MATTERS ARISING: EMERGING BRAND OF SABOTEURS
As the nation is focused on re-branding the power sector, there appears to be saboteurs who are hell bent on making the whole process a futile exercise as the Lagos state government recently lamented the rising wave of vandalism and stealing of power cables and transformers in the state.
To this end, there have been calls that various communities should protect public properties in their domain as the state government is not in any way ready to replace them if they are stolen.
The present predicament of the Nigerian people despite the years of democratic rule has always raised a call for a brutal revolution and this was recently re-echoed by the General Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, who said the only way Nigeria can grow and develop is to carry out a total cleansing; similar to what happened in Ghana some years back ala Rawlings’ style. Mmm…
Bakare said such development would make every aspirant into public office shiver in their quake, noting that those who have contributed to the woes of the country would not escape such rage when God deem it fit to cleanse the country.
“Nigeria needs total cleansing. We need what happens in Ghana to happen in Nigeria to send a shock wave to the corrupt people in the country. The corrupt people will think of the grave consequences of their actions before they embark on corruption.”
The pastor once again has said something most politicians would not want to hear.
The federal government recently flagged off activities marking the Nigeria’s centenary celebrations in Abuja. The ceremony attended by some past presidents and heads of state of the country, witnessed the unveiling of the centenary logo and portal which would run till June.
While delivering the theme of the centenary celebration, “One Nigeria, Great Promise”, former president Olusegun Obasonjo stressed the need for the people of Nigeria to work in unity in order for the country to achieve is potentials. “Without a doubt, only one Nigeria can guarantee the promise of a great future for us all. Yes, there are challenges. I believe that for almost 170 million people working together in truth, commitment and determination, we can restore trust in good governance and build a progressive nation. Together, and with unity as our beacon, we can forge all our peoples into a nation of great promise and a great future”.
In the peak of the ceremony, President Goodluck Jonathan with former presidents and heads of state in attendance held hands and sang the song of unity. One can only imagine the greatness the country would have achieved if all had worked in oneness of spirit ab initio?
Twelve years after the military invaded it and destroyed lives and property, justice appeared on the horizon as a High Court in Port Harcourt recently ordered the Federal Government to pay N37.6bn as compensation to victims of the military invasion of Odi community in Bayelsa State.
In the aftermath of the murder of seven policemen in Odi by armed youths in 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo threatened to declare a state of emergency in Bayelsa State if former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha failed to produce the killers. On November 10, 1999, the former President issued a 14-day ultimatum to fish out the killers, but four days before the deadline, troops were deployed to the community where they engaged in destruction of lives and property for five days withserial rapings and torture in tow.
While delivering judgment Tuesday in a class suit filed by Prof. Kobina Keme-Ebi Imananagha, Chief Ndu Gwagha, Chief Shadrack Agadah, Mr. Idoni Ingezi and Mr. Nwaka Echomgbe, Justice Lambo Akambi of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, ordered that special damages of N17,618,871 and general damages of N20 billion be paid to the community as compensation within the next 21 days. He also issued a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents and their agents from invading Odi and bombing the place.
In a bid to encourage local ship owners to ply international harbours, the federal government is set to empower indigenous ship owners with a bailout package. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Maritime Services, Mr. Olugbenga Oyewole, who disclosed this recently in Abuja lamented the non-involvement of Nigerian shippers in high volume international shipping business despite the size of cargo coming in and going out of the country, stressing that indigenous vessels that would benefit from the intervention would be required to carry the Nigerian flag during their operations.
“I cannot think of any country that has the kind of cargo that we have and yet, our national vessels are not carrying it. What we are trying to do as a government is to create the enabling environment so that they will be able to acquire good vessels. These vessels will fly Nigeria’s flag and will be used as training platforms for our people,” he said.
He however said immediately Nigerians were empowered to have their own ships, freight would be retained within the economy, adding that the action would provide job opportunities for several professionals in the industry which would in turn boost the economy.
GIn the light the recent insecurity challenges facing the country, The Nigeria Immigration Service recently disclosed the detection of about 1, 487 illegal routes into the country other than the 84 recognised borders.
The minister of interior, Abba Moro who disclosed this recently in Abuja said steps are already being taken to check illegal movement of people and goods into the country. “Since I assumed office, we have taken deliberate steps in conjunction with the National Boundaries Commission to identify our borders and routs that lead to Nigeria from other countries and in the process, we have been able to identify 84 regular borders and over 1, 487 irregular routes to Nigeria.”
He added that there are ongoing plans for further demarcation of Nigeria’s borders through public and private partnership to ensure better border management with neighbouring countries.
No fewer than 6, 000 ghost workers were recently discovered on the pay-roll of Plateau State government. According to the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Yiljap Abraham, the ghost workers were discovered after biometric verification exercise carried out by the state government.
The commissioner stated that that the biometric exercise discovered that Plateau State should have not more than 11,000 workers, but the figure kept increasing despite the fact that the state government did not employ more workers. He said the wage bill of the state also increased which prompted the state to investigate the development. “Between 2007 and 2011 we discovered that the figure of the state civil service kept increasing despite the fact that people have been dying and have not been replaced, we have had people resigning, going on secondment and, yet we have not had any corresponding decrease. We also discovered that before the minimum wage, the wage bill was N1.2 billion monthly and after that it rose to N1.7 billion, then we started asking questions.”
He concluded that many of the ghost workers had been identified and would soon be prosecuted, “We have discovered account numbers where millions were lodged monthly adding that those account numbers belonged to somebody, they have names, and they will face the court of law.”
A life saving mission recently turned sour for nine female health workers vaccinating children against the crippling polio disease who were stripped of their lives by some unknown gunmen in Kano. Report has it that the attackers murdered the health workers in coordinated shootings at two different sites.
Polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus which invades the nervous system and may cause irreversible paralysis. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented. Northern traditional and Islamic leaders have over the years condemned the polio vaccine, claiming that the vaccine is injurious to the health of children. 3 journalists have since been arrested and are being prosecuted for their roles in stating on radio that the polio vaccines were meant to make the children indertile.
According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, there were 121 cases of polio in Nigeria last year, compared to 58 in Pakistan and 37 in Afghanistan.