Nwoko Hails Emergence of Secondus As bNew PDP Chairman

A former member of the Federal House of Representative, Prince Ned Nwoko, has congratulated Prince Ike Uche Secondus, as the New National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP). Prince Ned Nwoko who is aspiring to contest for Delta North Senatorial ticket.

Prince Ned Nwoko is the promoter of Stars Private University in Idumuje Igboko, Delta State. He advised the new PDP chairman to use his new office to promote unity and fair play within the party.

He described Chief Secondus as “Total Chairman”, and urged the new PDP helmsman to enthrone internal democracy within the fold.

In s statement issued in his Maitama home, Abuja, Prince Nwoko said: “I want to congratulate the elected National Chairman of our great party; PDP, other elected Officials, the other Leader of the party, the Chairman of the organising Committee; Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and his members, the delegates and every member of our great party on the successful conclusion of the elective convention, held yesterday, the 9th of December, 2017, at Abuja.

“It is therefore, my prayers that, the almighty God, shall direct the steps of the Chairman and the other elected Officials, in their avowed determination to enthrone internal democracy and the repositioning of the party towards achieving the desired overwhelming victory in the 2019 general election.

“God bless the PDP, God bless Nigeria”, he prayed.

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Kidnappers Demand N100m to Free Ex-Minister Damishi Sango, Others

A head of the major opposition party’s national convention in Nigeria’s federal capital, a former Minister of Sports and the Plateau State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Damishi Sango, has been abducted by unknown gunmen.

Also kidnapped with him are his son, driver, a prominent chieftain of the PDP in Plateau State and another victim that is yet to be identified.

Sango was abducted by gunmen along Jere village in Kaduna State, on Wednesday, at about 7:00p.m., while travelling to Abuja to seek accommodation and make preparation for Plateau State delegates attending the opposition party’s national convention scheduled for Saturday, December 9.

Confirming the incident, the Publicity Secretary of PDP in Plateau State, John Akans, said, “Yes, our chairman, Chief Damishi Sango, and five other persons, including his son, driver and a chieftain of PDP in Plateau State were kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Wednesday evening.

“It was the Police who called his family and intimated them of the incident because his son’s phone was seen inside the vehicle.”

Making their demand for ransom, the kidnappers contacted the family asking for N100 million ransom.

The suspected gunmen who kidnapped the former Minister and his son and four others demand the ransom for their release.

A family source disclosed this in Jos, in a telephone conversation, and said the abductors were in contact with the family.

The source said, Damishi Sango, his son, Chief Emmanuel Mangni, the driver, an orderly and one other occupant of the abandoned Jeep were all alive as at press time.

The family source which pleaded anonymity revealed that Hon. Sango, spoke with the family at about 12noon and said that the kidnappers demanded N100 million for their release.

State Publicity Secretary, Mr. John Akans, who briefed Journalists at the party secretariat, said the abductors spoke with the family and demanded for N100 million ransom.

He said the party which is in opposition does not have such amount to doll out and call on party faithfuls to pray fervently for God’s intervention.

Akans said the kidnapped of the party chairman has demoralised the party delegates from Plateau who are expected to take off today (Friday) ahead of the convention in Abuja.

He said the state will participate in the convention but in low spirit if the Chairman and five others are not released before Saturday.

He called on the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to take drastic measure and ensure that Hon. Sango, his son and four others are recovered alive.

It was gathered that Plateau State delegates had made up their mind during the last meeting of the State Working Committee of the Party the preceded the abduction of the chairman to give overwhelming vote to Uche Secondus, who they believe can lead the party to victory in 2019.

Source: The Street Reporters

Now That New Claimant to Idumuje-Ugboko Royal Throne Emerges

A fresh twist has emerged in the royalty crisis rocking the Umu-Omohunsi Nwoko family in Idumuje-Ugboko, Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State, where the entire Nwoko family have risen to support the claims of Prince Solomon Nwabuokei as the rightful heir to the throne.
Prince Uche Stephen Nwoko

Before now, Prince Nonso Nwoko, the heir to the late monarch, HRM Obi Albert Nwoko 111, who had assumed the throne in controversial circumstance, upon the demise of his father early this year, was being challenged by one Prince Uche Stephen Nwoko, also a first son born by another woman, who is a bona fide daughter of the town.

