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.

 

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.

Kaduna Declaration: Northern Groups Attack Fani-Kayode, Ohanaeze

The Northern Youth Vanguard and the Arewa Stakeholders Forum have reacted to Femi Fani-Kayode’s and Ohanaize Ndigbo’s remarks on the Kaduna Declaration describing them as mischief makers.

A statement jointly signed by Joshua Viashman and Mohammad A. Muhammad for the two groups, said Fani-Kayode and Ohanaize deliberately distorted the real message contained in the Declaration, to which they are signatories.

The two northern groups said there was nowhere in the Declaration that suggests that the north is mobilizing to attack the Igbo’s in the region.

“What we said is since the Igbo’s insist they are not part of Nigeria, every unit should be allowed to go their own ways and the north would use peaceful and safe means to reclaim its spaces for its future development.

“But typically, Fani-Kayode distorted and misrepresented the content in order to misguide the gullible ones.

“Rather than going about trading mischief, we advice Fani-Kayode to face his money laundering trial and stop diverting attention by interfering in matters that are no concern of his,” the groups said.

The reminded him that it is too early to forget the venom he vented on the same Igbo when he was attempting to prove to them that they were unwanted settlers in Lagos prior to the 2015 elections.

On Ohanaize, the groups said they saw nothing wrong in issuing ultimatums and pointed to the series of ultimatums dished out by the Igbo to the Fulani, to northern governors and even to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The groups said the quick reaction of Ohanaize confirms the assertion that the rebellious conduct of IPOB is fully backed by the Igbo leaders.

Source: TheStreetReporters

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

Why Three New Faces of Socio-Political Reawakening In Igbo Land Must Not Be Found Wanting

The leaderships of Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) and Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs) have carefully appraised the goings on as they concern recent social and political developments in the Southeast Nigeria particularly as they concern Igbo socio-political reawakening and assertion of their rights to existence and ethnic identities with successes trailing last Tuesday’s sit-at-home protest voluntarily organized by IPOB and reformed MASSOB leaderships as a clear case in point.

Another reason behind this joint statement is to remind the trio of Peter Obi, Ike Ekweremadu and Nnamdi Kanu of their existing prestigious status as distinguished Igbo personalities of the year 2016.

This reminding advocacy voice is to strongly advise them to always watch their backs and refrain at all times from associating themselves with activities and conducts capable of forcing the Igbo People to look down and disrespect them.

They must not make themselves or be seen as demigods and must always be closer to the Igbo People. The concept of power drunkenness and psychology of politics must never be their portion. In other words, to whom much is given, much is expected.

We are particularly appalled and deeply worried over an allegation making the news in the web and social media (i.e. 247UReports) concerning Governor Willie Obiano’s car and cash gifts to Citizen Nnamdi Kanu.

According to the said online news report, “Nnamdi Kanu was recently handed over a cash of $50,000 and two SUV cars by Governor Willie Obiano and the gifts were gladly accepted from the giver”.

On further enquiry, a dependable and authoritative source told the coalition that “the acceptance of the gifts by Kanu from Governor Obiano was owing to the fact that Governor Obiano has been assisting Nnamdi Kanu’s father while Kanu was in prison”.

The link to the online story is here: https://247ureports.com/2017/05/27/nnamdi-kanu-receives-50000-and-two-suvs-from-obiano/. The publisher, Ikenna Ezenekwe, is a known close ally of Governor Obiano. The jeeps and cash, according to Ezenekwe’s 247UReports of 27th May 2017, “were delivered to Citizen Kanu shortly after his conditional freedom from prison by one Primus Odili, said to be Gov Obiano’s distant relative”..

It must be pointed out clearly here that there is nothing wrong in giving and receiving plain and charitable gifts from a public office holder or a wealthy philanthropist for the advancement of a nonviolent social struggle such as Biafra self determination campaigns, but a lot is morally wrong and socially abominable when such gifts are seen or perceived as politically motivated, ill conceived or evidentially and atrociously escapist.

If it is true that Governor Willie Obiano gave out such gifts to Nnamdi Kanu, valued at about N98million (i.e. N80M for the two SUV cars and N19M equivalent of $50,000), then our immediate appeal to Citizen Kanu is for such gifts to be returned to the Awka Government House with immediacy.

If it is not true, then he should direct his IPOB to respond publicly and convincingly on his behalf. The response under demand is grossly belated.

The acceptance of such gifts, if true, will spell doom to the nonviolent pro Biafra campaigns and pose a generational clog and curse for those championing the ongoing pro Biafra agitation.

The gifts, if truly given and accepted, can further evoke incurable wrath from the spirits of the 140 innocent, defenseless and unarmed Igbo citizens that were slain under Governor Obiano’s supervision and mobilization on 29th and 30th of May 2016 at Nkpor, Onitsha and Asaba.

Mortally, if it is true that such gifts were given and accepted, then the moral rectitude and competence of IPOB under Citizen Nnamdi Kanu to seek culpable and compensatory justices for the slain defenseless and unarmed citizens, numbering not less than, 140 and their beloved families may most likely have been jeopardized (only victims of 29th and 30th of May 2016 massacre at Nkpor, Onitsha and Asaba).

We have insisted and still insist that Governor Willie Obiano must make an open confession and admission of truth regarding his culpable roles and that of his government in the massacre.

He must follow it up by constituting a judicial panel or commission of enquiry, to be composed of 70% non State actors and 30% State actors to further unravel the atrocities of 29th and 30th May 2016.

The Nigerian Army in Onitsha must publicly disclose where and how they criminally buried dozens of slain innocent Igbo citizens; many of them the army was caught in camera conveying or moving them via their military trucks inside the Onitsha Army Barracks.

What shocks us the more is Governor Willie Obiano’s continued denial of death toll in the said Nkpor, Onitsha and Asaba massacre.

The Governor was authoritatively reported to have maintained this stance recently when a Nigerian Army’s kangaroo probe team visited him during which he was reported to have told the team that “nobody was killed at Nkpor and Onitsha on 29th and 30th May 2016 and if they said somebody was killed, I am not aware”. This was disclosed when the so called “army probe team” visited a certain establishment.

The so called “army probe team” never bordered to visit our coalition or the leadership of Intersociety, which thoroughly investigated the referenced massacre.

The leaderships of Intersociety and our coalition also never bordered to seek to meet the team, because we see the said army probe team as nothing but “a kangaroo army probe team”, seeking to trace and profile members and relatives of the slain families for purposes of evidence erasure, destruction and self exoneration.

For purposes of refreshing the minds of all and sundry, not less than 140 unarmed and defenseless citizens including those participating or attending church night vigils (i.e. inside St Edmunds Cath.

Church Primary School Classrooms located along Umuoji Road, Nkpor), early morning church service returnees and travelers, passers-by, street petty traders, artisans and onlookers were in the late night of 29th and morning and afternoon hours of 30th May 2016; shot and killed by members of the Anambra State Joint Security Taskforce (JTF), comprising soldiers of the Onitsha Military Barracks led by Col Abdullahi Isah Maigari and operationally commanded by Major M.I. Ibrahim of the Military Police.

