I have never seen a country run so fraudulently as Nigeria. The rulers have been criminal liars and there don’t seem to be any end to this. More or less, perpetual fraud and deception of the people by a few politically-connected elite ripping off the vast majority of long suffering Nigerians to no end.
The real hike of fuel price started with the dawn of ‘democracy’ in 1999. Obasanjo ‘removed the subsidy on fuel’, to ‘deregulate the downstream sector’, free government fund and waste in ‘unnecessary fuel subsidy and encourage direct foreign and local investments in downstream sectors of the very corrupt Nigerian petroleum industry more than three times during his eight years of misrule and electoral fraud. From N20 a litre, when he assumed power in 1999, he jacked it up to N30, but reduced it to N22, following public outcry in 2000; then to about N26 in 2002 and then to N40 per litre in 2003 and after the explosive protests he reduced it to N34 but later increased it to N40 in 2006, and finally to N75 just before he left power in 2007, when plotting to impose Yar’Adua on Nigerians, despite the man’s health challenges to start a fight with Nigerians and labour unions on ‘fuel subsidy withdrawals.’ Yar’Adua managed to reduce the price from N75 to N65 in 2007, which it has remained till date and from which President Goodluck Jonathan want to play the spoiler on long suffering Nigerians from 2012, if what we hear is true.
Where is the subsidy?
The truth of the matter is that there has never been any subsidy. Before the lame duck president Musa Yar Adua (Peace unto his soul) died, he confessed that a cabal has hijacked the Nigerian petroleum distribution and marketing process, and suggested he was helpless in getting unto them, probably because this cabal funded his rigging to power in 2007 or because of his health challenges then. And recently, Prof Tam David-West, a former petroleum minister (1984-1985, under the Buhari/Idiagbon regime) and one who should know better, confessed that there was no subsidy in Nigerian petroleum before 1986 and up to this day and I agree with the Prof. What has been happening is that thieves and greedy governments who want 10 presidential jets for themselves, wives and girlfriends, all out of state funds, when Nigeria can't even manufacture a propeller; those whose second homes are in French Reveries, Central London and Hampstead areas and Potomac areas of Washington or Maryland when all they do is lazily distribute oil proceeds in Abuja every month and go to sleep thereafter until the next round of monthly distributions, have caused the naira to continuously depreciate and become ‘worthless’ more or less like ‘monopoly money’, or waste paper getting closer to ‘Mugabe’s dollars!’
The naira keeps dwindling in value, while the evil politicians who do not care because they get free petrol and aviation fuel for their chains of cars and jets, come back on the hard pressed people to tell them they want to withdraw ‘fuel subsidy.’ There is no end, and there will be no end to this as long as this band of pirates continues to rule us! They know the truth and where the problem lies but they will never address it. Like I said about Prof David-West, there were no subsidy in fuel when our four refineries were functioning at full capacity and properly maintained. Since 1999 in particular, tons of cash have been allocated for TAM (Turnaround maintenance) for the four refineries which never got anywhere near engineering or equipment for maintaining refineries, but ended up in bank accounts of PDP sup- porters and election rigging facilitators, who call themselves contractors.
And so, Nigeria has been dependent largely on imported petrol and kerosene for a growing population, the exact numbers remain unknown, as we can’t even count ourselves because of ineptitude and corruption of our rulers who always manipulate these numbers to their selfish desire. And who does all the importation of petroleum products? The PDP mafia and election rigging funders at all levels of the chain. The people are swindled whichever way the pendulum swings, and no way out of this mess because the baton is being changed to the same group of oppressors; utterly clueless and corrupt and it does not matter where the baton holder comes from, they all dance to the same tune and never representatives of the people they purport to represent.
There will be no end to this cycle of increases and lies of ‘subsidy removal’, so long as the greedy elite and IMF-inspired technocrats like Okonjo-Iweala are in charge to ensure Nigeria continually depreciates the naira relative to the dollar with all the waste, mismanagement and corruption in running all arms of government in such a wasteful country. Yes, the Nigerian people must resist very vigorously, this umpteenth increase in the name of a ‘bogus fuel subsidy’ removal.
AS major political groups in the country continue to strategise ahead of the 2015 general election, indication has emerged that former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar may join the presidential race again, following mounting pressures on him by his supporters and political associates across the country on the social media and foot soldiers to join the race.
