Tuesday, 24 January 2012

PROTECT YOUR PEOPLE! Amnesty International To Nigerian Government.


AI Index: AFR 44/003/2012
24 January 2012

Nigeria: Authorities must protect population against deadly attacks

Amnesty International today condemned the deadly attacks by members of Boko Haram in Kano, and called on the Nigerian Government to do more to protect the life and security of the population.

Sadly this is only the latest in a long line of deadly attacks carried out by the group. Boko Haram, officially called Jama atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda a Waati Wal Jihad, has perpetrated numerous human rights abuses and shows contempt for life. They must stop the attacks. However, the Nigerian Government has repeatedly failed to prevent, investigate, prosecute or punish these acts. The Federal Government must invest in reforming the criminal justice system to prevent more human losses in Northern Nigeria. These horrific crimes by Boko Haram must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.

Amnesty International also urged the Federal Government to set up an independent commission of inquiry into the Kano bombings and make public its report.

The population in Northern Nigeria are caught between being targeted by Boko Haram and Nigeria’s counter-terrorism measures that fail to prevent, investigate, prosecute or punish these acts and often result in new human rights violations perpetrated by the security forces with impunity.

At least 186 people were killed in Kano on 21 January when members of the sectarian group Boko Haram bombed security forces at eight different locations, including the zonal and state headquarters of the police in Kano and the headquarters of the State Security Service (SSS). The bombings started at 4.15 pm and were followed by exchanges of gun fire between Boko Haram and security forces lasting several hours. Several Boko Haram suspects had broken out of police custody or escaped. According to the police authorities, 29 security staff members were killed.

Amongst the victims were police officers, their relatives, and residents living close to the police stations. Channels journalist Enenche Akogwu was shot dead by suspected Boko Haram members near Government House.

Boko Haram claimed to have warned the state authorities in August 2011 that it would attack if the Boko Haram members detained in Kano State were not released from custody. On 21 January, shortly before the bombings, leaflets were distributed around the city again warning of attacks.

There have been serious criminal justice failings in the Nigerian government’s response to Boko Haram. Suspected members of Boko Haram have been rounded up in previous sweeps, but have not been tried, due in part to the lack of proper police work to gather evidence. The main suspect of the 2011 Christmas Day bombing by Boko Haram which led to at least 37 deaths, escaped police custody on 16 January. Women and children not suspected of any offences have been unlawfully detained and ill-treated to gain information about male family members suspected of offenses. Suspected members of Boko Haram have been subject to enforced disappearances.

The police are poorly trained and ill-equipped. Officers do not have enough basic equipment such as bullet-proof vests or handcuffs. The government must ensure that police have adequate equipment or training to carry out their duties.

Nigeria must not pursue security at the expense of human rights. Security forces must ensure their response is within legitimate boundaries, established legal frameworks and and fully respectful of human rights. Following previous attacks by Boko Haram, the security forces have often resorted to dragnet arrests, rather than arresting people on the basis of a reasonable suspicion that they committed an offence. The failure to properly investigate and bring to justice those responsible for human rights abuses fosters impunity and denies victims their right to a remedy.

The government must invest substantially and effectively in reforming the criminal justice system, so that similar attacks can be prevented and the perpetrators can be brought to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.

In 2011, at least 500 people were killed in attacks by Boko Haram, often targeting police officers and government officials. Since June 2011, bars and beer gardens in northern Nigeria were targeted, killing scores of people. The situation deteriorated towards the end of the year, with weekly reports of bombings and attacks.

A committee set up in August 2009 to “investigate the circumstances leading to the crisis including the alleged killing of the leader of Boko Haram and the slaughter or killing of over 17 Police officers,” has not made its findings public.

Nigeria has a weak criminal justice system. It is under-resourced, blighted by corruption and struggles to earn the trust of the population. The police resort too easily to the use of lethal force. Investigations into crimes, if they occur, are often cursory and not intelligence-led. The security forces often resort to dragnet arrests, rather than arresting people on the basis of a reasonable suspicion that they committed an offence. Suspects are regularly detained in cells that violate their right not to be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. Court processes are slow, with the result that most detainees, especially the poor, are kept in pre-trial detention for many years.

