Wednesday, December 17, 2014
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE ... WONDERS OF OUR TIME : Warships belong to NIMASA, not Tompolo, says Navy ... GuardianNews
THE Nigerian Navy has debunked claims that former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, has bought seven decommissioned Norwegian battleships supposedly for policing of Nigerian waterways.
Naval Chief of Training and Operations Austine Oyagha who made the rebuttal yesterday in Abuja to media men said: “No individual has acquired gunboats into this country, the gunboats being alluded to actually belong to NIMASA (Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency), and these boats are currently being manned by the Personnel of the Nigerian Navy.
“As you may be aware the NN has collaboration with NIMASA” with the attending maritime components “to support them in executing their statutory responsibilities in ensuring the safety of the maritime space and anchorage.”
Although the Naval authorities did not clarify if the boats were acquired within the last two years, Oyagha confirmed, however, that the collaboration with NIMASA is more than three years, in the course of which such gunships have been acquired, but can only be equipped with the said weapons with the consent of the Navy.
Tompolo was reported to have said “that these boats in question have been in the care of NIMASA for about two years now. For the avoidance of doubts, the boats are not warships or gunboats as being erroneously spread by mischief-makers.
“The boats as acquired are neither equipped with war arsenals nor are they ammunition carriers. They are simply boats equipped with modern surveillance devices to track oil thieves and in the process, increase the nation’s revenue base through NIMASA”.
The Naval chief spoke further: “The boats that I know of belong to NIMASA. Collaboration the Navy has with NIMASA. is that they can buy boats but they cannot acquire the weapons. When they buy we provide the personnel that man the boats, and the Navy arms the boats accordingly.”
“The collaboration with NIMASA is more than three years now and we have been acquiring boats over the years. I cannot give you the exact figure but they will continue to acquire these boats.”
Director General of NIMASA Patrick Akpobolokemi had said simple decommissioned vessels procured by NIMASA through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement were being used by the Nigerian Navy with whom the agency has a working agreement.
“As an arm of the government responsible for maritime safety, security and regulations amongst others, we work in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy and other relevant security agencies to use their men and arms to patrol and provide safety of the country’s water ways, as mandated by the global body, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).”
Monday, December 15, 2014
JUST LIKE IN THE DAYS OF KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR : Outrage as Okupe compares Jonathan with Jesus Christ ... PunchNews
Nigerians have severely criticised the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, for comparing President Goodluck Jonathan with Jesus Christ.
Speaking during a live breakfast show on Channels Television on Monday, the presidential aide said Jonathan had borne the nation’s problems and woes on his shoulders in the same way that Jesus Christ had always carried the burden of Christians all over the world.
Gesticulating widely during the programme, Okupe stated that, with regard to the Nigerian situation, Jonathan could best be likened to Jesus Christ.
Noting that Nigerians had failed to understand the troubles the President had gone through for the sake of “everybody” in the country, he said, “There are political issues. People do not understand the burden this particular President is bearing. He is like Jesus Christ. He (Jonathan) is bearing the burden of everybody.”
In view of Jonathan’s “untold burden” for the nation, Okupe said, it would be impossible for his principal to lose re-election in 2015.
The presidential aide boasted that though certain politicians had been allegedly sabotaging the Federal Government’s reforms, especially in the power sector, victory was still certain for his principal.
“Today, the Nigerian Army is in total and perfect control of the North East. I can’t see Jonathan losing this (2015) election. It’s not possible,” he added.
Reacting to his comments, many Nigerians lambasted Okupe for comparing Jonathan to Jesus Christ and asked him to withdraw the statement.
Online activists who took a swipe at Okupe urged Jonathan to publicly reject the title of “Nigeria’s Jesus Christ” which they said Okupe erroneously bestowed on him.
An angry online activist, Tayo Moore, accused Okupe of insulting Jesus Christ by comparing Him with his boss.
Noting that the development was sacrilegious, Moore advised Okupe not to hold the belief that he could “insult” Jesus Christ and go scot free.
