Archive for November, 2016

Dakuku Peterside Congratulates Ondo Governor-Elect, Akeredolu

Posted on November 27, 2016. Filed under: Press Release |

The Rivers governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 general elections, Dr Dakuku Peterside has congratulated Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN of the APC for winning the Ondo State governorship election.

Chief Akeredolu defeated the candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Social Democratic Party (SDP), among others in a keenly contested election that has been adjudged free, fair and credible.

Dr Peterside, who is also the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), repeated for the umpteenth time that the APC would any free, fair and credible election devoid of violence and intimidation because of the credibility of its candidates and general acceptance of the party.

He called on the governor-elect to be humble in his victory and see his emergence as the wish of Ondo State people to chart a new course in the realization of their hopes and aspirations.

“The people of Ondo State have spoken in loud and clear voice. They have chosen the candidate of their choice in a free and fair manner. I have always said that APC will win any free and fair contest. I congratulate the people of Ondo State and Chief Rotimi Akeredolu for this victory.

“I call on Chief Akeredolu to see his victory as that of the entire Ondo State people. The fact that he won across the three senatorial zones means he was popularly elected. They have put their confidence in him and the onus is now on him to assuage their feelings and begin to set the template for fulfilling their hopes and aspirations,” he stated

He urged the people of Rivers State to follow the Ondo State example during the December 10, 2016 rerun election and reintegrate into the mainstream of Nigerian politics so as to get maximum benefit from development programs at the centre.

Signed:
DAP Media Team

 

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INEC rigged Ondo election in advance for APC – Fayose

Posted on November 27, 2016. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has lamented the outcome of the Ondo State Governorship election, saying the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) connived with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its collaborators in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the election before it was conducted.

He said; “Just as I would have loved to congratulate the winner, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), because in every contest, there must be a winner and a loser, the role of INEC in awarding victory to him in the
election left much to be desired.”

The governor, who reacted to the outcome of the election in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayina, said INEC gave the APC victory in the
election by deliberately replacing the name of Mr Eyitayo Jegede, the PDP candidate, thereby creating legal logjam that lasted till three days to the election.

He said that the PDP went to the election with its hands tied to the back because of the uncharitable actions of INEC, which has no doubt become an arm of the APC.

He maintained that apart from the APC, political parties in Nigeria are now contesting elections against INEC.

Governor Fayose lamented that “to sustain the ‘see and buy’ strategy and legalise money politics, the APC-led federal government deliberately created poverty in the country so as to continue to
enslave the minds of Nigerians with peanuts to get their votes on election day, saying; “Dibo ko sebe (vote and collect money to cook soup) was the slang used by the APC in the Ondo State election and
that only worked because the APC federal government have put Nigerians in abject poverty.”

He said; “Even though INEC allowed what appeared like a free and fair atmosphere on the election day, the election had been won and lost before it was held.

“For instance, INEC that witnessed the PDP primary election that produced Mr Eyitayo Jegede succumbed to pressure from the APC cabal to replace him with Jimoh Ibrahim, who did not take part in any primary election known to the Electoral Act.

“What could anyone have done under 72 hours in an election that was heavily monetised by the APC?

“The whole process was a deliberate sabotage by INEC, which has totally bastardised the electoral process.

“Obviously, all these shenanigans are geared towards turning Nigeria to a one part state by weakening all opposition parties ahead of the 2019 general elections but I can assure Nigerians that this will not
last because the people will always be defeat tyranny.”

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Rivers APC to Gov. Wike: Return the N2bn Rivers money you donated to Ondo State PDP

Posted on November 27, 2016. Filed under: Press Release |

With the trouncing of Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] in the governorship election in Ondo State Saturday, the Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, is asking the governor of Rivers State to immediately retrieve and return the sum of N2bn of Rivers money he donated to the Ondo State branch of the PDP.

Making the demand Sunday afternoon was the Rivers State Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress, APC, Senibo Chris Finebone while addressing APC supporters in Port Harcourt shortly after the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Chief Rotimi Akeredolu of the APC as the winner of the 2016 Ondo governorship election.

“It is unfortunate that Gov. Nyesom Wike is still playing Father Christmas with the commonwealth of Rivers people for his personal egoistic political voyage despite that the governor has cancelled hundreds of overseas scholarships and the students repatriated home among other important programmes. Agriculture is in its worst state since Rivers State was created. Songhai Farm is gone; the Banana Farm at Tai is gone; RSSDA is now a ghost of its former self with the staff owed 17 months salaries. The various fish farms at Buguma, Andoni and other places that provided jobs for thousands of Rivers people are now history.

“It saddens the heart that our governor prefers to neglect important matters calling for attention at home but rather lavish our commonwealth on his personal political pursuits. Can you imagine that Gov. Nyesom Wike willingly donated a whopping N2bn to the Ondo State chapter of the PDP? It is horrible, mind-boggling and indefensible.

“Just like in the case of Edo, the PDP has lost and the governor should not wait to be reminded to return the N2bn back to the treasury of Rivers State immediately,” Finebone demanded.

Continuing, the APC Spokesman lambasted the governor for wasting the resources of the people on matters concerning the PDP rather than concentrate on frugally applying the state’s resources to the needs of the people of Rivers State.

