Tag Archives: corruption


Opinion: The Rochas Okorocha you don’t know is inept and incompetent

by Kenneth Uwadi

Since May 29th, 2011, Imo State and her people have been witnessing ‘ Abracadabra’ in governance, lawlessness, insecurity, kidnapping , negative and half hazard polices, deceit and the more you look the less you see, showmanship, lies and falsification, lack of procedure and total neglect to lay down procedure and heavy debt burden to the incoming Administration .

The save Imo Group is concerned that if nothing is done and urgently too, the State may be heading to total collapse. Some records need to be put straight before Owelle Rochas Okoro led Government finally mortgages the future of our unborn children through his abracadabra. You are deformed when not informed.

First seven (7) days of Okorocha in office witnessed dictatorial tendencies, democratically elected Council Chairmen and Councillors were unjustly sacked, ten thousand youths employed during Ohakim’s administration unjustly sacked, tenured Boards & Commissions dissolved and lots more.

He also made avalanche of promises and policy statements on his administration including but not limited to Free Education from primary to University Level for Sons and Daughters of Imo State . We wouldn’t have bothered but for the saying, “A lie repeated severally may begin to assume the status of a gospel truth.”

For the avoidance of doubt, Federal Government, since the time of Olusegun Obasanjo takes care of primary 1 to JSS3 through Universal Basic Education( UBE), therefore it is not true or possible for Rochas to have given free Education for pupil within the same school bracket.

The Owelle you don’t know

Furthermore, it is noteworthy to mention here that before Owelle’s assumption of office in May 2011, that an average tuition fee in Imo State University was N35,000.00. However, when he came up with the idea or policy of free- education we applauded him, but now it is obvious that there is nothing like free education in Imo State as widely claimed by the Rescue Mission Government.

Before now, registration for common entrance examination was N500 (five hundred Naira) only but now it is N2000 for public school, and N2,500 for private schools, entrance into modern school was free, so far you got up to 50% and above in the common entrance, but now it is N1,700 and for every body. Price for junior WAEC has gone three times higher than what it was during Ohakim, senior WAEC now goes for about N23,000 naira, the question know is where lies the free education?

It is purely a sham, schools hardly provide Chalks, Teachers’ Notebooks, Diaries, Registers, Students Dossiers (Result booklets), today only a segment of the Imo populace enjoys the scholarship called free education for Imo, if it is free education every Imolite at the tertiary level should benefit from it no matter where he or she is schooling, just like bursary and not what is obtained today.

Undoubtedly, during Ohakim Imo State University tuition fee was pegged at N35,000 and acceptance fee N20,000 as against Owelle’s N120,000 for tuition and N70,000 acceptance respectively. Yes, a segment of the populace got Owelle’s scholarship of N100,000 per annum of which they have required to add their N20,000.00 for the cheque to be accepted in the designated banks whereas the rest are made to pay N120,000.00.

Furthermore this deceits of the century have led to the reduction in admission of prospective students of Imo State extraction just to give room for more none indigenes who will now pay N120,000.00 for tuition fee and N70,000.00, N100,000.00 acceptance fee, Robbing Peter to pay Paul. As we write 20% of Imolites are offered admission while 80% goes to none indigenes as against 80% for Imolites and 20% for none indigenes before now. Who is deceiving who? Imolite shine your eyes!

It is a pity that all the roads constructed by Governor Rochas are substandard (China Road), many of them needs urgent repair. We are yet to see the economic impact of Bongo squire, Heroes square, Freedom square, Ikemba square. First Lady’s New Office, Imo international conference centre and other projects that are total wastage of scarce resources. Rochas has wasted N1.8 Trillion in three years.

Questions that must be answered by Owelle Rochas Okorocha

Where are all the huge funds allocated monthly to the 27 local Government areas in Imo State, and received for disbursement by Imo State Government since May 2011 till Date that is well above N180 Billion? What has been done with these funds?
Which of the roads, started and completed by this administration in any of the 27 Local Government Areas or Hospital, Schools, bore holes for water or any rural electrifications etc in any autonomous community in Imo State in over three years of the life of this administration? Not those built by unsuspecting contractors/individuals with their hard earned money that is now begging for regularization and payment.
What project has been completed and commissioned?
Where is the N26.8 billion handed over to Owelle by Ohakim?
Where is the N13.3 billion bond proceeds for Oguta wonder lake?
What is the stage of work at the Oguta blue lake of treasure as renamed? Now covered by grass.
What has happened to the Marine Police approved as a result of the wonder lake?
Who bought or leased Adalpam Nigeria Ltd?
Where are IROMA trucks and equipments? Valued at N12.5 Billion.
Where is the supposed N3.5 billion proceeds from the sale/lease of Adalpam?
Who owns ROCHE?
Who owns ITC?
How much was paid for the lease of ITC?
And where is the money for the lease?
Who are the real owners of LAM TECH? The firm that leased our General Hospitals & Health Centres.
For how much? and to whom?
Is there no Medical Doctors from Imo State or South East?
What is the rationale behind selling the existing General Hospitals to start new ones? After the Owelle Govt told us that Govt. has no business running Hospitals
Why do Owelle claim that he has built 27 General Hospitals when all the project are below 30% completion.
Is Hospital a mere building yet to be completed? Or completed and equipped building?
What has happened to over N30 billion 13% (derivation) allocated to Imo State oil producing Areas Dev. Commission since May 2011 to date?
What are the jobs awarded or going on in the two oil producing L.G.As. (Ohaji/Egbema &Oguta)?
Who owns ABN Global that leased Concorde Hotel?
Why short down Concorde Hotel? Creating 2000 unemployment
What is the fate of Imolites working there?
Where is the $2.5 million dollars paid for the lease of Imo Concorde Hotel?
What is the fate of our brothers who paid N500,000.00 to procure Owerri city gates contracts. Nearly three (3) years why are the gates abandoned?
In what positive manner has Governor Owelle Okorocha impacted directly or indirectly on the lives of the people of Imo State? Are we developing or retrogressing? Has life become more unbearable for the average Imo man through his anti people, anti-masses policies and programmes?
Astronomical increase in personal income taxes when there are no jobs and the policies of government are unfriendly to private sector economic activities and hostile to the self-employed.
Astronomical increase in the state owned tertiary institution.
The destruction of people’s Houses and business premises without due compensation.
The multiple charges for re-certification of Certificates of Occupancy, and grossly inflated land charges.
Charges on personal bore-holes.
Forceful acquisition of Government & individual properties.
What has become of USBEB,MDG etc. Gone moribund.
Is the government so myopic, insensitive to public query that only person fit for sensitive contracts, appointments are the Nwosus(Okorocha’s inlaws) and another Nwosu has joined through the acquisition of Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s daughter.
What is the rational in Sacking 10,000 Imo Youth duly employed by Ohakim’s administration according to their grades to now claim to employ 25,000 casual workers by the Rescue Mission government without due process and all to receive N20,000 per month?
If the N13.3 billion bond proceeds was used for free education, school buildings and Hospitals as claimed by the Hon. Commissioner for finance Mr Chike Okafor, in his broadcast of Sunday, 27th January 2013 on Orient F.M Owerri, will the credit not go to Ohakim?
What happened to the N3.5 billion from the lease of Adapam that we were told was for the same purpose?
What happened to the proceeds of the lease of our General Hospital?
What happened to the N400 million flood money?
What happened to N45 million loan secured from Zenith Bank with the allocation of local government as collateral?
What of the N200,000.00 (Two Hundred Million) each given to the T.C chairmen from the said N45 Billion loan for the purposes of construction of hospitals in the 27 L.G.A.’s?
Who nominated the contractors handling the projects?
How much has been paid so far? And what is the stage of work?
Why scrap development centres, thereby removing food from the tables of many families?
Where is Josph Dino of Jpros Limited and Imo tax payers N1.3 billion naira?
Where is Joss Marinlopez-pepe and Imo tax payers N3.5 billion?
Why is Owerri so dirty?
ORO is it true that you gave a friend job, arranged him to us as beautiful and strategically locate edifice to borrow money from bank? Not only that you did not pay him, that you bought his house from the bank , when the bank advertised the property for sale on the account of non performance of the loan, for his been unable to pay back the loan?
ORO, was it not the same way you cunningly acquired your friend’s Hotel LAMONDE? Lamonde (Abuja) was originally built and owned by a family friend, Chief L. Lar, younger brother to late Chief Solomon Lar. You plunged him into financial crises and later bought his Hotel-Lamonde through the bank. Owelle Rochas Okorocha Habaa!
Why did the Governor sack the acting V.C. of IMSU, Prof. B.E.B Nwoke? May be he refused to be part of the sham called free education.
Owelle Rochas Okorocha who and who were your course mates? What course did you study? And what year did you graduate? And from which University?

