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Nigerian
News

Atsar Terver
Public affairs Commentator

Port Harcourt
Rivers, Nigeria

Atsar Terver Atsar Terver's ECHOES
Commentary on burning public issues
  • Judging The Judges
    by Atsar Terver
    October 12, 2016
    There is a hurricane blowing across the nation, it is blowing hot with blazes of hunger and pain, glares of uncertainty, casting a hazy cloud on the horizon, eliciting sighs of despair among the people and a cacophony of discordant tunes from the leadership. Things are falling apart and the center cannot hold (W. B. Yeats). The country has been officially declared to be in a recession. For the Nigerian in the street, ‘recession’ is just, like the Finance Minister said, a word; an essentially meaningless word, because they don’t understand it. That is the job of professional economists and financial analysts. For them, what they know is that ‘things are hard’ and ‘there is no money’ NigerianNews Special


 

  • Before We Import Brazillian Grass
    by Atsar Terver
    September 12, 2016
    Over 20 years ago, a distant cousin graduated from university with a degree in English Language. The unemployment situation in the country then was not as bad as it has degenerated today, but it was still difficult to secure a job. My uncle, his father, had suggested that he travel to Makurdi to meet with the then Deputy Governor under the then military administration who was also a relation, to help the young graduate secure a job with the state civil service. NigerianNews Special

  • Lessons from Jonathan's defeat.
    by Atsar Terver
    May 06, 2015
    The defeat of Jonathan in the last Presidential election has broken some political myths in Nigeria and also so radically redefined the game of power succession; such that political analysts and social scientists will need to review their theories or formulate completely new ones in order to accurately interpret political developments or predict future trends. NigerianNews Special

  • Jonathan:The caged Zookeeper.
    by Atsar Terver
    April 20, 2015
    A New season has emerged in the Nigerian political landscape. It is the season of losers losing elections gallantly and reaching out to congratulate their opponents-the winners. It all started with the unexpected gesture of the President who did not even wait for the final announcement of the results of the Presidential polls to make the now historic call to General Mohammadu Buhari conceding defeat and also congratulating him for the unprecedented victory. For this singular act, the President has gotten accolades from far and near. Some even toyed with the idea that the Mo Ibrahim prize or even the Nobel peace prize to be bestowed on him. It seems like the Nigerian's Standard and expectation are so low (or rather they have been forced to lower the bar so low) that it doesn't take extraordinary measures to excite them. NigerianNews Special

  • Hurry Up Buhari.
    by Atsar Terver
    April 06, 2015
    While the 2015 Presidential Election in Nigeria was ongoing, from the information that was streaming on social media, it was clear where the pendulum would swing between the (then) opposition APC and the ruling PDP. I had postulated two options before the incumbent president. The first option was for him to concede defeat and congratulate the obvious choice of the people, General Muhammadu Buhari. This option  seemed so unlikely in view of the desperation he had demonstrated in the run up to the election. The second which appeared likely by my estimation,  was for him to attempt, by any means possible, using the power of incumbency at his disposal, to turn the results to his favour or truncate the process and in so doing, set Nigeria on fire. NigerianNews Special

  • Impeachments: A new Terrorist on the Prowl
    by Atsar Terver
    July 31, 2014
    When former President Olusegun Obasanjo, then the President of Nigeria began to use impeachment as a tool of coercion to bully politically antagonistic Governors into loyalty to him and the PDP, some of us cried foul. Our position then was that, impeachment even though constitutional as a means to check the executive from grossly violation the constitution under the cover of immunity, should not be converted into a witch-hunting tool by tyrannical leaders with zero tolerance for plurality of political opinion. NigerianNews Special

  • Benue Under Siege
    by Atsar Terver
    March 18, 2014
    There have been persistent unprovoked attacks by suspected Fulani Herdsmen on several communities in Benue State, an act which has been going on Since 2009, and becoming more frequent and deadly in the last few months; leading to the sacking of several entire communities, brutal killing, psychological torture, molestation and displacement of thousands of Benue indigenes from their ancestral homelands, making them refugees in their own country. Even the ancestral home of the paramount ruler, the Tor Tiv who is the chairman of the Benue State Traditional Council, has not been spared in the attacks. These attacks appear to be a coordinated plan to overrun the Middle Belt and other parts of Nigeria. NigerianNews Special

