Don’t Interfere In State Administration – Aregbesola Charges Military

The governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf  Aregbesola, has said that there is need for men and officers in the Nigerian military to exhibit total allegiance to the constitution, the constituted authority and the people on whose behalf their uniforms are worn.

He gave the charge at the Government House, Osogbo, the state capital on Friday during the 2012 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, saying that the most reasonable responsibility of men under arms of the state was to defend and protect the citizens, but not to interfere in the administration of the people and the state.

The governor noted that whenever the situation of any state leads to intervention of the men under arms to rule any state, they tend to overdo the administration and badly affect the psyche of the people due to their backgrounds.

He said: “If we must advance as a nation, develop as a people, enrich our culture and philosophy of governance, we must be able to develop, cultivate and grow a core of military people, who will respect the sanctity of their own roles as defenders and remain permanently so, but not ever thinking of interfering in the administration of affairs of the people.

“For whatever reason, the best role, which is noble role for men under arms of the state, is to be loyal to their oaths to defend the sovereignty, the integrity, safety and security of the nation and the people. Anything other than that is treachery.

“There is the need for men under arms to understand their responsibilities in societies and to constituted democratic authorities and support for those authorities. What gives the military its greatest pride is total allegiance to the constitution and the people on whose behalf the uniform is worn”, he emphasized.

Aregbesola noted that the United States of America (USA) did not become great because of the production of scientific ideas or materials, but it became a great nation because of the robustness of its government structure, which he said makes it impossible for anybody that does not have the mandate of the people to govern the country.

While commending those that had died in the course of defending their fatherland, the governor noted that the deceased have paid the highest sacrifice anybody could pay for any course.

He added that though, everybody is destined to die, but the unique thing about the death of those who died in the course of fighting for their country and their highest commitment was that despite knowing that death was sure in that service, they still enlist.

The Chairman, Nigerian Legion of Osun State, Colonel Alimi Samotu commended the governor for the assistance he has been rendering to the legion in the state financially and materially.

Madalla Christmas Day Bombing Suspect Escapes From Police Detention.

A man arrested at the Borno State Governor’s Lodge over the deadly Madalla Christmas Day bombing escaped from police custody on Sunday while he was being conveyed to a location in Abaji area of Abuja, Daily Trust learnt yesterday.

Boko Haram suspect Kabiru Sokoto was arrested at the weekend during a police raid on the lodge, where he sneaked in through a friend who was given accommodation to stay overnight. He was said to be taken along with a Flight Lieutenant of the Nigerian Air Force to the Zone 7 Headquarters of the Police in Abuja.

Sources told 0yesterday that Kabiru was taken to Abaji on Sunday, where he is said to own a house, to allow police conduct a search but he escaped at about 5.30pm at Abaji.

Police went on a pursuit, firing shots and in the process a stray bullet hit and killed a 28-year-old man named Awwal Inuwa Ashafa, according to residents of the area.

Pandemonium ensued as people ran for cover. Ashafa, who had an HND in Building Engineering from Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, was shot in the chest.

A witness said trouble started in the area when policemen from Abuja city brought Kabiru Sokoto in a Toyota Hilux van. A gang of youths flagged down the vehicle as it was heading for the Ona of Abaji’s Palace, creating a chaos during which the suspect escaped.

The police had earlier taken the suspect to a house he owned at Abaji to conduct search and were on their way to the traditional head’s palace when the youths saw him in handcuffs and then blocked the road, the witness said.

Kabiru seized the opportunity created by the youths and escaped. Meanwhile, the police fired shots in the air to disperse the youths.

Our reporter observed soldiers, riot police and men of the FCT Special Anti-Robbery Squad positioned at various junctions in Abaji, while a police armoured vehicle was also seen stationed in the town.

Abaji DPO, Superintendent Mathew Chukwkuma Okafor, was not available for comments. A senior police officer said four persons have been arrested over the incident.

But spokesman for the FCT police command Moshood Jimoh said no suspect escaped custody from either the Abaji divisional police or from any other police unit there.

CULLED FROM DAILY TRUST.

FG inflated subsidy fund –RMAFC

Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) Engineer Elias Mbam has said that the Federal Government overinflated the amount of money it spends on subsidising petroleum products.

Speaking when he appeared before the Rep Faruk Lawan-led House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on investigation of the subsidy regime yesterday, Engineer Mbam said the whole subsidy regime was shrouded in secrecy, fraud and corruption.

“We are not comfortable with the figures of N1.263 trillion because if you do little arithmetic by multiplying 35 million litres daily consumption and the N138 for nine months the amount is not up to N1 trillion.

“The management of subsidy is not clearly defined between the NNPC, PPPRA, finance and petroleum ministries; this has created doubt as to the true quantum of subsidy per litre and the total consumption in the country,” the RMAFC boss said.

Mbam further revealed that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) illegally deducted from source the sum of N615 billion within the said nine months in contravention of Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution.

Speaking earlier, Minister for Finance Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also said that the NNPC deducts its share of the subsidy before remitting proceeds of the sale of crude oil to the Federation Account.

Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the coordinating minister of the economy, said, “I want to say that many of the figures we have been giving are estimates. When we met with the Senate in October, we gave an estimate of N1.3 trillion. So, we are reconciling. So when we come back after having talked to our colleagues in NNPC, PPPRA, we should be able to give you accurate figures.”