Other key culprits in the massacre are the Anambra State Police Command led by then DCP OPS, now Commissioner of Police, Johnson Babatunde Kokomo and the Onitsha Area Commander and all DPOs under Onitsha Area Command; Anambra Police SARS led by CSP Bassey Annang; personnel of the Onitsha Navy Post Command, operatives of the SSS, personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, the personnel of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency and armed members of the Anambra State Vigilante Services (AVS).

It is further recalled that prior to the State Government supervised massacre, a letter of notification was sent and successfully delivered to the Governor of Anambra State through the then Commissioner of Police, now AIG Hosea Karma (AIG Zone 9, Umuahia).

The IPOB’s notification letter duly informed the Obiano Administration of its plan to hold the 2016 Igbo/Biafra Heroes Day near Eke Nkpor at a bulldozed multi plots of land temporarily let out for the event by a concerned property magnet. Following the successful and nonviolent marking of the anniversary in Umuahia and Enugu in 2014 and 2015, Anambra State was chosen as the host venue for 2016 anniversary.

The notification letter also clearly disclosed the intent of the event and solicited for security presence from the Government of Anambra State for the purpose of ensuring effective and peaceful crowd control.

Shockingly, the Governor of Anambra State and his Joint Security Taskforce used the notification letter to plan and strategize for violent crackdowns. Unknown to IPOB, Governor Willie Obiano doled out millions of naira from the meager State coffers for logistics and mobilized all the security agencies under his JTF.

Signals were sent to the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu for reinforcements and before the late night of 29th of May 2016, all strategic nooks and crannies of the State including all strategic entry and exit roads around Onitsha, Nkpor, Nnewi, Awka and Asaba had been violently blocked by soldiers and Police SARS.

As a result, shooting and killing spree targeted at those arriving for the anniversary commenced from 11pm of 29th May and terminated around 2pm of 30th May 2016.

At the end, field reports gathered by Intersociety evidentially showed that not less than 140 citizens were killed, out of them 110 died at Nkpor and Onitsha, while 30 others died at Asaba. Over 130 others were terminally injured: 70 in Onitsha and 60 in Asaba. Several Army Hilux vans carrying scores of dead bodies were caught in camera heading to Onitsha Army Barracks.

The bodies of the dead citizens picked by soldiers were later buried in most abominable and heartless manner inside one of the Onitsha Army Barracks’ two cemeteries (in about 15 graves with each containing at least seven shrank and acidified bodies). Their criminal burial took place on Wednesday 1st June 2016; eyewitnesses say, in the presence of one of Governor Willie Obiano’s Commissioners in charge of Public Communications.

About half of those killed in Asaba, numbering not less than 30, dumped at the Federal Medical Center including Citizen Chinedu Udoye were later on 26th June 2016 removed and buried at a certain location around Asaba Airport Road. Amnesty Int’l had in its report, disclosed that “not less than 60 citizens were killed at Nkpor and Onitsha, with at least 70 others injured”.

The Report did not include those killed and injured in Asaba. The culpable Government of Anambra and its mobilized security agencies including Nigeria Police Force and Nigerian Army not only boasted and justified the massacre, but also labeled the slain and the IPOB as “miscreants”, “violent and armed” and “armed independent people of Biafra”. Credit: Intersociety 2016/2017.

Governor Willie Obiano had also after the massacre and its allied litany of denials told by his Government made cursed offers including announcement of a N10million gift to injured victims during his crocodile tear-visit to hospitals where the wounded were being treated.

The offer was roundly rejected by IPOB and our coalition. A number of late night raids in private and public clinics and private residences were also carried out by soldiers and Police SARS leading to forceful removal of dead bodies of the slain pro Biafra activists; forcing families and relatives of other slain and injured activists to summarily whisk them out of Anambra State for safety.

Revocation of Nnamdi Kanu’s Prisoner-Of-Conscience Status: Following the conditional release of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu who was named Prisoner-Of-Conscience by our coalition in 2016, following his long detention without formal trial and several disobedience to judicial pronouncements for his freedom by his captors (Federal Government and its SSS), we hereby revoke his Prisoner-Of-Conscience status.

The trio of Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and David Nwawuisi; alongside Sheik Zaky El-Zaky and his wife-Malama Zeenatu El-Zaky are hereby renamed SBCHROs’ Prisoners-Of-Conscience.

While Sheik El-Zaky and his beloved wife, Malama Zeenatu have been held by SSS without any form of trial or court proceedings or freedom since 14th December 2015, David Nwawuisi and Chidiebere Onwudiwe have remained in detention without trial since October 2015 and June 2016 respectively for un-tried offence of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, which is lightly bailable and attracts not more than seven years imprisonment on conviction.

Citizen Bright Chimezie’s arrest and incarceration by the Akwa Ibom State Directorate of SSS is complicated and lawless. He was arrested in Uyo by SSS on 16th September 2016 and detained without trial.

All efforts by his lawyers and family to see him proved abortive, forcing his lawyers to file a fundamental rights suit in Abuja in which the SSS filed a counter affidavit, saying that he was being held by its Uyo Directorate.

Fresh suit was filed before the Uyo Federal High Court and the Uyo SSS flouted an order of the Court and refused to produce before same; leading to the judgment of 24th May 2017, ordering for his unconditional release. Citizen Bright Chimezie has not been released by the Uyo SSS till date; thereby fueling speculations of his possible death in SSS custody.

Citizen Benjamin Madubugwu is denied a Prisoner-Of-Conscience status because of his connection with firearms found in his custody. The prisoner-of-conscience status is strictly meant for those who never used violence (pacifists) or implied as violent citizens in asserting their constitutional, regional and international human rights. In the eyes of Nigeria’s body of laws, Citizen Madubugwu is entitled to possess guns in the category of firearms (two pump action guns) found in his custody provided he operates same with lawful license.

Commendation: The following are worthy of commendation for their priceless and immeasurable roles in the human rights, humanitarian, research, documentation and media advocacy aspects of the nonviolent pro Biafra campaigns in Nigeria so far.

They are Amnesty International, SBCHROs, Intersociety, Alaigbo Development Foundation, Igbo Youth Movement, Ike Ekweremadu, Peter Obi, Joe Achuzia, US Embassy in Nigeria, Mike Akuoma, Ugochukwu Chinwuba, Ikechukwu Okoye, Clifford Iloanya, Prince Emeka Onyeso, Okechukwu Nwanguma, Aloysius Attah, Ibuchukwu Ezike, Tochukwu Ezeoke and his Igbo Ekunie group, Justus and Justine Ijeomas, Alex Olisa, Damian Ugwu, Damian Ogudike, Tools & Allied Market and its leadership, Ekwenche Group, USA, Uche Asiegbu, George Onyeibe, Samuel Kamanyoku.

Others are Isaac Umunna and his News Express Online, Daniel and Tim Elombah and their Elomba Reports, Madam Aziza Uko and her Trent Online, Emeka Odugwu and his Odogwu Blog, Chidi Opara and his Chidiopara Reports, Henry Oduenyi and his Nigerian Voice, James Ezema and his The Street Reporters, Naija.Com, Nairaland, Barrister Chioma Kate Unini and her Nigerian Lawyer Online, Mazi Odera, Uchenna Madu, Barristers Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Chuks Muoma (SAN), Emmanuel Onyejena and his Allnewsandreports.

