Thursday, 17 July 2008

Nigerian activist's distrupt Yaradua's visit. President takes refuge in building under construction.


A group of activists have forced Nigerian President, Umoru yar Adua to relocate from a venue initially scheduled for talks between him and British officials in London yesterday.
The Liberty Forum, a coalition of over 30 self-determination and rights groups took over The Chatam House venue, forcing the Nigerian President to relocate the event from The Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House 10, St Jamese's Square to a run down Building at 8 Jhon Adams Street London WC2. pic to follow soon.
"We are here to prevent President Yar Adua from deceiving the British people on the real situation in the Niger-Delta. We are here to ensure that Brittain does not send her cutuzens to fight the people of the Niger-Delta. We are here to tell the whole world that Nigeria is a country led by uncaring political leaders at the centre, which does not care about the respect for human rights and the basic tenets of democracy' Kayode Ogundamisi lwho led hundredsd of protesters told the british media many of who had come to cover the event.
The British police watched as the activitist trailed the Nigerian leaders forcing them to relocate and compelling the President to observe for several minutes the showdown with his entourage
he said that Nigeria has become a laughing stock in the comity of nations largely because of the fraudulent elections that brough many politicians to power, the high degree of corruption in the country and the lack of public confidence in the post election tribunals most of which he said are 'in the pocket of politicians"

The protesting Nigerians Representing various gruops Including the Nigerian Liberty Forum , Women In Africa , Journalists for Democratic Rights, Odua republic Front, ORF, Irapada Omo Odua, and sympthatehic envriomental rights gruops gatherd at the Chtham house from 4pm. when it was 4.30 pm it was then obvious the orgernisers had a siniseter move.
Contact was then made with insiders in the British press who then revealed that the president had been moved to 8 Jhon Adams Street wc2. The Liberty Forum quickly mobilized to picket the new location , Yaradua was picketed and orgernisers rounded up the remaining segment of the event.

Niger Delta! We need not another Darfur in Nigeria.


