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Monday, 28 January 2013


Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the speaker of the federal House of Representatives and his deputy Mr. Emeka Ihedioha are two names that will surely enjoy generous mention when the elaborate history of the current democratic dispensation would be written.

They would be mentioned not because they hold some of the highest political offices in the nation but for a different but salient reason entirely.

Put simply, the duo are democratic rebels who rode on the popular will of the majority against the formidable odds erected by the tiny partisan clique to emerge as speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives.

They rode on the popular acclaim of the majority through a bipartisan measure unprecedented in the political annals of Nigeria to jettison and defeat the nocturnal partisan configuration of political offices erected by the tiny clique that controls the national machinery of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) -the political party in power at the national level, to assume the mantle of leadership in response to the popular cross-party or multiparty mandate bestowed on them by their colleagues in the federal House of Representatives who collectively rebelled for a just cause so as to try to build an independent legislature in compliance strictly to the principles of the constitutionally enshrined provision that guarantees separation of powers.

Specifically, ever since emerging as speaker of the federal House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the young but eminently respected legal luminary from Sokoto State has so far proven his leadership qualities as a real democratic rebel who is devoted to rendering selfless services to humanity and the entire Nigerian citizenry.

A year and half ago, when he emerged as the Speaker, he demonstrated to Nigerians that he is one political leader who came with prepared objectives on how best to truly transform Nigeria from a nation riddled with mass poverty, unemployment and insecurity to that polity whereby the human rights of all citizens are promoted, protected and ensured through qualitative legislative activities and other pro-democracy advocacy activities.

Tambuwal’s first action as the speaker truly and graphically revealed a democratic rebel who in the words of the great philosopher Mr. Albert Camus, has decided to say 'NO' to the business- as -usual tendency of politics but to lead by the power of personal example and patriotism.
In his widely acclaimed book ‘The Rebel’, Mr. Albert Camus asked the basic philosophical question of who is indeed a rebel and responded thus; “A man who says no: whose refusal does not imply a renunciation. A rebel is also a man  [woman]who says yes as soon as he [she] begins to think for himself [herself]”.

Tambuwal, realizing the enormity of the expectations of Nigerians from such high profile political office holder, had set out a workable agenda on the best ways to legislate for public good.

In the legislative blueprint widely published by speaker Tambuwal’s leadership of the Federal House of Representatives, Nigerians were told in black and white that the views of the ordinary people of Nigeria would no longer be sidelined by the National Assembly since the people are the real owners of the sovereignty of Nigeria from where public office holders derive legitimacy and authority.

His words; “The Seventh Session of the House of Representatives (HoR) (2011-2015) is committed to honouring the faith and trust reposed in it by the Nigerian people and we are determined to chart a new course of legislative business for the benefit of our people".

Tambuwal who has shown himself as a man at home with the rural people stated that the legislative agenda being published on assumption of office seeks to reform the in-house legislative  processes in the House, identify key legislative priorities and outline a programme of action to achieve the goals that the current Federal House of Representatives members have set for themselves.       

He assured generality of Nigerians that over the next four years, the House of Representatives will pursue an aggressive legislative agenda to reposition itself as a key branch of government able and determined to deliver on the key elements of governance.

His words; “We acknowledge that the House has had to navigate the difficult terrain of winning public trust and confidence and even of being the champion of the peoples’ cause. Years of struggling to establish adequate legislative mores and practices, especially upon the return to democratic rule in May 1999, has meant that some of the things we have done may not have met public expectation”.

He admitted that the legislators have a lot of times not communicated enough, their legislative intentions or priorities just as he stated that the effort to establish the House as a major institution of democracy in service of the Nigerian people has proved to be a slow and difficult one.

In a solemn tone he pledged thus; “Today, and with the inauguration of the Seventh Session of the House of Representatives, we make bold to state and with great assurance to the Nigerian people that the legislature has come of age. It is a new day-a new House of Representatives, and we are prepared to meet and surpass the expectations of the Nigerian people to represent their best interest”.

If question is to be asked if the Speaker has kept to his own side of the bargain to the Nigerian people, the popular acclaim of the majority of Nigerians is that so far so good and the opinion of the majority of Nigerians is that the social contract between the Federal House of Representatives and the Nigerian People is a work in steady progress.

Before millions of Nigerians came out on the streets of major cities and towns to protest the increment in the pump price of petroleum products in January 2012 by the Federal government, the speaker of the Federal House of Representatives did the unthinkable which till today sets his leadership apart from all others as pro-democracy and pro-people.

