DAPHINE CARUANA GALIZIA MURDER: UNACCEPTABLE.

DAPHINE CARUANA GALIZIA MURDER: UNACCEPTABLE

ICHEOKU says the European Union must not allow this barbarism to go unsolved or unanswered. A journalist blogger blown up in a car bomb because of her writings and in an European Union member country is simply unacceptable. As a result the authorities in Brussels must demand a thorough investigation or better still lead the effort to unravel the monsters behind her assassination and bring justice to them. Daphine Caruana Galizia's murder must be solved and cannot be allowed to become another statistic of journalists killed to suppress freedom of speech. May her soul remain restless and haunt her killers until they are served justice. Adieu Daph.


GLAD TO BE CARRIED TO FULL TERM.

GRATEFUL TO BE CARRIED FULL TERM

ICHEOKU says another lucky one that survived the abortionist's pincers from the over 360,000 unlucky ones that get flushed out each year. May God help us all have a better resolution about unwanted pregnancies.


IPOB NNAMDI KANU: A BRITISH CITIZEN ABDUCTED BY THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT!

IPOB NNAMDI KANU: A BRITISH CITIZEN ABDUCTED BY THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT!
ICHEOKU says he is a British citizen leading the effort to free the people of Biafra from the clutches of the feudalistic Fulani controlled Northern Nigeria. Now, he is missing following the raid of his country home by the Fulani Army of Northern Nigeria. ICHEOKU says President Muhammadu Buhari led Nigerian government sponsored abductions and murders is on the increase and you wonder what it will take the international community to call him to order.

JUST SAY NO TO KNEELING: IT IS UN-AMERICAN.

JUST SAY NO TO KNEELING: IT IS UN-AMERICAN.
ICHEOKU says from being disrespectful to the flag to being unappreciative of the services of the military to overall being anti America; NFL players must learn to check their political activism outside the stadiums. They must not kneel on our dime. ICHEOKU supports the president 1000% on this and hereby calls on every player to respect the sensibilities of the many differently opined fans who paid to watch a game and not to be made mad by their personal political agenda.

IPOB: NOT A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION - USA


“The United States Government is strongly committed to Nigeria’s unity. Important political and economic issues affecting the Nigerian people, such as the allocation of resources, are worthwhile topics for respectful debate in a democracy. Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organization under US law.” - Russell Brooks, United States of America.

BIAFRA CANNOT BE WISHED AWAY BY THE FULANI/HAUSAS

09_19_Biafra_supporters


ROCKET MAN; ON A SUICIDE MISSION.



"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about; that’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do." - PDJT


DONATE TODAY TO HELP REBUILD LIVES!

DONATE TODAY TO HELP REBUILD LIVES!

ICHEOKU says the Red Cross does one heck of a good job going to the assistance of the needy; so in these times of great need, occasioned by so many hurricanes, flooding and earthquake, show that you really care, donate to help the victims rebuild their wrecked lives. Remember that the Almighty rewards a cheerful giver.

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.

North Korea PUT ON NOTICE

NORTH KOREA  PUT ON NOTICE: 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.

NORTH KOREA: TOTAL ANNIHILATION NOW ON THE TABLE.

NORTH KOREA: TOTAL ANNIHILATION NOW ON THE TABLE.

ICHEOKU says once again the diminutive midget of Pyongyang has been advised to heed the resolution of the United Nations firm stand against his continuing provocations; and that the total wiping out of his North Korea is now an option should he force the hands of the United States of American military. In a statement by the Defense Secretary Jim Maddog Mattis over its latest nuclear test, the secretary said “Our commitment among the allies are ironclad. Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so.” ICHEOKU says does not really know the joker that guy has, but whatever it is will likely very soon be forced out. The world including ICHEOKU is waiting and watching.

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 go 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 their own Biafraexit.

PDJT ISSUES A 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.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

OLUWOLE ROTIMI, WHAT A FRIGGING BASTARD?