Sins of Owelle Rochas Okorocha 

1. Building of twenty seven (27) general Hospital with the intention of collection 10% of the total cost. The cost of the Hospital put at 20 Billion. He personally nominated all the contract fees paid to contractors without job being done.
2. Claim of constructing 15 Kilometres of road in the 27 L.G.A’s, the contract fees paid to contractors without job being done.
3. Deceitfully building princess Hotel at Okigwe in which Billions was paid to Spanish company and not much work has been done. Part of the Hotel collapsed few months ago because of the sub-standard job going on.
4. Selling of Government owned companies to his brother and relatives in the guise of lease e.g., ITC Adapalm, Concorde and Imo Municipal transport company. Imo Municipal was setup by Ikedi Ohakim’s administration.
5. Conniving with Contractors to defraud taxpayers of over 10 billion Naira with his rural road projects. When asked, Okorocha will say I don’t know how these criminals came into the system.
6a. Sacking of 10,000 Youths employed by Ohakim.
6b. Sacking of elected Chairmen and Councilors.
6c. Sacking of over 300 Imo workers from ITC
6d. Sacking of all the Concorde staff. The big question Imo people are asking, how many times will Concorde be reconstructed in Okorocha’s administration?
6e. Sacking of all the Development Centers staff and scraping them
6f. Sacking and scraping Imo Elders Council
6g. Sacking and scraping Imo State investment promotion Agency (ISIPA)
6h. Sacking of the Chairman of Imo State council of Ndi Eze Dr. C.I. llomuaya.
6i. Sacking all staff and scraping IROMA
6j. Sacking all ENTRACO cadets
6k. Sacking all city sweepers.
6l. Sacking all water maintenance Technicians and the General Manager of Imo Water corporation.
6m. Sacking all staff of Wonder lake Development corporation etc;

In fact, Rochas has sacked more than 300,000 Imo citizens from employment. He hates the poor

7. Leasing of Imo municipal transport to his brother who happens to be one of his aides, without paying a kobo.
8. Using his son in-law Uche Nwosu, the Commissioner for Lands to acquire peoples lands in the guise of development. Converting of open space to family properties.
9. Selling of 90% of Government vehicles to his business partners in the North there by making Government appointees to use their private cars to do Government job.
10. Building of Maritime University at the cost of whopping N22 Billion with ISOPADEC funds. This project was just conceived by Okorocha to milk the ISOPADEC account dry through variations and collection of 10%, the project is now abandoned.
11. Award of all the jobs in USBEB to only family member.
12. Award of all the jobs in MDG and FADAMA to only family members and friends.
13. Using the construction of international shopping complex at Ama jk to siphon and defraud Imolites N3.5 billion through Mr. Jose Marin Lopez-Pepe and his company Hommipreses ,a poor artisan company based in Spain.
14. ORO why did you destroy our Ama jk park.
15a. Deceiving Imolites over FREE EDUCATION of which 80% admission is given to non-indigenes while 20% to Imo students. Primary 1 to Jss 3 is funded by the Federal Government while the billions claimed to be spent on free education is a scam.
15b. Claims of spending N4b on school Uniforms, Sandals and Canvas to students, whereas only few schools and students in urban area benefited from it.
16. Monies realized from the lease of ITC, Concorde Hotel, Adaplam are in Okorocha’s personal account while no money was paid for the lease of Imo Municipal Transport Company. We are demanding to see the payment slip or better still prove of payment made into Imo State Government Area.
17. Misusing over M1.8 Trillion (Allocation + Loan) from May 29th 2011to Date as many uncompleted projects are scarted everywhere. The total not up to 100 Billion Naira.
18. putting Imolites into bondage by secretly borrowing money from banks in Nigeria and abroad. Refusing to abide to the rules of law by sacking and not reinstating elected local Government chairman with their councillors. Siphoning the Local Government accounts
19. forming 4th tier (CGC) without a 3rd tier (LGA).
20. Improvershing Imolites by doing all the contracts alone through his surrogates.
21. Using tax payer’s money to procure over 200 vehicles for the party-APC Imo State chapter.
22. Owelle have repeatedly told Imolites that part of his achievement is construction of 305 modern school buildings in the 305 INEC wards in Imo State, but investigation has shown that not up to 30% of the project have been completed, ORO why?
23. None of the 27 general Hospital project embarked upon by ORO has been completed for about 3 ½ years of his administration, ORO Why?
24. Imo State General Hospital (Specialist Hospital) Umuguma has gone moribund. The only living things within and around it are bushes, snakes and rats etc, ORO Why?
25. Award of Juicy contracts to family members, e.g
(i) Award of warehouses to Aba road to jpros through Chief Okey Nwosu his brother in-law,
at whopping sum of N1.3 billion for a road that is less than 3km and the N1.3 paid full in advance,
which led to the blackmail and subsequent impeachment of Jude Agbaso.
(ii) Installation of solar energy street lights from control post roundabout, through Bank Road, Wetheral to Aba road to his Elder Sister Geraldine at a Unit cost of N1,000,000.00 (one million Naira, for one pole)
(iii) Award of contract for the construction of roundabout to his surrogates at a staggering sum of N40,000.000 (forty Million) each for a mere roundabout.
26. Attempt to legalize ABORTION in IMO STATE.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


Nigeria ranks 31 on list of world’s most corrupt nations – Transparency International

by Godwin Akanfe

According to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 released by Transparency International, Nigeria is the 31st most corrupt nation in the world.

The index scores 177 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). No country has a perfect score, and two-thirds of countries score below 50.

The best 17 countries in zero tolerance for corruption are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Luxembourg, Germany, Iceland, United Kingdom, Barbados, Belgium and Hong Kong.

While Nigeria is 31 on the list, the top 20 most corrupt countries are made up of mostly African countries.

Meanwhile, Transparency International has called for an immediate renewal of the anti-graft war by building transparent public institutions.

“The world urgently needs a renewed effort to crack down on money laundering, clean up political finance, pursue the return of stolen assets and build more transparent public institutions.”

“It is time to stop those who get away with acts of corruption. The legal loopholes and lack of political will in government facilitate both domestic and cross-border corruption, and call for our intensified efforts to combat the impunity of the corrupt”.


Opinion: If Buhari is easy to defeat, why the fear?

by Ola’ Idowu

This is one question I’ve been asking myself since the last article I wrote in support of Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential ambitions. Prior to writing the article we’ve had a Special Adviser to the President on Media, Doyin Okupe, saying Buhari is a serial loser.

I’ve monitored so many other articles and interviews with many of them insisting Jonathan would have a walk-over if Buhari were to be the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and I ask myself the question, if Buhari would be easy to defeat, why the fear from the Presidency, their supporters in the media and party members within the PDP about Buhari’s candidature?

Would there be something we’re missing out on with all the sudden press attacks on Buhari or is that part of the plan to make him easy to defeat? The truth is Buhari’s candidature if given the chance as the APC’s presidential candidate would give Jonathan and all his handlers a good run for their money, hence why they are all quaking.

The fear of Buhari has become the beginning of wisdom for many. Let’s remind ourselves again, this is a man who almost single-handedly started a new party four months to the 2011 elections and won over 12 million votes as the candidate of the CPC with 25% of votes across 16 states compared to Jonathan, with all his resources and being the candidate of a 12-year-old party then winning 10 million votes more than Buhari.

In the last 18 months, Buhari has worked assiduously along with other well-meaning Nigerians across the different power bases in the country to build a much stronger party and yet the presidency and the PDP would have us believe he would be easy to defeat.

So the question remains, why the fear?

Buhari, if selected as the APC presidential candidate, would surely be hinging his campaign on his zero tolerance for corruption, which in the past has seen him come up against allegedly corrupt politicians. Though many accuse him of jailing mostly southern politicians, I can’t recall him crating any Southern politician, drugging him and attempting to bring him back to Nigeria. The fact that he did that to a Northern politician, Umaru Dikko, absolves him of a lot of blame. If he was parochial or partial in his fight against corruption, he would never have crated a northern politician to bring him to justice back home, though his administration has always denied being involved in that landmark drama in Nigeria’s history.

Thus if he says he would be fighting corruption and economic sabotage as president in 2015, there is sure guarantee to believe him compared to this present administration that has remained aloof even in the face of massive corruption and economic sabotage going on in the country. The PDP and the presidency, despite all this, would however insist that Buhari is easy to defeat. I would not be interested in arguing over that, I’m just amused at the amount of fear Buhari’s candidacy is generating, why the fear if he is easy to defeat?

Its become so ridiculous that you find some of the writers disingenuously calling for the APC to choose Abubakar Atiku as their presidential candidate, with a certain Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi even going as far as suggesting other names as Rotimi Amaechi, Tunde Fashola, Rabiu Kwankwaso etc., but surely not Buhari. But I haven’t seen any of the writers present a compelling reason why Jonathan should re-contest in 2015 let alone why Nigerians should vote for him.

The whole talk is about that great man Buhari, but I thought he was supposedly easy to defeat, so why all the fear? The way supporters of President Jonathan are calling for the APC to make Atiku their presidential candidate reminds me of TV adverts of mosquitoes and roaches begging not to have Baygon or Raid insecticide sprayed on them should Buhari be chosen instead. If they feel Buhari would be a softer target to defeat why would you be discreetly and indirectly begging your opponents to field a “stronger” candidate in Atiku?

It just doesn’t add up and in my next article I would give reasons why I believe the APC should cool off on Atiku’s presidential bid not because he isn’t good enough or prepared but because it would be playing into the hands of the PDP. Let Jonathan, his handlers, and his party stand against the Buhari they have been boasting for years would be easy to defeat.

