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Lloyd Ukwu – New Nigerian Politics http://newnigerianpolitics.com A New kind of Politics Thu, 09 Apr 2020 17:37:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.16 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/logo_new_draft_April23_NNP-50x50.jpg Lloyd Ukwu – New Nigerian Politics http://newnigerianpolitics.com 32 32 Atiku: A Refreshing Alternative to a Bungled Presidency – By By Lloyd F. UKWU http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2018/10/21/atiku-a-refreshing-alternative-to-a-bungled-presidency-by-by-lloyd-f-ukwu/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2018/10/21/atiku-a-refreshing-alternative-to-a-bungled-presidency-by-by-lloyd-f-ukwu/#respond Sun, 21 Oct 2018 13:56:18 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=51324 By Lloyd F. UKWU, Esquire  | Washington DC, USA | October 21, 2018 – 

With the end of the party primaries, the battle line for the 19th of February 2019 presidential election is drawn between two presidential candidates: Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Muhammadu Buhari of the All Peoples Congress (APC). Already, Nigerians are exasperated by Mohammuadu Buhari’s presidency because it has proven an unmitigated disaster for the country. Many Nigerians consider him the worst Nigerian president ever. Apart from his inability to make good on any of his electoral promises, his presidency has plunged the country into hitherto unknown levels of violence, poverty, hardship, insecurity and disunity. The former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, offers a refreshing alternative to Buhari’s bungled and deceitful presidency.
President Buhari anchored his presidential campaign on three electoral promises. He promised to revamp the economy, and consequently, reduce unemployment; curb corruption; and tackle insecurity, especially, Boko Haram insurgency, in the country. After more than three years, the Buhari administration has plunged the economy to almost a screeching halt, ground zero and has failed to resuscitate it. Despite the doctored figures by the federal government that gives the impression of improving economy, there are empirical evidences that the Nigerian economy remains in a doldrums. Unlike in 2015 when the Nigerian economy grew at 7%, it is now growing at 1.60%. A recent United Nations’ report crystallized the increasing incidence of poverty in Nigeria, resulting from the irresponsible and dangerous economic policies of the Buhari administration. Nigeria now has the highest concentration of people living in poverty than any other country in the world.
His administration’s much vaunted war on corruption has failed. The Nigerian electorate had fallen for Buhari’s posturing as a paragon of incorruptibility and moral rectitude. The proverbial Nigerian street parlance of “ One Chance” It is now evident that Buhari is neither incorruptible nor genuinely committed to fight corruption. It is a point succinctly articulated by the Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, “All the qualities that were attributed to Buhari are fake. He does not really have integrity; he is a collaborator in the corruption he claims he is fighting”. He is tolerant of corrupt activities within his entourage; he has refused to punish glaring cases of corruption by his associates and subordinates. As a result, his war against corruption continues to falter. The Transparency International Corruption Index, attests that corruption in Nigeria has worsened under Buhari’s watch.
More lamentable than the Buhari government inability to defeat the Boko Haram insurgency, is the added problems of insecurity brought on the country by the Fulani herdsmen. Fulani herdsmen, armed with high powered automatic assault rifles have been wrecking havoc on the farming committees in the Middle Belt and other parts of Nigeria. They attack these villages, maiming, raping and mass-murdering the innocent. They burn down villages, drive away their original owners and occupy the villages. Ostensibly, the herdsmen are fighting over grazing routes. But, evidently, there is more to the murderous fanaticism of Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt. They have a hidden expansionist agenda.
It has been rightly argued that the average Fulani herdsman lacks the resources a
nd sophistication to acquire automatic assault rifles; they are armed by their masters, the members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria. The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria is an association of wealthy Fulani cattle owners. Buhari is a member – a grand patron – of the Miyetti Allah. Many Nigerians suspect that the federal government has been unwilling to protect the farming communities in the Middle Belt and punish the murderous Fulani herdsmen and their sponsors because Buhari, in his nepotism, religious bigotry and tribalism, is sentimentally attached to the Fulani murderous, expansionist design in the Middle Belt.
For the most part, Nigerians are unified in their resolve to vote out President Mohammudu Buhari on 19th February 2019 because four more years of Buharism will almost utterly destroy the country. It will reinforce economic deterioration, relegate preponderant numbers of Nigerians to raw-dirt poverty, heighten corruption, and further subvert the security and unity of the country.
Nigerians were impressed by the recent PDP primaries. The process was flawless and the outcome splendid. It produced the most qualified of the contenders, and further unified the party. It was devoid of the usual division and rancor that mar most party primaries in Nigeria, as all the thirteen contenders for the PDP presidential ticket stated their stratification with the electoral process that produced Atiku Abubakar as the party’s flag bearer. They all considered the process fair, free and credible, and all pledged to support Atiku and work with him and the party to ensure a PDP presidential victory in February 2019.
Atiku is an antithesis of Mohammadu Buhari. Unlike Buhari that is renowned for his nepotism and tribalism, Atiku is a totally detribalized Nigerian. He is a Moslem but not in any way a fanatical Moslem. He has respect for other religions of the world, and is acutely conscious that Nigeria is a secular state. Unlike the ailing and “lifeless” Buhari, Atiku is healthy and ebullient. In contrast to Buhari’s parochialism, Atiku is a national figure, a unifier. He is enlightened and well-read. He is the author of two books. He is also a every successful entrepreneur and one of the biggest employers of labor in Nigeria.
He has the good will and national following to defeat Buhari in the polls. And he has the knowledge, experience and mettle to lead Nigeria out of its present morass of declining economy, ethnic strife and violence, divisiveness and inequity to new heights of economic vitality, security, unity and equity. An elderly Nigerian statesman summed it up in his own words, “Atiku is the best available candidate.”
——–
*Lloyd F. Ukwu, Esquire, an international lawyer, writes from Washington DC, USA.
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Why Nigeria Must Be Restructured – By Lloyd F. Ukwu, Esquire http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2017/09/15/why-nigeria-must-be-restructured-by-lloyd-f-ukwu-esquire/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2017/09/15/why-nigeria-must-be-restructured-by-lloyd-f-ukwu-esquire/#respond Sat, 16 Sep 2017 04:58:51 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=48976

