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North Korea Accuses Donald Trump Of ‘Suicide Mission’, Declares Rocket Attack On USA Mainland Inevitable

Kara O’Neill
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North Korea says Donald Trump’s labelling of Kim Jong-Un as “Rocket Man” has made “our rockets’ visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable”.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told the United Nations that Mr Trump had committed an irreversible mistake during his speech to the body in New York last week.

His comments came today after it emerged the US had sent bombers to the North Korean border today in the closest they have been this century.

Foreign Minister Ri said if US lives were lost, Mr Trump would be held totally responsible.

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“Through such a prolonged and arduous struggle, now we are finally only a few steps away from the final gate of completion of the state nuclear force,” Ri told the annual gathering of world leaders for the United Nations General Assembly.

“It is only a forlorn hope to consider any chance that the DPRK (North Korea) would be shaken an inch or change its stance due to the harsher sanctions by the hostile forces.”

He said North Korean did not have any intention to use or threaten its nuclear weapons against countries that did not join US military action.

He added that Mr Trump’s speech at the UN was reckless and violent and he was trying to the turn the body into “a gangster’s nest where money is respected and bloodshed is the order of the day”.

 

Pyongyang would make sure that he bears the consequences far beyond his words and beyond the scope of what he can hand even if he was ready to do, the Foreign Minister added.

He said the nation’s ultimate goal was to establish the balance of power with the US.

He said North Korean would take preventive measures by “merciless preemptive action” in case the US showed any sign of conducting a kind of “decapitating” operation on North Korea.

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Earlier tonight, reports emerged Mr Trump had sent bombers towards the North Korean border – the closest they’ve been in the 21st century.

US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighter jets flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea on Saturday in a show of force which the Pentagon said demonstrated the range of military options available to the US President.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said: “This is the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea’s coast in the 21st century, underscoring the seriousness with which we take (North Korea’s) reckless behaviour.”

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She added: “This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat.”

Ms White went on to call North Korea’s weapons program “a grave threat.”

“We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the US homeland and our allies.”

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The Pentagon said the B-1B Lancer bombers came from Guam and the U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter escorts came from Okinawa, Japan. It said the operation showed the seriousness with which it took North Korea’s “reckless behaviour.”

The patrols came after officials and experts said a small earthquake near North Korea’s nuclear test site on Saturday was probably not man-made, easing fears Pyongyang had exploded another nuclear bomb just weeks after its last one.

Saturday’s seismic activity came just hours before North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho – who warned on Thursday that North Korea could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific – was due to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Ri did not respond when asked by reporters whether North Korea had conducted a new nuclear test.

Hours earlier seismologists around the world had detected a small earthquake near North Korea’s nuclear test site

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China’s Earthquake Administration said the quake was not a nuclear explosion and had the characteristics of a natural tremor. The administration had said earlier the magnitude 3.4 quake detected at 0829 GMT was a “suspected explosion”.

The CTBTO, or Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty Organization, which monitors nuclear tests, and officials of the South Korean meteorological agency also said they believed it was a natural quake.

The Pentagon and the US State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment

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A US intelligence official and US-based non-governmental experts said their initial assessment was that the quake was either natural or connected to North Korea’s latest and largest nuclear test on Sept.3, and not caused by a new nuclear test.

“It seems likely that these small tremors are related to the shifts in the ground due to the recent large test,” said David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists in the United States.

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A US government intelligence analyst said the events could have been a “mine-type” collapse of tunnels damaged by North Korea’s previous nuclear test but was more likely a small earthquake.

An official of South Korea’s Meteorological Agency said acoustic waves should be detected in the event of a man-made earthquake.

“In this case, we saw none. So as of now, we are categorising this as a natural earthquake.”

Credits: Sky News           © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Sky News  

The earthquake, which South Korea’s Meteorological Agency put at magnitude 3.0, was detected 49 km from Kilju in North Hamgyong Province, where North Korea’s known Punggye-Ri nuclear site is located, the official said.

All of North Korea’s six nuclear tests registered as earthquakes of magnitude 4.3 or above. The last test registered as a 6.3 magnitude quake.

A secondary tremor detected after that test could have been caused by the collapse of a tunnel at the mountainous site, experts said at the time. Satellite photos of the area after the Sept 3 quake showed numerous landslides apparently caused by the massive blast, which North Korea said was an advanced hydrogen bomb.

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The head of the international nuclear test monitoring agency CTBTO said on Saturday that analysts were “looking at the unusual seismic activity of a much smaller magnitude” than the Sept. 3 test in North Korea.

“Two #Seismic Events! 0829UTC & much smaller @ 0443UTC unlikely Man-made! Similar to “collapse” event 8.5 mins after DPRK6! Analysis ongoing,” CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo said in a Twitter post, referring to the Sept. 3 test.

Russia’s emergency ministry said background radiation in nearby Vladivostok was within the natural range.

The US Geological Survey said it could not conclusively confirm whether the quake, which it measured at magnitude 3.5, was man-made or natural.

“The depth is poorly constrained and has been held to 5 km by the seismologist,” USGS said.

Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of Strategic Studies at Monterey, California, said: “Seismologists are very good at discriminating between earthquakes and explosions. I see no reason to doubt that it was an earthquake.”

There was no immediate reaction from China’s Foreign Ministry, but the news was widely reported by Chinese state media outlets and on social media.

Tensions have continued to rise around the Korean Peninsula since Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test, prompting a new round of U.N. sanctions.

US President Donald Trump called the North Korean leader a “madman” on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a “mentally deranged US dotard” who would face the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history”.