The Federal House for the first time in over fifty years of Nigeria’s existence sat on a Sunday to intervene on the side of the popular masses urging the Federal government to reverse the ill -informed decision to hike the pump price of petroleum products.

Against all odds, the Federal House at that time under the competent leadership of speaker Tambuwal stood on the side of truth which tremendously put political pressure of the powers-that- be to reverse the evil policy of extreme hike in the purchasing price of petroleum products which had already generated large scale poverty and excruciating cost of living for millions of Nigerians.

Speaker Tambuwal by his action of convening the Federal House of Representatives demonstrated that politics is all about public good and doing everything to reduce the rate of poverty which in any case has skyrocketed even by the estimation given by a former vice president of the World Bank Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili.

The erstwhile World Bank chief also authoritatively revealed that the Yar’adua/Jonathan Federal administration squandered over $67 billion of Nigeria’s money handed over to them by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.

To show why most young Nigerians are happy so long as speaker Tambuwal remains a democratic rebel to fight the evils of corruption and lack of good governance, the recent public lecture delivered by the former World Bank vice President and one time Education minister under the Obasanjo-led government revealed that the vicious circle of poverty has become suffocating even when Nigeria has enjoyed five phenomenal circle of oil boom with much of the revenue generated stolen by government officials.

Her words; “The present cycle of boom of the 2010s is, however, much more vexing than the other four that happened in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. This is because we are still caught up in it and it is more egregious than the other periods in revealing that we learned absolutely nothing from the previous massive failures”.

She continued: “The squandering of the significant sum of $45 billion in foreign reserve account and another $22 billion in Excess Crude Account...”.

Ezekwesili said that it was up to the younger generation to restore the dignity of Nigeria by making the right choices to lift the nation out of poverty.

According to her, the figures of the poor in Nigeria grew from 17.1 million in 1980, 34.5 million in 1985, 39.2 million in 1992, 67.1 million in 1996, to 68.7 million in 2004 and 112.47 million in 2010.

What the above explosive revelation by Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili showed is that Nigerians collectively have no choice but to sustain the tempo of pressure on the National Assembly and especially the Federal House of Representatives under the leadership of a young Nigerians to put the central government on its toes so long as the principle of transparency and accountability of public resources are basterdized as is currently the case.

Do you wonder why I believe the Sun now shines on the young Mr. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to use his political power to serve public good? Wonder no more because Mr. Tambuwal who was born on January 10th, 1966 is still far too young a man that he is one of  the right persons in whom millions of  young Nigerians look up to show the light through pragmatic display of power of personal example and the genuine love of the mother land-Nigeria.

So when in 2012, two critical and well respected national Newspapers-leadership and Sun Newspaper group decided to celebrate his public leadership qualities, some of us who know the speaker were not shocked because he truly deserves all the positive reinforcement and support that the civil society and the mass media can offer so that he will consistently carry the public good of the largest percentage of Nigerians at heart.

Lastly, Tambuwal should open up channels for constant engagement with the leadership of the credible civil society groups so to consistently get qualitative feed-back information on the yearnings, aspirations and dreams of the people of Nigeria. Recently at a national dialogue session by Trust Group of Newspapers, Tambuwal admitted that politicians abandon the electorate soon after elections. This is a statement of fact from a man who is actually serving the interest of Nigerians.


Friday, 25 January 2013


Jerry Gana, the Bida, Niger State born professor of geography carved a niche for himself whilst he presided over as the information and communication minister under the President Olusegun Obasanjo led administration.

Media Savvy, Witty and astonishingly easy-going, professor Gana alongside the then National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Mr. Smart Adeyemi ( who later moved on to become an elected Senator) were the brains behind the introduction of the national good governance tour whereby officials of the federal ministry of information alongside Journalists from various media houses attached to cover the information ministry in Abuja, traversed the length and breadth of Nigeria inspecting the progress of work on the projects executed by the different agencies of the federal government and the state governments.

While it lasted, the professor Gana-led national good governance tour came under heavy criticism for deviating from the original objectives of the exercise and veered off into the arena of the politics of scoring the different state governors depending on whether the state executives were friendly or foes of the powers – that-be in Abuja and depending on the size of the envelopes with which the state governor greesed their hands, so they alleged.

Those critics who leveled the allegations of bias against the federal information ministry’s-led national good governance tour said the exercise was a well -coordinated campaign tool of the political party in power at the federal level to promote the interest of their foot -soldiers [who held sway as governors] in the various states who due to lack of popularity were at the verge of losing out at the approaching elections.   

