Matric Results 2013

File: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to announce the pass rate on Monday. Picture: Picture: GCIS/SAPA

File: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to announce the pass rate on Monday. Picture: Picture: GCIS/SAPA

JBasic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has announced an increase in the national pass rate, which now stands at 78.2%, up 4.3% from 2012.

Motshekga also compared the latest results with those from 2009, where the pass rate four years ago stood at 60.6%, highlighting that there’s been a 16.6% increase since then.

The results for maths, a key subject, are usually always lower than results from other subjects in the Matric exams. Motshekga reported that maths results for 2013 stood at 59.1%, which is up from 54% in 2012. These were the best set of maths results in five years, she said.

Motshekga reported that the Free State was the highest performing province. The province took top honours with an 87.4% pass rate.

Mpumalanga province was singled out for congratulations, for improving its pass rate from 47.9% in 2006 to 77.6% in 2013.

The minister also highlighted that no individual district performed below 50%. Sedibeng in Gauteng was the top performing district with 90.7% pass rate.

Overall, in 3,720 schools nationwide, 80% of the pupils achieved pass rates, which, according to Motshekga, shows “overwhelming evidence that we are improving learning outcomes.”

Highest number of matric writers to date

The Free State was the highest performing province
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Matric results 2013

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562,112 pupils wrote the 2013 examinations – an increase of more than 50,000 pupils in 2012, and the highest number to date.

9.1 million papers were printed, 8.7 million scripts were marked, and 30.6% of those who passed will qualify for a university entrance.

Regarding overall performance, most provinces reflected an improvement. The trend has generally shown that performance has been increasing since 2008, although it dipped slightly in 2011.

551 schools in 2013 achieved a 100% pass rate. In 2012 the 100% pass rate figure was achieved by 441 schools nationally.

These results have been welcome news for embattled Minister Angie Motshekga.

With widespread criticism of the quality of schooling and the Limpopo textbook scandal, 2013 was a tumultuous year for her.

NGOs and teachers’ union Sadtu even called for her head at one stage.

But Motshekga found an unlikely ally in DA leader, Helen Zille, who wrote an open letter saying the embattled minister was actually doing a good job.

Provincial results

Every province except the Northern Cape improved on its 2012 pass rate.

2013 Provincial results are as follows:

Eastern Cape

64.9% (up from 61.6% in 2012)

Limpopo

71.8% (up from 66.9% in 2012)

Northern Cape

74.5% (down from 74.6% in 2012)

KZN

77.4% (up from 73.1% in 2012)

Mpumalanga

77.6% (up from 70% in 2012)

Western Cape

85.1% (up from 82.8% in 2012)

Gauteng

87% (up from 83.9% in 2012)

North West

87.2% (up from 79.5% in 2012)

Free State

87.4% (up from 81.1 % in 2012)

-eNCA

President Jonathan And His Thieving Gang Of World Bank “Economists” And “Should Be Called To Order

by Danjuma Azemobo Musa

About two weeks ago, I expressed disappointment at CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s Volte-face on the unaccounted/missing $49Billion he expressed concerns about in a memo he wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan. My disappointment at that time stemmed from the fat that I have known Sanusi for quite some time

and his body language seemed to me that he was not entirely convinced that the said fund was not missing. I thought at that time that SLS was cowed into accepting that everything was ok and that reconciliation was revealing where the missing funds were (mis)applied. I still believe there is something amiss. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi Lied (and continues to lie) to Nigerians.

I cannot speculate on why SLS will lie and continue to lie to Nigerians about funds not missing or misapplied especially after he was severely and virulently insulted by cyber bandits and hired television “commentators” doing the bidding of the same people his acceptance of a reconciled figure tends to protect. Could someone (as they say) be holding SLS by the balls?

I have tremendous personal respect for Mallam Sanusi but there are times when silence is no longer golden and for Sanusi, I believe this is one of such times. That is why I think SLS needs to come clean and tell Nigerians what transpired between the time he wrote his memo and the time he appeared (looking cowed) before Makarfi’s Committee in the Nigerian Senate. Sanusi needs to tell Nigerians why he believes that moneys not paid to the federation account but ILLEGALLY expended becomes “unmissing” once reconciled by agencies of government who perpetrate the illegality in the first place. SLS should tell Nigerians why as head of the nation’s Central Bank, he should not be aware of any and every expenditure drawn from our national receipts except after a purported reconciliation.

The senate too, through its committees on appropriation and Finance seemed to have played to the gallery. One wonders why the National Assembly is mum after an admission by the Finance Ministry headed by the coordinating Minister of the Economy that it was aware that there was almost $50 Billion (an amount almost twice our national budget) expended by an agency of government without such monies being remitted to the federation account or even appropriated by the National Assembly.

The truth is that our country has been taken over by thieves and charlatans masquerading as economists and accountants. We are saddled with a government which has compromised our entire financial sovereignty to smooth talking and power point powered merchants of doom. Just as it has been hinted that SLS should proceed on pre-retirement leave, President Goodluck Jonathan should also as a matter of urgency fire the entire top hierarchy of the Finance and Petroleum Ministry as well as that NNPC and call for a full and independent probe of the Nation’s finances. Failure to do this suggests complicity on the part of the president. Failure of Mr. President to heed to this call should call for drastic measure from the National assembly including the possibility of impeachment.

Interestingly, the way the National Assembly is going on as if nothing is wrong is worrisome. It is suggestive of complicity. It started with a =N=2.5Trillion unbudgeted expenditure for payment of subsidy on PMS within a year to a now humongous =N=8 Trillion unbudgeted expenditure out of which we are now told =N=6 Trillion has been “reconciled”. NASS should wake up to its responsibilities, enough of public hearings, self-glorification and grandstanding by members. The national assembly must as a matter of urgency revisit all issues of unremitted funds to the Federation Account and un-appropriated expenditure by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.