This is coming just as various groups believed to be loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as well as the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), were said to be rooting for the candidature of the governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, who served under President Obasanjo as Foreign Affairs Minister and the current NGF chairman, Governor of Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Ameachi, as president and vice-president of Nigeria in the 2015.
Nigerian Tribune learnt that the leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is said to be in disarray, because of the rumoured endorsement of the joint ticket of the incumbent governor of Jigawa State and that of Rivers State as president and vice-president in the 2015 general election, as against the proposed return of the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice-President Nnamdi Sambo for the plum job come 2015.
Further checks by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that the presidency was not worried by the development but rather keeping watch on the antics of its own officials who had been given directives on the 2015 election.
As for former Vice-President Abubakar, who served under President Obasanjo, his facebook account revealed that thousands of his admirers and his political associates are calling on him to take a shot at the nation's presidency again just as he did in the 2011 general election which he lost to President Jonathan due to the party’s zoning formula.
One of the messages posted on the facebook wall of the former vice-president read, "Turaki of the world, in sha Allah we are behind you come 2015. You shall be our president" Mallam Hassan Ibrahim said.
Source: Nigerian Tribune
A federal judge on Monday sentenced two men to decades in prison for their roles in a $50 million bank fraud conspiracy that authorities say spanned six states and depended on employees of some of America's largest banks stealing customers' identities.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis sentenced the alleged ringleader, Julian Okeayaninneh, 44, of Colton, Calif., to 27 years in prison.
Earlier in the day, Davis sentenced Olugbenga Temidago Adeniran, 36, of New York, described as a high-level manager in the conspiracy, to 22 years in prison.
A federal jury in Minnesota convicted Okeayaninneh and Adeniran in February on multiple counts, including bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.
So far, 27 people have either pleaded guilty or been convicted in the scheme, in which customer identities were stolen, then bought and sold, and used to create phony bank and credit card accounts, apply for loans or get cash. Prosecutors say the conspiracy was carried out from 2006 through 2011 in Minnesota, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, New York and Texas.
Authorities said the scheme victimized more than 500 people around the world by stealing their personal and financial information. The Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force led the investigation, dubbed Operation Starburst, which brought together investigators from local, state and federal agencies.
(Left) Olugbenga Temidayo Adeniran; Mug shot from 2006. Fugitive: Oladipo Sowunmi Coker, alleged ring leader(Right)
"Today's sentences send a clear message to those identity thieves and fraudsters who conspire with dishonest bank employees to wreak havoc on the personal finances of innocent customers," U.S. Attorney for Minnesota B. Todd Jones said in a statement.
In the statement, Louis Stephens, special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service in Minnesota, described the operation as "a complex criminal conspiracy with an organizational hierarchy and effectiveness much like traditional organized crime."
After Okeayaninneh's arrest, authorities found more than 8,000 stolen identification documents in his storage locker, including hospital records, bank records and credit reports. Prosecutors say Adeniran used fraudulent credit cards to obtain cash from banks and buy merchandise from the Mall of America and Southdale Center.
Victims included customers of American Express, Associated Bank, Bank of America, Capital One, Guaranty Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, TCF Bank, US Bank, Wachovia Bank, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo.
(Washington, DC) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her trip to Nigeria should encourage President Goodluck Jonathan to address increasingly deadly violence in northern and central Nigeria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Clinton on August 7, 2012. Much of the violence has been initiated by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
Clinton, who is scheduled to meet with Jonathan in Abuja on August 9, should also raise security force abuses, corruption, and lack of accountability, Human Rights Watch said.
“Nigeria is facing a surge of violence and lawlessness that has blighted the lives of thousands of Nigerians,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Nigeria’s leaders need to confront this violence, whether committed by Boko Haram or the country’s security forces.”
Attacks by Boko Haram have left more than 1,400 people dead in northern and central Nigeria since 2010. The armed group has targeted police and other government security agents, Christians and churches, and Muslims who are critical of the group or perceived as collaborating with the government, Human Rights Watch said.
Security agents have rounded up hundreds of people and routinely detained them incommunicado without charge or trial. Security forces have also been implicated in extrajudicial killings of Boko Haram suspects and other detention-related abuses. The group claims it is attacking the police in retaliation for security force abuses.
