Saturday, 28 January 2012

Deputy Minister of waste!

Minister’s team hired ex-con to organize event and the same ex-con secretly arranged with some characters that insulted and embarrassed the Minister.
•        That’s what happens when dubious officials engage dubious people     
(Photo: Prof. Mrs. Viola Onwuliri, (aka, Prof. Celestine Onyemobi Elihe Onwuliri;
aka, Prof. Viola Adaku Onwuliri)
New York------On Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012, a few group of people mostly Nigerians gathered
at a small hall in Grand Hyatt Hotel in mid-town Manhattan, New York to meet the Minister of State in Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Mrs. Viola Onwuliri. 

 The event was reportedly scheduled to take place at 6.00 pm. By 6.00 pm people arrived but the minister never showed up until 7.45 pm. She arrived at the venue in company of Mr. Jerry Ugokwe, former Nigerian Ambassador to Austria and Mr. Habib Habu, Consul-General of Nigerian Consulate in New York.

The minister and her company got seated and Nigerian national anthem was sung to open the occasion. Two people, one Muslim and one Christian, were called upon to say opening prayers. The Master of Ceremony then called upon Mr. Habib Habu, Consul-General to the podium to address the gathering.

As the Consul-General went to the podium to speak, a young man approached the front and grabbed a microphone meant for the audience and tongue-lashed the Minister for arriving late and started saying all sorts of stuffs that showed he and his group actually did not want the meeting to take place. He called the Minister all sorts of degrading names we will not want to print here.

Some guys tried to take the microphone from the protester and almost immediately about 10 other people, apparently members of his group, joined him and struggle for the microphone ensued. From then, one could say hell broke loose. The protesters occupied the stage, started singing, clapping and speaking on top of their voices, calling the Minister all sorts of degrading names, stating the event should not hold
and urged everybody to go home.

Strangely, surprisingly and ironically, the people contracted by the Minister and her team to organize the event were observed to be quietly and secretly hailing and urging the hecklers and protesters on. Repeat: the people contracted by the Minister and her team to organize the event were observed to be quietly and secretly hailing and urging the hecklers and protesters to go on embarrassing the visiting Nigerian
Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It has to noted that chief among the organizer who secretly and quietly was sabotaging the Minister was a Nigerian female con-artist, an ex-con who had, while using fake names, served time in US prison for hard drugs. This society woman of very dubious character is reportedly a member and leader of PDP in New York.

That is what happens in most cases when dubious government officials contract dubious characters to do dubious jobs; the dubious characters bring dubious companions and everything becomes very dubious and messy.

The hecklers and protesters held the event hostage for about 1hr.10minutes until a contingent of New York Police officers arrived at the venue and asked them to leave immediately to avoid arrest. They took their winter coats and left.

After they left, the event resumed and people lined up to ask questions and tell the Minister how they feel about events in Nigeria. 

When news of this incident got our attention at Africans In America News Watch, we inquired on the purpose of the meeting and the reason the Minister was in New York holding such meeting. We were informed the minister was in New York as part of her official mission commissioned by Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to visit various foreign countries, meet with Nigerians and gather their comments and pass to
Nigerian government of President Goodluck Jonathan to be used to formulate government policy.

We were shocked to hear this.

We wanted to find out why a Minister of State in Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs came to New York to meet with Nigerian community in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rode Island and all other states under the jurisdiction of Nigerian Consulate in New York and only about 20 to 30 people knew about it and showed up. Most especially, at this very critical moment people are so worried about news reports coming out of Nigeria.

The response we got simply reveal the fact that monumental frauds which has been going on for a very long time in Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, Nigeria Mission to United Nations and Nigerian Consulate in New York continues with this President Jonathan government till this day.

We will like to know from Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja head office and from the Office of Nigerian President in Aso Rock Villa, the amount of money that was budgeted for this trip, the mission and mandate for this trip and the term of reference.

We will like to know from Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from the Office of Nigerian President who actually the Minister of State, Prof. Mrs. Viola Onwuliri and her team were mandated to meet with during this official mission. 

We will like to know whether they were supposed to see various segments of Nigerian community including professionals, community leaders, town union leaders, intellectuals, business leaders, and Nigerians from all works of life and from various parts of Nigeria in areas she visits; or, whether they were mandated to meet
with only a handful of Nigerians that normally hang out at a particular mushroom ‘mama-put’ joints run by con-artists and ex-convicts, former inmate at Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC) New York, an individual that had done prison time (using a fake name) in US for hard drugs, a hardcore criminal known to ‘ambush’ Nigerian government officials visiting United States, women of easy virtues.

We will like to know whether the Minister of State, Prof. Mrs. Onwuliri and her team were mandated to assemble just a handful of Nigerians that hang out in a mama-put joint every evening, get them in a hotel hall with the visiting officials, take ‘mago-mago’ questions from them, take pictures and videos of the meeting and submit those to government as job well-done.

The more we dig the more we found what appear to be continuation of monumental frauds which has been going on for a very long time in Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja; Nigeria Mission to United Nations and Nigerian Consulate in New York.