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Kim was responding to a speech by Trump at the United Nations General Assembly in which Trump said the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatened the United States or its allies.

On Thursday Trump announced new U.S. sanctions that he said allows the targeting of companies and institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea.

Earlier on Saturday, China said it will limit exports of refined petroleum products from Oct. 1 and ban exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas immediately to comply with the latest U.N. sanctions. It will also ban imports of textiles from North Korea.

North Korea’s nuclear tests to date have all been underground, and experts say an atmospheric test, which would be the first since one by China in 1980, would be proof of the success of its weapons programme.

North Korea has launched dozens of missiles this year, several of them flying over Japan, as it accelerates a weapons programme aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.   (The Mirror)

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No Automatic Ticket For Buhari In 2019, Says Ango Abdullahi |The Republican News

Prof.-Ango-Abdullahi                       Ango Abdullahi, Northern Elders spokesman

•Says North ready to support Atiku, Kwankwaso, others

Professor Ango Abdullahi is the spokesman of Northern Elders Forum, and former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.  He expressed support for the position of the Yoruba nation that Nigeria be restructured. Although there is a caveat that each existing region be allowed to decide the modalities for internal restructuring in view of new realities before fusing with others under a federal constitution similar to the First Republic. The NEF boss spoke with ABDULLAHI  HASSAN in Zaria on other national issues including the current rift between former Vice President,  Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC; the speculated cabinet reshuffle; Buhari’s performance and health; who the North will support for President in 2019; and ongoing militarization of the South East.

Sir, few days to Nigeria’s 57 years of nationhood, are we where we ought to be, given our potentials and the level of development of other countries with which we were at par at take -off?

Well, the starting point is to thank Allah for enabling us to observe yet another independence anniversary which we got in 1960. Obviously, the citizens must expect a lot of good things to have happened in terms of development over these years. When we look back, we can see that Nigeria is endowed with a lot of potential areas for development. This is what has been the expectation of Nigerians, particularly my generation because when the country attained independence, I was at the University College, Ibadan. Our fathers or leaders of the country at the time used to talk to us in the university and asked us to work hard, saying that very soon Nigeria would attain independence and that we were the ones to take over from the British. There were high hopes and expectations from within and outside the country that the new nation would make rapid progress in all aspects that touched the lives of her citizens. As you said, we will be 57 years and the question is, have all those aspirations been achieved? The honest answer is no.  If I was a teacher marking Nigeria from 1960, or a teacher marking Nigeria’s script as one of my students  of over these 57 years, I will grade her a failure.  When you look at it from the point of view of the opportunities available, the resources available, the chances available, both internal and external and you sum all these up, including  the human capital, I will say that Nigeria failed to achieved  the goals and aspirations it set for itself and for its people. There are benchmarks with which one can base this conclusion. There are quite a number of countries we virtually achieved independence either together or almost at the same time. Some of the references used in gauging our development indices are  India, in 1948  and Malaysia. Malaysia has really moved faster in their development endeavours. Unfortunately, despite all the endowments, Nigeria has failed to achieve the goals expected of it since independence.

So, who or what do we blame for the failure?

Well, if you go back to 1960, I will say that our founding fathers did extremely well. They did very well indeed. I will score  them high, going  by my marking scheme. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, with all his colleagues in his cabinet did well for the independence government; Chief Obafemi Awolowo for the  South Western Nigeria, along with his friends, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe; Michael Okpara for Eastern Nigeria and Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello for Northern Nigeria. All the leaders did well in terms of providing honest and committed leadership to their people. If you  did an honest assessment of each of these leaders on what they achieved even before or after independence, you will appreciate and commend them, especially for managing  their resources well. They had nothing to depend on except revenue generation mostly from tax and agriculture, being the main export product that  earned the country a lot of foreign exchange. In fact, 75 per cent of total revenue came from agriculture. For those of us now who  witnessed and were beneficiaries of that government, the current state of things is regrettable. For example, I went to  elementary school free, Middle School free and university free.. those were things  enjoyed within the limited resources. In Western Nigeria, Chief Obafemi Awolowo introduced Universal Free Education Programme for his people and ultimately placed Western Region at an advantage over the North and East. In 1953, there were only two secondary schools in Northern Nigeria-Barewa College and Government Secondary School, Keffi. By 1966, the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello had provided  secondary schools in each of the  provinces in the North,  as well as Teachers Colleges and vocational training centres. He  established Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria  in 1962. One should ask why those leaders were different from those that followed them? Despite the interruption of democracy by the military in 1966 which culminated in civil war , their legacies and values have continued  to yield positive results… Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s regime invited most of the products of the First Republic to  serve as federal commissioners. People like Chief Obafemi Awolowo was appointed Finance Commissioner, Malam Aminu Kano was appointed Health Commissioner. From 1960 until 1974, Nigeria was doing well in the area of development. I happened to have served as Commissioner of Economic Planning  under the military government from 1973 to 1975. As from that period, things began getting worse, particularly, during Gen. Murtala Mohammed. Although Murtala appeared to be a nationalist and Pan-Africanist, regrettably, he messed up the civil service, which has always been the stabilising factor in any country’s development programme. Politicians come and go, but civil servants remain until retirement. Murtala abused civil service rules, he arbitrarily sacked civil servants, permanent secretaries , directors  were sacked on radio without procedures, no query, warning or setting up of committees. The security of tenure that civil service guaranteed, Gen. Murtala destroyed it when he came to power. Now a civil servant has to be a liar, or sycophant to keep his job. This is where Nigeria began to run into serious difficulties in governance. Secondly, we rushed to change from parliamentary system in the Second Republic to presidential with a military fiat . This  is the major  mistake  that was made. Presidential system brought about nothing other than huge overhead costs in government; compared to parliamentary system.