“Whereas the PDP has states like Akwa Ibom and Delta that collect high monthly federal allocations, it is only Gov. Wike that plays the party’s godfather. So far, he has wasted billions of Naira hosting two failed national conventions of the PDP in Port Harcourt. He has profligately donated billions of Naira belonging to Rivers people to faraway Bayelsa, Edo and Ondo PDP chapters for purposes of elections while medical workers, pensioners and teachers are owed back home.

“Is it that Rivers State has been conquered by a small band of buccaneers led by Gov Wike and genuine elders are keeping quiet?” Finebone queried.

The APC Spokesman warned that if the governor did not return the N2bn he gave out to Ondo PDP, he will be forced to do so at the appropriate time.

 

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Civil group drags 3 India Nationale, Company before EFCC over N106.5Million fraud

Posted on November 27, 2016. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

…..Alleges O/C SARs,Police Inspector of complicity

A civil rights group, Save Lagos Group (SLG) has dragged the three (3) citizens of the Republic India and their company, SUNOLA Vegetable Oil & Foods Limited Company, a subsidiary of  KEWALRAM Nigeria Limited, Lagos, before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over illegal and fraudulent seizure of One Hundred and Six million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira Commission rates of the goods bought by the Company Authorized Distributor, Mr. Selim Alamutu, the Chairman CESSA-KAMSEL Integrated Investment Limited since 2004 till 2016.

It also alleged Inspector Sule with Phone Number-08052313414 and Officer-In- Charge of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of Lagos State Police Command for conniving with the India citizens to evade the
investigation of the Company fraudulent activities, alleging that many Nigeria citizens have been defrauded by these Indian Citizens through their Company in Nigeria, adding that it has been the habit of Nigeria Security personnel to cover up of foreigners from arrest over criminal acts.

Those Company officials that were dragged before the anti-graft agency was; Mr. Suresh Naya, Mr. Rajesh Ramaswamy and Rajnesh Potey, the former General Manager, Former Acting General Manager and incumbent General Manager of SUNOLA Foods Limited, Isolo, Lagos State respectively, as well as the Company’s Head of Account Section,Mr. Otteh, saying that they were dragged before the agency in accordance with Part VII of Section 38(1) and Part II of 6(1a-q) of the EFCC Act 2004.

This was contained in a Petition Letter dated 24th of October, 2016 and signed by the Convener of the group, Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman and as well forwarded the same to the Acting Chairman and
Deputy Director of Operation of the EFCC in Abuja and Lagos office respectively and Copied  the authorities of the  Nigeria Police Force(NPF) and Indian Embassy in Nigeria for necessary action, calling
for the immediate arrest of  the aforementioned India citizens in connection with these fraudulent and criminal activities  in accordance with the Section 24(1e)  of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It urged the anti-graft Commission to investigate the Lagos State Airport Road Branch of the  Zenith Bank with Account Number-1011361443, which the India Company has been used to defraud
unsuspected Nigerian customers of their Company, described the Company action as illegal, evil, satanic and anti-Nigerians ,calling on the concerned authority to save unsuspected Nigerians from prey of these
non-Nigerians.

According to the Petition Letter; “The Commission of the sales of Mr. Alamutu of CESSA –KAMSEL Integrated Investment Limited from SUNOLA Nig. LTD management since 2004 till date, of this business transaction is now sum of One Hundred Million Naira (N100, 000,000) which is in accordance with the Company agreement with their authorized distributor (Mr. Alamutu) and another payment of Five Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira were also made to the Zenith Bank Account of SUNOLA Nigeria Limited by Mr. Alamutu in recent time.

“In view of the indubitable fact that jungle rule of delusive demagogues and desperadoes are being satanically entrenched in the aforementioned SUNOLA Refined Vegetable Oils and KEWALRAM Nigeria
Limited to the charging of those of unsuspected distributors like Mr. Selim Alamutu and his Companies, who strictly believe in the rule of law/rule of Business tramsaction, ethics and good conscience as
principle man of integrity, uprightness, truthfulness and Godliness. So far, we are sincerely and loyally embarked on a radical investigation with a view to authenticating the veracity of these empirical reports in your office and in any competent Court of Law”.

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CONNECTED VISION: BUILDING BLOCKS FOR A NEW NIGERIA

Posted on November 25, 2016. Filed under: Press Release |

Lecture Presented At The University Of Nigeria

By  Dakuku Adol Peterside, Ph.D

Introduction

I am most grateful to the Department of Management and the authority
of this great university for their kindness to invite me to deliver
this lecture, even when I am not privileged to be “a Lion”. Returning
to the university campus to rub minds with fellow students is always a
gratifying experience for me; more so, as learning is a continuous
process. I would like to say that I am at the early stages of my own
adult learning experience, learning from the multiverse of the larger
society. The regulatory Agency,NIMASA, I currently serve is a special
learning experience that could qualify for a University degree.

It is my hope therefore that at the end of today’s interaction, I
would have increased what I know and reduced what I do not know.  In
many ways, this is going to be a transactional interaction in the
sense that I place greater value in what I hope to learn from you than
in what I am about to say.

