Friday, December 2, 2011

Pat Chukwubike wears the Cap


Hello all,


On Thursday, December 1, 2011, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), marked its 25th anniversary. One of our own, Patrick Chukwubike was honored for his DEDICATED and MERITORIOUS SERVICE. I was there and so was a cross section of Ndi Nenwei. Needless to add that Ego Pat was there naturally. The event was a good way to start the Christmas celebrations.


In this era of Awards in Nigeria, you are free to address Pat as Mr. Patrick Chukwubike, dms.  It will compete with some of the GCON awards I hear Mr. President is throwing around.


Please join NDE to celebrate one of our own, he who the Cap fits.


Cyril

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6 of 6 Photo(s)
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

BOOK: Glossary of Nenwe Names


Name of Book: Glossary of Nenwe Names (including an appendage of the meanings of the General Igbo names)
Author: Silas Nwanya
[Foreword by Prof MO Maduagwu]
Pages: 165
Date of Publication: 2011
Preview by: Cyril Oleh
A new book on Nenwe is set to hit the book shelves and libraries. Titled, Glossary of Nenwe Names, the book is a new study in the origin and philosophy of common names in Nenwe. As the cliché goes, what is in a name? The author, Silas Nwanya from Uhueze Nenwe through detailed research and documentations, tries to show that for the Nenwe man, there is so much in a name. Indeed, he shows that by name, it is easy to identify the part of Nenwe a man or woman comes from. However, this identification by name can sometimes be a source of confusion for friends of Nenwe. The author’s encounter in 2002 with Monsignor Tim Buckley, an Irish priest who served many years in Enugu and lived in Awgu from where he evangelised in Nenwe, points to this possibility.
According to the author, he was inspired to write the book after introducing himself to Rev Fr Buckley who then was a Catholic Priest in Emene, a suburb of Enugu. Fr Buckley had insisted that because the author is Silas Nwanya, he must have come from Amoji village in Nenwe. This is a confusion which understandably arose in the mind of the Irish priest from his earlier association with the Nwinya family of Amoji Nenwe. If a priest from the republic of Ireland could try to associate a name with a particular village in Nenwe; it speaks volumes that there is something in a name after all.
Mr. Nwanya compiles names that are common in Nenwe, gives a contextual meaning of each name and explains the philosophy behind such a name. A few illustrations will suffice. On page 111, he explains that “Olovo” for instance is a name meaning “Compound”. He says that such names are given to the first male child by his maternal father who is happy that his daughter having been married out has established another Olovo elsewhere. Similarly he explains that Ogbodo is a name given to a male child who comes after so many females have been born into the family and their mother faces eviction for not bringing forth male children. Even though it sounds like an Efik name, Ogbodo is a short name for Ogbodo Ogori Nwayi L’ibe di ye (He who has prevented the sack of a wife from her husband’s house, page 99).
The author painstakingly differentiates real names from pet names often given to wives by their husbands at marriage. This is one more example to justify the argument that the Nenwe man is a good husband, any time, any day. Take a look at these names: Oyiridiye, Ogodiye, Nwannediye, Ihudiye, Ocholehudiye, etc. Who says there is nothing in a name?.
There is also a section on names that suggest the Nenwe man’s attachment to his deities, Nwenya – born after consulting the Agbara nwenyanwu,(pg 84), Nwagbara – born after consulting the Agbara deity (pg 77), Nwogidi – born after consulting the Ogidi deity (pg 89). Also the circumstance of a child’s birth determines the name given to that child. Nwidu – born in the bush (pg 86) and nwamoo – child of the spirit or hope (pg 80) to mention only two.
In his foreword, Professor MO Maduagwu, Senior Fellow, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Jos Nigeria explains that it is erroneous for people to mistaken their foreign names as their baptismal names. He further explains that there is “something unique about the traditional Nenwe names” which is why special events accompany naming ceremonies in Nenwe. Maduagwu adds, “In those days unlike modern times, Nenwe people name their children after their ancestors. This is based on the belief in reincarnation”. But even then, the Nenwe man believed in a Supreme Being, hence names like Ikechukwu, Chukwubike, Anayochukwu, Chibueze abound in the town.  
This book divided into three major sections including, Nenwe Names and their meanings, Interview section in which some elders from the four villages in Nenwe – Uhueze, Emudo, Amoji and Agbada - were consulted to explain the philosophy behind these names. There is also a pictorial on Leaders of Nenwe and Custodians of Nenwe Cultural Heritage. The book concludes with an appendage on general meanings of some Igbo names.
Glossary of Nenwe Names is a wake up call to our elite who feel shy to give their children native names but prefer to adulterate Igbo names to maintain a perceived social status in the society. Names like Chukwubike are corrupted as Chuks or worst still Chuck, Amaobichukwu – Maobi  and Azubike - Zubby. Not only do these names lose their original meanings but those who bear them in these corrupt forms become unfortunate citizens of two conflicting worlds. Although the book is unconventionally not divided into Chapters, it makes for easy reading because the names are arranged alphabetically.
The book is a priceless addition to the growing literature on Nenwe town by Nenwe people which was heralded by MB Chukwubike’s The History of Nenwe Town (1984). I recommend Glossary of Nenwe Names to every Nenwe person who desires to understand fully who we are and why we are who we are. Friends of Nenwe will also find the book a useful addition to their library. Glossary of Nenwe Names is an answer to that question, “What Is in a Name?”. 

