Biafra is not realizable in this millenium – French Government

Less than one week after Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, dealt a blow on agitators of Biafra, the bid to actualise a sovereign state has suffered yet another set back.

Buratai had told proponents of separation that they will not achieve their aim in his lifetime.

“I want to call on all the agitators for separation and other acts of destabilisation to forget it, not in this era, not in this millennium…  I think they have to wait till may be the next three or four millennia for them to do that. That is, may be the next generation of officers and men will allow them at all,” he had said at a programme in Abuja.

However, the French government, which threw its weight behind Biafra in the 1967 secession bid, has ruled out any support for the secession of any part of the country, particularly Biafra.

Denys Gauer, the country’s ambassador to Nigeria, told The Guardian that France would not in anyway work with any group agitating for the dismemberment of the nation.

“We are working with Nigeria and we are supporting it as the only country. This is absolutely clear and I don’t think there is any kind of future for Biafra. They are part of Nigeria and Nigeria has to remain as the only country,” he reportedly said.

Speaking against the backdrop of France’s previous support for Biafra during the civil war, Gauer said Nigeria has evolved since the civil war.

Gauer said France is working with Nigeria in its fight against insurgency, and that the fight against Boko Haram has brought the two countries together, more than before.

Reacting to the envoy’s comment, Uchenna Madu, Leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), said the struggle for Biafra “is real and cannot be stopped by any man created by God”.

“We in MASSOB do not believe what he said because that does not represent the position of France. France is a friend of Biafra and even during the Nigeria/Biafra war, they assisted us so much,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

“In this current agitation for Biafra, France has sympathy for us. We advise our people to disregard what he said.”

 

Source: The Cable

When Will the South-East Shut Up? – By Immanuel James Anyanwu

The Nigerian government should redress these injustices and allow for conversations to happen. Genuine discussions, once and for all, for the stirring components to work out an equitable formula for our nation-being. That is the way to shut up the clamour, not by supression… The government is making patriotism difficult for Igbo Nigerians dedicated to a united country.

Many things are certain, like the fact that there will never be peace in the world. Nothing is perhaps as certain as human violence, never mind all the efforts at ensuring peace. Two abiding situations on the human experience are that: there will always be oppression, and there will always be those who won’t take it. The history of human civilisation is the history of repression and freedom.

Between repression and freedom, the problem, many times, is actually speech. The oppressing system demands a total silence that will never happen, hence a vicious plot is animated. Men are unable to maintain a dictated silence for too long, which leads us to another certainty: that no degree of violence can make men to shut up forever. But nobody has yet whispered this little truth to all agencies of human subjugation.

Take IPOB, for instance, an acronym for the Indigenous People of Biafra; a group agitating for an independent South-Eastern state out 0f Nigeria. On May 30, 2016, the agitators had gathered to mark the Biafra Memorial Day, itself symbolic of oppression and struggle. The day commemorates the Biafran struggle of 1967 to 1970, led by the late Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, in which over two million Biafrans died for the soul of the aborted Igbo nation. The war had been sparked by an aborted coup and its attendant pogrom against the Igbos in Northern Nigeria.

Amnesty International reports that the Nigerian military invaded the memorial service and gunned down over 150 people. Spaces for Change, a rights advocacy group, reports that over 40 people were seriously wounded, but that was not even the end of the story. Soldiers raided hospitals in Anambra, arresting patients with gun wounds. Those arrested were never found again. The manhunt for IPOB leaders continues, and those arrested remain in detention. Some others have been extrajudicially killed with no consequence.

A heavily bandaged eyewitness at Eke Nkpor, who narrated his experience to Spaces for Change, pleaded anonymity for the fear of arrest. “We were on a peaceful procession. I was making a phone call when a combined team of the Navy, Army and the Police rounded us up, and started shooting… They asked me to stand there. When I refused…they shot at my hand. As I was running away, the navy man shot at my legs, I fell down. While he advanced towards me, a ‘fellow Biafran’ quickly rushed at me and dragged me inside somebody’s compound and locked the gate. The security operatives then went back. When they went back, they dragged four corpses on the floor away with them.”

Despite these killings and acts of repression, IPOB persists in defiance. The analysis is simple: Where injustice chips away at the dignity of men, they will hardly shut up, even at the cost of lives. From the classical age to the post-modern world, violence has failed to guarantee the silence of people itching for expression.

The memorial mayhem was not the first of targeted killings against the group by the Nigerian government. Earlier protests had been met with soldiers firing at and killing unarmed protesters, even as they continue to do so till date. The indictment goes to the federal government, otherwise how does one explain its silence despite reports by both local and international rights groups implicating the military? Not a single soldier has been arrested or tried for these atrocities.

The lesson is wasted. Despite these killings and acts of repression, IPOB persists in defiance. The analysis is simple: Where injustice chips away at the dignity of men, they will hardly shut up, even at the cost of lives. From the classical age to the post-modern world, violence has failed to guarantee the silence of people itching for expression. The lesson may be wasted on Nigeria, especially as these killings boast of impunity, if not official endorsement. But the suicidal resilience of the agitation should be an element of worry to those who understand the character of desperate expression.

That desperate expression has a familiar narrative—that South-Eastern Nigeria is politically marginalised. The conversation is often ignored, but acts of violence by state and non-state actors against the region, with no consequence, further entrench that narrative. On April 25, 2016, some 500 Fulani herdsmen invaded Nimbo, a town in Enugu State, killing over 40 people and injuring tens of others. A church and 11 other houses were burnt. Four months later, the herdsmen attacked Ndiagu town in Enugu, killing a seminarian and leaving a trail of destruction. Villagers fled and the invaders took over farmlands, which were often the contention in these attacks between farming and grazing. And because these attacks have little been punished, the separatist agitation has gained more momentum.

There have been responses from the Enugu State government, meanwhile. Some of the alleged attackers were arrested in neighbouring Kogi State and arraigned. The Kogi court referred the case to Enugu for the lack of jurisdiction, and the Enugu State Attorney-General wrote the Inspector-General of Police requesting the case file to be transferred to Enugu for proper adjudication. There have been no response on that, unless recently. This further deepens the suspicion of federal conspiracy in the South-East suppression.

The federal approach is counter-productive. With repression comes more agitations, perhaps from the pique of ethnic pride, besides the higher issues of marginalisation. Then come the herofication of the struggle, the provocation of pro-IPOB empathy, and the blight of patriotic emotions for Nigeria.

Rather than dispassionately address the political issues spawning the agitation, the Nigerian government has chosen the path of blatant repression. A militarisation policy tagged “Operation Python Dance” was unleashed on the region in the just-ended Yuletide season, and for beyond. Military checkpoints abound virtually at every stretch of major roads, causing untold traffic gridlocks, not without reported cases of abuse and torture. “We are being treated like a conquered people”, said John Nwodo, a former minister of information and current chairman of Ohaneze Ndigbo, the region’s sociopolitical organisation. Mr Nwodo, an otherwise shinning member of the Nigerian political elite, expressed sympathy for IPOB. State-sanctioned repression is winning converts, winning the argument for the separatist group.

The federal approach is counter-productive. With repression comes more agitations, perhaps from the pique of ethnic pride, besides the higher issues of marginalisation. Then come the herofication of the struggle, the provocation of pro-IPOB empathy, and the blight of patriotic emotions for Nigeria. The scale of attacks and the lethargy of the government response create more Igbo enemies for the nation, undermining genuine efforts at national cohesion. Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, himself a member of the ruling party, notorious also for often expressing anti-Igbo sentiments, recently made a volte-face: “We have nothing to show that we are part of the Nigerian project. Neither do we have any sense of belonging in the present government at the national level.” A local oppressor notwithstanding, his position at least highlights a link between political dissatisfaction and separatist agitation, which cannot be quelled by repression.

Expression, as earlier noted, is certain. Even within equitable democracies, agitations persist. Run for years by military autocracy, Nigeria has been rendered incapable of decent dialogue. Its military-concocted constitution frowns at protests and makes it difficult to hold peaceful demonstrations. Not once has President Mohammadu Buhari addressed the IPOB agitation at least with some unifying rhetoric. The father of the nation who should reassure his restive children of their place in the polity rather maintains a hateful grimace, lacking the temperament needed to run a modern democracy. What was more, he assumed power and declared, to the shock of all rational, that he intended to shortchange regions where he got less support, as if the nation’s patrimony were his personal estate to share as he pleased—as if he was entitled to everyone’s vote. He failed to recognise that those who did not support him have the democratic right to do so, and on no account should they be punished for making a constitutional choice. Worse is the fact that any orchestrated injustice against the region fails to take into account the people there who voted for, and still support the present government.

The Nigerian government should redress these injustices and allow for conversations to happen. Genuine discussions, once and for all, for the stirring components to work out an equitable formula for our nation-being. That is the way to shut up the clamour, not by supression. The South-East has become one huge experiment in official duress. Democracy is deepened by speech, and never by enforced silence. The government is making patriotism difficult for Igbo Nigerians dedicated to a united country. For them, to retain allegiance to an unjust entity is to inherit the burden of its moral corruption, and to denounce the same is to incur charges of treason. Government must stop these repressions and desist from making the Nigerian patriot of Igbo extraction a laughing stock among his kinsmen.

Biafra: Igbos feel unwanted in Nigeria – John Nwodo

John Nwodo, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, says if the marginalisation against the Igbo ends, Biafran agitators “will probably twice”.

Speaking with journalists on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, Nwodo blamed the pro-Biafra agitation on an alleged marginalisation by the federal government

He said: “Our people feel unwanted in the Nigerian federation; our people feel ill-treated.”

According to him, the Igbo was seen as “being incompetent, incapable, or unreliable of being vested with the headship of any of the security agencies in Nigeria”.

Citing Boko Haram, Niger Delta militants and the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), who he said had taken over territories or destroyed properties, the president-general wondered what the Biafran agitators had done to the government.

“Under the constitution of Nigeria, you have freedom of expression and freedom of association. If somebody says he wants Biafra, he is free to say so as long as he is saying it in a legitimate way. He can take his petition to the national assembly,” Nwodo said.

“He can have a plebiscite, if he wins, fine, if he doesn’t win, he takes it like that. The fact that we, their fathers, have not joined them should give a signal to Nigeria that they have not yet become so popular to carry us along and that this matter can be addressed politically.

“If they see this marginalisation end, if they see the restructuring of the country, they could probably think twice. There has been several failed negotiation which the federal government publicly admitted and millions of naira lost.

“I know of a militant organisation in this part (Niger Delta) called the Avengers, who are as angry as MASSOB and IPOB boys. They have destroyed wells, pipelines. I know the vice-president of Nigeria has visited three Niger Delta states seeking for peace and negotiation in order to keep their children calm.

“I know OPC in Western Nigeria, who is like a military force, saluted at every checkpoint. What has IPOB and MASSOB done to the federal government? Why are they being treated differently? Is this an animal farm where some are more equal than others?

“For that reason, I say to my brothers who are in MASSOB and IPOB, I am your brother and I extend my hand of fellowship. Come and let’s work together. I understand why you do what you are doing; I understand your anger, your frustration and your expectations. In spite of the crude methods they have used to suppress you, you have continued to move on. I feel so bad about our people.”

He said the Igbo people should realise that they were a special people like the Jews “who through dint of hard word transformed the desert to an arable land despite all their travails and security concerns”.

 

Source: The Cable

We Need an Igbo President in Nigeria – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has subtly made a case for other geo-political zones that have not produced a President since 1999 to have a taste of it in the interest of justice and fairness.

The Southeast is yet to produce a President while the Southwest, North and minority Southsouth have had shots at the Presidency at different times.

Obasanjo said it was his view that the Southeast should produce a President as Ogun West Senatorial District in Ogun State should also produce a governor soon.

The ex-President spoke yesterday when the leadership of Ogun State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Tunde-Akin Akinsanya and other people visited him at his Hilltop home for a special New Year service.

According to him, in justice and neglect lie the instigators of conflicts along with ethnic and regional lines in the country.

Obasanjo said it was part of his resolve for a just and fair country that informed his decision to work for a Southsouth President in 2009.

He said: “Irrespective of the thinking of the people ahead of 2019, I personally think that Southeast should have a go at the Presidency too.

“The same is happening here. If Ijebu and Egba have produced the governor, it is only fair and just to allow the Yewa or Ogun West to also produce a governor. Or else, one day, they will also stand up and take up arms against this injustice against them. That is my personally position on this.”
The former President cautioned Nigerians against unguided comments over Southern Kaduna crisis.

Obasanjo said unenlightened comments about the violence were largely responsible for the escalation of the situation.
He said: “My findings so far show that everyone is talking from the position of strength. People are not talking from knowledge of what they know. This is not helping. We must be able to dump all our sentiments to overcome the challenges.

“Just like other cases of injustice around us, we need peace. It is only peace with justice that can solve all these crises. Genuine peace is what everyone is craving for and this can only come when there is justice.”

Bishop Akinsanya described Obasanjo as a special gift to Nigeria and the world, considering his exploits and fatherly role in Nigeria and beyond.
The cleric hailed the former President for facilitating the building of Ecumenical Centre in Abuja, adding that the state chapter of CAN was working on a similar project in Ogun State.

 

source:

Obasanjo canvasses Igbo President for Nigeria

Biafra: Conduct referendum to know if Igbos still want Nigeria – Uwazuruike begs UN

Leader of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has appealed to the United Nations, UN, to quickly carry out a referendum which would determine if the Igbos still want to remain in Nigeria or in the alternative, recognize Biafra as an independent nation.

Uwazuruike made the appeal on Thursday in a press statement, signed on his behalf by the Director of Information of the group, Chris Mocha and made available to newsmen.

He cried out that more than two million Igbos have been killed between 1967 and 2016.

According to him, “There is no doubt that if this staggering number of deaths had occurred in Europe or the United States of America, the UN would have deemed in extremely necessary and expedient to conduct a referendum to save lives and determine the way forward.

“The referendum has become absolutely necessary.”

He recalled that the UN had done similar things in so many other countries.

