Agitations: NFF Cautions Media Organisations Over Hate Speeches

A nongovernmental, Nation First Foundation (NFF), at the weekend urged media organisations in the country to avoid using their platforms to promote hate speeches.

Expressing dismay on the ongoing war of hate speeches from personalities, socio-political leaders, politicians, groups, religious and regional leaders, the National Coordinator of the foundation, Onianwa Elidad, also acknowledged the role played by media organisations in shaping the destiny of the country during and after colonialism, struggle for restoration of democracy on May 29, 1999, checking politicians, and protecting the downtrodden Nigerians.

However, he counselled them to shut their doors against those who spread hatred and marshal out divisive speeches that unnecessarily overheat the polity.

“We in Nation 1st Foundation has become very concerned with the speedy hate speeches are moving on media platforms following agitations calling for secession and quit notice.

“We are urging media organisations to avoid these hate speakers and writers under any organisation to promote division and acrimony in the name of activism and struggle.

“We know they bring money to pay for adverts and sponsor special publications and productions on hate speeches, but we are appealing that such hate speeches should be taken off the list of adverts and news items for publication for the sake of national interest.”

Meanwhile, the National Public Relations Officer of the NFF, Mohammed Ali, disclosed that the Foundation has concluded plans to begin regional integration within the country based on dialogue and much understanding to create a strong bond among young people, religious and regional leaders, socio-cultural and political organisations that would foster peace, unity, equity and justice.

“We have deemed it necessary to put together various linkages that would project national interest based on regional integration cutting across various views, interests, organisations, regions and religions. We want to ensure that the long standing sentiments and barriers that have stunted the progress of our country are weeded out completely through values rebirth and restoration of patriotism.

“We also believe in the strength and impact of genuine dialogue. We will use this bridge to link and cement the proposed integration moves we are talking about because the people have to sit and speak out their differences and settle amicably on lasting solution that would protect the integrity of our sovereignty and nationhood.

“This would be all encompassing basically by the ‘common people’ whose interest has been hijacked by some few elites who pretend to represent the people but unfortunately have used that top project and negotiate basically about themselves and continue to suppress the voice of the majority.

“We are going to start this national assignment by ourselves without any sponsorship from anybody, and we believe it would further strengthen our unity and propel our progress as a country, which all would have access to the common good of our blessed nation endowed by God”, Ali stated.

Agitations: Shun hate Speeches, NFF Urges Socio-political Organisations

On the heals of increasing agitations and hate speeches across the country, a nono-governmental organisation, the Nation First Foundation (NFF), has called on Nigerians to mind their utterances in the interest of national unity and cohesion.

The group charged socio-political organisations across the country to promote national interest instead of overheating the polity through imprudent agitations that raise unnecessary tension.

The advise was given in Abuja by the National Coordinator of the foundation, Onianwa Elidad, after assessing the speeches as a result of agitations from some socio-political groups, which has increased disaffection among various tribes and geopolitical zones in the country.

Elidad said when such organisations jettison national interest at the detriment of the people and their future that indicates self interest and relevance based on unwarranted ego without considering the consequences of such statements.

He said: “We in Nation First Foundation (NFF) sees Nigeria and Nigerians as above our personal interest, and including all other Nigerians, no matter highly placed they are.

“We have decided to stand with the masses, and stand to condemn anybody, group, organisation, region, religion, party, and others whose actions, activities and moves are against national interest.

“Our vision, mission and movement is to re-enact the dreams of the founding fathers of our nation and to instill the tent of nation first before any other ambition.

“We want to make it clear to all socio-political groups based on religion, politics and beliefs that Nigeria’s interest must be promoted and protected no matter what.

“It is also imperative to state that Nigeria and Nigerians are inseparable, therefore should be upheld above individual interest. It is not good for socio-political or socio-cultural groups to be used by some selfish politicians, religious and tribal leaders to promote disunity and disaffection in the country.”

He further stated that now it has become important for the various nongovernmental organisations to embark on the mission to propagate messages and sensitisations that would promote peace, justice, and unity.

In similar vein, the National Secretary, NFF, Adekunle John, acknowledged and stressed that Nigeria’s unity has been strengthened and sustained by her diversity over the years.

“It is important to make it here at this point that every tribe, ethnic group, region, and individuals are important, and nobody is a slave or servant to the other. Rather we are to complement each other and consolidate on our diversity instead to allow persons and groups that not mean well for the future of this country to push and hit the heads of youth to favour their personal interest.

“We the young people should wise up because when the trouble gets heated by these people who are beating drums of hate and calling for violence they would leave the country with their families in seconds. Let us continue to uphold our unity”, John stated.

In his advice, the National Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Ali, cautioned that the leaders when talking about the way out of the issues of threat to national unity the youth should be carried along and made to participate actively, because they will be the ones those who are against national interest would use to promote their interest.

“We want the well meaning leaders show are for nation first to involve and engage the youth in discussing how to preserve and protect  national unity, and we advice that they should be carried along because those against national interest could used them to achieve their own interest at the detriment of other Nigerians”, Ali said.

 

The group charged socio-political organisations across the country to promote national interest instead of overheating the polity through imprudent agitations that raise unnecessary tension.

The advise was given in Abuja by the National Coordinator of the foundation, Onianwa Elidad, after assessing the speeches as a result of agitations from some socio-political groups, which has increased disaffection among various tribes and geopolitical zones in the country.

Elidad said when such organisations jettison national interest at the detriment of the people and their future that indicates self interest and relevance based on unwarranted ego without considering the consequences of such statements.

He said: “We in Nation First Foundation (NFF) sees Nigeria and Nigerians as above our personal interest, and including all other Nigerians, no matter highly placed they are.

“We have decided to stand with the masses, and stand to condemn anybody, group, organisation, region, religion, party, and others whose actions, activities and moves are against national interest.

“Our vision, mission and movement is to re-enact the dreams of the founding fathers of our nation and to instill the tent of nation first before any other ambition.

“We want to make it clear to all socio-political groups based on religion, politics and beliefs that Nigeria’s interest must be promoted and protected no matter what.

“It is also imperative to state that Nigeria and Nigerians are inseparable, therefore should be upheld above individual interest. It is not good for socio-political or socio-cultural groups to be used by some selfish politicians, religious and tribal leaders to promote disunity and disaffection in the country.”

He further stated that now it has become important for the various nongovernmental organisations to embark on the mission to propagate messages and sensitisations that would promote peace, justice, and unity.

In similar vein, the National Secretary, NFF, Adekunle John, acknowledged and stressed that Nigeria’s unity has been strengthened and sustained by her diversity over the years.

“It is important to make it here at this point that every tribe, ethnic group, region, and individuals are important, and nobody is a slave or servant to the other. Rather we are to complement each other and consolidate on our diversity instead to allow persons and groups that not mean well for the future of this country to push and hit the heads of youth to favour their personal interest.

“We the young people should wise up because when the trouble gets heated by these people who are beating drums of hate and calling for violence they would leave the country with their families in seconds. Let us continue to uphold our unity”, John stated.

In his advice, the National Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Ali, cautioned that the leaders when talking about the way out of the issues of threat to national unity the youth should be carried along and made to participate actively, because they will be the ones those who are against national interest would use to promote their interest.

“We want the well meaning leaders show are for nation first to involve and engage the youth in discussing how to preserve and protect  national unity, and we advice that they should be carried along because those against national interest could used them to achieve their own interest at the detriment of other Nigerians”, Ali said.