In other words,  the presidential system is more expensive to run anywhere around the world.  It also brought in corruption  and  lack of accountability. In the parliamentary system, ministers were appointed from elected members in the Parliament, which means that you have a constituency to account for, not only to your constituency, but also to the parliament and the prime minister. While under presidential system, you can lobby for positions by licking the  boots of other political leaders, in a nutshell, you can be enlisted to be a minister even if your people don’t know you. In other words, you don’t feel accountable to anybody apart from the person who nominated you, or a godfather. In presidential system, a minister is free to do whatever he likes as long as  the President is comfortable with him. These are some of our major setbacks. So, to answer your question, this is to some extent, the factors responsible for the lack of development of our nation today.

You were an arrowhead of support for the election of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is nearly 15 months for this administration to exit, but people are still complaining about lack of development viz bad roads, ill-equipped hospitals, schools etc. Does that mean that Buhari  has failed Nigerians?

    You see, the problem is the system.  Buhari may be a good person; he could be a gentleman who  wants to work honestly but in a wrong system. It was a system of military fiat when he was a head of state, but the system he finds himself now does not allow him to manoeuvre. He has to cross many  hurdles and checkpoints at the National Assembly and his party before he can execute anything meaningful, and all these squabbles are not based on principle but  personal interests, either at party level or at constituency  or at the level of the judiciary.  All this really will make it  impossible for a good person or committed  person to operate effectively in this country in the manner which will accelerate development.  Perhaps,  you might ask the question if  we can really change? Buhari might not have failed, but the system of government that he is operating in has substantially failed in the same manner as the ones before it.

Many Nigerians expected the President to re-shuffle his cabinet soon after his return from medical vacation as a step towards rectifying mistakes in the administration, but that is yet to happen.  How do you view this?

I really don’t count that as a solution to government’s problems, weighed against the substantial damage he inherited. You see, once a system is not right everything inside it tends to fail. Of course,  people blame President Buhari for not picking a good team to start with. I personally made that observation  two years ago and I came under much fire from the corridors of power but I’m here again criticizing. I have so far been vindicated  in terms of the quality of people he picked as operators of the government, either at ministerial level, or institutional level. Their quality has failed to measure or meet the yearnings and expectations of Nigerians. When people think that cabinet reshuffle is the answer, it may bring out some good, but for me, it is too late in the day. Ministers are part of the instrument of decision-making, the only difference between them and their permanent secretaries is that only ministers are allowed in the Federal Executive Council. Bureaucrats in their ministries prepare the memos they read at FEC. What I am saying is that it is not enough to simply look at the ministers as the problem. I can argue that most of the people who brought the problem on this country, especially during Obasanjo and Jonathan’s administrations are still and very much in this administration. When you are talking of corruption and incompetence, in fact 70 per cent of the people who operated in the Jonathan government are still in this system. So why do people expect Buhari to perform miracle? It is possible, but very difficult in this kind of system or arrangement.  I believe that the system in which Buhari is operating is not working, since it was changed in 1977/79. It does not fit the kind of federation of Nigeria’s structure, because when the British came, actually, they thought Nigeria could run in two parts, the Northern and Southern protectorates. But very soon, they realized that there was substantial difference between the eastern part of the country and the western part, which later made mid-west to be created, leaving the North as it was.

What do you make of the stiff war between Abubakar Atiku on one hand and the President and his party on the other over alleged spite of the former VP?

You see, I don’t regard Atiku as a major actor in the system; he only operated in the system, but largely failed us. He operated as a Vice President to Obasanjo in the latter’s government, which, as far as I am concerned failed.  So they both have failed. I could not see Atiku being isolated as a major factor in subsequent years. He joined APC, but he was not part of the major groups, though he contested in the primary election when we were challenging the Jonathan administration. In 2015, I was one of those who  felt that PDP had failed to honour an agreement that everybody was aware of and which most of the leaders signed. I was one of those who drafted the constitution of PDP and signed for it to become a political party. So I was also a member of the first Board of Trustees of the party. But the party quickly collapsed and failed. People in executive authority replaced the PDP. The PDP paved way for Obasanjo to be reelected. In the case of states, the party paved way for governors to manoeuvre. So what we had was mini dictatorship within a short time.  Obasanjo changed  the party chairmen about three or four times. If you want to maintain your position you have to go and vow before  Obasanjo or a governor. Atiku can go and make whatever complaints,  he knows how he joined the party, he is just a party member like anybody else. The only thing he may argue is that when the party was formed , he played a role, which  he thought should be appreciated, recognized and rewarded. He is only behaving like most ordinary Nigerian politician. He participated and contributed and he now waits for reward.    In other words, he is like an investor expecting dividends and profit, therefore, he wants to get dividend on his investment. I think this is all Atiku’s complaints.

His challenge seems to foreshadow the direction of the politics/contest of the 2019 presidential election. Who will the north support between the two leaders in the event the dice is cast, and why?

I am not a witness to that, I don’t know, what I read in the newspaper is that, Atiku only complained that he was sidelined in the process of operating party and government. That was not enough for me to say that he has reached a point  of  contesting or  quitting the party. I would want to say he, of course, in the primaries of the party together with others and they all lost to Buhari. It’s also wrong to assume that in every contest, you must win. You may contest severally without winning, so winning election is not always automatic. There are some party executive arrangements that sometime make you an enemy if you  contest elections and lose, and this is happening in many states now, those who contested for governor became enemies  of those who won. I think that is what will continue to divide APC, if care is not taken.