However, the oldest member of the Umu Nwoko Royal family, Diokpa Onwuamaonyeukwu Esuzor Nwoko, 90, chaired a meeting with representatives of the eight royal houses in attendance in Idumuje Ugboko, where it was resolved that Nwabuokei, being the first known son and also survived his father, Nwoko, should be installed the king and his children kings after him.
The Umu-Nwoko family, made up of Nwabuokei, Amoje, Biose, Bidokwu, Elumelu, Ujomor, Paul, Esuzor and Nwaobe, held that though Justin Nkeze and his son Albert Okwuwadiegwu had ruled as Obi Nwoko II and Obi Nwoko III of Idumuje-Ugboko, they were not qualified to be kings in the first place, adding that their kingship was an error and against the Native laws, tradition and culture of the people of Idumuje-Ugboko.
Diokpa Onwuamaonyeukwu, who was born on 23rd day of January, 1927, had earlier drew the attention of the members present to the crisis rocking the community, especially,  the desecration of the royal family name of Nwoko by some ambitious persons as the reason to tell the history of the royal family.
He informed the House that Obi Nwoko I, first Obi and founder of Idumuje-Ugboko had eight sons and that Solomon Eziokwubundun Nwabuokei is the only surviving son of Nkanya, the only son of Nwabuokei, the first son of Obi Nwoko I, and should be presented by Umu-Nwoko Royal family as Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko designate and to the larger Umu-Ologbo family and the people of Idumuje-Ugboko for recognition and coronation as the next obi.
He went further to present copies of the affidavit that he has deposed with the judicial authorities to back up historical facts on the subject.
The Diokpa recalled that the process of succession was aborted when the crown prince was arrested by the white Colonial Army and taken to Calabar over involvement in organising the local warriors to fight in the Ekumeku, adding that in his absence, Omorhusi Nwoko took the Obi title.
He said the ascension of the throne by Omorhusi Nkeze-Nwoko as the second monarch was an aberration that continued during the reign of the last monarch Obi Albert Nwoko III.
The diokpa posited that Omorhusi who became the king after the death of Obi Nwoko 1, usurped the throne and neither him nor his children or descendants “has claims to the throne of Idumuje-Ugboko as propagated in some quarters.”
The meeting resolved that all machineries should be put in place, including, if need be, going to seek legal redress from a court of competent jurisdiction, to restore the crown back to the legitimate owners, that is, family of Nwabuokei the first son of Obi Nwabuokei in line with the Native laws, customs and tradition of Idumuje clan.

Governor Obiano Does Not Deserve a Second Tenure – Chief Nwobu Alor

Chief Sylvester Nwobu Alor is a second Republic lawmaker and former Director-General of Peter Obi Campaign Organisation. He is a founding chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APGA) and former Special Assistant (SA) to the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi. He spoke on the November 18, 2017 governorship election in Anambra and why he supports the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) even as APGA chieftain, among other issues. 

Excerpts:

As an Elder statesman and a stakeholder in Anambra State Polity, What is your take on the impending election?

Oh yes! Election is a constitutional and democratic process of changing guards. The integral voting procedure gives the citizenry the supremacy and superiority of electing their chosen representatives and leaders, and on this score I wholly align myself with the process thereof.

Against the backdrop of the election, and the attendant campaign, the incumbent Governor Willie Obiano has been accused of non-performance. Chief, how do you react to this?

Truly, Anambra in the recent time had had it so good in terms of governance. Starting from the regime of Ngige and then to Peter Obi’s administration, Anambra State had posted superlative and sterling results in terms of democratic dividends and performance, and so if the citizenry now complain, that means there is a gap and lull in the expectation.

Truly, given the current outcry and from personal observation, Willie Obiano, though a nice man, his government has not met the yearnings and expectations of Anambrarians.

