much, over the future prospects of their country’s Nigeria stranglehold. After all, despite the “talented people”, Britain is aware that it holds the trump card to defend this stranglehold via its Hausa-Fulani clients. Twice in the previous 15 years (significantly, it should be noted, during those crucial years of British “negotiations” of its “exit” from Nigeria with the “talented people”), the clients organised and unleashed pogroms against Igbo people in the northcentral town of Jos (1945) and north city of Kano (1953). Hundreds of Igbo were murdered during these massacres and tens of thousands of pounds sterling worth of their property looted or destroyed (Ekwe-Ekwe, 2006: 8, 19-20). No perpetrators of these murders were ever apprehended or punished by the occupation regime.

Six and one-half years hence, from Sunday 29 May 1966, these same British clients would unleash the genocide against the Igbo people. During the course of 44 months, 3.1 million Igbo children, women and men are murdered in this foundational and most gruesome genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa. The Igbo and the world suddenly realise that those anti-Igbo pogroms, carried out during the years of the Anglo-“talented people”-in-Nigeria doubtful restoration-of-independence negotiations, were indeed “dress rehearsals” for the 29 May 1966-12 January 1970 Igbo genocide.

Britain plays an instrumental role in the perpetration of the genocide – politically, diplomatically and militarily, and its closest international ally, the United States, as we will soon elaborate, is fully aware of its mission. Now, a new Harold-the-prime minister, this time Harold Wilson, beginning in 1964, has no qualms about the “opprobrium of the world” considered by the other Harold during those January 1960 talks with governor Robertson. Wilson’s reasons are obvious: the architecture of control and execution of mass violence in Nigeria have altered, somehow, since January 1960, and the forces on the ground spearheading the Igbo genocide are the trusted Hausa-Fulani subalterns of old in addition to their since locally expanded allies in Yoruba, Edo and Urhobo west Nigeria – not Britain, directly; precisely, what Macmillan and Robertson had sought to avoid during that Lagos summit! Declassified British state papers indicate the monstrous disposition by the Wilson government, right from the outset, to saturate the Nigerian genocidist armoury on the ground with a wide range of British weapons to ensure that the murder of the Igbo is effected most comprehensively:

In December 1967 … [British Foreign] Secretary George Thomson said that “ [the Nigerians] are most impressed with the Saladins and Ferrets” previously supplied by Britain. As a result Britain supplied six Saladin armoured personnel carriers (APCs), 30 Saracen APCs along with 2,000 machine guns for them, anti-tank guns and 9 million rounds of ammunition. Denis Healey, the Defence Secretary, wrote that he hoped these supplies will encourage the Nigerians “to look to the United Kingdom for their future purchases of defence equipment”. By the end of the year [1967] Britain had also approved the export of 1,050 bayonets, 700 grenades, 1,950 rifles with grenade launchers, 15,000 lbs of explosives and two helicopters … In the first half of the following year,1968, Britain approved the export of 15 million rounds of ammunition, 21,000 mortar bombs, 42,500 Howitzer rounds, 12 Oerlikon guns, 3 Bofors guns, 500 submachine guns, 12 Saladins with guns and spare parts, 30 Saracens and spare parts, 800 bayonets, 4,000 rifles and two other helicopters. At the same time Wilson was constantly reassuring Gowon of British support for a United Nigeria, saying in April 1968 that “I think we can fairly claim that we have not wavered in this support throughout …”. British arms supplies were stepped up again in November [1968]. Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart said the Nigerians could have 5 million more rounds of ammunition, 40,000 more mortar bombs and 2,000 rifles. “You may tell Gowon”, Stewart instructed High Commissioner Hunt in Lagos, “that we are certainly ready to consider a further application” to supply similar arms in the future as well. He concluded: “if there is anything else for ground warfare which you… think they need and which would help speed up the end of the fighting, please let us know and we will consider urgently whether we can supply it”. Other supplies agreed in November [1968], following meetings with the Nigerians included six Saladins and 20,000 rounds of ammunition for them, and stepped up monthly supplies of ammunition, amounting to a total of 15 million rounds additional to those already agreed. It was recognised by the Defence Minister that “the scale of the UK supply of small arms ammunition to Nigeria in recent months has been and will continue to be on a vast scale”. The recent deal meant that Britain was supplying 36 million rounds of ammunition in the last few months alone. Britain’s “willingness to supply very large quantities of ammunition”, Lord Shepherd [minister of state, foreign office] noted, “meant drawing on the British army’s own supplies”. By the end of 1968 Britain had sold Nigeria £9 million worth of arms, £6 million of which was spent on small arms … In March 1969 the government approved the export of 19 million rounds of ammunition, 10,000 grenades and 39,000 mortar bombs … Two senior British RAF officers secretly visited Nigeria in August 1969 to advise the Nigerians on “how they could better prosecute the air war” … [I]n December 1969 … Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart was calling for stepping up military assistance including the supply of more armoured cars. These supplies by Britain, he wrote, “have undoubtedly been the most effective weapons in the ground war and have spear-headed all the major [Nigerian] advances”. (Mark Curtis, “Nigeria’s war over Biafra, 1967-70”)