Icheoku says, if the tirade attributed to the former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America, Oluwole Rotimi, is true, then he deserves not only to be fired but seriously reprimanded for damaging the home-country that sent him to Washington. What an insurbordination to a duly constituted authority? Possibly he is another one of Olusegun Obasanjo's hack and got the posting through Obasanjo's insistence; the result is this heart-wrecking utterance concerning the noble struggles of Biafra! Icheoku would ordinarily not have taken sides in this fight, but when this Oluwole Rotimi threw his hat in the ring against an entire people, by dragging Biafra into this melee, he definitely crossed the line and should be called to order.
How can a representative of the Nigeria government of which the former Biafran tax-payers' money is being used to partly sustain, turn around to boast against the section concerning his "heroic" strangulation of Biafrans during the civil war? What manner of a public servant would rekindle the memory of this old Nigerian/Biafran hostilities and in such a blatant public way that elicits outrage and condemnation, being an ambassador of the supposedly now "unified" country? Icheoku says, this person is the reason why Nigeria is still adrift, several years since the end of the civil-war because of a perculiar mindset that the civil war is a continuum. Icheoku recalls that Oladipo Diya once asked similar "war-victor" question when he demanded to know whether "that should be rewarding the Igbos for loosing a war", in questioning why the Igbo is so entitled to a position in Nigeria? The Igbos are now convinced beyond doubt that their really antagonists in Nigeria are not necessarily the Northerners but some very parochial people from the Yoruba, South-West.
Who is now the tribalist in Nigeria but that apostle of the Awolowo school of economic-strangulation theory who actively participated in the most vicious genocide ever, against the Igbo people of Nigeria during the Biafran war? Who is a tribalist but Rotimi Oluwole who starved over one million Igbos to death by the asphyxiating blockade which he imposed on Biafra? Who is a tribalist but this senile old mad-dog, Oluwole Rotimi, who is now boasting how he dealth with a "rag-tag Biafran army"? Unfortunately this Oluwole Rotimi was economical with the truth in not reminding himself that Biafrans had the war trust upon them and hence had no time to equip and train for the war; but only fought to remain alive? This is the same man who was once governor of the whole Yoruba Western Region of Nigeria and added to the previously known anti-Igbo disposition of Obafemi Awolowo, the Igbos are once again being reminded who their real antagonists in Nigeria are. Oluwole Rotimi and his ilks are the reason Nigeria is yet to fully stabilize as a nation. Oluwole Rotimi is a very divisive and toxic Yoruba man whose latest guffaw could be attributable to the entire race, were it not for some decent men and women of that race. First it was Obafemi Awolowo and his betrayal of Nnamdi Azikwe's mandate in Ibadan followed by his "starvation is the best instrument of warfare" weapon-of-choice against Biafra; then came Olusegun Obasanjo's eight years anti-Igbo governance between 1999 and 2007; now add the disgruntled "alzheimers-striken" Oluwole Rotimi and the cirlce is 360 degrees! What other prove does the Igbo-man need to conclude that there is no real love lost between them and Oduduwa kingdom, since three leaders of Yoruba have consecutively professed their anti-Igbo sentiments?
What an insurbodination to a duly constituted authority? Imagine the insult to the Minister and the President who appointed him and who he represents; also to the Nigerian people who the president represents; capped by the entire Biafran people who once again is being provoked by such a gutter-statement by a Nigerian government official, Oluwole Rotimi? This uncalled for outburst is a grim-reminder that the Biafran-Nigerian war is still raging on, in the minds of some of the protagonists of the war, especially those of them from across the Niger, in Yoruba Western Nigeria. Look at the torture the Igbos suffered under Olusegun Obasanjo's government when all their business interests were intentionally grounded by a government driven by vengance and an unbriddled hatred of a people - the Igbos of Nigeria? By Oluwole Rotimi's uncanny misspeak, it is now confirmed that certain quarters of the leadership in Nigeria led by Olusegun Obasanjo and Oluwole Rotimi really know "how to deal with the Igbos and their rag-tag Biafran Army"? Icheoku says, it is the same "rag-tag Biafran Army" that stood firm and squarely faced down a raging genocidal Nigerian army and for three long years! Icheoku says, but for the support of Egyptian fighter pilots led by the current Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Russian MIGS, British Falcons as well as other hired guns and mercenaries, this "rag-tag Biafran army" would have bled the supposedly well trained and equipped Nigerian army of Oluwole Rotimi to death. What a dog of revisionism he is, Oluwole Rotimi, that is?
Icheoku says the mindset that wrote the offending letter is not deserving of the office of a Nigerian ambassador to anywhere, USA inclusive, except the so "conceited" Nigeria excludes the Biafran-area of Nigeria? And this man is 71 years old? Could his be a case of demetia or early stages of alzheimers that made him to vomit such very offensive thoughts? As a Nigerian ambassador to the USA, what did this man achieve? Who in the USA knew that there was an ambassador called Oluwole Rotimi? Who has ever heard about this senility called Oluwole Rotimi? Oluwole Rotimi is simply a disgrace to the race that reared him; being the parochial bitter old-hag he is. Icheoku says, Oluwole Rotimi, SHAME ON YOU! Who has ever heard of this man within the diplomatic circle? What statement is attributable to Oluwole Rotimi that sticks to memory? What position has this man ever taken to quell or at least correct all the misgivings or objectionable commentaries in the USA media especially CNN, concerning Nigeria and/or Nigerians living in the USA? And he lives in Florida and commutes to Washington DC thrice a week for his duties? Is it possible that DC is rather too cold for his sorry wrinkly old arse? Icheoku asks, what is a country like Nigeria doing by sending a diplomat as old as 71 years to a country with a 47 year old president? What is the retirement age for civil servants in Nigeria or is the diplomatic corp different? An uncouth and colorless fellow who is not even cyber-savvy and who does not speak or understand nuanced diplomatic lingo, who is still trapped in the 1970s mindset, was Nigerian ambassador to the USA? Thankfully this blunder has saved Nigeria much further embarassment, as who knows what he could have been capable of getting Nigeria into. Nigeria, it would seem, never gets its acts right as this disgraced now former ambassador, has yet proved to be another proverbial square peg in a round hole!
"I know how to deal with your people, I have dealt with people like you in the past. I was the Adjutant General of the Nigerian army that thoroughly defeated your ragtag Biafran army.” With these written-words, Oluwole Rotimi has gone into historical infamy as one of those who do not mean well for a continous Nigerian unity. Such unwarranted outburst is highly provocative and a threat to the shaky cohension which is the Nigerian political structure. Now you understand the reason for the continous restiveness in Nigeria and why Igbo-owned businesses were specifically targeted for extinction by Olusegun Obasanjo and the likes of Oluwole Rotimi during his infamous rule. Ibeto cement, Slok Airlines, Savannah Bank, importation and exportation, just to mention a few; all fell victim of Olusegun Obasanjo evil machination against a people - the Igbos of Nigeria? According to a complaint memo filed by the Foriegn Affairs Minister Ojo Maduekwe to President Umaru Yar'Adua, in response, "this man, Oluwole Rotimi, has no temperament to be an ambassador of Nigeria in our most important mission. This is a strategic assessment of the situation. Anyone who has such a disposition may not be able to handle the Nigerian embassy in Washington", to which Icheoku adds, or any other embassy or thing which represents the entire country, Nigeria or Nigerians for that matter.
Icheoku commends President Umaru Yar’Adua for timeously approving the immediate recall of this disgraced Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, retired Brigadier-General Oluwole Rotimi! His utterance was a gross insubordination for which additional punishment should be meted out, if only to serve as a deterent and to prove to these Nigerian ex-generals that there is now a duly constituted authority in Nigeria, outside the baracks. And it is instructive to note that this vermin was kicked out of the Nigerian army, yet he brags about his "prowess" in dealing with the "rag-tag Ojo Maduekwe's Biafran army"? This altercation left the confines of Ojo Maduekwe when Oluwole Rotimi called into question the gallant resistance put forward by the brave men and women of Biafra, in a war to put to an end a terrible genocide against them, that time, which unfortuantely continues till today, though in somewhat subtle and subversive fashion but sometimes very overt.
Icheoku in researching this commentary, read an interview granted by this Oluwole Rotimi in 2007 wherein he was quoted as saying, "Whether you call it Northern Forum, Arewa Forum, South-South Forum, Yoruba Forum, these are all ethnic fora and I would have thought that in this day and age we should be talking more of Nigerian forum, Nigerian agenda". Icheoku says, this man Oluwole Rotimi must be the greatest living pretender to Nigeria's unity, otherwise how does one reconcile this his answer to a question bordering on Nigerian unity to his present outburst haranguing "Ojo Maduekwe's rag-tag Biafran Army"? The disparaging reference is inexplicable under any circumstance whatsoever. In the referenced interview, Oluwole Rotimi also explained that "those who perpetrated the counter-coup of 1966 said they would not have a southern officer to head the army or to head the country. That was how Gowon became the Head of State. Not on merit, not on seniority but purely because he came from the North". Yet this man knowing all he knew about the forced birth of Biafra, had the raw guts to make such a disparaging remark about Biafran army? Were he the statesman he would like to claim, Icheoku dares him to explain why his likes did not stand up to the northern army boys when they turned things upside down on its head in Nigeria? Why did his likes permit a junior officer like Gowon to take over the leadership of Nigeria when there were senior officers above Gowon, including Odumegwu Ojukwu? Yet he banters on his "brave-defeat" of the "rag-tag Biafran army"? Or was he too cowardly then to raise his voice only to feel comfortable now to harpoon on Biafran army? What a sacrificial offal, Oluwole Rotimi is!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nigerian Ambassador to US, Oluwole Rotimi, Sacked
•Calls Foreign Minister a tribalist •Boasts that he defeated Maduekwe’s “ragtag” Biafran Army
By Yemi Adebowale in Lagos and Constance Ikoku in Washington DC, 02.14.2009

