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An Open letter to the people of Oyo state by Adewale T Akande

    An Open letter to the people of Oyo State   ( Part 1&2 )

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   Good day and compliment of the season to all my beloved people of Oyo State. If you could remember vividly, the State was formed on 3rd of February in 1976 by General Murtala Mohammed led military government, when old Western State was divided into Ogun, Ondo and Oyo States respectively. There was also a split of Osun State from Oyo State in 1991. The State is noted for its prominent historical and physical landmarks in art, science and culture associated within its jurisdiction. Nobody can match our warriors and forefathers army. Oyo state is the nucleus of all States in the South West zone of Nigeria. Do you want to talk of the first university in Nigeria founded in 1948 (became autonomous in 1962) or the first teaching hospital in Nigeria, or the first television station in Africa ( NTA, Ibadan) , or the first ever sports stadium built in Africa  (Liberty) or the first sky-crapper built in Africa (Cocoa-House in Ibadan). The list is endless for the pace-setter of all States. A Yoruba adage says “Ajise bi Oyo la rii, Oyo ki se bi eniko’kan” which means that Oyo always set the pace and never copy others. All these were the foresight and achievements of our patriotic and extraordinarily hardworking founding fathers. Karl Maier also support this in his book “This house has fallen” when he said “There is a sense among the vast majority of Yourba that they have always represented the progress spearhead in Nigeria society”

Meanwhile, if someone have to critically and objectively examine the activities of administration of Oyo State since 29th of May 1999 till the present regime that culminate to eleven years of democratic governance in the State, two important pressing issues would be noticed. These two issues are; the issue of good governance and problems in picking eligible candidates to contest for State elections within political parties during their primaries. That the truth is bitter is not a new cliché. Our elected leaders in government since last one decade have  not been completely rendering their full responsibilities to the people voted them in power. The State is confronted with moral decay and economic paralysis thus making fundamental changes to become imperative. The people are fed up with lies and unfulfilled promises. These leaders are not exemplify the wish of our founding fathers. Our founding fathers want a State where its citizens are more valuable, more worthy of life and more certain of their future; they want our children to have best qualitative and functional education; they do not want us to live in darkness; they do not want us to live without water; they want the great majority to have access to basic health care and family planning services; they are very sensitive to the poductivity and quantity of the goods and services that a civil servant can produce for each hour of work; they believe that human beings have the ability to create ways to live better and even change the environment to suit their needs and wants; they do not want the masses to grow thinner and thinner like broom sticks or our children suffering from kwashiorkor; they do not want leaders who cannot make great sacrifices but prefer to live in opulence and wealth when those people voted them in power are in destitution; they do not want us to live without necessary social infrastructures that will reduce communal hardship on our children and even our rural and urban women making them less vulnerable to disease and squalor; they remembered the sad “wet e” episode and came up with the brightest idea of UPE education so that political thugs and touts would not hijack our society; The past have given us experiences and memories, that, what we are now expecting are set of leaders with ability, integrity and understanding of urgency to solve the social problems of the State. Leaders that will base their greatness on the services they render for good of the citizens than the property accumulated within shortest time. Experiences have shown according to Joseph Folmania that “poor leadership in good times can be hidden, but poor leadership in bad times is a recipe for disaster”.

   Firstly, on the issues of good governance and accountability in the State, I have no political affilitation nor writing to criticise or vindicate anybody, but to inform our rulers, elders and those who have had opportunity to be in government of Oyo State before and now should know that the State deserve MORE than what its getting since eleven years ago. A good leader does not need up to three hundred and sixty-five days before starting to perform. The State has been developing at a very slow rate comparing with other neighbouring states (or up-North) in few years considering the fact that we are so blessed with some of the best human and materials resources in the country. The State is now regarded as one the least developed in the country. Less developed society always remain poor. The main advantages of good governance which are free, qualitative and functional education, good health services in all the cities, food security, employment opportunities in well industrialized cities, regular supply of drinking tap-water, good roads network linking all cities with a reliable and effective bus-transit management, adequate security to protect the lives and property of its citizenry, undisrupted electricity supply, low-cost housing estates and housing loans for low-income earners, social security packages for handicapped or person’s with disabilities, street and traffic lights, public libaries, public tap-water, public toilets, public phone boots, information centres, and other social infrastructures are nothing to write home about in the State. All inherited infrastructures are in shambles. Naturally, people will not fail to pay their taxes when they are enjoying these facilities. If all these facilities of good governance are not carried out accordingly due to rulers greediness and incompetency, it will eventually accumulate for succeeding generations and lead to bigger problems down the road. We can never “wipe-out” poverty if those listed above juices of good governance, leadership responsibility and accountability are not available in a society. Democracy is “government of the people, by the people and for the people” according to the great Abraham Lincoln. What we are now witnessing in our society is “government of some people by some people and for some people”.

    On the issue of education. Everyone wants youths to make a successful transition from childhood to adulthood but education has not been giving deserved priority. Education has the effect of shortening the effort which a person must expand to catch up on the advancement of civilization. The State education refused to be competitive, qualitative and functional for the past one decade talk less of being in line with the provisions of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and tenets of Education For All (CFA). The State educational system is weak and chaotic. Most of our graduates from tertiary institutions are “half-baked” due to the nonchalant attitude of the government to provide formidable educational system that can facilitate national transformation and global competitiveness.  There have been persistent poor performances of the State students in WAEC, NECO and JAMB examinations every year because the government have not taken education with much concern it deserves. What is the essence of relieving parents to pay for their children WAEC exams fees, if the end results will not be justified? These parents are to pay more than double money for their children re-taking these same exams even without probability of success as they are out of school.  The Voluntary Supervisors Monitoring Scheme is not the only solution to low standard problems.. The solutions are very simple; Since teaching is a commitment to making difference in children’s lives in becoming leaders of tomorrow, therefore all teachers salaries (scale) and outstanding welfare packages agreed on should be accepted and be paid promptly on the first day of the new month and not on the forty-two of the following month as usual.  Motivated employees are more committed, more productive and more quality oriented to their jobs. The students are to suffer for the teachers strike action in the long run. The State Ministry of Education should make it compulsory for all public and private schools in the State to operate well equipped libraries and must make an “order” to ban pupils roaming on the streets during the school hours. There must be cordial relation between the PTA Associations and the school teachers for effective monitoring of the kids conduct and performances. Personal and current  contacts of each parent must be established, reviewed and documented. The must be weekly reports of student’s conduct which have to be sent directly to all parents. All the 33 local governments in the State should have well-equipped public libraries within their compound or to be constructed within its jurisdiction area. The state Ministry of Education and schools in collaboration with notable industries and corporate bodies in the state should be organising quarterly debates, quiz, games and literary competitions which will attract considerable awards, prizes and certificates for those outstanding students and this must be televised and reported on the State television/radio and newspapers. Another best way of learning is for our schools to embark on frequent excursions which have to be subsidized  by the government to important places that will help children cognitive development through their interactions with environment according to Piaget theory. I would never forget what an excursion organised by my old public primary school to International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have done to my life. There should be reintroduction of inter-house sports and inter-city sport competitions among schools in the State for extra curricula activities. All these activities develop kids creatively, educationally and socially making them to function very well in a democratic society. Devils seek the idle hands. These kids will fill up the existing posts in the future. We should not forget that poverty leads to corruption, disruption of family relations and social life, causing rising crime rate among other vices. Functional and qualitative education is the only solution to poverty. The more educated people are the less they are prone to illness and squalor.