In Nigeria’s volatile “middle-belt” region, particularly in Kaduna and Plateau states, inter-communal violence has resulted in the deaths of several thousand people – both Muslims and Christians – in the past four years. Mobs have hacked to death many of their victims based simply on their ethnic or religious identity, but rarely has anyone been prosecuted for these massacres.
Despite Nigeria’s tremendous oil wealth, endemic government corruption and poor governance have robbed many Nigerians of their rights to health and education. These problems are most acute in the north – the country’s poorest region – where widespread poverty and unemployment, sustained by corruption, and state-sponsored abuses have created an environment in which militant groups thrive.
Nigeria’s main anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has since 2005 filed corruption charges against 35 nationally prominent political figures, including 20 former state governors. Although the commission has secured four convictions of high-level officials, they faced relatively little or no prison time. No senior political figure in Nigeria is currently serving prison time for corruption, Human Rights Watch said.
Human Rights Watch urged Clinton to call on the Nigerian authorities to:
Ensure that civilians at risk of further attacks in northern and central Nigeria are protected, and bring to justice without delay those responsible for the violence;
Rein in abusive police and soldiers, and investigate and prosecute without delay those implicated in human rights abuses;
End divisive state and local government policies that discriminate against “non-indigenes,” people who cannot trace their ancestry to what are said to be the original inhabitants of an area;
Give a public account of the status and reasons for delays in the corruption cases against senior political figures; and
Improve the independence of the EFCC by passing legislation to provide greater security of tenure for the commission’s chairperson.
“At their heart, impunity and corruption are human rights problems, and they need to be at the top of Nigeria’s policy agenda,” Bekele said. “Clinton should use her visit to help put them there.”
A bright yellow sign above the well in this sleepy Nigerian village says 'caution: not fit for use', and the sulphurous stink off the water that children still pump into buckets sharply reinforces that warning. "Can you smell it? Don't get any in your mouth or you'll be sick," said Victoria Jiji, 55, as she walked past the bore hole in her home village of Ekpangbala, one of several in Ogoniland, southeast Nigeria, whose drinking water has turned toxic.
Prosperity has flowed from Ogoniland, one of Africa's earliest crude oil producing areas, for decades. But it has flowed to the big oil companies and to Nigerian state coffers. Locals have long complained that precious little goes their way. A landmark U.N. report on August 4 last year slammed multinational oil companies, particularly leading operator Royal Dutch Shell, and the government, for 50 years of oil pollution that has devastated this region of the Niger Delta, a fragile wetlands environment.
It said the area needed the world's biggest ever oil clean-up, taking at least 25 years and costing an initial $1 billion. Shell and the government swiftly pledged to act on it. One year on, residents say they've seen no evidence that it has begun.
Shell says it is committed to cleaning up Ogoniland, but argues the government must also do its part. Most oil spills are the result of theft by armed gangs hacking into pipelines, it says, and this must be addressed alongside any clean-up.
Nigerian oil ministry officials were not available for comment, but government last week announced a new committee to look into implementing the report's recommendations. When BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico ruptured in April 2010, spewing nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the sea, its reputation took a devastating blow, and it had to pay billions of dollars to those affected.
In Nigeria, thousands of barrels are spilled every year, largely without negative consequences for the oil companies.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report found that the Ogale community, a group of nine villages including Ekpangbala, was drinking water from wells contaminated with benzene - a known carcinogen - at levels over 900 times the World Health Organization's guidelines.
"Even before the U.N., we knew this water was turning bad. It smells, and people are complaining of itching and skin rashes," said Walter Olaka, Ogale's youth president. Shortly after the report, the government provided Ogale's villages with water tanks, part financed by Shell. They get refilled most days with potable water, but locals say it's never enough, and they still use the polluted groundwater for washing.
The tank Reuters visited in Ekpangbala was empty.
"Until now, nothing whatsoever has actually been done ... towards the clean up," said Ben Naanen, chairman of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), founded by the environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, whose campaign against oil pollution drove Shell out of Ogoniland in 1993 - although the firm's dilapidated pipelines still criss-cross its swamps.