And that’s why there is the current discontent and dissatisfaction in the land against his style of administration.

But Chief, the government of Obiano has reacted by saying that ‘Willie is working’! The government went further to say it pays salaries and pensions as at and when due. Too, they pointed to the street light projects that dot the nooks and crannies of Anambra, and with all these do you still doubt their performance?

It is preposterous and prevaricating for a properly constituted Government with huge allocations and IGR to point at the payment of salaries and pension as achievement.

By the way, it is legal, moral and natural to pay all workers at the due time. It is unconscionable and despicable really to owe a worker who has completed his task.

Therefore, Obiano’s government should not see the payment thereof, as an achievement. Besides, governments before it (that is, Ngige and Obi’s) paid salaries and pensions and still performed and packaged the infrastructures to the admiration of Ndi Anambra.

Moreso, Obiano’s government has no reason not to pay salaries and improve on the lives of Ndi Anambra because a solid financial foundation was availed by the preceding government of Peter Obi.

The street light project, good as it is, is not enough to showcase given the enormous fund at Obiano’s government disposal.

What of the twenty million Naira (N20,000,000) disbursement to communities in Anambra State by the government of Willie Obiano?

I tell you one thing, Willie is working, but regretfully Willie is indeed working woefully and that’s why his government is illogical, comical and theatrical.

The twenty million development fund or whatever name called comes with too many baggages. Firstly, it is a misdirection and misappropriation.

Nobody knows where he is getting the funds to finance the “Community Projects”, but assuming it is from the joint L. G. account then it is illegal.

The Local Government system as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the third  tier of administration with a clearly defined and delineated obligations and mandates and which obviously does not include the wanton disbursement of cash to communities.

Therefore, Governor Obiano’s penchant for appropriating fund meant for the Local Government administration for other uses is unlawful and illegal, ab initio.

Secondly, since such disbursements are not lawfully appropriated and deployed, it gives room to all manners of manipulations.

For instance, it’s been shown that the current disbursement bazaar by the current government only gets to his surrogates and lackeys.

Thirdly, the direct cash disbursement to communities being an illegality itself is also a Greek gift whereby it’s given with the ‘right  hand’ and stealthily collected by the  ‘left hand’.

The processes involving the hyped twenty million naira (N20,000,000) gift to the communities in Anambra State are scandalous since the disbursement is an illegality enmeshed in misappropriation.

It might interest you to know that up till this moment, none of the “Infrastructure Project” has been completed nor commissioned.

Fourthly, it’s conduit pipe to siphon funds. Assuming the disbursement is done with a good intent (which is disproved here).

What is the percentage of the N20,000,000 to the entire statutory allocation due to a given local government?

And what becomes of the gigantic reminder and where does it go? Illustratively, Awka North Local Government got a total of four billion, two hundred and twenty six million, six hundred and twenty thousand, five hundred and sixty five naira only (N4,226,620,565) as statutory allocation from March 2014 to July 2017.

And out of this total receipts, a paltry two hundred million naira (N200,000,000) was given by the Obiano administration to the entire communities as an ‘Infrastructure Project’ within the same period, leaving a floating balance of N4,026,620,565. Similar balance is replicated in all the 27 Local Governments in Anambra State.

The question therefore is where does this balance go to? And your guess is as good as that of a reasonable personChief, with your foregoing comments therefore, can we say you are posting a vote of no-confidence on the government of Obiano.

A little while ago you talked about accusation of non performance on his government and I answered that there is discontent and dissatisfaction as far as his government is concerned and that simply means a vote of no-confidence.

A government that cannot point to a single signature project to its credit has failed the electorates and does not deserve a re-election.

The media is awash of how previous governments’ projects are claimed as Obiano’s achievement.

For instance, just recently a former House of Representatives member from Ihiala reacted to the claim that it was Obiano’s government that attracted the Awada- Ihiala Transmission line, wherein he debunked the claim and gave detailed process of how the feat was achieved under his legislative representation.

