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Monday, 27 April 2015


In today’s column I have decided to fundamentally depart from any discussion of a hard core subject matter such as human and/or natural disasters like the Nepal Earthquake that recently killed nearly four thousand people (may their souls rest in peace, amen).

I am concerned rather with the entertainment side of human rights polemics such as football and our point of call is the World’s most watched football league-the English premiership.

Specifically my thematic area today is on the phenomenal rise of Chelsea football club of England just as I will zero in on this particularly distinguished and talented football artistic player Mr. Eden Hazard the 23 year old Belgian who has performed football miracle since joining Chelsea.
Make no mistake about it, football as a game is one sure way of promoting and protecting human rights.

Through football, a nation such as Brazil has become a respected member of the global community given the quantum of talented exports recorded in the world of football with millions of foreign denominated revenue pouring into the private sector of Brazil through these eminently talented players who have over the years invested massively in their homeland in Brazil.
First, Chelsea is currently funded by a Russian Billionaire businessman known as Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich born on October 24th 1966. He is the owner of the private investment company millhouse LLC.

According to an entry in Wikipedia, this rich Russian who lives in England is rated by Forbes to have a net worth in 2015 of over US$9.1 billion making him the twelfth richest person in Russian and the 137th richest man on Earth.

Speaking about Chelsea football club with the specific interest in a young Belgian player –Eden Hazard, I have just been told that he was elected as the best player of the year in the whole of United Kingdom in 2015.
The following is how the British Broadcasting Corporation’s website announced the good news.

Hazard, 24, has scored 13 goals and made eight assists in 33 Premier League games to help leaders Chelsea move to the cusp of the title.

The award was voted for by the Belgian midfielder's fellow professionals.
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane, 21, was named PFA Young Player of the Year, while Chelsea midfielder Ji So-Yun took the Women's Player of the Year award.
Is Hazard a deserved PFA winner? The usually pessimistic broadcasting behemoth responded thus; Hazard, who won last season's young player accolade, was handed the prize at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on Sunday.”
"I'm very happy. One day I want to be the best and what I did this season is play very well, Chelsea played very well," he said.
"I don't know if I deserve to win but it is good for me. It is better to be voted by the players - they know everything about football.
"Personally I have played a good season, I have been there in the big games and I scored a lot of important goals, this is why I'm better this season."
Arsenal midfielder Leah Williamson, 18, won the Women's PFA Young Player of the Year award.

Conversely, Eden Harzard’s team-Chelsea Fc is on the verge of becoming the best British premiership Club of 2015 session with just 6 points to net in before this week runs out since it has a clear ten points lead over their next best rival-Arsenal football club.

Against the back drop of these superlative feats of Chelsea Fc most observers have concluded just like me that Blue is the colour of Best.

Findings from Scholars of Ancient metaphysics confirmed this affirmation.
From, the colour blue in symbolism as presented in Ancient Mesopotamia shows it as that which signifies the best thing that nature can give.
Andre Sinclair in the piece quoted in the above cited website stated thus; “The colour blue as a separate entity was instead expressed by employing the term for the blue stone Lapis Lazuli, which is a very precious stone at that.

This precious stone and the colour blue were eminently auspicious and associated as symbols of opulence and holiness for both gods and kings. It is called in Ancient Mesopotamia as Za.Gin/uqnu which was employed to describe dark blue, and associated with notions of brilliance and radiance.

The would-be champions of football in the United Kingdom – Chelsea football  club has through hard work, collective resilience and the extremely talented dexterity of such players such as Mikel Obi of Nigeria, Eden Hazard of Belgium , Ramires and Oscar of Brazil and the defensive  Chief Marshal of John Terry of England, demonstrated clearly that Blue is the colour of Best. I wish this tea goodluck.