United Kingdom


Energy Security, the Food Crisis and the Niger Delta

Prime-Minister GORDON BROWN/ President MUSA YARADUA

We call on Great Britain. We call on people of the British Isles and the children of great men and women that make Europe what it is to day: a land of freedom and opportunities We call on women and men of goodwill, students, workers and the business class, we call on armed and defenseless people alike, royals and commons, Lords and honorable, to prevail on the Nigerian President Umoru Yar Adua, whose election into office as Nigerian president was roundly condemned by the European Union, EU-having been characterized by rigging, stealing of ballot papers by soldiers, deployed unto the streets and corners of Nigeria, and who killed and maimed voters- to stop fooling the government of Britain on the real situation in the Niger-Delta, Nigeria's oil hub, which has now been highly militarized first by the Nigerian federal government, and now by militant freedom fighters who largely represent the indigenous communities in the region.
Yar Adua, a Fulani, whose grand parents led the 1804 Jihad against the black-skinned African population, represents the interest of the feudal and Muslim North, and have ruled and manipulated Nigeria to their wish and caprices since the Islamic revolution, which seek to continuously put Nigeria in the pocket of this few class.
Oil, which is the main source of revenue in Nigeria, is found in the Niger-Delta, home to indigenous population. These communities, due to large-scale corruption, looting of the public treasury by the leadership at the centre remain largely underdeveloped.
The poorest of the poor live in these communities, their culture undermined, their heritage submerged, their hope dashed, their future traumatized and their children without any future.
Soldiers of Northern origin are posted to these territories, and as expected, they rape the people, as it was in the case of Choba a rural indigenous Nigerian Village (1999), kill them and instill fear on them.
The Yar Adua government is similar in character to Omar Bashir's regime in Sudan, he wants to wipe out the indigenous population, and he cannot do it without help from a super power like Britain.
The late Ken Saro Wiwa, remember him, renewed the campaign for environmental and political justice in the Niger-Delta, but in 1995, he, alongside eight others were hanged and acid was poured on their bodies by the Nigerian state.
A democratic regime which came in 1999 was thought would address the problems of the Niger-Delta, but the Nigerian state did not change in character and form. Instead, it became more vicious and bizarre, all in the bid to continuously subjugate and muzzle the ethnic minorities in these territories. In 1999, Yar Adua's party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP then led by President Olusegun Obasanjo sent 10,000 soldiers to Odi, an Ijaw community of 20,000 people. After 72 hours of military action, the only building remaining in Odi was a post office. 1,200 people were killed and hundreds were missing. What more is a genocide than the maiming of women, children and the unarmed and today the perpetuator of that act, General Olusegun Obasonjo roam the streets of Yaradua Nigeria, neither facing trial for corruption or war crimes.
Today the Niger-Delta people, having waited in vain for justice since 1959 when oil was discovered in their homeland, have taken up arms against the Nigerian state. This is against the background of age long outrage among largely Christian Southern Nigeria communities, that they are tired of leaving in Nigeria, a country ruled by a small fundamentalist group, a country that offers no hope for her citizens, a country that destroys the best of human values and a country whose citizens have been made to become a huge burden on the international community, considering the large number of exiles, some of who have taken up professional jobs in Europe and America and many of whom have taken into drugs, prostitution in Italy and cyber crimes.
Nigeria is an artificial creation, put together, without the consent of the communities, in 1914, following the sharing of Africa into spheres of influence in 1885 at the Berlin Conference. Now, the Yar Adua tribe are on top, and they do manage, at all times, to install their stooges in each of the 36 states of the country, whereas non of the states enjoy the benefit of federalism, which each of them heavily dependent on the centre in all areas including the registration of vehicles, control of ports, police and even as little as the right to create and run counties and the right to chose their political leaders, which must be screened and approved by the centre government.
Apart from the Niger-Delta, the Yoruba and Ibos of the South and the minorities of the middle-belt in the North are asking for self-determination up to the point of opting out of Nigeria. Many of these communities having watched several recommendations chuck by the government into the thrash bin, have decided to take up arms against the Nigerian state.
Britain was aware of this serious problem in Nigeria. In 1957, shortly before Nigeria got independence in 1960, Brittan set up the Willinks Commission, which recommended that revenue be shared 100 percent on the basis of derivation. Today, only 13 percent has been approved and just as recent as in 1999, for the oil producing communities. On top of all this is the fact that a credible election in unlikely in Nigeria under her present structure. This is the gist of this whole problem in the Niger-Delta and in Nigeria.
Another peace summit, the third in 12 years is in the offing, but expectedly, nothing is likely to come out of it, because while the summit is in top gear, Yar Adua is shopping for arms in Britain and has heavily militarized the region since the past 10 years.
A peace summit, even if to be chaired by Britain is what is needed. We need no longer another Iraq in Nigeria. We need no weapons that will be used by an illegitimate political class against the ordinary people of Nigeria.
Self-determination is the substance and the United Nations recognizes this demand under article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Help save Nigeria from war, help save Britain from being fed with lies and propaganda by one of the worst set of leaders in Africa.

As British Nigerians and Nigerians Resident in the United Kingdom with Stakes in Both Countries we demand as follows.









Kayode Ogundamisi Convener: The Liberty Forum-UNITED- KINGDOM

And affiliates organizations in Nigeria.

Green Peoples Environmental Network, GREPNET-NIGERIA
Community Peoples Action Against Aids, COPEAIDS, -NIGERIA
Irapada Omo Odua, IOD Northern Ireland Chapter.
Journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER, -NIGERIA
Oodua Republic Front- ORF NIGERIA

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


The Liberty Forum UK
15TH July 2008.


The Liberty Forum United Kingdom announced its intention to picket venues of events to be attended by the President Of the federal Republic of Nigeria during his 4 days State visit to the United Kingdom.
Since the declaration of the intention, the Nigerian embassy in the UK cancelled two major events one being the publicised meeting of the president with Nigerian resident in the UK, The meeting was scheduled to take place at the Nigerian High commissioner’s official resident on Friday 18th July 2008 at 18.30 hrs.

The cancellation of the meeting by the Nigerian High Commissioner in the UK His Excellency Dr Dalhatu Saraki in our opinion is to deprive Nigerians an opportunity to register their protest to the president on his handling of the crisis in the Niger Delta.

We are at a lost at the secrecy surrounding events the president would be attending. We find the removal of all information of the Presidents visit from the Nigerian High Commission website not only distasteful but an overreaction to a simple declaration of intent to picket.

For a government that prides itself on the enthronement of rule of law, we make bold to say that a right to peaceful protest is also a major component of a democracy.

If the British public could picket the events of the visit of the American President to the United Kingdom we wonder why the president of Nigeria with all its claim of democratic ideals would be visiting the UK like a fugitive and details of his events are known only to loyal members and supporters of the Yaradua Government in the UK.

