8 months ago

12042018 - HERDSMEN/FARMERS’ CLASHES: Blame Gaddafi, irresponsible politicians — BUHARI

16Vanguard, THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2018 Former Imo Commissioner kidnapped •Landlord kills tenant in Owerri O W By Chidi Nkwopara E R R I F O R M E R Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in the Rochas Okorocha administration, Engr. Alex Ogwazuo has been kidnapped by unknown gangsters in Owerri. Although details of the weekend kidnap operation was very sketchy at press time, Vanguard however gathered yesterday that the youthful excommissioner was taken away in his Sports Utility Vehicle, SUV, to an unknown destination. It was learnt that Ogwazuo was attacked by the hoodlums soon after leaving a social function in the evening. Vanguard recalls that Engr. Ogwazuo also served as Board Chairman of the Imo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, ISOPADEC, before it was sacked by Governor Rochas Okorocha. Meanwhile, a weekend tragedy hit Umuagwu village, Ohii, Owerri West Local Government Area of :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 Imo State, following the alleged shooting of a young man by his landlord (names withheld). Confirming the story making the rounds in Umuagwu, a villager who spoke on strict grounds of anonymity, said “the deceased was returning home from a viewing centre, where he had gone to watch an English Premier League football match.” According to the villager, “the young man was accosted by his landlord and although he thought that what was brewing was a huge joke, he is no longer alive to tell the story.” The villager recalled that when all efforts made to revive him failed, his lifeless body was deposited in a morgue. "The landlord's house has been destroyed, while his wife and children have fled to safety,” the villager said. Vanguard’s efforts to get the police angle to the stories failed as the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Ezike, did not respond to the text message sent to him on the issues. Good Governance Award: Ikpeazu has done wellPDP chieftain By Ugochukwu Alaribe A BADEPUTY Majority Leader of the Abia State House of Assembly, Chief Solomon Akpulonu, has congratulated Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for emerging winner of Vanguard Newspaper Good Governance Award, 2017. The lawmaker who stated in an interview with Vanguard, described the award as well deserved, considering the governor’s infrastructural renewal programmes, promotion of made-in- Aba products, ensuring security of lives and property, as well as sustained efforts at boosting trade and commerce in the state. He noted that Ikpeazu has shown the zeal and determination to make a difference in the governance of the state and deserves to be commended. Akpulonu, who represents Obingwa East State Constituency, added that the governor’s delivery of projects and political appointments across the 17 council areas of the state has brought development and unity to Abia state. “Ikpeazu has done well within the time he has been in office. He is an apostle of good governance. He has completed many projects across the state. In Aba and Umuahia, he has rehabilitated several roads. Many others are ongoing. In my constituency, he has embarked on road projects and renovation of many primary and post primary institutions including health facilities. His choice of projects clearly marked him out as a governor who knows the need of his people. “In fact, Ikpeazu has shown the zeal and determination to make a difference in the governance of Abia State. The good governance award to him by Vanguard Newspapers is well deserved.” APC members cannot try me with Buhari's military era law Ekweremadu By Henry Umoru ABUJAThe assets forfeiture case launched against the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu is a political witch-hunt by an illegal body, which is primarily about fictitious properties, Uche Anichukwu, media aide to Ekweremadu has said. Noting that the Special Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property was a legacy of President Muhuammadu Buhari's military era, Anichukwu in a statement said it was against natural justice for lawyers of the All Progressives Congress, APC, extraction to constitute themselves into a panel to try members of the opposition, relying on Decree 3 of 1984, now known as the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act, 2004. He noted that not only was the law already overtaken by the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, 2004, but that the Panel was also not Gazetted in any publication in the Federal Government of Nigeria Gazette or inaugurated by the President. "So, considering the Senator•'s ordeals since his re-emergence as the Deputy President of the Senate in 2015, and with 2019 election fastapproaching, no one needs any soothsayer to know that the FG up to something more sinister and diabolical of which the asset forfeiture lawsuit is a launch pad. He explained: •"As earlier clarified by the Senator, the list contains so many fictitious and repeated properties generated by the