Dark Nazi past in Brazil

Bricks stamped with swastika (Credits: BBC World Service)
CC Historical Insight

On a farm deep in the countryside 100 miles west from Sao Paulo, a football team has lined up for a commemorative photograph. What makes the image extraordinary is the symbol on the team's flag - a swastika. 

The picture probably dates from some time in the 1930s, after the Nazi Party's rise to power in Germany - but this was on the other side of the world. 

"Nothing explained the presence of a swastika here," says Jose Ricardo Rosa Maciel, former rancher at the remote Cruzeiro do Sul farm near Campina do Monte Alegre, who stumbled across the photograph one day.

But this was actually his second puzzling discovery. The first occurred in the pigsty.
"One day the pigs broke a wall and escaped into the field," he says. "I noticed the bricks that had fallen. I thought I was hallucinating."
The underside of each brick was stamped with the swastika.
It's well known that pre-war Brazil had strong links with Nazi Germany - the two were economic partners and Brazil had the biggest fascist party outside Europe, with more than 40,000 members.
But it was years before Maciel - thanks to detective work by history professor Sidney Aguilar Filho - learned the grim story of his farm's links to Brazil's fascists.
Filho established that the farm had once been owned by the Rocha Mirandas, a family of wealthy industrialists from Rio de Janeiro. Three of them - father Renato and two of his sons, Otavio and Osvaldo - were members of the Acao Integralista Brasileira, an extreme right-wing organisation, sympathetic to the Nazis.
The family sometimes held rallies on the farm, hosting thousands of the organisation's members. But it was also a brutal work-camp for abandoned - and non-white - children.
"I found a story of 50 boys aged around 10 years old who had been taken from an orphanage in Rio," says Filho. "They were taken in three waves. The first was a group of 10 in 1933."
Osvaldo Rocha Miranda applied to be a guardian of the orphans, according to documents discovered by Filho, and a legal decree was granted.
"He sent his driver, who put us in a corner," says 90-year-old Aloysio da Silva, one of the first orphans conscripted to work on the farm.
"Osvaldo was pointing with a cane - 'Put that one over there, this one here' - and from 20 boys, he took 10.
"He promised the world - that we would play football, go horse-riding. But there wasn't any of this. The 10 of us were given hoes to clear the weeds and clean up the farm. I was tricked."
The children were subject to regular beatings with a palmatoria, a wooden paddle with holes designed to reduce air resistance and increase pain. They were addressed not by their name, but by a number - Silva's was number 23. Guard dogs ensured they stayed in line.
"One was called Poison, the male, and the female was called Trust," says Silva, who still lives in the area. "I try to avoid talking about it."
Argemiro dos Santos is another survivor. As a boy, he had been found on the streets and taken to an orphanage. Then Rocha Miranda came for him.
"They didn't like black people at all," says Santos, now 89.
"There was punishment, from not giving us food to the palmatoria. It hurt a lot. Two hits sometimes. The most would be five because a person couldn't stand it.
"There were photographs of Hitler and you were compelled to salute. I didn't understand any of it."
Some of the surviving Rocha Miranda family say their forebears stopped supporting Nazism well before World War Two.
Maurice Rocha Miranda, great-nephew of Otavio and Osvaldo, also denies that the children on the farm were kept as "slaves".
He told the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaperthat the orphans on the farm "had to be controlled, but were never punished or enslaved".
But Filho believes the survivors' stories. And despite it being a long time ago, both Silva and Santos - who have never met since - tell very similar, harrowing tales.
The orphans' only respite came in football matches against teams of local farm workers such as the one pictured in the photograph with the swastika flag. Football was key to the ideology of the integralistas. Military parades took place at the Vasco da Gama football ground and the game was regularly used for propaganda purposes under Brazil's dictator, Getulio Vargas.
"We'd have a kick around and it evolved," he says. "We had a championship - we were good at football. There was no problem."
But after several years, Santos had had enough.
"There was a gate and I left it ajar," he says. "Later that night, I was out of there. No-one saw."
Santos returned to Rio where, aged 14, he slept rough and worked as a newspaper seller. Then in 1942, after Brazil declared war on Germany, he joined the navy as a taifeiro, waiting on tables and washing up.
He had gone from working for Nazis, to fighting them.
"I was just fulfilling what Brazil needed to do," says Santos. "I couldn't have hate for Hitler - I didn't know the guy! I didn't know who he was."
Santos went on patrol in Europe and then spent much of World War Two working on ships hunting submarines off the Brazilian coast.
Today Santos is known locally by his nickname Marujo - "sailor" - and proudly shows off a certificate and medal that recognises his war service. But he is also famous for another reason - as one of Brazil's top footballers of the 1940s, becoming a midfielder for some of the biggest teams in Brazil.
"At that time professional players didn't exist, it was all amateur," says Santos. "I played for Fluminense, Botafogo, Vasco da Gama. The players were all newspaper sellers and shoeshine boys."
Nowadays Santos lives a quiet life in south-western Brazil with Guilhermina, his wife of 61 years.
"I like to play my trumpet, I like to sit on the veranda, I like to have a cold beer. I have a lot of friends and they pass by and chat," he says.
Memories of the farm, though, are impossible to escape.
"Anyone who says they have had a good life since they were born is lying," he says. "Everyone has something bad that has happened in their life."


