Good Night, Patricia Etteh

By Adeola Aderounmu.

There is absolutely no reason to cry for being deposed as the Speaker of the House of assembly. Life itself is a passage while power is transient. Nothing last forever! Nothing!

To have dragged on for this long was unnecessary in the first place. Nigeria lost a medical doctor in the ugly scenarios that accompanied the tug of war in the dishonorable house. The death of Aminu Safana was a sacrifice too big for the process that requires only a simple removal of an erring officer. There are serious lessons to be learnt.  

A word to Segun Adeniyi and Yar Adua: please can you guys shut up and stop embarrassing Nigerians further with you press releases. How on earth can you describe the resignation of Patricia Etteh as voluntary? 

The process that led to the exit of Patricia was tumultuous and it claimed a life. She was forced to resign, the other dead end option was to be impeached. Yet Yar Adua through Segun Adeniyi can still tell us to our face that such a resignation was voluntary. Are you guys alright? Nonsense!   

Goodnight Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, think about your errors and learn from them. Think about what you can do to make Nigeria a better place. SOMETIMES, the best efforts are made from ordinary positions. Being in the spotlight is not a prerequisite for performance. 

This experience should shape the rest of your life which I expect you to dedicate positively to humanity.  

AND TO Nigerians, let’s add this event to one of the corners of our turning points…I see it coming. It’s our GLORY

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By the way Patricia, maybe you will be prosecuted, who knows. I hope 628 million can fetch you the best liars in town.

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Do 59 000 Nigerian women die annually from maternity-related problems?

By Adeola Aderounmu.

A recent report in the Nigerian Guardian (23/10/2007) revealed that the Minister of Health, Prof. Adenike Grange promised free Medicare for children and pregnant women. She pointed out that some states in Nigeria are doing that already. These two related declarations are absolutely welcomed developments. To those who do not know, a pregnant woman will become sick more easily than a non-pregnant woman and that is not because she is lazy. The simplest reason is because her immunity is now compromised (not as efficient as when she wasn’t pregnant). The immune system of a pregnant woman is saddled with the protection of more than one person. A new baby on the other hand will possess an immune system that is immature and hence can be easily weighed down by different kinds of infections. It takes time before babies develop acquired immunity which coupled with the natural (inherited immunity) can confer some degree of protection against common diseases and infections. There are quite a number of factors which will affect the maturation or development of acquired immunity. When babies are overwhelmed by infections or diseases, they could succumb and give up the ghosts.

 From the foregoing therefore, it would seem very appropriate to place premium emphasis on the care of these categories of people amongst us. My past experience in malaria research opened my eyes to the un-abating trend in the death of children due to malaria, respiratory diseases and other kinds of infections, many of which are preventable or curable. For so many years now, the introductory expression in any malaria research manuscripts or published papers have read something close to or exactly like this: An estimated 300-500 million cases each year cause 1.5 to 2.7 million deaths globally of which more than 90% are in children under 5 years of age in Africa (some use sub-Saharan Africa). The population of Nigeria shifts the bulk of these deaths to our doorsteps. In addition, my MSC thesis from 1999 revealed that probably up to 65% of Nigeria’s general population experience at least one attack of malaria each year. The estimated results were based on statistical analyses of data obtained from LUTH. I am also aware that we have a number of disturbing intestinal and respiratory infections with alarming statistics on the effects on babies and children. To include the effects of HIV in the list adds to the distress.

The pronouncement credited to the honorable Minister that it is possible to make free medical care available for pregnant mothers and children under five years of age is not new to us in Nigeria. Prof. Grange went further to pledge reduction of maternal mortality and reduction of diseases burden on Nigerians. The prevailing maternity mortality in Nigeria today reveals the overall deficiency that laden the successful deliverance of health services in Nigeria. If we go by the recent report on maternal mortality released jointly by the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA (United Nation Population Fund) and the World Bank, then the statement by the honorable minister was good timing. For 2005 only in Nigeria, up to 59 000 women may have died nationwide in cases related to maternity. One of out every 18 deliveries carries the risk of death and a whooping 1 100 deaths were estimated from 100 000 live births. This is huge and alarming if the parameters used at arriving at these estimates are dependable. Nigeria was conspicuously missing from the list of countries with good death registration and good attribution of cause of death. Hence, the report on Nigeria and other countries in Group H (the last group) were simply formulated. The republic of Ireland which recorded only one maternal death from 100 000 live births in 2005 is in group A. There were 58 other countries among those who kept National records on maternal health. Sweden recorded just 3 maternal deaths per 100 000 in 2002, the United States had 11 per 100 000 in 2003 while the United Kingdom recorded 8 deaths per 100 000 in 2004. Here are figures that Nigeria’s Millennium Development Goals should be aiming at; after all human lives ought to have equal values.  

The implication of our present shortcomings in the health sector is that the success of our health ministry will (like most other things in Nigeria) depends on everlasting standard procedures that will define the workings of the health department as an institution and not as a minister-dependent organ.  Prof. Grange may not the Minister of Health next year or in 4 years but there ought to be procedures that will ensure that a serving or a new minister does not start all over from the scratch every New Year. Obviously, there should be room for new ideas and innovativeness but continuity to reach certain goals such as MDG on Health should be standard. When Ministers come in every other year and make the same old pronouncements (like we are starters), then one can detect that we have simply been toying not only with the health of the vulnerable groups mentioned above but also with that of the elderly and the rest of us as well.