Without any iota of doubt corruption and economic sabotage remain Nigeria’s problems and we can’t make any progress as nation unless we fix it. Its not just about sending corrupt people to jail as Buhari did as Head of State, its by the perception you give to people and the international community, the confidence you give to foreign investors that business can be done in Nigeria without giving bribes, the hope you give to millions of young Nigerian graduates, engineers, managers, bankers, business men and women that the country is open for genuine business and people and indeed the entire nation can prosper should they choose to be legitimate.

People forget this was some of the perception and hope that the Buhari/Idiagbon regime gave to Nigerians in 1984 as Head of State. For example under Buhari’s regime, feasibility and pre-feasibility studies for any government project was done by Nigerians with no fee paid to any foreign consultant for a job Nigerians could do. The only fees paid where in services where Nigerians lacked the expertise or occupational shortages then in the sciences, technical skills or advanced technology.

He ensured that turn around maintenance (TAM) on our refineries was done by Nigerian engineers thereby saving us foreign exchange. He also started paying off all our debts as soon as he in came into power, as corrupt Shehu Shagari’s government was unable to meet any debt repayments before they were overthrown. By the time Buhari was overthrown he had paid off over $4 billion of our foreign debts in two years from the huge $15 billion Shagari had being ill-advised to borrow, and brought inflation down from runaway 40% to less than 5.5%. Also by the time Buhari’s regime was usurped by IBB we were running a budget surplus all in less than two years, the first and only time that has happened since after the oil boom of the 70s in Nigeria.

Since August 1985, when IBB came into power Nigeria has always ran a budget deficit consistently, possibly under the late Sani Abacha we had a budget neutral once but consistently its been a deficit. Nigerians don’t even talk about something that is a big issue in every serious country around the world including Puerto Rico, where its a big political talking point. The Nigerian budget under the PDP since 1999 has always been a deficit despite oil prices at an all-time high. Under Jonathan since 2010, we’ve consistently ran a budget deficit (which for those who don’t know means we spend more than we earn as a nation to the detriment of the economy and the masses) and under Buhari we had a budget surplus (we earn more than we spend as a nation to the betterment of the economy and the masses). Yet they insist Buhari is easy to defeat, so why the fear?

I leave with feedback I got from a reader on my last article titled: “A Closing Argument for Buhari’s Case”. Chimezie Okezie, writing from chimezie_hse@yahoo.co.uk, wondered why the APC is shying away from building a fanatical followership across the country for Buhari like he has in the North, and why they are treating the issue of unseating President Jonathan with kid gloves. He advocates that the APC should mobilise their registered members to collect their permanent voters cards, and verify they are doing so.

Okezie posits that the APC should start recruiting vowed loyal members as polling booth agents across the country and start training them on how to counter rigging and arm them with readily available technologies that can be used to capture voting (declared results) in each booth and polling unit, with results collated in real time at the APC central campaign coordinating office.

This would ensure that results come in live to APC and there is no way election results can be rigged by the PDP across the country as the results are being collated from each polling unit in real time by the APC, should they deploy the technology Okezie advocates.

He finishes by saying: “If we get our act (APC, Buhari supporters, and Nigerian masses I believe) right, I will close my eyes, beat my chest and tell you that Buhari has won.” This is coming from an ordinary Nigerian. The question I need president Jonathan’s handlers, supporters, media supporters and the PDP to answer is, if Buhari is easy to defeat as they claim, why the fear?


This article first appeared on Sahara Reporters

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


Rudolf Okonkwo: Sue me GEJ- You are worth $120 Million Dollars!

by Rudolf Okonkwo

An online magazine richestlifestyle.com recently published the ranking of the richest African presidents. The magazine ranked President Goodluck Jonathan 6th. Jonathan, a whole president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a country with the largest economy in Africa, was assessed to have a total worth of $100 million dollars.  

The president was furious. Speaking through his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, he called the idea that he is worth $100 million dollars false.  “As is well known, President Jonathan has never been a businessman or entrepreneur, but a life-long public servant,” Abati argues. “The President has held public office since 1999 and has regularly declared his assets as required by Nigerian laws. He has had no personal income since 1999 other than his official remuneration as deputy governor, governor, vice president, acting president and president which are matters of public record.”

The president then threatened to sue the online publication for libel. The website immediately removed Jonathan from the ranking.

But what is President Jonathan’s worth? That question still needs to be answered.

Since the president will not just tell us and save us and save himself the headache, we will calculate it for him.

But before we do so, lets look at what the law about declaration of assets says.

The Nigerian constitution requires that top government officials declare their assets before they are sworn into office. President Jonathan did not do so when he was sworn in on May 29, 2011. Nigerians had to huff and puff for months. During one media chat when the question was put to him that Nigerians were worried that he was disobeying the constitution by not declaring his assets as at when due, the president said he did not give a damn.

Eighteen months after, while nobody was looking, President Goodluck Jonathan declared his assets. We know this because on September 24th, 2012, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) Dr. Sam Saba, speaking through Alhaji Ibrahim Manzo, the Federal Commissioner representing North West in the Bureau, brought the good news to the media.

At that event, Saba reiterated that no law said that the President should declare his assets publicly. Saba also added, “What is important is that he has declared his assets and when we go through his form and we discover any area that is questionable, then we will take him to court.”

This was on September 24th, 2012. At that time the Code of Conduct Bureau was yet to go through President Jonathan’s form. Which was how we determined that it was sent to them around that time. And since we have not heard from Mr. Saba, over two years after, we can safely assume that he went through the forms and found nothing questionable that would require him to take the president to court as he promised in that speech at a Compliance Training Workshop for Public Officers in Abuja.

What President Jonathan declared is secret, sealed and locked away in the office of Code of Conduct Bureau. The presidency insists that the constitution did not require that he makes his declaration public. The chairman of Code of Conduct Bureau on his part asked those who want to know what is in the president’s declaration form to invoke the Freedom of Information Act.

Paragraph 3, Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, provides that the Code of Conduct Bureau shall have power to: (a) receive declarations by public officers made under paragraph 12 of Part I of the Fifth Schedule to this Constitution; (b) examine the declarations in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct or any law; (c) retain custody of such declarations and make them available for inspection by any citizen of Nigeria on such terms and conditions as the National Assembly may prescribe.

The next option left for Nigerians who wish to know the content of the president’s declaration forms was to invoke Schedule (c) which says that the Code of Conduct Bureau retains custody of such declarations and make them available for inspection by any citizen of Nigeria on such terms and conditions as the National Assembly may prescribe.

In October of 2011, the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) dragged the Code of Conduct Bureau to court for failing to release to the public the asset declaration of the president. AFRICMIL had in July of 2011 sent a Freedom of Information request “to be allowed to inspect and obtain copies of the 2007 asset declaration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; the asset declaration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan after the end of his tenure on May 28, 2011; and the current asset declaration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan when he assumed office on May 29, 2011.”

As expected, nothing has come out of it.

Whatever the constitution says, and whatever interpretation President Jonathan’s men give it, the gold standard has always been for government officials to make their asset declaration public on taking over office.

President Umaru Yar’Adua did that. He also compelled the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to do the same- something he did a day after he was sworn in.

Despite Jonathan’s refusal to follow best practice in 2011 and his fury at Richestlifestyle.com’s partners who did the calculations for him, we will, together, try to do the calculation on these pages.

So let us start our calculation from the declaration President Jonathan made in 2007 when he was Vice President under the government of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

As at 2007, President Jonathan under oath stated that the value of his assets was N295,304,420.00. At that time, the figure was N561,148,472.00 less than what President Umaru Yar’Adua declared – which was N857,452,892.00

Now note that Jonathan and Yar’Adua came from similar background. They were university teachers before they joined the government as political appointees and later full time politicians. Yar’Adua was governor of Kastina state for 8 years before he became President while Jonathan was deputy governor of Bayelsa for 6 years and governor for 2 years before he became Vice President of Nigeria. Other than Yar’Adua coming from a well-off family, the real difference comes in how long they were at the helm in their respective states. But because Yar’Adua was in control of Kastina state, a relatively poor state compared to Jonathan’s Bayelsa state, the difference in their assets as declared in 2007 was understandable.

When Jonathan made his assets declaration in 2007, his spokesman then, Mr. Ima Niboro said that by doing so the president had shown that “there is nothing to hide.” He also stated that the then Vice President was a firm believer in the rule of law which Niboro said had guided Jonathan in his conduct in office through the years.

Makes you wonder what happened to the president’s belief in recent years. Did he suddenly have things to hide? Or did he suddenly find that the rule of law has an exaggerated importance?

Based on the declaration made by Jonathan in 2007, he had four buildings located in Yenegoa, Abuja and his home town in Ogbia, Bayelsa state.

