WAEC releases May/June 2013 WASSCE results


Nigeria wealth distribution


– The West African Examination Council (WAEC) Wednesday in Yaba, Lagos released the details of the results of the May/June 2013 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), saying it could not compute the percentage of candidates who made a credit pass in English language Mathematics and three other subjects owing to security situation particularly in the North eastern part of Nigeria.

The Council’s Head of the Nigeria National Office Mr Charles Eguridu said some of the scripts were hijacked and eventually stolen by insurgents who waylaid WAEC officials during the examination.

He said: “We are unable to provide statistics of candidates who obtained five subjects including English language and Mathematics at this time, because many candidates in the North eastern part of the country have partial results at the moment, due to security challenges encountered there during the conducts of the examination, particularly loss of scripts.”

Giving a breakdown of the results, Eguridu said a total of 1, 689, 188 candidates registered for the examination out of which 1, 671,268 consisting of 920, 416 and 750, 852 males and females respectively sat for the examination. Of the total number, he said  1,543, 683 (91.33 per cent) have their results fully released, while 145,505 (8.2 per cent) still have a few of their subjects still being processed owing to errors traceable to candidates and schools in the course of registration or writing examination.

He said: “Of the total number of candidates that sat the examination, 889,636 candidates (53.23 per cent), obtained six credits and above; 1,074,065 candidates (62.26 per cent) obtained five credits and above. In addition, 1,225,591 candidates (73.33 percent) obtained credit above in four subjects, while 1,353,273 candidates (80.97 per cent) obtained credit and above in three subjects. A total of 1, 465,581 candidates (87.69 per cent) obtained credit and above in two subjects.”

He further said results of 112, 865 representing 6.75 per cent are being held on various examination frauds which according to him, are being currently investigated.

Eguridu added that the Council also discovered 2, 176 cases of multiple entries during result processing, adding that in line with the Council’s regulation, candidates found culpable would have their results cancelled.

Eguridu said three of its personnel were brutally murdered by gunmen while on their way from Yola to Maiduguri on official examination duty during the conduct of the examination.

He however thanked the Minister of Education Prof Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I and her counterpart in the state Nyeson Wike who, following the sad incident, promptly made contacts with security agencies that immediately rose to the occasion.

Fenerbahçe signs Nigerian player Emenike from Spartak Moscow

Fenerbahçe had signed Emenike two years ago from Kardemir Karabük, before the Nigerian forward left the club to play at Spartak Moscow amid a match-fixing scandal. AA photo

Fenerbahçe had signed Emenike two years ago from Kardemir Karabük, before the Nigerian forward left the club to play at Spartak Moscow amid a match-fixing scandal. AA photo

Fenerbahçe has announced the capture of Nigerian forward Emmanuel Emenike from Spartak Moscow for 13 million euros, two years after he left without ever playing a

game amid a match-fixing scandal.

He had been charged with faking an injury in May 2011 when at Kardemir Karabükspor, ruling him out of a match against Fenerbahçe, with whom he signed a four-year deal a few weeks later.

Emenike was acquitted in April. Fener has also loaned winger Miroslav Stoch out to PAOK in a bid to clear its foreign player quota.

Nigeria: Femi Fani-Kayode: An ignorant political prostitute and bigot

fami fani kayode‘The claim that the Igbo helped to develop Lagos is hogwash. The major institutions of the south-west were developed by the diligence, hard-work, industry and sweat of the Yoruba people. This is a historical fact” – Femi Fani-Kayode

Did I read Femi Fani-Kayode and the clown he quoted in his ignorant article saying that Lagos was the nerve center of commerce in West Africa before Nigeria was conjured by the British? 

This is historical crap:

“Lagos was a British colony seized from Benin Empire and built by federal fund and might…Check this out: Ojukwu started his professional career at the Agricultural department before leaving to join John Holt as a tyre sales clerk. He also incorporated a textile company in Onitsha to supplement his income during this period, already exhibiting a little bit of his entrepreneurial spirit. While at John Holt, he noticed the severe strain a lack of adequate transportation had on Eastern textile traders. He later left John Holt to create a transport company to improve the trading environment for Nigerian traders. As a transporter he was a tireless worker and meticulous to detail; he was usually the first to inspect his transport vehicles for oil and leakages. Apart from his work ethic, his success was also oiled by the economic boom after World War II, working with the West African Railway Company and the newly inaugurated produce boards, he provided his fleet for commodity transportation and for other traders use. As a transporter he had his own transport company (Ojukwu”s Transport Company)which was the first major transport company to move the easterners to Lagos from the Asaba end of the Niger river after they might have crossed over from Onitsha on a boat.

During the 1950s, he diversified his interest, bought some industries, invested heavily in the real estate sector and became a director in numerous major corporations including the state-owned Nigerian National Shipping Line. He was a member of the board of Nigerian Coal Corporation, Shell Oil, D’Archy, and African Continental Bank.

Ojukwu died in 1966, just a year before the Nigerian civil war. His son Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was the leader of the secessionist state of Biafra.