dismissed Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike, who, in his capacity as the Chief Judge of the State in 2016, colluded with his lawyer, Barrister Tagbo Ike, and some politicians, to steal and doctor his will. They then churned out petitions to many government agencies. "Should proper investigation devoid of bias and witch-hunt not require that Ekweremadu be invited to respond to the petition, assuming the panel had the constitutional powers to dabble into matters relating to assets declaration? •"But the Panel instead approached the court by way of Motion Ex-parte, which would allow it obtain an interim forfeiture order against the distinguished Senator, without hearing PRESS BRIEFING: Managing Director/CEO, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Jordi Borrut Bel; Finance Director, Mr. Mark Rutten; and Corporate Affairs Adviser, Mr. Kufre Ekanem, during the 2018 pre-Annual General Meeting press conference in Lagos, yesterda. Ohanaeze recounts Igbo’s woes, as UNIZIK builds African centre By Vincent Ujumadu A WKAPRESIDENT General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo yesterday, decried what he described as the illtreatment and marginalisation being suffered by Igbo people in Nigeria, saying that Igbo were the worst hit both politically and economically in the country despite their enormous contributions to the growth and development of the nation. Nwodo, who spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony of Igbo village and centre for African Civilization at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, observed that the average Igbo man was not only industrious, adventurous and daring, but courageous, enterprising and versatile. "These rare qualities," he noted, "were the source of envy and jealousy from other tribes in the country." He listed the number of industries located in the Eastern part of the country that had gone moribund, including the Nigercem, Nkalagu; Golden Guinea Breweries, Umuahia and Premier Breweries, Onitsha, arguing that their going under was due to the marginalization of Ndigbo. He however, insisted that the solution to the problems would not be found in another war but in proper restructuring of the country, which, he said, Ohanaeze had been clamoring for. He said: “We cannot afford to experience another civil war. I will rather die than allow these youths to be killed. There are two types of warfare, the diplomatic and civil war. What I am fighting is the diplomatic war.”. He challenged the present generation of Igbo to emulate the outstanding virtues of the late Igbo icons, who were celebrated at the event, saying they could have been forgotten long ago if not for the rare qualities they possessed. In his lecture titled, “What Igbo are identified for”, the Ohanaeze president observed that the first attribute of an Igbo man was cleverness, noting that Igbo were not known for laziness. him, just to achieve a maximum smear effect. •"The fact that the petition was authored by a former Chief Judge, who was sacked by the National Judicial Council for corruption and gross abuse of office and is currently facing corruption trial at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt and High Court of Enugu State, was more reason his petition should have been treated with wariness. •"Also, the fact that the Chairman of the Panel, Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla, signed, on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the very letter referenced HAGF/ ENUGU/2000/I and dated February 4, 2016 directing the Inspector General of Police to investigate Umezulike and the Director of Litigation over alleged forgery of a court judgment and order in Suit No. E/ 170/76 dated the June 25, 1985, is the more reason the Panel should have been circumspect." Anichukwu said simple verifiable matters were rather totally ignored, citing the Congress Estate, which he said, did not exist anywhere in Nigeria as well as the Kyami Layout plot, Abuja, which he said Ekweremadu neither accepted nor paid for as required by government's offer letter in 2008. He also explained that a thorough look at Ekweremadu's assets declaration form, which the panel obtained from the Code of Conduct Bureau, could have shown that the House on Evans Enwerem Street, Apo Legislators Quarters, was declared with the plot number by which it was originally known and monetised to the Senator. •"Besides, it is on record, as recently reported by some national dailies, that the AGF had in a letter dated November 1, 2017 and signed by the Solicitor- General of the Federation, withdrawn Notices of Investigation, which Obono-Obla sent to some Judges of the Federal High Court, requesting them to fill assets declaration forms all over in clear overreach of the his purported powers. •"So, Senator Ekweremadu's case is treated differently because the main purpose of the suit, which is another overreach by the Panel, is to intimidate, smear, and embarrass Ekweremadu to give the impression that he illegally acquired and hid properties from the government, which is clearly not the case", Anichukwu concluded.

