Nigerian Domestic Broadcasting Media Monitoring Report November 22, 2010 – November 29, 2010 Collin Potter-Bonar, MIGS Reporter for Nigeria GOVERNMENT-OWNED MEDIA (This Day website, state-owned daily newspaper, November 23, 2010, 0:00 GMT, in English) “2 Arrested Over New Arms’ Find” The State Security Service (SSS) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have discovered 1,431 arms in a container in the Tin Can Island, Apapa, Lagos. As with earlier cases, the container-load of weapons was imported. The container, which also housed two automobiles and some other products, had passed through a number of security checkpoints before its discovery. This find comes just over one month after a similar seizure that involved the discovery of 13 containers of arms and ammunition. Speculation runs rampant that politicians, seeking to coerce and manipulate voters in advance of the 2011 polls, have compromised the port‟s security. The container originated from Marine, Texas, United States of America. The American exporters have been arrested. (This Day website, state-owned daily newspaper, November 24, 2010, 0:00 GMT, in English) “Cocaine, NDLEA Nabs South African, NAHCO Official” National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officials have arrested a South Africa Airlines manager and a Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) baggage officer in connection with smuggling 500 milligrams of cocaine, which was, allegedly, part of a plan to import 2 kilograms. NDLEA has seized the 2kg as well. The drug-ring, which smuggled drugs from Brazil, was run out of the Mutala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. The suspects are believed to have ties to Brazilian traffickers. The drugs were concealed in the metal handles of luggage NDELA CEO, Mr. Ahmadu Giade, described the suspects‟ compartment as national sabotage and promised that they would be persecuted and made models of. (This Day website, state-owned daily newspaper, November 28, 2010, 0:00 GMT, in English) “Federal Government to Increase Power Generation by 978MW by May 2011” The Federal Government has said that the ongoing renovations of five of the nation‟s power plants would increase Nigeria‟s power output by 978 megawatts by May 2011. Last Thursday, the Federal Government announced that national power generation had reached 3,000 megawatts. The five power stations are: Kainji, Geregu, Sapele, Delta and Egbin. (This Day website, state-owned daily newspaper, November 28, 2010, 0:00 GMT, in English) “Brown Seeks $100 Billion Special Fund for Africa; Nigeria to Hit Double-Digit Growth by 2014” Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has argued that a $100 billion dollar fund should be set up to assist African countries in the development of infrastructure (roads, power and transport) and to thereby accelerate growth. He also suggested that Nigeria‟s potential will remain untapped without such a fund. While he said that this money should be guaranteed to governments, he stressed the value of regional cooperation. He also said the funds should be distributed in bonds to Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives. These statements came in the wake of Nigeria‟s Central Bank (CBN) estimates that the Nigerian government will benefit from double-digit growth by 2014. Brown said that inadequate infrastructure will frustrate these estimates. Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chairman has asked Nigeria to increase education funding and to raise education standards; and to improve the healthcare system and to thereby reduce the infant and maternal mortality rates. Nigeria‟s Minister of State for Information and Communications, Mr. Labaran Maku, said that Nigeria has made a lot of progress and that the Federal Government is presently working to tackle the problems facing Nigerian infrastructure. PRIVATELY-OWNED MEDIA (Daily Trust website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Abuja, November 22, 2010, 3:45 GMT, in English) “Wild Polio Virus Found in Borno” Over the weekend, the World Health Organization representative for Borno State, Dr. Banda Richard, announced that there has been a wild polio outbreak in the Ummarari area of Maidguri, Borno State – an outbreak that was caused in by the fact that children under five years of age remain un-immunized. Apparently the polio outbreak was discovered by health ministry‟s immunization officials. (Daily Trust website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Abuja, November 23, 2010, 23:00 GMT, in English) “The Focus Should Be on a Good Leader, Not Sectionalism Jonathan” As Alhaji Atiku Abubakar emerges as the Northern consensus PDP candidate, President Jonathan reiterated his commitment to unify the Nigerian people under the leadership of his campaign, suggesting that Nigerian‟s distinguish between „good‟ and „bad‟ instead of „north‟ and „south‟ as they head to the polls. Because Abubakar has emerged as the Northern consensus candidate, President Jonathan has cancelled a meeting planned last week that would have had him meet with four contenders for the coveted consensus candidate position. Instead, the president said that he would meet with Abubakar in the near future. (The Guardian website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Lagos, November 22, 2010, 23:00 GMT, in English) “London Court Jails Ibori’s Wife for Money Laundering; Remands Lawyer in Custody” Yesterday, Theresa Nkoyo, the wife of former Delta State Governor James Ibori, and Bhadresh Gohil, an Imbori