Uwazuruike added, “A referendum was similarly conducted between Britain and Scotland. Only recently too, a plebiscite was conducted June 23, 2016, in Britain to determine whether the country should remain in European Union or not.

“Nigeria has committed more atrocities against a particular people than those countries where these referendums were conducted.

“Ndigbo have suffered for too long, since the forceful amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates by the British Government in 1914.”

The BIM Leader assured the UN that his people will record 100 percent vote in favour of an independent Biafra, adding that, “no true son of the area will prefer the vexatious status quo to remain.”

“Biafra has all the structures, including offices in the senatorial districts, qualified personnel, flag, currency, coat of arm, security, international passport, ministerial departments, income tax and a host of other facilities, to support a status of an independent nation.”

Why Igbos should join APC – Orji Kalu

Former Gov. Orji Kalu of Abia State says it is more beneficial for the South-East to join the All Progressives Congress (APC), in order to benefit from being in the mainstream national politics.

Mr. Kalu said this during an interaction with journalists at his “Camp Neya” country home at Igbere in Bende Local Government Area of the state.

He said the victories recorded by APC in the Edo and Ondo general elections proved that the APC had become acceptable to Nigerians.

He, therefore, argued that the people of the South-East would benefit more if they quit the opposition camp and stood with the decision makers in the ruling party.

“Ndigbo should join APC to enable them to sit where other Nigerians are seated to decide on how to move the nation forward.

“The APC electoral victories in Edo and Ondo clearly showed the popularity of the party.

“So, I did not make mistake in taking the Igbos into national politics, where other Nigerians are seated; that is where I want the Igbos to sit.

“So, there is nothing wrong in our joining APC for us to be able to sit where other Nigerians are seated. That is more important to me.”

He said it was imperative for other prominent Igbo politicians to swell the number of people from the South-East region in APC.

He identified other APC members of South-East extraction to include the Minister of Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, and Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo, among others.

Mr. Kalu commended President Muhammadu Buhari for fulfilling his promise to resume work on federal roads in the South-East.

“During my visit to the president, he made a promise to me and other leaders three months ago that all the contractors would be back to the federal roads before the end of November.

“Today, if you go to every federal road in Eastern Nigeria, you will see that all the contractors are back fully and this is why I joined APC.

“I didn’t join the party on selfish basis; I joined because the president made a promise and I have seen that the contractors are back to site.

“And if they are back, why can’t I believe him? He will do more,” Mr. Kalu said.

He said his interest was for the South-East to have good roads, security and opportunities to trade and achieve prosperity.

On the current economic recession in the country, Mr. Kalu, who is also a renowned businessman, said: “All nations of the world are going through recession; Nigeria is not an exception.

“I am an international businessman; I am crying in all the countries I am doing business.

“From one country to the other, the story is the same; so we are crying there as we are crying in Nigeria.”

Mr. Kalu urged the president to pay attention to the economy as he had done to security.

Igbos Most Truthful, Committed, Yet Misunderstood– Okorocha

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, on Monday described the Igbos as “the most truthful, committed and trust -worthy people but often misunderstood in the country.’’

Speaking when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Government House, Owerri, Okorocha said that Imo had witnessed tremendous progress under his leadership.

He described Imo as as “one of the safest states’’ in Nigeria, where there was no more kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and baby factory syndrome.

He attributed the relative peace and security in the state to the efforts of the security agencies, especially the Nigerian army.

He commended the military for the successes being recorded in the fight against insurgency and terrorism in the North East.

He noted that such successes had not been achieved in Syria and other parts of the world battling terrorism.

Okorocha also commended the army for the “Exercise Crocodile Smile” and newly introduced “Exercise Python Dance” in the South-South and South-East zone.

He urged the security agencies to do whatever they could to secure the pipelines to enable free flow of oil to generate revenue for the nation.

He promised to continue to support the army.

Earlier, Buratai told the governor that he was in the state for the 2018 Chief of Army Staff Conference.

He told the governor that “Python Dance” was an exercise to update troops in the South- East on their rudiments and basics of their job.

Buratai said during the conference, the army would offer free medical services to the people of the state.

Credit: NAN

Igbos are Nigeria’s most truthful yet misunderstood people – Gov. Okorocha

Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo, on Monday described the Igbos as “the most truthful, committed and trust -worthy people but often misunderstood in the country.’’

Speaking when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, in Government House, Owerri, Mr. Okorocha said that Imo had witnessed tremendous progress under his leadership.

He described Imo as as “one of the safest states’’ in Nigeria, where there was no more kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and baby factory syndrome.

He attributed the relative peace and security in the state to the efforts of the security agencies, especially the Nigerian army.

He commended the military for the successes being recorded in the fight against insurgency and terrorism in the North East.

He noted that such successes had not been achieved in Syria and other parts of the world battling terrorism.

Mr. Okorocha also commended the army for the “Exercise Crocodile Smile” and newly introduced “Exercise Python Dance” in the South-South and South-East zone.

He urged the security agencies to do whatever they could to secure the pipelines to enable free flow of oil to generate revenue for the nation.

He promised to continue to support the army.

Earlier, Mr. Buratai told the governor that he was in the state for the 2018 Chief of Army Staff Conference.

He told the governor that “Python Dance” was a training exercise to update troops in the South- East on ther rudiments and basics of their job.

Mr. Buratai said that during the conference the army would offer free medical services to the people of the state.

US Election: Donald Trump won due to prayers of Igbos – Biafran pastors.

Biafra Clergy Movement, BCM, under the umbrella of Biafra Independent Movement, BIM, says the President elect of the United States of America, USA, Donald Trump won his election due to the prayers of Ndigbos, stressing that their prayers stopped Hillary Clinton.

 

Speaking in Nnewi, Anambra State during a prayer session, BIM’s Director of Religion for the South Senatorial zone, Apostle Akunne Chukwuemeka who cited the Book of Exodus chapter 9 verse 1, said the prayer summit was to congratulate Trump on his electoral victory and asked Pharaoh to allow Igbos actualise Biafra.

 

Chukwuemeka maintained that there is nothing the Nigerian government could do to stop the actualization of Biafra.

He said, “As God directed Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, so had the Nigerian government been directed to let the Biafrans go, adding, the election of Trump as the next American President was a prayer answered for Biafrans.

 

“Since Mr Trump is our choice, who will say no to Muslim colonization. It was the prayers of the Biafrans that stopped Hilary Clinton from winning the Presidential election”.

 

Trump, a Republican had few weeks ago emerged the President of the fiercely contested US Presidential election against all odds and predictions that were made against him.

Ohanaeze Youths Demand Apology from Kalu Over Igbo Comments

Some pan-Igbo groups on Tuesday reacted to former Abia State governor, Orji Kalu’s assertion that Igbos are better traders than politicians.

The groups, which spoke in separate interviews with our correspondent in Enugu, differed on the matter.

The Ohanaeze Youth Council, the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, asked the former governor to immediately apologise to the Igbos, and also retract his statements.

But the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra said Kalu said the truth.

Another group, the Igbo Awareness Movement, said Igbos are ‘learning’ from previous political mistakes, but must learn fast.

The Editor-in-Chief of The Interview magazine, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, in a statement of Monday, quoted Kalu as saying in a recent interview with the magazine, that Igbos are not as good in politics as they are in trading.

The former governor reportedly said the lack of understanding of politics and the indiscipline of Igbo politicians were responsible for what he called the political backwardness of the South-East.

READ ALSO: If Fashola were Igbo, he would have left Tinubu – Kalu

He was also quoted as saying that the political fortune of the Igbo would have been better had their politicians approached politics like the Yorubas.

Describing most of the Igbo elite as selfish, Kalu said Igbos should blame themselves and not the Federal Government for their woes.

“The Igbo have no discipline in terms of politics. They are very good traders; they’re good in anything they do, but they don’t understand politics,” Kalu was quoted to have said.

Reacting to the development, President, Ohanaeze Youth Council, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, described Kalu’s statements as unbecoming of a two-term governor who was seen as an Igbo leader.

Isiguzoro said Kalu should immediately tender an apology for ridiculing the Igbo before other ethnic nationalities in the country.

He accused Kalu of being one of those that deviated from the political ideology of pioneer Igbo national politicians like the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Michael Okpara by bringing what he described as ‘traders’ mentality’ into Igbo politics.

Speaking with our correspondent, Isiguzoro said, “Orji Kalu should immediately apologise to Ndigbo for insulting the great Igbo nation.

“During the First Republic, Igbos like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Michael Okpara and others were at the forefront of the independence movement.

“In the Second Republic, Igbos like Dr Alex Ekwueme were also at the forefront of national politics.

“It was when people like Kalu came to power that Igbos began to lose grounds, because he (Kalu) and his likes introduced traders’ mentality into the politics played by Igbos at the national level.

“The statement, which is ridiculing Ndigbo, was not expected from somebody who was a two-term governor.

“Was Nnamdi Azikiwe a trader? Was Michael Okpara a trader? What of Odumegwu Ojukwu, Mbonu Ojike, Jaja Nwachukwu? Were they traders?”

Isiguzoro noted that Kalu had an opportunity to become a national political leader, like All Progressives Congress national leader, Chief Bola Tinubu, but wasted it.

“When Tinubu was controlling only one state Kalu was controlling two states.

“How did he (Kalu) lose the two states? Because of his poor management skills.

“Ohanaeze youths don’t want to insult him because he is an elder, but he should apologise to Ndigbo.

“If he refuses to apologise, if he fails to retract that statement, we will put him in the dustbin of history and he will have no more relevance in Igboland,” Isiguzoro said.

Kalu said the truth, according to pro-Biafra group, MASSOB, which also reacted to the development.

MASSOB spokesman, Comrade Samuel Edeson, who spoke with our correspondent, said Igbos are not good in politics.

Edeson noted that, unlike the Yoruba and the Hausa/Fulani, Igbos are not united when it comes to national politics.

He said, “What Kalu said is the simple truth – there is no doubt about it. In politics Igbos are bad, there is no unity of purpose.

“For example, Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party but at the same time he always comes out to defend Tinubu, who is of the APC.

“Fayose defends Tinubu because he knows that, as a fellow Yoruba, they are brothers.

“In politics, you should always be on the side of your brother, unlike what happened when Alex Ekwueme and  Jim Nwobodo contested the PDP presidential ticket with Olusegun Obasanjo at the convention in Jos.

“Nwobodo went there and began to speak Hausa.

“The Hausa/Fulani man cannot do that to his brother, a Yoruba cannot do that to his brother.

“What the former governor (Kalu) said is the truth.”

Igbos Are their Own Worst Enemies – Orji Kalu

Igbos, who have often blamed the Federal Government for the backwardness in the South East, have been told that they have no one but themselves to blame for their woes.

Former Abia State Governor and businessman, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, said in the recent edition of The Interview: “Igbos are their own worst enemies.”

Kalu said a number of the elite in the region are not only selfish, they also get their politics wrong.

“Let me tell you,” he said in an emotion-laden voice, “there were more problems between (Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu and (Babatunde) Fashola than there were between me and TA (Theodore Ahamefule Orji).

“But it is the discipline of the Yorubas that kept them at bay.

“Igbos have no discipline in terms of politics.

“They are very good traders; they’re good in anything they do, but they don’t understand politics.”

Kalu was referring to the fractured relationship between Tinubu and Fashola in the latter’s second term as governor of Lagos State and comparing it to his own internecine war with his successor, Theodore A. Orji, which led to the extinction of the Progressive Peoples Alliance, the party he founded.

In the interview, described by the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview, Azu Ishiekwene, as “the political equivalent of the ogbunigwe (Biafran improvised explosives)”, Kalu illustrated his point with a conversation he claimed to have had with President Muhammadu Buhari, who wondered aloud why previous high profile Igbo appointees had done nothing for the region.

Kalu also spoke on the agitation for a state of Biafra and the travails of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu; his relationship with former President Ibrahim Babangida and former Governor Ikedim Ohakim; the recent statement of former Governor Peter Obi; and allegations that while he governed Abia State for eight years, his mother ruled.

In this edition, Tolu Ogunlesi engages Boko Haram leader, Abu Shekau, in an “exchange” of letters by email and Nigeria’s matriarch of Agony Aunts, Bunmi Sofola, gives an insight into what happens to love in a recession.

In one his first major interviews, the Managing Director of Nigeria’s mortgage refinance company, Prof. Charles Inyangete, also shares secrets on how you can make mortgage work for you.

“It’s a sure medicine for this recession,” Ishiekwene said in a statement released on Monday.

New Yam festival can be a money spinner for Nigeria – NICO

Prof. Barclays Ayakoroma, the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), says “New Yam” festival celebration in the South East can be a money spinner for the country.

He made the remark on Thursday at the maiden New Yam festival of the Enugu office of the Institute.

Ayakoroma said government could tap into the event to earn foreign exchange.

He added that the passion with which people of the area attached to the festival made it eye-catching and an event which ought to be exported to the rest of the world.

He said “government needs to support this huge festival.

“If a country like Haiti can pay off part of her national debt with earnings from `Carnival of Flowers’, the New Yam festival by Igbo communities can be harnessed to create a festival bigger than can be imagined.

“The Carnival of Flowers was conceptualised from the wild flowers that grow in Haiti and the all popular Edinburgh festival, a collection of 97 different festivals properly harnessed.’’

The NICO boss said that the New Yam festival attempted to take preeminence over many other festivals, stressing that “this can only mean the resurgence, promotion and preservation of our culture.

“The truth is that we are working hard to get it right and this annual festival has continually brought about several benefits which include boosting the local economy.’’

He pointed out that the festival had been a rallying force and had succeeded in bringing the people of the area together for one purpose.

“The New Yam festival has also gone viral, a situation where it is even celebrated even in universities and individual homes and by the Igbo in the Diaspora,” he said.

In a goodwill message, a veteran Nollywood actor, Chief Pete Edochie, urged people of the area to dedicate a unified and special day for the festival.

He said “this will unify us more as a people and we will then begin to think as one. On such days, all markets operated by our people the world over should be closed.