Of apology, forgiveness and penitence “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget”. - Thomas Szasz, Hungarian-born U.S. psychiatrist. A SISTER of mine once – against all counsel- ended her 25-year old, mutually-consensual marriage, -a victory at last, for her unmarried high society female friends who had always wanted her out. Not that my dear sister’s middleincome-earning husband was failing in his matrimonial duties. On the contrary, given his modest earnings, he seemed providentially overcapacitated, especially considering his indulgence of her every vain demand. In fact, a second wife that her conjugal belligerence once forced him to marry, had to leave because she could not bear the ‘servitude’ she said, of having to cook separately, often, for each of my sister’s six children -depending on the whims of their varied culinary preferences. This was how superfluously provident my sister’s husband was. Yet her out-of-wedlock, fair weather friends were able to convinced her he was not good enough. At the peak of her intransigent demand for divorce, my dear sister rebuffed the wise counsel even of the oldest members of the family, insisting it was her life and her prerogative to live it. And even as her husband dithered over what to do, my impatient sister Et tu, General IWAS naturally frightened and horrified by the implications of the statement I read in the social media attributed to have been made by General T Y Danjuma, to the overall unity and security of this country. The General was said to have made the statement last month in Jalingo, at the convocation grounds of the Taraba State University. Referring to the persistent communal clashes in Taraba State, he was quoted to have said, ‘there is an attempt at ethnic cleansing in this state and of course all the riverine states of Nigeria. We must resist it. We must stop it. Every one of us must rise up. The armed forces are not neutral. They collude with the armed bandits that kill people and kill Nigerians. They facilitate their movement. They cover them. If you are depending on the armed forces to stop the killings you will all die one by one’. He was said to have made the statement to the impressionable graduating students extempore.I went over the speech and noted its short sentences carefully couched for effects. The sentences are short, precise and to the point. It is typically Achebian in construction and can say that even a written speech wouldn’t have been more effective in the amount of venom it delivered. On the face of what I read and saw, it was difficult to believe that it was the elder statesman Danjuma that was making such volatile utterances. I could not bring myself to believe it until when I saw the video of the man himself dressed impressively in an academic gown saying exactly what was circulated.It was a terrible let down because what I could surmise from the speech amounted to a vote of no confidence in the Nigerian Army which he had commanded at operational level as its Chief of Staff in the 1970s and superintended many years later at the political level as Minister of Defence. To me, the short speech sounded more like a militia chief exhorting his group to resist legitimate state intervention. After watching the video and digesting the implications of abandoned her six children and left, leaving word that whenever he decided to write a divorce letter he should do her the favour of dropping it with the family. Us. She excommunicated every one of us and for months we had no idea where she was. Said William Shakespeare “what we have we prize not to the worth whiles we enjoy it, but being lacked and lost… then we rack the value, then we find the virtue that possession would not show us whiles it was ours.” After a period of failed expectation, my dear freedomseeking sister suddenly returned home to her husband. And although she now seemed freshly determined to keep her marriage, yet she would not back down from her usual grandstanding. Instead of being chastened by the humbling anticlimax of ‘the vulture returning to her home on the tamarind’ my sister was egging herself unto more and more defiant tantrums. She gave the impression she was doing both her husband and us a favour by coming back; so that even as we expected remorse, apology and possibly repentance from her, to our chagrin, she was the one expecting gratitude, patronage and some kind of doting forbearance from us. In fact, my sister had thrown word around meant especially for us, that she was the proverbial ‘bante’ (girdle), adequate, she said, for every what Danjuma said, I just shook my head and muttered, ‘Et tu General?’Agreed that even elder statesmen of Danjuma’s elevated stature could have their affiliations and biases, but common humanity expects them to keep such private. In matters affecting feuding communities in the country, it is the likes of Danjuma that would be expected to be above the fray to preach common sense for peace to flourish. Indeed he had played such sterling roles before. As recently as 2013, he was quoted to be making