Friday, January 22, 2010

Some Politicians, Professional Groups Utilized in US Regime Change Strategy for Nigeria

Jos: Jonathan orders army into crisis-prone areas

Written by Habeeb I. Pindiga
Nigerian Daily Trust
Thursday, 21 January 2010 23:29

Vice President Goodluck Jonathan last night ordered the army to take over security in and around Jos, Plateau State, to prevent further clashes, which have killed more than 400 this week.

“I have today ordered the army to lead the security forces and take over the entire security of the affected areas, including those areas that are considered prone to risk,” Jonathan said in a live television broadcast to the nation. “The security forces have the overwhelming mandate of the federal government to arrest the situation urgently.”

Internecine violence between Muslims and Christians broke out in Jos on Sunday, when a group of Christian youths allegedly tried to stop a Muslim man from rebuilding his home that was destroyed in the November 2008 clashes.

Below is the text of the vice president’s speech:

“It is with a heavy heart that I speak to you today. We have all been witnesses to the resurgence of the crisis in Jos, the Plateau State capital. My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones as well as their property in this unwarranted carnage.

“From the time the crisis began on Sunday, I gave directives to all the relevant security agencies to do everything within the limits of the law to bring the situation under control.

“What is happening in Jos has taken on the colouration of sheer wickedness and man’s inhumanity to man, and there is absolutely no justification for this. The federal government will not fold its hands while fellow citizens are brutalised and murdered at will.

“Such acts in a plural society such as ours, are sinful, both in the eyes of God and man. We shall not condone them. The Federal Government will confront these ugly developments with all the might and resources at its disposal. Of this, there must be no doubt.

“Therefore, I have today ordered the army to lead the Security Forces to take over the entire security of the affected areas, including those areas that are considered prone to risk. The security forces have the overwhelming mandate of the Federal Government to arrest the situation urgently.

“I use this occasion to warn all ethnic, political, and religious and opinion leaders in Plateau state and nationwide to desist forthwith from further inflaming the situation.. The security agencies have been directed to place any such persons under close watch. Those found to have engineered, encouraged or fanned the embers of this crisis, through their actions or pronouncements, will be arrested and speedily brought to justice.

“We will not allow any one hide under the canopy of group action to evade justice. Crime, in all its gravity, is an individual responsibility, not a communal affair. The Federal Government is determined to secure convictions of the perpetrators of this crime, no matter how highly placed.

“I want to assure all Nigerians, that the Federal Government has the capacity to protect, defend and preserve the lives and property of all citizens, irrespective of ethnic affiliation or creed. Let me also seize this opportunity to assure foreign nationals of their safety.

“I have held daily meetings with the leadership of our security services, and have received daily updates on the situation in Jos and environs. Let me assure all that the Federal Government is on top of the situation, and that the crisis is being brought under control.

“The fundamental principle of the Constitution which we are sworn to uphold, is to ensure the safety and well being of all Nigerians wherever they find themselves in the country. In this regard, I want to assure all citizens and foreigners alike, that the Federal Government will continue to guarantee the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of our country.”

Nigeria on Brink of Imminent Collapse, Says NBA

From Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu, 01.22.2010

Irked by the religious crisis in Jos, Plateau State, which culminated in the loss of several lives and destruction of properties, the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) yesterday in Enugu, said unless urgent steps were taken to address the crisis, Nigeria may as well be on the brinks of imminent collapse.

The association also reiterated its call for the immediate swearing-in of Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President, insisting that with the avalanche of crisis facing the nation; it might be difficult to allow the nation to remain without a clear cut directive on the Vice President to take decisions.

"Having a bed-ridden Commander-in-Chief in this confused state is anarchy. To deny this confirms one’s culpability as an accessory to the crime of treason," NBA noted.

The association, while condemning the violence, noted that for such unfortunate development to befall Nigeria shortly after being branded a terrorist nation by the United States and with President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua away from the country, was symptomatic of the imminent failure of Nigeria as a state.

President of the association, Mr. Rotimi Akereledolu, SAN who made the statement in a speech he delivered during the valedictory session for late Chief Andrew Anyamene, SAN, at the premises of the Enugu State High Court on Thursday, expressed dismay over the wanton destruction of lives and properties in the city, but noted that such violence would continue to recur because no one has ever been tried and convicted for these horrendous crimes since the Maitatsine religious riots of 1981.

According to him, the disrespect for what is good and predilection for the weird and obscene had exposed the hypocrites in those who rushed to condemn the categorisation of Nigeria as a terrorist state in the wake of the failed terrorist attempt by Farouk Mutallab on Christmas day.

He explained that though it was wrong to tar the rest of the citizenry with the terrorist brush because of one boy who has been alienated from his root, but he submitted that this does not justify the castigation of the US which has declared that it is in a state of war and feel obligated to protect its citizens by any means possible.

To criticise the American government for putting Nigeria on its watch list, he added, was to expand the scope of ignorance and hypocrisy beyond acceptable limits.