“It will be good if our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora will do same. Lets wear our native cloths and caps on such occasions.’’

Edochie said that a big carnival which would boost the nation’s economy could be made out of the festival.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event attracted scores of traditional rulers from the South East.

The occasion was also used to honour prominent Igbo sons who excelled in their chosen carriers.

Nothing is working in Nigeria, it will still break up – Uwazuruike

Leader of the Biafra Independent Movement (BIM), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike has stated that, the prophecy by the United States of America that Nigeria would split is still very much possible.

Speaking through his Director of Information, Mr. Chris Mocha, the BIM leader said resultant effect of the US army’s prediction included unabated insurgency in the North, herdsmen’s menace, militancy in Niger Delta, separatist agitations for Biafra Republic, the economic recession that had brought sufferings, poverty, looting spree and bribery and corruption by officials in government establishments.

“That nothing is working in Nigeria today has justified my Biafra struggle for independence.

“I cautioned Nigerian corrupt leaders who criticised the US army’s prediction of Nigeria’s possible breakup in 2015 as prophecy of doom, never to rejoice, insisting that the breakup of Nigeria into six republics is not yet over”, he said

Uwazuruike recalled that in an article written by Director of the African Security Research Project in Washington DC and Guest Columnist of All Africa Globe Media, Mr. Daniel Volman, the Nigerian scenario was predicated upon a possible war.

“The article observed that it was the first time African scenarios were included as part of Pentagon’s plan to create a new military command for Africa, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM)”, he added.

It also emerged that “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market was one of the guiding principles of AFRICOM, as articulated by Vice Admiral Robert Moeller at an AFRICOM conference held at Fort McNair on February 18, 2006.”

MASSOB Vows To Stop Ofala, New Yam Festivals.

The Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday,warned traditional rulers in the south-east geopolitical zone to henceforth, jettison the idea of ofala celebrations and new yam festivals following their inability to demand the release of detained Radio Biafra Director, Nnamdi Kanu and other pro-Biafran agitators who have been detained since October 10, last year.

MASSOB also revealed that it will call for a revolution in all Igbo communities if by December, Nnamdi Kanu was not released, adding that Ndigbo will not celebrate Christmas with Kanu still in detention.

The pro-Biafra group said the traditional rulers lost relevance when they failed to speak up for the release of their subjects in detention which includes; Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi, Innocent Orji, Sabastine Amadi and Benjamin Onwuka in prisons across the country.

It equally took a swipe at Igbo elites, religious leaders, politicians among others who they have labeled as insensitive to the Biafra struggle, wondering when Igbo will get personalities like; Senator Ali Ndume (Senate leader); Sultan of Sokoto and Emir of Kano; Senator Bola Tinubu and Gov Ayo Fayose who stand up for the struggle of their people.

An infuriated MASSOB warned the traditional rulers in a statement signed and made available to Vanguard by their leader Uchenna Madu,which read: ”Why must Igbo traditional rulers continue to celebrate Ofalas and new yam festivals while their Biafran subjects are still in detention for Igbo cause? We will stop these celebrations forthwith.

What are the religious leaders still preaching while our brethren are still in prisons? We demand that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and others will not spend Christmas in prisons again or an internal native revolution will start in Igboland. “MASSOB blasts Igbo religious, traditional, political and opinion leaders for their nonchalant and insensitive attitude concerning the plight of detained Biafra agitators in Nigeria prisons.

The non- violent struggle for Biafra is a reactionary revolution against the continued neglect, political injustices/imbalance of federal structures against Ndigbo by successive government of Nigeria since 1970. We are in this self determination struggle because of political, economical, academical and religious slavery which the government of Nigeria subjected Ndigbo into in Nigeria.

We and other genuine pro-Biafra groups are in the struggle because of the grand plan to islamize the people of Biafra with subtle and harsh economic policies. We are in the struggle to counter and correct the evil plot to enslave our children and their future. We are in the struggle to re-establish and revive the tenacity, economic independence and industrial nature of Ndigbo which astonished the world in 1950-70’s.

Truly, we are in the struggle to restore the dignity, culture and integrity of Ndigbo. “Majority of Igbo leaders have brazenly betrayed the Igbo cause and interest in Nigeria.” Ohaneze youths indict Igbo political leaders Equally, Ohaneze Youth Council, OYC, said that it would team up with Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, to sanitize Igbo land and punish Igbo politicians who have not done anything to improve the lives of Ndigbo.

OYC said that it was in agreement with MASSOB that most Igbo political actors have failed to put the interest of Ndigbo first in their actions and need to be called to order. The group said that they have started compiling names of those they would handle. A statement by OYC signed by Alex Okemiri said: “While there is obvious external marginalization of Ndigbo, there is also the internal marginalisation by our own people.

What do our governors do with the money that percolates to Igbo land? Most of them use it to buy lands, houses and choice properties all over the world. Some of them travel all over the world at every opportunity. They owe pensioners and workers for months . They do not care about the youths. “We are now compiling the list of such politicians and we shall hand over the list to MASSOB for proper sanction while we shall also carry out our own sanctions.

The categories are former governors, some former and serving senators, failed contractors, about 3 serving Igbo governors, former and serving ministers, former commissioners, and those who benefitted from Jonathan’s election funds. “Infact, if by December this year, such failed politicians fail to turn a new leaf, they will leave Igboland for us because we cannot tolerate such people in our midst again. They cannot stay in Igbo land and use our resources to better only their lives and the lives of their girlfriends and hangers on while their subjects suffer unduly. “Igbo contractors also given contracts in Igboland who fail to execute such contracts creditably will also face the music.”

“Justice Ademola Arrested For Granting Kanu Bail” – IPOB

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has allegedly linked Justice Ademola’s arrest with the unconditional bail he had earlier granted Nnamdi Kanu which the Federal Government rejected.

A statement from IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the group noted that Kanu has spent one year in detention illegally while the court of competent jurisdiction granted him unconditional release on 16th and 17th December 2015 by magistrate and federal high court Abuja but since then federal government, APC and the DSS were still holding him and others in prison custody.

He urged Biafrans to be resolute and determine towards the restoration of the God’s own project which is Biafra republic, saying that the project was ordained by God Almighty.

Powerful stated that Biafra will be a country where people of Africa will benefit, ‘the Africa will be technologically, economically, politically and spiritually free through the new republic’.

“However, we are aware of the systematic way of delaying the members of IPOB who were detained illegally in all the prisons and security cells across the country”.

In a related development, Kanu as sued the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Department of State Services (DSS) for contempt of court over failure of the federal government to release him from detention.

On December 17, 2015, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, a judge of the Federal High Court ordered Kanu’s unconditional release of Kanu.

In a statement at the weekend, Ifeanyi Ejiojor, counsel to Kanu, linked the continued detention of the IPOB leader to President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment at the presidential media chat on December 30, 2015, where he said no court would grant him bail.

“The order made on December 17, 2016 by Justice A.F.A. Ademola, directing the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu was served on the Department of State Services (DSS) that same day the order was made,” he said.

“Still, the DSS failed, refused and/or neglected to obey the order directing the unconditional release of Kanu, apparently due to reasons best known to them, which has no justification under any law.

IPOB said none of the affected institutions of the government affected by the order or the Federal Government has lodged an appeal against the order directing the unconditional release of Kanu.

Ademola was one of the judges arrested by the DSS on Saturday on the allegation of corruption.

“Nevertheless, it comes as a surprise on Friday 7th October 2016 at exactly 11:45am we received information that the Biafra land national coordinator of the indigenous people of Biafra Mr.Chidiebere Onwudiwe who have been arrested by DSS was called up in the federal high court Abuja court 7 of Justice Ademola without the prosecutors been in court to defend the matter against Chidiebere Onwudiwe” he stated.

“The DSS being the prosecutor of the matter were nowhere to be found in the court on Friday 7th October, they are running because Chidiebere Onwudiwe committed no crime against humanity or the federal government of Nigeria” Powerful stated.

“Comrade Chidiebere Onwudiwe was arrested in the odd hour of midnight in Igweocha (PH) Rivers state where he was sleeping on Friday 22nd June 2016 still detained in DSS cell incommunicado and have not been taking to any court since 128 days”.

“The lawyer incharge of the matter Bar, Ifeanyi Ejiofor who filled motion for his bail in the federal high court 7 Abuja. The chief judge Ademola who adjourned the matter to be on Tuesday 11th October for hearing because the DSS did not produce mazi Chidiebere Onwudiwe the national coordinator of the indigenous people of Biafra IPOB Biafraland in court” said powerful.

Meanwhile, a political pressure group, Concerned Abians for Good Governance and Justice (CAGGJ) has commended the Department of State Services (DSS) over last weekend’s arrest of some senior Judges across the country and their subsequent arraignment yesterday for alleged corrupt practices.

This is even as the group flayed what it described as the ignoble role played by Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in the failed attempt to arrest a Federal High Court Judge in Port Harcourt by operatives of the DSS.

In a statement by its chairman, Egwu D. Uwa, CAGGJ said Nigerians have for years be yearning for a day like this, when men no matter how highly placed would be made to account for what they have done with what were entrusted in their care.

Uwa said as far as his group was concerned, what the DSS operatives did was what Nigerians had been yearning for over the years, stressing that it was only those who benefitted from what have been happening in the judiciary over the years that would condemn the action.

CAGGJ regretted that most of the politics-related judgments delivered after the 2015 general elections were cash induced, saying no nation would grow politically if this anomaly was not checked.

“It was glaringly clear that most of the politics-related judgments delivered since after the2015 general elections were cash and carry judgments and no good government that what its salt will sit idly and watch things like this go on and that is why we are commending the DSS for this bold step”.

Uwa said it was unfortunate that those who are condemning the modus-operandi the DSS operatives adopted in arresting the Judges, have closed their eyes to the huge cash recovered for the houses of the arrested judges.

Wondering where the Judges got such huge amount of money in both local and foreign currencies, Uwa opined that if the operatives of the DSS had not adopted such method, the deliveries could not have been made.

CAGGJ condemned Gov Wike’s action in allegedly using some party loyalists to stop the arrest of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, saying the action was capable of sending wrong signals to the public.

CAGGJ said if Wike had no special interest in the Judge, he wouldn’t have left the Government House at about 1.30am to ensure that the said Judge was not arrested.

“We don’t think if Gov Wike had no interest in the particular Judge, he would have left Government House by the time he did to ensure that the Judge was not arrested. Again his efforts in trying to defend the Judge over the amount alleged to be in his house, left much to be desired”, Uwa said.

Biafra will become reality soon – MASSOB

Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has said that the quest to actualise Biafra Republic will soon become a reality notwithstanding the position of the federal government of Nigeria.

The leadership of the group stated this yesterday, in an elaborate ceremony marking the 17th anniversary of MASSOB.

The group used the occasion to reflect on what they described as their long walk to freedom, and countless episodes of brutality visited on them by the Nigerian government.

Addressing members, MASSOB leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu recalled the harassment, arrests, detention, imprisonment and killings of their non-violent members.

He said: “Today, we also remember the traumatic torture, massacre of unarmed MASSOB members at Umulolo, Okigwe on 29th March, 2003. Today, we remember the uncelebrated deaths of our fallen heroes, not forgetting the traumatic deaths of the parents of our members who died because of shock. MASSOB can never forget the death of the first two pro-Biafra martyrs, Gabriel Ogu and Joseph Okereke. They willingly gave their lives in defence of the Biafran flag at Faulks Road, Aba on 22 May, 2000 when MASSOB first hoisted the Biafran flag.”

In another statement signed by Mazi Lotachukwu Ikeogu (Imo State Coordinator) and Comrade Sebastine Muonso (Imo State Secretary), the group said: “We also remember our members who are still in detention because of their belief in Biafra, but as we commemorate our 17th year anniversary, we urge Ndigbo to device local and community based means of protecting themselves.”

The statement noted further that if Ndigbo had realised potency of their enemy and the hate-driven policies targeted at them, they will stop lamenting about the federal government’s inability to protect them against the marauding Fulani herdsmen.

MASSOB warns that Ndigbo should hold their governors responsible for any invasion of our land by foreigners. That Buhari’s sudden and pressured directive against Fulani’s herdsmen is half-hearted and political. MASSOB foresees more military-styled attacks which shall continue to be veiled as executed by Fulani’s herdsmen but the real men behind these pogroms are known as the Islamic Arewa Army (ISAA) established to conquer and actualise an ethno-religious agenda,” it stated.

Also, the Ralph Uwazurike faction of MASSOB, which gathered on Tuesday at Ikom township stadium in central Cross River State to celebrate the 17th anniversary of the movement, maintained that it was reaching out to countries in the western world to support its course and that soon, Biafra will gain its freedom from Nigeria.

The Zonal leader of the group, Samuel Okah, who led members on a peaceful march through streets in the commercial town of the state chanting victory songs and the Biafran anthem before converging at the stadium, encouraged members to keep faith with the movement as the leadership was doing everything to ensure a peacefull disengage from Nigeria.

Okah, who also said Chief Uwazurike has asked him to assure members of the possibility of freedom, noted that the struggle had assumed a different dimension and that the federal government would soon get tired of arresting and intimidating members of the group.

We have continued to ask for a peaceful departure from Nigeria because we do not want take up arms again. In the last seventeen years, the struggle has gained momentum and the federal government might soon be tired of arm-twisting us to remain in unequalled country,” Okah stated.

“Forget about Biafra,” President Buhari tell agitators.

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Igbos to forget about the Biafra struggle after it reared its head again last year through Nnamdi Kanu.

Buhari made this known on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 while receiving over 100 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving in Daura Local Government Area.

He said: “Tell your colleagues who want Biafra to forget about it. As a military commander, I walked from Degem, a border town between the north and the east, to the border between Cameroons and Nigeria.

“I walked on my foot for most of the 30 months that we fought the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, in which at least 2 million Nigerians were killed.

“We were made by our leaders to go and fight Biafra not because of money or oil, because oil was not critical factor then, but because of one Nigeria.

“So, if leaderships at various levels failed, it was not the fault of the rest of Nigerians who have no quarrel with one another.