Is the Buhari-Atiku altercation in the interest of the  North, and where do we place the aspirations of others like  Kwankwaso , Lamido, Tambuwal, etc?

No, no, you see the fact that Buhari is incumbent does not automatically confer on him  the candidature of the party in the next election if  there is internal democracy in the party. The fact that you are a sitting president does not mean other members of the party cannot contest against you. If I were Buhari, I will  welcome competition in my party. This is an opening for democracy in my party and I will ask  people to come and test their popularity. If he has done well, people will re-elect him. This is a confirmation he has  done well and that both the party and voters trusted him. I criticize all political parties for the system they employ in conducting primary elections. The one I am most familiar as good was the one used by Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1992, that was a direct primary election, where every member of the party has a chance to come and vote for who will represent him as a councilor, chairman, governor  or president. In direct primaries, all parties have chance to come, cue and vote or elect any person of their choice. But the current  delegate system brings nothing except corruption. Once the parties are corrupt, certainly, government must be corrupt, this is what is happening now all over the country.

Where do you stand on the question of whether or not Buhari should run again, against the backdrop of non-delivery on electoral promises and his health issue? You may wish to answer that question with what you think is in the North’s strategic interest, vis-a-vis, experience over the issue of tenure and dispute with the South on zoning principle.

On the issue of who the North will support among Northerners who are likely to contest, I will say we will support internal democracy, that the person who wins the primary election in the party becomes the candidate. It is premature to say and there is no  basis for me to deny Atiku or Kwankwaso, or whoever is said to be contesting, the right to contest. Whoever emerges from the North, we will support him. You see personally I am not a member of any political party, I am only concerned that there should be an internal democracy in any party for development of our democracy, so that people will know that the candidate emerged  and was chosen by their wishes and support. That is the most important thing. In the case of Buhari, he  had a bad start as far as I am concerned, somebody who is in office is supposed to show his credentials of being in that office and these credentials should sell him not only to his party, but to the generality of Nigerians. The decision will be made by party members and eventually when election  comes, voters will ultimately decide party’s decision. My support or non support for Buhari does not matter, our concern is for the system to be  sanitized.

The Yoruba nation unanimously and unequivocally stated last week  its position on  restructuring, declaring it was mandatory as the basis for the continuation of the Nigerian union. The Yoruba also defined what this restructuring should be, so there won’t be any ambiguity that those opposed to it had often cited. Your take on this?

I believe Nigeria has been in existence for 100 years now, in this 100 years, there are people who believe that Lord Lugard or the British made mistakes in the way they crafted a territory and called pieces of this country called Nigeria in 1914. Up till now there are people of high intellect and in responsible positions who  believe  that Lugard made a mistake by merging the Northern protectorate and Southern protectorate and Lagos Colony. These agitations have manifested in various forms over the years and appear directed against the North.  You see, there was no restructuring agitation during Jonathan or Obasanjo’s administration. It started few years ago. All these agitations started when there was no  true  government. My first reference is to go to 1914,  examine this question of whether Lugard or the British made a mistake by merging the territories that appeared  incompatible, according to the agitators. So, if we want to give credit to the British in 1914, for crafting the constitution for these colonies and you also want to give credit to our founding fathers who really faced the British and argued for independence, you may say that, perhaps, this was the fundamental mistake of  our coexistence. There is also a merit in looking forward that even though diverse, we could eventually be molded into a nation. So they tried together with our founding leaders and agreed on the federal constitution. By 1960, if you remember very well,  prior to independence, the regions asked for self-government on different dates. The Northern Nigeria  said it was not ready  in 1957, while other regions said they were ready, which later brought about some misunderstanding in the country, but eventually the regions resolved their differences in term of dates. The North later had its own in 1959, while other regions had theirs  in 1957. Again within one year, Nigerian leaders sat together and discussed independence of the country. The final constitution we had was a federal constitution with regions as the federation units. Western Nigeria, Eastern Nigeria and Northern Nigeria. Those were the federating units under the 1960 federal constitution. My excitement about the position taken by the Yoruba  is that we should go back to the 1960 constitution, go back to the regions. I agree with this position in all honesty and sincerity, but the only point I may have difference with is that, let it be Western, Eastern and Northern, as it was said, but the Yoruba should remember that each of these regions  in the past had a constitution. If we are going back to that, then we must take  each region  to  have its constitution. It’s also  good to remember that a lot of things had happened even before the British left, there was minority commission set-up by the British prior to 1960. The minority groups from different parts of the regions asked for status. The Western Region later agreed that Mid West should be created. So even now, if we are to go back to the regions, what should be done is for each region to go back and consult its people to decide whether these regions will be like what is used to be,  or  there should be amendments in the 1960 constitution, or  there is need for new arrangement before making recommendations to the rest of the country. The Eastern Region will do the same. The Northern region will do the same. You see , I am not discounting that there will be a lot of requests,  even before 1960 , there were lots of agitations in the North for Middle-belt. In short, I agree entirely that we should go back to regions as the Yoruba have suggested, the point of difference here is that the regions should go back  decide for  themselves and decide how they want to restructure themselves. Nobody should decide for any region how to be restructured. I am happy to hear that even South East governors have decided to remain together, to that extent, this might be attractive on the part of Northern Nigeria. I am among those who support this Yoruba recommendation.

Government has practically militarised the S’ East under the pretext of going in to tackle crimes and insecurity in the region. We have seen a crackdown on Biafra agitators, while Arewa youths known to have breached the constitution are treated as sacred cows. Tell me how can this brazen display of double standard promote a sense of equality and fair treatment and as such oneness among Nigerians from different divides? Again, as long as this continues, don’t you think it will only further fuel discontent and agitation? And do you believe this strong arm tactics and forceful approach by government is the best way to bring about peace?