(mail  from Chief C. Oleh)    

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Presidential poll null and void – Onovo, AA candidate

Presidential poll null and void – Onovo, AA candidate

From AKIN ALOFETEKUN, Minna
Saturday, April 30, 2011

• Onovo
Photo: Sun News Publishing

Even though the April 16 Presidential Election result, as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission) INEC was described as no victor no vanquished by President Goodluck Jonathan, who was declared winner, the Action Alliance (AA) is having a different opinion following its feeling of exclusion in the exercise.

According to its presidential candidate, Engr. Martin Onovo, the fact that INEC unilaterally excluded not only his name from the presidential election, but also all candidates of the party in all elective positions across the country, impinged on the credibility of the exercise.

In this interview, Onovo expresses his party’s grievances over its exclusion by INEC.

What is your assessment of INEC performance in the elections?
INEC performance is completely unacceptable because it was marred by several deviations and inadequacies. The most important and fundamental deviation is the lawlessness of INEC, which deliberately, mischievously and corruptly violated the laws govern elections in Nigeria particularly the electoral act.

What are you saying? How did INEC violate the laws that govern elections?
The first thing is that we have to know what the Electoral Act says. The electoral Act says INEC has no authority to exclude candidates nominated by political party. Prof. Attahiru Jega, the INEC chairman had, in one of his press conferences before the election, reiterated the same, saying that unless there was a court order restraining any candidate, INEC cannot reject candidate of any political party. Now, there is no court order against the candidates of Action Alliance, but INEC went ahead and excluded all Action Alliance candidates for all positions across the country from the National Assembly elections to that of the Presidency. INEC excluded all Action Alliance candidates in the elections with no exception. Also, INEC violated the laws of election finance limit by permitting the incumbent to fund electioneering or campaign with questionable funds, which was well beyond the limit set by law. This is a fundamental requirement for free, fair and credible elections. In addition to that, our party Action Alliance, went to court, in its normal compliance with the rule of law and got a court order, which directed INEC to list its candidates to participate in the National Assembly election, but INEC violated that order and refused to list the party’s candidates.

We have another case in court against INEC, and while the case was pending, INEC went ahead and conducted elections, which also excluded candidates of Action Alliance. INEC has, therefore, violated very fundamental and significant laws for free, fair and credible elections, and has continued to maintain itself as lawless having conducted a charade, which it’s pretending to be an election and that charade is morally and legally null and void. With the unlawful exclusion of all Action Alliance candidates in the entire country, the obvious bias of INEC, which was documented by the conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) in a protest letter signed by Willy Ezeugwe, the gross violation of the Electoral Act particularly on election finance limit, violation of court orders, wild spread rigging by falsification of results, fraudulent, corrupt and unlawful proxy voting, abuse of the military and the law enforcement agents and collation fraud made the entire exercise unlawful and illegal to be acceptable.

