The former Spokesperson to former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Reno Omokri has reacted to the tweet made by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday.
According to Reno Omokri, President Muhammadu Buhari is pampering herdsmen, bandits while he is threatening the Southeast with civil war 2. Here is what he said,
“Exactly a month ago, General @MBuhari was “appealing” to herdsmen and bandits to stop their acts of terror. A month later, another Buhari is threatening the Southeast with Nigerian Civil War 2. How can one man have strikingly different reactions to similar events” he said.
Other Nigerians reacted to Buhari’s threat of war to Southeast in reply to his tweet
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has warned that traders who comply with the Monday’s sit-at-home order should be ready to forfeit their shops.
He also charged those who have no weapon for self-defence to get cutlasses for the purpose.
Umahi issued the warning in a state-wide broadcast on Saturday in Abakaliki to mark the sixth anniversary of his administration.
He was reacting to the order by the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) to the people of South-East zone.
The governor directed that all markets in the state should open for business on Monday.
He said: “There should be free movement of people in the state on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and other days of the year.
“People should go to church on Sunday to pray for the nation’s fallen security agents, civilians and peace and unity of the state and country.
“I challenge the youths, local government area chairman, security agents, Ebebeagu security outfit, among others, to ensure that no one is molested in the state.
“Anyone who has nothing to protect himself should do so with cutlass, which should be for protection and not for attack.”
He said that all forms of procession had been banned in the state except those by youths organised by council chairmen.
“I have been notified about such processions and they are being used to profile our people for empowerment.
“I charge the Ebubeagu security outfit, which is backed by the state laws, to ensure that the people are protected,” Umahi said.
He said the state could not go into “second slavery under any guise”, pointing out that “the secession the people need is massive economic development.
“There will be movement in other parts of the country, if there is none in the South-East so people should therefore ignore such order.
“Ebonyi people are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for all his assistance and if people do not see his goodness, he has been good to us,” he said.
He urged parents and relevant stakeholders to advise youths to toe the path of peaceful co-existence and not depend on the illusionary influences of hard drugs and fetish powers.
In a related development, the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr Mohammed Aliyu, also advised residents to disregard the IPOB order.
Aliyu gave the advice in a statement issued in Enugu by the command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, on Saturday.
According to Ndukwe, the commissioner appeals to residents to discountenance the order and go about their legitimate businesses without fear of intimidation.
“We are reassuring everybody about the command’s commitment to collaborate with other security agencies to sustain adequate public security and safety in the state, in line with the mandate of “Operation Restore Peace.”
Sit-at-home order: Imo government counters IPOB order as residents worry over bickering
by Chidiebube Okeoma, Raphael Ede and Edward Nnachi
Private and missionary schools have shut down in Imo State as a result of the sit-at-home ordered by the Indigenous People of Biafra on Monday, May 31, 2021, throughout the South-East region.
Residents of Owerri also resorted to panic buying on Thursday in order to prepare for the possible fallout of the order.
While some schools were shut down till Tuesday next week, others gave their pupils one week rest at home.
The schools asked the students to stay at home for the period to avoid any casualty.
For instance, a message from schools run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri asked parents to keep their children at home from Thursday, May 27, to Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
The message from the Directorate of Education, Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, read, “Leveraging on the already scheduled public holiday for tomorrow, we have considered it expedient to allow the students/pupils enjoy a longer weekend to resume on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
“Boarding students should not be forced to go home. Those who wish to stay back in school should be taken care of.”
Residents storm various markets to buy foodstuffs in readiness for the sit-at-home.
At Eke Onunwa and the Relief Market, there was an unusual rush by buyers at various foodstuffs stands.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, asked the people to ignore the separatist group’s sit-at-home order.
He said that the state government had the capacity to enforce law and order during and after the period.
IPOB had said human and vehicular movement would be restricted across the South-East on Monday to mark the anniversary of the Biafra 54 years ago.
As a result, it said all markets, parks, schools, airports and others would be shut down.
The group’s Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, stated this in a statement on Thursday.
The statement read in part, “We, the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, ably led by the prophet of our time, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, wish to announce once again that this year’s annual Biafra Remembrance Day and candle light procession will take place on Sunday night, 30th of May, while a sit-at-home and total lockdown takes place on Monday, 31st of May, 2021, and not May 30 as earlier announced.
