Archive for April, 2013

The Alluring Narrative of Tonye Princewill (Part2)

Posted on April 20, 2013. Filed under: Opinion | Tags: |

By Nwaorgu Faustinus

PRINCEWILL 5Apart from the role he played during the first ever musical reality show for orphanages organised by Melody Shelters in collaboration with Adonis Productions, to being a major facilitator of NNENDA, Prince Tonye has nonetheless showed unwavering love to the youth, indigent undergraduates, and rural women among others. For instance, in June 2012, Prince Tonye sponsored ten Nigerian youths from the “Change Nigeria Group (CNG)” on a tour of South Africa and Dubai where the youths met with members of UAE royal family, institutional investors and leaders from far and wide so that they could find for themselves the secrets of their success.

In the educational sector, he has through his brainchild – Princewill Trust Fund sponsored the annual Amachree Scholarship Fund for poor students from the 23 LGA’s in Rivers State and about 150 Rivers indigenes in higher institutions in Nigeria. In furtherance of his acts of charity, he donated 23million naira Skill Acquisition Scheme to LGA’s for the training of rural women in the state by empowering them via skill acquisition programme to uphold the saying “do not give me fish but teach me how to fish”. Relatedly, he facilitated the sponsorship of the likes of Miss Mercy Akudo in Acting, Mr Valentine Ohu in Broadcast Journalism, Stanley Kotey in 3D Graphics, Crystabel Goddy in Acting and Telema Senibo in 3D Graphics to the Del-York Film Academy. Today, these youths are proud owners of multi-million naira equipped studios.

It is therefore imperative at this junction to enumerate some of the commendable deeds of this man to humanity as captured by one Chief Chukwueme Eze a media consultant based in Port Harcourt.

– Assisted his alma-mata UNIPORT Alumni when he donated the sum of N5M to the Leadership of Engr. Sampson N. Adumu led Exco to aid them in their activities during the launching of the Association in Port Harcourt on July, 2012.

– Sponsored and organized football competitions with some past football stars based in Port Harcourt, female and U-18 Soccer Tournaments in his drive to continue to give succor to our youths.

– Recently intervened and assisted people in Rivers and Bayelsa States that were affected by the damaging floods in the land.

– Has touched hundreds of the lives of the widows in Rivers State through his “New Life For the Widows in Rivers State”

– He followed it up with the premiering of the International award winning “The Figurine” anchored by the famous Kunle Afolayan in 11thOctober, 2009 at the Silver Bird Cinemas, Port Harcourt. This movie was the second Nigerian movie to hit box office status after Stephanie Okereke’s ‘Through the Glass’.

– The Prince premiered Kajola the most expensive film ever produced in Nigeria at the silver bird cinema Abuja on 3oth july, 2010 with a whooping production cost of One Hundred and thirty Million Naira (N130M) The plot of the movie set in Nigeria 2059, which is expected to appeal to all Nigerians in the sense that it explores the implications of the continuous neglect of the poor and the widening gulf between the rich and poor and the ensuing catastrophic outcomes stemming from such neglect.

– He is currently sponsoring the production of the first movie in Nigeria on celluoid Camera titled “76” hinged and anchored on the coup of 1976 in Nigeria aimed at recreating history for the incoming generation and preserving a remarkable part of the history of our nation. The post production is on-going in Germany. The second is Valor, a movie that deals with the Niger Delta and Boko Haram issues and is also at post production stage.

– The RIVMAP which is the brainchild of Prince Tonye Princewill to serve as a platform for the emancipation of our youths from poverty and hopelessness by discovering, nurturing and grooming talent in the arts to stardom had during its inaugural outing that cost him the sum of N20M had Mr. Timi Julius carting away the N5M Record Deal in Music with the Dancing group of the Thrillers winning the N2M Prize in the Dancing Group and Mr. Jacob John a Welder/Fabricator based in Port Harcourt from Akwa Ibom winning the N1M meant for the Comedy group.

