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Friday, 28 April 2017


The Trans-Africa Student's initiative (TRASI AFRICA) has presented the African DISTINGUISHED Personality Award to the Founder and National Coordinator of the foremost civil society organisation in Nigeria- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA), Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko.
The leaders of TRASI-AFRICA who stormed the national secretariat of HURIWA in Abuja on Wednesday evening to do the presentation were Hon. Kobehi Kosa from the Universitie de Cocodi Ivory Coast; Ikhina Sameera from Espam Formation University, Republic of Benin; Hon. Francisca Totti from Universitie De Duala, Cameroon. 
The Nigerian representatives were Sen. Musa Abdulrauf; Comrade Igwe Franklin and Mohammed Ibrahim. 
Speaking at the event the leader of the delegation who doubles as Secretary General of the African Students Union body Mohammed Ibrahim stated thus: "Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen present, permit me on behalf of the entirety of students under the coverage of Trans Africa Students’ Initiative welcome each and everyone here to this dignified occasion of conferring honor on a man of honor, an intellectual juggernaut, A renowned professional endowed with journalism best practices, an agitator for different progressive initiatives, a man of outstanding understanding and indeed a mentor to us in the person ofComrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, An outstanding Human Rights Activist and The National Coordinator, Human Right Writers Association of Nigeria. We thank God Almighty for not only granting us journey mercies from our various states and Countries but most importantly for sparing our lives to be a witness to this event the entirety of African’s hold in high esteem."
"The TRANS-AFRICA STUDENTS’ INITIATIVE [TRASI Africa] is a PanAfrica Development driven Initiative birthed by the resolutions of the All Africa’s Students Union 3rd Annual Youth/Students Summit which held in 2012, tasking the upcoming generations on contributing vehemently to the development of Africa as a Continent. TRASI Africa has since inception achieved her constituted aims and objectives by building, training and encouraging the teeming Youths and Students via taking part in and also organizing programs and projects all over Africa. TRASI Africa has been able to acquire a wider outreach as her membership now cut across eleven (11) African countries; Gambia, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Liberia, Botswana, Cameroon, Republic of Benin, Togo and Ivory Coast."
 "Each of the Country chapters coordinates her members in such a way as to channel our exuberances towards contributing our quota to the development of our nascent democracy, as such we put peculiarities in development and take challenges of our countries into cognizance in choosing our activities, employing contemporary communications and conferencing means - discussing topical issues, such as quality education, insecurity in Africa, Sustainable Development, contributions of students and youths in economic and social development amongst a host of others. All this is in adherence to the words of Martin Luther King Jnr who said “Our Life begins to end the day we become silent about things that matter”."
"In doing all this we seek to find ourselves Role Models, outstanding institutions and mentors in life as we have found in Our Host, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, who was nominated during TRASI’s leadership roundtable discussion in recognition of his strides over the years – strides such as his effective discharge of duties, his agitations for enhanced public service delivery, his sterling leadership demonstrated in courses he spear heads and offices held in times past, his administrative sagacity, his expertise and proficiency which has prompted the request for his service in various strata’s, his humanitarian emancipation advocacy strides, societal development strides amongst many other glories which are yet unsung. , Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko has proven himself to be a man of charisma who can stick out his neck for the course he believes in, TRASI Africa and the entirety of African Students has reckoned you as a man of courage who has zero tolerance for ineffectiveness, a seasoned intellectual with outstanding know-how techniques, a noble champion who not only is known for effective service delivery but one who campaigns for it, A patriotic Nigerian, A benevolent statesman who is ideologically focused in enhanced public service dispensation, societal development, nation building, intellectual guidance to acolytes and protégés under his jurisdiction."
"Our Center of Synergy Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, this amongst many other reasons is why we would always associate ourselves with you and many other individuals and organizations who have singled themselves out in positive contributions to our Continent, we in turn shall always be in the vanguard of projecting and engaging in activities that would bring pride and honor to everyone that is associated with us as members, ambassadors or patrons, we shall find salient point, areas of partnership with your distinguished personality especially with regards to capacity building of students of Africa in germane areas that would improve our educational, psychological, Socio-economic Pursuits."
 "Distinguished Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, Ladies and Gentlemen, We know you are persons of magnanimous disposition and we are left in no doubt that your benevolence would be brought to bare on Africa students."
"Before I Conclude permit us to sympathize with Africans around the globe who have lost their lives due to insurgency, wanton killings, abductions and other unprecedented and uncalled for acts of selfish individuals such as the gruesome murder of 148 students of the Kenya National Students Union in Garisa State University Northeast Kenya, the Xenophobic Attacks featuring discrimination still ongoing in South Africa and also the insurgency attacks in Northern Nigeria, Vandalization in Southern Nigeria. These acts are unpatriotic and a blatant betrayal on Pan-Africanism, we call on all relevant authorities to arise to the occasion in permanently nipping all this ugly trends in the bud quickly and call on well-meaning Nigerians to use whatever means at their disposal to condemn this dastardly act."
"Finally, I want to say on behalf of African students without fear or favor that you have been found worthy of receiving TRASI’sAfrica’s Patriotic Personality Honor, we call on all Nigerians to follow the footsteps of Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and to give him their unalloyed support as with his contributions things would always get better and better."