By Lloyd F. Ukwu, Esquire | Washington DC, USA | Sept. 16, 2017 – Nigeria must embrace restructuring now! If it resists, growing chaos and strife will ensue. The status quo is indefensible. The Nigerian Constitution—its birth certificate—is illegitimate.  The document was unilaterally decreed by a military dictator with ulterior motives to entrench the military and concentrate power at the center.  It’s an open secret that the Nigerian Constitution was an existing decree that was simply converted to a Constitution. It was never submitted to the Nigerian people for approval directly in a referendum or indirectly through representatives elected for that purpose. Yet the consent of the governed is the cornerstone of every legitimate political dispensation.  

 

Nigeria’s 1960 birth from British colonialism was also illegitimate.  It violated the decolonization mandate of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) enshrined in paragraph 2 of the 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples:  “All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” The several distinct peoples of Nigeria were denied the right to self-determination. Britain handed Nigeria’s sovereignty to its political or economic favorites as if Nigerians were serfs to be disposed of by the lord of the manor. 

 

It is thus no surprise that Nigeria’s Constitution has been denuded of separation of powers—a structural bill of rights to protect the Nigerian people from tyranny.  The President and his minions in the Executive Branch possess all muscular authority, including a monopoly on the legalized use of force or violence and the power of the purse to keep state and local governments subservient.  The Legislative and Judicial Branches of government are to the Executive as a minnow is to a whale.  But the combination of executive, legislative, and judicial power in a single branch is the very definition of tyranny.  And the people not only have a natural right—they have a duty—to repudiate a tyrannical government and to provide new guards for their future security and liberty.

 

Nigeria’s Constitution also makes a mockery of genuine federalism.  Devolution of power from the center is urgent in a diverse country like Nigeria featuring multiple ethnicities, religions, and cultures to insure laws are responsive to popular sentiments, customs, and practices.  All significant power is entrusted to the central government.  States and local governments must beg for money.  In politics he who has the gold makes the rules.  States also lack control over police or security forces.  They are powerless to protect ethnic, religious, or political minorities within their jurisdictions from persecution by national authorities or their myrmidons.  

 

Nigeria’s Constitution is purportedly secular.  Section 10 provides that, “The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion.”  The author elaborated:  “By this section, Nigeria is declared to be a secular state and therefore cannot join any organization that has a religious connotation.”  Yet Nigeria has joined the Organization of Islamic Countries; and, twelve States have adopted Sharia as their legal code while some states in the southern part of Nigeria have, at times, openly referred to themselves as Christian states. Religion has become constitutionally divisive rather than unifying.  A constitutional adjustment is necessary.     

 

The illegitimacy of Nigeria’s Constitution has spawned a dilapidated economy, deficient schools, environmental degradation, regional and religious prejudice, chronic government lawlessness, monumental corruption, and overwhelming popular sentiments favoring restructuring.  

 

A Nigerian National Conference on the Political Future of Nigeria is the first step towards the salvation of the Nigerian people.  Respected leaders from all of Nigeria’s diverse communities should come together in the United States away from the intimidating environment in Nigeria created by President Mohammadu Buhari’s truculent opposition to change.  Ironically President Buhari promised Nigerians change during his campaign but it has become obvious that his understanding and definition change may not be what he had in mind during campaign. The primary goal of the Conference should be an agreement on a fair process for drafting a new Constitution ab initio for submission to the Nigerian people in a referendum.  The drafters should be representative of Nigeria’s multifarious political factions.  They should be selected in elections organized and conducted by the United Nations Electoral Unit as was done in Cambodia (1992-1993) and Timor-Leste (2001-2002).  

 

Change is coming to Nigeria irrespective of Aso Rock. Or should I say that “change the change” is coming to Nigeria. The Nigerian people want the change to be peaceful, democratic and orderly.  The purpose of the Conference is to honor that sentiment.

………………………

Lloyd F. Ukwu, Esquire, an international lawyer writes from Washington, D.C.,USA (202)-380-9748

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Electing a Dictator- A Major Drawback for Nigeria’s Democracy – -By Lloyd Ukwu http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/11/26/electing-a-dictator-a-major-drawback-for-nigerias-democracy-by-lloyd-ukwu-2/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/11/26/electing-a-dictator-a-major-drawback-for-nigerias-democracy-by-lloyd-ukwu-2/#respond Thu, 26 Nov 2015 14:40:23 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=43384 By Lloyd Ukwu Washington DC, USA | November 26, 2015 – Prelude: The problem with dictatorship is that it usually lacks the capacity and patience to understand the meaning of the rule of law and due process. Both doctrines are often slow and therefore require patience. Dictators don’t have patience, they want it here, now and by any means necessary. 
 
In 1984, Mohammadu Buhari overthrew the democratically elected government of President Shehu Shagari. It is true that every coup plotter is guilty of breaching the Nigerian constitution and shooting his way into power. But arguably, unlike Ibrahim Babangida that overthrew a military junta, Buhari’s offense was more egregious because he overthrew a democratically elected government – an expression of the collective will of Nigerians. In his false feeling of importance, Buhari has always believed in his messianic mission. He thinks that he knows it all, and that, unlike any other Nigerian, he knows what is best for Nigeria. His twisted sense of superiority and inordinate craving for power found expression in his 1984 coup and his subsequent, repeated run for the presidency. Before he finally won in 2015, he had been defeated in three earlier presidential elections. 
 