He said that he owned a five bedroom duplex in Gwarimpa 11, Abuja. The building he said was acquired in 2003 through loan and was valued at N24,990,000.00  Another seven bedroom duplex located at Otuoke in Ogbia Local government area of Bayelsa state was valued at N18,000, 000.00 and was acquired through ‘savings and gifts in kind.“

Jonathan declared another four bedroom duplex acquired in 2003 through ‘savings and gift in kind’ in the Kpansia area of Yenegoa. The value of the building was N15,000,000.00 The last building is four flat storey house acquired between 2003 and 2007 through savings, he reported. The value of the property was put at N10,000,000.00

Under vacant and undeveloped plots, the then vice president stated as follows: “1032.50 square meter of land located at Onopa Yenegoa and valued at N3,098.00. Plot 2C, 374 Low density Area Yenegoa allocated by the Bayelsa state government and valued at N150,000.00. 2760.00 square meter plot at cadastral Zone BO2, Durumi, Abuja, allocated by the Federal Capital Development Authority and valued at N5,578,540.00. One Parcel of farm Land at Otuoke Ogbia acquired through inheritance and estimated at the value of N50,000,000.00

Plot Medium Density in Yenegoa allocated by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing the valued at N1550.00

Plot 29, Low density Area Plot in Yenegoa allocated by the Bayelsa state government the value of which was put at N4,908.00. While the last undeveloped plot owned by the then vice president is plot 2246 Cadastral Zone A06, Abuja, the value of which he put at N4,800,000.00. It was allocated by the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA.

The declaration stated that the then Vice president’s investment in stocks which was being managed by City Code Investment Company was as follows.


S/No Name of Stock Number Of Shares Value As At 5/25/07

1 CADBURY PLC 8,666 N264,313.00

2 FLOUR MILLS PLC 8,466 N635,119.32

3 GUINESS NIG. PLC 6,395 N796,177.50

4 UNILEVER 18,750 N337,500.00

5 UNION BANK OF NIG. PLC 23,466 N727,446.00

6 FIDELITY BANK PLC 33,333 N296,663.70

7 UBA PLC 180,000 N6,838,200.00

8 ACCESS BANK PLC 84,656 N1,635,553.92

9 CADBURY PLC 2,500 N76,250.00

10 UNION BANK PLC 716,109 N22,199,379.00

11 FIRST BANK PLC 20,000 N808,000.00

12 FLOUR MILLS PLC 13,333 N1,000,241.66.00

13 NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC 10,000 N363,000.00

14 BANK PHB PLC 866,666 N24,959,980.80

15 OANDO 15,125 N1,134,375.00

TOTAL 2,007,465 N62,072,200.00

Other investments include 4 nos passenger boats for hiring which was valued at N5,260,000.00 while the total cash in Nigerian banks being personal saving of salaries/allowances and income from his investments stood at N58,984,123.00

The vice president households utensils including generators, a BMW car valued at N15,800,000.00 which he said was a gift; air conditioners, furniture, electronics and kitchen utensils were valued at N41,800,000.00

Looking at the figures above and considering capital gains, appreciations of properties in Abuja and the new university town of Otuoke and depreciation, a very very conservative estimate placed the assets as declared in 2007, seven years ago, to be at least five times what it was then. That is very conservative considering that last year alone, the Nigerian stock market delivered a return of 47%.

So the assets declared in 2007 at N295,304,420.00 will today be worth N1,476,522,100.00 which is about $9.0 million USD.

President Jonathan was Vice President for three years (2007-2010). As Vice President we believe that his salaries and allowances and security vote could not be lower than what a senator takes home in Nigeria each year. Without adding bribes to pass bills and unaccounted constituency allocations, a Nigerian senator takes home $1.4 million each year. The senate president, the number 3 man in Nigeria takes home at least twice that, which is $2.8 million. In fact, it is safe to assume that the perks that come with the office of the Vice President guarantees that the occupant makes more money than governors of states. But just to continue to be conservative in our calculation, let us say that his remunerations as Vice President came up to twice what the senate president takes home each year. So Jonathan would have added $5.6 million a year.

In three years that would become $17.4 million dollars.

In 2010, Jonathan became the Acting President following the death of Yar’Adua. What it meant was a total takeover of the nation’s treasury. If he was getting as Vice President N1 billion a year as security vote, it became at least ten times the amount. We know this going by the discrepancy in what governors get and what their deputies get in security votes. On average, a Nigerian governor gets N250 million a month for security vote i.e N3 billion a year while their deputies get about N300 million a year. Jonathan’s base salary, allowances, estacodes and other numerous pays also increased in a significant way.

The real shame is not that President Jonathan got away with not declaring his assets as at when the constitution required. And it is not that he will not declare his assets publicly. The shame is that we, as Nigerian people, do not know how much our president is paid, how much he costs us and how much he is worth. Not knowing that forecloses any chance of us knowing how much leaks out of our system into the pockets of government officials at every level.


Continuing with our conservative calculation, instead of multiplying his pay as Vice President by ten, we will simply multiply it by two. So, for the next one year as acting president, 2010 – 2011, Jonathan probably made $11.2 million dollars.

So as Acting President, he added $11.2 million dollars to his assets.

In April 2011, he ran for a full term and won. He became a president in his own right with absolute control of the government.  Two weeks later, on April 29, 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan secretly approved the transfer of $1.1 billion to the London account of Malabu Oil and Gas owned by former Minister of Petroleum and a convicted money launderer, Dan Etete and Sani Abacha’s son, Mohammed. The money came from funds paid to the Federal Government by two multinational companies; Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited and Shell Nigeria as part of the settlement of the Malabu oil block case between the Federal Government, Malabu and the two multinational oil companies. As soon as the money got into the account of Malabu Oil in London it was wired to secret accounts of cronies and some political associates of President Jonathan.

Without implying that Jonathan benefited in any way, we know from his 2007 assets declaration that a lot of money he used to purchase assets he declared came in form of “gifts in kind.” At this point, it is safe to assume that the game changed and the money being dealt with had turned into billions.

As full president, Jonathan’s salaries, allowances and security votes should be obviously higher than what he made as acting president.  With travelling cost in billions of naira and feeding allowance hovering around one billion, the president remuneration could be as high as five times what it was as acting president. But thinking along the same conservative line, we say that he was getting twice the amount he made as acting president. So that would be $11.2 x 2 = $22.4 million a year.

In four years, that money would be $22.4 x 4= $89.6 million dollars.

So to add up without factoring in compound interests:

His 2007 assets of N295,304,420.00 will today be worth N1,476,522,100.00 which is about $9.0 million USD.

His earnings as Vice President is $17.4 million dollars.

His earnings as acting president is $11.2 million dollars.

His earning as President is $89.6 million dollars.

So his total worth in assets will be $127.2 million dollars by the time he leaves office on May 29, 2015.

Now that is a very very conservative estimate. It does not take into account numerous gifts in kind and in cash, like the Anglican Church in Otuoke renovated and donated to President Jonathan by an Italian construction company, Gitto Construzioni Generali Nigeria Ltd.

The Nigerian people are mature enough to deal with any figure public officials announce as their assets. Nobody in Anambra state lost their minds when Gov. Andy Uba declared N1 trillion naira assets in what is now known as anticipatory declaration of what he hoped to acquire in office. Nigerians are not going to hit the streets in protest because a president or a governor or local government chairman announced an insane amount. Instead, what is insane is the belief that Nigerians will think the president is poor because he refused to make public his asset declaration.

President Goodluck Jonathan came to Abuja from Yenagoa with a cloud of corruption hanging on his head like a question mark. Any reasonable person would have thought that he would be the one to embrace transparency, accountability and openness. Aversion to best practices and embrace of mediocrity have continued to crush any hope of real advancement in Nigeria.

The real shame is not that President Jonathan got away with not declaring his assets as at when the constitution required. And it is not that he will not declare his assets publicly. The shame is that we, as Nigerian people, do not know how much our president is paid, how much he costs us and how much he is worth. Not knowing that forecloses any chance of us knowing how much leaks out of our system into the pockets of government officials at every level.

In the meantime, now that you have joined me in calculating President Goodluck Jonathan’s assets, be ready to be sued by the president for libel.


This article was first published on Sahara Reporters


Kenneth Uwadi: How Okorocha has looted Imo dry

by Kenneth Uwadi

Officially and publicly, Governor Okorocha has not announced his intention to remain in power beyond May 2015, his terminal period as Governor under the military imposed 1999 constitution. Notwithstanding his ostrich game on this issue, all key economic and political features and manipulations going on under the regime clearly point only in one direction – his quest to remain  in power beyond May, 2015.

Few weeks ago as a campaign strategy for 2015, he announced free education for all Imo State owned tertiary institutions. Ordinarily Imolites would have stormed the Streets in celebration for this announcement. This would have been  a good news if not for the antecedent of the Governor who has a  long and prodigious history of fabrications. He has made a name for himself as okwu  ozo eme ozo, one who says A and will be doing Z. He is notorious for not fulfilling promises.

False claims and inaccuracies, like this one, padded Okorochas’s speeches. It is the same Okorocha that has been dominating the Pages of Newspapers and televisions  in the name of free education in Imo State since  year 2011 .  How come it is just few weeks ago that he declared it? For  more than 3 years his  fake free education advertorials have  been running in several Newspapers and television  in Nigeria including in Hausa and Yoruba tabloids, that’s not all, bill boards of several sizes are mounted in faraway places like Sokoto, Kwara, Kano, Borno  and Lagos, while Radio Stations in Osun, Ogun , Zamfara states are daily singing his praises not only as a performing Governor but one who has  more than the needed credentials to take over from President Jonathan  when nothing tangible is on the ground in Imo State.

