Asmara has become a city of wailing and sorrow

Asmara has become a city of wailing and sorrow

Members of the Freedom Friday Movement have confirmed that many people in the capital are hearing of the fate of their loved ones caught up in last Thursday’s boat accident off the cost of Lampadusa in Italy.

The accident which is said to be the biggest accident on the Mediterranean to date claimed the lives of hundreds of Eritreans who were part of a group of about 500 on a boat making a clandestine journey to the Italian island.

So far 155 survivors and 232 bodies including 4 children have been recovered to date. The search for more bodies is on-going.

Members of the Movement reported that the situation in Asmara is very sad and although there isn’t any official announcements people are finding about the fate of their loved ones through their own networks and holding private memorials and many people are visiting each other to comfort those bereaved.

One member of the team recounted his experience by saying: ‘I have already visited six families, everyone is distraught, even the families of the survivors are in shock, these are very dark times indeed’

Another member recounted how for some families it is a multiple loss, ‘one woman we visited has three members of her family missing and presumed dead now, she is simply inconsolable they were very young too’

Meanwhile Freedom Friday, is finalising its preparation to make thousands of calls with messages of condolence and a call for a national mourning Period.

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After Biafra: Campaign For A Sovereign National Conference Has Vindicated Ojukwu

By Lawrence Nwobu

For anyone who still harboured any doubt about the great lie Nigeria is; the disharmony, oppression, tribalism, injustice, marginalisation, domination, ethno-religious conflicts, “born to rule syndrome,” internal colonialism, corruption, misrule, vandalism and lack of patriotism that all together constitute the grand unravelling of Nigeria should now dispel that doubt. The irony of a lie is that it eventually unmasks itself. 46

years ago, Yakubu Gowon and his collaborators shamelessly lied through their teeth that they were fighting a “war of unity” to bring back into Nigeria those Gowon as head of state refused to protect while they were being massacred just a few months earlier.

To prosecute the so called “war of unity” Yakubu Gowon used the same officers and soldiers who carried out the gruesome pogrom/genocide that caused the war in the first place, and lied to the whole world that his campaign was aimed simply at unifying Nigeria. Even while the evidence of the atrocities committed by his troops in Benin city, Asaba, Onitsha apostolic church, the rape of women, systematic burning of houses and the intentions of genocide borne by the pronouncements of his officers/civilian collaborators and radio Kaduna proved otherwise, Gowon and his goons continued their lie of a “war of unity” to a global audience.

But where is Nigeria today? 46 years after Biafra, the unravelling of the “war of unity” scam has come to rest on our doorsteps. Nigeria is today a failed state and a nation at war with itself; torn by increasing strife, ethno-religious conflicts, Sharia states, institutional injustice, ethnic militia’s, terrorism, monumental corruption, tribalism, unrelenting disharmony and social chaos. The Nigeria the opportunists, bigots, hypocrites, hate mongers, mass murderers, looters and liars like Yakubu Gowon and his infamous goons falsely claimed they fought to unite has increasingly become what it always was; “an impossible nation.”

The same crowd of “soldiers of fortune” and civilians who claimed they fought for Nigerian unity is ironically the same group; singlehandedly responsible for the monumental looting, despoliation and destruction of the nation. They destroyed Nigeria so much that they left us without electricity, without roads, without pipe borne water, without railway lines, without functional hospitals, without functional schools, without functional refineries, without functional steel plants, without jobs, without a national airline, without food, without security, without social justice, without harmony, without peace, without love. The question might be asked; how can a group that claimed to have fought for Nigerian unity turn around and destroy the same nation? The answer is simple; because they were mere opportunists and bigots who never believed in Nigeria. They fought for crude oil and an opportunity to line their pockets and consolidate regional domination.

Truth is; the vindication of Emeka Ojukwu began soon after the conflict. By 1990 Major Gideon Orkar and his group had seen enough fault lines in Nigeria to attempt a failed coup that removed the core North from the rest of the nation. As Nigeria unravelled further and the contradictions, internal colonialism and injustice became more obvious, the campaign for a sovereign national conference began and has gathered steam since the 90’s. Notably, the likes of late Chief Anthony Enahoro who as minister of information was one of the stalwarts of Yakubu Gowon’s war time regime, spent the last years of his life struggling for the convocation of a sovereign national conference, after having realised much later the deceit of the so called war of unity. Lt General Alanni Akinrinnade, an erstwhile officer who fought on the Nigerian side is one of the arrowheads of a sovereign national conference having also realised the deceit of the one Nigeria scam.