The rest are Chinwe Umeche, Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Florence Akubilo, Ndidiamaka Bernard; the Galaxy TV and its Southeast crew, Minaj TV, Vanguard Newspaper, Innocent Anaba and his InosReport, Leonard Sobechi of Guardian Newspaper, Senator Iroegbu and Dave Eleke of This Day Newspaper, Today Online, Uncova Online, the Authority Newspaper, the Premium Times, Emmanuel Mayah, Mary Ann Onwuchekwa, Anita Foster, Tony Okafor, the Independent Newspaper, Champion Newspaper, Alphonsus Nweze, Cyprain Ebele, to mention but a few.

Why Igbo Spoke In Unisom On 30th May 2017: The massive reactions of the most Igbo People on 30th May 2017 by voluntarily shutting down their businesses across the country and beyond the shores of Nigeria for the purpose of honoring their fallen heroes and heroines killed in the 1967-70 Biafra-Nigeria Civil War and others butchered since 1945 is not only a strong message to those behind the decades long butcheries, but also a red card to those who mocked the Igbo People to the effect that Igbo People are not united and can never be united. It is also a red card to those who falsely claimed that Igbo People have no leadership or kingship.

Most importantly, this collective feat also calls for caution particularly on the part of IPOB and reformed MASSOB under Citizens Nnamdi Kanu and Uchenna Madu leadership. That is to say that such massive support must not be taken for granted. Igbo People have no leadership, kingship or oneness so long as there are no credible people in leadership positions or genuine and formidable social cause to fight or agitate for.

Once credible leaders or genuine social cause are spotted or found, unity, oneness and credible leadership commands take the centre stage among the Igbo People.

That is to say that the same way the Igbo People have hearkened to IPOB and reformed MASSOB’s recent call for a sit-at-home protest, is exactly the same the same Igbo People will turn their back permanently against the likes of IPOB and reformed MASSOB and their leaders once they are seen or perceived as deviants and conformists.

This was why we had on 11th December 2016 named the trio of Peter Obi, Ike Ekweremadu and Nnamdi Kanu as distinguished Igbo personalities for 2016. We found in them great potentials to lead and wriggle Igbo People out of their decades’ long trepidations, agonies, unprovoked attacks and butcheries.

We had then counseled them strongly to jealously guide and guard their leadership potentials and resist any attempt to get them rubbished or compromised. Till date, in Anambra State, Peter Obi’s leadership and public governance imprints are next to nothing or second to none.

The trio of Peter Obi, Ike Ekweremadu and Nnamdi Kanu still retain their prestigious distinguished personalities of 2016 status till the end of this year. With this in their hands, they must at all times not disappoint the Igbo People as “new faces of Igbo renaissance or reawakening”.

They must understand that the Igbo People are watching them all the time as per wherever they go and whatever they do. They are now like the great mgburuichi and nze-na-ozo people of the Oracular Igbo Society, who on account of their membership of the two highly revered groups; were incapable of associating themselves with evil doing or disappointing themselves and their society.

We also welcome Citizen Nnamdi Kanu’s ongoing reconciliatory moves, geared towards mending fences with those in disagreements with others.

Such gesture must also be extended to key members of his group’s Directorate of State (DOS) and Coordinating Office of Coordinators (COC) as well the likes of Ekwenche Igbo group in USA.

Signed:
For: Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs)

Comrade Aloysius Attah (+2348035090548)
For: Civil Liberties Organization, Southeast Zone

Comrade Peter Onyegiri (+2347036892777)
For: Centre for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy

Comrade Samuel Njoku (+2348039444628)
For: Human Rights Organization of Nigeria

Engineer Rufus Duru (+2348037513519)
For: Global Rights & Development International

Comrade Chike Umeh ( +2348064869601)
For: Society Advocacy Watch Project

Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq. (+2348034186332)
For: Anambra Human Rights Forum

Comrade Alex Olisa(+2348034090410)
For: Southeast Good Governance Forum

Jerry Chukwuokoro, PhD (+2348035372962)
For: International Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative

Mr. Tochukwu Ezeoke (+447748612933)
For: Igbo Ekunie Initiative (Pan Igbo Rights Advocacy Group)

Comrade Vincent Ezekwume (+2348171793911)
For: Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State Branch

Emeka Umeagbalasi(+2348174090052)
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law

Biafra: Dried Wounds Licked For Too Long By Maxi Chidiebere Igbokwe

Memories of two personalities of Southeastern origin have etched on the psyche of Igbo nation and on the mind of an average Igbo man in Nigeria, including myself.

They are Chief Dr. Nnmadi Azikiwe, the Owelle of Onitsha and the Biafran warlord, Col. Chukwuemeka Odemegwu Ojukwu, the Ikemba of Nnewi.

But both represent two opposing phases in the transitional history of Igbo nation or our people. Also, each one of them made influential imprints on the lives of our people, irrespective of whether it was for good or bad.

A society or community remembers its own based on the extent anyone impacted positively on the lives of the people.

It is reason, in most Africa communities; personalities are canonized, deified or elevated to remarkable historical monuments. Legends sprout from such backgrounds.

The Ghanaians talk of the Great Kweme Nkrumah and South Africans endearingly worship Nelson Mandela. In Nigeria, South -westerners idolize Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Northern Nigerians have erected multiple monuments after the Sardauna of Sokoto and first Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello.

But I believe what is central to the erection of fond memories around personalities whether dead or alive is to espouse and enliven the progressive visions, ideas and legacies they embodied as source of inspiration to the upcoming generation. I consider it absurd and in fact, I have not experienced any community where a son or daughter who brought destruction on his people is immortalized. There is no community of sane people that propagates such retrogressive inclinations.

But I find my people, the Igbo nation attempting to consciously make this silly historical mistake. Yesterday, Nigerians converged in Abuja to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Biafra. Personally, I feel there is nothing wrong with such a gathering, to the extent it serves to remind us of the thorny road we once traversed.

The counsels at the forum by respected Nigerian like former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the further pursuit of the Biafran cause were witty and instructive. As a father to us all, he provided better insights into how we can actualize the Biafran dream that boots and guns could not accede to us as a people between 1967-70, during the bloody Nigerian civil war.

However, what I find disconcerting with my kinsmen is the latter-day resurrection of Biafran instincts by people I prefer to brand as over ambitious brothers and a few sisters in the fold. Perhaps, we have failed to learn from history why Ojukwu’s version of a republic of Biafra failed. And so we are prepared to repeat the same mistakes and thereafter, we begin to cry out to the world, about appalling mass genocide of our people.

I don’t think it’s enough for anyone to garb himself in war-like apron, grab a few desperate youths in the Southeast and arm them with sophisticated weapons and then begin the public march on streets and cities of the Southeast, proclaiming “life or death,” if Nigeria does not concede to our demand of a Biafran state.

