Looking at the other side of the story-By Tony Alika


Dino Melaye                                     Aviation Minister-Stella Oduah

I have been trying all morning to get Chimamanda’s exact quote on the danger of a single story. Well my laziness got the better of me so you won’t be getting it exactly. 

There is clearly a danger in listening to a story without allowing the next person, or yourself, look at the other angle or angles to it. If I were a writer, I would put it down to narrow mindedness or lazy brained syndrome which I suffer but am relaxed in the knowledge that most Nigerians suffer also.

The brouhaha in the last couple of days and now stretching into weeks over the cars the aviation minister bought or ordered bought or was seen to have bought…brings up one huge flaw that I have observed over the years in our way of thinking. I had posted earlier about our tendency to go tribal on national issues and before that, our inability to look beyond the foreign religions foisted on us.

My other observation is not on these however, even if these ones help to stoke the fire.  As a kid I recall being on the road with my father when a bullion van with police vehicle escorts sped past and knocked a woman into the gutter. This was in Lagos. I had then asked my father why they drive like that. The simple answer was that they were carrying money. From then on, I have wondered up to this moment how we could place the value of money above every other consideration. I don’t know why my mind, like I noticed so many other people have, has not been able to rationalize, understand and agree with this way of doing things.

I think in little ways, we have been taught and now we demonstrate that the news about money, the people around money, the things about money, etc, are the most important things. The Press are the worse culprits and perhaps the major reason this happens. If 100 people die today somewhere in Nigeria, and on the same day a hundred million Naira is missing somewhere, the banner headline in 90% of our dailies would rather talk about the money than the human lives. If weather forecast says there will be flooding in a region of Nigeria but on the same day there is news that a governor has bought a billion Naira plane, we’d sooner see the plane story than the impending flood in our dailies.

Now while there is talk of a possible Niger Delta uprising if Jonathan does not contest and win, in the Niger delta, and there is unequivocal statement coming from quarters in the north about the country being in turmoil if one of their sons is not president, we would rather expend energy in the things that hardly matter. Dino Malaye or whatever his name is did not lead a protest match to demand the arrest of the people heating up the polity. No, he would rather do a BMW protest. HAHAHAHA

I have my issues with the said BMW cars anyway. My issues with madam minister or whoever thought it was wise to buy such vehicles, is quite simple; if you use such vehicles to move foreign dignitaries of the aviation industry around, and this is to impress them, shouldn’t you first address the ugly sights they must see while landing, the carcasses of old planes, the disorganized cargo handling sections and even the decrepit looking detachable boarding tubes? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have them see a lovely airport terminal, and when they exit, they wouldn’t behold 10 thousand airport touts harassing them for all sorts of things? If they were to ride in a Peugeot 504 car but are greeted with good roads and there are no beggars or hawkers on the road wouldn’t they leave more impressed with us? It is still down to doing the wrong things and placing money value above all else. It would seem the buyers of these vehicles think the rest of the world would think like them…”oh, did you see the look on their faces when they entered our car? Kai they will have a big story to tell when they reach their country”

But hey, if the big people in IATA and the other bodies governing air travel are worth anything, they wouldn’t be impressed with that. They wouldn’t be impressed with a car while the conveyors in your international airport hardly work. They wouldn’t be impressed with a BMW when ordinary ACs in your airports don’t function. They wouldn’t be impressed when they see the sight that greet them as they walk towards these monstrosity of vehicles, no I’d rather think they would be chuckling at our stupidity.  At the people that would always talk about costs and make comparison with the outside world; there is absolutely nothing wrong to have vehicles costlier than the one Obama rides or Cameron rides. The wrong things are what I have stated above; the priorities were wrong. 

Dubai police have Ferraris and I think one or two other exotic cars. But yes, they had made the place beautiful first and solved most transport needs. The Ferraris add to the attraction, not to ridicule. The Los Angeles police departments and such other places have gizmos too, not only for crime fighting but also to add to the city allure and aid tourism. In all of them, the very first things had been done; functional facilities, aesthetic surroundings and secure environment.

When next a Dino Maleye leads a protest, let’s see whether it is for ASUU strike, or because the monarch of Aluu that had just been released after 4 young men were hacked down in their prime on his orders, or for the continual face-off between the president and governor of Rivers state for which a lot of people in rivers state are currently suffering. Let us see him protest the Lagos/Ore road that is now cut off and has been under construction for as long as I can remember. Let him lead a protest on the despicable state of the East/west road leading to Nigeria’s largest oil, gas, fertilizer, energy and aluminium investments. Let’s see him do all these. 

If someone leads you on a protest, be sure to know the other side, or sides of the story!!

Tony Alika

Why Peter Obi Insists on Obiano – Fidelity Bank to buy Orient Petroleum-247Ukpaka Reports

Willie Obiano - striking a pose - wearing clothing with Governor Peter Obi's head.

Willie Obiano – striking a pose – wearing clothing with Governor Peter Obi’s head.

