PRESIDENT TRUMP SPITS FIRE: SAYS DON'T PUSH ME.

PRESIDENT TRUMP SPITS FIRE: SAYS DON'T PUSH ME.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER
"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS MCGREGOR

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS McGREGOR

ICHEOKU says August 26 is the day history will be made as two of the world's most interesting athletes square off in the ring. Boxing champion Floyd MayWeather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor, will fight on August 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada. ICHEOKU says not in a position yet to place bet on who will win the fight. Salute


BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY
ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to of their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide in their own Biafraexit.

PDJT ISSUES VERDICT ON ISLAMIST TERRORISTS


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


BBOB: BRING BACK OUR BIAFRA

ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.
#BringBackOurBiafra.




"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE - STEVE JOBS

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ

EVIL CANNOT BE TRULY DESTROYED.

"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


ONLY THE POOR WISH THEY HAD STUFF?

“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

DORA AKUNYILI POSTING, EXHIBIT 1A OF THE TROUBLE WITH NIGERIA!

Holly molly, this is a classical text-book example of putting a square peg in a round hole, Nigeria style! Nigeria can never seem to get its act right? Imagine the indefatigable NAFDAC chairwoman, Iron Lady Professor (Dr) Dora Akunyili being deployed to a mere glorified back-room ministry of Information and Communication? For what purpose, Icheoku may ask?
Of all the vital ministries in Nigeria, some of them in epileptic dyspnea, needing very urgent and intrusive emergency attention; and the re-invigoration of new blood, it was only the Information and Communications ministry that the Northern Oligarchs deemed a fit and proper cage to confine Dora Akunyili? Why did she even accept the position or will she die of starvation if she had said to President Umaru Yar'Adua, "thanks, but no, thanks?
The problem militating against Nigeria's rise to greatness is that mediocrities are always bestowed with the responsibility of running vital organs of the government which they are very much ill-equipped and ill-prepared to manage; while proven go-getters are usually relegated to inconsequential ministries because they came from the wrong geographical real-estate in Nigeria? Is anyone out there still wondering why the Nigeria-project has stalled all these years since her independence from Britain in 1960? Just take a cursory look at the ministerial assignments handed down today by President Umaru Yar'Adua of Nigeria and now tell Icheoku, which one of these mallams has any proven record of achievement to head their assigned ministry and a heavy-weight performer like Dora Akunyili is given an ordinary Information Ministry? Tomorrow, it is going to be the same result - a failed, comatose ministry on life-support and a Nigeria which still crawls since her birth. Icheoku concludes that Northern Nigeria is the bane of Nigeria!
With the successful antecedent of Professor Dora Akuniyili at NAFDAC, many a Nigerian thought that she will be deployed to the proven ground-zero of Nigeria, the POWER ministry; to go and wake up the slumbering, comatose never-expect-power-always ministry. President Umaru Yar'Adua is a talker but not a doer as he always disappoints Nigerians whenever it is time for him to walk his talk or show Nigerians, his seriousness with all his postulations. Umaru Yar'Adua promised to fight corruption in Nigeria and the first thing he did was to fire the corruption czar, Nuhu Ribadu! Umaru Yar'Adua promised Nigerians the return of the rule of law and the shutting down of ChannelsTV, arresting of e-media bloggers and harassing Independent Newspaper shows his own jaundiced-definition of Umaru Yar'Adua's rule of law? If Umaru Yar'Adau was serious about power emergency, why did he not assign an Amazon-warrior like Professor Dora Akunyili the task of giving Nigerians the ever-elusive power-supply? But no, Umaru Yar'Adua under pressure from fake drugs and goods dealers, simply removed their nemesis from NAFDAC and instead demoted her to a mere back-yard ministry of Information and Communication. May be Umaru Yar'Adua was planning the same Nuhu Ribadu-treatment for Dora, but decided to be more diplomatic about it? What position in the hierarchy of importance, amidst the very urgent needs of Nigerians, does the Information and Communication ministry occupy, that such a talented go-getter as Dora Akunyili, with her much vaunted abilities and capabilities should be muzzled up in such a fill-the-gap ministry? This is a big waste of an invaluable human resource! It is a complete misplacement of an asset. Talk of a complete disregard for proven performance. Umaru Yar'Adua has once again, failed Nigerians and it is about time that Nigerians realize that this sick man from Katsina is merely taking them for a ride - a really, long roller-coaster ride!
Icheoku says that Northern Nigeria is continually and with impunity, acting as the lord of the manor in Nigeria. Once again they have added impetus to this assertion by usurping all the key-ministries in the President Umaru Yar'Adua newly re-constituted administration. It is also pertinent to note that the same Northern Nigeria holds the presidency (Umaru Yar'Adua), secretary of government (Mahmud Yayale Ahmed), national security adviser (Aliyu Mohammed), Chief Justice of Nigeria (Idris Legbo Kutigi), president Court of Appeal (Umaru Abdullahi), as well as the senate presidency (David Mark); and one wonders where the very essence of Nigeria's federal character has suddenly disappeared to? And for a complete routing of Nigeria by the North, the North has, in addition, appropriated these very important ministries - defence ministry (Shettima Mustapha); finance ministry (Muhktar Mansur); agriculture and water resources ministry (Abba Ruma); national planning commission (Shamsudeen Usman); transportation (Ibrahim Bio); science and technology (A.B. Zaku); works and housing (Hassan Lawal); Federal Capital Territory: FCT (Adamu Aliero); petroleum ministry (Rilwanu Lukman) and Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (Mike Aondoakaa).
Icheoku now asks, what is then left but the crumbles, when all these vital federal government ministries, both in responsibilities and size of budget with attendant employment opportunities and contracts, are aggrandized by just one section out of the three main sections or tripod of Nigeria? This is one case where the silence should no longer be golden and the Oha-na-eze, Afenifere, Niger Delta groups should denounce this fascist north for their wanton disregard for the continued unity of Nigeria. The North is perpetually undermining the unity-fabric of Nigeria by their crass, abashed domination of Nigeria. They do not have even an oil well, yet one of their own has to keep a watchful-eye over the oil-revenue? Where are the people of the Niger Delta, who own the oil lands and appurtenant waters? No, they are damn too "inferior" to oversee the revenue coming from the bowels of their land? This time, the other component parts of Nigeria should speak up and demand for fairness, their continued silence will be interpreted as cowardice of a slave, fearful of his slave-masters! Enough of this bullshit going on in Nigeria! At least they (North) should have waited until their complete mummification and islamization of Nigeria into an Arewa Islamic Republic, before becoming so brazen! If the table were to turn, would they, the North, accept such tacit exclusion? It is simply speaking, an abominable greed of the North, by the North and for the North!

