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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sanitising the passport acquisition process

Nigeria Tribune, July 2015

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) was set up and saddled with statutory functions, among which is the operational procedure for temporary and permanent departure of people from Nigeria to the outside world and vice versa. One of the core responsibilities of the NIS in this regard is the issuance of international passport to qualified Nigerians for the purpose of identification as bona fide citizens, most particularly while travelling to other countries. It is on the said passport that an entry visa to another country is stamped. Hitherto, the Machine Readable Passport (MRP) had been the valid travel document issued to Nigerians by the NIS until the MRP was phased out by the Federal Government and the Electronic Passport (EP) otherwise known as e-passport was introduced as the acceptable official identification document Nigerians can travel on.

Introduced in 2007, the EP has been explained by the NIS as a safeguard against the reckless abuses, mutilations and manipulations which the MRP was said to have suffered at the hands of miscreants and unpatriotic elements. The EP, as it had been much proclaimed, conforms to global standards and enjoys the total confidence of the international community. It has considerably enhanced the good image of Nigeria, as well as the dignity of her citizens. Holders of the EP are no longer treated with disdain as was the experience when the MRP was in vogue. It is not unlikely that all these positive factors informed the determination of the FG to completely phase out the MRP.

Although it is commendable that the FG had been proactive in respect of the introduction of the EP, it is, however, unfortunate that the current process of acquiring the EP at the NIS offices, especially in some states of the federation speaks of exploitation and swindling of Nigerians by means of corrupt antics and tricks. According to media reports, some passport offices have become a hive of EP racketeers in persons of touts, miscreants and people of dubious characters who have allegedly been franchised as passport acquisition agents of corrupt officers in the NIS. Entrances to some of the nation's immigration offices are such that EP applicants are seen walking in to racketeers who audaciously advertise their familiarity with the passport acquisition procedure and also their network with NIS officers who could fast-track the process of making the passport available to the applicants, albeit at fees far above the official rate. It is very disgusting to see the racketeers moving in and out of passport offices freely and making phone calls apparently to NIS officers for whom the racketeers are fronting, especially when clarifications are to be made by the racketeers in the course of bargaining with the EP seekers.

It is upsetting that what the racketeers brandish before the EP seekers as stumbling blocks in the path of being issued EPs if official procedure is followed, is a negative redesign by the bad eggs in the NIS, of a process that should be working for the benefit of Nigerians. This situation, thus, denounces the standard which is being advocated for the Nigerian civil service. It is infuriating that the actual cost of getting a passport is seemingly a classified information whose release to the public is seen in official circles as tantamount to being uneconomical with the truth; and whose consequence is 'spoiling' business for the said passport acquisition 'agents' who flaunt EP application materials and documents around the premises of NIS passport offices with audacity and impunity. Perhaps that is another strategy for making the 'salesmanship' of the racketeers thrive at the expense of the right of Nigerians to effective and efficient service delivery.

We are pained that the legitimate process that Nigerians are being asked to follow in acquiring their passports currently suggests a procedure that is exasperating and frustrating. The much-touted on-line registration, which is the first stage of the said process, is oftentimes user-unfriendly due to seeming inadequate internet bandwidth that elongates the time and days spent on getting registered and confirmed for payment and data capturing thereafter. This inadequacy is a strong unique selling proposition of the racketeers who profess that everything about on-line application and confirmation can be done by them in a jiffy, as long as the applicant is ready to pay additional thousands of naira. It is also disheartening that getting data captured could be an herculean routine on many occasions for Nigerians who want to go the legitimate way and who do not have 'big officers' in the fold of the passport offices to influence and facilitate a speedy and timely processing of their passports.

In many cases, speedy issuance of passport is determined by what racketeers demand on behalf of such 'big officers', as money that must be paid by applicants who want express service instead of undue delay caused by lopsided official process. In the case of legitimate-method users among the applicants, their experiences range from being victims of discriminate, pedestrian and lackadaisical methods of service delivery, to delayed issuance of passports. Also, we are worried about speculations that in spite of the much-talked-about guarantee of the EP against falsification, there are in vogue EPs with fictitious data and thumbprints. We posit here that if this is true, the public confidence in the acclaimed sanctity of the EP becomes eroded and stands trial in the court of public opinion.

We are persuaded that the EP acquisition process in the country needs to be sanitised. To this end, while we urge the FG and concerned agencies to get rid of EP acquisition racketeers from NIS passport offices across the country, the official procedure for obtaining the EP must be overhauled, enhanced and facilitated for timely delivery of that service to Nigerians without being exploited. Also, the actual official rates for acquiring different categories of EPs should be well publicised nationally, while measures must be put in place to identify officers of the NIS who engage in swindling Nigerians in the course of EP acquisition. Such officers must be made to face the wrath of law.