Chief E.K Clark an erstwhile Yakubu Gowon cabinet member amongst others is now in the SNC camp. There is a strident national movement vociferously campaigning for a sovereign national conference that includes the breakup of the nation as one of its aims. What Emeka Ojukwu saw several decades ago, many have come to see now. The widespread campaign for a sovereign national conference is a stinging historical rebuttal of Yakubu Gowon, the North, their allies and the false “war of unity” propaganda. It has exposed the lie of the war and vindicated erstwhile Biafran leader, Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu. Paradoxically, Gowon and the North are afraid and opposed to a sovereign national conference, yet these are the same people that falsely claimed years back that Nigeria is a harmonious entity that must not be allowed to break because of a narrow group of rebel leaders. So why would they now be afraid of an SNC? Because they know that Nigeria has unravelled, the truth has become self evident and any opportunity of free dialogue and choice could to lead to the breakup of the so called one Nigeria that most have come to understand as a fraud that only represents in the main, injustice and Northern hegemony.

Conclusions: The Necessity Of A Sovereign National Conference

In light of Nigeria’s tragedy of nationhood, the necessity of a sovereign national conference cannot be overstated. Sovereignty ultimately resides with the people. Freedom and dignity are the inalienable rights of every individual and group and those rights confer on all the right to self determine. There was no such place as Nigeria before the British imperialists stepped foot on the shores that constitute the geographical area and forced disparate groups into a strange contraption for the sole purpose of servicing her imperial interests. The convocation of a sovereign national conference to self determine their future in or out of Nigeria is thus a sacrosanct fundamental right of every group within Nigeria.

Preventing, opposing or delaying the exercise of such a fundamental right is a violation of the inalienable rights of every group, the laws of natural justice and an attempt at enslaving or colonising others. Nigeria as presently constituted is unsustainable and rejecting a sovereign national conference only serves to invite an inevitable evil day. No nation built on force, exploitation, injustice, marginalisation, inequality or hostility as is the case with Nigeria can endure. This is a bitter truth Nigeria must contend with. The freedom, dignity and democratic will of all within the Nigerian geographical expression must be respected by convening a sovereign national conference that confers the right to self determination where all ethnic nationalities must dialogue as equal sovereign entities to decide their future in or out of Nigeria. Having travelled through the ravages of a needless war and an aftermath of injustice, misrule, exploitation and internal colonialism, Nigeria has unravelled; and the only solution is the necessary and immediate convocation of a sovereign national conference!

Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu

Email: lawrencenwobu@gmail.com

Nigeria: DPP Is An Orphan, Pdp Is Abuja Imposter; Acn Tells Delta Voters

By Fejiro Oliver

As the campaign on who occupies the Delta Central Senatorial District senate seat gets hotter, the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, O’Tega Emerhor has launched out serial campaigns against his two major opponents, the PDP and DPP. In series of messages sent to voters, he asked the Urhobos to jettison the DPP as they are a party without national spread, as well as an orphan whose hobby is to contest and lose

election.

On the PDP candidate, he urged voters not to vote for a candidate imposed by the presidency, as it will mean selling their birthright. He told the presidency to give their candidate, Aguariwvodo a political position instead of trying to impose him on the people of the district. “Urhobos, shine your eyes! Don’t accept PDP/Abuja imposition. Urhobos are capable of choosing their senator. Let Abuja give Aguariavwodo appointment”, one of the messages read.

The ACN dismissed the PDP candidate as having a good past, who could not create job opportunities when he had the chance. He ascribed him as a man whose lips are deceitful and coated with sugar. In a poll released by them, they gave opinion poll statistic as Emerhor winning 74%, Aguariawvodo having 16% while the DPP candidate, Ede got 10% of the votes

Meanwhile the PDP in the state has told voters that only their candidate Aguariawvodo has the key to Aso Rock and the only man with legislative experience.

Ethiopian Authorities Shoot at Refugees at Mai Ayni and Adiharush

Refugee Community leaders in camps in Ethiopia have reported that Ethiopian Federal police have opened fire at protesting refugees, it is feared that there have been fatalities among the wounded.

Home to many thousands of Eritrean refugees, Mai Ayni and Adiharush are United Nations refugee camps situated close to the border with Eritrea. With their residents far exceeding their capacities, and growing by the week as more Eritreans arrive, conditions in the camps have been deteriorating for some time.

At the end of last week, tired of their living conditions, hundreds came out in protest in Mai Ayni camp to call for their rights as refugees to be respected. The authorities within the camp called in the Ethiopian Federal Guard, who subsequently opened fire on the protesters, injuring four, one of whom seriously. Yesterday, protesters in Adiharush began a similar protest, and their defiance was swiftly dealt with in the same way, with this time six injured, and one protester killed.

This morning, at around 8am, approximately one hundred Eritrean community representatives went to the camp authorities in Mai Ayni, asking for answers on why unarmed protesters had been shot. All one hundred representatives were arrested. Later, sixty were released to return to their people, in an attempt to quell the unrest that was bubbling in the camp, but the other forty – which included two women – have been taken to an unknown location and have not been heard from.