8 comments:

Olusegun said...

I am a telecoms engineer of 28 years of working experience but I can tell you that Dora's posting may be a blessing in disguise. There is need for a big reorganization in that ministry and only a neutral person who has integrity can do it.

Anonymous said...

NUJ rejects Akunyili as Information minister
By Everest Amaefule, Oluwole Josiah and Victor Sam
Published: Friday, 19 Dec 2008
The Nigeria Union of Journalists on Thursday rejected the appointment of Prof. Dora Akunyili as the Minister of Information and Communication.

Skip to next paragraph

Photo file
Prof Dora Akunyili

It said that such an appointment smacked of ill-advice and disdain for the mass media.

In a press statement signed by the National Secretary of the union, Mr. Shu’aibu Usman Leman, in Abuja, the NUJ said that Akunyili’s appointment to the information portfolio was not right.

It said that with Akunyili’s zeal, honesty and commitment to work, she would have been more suitable for the Ministry of Health.

“The NUJ national secretariat, frowns at the recent appointment of Prof. Dora Akunyili as Minister for Information and Communication by President Umaru Yar’Adua.

“The appointment is ill-advised and smacks of the usual disdain with which politicians perceive the media.

“It is noteworthy, the zeal, honesty and commitment “Akunyili brought to bear in the discharge of her assignment as the Director-General of National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, and we thus assumed that a personality like her would be assigned the portfolio of Minister of Health.