On his third defeat, he broke down and wept in public, an action that would have ended his political career if he were an American politician. Politicians hardly weep in America. To me, that unrestrained public effusion of tears signified his utter desperation for power. His frequent threats to Nigerians were also indicative of his excessive hunger for power. After he lost the 2011 presidential election, he made his threats; vowing to make Nigeria ungovernable. And true to his word, he attempted to make Nigeria ungovernable. Through his Boko Haram connection, he unleashed terror on Nigeria. Some say that if Buhari had no relationship with Boko Haram, why did the terrorist group nominate him as one of its negotiators? And before the 2015 election, he threatened to spill blood and cause mayhem if he loses the election. Unfortunately, in 2015, Nigerians buckled under Buhari’s threats and shenanigans, and elected a dictator-president. 
 
It is obvious that successive military regimes contributed immensely to our societal woes: the erosion of our moral standards and the perversion of our values. By overthrowing the Shagari government, Buhari truncated a nascent democracy, retarded our democratic evolution and contributed to the problems military rule visited on Nigeria. Ironically, the same problems the military dictators created for Nigerians are the very ones Buhari is promising to fix. Leadership is not, and can never be by force.
 
Buhari, Nigerians say, remains uninformed. Before the elections Nigerians raised a lot of doubts  that he even has a West African School Certificate (WASC). But even without this basic academic qualification, he didn’t seem to have the urge to improve himself over the years. So, that when elected president, he would be better prepared to serve the country. Sadly, dictatorship means force and that’s all you need to get things done. His fixation was on grabbing the presidency at all cost. He sounds as though he does not have the finesse to relate smoothly with the other branches of government. He has never displayed any intellectual capacity in governance in the past thoughtless of delivering a lecture, as presidents sometimes do, to the academia, professional associations, etc. In his ignorance and obscurantism, he is blind to the heterogeneity of this country. No wonder, he once advocated making Sharia the supreme law of Nigeria. During his first coming to power in 1984, he pretty much ruled by proxy via Idiagbon. This time around there is ample evidence that he is going to govern through El Rufai and co. Is it then not  a bit surprising that Nigerians voted for a dictator in 2015? In my viewpoint this implicates a major drawback for Nigeria. Politically and otherwise. 
 
Were Nigerians browbeaten by his threat to unleash violence and wreck havoc if he is not elected? Having, with our votes, dignified a man that shoved aside a democratically elected government and seized power, what message are we sending to young, coup-thirsty military officers? Are we not telling them that it is alright to plot and execute coups? Evidently, we are a country of cowards. Have we, out of fear that Nigeria might break up if Buhari does not win, rewarded him for his coup and extra judicial killings? 
 
Oh, the Americans supported him? Yes, Obama did. Secretly, he sent his former Chief of Staff, and renowned political strategist, David Axelrod, to Nigeria to work for the All Progressive Congress (APC).  Obama’s support for Buhari was motivated simply by American economic interests. Africa is the new frontier and Nigeria is a major player in this emerging frontier. The former president, Goodluck Jonathan, was in bed with the Chinese. The Chinese economy is expanding and will soon overtake the American economy as the world’s largest economy. The government of Goodluck Jonathan was awarding billion dollar contracts to Chinese companies. This piqued the Americans. So, they embarked on what they do best: regime change. 
 
They approached their cousins, our former colonial masters, the British, to find out how to deal with Nigeria. Piece of cake! The Brits told them: the road to Nigeria must pass through the North; we did so when we colonized them. So, Obama went through the North. Buhari, thrice trounced in his quest to be president, was available, ready and willing. So, Obama’s secret agent in Nigeria, David Axelrod, from his vast repertoire of political intrigues, came up with the CHANGE slogan for APC and projected Buhari the dictator as a reformer.  For their strategic interests, the Obama administration tried something similar in Israel but failed. It supported an opposition candidate against the incumbent Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. But with Israel being a more sophisticated democracy, and the Israelis, gutsy, they were not swayed by the Obama administration’s political stratagem. 
 
The Americans are always prone to installing dictators that will later turn against them, and instead of serving American self-seeking interests, subvert them. There is evidence of these American installed Frankenstein monsters in Libya, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, etc. With time, Buhari may prove another Frankenstein monster.  
 
Lloyd Ukwu, Esquire, writes from Washington, D.C., USA.
 
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Electing A Dictator- A Major Drawback for Nigeria’s Democracy – By Lloyd Ukwu http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/11/01/electing-a-dictator-a-major-drawback-for-nigerias-democracy-by-lloyd-ukwu/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/11/01/electing-a-dictator-a-major-drawback-for-nigerias-democracy-by-lloyd-ukwu/#respond Mon, 02 Nov 2015 04:53:39 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=43164 By Lloyd Ukwu | Washington DC, USA | November 2, 2015 – Prelude: The problem with dictatorship is that it usually lacks the capacity and patience to understand the meaning of the rule of law and due process. Both doctrines are often slow and therefore require patience. Dictators don’t have patience, they want it here, now and by any means necessary. 
 
In 1984, Mohammadu Buhari overthrew the democratically elected government of President Shehu Shagari. It is true that every coup plotter is guilty of breaching the Nigerian constitution and shooting his way into power. But arguably, unlike Ibrahim Babangida that overthrew a military junta, Buhari’s offense was more egregious because he overthrew a democratically elected government – an expression of the collective will of Nigerians. In his false feeling of importance, Buhari has always believed in his messianic mission. He thinks that he knows it all, and that, unlike any other Nigerian, he knows what is best for Nigeria. His twisted sense of superiority and inordinate craving for power found expression in his 1984 coup and his subsequent, repeated run for the presidency. Before he finally won in 2015, he had been defeated in three earlier presidential elections. 
 
On his third defeat, he broke down and wept in public, an action that would have ended his political career if he were an American politician. Politicians hardly weep in America. To me, that unrestrained public effusion of tears signified his utter desperation for power. His frequent threats to Nigerians were also indicative of his excessive hunger for power. After he lost the 2011 presidential election, he made his threats; vowing to make Nigeria ungovernable. And true to his word, he attempted to make Nigeria ungovernable. Through his Boko Haram connection, he unleashed terror on Nigeria. Some say that if Buhari had no relationship with Boko Haram, why did the terrorist group nominate him as one of its negotiators? And before the 2015 election, he threatened to spill blood and cause mayhem if he loses the election. Unfortunately, in 2015, Nigerians buckled under Buhari’s threats and shenanigans, and elected a dictator-president. 
 
