Wednesday, April 21, 2021
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Nigeria’s public debt stands at N26.2trn as Buhari govt moves to borrow N10.8trn


According to the Debt Management Office, Nigeria’s external debt as at June 2019 was $27.1 billion, with the 36 states and Abuja owing $4.2 billion. Domestic debt level as at June was $56.7 billion, with the states owing $12.9billion . In Naira terms, external debt stood as N8.3 trillion in June and domestic debt was N17.3 trillion.

And  In addition  to the monstrous debt,  the Federal government of Nigerian  is proposing to borrow  additional 22.7 billion dollars

Based on the findings and compilation by Brookings Institute and World Poverty Clock, “Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty, with an estimated 87 million Nigerians, or around half of the country's population, thought to be living on less than $1.90 a day.”

When Nigeria’s economy was rebased in 2014, the country’s Gross domestic Product (GDP) stood at USD 510 billion by the end of fourth quarter the gdp rose to USD 568.5 billion  making Nigeria the largest economy in Africa.  The economic development engineered by monetary and fiscal policy was pro-growth was principally driving the economy.  The gdp was rising and growing up to 7-8 percent was realized. With the containing and out rightly taming of inflation rate at less than ten percent, coupled with the speaking up of Nigeria’s brand, the country was a steady growth. I guess good thing never last forever especially in Nigeria.  Then in 2016 the negative growth stepped in and devastated the economy until early quarter of 2017.

Central Bank of Nigeria employed monetary policy tool to mop up liquidity at monetary base due to high inflationary trends. CBN did maintained already jacked up interest at 14 percent  to tame the rising inflation rate which was exceeding 11percent. This scenario triggered illiquidity and credit crunch in the market because borrowing became very expensive.

Below is the further analysis by Bloomberg :

"Budget Woes

The government will need to fund its 10.6 trillion naira ($29 billion) spending plans at a time when economic growth is faltering. Revenue has fallen short of target by at least 45% every year since 2015 and shortfalls have been funded through increased borrowing. In its latest credit report on the country, Moody’s Investors Service warned that the state is likely to take on even more debt and the budget deficit is set to widen further.

“One of our concerns is the authorities seeking central bank financing to fund part of the deficit,” Yvonne Mhango, an economist at Renaissance Capital, said in an emailed response to questions. “That would add to inflationary pressures.”

Inflation reached a 19-month high in November and increases in the minimum wage and power tariffs are adding to price pressures. The west African country has also shut its land borders since August to stem smuggling of items like rice and frozen products, causing food prices to rise by 15% from a year earlier.

Currency Pressures
The risk that the naira will have to be devalued is mounting. The central bank has sought to maintain high yields as an incentive to foreigners to invest in debt denominated in the local currency, attracting large dollar inflows in the process.

While the naira remained relatively stable in 2019, the country’s external reserves are down to a year-low of $38 billion. Yields on naira-denominated debt dropped to an average of 13% at the end of last year, from a peak of 18% in 2017, diminishing their attractiveness to fund managers who are concerned about a possible currency weakness.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria’s de-facto naira peg will likely continue to be under pressure in the near term due to widening imbalance in the current account, which has increased external financing needs amid weaker portfolio inflows,” Omotola Abimbola, an analyst with Lagos-based Chapel Hill Denham Securities Ltd., said by email. “We believe the CBN may be forced to review the market structure in the second half of 2020 to address investor concern.”

Banking Blues
Banks in Africa’s most populous nation ramped up lending in response to pressure from the central bank to raise their minimum loan-to-deposit ratios to 65% by the end of last year, increasing the risk of defaults. And the problem could get even worse if the regulator follows through with plans to increase the minimum ratio requirement to 70%, Abimbola said.
A high proportion of loans have already been restructured, masking the real levels of problematic debt within the banking system, according to Moody’s. "


credits: Afripol, Bloomberg, Guardian

Image result for senator menendez letter to Nigeria

The United States  Senator Bob Menendez issued the below press release and letter that subsequently  brought about the release of Sahara Reporter publisher  Omoyele Sowore.

"Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after Omoyele Sowore, a prominent Nigerian-American journalist and activist, was arbitrarily re-arrested yesterday by Nigerian authorities. Sowore, a New Jersey resident, was first arrested in August and despite two court orders for his release, Nigerian security services refused to release him until yesterday. Hours later he was re-arrested.  Senator Menendez has been involved in securing Mr. Sowore’s release after his family in New Jersey approached his office about it. Amnesty International declared Sowore a prisoner of conscious on November 20th."

“I am outraged by the blatant harassment of Omoyele Sowore, an activist and journalist whose only crime appears to be exercising his right to free expression.

“In a concerted effort to secure his release on behalf of the Sowore family living in New Jersey, my office has been working closely with the State Department as Mr. Sowore’s case languished following his arbitrary arrest back in August. While we continue to seek immediate answers about Mr. Sowore’s treatment and conditions in jail, I will be further engaging directly with U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard in Abuja to raise this case at the highest levels of the Nigerian government so the Buhari Administration gets the message that we are committed to defending Mr. Sowore’s rights and securing his release.  “This blatant miscarriage of justice is symptomatic of closing political and media space in Nigeria.”

AFRIPOL INTERVIEWS Chief (Dr.) Victor Ide Okoye

Dr. Victor Ide-Okoye has been elected the president general of Umuoji Improvement Union (UIU) USA and North America since 2017. Okoye in his capacity as the leader of UIU North America promised to move forward with the  building of a medical center in Umuoji. But in the course of his tenure, issues arose that brought about division, impeachment imbroglio and consequently two fractions of UIU in America.  Ide-Okoye never ceased with the project and has just completed the physical  building of the medical center.  AFRIPOL interviewed him on  all the issues that brought about the division and separation, on how he did manage to complete this project of medical center and his vision of peace for  UIU North America.

Afripol‘s cultural and Entertainment Analyst, Mark Wooten and Emeka Chiakwelu, Afripol founding director  conducted the below interview. Chief Dr. Ide is always a pleasure to speak to you and AFRIPOL thank you for making out time for this special interview with AFRIPOL….

At the July 2018 Umuoji convention held in New Jersey USA, in your capacity as the president general of Umuoji Improvement Union of North America you pushed a bold and ambitious agenda of building and equipping a modern medical center in Umuoji.  How far have you gone with the project?

Dr. Victor Ide Okoye: Yes my brother, during our 2018 National Convention the National Congress, the general membership unanimously voted 49 – 0; to build a modern medical center for our people back home. As you must have heard, those opposing the project continue till this day to fight and to obstruct all of our efforts, but I must give thanks to God Almighty, because today, it is near completion.  You know the saying “pictures don’t lie”.  Here is the current picture of the Medical Centre at Nkwo Dimechem Umuoji

We remembered your rallying words, “Let us build a medical center in Umuoji”.  You called for a collective effort, for one tree does not make a forest. How was the level of cooperation from Umuoji sons and daughters worldwide?

Dr. Victor Ide Okoye: Good question, the truth of the matter was that during our 2018 National Convention in New Jersey, we debated passionately about the Medical Center Project; the oppositions were fierce and nasty. Some people wanted us to go and rebuild the Abor Maternity Home and most of us wanted to build a more modern medical center for Umuoji; that one we could call our own. After debating and deliberating for over 4 hours, the votes were called and the votes were 49 - 0 to build a new medical center. Those fiercely against this project were acutely aware they were losing big time and decided not to vote against it because they didn’t want the record to reflect their opposing to a life-saving project for our brothers and sisters back home. Today, they are openly and brazenly showcasing their disgust at the project making every effort to thwart the project. I guess when one is on the right path, God would find ways to make it happen.  We just refused to take “NO” for an answer.  They have come against me with everything they had.