Away from the above, Prince Tonye played a praise-worthy part in the resolution of the Buguma crisis that engulfed the ancient city. For him, it was the Buguma crisis that made him get involved in Rivers State politics. He was a member of the Niger Delta Committee who drew up the Niger Delta Technical Committee Report during the heydays of militancy in the Niger/Delta region, before amnesty was granted the freedom fighters but nothing much was done about it on the part of the FG by way of implementing it (the report) to the last letter. At the time he held sway as the sub-Committee Chairman of the Niger Delta Subcommittee on Vision 2020 set up by the late President, Umar Yar’Ardua, Princewill did what most present crop of politicians would not have done by resigning his position – Sub-committee Chair of the Niger Delta Subcommittee as a result of the bombardment of Guaramatu Kingdom by Federal Government forces to demonstrate his protest.

As a thoughtful democrat, Prince Tonye has billboards located at strategic points in Port Harcourt with different soul-searching and thought provoking inscriptions which include; “Have a forgiving spirit …. We all make mistakes, that’s why pencils have erasers”, “remember the youths because the young shall grow”, “remember the elderly because you too will grow old”, “you are blessed to bless others”, “free food dey run bele, work for your money”, “if you truly believe, the unbelievable becomes not only possible but popular” etc.

From the foregoing, it is clear that this humane business mogul cum politician has lived up to some of the inscriptions captured in his billboards even though he does not hold any political post. Keep up the good work you are doing.

Nwaorgu Faustinus wrote in via ngorokpalaresearcher@gmail.com

 

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Delta leaders drum support for Uduaghan-….Refute Keyamo’s claim ….Call for unity among citizens

Posted on April 17, 2013. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

Governor UduaghanDelta leaders who go by the name “The People’s Movement”, on Tuesday debunked allegations of oppression, intimidation and marginalization against some leaders and ethnic groups in the state, saying Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan apart from running a government based on honesty and fairness, is also propagating peaceful co-existence through inter- ethnic capacity building among residents in the state.

In a statement issued by the Director of Communications of The People’s Movement, Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua in Abuja accused some individuals of plotting to destabilize the state, while dismissing the position of rights activist and lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Delta State Chairman of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), Mr. Chukwugozie Ezeagwu, Chief David Omoru and   others on the performance of the Uduaghan led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government, noting that the government has provided the basic infrastructure to stimulate growth and development in the state.

“In Delta State, we have seen hopes maturing to reality. War on crime has been declared and that fight has been won. The rule of law is respected in Delta State. Public servants are properly paid. The government has put smiles on the faces of the people by executing policies and programmes that have direct impact in the lives of the people. The government has invested in education, health; sports, rural development, security and housing and the benefits are there for all to see. ” they said.

The leaders who described Uduaghan’s performance as encouraging commended him for nurturing popular democracy, protecting life and personal liberty, pursuing justice, creating opportunities for the youths   and providing meaningful developmental projects across   the state as well as ensuring equity and fairness in appointment to political offices.

“For members of the Egbema Progressive Network (EPN), Egbema for Positive Change (EPC), the Isoko Action Forum and some individuals to say  their people have been marginalized and oppressed by a man who runs a government that is all inclusive and all-embracing, one that excludes no one is to say the least unbelievable and mischievous ” the leaders said.

Furthermore, the leaders explained that “Uduaghan appointed some Isoko and Ijaw sons and daughters into key positions of his administration. Many schools are being built or rehabilitated, solar electricity provided, streets dualized and new roads constructed in Isoko and Ijaw areas. The Delta State University, Oleh Campus and the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro Campus are well funded by the government. Uduaghan wants to make Delta State stable and prosperous. He is moving with great zeal and vigour to make the difference”.

The leaders advised Ijaw indigenes in Warri North, the Urhobo leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Warri South Local Government Area and members of the Isoko Action Forum to define the objectives and strategies of their political struggles more clearly than degenerating to abuses, lies and wild allegations.

They also advised those flexing muscles to bury the hatchet in the interest of the state, urging them to mend the walls of traditional affinity.

The leaders called on Egbema and Isoko elders at home and abroad to eschew all forms of violence.

“We have a governor with a listening ear. We have a governor that is committed to the development of the state. We have a governor that is providing responsible, accountable and transparent leadership to the people. The avenue of peaceful dialogue is still available to the youths. These times require you to use your influence to prevail on the youths to desist from this hopeless cause.