“So, please tell your colleagues that we must be together to build this country. It is big enough for us and potentially big enough in terms of resources.

“Those who work hard will earn a respectable living. I have seen this country, I fought for this country and I will continue to work for the unity of this country,” he said.

The president further called on Nigerian youths to make Nigeria great again through pursuit of knowledge, patriotism and commitment to values that promote national unity.

Emeka Anyaoku Rejects Pro-Biafran Group, IPOB’s Appointment

A former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has rejected his nomination as one of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra’s representatives to negotiate or discuss on behalf of the group.

IPOB had on Wednesday listed Anyaoku as one of the “credible Igbo elders” that would represent it in “negotiations” and “discussions”.

Also on the list are former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme; Prof. Ben Nwabueze; the Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Diocese, Archbishop Anthony Obinna; a Biafran civil war army commander, Alex
Madiebo; and an activist, Dr. Arthur Nwankwo.

But in an email exchange with one of our correspondents, Anyaoku, who said he had yet to be contacted by the Pro-Biafra group, stated that he would not accept the appointment.

He said, “I have not been approached nor would I be willing to undertake such an assignment in the present circumstances.’’

In a statement signed by its spokesmen, Emma Mmezu and Clifford Iroanya, IPOB said the selection of Ekwueme, Anyaoku and the others came on the heels of its rejection of the alleged meeting between the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and a United States of America delegation in Enugu.

In the statement entitled, ‘Beware of impostors’, the group dissociated itself from any discussions or negotiations entered into on its behalf by Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

IPOB alleged that the Ohanaeze leaders claimed they were speaking on its behalf at the alleged meeting with the US officials, who were said to be on a fact-finding mission.

The statement read in part, “We do not deal with nor condone the idea of washed- out political contractors and compromised merchants of misery speaking for Biafrans.

“We value our reputation as IPOB and would like to warn that anybody dealing with any group that is not IPOB under the supreme command of Nnamdi Kanu (our detained leader) is engaging in an exercise in futility.

“Our focus now is to ensure the release of our leader first before we negotiate with anyone.

“We would view anyone discussing or attempting to cut a deal without the knowledge of the leadership of IPOB as an enemy of the people.

“IPOB has chosen Dr Arthur Nwankwo, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Archbishop Anthony Obinna, Gen. Alex Maduebo, Prof. Ben Nwabueze and Chief Emeka Anyaoku as credible elders, who will speak the truth without being easily compromised.”

Source: Punch

‘Numerous Evidence Shows President Buhari Loves Igbos’ – Femi Adesina

Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina says contrary to popular belief, there are many evidences to show that President Buhari loves the Igbos in Nigeria. He stated this in an interview he had with Radio continental on Friday January 8th

“When the President ran for political office in 2003, who was his running mate? Dr Chuba Okadigbo. And in 2007? Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke. If he hated Igbos would he run with them? That shows you the respect and the regard he has for Igbos, it was political reality that compelled him to come south-west in 2011 and in 2015. 

  Let me tell you a story. There is a prominent Igbo family in this country, if I mention their names you would know them, they are very prominent in the society. They told me a story that in the 70s, President Buhari was Minister of Petroleum, the family wanted to join the petroleum industry and then they made a bid. By then, there were not too many Nigerians playing in that industry, and there was a lot of scepticism from those around the then Lt Colonel Buhari, who was Oil Minister. They all said they don’t believe that the company as represented by that family had the capacity to play in the industry. This family told me that eventually, they got to Lt Colonel Buhari, he listened to them, and asked them; ‘Are you sure you have the capacity to do this?’ And they told him, ‘we can do it’. Then he removed his military cap, banged it on the table and told them, ‘it is done.’ And he instructed that they give them that opportunity they wanted in the oil industry and today that family is so big and they never forget that the then Colonel Buhari as oil minister gave them the break they needed. They told me that story about three weeks ago. The next day, when I saw the president, I told him the story. He laughed and then went on to tell me that when people say he is against the Igbos, it baffles him, that really he never knew that family, he just trusted the assurance they gave him that they could play in the oil industry, and today they are very big. He went further to say that even under PTF, so many Nigerians, including Igbos, benefitted a lot. So there is no way you can say the man hates Igbos. The second Niger bridge is on the budget in 2016. Let’s recall that the last President sometime in 2011 said that he would complete that second Niger bridge before 2015. He didn’t even go beyond the architectural drawing, but in 2016 budget, that project is there”he ssaid

Read more excepts from the interview after the cut
Q: What do you have to say about the Chibok schoolgirls? Any negotiation in progress with Boko Haram?
ANS: We need to know a little bit of what happened behind the scenes, between the last government and some people masquerading as the leadership of Boko Haram who wanted to get the Chibok girls released. They actually turned it into a franchise, it became a commercial thing and they got money, possibly in millions of dollars, only for government to discover it had been swindled. They kept saying they could get the girls released , they could interface with Boko Haram and they went smiling to the bank with all that money, and nothing happened. So you should understand why this government is being careful and the President has said the genuineness of the leadership of Boko Haram must be determined before any negotiation takes place.
Q: The commendation actually goes to you and your media team, for the media chat of President Buhari a few days ago. Arising from that chat, it is reported that the president said that he would not grant bail to former NSA, Sambo Dasuki, and Nnamdi Kanu of Biafra. What was in the mind of the President.
ANS: Our president is a straight shooter, whatever is in his mind is what he tells you. He doesn’t believe in manipulating or any form of rigmarole. What he said, was that those people had grievous charges against them, but then, he does not preclude bail, if there are no pending charges against them. The situation now is when bail is granted, before that bail is perfected, those who are prosecuting them would have come with fresh charges, which warrant their being held further. So, that is the position, if there are no fresh charges, and there is bail, there is no reason to hold them. But the truth is that there are fresh charges leveled against them.
Q: One of the APC men has been arrested by EFCC, and that is Col Jafar Isa. What does that mean to you?
ANS: It means that in this corruption fight, no friend, no foe. One of the quickest ways for President Buhari to lose confidence in anybody is for that person to be tarred with the brush of corruption, and if proven to be true, you are on your own. All those who have said he is selective, it is because they do not know him. We know how much he detests corruption, and if any case is proven against anybody, no matter how close the person is, no matter how high ranking, that person will answer for it.
Q: On Forex policy of CBN, and Miss Christine Lagarde of IMF talking down on Nigeria, despite corruption allegation against her back home
ANS: If Miss Christine Lagarde has any corruption allegation, it is not Nigeria that has brought it against her. Nigeria has absolutely no role in that, we know what happened to her predecessor in office, when he had issues over sexual assault and all that. He was removed and he answered for it in court . We leave that to them for them to handle. But in terms of talking down, there was no talking down at all. I was at the meeting that she held with the President, there was absolutely no talking down, she spoke nicely and decently, I don’t agree that she spoke down on anybody. In fact she ended up commending the President, commending Nigeria, and she said she wouldn’t expect to hear a knock on her door any day from Nigerians asking for support because she has seen that Nigeria has all it takes to pull through this rough patch that she is passing through. I wouldn’t agree with you that she talked down on anybody, she had the right as MD of IMF to make prescription, Nigeria has the right either to accept or reject.
Q: When would the disability bill be signed into law?
ANS: This is the second time this is coming up on this show, because I remember this question came up the last time I was here and now that the Ministers are about two months in office this is also something that I would bring up.
Q: Please lead us into the privacy of the President.How does the President carry the enormous problem of this nation? How true is the statement that the only thing he is doing now is fighting corruption, neglecting issue of economy, infrastructure and welfare of citizenry?
ANS: I would like to begin by saying that corruption is central to every other thing in this country. If we want to talk about the economy, education, health care, if all the funds we would need to address these are squirreled away, how then do we address them? Fighting corruption is central to Nigeria’s development, therefore the President has taken it as one of the key things that his administration would do. But then, that doesn’t mean that corruption is the only thing he is fighting, you need to see the man’s schedule. He gets to the office in the morning about 9 a.m, the first thing he has required us to do is get the highlights of newspapers ready for him, and so before he comes in, we have reviewed the newspapers, we have done all the highlights and that is the first thing he looks at. Then he begins to attend to all the other things lined out for him. Across all the sectors, ministers and directors of agencies are meeting with him. He is a hard worker and at 73, I wonder how he does it. He does that till early evening, when he then retires home to have a late lunch and a rest, and then in the early evening he takes on people that have been scheduled to meet him, if there are. One thing that about this President is that as much as possible, you don’t get to his house and see a market. I was told that in the last dispensation the place would still be a beehive of activities as late as 2 a.m. But this man is methodical, he plans his days and in the process he is able to attend to much more. All the sectors are receiving attention, I can assure you.
Q: Funding the real sector is going to be very important in getting diversification, in getting the economy back on track. What about our developmental banks?
ANS: Talking of the real sector I know of BOI because, I engage with them, the MD, the corporate affairs people, we spoke two days ago and they have this programme on television which I follow. I think BOI is doing well and they have to be further empowered to do more. Talking of Treasury Single Account (TSA) it is work in progress, the rough edges are being smoothened. You heard the President on National Media Chat saying that about N1. 5 trillion has been harnessed into TSA. If you don’t harness this money, how do you use it? Now that that money is there, that is when we can talk of using it for the real sector.
Q: What is the plan of the government on state police?
ANS: I know that the APC had some promises in that respect, don’t forget that APC promised to look at our federation, and re-tune it, rework it, and part of the promises was to look into state police.
Q: The Nigerian Labour Congress is threatening to call out Nigerians to embark on strike, the reason is based on subsidy removal, which was alleged would bring untold hardship to common Nigerians. Could you shed light on this issue?
ANS: What hardship can be greater than what Nigerians passed through in the past four- six weeks, queueing endlessly to buy petrol and at the end of the day buying it at N200, N250, N300 per litre; what hardship can be greater than that? On the flip-side, what we are entering into now is something that would make life a lot easier for Nigerians, getting petrol, making sure that the supply is sustained because with crude oil prices down, why should Nigerians pay so high for refined petrol? That is what government is doing. Now that crude prices are down, this is the opportunity to arrive at appropriate prices for refined petrol, that is why we now have N86 from NNPC, N86.5 from other marketers, and it has also been said that this would be subject to review every quarter. That means if oil prices inch up again, it would affect how much we buy petrol. Labour, I am sure will look at the matter again, and know that it would be better that Nigerians get petrol at clearly affordable prices, reacting to prices of crude oil, rather than a subsidy regime that is fraught with so much corruption.
Q: What are the foreign policy plans of this administration?
ANS: We just had a minister of foreign affairs, who is settling down. The Ministers would just be two months in office soon. Economic diplomacy is very important for us. We know that we have engaged with the West, we have also gone East; China for instance is doing a lot of with us. Economic diplomacy is very important for Nigerians at this time, because like the President says, no country in the world can afford to stand alone again. Even President Obama said it at the UN General Assembly last September, no country in the world can afford to stand alone again because the things that unite the world now are economy and security. No country can afford to do it alone, so Nigeria’s foreign policy would also be conditioned by that.
Q: Restructuring our federalism, what is the President approach to it?
ANS: As I said earlier, restructuring the federation is part of the promises the APC made when it campaigned, but you would also agree that it is not a one man show; it is not the President that would say, this is the way to do it. No, It has to be a deliberate policy, starting from the party, to the national assembly and then it becomes law and all that. It is not the President that would direct it.
Q: We want to bring five members of this parliament to Aso Rock, I mean people who call in on this radio, and present our needs to the president.
ANS: I assure you that it can be done. I will raise it with the President
Q: Most business people are having problems funding their transactions. What is being done in terms of bridging this?
ANS: It is not targeted at anybody. It is a policy from the Central Bank. During the Presidential Media Chat, the President promised that he would get the CBN governor to look at the matter again. He said it openly and publicly. But one thing about economic downturn and revival is that it is not at the snap of a finger, economies don’t collapse in a flash, it is a gradual thing. So you can’t expect that it’s going to be by the snap of the finger, and the economy is revived again. It has to be rebuilt, the foundation has to be relaid, that is what this government is doing, and with a government that is serious and focussed like this one, we would get there. All of us have to be patient to get there.

‘Kanu Came Into Nigeria Without Any Passport’ – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said the leader of the Independent People of Biafra and Director, Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, came into Nigeria from the United Kingdom without any passport and with sophisticated equipment for his radio station.

The President said this while fielding questions from journalists during his maiden Presidential Media Chat on Wednesday.

Asked why the Department of State Security had continued to detain some people, including form National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and Kanu despite the fact that courts had granted them bail more than once, Buhari suggested that they could jump bail.

He said, “You can see the type of atrocities that those people committed against soldiers of the Republic, against the country. They could jump bail.

“The former President just wrote to the governor Central Bank and said give N40bn naira to so, so, so… and then you ask him to go and see his doctor in London, while you have two million people in IDP (internally displaced person) camps, half of them do not even know their parents. Which type of country do you want to run.

“And the one you are calling Kanu, do you know he has two passports – one Nigerian, one British – and he came into this country without any passport? Do you know he came into this country with sophisticated equipment and was broadcasting for Radio Biafra?”

Kanu’s arrest and detention has sparked increased agitation for Biafra with supporters of his cause staging protests across states in the South-East as well as in Abuja and Lagos.

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on December 17 ordered his unconditional release, resulting in wild jubilation by his supporters.

However, the Federal Government filed six fresh charges – of treason and other ancillary offences against him.

The government also said it had discovered that the transmitters for Radio Biafra, which Kanu was accused of using to spread secessionist agenda and campaigning for the carving out of a Biafra Republic from Nigeria, were found to be installed on MTN masts in Enugu and Anambra states.

According to the Federal Government, the installation of the transmitters on the telecommunications company’s masts was to ensure wider coverage for the radio.

During the media chat, Buhari also faulted the agitation for Biafra, insisting that all regions were represented in his administration.