As everyone must have heard those opposing our Medical Center project have formed their own UIU/NA faction.

They have created their own WhatsApp forum and announced there that they have impeached the elected National President of UIU/NA, removed the National Vice President, and removed the National Secretary. Yes, true story, does it sound like a “Banana Republic” You guessed it right. Some of them are having a field day defaming my good name. But there is a price to be paid if you defame someone’s good name. we are currently sorting those out in the courts here in the United States.

Also, as most of you might have heard, during my visit to Umuoji in December of  2018, I found out that those opposing the Medical Center project at Nkwo- Dimechem Umuoji , wrote a petition against me to the Inspector General of Police, alleged that the initial $9,000.00 we paid to the contractor  building our Medical Center at Nkwo-Dimechem Umuoji was stolen by me. They planned their evil act to have me harmed and detained. I was able the secure the fictitious petition they wrote against me. My investigation exposed that their plan was to harm me personally. Their goal was also to make sure that they stopped our planned fundraising in Umuoji to enable us complete the project. Bottomline, I do what I do for the love of my people.


Even with a viable and credible opposition, you thrived and accomplished your agenda. What is the source of your optimism and motivational energy?

Ide Okoye: The love I have for my beloved town Umuoji is my driving force.  I love my town and I wanted to be a part of something big that would truly meet the needs of our people.  One thing about me is that whenever I am told that I can’t do something that I know I have the right to do; I become unstoppable. All my life, that word, “no” has never been a part of my lexicon. You know me from high school and you know how we roll!!! Laughter. Honestly, I just want to give back and I am so lucky to have found others like me who are willing to give back. I am so tempted to mention some names here, but I will wait. We are working on recognizing and honoring some of our folks behind this our project during our upcoming 2020 National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts.


Whose brainchild was it to build Umuoji Medical Center? Has it always been in the pipeline before you became the leader of UIU North America branch?

Ide Okoye: It doesn’t even matter whose idea it is, can we all just get things done for our people and have them benefit from our collective effort! But on different note, I have read somewhere some folks are claiming that it was their idea or they had the idea in mind or whatever. But the funny thing is that those who were claiming that it was their idea were the biggest opposition to this project. So, I don’t get it. . ., you’re opposing your idea? Let me give you a little perspective; When asked what I hoped to accomplish if elected the National President of UIU/NA, during our National convention in Maryland in 2017, I promised to do the following:

(1) Secure a land and build a brand new, ultra-modern medical Center in Umuoji;
(2) Get our young adults completely involved and inaugurate the youth wing of UIU/NA;
(3) Inaugurate more branches, because since our union began; some 20 years ago, we had never added any branch, we were stagnating;
(4)  re-organize our Annual National Convention and
(5) continue our yearly medical mission;

Well let’s evaluate our achievements 2 years later; here are what we have done thus far:

1.   the goal of Inaugurating the UIU/NA Youth Wings was accomplished during our 2018 National Convention; mission accomplished.
2. We have created two new branches; Canada Branch and Western Region Branch.
3. Held two highly successful National Conventions 2018 New Jersey, and 2019 Toronto Canada. Both National Convention were totally successfully,
The 2018 National Convention in New Jersey was where we voted unanimously to build the Umuoji medical center at Nkwo Dimechem, Umuoji. Toronto Canada was the first National Convention held outside United States. Its tremendous success speaks to the inevitable success birthed whenever like-minded people dedicate themselves to rising beyond their personal agendas while serving a greater good.

4. We secured a land at Umuoji from the UIUN for our medical center project, thanks a bunch to our indomitable PG, Dr. Victor Okechukwu Anyaegbuna’s administration.
5.  Our very own Modern Medical Center; Umuoji medical center is completed, and we are currently working on equipping this project as we speak,  we are planning to open it for our folks on or before December of  2020. My brother talk is cheap.