And such superious claims are now common place and these points to one fact non-performance.

If the government has performed why claiming other people’s projects, for instance of road networks done by Ngige and Obi’s regime. For example, it’s on record that Peter Obi’s administration did a total of 265 roads during his tenure and one cannot point to a single road done by this Willie administration and that is scandalous and suffocating.

And let me say it at this juncture, the huge resources that have been deployed to this crave for re-election would have been enough to do many roads in the state.

Now cars and tricycles are given out to all manner of people just to project the second term agenda.

My attention has just been drawn to the frenzied media advertisement, where the Obiano’s government has for the past two months utilized pages in a National Newspaper to advertise the “Willie is working” mantra.

Just a few days ago, same Newspaper carried a 20-page full coloured advertorial on Obiano’s government.

The costs of all these are shocking and shattering, and this is Ndi Anambra’s resources that would have put to a better use.

Truly, if Willie has worked like his predecessor, there would have been no need for these desperate expenditures and people like us would not have condemned his government and his re-election would have been a matter of right.

Chief, away from Obiano and his government, your party APGA has been factionalized and fumbling, what is your take on this?

It is painful seeing a project one heavily invested in suddenly sinking and skidding. As one of the founding fathers of APGA, I know the plan was to make APGA a National Party with an Igbo base.

Unfortunately, time came when one person cornered all the offices to himself, he became the National Chairman, Treasurer, financial Secretary etc. some stakeholders like me cried out and I was called names.

I didn’t let go, I insisted the party must be restructured and repositioned to meet up with dynamics of the contemporary times.

I even went to court to challenge the internal autocracy then. I won some cases and lost some too.

I predicated finally that if the path of restructuring was not towed, APGA would one day disappear into the thin air and today that prediction is coming true.

Otherwise, how else can one describe a party of over 16 years existence still managing to grapple with one state in Nigeria?

Too, the giants and legends of APGA are no more in the party, given the internal intrigues and external machinations. And I tell you APGA would continue this descent to extinction and coupled with Willie’s bad government, the road to that infamy becomes wider  and certain.

Do you think that as a stakeholder you have done enough to stem this tide in the party.

My brother, if I tell you the steps I have taken even at very personal risks to sustain the APGA brand, but all to no avail.

I have talked about my legal contests, I have also written series of papers and articles on the way forward but like it is said in Igbo “Onwu n’egbu nwa nkita, anaghi ekwe ya nuru isi nsi” (The death that is destined for the dog, would not allow it perceive it’s prized aroma-the faeces.

There have been allegations and counter allegations on the N75 Billion saga and the N7 Billion scandal. Can you give your opinion on these, sir?

There is this latin maxim “Res Ipsa loquitor” which means; the fact speaks for itself.

Therefore, the Ex-governor Peter Obi has extensively and convincingly availed the facts and figures on the “contentions” N75 Billion Naira bequest, and which are already in the public domain and I need not dwell on it.

But suffice it to say that as an insider, N75 Billion was handed over to Willie’s government. Those figures supplied by Obi remain evident and empirical and denial is simply a deception!

Again, as a famed accountant why did it take Governor Obiano so long a time to debunk such a weighty financial declaration that was made public.

Coming barely six weeks to election period to post a denial is cosmetic, petty and prevaricating.

On the N7 billion “scandal”, same opinion above applies. But I see it as a ploy to further fly the N75 Billion naira denial saga.

Otherwise, withholding such a revelation for 3 year plus, only to broadcast at this period is simply a propaganda and politicking.

Again the details supplied by obi to corroborate his fact on the N75 Billion lack on the side of Obiano on the N7 billion pay-back issue. Certain things are done timeously, otherwise they lose their shine and sparks.

You have described Obiano as a nice man running a bad government; as an elder statesman and stakeholder, one expects you have the access to advice the governor on his programmes and policies.

You are 100% right. With all modesty, I have the access to advice the governor, but advice is not forced down.

Agreeably, at Governor Obiano’s inception, I availed my candid advice and he seemed to flow along but along the line, he stopped asking for my opinion on some matters and I knew immediately sycophants and propagandist have displaced.