  Modern transportation system conquers distances and natural barriers. Effective, available and accessible transportation is an improvement to the quality of life in any community regardless of size and location. On roads facelift and transportation, kudos have to be given to the present government on the present rehabilitation and construction of roads in the city. I will implore the government to extend this laudable project to all the bad roads in the cities, towns and villages of Oyo State .This project is half-concluded without erecting of more street lights, street naming and roads direction boards, modern bus-stops, footpath (sidewalk) and good drainage system. The government should know that if these roads are not given good and effective maintenance, all the huge investment will be a waste. Believe this, a car can be on the road for fourteen years without changing a tyre where there are good roads. It is very possible. I have seen that in Europe and it can work anywhere. The government should seek for innovative solutions to transportation problems. Without doubt, those taxis cabs bought by the present government cannot serve all the low income earners or alleviate the suffering of our people in the State. I do not remember when last my mother took a taxi cab. The State is growing in population and there is urgent need for new and expanded community transportation alternatives. The best way to touch people lives at the grass-root level in moving from one area to the other is by providing standard public buses services to ply all the cities and villages as low income individuals reside in rural areas. This will render services to students (students in school uniform should be free of charge), peasants, high-low income earners, all government workers as well as person’s with disabilities which cannot be denied full access to public transportation facilities. The Bus-Transit System should be controlled by experienced and effective management board. On March 2-5, this year, I was opportuned to be invited to the first Lagos State Transport Management Conference held at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island and when I spoke with the Governor’s Special Adviser on Transportation, and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs (who happened to be my hall mate –Mellamby-at the University of Ibadan in the 80s), you will see that these determined young men are bubbling with energy, creative and innovative ideas to rewrite the history of Lagos State. As traffic is another major cause of death and injury in cities and towns,the new Road Traffic Management Authority is another welcome idea if they can embark on road safety enlightement programmes for nursery/primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the state, provides courses of instructions, training and public awareness on road safety causes, effects and prevention of road accidents to drivers,  provide First-Aid Emergency Units in towns with Ambulances and Emergency phone numbers for all citizens amongst other reasons for its creation. It  is high time to resolve the issues of the NURTW imbroglio, taxi cabs (and kabukabu) identity and proper registration and a beffiting State identity colour. Government should provide public parkings for cars and motorcycles to reduce traffic-jam and illegal parking in the cities.

Meanwhile, think of the many comforts and conveniences possible with regular water and electricity supply to satisfy the essence of our living. Electricity use is in nearly every home and all living things depend on water. The average person in the cities may use 200 litres (about 50 gallons) of water or more for their personal needs each day.  The result of irregular and epileptic power supply have adverse effect on standard of living and quality of life of the citizens. It is very disheartening not to have a regular clean and safe drinking pipe-born water despite all monies spent on rehabilitations and facelift of existing treatment plants at Eleyele, Asejire and Osegere water works and regular fund given by the African Development Bank (ADB) . Without regular supply of electricity, there can never be meaningful industrialisation. Every sucesisve government keep on promising to find solutions to electricity failure with huge amount of money but nothing came out of it. We are still having undisrupted electricity supply despite the promises to enter agreement with private independent power providers to supply 30 megawatts in addition to PHCN supplies. If two billion naira was budgeted and spent this year on rural electrification, how much is going to be spent on megawatts to have light? Few people now rely on “I better pass my neighbour” electric generating machine that endanger our health with air and noise pollution.

   Food, Agriculture and Industries: Agriculture used to be the main occupation of the people of Oyo State. The state is endowed with natural resources in which are not well-tapped. Have we fully utilize our mineral resources such as granite, marble, limestone, talc, red clay, aquamarine, sand, kaolin, gravel ? What are we doing with Cocoa, Cashewnut, Kolanut,Citrus fruits, Palm ,Rubber on the forest zones of Ibadan / Ibarapa, Yam, Cassava, Maize,Rice, Millet on the savannah areas of the state (Oyo, Oyo North and Ogbomoso) and Oranges and Pineapples which are predominantly in Afijio, Ibarapa and Oluyole local governments respectively? The State government can make more revenue in lumbering industry with our God –given quality trees like Iroko, Afara, Mahogany, Omoh, Ayunre,Melina, Araba, Ita, Opeke, Obeche and so on. A state will remain poor in spite of her resources, if her leaders cannot organize these resources at their disposal for efficient and effective productive purposes. The State is the land of a food basket, but there is no food security, despite all money spent on agricultural tractors and fertilizers every year. Pepper “nigrum” (atarodo) was as expensive as gold in March when distributing lorry drivers from North were on strike. Are we saying a mechanized farming cannot solve this problem? There should be a renewed and integrated effort towards the industrialization of our beloved State if our effort to alleviate poverty is to be realised. We need to create a conducive environment to boost international trade and launch our natural resources to the world. The only things we are seeing here is “buying and selling” . In the last nine years, none of our successive rulers in the State deem it fit to prepare a location and construct one or two very big commercial centres in Ibadan, the State capital and the one of the most urbanized cities in Nigeria. Instead, all the lands have been sold to either an influential traditional or religious leader or shared between themselves. On a rainy day, you dare not to go to Akesan market in Oyo, Oja ‘gbo and Oja Akangbe  in Ogbomoso, Sango market in Saki, Anko market in Eruwa, Maya market in Lanlate, Towobowo market in Igbo-ora, Bodija and Sango markets in Ibadan because of the messy ground. The tolls and shops rates collected in a year is enough to make necessary rehabilitation of those mentioned markets if these leaders are sincere and feel for those who voted them in power.