Well,  I consider  all these Kanu’s  saga as general pretence of Nigerians’  dishonesty.  When the Northern youths reacted to the abuses that their parents and grandparents were being subjected by some interest groups,  insult and provocation , nobody  uttered a word of guidance, counseling or caution among so-called elders in the East,  even as I am speaking now. It is when our children reacted the way they did that they had, had enough of these abuses coming from that area, and also supported that those agitating for their own state should be given chance for self-determination in line with the international protocol for self-determination.  With this, who now says that Nigeria’s unity is settled? It is not settled for  more than hundred years? We can see from this saga that there is a lot of pending issues on  Nigeria’s unity. If this problem is still lingering, then you cannot say Nigeria’s unity is settled,  this word is Utopian. Settling  the issue of unity is a determinant factor for coexistence, as such you cannot say Nigeria is indivisible, while its component parts are not united. So you see, I disagreed with all this Utopian position that Nigeria’s unity is settled. The question of its unity now or in future will be the question to ask from time to time. I keep repeating that the problem of Nigeria is the elites, both political and other levels, Nigerian elites have been the cause of either disunity or lack of developments and if that is the case, then we are not prepared to read and visit our souls and attitude. It means that the  celebration of  independence anniversary, to me, is an anniversary to mark the waste of two generations of Nigerians over the last 57 years. Let’s ask ourselves; if we the elites are the problem of Nigeria, why can’t we  come and sit down and tell ourselves the truth? Enough is enough, let’s save future generations, if we continue the way we are going, nothing positive will happen apart from wasting time.

At Yusuf Maitama Sule book presentation, Chief Edwin Clark  made a similar observation and requested you all to come and resolve  your differences as elites in order to save Nigeria from ongoing crises. Are you ready?

I don’t want to reveal too much on what transpired between me and Chief Edwin Clark,  it is an old issue,  we engaged Edwin Clark and his people when we were fighting Obasanjo’s third term, we engaged him positively together with the current father to the Senate President. The Northern Union headed by its chairman, the late Dr Olusola Saraki, while I was his deputy, fought against Obasanjo’s third term agenda. Edwin Clark pledged that whenever the North takes over the presidency, his area (South South) will produce the Vice President.  And this was how we sealed the deal, which produced Jonathan as Vice President to Umaru Yar’Adua. The arrangement was perfected and successfully executed. I don’t want to go into details of other negative side of the story, but I know we’ll get ourselves together for discussion on the solution to Nigeria’s problem.

So, if I may ask you as part of the Nigerian elite, what is the solution to the crises?

We have been failing Nigerians, the elites before us, like late Sardauna, Chief Awolowo,  Dr. Azikiwe and others risked their lives, worked and died for Nigeria, under an arrangement that was not forced. Like what the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, said, let’s understand our differences, so that we work together for the development of Nigeria. This can still be applied today, that is why I feel excited with the position of Yoruba elders,  that we should go back to our regions as federating units. The elites should stop pretending that tough time is over  and  Nigeria’s unity is settled. We in the Northern Elders Forum have agreed that we  are ready to engage in dialogue with anybody that will solve Nigeria’s problems.  (The Sun)

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Militants Attack Vessel, Kill 3 Security Escorts In Bayelsa Creeks |RN

 

 

 

 

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Militants

 

Barely three weeks after an ambush on a military houseboat that killed two in Southern Ijaw creeks in Bayelsa, suspected militants have attacked a tugboat in the same area and killed three crew members.

Suspected Niger Delta militants had on Aug. 28 ambushed a houseboat operated by the Joint Task Force and killed a soldier and a civilian crew member.

An oil services vessel with a combined team of security escort on board and civilians was attacked on Friday by suspected sea pirates at Ekebiri Waterways in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that two of the victims of the incident which occurred on Friday were security escorts and a civilian crew member of the tugboat towing a vessel.

Mr Asinim Butswat, Police Public Relations Officer for Bayelsa Command who confirmed the incident said that one police operative was still missing as his remains has yet to be recovered.

He said a response team dispatched to the crime scene rescued eight occupants of the ill-fated boat while efforts are underway to arrest the suspected armed men.

“On Sept. 22, at about 18.45hrs, a Tugboat, towing a Barge with a combined team of policemen from the Nigerian Inland Waterways, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and civilians on board was attacked by suspected sea pirates.

“The incident took place at Ekebiri Waterways in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa.

“A reinforced team arrived shortly and rescued one policeman, three NSCDC personnel and four civilians.

“However, a policeman, one NSCDC personnel and a civilian were shot dead by the sea pirates; one policeman is still missing,’’ Butswat said.

He further said the remains of the victims had been recovered and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Mortuary, Yenagoa, for an autopsy.

According to him, a search party has been deployed to find the missing policeman while all security operatives in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area have been alerted, while efforts are ongoing to arrest the culprits.(NAN)
NN/KAY

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Igbo Have More to Lose If Nigeria Breaks Up, Says Okorocha |The Republican News

Rochas-Okorocha1

•Why I never supported IPOB

Governor Rochas Okorocha believes that the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) should be condemned by not only the Igbo but other well-meaning Nigerians. His argument is that Nigeria would always fare better as one united country than exist under several independent entities. He made his position known in an interactive session with journalists in Owerri, the Imo State capital. WILLY EYA recorded the proceedings.

Are you going to contest the 2019 presidential election in the event that President Buhari declines to run?