AI PRESS RELEASE LINK! http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR44/003/2012/en

Friday, 20 January 2012

Boko-Harram Leaflet! Rough Translation

Rough Translation

We are the one you illegally called BOKO HARAM while our real name is jama'atul--------!

A message to the people of Kano State! You should know that the police are arresting our members all through Kano in the name of armed robbers and thieves!

You should know that we won't attack you since you did not attack us: our fight is with the government and its security forces and CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) and anyone that supports them even if he is a Muslim! Anyone that aides in the arrest of our members shall pay the price! Msg from jama'atul --------!

Extended Translation:

Qucik translation and subject to correction:In the name of God, the most beneficent and merciful.

We are the ones that they address with the prohibited name Boko Haram, when our name is Jama’atu Ahlus Sunnah Lidda Awati Wal Jihad (Congregation of Followers of the Prophet involved in the Call to Islam and Religious Struggle)

This message is to the people of Kano. You should know that the security (Police) in Kano are using tricks in arresting our people, that is they tell people in different neighborhoods that they are arresting thieves or armed robbers – you should know that it is our people that they are arresting.

We do not have any intention of touching any people of this town if they do not touch us. Because our war is with the Government that is fighting Islam with the Christian association of Nigeria (CAN) that are killing Muslims even eating their flesh and those who helped them to fight us even if they are Muslims.

Anyone who is instrumental to the arrest of our members is assured that their own is coming.
Message from the leader of Jama’atu Ahlus Sunnah Lidda Awati Wal Jihad
Imam Abubakar Muhammad Abubakar bin Mohammed (Shikau)

Video: Nigerian Foreign Affairs Viola Onwuliri SNUBS COUNTRIES ANTHEM!

VIDEO: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri refused to STAND UP as Nigerian National Anthem was being played during a US Event at the Grand Hyatt, New York, United States. She sat down as other Nigerians proudly stood up in respect of the National Anthem. They call on us to be patriotic but see themselves as LORD AND MASTER not just over Nigerians but do see the country as being beneath them. Viola Onwuliri, was heckled OCCUPY NIGERIA activists in New York

Efforts by the Consul General in New York, Mr. Habib Baba Habu, to plead with the protesters failed as they insisted that every Nigerian should be ashamed of the state of the nation and demanded that the minister and her entourage should stay at home and do the right thing for the nation.

The protest, which lasted for close to two hours, later attracted a team of officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD), who came into the hall to ensure that the situation did not degenerate.

Shortly after their arrival, the situation was brought under control as the the protesters walked out of the hall, with some of them explaining the situation in Nigeria to the NYPD officers.

The meeting however proceeded at about 9pm with the former Ambassador to Austria, Jerry Ugowke, who was on the minister's entourage, pleading with the people to pardon their late arrival and attributed it to flight delay and the high traffic from the airport to the hotel.

He said the protesters were not wrong for expressing their displeasure with the state of the nation, but added that they should have allowed the meeting to proceed after a while so that others could also have opportunity to express their opinion on the state of the nation.

In her own remarks, Onwuliri said as a mother and grand mother, she understood the pains of young Nigerians who are dissatisfied with the state of the nation.

She added that as a former member of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), she was not new to protest, and could also be described as an activist for good governance, though now in government.

She pleaded with Nigerians in US to give President Goodluck Jonathan a chance to bring Nigeria out of the woods, arguing that only constructive criticisms and popular support could help the present administration succeed in tackling the problems confronting the nation.

She said she was in US to feel the pulse of the people and to also brief them on the situation at home, adding that she would return home to brief the President on how they felt and the suggestions offered.

The minister and Ugokwe later took time to respond to the plethora of questions asked by the participants. (Thisday-Nigeria)

Lagos Govt Reacts! Gov Fashola troops deployment claims by Army, false & misleading!