If we are prepared to extract Biafran state for ourselves by the dictates of brute force as has become the end game of the Ralph Uwazuirike’s MASSOB or Nnmadi Kanu’s IPOB, then we must have made serious and covert arrangement for it. Only that can save us from the pitfalls that swallowed Ojukwu when he declared what he later discovered was a war he lacked the strength to prosecute to a victorious end.

On the reverse side, if we are adopting the stick approach, we must ensure it is grounded in the ethos of democratic civility, law and decency, the universal conventions prescribed by world bodies like the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) African Union (AU) and the lot. But it is sadly not the case with today’s agitations for secession.

We are overtly applying both the stick and carrot approach simultaneously, a sign of our confusion. I am not convinced that such would work, if a Biafran state at this phase of our history is anything worthwhile to pursue with such vehemence.

But beyond this plank of reasoning, I am tempted to ask myself again, that based on the allusions of legends I made earlier in this piece, where is Ohaneze Ndigbo heading with a Biafran state now?

Of all the two most pronounced figures, (Azikiwe and Ojukwu) whose legacies are worth emulating? Is it Ojukwu who by every nuance of assessment can be described as someone who selfishly anchored the massacre of our people and the destruction of our land, human and material resources or should it be the popular Zik of Africa, who fought to his grave to accord Igbo nation an identity in the configuration and context of unity of Nigeria?

Or is it not more sensible to copy the footsteps of Zik, our modern patriarch, whose vision developed us and deposited worthy legacies of unity and human development and the relics dots our landscape today?

We are pleaded upon to be reasonable for once. I know many would chastise me for the position I have taken. But maybe, they are yet to come face to face with the harshness of the vagaries of life and so, we feel it is easy to fetch knives, bows and arrows and guns to proclaim Biafran state on the streets.

I am sure, for many more, when they hear counselling such as “no nation survives two civil wars,” like some elements in Ndigbo are pushing, so crudely, it sounds to them like echoes of distant drums.

But I wish to use this platform to remind us of our failings as a people. Any society or community that aspires to progress downplays its retrogressive past. It is not positive thinking to continue to emulate the virtues of Ojukwu.

The respected army officer has lived his life and in his own time and passed unto eternity in blissful ease. He made mistakes, committed blunders and confined us to the fate we now face, and desperately trying to extricate ourselves. But i don’t think it is plausible for us to continue to fashion our destinies after such an idol or his visions.

What has stopped us from striving to live the more positive and progressive life of the Great Zik of Africa. Today, this great nationalist and Pan-Africanist and whatever he represented; the positive values have been buried by us.

I nearly wept when I read the motion for the establishment of Nnamdi Azikiwe Foundation by Hon. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia.

He said: “For reasons that cannot be explained, we seem to have ignored the necessity of establishing a Foundation in memory of the great Nnamdi Azikiwe. By all definitions and descriptions, Nnamdi Azikiwe is a hero, not just in Igboland, but also in Nigeria and beyond.”

These are issue that should preoccupy our minds. A foundation was coming for Nnamdi Azikiwe decades after his contemporaries in the Southwest or the North had theirs established for them by their own people. Yet he was a son who made bold marks on the sands of time. Zik was the first President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of independent Nigeria.

He was known as a Pan-Africanist; radical and irrepressible journalist, nationalist, party leader, legislator, minister, premier, senate president, and Governor-General, who lived for Igbo nation and Africans generally.

An extremely very proud descendant of the Igbo race, Azikiwe’s lifestyle influenced and propelled hundreds of Igbo graduates enlist in the public service with his support in post- independence Nigeria.

He lived and defended the Igbo self-worth. For instance, at the 13th Annual Assembly of the Ibo Union, held in Owerri Hall, Enugu on December 19, 1954, Azikiwe decried the verbal attacks on his people and berated security for their inaction.

The Zik of Africa vehemently argued for self-determination by the establishment of an Ibo state to place the Igbos on a pedestal equal to other ethnic groupings that comprise Nigeria and the Cameroons, but emphasizing the indivisibility of Nigeria.

Desirous of development and unity among his people, Azikiwe initiated and promoted Ibo unions and town unions in all the Igbo communities, which later blossomed and embarked on development projects. These unions also assisted brilliant Igbo natives to gain admissions into Nigerian and foreign universities.

When the Biafran war raged, Azikiwe delivered a speech at Oxford University on February 16, 1969, where he outlined a 14-point peace plan for implementation by a United Nations (UN) Peace Keeping Force. He made frantic efforts to resolve the conflict, though both the UN and the federal government of Nigeria rejected the proposals as unworkable. But at least, it expressed his desire for peace.

But in contrast, Ojukwu negated all that the Great Zik represented in respect of unity, peace and development of Igbo nation. But unfortunately, we are more interested in copying his legacies. The events of January 1966 putsch led by Major Kaduna Nzeogwu could not have necessarily exploded into a civil war. But unfortunately, Ojukwu exploited this incident to settle a personal score with the then Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon.

My understanding of it was more of an egoistic battle of sophistry between Col. Ojukwu and Gen. Gowon. And he had to drag his kinsmen into it to give it a broader patronage and sympathy.

Have we imagined that it could have been excusable for Ojukwu to go to war without widespread dialogue and approval of his people?

Can we excuse him for declaring a Biafran republic which he know would lead to war, without stocking himself with arms and ammunitions or consulting widely and seeking the approval of the community he wanted to protect through war? It is the same mistake we want to repeat to today.

And Col. Ojukwu sneaked away into self-exile, when it became evident he could no longer sustain the fire he ignited; while hunger and disease perished thousands of our people as a consequence of the war. I think, we need to be more circumspect today, than ever. We have licked the dried wound of Biafra for too long.

*Maxi Igbokwe writes from Lagos.

Revisiting Many Inconsistencies in Termination of Maina’s Pension Corruption Fight by Okechukwu Duru

For a long time, the former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina has been embattled and news about him had remained very sensational in the media except for a recent surprising disclosure which though interestingly shocking has been kept away from public knowledge by the media.

Without a doubt such information which undoubtedly is high quality news would have been readers’ delight especially for deconstructing a highly complex National issue but the seeming deliberate attempt to keep it under the carpet will form the focus of this discourse whilst raising queries on the sincerity the Nigerian media in news reporting.

From Maina’s feat of recovering 1.3 trillion naira stolen by pension thieves, the twisty allegations on misappropriation of 2 billion naira against him by the Senate Committee to major fallout and counter accusations of three billion naira bribery demand from him by the Senate Committee Chairman, Aloysius Etuk, and his deputy, Kabir Gaya, the narrative on Maina has no doubt been very long and complicated.

In fact, the chronicle on Maina by any credible analyst will be incomplete without recognizing how the media through very persuasive write ups incited the then Senate President, David Mark to ask the Jonathan’s Presidency for abrupt dismissal and arrest of the then Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT.

What was the major issue of contention that would warrant such deft punishment before trial, especially on a man that has accomplished unparalleled success in decimating the pension fraud cabal in Nigeria one may ask?

Simply put, it was nothing far from what was largely termed Maina’s disrespectful conduct to Senate Committee.

Even if bad as it was painted, would that have warranted the termination of a major anti-corruption vehicle that was delivering tons of stolen billions into the coffers of the Nigerian treasury?

