30 November, 2008

Violence in Jos following local elections

Plateau crisis: 1000 mercenaries arrested(Nigerian Tribune)

By Isaac Shobayo, Jos (with agency reports) - 30.11.2008

OVER 1,000 mercenaries imported from neighbouring states to take part in the Jos crisis have been arrested by the Plateau state police command.

A lot of them were allegedly imported from neighbouring states. Sunday Tribune also gathered that as at Saturday, gunshots still rent the air in some part of the Jos North local government as youths continue to mobilise in the guise of protecting their area while burning of places of worship and silent reprisal attack continued.

In Agwan Jarawa, the youths in the area, in the early hours of Saturday, apprehended from people in military uniforms armed with guns and ready to attack the area were discovered to be fake soldiers because of the way they dressed.

Going round Jos on Saturday, Sunday Tribune discovered that car dealers in the state were worst hit. At Zaria road over one hundred exotic cars displayed for sale were burnt by the protesters on Friday.

Death toll also rose to 35 in worst sectarian violence in years. After a night of assault-rifle fire and explosions, 20 bodies with fresh wounds arrived at the city's main mosque for quick burial in keeping with Islamic precepts.

The Plateau State government said on state radio that an around-the-clock curfew had been ordered for the hardest-hit parts of Jos and that government troops had orders to shoot on sight any troublemakers in city streets.

Local ethnic and religious leaders made radio appeals for calm. Security forces dispersed marauding gangs after a previous, dusk-to-dawn curfew expired and the churches, mosques and several homes were destroyed.

The fighting began as clashes between supporters of the region's two main political parties following the first local election in the town of Jos in more than a decade. But the violence expanded along ethnic and religious fault lines, with Hausa Muslim northerners doing battle with members of Christian ethnic groups.

Angry mobs gathered after electoral workers failed to publicly post results in ballot collation centers, prompting many onlookers to assume the vote was the latest in a long line of fraudulent Nigerian elections. Riots flared on Friday morning, as irate youths set up roadblocks across the city.

Jos has a long history of community violence that has made it difficult to organize voting. The latest violence is the worst since the May 2007 inauguration of President Umaru Yar'Adua, who came to power last year in a vote that international observers dismissed as not credible.

Jos riot escalates- The Vanguard
Written by Taye Obateru
Sunday, 30 November 2008
THE violence in Jos, Plateau State capital, continued, yesterday, with reprisal attacks leading to more deaths and loss of property, forcing the state government to extend the curfew in some areas to 24 hours.

This happened as Governor Jonah Jang was said to have been summoned to Abuja by President Umar Yar'Adua on the crisis while an Assistant Inspector-General was reportedly sent to the state to oversee police efforts to combat the crisis.

Many more lives were lost while houses and property were torched as many more had to relocate from areas considered unsafe. Food crisis has also hit many people as markets and shops remained shut, making it impossible for people to buy food and other needs. Sounds of gunshots also continued in many parts of the city for the better part of the day as many of the rioters were said to be well armed.

About 1,500 youths, said to have been brought from neighbouring states of Bauchi and Gombe, were arrested and paraded by security men yesterday afternoon. They claimed they were brought in to join the fight.

Detecting miscreants was becoming difficult as many of them operated in army and police uniforms making them to catch their victims unawares. Two of such who operated in army uniform were caught and allegedly killed in Farin Gada area.

Amidst the crisis, Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASEIC) announced the result of the council elections which saw the ruling Peoples Democratic Party winning the chairmanship of all the 17 local government areas.

Chairman of the commission, Mr. Gabriel Zi, announced the results on Friday night amidst tight security.
Governor Jang who went round some of the affected areas, yesterday morning, directed security men to shoot on sight trouble makers and asked that the curfew in some of the most troubled areas be extended to 24 hours while the curfew in other parts remains from 6.p.m. to 6 a.m.

Director of Press and Public Affairs to the governor, Mr. James Mannok, said, in a statement, that the 24-hour curfew would be observed in Nasarawa, Congo Russia, Rikkos, Bauchi Road and the University of Jos while advising residents to stay indoors for their safety.

However, the release of results of the election amidst the crisis was condemned by the former Information Commissioner in the Dariye administration, Mr. Yakubu Dati, who described it as the height of insensitivity by government.

"Announcing election results which is the initial cause of the crisis while the crisis is still at its height betrays the government's insensitivity and lack of capacity to comprehend the issues. Indeed, Governor Jonah Jang and his retinue of advisers are overwhelmed, We appeal to the Federal Government to intervene decisively to check this needless waste of lives and property", he said.

An unspecified number of corpses were seen being conveyed to the Zaria Road cemetery in a military truck for mass burial while dead bodies along some streets were also being picked up by security men.

Reacting to the crisis, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state, Arch Bishop Ignatius Kaigama expressed shock that churches and clergy men became targets over a purely political matter.

Addressing a press conference, yesterday, he called on the state government to come to the aid of those displaced or injured and to bring to book those behind the crisis.

"We are greatly taken aback by the turn of events in Jos. We thought it was a political issue, but, from all indications, it is not so. We are surprised at the way some of our churches and property were attacked and some of our faithful and clergy killed.

"The attacks were carefully planned and executed. The questions that bog our minds are: Why were churches and clergy attacked and killed? Why were politicians and political party offices not attacked, if it was a political conflict? Why were the business premises and property of innocent civilians destroyed? We strongly feel that it was not political but a pre-meditated act under the guise of elections", CAN said.

ThisDay online

Death Toll in Jos Riot Rises to 350

•Armed men arrested
From Chuks Okocha in Abuja, Ruben Buhari in Kaduna and Seriki Adinoyi in Jos, 11.30.2008