They further urged Deltans irrespective of tribe, religion or political difference to give full support to Uduaghan’s administration to enable him complete his tenure smoothly and successfully.

 

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The alluring narrative of Tonye Princewill (Part 1)

Posted on April 10, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

By Nwaorgu Faustinus

In the Nigeria political conclave, with particular reference to Port Harcourt – the capital city of Rivers State, there abound different crop of politicians that represent  one, two or more positive  features to their followers, admirers, or political observers, analysts and commentators.  It is on the charismatic or rather appealing individualistic socio-political disposition that gives bite to the growing followership base such a politician enjoys.

PRINCEWILL WITH THE ORPHANSThe above could be said of Prince Tonye Princewill who has over the years earned the admiration of many through his charismatic outlook.

Though it was not by his own making to be born a Prince of the famous Kalabari Kingdom – known for its age long war bravery, Tonye as he is fondly called by his associates and admirers is the only scion of the king of Kalabari land,  King Prof TJT Princewill. Born on January 4th 1969, Prince Tonye attended the Hillcrest High School in Jos.  Afterwards, he gained admission to further his education at Federal Government College (FGC) Port Harcourt where he did sit for his WAEC examination in 1985. He passed out from Petroleum Engineering at the University of Port-Harcourt. Tonye Princewill who has Master’s degree in Mineral Resources Engineering at the Imperial College, London has relentlessly put smile on the face of many through his big-heartedness. This is one of the main characteristics of Prince Tonye that distinguishes him from other politicians or businessmen from Rivers State.

It is crucial at this juncture to take a walk down memory lane on the charming, real and genuine tales of this rare blue blood of Niger/Delta stock who makes no mistakes about his munificence not only to the people of his region but also to others who are not in any way related to him. To this end, it appears to be or is not an innate-compelled love, embellished with wisdom and a show of concern for the circumstance of the less privileged, the unemployed, and orphanage homes among others that spurs Prince Tonye to identify with them?

To begin with, having taken the milk of human kindness to elevate and impact on the blighted condition of the destitute, Prince Tonye made himself available to be the protagonist sponsor of a Nigerian home movie – “Nnenda” in September 2009. Nnenda which is a special movie and orphanage awareness campaign revolves around the touching plight of an abandoned baby and the rare efforts made by a concerned female doctor (Stephanie Okereke – a lead actress in the movie) to bring succour and safe life in the face of strict opposition from the hospital’s management hierarchy.

At the time when the first ever musical reality show for orphanages organised by Melody Shelters, a collaboration of Adonis Productions and Prince Tonye Princewill, came to a climax on 5th May, 2012, the Kogi State’s Godswill Orphanage who emerged as the 2012 champions was given cash award.Mrs Elizabeth Opanchi, proprietor of Godswill Orphanage, thanking God and the Prince for the iniciative.

The PDP Chieftain and the Leader of Princewill Political Associates (PPA) – Prince Tonye was on hand to present the cheques totalling 20 million naira to all the beneficiaries in a star studded event witnessed by an enthusiastic PH crowd, government officials and chieftains of the entertainment industry amongst others.

Godswill Orphanage of Kogi State got the coveted trophy and the Championship Prize of N10M while the runners-up – the Lifetime Orphanage of Rivers State got the Prize of N5M. Rachael Homes, Abuja came in third carting home the N3Mprize. The Princely amount of Five Hundred Thousand each was given to the other remaining five Homes as co-champions

At the time, Mrs. Elizabeth Opanachi the Matron of the Godswill Orphanage Abuja the Champion Home in her appreciation thanked Prince Tonye Princewill and the Directors of the Melody shelters for setting up that great innovative and God inspired project that will surely change the course and lives of the less privilege in Nigeria.

Prince Tonye Princewill adressing members of PPA at the Rivers State Government houseMrs Opanachi who was emotional in her presentation quoted the gospel of St. Mathew Chapter 5verse 7 which says “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy”assuring the Prince that his investment and concern for the poor in Nigeria would not go in vain as they would continue to pray for his uplift and growth in all aspect of his life. “You are a gift from God and, the poor will surely celebrate you when the time comes”.