*          Emmanuel Onwubiko; a fan of Chelsea football club is head of Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria and blogs;,



HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) - a civil society group has thrown its weight behind the affirmation of the President-elect General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to investigate alleged missing $20 Billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

But the Rights group has however cautioned against selective justice of contrived witch-hunt even as it has asked the incoming national Assembly to understudy the Chinese anti-graft model so as to introduce the death penalty as punishment for corruption by government officials and contractors.

Speaking when he received a delegation of All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftains from Adamawa State at his campaign head office in Abuja, Buhari said the issue of alleged corruption and heist in the NNPC would not be swept under the carpet once he mounts the saddle on May 29th 2015.

HURIWA said the decision to probe the alleged missing $20 Billion from NNPC as made by the President-elect is a welcome recantation or swift reversal of his earlier unpopular decision not to re- open any corruption cases that happened before March 28th 2015.

HURIWA stated thus; “it is not in the place of Mr. President-elect to pick and choose which alleged looter of public Fund should be investigated and prosecuted since the criminal provisions of the statutes in operation across Nigeria does not give short term status of limitation for criminal cases. We urge the President elect to begin by totally reorganizing the anti-graft institutions by bringing in capable Nigerians of integrity to head the institutions so as to revive the now moribund anti-graft bodies.”

The Rights group said it was wrong that both anti-graft bodies are dominated by personnel drawn from the much criticized Nigeria police Force. The group has therefore tasked the incoming national legislators to be patriotic enough to introduce radical legislative reforms into the enabling laws setting up both anti-graft bodies (EFCC and ICPC) so as to make them much more vibrant, independent and incorruptible. HURIWA also wants the Chairmanship of EFCC and ICPC to be open for election by members of the National Parliament in a publicly televised session as true representatives of the people of Nigeria and for the removal/dismissal of such anti-graft officials to be subject to stringent legislative approval and/or national referendum.

On why corruption should be made a capital offence, HURIWA in the statement by its National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and National media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf stated that corruption has led to the breakdown of national security and law and order resulting in the death of thousands of Nigerians killed by armed brigands and terrorists.

“The President-elect must also look into the grand scale corruption in the Defence and police sectors which has exposed Nigeria to international ridicule following the inability of the Armed Forces to defeat armed Terrorists who have waged war against the Nigerian state since three years now.


Sunday, 12 April 2015


The Presidential election in Nigeria of March 28th 2015 is no doubt provided a defining moment in the political annals of our nation state. Apart from the election producing for the very first time a Presidential contender who as an incumbent resisted the uniquely Afrocentric political tendencies of clinging on to power even when the signals are so loud and clear demanding a fundamental change of status quo. Good luck Ebele Jonathan an academic doctorate degree holder in a very rare scientific field Zoology entered Nigeria's political lexicon as the first incumbent President to willingly accept defeat in a hotly and closely run election even before the umpire seen by some to be bent on foisting a particular regional candidate as the eventual winner. Those who followed the coverage of the Presidential election on the Sky news television crew in Kano state would have seen the chaotic scenes created by supporters of the All Progressive Congress who nearly mobbed a PDP party agent for daring to raise his voice against widespread manipulations of the collation of votes in Kano.

There were also cases of underage voters that turned out in huge numbers in most parts of Northern Nigeria whereby the APC candidate produced monumental results against his rival- the incumbent President. The All Progressive Congress also raised considerable concerns on how the electoral process were manipulated reportedly in Akwa Ibom, Rivers State and some parts of South East in favour of the incumbent President and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party. For the fact that Jonathan refused to play the usual dirty politics of most incumbents to circumvent the popular will of voters means that no matter how you may hate him he has made a landmark political achievement as a legend of democracy. Whenever the most objective history of Nigeria's transitional multiparty democracy would be written his name will occupy a pride of place. Ironically the newly elected President is the only Nigerian alive that has had to wage the most relentless political litigations in the various election petition Tribunals to challenge his defeats in the past.