From all indications those frauds have not stopped, those frauds apparently continue under this government of President Jonathan. Now if the people that run Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Office of President of Nigeria want to continue with this waste and fraud, more power to them. 

However, we want to be very clear about this: we want to make it abundantly clear that these sorts of frauds did not start ‘today or yesterday’, they did not start with this administration anyway, rather, President Jonathan administration inherited them and they continue till this day.

It may not surprise many to know that Nigerian Consulate in New York and Nigerian Mission to the UN, New York had asked Nigerian organizations, community associations, Nigerian media outfits and Nigerian businesses in New York and surrounding states under their jurisdiction (especially for the Consulate which does not cover the whole of USA) to register with them and many of us did comply with those requests.

But over and over, whenever dignitaries and Nigerian government officials visit United States to meet with Nigerian people in New York, instead of writing, calling and informing Nigerian organizations, community associations, Nigerian media outfits and Nigerian businesses duly registered with them, few corrupt officials who are in league with certain elements will inform only certain characters and even plan with those characters on how they want the event to proceed.

Some corrupt officials in the Consulate and Missions will plan that certain visiting officials will be well-received while some will be booed, heckled and embarrassed. 
Over and over, dignitaries and Nigerian government officials visit United States on official mission specifically to meet with Nigerian; but the Nigerians they supposedly come to see never know about their visits and never meet them. The officials never actually see anyone except handful group of friends haphazardly assembled by consulate/mission officials, take pictures with them and go back to Nigeria, possible concoct false report s that mission was accomplished.

In this particular case of Minister of State, Prof. Mrs. Viola Onwuliri, apparently Nigerian Foreign Ministry spent a lot of money for the Minister and her team to come to United States on very important official government mission: to speak to Nigerians community here and gather feedbacks, comments, questions and concerns and send them back to government in Abuja. 

Rather than do exactly what she was sent to do going through the proper channel, or, deal with a credible group, either the Minister, or, someone in her team contracted a con-artist and ex-con, a former inmate at Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC) New York, an individual that had done prison time (using a fake name) in US for hard drugs, a hardcore criminal known to ‘ambush’ Nigerian government officials visiting
United States; this con-artist was contracted to gather some people of questionable characters from her restaurant, assembled them into a hotel, took some ‘mago-mago’ comments, photos and videos and submit those to government in Abuja as justification for tens (or hundreds) of thousands of Dollars or Pounds being commissioned for the very important official assignment.

For avoidance of any doubt, these characters normally do this sort of thing in cohort with certain corrupt officials in Nigerian government, Abuja, Nigerian Consulate and Mission in New York.

How long will this shenanigan last? If Nigerian government is serious about fighting corruption, then let’s get on with it.

Serious quality assurance and integrity questions for the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs:
•        Is it possible that the Minister herself is not aware of this fraud?
•        As a professor and supposedly a high-ranking intellectual, is she not aware there are a lot of Nigerian professionals, community leaders, town union leaders, intellectuals, business leaders, news media and Nigerians from all works of life here in New York and surrounding states? 
•        Did she see them in that little gathering of mostly ‘Yahoo boys and girls’ that normally use fake names to blog and abuse people on the internet? 
•        As a professor of knowledge and learning, does she feel the characters she met with in New York on Wednesday January 18, 2012 were statistical representation of Nigerians in New York area? 
•        Was she curious and did she ask question why Nigerians in New York surrounding areas did not turn out in numbers, especially at this very critical time people are so concerned about reports coming out of the country?

This fraudulent practice does not serve the government of Nigeria well, it does not serve President Jonathan well, and does not do Nigerians in New York area and others in Diaspora any good, either. The only persons sharp practices like this benefit are the officials that collect a lot of money from government, including estacode, to shuttle from city to city, country to country for nothing meaningful but shenanigan;
others are their accomplices that help them to siphon the funds.

There is need for thorough investigation.

We stand ready to further discuss and shed more lights on the issues raised in this report with any authority interested in seriously addressing fraud, waste and corruption in Nigerian government. 

Since the incident involve Nigerian money, Nigerian government officials, Nigerians in United States and since New York Police Department had also gotten involved to get rid of the hecklers and protesters that practically held the Nigerian government officials, Nigerians and the event ‘hostage’ in the hotel, it will be good idea if Nigerian and US authorities could conduct joint investigation to get to the bottom of issues raised in this fraud.

Let us conclude by saying; this report will serve as our own peaceful and eloquent protest against corruption believing that people that run Nigerian government: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Office of Nigerian President particularly want to hear the truth about various forms of wastes and corruption and want to do something about it.

We surely hope that this report will be very valuable for informed policy decision.

Long live The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

May God give Nigerian leaders the fortitude and courage to get serious with war on waste and corruption.

We are yours truly and committed to our cause:
Bonaventure Ezekwenna <> 
Africans In America, Inc.
Africans In America News Watch: Newspaper published by Africans In America, Inc.

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