We restate our protest against the British prime minister Gordon Brown and attempts to reduce the Niger delta crisis to a law and order issue rather than the struggle by the people of Niger delta for social justice, environmental right and resource control.

Whilst the Corrupt Nigerian government, the oil companies and the British government are looking at profit the people of the delta are facing a life long sentence to poverty and environmental degradation.

We condemn any form of Military intervention in the resolution of the Niger Delta crisis by Nigeria or any foreign interest.

We call on president Yaradua to reject any offer of arms, from the British or any foreign government for use in the Niger delta or any part of Nigeria.

Nigerians living in the United Kingdom and British Nigerians will not sleep walk into an agenda by the hawks in the western government to turn Nigeria into another Iraq by a Prime Minister whom in our opinion is clueless about the situation in the Niger delta and the struggle of the people of the Delta for environmental, social and political justice.

The promotion of war and rumour of wars by the British Government will only escalate the situation in the Delta Region.

The role of the British government is to call on the Nigerian government to go into genuine dialogue with the people of the Niger delta, put in place concrete measures to ease the frustration in the delta and be accountable to the Nigerian people rather than the oil companies and the multinationals.


Kayode Ogundamisi


The Liberty Forum. UK.


Thursday, 10 July 2008

Gordon Browns Plan for War in Nigeria Niger Delta
Brown's African misadventure
PM's offer of military aid to Nigeria provokes collapse of ceasefire amid angry claims that UK has 'declared war' on rebel army
By Daniel Howden, Kim Sengupta, Colin Brown and Claire SoaresFriday, 11 July 2008
Gordon Brown is being accused of preparing for a military adventure in Africa after he pledged to provide backing to the Nigerian security forces. His announcement prompted the collapse of a ceasefire in the oil-rich Niger Delta and helped to drive up crude oil prices on world markets.
The Prime Minister's offer to help "tackle lawlessness" in the world's eighth largest oil producer was immediately condemned by the main militant group in the Delta, which abandoned a two-week-old ceasefire and accused Britain of backing what it calls Nigeria's "illegal government". The group issued a "stern warning" to Mr Brown in an emailed statement: "Should Gordon Brown make good his threat to support this criminality for the sake of oil, UK citizens and interests in Nigeria will suffer the consequences."
Speaking at the close on Wednesday of the meeting in Japan of the Group of Eight leading industrial nations, Mr Brown said that the UK was ready to offer the Nigerian military direct assistance to help return law and order to the southern region and to restore oil output.
The Prime Minister said: "We stand ready to give help to the Nigerians to deal with lawlessness that exists in this area and to achieve the levels of production that Nigeria is capable of, but because of the law and order problems has not been able to achieve." His comments came ahead of a visit to London by the Nigerian President, Umaru Yar'Adua, next week in which he is expected to appeal for military aid to put down militant groups who have attacked oil pipelines and platforms.
The Nigerian press received the British offer as a declaration of war against rebel groups. The Daily Champion newspaper ran the headline "Battle Line! UK to Declare War on Delta Militants".
Mr Brown is under immense pressure on the domestic front to ease the soaring fuel costs, driven by the global spike in oil prices. Major unrest in the impoverished Niger Delta region has cut the country's capacity to pump oil by one-quarter in recent months, helping to drive oil prices to the record high of $145 per barrel.
However, Mr Brown's initiative appeared to catch the Foreign Office unawares. A spokesman insisted yesterday that there had been "no change in policy" but that "options" were being considered. Senior military sources also said they had been caught by surprise by the decision to offer military aid. There are no contingency plans for intervention in Nigeria that can be activated, they said, and any operation would have to be organised from scratch.
President Yar'Adua came to power a year ago after a controversial election win that was challenged in Nigeria's High Court and contested by independent observers. Despite campaign pledges to tackle endemic corruption, which has raised the country to the top of the global graft index and enriched an elite with illegal oil revenues, the President has made little progress. He has also failed in his pledge to address local grievances in the Delta and restore peace to the region.
A series of attacks on installations and the kidnapping of oil workers by the main militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), has cut Nigerian oil production by one-quarter. The group is demanding a greater share of oil revenues be given to local people as the Niger Delta is among the poorest regions in Africa, despite the immense oil wealth it produces. A spokesman for Mend, Jomo Gbomo, told The Independent that the UK offer was tantamount to a return to colonial policies of divide and rule: "They ought to know better than any other country [not] to involve themselves in any other area aside from development. They [the British] are getting frustrated and we will continue frustrating the oil-dependent markets until justice is offered." Asked if he feared that Nigeria would become the next Iraq or Afghanistan, he replied: "It will not get to that point except if there is foreign interference."
Mend offered to enter peace talks last year but withdrew after the government launched a secret trial against one of its leaders. Attempts to convene a summit have been complicated by the withdrawal of the United Nations envoy who was asked to oversee it, as well as the refusal of Mend to take part.
Any action in Nigeria would further stretch British forces. Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of Defence Staff, warned the Government last month: "We are not structured or resourced to do two of these things [Iraq and Afghanistan] on this scale on an enduring basis, but we have been doing it on an enduring basis for years. Until we get to the stage when one of them comes down to small-scale, we will be stretched beyond the capability we have."
Defence sources say the only realistic option would be to send special forces along with specialised hi-tech equipment to combat the guerrilla campaign. However, two squadrons out of the four in the SAS are currently deployed abroad, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and one is said to be on exercise. Units of the Special Boat Squadron are also busy in those countries with one contingent working alongside US forces in yet another hunt for Osama bin Laden.
The UK does, however, have special forces in Djibouti alongside other Nato countries in the American-run Horn of Africa task force involved in missions against Islamist militants; some of them can be switched from east to west Africa. It may also be possible to station a Royal Navy warship offshore.
Major General Julian Thompson, a former commander of the Royal Marines, said: "It would be utterly extraordinary to propose anything like a sizeable deployment of forces to Nigeria. Where are they going to come from? The MoD has not exactly got a box marked 'new troops' they can open up for something like this.
"It would be possible to send special forces in limited numbers to help the Nigerian military, but, with the current situation in Afghanistan they cannot be kept there for anything like a prolonged period."
Britain is one of the largest investors in Nigeria. About 4,000 Britons live in the west African country, many working for large companies, including the oil and gas companies Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group.