The Plateau State Gover-nment has ordered security operatives comprising men of the Nigerian Army, Air Force, and Mobile Police to 'shoot on sight' anybody fomenting crisis or defying the curfew order imposed on the state capital, Jos. The order was the government's latest response to end the riot in Jos, which death toll, as at yesterday evening, had risen to 350.
Giving the order yesterday morning following fresh killings that started at the Tinna Junction and Mando areas of the city, the state Governor, Da Jonah Jang, said the state government would not sit back and watch thugs wreck more havoc on innocent citizens.
THISDAY also gathered that security operatives yesterday intercepted about 500 men armed with weapons on their way to Jos. THISDAY could not however independently verify the figure.
The arrest was a sign that the warring groups are regrouping.
Jang also said his action was informed by his on-the-spot assessment of the situation, particularly in the affected areas.
He lamented that having gone round the city to ascertain the extent of damage, the loss of lives and property and the gory sights of destruction that trailed the city, he had no alternative than to give the order. The Governor however, appealed for calm saying "government is on top of the situation".
Addressing journalists at the Press Centre in Jos, officials of the Nigerian Red Cross Society said the society had deposited 150 corpses of victims of the riot at the Central Mosque.
However, unconfirmed reports say the death toll had risen beyond the figure given by the Society.
Agence France Press (AFP) reports that 381 bodies were yesterday placed in a mosque in Jos.
The Associated Press (AP) also reported that bodies with fresh wounds arrived at the city's main mosque for quick burial in keeping with Islamic precepts.
Many christians have also lost their lives as what started as post-election violence takes a religious colouration.
Citizens who had fled their homes are taking refuge in National Drug Law Enforc-ement Agency (NDLEA) command, Recos, NDLEA Regional Academy Central Mosque, Macalashi Jumat, ECWA Church, Apata, University of Jos Senior Staff Quarters, and Rukuba Army Barracks.
The Director of Press to the Governor, James Mannok said over 500 rioters have been arrested with weapons and stolen items. He said they are being quizzed by the Police. He said more security personnel have been deployed from neighbouring states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to bring the situation under control.
THISDAY also gathered after going round the city yesterday that the level of damage to lives and properties is enormous. Thousands of new cars at various car-stands, and many houses along Zaria road were razed. Churches and Mosques were also torched in Chobe Junction. Also, corpses were being evacuated from the streets by members of the Red-cross, and the Police. A few corpses still litter the streets in Katako area of the city.
Residents living in hot spots like Bauchi road, Ali Kazaure, Recos, Angwa rogo and Gengere were ordered by the state government to remain indoors 24 hrs, while those in other parts of Jos and Bukuru are to comply with the dusk to dawn curfew.
The fresh outbreak of crisis followed the declaration of election results which gave victory to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the entire 17 local government areas.
Reacting to the crisis, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in a press briefing denied the report that it was its group that started the attack.
The state's CAN chairman, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama said "We were taken aback by the turn of events in Jos. We thought it was political, but from all indications it is not so. We were surprised at the way some of our churches and property were attacked and some of our faithful and Clergy killed. The attacks were carefully planned and executed. The questions that bog our minds are why were churches and Clergy attacked and killed? Why were politicians and political party offices not attacked if it were a political conflict? Why were the business premises and property of innocent civilians destroyed? We strongly feel that it was not political, but pre-meditated act under the guise of elections".
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) als appealled for restraint to all inohabitants of Jos, the Plateau state capital, over the recent crisis that engulfed parts of the city.
Making the appeal in Kaduna, CAN's National General Secretary, Engr. Samuel Salifu who spoke to reporters said the association is deeply worried over the local government crisis which he said has been turned into a religious crisis by certain groups and individuals.
Salifu said: "CAN is sick and tired of these type of repetitive crises that keep happening in Jos, Bauchi, Kano, Maiduguri, Zangon Kataf, Kaduna and host of other places in Nigeria with attendant loss of lives and properties. We are calling on all the people of the state to be calm and also calling on the state government to promptly put a stop to the killings and burning and find a way of addressing future issues before they degenerate into killings."
He also accused government and politicians of always being responsible for most crises in the country by saying that when certain state governments and politicians fail to have their way or want to get cheap popularity, they resort to playing the religious card which most often results into crises.
Also reacting to the fresh crises, some citizens blamed the government, and Plateau Independent Electoral Commi-ssion (PLASIEC) for announcing the results of the election at the height of the crisis. They noted that the commission should have allowed the situation to calm down a little.
Also, a non-governmental organisation, Human Right Writers Association (HURIWA), yesterday blamed the Jos riots, on the failure of security intelligence by all relevant security agencies in the country. The group also canvassed that severe punitive measures be meted out to the masterminds of the violence to serve as effective deterrence while the police commissioner in state and the state Director of the State Security Service (SSS) be sacked for alleged dereliction of duties.
In its own reaction to the crisis, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) faction led by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) has called for the declaration of emergency rule in the state over the raging crisis, while also blaming the incident on Jang who it said was desperate to win the Jos North Local Government election at all cost.
Also, the Action Congress (AC) has called for the cancellation of the Plateau council polls, since the perceived rigging of the elections is the main cause of the violence that has now left over 300 people dead and hundreds wounded or displaced in the Jos North local government area.In an interview with THISDAY in Abuja, the Secretary of ANPP Presidential Council, Engr. Buba Galadima called for the declaration of emergency rule in the state over the continued killing and maiming of people by thugs perceived to be armed by the state government.
According to Buba Galadima, "we feel bad that election ANPP won has been denied it again., It was denied because the national secretariat of the party has been compromised and its members are therefore left without any sense of direction.
"In view of the continued killing, we call on the federal government to declare a state of emmegency in the state before it is too late. Military men should be drafted to the state to dislodge those in uniform allegedly armed by the state government. We equally call for the cancellation of the result of the council election since cancel election was the main issue."
Buba Galadima said that information received by the Buhari Organisation shows that the biggest Motor Company in Jos, named Femma Motors was burned down with over 100 vehicles parked at the garage. Also the auto shop of Ibrahim Saleh Hassan, son of Alhaji Saleh Hassan, former national chairman of the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) was burned down.
The Buhari group also called on government to set up an indepedent Judiciary Enquiry Panel to investigate the cause of the crisis.
Also in a statement issued in Abuja Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, the Action Congress (AC) Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also condemned the government's gross insensitivity in going ahead to release the results of the elections, especially that of the Jos North that precipitated the crisis, even as the smoke was yet to clear from the ruins of the violence.

New Nigerian online

20 feared dead in Plateau LGs poll crisis...curfew imposed

By Bukar Bello, Jos |

TWENTY people were feared dead in yesterday's skirmish in Jos North local government area of Plateau state following disputes over results of council polls. The dead include some believed to be students of the University of Jos. Some accounts put the number of fatalities at above 50. Over 250 people were injured in the clash.

Two serving generals in the Nigerian Army, Major General Nick Agbogun and Brigadier General U.J. Uwurgbe, who were returning from Chief of Army Staff conference, in Yankari, Bauchi state and a government house driver from Bauchi were also shot and in the cross fire by opposing political camps who took over the streets in barely all parts of the city.

Eyewitnesses account, and supporters of the All Nigerian People's Party in Jos North local government area were said to have reacted in anger following speculations that their candidate, whom they said was leading the PDP candidate suddenly lost becausf e he was short-changed.