 

Coalition Blames Sabotage, Not Lami Amodu Over Queens College Deaths

A group of six non-governmental and civil society organisations, The Coalition of Civil Societies on Human Rights and Anti-Corruption in Nigeria has blamed sabotage as possible cause of death of some students at the Queens College Lagos.

The Coalition in a letter to the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education probing the cause of deaths at the Federal Government’s Unity School, insisted that from their findings after an investigation, “we are convinced that what may have happened resulted from acts of sabotage by some desperate persons”.

The former Director/Principal of the College, Dr (Mrs) Lami Amodu, has been accused of culpability in the death of some of the students.

The Coalition, in the letter address to the chairman of the committee and jointly signed by its Chief Convener, Alhaji Sabo Ode and the Director of Public Affairs, Comrade James Ezema, urged the Senate “to ensure that justice is done and that the innocent is not punished for doing that which is right and insisting that the right thing be done in the right way.

 

“As part of our efforts to ensure justice for all, irrespective of class, tribe or social status, when the news of the regrettable incident that led to the death of some students at the college broke, we moved to make our findings on what may have happened”.

 

The groups that constitute the coalition include Professional Women League, Africa Women Network, Centre for Social Justice Equity and Transparency, Save Humanity Advocacy Centre, Stand Up Nigeria, and Conference of Minority Tribes in Nigeria.

 

According to the Coalition, “over time, as we found out, a cartel has been operating within the Queens College Old Girls Association of the school, who always dictated to the management and found for the first time a woman who stood against them.”

 

Spelling out it findings, after an independent investigation carried out by the Coalition, the group said: “Mr Chairman and members, we found out that within her 18 months stay on the saddle in the college, Dr Lami Amodu did all things within her power and within the ambit of bureaucracy to effect long lasting changes that were geared towards improving facilities on ground.

 

“The shocker, for us, was that the incident of stooling and subsequent casualties did not occur in the college until after a meeting held on January 22, 2017, by the Queens College Old Girls Association.

 

“Our findings showed that while the meeting held in the college hall, some old girls found their way into the hostels and the kitchen areas without authorisation of proper permission.

 

“A week later, specifically on January 31, 2017, some students were reported to have started stooling and vomiting but luckily the college and health officials promptly managed and contained the menace.

 

“All of these points to the fact that Dr Lami Amodu understood both the challenges at hand when she assumed office and made efforts to ensure they were addressed”, the group observed.

 

According to them, “One other striking finding was that fact that Dr Amodu was seen as “very strict”, “very hash” and “rude” by certain persons.

 

“On attempt to find out why, we discovered that it was her uncompromising recourse to due process and her resolve that the right thing must be done the right way were the virtues that earned her those tags.

 

“We believe that the old girls and other collaborators, who have resorted to frivolous petition writing, may have played a role, resulting to the stooling and vomiting incident in the college and the subsequent deaths.

 

“More so, some of the deaths occurred after the former Principal had been transferred.

 

“For instance, the death of Sodipo Praise, an Orphan who died on March 30, 2017 occurred nearly two months after Dr Amodu had been transferred.

 

“Our findings equally showed that the young Praise reported to the clinic on 20th February 20, after Dr Amodu had left the school, with feverish condition and was placed on anti-malaria drugs, with follow up treatment until the college went on midterm break.

 

“From home, Miss Praise was referred to the Lagos State University Hospital after her ailment continued at home”, the group revealed.

 

“We gathered that she was diagnosed of liver enlargement and perforation of intestine and later died after surgery, even when she was never treated for stooling and vomiting previously at the college.

 

“Mr Chairman and members, there is more to the issues being raised and allegations being levelled against Dr Amodu. For instance, she was recently accused in a petition of buying an SUV for 17 million, an allegation we have also investigated and found to be false.

“The SUV, which was not for personal use was left in the school after her redeployment. Its purchase, we also found, went through due process and had board approval after the board decided it was very necessary because of the state of the old bus the school had, which was in a very bad condition.

 

“From our investigations we also found out facts on  the allegation of 17 million naira on SUV, which is  also not  true as the findings of the investigation have proved contrary in which the purchase of the SUV went through due process and had board approval after the board decided it was very necessary because of the state of the old bus the school had which was in a bad condition and the Sport Utility Vehicle is still used at Queens College Lagos  by the principal till date and not a private property of Dr. Mrs Lami Amodu”, the group noted.

 

 

Human Rights Abuses: Global Amnesty Watch Calls for Speedy Implementation of SBOI Reports

The Global Amnesty Watch, an international humanitarian organization has endorsed the report of the Special Board of Inquiry (SBOI), which investigated the alleged war crimes man by the Nigerian Army personnel in the fight against insurgency in the North East and Internal Security Operations in the South Eastern part of the country.

Recall that the Nigerian Army had said on Thursday that it was studying the report of a special panel that investigated allegations of human rights abuses against the army.

The panel headed by a retired major general, A.T. Jibrin, submitted its report to the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai last week at the army headquarters in Abuja.

Mrs Helen Adesola, Nigerian Representative of GAW, said it was clearly established that all the allegations of rights abuses, extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances were mere concoctions from the imaginations of those of those that have been issuing inaccurate reports.

According to her, “Other instances of documented abuses were transposed from a previous era to give the impression that the cases in question were recently committed.

She added, “The report, which should be given the widest publicity possible, should now put to rest the controversies that had raged around the efforts by Nigerian military authorities to secure the country and keep citizens safe from terrorists and other life threatening criminals.

“The revelations that certain unauthorized organizations were able to obtain classified military documents and signals through leaks is one that should keep the world worried as it implies staffers of such organizations could have been engaged in passing vital Army strategies and troop movement to terrorists, making it difficult to protect civilians.

“We have noted calls for independent investigation and further probes suggested by certain organizations.

“The Global Amnesty Watch however wishes to caution the Nigerian Army and the Federal Government of Nigeria to resist the temptation of being drawn into a popularity contest of pleasing smaller groups to the detriment of the larger population,” her statement added.

The GAW urged the military authority not compromise the interest of the people in the areas affected by terrorism, insurgency and other crimes because they want to be compliant with the request of a narrow spectrum of activists.

She added, “The response for an independent investigation or commission of inquiry must be realistically balanced with the safety and security of citizens since such exercise can compromise national security.

“Nigeria must never lose sight of the fact that the Army is its institution as a sovereign nation and no amount of blackmail should force it to surrender state institutions to fifth columnists especially in this era that terrorists have infiltrated the ranks and file of various military which the Nigerian Army has successfully insulated itself against.”

 

Terrorists Behind US Suit Against Nigerian Military, Says MPN as Group Demands Investigation of Plaintiffs

A civil liberty organisation, Movement of the People of Nigeria, on Wednesday alleged that the persons behind the lawsuit against personnel of Nigerian military authorities in the United States, were not Nigerians “but terrorists and extremists.”

The group, which demanded an investigation of their real identities, however promised to raise its own team of lawyers to confront anyone desperate to rubbish the image of the country or attempts to further diminish its citizenry before the international community.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of MPN, Dr. Innocent Oche Pita, told journalists in Abuja that the suit was aimed at causing a diplomatic row between Nigeria and US.

The suit was said to have been instituted by some persons against Nigeria’s military leadership before a US District Court for the District of Columbia.