  • SOS to Aviation Minister: Call Medview to order
    by Atsar Terver
    October 15, 2013
    The Minister for Aviation needs to hear this.
    It is 12:30am and some passengers are still at the PHC international Airport waiting to catch a flight to Lagos that was scheduled for 7.pm.It was first shifted to 9.30pm and then to 10pm. NigerianNews Special


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  • Obasanjo: The Curse That Jinxed Nigeria.
    by Atsar Terver
    August 16, 2013
    Old age may come with wisdom but for Obasanjo the former President of Nigeria, it appears to be coming upon him with folly. Whereas words from elder statesmen ought to bring succor and hope to the younger generation, Obasanjo’s unguarded statements are often rather hurtful and ultimately a sad reminder to us of the mistake the nation made in making him a civilian President in 1999. NigerianNews Special


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  • Okupe: When Silence is Better
    by Atsar Terver
    July 26, 2013
    With their claim that the crisis in Rivers State and The NGF has no negative effect on democracy, the Jonathan administration has once again clearly demonstrated that they do not know what democracy is all about. If they did, they would have known that where a minority rules the majority, then democracy is non-existent.  If they truly don’t understand that 19 is greater than 16 and 27 is greater than 5 in a democracy, and that foisting such absurdity as they did in supporting Jang over Amaechi , on the polity is anti-democratic then one wonders what their idea of democracy is. NigerianNews Special


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  • Jonathan’s Book of Lies
    by Atsar Terver
    July 01, 2013
    The Jonathan government no doubt has a myriad of problems to grapple with ranging from insecurity, Power shortages, dilapidated infrastructure, decline in educational standards, unemployment, to corruption. It should be noted however that these are problems that governments all over the world have to solve. Indeed, the reason Governments exists ab initio is to provide solutions to these problems or in the least create an enabling environment to enable the citizens solve them. NigerianNews Special


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  • Much Ado About Tinted Glasses
    by Atsar Terver
    April 22, 2013
    The Police in Nigeria have achieved a sinister notoriety of always being in the news exclusively for the wrong reasons. It is more common to read that the Police have released accidental bullets on innocent citizens than that they have arrested and successfully prosecuted a notorious criminal. It appears to be a more appealing task to the police to shoot live bullets at peaceful, unarmed citizens in time of public protest than to provide protection to them as is expected in societies where the people are held supreme. The only time police would provide cover to citizens on a public protest is when the crowd is hired by the President or his Wife to protest in support of some silly  idea like the proposed 4billion Naira African First Ladies  Mission Center in Abuja or to beg the President to contest election. NigerianNews Special


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  • Pardoning Corruption
    by Atsar Terver
    March 18, 2013
    The granting of state pardon by President Jonathan  to ex-convict DSP Alamyesiagha, and a host of other Nigerians convicted of various offences in the past has once again  brought to the fore the penchant for this government for the absurd. This government loves absurdity and President Jonathan himself is absurdity personified. How this president manages to come up with several silly actions in quick succession is something psychologists may need to study. The outcome of their study could help Nigerians in the future to avoid persons with certain personality traits when choosing their leaders. NigerianNews Special


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  • Good Governance Tour: Matters Arising.
    by Atsar Terver
    February 28, 2013
    The current political leadership in Nigeria may not be very good at breeding creative ideas that will make this Nation a better place to live but they are extremely good at springing up all manners of absurdities. When you think they have exhausted their tactics then there emerges a record breaker to rubbish what his predecessors have achieved in the pursuit of vanity. The latest addition to the feathers of this administration’s records of narcissism is the so-called ‘Good Governance Tour’ being conducted by the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku NigerianNews Special


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  • Yesterday’s Hypocrites and Yesterday’s Men of Tomorrow
    by Atsar Terver
    February 18, 2013
    In a recent article, presidential media aide, Reuben Abati made what I could call a passionate appeal for those he called ‘yesterday’s men’ to stay off ‘their’ back. ‘Their’ here refers to ‘Today’s Men’. Today’s men can readily be interpreted to mean the current President’s men (and women) who constitute his government. Simply put, Abati was trying to pass the obvious message to ex-government officials; ‘you had your turn; this is our turn, allow us to also have our bite’.NigerianNews Special