The results of the elections were still being collated when the crisis broke out due the fear that had already engulfed supporters of the ANPP pushed youths of the party to demand for the release of the result without waiting for the electoral ward PDP supporters were hoping to give them a clear win.

Declaring a curfew from dusk to dawn, yesterday in a state wide broadcast, the state governor, Jonah David Jang said "unfortunately, reports got to me early hours of this morning regarding eruption of violence emanating from Ali Kazaure Street, Jos. I want all to note that this problem is restricted to Jos city only".

Jang said "a few hours after the close of election, a group of thugs took the law into their hands by attacking residents and destroying houses and property in some parts of Jos.

"The security council met to the early hours of this morning and directed the police to respond accordingly.

He said wish to warn that any further disruption of the peace will be met with drastic sanctions. The security details are under instruction to return fire-for-fire from any person or group disrupting the peace".

A tense calm has however returned to the city as at the time of this report. Police patrol vehicles were seen evacuating dead bodies on the street raising more fears that many more victims were yet to be recovered.

Police public relations officer, Bala Kassim confirmed that one police officer was killed. Hundreds of citizens are now taking refuge at the Jos University Hospital, JUTH, where most of the bodies of victims were deposited, even as many residents of the Jos North are now taking refuse at the Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, Rukuba Barracks, in Bassa local government area.

Reacting to the situation, an AC chieftain Yakubu Dati described it as "a failure of governance. He accused the government of a "desperate and callous attempt of the govt to deny the people their rights to choose their leaders is the cause of the crisis, saying its a government that has lost the moral ground to lead. We call on the federal government to intervene promptly to check the breakdown of law and order"

Sympathizing with those that lost their loved ones and properties Dati appealed for calm. He said "the creation of Development areas, District and Chiefdoms in Jos by the previous administration achieved the desired result of sense of belonging and peaceful coexistence. Their dissolution without any option created a negative effect"

The incident took ethnic and religious dimension when the declared winner and loser were perceived as being of Christian and Muslim faiths.

Dear All,

As you can read for yourselves, accounts of the number of casualties are contracdictory and quite uncertain. Whatever the correct figures may be, the situation remains a human tragedy with no end in sight. The fact that all the governor can come up with is to order security forces to shoot on sight anyone disobeying the dusk till dawn curfew means that we'll have more people shot but this time by the security forces. And of course, there will be no guarantee of any sort that the victims will be guilty of violating the law, talk less of planning to kill others. We collectively continue to think that the only way to counter violence is by further and more terrying violence.

All these notwithstanding, a nice weekend to you all.

UC Enwereuzor
Udo diri unu nile!



29 November, 2008

Interesting link


Letal cough syrup

BBC News
'Bad syrup' kills Nigerian babies

Nigeria's food and drug agency says that 25 children aged between three months and four years have died after taking a contaminated teething syrup.
The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control said it had shut down the Lagos-based manufacturer, Barewa Pharmaceuticals.
It said the syrup, called My Pikin, had been tainted with diethylene glycol.
The substance, used in engine coolant and anti-freeze, triggered kidney failure in the children, it said.
The children died at three hospitals in Lagos, Ibadan and Zaria.
At least 10 other children are reported to have been brought to hospital.
The NAFDAC said symptoms among the children who had taken the syrup included diarrhoea, vomiting, fever and convulsions, and that they had not been able to pass urine for several days.
The agency said it had first received reports of possible contamination on 19 November and had begun to confiscate the syrup two days later.
"NAFDAC officers nationwide have been directed to mop up all batches of the offending drug from circulation," the agency's head, Dora Akunyili, was quoted as saying.
She also appealed to mothers to stop using the medicine on their children.

Abortion in Nigeria

Saving Nigerians from risky abortions
By Andrew Walker BBC News website, Abuja
When she discovered she was pregnant, Faith stole a few thousand naira - about $40 - from her mother to pay for a secret abortion.
The 21-year-old wasn't ready to have a baby, she said.
She doesn't have enough money to look after a child as she earns only 300 naira per day, just over $2.5 (£1.30).
"They put iron inside me, it pains a lot," she said in a written answer to questions from the BBC.
"I was vomiting, and felt sad."
The "doctor" was not trained to perform abortions, and may not have been qualified at all.
Faith is fortunate to be alive.
Figures show that 10,000 women die every year in Nigeria from unsafe abortions, carried out by untrained people in unsanitary conditions.
That is 27 deaths every day.
According to the US-based Guttmacher Institute, that is one sixth of the total number of women who die worldwide from such procedures.
Traditional 'doctors'
In Nigeria abortion is illegal unless the life of the woman would be at risk if she were to give birth.
But the Guttmacher Institute estimates that more than 456,000 unsafe abortions are done in Nigeria every year.
Some women go to traditional healers to terminate their pregnancies.
Methods include trying to break the amniotic sack inside the womb with a sharp stick. This causes infection and in extreme cases the tissue inside the body can start to die.
"They're pulling out intestines," says gynaecologist Dr Ejike Oji, of Ipas, an international organisation working to secure reproductive rights for women.
Another method is to pump a toxic mixture of fiercely hot Alligator chilli peppers and chemicals like alum into their bodies.
"The women go into toxic shock and die," Dr Oji said.
Abortion is a taboo subject in Nigeria. The BBC couldn't find any woman who had an abortion willing to speak about it openly.
But 12 women responded to questionnaires about their experiences.
The women were contacted though a doctor who arranges abortions by trained doctors at a medical clinic in the capital Abuja.
"People know I am into women's issues," she says, "so when a woman comes to an organisation looking for help, they send them to me." The doctor did not want to be identified because she feared the authorities would prevent her from providing a service she says saves lives.
All but one of the 12 women are single, and all are below the age of 27. Two are still in secondary school.
All of them earn less than $60 (£30) a week.
Two women said they had abortions before, and two other women said their boyfriends refused to let them use contraception.
Most of them did not tell their partners or their families they were pregnant, and had to borrow money from friends to pay for the abortion.
At the doctor's clinic it costs $169 (£86) for the operation.
In unqualified hands, an abortion could cost as little as $4 (£2).
"It's expensive, but they realise its better than spending 500 naira and then having permanent medical problems or dying," says the doctor.
She gives the women a pill normally used for treating stomach ulcers.
This causes the womb to contract and start bleeding.
The doctor, with the approval of another consultant, can then go ahead and perform the abortion, because they can say it appeared the woman's life was at risk.
"These women are very young," says the doctor.
"They are often not married, sometimes still in school. There are serious social consequences if they were to have the child. They might not be able to afford to raise them."
Married women may seek abortions because they already have more children than they can afford.
Two attempts to change the law were stopped by conservative women's groups.
They say a change in the law would promote promiscuity, and weaken the moral fibre of Nigeria.
"Making more abortions available is not the answer," says Saudata Sani, a female member of the House of Representatives for Kaduna state, in northern Nigeria.
"Women need to be educated about their rights over their body and given opportunities to plan their families, but it must be done in a way that protects public morality."
Other medical specialists say that the law is just a part of the picture.
"Even if it was possible to get a legal abortion, many women would not be able to get a safe one," said Dr Francis Ohanyido, the president of the International Public Health Forum.
"Medical facilities vary widely and it is almost impossible to guarantee quality."
Cultural taboos mean even if there was a clinic in their town, it would be impossible for most women to go there, he said.
Among the 12 women the BBC questioned, five said they believed it would be wrong to make abortion more easily available.
Sharle, a 25-year-old university student, who had an abortion so she could continue her education, said she regretted what she did, saying it was against God's commandments.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/7328830.stmPublished: 2008/04/07 01:37:58 GMT© BBC MMVIII