Protect R&D tax breaks to help stimulate the economy

Credits: RandDTax
By The Editor-in-Chief

There is one thing that has always set the American economy apart; it is the spirit of innovation that drives the American entrepreneur across all verticals to dream big, think hard and take calculated risks, with one singular purpose in mind - change the way things have always been done!
It is however important to understand that the main reason why the innovative spirit has always been alive and well in the United States, is due to the environment that has fostered, encouraged and engendered that spirit.
Over the years, perhaps due to the culture of greed and unbecoming avarice that permeated Corporate America, governmental regulations have become necessary, with the objective of not only protecting the American consumer, but also potentially preserving the integrity of the capitalist system.
My motive for writing this piece is centered in the belief that the bad behavior of corporate executives over the years has projected the wrong image (of Corporate America) with most Americans blaming the recent culture of careless risk-taking and greed, for the economic collapse of 2008.
While there is the push by most state governments and perhaps the federal government to find a way to tax corporations more, as they (the former) seek to balance their budget(s), they are however losing sight of one thing - the path towards real economic recovery and increase in jobs (particularly in the private sector) is through formulation and passing of initiatives, that promote growth, through innovation.
One of the surest ways to promote growth through innovation is in the area of Research & Development (R&D) tax credits.
Created by the U.S. Congress in 1981, the R&D credit has always been supported by the largest group for businesses in the United States - the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as business and industry watchers.
Recently though, critics of the R&D credit have been campaigning against it (and losing, thankfully), calling the tax credit a costly corporate hand-out that has done little to encourage more hiring and investment.
What opponents of the R&D credit however fail to mention is that it remains one of the surest ways to not only help manufacturers achieve cost and efficiency savings, but also help stimulate the economy, through more hiring and increased investment.
At a time when unemployment in the technology sector remains rather low (at less than 3% compared to the general unemployment rate of 8%), removing an avenue for increased investment and improved efficiency would indeed be fool-hardy.
One can only hope that the pervading anti-corporate sentiment does not becloud sound judgment on the part of our elected officials.

Prophet predicts World Cup semi-final berth for Nigeria's Super Eagles.... among other prophecies for 2014

Super Eagles for semi-finals of World Cup?
By Farai Sevenzo

A new year is upon us and I for one wonder what the fuss is all about - why the fireworks, the endless parties, the resolutions, the yearning to know the future - when in reality the new year for each and everyone should be the day our mothers gave birth to us. 

But let us run with the herd and pretend there is a new year to celebrate and that making it into 2014 is worthy of raising a glass and that being alive at the beginning of January is somehow worthier of notice than being dead in December. 

And it is a time to look ahead and speculate about the immediate future of this, our continent.