Saro-Wiwa was hanged in 1995 by the then military government, to worldwide horror. "We continue to hope that things will change, but those hopes are quite honestly looking slim," said Naanen, a history professor at the university of Port Harcourt, in the heart of Nigeria's roughly 2 million barrel-a-day oil industry.
Yet many activists remain upbeat that the U.N. findings are slowly gathering enough momentum to spur action. The government last week announced "the formation of a Hydro-Carbon Pollution Restoration Project", though it gave few details.
"The project shall implement the recommendations of the UNEP report on Ogoniland as well as investigate, evaluate and establish other hydrocarbon impacted sites," the statement said. UNEP cautiously welcomed the government's pledge on Thursday, but warned that the clean-up was a huge task that will require long-term financing and urged funds to be released now.
1958: Oil struck in Ogoniland
1990: Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop) formed, led by Ken Saro-Wiwa
1993: 300,000 Ogonis protest at neglect by government and Shell
1993: Shell pulls out of Ogoniland after employee is beaten
1994: Four community leaders killed by mob of youths. Mosop leaders, including Ken Saro-Wiwa, arrested
1995: Mr Saro-Wiwa and eight others tried and executed; widespread condemnation of government
2003-2008: International attention switches to armed conflict started by other communities in Niger Delta
2011: Shell accepts liability for two Ogoniland spills (BBC)
A rainbow-tinted film of crude cloaks the water throughout the creeks and swamps of Nigeria's Bodo community, giving off intoxicating petrol fumes. Spidery husks of dead mangrove trees blacken the landscape for miles around.
An oil-coated heron picks its way through the sludge. Joe Vikpee left at 5.30 a.m. on his small dug-out canoe in search of fish. Still on the water 10 hours later, his haul is a handful of small fish barely enough to feed two people.
"They used to be abundant before the spills," he says. Shell accepted responsibility for two major oil spills that devastated the Bodo fishing community in 2008/9, but it says efforts to clean up had been hampered by insecurity.
Now, some 11,000 members of the community who say their lives were ruined by the spills have taken their case to the London High Court seeking compensation of "many millions of dollars", according to their lawyer Martyn Day.
"The people in Bodo are living corpses. You see them alive but they are dead inside. Look at this water," said Kpoobari Patta, 40, casting his eye over a lead-colored creek. Shell says around 4,000 barrels of oil were spilt in total in the two incidents - 1,640 barrels in one in November 2008, and another 2,500 from a corroded pipe that was fixed in February 2009.
A study by Amnesty International on the first spill put the figure between 103,000 and 311,000 barrels. A Reuters visit to the site on a boat revealed oil pollution stretching for miles in many directions. Shell says a lot of that oil has been spilled since by armed gangs in thieving operations known as "bunkering".
"The real tragedy of the Niger Delta is the widespread illegal activity," Mutiu Sunmonu, managing director of the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC), a Shell-run joint venture majority owned by Nigeria's state oil firm, in which EPNL and ENI also have stakes, told Reuters.
He said oil theft was responsible for most of the spilt oil in the delta. Amnesty International's Audrey Gaughran thinks this is a smokescreen to mask Shell's and the government's own failures. "No matter what evidence is presented to Shell about oil spills, they constantly hide behind the 'sabotage' excuse and dodge their responsibility ... to properly maintain their infrastructure and ... clean up oil spills," she said.
A page on Shell's website last month said "the company has had very limited access to enter the area to clean up and remediate spill sites" since it was driven out in the 1990s. Ogoni activists dispute that, saying they have invited company officials in to review the damage and replace corroded pipelines, which would be safe with the community's consent.
Local activists who have for years been calling on oil companies in Nigeria to be held to the same standards as elsewhere in the world, are skeptical of the government's pledge the clean up the delta, the latest of many. "It's just an announcement of intention, nothing more," said Nnimmo Bassey of Friends of the Earth, Nigeria.
"This is a test for the government, whether it cares about its citizens and their survival, or whether they care more about a defective relationship with the multinational oil companies." Sunmonu said Shell was "committed to playing its part" in any clean-up, which is also the responsibility of the state.
"It's clear that the ongoing problem of oil spills in the Niger Delta will only be solved through a co-ordinated effort ... We support the Nigerian government's recent pledge that it will implement fully the report's recommendations."