" The armed soldiers you see on the streets of Lagos today are contingents of the Lagos State-sponsored Operation Massa requested by Lagos State Governor, Raji Fashola, before the fuel price riots began."

. ............ Nigeria's Defence Headquarters Press Statement on 19th January




The Secretariat, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

P.M.B. 1613, Ikeja, Telegram: MININFO, Telephone:



The claim by the Military authorities that the deployment of soldiers on the streets of Lagos is at the request of the Lagos State Government is not only false but misleading.

The State Government challenges the Military authorities to show proof of the request of troop deployment to the streets of Lagos State.

Instead of simply taking the honourable path by apologizing to the people of Lagos for an unpopular act, they have resorted to offering spurious and bogus claims aimed at deceiving the people.

That this claim is coming four days after the Governor’s address, which he followed with a letter to the Presidency, is an obvious afterthought. It is also inconsistent with the explanation offered by the Minister of Defence who said that they deployed the soldiers in order to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

This attempt to cover up has left the public with much confusion, as the Minister of Defence offered one reason and the Military authority has offered another. They should just take the honourable path by apologizing to the people of Lagos State and withdraw the soldiers forthwith.

In the prevailing political dispensation, the administration of Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has always been in the vanguard of democratic principles as well as civility.

In the light of the view of the Governor, it will be totally irrational to expect that the Governor would call on the Military to occupy the streets of Lagos.

Also, it would be recalled that His Excellency went on air to denounce most vehemently the deployment of the soldiers in Lagos.

In His Excellency’s continuous statements and actions, he has demonstrated that democracy is still the best form of dispensation to make Lagos State remain a Centre of Excellence that it has been. It is therefore not right for anybody to try to use the Government of Lagos State to cover up their unpopular decision.

The presence of the Police, Army and other federally controlled security agencies in Lagos does not translate to their been under the control of the State and so the inclusion of soldiers in the joint Military patrol through OP-MESA should not be used to cover up this wrong act of drafting soldiers on the streets of Lagos to quell fuel subsidy protest which the Police has contained for five days.


JANUARY 19, 2012

Sunday, 15 January 2012

'IJAWLISATION' of Goodluck Jonathan's Presidency is Counter Productive-Kayode Ogundamisi

We Fought Side by Side with the SAME HAWKS now misguiding GEJ. We are not Niger Deltans but we identified with them, because we saw their struggle as a JUST struggle. Back then when people tagged us as ANTI-NORTH we did not waver. We continued in the struggle.

Today they are in charge of Nigeria, rather than do what is RIGHT and JUST, not just for Nigerians but for the proletariats in the Niger-Delta, they do the same things the oppressors of yesteryears did.

They have become the new oppressors. To them it is about BREAD AND BUTTER. Even when GEJ’S policy is against the interest of the commoners in ND it is ok, so long they get a share of the LOOT! To them we are the new enemies, they don’t see us as comrades - they now see us as YORUBA IGBO HAUSA and NON-IJAW.

Our consolation is that we have people of conscience in the Niger Delta who see through the deception, who know that just as we had some Yoruba who protected Obasanjo’s injustice against the poor, we will have opportunists protecting GEJ’S injustice against the Poor. Our consolation is that the people always triumph

To Protect GEJ! Annkio Briggs call on Niger Delta & Ndi-Igbo to break away!


email: NDoccupyNDResources@yahoo.com


After a crucial general meeting held on Friday January 13, 2012 and attended by Chiefs, elders, women, youths and stakeholders of the Niger Delta in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, we are constrained to make our position known on recent and ongoing developments in our country.

We have noted the unfolding issues regarding the removal of subsidy on fuel and the rambunctious attitude of the North towards President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Fellow Nigerians, let us not forget that in the promise of keeping this country under the banner of One Nigeria, the Niger Delta people have usurped our goodwill and resources through the following:

•Neglect of our people politically and economically

•Sacrifice of our resources to Nigeria

•The long term and ongoing destruction of our environment

•The killings of our people

•The attacks and destruction of and on our communities

•The persistent opposition to the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan presidency, which has translated into high level violence as well as the ongoing killing of innocent Nigerians, particularly of Igbo origin among others.