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President Umaru Yar’Adua has appro-ved the immediate recall of Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, retired Brigadier-General Oluwole Rotimi, for “gross insubordination.”
Sources at the Nigerian embassy in Washington DC said the decision to recall Rotimi followed his running disagreement with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Ojo Maduekwe, over issues bordering on activities of the mission, policy, protocol and hierarchy.
The disagreement that was said to have started last year resulted in a series of correspondence between Maduekwe and Rotimi, culminating in a letter written by the latter in which he called the minister a tribalist and boasted, “I have dealt with people like you in the past. I was the Adjutant General of the Nigerian army that thoroughly defeated your ragtag Biafran army.”
Maduekwe who was piqued by the contents of the letter, particularly the reference to the Biafran war, formally complained to the President in a memo, attaching Rotimi’s letter.
Maduekwe in his letter to the President stated: “This man (Rotimi) has no temperament to be an ambassador of Nigeria in our most important mission.
“This is a strategic assessment of the situation. Anyone who has such a disposition may not be able to handle the Nigerian embassy in Washington, which is deemed in Nigerian diplomatic circles as a strategic and sensitive mission.
“The recommendation that he be recalled has to do with his capacity to run the place. It is not personal.”
It was on this basis that the President immediately approved his recall from the mission. In the interim, Ambassador Wakil, the Deputy Ambassador has been asked to oversee the mission pending the appointment of a replacement.
All efforts to reach the Ambassador last night on his mobile phone proved unsuccessful as it kept entering voice mail. Voice messages were not returned as at press time either.
A Nigerian embassy official in Washington disclosed that the root cause of the friction between both officials started sometime last year when Maduekwe wrote two letters inviting the Ambassador and his deputy, Ambassador Wakil to a meeting in Abuja to discuss the emergence of Barack Obama as the 44th US President and what it would mean for Nigeria-US relations.
Rotimi was said to have felt slighted that the minister wrote a separate letter to his deputy whom he regarded as his subordinate.
He subsequently wrote two protest letters - one to Maduekwe and a second one to the Secretary to the Govern-ment of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed. He also asked that the trip be rescheduled to enable him sort out one or two things.
Not satisfied, Rotimi further wrote to Senator Jubril Aminu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, on the same issue.
Rotimi then proceeded to Abuja when he did not receive an official reply from the minister. Maduekwe on the other hand was reportedly irked that the Ambassador proceeded on the trip without the necessary approval.
Rotimi’s action, an embassy official divulged, was seen as an infringement of an important regulation regarding the movement of public officers.
Insiders familiar with the Nigerian civil service set up said his trip was arbitrary given his protest letter and request for a postponement of the meeting, and that since he had not received feedback, it was seen as gross insubordination within foreign service regulations.
According to an official: “when you write, you wait for a reply. Movement must be sanctioned by your boss.”
Similarly, Maduekwe’s effort to streamline the operations of the foreign affairs ministry, particularly the embassies, was said to have been resisted by Rotimi in Washington.
The minister’s brusque style of leadership has reportedly ruffled feathers in the foreign service where most officials are used to “business as usual” bosses.
As such, the little or lack of cordial relations between both men compounded matters, making it almost impossible to mend fences.
In addition, other occurrences pointed to strained relations between the public officers. The usual practice is that an Ambassador receives the foreign minister at the airport when he arrives a country, and sees him off at the end of his official trip.
This was not the case when the minister visited Washington sometime last year to give a talk at a think-tank in the capital city.
However, by January this year, Rotimi tried to seek a rapprochement when he led a delegation to receive Maduekwe who flew into Washington as the head of the Nigerian delegation to President Obama’s inauguration.
But the short-lived détente came under strain again when Rotimi, during the swearing-in ceremony, introduced Emeka Anyaoku, the president’s special envoy, as the leader of delegation in the presence of the minister.
THISDAY learnt that there was actually a disagreement before the trip as to who should lead the delegation to the event.
Eventually, Anyaoku was mandated to head the Federal Government team, while Maduekwe led the foreign ministry team.
But this presented an image problem for Nigeria, because it gave the impression that the home base was in disarray.
Another official of the Nigerian embassy in Washington alleged that Rotimi only appeared for work at the embassy thrice a week and retired to Florida where he has a home, for the rest of the week. “How can he effectively run a key embassy like this,” the official queried.
Before the latest incident that led to Rotimi’s recall, Anyaoku it was gathered, tried to reconcile the two men shortly after Obama’s inauguration, but failed.
Rotimi was a former military governor of the old Western State from 1971 to 1975. He arrived Washington DC on 31st March 2008, and presented his Letters of Credence to the then President, George Bush at the White House, on April 9, 2008.
His sudden recall means that Nigeria will have to deal with the signals the incident would send to the international community, explained a diplomatic source.
One way to save face is to show that Nigeria is ready to revamp its foreign relations machinery and sharpen is focus on improving the effectiveness of the country’s foreign missions overseas, he said.

Anonymous said...

Gowon failed, Obasanjo has nothing to learn from him —Gen Oluwole Rotimi
By Peter Okhiria
Friday, January 6, 2006

He was booted out of the Army as one of “Gowon’s loyalists” in the 1975 coup that brought in General Murtala Mohammed, but by then, he had garnered enough experience as a civil servant for four months; Quarter-Master General of the Army when the war broke out; a Garrison Commander and Governor of the Old West Region for four and half years. He was a mere 40-year-old Brigadier-General on the verge of being promoted Major-General when he was kicked out.



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Since then, Brigadier-General Oluwole Rotimi (rtd) has been minding his private business unlike some of his colleagues who joined politics. However, he has been active. He was a member of the commission of enquiry for the recovery of Federal Government landed property from 1999 to 2003 and was also a delegate to the last national constitutional reforms conference.


Today, General Oluwole Rotimi, who will be 71 this February warns that the polity is unduly being heated up over the 3rd term agenda. He also says his former Commander-in-Chief, General Yakubu Jack Gowon was a failure and there was no lesson for Obasanjo to learn from him.

Reminiscing on what led to the civil war, he blamed it squarely on General Gowon and the Northern officers and men. He spoke on more diverse issues including a warning to the nation.

Excerpts:


General. You’ve been quiet since the last constitutional conference...?


Well. I’ve been minding my own business. I’m not a party politician, but I still hold some strong views about my country Nigeria and the way I think things should go.


As a delegate to the last conference. Are you satisfied with its outcome?


I think, largely, the conference was a success. On the so many matters that came before us, I think we were able to come to definitive conclusions on quite a number of them. The only two areas which we could not really reach conclusions on were resource control and the tenure of office for political office holders with regards to the President and the Governors and the number of years they should spend. Those were the two contentious areas which we could not reach conclusions on. Of course, I won’t say the conference broke down completely but at least all the views which were expressed on this contentious matters were still reflected in the recommendations which we forwarded to the Head of State who appointed us.


Though you are not a politician, but you must have been following the political trend. How do you see the clamour for a third term for the president?


To tell you the truth, I don’t really understand what this debate is about. So far, nobody has been able to tell us Nigerians that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed any desire to continue beyond the year 2007. What is happening now is extremely speculative. Maybe as time goes on, Chief Obasanjo himself may come out and say what really is in his mind. But so far, he has not told us, nobody has admitted that he’s told him. So we just wait and see.

How would you rate the performance of the President and Governors since 1999?

Those are two questions rolled into one.


Okay. Let’s start with the presidency?


With the presidency. To me, the first term, that is 1999 to 2003 was a learning period. It is true that Obasanjo had been military Head of State from 1976 to 1979 but you cannot compare the headship of a nation under military rule with the headship of a nation under a democratic system. They are two different systems altogether. Under the military, of course, there was no division of powers as we have under a democratic government. The Commander-in-Chief who was at that time head of the armed forces and also the Head of State, as long as he could carry members of his council along, maybe the Supreme Military Council or the Armed Forces Ruling Council under whichever regime was relevant at the time, there was no problem. It was readily an in-house thing. But in governance through a constitution, the constitution becomes the supreme law. Now you talked about performance and I said Obasanjo in his first term was trying to find his feet and as a civilian ruler contending with the national assembly made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate and there are clearly divisions of power between the executive which the President heads and the legislative unit which the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives preside over. The constitution is clear, for instance, that the president cannot even spend one kobo without the approval of the national assembly. Under the military, there were no such limitations. Generally speaking, he was learning and a great deal of misunderstanding took place between the executive and the national assembly, but gradually each of them began to understand each other’s role as stipulated in the constitution. That is not to say the executive was not doing something. Each year, they presented budgets to the national assembly they tried their possible best to try and implement these budgets.