Accepting the award Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko urged the Students to take their studies very seriously and to become great Ambassadors of their nations. 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Nnamdi Kanu deserves unconditional release:- HURIWA:

*says bail conditions are outrageous:

A leading pro-democracy and Non-governmental organization HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the federal government to terminate the trial of the director of the Europe registered Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mr Nnamdi kanu.

Besides, the Rights group said Justice Binta Murtallah- Nyako of the Federal High Court was in error to have listed seemingly unconstitutional demands as bail conditions which she imposed on Nnamdi Kanu to attain before enjoying his bail.

HURIWA said it was contradictory that the Court on one hand could grant bail on health grounds but on the other hand imposed seemingly unattainable and unconstitutional conditions for enjoying the bail. "This is like giving with one hand and denying the same with another. It's patently unfair, unjust and must be reviewed rapidly except there is a surreptitious plot to continue to subject his deteriorating health to more hazards".

HURIWA said the best thing is to end the trial and immediately initiate constructive platform for dialogues on the need to fundamentally restructure Nigeria just as it recommended referendum by an independent body to decide on the agitation for self-determination.

Reacting to the bail order granted in favour of Mr. Nnamdi kanu by the Federal High court Abuja division headed by Justice Binta Murtallah Nyako, the right group said that the trial was politically motivated and unconstitutional because from all available body of municipal and global humanitarian laws there is no crime in peacefully advocating for self-determination.

The right group also tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to release unconditionally all political detainees especially, members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB); Colonel Sambo Dasuki the erstwhile National Security Adviser and the detained leader and members of the Shiites Islamic movement who have being in detention illegally for several months even after several courts granted them bail.

In a statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko  and the national Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA lamented that in the last two years,  operatives of the security services have waged vicious attacks against persons holding dissenting but constructively opposing political ideologies and views from the powers-that- be even whilst being unwilling to check the persistent attacks on innocent persons and farmers by well-armed Fulani herdsmen all across Nigeria.   

"We have consistently asked President Buhari to Abide by the constitutional provisions by enforcing binding bail orders of the courts of competent jurisdiction in compliance with section 6 of the 1999 constitution. We have for over a year now, canvassed the expansion of the frontiers of respect for the human rights of Nigerians but regrettably the operatives of the armed forces of Nigeria have often embarked on activities targeted at gross violations of human rights of Nigerians including the cases of extralegal executions of unarmed but peaceful demonstrators".

"We hereby call on the government to comply with all the relevant constitutional provisions in chapter four so as to avoid collapsing the little democracy that we now enjoy".

HURIWA regretted that the clear provisions of the section 33(1) of the constitution are flagrantly abused by the armed security services even when the constitutional provision makes it clear that all Nigerians are entitled  to Right to Life.