Well, the concession speech of Jonathan is a topic for a more elaborate essay some other time but for now my attention is focused towards addressing the 'lizard -headed' triumphalism of some commentators who have hurriedly criticised the Igbo for overwhelming throwing substantial percentage of their Presidential votes to the incumbent President and the candidate of the outgoing national ruling party in the March 28th Presidential and National Assembly elections- PDP. These idiosyncratic and warped -minded commentators also attacked Igbos verbally for failing to produce a Senator under the platform of the emerging national ruling party-APC. They said Igbo by this 'miscalculation' has lost out in the national power equations. They forgot about the giant contributions made by some members of APC in the South East towards projecting the Buhari candidacy.

There's this 'holier-than-thou' kind of hollowness embedded in this kind of eccentric and egocentric arguments that because Igbo may not emerge as Senate President therefore the tribe is politically diminished. This is a stupid red -herring because if I remember vividly in the last six or eight years Igbo never produced Senate President or Speaker neither did Igbo produced the President nor the vice and these kind of half- baked rants didn't come up and Igbo were not sent on political exile into Siberia. Where cometh these smelly and senseless analyses suggesting that the Igbo will pay political penalty for simply exercising their constitutionally guaranteed human rights during the March 28th 2015 Presidential election? Why are these busy bodies carrying a non existent political head ache? Who says that under constitutional democracy that an Ethnic nationality with such enormous potentials and with a hugely influential republican population scattered all around the World like Ndigbo will simply sit idly by and allow some opportunistic politicians to deny them of their constitutional rights as citizens of this nation state? Who says that Buhari can govern well without the Igbo? To think this way is to contemplate political suicide.

I'm sad that we are busying ourselves in Nigeria engaging in infantile and largely unproductive and indeed poisonous postulations on which Ethnic Nationality should be bewitched as a result of the spectacular political loses suffered by the Peoples Democratic Party even when our contemporaries all over the developed World and even the fast developing societies are busy developing their scientific and human infrastructures to place their nations and people at higher pedestals of human history. Our contemporaries in Europe are busy building up their technological wherewithal whilst we in Nigeria still engage in 14th century road side arguments around mundane parochial issues of which tribe and religious groups should produce the various holders of national political offices. We are so backward in our peculiar unintelligent way of driving our political process that some states in the North spend huge public resources to marry wives for their adults who are not even in the economically and emotional state of mind to settle down to build their homes. In Imo state for instance Governor Rochas Okorocha at a time gave N250,000 to all autonomous communities in the state to organise Christmas parties. Such is how unproductive our political drivers are. Come to think of it those clamouring for the political exclusion of Igbo in the distribution of political offices have forgotten or now suffer from the collective amnesia of forgetting that virtually all leading actors of the incoming national ruling party were products of the PDP which they now demonise.

I strongly believe that voters in any part of Nigeria must not be victimised because of their popular choices unless we are spoiling for a very prolonged divided nation whose people will become farther and further apart from each other. The danger in allowing these poisonous narratives to shape the texture and components of the coming federal executive cabinet and other national offices is that the little gains made by such agencies as the National Youth Service Corp ( NYSC) will be lost forever and in no distant time serious agitation for breakup of Nigeria will become so disturbing that we will have no choice but to conduct a national referendum to determine our future as a Federation. So General Buhari must watch his steps and follow his conscience in carrying out his national duties in strict compliance with the letters and principles of the Nigerian constitution which in May 29th 2015 he will swear before God and the Nigerian people to adhere to. Let General Buhari not allow tribal and religious warlords to dictate the pace of his administration. He must know that Nigeria is now gravely divided and his first job is to unify all Nigerians to work in partnership with his administration to build a vibrant nation. In seeking to unify Nigerians who are now so fragmented the Presidency of Buhari must stay away from these Ethnic jingoistic Igbo haters and treat all component parts of Nigeria as one. Anything short of this will be resisted vehemently. Igbo haters should let Buhari be.