It is obvious that successive military regimes contributed immensely to our societal woes: the erosion of our moral standards and the perversion of our values. By overthrowing the Shagari government, Buhari truncated a nascent democracy, retarded our democratic evolution and contributed to the problems military rule visited on Nigeria. Ironically, the same problems the military dictators created for Nigerians are the very ones Buhari is promising to fix. Leadership is not, and can never be by force.
 
Buhari, Nigerians say, remains uninformed. Before the elections Nigerians raised a lot of doubts  that he even has a West African School Certificate (WASC). But even without this basic academic qualification, he didn’t seem to have the urge to improve himself over the years. So, that when elected president, he would be better prepared to serve the country. Sadly, dictatorship means force and that’s all you need to get things done. His fixation was on grabbing the presidency at all cost. He sounds as though he does not have the finesse to relate smoothly with the other branches of government. He has never displayed any intellectual capacity in governance in the past thoughtless of delivering a lecture, as presidents sometimes do, to the academia, professional associations, etc. In his ignorance and obscurantism, he is blind to the heterogeneity of this country. No wonder, he once advocated making Sharia the supreme law of Nigeria. During his first coming to power in 1984, he pretty much ruled by proxy via Idiagbon. This time around there is ample evidence that he is going to govern through El Rufai and co. Is it then not  a bit surprising that Nigerians voted for a dictator in 2015? In my viewpoint this implicates a major drawback for Nigeria. Politically and otherwise. 
 
Were Nigerians browbeaten by his threat to unleash violence and wreck havoc if he is not elected? Having, with our votes, dignified a man that shoved aside a democratically elected government and seized power, what message are we sending to young, coup-thirsty military officers? Are we not telling them that it is alright to plot and execute coups? Evidently, we are a country of cowards. Have we, out of fear that Nigeria might break up if Buhari does not win, rewarded him for his coup and extra judicial killings? 
 
Oh, the Americans supported him? Yes, Obama did. Secretly, he sent his former Chief of Staff, and renowned political strategist, David Axelrod, to Nigeria to work for the All Progressive Congress (APC).  Obama’s support for Buhari was motivated simply by American economic interests. Africa is the new frontier and Nigeria is a major player in this emerging frontier. The former president, Goodluck Jonathan, was in bed with the Chinese. The Chinese economy is expanding and will soon overtake the American economy as the world’s largest economy. The government of Goodluck Jonathan was awarding billion dollar contracts to Chinese companies. This piqued the Americans. So, they embarked on what they do best: regime change. 
 
They approached their cousins, our former colonial masters, the British, to find out how to deal with Nigeria. Piece of cake! The Brits told them: the road to Nigeria must pass through the North; we did so when we colonized them. So, Obama went through the North. Buhari, thrice trounced in his quest to be president, was available, ready and willing. So, Obama’s secret agent in Nigeria, David Axelrod, from his vast repertoire of political intrigues, came up with the CHANGE slogan for APC and projected Buhari the dictator as a reformer.  For their strategic interests, the Obama administration tried something similar in Israel but failed. It supported an opposition candidate against the incumbent Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. But with Israel being a more sophisticated democracy, and the Israelis, gutsy, they were not swayed by the Obama administration’s political stratagem. 
 
The Americans are always prone to installing dictators that will later turn against them, and instead of serving American self-seeking interests, subvert them. There is evidence of these American installed Frankenstein monsters in Libya, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, etc. With time, Buhari may prove another Frankenstein monster.  
 
Lloyd Ukwu, Esquire, writes from Washington, D.C., USA.
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The Educational Marvel of Governor Imoke – By Lloyd Ukwu http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/10/04/the-educational-marvel-of-governor-imoke-by-lloyd-ukwu/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/10/04/the-educational-marvel-of-governor-imoke-by-lloyd-ukwu/#respond Mon, 05 Oct 2015 00:17:38 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=42889 By Lloyd Ukwu | Port-Harcourt, Nigeria | Oct. 4, 2015 – As of 2007, the quality of education in Cross River State was awful; academic standards were dishearteningly low. Following years of neglect, academic standards and educational facilities deteriorated to a disconcerting level. And the state joined the “infamous league of educationally backward states”. This alarming situation was evinced by the fact that most primary four and five pupils in the state could neither read effectively nor write simple correct sentence. The decay in the school system encouraged, especially in the secondary schools, examination malpractices and the acquisition of illicit grades. Lamentably, these were aided and abetted by some school principals, teachers and private school proprietors. Not surprisingly, the performance of students in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) was abysmal. In the words of a former commissioner for education in the state, Professor Offiong Offiong, “The situation was horrible and something sweeping needed to be done about it.”  
 
On his election as governor of Cross River State in 2007, Liyel Imoke adopted sweeping measures that transformed education in the state. The centerpiece of his effort to overhaul education in the state at the primary and secondary school levels was the Quality Control and Quality Assurance Measures (QCQAM). QCQAM encompassed a number of initiatives that brought quality control to education delivery in the primary and secondary schools. It involved first, the assessment of the level of decay in the educational system, and the adoption of strategies to resolve the problems. At the stage of “Needs Assessment”, seventy five percent of the primary and secondary schools across the state were monitored for six months. Data was collated and other information gathered on the state of affairs in these schools. Armed with the Need Assessment report, Governor Imoke went straight to work. 
 
He adopted a three-prong approach to transform education from the primary school to the universities. The three-prong approach was: Infrastructural Development, Capacity Building and Discipline. New schools were built and existing ones were rehabilitated: school buildings, desks, instructional and learning facilities such as laboratories and libraries were renovated or installed.  On capacity building, teachers were trained through workshops and seminars. National Certificate in Education (NCE) became the minimum qualification for teachers to teach in primary schools and a first degree for teaching in secondary schools.  
 