But the MPN described it as an abuse of the Torture Victims Protection Act and Alien Tort Claims Act Complaint of the United States.

“The world is aware that Nigeria has suffered in the hands of terrorists and extremists and the Biafra agitators are another brand of terrorists that must not be admitted into the United States, Nigeria or any other peace loving nation.

“It will be wise for the Donald Trump’s administration and the security agencies to discretely investigate the plaintiffs as regards their activities in the United State before they become the kind of nuisance that is presently threatening the United Kingdom and other European countries”, MPN alleged.

The MPN said much as it was glaring that the US courts lack jurisdiction to try such issues, there is no record or evidence that the Nigerian Military abused the rights of any citizen within or outside the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The group said those who fear such “are common criminals who had held the country by the jugular in the recent past through acts like banditry, kidnaping and gun-for-hire.”

According to Pita, the suit is nothing short of a calculated attempt to rubbish the US judiciary for its liberal stand on human rights and protection of lives.

He said it was to allegedly abuse the law under which the suit was filed so that it no longer serves the purpose for which it was crafted, “and to use it to cause strain in Nigeria – US relations.”

MPN said, “Secrecy in a case that claims to be as grounded as the plaintiffs claimed is dubious as it implies that criminals can hide under such unanimity to further questionable agenda. The plaintiffs would only fear exposing their identities either because they are not real in the first place or that they are persons with criminal records in the US.

“Our position is that these people behind the suit are not Nigerians and should stop dragging the name of our country’s military to the mud.

“This is why we are worried that even non-Nigerians can be coached to give evidence since it is apparent that the people that filed the suit are not honest enough to show themselves.

“We will raise our own team of lawyers to confront anyone or any group that is out to rubbish the image of our great country or attempts to further diminish its citizenry in the eyes of citizens of the world”, the group said.

CNPP Calls for Scrapping of State Electoral Bodies, Mobilises for Protest Over Benue LG Polls

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has begun mobilisation to protest what it described as a rape of democracy in Benue State local government election, calling for the scrapping of State Electoral Commissions across the country if democracy most thrive at the grassroots level.

It further described the purported local government election in Benue and the inauguration of its outcome in the state as a deliberate effort to foist a one party democracy on the state by Governor Samuel Ortom.

The CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, told newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday that the umbrella body of all registered political parties and associations in Nigeria still rejects the “process and its outcome remains unacceptable to us.

“Therefore, we’re already mobilising Nigerians and the civil society groups across the country to resist this imposition and open threat to our democracy.

“As I’m talking to you, all the Civil Society and Human Rights organizations in the country have united to end this impunity once and for all. We shall use Benue as an example and a warning to other state governors who are tramping the tenets of democracy under foot through a charade they call council elections.

“I can tell you that the sham in Benue was orchestrated by Governor Samuel Ortom and the chairman of Benue State Electoral Commission, John Tsuwa Tor on the 3rd of June 2017 to exclude political participation at the local level.

“That is why we want state electoral bodies scrapped. We are happy that the good people of Benue State boycotted the election as a major voice in protesting against the establishment; that explains the unprecedented voter apathy on the day of the election. The Benue people spoke loud and clear”, he said.

Asked what the special interest in Benue was, Chief Ezugwu swiftly responded, “If we condone this, it will go down in world’s history and will embolden other Governors and their State electoral body to continue with this practice in Nigeria.

“If this charade is allowed to stay unchallenged, it will be tantamount to truncating Nigeria’s democracy and uprooting it from the roots”, he said.

Asked to give details of the planned protest, he said, “When we get to the bridge, we will cross it. The details have been concluded and the civil society groups are set.

“And we are insisting on the total cancellation of the exercise and a return of over N1.2 billion siphoned in the name of the failed election”, the CNPP said.

Full Text of The Kaduna Declaration, Issuing 3 Months Notice To Biafrans To Leave North

THE KADUNA DECLARATION

BEING A JOINT POSITION PAPER ISSUED BY THE AREWA CITIZENS ACTION FOR CHANGE, AREWA YOUTH CONSULTATIVE FORUM, AREWA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION, AREWA STUDENTS FORUM AND NORTHERN EMANCIPATION NETWORK ON THE IGBO PERSISTENCE FOR SECESSION
June 06, 2017

PREAMBLE
The persistence for the actualization of Biafra by the unruly Igbo of South-Eastern Nigeria has lately assumed another alarming twist which involved the forceful lockdown of activities and denial of other people’s right to free movement in the South-East by the rebel Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its overt and covert sponsors.

This latest action and similar confrontational conducts which amount to a brutal encroachment on the rights of those termed as non-indigenous people residing and doing lawful businesses in those areas illegally demarcated and defined as Biafra by the Igbo, are downright unacceptable and shall no longer be tolerated.
OBSERVATIONS
Concerned by this persistent Igbo threat to national integration, the above-named Pan-northern groups met with several others and reviewed the current position of the North and jointly came up with the following observations:

1. IGBO PROVOCATION
a. The Igbo people of the South-East, without remorse for the carnage they wrought on the nation in the 1960s, are today boldly reliving those sinister intentions connoted by the Biafran agitation that led to the very first bloody insurrection in Nigeria’s history.

b. Emboldened by the apparent indifference of the Nigerian authorities, the Igbo secessionist tendency is widening in scope and action at every stage, with adverse effects on the law-abiding people of other regions residing in or passing through the East, while the Igbo leaders and elders by their utterances and direct action or inaction appear to support and encourage it.

c. This is happening irrespective of the undisputable fact that:

i. The cruel Igbos have done and are doing more damage to our collective nationhood than any other ethnic group; being responsible for the first violent interference with democracy in Nigeria resulting in a prolonged counter-productive chain of military dictatorship.

ii. The Igbos similarly orchestrated the first, and so far, the only civil war in Nigeria that consumed millions of lives and sowed the seed of the current mutual suspicion and distrust.

iii. The Igbos are also responsible for Nigeria’s cultural and moral degeneracy with their notorious involvement in all kinds of crimes, including international networking for drug and human trafficking, violent robberies and kidnappings, high-profile prostitution and advanced financial fraud.
iv. At the peak of the devastating Boko Haram violence in some parts of the North, available records show that the Igbo people have variously been apprehended while attempting to convey catches of dangerous arms and ammunition to the troubled regions.
v. There are today sufficient reasons to suspect that some Igbos masquerade as Fulani herdsmen to commit violent atrocities across the country in order to cause and spread ethnic disaffection.
vi. It is also on record that since the inception of the current democratic dispensation, the Igbos have shown and maintained open contempt and resentment for the collective decision expressed by majority of Nigerians at various stages via generally acceptable democratic processes.
2. DOCILE NORTHERN RESPONSE
a. While these provocative acts of aggression persist and grow in dimension with each new move, leaders of the North whose people are at the receiving end of the threats, appear helplessly unperturbed.

b. Rather than endorsing a concise framework for pre-emptive action to protect and safeguard the interest of the North and its people, leaders of the region at every stage tend to seek the cover of a flimsy and long-discarded excuse of having fought in the 60s to keep Nigeria united.

c. Without pursuing a resolute action-plan, these northern leaders have adopted and have been dragging its people into a pitifully pacifist position in order to sustain an elusive national cohesion that has long been ridiculed by the Igbos.