Nigeria has actually reached that point when words must be translated into non-stop actions without delays and not just some documented events. In this country, there are a lot of scientific and medical research reports that are wasting away. Many of these reports are awashed with blueprints on eradication of medically important diseases. No one is opening the books or database. Perhaps things are just been done shabbily or half-heartedly. That would explain why despite the popularity of interventions like RBM (Roll Back Malaria) which took off in Abuja on April 25th 2000; the reports on reduction of malaria morbidity and mortality are still indicating slow progress. So much that the documented incidence of malaria in 2003 was higher than in 1990! There should be more and more of government funding for research and development. It is time we took our health issues more seriously. After surviving all these deadly childhood diseases, isn’t it appalling that life expectancy in Nigeria is still estimated to be less than 50 years? Nigeria must look inwards and purposefully too.

Let us begin to apply our medical research results with our peculiarities in mind so that we can make giant strides in the health industry. The ministry of health must enforce national objectives that will remove the obstacles hindering the eradication of polio in Nigeria. That particular problem should be given a permanent solution once and for all. Polio is one disease we must put behind us this year by taking care of the cultural and religious hindrances attached to it. The other states of the federation that have not started implementing free medical care for children and pregnant women should be ordered to do so as soon as possible. The health insurance scheme should also cater for pensioners and old people in general so that they can also have access to cost-free or subsidized health care. For everyone, the cost of receiving excellent health care should be affordable. Public and private Health institutions at various levels (Federal, states, local and community) should be upgraded and standardized forthwith in order to meet the challenges of an ever growing population and the diversities of our health problems. The continuous public health education or enlightenment of the citizenry and the significance of family planning in all of these scenarios cannot be overemphasized. The importance of health is huge: a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.  

aderounmu@gmail.com__________________________________________________________________________

Adeola Aderounmu is a Medical Parasitologist and author of the book: The Entrapment of a Nation (http://www.bokmaskinen.se/index.php?page=2&link=2&view=1149) 

Patience Jonathan: Nigeria’s Most Powerful Woman

By Sonala Olumhense.

ON September 11, 2006, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seized $13.5 million dollars (US) from Mrs. Patience Jonathan, the wife of then Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan.

The International Herald Tribune quoted the EFCC spokesman, Mr. Osita Nwajah, as saying that the seizure was made after Mrs. Jonathan had allegedly laundered the money through an associate.

It was the second time in one month Mrs. Jonathan was hitting the scandal headlines. In August, the EFCC had obtained a court order to temporarily freeze N104 million she had allegedly tried to launder through one Mrs. Nancy Ebere Nwosu. The EFCC said it had reason to believe the seized funds belonged to the public. In a sworn statement, Mrs. Nwosu implicated Patience Jonathan, the EFCC said.

But remember, her husband was the Bayelsa State Governor at the time. And Mr. Jonathan’s government dashed to the defence of the First Lady of Bayelsa, alleging that the reports were part of a “plot to destabilize” the state. Government spokesmen were falling over each other to speak for Mrs. Jonathan. The Governor’s spokesman, Dennis Sami, described the allegations as a “charade,” the target of which was the Governor.

“We are aware that the said Nancy Ebere Nwosu is a very remote relation of Her Excellency who has lived abroad for several years,” Mr. Sami said. “She is a successful businesswoman of no little means whose business concerns do not involve Mrs. Jonathan.”

Mrs. Jonathan’s spokesman, Kenneth Ekpelu, fired an e-mail to Vanguard newspaper in which she spoke of “her husband’s opponents who strangely perceive her as the soft spot in his political armour and won’t stop hammering away at her until their decisions to oust him from office are met.”

It is funny how these canned money-laundering defenses sound alike. Didn’t former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s United States lawyer, Mr. Kunle Fagbenle, say last November that Andy Uba – who used part of some funds laundered by means of the executive jet (allegedly without Obasanjo’s permission) to shop for Obasanjo’s farms – could not be accused of money-laundering because Mr. Uba was “already a rich man”? And did not Obasanjo say the Uba scandal was only a “calculated attempt” to ruin his name?

Anyhow, despite the massive protestations of Governor Jonathan, the EFCC pressed ahead. On August 22, 2006, Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja authorized the freezing of the N104 million “pending the conclusion of the investigation of the activities of the said persons in connection with their involvement in the acts of money laundering and other economic and financial crimes related offences.”

And then, barely three weeks later, Mrs. Jonathan was in the news again, reportedly being separated from an astounding $13.5 million in US dollars. She must have been one angry woman. But all that was one year ago.

Since then, the Jonathans have moved up in the world. They have left the relative squalor and poverty of a mere state governorship for the Vice-President’s estate. They have left the petty limitations of Bayelsa for the limitless expanse of Abuja. Only one man now speaks before Mr. Jonathan does.

Yes, Mr. Jonathan is the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the second most powerful man in the country. He is also the man President Yar’Adua is trusting with the challenge of the Niger Delta, where billions of dollars are expected to be spent over the next few years.

He has also been talking about democracy, corruption, the rule of law, and development. Just over a week ago, at the All-Delta Peoples Conference in the United States, Mr. Jonathan disclosed that President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had authorised the release of all funds due the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). In addition, “Special funds will be provided for special projects in line with the master plan,” he said.