The NNPC must also be checked and disallowed from operating as a “government of government”. It should be disallowed from operating National Revenue Collection Accounts while proceeds of sales of crude oil and associated products should be remitted to the Federation account from where all obligations against Nigeria must be settled. For how long are we going to keep tolerating NNPC giving us stipends determined by them from sales made on our behalf?

Nigeria: Edwin Clark blasts Obasanjo in hard-hitting Letter

by Fejiro Oliver

In what has become a vogue among prominent Nigerians, including the thugs among them, former Nigeria Minster, Edwin Clark has written his own letter to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, for daring to criticize his kinsman, President Goodluck Jonathan. In the letter, he accused Obasanjo of looting the country treasury despite having only N20,000 when he came from prison. He exposed some assets of the retired general while accusing him of being behind the current state of the country.

Below is the letter

My Dear
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,

Let The Truth Be Told Before It Is Too Late

This indeed is a season of open letters, the session of which you heralded with a contemptuous one to His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Your eldest daughter and a former Senator. Dr. lyabo Obasanjo, feeling uncomfortable with your antics quickly fired a response to your now infamous letter that has gone viral and continue to generate negative national discourse.

President Goodluck Jonathan GCFR, an amiable gentle man to whom you routed your vicious open letter would not tolerate Presidential aides writing nor commenting on your letter, and so ordered a stay of action. He in his characteristic manner of respect and decorum said he would personally reply. I am quite certain that the President did not want to join issues with a benefactor and former President. He would have wanted the charged atmosphere your open letter orchestrated to ride itself out until normalcy and calm return to the polity, as witnessed in other incitive comments by well placed Individuals in the recent past.

However, as you well intended the echoes of your vicious letter continue to reverberate negatively. The President had no option left but to reply you through the same medium of an open letter. With a deep sense of responsibility the President touched all the damaging allegations you heaped on his administration and today Nigerians are better informed.
Clark-obasanjo

In the light of the forgoing, it has become incumbent upon me at this point in our national life to refute some of the issues highlighted in your letter especially about the Ijaws so that Nigerians must know that you are not the saint you claim to be, but a mischief maker, an ego maniac who always wants to play to the gallery. As rightfully put by your daughter lyabo “Nigeria does not belong to Obasanjo”. In addition, I want to buttress the assertion that all Nigerians are equal no matter where they come from, that is, no one is a second class citizen of this nation. You have no right to plunge Nigerians into crisis as your past actions and recent open letter to the President connotes. The generality of Nigerians think your letter is treasonable.

Ordinarily, I never intended to join in the affray of accusations and counter accusations between a former President and a sitting President and a daughter in between. But, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in your usual characteristic hatred and use of sarcastic remarks about Ijaw, you have again berated and insulted us the Ijaws in your letter to Mr. President. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has never for once acted nor behaved as an Ijaw man since he took office as President, and we hold no grudge against him for that.

Secondly, as a Nigerian and an Ijaw man, I am proud to belong to both entities. Unlike you Obasanjo who is a Yoruba man first before being a Nigerian, I Chief E.K. Clark am the accepted leader of the Ijaws, while unfortunately you, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, are not accepted as leader of the Yorubas despite being Head of State twice, because you lack the virtues and honour deserving of a Yoruba leader. Your devilish and inciting remarks about the Ijaws are unfounded.

My dear former President, I know my letter will not come to you as a surprise because you know I would respond in equal measure, I have written several open letters to you in the past for your mismanagement of Nigeria affairs with Atiku Abubakar between 1999-2007, when you were the President and he your Vice President. I have also criticized and commented on your incessant interference with the government of Late President, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and I have commented on your unwarranted interference with his administration because of the confusion you generate. Reproduced hereunder is your myopic, rude and irresponsible remarks about Ijaws in your desperate letter to Mr. President:

‘For you to allow yourself to be “possessed” so to say, to the exclusion of most of the rest of Nigerians as an Ijaw man’ is a mistake that should have never been allowed to happen. Yes, you have to be born in one part of Nigeria to be a Nigerian if not naturalized but the Nigerian President must be above ethnic factionalism. And those who prop you up as of, and for ‘Ijaw nation1 are not your friends genuinely, not friends of Nigeria nor friend of ‘Ijaw nation1 they tout about. To allow or tacitly encourage people of ‘Ijaw nation’ to throw insults on other Nigerians from other parts of the country and threaten fire and brimstone to protect your interest as Ijaw man is myopic and your openly quieting them is even more unfortunate. You know that I have expressed my views and feelings to you on this, issue in the past but I have come to realize that many others feel the way I have earlier expressed to you.”

I am indeed very sad and disturbed that you can make such a malicious, mischievous statement about an ethnic group which you did pejoratively knowing fully well that it has no single iota of truth nor foundation purposely to instigate and incite the rest of Nigerians against Mr. President and Ijaw come 2015.