* Emmanuel Onwubiko is the Head of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria and blogs,,


Saturday, 11 April 2015


At the risk of sounding deeply frustrated, I was compelled by some circumstances beyond my immediate control to stay out of the fray that characterized the closing week of the March 28th 2015 Presidential election. Due to certain personal exigencies I had cause to run around for a Visa to travel to South East Asian country of Malaysia to attend to some personal issues that could not easily and seamlessly be confronted and sufficiently tackled in the Nigerian health care system.

Few hours after the historic announcement of the official results of the Presidential election which saw the emergence of the opposition Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress General Muhammadu Buhari as the winner defeating the incumbent President and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party Dr. Good luck Jonathan, I and my sibling jetted out to Malaysia and so we have continued to observe and monitor reactions of diverse segments of the Nigerian and global community to the legendary behavior of the eventual loser of that Nigerian election and the incumbent President who for the love of country acknowledged defeat and conceded victory to his arch rival. This is salutary ad indeed the first ever concession by an incumbent President of Nigeria.

First, it is so disappointing that some persons in the media lime light such as the traditional ruler of the state of Lagos Oba Akiolu and the erstwhile Chief of Army Staff ad the man who took part in virtually all of the surreptitious military plots that toppled ad truncated civil and democratic institutions up until the late 1970's General Theophilus Danjuma  have displayed total lack of public decorum by uttering hate speeches directed against the members of the Igbo Ethnic group in the aftermath of the general election simply because the majority of this tribal people known as the most resilient republicans voted massively for the outgoing President who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party. 

General Danjuma in his unbridled triumphalism that the Northern born Presidential candidate defeated the Bayelsa Southern Nigerian born Presidential flag bearer of the outgoing ruling national party stated that the late leader of the defunct Biafran Army [General Emeka Ojukwu of blessed memory] that fought unsuccessfully to achieve secession in the late 1960's in protest over widespread genocidal killings of Igbos in Northern Nigeria, would have in Danjuma's own warped thinking, saved Nigeria of one year of civil war if he had conceded victory on time just like what the current President did when he reportedly lost the March 28th 2015 Presidential election to the Katsina born General Muhammadu Buhari. 

On his own part, the Monarch of Lagos threatened to throw Igbos living in Lagos inside the Lagos lagoon should they decide to vote for the Governorship candidate of the PDP Mr. Jimi Agbaje against his [Monarch's] choice candidate of the APC Mr. Ambode. This outrageously hateful threat has received widespread condemnation and I do expect that the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands will take special notice of this hate speech and indict the Oba of Lagos for attempt to incite genocide in Lagos state during the April 11th 2015 Governorship election against the Igbo Ethnic community resident in Lagos.

Away from these hate speeches of these so called high profile Nigerian elites, one major item of interest that profoundly inspires this piece is the need to provide a clue to the incoming Federal administration on a uniquely disturbing issue that it has to immediately go to work and fix before more devastating harm is done to the Nigerian people. Aside national security which must as a necessity be confronted as a top priority of the next government of Nigeria from May 29th 2015 is the collapse of the Nigerian public and private health system and schemes in Nigeria since the last half a century. 

Yours faithfully was forced by the lack of professional commitment on the part of the health careers in Nigeria to seek for solace in foreign land. Lot more Nigerians with means or with people who can assist them financially are traveling in droves to all continents of the World to search for quality health care because the services that they can receive back home in Nigeria can at best be summed up as less -than- impressive and indeed life threatening. Most health institutions especially in the public health system in Nigeria are totally lacking in the basic facilities and the motivated workforce and health professionals to tackle the variegated health challenges confronting millions of Nigerians and due to these series of unprofessional conducts of these health care workers most unfortunate Nigerians who can not afford to travel oversees have died waiting for the quality health care services that are not available in Nigeria. As I punch these keyboards in my hospital bed in Malaysia, I can state without fear of contradiction that Nigeria has to work vigorously to fix our collapsed health system. The incoming government must select some of the most committed Nigerian health care administrators and professionals from wherever they can be recruited from around the globe to move down to all nooks and crannies in Nigeria to begin a year long state of health emergency in which there has to be total overhaul of the workings of the health systems in both the regional, sub regional and national levels. The issue of frequent industrial actions by health workers must become anathema even as the entitlements of health workers must be regularly serviced. Enough of these cacophonies of industrial crises in the Nigerian health system.  We must humanize our health care services in Nigeria to save thousands of Nigerians from avoidable deaths. This can and must be done now.

