Tuesday, August 22, 2017


My dear citizens,

I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.

2.     In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.

 3.     In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.

4.     Nigeria's unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.

5.     Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.

  6.    I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.

  7.     This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

8.     The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.

9.     The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.

10.   Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.

11.     Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.

 12.     Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against;

·       elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets

·       kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes,

·       in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.

13.   Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of;

·       economic security,

·       political evolution and integration

·       as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.

14.     I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.

15.    Thank you and may God bless our dear Nation.

Monday, August 21, 2017


In 1971, after my primary school education, poverty drove me to Lagos to find something to do to help my poor mother and siblings. Civil War devastated my father’s thriving business in Onitsha and we all suffered from 1966 to 1970 when the war ended.
With four wives and 34 children, my parents could not cope any more. My brothers and sisters dropped out of school to learn a trade. Because I was a little ‘sharp’ in school, my father encouraged me to finish primary school. It is needless here to recall how I and few of my siblings survived to finish our primary education. Consequently when my mates were taking Common Entrance Examination, I did not because there was no need to do so. No money, no three square meals a day, no good clothing, just nothing.
My mother encouraged me to travel with friends to Lagos. We landed at Sawmill Ebute Metta where I worked as a sawdust carrier at seven Shilling, six Pence a day. My job was to pack sawdust from the Machines to the Lagoon from 7am to 5 pm daily. I did this for nearly two years and later I became a danfo conductor plying Idioro/Ajegunle axis. From there I joined my brother in a supermarket business at Ijesha Road, Surulere. I did this until I returned home during Christmas in December 1973. I came home to meet my friends I was beating academically in school trying to make me feel and look inferior. Again I also noticed while in Lagos that if I fail to go to school, I may end up doing menial jobs meant for illiterates till the end of age. I decided to go back to school to add values to my life. But where are the school fees? There was nothing. How I managed to get the first school fee to start and what happened thereafter will take a book to do the narrative.
In 1979 I left Okongwu Memorial Grammar School Nnewi with Division One and was the school Head Boy. I taught in the same school as an Auxiliary Teacher from 1979 – 1980. In 1980 I got admission to read Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nigeria Nsukka and graduated in 1985. I did my Youth Service in Ogun State and thereafter I returned to Lagos in 1986 to begin a journey to where I am today. I walked the streets of Lagos from 1986 – 1988 until the then military government headed by Gen Ibrahim Babangida set up the National Directorate of Employment, (NDE) to encourage graduates to start their own businesses. I got a loan of N27,500, using my NYSC discharge Certificate and my Degree Certificate as collateral at 9% interest rate. I set up a Restaurant Business in Western Avenue, Lagos and hit an instant success. While doing this business, I spread my nets also to the auto spare parts market in Lawanson, Surulere where my brother thrives as a very successful importer. I opened a shop there and got a boy to take charge of the business. From there, I entered into Auto dealership in Western Avenue Surulere. I paid back that loan in full and collected back my certificates.
In 1995, I wrote my first book, Igbos: 25 Years After Biafra. I also established National Vision Newspapers in 1997. In 1999, I wrote my second book: Heroes of Democracy. In 2004 I co-authored 2007: The IBB Option with my good friend, Peter Claver Oparah. One thing led to another. I became an opinion molder, a public commentator, political analyst, writer and an advocate of the peoples’ cause. I bought my first car in 1990 and became a millionaire in 1995 after launching of my first book.
In 2006, the then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, made me the pioneer General Manager of the Lagos State Infrastructure & Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) and I was there for almost 10 years. I served Asiwaju’s government for the remainder of his days as Lagos Governor. I served His Excellency Governor Babatunde Fashola for 8years. In September 2015, His Excellency Governor Akinwunmi Ambode moved me to Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority Apapa as Chairman. I became the Publicity Secretary AC, ACN, and APC since late 2006 till date. By the grace of God I have been the Chairman of Conference of APC Publicity Secretaries (CAPS) in Nigeria since 2014.
These positions and exploits have put me in the limelight in Lagos and Nigeria since the early 90s, and God has been kind to me. These offices have opened the doors of the rich and poor to me. They have opened the inner ways,byways, subways, expressways and highways to the corridors of power in Nigeria. I have been connected to the pace setters, policy makers, the movers and shakers of blue chip companies, newsmakers and the powers that be in Lagos. The magic of Lagos, the beauty of Lagos, the dynamics of Lagos, the glory of Lagos, the momentum of Lagos, the capacity, capability and the strength of Lagos touched me in no uncertain terms since 1986 (32years ago) till date…..and still counting.
My sojourn in Lagos for 32 years has also opened my eyes as a historian as to what Lagos has done for my people from South East. Today as I write this Igbo do not have a quarter of what they have in Lagos in the South East in terms of investments. As I write this book, Igbo are the second most populous ethnic group in Lagos. Today, Igbo exert tremendous influence and capacity in Lagos and its success story. Few years back two prominent sons of Nnewi told me in confidence that they did not know they have been wasting their time in Nnewi until they came to Lagos. They said Lagos opened doors for limitless opportunities and endless possibilities. I have seen people come from other parts of Nigeria to hit gold mine in Lagos.
I got married in 1990 and all my five kids are all Lagosians and so are millions of Igbo kids born in Lagos. They have lived most of their lives in Lagos, schooled in Lagos, worked in Lagos, made friends in Lagos and have keyed to the Lagos success story. They know any other place except Lagos. Lagos is their home. This is not limited to Igbo alone but all other ethnic groups and of course Yoruba from outside Lagos. Lagos is a melting pot, a mega city, a cosmopolitan beehive. Lagos controls the heartbeat of Nigeria, its wealth, its influence and its strategic socio-economic and political hub. Lagos changed my thinking and original thoughts, Lagos emboldened me, Lagos motivated me, Lagos challenged me and Lagos made me. I can say no less. This is the story of Lagos, my Lagos. It is still unraveling, not for me alone but millions of other Nigerians, to the glory of God."
Joe Igbokwe