 

denis_healey-biafra-news
(Denis Healey: defence secretary)

Harold Wilson
(Harold Wilson: “would accept a half million dead Biafrans if that was what it took…”)

So as the slaughter of the Igbo intensifies, particularly in the catastrophic months of 1968-1969, Harold Wilson is totally unfazed as he informs Clyde Ferguson, the United States state department special coordinator for relief to Biafra, that he, Harold Wilson, “would accept a half million dead Biafrans if that was what it took” Nigeria to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide (Roger MorrisUncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, 1977: 122). Such is the grotesquely expressed diminution of African life made by a supposedly leading politician of the world of the 1960s – barely 20 years after the deplorable perpetration of the Jewish genocide in Europe. As the final tally of the murder of the Igbo demonstrates, Harold Wilson probably has the perverted satisfaction of having his Nigerian subalterns perform far in excess of the prime minister’s grim target, a subject coldly stated in Wilson’s own memoirs where he notes that the Nigerian military, equipped zealously by Britain as we have highlighted, expends more small arms ammunition in its campaign to achieve its annhilative mission in Igboland than the amount used by the British armed forces  “during the whole” of  the Second World War (Harold WilsonLabour Government, 1964-1970: A Personal Record, 1971: 630, added emphasis). On this feature, Colonel Robert Scott, military advisor in the British diplomatic mission in Nigeria, during the period, acknowledges, equally gravely, that as Nigerian genocidist military forces unleash their attacks on Igbo cities, towns and villages, they are the “best defoliant agent known” (Daily Telegraph, London, 11 January 1970).

CONTINUE READING : Igbo genocide political economy of conquest and occupation – and genocide

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WAEC announces winners of National Distinction/Merit Awards

By Dayo Adesulu

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), yesterday, in Lagos unveiled winners of the National Distinction /Merit Award.

The trio, Master Babalola David Oluwasayo, Master Alabi Philip Toluwase and Miss Nkata Lewechi Ugonma emerged first, second and third respectively among over a million candidates that sat for the May/June 2015 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Announcing the winners during its 54th Annual Meeting of Nigeria National Committee of WAEC held in Agidingbi, Lagos, the Head, National Office, WAEC, Mr Olu Adenipekun said: “Babalola who emerged first in eight subjects scored 673,7626.

WAEC

WAEC

He also stated that Alabi in eight subjects scored 667,1802, while Nkata in eight subjects scored 660,2430 to emerge second and third respectively.

Babalola who is presently studying Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ibadan, UI had his secondary education at Oritamefa Baptist Model School, Ibadan, Oyo State.

On his part, Alabi who is also studying Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ibadan, UI had his secondary school education at Our Lady and St Francis Catholic College, Osogbo, Osun State.

