Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

Day: May 17, 2022

President Buhari’s regime has about a year to hit its expiration point. Perhaps, the only thing that still retains the capacity to squeeze out some smiles on a couple of faces today is the faint hope that the president might fulfill his pledge to firmly resist the deadly attraction of that poisoned fruit called “tenure elongation.” Indeed, many Nigerians are willing to take the risk of entertaining some optimism about this. 
Despite the blizzard of outrageous claims roughly thrown at Nigerians every other day, it has become just impossible to muster any bit of expectation that the Buhari regime might still be able to shock Nigerians with any edifying impact on their lives before it exits. Perhaps, the only reassuring feeling out there emanates from the palpable wish that the days and months might develop wings and fly away so fast so that with brightened faces and deep relief, Nigerians can happily embrace and congratulate one another that, eventually, the nightmare is over. The relief alone will be highly therapeutic, in fact, capable of increasing many lifespans. 
Interestingly, this is one regime for which quite a number of Nigerians and non-Nigerians had staked their well-cultivated reputations to saddle with a salvaging mission, without, however, pausing to determine whether the loud power cravers had, at least, a simple direction or the capacity to comprehend the most basic issues in governance, or even just a sincerity of purpose. 
In fact, Barack Obama must be wondering how his administration got itself so easily seduced with drab propaganda that it had to naively advertise undue partisanship in Nigerian politics to aid the emergence of a regime under which everything a nation should hold dear and sacred has been so incredibly devalued, in fact, far below what anyone could have imagined was possible in a country with a constituted authority. 
In their favour, Candidate Buhari and his party were quite unable to disguise the obvious fact that they were too absorbed with capturing power to bother about what to do with it, but, sadly, their intoxicated supporters were too infatuated and mesmerized to notice all the red flags. And so, when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) surprised the APC with the news that they have captured the presidency, for over six months, Nigerians could only watch a piteously dazed gaggle of power seekers still stuck in a campaign mood, dissipating excess energy attacking the former regime and looking bewildered like kids that just received a complicated toy from Daddy.  
And till today, the APC regime is yet to demonstrate that it possesses the capacity to fix the most basic problems plaguing the country. It still seeks refuge in infantile propagandas aimed at stampeding Nigerians into the false belief, against the glaring evidence on the ground, that a failed country is up, working and flourishing. But what is clear to everyone is: if some bit of edifying adjustment has occurred in the country in the past seven years, we would not require any statements, often couched in very clumsy phrases, from Abuja to know!      
If the APC regime had laboured, at least, to sustain the condition they met Nigeria in 2015, that in itself would have, in fact, amounted to a “monumental achievement!” At least, many families would still be able to purchase bags of rice and other food items at affordable prices, instead of being callously tantalized with a distasteful celebration of “Rice Pyramids” which has not translated to a lower price of the commodity. Also, the naira would not be gasping for breath each time it made contact with other currencies, some of which held it in high esteem only a few years ago. Yes, several new, direct investments would have been welcomed in the country to boost the economy and provide employment to the teeming number of jobless youths. 
At least, the National Grid would not have contracted the “falling sickness” (to quote Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar), which regularly plunges the country into deeper darkness each time it collapses, killing industries by hiking the cost of production and joining hands with worsening insecurity to drive away foreign establishments to even less endowed African countries. Was it not shameful that the other day, the federal government was complaining that Ghana and other African countries were persuading foreign investors to avoid Nigeria and come to their own countries?
If Nigeria was conducive for business, would any investor need any persuasion to take his investment elsewhere? Who wants to put his hard-earned funds in a country plagued by boundless insecurity and perennial darkness, where bandits, violent herdsmen and terrorists are treated with kid gloves instead of confronting them headlong and containing their menace? Life has become so worthless in Nigeria. People are slaughtered, maimed or kidnapped every other day; communities are razed and sacked; women and girls are brutally violated with chilling regularity. The federal government is still content with the banal condemnations it issues each time these tragedies occur, the dry condolence messages it throws at the families of the victims and the perfunctory assurance that “everything will be done to bring the perpetrators to book.” 
By the way, how many weeks did it take our smaller neighbour, Chad, under Idriss Deby, to flush out Boko Haram from her territory and even recover some Nigerian communities captured and annexed by the terrorists? Nigeria must by now be earning almost zero revenue from tourism. Is it not also a huge shame that Nigeria retains the star prize as the country with the worst electricity supply in the entire continent? 
To compound matters, Buhari has borrowed the country into dreadful financial enslavement. Yet, there is almost nothing on ground to justify such humongous indebtedness that can only keep the country perpetually stuck in the sticky mud of retrogression. Only recently, Gen Ibrahim Babangida, once reputed to have supervised over the worst corrupt regime in Nigeria, boasted that given the dizzying reports of massive corruption emerging with revolting regularity from the APC regime, his, then, was a regime of saints! 
Should it then be shocking that anybody that is able to put some sentences together today wants to be Nigeria’s president? The argument out there is: if Nigerians can endure the Buhari Kindergarten Show for eight years, then the presidency has simply become an all comers affair. In fact, the entry qualification has been lowered to zero! 
And so, Nigerians are insulted and scared each day by presidential aspirants assuring them that if elected, they will continue from where Buhari stopped. Indeed, it is only in a country like Nigeria that anyone can make such a dreadful threat and people outside a lunatic asylum would still suspend their ability to reason and cast their votes for him.  
How long will Nigerians suffer before they tell themselves the liberating truth, namely, that apart from the deceitful, ephemeral satiation that might come from the realization that the president, governor or lawmaker is their “brother” or “sister,” what else do they reap if not unmitigated disaster like everyone else if the person is clueless? Buhari is from Katsina yet at some point, people from the state were reportedly relocating to Niger Republic to escape worsening insecurity. Even, now that there is an overwhelming insistence that a South Easterner should become the president, every effort should be deployed to ensure that only the most qualified is elected.   
It is time for Nigerians to wake up, look at the track record of people seeking their votes and put them in office because of what they are very sure they can offer. Enough of allowing yourself to be driven by infantile sentiments and crude lust for contaminated crumbs to put remorseless undertakers in office who will only steal the treasury pale and dead to enrich themselves, families and cronies. Will a people be dumb and blind forever? Have Nigerians not suffered enough from corrupt and inept leaders to cause them to pull off the scales covering their eyes and use their brain for their own good for once? When will Nigerians rise as a unified force and commence the reclamation of their country?   


Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye is Nigerian a journalist and writer (scruples2006@yahoo.com)
 

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On 15 May, Palestinians commemorated the Nakba, or “catastrophe” - the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 to make way for the creation of the state of Israel.
Israel’s creation entailed the forced expulsion of at least 750 000 Palestinians; the destruction of over 500 villages and cities; and the murder of about 15 000 Palestinians in a series of mass atrocities, including more than 70 massacres.
But it’s difficult to look back when one can barely keep up with Israel’s fresh crimes against the Palestinian people. The Nakba never ended. Its latest manifestation is the recent murder of Palestinian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh.
Abu Akleh was killed by the Israeli army while reporting on a military raid in the occupied West Bank. At first, the Israeli government claimed that she was killed by Palestinians.
Israeli military spokesperson, Ran Kochav, even suggested that Abu Akleh was at fault for doing her job! Kochav justified Abu Akleh’s murder by claiming that she was working amidst armed Palestinians and that she was “armed with cameras.” The Israeli government even released a video to support this. Within hours, the bogus footage was debunked. Eyewitnesses - including other journalists reporting on the raid – confirmed that Abu Akleh was not killed by Palestinians. Israel was forced to walk back its “the Palestinians did it” defence.
Back in 1948, Israeli authorities – in an effort to conceal its terror campaign – claimed that Palestinians had sold their land willingly or they fled their homes and villages because Arab leaders had encouraged them to do so. The Israeli government has been gaslighting Palestinians for 74 years.
Abu Akleh’s death is also a bloody reminder of the deadly system in which Israel has locked Palestinians for 74 years.
It is the impunity granted to Israel by world powers for its initial war crime (the Nakba in 1948) that has paved the way for Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid to systematically devalue Palestinian lives – whether Shireen Abu Akleh; or the lives of thousands of Palestinians under imminent threat of ethnic cleansing right now in Sheikh Jarrah or Masafer Yatta; or the 240 Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip one year ago this month; or the 750 000 Palestinians depopulated by Israel 74 years ago.
Israel was admitted to the United Nations on 11 May 1949 on three conditions. The first was that the status of Jerusalem would not be tampered with. Palestinians would also be allowed to return to their homes. Israel was to respect the borders established by the UN Partition Plan of 1947.
These, and other UN conditions and resolutions, have never been met. For almost eight decades, there has been no concerted effort by the world’s powers to force Israel to meet its international legal obligations.
This inaction contrasts sharply with the global reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Leaders, whose countries’ foreign policies have for decades justified - and even sponsored - Israel's brutal occupation and annexation in Palestine now talk about the urgent need for international law to be upheld in Ukraine, and for a belligerent state like Russia to be held to account.
Palestinians are amongst the first to agree.
In the rubble of Mariupol, they see Deir Yassin village. When Palestinians see Ukrainian refugees crossing into Poland, Hungary and Moldova, they think of how they fled to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. In Gaza, Palestinians still navigate the rubble from - not just one - but at least five major Israeli bombardments. The lame excuses now trotted out in official Russian propaganda to justify the bombing of civilian targets in Ukraine are all too familiar to Palestinians.
 
