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Friday, January 27, 2017

Second Niger bridge: Stakeholders doubt FG's sincerity

  • 2nd Niger Bridge: Stakeholders doubt FG's sincerity
  • The Second Niger Bridge to the future
  • At last, work begins on 2nd Niger Bridge
  • The dithering on new Niger Bridge
  • Niger Bridge on my mind
  • Abandonment of 2nd Niger Bridge: South Easterners react
  • SHOCKER!!! 2nd Niger Bridge
  • Second Niger bridge: Jubilation in South-East as Julius Berger moves to site

2nd Niger Bridge: Stakeholders doubt FG's sincerity
~The SUN Nigeria. Wednesday, January 25, 2017.

The latest awards contract by the Federal Government for the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Anambra State, has been described by stakeholders as a gimmick plotted by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government to court the support of Ndigbo for his second term bid.

Respondents who spoke with Daily Sun, mostly from the South East, reasoned that the latest change of direction on the bridge by the President was a sharp contradiction to his earlier speech on the same matter, which could be a political statement.

One of them, Chief Simon Okafor, former Sole Administrator, Ayamelum Local Government Area, said that since action speaks louder than words, the President would have started work on the bridge in line with what former President Goodluck Jonathan put in place without making his earlier statement that gave him away as an Igbo hater.

Okafor said the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge should not be politicised because it would be an added advantage to government's drive to increase the windows of economic activities. "The way and manner government treats any project in Igboland go to create the impression that the project would be wasted. Will somebody put the project in his pocket? Will such project not benefit all and sundry? Why so much hatred when we say we are one Nigeria? It is very surprising the way officials of government think. This is why the wound of disunity will never be healed at all," he said.

Assistant Director of Information in the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing,Mohammed Abdullahi, whomade this known in a statement last week in Abujastated that the contract for the 2nd Niger Bridge was awarded toJulius Berger (Nig.) a total cost of N14.4 billion.

Abdullahi noted that the existing Niger Bridge, inaugurated on January 4, 1966 had severely been overstressed, adding that its continued serviceability could not be assured.

According to him, the idea of a 2nd Niger Bridge started way back in the late 1970s but its realisation has been delayed by several challenges.He added that the administration ofPresident Buhariwas resolute to ensure the completion of the project.

Another respondent, Chief John Obodoechina, said the government of the day would be doing the country a very big honour if the project is completed considering that a lot of water has passed under the bridge when one thinks about how much it will cost now compared with the budget when the idea was first muted.

He said, "we can see the difference time has brought to bear in the value of the contract even when the exchange rate hovered around N19 per dollar in contradistinction with the current rate of dollar around N400. That has been the prize we procured for ourselves due to tardiness in attending to strategic national projects with abundant economic benefits to the citizens. That is the bane of the kind of politics our so-called leaders play. The 2nd Niger Bridge project goes beyond partisan politics. The sooner we realise that, the better for this country," he stated.

"Notwithstanding, it is a good thing that Buhari has shown commitment to complete the project. If he succeeds, he would have carved a niche for himself as a leader who succeeded where others failed. Besides, he would have endeared himself to a people who have overtime, groaned under the shackles of neglect and near abandonment by successive regimes. Will he? Time will tell."

Those who have followed events surrounding the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge would have heaved a heavy sigh of relief at recent disclosure by the Buhari administration that it intends to commence work on the project. Although a lot of people have their reservations because it will not be the first time such pronouncement was made about the bridge and the Onitsha River Ports. Previous governments had made even more concrete statements, taking action saw them chicken out. If President Buhari will live by what he said, it will go a long way to correct some erroneous impression people of the South East have about him.

Before now, the government, through its Minister of Environment, Laurentia Mallam, had told an expectant nation that work on the project had been suspended because the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) law was not taken into account by the last administration. The announcement was not altogether surprising, as it did not depart sharply from the policy summersaults that had been the fate of that project in the hands of successive administrations.

Not unexpectedly, interest groups in the South East saw in it a further evidence of the hostility of the Buhari regime to the zone. They could not come to terms with the reasons adduced for the project's suspension especially given the strategic importance and overall benefits it holds for the country.

But addressing reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting just before the Christmas, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the government had given the go-ahead for work to continue on the bridge.

He said the bridge was conceived as "Public Private Partnership (PPP) with government financing but negotiations had not been concluded and it was important to continue to work there." Fashola said government officials would continue discussions to see whether they could conclude a full business case and possibly concession the agreement to enable private investors come in and conclude the remaining works.

The Minister had gone ahead to visit the project site to underscore the seriousness the government attached to the new commitment. He said during the visit: "I came here pursuant to the commitment of the Federal Government and that of President Muhammadu Buhari to complete the bridge."

As a further evidence of this, the Federal Government, last week, announced the award of a N14.4 billion contract to Julius Berger for early works on the bridge. In a statement from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the contract award was said to be clear evidence of the Buhari administration's resolute commitment to the completion of the project.