I would like to relate to the topic of this lecture through a series
of questions. I have chosen this path because we are all students
questing after greater knowledge. And the right knowledge can only
come about if we ask questions- the right ones.

A Time for National Self-Interrogation

Another reason is that there is an implicit interrogation element in
the topic. We live in a country that is currently undergoing and doing
a great deal of self-examination in nearly all spheres of our national
life. We are force by the prevailing economic and political challenges
to undertake this rigorous exercise in self-examination and
interrogation. As it were, it is question time in Nigeria, in which
both Leaders and the led are asking how did we get here and how did
things got so bad?

As students and citizens we are today busy interrogating our destiny
as a nation. We are asking many questions about our history,
orientation, institutions and corporate organisations. We wonder why
true greatness has remained elusive to our nation. We are at a loss
why the common things that citizens of other nations take for granted
continue to elude us. In this knowledge community, I am sure the
questions acquire greater urgency and stridency as the period of youth
and studentship is that of great expectations. It is a period of great
dreams and bubbling energy.

Further, being citizens of Africa’s biggest economy and the country
with the highest population of black people, and abudant natural
resources, we have a right to expect a good life after schooling. But
this has developed into entitlement culture that people have got used
to expecting certain privileges as rights. Since things do not work
that way, they seem to be in quandary as to why the basic things
expected from the society are not gotten and why the ones they are
used to are fast disappearing.

For those of us present here the objects of collective national self
interrogation will include: why are job opportunities diminishing in a
country where there are so much work to be done? Why have the elements
of national greatness- economic growth, quality education, progress in
science and technology, reliable infrastructure to support economic
growth, basic security of life and property, religious harmony and an
efficient system of government- seemed to elude us as a nation after
more than half a century of formal independence. In trying to reflect
this, many of our thinkers have argued that we only got political
independence and never worked for economic independence.

As a player in the political space and corporate world, I am very
troubled by the fact that many of our institutions and corporate
organisations hardly survive beyond a few dispensations. If you
recall, a number of our government owned companies were so badly run
that the option of privatization and government divestment became
inevitable. Even our private sector organisations are not insulated
from the culture of instability and lack of sustainability. This is
understandable given the nexus between the public and private sectors.
Government through its organs and policies provide the environment in
which the corporate organisations thrive or perishe. When policy
instability prevails in the political public space, it will be
extremely hard for corporate organisations to survive let alone
thrive.

It is pertinent to state at this juncture that this process of
self-interrogation did not start today. It has always been a feature
of our national life to question the basic vision and orientation of
our nation. In my view, this urge for a better or “alternative”
Nigeria is a healthy sign. When people are dissatisfied with their
current reality, it is a healthy indicator that people are willing to
search for a better reality. In recent times, however, the
self-interrogation may have assumed a new urgency because of our
desperate economic circumstances.

It is true that Nigeria is in recession, in the first quarter of this
year (2016) our GDP as given by NBS is minus 0.36%, that of the second
quarter was given as minus 2.06%, with our country ranked 169 out of
189 in the 2016 World Bank ease of doing business ranking index.
Nigeria is placed 136 out of 165 ranked in Transparency International
Corruption perception index 2015 (transparency.org). Nothwistanding
the negative statistics, the fact remains that the search for a
greater Nigeria has always been a feature of our public discourse:
from the inception of military rule in 1966, at the end of the
Nigerian Civil War in 1970, through the military rule that terminated
in 1999 to mention few. Why has the search not yielded the desired
result?

My Approach

To answer the question as well as profer practicable solution to this
seemingly complex problem, first I would like to establish the nexus
between sound visioning and sustainability in both political and
corporate domains. At the political and historical level, my task is
to indicate, in the words of Chinua Achebe ‘where the rain began to
beat us’ or where our original national vision became defected. I will
then proceed to indicate the basic general elements in the founding
and sustenance of great nations in world history.

This will enable us to assess our progress against the essential
factors and elements that have fashioned and distinguished great
nations. In the process, it will be inevitable to cast side glances at
how well or badly Nigeria has fared among its “age grade of nations,”
nations indeed have age grades. No nation can avoid comparing itself
against the achievements of those it considers its age mates and even
rivals. The implications of these national development factors for
corporate survival and sustainability in individual nations will
become self-evident then.

Defect in the Original Vision

It has since been established that an overriding vision is key to the
success of nations and corporations.  Vision determines progress.
Rightly regarded, a vision is by its very nature larger than the
dreams and aspirations of any one player or even the aggregate vision
of a set of players in a nation or corporation. It ought to define the
big picture, the guiding principle of the nation or organization in
the long stretch of its history. Vision is not physical sight, for
many who have sight do not have vision and some who have vision do not
have sight.

For instance, quadranially the Americans go to the polls to choose a
new president. In the run up to the elections, the campaign of each
contestant is weighed constantly and balanced informally by the degree
to which it approximates the broad principles and ideals of freedom,
justice, equality and opportunity enunciated earlier by the founding
fathers.  Therefore, to many Nigerians, the recent triumph of Mr
Donald Trump was shocking as “voting” in Nigeria was for their
interest, whereas the Americans voted for what they think best serves
their over ridding interests especially expansion of opportunity for,
and security of the American people.