You mentioned that the president must get the prior approval of the national assembly before spending a kobo. But this president gave money to Ghana and Sao Tome & Principe. He also agreed to offset $12bn debt owed the Paris Club without the prior approval of the national assembly...


I cannot go through the semantics of how the government works. I can only make general observations to the extent that whatever mistakes he made, he was able to rectify them eventually and both of them found accommodation for one another, that was alright as far as I’m concerned and I don’t think an issue should be made of that.


Suddenly, everybody is holding Fora on regional bases. We have Arewa Forum, Southern Forum, South-South, Peoples Assembly, Middle Belt Forum. Do you support these regional divisions?


It’s part of the problems of this country. Everybody as it were seems to be talking about the third term agenda. Whether you call it Northern Forum, Arewa Forum, South-South Forum, Yoruba Forum, these are all ethnic fora and I would have thought that in this day and age we should be talking more of Nigerian forum, Nigerian agenda. One is aware


that this country is made up of various nationalities. In 1966, when the military decided to create states out of the previous four regions, remember we used to have Northern Region, Western Region, Eastern Region and Mid-West Region which was a later addition, an excision from the old Western Region. To me, that was killing two birds with one stone. To start with, because the war of secession had been declared and we were trying to keep Nigeria one, it was strategically significant that Ojukwu who had declared a State of the Republic of Biafra was not allowed to take with him other groups within the East who were non-Ibo. Then the creation at the time of South-East State and Rivers States who were non-Ibo-speaking areas.


That was one stand. The other one, of course, was that when we now created states, to balance in all other regions, it was to break this regional hegemony which had been in place which had become a source of friction within the country. If you recall at that time, it was the North, the East, the West.


Although within these regional groupings, there were substantial minority groups. In fact, the only area where we don’t have minority groups was in the South-West which consists of all the Yoruba-speaking people. In the North, there were substantial minority which had been subsumed under the Northern regional hegemony; ditto in the East where the Ibos took control of the whole of the region. What that exercise did, apart from breaking Ojukwu’s power of Biafra was that it unleashed a new consciousness within those other regions. Today, we know that the North is not made up only of Hausa/Funali people. We know that there are Yorubas, Idomas, Tiv, Beroms and so on and so forth so a new nationalism had developed and everyone was saying that if we want to take development to the grassroots, let us do it on state level. So I think Nigeria has been well served by that exercise of 1966 when the states were created. Later, I think the military overdid the exercise of creation of state and they started continuous sub-divisions even in the old West here. What we should work against is this regional consciousness which I don’t think is in the interest of the emergence of one Nigeria. Ethnicity is dividing Nigeria. Religion is dividing Nigeria, why? My view is that it is the elite who have something to gain who are fanning the embers of religion, of ethnicity.


Your former Commander-in-Chief, General Yakubu Gowon said President Olusegun Obasanjo should learn from him, Babangida and Abacha. Do you support Gen Gowon on this?


My view is that Obasanjo has very little to learn from Gowon.


How?


If it is true that Gowon made such comments, it’s very unfortunate. One, I consider it mischievous, two, I consider that he is making suggestions in the wrong direction. The debate has not been steered towards the way he’s taking it. I gave the first point when I said that Obasanjo had very little to learn from Gowon from the point of view of staying beyond 2007.


I was one of Gowon’s governors for four and half years. The political programme that Gowon made in 1970 stipulated quite clearly that the military would hand over to civilians in 1976. Now his 9-point programme contained a number of things; the fight against corruption; rehabilitation and reconstruction throughout the country, census was one of them and so on and so forth. But what happened in reality? In 1974, Gowon, together with the Supreme Military Council aborted that programme of return to civil rule by saying that civilian has not learnt their lessons and that 1976 was no longer realistic. Not only that, he did not now mention an exit date for the military anymore, he left it an open-ended thing and of course as an officer and a gentleman, it is contrary to military ethics. An officer’s word is his bond and that is why they describe soldiers as an officer and a gentleman. When you pledge something, you must do your utmost best to fulfill that pledge. So where was Gowon, he failed there woefully. And don’t forget that it was after this his reneging on his promise to return the country to civil rule that he himself was overthrown by his own colleagues. That is another story of what led to the overthrow of Gowon. So from that point of view, what has Obasanjo to learn from Gowon, the man didn’t lay a good example. More importantly, how does Gowon now compare any military ruler with a democratically-elected president?


I don’t see the comparison. When Gowon had all the power to stick to his own promise, he failed. But what did Obasanjo do when he became the Head of State in 1976? He inherited a transition programme from Murtala Mohammed, a four-year transition, he scrupulously kept to that transition programme and on October 1, 1979, he handed over to Shehu Shagari who was a democratically elected president of Nigeria. So what lesson is Obasanjo to learn from Gowon?

There has been a long-standing tendency in Nigeria for some people to always believe that unless things go their own way, nothing is ever going to work. Now this alleged third term bid, the tempo has been raised to such a tempo now, needlessly I must say, that we don’t even know what may happen.


This long-standing tendency, I want to take you back to the First Republic. After the military struck in January 1966 which was christened as an “Igbo coup”, some group of people, largely from the northern part of the country, decided that there would be a revenge coup and they actualised it in July 1966 and installed Gowon. When Gowon became unpopular, within the same military, it is the same officers from the Northern part of Nigeria, largely, who decided to overthrow him because they claimed that they put him there, and when the time came, they would take him out and they succeeded.


When Shagari came in under a civilian regime, it was the same people from the Northern part of Nigeria who booted him out and they installed Buhari. Then from there to Babangida to Shonekan to Abacha. It was the same Northerners.

Now, when I read Gowon’s contribution, I had to think hard, could Gowon be sending a message as a former Head of State coming from the North, especially the Middle Belt where we always have the preponderance of the rank and file. Could it be a coded message to them, “be ready”. Unless the president cedes to the North, particularly to them, the Middle Belt, Nigeria would know me peace, I don’t know. But something tells me, we had better watch out, if it has happened before, it can happen again, because they are now making the whole thing a do-or-die affair. It’s either we get it, or if we don’t get it would be something else. But I tell you, should it happen the struggle will be long and bloody.


So you are saying Obasanjo is an officer and a gentleman because he handed over in 1979?

I believe so.


So we should expect him to hand over to another person in 2007...


I don’t see how he will not. In a way, when I told you that the debate was heading in the wrong direction, what I meant was that Gowon ought to know that the democratically-elected president has no powers under our present constitution to extend his term by even one hour. It is the national assembly that has the power and authority to amend the constitution whichever way they deem best. Why do you now want to put onus is on the other house. If there is any appeal to go to anybody, the appeal should go to the national assembly.


How do you see the current war against corruption compared with the war against corruption of the Gowon era in which you were a part of?


There is no comparison whatsoever. The war against graft was one of Gowon’s 9-point programme as I mentioned earlier. But when you look back, when Gowon was really now put to the test to prove if he was serious about fighting corruption or not, he failed the nation and I will tell you how he failed. In 1974, by then there had been serious allegations against Gowon’s ministers, against Gowon’s military governors to the point that one of the governors, late Joseph Gomwalk was accused of abuse of office; what did Gowon do? He did nothing?


Joseph Tarka, who was Minister of Communication was also accused of corruption and abuse of office. Now one gentleman, Godwin Daboh swore to an affidavit that he was ready to prove that Tarka was guilty of abuse of office. What was Gowon’s reaction, he didn’t entertain the affidavit. That was the way Gowon was tested on his side. On the two occasions, he failed woefully.