To me, the mark of a true gentleman is the courage or ability to stand by his words/utterances even if it means being vilified, condemned or crucified. There is not an iota of virtue in our Governor.When he became Governor in 2011, he claimed there was no 10,000 jobs created by Ikedi Ohakim. He lied . He also told us that Ohakim was corrupt and that he will probe him for looting Imo. Again he lied. He also lied about the N26.8 billion handed over to him by Ohakim . He lied to us about who bought Adalpam Nigeria Ltd. He bought Adapalm. He also lied to us that there was 3.5 billion naira proceeds from the sale/lease of Adalpam. He never paid a dime for Adapalm.His company Roche paid nothing for Adapalm.

lies after lies from this utter fraud of a man. He has been claiming all over TV and Radio that he has built 27 General Hospitals when all the project are below 10% completion. He lied that he gave 1 billion naira to each LGA in Imo state for projects. He lied about Jude Agbaso ,  Josph Dino of jpros Limited and Imo tax payers N1.3 billion naira. He lied about Joss Marinlopez-pepe and Imo tax payers N3.5 billion. He lied that he has cleared pension debts in Imo. He lied about minimum wage for Imo workers. He has being lying to the people that he will conduct  LGA elections in the State.

Biblical Ananias is reputed to be the greatest liar on earth. He sold his plot of land and connived with Sapphira, his wife to send only part of the amount to the Apostles. The two pocketed the rest for their own use and told lies. But the deed was discovered by Spirit filled Peter who rebuked the husband Immediately. Governor Okorocha is enacting a similar script. For one thing, he lied through his campaign for Governor in 2010 and with his elevation to the position of Governor he has became a liar on a gargantuan scale. In fact, lying is now his second nature. Not a day passes without Imolites  hearing one false statement or utterances from either the Governor  himself or his acolytes.

Today, public schools in Imo , from primary to tertiary levels are dilapidated and managed mostly by under-remunerated  and underfunded personnel yet Okorocha is claiming free education. Worse still, the majority of Imo graduates  will never be able to get any job for rather than give jobs Okorocha has sacked thousands of graduates and so many of our graduates thus will remain condemned to the life of crimes, frauds, prostitution, etc.

In Imo, Rochas is the contractor, the accountant, the work foreman, the supervisor, the legislature, the secretary, and any and all there is. Imo has collapsed  under such plan because no one has learned to do anything under him. He is LGA chairman  and the head of community chiefs. He is the farmer, the farm, and the tractor. All because he does not want another Imo person that is not from his family to enjoy the oil money he collects or get seen to be doing good work. He wants every  and all credits to himself. He  said he has tarred roads, built stadium.,cleaned gutter, built hotels, arrested armed robbers, and kidnappers, only him is seeing his so called good work  in Imo. What government can perform under this condition? Yet we have millions of unemployed graduates with degrees and knowledge he (Rochas)cannot present.

Under the guise of privatisation and commercialisation, the collective wealth and resources of the Imo society have been bought by Governor Okorocha. He bought Adalpam Nigeria Ltd. He bought IROMA trucks and equipment valued at N12.5 Billion. He bought our General Hospitals & Health   Centres as well as ITC.


We say NO to this government of thieves. A man who squandered all the huge funds allocated monthly to the 27 local Government areas in Imo State since May 2011 that is well above N132 billion naira is a thief. There is no development in any of the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State since Owelle came in to power.No Hospitals, Schools, Markets, bore holes for water or any rural electrifications  etc in any autonomous community in Imo State in over three years of the life of this administration. The only roads in the rural areas of Imo are those built by unsuspecting contractors/individuals with their hard earned money that is now begging for regularization and payment.

We say No to a man who looted N26.8 billion handed over to him by the past administration. What is the stage of work at the Oguta blue lake of treasure as renamed? Now covered by grass. What has happened to the Marine Police approved as a result of the wonder lake? Is a man who looted over N16 billion 13% (derivation) allocated to Imo State oil producing Areas Dev. Commission (ISOPADEC)since May 2011 not a thief?

Under the guise of privatisation and commercialisation, the collective wealth and resources of the Imo society have been bought by Governor Okorocha. He bought Adalpam Nigeria Ltd. He bought IROMA trucks and equipment valued at N12.5 Billion. He bought our General Hospitals & Health   Centres as well as ITC.

To start with, the polity under Okorocha is the most corrupt. This is largely due to two related factors. One, the huge income being sent by FG as allocation to Imo  and two, the abdication of all commitment towards social spending, have left the government with huge unprecedented revenue. Quite naturally, most of these resources only end up in the private pockets of  the thieves in government. Where is the $2.5 M dollars paid for the lease of Imo Concorde Hotel?

What happened to the proceeds of the lease of our General Hospital? What happened to N45 billion loan secured from Zenith Bank with the allocation of the 27 local government of Imo as collateral? What of the N200,000.00 (Two Hundred Million) each said to be given to the T.C chairmen from the said N45 Billion loan for the purposes of construction of the hospitals in the 27 L.G.A.’s? Where is the supposed 3.5 billion naira  proceeds from the sale/lease of Adalpam.Where is Josph Dino of jpros Limited and Imo tax payers N1.3 billion naira? Where is Joss Marinlopez-pepe and Imo tax payers N3.5 billion? This is the time to save Imo State.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


George Kerley: My grouse with Simon Kolawole (Rejoinder)

by George Kerley

I read, with keen interest, the opinion of Simon Kolawole published on September 14, 2014, tilted “My Grouse with President Jonathan”. I found it very interesting, cheery and at the same time depressing. Those of us who read Kolawole regularly know that he does not join the mob in canvassing his opinions. He is usually even-handed and non-partisan. While this is a virtue in an environment polluted by politically biased columnists who have turned President Goodluck Jonathan into their favourite punching bag, I beg to defer with Kolawole on some of the issues he raised.

After accepting that the President has recorded remarkable achievements in aviation, agriculture, education, road infrastructure and even the power sector reform, Kolawole relapsed into the popular line that former President Olusegun Obasanjo fought corruption but President Jonathan is found wanting in this area. However, the truth be told, the same reason no President after Obasanjo has been acknowledged as fighting corruption is the same reason we have not been able to tackle corruption efficiently. Until a President engages in scape-goating and public execution, he is not seen as fighting corruption. I would not expect Kolawole, an expert in governance and development, to toe this line of argument.

Democracy is about institutions. That is what makes it strong and enduring. America’s democracy is over 300 years old. Most of the things we celebrate about America today came about because institutions were built and allowed to function in the course of their history. The “strongman democracy” that Kolawole seems to favour is the same reason democracy is in fits and starts in many countries across Africa. But it is only democracies where state institutions are strong that can endure and flourish. To remove a minister for corruption is the least of the problems. Now, if removing ministers could solve the problem, why did Obasanjo have to be sacking ministers on a yearly basis?

There are various ways of fighting corruption. One is to resort to public spectacle. Remove ministers and shame them publicly. Put them in handcuffs for the cameras. Get the anti-graft agencies to blackmail lawmakers to impeach the governors. You can even get six lawmakers in a 24-member House of Assembly to remove the governor illegally in the name of fighting corruption. This public execution strategy will get you a resounding popular applause and you will win awards around the world. But, let’s be honest about this, Kolawole, it cannot last. It cannot work in a democracy where people have a right to seek redress. This approach to anti-corruption can only be sustained by a dictator who cares little about the laws of the land.

By the way, President Jonathan has also demonstrated that he can fire ministers. He has done it again and again. Kolawole did not acknowledge this fact while heaping praises on Obasanjo for firing ministers at the slightest provocation. President Jonathan has demonstrated clearly that he too can fire ministers, even if not at the slightest provocation. However, it is not his style to engage in playing to the gallery. He believes things should be done orderly. When he declared his assets, he was being put under pressure to make it public. But he refused. The law does not stipulate that. He did not break any law. It is a public document that can be accessed through due process.

You can fight corruption by playing to the gallery. That is just one way. I’ll show you a better way, Mr. Kolawole. You can decide to fight corruption sustainably by adopting administrative, policy, legal and moral suasion strategies. Administratively, some measures have been adopted by President Jonathan that have saved the country tonnes of money previously being pilfered. There are two ready examples here. The fertilizer subsidy cost Nigeria in excess of N800 billion over a period of 30 years. Only about 10% of that actually got to the farmers. The President came and put a stop to the fraud. Farmers are getting their fertilizers today and their productivity is unprecedented in Nigeria’s history. Billions of naira have been saved in fraudulent fertilizer transactions. It may interest Kolawole that no previous government has tackled this fraud like this administration. That is a way of fighting corruption. It will endure beyond the Jonathan administration.

Another administrative measure to combat corruption is on the payroll. There were thousands of ghost workers who were on the payroll of the Federal Government when President Jonathan came to power. For years, this issue had not been addressed. We all knew that some senior civil servants were milking the treasury mercilessly. Billions of naira were being stolen yearly. However, since President Jonathan’s administration introduced the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), over 50,000 ghost workers have so far been identified. Indeed, over N139 billion has been saved. Now, you ask: is that not a neat and sustainable way of fighting corruption? This will endure, you can take a bet on that.