She went further to challenge other rich men in Nigeria to emulate the Prince and invest their funds to alleviate the suffering of orphans and/or the many, not the few. She concluded by urging the various segments of government in Nigeria to assist the credible Orphanages in Nigeria in their onerous task to reduce poverty and provide succour to the orphans in Nigeria.

Nwaorgu Faustinus wrote in via ngorokpalaresearcher@gmail.com

 

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How Security Operatives Imperfect the War Against Boko Haram

Posted on April 9, 2013. Filed under: Opinion | Tags: |

How Security Operatives Imperfect the War Against Boko Haram

By Odimegwu Onwumere

It was funny to many Nigerians when President Goodluck Jonathan on-one-occasion said that the members of an Islamic sect known as Jamaatu Ahlil Sunna Lidawati wal Jihad but basically called Boko Haram which translates to Book is Sin, had infiltrated his government, not excluding the security agencies.

The ceaseless killing and destruction of property in the northern part of Nigeria by the sect only took the centre stage of national discourse and became a nightmare of a sort to Nigerians before a proposed amnesty to the unlawful was announced by the Federal Government (FG).

A former Governor of Abia State was quoted in March as saying that government security agents could be the brain behind the craze of the bombings that were always ascribed to be masterminded by the sect, due to the reality of unintelligence that was associated with the group’s members.

Government apparatuses did not take the comment of the ex-governor with a smidgen of the salt. They said that it was miserable that such a comment was coming from a highly placed person in the society. They also said that it was appalling that the ex-governor could make such statement that was able, according to them, of downplaying the efforts of the security operatives in the fight against the terrorists.

What these persons in the vilification exercise of the ex-governor did not realise was that the sect’s insurrection did not start this year. Some records traced when the insurgents began to cause mayhem in the country to 1999. It was the year Nigeria returned to civil rule and power shifted from the Hausa/Fulani military rulers who were changing the leadership of the country within themselves, but through coup.

Security operatives were always wielding guns in the streets in their quest to fight these hydra-headed fiends. Many security units were created out of the existing security agencies. The Anti-Terrorism Squad, a security outfit especially trained to mind the bombing activities of the dreaded terrorists was one of the newly created security outfits yet, the activities of the terrorists seemed not to abate.

The newly created security agencies were not at their best; about 50 insurgents carried out an attack in Bauchi prison on 7 September 2010. Parts of the prison were set on fire and five persons were killed. Among those that escaped from the prison were 721 prisoners, which included 150 members of the Islamist group, who were principally in anticipation of trial for sectarian aggression in the country in 2009. The authorities later reported that unspecified number of prisoners returned to the prison and others were re-arrested to complete their short sentences.

Angered by the killings and destructions followed the governor of the state proclamation on 8 September 2010 that the members of Boko Haram would be forcefully hounded out of the state if they did not  leave the state peacefully. Hopes were given to tighten security across the troubled region.

There was a belief that the insurgents started to attack the northern part of the country than ever after the 2011 presidential election was announced and a southerner (Jonathan) was declared winner. The Nigerian state matched the group with action, but in its attempts to flush the terrorists out of the system, did not yield the expected result in the hands of the security operatives.

One of the failed efforts of the security operatives in curbing the menace was the narrowly escape of Abubakar Shekau understood to be the Boko Haram’s leader, who had fled Nigeria some months back. He succeeded the late Mohammed Yusuf as leader of the sect who died in 2009.

But how Shekau escaped arrest in Kano when a joint security team stormed an apartment in the Naibawa Darnamawa area of the city, where he had for long been hiding, did not meet the eyes. This was coming after sometime in mid December 2011, a shared team of the State Security Service, the Nigerian Army, and the Police hurricaned the apartment after the SSS had placed it under 24 hour supervision for a handful of days.