Still others who are uncomfortable with the national good governance tour dismissed it as a charade since according to them, the best way members of the fourth estate of the realm could better assess the performance of elected public office holders at both the federal and state level is not to embark on juicy and properly teleguided inspection of selected and predetermined projects some of which are mere white elephant projects that have no relevance or values to the people of such constituencies who in the first place are not usually carried along by officials of federal government agencies in the preparation, design and execution of projects sited in their domains supposedly to serve their public good.

Those belonging to the above school of thought, clearly pointed out to section 22 of the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria to graphically demonstrate that media workers need not be ferried around in exotic vehicles by government officials on daily  but juicy wages just so as to inspect the progress of work on the projects being executed by the government of Nigeria for the benefit of the Nigerian people.

For the avoidance of doubt, section 22 of the constitution stated thus; “The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people”.  

This aspect of the constitution did not say that members of the media shall be ferried in chaffeur-driven exotic vehicles by government officials for the purpose of carrying out this fundamental constitutional objective of upholding the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people of Nigeria. 

If the saying that he who pays the piper dictates the tune holds true in this discussion, then it is difficult to see how a journalist provided with all the good things that money can buy could as well remain objective in reporting dispassionately what they notice during the national good governance tour for the reading pleasure of their readers who are the Nigerian people that own the sovereignty of Nigeria. Moreover, there is the possibility that the sweetness and strenght of the fine wines gulped during these guided tours may influence the output of the media workers. I stand to be corrected.

In the current dispensation, the minister of information Mr. Labaran Maku has waved aside these criticisms against the good governance tour and has indeed embarked on elaborate national good governance tour which is elaborately covered on public owned broadcasting stations but also enjoy generous coverage in the private media of electronic and print.

The ongoing national good governance tour is unraveling and has indeed showed the underbelly of the organized confusion and huge contraption that we call governance in Nigeria.

Developments from the national good governance tour so far has graphically depicted the total lack of synergy between some of the federal government agencies and some state governments.

The other day in Imo state while the so-called good governance tour was taking place, the Imo state deputy governor Mr. Jude Agboso told the minister of information that the Imo state government was unaware that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was building a youth skill acquisition/empowerment center in a town near the State capital.

The deputy governor proceeded to urge the federal government to always consult the state administration before embarking on any development project which will ultimately benefit the people. The minister of information faulted the claim of the Imo state deputy governor saying that the state has a representative at the Niger Delta Development Commission and therefore must have been carried along.

The Federal government-led national good governance tour however got more than it bargained for when the Borno State government bluntly asked that Borno State be exempted from the exercise because the federal government has no single project to showcase in the entire Borno State therefore it would amount to a meaningless jamboree and media stunt for the federal government team headed by the information minister Mr. Labaran Maku to embark on any good governance media tour to Borno State.

Borno state government position was disclosed by the information commissioner Mr. Inuwa Bwala.

Speaking to journalists, the state Commissioner for Information, Inuwa Bwala, said the ongoing visit of Maku across the country was nothing but a cover up of the Federal Government’s inadequacies and that the team led by the Minister of Information has no business visiting the state as there was no single project-ongoing or completed-that has been executed by the Federal Government in the state due for inspection.

Bwala said the Good Governance Tour to the state would rather remain a tea party as it does not in any way represent the yearnings and needs of the people of Borno who had been abandoned by the Federal Government in most of the times they needed their presence.
He said; “it should stop paying lip service to the issue of development and be fair to all states irrespective of their party differences. All we have here in Borno are projects executed by the state government and I don’t think the Federal Government team will come to a state and inspect projects that it had not committed a dime in their execution”, Bwala pointed out.

“For many years now, Borno State has been battling with insecurity, flood and so on, but neither the presidency or its top aides had deemed it fit to visit us as a people, so what makes them think we need them now? The only Federal Government project existing in Borno are the Maiduguri-Kano Highway, the Chad Basin Development Authority (CBDA) and most of the dilapidated federal roads quoted in several budgets have been abandoned..."
Borno is not alone but the difference is that while other States such as Imo, Ebonyi and Kogi that suffer similar marginalization have through their governors chosen to wine, dine and make merriment using scarce fund belonging to their states to stage elaborate reception parties for the Labaran Maku-led national good governance tour, Borno has spoken truth to power.