However, I had the intuition that sooner than no time the state would drift and descend into liquidation and that is exactly what is happening now.

Obiano may have a large heart but he is surrounded by bad advisers who have selfish motives thereby displacing selfless and sincere advisers in the party.

At my station in life, I truly may not need anything from Obiano, my interest is to see a continuously progressive Anambra and nothing more.

Ex-Governor Peter Obi to a large extent, relied on sincere advice availed by people like me and thus, compare Obi’s performance and Obiano’s propaganda. The difference as they say is clear.

But why must it Obaze this time sir? I believe in objectively and not swayed by parochialism and sentiments. Honestly, the government of Obiano has not done anything positive to warrant a second tenure.

I say it again, giving Obiano a second chance means total liquidation of Anambra state. Let me break it down-Governor Willie Obiano’s government has received a total of N63,654,309,711.92 (almost 64 Billion naira) from May 2015 to June 2016 from Federal allocations and this excludes Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); this excludes the squandered N4 Billion naira set aside by Obi’s administration for secondary school education and Health facilities; this excludes the N3.7 billion naira in UBEC Accounts 1 & 2 he inherited and now misappropriated; this excludes the N75 billion naira handed over to him by his predecessor, Peter Obi; this excludes total revenue from dollars investment by Obi’s government; this excludes the 50.4 billion naira already collected by Government Obiano as security vote since 2014; and this excludes a total of N533,179,178,592.00 (over N533 billion naira) of Local Government fund controlled and managed by Governor Willie Obiano since 2014.

Truly, the above quoted figures are gargantuan and gigantic in all ramifications and if what the incumbent government in Anambra state can point at as its achievements with the enumerated enormous sum are the payments of salaries/pensions and street light projects, then Ndi Anambra have really boarded a ‘’one chance” bus.

Even the advertised flyover projects in Awka are Peter Obi’s initiatives and constructed by Obiano’s government at an outrageously inflated cost of N15 billion naira from the budgeted N5 billion naira and even at having banners against heavy trucks.

Any attempt therefore, to enthrone and perpetuate Willie’s woeful works in Anambra would spell doom and push the state into extinction and liquidation.

To this end therefore, I urge Anambrarians to give Oseloka Henry Obaze their mandate come November 18,2017.

He is already tested and trusted having brought his Midas touch to bear on both Obi’s and Obiano’s incipient administration.

The now famous and glorious MDG’s Miracle in Anambra so far is the handwork of Oseloka Obaze.

Truly, as an elder statesman and a stakeholder in Anambra polity Obaze’s international Diplomatic exposure and human management acumen, including the expertise of Chidi Onyemelukwe are sure the right steps to progress and prosperity in Anambra State.

Our woeful Willie’s works are even more insulting as almost 90% of them are still promises as the 20-page all coloured advert he took up recently in one of the National Dailies suggested. We frankly need performances and not promises again.

 

Maina: Family Members Warn Political Gladiators to Tread Cautiously

The Maina Royal family of Borno State have warned political gladiators to keep off their son, Alhaji AbdulRasheed Maina who was recently reinstated by the Federal Government back to the Civil Service in order to carryout his duties without distractions.

It may be recalled that AbdulRasheed Maina was suspended by the Jonathan administration after his special task force on recovery of pension fund uncovered monumental fraud perpetuated by a certain cabal in the sector backed by people at the top.

The family in a reaction to Maina’s reinstatement by the Federal Government, specially thanked the Almighty God that their son, Maina has lived to eventually be reinstated after several officially documented assassination attempts on his life, and series of investigations by the Federal Government that eventually cleared him of any complicity at the course of his duties.

In a statement signed by Hauwa Maina, an Actress of International repute, and Aliyu Maina, an Investment Banker, Political Strategist and writer, who are members of the family they said, “We owe our gratitude to God the Almighty.

“We want to send our special appreciation to our amiable President and Father, Gen Muhammadu Buhari for following due process in the reinstatement of our son.

