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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 11th Mar 2007, 19:22
  #1721 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: THE MANGROVE SWAMPS (RETIRED)
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Angry No Human Rights In Rivers State, Nigeria

As the situation in Nigeria seems to be continuing into total anarchy, it's a somber thought that the state which has one of the highest number of expatriate helicopter pilots is renowned for one of the worst instances of corruption and human rights abuses particularly the outrageous attack on a Human Rights Watch campaigner who criticised Rivers State legislators who had suddenly abandoned demands that Rivers State Governor Peter Odili account for the use of funds in the state's US$1.3 billion 2006 budget before submitting the 2007 budget for a vote. (Now I wonder where that could have gone? Let's see, AW139, $13 million; Embraer Legacy, $19 million; Dash 8-200......... ):

Nigerian authorities should immediately investigate and prosecute those responsible for a violent assault and death threats against a leading anticorruption campaigner in the oil-rich Niger Delta, Human Rights Watch said today.

The assault and threats against Anyakwee Nsirimovu, a human rights activist who is director of the Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL) in Port Harcourt, were most likely a reprisal for his outspoken criticism of corrupt state and local government officials in Rivers State, Human Rights Watch said.

On March 4, Nsirimovu was attacked in Port Harcourt while driving home from a meeting. Around 8 p.m., a gang of at least six young men armed with knives, clubs and other weapons attempted to stop his car. When Nsirimovu refused to stop, they attacked his car, smashing the rear windshield and causing other damage to the vehicle. Because the youths allowed numerous other vehicles to pass by without interference, it appeared that Nsirimovu was the objective of their assault. Nsirimovu escaped unharmed.

"The assault and death threats against one of Nigeria's leading human rights campaigners should be investigated immediately," said Peter Takirambudde, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "These attacks threaten free speech on key issues like governance and corruption during the critical pre-election period."

The assault followed a steady stream of at least 10 threatening phone calls to Nsirimovu over the past two weeks. The anonymous callers stated that they "knew what [he] is doing," told him to stop publicizing allegations of corruption against local officials and claimed that the work he has been engaged in is "not safe" for him. He has also received text messages attacking him for publicly denouncing the conduct of local government officials in the state. Minutes after Nsirimovu was attacked on Sunday evening, his wife received a phone call from an unidentified caller who simply stayed on the other end of the line in silence until she hung up.

In 1996, Human Rights Watch honored Anyakwee Nsirimovu at its annual human rights defenders' ceremony for his work in Nigeria.

Nsirimovu had filed reports with the Rivers State Commissioner of Police even before he was assaulted, complaining of the threatening phone calls and text messages he was receiving. He has since filed an additional report documenting the attack he suffered on Sunday night. But so far, police have failed to seriously investigate the matter and have not made any arrests.

"Federal and state authorities need to ensure that the police do not ignore this brazen attack," said Takirambudde.

Human Rights Watch believes these threats were in response to Nsirimovu's outspoken criticism of corruption in the Rivers State government and in the state's Local Government Councils in recent weeks. On February 12, for example, his organization issued a scathing public criticism of Rivers State legislators who had suddenly abandoned demands that Rivers State Governor Peter Odili account for the use of funds in the state's US$1.3 billion 2006 budget before submitting the 2007 budget for a vote.

On January 31, Human Rights Watch released a report on the human rights impact of local government corruption in Rivers State entitled "Chop Fine" (http://hrw.org/reports/2007/nigeria0107/). Nsirimovu, through IHRHL, has been active in promoting public awareness of the problems documented in the report. All of these actions drew considerable ire from state and local officials. They have responded to Human Rights Watch's report by claiming that it was false propaganda and that it was
>allegedly paid for by people the state's Commissioner for Local Government Affairs described as "faceless enemies of the Rivers State government."

Nsirimovu said that the assault and threats against him could lead other civil society groups to become wary of speaking out on the myriad human rights and governance issues facing Rivers State.