the experience of an Italian tourist

From blog "Turisti per caso"
This is a very positive description of Lagos and Nigeria made by an italian joung lady.
Her father works in Lagos and she goes to Nigeria every Chritsmas to stay with him ad explore the country.
She has already seen many places and she advices tourists to go and see many different places. She enjoyed particullarly travelling by car from Lagos to Abuja.

Il viaggio di Giada D.
Sono anni che mio padre lavora in Nigeria, tra Lagos ed Abuja (la nuova capitale della Nigeria) e quasi ogni anno passo le mie vacanze natalizie con lui.La Nigeria non è, forse, una meta vacanziera rinomata ma certo fare un viaggio lì significa vedere veramente cos'è l'Africa, senza il turismo di massa e le mete prestabilite. E' un viaggio tutto da da costruire e scoprire.A Lagos è pieno di italiani che lavorano lì da anni che organizzano feste e barbecue sulla spiaggia.Comunque, per darvi alcune informazioni per orientarvi questi sono i posti che meritano di essere visti.Sicuramente, per chi arriva a Lagos senza contatti sarà dura all'inizio. Innanzitutto, all'aeroporto sarete "braccati" da centinai di neri che si proporranno di portarvi valigie ed accompagnarvi ovunque lo vogliate. Sconsiglio di affidarsi ad uno di loro, potrebbe andarvi bene ma anche molto male. Prendete un taxi ufficiale, contrattate il prezzo e fatevi lasciare all'Eko hotel, uno dei migliori hotel di Lagos. La situazione ideale sarebbe conoscere qualcuno che vive lì e che sarà ben felice di assistervi, potrete conoscere gli italiani del posto al casinò, in qualche ristorante alla moda, come il ristorante italiano "C'era una volta". Le spiagge più belle, ovviamente con le meravigliose onde dell'oceano, sono Tarqua Bay e Light House dove si arriva con il banana boat che parte davanti alle ambasciate a Victoria Island. Altra spiaggia che merita di essere vista è Eleko beach, vicino Epe, dove, invece, si arriva con un'ora di macchina. Sconsiglio di fermarsi su quelle poche spiagge di Lagos.Un viaggio emozionante è farsi in macchina da Lagos ad Abuja, la capitale a 800 km. Nel tragitto attraverserete villaggi, bush, strade che tagliano la foresta in maniera magica, un quadro di colori, profumi ed emozioni che resteranno impresse per sempre. Per il viaggio premunitevi di cibo e bibite perchè non è facile trovarli nei vari villaggi che incontrerete (l'igiene a volte lascia a desiderare!). Nel tragitto fermatevi a Kaduna e a Lokoja lungo il fiume Niger, dove, se siete fortunati, potrete ammirare qualche ippopotamo a bagno!Arrivati ad Abuja andate allo Sheraton. Ad Abuja c'è la Moschea più grande del west africa e sicuramente vale la pena vederla!Certo Lagos, con la nomea di città pericolosa e cara, non è una meta per il turismo di massa ma offre senz'altro uno spaccato dell'Africa "nera" più vero di tanti altri posti, con tutti i rischi connessi. A me ha lasciato il segno ed un mal d'africa inguaribile.Per chi fosse interessato sarò felice di dargli maggiori informazioni.A prestoGiada

23 November, 2008

NTA .... ETC

Can someone kindly tell me how to synchronise my antenna to NTA and other Nigerian televisions I receive only AIT. Some people claim to receive many Nigerian stations these days in Europe.
I have a dual feed on 80 cm tuned to ASTRA 19.20 E and HOT BIRD 13.0
Thank you in advance.


22 November, 2008



A man condemned to 16 months in prison has been discharged and acquitted

by the 'CASSAZIONE' (Italian supreme court of appeal) because he is a reastaman.

According to the Judge all believers of Jah and his reincarnation in Negus who profess the Rastaferian faith may go about with at least 10 grams of Ganja which is the dose allowed daily for consumption.

He accepted the fact that marijuana is needed by the Rastas not only as a medicinal herb but as 'meditative aid' therefore considered also as an instrument in professing their faith.

This sentence has set a great precedence in the Italian judiciary.




L'uomo, sorpreso con un etto di marjuana, era stato condannato a 16 mesi di carcere La Corte ha riconosciuto che per la sua religione fumare spinelli ha un valore sacro