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  • Unhappy New Year Nigeria!
    by Atsar Terver
    January 01, 2013
    The title of this article may sound melancholic or sadistic but nothing captures the state of the nation better. From 1st January 2012 when Nigerians woke up to the rude shock of an baseless new year day petrol price hike by the government of Goodluck Jonathan, twelve months of excruciating poverty has rolled by; twelve months filled with violence, pain, death and darkness. It has been twelve months of directionless spending, barefaced stealing of public wealth, purposeless leadership, moral decadence and decay in the standard of governance. NigerianNews Special


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  • The Aluu-4: I Weep for Nigeria.
    by Atsar Terver
    October 09, 2012
    Nigerians woke up penultimate Friday to the rude shock of some, hearty, healthy, and promising young men, four of them, students of an Ivory Tower, the University of Port Harcourt, cut down in their prime, not by natural or accidental death, but by the cold, inhuman, savagery hands of some blood-thirsty demons in human skin! NigerianNews Special


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  • Nigeria on Reverse Transformation
    by Atsar Terver
    October 04, 2012
    Imagine being the President of a country where the people expect nothing and get nothing from you. Where you can make many different and contradictory speeches and get away with all of them. Where you can make 100 promises and fulfill none and no one will hold you to account. Imagine leading a country where you don’t have to worry about the security of the people because any citizen who deems his life to be important should get a private security, while communities should organize vigilante groups, and where they cannot afford to do so, members of that community could take turns to keep watch overnight in their neighborhood. If you happen to be the President of such a country, what else would you use your idle brain and time to do than to imagine vain things, do vain things and practically become hallucinated? NigerianNews Special


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  • Nigeria at 52: A People Under Siege
    by Atsar Terver
    September 19, 2012
    Nigerians are living under a siege. We have been besieged from all corners by a compendium of forces that appear to have entered into a covenant, the sole objective of which is to ensure we live a miserable life. The conspiracy is between the Nigerian government (her agents) on one hand and Militant groups, as well as nature on the other. These three have built a water tight line of attack against the Nigerian citizen that leaves no room for escape. If you manage to survive Government brutality which comes in various shades like corruption, leading to denial of basic minimum infrastructure for the well being to the common man, deliberate negligence of duty and direct  acts of violence against the people, you will come face to face with organized criminal, ethnic, political and religious gangs who come to kill, steal and to destroy. And if you escape these, you are sure to face a natural disaster during which the government, again, will look the other way to enable nature complete what it (the government) started, that is, to finish you! NigerianNews Special


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  • Reuben Abati and the President’s Menu
    by Atsar Terver
    August 28, 2012
    Speculations that Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Reuben Abati may have been consigned to the background with the arrival of a new attack-dog Dr.Doyin Okupe to the Villa are becoming real and confirmed with the recent outburst from Abati himself which point to the fact that indeed the guy has been re-assigned to do menial jobs in the President’s Kitchen. I think Abati has been technically crippled and put under rehabilitation. I can imagine he spends quite some time in the dining section of the Presidential mansion like the crippled Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan who was rehabilitated by David in 2.Samuel 9:6-7. NigerianNews Special


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  • Why The Orchestrated Falsehood Against NEXIM Bank MD Must Stop!
    by Atsar Terver
    July 24, 2012
    My attention has been drawn to the laughable, fictitious and desperate sponsored report in the National Daily of 9th July 2012 targeted at the person of the Managing Director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank), Mr. Roberts Orya. Among several spurious claims, the report alleges that the dismissed NSA uncovered massive losses in the Bank's operations which were craftily covered up to reflect profit as declared in the Bank's 2010 Annual Report; and further speculates that the Bank gave out loans to shadow clients and cronies without applications and other such fallacies!. NigerianNews Special


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  • Ghana Has Gone; Nigeria Must Go!
    by Atsar Terver
    July 10, 2012
    A new brand of luggage bag is about to hit the market stands in Ghana. It will sell under the trade name ‘Nigeria Must Go’. The first batch of users who would test the effectiveness of these bags will be Nigerians in Ghana. These are Nigerians who have been given a quit notice, rightly or wrongly, by their host, necessitating their sudden but compulsory return to their fatherland, and thus creating the demand for an emergency travel bag. NigerianNews Special