We the long suffering, neglected, abused, and marginalized people of the Niger Delta find it very necessary at this point, after much consultation and analysis, to call our people to come back home.

For our survival, home is where we will feel safe and be better and more prepared to defend ourselves in the face of the level of neglect and abandonment of our region and our people after more than 50 years of providing for the country or entrapment designed by Lord Lugard for the benefits of others and to the detriment of our region, people and future.

We hereby call on all Niger Delta citizens and all oil-producing states and people to call the Federal Government and the Oil Companies in their enclave that the Oil and Gas and all other natural resources found or to be found in our land, creeks, water, mangroves and swamps belong to the peoples of the Niger Delta and other oil producing states.

Therefore, we consider the ongoing devastation of our land and waters as a serious violation of our Human Rights and Environment.

We also call on the Federal Government and the oil producing companies to take note of our resolve to resist the ongoing exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in our region. The activities of the Joint Venture between the Federal Government and the International Oil Companies are a violation of our birthright and economic rights.

We have also resolved to declare and call for

We hereby peacefully insist on taking our resources back by all and any legal means available to us, nationally and internationally. It is our absolute right to reclaim our land, water, mangroves, swamps and creeks from the strange hands that have long held them hostage.

This clarion call is to all Niger Delta people who believe that the natural resources on their land is given to them by God Almighty.

Therefore, we have as of this date, 15th of January 2012, started the occupation of all our states and resources and call on all Niger Delta people to converge in protest to occupy our land, water, swamps, mangroves and creeks to protect our God-given resources.

After watching the events in reminiscence of the past since Independence to date (1960-2012), we are convinced that without this action we will have nothing for our future, our children and their children’s future.

This step is necessary as it is the only one left for the Niger Delta people otherwise we are condemning our nationalities and people to self-imposed slavery and destruction.

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan or Niger Delta people will not be slaves to Nigeria that has survived on injustice, mismanagement, corruption and massive fraud.

We the Ijaw and Niger Delta people are not prepared to be blackmailed and terrorized into a corner because of our God-given oil and gas.

We support the withdrawal of fuel subsidy even though as usual in the creeks and swamps we end up paying the highest price. We are opposed to and will continue to fight against mismanagement and corruption in Nigeria.

But having watched the goings on against the person of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, an Ijaw and Niger Delta son, over the past one week in the name of "PROTEST AGAINST SUBSIDY", it has become crystal clear to our people that we are neither wanted or needed as equals in this country that is made by Lord Lugard. We therefore have had enough of the distasteful, shameful and offensive open ridicule of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the world and Nigeria media, instigated openly by self-proclaimed leaders, elders, intellectuals and men of different faith.

Niger Delta and all the resources found in the Niger Delta belong to Niger Delta people. All resources found in any other region of Nigeria belong to the people of such region.

We call on all our Niger Delta peoples, for the sake of our future, to look to our nearest neighbours, the Igbos, for immediate and strong alliance to enable the Niger Delta nations and the Igbo nation to face the obvious change that will come to Nigeria, in strength, justice, brotherhood and truth.




Annkio Briggs


Daniel Alabrah
Deputy Editor, Sunday Sun
Phone: +234-08037082821 , 07059988013
Email: danuzi1@yahoo.com


Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Document - Nigeria: Escalating fuel price protests - President must repeal Force Order 237 to prevent more casualties



Nigeria: Escalating fuel price protests - President must repeal Force Order 237 to prevent more casualties

AI index: AFR 44/001/2012

11 January 2012

Amnesty International today reiterated its call on the Nigeria Police Force to stop shooting at protesters after at least three were killed and 25 injured in the past two days.

The organization urges the Nigerian authorities to reform Nigeria’s police regulations in line with international standards, to prevent additional loss of life and ensure that the police only use firearms when it is strictly necessary to protect life.

Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the authorities to repeal Police Force Order 237, which provides guidance in use of firearms by the police in Nigeria. It is so broad that it permits police officers to shoot protesters, whether or not they pose a threat to life.

Amnesty International considers it unacceptable that force order 237 instructs police officers in “riot” situations to “single out” and fire at “ring-leaders in the forefront of the mob”. The definition of riot is so vague, that all protesters, however peaceful, are at risk. The force order also directs officers to fire “at the knees of the rioters” and explicitly prohibits firing in the air. Shooting at people, regardless of where an officer aims, is likely to result in death.

With more protests announced, President Goodluck Jonathan must demonstrate a commitment to protect the people. The President must repeal Force Order 237 and immediately announce that the use of lethal force is only allowed when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.

The President must also set up an independent commission of inquiry to investigate all reports of use of force by the police against protesters. International standards require that any use of force or firearms resulting in death or injury is investigated to ensure that the use of force was not arbitrary or abusive.

The police must be provided with non lethal equipment to properly manage public order situations, including protests even if they turn violent.

The protests started on 2 January, after President Goodluck Jonathan announced the removal of the fuel subsidy. This increased the price of petrol from N65 (US $0.40) to at least N140 (US$ 0.86) a litre. Transport costs have consequently doubled and other essential daily expenses are expected to rise considerably.

Since 9 January, tens of thousands of Nigerians throughout the country went on strike to protest against the removal of fuel subsidy and to demand good governance. The protests are generally peaceful, however in some instances violence has been reported.

In Kaduna, on 10 January a man was seriously injured after he was shot in his head by the police. The state government subsequently imposed a 24 hour curfew and the police have threatened to arrest anyone who would protest.

In Benin City, the capital of Edo State, according to unconfirmed reports three people were injured on 10 January after the police shot in the air. Some of the leaders of the protests in the state are currently in hiding and fear for their safety.

In Kano, on 9 January at least one person was killed and 22 people were injured when the police fired live ammunition at demonstrators in an attempt to disperse the crowd near the gates of Government House. Unconfirmed reports suggest another two persons may have been killed. The police issued no warning before using lethal force, but opened fire and used teargas simultaneously. At least one bystander who was not participating in the protest was shot and injured. According to eyewitnesses, the protesters were unarmed. Following the incident, the union in Kano state halted further public protests and asked people to strike by staying at home. The government has put in place a curfew from 6 pm till 8 am.

On 9 January, at least five people were shot; three were reportedly injured and two were killed in Lagos. The police announced the arrest of one police officer suspected to have fired at demonstrators.

Intentional use of lethal force against people in a public order situation violates the right to life as guaranteed by Nigeria’s Constitution, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

In January 2006, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions said that the force order provided “carte blanche to shoot and kill at will.” He recommended the amendment of the force order to meet with international standards. The government took no action.


Amnesty International has documented numerous incidents of excessive and unlawful use of force by police and other security forces (see “Killing at will: Extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings by the police in Nigeria” AFR 44/038/2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR44/038/2009 ).

The Nigeria Police Force is responsible for hundreds of unlawful killings every year. The majority of cases go un-investigated and unpunished. The families of the victims usually have no recourse to justice or redress. Moreover, some relatives are threatened if they seek justice.

Many relatives do not even get to find out what exactly happened to their loved ones. In most instances, officers’ accounts are unchallenged and complaints are unprocessed. Investigations are rarely carried out. When investigations do take place, they do not comply with international standards. Internal investigation by the police lack independence and transparency.

The President or State or Federation level Attorney Generals can appoint a Commission of Inquiry. The Justice Goodluck Commission, which looked into the extrajudicial executions of six youths in Apo, Federal Capital Territory in June 2005 is one such example.

The Nigerian government has repeatedly stated its willingness to address the problems in the criminal justice system, improve access to justice and reform the police force. Despite several recommendations for improvement from various review panels in recent years, little has been done. A review of the Police Act (1990) began in 2004, but the draft bill has been pending since October 2006. Laws, regulations and codes of conduct to protect human rights are simply not enforced.