Yes, Maina’s main crime was his poor attitude, immature approach and impunity exhibited to the Senate Committee but the twist in the story is that a little after Maina and the Senate Committee exchanged accusations, the media went bizarre with stories against Maina’s impunity with no mention of his good work as Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team.

This half-baked journalism was highly noticeable and even the much respected conservative media over looked the need to provide a balanced reporting.

On all these and more, the simple logic adduced by Maina’s sympathisers to the aggressive media trial was that it was fueled by views from mostly those that opposed to his stay as Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT and many persons still in possession of stolen pension funds.

Even though this remains an allegation with no proof, the failed attempted murder of Maina was well documented by the police and highly suggestive that some persons wanted Maina dead.

Probably, this dastardly act might have contributed to his eventual departure from public glare to avoid extermination from the face of the earth with a preferred option of fighting his legal battles from his assumed haven.

Luckily for Maina, the court not only quashed the arrest warrant on him, but also granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the IGP from arresting him.

Besides, the conjectures on Maina’s forced exit, I think what is important is for Nigerians to first examine the role played by a section of the media in the said character assassination of Maina before trial and then the new Government of President Buhari to examine the real role Maina played in dismantling the criminal gang of pension thieves in Nigeria, then attempt a proper analysis on what seems best for National interest.

First on the media character assassination of Maina, with the recent disclosure by the then Senate Committee Deputy Chairman, Kabir Gaya that the 195 billion naira accusation against Maina was baseless as the money was deposited in banks under the TSA scheme, what it simply affirms is that many of the issues raised against Maina were downright absurd and largely conspiratorial in their undertones for his removal.

What has been made public by Senator Kabir Gaya, though an afterthought certainly quashes the Senate Committee’s earlier allegation of misappropriation of about N195 billion naira against Maina, the chairman and members of the Pension Task Team. These are definitely thought provoking.

With no attempt of getting sanctimonious on Maina, the objective reality for Nigerians herein is that it was absolutely outrageous that the referenced Senate Committee never had quality reason and evidence to engage in what they did by prompting the police to declare Maina wanted.

Unfortunately, now that these lies have been dispelled by those that initiated them, the truth is that their effects will linger because of a biased press that engages in selective reporting, otherwise why has the media maintained a deafening silence on this issue of national interest, could it be that those that never wanted Maina around are still busy suppressing important stories that will resurrect Maina’s Pension Task Team.

Today, without no basis in fact, the press has made Maina’s name contradictorily synonymous with both an achiever in pension reform and a looter even though the evidence against him were never substantiated.

This is not only shocking especially now that the accusations on Maina have been overturned but what it clearly exposes is the existence of a skewed desire of a section of the media to condemn a man guilty before investigation.

Of course, some may disagree with this position, however, it is really unfortunate that in this era of investigative journalism the media has found it unnecessary to review an earlier misinformation they offered their readers, otherwise what stopping any credible press that carried the initial falsehood from rapidly reversing the erroneous report.

The story of deception visited upon Maina is not only strange, destructive to his personal integrity but very damaging to our collective interest on anticorruption fight.

The most worrisome part of it all is that the allegations that a section of the Nigerian press were motivated to embrace falsehoods by routinely categorizing Maina as thief without basis in order to halt the good work of the Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT might even be true especially given that Maina’s primary accusers have made public apologies and reversed themselves.

Sadly, like a well-rehearsed plot, this was rarely reported in the media and even where reported, it received minimal media coverage.

From all fair and objective intents, it may not be wrong to conclude that characterization of Maina as a criminal by the media is divorced from truth and actuality because the initial failure of the media to conduct proper investigation on such an issue as raised by the Senate Committee raises the very important question of the real role of journalists in the fight against corruption.

This is why it may be necessary for the sake of common good to open up conversation to probe why Maina’s accusers conjured phony statistics and stories, yet allowed to successfully terminate a tested and proven strategy that would allowed Nigeria recover more trillions naira in the private coffers of some pension thieves.

In fact, the reward for the termination of Maina’s Pension Task Team only favours those who are threatened by Maina’s claims that over six trillion naira can still be recovered from the 97 uninvestigated institutions.

Certainly, this is huge loss for the Nigerian nation especially under the Buhari led administration that needs to enhance its revenue especially in a recessed economy.

Another objective reality for Nigerians is that the Maina matter will for a long time be a major reference on challenges that confront corruption fight in the developing world and it is a clear instance of how corruption fight is killed and corruption fighters battled.

The fact is that what is happening to Maina is somewhat terrifying and it really does suggest that the fight against corruption and the belief that corruption fights back those that battle it are not just matters of illusion but reality.

The ready question herein is would President Buhari allow the battle against Maina be another triumph of evil over good?

This where we need a sane public conversation on Maina that will counter the earlier media treatment of Maina which is far from been sober and reasonable.

Otherwise, on the termination of Maina’s fight against corruption, the nation will be the big loser.

Now that a contrary conclusion has emerged on Maina, what next? Will his suspension be reversed? Will the previous Senate Committee’s report that has been revealed to be plagued by so many irregularities and inconsistencies be reversed or an apology offered to Maina?

Will a National Award be appropriate? Will Maina ever find courage to work again for his country under similar circumstances and inherent risks?

However, the truth is that Maina would earn much if he decides to sell his story to the International news media and publishers on how the corruption he fought, found a way to fight him back.

*Dr. Okechukwu Duru is a Public Affairs Analyst and Sub Sahara Co-ordinator, Advocates for Improved Africa. He wrote from Area 10, Garki, Abuja.

Group demands publication of Nigeria’s amalgamation document

The South-South Peoples Conference (SSOPEC) has said that what the country needs at this time is a plebiscite to determine the nation’s unity and to ascertain the terms and conditions under which the Country will progress, saying the instrument of our amalgamation be published publicly for all to see.

According to the chairman of SSOPEC , Prof. Tonye Amakiri, Nigeria has been in existence for more than 102 years since the amalgamation, although the documents of the amalgamation have been shrouded in secrecy.

“Rather than build a nation which is the dream of our founding fathers, we have systematically destroyed our oneness, drifting towards ethnic and religious bigotry.

“Our care for one another has been nonexistent; rather we have developed deep hatred towards ourselves.

“Herein lies the deep corruption that has destroyed our corporate progress and development as a nation.

“As concerned Nigerians who are interested in the progress and unity of this nation, SSOPEC is making these recommendations that will bring about the much needed changes and proffer solutions to the numerous challenges bedevilling the nation”, he said.

The group recommended that the instrument of our amalgamation be published publicly for all to see and reconsider our uniqueness; the restructuring of the country in a ‘bottom-up’ fashion; introduction of democratic ideals, unity, national Integration with the absence of discrimination; qualitative education, the Enactment of the Petroleum Industry Bill, Licensing for Setting-Up of Modular Refineries, Security, and law Enforcement Agencies should be given their proper place, environmental clean-up and restoration must be a continous process by the various levels of government.

They demanded that the judiciary must be willing to show commitment to apply the law with all fairness and their independence must also be guaranteed at all levels.