President Goodluck Jonathan and INEC chairman, prior to the election, pledged to ensure free, fair and credible polls. In your opinion, did they redeem that pledge ?
The first fundamental requirement for free, fair and credible elections, as I said before, is compliance with the law. The law is the basis of the human socio-political elections. The law is the fundamental basis and if the foundation is destroyed, what can the righteous do? No person, in his right senses, can describe the elections as free, fair and credible. In the presidential election, for example, the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP) had a court order against it and its candidate withdrew, but it was listed in the ballot paper, even though its candidate withdrew. But Action Alliance that has no court order against it was not listed in the ballot paper, and this is how Nigeria has continued to dysfunction in a very incomprehensible manner and we cannot continue to tolerate this. The promise of the president and that of the INEC chairman are obviously established as false promises. The election, therefore, is not acceptable because it is null and void in law and in morality.

Are there other ways you believe Prof Jega and INEC got it wrong?
The whole process was wrong, from the inception of voters registration exercise and starting with the use of old same staff that Prof. Maurice Iwu, immediate past INEC chairman and Jega, who was a consultant in 2007, used. The same old staff that were used in 2007 by the old INEC, which Prof. Jega was, however, part and parcel of are also being used in the current elections without anyone being redeployed or reassigned. These were the same people who committed treasonable offence against this country in what they called 2007 elections, which the major beneficiary the late President Umar Yar’Adua described as fraud. This same people were allowed to participate in the preparation and conduct of the 2011 elections.

So from the very beginning and from the deceit of direct capture machines, which INEC claimed would stop people from multiple registration but which had no capacity to do that, even though it was restated by Prof Jega himself to the Senate but it was a misleading position and claim which would have made him resign if it were in other countries. But he did not resign; rather he went ahead and committed many more fundamental and unacceptable atrocities from the point of view of the law, such as ignoring completely the law about election finance limit because it favoured the incumbent president, who has access to state resources. INEC also completely ignored the law about exclusion and he went ahead deliberately to pre-rig the election by excluding the candidates of Action Alliance. But if we had gone behind or had struck a deal with the incumbent, I am pretty sure that the Action Alliance would have been included in the ballot. The CNPP wrote a formal protest letter signed by Willy Ezeugwu about INEC bias and it not being clearly independent. How can you, therefore, have free, fair and credible election when the umpire is not independent? How can, for example, Rangers International Football Club play against Rancha Bees when a Rangers fan is the referee? So the whole election was fundamentally flawed from the very beginning.

Why would INEC remove the name of your party?
Well, I would have asked you to go to INEC to find out, but I will tell you what I know, which is that our national chairman Senator Suleman Salawu, went with all our nominations on January 31, 2011 by 2pm to INEC office for submission and obtain clearance. INEC received the nominations on that day but failed to issue clearance, stating, later in the day, that we were late. How could we have been late at 2pm on January 31? As the matter was believed to have been settled, INEC published in several newspapers that 11 political parties, including Action Alliance, had been admitted. In Saturday Sun Newspaper of February 5th 2011 with the caption: 8 parties shut out of April polls. In that report, INEC clearly stated that 11parties had been admitted and those 11 parties included Action Alliance. So INEC has been inconsistent with its own stories.

The same INEC subsequently claimed that there are factions in our party. None of these allegations of INEC, to say the fact, is true, even as INEC itself has not be able to substantiate or prove any beyond reasonable doubt. The most annoying part of the whole thing is that INEC corruptly sponsored a Phantom faction of known members of PDP. If you go to INEC website, including the updated one, you will find out that it clearly lists Senator Suleman Salawu as the national chairman of Action Alliance (AA), who was the very person that went with all our nominations for all positions numbering about 89, including that of the presidential candidate, which is myself and that of several governorship, senatorial and other national and state Houses of Assembly candidates to INEC office for submission.

The so-called INEC has inconsistently and corruptly continued to change its own stories from alleging that we were late to saying that there are factions in our party and by sponsoring known members of the ruling party to claim that they are faction of our party. None of these groups that claim to be factions of our party has neither secretariat, office or candidates.

INEC deliberately decided to exclude every credible candidate from the election, even as some of the so-called opposition are spurious parties sponsored by the ruling party that are used to legitimise fraud. Immediately after the election, they would shout it was free and fair and that they have conceded defeat, which is what they are sponsored for. If Action Alliance had agreed to play such role, we wouldn’t have been excluded.