On the bail granted Nnamdi Kanu the rights group criticized the Federal high court judge for exercising her discretion maliciously by imposing stringent and indeed unconstitutional conditionalities, but the group is of the considered opinion that the entire prosecution is a charade.

Monday, 24 April 2017

HURIWA wants Supreme Court to resolve PDP's crisis rapidly

A major pro-democracy and Civil rights body- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has urged the Chief justice of Nigeria Justice Walter Onoghen to ensure that the subsisting intra-party leadership crisis in the nation's opposition People's Democratic Party is decided rapidly.
The Rights group in a statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss. Zainab Yusuf submitted that the delay in adjudicating the leadership crises in the Courts of law has contributed in weakening democracy in Nigeria. 
Bemoaning what it calls the the rapid collapse of multiparty democracy in Nigeria, the Rights group attributed this retrogression to the dearth of constructive opposition politics brought about by the sponsored internal infighting for leadership control in the nation's only hitherto viable opposition platform. 
It therefore pleaded with the Supreme court to decide the matter rapidly by not allowing lawyers to use technicalities to delay adjudication which will inevitably be fatalistic to the nation's democracy and good governance. 
HURIWA said it has it on good authority that certain elements within the executive arm of government controlled by the ruling All Progressives Congress are bankrolling a faction of the PDP leadership so as to completely whittle down constructive opposition politics and create room for the emergence of a one party State in Nigeria before long.
 The group therefore stated that it's the direct intervention of the hierarchy of the Supreme Court under the control of the totally non-partisan Chief Justice of Nigeria that can bring about restoration of proper democracy with the qualitative resolution of the internal squabbles within PDP.
HURIWA Said:"We are worried by the ignominious roles played by the lower courts in prolonging the leadership crises within the nation's only opposition party. This prolonged litigation has made it possible for most elected office holders under the banner of PDP to cross over to the ruling All Progressives Congress and this phenomenon can only be checked if the Supreme court can make haste and bring the matter to a finality by deciding one way or the other on the authentic national Chairman of the party who enjoys the backing of majority of the genuine members of the PDP." 
"We pray the Supreme Court not to allow the drama occasioned by the leadership tussle in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which played out at the Supreme Court at the last hearing whereby two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) announced appearances for the embattled political party to bring undue waste of time. This subterfuge must not stand in the way of rapidly making a decisive pronouncement on the real Chairman of the PDP one way or the other ".
HURIWA recalled that the presiding Justice, Justice Tanko Mohammed, adjourned hearing of the motion toMay 4, 2017.
But the Rights group said it's a matter of national emergency that the apex court must abridge the time and make a pronouncement to end the imminent threat of Nigeria collapsing into a one party dictatorship. 