My Lord, Why Not Close Down The Courts? By Abdulrazaq O. Hamzat

Dear Sir,
My name is Abdulrazaq O Hamzat, an applicant in a Fundamental Human Rights suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division. My colleagues and I at the Congress Of NOUN Students (CONS) ran to court in 2015 to search for justice, when we were unjustly violated and rusticated by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for exercising our rights to freedom of Association and Expression as contained in Sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended).
My Lord, we had thought that the court, as they say, was the last hope of the common man. However, our experience since 2015 only tells us that the court is nothing other than a platform for the powerful to not only break the common man and ridicule him, but to also drain his resources. As a matter of fact, a court is the weapon of the highly placed people to permanently subjugate common man.
My Lord, since our matter first came up for hearing on 26th January 2016, it has been adjourned more than 10 times, all at the instance of either the Open University or the court itself. This was in spite the affidavit of urgency duly attached, signifying the urgency of the matter, not minding Article 36 (paragraph 1) of the 1999 Constitution which provides that every determination of civil right cases must be done within reasonable time. It’s almost 2 years my lord and the time is yet to be reasonable for judgment. The hearing is being started all over again.
May I inform my lord that between when we filed this suit and now, the University has held two convocations ceremonies and most surprisingly, the matter had also been reserved for judgment on two occasions, first on 18th April, 2016 and 26th January, 2017 and on both occasions, no judgment was ever delivered. This was due to application to “arrest judgment” filed by the University’s counsel.
On 26th January 2016, when students from all over the country were waiting for the final judgment for the second time, the judge, Hon C.M.A Olatoregun whose obvious intention was to protect the powerful over the weak did the unthinkable. She ruled in favor of NOUN application to “arrest the court’s judgment’’ under the guise of fair hearing.
My Lord, the same Open University that has done everything to frustrate judgment, that has often deliberately absented themselves from court, that has shown disregard for lay down procedures as contained in the provisions of Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009), that has knowingly or unknowingly filed wrong responses and outright lied before the court were granted favor of arresting judgment under the illusion of fair hearing. My Lord, who in this world is unaware that application to arrest judgment is unknown in Nigeria’s jurisprudence?
My Lord, can we say Justice Olatoregun is unaware that “arrest of judgment’’ is alien to Nigeria’s judicial system? Most definitely not my lord.
This application was deliberately initiated to waste our time, so we can either run out of resources to start the process afresh or to abandon the case altogether. It is a familiar tactics often used by management of Institutions to dissuade student leaders from protecting their lawful rights and interests, but unfortunately, through the help of the court.
My Lord, it is not hidden that should this matter be dragged on and left undecided till 100 years from today, NOUN suffers no damage whatsoever. As a matter of fact, this is what they desire and are set out to achieve. However, every single day that passes by without judgment being delivered takes away some parts of our lives, which can never be regained. Time is the most precious thing in this world my lord. It is more valuable than money. We can make more money, but we can’t make more time. And when the court is wasting our time, it is
wasting our lives. (May God forgive the court and its judges), but I doubt if he will ever do so. So, as the court continue to waste our time and resources on a suit, whose judgment should have been delivered almost a year ago, let it be known that the court is wasting away our lives and no remedy can ever compensate for our wasted lives. Nigerian courts, as it operates today do not uphold any law, neither do they do justice.