For those who, before now, considered the 2nd Niger Bridge project a pipe dream given the high-wired politics into which it had been enmeshed over the years, the renewed interest of the current government to the project provides new hope for its eventual coming on stream. It is definitely something to cheer. This is more so, given the larger benefits to the nation the completion of the bridge that links the South East and the South Western parts of the country will bring about.

It is therefore a big relief that the current regime has gone beyond finding faults with the conceptualisation of the bridge project to awarding a contract for early works on it. By that, the government has gone beyond words to demonstrate in very unambiguous terms that it shares the ideals for which the construction of the bridge has been a recurring decimal, the politics of past administrations notwithstanding.

It is a good step that will go a long way to disabuse raging feelings that nothing good will go to that part of the country because the current regime did not receive huge votes from the zone in the last election. Be that as it may, it is also strategically and politically expedient for Buhari to complete the project since he or another member of his party will soon be seeking re-election.

The Second Niger Bridge to the future

Written by Sonala Olumhense
~Punch Nigeria. Sunday, January 15, 2017.

The mythical Second Niger Bridge is to be constructed, the Federal Government indicated last week in a wobbly, cagey statement delivered in every colour of deniability.

Building the bridge has been in discussion with every government for over 40 years, but none of them summoned the required political will for a project which carries massive political and economic significance for Nigeria.

And yet, when the moment finally seemed to arrive last Tuesday, it did so in a whisper. Recall that Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi conducted a tumultuous test-ride of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line in June 2016 and President Muhammadu Buhari a louder opening of the line the following month, but no major government figure seemed eager to deliver the good news about the Second Niger Bridge, even though the project is capable of determining who loses the 2019 elections, and who wins.

The news was not delivered by the presidency. Not by Power, Works and Housing Minister Raji Fashola, or by some other related Minister, such as Mr. Amaechi or Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information. Not by a permanent secretary from somewhere or another. Not even by the Director of Information in any of those ministries.

Instead, it was to Mohammed Abdullahi, an Assistant Director of Information in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, that the honours fell.

Which is normally when a vigilant press would go to work, and the public, worry.

Nonetheless, a contract for "preliminary works" had been awarded to Julius Berger for N14.4 billion, the statement said.

That was it, unless you examined the fine print. The existing Niger Bridge has "severely been overstressed (sic)," the spokesman said, and "its continued serviceability could not be assured."

What the government was saying, in plain English, is: "Good luck to all who continue to use the bridge, which is now 50 years old, for it may soon collapse."

Ominously, the statement contained no specifics about the new plan. Not what constitutes "preliminary works." Not how long the contractor would take to complete them, or whether-particularly given the condition of the existing bridge-the project is being given priority. Precisely the kind of thing that leads to incomplete or abandoned projects.

The statement was also eerily quiet on the status of the same bridge the preceding government was building.

Since 2011, President Jonathan had used the Second Niger Bridge as a major political pawn among the Igbo. Throughout his electoral campaigns in Aba, Awka, Enugu, Onitsha in February 2011, it was his main message: if elected, he would build the bridge before 2015.

"I want to be remembered for building of the second Niger Bridge and my administration's commitment to leaving our footprints on the bridge project," he said during a campaign stop in Onitisha on February 26.

It was at that same stop he made his most famous declaration: "I do not make empty promises in my campaign because whatever I promise to do, I had already carried out adequate study to make sure I can accomplish it in the next four years."

He was lying, of course, but the people of Onitsha rose to their feet, cheering and dancing.

There was more to come. Speaking at the Onitsha Town Hall in August 2012, one year after he was elected, he said, "When the first bridge was built, it was during the presidency of Nnamdi Azikiwe. The Second Niger Bridge will be built under the presidency of Azikiwe Jonathan."

He even swore to go into exile if he failed to deliver the completed project by 2015.

President Jonathan did commence work on the bridge. Unlike Olusegun Obasanjo, the government of whom falsely announced in May 2007 it was commencing a 58.6 billion contract, Jonathan gathered a crowd to start off the construction.

But that was not in 2011 or at any time that would have enabled him to complete, or almost complete, it. It was in March 2014 that he did his groundbreaking, claiming the bridge he had sworn to deliver in 2015 would now be completed in four years, that is, in 2018.

His Minister for Works, Mike Onolememen, explained that the project would cost N117 billion, and be concessioned to the builder for 25 years.

Mr. Jonathan announced his government would ensure speedy completion in four years by contributing N30 billion, which was 25% of the construction cost. Again, that was three years ago.

In January 2015, after nearly one year on it, President Jonathan confirmed the project to be on course. During an electoral campaign stop as he sought a new four-year term, he told the Obi of Onitsha he had inspected the project on his way to the palace and could assure him it would be ready in 2018.

The problem is that here we are in 2017 two years after that declaration, giving a contract for "preliminary works" to the same Julius Berger which has been working on it for three years, apparently for the purpose of a new contract for the same project to the same contractor.

It is of great concern that the Buhari government, which weeps daily about lack of funds and preaches hourly about transparency, does not see that its refusal to acknowledge history to be as dangerous as the corruption it claims to fight. In another article, I have pointed out how the Abuja light rail project, for instance, is being re-contracted as if there isn't an existing contract. I don't see how anything can encourage corruption more than parallel contracting.