In Nigeria, finding a genuinely credible philanthropist is as difficult as seeing a white falcon. Falcons are generally rare. 
Although as an African society, Nigerian communities are deeply rooted in African traditional cultural value systems.
At the core of these African traditional values is the virtue of hospitality and humanitarianism. 
It was said in African cosmology that our ancestors were under obligation to protect the stranger from harm even if this stranger happened to have arrived from an adversarial or rival community.
All the above qualities of an original African notwithstanding, the incursion of foreign culture of individualism has almost crippled the legacy of African traditional value system that preaches the essence of hospitality and humanitarianism. The advent of social media which is an easy tool for the brainwashing of the contemporary Africans by these mostly Caucasian controllers of these internet outlets hasn't helped matters. 
The present day African has become so individualistic due to the principles of consumerism and capitalism that dominate the social media scenes. 
But there are still very few good men/women standing from amongst us in contemporary Nigerian society. Some of these good men and women are even persons who have excelled as capitalists and investors. 
But unlike the Capitalists captured in the thoughts of Karl Marx the great German Philosopher as the main oppressor, some of these extremely few good Nigerian capitalists have humane disposition. 
Chief Arthur Eze, the Anambra State-born businessman is one of such extremely rare good men with the extremely rare good heart. 
Arthur Eze has an illustrious history as a good will donor to good humanitarian causes.
Many years back, I was the media aide of a very Senior Catholic Priest in the then newly established Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna state who was a Doctorate Degree holder in a specialized psychological field that provides therapy for alcoholics by name very Reverend Father Jack Yali. Fr. Jack Yali has incardinated into one of the American Catholic Dioceses where his services are in very high demands due to large presence of substance abusers or addicts. 
One day, Reverend Doctor Jack Yali asked me to travel with him to visit a particular philanthropist in Abuja and when we arrived the person we came to visit happened to be the very reputable multibillioniare chief Arthur Eze.
Chief Arthur Eze received us very well and he indeed showered the priest with handsome donation to enable him carry on with his evangelism of treating habitual alcoholics and bring them back to become useful members of the public. Chief Arthur Eze donated to Fr. Jack Yali's good cause to liberate young persons held hostage by their social vices of alcoholism and substance addictions.
Since that encounter which to me is rare going by the fact that our guest brought out raw cash and didn't just make verbal pledges, Chief Arthur Eze made lasting impressions in my young mind.
Recently, when i have for  long settled down in Abuja, his media aide, Mr. Chidi Okolo asked that I go with him to visit his boss and on getting there in Maitama, it turned out that it was the birthday of this very rich but generous Nigerian.
On getting to his house, I noticed that from his gate there were over three dozen less privileged women who were milling around and were  been attended to by some of Chief Arthur Eze’s Staff. 
Chief Arthur Eze seems to be extremely friendly and humble because I remember telling him that I just read a congratulatory birthday message sponsored in the press by the Enugu State Governor Chief Ifeanyi Ugwanyi and this rich man deeply appreciated this good deed.
The long and short of this story is that this exceptional Nigerian philanthropist has decided to invest some of his God -given wealth in the troubled young country of south sudan.
 The press reportedly recently that Chief Arthur Eze's Oranto Petroleum will invest $500 million to develop South Sudan’s Block B3, launching a comprehensive exploration campaign starting immediately.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Oranto Petroleum Company, South Sudan signed the exploration and production sharing agreement for the block few days back in Juba.
The B3 area covers 25,150 square kilometers. Some aeromagnetic and seismic data have been acquired for the area but no wells have been drilled.
The story also has it that the block is highly prospective, with productive parts of the Muglad Basin to the northwest and estimated reserves in place of more than 3 billion barrels of oil. The block is categorized as low risk, high reward.
Under the EPSA, Oranto will be the technical operator and 90% shareholder of the block, with Nilepet holding a 10% stake. “We believe the petroleum resources of Block B3 are vast. To reach our target of more than double current oil production, we need committed new entrants like Oranto,” said Minister of Petroleum Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.
“The government is working hard to reinvigorate the petroleum industry in South Sudan by creating an enabling environment for International oil and gas companies to invest and operate. It is up to the oil companies to come in, explore and produce.”
“It’s an honor to formalize our entry into South Sudan with this EPSA,” said Prince Arthur Eze, Founder and Chairman of Oranto Petroleum. 
“Our company is at the vanguard of African firms exploring and developing African assets. This is the beginning of a long-term collaboration with Nilepet, the people of South Sudan and our partners to bring to light the immense potential of Block B3. Oranto is committed to an aggressive exploration work program that will benefit all stakeholders.”
The 120,000-square kilometer Block B was split by the government into the B1, B2 and B3 blocks in 2012. In Block B3 Oranto will work alongside the B1 and B2 partners, which include Total. 