Also, Nkata from Loyola Jesuit College, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja that emerged third is presently studying Chemical engineering at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

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What Igbos Must Do Now-A letter From Prof Obi Nwakanma

Dear Dr. Nwosu:

Part of the reason why Igbo political action is defective is that we talk too much, and act miserably. The current situation with the current regime in Nigeria demands more action, than talk. With all due respect sir, all that you have written below is truth. But it is truth that is already well known. You are making emotional appeals to stones. You cannot squeeze water from stones. You would be more effective tonight, if you invited 10 of your closest friends, and acquaintances home to your house for dinner, and convince each to contribute just $100 to the IGBO DEFENCE FUND. Years ago, I called on the Igbo Diaspora to lunch this fund for the eventuality that the Igbo might seek funds to act in their own defence, including paying for sundry strategic services, legal and extra-legal. 
Here is what every Igbo must do, whether you support IPOB or not: you must pull together to defend Igbo honor and the right of every Igbo man, woman, or child, born today or in the future, for survival and dignity. The current regime in Nigeria is not fighting IPOB. It is fighting with the Igbo. IPOB is just simply the badly organized, brave, but sometimes misdirected group that carries the can; it is between Buhari and Igbo subjection. If this regime is allowed to get away with the murders it has committed against Igbo youth; its suppression of the voice of Ndi Igbo, its daring of the Igbo to act if they could, then all Igbo, whether you are in support of IPOB or not, will live the next fifty years with heads bowed, wherever they exist anywhere in the world.
Your children will hide their identities; a whole generation will deny being Igbo, so many will hate themselves for being Igbo; many will detest their parents for standing aloof while others stood tall in the conquest of the Igbo. And make no mistakes about it, whether IPOB was formed or not; whether it was militant or pacifist; whether it protested or just simply wrote endless letters of disagreement, Buhari would have found other means to suppress the Igvbo. Buhari came to power with the Igbo in his mind. So, all those who are saying IPOB has brought this to the Igbo are talking hogwash. IPOB has merely raised the issues that have been waiting to be raised this past 50 years. These young men and women have been brutalized, killed, jailed, tortured, and some Igbo are busy living like quislings and blaming them!
It is unconscionable that the Igbo, whether the IPOB is wrong or right, should stand aside and make excuses for the killing of their children, and the brazen suppression of the rights of the Igbo to be properly governed. What happened this past week is not only a military invasion of the East, but a coup against the elected governments of the South-East, whose governors, because they have no means of self defence, have been clearly threatened, forced, and blackmailed into acts inimical to their own survival. These governors did not act with their conscience.
They acted with the guns directed at them. It was either they, or IPOB, period. The Igbo must never permit that kind of illegality. The senate of the republic has condemned the military action, an d declared it unconstitutional. And yes, before any president is authorized to send the Nigerian Army to any part of Nigeria, under any emergency, he must secure the mandate of the National Assembly, under the emergency power acts. Buhari never obtained this power. The Chief of Army overruled the powers of the elected governor of Abia state Independent reports reaching me says that the number of Igbo civilians killed in Umuahia alone stands at over 200 people. Many of the dead were killed and the corpses seized by the soldiers and disappeared!! This is very serious, and here is what the Igbo Diaspora Committee for the Dfence of the Igbo must do very urgently. Raise money, by every means, and
A) Recruit a good Public Relations Company and begin a very articulate and global campaign to bring attention to the crimes of the current Federal government.
B) Establish an on-line Wall of Memory for these young Igbo who have been killed, jailed or disappeared by the Buhari government since 2015. We need their pictures, their names, and very short, no more than 20 word bio of them to present before the International Criminal Court of Justice. We must make this wall of memory active, beautiful, and interactive, with a very short intro. circulate on every social media platform. Invilve the young generation of the Igbo, who are tech savvy, and make this their fight too.
C) We must support a very active defiance campaign against the suppression of Igbo rights. We must help plan and launch within the next 3 months, the “KILL-US-ALL” campaign. Bring millions of Igbo to the streets of their major cities on the same day to force this government to stand down, and listen, or make certain that the jails are filled with millions of Igbo. Nigeria does not have a prison capacity for up to 1.5 million people. We must change this narrative about IPOB. We must make this fight inclusive of all Nigerians who oppose what is currently going on, and who must certainly fear Buhari’s next move. Igbo organizations, known for their narrow, petty, small-minded, turf-hugging, self-indulgent, power-hungry games, must for this crucial time, close ranks, and seek a common and coherent response to this madness. Igbo in the East coast – men, women, and children, and the friends of the Igbo must go before the UN tomorrow and protest Buhari’s presence, and send a petition to the UNHRC – the UN Human Rights Commission with evidence of Buhari’s selective annihilation of the Igbo. Please do not use any evidence that brings to question Igbo integrity here. In other words, do not go rustling up pictures from Rwanda or Congo or Ogoni,;use verifiable, and current images that will stand to scrutiny, otherwise, the Igbo will ruin their own case. This is urgent. We must not oppose the Nigerian state. We must oppose what the Nigerian state does to its Igbo citizens, period!
Prof Obi Nwakanma

