Niger Delta militants indict Jonathan – and more, in today’s news round-up with Cheta Nwanze

by Cheta Nwanze

I would suggest to his followers, eminent and concerned Nigerians, members and leadership of his party, to find a younger person and persuade the General to go play with his grandchildren and stay out of the news.

Ateke Tom and Boyloaf have made the transition from being hired guns to being the consciences of the nation, or do we say, of their ethnic groups. In email statements most likely sent from the opulence of their homes, both men declared that, “Niger Delta officials in Jonathan’s government have failed.” Do we assume that this vast indictment includes the Prez himself? There are others waiting in the wings you know.

You see, that declaration is what has probably opened the door for serial contestant, Muhammadu Buhari to stop prevaricating and declare his interest in the next elections. A month after his 70th birthday, the former military strongman told The Guardian’s Ezeocha Nzeh, “As for my  position for 2015, after considering a series of visits and persuasions from both my followers, eminent and concerned Nigerians, members and leadership of our party, I decided to have a rethink of my position in 2011. So I will make myself available to run for the presidency in 2015. But all this will be determined by the decisions of the new party. All we are determined to do is to give Nigerians hope and arrest the PDP maladministration in the country, which has caused a lot of harm to the people. And we all believe that it is no longer an option but it has become very imperative, if the country must move forward.” I would suggest to his followers, eminent and concerned Nigerians, members and leadership of his party, to find a younger person and persuade the General to go play with his grandchildren and stay out of the news.

Erstwhile Don, Wale Babalakin is in the news again. Nervous that the star of their latest show trial will not turn up in court today, the EFCC ordered a pre-emptive strike yesterday and declared him wanted. Apparently, he was meant to turn himself in yesterday, but since his make up artist was stuck in traffic, he decided he did not want to appear in the movie looking not-too-good, and declined to turn up. “Babalakin is dark-complexioned and speaks English and Yoruba fluently,” wailed EFCC parrot, Wilson Uwujaren, and promptly forgot to mention reward money. I don’t expect the other patients at one of the numerous hospitals that dot Lagos to turn Babalakin in then.

What I don’t understand though, is why Broda Wale is behaving like a confra boy. Come on, that’s not how it’s done. It is not a true show of Donhood to be playing hide and seek with law enforcement authorities. Why, he can learn from his ex-friend, the Ogidigbobo of Long Lartin Prison on just how to do it. You know, build a court, get your trial transferred there, and get the judge you want posted there. While at it, he should realise that once he goes that route, he should avoid the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport and the temptations that it brings such as sashaying to Dubai. That will be a quick ticket to Pentonville since the Brits like to keep their guests separately. Alternatively, if the allure of the Burj Khalifa is just too much, he can borrow a leaf from do-you-know-who-my-father-is Aminu, and simply make the judge disappear.

A permanent disappearance is what Emmanuel Tometin will soon be performing. Courtesy of a hangman. The 27 year old was sentenced to death yesterday by the High Court sitting in Ekiti. Back in 2006, at age 21, Tometin had raped 63-year old Mrs. Ikubolaje, and then killed her. After reviewing the facts of the case, Justice Akindayo sentenced Tometin to life in prison for the rape, and to hang by the neck until dead, for the murder. May God have mercy on his soul.

In his own case, Alao Shobowale, allegedly a pastor, will not be meeting the Creator to explain his actions any time soon. While the nature of his job entails that he is meant to work anywhere, and at any time, the 42-year old Pastor Alao took this calling a tad too far and was found “working” in a toilet with a minor at his compound in Epe. He appeared in court yesterday and made bail for 500 grand.

Bits and bobs

Nigeria is digging another hole. Only two days ago, we were informed that it would take us 70 years to repay the sum of US$42 billions. Yet, we are closing in making that sum $43 billions by adding more from the Chinese. The smart chinkos on their part have opened more lines of credit.

I was forced to make 3 calls yesterday to friends of mine in the Army to find out if they were on a plane. None of them was forthcoming with a response. However, I must say that I am in support of Nigeria deploying troops to Mali. Better AQIM is defeated now before they become entrenched.

As if to validate my position, Zambia’s coach watched our Papa Eagles struggle against Cape Verde a week ago, and declared himself unimpressed. He probably saw too many sideways passes.

Right of reply

Kalu Aja took the time to educate me yesterday. His response is reproduced unedited below:

The GDP in summary is a measure of what is produced, this is a very simplistic definition. The GDP of Nigeria you correctly quote at $244b is based on a baseline done in 1990.

At this time, 1990 there was no GSM, no Nollywood, no Dangote and Lafarge cement, no ,Shoprite, no PFA, the rebasing of the GDP will take account of the economic activities from 1990 to the 2008 and you should see a huge jump in the figure of the GDP by as much as 40%.

Thus by first quarter of 2013, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics will publish a revised GDP that will put Nigeria just above or at par with South Africa, South Africa is at about $414b.

However this does not fully address your concerns if the GDP growth rate of 6% even 7% can drive the growth of Nigeria, with our huge population, the answer is obviously no. What needs to happen is that Nigeria needs to plug more sectors of our economy into the “grid”. The PIB will cause the oil companies to incorporate in Nigeria, the selling of of PHCN power assets will cause the power company outputs to be captured and unleash the productive capacity of the economy.

One must dwell on the agricultural revolution in Nigeria. As at 2011, our GDP is about 40% agriculture, 50% of NIgerians are employed in Agriculture. any well directed investment in this sector will drive growth and incomes and easily push GDP in a positive direction. The much derided Cassava bread could add a few point to the GDP figure when one considers that the local farmers have a new contract to export cassava chips to China. (exports being a key factor in GDP growth)

On a last note, our budgets don’t capture our economy, The NNPC and the CBN are not appropriated, neither do MDAs like NAFDAC or NPA remit proceeds to the FAAC which funds the budget.



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

One comment

  1. Point of correction, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, Agriculture does not employ 50% of Nigeria's population, that was a lie by the Minister of Agriculture.

    Agriculture only employs 14million (20%) of Nigeria's total employment.

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