He said, “Help me define the extent of marginalisation. Who is marginalising them? Why? How? Do you know? … The constitution said there must be a minister from each state. Who is the Minister of Petroleum? Is he not Igbo? Who is the Governor of Central Bank? Is he not Igbo? Who is the Minister of Labour? Who is the Minister of Science and Technology? Who is the junior minister of education?”

Governor Obiano Visits The Mosque Which Was Attacked In Onitsha Yesterday

Anambra state Governor, Wilie Obiano today visited the Mosque in Onitsha which was attacked during Pro-Biafran protests yesterday. The governor also toured the Bridge Head and Nkpor to assess damages done. Obiano urged Ndi Anambra to carry on with their daily activities without fear of molestation as sanity has been restored.

Tony Ademiluyi: Stoking The Ghost Of Biafra

One of the causes of the Nigerian Civil War which gave rise to the existence of Biafra was the brutal way the Igbos were treated in the northern part of the country in the mid 1960’s. Many of the northerners were seething with anger at the death of their political leader, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and his deputy in the defunct Northern Peoples Congress, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, an Igbo from Delta State was the mastermind of the coup and it was seen as a northern cleansing agenda. Igbos were massacred in their tens of thousands and they were forced to abandon their lucrative businesses in the north to flee for their precious lives. The then military governor of the eastern region, Lt-Col Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu emerged as the Igbo leader and rallying point for a better deal for the itinerant tribe thought to have a link with the Jews.  He encouraged them to come back home in droves as the north was no longer safe for them. The civil war which was a mere police action escalated into a strife that lasted for over two years with millions of Nigerians especially the starving Igbo children as casualties.

The Igbos seem to still be haunted by their decision to secede which was ironically foisted on them as a result of the blood thirsty desires of their supposed brothers. That acceptance of them as part of the tripod of the Big Three is not just there. The then National Party of Nigeria in a bid to make their party look Pan Nigerian zoned the vice-presidency to the south east without any corresponding constitutional function to that office. The office was so weak that the holder couldn’t even award any contract of any magnitude.

The fall of the republic saw a strange kind of vendetta against the Igbos. The Second Republic Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme was locked up in the kirikiri prisons while his erstwhile boss, Alhaji Shehu Shagari was given a preferential treatment under house arrest. The late Ikemba Nnewi was locked up also in the kirikiri for no justifiable reason. This was a man who held no public office and even lost a senatorial election to little known Dr. Onwudiwe, a commissioner under the then Governor Jim Nwobodo of the old Anambra State. He was even battling to retrieve his ‘stolen’ mandate before the soldiers struck. Buhari was the Head of State then when this state organized hate against the Igbos was perpetrated.

The geo-political balancing doesn’t favour them as they are the only zone with five states while the others have six. All efforts to have an additional state created have come to naught. The entire South East had just 96 local governments while the North-West where President Buhari hails from has a whopping 186. This has ensured that the east which has two oil producing states receives far less federal allocation than the North-West which doesn’t produce a drop of oil. The roads especially the federal ones in the zone show a lack of federal government presence and this has been the case for decades. It is so bad that it takes the efforts of wealthy businessmen to fix some of the dilapidated ones who have faced the reality of being their own local governments.

The present administration is not helping matters by pursuing a subtle agenda to perhaps punish the Igbos for not casting their votes for PMB. How would you explain the planned movement of the boko haram prisoners from the North-East to the South-East, a surreptitious way to expose the region to massive terrorist attacks?

The zone suffered an assault in the enfranchisement process during the last general elections. 7.6 million voters were registered for the elections and only 5.6 million had their permanent voters cards. Contrast this to the north-west which had 17.6 million registered voters and 15.1 million had their pvc’s. Buhari obviously has no need for the zone as politics is a game of numbers. The cabinet composition where the east was largely relegated to the background as has been its fate since the end of the civil war is no surprise.

A marginalized people have the right to agitate for a better deal. It is their prerogative and fundamental human right which is non-negotiable. A crackdown on that right should be condemned. Nnamdi Kanu who incidentally was based in the United Kingdom had the right to run a radio station to show the world the brutal marginalization of his people. He had that inalienable right of self-expression. He had the right to communicate the feelings of his people to the rest of the outside world. The best way to counter him was not in arresting him but by doing the things for the one that would make the radio station not worth being on air in the first place. His arrest only made him a folk hero. From parts of Delta to Enugu, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Abia, Akwa Ibom and Anambra were massive protests in support of him. Vladimir Putin of Russia and Binyamin Netayanhu of Israel also roundly condemned the needless arrest. The Irish Resistance Army sprung up to fight for a better deal for the Irish people who were under the heavy yoke of British rule. Crack downs only made them popular and their cause worth fighting for till they got what they wanted by getting a part of Ireland independent of the United Kingdom. The mafia rose up as a result of the unfair treatment meted out to the people of Southern Italy who demanded a much better slice of the Italian cake. Separatist groups spring up because of the systemic imbalance and the best way to redress the crisis and pull them back into the union is to give a listening ear to their demands and sincerely work on meeting them one at a time. Incarcerating Kanu and making him get massive global support would be bad for Buhari’s image who is seen as a tribal bigot. He needs to reassure Nigerians that he is a unifying statesman and not a divisive politician.

The trial of Kanu is needless persecution of someone trying to make a case for a bigger slice of the pie for his people whose economic contributions to the country cannot be overlooked or dismissed with the wave of the hand. He is crying using the mass media of the short wave – an extremely potent tool that his people should not be slaughtered like rams in the north on the altar of religious bigotry, they deserve to handle bigger responsibilities in government, need to feel more government presence in their zone amongst a plethora of legitimate requests. The PMB administration can score a few points by giving the South East critical federal government attention and dousing the feelings of alienation and being hewers of woods and drawers of water currently being experienced by the Igbos. Keeping liberation fighters behind bars is certainly not the way to go.

TONY ADEMILUYI

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Nigeria Can’t Survive Another Civil War – Bode George

A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, says the Federal Government and the pro-Biafran agitators must tread softly, adding that no nation has ever survived two civil wars.

George said this at an event to commemorate his 70th birthday in Lagos on Monday.

The PDP leader cautioned the two groups at the forefront of the pro-Biafra agitation: the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra and the Indigenous People of Biafra.

He said secession was not the answer to the problems of Nigeria.

While pleading with the protesters and their leaders to hold talks with the Federal Government, George called for an equitable distribution of resources and appointments in the country, adding that the government must give every tribe and region a sense of belonging.

He said, “I want to plead with the Biafran protesters to be patient and I urge them to tread softly. No nation goes to civil war twice and survives. We are still meandering to build nationhood.

“Let us build this nation together. We must ensure that everyone has a sense of belonging. Sharing of resources and appointments should not be a winner-takes-all affair. Let us debate and deliberate over our affairs. Dismembering the system through protests and agitations is not the solution.”

George, who recently returned to Nigeria after spending over five months in London following the defeat of the PDP at the centre, said the party would have retained power but for some mistakes it made.

The PDP chieftain said the PDP leadership erred by making some people ministers even though they did not deserve it.

While making a veiled reference to a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, George said the PDP would have performed better in Lagos had the presidency not empowered people who were not committed to the party.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the PDP in Lagos State, Capt. Tunji Shelle (retd.), said the party made a lot of mistakes in the last elections.

Shelle said some people were given campaign funds but absconded with the money. He added that some of the people had travelled out of the country in shame.

He, however, maintained that the PDP would continue to be an effective opposition.

He said, “Money went into the wrong hands. The people who should not handle money were the ones who handled money for the PDP. I don’t want to start mentioning names but they know themselves. Some of them cannot even stay in Nigeria today because of the damage they did to the party.

“We will continue to pray that they change their attitude and character. The PDP is a strong party but I know that Chief George has done his best.”

PDP leaders present at the event said that the party did quite well in the last elections in Lagos because of visionary leadership.

“Call Fr. Mbaka To Order For Working Against Igbo Interest”- Bishop Tells Catholic Priests

Few days after Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka said he would support pro-Biafran agitators only if “their sponsors take the lead in any protest,” the General Overseer of Mount Zion Faith Global Libera­tion Ministries (a.k.a By Fire By Fire), Nnewi, Anambra State, Rt. Rev. Bishop Abra­ham Chris Udeh has called on Catholic Bishops to call the fiery priest to order.

Bishop Udeh said Fr. Mbaka was dancing to the dictates of those he de­scribed as the ememies of the Igbos who also alleg­edly sponsored him to work against his Igbo brothers. He claimed that Fr. Mbaka allegedly worked against former President Goodluck Jonathan during the 2015 general elections
leading to his loss, claiming he had started to work against the actualization of Biafra.He said:

“It appears you people (the media) are afraid to tell Mbaka the truth. Why should he be
working against Igbo interest and everybody will keep quiet. Even the Catho­lic Bishops do not want to call him to order. He is not talking prophetically. Is the Buhari he projected to succeed Jonathan working for the interest of Ndigbo? Can’t we reason? That is the question we should ask our­selves”,

He noted that Fr. Mbaka would live to see Biafra stand. The bishop said he will continue to support the agitation until the Igbo mar­ginalization was addressed.
He lambasted some Igbo leaders for keeping quiet over the arrest and contin­ued detention of the Director of Radio Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu
“because they are con­tented with their political positions and the crumbs from the table in Abuja.” He said those politicians were only after their own pockets and not the interest of the Igbos.

The Sun

Nnamdi Kanu To Remain In Prison As FG Seeks To Transfer Case To Another Court

The State Security Services (SSS) has asked a magistrates court to discontinue the hearing of the case against the director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

At the hearing today, November 23, the prosecuting counsel said since the arraignment of the defendant, facts have emerged which would necessitate for the case to be taken out of the jurisdiction of the magistrates court. He asked the court for the permission to take the matter to another court.
He also said that “coupled with the fact that the accused person has been unable to perfect his
bail… the complainant is expeditiously apply for the arraignment of the accused in the appropriate court”.

But one of the defending counsels, V. E Obeta told the court that the team of the defendant has been aligned and all discord settled. He said he and his team are appearing on the orders of the defendant.

Another defending counsel M. U Ibekwo said: “There is no way that they can be in pretense of violating the orders of the court.”

He said the SSS could not pick someone from Lagos, transport him to Abuja and violate the court and then suddenly stumble on new facts that would mandate that the case be transferred to a competent court of law. He argued that under the law, the SSS has no right to hold Kanu in their facility.

“But my Lord, today we noticed that the defendant was brought from the SSS custody instead of a prison facility as stipulated in the law,” Ibekwo said.

He said an ex-partie order by the SSS violated the proceedings and orders of the court.

“My lordship, there is no appeal against any of the orders that have been issued by this court whatsoever,” he said.

He prayed the court not to allow the discontinuance of the matter until compliance is made with the orders of the court.

In his arguments, the prosecuting counsel said that the prosecution did not need an instruction from the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to discontinue a case.

The accused stood throughout the proceeding without making any comment.

But the magistrate, Shuaibu Usman showed his dissatisfaction in the time taken by the case especially with the verification of the surety and property for bail.

The prosecuting counsel said the SSS has verified that the said surety works with the Ministry of Environment but that there are other matters arising.

The chief magistrate, Usman adjourned the matter to Tuesday, December 1, for ruling on the application to discontinue the case.

Meanwhile, there was heavy security pretense when Kanu appeared in court as supporters tried to touch and get close to him. The security operatives mostly armed search asked anyone who tried to enter the court for identification.

Source: Naij

Bemdoo Hulugh: Biafra, The Rest Of Us And A Nation Without Aspirations

More than 40 years ago, the Igbos returned in droves to their ancestral home, the southeast that other Nigerians were killing them but this time around it is the Igbos that are attacking other Nigerians in what they assume to be the Biafra territory because they want to secede and also to threaten the government to release a fraudster they refer to as their leader. The radio Biafra guy who was recently arrested in Nigeria is the major inspiration behind the latest agitation for Biafra republic.

I first listened to radio biafra when I boarded a car from Enugu to Aba. It was a small car, I was in the front sit beside the driver with four other passengers behind. The car was quiet till the driver tuned to radio biafra and I noticed how everybody in the car became lively. I was confused at first as the only non Igbo guy in this small car but I quickly got up to speed and wanted to hear what this much talked about radio biafra has to say. The pirate radio station was dishing one lie after another to the amusement of the passengers. One of the passengers had the courage to tell the driver to tune to some thing else that the guy is deceiving them(Igbos) but the driver replied that “are you not a biafran?” and the other passengers descended on the chap verbally. One passenger said why he loves the radio biafra guy is that he exposes the secrets of northerners a lot and so many other rubbish. It was strange that they saw nothing wrong in his call for genocide.

Another instance I saw that the message of the radio biafra guy is getting to many igbos is one evening I sat in Enugu around Maryland at a roadside garden to drink out the evening. As I was chilling with my bottle of beer, there were some young men behind me discussing politics. This guy that was on top of his voice lecturing his friends was telling them how Buhari has betrayed Ameachi and sent him to Australia as an Ambassador because the northerners are not comfortable with someone(Ameachi) who betrayed his own people( south south). He also said Buhari is the major sponsor of boko haram but he is now finding it difficult to control them as he has finally become president. The guy was so sure and he urged his friends to start listening to radio biafra if they want to know all these things. Here too there was just one person among the eight of them at that table who objected to all the guy was saying but nobody was really interested in listening to what he wanted to say.

I have heard well educated people who I assume are suppose to be well informed support this biafra nonsense. They make it look like the problem of the Igbos is other Nigerians. They make it look like if they secede all their problems will be solved. They must think again. Because when Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, it was Orji Uzor Kalu who led the Igbo delegates that voted against Alex Ekwueme. Was Kalu a Hausa man? No! Between 1999 and 2007, the Igbos produced more than four senate presidents. Was it the fault of other Nigerians that they could not influence development projects to the southeast? No! Is it the fault of other Nigerians that their governors who are their kinsmen loot all the money allocated to the southeastern states by the federal government? No! Is it the fault of other Nigerians that Igbo representatives go to Abuja and represent only their personal interest? No!No!!No!!! Ignorance is obviously a disease that only knowledge can heal.