Now in comparison, Obasanjo is taking the fight against graft as one of the principal aims he hopes to achieve. One of the first Bills he sent to the national assembly was the creation of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). That Commission tried really to unravel certain things but it didn’t have enough powers and people were saying he set up a Commission that could neither bark nor bite. But they tried within the law setting them up but there were constraints. But then, Obasanjo saw the gaps and eventually he created the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (ICPC) and by jove, today in Nigeria, the corrupt, the parasites on the economy are not finding things easy. Was it conceivable in the past that a Head of State, whatever power he thought he had, would admit his head of police was a corrupt man. With the courage, evidence was produced and they charged him to court and today he’s in prison. How many conviction of 419 did we have before Obasanjo, it is only during Obasanjo’s time that we are beginning to get convictions. We have a case of a governor who ostensibly has been impeached for misconduct but the EFCC is holding this man to come and account for certain things. It’s a tremendous achievement. We have another who was accused of similar offences but he jumped bail, his case is still being looked into. So we are making progress on this front. Today, people know that you can write a petition against a person and say you are aware that this is what is going on. They will call you to show your evidence. If you show something and they are convinced, they will go after that man.


There are allegations that the EFCC is selective in its prosecution?


I’ve heard that argument, but I’ve just told you, if anybody knows other people who are doing what they feel EFCC should handle, they know where to go. The onus is not on the man who is investigating. If you know otherwise that why did you leave A to go for B, provide the evidence to the EFCC and see if they would follow it or not. It’s not a solid argument.

In your opinion how far back should the EFCC probe for graft?


That is left to them. If they want, they can even go back to my regime, to Gowon’s regime. But I tell you after Gowon left, the government that succeeded Gowon conducted a probe of all the military governors and I appeared before this probe panel to answer questions being put to me. How I ran the financial matters of the Western state. Well, I thank God, I acquitted myself and I was one of the two officers who got a clean bill of health.

Going back to your time in the military. You were Quarter master-General of the army. What does this mean?

The Quartermaster-General was the chief procurement office of the army.


Everything a soldier requires to be an efficient fighting man, to set up an efficient fighting organisation, the Quarter Master General branch provided it. From the boot that a soldier wears to the helmet, the food he eats, the equipment he carries arms and ammunition. The communication equipment he’s going to use when in operation, the transport in which he moves, he’s also responsible.


As Quartermaster-General during the civil war, you were a very senior officer. What are the intrigues that led to the outbreak of the war?


Well, there’s been enough written on it, but essentially, there was what we could call personal conflict between Gowon and Ojukwu. But I would take it beyond that. When General Ironsi was overthrow in July 1966, barely before the nation knew what had happened to Ironsi, Gowon had become the Head of State.


But there were officers who were senior to Gowon and the Army depends very largely on hierarchy. Ogundipe, he was then Brigadier Ogundipe who was then Ironsi’s Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters was by far senior to Gowon. Bob Adebayo, he was then Brigadier as well was by far senior to Gowon. Let’s leave the Igbo officers, as a matter of fact, most of them were slaughtered in 1966 in all the pogroms that took place in Lagos, in Kano, in Kaduna in Jos and so on and those who fled to the East. There were one or two officers senior to Gowon. Ejoor was senior to Gowon. Ojukwu and Gowon, the seniority between them was very slight and I think Ojukwu actually had slight seniority over Gowon, but as things happened, Ojukwu couldn’t come to be Head of State of Nigeria when his Ibo people were being killed for his security he couldn’t come. What did Ojukwu say, he said okay, we don’t even know where Ironsi is, but let the next most senior officer take over. There was Ogundipe readily, there was Adebayo readily, but what happened, those who perpetrated the counter-coup of 1966 said they would not have a southern officer to head the army or to head the country. That was how Gowon became the Head of State. Not on merit, not on seniority but purely because he came from the North.


There was the allegation that Brig Ogundipe declined to take over because he was “afraid”...


Yes. You can put the word afraid in inverted commas, I can understand it. When this thing happened, Ogundipe was taking charge of affairs in Lagos. But Ogundipe gave instructions to some soldiers, as a Brigadier, and they refused to obey his instructions, this man read the writing very clearly. What am I going to become Head of State for when I cannot give instructions for my subordinates to carry out? That was the situation. That is why people now say he was afraid. But what happened to Adebayo? Adebayo’s number in the hierarchy is N7 and Gowon was N29.


What were the challenges you faced as the governor of the old West region?


It was very challenging, I tell you. One of the things that psychologically affected me was that when I got to Ibadan and I got to the office where Awolowo used as the premier, Fajuyi used and their pictures were all over the wall from the colonial people, Sir John Rankin, Abraham, Sir Adesoji Aderemi, Fadahunsi, Fajuyi, Adebayo I was overawed to find myself sitting in the chair that somebody like Awolowo sat on. I prayed to God to help me. It was awesome.

Anonymous said...

Nigeria's Ambassador to US fired?-The Inside Story
Sunday, 15 February 2009 17:03 Saharareporters, New York
Nigeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ojo Maduekwe
The recently announced "sack" of Nigeria's ambassador to the US, General Oluwole Rotimi (Rtd) has revealed deep divisions in the team of Nigeria's Supreme Court-imposed president, Umaru Yar'adua. The ambassador, who spoke to Saharareporters briefly about his ordeal, said he is yet to receive any letter of sack from Yar'adua, contrary to a report by Thisday newspaper.

When SaharaReporters reached Nigeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ojo Maduekwe, he also refused to speak about the reported sack of the ambassador. Throughout an intense question and answer with Saharareporters, he maintained he was away from Abuja and attending a burial. He directed our reporters to call "the headquarters in Abuja" to find out what is happening.

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Diplomatic sources told Saharareporters that Maduekwe was pushing the sack of the ambassador and might have used newspaper reports to pressurize Yar'adua to act upon the decision to sack Oluwole, since it was taking too long. The minister, according to our sources, had reported the Ambassador to Yar'Adua during the swearing-in–ceremony of President Atta Mills in Accra.

Maduekwe reportedly made available to Yar'Adua a letter allegedly written by General Rotimi and circulated widely within the Minister's close-knit circle, including former president Olusegun Obasanjo. In it, the ambassador allegedly claimed to have defeated the Biafran Army while he was "Adjutant –General" in the Nigerian Army, but General Rotimi denies ever writing such a letter.

He told Saharareporters that he was never an "Adjutant General" in the Nigerian Army but a "Quarter-Master-General". Standing his ground, he asked the media to ensure that whomever made the allegation substantiates it. He claimed that as an old man, he has friends across Nigeria and could not afford to put such a divisive statement in a letter to the minister. With Maduekwe refusing to speak about the issue, Saharareporters has not been able to confirm the existence of the letter officially. Our inquiries from one of the Thisday writers of the story did not yield any results: we were directed to speak with the Thisday Saturday editor in Lagos who is supposedly in possession of the letter that is now the subject of an intense ethnic and political debate.

Further investigations by Saharareporters show that although the Minister for Foreign affairs may be using ethnicity to make his point in getting Rotimi recalled, he not exactly a respecter of people of his ethnic origin. Only last year, in a fit of anger, he wrote several letters in which he deployed and redeployed Nigeria's female Charge d'Affaires in Ethiopia, Mrs. Chigozie F. Obi-Nnadozie. He eventually sent her off to Trinidad and Tobago.