“AbdulRasheed Maina is well known to all Nigerians for being patriotic, and fearless in the recovery of funds stolen by thieves in the pension industry, working always hard to ensure that he gives maximum service to the country in all his dealings as a civil servant.

“It is unfortunate that former President Goodluck Jonathan who found Maina worthy of the assignment after perusing his antecedents and credentials, to lead the Presidential TaskForce on Pension Fund, couldn’t protect him after the Pension fraud cabal went for Maina’s jugular, just to punish him for exposing their dubuous and reckless stealing and for saving the country of large sums of money that were hitherto stolen by a few.

“We are however grateful to God that despite all the trials and tribulations that our son went through in this dark period, God still kept him strong and healthy to the point that he is able to resume work.

“The President who in his fair and transparent nature, saw the need to ensure that justice is a actually seen to be done at the end of the day”, the family stated.

Whilst thanking Nigerians and all those who stood by Maina and his family throughout the period, the family equally urged civil Servants, alike, to remain committed to the service of humanity and continue to support President Muhammadu Buhari for being a just leader, who would ensure that every single Nigerian who has found him/herself in a similar situation gets justice and fair hearing irrespective of their religion, tribe or political affiliations.

According to the statement, “it has become imperative to also warn politicians and their cronies who may want to use the opportunity to distract Maina to desist from doing so as the family would seek redress where applicable.

“We have taken his odeal as an act of God and any attempt to drag his name in the mud for personal reasons, or to settle political scores with people will totally be rejected and confronted.

“This is not the right time for political engagement, we urge all the good citizens of Borno State pressurizing him to contest the Governorship of the state to exercise some patience and allow him to heal from the wounds inflicted on him by the last administration, it is on record that the government abandoned him when the political interests of their friends eventually clashed with the duties which he was commissioned to deliver.

“We are Muslims and believe that the Almighty God in his wisdom has taken Maina through this phase of life as part of the journey to greater assignments and service to the nation.

“To that end, We as a Family have forgiven his traducers and urge everyone to join hands with him as he resumes work to contiinue with high level Fund RECOVERY and blocking leakages in the system, this he knows best.

“He should at least be allowed to further contribute his quota to the Buhari Administrations corruption fight as he demonstrated during the Last Administration.

“We are therefore unequivocal in our demand that Maina should be left alone, excused from every political imagination of any member of the public so as to be able to concentrate more on his duties as his inputs to the system have greatly been missed,” the statement also added.

 

Anambra 2017: Ojiba, ACPN Unsettle Nwoye’s Home Town

Elders and youths at Nsugbe at the weekend pledged support for the governorship ambition of the candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Comrade Akunwata Ejoh Ojiba.

The elders and youths who came out in their numbers to welcome his campaign team on a consultative visit to the area, chanted “O jebego, o jebego”, meaning he has won.

Some of Nsugbe Youths set to mobilise locals for OjibaNsugbe is the home town of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tony Nwoye.

The elders and youths, some of whom are other political party leaders, shunned the flag off of the APC candidate to welcome Comrade Ojiba, who they described as their own.

Nsugbe is the home town of the ACPN candidate’s grandmother.

Speaking on behalf of the other elders, Obi Nwoye Ogbuagu said, “Ojiba is our own and for remembering us, his mother’s people, we are happy and we pledge all our undivided support him.”

The elders in turn prayed for Akunwata Ejoh Ojiba and and his campaign team, asking God to see them through to the government house Awka this year.

On their part, the Chairman of Enugwu Youths Organization, Nsugbe, Mr. Francis Bosah and the Chief Task of the youths group, Mr. Onyebuchi Udeze, reiterated that Ejoh Ojiba is their own and has the support of the youths.

“We are giving him full support, he is the one that will go for us”, Udeze added.

Earlier, the Director General of the Akunwata Ejoh Ojiba Campaign Train, Chief David Okagbue urged the people of Enugwu Nsugbe to support the party.