In the Name Of God PLC? Our "men of God" By Kayode Ogundamisi

In the Name Of God PLC? Our "men of God" By Kayode Ogundamisi

Today at 8:42am

The Last time I stepped into a church was almost certainly year 2000. I have been so disenchanted with all the “miracles” “testimonies” “fire prayers” and the entire “break down my enemy” vigour dance in churches that I decided to just communicate with Baba God Directly.

Why go to a church were all I take notice of is the pastor sermonize how the church is making money and the pocket of the followers going leaner on daily basis.But all that is about to change o!

I was on foot down Lordship lane and I saw a sign “The Salvation Army Simply Jesus”. Trust my inquisitive self. This sign was different from the ones I usually notice in the so-called New Generation Churches, signs that emphasis solution to needs rather than salvation. “Signs and Wonders”. In some cases disturbing “magical” displays.Some will just tell you to suffer here on earth as our kingdom is in heaven; “we are not of this world they say”.

But they wont remind us of how Oga Jesus was the most humble of all he dined and wine with us the commoners.If Only new generation “men of God” can just live life like Jesus. Swap the pecks for service. May be just May be. Of those 3 Million that flock Lagos-Ibadan express road for the all night “waiting on the lord” one million will do one good and Nigeria will be so changed in a positive way.

I still don’t comprehend how the missionaries did it but those ones built schools, free of charge, they built hospitals free for the people and till date several decades later those schools and hospitals still rank amongst the best in the land. The Islamic missionaries were not left out, I attended Ahmadiya College later Known as Anwar Ul Islam College, and thanks to those “men of God” we had education free and good.

But check out modern “men of God” Covenant University, not for the poor, Redeem University not for the poor, pray we need a change of thinking, our men of God are doing a great Job preaching the Word but they also need to march words with action. It should not be Church of God PLC. It should be a place of Salvation Anyway I decided to test out the Salvation Army, walked in and what a distinction, were the pastor dey?

A Ghanaian lady I sat with replied we are all pastors we are here to study Gods words and pray. Unmm interesting. Ok 40 Minutes later the service is over, and I was like no announcement for special donation and all those suffer here and enjoy in heaven call for donation I am used to in some Nigerian churches. Well my new found friend replied again, you can donate whatever you have to the following charities and homeless centres and we prefer you spare a day in a month to help the kids on the street.

I am like O my God. I would have to write Pastor Adeboye and Bishop Oyedepo. I wrote 2 e-mails last night. I just got an automated reply from one of the Nigerian Churches. And guess what, I think I am back in the Vineyard. That is if I am not on a Sunday shift at work, you know Salvation Army will not pay Mama Charley’s Tax and my Bills.