Now you have completed the physical structure of the Umuoji Medical Centre.  What is your strategy for the equipping and running of the medical center?

Ide Okoye: Like I said, we are securing equipment as we speak, and other minor work in the center is still ongoing. We have 10-year plan strategy on running the Medical Center; it is going to put Umuoji on the map. Every equipment and all the medications are going from the United State of America. Trust me my brother when we are through with the center, it is going to be one of a kind in Anambra States. Our folks are excited and we are looking forward to doing something great for our folks. Knock on wood.


It is not news any more that UIU in North America have split into two fractions and you are leading the fraction that is building the medical center. Can you enlighten us or rather tell us to the best of your knowledge what caused this division among brothers and sisters in a foreign land?

Ide Okoye: As you know we live here in the US, which is a civilized society but it seems some of us are still behaving like they live in a Banana Republic.

Our constitution is very clear; the only people who have power to elect or not elect the officers are the General Assembly which happens once a year. Couple of guys who think for some reasons they are the owners of UIU/NA went to WhatsApp forum to publish that they have removed the National President, removed the National Vice-President, and I think they wrote that they removed the National Secretary as well.  I truly don’t know why they decided to defame my name by writing about impeachment and misappropriation of funds and other defamatory write-ups.

They took me to court in the State of Nebraska, alleging that I stole $9,000.00 from UIU/NA and that I needed to return the money. They should have simply started their own faction which they have every right to do. Initially, I had no interest in going to court with these guys, but you know sometimes people take your kindness for weakness.
Well to answer your question, yes, we have two factions now, honestly, if that would bring more development to our dear town, so be it.  Remember we have had this UIU USA since 1999/2000 and yet no tangible achievement until I became the National President and decided to do something tangible for our folks. I guess some of them wanted to keep things the way it has been.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Dr-Victor Ide-Okoye, people smiling, people standingIde and wife

Two separate conventions were held this year July by the two fractions. One convention was held in Canada and another in Dallas USA. Your own group was in Canada convention.  How did Umuoji arrive at this juncture in a foreign land and how can we come together again?

Ide Okoye: Listen, our doors are open, my people and I, our interest now is to give Umuoji a Modern Medical Center, and if anyone wants to join us, let them come on down. We are not getting any younger, we cannot just meet once a year and contribute money and nobody gives account of this money. Our people are done with contributing money and nobody is giving them an accurate account of their contributions and you know we have done the same thing for 20 years and counting. Come on man, it doesn’t make any sense at all and I refuse to be part of a legacy like that.

Our convention in Canada was one of the best UIU/NA National Convention ever, we raised enough money to almost complete our medical center. I have to tell you; our people witnessed a different kind of convention and it will be impossible to convince them to go to convention again and just fight from morning to night in the name of a ‘meeting.”   Bottom line is this, we had a great convention in Canada, and our accounting was done within 24 hours and all the money raised deposited, all within 24 hours. This had never been done before.

Before the division and separation of North America UIU, you were accused for overstating and going beyond your constitutional power as the president and for allegedly financial misappropriation?

Ide Okoye: Yes, my brother. These people are bent on defaming my good name and you just cannot do that and get away with it. I have sued them for defamation of my good name.

Here is the truth of what actually transpired: In my “State of Union Address” in October  2018, I delved into the detail of how the medical center project was approved in New Jersey and also I detailed the process we undertook in selecting our medical center building committee members; the committee’s selection/award of the contract and their request for release of money to the contractor; the NEC meeting authorizing the release of the money to the contractor;  the refusal of the Treasurer to transfer the money as approved by the NEC; occasioning my reasons for effecting the transfer of $9,000.00 to the contractor account.
This was a project approved by the national body at the national convention. The few guys who opposed the project thought that they can stop the will of the people. But, no! Not on my watch.