“Since 1914, the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs and do not show themselves any signs of willingness to unite … Nigerian unity is only a British invention” – Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa who in 1950 was reported by the TIME MAGAZINE of October 10, 1960 to have said there was no basis for Nigerian unity and it was only a wish of the British

Then just 4 years later: Northern House Of Assembly Proceedings, February-March 1964 

Below is an extract from the proceedings of the Northern Region House of Assembly between February and March 1964, less than four years after Nigeria’s independence from the British. I have nothing to add. Read and judge for yourself:

Mallam Muhammadu Mustapha Mande Gyan:

On the allocation of plots to Ibos or allocation of stalls, I would like to advise the Minister that these people know how to make money, and we do not know the way and manner of getting about this business. We do not want Ibos to be allocated with plots. I do not want them to be given plots…

Mallam Bashari Umaru:

I would like (you), as a Minister of Land and Survey, to revoke forthwith all Certificates of Occupancy from the hands of the Ibos resident in the Region… (Applause)

Mr. A. A. Agogede:

I’m very glad that we are in a Moslem country, and the government of Northern Nigeria allowed some few Christians in the region to enjoy themselves according to the belief of their religion, but building of hotels should be taken away from the Igbos, and even if we find some Christians who are interested in building hotels and do not have money to do so, the government should aid them, instead of allowing Ibos to continue with their hotels.

Dr. Iya Abubakar (Special Member, Lecturer, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria):

I am one of the strong believers in Nigerian unity, and I have hoped for our having a united Nigeria, but certainly if the present state of affairs continues, I hope the government will investigate first the desirability and secondly the possibility of extending Northernisation policy to the petty traders. (Applause)

Mallam Mukhtar Bello:

I would like to say something very important, that the Minister should take my appeal to the Federal Government about the Igbos in the post office. I wish the numbers of these Igbos be reduced…. There are too many of them in the North. They are like sardines and 1 think they are just too dangerous to the Region.

Mallam Ibrahim Musa:

Mr. Chairman, Sir. Well first and foremost, what I have to say before this Hon. House is that we should send a delegation to meet our Hon. Premier to move a motion in this very Budget Session that all the Ibos working in the Civil Service of Northern Nigeria, including the native authorities, whether they are contractors or not, should be repatriated at once…

Mallam Bashari Umaru:

There should be no contracts either from the government, native authorities, or private enterprises given to Ibo contractors (Government Bench: Good talk and shouts of “Fire the Southerners”). Again, Mr. Chairman, the foreign firms too should be given time limit to replace all Ibo in their firms by some other people.

The Premier (Alhaji the Hon. Sir Ahmadu Bello, K.B.E., Sardauna of Sokoto):

It is my most earnest desire that every post in the region, however small it is, be filled by a Northerner (Applause)

Alhaji Usman Liman:

What brought the Ibos into this region? They were here since the colonial days. Had it not been for the colonial rule, there would hardly have been any Ibo in this region. Now that there is no colonial rule, the Ibos should go back to their region. There should be no hesitation about the matter. Mr. Chairman, North is for Northerners, East for Easterners, West for Westerners, and the Federation is for us all. (Applause)

The Minister of Land and Survey (Alhaji the Hon. Ibrahim Musa Cashash, O.B.E.):

Mr. Chairman. Sir, I do not like to take up much of the time of this House in making explanations, but I would like to assure members that having heard their demands about Ibos holding land in Northern Nigeria, my ministry will do all it can to see that the demands of members are met. How to do this, when to do it, al1 these should not be disclosed. In due course, you will all see what will happen. (Applause)

Above is Culled from M. O. Onyenakeya, Igbos in Nigerian Politics, pp.30-32

And, by the way, Lagos indigenes and Yorubas did not develop Lagos. Lagos is the product of the concentration of funding and infrastructure there by the Federal Government since 1914. It became “Nigeria’s commercial capital” because Nigerian private business people from all tribes came to Lagos, being the nation’s Seat of Power for many decades, and established their businesses there. Lagos is the greatest beneficiary of Nigeria’s federalism. Nigeria’s crude oil and gas resources, corporate taxes and the entrepreneurial zeal of Nigerians built Lagos.

“Let us for forget our differences……..” Nnamdi Azikiwe was said to have canvassed to which Ahmadu Bello retorted “No, we cannot forget our differences, we have to understand our differences….” I agree with Ahmadu Bello

Let me end this with Kelechi Jeff Eme’s take on Femi Fani-Kayode: The political prostitute and bigot

“There are men I attached little value to: men robed in loquaciousness, men who are inconsistent and those whose stomachs determine their actions. Femi Fani-Kayode, FFK, is the epitome of this and frankly speaking, he is the worse specie of what defines a politician. For a man who achieved relevance simply because his father was a former Deputy Premier of Western Nigeria, the least he should have done is to zip up his vocal cavity and allow erudite men to think and speak. Surely, Yorubas are not lacking of such men.

Did I read FFK and the clown he quoted saying that Lagos was the nerve center of commerce in West Africa before Nigeria was conjured by the British? I wonder where they are getting that history lesson from. Obviously from a timid historical mindset laced in bigotry and pedestrian appreciation of what national cohesion is all about.

“I am amazed that a man of such low intellectual and commonsensical capacity was once a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. How did he cope? Was that responsible for the fast track decay in the sector during his tenure? Does FFK really know what economic development is? For his infantile mind, this guy should know that without the small scale and informal sectors, the industrial estates he is boasting of would have been a nullity. 

“FFK should be bold enough to answer this question: would Yorubas have been able to command Nigerian corporate life today had Awolowo as Finance Minister and Vice Chairman of Gowon’s governing council in brazen display of nepotism handed over our mutual inheritance to them? 