lawyer, were sentenced to five years in prison after they were charged with money laundering in a London court. Ibori‟s sister and James Ibori‟s mistress were also sentenced in connection with the charges. On November 2, 2010, Nkoyo, who filed for divorce in 2003, implicated her husband while she was testifying on the case. In her testimony she outlined the sources of her husband‟s fortune, suggesting that the Governor benefited from consulting contracts before he served as the Delta State Premier. She also attested to the fact that Ibori was tremendously secretive – she only found out that Ibori‟s mistress had birthed him a son when she returned to Nigeria for a funeral in 2004. Former Governor Ibori is presently hiding out in Dubai and working to fight extradition to the UK, where he faces three counts related to theft and money laundering during his tenure as Governor. (The Guardian website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Lagos, November 23, 2010, 23:00 GMT, in English) “Attack on Escravos Gas Pipeline May Cut Power Supply by 1,320 mw, HGC To Expand Transmission Network Across Nigeria” According to Egbin Power Station and the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company, the Niger Delta militants attack on the Escravos pipeline may have a deleterious impact on the nation‟s power supply, since the Egbin Power Station has, at least temporarily, lost access to the pipeline‟s resources. The Egbin Power Station is the nation‟s largest power station and its inability to generate power has reduced the grid‟s capacity by 1,320 megawatts of electricity. This is the second such attack this weekend. A pipeline leading into the Kaduna refinery was also attacked. (The Guardian website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Lagos, November 23, 2010, 23:00 GMT, in English) “Government Tackles Insecurity, Sets Up Anti-Terrorism, Kidnapping Brigade; Customs Finds Illegal Armoured Tanks, Weapons at Lagos Port; Gunmen Attack Vessel, Injure Four” Nigeria‟s federal government announced a series of new measure to counter terrorism, arms smuggling and kidnapping. The announcement, which was made on November 22, 2010, empowers the Army, with a newly founded brigade, to investigate terrorism suspects and kidnappers, while the Navy has been mandated to prevent the illegal importation of weapons. The brigade, which is commanded by the Nigerian Army‟s 82 nd Division, will concentrate its efforts in the South-East and South-South zones. Another effort to combat terrorism is a new Order of Battle (ORBAT), which is meant to combat the Boko Haram sect more effectively and which has proven effective for the Nigerian Navy. On November 22, 2010, the Navy announced that the new measures, which include augmented surveillance systems at national ports, have resulted in the seizure of, among other things, “a fleet of armoured trucks”, which were being imported through Tin Can Port, Lagos. Nigerian Naval intelligence led to the capture of two suspects associated with this most recent arms smuggling incident. In addition to the eight armoured vehicles (mentioned above), authorities discovered two pistols, bulletproof vests, 1,431 rounds of ammunition and other contraband. One of the suspects claims to be a member of the American Marines Corps. and claims that the equipment was to be used in the US. This most recent seizure follows a number of serious seizures, including the October 26, 2010 seizure of 13 containers of weapons that involved Iranian citizens. The incident has since been reported to the UN Sanctions Committee. The UN has established an eight-person panel to investigate. At the annual Army Staff Conference, President Goodluck Jonathan ordered the army to “do all within its capacity to partner will all security agencies to address the [security] challenges” and praised the Army for is security and peacekeeping operations. In response, Lt-Gen. Ihehirika told President Jonathan that the army would not interfere with political issues and would pursue the pressing security issues. (Daily Trust website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Abuja, November 23, 2010, 23:00 GMT, in English) “SSS, Riot Police Bar Journalists From Jonathan Campaign Inaugeration” On November 22, 2010, State Security Service (SSS) forces and the Mobile Police unit (MOPOL) were ordered to prevent three journalists from attending the inauguration of the North-Central zonal office of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign in Lafia. The newly-minted campaign committee had invited journalists to attend a briefing that was presented by Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam. Journalists were barred from the briefing room. (Daily Trust website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Abuja, November 23, 2010, 23:00 GMT, in English) “2011: UK Lawmakers Pledge Support for Opposition” While visiting Abuja, British MPs Steven Twigg of the Labour Party and Dunkan McFarline of the Consevative Party endorsed the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). The MPs – who were accompanied by the Head of Programmes for the Westminister Foundation for Democracy, Ms. Marin Narnor – were on a fact- finding mission to investigate Nigeria‟s electoral process and to ensure that there was a strong opposition, which, they say, will enhance Nigerian democracy. ANPP National Chairman, Dr. O. Onu, urged the visitors to avoid falling into inaccurate stereotypes and said: “Nigeria is a peaceful and beautiful nations” and said he would