With the volatility of the Anambra gubernatorial exercise approaching its breaking point, desperation levels within the various political camps have begun exhibiting symptoms indicative of grand schemes prepped and tucked beneath the immediate surface away from the immediate grasp of the ordinary indigene of Anambra and its political class.

Information available to 247ureports.com obtained through a consortium of sources knowledgeable of the affairs of the State government under the current administration of Governor Peter Obi reveal that the reason Governor remains near adamant to hoist the person of Willie Obiano as a governor to take over the governorship mantle. The recent commissioning of the oil and gas activities at the Aguleri axis of Anambra State by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan on August 30, 2012 Orient Petroleum  was revealed as the clandestine  reason behind the Peter Obi administration’s insistence on Willie Obiano’s candidacy under the All Progressive Grand Alliance [APGA].

Among the sources who spoke to 247ureports.com was Major K. C. Obi [rtd] – an indigene of the same community as Willie Obiano. Major Obi who retired during the Olusegun Obasanjo’s presidency revealed that the information available to him conclusively suggests that Governor Peter Obi through his controlling share interest at Fidelity Bank intends to “take over” financial control of Orient Petroleum through a privatization Act. He stated that Governor Obi intends to use a “son of the area” and a “trusted” colleague from Fidelity Bank to achieve his ambition.

He lamented that oil barges are being ferried away from the oil facility at Aguleri – Otu without the necessarily procedural policies being followed. “The operation there looks suspect” said the retired Major as he continued to add that the general Anambra population ought to be made aware of what is at stake in the upcoming elections. “There are no records of what is going on at the oil facility”.

On the day of the Commissioning - with Peter Obi and Goodluck Jonathan

On the day of the Commissioning – with Peter Obi and Goodluck Jonathan

He continued to add that “Peter Obi wants to use Obiano to buy out Anambra Shares in the Oil venture using the combine force Fidelity Bank and his political godson, Willie”. Cursory information appears to confirm the revelations of the retired Major. A visit to the Orient Petroleum office located in Awka by our correspondent revealed the secrecy with which the operations at the oil facility is caged. The operators at the office were not able and/or willing to disclose the pumping status of the oil facility. They were not readily willing to clarify whether the oil barges that had been moved from the oil facility –were actually sold or stored.

As a caveat, the refinery was initiated by the then Chinwoke Mbadinuju administration in 2001 under Board Directorship of former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku. This was following exploratory exercise by the multinational company, SAFRAP, now Total Plc that first struck oil 45 years ago.

Both the administrations of Chinwoke Mbadinuju and Chris Ngige invested significantly into the foundational development the oil refinery. Under the Peter Obi administration, the investment in the oil facility continued. About N4.6billion was invested in the oil company – through the purchase of shares worth over N4billion and through other financial grants. Other states such as Enugu, Rivers and Kogi also invested in the company. Anambra is said to own the lion share of the company.

The refinery is expected to refine at the full scale capacity of 55,000 bpd in a few months when fully operational – and will draw feedstock from OPL 915 and 916 estimated by Orient Petroleum to contain 1billion bbls Oil/Condensate and 30 TCF Gas. It will produce PMS, DPK, AGO and LPG. According Orient Petroleum’s financial forecast, it is estimated that in 2013 it will record a revenue of N346.78billion. For this reason, business investors, including the governor of Anambra, took immediate interest.

In talking with one of the Executive Director of Orient Petroleum, Engineer I. E. Akuezumba who was a former head of Asset Management at Shell Nigeria – he confirmed that one of the oil wells is currently operational – and that it is producing oil. “The well is producing oil. The actual pumping rate is what we can’t give you over the telephone. You would need to contact the government”, stated the Executive Director as he explained that the flooding of 2012 hampered the operations at the oil facility.

It is against this backdrop that the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi told the people of Anambra State that the governorship seat would be move to the north senatorial district of Anambra – in order to create a political balance within the three senatorial zones. When Gov. Obi first espoused the idea, the people of Anambra north senatorial district welcomed the idea with full embrace. Unaware that the governor had already made up his mind on the choice candidate [in the person of his former Fidelity Bank employee], the monarchs and other influential personalities within the north senatorial district convened a forum to select unanimously the person who they will present to Governor Obi as their choice candidate from the north. The governor, as gathered, gave his blessings to the forum.

The forum, following its deliberations, pointed to Dr. Obidigbo as their choice candidate to represent the candidate from the north. Governor Peter Obi cunningly accepted their choice as “the choice”.

But unknown to the monarchs, Gov. Obi had already become involved in preparatory exercises with Willie Obiano over the gubernatorial elections. Willie Obiano was said to be reluctant to join the race – initially – largely because of Peter Obi’s inability to secure victory for Prof Dorothy Nkem Akunyili during her senatorial race under the APGA party. He was unsure if Gov. Obi could deliver victory to him candidacy should he join the race.

It took the entrance of Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo into race under the APGA party banner – for Gov. Obi and Willie Obiano to effect a quick decision. Willie Obiano – out from obscurity – unknown to the Anambra north larger community – joined the party [APGA] – on the same day Prof Charles Soludo announced his entry into the party. With Obiano’s entrance, Gov. Peter Obi took over the reins of assuring his former employee surfaces as the APGA candidate – whether by crook or by hook. The disqualification of the major aspirants from the list of aspirations to contest the APGA primaries showcased one of the staunchest symptoms of Governor Peter Obi’s desperation to buy over Orient Petroleum and the operations.