"It might get worse as the elections approach because I think the objective is to shut people up," Nsirimovu told Human Rights Watch.

In elections on April 14 and 21, Nigeria will vote for a new president, governors for the 36 states, and legislators at both the national and state levels. Elections in Rivers State in 2003 and 2004 were riddled with widespread fraud, violence and intimidation.
Friends still out there tell me that there has been little or no money spent on healthcare, education, water supply or roads in the last 4 years (maybe one reason the governor wants his expensive aviation toys ). I hear that Shell won't even let their staff there travel by road now as the security situation has become so bad.

If any readers of this site know someone who can help this brave man, Anyakwee Nsirimovu get his message across to more of the world, they should try and do so now before he is finally murdered. Democracy has supposedly come to Nigeria, but there has been no noticeable change and for many people their standard of living has actually declined, their personal security is considerably less and there sems no hope for the future. You can see more about what this brave man is up against at:
Human Rights Abuses Rivers State

I hear a lot of what's going on from friends still there and I read a lot on this site and the internet. It's sad that over here on news stations such as Sky, deaths and kidnappings in Nigeria are normally less important than what clothes the Prime Minister's wife is wearing or the cash for honours scandal. Stay cool and keep safe boys and girls; no amount of money is worth dying for.
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Old 11th Mar 2007, 22:48
  #1722 (permalink)  
 
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Danger

Caverton......... the words barge pole and wouldn't touch with, come to mind. But I guess the world's full of the desperate, the optimistic and the foolish
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Old 12th Mar 2007, 08:34
  #1723 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
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Accents ??

Chuks/Sas,

I can think of all manner of suitable responses to your posts but on this occasion (only) I'll rise above a tit for tat rebuff

The scoundrels I'm thinking of are known to you both, although for different reasons; I would class them as the "usual suspects".

Interview today with A.N. Other firm, fingers crossed I'll be posting on another forum before long !!

NEO
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Old 12th Mar 2007, 13:24
  #1724 (permalink)  
 
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NEO,

I sure hope you change primary posting forums....but hope you will continue to visit here and add your commentary as you distance yourself from the usual suspects.

There is life after your current employment.
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Old 12th Mar 2007, 14:23
  #1725 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Durn!

So who is supposed to turn off the generator as the last expat out? I thought that was Neo! Or is this the end?
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Old 12th Mar 2007, 14:29
  #1726 (permalink)  
 
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Chuks,
What is the definition of "Last Expat" ?

I believe a discussion of "limits" as used in the study of Math (s) applies here.

A limit being defined loosely as a value which one can approach but cannot achieve applies here.

If one dons Native dress, marries a Nigerian, raises one's children in Nigeria, takes the employ of a Nigerian firm, has a Nigerian drivers license, a Nigerian Flying License, holds country club membership in Nigeria, and as some have assumed a leadership role in a village.....when does one become a "Nigerian"?
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Old 12th Mar 2007, 21:00
  #1727 (permalink)  
 
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OK SASless,

Then having become "Nigerian" by default or definition would he be expected to relinquish his right to the title of Expat or will we be nice to him and allow him this small honour?
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Old 12th Mar 2007, 21:16
  #1728 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Management is right on this one!

I know of at least one guy who got a take-it-or-leave-it offer of a contract on local terms, since he had a local passport in addition to the one he arrived with.

I will let the rest of you guess whether he was better off that way or as an expat.

One problem, I think, is that as much as you might love the country (God help you!) you will never be anything but an Oyingbo there when push comes to shove. Call that belonging to the wrong tribe if you like; it's nothing they don't do to their own. I once had a co-pilot tell me that, as a Yoruba, he was not able to take a night-stop in Kano. I thought that one over and then we flew back to Lagos, because we couldn't guarantee his safety in his own country.

The only possible exception I can think of is that dotty old dear who is a priestess in a sacred grove up Ibadan way, but who wants to get in that deep?
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Old 12th Mar 2007, 21:32
  #1729 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
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Aah, rumours, I love them !! Chuks was the Master of that department. So people have children in Nigeria, wear the kit etc, have two passports and (like most "expats"), have a driving licence ? Love this site, even if I leave Nigeria I'll still come back here for the crack !!