What Nigerians were told was that Shekau was almost taken-into-custody when effusive armed members of the sect commenced a ferocious attack on the security team, scything down three police officers on the spot. Nigerians were also told that while the swap of fire between the security team and the rebels lasted, a Golf car with registration number, AE 913 TBW, went-fast into the compound. In a short time, Shekau and his family members were sprinted into the car and transported off. And many Nigerians wondered where the security operatives who engaged the indefinable terrorists in the alleged exchange of fire were and the Golf moved out with Shekau.

 

And as soon as the car sped off, said a report, the sect members who engaged the security team, pulled back and fled in different directions; one sect member was killed in the process, two ran-away with bullet injuries, while one Suleiman Gambo (alias Babangida) was arrested. The Golf car that was used in shipping Shekau away was said to have been later recovered from Gambo’s apartment in Sokoto. By Monday, 05 March 2012, the news of Shekau escaping arrest was everywhere. His wife was arrested and two top politicians were probed over the sect’s funding. A former governor’s relation (not the Abia’s) was also said came under inspection. All boiled down to one or the other connection they had with Boko Haram.

An account said: On December 23, the team traced the Boko Haram leader to a house at Mando area of Kaduna, and to another apartment at Badarawa area of the city. The house at Badarawa was put under surveillance by the SSS before the joint security team stormed it in full force on December 26. However, the team found no one in the apartment as Shekau was believed to have left the house two days earlier, suggesting that he got intelligence he was being trailed.

When the arrest was carried out by a team of security personnel, Boko Haram attacked hospitals and schools in that regard. Reports of Sunday, 24 March 2013, said that 127 prisoners escaped in a Nigerian jail attack. This occurred when gunmen attacked their jailhouse in Adamawa State. As of the time the report was made known, a prison chief said the prisons authorities had not made any re-arrest.

An Adamawa State prison chief confirmed to newsmen that only one prisoner was shot, and that was in the leg. A deputy comptroller in charge of the Ganye prison was shot dead by the gunmen in the attack. The gunmen also killed 25 people in chain of attacks on different locations of that day in Ganye. The tools the gunmen were said to have used in any attack were bombs, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, and other dangerous munitions. They did not spare prison, police station and bank in their operations, including their mastery in mowing down human beings, which had left about 4, 500 people dead since 2009.

There was always panic in the areas where the sect had attained the status of celebrity, especially in the North-East. Benue was one of the states. The state did not know peace on Saturday January 5, 2013, when another Boko Haram agent known as Ali Jalingo escaped arrest in Gboko South of the state from a combined team of soldiers and men of the State Security Service with bullet wounds.

 

Like many dismayed Nigerians about the news, a former Lagos State Police Commissioner expressed shock over the escape of Ali Jalingo. He described it as shameful, and advised that the officer in-charge for intelligence gathering should be held legally-responsible for their powerlessness to bring the wrongdoer to book. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) recommended that the police commissioner to whom the escape was linked and other persons connected with Boko Haram’s activities be arrested and prosecuted. The association also described the development as shameful and that it was an authentication of the fear that some officials of the security agencies might have conciliated over the Boko Haram insurgency.

Hear the ex-cop’s chief: “In one breath we were told the kingpin was arrested while on the other hand we also heard the suspect escaped.”

A former Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zakari Biu, was dismissed when a suspected Boko Haram member, Kabir Sokoto, escaped from his custody at Abaji, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory. Sokoto was the alleged mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing of Saint Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State. Arrested at the Borno State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja, Sokoto was said escaped while being taken for a search of his apartment 24 hours later.

Many Nigerians bewailed that disciplinary action be meted out to the joint team of security officials who allowed Jalingo to escape. What the security operatives succeeded in doing, according to investigation, was to demolish a residential apartment contended to be harbouring the suspect. This was after soldiers numbering about 10 in number kept vigil in the area. They also arrested a girl staying with him, a Gboko’s friend and landlord. Not even the house-to-house search in the wee hours of the day conducted by the operatives, who were armed to the teeth, saved the situation before Ali was later arrested through a hint believed that was afforded by his brothers known as Hassan and Husseini. Seemingly, Ali accepted having links with the sect but denied membership of the sect.

Before Ali was re-arrested, it was counter excuse and blame by security operatives on the other. A Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) said: “It was not the police in Benue that carried out the operation. The incident happened in Gboko, Benue State, but it was the military and the state security service in Abuja that carried it out. And so we (Benue police command) cannot give the details of the incident and I cannot tell you anything more than that.”