The Federal Government must in addition to carrying out surgical and forensic audits of the accounts of the Nigerian defense and police sectors to determine why national security has been endangered for so long, also embark on a period of forensic audits of the budgets of the Nigerian health care system to know where the 'rain' began to beat us, to retrieve all looted health money and to begin a period of rebuilding, rehabilitation and total overhaul of the health care facilities and the hiring of better motivated and well trained health care professionals to man the newly revolutionized Nigerian healthcare system. 

The task of cleaning up the Augean stable and the dirty 'cobwebs' in the public health system of Nigeria is a task that must be done if the well being and welfare of the Nigerian people which is the primary duty of government in accordance with the Nigerian constitution is to be observed to the full and not in criminal breach as is the case currently.   As a very serious sector, the Nigerian health system must be completely clean up of all traces of corruption and incompetence and the Nigerian ministry of health and the ministry of Labour in active partnership with the ministry of public environment must make sure that public and private hospital maintains the best global practices in maintaining healthy environment to stop their patients from been reinfected even whilst they are on admissions at the health facilities. Right now as I write the dirtiest places in Nigeria are the public health facilities and the so called General Hospitals. This show of shame must stop and violators must be punished to stop the spread of diseases in Nigeria. Hospitals should be refuge for health care delivery and not centers of spreading diseases to the members of the public. We expect the incoming President to instill national discipline so all health care providers are made to carry out their duties to their patients in the most professional manner. The internal mechanism for enforcing discipline of health care workers must be revived so medical doctors take their jobs seriously and stop the ongoing mass murder by neglect of thousands of patients.

The standard and quality of the public and private health institutions must comply with global best practices and the poor citizens must be provided with efficient health insurance to pay their hospital bills with minimal discomfort. Hospitals in Malaysia are well equipped, very clean and regularly maintained and the facilities are state of the art even as the high quality of services offered by the health providers are second to none. Nigeria has to enforce a code of maintenance culture so owners of health care facilities are made to maintain best global practices. How else can the incoming government stop the frequent outflow of Nigerians to foreign countries for purposes of health tourism if the Federal and state governments will not enforce a strict regime of maintenance culture and also provide the enforcement regime to compel health workers to respect their professional code of conduct and for the annoying frequent industrial actions to be bought to an end in the health system? Few weeks into the Presidential campaign one of the hottest item of public discuss was the trip embarked upon by the eventual winner of the Presidential race General Muhammadu Buhari who was reportedly flown to the United Kingdom for health check ups. Almost all public office holders in Nigeria and their family members travel often abroad for health care. This is outrageous. So it is imperative that the next government at the center in Nigeria must prioritize the public and private health care services to save Nigeria's fast depleting hard global currencies and/or foreign exchange. The President must lead by example by not jetting abroad for health check up and this can only be done if the Nigerian government would hit the ground running by declaring national state of emergency in the Nigerian health system and fix back the collapsed public and private health care. Elected state governors and their officials must build better public health facilities ad patronize these local health institutions whenever the need arises. State houses of Assembly must make law to stop public officials from foreign health tourism at the cost of public fund.  Civil society ad community based organizations must build capacity of their members to serve as checks and balances to monitor strict enforcement of these sets of health care regimes in Nigeria. Charity they say begins at home. Enabling environment must be set up in Nigeria to attract foreign direct investors into the Nigerian health system. Let us make hay while the sun shines and we must not let Nigeria be left behind by the rest of the global human community.


*Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria and blogs,,