How TCG Celebrated First Anniversary, Moves To Take Political Control of Constituency

It was a political revival of a sort, when The Consolidation Group (TCG), a political platform birthed by Comrade Ayodele Adewale, gathered to celebrate its first year anniversary on Monday, January 9, 2017, The Street Reporters reports

The group is composed of members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, South West of Nigeria.

Several vibrant grassroots politicians, including young people, from seven political wards that make up Amuwo Odofin Local Government of Lagos State, graced the event.

The occasion offered the group an opportunity to drum up support for its members who are aspiring to occupy various elective offices.

Key aspirant at the anniversary celebration was Comrade Oluwaseyi Valentine Buraimoh,  who is the Amuwo Odofin Local Government chairmanship aspirant. Members of the group used the event to continue their support for his aspiration.

Also present were legislative aspirants from the seven electoral wards of the local council, who are seeking to be elected as councillors.

Speaking, the Convener, Comrade Adewale, thanked all the TCG members for their loyalty and support towards the actualisation of the objectives of the organisation.

He further called on all members of group to intensify their drive on their house-to-house campaign to mobilise residents who have not collected their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to do so.

This, according to him, was necessary in readiness to vote for  Comrade Valentine Oluwaseyi Buraimoh, an engineer, and all the councillorship hopefuls in the TCG ahead of the forthcoming local government election in the state, as well as to mobilise for the APC primary election.

He observed that Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) has commenced spadework ahead of the council election.

Comrade Adewale, therefore, pledged to personally put in more efforts to building a political and infrastructural systems.

tcg-ayo-adewale

The former Amuwo Odofin local government chairman told the group that he has gotten “the understanding of a multi billion naira infrastructural development company to support the incoming administration of Comrade Valentine Oluwaseyi Buraimoh after his election and swearing-in into office by the special grace of GOD”.

According to Comrade Adewale, who left infrastructural and developmental footprints while served as the council boss added that “the incoming comrade Buraimoh Oluwaseyi Valentine’s administration will surprise the world, within its first 100 days in office, with remarkable developmental transformation in this local government.”

Culled From 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

 

REVEALED: Nigeria’s Security Forces, Others, Murdered 4000 Unarmed Citizens In 10 Months – Intersociety

service-chiefsThe leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)  has revealed that no fewer than 4,000 Nigerians have been killed extra-judicially in the country in the last 10 months.

According to the group in a statement to The Street Reporters on Monday, Intersociety said it “is shocked to observe that  not less than 4000 unarmed citizens of Nigeria have been butchered between June 2015 and March 2016; a period of 10 months after the swearing in of Retired Gen Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s sixth electoral president. This represents average of 400 killings monthly”.

According to the statement signed by the group’s Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq, and the Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program, Chinwe Umeche, Esq, the human rights advocacy group noted that its latest updates are built on our previous statements on same subject, saying “it is also correct to say that Nigeria had since  the beginning of June 2015 moved from ballot box to killing fields; resulting in the murder of the number of citizens under reference.

“The unarmed and innocent citizens were butchered in the hands of the State and non State killing entities. Of the 4000 murdered citizens, coercive agents of the Buhari administration; fully backed by President Muhammadu Buhari himself, are responsible for at least 1000 murders, while other non State killing entities account for at least 3000 others. The killings under reference are unreservedly condemned”.

The body alleged that “majority of the State sanctioned killings are perpetrated by the Nigerian Army led by Lt. Gen. Turkur Buratai, while the Nigeria Police Force led by IGP Solomon Arase and others including Nigerian Navy account for the rest.

“There are also strong suspicions that killings carried out by the Fulani Terror group are State sanctioned and condoned. Of the 3000 killings by non State violent entities, in the past 10 months, Boko Haram Terror group accounts for at least 1,820, while the Fulani Terror group (erroneously called herdsmen) accounts for at least 880.

“The rest is perpetrated by sectarian, demographic and cult militant groups. Specifically, those killed by coercive agents of the Buhari administration include 705 members of the Shiite Muslim movement, who were mass-murdered in December 2015 on the directives of the Chief of Army Staff (Lt Gen Turkur Buratai)”.

The Human Rights Watch had in late December 2015 disclosed factually that “at least 300 Shiite members were killed and buried by Nigerian soldiers in Zaria on December 12 and 14, 2015”.

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shiite) had also in January 2016 made public names and pictures of its 705 members murdered or gone missing in the hands of Nigerian Army since December 12 and 14, 2015.

Intersociety added that “other unarmed and innocent citizens killed by coercive agents of the Buhari administration are over 80 unarmed and nonviolent IPOB members and supporters killed in Onitsha, Aba and Port Harcourt, between August 2015 and February 2016; as well as recent killings in Rivers State by Nigerian soldiers, etc.

“We had in our previous updates disclosed that the Fulani Terror group had between May and October 2015, killed not less than 380 unarmed and innocent rural citizens mostly in the former Middle Belt region of Nigeria. Most of the victims belong to Christian religion.

“According to the Open Doors, a pressure group advocating for persecuted Christians in Northern Nigeria, in its recent 47-page report of March 4th 2016, “over 1.3 million Christians have fled their homes in Northern Nigeria since 2000 to escape Boko Haram and Fulani Terror groups’ holocausts as well as politically oiled sectarian violence; and 9,000-11,500 Christians have been killed and 13,000 churches closed or destroyed”.

“Thousands of Christians including girl-children have also been forcefully converted to Islam. Between January and July 2015, alone, according to the Punch Newspaper, the Fulani Terror group and its violence killed a total of 621 rural citizens including 231 murdered in March 2015 alone; out of which, 90 were murdered in Agatu Community of Benue State.

“Most of them are Christians. Over half of the killings perpetrated in the seven months of 2015, took place in Benue State.

“In 2010, the Fulani Terror group stormed Dogo na Hauwa Village of Plateau State and slaughtered up to, if not over 500 villagers comprising women, children and other helpless and unarmed citizens. The cult killings or violence also resulted to 140 deaths between January and July 2015”.

The Intersociety revealed further that “between October 2015 and March 2016, the Fulani Terror group also carried out further butchering of at least 500 unarmed and innocent rural citizens.

“The butchery includes the Agatu massacre of 23rd of February 2016 in which hundreds of unarmed and innocent rural citizens were massacred as well as the January 24th 2016 killing of an Igbo DPO and 30 others in Girei Local Government of Adamawa State.

“The murdered Igbo DPO (CSP Okezie Okereofor) was in-charge of the Vunokilang Police Station in the area when the butchery took place. The remaining 300 violent murders are linked to sectarian, demographic and cult militant entities; totaling in all, to at least 4000 violent deaths in the past ten months (June 2015 to March 2016) of the Buhari’s presidency.

“According to APC authorities in Nigeria, “32 of its members were killed in recent political attacks  in Rivers State”.

“Further, on 7th of October 2015, we disclosed that the Boko Harm Terror group had between May 30, 2015 and 7th of October 2015, killed at least 1,324 unarmed and innocent citizens. We had earlier on 16th of July 2015 disclosed that over 1000 citizens were killed in 48 days of the Buhari’s Presidency by Boko Haram and Islamist Fulani terror groups.