Prof Chukwuma Soludo - former Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] - disqualified by APGA screening committee

Prof Chukwuma Soludo – former Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] – disqualified by APGA screening committee

Prof Charles Soludo, according to available information, was disqualified by the screening committee because he had been an invited guest of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC]. Interestingly, he was initially told that he failed to state that he had been arrested before. When Soludo presented evidence that he had never been arrested before, the screening committee switched and told him that he had an unresolved case at the EFCC – and for that reason, he was disqualified. Similar yardstick was used to disqualify other would-be contestants in the APGA gubernatorial primaries.


Governor Peter Obi who had made public that he had reserved the sum of N40billion for the Anambra gubernatorial elections to ensure his choice candidate wins – extended the sense of desperation to the execution of the APGA primaries. The manner the APGA primary was handled according to APGA stalwarts showed that the Governor was not interested in having a free and fair elections. “He had made up his mind on Obiano” said one of the APGA personalities who had contested a national seat under the APGA.  He added that “Obi made his delegate list. We did not know any one the persons he brought as delegates”. He continued to add that numbers of delegates were arbitrary awarded to the other aspirants. Some of the aggrieved contestants such Honorable Uche Ekwunife were settled financially for their troubles.  247ureports.com is not certain the amount paid to Ekwunife but a competent source close to her revealed that she was settled – along with other contestants.

Honorable Uche Ekwunife - lost APGA primaries to the unknown Willie Obiano

Honorable Uche Ekwunife – lost APGA primaries to the unknown Willie Obiano

Governor Peter Obi’s desperation to corner the ownership of Orient Petroleum was responsible for the fracas between the national APGA Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh and Governor Peter Obi. The fracas was caused by Governor Peter Obi’s desire to coronate Willie Obiano as the next Governor. Chief Victor Umeh, according to his close aides, was not comfortable with the choice of Obiano – when it was initially reviewed to him in private by Governor Peter Obi – that he wanted to have his former employee at the Fidelity Bank replace him as governor. Chief Umeh rebelled and so started the fracas.

Chief Victor Umeh, National Chairman of APGA

Chief Victor Umeh, National Chairman of APGA

Chief Victor Umeh then moved to seek personalities to help him fight against the intended coronation by Governor Peter Obi. He found Chief Executive Officer [CEO] of Capital Oil and Gas, Chief Ifeanyi Uba, a billionaire oil mogul – who sought interest in the gubernatorial race under the APGA party banner. But, according to folks within Ifeanyi Uba’s camp, the desperation levels within the Peter Obi group frustrated Chief Ifeanyi Uba to abandon his original desire – and to join the Labor party instead.

As the election day draws nearer, Anambra indigenes will reach decision within themselves on how  Anambra State affairs will be piloted in the next four [4] years. They will decide on many sensitive issues that have historical not been an issue. Securing the integrity and ownership of Orient Petroleum would be among the most sensitive issue. Presently, it remains a veiled issue.

Anambra Guber: Will the past shape this election?

Interestingly, since the return of democracy in Nigeria, Anambra state politics has remained a complex but dynamic one. It has been on the go, assuming different positions and surmounting various challenges. However, today, the case is a different thing altogether.

A close peep into the state’s politics since 1999, when Dr. Chinweoke Mbadinuju of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, held sway   will definitely tell you that there is a tremendous change. A greater departure from the usual politics of violence, kidnapping and burning down of government structure, hijacking the common wealth of the masses, thereby impoverishing the people, and forcing their children out of schools.

Recent events in the political atmosphere of Anambra, the most homogenous state in terms of politics, however point to the fact that the state since its inception has never been at rest each time it is time for elections. This is evident in the recent primary elections held in the state by all the participating political parties ahead of the November 16 governorship election where crises and allegations of horse trading pervaded the events. In some situations, two candidates emerged. In the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, Senator Andy Uba and Comrade Tony Nwoye emerged through parallel congresses.

Now, with the emergence of Obiano,the former Executive Director of  Fidelity Bank PLC and close ally of the outgoing Governor, Peter Obi, as the APGA governorship candidate, another set has been put in place to determine the next war that will rock the state if, by all implications, he fails to dance to the tune of the man that made him the governor if he wins  the gubernatorial election slated for November 16, 2013.

Anambra politics when appraised only from its negative perspective looks like an aborted pregnancy. There are so many things that are too good to say the least to be desired. Yet, the leaders were swimming in oceans of plenty, causing untold hardship to their adherents and making life unbearable for them.

Chinwoke Mbadinuju  and  Sir Emeka Offor (PDP,1999-2003) .