In his submission, former RMAFC boss, Engineer Hamman Tukur told the legislators that subsidy does not exist at all, arguing that if the government insists that it exists, why did it ask Nigerians to pay?

Joint Action Front ;JAF PRESS STATEMENT

JAF DEPLORES THE SUSPENSION OF THE INDEFINITE STRIKE/MASS ACTION JAF stands with NIGERIANS on Reversal to N65 THE STRUGGLE MUST CONTINUE!

1. The Joint Action Front (JAF) – the pro-labour civil society partner of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) and its allies of Nigeria Medical Association Lagos, Nigeria Bar Association Ikeja and Lagos and the various Strike Action Committees dissociate self from the declaration by the President of the NLC and TUC for the suspension of the Strike/Mass Action that commenced on January 9th as a joint initiative of the NLC, TUC and JAF.

2. While we salute Nigerians for their resistance and legitimate demand for TOTAL REVERSAL OF FUEL PRICE FROM THE WICKED IMPOSITION OF N141 to N65, we strongly deplore the suspension of the Strike/Mass Action as endorsed by Presidents of NLC and TUC as a betrayal of this legitimate demand by Nigerians that fuel price must revert to N65 as a condition for negotiation.

3. JAF and its allies are resolved to intensify the struggle for the reversal to N65 and on other fundamental issues, in particular, the reversal of the cruel policy of PRIVATISATION and DEREGULATION. This was demonstrated with the street protest in Lagos today under the banner of JAF that was violently terminated at a point on Ikorodu road by the combined team of armed personnel that were deployed midnight across the country.

4. Also, JAF wishes to inform all our centres across the country to continue with the MASS ACTION of rallies and protests as held today in Ibadan, Kano, Ilorin, Kaduna, Ijebuode Ogun State, Osogbo, and other places we are still compiling the report.

5. JAF urges Nigerians to continue with the MASS ACTION of street and neighbourhood protests and rallies in the various Freedom Squares created across the country since the commencement of the Strike/Mass Action on January 9th 2012.

6. JAF wishes to reiterate its commitment to the needs and aspirations of the Nigerian people. Nigerians should not be discouraged by the abrupt and unwarranted suspension of strike by its Labour partner; neither should the militarisation of the protest centres deter Nigerians in their resolve to rid the polity of this class of looters and profiteers that are responsible for mass poverty, unemployment, social insecurity and untold hardships of the majority of Nigerians.

· Nigerians must be reminded that JAF declared the commencement of the MASS ACTION against the wicked hike in fuel price on January 3rd, 2012 and is committed to rallying Nigerians to defeat this unpopular imposition, and also eensuring a new POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ORDER that will end the era of Privatisation, Deregulation, looting and exploitation by the corrupt capitalist ruling cabals and ensure that wealth of the country is judiciously applied to benefit the majority working population (formal and informal sectors) and the poor.

COMRADE ABIODUN AREMU JAF Secretary Monday, January 16th 2012

THE OCCUPY PORT HARCOURT DECLARATION – 16th day of January 2012 : DAY 8

THE OCCUPY PORT HARCOURT (OIL CITY, NIGER DELTA) DECLARATION

The following declarations were adopted at the General Assembly of the Occupy Port Harcourt Movement held on 16th day of January 2012

We, Occupy Port Harcourt (Oil City, Niger Delta) make this declaration to:

  • the aroused poor masses of Nigeria- south, north, west and east – who have decided that the Nigerian ruining/ruling class and its allies in International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank cannot continue to ruin them the way they used to do;

  • the masses organised in Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), for their historic total strikes, rallies and occupation;

  • the citizens’ organisations (civil society organizations) and activists for their marches, rallies and occupations nationwide and;

  •  Nigerians in diaspora and other world citizens, especially World Occupy Movement, who have demonstrated solidarity to the Nigerian poor masses at Nigerian embassy locations and elsewhere.

 

This declaration is our immediate response to the policy of divide-and-rule, name-calling-and-criminalisation, atomising-and-weakening, as well as, isolating-and-obliterating, by the ruining Nigerian ruling class, which is dangerously playing out now in Port Harcourt, in particular and the south-south geopolitical zone in general. We are very clear that this divisive policy of the Nigerian ruling class is a direct response to the open intervention of the exploited, oppressed and marginalized masses, in the arena of Nigerian politics. No doubt, the Nigerian over-fattened exploiter class, which constitute one-percent of the Nigerian population, is threatened by the festival of the oppressed Ninety-nine per cent!

 

We recall that the current situation started with what we will call a national debate on what was then a current fuel price regime in 2011. Having realised that it has lost the debate, the ruling class, coalesced around the current ruling fraction in Abuja, ambushed the masses by increasing the price of fuel by over 120% on the 2012 new year day, as against the publicly declared promise that it will not effect any changes until April 1, 2012, when the 2012 national budget will become operative. The Nigerian masses responded on this assault on their survival by open intervention in the arena of politics through strikes, street marches, rallies and occupations. The ruining class responded by renting groups of crowd, hiring spin-doctors and voodoo economists, and spreading fear of Armageddon.  The ground swell of the festival of the oppressed emboldened the masses, swallowed and blunted the voice of their rented crowds, demystified their voodoo economists, and spun their spin-doctors into stupor. In response to these and as a last ditch position, the ruining class has now sent out its foot soldiers, shock troops and agent provocateurs.  Some of these agent provocateurs were seen onPort Harcourtstreets effective from Friday, January 13, 2012.