Increasingly, this has become an impossible task - for who could have known that before December was over South Sudan and her precarious peace would have unravelled and the prospect of another war loom large over the long-suffering South Sudanese?
Or that more than 100 people would die in the Democratic Republic of Congo as followers of evangelical Christian pastor Joseph Mukungubila attacked state institutions with gunfire on the second last day of 2013?
Pastor Mukungubila is known as the "prophet of the eternal" and he issued a press statement on his Facebook and Twitter accounts from "the office of the prophet" saying his followers had spontaneously rebelled against soldiers who had attacked his home.
And perhaps it is to these so-called prophets, the seers said to be blessed by holy visions that we should turn in predicting what this year has in store for us all.
Not only do these men say they can predict our uncertain future, they are also credited with performing astounding miracles.
Prophets are everywhere you look in most African countries, ministering to the poor, the needy and the rich.
In Lagos, Nigeria, TB Joshua receives men and women of influence and presidents of different lands.
In Ghana, for these holy men are everywhere, Victor Kusi Boateng replenishes the spiritual needs of other prophets.
It would be foolish for anyone to cast aspersions on the acts of the divinely gifted, these miracle workers, these gardeners of the desert.
But seeing as so many of Africa's urban populations are filling the churches and the prayer halls in search of signs and miracles and salvation, I thought it wise to spend some time surfing the web in search of 2014 predictions for you from those in the know.
For the World Cup, no prophet goes out on a limb to hand the trophy to Africa, although one sees Nigeria's Super Eagles making it to the semi-finals.
It seems, though, that a principal talent a prophet needs is the ability to foretell a leader's death, or to warn of some kind of attack or natural disaster before it occurs - but without giving us the specifics.
So it is possible we may hear a prophecy that a long-serving African leader will leave us in this 14th year of the new century and we, believing our prophets, will cast our roving eyes around to Eritrea, Zimbabwe or Cameroon and wonder where the prophet really wanted us to look.
We will watch the explosions in Somalia and the kidnappings in Libya or the murders in northern Nigeria and Mali and understand that the prophets have been telling us for some time that terrorism in Africa has been strengthening its grip and our governments must remain alert.
And what of the fate of all Africans all over the world? Despite the Bible and a love of scriptures, the world at large will watch us die in leaking boats in the Mediterranean or killed while crossing deserts as we demonstrate for the right to stay in places like Israel and Saudi Arabia where we are not wanted.
One thing you can be sure of is that 2014 will come and go of its own accord regardless of the prophecies - and it may well be more of the same but not necessarily in that order.

OPEC cuts exports to lowest level in over a quarter

CC Insight

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will cut crude shipments to the lowest level since September of 2013 as refineries trim imports before conducting maintenance in the spring, according to industry reports.

OPEC, which supplies roughly 40 percent of the world’s crude oil, will reduce sailings by 390,000 barrels a day, or 1.6 percent, to 23.71 million barrels in the four weeks to January 25, 2014.

That compares with 24.1 million in the period to December 28. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador. 

Industry watchers believe the reductions were initiated by Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest member.

Exports from Iran declined to about 900,000 barrels a day in December from 1.03 million a day in November, the reports said. An agreement between Iran and world governments in November eased some restrictions on insuring cargoes of the nation’s crude, in return for a delay in its nuclear program.


Sanusi's poignant take on the politics of vested interests in Nigeria

CC Video Insight

A rather articulate and insightful take on how deeply entrenched vested interests continue to stand in the way of meaningful growth and development in Nigeria.

"Ménage à trois" at the Champs-Élysées

Hollande - "Watch my nose grow as I lie." 
CC Global News 

Socialist French President Francois Hollande has said he is experiencing a "difficult time" in his private life, following claims of an affair with an actress.

But he refused to answer questions over the report, saying "private matters should be dealt with privately".

Mr Hollande was speaking at his first news conference since the allegations in the magazine Closer last week. 

He said he would clarify whether Valerie Trierweiler was still first lady before a February trip to the US. 

The news conference was a long-planned event aimed at unveiling policies to help France's struggling economy. 

In a speech lasting more than half an hour he addressed the main areas where business wants to see reform. 

Facing hundreds of journalists at the presidential palace, Mr Hollande said it was "neither the time nor the place" to answer questions about his personal life.

He said he would not be drawn on the reports of the affairs with actress Julie Gayet "out of respect for those involved".
Ms. Trierweiler has been in hospital since Friday suffering from "shock", her aides say.
Asked about the state of his partner's health, Mr Hollande said she was resting and that he had no further comment to make on the subject.
On the issue of his personal security - which some reports of his affair suggested had been compromised - Mr Hollande said: "When I travel officially and when I travel on a private basis, I have protection that is less suffocating. But I am protected everywhere.''
The president left open the possibility of suing Closer over its report.