Dr. Chinweoke C. Mbadinuju hails from Uli in Ihiala council area of Anambra state. He became the first democratically elected governor of the state since the return of democracy in 1999. He was entangled in a political relationship with Sir Emeka Offor, a big business man and oil magnate from Oraifite in Ekwusigo council area of the state. Both are from Anambra South Senatorial Zone.
From the time elections were conducted all over the country,and with the then President Olusegun Obasanjo coming out of prison  to win the presidential election, the   state  immediately was engulfed  in the web of controversies arising from a little misunderstanding between the former governor, Mbadinuju and his estranged political godfather, Emeka Offor.

Little did the people of Anambra state know that the little crisis that started like a joke which was earlier seen by political watchers as a storm in Mbadinuju’s tea cup could envelop the entire state, consume the governor, truncate his second term bid, and entirely destroy governance in a state that’s richly endowed with human and natural resources.
Workers were forced to go on indefinite strikes that hindered governance. School children were also forced out of schools, and crimes were freely committed in various parts of the state with the commercial cities of Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha top on the list.

This prompted the state government through an enactment of law by the state legislature, to bring the dreaded  Bakassi Boys that helped to restore normalcy  in the state and was allegedly used by  power brokers to unleash mayhem on Anambra people.  As the turbulent administration of Dr. Mbadinuju progressed into the last stages of its era, the state seemed to be ready to erupt and to rupture the political atmosphere.  Yet the resilient and controversial people of Anambra remained undaunted as the two political gladiators held the state hostage for four years.
Firearms were freely used at political gatherings. One one occasion ,the governor was allegedly smuggled into a waiting vehicle by his aides to save his life, while little or no attention was given to the ordinary masses who have been forced out by hunger as a result of intractable industrial actions caused by the failure of the government to pay workers’ salaries.
While the whole political hullabaloo lasted,  Mbadinuju said  the major cause of disagreement between him and his estranged political godfather, Offor, was that  he refused to  share the state’s allocation with him.

Then, many posers emanated as to the whereabouts of the state funds since he (Mbadinuju) refused to oblige Emeka Offor.  The crisis reached  a crescendo with the killing of an Onitsha-based lawyer and  chairman of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Onitsha branch, Late Barnabas Igwe and his pregnant wife, Amaka, by a group of unknown gun men.

The unresolved murder of  the Igwes however helped cripple the state the more, till the end of Mbadinuju’s tenure.  In the weekly Monday prayer sessions organized and coordinated by Mbadinuju (Odera) , aspersions were cast on  Offor by the governor who continued  blaming him for his  woes and  the failure of his administration to deliver on its campaign promises to the people of the state.
In Mbadinuju and Sir Emeka Offor’s case in the public court, there was no apparent damage on  state government infrastructure  like that  between Senator Chris Ngige  and Chris Ubah in 2006 .
According to Sir Eugene Oba, “Mbadinuju and  Offor showed more maturity in handling their differences” adding that “…they took their battle to each other’s door steps and never used  state structure like the government house and other infrastructure as instruments of warfare.

“I was a member of the APF, Anambra Peoples Forum, formed by Emeka Offor ,  but I can tell you without any fear that during the battle between the former Governor Mbadinuju and Sir Emeka Offor, caution and maturity played the major role as the two gladiators took the battle to each other’s door steps. Apart from the effect of the strike actions caused by the inability of the former governor to pay  workers, nobody could have noticed the war between them.
“They fought each other tactically but at the end, Mbadinuju carried the blame because he was the governor.

“There was no government structure be it houses or cars that were burnt during the fracas.  Sir Emeka Offor   always told  his boys that the war between him and Mbadinuju was  an intellectual war and that nobody should take the battle outside to the masses because the masses were not party to their agreement that later turned out to be a war”.
Though, their war later became the most bloody as it affected so many people who were just coming out of military regime, our people expected democracy to favour them but it was  the other way round” he said.

Finally, the war escalated and  reached Aso Rock where Mbadinuju was given a red card by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the former Chairman of PDP, Chief Audu Ogbeh who finally showed him  the way out of the party. Mbadinuju went to AD in a bid to actualize his second term ambition. He lost and the rest is history.

Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige and Chief Chris Eselu Ubah (PDP, 2003-2006)

Senator  Chris Ngige is an Alor born medical doctor turned politician from Idemili South council area of the state. After many years in the medical profession, he decided to  represent Anambra Central Senatorial Zone as a senator in 2003 but was allegedly conscripted into being the governor of the state by his estranged political godfather, Chief Chris Ubah who hails from Uga in Aguata council area of Anambra state.

Ordinarily, one would have believed that with the political fortune that came  the way of  Ngige as the second governor of the state since  the return of democracy in 1999, his  quest for a senate seat later would be seamless.
Unfortunately, the fortune turned out to be his greatest undoing, but  the joy and hope of the people of Anambra state became high again as the tenure of Mbadinuju ended. This was evident in  the large crowd that gathered at the Chief Alex Ekwueme Centre for the inauguration of Dr. Chris Ngige as the newly elected governor of the state.