Source Amnesty International Website.

Video: We Lost our brother. Survivors of Nigerian Police Shooting. #OCCUPYNIGERIA


Occupy Nigeria is a series of protests that began in Nigeria on Monday, 2 January 2012 in response to the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government of President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria on Sunday, 1 January 2012.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

CITIZENS’ CHARTER OF DEMANDS! Building Leverage and Unity on Fuel Subsidy Struggle

Building Leverage and Unity on Fuel Subsidy Struggle

Text of Press Conference, Abuja, 5th January 2012

On New Year’s Day, President Goodluck Jonathan broke his bond on creating conditions for Nigerians to enjoy a breath of fresh air by increasing the pump price of petrol (PMS). By this act, Nigerians are guaranteed to suffer extremely high costs for transport, food and other essentials. It is a policy decision aimed at deepening poverty and the suffering of Nigerians. We are Nigerian citizens and we must call the President’s bluff that he can make us suffer as he pleases and as it pleases his bosses in the IMF and the World Bank. Nigeria is a sovereign and democratic country and its citizen’s reserve the Constitutional right to demand for good governance while the President has the Constitutional obligation to promote the rights and welfare of Nigerians.

The price of petroleum products has been ‘adjusted’ or increased eighteen times in the last 26 years starting from a raise in the pump price of petrol from 3.15 kobo per liter to 20 kobo per liter in April 1985. All the attempts by successive governments to remove so-called “fuel subsidy” failed because Nigerians resisted the imposition of more suffering. The Jonathan administration will also fail because of its refusal to address corruption in the downstream sector as an option to ‘subsidy’ removal. Similarly, the arguments of the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that subsidy is unsustainable is a fraud and untenable as elaborately argued by experts.

The decision of President Jonathan to stop the consultations with stakeholders, take a unilateral decision on the issue and then establish a negotiation body after implementing his unilateral decision is very disrespectful to Nigerians who feel passionately about this issue. It is indeed true that the amount spent on fuel subsidy is so large that it has forced us as a nation to abandon our development goals and is in addition accelerating our indebtedness. The reality however is that the ‘subsidy’ is the greatest fraud in our nation’s history as monumental amounts is criminally being paid out to government cronies who return the money to their political godfathers.

The Government has presented an elaborate propaganda document called Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE). The programme proposes ambitious commitments to social safety nets, public works, youth employment, Niger Delta development and agricultural development programmes. The shopping list is a bare faced lie as the total amount paid our as fuel subsidy cannot pay for even one-fifth of the activities listed.

Charter of Demands

Against the backdrop of the pre-emptive and unilateral action of Government in truncating consultations and implementing a 117% increase in the pump price of petroleum products; the application of excessive power to muzzle legitimate citizen dissent and rejection of the ‘subsidy’ removal; the deplorable state of the nation and the waning legitimacy and trust in the capacity of this Government to preserve the integrity and well being of Nigeria, WE make the following demands:

1. The immediate dismissal of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for fraudulently arguing for an economic reform that not only places immediate and sustained hardship on Nigerians but threatens to derail Nigeria’s hard earned democracy.

2. The Presidency must immediately revert to the status quo ante by reinstating the N65/liter pump price and continue the consultations with stakeholders on how to resolve the issue of massive corruption in the management of the fraudulent “subsidy” regime.

3. It is clear that the President is in contempt of the National Assembly and has acted outside the purview of his powers. The removal of the so-called subsidy requires legislation by the National Assembly. The establishment of a mechanism to manage the ‘huge gains’ from the ‘removal of subsidy’ also requires legislation. The National Assembly is therefore called upon not to award any legitimacy to the ‘subsidy’ removal and the proposed reinvestment initiative (SURE).

4. Citizen’s right to dissent and freedom of expression as guaranteed by Chapter IV of the 1999 CFRN as amended must be respected and protection extended to citizens as they engage and demand for good governance and accountability.