OUR STAND
1. From today, June 6, 2017, when this proclamation is signed, the North, a critical player in the Nigerian project, hereby declares that it will no longer be disposed to coexisting with the Igbos and shall take definite steps to end the partnership by pulling out of the current federal arrangement.

2. This conclusion is necessitated by the realization that it since ceased to be comfortable or safe to continue sharing the same country with the ungrateful, uncultured Igbos who have exhibited reckless disrespect for the other federating units and stained the integrity of the entire nation with their insatiable criminal obsessions.

3. Rather than certain sections holding the whole country to ransom at every stage, each should be allowed to go its own way as we categorically proclaim today that the North is fed up with being the same country with this pack of acrimonious Igbo partners.

4. The North hereby openly calls on the authorities and other national and international stakeholders to acknowledge this declaration by taking steps to facilitate the final dissolution of this hopeless union that has never been convenient to any of the parties.

PRELUDE TO FINAL SEPARATION

1. RECOVERY AND CONTROL OF LANDED PROPERTY
As a first step, since the Igbo have clearly abused the unreciprocated hospitality that gave them unrestricted access to, and ownership of landed properties all over the North, our first major move shall be to reclaim, assume and assert sole ownership and control of these landed resources currently owned, rented or in any way enjoyed by the ingrate Igbos in any part of Northern Nigeria.

Consequently, officials of the signatory groups to this declaration, are already mandated to commence immediate inventory of all properties, spaces or activity in the north currently occupied by the Igbos for forfeiture at the expiration of the ultimatum contained in this declaration.

In specific terms, the groups are directed to compile and forward an up-to-date data of all locations occupied by any Igbo in any part of Northern Nigeria including schools, markets, shops, workshops, residences and every other activity spaces.
2. RELOCATION NOTICE
Secondly, with the effective date of this declaration, which is today, Tuesday, June 06, 2017, all Igbos currently residing in any part of Northern Nigeria are hereby served notice to relocate within three months and all northerners residing in the East are advised likewise.

3. ENFORCEMENT
All northern civil society and pressure groups are by this declaration mandated to mobilize for sustained, coordinated campaigns at their respective State Government Houses, State Houses of Assembly, Local Government Council Secretariats and Traditional Palaces to mount pressure for steps to be taken to ensure enforcement of the directives contained herein.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, we are hereby placing the Nigerian authorities and the entire nation on notice that as from the 1st October 2017, we shall commence the implementation of visible actions to prove to the whole world that we are no longer part of any federal union that should do with the Igbos.
From that date, effective, peaceful and safe mop-up of all the remnants of the stubborn Igbos that neglect to heed this quit notice shall commence to finally eject them from every part of the North.
And finally, all authorities, individuals or groups are hereby advised against attempting to undermine this declaration by insisting on this union with the Igbos who have thus far proved to be an unnecessary baggage carried too far and for too long.
SIGNATORIES TO THIS DECLARATION:
1. Nastura Ashir Sharif
FOR: AREWA CITIZENS ACTION FORCHANGE

2. Amb. ShettimaYerima
FOR: AREWA YOUTH CONSULTATIVE FORUM

3. Aminu Adam
FOR: AREWA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION

4. Alfred Solomon
FOR: AREWA STUDENTS FORUM

5. Abdul-Azeez Suleiman
FOR: NORTHERN EMANCIPATION NETWORK

6. JoshuaViashman
FOR: NORTHERN YOUTH VANGUARD

7. Mohammad A. Mohammad
FOR: NORTHERN YOUTH STAKEHOLDERS FORUM

8. Mohammed Tasiu Pantami
FOR: NORTH EAST ASSEMBLY

9. Nathaniel Ajegena Adigizi
FOR: NORTH CENTRAL PEOPLE’S FRONT

CNPP Backs Labour’s Calls on FG to Review Capital Oil and Gas Chairman’s Detention

The Conference of Nigeria Political parties (CNPP) has thrown its weight behind the call by the United Labour Congress (ULC) for the release the Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, in order to pave the way for negotiation with company’s management.

The umbrella body of all registered political parties and associations in the country in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu appealed to the federal government to consider the fate of the numerous workers employed by the privately owned company and release the detained oil magnet or charge him to court for prosecution.

“Like the ULC observed, federal government’s promise to provide jobs and its desire to tackle unemployment in Nigeria will be a mirage if actions or inactions of government lead to job loses or contribute to the widening of the unemployment gap.

“As at today, more jobs have been lost in the private sector than the federal government has created due to harsh economic environment in the country as a result of the current recession.

“Our fears is that the continued detention of the Capital oil and Gas chairman without trial will not only lead to the sack of over 5,000 workers directly and indirectly engaged by the company but will also send frightening signals to foreign direct investors that Nigeria is a country where the rule of law is scarce.

“No serious foreign investor would invest in a country with history of detention without trial”, the CNPP observed.

While calling on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to intervene in the matter to halt impending massive job loss in the company and other sister companies owned by Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, the political parties and associations said that the federal government must ensure that justice is seen to have been done in all cases involving its citizens at home and abroad.

“We are aware that the federal government is exploring diplomatic channels to intervene in cases involving Nigerians in some foreign lands. But it would amount to a joke taken too far if the same government detains its citizens involved in a mere commercial transaction dispute indefinitely without opportunity to defend themselves in a court of competent jurisdiction.

“Acting President Yemi Osinbajo must save the President Muhammadu Buhari administration from further damage to its reputation in the international community by releasing or charging Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah to Court.

“It will be very shameful for the federal government to be seen as directly or indirectly contributing to further job losses in the country”, the CNPP noted.

SOURCE: TheStreetReporters

BREAKING: CNPP Backs Labour, Students, Vows to Resist Fuel Tax

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has thrown its weight behind Nigeria’s organised labour over planned increment of prices of petroleum products, accusing the National Assembly of taking more anti-people decisions than resolutions that could better the lives of the already impoverished masses of Nigeria.

 

“We assure the Senate and the federal government that their proposed N5 be per litre of fuel tax will be resisted”, the CNPP vowed in a statement by the Secretary General of CNPP, Chief Willy Ezugwu on Sunday.

 

The Alhaji Balarabe Musa led umbrella organisation of all registered political parties and associations in Nigeria also warned the Presidency of the imminent consequences of adding to the pains of the ordinary people of Nigeria by raising the pump price of fuel under any guise.

 

“Our findings have shown that the bill titled ‘National Roads Fund (Establishment, etc) Bill 2017’, proposing that N5 to be paid per litre of fuel imported into the country is a ploy by the federal government to impose more hardship on Nigerians at a time the burden of recession in the country is becoming unbearable.

 

“We thought that the federal government should be thinking of reducing the already biting hardship in the country after failing to fulfil the promised increment in minimum wage and non-payment of arrears of workers’ salaries and allowances in the past two years.

 

“It seems that the current government at the federal level and their National Assembly collaborators enjoy inflicting more and more pains on Nigerian masses.

 

“We wonder why the Senate Committee on Works in its final report on the bill would make such proposal. Are they saying that the only way this government can raise funds is by increasing pump price of petroleum prices and punishing the masses?”, the CNPP queried.

 

The Nigerian organised labour, students and others have vowed to resist any attempt by government to indirectly or otherwise introduce a hike in the bump price of fuel, given the economic hardship in the country.