To fight corruption in a less glamorous but enduring way, the President has also adopted policy strategies. When the President sought to end the waste and fraud in the fuel subsidy regime, it was opposed by the same interests that are now saying the President is not fighting corruption. Because of this unfortunate opposition, we are still wasting hundreds of billions of naira on fuel subsidy that could have been better utilised in other areas of the economy. All studies and analyses have shown that the best way to tackle the subsidy fraud in the petroleum sector is to take away the subsidy itself. The money is too much and this creates perverse incentives for the beneficiaries to continue to corrupt the system.

My grouse with Kolawole is that he refused to acknowledge the various steps the President has taken to combat corruption. He also failed to accept that the President is constrained by the rule of law. President Jonathan has no power over what governors do with their state resources.

For Kolawole, a journalist of no little standing, I would have loved him to talk about the Freedom of Information bill which was gathering dust on the shelf before President Jonathan came to power. If we are talking about transparency and anti-graft war, FoI Act is one of the most potent instruments to employ. If Jonathan was not interested in fighting corruption, he would certainly have avoided signing the bill into law. Obasanjo did not touch it in his eight years in office. Yet, all countries that we call developed today have this law in their statutes. The citizens use it to hold government accountable. FoI is a legal strategy that President Jonathan has adopted. It does not carry the glamour of handcuffing politicians in public, you can say that, but it is an institutionalised instrument that will outlive the Jonathan administration.

Space will not permit me to list all the measures the President has adopted to combat corruption. His own style is markedly democratic and a departure from the autocratic way some Nigerians want. These measures will surely outlive his administration. We should stop equating anti-graft with EFCC. We think it is when you are publicly executed that the government can be said to be fighting corruption. But it is more than that. Except something catastrophic happens, those ghost workers can no longer return to the payroll. The farmers will continue to get their subsidised seeds and fertilisers. Nigerians will continue to have the FoI to hold government accountable and transparent. These are the institutions that will last.

My grouse with Kolawole is that he refused to acknowledge the various steps the President has taken to combat corruption. He also failed to accept that the President is constrained by the rule of law. President Jonathan has no power over what governors do with their state resources. Even if he removes a minister, he has no power over the justice process. The judges are there. The smart lawyers are there. President Jonathan cannot go and sit in judgment over any accused person. So many cases in court are being frustrated by clever lawyers and those who know how to play the system. You cannot hold the President responsible for that, let’s be fair. We make it look like the duty of fighting corruption starts and ends on the President’s desk. Let’s be careful what we pray for.

I know Kolawole is a fan of Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, having followed his column over the years. But he should be assured that even if Buhari becomes President, he cannot combat corruption the way he did as a military head of state. As a military head of state, he had executive, legislative and judicial powers. But in a democracy, he will discover that there is a National Assembly that he has to contend with. He will discover that he cannot fire a commissioner for corruption in any state. He cannot do anything to lawyers and judges who collude to frustrate cases. It looks easy on paper to combat corruption. But the reality is that there is a lot of work to be done if corruption is to be crushed. President Jonathan is on the right path. Time will vindicate him.

On the issue of Boko Haram, which Kolawole also listed among his “grudges”, I think it is very glaring that the issue is very complicated. We want quick results, no doubt. It is a very present trouble that needs a quick solution. But President Jonathan met a lot of rot in the system. The military had been systematically decimated. The air force, which is the key military arm in war fare in modern times, had been systematically incapacitated for decades because of fears of coups. Our intelligence gathering had not stepped to the challenges in a democracy.

All these are enough impediments to confronting the monstrosity of terrorism. But the President also has to grapple with the politicisation of the war against terror. The military has been accused many times by President Jonathan’s political opponents of committing genocide by those who would not as much as say a negative word against Boko Haram. The war against terror, as if it is not a major task already, has been compounded by the impression being created by power-hungry politicians who are making things worse by the day. Every step the President takes is being frustrated. If not that President Jonathan is a courageous man, he would have been overwhelmed by this attitude.

In all the mess, we have recorded progress. Many people think the simple solution is to unleash the military and destroy all the villages in the territories being tormented by Boko Haram. Military action alone will not solve the problem. That is why, even though he has authorised military action, President Jonathan has embarked on a major initiative to address the salient issues of lack of access to education, poor infrastructure, environmental devastation and several other negative preambles to the flourishing of insurgency in the North-East. He has launched the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) to address these issues, and has scaled up investment in agriculture, infrastructure, education and health to achieve a long-term winning strategy.

I would like to conclude by emphasising that President Jonathan has delivered the goods. Let his opponents judge him on the basis of facts and figures and not sentiments. He certainly has not solved all Nigeria’s problems (not even a magician can do that in four years) but Nigeria is clearly better than it was in 2011. Check all the facts and figures: infrastructural development, power sector reform, education, agriculture, water resources, economic management, etc. Let us compare the data before 2011 and in 2014. An honest opinion would be that he has done well.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija


Opinion: Stop killing soldiers, this is what we should kill

by Imoh David

The story goes like this:

The Nigerian government wanted some cache of weapons in South Africa and so they borrowed Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s private jet. Probably because the self-acclaimed giant of Africa could not find a befitting aircraft amongst her fleets of military planes to transport the intended weapons for them, not even among the 10 private jets in Presidential fleet. It is Ayo Oritsejafor’s private jet that was the best.

Meanwhile, Ayo Oritsejafor did not know that the government intended to use his jet to buy weapons. He leased his jet to a second person and the second person leased to the third and then the third to the fourth (who happens to be 2 be an agent of the government and an Israeli with 10 million dollars). I get it, the unknown Israeli man told our government that they should rather buy weapons from South-Africa instead of his country, Israel, because it is better for SA to take the money than Israel who supposedly makes better weapons. So generous of the Israeli. So Israelis buy weapons for us. Military experts from our country did not have to follow to inspect the weapons and the inventory. Beautiful!

Also, the South African government was unaware that the Nigerian government was coming to buy weapons in their country. In their shock, they seized the jet and the money. Well, buying arms is more or less like buying noodles. It is not a serious thing and so, any government can walk into another country without informing the host country that they intend buying weapons in their country. So, a foreign government can just walk into another country like that, buy weapons and then off they go. And this is how the government of Nigeria have been buying weapons since 1960? Terrific! Shebi na me wan born Nigerian.

Kill corruption, don’t kill our soldiers. They are already suffering enough in the battle field because of the senseless partisan politicians and corrupt statesmen hungry for power, don’t make it any worse. Free our soldiers! Reward them, don’t ruin them.

On the other hand, 12 Nigerian Army officers are sentenced to death and found guilty of mutiny while their GOC was simply retired.

First of all, I never knew that a criminal trial can be this fast in Nigeria. This is the quickest criminal judgement. What happened to the trials of EFCC cases on corrupt politicians and former governors? Is it after our great-grand children will die of old age that they will deliver the judgement? My country is amazing! If you want something to arouse your irritation, look no further, just start discussing Nigeria.

So, these 12 brave soldiers who were starved of their funds including military weapons by the government, suffered an embarrassing defeat in the hands of terrorists and lost their colleagues alongside battle just because some greedy Generals refused to do their works, and they are now found guilty of mutiny because they protested against the corruption and treason perpetrated by their superior.

If a General should starve soldiers of their weapons and allowances isn’t he committing mutiny? Trying to compromise the morale of soldiers and arousing their disaffection through a calculated decision of refusing to arm them is a treason and a mutiny against the state. The end result of this is the encouragement of high level treason against the state. What manner of justice is this? Aren’t they telling those soldiers that it would have been better they betrayed the state and fought for terrorists instead? Soldiers who fought for the state against terrorists are now rewarded with a death sentence, because they were dissatisfied by the compromise of their GOC against the state. Anyone who deliberately takes an action to undermine the victory of the State in the fight against an external threat has committing treason and is planning mutiny, not the other person who is protesting against the person trying to undermine the victory of the state.

What are they teaching people here? That the reward of some top Chief conspiring against the state by starving the agents of government is retirement while those who aim to bring to light this conspiracy are punished by death. We are awesome!

So people who fought to protect the nation at the cost of their lives are rewarded with death? They did not die by the hands of Boko Haram but rather in the hands of the same people they were fighting. What a gratitude! Wouldn’t it better if they were terrorists and got killed by the government than to be an agent of the government and then ended up being killed by the same government?

Isn’t it awesome that men who stole billions in Nigeria are yet to be sentenced behind bars and some were granted Presidential pardon but those who put their lives at stake in the field are being rewarded with the grand prize of the gallows? What a nation! Are we not telling ourselves and others that it is profitable to be a big thief than the one revolts against big thieves?

Kill corruption, don’t kill our soldiers. They are already suffering enough in the battle field because of the senseless partisan politicians and corrupt statesmen hungry for power, don’t make it any worse. Free our soldiers! Reward them, don’t ruin them.


Imoh “Son of David” is an author and publisher and he writes from South Africa.