Some again say if we don’t discuss and address the biafra civil war, the ghost of biafra will never be buried. Yes, I agree we need to talk about biafra and address issues that may have been over looked but do the Igbos feel they are the only ethnic group in Nigeria that have issues that need to be addressed?

My own people, the Tiv people in north-central Nigeria for long have been a target of ethnic cleansing in Nassarawa and Taraba state by people who believe all Tiv people must come from Benue. In 2001, in the heat of the Tiv and Jukum crises the military came in and took side. They went on a killing spree in a particular axis of Tiv land in what was regarded by the media as the “zaki biam massacre”.

Recently, many parts of Tiv land came under severe attacks from herdsmen that these communities no longer have schools or hospitals again, everything has been burnt down to ashes. There is this touching story I was told about this woman who was discovered hiding in the kitchen with her son after the herdsmen attacked their village. These men butchered her son before her very eyes and forced her to eat his flesh. She was eating, crying and vomiting but they continued to force her and after that they raped the hell out of her. When I visited the IDP camps, I saw hunger, sickness, pregnant women, injured people, dead people covered with cardboard papers and malnourished toddlers who were coughing in the palm of my hands like they will die the next second. I also heard so many horrible stories I will not quickly forget. This didn’t happen in 1967, it happened last year.

The Igbos may know only their story because they are Igbos and I too can say a little about my own ethnic group. But what about the people of south south, the people in the northeast, the people in plateau state, the people in southern Kaduna, the people in the Nassarawa north and south senatorial zones and the people of Agatu among others. Don’t  they have issues that need to be addressed? Should they all threaten to secede? I am not convinced we are better of separated.

The Igbo question is also the Nigerian question. The problem of the Igbos is not other Nigerians but their elites and the problem of Nigeria is not the Igbos or any other ethnic group but the same elites. In their bargain for political power which is the only thing that matter to them, they set one ethnic group against the other. For more than 50 years we have been and are still running an unjust system that is only concerned about bargaining power for the elites, that neglects the masses to whatever fate awaits them. From our founding till this day we have put a wicked system in place that is concerned about sharing the national wealth only among the elites and sentencing the masses to abject poverty. The cry about marginalisation by various ethnic groups can be linked to this evil system. All the social unrest and ethnic or religious tension are fallout of long term injustice. We must first of all address this injustice before anything else. We will one day need to sit to agree on the kind of nation we want to be and redress some wrongs that happened in the past but before that we need a sincere and honest leadership we can trust to speak on our behalf and honour whatever is agreed upon.

A nation is not just a geographic demarcation but also an idea. The problem of Nigeria and to an extend Africa is that we lack men with big dreams. Men that can paint a picture in their mind of the future they want and work day and night to make it a reality. It is said that a poor man is not a man without food but a man with no dreams. We remain poor amidst plenty because we have no aspirations. Till we jettison narrow ethnic agenda and have single dreams and aspirations as a nation that we can fulfill our manifest destiny. What is wrong in building a more just society that anybody no matter his/her ethnic group or where he chooses to live can have a decent shot at life? Is it too much for us to aspire to build an almost perfect society that will be the pride of the black race, that nobody is left behind, that will prove to the world Africa is not all about mediocre, war and diseases. If we can imbibe this in the Nigerian spirit, it will be evident in the way we construct our roads, hospitals, schools and all other aspects of our society and a great nation will emerge. May God give us the courage and wisdom to build this nation.

Bemdoo Hulugh is an active citizen and he writes from Makurdi

You can also interact with him on twitter @bumy04

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Members Of MASSOB Lash Out At Fr. Mbaka For Comments On Biafra

Some members of the  Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, weekend, lashed out at Enugu Catholic Priest, Rev.Fr. Ejike Mbaka, saying that his comment on the struggle for Biafra was insensitive and misguided.
Their response came after Fr. Mbaka had during last Saturday’s sermon at his Adoration Ministry,  condemned the recent agitation and protests for Biafra nation, describing the action as ‘evil.’

Unhappy about Fr. Mbaka’s statement, the Director of Information of MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu said:

“How can a reverred Igbo clergy-man descend so low in making such a condemnable statement few days after President Buhari’s wife visited him.

“Mr. President should be aware that no money given to Mbaka, persuasion, personal friendship with him can ever frustrate or diminish the rising status, consciousness and global re-awakening/acceptance of Biafra”.

Source: Vanguard 

Adedayo Osho: Biafra Republic; A Myth Or Reality

On Friday 6th of November 2015, South-East largest city, Onitsha witnessed thousands of anti-government demonstrators, primarily under the aegis of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB staged Million Man March protesting the continued detention of their group leader and managing director of Radio Biafra: Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

This is not the first time a separatist movement like IPOB would assemble in Nigeria. In the early years of political independence, Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro had declared Niger Delta Republic. The struggle only lasted for twelve days. Agitation for Biafra Republic, which is currently gaining traction was first championed in 1967 by late charismatic leader, Odumegwu Ojukwu- the Ikemba II of Nnewi.

Fast forward to four decades after the end of civil war in 1970: West Africa tiger, Nigeria faces security challenges along its three dominant ethnic/geographical line. Resilient killing of civilians by Boko Haram in the North; Clandestine proliferation of light arms by the Oodua Peoples’ Congress in South-West; and the insufferable propaganda employed to dent the country’s image by Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra in the South-East.

Scotland and Spain’s Catalonia experience provides modern reference point for federal government on how best to handle secessionist agitation by Ndigbo. Dragging South Sudan which has now slide into a war-torn zone inside the case at hand, leading forces for Biafra must consider the brutal consequence of power rivalry. This is not intended for insult on ground of leadership incompetence. Ongoing political rumble between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President turned-rebel leader, Riek Machar offers secessionists anywhere in the world a lesson on how manufactured nations bicker with power. Since large swathes of Niger Delta will be merged along with the long anticipated Biafra Republic, if any coming to being, our cousins in the coastal region need start raising dialectical questions on power sharing/allocation under a refurbished nation.

I advise my Ndigbo brothers to wear the garment of civic and pursue their course with subtle nobility. Rather than resort to violence or propaganda, the place of strong advocacy for referendum remains their golden alternative.

For instance, In January 2015, the company GFK Ukraine, a member of one of the largest international companies in the field of marketing research, GfK Group (Nurenberg, Germany) conducted a survey in the Crimea. Results of the survey showed that about 93% of Crimean residents support the reunification of Crimea with Russia, voted against only by 4% of respondents. “Do you support the reunification of the Crimea to Russia?”

82% – fully support
11% – probably, support
2% – do not support
2% – probably, do not support
3% – hard to say.

Forbes business magazine writes that one year after the reunification of the Crimea with Russia, poll after poll shows that the locals there — be they Ukrainians, ethnic Russians or Tartars are all in agreement: life with Russia is better than life with Ukraine.

It need be emphasised that self-determination is strongly supported by United Nation UN itself. There’s no gain in painting a bad image of one’s rivals in an attempt to convince admirers. That courageous man, Nnamdi Kanu and his co-travellers should be informed that slaves who devised slanderous concoctions as a means of gaining freedom from their master will only extend their years of stewardship.

I’m aware that those who harp on secession does owing to political marginalisation and domination my powerful groups, but then, for true Biafranism to manifest, Ndigbo needs the backing of many of their political leaders who are wary of their pocket and the benefits accrued to a larger political territory: Nigeria.

Adedayo Osho is a political analyst and freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor degree in Political Science & Education from University of Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. Email: oshoadedayo7@yahoo.com Twitter: @Jahpolitical

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

MASSOB Replies Obasanjo: ‘Nothing Will Stop Biafra’

Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB0, yesterday said the self-determination struggle remained on course despite efforts by some ‘bad eggs’ to discredit genuine activists,the Sun reports..

Reacting to a recent statement by former president Olusegun Obasanjo that the Biafran struggle had become an avenue to defraud people, MASSOB’s Director of Information, Uchenna Madu said the struggle remains a genuine movement despite the activities of few ‘bad eggs’.
Contrary to Obasanjo’s claims, Madu noted that Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director Biafra Radio, was totally committed towards realising Biafra.
Madu said:

“After our monthly national officers’ meeting at MASSOB headquarters at Freedom House, Okwe, we have decided as follows: Olusegun Obasanjo’s assertion that Biafran activists are fraudsters and General Yakubu Gowon’s statement that Biafra is a closed issue, were all made because of their conviction on a certain individual’s betrayal and deviation from the Biafra struggle.

Olalekan Waheed: The Sacrifice Of Patriotism; Why Should I Respect The Nigerian Flag?

It has been long I sang the Nigerian national anthem. I remember joining in its singing long after leaving secondary school few years ago during my National Youth Service. Often I find myself on the warpath with school teachers and my students who will not “salute the flag” and “stand still” when the National Anthem is sung or the National Pledge is being recited during the morning assemblies. To me this was part of my contribution to citizenship, nation building and patriotism.

Some of my fellow teachers (the “permanent” teachers in the school where I was posted) only “stand still” on hearing the Anthem when they know I am around, at least to avoid the “corper’s wrath”. At other times they resort to their usual shabby ways in the contempt with which they treat the nation’s-perhaps most important- symbol. One of the teachers wondered what my nation has ever done for me to deserve a “return of favour”. My traditional reply has been John F. Kennedy’s admonition at his inauguration as US President in 1960, “… ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country.” This reply didn’t make any sense to many of them, I know, but they were under some sorts of “obligations” to agree with the “know-it-all Corper”.  Why are they struggling to understand my simple message of responsibility?

We were all taught that patriotism as a virtue back then in elementary school, but the reality when we left those small classroom are soon to stare us in the face. It soon became a situation of fighting those you do not hate and guarding those you don’t love just because duty, not love, made you fight!

I recall hearing the name, Mr. Taiwo Akinwunmi, as being the young man who designed the Nigerian national flag as a student back then in London since my primary school days. I was surprised to know that, long after my Social studies teachers told me of this man’s exploits, he for many years lived in near-poverty   and neglect, our politicians attend all official functions, the Federal Executive Council, the National Assembly and the likes all transact government businesses in the name of this flag, whose designer lived in a mess. Yet this man was left in his house in Ibadan, not until I watched him on Frank Edoho’s popular television show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire!

I even wondered if any of these so-called politicians has even demonstrated any patriotic act save for monumental corruption, impunity and national embarrassment they have caused us as a nation, yet, there was no compensation for Mr. Akinwunmi who is normally supposed to be a source of inspiration to the young ones and also serving as one of the nation’s pride. But who will tell them?

I am aware President Goodluck Jonathan tried to come to Pa Akinwunmi’s aid in the dying moments of his administration as a face-saving acts, not necessarily an act of love. But better late, they say, than being the late!

I equally read the story of Mr.Joseph Igbinovia Alufa, the man who carved the Queen Idia mask (The Olokun) used for the 2nd edition of Festival of Black Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977 hosted in Lagos, Nigeria. He had to carve it to save the nation from a major international embarrassment when the original mask stolen as one of the works of art stolen by the British during the Punitive Expedition to Benin Kingdom in 1897 would not be released by the British museum even on a “rental fee” of £2 million just for the use of the festival. I am aware the Mr Alufa had to wait for over 31 years for his agreed fee for his work including his 19 years in court to press for his money. All this was as at 2008, I am not aware if the man has been paid now. This is sometimes the sacrifice for patriotism!

At this point, I will like to bring in Chief Charles Okereke. As far as I know him, he is an embodiment of what you can call patriotism and nationalism in an age where it is very tempting to make enough excuse for tribalism. He believes so much in the workability of the Nigerian Project. Despite all he went through as a postgraduate (on Imo State Government scholarship which was cornered and pocketed by the Nigerian diplomatic mission) in the United States, he did his best to get a job, with the help of his school, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA in the University’s Physical Plant Department, when his financial challenges took a heating turn and was about to drop out of school. He successfully earned his Master of Science (MS) in agriculture with flying colours.

All these notwithstanding, he decided to come back home in 1982 to serve his fatherland under the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) Scheme. After his Service, he was disengaged from his employment bond in the Imo state Government and left to wonder the streets of Owerri, Aba, and Umuahia in search of greener pastures for about ten months. He will later get a job in the private sector to last only for a few months before the notorious Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) began to take its toll on the private sector. He was able to save some money to at least take him back to the US to continue his life.

In all these, his love for his country was unwearied, while it was easy for other to simply chicken out and lose faith in Nigeria. He believes in his dreams and his capacity to make despite the formidable odds.

Still in all these, in obeying Kennedy’s admonitions to only ask what one can do for his country and not otherwise, he decided to fly the flag of the country again at the African Union (AU) Symbols Competition-Anthem Category in 2003. His composition, God Bless Africa, today the Union’s unofficial anthem won the competition but was cheated out to the third place. Chief Okereke, in dismay wondered if there could be a third position in a competition where the first position was not announced, and the second position was given to one of the “panel of judges” for the competition, and he was given the “third” position!

Sensing the injustice meted out on him, Chief Okereke turned to his country for help to at least save the country’s honour on the African continent. Despite President Olusegun Obasanjo being the AU Chairman at the time, nothing was done on the matter. Seeing it as a daylight robbery, Chief Okereke again in 2007, wrote another petition to the President of Ghana, John A. Kuffor, then AU Chairman. Again, the matter will not even be investigated because he “knows nobody”. He wrote another petition to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of Nigeria in 2008, nut remains largely unattended to.

The matter could have been reduced to a tribal or ethnic issue, “If Chief Okereke had been from so-and-so region, bla bla bla, his case would have been given the right attention”. Being an Igbo man, and a proud member of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, he sought the help of the group on his matter.

In 2011, the Ohaneze nominee, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim became the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). This time one would have thought things will be easier for Chief Okereke as regards his several petitions. This time the Ohaneze Ndigbo wrote an official petition, dated 24th April, 2012 with reference number, OHNZ/FGN/2012/03/01, on behalf of Chief Okereke concerning the injustice meted out on him at the said AU Competition.