During the first three-year exploration period Oranto will complete a further airborne geophysical survey; acquire and process 2D seismic; and assess existing data held by the government and former operators. The EPSA contract was facilitated by pan-African law firm Centurion Law Group. 
Historically, South Sudan is an established, world-class petroleum producing region, whose territory includes a large part of the Cretaceous rift basin system that has proved petroliferous in Chad and Niger as well as Sudan.
Atlas Petroleum International and Oranto Petroleum, the sister companies of the Atlas Oranto Group, own and operate 20 oil and gas acreages in 10 African countries: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal and South Sudan, according to reports.
Findings from multiple sources told this writer that Oranto petroleum was founded in Nigeria in 1991, the group is Africa’s largest indigenous explorer by acreage.
At first, when I read this story few days back, the thought that flashed through my mind is that may be God will use the goodness of chief Arthur Eze to urge the warring parties in South Sudan to make peace for the sake of their common humanity. 
There is no doubt that chief Arthur Eze is a man who loves peace and since business thrives only in atmosphere of peace, my sixth sense tells me that soon, Chief Arthur Eze will bring his good heart to bear to encourage and motivate the people of South Sudan to make peace irrespective of their ethno regional distinctions. I hope this giant bisinessman will speak to the leaders of the African Union and the United Nations to genuinely work out sustainable peace agreement so the suffering of the people can stop forthwith.  
Mercy corps, a western charity organization wrote that, South Sudan should be a country full of hope almost six years after gaining independence. Instead, it’s now in the grip of a massive humanitarian crisis.
Political conflict, compounded by economic woes and drought, has caused massive displacement, raging violence and dire food shortages.
Factually, it is reported that Over 5.1 million people are in need of aid, and 4.8 million are facing hunger. Due to economic collapse and three years of poor agricultural conditions, areas of South Sudan are now experiencing famine.
"The people of this young country need our help, and among the world’s other crises, we must not forget them. We are working on the ground to reach families who are struggling to survive — but our lifesaving work starts with you", Mercy Corps stressed. 
As we all know, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, but the hard-won celebration was short-lived. 
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the ruling political party that originally led the way for independence, is now divided and fighting for power.
International reporters say that in December 2013, political infighting erupted into violence in the streets of the capital, Juba, after South Sudan’s president accused his vice president of an attempted coup.
 Fighting between the two factions of government forces loyal to each soon moved to Bor, and then to Bentiu.
Violence spread across the young nation like wildfire, displacing 413,000 civilians in just the first month of conflict. Tens of thousands of civilians rushed to seek refuge in U.N. bases that were subsequently turned into makeshift displacement camps.
The fighting has continued, becoming increasingly brutal and affecting the entire country.
A handful of peace agreements have been signed over the course of the war — the most recent in August 2015 — but they have been repeatedly violated. The situation remains highly unstable, so says a document from the ibternational aide organisation aforementioned.
"While some regions have recently become slightly less volatile, allowing people to move around fairly freely and return to their homes, violent outbreaks are still occurring throughout the country".
"Most recently, a fresh wave of violence erupted in Juba starting July 2016, just one day before the country's five-year anniversary of independence. The clashes killed more than 300 people and displaced 40,000 more over the course of a few days."
These experts say that on top of these attacks, the country's economy is in crisis — the South Sudanese pound has declined in value, and the cost of goods and services has skyrocketed. The inflation rate — 835 percent — is the highest in the world.
In early 2017, a famine was reportedly declared in parts of South Sudan, leaving 100,000 people on the verge of starvation.
According to findings by the aide body, since the conflict began, almost 1 in 3 people in South Sudan have been displaced. Some 3.6 million citizens have been forced to flee their homes: more than 1.5 million people have escaped to neighboring countries in search of safety, and more than 2.1 million are trapped inside the warring nation. 
Demographers say South Sudan is now the third-most fled country in the world, behind Syria and Afghanistan.
A well considered investigative report has it that those who’ve run have lost loved ones and their homes, their land and their livelihoods. 
Violence toward civilians they said, has been widespread, including targeted attacks, gender-based violence, kidnappings and murders. Burning and pillaging of homes and livestock is rampant.
And assaults on aid convoys and looting of supplies have become increasingly common, making it difficult — and dangerous — to reach in-need families with the support they need to survive.
This writer is hereby appealing to Prince Arthur Eze to do all he can to bring his positive attributes of his love for peace and social justice to positively impact on the country of South Sudan. 
* Emmanuel Onwubiko is Hesad of HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and blogs;