“That would have been putting a round peg in a round hole rather than the present situation which is a misnomer.”

The NUJ said that all over the world, governments constituted their cabinets “with a clear vision of what they intend to achieve and assigned portfolios to their appointees based on their fields of specialisation.”

The union added that it was apparent that the Yar’Adua administration did not know how it intended to achieve its goal through the appointments.

Meanwhile, Akunyili has declared that her new assignment was a new beginning in her public service.

At a brief handover ceremony at the ministry‘s Radio House Headquarters, Akunyili said telling lies to the public damaged the reputation of any government.

She promised not to lie in the course of her assignment.

The Minister of Police Affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Lame, said elsewhere internal security remained a crucial agenda for the administration.

Akunyili‘s predecessor, who has been redeployed to the Ministry of Environment, Mr. John Odey, also said though he was not a slave driver, he got some good results.

Akunyili said, “I have enjoyed serving Nigerians through the NAFDAC where I worked with my wonderful and indefatigable team to safeguard the health of the ordinary Nigerian.

“Today is, therefore, a special day for us. It is indeed a new beginning in my public service life. Today, I find myself stirring the ship of this very important ministry as the chief image maker of Nigeria.

“This ministry represents the image and the soul of the nation. Piloting the affairs of this ministry which will be jointly done by the Minister of State and I cannot be successfully carried out without your support.

“My vision is to work assiduously to shore up the good image of Nigeria through responsible communication which entails proper information management. Responsible information management does not mean telling lies. In fact, one thing we must avoid is telling lies to the public.

“When we lie to the public about any situation, they will surely find out and lose confidence in us as the information mouthpiece of the nation and if this happens, no matter how well-intentioned we eventually become, the public would have lost confidence in us, that they will reject whatever programme or policy we introduce, no matter how credible.”

The new Minister of Police Affairs promised to revitalise the force to be more focused in addressing the nation‘s internal security.

He said, “In actual fact, this government sees security as the basis upon which all the other items will have to be built on and without security, there is no way that we can have an environment to operate.”

Also, the new Minister of Labour and Productivity, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN), has said that his ministry is strategic to the realisation of the seven-point agenda of President Umaru Yar’Adua as well as Vision 2020.

Anonymous said...

Dora Akunyili as Information Minister
Written by Francis Adejumobi
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Among the recently appointed ministers, one whose appointment has attracted perhaps the greatest comments from commentators and pundits is Professor Mrs. Dora Akunyili, former Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drugs Control (NAFDAC) and now minister of Information and Communications. While her selection as minister has been nationally and internationally hailed because of her track record of performance in NAFDAC, many can not understand the rationale for her posting to head the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications. Some consider it as placing a round technocrat in a square hold. We will critically examine this charge later.

Some commentators have also questioned the reason in taking her away from NAFDAC where she was so effective and earned a lot of accolades for battling spiritedly against fake, substandard and adulterated drugs and foods. One online news site Pointblanknews.com even described her appointment as information minister as a blunder on the part of President Umar Musa Yar’Adua. Is her appointment a blunder as claimed by Pointblanknews.com and other commentators? I do not think so. I even think that it was an act of political smartness on the part of Yar’Adua. And why do I say so?

The job of information minister is to sell the policies, programmes and projects of government to both domestic and international “markets”. The question to ask therefore is, does Akunyili possess the qualities of a good saleswoman? The answer is yes with a capital Y.

She is intelligent, charismatic, eloquent, and aggressive in her pursuit of her set goals. Above all, she has credibility. And in her tenure as NAFDAC Director-General, she has cultivated the media and made media men and women become partners in the war against fake drugs. Any one with these social capital or positive attributes is surely a very good candidate for marketing the government.

Dora Akunyili has good name recognition both locally and internationally. She is known both here and abroad as a woman of integrity who can not be compromised. When she is called upon to speak on behalf of the Nigerian government, many are likely to believe her. If you have a candidate like her that can sell Nigeria effectively with ease, why grumble that she is not properly posted and why call it a blunder on the part of Yar’Adua?