“It is bizarre that FFK failed to point out that when Sir Louis Ojukwu was atop the Lagos/ Nigerian corporate world, No Yoruba was any where near him. Was he simply trading? FFK, you are still feeble minded to appreciate some of these things. Please go to honourable men like Chief Akintola Williams for a lecture. I hope he will sit you down and straighten you up.

Please smell the coffee young man and appreciate that life does not end in naira and kobo. Get a life.”

Ogbuefi Blogs

Nigeria: Is James Ibori worth celebrating?

Late last week was the birthday celebration of former Delta State governor, James Ibori, which he clocked 55 years.

While he is still serving a jail term in a UK prison, family, friends, and kinsmen, threw a birthday party for him. The
celebration began with a thanksgiving church service
where the Pastor, Rev Iweh Godspower, challenged the
congregation, to emulate Ibori. “It is a given that Ibori is a huge success, but that is not why all of
you left your homes and different towns to be in Oghara today – even though the man you have
come to celebrate may never know the individuals that have
come to do him honour. You have
come to Oghara today because Ibori is a man who after climbing
high in the social, political and
economic ladders of Nigeria, did not seize and throw away the
ladders in the way most Nigerian
big men usually do; he made the ladders available for others to
climb up too. And even when some people are too weak to make good use of that ladders, he
helped pull them up.

That is why
you are here today – never forget that and you go and do likewise, help others to climb up the
ladders of life and love”.

The crowd is reported to have included 7 first class traditional
rulers, Independent Oil Marketers, key professionals, and top
politicians from all the six geo-political zones.

The 3-day celebration for the imprisoned governor ends today
with a novelty football match.

For a refresher, on the 27th of February, 2012 accused of stealing US$ 250 million from the Nigerian public purse, Ibori pleaded guilty to ten counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud at Southwark Crown
Court, London.

On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, Ibori was sentenced to 13 years by Southwark Crown Court for his crimes. Among possessions
confiscated were: A house in Hampstead, North London, for £2.2m, A property in Shaftesbury, Dorset, for £311,000, A £3.2m mansion in Sandton,
near Johannesburg, South Africa, A fleet of armoured Range
Rovers valued at £600,000, A £120,000 Bentley Continental
GT, A Mercedes-Benz Maybach 62 bought for €407,000 cash, that was shipped direct to his mansion in South Africa.

Isn’t this appalling to celebrate people of questionable characters in Nigeria, I believe if after spending his 13 yèar jail term, he will be celebrated like former NPA boss, Bóde George. Shame on us!

Nigeria: What If Ibori Dies Today?

By Fejiro Oliver

Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame, no matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash: your picture in the paper not money in the back either. Just refuse to bear them.’ – William Faulkner

James Ibori

James Ibori

On the 5th of August 2006, political bigwigs in Delta State and beyond gathered in the popular town of Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, to celebrate with a Governor. Seven years after, reports emanating from same local government after enquiries to know if same celebration took place had it that it was celebrated in low keys with only seven traditional rulers in attendance and no dignitaries in attendance. Truly, Power is transient and evanescent. Quickly I began to search my archives to look for any write up done on any national newspaper on him and luckily enough, I got exactly what I wanted, written by a Journalist, Pedro Marvin. I will reproduce it below.

Like a dwindling star, strongman of Delta State politics has been tucked and forgotten in faraway London. The closest event to remembering if such a man ever lived on this earth, commanding power was his fifty fifth year birthday held on August 5th this year. His last year birthday was unable to hold due to some circumstances. The apostolic truth and veracity is that whether the current political leaders hovering over Delta State, claiming to be demi – gods, and strutting the political arena like it or not, the main political power broker remains the forgotten Chief James Onanefe Ibori, a man of style who prefers his tongue twisting title “Odidigborigbo of Africa”.

Never one to move a case in support of corruption, but where injustice is used in meting out punishment for a particular individual, leaving other fellows who have committed same offence to go Scot free, blasting our ears with blaring sirens, it calls for a pondering moment and a big question. I have been among those who advocated for his criminal trials in the past, calling for his head alongside other looters for daring to loot our collective treasury. Unfortunately, he alone is paying the price of sins. This is where the Ibori story begins.

As much as the media derives joy in using Ibori’s name to sell their papers and airtime, by painting him as a demon whose only past time is to milk Nigeria, I beg to differ as one of such Journalists who will rob Peter to pay Paul. Be it known today, that the Ibori we see today, one day, we will see no more and once again, the press will smile to the banks.

The Goodluck Jonathan administration with the connivance of Delta State Leaders and stakeholders forum led by his kinsman, Elder Edwin Clark, a man who I acknowledge to abhor corruption has succeeded in caging Ibori, clipping his high flying political wings, but have not succeeded in caging the spirit of the man they love to hate and hate to love. The men who feel his presence causes them nightmares are only waiting for one thing; kill his spirit, and with this achieve, the mortal body will die. Now the million dollar question is what if Ibori die today?