Erba, la dose non è uguale per tutti rasta assolto dalla Cassazion

Erba, la dose non è uguale per tutti rasta assolto dalla Cassazione
ROMA - "La fumano i dottori, la fumano le infermiere, la fumano i giudici e persino gli avvocati". Così nel 1976 cantava Peter Tosh in Legalize it, uno dei più celebri inni alla liberalizzazione della marijuana. La star del reggae non immaginava che 32 anni dopo a dargli ragione sarebbe stata niente meno che la suprema corte di giustizia italiana. Non è esattamente la legalizzazione dell'erba ciò che ha stabilito la sentenza numero 28720 della Sesta Sezione penale della Cassazione, ma il diritto per chi - come Peter Tosh - professa la fede rasta a fumarla a volontà senza incorrere in sanzioni. Secondo quanto stabilito dai giudici, chi crede in Jah e nella sua reincarnazione nel negus d'Etiopia Haile Selassie I, può liberamente circolare con qualche dose di "ganja" in più del lecito perché "secondo le notizie relative alle caratteristiche comportamentali degli adepti di tale religione di origine ebraica, la marijuana non è utilizzata solo come erba medicinale, ma anche come erba meditativa". La Cassazione è stata chiamata al pronunciamento in seguito al ricorso di un 44enne di Perugia condannato perché sorpreso dalle forze dell'ordine con un etto scarso di marijuana nella macchina. L'uomo si era difeso sostenendo di essere un adepto alla religione rastafariana e che quindi "l'erba sacra doveva essere consumata fino a 10 grammi al giorno". Una giustificazione "spirituale" che il tribunale di Terni non aveva ritenuto di prendere in considerazione, dichiarando l'imputato colpevole per illecita detenzione a fine di spaccio, condannandolo quindi a un anno e quattro mesi di carcere. Verdetto confermato dalla Corte d'appello di Perugia nel dicembre del 2004 con una sentenza nella quale si specificava che la quantità sequestrata non poteva essere considerata per esclusivo uso personale. Contro questa decisione l'uomo ha fatto ricorso in Cassazione, ottenendo soddisfazione dalla Corte Suprema che ha rinviato la condanna alla Corte d'Appello di Firenze affinché riconsideri il caso tenendo presente che la tradizione religiosa rasta prevede l'uso della marijuana come "erba meditativa, come tale possibile apportatrice dello stato psicofisico inteso alla contemplazione nella preghiera, nel ricordo e nella credenza che l'erba sacra sia cresciuta sulla tomba di re Salomone, chiamato il re saggio, e da esso ne tragga la forza, come si evince da notizie di testi che indicano le caratteristiche di detta religione".

(10 luglio 2008)






21 November, 2008


MURDER ... At last, police arrest run-away suspec


Thursday, November 20, 2008
The oranges Photo: Sun News Publishing

The fleeing 15-year-old girl in Lagos, who allegedly stabbed 18 years old male student, Tomola Akanye, to death, has been arrested by police detectives from Apapa Division.Bose Omagbemi, was arrested in her relative’s house at Oworonsoki area of the state, where she went into hiding.

The suspect was said to have narrated to the police how she killed Akanye in Itun Agan, a village in Tincan Island area of Lagos. She claimed that problem started when the deceased bought N10 orange from her but refused to pay.The suspect, a native of Ondo state, also disclosed how she made passionate appeal to the boy to pay for the orange without success, before she was provoked to the point of holding his shirt.

She explained that it was when the boy wanted to hit her with his head that she stabbed him in the chest with the knife she was holding in her hand.She said when she noticed he was dying, she fled from the village. “I didn’t know he would die. He bought N10 orange from me and refused to pay. I held his cloth and when he wanted to hit me with his head, I stabbed him with the knife. I will never fight again in my life,” Omagbemi said, sobbing.Police had earlier arrested her mother, leading to the arrest of her fleeing daughter.

The deceased’s father, Arife Akanye, a police Sergeant was said to have died two years ago while his wife died four years ago.Meanwhile, the body of the victim has been deposited in a public morgue for autopsy, while the case would be transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos, for further investigations.


20 November, 2008



Trieste (Italy) 11Nigerians belonging to a criminal organization were yesterday arrested for buying 100 girls from Nigeria. They were charged with human trafficking,aiding illegal immigration, falsification of documents and exploitation of prostitution. The 11 were arrested in different cities after an investigation that lasted 12 months.

Their names are:.Imafidon Bose Faith 43 yrs & Etu Steven Oti 46 yrs. Igbinoba Tina 33 yrs & Idemudia Paulash Washington 30 yrs.. Ofure Elvis 24 yrs , Osagie Linda 34 yrs. Ojo Flora 40 yrs. Ossai Susan 35 yrs , Osagie Philip 45 yrse Dungan Fide 38 yrs & Omofowman Ann 50 years.
(all from EDO state of Nigeria).

This gang , according to investigators ferried hundreds of Nigerian girls into Italy for prostitution through Austria, Bulgeria and Greece .

Summary by: Chukbyke



Trieste, 20 nov. - (Adnkronos) - Si e' conclusa un'operazione della Squadra Mobile di Trieste coordinata dalla Direzione Distrettuale Antimafia del capoluogo giuliano, che ha portato all'arresto degli 11 componenti di un'organizzazione criminale nigeriana responsabile di tratta di esseri umani, favoreggiamento dell'immigrazione clandestina, sfruttamento della prostituzione e falsificazione di documenti. Nel corso delle indagini e' risultato un totale disprezzo della vita umana da parte dei trafficanti che ''compravano'' in Nigeria, per oltre 50.000 dollari, le ragazze costrette a ripagare il loro ingresso in Italia con anni di sfruttamento sessuale sotto la minaccia di riti voodoo. Gli arresti sono stati eseguiti a Trieste, Venezia, Bari, Ravenna,Verona, Vicenza, Padova e Bergamo a partire dal mese di marzo di quest'anno con la collaborazione delle locali Squadre Mobili, in esecuzione di una misura cautelare emesse dal gip del Tribunale di Trieste, nella quale veniva contestata anche l'aggravante del reato transnazionale. In particolare, sono stati arrestati a Venezia Imafidon Bose Faith di 43 anni e Etu Steven Oti di 46 anni. Nel mese di maggio a Vicenza Igbinoba Tina di 33 anni e Idemudia Paulash Washington di 30 anni. A Verona Ofure Elvis di 24 anni, a Ravenna Osagie Linda di 34 anni. A luglio a Bari la quarantenne Ojo Flora. All'alba di martedi' scorso, con gli arresti a Padova di Ossai Susan di 35 anni, Osagie Philip di 45 anni e Dungan Fide di 38 anni e a Bergamo di Omofowman Ann di 50 anni, si sono concluse le indagini che hanno visto impegnati gli investigatori triestini per quasi un anno. L'attivita' investigativa era stata avviata da una segnalazione del Consolato sloveno all'Ufficio Immigrazione della Questura di Trieste, relativa ad alcuni cittadini nigeriani che avevano presentato documentazione falsa per far entrare dei loro connazionali in Slovenia. Pedinamenti e avvistamenti degli arrivi delle donne nelle varie citta' hanno consentito di individuare la vastissima rete del traffico gestito esclusivamente da nigeriani, che tramite connazionali hanno fatto entrare, da Bulgaria, Grecia e Austria, un centinaio di ragazze da avviare alla prostituzione in Italia, utilizzando documentazione falsa. Gli investigatori hanno inoltre individuato dove le ragazze si prostituivano e dove venivano ''custodite''.


20-NOV-08 08:15


Chukwubike Okey C.