 

 

We hereby respond to the invasion of the OilCity(Port Harcourt) by the foot soldiers/shock troops of the Nigerian exploiters and the threatening of the Oil Workers, especially Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigerian (PENGASSAN) members and citizens’ organisations and activists in a manner designed to provoke violence.  We note that they arrived from Abujain their customised T-shirts and Face-caps and took over some Port Harcourt Streets ‘spitting fire and brimstone’. While we recognise individual and group rights to dissent, we abhor issuing of threats and ethnic jingoism in defence of a ruining / ruling class, coalesced around the current ruling fraction in Abuja. While the Nigerian masses are ruined, we say the poor masses of the minority ethnic groups, especially of the Niger Delta areas, are doubly ruined; first as members of an exploited strata and secondly as members of a marginalised ethnic group.  Our allegiance as partisans of the poor masses and the doubly ruined masses of the Niger Delta (Oron, Ijaw, Ikwerre, Urhobo, Ogoni, Ogba, etc, etc) is to the poor masses, this is particularly true when we are fighting a common cause. This is because we are fighting for the same destiny which is freedom from penury and ruin. Also, because we are being ruined by an unholy alliance of exploiters from different ethnic groups, including fractions from our minority ethnic groups in the Niger Delta.

 

The allegiance/loyalty of the doubly ruined poor masses of the Niger Delta should never be to a ruining / ruling class, coalesced around the current ruling fraction inAbuja, even if members of that fraction are from our minority ethnic groups. This truth runs through our peoples’ declarations and Bill of Rights: the Ogoni Bill of Rights, the Kaiama declaration of Ijaw people, the Oron Bill of Rights, the Ikwerre Rescue Charter of demands, the Aklaka Declaration of Egi, the first Urhobo economic summit report, etc.  Specifically, we take pride in the Kaiama Declaration which in part proclaimed that the Ijaw People offer a hand of friendship and comradeship to their neighbors and will promote the principle of peaceful coexistence with them. Also, the declaration extends it hands of solidarity to the Nigerian oil workers, as well as, solidarity with all peoples’ organisations inNigeria.

 

Similarly,

We declare that we stand shoulder to shoulder with the aroused poor masses in other parts ofNigeria;

We pay tributes to the commendable examples of Occupy Kano for its resilience, to Occupy Lagos for its Massiveness, and to Occupy Abuja for its daringness;

We pay glowing tributes to the martyrs of the masses inIlorin,Kano,Lagosand elsewhere in the country.

We are excited by the Nigerian citizens organised in NLC and TUC for this historic workers unity and strikes, which has surpassed any workers action in the history of Nigeria; we note that Niger Delta citizens – Urhobo, Ijaw, Ogoni, Ikwerre, Ibibio, Ogba, etc, etc, – that are members of NLC and TUC are participating massively in the workers’ actions;

We are proud of the patriotic roles our sons and daughters (from the Niger Delta) are playing in the current festival of the oppressed, in the NLC, TUC and in citizens’ organizations. In this instance, this patriotic role is epitomized by the pro-masses voices like comrade Owei Lakemfa, Professor Kimse Okoko, Professor J P Clark, Professor Tam David-West, etc, etc.

That the ruining class has unleashed its foot soldiers/shock troops on the oil city, with a script to issue threats, provoke and to make ethnic divisive proclamations, is a pointer that the ruining class is ready to dive to the pit of hell to unleash barbarism in order to maintain the status quo that is being challenged by the poor masses. As we take in the developing events, we can’t but ask, are these opening moments of fascism in Nigeria?

Therefore, while the reversal of fuel price hike to N65/litre and zero tolerance to corruption remain our twin indicator demand, we call on the aroused masses of Nigeria to continue to strengthen their resolve and begin to broaden and deepen their demands. Towards this end, we make the following demands:

 

  1. That Abuja should immediately withdraw all its foot soldiers/shock troops that invaded parts of the Niger Delta (particularlyPort Harcourt) effective Friday 13, January 2012 and started threatening violence. At this juncture, it should be noted that we are currently carrying out documentation of these threats and should in case mayhem is unleashed on striking workers and peaceful protesters, we shall take the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC)  for crime against humanity
  2. Immediately embark on a 3 three-year strategic plan to overhaul the energy sector. Ensure adequate domestic refining capacity during this period, gradually reduce the importation of refined products as domestic refining. capacity will increase, maintain petroleum products prices at current rate (N65/ltr) over the three year period, back the three year intervention plan with viable legislation , punishment for breach and plug all leakages, loopholes and wastages in resource generation, allocation (with particular focus on 2012 budget proposals) and distribution. Certainly this should not be too difficult for any resourceful government to undertake.
  3. Independent audit of the books of the Nigeria National Petroleum Commission NNPC by an all inclusive audit team made up of government, labour and Civil Society inputs.
  4. ThatAbujashould implement the Academic Staff Union of Universities /Federal Government (ASUU/FG) agreement of 2009 to prevent further damage to the already battered educational sector inNigeria
  5. That governments at all levels should implement without delay the provisions of the minimum wage act of 2011.
  6. That those involved in the killing of peaceful protesters inIlorin,Kano,Lagosand elsewhere in the country, must be fished out and procecuted.