In the case of Nigeria, the original defect in our founding vision is
historical. As you are all aware, Nigeria came about as an
amalgamation of different protectorates by the British in 1914. That
process was for the administrative convenience of a colonial project
that was first and foremost a trading concern. Subsequently, a
political veneer was spread over it through a series of negotiations
among factions of the emergent educated national eliteclamouring for
independence. What the British ceded in 1960 was therefore a complex
outcome of negotiated settlements among Nigerian elite representing
first and foremost their respective regional and ethnic interests.
There was no “pan Nigerian interest” or “pan Nigerian Agenda”. There
was no “CONNECTED VISION”

The founding vision of Nigeria at independence was essentially one of
a multi-ethnic nation first and foremost. But this founding vision was
devoid of far reaching integrative economic, political, social and
moral elements for the future of such a diverse polity. There seemed
to be a belief then that independence from colonial rule was the
urgent paramount issue. The refinement of a national ideal and vision
would follow along the way. This never happened as the aggressive
pursuit of regional interests quickly followed after independence. At
best, each of the original three (and later four) regions pursued its
fairly independent ideals, targets, goals and aspirations. This
accounts for the different levels of development that were witnessed
among the regions before the military interventions and the civil war
of 1966-70.

This original haziness in what constitute the overriding national
vision has constantly plagued our national development in nearly every
sphere.

My key observation here and operating thesis therefore is that a
nation can only endure if it is founded on an integrated and
comprehensive vision(connected vision). Nigeria unfortunately missed
that opportunity at inception. This original ‘sin’ has multiplied and
contributed to the ever so frequent quest for a new nation founded on
a new vision.

Nations unfortunately are not like buildings. No matter how beautiful
and magnificent a building is, it is possible and easy to evacuate,
demolish and replace it with a completely new and more magnificent
one, to serve a totally different purpose. But, it is not so with
nations. The critical difference is nations contain people who cannot
be emptied out to make way for a new nation. The closest of demolition
of national foundations to build something new is with peaceful or
violent revolutions. After the collapse of the old Soviet Union and
the demolition of the Berlin Wall, we are all witnesses to what has
become of nations re-invented under ideological revolutions. We do not
want to go in that direction if we are to find viable answers to the
questions that are today nagging most Nigerians.

Therefore, nations can ill afford the luxury of self-demolition and
re-invention. Instead, nations renew themselves through a process of
systematic reform and periodic renewal through appropriate democratic
transformations.

On the matter of corrective vision, corporations are luckier than
nations. A corporation can change its board and management, re-brand
itself, redefine its vision and map for itself a new mission. It can
even be acquired or acquire other corporations for healthier growth.
There is the probability of success that with better management, from
the ashes of the old corporation, something new and more profitable
will emerge. This is the spirit and guiding principle behind the
reform and repositioning we are championing in NIMASA. Close to ten
years of the existence of NIMASA in its current structure, we are in
the process of refreshing our vision and mission, we have a new Board
and a visionary management, it offers the rare opportunity to re-
invent that regulatory agency and reposition it as the most efficient,
effective and responsive regulatory agency in Africa, advancing
Nigeria’s maritime goals.

Factors in National Greatness

However, it is pertinent at this juncture to point out an obvious
fact. The success of nations in the race for development is not solely
accounted for by the soundness of their founding vision, just like the
success of corporations are not determined by its vision and mission
statement alone. There is an interplay of critical factors that
separates successful nations from those that continued to struggle on
the development ladder. In the race for the top of the development
index, age and longevity do not necessarily confer superior
development. While some old nations like Greece and Egypt have
continued to struggle with the key indices of development, relatively
new nation states like South Korea, Singapore and Botswana have
emerged as highly successful economically and even politically. Let us
now identify some of the key factors that enable nations transform
their founding vision into roaring success.

Quality of Governance

Some form of participatory government and inclusive political
institutions is the commonest requirement for national development. At
the bottom of this assertion is the understanding that a nation cannot
leave out any segment of its populace in the decisions that govern
their very lives. Divergent cultures and histories have made it
expedient to accept ‘appropriate’ democracy as a term to denote the
adoption by individual nationsforms of participatory governance that
is appropriate to their circumstance in order to carry their people
along the path of national development.

While western countries have insisted on liberal multi party democracy
as the best form of government, other major economies like China and
Russia have adopted quasi-authocratic form of democracy to enlist
popular participation in national affairs and development. There are
also countries where great developmental strides have been made within
the context of monarchical governments with traditional ways of
engineering legitimacy and popular participation.

Whatever the form of government, there is no disagreement as to what
constitutes good governance. The principles of accountability,
transparency, observance of the rule of law and basic freedoms remain
fundamental to any definition of good governance. But the ultimate
determinant of good governance is the extent to which such government
meets the basic needs of the greatest majority of its people.

