Friday, 31 January 2014


Because of the wide public concern about the number of kidnappings in Niger Delta, the Commander of the Joint Task Force, Vice Admiral Edmund Depreye was summoned to Defense Headquarters Abuja.
By the time he entered his office, it was obvious the CDS didn’t plan to roll out the welcome mat.  Chief of Defense Staff, a heavily built man wasted no time when his secretary ushered Vice Admiral Depreye in.
“Vice Admiral, what the hell are you and your men doing? Or should I say not doing? Chief of Defense Staff’s eyes swung to Commander of JTF. Read this reports in the Niger Delta page of Daily News, National Guardian, and People’s Voice,” CDS said as he handed the newspaper to Vice Admiral Depreye. “The campaign in the Niger Delta is a bloody mess.”
Vice Admiral Depreye collected the newspapers before he sat down and first read the report Daily News.
Madam Clara, mother of the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, had been kidnapped. The 59-year-old was snatched on Tuesday by nine o’clock in the morning by armed men, who invaded her home at Ebedebiri in Sagbama Local Government Area.
The abduction is coming on the heels of Governor Clement’s warning that he would sign the death warrant of convicted abductors.
The kidnappers had stormed the community in a speedboat. They had fired sporadically into the air to scare away the people. The woman was sitting outside and was about to go into her house when she heard gunshots.
She was grabbed by her captors who dragged her into their awaiting speedboat. The abductors were about five and armed. The atmosphere at the Assembly was gloomy as plenary was postponed. Sympathizers, including lawmakers and staff, gathered to discuss the incident.
After that he read the report in National Guardian. The Niger Delta region of Nigeria has once again; gone adrift with the resurgence of new wave of criminality on scale that now threatens to render the region a cauldron of sorts.
The vessel MV Global Peace was accosted by Niger Delta Emancipation Force and routed off its courses around 20 nautical miles from Bonny. Six foreigners onboard, including three Russians, two Filipinas and an Indian, have been taken to an unknown destination.                                           
Normally the Chief of Defense Staff would have used Commander’s first name and invited him to sit down. This time he did neither, and simply looked up, glaring, from his desk. The Commander, suspecting that Chief of Defense Staff had received his own castigation from the president, and knowing the down-through-the-ranks drill took his time before answering.
He read the report in People’s Voice last. Chivon Petroleum Limited shut down its entire offshore production in the Niger Delta after Niger Delta Emancipation Force attacked the Offshore Okan Manifold Escravos, Warri, Delta State. The facility controls over 80% of Chivon’s offshore production to the BOP Crude Loading Platform. Okan is Nigeria’s first successful offshore production facility. It started production in December 1963 near Escravos in Warri, Delta State by the Chivon Petroleum Limited.
It was crippled by Niger Delta Emancipation Force who attacked the platform at about ten thirty in the evening on Sunday and blew up a section of the Manifold.
The volume of crude oil shut in as a result of the attack was about 200,000 barrels per day of the company’s estimated 366,000 daily production had been stopped. There were concerns that the $7 billion Escravos-Gas-To-Liquid Project could be placed on hold because of the attack.
The top management of the oil company is meeting with top government officials, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and security operatives on the recent development.                                            
 “You know the situation, sir,” Commander responded. He was careful to avert his gaze. “We’re swamped. Every member of the Joint Task Force is working. Sixteen hours per day or more, following every lead we’ve got. These guys are near exhaustion.”
Chief of Defense Staff waved an arm irritably. “Oh, for Christ sake! Don’t tell me that.  Much more is expected from the task force, drive them harder. You a mandate to stop all illegal oil bunkering activities in the upstream sector, pipeline vandalism, protect oil and gas supply cum transport network, protect oil and gas facilities and installations and destroy all illegal refineries. These also include your anti-piracy or sea robbery role spanning the nine states of the Niger Delta area.”
“It’s an arduous and challenging task. However, we have carried 2774 anti-bunkering patrols, during which we have arrested 742 suspects, while we have  been destroyed 1589 illegal refineries, 60 barges, 439 Cotonou boats, 72 tanker trucks, 39 illegal fuel pumps, 2619 surface tanks and 9258 drums of illegal siphoned and refined products. Three shipping vessels MT ANNE, MT OXOTO and TAMUNO caught in the illicit act of illegal bunkering were scuttled with a view to deter other perpetrators and to make it an unrewarding venture. Other vessels such as MT VENUS and MT PRINCES are still undergoing investigation.
“Our challenges are enormous particularly when you consider the wrath we face as individual operatives and as outfit from perpetrators of these crimes. Those whose illegitimate oil dealings have been hampered by our operational activities go all out to fight back by casting aspirations and engaging in mudslinging to smear us. Nevertheless, we are resolved to be undeterred. Another issue is the tenacity and the unending tricks of these criminals as they continue to rebuild their installations and device tricks like storing stolen crude oil in soak away and sewage tanks.
“The lack of diligent prosecution by the prosecuting agencies is another major challenge that attempts to rubbish our fervent efforts to curb oil theft menace. Arrested suspects have been left off the hook under guise that the crimes were such that bail could be granted. The suspects when released return to the creeks, assemble their drums and pipes and continue with the illicit business. There is a dire need for stiffer legislations and penalties for these crimes.
“In the area of logistics, major challenge is the inadequacy of air and maritime platforms to give very effective aerial and maritime cover to the entire expanse of nine states covered by our operation. Provision of adequate air and maritime platforms will undoubtedly shore up our performance.
“The militants look to have every intentions of making our mission difficult, and we need more equipment to counter that. This challenge, however, is receiving appropriate attention with the recent procurement of a set of indigenously built patrol boat and 12k28 Gunboats for some sectors of the JTF. When people are exhausted, they’re apt to make mistakes, sir.”
“It’s your job to make damn sure you produce results. And please note that long hours and exhaustion are part of this job and you know it. Vice Admiral, take a good, hard look at every case, right now. Make sure there’s nothing undone that should have been done. Go over every detail and look especially hard for connections between cases. If I learn later that something important has been overlooked, I promise you’ll regret ever having told me your men are tired.
He was responsible for success or failure. A mistake was his mistake. A failure was his failure.
Vice Admiral Depreye sighed inwardly, but said nothing. But he hadn’t become a Vice Admiral by merely shuffling papers.
 “For the record, you and your officers now have carte blanche to take whatever measures are necessary. When you decide exactly what you need, I’ll make sure you get them. As to costs, you have approval to charge whatever is needed, including overtime to your operational budget.”
Chief of Defense Staff looked directly at him, Vice Admiral Depreye turned away to avoid those piercing eyes.
 “So now, with those logistics in place, the objective of all of you is clear –find these militants. And keep me informed.”
“All right, sir.” Commander rose from his chair, saluted smartly and went out, deciding that he would do exactly what Chief of Defense Staff urged.
After Vice Admiral Depreye left, the Chief of Defense Staff stood and stretched. He concluded that it was a mistake to judge a man from a thousand miles away. He was impressed with the Commander’s efforts. When he sat down, he lit a cigarette.
 It was less than a week after this confrontation that as Chief of Defense Staff would describe it later –the whole goddamn roof fell in. The Managing Director of Orient Petroleum Development Company, McWood Jefferson, an American citizen was kidnapped in his official quarters in Port Harcourt.