“The adjustment is to enable churches to hold their normal services on Sunday, May 30, without any obstruction. But there will be no human or vehicular movement throughout Biafra land on Monday May 31.
“Every person in Biafra land is therefore, advised to observe a sit-at-home order on Monday, May 31, 2021. That day is a sacred day in Biafra land in honour of the over five million Biafrans massacred by the wicked Nigeria forces during the civil war.
“There will be a total lockdown all through Biafra land on that day as we remember all our fallen heroes and heroines, including agitators, who have paid the supreme price in the course of our struggle for independence since 1967 till date.
“All markets, filling stations, motor parks, airports, seaports, banks, schools, etc as well as social activities in Biafra land are to be shut down on that day. Everyone is to remain indoors in Biafra land from 6am to 6pm on that day. People are to stock their houses with food items before that day so they won’t have need to shop on that day.”
Similarly, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra declared Sunday, May 30, 2021, a special day of prayers for Biafra restoration.
It said that this year’s Biafra Day celebration would be unique and special because it fell on a Sunday.
A statement on Thursday by National Leader of MASSOB, Uchenna Madu, directed all churches in Biafra land to observe special prayers and supplication for the repose of the souls of fallen Biafra heroes, including those killed by Nigerian security agents, Boko Haram and herdsmen. (PUNCH)
As the Biafran heroes and heroines day draws near in the midst of unfounded oppositions from the South East governors, the Ohanaeze Youths Council has joined to demands that the governors make 30th May a public holiday in the region.
Many proponents of Biafran heroes and heroines day have expressed that there is nothing wrong in observing a day in memory of their fallen heroes and heroines and making such a public holiday is a great idea for honouring their souls.
Their press statement is below.
OWERRI DECLARATION 29th MAY, 2021…
The National leadership of Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, under Comrade Igboayaka O Igboayaka, after an analysis of the incidents that led to the conceptualization of the May 30th day commemoration have resolved that it is time to take a holistic step towards the economic development of Igboland.
In view of this, OYC, arrived at various resolutions viz:
-The leadership of OYC, is demanding that all the Igbo governors of Old Eastern Region should declare every 30th May public holiday.
-That May 30th should not only be seen as a day we should literarily observe the “sit-at-home order”, rather in honour of Biafran fallen heroes who died during the Nigeria/ Britain genocide against Eastern Nigeria people, it should also be a day set aside to have creative discussions and lecture sessions to continuously design possible ways for economic development of Igbo land and Political Survival of Umuigbo
That Ohanaeze Youth Coucil, is hereby calling on governors of Old Eastern Region to adopt the May 30th as a special Commemoration day for Biafrans Past Heroes.
The Council is also calling on Senators, House of Representatives members of Old Eastern extraction as well as the state Houses of Assembly to join in the movement to institutionalize May 30th as a mourning day and a meeting point to discuss how the survival of the genocide against Easterners will make a genuine living.
We, the Ohanaeze Youth Council-Oyc knowing that Ndigbo was the major target of the 1967-70 Nigeria/ Britain led genocide, therefore Ndigbo should be at forefront of 30the May Remembrance of Igbo Fallen Heroes.
The Council knowing that Ndigbo are the largest African Race with the total population strength of 42.8% of the Nigeria population therefore, accept and adopt the 30th day of May, as Commemoration Day of Biafran Heroes
That May 30th day commemoration should create room for a meeting point for all Igbos both home and abroad to discuss fundamental issues for a wider economic empowerment of Igbo Youths.
The Council is using this opportunity to call on the Igbo technocrats outside Igboland to use May 30th, to locate home and offer their professional services to the socio-political and economic development of Igboland and to identify the bane of Southeast development with a view to ending the plethora of challenges facing our people.
The Council advice the Pro Biafran groups, Massob, Ipob, Zonist, Biafra National Council, Eastern People Congress, Movement of Biafra In Nigeria, Biafra National League to work with political actors of Igbo extraction, governors, senators and Others to make 30th May Heroes Day naturally accepted by Eastern people like how the Yoruba’s institutionalized June 12.
The Council advise governors of Igbo extraction and pro-Biafran groups to shun any threatening comments and action that could lead to tension in the states of Igbo extraction. It’s regrettable on the kind of tension existing in some states, this is as a result of unguided statement of Governors and some pro-Biafra groups.