Palestinians are also looking with interest at the speed at which comprehensive sanctions have been imposed on Russia to force it to comply with international law and withdraw from Ukraine.
Since 2005, Palestinians have been asking for a similar course of action against Israel. Any talk of sanctions on Israel has – not only been rejected by the world’s superpowers – but criminalized in some cases.
Israel has occupied the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights for almost 55 years. Just as Russia has been accused of the war crime of transferring citizens into occupied Crimea, Israel has transferred more than 650,000 of its citizens into occupied territory. Russia and Israel have also transferred Ukrainians and Palestinians, respectively, out of occupied territory - also a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Within weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, major international companies shut up shop in Russia – but still trade in Israel, and many operate in its illegal settlements.
Israel has been asked to investigate Abu Akleh’s killing. For 74 years, the world has expected Israel to investigate itself and self-correct. It has not done so. It is time to rescind Israel’s get out of jail free card. There must be international accountability for the Israeli apartheid regime.


Suraya Dadoo is a South African writer. Find her on Twitter: @Suraya_Dadoo. This piece originally appeared in IOL (South Africa).

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A human rights group, Concerned Nigerians, has written to the UK, US, Canada and European Union, asking them to place visa bans on Captain Jamil Abubakar and Aliyu Tilde for supporting the extrajudicial killing of Ms Deborah Samuel following allegations of committing blasphemy.
Deborah, a Christian student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto was killed and her body was burnt last Thursday by fellow students, who accused her of insulting Prophet Muhammad.

Abubakar, the son of a former Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, tweeted on Friday night on his verified Twitter handle, @CaptJamyl, that the “punishment for blasphemy is death! in most religions including Christianity”.
Abubakar, who is also a son-in-law of Africa’s wealthiest man, Aliko Dangote, urged people to respect the religion of others.
Tilde, the commissioner for education in Bauchi, also expressed support for the violent attack on Deborah by Muslim fanatics, saying,
“Oh my god, oh my god The mouth cuts the neck. If you’re not provoked by this, visit a psychiatrist, please” on his Facebook page last weekend.
In the letters dated May 16, signed by the Convener of the group and addressed to the British High Commission in Nigeria, US Embassy in Nigeria, Canadian Embassy in Nigeria and European Union in Nigeria, the group called for immediate visa bans on Abubakar and Tilde for “promoting extremist religious views in Nigeria and making inflammatory statements capable of setting the nation on the path of religious war.”
The statement titled Request For A Visa Ban on Captain Jamil Abubakar and Mr Aliyu Tilde,’ reads in part, “We write the United States, United Kingdom, the Canadian Government and the European Union to place visa restrictions on the above-named individuals who supported the extrajudicial killing of Ms. Deborah Samuel a few days ago by a marauding group of misguided youths, on the allegation that she made a blasphemous statement against Prophet Mohammed, (S.A.W).
“The attempt by the Nigerian Police to arrest the perpetrators of this heinous crime has been met with stiff resistance and violent protest by overzealous youths in Sokoto state.
“While most Nigerians have largely called for religious tolerance and return to normalcy, a few notable Nigerians, have, however, chosen the path of infamy by justifying the gruesome murder of Ms. Deborah Samuel. In a country where Muslims and Christians mostly live in suspicion of each other, any misguided statement by a religious bigot is enough to set the country on fire, with dire consequences, and attendant refugee crises across Africa and the world.”
The group said Abubakar’s statement “reinforces the long-held erroneous belief by most Muslims in Northern Nigeria that the punishment for blasphemy is instant death, even though Nigeria is a secular nation, where the Constitution, and not theocratic tenets, hold sway!”
It said, “Barely few hours after the statement was made, thousands of followers on Twitter, particularly of the Muslim faith, aligned themselves with Captain Abubakar’s statement and justified the cold-blooded murder of Ms. Deborah Samuel.
“Similarly, Mr. Tilde justified Ms. Samuel’s murder on his Facebook page also reported by many media platforms in the country, by stating that her murderers were provoked by the voice note she posted on her class WhatsApp platform. It is deeply disheartening that a serving commissioner and a sitting board member in one of the country’s most respected online news platforms will publicly hold such views.
“We note that Captain Abubakar made a feeble attempt to tie Blasphemy as a mandatory requirement under Sharia law. However, he failed to take into cognizance the fact that Sharia law is only applicable to Muslim adherents. Ms. Deborah Samuel was a Christian! Even where there is an allegation of Blasphemy, it does not lie in the hand of the accuser to take laws into his hand. The suspect must be given the opportunity to defend himself before a properly constituted authority.
“We, therefore, believe, that Captain Abubakar and Mr. Tilde’s statements were deliberately made with a view to inciting religious war in Nigeria. We are concerned that Captain Abubakar and Mr. Tilde, although fairly educated, hold extremist views that should not be advocated in any civilized world. In the circumstances, we strongly believe that a visa ban on them, will serve as a strong message to all those who seek to impose religious laws over and above the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Please accept our professional regards while we thank you for your continuous act of using the instrumentality of visa ban to strengthen the rule of law and religious tolerance across the world.”