Leaders at the meeting were the South East Coordinator of the party, Engr. Ikechukwu Okagbue, the State Chairman of the party, Comrade Sam Anumba, the Onitsha North Woman leader of the party, Hon. Ndidi Olieh, among others.

Comrade Ojiba is a retired Customs Officer and says he has a divine transformation agenda for Anambra State.

Anti-corruption War: Nigerians React to Maina’s Re-instatement

Some Nigerians have reacted to the recent reinstatement of the former Chairman of Presidential Committee on Pension Reform Taskforce Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, into the federal civil service, saying the development is a victory over corruption and age-long pervasion of the civil service rules and labour laws.

It could recall that Maina while fighting corruption in the pension sector through the PRTT in 2010 recovered over 200 billion Naira in cash but, as some Nigerians put it, “in the process, the hunter became the hunted as corruption forth back and was sacked illegally.”

It could also be recall that Maina led PRTT recovered 1.6 trillion Naira both in cash and assets within a period of one year.

However, as the Coordinator of the North Central Youth Leaders Forum, Hon Alfa Nma said in his reaction to Maina’s reinstatement, “some corrupt pension looters ganged up against Maina and he was framed to be corrupt.

“Maina’ car was shot on his way from the Presidential Villa since then, Maina went into hiding.

“So, who will not run away when it has become obvious that people are after your life?”‘ Hon. Nma said.

He recalled that Senator Kabir Gaya who earlier accused Maina of stealing 195 billion Naira soon renounced his accusation when he declared that the said money was found to be lodged in the federal government’s account, which is part of the (Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the Buhari’s administration.

The group, the North Central Youth Leaders Forum, had earlier called on President Buhari to sustain the anti corruption war, urging him that while fighting corruption, he should look into the files of those fighting corruption in the previous administration and were framed up.

According to the group, the advice was with a view to determining the merit or otherwise of some cases to not only clear them but also to make them part of the anti corruption war as in the case of Maina.

Mr. Ibrahim Kuru who spoke from Kaduna noted that the reinstatement of Maina is a victory over corruption, saying that “it would be a victory for the corrupt people in the system if obvious cases of people who were framed up for doing the right thing were not looked into.

On his part, Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi who spoke from Abuja hailed Maina’s reinstatement, saying it is a plus for the anti corruption war of the President Buhari administration.

According to Mr. Torkuma Aso who is a Makurdi-based business man, “any reasonable person would commend President Buhari for righting the wrongs of the past by reiterating Maina”.

Also, in his reaction, the Chairman Federal Concerned Pensioners, Mr David Adodo who spoke from Lagos said that President Buhari has rekindled the hope of Nigerians injustice of the past can be corrected by Maina’s reinstatement.

He said, ” a bunch of clueless people will sit at your homes and operate on hearsay, even when they do not have a copy of the civil service rules.

“You don’t jump into conclusions and engage in a smear campaign on a man who has done nothing to offend you.

“People are not just sacked or dismissed if they are not political appointees.

“If you are a career civil servant, there are rules and processes to follow and it was obvious that the process that led to the sack of Maina was flawed and the President should be commended”, Mr Adodo said.

25 Political Parties to Adopt Ojiba as Consensus Candidate in Anambra

No fewer than 25 political parties and their candidates out of the 37 in total who fielded candidates for the November 18 governorship election have opted to adopt a sole candidate ahead of the poll.

Their move to support one candidate for the election became necessary, according to them, in order to defeat the so called big parties.

The development arose out of what some Interparty Advisory Council (IPAC) members and their candidates in the election, described as intimidation from the self-acclaimed big parties and their candidates, have continued to shun their programmes.

The self-acclaimed big parties that boycotted the IPAC activities were listed as the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), and United Peoples Party (UPP).

IPAC member parties and their candidates accused them of shunning the recent debate organised by the Interparty Advisory Council, while it was alleged that they never cared to communicate with the organisers on the reason for their absence.