He said that a country under attack owes no one any explanation as to how it resolves to confront its challenges, stressing that "our leaderless government is to blame for the incompetent manner with which the delicate issue was handled."

"Can we truly deny the possibility of real penetration of these (terrorist) organizations in our country today with the recurrent incidents of religious violence in some states? What explanation can we offer the rest of the world for the current madness in Jos shortly after that of Bauchi? How many times have Nigerians become refugees in their own country because of acts which border on lunacy freely perpetrated by some unscrupulous elements under the guise of religion? Our security agents have proved themselves unworthy of trust reposed in them by the people of this country in this regard," he noted.

Akeredolu stated that the judiciary which stands as the last bastion of hope for the common man faces a daunting task of remaining steadfast for the protection of the rights of the people freely trodden by holders of ephemeral power and the defence of basic law of the land.

He therefore urged judicial officers to remain above board, pointing out that certain decisions and administrative acts emanating from the hallowed chamber of the judiciary cast a slur on the collective integrity of judicial personnel and help to sustain the state of confusion in the land.

The NBA boss acknowledged the heroic decisions at different levels of the courts and the courage exhibited by some judicial officers in cases involving highly placed personalities; he nevertheless charged the judiciary not to depart from the path of rectitude to satisfy the cravings of corrupt elements in the polity.

Obasanjo to Yar’adua: Take the path of honour

Written by Suleiman Bisalla
Nigerian Daily Trust
Friday, 22 January 2010 00:02

President Umaru Yar’adua should consider “taking the path of honour and the path of morality” by resigning from his office in view of his serious health challenges, former president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo said in Abuja yesterday. Obasanjo, who was chairman at the 7th Trust Annual Dialogue, was responding to a question by a young man from the audience, who asked him whether he chose Yar’adua as his successor in 2006-07 “out of wickedness.”

The question caused a stir in the jam-packed Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, venue of the dialogue, but Obasanjo retrieved the microphone and began to answer. He said, “When in the year 2006 the idea came up as to succession, I was convinced in my mind that a Southerner succeeding me will not augur well for Nigeria. [Murmurs in the audience]. You may not agree with that, you may agree. I was convinced in my mind [about] that.

“Now, I was looking for somebody who will succeed me who has three important qualities. One, he has enough intellectual capacity to run the affairs of Nigeria. Two, he has sufficient personal integrity to run the affairs of Nigeria. Three, he is sufficiently broad minded in knowledge, politically, religiously, socially, whatever to manage the affairs of Nigeria.

“These three were important and very paramount in my mind. [From the audience, someone shouted, “What about health?” There was a brief commotion as many people said, “Let him [i.e. Obasanjo] finish!”]. Wait, wait, wait! You may hear what you have never heard...Then Umaru Yar’adua who is now the President, I know he had kidney problem and was under dialysis. Some time earlier, he had gone abroad when he was governor of Katsina. When the idea was for him to contest, I asked him and he gave me a medical report and the medical report showed that he had come off dialysis.

“I asked experts, who then told me that if you were under dialysis or you are on dialysis and you are no longer on dialysis, it means you have had a successful kidney transplant and that you can live for as long as God may wish you to live.

“Now, who am I and who are you not to accept that? [Applause]. Wait, wait, wait! That was the situation and that you want to hear...He went to campaign and we were campaigning together. And you will remember that at one stage of the campaign, he was run down. Chairman of our party then, Ahmadu Ali, was also run down. Ahmadu Ali didn’t go abroad but he [Yar’adua] went abroad for check up. And then there was rumour that he was dead and I called him and put the telephone on speaker. And I said, ‘Umoru, are you dead or not?’ [Applause and laughter]. And you heard his voice live and kicking! He came back and continued the campaign. That was the true situation, and to the best of my knowledge he wasn’t on dialysis after that. When the issue of dialysis came, he was well into his first term, which must mean one thing; that the kidney transplant is failing, if it hasn’t failed. That you cannot blame on anybody! You cannot even blame it on him (Yar’adua)!

“So for people to say that I, Olusegun Obasanjo, deliberately picked somebody who is an invalid, I think it is the height of insult. How can I put so much into this country both in peace and in war and then think of giving this country to somebody who will run it down” [Applause]. How can I? Even if you don’t have the fear of God you will not think that way...And you said [referring to the man who asked the question] there is constitutional crisis, I will not comment on that.

What I needed to say on that, I had said it as the chairman of my Board of Trustees last week and I won’t say anything more. The one that I need to say is the fact that nobody picked Yar’adua so that he will not perform. If I did that God will punish me. Yes because I love this country so much that there is no reason why I should do that.

But wait, if you take up an appointment, a job, elected, appointed, whatever it is and then your health starts saying, ‘I will not be able to deliver’, to satisfy yourself and the people that you are supposed to serve, then there is the path of honour and the path of morality. And if you don’t know that, then you don’t know anything.”

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