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


Simon Kolawole: Corruption is my grouse with President Jonathan

by Simon Kolawole

You know the general election is around the corner when you see all sorts of groups springing up here and there, endorsing candidates here and there, and generally disturbing the public peace everywhere. Oh no, it is that time again. Yes, 2015 is here. The general election is a stone’s throw away. President Goodluck Jonathan obviously wants to remain in Aso Rock for four more years. Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar want to return to the State House. It’s a long and impressive list, with Kano Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and Senator Bukola Saraki also featuring. Jonathan is the man they have to beat. I have never met him one on one.

I met him twice as a member of a group of editors in 2010 but I could not form a fairly realistic opinion about his personality. However, I am quite close to some of his aides and any time we get arguing about the president’s actions, methods and tactics, it is not always pretty. I always come away thinking it is not the same person we are arguing about. Maybe I have a wrong impression about him. Many of those who have met or worked with the president normally describe him as humble, broad-minded, calculative, well-meaning and sincere.

Those of us outside government are more cynical. There are certain things I do not dispute when I criticise Jonathan. I try to be fair-minded. I try to work with the facts. I will never dispute, for instance, that he has done tremendously well in the area of agriculture and I am not relying on his fans for my statistics. His policy of eliminating middlemen in the provision of subsidised fertilisers and seeds to farmers has increased food production significantly, in some instances tripling the income of farmers. When phones were to be given to about 6.2 million farmers some years ago, it was widely criticised and ridiculed. But it has become a potent instrument of eradicating decades of fertiliser subsidy fraud in Nigeria.

This holds massive implications for the economy. Food import bill, according to the official figures, has reduced from N1.4 trillion annually to about half of that figure. That should have a positive impact on forex demand, all things being equal. That also means a lot to the economy of farmers, who now spend less to produce more. They used to procure fertilisers and seeds at exorbitant prices and they would only do what they could afford in any case. Yield has consequently increased in rice, cotton and cassava farming, and I expect that in the years ahead we should enjoy the benefits in form of cheaper food. I expect farmers to start making sizeable forex from exports.

My biggest grouse against Jonathan is in the area of the antigraft war.

I also will not dispute many other facts. The railway system is being revived and modernised (I would prefer private sector management, though) and the rail now carries 5 million passengers annually, compared to one million some years ago.  Nigerians are getting a better deal in the oil sector through the local content policy, which has seen them own about 400 crude transportation tankers, compared to just 10 per cent of that a few years ago. The creation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund is also a good development that tallies with my own idea of how petrodollars should be managed. I support the ongoing modernisation of our airports, especially if you remember that for nearly 30 years, no serious attempts were made to improve the infrastructure. Having said this, however, I am ready to publicly engage Jonathan’s supporters on a number of issues. I call these issues my “grouse” with Jonathan. They are nothing personal.

My biggest grouse against Jonathan is in the area of the anti-graft war. Those who described President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government as very corrupt are now beating a retreat. They have handed the dubious trophy over to the Jonathan government. Somehow, I hear some people say Jonathan is not corrupt that it is his ministers that are corrupt but that he has failed to call them to order. Well, may I tell them that he appointed those ministers and if he can’t fire them and hand them to the police, neither can I. Whatever our criticism of Obasanjo is, he fought corruption at least symbolically. I know that there were many severe corrupt practices under him. I will not deny that.

The subsidy fraud did not end in his time. The waiver fraud went virtually unnoticed. NNPC was not a symbol of transparency. But, even if as a token, Obasanjo fired many ministers, including his bosom friend, Chief SM Afolabi, for corruption. He nullified the sale of government houses when he discovered that his wife had abused the process, in the process firing the Minister of Housing, Mrs Mobolaji Osomo, also his “bosom friend”. He fired his Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Tafa Baolgun, for corruption. Whether or not Obasanjo was sincere, these actions meant a lot to the anti-graft war.

If Jonathan can do half of that, I will not be here criticising him. My second grouse against Jonathan is the way he has handled Boko Haram. For a very long time, he kept saying terror was a new challenge to Nigeria. I agreed with him. He said we needed to develop a security architecture to fight the menace. I did not dispute that. But how long will it take us to prepare for the war that is virtually consuming Borno, Yobe and Adamawa? Will developing security architecture take a life time? I am baffled that the president does not seem to accept that something is not going well in the war against terror.

These guys are pushing back our soldiers all the time. It got so embarrassing some weeks ago that our soldiers had to embark on a “tactical manoeuvre” to Cameroon when they couldn’t handle the situation anymore. Like I said, I do not dispute Jonathan’s achievements. I know his administration has virtually eliminated polio, and guinea worm is now history. Almajiri and girl-specific schools are being built to tackle age-long socio-cultural issues. More universities have been established to address the lack of spaces for a growing youth population. We will look back in 10 years’ time and say thank God more universities were established. There is nothing bad I have to say about the commencement of work on the second Niger Bridge and the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

I like what I am seeing on the Benin-Ore road, which cried for attention for over 10 years. I would say the power sector reform is progressing well, even if the results are still too dark to the naked eye. Elections are now more peaceful and credible. I can testify. But, Mr. President, without brutally tackling corruption and caging Boko Haram with everything at your disposal, the job is not yet done. We need to free our resources for development, and we need peace and security to attain that goal.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


Dele Momodu: This is why corruption thrives so freely in Nigeria

by Dele Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, by the time you’re reading this, the sad news would have hit the roof about the cold shoulder received by our former anti-corruption Tsar, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, from his new suitor, the People’s Democratic Party. It is most shocking that the romance did not last long after the beautiful bride decided to give her marriage a second chance. Nuhu had long been in the circle of PDP before he was mercilessly dealt with and he had to seek refuge within the ACN fold. It is not yet clear what he was promised and why he trusted PDP so much that he decided to jump ship and return to the land ravaged by soldier-ants.

Many are saying Nuhu should have known that a virulent husband can never change his terrible ways. A man who slapped you black and blue when you were legally married would always do worse when a wife later becomes his girlfriend. That is the lesson our Brother seems to be learning the hard way for allowing himself to be sweet-talked by a consummate playboy that PDP seems to have become in Nigeria. I had planned to examine the role of our judiciary and the media in the fight against corruption before the news of Nuhu’s latest ordeal exploded on social media.

The war against corruption has suffered too many casualties in our dear beloved country that most people begin to wonder if ever there would be any chance now or later of winning this gargantuan battle. The long list of our fallen heroes is long and scary. Hardly have we seen any man of integrity go into power and come out unblemished, scandalised or traumatised. What makes power so attractive and irresistible in our clime? The question also is why do otherwise great folks decide to set fire to all their achievements in life in order to be in the corridor of power for the few years left on earth? Nuhu didn’t have to jump into PDP to get any appointment. I’m sure he would have maintained his innocence if he was made a Minister, Ambassador, or offered any such assignment. Even if he got the gubernatorial ticket, I’m not sure Nuhu has enough grass-roots popularity to win the contest in Adamawa as easily as that. Anyway, all that is now a matter for another day.

Let me now return to my original piece on the physiology of corruption in Nigeria and why it thrives so freely. I shall attempt a simple dissection here today and hopefully come up with compelling reasons on why many of us often fall into temptation. It is going to be difficult to find saints and angels around here. We always talk about corruption as if it is synonymous with people in government alone but that is far from the truth. It has become endemic and all pervasive.

Corruption takes different shapes and shades which we must examine to appreciate the magnitude of the big challenge at hand. Some are subtle, others are loud. The simple forms of corruption usually emanate from societal needs. Ours is a nation where poverty is a crime and there is no social welfare package on ground to ameliorate the chronic suffering associated with being under-privileged in our society. Even the middle class has been virtually wiped out. It has become a case of everyone for himself and God for us all.

Poverty can be divided into two parts as such; those that don’t have anything and those who don’t have enough to maintain body and soul. Those who don’t have, and they are always in the majority, are naturally turned into beggars and desperados. Those who don’t have enough are forced to improvise and look for opportunities to explore and exploit within the system. What makes matters worse is the fact that every segment of our society has been badly affected and afflicted by this menace of lack syndrome. If we assume that the matters of our executive and legislative leaders call for urgent concern and concerted response, how do we deal with the pitiful state of our judiciary and the pitiable condition of our media? The first is supposed to be the enforcer of law and order while the other is the traditional watchdog. The virtual collapse of both has made it difficult to expect any hope of a saner environment soon.

What is more disastrous is how the Federal High Court has encouraged and allowed direct interface with AMCON and the judges of the esteemed court. Seminars have been organised for judges without anybody considering possible conflict of interests. How would a party to a suit in court organise seminars for judges who may preside over its matters?

I shall start with the Judiciary which has been described as the last bastion of the common man. Under the Constitutions of Nigeria at different eras, the Judiciary has always enjoyed a high pedestal. It is empowered to examine legislative actions and determine whether they are consistent with the Constitution. The independence of the Judiciary is sacrosanct and must be critically guarded. It must be free from all encumbrances and interference from both the executive and legislative arms if a nation is to progress. It would be difficult for the Judiciary to fight to reduce corruption and governmental recklessness when it has also acquired the bad habits it has been tasked to adjudicate upon and curb. Unfortunately, all manner of inconsistent and embarrassing judgments often emanate from our courts and this ignoble act seems to have reached a crescendo.