   An Open letter to the people of Oyo State    ( Part 2 )

    Health is wealth. The government should embark on project to have standard public health centres in all the cities in the State. The government should fund all the thirty-three local governments in the state to operate and manage mini public health centres within its authority compound or jurisdiction area. These centres staffed with trained and qualified medical personnel will be providing general health education, preventive services, family planning education and contraceptive, specific occupational health promotion services, screening for illness (such as taking blood pressure) and treatment for minor illness and injuries. This will make medical facility get nearer to the people. Medical care should be provided in all accredited and organized care services and vigorous efforts should make to induce physicians and other health workers to practice in rural areas. The Ministry of health should take measures in prohibition of smoking in public places such as hospitals, schools, government offices, theatres, movie houses. 

  Under section 14,sub-section 2 (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states the “ the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”  It is very evident that security of lives and properties of the people are not guaranteed in the State. Everybody lives in fear anytime they go out. Our burglary proofs are now taller and thicker than what we have in prisons. Who are now the true prisoners? Everybody cannot afford to pay for private security. The armed robbers that have taken control by breaking into banks, houses and companies at will with their sophisticated weapons. The recent wave of kidnappings, hired-assassins, thuggery, plain-clothes police exorting ( or robbery) near all banks, advanced fee 419 fraud cronies and bus stops and motor-parks touts and pickpockets are increasing everyday. Section 4 of the Police Act, explains police duties by law as “prevention of crime, detection of crime, apprehension of offenders, preservation of law and order, protection of life and property”. The government should operate an Anti-Robbery Squad as done by other States to patrol around the cities and towns. The Police needs sophisticated ammunitions to match with armed robbers weapons, more electronic equipped police vehicles and motorcycles for patrols most especially when the next general election is just a matter of months.. Oyo State can break the record of policing in the country by institute more Police patrol vehicles and intriduce special motorcycles with walkie-talkie for information dissemination and responding to crimes in progress.

Information, Culture and Tourism; In a democratic society, all citicens have a right to access and use of information. Information serves as a vehicle for bringing government policies and programmes to the citizenry, thereby making it a bridge that hold the government and governed together. Also, I see no reason why a pace-setter of all the thirty-six states in Nigeria cannot boast of its own newspaper. What does it take the government to resuscitate The Sketch Publishing newspaper with effective management board to create an avenue through which the activities and programmes of the state are made known to the public. The newspaper will provide a feedback mechanism through which the state government can judge the reaction of the masses towards its policies and programmes. That is what is called democracy-“government of the people by the people and for the people”. There will never be “disaffection among the masses” if there is transparency and accountability in governance. This publishing company will generate employment opportunities in the State to most qualified graduates roaming on the streets. The most widely read newspapers in Spain ( Metro), United Kingdom  (Metro and Evening Standard) and South Africa are free newspapers running with only adverts proceeds. Culture and tourism are another are in which the government can make huge revenue.Culture is a shared system of symbols,attitudes, values,beliefs,expectations and norms of behaviour. The state is blessed with many idle tourist centres such as Bower Tower, Agodi Botanical Garden, Iyamopo and Agbele Hill in Igbeti .A lot of revenue can be made from this sector but you cannot have tourism without a reliable security. The laudable idea of the Computer for All Nigeria Initiatives (CANi) can be effective and serve its posses when launching and installation is done in all government ministries including the thirty-three local governments in the state. All public and private nursery/primary and secondary schools must have to be provided with computers and make the students have a deep understanding of the technology, the historical impact on society, and the roles of individuals and democratic institutios in shaping and maintaining responsible use of technology.  Democracy also depends on informal, subjective qualities of social trust, consensus and cohesion-including social and cultural attitudes that facilitate informal accommodation and solution of conflicts. Government should promote, sponsor and participate in all notable cultural activities of all the majority and minority ethnic groups in the state.

Youth, Sports and Social Development; As we all know that sport is a unifying factor, hence it has to be developed from the grass-root level. The government should promote and monitor well-formulated and educative youth development programmes. All the thirty-three local governments should have a separate Youth Development Centres to provide information, counselling, employment, entertainment and educative activities among the youth in its jurisdiction. Our children should be encourage to join social club activities like Boys Scout, Boys Brigade. Girls Guide, Red Cross, Readers Club, Old School-mate Association, Professional Youth Club, Writers” Club, Culture,Sports and Theatre Clubs etc. Socialisation according to Eric L.Bey is the “process through which individuals acquire knowledge, habits and value orientations that will be useful in the future”. The government should mandate all thirty-three local governments in the state to build Mini Sports Complex in their locality. This will develope sporting competitions among the youths and eventually promote the state recognition in sporting activities nationally and internationally. The state ministry of youth and sports  should resuscitate “Olubadan Cup” soccer competition among all nursery/primary schools, promote “Principal Cup” soccer competition among all secondary schools in the state and “Governor’s Games” competitions to feature all sporting activities involving all the 33 local governments in the state in collaboration with Oyo State Sports Council, notable companies, corporate bodies and individuals in the state. Liberty, Adamasingba and Ogbomoso Township stadiums can be used respectively. This yearly competition will serve as an avenue to discover new talents and develop old talents that will represent the State in the next National Local Government Games and win more laurels in international sporting events.The increasing waves of cultism, advance fee 419 fraud, internet scam and other vices will be reduced drastically when kids are engaged positively making then responsible and good citizens to the society. The idea of sharing and selling of all state lands meant for social development should be discouraged. This selfish  habit exhibited by the politicians does not leave any space for our children to play and enjoy recreation activities. The government should create Citizens Advice Bureau in all the cities.

  The issue of environment protection. The government should make necessary collaboration in environmental and occupational health research among public health, administrative, industrial and educational institutions to find lasting solutions to our environmental problems. There should be mass participation in pollution control by increase the consciousness of vast numbers of people in the cities. The waste management board can place plastic bins or drums in strategic places for people to drop their refuse and this will be emptied every-midnight by the refuse collecting lorries. The bins can be separated (paper, iron or metal and rest of the waste) in different colours  for re-cycling. The cleaning of streets and roads should be extended to other cities of the state. The cleaners should be in complete reflective uniform for their traffic safety .