And Mrs. Jonathan has been speaking, too, telling Nigerian women how they can become more fulfilled citizens. Up in the rarefied air of federal authority, you can preach any sermon, even while you have around your neck diamonds and jewels of $13.5 million, and gold bracelets of N104 million.

This is all quite ironic. The Jonathans are living in a dream state. They moved into the governorship in Bayelsa when Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was consumed in a corruption blaze, and into the vice-presidency when the PDP sought someone to balance Umaru Yar’Adua on the PDP presidential ticket.

But they take quite a few scandals with them. Mr. Jonathan left Bayelsa State in a thick cloud of suspicion. Many Bayelsans believed his government had fleeced the treasury. While Mr. Jonathan said upon assumption of office he had inherited a state treasury N25 billion thick, he refused to say what was left there as he vacated office. Bayelsans alleged he had swept the commonwealth clean, and that most public projects were left uncompleted.

Two months after he assumed the vice-presidency, Mr. Jonathan came under severe national pressure to follow the lead of his boss and make his assets declaration public. It took several nerve-wracking weeks of trying to dodge the responsibility, but he finally released the document, which showed the former university lecturer was worth an absolutely unbelievable N295 million. He had only been the Governor for 17 months, and this means he had been growing richer at the rate of close to N17 million per month. Naturally, wink-wink, he did not include his wife in his declaration.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Jonathan…

In its report of last April’s election, the New York based Council on Foreign Relations observed that Patience Jonathan was generally regarded as the “greediest person in Bayelsa State” and a woman of great cruelty. Last June, the Niger Development Monitoring and Corporate Watch (NIDDEMCOW), a local non-governmental organization, asked the EFCC to publish its report on Mrs. Jonathan.

The EFCC has not. This is not particularly strange; the Commission is not in the habit of issuing such reports. But nothing has been heard from the Commission since the flurry of activities of August and September last year. That coincides with the period before Mr. Jonathan emerged Yar’Adua’s running mate.

Apparently, even scandals of that magnitude are no obstacle in Nigeria. Mr. Jonathan got the vice-presidency, and the only man he is answerable to is about to put into his hands, theoretically for the Niger Delta, all the diamonds and gold a man could want.

And his wife? Patience Jonathan apparently hates that kind of snail-pace to fortune. Indicted by the EFCC in only eight months as First Lady on a charge of laundering a few Naira bills, she moved to dollar bills in the millions the following month. That same month, the EFCC report to the Senate called her by name.

Again, this does not seem to matter in Nigeria: weeks later, in October, the Owu Kingdom, President Obasanjo’s people, honoured the Jonathans with chieftaincy titles. In that culture, Obasanjo is the Balogun of Owu; Mr. Jonathan became the Obateru.

If Mrs. Jonathan was thrilled on that day, she must be over the moon today. An EFCC indictment, and yet she can get on any of our presidential jets at any time and drink champagne at State functions.

And how much taller she must be, these days as she stands on the authority of the vice-presidency! From such heights, not only do you dwarf an EFCC, but you also are invincible. What a country!

What I really fail to understand is: If Mrs. Jonathan can so effectively laugh at the so-called war on corruption, does that not make her the First Lady? On what basis does she perform her functions – the recommendations of the EFCC? Why has Mrs. Jonathan assumed the status of untouchable, or is she truly the nation’s most powerful woman?

sonala.olumhense@gmail.com

Culled from the Nigerian Guardian Sunday 28th October 2007

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The rape of a schoolgirl in Ilesa (Guardian Editorial)

This is Osun State Politics:

THE recent report of the abduction and rape of a young schoolgirl by suspected thugs of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ilesa, Osun State, conveys the extent of barbarism and criminality that characterises partisan politics in our land. The young girl was reportedly ravaged by a gang of party thugs. The act is condemnable. Weeks after the incident, it is scandalous that nothing has been done to bring the assailants to book.

The victim, Miss Tosin Ajakaye, a senior secondary school student, apparently a relation of a supporter of the Action Congress (AC), was allegedly abducted and raped in the course of her ordeal because she refused to give false evidence against an opponent of the incumbent PDP government in the state. The girl and other members of the AC in Ilesa were abducted and allegedly taken to the house of a certain PDP chieftain where they were severely tortured and brutalised.

According to Miss Ajakaye who narrated her horrible ordeal to the police on her sickbed at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), where she was being treated, a member of the PDP in Ilesa forcefully entered her residence located in the Isokun area and gagged her. The man subsequently subjected her to torture and rape. She said she could neither resist nor shout because the rapist completely overpowered her.

After debasing her, he blew a whistle and his accomplices emerged from their hideout around the residence and quickly bundled her into a waiting vehicle outside the house. She was then taken to the residence of a PDP chieftain where she met three other AC members who were said to have been tied to the stakes!

 There and then she was stripped naked and her pubic hairs forcefully shaved and forced down her throat. She said that the psychopaths made jest of her and poured dry gin into her private part. When she attempted to shout, they were infuriated and decided to poke her private part with sticks and broken bottle while laughing her to scorn. She said she was released the following day.

There is no doubt that the act as narrated by the victim is odious, shocking and horrifying. It amounts to pathological sadism for supposed human beings to conduct themselves in such savage manner. Certainly, the girl has been traumatised for life and only a methodically administered psychological counseling process would help her recover from the trauma.