”The figure then included at least 625 Boko Haram killings and 380 killings carried out by the Fulani Islamist terror group; erroneously called Fulani Herdsmen. According to the Global Terrorism Index (of 2015), a total of 6, 614 citizens were killed by Boko Haram Terror group in Nigeria in 2014 alone”.

The international organisation also noted that “not less than 500 unarmed and innocent citizens killed by Boko Haram Terror group between October 2015 and March 2016; a period of ten months, 296 are cited below.

“They are as follows: On 18th of October 2015, 12 citizens were killed in Adamawa after two female bombers detonated a bomb; on 23rd of October 2015, 27 were killed after suicide attacks in a mosque in Adamawa; on 21st of October 2015, 13 people were killed after armed Boko Haram elements opened fire on four cars, killing passengers on board in Ngazai area of Borno State.

“They also attacked a mosque in Maiduguri on 23rd of October 2015, killing at least 19. On 17th of November 2015, Boko Haram attackers stormed a food market in Yola and killed 32 citizens. In the same November 2015, a total of 35 citizens were killed by Boko Haram armed elements in various attacks in Kano State. On 27th of December 2015, Boko Haram elements set fire on the Village of Kimba in Borno State, killing 14.

“On 28th of December 2015, Boko Haram elements via two female bombers detonated bombs at a Madagali crowded market in Borno State, killing 28 (source: Wikipedia 2015).

“The Associated Press (AP) also reported that Boko Haram violent elements had on 31st of January 2016, killed 86 citizens in attacks in Dalori Village of Borno State and on 14th of February 2016, the CNN reported that 30 citizens were killed by Boko Haram armed elements in a series of attacks launched in the Villages of Yakshari and Kachifa in Damboa district of Borno State.

“The categorized killings above highlighted did not include members of the Nigerian security forces killed in action by violent Boko Haram elements or Boko Haram combatants killed in action by the country’s security forces. Pretrial killings by personnel of the Nigeria Police Force perpetrated against their detainees were also not included.

“Victims of the killings above other than cult related killings are found not to have advocated or used violence. They neither belonged nor participated in any violent conflict involving Boko Haram insurgency and the Government of Nigeria.

“Their killings are carried out in brazen misuse or excessive application of State violence or for the purpose of earning crude collateral violent advantage (by Boko Haram) against Nigerian State institutions and authorities in the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency.

“Those butchered by Fulani Terror group are killed for the purpose of advancement of politico-religious cleansing or Jihads majorly targeted against Christian population in Nigeria. Other sectarian, demographic and cult related violence are also found to be politically motivated and sanctioned”.

The killings, according to the group, “clearly showcase deepening signs of State weakness and fragility and clear resurgence of politicide, democide, ethnocide and religocide. Totality of these has led to the return of killing fields in Nigeria”.

The Intersociety warned that “With 4000 murders in barely ten months on average of killing of 400 citizens monthly and with the State steadily losing its institutional and constitutional capacities to protect the citizenry, the probability of full return to self-help by the citizenry is very high.

“The entry by the State of Nigeria as a partaker in the country’s resurged killing fields, with 1000 murders in ten months to its name, shows grave dangers ahead.

“Comparatively, while the unlawful homicide rate of the State was strictly tamed and restricted to police pretrial killings and war related atrocities in the Boko Haram insurgency during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan; it has spiraled under the Buhari administration with incessancy of killing of unarmed and innocent citizens.

“The killings by the Fulani Terror group are also on sharp increase under Buhari administration”, the group observed.

The statement further observed that “Finally, Nigeria has moved from ballot box to killing fields and from change to chains. Nigeria’s human rights and rule of law records are also at the lowest ebbs. Avoidable death records in the country have spiraled.

“The country’s chief internal security establishment-Nigeria Police Force is endlessly crawling and goofing. Its IGP is more concerned in hanging unto his job than to provide security and protect the unarmed and defenseless Nigerian citizens.

“He orders his field personnel to kill at slightest sight of any citizen peacefully and nonviolently exercising his or her constitutional rights particularly those of movement and peaceful assemblies.

“Unarmed and innocent assemblies gathered to ask governing authorities relevant social questions pertaining to their country’s political, economic, and cultural and security downturns are violently and deadly disrupted on account of his murderous orders; whereas malicious citizens and entities who illicitly armed themselves and engaged in unchecked butchering of their fellow citizens are shielded”, the statement concluded.

Source

Group Fingers Bisi Akande’s Brother, 9 Others in Plot Cover Up Alleged Osun College Fraud

Rauf-Aregbesola.jpgThe Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS) has disclosed that it has uncovered plans by the authorities of the Osun State College of Education (OSSCE), Ila-Orangun and the State House of Assembly to cover an allegation of over N300 million financial impropriety allegedly involving the younger brother to former Osun State Governor and a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, Mr. Niyi Akande.

Akande has been the Part-time Chairman of the Governing Council of the College since 2013.

Already, a petition on the matter written by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) sent to the state House of Assembly early this year has been placed under the carpet apparently because of the involvement of the brother of former APC Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande.

Those also fingered in the corrupt allegation include the College former Acting Provost, Dr. Basiru Gbadamosi, the Registrar and Secretary to the Governing Council, Mr. Aderinola Adeoti, former College Bursar, now Bursar College of Education, Ilesa, Mr. Akin Latilo, and Mr. David Olayinka Olojede, a member of the Governing Council.

Others involved in the alleged scam and diversion of Project funds were; Mr. Oyegbade Reuben Abayo, Mr. Amobi Yinusa Akinlola, Mr. Ayoola Peter Olajiola, Mr. Moses Oyewole Otitoola, and Mr. Kujeunbola Oluwafemi.

The alleged financial impropriety was as a result diversion of funds meant and approved for some projects in the College Community as it affects the Constructions of Tetfund Amphitheatre, the Ila Technical College, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department and Binding Building.

Besides, the alleged massive corruption according to documents showed that the scam spread to fees for Certificates collection, College Transport account and College History among others.

The civil society group alleged that the authority of the College had purportedly spent closed to three hundred million naira (N300m) on the aforementioned projects since 2014 and the projects did not see the light of the day till this present moment, while all the funds released for the Projects have been diverted by Akande and his co-travelers.

According to the CSCEOS’ statement signed by its Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi Sulaiman, after their emergency meeting on the mind boggling Corruption in the College in Osogbo recently, declared that the Civil Society Organization(CSO) had been investigating the matter for the past five months before getting all the information and documents related to the matter, promising to ensure justice was done on the issue, no matter whose ox was gored.

Comrade Sulaiman who disclosed that the group had concluded arrangement to write the Petition Letters to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC),Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola and Osun State House of Assembly through its Speaker on the corruption perpetrated by the officials of the College.

The group recalled that this was the College that Governor Aregbesola declared not viable fortnight ago which made the State government to plan the merger of the State owned two Colleges of Education in Ilesaand Ila-Orangun , if not for public outcry on the danger of the government action, insisting that it was good to stand for righteousness and light, no matter the situation “if we want to move our State forward”.