Is Wike so exceptional? By Emmanuel Onwubiko

Governor Nyesom Wike is by no means your everyday politician. He came into national limelight from the grassroots after spending quality time serving in different capacities in his state of birth-Rivers State.
As minister in the federal cabinet of the immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, Nyesom Wike a consummate lawyer was the minister of State incharge of Education.  
This Young and upwardly mobile political tactician left a legacy of quality service and imprints in the area of construction of Educational infrastructure for the disadvantaged street boys known as Almajiris. 
My organisation(HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) was so impressed with his sterling quality of effective delivery of democracy dividends as a federal minister  that we officially identified him as a Philosopher-king and invited him to deliver a national human rights lecture.   
Plato (427-347) rightly stated that: "Until philosophers are Kings, cities will never have rest from their evils".  
Mr. Wike has shown that he is indeed a good Philosopher.  
It was during his eventful  tenure as minister of State for Education that concerted effort was made to integrate the hitherto rudderless Almajiri informal education to the well organised and properly organised formalised educational system.
For the first time in recent memories the national government pragmatically invested substantial amounts of the education budget to upgrade the infrastructures for the rapid educational empowerment of the nearly ten million out -of -school children in Northern Nigeria. 
After  his stint as the federal minister of education (state), this Ikwerre born legal practitioner cum political strategist made his intention known that he would vie for the governorship of Rivers State which at that time was firmly in the hands of Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of the All Progressives Congress. 
Amaechi was railroaded into office as governor under the peoples Democratic party platform and after seven years left  the  party to sojourn with the then opposition party- All Progressives Congress  at the national stage led by Major General Mohammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 
Wike as an aspirant to the office of the Rivers state governor didn't have any fighting chance of displacing the then ruling APC, or so it seems.
But due to his popularity amongst the rural folks Mr. Wike became the cynosure of all eyes and he rode to political victory against the candidate of the incumbent- Mr. Dakuku Peterside who was then a member of the Federal House of Representatives. 
Wike became politically victorious courtesy of the popular votes and because respected Niger Delta activists and leaders  like the Wife of the erstwhile President Mrs. Patience Jonathan endorsed his candidacy. 
My Igbo people use to say "he who has people is better than he who has money". Wike's victory at the polls in 2015 is a testament to the veracity of this profound Igbo adage. 
Wike like the modern day Mustafa Kamal Ataturk (1881-1938) signed a social contract with his good people of Rivers State and two years down the line he has served creditably and is said and attested to have worked day and night to build enduring infrastructures for his people.
He has replicated the wonders he did at the national level as the minister of state for education.
There are bipartisan testimonies about his achievements so far from such persons as the governor of Sokoto State Hon. Waziri Aminu Tambuwal and erstwhile President Jonathan. 
I recently visited Rivers State just as i was a frequent visitor to Port-Harcourt during the tenure of governor Amaechi and i can state that the difference is as clear as the daylight is from the night. 
Mr. Wike can indeed be called one of the few political office holders that are indeed discharging his campaign promises efficiently. 
One of my former colleagues in The Guardian who was the Benue State Correspondent whilst I was the Judicial correspondent in Abuja Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu who incidentally works for governor Wike was not out of place when he was heard telling some newspaper workers that his boss is the best governor in Nigeria. 
 If you doubt this credible testimony please visit my state of origin which is Imo or go to Kaduna, Zamfara or Benue states to see the worst forms of poor governance.
Nwakaudu a very prolific writer and journalist had stated that inspite of sponsorship of negative media propaganda by opposition politicians in Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike remains Nigeria’s best performing governor, recognised by leaders of all political divides.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Rivers State Newspapers Publishers Forum, RNPF, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, noted that Governor Wike’s excellent performance stems from his prudent management of the state’s scarce resources.
 He said that the people of Rivers State were feeling the impact of good governance provided by Governor Wike, pointing out that such impact was beyond the understanding of opposition politicians, who only think about the next election.
 He said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited Rivers State and lauded Governor Wike for his outstanding achievements, confirming that the governor is ‘Mr Projects.’
 He said no other All Progressives Congress, APC governor can compete with Wike in terms of project delivery, pointing out that the success of the Wike administration is unprecedented.
 Gov. Wike He said: “We challenge any other APC governor to come forward and place his projects side by side that of Governor Wike.  He is paying salaries, pensions and he is doing projects.  Some of the APC governors owe 10 months, 12months and one APC governor is owing 14 months.
 “Governor Wike is paying salaries regularly, he is paying pensions regularly and he is doing projects everyday. We find it funny that someone who has been defeated and is suffering a psychological disorder because of the level of the defeat is coming forward to lie.” 
Ataturk, the father of modern day Turkey  was determined to establish a modern nation-state amid the ruins of the feudal Ottoman Empire, which had undergone little industrial development. 
He believed that a balanced and equitable society, which could deliver the essential guarantees of freedom and justice for individuals, could only be built upon a state’s unconditional power to govern itself, or “the sovereignty of the people”. This, he insisted, could not be granted or negotiated, but had to be wrestled by force.
"Sovereignty meant, first of all, democratic self-rule, free from any other authority (including the sultan-caliph), from religious interference in government, and from outside powers". 
Wike is a symbol of the People's power. We pray God to sustain him in these good works. 

*Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head of HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and blogs; www

Thursday, 20 April 2017

HURIWA condemns arrest of Kaduna journalist: *ask media to blacklist gov ElRuffai:

"The reported arrest by the police on the order of the Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir El-Ruffai of the Kaduna based correspondent with leadership newspaper Mr. Midat Joseph can best be described as a serious sign of the growing intolerance of freedom of expression by the Kaduna state government. The Kaduna state government under the current dispensation has gone haywire in clamping into detention too many persons with difference of opinion from the governor especially because of the failure of both the state and federal government to contain the sporadic violent attacks of southern Kaduna communities by armed Fulani herdsmen who are kinsmen of the Kaduna state governor ".
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) which made the observation has also in a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf,HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) affirmed that the constant harassment of voices of dissent and media practitioners by the Kaduna state government under Mallam Nasir ElRuffai does not augur well for a nation that claims to be practicing constitutional democracy.
The Rights group said democracy thrives only when the basic freedoms guaranteed and provided for by the constitution and several global human rights laws are respected and complied especially by those who wield temporary political power. 
 "Freedom of the press and Right to freedom of information are the kernels that sustain a democratic entity. When those who control tge different layers of political power constantly abuses these powers to intimidate, harass and unduly incarcerate persons with divergent opinions that political space automatically becomes a dictatorship.  Nigerians must reject this gradual evolution of dictatorship in Kaduna state ".
The Rights group which demanded the immediate release of the detained journalist, stated that the frequent misuse and abuse of power by the  Kaduna State governor in clamping into detention of different  journalists and other civil society leaders who disagree intellectually with the governor clearly demonstrates the weakening of respect for the fundamental human rights of citizen in Kaduna State.
Besides, HURIWA has also lambasted the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for failing to defend journalists particularly in Kaduna state who have constantly faced arbitrary arrests and detention for filing their stories based on the facts of what has happened  in the field rather than run with the propaganda churned out by the Kaduna state government. "We urge the Nigerian Union of Journalists to blacklist the current Kaduna state governor for constituting a cog in the wheel of democracy and freedoms of the press and Right to freedom of Conscience". 
The rights group stated thus: “we hereby challenge the hierarchy of the National Human Rights Commission to take serious interest in monitoring the violations of the fundamental rights of the citizenry in Kaduna State by the State governor and the Kaduna State Police Command”.
“We urge the Kaduna State governor to respect the provisions of the chapter four of the constitution which embodies the fundamental human rights such as freedom of information which clearly specifies that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference”.
“We also ask President Muhammadu Buhari to call governor El-Ruffai to order and stop him from turning Kaduna into a dictatorship whereby all those who hold independent opinions are constantly harassed using the police and the safety of these persons compromised”