Sunday, 12 January 2014


REVISTA MITO: Can you tell us about your works.
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: Thanks for showing interest in my works. At present, I have written five novels, each addressing a social problem in my country.  They are: Victim of Greed, The Traffickers, Betrayal of Trust, Campaign of Death and Destruction and The Glamorous Actress. Victim of Greed is based on the corruption in my country. The Traffickers is based on Nigerians’ role in international drug trafficking. Betrayal of Trust is based on the trafficking of young Nigerian girls and minors to Europe with promises of education, jobs and marriage only to be forced into prostitution. Campaign of Death and Destruction is based on the terrorist activities of Janna’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati-Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram –agent of terrorism in Nigeria. The Glamorous Actress is based on the need for girl child education and empowerment.
REVISTA MITO: Why did you decide to write about Boko Haram’s terrorism?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: I abhor violence especially terrorism. The level of security consciousness in my country is very low and needs to be improved upon. There is need for capacity building among security agencies in order to curtail the menace. The story shows the need for inter-agency cooperation and sharing of intelligence. The story equally acknowledges the gallantry of our law enforcement agencies in the fight against the fundamentalists. The story preaches religious tolerance in Nigeria. There is no need for any religious group to force its beliefs on generality of Nigerians hence Nigeria is a secular country. I also want to show the Christains that Boko Haram’s horrendous activities are not having the blessing of most Muslims.
REVISTA MITO: Is Cynthia story based on true story?
REVISTA MITO: Do you think Cynthia has a passive role in society?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: At the beginning she was active and contributed to the economic development of her country as a banker, but after she lost her family and fiancé she decided to return to her home state for her safety, where before she found job she became a refugee due to flooding of her village.
REVISTA MITO: Does Cynthia live a kind of change from the beginning to the end of the story?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: At the beginning she was a happy young lady with a good job and bright future as a banker, but after the lost her dear ones, her life took a downward turn. Her future became uncertain when she ended up in the refugee camp.
REVISTA MITO: Does Cynthia interpret the reality?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: Yes. Cynthia portrays the dejection many Nigerians who lost their dear ones in the senseless massacres by Boko Haram. Some Nigerians even suffered worse fate than Cynthia because in some cases the whole family is wiped out.
REVISTA MITO: What is the role of family in the book?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: Family is the foundation on which life of the youths are built especially in a society where there is no social security for the unemployed like Nigeria and when it is no longer there, the youths face blink future. This is why Cynthia feels devastated when she lost members of her family.
REVISTA MITO: Can your story help the Nigerian society?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: Yes. The story shows that Boko Haram is not killing only Christains but also Muslims. So this has helped to stop the urge of retaliation among Christains who initially thought it was a war between Muslims and Christains. The story also shows that not all the Muslims support Boko Haram’s terrorist activities against innocent Nigerians. It also shows that no matter how long darkness prevails, dawn will surely come by the defeat of Boko Haram by the Joint Task Force (JTF), after many years of murderous attacks on government agencies and innocent citizens. The acknowledgement of the JTF’s courageous actions against the extremists is a morale booster.
REVISTA MITO: What is the role of nature in the story?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: I tried to show the effect of global warming because in 2012, Nigeria suffered flooding that destroyed many towns and cities and washed farms away due to torrential rains supposed to have been caused by global warming. Cynthia’s village was one of the affected areas. It was submerged for months, killing many people and destroying homes forcing her to become a refugee.
REVISTA MITO: What are the consequences of Cynthia’s personally of being a refugee?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: The consequences are despair and dejection.
REVISTA MITO: Is there a place of love in Cynthia’s life? Does Cynthia believe in love?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: Cynthia definitely believes in love. She loved her parents, her brother and her fiancé before they were killed. This is why she became tremendously affected by their untimely death.
REVISTA MITO: Is there any justice in the story? Where does it arrive?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: There is justice after the insurgency is crushed, and the sect members who killed her loved ones were either killed or arrested and jailed. Most of them paid for their horrendous acts.