  The second important pressing issue why I decided to write this letter, is the problem relating to picking of eligible candidates to contest for State elections by the political parties during their primary elections. This normally generate tension, despair, grievances, hatred and disunity among political elites turning the State politics to a vicious and selfish power play. Every parts of the State has equitable access to present candidate for any post available, even most especially in Gubernatorial race. There is no problem if a Gubernatorial candidate or Commissioner  comes from any of these following places ; Igbeti, Saki, Kishi, Sepeteri, Okeho, Ilora, Awe, Ilero, Oyo, Iseyin, Eruwa, Lanlate, Igboho, Igboora, Ogbomoso or Ibadan. We are all from the same extended families and forefathers. The State cannot be developed or achieve good governance if we continue to monopolise sensitive appointments solely on rotational criteria and not supporting the right mix of candidates or people with skills and abilities to develop well their political parties agenda and its plans for the people. The most important thing is the capability, integrity, and intellectual ability of a particular candidate and support given by his party members and the entire people. The State is blessed with the best brains you can ever think of in recent years. Some of them remain silent because of the way our elders are turning politics into “do or die” affairs, making the entire citizenry to suffer when other citizens from other State are happy by the collective visions of their enterprising elders. We will all suffer for it if we neglect the optimal utilisation of our collective talents in the service of our common interests. Let our new leaders engage in live television / radio interviews and debates broadcast before elections to tell us themselves,their achievements, ideas and plans to rewrite our history as Pace-Setter. The era of dirty money politics and political godfather in hand-picking of candidates is gone forever. We should not prefer mediocrity to meritocracy in our selections, appointments and elections. Political agenda, best policies and set objectives need achievers, who are men and women of great discipline. Good governance requires us  to select freely, nominate diligently, vote peacefully and defend our votes.

Finally, let us hold the optimistic ideals and pessimism will be driven out. Let us imbibe the spirit of love and unity. “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” so says the Holy Bible. And the Holy Quran 3:200 says;”...vie in such perseverance, strengthen each other, and pious, tha you may prosper”. We must all unite and work to raise hope, sustain hope and keep hope alive of all the people of Oyo State. Let our elders bear their minds on a round table discussion with courtesy and friendliness. Working together, we can do more. They should forget festering grievances or imbalances in the past, admit those mistakes of the past, and move on healing old wounds which is essential for future success. The earmark of a great mind is its ability to forgive and forget. Our elites and leaders trust, integrity and credibility determine the will to serve the State better and make their mark in sands of time. They must leave something for posterity as done by our founding fathers. The war of words and frayed nerves must now be firmly put behind and make the next general election to be peaceful, free and fair. Our elites cannot be enemies forever as we do not want them pass this to their sons. It is better to make the way for coming generation as one. Our politicians should remember the wise counsel of the great American President Abraham Lincoln at Illinois,on October 16,1854; “...stand with anybody that stands right; stand with him while he is right and pact with him when he goes wrong”. Leadership is not for glamour, pleasure, fun, privilege or opportunity to construct estates and buy  mansions here and abroad while your subjects are dying of hunger and squalor. Leadership is not opportunity to loot the state treasury and keep the money in foreign accounts while your people cannot afford three-squares meals a day. Leadership is not stealing the government money and donate it to churches or mosques. Leadership is sacrifice. Leadership is service. Leaders are servants of the people and the people are their pay-masters. You do not need to contest for an election if you do not want to be people’s servant. Leadership is to bless the life of others. Leadership are men of virtue and example of modest. Leaders with enough intellectual capacity to run the affairs of this State can make good things happen. Let pray for leaders that will strive and work hard to lead our State to climb  greater heights of excellence and progress. It is our collective effort and responsibility to make the best of the State.  Where are those stinkingly rich men praised by our musicians of yesteryears? “Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity” as Solomon calls this illusion of life. Only people with good names will be remembered for ever. Even you can see the traces and symptoms of poverty among some of the so called rich men. Lack of love, discipline, wisdom, initiative, integrity and morality are manifested on them.  Happiness according to Frankin D.Roosevelt; ”...is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievements, and in the thrill of creative efforts”. Happiness can never be bought, it has to be experienced. Happiness is neither the wealth nor comfort, instead, it is all about the state of mind. Wealth, comfort and love can all be the means toward happiness, but they are definitely not happiness in themselves. The origin of this State had a very beautiful history and we shall create another in the nearest future. “It is time to move past yesterday, because today is upon us and tomorrow is only a breath away” as Sunday Dare once wrote. Let us all come out en masse and vote for “a statesman that thinks of the next generation and not politician that thinks of the next election”.  Failure is not the will of God. If we fail to vote for the best candidate, we will all responsible for our failure. As Yoruba adage says “The king whose reign is characterised by peace, history will record it. Also the king whose tenure is fraught with chaos (poverty), history will not fail to record it”. I will end this piece with this dictum; Do all the good you can, by all means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the time you can, to all the people you can and as long as you can. When you are good to others, you are best to yourself. God bless the good people of Oyo State. God bless Nigeria.

Your sincerely,

Adewale T Akande (M.ed.Educ.Mgt),(M.sc.Political Sc.) University of Ibadan.

Author, Educationist and Road Traffic Safety Consultant.

Alicante, Spain.  Tel: 0034-600877296

www.globaleduven.com adewale_akande@hotmail.com


Cyber terrorism hits Nigeria

This well  documented history of the growing threat of Cyber warfare was culled from 

destination Nigeria . Very early in the history of www.AbujaCity.com we were plagued 

by all sorts of  denial of service attacks etc, we sympathies with organisations facing these challenges because we've been there ...





Abujacity.com_jonathan1
 


Following the coordinated attacks on mainstream media sites in Nigeria, EMMANUEL MAYAH visits the cyber crime scenes and reports on how millions of zombie computers are deployed as foot soldiers to attack big businesses, political dissidents, competitors or enemy organisations.

Life in Nigeria is pretty much becoming a video war game. In the past, you could choose to bump off an individual or an enemy organisation using letter bomb, price-tag assassins, corporate spies or attack dogs in white collar. Today, the thin line between reality and science fiction is blurred, so much so that a cripple with the right computer know-how can sit in one corner of his room and mobilise millions of zombies to cause an oil spillage in the Niger Delta or to hold a multinational hostage until a huge ransom is paid.

In Italy, not too long ago, a mob boss was shot but survived the shooting. That night, while he was in the hospital, the assassins hacked into the hospital computer and changed his medication so that he would be given a lethal injection. He was a dead man a few hours later. They then changed the medication order back to its correct form, after it had been incorrectly administered, to cover their tracks so that the nurse would be blamed for the “accident.”

Elsewhere in Nigeria, shockwave swept across the city of Lagos last year after a television house became the target of a bomb attack. The same effect was achieved three weeks back, as mainstream newspaper websites were brought down by unknown hackers.