Your statement: “For you to allow yourself to be possessed so to say, to the exclusion of most of the rest of Nigeria as an Ijaw man is a mistake that should have never been allowed to happen” One may wish to ask why you think Jonathan is being possessed by Ijaws in the Presidency? The answer is definitely no. A few following instances may suffice;
i) The NSA in-charge of security in the whole country is Fuiani from Sokoto state.
if) The SGF is Ibo from Ebonyi State
iii) The Principal Secretary to the President is Fuiani from Adamawa
iv) The Commander, Brigade of guards is from Cross River
v) The ADC to the President is from Kogi
vi) His Speech writer is from Edo State, while the Senior Special Adviser on Media is Yoruba from Ogun State
vii)Chief of Staff to the President – Edo State
viii) Principal Secretary to President is Fulani
ix} The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Custom Service is Fulani from Katsina
x) The Chief of Air Staff is an Ibo from Delta State;
xi) The Chief of Naval Staff is from Kwara
xii) The Chief of Defence Staff is from North
xiii) The Chief of Army Staff is Ibo from Abia
The Inspector-General of Police is Hausa
xiv) The Director-General of DSS is from Cross River
xv) The Director-General of Immigration Service is from Plateau State
xvi) The Director-General of NSCDC is Yoruba from Ogun
xvii) The Executive Secretary of PTDF is Yoruba from Ekiti
xviii) The Chairman of FERMA is Yoruba from Osun while the MD is Ibo from Delta
-xix) The GMD NNPC is from Kaduna State
xx) The Acting DG NTA is from Eco State
xxi) Director-General of Inland Waterways – from the North
xxii) The MD of NPA is Hausa Fulani
xxiii) The CBN Governor is Hausa/Fulani from Kano
xxiv) The FRSC Chairman is Ibo
xxv) The Director-General of NAFDAC is from Benue.
INEC Chairman is Hausa/Fulani from Kebbi
NDDC Chairman is Ibibio from Akwa Ibom State Director-General National Orientation Agency is from Nasarawa State The Economic Adviser to the President is Ibo. The Chief of Protocol to Mr. President is a Yoruba man.
Even in the field of ambassadorial appointments, there is no Ijaw man or woman holding any senior ambassadorial appointment as underlined below:

The Ambassador of Nigeria to United States is Yoruba. The Nigerian Permanent Representative to United Nations is Ibo. The Nigerian High Commissioner to United Kingdom is Hausa/Fulani. Nigeria Ambassador to Russia Akwa Ibom. Nigeria Ambassador to China is Hausa. Nigeria Ambassador to Argentina, Benue. Nigeria Ambassador to France – Yoruba. Nigeria Ambassador to Spain – Ibo.

Out of the 64 ambassadorial posting to various Nigerian missions abroad, only three are Ijaw. No Ijaw person is Vice-Chancellor of any of the 36 Federal Universities.

The President has 18 Advisers approved by the Senate, only Mr, Oronto Douglas is Ijaw. The number of Ijaws in the Federal Civil Service under Jonathan’s Administration has not increased and the number of Permanent Secretaries is only three Ijaws out of about seventy. There are only two Ijaw Ministers out of 42. Only one Ijaw man from Rivers State owns Oil bloc even though most of the oil comes from Ijaw land. No Ijaw man is an oil marketer and no Ijaw man lifts oil. You have agreed that the amnesty programme has not been implemented properly. The second phase which is infrastructure development is yet to take place. The 45-Man Technical Committee recommendations White Paper under the Chairmanship of Comrade Ledum Mittee is yet to be released. This is one of the few areas Ijaw people could have benefited. Where are the Ijaws who have taken possession of President Jonathan?

I shall soon publish the full details of all those who held important federal positions and beneficiaries in line with ethnic quota in your government between 1999 – 2007. This will enable us determine who was possessed by his people and groups that were marginalized to show the extent President Jonathan is possessed by Ijaws. It may be necessary to state that:
1. Hausa language was the lingua franca at the Presidency while Alhaji Shehu Shagari was the President of Nigeria from 1979-1983.
2. Hausa language continued to be lingua franca in the Presidency when the military was in power between1983-1998.
3. Between 1999-2007, the Yoruba language became the lingua franca during your Presidency.
4. Between 2007-2010 the Hausa language returned to the Villa as lingua franca during late Umaru Musa Yar’dua administration and in fact, he was accused of bringing nearly all members of the State Executive to the Federal government. Is the Ijaw language the lingua franca at the Presidency now? The answer is NO.

My Dear Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, you have become an unrepentant trouble maker, as Nigeria gave you more than you truly deserve. Hence you see yourself as lord of the manor. You have without recourse in the past embarrassed all past Heads of State and Presidents in Nigeria through open letters and unsavory comments. In such letters, you have always alleged maladministration, corruption and incompetence against them.

At this juncture, I may wish to quote a piece from a concerned Nigerian, Senator Uche Chukwumereje: “He has since after his first stint in Aso Villa, consistently played the role of the Praetonia Guard pontificating to every successor and awarding marks like a headmaster to each pupil-President. Every regime from Shagari through Buhari to Babangida and Abacha, has benefited (or suffered) from the corrective tongue lashes of the guard.’’

Nigerians are aware that you set the stage for the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as President of the Federal Republic. But the saying goes that if you present a gift of a goat to a friend you must let go of the tether. You are probably different. Right from the inception of the Jonathan presidency, your body language indicated you wanted to play the role of the piper, that is, dictate how Jonathan runs, the phenomenon you did not tolerate from those who put you in office in 1999.

An incident that played itself out then will suffice. You masterminded the removal of Chief Tony Anenih then PDP Chairman, Board of Trustee, and appointed yourself thinking the position will give you powers to control and manipulate the President. The futility of your actions dawned on you when you realized Jonathan is his own man. And in frustration you resigned as PDP Board of Trustee Chairman. You had thought the President will kneel before you begging that you stay on; but he never did. Every Nigerian therefore, knows that you connived, with PDP renegades and opposition parties to ridicule and undo President Jonathan and the government because he refused to be your puppet.