In Imo state for instance, the only federal presence is the Okigwe/Owerri Road which is in the most dilapidated and dysfunctional state even as the Federal government has not thought it wise to bring federal presence to the entire Imo state which happens to be part of the crude oil producing states in the country . Imo state does not have any dam or water project from the huge annual federal budgets since 1999. what an Irony?

For me, the best way to promote independent assessment of how the process of governance take place in Nigeria is not to embark on these meaningless “Owambe” parties and Jamborees by the federal ministry of information. But the institutions of government at every level must be made to comply with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act of 2011 so that the media and other members of the civil society-faith-based groups; community based groups and other non-state actors, can easily access basic information on how the budgets of these tiers of government are executed.

Ministries of Finance and offices of state Auditors must be made to publish on regular basis, audited accounts of their respective state governments and local councils so that interested persons can objectively analyze them and possibly for whistle-blowers to report any suspected heist of public fund to appropriate authorities including the anti-graft agencies which must be legally transformed to become truly independent and patriotic.  Local government authorities must be made autonomous and state governors must be stoppd from stealing from allocations meant for these local councils even as the democratic structures in these councils must be re-established ane made of good spirited community leaders to truly transform this tier of government that is the nearest to the people.    

Good governance is certainly not these tea parties, “Owambe”-motivated media tour by the Federal ministry of Information.
Under the current atmosphere, it is certainly difficult for Nigerians to be informed of how so well transparent and accountable are these state officials because pecuniary interest may over shadow any expected objective of balanced and qualitative independent assessment.

*  Emmanuel Onwubiko; Head; HUMAN Rights Writers Association of Nigeria       


Monday, 21 January 2013


The reported conviction on 13-count charges of terrorism of the Nigerian-born Henry Okah by a South African Court on Monday January 21st 2013 in connection with the 2010 October 1st  Independence Day bomb attack in Nigeria's Federal Capital allegedly by the Niger Delta armed militants has been described as the greatest indictment for non-performance and corruption of the Nigeria's judicial system even as a call has been made to the Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Maryam Alooma Mukhtar by the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] to extensively and comprehensively roll out pragmatic reform agenda for the near-moribund Nigeria's court system to save Nigeria's constitutional democracy from imminent collapse in the face of anarchy and impunity.

The Democracy inclined Non-Governmental Organization-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] also wants the National Assembly to dispassionately attend to the many pending bills before the two houses on far-reaching recommendations on how to speed up and better empower the Nigeria's judicial system. HURIWA said Nigeria's twin evil of high crime rate and corruption in public offices have become problematic because the institution of the judiciary has become increasingly weighed down by corruption; incompetence and compromise by officials paid with tax payers money to run the justice sector. HURIWA also tasked Government to reform the moribund prison sector so that convicted criminals are not allowed to engage in frequent jail breaks to escape justice.

Reacting to the report of the conviction of the Nigerian national Mr. Henry Okah of 13 charges related to terrorism, including spate of bomb explosions targeted at the high profile Eagle square complex in Abuja which reportedly led to the gruesome killing of 12 people in Abuja including the destruction of several vehicles, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] said Nigeria's court system has come under increasing exposure for incompetence, compromise and criminal collusion even as different high profile cases of terrorism, economic crimes involving the theft of several billions of public fund by serving and former public office holders in Nigeria have consistently being adjourned or dismissed for lack of diligent prosecution by officials of the Nigeria Police Force, the Office of the Attorney General and the extremely snail speed judicial procedural process that has constituted a cog in the delivery of justice in Nigeria over the years.

In a statement made available to the media by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Affairs, Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] stated as follows; "The conviction for terrorism carried out in the Nigerian soil of the South African based court of the Nigerian national Henry Okah calls for deeper retrospection and introspection and definitely represents the clearest indictment so far of the corrupt and near-moribund Nigeria's judicial court system that has consistently failed to execute the constitutionally guaranteed role enshrined in section 6 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria [ 1999 as amended]".

HURIWA further stated that; "The other day, the disgraced former Governor of Delta state Mr. James Ibori was convicted in the United Kingdom-based Magistrate Court for fraudulently amassing wealth from the public till whilst he presided over for eight years as the governor of Delta state even when a specially created Federal High Court, Asaba Delta State division found him not guilty of these huge and monumental crimes against the state and now the South African chief Magistrate court has returned a verdict against Henry Okah in record time even when several high profile terrorism related cases are still pending in different Federal High courts in parts of Nigeria and so many of these cases have suffered unmitigated delay due to lack of diligent prosecution while the rest of Nigerians are still being bombarded by the targeted bomb attacks of these murderous armed Islamic terrorists. This is a sad commentary that must be redressed immediately".  