Another issue we need to carefully examine is: is it wrong for her to have been taken away from NAFDAC? Every one obviously loves the quality of service that Akunyili offered in NAFDAC and to my mind, it is a salute to this remarkable woman that many prefer that she had been kept in NAFDAC. But the truth of the matter is that even if she is not appointed minister, Mrs. Akunyili will not remain in NAFDAC for ever. One day, she will necessarily have to leave the place for some one else to occupy it no matter how much all of us hate to see her leave.

We all agree that Akunyili is some one who lives a mark where she works. She has shown that in NAFDAC. Why then do we not want her to leave another mark in another place? And if in the wisdom of Mr. President he feels that Akunyili should be given a chance to make a mark in another sphere of our national life and she agrees with him, do we need to lament too much about that?

I also think that those who are saying that Mrs. Akunyili should not have left NAFDAC are not being fair to her. She as a person has her own ambitions and motivations in life. She has dreams of new challenges she must face and conquer. She was certainly not created to come to this world and fight only drug fakers and adulterators. She was not also created to begin her public career and end it with a department of a federal ministry. A woman of immense abilities and immense goodwill like Akunyili may have her eyes set on higher goals in life, more so as she has convincingly shown every one that she is a person of great substance who can serve this nation in any capacity.

Let us be frank about it. How many of us do not wish to serve our nation at one of the high levels of government as minister of the Federal Republic? If it is the dream of millions of us to serve at this enviable level is it fair of us to then think that Akunyili should have consigned herself to the level of the Director-General of a parastatal under the Ministry of Health?

I suspect that those who think it is not a very good idea to have removed Akunyili from NAFDAC where her efforts have saved millions of precious human lives grumble because they think there may not be somebody good enough like her who can do what she did in the place. The job of being a good regulator of drugs and foods requires someone who is not greedy to accept compromise from manufacturers and producers.

That is the basic requirement. There are of course other attributes found in Akunyili which I have already enumerated but the basic one is the strength of character and the love for humanity to be able to say no to desperate businessmen and organisations who do not mind making blood money. I believe that with careful check a Nigerian like Mrs. Akunyili can be found to take over from her in NAFDAC.

NAFDAC existed in some form before the coming of Akunyili to the place. She breathed life into the organisation with her sense of mission and ability to mobilize relevant stakeholders to help her achieve her goals. The Nigerian society has been sufficiently sensitized by Akunyili’s astute saleswomanship to know the havoc which fake, substandard and adulterated drugs wreak on the society. They have seen what a NAFDAC D-G should be doing to protect society from the menace of drug counterfeiters and adulterators. Any one who takes over from Akunyili and does not live up to her standards will meet an angry boo from Nigerians. I sincerely believe that any other person with Akunyili’s level of integrity, commitment to duty and love for the nation and humanity can equally handle the job.

Lastly, we now come to the issue of whether Akunyili, a technocrat in the health sector, is a suitable enough person to man the ministry of information and communications which should be held by a journalist or public relations expert. This brings us to the persistent debate in the field of management as to whether or not certain public offices should be manned by specialists (technocrats) or generalists (versatile individuals with above average intelligence and demonstrable track record of performance in earlier similar or not even necessarily positions). The finding is that what matters really is the ability and disposition of individuals. Some generalists have been known to out-perform specialists in certain positions that require specialists, provide of course that such individuals have the disposition of open mind to get advise and harness such advise for the good of the set up they are leading.

With the attributes of saleswomanship which Akunyili has shown she possesses, my guess is that it will only be a question of time before she proves herself as an effective spokeswoman of the Yar’Adua government.

Mr. Adejumobi, a public affairs analyst, lives at 12, Safi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

Anonymous said...

Akunyili: Right Person, Wrong Place
By Isioma Madike, Head, Covers & Investigation
John Ralston Saul, the Canadian author of "Dictionary of Aggressive Commonsense" notes incisively "...that regulation protects the market place from itself by introducing commonsense. In the process, it protects society."