19 November, 2008




NIGERIA: British universities scout for rich students
Writer: Tunde Fatunde
Date: 22 June 2008

British universities have visited N igeria on a recruiting drive to attract rich N igerians who can afford high fees for their offspring to enrol as private students. A London-based company, British Canadian International Education, organised an education fair recently in two cities, Abuja and Lagos, on behalf of 15 British institutions. The fair gave parents the opportunity to prepare for the future of their children in the hope they would eventually secure, with internationally recognised university degrees, lucrative jobs as employees in multi-national companies in the highly competitive global economy.

The five-star Eko Hotel in Lagos and the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja were venues chosen to display the opportunities offered by the British universities for those seeking to pursue various university degrees. The 15 constitute an integral part of the recruiting company's network of universities.

One feature of these fairs is the class nature of those present. Right from the parking lot, the two hotels displayed the latest cars from North America, Africa and Asia. Alighting, young boys and girls were accompanied by their parents who occupy influential positions in private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy.

"This fair is definitely not for the children of the poor," said Christiana Okeh, a primary school teacher who came to enquire about the possibility of sending her son to one of the universities.

"While the children of the rich struggle with our poor children for available vacancies in public universities in Nigeria, these same rich children have the double opportunities to study in private universities in Nigeria and they can also study as rich private students in British universities. This world is unjust and unequal."

Okeh was further disappointed when she was told by representatives of most of the universities that there were few scholarships or bursary schemes for brilliant students.

Samples of the fees displayed by the representatives were quite revealing: the University of Hull charges each overseas student for the next academic year ₤21,000 for medicine, ₤10,000 for laboratory-based science, ₤8,500 for class-room-based science and ₤13,500 for an MBA.

"I don't mind paying these fees provided I am allowed to work in the United Kingdom," said Nkem Obinna, a graduate who obtained a first-class degree in computer science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. But Obinna was politely told by a company official the fair was meant for those who could pay their university fees without working in Great Britain.

A major highlight of the fair was the possibility of an immediate offer of admission to parents who could show proof of payment of their children's fees, including purchase of return tickets, tuition and accommodation.

"This process is called spot offers," said a Nigerian official of BCIE called Ify. "Part of the conditions for spot offers include the compulsory presentation of each candidate's transcripts and these must show proof of five credits at O Level certificate and one must be in English language and other relevant subjects required by each university.

Ify said spot offers were not just given to parents with the resources to meet the costs. But all candidates had to have the minimum requirements to be admitted to the university of their choice.

"This education fair is not an opportunity for those who want to leave Nigeria and convert themselves into economic or political refugees," he said. "Moreover, we offer guidance counselling to candidates and we assist them in going through their papers. Although we cannot guarantee an automatic procurement of visas for those offered spot offers, the rate of visa rejection by the British Embassy of our candidates is low

The presence of members of Nigeria's upper and middle class at the fair was a proof of their continued patronage of and fascination for British university education.

There are various reasons said Ibikunle Kayode whose father is a director in one of Nigeria's banks: "For those who can afford to study in Britain, they are sure of getting a better university degree as and when due. In Nigeria, strikes by lecturers and students have rendered the university calendar highly unpredictable.

"My senior bother spent six years to obtain a degree in economics in a Ni gerian university - and this was a three-year course. I will be happy to go and study in the United Kingdom and have just been offered a spot admission by one of the universities."

Recent trends in the world's global economy have reinforced the belief among Nigeria's wealthy class that their children should obtain their university degrees from European and American universities.

"Multi-national companies, especially in the oil and gas, banking and communication sectors have begun, in a subtle manner, a deliberate policy of recruiting as international staff, Nigerians who graduate from universities abroad," said Ahmed Umaru, a lecturer in education psychology at the University of Maiduguri.

"These graduates are well paid compared with those who graduate from Nigerian universities but, at the same time they are paid less than Europeans and Americans with the same university degrees. Nigerians recruited as international staff have the possibility of working with higher pay for these companies in other countries.

"It is therefore not surprising that members of Nigeria's wealthy class have intensified their patronage of opportunities offered by the British Canadian Education International Education fair to obtain admission for their kids in overseas universities."


14 November, 2008


If USA were Nigeria, current papers Headlines would read:

· Don't celebrate yet, McCain tells Obama (TELL magazine)

· Concede defeat, Obama urges McCain (Punch newspaper)

· 20 opposition cadres riot (The Sun newspaper)

· McCain Demands Vote Recount (Vanguard newspaper)

· Elections rigged (Guardian newspaper)

· No evidence of manipulation (NTA news)

· The Church declares elections free and fair (News Line)

· There will be violence if we lose; McCain declares (LTV 8 news)

· Election results for Arizona awaited (Channels news)

· Trucks with suspected ballot papers crosses into USA from Mexico (Tribune newspaper)

· McCain is an opportunist - Go back to your farm (AIT news)

· I will not accept results, McCain tells Obama (STV news)

· We are yet to release final official results - IWU (Daily Champion)

· Niger Deltans vow to make the Nation ungovernable for Obama, unless... (RSTV)

· McCain heads to the Courts (Daily Independence)

· 25 die celebrating Victory in Kano (City People)

· Militants kidnap Obama’s grandmother, demand Oil Blocks as ransom (PM News)

· Dispute over Obama’s father (Prime People)

· Could this be Obama’s real father? 70 year old man in Umuahia provides DNA evidence (City People)

· McCain submits list of Ministers to Obama (The Punch)

· I predicted Obama’s victory ten years ago!! (Prophet….)

· Afenifere/Ohaneze pay courtesy visits to Obama (Daily Sketch)

· 1000 Republicans declare for the Democratic Party (Tribune)

· Ralph Nader threatens’popular uprising’ if he is not declared Winner (Daily Trust)

* President Bush: I will not hand over unless... (The Guardian)

* Clerics ask Obama to rule with the Fear of God (Today Newspaper)

Reality on Election Day - No turn-out at polling station,

* 13 million votes, election FREE AND FARE (government house Press)


12 November, 2008

Nigeria: Will someone turn on the lights?

November 12th, 2008

Returning to Nigeria for the first time in five years, nothing is more striking than the mobile phones ringing wherever you go.

The phone signal barely drops on a drive some five hours out of Abuja, through countryside where the only people visible are hoeing the red earth and balancing unwieldy stems of sugar cane on bicycles. A growing number of village households now have phones.

It marks a big change in a country where not long ago it was often easier to visit someone than to try to call.