Believe it or not, the only UIU/NA money in this project is only $9,000.00. Let me say it again, the only UIU/NA spent in this our Medical Center at Nkwo Dimechem Umuoji is only $9,000.00 which I transferred to the Contractor after the approval by the National Executive Council (NEC). Any other story by those opposing the Medical Center are all lies and slanderous.

The money we used to build the Medical Center was contributed singlehandedly by members of my group. It is the $9,000.00 that they wrote that I misappropriated, unbelievable, you just can’t make this up. I have contributed thousands of dollars to make sure that this Medical Center is not one of those abandoned projects in Umuoji. I thank God, my family is blessed and I would continue to give to make our town a better place.

We heard about the legal actions on both sides.  Suing and counter suing. What is the truth?

Ide Okoye: Well, it is true, like I stated before, they filed suit against me after I transferred the money to the contractor who is building our medical center. So, three of these guys claimed that they filed the lawsuit on behalf of the UIU/NA. In essence, they fired the first shot, so we decided to fight back.  One thing I can assure you is this; when anyone impugns my character in anyway, I will defend my good name with the last blood in my vein.

There was also an accusation of alleged award of contract to the building contractor without open bidding to the general public.  Not carrying along your executive members and creating your own inner caucus?

Ide Okoye: Well, my brother I have heard all sort of rubbish. But one thing I can tell you to take one look at the people making all these crazy allegations and rubbish write-ups, and compare these people to the caliber of  Umuojians who make up the building committee members like;  Mrs. Ngozi Stella Nkulume, Ike Ofoje, and Dr Jacob Mgbemena; I rest my case. Everything we have done is well documented. Remember at one point, they claimed that no land was given to us for this project. Some folks are really the enemies of our beloved town, honestly…

Finally let’s talk about peace and unity. How can unity emerge and once again UIU North America becomes one entity and to end this unwise division and separation?

Ide Okoye: Honestly, I don’t really think this is a serious division. Bottom line, is that some people want us to go and remodel Abor Maternity health center and some people want to build a brand new Medical Centre at Nkwo Dimechem and have already spent tens of thousands of dollars to achieve that objective. Sooner or later we will all get back as our big family. I don’t think any person from Umuoji would be denied treatment at any of those two medical centers. At the end of the day, we are one big family.

One more question Chief Ide, what is your next agenda and vision for Umuoji?

Ide Okoye: Honestly, I would like to tackle one more project before the end of my tenure in 2021. Stay tuned and thank you very much! You are awesome!

AFRIPOL: Thank you Chief, it is a pleasure speaking to you again and your cooperation was highly appreciated.

ggggMark wooden, Afripol's cultural and Entertainment Analyst.

AFRIPOL  works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. Afripol  writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning including Harvard Education and Oxford University. Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



The opinions, comments   or views expressed here do not reflect the opinions of AFRIPOL  or any employee thereof. AFRIPOL do not  endorse any perspective. All rights reserved. This material and any other digital content on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from AFRIPOL


Orji Uzor Kalu, the former governor of Abia State and the present Senate’s Chief Whip of APC dominated senate was sentenced to 12 years in prison at Federal High Court in Lagos by  Justice Mohammed Idris. Kalu was found guilty of 39 counts of N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering.

Kalu’s co-defendants are his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Udeh Udeogu. Udeogu was the Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House during Kalu’s tenure as governor was  sentenced  for 10 years  in prison

The court also ordered that the Slok Nig. Ltd. should be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

Kalu after the judgment was seen wiping his tears with a white handkerchief, the Nation reports.

Speaking after sentencing while been whisked away by the warders, Kalu said: “‘2023, here we come.”

He, however, begged the wardens not to handcuff him in public.

“Where are you taking us to now?

” Please don’t handcuff me. I will follow you,” Kalu requested.


Credit Daily Post

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 03:56

Poem – What is Africa…. Shithole?