 

We urge all the striking, rallying, occupying forces of Nigerian masses to organize and mobilize into a United Action for true Democracy and New Nigeria, where class oppression, ethnic marginalisation and gender discrimination will be eradicated on a permanent basis; and where socio-economic justice, unity and sustainable peace will reign supreme. Note that our historically tested tactics remain: strikes, rallies and occupations, and other peaceful forms of resistance to unjust government policies, laws and programmes.

 

We are forwarding this proclamation to the UN secretary General and all branches of OccupyNigeria, home and abroad, NLC, TUC, JAF, UAD, World Occupy Movement, local and international human rights organizations, etc.

 

Issued this 16th day of January 2012

 

How the truce between Jonathan, Labour was brokered

LABOUR pulled the brakes on its strike because of security threats, it was learnt yesterday.

The pump price of N97 per litre was the making of the President after some indices had been presented to him by relevant security agencies, The Nation learnt yesterday.

But labour’s call for cost cut in government gave the President a rare insight into the intention of the leaders, according to sources close to the talks.

A source, who was part of the Sunday night meeting between the government and labour, said subtle blackmail from the government on security threats and alleged hijack of the strike by regime change proponents did the magic.

The source said: “The model adopted for the last phase of talks between the government and labour did the magic. It was initially a joint labour-civil society delegation to the talks but the last phase did not include the civil society.

“The government was careful in excluding the civil society, whose members were described as ‘strange people’. Those in government felt the civil society groups were fuelling the strike.

“With the civil society out, the President bared his mind to the labour leaders that the strike had been hijacked by other vested interests. He expressed worries about the dimension the strike was taking and how it was going beyond labour’s control.”

President Jonathan reportedly cited Kaduna where the Government House was almost overrun. He said there was a bigger plan for regime change by other partisan interests and stressed the need to put the nation above any other consideration.

But the labour leaders, said the source, insisted that they were not after regime change but reversal of the pump price to N65 per litre. They acknowledged that some “emergency” comrades had joined the strike and they told the President that they did not mean to cause security breaches.

The source added: “Labour made a lot of suggestions, including why it is possible to reverse to N65 per litre, cutting of wastes in government, creation of jobs, fighting corruption, auditing of importation of products and subsidy funds, as well as other reforms.

“They said once the government meets all these conditions, they will suspend the strike.

“The submissions swept the President off his feet. For the first time, he was able to gauge their passion for the nation at a close range. He assured labour of his readiness to review the fuel pump price but he was non-committal on the new rate.”

The President also promised to address the nation on his plans and urged labour to take advantage of the Alfa Belgore Committee to resolve all issues on deregulation. The labour leaders, however, said they would await the President’s broadcast. They also assured the President that they would change the strike’s tactics to a sit-at-home type, it was learnt.

Another source said: “When the labour leaders left the President, he looked at the indices presented by agencies of government and opted for N97 per litre. It is right to say that the new pump price was unilaterally fixed by the President.

“Those in government had submitted indices indicating that the pump price could not go below N120 per litre, but the President thought otherwise.”

The source praised Senate President David Mark and House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal’s role in making the President to concede to labour.

CULLED FROM THE NATION

Much ado about fuel subsidy by TUNDE BAKARE.

To subsidise is to sell a product below the cost of production. Since the Federal Government has been secretive about the state of our refineries and their production capacity, we will focus on importation rather than production. So, in essence, within the Nigerian Fuel Subsidy context, to subsidise is to sell petrol below the cost of importation.

The unsubstantiated claims of the Federal Government: The government claims that Nigerians consume 34 million litres of petrol per day. The government has also said publicly that N141 per litre is the unsubsidised pump price of petrol imported into Nigeria. (N131.70 kobo being the landing price and N9.30 kobo being profit.)

Annual cost of importation

Daily Fuel Consumption: 34 million litres

Cost at Pump: N141.00

No. of days in a regular year: 365 days

Total cost of all petrol imported yearly into Nigeria:

Litres Naira Days

34m x 141 x 365

= N1.75 trillion

Cost borne by the consumers

Nigerians have been paying N65 per litre for fuel, haven’t we? Therefore, cost borne by the consumers = Litres Naira Days

34m x 65 x 365 = N807 billion

Cost of subsidy borne by the government: In 2011 alone, government claimed to have spent N1.3 trillion by October – the bill for the full year, assuming a constant rate of consumption is N1.56 trillion. Consequently, the true cost of subsidy borne by the government is: Total cost of importation minus total borne by consumers, i.e. N1.75 trillion minus N807 billion = N943 billion.

Unexplainable difference: N617 billion. The Federal Government of Nigeria cannot explain the difference between the amount actually disbursed for subsidy and the cost borne by Nigerians (N1.56 trillion minus N943 billion = N617 billion).

Bogus claim by the government: A government official has claimed that the shortfall of N617 billion is what goes to subsidising our neighbours through smuggling. This is pathetic. But let us assume (assumption being the lowest level of knowledge) that the government is unable to protect our borders and checkmate the brisk smuggling going on. Even then, the figures still don’t add up. This is because even if 50 per cent of the petrol consumed in each of our neighbouring countries is illegally exported from Nigeria, the figures are still inaccurate. Why?