When the incident occurred, the State police command quickly swung into action to apprehend the culprits. The police have also declared five other suspects now on the run wanted. We call on the police to spread its dragnet to apprehend all the fleeing rapists. The so-called PDP chieftain in whose house the act was perpetrated should also be arrested and tried.

A situation where party stalwarts run a private police and cells in their homes where their opponents are tortured is detestable. The practice makes nonsense of the principle of democracy and the rule of law. The police should pay extra attention to the activities of party stalwarts and take decisive steps to curtail their excesses.

It is scandalous that PDP supporters are being accused of perpetrating the nefarious act. The PDP supporters in Osun State are apparently taking the laws into their own hands. But this is not really politics; it is madness. The political conflict in Osun State has clearly become dangerous. Life has become brutish in the face of intolerance and bitterness. People are afraid to hold contrary political opinion.

Since the April general elections, Osun State has been turned into a theatre of brigandage. Lives have been lost and property worth millions of naira destroyed. Killing, assassinations and arson have become the order of the day. The situation is unending and is getting out of hand.

The various political parties should call their members to order. The state will not develop in the face of unending political feud. The destruction in the state so far should prick the conscience of all the players so that peace can be given a chance.

 Culled from the Guardian Editorial on Saturday October 27 2007. 

Nigeria’s Hall of Fame Award: 2007 Short List

Famous People From Nigeria By Adeola Aderounmu.

Here, I present the list of the final nominations for the Nigeria’s Hall of Fame for 2007. Indeed, this will serve as an eye opener to those who may be unhappy with this list but who will hopefully, be interested in sending in nominations for the 2008 edition.  

 So, here are the shortlisted candidates-in no special order:

Michael Aondoakaa (Mr. Due-Process). He is the loudest member of the go-slow administration. He has been instrumental in helping as many looters as possible to escape punishments at home and abroad (just to ridicule EFCC selective judgments under Obj) and to prove that he is the CHIEF LAW ENFORCER.

James Ibori. This man has helped Nigerians to save their money in a London bank and he has bought a Bombardier private jet to be used in the Delta Creeks by the poor and rural people of Delta state. Nice guy!

Patricia Olubunmi Etteh (Mrs Due-Process). The first woman in Nigeria to dare the record stealing abilities of the Nigerian men. She has been nice to Nigerians by not living in Sheraton but instead using ordinary 628 million naira to fix 2 houses.

Maurice Iwu (Mr. Wonder).  This man took his precious time off his pharmacological exploits and cure of Ebola to conduct the worst election in human history. The Bush Family should be envious of our own very Iwu-the magician. All hail Iwuruwuru.

Olusegun Obasanjo (Mr. Do-or-die). This man ensured that more than 10 000 Nigerians lost their lives under his watch in clashes related to genocides, politics, ethnic violence and scandalous elections. This man also did the most unthinkable thing in order to help Agricultural Science in Nigeria: he did turnaround maintenance on Operation Feed the Nation resulting in the creation of Obasanjo Farms Nigeria.

Ibrahim Babangida (Mr Bluetooth). This man is a living dictator who institutionalized corruption. He is still helping Nigeria to save more than 10 billion dollars in an invisible account. He is largely invincible to the EFCC and Aondoakaa (the funny Chief Law Enforcer) put together. This unrepentant soldier who truncated democratic processes many times is still trying to rule us again.  

Umar Yar Adua (Baba Go-slow/ Mr. Rule of Law). This man successfully and quietly maintained several thousand PDP Youth on a monthly stipend (N5 000) that was paid with the state government money. He ensured that those youth were involved in violent attacks linked to the 2007 elections. He also accepted the most disgraceful mandate in the history of mankind. Yar Adua is known to be hiding under the shade of the rule of law to back-pedal on the prosecution of corrupt politicians. He is being haunted by his own manner of emergence.

Fani Kayode (Obj’s Errand boy). The former minister of Aviation whose girlfriend, Chioma Anasoh, was caught on June 27th 2007 with $240,000 at Abuja airport. This man is known to say things that are not factual. Cock and bull story teller.

Nuhu Ribadu (Mr. toothless Bulldog). This man made empty promises to prosecute looters and he used the EFCC to deal with the perceived enemies of PDP and antagonists to Obasanjo. He allowed EFCC to nose dive from grace to grass by pursuing yahoo-yahoo boys and allowing the likes of Obasanjo and Ibori to oppress the masses with ill-gotten wealth.

David Mark. The former minister of communications and present speaker in the illegitimate government. This man is known to be supporting Patricia in the scandal that is rocking the lower house. He has refused to declare his assets which Nigerians believed he accumulated from stolen monies (or stolen telephones).

Chris Uba. This illiterate and funny millionaire is a member of the PDP board of trustees. He can hardly read or write but he has a personal police car in his compound. His best asset is his ability to unleash violence and mayhem in the name of godfatherism.

Muhammadu Buhari. This man ensured that his supporters fought with the youth loyal to Yar Adua just two days before the 2007 gubernatorial elections. Buhari is still gallivanting and dancing around even when the drummers have stopped the beat. He is trying to reap for the umpteenth time from democracy which he helped to truncate on a number of occasions. Ridiculous man!