In the cabinet of General Yakubu Gowon, you always pretended to be the most loyal and honest man. I was in London with General Murtala Muhammed when the coup of 1975 took place. Murtala came back to Nigeria through a KLM flight to Kano, On that fateful day you were at the Kano Airport to receive General Muhammed, and that was how that government was formed and you were part of it. Later, I met you at Dodan Barracks and asked you why you betrayed General Gowon by .going to Kano to receive Muhammed. You explained to me that you were in Kano for sporting activities, which I disagreed with.

You went all out to frustrate and humiliate your Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, when he declared his intention to contest the 2003 and 2007 Presidential elections. You associated him with US Congressman William Jefferson, prompting the FBI to investigate and search his residence in Maryland. The FBI could not find any connection between Atiku and Mr. Jefferson. You were determined to stop your deputy at all cost from contesting the presidential election. A letter from Jefferson to you was handed over to the EFCC to enable it investigate Atiku, to declare him unqualified for the 2007 election. The EFCC report led to the establishment of an administrative Inquiry headed by the Minister of Justice and your boys and girls in the Cabinet. They hastily found Atiku guilty as charged by you. You sent the report to the National Assembly.

You declared Atiku a persona-non-grata, his aides and vehicles were taken from him, and you declared his seat vacant. All these you did as if the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not exist. You can see how petty you are. You did all these just because you felt Atiku worked against your third term presidential ambition.
Jonathan not training snipers

My dear Obasanjo, your allegation that President Jonathan is training snipers in preparation for 2015, is a diabolical concoction and a figment of your imagination. As you have no shred of evidence to authenticate this bogus lie. The same is applicable to the supposed 1000 political leaders being on the watch list of the President, Time and time again President Jonathan has said his election is not worth shedding a single Nigerian blood for, which is very much unlike you who played “do or die politics”. You made up these stories to whip up ethnic sentiments not only against Mr. President, but the Ijaws and the entire South South geopolitical zone.

On the security issues stated in your letter I have already stated that the President should leave this serious allegation for the Security agents to investigate for no one is above the law of this country. As I also mentioned in my letter to you, I stated that the contents of your letter is a revisit to your own activities in your eight years rule between 1999 and 2007. The President in his reply referred to the attack of Bayelsa State Government House and the bombing of his personal house in Otuoke, Yenagoa, all in the attempt to assassinate him and cause chaos in Nigeria. He also mentioned the Petrol tanker incident. You were the sitting President in Nigeria at the time, you did not investigate the matter nor comment on it.

I am fully aware of the incident because our late President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua who was very much embarrassed and seriously shaken by it, discussed the matter with me and he appreciated the role I later played in the matter. That was the beginning of Yar’Adua’s loss of confidence in you. I am fully aware that the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was ready to stop you from meddling and parading yourself with this holier than thou attitude. You were eternally lucky that the late President did not carry out his intention before he fell ill and later passed on.

Your two eldest children, Senator lyabo and Gbenga have publicly denounced you and have sworn not to ever speak nor have any communication with you again until “thy kingdom come” because of the wrongs you did to them. OBJ what manner of a man are you to deserve this? You cannot carry on like a bull in a China Shop. I advise you take some time off to reflect on some of these things.

On a personal note, both of us are regarded as President Jonathan’s father, in fact, according to you after God and his parent you come next before me and others. You and some of your children are always at the Villa for one thing or the other while my children do not know where the Presidency or Villa is. The only position you have not occupied is to rule the Presidency from your Ota farm in Ogun State. In his book “Accidental Public Servant”, El-Rufai stated that you informed your kitchen cabinet or economic committee that they should not disband because you would be ruling Aso Rock from Ota and you needed them.

President Jonathan has not identified himself to the nation as an Ijaw man. He hardly attends their social ceremonies. But he attends social gatherings when invited by other Nigerians from all over the country. I can confirm that apart from Yenagoa and Otuoke his village, in Bayelsa State, President Jonathan has not visited any Ijaw village or town for official function or social outing. He is the most deetribalized President of Nigeria and in most case keeps away from his own people for fear of accusation by you and your cohorts. We have prominent Ijaw politicians both men and women who participated fully in the 2011 election and today they have not been able to enter the Presidency or received any patronage from the Jonathan’s government.

Our people believe this is the sacrifice they have to make. And they are indeed very grateful and appreciative of the roles being played by other Nigerians of all ethnic and religious divides to make their son President.

As the Ijaw leader, I have gone out of my way to remind Mr. President publicly that Nigerians expected much from him hence they voted for him overwhelmingly in 2011 and will vote for him again 2015 if he performs. I have therefore not for once advocated for fire and brimstone or that blood will flow if Jonathan is not elected in 2015. I have gone further to apologize to all Nigerians that if at any time I made a statement that threatened the unity and stability of Nigeria, I should be forgiven. Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State himself commended my statement.

It must be recalled that some of the ex-militant leaders like Asari Dokubo, Ateke Tom Boyloaf, etc. have openly attacked Mr. President to the delight and applause of the President’s political opponents. It is therefore very unfair of you to envelope all Ijaws in your attack of President Jonathan and his people. At this juncture, I would like to challenge you to name other Ijaw persons or groups that throw insults on other Nigerians on account of Jonathan. One may therefore wish to ask you to refresh your memory when you recruited Femi Fani Kayode to attack your political opponents including your own ethnic group and you compensated him with a ministerial appointment and kept him until your last breakfast with your other kitchen cabinet members in the Villa. Is it therefore fair to accept Fani Kayode’s recalcitrant and irresponsible statements on other Nigerians, as acting on behalf of an ethnic nationality?