Other capacity building initiatives included: read and write campaign; compulsory 2pm to 4pm prep for examination classes; holiday programs for examination classes; computerized continuous assessment; examination malpractice eradication project, production of government textbooks in all subject areas in primary and secondary schools (which were sold at subsidized rates); annual retraining of teachers, and further training for science and mathematics teachers. The read and write campaign addressed the problem of primary school pupil, even, in primary four and five  not being able to read and write. Now, pupils in the state start reading and writing in primary two. To raise the academic standards in the schools, the state developed and enforced minimum standards for the establishment of schools; re-accredited private schools in the state, strengthened education inspectorate departments in the local governments, senatorial zones and ministry of education by hiring more school inspectors and making them more mobile and efficient with the provision of 25 Hilux vehicles.

Governor Imoke established an infrastructural standard for primary schools that is peculiar to the state: every primary school must have well designed classrooms (each, with the capacity to sit at least 35 pupils and equipped with modern desks), resource room, library, assembly hall for extracurricular activities, teachers’ room and a laboratory for basic sciences. The Imoke administration built 17 additional primary schools in hitherto inaccessible communities with no primary schools. This helped to increase primary school enrolment from 223, 200 in 2007 to 295,973 in 2015, a 32.47 per cent increase. In addition to the newly built schools, the government responded to this increase in enrolment in primary school with “a corresponding expansion in infrastructure through the Universal Basic Education (UBE) intervention”. Over 300 primary schools were completely renovated, and the number of classrooms increased from 6,113 to 9,689, and about 1, 245 new teachers recruited with the Federal Teachers Scheme.

At the secondary school level, Imoke expanded access to qualitative education by constructing 18 new secondary schools; increasing the number of secondary schools in the state from 248 in 2007 to 266 in 2015. In addition, 60 existing secondary schools were renovated and expanded with each school having adequate classrooms and four equipped laboratories (for Chemistry, Physics, Biology and ICT), staff rooms, libraries, assembly halls and recreational facilities. These accommodated the increased students’ enrolment from 93, 149 in 2007 to 143, 644 2014, an impressive increase of 54.21 per cent. For the sake of indigent students that could not ordinarily afford to register for the West African School Certificate (WASC) exams at the end of their secondary school education, the government of Liyel Imoke spent over N1bn registering students in public high schools for WASC examinations between 2007 and 2013. About N184m was spent on the same exercise for the year, 2015.
 
Despite the focus of his educational policies on the primary and secondary school levels, the former governor, Imoke, re-established the State College of Education at Akamkpa in 2008, established the Institute of Technology and Management (ITM) and increased the number of academic programs at the Cross River State University of Technology from 23 in 2007 to 39. He also expanded access to these tertiary education institutions for indigent students. 
In spite of the financial challenges (occasioned by the loss of the state oil wells) of the administration of Governor Liyel Imoke, the former governor’s education policy, which created  conducive learning environment for students, built capacity, imposed discipline and order on the school system and made education more accessible to more children paid off handsomely. For example, the performance of students in the state in the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) improved from five per cent in 2007 to 56.6 per cent in 2014. The state’ performance, that ranked 29th out of the 36 states in the country now ranks 6th. And the state was also de-listed from examination malpractice prevalent states. 
 
 
Lloyd Ukwu, a lawyer,writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria
0802 317 4444
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Nigeria Might Still Break Up Under Buhari – By Lloyd Ukwu- http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/09/26/nigeria-might-still-break-up-under-buhari-by-lloyd-ukwu/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/09/26/nigeria-might-still-break-up-under-buhari-by-lloyd-ukwu/#respond Sat, 26 Sep 2015 20:23:50 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=42758 By Lloyd Ukwu | Washington DC, USA | Sept. 26, 2015 – American and Western European experts predicted that Nigeria will disintegrate in 2015. With the political desperation and frenzy that marked the political campaigns of the 2015 presidential election, many thought that Nigeria was at the point of the predicted 2015 disintegration. Surprisingly, the election took place without the much anticipated violence. And following the election, the incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan, conceded defeat to the victorious opposition presidential candidate, Mohammudu Buhari. This forestalled the anticipated violence and predicted breakup. Refreshingly, the doomsayers were proved wrong. 
 
Disturbingly, Nigeria is still not completely out of the woods; as it may still break up. The possibility of conflict and dissolution of the country continue to loom because Buhari is stoking trouble. He is actively stirring up issues that can lead to serious national conflicts. Nigeria is a very complex country, and its governance is complicated by tribal, religious and sectional rivalries. In my viewpoint, Buhari is insensitive to this complexity and lacks the finesse and dexterity needed to govern Nigeria. With a military background and orientation, and a total lack of a liberal education, he is ill-equipped to preside over a democratic Nigeria. He has no refinement, and as such, only understands the language of force. He also does not understand the world order. Recall that he once referred to Germany as Western Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel as President Michelle. Those were just tip of the iceberg.  
 
There is no doubt that corruption is killing Nigeria, and that something needs to be done urgently  to deal with it. But you do not pull the entire house down simply to kill the rats in the ceiling. It demands that you methodically take out the rats one by one, so that, after the rats are gone, you still have a house to live in. He needs to respect the equality of all Nigerians under the law. His 95 per cent formula is naive and counterproductive. A successful war on corruption is not necessarily a function of the number of people jailed. The emphasis should not be just on sending people to jail for corruption, but also, in deterring acts of corruption. In his fight against corruption, Buhari refuses to understand that Nigeria is a representative democracy, and not a military dictatorship or a neo-military dictatorship.
 