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WHO Cries Out For $5.3 Million To Save Lives

By Akanimo Sampson

The sum of US$ 5.3 million is currently hindering the World Health Organisation (WHO) from meeting urgent health needs of not less than two million people at risk.

The United Nations agency is accordingly appealing for the amount to provide life- and limb-saving interventions to massive numbers of injured patients overwhelming an already fragile health system in Gaza.

The upcoming one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return on March 30, could result in further casualties and an increase in people requiring trauma care and rehabilitation services.

Funding is urgently required to ensure the minimum resources are available to immediate health needs, as well as enhance the quality of trauma and emergency care in the Gaza Strip and reduce mortality and morbidity among an at-risk population of two million people.

“The sheer magnitude of trauma needs in Gaza is immense. Every week injured patients continue to arrive at hospitals requiring complex long-term treatment. The requested financial support will help not just to address critical service gaps but ensure that we can work with our partners to scale up treatment capacities to provide immediate lifesaving care for emergency cases and to strengthen rehabilitation,” says Dr Gerald Rockenschaub, head of WHO’s office for the occupied Palestinian territory.

Since the start of the demonstrations last March, over 29,000 people have been injured, with more than 6,500 suffering from gunshot wounds requiring long-term specialised surgical treatment and rehabilitation, for which the Gaza Strip faces persistent capacity gaps.

The massive burden of trauma casualties also affects the provision of other essential services, directly impacting capacities to provide neonatal and maternal care services and to manage chronic disease patients.

Elective surgeries have to be postponed and suspended, hospital beds are reallocated and reserved for surgical patients, health staff and ambulances have to prioritize the immediate emergency needs.

In 2018, WHO supported the Ministry of Health and the Palestine Red Crescent Society to upgrade the trauma stabilisation points (TSPs) in proximity to the fence with Israel, so that the wounded can receive life-saving treatment close to the point of injury.

The scope of interventions provided on-site at the TSPs has continuously expanded to cover triage, life- and limb-saving first aid and initial treatment and this has substantially reduced the burden on hospitals, with some 50% of the injured being treated and discharged at the TSPs.

The US$ 5.3 million will be used to build on the previous success of the WHO supported interventions and ensure better health outcomes for Palestinians through strengthened continuum of care along the pathway of trauma patients.

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Two Arrested Nigerians Released by Chicago Police

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Two Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo arrested over Smollette attack in Chicago have been released as the investigation now shifts to Smollette himself. There are allegations that the alledged attack may have been staged by Smollette himself According to the Chicago police as reported by the Chicago Tribune “the investigation into the attack reported by Jussie Smollett has “shifted” due to information received from two brothers arrested in the case then released, and police want to interview the “Empire” actor again.

“Twelve hours after calling them “possible suspects,” police late Friday released the two Nigerian brothers without charges and said they were no longer suspects, citing “new evidence” they did not disclose.

“Detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

“We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” Guglielmi said in an emailed statement Saturday. “We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”

Source Chicago Tribune

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UBA’s Asset Soars As Earnings Clock N494 Billion

 

By Akanimo Sampson

Group Managing Director/CEO of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, says the Pan-African financial institution recorded a 48 percent year-on-year growth in retail deposits and improved our CASA ratio to 77 percent.