It will be madness of anyone to do so as you have done with Ijaws because of Asari Dokubo’s statements which did not receive the applause of the generality of Ijaws. My people started voting for other Nigerians even though they had no candidates, since 1951. And they formed alliances with other people or political parties in other parts of Nigeria. For instance, in 1959 both late Dappa Biriye and Chief Melford Okilo stood election on the platform of Niger Delta Congress (NDC). Chief Melford Okilo won his election to the Federal House of Assembly.

The NDC entered into alliance with the Northern Peoples Congress [NPC] which was the largest party in Nigeria but had no national spread in the south of Nigeria. It was therefore the NDC alliance with the NPC that made it a national party. It is therefore very arrogant and insulting of you to berate Ijaws as immature politicians. Today, the 17 states of the south are cooperating with one another and meeting from time to time to discuss the progress and unity of Nigeria. We have successfully met in Uyo, Enugu and Lagos. We shall also meet in Delta State soon. In this association, the Ijaws are playing a leading role under my leadership. You may not also know the South-South relationship with the Middle Belt of Nigeria made up of North Central and North Eastern zones,

Mr. former President, 1 will also like to use the language of your daughter, lyabo to describe you to Nigerians. You are “a liar, manipulator, two faced hypocrite” and that “you have an egoistic craving for power and live a life where only men of low self esteem thrive”.

You know over the years, I have always criticized you about your performance starting with the Ibori’s ex-convict case even though he may not have a good case.

Your vindictive and mischievous attitude towards political opponents was unacceptable and very few of us were able to criticize you. You felt former governor Ibori of Delta State and Alameyeseigha, his counterpart in Bayelsa State were being used by the former Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, against you and you decided to punish them. But when Ibori gave you money he became your good boy, despite the position held by Delta Elders against him,

In the case of Alamieyesiegha you tried to use his deputy, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, against him but he refused. You went on to use the Chairman of the EFCC to intimidate members of the Bayelsa House of Assembly and they carried out a kangaroo impeachment to remove him from office. You then immediately directed the security agencies after the impeachment to handcuff the governor and took him to Abuja for prosecution. I also criticized you when you asked your security men to arrest the candidate who was standing against your daughter in the senatorial election in Ogun State even though there was no case against him in Nigeria.

You may also remember my open letter to you published in the Vanguard Newspaper in which I asked you to leave Yar’adua alone to run his government. That you attempted to rule Yar’adua’s government from Ota farm is unacceptable. I quoted the example of France and Great Britain to buttress my case. I continued my attack on you and your cohorts when President Jonathan refused you to run his government from Ota farm. However, everything you asked President Jonathan, he gave to you. The first two important Ministerial appointments, Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Foreign Affairs, who are not politicians were given to you for Ogun State,

You had a hand in almost every appointment in the South West hence the party collapsed in the South West.
El-Rufai said in his book “Accidental Public Servant” that you sent him to General Buhari inviting him to be the Presidential candidate of the PDP in 2011 with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Itweala as his running mate. El-Rufai told the story of how together with Dr. Odumegwu, former Chairman of the NPC and two others drove from Lagos to Ota in the night only for you to say that Jonathan should be given another chance. They discovered that your daughter lyabo had won her Senatorial case in a High Court. You can see how petty you are,

You are today one of the richest men in Nigeria if not in Africa. In 1999, it was widely reported in the media that you came out of Gashua Prison very broke. As a matter of fact, it was stated you had N20,000 in your bank account as declared in your Code of Conduct Bureau Form. In just 8 years, as President of Nigeria, you metamorphosed from a struggling ex-head of state, into a life of opulence. You must tell Nigerians the magic behind the sudden affluence. When corruption is mentioned, informed Nigerians know those that foisted the malady on our nation.

The Halliburton bribe scandal and the Siemens case were lightly touched by President Jonathan in his open reply to you. These two high profile corruption cases happened during your tenure as President.

How dare you point accusing fingers at others when you have a cupboard filled with skeletons? You have forgotten the saying that “a man who lives in a glass house should not throw stones”.

The anti-corruption apparatus became a coercive instrument in your hands to browbeat perceived political enemies. Your vendetta against political opponents and those you believed were working counter to your third term ambition knew no limits. Chief Obasanjo your former Minister of Defence, General T,Y, Danjuma, was the first to call you a pauper, when he fell out with you. He tagged you “Stone broke”, a phrase he used to describe your pathetic financial predicament before you came to power.

My dear former President, what do you really want from President Jonathan? Most of the various issues you raised in your letter are mere re-visitation of the many things you did and failed to do in your 8 years of mis-governance.
In conclusion, I would like to borrow the words of Peter Howard, “the petty plans and plots of small minded men rob every nation of their destiny”. This is my new year message and response to your open letter and other subterranean activities designed to destabilize Nigeria because of your personal interest. My best wishes of the season to you and your esteemed family.

EDWIN KIAGBODO CLARK

2014: Year of the Ethiopian Chee-Hippo generation

By Alemayehu G Mariam

In my first weekly commentary of 2013, I declared that year to be the “Year of Ethiopia’s Cheetah (young) Generation”. It was a great year for Ethiopia’s Cheetahs.

I declare 2014 “Year of Ethiopia’s Chee-Hippo Generation”. A Chee-Hippo is a Hippo (member of the older generation) who thinks, behaves and acts like a Cheetah. A Chee-Hippo is also a Cheetah who understands the limitations of Hippos yet is willing to work with them in common cause for a common purpose. Ethiopian Chee-Hippos are a special breed. By nature, they are bridge builders and force multipliers. They build strong intergenerational bridges that connect the young with the old. They build bridges to link up the rich with the poor. They build transitional bridges to transport people from dictatorship to democracy. They build bridges across ethnic divides; they build connecting bridges for people stranded on desolate “kilil” islands (ethnic homelands or ‘bantustans’). They bridge the gulf of language, religion and region. They build bridges over gorges of distrust, ravines of doubt and canyons of suspicion. They build bridges of national unity to harmonize diversity. They build bridges to connect the youth at home with the youth in the Diaspora. Chee-Hippos build bridges over troubled waters.