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Suspension of Babachir Lawal; Ayo Oke not far -reaching enough; Cosmetic -: HURIWA:

Although it stressed that it has taken special note of the temporary punitive sanctions imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari, a Rights group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)said the suspension of the Secretary to the government of the Federation Babachir Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency Mr. Ayo Oke were not far-reaching enough.

Besides, the pro-democracy and Civil rights body- HURIWA  said particularly that the suspension of the Secretary to the government of the Federation after several months of his indictments by the Federal Parliament was ill-advised and has conveyed the impression of failed concerted attempts by the Presidency to grant him softlanding even against the widespread calls for his dismissal and prosecution over the alleged  financial scams trailing the awards of contracts for the rehabilitation of the destroyed North East of Nigeria. 

The Rights group said the decision to set up a politically tainted and compromised probe panel to investigate matters within the jurisdictions of established financial crimes investigative institutions amounted to double standards and has conveyed the idea that there are two sets of legal models for investigations of members of the ruling party and another for the members of the political opposition and other category of Nigerians allegedly in conflict with the law. This approach is faulty and suspicious. This discriminatory applications of different mechanisms to investigate alleged crime is a breach of the constitutional principle of Rule of law".
 On the suspension of the Director General  of the National Intelligence Agency Mr Ayo Oke following his inexplicable role in the discovery of $43 million in a private Ikoyi residential apartment in Lagos, the Rights group applauded the President but dismissed the setting up of a three-man team of investigators made up of the Vice president Professor Yomi Osinbanjo and the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice Alhaji Abubakar Malami (SAN) and National Security Adviser  as a political joke taken too far. 
HURIWA has therefore cautioned government not to use the three man team of investigators made up of members of the All Progressives Congress as a smokescreen and choreographed contraption to undermine the integrity of the investigation that ought to have been carried out statutorily by the Economic and Financial Crimes commission (EFCC) and the ICPC.
"We are at a lost to understand the rationale for constituting an Adhoc investigative panel made up of politicians from one political party to investigate the mysterious stashing of the massive sum of $43 million in a private residence when the governor of Rivers state produced by another party- People's Democratic party Mr. Nyesom Wike and a former Aviation minister Chief Femi Fani Kayode also of the opposition People's Democratic party had alleged that the fund were diverted by the immediate past governor of Rivers State Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi who is a top flight  national stakeholder of the ruling national party of All Progressives Congress  (APC) and an influential kitchen cabinet member of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration?" 
"This panel will not be independent and non-partisan and therefore not expected to turn out any genuinely objective findings particularly on the Ikoyi $43 million. Mr. President would have set up a totally independent judicial commission made up of Justices of the Supreme court found to be totally non-partisan and credible or refer the matters to the statutory bodies such as EFCC or ICPC". 
HURIWA has therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari to dismantle the panel and refer both men to institutions set up for anti-graft investigation such as the Economic and Financial Crimes commission and the ICPC.
 HURIWA recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr David Babachir Lawal, in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

The President has also directed the suspension of the SGF from office pending the outcome of the investigations.

In a related development, the President has ordered a full scale investigation into the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, over which the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has made a claim.

The investigation is also to enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds, how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.
The President has also directed the suspension of the Director General of the NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke, pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Rights group said the terms of references of this panel shows that Mr. President has already made up his mind that indeed the fund found in the Ikoyi residential apartment belongs to NIA when it is clear that the Rivets State Governor Mr Nuesom Wike has made strong claims to the fund ($43million) as belonging to Rivers State government allegedly diverted by the immediate past Rivers State governor who is a serving minister. "The panel is a nullity and can't be trusted".