By all means, let the government review the Second Niger Bridge project, but it is dangerous to pretend that a N117 billion project that ought to be three-quarters completed does not exist at all.

And if the government is reviewing the project, it must consult with stakeholders, particularly the Igbo. Let us be clear that not only has the world, and Nigeria, changed dramatically since the first bridge was built, but also since Jonathan's version was designed.

The new bridge should be bigger, stronger and more ambitious. It should be aimed at Nigeria in the next 50 years, not of the present. To that end, the bridge should be at least four lanes on each side, and should preferably be built on two levels to accommodate growing traffic and economy. The bridge should provide for rail and pedestrian traffic as well, and modern technical appurtenances to ensure security.

Think big or think not at all. Build the bridge right, or don't build it at all.

At last, work begins on 2nd Niger Bridge

Written by Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
~Vanguard Nigeria. Friday, January 6, 2017.

AFTER years of uncertainty, work has finally begun for the construction of the controversial 2nd Niger Bridge that would link the South -South and the South East geo political zones to support the existing one.

Following a statement by the minister of labour and employment, Senator Chris Ngige Saturday in a television programme in Onitsha, that the federal executive council had approved N14 billion to enable Julius , the contractor handling the project, to commence work, Saturday Vanguard visited the site and found out that there were serious signs that work would begin in earnest.

Some people, who looked like construction workers were seen yesterday, surveying the area where former President Goodluck Jonathan performed the ground- breaking ceremony during the twilight of his administration. Many job seekers were also seen in the area, although there was nobody to attend to them yet.

The bridge had been enmeshed in politics over the years such that it had remained on the drawing board for a period that spanned several administrations.

Ngige had said during the television interview that in addition to the N14 billion, the federal government would release another N16 billion this year for the construction of the bridge, adding that the amount was accommodated in the 2017 budget.

He said that the redesigned bridge would have a railway line that would connect Asaba in Delta State with Onitsha in Anambra State to ease the pressure of heavy duty vehicles using the bridge to transport goods.

However, one nagging issue facing the project is the payment of compensation to people whose property would be affected by the bridge. Though arrangement for the compensation had been made, Ngige urged the people not to stand in the way of the project by making what he called unnecessary demands.

"This is a project that previous administrations played politics with and the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari has decided to ensure its realization. Our people should not allow the issue of compensation to hinder the construction work because of its enormous benefits to the people," the minister said.

He said that apart from the 2nd Niger Bridge, work had also started on the Enugu-Onitsha and Nnewi- Okigwe federal highways, as well as the Enugu-Aba-Port Harcourt expressway.

The dithering on new Niger Bridge

~The SUN Nigeria. Thursday, July 14, 2016.

FORMER Prime Minister Late Marga­ret Thatcher once said, "You and I come by road or rail, but economists travel on infrastructure." The statement under­scores the importance of infrastructure in any nation's economic development. In essence, Nigeria's economic growth will not occur in the absence of critical infrastructural developments.

Also, Maya Pillai succinctly illuminat­ed the significance of infrastructure as a function of government. In her synopsis of five main purposes of any govern­ment, Maya Pillai identified infrastruc­ture as one of the critical functions of the central government. She wrote, "One of the main purposes of the government is to provide good infrastructure to all its countrymen in the form of roads, bridg­es, drinking water, electricity and com­munication networks."

In the 1960s, the federal government realized its obligations to the people, thus it awarded a contract in 1964 to DUMEZ for the construction of River Niger Bridge. The Niger Bridge, completed in 1965 by DUMEZ-a French construc­tion company, links Southeast and West by road.

The bridge suffered a major structural damage during the civil war and has since deteriorated and has been certified to be unsafe for dual carriage. As a result, past administrations had promised on numerous occasions to build a second bridge, but to no avail. The Obasanjo administration prom­ised to complete the construction of the sec­ond Niger Bridge before leaving office, but it turned out to be an empty promise. While alive, President Umaru Yar'Adua made the same promise. A transformational leader with list of progressive reforms to embark on, former President Umaru Yar'Adua died at age 58 without constructing the second Niger Bridge. He probably would have ful­filled his pledge if he had completed a full term in office.

Well, realizing the importance of the second Niger Bridge to both the local and national economy, particularly the South­easterners' emotional attachment to the project, during the 2011 electioneering, President Goodluck E. Jonathan promised that he would build the new bridge in his second year in office if re-elected. The re­gion undoubtedly provided him with a huge political capital trusting that this time the promise will not be a ruse. The people are waiting patiently.

During his presidential visits to Anambra State in August 2012, President Jonathan reiterated his campaign promise of build­ing a second Niger Bridge. It was reported on on August 30, 2012 that President Jonathan said, "On the second Niger Bridge it must be commis­sioned because we have no choice but to transform Nigeria. That is why the Minis­ter of Works and Finance Minister are here." He continued, "We will surely deliver on our campaign promises. We ask for maximum cooperation from you and thank God the members of the National Assembly are here, so the sec­ond Niger Bridge must be built." But Jonathan left office without completing the construction of a new Niger Bridge.