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A presidential aspirant of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, says he will not retire from partisan politics until he becomes Nigerian President.
 
Tinubu disclosed this on Tuesday while canvassing for the votes of the party’s delegates in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

The APC National Leader said he would bring the experience he garnered as the governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 to bear on the governance of the country if elected.
 
“I won’t retire from politics until I am the president of Nigeria. I will bring the experience of my leadership in Lagos state as a Governor to bare on my leadership style in Nigeria,” he said.
 
“Youths of Benue, be determined to get your PVCs (Permanent Voter Cards) revalidated. I’m with you and my other colleagues here are with you as well as many others who are not here are with you to ensure your posterity and the hope of a united prosperous Nigeria is yours.
 
“So, we are of age and if you want us to retire soon but I won’t retire until I become president of Nigeria.”
 
The former Lagos state governor insisted that he is the best man for the job and will surely win the presidential election irrespective of who becomes the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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Bruce Fein
Bruce Fein

Bruce Fein, an American legal practitioner representing the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has urged the British Royal Family to visit Southeast Nigeria and apologise for allegedly abandoning the people to Fulani terrorists.
 
His comment comes as an indigenous community in Canada called on the British Royal Family to formally acknowledge the harm colonisation had done to them. Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are set to pay a visit to Canada this week.

Bruce Fein

A report by Reuters noted, “The royal couple will arrive in St. Johns, Newfoundland on Tuesday on a three-day trip that will include stops in Ottawa and the Northwest Territories and focus on the issues of reconciliation with indigenous peoples and climate change.
 
“The impact of colonisation, the residential school system and the loss of lands is what the crown represents, Mary Teegee, the executive director of child and family services at Carrier Sekani Family Services in the province of British Columbia, told Reuters.”
 
Teegee was quoted as saying, “They also have to understand that they are not the leaders in our nation,” adding that recognition of the harms of colonisation are needed rather than just a "trite" apology.
 
Meanwhile, Bruce Fein who took to his Twitter handle on Tuesday said the British Royal Family must pay a similar visit to Biafrans and make reparations for also “abandoning them to Fulani terrorists”.
 
He wrote on Twitter, “The British Royal Family is visiting Canada to acknowledge the UK’s inexcusable destruction of indigenous peoples by wrenching children from their culture. A more urgent visit is required to Biafra to apologize and make reparations for abandoning Biafrans to Fulani terrorists.”
 
The Indigenous People of Biafra, a secessionist movement in the Southeastern part of Nigeria, seeks the breakaway of the region.
 
IPOB was established in 2012 by Nnamdi Kanu, a British Nigerian political activist who is currently detained by Nigeria's secret police, Department of State Services (DSS), over alleged involvement in terrorism.

President Muhammadu Buhari's government in 2017 proscribed the group under the Nigerian Terrorism Act.

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The management of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State has confirmed the death of one of its students during a sex romp.
 
The Public Affairs Director of the Polytechnic Ibadan, Alhaji Soladoye Adewole in a statement identified the deceased as Dayo Igunnu.

He said that the incident happened in the Idi-Ito area of Ibadan city, which is not on the school campus.
 
The polytechnic spokesperson added that the institution had yet to establish the identity of the lady involved.
SaharaReporters, however, learnt she is a National Diploma 2 student of the Department of Business Administration and identified as Aramide Adeleke.
 