In recent years, a new overriding challenge has taken the center stage
in the assessment of governments all over the world. It is the
challenge of global inequality. With the triumph of the West and the
open market economic format, countries have woken up to find
themselves overwhelmed by glaring inequality among their citizens.  In
the US, the gap between the top 2% of the population who own literally
everything and the rest of the population has become glaring and very
embarrassing. Addressing inequality has emerged as one of the top
challenges of governments all over the world. Governments are now
challenged to adopt smarter policies to reduce inequality through
adjustments in the structure of opportunities and the provision of
wider access to the basic necessities of life.

Anti-Corruption

The quest for more accountable governance all over the world has led
the international community to recognize illicit financial flows
through corruption as a major obstacle to the attainment of good
governance. It is also one factor that has increased inequality within
individual national societies. Corruption is extractive and
exploitative by nature. Corruption does not create the incentives
needed for people to give their best, innovate and be resourceful.

The more successful countries have instituted very tough
anti-corruption measures to detect and punish corrupt practices
through appropriate legislation and the judiciary. In this regard, it
is not surprising that some of the fastest growing countries like
Singapore, Rwanda and Botswana also happen to have the toughest
anti-corruption regimes in the world.

This is one area where there is a growing national consensus in
Nigeria that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has
displayed unusual courage. There are divergent views as to the
effectiveness of current measures but many agree that it required a
lot of courage to make a start. It is hoped that the Nigerian public
will appreciate the significance of this effort in the overall
improvement of the quality of governance in the country.

Institutions with Integrity

Outgoing US President Barack Obama once declared in Ghana that Africa
does not need more strong men but strong institutions. At the back of
that assertion is the realization that in most African countries, the
institutions of state remain relatively weak while leaders often
violate them and rule according to their whims. This is true in some
African countries such as Zimbabwe as it is true in South American
countires like Colombia and Asian countries like North Korea amongst
others. Yet it is common knowledge that advanced democracies of the
world rely on the integrity of their institutions to preserve order
and ensure the survival of the state and society.

If our judiciary does not have integrity, then all we can expect from
the courts would be judgments retailed for cash instead of justice
dispensed according to law. If our military institutions do not have
inbuilt service integrity, we will continue to have political generals
while avoidable insurgency rages and diminishes our national
sovereignty. The same argument can be made in respect of our major
national institutions to highlight their current shortcomings as a way
of extrapolating on our negative development indices.

In general when leaders tamper with the integrity of the institutions
of state, they render those institutions weak and subject to constant
manipulation by successive administrations. This complicates the
problem of governance and policy instability.

Sound Economic Policy

The economic policies of any nation, in order to endure, must take
into consideration its peculiar realities of geography, natural and
human resources. Such policy must be a general framework which is
however sufficiently flexible to survive the periodic shocks and bumps
in an ever changing global economic environment. Ordinarily, Nigeria’s
originating economic policy framework should have from the mid 1960s
included the element of diversification from oil by retaining the
initial pride of place which agriculture enjoyed in our immediate
post-colonial period. Even in the context of the so called oil boom,
the process of diversification into other lucrative areas like
tourism, solid minerals and human capital development should have
begun actively from 1970. These did not happen, hence the consequences
we are experiencing today.

On the contrary, countries like the Gulf Arab states saw their oil
wealth as a source of capital for the development of alternative
economies hence they embarked on aggressive infrastructure
development, tourism development and promotion and savings for
difficult times. Countries like United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and
Qatar are among the most resilient economies in both the Middle East
and the world.

Education

Every nation’s greatest asset base and resource pool remains its
people. The development of the capacities and capabilities of people
is perhaps the greatest investment any nation can make. Education is
the time-tested mechanism for galvanizing the latent power of a nation
to transform its environment and development its economy. Every
educated citizen is an engine of development because he/she is a
creator, an inventor, a thinker, a technician, an engineer or just an
enlightened citizen fully aware of their rights in an orderly society
governed by the rule of law.

Lee Kwan Yew, the visionary leader of independent Singapore placed
human capacity development as his number one priority to grow the new
nation. His defining economic policy is arguably uncomprising
standards for a universally accessible, top flight public education
system- astutely identifying human capital as Singapore’s key
competitve advantage, supplemented with rigourous application of
meritocracy (www.bbc.com/rishnuvarathan).

Natural resource based economies like ours remain vulnerable because
we calculate our national survival in barrels of oil and cubic meters
of gas. On the contrary, human resource based economies like those of
the advanced economies depend more on the power of the human mind to
create an alternative economy that is largely independent of the
vagaries in the international prices of natural resources and
extractive produce. Japan and Germany for instance do not produce a
barrel of oil but they rank among the top five leading economies of
the world. They depend instead on the ingenuity of the trained human
mind in science and technology to dominate a sizeable portion of the
world market in finished products especially, machines and IT
products, which every economy needs to thrive.

Natural Resources

You will notice that I have deliberately placed the importance of
natural resources last among the factors required for national
development.  The point is that this is one factor that can easily be
dispensed with. The greater majority of successful nation states do
not have mineral resources. They may have agricultural resources but
this requires the application of labour and capital to amount to
anything. Singapore which got independence in 1965 was an Island
without any natural resources to call its own but today is an economic
wonder.