Ethiopian “Chee-Hippos” are also force multipliers. They optimize the energy, passion and dedication of youth with the knowledge, skills and experiences of Hippos to bring about lasting structural change. They use their creativity to operate within the rigid parameters of a ruthless dictatorship to maximize the effectiveness and capabilities of youth change agents at decisive points.

I am a Chee-Hippo and damn proud of it!

Ethiopian Cheetahs at grave risk

In my view, the problem of 21st Century Ethiopia is quintessentially the problem of Ethiopian youth. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in less than 37 years, Ethiopia’s population will more than triple to 278 million, placing that country in the top 10 most populous countries in the world. Ethiopia’s population growth has been spiraling upwards for decades. In 1967, the population was 23.5 million. It increased to 51 million in 1990; and by 2003, it had reached 68 million. In 2008, that number increased to 80 million. In 2013, Ethiopia’s population was estimated to be over 94 million. Today, an estimated 70 percent of Ethiopia’s population is under 35 years old (66 million). Since 1995, the average annual rate of population growth has remained at over 3 percent.

Nelson Mandela observed, “Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.” If Ethiopia’s youth are its greatest treasure, they are at extreme risk today; and so is the future of that country. Ethiopia’s greatest treasures are neglected, abused, squandered and wasted. “Ethiopia is one of the countries with the lowest primary school enrollment rates in the world… [L]ow quality of school and a high dropout rate, as well as gender and rural-urban disparities remain the major challenges of the country” according to a report of the African Population and Health Research Center. Those who manage to finish high school have vastly diminished opportunities for higher education or gainful employment.

According to a 2012 USAID study, “Ethiopia has one of the highest urban youth unemployment rates at 50 percent and there is a high rate of youth under­employment in rural areas, where nearly 85 percent of the population resides.” Another 2012 study of youth unemployment by the International Growth Center reported that the “current 5 year [Ethiopian] development plan 2010/11-2014/5, the [ruling regime’s] Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), does not directly address the issue of youth unemployment…” That study found “in 2011, 38 percent of youth were employed in the informal sector” which “often provides low quality, low paying jobs.” There is a substantial segment of the youth population that is not only unemployed but also unemployable because they lack basic skills. Youth access to public sector jobs requiring training and skills depends not so much on merit or competition but political and social connections and party membership. Every young person in Ethiopia knows that a card verifying membership in the ruling party is more important than an honestly earned university diploma. Moreover, rural youth landlessness has contributed significantly to the chaotic and ever increasing pattern of youth urban migration, joblessness and hopelessness.

The risks faced by Ethiopia’s youth cover the gamut of social maladies. According to the humanitarian agency GOAL, there are 150,000 children living on the streets, some 60,000 of them in the capital. The average age at which children first find themselves homeless is between the age of 10 and 11 years. Health risks for youth from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are on the increase. Large numbers of young people who lack opportunities are involved in drug and alcohol abuse, prostitution and other criminal activities. Without job or educational opportunities in the urban areas, large numbers of youth are rendered jobless, homeless, helpless and hopeless.

A decade ago, the ruling regime in Ethiopia issued its “National Youth Policy” and asserted that “44% of the population is below the absolute poverty line. Under this situation of poverty, the youth is the hardest hit segment of society… The fact that the majority of the unemployed youth constitute females indicates the magnitude to which young women are the main victims of the problem.” Taken as a whole, the so-called National Youth Policy is nothing more than a blueprint for the recruitment of youth to become supporters of the regime and the ruling party. The policy directs that the “Government shall have the responsibility to direct, coordinate, integrate and build the capacity for the implementation of this policy.” Yet, as the International Growth Center study showed, the “current 5 year [Ethiopian] development plan 2010/11-2014/5, the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), does not directly address the issue of youth unemployment The “National Youth Policy” has been sitting on the shelf for a decade gathering dust, a manifest fact ascertainable from an international data base of national youth policies.

A tale of two generations: Need for dialogue between Ethiopian Cheetahs and Hippos

What time is it in Ethiopia? It is now Chee-Hippo Time. It’s now high time for Ethiopian Cheetahs and Hippos to talk, to dialogue and to reconcile. It is now time for Ethiopia’s restless Cheetahs and progressive, enlightened and forward-looking Hippos to come together, to think and act decisively together. Now is 2014!

By dialogue I mean formal and informal conversation between Cheetahs and Hippos across all forums– from the dinner table to the halls of academia, from churches and mosques to civic associations. The topic of the dialogue is unlimited but the aims are specific. We need to have dialogues to question old ideas, keep the good ones and discard the rest. Dialogue is needed to change old, narrow-minded and counterproductive patterns of thinking. We need to dialogue to generate fresh new ideas about politics, government and society. We want to dialogue and brainstorm and generate innovative and creative solutions to persistent socio-political problems. We need to dialogue so that we can agree to disagree in a civil and respectful manner. We need to dialogue to persuade each other on how best to right wrongs. We need a “new generation” to shoulder the task of coordinating the dialogue. Broadminded Cheetahs and Progressive Hippos can facilitate the dialogue.

What is NOT the purpose of the dialogue? The proposed dialogue is not to engage in recrimination, accusation and finger pointing. It is also not about bellyaching, heart aching or teeth gnashing about what happened or did not happen in the past. The Chee-Hippo sponsored dialogues have two purposes: 1) to begin intergenerational reconciliation, and 2) to develop consensus on the roles and division of labor between Cheetahs and Hippos.