World Bank’s figures: populations of West African countries

NIGERIA: 158.4 million

BENIN: 8.8 million

TOGO: 6 million

CAMEROUN: 19.2 million

NIGER: 15.5 million

CHAD: 11.2 million

GHANA: 24.4 million

The total population of all our six neighbours is 85.5 million.

Let’s do some more arithmetic:

a) Rate of Petrol Consumption in Nigeria: Total consumed divided by total population:

34 million litres divided by 158.8 million people = 0.21 litres per person per day.

b) Rate of Petrol Consumption in all our six neighbouring countries, assumed to be the same as Nigeria:

0.2 litres x 85.5 million people = 18.35 million litres per day

Now, if we assume that 50 per cent of the petrol consumed in all the six neighbouring countries comes from Nigeria, this value comes to 9.18 million litres per day.

Pathetic absurdity: There are two illogicalities flowing from this smuggling saga.

*If 9.18 million litres of petrol is truly smuggled out of our borders per day, then ours is the most porous nation in the word. This is why: The biggest fuel tankers in Nigeria have a capacity of about 36,000 litres. To smuggle 9.18 million litres of fuel, you need 254 trucks. What our government is telling us is that 254 huge tankers pass through our borders every day and they cannot do anything about it. This is not just acute incompetence, but also a serious security challenge. For if the government cannot stop 254 tanker trailers from crossing the border daily, how can they stop importation of weapons or even invasion by a foreign country?

*Second illogicality: Even if we believe the government and assume that about 9.18 million litres is actually taken to our neighbours by way of smuggling every day, and all this is subsidised by the Nigerian government, the figures being touted as subsidy still don’t add up. This is why: Difference between pump price before and after subsidy removal = N141.00 – N65.00 = N76.00. Total spent on subsidizing petrol to our neighbours annually = N76.00 x 9.18 million litres x 365 days = N255 billion.

If you take the N255 billion away from the N617 billion shortfall that the government cannot explain, there is still a shortfall of N362 billion. The government still needs to tell us what/who is eating up this N362 billion ($2.26 billion USD).

Illogical assumptions

*We have assumed that there are no working refineries in Nigeria and so no local petrol production whatsoever – yet, there is, even if the refineries are working below capacity. ii) Nigeria actually consumes 34 million litres of petrol per day. Most experts disagree and give a figure of between 20 and 25 million litres per day. Yet there is still an unexplainable shortfall even if we use the exaggerated figure of the government.

*Ghana, Togo, Benin, Cameroun, Niger, and Chad all consume the same rate as Nigeria and get 50 per cent of their petrol illegally from Nigeria through smuggling. These figures simply show the incompetence and insincerity of our government officials. This is pure banditry.

Fact: The simplest part of the fuel subsidy arithmetic will reveal one startling fact: That the government does not need to subsidise our petrol at all if we reject corruption and sleaze as a way of life. Check this out:

*NNPC crude oil allocation for local consumption = 400,000 barrels per day (from a total of 2.450 million barrels per day).

*If our refineries work at just 30 per cent, 280,000 barrels can be sold on the international market, leaving the rest for local production.

*Money accruing to the Federal Government through NNPC on the sale, using $80/bbl – a conservative figure as against the current price of $100/bbl – would be $22.4m per day. Annually this translates to $8.176bn or N1.3 trillion.

*The government does not need to subsidise our petrol imports – at least not from the Federation Account. The same crude that should have been refined by NNPC is simply sold on the international market (since our refineries barely work) and the money is used to buy petrol. The 400,000 barrels per day given to NNPC for local consumption can either be refined by NNPC or sold to pay for imports. This absurdity called subsidy should be funded with this money, not the regular FGN budget. If the FGN uses it regular budget for subsidising petrol, then what happens to the crude oil given to NNPC for local refining that gets sold on the international market?

Tactical blunder

The Federal Government is making the deregulation issue a revenue problem. Nigerians are not against deregulation. We have seen deregulation in the telecom sector and Nigerians are better for it, as even the poor have access to telephones now right before the eyes of those who think it is not for them. What is happening presently is not deregulation but an all-time high fuel pump increase, unprecedented in the history of our nation by a government that has gone broke due to excessive and reckless spending largely on themselves. If the excesses of all the three tiers of government are seriously curbed, that would free enough money for infrastructural development without unduly punishing the poor citizens of this country. Let me just cite, in closing, the example of National Assembly excesses and misplaced spending as contained in the 2012 budget proposal:

Number of Senators 109

Number of Members of the House of Representatives 360

Total Number of Legislators 469

2012 Budget Proposal for the National Assembly N150 billion

Average Cost of Maintaining Each Member N320 million

Average Cost of Maintaining Each Member in USD $2.1 million/year

Time has come for the citizens of this country to hold the government accountable and demand the prosecution of those bleeding our nation to death. Until this government downsizes, cuts down its profligacy and leads by example in modesty and moderation, the poor people of this country will not and must not subsidise the excesses of the oil sector fat cats and the immorality cum fiscal scandal of the self-centred and indulgent lifestyles of those in government.

Here is a hidden treasure of wisdom for those in power while there is still time to make amends:

PROVERBS 21:6&and7

“Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death. The violence of the wicked will destroy them because they refuse to do just.”

A word of counsel for those who voted for such soulishly indulgent leadership: “Never trust a man who once had no shoes, or you may end up losing your legs.”