As elsewhere in Africa, free access to mobile phones has created a new industry and made business easier for everyone helping to propel the continent's fastest growth in years.

But finding somewhere to charge a mobile phone's battery can be problematic.

Nigeria, like some of its neighbours, has had far less success in bringing the reliable power supplies that business also needs to take off.

Nigerians blame that failure as much as anything else for holding back Africa's giant. They increasingly question the ability of President Umaru Yar'Adua to make a difference, despite campaign promises ahead of last year's election and a pledge to declare a "national emergency" to improve power supplies.

For many Nigerians, the lights rarely if ever come on. It is not only frustrating, it forces businesses to run their own generators, pushing up costs and eating into profits.

The growing economy and population have only made the shortfall more dramatic.

To put Nigeria's failure to meet its power needs in context, South Africa suffered crippling outages early this year despite having 10 times Nigeria's generating capacity for only one third of the population.

The success of mobile phones in Nigeria was not so much because of anything the previous government did as the fact that it was able to remove longstanding official obstacles to private firms eager to invest in a country of over 140 million.

The power sector is a bigger task, given the huge investments needed, but there is little sign of government action to address the problem despite an investigation into billions of dollars that the previous administration is accused of misusing in its failed efforts to improve electricity supplies.

In fact, there is concern among Nigerians and foreign investors alike at the slow pace of government under President Yar'Adua, now widely dubbed "Baba Go-Slow".

A new cabinet has yet to be announced despite the sacking of 20 ministers and there are doubts over progress on the 2009 draft budget. Worries over Yar'Adua's health have added to the mood of uncertainty.

Meanwhile, the economic environment is getting harsher with prices for the crude oil on which Nigeria relies now closer to $60 a barrel than the $140 they topped earlier this year. Turmoil in the Niger Delta continues to restrain oil production. Nigeria's main stock market index has lost nearly half its value since March.

Is Yar'Adua going to be up to the task of turning on the lights? Is anyone? What do you think?


Why so sensitive?

The waffarian: Why so sensitive?: "Why so sensitive?"

Nigeria’s N40bn Satellite Missing from Orbit

Nigeria's N40bn Satellite Missing from Orbit

By Efem Nkanga, 11.12.2008

The Nigerian Commun-ications Satellite (NigComSat), which was launched into orbit over 18 months ago, is said to be missing.
THISDAY gathered last night that with the satellite missing from orbit, the huge amount spent by the Nigerian government, about N40 billion may have gone down the drain.
The satellite was found to have run into a technical hitch for some weeks now, according to a source, when it was discovered that it was using a technological standard that was not meant for Africa but Asia.
The materials used in the building of the satellite by the Chinese that built it were said to have also been in question.
The solar panel was said to be faulty and not working. All this was being battled with while, the Managing Director of NigComSat, Ahmed Rufai, was said to be angling for the launch of the second satellite.
The contract for the NigComSat project which was signed on December 15, 2004 in Abuja between China Great Wall Industry Corporation and the National Space Research and Development Agency was said to have cost the Federal Government over N40 billion. China was awarded the deal after it outbid 21 international.
The cost of the satellite include items such as construction, insurance, value added tax as well as the price for building one ground control station in Abuja and a backup control station in Kashi, China.
The satellite has four gateways said to be located in South Africa, China, Italy and Northern Nigeria.
The satellite, which has a lifespan of 15 years, is being monitored and tracked by a ground station built in Abuja while the Chinese firm, Great Wall Industry Corporation, has a ground station in Kashgar, in northwest China 's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
It will be recalled that NigComSat which is 100 per cent owned by the Federal Government, was recently given a 15 per cent stake from the Federal Government's 49 per cent stake in NITEL.
Nigeria in May 2007 launched NigComSat into orbit with expectations of tremendous gains to the nation's telecoms sector.
The NigComSat is a super hybrid geo-stationary satellite designed to operate in Africa, parts of the Middle East and southern Europe and was expected to digitalise the Nigerian economy and promote technological advancement in Nigeria and Africa.
The expectation from many quarters was that NigComSat's carrier rocket, Long March 3-B, which blasted off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province and entered the orbit accurately on May 14, would set the stage for Nigeria to consolidate on its growing profile as the technological hub of Africa and an emerging player in the global terrain.
The satellite project was supposed to enable Internet access to even the remotest rural villages, a major quest of stakeholders in recent times. It was also expected to enhance government's economic reforms, particularly in the areas of e-learning, e-commerce, tele-medicine, tele-education, and rural telephony.
The project, according to experts, was expected to help African users save more than $900 million spent for telephony trunking and data transport services, $660 million in phone call charges and broadband access which is more than $95 million spent each year, as well as create more than 150, 000 jobs for Nigerians.
Rufai had before the launch disclosed that Nigeria would earn about $1.05billion which is N128billion yearly from NigComSat. A major part of the earnings was expected to come in from the sale and leasing of transponders from NigComSat.
Rufai had stated that each transponder, forty in all will be sold for between $60-70 million. NigComSat currently has forty transponders, with 28 active and 12 inactive.
However despite the huge expectations of Nigerians, NigComSat has not performed to expectations. Rufai at a recent media interaction agreed that NigComSat had not been able to capture the market principally because of the challenges it faced from the regulatory authority.
Government sources confirmed to THISDAY the failure of the satellite in orbit. While admitting that the level the failure has gone is mindboggling, the source disclosed that the Federal Executive Council will meet today on the matter and issue a statement on how the failure will be addressed


419 Hits Facebook

419 Hits Facebook… Nigerian ingenuity knows no bounds…

November 10, 2008 by Naija Pundit

Nigerian ingenuity knows no bounds. Instead of engaging in activities which are actually positive in nature, it seems we always look for the easy way out…

From Australia we get this interesting article….

Facebook has been infiltrated by Nigerian scammers and other cyber criminals who use compromised accounts to con users out of cash.

Now that even non-tech savvy internet users know not to respond to, or click on links in, emails from strangers, online thieves have turned to social networks and are finding it is easier to trick people when posing as their friends.

On Friday, Sydneysider Karina Wells received a Facebook message from one of her friends, Adrian, saying he was stranded in Lagos, Nigeria, and needed her to lend him $500 for a ticket home.

Adrian used relatively good English but, after chatting further, words such as "cell" instead of "mobile phone" tipped Wells off that she was not talking to her friend but someone who had taken over his account.

Using sites such as Facebook allows scammers to research and target victims more effectively and avoid having their messages blocked by spam filters, said Paul Ducklin, head of technology at Sophos Asia Pacific.