My Lord, we are not unaware that the court is not a place for justice, but more surprisingly is the fact that, it is also not a place for law, as obviously, judges are not guided by any known law. If a judge can rule in favor of an unknown application, in which the Supreme Court has consistently ruled against, that tells us that no law is binding.
With this ruling in favor of arrest of judgment, all we have done since 2015 has amounted to nothing. The unjust party is benefiting from their injustice through the help of the court, while we, the victims are still suffering from their act of impunity.
My Lord, students are being violated all across Nigerian institutions and student leaders are being rusticated for standing for their rights. In University of Lagos, Tai Solarin University, University of Port Harcourt etc, those violating students suffer no consequence for their abuses.
My Lord, can the court ever do justice? Even if we start the process over again and the judgment is eventually delivered, probably after another year, can we call that justice?
My Lord, what is the essence of justice, if it doesn’t remedy injustice? What is the essence of judgment, if the powerful can arrest it? What is the essence of court, if it only benefits the rich?
May I also inform my lord that, the lawsuit between NOUN Law graduates and Council of Legal Education, NOUN, NUC and Office of Attorney General of the federation whose final judgment had been reserved for 27th January 2017 was also not delivered. The presiding judge, Hon. B.O Quadri was suddenly transferred from Port Harcourt to Abuja few days to the judgment without notifying the students.
My Lord, the transferred judge is at liberty to personally deliver judgment on concluded matters or transfer case files to his successor to read the judgment, but none of this happened. As the judgment was not delivered as scheduled, it implies that the students who submitted to the legal system may perpetually be kept in the court with different technicalities.
My Lord, the dangerous implication is that having waited patiently since 2015 in the court and finally got the judgment but was technically quashed for whatever reasons, the new judge may restart the case afresh which may linger again as evident in our judicial system.
What message is the court sending out to Open University students, who have maintained the culture of not taking laws into their hands? Two lawsuits file since 2015 by students of NOUN lasted till date. Two judgments reserved for 26th and 27th January 2017 were both refused to be delivered.
My Lord, should NOUN students, like others in conventional Universities begin to explore other means of seeking justice, like protest and violence, don’t you see the possibility of chaos
considering our large population and wide spread across the country?
My Lord, patriots often defend the law, as contained in the Constitution despite knowing the authorities have power to hurt them, but they persevere for the good of the society and are aware that, though the authorities might be against them, the law is always behind them.
If the constitution no longer have meaning like it is proving to be in Nigerian courts, if courts can no longer defend the law, if judges are now in court to help the unjust benefit from their injustice, let the court come out and say so publicly, so that patriots can no longer risk their lives under the guise of defending their rights in accordance with law.
My Lord, if the court can no longer make pronouncement in defense of law, if they have resolved to aid injustice perpetrated by those in authority against helpless students, let it be known that whatever the students do in their moments of frustration is solely to be blamed on the court.
My Lord, to demonstrate the importance of Fundamental Human Rights, it takes just 7 working days for a United States Federal judge, James Robert to stop the travel ban executive order made by the new U.S President. While the U.S authorities wanted to delay the judgment, the court knew it would amount to injustice to delay a Fundamental Human Rights suit filed by citizens.
My Lord, the essence of the judiciary is to check the excesses of other arms of government, not to aid or join them in those excesses.