SaharaReporters earlier reported how Dayo lost his life while his female partner was rendered unconscious while engaging in a sex romp after they returned from school.
 
They were said to have used drugs to enhance their sexual performance.
 
A neighbour of the deceased said she was horrified when she saw his lifeless body on the floor while her female partner was gasping for air.

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A pressure group, the Fund Education Coalition, has condemned the unprovoked harassment of peaceful protesters by personnel of the Nigerian Army.
 
SaharaReporters earlier reported how soldiers harassed and shot at students who were protesting against the ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Akure.

The students were on Akure-Ilesa highway, protesting against the ASUU strike when the soldiers invaded the area and started shooting indiscriminately after which they vandalised the equipment of the protesting students.
 
Reacting in a statement issued by Babatimehin Asiwaju, the Fund Education Coalition on Tuesday condemned the action of the Nigerian Army, warning that it may provoke a mass movement to totally shut down all economic activities in the country.
 
The group which described the development as ‘disturbing' said soldiers, by virtue of the law only have business with defending the territorial integrity of the country.
 
It, however, encouraged students to remain resolute in the struggle for a better Nigeria as it urged the government to ensure there is no repeat of harassment in the state and in other parts of the country.
 
The statement reads: “Our attention has been brought to a report circulating online wherein personnel of the Nigerian army could be seen harassing and shooting sporadically in a bid to disperse peaceful protesting students in Ondo state today.
 
“The protesters who are a coalition of all students in Ondo state can be seen scampering for safety while some in the process sustained injuries.
 
“For us at Fund Education Coalition, we find this disturbing and particularly appalling that soldiers who by virtue of the law only have business with defending the territorial integrity of the country and are barred from operating in the civil arena, are seen brutalising aggrieved students who were simply demonstrating their civil rights to freedom of assembly.
 
“We totally condemn this act and warn the state government to immediately swing into action and ensure there is no repeat of this ugly menace.
 
“We clearly understand the language with which the government, the principal element using the armed men to physically brutalise students - is speaking to Nigerian students.
 
“It is a message of 'do your worst'. It is indeed the language of a bully. However, we are not a punching bag that does retain jabs without retaliation, we will surely respond in the language they understand - Mass movement to totally shut down all economic activities in the country.
 
“To the dogged Nigerian students in Ondo state and all across the country, who have stood their ground against the 94 days shutdown of universities, we rain a flood of solidarity greetings on you and urge that we remain indefatigable in the #EndASUUStrike struggle.
 
“This is a fight to finish and indeed a duty history has imposed on us that we must not avoid, no matter the consequences. Solidarity."
ASUU had on February 14, announced a warning strike which was prolonged a month after, to allow the government to meet all of its demands. A 12-week extension was announced on May 9.
 
The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.
 
One bone of contention for the lecturers is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.
 
But the Nigerian Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

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The management of a restaurant, Food Affairs Limited, located at No 1, Uyo/ Ekpene Road, in Ikot Ekpene government area of Akwa Ibom State has demanded adequate compensation for its building demolished by the state government.
 
The building was demolished on June 27, 2019, allegedly under the directive of a former Commissioner for Works and Fire Service in the state, Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyin.

The Managing Director of the eatery, Mr. Isidore Ebong, in a statement on Sunday titled "Ephraim Inyangeyin and his Atrocious Trespass and Malicious Destruction of Food Affairs Building," described the demolition as inhuman.
 
The statement reads in part, “It is more than two years since the unlawful, ridiculous, ferocious and excruciating demolition of the Food Affairs business premises in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, without due process and payment of compensation, about which the staff and management of the business are still traumatised while counting their losses.
"The former Commissioner for Works in Governor Udom (Emmanuel’s} first administration (2015-2019) on June 27, 2019, maliciously demolished a business building belonging to Food Affairs Limited at No.1, Uyo - Ekpene Road, Ikot Ekpene during business hours without any prior notice and/or payment of appropriate compensation.
"It was a terrible and pitiable scene as staff and customers scampered for safety, and some regrettably left their personal belongings behind as the madness continued.
 
 
 
"Production staff in their aprons, who never knew what happened, narrowly escaped death, almost trapped, eventually came out through the broken back fence to a neighbour’s compound as the building caved in.
 