This is the conclusion of the matter on subsidy removal: i) “If a ruler pays attention to lies, all his servants become wicked.” (Proverbs 29:12)

ii) “The Righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked, overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness. Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and will not be heard.” (Proverbs 21:12&13)

Thanks for your attention. God bless you all.

Pastor Bakare was CPC’s vice presidential candidate in 2011

Annual cost of importation

Daily Fuel Consumption: 34 million litres
Cost at Pump: N141.00
No. of days in a regular year: 365 days
Total cost of all petrol imported yearly into Nigeria:
Litres     Naira     Days
34m     x 141     x 365
= N1.75 trillion
Cost borne by the consumers
Nigerians have been paying N65 per litre for fuel, haven’t we? Therefore, cost borne by the consumers =     Litres     Naira     Days
34m     x 65     x 365
= N807 billion

Misplaced spending in the budget

Let me just cite, in closing, the example of National Assembly excesses and misplaced spending as contained in the 2012 budget proposal:
Number of Senators 109
Number of Members of the House of Representatives 360
Total Number of Legislators 469
2012 Budget Proposal for the National Assembly N150 billion
Average Cost of Maintaining Each Member N320 million
Average Cost of Maintaining Each Member in USD $2.1 million/year

TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY SNG AND ALLIES ON THE CITIZENS ACTION AGAINST CORRUPTION AND BAD GOVERNANCE

TUESDAY 17TH JANUARY, 2012 AT THE SNG SECRETARIAT.

Gentlemen of the Press,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

(1 minute silence in honour of all our fallen heroes, past and present)

The general strike and citizens action which followed the January 1, 2012 on 117 percent increase in the pump price of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) has proved a defining moment in the history of our country and one from which the correct lessons must be learnt and matters arising squarely dealt with in order to deepen our democracy and ensure that our country is never run again in the old way.

That such an astronomical and unprecedented hike was done in a fell swoop was an audacious move that signalled the deep contempt by the government for the capacity of the Nigerian people to show righteous indignation over vicious attack on their living rights. Those in authority must have concluded that with the level of poverty inflicted on our people, especially in the last 13 years where poverty has risen in inverse proportion to the growth in revenue, the anguish of spirit has raised a totally docile citizenry who will only dig a hole to escape and continue running when pushed to the wall.

This is the only explanation for the impunity with which all warnings from organized labour and the civil society were treated by the Federal Government whose officials were so arrogant and condescending in their public utterances on the issue of subsidy removal.

It was a shocked people who watched as the regime lampooned the resolutions of the two chambers of the National Assembly on the matter as “mere opinions” forgetting so soon that the “doctrine of necessity” which was invoked by the same National Assembly less than two years ago after Nigerians trooped to the streets against the “power hijack” by the then cabal was never ridiculed!

Let it be emphasized that it does our democracy no good when the resolutions of the National Assembly are trashed by the Executive as we recently witnessed on the issue of subsidy removal. Neither does it show any appreciation for truth and consistency when the same beneficiary of our civil protests in the dying days of President Yar’adua’s administration who praised the civil societies eloquently in glowing terms in May 2010 now calls the same people unprintable names.

DEMONSTRATION OF PEOPLE POWER

The arrogance of officialdom got a humbling experience with the unprecedented popular actions that took place across the country during the strikes called by the NLC and TUC to protest the unpopular decision of government. The SNG and its allies were pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of millions of Nigerians to the Gani Fawhinmi Freedom Park in Ojota during the 5 days that shook Nigeria. Never in the history of our country has such a large crowd gathered on a spot for days in a peaceful and orderly assembly with no untoward occurrence. This is a loud testimony that given the right leadership, our people are mature enough to organize their lives and behave responsibly. It is the unruly leadership causing systemic dislocation in our country that has given the wrong impression that there is something wrong in the genes of Nigerians.

Though we are very disappointed in the way the controlling leadership of the NLC and TUC have buckled in the knees without consulting the SNG and its allies and without achieving their resolution that “reversal to N65 per litre shall be the basis of any negotiation”, we do not want our people to be disillusioned about their capacity to bring about change in the society.

While we outrightly reject the unilateral fixing of pump price at N97 by the Federal Government upon which the controlling leadership of NLC & TUC threw a spanner in the wheel of peoples movement, it must not be lost on our patriotic people that the climb down by a government which had arrogantly declared that it’s decision was final is the proverbial eating of the humble pie. So also are the administration’s pledges to investigate the oil subsidy cabal, ensure that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is passed and cut the cost of governance. These are issues the regime was not ready to address before the movement of the people. Nigerians must not give up on these issues until logical and conclusive actions are taken on them.

While the conduct of the controlling leadership of labour at the peak of the movement does not engender much confidence in their fidelity behind closed door, we still enjoin them to bring all negotiations with the Belgore Committee to a close within a week and report back to the people who still reserve the right to resume their protests if the negotiators compromise the essence of this popular action.

COURT ACTIONS

As we are set to use all lawful weapons to bring about change in Nigeria, we shall be heading to the courts in the next few days on two major issues:

1.      The violent violation of our rights to peaceful protests by the Federal Government through the

deployment of troops and tanks to the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park at Ojota on Monday,16 January 2012. THIS VIOLATION IS TOTALLY UNCALLED FOR. Before we rallied at the Park, we sought the necessary permission from the Lagos State Government and wrote to notify the Lagos State Commissioner of police and asked him to provide protection. The police men deployed to the park were mostly idle throughout the five days we spent at the Park, as there was no breakdown of law and order.