In most cases, countries that rely on extractive industries for their
economies to survive have suffered from what has come to be called the
resource curse. The over dependence on royalties and rents from
extractive industries has been recognized as the cause of rampant
corruption, lazy and unproductive bureaucracies, emphasis on imports
for consumption, lavish sending on luxuries by the elite of
politically exposed persons and slow development of manufacturing and
creative industries.

There are few exceptions to this law of negativity. In Africa,
Botswana for instance has defied the resource curse through an
original vision that saw diamonds first as a natural source of capital
for national development. Botswana’s founding fathers were themselves
very frugal individuals who never mistook national wealth for their
personal empires. That tradition has largely endured, making Botswana
a shining example of economic growth and good governance in Africa.

After 50 years of independence, Botswana is today a rich nation by
African standards and is globally regarded as middle-income country.
For the first 35 years of its national history, it had the fastest GDP
growth rate in the entire world (sometimes in excess of 14% per
annum). Its per capita income has jumped from $50 to $7,000, putting
it at the top of middle class countries. Botswana has literacy rate of
over 87%. The country ranks number 2 among countries in Africa that
provide for the social needs of its citizens and is at the top of
countries with the lowest corruption scores in Africa. The country has
never suffered either a recession or hyperinflation since
independence.

We can contrast this with the record of nearby Angola, which has the
same diamonds and oil. Angola has one of the highest infant mortality
rates in the world and an extreme poverty rate of over 50%.

Conclusion

As we continue with the national quest for answers to the great the
questions of our time, I urge that we do a self- assessment of where
we stand as nation. The factors that have been identified are put
forward as a guide for this assessment.  The solutions we endlessly
seek would seem right at our doorsteps. But there is a great amount of
political will to do what is necessary. As the present administration
in the country battles to correct the ills of the past, it is hope
that the political leadership of the country will muster the will to
address the deficits in our national development strategy to date.

Thank you for listening.

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Ojukaye’s Release: Triumph of Light over Evil – Dakuku Peterside

Posted on November 24, 2016. Filed under: Politics | Tags: |

Ojukaye’s Release: Triumph of Light over Evil – Dakuku Peterside

The Rivers State governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2015 general elections, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has described the bail granted Hon Ojukaye Flag-Amachree by the Court of Appeal on all counts as the “triumph of light over evil and end of wickedness from Rivers State Government House.”

He stressed that the judiciary has once again risen to its bastion as the last hope of the oppressed and those unjustly persecuted by power mongers.

Hon. Ojukaye Flag Amachree, an APC chieftain in Rivers State was arrested and sent to prison on concocted charges by the Rivers State Government and all reasonable attempts to get the state High Court grant him bail fell on deaf ears.

Along the line, one of the lawyers defending him in court, Barr. Ken Atsuwete, was murdered in controversial circumstances, just as the Rivers State Government filed fresh murder charges against Amachree, in an attempt to keep him perpetually in prison.

However, Dr. Dakuku Peterside says the evil plans of the Nyesom Wike-led administration in the state will never endure as “time and time again, it will fall like pack of cards as you cannot build something on nothing.”

“This is a great day for Rivers people. This is a pointer to the end of recklessness, arbitrariness, impunity and wickedness on the part of a governor who rose to power through violence.

“The Appeal Court has once again reaffirmed our belief in the judiciary. No matter how long a lie has travelled, it takes just one day for truth to catch up with it. Today, the truth has dawned on evil and wickedness.

“All along, we have always maintained the innocence of Ojukaye Flag Amachree. Even the police have come out to say they do not have evidence against him. So you wonder why the desperation of Wike and his cohorts? Why the desperation to incarcerate Ojukaye? He stated.

Peterside, who is also the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), berated Governor Nyesom Wike for alleging that INEC has handed over the original result sheets of December 10 re-run election in the state to Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon. Chibuike Amaechi.

According to him, “Wike is just being mischievous and desperate. At every election, he is the one accusing everybody of plans to rig election. Sometimes, he forgets that he is the governor of the state and his statements are embarrassing to the office he occupies.

“Wike should stop crying and face the election. I have always said it and I will still maintain my stand – the APC will win any free and fair election in Rivers State. We have responsible and decent candidates that can win election at anytime.

“Why is Wike always afraid of every election? If he is not threatening INEC officials, he is accusing security agencies of compromise. He is the same person that will set phantom Commission of Inquiry to arrive at a predetermined outcome. What manner of a governor is Wike? For how long will he continue to fool Rivers people?” Dr. Peterside queried.

 

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Amaechi lauds late Ken Atsuwete at funeral

Posted on November 22, 2016. Filed under: news | Tags: |

Amaechi lauds late Ken Atsuwete at funeral

Gov Chibuike  Rotimi Amaechi

Gov Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi

Late Barrister Ken Atsuwete has been described as the “defender of the defenseless, voice of the voiceless and man of God who won souls for His kingdom.”

Minister of Transportation and former Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi stated this at the funeral service for the late legal practitioner, human rights activist and pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, who was killed in Port Harcourt on August 29, 2016.

Amaechi, who was represented by the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, stressed that rather than mourn the exit of Atsuwete, he should be honoured because he fought against injustice and contributed immensely towards a better society.