I can bet my enemies lives on it, that if Ibori dies today, President Jonathan will be among the first caller to his country home, by sending representatives, to condole them. Next he will order his media special assistants to issue a condolence message letter to the family, signed personally by him. And the big one, place condolence advertorials in about five national dallies, five national weekly newspapers and magazine and national monthly newspapers and magazines, all with tax payers money which will be valued at #100 million. With a fine copy write done probably by Insight Communication or Centre Spread advertising media house, it may read “A star goeth forth from reach. The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and countrymen weep with the Ibori’s family in their dark hour on the death of a political pillar”. To crown it all, the Edwin Clark elders group, will place another advertorial with the caption ‘We lost a gem and trailblazer, especially now that we need him the most”. We are a country who hunt our opponent yet grant various interviews and reeling it with, “when we need him to the most”.

Even the EFCC who are waiting like hungry dogs to hunt him once he comes back will clear him of all corruption charges, his files with them torn and like their principal, Goodluck Jonathan, send a secret condolence message. A country called Nigeria, where preference is her second name to send Ibori to jail in London, where DSP Alamasiegha has been pardoned, Peter Odili, Chimaroke Nnamani, Orji Kalu and a host of others are walking free is an indictment on the Federal Government. Ibori’s incarceration is nothing but a political witchcraft by the powers that be, which fear his towering political heights and thought that the only way to cut him down from his Olympian height, is to jail him in a foreign land. I make bold to say that the Delta State governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan has not done good by allowing his cousin and benefactor to remain in prison when he could have used his position to negotiate with the presidency to allow Ibori to be tried in Nigeria. That the politics in Delta State is peaceful can be attributed to Ibori who followed his party zoning system by handing power to Delta South.
Unfortunately for Delta, especially the Urhobos, Ibori’s imprisonment is their political bondage, as they have lost momentarily a man who gave them a place in the ever changing socio political theatre of Nigeria. Today, the loser is obvious – the Urhobos, whom Mr. Goodluck has not considered fit to hold any ministerial position. Yes, Ibori may have committed all the sins leveled against him, but it is more sinful to allow Ibori rot in a foreign prison, over allegations that are becoming mysterious overtime. The $15 million bribe has been claimed not be Ibori’s own, as Andy Uba and cohorts claim. This is enough reason to jail them; rather, Andy is touring the state of Anambra, seeking for their votes in the 2014 Anambra gubernatorial election. Allowing Ibori to continue to undergo such trauma in a foreign prison smack of post colonial mentality. How many of the Pfizers, Siemens and Halliburtons suspects who have eventually been found guilty in Nigeria are serving their jail terms in this country and yet the crime was committed in Nigeria. Ibori so called crimes were committed in the shores of this country and thus should have been sentenced in Nigeria. He may have offended his kinsmen by inflicting a mortal injury on them, for supporting his Itsekiri cousin, Emmanuel Uduaghan and eventually making him the governor against his people’s desire. But the deed is done and should be forgotten. They must not allow him die in jail, or so traumatized that when he gets back home, he gets incapacitated. He is a victim of power play; a man with ambition to become a mere vice president, an act Goodluck Jonathan considers national sabotage. But what kind of man exists without ambition? It is not too late for the presidency to take care of Ibori and ensure that he is brought back home, safe and alive. Any act contrary to this the Urhobos I know will cry foul, and though they may have submitted the petition that nailed him, their next action may just be unpredictable. What if Ibori die today?

The Urhobo nation led by the apex body, Urhobo Progressive Union(UPU) will announce a twenty one days burial ceremony programmes, organize a eulogy night for a man they personally sacrifice on the alter of self pride. Visits to Delta State will leave no one in doubt that where the ex-governor is a construction giant, a masses oriented governor and elites delight, the current governor, Uduaghan will take over twenty years to achieve the developmental stride of his predecessor. What if Ibori die today? The media once again as it was with his imprisonment be the beneficiary as they will smile to the banks through advert and sales. This is what each newspaper headline may look like.
PUNCH—— Life and times of Ibori as he bids farewell…he was unfairly judged-UPU
VANGUARD—— How Delta State former governor, James Ibori died….. Uduaghan calls for his immortalization.
THIS DAY—— Strongman Delta politics, Ibori dead….. Presidency sends condolence.
NEWSWATCH—– Ibori death: Family struggle over asset… Wait for his will, lawyer tells family.
DAILY INDEPENDENT—— Ibori’s death, a testimony of greatness…. As Delta governor weeps.
GUARDIAN——- James Onanefe Ibori exits the stage…. Senate observes silence in honour.
TELL —— Ibori bids the world farewell …..Plot to name Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH) after him uncovered.
ELOMBAH/THEWILLNIGERIA —— Breaking News! Ibori passes away …. Doctors yet to release autopsy.
NEW NIGERIAN VOICE/INDEPTHAFRICA —— Ibori dies in foreign hospital…. He lived a good life – Jonathan
POINTER —— Uduaghan declares three days state mourning as Chief Ibori die.
SAHARA REPORTERS/PREMIUM TIMES ——- Nigeria Ex Convict governor, Mr. James Ibori is dead.
EAGLEREPORTERS/ABUJA VOICE/ABUSIDIQU —— Ibori death, a mystery…. Urhobos cry foul.
CITY PEOPLE —— Delta big boy, Ibori is dead …… His multi billion assets.

In life and death, Ibori remains an agenda and it is on this that Nigeria must bring him back alive, irrespective of the corruption toga. As he reflects on his life in prison, I join a million over the world to wish him a happy birthday. Let him who has not sinned cast the first stone.

These little things matter.