CULLED FROM: TheStreetReporters.com

BIAFRA: AN OPEN LETTER By John Paul Iloduba

REPRESSION OF THE INNOCENT POPULATION OF NIGERIANS BY SEPARATISTS IN THE SOUTH-EAST: THE WORLD MUST ACT NOW

On May 30, 2017 small businesses in Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Imo and Ebonyi were forced shut down by separatists as part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the declaration of the moribund Biafra Republic.

The separatists attempted the same economic blockade to some extent in Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa states while they were completely rebuffed in Edo, Akwa-Ibom and Cross River states.
These separatists operated under names like Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) Biafra Independence Movement (BIM) and assortments of street gangs that act as the militant wings of these groups.
The extent of suffering and economic hardship unleashed on the helpless population can be gauged from the headlines of newspapers in the aftermath of the punitive action.

The Vanguard reported that “Biafra sit-at-home: Total shutdown in S-East” while the Sun read “Biafra: South-East shuts down” and the Guardian has “Sit-at-home order grounds South East”.
Separatists leaders quoted in all the reports gave the misleading impression that owners of these small shops and businesses voluntarily complied with the directive to shutter their premises to mark the anniversary of the tragic republic but the opposite was the case.

Owners of these businesses were repeatedly threatened with arson, looting and rape (of women) for any business that dares to defy the orders of the Biafran “Supreme Leader” not to open for transactions.
Apparently, in an effort to avoid confrontation with the armed militant wing of the aforementioned groups, government security operatives refrained from interfering.

Past interventions by security operatives to prevent economic blockades had resulted in their personnel being attacked and some killed by the militants in the process.
Unfortunately, while the approach of the security agencies averted confrontations, the economic blockade has further impoverished the low income earners that were forced to go one day without earning their livelihood. It must be stated here that the majority of the families that bore the brunt of this oppression from Biafran militants earn less than $2 per day ? the implication of this loss of income for one day will amplify over time to further impoverish them.
More unfortunate is the fact that the sponsors and warlords that declared the forced closure have businesses that are considered too big to harass and were therefore not affected by the shutdown. These businesses include big brands like hotels and supermarkets chains that opened in other cities, oil firms that operated in other parts of the country and other firms with branded names that do not give away their Igbo ownership.
We therefore call the attention of the world to this atrocity, which has become more frequent as the separatists continue to find new excuses for declaring sit-at home orders that effectively translate into forced closure of businesses.

Well meaning countries and international organizations must condemn the activities of the Biafran militants as the terrorism that it is.

Actions must be demanded to protect the vulnerable population from being further impoverished by economic shutdowns that have no connection with the genuine calls for fiscal restructuring of Nigeria.
Demands must be made of the Federal Government of Nigeria not to again abandon the wellbeing of its citizens for political consideration. It is the responsibility of the government, through its security and military agencies, to uphold the Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of movement and freedom to earn income from legitimate means that applies to all Nigerians.

Yours faithfully,

Iloduba is Director of Strategy, Igbo for Nigeria Movement [INM], Awka, Anambra State.

Adoke Insists Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan Endorsed Malabu Agreement

The former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) has insisted that the controversial Malabu oil Block Agreement was endorsed by the previous administrations of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.

In an official letter written to his successor and the current Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Adoke, said “I believe it is your responsibility to explain to the public who are being sold a fiction that the transaction started from President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR under whose administration the Terms of Settlement were brokered with Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, as the then Attorney General who executed the Terms of Settlement before the tenure of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR who approved the final implementation of the Terms of Settlement and my humble self who executed the resolution agreements. This is more so as the Settlement and its implementation were situated in the Federal Ministry of Justice.

“Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, your response is crucial because it has become glaring that the actions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in respect of the transaction are not in the national interest; but rather in furtherance of a plot to serve the interests of some powerful families and individuals who are aggrieved by my refusal to accede to their requests to compel Malabu to pay them certain sums from the proceeds of its divestment in OPL 245, and the subsequent re-allocation of the Block to Shell/ENI. You will recall that I had on several occasions asserted this fact. I am therefore surprised that a national institution is being used to further the interest of individuals whose claim or shareholding in Malabu remains shady and prefer to engage proxies to fight their battles.”

On the recent filed charges by anti-corruption agency against him and others, Adoke stated that “recent actions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to impugn the settlement which was done in the national interest particularly their penchant to suppress facts relating to the transaction and the filing of criminal charges against me for conspiracy/ aiding the commission of Money Laundering offence and the latest allegations of bribe taking reveal very clearly that either your Office and that of the EFCC are not working in harmony or that something sinister is going on.

“Having given you the benefit of the doubt that you would not sponsor deliberate falsehood against me, my suspicion is that there is an orchestrated plot by the EFCC to: deliberately impugn a transaction that has been scrutinized and approved by at least three past Presidents and three Attorneys General; drag my name in the mud and paint me with the tar of corruption in order to attract public odium.”

Adoke also advised the Justice Minister that “As the Chief Law Officer of the Federation, you have a public duty to speak on this matter so that Nigerians would know whether I acted mala fide or abused my office in the entire transaction leading to the final implementation of the Settlement. Nigerians need to know whether your predecessors in office from 2006 to May 2015 acted in the national interest when they brokered and implemented the Settlement.

“It will also be instructive for Nigerians to know whether your predecessors were carrying out their personal agenda or that their respective actions were carried out with the knowledge and approval of their respective Principals.

Adoke said “if you find that I had breached my Oath of Office or abused my office, please do not hesitate to bring me to justice. However, if it is the contrary, as I strongly believe, that certain individuals who had vowed to even scores with me are now being aided by state institutions such as the EFCC; I deserve protection from these unwarranted attacks and dehumanising treatment that I am being subjected to merely because I chose to serve my fatherland.”

It could be recalled that the EFCC has filed charges against the ex-minister and some former officials over the Malabu oil deal.

Source: TheStreetReporters

Bailout Funds: CNPP, Civil Society Groups to Begin Assessment Tour of States, Urges Govs to Emulate Ugwuanyi

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) is to commence an appraisal tour of the states of the federation that received bailout funds from the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Also to join in what the CNPP tagged a fact-finding tour is a coalition of civil society groups drawn from all states of the federation, as part of efforts to hold state governors accountable on the bailout funds utilisation.

This was disclosed in statement signed by the CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu.

While commending the Enugu State Governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for judicious use of the bailout fund, the CNPP reminded state governors that the money was strictly meant for payment of salary and pension arrears.

“The bailout funds were given to states for the sole purpose of alleviating the sufferings of the states’ workforce, not for capital projects.

“Our tour of the states of the federation, alongside a coalition of civil society groups drawn from 36 states of Nigeria, will be a on fact-finding mission on how the states spent the bailout for workers salaries and pensions arrears.

“It is important to hold the state governors accountable, through a robust engagement, to ensure that the bailout finds were not diverted into other uses”, it said.

The CNPP observed that “surprisingly, an unexpected state, Enugu State, is getting accolades for its purposeful utilisation of its own bailout fund.

“The recent high rating of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi by the Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration as the best in the utilisation of the federal government bailout funds in accordance with the principles of accountability is commendable and worthy of emulation by other states governors.

The CNPP, therefore, urged “all Nigerian governors to take a cue from Governor Ugwuanyi, who was recently awarded Man of the year by the Authority Newspapers for 2016 for Excellence and Good Governance in the areas of Development and Infrastructure in the hitherto civil service state”, the CNPP observed.