The Chief Security Officer of the state, Governor Babatunde Fashola(SAN) in rejecting the crude assault on our right to protest acknowledged our peaceful conduct throughout our activities. And we agree with him totally that if we had conducted ourselves otherwise, the police was the right body to deal with that and not soldiers who occupied the venue and subjected our people to harassment, corporal punishment and intimidation.

It is unfortunate that this brutal dictatorship is taking place in a civilian dispensation.

But we chose to be much more mature than the Federal Government by not allowing any ugly situation to be created at the Park.

We shall definitely enforce our rights in court to teach the regime the basic principles of civilized conduct in a democratic setting.

2.      We shall also use the court to compel an investigation into how the Federal Government ended up spending N1.6trillion as against the N240b budgeted for subsidy in the 2011 fiscal year. We cannot sweep under the carpet the spending of over N1.3 trillion without appropriation by the National Assembly. We shall neither “move on” on this matter until the full weight of the law comes on all those involved in this illegal spending. Nor shall we fold our hands if the FGN through the EFCC becomes both judge and jury in a matter involving government officials and their corporate cronies.

VICTORY RALLY

As a mark of appreciation of the new found spirit of our people demonstrated in the 5 days of peaceful protest at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, we shall be holding a victory rally at the same venue on Saturday, 21st January 2012.

We must at this point appreciate all members of the Entertainment Community in Nigeria who added colour to the 5 days at Ojota without charging us a kobo.

Our gratitude also goes to good spirited Nigerians who without solicitation brought water and food to the crowd at Ojota as their own contribution to the nation building project.

And to the greatest heroes of the movement who trekked several kilometers daily to show their resolve; we give our thumb up. You have planted the “Never Again” tree that will ensure that the holidays are over for bad rulers in our land. That the Federal Government could not stop the peaceful rallies all over Nigeria especially in Abuja, Kano and Kaduna where millions of our people trooped out on the same day the military occupied Ojota Freedom Park and other parts of Lagos State on the order of the Federal Government is a complete demonstration of the indomitable Nigerian spirit. A new dawn of People’s Power against all forms of oppression is here. The will of people is surely stronger than the power of incumbency.

Meanwhile, our hearts go to the families whose loved ones were killed by the state during the days of citizens’ action. May the souls of all the dead rest in peace and May Almighty God comfort the families they left behind.

We strongly demand the prosecution of all trigger happy officers who cut down these innocent lives.

Thank you for listening.

God bless you all and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Unnecessary Appointments Made By President Goodluck Jonathan

How President Goodluck Jonathan is wasting resources through unnecessary appointments.

Let’s start by looking at the list and designations of aides in the Presidency and see if they are necessary at all. President Goodluck Jonathan in June 2011 sought and obtained the approval of Senate to appoint 20 advisers to assist him in running his government. However, the President has, in apparent breach of the number of aides approved for him, gone ahead to appoint at least 24 advisers as at the last count.

Mr. Oronto Douglas, Special Adviser to the President on Research and Strategy. Sentiments aside, what exactly is the role of this office and couldn’t it have been carried out by a permanent employee in the Presidency?

Prof. Abubakar Sambo, Special Adviser to the President on Energy. Really? What distinctive ‘special advice’ is the President expecting from the incumbent here that the ministers for petroleum, energy and power cannot give?

Mrs. Sarah Akuben Pane, Special Adviser to the President on Social Development. One is too stumped to even comment on this.

Mrs. Sarah Jibril, Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values. What a joke! Who even monitors what, if any, work some of these appointees have been carrying out?

Kingsley Kuku, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs. What would the minister and the minister of state for the Niger Delta ministry be doing and what about the head of the Niger Delta Development Commission?

Prof. Dan Adebiyi, Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties and Senator Isaiah Ballat, Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties (Office of the Vice-President). Could someone please unpack this designation for me? Same request suffices for Nze Sullivan Akachukwu Nwakpo, Special Adviser to the President on Technical Matters and for Mrs. Asma’u Abdulkadir, Special Adviser to the President on Gender Issues. What on earth amounts to ‘technical matters’?

And there are also Yakubu Abdullahi, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters (Office of the Vice President);
Mr. Bashir Sufyan, Special Adviser to the President on Legal Matters (Office of the Vice-President).
Professor Nwanze Okidegbe, Economic Adviser to the President. What economic advice would this officer give the President that the National Economic Management Team members including the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Planning cannot?

Senator Ben Obi, Special Adviser to the President on Inter-Party Affairs. There is absolutely no reason to appoint a special adviser for just this function, when there is Ahmed Gulak, Political Adviser to the President just as the designation of Dr Mariam Ali, Special Adviser to the President on Inter-governmental Affairs.

Perhaps the most curious is the Special Adviser (New Media), Reno Omokri. In clear terms, he is special adviser on Twitter and Facebook matters! This is aside the fact that there is a Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity. Strangely, the ‘Twitter and Facebook special adviser’ is not attached to the office of the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity but to the Special Adviser, Research and Strategy.

By the way, these special advisers would ordinarily have their own personal assistants and other aides.
Total waste of funds that could have been channeled into productive and progressive uses.

Cartoon: Secret conversation between Goodluck and Ngozi – By Keji Giwa

Secret conversation between Goodluck and Ngozi: President Goodluck: “What is the budget for my government in 2012 please.”