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  • Mrs. Johnson’s Gaffe on President Jonathan
    by Atsar Terver
    April 23, 2012
    One of the biggest jokes of the year is the recent publication by Times Magazine in which Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was named among the 100 most influential persons in the world. One thing I must admit upfront is that being, the President over a country of over 160million people, who are directly affected by decisions taken by him and Nigeria being an oil producing country whose policies affect the global energy market, every Nigerian President automatically qualifies to be named an influential person. But that is just where Jonathan’s qualification ends. Any further criteria that relates to leadership performance, Integrity, anti-corruption, good governance, transparency, promotion of social welfare and respect for human rights and the rule of law must be watered down below the barest minimum standards for him to qualify NigerianNews Special


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  • On The Way To Aburi: A Journey To The Ghanaian Countryside
    by Atsar Terver
    March 16, 2012
    We set out on Kumasi expressway from Accra township at about half past ten in the morning after a long and winding drive through the narrow streets of the central market area of Mokola, a busy business district where almost anything under the sun is sold. The human traffic on the street far overwhelmed the cars for which it is meant. Car horns blared almost continuously from impatient drivers and an insult flew from the driver’s window every now or then either against a fellow driver or the trespassing traders. Mokola reminds one of Broad Street in Lagos Island or of the former days of Oshodi when the Motorway was converted into a huge market square where traders either hawked their goods or spread them on the floor while chanting their marketing jingles. NigerianNews Special


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  • What Manner of Transformation?
    by Atsar Terver
    February 09, 2012
    One of the oddest expressions on the mouth of the Goodluck Jonathan Administration is ‘Transformational Agenda’. Listening to the President and his aide’s recite this two-word phrase leaves one with a profound sense of their credulity being exploited in the same manner as when one pisses on your head and tells you it’s raining. Nothing in the body language, actions and inactions of the government points to a genuine desire to transform anything from the economy, education, security, to the fight against corruption. NigerianNews Special


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  • We Must Beg the President
    by Atsar Terver
    January 17, 2012
    If you need anything from a President Jonathan there is something you must know how to do very well. Begging! The man loves to be begged. Begging moves the body, soul and spirit of the president faster than strikes and street protests. This is one lesson ASUU has not learnt and hence their prolonged strike to which the man has not given them as much as a glance. NigerianNews Special


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  • This Fresh Air Stinks.
    by Atsar Terver
    January 08, 2012
    If anyone still doubts the insensitivity of President Goodluck Jonathan to the suffering and yearnings of the Nigerian masses after the 1st January hike in PMS  price then tonight's national broadcast should erase such doubts. The President referred to the escalating violence in the north as mere security challenges while he casually alluded to planned protesters as mischief makers NigerianNews Special


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  • Monkeying Around the Villa
    by Atsar Terver
    January 06, 2012
    When I first voiced my opposition to the candidacy of Goodluck Jonathan for last year’s presidential election, one of the reasons I put forward was that Jonathan did not demonstrate sincerity or honesty in his handling of the Zoning Formula of his party. His manipulation of party leadership and denial of the existence of an agreement to which he was a signatory just to further his ambition clearly portrayed him as a man who could not be trusted. I argued that it was a dangerous gamble to place the destiny of 150million Nigerians in the hands of an opportunist who could not be taken by his words. NigerianNews Special


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  • Why Nigerians Should Stop Praying
    by Atsar Terver
    December 21, 2011
    Recently I had a squabble with a friend. He is a businessman and a Christian leader. We were held up inside a taxi in a nasty traffic snarl on our way from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja as we sought to catch up on an appointment in the Central Business District of the capital city. The argument started when he made a remark about Nigeria’s future being great! I had asked him why he believed Nigeria will become great but was annoyed at the simplistic answer he gave me.  He said that since Christians were praying for Nigeria God will one day give us a good leader. NigerianNews Special