My name is Owelle Rochas Okorocha and not President Muhammadu Buhari. It is only Buhari who can say whether he is contesting or not. But as far as I am concerned, President Buhari is well now as you can see. He is strong and well; he has gone to the United Nations. So, it is left for Buhari to say whether he would run or not. The man, Buhari has the character to lead this country. We should wait for him to make a statement on the issue of 2019.

What is your view on the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and tagging it as a terrorist organization?

I have made my mind clear on this. IPOB is not good for the South East. It is not the best way to complain of marginalization to the Federal Government of Nigeria. There are better ways to do it. And if IPOB must do a thing like that, it should have changed its name from sovereignty. You can call it any name but remove Biafra. Is that the way Ijaw youths and Arewa youths fought? They would have made more impact but for everything that an Igbo man does, we want to go to the extreme. Now you want to separate yourself from Nigeria, meanwhile, the South-South would not go with you; Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River would not go with you. If they cut us here now as South East, if I need to go to Rivers, I would go and ask for passport and visa and we are all keeping quiet. These guys are kind actually. If there is a crisis, there is no Hausa man in Imo State or Igbo land who has a duplex. There is no Yoruba man who has a room and parlour or a duplex or a N20 million investment anywhere. But the Igbo have trillions of naira investments in Lagos, Abuja and everywhere and the same people are looking for secession. These people are kind. If they ask you to go now, what happens; you lose those properties to Lagos and the South West; you lose your properties in the North and so on and all of us are keeping quiet and supporting IPOB. We thought we were getting at the Federal Government. It was very childish and those who are behind these should stop. I was speaking to the Ooni of Ife and I said do you know that Hausa love Igbo people so much but the Igbo love the Yoruba a lot and the Yoruba love the Hausa a lot. Have you thought of it? Have you ever seen where an Igbo man and a Yoruba man fought and spilt blood? Give me one example in history. But they are cat and mouse. I was talking to the Ooni recently and he said that the Igbo and Hausa are the same family but they are made to become cat and mouse. Look at the situation. The South-South has produced the president, the South West has produced the President and vice. The North has produced many presidents. The hope is that by the Nigerian sharing formula, the next ship whatever arrangement, the next people that should be considered is the South East. But the South East again has created an image of danger to the rest of Nigeria that if they give them the presidency, they would secede. So, where are we in our wisdom and intelligence? You can judge especially those of us in the Diaspora who have never come home. If they discuss the Nigerian problem here, you think they have a solution to it. So, that is my position on IPOB. But my advice is that the Igbo should change their style and condemn this IPOB thing in a manner that should be done. Allow us to flow with the rest of Nigerians now because we shall benefit more than anyone else. Do you know how the Northerners feel? They feel a sense of hate. The question the Northerners would ask you is if Jonathan were in power, will the situation be the same. Believe me, the IPOB would not be at this level. I know the feeling just like I told Nigerians that the Igbo have a feeling of abandonment. But it is the same way the Northerners feel that this is an attack on their government. Wise people should have done things differently. I advised Ndigbo. Politically, you are not at an advantage; economically, you are not at an advantage. Sometimes some come to complain about non-inclusion of Ndigbo in appointments. When Ndigbo were ministers of Finance, Senate President, Secretary to the Government of the federation, Police head, what did you get? You want to hear the hard truth. The Igbo play the worst politics quote me.  They play this politics of protecting one of their own from the South-South zone. It has now become obvious and the Northerners now understand that they can become president with or without Ndigbo. Before, there was a fear about that. So Yoruba and the Hausa now understand that Kano and Lagos determine the elections in Nigeria. So, we must change our style and condemn it. If anybody joins you to praise you and raise your mind to say oh you are marginalized, the person is not helping you. We played very bad politics in 2015 and we must condemn what is happening now and find a way to re-engineer ourselves into the system.

Why did South East governors ban IPOB?

Some of us came out and made a big statement on IPOB. I condemned it from time. I have never supported IPOB. Who is Nnamdi Kanu to tell Rochas Okorocha to follow him to war? He said he was going to war. Most of the elite of the Igbo nation feel emotional about IPOB especially the clergies. I have engaged the clergies and they feel the same way.

The elite should be engaged and made to change their stand because even if you are made the president, these questions must continue to come up. There is something wrong basically. I believe that it is either that enough information is not out there or that they are not taken properly. We must teach Nigerians how to free their minds. This is because when we are communicating, some people already have a preconceived mindset. I see this as a major challenge that we have. I believe that agitation in Nigeria is a way to get more whether right or wrong. I have been to the Northern part of this country and I weep each time in some of them. When I went to Liberia some time, I saw how great Nigeria is. So, there is a need for every Nigerian to move around. This is because if you go to some of these places like Borno and some rural areas, you might come here and speak a different language. Rather than complaining, you might be organizing a fundraising to save the situation.  (The Sun)

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The ‘Terrorist’ Of IPOB Is Liking Mahatma Gandhi To Abubakar Shekau -Fani-Kayode

 

Biafra1

IPOB members in a rally

 

By Femi Fani-Kayode

Given the unfolding events in our country, I believe that this is the time for deep introspection and sober reflection.

I am not a member of IPOB, I have never attended any IPOB meeting and neither am I Igbo. I am however deeply concerned about what is going on in our country, what the Igbos are being subjected to and what I consider to be the greatest assault on the human rights and civil liberties of the Nigerian people since the military left power in 1999.

A violation of the constitutional right of freedom of association and freedom of speech affects not just those that have been targeted but each and every one of us.

An act of injustice against one is an act of injustice against all. What affects the part also affects the whole. If you beat my neighbour’s child it is as good as beating mine and consequently, I have a duty to defend that child.

That is the essence of humanity and chivalry: to speak up for those that are being persecuted, to defend the defenceless, to fight for those that are too weak to fight for themselves and to be the voice of the voiceless.