Dora Akunyili, a professor and former Director-General of National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), relied, according to beliefs, on commonsense to do a job that made her the most influential lioness of her time. There are those who also believe that she symbolises one of the greatest heroines not only in her native country, but in Africa as a whole. She has come to represent courage, assertiveness, efficiency and transparency in the discharge of the responsibilities attached to public offices in Nigeria, attributes that sadly are missing in the qualities of most public office holders.

But, when the news of cabinet reshuffle broke on Wednesday, December, 17, most Nigerians were shocked that the woman regarded as the conscience of the nation was confirmed awkwardly as the new Information and Communications Minister. Chairman, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Balarabe Musa, had almost immediately the announcement was made, dismissed in strong terms, the new posting for Akunyili, saying, it would result to no meaningful impact on the citizenry. To the former Anambra State governor, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, "Akunyili would have been best for the Health Ministry as an expert in that area."

Another concerned group, Anambra State chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), also rejected the professor's appointment. The group's chairman, Aloysius Attah says the ill-conceived movement of Akunyili from NAFDAC to Information only vindicated CLO's belief that President Umaru Yar'Adua had no clear-cut direction for Nigeria. He had asked: "Can Mr. President tell Nigerians the rationale for appointing Dora as Information and Communications Minister?"

Even though many fear that the country may return to the dark days of the drug business following her exit, Akunyili, who accepted her new job for what she calls "God's Will" is confident that the structures on ground in NAFDAC would not allow anybody to derail. "There is nobody in NAFDAC today that cannot continue from where I stopped. Ours was a collective effort. They are capable of even surpassing my modest achievement," Akunyili affirms.

The unprecedented anti-fake drug offensives made Akunyili the most captured woman in Nigeria's public imagination. When she stepped out of her former office, dealers in fake and substandard food products scampered in different directions. She was one person many observers agreed to be worthy of all the numerous honours she received both in Nigeria and abroad. It spoke volumes that though Transparency International had on many occasions declared Nigeria as one of the two countries most perceived to engage in unethical business practices, it awarded Akunyili its highly coveted Integrity Award in 2003.

Appointed in 2001, the Anambra State-born Pharmacist infused new life into NAFDAC, which had hitherto remained comatose with the "Nigerian Syndrome" since its establishment on January 1, 1994. She was reviled, threatened, and blackmailed in trying to re-launch the agency on the path of integrity and accountability, against the wishes of a very powerful supranational network of forces. She once missed death by the whiskers when her convoy ran into a volley of enemy bullets.

Akunyili did not only transform the previously little known NAFDAC to an internationally acclaimed organisation, but has, indeed, brought the issue of fake drug and foods to national reckoning. This, according to a wide range of opinions, should have been the yardstick in re-appointing the 54-year-old graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to either Health or Industry ministry where, in the judgement of many, her presence would be felt, just like in NAFDAC.

Anonymous said...

NUJ, Reps, media chiefs, others laud Akunyili’s appointment
Written by Leke Adeseri
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
SEVERAL in dividuals and organisations, including the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) have commended the appointment of Professor Dora Akunyili as the Minister of Information and Communication, citing her achievements in the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as evidence that she would turn around the fortune of the Ministry. A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the minister, Mike Nwokoro said, since she took over the affairs of the Ministry, her office has been flooded with congratulatory messages from Nigerians who have expressed happiness over her appointment as Minister.

The NUJ in a letter signed by its General Secretary, Shu’aibu Usman Leman, said even though Prof. Akunyili was not a journalist or specialist in the information industry, the union believed she would deployed her wealth of experience “acquired over the years” to enable her succeed.

The NUJ urged her to see her new appointment as another challenge, and prayed that “the excellent work you did in NAFDAC…will be replicated at the Ministry of Information.” The congratulatory letter from the NUJ has put a seal on the controversial report that the NUJ was against Akunyili’s appointment.