“Ken served the Lord faithfully, he will live in glory. We should not be mourning, we should be grateful that he impacted on this world within his short time in life. He was a man who believed in a cause and fought doggedly till death.

“Wherever there was injustice, Ken would fight against it. He offered his life so that the rest of us will live. He exhibited the peak of courage. Be assured that the sacrifice Ken has made will bring to an end the unnecessary killings in Rivers State.

“He was not a member of the any political party, he was not a member of APC, yet he offered to defend Ojukaye (Flag Amachree, a member of APC). He gave his all to defend Ojukaye. Injustice, regardless of party affiliation, was something he abhorred. He will not pay the price for nothing,” the Minister stated.

While saying that God will not abandon the family nor suffer any form of frustration, the minister stressed that his death will bear fruit of “justice, peace, harmony and a thriving society.”

The officiating minister at the funeral service, Pastor Grant Alobari of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, quoting from Ecclesiastes 7:1&2 spoke of two important days in the life of man, birth and death.

He said that the deceased lived for the poor and those oppressed, adding that he was “sympathetic, humble and ready to help at all times.”

The cleric said that God “expects us to do what will glorify him,” an injunction he says the deceased carried out till the point of death.

Several dignitaries were present at the occasion including the immediate past Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, members of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), civil society groups, among others.

 

 

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Wike’s Offensive against Barry

Posted on November 18, 2016. Filed under: Press Release |

Wike’s Offensive against Barry

By Ogbonna Nwuke

Barry Mpigi should never have shown the dexterity of a wizened political gladiator. But he did and for good measure too.

He took Oyigbo against the wish of Governor Nyesom Wike, conquered his home base and set his sights firmly on the battle for the political soul of Eleme.
Barry didn’t end there.

Like a Spartan, Barry drowned attempts to deny him of his hard won victory in Tai when Wike and his cronies encamped against INEC in a bid to stop the commission from accepting the final result.

Many fans of Magnus Abe say Abe is able. Abe has stood up to Wike and the PDP more than any one else. More than any of APC’s senatorial candidates who are fighting to edge out opponents sponsored by Wike, Abe appears more certain of victory.

In the fight against Wike in the Rivers South East, Abe has more than 35000 unadulterated votes. This has left Olaka Nwogu and his backers gasping for air.

Do you really need to look too far to understand why Wike has being on the tail of Abe and Barry?

Wike must have dreams that hurt whenever he thinks of Barry Mpigi. Wike used to describe Barry as a general when he worked with Amaechi.

When the rebellion against Amaechi was hatched in the Jonathan era, Barry was apparently one of the favourites Wike had hoped to net. That didn’t happen.

So you can understand why Wike wants so very much to put Barry in harm’s way; why Barry is accused of murder; and why Wike has ordered his Attorney General to commence proceedings against one who was once a friend of his.

On the drawing board, it appears Wike has come to one conclusion. To stop Abe, he either needs to inconvenience Barry or simply lock him away as he did to Ojukaye Amachree.
What a world we live in folks! Can all this be politics?

Strangely Barry is accused of killing a woman. Strangely too, the move against Barry is coming as he prepares for the Eleme vote which may not deter his march forward. But which may give Abe an extra boost.

Life is valuable. Nobody, no matter how privileged, has a right to take the life of another. If that’s the point Wike is trying to make, it is understandable.

It would however, be counter productive if truth is set aside in search of shadows; if a government would go out of the way to target citizens who have committed no crime.
That won’t be right.

We have a state for instance, that wears the look of Golgotha. Human skulls have been heartlessly placed on our roadsides like decorations. Mutilated bodies which paint gory images have been tossed around by the way side like unwanted wastes. Whole families have equally been wiped away under our very noses while some villages have been sacked and our people sent packing by gun-crazy hitmen.

Those responsible for these atrocities have not been brought to justice. Maybe, they are unknown civilians, apologies to late Fela Anikulakpo who sang about the Unknown Soldier.

Barry didn’t do it. Otherwise he would not be walking free since that incident. Why now? Can this really be politics? Try as I can, I still can’t understand what our politics has turned to.

The gubernatorial elections have come and gone. Government has been formed and the governor needs not be a governor of the PDP.He simply should be the governor of all, a governor who brings everybody together under one roof and a governor who acts like the good shepherd. This is not meant to be a viltrolic attack on Wike. It is a mere advice. Time is ticking. The world is watching. The Rivers people are waiting too.

We need not allow the karma which is the direct result of our deeds or misdeeds to trail us forever. For, as the saying goes, he that lives by the sword will die by the sword. Those words are uniquely spiritual. They tell us of what may transpire here or hereafter when all is quiet and dust returns to dust.

One good deed may well reduce the impact of the karma to come. I do hope my good friend Wike would appreciate this.

Besides, after politics there is still a life to live. It is well.

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PDP BLACKMAIL: Arrest Felix Obuah Immediately – APC urges the Police

Posted on November 18, 2016. Filed under: Press Release |

PDP BLACKMAIL: Arrest Felix Obuah Immediately – APC urges the Police

The Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress said its attention has been drawn to a press statement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State signed by Jerry Needam on behalf of the PDP State Chairman, Felix Obuah strenuously but unjustifiably trying to convey the impression that APC sent thugs to invade Government House, Port Harcourt under the protection of a certain Assistant Commissioner of Police.