Also a US-based Professor, Mobolaji Aluko, told Saharareporters that the minister, while he campaigned for former dictator Sanni Abacha to transmute into a civilian president in 1998, told him that they will have to solve the "Yoruba problem" Chigozie F. Obi-Nnadozie


Aluko said he still has Maduekwe's "final solution to the Yoruba problem in Nigeria" ringing in his ears since 1998. "Tell him that I said so, and ask him whether I did not confront him with it right there in New York at the Council of Foreign Relations". Abacha died soon after those events and Maduekwe moved to the new power brokers. His search for strong authority brought him to the top of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2007.

Sources say Madukwe may have resented Ambassador Rotimi from the beginning because it was Obasanjo who nominated the ambassador as the former president was reconciling with his successor last year after a prolonged period of frosty relations. Yar'adua's supporters however became concerned that Washington DC was too sensitive to be left in the hands of Obasanjo and his men. As a result, the ambassador was left in the cold over official diplomatic activities and his deputy, Ambassador Wakili, dealt directly with Maduekwe and the presidency.

General Rotimi, Saharareporters learnt, resented having to follow the minister around, on account of his advanced age, especially as Maduekwe has a taste for frequent and prolonged trips to the US. "The minister was notorious for spending weeks in the US just roaming around", a source in the Nigerian embassy told Saharareporters. During the United Nations General Assembly and the recently concluded inauguration of President Obama, Maduekwe spent several days in the US doing nothing in particular. As Nigeria's representative to the General Assembly, he was not allowed to make his presentation until almost everyone had left; even then, it was merely to read the speech of Yar'adua, who could not attend on account of his failing health.

SaharaReporters also learnt that the Federal government sent two delegations to the Obama inauguration from Abuja even though no invitation had been sent to Abuja. Chief Emeka Anyaoku led one delegation while Minister Maduekwe led yet another. Ambassador Rotimi ran into trouble with Maduekwe when he requested that the two teams be merged together for managerial and reception reasons. Maduekwe, who is known to be a highly-egotistical man, refused all entreaties to accept that the older, more experienced Chief Anyaoku lead the two teams. He was also enraged by the refusal of the ambassador to surrender his inauguration tickets to him so that he could lead the Nigerian delegation to the inauguration. But this could not be done because the US Secret Service in Washington D.C. would not substitute or permit an uninvited Foreign Minister in place of an accredited Ambassador.

Both Maduekwe and General Rotimi are close to former president Obasanjo, but as things fell apart between the duo, Maduekwe is said to have portrayed to Yar'adua that General Rotimi is still loyal to the former president as Rotimi had visited Obasanjo while the latter while Obasanjo was at the UN to present his report on the peace mission in the Congo. Coincidentally, Maduekwe himself also met with Obasanjo extensively and reportedly bad-mouthed Yar'adua to Obasanjo, telling the former president that Yar'adua arrives at Federal Executive Meetings (FEC) seated before everyone and doesn't move or speak as such, underscoring the gravity of his sickness.

Saharareporters sources said Yar'adua will likely approve a statement by next week recalling Oluwole, since his hands have now been forced.

Anonymous said...

This article obviously shows that Oluwole Rotimi(if proven)is not the only Tribalist here. T

The author of this article also needs to free his mind of his biased and highly tribalistic reasoning.SLOK air?? Please!!for Gods sake a company financed by a man that plundered his states resources to finance his private airline but i guess considering he's igbo it is excusable? Importation and exportation? of what exactly? Importation of 20 yr old fridges???
Why no mention of the fact that Obasanjo appointed the Soludos, Iwealas,Akinyuli,Ezekwilisi and even Madweke e.t.c

What a pathetic view of issues!!!

Anonymous said...

Amb Oluwole Recall Now Confirmed as Sources Release snippets of the "Toxic Memo" on Biafra
Monday, 16 February 2009 12:31 Saharareporters, New York
Nigeria Ambassador to the US, General Oluwole Rotimi (Rtd)
Saharareporters has obtained confirmation of the “toxic “memo from Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Rotimi Oluwole, to the Minister for Foreign affairs, Ojo Maduekwe, which has ruptured relations between both men, and led to the sacking of the ambassador. We can also confirm that the Yar'Adua government has completed the recall of Ambassador Oluwole.

A reliable source released snippets of the Memo from General Oluwole Rotimi (rtd) to Ojo Maduekwe as follows:
"I consider your remarks unwarranted, malicious and untruthful by portraying me as an inept Head of Mission. In all my years of service to Nigeria, I have never been so comprehensively condemned, assaulted and disgraced as demonstrated in your letter. During the Nigeria/Civil war, I served as Quartermaster-General of the Nigerian Army under General Yakubu Gowon and organized the logistic support leading to the comprehensive defeat and surrender of 'Biafran Army' - a ragtag Army of rebels!"

This outburst was apparently in response to a Memo from Maduekwe to Yar'Adua in which the Foreign Minister explored some communications between himself and General Rotimi, including the use of the "rag tag" expression:


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"The correspondences between me, as your Minister, and Ambassador Oluwole Rotimi, as your envoy, speak for themselves. The background, Mr. President, is that following the Ambassador's persistent lack of communication with the Ministry, the capacity of my office to provide the necessary leadership in the conduct of our foreign policy in the world's most powerful capital was being undermined.

“That led to the correspondences in question. His response, even as documented in his own hand, exceeds mere insubordination. His memos to me drip with a fundamental contempt for my person and office. The innuendoes and direct insults are so clear that I refrain from dignifying them with contempt."

General Rotimi’s response seems to have been ticked off by a letter written by Maduekwe asking that Ambassador Oluwole Rotimi provide him, in connection with Obama's historic election, with "incisive, unbiased and objective analysis of the unfolding political development in your country of accreditation."
In the body of the letter, Mr. Maduekwe seemed to question the ambassador’s abilities: "I am aware that your mission has a corps of high-ranking and experienced officers whose potentials appear not to have been fully harnessed in this regard.”
Furthermore, the letter was undiplomatically copied to Rotimi's deputy, Ambassador Wakili. That move and the jibes about officers whose potentials were not being “fully harnessed" under Ambassador Oluwole, as well as the suggestion of previous “biased” and unprofessional analyzes from him seemed to have ticked off the former soldier.

Again SaharaReporters reached out to both men, while Ambassador Oluwole insisted that he was yet to receive his recall letter, we read the snippets of the memo to him asking him to confirm if he wrote such a memo to the minister. He did not confirm or deny it. When we contacted the foreign affairs minister,-Ojo Maduekwe- he claimed that he was at a meeting and directed our reporters to speak with the headquarters of the foreign affairs ministry

Anonymous said...

Ministry recalls Nigerian ambassador to US
By Olayinka Oyebode, Oluwole Josiah and Waheed Bakare
Published: Tuesday, 17 Feb 2009
The Federal Government on Monday formally recalled the country‘s ambassador to the United States of America, Brig.-Gen. Oluwole Rotimi (rtd).

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Brig.-Gen. Oluwole Rotimi (rtd)

Rotimi was given up till March 31, 2009 to fully comply with the recall order and return home.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which was made available to our correspondents on Monday did not state the reason for the recall.

It said, “The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Umaru Musa Yar‘Adua, has approved the definite recall of Brig.-Gen. Oluwole Rotimi (rtd.) as Nigeria‘s Ambassador extra-ordinary and plenipotentiary to the United States of America.

”Accordingly, Ambassador Rotimi has been advised to wind-up his affairs and formally take leave of his hosts in keeping with diplomatic practice.