One of the first people to discover the cyber siege was Nigerians in Diaspora, who rely on online newspapers to follow news and political developments back home. One of the sites affected was the sunnewsonline.com. Virtually all the sites were blank or had one stagnant old page that refused to move an inch no matter how hard you hit at the keys. In desperation, long-distance calls were coming in from the US, Europe, Australia, Asia, and other parts of the world. Everyone wanted to find out what was going on and, in the process triggered a cycle of panic that looked like the aftermath of a coup d’état.

Whodunit
Given the crime history of Nigeria, it was probably only a matter of time before felonies, like advance fee fraud, identity theft and sundry scams, were elevated to cyber terrorism. Though no ransom was reportedly demanded in this maiden attack, the cyber hijackers may well be serving notice that it is now possible to sabotage a multi-million-dollar operation or hold hostage an entire organisation without wielding an AK-47. In such an event, it would be pointless calling in the police, given that hi-tech capabilities are required to even see the footprints of the criminals.
Amy Webb, a digital media consultant whom this reporter met in the US this year, recounts how one of the websites she maintains was taken hostage by hackers.

“My site went down for hours, and I received a ransom note demanding $10, 000 to stop a “denial of service” attack. There are more and more documented cases of attackers attempting to hold websites to ransom, demanding payment in exchange for stopping their onslaught,” Webb said.

The “Denial of Service” attack, also known as DoS, are malicious efforts to keep authorised users of a website or web service from accessing it, or limiting their ability to do so.

Users of LiveJournal and Twitter would never forget August 6, 2009 in a hurry. Suddenly, both websites were completely offline. Users couldn’t access their accounts, and there was seemingly no explanation. It was later learnt that hackers had coordinated something even worse than a DoS attack. It was called a “Distributed Denial of Service” or DDoS attack. In this case, hundreds of thousands or millions of computers are used to cripple a web page, website or web-based service. A common form of DDoS is a massive number of computers being used to send requests to a web site, overwhelming it to the point where it can’t respond to legitimate requests from normal users.

Webb said that was exactly what happened to LiveJournal and Twitter.
The origin of a DDoS attack is extremely difficult to pinpoint, and without knowing who’s behind it, it’s hard to determine the motivation for an attack. However, it’s reasonable to assume that some attacks are politically motivated. For example, during the conflict between Russia and Georgia in August of 2008, there were efforts, on both sides, to bring down the websites of the warring countries. The most recent DDoS attack in August 2009, which brought both Twitter and Facebook down, was actually directed at one person: a Georgian blogger who maintains accounts on Twitter, LiveJournal and Facebook. Political activists were attempting to stop him from communicating, but the attack disabled all three networks for all users worldwide.

Zombie computers
It is estimated that there are about 40 million computers in Nigeria. Without the owners ever suspecting it, each of these computers can be deployed as foot soldiers, even by an attacker in another country, to do the biddings of some evil geniuses. There are several different ways attackers can bring down a site with a DDoS attack. Some prevent legitimate network connections from being completed by keeping the host’s resources busy with bogus requests. Others overwhelm a network with a large number of data packets, consuming the available network bandwidth.

A site can be rendered unavailable even as a result of large numbers of legitimate requests. One example of this is the so-called “Slashdot effect,” wherein a popular site, Slashdot, links to another website, and the massive number of Slashdot users clicking on the link temporarily brings down the other site. While this is not considered a DDoS attack, it has essentially the same result.

Other modes of attack are possible, but increasingly, most DDoS attacks have one thing in common: the rise of botnets. In this context, a botnet is a collection of computers that can be remotely controlled by an attacker, whether directly or via peer-to-peer communication. Typically, this control is accomplished through the use of malware installed on each individual machine. The individual computers are sometimes called “zombies” because they can be controlled remotely without the knowledge of their owners. Such computers are often used to send spam. It’s estimated that the majority of spam originates from compromised zombie machines.

A recent example of a botnet was the collection of computers compromised by the Conficker worm, first detected in 2008. The estimated number of infected computers varied widely, but was as high as 15 million at one point. Such a collection of machines could be used to instigate a DDoS attack. In fact, some hackers even “rent out” botnets, offering them for use by others for a fee per machine.

New kids on the bloc
Cyber attack may well be the new face of Internet crime in Nigeria. As crime morphs from Advance Fee Fraud to credit card fraud, armed robbery to kidnapping, cyber attack could turn out to be a new-found honeypot. Since the late nineties, one of the more popular cyber attacks is to threaten a large bank. The criminals, labelling themselves terrorists, hack into the system and then leave an encrypted threat message for senior directors. In essence, the message says that if they do not pay a set amount of money, then the terrorists will use anything from logic bombs to electromagnetic pulses and high-emission radio frequency guns to destroy the banks’ files. What adds to the difficulty to catch the criminals is that they may be in another country. A second difficulty is that most banks would rather pay the money than have the public know how vulnerable they are.

In 1997, a cyber crime group known as the Chaos Computer Club created what was known as an Active X Control for the Internet that can trick the Quicken accounting programme into removing money from a user’s bank account. This could easily be used to steal money from users all over the world that have the Quicken software installed on their computer.

The American experience is clearly captured by Kevin Coleman, a Cyber Warfare analyst, who says that Cyber attacks on businesses have risen in frequency and sophistication and that the monetary damages that accompany these incidents are rising as well.

“America’s corporations are under constant attack from cyber criminals, terrorists and rogue nation states. The devastating consequences of a cyber attack on our business community have now risen to a level where it must be considered a threat to our nation’s security.”

Seyi Oguntuase, a Security Management expert, told Saturday Sun that Cyber terrorism are acts of deliberate, large-scale disruption of computer networks, especially of personal computers, attached to the Internet for the primary purpose of creating alarm and panic.

“Believe it or not, we are living in the virtual world. The possibilities in today’s world are so frightening it is difficult to tell what a reality is and what exists in the realm of the imagination. As the Internet becomes more pervasive, in all areas of human endeavour, individuals or groups can use the anonymity afforded by cyberspace to threaten other people. Their confidence is boosted by the fact that there is no inherent threat of capture, injury, or death to the attacker; unlike other crimes that require the physical presence of the criminals at the scene.”
Indeed, the confidence of cyber criminals can only be rivalled by their evil ingenuity. The culprit behind a DDoS attack against popular websites, including CNN, eBay, and Amazon in February 2000 turned out to be a Canadian high school student with no clear reason for launching the attack, other than that he could do it.
Webb says that while personal websites and blogs are not generally targeted for DDoS attacks, every organisation with a website or web service critical to its operation should be aware of these attacks and be prepared for the possibility of being targeted.