But the joy of the people of the state was short lived when shortly after he took over as the governor, his tenure was  enveloped in intractable political crisis, thereby forcing the people of the state into another political quagmire  as he disagreed with his godfather, Chief Chris Ubah.
This  time  around, according to Eugene Oba,it was bloody; it was not like the battle of might between Mbadinuju and Sir Emeka Offor.
This war continued till the end of Ngige’s reign, which came through an Appeal Court’s judgment. But before he bowed out of office, the lingering crisis between him and his estranged godfather led to destruction of government property including the burning  of major offices like the ANSIEC and governor and deputy governor’s offices and lodges.
As Ngige was still grappling with the challenges facing him, there was again a failed attempt to illegally remove him from office by his godfather for allegedly reneging on the agreement concerning the sharing formula of  state allocation.

Ngige however survived the abduction and came out openly to spill the beans that the problem between him and  Ubah was because he (Ngige) refused to allow him siphon and suck the state dry.
He  maintained that his refusal  was informed by his passion to use  state funds to develop the state and right the wrongs committed  by his predecessor. He insisted that he would  not divert the money meant to deliver democratic dividends to the people of the state . He also refused to be used by his godfather to defraud the state and further impoverish them as  his predecessor did.

However, Ngige, like the proverbial lizard that fell from a tree top and beat its chest quickly said in his valedictory speech before he vacated the government house for Mr. Peter Obi that,
“…Pensioners were owed for many months and retirees were owed gratuities running into two decades. Dearth of infrastructure, particularly roads stared us in the face.
Housing and water projects were non-existent.

Primary and secondary schools
buildings/furniture were utterly neglected, not to talk of the only newly
established university-Anambra State University-which did not benefit in terms of
any development”
“I am happy to say that after 33 months in the saddle, all these have changed for good
in the first year, for better in the second year and for best in this third year.

We have built 44 inter-local government, state and federal roads spanning all local
government areas in the state.

We have also built 10 township roads in Awka,
including the on-going massive dualisation of Nnamdi Azikiwe Avenue, 14 township
roads in Onitsha, and eight in Nnewi. All roads are equiped with concrete drains
and erosion checks to make them last.

In all, about 72 were constructed /reconstructed by our administration”

He reiterated  that his refusal to allow some cabal to continue to  loot   the state treasury earned him greater respect and endeared him to the people of  the state, hence, his intention  to return as governor again.
Ngige then attributed the success and breakthrough he recorded in the area of funding and re-engineering the state to his refusal to allow profligacy on the side of state functionaries as well as his refusal to allow the state to be milked dry by his godfathers.

He added  “…At the inception of our government on May 29, 2003, we met an empty treasury, and there was no single kobo to run government business, not to talk of paying salaries. We owed banks and other financial institutions. The state could not even service her counterpart funding for various projects”
“As I leave the saddle of governance of the state today, we have in the state coffers as state funds, the sum of N12.8 billion. This is made up of a strategic reserve of N7.5 billion for road construction, N1.5 billion for the development of the new Anambra State University. This is drawn from the Excess Crude savings and is for the development of the three campuses at Uli, Alor and Igbariam. We have another N1.3 Billion for Housing development programmes and N2.5billion as recurrent account for salaries, wages and pensions. These are aside from the N0.3b billion in the State-Local Government Joint Account, dedicated to the construction of Inter-local
government roads”

His antagonists   disagreed with him on his allegation that the carnage and mayhem in the state was masterminded by some people that felt they have been disengaged from the state  treasury.

Emeka Nwankwo said “I still have questions. After  hired arsonists burnt down all government structures in the state during Ngige’s regime, how on earth did they fail to burn Ngige’s house in Alor or his hotel which is 3 buildings away from the state house?. Were they told where and what to burn and  for what? To gain sympathy or to gain rebuilding contracts?
Governor Peter Obi and  Chief Victor Umeh (APGA, 2006 till date)

Peter Obi, an international business man took a shot at Anambra governorship in 2003 on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA). The Agulu-born politician however had a tortuous journey at one time or the other, before he got to his final political destination. He has announced that he will retire from active politics at the end of his tenure.
At one time or the other, it was   Obi who faced the  pressure of political challenges of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).  He faced the party that paraded Ngige in 2003. The election was conducted, won and lost  but  Obi, not satisfied with the declaration by INEC that Ngige and his PDP won the election, contested it in  court untill he got his mandate at the Appeal Court in 2006.

Shortly after he was sworn in following the ouster of Ngige  which  saw PDP losing grip in the state, the  joy of the people of the state knew no bounds. At least, a change of  guard and political party could help save them from the numerous problems they had been going through  since the return of democracy.