This was also how a suspected Boko Haram member, who was linked as the bomber of the Main Mosque, Hausa Quarters in Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, which incident the security agents purportedly tried to underplay died on December 10, 2011, and no tangible result, was given as to what killed the once dreaded terrorist. All that was told by the security operatives was that the detained Boko Haram agent gave up the ghost a few days ago following the failure of the medical team at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) to save his life after weeks of medical attention.

It was in the hearsay that Boko Haram henchmen lived in affluence, anywhere they were spotted in any area. They were not without suicide vehicles charged with bomb; and bulky number of GSM recharge/sim cards, face masks, vital bank documents and suicide bombers’ note. The escape of arrest by Boko Haram members upon the heavily armed combined team of the security operatives was full of suspicion of having organised connections with the powers that felt they were. That notion came to glare with the arrest of one of the sect’s suspected leaders, Hassan Pagi Bukar, right in the house of a 2003-2007 member of the House of Representatives, at Gwarimpa area of the Federal Capital territory, FCT, Abuja.

But all that was heard later of the incident was that the member of the House of Representatives was briefly arrested and interrogated and was released on condition that he should be visiting the security agency that effected the arrest on appointment. It was learnt that interrogation of Bukar disclosed that he (Bukar) was briefly a member of the sect and his duty was to clutch to robbery activities by divesting members of the public of their cars, of which he implicated the former Rep, as one of the buyers of some of the stolen cars.

While some persons purportedly connected to the business of Boko Haram were let loose or they loosed themselves, on Tuesday 16 August 2012 a Brigadier-General, a former Commander, 33 Artillery Brigade, Bauchi, was arraigned before a Special Court Martial over the escape from the brigade’s detention facilities of two detainees suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect who were arrested over an assault in Bauchi late 2010. Inaugurating a six-member panel in Jos, the GOC, 3 Armoured Division, a Major-General said that the Brigadier-General was indicted for complicity by a military investigations report.

That showed it was not out of place when a source said that a security consultant claimed that Boko Haram was sponsored by wealthy Nigerians. This consultant who was a guest on a Channels Television’s morning programme, Sunrise Daily, was speaking against the background of the events in Borno State, where the military Joint Task Force (JTF) announced the arrest of one Shuaib Mohammed Bama in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and described him as: “A high profile Boko Haram Commander who has been on the list of wanted terrorists operating between Bama and Maiduguri.”

The SSS linked the arrested Boko Haram Commander to Damboa Road, GRA Maiduguri, in what was described as “a serving senator’s house” representing Borno Central Senatorial district. The senator accepted that the suspect was his nephew but however denied that the Boko Haram member was arrested in his house. He held that the suspect was arrested in a house belonging to a former governor of the state. Ostensibly a Speaker of Kogi House of Assembly was dragged to court by two lawmakers under him in relation to Boko Haram matter.

The escape of Boko Haram members from the security operatives’ custody nearly became a culture. On November Friday 9, 2012 the news of a commander of the sect known as Sani Mohammed escape from police custody in Abuja had filtered into the air on Thursday 8, where he was kept with other terror suspects. He was regarded as a notorious terrorist, who was arrested with Kabir Sokoto in January, 2012. The Force Headquarters nonetheless rebuffed the claim, and said that no terror suspect escaped. But according to reports, security sources substantiated that Mohammed made-off from custody.

Worried by these escapes, the presidency called for probe over the escape of Boko Haram members from the security operatives’ custody. By Saturday, 21 January 2012 it was all over the media that a National Security Adviser (NSA), (now late), had set up a high-capacity committee to investigate the then Inspector General of Police (IGP).

The committee was believed followed-up a response to the query issued to the IGP over the escape of Kabir Umar Sokoto from police custody. It was in-that-case that the Minister of Police Affairs, revealed this to State House correspondents in Abuja on Friday. Those involved in the committee were not revealed, but according to sources, it encompassed senior military officers and personnel from the Ministry of Police Affairs, and had about one week to place in its report.