"OBJ imposed Jonathan on Nigerians; it's his responsibility to help rid of him" - Femi Fani-Kayode

Femi Fani-Kayode
CC Video Insight

In this Saharatv piece with host Rudolf Okonkwo, the latter speaks with former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode on the scathing latter to President Goodluck Jonathan from Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

For one thing, there is nothing regarding the "imposition of Jonathan" on the Nigerian people by Obasanjo, that comes as a surprise to most.

Fani-Kayode on his part, seems on a personal quest to derail this current administration at any cost as one could argue that he has a penchant for "drying his feet" wherever and whenever seems most convenient for him.

There is little doubt Jonathan is under palpable fire, but I would not be too quick to discount his staying power as he seems to always find a way to weather the storm.

Here (below) is the interview with Femi Fani-Kayode:


As Nigeria's president digs in against his "perceived enemies", whereabouts of Central Bank Governor unknown.....

CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido
By Remi DaCosta

Following his much publicized altercation with President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, the whereabouts of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a highly respected banker and Governor of Nigeria's Central Bank, is unknown.

Sanusi, who was voted Africa Person of the Year by Forbes Magazine in 2011, was recently asked to resign by December 31 of last year.

The president had accused Sanusi of leaking "confidential information" regarding the purported $50 billion missing from the account of Nigeria's state oil firm, NNPC to Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. The latter chided President Jonathan on the issue, among others in a scathing letter criticizing Jonathan's leadership last month. 

Sanusi however denied the president’s claim, saying the letter was "widely available" within the key parastatals and as such could have been leaked by anyone with connections to the former president.

Apparently not satisfied with the answer, Jonathan was said to have insisted that Sanusi leave office on retirement, with immediate effect. Sanusi politely declined, stating that he fully intended to ride out his term till the June 2, 2014 date of his official departure unless he was removed by two-thirds majority of the Nigerian Senate, as the Constitution prescribes.

Reports reaching CC state that Sanusi has not been seen since January 8, 2014 and there are growing concerns about his well-being since he did not officially hand over his reign of duties (as is customary) to the Deputy Governor of the CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo.

In the meantime, the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to tread softly over the claim of forceful removal of Sanusi. 

The party cautioned the Presidency on its economic impact. APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement that advising Sanusi to step down on the basis of a mere allegation that he leaked the letter he wrote to the President, over the unaccounted for $49.8 billion oil revenue, does not augur well for an already "soft" economy.

More to follow.


Minister's "fraudulent" profile pulled down from Aviation Ministry's website even as Perm. Sec. in same ministry may have spurious credentials

Stella Oduah
By Deji Komolafe

Embattled Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah has had her credentials "dressed down" within her profile on the website of the Nigerian Aviation Ministry. This would seem to lay credence to the ongoing allegations against her that she lied in her "assets declaration" (a violation of the Code of Conduct for public officers in the Nigerian Constitution) as it relates to her academic qualifications.

A visit to the site now reads "Oduah-Ogiemwonyi received her Bachelors and Masters Degree (in Accounting and Business Administration respectively) in the United States" without specifying exactly where she may have obtained those degrees from (see image below).

Stella Oduah's new bio without a university

Also, Mrs. Oduah's Wikipedia page has also been altered to reflect the same descriptive tenor as her profile on the Aviation Ministry's website. 

CC has further gathered that the Permanent Secretary in the same Aviation Ministry, 'Dr.' George Afamefuna Ossi, FCAI may also be carrying a rather spurious Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Administration (DPA) from the Commonwealth University of Business Arts and Technology (aka Commonwealth University), Belize, an unaccredited University run by a certain David Iornem, who was recently charged under the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

The said David Iornem (with his litany of fake diplomas) is said to have collected the sum of $17,300 from three Nigerians to secure their admission to the unaccredited degree mill in a highly corrupt Island nation.

The said "University" purports to have "accreditation" with the International Association of Distance Learning (IADL), which in-turn states in its disclaimer that "the International Association for Distance Learning and its officers and staff accept no responsibility or legal liability, expressly or implicitly, for the business operations and practices or conduct of any IADL Member."

The interesting aspect of this so-called "accreditation" is that it flies in the face of the standard practice where Universities or Institutions of Higher Learning are accredited by a regional or national association, or both. 

Dr. Ossi seems to fit right in with the "usual suspects" of run-of-the-mill diploma and honorary degree holders swarming around this current administration like flies in a meat market.