The big financial supermarket is also optimising their funding mix, which will enhance their net interest margin (NIM), over the medium term. UBA announced her audited 2018 financial results, which indicates that the financial enterprise recorded impressive growths achieved across major financial lines in the year under review.

According to Uzoka, ‘’defying the relatively weak economic growth in Africa, earnings were positive and we grew our balance sheet by 20 percent, driven by the 23 percent growth in our deposit funding. In a period of economic uncertainty, we have focused on retail deposit mobilization, with exciting results. It will be recalled that the bank started wholesale banking operations in London, as it seeks to leverage the Group’s unique network across Africa, while also opening its 20th African operation in the same year.

‘’Our operations in the United Kingdom now offer end-to-end trade, treasury, structured finance, wholesale deposit taking and ancillary services. With this development, we are better positioned to fulfill our aspiration of deepening trade and capital flows between Europe and Africa. We are also pleased with the market acceptance of our new operation in Mali.’’

 UBA has more than 65 years of providing uninterrupted banking operations, dating back to 1948 when the British and French Bank Limited (BFB) commenced business in Nigeria. BFB was a subsidiary of Banque Nationale de Crédit (BNCI), Paris, which transformed its London branch into a separate subsidiary called the British and French Bank, with shares held by Banque Nationale de Crédit and two British investment firms, S.G. Warburg and Company and Robert Benson and Company.

The 2018 financials filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange shows that the Africa’s global bank’s gross earnings grew by 7.0 percent to N494.0 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The Bank’s total assets also grew significantly by 19.7 percent to an unprecedented N4.9 trillion for the year under review.

For financial analysts, these results largely demonstrates the benefits of the Group’s Pan-African footprints with continued growth in market share in key countries of operation across Africa. The contributions of ex-Nigeria subsidiaries at 40 percent, again confirms the strong footing of the Group’s franchise in Africa.

Despite the challenging business environments in Nigeria and across key markets in Africa, UBA’s Profit Before Tax was quite impressive at N106.8 billion, a 2.4 percent growth, compared to N104.2 billion in 2017 financial year. In same vein, the Profit After Tax rose by 1.4 percent to N78.6 billion, compared to N77.5 billion recorded in 2017.

Due to lower foreign exchange trading income, Operating Expenses grew by 4.1 percent to N197.3 billion, compared to N189.7 billion in 2017 The bank’s net loans recorded stood at a prudent 3.9 percent growth to N1.72 trillion, while customer deposits increased by as much as 22.5 percent to N3.3 trillion, compared to N2.7 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017; to reflect increased customer confidence and enhanced service channels in the year under review.

The Shareholders’ Funds however, decreased marginally by 4.8 percent to N502.6 billion, reflecting the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards 9 (IFRS 9) implementation.

Uzoka said he remained confident that UBA’s performance would be stronger in the years ahead and shareholders will enjoy even greater dividends, as the Group “is well positioned to take advantage of imminent fiscal reforms across many economies in Africa, a positive outlook which should stimulate new opportunities in infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and resource sectors.’’

 Continuing, he said ‘’I am excited by the profitability of our ex-Nigeria subsidiaries, which now contributes an impressive 40 percent earnings to the Group. At the moment, our Nigerian business is benefiting from our product and operational focus, gaining market share – most importantly, the increasing penetration of our retail offerings is reassuring, as this fundamental progress aligns with our strategy of focusing on sustainable growth. With great optimism, we look forward to a more rewarding 2019 for our shareholders, as we further sweat our resources and optimize productivity towards delivering superior returns.’’

Group Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Nwaghodoh, who  also spoke on the performance, said that the improving mix of UBA’s funding base and asset pricing, reinforce a positive outlook on Net Interest Margin(NIM) and broader balance sheet efficiency.