What measures have the leadership of Action Alliance taken to make INEC realise its disapproval of such exclusion?
The leadership of the party has taken many steps. The first was that on February 2, 2011, we wrote a formal protest letter to INEC chairman complaining about the attempt to exclude all our candidates in the election. This letter, which we have the acknowledgment copy has not been replied till date. Again, we had had several meetings with INEC leadership, three of which I participated in these meetings, we had agreed with INEC leadership that our nominations would be accepted with clearance issued, which, however, INEC never redeemed. Again on February 18, we filed a suit against INEC and as the National Assembly elections were approaching; we went to court again and got an order directing INEC to list our candidates and allow them to participate in the National Assembly elections but INEC violated this court order. Is that not lawlessness? Every society is built on laws, except in a jungle where there is no law and where might is right. There can be no free, fair and credible elections outside the law. The definition of free and fair is as established in law. So once the laws are violating, you are outside the boundaries of free and fair election. Therefore, what INEC has organized is not an election but an unlawful charade, a treasonable waste of public resources that amount to economic sabotage and treasonable felony. That is what INEC has done and it is completely unacceptable.

What is the possibility of justice prevailing in this case?
Justice will prevail. I can tell you this. Slavery was defeated; colonialism was defeated; racism was defeated; apartheid was defeated and this’ criminocratic’ system will equally be defeated; you can be sure of that. We are going to pursue justice until we get it.

The involvement of members of the academia in the elections has been commended by a cross-section of Nigerians. In your own view, what impact did their involvement make in the entire electoral process?
Well, to me, their participation did not make any meaning or special impact, only that they are qualified to participate because we do not believe in occupational bias. The people who have qualified to hold those positions, irrespective of occupation, can hold them and act according to the law. It is very clear that INEC as an organization has acted outside the law. The elections were conducted outside the law or unlawfully. Because INEC is lawless, election conducted by it is unacceptable and null and void morally and legally.

How did the 2011 election differ from previous ones held in the country?
During the actual election, security was robust, which is good but it became worse when the military and other security agents were corrupted and became partisan. In Enugu State, for example, a governorship candidate and his supporters were arrested. Also in Edo State, where an opposition party is in government, supporters and agents of the opposition government were equally arrested and the Governor of Edo State never minced word when he accused the military of being partisan. This was how the robust security was corrupted again to become something more dangerous. With the corrupt and partisanship of the military and other law enforcement agents, there professionalism have been lost.

In your opinion, what is the future of Nigeria’s unity considering what is happening in the country today?
Nigeria will remain united, a good country and will function very well, but these corrupt and lawless deviations we have today need to be corrected.

What then is the way forward for Nigeria?
The way forward for Nigeria is a political solution that has to be agreed on by the political leadership of the entire country. But a few bold and great patriots have already made some recommendations for consideration. Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Nigeria foremost constitutional lawyer, has concluded that a revolution is the only way forward. This view was corroborated earlier by Dr. Tunji Braithwaite. Prof. Pat Utomi had called for a stop to the current criminocratic system and he has suggested in its place a government of presidential materials, which he called the Gowon Option and I understand this to mean an interim government. But we must get independent minded people of integrity to conduct elections and ensure that those who wasted several billions on this charade called 2011 election are made to pay for treasonable act.

http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/politics/2011/apr/30/politics-30-04-2011-001.htm
news

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Martin Onovo ....the presidential Candidate of Action Alliance

Action Alliance: We Are Not Satisfied With Nigeria’s Dismal Records ––– Onovo


Martin Onovo is the presidential Candidate of Action Alliance (AA) in the April election. He unfolds his campaign programmes in this interview with GBENGA AKINFENWA.

YOUR party has endorsed you as its Presidential flag bearer, but the issue is that many people don’t really know you. How do you hope to convince people to vote you when they don’t know you?
I disagree with you. Every activist knows me; I have been involved in activism since 1987. I am very well established in civil societies. I am the national leader of the Strategic Union of Professionals for the Advancement of Nigeria (SUPAN), we were part of the vanguard against Third Term, and we have also been part of the vanguard against deregulation. We have been in the struggle against the general national dysfunction.
Compared to the major political parties, Action Alliance seems very obscure. What machinery do you have in place to market your candidacy?
You are wrong, you are definitely wrong. Action Alliance is a very formidable purposive party that has presence across the country. Now, we may not have the structure of the major parties that are financed by corruption, the same problem we are trying to stop. How are those structures created? Multi-storey building offices, how are they funded? We must be very careful, especially in the mass media so that we don’t sell wrong values that what is wrong is right. We may not have all the infrastructural gigantic offices but we have people, which is the ultimate strength and advantage. And the people we have are not commercial people; they are not people who receive salaries in politics, which is what is going on. They are not people we have to sew uniforms for, give stipend and provide transportations for. No, because that is the source of livelihood for them and it is do-or-die. We are talking about reasonable hardworking people who are committed to a change, and the message we have is a message of change and you must not undermine the potency of that message; because the driving forces are stronger than what is driving the changes in the Middle East right now and in North Africa.
We are talking of a country where according to the United Nations Human Development Index Report 2010, life expectancy in Nigeria is put at 48.4; we are talking about a country, which exports energy but has the lowest per capita power in Africa. If you are comfortable with that, we in AA are not comfortable with that.