A democracy is guided by the rule of law and not the impulsiveness and arbitrariness of a retired army general. The legal process is usually slow and painstaking. Buhari is impetuous; he does not have the patience and tolerance for the measured pace of the law. He wants, at his whims and caprices, to jail southern politicians and his enemies of northern extraction such as Col. Sambo Dasuki for corruption. He wants to rearrange the judiciary, and reconstruct and expand Kirikiri Prison. He will then fill the prison with his political enemies, as all those he fingered for corruption will automatically be arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and jailed for one hundred years or more by a compliant judiciary, dominated by northern judges. 
 
Is Buhari’s hypocrisy not conspicuously obvious? To tackle corruption, he must first purge himself of his excess baggage. He must approach equity with clean hands. How on earth can he fight corruption when the likes of Tinubu, Okorocha and former governor, Amaechi are his political allies? Please explain it to me! Amaechi is the man that funded Buhari’s campaign with the money he stole from the coffers of the government of Rivers State. Buhari, of course, knew that the funds were stolen and laundered by the former governor. At the time he was splurging stolen money on the Buhari Presidential Campaign, he was a sitting governor. He was not a multibillionaire in the mold of Dangote. So, the source of the money was obvious to Buhari.  
 
It is understandable that a president appoints people that he is comfortable with to work with him. But to appoint only his friends and relatives to pivotal positions as the Director Generals of the Directorate of State Security (DSS), Customs and Immigrations and the Chairman of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) is nepotism. Nepotism is corruption. And he insulted the sensibilities of Nigerians by justifying the appointments on the grounds that the appointees are loyal to him as friends and relatives. It is wrong for him to give the impression that only his friends, relatives and others from the northern part of Nigeria are competent, and committed to his vision. In addition, his punishing of those regions of the country that did not vote for him in the presidential election is grossly unfair. It is not only setting a dangerous precedent but inflames ethnic fury.   
 
My honest advice to Buhari is to first of all stabilize the economy and embark on institutional reforms that will strengthen the judiciary and the legislature before delving into other major divisive issues. However, he is neither reforming nor strengthening our national institutions. Actually, he is weakening them; he meddles in the judiciary and remote-controls the Senate and the House; thus, undermining the separation of powers. This is posing a serious problem for Nigerian democracy because these branches of government need to operate independently. 
 
What we are experiencing today is a military regime masquerading as a democracy. Buhari’s hounding of his political enemies with Gestapo-styled DSS raids on state government houses, private homes, etc attests to this reality. The lopsidedness of his administration’s actions is causing some silent but powerful and dangerous ripple. Nigeria is boiling. I see 1966 coming full cycle. And if this continues, Nigeria will break up. 
 
Lloyd Ukwu, an international lawyer writes from Washington, D.C. USA. (lawgroupinternational@gmail.com)
 
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It is Legally Impossible to Stop Wike’s Inauguration – By Lloyd Ukwu http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/05/10/it-is-legally-impossible-to-stop-wikes-inauguration/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/05/10/it-is-legally-impossible-to-stop-wikes-inauguration/#respond Sun, 10 May 2015 08:46:42 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=41356 By Lloyd Ukwu | Washington DC, USA | May 10, 2015 – As an American educated lawyer, the use of injunctive relief in Nigeria has never seized to amaze me. In the United States of America, and certainly, in Nigeria, an injunction is a court order by which an individual is required to perform, or is restrained from performing, a particular act; with the writ framed according to the circumstances of the individual case. An injunction commands an act that the court regards as essential to justice, or prohibits an act that is deemed contrary to good conscience. It is an extraordinary remedy, reserved for special circumstances in which the temporary preservation of the status quo is necessary. My amazement comes from the fact that injunctions are too easily (and at times dubiously) granted by the courts in Nigeria.

Recently, there have been talks about Amaechi and the All Progressive Congress (APC) concluding plans to scuttle the swearing-in of the governor-elect, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Wike, on May 29, 2015 by obtaining a hastily arranged kangaroo injunctive relief against his inauguration as the next governor of Rivers State. Such a legal move would be frivolous to the extent of offending good conscience. In the United States of America, this legal strategy would not have been an option because it would fall flat on its face and may even attract some serious disciplinary actions.

The courts ought to exercise their powers to issue injunctions judiciously; and thus, issue them only when the necessity exists. Undoubtedly, Wike won the 2015 gubernatorial election in Rivers State very convincingly. Dakuku Peterside and his political godfather, Chibuike Amaechi were badly trounced in the election. Wike’s victory stemmed from votes from his supporters and protest votes against Governor Amaechi, and by extension, his political protégé, Peterside, the gubernatorial candidate for the APC. The people of River State were sick and tired of eight years of Amaechi’s arrogance of power, impunity, misuse and misapplication of public funds, political intolerance – just horrible governance. Amaechi and APC have threatened to take their disaffection with the election result to the election tribunal, which is a legitimate course of action for anyone with any grievance with the outcome of an election. But then, where lies the need for an injunction?

An injunction is usually issued only in cases where irreparable injury to the rights of an individual would result otherwise. It must be readily apparent to the court that an act has been performed, or is threatened, that will produce irreparable injury to the party seeking the injunction. An injury is considered irreparable when it cannot be adequately compensated by an award of damages. The injury that APC and Amaechi are referring to, if any, is not irreparable. There are legal remedies for electoral flaws. For example, the court can order a recount or removal from office via quo warranto. Injunction is an equitable remedy that can be issued only if legal remedies are unavailable. In other jurisdictions, such as, the United States, injunctive relief is not a remedy that is liberally granted, and, therefore, a court will always consider any hardship that the parties will sustain by the granting or refusal of an injunction.

In Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws, he urged for a constitutional government with three separate branches, each with defined abilities to check the powers of the others. But in Nigeria I have noticed that this doctrine is flagrantly abused or ignored. Allowing an injunction, for example, to be issued against the police or Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), so that it cannot investigate or arrest an individual is a violation of the doctrine of separation of powers. There is no necessity because if arrested, the court can grant a bail if the arrested person does not constitute any danger to the community or there is no risk of flight.