Sunday Ehindero (Mr. Trump-Up suspect). This man tried to deceive the world about the true killers of Bola Ige. What kind of a lawyer is he? He told the Police to use tear gas on demonstrators in May 2007 and he has manoeuvred his way out of the N21 million naira stolen money at the police headquarters.

Jonathan Johnson (Mr. Boy-boy). This police commissioner told the world that there was no violence in Oyo state during the entire electoral period in 2007 except the ballot-box snatching on the days of the actual voting. He is the man under whose watch Adedibu stole ballot boxes to put in his house. Yeparipa!

Christopher Alao-Akala. This man, who was previously on the list EFCC’s disqualified candidates, is a notorious protégé of Adedibu. He reportedly sacked the entire Oyo state workforce (in his dreams) and he agreed to share Oyo state’s treasury with his godfather. He even suggested that Adedibu should be a lecturer of practical (he meant amala) politics at the University of Ibadan.

Goodluck Jonathan. This man was previously on the EFCC list of unfit candidates yet he found his way illegally to the number 2 spot in Nigeria. He falsified an asset declaration worth far less than the raw cash that his wife tie around her waist around the world. He is taking Nigerians for muguns.

Bode George. This man has either escaped or is awaiting trial on the allegation of corruption under his watch as the head of the Ports Authority. He is still using his position in PDP to spread violence, tsunami (in his own word) and calumny around the country.

Dipreye Alamieyeseigha. This man stole so much money, yet all he got was a pat on the back instead of a jail term that will correlate with the spread of poverty in the Niger Delta. Dipreye should be commended for his feminine adaptive or evolutionary features.

Lamidi Adedibu, (Alhaji Agbaya). This man is currently using the PDP’s machinery to recruit gangs that sowed terror on the streets of Ibadan and other cities but he has been doing similar things since the 1950s.  He is said to have tremendous ability to mobilize violence and money in support of the politicians he sponsors and for distributing cash and food to supplicants on a daily basis from his Ibadan home, a brand of patronage called Amala politics.

Rashidi Ladoja.  A former godson of Adedibu who relied on NURTW thugs led by Tawa since he doubted the police led by Commissioner Jonathan Johnson would intervene effectively to protect him from Adedibu’s own thugs.

Tokyo, real name-Lateef Akinsola (Ogbologbo area boy). This man is the leader of the Pro-Adedibu faction of the NURTW. He spent more than 2½ years in jail yet he returned under Akala’s watch to unleash terror on the streets of Ibadan.

Tawa, real name-Wasilu Adegboyega. He is a rival to Tokyo and was backed by Ladoja to usurp Tokyo’s role.  

Ahmadu Ali.  PDP chairman who in 2006 called Adedibu the commander of the PDP garrison in Oyo State. He castigated Ladoja for accepting the job of Governor when he knew he was not willing to take orders from Adedibu. Ali is a staunch supporter of Etteh in the looting wahala at the house of assembly and he has threatened to sponsor the recall of any PDP member in the house who fails to support the woman who makes his hair.

Tony Nwoye. Anambra state’s PDP chairman who was installed by Andy Uba. He was a former student union leader and a prominent member of the Black Axe cult. He recruited thugs to ensure Andy Uba’s victory in the PDP primary in December 2006. Under Nwoye, PDP became a cult affair.

Chris Ngige. Anambra’s version of the madness in Oyo. He was disqualified by INEC in the 2007 elections.

Andy Uba. This man was seen too close to Obasanjo’s armpit and therefore untouchable. He used his capacity to mobilize violence to stifle all oppositions to his eventual election. He received the presidency’s political support for his bid for the governorship of Anambra state despite his implication in corrupt activities. He ensured by all means that the governorship elections were meticulously rigged in his favour

Ateke Tom of Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV). He is the leader of a gang that has been at the forefront of violent crimes and militant activity. He has been involved in murders and bank robberies well before 2007. He showed great power by attacking 2 police stations before the elections of 2007 in PH. He murdered several officers and burnt the police stations to the ground.

Peter Odili. This man sponsored armed groups that plunged Rivers into a lasting state of chaos. Peter Odili paid gang leaders and numerous other cults between N3 million and N10 million each to disrupt the election in his favour in 2003 and 2007. He promised Tom Ateke and his boys cash and jobs in great quantities in 2003 as they helped him to power. Odili has consistently denied any relationship with Ateke or Asari. Yet, it is widely believed that Odili’s administration sponsored Ateke Tom in a failed and bloody attempt to crush Asari’s group after the latter fell out of grace.

Saboma George. A prominent militant whose gang members murdered armed group leader Price Igodo and as many as a dozen others in 2007. Saboma and his outlaws’ gang were reportedly hired by the PDP to help rig the 2007 elections in Rivers.

Celestine Omehia. Governor of Rivers state who may have sponsored Saboma George’s gang. The governorship elections were meticulously rigged in his favour. This man announced a plan to award payments of N1 million each to any youths in armed groups who agree to renounce violence

Yaki Sakin Bello. Commander of the Nigerian military’s Joint Task Force (JTF) that intervened in the chaos in PH. He led the bloody battle against the gangs in PH in August 2007.