One would have thought it Chief Okereke’s offence was because he is Igbo and therefore no one was there to “represent him”. Let us say for the sake of arguments, that others before President Jonathan did not protect Ndigbo interests and hence “punishing them for their sins”, but can we say that a Jonathan government, which the Igbos loudly call their own will not even attend to a petition filed by the group (Ohaneze) representing them? Is Anyim, an Igbo man, as the SGF also punishing Igbos? Why didn’t the Government, through Ayim, just have at least investigated the matter brought to it by the group or was he not nominated by the Ohaneze?

When I wrote under the title, Igbos and the Buhari’s Government, some of my Igbo friends nearly asked for my head.  How dare I write about a subject I knew nothing about? Buhari “hates” Igbos just because he has not appointed anyone to “represent Igbos”? At least, all these I heard!

These were some of the questions they asked me but I told one of them who cared to listen that the fact that Pius Anyim was SGF, did that make much impact on the lives of Igbos in terms of access to Government facilities than before? Was Chief Okereke’s situation better with important Igbo people “in juicy positions” under President Jonathan?

On Chief Okereke’s petition which still lie unattended to at the SGF’s office. I am using this opportunity to call on the newly-appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir David Lawal and President Muhammadu Buhari to look into this enterprising Nigerian’s case and the merit of it with the view to getting to the root of this matter. The Nation’s honour was toyed with, politicised, ethicized, degraded, and neglected all with reckless abandon by those who themselves whose sense of honour is rather suspect. Chief Okereke typifies what it takes to sacrifice for patriotism!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Olalekan Waheed ADIGUN, a political analyst and author of the article, Igbos and the Buhari’s Government, writes from Lagos.

+2348136502040, +2347081901080

adgorwell@gmail.com

@adgorwell

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Lauretta Onochie: In Defence Of “Ndigbo”

Many Nigerians have watched with tongue in cheek as the group known as Ohaneze Ndigbo has paraded itself as the group with the interest of Ndigbo. For starters, let us look at the meaning of Ohaneze Ndigbo. Oha means the ordinary people. Eze means King or in this case, Elites. The phrase Oha na Eze Ndigbo as an organisation would mean an association that is for all Igbo people, irrespective of whether they are elites or ordinary Ndigbo or their social status.
But what we have seen in Ohaneze is an organisation that is far from representing the interests of the ordinary Igbo people. The ‘Oha’ have been completely relegated to the background. For many years, children of school age would be seen at various markets in Eastern Nigerian learning how to use calculators and shunning formal education. Their main ambition, or should I say the life plan for such children by their parents is a life in one of those dingy market stalls, with 10,000 power generating sets and no ventilation. Did Ohaneze care? No! It did not occur to them that they could mobilise the Oha in each market to invest in one massive generator that can serve everyone. Like this, they would breathe in clean air and live longer. But why should they do anything in the interest of the Oha? They are the ordinary hard-working commoners! Their own children are in some of the  best schools across the world acquiring sound education that will position them to continue as the elites, the Ezes, over the down trodden Ordinary Ndigbo, the ‘Oha’
Around the end of April, 2013, we all woke up to find the remains of scores of Igbo youth floating on Ezu River. Their crime? They had a peaceful demonstration at Onitsha calling for the actualisation of the defunct state of Biafra. Although I am vehemently opposed to the reason for their protest, they did not deserve to be summarily executed and dumped in the Ezu river. It would make a cheery read if Ohaneze Ndigbo can tell Nigerians how much pressure it mounted on the government of Pres. Jonathan to try to bring to justice those who killed such number of Igbo and  Nigerian youth.
Nigerians are waiting.
In the twilight of the Jonathan administration, it was the same Ohaneze that connived with that government to dupe Ndigbo, promising what other Nigerians saw as desperate hoodwinking of Ndigbo to win unmerited votes. Ohaneze Ndigbo stood with President Jonathan as he lied, wilfully, that the second Niger Bridge would be a reality. Some of us raised the alarm that they were playing on the intelligence of the Oha but Mr. Ifeanyi Uba, armed with sacks of Jonathanian loot, rampaged through the South East, where most things are for cash and carry. Consequently, our warnings fell on deaf ears and today, an organisation that has mud in its face, an organisation that misled it’s people, an organisation that serves only its elites, is rearing its ugly head, shamelessly pretending to be speaking for Ndigbo.
President Buhari has been painstakingly putting a cabinet of men and women of integrity together. Nigerians are certain that this ministerial cabinet will not include the same people that misled and benefitted from the Jonathan administration. Ohaneze are now calling on Ndigbo to reject ministerial positions under Pres. Buhari. It’s a case of, “Since we have completely lost relevance, no other Igbo people should emerge as leaders.” Who are these people? What do they want for The Oha, the ordinary Ndigbo? On one hand they cried, “Lopsided appointment and marginalisation”, on the other, they canvass for the rejection of appointments from the Buhari administration.
They are spreading the same venom across their ranks. It’s interesting that the youth wing of the elite organisation went after Barr. Festus Keyamo, calling him “a desperate political sycophant who sees insulting the Ndigbo as the fastest way to get the attention of Buhari for consideration for a political appointment.” Coming from a confused youth wing of Ohaneze, who can take such myopic ridicule seriously? The anti-Nigeria stance of Ohaneze Ndigbo is not lost on other Nigerians.
Ordinary Igbo families are comfortable living in all parts of Nigeria. They know that Nigeria is the only nation they have. The civil war has been over decades ago. Even the late Igbo leader, Dim Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, founded a political party and fully participated in the political and electoral processes of our nation. The divisive nature of the utterances of Ohaneze are nothing but self-serving. It’s all about them and nothing to do with Ndigbo in general.
I dare say to Ohaneze Ndigbo, “You do not speak for Ndigbo”. You speak for yourselves. NOI Polls, an outfit run by the immediate past Minister for Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, published that 92% of the sample polled from the South East are very happy with the Nigeria of today. Ndigbo are also a reasonable nation. They are not the ones crying “Lopsidedness” when they know that no laws have been breeched and that there are more appointments coming that will favour every part of the nation. Most importantly, they also know that with the new Sheriff in town, every appointee will serve all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic origins.
Ohaneze Ndigbo, a self interest organisation may have represented Ndigbo in the long distant past but in recent years, they have not been representing the interests of the ordinary Nigerians of the Igbo stock. It’s time to close shop and allow a Pan-Igbo organisation that has the interest of Ndigbo to emerge. The current Ohaneze is a trading organisation that sells hatred, religious bigotry and ethnic bias, wares, Nigerians rejected by electing President Buhari.
We were witnesses when this organisation was speaking from both sides of its mouth, depending on who paid them last, before the last election. It’s either they deliberately misled their people or they were too focused on the proceeds from selling their people that they did not read the bold handwriting on the wall. The good news is that the government of Pres. Buhari is a people-centred government that will act in the best interests of all Nigerians irrespective of whether they voted for him or not.
Many years ago, the Late father of Anioma people Delta State and icon, Late Chief Dennis Osadebey, saw the self-centredness and the rot in this organisation and hurriedly left, rightly taking shelter in his own Anioma ethnic identity. Today, there are still Nigerian patriots like the fierce Festus Keyamo who smell, from afar, the mischief this organisation continues to create in their region and elsewhere. So they have sent their elites sons to insult a Nigerian role model. If Festus Keyamo declared the truth because he seeks public office, which he merits, anyway, it would still be a long way better and more patriotic than barking at the leadership of this nation for food. Well, this is not President Jonathan’s administration where people were paid for being unreasonable. If Festus Keyamo must apologise to Ohaneze Ndigbo, Ohaneze must first, apologise to Ndigbo for misrepresenting them all these years.
Henceforth, regional organisations that do not represent the interests of their people will have all Nigerians to contend with. Nigerians have found their voice and will no longer tolerate a sect of elites who carry on as if they own their geo political zones. The South East belongs to the ordinary Nigerians of Igbo stock. Nigerians will support them to call their elites to order if their voice fail them. The South East is part and parcel of Nigeria. All Nigerians have a right to speak up on what goes on there, the same way Ndigbo are free to speak on issues in other regions.
Finally, leading up to the last elections, Ohaneze could not read the handwriting on the wall for the simple fact that the body only thinks in terms of Dollars. And they were suffocated with it so they happily misinformed their people and turned them away from the “Change” direction the whole nation was headed. It was in Delta State that an ex governor told some Deltans to go and seek help from the person they voted for. That is PDP spirit. Thank God President Muhammadu Buhari is not cut from the same fabric as Ex-Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. He is the President of Nigeria, not the president of those who voted for him. He will make appointments to cover the states across the nation. The best part of this is that the appointees will serve all Nigerians and not only where they come from.
Ohaneze, old or young, men or youth, must change their modus operandi. They must focus within to find ways of properly representing Ndigbo in general. They must start showing interest in issues that interest the Oha. Otherwise, there will be more Festus Keyamos and this could lead to the demise of the near moribund elitist organ. Welcome to Nigeria, a new Nigeria where there is no more free money.
Lauretta Onochie
@Laurestar
www.laurestar,com
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent viewws of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

‘Consider South East In Your Appointments’ – Okorocha Appeals To Buhari

Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha has appealed to President Buhari to consider the people of the South East in his appointments. According to Vanguard, Governor Okorocha made the appeal during a meeting with selected stakeholders in the state over the weekend

“What I can only do is to continue to appeal to the president to consider the South-East in his appointments. And as far as I am concerned, the president had executed what the office empowers him to do, and it is believed that he did that in the best interest of the nation.
Again, most of the appointments the president has so far made are like his personal staff. I don’t think South-East will ever be forgotten in this administration, we will get our due. In fact, if you ask me, I would say we should be more interested in the projects coming down to the South-East, and as much as we can get. The projects will bring about development of the South-East. Although the South-East had expected so much, we believe all will be well with the Buhari presidency and for the development of the South-East. It is wrong for some people to begin to use the issue to incite the people of the South-east against the president.

The government is about to celebrate its one hundred days, and the appointments are just beginning to come, and by and large, the South-East will get their dues. The point is that we cannot begin to judge President Buhari with the appointments so far made. We cannot obviously use it to judge his intention. I think he means well for the nation and with every geo-political zone inclusive. So, let us give him a chance” he said.

Relocation Of Boko Haram Inmates Hatched During Jonathan’s Govt —Ekwueme

Former Vice President of Nigeria in the Second Republic, Dr. Alex Ekwueme has said that the plan to bring Boko Haram detainees to Aguata Prisons in Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, was hatched during the former President Jonathan’s administration, but was resisted and protested against by the people which made the past administration to drop the idea.

Dr Ekwueme

Speaking with newsmen at Aguluzigbo, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State during the end of tenure Thanksgiving Ceremony of Chief Victor Umeh as APGA Chairman, Chief Ekwueme said,  “I am aware that the plan of bringing Boko Haram detainees to Aguata prisons in Ekwulobia came up a while ago and there was reasonable protest to the then President Jonathan against it and he dropped the plan.

I was out of the country when I heard that Boko Haram detainees were brought to Aguata Prisons in Ekwulobia, Anambra State. I started wondering how the idea of bringing them to the South East and my local government area came up again after the people thought the matter has been rested.

I am sure the new President must have seen the records and proposal and decided to  implement it, but since there was initial protest against the relocation of the detainees to the South East, I’m sure President Buhari will do something to assuage the feelings of the people of the South East,” he said.

On the alleged delay in appointing ministers, Chief Ekwueme said he cannot start passing judgment now on the President because “every leader has his leadership style, everybody will not approach that exalted office with the same style. You have to watch and assess each person based on his style. The important thing is that we get the right result.

Another important thing is that we have peace, prosperity and unity, and better quality of life as Nigeria attains her God given-position as a great nation and leader in the comity of nations.

“So, I wish the President well in running the affairs of Nigeria. I cannot start assessing his performance now, it is too early,” he said.

– Source – www.vanguardngr.com

DSS Arrests Radio Biafra Engineer

A major accomplice of rogue broadcaster Radio Biafra, an engineer based in Enugu has been apprehended by the Department of State Security operatives. The suspect as Daily Sun exclusively gathered yesterday was being transported to Abuja as at Press time of filling this report.

It is believed that the Enugu-based accomplice assisted the main radio pirate in London by placing not so large equipment on abandoned NITEL transmission polls and a few transmitters owned by other mobile telecom providers.

This is even as the Director-General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Emeka Mba, in an exclusive chat with Daily Sun on the issue, said the satellite signals from the malicious station
will be blocked from reaching Nigeria by the end of yesterday (Thursday).

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information, Shade Yemi-Esan, had on Wednesday told State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari that NBC had successfully jammed the signals of station.

Mba, who declined comment on the arrest of the accomplice of the radio station which he said sent signals to Nigeria through a London-based content provider, however, noted that beyond jamming the signals, once it is discovered to have hacked into a Nigerian station, the commission was optimistic of completely cutting off its ability to broadcast in the country via satellite yesterday.

He denied the rumor that the commission was slow at clamping down on the station which he described as broadcasting nonsensical garbage. The NBC had to “catch the station in the act” before taking action.

He said: “When they were broadcasting on the internet it was not much an issue, until they started appropriating FM frequencies in various cities across the South East and it became for us an urgent national security matter. We had to trace them. They are using more sophisticated equipment and we had to upgrade our own equipment to track them. To be honest it was difficult dealing with them because they are on satellite and while we are able to neutralise the terrestrial frequencies on the FM band, satellite is very a different thing, and they are outside Nigeria where you have different protocols with how you deal with this issue. They also online and you know how difficult it is to deal with this kind of thing online.

“But then again they are as using what we call frequency agile transmitters through which they hop from one frequency to another. So once you block them in one frequency, they move to another. So what we have done is to upgrade our capacity to follow and block them where ever they are transmitting. To give you and instance, they were transmitting through 104.7 FM Enugu yesterday (Wednesday), they moved to 102.1 FM Enugu and we also jammed it. This is why it is more important for us to catch them than the process of jamming.