such common sense speeches at the palace of the Emir of Zazzau at the occasion of conferring the title of Jarman Zazzau on the General. Referring to the general insecurity in the country and the indecorous statements coming from some community leaders Danjuma cautioned that, ‘this is the time for elders to be circumspect and temperate in their utterances - - - we need to think more, pray more, plan more, work harder, relate better, and talk less. Battles are better fought and won through wisdom and strategy than through inflammable pronouncements and tantrums’.Similarly in 2015 when the bunch of Asari Dokubo, Tompolo and General Boyloaf were beating the drumbeats of war and threatening to plunge the country into chaos, if President Jonathan was not re-elected, Danjuma was quoted chastening them and calling them highly irresponsible. He even asked the security agencies to be alive to their duties and arrest the Niger Delta ex-militants for making reckless statements. I guess readers would agree with me that the way and manner Danjuma spoke at that Taraba State University ‘qugu’ (waist); preemptively warding off any attempt to go to reprimand her. I should say that my sister overestimated our filial adoration even as she underestimated our kinship pride. She had excommunicated and blacklisted us. She did not know that the family had virtually disowned her. And as we maintained a dignified family silence over my sister’s unrepentant return, her arrogance of unrighteousness only grew more and more. Until when –least expectedlyher cautiously receptive husband Genuine ‘regret’ is not a pretentiously apologetic PDP asking for ‘political power’ after it had just ‘abused’ it General T Y Danjuma is now over 80 years old. He has done so much for the stability and unity of this country. He has mentored many in the military, in government and in business now handed her the divorce letter she had always asked for. Perfect time you would say. Just when she was ‘racking the value’ and ‘finding the virtue’ of her marriage, my sister, at last, lost it. Yet, without shame she now came to us ‘remorsefully’ and ‘apologetically’ in search of: kindred shoulders to cry on, a family sanctuary to live in and the benevolence of sibling provision to live by. And since blood is thicker than water, we all resolved to forgive my willfully errant sister. Or as others said: ‘to forgive and to forget’ what she had done. But I was only ready to ‘forgive’ her. Because I did not know when I will ‘forget’ what she did. Whereas I can control my capacity for ‘forgiveness’, I do not have the capacity to restrain myself from ‘remembering’. And I cannot pretend that the thought of her brings pleasant memories when truly what it brings are horrible reminiscences. And so, soon when I sent round some convocation grounds didn’t differentiate him much from the likes of Asari Vanguard, THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2018 17 finance to our sisters in matrimony –which I often do as a token of reward for their conjugal forbearance - naturally I ‘remembered’ to omit my divorced sister because I cannot ‘forget’ that being no longer in wedlock, she was not eligible. But everyone in the family said that this was proof that I had not ‘forgiven’ her. And I wondered whether it was ‘forgiveness’ that my willfully erring sister had sought from us or it was the benevolence of our filial gratuity to cushion the effect of her conjugal daredevilry? Why can’t we ‘forgive’ her and still decide whether or not to finance her willful destitution? Or why must bearing the burden of her self-inflicted depravation be the only proof that we ‘forgave’ her? If my sister was ‘remorseful’ and ‘apologetic’ only after she had fallen into the ditch, how genuine then was that ‘remorse’? Or how true was that ‘apology’? And where was the ‘penitence’? God alone ‘forgives’ and exercises the prerogative not to punish. But He has instructed ‘man’ even after punishing, to ‘forgive’; or to ‘forgive’ even as he prepares to punish in order to deter. Because, what manner of ‘remorse’ is there without ‘repentance’? What manner of ‘apology’ without ‘confession’? What manner of ‘forgiveness’ without ‘penitence’? And what manner of ‘transgression’ without ‘retribution’? Only the PDP will commit such high crimes and misdemeanors against the people and without ‘remorse’, without ‘repentance’, without ‘confession’, without ‘penitence’, will be asking us to ‘forgive’ and to ‘forget’; to not ‘recall’ and to not ever ‘remember’; and to ‘restore’ a willfully erring party to power without ‘restitution’ and without ‘retribution’. Should ‘forgiveness’ not be only to the ‘remorseful’, the ‘repentant’, the ‘contrite’ and the ‘penitent’?. You have to realize the ‘wrong’ first (be truthful); then have a feeling of ‘guilt’ and ‘regret’ (be remorseful); and then be ‘ashamed’ and ‘sorry’ (be Dokubo and General Boyloaf. In fact, the more uncharitable observers would say Danjuma’s speech was even more reckless as it smeared the Nigerian Army without a shred of evidence adduced. The speech