As Obi was still packing into the government house in Awka,  it was time for 2007 general election. In what looked like a blatant  abuse of rule of law, election into the government house, Awka was conducted by the then INEC Chairman, Prof Maurice Iwu and Senator Andy Ubah was declared winner and sworn in as the elected governor of the state.
Dejected but  resilient Obi went back to court to contest the actual tenure of a democratically elected governor. Luck smiled his way again when the Supreme Court nullified the election that  made Andy Ubah of the PDP governor of  Anambra state barely few weeks into the life of  the administration.
Obi was then faced with the challenge of running  a government where all the members of the state House of Assembly were PDP and supposedly “ Andy Ubah’s boys”. Expectedly few months rolled by  and soon impeachment  notice was served on Obi.
After he was impeached,  Obi returned to the court for the third time.  Thanks to the court, he was reinstated after some months, during which  his deputy, Dame Virgy Etiaba took over the mantle of leadership.
While Obi was at  one stage of his battle or the other, the people of Anambra state were  receiving the heat from the political instability that ensued.
After Obi’s return, he was to finish his first tenure amidst crisis.  The journey for second term began. That was when  he met Chief Victor Umeh, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA). A deal was allegedly struck between the two brothers. Some highly placed individuals in the party were sacrificed to consolidate the political covenant between him and  Umeh.
After  Obi’s emergence as the elected governor of the state for the second term, the entire polity became hot and there were various political crises arising from within the party that later escalated to the national body of APGA.

Though Anambra people have become used to political crises, the recent crisis in APGA had been blamed for the political woes in the state.  It’s clearly evident though ,  that throughout  Obi’s reign, the men that brought untold hardship to the people of the state were nowhere to be found. Arson was eliminated and never given the chance to rear its ugly head.
In fact  Obi had insisted that he was faced with the challenges of rebuilding the state which was hitherto embroiled  in different political warfares of his predecessors and their political godfathers. This is the status quo of Anambra  politics.
Meanwhile, there are dark clouds hovering on the political future of the state at the end of  Obi’s tenure  regarding  the return of these strong men. Many political analysts posit that  Obi has helped to eliminate political thuggery and rascality with his  style of leadership by starving the so-called political leaders of funds with which to unleash mayhem in the state as well as keeping them away from the scheme of things.This also contributed to the magic, but till the emergence of the next governor of the state after the November 16 election, only time will tell.

The emerging controversies?

It’s now expected that at the end of the gubernatorial election slated for November 16,  both  Obi and his  anointed son, Willie Obiano will not be  against each other. Like they say, power is like a masquerade, it does not fear anybody.

May be ,because the face and eyes are always covered, anybody in power always tries to liberate himself from the shackles of  tutelage  and that has always been the problem of the people of Anambra state.
Many are  already saying that the next war that stares Anambra people in the face is the emerging controversies that will erupt in the state if  Obi and his political son, Obiano disagree. In his acceptance speech shortly after he was declared the winner of APGA’s governorship ticket  at the Women’s Development Centre, Awka, by the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Chief Martin Agbaso, Chief Willie Obiano said that he will consolidate on the  achievements of Governor Peter Obi.

Many people  want to believe that he will do just that and nothing short of that will be acceptable  to the people. That is if he defeats  the candidates of All Progressive Congress, APC, Ngige and that of PDP as well as  Ifeanyi Ubah of the Labour Party.

How the deal on Oduah’s $1.6m BMW cars was sealed

More facts emerged, at the weekend, lending credence to the claim that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) may have bought the two controversial $1.6 million (approximately N255 million)  BMW bullet proof cars for the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, amid the parastatal’s precarious  financial situation.

Sunday Vanguard learnt that the NCAA  did not have the cash backing and hence the deal with Coscharis Motors and First Bank of Nigeria to finance the purchase was negotiated on hire purchase basis.

“There is no way NCAA could have raised that kind of money in one lump sum. Therefore when the pressure became unbearable that the vehicles had to be bought for the minister, the only option open to us was to explore how it could be done on hire purchase”, an NCAA source said.

Stella Oduah

Stella Oduah

The source said the deal was sealed based on anticipatory payment.

Explaining why the minister zeroed-in on NCAA to buy the vehicles, the source explained that it is one of the hard currency generating aviation agencies and payment for the vehicles was denominated in dollars.

“NCAA is in this trouble because we are one of the hard currency generating aviation agencies. That is why the minister zeroed-in on us to buy the two cars because we were made to understand that payment had to be made in dollars,” the source said.

“But it wasn’t as if the NCAA could afford to pay for the cars, being expensive as they are. We have many issues contending for funds including training of staff abroad on aircraft air worthiness and so on.

“We entered into anticipating payment for the cars  such that the payment is spreed over a period of time based on our projections. The source explained that it may take several months for the parastatal to fully pay for the vehicles.”

Meanwhile, the exact cost of the two controversial BMW cars for the Aviation Minister, at the weekend, remained shrouded in secrecy.

Experts said the cost of the two cars should not have been more than $400,000 including freight charges as against the $1.6 million paid by the NCAA.

The insinuation was that the vehicles were grossly over-priced.

Efforts to get Coscharis Motors, the BMW representative in Nigeria, to speak on the matter proved abortive as the president of the company, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, was said to be on a foreign trip to South-Africa and China.

A  Coscharis source said, “I am not competent to speak on the matter because the issue of armoured vehicles is strictly not for every staff, as most customers would not like people to know that their vehicles are armoured. It is usually confidential.”

In the mean time, an expert argued that given the level of insecurity in the country, there was nothing wrong in armouring a vehicle for a minister especially given the part of the country the Aviation Minister comes from, saying what was worrisome was the amount being quoted for the two vehicles for Oduah.