“Quite obviously, having your site or service rendered inaccessible for even an hour can result in lost revenue.”

National security
Oguntuase warns that the attacks on media websites in Nigeria should be viewed more seriously not even by the media community but by the managers of the country’s national security.

He said: “The media in Nigeria have had to contend with all manner of state terror, like proscriptions, shutdowns, killings of journalists, especially in the long years of military dictatorship. However, the vulnerability of the state is manifest in activities like the Niger Delta militancy, kidnapping for ransom and pipeline vandalism. Like the media, government operations are becoming more computerised; so both maybe facing a common enemy. I say this with all sense of responsibility because, even though Nigeria has not attained the level of IT sophistication found in the West, we have a mainstay, oil, whose operation is comparable to what is obtainable in other parts of the world. While it remains a conspiracy theory, it has been said that the recent BP oil spill in the US, was as a result of sabotage by cyber terrorists that succeeded in compromising BP’s computer network.”

One example of cyber terrorism that threatened national security was when terrorists in Romania gained access to the computers controlling the life support systems at an Antarctic research station, endangering the 58 scientists involved. However, the culprits were stopped before damage actually occurred.

In May 2007, Estonia was subjected to a mass cyber-attack in the wake of the removal of a Russian World War II memorial from downtown Tallinn. The attack was a distributed denial-of-service onslaught in which selected sites were bombarded with traffic in order to force them offline. Nearly all Estonian government ministry networks as well as two major Estonian bank networks were knocked offline; in addition, the political party website of Estonia’s Prime Minister Andrus Ansip featured a counterfeit letter of apology from the Prime Minister for removing the memorial statue. Despite speculation that the attack had been coordinated by the Russian government, Estonia’s defence minister admitted he had no conclusive evidence linking cyber attacks to Russian authorities. Russia called accusations of its involvement “unfounded.”

Similarly, the website of Air Botswana, was defaced by a group calling themselves the “Pakistan Cyber Army,” just as a disgruntled employee caused the release of untreated sewage into water in Maroochy Shire, Australia.
In response to heightened awareness of the potential for cyber-terrorism, the then US President, Bill Clinton, in 1996, created the Commission of Critical Infrastructure Protection. The board found that the combination of electricity, communications and computers were necessary to the survival of the U.S; all of which could be threatened by cyber-warfare. The resources to launch a cyber attack are commonplace in the world; a computer and a connection to the Internet are all that is really needed to wreak havoc.

On November 2, 2006, the Secretary of the US Air Force announced the creation of the Air Force’s newest MAJCOM, the Air Force Cyber Command, which would be tasked to monitor and defend American interest in cyberspace. The plan was, however, replaced by the creation of Twenty-Fourth Air Force, which became active in August 2009 and would be a component of the planned United States Cyber Command.

On December 22, 2009, the White House named its head of Cyber Security as Howard Schmidt. He will coordinate U.S Government, military and intelligence efforts to repel hackers.

Daily Sun


CANDIDACY FOR THE PDP PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT ,DR. GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR,

SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, DR. GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR, ON THE OCCASION OF THE DECLARATION OF HIS CANDIDACY FOR THE PDP PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES, TODAY 18TH SEPTEMBER, 2010.


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PROTOCOL

 

 

Forty months ago my predecessor in office and I embarked on a joint ticket in the governance of our great country, Nigeria.  Sadly, he passed away on the 5th of May 2010.

 

MAY HIS GENTLE SOUL REST IN PERFECT PEACE, AMEN.

 

With the death of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, the mantle of leadership of our great nation fell on me.  However, the days leading to my presidency were very trying times for our nation. We confronted those moments and their challenges to national security with patriotism and care.  I appreciate the role played by the National Assembly, Governors, Civil Society groups,  the mass media,  and other patriotic Nigerians. 

 

The late President Yar'Adua and I shared great dreams for our country.  We toiled together to realize those dreams in order to justify the confidence Nigerians reposed in us.  Together we swore to execute a joint mandate and today I come before you to make a pronouncement based on that undertaking.

 

 The past four months that I have served as President of Nigeria have opened my eyes to the vast potentials of this office as a potent instrument for the transformation of our country.  I discovered that by sheer willpower,  I could end the long queues and price fluctuations in our petrol stations.  Today, all our refineries are working,  saving us huge amounts of funds spent on importation of petroleum products. 

 

I discovered that by insisting that the right things be done,  we could begin a turnaround in our power sector by involving the private sector in power generation and distribution.  As you can see from the lower quantities of diesel that you are buying today,  power generation has significantly improved.

 

I have put in place new gas policies and very soon,  we will be saying goodbye to gas flaring in our oil fields.  Working with the National Assembly,  we rolled out a law that requires companies operating in the oil and gas sectors of our economy to utilize an appreciable percentage of their goods and services from local sources.  We saw to it that normalcy began to return to the Niger Delta by ensuring government's fidelity to its promises,  and this has helped to stabilize our national revenue. 

 

In the last few months,  I embarked on monumental projects in our road infrastructure to end the carnage on our federal highways.  I began several projects to make our water resources available for drinking and farming.  I targeted our educational system to return quality and competitiveness to them. I re-addressed our drive for self sufficiency in food production. I have taken bold steps to confront our security situation. In this regard,  we are pursuing the revision of our laws to be more responsive to international conventions and more punitive to criminals. 

 

I set the stage for free and fair elections by constituting an electoral commission comprising of Nigerians with impeccable credentials for firmness and incorruptibility.  I charged our anti corruption agencies to speed up the war against corruption,  and respect no sacred cows in the process.  In the management of the economy,  I advocated a more transparent banking industry, price stability,  low inflation,  and aggregate increase in productivity as a way to drive us to a more prosperous economy.  In International Relations,  I advanced the respectability accorded our country by effective engagement in global fora.

 

From the moment I was sworn in as President,  I came under intense pressure to make a declaration concerning my political future,  but declined to do so because it would have immediately distracted us from all the development initiatives we have accomplished so far. 

 

As President and leader of this government,  I decided not to place partisan politics above the immediate needs and priorities of our people.  I therefore told Nigerians to give me time to concentrate on my work, and that at the appropriate time,  I would make a public statement on my political future after widespread consultations. 

Those consultations have now been concluded. The Independent National Electoral Commission  has recently announced a time table for the 2011 general elections in the country.  My party, the Peoples Democratic Party,  has also published a timetable for its primaries. 