"The extension of the edifice used as a bar with assorted drinks and furniture was not spared. Looters had a field day as they packed anything and everything they could lay their hands on as Ephraim gave orders to ground everything.
"To ensure the prompt destruction of first-hand evidence of the demolition, the manager of the facility who tried to take pictures of the demolition exercise was manhandled and his phone ceased on the instruction of Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen.
"Properties worth millions of naira ranging from furniture, electronics, refrigerating and air conditioning equipment, raw, semi-finished and finished food products, fittings, toys, generators, staff personal effects as well as cash were smashed by the two bulldozers that abruptly entered the premises on the command and supervision of Ephraim Inyangeyen.
"To attract public justification for this inhuman act, Inyangeyen publicly lied that former Governor, Godswill Obot Akpabio paid the sum of 150 million naira, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel paid 100 million naira and he paid 30 million naira as compensation for the same property which was marked for demolition to give way for construction of the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road, yet they refused to pack out of the property to enable the contractors handling the road project continue with their work.”
Ebong challenged the former commissioner to show any proof to substantiate his claims that the management of the restaurant had been compensated by the government for the demolition.
"Those who did not understand passed judgment because Mr Ephraim as a former commissioner had publicly and categorically stated how a total amount of Two Hundred and Eighty Million (N280,000,000.00) was paid while they refused to pack out.
"We, therefore, call on the federal and state governments to carry out thorough investigations into this matter and pay adequate compensation for the loss (building, materials, and business time),” he said.
Inyangeyin had reportedly questioned why the issue was being brought up about three years after the incident.
Inyangeyin described the allegation of trespass by the company as preposterous and unsubstantiated, saying the state works ministry carried out the demolition of the property and not him.
He said the road that was constructed on the site was still being enjoyed by the people of the state.
 He said, “Don’t you think if Food Affairs has any complaint to make, they should have made the complaint since 2019 against the Akwa Ibom state government that did the demolition?

“Inyangeyin did not demolish their site to take the land. Why the dramatization because I am going for an election? Three years after the demolition even when I was not reappointed commissioner, what have they been doing+ They were supposed to have taken the Akwa Ibom state government to court. Inyangeyin did not do the demolition, Akwa Ibom state ministry of works did.

“I told the manager since you have refused to take your compensation to court, but if you take me to court as a person it wouldn’t hold water. So, why the drama in the media, is it going to be media judgement.

“Why did he not do this in 2019 when I was the commissioner for works? In 2020 I left the ministry of works and in 2021 I was appointed the Chief of Staff till 2022. Why is it in May because I was vying for an election that they brought the falsehood?

“They had gone to Premium Times and now SaharaReporters. The state government is sponsoring him and they think with the media, they will tarnish my name. They (government) demolished the place and constructed a road used by Akwa Ibom people.”

He asked the company whether they saw him building a house on the land, adding that when he was not reappointed after the 2019 elections, a consultant firm after evaluation of the property paid him but he refused to take their money.

“They wanted the payment in a phase that is not in my hand, I don’t make payment, I supervise road construction. When we have that kind of issue based on valuation, a payment consultant has to pay.”

He added, “The same government that owes them is now blackmailing somebody that did the demolition. One simple question the company should answer is: did Inyangeyin demolish the property to use it for himself? Did I demolish the property as Inyangeyin or as the Ministry of Works?

“Did the state government use that place to construct roads that Akwa Ibom people are using? Why did Inyangeyin demolish a property that has no value to him as a person? Is Inyangeyin the Akwa Ibom state government?”   

However, all efforts to speak with the present commissioner, Professor Eno Ibanga, were unsuccessful as he did not answer his calls nor reply to text messages sent to him.

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The management of a restaurant, Food Affairs Limited, located at No 1, Uyo/ Ekpene Road, in Ikot Ekpene government area of Akwa Ibom State has demanded adequate compensation for its building demolished by the state government.
 
The building was demolished on June 27, 2019, allegedly under the directive of a former Commissioner for Works and Fire Service in the state, Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyin.

The Managing Director of the eatery, Mr. Isidore Ebong, in a statement on Sunday titled "Ephraim Inyangeyin and his Atrocious Trespass and Malicious Destruction of Food Affairs Building," described the demolition as inhuman.
 
The statement reads in part, “It is more than two years since the unlawful, ridiculous, ferocious and excruciating demolition of the Food Affairs business premises in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, without due process and payment of compensation, about which the staff and management of the business are still traumatised while counting their losses.
"The former Commissioner for Works in Governor Udom (Emmanuel’s} first administration (2015-2019) on June 27, 2019, maliciously demolished a business building belonging to Food Affairs Limited at No.1, Uyo - Ekpene Road, Ikot Ekpene during business hours without any prior notice and/or payment of appropriate compensation.
"It was a terrible and pitiable scene as staff and customers scampered for safety, and some regrettably left their personal belongings behind as the madness continued.
 