In conclusion my Lord, I will end this letter by telling you a story.
A Nigerian family relocated from Germany back to Nigeria few years ago. They enrolled their 6 year old daughter in a private school in Kwara State, Nigeria. In her first day in school, the primary 2 pupil saw the class teacher violate a pupil. She couldn’t watch without taking a step to correct it. She walked into the proprietor’s office to register her complain and demanded that the teacher be sacked with immediate effect. The proprietor summoned the teacher and after confirming her guilt, she was cautioned and transferred to another class.
When the 6 year old girl’s mother came to pick her at closing hour, she was informed about what her daughter had done that day. The mother asked the girl, why did you report your class teacher to the proprietor? The little girl responded with enthusiasm that the teacher abused a classmate and that she reported to the proprietor for the teacher to be sacked.
My Lord, to protect human rights violation, perpetrators must not be allowed to benefit from their abuses. Even children in civilized nations fight for their rights, but here in our country, the court’s protection of the powerful has made Nigerians docile in terms of standing for their rights.
My Lord, why not close the courts, if they cannot uphold Nigeria’s constitution in the interest of all Nigerians?
Yours Sincerely,
Abdulrazaq O Hamzat

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Think of What It’d Be Like to Have Multiple Chances.in Life

Imagine if life were like a movie.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

OOCORP News: Senate Committee to hold public hearing on NOUN Ac...

OOCORP News: Senate Committee to hold public hearing on NOUN Ac...: Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions will hold a public hearing on the National Open University Bill on Monday, January 16. This i...

Born Before Computer (BBC) Virus Afflicting The Authorities And Government Agencies In Nigeria

In the concluding part of its campaign against what it termed injustice against two major institutions in the country, and institutional graft, the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety), on Wednesday, highlighted what it called persecution of the law graduates and the law faculty of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) by the Council for Legal Education.

Intersociety observed in a statement issued by its Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, and Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Programme, Barr. Obianuju Joy Igboeli, that NOUN has also undergone similar persecution in recent past in the hands of a number of government oversight or regulatory bodies including the National Universities Commission (NUC), leading to its triumphant victory against the NUC and others after resilient struggle.

“NOUN, apart from being one of the existing 28 Federal Universities in Nigeria accredited by the NUC, offering courses and programs recognised and accredited by the NUC; is a unique or specialist University with a mixture of student-facilitator/lecturer (face-to-face) and distance learning built on advanced Information Communication Technology (ICT). That is to say that NOUN is not an analogue University but an ICT powered or digital University. It is also an integral part of the global open Universities’ system and one of over 60 accredited and recognised open Universities in the world. NOUN shares and exchanges researches and publications with other open universities including the UK Open University.) Intersociety pointed out.

While tracing the roots of NOUN, the group recalls that like other open universities including the UK Open University (one of the best ten Universities in the world), was originally created as “typewriter and correspondence or post office communication universities”, but has undergone series of restructuring and fully integrated into ICT powered Global Information and Communication System, otherwise called “Global Village” or “ICT Revolution”.

The phrase “Global Village”, in turn, Intersociety also pointed me out in a long historical background, “originated from the concept of ‘New World’ developed in the 1500s during expeditions or territorial discoveries by the now western world. The areas named ‘New World’ are now called ‘the Americas’ (North America, South America and the USA). The concept of ‘Global Village’ was coined and invented by a Briton named, Marshal McLuhan in the 1500s, who defined ‘Global Village’ as ‘a village cleared by a high level of information technology’. In 1989, a period of over 480 years after it was invented, and on the eve of collapse of the cold war, the phrase: ‘global village’ was dusted up, operationally defined and adopted as a global language and use by the United Nations.”