Now it is President Muhammadu Bu­hari's turn to build or abandon building the new Niger Bridge.

Talking of the cooperation of the National Assembly, Adetutu Folasade- Koyi reported on Friday, February 8, 2013 in The Sun that the Upper Cham­ber urged the federal government and the Ministry of Works to take immedi­ate action on two bridges, Niger Bridge and Third Mainland Bridge because of the dilapidated condition and unsafe nature of the bridges.

On a motion introduced by Senator Hope Uzodimma (PDP, Imo West), the Senate advised the Federal Gov­ernment and the Ministry of Works to commence work immediately on the construction of the second Niger Bridge and reinforce the old bridge to avoid its looming collapse. The general public, including the National Assem­bly understand the ominous danger the present Niger Bridge presents to the populace. The Niger Bridge is struc­turally unsafe to ply on and mere trav­elling on it brings excruciating pain to the passengers in so many ways. The emotional statement made by Sen. Hope Uzodimma to bolster his motion underscores the dire consequence of inaction.

Sen. Uzodimma is reported to have said, "Because of the aforesaid state of the bridge, commuters have since the Christmas season, been subjected to ex­cruciating ordeals wherein only single lanes are allowed on the bridge at a time for fear that the normal double lane car­riage could lead to an instant collapse of the bridge, consequently, endless traf­fic across the bridge from all parts of the country." Nevertheless, while the delay in constructing the second Niger Bridge goes on, the federal government contin­ues to put peoples' lives and properties in a greater danger. This suggests that the federal government has an indifferent atti­tude about the ominous danger the current bridge poses. The condition of the bridge has not only been a clog to the wheel of economic activities, but has now imposed a high level of frustration and hopeless­ness on the passengers who must wait for seven to twenty hours before crossing the Niger Bridge, especially during the holi­day season.

With each passing day, the imminent collapse of Niger Bridge is sooner than later. The calamity will pale in com­parison to the catastrophic collapse of an eight-lane steel truss arch I-35W Missis­sippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, Min­nesota on August 1, 2007. When the Niger Bridge caves in, lives and properties will be lost, as well as economic devastation in the region and nation. Thus, possibility of the collapse of the Niger Bridge should, perhaps be heightened concern to federal government.

Unfortunately, the second quarter of 2016 ended without any construction ac­tivities in the area. Regrettably, delaying the construction of the bridge is tanta­mount to a deliberate negligence on the part of the federal government. The der­eliction is stupefying and unbelievable.


Niger Bridge on my mind


LET us not forget that Niger Bridge is the only link by road between Southeast and Delta, Old Midwest, and Old West. That link will be broken causing enormous economic disruption and dislocation for the entire South, particularly the entire Old Eastern Region if inaction prevails. Therefore, a mere possibility of the collapse of the Niger Bridge should be a heightened concern to everyone, particularly the federal government.

Whenever I visited Nigeria in the past, I had always flown from either Lagos or Abuja to my final destination. Thus, I did not have the opportunity to cross the Niger Bridge for several years until last year. But this time was an exception.

Yes, this time I travelled by road and the only connecting link from Lagos to Onitsha was the Niger Bridge. But the dreadful traffic leading to the Niger Bridge was not the only thing that had found permanence on my mind. When it was our turn on December 28, 2015 to funnel through the bridge at about 30 miles per hour speed, I looked through the window and it was a scary sight. My fret was intermittently elevated by the constant shaking of the bridge as we drove on it reminding me of a piece I wrote on the bridge some time ago, 'Avoidable Catastrophe on Niger Bridge.'

Based on my observation it appeared that since I first wrote the piece, no significant action had been taken by the federal government to avert the catastrophe. I am greatly disturbed by the indifferent attitude of the federal government on this seminal matter that has enormous potential to stifle the economy of the region in particular and the country in general. It is insane for the past administrations to look the other way as the people of the region were suffering at the bridge.

Obviously, the potential danger of Niger Bridge collapsing did not awaken the past leaders from regrettable inaction. They never had the urgency to build a new bridge because of the impending calamity. Sadly, it is inconceivable that any government would allow its people to continue to risk their precious lives as they traveled on a dilapidated bridge. Unfortunately, I am compelled to ask the past leaders these questions: what was the priority of the country? What was the cherished value of Nigeria? What were your own values?

Maybe, this piece will awake the current policymakers to realize the dangers travelers/motorists face when they are on the Niger Bridge. When I was on the bridge I was reminded the following statements made by some people when Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota collapsed on August 1, 2007: "I have never seen anything remotely like this before," -Lt. Amelia Huffman, Minneapolis Police Dept.