Thanks Sas and Chuks, you two should take Holy Orders, I hope I never end up Holier than thou when I'm you're age (which is a good few years yet) Like you were until you "left", I'm glad of the job while I have it.

Now you have a REALLY nice day, y'hear ??

NEO
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Old 12th Mar 2007, 21:45
  #1730 (permalink)  
 
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Since my last divorce I no longer have to take "Holy Orders" nor do I have to react to the beckoning finger which somehow seems a blessing.
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Old 13th Mar 2007, 08:23
  #1731 (permalink)  
 
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I didn't 'leave...'

I got 'retired!' I freely admit that I would still be there, moaning away, but for the strange workings of fate. Don't think that I am making myself out to be cleverer than anyone still there in what I write here. One part of me, the sensible part, thinks, 'Good to be gone,' while the silly part keeps thinking about getting an offer to go back.

Starting with turning down an offer to become a Catholic altar boy and ending, pretty much, with rather perversely going into aviation instead of commercial real estate with my extended family I have been fleeing holiness all my life. I had to go all the way to Nigeria to hang with the expats found there to be holier than just about anything. You can find dogs that are holier than me!

Anyone who wants to get deeply involved with modern Nigeria, well, that's very romantic (in the larger sense of that word, where you seek to realise your vision with something external to you).

Think of T. E. Lawrence flouncing around in his Bedouin robes: that's the sort of romantic I mean. He was okay until he fell in love with motorcycles; if he had stuck to camels he would have been okay.

To take on Nigeria with all its problems just seems like trying to eat your way through 20 kilos of 'suya' at one sitting. But that's just being practical, which is boringly unromantic. To end up the guardian of a sacred grove, well, it probably beats tending your petunias in some German garden allotment.
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Old 16th Mar 2007, 07:58
  #1732 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
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They're Out Thank Goodness

Nigerian media are reprting the release of the the two Italian hostages after 98 days. Good news

NEO
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Old 16th Mar 2007, 08:19
  #1733 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Hi WAWA

Yep, it just keeps getting better.
Replacing S76s with N3, I don't think so..not this year anyway.
Deepest Darkest Bata..secrets and all?
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Old 18th Mar 2007, 12:04
  #1734 (permalink)  
 
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Nigerian media are reprting the release of the the two Italian hostages after 98 days.
98 days!!!!!!

Glad to hear it.
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Old 18th Mar 2007, 14:37
  #1735 (permalink)  
 
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Great News!!!
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Old 21st Mar 2007, 23:41
  #1736 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Devil

The bad news is: Two NIgerian newspapers report two Asians and one Nigerian kidnapped in Anambra state on Saturday.

Two foreigners, one Nigerian kidnapped in Anambra
Three persons have been kidnapped in Anambra State in circumstances that remain unclear.

Two of the victims were believed to be Asians, but an account said they were Koreans while another said they were Chinese.
Their names could not be established as at 5pm on Sunday when our correspondent filed this report.

The name of the third victim, a Nigerian, was however, given as Mr. Sylvester Uluigwe.

Investigations by our correspondent showed that they were kidnapped in Nnewi, the second largest commercial town in the state, on Saturday.
The identity of the kidnappers could not be established either.

Our correspondent gathered that the Asians were members of a team of about 40 expatriates an Nnewi-based industrialist brought into the town a few days ago to help him build a vehicle assembly plant.

The kidnapping reportedly took place at the site of the factory.
It was the second high profile kidnapping to have taken place in Nnewi in less than 60 days.


From http://www.oyibosonline.com the best information online about what's going on in Nigeria, thanks to chief

Last edited by froggy_pilot; 22nd Mar 2007 at 00:03.
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Old 21st Mar 2007, 23:50
  #1737 (permalink)  
 
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You just have to love them.....