Intergenerational dialogue cannot happen when there is a “language” barrier. I believe there is a failure to communicate between Ethiopian Hippos who often speak with silence and Ethiopian Cheetahs who are deafened by that silence. Let’s look at a few examples. When many of us Hippos talk about change we are concerned about removing the current regime and installing ourselves. The guys in power are bad, we are good. No, we are better; actually we are the best. The Hippos in power think that they are the sole agents of change. When we Hippos talk about leadership, we want the young people to follow our commands because we have power, experience, skills and/or knowledge. We want Ethiopia’s Cheetahs to become a flock of sheep and to follow us, their good and benevolent Hippo shepherds. We have great difficulty accepting the fact that we have dynamic youth leaders with extraordinary abilities who can think critically and act decisively; we do not want them to have a separate and independent existence from us. We look down dismissively on the youth in general. We say the youth have little discernment or depth of understanding and should sheepishly follow what we tell them. “Children should be seen not heard.” We belittle them with outmoded sayings. “When children cook, they won’t cook enough to last for dinner” (lij yabokaw lerat aybekam). We do not respect youth ideas nor do we lavish them with praise and encouragement for doing things better or differently; but we are quick to criticize and condemn them.

When we Hippos talk about power, we mean power for ourselves without much accountability and transparency. The Hippos in power use power to divide and rule; they abuse power to cling to power; they misuse power because they can. Hippos out of power want power because they don’t have it; and if they have it, it is because power is an end in itself. Hippos do not use power to empower the disempowered or the powerless. The youth in Ethiopia are the most disempowered and powerless segment of society. That means 70 percent of the country’s population (66 million) is disempowered.

I believe Ethiopian Cheetahs have lost faith in Ethiopian Hippos. That faith can be restored only when there is mutual respect and understanding and honest and civil communication. We must restore faith and reconcile with them by treating and relating to them as our equals. We must fully accept that their views, hopes and aspirations for Ethiopia are no less important or valid than our own. We must dialogue with them as equals and with respect.

Hippos teaching Cheetahs

The Cheetahs need to dialogue with us Hippos because we could be very helpful to them. We can teach them by example. The first lesson Cheetahs must learn is that those who do not learn from the mistakes of their elders are doomed to repeat them. We have made many mistakes. The second lesson is that Cheetahs must overcome the deficits of Hippos and make a fresh start of their own. I wish Hippos could teach Cheetah’s the virtues of courage, trust, sacrifice, honesty, integrity, endurance, tenacity and fortitude. We suffer from a “virtue deficit”, but we could discover and practice these virtues together. We could most certainly teach our Cheetahs to avoid many of our vices including arrogance, anger, suspicion, bigotry, corruption, intolerance, incivility, fearfulness, malice, vengefulness and narcissism. We can help them learn the art of clear communication and the virtues of accountability and transparency in public and private life.

Cheetahs teaching Hippos

Cheetahs can teach Hippos that social and political problems could be solved in a peaceful and nonviolent manner. Young people could be educated and trained not merely as war fighters but most importantly as peacemakers. They have the capacity to build healthy human relationships and rid a society of the plague of ethnic and religious hatred and strife. They could teach Hippos that it is necessary and possible to create communities that value cooperation, amity, consensus, peace, unity and hope. They could show us that they have the capacity to construct a “New Ethiopia” where we can all live in peace, equality and justice. Cheetahs could teach Hippos that if they are invited and made genuine partners and allowed to participate in social and political organs of society, they could play transformative roles. If we listen to them in earnest, they could save us from ourselves. Imagine that! They could help us breakout of the walls of our ethnic prisons, unchain ourselves from imaginary fears and escape the bigotry and prejudice that has closed our eyes so that we are blinded from seeing the “New Ethiopia” on the horizon.

If Ethiopians have a chance of survival as a nation and as a people, that survival will depend on the creativity, stamina, determination, goodwill, commitment and sacrifices of its youth. That places an extreme burden on the youth. They must do the lion’s share of the heavy lifting, the hard work and the sacrifices. Similarly, if Ethiopians have a chance of survival as a nation and as a people, that survival will also depend on the active and sustained support of the older generation to the upcoming generation. We Hippos must do all we can to make sure our Cheetahs will not falter and fail. If they do, we must help them get up, dust off and do it again and again. We must stand by them all the way, no matter how long it takes. We must dialogue with them and tell them we will support them and love them; we will gladly serve as water carriers so long as they remain on the construction site of the “New Ethiopia”.

Ethiopia’s youth force is unstoppable. There is no force on earth, no dictatorship strong enough to defeat Ethiopia’s rising Cheetahs. We Hippos are well advised to follow the old saying, “if you can’t beat them, join them”. Let’s join the Cheetahs in dialogue! Let’s talk to them and ask them what they need. If they need and seek our counsel, let’s give it to them freely and generously. If they seek our technical support, let’s provide it to them. If they need moral support, let’s offer it to them. If they need material support, let’s raise funds for them. If they are going to do the heavy lifting, the bridge building, the road mending and mountain climbing, let us be their humble water carriers. Let’s be force amplifiers, force multipliers for our youth.

(Part II will follow.)