Fejiro Oliver, a journalist can be reached on secretsreporters@gmail.com

Analysis: The African Union stays in character for Zim election whitewash

060813-AU lessons from Zim2-Simon Allison_mt

Former president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo has never seen a perfect election. At this rate, he’s not going to come close. The African Union’s brazen rubber-stamping of the Zimbabwean elections is incompatible with the lofty ideals it espouses, but makes perfect sense when you realize that it really is a representative body (it just doesn’t represent the likes of us). By SIMON ALLISON.

“I have never seen an election that is perfect,” said Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday. Coming from a former Nigerian president, that’s not hard to believe. Obasanjo was explaining how the African Union election observer mission to Zimbabwe could conclude that there was nothing substantively wrong with the result. “The point has always been and will always be how much have the infractions, imperfections, affected the result of the election being a reflection of the will of the people?”

In Zimbabwe, none of the serious infractions and imperfections identified by the opposition, independent media, civil society groups and local election observers were enough for the AU to dismiss, or even question, the result of the election which was, according to Obasanjo and his team, peaceful, credible, and “fairly fair”, whatever that means.

It’s easy to see why the AU would be so keen to embrace these decidedly flawed results, to give them the all-important continental seal of security. The last time Robert Mugabe lost an election the concequences were disastrous, not just for Zimbabwe, but for the region and for the continent as a whole. Zimbabwe’s economic collapse and post-election violence was incredibly destabilizing for Africa, and if there’s one thing that the AU prizes above all else – yes, far above democracy – it’s stability.

Maybe stability is the wrong word; it’s more a kind of inertia in which maintaining the status quo trumps the will of the people. If you’re in power the AU is generally happier to see you stay there, regardless of your governance record, approach to human rights or the quality of the elections that put you there.

In this, it has an excellent track record. One of the AU’s few firm foreign policies is that no coup, no matter the circumstances, should be condoned. It’s a principle that is pretty firmly applied. The 2009 coup in Madagascar was followed by Madagascar’s suspension from the AU. The same goes for the 2012 coup in Mali and the 2013 coup in the Central African Republic. The principle was even enforced on last month’s was-it-a-coup-was-it-not-it-a-coup in Egypt, and this couldn’t have been easy – Egypt used to be one of the AU’s biggest funders and many diplomats in Addis Ababa would have been happy to see the fall of Mohamed Morsi’s Islamist government. Still, Egypt got a firm rap on the knuckles and a suspension.

And when it comes to elections, incumbency is a major advantage. Zimbabwe is not the only instance of an obviously rigged vote that was quick to receive AU blessing. In the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011, President Joseph Kabila got himself re-elected despite blatantly fiddling the results, yet the AU did not hesitate to extend its seal of approval. The message here was loud and clear: in Africa, the bar for free and fair elections is so low that all a corrupt leader needs to get himself “re-elected” with AU blessing is a few strongly-worded denials coupled with the implicit threat of regional chaos.

All this goes to show that for the AU, stability trumps democracy every time. And it is absolutely no coincidence that this policy works in favour of one-party states, presidents-for-life and autocratic regimes. For all its lofty pretensions, too many AU member states still fall into these categories.

So, regardless of what actually happens, we can expect more “credible” general elections in Ethiopia and Guinea-Bissau later this year; and in Algeria, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa next year. This is good news for the incumbent leaders of all these countries, should they choose to abuse the system; and the ones that don’t should be wary that the AU’s low standards don’t tar them all with the same brush. What’s to distinguish a genuinely fair election from one that’s not? Is there a difference, in the AU’s eyes, between a representative government and a dictatorship?

As for Africa’s long-suffering opposition movements, the Zimbabwean election is yet another indication that they won’t get any help from the continental body. At minimum, the AU’s electoral standards should be about ensuring a level playing field where a viable opposition can exist. This ideal seems a long way off, and it means, in effect, that opposition movements cannot rely on any kind of external assistance. If they’re to fight off autocracy, and corruption, and bad governance, they’ll have to do it by themselves.

It’s a sad state of affairs, and a damning indictment of an organization that has yet to deliver on its promises. But what else did we expect? It might seem bitterly ironic, but the AU is nothing if not a representative body and if we want to reform the AU, we’re going to first have to reform the member states of which it is comprised. DM

Eritrea: Outline of Basic Approach of Uniting Eritrean Democratic And Civic Resistance

Asihel Betsuamlak


I. Background:

Eritrea achieved its independence in 1991 after a bitter and long political and armed struggle for freedom and independence. The people of Eritrea and the gallant heroic fighters (Tegadelti/Munadlin), who hailed from diverse backgrounds, fought a bitter war of liberation and paid heavy sacrifice in an effort to achieve their people’s freedom and their country’s independence. Today, 22 plus years later, a country that was once known for its fierce citizens and strong sense of freedom is subjected to the oppression and control of a brutal and inhuman totalitarian dictatorship of PFDJ.

Complete political and economic domination, complete ban of political rights,  severe restriction of civil liberties and total ban of free press and freedom of expression is imposed on the Eritrean people by PFDJ. The most productive sector of the society – the youth are subjected to indefinite conscription and modern day slavery and isolated from their families in a never ending servitude.  Those that flee in hopes of a better future are often targeted by PFDJ killing squad, and those that are fortunate to survive often face kidnapping, torture, rape, and organ harvesting by traffickers.  To add insult to injury, reports found that the faceless human traffickers who commit these inhuman offenses are sponsored by high ranking officials of the regime. The regime’s response has been shameful and is often condemned by human rights organizations.