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/10/deal-oduahs-1-6m-bmw-cars-sealed/#sthash.AAST2FtQ.dpuf

How military, police aid oil thieves – Shell •Says Nigeria loses $1bn monthly •It’s a subtle blackmail – Military

Following the incessant illegal oil bunkering in Nigeria’s oil sector, which has witnessed an upsurge in  recent times, the Royal Dutch Shell has accused the Nigerian security forces of aiding oil thieves and profiting from such a deal.

The company, which alleged further that the country lost $1bn monthly to the illegal operations, also disclosed that it wasplanning to sell four of its onshore oil blocks in the country.

The company said that its decision to sell off the blocks was informed by governmental failure to checkmate bunkering in the Niger Delta as well as the relentlessness of the bunkerers who steal an average of 100,000 barrels of crude per day.

Due to bunkering, oil production in the country has dropped to 400,000 barrels per day instead of 2.5 million bpd capacity level.

According to a report obtained by Sunday Tribune, the constant theft of large volumes of oil from the company’s numerous pipelines is allegedly aided by politicians, security forces, oil industry personnel and traders as well as other miscreants who hibernate at creeks and swamps in the Niger Delta to bilk the nation to the tune of about $1 billion each month. 

The company, which pioneered Nigeria’s oil business from Oloibiri oil field in 1958, has also closed down its Trans-Niger pipeline that used to pump about 150,000 bpd oil to the giant refinery at Bonney, because the pipeline was holed at different points by oil thieves.

The report posted by John Domovan blamed the act on lack of political will from the Federal Government and various state governments, where oil was being explored, and government’s failure to checkmate activities of oil thieves, saying it has further emboldened the bunkerers who use their local and international connections to steal crude from pipelines.  

According to Shell’s head of communication, Philip Mshelbila, “there is a sophisticated organisation…” that specialises in oil bunkering in the Niger Delta, saying their operation is  “clearly not just local,” but “a wide network” of criminals who make money from the illegal activity.

A statement credited to the company also confirmed that there was little or no measure put in place by government to end the illegal activity, as those who were supposed to protect pipelines in the country aided bunkering.

It will be recalled that a recent report by the Royal Institute for International Affairs similarly revealed that Nigeria’s oil was being stolen not just from pipelines, but also from tank farms, export terminals, refinery storage, ports and even wellheads.

“Officials and private actors disguise theft through manipulation of meters and shipping documents. Proceeds are laundered through world financial centres and used to buy assets in and outside Nigeria, polluting markets and financial institutions overseas, and creating reputational, political and legal hazards,” the report added.  

Reacting to the story, the Director, Defence Information, Brig. General Chris Olukolade, said that it was a subtle blackmail and that anyone with real evidence against the JTF should forward such to the appropriate authority for investigation and action.

According to him, the JTF is carrying out its mandate successfully by checking and curtailing illegalities in the creeks and cannot turn around and be doing other things.

He said the military welcomed proof of such allegations, stressing that if such complaints were received, Nigerians would see what happened next.

A Culture of Low Expectations By Okey Ndibe


Okey Ndibe

One of the most tragic aspects of Nigeria’s aborted promise is that too many Nigerians have now imbibed a terrible culture of low expectations. They look daily at the series of crises bedeviling their country, and they manage, somehow, to see something admirable.

It is sad to encounter this attitude in Nigerians who have never traveled outside their country, and who are, therefore, blind to the dramatically higher levels of efficiency in most other countries, including some of Nigeria’s neighbors on the western hump of Africa. Lacking a reference point, these Nigerians may be forgiven for believing that the intolerable state of affairs in their country is a mirror of how things happen elsewhere in the world.

But it’s always a case of sheer exasperation when one comes across well-traveled Nigerians infected with the virus of low expectations. These world-wise Nigerians have no excuse. They have been to other efficiently-run countries; they have seen other societies where institutions work fluidly and high quality services are expected and delivered; often, they function within these well-choreographed societies, helping to sustain a culture of excellence.

So why do some of these “exposed” Nigerians nevertheless rush to rationalize, defend or excuse their country’s mediocrity and ghastly performance?

Visiting London last week, I was interviewed by Kayode Ogundamisi on his live political program on BEN Television, “Politricks with KO.” The interview touched on the subject of presidential performance. I asserted that President Goodluck Jonathan, like Olusegun Obasanjo before him, had failed to deliver result-oriented leadership. Soon after, two or three callers questioned my assessment. One, a resident of London, reeled off a few roads he alleged that the Jonathan administration was building. He, or another caller, reminded me that the president had set up new universities. They insisted that the president deserved praise for getting round to roads and the setting up of new universities. Another, also resident in London, sought to remind me and viewers that Mr. Obasanjo’s presidency was marked by impressive feats, among them the payment of a huge chunk of Nigeria’s external debt and the husbanding of mobile telephony.