The statement added that the list of all the participating civil society groups in the assessment tour of the states of the federation was being compiled and would be released in due course.

Recall that the chairman, Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration, Senator Abdullahi Gumel, had at the rounded off of his committee’s legislative oversight function on the utilisation of bailout funds to the state named Governor Ugwuanyi as the best in the funds’ use for its purpose after their scrutiny of the state’s record.

Source: TheStreetReporters

APC Hails South East Leaders for Endorsing Buhari for 2019

The National Leadership of APC Youths Renaissance has applauded the political leaders of Southeast geo-political zone for endorsing and adopting President Muhammadu Buhari as their Presidential Candidate in 2019 General Elections.

The position of the group was made known to the press after an emergency meeting it held today in Abuja.

Other outcome of the meeting was the call on Nigerians by North Central Coordinator of the group Honourable Abubakar Yakubu to desist from spreading rumour on the health status of the President. Sayingthe President is not only alive, but hale and hearty.

On the election of Senator Ken Nnamani as the South East leader of APC, the group congratulated him and charged him to ensure the party wins all elections in the region especially the upcoming governorship election in Anambra State.

Signed,
Mr. Collins Edwin,
National Secretary,
APC Youths Renaissance

 

15 Years Remembrance: Why CSCEOS Wants Police to Re-open Bola Ige, Olagbaju Murder Cases

Following the recent reported directive of President Muhammadu Buhari and the calls by the well meaning Nigerians that the brutal killing of former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, SAN, be revisited, a Civil Society Organization(CSO), the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State(CSCEOS) has also called for the re-opening of the gruesome murder of late Honourable Misty Odunayo Olagbaju by the current authority of the Nigeria Police Force(NPF).

The group also disclosed that the opening of the two brutal murders would go in right direction by bringing the uncommon credibility to the force under the present Inspector General of police (IGP) Alhaji Ibrahim Idris

According to the group in a Letter dated Monday 26th September and signed by its Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman which was received by the office of the Police boss on Tuesday 27th September, 2016 and the copy was made available to newsmen on Thursday in commemoration of 15 years remembrance of Late Bola Ige, writing the authority of the Force to re-open the brutal murder of Hon. Olagbaju alongside of Late Chief Ige as being planned.

The Letter reads in part; “Sir, Honourable Odunayo Olagbaju, who was a serving member of the Osun State House of Assembly, was brutally murdered on December 19, 2001 in front of Moore Police Station, Ile-Ife, in which Chief Bola Ige was brutally killed four days later, precisely, December 23rd, 2001 at his Bodija residence in Ibadan.

“We wish to inform your good office that the two highly unresolved murder cases are seriously affecting the psycho-analysis of the people of Osun State till this present moment and we believe that the two unresolved murder case as affecting our dear State, should be thoroughly re-investigated by bringing it to close once and for all.

“While urging you to exhibit uncommon courage and honesty to ensure in bringing of the perpetrators of the dastard act to justice and this will be the litmus test for the Force in order to retain the confidence of the good people of the country in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as the right to life is universal and guaranteed by the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”

It would be recalled both Ige and Olagbaju were brutally killed as a result of political crisis that engulfed the atmosphere of the State in 2001, when Chief Bisi Akande was battling his erstwhile Deputy, Senator Iyiola Omisore over power supremacy in the State.

In a related development, in July this year, President Muhammad Buhari directed the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to reopen investigation into the unresolved murder of the former Minister, Chief Ige.

Similarly, Chief Bola Ige, a national leader of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) was a serving Senior Minister in the cabinet of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Peoples Democratic Party-controlled Federal Government and Honourable Odunayo Olagbaju was a serving State Legislator under the same political party, Alliance for Democracy (AD) which was generally believed then, was fighting for the downtrodden masses of the State.‎

SOURCE: The Street Reporters

 

Anambra CLO Elects New Leaders, Upholds Suspension of Three Members

Nigeria’s foremost human rights organization, the Civil Liberties Organisation CLO), Anambra State Branch has elected a new set of executive members to pilot the affairs of the branch for the next two years, The Street Reporters reports.

In the election which followed the laid down rules of the constitution of the CLO, Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme was elected the State Chairman while Innocent Okeke became his Assistant.

Comrade Chidi Mbah was elected the Branch Secretary while Chike Umesonwunne was also elected the Assistant Secretary.

Other members of the elected executives included Comrade Hyginus Udensi, Treasurer, Amoke Nicholas, Campaign and Publicity Secretary, Dennis Ezeokoli, Research Secretary while Comrades Ugochukwu Oforma and Okoro Stanley were also elected ex-officio members.

Comrades Ikechukwu Onyekwere, Samuel Umegbolu and Alvin Okpaleke were also elected members of the State Branch Disciplinary Committee.

The newly elected State Chair, Vin Ezekwueme holds a B.Sc. Degree in Govt and Public Administration from Imo State University, Owerri while the Secretary, Chidi Mbah holds also a B.Sc. degree in Economics from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka where he is also currently pursuing his post graduate degree from the same institution and discipline.

In an acceptance speech shortly after they were sworn into office by the South East Zonal Chair of the CLO, Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah, the newly elected State Chair, Comrade Ezekwueme thanked the members for the confidence reposed on them which he promised not to betray.

He thanked the previous executives for the sacrifices to sustain the ideals of the organization in the state and vowed that the tempo will be sustained in the struggle towards the enthronement of human rights culture in the state anchored on respect for the constitution, rule of law, promotion of democracy and good governance which have all been the hallmark of what the CLO stands for in their struggle.

Upholds Suspension of Members

In the same vein, the state Branch of the CLO has reaffirmed the indefinite suspension of Justus Ijeoma, Alex Olisa and Chibueze Nwajiaku erstwhile Legal Secretary, Vice Chairman and Secretary respectively.

It would be recalled that the trio were suspended during the Branch General Meeting of the Anambra CLO on 16th November 2016.

Justus Ijeoma who was appointed the legal Secretary of the CLO in 2013 following his defeat in his ambition to become the State Chair of the CLO was suspended for acts bordering on insubordination, intransigence, arrogance/willful disobedience to the constitution of the CLO and several exhibitions of violent characters.

Alex Olisa, his ‘man Friday’ was also suspended for usurping the functions of the State Chair by proclaiming himself the Chair and also convening an executive meeting of the branch CLO without any authorization and support of the executive and general members of the CLO.

The General meeting of the CLO had earlier passed a vote of no confidence on Chibueze Nwajiaku for acts bordering on incompetence, pursuing a secret agenda against the interest of the organization and disobedience to the resolutions of the general meeting but was also finally suspended for rejecting the recommendations of the CLO committee.

The security agencies and other relevant bodies have been communicated on this development and it is in the interest of the public to know henceforth that anybody that deals with the trio of Justus Ijeoma, Alex Olisa and Chibueze Nwajiaku on behalf of Anambra CLO does so at his or her own risk.

SOURCE: The Street Reporters

Boko Haram Plans To Attack Abuja Targets – US Warns

The United States of America has warned of an imminent Boko haram attack in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

The US Embassy in Nigeria made this known in an emergency message, urging its citizens resident or doing business in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to be security conscious.

The U.S. government said information at its disposal points in the direction of terror attacks by the Boko Haram sect.

According to the Embassy, the attackers have as likely targets hotels frequently visited by Westerners.

It, however, disclosed that there is no additional information about the exact timing of the planned attacks.