Is Action Alliance holding talks with other opposition party(s), with a view to forming a formidable alliance?
We are a key part of the Mega Party; it did not work. We are running, we are talking to so many parties, many parties are willing to endorse us but we are still waiting. Many parties have already endorsed us because it is very clear for all to see who is prepared. What criteria do you want to use? If you want to use vision, it is very clear that Action Alliance has projected the best vision. It is on the Internet, it is on our Website; it is called the Accelerated Development Agenda. Now, we not only told you what we are going to do, we told you how we are going to do it. There are some hard information that if you only think about it you’ll find out that there is no alternative party right now to Action Alliance and that is the message we want to communicate to our people. You were promised 6,000 Mega-Watts of power since 2004, you did not get it. You were told you’ll have it in 2006, you did not get it, this is 2011, and you have not got it. Why don’t you have a re-evaluation of your position?
You claimed that some political parties have formed alliance with your party. Can you name them?
We would not talk for them, we have talked to so many parties, many of them have endorsed us and they would come to the public soon. Very many parties, why because they agree with us. Let me tell you, there is overwhelming agreement in the opposition for a change. The small disagreements you are seeing are about who would hold the touch, because it is a question of who has the capacity to win. Who can easily be sold and that is what we are interested in, but many parties have endorsed us. Some of the candidates are considering stepping down for us and we are moving on, but the key thing is that the message of change has become inevitable.
You lost the Presidential ticket of the National Conscience Party (NCP) to Dele Momodu, was that the cause of your defection?
Well, I joined the Action Alliance previously; I have moved around parties, oh, that is very clear. But let me tell you what is in a party; it is a platform, it is a vehicle. Of the 63 political parties in Nigeria, over 50 are welfarist, that is the fact. The Nigerian Constitution is welfarist, don’t let anybody deceive you. So, it is just about nametag and it is about people you associate with. I disagree with the NCP leadership and I had to leave because they form the majority in the NCP, not in Nigeria and that is the right thing to do. If you want to know, as at 1999, I was a PDP man, but when I realized that the party was not heading for development, it became unrealistic to remain. In 2007, I ran for the Senate on the platform of the Fresh Democratic Party in Lagos West, that is the fact. I won that election and you know how election is conducted in Nigeria; it is not a secret, all over the world they know how elections are conducted in Nigeria.
So, parties are just platforms. Out of all the welfarist parties, because I believe in welfarism, I can work on any of the platforms; it’s about the people and the programmes.
You claim to be a former member of PDP, what drove you from the party?
(Cuts in) Yes in 1999, and I later moved to Fresh Party
What are the structures and programmes of the PDP that sent you packing?
Well, if you go and read the manifesto of PDP, you’ll know that it is welfarist. It is unfortunate, if wrong people take over the right manifesto, then you have to leave. There is nothing wrong with the manifesto of the PDP; the question is, have they done what they say they would do; why do you like to be deceived; you like PDP? Goodluck to you, but Nigeria does not need goodluck and patience. Nigeria needs integrity and diligence.