Obtaining Nigeria e-passport

By Vera Samuel Anyagafu

Possession of a Nigeria passport is undoubtedly imperative for every Nigeria citizen, either in readiness for an intended travel outside the Country or as proof to show that he/she is a bonafide citizen of Nigeria.
For the fact that a passport gives an individual full identification, and being the only universal identification document which is globally accepted as proof of nationality, it becomes important for every Nigeria citizen to own one.
Aside the fact that the passport identifies you as a Nigeria nationality; it also gives you the full right to return to Nigeria from any part of the world.
Note that Nigeria now offers only electronic passport for new passport applications and also that the electronic passport, known also as the e-passport is classified as either Standard or Official e-passport, depending on intended use.

Applying for Nigeria e-passport
You can apply to get your e-passport either at the physical location of the Nigeria Immigration Services or by making submission through its online website, and if you are living in other Countries, contact the nearest Nigeria embassy or consulate nearest to you for guidelines on how to go about renewing or getting a new passport.

Nigeria standard e-passport guidelines
An applicant who wishes to obtain the Nigeria standard e-passport is expected to come for the e-passport interview with a Local Government letter of identification, birth certificate or age declaration and a recently taken color passport sized photographs, which must show applicants full face down to the neck without any discoloration.
The applicant is also expected to come along with a guarantor's form, sworn to before a Commission of Oats/Magistrate/High Court Judge, a parents' letter of consent is required in the case of a minor, below the age of 16, and also, a marriage certificate where applicable.
In a case where by the intention is for a replacement of lost or stolen passport, the applicant should come with a Police report, which is also the case if an Official passport applicant seeks to recover a stolen, damaged or lost passport.

Official passport
The official e-passport, which is primarily reserved for certain class of government officials and Nigeria diplomats is also obtainable through same processes as the Standard and seekers are to come for collection with a letter of identification issued from the appropriate State Government, Federal Government, Ministry/organization, a marriage certificate where applicable, a letter of appointment and a letter showing a new designation/promotion.
Both passport and application form, with supporting documents are to be submitted at the passport office for further processing.
Whether it is a Standard or Official passport type, an application form, acknowledgement slip, payment receipt and two recent photographs are required and if it is done online, the applicant should print out a copy of the duly completed and signed application form to the application office for further processing.
The applicant should package together with application form, photocopy of the guarantor's Data page of Nigeria Standard Passport, driving license or National Identity Card, before submission.

Receiving the new e-passport
With your e-passport, you are sure of acquiring a visa to visit any country of choice for various intended purposes; bearing in mind that visa will not be issued if you fail to meet the mandatory visa requirements as stipulated by the Consulate of desired Country of visit.
Nationals are also advised to ensure the validity if their passports exceeds the period of stay they intend to spend in a foreign Country, since some Countries mandate that a passport must be valid for six months beyond date of entry.
To avoid any unwarranted embarrassment, you should, prior to your journey, verify if your destination requires the six months rule to make sure your passport validity is in line with intended period of stay, and as you embark on the trip, make a photocopy of the identification page in your new passport and keep it separately from your passport while abroad.
Owing to the importance of your passport, it is advised that you leave the passport photocopy at home, Note that the passport must contain empty pages to accommodate your visa.
If the pages in your passport are filled with either visas or entry and exit stamps, then you need to apply for a new passport, even if the passport has not expired.

Permission to land in Nigeria
A foreign national is permitted entry into Nigeria when he/she has been able to show that he is credible having met the entire basic mandatory prerequisites needed for visa issuance under due processes.
Just like every other embassy across the globe, all categories of Nigeria visas are made available to applicants who wish to travel to Nigeria for various intended reasons, and as in all cases, the pricing information concerning various visa fees, requirements and processing times vary, depending on the type you need.
Applicants can apply to get a Nigeria visa from Countries where they are domiciled or at any Nigeria mission nearest to Countries of residence.

Basic visa requirements
Foreign nationals visiting Nigeria should get themselves equipped to meet the Consular officers with original Formal Invitation Letter, Copy of Applicant's International Passport Data Page, online visa application form which should be attached with a recently taken specified passport photograph, showing clearly applicant's face without any discolorations.
The applicant is expected also to provide a documentary evidence of online payment, return air tickets and his itinerary to Nigeria, including evidence of hotel reservation and or accommodation.|
Intended applicants are advised to note that the above mentioned requirements are not complete list of requirements needed for any particular category of visa to permit entry into Nigeria. The above mentioned are just the basic list of requirements that is common to all Nigeria visa categories and vary as applied to specific cases.

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I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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