That President Goodluck Jonathan surrounds himself (as it seems) with characters such as these, is serious cause for concern and as investigations continue into the activities of this current administration, one can only imagine that we have only just seen the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

"Home is where the heart is (Ile labo simi oko o)....."

CC Video Première

Tosinger is a sweet spirited indie artist, an inspirational Afro-soul/folk Singer-Songwriter from Nigeria; she is also a Writer/Poet and a Brand Consultant with a keen ear for good music. An eclectic woman of the arts with a warm personality and matchless passion, her message remains inspirational and uplifting. Her vocal essence & sound has been described as soulful and African, soothing and calming, her voice displays a simple conveyance of heartfelt richness and freshness. She draws influences from her Yoruba cultural background and Afro-francophone edge from her maternal grandmother which contributes to the earthiness she expresses in her music and aura.

Tosinger started singing in the church as a worship leader in her college fellowship where the nickname, ‘Tosinger’, was coined by friends at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Her first name Oluwatosin (short form - Tosin) means “God is worthy to be worshiped” in her local dialect, Yoruba. 

The merge of ‘Tosin’ and ‘Singer’ became ‘Tosinger’. In 2000, she attended Nottingham University where she played a leadership role at the school's Revival Gospel Choir. She moved on to study Music/Worship/Theater at the creative arm of the International Bible Institute of London in 2002 where she thereafter had the opportunity to be part of some London Broadway shows’ vocal ensemble: ‘Mother Goose - The Pantomime’, ‘GodSpell’ and ‘Rent’. In London, she also learned the acoustic guitar and did backup vocals for contemporary Christian musicians- Matt Redman and Dave Wellington.


Edwin Clark blasts Obasanjo in open letter as Nigeria's ruling class engage in more verbal spats

(L-R) Jonathan and Obasanjo at the "Altar of Derision"
By Remi DaCosta - Editor-at-Large

It is true what they say, that "when two elephants fight, it is the ground that suffers". Better still, in this current political climate that has seen Nigeria's rudderless leadership and its axis of shameless so-called elder statesmen engage in incendiary chatter-crawl, one can't help but wonder if the despicable stench emanating from the doldrums of the various factions is worthy of the preceding adage.

Recently, Nigeria's former president, Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo attacked the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing him essentially of gross dereliction of duty in his role as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria.

Various verbal tirades have resulted from that now famous letter with the most recent coming from Ijaw leader and former Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark.  

Here is the full text of the letter (below) and it is unfortunate that rather than focus on the critical affairs currently facing the country, the Nigerian masses are instead saddled with an unrefined class of leaders who lack the vision, basic decency and leadership comportment needed to move the country forward.

Clark wrote:

"My Dear Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,


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 inciting 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.

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.

Why I write

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 honor 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 here-under 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 nation are not your friends genuinely, not friends of Nigeria nor friend of 'Ijaw nation 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 Edo 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 program 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.


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 detribalized 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, I 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."



Life, liberty and the pursuit of 'appiness'.....

By The Editor-in-Chief

Currently, there are over a million applications in app stores and most of them are cross-platform with primary emphasis on android and iOS platforms. And don't forget the tablets as well!
As app developers increasingly find it difficult to cut through the mass clutter and get their apps noticed and hopefully downloaded, it is important to lay the road-map for potential success in the mobile app development space.
Here is some critical information, courtesy of app-promo.com that should provide viable insights on the inner-workings of the app development space.
  • 59% of apps do not generate enough revenue to break-even on development costs
  • 80% do not generate enough revenue to support a stand-alone business
  • 68% of developers earned $5,000 or less with their most successful app
  • 12% earned $50,000 or more in revenue and these were classified as "Top Earners"
  • 11% had 500,000 or more downloads
  • 63% had downloads of 50,000 or less for their most successful app
  • "Top Earners" spend an average of 14% of their time on marketing
  • "Top Earners" have nearly $30,000 as an average marketing budget
  • 52% had $0 set aside for marketing despite 91% believing that marketing is essential
  • 52% spend 5% or less of their time promoting their app
One can see from the "numbers" that the key to launching a successful app is marketing.
While the initial returns may only allow you to break-even initially, that changes eventually as the app becomes more popular, with more people downloading it, as a result of the marketing efforts.
Increased "brand awareness" is always key to ensuring a successful launch of any product or application.