Anger is building in Ogoniland. The Bodo spills pushed many fishermen deeper into poverty, says Christian Kpande, a church pastor and fisherman whose own children dropped out of school when his income from fishing fell. He warns violence could flare up again in the region.
"I don't know if they are planning war, but ... a hungry man is an angry man," he said, his boat pausing by an oil slick. "One day the youth could just get up and lock things down," he said, adding that they all know where the pipelines are. Militancy in the Niger Delta over the last decade shut down nearly half of Nigeria's oil output, until an amnesty in 2009.
The risk of renewed unrest, and the growing risk of financial liabilities from various court cases might ultimately be what spurs action from the government and the oil majors. A clean-up is "not a complicated process", says Nenibarini Zabbey, contamination expert at the Centre for Human Rights and Development. "But it requires a high level of commitment."
That commitment might come as the government and oil firms take stock of the risk of further social unrest, analysts say. "The Niger Delta is still a pressure cooker of frustration. If those frustrations boil over, it's impossible to say if it will become another round of protests or militancy," said Chris Newsom, advisor to Port Harcourt-based NGO the Stakeholder Democracy Network.
"What's been proven is that it will come on very quickly, very dramatically. If you're an oil company here, the reputational and other risks are very high ... 'Carry on and hope' is not a management technique that can last."
(Editing by Will Waterman)
Economic growth remains strong in Nigeria, with non-oil real gross domestic product (GDP) estimated to have grown at 8.3 percent in 2011 and overall real GDP at about 6.7 percent. Inflation slightly declined to 10.3 percent in December 2011 (year-on-year) from 11.7 percent a year earlier, in response to monetary tightening by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and moderation of food prices.
A modest fiscal consolidation took place in 2011. The non-oil primary deficit (NOPD) of the consolidated government is estimated to have narrowed slightly from about 34.6 percent of non-oil GDP in 2010 to 32.9 percent in 2011, mainly due to expenditure restraint at the federal government level. Higher oil prices helped shrink the overall fiscal deficit from 7.7 percent of GDP in 2010 to about 0.2 percent of GDP in 2011. Monetary policy was tightened substantially in 2011 in response to high inflation and strong foreign exchange demand. The central bank has gradually increased its overnight deposit rate by 900 basis points since September 2010 and tightened regulatory requirements. In November, it adjusted downward its soft band around the naira-US dollar exchange rate, and depreciation pressures on the naira have since abated. Financial soundness indicators point to continued improvements in the health of the banking system.
Growth is projected to remain robust in 2012 and inflation is projected to increase temporarily as a result of the increase in gasoline prices. The main downside risks to the short-term outlook are a further deterioration in the global environment and an exacerbation of current violence in northern Nigeria.
Executive Board Assessment
Executive Directors commended the authorities for countercyclical policies that have supported economic activity in challenging circumstances. Directors considered that the medium-term growth outlook remains favorable, although subject to external downside risks. Accordingly, they emphasized the continued need for policies to safeguard macroeconomic stability, diversify the economy, and make growth more inclusive.
Directors supported the authorities’ strategy to rebuild fiscal buffers through a better prioritization of public expenditure, continued subsidy reform, and improved tax administration. Efforts in these areas will also provide the necessary resources for targeted social programs and needed infrastructure. Directors endorsed the use of conservative oil price assumptions in the preparation of the budget but noted that only a comprehensive tax reform will reduce the budget’s dependence on oil revenues over the medium term.
Directors highlighted the importance of improving public financial management, including a stronger framework for managing Nigeria’s oil wealth. They welcomed the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and underscored that a rules-based approach to setting the budget reference oil price would strengthen the budgetary process and the operations of the SWF. In this regard, Directors recommended that outlays from the SWF’s infrastructure fund be integrated into the budget and medium-term expenditure plans.
Directors noted the monetary authorities’ commitment to further reduce inflation but considered that a pause in the tightening cycle is at present warranted. More broadly, they agreed that a monetary framework better focused on a clear inflation objective should help anchor inflation expectations and support disinflation. Greater exchange rate flexibility will also facilitate the pursuit of price stability.