We must cultivate the discipline and courage to defend the right of others to be different and to think differently from us and to express contrary views.

We may not all agree with the style, language and objectives of IPOB but we surely have a duty before God and the law to defend, uphold and affirm their right to express themselves in any way that they deem fit providing they do not threaten or hurt others whilst doing so.

This is the very essence, foundation and indeed cornerstone of freedom and democracy and if we allow the government to take that away from us and to get away with what they are doing without a stiff challenge we are finished as a people.

It is IPOB today but tomorrow it could be OPC, Ijaw Youth Council, Ohaneze, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Arewa Youths, Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders Forum or indeed anyone else.

I have never heard of a “terrorist” organisation that has not killed or threatened to kill anyone and that has totally rejected the idea of violence and an armed struggle.

I have never heard of a “terrorist” organisation whose only aspiration is to have a referendum to determine whether or not their people should or should not remain in Nigeria.

I have never heard of a “terrorist” organisation whose only objective is the peaceful and lawful exercise of the right of self-determination.

I have never heard of a “terrorist” organisation whose only crime is to take objection to the stripping away of their historical and cultural identity and to speak out against the willful marginalisation and mass murder of their people.

I have never heard of a “terrorist” organisation who believe in passive and non-violent resistance and who consistently emphasise the importance of peaceful opposition.

Saying that IPOB is a terrorist organisation is like saying that Mother Theresa is the Marquis De Sade. It is like saying that an angel from heaven is a demon from hell. It is like saying that Little Red Riding Hood is the hungry and ravenous wolf.

It is like saying that Snowhite is Jack the Ripper. It is like saying that Florence Nightingale is Aleister Crowley. It is like saying that the Apostle Paul is Anton La Vey.
It is like saying that John the Baptist is Atilla the Hun. It is like saying that Desmond Tutu is Ghengis Khan. It is like saying that John Knox is Adolf Hitler.

It is like saying that Martin Luther King is Osama Bin Ladin. It is like saying that Nelson Mandela is Ali Al Baghdadi. It is like saying that Mahatma Gandhi is Abubakar Shekau.

It is like saying that Amnesty International are the Fulani Herdsmen. It is like saying that Medicine Sans Frontier is Boko Haram. It is like saying that Human Rights Watch is ISIS.

It is like saying that the white dove of love and peace is the savage, cruel, blood-crazed and cadavar-eating vulture from the seventh circle of hell.

It is like saying that ice is fire. It is like saying that a believer is an infidel. It is like saying that a peaceful preacher is a violent blasphemer.

Such a designation and categorisation is unhelpful, inappropriate and unfair. It is a damning and specious lie that has been put out by a Federal Government that is paranoid, weak, bereft of ideas and scared of its own shadow.

It is a desperate attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. It is childish nonsense and it does not make sense.

Finally came the most absurd allegation of all: that IPOB is being funded by “treasury looters”, “disgruntled” and “destabilising” elements “in the opposition” and by France.

Some assertions are so insane and asinine that they ought not to be dignified with a response and this is one of them.

I urge IPOB to go to court and have the order that has designated them as a terrorist organisation set aside.

I also urge President Muhammadu Buhari and his Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to remember that when they exercised their right of freedom of speech three years ago and openly defended Boko Haram by saying respectively that “an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north” and that it was “unconstitutional” and “unlawful” to ban them no-one threatened them with arrest because the government of that day had the presence of mind to recognise the fact that the right to express one’s opinion, no matter how reprehensible that opinion may be, is enshrined in the constitution.

The Federal Government should take a cue from that and stop trying to manufacture a crisis where there is none or kill a fly with a sledgehammer.

They should also consider declaring the Fulani militants and herdsmen, who have been described by the International Terror Index as the “fourth most deadly terrorist organisation in the world” and who have killed more innocent Nigerians than any other terrorist organisation in the last two years, as the malevolent, vicious, murderous and bona fide cowards and terrorists that they are.

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IPOB Requests Court To Quash Proscription Order, Says Group Not Terrorist Organisation

IPOB
The Indigenous People of Biafra on Friday asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to set aside the orders proscribing it and designating it as a terrorist group.
The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, had on Wednesday, issued the proscription order upon an ex parte application by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.
Punch reports that in a motion filed by IPOB’s lawyer, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, before the same judge on Friday, the group contended that the proscription order was unconstitutional.
The motion was anchored on 13 grounds, first of which was that the proscription order was made without jurisdiction “as the order was granted against an entity unknown to law”.
The grounds of the application read in part, “That the Exparte order made on the 20th day of September 2017, by this Honourable Court was made without jurisdiction, as the order was granted against an entity unknown to law.
“That there are a clear suppression and misrepresentation of facts in the Attorney General Affidavit evidence, pursuance to which the Order was granted.
“That the Order is unconstitutional, as it was made in clear violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right of the Indigenous People of Biafra to self-determination; Article 20(1) of the Africa Charter on Human & Peoples Rights, now domesticated into our Law under (Ratification and Enforcement Act) (Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990; Right to fair hearing, Right to freedom of expression, and the press and Rights to Peaceful Assembly and Association; clearly provided for under Sections 36, 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (Amended) 2011.
“That a declaratory order cannot be made pursuant to an Exparte Application, without hearing from the party against whom the order was made.
“The Indigenous People of Biafra who are majorly of Igbo extraction, have no history of violence in the exercise of their right to self-determination.  (Punch)

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JUST IN: IPOB Raises Alarm Over Plot To Incriminate Group By Security Forces |RN

MilitaryinSE-SS

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has raised alarm via their press release claiming that the Nigerian security forces intend to carry out criminal activities and blame it on the group, in order to frame them as truly a terrorist organisation.