 

In the circumstances and after a thorough self examination and prayers with my family,  I,  Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan have decided to humbly offer myself as a candidate in the Presidential Primaries of our great party,  the Peoples Democratic Party,  in order to stand for the 2011 Presidential elections.   I pledge once again to all the people of this nation that they will have a free and fair election, even as I stand to be a candidate. In this race,  I have the honour to have as my running mate,  Architect Namadi Sambo, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Our country is at the threshold of a new era;  an era that beckons for a new kind of leadership;  a leadership that is uncontaminated by the prejudices of the past;  a leadership committed to change;  a leadership that reinvents government,  to solve the everyday problems that confront the average Nigerian.

 

I was not born rich,  and in my youth,  I never imagined that I would be where I am today,  but not once did I ever give up.  Not once did I imagine that a child from Otuoke,  a small village in the Niger Delta, will one day rise to the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I was raised by my mother and father with just enough money to meet our daily needs. 

 

In my early days in school,  I had no shoes,  no school bags.  I carried my books in my hands but never despaired;  no car to take me to school but I never despaired.  There were days I had only one meal but I never despaired.  I walked miles and crossed rivers to school every day but I never despaired.  Didn't have power,  didn't have generators,  studied with lanterns but I never despaired. 

In spite of these,  I finished secondary school,  attended the University of Port Harcourt,  and now hold a doctorate degree.

 

Fellow Nigerians,  if I could make it,  you too can make it!

 

My story is the story of a young Nigerian whose access to education opened up vast opportunities that enabled me to attain my present position.  As I travel up and down our country,  I see a nation blessed by God with rich agricultural and mineral resources and an enterprising people.  I see millions of Nigerians whose potentials for greatness are constrained by the lack of basic infrastructure. 

I see Nigerians who can make a difference in the service of their country but are disadvantaged by the lack of opportunities.

 

My story symbolizes my dream for Nigeria. The dream that any Nigerian child from Kaura- Namoda to Duke town; from Potiskum to Nsukka, from Isale-Eko to Gboko will be able to realize his God-given potentials,  unhindered by tribe or religion and unrestricted by improvised political inhibitions. My story holds out the promise of a new Nigeria.  A Nigeria built on the virtues of love and respect for one another,  on unity,  on industry,  on hardwork and on good governance.

 

My fellow Nigerians, this is what has brought me to Eagle Square today.  I have come to say to all of you,  that Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan is the man you need to put Nigeria right.  I have come to launch a campaign of ideas, not one of calumny.  I have come to preach love, not hate. I have come to break you away from divisive tendencies of the past which have slowed our drive to true nationhood. I have no enemies to fight.  You are all my friends and we share a common destiny.

 

Let the word go out from this Eagle Square that Jonathan as President in 2011 will herald a new era of transformation of our country;  an era that will end the agony of power shortage in our country. Let the word go out from here that I will be for the students, teachers and parents of Nigeria,  a President who will advance quality and competitive education. Let everyone in this country hear that I shall strive to the best of my ability to attain self sufficiency in food production.

 

Let the word go out that my plans for a Sovereign Wealth Fund with an initial capital of $1billion will begin the journey for an economic restoration. This restoration will provide new job opportunities and alleviate poverty. Let the word go out that our health sector will receive maximum priority in a new Jonathan administration, a priority that will ensure maximum health care and stop our brain drain.

 

Let all the kidnappers,  criminal elements,  and miscreants that give us a bad name be ready for the fight that I shall give them. Let the ordinary Nigerian be assured that President Jonathan will have zero tolerance for corruption. Let the international community hear that today I have offered myself to lead a country that will engage them in mutual respect and cooperation for the achievement of international peace and understanding.

 

To help me in these tasks effectively,  I will re-train,  revamp,  and motivate the civil service.

 

My dear good people of Nigeria,  I got here today by the power of God and the support of all Nigerians;  all ethnic groups, North,  South,  East and West.   I am here today because of your support and prayers.  I want all of you to know that I am one of you and I will never let you down! I want you to know that I will keep hope alive;  I want you to know that your time has come.

 

I stand before you today,  humbly seeking your support for me,  Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan,  to run for the office of the President of Nigeria with Architect Namadi Sambo as my running mate.

 

We will fight for JUSTICE!

We will fight for all Nigerians to have access to POWER!

We will fight for qualitative and competitive EDUCATION!

We will fight for HEALTH CARE REFORMS!

We will fight to create jobs, for all Nigerians!

We will fight corruption!

We will fight to protect all Citizens!

We will fight for your rights!

 

My dear country men and women, give me your support, give me your votes and together we will fight to build a great nation of our dreams!

 

I cannot end this speech without thanking you all for attending this occasion.  Your huge attendance is a loud testimony of your support for us. For this I am very grateful. I pray that the Almighty God abides with you and sees you safely back to your respective destinations.

 

When you return, tell all those at home that as we celebrate our fifty years anniversary as a nation, Goodluck has come to transform Nigeria and I will never let you down.

 

Thank You.

 

May God Bless you all!

And may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!

 

 

 

 

-         GOODLUCK EBELE AZIKIWE JONATHAN, GCFR.

 


THERESA NKIRI SALAMI PASSES ON IN ATLANTA

The death has been announced of Mrs. Theresa Nkiri Salami nee Ayomoh of Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

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            Mrs. Salami, who was visiting her children in the United States, fell ill and was hospitalised but died rather suddenly about two weeks before her 71st birthday towards the end of August 2010.

            Born to George and Victoria Ayomoh of Blessed Memory, at  Kano where she lived at Niger Road, in Sabon Gari in the former geographic Northern Nigeria (now Kano State), she attended the Ibo Union School, Sabon Gari, Kano and Teachers’ Training College,Ubiaja, Edo State and the University of Wales, Cardiff, Gwent, Wales in the United Kingdom.

            Beginning with the Catholic Modern School in Abavo in the Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State where she first taught; she also taught at Charles Burr Primary School, Agbor, Ika South, (Delta State) before moving to Emotan Private School, Benin City, Capital of Edo State.

             She became Headmistress at Ebenezer Primary School, also in Benin City before transferring to St. Maria Goretti Girls Secondary School, also in Benin City as Tutor.

               Following the creation of Delta State, she was Principal of Ime-Obi Secondary School, Agbor, Ika South, Delta State, until she retired.

               A foremost educationist, Mrs. Salami was a Member of the Governing Council of the Delta State University in Abraka.