"There was a very eerie silence right after the collapse. It was 5 to 10 minutes before I heard any sirens..." -Joe Costello "I got out of my car and the first thing I heard was [were]the kids screaming on the bus. I called 911. I didn't really know what else I could do." -Flip Saunders
Those were some of the sentiments and anguish expressed by the eyewitnesses to the rush hour catastrophic collapse of an eight-lane steel truss arch I-35W Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 1, 2007. I could remember vividly that day and the ensuing wall to wall coverage of the accident by the television networks as I was on the Niger Bridge wondering if the devastation could happen there. Gloomily, the anguish could be quadrupled in the event that Niger Bridge collapses-an inevitable collapse that would reverberate around the country; the predictable crumple is just a matter of time. Obviously, the calamity would result in scores of luxurious buses and other numerous vehicles with their passengers being plunged into River Niger- an avoidable reality. Indeed, there is a technical report currently sitting with the Presidency warning that the present Niger Bridge will collapse any moment from now. This is alarming!

In fact, the associated human and economic costs of the predictable, but avoidable calamity of the Niger Bridge are enormous. Let me reiterate, undoubtedly, the human and economic consequences resulting from Niger Bridge collapse would be gargantuan-loss of lives and livelihood-creating colossal human and financial burdens on families in the Southeast in particular. About thousands of people would lose their lives or be maimed for life leaving an indelible scare on their body, mind, and soul; transportation industry in the affected areas would grind to a halt, as well as loss of properties; goods and services.

Also, the financial institutions and insurance industry would be gravely impacted resulting to uncontrollable inflation, and general economic disruption and dislocation of the affected regions that would cause massive economic deterioration. The collapse would compound the utility loss and costs associated with public reaction and replacement, which may linger for generations.

It should be the policy of the federal government to maintain and rebuild Nigeria's infrastructure for continuous economic and human development. It is a sound domestic policy the policymakers and economic advisers should honestly embrace. The collapse of Niger Bridge will lead to the economic strangulation of the Southeast thereby affecting industry and commerce in Nigeria, among other sectors, with unmitigated lurk behind severe unemployment and inflation. As a result, many past administrations have promised to build the second Niger Bridge. To build a lasting legacy, President Jonathan's first 100 days in office should witness the actual signing of the contract to build the second Niger Bridge.

Mr. President, please commence work immediately on the second Niger Bridge. Do not allow this inevitable catastrophe happen on the current Niger Bridge. Don't let it happen under your watch! The people desperately need your leadership on this matter. Please mobilize the National Assembly, Minister/Ministry of Works, Minister/Ministry of Transportation, and critical principals to action.

The country has reached a critical mass and the second Niger Bridge should be built without any further delay. Many past administrations made a promise to build a second Niger Bridge and dredge Niger River, but they failed the people. Please Mr. President, rise to this occasion and act without equivocation. Again, it is the moral obligation of the federal government to rebuild and maintain its infrastructure for economic viability, as well as economic growth of the nation.
Abandonment of 2nd Niger Bridge: South Easterners react
Written by Chimaobi Nwaiwu - Vanguard.

NNEWI-THE recent budget release by the Federal Government was expected to feature some monetary allocation for the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge started by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, but unfortunately the allocation for the construction of the bridge is missing. This has elicited torrents of reaction from stakeholders in the Sout-East. Here are some of them.

President of Onitsha Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture, Mr. Uche Apakama, in his comments said, “I just want to believe that the information is not quite true that not capturing of the 2nd Niger Bridge in the 2016 budget, means it has been abandoned, this is because it will be ridiculous the Federal Government would have forgotten such a sensitive and important project for the people of South East and South South and Nigerians in general.

"I want to assume, a big assumption that it is in the budget, but per adventure is not there, it can't be explained to anybody, because we do not have the budget breakdown, we just heard about the big figures, we do not have the different allocations, so we do not know the details of those allocations and therefore they should tell us what happened.

“It will be a total disservice to Ndigbo, South South and Nigeria in general to abandon the bridge, I was listening to the Presidents first Media Chat where he asked who are marginalizing the Ibos and how, he asked that question and this issue of alleged abandonment of 2nd Niger Bridge is one example of his government marginalizing Ndigbo, if it is true.

“Abandonment of that bridge is one of the basic and clear instance of marginalization of the Ibos, we have only one access to leave the Ibo land for the West, it takes up to four or five hours to pass through Niger Bridge to enter Asaba approach of the bridge, we are suffering getting down here, to access our home land is almost impossible, very difficult, because of the single lane in the direction of the Niger Bridge as constructed, let us not even say that the Bridge is weak, even the volume of traffic it carries can no more suit the bridge like we have in the festive period of Christmas and New year," he said.

Apakama, a pharmacist, also stated that "we have a four year project period, we are waiting and are expected to wait for four years, hoping that in four years time, even though we have questioned the four years project period which is too long to complete the bridge because you do not use four years to build such bridge if it is properly funded, yet they are coming up with the plan of abandonment, if it is PPP funded, that is where Julius Berger will have to source its funds, it can be completed within a forty eight month period.

"We seem to have been forgotten by the Federal Government in a country that we are part of, what happened last time with MASSOB and IPOB challenges are all part of the problem of marginalization.