Here is a guy trying to improve the job situation for the area by opening a plant where presumably a lot of local people could work and what happens?

Some CRETIN gets the idea that kidnapping a few Oyibo's who oddly eneough have a very tenuous link at best to the oil industry is a great plan, thus possibly/probably ending that venture before it even starts. Unless of course the "industrialist" was behind it in the first place to present himself as the saviour to the no doubt extremely relieved victims who will shower him in their benevolence......... NAH, I doubt it.
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 13:33
  #1738 (permalink)  
 
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Thumbs down The Calm Before the Storm?

After a period of relative quiet, things in Port Harcourt have started to hot up again. A few days ago a well co-ordinated attack was carried out on the camp of German construction company Bilfinger Berger. Although it's reported that the MOPOL ran away (as usual ) the Joint Task Force troops there helped to stave off the attack. It also helped that BB have strong additional security measures in place (which I won't discuss here). The gunfight is reported to have lasted for 3 hours and sadly, the militants managed to capture the company's Dutch security manager, who is still being held hostage.

I see that the governor of Rivers State has suddenly started to use his AW139 as the election date drwas closer. I wonder if the people in the villages he visits, with lousy roads, schools, hospitals stop to wonder how nuch could have been done for their communities with the millions of dollars wasted on this symbol of extravagance?

There are more and more fixed wing operations into the NAF Base Port Harcourt and with the abysmal level of ATC there, most pilots have to take a lot of extra fuel in case of delays. As FW are always given priority it's not uncommon for a FW to declare himself to be on right base as he passes overhead the POT VOR and helicopters then to be kept waiting the 6 or 7 minutes until it's landed . The so-called controllers there are often completely incapable of handling more than one movement every 4 or 5 minutes . Things are getting even worse as the April elections approach and every day there are more aircraft (many of them South African registered) on the VIP parking on the military side of the NAF Base. Many of them have the People's Democratic Party (PDP) logo on the tail. I guess the SA registered ones have something to do with the fact that the governor seems to have found plenty of money to open clinics in South Africa - maybe he's discussing his retirement plan ?

The Italian construction magnate, Gito (owner of the red Bell 407 5N-BIC), has also started clearance work on a large area at the NAF Base. It's rumoured that he's bringing in an EC155, A109E and possibly an EC135.

There seems to be some considerable delay in the arrival of CHCs next AW139, despite the crew having been in Italy for quite some time now. I hear rumours of delivery delays and crewing problems. Bristow are rumoured to be bringing in a couple of S76C++s for Chevron, to be based in Escravos, though how they'll crew them when they can't even crew their existing S76 fleet remains to be seen. Both companies still seem to be having problems getting enough pilots, particularly in Port Harcourt, despite a pay rise last year. maybe they need to think about paying more money for crews who are willing to go to Port Harcourt? A number of oil and oil-service companies are now paying bonuses as high as 80% for staff who are willing to work in Port Harcourt as it's deemed to be a dangerous place and secure housing is often situated a long distance from the workplace, with a long, dangerous road journey. At NAF Base now, there must be close to 20 - 30 armed escort vehicles every day waiting to escort their expatriate convoys around to their safe housing, where staff are confined by long curfews every day. In the midst of all this CHC are pissing people off by trying to make them work 44 days on site instead of 42 and Bristow have still not paid most people their promised workover pay

The elections (if they even happen) are due in 3 weeks and will be the first time in Nigeria that there has been a handover of power from one democratically elected government to another (if that's what's really happening ). There will doubtless be widespread intimidation, violence and vote rigging, particularly in the Delta areas, especially as the EU has announced that it's too dangerous for their election observers to visit Bayelsa, Delta or Rivers states (probably just that there aren't enough 5 star hotels or champagne for them ). Now's a good time to be going out on time-off
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 19:10
  #1739 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Mama Put

Now you told us all the good news what is the bad news??
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 21:12
  #1740 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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twisted wrench,

How about you add some of your own if you have any comment to make?
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