You’ve desire revolutionary change in the socio-economic, political and other sectors. What are your plans to transform this nation?
My personal plan is to sacrifice myself for the development of my people and that is the religious definition of love– the one who gives himself for the benefit of the beloved. I am using personal resources, I am using personal contact and I have exhausted myself to the limit, for my people because of love.
Now, for the people of Nigeria that we love, we have proposed the Accelerated Development agenda. I don’t want to go personal; there is a presidential candidate that promised a million houses every year. Go and do the arithmetic. That is a false promise.  But why should the people rejoice at such promise, it shows they are not thinking, so they should blame themselves. That is the reality. If anybody accepts that a presidential candidate can build a million houses in a year, the person is not thinking. The budget is N4.23 trillion; it cannot build a million houses in one year please.
What are your blueprints to tackle power, education, security, unemployment, healthcare and other major needs of the Nigerian masses?
Our Accelerated Development Agenda is prioritized. The programmes we have are prioritized. The first one is anti-corruption, you know why? Because waste and corruption are the sources or channels to losing national revenue and to fund our agenda we need to close those channels, otherwise, we can’t fund anything. Our anti-corruption strategy is called the 4Es– Example, Empowerment, Education and Enforcement, because we think that people need to be convinced that corruption is inappropriate, corruption is unethical, corruption is sinful. The leadership must live by example; Senators that argue against minimum wage cannot over-compensate themselves outside the law; that is bad example.
The third thing is Empowerment, if as a Journalist you are underpaid, you are more likely to compromise. People need to be empowered through education, employment, welfare and orientation. The fourth E is Enforcement; because that’s where everybody runs to. They forget that prevention is better than cure. So you can see that we are mentally superior to our opponents.
On energy, I am an energy expert; my first degree from the University of Ibadan is in Petroleum Engineering, my second degree from University of Houston in Texas is in Petroleum Engineering Economics. So I understand the key subject, I understand the energy side, I understand the economy side, I understand the project side and what I have done for a living for over 20 years now is engineering, project management and project economics. The key constraint we have in power is generation. So far in this country, we have been able to distribute what we generate. We believe that in all the considered sources of power, gas power is the best option for us. That does not mean we are excluding others; but in the hierarchy, gas comes first. Nuclear power we lack the technology, it is internationally expensive, politically speaking. We know what is happening in Iran and elsewhere, nuclear power has large capital cost, it has large project delivery circles and it has very high risk. In Nigeria we have very poor ethics and it is very, very dangerous. Now, most of the power plants in Nigeria are actually gas-powered, because our people are used to gas technology, which is one. Number two; there are basic infrastructures in place, number three it is cheaper.
Gas is super-abundant in Nigeria, go and count the number of flares, there is no candidate that understands this subject, this is my area of professional expertise and this is the core problem of Nigeria. If the $25 billion that the party in power spent since 1999, if we spend half of that we will guarantee you a minimum of more than three times the power we have now. And we are going to target four times the power we have today.
On the petroleum sector, downstream is where the problems are today, a bigger problem. Upstream seems to have less problem, all we have to do is to improve the efficiency of our upstream operations. Downstream, we have scarcity of products, Kerosene is subsidized at N50, you cannot get it to buy at N100; corruption, waste, inefficiency, impunity is responsible for that. There are fundamental dysfunctions in Nigeria, one of which is the downstream petroleum sector. Nigeria is the only member of OPEC that is importing refined products, at an acceptable regime. And it doesn’t make sense for us to import what we produce and we have been in this situation since 1999. You must change the leadership, a leadership that does not know what to do or that does not know how to do, has to be changed especially if that leadership is corrupt. We must change that leadership.
Now in the downstream petroleum sector, cost of domestic production of a litre of petrol is about N38.50k in Nigeria; now what the Action Alliance government wants to do is to sell fuel at N38.50k. Do you know how we are going to do that; we’ll boost domestic production capacity, how are we going to boost domestic production capacity? We’ll repair the refineries, we’ll build new ones, we’ll produce enough, we’ll sell at cost recovery price. So, there would be no subsidy and we’ll sell it at N38.50k. If you think it is political rhetoric, go and check Venezuela, they are selling petrol at equivalent of N 4.50k. It is our fellow OPEC member.
How can a government exploit its own people, a government is supposed to support and not to exploit them. That is what we guarantee you and subsequently, once we achieve that we’ll groom domestic production to the level where we’ll export refined products and there is market in the west coast of Africa.
Let’s look at security, unemployment and education too. What do you have in the offing?
Unemployment is the root cause of insecurity. Our strategy is very simple, we would initiate massive infrastructural projects that would employ very many people; and you know what we are going to achieve by that, not just employing people but also improving infrastructure at the same time. So, we are going to put people to work, we are not going to add people to our pay roll, people who do nothing, no, we are not going to do that. We are going to put them to work; they are going to do productive work. So, that is immediate and short-term approach. Now, we’ll improve power to boost industrial capacity. If you look at the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) report, you’ll see that their problem is power. So if we address it, they would have high capacity utilization, companies going to Ghana would no longer go. You must know that by solving one problem, you’ll solve three, if you don’t understand that, you cannot understand our program because our programs very, verystrategic, which address the fundamental causes of the common problems.
We’ll encourage entrepreneurship, so that people would be self employed, very important. We would improve education and training so that our people would be better skilled and more employable; we would encourage agriculture and allied industries. Agriculture alone can absorb all the unemployed people but we are taking a multi-prone approach because it is an emergency.
We would establish new refineries in order to put people to work and not forget the power plants we plan to build; then we are going to promote values. The two key words of our campaign are integrity and diligence, not goodluck and patience. So, we are going to change from to Integrity and Diligence, that’s the change.
The Accelerated Development Agenda (ADA), what is it all about?
The Accelerated Development Agenda is a prioritized program, which identifies the key national issues. We intend to address it hierarchically, that is the difference. And I told you our first priority is anti-corruption and we are not going to waste our time with the past, it is a distraction. We can allow the cases that are going on to go on, but we would start with ourselves, so that we’ll have the moral authority not to condone corruption. The second one is energy, like I told you; the third one is sound education because that is our future. After education is agriculture because we must be able to feed ourselves, we cannot continue to be a beggaring nation, asking for aid and food and yet claiming to be the giant of Africa. We are the giant of corruption and not the giant of Africa. But we will be the giants of Africa immediately the AA is elected.