In South East, we have a lot of things we are talking about that need to be addressed, we do not have appointments, no problem, we are still surviving, but things that belong to us like this bridge, government must show commitment, and show us that they are sincere about the issues concerning South East and the South South.

“I want to believe that the project is in the budget, if it is not, it is unfair for us not to have that bridge completed, it is unfair that one year will pass again and the bridge is not captured in the budget and therefore nothing will be happening there, it should be in the appropriated budget, it should not be in the supplementary budget, it should be the concern of the Federal Government of Nigeria that South East and South-South are not cut off from the rest of Nigeria.”

For his part Chief Ozoh Anaekwe, a former President General of Onitsha Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, OMATA, said, “President Muhammadu Buhari has shown Nigerians and the world that he is anti-Igbo with the abandonment of the 2nd Niger Bridge project, I am telling Igbo leaders to rally round and tell the world, especially, Europe and America, the new friends of the present government, the condition President Buhari wants to place Igbo in Nigeria.

"No reasonable and responsible government in the world will abandon a project like 2nd Niger Bridge, if not for the reason of hatred, and not wanting anything good for a particular people, unfortunately the bridge is serving Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba and other ethnic groups, so it is a disservice to the nation and not to the Igbo people if it is abandoned.

"When some people say we did not vote for Buhari, that is why he is anti Igbo, I laugh, how can we vote for a man that does not come to campaign in Igbo land. Since he has been contesting elections, it was only this last one that made him President where he visited one or two South East states to campaign, he has disappointed Onitsha residents on three occasions he said he was coming for campaign and people waited, he never came and did not care to render apology, Onitsha houses all South East state people.

"I am calling on the Ministers from South East to resign from Buhari's government because he does not mean well for Ndigbo and does not love them, after all he did not assign any reasonable position to them, why did he give three juicy Ministries to one person, when he gave South East Ministers that does not in any way affect their lives positively, the ministries he gave them which he is boasting that he has done well for Ndigbo does not add value to peoples life," he said.

According to him "It is only the lawmakers that will make Buhari to change his mind and continue with the 2nd Niger Bridge project, the Judiciary is playing along with him, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, President is not interested to defend the Judiciary, he is playing along with the All Progressives Congress, APC, government, he should therefore, resign because he is sympathetic to the present government, he is NBA National President not APC government National President.

"I have no doubt that the present administration will not continue with the 2nd Niger Bridge project because it was started by former President Goodluck and anything started or done by that administration is either seen as evil or being dismantled and seen as corrupt, even if the bridge is captured in the budget they will not do it, they think it is Igbo people's project. "Nigerians and the National Assembly should compel the President to continue the project, it is a Nigerian project not South East project, it was approved and kicked off by a responsible government he succeeded, if National Assembly fail to compel the President to continue that project it means they are afraid of him and that will be disaster for the country.

President of Osakwe Industrial Cluster, a small scale industrial operators based in Awada, near Onitsha, Mr. Johnson Okolo, said that “it has been one calamity or the other since the present government came with its change mantra, even though the South East people did not vote for President Buhari, we still believe that he is the President, we did not march to the streets to protest against his emergence and therefore, he should not work based on the people that voted him.”