Allegedly, the federal government has big task and problem to prove to the international community that IPOB is indeed a terrorist group, which its flimsy court decision has failed to do so far even within Nigeria.

So, IPOB claims that there is a plot by Nigerian security forces to manufacture evidence by carrying out gross criminal activities within South East and blame them on IPOB members. And they would use it as an excuse to carrying out widespread attacks and killings in the disguise that they are fighting terrorists.

Here is the press briefing:
IPOB press release
Date: 22/09/3017
We the family of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) worldwide under the command and leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wish to urgently draw the attention of the civilised world to the dastardly plot being perfected by the APC Hausa-Fulani led Islamic government of Nigeria against peaceful unarmed members of IPOB residing in Biafra land in the next few weeks.
IPOB Intelligence Unit have uncovered elaborate plans by the Islamic APC government of Buhari to incriminate IPOB members in order to justify their controversial and unpopular proscription of IPOB with the attending laughable tag of the terrorist organisation against a world recognised peaceful movement.
This Islamic Hausa-Fulani controlled and dominated security apparatus in Nigeria led by Muhammadu Buhari have resolved to commence another round of their periodic genocidal massacre of innocent civilians across South East and South South within the next few weeks under the cover that IPOB is a terrorist organisation.
They have concluded in their sadistic minds to kill as many people as possible.
They want to spread terror, intimidation and instil fear in the minds of those that will survive this massacre and cause our people to renounce or abandon their legitimate quest for freedom.
The plan is to bring the people of old Eastern Region to submission before 2019 presidential elections.
In the meeting where they concluded this devilish line of action, they boasted that they have succeeded in bringing some South East and South South politicians, especially South East governors under their control, what was left for them to complete the conquest and subjugation of entire Biafraland are the youths.
Tagging IPOB a terrorist organisation and having such authenticated by a court of law was the first crucial step towards setting the stage for the impending genocide.
The wholesale massacre is scheduled to begin in precisely three weeks time.
The military, police and the DSS exclusively staffed by Hausa-Fulani Islamic extremists would carry out murderous simultaneous raids across South East and parts of South-South to eliminate tens of hundreds of young men under the guise of hunting for IPOB sympathisers.
They assumed that having successfully bought over the conscience of South East governors to join them in their genocidal plot with promises of second tenure in office, they can proceed to execute their plan with nobody standing in their way.
To justify and make this genocidal act against the people look real, the Nigerian Army will take condemned criminals from prisons, dress them in military uniforms, then execute them during an unprovoked attack to make it seem that IPOB killed Nigerian soldiers.
They will then call a world press conference to show the media corpses of ‘solders’ killed by IPOB in order to justify their decision to tag IPOB a terrorist group and hopefully dent the standing of IPOB in the eyes of lovers of freedom all over the world.
This evil plan will also involve burning down some police stations in the Eastern Region with the claim that it was done by IPOB sympathisers loyal to the leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
It is presently clear that a special squad has been trained to spearhead and carry this plot to the letter.
The plan is to trigger an ethnoreligious crisis of immense proportion as a prelude to unleashing what they termed the final solution to the Igbo question in Nigeria.
South East governors who till date could not defend their states against wave after wave of Fulani herdsmen murderous invasion have gladly volunteered, in exchange for a second term in office, to collaborate with Arewa North to inflict another genocide on the people of Biafra.
South-South is not left out of this plot because the plan also is to instigate crisis of confidence so that South East and South South can never come together to forge a common position.
After all the only resource that sustains the economy of Nigeria, crude oil and gas, are found only in South East and South South both of which make up Biafraland.
So dividing them makes it easier for Arewa North and their co-conspirators to continue the ruthless exploitation and subjugation of Biafrans.
In the pursuit of this divide and conquer agenda, there is a plan to appoint a person from “South-South” into “a powerful” office in the Federal government either into the office of Chief of Defense Staff or Secretary to the Government of Federation.
This individual will be given the responsibility of ensuring that the people of South-South do not rise in opposition when the massacre of Igbos gets underway.
The idea is to highlight, magnify and amplify perceived differences between South East and South South by Hausa-Fulani controlled North as they did during the war and with abandoned property afterwards.
Further, it would make the unsuspecting “South Southerners” think that they have to save their brother’s appointment by dissociating themselves from the Biafra restoration project.
Furthermore, to seal this well-orchestrated evil plot, the Arewa North will soon appoint a Yoruba to replace the present Inspector General of Police to give the impression that the fight against Biafrans in general and Igbo, in particular, was being spearheaded by the South West and the South-South in collaboration with the North.
Needless to say that these plans will never work because there are more than enough men and women of good conscience in South-South and South West to allow such ploy to take hold.
This divide and conquer of Biafraland effectively deployed in the past, that handed Nigeria over to core Arewa North as their estate will not be allowed to repeat itself because we are IPOB and God Almighty Creator is always on our side.
The world is put on notice that should this impending genocide commence, South East governors, Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders Forum, the Presidency and entire Islamic Core North should be held responsible because IPOB is not and can never be a terrorist organisation.
We do not kill, we abhor lawlessness and till date, nobody can point to a breakdown of law and order incident attributable to IPOB activities.
We are too civilised a people, from time immemorial, to want to dabble into the primitive destruction of lives and properties.
That is the exclusive preserve of the Arewa North, not IPOB.
All we are asking for is a referendum so that our people can decide if they want to be free in Biafra or remain as slaves in Nigeria.
COMRADE EMMA POWERFUL

MEDIA AND PUBLICITY SECRETARY FOR IPOB.

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