5. Political parties should recognize and lend solidarity to the struggles of the Nigerian people in whose interests and from whom they draw legitimacy and purpose for sustaining our nascent democracy.

6. Citizens of Nigeria, irrespective of their affiliations, should continue to mobilize and join forces to resist the unilateral and obnoxious ‘subsidy’ removal policy that places upon them extreme hardship and misery and also undermines their human dignity and sovereignty.

Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim
Director, Centre for Democracy and Development

Ayodeji Ajayeoba
President, United Action for Democracy

Ayisha Osori
Advocates for Change and Social Justice

Dr. Otive Igbuzor
Executive Director, Centre LSD

Dr. Hussaini Abdu
Country Director, Action Aid Nigeria

For and on Behalf of Nigeria Civil Society
5th January, 2012

VIDEO! #OCCUPYNIGERIA Nigerians Rise Against Tyranny!

Nigerian Bishops to GEJ! LISTEN to the VOICE of the PEOPLE! #OCCUPYNIGERIA


We the Bishops of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Ibadan Province comprising of Ibadan, Ondo, Oyo, Ilorin, Ekiti, and Osogbodioceses, having carefully examined the political and economic reasons advanced by the federal government to justify the removal of petroleum subsidy, wish to express our regrets and reservations at the unpopular decision.

We deplore the fact that economic considerations were prioritized over moral implications and immediate public interests in the timing of this subsidy removal. Before removing the subsidy, the Federal Government alluded to huge irregularities and corruption associated with the provision of petroleum products in Nigeria. It took no action to prosecute anyone as a consequence of its discovery. It did not allay palpable fears of harsher economic effects on the average Nigerian nor did it take any action to protect or support the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians.

The harsh consequences of the eventual removal of subsidy, as has been seen, have been instantaneous. Many Nigerians who went to their hometowns and villages to celebrate Christmas and the New Year could not even afford the cost of returning to their places of work. Government argued that the removal of subsidy on fuel would open the sector to private investors. This might be at best, speculative.

We note that government’s many policy somersaults and failure to provide security for life and property have created an unfriendly business environment which the mere removal of subsidy cannot reverse. This situation has in fact scared away many foreign and even indigenous investors not only from the petroleum sector but also from other sectors in this country. The first duty of government is to guarantee the security of life and property. Therefore, to simply allude to fraudulent practices in the petroleum sector without any serious effort to sanction its perpetrators, and to go on instead to remove subsidy as a way of forestalling fraud is to punish the already vulnerable and victimized Nigerian consumer.

This action, taken at this most inauspicious period of national grief and emergency is tantamount to what we have referred to in the past as “governance by ambush”. It merely penalizes the ordinary Nigerian for the sins of those who practice fraud and for government’s abdication of its most fundamental responsibilities. We note with deep regret that this country now has a tradition of making the poor suffer in the selfish interest of a few who have fraudulently enriched themselves in collusion with those in the corridors of power. Must the poor suffer to make the rich smile? It may not be fair to blame the Jonathan government alone for all the woes of Nigeria but this government must take full responsibility for the insensitive timing and execution of this policy on fuel subsidy.

Government seems to have already decided on it anyway long before the so-called consultations were begun or does it not matter at all that scores of Nigerians were gruesomely murdered only days earlier in the very vicinity of our Federal Capital? We cannot ignore the fact that in the build-up to the removal of subsidy, this government simply recycled promises made by previous governments to use proceeds accruing from such measures to improve infrastructure and raise the standard of living of the citizens. But Nigerians know that in the past, such promises have only been fulfilled in the breach. To them, therefore, it would be unwise to believe government this time when it offers no guarantees whatsoever.
We have spoken in the past about the unwieldy cost of governance as other voices of reason have. At federal, state and local levels, there are too many political appointees, too many ministries and too many committees. Government’s direct action to slim down in this area would have been one guarantee of its credibility for judicious spending of fuel subsidy savings.