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  • Fuel Subsidy: This Pot Is Leaking
    by Atsar Terver
    October 14, 2011
    The real tragedy of our nation is that those trusted with responsibilities for governance are so despicably clueless on the expectations and demands of their job. Going by the shallow and vague reasons canvassed by Diezani for the planned removal of the so-called fuel subsidy it would appear that her most potent asset might just be a fine face! NigerianNews Special


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  • Six-Year Single Term Proposal is a Charade
    by Atsar Terver
    August 17, 2011
    Being one of the most ardent non-supporters of a Jonathan Presidency for reasons I did not fail to elucidate in my previous writings before the 2011 general elections, I had planned to remain silent for a while when he finally clinched victory in an election that has been (doubtfully) christened ‘free and fair’. My decision was for two reasons; one was to give him a chance to prove me wrong on most of my gloomy predictions about his performance. The second is related to the first; that is not to give the impression that my opposition to his presidency is just for the sake of it! NigerianNews Special


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  • On Jonathan’s Divisive Victory
    by Atsar Terver
    April 21, 2011
    The 2011 Presidential election has come and gone, but like a Tsunami that leaves rubbles in its trail, the nation will have to grapple with the aftermath for a while. The country needs some tremendous capacity to absorb political shockwaves generated by this election. NigerianNews Special


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  • Why Jega May Fail.
    by Atsar Terver
    November 03, 2010
    The appointment of Prof. Atahiru Jega as the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has been widely acclaimed as putting a round peg in a round hole. It is one of the rare appointments to be commended by the civil society, prodemocracy activists, human rights groups as well as even the opposition.NigerianNews Special


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  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars.
    by Atsar Terver
    September 02, 2010
    The first time I saw a helicopter was in 1979. As a village boy, together with my primary school mates, we had gathered in the open field of the LGEA School Ikpapam on that sunny afternoon to witness the arrival of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the then Presidential candidate of the UPN. Our enthusiasm was not as much about Awolowo as it was for the mode of his coming.NigerianNews Special


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  • This House Has Fallen.
    by Atsar Terver
    June 28, 2010
    Almost three years after Hon. Aminu Safana was ‘killed’ right inside the chambers of the lower house of the Nigerian Legislature, a repeat of the ugly incident was nearly witnessed in the House Tuesday when attempts were made to forcefully remove some members purportedly suspended from the House because they attempted to commence impeachment proceedings against the Speaker. Luckily no one died this time but one is reported to have left with a broken arm.NigerianNews Special


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  • The Pitfalls of Anti-Zoning Argument
    by Atsar Terver
    June 15, 2010
    Perhaps one of the hottest topics for political discourse in Nigeria today is the Zoning Formula which allows for the rotation of the Presidency between the Northern and Southern divides of the country. The death of President Yar’Adua and the consequent ascension to power of his erstwhile Vice, Goodluck Jonathan has suddenly awakened some political analysts to the ‘unconstitionality’ of the Zoning arrangement.NigerianNews Special


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  • Jonathan is still the ‘Vice President’.
    by Atsar Terver
    March 17, 2010
    I am a lone voice that has been unable to see the ‘emergence’ of Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President as being equivalent to a change in government. Perhaps there could be others who feel this way but are afraid of being labelled with unprintable names by a largely opportunistic but extremely vociferous mob overtaken by some ecstatic, even sardonic euphoria of seeing a deputy upstage his boss.NigerianNews Special


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  • The Enemies of Electoral Reform and El-Rufai’s Silly Outburst.
    by Atsar Terver
    June 09, 2009
    When former President Obasanjo recently declared in his characteristically reckless manner that he was not aware of any ongoing electoral reforms in the country, not many may have read the evil intentions pregnant in those words. Coming at a time the Uwais Report on Electoral Reforms was being widely debated by the public, such a declaration from a former President meant either of two things, namely that he was truly ignorant of political happenings around him or that he was just expressing cynical apathy. The later seems more plausible for a former head of state that he is.  NigerianNews Special


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  • Obama Not a Snub.
    by Atsar Terver
    May 21, 2009
    Efforts have been made by many Nigerians to interpret the planned visit to Ghana by American President Barack Obama as a snub on Nigeria for failing to demonstrate commitment to free and fair election-a feat which Ghana has managed to achieve in three consecutive times since Jerry Rawlling’s revolution. NigerianNews Special