For the second time in the life of this administration, a serving minister in the person of Mr. Godsday Orubebe has engaged in (apologies to late music legend – Fela Anikulapo Kuti ) a ‘roforofo’ fight (public spat) with other citizens of divergent status.

First, he (Orubebe) had public spat[squabble] with a ‘commoner’, the former World professional cruiser weight boxing champion- Mr. Bashiru Ali over issues that bordered on an alleged double dealing.

This time, this ‘big man’ minister is in a political fight to finish with his fellow ‘big man’ whom (Orubebe) pejoratively addressed as the boss of the ‘Slum dwellers’ – governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, of River State.

The reason for this public show of shame and crude display of power by the President’s boy’ is that governor Amaechi dared to challenge his clearly non-performing ministry of Niger Delta- a ministry that has become one of the most inefficient and incompetent bureaucracy in modern times.

I will return to the celebrated public show of shame between the ‘President’s boy’ and the ‘boss’ of the slum dwellers – Mr. Rotimi Amaechi who equally doubles as the chairman of the Nigerian governors’ forum – a body known for herbouring public office holders that consistently spread poverty to their people through corruption, incompetence, looting and economic crimes (if you are in doubt please check the criminal profile as compiled by the Economic and Financial Crimes commission, EFCC).

On 12th September 2011, the Lagos based The Nation newspaper ran a story with a screaming headline – “Documents nail Orubebe in quarrel with Bash Ali".  

The newspaper in the story stated that contrary to the claim by the Niger Delta minister Elder Godsday Orubebe that his ministry was never committed to sponsoring the proposed Guiness Book of Records boxing bout of World champion-Mr. Bashiru Ali, documents obtained by them showed clearly that the contrary is the case.

In a telephone interview with the paper, Godsday Orubebe was quoted thus; “That man [Bash Ali]came to me with his proposal and I said these are things that can be done by the National Sports Commission (NSC). I gave him a recommendation note to see the minister of sports of that time.  Later he came to me that some people told him that the propgramme will be included in the budget of the ministry of Niger Delta  Affairs. I said if other people are lying I will not lie. The ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has nothing to do with sports so the programme could not have been part of our budget. So, it is not in our budget”.

The minister of Niger Delta in that interview called Mr. Bashir Ali, unprintable names just for daring to expose the undercurrents of the deal that collapsed like a pack of cards under the heavyweight of allegation of bribe-seeking. Bashir Ali is the one time World professional cruiser weight champion (in 1987) who brought honour to Nigeria.

But The Nation newspaper exclusively obtained a document which purportedly contradicted the claims of the minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

Dated August 27th, 2009 the letter in the possession of the news writer, was said to have been written to the National Sports Commission by the Niger Delta Affairs minister and it stated thus; “I am directed to inform you that the ministry is in the process of supporting an international boxing tournament between Bash Ali of Nigeria and John Keelon of Britain. We are therefore seeking for your nominee to serve as member of the committee that will work out the modalities on how to arrange and finance the tournament. The nominee should be an officer of not below the rank of Assistant Director”.

But Bashi Ali claimed it was because of his refusal to part with some of the $14.2 million allegedly budgeted for the fight under skill acquisition in the ministry’s budget that was why the show was scuttled, an allegation the minister denied. Bashiru Ali made a dramatic show of the entire scenario by erecting a tent near the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters in Abuja where he slept and fasted for nearly two weeks before public spirited individuals talked him into ending the hunger strike.

Sadly, the President who is the appointing authority of the minister and the National Assembly that does oversight function over the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs allowed these weighty allegations to be swept under the carpets.

Now, back to the bigger fight between the president’ boy and the boss of the slum dwellers – Godsday Orubebe and Rotimi Amaechi, it may be nice to know that the cause of the quarrel has shown that most political office holders have no iota of respect for the people they ought to serve in the first, place. They all talked down on all of us as if we don’t matter in the entire equation of governance.

The ministry of Niger Delta Affairs was created by the President Umaru Musa Yar’adua/Goodluck Jonathan’s administration as part of effort to pacify the then armed militants in the oil rich Niger Delta to lay down their arms. The Amnesty programme is to allow the Federal government to address the multidimensional developmental challenges that face these crude oil rich communities that for fifty years have suffered systemic marginalization and underdevelopment from the federal government even when Nigeria makes all the money sustaining the nation from the exploitation and exportation of the Crude oil natural resources that these devastated Niger Delta environments are endowed with.        