Hassan Douglas. Chairman of the Rivers State Niger Delta Peace and Crises Resolution Committee who said that Omehia’s N1 million idea has already brought peace to Rivers State. His words: No panic, no more militias, no more hostage taking. No more fighting in any part of Rivers! Weeks later, PH was engulfed in the violent chaos that brought in the JTF.

Kalare Boys (cheape-cheape). Easy prey for politicians who offer them small amount of money, drugs, alcohol and weapons in exchange for engaging in acts of intimidation and assault or simply to accompany their campaigns in a demonstration of muscle. The price of machetes went up in Gombe during the elections because of these scalar quantities called kalare.

Abubakar Hashidu (James Bond). The former state governor and DPP Gubernatorial candidate of Gombe state who was arrested for inciting a public disturbance after his supporters allegedly rampaged through the streets of Gombe town, looting and burning buildings. When a magistrate ordered that Hashidu be remanded to prison, Kalare thugs disrupted the proceedings of the court and freed him from the dock. They attacked and wounded the magistrates with machetes in the process.  Hashidu was never re-arrested.

Muhammed Danjuma Goje. Governor of Gombe state who won 985, 000 out of the 1, 083, 862 votes reportedly cast in Iwu’s election. He told his disgruntled opponents to understand that they cannot go against the wish of God; that they should accept the results of the elections.

Abu Ma’azu. The PDP leader in Gombe who thanked God that the PDP had more boys than in the opposition. The PDP’s edge in terms of kalare recruitment was due largely to the fact that the ruling party had more resources to spend on hiring them. Maazu extorts regular payment (N500, 000/month) from the 11 local government chairmen in the state for protection services provided by Kalare, who are members of the PDP youth organization.Thank you for going through the long list of candidates. Only 10 of these people will appear at the Gala Night. Please send in your final voting as soon as possible. Back up your nominations with appropriate reasons aside what has been written here. The finalists will only be announced here on the village square! That’s a promise!

Acknowledgement: some of the information used here are readily available in the Human Rights Watch Report on Nigeria, 2007.

Related Awards: Waffy Waffarian Awards 2007

Selected Responses from village square,

http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/guest-articles/nigeria-s-hall-of-fame-award-2007-short.html

Ezyvic wrote: I will not attend this gala if ‘Mr. Fix it’, Chief Tony Anenieh is not included in the list, not after all his honorable contribution to ensure that as the Board of Trustee chairman, everyone got the right ‘fix’ to win the election. He then went on to submit in a most distinguished/extinguished manner to OBJ in a palace coup. He should be a nominee, even if he does not because I know most of the governors (ex and current) are still very loyal to him, and the man is ‘fixing’ a game plan to remain not just relevant, but control the base of selection of candidates into office, the PDP. My list of top 10 nominees and of course, why (as requested), will be sent in, in subsequent…..  

Mikky Jaga wrote:looks like the list of who is who in Nigeria. If they are all as they are described above, little wonder Nigeria is not making any progress. Every society has the good, the bad and the ugly. What separates them is the ability of the progressing society to ensure only the good ascend to position of power while tucking the bad away from public position. But in Nigeria, all the dregs of the society are thrown up to soil the political landscape. Which means there is no role model for our youths to emulate. Shame.  

Okenikpoto wrote:This is actually a list of the bad, the ugly, the thugs and the thieves putting wrought iron in the wheels of progress of this nation called Nigeria, suffice to say that Naija would be better without these recycled hangovers. Otumba Deola, I have an idea of the Title for the Award: Nigeria’s Hall of Shame nominees.   

Alorianiddevi wrote: Please Correct this FACT: Tony Nwoye has not, was not, is not and will never be a member of the Neo-black Movement of Africa, a.k.a Black AXE. While we were in school, Tony was the most despised and hated student union activist by all cult groups in UNEC. He sponsored a bill to the school house of Reps against Cultists (there expulsion from campus) when he was the speaker of UNN house of reps. All the cult groups in UNEC formed a coalition to force his impeachment, he took our mace and ran away to his Aguleri home town and lost an academic section as a result of that. Tony was hated by Students, cult groups and even lecturers, His only solace was the school governing body and the then VC who he assisted to milk the school treasury. But the truth is he was never a cult boy.

Meanwhile.. Why did Chimaroke Nnamani not make the list? At least he is the only Nigerian who never owned a property prior to his return from US in 1999 but now he has over 200 buildings in Enugu metropolis alone. If this will not qualify him to the list, what about the fact that his state is the only state where PDP won all elections from councillor ship to presidential election with 99.8% majority? Even the opposition candidates did not vote for themselves.    

Donn Wrote:Count me out…..,count me out…..,i will not attend if you are not giving awards to The Rt.Hon. Senator,Dr,Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu. I wonder why he is not listed despite all his patriotic efforts towards building a better Nigeria evidenced by his umatched and misunderstood roles in the 3rd term attempt to elongate the tenure of a man who brought so much joy to Nigerians for eight years.

This same Patriot was falsely accused by El Rufai of demanding for bribe and he,like a true moslem refused to swear by the holy Quran to prove his innocence even when his wife did not even beleive him…..yet you want to deny him of a well deserving award.