“I can assure everyone that these people will be caught and we will support the security agencies to ensure that they face the full wrath of the law. It is no longer a matter of running a pirate station. It is now a matter of subverting the state. There is a possibility of it becoming a matter of sedition as some of the content of the broadcast is declaring war on Nigeria. Our job at the NBC is to use our technical capacity to ensure that we are able to neutralise them wherever they crop up. I am confident that before the end of today we should be able to take them off satellite. This will deal a major blow to their ability to send signal to Nigeria from where they are based abroad.

Presidency Dismisses Claim On Anti-Igbo Sentiments By Buhari On BBC

 The presidency on Wednesday dismissed the claim by a pirate radio station that President Muhammadu Buhari expressed anti-Igbo sentiments in a recent interview with BBC Hausa Service.

A statement issued by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the claim was “completely false, malicious and slanderous.”

He said the voice being ascribed to President Buhari in the recording repeatedly played back by the station was definitely not the President’s voice.

He said the claim that the station got the recording from a BBC interview was also totally untrue.

“No one should be deceived by the pirate radio station’s hate propaganda against the President.

“President Buhari has not had any interview with BBC Hausa Service since his assumption of office as alleged by the agents of disunity behind the pirate radio station’s inflammatory and divisive broadcasts,’’ he added.

Shehu noted that the last interview the President had with the BBC Hausa Service, lasting not more than five minutes, was on the day he was declared winner and given his certificate of return as President-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“Thankfully, the BBC Hausa Service Editor, Mr Mansor Liman has distanced the BBC from the false interview clip being ascribed by the pirate radio station to President Buhari.

“President Buhari is the President of all Nigerians and will continue to treat all citizens on the basis of fairness, equality and equity,’’ he said.

He, therefore, enjoined Nigerians to ignore all propaganda designed to sow seeds of discord among them and promote a separatist agenda against national unity, solidarity and progress.(NAN)

Boko Haram Prisoners Will Be Relocated From Anambra State Very Soon – Governor Obiano

The Governor of Anambra state Willie Obiano says Boko Haram prisoners who were recently taken to the Ekwulobia prison in the state will soon be relocated. Governor Obiano said this after a meeting with members of the National Security Council who were at the government house in Awka earlier today. Addressing the press, Governor Obiano said

“I want to reassure you that the meeting went very well. The various communities in Anambra, the markets, the car Unions, the churches, our traditional institutions and others made a great point to them that we want this people removed and removed immediately. They have reassured that they will take up our message back to Abuja and that this people will be removed very soon” he said.

Igbo Corp Member Converts To Islam To Fulfill Buhari Vow

Chukwuma Austin Dike from Mbailtoli LGA, Imo State is a batch C corp member serving in Benue State, Konshisha LGA. He had made a vow that if now President Buhari won the election and is sworn in 29th of May, that he will convert to Islam.

29th May has come and gone, Buhari has been sworn in. Shortly after Buhari’s inauguration, Chukwuma accepted Islam at Jibwisb Mosque Gboko, Benue state. See more pics below…

 

 

Soyinka Denies Making Disparaging Statement Against Igbos

An angry Wole Soyinka, Wednesday, lashed out at news outlets which credited to him with a disparaging statement against the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria.

In a terse statement, Mr. Soyinka attributed the report to the handiwork of “cowards” who fasten their “imbecilic pronouncements” on others.

“I have just read a statement attributed to me on something called The Cable, a news outlet, evidently one of the Internet infestations,” said Mr. Soyinka, a professor of Comparative Literature.

“My lecture at the Hutchins Centre, Harvard University, was video recorded. Anyone who believes what I am alleged to have said must be a moron – repeat, a moron.

“It is demeaning, sickening and boring to have to deal with these cowards who cannot fight their own battles but must fasten their imbecilic pronouncements on others.

Several online news media (not PREMIUM TIMES) had reported Tuesday that Mr. Soyinka had described the Igbos as a “greedy” group.

“The Igbos are probably the only group of Nigerians that you can predict with great accuracy whom they will vote for in an election, because they tend to put their votes where their stomachs take them; suffering as it were, from incurable money-mindedness, as they would stop at nothing in their quest for personal financial gain,” Mr. Soyinka was quoted as saying.

The Nobel Laureate had delivered a lecture on April 29th titled, ‘Predicting Nigeria? Electoral Ironies’ at the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs in the U.S.

The alleged comment ignited a scathing backlash against Mr. Soyinka on social media as critics likened the statement to the anti-Igbo speech of Rilwanu Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos.

But Mr. Soyinka denied making such a statement.

“Only the mentally retarded will credit this comment attributed to me regarding the Ndigbo voting pattern in the last elections,” he said.

“I strongly suspect the author of this despicable concoction, and may make a further statement, once the source is verified.”

Credit – premium times

Only Mental Retards Will Credit Comment To Me, Soyinka Denies Making Disparaging Statement Against Igbos

An angry Wole Soyinka, Wednesday, lashed out at news outlets which credited to him with a disparaging statement against the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria.

In a terse statement, Mr. Soyinka attributed the report to the handiwork of “cowards” who fasten their “imbecilic pronouncements” on others.

“I have just read a statement attributed to me on something called The Cable, a news outlet, evidently one of the Internet infestations,” said Mr. Soyinka, a professor of Comparative Literature.

“My lecture at the Hutchins Centre, Harvard University, was video recorded. Anyone who believes what I am alleged to have said must be a moron – repeat, a moron.

“It is demeaning, sickening and boring to have to deal with these cowards who cannot fight their own battles but must fasten their imbecilic pronouncements on others.

Several online news media (not PREMIUM TIMES) had reported Tuesday that Mr. Soyinka had described the Igbos as a “greedy” group.

“The Igbos are probably the only group of Nigerians that you can predict with great accuracy whom they will vote for in an election, because they tend to put their votes where their stomachs take them; suffering as it were, from incurable money-mindedness, as they would stop at nothing in their quest for personal financial gain,” Mr. Soyinka was quoted as saying.

The Nobel Laureate had delivered a lecture on April 29th titled, ‘Predicting Nigeria? Electoral Ironies’ at the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs in the U.S.

The alleged comment ignited a scathing backlash against Mr. Soyinka on social media as critics likened the statement to the anti-Igbo speech of Rilwanu Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos.

But Mr. Soyinka denied making such a statement.

“Only the mentally retarded will credit this comment attributed to me regarding the Ndigbo voting pattern in the last elections,” he said.

“I strongly suspect the author of this despicable concoction, and may make a further statement, once the source is verified.”

Creditpremiumtimesng

APC Zoning: Igbos Not Worried About Being Left Out

Former Anambra State governor, Chukwuemeka Ezeife has said the people of the Southeast region are not worried about the zoning policy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which has allegedly ensured that no one from the region would hold a top office in the National Assembly.

Although the APC had denied it had zoned any positions, there have been indications in recent weeks that APC had zoned the office of Senate President to the North-Central with Senators Bukola Saraki and George Akume as the major contenders.

Other principal positions in the two chambers are being contested by the North-East, North-West and South-West. The South-South, which only has one returning member to the House of Representatives, is also angling for the office of Deputy Speaker. But the South-East, which has no returning member of APC in the Senate and the House of Representatives, has allegedly been completely left out of any of the principal officers’ positions.

However, Ezeife said: “I do not see anything wrong with what APC had done.

“What the party has done is in line with their convention. I do not see any reason why people should be worried about the fate of the Igbo.

“We are not worried. Only those who do not see us as people of destiny are worried. However, there are lessons to be learned from the outcome of things. But we are not worried because lessons have been learned,” he said.

Igbos Request For FCT Ministerial Slot

Igbo businessmen in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called on the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to consider the ethnic group for the post of FCT Minister.

Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, the Chairman of Zaudan Pazeri Property Owners Association, Elder Friday Ugoala, said Igbos have massive investments, a factor Buhari should consider. He recommended that an Igbo man should either be made a minister with an indigene as the minister of state or vice versa.

Read More: dailypost

‘Igbos Will Vote For Ambode ’ – Benedine Eloka-Umuoji

A notable Lagos based administrator, Benedine Eloka-Umuoji, has called on Igbo residents and other non indigenes in Lagos to regard Oba’s comments as his personal opinion and vote for Akinwumi Ambode and other APC candidates.

Eloka-Umuoji, who is one of the Igbos based in Lagos, said it would be unfair to visit Akiolu’s sin on Ambode, whose party; All Progressives Congress (APC) has since dissociated itself from the monarch’s comments.

??She also urged her kinsmen not allow the opinion of the Oba to derail them from fulfilling their promise to vote for Ambode as the next governor of the state.

According to her, “We are in a symbiotic relationship and must do everything so support our host.? Nonetheless; we give Oba Akiolu kudos for reminding us that we are strangers. The truth is that we are strangers here. Lagos belongs to some people, just like Onitsha and Aba. Let’s not carry on as if this place is a no man’s land. It is not!

“The Oba’s statement only succeeded in opening our thoughts to start considering shifting investments down our real father land. However, the Oba of Lagos does not have the impetus to insult us and we therefore demand his apology.

“Nevertheless, we would troop out en-mass to vote for Ambode because we believe in Fashola’s administration and its uniqueness. ?At least Lagos is being re-branded. APC government would support our objective, and so we would reject sarcastic words opposing our journey to our rehoboth. Such is the Oba’s statement. It is devil’s strategy. Please let us ignore it.”

?Eloka-Umuoji, therefore urged Ambode to as a matter of urgency address the alleged extortion of money from Igbo traders in all markets in Lagos state by Yoruba Market union leaders immediately he assumes office on May 29.

“The in-coming governor should ensure more representation of the Igbos in his government?, give approval of Certificate Of Occupancy for properties owned by non indigenes, provide adequate compensation for properties demolished for public interest belonging to affected persons, and the Igbos in the state, curtail the excesses of the Law enforcement agencies particularly the LASMA that hid under Fashola Law to mete hardship and punishment on Lagosians and ?review Okada riders policy,” she added.

Senator Ngige Blasts The Igbos Over Greed And Love Of Money

Former Anambra State governor Chris Ngige has castigated Igbo leaders for standing by the PDP despite the fact that most Nigerians wanted change, pointing out that Ndigbo sell themselves for short term gains.

Senator Ngige said it was unfortunate that Ndigbo went with the status quo when the rest of the country was yearning for change. Last Saturday, the southeast was the only zone that returned all its senators from one party, delivering all its seats to the PDP.

Dr Ngige said: “I must thank all those who remained steadfast in APC because playing opposition can be frustrating and tempting. Although I was receiving overtures from the ruling party, the PDP, I rejected them because the principles on which we formed that party were jettisoned and bastardised.”

A senior member of the APC, Ngige had been tipped to become senate president but this cannot happen now that he lost his seat. Prior to the elections, the APC had zoned the senate presidency to the southeast but the zone will now lose out as all of its 15 senators are from the new opposition PDP.

Ngige added that it had not been easy playing the politics of opposition in Nigeria, in view of the domineering attitude by those in government, pointing out that he had been in opposition for 10 years and knew how the shoe pinched.

Recall that Ngige ran for governor last year as an APC candidate but lost.

MASSOB launches Its Own Vehicle/Drivers Licences, Currency

The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has launched new Biafran currency, number plates for vehicles and drivers’ licence for the people of the South-East zone.

The MASSOB leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, who spoke through the organisation’s Information Coordinator for Onitsha, Mr. Charles Igbokwe, said the new Biafran vehicle plate numbers, drivers’ licence and new currency were launched yesterday, in a colourful ceremony in Owerri, Imo State capital.

Chief Uwazuruike explained that the idea of Biafrans having their own vehicle plate numbers, drivers’ license and new currency, was aimed at encouraging Ndigbo and indeed, Biafrans, to come together and work together to develop the South-East part of the country.

He said it is the right of all transporters and private car owners, who are from the South-East to update their vehicle licences, adding that the programme also covers drivers of commercial tricycles and motorcycles.

“Now, it is the right of all Biafrans, all transporters, private motor owners and Okada riders to avail themselves of this opportunity to update their particulars. We also use the period of the registration exercise to call on all the traditional rulers and president generals of town unions to help educate their people on the need to get abreast with the new Biafran currency and other programmes,” he said.

He further disclosed that the opportunty to pay Income Tax was now available for everybody within the areas under the control of MASSOB.

On the Biafran currency, the MASSOB leader said the money was already in circulation throughout the ‘Biafran states’, adding that from the time of the launch of the new currency, the money would be available in all the banks across the geo-political zone.

Credit: Daily Sun

Okorocha’s Message to All Igbos in the North

Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, has advised Igbos living in the Northern part of the country not to leave their place of residence because of the February 14 and 28 general elections.

The governor gave the advice on Monday in Abuja after a meeting of the APC chieftains Sunday night, Daily Trust reports.

Okorocha assured the Igbo people that fear of post-election violence is unfounded, adding that they should ignore the pronouncements of people like Asari Dokubo and other militants who are threatening war if President Goodluck Jonathan should lose his re-election bid.

Read More: naij.com

Igbo ruling body finally endorses Jonathan

Igbo apex ruling body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Monday in Awka endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for re-election, reports.

The group said it decided to endorse Jonathan because of the need to implement the national conference recommendations. Chris  Eluemunoh, President of Ohanaeze in Anambra State and chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo State Presidents Forum, stated that since President Jonathan convened the national conference, it was logical to re-elect him so that he can implement the confab resolutions.

Eluemunoh, who spoke on behalf the presidents of the seven states that make up the Igbo nation, urged all Ndigbo in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja to vote massively for Jonathan.

Credit: www.news24.com.ng

Biafra Group asks Igbos to defend themselves against Northern or Niger Delta militants

The Biafra Liberation and Emancipation Movement has called on Igbos in the country to adopt self defence mechanisms in view of threats by some northerners and Niger Delta ex-warlords ahead of the 2015 general elections in the country.

The group at an expanded assembly held at Zodiac Hotel, Independent Layout in Enugu yesterday, said they were compelled after observing deliberations of the Niger Delta ex-warlords held at Yenegoa, which discussed very important issues bordering on the survival of our democracy and continual co-existence.

Read More: dailypost.ng