“We advise all U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings, including local events, monitor local news stations for updates, and report specific incidences of targeted violence to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U. S. Consulate General in Lagos…..Read Full Story Here

 

CNPP Kicks Against Jibrin’s Probe, Reiterates Call For Independent Investigation of Budget Fraud Allegation

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has rejected the move by the House of Representatives to probe Hon. Abdulmumi Jibrin over his efforts at exposing budget fraud in House, reiterating its call for independent investigation into the allegations “rather than engaging in the persecution of the whistleblower.”

The House Speaker Hon. Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of the House of Representatives were named in a budget padding and abuse of office allegations by Hon. Jibrin.

The CNPP in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu described Jibrin’s probe by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges as “a witch hunt and harassment of whistleblowers to the detriment of the ongoing war against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration”.

“The CNPP insists that the Speaker and the fingered principal officers of the House must step aside until they are properly investigated as they cannot be the Judge in their own case and yet lay claim to equity.

“For us, the probe of Hon. Jibrin by Ethics and Privileges Committee of the House, with an obvious predetermined script to suspend him, is nothing but a blackmail by the hunted hunting the hunter in a bid to cover up a gross allegation made by the lawmaker.

“How can the war against corruption succeed when the principal leadership of the House of Representatives noticeably pays lip service to the anti-corruption drive by the Buhari government?

“Rather than embark on the probe, the House would have compelled the Speaker and the principal officers named by Hon. Jibrin to submit themselves to an independent probe panel comprising of relevant security agencies and if cleared, they can sanction the lawmaker for false allegation. Is this not what is most reasonable to do by the House?

“What is it that the Speaker and the principal officers are afraid of? Why are they quick to probe the allegation by some members who claimed their reputation has been damaged by Hon. Jibrin’s allegations, when the allegations have not been investigated and found to be untrue? What is it that the Speaker and his co-accused are struggling to hide from Nigerians?”, the CNPP asked.

“We, therefore, call on the Speaker to immediately disband his probe committee and submit themselves first to an independent investigative panel for open probe of the allegations against them. It is only then can any probe of Hon. Jibrin may be acceptable to well meaning Nigerians.

“If the House is truly concerned about its image, clearing the abuse of office and budget fraud allegation against its Speaker and other principal leaders should be more troubling to them at this time”, the CNPP said.

Ex-Governor Sullivan Chime not Dead

The former Governor of Enugu State, Barrister Sullivan Chime, is still very much alive contrary to earlier rumour that he has died, The Street Reporters Reports.

There was anxiety across the country Saturday morning following unconfirmed reports that Chime died at an Indian Hospital.
This is not the first time the ex-state chief executive would be rumoured dead.

There were reports that he was dead in an Indian hospital on 15 December 2012.

However, the state government official debunked the reports the next day, claiming Chime was healthy and that any such rumours were from the pits of hell.

He returned to Nigeria after three months of treatment and described the death rumour as entertaining.
The rumour of Chime’s purported death was reportedly amplified at 6:10 p.m. on Saturday by a WhatsApp broadcast: “Breaking! Former Governor of Enugu State, Barrister Sullivan Chime, is dead.”

However, when contacted, Chime’s ex-aide laughed off the rumour, describing it as antics of wicked people.

“There is no such thing; he is hale and hearty; this rumour is from the pit of hell”, he said pleading anonymity.

Government sources also debunked the rumour, insisting that the death rumour was untrue.

“Chime is enjoying himself at Udi, his home town”, a government official said.

Nigeria: New Militant Group, Biafra Avengers, Vows to Kill Buhari, Igbo Governors

A new militant group, the Biafra Avenger has threatened to kill President Muhammadu Buhari, members of his entire family and all governors in “Igboland”.

The group also declared the South East a no fly zone, issuing a one month ultimatum to the federal government to release detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“This video is for you the corrupt leaders of the zoo called Nigeria. Buhari’s family will die soon, and most especially that one called Zara, that is the name I gave to my dog. Buhari has been holding our director.

“I want Buhari to know that nobody has the monopoly of violence, this is the time for him to lose some members of his family.

“Release our director, Nnamdi Kanu now, if you want any negotiations and you must release him before the end of this month. Today is the 7th of July.”

Those were the words of a self-acclaimed leader of a new militant group, ‘Biafra Avengers’, which emerged in a new video released on Thursday but went viral yesterday.

The man, who identified himself as Ogone Ogochukwu, claims to be a leader of a group that is sympathetic towards the cause of both Niger Delta Avengers and pro-Biafra agitators.

In the video that lasted eight minutes, 55 seconds, Ogochukwu, while threatening to kill President Muhammadu Buhari and all members of the nation’s first family, warned that the consequences would be grave if the Federal Government failed to heed his warning.

The troubling video showed a young man in dark glasses, dressed in camouflage and a bullet-proof vest reading from a prepared speech with the Biafran flag hanging behind him.

Apart from the threat to the government to release Kanu, the group also threatened to go after all the governors of the states that make up Igboland while declaring the old area known as Biafra as a ‘no fly zone’.

The new militants warned that they would bring down any aircraft that go against the group’s demands effective July 7.

He speaks further in the video: “If he fails to release our director, Nnamdi Kanu in the coming days, we warn, we will do what we want to do, and we will carry out our mission.

“After Buhari, we will go after all the governors in Igboland.

“Buhari should tell his military or Boko Haram members to release Biafra-land now, before the end of this month, otherwise what will become of you people, you will never forget it.

“We hereby warn all fake Igbos not to speak for us, we know those that are speaking for us, we will do anything to restore Biafra, more groups are coming, Buhari, you have not seen anything yet. The worst is coming if you fail to release our director.

“We have a link with Niger Delta Avengers. Nigeria will burn to ashes.

“Today is the 7th of July, I just want to give you serious warning, there should be no flying in Biafra-land. Biafra-land is hereby declared no fly zone’, if you try it, we will bring you down, get the warning now,” Ogochukwu said.

Advising security operatives not to bother looking for him, he said that he hailed from Orogun in Delta State and that he had no relations through whom he could be traced.

He asserted that he had nothing to lose if died in the course of the Biafran mission.

“I have no mum, I have no dad, I have no one to look unto, and so if I die today, what is the point? We are not losing anything. But we will make sure you lose your family, Buhari you will lose your family.

“Today is the 7th day of July 2016, I promise you that Aso Rock will burn; Rochas Okorocha and all the governors in Igboland, your lives are in danger.
“Buhari has just started a fight that he can not finish, we warned him.

“The unarmed Biafrans you are sending your army to kill are innovative, they are intellectuals, and they are warriors.

“They hardly start something but when they do, they don’t go back. We are Biafrans, we are the avengers, and we will come for you. Those against Biafra freedom, wait for us.”

“I plead with Igbos that have not joined any group to please look for groups to join, Hausas and Fulanis have no place in Biafra land; wake up, we will fight to the finish.

“Destroy anything destroyable in Biafra-land, Nigeria is a zoo created by Lord Lugard.

“This is Niger Delta Avengers and Biafra avengers number two. We are coming back,” he said.

End Of A Dark Era: Regime Atrocities Facing COAS Turkur Buratai, Retiring IGP Solomon Arase

Tukur-BurataiThe attention of all Nigerians and members of the international community are drawn to the fact that clock is speedily ticking for the duo of the outgoing Inspector General of Police, IGP Solomon E. Arase and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai to account locally and internationally for “regime- atrocities” they committed while in service as Nigeria’s Police IGP and Army COAS (chief of army staff).

The Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force under their commands in the country’s current democratic dispensation of President Muhammadu Buhari have recorded and still record worst human rights abuses (State killings and terror) in the country’s democratic history, to the extent that in the past ten months, over 1000 State murders are credited to their names and killer-securitization responsibilities.

These they perpetrated through policy statements and issuances and conducts. Their gross incompetence and incapacities have also led to killing by malicious non State actors of over 3000 citizens in the past 10 months. As the country’s chief and auxiliary internal security providers, they incompetently failed to secure the lives of these murdered Nigerians.

In the course of their disastrous eras as Nigeria’s Army and Police chiefs, they conducted and still conduct themselves as outlaws and incorrigible; forgetting that “power is transient” and nothing last forever as well as the fact that “there is always tomorrow to fall on and yesterday to fall back on”.

Even when reminded plainly and constructively of their involvements in the dastardly killing of innocent citizens in peacetime and future dire consequences of their atrocious conducts; the duo would not only boast and justify their atrocious acts but also threaten to kill more innocent citizens like IPOB and Shiite members so as to “dissuade others from trying the might of soldiers and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force”.

Stark instances are the killing of 705 Shiite members in Zaria on 12th and 13th of December 2015 for “blocking the convoy of the COAS”; killing of 13 IPOB members in Onitsha on 17th of December 2015 for “jubilating over court-ordered release of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu”; and killing of another 22 IPOB members in Aba on 9th of February 2016 “for gathering in a school compound to pray for the release of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu”.

There are also other senseless killings by soldiers in Rivers State and war-like bombings and massacre of villagers in parts of the Niger Delta for the purpose of “oil colonization” and under the guise of “fighting sea pirates, etc”.

Today, time has come for the duo of COAS and IGP to account. End of “uniform or khaki immunity and impunity” is almost here, if not certainly here and now. Accountability litigation actions against the duo under reference are mounting locally, regionally and internationally in numerous jurisdictionally competent courts; both for personal and vicarious culpabilities.

The consequences of this are that once “boss-client and uniform/khaki immunities” being used by the referenced to commit their regime-atrocities are gone, local and international accountabilities follow. Mr. Solomon E. Arase (AP16474), according to the “Staff List for Senior Police Officers: CSP-IGP of 24th of January 2014” was enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force on 1st of December 1981.

He hails from Oredo in Edo State and was born on 21st of June 1956. He was promoted AIG on 22nd of February 2012 and became IGP on 15th of April 2015. He will retire officially or statutorily on 21st of June 2016 after attaining 60years of retirement age, according to Nigeria’s Public Service Rule (2008). He has paper degrees in political science and law.

For Lt Gen Turkur Buratai (COAS), he was born on 24th of November 1960 at Buratai town in Biu Local Government Area of Borno State. He was enlisted into the Nigerian Army via the Nigerian Defense Academy on 3rd of January 1981 as a member of 29 Regular Combatant Course 29 (29 RC) where he obtained a National Certificate in Education (NCE). He became a Second Lieutenant on 17th of December 1983 after.

By Nigeria’s Public Service Rule (2008:28-29), the compulsory retirement age for all grades in the service shall be 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service whichever is earlier. The Rule further states that no officer shall be allowed to remain in service after attaining the retirement age of 60 years of punishable service whichever is earlier and that provision of (i) and (ii) of the rule is without prejudice to prevailing requirements for judicial officers and academic staffs of universities who retire at 70 and 65 years respectively.

Going by this rule, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai ought to have retired on 3rd of January 2016 on completion of 35 years of service. Generally, the minimum age for enlisting into the Nigerian Armed Forces is put at 18 years old for voluntary service and at 60 years or after putting in 35 years of service according to the Federal Civil Service Rule. In other countries, such as the United States, military officers are expected to put a minimum of 20 years of service and a maximum of 30 years, according to the department of defense directive. An officer can be enlisted in the force at the age of 17.

In Britain, officers are enlisted into the force at the age of 16 and are expected to put in at least 18 years of service. In Africa, Ghana enlists officers at the age of 18 and retires officers at 50 years while in South Africa, officers stay in active service until they are 60 years and could be enlisted at the age of 18 (Source: Vanguard, December 28, 2012).
However, there is the Harmonized Terms and Condition of Services Officers (HTACOS), 2012 (Revised). HTACOS was intended to make retirement age in the military (army, navy and air force) different from other personnel or public servants of the Federal Government.

The HTACOS was also meant to scrap the years of service of 35 years of service and fully embraced the age on rank bracket. This means that as long as officers and men of the Nigerian military pass the necessary promotion board examinations, they would not be retired just because they have served 35 years.

But that will now depend on their Run- Out -Date (ROD). But the HTACOS was further designed to start with the 36th Course (C36) and their equivalents and above. The 36th Course members were the first set to start full degree programs at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). Before then, Courses 1 to 35 (including Lt Gen Buratai’s Course 29) studied and graduated with the National Certificate in Education (NCE) from the NDA.

This means that while Course 36 and above will benefit from all the provisions of the HTACOS, their seniors, Courses 1 to 35, will not have the full benefits. Course 17 is the oldest still in service (source: Guardian, October 8, 2012).

From the foregoing analysis, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai having been excluded from HTACOS of 2012 on account of his belonging to Course 29 of NDA; ought to have been retired statutorily since 3rd of January 2016 after attaining the mandatory 35 years of service in the Nigerian Army having been enlisted into the Nigerian Army as a cadet officer on 3rd of January 1981.

We are fully aware that the Buhari administration’s affront to rule of law and due process has risen to an apogee and may most likely continue in the case of the COAS; by retaining him against the laws of the land as he has always done.

But we want to put it on record and consciousness of all Nigerians and members of the international community and Lt Gen Turkur Buratai himself that the end of his dark era is speedily nearing when he will inescapably answer for his “regime atrocities” (killing of 705 Shiite and over 80 IPOB activists, among others, in conjunction with retiring IGP Solomon Arase). That is to say that someday soonest, he will hang his khaki and join the civil populace.

It is true that the Federation of Nigeria is still paying billions of naira compensations from international court verdicts for Obasanjo’s atrocities in Odi and Zakibiam in early 2000s, but himself and those he ordered to commit such crimes against humanity somehow walk freely till date because some international mechanisms now in place such as ICC and UN special crimes courts were yet to be in force them.

The ICC Statute, for instance, came into force 1st July 2002; two years after the Odi and Zakibiam massacres and it does not have retroactive criminal jurisdictions.

The worst retirement life is that under which the retiree cocoons himself or herself and sneaks in and out of countries and places where he or she visits because of monumental “regime atrocities” committed while in office. Regional and international fugitiveness or criminal indictment or pursuit to account for atrocity crimes is worse than criminal conviction and sentencing.

The fate of the likes of Omar Hassan El-Bashir of Sudan and his atrocious “Janjaweed” commander (Sheik Musa Hilal) in Darfur and his Minister in charge of Humanitarian Affairs & Darfur (Ahmad Muhammad Harun) is a clear case in point.

Signed:
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Email: info@intersociety-ng.org, emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk
Website: http://www.intersociety-ng.org
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348034186332
Chinwe Umeche, Esq., Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
+2347013238673


 

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