IDPs’ Camps As Industry

A recent media report claimed that a N40 million contract for the supply of firewood to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps was awarded by the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). The contractors are complaining that though the contract sum was reduced to N24.5 million, the agency has not been able to pay. This, according to them, is affecting their businesses as they have not been able to settle their own contractual obligations to the villagers who they buy firewood from. It is no longer news that the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF), Engr Babachir David Lawal, is presently on suspension for alleged acts of misappropriation of funds and lack of due process in the Presidential Initiative North East (PINE) which focuses on the redevelopment  of the North-east and management of the humanitarian crisis caused largely by the Boko Haram menace. Specifically, he was alleged to have...
The news is all over the place regarding the pounding the Americas are getting from storms and hurricanes. They come in varying nomenclature- Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricanes Katia and Jose. They mean two things- destruction and death on a scale that will remain unprecedented in history.  It is reported that Texas alone suffered a loss of $125 billion. Moody’s Analytics estimate $97 billion in destruction alone and some $108 billion in total damages counting lost output. All eyes are said to be on Hurricane Irma as it moves toward Florida, but it’s not alone. Jose and Katia are strengthening, bringing the number of hurricanes churning in the Atlantic basin to three. Experts claim that this is the first time since 2010 that three active hurricanes have been in the Atlantic almost at the time. This is sure to refocus international attention on the issue of climate change or global warming,...

Killing The Anointed

The Catholic community in Imo State, especially in the Diocese of Orlu, are yet to get over the shock of the abduction and eventual murder of Reverend Father Cyriacus Onunkwo. The priest had gone home to participate in the preparations for his father’s burial when he met his untimely death in the hands of hoodlums. Father Onunkwo joins the unfortunate list of catholic priests killed for yet to be explained reasons. Father Onunkwo was abducted from his car by gunmen on September 1. According to Police reports, earlier that day, another priest – Fr. Jude Udokwu – was also attacked by kidnappers in the same village, but he managed to escape. Within 24 hours, the body of Fr. Onunkwo was found in the bush in a nearby village where he was identified. Those who saw the body revealed that there were no visible wounds, and so local authorities suspect that...
Feelers emanating from preparations for the November gubernatorial poll in Anambra State point to the fact that old habits die hard. Politicians claim to be operating in a democratic environment. But their desperation and the win- at- all- cost mentality will not let democracy flower as it should. Already, all the candidates and their parties have decided not to leave anything to chance as they embark on a shopping spree for the all- important voter’s card that holds the key to victory and defeat in that and any election. Reports indicate that for as low as N5, 000, prospective voters are willing to mortgage their future and those of their children. In some areas, it was also reported that the card can be sold and bought for N7, 000 or N10, 000 for hard bargainers. It is not as if the trend is new, it is just that we thought...

Season Of Strikes

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is on strike to press home their demands from the federal government. The implication is that all academic activities in the tertiary institutions are, by that move, crippled and brought to a halt. The government is yet to sought out the issues involved as the lecturers hold on tenaciously to their position. Meanwhile, the students and their parents are left wandering what happens next. Now, the resident doctors who form the bulwark of the nation’s healthcare delivery system are flexing muscles. The National Executive Committee, NEC, of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, rising from a marathon meeting recently, voted for a total and indefinite strike as a result of what they claim to be government’s failure to pay salary shortfall of 2016 and January to May 2017 and failure to rectify the salary shortfall from August 2017, as well as inability...
The Korean Peninsula has always been a hotbed of conflict ostensibly because of the ideological differences between the North and South exacerbated by interests that had to do with the Cold War. That, itself, was orchestrated by the leading powers, Russia, the United States, Japan and China. Those interests are still at play even today. What is known as the Korean War started on June 25, 1950 when the North Korean Communist army crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded non-Communist South Korea. As Kim Il-sung’s North Korean army, armed with Soviet tanks, quickly overran South Korea, the United States came to South Korea’s aid. However, the fighting ended on July 27, 1953, when an armistice was signed. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, and allowed the return of prisoners. As no peace treaty was signed, the two Koreas are technically still at...

And Somtochukwu Died

  A 10-year old boy, Somtochukwu Ibeanusi, is reported as the major victim of executive highhandedness in a matter that ought to have been purely non-combative and peaceful. As the Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, rolled out the tanks against harmless traders trying to eke out a living in Ekeukwu market, Owerri, in defiance of a subsisting court order, this little boy who had earlier been invited by his father, a trader in the market, to assist in evacuating his goods, fell to the bullet allegedly fired by a soldier deployed by the governor. The bullet was said to have pierced through his eye and burst out through the back of his head killing him instantly. The little boy had, before he was shot, surrendered himself to the authority of the soldiers who had ordered him to raise his hands. That was not enough to restrain the soldier who went...
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) recently announced a new tertiary admission policy wherein it pegged admission cut-off mark for those who sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) at 120 and 100 for universities and polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of education, respectively. The new policy, expectedly, has generated huge controversy, just like the conduct of this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). The admission policy, according to reports, was arrived at, at the 2017 combined policy meeting which had in attendance the heads of the various tertiary institutions and admission officers of the institutions, among other stakeholders, where some universities chose 120 as the cut-off mark. The lifting of the ban on conduct of post UTME examinations was also announced by the Minister of education, Adamu Adamu, at the policy meeting. JAMB, in defence of the policy, said one of the things it seeks to achieve is...
Surreptitiously, the phrase, hate speech, has ominously crept into the nation’s lexicon transforming itself into a topic of national discourse to the point that it is equated with terrorism. The government is worried that, if not effectively checked, it could become a source of friction among the diverse ethnic groups in Nigeria. The issue is serious enough for the National Assembly to contemplate a legislation that will criminalise the act of indulging in hate speech. A school of thought has tended to distinguish between hateful speech which it admits is a real thing and hate speech perceived as an incoherent concept that confuses more than it clarifies. This position, obviously, sounds academic and unhelpful in the prevailing situation where the government, urging restraint, is determined to put out the spark before it becomes a conflagration. The government is not alone in its apprehensions regarding the security implications of profiling based...
The world is alarmed at the effect of mudslide in Sierra Leone which has claimed hundreds of lives not to mention properties destroyed. That disaster did not just occur. Though natural, people’s attitude may have aided it. As the rains commence in Nigeria, we recall an earlier editorial with the above caption in which we called for an attitudinal change. The impact of flooding in Lagos and other parts of the South of the country is really devastating. In parts of the North too, the natural phenomenon is taking its toll on the environment leading to deaths and displacement of people and, in some cases, whole communities. There are factors responsible for this occurrence that has become perennial. They include climate change and the abuse of the environment by those who will eventually pay the price for their improper attitude. A lot has been said about climate change, especially at the international...