The embattled IGP was given 24 hours to re-arrest the suspect, who escaped while he was being shepherded by police on a rummage-around mission in his residence. There was widely expectation that the IGP would be sacked, but the minister indicated differently. He apparently believed that the panel should be given a chance to complete its obligation first.

The Minister of Police Affairs stated: Like I did say the other time, I have given some directives. The Inspector General of Police has responded. A committee has been set up above the police which takes into cognizance experts in various aspects to come together and conduct another investigation. So, that is being assembled and they have been set up to work. I think this is how far we have gone… I have to tell Nigerians that, because an investigation panel has been set up, they (Nigerians) should be patient and allow them do their job very briefly. A time line has been given to them and at the end of that, something will come out. So, we should not preempt.

While the suspected Boko Haram members escaped from the security operatives, the police resorted to arrest a traditional ruler of a satelite town in Abuja, the Ona of Abuja, over the escape of Kabir Sokoto. The monarch was arrested alongside his son and it was believed that Kabir Sokoto escaped in his palace, having allegedly ordered the investigating team to bring the suspect to his palace before commencing on any search. It was complicity of stories!

The Federal Government believed that many of the escaped Boko Haram members left the country for Mali. Shekau, who was having N50 million ransom hanging on his head from the Federal Government, was the most sought. By December, a total sum of N290 million ransom was approved for anyone who could assist in locating Shekau and 18 other leaders of Boko Haram. The Federal Government therefore approved the deployment of 1,200 soldiers to Mali, seemingly because of the need to arrest the wounded dishonorable Boko Haram leader.

Before the officers of Nigerian Army were airlifted to Mali following the escalation of the Malian crisis, one statement credited to the Chief of Army Staff who addressed them was, “to be extra vigilant as there are indications that some terrorists had sneaked into the country with the aim of causing havoc”.

It was further learnt that Shekau could not have escaped from the country to Mali if not for the lapses in security, especially around the vast Nigerian border. It was also learnt that the Customs and Immigration authorities could have gotten the wind of his escape if not for the porous routes in the border.

In the security operatives’ marred efforts to fight Boko Haram it was said that the fugitive Shekau was wounded and caught in Mali and he later escaped. Following this occurrence the Nigeria’s intelligence unit was said to have traced Shekau to Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad etcetera, but to no avail of spotting the hideout of the terrorist, and the security operatives were back.

Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, writes from Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855 (OR) +2348057778358. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

 

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ACN Calls For Establishment of Medical School In RSUST

Posted on April 4, 2013. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

ACN Calls For Establishment of Medical School In RSUST

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Rivers State Chapter calls on the Rivers State Government to establish Medical School in the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt.

ACN believes that among other things, School of medicine will enable the state University to train enough and qualified medical doctors and other health personnel for the various health institutions in Rivers State.

The party in its press statement issued in Port Harcourt by the state Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam, said it will be unwise to build health centres, primary, secondary and tertiary and hospitals without planning for service delivery by qualified personnel.

The establishment of the School of Medicine in the University will open up for the creation of departments and schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, Midwifery, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Dentistry and related programmes and courses, and it is our conviction that these schools, departments and units will also help in providing employment to our teaming unemployed graduates that are all over the state to serve as lecturers, skilled and non skilled personnel.

The ACN spokesman in the state is of the view that the running of Medical School in the Rivers State University has the potential in necessitating the establishment of a state owned teaching hospital.

According to the party, “It is absolutely wrong for Rivers State government to build health centres and hospitals, even as it plans to build mega/tertiary hospitals without considering the need for manpower in the various institutions.

“It is also wrong for government to plan to build a new campus for the state owned University when the state lacks such an important college of medicine.

It therefore appears the Rivers State Government is not planning right in the health sector, otherwise, the initiative to build empty mansions without putting into consideration service delivery to the people and manpower development to manage the health institutions would have been given a second thought.

This is one way the government can prove its sincerity in the provision of health service to the people of the state as its efforts on the contrary amount in futility.

Jerry Needam, JP

Publicity Secretary

Action Congress of Nigeria

Rivers State.

Wednesday,  April  3, 2013

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