Monthly Archives: June 2013

Abrogation of obnoxious laws in Nigeria

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A close examination of some laws made in Nigeria point to the fact that the rights of the minorities over the control of their natural resources have been removed. At no time was this more noticeable than the military era. The truth however, is that military decrees inherited by a civilian government become enactments of the National Assembly except and until amended or repealed by it (National Assembly). The greatest victim of these decrees (laws) is the people of the Niger Delta. And oil, the major revenue earner in Nigeria, is found in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Before tge discovery of oil in Olobiri in 1956 and later in other parts of the Niger Delta region, what was the position? Elsewhere in this memorandum, especially the topics on True Federalism, Resource Control and Revenue allocation, reference was made to the emphasis on the derivation principle. Those were the glorious days of the groundnut pyramids, hides and skin (North), palm kernel and palm oil(Mid West), coal(East), cocoa(West), timber, rubber. The derivation principle in operation, these products became the main foreign exchange earners in Nigeria. The Constitution (1960-1963) provided for the federation to pay each Region 50% (fifty percent) of the proceeds of any royalty recieved by the Federation ‘Minerals’ included mineral oil.

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With the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in Niger Delta region of Nigeria, the political equilibrum suddenly somersaulted. A plethora of decrees (laws) all schemed to expropriate the rights of the minorities surfaced.
First was the Petroleum Decree 1969 which was given validity in the 1979 Constitution. The Land Use Decree 1978 was smuggled into ( Section 274 (5) (d) of the 1979 Constitution. It gave the Federal Government the rights to extract minerals from the land, thus completely changing the land tenure system against the Niger Deltans. Several other decrees were promulgated primarily to deprive the oil rich zone of Niger Delta of their God-given resource-oil. The Civilian Regimes ( 1963 Republican Constitution, 1979 Third Republic Constitution and even The Fourth Republic 1999 Constitution) have not fared better. There are contradictions in the 1999 Constitution. For instance , Section 44. Contrast Section 44 (1) and (2) which provides compensation for compulsory acquisition of property, contradicts Section 44 (3) which vests “the entire poperty in and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in the exclusive economic zone of Nigeria, in the Government of the federation”. It accordingly expropriates all the properties of the mineral producing areas at not 99.9% but 100%. What is the essence of Chapter 4 – Fundamental Human Rights, in the face of such deprivations.

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The effects of these laws, to say the least, are oppressive, suppressive, exploitative and manipulative. The victims are the minority oil producing states who still live in abject poverty and suffer various pollutions to their environment from various international companies sucking their oil dry without given anything back, not even the decency of dicarding their waste properly or developing the very environ in which they make billions of dollars.

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Those who stand to gain are the majority non-oil producing states. Were the reverse the case and were oil be found in the majority states in commercial quantities, the pendulum would definitely swing in their favour. These obnoxious laws would be no more. But God can never be mocked, He knows best so He stores the Black Gold in the neglected swamps and mangrove forests of the Niger Delta Region.
In the new Nigeria we are fashioning for ourselves, these obnoxious laws or decrees (or whatever names they are called) should no longer be seen in our Constitution or statute books, we must solve problems from the root, if you want to fell a tree and you cut its branches only it will still grow back. The government have used pieces of papers to patch broken pipes by offering amnesty to millitants who have stood up to fight for the rights of the Niger Delta to have control over their oil.
Hence the call for the abolishment of these obnoxious laws (solving matters from its root)
(I)  The Petroleum Decree 1969 (CAP 351 LFN 1990)
(II) Oil Terminal Dues Act (CAP 339)
(III) The Land Use Act (CAP 202 LFN 1990)
(IV) Exclusive Economic Zone Act (CAP 116 LFN 1990)
(V) Petroleum Profit Tax Act (CAP 354)
(VI) Lands ( Title Vesting etc.)  Decree No. 52 of 1993
(VII) National Inland Water Ways Authority Decree No. 13 of 1997
(VII) Association Gas Re-Injection Act (CAP 26)
(IX) The Oil in Navigable Water Act (CAP 337)

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Politics , it is agreed, is a game of numbers. A game where majority oppresses the minority is no good game. True Democracy frowns at this. Equity, fairness and justice do not support it either. A law is nolaw if it is intended to purnish the minority states in favour of the majority states of Nigeria. A law is no law if it cannot be implemented. Such laws can at best be described as white elephants in our statute books. Nigeria has to contend with massive resistance and determined restiveness in the Niger Delta as long as these laws remain. Half-hearted measures are not enough, pretence is no answer. Leaders who have no conscience shall sleep no more till they blend their words with action.

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Posted by Aduari Tekena. Teks4u200@gmail.com

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Inevitable flooding. Who will save us in Nigeria?