It is likely the scammer obtained Adrian's Facebook login details after he was infected with a virus delivered by email or in an infected web page.

Oh well… What goes around, comes around.

Posted by Naija Pundit

Africa: NO WE CANNOT, at least not yet

Africa: NO WE CANNOT, at least not yet

"Yes we can" and they have. Certainly the election of Barack Obama is historical. Yes he is likely to initiate changes, as obviously his being President, at the very least, symbolises this. However, we collectively need to lower our unrealistically high expectations of him because he will work within a system that has many challenges, some obvious and many subtle. If he can focus, as he has pledged, on American education then he will have laid the seeds for America's future prosperity and survival. Barack Obama certainly brings a level of constructive intellect, creativity, global goodwill and energy to leadership in the USA that has been missing for several years..

As a Nigerian, I find Barak Obama's victory, while extremely well deserved, bitter sweet because while we rejoice that YES WE CAN, it is sad that apparently in Africa it see that NO WE CANNOT, at least not yet. Not that we cannot, as such, but we won't have the opportunity to, at least not likely in this generation. The seeds of today were planted years ago, probably in the late 50's and early 60's. Barak Obama was born in 1961 but more importantly that was approximately the middle of the modern period of the struggle for the political and social emancipation of the African-American, the anti-apartheid struggle and the political (not economic) independence of African nations. Clearly, Nigeria and much of Africa are NOT effectively planting seeds now for tomorrow, or what we are planting is troubling to say the least.

As the ancient Chinese proverb says, "If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people." Today, we must educate our people and leverage on global tools such as Information Communication Technologies to foster the requisite education for all people at all levels regardless of background, age, sex, physical and mental characteristics, creed, tribe, religion, status, income or any other social divide. Today, our competition is no longer local but global, and our core limiting factors are ourselves, our education and the opportunities we create..

Can an African child of humble means be empowered to attend the best University in Africa? Assuming of course you believe that the best African Universities are globally competitive. Can that African child be empowered to rise to a level in the political sphere where they can realistically aspire to greatness in Africa? Will the African/ Nigeria political machinery give them an opportunity to articulate and express their possibilities? Will the African/ Nigeria general electorate receive the message of someone who is "not like them", especially if that person is not from their ethno-cultural group. Arguably people like Nelson Mandela, MKO Abiola and the like have demonstrated that in principle "Yes we can." We should remain hopeful that it is potentially possible for this to happen. However, the price/ hurdles are still very high and part of MKO Abiola's lesson, in Nigeria, is that there is still a way to go. Our current political circumstances however, remain disappointing.

As Nigerians and Africans we ask, will our leaders at all levels truly learn from Barak Obama victory? Not likely. Will they try to superficially "ape" him? Probably. Will our leaders change and change our circumstances, for the better? Not anytime soon. This is the bitter pill we are swallowing. While a few of our leaders may themselves, or enable others who, have the basic intellect to deliver on a Barak Obama like potential we are yet to be convinced that any of them have the attitude, or can create the opportunities, to do so.

Thus, while, we remain convinced that Nigeria and the rest of Africa "can", & WE MUST, change for the better. Realistically, I suspect it will be later rather than sooner. To do this we must invest in knowledge and the requisite information tools, infrastructure, processes, methodologies and attitudes. As people of the so called developing world, and assuming that the generation to which I and maybe you belong to, have "missed the boat" we must still make the requisite investments for our children and those yet unborn – our posterity.

So as we congratulate Mr. President elect, and the people of the USA for having the opportunity to make a choice and for making what we consider the appropriate choice, we can only watch wistfully as they do so, and continue to work towards the day when we, and our children, can do likewise.

AhA (nidoa@yahoogroups.com )



Obama: Asari-Dokubo slams political leaders
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

•Alhaji Mujadid Asari-Dokubo

Ijaw activist and leader of the Niger Delta Youth Volunteer Force (NDYVF), Alhaji Mujadid Asari-Dokubo has berated Nigerian political leaders for rejoicing at the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America.

Obama made history last Tuesday, emerging as the first Black to win the race to the White House and many Nigerian leaders, including President Umaru Yar'Adua, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and state governors sent their congratulatory messages.

However, Asari-Dokubo, in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun, wondered why the Nigerian political class should be happy over the historic victory instead of burying their heads in shame and crying for the miseries they had subjected Nigerians to.

He did not also spare the political leaders in other Africa countries especially President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya for frittering away the hopes of their people.
According to him, Nigerian political leaders and their counterparts in Africa should shut up as they had no moral standing to rejoice over the election in America because they represented the opposite of what Obama stood for.

He said while Obama emerged through a fair and transparent election monitored by people over the world, Nigerian political leaders emerged through questionable elections.
His words: "Since the election of Barack Obama as President-elect Nigerians have been happy because what they see in Obama they did not see in our leaders. It is shameful that our political leaders are also rejoicing instead for them to be sad.

"Look at the elections how it was conducted and how people were monitoring it step by step. Nobody chased anybody away, nobody disrupted the election. When 20 states were released, John McCain conceded defeat. But can that happen in the black land without violence? The Blackman is not only backward in science but in all ramifications.

"Look at Kenya where a man who stole votes to become President is declaring a public holiday because of the election of Obama. Is that not shameful? In Nigeria where we could not hold a credible election, our leaders are also sending congratulatory messages when they should be crying. Most of them are not qualified to be local government chairmen but holding prominent political posts.

"Obama's victory is not for them (Nigerian political leaders) to rejoice but cry and bury their heads in shame. If Whites after buying Blacks as slaves would now allow a Blackman to rule them, then we should be weeping that up till now we Blacks are not able to hold free and fair elections in our lands. It is really a pity."

On the efforts to develop the Niger Delta region, Asari-Dokubo dismissed President Umaru Yar'Adua as unserious about development in the region.
He said besides that Yar'Adua lacked the political will to bring development to the region, his administration was also insincere about policies for the region.
He also blamed former president Olusegun Obasanjo for encouraging criminal gangs to hijack the Niger Delta struggle, adding that the situation would remain irredeemable unless a Sovereign National Conference was convoked.

He said: "I have lost confidence in the administration of President Yar'Adua to develop the Niger Delta because he is not interested in bringing meaningful development to the region.
"There is no sincerity and political will that would bring change and with the active encouragement of Obasanjo for criminal gangs in the region when he was president, Yar'Adua cannot muster enough political will to reverse things. The criminals have taken over and we can no longer control them.

"The government is not sincere and the condition would continue to deteriorate because there is no vision to transform the region expect there is a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) where a path of development would be chart for the region."