Ethiopia: Warlord turned media mogul Amare Aregawi is critically ill

By Getahune Bekele-South Africa

He spent the last 18 years of his life canvassing the authoritarian and corruption-ridden minority junta, always covering events from the government side rather than from neutral or opposing side.
Master of lamentable deceit, persuasive false reporting and complete fabrication, warlord turned media mogul Amare Aregawi is dying of undisclosed ailment at a private hospital in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia, after being rushed to unnamed medical facility on Sunday evening. According to a staff member at his MCC headquarter; the warlord has slipped back into coma while recuperating at home.
The first officially embedded citizen journalist in Ethiopia who struggled all his life to separate fact from fiction and became a joke to the noble profession of journalism, the wealthy warlord has been in and out of hospital since the death of his best friend Meles Zenawi.
Unimpeachable sources told the Horn Times on Sunday January 5, 2014 that Amare is a shadow of his former self, unable to move or even recognize his own children. A friend who visited the ailing mogul described the condition of Amare as “torturous physical suffering”; and if he dies, the former desperado will be the fourth top TPLF ring leaders after Meles Zenawi, Hayelom Araya and Kinfe Gebremedhin to depart without being held to account for his alleged war crimes and extreme treason.

“His excellency PM Meles Zenawi to resume office duty on Monday.” Was the screaming headline on ‘Reporter’ tabloid just three days before the remains of the late autocrat touched down at Bole international airport in 2012.
Then when confronted about the rancorous, vulgar and immoral lie; the loquacious factotum of the ruling junta- cum-citizen journalist, reacted angrily by saying “The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it. Even without being sand bagged into doing it, sometimes we had to lie by coining statements such as this for the sake of stability.”
That was how the disgraceful warlord turned media mogul with unrestricted access to government information destroyed the truth. He lied outright to pervert, to fawn at the feet of money; sold his soul for very little reward. Hence, he was called a pimp of the first order and a man without morals and ethics.
Amare Aregawi was introduced to the people of Ethiopia in the early 90s when he worked at the ministry of information as shadow minister of propaganda for his Fuhrer, the dead tyrant Meles Zenawi; where he learned the trade of Nazi style propaganda, bigotry and hate.
During his reign there, Amare Aregawi got rid of Ethiopia’s highly educated and creative talent at the state owned both print and electronic media, unceremoniously dismissing among others, current affairs show “Zena files” anchors the late Getachew Hailemariam and Genet Asmare; TV talk show great Tizita Belachew and renowned News reader Zenaneh Mekonnen.
They were replaced by untrained, gun-toting bandits such as the condemned spy Tesfaye Gebreab, Samson Mamo, the late lunatic novelist Sibehat Gebreegziaber, and well known traitor Yeshitila Kokeb. All pathological anti Ethiopian unity and ethnocentric TPLF cadres with jaundiced views.
Once he laid the foundation to create ruthless propaganda machinery for his beloved TPLF, in 1996 Amare Aregawi was redeployed to join the thriving free press under Machiavellian claim that he defected to the free media due to irreconcilable differences with the ruling minority junta. During the launch of his Reporter tabloid, the warlord promised to stay independent, objective and report in a free, balanced and impartial manner.
However, he was repeatedly filmed dancing with the rogue warlords and never stopped tormenting Ethiopians with lies even after making the free media platform his exclusive domain. He never wrote about the bludgeon violence committed by the totalitarian regime against the tyrannized masses.
Instead, by virtue of his special relationship with the regime, as influential magazines and newspapers shut down, journalists sent to prisons and banished into exile, Amare Aregawi alone controlled the lucrative market and amassed millions in a very short space of time.
The warlord was occasionally showing off his wealth by sending his children to exotic destinations like Acapulco in Mexico during their school holydays.
His media empire, the MCC, Media Communication Center, went from strength to strength in the absence of any competition and was able to start its own internet TV known as Reporter TV on You Tube, after receiving massive funding from the government.
Reporter TV was designed to counter the rapid expansion of the only independent Ethiopian satellite TV channel ESAT, and to support the propaganda works of Tigre People Liberation Front websites, tigray on line and aiga forum.
Amare Aregawi, owner and manager of MCC, the man who once told the late long time ruler Meles Zenawi to get rid of a mafia in the inner circle of the genocidal TPLF hierarchy, however, wasn’t the boisterous self lately. His associates said he felt alienated, neglected and even persecuted by the very junta he served with great loyalty for years.
“The bond of trust established between Amare Aregawi and the junta doesn’t exist anymore. The totally broken bond of trust between the people of Ethiopia and embedded Tigray born journalists will never be repaired. Look what Amare Aregawi, Tesfsye Gebreab, Dawit Kebede, Mimi Sibhatu and several others are doing and am afraid no Tigray born Journalist is going to be exempted from such generalization in the near future. It is tragic but it is true. We like it or not that is the mood among the people.” A political analyst based in Addis Ababa told the Horn Times.
“What surprises me more is that the likes of Dawit Kebede and Amare Aregawi see no evil with their criminal action of embedding the truth. Mimi Sebhatu has shown time and again that she too is incapable of seeing the harm done to the reputation of those ethnically TPLF aligned journalists due to her poisonous anti Amhara bluffs. Tesfaye Gebreab has made it abundantly clear that it is his “journalistic” duty to preach and promote division. Am sure you are familiar with a recent posting of the photo of warlord Debretsion Gebremicael as reformist on a certain website. An attempt to promote a mad murderer at the expense of his victims. No honest and self-respecting journalist would do such a disgraceful thing.” The analyst added.

Former minister of communication Bereket Simeon, top TPLF spin doctor Shemeles Kemal and disgraced scribe Dawit Kebede have been regular visitors of the bed-ridden Amare Aregawi for more than a month at his home, according to insiders who spoke to the Horn times requesting anonymity.
Although embedding is nothing new in a police state like Ethiopia, Amare Aregawi will be remembered for taking it to extreme heights.
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