Directors commended the authorities for their actions to resolve the recent banking crisis. The modalities of operation of the asset management corporation should continue to make sure that fiscal risks and moral hazard are minimized. Directors supported the central bank’s focus on strengthening supervision and the regulatory framework, including by addressing remaining deficiencies in the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism regime. They also agreed that a Financial Sector Assessment Program update will help take stock of the progress so far and provide a road map for remaining reforms in the financial sector.
Directors concurred that wide-ranging reforms are needed to make growth more inclusive. They welcomed the authorities’ initiatives to improve the business climate and reform sectors with high employment potential, particularly agriculture. Directors encouraged the authorities to persevere with planned reforms in the energy sector under appropriate social safeguards.
Under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country's economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board. At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country's authorities.
IMF Executive Board Concludes 2011 Article IV Consultation with Nigeria
Public Information Notice (PIN) No. 12/20
February 28, 2012
"A recent demolition effort in a teeming, floating slum in Nigeria's largest city has some activists fearing the government may try to entirely destroy an area that is home to about 100,000 people. The Makoko slum rises out of the murky lagoon water separating mainland Nigeria from Lagos' islands. A government-led eviction last week that saw men in speedboats destroy homes with machetes there left about 3,000 people homeless. Some say the government's warnings about the demolition make it sound like the state wants to entirely destroy the area. But those in Makoko have created their own life independent from the state, with its own schools and clinics, however ill-equipped." -AP
Chamberlain Oguchi, former Illinois State basketball star is heading to London Olympic Games under the banner of Nigerian National Basketball Team. The graceful and energetic basketball player Oguchi will be a great asset to Nigerian team in London 2012 Olympic Games.
Oguchi while at Illinois State University (ISU) was the 2009 Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year. He was the leading Redbirds player averaging 15.2 points per game.
This is the first time in history that Nigeria qualified for Olympics in men’s basketball after defeating Dominican Republic. In the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela, Nigerian National Team defeated Dominican Republic 88-73.
Nigeria players, including Chamberlain Oguchi (9) and Ike Diogu (6), celebrate after upsetting Greece during the quarterfinals of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament on July 6. / By Leo Ramirez, AFP/Getty Images
Although, Chamberlain Oguchi was born in United States he is no stranger to Nigerian National basketball team. Oguchi has been playing for Nigerian National basketball team since he was 19 as reported by wjbc f Illinois news.
“It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet, that we’re going to the Olympics. Just being a part of this is monumental. I can’t explain how excited I am to do this,” Oguchi said as he expresses joy and satisfaction on Nigeria qualifying for 2012 London Olympic Games.
The Nigerian community in Houston, Texas is bubbling with excitement on the success of a home town boy. And Nigerian Americans are proud of their own going back home to represent our fatherland at the Olympic global arena in London.
Illinois State's Champ Oguchi advances the ball against Drake on Jan. 14, 2009, at Redbird Arena in Normal. (The Pantagraph/CARLOS T. MIRANDA)
Chamberlain Oguchi is the son of proud parents, Chief and Mrs. Godwin Oguchi (Ichie Ezediobi). His parents are residents of Texas and migrated to United States from Umuoji, Anambra State, Nigeria.
“For us to be able to accomplish what we’ve accomplished and knock off some of the top teams in the world, it was huge. The whole team felt like it was time for Nigeria to come together and qualify for the Olympics,” Champ Oguchi said as he prepares with his team mates for the next battle in London soil.
On July 29, Oguchi's Nigerian Basketball team will open Olympic play against Tunisia, at 3 a.m. CT (9 a.m. in London).
Five passengers in the vehicle were killed as they spilled out of the Mercedes-Benz SUV, including an 8-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy. Driver ran two red lights, slammed into a pillar, and rolled over.
Five people were killed, including two children, after leaving a Nigerian heritage celebration in Queens early Sunday when their speeding SUV, swerving after blowing through two red lights, slammed into a concrete pillar, rolled over and burst into flames, police and witnesses said.
The dead included Nnenna Obioha, 57, of Michigan, who helped organize the convention and was the founding president of immigrant group Arondizuogu Daughters Association, relatives said. Emergency workers said the crash of the black Mercedes-Benz SUV was one of the most horrific wrecks in recent memory.