Kayode Ogundamisi

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The Nigeria I Saw. Why are we that Wicked by Kayode Ogundamisi

I Touched down at the Lagos International airport on the 11th June 2008,
It’s been two process of exile since 1999 one was forced on me, and from 2003 I decided to make it a self imposed exile away from my motherland ever since 1999, Making it a point of duty to visit home at intervals.
As one with the love of my homeland I visit home at every election, one to take part in the election and campaign for those I think can make a change, two to be a part of the movement that won’t give up on Nigeria.
I still run a centre for self empowerment in Lagos and I am proud that the centre does not need me anymore as the good people who started it with me are not only making it viable but are taking it to the next level.
My recent trip to Nigeria is the most emotional of all. I could not but feel proud of the positive things taking place in Lagos State. I make bold to say that Lagos is cleaner and neater than Napoli (Naples) in Italy. But we need to do more, the slums need help.
The thrust of my visit home was not to see the city and the new cars that is now the craze of the new Nigerian upper class, or the massive European style malls springing up in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
My visit was to see that Nigeria a lot of Nigerians don’t want to see. I visited the villages, spending 20 of my 30 days in the hinterland.
I was in Shaki an exotic town in the west, Shalla a hilly piece of beauty on the Plateau, Ikare the land of my late dad and Kaiama in the Niger Delta and host of others.
On every occasion as I eat , sleep, drink, weep with those forgotten Nigerians,
I cannot but ask why leaders, rulers and the elite in Nigeria are so evil, why we mistake development to denote the number of cars we own, the number of times we visit Europe, the number of parties we host, the style of our mobile phones and not the future of our children and the underprivileged. Why are we the most religious in the world and yet filled with wickedness and class urban mentality.
Abuja is a scandal to our national psyche it shows how heartless we are, it is an example of how we can make Nigeria work if we want to make it work, but how those in power chose to create heaven in hell for comfort.
On one hand in Abuja you see a master piece were the ruling elite live in heaven, 10 kilometres to that heaven you see were the Rufais of this world drove the common man into slums, rather than build affordable estates for all, they build mansions for the thieves
I did visit a pal of mine, he is a good man but he is now a personal aid to the President, visiting him I asked how much he gets paid, two hundred thousand naira a month he said, unmm fair but he is being accommodated in Trancorp Hilton, he’s been living in the hotel since October 2007 and guess what the federal government of Nigeria gets to pay the hotel forty nine thousand naira a night, what a waste.
I met some of my friends who are now senators, some in the house of reps and any attempt to draw their attention to the plight of our people in the hinterland was like me singing in welsh. One of them said to me “ I beg Sankara e be like say u don too tay for abroad, look for contract and enjoy your life”.
In fact a Senator from Kwara state, whose brother is now the Landlord of the State wrote me a mail on FB stating why don’t u see anything good in Nigeria, how dare you say Abuja was built with blood oil money from the delta.
I left Abuja wondering how we got this characters elected or is it selected. In Abuja a friend of mine who lived in Houston USA met with me he was determined to make a change he said “Kay we can’t leave the space for this charlatan’s, you need to come back home” I left him thinking unmm what a great idea and I must say I admire his courage, leaving the comfort of the United States for Nigeria is a brave move and I hope we all follow his footsteps.
Nigeria is the best place in the world. Our people are strong, the common man never gives up and all we need is that leader with the will power to mobilize the good in us all, we must walk the walk and stop talking, we must stop those all night vigil in church and start doing God’s work, we must stop the hypocrisy of life and live life.
I did not see a dying Nigeria, I saw hope, I saw a people ready to move but with weak leaders, rogues in government, I saw that young man with a masters degree in the palm Lagos, he works as a security Guard gets paid stipends but still hope for a better Nigeria, I saw that lady prostitute near Unilag who told me she is a final year law student but she is not going to give up on Nigeria, I visited friends in the public sector who have low expectation of today but great vision of a great Nigeria.
We can’t but hold our leaders to account, as I leave Lagos for the UK, I took a final glance at the Lagos landscape and that message painted on the rainbow was Kayode Ogundamis you are more Nigerian than You are British. We must never give up on a better future for that contraption called NIGERIA.
By Kayode Ogundamisi
Wood green London
July 2008.
Convener: The Liberty Forum. UK