“He is to return home not later than 31st March, 2009.”

Although officials of the ministry were not forthcoming on the reasons for Rotimi‘s removal, indications at the ministry pointed to a protracted conflict between the minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe and the ambassador as the major reason.

The conflict was said to have started from disagreements over the operations of the mission in what seemed to be Maduekwe‘s strict supervision of the mission in the United States.

The minister had told the ambassadors during their induction retreat in Obudu, Cross River State, just before their posting that they must adhere to due process of diplomatic operations for proper monitoring and effective discharge of Nigeria‘s foreign policy.

Maduekwe was reported to have argued that although the ambassadors were appointed by the President, protocol demanded that communication between their missions and the country be rooted through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It was also his position that the ambassadors were answerable to the President through the ministry, and warned that the practice of always writing memos directly to the President would not be tolerated.

It was, however, gathered that the trouble between the minister and Rotimi was more of an ego war between the two of them.

Maduekwe, our correspondents learnt, complained about the ambassador’s alleged insubordination before President Yar‘Adua and recommended that he be recalled.

Efforts by our correspondents to get ministry officials to speak on the development were unsuccessful.

Spokesman of the Ministry, Mr. Ayo Olukanmi, said he would not comment on the matter beyond what had been stated officially.

He said, ”I cannot say anything about it now, I must tell you I am not in a position to tell you anything. In fact, I don‘t know anything about it. I read it the way you read it.”

Special Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on Media, Ms. Sarah Sanda, could also not confirm the report of the conflict between the ambassador and the minister, saying she had been on vacation since December.

Chief Press Secretary to the Minister, Mrs. Boade Akiola, said she had also just returned from her annual vacation and was not aware of the controversy in the ministry for the past months.

It could also not be confirmed if the envoy had received the letter recalling him back to the country as our correspondents were informed that being a public holiday in the US, Rotimi would not be at his table on Monday.

A former Ambassador to The Netherlands and Togo, Mr. Aderemi Esan, however, said that a personality clash between a supervisory minister and a serving ambassador might not be sufficient grounds for recall.

Although, Esan was yet to have details of the issues involved, he, however, said he did not expect that the President would recall an ambassador, because of a clash with the minister.

He explained that the most fundamental reason that could lead to the recall of an ambassador is if there was a disagreement between the Ambassador and the headquarters (foreign affairs ministry).

He said that the most fundamental factor that is usually considered is whether the country‘s foreign policy could be conducted effectively, as a result of the development, adding that once it was realised that the country‘s foreign policy could not be effectively conducted through the ambassador, then he would be recalled based on the authority of the President.

He said, “The issue is: will the Ambassador be able to perform his duty as head of that mission? If he is seen to be incapable of doing that, the headquarters will take a decision on the authority of the President.”

He, however, said that if the issue was about interference in the running of the mission, as reported in the media, then Rotimi had reasons to feel resented.

Citing the reported exchanges between the minister and Ambassador Rotimi, which was reportedly copied to the deputy, the ex-envoy said that so many things might have been done in ignorance, adding that the diplomatic service was no longer what it used to be.

Stressing that the headquarters could recall an ambassador on the authority of the President, Esan recollected the recall of a former ambassador in the 1970s, who, according to him, was fired because of his complicity in the illegal importation of cement from his country of accreditation.

He said, the ambassador, Ahmadu Sukah, was not only recalled, but was also eased out of service.

Anonymous said...

Ambassador Oluwole's Reckless Statements
Thursday, 19 February 2009 16:48 Chux Obianwu
The statement attributed to Brig.Gen. Oluwole Rotimi (rtd) is the sort of statements Nigerians make everyday in relation to power. You hear things like “do you know me”, “who are you”, “I am not your rank”, and “whose is your mate”. The joke is that in Nigeria identical twins are not even mates. In London, you hear Nigerians always saying “wait till we get to Lagos, “that London is a leveller but Lagos is a sorter”. Ironically that statement is being made because of the “level” nature of London and you equally wonder if Lagos sorts the men out from the boys, what are they still doing in London? They don’t wonder that this level playing field is one of the reasons why things are more successful in London.

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Power is the all in Nigeria so much so everybody believes he/she has someone up there who will always give them what they want. At the end rules, regulations or procedures are either broken or not followed which brings total confusion or standstill in the society. Nigerians are so on an ego trip no wonder they never arrive anywhere, even the late Fela Kuti sang so much about this in his songs. Even Nigeria as an entity believes it is the most powerful country in African even if it can’t feed the citizens.

The statement attributed to Brig.Gen. Oluwole Rotimi saying “he was the Adjutant -General of the Nigerian army that defeated your ragtag Biafran army”, shows the army is made up of illiterate and semi- illiterate personnel. You may have the military might or tactics but you still need intelligence. It is even more surprising, as an Ambassador you expect Rotimi to use more diplomatic language but no the “power show” always take over

In the scheme off things in the present world people should think before making statements which are sensitive in nature. People have been sacked or forced to resign in the developed world when they make racial, religious or ethnical statements which may technically be right but very sensitive in nature. Brig.Gen. Rotimi (rtd) making that statement was not just about tribal or ethnic sensitivities, it was first and foremost more about I am “more powerful/have more ego than you foreign Minister” You now wonder why people in authority and power in Nigeria never want to give it up.

God bless the most “POWERFUL” nation in Africa

Anonymous said...

How Obama’s inauguration led to recall of Ambassador Rotimi
By Simon Utebor with agency report
Published: Friday, 20 Feb 2009
Indications emerged on Thursday that the clash between Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe and the Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Brig-Gen. Oluwole Rotimi (rtd), was a fallout of the January 20 inauguration of the United States President, Mr. Barack Obama.

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Brig.-Gen. Oluwole Rotimi (rtd)

Empowered Newswire sources said the inability of Maduekwe to get an accreditation to the Obama inauguration for the event, might have been the last straw.

US White House and State Department protocol officers had reportedly issued the Obama inauguration accreditation to only the resident ambassadors or diplomats who were the chiefs of missions.

The officers insisted that such accreditation could not be transferred to any other top government official from their home countries.

In the case of Nigeria, sources indicated that Maduekwe had expected to be the one to take the Nigerian accreditation, since he was in town, but embassy officials were said to have insisted that the regulations did not permit such a transfer.

But one of the US officials who spoke with Empowered Newswire, said it was not only Nigerian diplomats that had this problem since many government dignitaries from Europe also wanted to have such transfers.

There was no apparent confirmation of this last night.

But Rotimi has reacted to the controversy over his recall.

In a statement made available to our correspondent, Rotimi said that he did not call Madueke a tribalist as alleged in one of the accounts of the spat

He also said that the reference to the defeat of Biafra was completely taken out of context.

The statement reads in part, “I wish to acknowledge receipt of the message of the Minister of Foreign Affairs conveying the directive of President Umaru Yar’Adua recalling me as his principal representative in the United States of America. I will dutifully comply with this order.

“However, I wish to also seize this opportunity to correct some misconceptions and distortions attributed to Chief Madueke by the media.

“The little snippet of information released to the press stating that in the exchange of correspondence between us, I called him a tribalist is inaccurate. In addition, the reference to the defeat of Biafra was completely taken out of context.

“Moreover, I would like to assure all patriotic Nigerians that I have no intention to cast any aspersion on any ethnic community in Nigeria. I have always believed in and worked for and will continue to work for the unity of Nigeria even when I am not in the public service

“I have had the privilege and honour to serve under distinguished and gallant senior officers of different ethnic backgrounds in my service to the Nigerian Army. In addition, the God Almighty has blessed me with children whose mother is half Igbo and half Yoruba.