 
 
"Production staff in their aprons, who never knew what happened, narrowly escaped death, almost trapped, eventually came out through the broken back fence to a neighbour’s compound as the building caved in.
 
"The extension of the edifice used as a bar with assorted drinks and furniture was not spared. Looters had a field day as they packed anything and everything they could lay their hands on as Ephraim gave orders to ground everything.
"To ensure the prompt destruction of first-hand evidence of the demolition, the manager of the facility who tried to take pictures of the demolition exercise was manhandled and his phone ceased on the instruction of Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen.
"Properties worth millions of naira ranging from furniture, electronics, refrigerating and air conditioning equipment, raw, semi-finished and finished food products, fittings, toys, generators, staff personal effects as well as cash were smashed by the two bulldozers that abruptly entered the premises on the command and supervision of Ephraim Inyangeyen.
"To attract public justification for this inhuman act, Inyangeyen publicly lied that former Governor, Godswill Obot Akpabio paid the sum of 150 million naira, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel paid 100 million naira and he paid 30 million naira as compensation for the same property which was marked for demolition to give way for construction of the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road, yet they refused to pack out of the property to enable the contractors handling the road project continue with their work.”
Ebong challenged the former commissioner to show any proof to substantiate his claims that the management of the restaurant had been compensated by the government for the demolition.
"Those who did not understand passed judgment because Mr Ephraim as a former commissioner had publicly and categorically stated how a total amount of Two Hundred and Eighty Million (N280,000,000.00) was paid while they refused to pack out.
"We, therefore, call on the federal and state governments to carry out thorough investigations into this matter and pay adequate compensation for the loss (building, materials, and business time),” he said.
Inyangeyin had reportedly questioned why the issue was being brought up about three years after the incident.
Inyangeyin described the allegation of trespass by the company as preposterous and unsubstantiated, saying the state works ministry carried out the demolition of the property and not him.
He said the road that was constructed on the site was still being enjoyed by the people of the state.
 He said, “Don’t you think if Food Affairs has any complaint to make, they should have made the complaint since 2019 against the Akwa Ibom state government that did the demolition?

“Inyangeyin did not demolish their site to take the land. Why the dramatization because I am going for an election? Three years after the demolition even when I was not reappointed commissioner, what have they been doing+ They were supposed to have taken the Akwa Ibom state government to court. Inyangeyin did not do the demolition, Akwa Ibom state ministry of works did.

“I told the manager since you have refused to take your compensation to court, but if you take me to court as a person it wouldn’t hold water. So, why the drama in the media, is it going to be media judgement.

“Why did he not do this in 2019 when I was the commissioner for works? In 2020 I left the ministry of works and in 2021 I was appointed the Chief of Staff till 2022. Why is it in May because I was vying for an election that they brought the falsehood?

“They had gone to Premium Times and now SaharaReporters. The state government is sponsoring him and they think with the media, they will tarnish my name. They (government) demolished the place and constructed a road used by Akwa Ibom people.”

He asked the company whether they saw him building a house on the land, adding that when he was not reappointed after the 2019 elections, a consultant firm after evaluation of the property paid him but he refused to take their money.

“They wanted the payment in a phase that is not in my hand, I don’t make payment, I supervise road construction. When we have that kind of issue based on valuation, a payment consultant has to pay.”

He added, “The same government that owes them is now blackmailing somebody that did the demolition. One simple question the company should answer is: did Inyangeyin demolish the property to use it for himself? Did I demolish the property as Inyangeyin or as the Ministry of Works?

“Did the state government use that place to construct roads that Akwa Ibom people are using? Why did Inyangeyin demolish a property that has no value to him as a person? Is Inyangeyin the Akwa Ibom state government?”   

However, all efforts to speak with the present commissioner, Professor Eno Ibanga, were unsuccessful as he did not answer his calls nor reply to text messages sent to him.

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The management of a restaurant, Food Affairs Limited, located at No 1, Uyo/ Ekpene Road, in Ikot Ekpene government area of Akwa Ibom State has demanded adequate compensation for its building demolished by the state government.
 
The building was demolished on June 27, 2019, allegedly under the directive of a former Commissioner for Works and Fire Service in the state, Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyin.

The Managing Director of the eatery, Mr. Isidore Ebong, in a statement on Sunday titled "Ephraim Inyangeyin and his Atrocious Trespass and Malicious Destruction of Food Affairs Building," described the demolition as inhuman.
 