As things stand, we consider it immoral to remove petroleum subsidy while we run a government of such dysfunctional dimension and cost. We declare that it is immoral to impose removal of petroleum subsidy on economically weakened Nigerians while political office holders continue to live in embarrassing opulence. It is therefore our strong opinion that the debate on subsidy wassimplistically presented, a fait accompli to veil the fact that the issues involved are far more complex. The powers of state should never have been used to impose removal of petroleum subsidy without putting in place concrete definable measures to cushion the emasculating effects of such an action on the most vulnerable segments of the Nigerian population.

AUDIO: Playing DUMB Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Last night SaharaReporters called the Nigerian minister of finance and "coordinating minister for the economy", Dr, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala 7 times inviting her to discuss the removal of oil subsidy on SaharaTV. We also sent several text messages to her mobile number in Nigeria. Of course, she claimed she couldn't hear us. We are hoping to get her on our weekly show on SaharaTV on Saturday if she is ready to discuss her anti-subsidy theories before Nigerians at home and abroad. Until then, we will keep calling!

Culled from Sahara Reporters


Wednesday, 4 January 2012


"Ignorance has always been the weapon of tyrants; enlightenment the salvation of the free."

"Ignorance has always been the weapon of tyrants; enlightenment the salvation of the free."
Even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative rumour peddlers who embrace the politics of anything go.

Well, we say to them tonight, there's not a Northern Nigeria and a Southern Nigerian; We have the OPPRESED NIGERIAN VS THE OPPRESOR NIGERIAN RULING CLASS.

There's not a Muslim Nigerian and Christian Nigerian and Atheist Nigerian and Traditional Worshiping Nigerian; there's the United Oppressed People of Nigeria.

The pundits like to slice and dice our country into PDP states and ACN States: CPC and APGA states and Labour States for Northerners, Easterners, Westerners and Southerners. But we’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the all parts of Nigeria and we don't Nigerian ruling elite using religion to divide us so we can kill ourselves whilst they enjoy the loot.

There are patriots who in EVERY NIGERIAN STATE united by the common poverty perpetuated by minority Nigerians from ALL TRIBES RELEGION AND CREED over majority of Nigerians. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to our rights to live in dignity in the modern world not as slaves to the Nigerian ruling elite.




(Adapted from Barack Obama’s 2004 speech for #occupynigeria 2011)


Violent protests have broken out across Nigeria against the government's decision to end fuel subsidies, amid the ongoing state of emergency declared last week.

Protesters formed human barriers along motorways, hijacked buses and set up bonfires in Lagos, the country's commercial capital, as police set upon the demonstrators with tear gas and batons.

One of the country's main unions claimed police shot dead a protester, but police denied it, saying he was killed by a mob.

The end to the subsidy will mean a fuel price hike of more than double in a country where most people live on less than £2 per day.

Meanwhile, gunmen have attacked a police station in northern Nigeria's Jigawa state, killing a teenage girl and wounding an officer.

Burning tyres

Burning tyres in Lagos

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, though Islamist group Boko Haram has been blamed for many similar incidents in northern Nigeria.

"The gunmen shot indiscriminately into the police station and engaged our men in a shootout, killing a teenage girl trying to flee and wounding a policeman," state police commissioner Hashimu Argungu said.

"They threw an explosive into the police station but it did not detonate, which saved the police station from being destroyed, although its walls were riddled with bullets from the attack."

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in parts of four states hard hit by attacks blamed on Boko Haram on December 31.

In one of the most bloody attacks, a Christmas Day bombing at a church killed 30 people and left many more injured in the capital Abuja.

While he met with his cabinet as violence continued around the country, unions are also expected to meet to decide on a national day of industrial action.

#OCCUPYNIGERIA FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL: Young Nigerians in London To Protest


The London Metropolitan Police hours ago granted permit to Nigerian Students In Diaspora and Nigerians In Diaspora under whose umbrella the Friday rally will hold in London

Date: Friday 6th, January 2012
Venue: London Charing Cross Station
Time: 12:30
Please inform every Nigerian you know and friends of Nigeria to come out in their numbers to voice their angst against this insensitive and irresponsible Nigerian government

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