The APC in a statement signed by its spokeman, Chris Finebone said the “press release is mendacious and the height of abuse of free speech by a political party. There have been very ludicrous statements by the PDP over the years but this particular statement exposes Rivers State Chapter of PDP as a group totally bereft of any dint of moral endowment.”

The statement reads: “While not speaking for the Rivers State Police Command, we believe that the official press statement by the Command lucidly captures the true position of what transpired when the police clearly stated that the APC behaved more maturely by hearkening to the advice of the Police regarding their original intention to match to the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“The APC believes that the poisoned arrows the PDP is now shooting at the Nigeria Police are misplaced, undeserved, unnecessary and borne out of debilitating frustration having danced naked in the ever dicey arena of the general public.

“A careful reflection in the mirror by Felix Obuah, Nyesom Wike and his ragtag PDP band will remind them a thing or two. However, it is important to remind the PDP that APC, as a party, has no special dealings with any police officer the way Nyesom Wike as Minister for Education used the then R/S Police Commissioner, Mbu Joseph Mbu to harass, harangue and assault the then Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi during the better-forgotten years of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“From a distance, the APC can justifiably conclude that what the PDP in Rivers State is doing today is cheap pedestrian blackmail against the Nigeria Police and the APC. Gov Wike and his PDP must know that the train has long left the station. We wish he understands. Indeed what Gov. Wike and the PDP are suffering from at the moment is the inescapable but unfounded fear of ones shadows.

“The APC wishes to call on the Nigeria Police to ignore the distraction by the confused PDP buccaneers in Rivers State. The APC believes that Gov. Nyesom Wike and the PDP know that the APC does not play nor does it, as a party, intend to indulge in the kind of ignoble and despicable activities the governor, as Minister of Education under former President Goodluck Jonathan, engaged in with the former Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu especially to harass, harangue and assault the former Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi during the better-forgotten years of the Jonathan administration.

“In line with the noble political disposition of President Muahmmadu Buhari, the APC has no special relationship with the Nigeria Police beyond that of a political party, like any other, and the Police. The PDP in Rivers State is simply being haunted by its past.

“The APC further calls on the Police and other security agencies to promptly arrest Felix Obuah and Jerry Needam to assist them unravel the several members of PDP they claim were shot by the Police as this is the only way to stem the unguarded blackmail by the PDP in Rivers State against the Police, the other security agencies and the Federal Government. At least, he who asserts must prove.”

 

 

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There Is No Impeachment Threat against Igbuya, Says Henry

Posted on November 18, 2016. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

There Is No Impeachment Threat against Igbuya, Says Henry

There is no impeachment moves against the speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya, says Henry Ovie, his Chief Press Secretary.

A statement from the office of the speaker distanced the members of the assembly from the impeachment rumour and described the members as highly responsible and patriotic individuals who are more concerned with the peaceful co-existence and development of the state than heating up the polity, as it is being insinuated by a section of the media.

The statement signed by Henry also came hard on some journalists in the state, urging them not to turn the state into a battle field but to engage themselves in constructive and productive journalism.

He urged them to stop cheapening the profession by publishing unworthy news items and using unprintable words in their publications.

“The Rt. Hon Speaker did not exchange blow with any staff.”

The Chief Press Secretary accused some media practitioners of working tooth and nail with some detractors to cause disaffection and disunity within the state.

“The Delta State House of Assembly is not a home for blackmailers, opportunists and hooligans.”

He described the allegation of inexperience, corruption, high handedness and inability to lead the house as “unimaginable, unthinkable and cheap propaganda by enemies of the state.

Ebireri said some media practitioners and their sponsors were executing a plan to discredit the speaker.

He fired shot at those saying Igbuya is bringing the house into disrepute and ridicule, describing the view as an irresponsible vendetta.

The chief press secretary also accused some journalists of resorting to cheap blackmail and blatant lies in the agitation of the assembly workers.

He praised Igbuya for his dynamic leadership, outstanding contribution and commitment to the development of the state.

He commended him for stamping his unique leadership style in the management of the assembly and the steps that are essential to the future of the house.

“His life is a flowing tribute of excellence. His leadership style has earned him the gratitude and admiration of many while his conviction and willingness to speak out with a clear voice make him the best House of Assembly Speaker in the history of Delta State” he said.

“The Rt. Hon Speaker has helped to reshape legislative duties in the state. His outstanding leadership is appreciated by Deltans from all walks of life.”

He assured the good people of Delta State that Igbuya would not be distracted in his assigned role of developing the state and working for the prosperity agenda of the Okowa administration.

“Chief Monday Igbuya has never acted against the interests of the members and the state. He will continue to play his role in the development of the non-oil sector, creation of wealth, reduction of youth unemployment, rapid infrastructural development and inclusive economic growth” Ebireri said.

He advised Mister Speaker to disregard the antics of blackmailers.

“Igbuya, a legislator so committed to the ideal of a better society and to the welfare of the down trodden, stands very tall in Nigeria as a man of great moral rectitude” he added.

 

 

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