It is still inexplicable why Sundays are becoming bloody days in the life of our country. We know the Sabbath had always been a special moment for sober reflection for at least those Nigerians with conscience on the values that exalt a nation and offer gratitude to God for His abundant mercies in our lives and country as a whole. On the other hand, Fridays symbolises to the Muslim Community another typical holy day, but which of recent is becoming dreadful to most Nigerians, particularly domiciled or plying their trades in areas that have continued to witness a semblance of pogrom.
Nothing could be more like a double tragedy for the nation than the one that occurred last Sunday in Plateau State. The seriousness is not underscored by the fact that Senator Gyang Dantong and the Majority Leader in the state House of Assembly, Honorable Gyang Fulani lost their lives. It is particularly catastrophic because of the circumstances that those behind the savage act chose to unleash terror on the once tranquil Plateau. The fact that they struck at the time the people were burying more than 60 of their kinsmen callously mowed down in a previous attack underscored the bestiality of those behind the terror. And if the latest attack came on the heels of the previous one, when the people were still sulking and arranging to bury the dead, then, something must indeed be wrong with our system in terms of proactive and preemptive measures, as well as intelligence gathering.
The other day, the African Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation zeroed in the ethno-religious conflict in Kenya and situated it against the background of the prevailing orgy of violence in Northern Nigeria. Many have also tried to draw a parallel of the situation with the horrifying spread of terror attacks in the land-lock country, Mali. In some circles, many are comparing the ungovernable status some states in the North to the ugly trend that once pervaded Rwanda, in which more than a million lives were wasted through an undue rivalry between two major ethnic groups in that country. The fratricidal war in Somalia has also remained the focal point of many, as the country has been without legitimate government machinery because of the activities of rival terrorist groups and had defied intervention from the international community.
What all these tend to suggest is that Nigerians are beginning to doubt the efficacy and efficiency of official measures aimed at ending the current running inglorious era of savagery and bestiality in Nigeria. It means in no distant time, those who appear to be at the receiving end of the ongoing murderous acts could completely restore to self-defence, the consequence of which could be anybody’s imagination. We shouldn’t pray for the law of the jungle!
However, the reality today is that Nigerians are increasingly becoming perpetual mourners in their country, with their leaders constantly battling to calm frayed nerves with stereotyped expressions. The people are beginning to doubt promises that the season of blood, tear and sorrow will soon fade away and pave the way for a new dawn of effusive smiles and ending laughter. People are beginning to wonder if the country is in fact already experiencing a system collapse. The public anxiety was compounded by the drama as captured by the media, which transpired among the security chiefs after an emergency meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Monday. None of them was willing to give a snippet about the outcome of the meeting at a time the citizens were on edge over the Plateau massacre. There was no justification for them to have displayed ambivalence on what transpired at the meeting at such a critical time.
Coming from such quarters, such attitude is capable of creating more challenges for the authorities, as the people deserve unfettered concrete explanations about what was happening to the system that once enjoyed relative stability and peace and about the additional pragmatic steps being taken by the government to restore law and order in the land.
It might be premature to accuse anyone possible compromise that led to the latest mayhem in Plateau. But there were insinuations that some of those that carried out the attack had alleged hibernated in parts of the area for some time.
Though this is not the period to start engaging in buck-passing, so as not jeopardise investigations into the calamity, one of the pertinent questions on the circumstances is what we did following such insinuations prior to the two successive horrendous attacks?
The recent shake up in the top hierarchy of the security apparatuses in the country was meant to complement other measures the authorities had stepped lately to restore sanity in the country. One of those measures is the consistent claim by the police of an ongoing operation to mop up all illegal arms in circulation. This issue should form the basis for another poser on the Plateau tragedy.
It was also expected that the nationals of any of our neighnouring countries should find it difficult to infiltrate Nigeria, especially in states, where the government had imposed a state of emergency. Therefore, it should be tantamount to an act of sabotage if such aliens still find their way into Nigeria and even engage in heinous crimes including terrorism.
Again, it is one of the salient questions we need to provide answers, as the latest gruesome killings constitute one murder too many for the country in a dire strait. One or all the security chiefs, including the nation’s number one citizens resolving to relocate to any of the current ‘war’ zones cannot end the carnage. We must address the human factor that is fast becoming the stumbling block to finding a lasting remedy to crises confronting us.
Oderemi, 08023501874 (SMS only)