Also the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Information, Dino Melaye described Akunyili’s appointment as a well deserved one, saying “I have no doubt in your ability to deliver as the tasks of Nation building and National transformation calls for honesty of purpose, sincerity, consummate diligence and unmediated commitment to National cause.”

The Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mrs. Oluremi Oyo in her own message said Akunyili’s appointment was facilitated by her antecedent, noting that “I know you bring with you enormous experience in this new task and I am sure this, together with the enabling grace of Almighty God will see you through to a resoundingly successful tenure.”

Also the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Telecommunications Plc, Mr. Kevin Caruso, expressed delight at Akunyili’s appointment, and said that the organization had no doubt that she would “continue to take the communications industry to a greater height.”

The Acting Director General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Mrs. Maria Odeh said Akunyili’s appointment was a “fulfilment of the expectations of well meaning Nigerians,” saying that her description of the Ministry as the soul of the nation “underscores your understanding of the enormity of the task of re-branding Nigeria.”

Mallam Ibrahim Mori Baba, the Post Master General of the Federation also joined the cream of those who lauded Akunyili’s appointment. He said her appointment demonstrated her outstanding qualities. In his own case, the Registrar and Chief Executive of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi said the Council was proud of Akunyili’s appointment, adding that they were confident that her qualities and attributes that won her national recognition would bear on the Ministry.

The Executive Secretary of the Health Reform Agenda, Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe said that he was delighted that the Minister’s appointment had come when efforts to at producing better-informed citizenry and reducing poverty in Nigeria were receiving a fresh impetus, and expressed the belief that Akunyili would play a vital role in this regard.

Other organizations and individuals that also sent in congratulatory messages to her included Mr. Ayuba Kadafa, Regional Director for Global Digital Solidarity Fund; Professor M.U. Adikwu of STEP B Project at the Federal Ministry of Information, Science and Technology; Eze (Dr.) M. O. Kanu, Chairman of Agura Hotel; Alhaji Shuaibu Gwada and Ahmed H. Binji, Secretary-General and National Co-ordinator respectively of Quick Intervention & Advisory Organisation.

Anonymous said...

Why President Chose A Cabinet Of Doves


Former Governors As Ministers On Presidency Watch-list

Power Minister, Babalola As An Insider

From Martins Oloja
Abuja Bureau Chief
As President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua begins a quiet holiday that may take him abroad for a respite this week, some hints have emerged on why he has put together a controversial cabinet that has been described by an insider as a "Cabinet of Doves".

The cabinet reconstitution completed last week after almost about eight months of speculation reportedly consists of a rainbow of old, tired, tested and even unknown elements.

Some critics and some opposition elements within the National Assembly have questioned the President's wisdom in the choice of three specific old faces, notably: Dr Rilwanu Lukman (Kaduna) now in charge of Petroleum Resources, Dr Shettima Mustapha, (Borno) Defence Minister and Obong Joseph Ufot Ekaette, former SGF, now pioneer Niger Delta Minister.

Analysts have said that the three old soldiers in charge of three key Ministries have been part of the political and bureaucratic systems (that have not improved Nigeria) since the Second Republic, which fell since December 1983.

As a critic had earlier told us in another inquiry, "apart from the former DG of NAFDAC, Professor Dora Akunyili, there is no other member of the cabinet that has sufficient passion and in fact anger in him or her to confront Nigeria's multifarious infrastructure challenges...no, no other. They are all gentle people. You need some angry people who will passionately deal with lawlessness and indiscipline, that have marked us out in the crowded global village square."

But an insider, who is a political analyst, told The Guardian in response to an inquiry during the Christmas break that the President has "deliberately put together a 'Cabinet of Doves'." Interpretation: the President has consciously constituted a cabinet that will be peaceful and can quietly execute his Seven-point agenda without causing disaffection within the polity. "He has put together a coalition that will not generate the kind of controversy some of the former administration's ministers caused," said the source.

We were told that this was the president's mindset that led to the choice of the former SGF, Obong Ekaette, who was preferred to other notable candidates in the Niger Delta, including solid people such as Senator Udo Udoma, the NDDC current chief executive, Timi Alaibe, Gamaliel Onosode, among others, who were earlier tipped for the job.

