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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: TheStreetReporters

US Court Ruling: I Have No Case To Answer, Says Kashamu

PREAMBLE:
My attention has been drawn to some mischievous media reports being the latest in a series of efforts orchestrated by my political opponents to call a dog a bad name so as to hang it.

Thus, I find the need to set the records straight and put to a stop to their devious attempts to make a mountain out of a molehill.

The undisputable fact is that a judgment of an American court cannot supersede the judgments of the British and Nigerian courts. It should be noted that it is the British that colonized Nigeria and we adopted their legal system.

Therefore, if the British courts gave two judgments which have not been appealed till date (14years after) and the same have been affirmed by several Nigerian courts, how then can anyone say that the recent US court ruling, which arose from a suit I filed against my abduction, is superior or has overriding effect over the previous and subsisting judgments of the British and Nigerian courts?

THE BACKGROUND

On a business trip to the United Kingdom in 1998 in pursuit of my cotton trading business in Liverpool, I was arrested at City Airport in London and detained pursuant to an arrest warrant issued on the basis of an indictment in the United States (U.S.) in which the name “Alaji” had been introduced as a party to an alleged offence of importation of narcotics into the United States by the U.S authorities.

I have never visited or resided in the U.S and certainly have never been involved in any business not to talk of a criminal activity whatsoever in the US.

Although, I declared from the moment of arrest that I was not the person involved in the alleged narcotics business and that it was a case of mistaken identity, the British courts made an order for my committal pending my extradition to the U.S.

Fortunately, my lawyers came across some exculpatory evidence, which the US government had concealed from the courts in the extradition proceedings. The evidence was the outcome of a photo identification parade for the purpose of Identifying the said “Alaji”, that was held in the US Attorney’s office.

They had taken a mug shot of me and placed it with seven other photographs of black males who had facial hair that was similar to mine and were about my age too. After viewing the photo lineup, Fillmore, one of the accused, said that the 3rd photograph in the lineup looked like a bad photograph of the man they were looking for.

He also declared that the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th photographs did not at all look like the said ÄLaji”; my mug shot was the 7th in the lineup; that was one of the photographs that Fillmore said did not at all look like the wanted kingpin.

So, my lawyers immediately commenced a Habeas Corpus( a recourse in law whereby a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment before a court) application in the High Court of Justice, Queens Bench division, for my release and the vacation of the committal order made by the Court.

The English High Court in its judgment delivered on the 6th or October 2000, agreed that the order for my committal was null and void having been the product of unfair proceedings in which the U.S. Government had suppressed exculpatory evidence.

In summarizing the facts, Lord Justice Pill found as follows:
“What has now emerged, with a letter from the United States’ Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, is a report of an investigation into the case against the applicant conducted on 9 February 1999.

The report stated insofar as material, that on 8 February 1999, Fillmore viewed a photo lineup for the purpose of identifying Kashamu.

The meeting was held in the US Attorney’s office. An officer of the Attorney had received a copy of an arrest photograph of Kashamu from another officer.

The report continues that the officer ‘…took the copy of the arrest photograph and placed in a DEA form 470, photo identification folder, with seven photographs of black males.
These black males had similar facial hair and were the approximate age of Kashamu.

This photo lineup was shown to Fillmore. Fillmore provided the following statements: ‘it is not jumping out at me, I know what the man looks like.’ Fillmore further stated that photograph #03 looked like a bad photograph of him.

Photos #02, #04, #06, #07 and #08 did not look like him at all. Fillmore stated that #05 looked a lot like him but did not look like him. Fillmore ruled out photograph #01.
Fillmore stated that #05 looked the closest like Alaji.’

That is the name by which Fillmore knew his co-conspirator. ‘The arrest photograph of Kashamu was placed in position #07 of the photo lineup.

APC Hails South East Leaders for Endorsing Buhari for 2019

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tcg-ayo-adewale

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

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

Culled From The Street Reporters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE: The Street Reporters

 

Anambra CLO Elects New Leaders, Upholds Suspension of Three Members

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upholds Suspension of Members

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE: The Street Reporters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ex-Governor Sullivan Chime not Dead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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