The group said, “The sum of One Hundred and Seven Million naira (N107m) out of (N125m) as part of fund released by the Tetfund as Special Intervention to the College for building of a Lecture Theatre (Amphitheatre) remains unaccounted for as the foundation of the project has not been completed after two (2) years which the project has been awarded. At one of the Council meetings where the failed contract was extensively discussed, Council noted that though the sum of N107million had been released to the Contractor, evaluators which the Council brought from the Ministry of Works, Osogbo valued the work done at the site at just N13million.

“Surprisingly, Mr. Oyeniyi Akande promised to handle the issue with “maturity”. His position to use “maturity” rather than litigation and sanction is at variance with Mr. Akande’s make-belief anti-corruption posture.

“But the Contractor, Otunba John Ojemuyiwa, the M.D. /CEO, Digitpro Engineering Technology Limited confessed that the larger percentage of the project funds were given to Mr. Yinka Olojede, the Governing Council member to share with other Council members where Mr. Niyi Akande collected N40million out of it”.

It added that: “Mr. Niyi Akande connived with one of his cronies who floated a consultancy Company named JAC Diran Limited, through which he fraudulently collected about N12million from the Amphitheatre project and also unilaterally increased his own monthly allowances from N110, 000 as approved to N150, 000 and those of other members of overning Council from N68, 750 each to N100, 000 in November 2014 with retrospective effect in defiance to the Osun State government Circular with Ref.No. S/PRI/23/187 (composition of Boards and the Remuneration of members), due process and College Edict”.

Source


  • Contact us on 08175047979 or email: alutanews@gmail.com

 

I’m Legally Retired, Not a Fugitive – Dasuki Tells FG With Evidence

Dasuki-in-CourtThe immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) has responded to an allegation that he was a fugitive soldier, insisting he is a lawfully retired officer of the Nigerian Army.

Dasuki, who spoke through his Lawyer in a statement on Sunday, confirmed that left the Army in 1994.

According a PRNigeria report, Dasuki legally left the Army in 1994 and his exit in the military was officially gazetted by the Federal Government through the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1999.

Responding to an allegation that the Ex-NSA was a fugitive and being currently held by the Department of State Service (DSS) on alleged breach of army service rule, counsel to Dasuki Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN) stated that the allegation was a fallacy and a concocted lie to confuse the court as the prosecution has no answer to the well-grounded objection raised by the defence.

The lawyer said that “the allegation of fugitive against Dasuki cannot hold water or stand in the face of the law in view of the official gazette of the Federal Government that confirmed his retirement from the military.

“It is curious that the prosecution counsel who initially claimed ignorance of the reason behind the denial of bail is now coming up with these excuses… I am tempted to believe that my learned friend Mr. Rotimi Jacob SAN must be genuinely mixing-up facts or mistake of identity.”

The lawyer further added that: “The allegation is baseless, unwarranted and malicious because his exit was in the gazette of the Federal government. We accordingly urge those holding Dasuki in the custody in flagrant disobedience to the court order that granted him bail to have a rethink and respect the rule of law.”

A counsel to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the trial of Dasuki on alleged money laundering, Mr. Rotimi Jacob had last Thursday told Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf that Dasuki was being detained by DSS in spite of the bail granted him by the judge because of his past in the military.

Jacob specifically told the court that Dasuki went on an exile for seven years and that during the period he allegedly breached the army service rules.

Meanwhile PRNigeria gathered that former military dictator, late General Sani Abacha held Dasuki in contempt and marked him down for persecution, when he (Dasuki) opened up his mind on the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election and that the winner of the election, late MKO Abiola be installed as Nigerian President.

Dasuki was among the officers who confronted Late Sani Abacha and insisted that MKO Abiola be freed and allowed to become President over the June 12, 1993 President election. This led to the premature retirement of Dasuki and other officers in 1994.

The persecution that followed forced him into exile where he joined forces with other patriotic Nigerians to claim for the return of democracy in Nigeria. Some top politicians in the current administration also fled into exile to sustain campaigns for the enthronement of democracy. Dasuki and others were declared wanted by the Abacha’s police.

Meanwhile in an official Gazette No 33 Volume 86, Dasuki was granted clemency and pardon along with others on March 4, 1999 by General Abdulsalam Abubakar, the then Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces for their innocence and meritorious service to their fatherland.

Source: TheStreetReporters.com

Vatican Priest Pledges To Advocate For Gay Rights, Expelled By Pope Francis

VaticanGayPriestThe Vatican, on Saturday, sacked a senior priest, Krzysztof Charamsa, who, on the eve of a major meeting of church leaders to discuss the Church’s stance on social issues such as divorce and homosexuality, publicly declared to be gay.

The embattled 43-year-old priest has, however, pledged to dedicate his life to advocacy for gay rights, saying, “I’m out of the closet, and I’m very happy about that. I want to be an advocate for all sexual minorities and their families who have suffered in silence.”

The Vatican in a statement by a spokesman for Pope Francis described the Polish priest’s action as “very serious and irresponsible.”

In the statement, the Vatican noted that he would be immediately sacked from his post as a theologian in the Vatican.

The statement read, “The decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the synod assembly to undue media pressure.”

Charamsa, who is a mid-level official in the Vatican bureaucracy’s dealing with church doctrine, flanked by his Spanish boyfriend while donning his priest’s collar, on Saturday, had earlier told a news conference in Rome that he was compelled to speak out against the “hypocrisy and paranoia” that he said had shaped the Church’s attitude to sexual minorities.

The fired priest had presented a 10-point “liberation manifesto” against “institutionalised homophobia in the Church,” which he said particularly oppressed the gay men who, according to him, make up the majority of priests.

He also revealed plans for a book about his 12 years at the heart of a Vatican bureaucracy, only just recovering from a scandal under previous Pope Benedict XVI over the influence of a “gay lobby” among senior clergy.

 

Tanker Accident Kills 5, Injures 6 in Kebbi

tanker fireAs Nigeria battles increasing tanker;induced accidents, a fully-loaded petrol tanker on Saturday exploded at Dabi in Kebbi State, killing five people and injuring six others.

TheStreetReporters.com gathred that the tanker was heading to Mahuta in Kebbi before the driver lost control of the vehicle on hilly Dabai junction, which resulted in its fall and subsequent explosion.

No fewer that 12 houses were affected, including some vehicles parked along road, which were destroyed.

According to a report by Premium Times, the Dabai-Suru and Dabai- Mahuta road junction also serves as a market, especially for fresh fruits.

The online medium reports that the Kebbi State Deputy Governor, Samaila Yombe, who hails from Dabai, was among early visitors to the scene of the accident.

Yombe condoled with relatives of the victims, the Emir of Zuru, Sani Sami, and the Chairman of Zuru Local Government Area, Ibrahim Rumu.

He pledged to offset the medical bills of the hospitalised.

Yombe said the State Emergency Management Agency had been directed to provide prompt relief materials those who lost shops, household property, livestock and food crops to the inferno.

A resident of the area, El-Yakub Dabai, described the accident as unfortunate and hoped authorities would sensitise drivers of heavy duty vehicles on how drive through tricky terrain.