When Eritreans demand political freedom and basic democratic rights — the regime responded by building thousands of prison facilities and inhuman network of underground dungeons where tens of thousands of Eritreans are now in prison with no recourse to the rule of law, in a blatant violation of their human rights. A growing population inside and outside of Eritrea are now opposing the regime.   Our beloved nation Eritrea has been transformed into a dark prison to its own people.  As a result, Eritrea’s citizens have no option but to wage a democratic resistance to remove the totalitarian regime of PFDJ.

II. United Eritrean Democratic Resistance

Eritrean Citizens and their democratic and civic forces are now engaged in a struggle to defeat PFDJ’s dictatorship and to restore their freedom and human dignity.  A multitude of resistance activities are underway inside and outside of Eritrea.  Plenty political organizations and numerous civic and civil associations are operating simultaneously in different parts of the world.  However, the resistance movement is suffering from absence of a united national mission, vision and grand strategy to defeat PFDJ’s dictatorship.  The catastrophic nature of the situation in Eritrean in general and the suffering and disintegration of the youth in particular, and the dangers of further complacency confirm that a Unified Democratic and Civic Resistance is needed now more than ever.

The core mission of the Democratic and Civic Resistance must be clearly defined and clarified.  Defeating PFDJ’s totalitarian dictatorship and destroying its dictatorial political and security apparatus, and establishing a free and democratic nation that enshrines Eritrean citizen’s freedom and people’s sovereignty should be the core mission of the united democratic and civic resistance.

In order to bring the core mission to life and achieve the basic objectives of freedom, the United Democratic and Civic Resistance need to crystalize a shared vision for success.  Ensuring all Eritrean citizen’s ownership of their nation and their future; enshrining the inalienable right of Eritrean citizen’s freedom to life, liberty  and property; respecting and protecting the freedom of each and every citizen by accepting the diverse composition that makes up the population of Eritrea should be incorporated in the shared vision of the united democratic and civic resistance.

Most important, the core values – – tolerance, respect for diversity, reciprocity, and trust in each other — must be respected and preserved — in order for unity to be achieved among democratic and civic forces.  Above all, the guiding principles of the United Democratic and Civic Resistance including:

  • Citizen Power and peoples’ sovereignty.
  • Democratic and civil rights
  • Rule of Law
  • Transparency and Accountability need to be fully implemented in all facets of political and economic national life.

III. Organizational Structure of Eritrean United Democratic and Civic Resistance

The Eritrean United Democratic and Civic Resistance’s organizational structure should be based on the following organizational principles:

  • Bottom-up structure that provides freedom, liberty and a sense of responsibility of citizens in all aspect of their life.
  • Democratic structure that facilitates full participation of all stakeholders and effective process of give and take in political decision making.
  • Accountable execution of political functions and activities.
  • Dynamic and responsive organizational structure that can meet ever-changing challenges of the struggle.

The basic unit of the United Democratic and Civic Resistance is — Local Citizen’s Chapters formed by dedicated democratic adult Eritrean citizens of the locality/city.  The local citizen’s chapters elect their board/committee to lead and coordinate the United Democratic and Civic Resistance in their locality/city. The directors of the boards of multiple localities form the coordinating board of their respective region.

On a national/regional level, the local chapters of the region organize an annual convention of the United Democratic and Civic Resistance. .  The national/regional level convention/conference evaluates past performance and draws effective operational strategies of resistance for the upcoming year.

Global conference can be organized every two years to draw global strategies and to elect global leadership for the United Democratic and Civic Resistance. The global conference will be constituted by representatives of the EUDCR chapters and Eritrean democratic and national political organizations, civic associations, religious and community leaders and prominent Eritrean individuals. The role of the global conference may include approving grand strategy of the resistance and electing a global coordinating council of the resistance.

IV. Grand Strategy of United Democratic and Civic Resistance

The core mission and shared vision of the United Democratic and Civic Resistance should be the source of the grand strategy.  The grand strategy should be formulated after an extensive assessment of the overall situation of Eritrea’s internal and external environment.  It should be a living document that is constantly revised to reflect the objective situation of the democratic and civic struggle. The following crucial steps need to be conducted to draw a winning grand strategy:

The first step of drawing a winning strategy is to assess the capacity and potential of the people and its democratic and civic forces in order to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement.  This requires an objective assessment of weaknesses and strengths; followed by an assessment of best practices.  At this point, democratic and civic forces can devise ways to convert weakness into strengths and solidify existing strengths to achieve democratic and civic resistance objectives.  A unified citizen’s resources with effective tools and means of struggle need to be used and bolstered to overwhelm the dictatorial regime.   Understanding ones resources and employing those resources to the fullest potential is the secret behind all victories. The opposition camp must become more strategic in exploiting its greatest resources effectively and efficiently.

The second step is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the brutal dictatorial regime.  The brutal totalitarian dictatorship of PFDJ is an illegitimate regime. Lack of legitimacy and ruling by the whims and ambitions of a small group dominated by a single person can’t stand for long.   It is a home-grown totalitarian regime that surpasses most, existing totalitarian regimes, in cruelty and barbarism. The regime commits huge blunders on a national and regional level that should be exploited to expose and weaken the regime.