He said while considerable investment in people, digital transformation and channel enhancement masked cost efficiency gains within the year, with cost-to-income ratio at 64 percent, ‘’we are convinced that our diligent execution of new initiatives will ensure the reduction of Cost to Income Ratio(CIR) towards our medium-term target.

‘’Our balance sheet is being positioned to take full advantage of market swings and our strong 25 percent capital adequacy ratio provides headroom for growth, even under a BASEL III scenario. As it stands, UBA has started the year on a good note and should sustain the momentum, as we work towards improving our Return on Average Equity (RoAE).’’

Arguably, UBA Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France. The business was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949.

She merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent.

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Urhobo Militant Group Blows up Ogor-Oteri major delivery line

DESPITE the ongoing military “Operation Crocodile Smile” in the Niger Delta region, an Urhobo militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Movement, NDGJM, in the early hours of today, blew up the Ogor-Oteri major delivery line, operated by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company and Shorelines Petroleum in the state. The group in a statement by its leader, “Gen” Aldo Agbalaja, in a statement, claiming responsibility for the attack at about 3.00 hours, said it was executed by its Uproot Team B, said the group was also launching “Operation Crocodile Tears” since the military had launched “Operation Crocodile Smile” to supposedly worsen the Niger Delta crisis. It said: “Recent developments around our region, especially as it concerns the issue of justice and our inalienable right to protect our heritage, have proven us right all along. Now it has become clearer who is serious about getting justice for our people and who has been using the name of the region and the destinies of all our peoples to feather their nests, raising dusts merely to harass the Nigerian state and the oil multinationals into parting with money.” “Although some selfish machinery, merely put together to achieve some pecuniary ends, has been parading in the name of the peoples of the Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate will not be derailed on its mission to getting justice for the people.” .

 

The group said those who want to join the self acclaimed leaders of the region to make quick money in the arrangement they had put together were free to do so, but it lacked confidence in the show they put together, calling it a pan Niger Delta initiative. It said those people could speak for Ijaw nation, but certainly not all the nations in the region, adding: “When lines are blurred, justice is most likely to be miscarried. If there shall be a negotiation, it must be seen and indeed, must be in actual sense, be representing all the individual nations of the region equally.” The group added: “The drama that trailed the visit of some Ijaw royal fathers to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, in Abuja recently is more reason why equity must be a factor in setting up a body that will dialogue on behalf of all the peoples of the Niger Delta.” “If the said leader could not respect the royal fathers of his ethnic nation, if he is lording his will over them, what chance do other nations have, which do not have adequate representation? “That said, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate will no longer sit quietly watching the endless harassment of our people in various parts of the region by the Nigerian military. We had once warned against the victimization and harassment of defenseless people of the region, especially in the creeks, but rather than heed, the Nigerian military has increased its presence and made life more difficult for our people. “They are now killing our people on the basis of mere suspicion, this cannot continue,” it vowed. Its words “With the launch of their ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is also serving a notice on the commencement of our ‘Operation Crocodile Tears.’

 

It shall from now on be an eye for an eye; for every military atrocity carried out in the creeks and hinterland of the Niger Delta, the Nigerian armed forces will have the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate to contend with.” “To this end, we are alerting all those working in the UQCC/UPS Erhomukokwarien in Ughelli, Eriemu Pigging Manifold in Agbarha, Otorogun Gas Plant, Olomoro Flow Station, Warri Refinery, Port Harcourt Refinery, Eleme, OB-OB and Obite gas plants in Omoku to evacuate because what is coming to those facilities are beyond what anybody has seen before. “We do not want innocent blood being spilled, therefore, we advise all indigenes living in the vicinities of the facilities to relocate for the time being. “The world should, however, note that the bloodbath that is about to commence in our already beaten, battered, squeezed and impoverished homeland, the Niger Delta. It is all the baby of the Nigerian government; they are the people, who are in one breath preaching resolution through dialogue and also breathing bullets and bombs on a troubled, but trusting people. “Hold the Nigerian President responsible for the genocide that his armed forces is about to unleash on our people,” Agbalaja said.

Source:  http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/08/breaking-news-militants-blow-another-facility-delta/

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