But the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has being in the news for the wrong reason of accusations of corruption trailing the minister as alleged by several groups in the civil society community. Recently, the Niger Delta Affairs minister was alleged to have fraudulently bought several choice properties in the high brow areas of Abuja. He however denied the allegations which the independent corrupt practices and other offences commission [ICPC] is said to be probing. The ICPC is known as the weakest link in the ongoing anti-graft war which most analysts believe has died down and the politicians have returned to the business as usual 'share-the-money' tendency.

The River state governor was reported to have criticized the Niger Delta ministry for not completing any significant project in the Niger Delta region including the strategic East – west High way which has remained in the design stage for years even with Billions of public money said to have been sunk into this bottomless pit.

Rather than reply the River State governor with verifiable facts to contradict the allegation of non-performance, the minister derailed by throwing punches on the River state governor and in turn branded him as the governor who has so much resources but has turned Port Harcourt the once garden city of Nigeria into a slum. Minister Orubebe was literary calling the people of Port Harcourt SLUM DWELLERS.

Mr. Orubebe then proceeded to show that he is the President’s favourite ‘boy’ when he accused governor Amaechi of showing disrespect to the office of the President of Nigeria.

Orubebe stated thus; “If today, the governor of Akwa Ibom State is saying these things, I will sit down and reason with him, but not River State. He is only talking; almost all the roads he (Amaechi) started are abandoned”.

The River state governor retorted by challenging the Niger Delta Affairs minister to list his projects that the ministry has executed because at least even by his (Orubebe’s) own admission, he (Amaechi) initiated many road projects in Rivers state.

Governor Amaechi then dismissed the criticism of the minister directed at him thus; “The minister’s allegations were an attempt to divert attention from his failure to deliver on the East-West Road”.

This same East – West Road was the place whereby hundreds of persons were roasted alive recently in River State when a petrol tanker exploded because of the bad road and the poor villagers rushed to foolishly scoop fuel from the fuel tanker that collapsed and poured its contents of petrol on the road and near-by farms.

The serving Catholic Bishop of Bomadi Diocese was reported to have challenged President Jonathan during a funeral mass for the departed former National Security Adviser General Azazi, to complete it [EAST-WEST ROAD]as a major legacy of his administration.

Now, the Niger Delta minister is busy exchanging angry words with the River State governor over this same road and the President has not deemed it appropriate to call his minister to order.

It will be the shame of the century if we get to 2015 and the East-West Road that traversed the entire Niger Delta region and the second Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Delta/Anambra States are not completed by this administration that lavishly promised the people of South/South and South East during the campaign in 2011 to entrust their bloc votes to this presidency with a solemn promise to deliver these key projects that are so strategic to the survival and economic empowerment of the people in these two regions.

Honestly, all that President Jonathan needs to do to ascertain how unpopular most  of his ministers are is to commission a study by independent groups made up of market women, unemployed graduates and pensioners drawn from the six geo-political zones but without the usual fun- fare  and publicity glitz that attends inauguration of such presidential panels to avoid a situation whereby the panelists would be compromised by these incompetent and corrupt ministers.

Nigerians are suffering and are praying that public office holders should spare them of these public shows- of -shame of engaging in media warfare even as these political combatants consistently fail to deliver on their mandates and the law enforcement mechanism is too weak to bring them to Justice.

Nigeria needs to strengthen the institutions like the judiciary and the anti-graft commissions to more competently bring these grossly inefficient public office holders to trial.

On November 13th 2007 President Yar’adua, (now late) had pledged that “I vow before you this day that as President of this country, I will lead the fight against corruption; the fight against corruption is my fight”.

But he [late Umaru Musa Yar'adua] failed spectacularly to rein in minister Orubebe who was accused openly of corruptly demanding bribe from a boxing champion and again with all the allegations of corrupt enrichment including the claim that a leading construction firm built him a palatial mansion in Abuja, the current President Goodluck Jonathan has deemed it appropriate to let sleeping dog lie rather than querry his 'man-friday'. This is sad.

On the side of governor Amaechi, the allegation that his state is littered with numerous abandoned road projects even with the huge monthly allocation, is a very strong one that must be probed further. During my last visit last year to Port Harcourt I also noticed that there were too many abandoned road projects. Governor Amaechi please concentrate and deliver democracy dividends and allow posterity to more appropriately judge you.