Ngozi: “Please I have not slept all night calculating this thing but here we go:

N280 million for two bulletproof Mercedes Benz saloon 600 E Guard at N140 million each

N356.72 million for new vehicles in the presidential fleet

5 Mercedes Benz 350 (semi plain/partial bullet proof) at N25 million each, 10 jeeps (assorted – Range Rover, Prado and Land Cruiser) at N10 million each, and accessories for these vehicles will cost N25 million

N57.43 million to upgrade facilities at the Presidential Villa

N127.50 million to overhaul power generating sets

N512.385 million to refurbish the family wing of the main residence

N385.35 million for land reclamation at the State House Medical Centre

N101.67 million for the rehabilitation of transformer substation in the villa

N97.95 million for extension/expansion of State House car parks (The more SUVs and cars you accumulate the more ground you need to park them in!)

N108 million for communication equipment at the Villa, Dodan Barracks and vice president’s guesthouse

N36.88 million to rehabilitate presidential/ministerial chalet at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, despite spending/budgeting N48 million for this last year

N52.87 million to rehabilitate 10 presidential houses on Ibrahim Taiwo Street, Abuja, despite allocating/spending N101 million

N530.57 million to rehabilitate the State House and Dodan Barracks, despite spending/allocating N628.64 million this year on the two properties

N357.731 million for repairs and renovation of the administrative building at the Villa, despite allocating/spending N302.29 million on this last year
N62.23 million for the rehabilitation of the banquet hall dome roof, despite allocating/spending N81 million on the roof last year.

N992.57 million for feeding the president and the vice president”

President Jonathan ” Ngozi, biko now, the money never reach now. What of Patience’s English tuition fees”

Ngozi “The school we found said it will take at least 3 years just to unlearn her grammatical errors, 6 months to treat the psychological damage of realising she can’t really speak English. We will really need to double that budget seriously”

President Jonathan: “Eh! Ok, you know you are smart now, how can we do this because it is becoming seriously embarrassing.”

Ngozi: “oh! I know! me! me! me! I know it! Take away the fuel subsidy and we will have more than enough to cover her English, French, Spanish, Danish and even Swahili class. She is our first lady. She must be fluent in all dialects”

President Jonathan: “Haba! haba!! haba!!! you wan kill me.”

Ngozi: “No not you, the people of Nigeria”

President Jonathan: “Oh ok! Fantastic. How to we do it. This is why I like you. You are so so smart it’s incredibly scary”

Ngozi: “We will need to increase fuel prices by 32%. From it’s current N65 to N97 but first you have to play it smart. I mean seriously smart.”

President Jonathan: “But you know being smart is not my strong area. I am better at playing dumb. Why can’t I play dumb and act like I don’t know what is going on?”

Nigozi: “Errrm, ok we will do both. This is going to be a tricky one but no biggy. Aha! I got it. On the 1st day of the year 2012, you will announce over a 100% increase in fuel and tell the nation that you are removing fuel subsidy. Tell them it’s now N140. You will then make up some crazy story about the Cabals taking all our oil and you want to now get rid of them”

President Jonathan: “Men this idea is smart but what’s the purpose”

Ngozi: “Wait now, there will be a public out cry,the people will go mad and protest. be ready to play dumb at this stage, I will tell you when to play smart soon. Then after a series of meetings, you will negotiate at the original N97 we planned anyway. This way it’s a win-false-win situation. We win and the people think they have won too”

President Jonathan: “So when do I play smart”

Nogozi: “Oh, I forgot about that, oh yes, send in the army and clear out the protesters. Anyone who protest, shoot them first then charge them for treason later. Kill a few people. You know Nigerians now, they will scatter and we will be back to normal”

President Jonathan: “O gbele o! This woman you are dangerous o!”

Ngozi: “Anyway, can you sign off the subsidy bill please:”
Oando owned by Wale Tinubu received N228,506 billion

Conoil owned by Mike Adenuga received N37, 960 billion

AP owned by Femi Odetola received N104.5 billion

MRS oil run by Atiko Dangote brothers – Sayyu Dantata received N224, 818 billion

Pinnacle Construction Ltd received N300 billion

Enak oil & gas received N19, 684 billion

Folawiyo oil received N113.3 billion

Obat received N85 billion

IPMAN Investment Ltd N10.96 billion

ACON received N24.1 billion

Bovas & Co. Nigeria Ltd received N5.685 billion

ATIO oil received N64.4 billion

AMP received N11.4 billion

Honeywell – N12.2 billion

EMAC oil received N19.2 billion

D.Jones oil received N14.8 billion

Capital oil received N22.4 billion

AZ oil received – N18.613 billion

Eterna oil received N5.57 billion

Dozil oil received N3.375 billion

FORT oil received N7,585 billion

Integrated oil & gas N30.777 billion

Disclaimer!

This is in no way true and this dialogue never happened however it it only meant to show how insensitive our government has been in dealing with the fuel subsidy matter.

God bless Nigeria

Fuel Subsidy Removal, Gani’s Unfinished Struggle Against Corruption – Aregbesola

Gani Fawehinmi

“Looking at recent and current events in the country reminds us all of the inimitable Gani and the fact that his business was largely unfinished by the time he departed.”

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola – Governor of Osun State, Nigeria