It is this same beloved senator who continued to win elections (until April 21) even though 95 percent of his senatorial district foolishly and ignorantly don’t vote for him…..yet u left him out…

What of Tafa Balogun…the former IG who as a good boss encouraged policemen to go for billions of naira instead of collecting N20 on our highways…..talk of ladership by example…

…and Joshua ‘honest man’ Dariye who raised alarm when EFFC abi ICPC wanted to loot his loot. He finally let the world know exactly how much he stole so it will not be re-stolen by………………

Infact if you don’t include this honourable,distinguished and patriotic gentlemen who have served our nation ‘selflessly’,….i will hurriedly organise some youths under ‘Concerned Youths for Good Governance’, get some mobilization from these aforementioned patriots and ensure the disruption of that event.Unpatriotic fellow like you  

Ocnus wrote: While admiring your dedication to rewarding those who have flourished in Nigeria the past year I regret to say that we cannot actually vote. The ballot boxes are missing and the ballot papers are being used to roll dagga in Zululand. Please address all enquiries to Maurice Iwu.  

Bunch 17 wrote:This list does not comply with federal character. My state Imo is not represented. Please could you with immediate effect add the following;
Achike Udenwa
Kema Chikwe
Arthur Nzeribe  

Raynosa wrote:This is BADLY ORGANIZED SHOW i will surely not attend because we from EDO STATE have been MARGINALIZED.
No LAWRENCE ANINI,GEORGE IYAMU,CHIEF THIEF UNLUCKY IGBINEDION,SIR TONY ANENIH.
Pls do your reach properly EDO STATE will surely win in all category.
 

BisiKay wrote:Good Article But Wrong Title.
Why Not Call It:
“nigeria’s Wall Of Shame: The Top Nominees”
These Rascals Should Never Be Dignified With “fame”.
They Are Examples Of Infamy.
When The Revolution Comes, They Should All Be Swept Away.
Let Us Invite Them To Receive Their Awards.
Hoping This Shaming And Naming Them Will Engender A Transformation
In The Minds Of Some Of Them.
May The Wise Ones Among Them Have The Grace To Repent, Before It Is Too Too Late…


Amy wrote
:Greetings Bisikay… while I get your point, this is the deal…Alter the title and the satirical savor of it is all gone. Me thinks the title takes the cake in that it aptly earns the article it’s satirical quality.All your points are actually implied in the title as it is.The writer’s aim is to cleverly use a paradox(title) to expose, deride and ridiculethe shortlisted elements for their many sins against the masses.

Later o.

_______________________________________

Waffy Waffarian Award 2007

Related Awards:

This story was first published on the Village square on Oct. 18

http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/guest-articles/nigeria-s-hall-of-fame-award-2007-short.html

Who will save LUTH?

By Livy Iwunze.

This is an article from the Guardian Newspaper Ocotber 22 2007

LET me begin with a full disclosure: I was recently a patient in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). I spent days on admission there. And this article is therefore, my personal experience.   I went to LUTH because it had a reputation. It is many things to many people. To the Federal Government, LUTH is one of the tertiary health institutions in the country that are classified as Centres of Excellence. Others in this category include UCH in Ibadan, UNTH in Enugu and ABUTH in Zaria. In the second tier of these Centers of Excellence we have JUTH in Jos, UBTH in Benin, OAUTH in Ife and NAUTH in Nnewi, UITH, Ilorin, UCTH in Calabar, among others. They are also referred to as Centres of Excellence for the training of doctors and other medical personnel.

To the general public, especially those who have not had any personal experience, LUTH is not only an apex health institution in Lagos where doctors and nurses are trained but also a place where the best medical services are supposed to be provided.    However, to those who have had a personal experience with LUTH, either as patients or relations of patients, the verdict is not exactly the same. In fact, my personal experience with LUTH is close to a grueling nightmare. No one should be deceived by the flamboyant billboards and radio jingles that followed when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo hurriedly commissioned “The New LUTH” on the eve of his handing over.

Apart from the billboard conspicuously displayed at the gate and the plaque strategically positioned at the entrance to the Out-Patients Department, there is not much to show for the millions of naira said to have been spent on the renovation of LUTH. Lest I forget, the outside of some of the buildings was also painted for effects. And that is about all.    You cannot go inside LUTH without asking: What did ex-President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo commission in LUTH? Was it the empty taps everywhere or the dilapidated beds and equipment in the wards or the archaic equipment in the labs that Obasanjo went to commission? Indeed, the whole exercise is seen by many people as a huge fraud calculated to deceive Nigerians, especially Lagosians. Pity the doctors, nurses and other medical personnel! They can only complain secretly because the civil service rules forbid them from complaining publicly.

So, they suffer in silence as they try to make the best of a horrible situation.    A visit to a Consulting room can make a sick man get ‘sicker’. They are so dirty with broken chairs and tables. In some, the electric tubes are gone. The window louvers are either cracked or gone. Of course no one talks of water in either the clinics or the toilets. In the wards, the nurses and cleaners try their best to keep the places clean but such things as beds, mattresses and pillows are so revoltingly old and dirty that even when patients put their own bed sheets, they still remain repulsive. Anyway, a sick man has no choice. Does he? Not in LUTH, anyway!    A closer look at the wards shows that time was when they boasted of such facilities as oxygen tubes, vacuums and bells. Water still remains a big luxury in the wards. The toilets can make a normal person throw up. Is it any wonder then that the wards stink and provide breeding grounds conducive for giant rats and mosquitoes? Of course, patients who can afford it, provide their own mosquito nets. Those who cannot, abandon themselves at the mercy of the giant mosquitoes.   