SHOCKER!!! 2nd Niger Bridge

Written by Chibuzo N. Ziggy Azike
Niger-Bridge-2_1As part of the routine debriefing by President Muhammadu Buhari since he resumed office, the leadership of various MDA’s have met with the President to appraise him of the goings on in the Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies; some newsy items invariably follow such meetings.
After the President met with the leadership of the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (I.C.R.C.) the newsy buzz was that the contract for the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge had been revoked or cancelled and that work on the bridge had STOPPED Like every Nigerian I was dazed, aghast, flabbergasted and just angry about this “injustice again” against “my people”. It took the crew of the very popular radio programme on Ray Power called “Political Platform” to assure people like me that there was no truth in that rumour of the revocation of the contract for the 2nd Niger Bridge; which is probably one of the most emotional projects for people travelling to Eastern Nigeria.
Now what is this 2nd Niger Bridge and what is the truth I want to tell? Please hear me:
The 2nd Niger Bridge has been concessioned under what is called a Public Private Partnership (PPP) – whereby a Contractor has “partnered” with the Federal Government to Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) the completed bridge after the contractor has recouped his “investment” through tolling after some years.
The ICRC is the statutory body empowered to regulate all “Partnerships” and concessions in which the government and any other legal persons are involved.
In the build-up to this PPP for the 2nd Niger Bridge, I recall that Senator Chris Ngige was stridently against the project as packaged and delivered. At a meeting on Cameron Road in Ikoyi where he addressed some Igbo elites sometime in 2014, he lambasted the project, calling it a fraud and a Trojan Horse, he compared the “cost” of the Bridge with that of the “Lekki-Ikoyi” bridge of about the same length and called it outrageous. The PDP Aparatchik and their leaders from the then Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government under Senator Anyim attacked Ngige and countered that the cost of the bridge could not be the same with the Lekki- Ikoyi Bridge as the Lekki Bridge was not fortified for carrying trailers and the type of traffic the 2nd Niger Bridge would carry. Ignorant me, I was persuaded; in any case, Ngige could have been “talking politics”.
Alas, I was to receive a wakeup call when on July 1st 2015 the news broke about China opening the World’s Longest Ocean Bridge measuring 26.4 Miles (about 42 kms) and costing just US$1.5 Billion. Yes, the Jiazhou Bay Bridge of 26.4 Miles over an Ocean, cost US$1.5 Billion while the 2nd Niger Bridge of less than 2 kilometres under this arrangee PPP was to cost US$700 Million, wait for it; and as part of the obligations of the Federal Government to this PPP, N10 Billion of our money has already been disbursed towards the “project”. These figures dazed me and put me on further inquiry about this PPP project.
My findings will shock you; under this PPP the concessionaire/contractor would be entitled to “Build and operate” the Bridge by tolling for a period of Twenty-five years (25 years). This appears quite fair if they are to recover their US$700 Million investment; but wait for it; without doing any “affordability study” this Contractor had fixed to collect a toll of N2,000 (Two Thousand Naira) per Saloon Car, going up to N7,000 (Seven Thousand Naira) for trucks and trailers for a one time crossing.
Now compare; we Lagosians are protesting N250 (Two Hundred and fifty Naira) for Lekki bridge and N150 (One Hundred and fifty Naira) for Lekki/Epe Toll gates respectively, yet some shylock was planning, and with the connivance of some high ranking officials of the past administration, my good people of Eastern Nigeria and other users would have been yoked into a most extortionate “contract” for 25 years and to a project that ordinarily should not have cost more than US$70 Million (Seventy Million U.S. Dollars).
Do the simple arithmetic with the cost of the Jiazho Bay Bridge which is across a more treacherous terrain like an ocean and you will know that those who conceived and delivered that project are the Victor Ludorum of rent seeking.
The truth is that President Muhammadu Buhari has neither revoked nor suspended the “contract” for the 2nd Niger bridge, what he has done as the official guardian of our commonwealth is to direct that the entire PPP be reviewed to ensure compliance with best practices and to protect long suffering Nigerians from the wickedness and greed of their long time oppressor brethren who feast on them like the vilest vampires.
Just imagine that the “over priced” Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge (1.3km) cost N29 Billion; while the 2nd Niger Bridge (1.7km) was to cost N117 Billion with the Federal Government providing additional N30 Billion (N10 Billion already released).
If it was the perspicacious debriefing of ICRC that caused the President to order the review of this most oppressive PPP contract, then the leadership of that agency must be commended and recommended for more oversight responsibilities as the Nigerian consumers continue to suffer the tyranny of service providers like the TELCO’S; DISCOS and others who though ought to be regulated by NCC; NERC etc still ride roughshod on prostrate citizens who can now look up to PMB for help.
In conclusion, one cannot help but wonder what the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation under Senator Pius Anyim did in preparation for the presentation of the EXCO papers for the approval by the EXCO for this warped and pernicious PPP which was to keep the people of eastern Nigeria in perpectual hardship to “repay” the PPP consortium. Upon what data and materials did Anyim’s office make the recommendation or due diligence for a project so vital to “his people”? That is the truth about the second Niger Bridge.

Second Niger bridge: Jubilation in South-East as Julius Berger moves to site

Publish date: 7th August 2013

There was tumultuous joy in the South East last week especially among those living in the commercial city of Onitsha and its environs and including people in some parts of Edo, Delta and Imo states, when construction giant, Julius Berger, began mobilizing to site to commence the construction of the long awaited Second Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Anambra State.

The presence of the construction giant at the foot of the Niger Bridge within the Onitsha axis and the berthing of several barges belonging to the company triggered jubilation in various parts of the commercial city and attracted widespread commendation for the Federal Government. Julius Berger won the contract to construct the long awaited bridge across River Niger. Two weeks ago, at the 43rd Julius Berger Annual General Meeting (AGM), its Managing Director, Mr Wolfgang Goetsch disclosed that the Federal Government had given Julius Berger a letter of intent, which would enable it to do preliminary work such as soil testing and engineering design.

He explained that the bridge would be built under the private-public partnership arrangement.
"A consortium that included a South African firm participated in the bidding for the project. In January 2013, our group became the preferred bidder. We are excited because it will be the first of its kind in Nigeria," he noted.

Investigation by Sunday Sun revealed that Julius Berger brought to the agreement table, the sum of N100billion, while the Federal Government is paying 30 percent equity.
The 30 percent equity by government, according to our investigation, would be generated through the SURE-P programme.
Giving insight into the project, the Special Adviser to the Minister of Works on Media, Mr Tony Ikpasaja, said the total length of the bridge including the accompanying road is 12.4 kilometres.

Said Ikpasaja: "the entire bridge and approach road is 12.4Km. The bridge itself is 1.8km, while the approach road is 10.6km."
He said, "the approach road begins from Asaba before the airport, and veers to the right to hit the bridge, while from the bridge, the road takes you into Onitsha-Owerri road and also, to Onitsha-Enugu road."