Although the regime is exploiting modern technologies of communication, mobilization and organization, it’s financial and human resources are dwindling by the day.  It dominates and monopolizes almost all productive resources inside Eritrea and continues to engage in unimaginable illegal activities at the internal, regional and international levels.  Furthermore, the regime employs a brutal security, spy and prison networks that commit grave crimes of torture, disappearance and killings against the Eritrean people which can be challenged in regional and international courts and institutions. Almost all aspects of the regime’s activities include inherent weaknesses and vulnerabilities that can be targeted by the United Democratic and Civic Resistance to defeat PFDJ and to destroy its dictatorial apparatus.

The third step of drawing a winning grand strategy should consider the regional and international factors that are relevant to the democratic struggle.  Eritrea is surrounded by two relatively big neighbors and it is located in a very hyper sensitive region of the horn of Africa and close to the main international oil shipping route of the Red Sea. The geopolitics of our region creates opportunities and challenges that need to be handled strategically.  Eritrean United Democratic and Civic Resistance could benefit from regional favorable factors by establishing transparent and mutual relationships for cooperation with friendly entities and organizations in line with Eritrea’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.  However, it is imperative that the Democratic Resistance works strategically and efficiently to avoid external conflict and coerciveness by conflicting agendas.

The fourth step in drawing a winning grand strategy is to select the appropriate means of struggle that is capable of weakening and defeating the brutal regime. The means of struggle should be selected thoughtfully after a comprehensive study and analysis of the situation. A winning grand strategy contains various tools and means to carry out its core mission.   It includes a diverse range of operational strategies that utilize diverse tactics to achieve the main objectives of the Democratic Resistance.  Empowered and dedicated free Eritrean citizens are the owners and implementers of the grand strategy.  Unleashing the power within the Eritrean citizen and its democratic and civic forces through bottom up structure is one of the main components of this grand strategy.

The Eritrean opposition is debating the issue of effective means of struggle to defeat the tyrant PFDJ for far too long. One side maintains that the brutal bloody dictatorial regime can only be defeated by violent means of struggle, while another side believes the struggle should be based on non-violent means of struggle. Far from sloganeering and fruitless competition of the opposition on the subject of means of struggle, the selection of effective means of struggle should depend on the core mission of the United Democratic and Civic Resistance and objective situation of the struggle.

Instead of what means of struggle, the big question should be how to strike the dictatorial regime at its weakest points and dismantle its machinery.  If the Democratic and Civic resistance restricts itself to one means of struggle, it may not achieve maximum results with the scarce resources available to it. Therefore, the winning means of struggle should be dynamic and utilizes every sustainable and practical means of struggle to weaken and dismantle the regime by preserving and bolstering the strength of United Democratic and Civic Resistance.

Moreover, the overarching objective is to ensure liberty, democracy and lasting peace for Eritrea and Eritreans. Therefore, the main objective of the grand strategy include the achievement of peace and tranquility; while implementing the grand strategy requires deploying various operational strategies, effective tactics and methods to dismantle the dictatorship.  The current violent and non-violent debate is focusing only on some aspects of the struggle and not grasping the totality of the democratic and civic resistance.  The grand strategy, then, proposes that the struggle should focus on the power of the people and build a bottom-up structure; and utilize a dynamic means of struggle to achieve the core mission of the Eritrean Democratic and Civic Resistance.

V. Conclusion

The dire and catastrophic situation of our beloved nation Eritrea and its heroic people is going from worse to worst by each day. The majority of our people are now opposing the regime and a multitude of political and civic entities and civic minded citizens are fighting the regime.   However, the level of democratic and civic resistance has not been united and coordinated to the extent of the required level to weaken and defeat the brutal dictatorship.  Efforts of unity and alliances with top-down approach were undergoing with no or little progress.  Instead of depending on top-down based approaches only, the democratic and civic resistance can consolidate the efforts of uniting Eritrean democratic and civic resistance with basic bottom-up approach.  Eritrean Democratic and Civic Resistance need to clarify its core mission, crystalize its shared vision and adopt a citizen based bottom up organizational structure. A wining grand strategy and an effective execution mechanism can be drawn to unleash Eritrean Citizen’s power in order to establish democratic and constitutional governance in Eritrea by defeating the PFDJ dictatorship and its dictatorial apparatus.

Victory to United Democratic and Civic Resistance
Glory to Our Martyrs

Asihel Betsuamlak
August 4, 2013

These are my personal views.

Chart 1

Saudi turns Kyrgyz to replace Ethiopian domestic workers


Saudi Arabia is looking to recruit domestic workers from Kyrgyzstan, it was reported, following a ban on nationals from countries including Ethiopia, Kenya and Indonesia.


According to English language Arab News, the Gulf kingdom’s Ministry of Labour is drawing up plans to tap talent from the former Soviet republic.


“We are in talks with officials of some former Soviet republics that export housemaids,” Ahmed Al-Fehaid, deputy minister for international affairs, told the publication.


Saudi Arabia is home to some 2m domestic workers, primarily from developing countries in South Asia and the Far East.


A spate of allegations accusing Ethiopian maids of murdering children in their care led the Saudi government to temporarily ban the recruitment of Ethiopian maids while investigations continued. Al-Fehaid, however, said there were no plans to expel Ethiopian workers en masse.