What I have noticed here is that there is a lot of forum shopping. Otherwise, why would Amaechi and APC seek an injunction from a court sitting in Awka, Anambra state? There is virtually no nexus between Rivers state and Awka. This type of forum shopping and frivolous suits must be discouraged by punishing both the judges and the attorneys involved in such actions. I strongly believe that the APC’s and Amaechi’s efforts would not pass any legal muster. Therefore, it is legally impossible for them to stop the inauguration of the Governor-elect of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike. The worst case scenario is for Amaechi to refuse to set up his transition team to work out a smooth transition process.

Lloyd Ukwu, a lawyer, writes from Washington DC, USA
lawgroupinternational@gmail.com

 

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Tinubu: A Betrayal of the NADECO Ideals – By Lloyd Ukwu- http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/04/04/tinubu-a-betrayal-of-the-nadeco-ideals-by-lloyd-ukwu/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/04/04/tinubu-a-betrayal-of-the-nadeco-ideals-by-lloyd-ukwu/#respond Sat, 04 Apr 2015 20:01:05 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=41021 By Lloyd Ukwu | Port-Harcourt, Nigeria | April 4, 2015 – The June 12 1993 presidential election won by Moshood Abiola was adjudicated the freest and fairest election in Nigerian history. Lamentably, the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the election. In place of Abiola, he appointed Ernest Shonekan to head an interim government. The Shonekan government wobbled under its own weight of illegitimacy, inherent weakness and lack of moral authority. It finally collapsed when General Sani Abacha, the Minister for Defense in the interim government, shoved aside Shonekan and seized power.

The majority of Nigerians, including those in the United States of America were appalled by the annulment of the June 12 election and the continued military rule under General Abacha. They were determined to force out the military and install the winner of the June 12 election, M.K.O. Abiola, as president. This resulted in the formation of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) by a number of prominent Nigerian politicians. Facing swift persecution inside Nigeria, NADECO Abroad was created.The NADECO Abroad was led by Chief Anthony Enahoro. Other overseas branches were created. Chief Ralph Obioha led the NADECO-USA, Chief Raph Uwechue, the NADECO-UK and retired General Cornelius Adebayo, NADECO-Canada. Washington DC, the capital of USA, was the hotbed of the NADECO-USA opposition to the Abacha government.

As the Counsel General of NADECO-USA, I incorporated the NADECO-USA and donated my law office in downtown (Central Business District) Washington, DC for five years as the headquarters of NADECO operations in Washington, DC. Chief Ralph Obioha spearheaded the NADECO-USA drive to oust the Abacha regime and establish democracy in Nigeria. Among other things, he addressed the US Congress, traveled extensively and gave series of speeches. He solicited and garnered recognition and help from different countries of the world. Other senior members of NADECO, including Bola Tinubu and John Oyegun lived in the Washington DC area and were also very active in the campaign to dislodge the Abacha government and install the winner of the June 12 election as president. The military junta of General Sani Abacha fought back. It unleashed a wave of terror on NADECO and other prodemocracy activists. In Nigeria, he hung playwright and environmental activist, Ken Saro Wiwa, and the Ogoni 9. Abacha was a brutal, murderous and barbaric dictator. But then Abacha was a product of Babangida’s scuttling of the June 12 elections. But then it was General Mohammadu Buhari’s overthrow of a democratically elected government of Alahji Shehu Shagari that set the stage for Babangidaism.

With the mysterious deaths of both Sani Abacha and Chief MKO Abiola, most of the members of oversea NADECO ended their exile; they returned home. It boggles the mind that anyone that fought, under the auspices of NADECO, against the Abacha military dictatorship can ever support Buhari for the presidency. After all, Buhari, in some respect, was a more ruthless dictator than Abacha. By whatever stretch of the imagination, Buhari is not qualified to lead a democratic Nigeria. His credentials and antecedents speak against him. His antecedence shows clearly that, for years, he subverted the ideals NADECO stood for and fought for: democracy, rule of law, fundamental human rights, freedom of worship, etc. In his desperation for power, he, in 1984, ousted President Shehu Shagari from power, thus, brutally truncating the nation’s nascent but thriving democracy.

Now, he wants to benefit from democracy; he wants to be a democratically elected president of Nigeria. The backing of Buhari’s presidential ambition by some former NADECO members is tantamount to a pat on the back for Buhari; he is being rewarded for shooting his way into power and committing atrocities; jailing, maiming and killing of the innocent. It sends a dangerous signal to the younger military officers: that it is okay to plot coups, trample the constitution, and kill, maim and jail Nigerian citizens, for you will be rewarded for it. So, if Abacha were alive today, and is running for president of Nigeria, the likes of Tinubu and Oyegun will have no compunction in sponsoring his presidency. After all, all Abacha did was to follow in the footsteps of Buhari: seize power, hold Nigerians in submission to the gun and kill and maim. Buhari in one respect is worse than Abacha – he overthrew a democratically elected government, Abacha did not. In other countries of the world, like the USA, people honor their war heroes. Lamentably, in Nigeria, we seemed poised to honor a coup plotters and brutal killer.

The support for Buhari by the likes of the Tinubus and Oyeguns is inconceivable. It is a betrayal of the NADECO cause. Tinubu and Oyegun are turncoats. They are making mockery of the post June 12 struggle for democracy and social justice that led to the establishment of democracy in Nigeria. They are desecrating the memory MKO Abiola, Kudirat Abiola, Ken Saro Wiwa and many of those that died in the struggle against Abacha’s military tyranny and the institution of democracy in Nigeria. But then, it is obvious that the motivation for their dalliance with Buhari is avarice, grasping avarice. Tinubu has a personal stake in the Buhari’s presidency. He is scheming for the office of the Vice President. His protégé, Yemi Osinbajo, is Buhari’s running mate. In the 2011 presidential election, Tinubu did not ally with Buhari because the Buhari presidential campaign refused to meet his condition. Tinubu demanded that Buhari’s running mate, Tunde Bakari, write and sign a post-dated resignation letter, stating that if Buhari is elected president, he, the Vice President, will resign and relinquish the office of the Vice President to Tinubu. There are speculations that Tinubu, this time, is supporting Buhari because Osinbajo, a Tinubu acolyte, wrote and signed a post-dated resignation letter, stating that if elected the Vice President, he will, in three months, resign his post to make way for Tinubu.