Poem – What is Africa…. Shithole?
By Emeka Chiakwelu

Ancient landscape of body, mind and spirit
Noble Humanity of innovation, experience and action
Were you not there in the genesis ?
Relegated as the edged narrative in bondage

Destruction of mind was deadlier than body
Demolition odour of toxic hydrogen sulfide
odour of defeat , smell of capitulation
ever tired of sleeping in the middle of the day

suerly! called Africa plenty names
now called shithole

sadly you know me not
those adjectives represent me not
compilation of thoughts shift actions
words and actions are related
but actions and words are not same

hands are there to do the works
feet were drained by cottons of the fields
enslavement was from man not from Providence

Africa hands are free from chains of yesterday
legacy of yesterday resisted
freedom lies in your hands
mind refused to grasp

mother of the earth violated
spring water of umuoji polluted
the wealth of Africa harvested and siphoned
gold, diamomnd, silver taken away
Africa is living on will power
Surviving on the metaphysical strength

for how long will misery persist
children photographed with flies on their faces
where did the flies come from?
can anybody explain the source of misery

free but enslaved with names and calamity
the voices of children cried at midnight
where is mother and father ?
Protruding with misery in their eyes
Africa arise and take your stars in your crisp hands

But who is Africa?
I am Mandela
I am Azikiwe
I am Shaka Zulu
I am Aminu
I am Nkrumah
I am Kenyatta

Yes my name is Soyinka

Achebe that’s my name

my namee is Obote

my name is Dim Ojikwu

my name is Fela

my name is Adichie

I am….
not Tarzanic landscape
not dark continent
not noble savage
And history knows I am not shithole!

Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning, including Oxford University and Harvard Education., This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Tuesday, 19 November 2019 03:45

POEM: Ikemefuna

Ikemefuna    By Emeka Chiakwelu

(A sacrificial lad in Things Fall Apart)

Image result for things fall apart

Moisten forest mesmerized by repugnant darkness
Thoughts wandering from dawn to sunset
From where will the darkness emerged
For in the mind of the hero lies cowardice and malice
But you said he was fearless, a crusader hero
The hour pillage with darkness arrives
Time has come for action to cogitate 
Profound thinking  for the cowards
Who told you so, you simpleton
Without thinking, how can meaningful action speaks

You cannot obliterate a destine event
The hour has come
Where is Ikemefuna  - a lad of innocence?
Clothed with guilt and revenge
Where are the arrows ?
And where are the swords ?
We came to make peace to the land
We came not desolate the land
The land is not asking for sacrifice
The land is asking for tradition to prevail
Those customs were obsolete and unforgiving
We came with a fig of olive branch

Therefore let the lad  go in peace

Here comes Okonkwo the son of the soil
Dripping with culture and customs
A celebrated hero with shallow mind
Arrow in one hand and a sword in another
Okonkwo did you come for war?

Waging a war against your own son?
Take the olive leaf and spare the life of the lad
But they said you a coward
Masquerading as a hero in untamed mind

Obscurity comes out from your eyes
Darkness flow out from your guts
Gushing darkness hidden in the pale mind
Wicked thought lost in vociferous tradition
Only the pained face that repelled cowardice
Ikemefuna a dutiful son not sacrificial object

@CopyrightEmeka Chiakwelu






The 35- aides of vice preident Yemi Osinbajo sacked by the presidency, includes the grandson of chief Obafemi Awolowo and the daughter of  former governor Ajimobi. The reason given for the sack by presidency  - “An appropriate response to the general perception that the presidency has an over-sized and bloated workforce which acts as a drag on efficiency.”