“Okupe has just confirmed that he doesn’t know or have Christ. It is only a matter of time before he (Okupe) begins to compare Prophet Mohammed and Jonathan in the same breath.
“That will be his final undoing. I am wondering what the Christian Association of Nigeria has to say on Okupe’s sacrilege, given its current ‘leadership’ or should I say lack thereof?” Moore argued via his Twitter handle.
A Kano-based respondent, Nazir Galadanchi, cautioned the medical doctor-turned politician against uttering what he described as a blasphemous statement.
Galandanchi argued that Okupe’s latest analogy was not surprising as he had recently compared his boss with the late anti-Apartheid leader, Nelson Mandela, with a view to selling the President’s candidature to Nigerians.
“That’s blasphemy. Okupe should please seek for forgiveness,” he added in a message on Twitter.
Political blogger, Japheth Omojuwa, described Okupe’s latest comparison as the height of “desperation” of the Jonathan-led Presidency.
“Doyin Okupe just called Goodluck Jonathan Nigeria’s Jesus Christ. We have finally reached the peak of their desperation. How can you trust a bad marketer to sell a bad product? Okupe trying to sell Jonathan is the journey of a blind man leading another,” he tweeted.
Social commentator, Temitope Atiba, stated that it amounted to an oddity for Okupe to preoccupy himself with drawing semblances between the President and the central figure of Christianity.
“You can see the stark irony of life when Doyin Okupe begins to compare Goodluck Jonathan to our Lord Jesus Christ. Then again Goodluck Jonathan and Jesus Christ have little else in common apart from flesh and blood,” Atiba argued.
Describing Okupe’s comparison as strange, another respondent, Aisha Yesufu, said it was the “height of madness.”
“Is nothing sacred to these people? Is there nothing that one does not dabble in with these people? This is the height of madness,” she added.
She also cautioned Okupe against blaming Jonathan’s failures on activities of saboteurs, stating that “excuses are meant for weaklings.”
“There is not bad weather only bad clothing. Excuses are for weaklings. A government easily sabotaged should give way. We are sick of the excuses. They (excuses) are way out for weak leaders and sign of incapacity.
“All it (the Presidency) does is to complain. This government blames all but itself. As long as this govt blames others the solution can never be with it but with those it blames.
“Since this government cannot fight all those sabotaging it, then why is it a government? Probably, the saboteurs will keep sabotaging him (Jonathan) and we will keep paying for it,” she said.
CASTING SPELLS FOR 2015 ... ALL FOR THE DOLLAR GAINS : Jonathan may not rule beyond 2015 – Dokubo-Asari …says quarrel with Obasanjo unnecessary ... PunchNews
Leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteers Force, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, has declared that President Goodluck Jonathan may not rule beyond 2015.
Dokubo-Asari based his statement on the facts that the President had lost the support of his political stronghold-South/East and South/South, going by the result of the 2011 presidential election.
The Ijaw activist had in March this year declared that Jonathan would occupy the Presidential Villa for eight years from 2011.
But at a news briefing on Friday in Abuja, he made a U-turn and declared that it would be difficult for Jonathan to go beyond 2015 because of the ‘greedy’ people around him.
He said these people were responsible for the current rift between Jonathan and ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He said, “We have continued as Ijaw people and the entire Niger Delta and South-South to support President (Goodluck) Jonathan, but the time has come when silent cannot be golden. We must speak out on issues that are very critical for the survival of our people, the survival of the people of the South-South and the South-East, which is the political base Jonathan.
“Jonathan is surrounded by very greedy people who are only in the Presidency to enrich themselves at the expense of the President himself.
“This brings us to another Kalabari proverb which says: ‘Where there are elders, a goat cannot be allowed to deliver while tied to a stick.’ If we don’t talk and we continue to brush it aside, tomorrow we will be blamed and people will say: ‘Mujahid Dokubo-Asari was around when Jonathan was President, and he didn’t talk;’ then I will be an accomplice and accessory after the fact.”
Asari, who said he had benefited from Jonathan, stressed that whatever benefit he had gained from the President was not enough to silence him.