A source spoke on condition of anonymity, because he he was not authorized to speak to the media on the development, disclosed that the over 25 parties who participated in the debate entered into series of meetings after the governorship debate session where idea came on the dare need for them to seek ways to work together by pulling their human and fiscal resources into backing one candidate who has the capacity to give the self-proclaimed mega parties a good fight and eventually defeat them at the forthcoming election.

“This will be likened to the case of Goliath and David in the Bible where the so-called mighty fell to the neglected. The five mega parties, most especially the APGA, PDP and APC, look at us as if we are pretenders in the race.

“But they failed to realise that politics is still a game of numbers. If we play our cards well and drop selfish considerations aside, our coalition will defeat all those parties some people erroneously think are the real contenders. It will surprise them when we do it” the source said.

Asked if it was not an obvious gang up for the sake of wrestling political power, the source said, “No, it’s a determination to rescue Anambra and make the lives of our people better.

“There is so much suffering in the land because of bad governance and we have candidates with track record of touching lives of people around them”, the source added.

Another source revealed that On the possible candidate that will emerge out of the coalition, it was gathered that the permutations are between Obiora Stephen Mbah of the PRP and Akunwata Ojiba Ejoh of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN.

However the odds seems to favour Akunwata Ojiba since he comes from Onitsha zone, the Anambra North.

Mbah of PRP is from Anambra Central whose zone just relinquished power after straight eleven years between Obi and Ngige as governors.

Akunwata Ojiba, a retired Customs Officer, sources say has shown visible presence and above the average seriousness with his party (ACPN) in a very aggressive campaign and endorsements across the three senatorial zones of the state.

It was reliably gathered that the coalition has as its chairman, Barrister Basil Onuora of the Green Party of Nigeria and Mr. Chris Nweke of AAPP as Secretary.

However, the executive members of the coalition have maintained sealed lips on the development, urging newsmen to wait for an official date for the unveiling of the coalition’s agenda.

But some other parties who are also actively committed to the actualisation of the coalition’s objective include ACD, BNPP, PDC, DPC, among others.
Akunwata Ojiba has been on a noiseless campaign and grassroots mobilisation ahead of the election.

 

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.

 

Hon. Idota Emerges Winner Of Joint Action Coalition Of Civil Societies For Good Governance Award

The Joint Action Coalition of Civil Society for Good Governance held its mid year round table Conference recently at Links Hotel Conference Hall Utako Abuja, where it announced the winner of the HERO OF DEMOCRACY award.

The Joint Action Coalition of Civil Society for good governance formed in the late 70s, is the largest pan African movement, it has been believed that they can be no ideological revolution without a conscious society.

The Coalition of Civil Society for good governance is a coalition of 14 Civil society organizations aimed at drawing a uniform and collective consciousness cutting across all blogs of societal formations, with the sole purpose of revamping these sectors towards achieving good governance, protecting the right of the common man and a robust economy free of corruption.

After passing a vote of confidence on the fight against corruption, and the improvement of security which has created a conductive environment for development even at the local government level by the Mid term of President Buhari led government but frowned at the poor performance of a lot of Governors in the country, which has made the desired change for the people unachievable.

Hon Odumu Idota emerged as the winner of the HERO OF DEMOCRACY award in consideration of his esteemed role in the development of Ohimini Local Government of Benue State, Benue State and Nigeria as a whole, most especially in his chosen career, political, youth, social , peace and economic development and being one of the true hero that formed the foundation that brought about the desired Change in Nigeria.

He emerged the winner out of 5 nominees from the North Central Geopolitical Zone at round table meeting of the coalition in Abuja with 86 votes.

In a statement by the chairman communique drafting committee Hon. Dr. Kabir Dallah said “This award is our totem to encourage the recipient to work harder and thank him for his good works most especially in fighting for the change to purposeful leadership in Nigeria.

“Our country as a whole is in dear need of models like him to help actualize the desired change we need to push our country to greater heights as he is one of the unsung hero of our time.

The decoration of Hon. Idota as our HERO OF DEMOCRACY will be held in Abuja.

 

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

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: AN OPEN LETTER By John Paul Iloduba

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours faithfully,

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

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.