was plainly inciting and a call to anarchy and chaos. And it had its immediate effects as we have seen Asari Dokubo recently being quoted in the social media hailing Danjuma. In the recent past, many of us have had reasons to be critical about how the army formations operated in troubled areas. Governors, prominent community leaders have at one time or the other lent their vociferous voices at lashing the army formations for one failure or the other. But this is routine, as they were under pressure in their localities to make such condemnations on behalf of their subunits. Danjuma does not belong to such crowd. He has always been heard to be speaking for Nigeria.He had paid his dues as an army officer. And even in retirement the nation had always sought him out at critical moments to steer a committee or the other, intended to douse tension here and there. When President Jonathan was taking over as acting President in 2010 and tension was high, it was Danjuma that was sought out to chair a Presidential Advisory Council that was ostensibly put in place to douse the pressure and was given a carte blanch to advice on all areas of governance. Even now with a different party in power and a different President in the saddle yet Danjuma’s credentials as a nationalist had continued to twinkle and shine. This administration had deemed it fit to lately appoint Danjuma as Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative, PCNI, to oversee all remedial contrite); and be ‘ready’ to ‘remedy’ (restitute and return what is wrongly possessed); and to be penitent, (crave justice, bear the rigors of the law, atone); and finally to resolve never to do it again (be repentant). Ironically PDP’s ‘apology’ is coming not only when they have an imminent need of our PVCs, but it is coming even before the expression of genuine ‘remorse’; and before the making of true ‘confession’. They are asking us to ‘forget’ the ‘wrongs’ that they are not ready to ‘confess’; they are asking us not to ‘remember’ the ‘transgressions’ that they are not prepared to ‘restitute’ for; and they want us to forgo ‘stolen items’ that we see culpably in their possession. They confirm the saying that ‘a thief is only sorry that he is caught, not that he has stolen’. An African proverb says: “The axe forgets, but the cut log does not”. And which is the equivalent of what the Hausas say: “Idan maye ya manta, uwar diya bata mantaba”. (‘if the witch does not remember, the mother of the victim child will seldom forget’). ‘ You forgive the one who has learned from his mistakes. But what has PDP learned? Nothing. They are, in fact, still in denial. Until they go through purgatory, they have ‘learned nothing’, and until they learn something, they have ‘forgotten nothing’. By the way, having ‘forgiven’ them –although we know their ‘apology’ to be fake- we are not the ones to be put to purgatory in order to ‘forget’ or so that we do not ‘remember’. But having sought our ‘forgiveness’, they are the ones to be put to purgatory – in order to be expiated- and not back into political office, to be further corrupted. Genuine ‘regret’ is not a pretentiously apologetic PDP asking for ‘political power’ after it had just ‘abused’ it. Genuine ‘regret’ must be as deep as Albert Einstein, after realizing that his ‘splitting of the atom’ had given rise to the atomic bomb, said “If only I had known, I would have become a watchmaker”. programmes aimed at addressing the crisis in the North East since 2009. It therefore defies reason why Danjuma should be beating the drumbeats of war within the sacred walls of the university. To begin with, the podium at the convocation venue should have been a sacrosanct place to preach the values of education and other issues of such high-mindedness – not spewing out a hate speech. I spoke to an elderly Professor who has had the privilege of witnessing many convocation ceremonies as an active participant and he told me he had never in his life seen the like of what Danjuma did. He was short of the right words to describe the sordid implications. He said a state university like that of Taraba would most likely reflect the composition of the state and Nigeria - - multiethnic and multi-religious. And to come to that podium to face the multitude of invited guests and graduating students and regurgitate what was obviously a partisan view exposing him and reducing his stature to the level of an ethnic champion was just incomprehensible. General T Y Danjuma is now over 80 years old. He has done so much for the stability and unity of this country. He has mentored many in the military, in government and in business. He is today one of the biggest businessmen in Nigeria having his fingers in many pies and partnerships that reflect the diversity of this nation. He is a philanthropist of vast proportions who had given stupendous amounts to institutions across the nation. Indeed he is considered a national leader and an icon. Millions would like to remember him as such. He must not stoop now, at this late hour, to end up a local champion. C M Y K