Everyone who cares would have noticed and noted the systematic decline in judicial reliability. Even the President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Mr Okey Wali, was moved to issue a cautionary note against the propensity of the judiciary to court trouble for itself by engaging in unethical dealings and interactions. He cited specific instances of presiding judges hobnobbing with and compromising its sanctity by allowing itself to be manipulated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Assets Management Company (AMCON) and warned that this has become a dangerous trend that must be stopped. This coming from the official leader of the Nigerian Bar shows the seriousness of this matter. While we may continue to condone and manage our many problems, we cannot afford to ignore the grave and utter danger of exposing our judiciary to the whims and caprices of those who may use and abuse their unfettered power to oppress and intimidate fellow citizens.

I simply do not envy the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mouktar, a woman of immense courage and brilliance who has been fighting hard and tenaciously to sanitize the judiciary. The biggest task is how to wrestle her constituency from being overrun and totally hijacked by powerful government agencies and its foot-soldiers. There is no corruption worse than kangaroo actions in law courts. I had warned during the tenure of Nuhu Ribadu in 2007 about attempts to ascribe too much power to his agency which may be prone to exploitations. My attitude was simply that if we use extra-judicial means to catch a thief today, it may also be used by an ultra-powerful organization that seeks to act worse than the previous one. The latest of such is the AMCON which has almost become more powerful than EFCC and ICPC combined. At the rate it is going it may soon command the power of life and death, if unchecked. It is unfortunate that we keep rekindling the cycle of monstrosities. Its objective are clearly stated in the law that established it yet it has been gifted some draconian powers in recent time. These powers include seizing, confiscating and detaining assets of debtors. And it can enforce these steps by applying to the courts ex parte, without notice to the other parties to the suit. This appears too one-sided and should ordinarily be invoked in matters of utter urgency for the protection of movable assets and so on.

By its limitless power, this statutory body can through executive fiat seize the assets of innocent parties without being heard by the courts. The danger lies in cases where it is later discovered that the supposed debtor did not owe as much as being claimed, his/her business may have been totally crippled before the court even hears the pending suit before it. The Nigerian judiciary appears to have simply capitulated in favour of AMCON and now acts as its rubber-stamp. The Federal High Court has shown more interest in AMCON cases than even in criminal charges by agreeing to sit on cases involving AMCON from day to day and if necessary even on Saturdays. Nigeria would have become an Eldorado if all other cases were so expressly dealt with. I doubt if murder or even terrorism cases enjoy this same special status.

What is more disastrous is how the Federal High Court has encouraged and allowed direct interface with AMCON and the judges of the esteemed court. Seminars have been organised for judges without anybody considering possible conflict of interests. How would a party to a suit in court organise seminars for judges who may preside over its matters?

Every care must be taken to protect the judiciary just like the Media, my own constituency. Now and then people ask me how the Nigerian media can be made more responsible to the people and my answer is that the people themselves must invest in the media. The media that is forced to depend almost totally on government patronage for survival can never be free to discharge its traditional obligations to the people as expected. Journalists are not masquerades from heaven; they are human beings with their own families looking up to them for succour. They suffer the same fate as the judges described above who are engaging in rendezvous with those who may have cases in front of them later.

Ordinarily, the media gets its income from adverts but that’s not the case in our country. In civilised countries, companies would advertise because of the several benefits and the important and unarguably necessary advantage of proclaiming your products to the public in a competitive market. But here, adverts are difficult to come by because it is not always about how good you are but about those you know. Many brand managers don’t care if no one would see their adverts as long as you know how to befriend them. The matter is further compounded by a society that does not recognise the media as a business but rather as a charity. Reporters are seen and treated like lambs of God who must carry the sins of the world and die for a thankless nation.

Let me illustrate this with event planning. The children of wealthy parents are getting married. They fly abroad for shopping. They pick exotic locations as venues for their ceremonies. They are ready to pay $100,000 to some musicians, comedians and even splash some serious cash on expensive champagnes and spirits but forget to add the media to that budget. A parent once boasted to me that the hotel being used in Lagos for the wedding was costing about N40 million but they were not ready to pay the media a kobo although they desired that the world see and experience the occasion and their display of God’s wonder in their lives. Who then would showcase the beauty of the wedding to the world if not the media? All the money spent will expire that day except the publication that can be kept for many generations to come.

Unknown to them, covering an event is nothing other than an advertorial. Africa has not yet reached the stage where celebrities can help a magazine sell millions of copies. Our people simply have not imbibed a reading culture. But the same people would pay a fortune to kill a negative story. This is what has turned many journalists into pen assassins who believe the only way to get some revenue from rich people is by terrorising them without any pity.

It is such a shame.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.




Opinion: Why Civil servants are the most corrupt people in Nigeria

by Michael Egbejumi-David

Men in their 50s – especially the civil servants.

At that age, men have lost their idealism, the stark reality of the Nigerian state stares them right in the face.  I had often wondered and have always felt embarrassed when, in the past, I pass through Immigration at Lagos Airport and I’m asked for ‘something’ by the grown men who manned those desks.  But now that I get to spend a lot more time in Nigeria, I know why.

Men in their late 40s and 50s begin to think seriously about retirement.  In Nigeria when you retire, you are on your own and everything is in the air.  You live in a state of perpetual uncertainty.  You are never sure if you will get your regular entitlements or whether some civil servant thief will make off with it or stick it in his account for a few years to accrue obscene interest as that civil servant (ironically) prepares for his own retirement.


Change will have to come from the top and it will require a lot of determined hard work and visionary, strategic leadership.  But in the meantime, the worker has to cope with the vicissitudes of today and prepare for the uncertainty of tomorrow…

But before all that, men in their 40s and 50s in Nigeria face awesome challenges.  For all intents and purposes, they are their own local government.  They provide their own electricity, they provide their own water, they provide their own security, to some extent, they provide their own healthcare, often times they maintain their own roads, they pay heavily for the education of their kids and some relatives, mobile phone charges are astronomical, and girlfriends to married men don’t come cheap at all.

An average civil servant in one of the big cities, say, Abuja or Lagos, could earn N800,000 per year. Rent alone is about N400,000.  Abuja is particularly bad in that regard.  Please completely discount public or government schools; these died a slow painful death several years ago.  So three kids in private schools might cost N300,000 per term.  There are three terms in a school year.  We haven’t even talked about food, NEPA, petrol/diesel, clothes, weekend Gulder, church money, or money for aged parents yet.

And then nothing happens in Nigeria but marriages and funerals.  These cost a grip as well.  Where is the civil servant or worker going to get the money for all of that?  The Nigerian terrain is very unforgiving and very unsupportive; not like it was, say, thirty years ago.  Government does not provide any social security support or cushion.  In fact, government through its many agencies constitutes itself into a huge drain on people’s resources.  There are many, many agencies, particularly on the roads, asking for money for one thing or the other.

I was in a company vehicle in Ogun State when I was stopped by a chap in a garish uniform.  He demanded that I produce an “Ogun State Driver’s Badge.”  I thought he was kidding but he wasn’t.  I told him I was only visiting but he advised that I give him a little something or go to their office.  I elected to go to their office.  Their boss was in the same colourful uniform, but he had on cowboy boots and a farmer’s hat.  Long story short; today, I am a proud owner of “Ogun State Driver’s Badge, 2014.” It costs N5,000.  You don’t need me to tell you that that completely ruined the rest of my day and that I haven’t smelled Ogun State since then.

But this is what workers go through every day.  On top of that, they see elected politicians and other government officials making off like bandits unchallenged.  Plus, people like mechanics and plumbers are just itching to cheat you.    The strain of simply living shows, and, frayed nerves and high blood pressure are never too far behind.

So what does the civil servant or worker do?  They become contract awarders or contract gate keepers.  They’ve set up a system whereby every competitive government bid goes through them.  You don’t get a look in unless you agree to split the money 70:30 with the worker.  They would even prefer for you not to execute the job so that they can repeat the whole process the following year and ensure that thier kids’ school fees are paid.  This is why, despite heavy government investment, a few infrastructures remain in poor state.

For those workers who are not in a position to influence contracts, they find other ingenious ways to fleece the public and to augment their finances.  And so the Lecturer will deliberately fail a student whether the student passed or not, until the Lecturer is settled.  The Police or Custom official continues to harass fellow citizens for money.  They see your non-cooperation as injurious to their existence.  They think you understand but that you are deliberately undermining them and short-changing their family.  This is why some of them often turn ugly.

And with retirement looming, the worker becomes more desperate, more dogged and more corrupt as he prepares for that great uncertainty because the government or anyone else won’t look after him.  He has to build a home for himself, buy another car or two, perhaps support graduate kids who don’t have jobs, etc, etc.

The corruption is insidious and, at the moment, the situation seems intractable.  Paradoxically, this situation has made every worker – particularly civil servants – ‘yes men.’  They are forever eager to parrot and excuse every government misdeed.  They cannot afford to lose their jobs so they become cheerleaders and further abet their own long term struggle.  An unfortunate vicious circle.

Change will have to come from the top and it will require a lot of determined hard work and visionary, strategic leadership.  But in the meantime, the worker has to cope with the vicissitudes of today and prepare for the uncertainty of tomorrow…


This article was published with permission from Sahara Reporters

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.