The statement reads in part, “It is more than two years since the unlawful, ridiculous, ferocious and excruciating demolition of the Food Affairs business premises in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, without due process and payment of compensation, about which the staff and management of the business are still traumatised while counting their losses.
"The former Commissioner for Works in Governor Udom (Emmanuel’s} first administration (2015-2019) on June 27, 2019, maliciously demolished a business building belonging to Food Affairs Limited at No.1, Uyo - Ekpene Road, Ikot Ekpene during business hours without any prior notice and/or payment of appropriate compensation.
"It was a terrible and pitiable scene as staff and customers scampered for safety, and some regrettably left their personal belongings behind as the madness continued.
 
 
 
"Production staff in their aprons, who never knew what happened, narrowly escaped death, almost trapped, eventually came out through the broken back fence to a neighbour’s compound as the building caved in.
 
"The extension of the edifice used as a bar with assorted drinks and furniture was not spared. Looters had a field day as they packed anything and everything they could lay their hands on as Ephraim gave orders to ground everything.
"To ensure the prompt destruction of first-hand evidence of the demolition, the manager of the facility who tried to take pictures of the demolition exercise was manhandled and his phone ceased on the instruction of Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen.
"Properties worth millions of naira ranging from furniture, electronics, refrigerating and air conditioning equipment, raw, semi-finished and finished food products, fittings, toys, generators, staff personal effects as well as cash were smashed by the two bulldozers that abruptly entered the premises on the command and supervision of Ephraim Inyangeyen.
"To attract public justification for this inhuman act, Inyangeyen publicly lied that former Governor, Godswill Obot Akpabio paid the sum of 150 million naira, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel paid 100 million naira and he paid 30 million naira as compensation for the same property which was marked for demolition to give way for construction of the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road, yet they refused to pack out of the property to enable the contractors handling the road project continue with their work.”
Ebong challenged the former commissioner to show any proof to substantiate his claims that the management of the restaurant had been compensated by the government for the demolition.
"Those who did not understand passed judgment because Mr Ephraim as a former commissioner had publicly and categorically stated how a total amount of Two Hundred and Eighty Million (N280,000,000.00) was paid while they refused to pack out.
"We, therefore, call on the federal and state governments to carry out thorough investigations into this matter and pay adequate compensation for the loss (building, materials, and business time),” he said.
Inyangeyin had reportedly questioned why the issue was being brought up about three years after the incident.
Inyangeyin described the allegation of trespass by the company as preposterous and unsubstantiated, saying the state works ministry carried out the demolition of the property and not him.
He said the road that was constructed on the site was still being enjoyed by the people of the state.
 He said, “Don’t you think if Food Affairs has any complaint to make, they should have made the complaint since 2019 against the Akwa Ibom state government that did the demolition?

“Inyangeyin did not demolish their site to take the land. Why the dramatization because I am going for an election? Three years after the demolition even when I was not reappointed commissioner, what have they been doing+ They were supposed to have taken the Akwa Ibom state government to court. Inyangeyin did not do the demolition, Akwa Ibom state ministry of works did.

“I told the manager since you have refused to take your compensation to court, but if you take me to court as a person it wouldn’t hold water. So, why the drama in the media, is it going to be media judgement.

“Why did he not do this in 2019 when I was the commissioner for works? In 2020 I left the ministry of works and in 2021 I was appointed the Chief of Staff till 2022. Why is it in May because I was vying for an election that they brought the falsehood?

“They had gone to Premium Times and now SaharaReporters. The state government is sponsoring him and they think with the media, they will tarnish my name. They (government) demolished the place and constructed a road used by Akwa Ibom people.”

He asked the company whether they saw him building a house on the land, adding that when he was not reappointed after the 2019 elections, a consultant firm after evaluation of the property paid him but he refused to take their money.

“They wanted the payment in a phase that is not in my hand, I don’t make payment, I supervise road construction. When we have that kind of issue based on valuation, a payment consultant has to pay.”

He added, “The same government that owes them is now blackmailing somebody that did the demolition. One simple question the company should answer is: did Inyangeyin demolish the property to use it for himself? Did I demolish the property as Inyangeyin or as the Ministry of Works?

“Did the state government use that place to construct roads that Akwa Ibom people are using? Why did Inyangeyin demolish a property that has no value to him as a person? Is Inyangeyin the Akwa Ibom state government?”   

However, all efforts to speak with the present commissioner, Professor Eno Ibanga, were unsuccessful as he did not answer his calls nor reply to text messages sent to him.

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