Thursday, 9 January 2014


Are you a good daughter-in-law to your husband’s mother, or soon to be mother-in-law? Can you honestly say to yourself, “I am a good daughter-in-law? Being a good daughter-in-law and building a great relationship with your husband’s mother, and maintaining that good relationship, can be easier than you think or more challenging and difficult than you can imagine. Jealous, selfish, manipulative, controlling, disrespectful, rude, conniving, evil, psychotic just to name a few not so nice descriptive words about daughters-in-law.
The difficulties and animosities felt between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law have destroyed many marriages. Few with son-in-law but the typical problems existing between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are much more common than those with a current or future sons-in-law.
There is a tremendous amount of misunderstandings, misinterpretations, hyper-sensitivity and mean-spirited gossips being peddled about each other. But rarely any advice or real solutions being shared.
Daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law are both guilty of not even attempting to understand the other’s wants, needs and prospective, but are very quick to criticize and ridicule the other.
Trouble between a daughter-in-law and mother-in-law arises far too often when one or both women try to dominate the man. The mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, both want the same thing. To spend time with the man. Sometimes financial needs create a lot of problems.
Problems between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law often occur when one or both women try to get their needs met by attempting to exclude the other.
Remember, your husband was a son to his mother first, and the relationship bond between mother and son should never be trifled with. The harder you try to divide and conquer the relationship between your husband and his mother, the more you’ll discover that you’ve undermined any and all efforts to get along with your in-laws and will cause your husband and his family to resent you.
Don’t take anything so personal –taking every suggestion, recommendation or idea offered as being negative against you will not help matters. Show the existence of self-esteem on your part. Why do you choose to take everything so personal?
The relationship with the son should not be competition. He married you because he loves you and wants to spend the rest of his life with you. In a marriage, a husband must put his wife as number one in the relationship, but don’t make the mistake of putting your husband in a position of having to defend his relationship with his mother. If setting limits and boundaries are needed on how often your mother-in-law calls to speak to your husband or visits, it is up to your husband to decide and act on that, not you.
Communication is key in all relationships –take the initiative to call and chat you’re your mother-in-law with news and updates, even if you think it’s about mundane, trivial matters. Remember birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and special occasions, just as I bet your mother-in-law to do for you. Invite your mother-in-law to your home for a meal on such occasions. Send pictures and cards. Ask for advice and willingly listen to her ideas, but that doesn’t mean you must do everything her way. Ask your mother-in-law for recipes of your husband’s favorite meals while he was growing up –she’ll love it and so will your husband.
Take good care of his son. Your mother-in-law raised your husband to become the man you fell in love with and married and she should be thanked, praised and respected for that. Your mother-in-law wants and needs to know that the work hard work she put forth loving, raising and caring for her beloved son will continue to be provided in your care.
Of course your mother-in-law expects to see your home well-kept, clean and orderly, just as she worked hard to do while raising him. Of course see expect your husband to have clean clothes and clean underwear to wear at all times. Of course she expects your son to always be well fed with healthy, nourishing meals, just as she did so many years.
Are you susceptible to gossip? Do you talk crap about your mother-in-laws? Spreading negative gossip about your mother-in-law will cause you to be labeled as a toxic person, this will make your mother-in-law not to associate with you or trust you ever again. The harmful effects of gossips are well-known, and you would be wise to learn the difference between good gossip and negative gossip before you yourself become a victim to a malicious gossiper and discover the results the hard way.
There are mother-in-law who will do everything within their power to prove you are not worthy of their son or husband-to-be. Develop a thick skin, be assertive and respectful, but don’t stoop to her level and become anyone’s doormat. But not all mothers-in-law are trying to control you or take over your life; they want to be valued and want to share a meaningful place in your lives.
 Work on your relationship with your mother-in-law; read books on the relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.Be willing to apologize and sincerely say you are sorry for things wrongly said or done. Work hard to make amends with your mother-in-law and stop seeing her as a threat. Spend your time and energies building a good relationship with your mother-in-law that will last a lifetime.