“Finally, let me state with all my heart that this distortion is deeply regretted and I honestly apologise to anyone who has felt slighted in any form.”



“God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”














The official noted that the US government made it clear that such dignitaries from the capitals were welcome to celebrate in their own way during the inauguration events even though they were not technically invited to the official inauguration.

While Maduekwe arranged for a special delegation from Nigeria including himself and some other eminent Nigerians like former Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku and former Nigeria Ambassador to the US Prof. George Obiozor, Rotimi had been reluctant to supporting the idea of a delegation in line with the procedure outlined by the US government.

Even US officials acknowledged the potential difficulty that was likely between Ambassadors and their principals since many delegations from other countries wanted to attend the inauguration, especially because the US itself normally sent presidential delegations to such inaugurations.

Anonymous said...

From under what rock does a vile slug of a man like you emanate????Instead of rational commentary all you splurge is bile and hatred!!! Why don't u get away from the safe confines of your desk and computer and come and start again the "heroic struggle of Biafra" once again? You are obviously a Biafra nationalist and separatist and that is why these (incorrect) statements attributed to the ex ambassador bother u. Just let it go you pathetic weasel of a man. This is exactly why the Ibo's will never get a real sniff of power...because this is what lurks deep down in so many of u.
PS the loss of human life is always regretted in a war situation but AS someone committed to the idea of a united nigeria, I thank god that those who tried to divide our country were roundly dealt with. Rag tag or otherwise THEY WERE REBELS!!!!
Get a life!!!!! u r out of touch with reality. DOWN WITH BIAFRA

Anonymous said...

So Maduekwe is also onye Biafra?
By Ikenna Emewu (e-mail: ikenna@sunnewsonline.com)
Saturday, February 21, 2009
It was drama reading that Elder Ojo Maduekwe, the Foreign Affairs Minister’s rag-tag Biarfran army was roundly defeated by a certain old Adjutant-General of a world class army of Nigeria, 39 years ago.

The valiant general felt he did not do enough damage to Maduekwe’s rag-tag army and wants to stage a second part of the war to finish off Maduekwe. That is the new shape of diplomacy. General Oluwole Rotimi is a good diplomat. He understands the rules of ultima ratio regem in diplomacy. Don’t mind the jawbreaker, it simply means the ultimate powers of the sovereign to levy war. He is a general now in diplomatic mission. The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary used his powers fully to re-enact the old war and deal a final blow on the rag-tag army. The word of the head of a mission is a decree, therefore Gen. Rotimi has routed the rag-tag army once again.

But my surprise is whether Maduekwe is also a Biafran like most of us. Years back, Maduekwe called all Igbo, his people supposedly, idiots. But with his adroitness in grammar (remember his Abacha-must-stay address in Abuja many years ago) he later explained to us that the actual word he used was ‘idiotic’ and not ‘idiot’ as we misquoted him. Accepted. That does not mean Maduekwe apologized to Igbo for that slip, if it was. But it helped many Igbo to place him on a special class.

I also read Segun Adeniyi (now the Media chief for Mr. President) in Thisday sometime ago say that if there is anything he and an Igbo man wants and Maduekwe is the custodian of the item he doubts if the Igboman would get it before him. Adeniyi made that comment to illustrate that Maduekwe was not a tribalist as Rotimi alleges now. But that is still not the issue. Yet to the extent of purging Maduekwe of the ‘tribalist’ stigma the reference is apt.
On a wider note, I and maybe other Igbo brothers can’t remember seeing the Honourable minister in either Ohanaeze, Abia State or his town union gathering to depict his Igboness. The Maduekwe most of us know has always been a sort of Igbo by birth and not strictly through affiliation, and I can’t hear of any Igbo cause Maduekwe ever fought. So, is he also onye Biafra?

The Sun Daily Editor, Mr. Steve Nwosu admonished Adolph Wabara when he was Senate President that one can only be a good Nigerian after being a good member of his ethnic group. That was when Wabara was touting all these ‘detribalised Nigerian’ stuff.

I so admonish Maduekwe that he can now see that no quantity of water and soap can wash off the Igbo mark on him, no matter his efforts at the ‘good nationalist’ target. Honestly, I never believed anyone could quickly and easily align Maduekwe with the Igbo identity. What I have next to tell him is what my mother used to tell me as a child that ‘if you say the shadow is not a spirit, catch it and let’s see’. If you think it is easy to tear off your identity, do it and let us see how possible.
I heard sometime that the problem of Dr. Nnamdi Ozobia, formerly of Nigerdock started when he and others attended a meeting of Igbo professionals somewhere.

During the discussions, Ozobia and the rest were infuriated about the way Obasanjo treated Nd’Igbo with disdain, and someone among them tape-recorded it and played it to Obasanjo to curry his favour to get political appointment. Don’t ask me the name of the person. But I know the person is among those that deny their Igbo identity. But this rag-tag Biafra army talk is a lesson to them.

General Rotimi should be understood for his comments. He was adjutant general over 40 years ago in the army. He was also General Obasanjo’s senior in the setting. I leave it to your guess what his age should be by now, and if he should still be the type of person that would be sent abroad to represent this nation that has got people of post-civil war birth who are already experts in diplomacy.

The General is Obasanjo’s good friend, and Obasanjo it was that visited Canada as Nigeria’s president years back. He was asked a question by a Nigerian when Nigerians hosted him on whether he actually said that Igbo are defeated people and should not complain of how they are maltreated. Obasanjo answered, according to media reports that: “You (the man that asked the question) and whoever told you that can go to hell”. That was his explanation. And the meaning is ‘ I don’t care how I talk about you because you (Igbo) don’t matter’.

My next pain is that General Rotimi who advised me and other media people sometime ago in early 2000s at Onikan to be careful what we write in order not to cause disaffection could scribble that and send to his good Nigerian (sorry Biafran) friend, Maduekwe. When Rotimi headed a presidential panel on federal government landed property I reported the proceedings for Thisday Newspaper as Judicial Correspondent when it sat in Lagos. A day came at the panel when a certain report caused fury at the sitting. Someone came complaining that the report (not mine) was offensive, and Rotimi, the panel head literally stood all reporters up to fume and advise later that “we should make sure we write good things that would not cause disaffection but only those that will unite the nation”. Maybe that advice was only for journalists and not retired generals or ambassadors.

Also, I recall that on a day Elder Maduekwe, as Transport Minister, testified at the Justice Pats-Acholonu (late JSC) panel on Martime Workers Union (MWUN) disturbances, Maduekwe told the jurist and the panel as a witness at Lagos (former NASS premises) that the problem with Nigeria is that mediocres are appointed to public offices. I reported the sitting and witnessed the dialogue.

Acholonu asked him that day: “is it now or in the past?” And he insisted “even now My Lord”. Who knows if the problem of mediocrity hinted by Maduekwe in public places caused this bullish digression from a diplomatic row into tribalism and the gallantry of a general over a rag-tag army from Biafra.

Anonymous said...

SARAH SANDA OF NTA, USED TO BE MY BEAUTIFUL QUEEN!
I wondered what became of Sarah Sanda of NTA News, Victoria Island, Lagos. She was the most beautiful and cheerful lady to behold my eye sight. Simply put, I love her very much! She had a friend Rose Audu, another beautiful gemstone, We all hung out together in porta-cabins 16 & 17, wonderful memories