Today, most of the wards are no better than pens for animals. Patients have to buy the materials for their treatment – cotton wool, bandages, syringes, drips, all drugs, plasters, bottles for blood samples as well as gloves that the nurses and doctors use in attending to the patients. LUTH supplies none of these basic items. Who says LUTH is not a glorified consulting clinic? Or better still, a glorified primary health center.    The most scandalous area of LUTH is the theatre where surgeries are performed. It is shameful and incredible that for more than three weeks between the months of June and July surgery appointments had to be cancelled or rescheduled. Why? Lack of oxygen! The Management of LUTH just managed to release a few for emergency surgeries, especially for expectant mothers. When the problem of oxygen was later solved, surgeries could still not be done. Why? The air conditioning system had packed up! Somehow the technicians managed to put them in order after some weeks.   

I may not be a medical person but I have been informed by those who should know that oxygen does not cost a fortune and that it is not scarce in the Lagos Metropolis. I am reliably informed that a unit of gas costs less than two thousand naira from BOC Gases, a company that is located at Oshodi, a distance of less than four kilometers from LUTH. Investigations showed that BOC Gases was being owed about two million naira by LUTH. For this reason, BOC Gases decided to compel LUTH to clear the outstanding debt before getting fresh supplies. Yet LUTH’s charges are the highest of all public health institutions in the country. As a result of the shortage of oxygen, the public suffered. The result was many avoidable deaths.   

Emergency laboratory tests are done by private laboratories, many of which dominate the Idi Araba vicinity of LUTH. These lucky private laboratories make a fortune due to the inability of LUTH to provide such essential services in-house.   Patients requiring blood for their operations still have to pray to God after donating blood for their surgeries because the blood bank in LUTH may not be able to make such blood available. This often leads to cancellation of such surgery appointments. And it is mandatory for every surgery patient to donate three pints of blood before the operation.

Worse still, patients bear the cost of the extra days they spend because of the cancellations or postponements. What about refund of payments made for services not rendered? This is almost impossible because of extreme bureaucratic bottlenecks. In fact, most patients, out of frustration, eventually abandon the process.   In fact the present situation in LUTH calls for urgent investigation and adequate financial assistance from the Federal Government so as to save lives and save the nation the embarrassment caused by this human neglect as well as reduce the frustration that is the lot of the doctors and nurses.

This is, indeed, the immediate challenge facing the new Minister of Health, Adenike Grange, who is an accomplished medical professional. Incidentally, the new minister retired from LUTH as a Professor of Pediatrics. She would be expected to use her first-hand experience of LUTH to transform the institution. The last administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo politicized healthcare provision in the country. To continue the same way will spell doom for the already comatose health sector.    Ironically, when you confront the doctors and nurses about the unwholesome situation in LUTH, they would tell you that they are constrained by Civil Service Rules that forbid them to complain to the public. They are frustrated at seeing their patients suffer and die preventable deaths.    

Today LUTH has degenerated to the level of a mere Consulting Clinic. Yet, all of us would recall that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, while he was president and was increasing fuel prices at will, told Nigerians that he would use the excess money to rehabilitate hospitals, schools, roads, etc. Perhaps one day someone would have the courage to invite ex-President Obasanjo to come and explain how he spent the billions derived from the removal of fuel subsidy and the oil proceeds for the eight years when he was both president and the substantive oil minister. 

Anyway, it is not all a tale of woe from LUTH. One must commend the attitude, disposition and temperament of the doctors and nurses. Indeed the doctors and nurses bend over backwards to ensure that they save the lives of their patients. Their condition is pitiable. Some of them are compelled by circumstances to work for twenty hours a day. Indeed it is the sentiment of utmost patriotism that has restrained many of the doctors in LUTH from seeking greener pastures elsewhere. But then, patriotism does not put bread on the dinning table nor does it pay bills. We must also remember that there is a limit to human sacrifice and improvisation. Beyond that limit the inescapable law of diminishing returns sets in.    

As professionals who can rub shoulders with their colleagues anywhere in the world, the doctors, nurses and other para-medics always empathize with the patients and their relations and treat them with utmost respect and compassion. You can’t but admire the enthusiasm these professionals exhibit in trying to make the best from the few equipment at their disposal.    Perhaps one cannot say this of the other ancillary staff, especially the admin, accounts and records personnel. This later group exhibits the odious non-chalance which is the hallmark of Nigerian bureaucracy. The tragedy is that this later group hardly realizes that they are dealing with sick people to whom one minute could make the difference between life and death. The word urgency is missing in their lexicon. 

After all said and done, the question still remains: who will halt the decay in LUTH? Indeed, the government of Umaru Yar’Adua must spare some time to take a second look at the Teaching Hospitals which ex-President Obasanjo claimed to have re-equipped and hurriedly commissioned before he reluctantly exited from Aso Rock. People still remember, with nostalgia, the tenure of late Olikoye Ransome Kuti as Health Minister. He transformed medical delivery in Nigeria. Dr. Adenike Grange should take a cue from the Kuti era and leave an enduring legacy by taking LUTH and other tertiary health institutions to the level of their counterparts elsewhere in the world.

Nigeria has the resources and the manpower to achieve this. What is now required is the political will.

  • Iwunze lives in Lagos