heed their advice to ensure that the election is fair and free. (Daily Trust website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Abuja, November 24, 2010, 23:00 GMT, in English) “Strike Paralyses State-Owned Media in Nigeria’s Kaduna” Following a three-day-old warning, all government-owned (both state and federal) media in Kaduna State was shutdown on November 23, 2010. The strike warning was issued by the Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Worker Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU). The strike followed a twenty-one day ultimatum. Strikers are upset that there demands for a new salary structure (the Media and Culture Workers Salary Structure) have gone unheeded. RAYYAWU said workers would not back-down and that the strike would continue. Nigerian media workers are the lowest-paid in all of Africa. (The Guardian website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Lagos, November 24, 2010, 23:00 GMT, in English) “Nigeria’s Bilateral Trade with China Hits 3.67 Billion Dollars in Six Months” According to China‟s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Dens Boqing, Nigeria‟s bilateral trade with China has reached $3.67 billion over the last six months. This increase represents a 300% increase since 2004. The announcement was made on November 23, 2010. Nigeria exported $702 million worth of goods, while China, the world‟s second largest economy, exported the remainder of the $3.67 billion. Nigeria is presently expected to become a major player in economic cooperation between China and Africa since Nigeria as become China‟s second largest trade partner in Africa and China becomes Nigeria‟s second largest trade partner. The trade favors industries like petroleum, agriculture, steel, iron and manufacturing, to name a few. (The Guardian website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Lagos, November 25, 2010, 23:00 GMT, in English) “Iranian Diplomat, Others Docked Over Arms Haul; Court Rejects Bail Bid by Okah, Others” On November 24, 2010, the Abuja Chief Magistrates Court rejected former Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) leader‟s bail application. Henry Okah and six others were implicated in the October 1, 2010 explosions that rocked the capital during Nigeria‟s 50th anniversary celebration. The State Security Service (SSS) is holding the suspects and inhibiting a trial while they investigate the incident. At the hearing, the SSS said that they are on the verge of concluding their investigation. Representatives of the suspects in this case argue that if the SSS is not prepared to arraign the suspects, they should be released. The magistrate declined and ordered another formal bail application. 2 suspects were released. Nigeria‟s Attorney-General has expressed interest in taking over Okah‟s trial. Along the same vein, the Chief Magistrate‟s Court in Abuja arraigned an Iranian diplomat along with three other suspects who are charged with importing 13 containers worth of arms and ammunitions between July 7 and July 15, 2010. The suspects are set to remain in SSS custody until January 31, 2011. The SSS has stated that the amount and quality of the weapons imported are such that they could have “exterminated an entire nation in three hours.” (Daily Trust website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Abuja, November 26, 2010, 2:50 GMT, in English) “Security Operatives Recover Weapons in Bauchi” Police have recovered weapons from a Boko Haram member‟s home in Mallam Goje, Bauchi State. According to witnesses, security forces recovered a sword, an AK47 and two explosives. The Police Commissioner, Mohammed Abdulkadir, said that the police were acting on information received suspects in the kidnapping of a high-level official‟s daughter, namely the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission. (Daily Trust website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Abuja, November 24, 2010, 3:01 GMT, in English) “Oil Exploration in Chad Bassin Not Politically Motivated - Oniwon” According to Mr Austen Oniwon, the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), President Jonathan‟s directive to the NNPC, which mandated that they resume exploration in the Lake Chad Bassin, is not politically motivated. Instead, government officials say that it is part of a program to fulfill the government‟s commitment to raising the nation‟s oil reserves. He said that Nigeria had suspended exploration there due to lower then expected commercial discoveries. However, they were renewing their efforts in the region because both Niger and Chad had been successful in discovering oil in the basin. Oniwon said the NNPC was using state of the art equipment that was environmentally friendly. (The Guardian website, privately-owned daily newspaper, based in Lagos, November 28, 2010, 23:00 GMT, in English) “National Assembly Gulps 25% of Nigeria’s Funds” According to Sanusi Lamido, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Government must focus its development and cut unnecessary expenditure. He claims that twenty-five percent of governmental revenue is spent on the National Assembly and that this represents unhealthy expenditure. Lamido suggested that, even despite the fiscal roadblock inherent in the National Assembly‟s expenditure, progress is being made, as can be represented in the establishment of a $1 billion dollar inter-generational Sovereign Wealth Fund as well as an infrastructure. In addition, he said that achieving the nation‟s 2020 goals are well in their grasp.