According to the insider, "At the end of the day, despite huge opposition network to the choice of Obong Ekaette, he was preferred by the President because he (Ekaette) has been analysed as a man of peace, an unrepentant, thorough technocrat who will always work as if he were still a civil servant. He was said to have worked like that throughout Obasanjo's administration as SGF."

It was concluded that Ekaette will be needed as a "gracefully loyal person" who will not question decisions of any higher authority about anything. He is seen as a "malleable quiet operator who will not provide even alternative policy thrust to the one provided by the appointing authority. He is a core civil servant, who will not take any political decision unless he is asked to do so. Really, this was the end of politics that led to the choice of the about 70-year-old conservative public servant who retired as a federal permanent secretary not long ago."

This was the way the politics that shaped the choice of the Ministers including the "three musketeers" (Lukman, Ekaette and Mustapha) was explained to The Guardian at the weekend.

It was learnt that the same principle was said to have also applied to the choice of the three former governors, Dr. Sam Egwu, Chief Achike Udenwa and Alhaji Adamu Aliero, who are in charge of first class ministries, namely: Education, Commerce and Industry and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

As another insider, who was privy to the politics that shapes decisions in the current dispensation put it to us, "you can see that the three former governors are not among former governors that can raise dust in the cabinet. They are men of peace who will not seek glory for their feats as we also have in Ekaette, Lukman and Mustapha. You can see vividly the character of the ministers the President would like to work with. The President would not like a belligerent cabinet that will be fighting battles with the Legislature and the people; he does not want angry people who will be fighting even political leaders that they need to get credibility endorsement in future; he does not want hawks in the cabinet now."

Meanwhile, despite the confidence the President has reposed in his former colleagues he has appointed ministers, The Guardian learnt too at the weekend that the Presidency is on the alert about the attitude of the three former governors, especially on the profile of their expenditures and choice of aides.

This alert came at the weekend as some state officials and President's men have confirmed that two of the former governors have shown traces of "lifestyles that portrayed them as if they were still in the Government Houses where they could spend recklessly as chief executives".

It was learnt that one of them had hardly settled down when he asked for "close to N1 million to get to his village barely 48 hours after he was sworn in". It was not clear at press time whether he was given by the chief accounting officer of the Ministry in question.

In the same vein, another former governor in the cabinet was said to have asked all the pool officers posted by the Federal Civil Service Commission that served his predecessor to ask for posting to other places. The Minister, who has his office in the Area One Garki Secretariat, was said to have told all the officers that he would like to bring his own personal aides from his state capital where they were at the moment.

We were told by another monitor in the Presidency, "it appeared the former governor is oblivious of the rule that he is entitled to only about two assistants, not including civil servants such as personal secretaries. Unfortunately, the new Minister has asked that even civil servants be sent away to give room for his own; maybe he wants to pay for them from his deep pocket as former governor."

In another development, the Presidency has learnt that another former governor who also applied for some huge amount for Christmas period has also expressed disdain for what he called his "small office". He was said to have asked civil servants in the Ministry to begin the process of breaking down the concrete walls built by Julius Berger at the federal secretariat complex, where a former minister of state had occupied. Before the old cabinet was dissolved, the said Ministry used to have two ministers of state. Now, they have only one Minister of State.

The former governor is said to be interested in joining the former minister of state office to his own, though all former ministers in the prime Ministry had used the old office the Minister said is too small for him.

It was not clear too at the weekend if the Minister had secured budget for the reconstruction of his office to reflect his new status.

The Guardian was told at press time that the Presidency is already worried about the attitude of the two former governors who are believed to be ignorant of the conditions of service of ministers in Nigeria.

Ministers in Nigeria are political office holders and their remuneration has been defined by "Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances) etc Act of 2002". The Act has been amended to reflect some current realities in the reward system of political office holders in Nigeria.