Below is the full list of the former aides of Vice President Osinbajo:


Jibola Ajayi – special adviser, legal

Lanre Osinbona – senior special assistant, ICT

Imeh Okon – senior special assistant, Infrastructure

Jide Awolowo – special adviser, oil and gas

Lilian Idiaghe- special adviser, research, legal and compliance

Arukino Umukoro – special adviser, Niger Delta

Bala Liman Mohammed – senior special assistant, Economy

Edobor Iyamu – senior special assistant, Niger Delta

Dolapo Bright – senior special assistant, agro allied value chain

Toyosi Onaolapo special adviser, community engagement

Gambo Manzo – special adviser, political

Bisi Ogungbemi – special adviser, political matters

Edirin Akemu – senior special assistant, industry, trade & investment

Akin Soetan senior technical assistant, economic matters

Aondaver Kuttuh – technical assistant, rule of law

Ife Adebayo – special adviser, innovation

Yussuf Ali – special adviser, power regulations

Tola Asekun – senior special assistant, National Boundary Commission

Morakinyo Beckley – special adviser, off grid power

Yosola Akinbi – senior special assistant, NEC

Tochi Nwachukwu – special adviser, power privatisation

Bode Gbore – senior special assistant, political

Abdulrahman Baffa Yola special adviser, political

Kolade Sofola – special adviser, infrastructure

Ebi Awosika – senior technical assistant, community engagement

Muyiwa Abiodun – senior special assistant, power

Forri Samson – Banu special adviser, entrepreneurship

Bege Bala – special adviser, BPE

Feyishayo Aina – senior special assistant, community engagement

Halima Bawa – special adviser, community engagement

Nkechi Chukwueke – special adviser, community engagement

Ilsa Essien – special adviser, media









Moscow is playing catch-up with the likes of China, Japan and the EU, which have been meeting Africa at the continental level for many years. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a big catch-up bid for influence, commercial opportunities and co-operation on the continent at the first Russia-Africa summit which on the Black Sea on Thursday 24 October.

Image result for africans leaders in russiaImage result for africans leaders in russiaImage result for africans leaders in russiaImage result for africans leaders in russiaImage result for africans leaders in russiaImage result for africa russia summitImage result for africa russia summit



South African elder statesman, former minister of Home Affairs  and Inkatha Freedom Party  (IFP) president emeritus and traditional prime minister to the Zulu nation, Mangosuthu Buthelezi  speaks on his country xenophobic attacks on foreigners especially Nigerians.

"I must speak very bluntly to my fellow South Africans, not to take sides, but to quell the tensions with the voice of truth. What we have seen in the past few days is unacceptable. The attacks on foreign nationals and their businesses are purely xenophobic. It is a violation of human rights and a violation of our Constitution. Our Constitution enshrines the right to freedom from all forms of violence. That right applies to everyone in South Africa, whether citizens or not.

We cannot allow this to move in cycles. It is not the first spate of attacks; but it must be the last  -Mangosuthu Buthelezi

I understand the tensions, the complaints and the anger. I understand that there is validity to the complaints, on both sides. I also understand that wrongs have been committed by both sides. This has not come out of nowhere. But there is a saying in Zulu that you cannot slaughter all the sheep because one sheep has transgressed. In a situation of conflict, it is dangerous to tar everyone with the same brush. Even where there are valid complaints against an individual, we cannot take the law into our own hands. Looting and destruction of property is a crime, full stop. Assault is always wrong.

Don’t think these things have no consequences. This violence has diplomatic and economic ramifications. We have hundreds of thousands of South Africans living in countries throughout Africa. We have businesses and companies operating across this continent. We have vital trade relations within the African Union and within SADC, the Southern African Development Community. South Africa is not an island. There will be sanctions against us for what we are doing. It started with the Zambian Football Association cancelling a soccer match against Bafana Bafana. Then Nigeria announced a boycott of the World Economic Forum on Africa being held in Cape Town. But as I feared they would, sanctions quickly turned to retaliation.