Saudi Arabia had been forced to increase its intake of Ethiopian domestic workers after other labour exporting countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines banned their citizens from working in the kingdom because of disputes over exploitation and workers’ rights.

Ethiopia: Preying and Praying: A Day and Night with the EPRDF

Faysal Qassim
During the day on August 3, 2013, the Ethiopian government was unusually busy in its anti-Muslim operations. As night time came, however, the government immediately took a likewise unusual pro-Islam face. The Ethiopian state TV aired a special congregational Muslim ritual held on the 27th of the Holy Month of Ramadan. This abrupt shift in the regime’s apparent behavior may surprise some, amuse others, but surely shock many.
It is striking to note that the live broadcast took place by the end of that same day when the government went crazy with its killing spree and massive arrests. According to many credible sources, the government had by then killed at least 11 people in Oromia region of Ethiopia, and arrested thousands for no apparent reason other than their assertiveness in demanding their constitutional rights. The aim of the uncanny night-time transmission is thus obvious: neutralizing the fast developing anti-Islam and anti-Muslim image of the ruling party in the eyes of its Muslim citizens.

This attempt at revamping public image is both bizarre and shocking. How would any government truly believe in the efficacy of an arbitrary, ephemeral and cosmetic measure as a panacea to the awful damage it perpetrated on its people? The government’s reasoning is not just quite amazing, however, but also utterly shocking. It lays bare the deeply condescending attitude of the EPRDF towards its Muslims citizens. If it really expected such a TV transmission would amount to anything positive politically, then it would be one more clear proof that the core of the party is infested with a chronic illness of toxic contempt for people.
But it is shocking also because the transmission was meant for those same people who have recently demonstrated, as a people, perhaps the highest level of political maturity and determination in current Ethiopia. Ethiopian Muslims have been protesting government policies for about a year and a half—having managed to escape the worst through their skillful and novel mechanisms of resistance. Their struggle has been an exemplary case of non-violent struggle against state tyranny, demonstrating utmost far-sightedness and fortitude. To expect such a daring and mature group of people to yield into so petty a propaganda work as the government is indulged in at present would manifest nothing but the paramount idiocy that the Ethiopian regime suffers from as it stands now.
Rather expectedly, the production of Muslim preys by EPRDF gangs could not be atoned by the TV transmission of Muslim prayers. As it is being exhibited widely on diverse fora, Ethiopian Muslims are actually more infuriated by the dirty works of the government, and are betraying even stronger determination to stage more protests in the near future. But more immediately, during that same holy night of Ramadan (the 27th) and in the ones that followed, very emotional supplications were being heard in different mosques across Addis Ababa, cursing the EPRDF regime and imploring Allah to bring down justice in the country. When people are preyed upon by tyrants, prayers do not serve the oppressive agenda of the oppressors, but the noble cause of the oppressed.

Nigeria: Rivers crisis: Court remands Llyod in prison custody


Mr. Chidi Lloyd

HOPES of breathing the air of freedom on Tuesday eluded the Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Chidi Lloyd, as a State High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, ordered that he should be remanded in prison custody.

The trial judge, Justice Letam Nyordee, had given the directive that Lloyd remained in prison custody till Wednesday (today) pending the determination of a bail application filed by his counsel.

Another High Court, sitting in Ahoada, Rivers State, had on Monday granted the embattled lawmaker a bail which the Peoples Democratic Party described as a “travesty of justice.”

Lloyd, who was appearing in court for the second time since he had been in police detention, pleaded not guilty to six counts of conspiracy, attempted murder, intent to maim, disfigure and injure, unlawful grievous harm and willfully destroying of government property.

Lead counsel for the Majority Leader, Mr. Beluolisa Nwofor (SAN), had moved a motion for the bail application for his client pursuant to Sections 118 sub-section 124 of the Criminal Procedure Law of Rivers State.

Nwofor explained that his client deserved bail and prayed the court to discountenance the counter-affidavit filed by the police on the bail application.

He told the court that his client had been in detention for over a week, a period, which he argued, had surpassed the limit prescribed by the constitution.

“He (Lloyd) has been in police detention for more than one week and this is against the stipulation of the constitution. We plead that the court grants him bail,” Nwofor said.

The lawyer argued that a person was deemed innocent until a competent court of law decides otherwise since the charges against his client had nothing to do with armed robbery, murder or felony.

He also prayed the court to grant Lloyd bail based on self-recognition, arguing that his client willingly turned himself in to the police.

However, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Worgu Boms, succeeded in taking over the prosecution of the matter from the police in line with Section 211 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.

Boms, had, during the previous sitting, declared his intention to take over the prosecution from the counsel for the police, Mr. Donald De-Nwigwe.

But the court had raised objection to the attorney-general’s move on the grounds that Lloyd had not been arraigned.

The trial judge, however, ruled that the attorney-general could take over the prosecution from De-Nwigwe, after the Majority Leader had taken his plea.

Meanwhile, one of the counsel for Lloyd, Mr. Emenike Ebete, has said that they decided to sue the Inspector General Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, and claim N50bn as damages following the inhuman treatment meted on his client.

Ebete, who spoke with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, said Lloyd was blindfolded, tortured and treated like a common criminal by the police.

The counsel, who filed the suit against police boss at a High Court in Ahoada on Monday, argued that the law permitted Lloyd to claim damages from the police because his fundamental human rights had been breached.