In another development, it was learnt that the current Minister in charge of Power, Mr. Rilwanu Babalola, is not an outsider at all. Inquiries revealed at the weekend that the Osun State-born young technocrat had worked on the Power sector beat at the Bureau of Public Enterprises before he was seconded sometimes this year to the office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President to work on blue print for efficiency in the power sector.

Anonymous said...

Okogie, Okotie fault Ridadu’s dismissal
Written by Sam Eyoboka
Friday, 02 January 2009
CATHOLIC Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie and the erstwhile presidential candidate of Fresh Democratic Party, Rev. Chris Okotie yesterday declared that the recent dismissal of the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu left a sour taste in the mouth.
Speaking at an interactive session after the New Year Mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos, Okogie also distanced himself from speculations in certain quarters that the umbrella body of Christians in the country, CAN, threw its weight behind the political ambition of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying “you may be right if you say the leadership of the then CAN.”

The Cardinal said Ribadu may have stepped on toes in the process of doing his duties but it was not charitable the kind of treatment meted to him now by state authorities, saying “that is not the way to treat even your enemy.”

Stating that the nation had often shabbily treated performers Okogie said the former EFCC helmsman is just one of a number of other officials of the last administration, like the former Finance Minister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who was lured from her lucrative IMF job and was doing very well when she was redeployed to the External Affairs Ministry.

He regretted that the same tradition appears to have continued in this regime as the former NAFDAC boss, Prof. Dora Akunyili has been removed with the pretext that she was being promoted for her industry only to end up in the Ministry of Information, adding “being a Catholic she will still perform but Nigerians should watch out for what happens to the anti-fake drugs agency.”

Anonymous said...

The trouble with Nigeria will continue to persist until the average Nigerians whatever ethnic origin begin to appreciate that their destiny is in their hands. What can one say of a country where criminals under the guise of politicians entice people with few thousands of naira to vote to enslave themselves. What does it benefit a man who took ten to twenty thousand naira or even as little as a bag of rice to cast his vote for a thief to represent him. He takes one off ten thousand or so naira to sell his write for the next 8years to a thief who will then loot him during that period. He can only go about moaning to other people for nothing. Americans showed the world that the masses can move mountain and unseat their oppressor. Nigerians can only learn from that and if they fail to take a cue from that, God help them.

David Mark is the senate president today. People voted him to that seat. Is he not the same David Mark who once as a minister told Nigerians to their face that Telephone is not for the poor man. Few years down the line the changing trend in the world proved him wrong and he still use the same unstable network as the poor farmer in the village. he is today sitting and presiding over the highest decision making arm of the government and nobody is asking question. Why can't he insult Nigerians again by donating whatever centre he shamelessly build with the proceed of the demised NITEL.

They screened and appointed an octogenerian who oversaw the end of all the indigeous refineries as a petroleum minister to go back to sit with his grand children in OPEC probably to finish off Nigeria. I sound like this because I still can't see what a frail old man like Dr Lukeman will be doing as the head of petroleum ministry the life wire of this Nation at a time when the world is frantically looking for alternative source of energy to reduce dependence on forsil fuel and spite us.He probaly knows better but I can't see how he is going to match up with cyber minded and technologically groomed young people that will be representing their various countries at OPEC.

The ruling criminals have once again demonstrated to Nigerians that they are toothless bulldogs who are not capable of anything good. Does this mean that even in the north there is nobody capable of being a petroleum minister except Dr lukeman? The simple fact is that he is the man capable of performing and mortgaging Nigeria without minding how many Nigerians die in the process. He is able to collude with the west and their corrupt Nigerian counterparts to milk Nigeria dry and push her 50years back as usual

For Prof Akunyili, I can only remind us that the powers in Nigeria so far does not want to see anybody that represent the common interest of the common Nigerian.We are lucky that she wasn't thrown out completely.

Nigerians must copy the Americans and select their own leaders, throw their weight behind them and defeat corruption by saying no to temporary carrot and yes to liberation by casting their votes properly. It is that simple. Revolution must not be by violence as has been proved by the Americans. It was done in animal farm and I see no reason why it cannot be done now by Nigerians. America has set the pace. It is there for us to join in.

God bless Nigeria