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Still reeling from the effects of last year’s natural disaster that rendered many people homeless and made many to
become beggars as a result of last year’s floods which destroy farm lands, life stocks and human settlements, at the
beginning of this year’s planting season which most victims of last year’s adversity had hoped to use in rebuilding their
shattered hopes and dreams, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) came up with another rounds of warning about
floods!
It will be recalled that most of the last year’s victims are yet to be fully resettled before this year’s warning! For
example, according to Thisday Newspaper editorial of Monday April 15, 2013, entitled: “The Unending Agony of Flood
Victims”. It reads: “With the sordid tales coming from the relief camps established after the unprecedented flood of last
year, it is obvious that the agony of families who lost loved ones, their homes and source of livelihood are yet to ebb.
While many have been ejected from the camps without being provided alternative shelters or any means of livelihood,
several others have become permanent refugees at these camps where they live under sub-human conditions. For these
unfortunate ones, their state of helplessness has now been compounded by the various committees constituted by states
and the Federal Government to provide them relief material for which they have no access”. “Today, there are sundry
tales of insensitivity on the part of the managers of the various relief camps who were said to have turned their
assignments in to another enterprise to line their private pockets”. With this type of mindless and unscrupulous
treatment in place, what do we think will be the reactions of the affected persons on hearing NIMET warning this year
again? Is life fair to all? How do we fight for justice within human affairs when nature it’s self is not fair to its human
guests?

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In a nation-wide broadcast to the nation on the devastating effects of last year’s flood, President Good Luck Jonathan
announced the release of N17.6
billion to all states affected by the last year’s flood. Also, the President announced the composition of a 34-member
committee with the mandate of
rising about N100 billion to be used in providing succour to flood victims. According to Thisday editorial: “…the committee
members were expected to
make donations and, as promised, they were to brief Nigerians regularly on the cash flow that would ensure judicious
expenditure, particularly at the
various camps in the states. To date, the committee is yet to render account of how much it has raised and how much it
has expended with specific details on its activities”.
However, from the look of things, floods have become a global phenomenon, as more people are been entangled by this
natural disaster. Every problem has its own solution! Hence, as parts of the strategy to proffer local solutions to local
problems, the Federal Government of Nigeria promised to build dams along the country’s two major rivers; River Niger
and River Benue so as to whittle down the current of these rivers during rainy seasons. Till today, what has happened?
With this reality, how can the people overseeing the affairs of flood victims extricate themselves from the accusation of
Mr. Dennis Igbana quoted in Thisday editorial as saying: “Our situation is that of the abandoned child, we are treated as
if we do not belong to this state or country; we are being abandoned as if we chose to be affected by flood. Now some
people in government are making jest of us, they took advantage of our situation to enrich themselves. While we live in
abject poverty, they are constantly praying for yet another flood because of what they stand to gain”. Now that the
number of states that would be affected in this year’s flood has increased to about 30 according to predictions, what
reasonable defense can those accused by Mr. Igbana put up as reason for not doing things rightly?
Nonetheless, since the government agency responsible for predicting our weatherand climatic conditions have raised
alarm about the impending flood that will accompany this year’s rainy season, the next thing expected of other
appropriate government agencies is to help evacuate these people from the riverine areas to hinterlands where they and
their loved ones would be safe and secure. It is not enough to raise alarm and watch the already battered and haggard
people to fend for themselves. Government should go beyond just raising alarm, to taking more concrete and palliative
steps that would make the would-be make-shift tents a home –away-from home for these Internally Displaced Persons
(IDP). The fact is that, we can be
subjected to the hallowing experiences of these people, no matter the
transient office we occupy.
Since Nature is becoming more hostile to its mortal guest in this part creation, all which is required among the co-
travelers of this earthly pilgrimage is unity of purpose; unity that reflects the common humanity we share as finite
beings!

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Posted by Aduari Tekena. Teks4u200@gmail.com

Homosexuality (normalizing sin equals normalizing destruction)

Many society nowadays have embraced homosexuality to the extent of allowing same sex marriages and also giving them the chance to adopt children, their main argument is that it does no harm to the society, even animals respect the fact that a male should mate with a female, out of millions of species only about 1500 practise homosexuality.
People that support gay marriages say it does no harm, in truth they are looking at the physical and have disconnected with the spiritual, it happened in sodom and gomorah many years ago and it will still repeat itself again to all those that fail to understand that normalizing sin is normalizing destruction.
It is not a coincidence that wars and rumours of wars occur in all these countries normalizing sin, it is not a coincidence that earth quakes and tornadoes and various natural disasters rip through all this nations normalizing sin.
I believe they will still read this article and say earthquake is normal, tornadoe is normal, but i tell you there is a big scale over your eye, you have normalized sin and disasters. Why not ask yourself why these disasters are non existent in africa which has all the extremes of hot and cold weather existent in one continent and in some cases, in one country.
There will be untold destruction that will be vetted on all those who have normalized sin. Repent now or face destruction.
It is not a coincidence that all the arab countries are at war, it is not a coincidence that tornadoes rip through America and earth quakes tear up china. Repent now or face destruction. The thing about spiritual sins is that you dont experience the consequences immediately then you think it is normal and you think there are no consequences, but when the consequences start coming, no one will be able to explain, no one will be able to escape. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, apply wisdom.
Normalizing sin is normalizing destruction.