Tinubu rode on the coattail of MKO Abiola, Kudirat Abiola, Ken Saro Wiwa into power. He paid little lip service to NADECO and dumped it for his selfish ends. Today, the same Tinubu is asking APC voters to disobey electoral laws with impunity by voting and remaining in the voting unit in direct contravention of the law. And his cheerleader SANs, Fashola and Osibanjo instead of calling him to other, are cheering him on. It is a coded language for violence. Tinubu is telling the youths to stay and unleash mayhem on fellow Nigerians. He wants to swim in their blood (again) to power.

Bola Tinubu has shamelessly betrayed the ideals that NADECO stood for by supporting the very persons that it was meant to fight. Buhari presidency has nothing to offer Nigerians. His political party, the APC talks about change. Yes, of course, they will bring about change but it can only be retrograde, destructive change. Evidently, Nigerians can see through him. No wonder, they have, in the past, rejected him three consecutive times. This time around, despite his deliberate and frantic attempt to recast himself as a democrat with respect for the rule of law and tenets of democracy, Nigerians will reject him again.
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Lloyd Ukwu, an international lawyer, writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria
lawgroupinternational@gmail.com

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Al Qaeda Linked Billionaires Fund Buhari’s Campaign – By Lloyd Ukwu http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/03/12/al-qaeda-linked-billionaires-fund-buharis-campaign-by-lloyd-ukwu/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/03/12/al-qaeda-linked-billionaires-fund-buharis-campaign-by-lloyd-ukwu/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2015 14:05:29 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=40647 Buhari_

By Lloyd Ukwu | Port- Harcourt | March 12, 2015 – The All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Mohammadu Buhari recently returned from a visit to London. He went to London for a medical treatment. The grueling presidential campaign had taken a toll on the ailing Septuagenarian and he desperately needed medical attention. His appearance, while in London, at the Chatham House was merely a smokescreen; it dissembled the object of the visit: medical treatment. Although, the APC presented his London visit as a “working visit”, he failed to attend most of the programs organized as part of his “working visit”. His Chatham House appearance allowed the APC an opportunity to sell the Buhari presidential candidacy to the world, and especially, the United Kingdom. At the Chatham House, he presented a paper titled “Prospects for Democratic Consolidation in Africa: Nigeria’s Transition”.
The Chatham House hype belied the outrageous cost of that public relations outing for the APC. It cost the APC about N5 billion. The money was for the payments for the speaking engagement, numerous foreign consultants, air tickets for the huge APC delegation (including a contingent of governors), the purchase and renting of vehicles, hotel bills and other logistics.
Unknown to many, is that the London visit also allowed Buhari the opportunity to source funds from a number of Arab donors. Despite repeated denial by General Muhammadu Buhari and the APC of being sponsored by Arab countries and businessmen, intelligent sources revealed that Mr. Buhari made contacts with at least two Saudi billionaires with links to the Al Qaeda terrorist group. He solicited and received their financial support for his presidential campaign.
That Buhari is seeking financial help from Arab billionaires is fathomable. There are indications that some of his erstwhile financial backers are now withholding their funding from his political quest. Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State, an APC stalwart, recently made it clear that he cannot continue to fund the Buhari campaign because he needs money to pay state government employees. Another major financier of the Buhari campaign, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is disenchanted with the APC. Consequently, he is hobnobbing with the ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). And once provided a soft landing, he will readily return to the PDP. He has since seized to be a financial supporter of the Buhari candidacy.
Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State was one of the most important financiers of the APC presidential candidate. Notorious for his flippancy and reckless remarks, he repeatedly embarrassed the APC with his unguarded statements. In one of his brazen remarks, he said that Nigerian soldiers fighting the Boko Haram insurgency can justifiably disobey orders from their commanders. Legal experts considered his statement treasonable because Section 44 of the Criminal Code provides that: Any person who attempts to (a) seduce any member of the armed forces of Nigeria from his duty and allegiance; or (b) to incite any such persons to commit an act of mutiny is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life. The party tried to rein in his glibness. Piqued by his party’s remonstration, Amaechi is sulking, and in retaliation against the party, is holding back funds from the Buhari campaign.
With the once bloated coffers of the Buhari Presidential Campaign drying up, Buhari is in a desperate need of money. As such, he is reaching out to Arab donors for money. The sourcing of money by Buhari from Saudi businessmen with links to global terrorist groups is illegal. The Nigerian electoral act prohibits political candidates from raising foreign money and /or taking money from foreign donors. Yet, in his characteristic disdain for the constitution and national laws, Buhari went with cap in hand to London, begging money from fundamentalist Saudi Arabian billionaires with ties to both Al Qaeda and ISIS. It is important to note that Buhari, his Saudi sponsors and the leadership of both ISIS and Al Qaeda are all fundamentalist Sunni Moslems.
Buhari’s ties to terrorist group, Boko Haram (with its enduring ties to Al Qaeda) that has lately declared its affiliation with ISIS have never been in doubt. For an earlier proposed negotiation between the terrorist group and the Nigerian government in Saudi Arabia, the Boko Haram chose him as its representative. He once proposed a general amnesty, financial rewards, jobs and political appointments for Boko Haram terrorists. Before he started feigning the image of a national, unifying figure and trustworthy presidential candidate, he was critical of the Nigerian army for killing Boko Haram members and his supporters celebrated Boko Haram attack on Nigerian soldiers.
Lloyd Ukwu, a lawyer writes from Port Harcourt.
lawgroupinternational@gmail.com
0802 317 4444

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