What are your expectations of the April general elections?
I do not have high expectation because the indices do not look good, but we have time to remedy any deviations and we cannot give up on our country, that’s a fact. I do not think personally that Jega is in control of the situation; I think he’s overwhelmed. I think Jega must take a second look at the root causes of the challenges that INEC is facing because what happens in Nigeria is that we first go ahead and do the wrong thing and start analyzing after, that is lack of planning. When you plan very well, you’ll see your challenges, you’ll see your issues, you’ll see your risks and you’ll take remedial action; that is how to plan properly. But we don’t go ahead and do the wrong thing, even after the court barred some candidates from contesting, INEC went ahead and accepted them and published their names. There are clearly fifth columnists in INEC, our party has reported some of them in a very patriotic manner and that is why I suspect that Jega does not have real control.

Few weeks ago you raised an alarm that there are plans by some INEC officials to undermine the next election. Have you changed you position on this?
No, because we haven’t seen any remedy yet. Look at the number of cases, the polity is already heated up, why would anybody heat up the polity. And let me tell you, if you want peace you’ll work for justice, you heat up the polity through injustice and through corruption, you don’t heat up the polity by telling the truth, we must get our fundamentals right.

You spoke about the dysfunctional nature of leadership in Nigeria, what antidotes against bad leadership do you bring on board?
Very simple, authority and responsibility go together. If you vote a thief to power what you’ll get is criminality, if you vote a violent man to power what you’ll have is violence, if you vote an academic into power what you’ll have is lectures. Nigeria needs to look at itself, what are those things to deal with? Right now in our opinion, it is time to deal with ethical issues with respect to corruption, and then you deal with power. Those are the two key things, when you deal with power you have taken care of the fundamental basic issues for economic development, but before you deal with power you must deal with corruption.

What are those things the Goodluck Jonathan administration is not doing well that you hope to tackle?
They have promoted corruption; that is the first thing. They have been unable to fix power; they have developed evil policies like deregulation to further strangulate our people by importing at outrageous cost, what we can produce locally and what in the past we had produced locally. They have discouraged agriculture by encouraging corruption and people have seen an easy means of making unearned money and people have abandoned work and have run to chase easy, corrupt money from corrupt political leaders. People have also tried to clean their conscience, that everybody is doing it. You can see a few days ago how the PDP celebrated Chief Olabode George, an ex-convict who was coming from a maximum prison, what a shame if you are not embarrassed, I am.
You claim your party is populist and pro-poor. What are your plans for the masses?
Very simple, if you look at our Accelerated Development Agenda, you are going to see that it is targeted at the ordinary people. Don’t forget that our slogan is ‘let the masses live’, it is not because we hate the rich, it is because we realize that in a democracy the poor people are in the majority and if you take care of the poorer people, then you can take care of more people. If we create power, the poorer people who cannot afford big generators would be given a chance to live. So, we provide things communally, when we reduce the price of petroleum products to about N38.50k, the poor people can afford kerosene and Diesel would.
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