When Sunday Sun visited the Onitsha River Port located few metres away from the Old Niger Bridge which is temporarily being used by officials of Julius Berger, there were many barges that had berthed along the River Niger laden with some heavy equipment belonging to the construction giant.

Among the barges were those with registration no IMO 9362554 5 NLD5 carrying some equipment to be used by site engineers who were busy in various parts of the state conducting what they termed preliminary analysis.

Though Julius Berger Public Relations Officer, PRO, Mr. Joseph Ojelade declined comments on the preparation for the full commencement of the project, a senior site engineer who pleaded anonymity on the ground that he was not authorized to speak to the press said the company was ready to complete the project on time and to specifications.
"As you see, we have started mobilizing to the site. It is part of the things that distinguishes us from other construction companies and we will not like to let Nigerians who have trust in us down. Some of these equipment that have started arriving belong to the small category that we are using to conduct our preliminary analysis. What we are doing now is to bring these equipment down. Many of the barges have arrived and we have offloaded these ones and have gone back to bring others."

"We are just doing preliminary works, pending the finalization of the contract. We are still waiting for that. We are thinking maybe in two months time, that is my thinking though, I'm not so sure."
On the future of the existing Niger Bridge , the site engineer said "we don't know what will happen to the existing bridge, I don't think the bridge is completely damaged. They will not pull it down; it may still be in existence even after the completion of the second Niger Bridge. It's the Federal Government that will determine the fate of the existing bridge but as a company we are more focused on the job given to us to construct the new bridge across the River Niger."

Also speaking, another staff member of Julius Berger who also didn't want his name in print said "the second bridge will come but the time of the completion is what I can't tell because it should only be known by the top management of the company and as for me, I don't have any business with the time and specification of the project."

On the challenges facing the company so far at the time of the project, he said "we have not experienced any difficulty yet. We are a good contracting firm and that was why when we bid for the contract, after evaluation and critically analysing the companies that made bids, we were chosen as the best to handle it and I can tell you that we shall have no problem that could hamper the timely delivery and completion of the second Niger Bridge."
Meanwhile, so many prominent Igbo sons and daughters have lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for fulfilling his campaign promise of constructing the second Niger Bridge, adding that the zone had been made to pass through untold hardship because of the failure of successive governments to construct the bridge.
The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe said the need for the second Niger Bridge cannot be overemphasized, noting "the bridge when completed will help not only Ndigbo but all Nigerians and will also open up this part of the country for economic viability. We thank President Goodluck Jonathan for delivering on his campaign promises."

Igwe Achebe also expressed satisfaction with the construction company that was awarded the contract, saying "when I heard that the contract for the construction of the second bridge was awarded to Julius Berger, I quickly knew that the Federal Government was sincere in the construction of the bridge."
The former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife also thanked the Federal Government for the commencement of the construction of the second Niger Bridge and urged them to make sure that nothing hampers the timely completion of the important project.
"The Federal Government must make sure that paucity of funds does not affect the construction and completion of the Second Niger Bridge . It must be able to pay for all certificates generated by the contruction company and I wish to tell Julius Berger that they have attained a certain level of height in the country through quality jobs, they must not fail this time because this project is very important to the country and Africa in general."
Member representing Anaocha/Dunukofia/Njikoka Federal Constituency, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife further challenged Ndigbo to remain grateful to President Jonathan for the commencement of the construction of the second Niger Bridge, adding that the zone had never had it so good.
She thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for allowing good judgment to determine the award of the contract to a competent contracor, adding "the exercise for the award of the contract was characterized by good judgment and the federal government did well in allowing competence take the centre stage instead of personal gains. Second Niger Bridge is not a project that should be handled by just any construction company but we are proud that a competent international company got the contract and has started mobilizing to the site."

For the President General Ndigbo United Assembly, Sir Peter Okala, the development called for celebration. According to him, "even if the project does not begin immediately, we are happy that at last, we are seeing visible efforts being made by the Federal Government to construct and complete the bridge."
"Ndi Igbo are indeed very happy and we shall continue to supervise the project, give the contractors adequate security to do their job without any hindrance. On that angle, Ndigbo United Assembly shall collaborate with security agencies to give maximum security to the contractors to allow for good job. The second Niger Bridge, when completed, will not benefit only Igbo people but the country at large because it will help Nigeria regain its lost economic leadership in the rest of the Africa continent and the world at large."
A business mogul, Chief Godwin Okeke also lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for the commencement of the project, stressing that it will help reduce dangers of travelling often caused by failed roads all over the country and poor bridges where they existed.
"For the business class, it calls for celebration because we are going to experience a turnaround in reviving the economy of Ndigbo. Let me tell you, before now, Ndigbo have been experiencing very bad days in business but I have strong belief that the bridge when completed will open up all businesses in this part of the country and we will be exporting our goods to the rest of the country."
He further described as unfortunate the condition of the only existing bridge that links South-East to the rest of the world before the intervention of President Jonathan and expressed optimism that the company handling it would deliver the project on time and to specifications.

No comments:


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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