According to the group, the role of institutional graft as one of the two deadly viruses massively deployed in the ongoing persecution of NOUN’s law faculty and its graduates is clearly understandable in that NOUN is not an extortionist University capable of amassing tens or hundreds of millions of naira for the purpose of ‘meeting the standards and specifications’ of the likes of Council for Legal Education. Till date, we are not aware of any service or approval in any government institution in Nigeria that can be obtained on merit without “rubbing the palms of the relevant personnel or officials.”

“Nigerians and members of the international community are at this juncture invited to take a clinical and critical look at the activities of officers of the Nigerian security forces on Nigerian roads particularly the Nigeria Police Force and the Custom Service. As a matter of fact, the best way to assess Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption policy is to visit Nigeria roads and observe roadblocks manned by the Nigeria Police Force and others. That is to say that the level of extortion and other corrupt conducts going on at the roadblocks across Nigeria is shocking and alarming.

“In all these, the authorities of the Council for Legal Education cannot extricate themselves from the ravaging institutional virus under complaint. We are aware that accreditation of courses and professional programmes by the likes of NUC and the Council for Legal Education are very capital intensive in Nigeria. The question now is: what is responsible for ‘capital intensive’ nature of accrediting these courses and professional programmes in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions? The express answer to it is institutional graft! Also why should a legal practitioner in Nigeria spend through his or her nose to be made a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN? The answer, too, is institutional graft!

“In the 2012/13 academic session, Intersociety recalls,  law undergraduates of the NOUN participated in the National Mute Court Competition and emerged first out of other competitors from Law Faculties of 123  other accredited Universities; leading to their representation of Nigeria in the International Mute Court Competition in the USA. Many, if not most of the undergraduates of NOUN are holders of University degrees from other universities. They include lawyers, professors, engineers, Catholic Priests, Nuns and Sisters, Pentecostal Pastors, Anglican Priests, Muslim Clerics, leading Nollywood actors and actresses, human rights activists, journalists, judges and magistrates, doctorate and masters’ degree holders, senior security officers from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Police, Civil Defense Corps, Custom Service, Immigration Service, Prisons Service, Road Safety Corps; DSS, NIA, to mention but a few. NOUN is also responsible for the production of first indigenous Criminologists and Graduates of Security Studies in Nigeria.

“It, therefore, saddens our heart as why the public policy makers and regulators in Nigeria have virally chosen to always set the country backward and refused to grow and change. Why on earth should accreditations and recognitions be given by the likes of NUC and Council for Legal Education to courses and professional programmes in other Universities in Nigeria including ‘bushy Universities and glorified secondary schools’, while a specialist and ICT powered University like NOUN is deliberately schemed out?

“NOUN, on the other hand, is also victimised by BBC (born before computer) virus afflicting the headship or authorities of the LCE and others. It is important to state here that jurisprudence and legal practice in Nigeria have remained locomotive and typewriter based. Electronic Jurisprudence and ICT powered legal practice have eluded Nigeria. As we speak, a wide debate is ongoing in the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) between born before computer lawyers and ICT age and compliant lawyers whether or not to use electronic voting method in its forthcoming 2016 NBA general elections or not.

“The age-going injustice against officers of the Nigerian Traffic Warden Service (TWS) is another area worth mentioning. The TWS has institutionally been enslaved by successive authorities of the Nigeria Police Force since 1975. Through Decree No.21 of 1975, the TWS was annexed and colonised by the NPF till date and incorporated into the NPF Act & Regulations. The worse of it all is code and administrative ranking and promotion stagnancy whereby a TWS officer can never rise in rank statutorily beyond equivalent of Police Inspector or Senior Traffic Warder, whereas his or her course-mate in the NPF can rise to the rank of Commissioner or even IGP. Officers of the TWS, till date, are not allowed headship of the Police Traffic Warden department. A fire-brigade approach was made in 2002 by federal authorities whereby two ranks of Assistant Superintendent of Traffic (AST) and Deputy Superintendent of Traffic (DST) were added, yet the age-long injustice has remained unaddressed.
“We conclusively say: enough of this chronic institutional backwardness, injustice and persecution in Nigeria by public policy regulators! The authorities of the Council for Legal Education and the NUC must rid themselves of obvious BBC virus and embrace ICT revolution. As a matter of fact, they must go digital!”

Source News Express