Already South African-owned companies in Nigeria have been targeted for looting and vandalism. MTN has had to close all its stores to protect staff, while the police stand guard at Shoprite stores. On Thursday our diplomatic missions in Abuja and Lagos were forced to close after threats were received. President Buhari has announced a visit to South Africa to speak to President Ramaphosa. We need to stop this thing in its tracks before serious action is taken against us. Do we really want to escalate into international conflict? I feel ashamed. As Africans we are making ourselves a laughing stock in the rest of the world. Because the world knows what we seem so quick to forget: Africans are brothers and sisters. In every family there are quarrels and squabbles. But the way we are behaving is shooting ourselves in the foot. We are making the name of South Africa a swear word on the continent.
Image result for Mangosuthu Buthelezi

This is not the first time we have had a spike of xenophobic attacks is our country. In 2008 and in 2015 lives were lost and livelihoods destroyed as communities went on the rampage against foreign nationals. I went then, too, to the communities and townships, and I spoke as I am speaking now.  But now my words are somehow different. The sentiments have not changed, but there is a sense of urgency because I fear what will happen if we fail to extinguish this fire. The IFP has formally asked the Speaker of the National Assembly to call an urgent debate in parliament, not just to condemn xenophobia, but to hear what the state intends to do to swiftly end the violence.

We cannot allow this to move in cycles. It is not the first spate of attacks; but it must be the last. We have been facing the rising problem of undocumented migration ever since 1994. I served as the first Minister of Home Affairs in a democratic era. For ten years my department grappled with this, trying to find a way to balance human rights with the good of the country.I was struck even then by the number of undocumented Africans within our borders, especially from Zimbabwe, and the implications this had for our ability to create social and economic justice for South Africans. But when I pointed out our porous borders and said they need to be guarded, some people actually accused me of xenophobia, saying it was because I didn’t go into exile.


If anyone knows what our African brothers sacrificed for the sake of our struggle, it is I -   Buthelezi

Many of the countries whose citizens were coming to South Africa had given sanctuary to our political exiles during the struggle for freedom. Being an Anglican myself, I received a letter from the Anglican Bishop of Mozambique, Bishop Dinis Sengulane, lamenting that I was not helping his people who were flocking to South Africa. These accusations were painful, and quite misplaced. Because if anyone knows what our African brothers sacrificed for the sake of our struggle, it is I. I went myself to Zambia and Tanzania in 1974, to thank President Kaunda and President Nyerere for giving sanctuary to all our exiles. Earlier this year, I again visited His Excellency Dr Kenneth Kaunda in Zambia, and he spoke touchingly about the risks they took on our behalf. Let me quote him directly. "


Wednesday, 04 September 2019 15:25

POEM : What Rain anyway?


Image result for raining

What Rain anyway?
By Emeka Chiakwelu

Siliceous tiny droplets water flowing
Arousing the atmospheric haughty cloud
Sunlight giving away to sunset
Not really indeed, it was a cloudy sky
A metaphor for the coming rain
Season for everything, a season for rainfall
The golden molecules stars emitting
Falling from the remote sky
The melting bubbles of the chicly cloud
Comes to the earth to reside
You said, “This is not a rain”
But I disagree for the ground is wet
Yet body soaking with flowing matter

Raining commencing to emit its glorious bubbles
Falling on the swollen face of agility
Did you not convince me to come?
The promise that rain cease to pour down
It was raining..But where is the falling water
Slabs of frozen pebbles were a mirage
Look under your feet, the soil is wet

This is not rain
This is falling pebbles of ice
Throwing on the naked faces of rigidity
On the soil it pours
Yet the fugacity of depravity comes not
The rains continues to pour down
Umbrella was built in awkward modus
Not wholly protected from the rain

At edges water continues to beat from all corners
Loose water running from the edges
Try staying in the middle point
That did not shield from rain
Cloths by now is wet
Throw away the unfulfilled umbrella
Is of no use anymore when totally wet
Porosity it was not raining
Unwavering points of sagacious rain

Winding dust has come and gone
Strenuous sky is calm and clear
Come out the sun now
Clearly I can see crystal clear
For the rain is gone
And sunshine becomes imminent

@CopyrightEmeka Chiakwelu


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