The sense of fervor in the two callers’ voices was sad to behold. If they had never been to a society where things work, I would have understood their misplaced advocacy. I reminded them that no serious leader today would have the temerity to list the building of roads as one of his or her achievements. The mayor of London, I argued, would be run out of the city if he ever tried to campaign on his road repair record. British citizens and residents take good roads for granted, which is as it should be. On the matter of Mr. Jonathan’s new-fangled universities, it was enough to tell my interlocutor that the government had not lived up to its obligation to fund existing universities. What, then, was the sense in creating more?

Mr. Obasanjo’s payment of jumbo sums to Nigeria’s external creditors never struck me as an achievement – not when he made the payment and not in retrospect. A more visionary leader might have used all that cash to improve his country’s ghastly infrastructure. Why transfer nearly $20 billion to creditors when Nigerians have no healthcare, no electric power, no dependable network of roads, and no waste disposal system? Why hand over such princely sum when our public schools, from kindergartens to universities, are in heartrending shape? Why invest in the Paris and London Clubs when the failure to address Nigeria’s electric power woes remains a huge impediment to Nigerian businesses, hampers economic enterprise, and leaves hordes of Nigerian graduates unemployed? What was the sense in serving the interests of external creditors – many of them complicit in the mismanagement of the loans they gave – when Nigeria’s climate of insecurity gets worse by the day? In short, why hasten to pay the foreign Peter and Paul whilst neglecting the plight of the Nigerian Musa, Okoye and Adebayo?  

One of the callers to BEN Television scolded me for the sin of holding a Nigerian president to the same expectations I would apply to President Barack Obama. Nigeria was not America, he stated. It was, on the face of it, a salient point; but it was also a deeply troubling point. Here’s why.

Nigeria is in such dire straits that it is in more desperate need than America (or Britain, Norway, Germany) for tested, committed leaders. In other words, Nigerians need a leader with vision, energy, passion, and drive far more urgently than do Americans. And there are Nigerians who have the intellectual acumen, vision and leadership skills to stand toe to toe with the best leaders anywhere in the world. For some reason, however, the Nigerian state is rigged by and for mediocrities.

Here’s another slice of the argument. Many Nigerians are quick to contend that it’s unfair to demand American-grade performance for Nigerian public officials. But the same Nigerians are hardly ever outraged at the outlandish payments and perks enjoyed by their officials. Consider this fact: Each member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives hauls away enough cash in a year to pay Mr. Obama’s salary several times over. In fact, many local government chairmen take home enough cash to make Mr. Obama – whose salary is $440,000 a year – look, by comparison, like a chump.

It baffles that some Nigerians are at peace with the lavish payments to Nigerian public office holders, from municipal officials to the president. Yet, these same Nigerians raise their hackles the moment a critic demands that our obscenely remunerated officials demonstrate a semblance of engagement. It boils down to that disease of low expectations.

Given how much money Nigerian officials are paid – to say nothing of the additional sums they steal – why is it out of place to hold them to the highest levels of expectation? If they’re in the highest paid league, what’s wrong with insisting that their performance be Messi-like?

Nigerians who have never had the privilege of traveling to other parts of the world – and who, therefore, have never seen the fruits of true leadership – deserve our patience when they mistake the substandard roads most Nigerian governments build as evidence of sagacious leadership. As one caller to BEN Television noted, many Nigerians are so dehumanized that they praise governors for paying salaries!

The greater tragedy – absolutely inexcusable – is when those who have seen the world, who ought to know better, embrace the culture of low (even no) expectations. In the end, as I tried to tell the viewers of “Politricks with KO,” Nigeria – on such indices as healthcare, education and social services – lags many countries with significantly less resources. Countries like Ghana, Uganda, Jamaica, South Africa, Botswana and the Philippines are way ahead of Nigeria where it counts. Part of the reason is this: Nigeria is cursed with “leaders” who intone that they’re “moving the nation forward.” But they neither know what “forward” means nor how to move in its direction.

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe




Farmer flees home as wife delivers triplet

Bose and the triplet.

Bose and the triplet.


A 40-year-old farmer, Biodun Akapo, of Afojupa Village, a suburb of Owode-Egba, Obafemi-Owode Local Government, Ogun State,  has fled his home after his wife, Bose, delivered a set of triplets last Wednesday.

Our correspondent gathered that after Bose delivered the babies at a maternity home in the town, her husband could not settle the hospital bills, a development  that made the traditional ruler of the town, Oba Kolawole Sowemimo, stepped in and rescue of the mother and her triplets by picking the hospital bills.

The father of the triplets, who was said to have fled his home, had yet to return to his family on Thursday (yesterday).

The 30-year-old mother of the triplets said her husband was not at home when she went into labour and later taken to the hospital on a motorcycle by a neighbour.

Bose said, “I never expected the triplets because we already had two children, aged five and eight years old. I thank the traditional ruler of Owode-Egba, who assisted us by providing clothing and other medical materials for the babies.”

She expressed regret that her husband absconded on getting the news of the delivery and had refused to return home to his family.

Bose said, “We have been together as a happy couple for over 10 years. The birth of these triplets should not separate us. I don’t even know his whereabouts, but I am begging him to come back home for the sake of these innocent babies.”

She also appealed to government, individuals and groups to assist her family by providing a job for her husband.