We call upon the Ethiopian authorities to immediately release these men and women, and for the rights of refugees in Ethiopia – especially within the refugee camps – to be respected and upheld, in accordance with the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. We call for an investigation into the shooting of unarmed refugees in a UN camp, and action to be taken where necessary to bring to justice those responsible for the shootings.

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Release Eritrea is a UK based human rights charity
For further information please contact: halawihawey@yahoo.com

Open Letter to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: The Ship Is Adrift – Need for National Dialogue

By Eze Eluchie

Whilst much has been said about the role providence, as opposed to self-will and determination, played in your ascendance to the exalted office of the President of the Federal Republic, the immutable reality is that, for now, you are The President. History is replete with personalities who had power thrust upon them, and such personalities turned around and made the utmost use of such powers in a manner

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Aso Rock

Abuja, Nigeria.

Mr. President,

Sir,

Open Letter to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

The Ship Is Adrift – Need for National Dialogue

On this epoch occasion of the 53rd Independence Anniversary of Nigeria, I feel it appropriate to extend felicitations to your goodself and fellow citizens of the Federal Republic and also share an ordinary citizen’s reflection on the present realities of our country and the need for National Dialogue.

Whilst much has been said about the role providence, as opposed to self-will and determination, played in your ascendance to the exalted office of the President of the Federal Republic, the immutable reality is that, for now, you are The President. History is replete with personalities who had power thrust upon them, and such personalities turned around and made the utmost use of such powers in a manner that made the populations of such countries grateful to providence.

From its inception, your tenure has been badgered with extreme hostility and contempt from diverse sources, including some erstwhile supposedly ‘powerful’ stakeholders in our country, some of who openly boasted that they will render the country ungovernable for your administration – and did true to their threats, unleash a most vicious campaign of terror (particularly in the northern fringes of Nigeria) and calumny against the State, your office and your person. The ensuing polarization and rancor has continued to portray the aura of a polity adrift.

In addition to deploying violence as a means of actualizing the quest of making the polity ungovernable, it appears that ensuring a continuing state of distraction from the purpose of governance using all manners of contrived internal political skirmishes is also being used, with some measure of success, to retard whatsoever efforts that might have been conceived by your administration towards societal advancement.

May I seize this opportunity to remind you, Sir, that by virtue of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under which you assumed and continue in office, the enormity of powers invested in the President of the Federal Republic is such that will make your counterparts across constitutional democracies all over the world green with envy. The Nigerian President is in reality, one of the most powerful elected political office holders, in relation to its powers within its borders, on earth. One of the late ‘founding fathers’ of the Nigerian State, Obafemi Awolowo, had stoically asked for ‘just one day’ to act as President of the Federal Republic, and he would have made lasting positive impact. Your goodself have had years in office, and hopefully a few more ahead, and as such, posterity will not accept excuses from you in the event that the expected dividends are not delivered to the State and its populations.

Restructuring and Renegotiation:

From its inception in 1960, the Nigerian State had structural, demographic and constitutional defects. These defects have with increased polarization of the polity, become more glaring and now manifests in routine bloody conflagrations amongst the various components ethnic nationalities of and religious subsets in the country, in the process leading to thousands of deaths and threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of our fellow citizens in addition to threatening the peace and stability of the entire West African sub-region.
As rightly identified in your 2013 ‘Independence Day’ broadcast, the need for National Dialogue to actualize a Nigeria in tune with the expectations and desire of Nigerians is long overdue. Whilst welcoming your empanelling of a Committee to formulate the structure and process of National Dialogue, one is worried that populating such a committee with personalities, who have contributed to similar processes in decades past and have thus appeared to become recurring decimals, may not achieve the expectation of our population for holistic restructuring and renegotiation of the polity.
With the heightened agitation from various segments of our population for a restructuring and renegotiation of the makeup of Nigeria, the process you have initiated is a historic opportunity to avert a looming apocalypse and thus represent an opportunity Nigeria and its constituent population cannot afford to see fail.
It is sincerely hoped that at the end of the one month period you have announced for the committee to come up with its recommendations, the path forward towards genuine national discourse and restructuring will not suffer the often common fate of most government initiatives of being rendered comatose and that efforts will be made to broaden the discourse to include representatives of diversity of our country and its peoples.
Likely opposition to national dialogue:

As expected, some elements who are perennially opposed to peaceful resolution of or who directly engineered these crisis situations, and others who may perchance feel that they are benefiting from the ensuing mayhem, inclusive of persons who have in the recent past openly advocated for the convocation of a ‘national conference’, will become vocal in opposition to the commencement and actualization of the dialogue process you have initiated. The will of the people, as represented by the clamor for a ‘National Dialogue on the future of Nigeria’ must not be sacrificed for the convenience of a few who have benefitted from the unfortunate circumstance foisted on Nigerians.
In response to persons who oppose an opportunity for Nigerians to dialogue about the country’s future, I do really hope that your Office recognizes the fact that the generality of Nigerians and the international community are quite exasperated by the inability of the Nigerian State to get its act together – the National Dialogue process Mr. President has now initiated, represents a fresh vista of hope and another chance for Nigeria.
Those in opposition to dialogue have aired the view that the existence of the present National assembly makes the convocation of a National Dialogue unnecessary. This argument, sensible as it may sound, flies in the face of reason. The existence of the said National Assembly has, thus far, not prevented the slide to decay and anarchy. The powers and composition of the National Assembly is a critical item in any renegotiation that will have to be undertaken of Nigerian – as such, the present National Assembly cannot be a part of the dialogue process towards restructuring itself and the entirety of the Nigerian project.
Authority for National Dialogue:

A deft interpretation and application of the totality of the Second Chapter of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic and the Executive Powers conferred on The President by the said Constitution, empowers and makes it incumbent upon your Office, not only to ensure that the forthcoming National Dialogue holds, but that the outcome of the desires of the peoples of the Federal Republic is effectively implemented.
The growing insecurity in the land, particularly the war being waged against Nigeria by various terrorist organizations; the blatant rubbishing of constitutional provisions by all component States of the Nigerian Federation amongst other things in disregarding fiscal appropriation mechanisms and not allowing democratically elected officials to govern at the Local Government Councils; and the overriding need to preserve the life and property of the citizenry which are increasingly being placed in dire situations by the actions of some component States and non-State actors in our country, makes it imperative for your Office to ensure that the process of National Dialogue moves ahead, swiftly, to a conducive conclusion.
The outcome of the National Dialogue should be put to referendum under which various component parts of the polity will be at liberty to make decisions regarding their respective futures.
Challenges to the process of National Dialogue will certainly arise from the same characters who had threatened to make the country ungovernable and their cohorts, using such instrumentalities as the Judiciary, the National Assembly, terrorism, paid-orchestrated rallies and some other not so subtle tactics. I believe I need not remind Mr. President that the Office of the President of the Federal Republic and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces is sufficiently imbued with the authority, personnel and wherewithal to overcome such challenges and ensure that the will of the people of Nigeria prevails.
Nigerians and the international community can simply not afford the costs of a catastrophic disintegration of Nigeria.
Mr. President, Sir, the National Dialogue must not only go ahead but its outcomes should be implemented in the interest of all.
Remain assured of my high regards.
Yours sincerely,

Eze Eluchie, Esq.
Concerned Citizen of the Federal Republic.

The Role of the President under EPRDF

By Seyoum Workneh
As we all know, EPRDF follows the policy of ethnic federalism, which will have dire consequences for the country in the future. Ethnic federalism is a symbolic division of power based on race. Presidential position has been assigned for the Oromo ethnic group as we have seen it for the last 23 years.
Now Ethiopia is having a new president in Dr Mulatu Teshome, who was born in 1955/56 in Arjo town, Wollega. There is no need of competency to take power in EPRDF era. The only thing the elect has to do is to serve loyally for the TPLF members. Even though EPRDF believes that power is divided fairly among all four ethnic-based parties that make up the EPRDF, the presidential position is nothing more than presenting flower bouquets to foreign dignitaries that come to the country. The job of presenting flowers is in accordance with EPRDF constitution’s Article 71.
The president does not have influence in the politics of the country. So, I don’t think he will work hard for change even in his piety power rather than being puppet for the next 6 years and 6 more years(unless political change engulfs Ethiopia or natural disasters come to his house) like his predecessors. I am afraid that Dr Mulatu has become a volunteer to serve the Weyanna gangsters, despite his scholarship and hailing from the majority Oromo
For a better understanding, here’s what a president does under the surveillance of the EPRDF bosses:
Article 71
Powers and Functions of the President
1. He shall open the joint session of the House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of the Federation at the commencement of their annual sessions.
2. He shall proclaim in the Negarit Gazeta laws and international agreements approved by the House of Peoples’ Representatives in accordance with the Constitution.
3. He shall, upon recommendation by the Prime Minister, appoint ambassadors and other envoys to represent the country abroad.
4. He shall receive the credentials of foreign ambassadors and special envoys.
5. He shall award medals, prizes and gifts in accordance with conditions and procedures established by law.
6. He shall, upon recommendation by the Prime Minister and in accordance with law, grant high military titles.
7. He shall, in accordance with conditions and procedures established by law, grant pardon.