                Married to the late Dr. Anthony Salami, retired Permanent Secretary in the former Bendel State of Nigeria, Mrs. Salami, who was a devout Catholic, is survived by seven children, Peter,Thomas, Anthonia, Uche, Solomon, Koko and Judith and seven grandchildren, including Six-year old Melekwe Ebite who she did not see.

                 Other mourners  include her Octogenarian Aunt, Kwamu Ogbomoh, brothers, Eric, Godwin and Gabriel and sisters, Josephine Ndobu, Eunice Ideh, Felicia Iweka, Esther Ohumagho, cousins, nephews, nieces, In-laws and numerous young relatives.

                 Burial arrangements would be announced by the family.

          By:       Philip Ideh

                  Email: mideh.ideh.matthias@gmail.com


 

 


Can u tell me how to get to sesame square

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After 40 years in production, the popular children's' show sesame street, has been re gigged in Nigeria with  local content flavor. 

In  Sesame Square there's now  Zobi, a yam-eating taxi driver, and Kami, a talkative five-year-old living with HIV.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. President Barack Obama's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Nigerian take on the hit series remains true to its educational roots.

Read more here 




All witches and wizards in Abuja , beware! Helen Ukpabio & Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries are here to sort you out.

Ukpabio

Helen Ukpabio  and her crew  at Liberty foundation gospel ministries are scheduled to be in Abuja this week, catching wizards & witches  especially the ones in smaller children.

For anyone not familiar with the issues , CNN recently ran a report on Children abused and killed as witches in Nigeria

Very swiftly, one of our more pro-active governors, Gov. Godswill Akpabio  the governor of one of the states where some of the abuses were purported to have taken place responded by saying the story had been exaggerated.

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But the truth be known, this is very unjust and a lot of innocent children are affected by what people like Helen and Liberty foundation ministry are doing.

If Helen is serious, there are many other places to chase out demons in Abuja, and believe me Nigeria will save million$ of petrol dollars from that exercise.

Stop spoiling our Nigeria @ 50 re brand exercise...

Everything possible should be done to monitor and stop the activities of these so called witch hunters.

Lunatics exist everywhere, ever hear the one about the pastor with  a congregation of 50 ( including staff )

somewhere in Florida USA?

Thanks to Leo Igwe from www.culturekitchen.com for the heads up on that story


AbujaCity.com, things that make you go hmmm !

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Farmers market ? and recharge cards, and bottled water and cigarettes and coca cola  and no fruit

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London Black Cab 2010 environmentally friendly operating on biofuel

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Abuja Black cab 2010, Innovative idea by a visionary leader, a few years later broken seats, broken meter, cracked windscreen looking like a death trap due to Naija factor and a lack of maintenance culture.

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Mass Transit


Maitama Amusement park Abuja

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When it comes to keeping the kids entertained in Abuja, the options still remain limited, although you get more places springing up on a daily basis, you get that feeling there is just not enough.

Maitama  amusement park provides a quick get away for people living in that area.

With a selection of restaurants, swings, merry go rounds , slides and even bumper boats, depending on the age s of your kids, there is stuff to do here .

In saying that , a little upgrade wont be misplaced...

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OBI EFEIZOMOR VISITS LONDON

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A recent Visitor to London during this summer (holiday Season in the United Kingdom) was the Obi of Owa Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Dr, Emmanuel Efeizomor11, JP, and OON.

On a quiet Sunday afternoon in his Streatham Hill, Southwest London residence, the Reverend John Ohen of the Anglican Communion, called me on the phone and invited me to meet the Obi who had been invited to the Ohen’s family home.

The dynamic and progressive obi, 72, was relaxed and exchanged pleasantries with other guest on the occasion including Chief Benedict Nwaeke, the Odabameze of Akumazi Umuocha and President of the Ika Union of Great Britain and Ireland and his wife, Olabisi, Engineer Michael Nwokoro, Clement Asimonye of Onitcha Ugbo, Mrs. Val Ohen and her Aunt, Cutie Lawrence, Mrs. Miriam Morka and the Obi’s pretty daughter, Patricia, who is popularly called “Princess”

The Obi who ascended on his throne some 50 years ago gave a succinct history of the dynamics of political strategy in Nigeria and rounded off his talk with a robust hope for the outcome of the 2011 Presidential Elections in Nigeria.

On Saturday, September 4, 2010, the Owa Community in London threw a “meet Our Obi Party” in the Meeting Hall of the Ika Union of Great Britain and Ireland in Vauxhall, Southwest London, under the Chairmanship of Reverend John Ohen.

 Welcoming His Majesty, Emmanuel Isewegwu of Ika who lives in the Lewisham area of London, expressed the community’s gratitude for his visit. Mrs. Juliet Isedeh, (nee Nosieri), traced the history of the Obi’s friendship with the Kingdom of Agbor and disclosed that only very few people knew of the Obi’s strong friendship with her family.

Mrs. Miriam Morka was full of glowing tributes to the Obi whose kindness and magnanimity, she described as beyond compare! Later, she disclosed that the Obi had in fact, carried out his traditional duties by naming three of her grand and great great grandchildren – Nkencho, son of first son, Matthias – and born after the passing away of her husband, Lawrence, Onyekachukwu, born to her elder daughter, Evelyn and husband in Switzerland and Ewere, her great grandson’s child. On the occasion, she said the usual customary items were used – honey, salt, kolanuts and alligator pepper – accompanied by copious prayers and blessings on the offsprings.

In his own speech at the Evening Get-Together, Chief Benedict Nwaeke expressed his gratitude and joy of the members of the Ika Union to the Obi and recalled that a few years ago, the union had made a donation of an ECG Monitoring machine to the Central Hospital at Agbor but regretted that the machine was not put into use as was intended.

In his reply, Obi Efeizemor advised him to raise such issues in future with Elder Sam Fortune Ebie, the President of the Onu Ika Forum; on his own, he gave the assurance that he would mention the matter to Elder Fortune Ebie. The Obi called upon the members of the Union to pray for our politicians in Delta State which was created 19 years ago. He called for unity among the Ika people, the people of Delta and Nigerians as a whole and to pray that the people of the state in particular and Nigeria in general, to have good leaders in the wake of the Elections in 2010. He thanked those who had organised the get-Together and exhorted them not to be tired of helping those they had left at home in Nigeria.

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When the Obi got up to leave for his hotel, there was a tremendous rush to where he was standing as most people in the hall had rushed to appear in a video shoot of the Obi, being recorded by the bright young daughters of the members of those present.

by Philip Ideh (Snr)

Email: mideh.ideh.matthias@gmail.com