To quench this regular tension in Igbo land in every 30th May, the Igbo political leaders, Religion leaders, traditional leaders and Pro-Biafran leaders must work in signage and ensure that 30th May become a memorable day of ” Intellectual Discussion in honor of Biafran Fallen Heroes and a day of economic cum Socio-political planning for the survival of Ndigbo in this Contraption called Nigeria.
Signed… Comrade Igboayaka .O. Igboayaka National President, OYC.
Nigeria’s Igbo community have a reputation for being highly successful businessmen – partly thanks to a community-run apprentice scheme that emerged from the ruins of war, writes the BBC’s Chiagozie Nwonwu in Lagos.
A smiling Onyeka Orie, 28, looks the picture of happiness in his mobile phone accessories shop at the sprawling Computer Village in Nigeria’s main city, Lagos.
The shop and everything in it had been given to him by his former boss after Mr Orie worked for him without payment for several years, learning the trade.
“I served my oga [boss] for eight years. My oga gave me this shop. I had been managing the shop for four years before he gave it to me. I didn’t expect it,” an excited Mr Orie says.
Born to farmers in south-eastern Nigeria, he said he had little chance of breaking out of poverty because his family could not afford to give him the education he needed to get a good job in a country where unemployment is rife, even among those with a university degree.
So after secondary school he joined the trail of other young Igbo men to learn a trade under the apprentice system known as “Igba Boi” – a practice where young people, mainly boys, leave their family to live with successful businessmen.
The boys are expected to “serve” their boss, doing everything for him – including washing his cars and running his domestic errands. In exchange, the boys pick up life skills and are taught how to run a business. They are also given food and somewhere to live.
At the end of an agreed period, their boss gives them capital to set up their own business.
The Igbo apprenticeship system has roots in Nigeria’s post-civil-war years, says Ndubisi Ekekwe, a Nigerian professor whose article on the apprentice scheme is set to appear in the Harvard Business Review later this month.
The Igbos, emerging from defeat following the 1967-70 civil war, managed to recover a significant portion of their pre-war economic status within just two years.
This was despite the Nigerian government confiscating bank accounts belonging to many Igbos. It then gave them just £20 ($28) to start anew, while others saw their property seized by neighbours in some parts of the country.
Remembering the war that many prefer to forget
The Peoples Club, a popular social club formed in the town of Aba in 1971, is also credited for kick-starting the Igbo apprenticeship scheme.
The ethos of the club, the Igbo philosophy of “onye a hana nwanne ya” (don’t leave your brother behind) is seen as a guiding principle of the scheme.
“The Peoples Club was a social-cum-economic movement…[that] designed an economic template of how the Igbo could move out of the ruins of the war and began a new movement of survival,” says Benedict Okoro, founder of the Odinala Cultural Heritage Foundation. “That is the genesis of the Igba Boi in Igbo cosmology.”
The apprentice system is mostly aimed at boys and young men as families are generally unwilling to let their daughters live with a businessman for the five years or so it takes to learn a trade.
Women instead usually learn at established businesses where they pay to be taught for six months to one year, while still living at home.
‘I got nothing after seven years’ Prominent Nigerian businessmen such as auto tycoons Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Motors and Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis Group are among the products of the scheme.
In a 2019 interview with BBC Igbo, Mr Maduka said that the 200 naira ($0.70; £0.50) given to him by his boss at the end of his apprenticeship in 1976 had laid the foundation for his multimillion-naira business empire.
The success of the scheme is also visible in eastern cities such as Onitsha, Aba and Nnewi where sprawling markets attract traders from across West Africa.
But the system is not without its critics, as it relies on the goodwill of the employer to look after the apprentice at the end of their service.
Ndubuisi Ilo, who now runs a successful auto parts shop in Ladipo, Lagos, says he was given nothing after serving his boss for seven years.
“My boss called me one day and told me that he can’t afford to settle [pay] me. He prayed for me and asked me to start hustling for myself. It was very difficult at first and I even had to sleep in cars, but now I look back and smile,” he says.
Nevertheless, he does not consider his apprenticeship a waste of time, as he used the knowledge he gained to start trading.
“Some businessmen don’t want to keep to the agreement because of the amount of money involved in setting up a business for an apprentice that has completed his time.
“Some of them accuse the apprentices of theft or something else and terminate the agreement,” Mr Ilo says.
Igba Boi agreements are usually verbal and when a businessman reneges on them, apprentices have few options for redress.
Strong kinship bonds exists among Igbo people and some disagreements are resolved at village meetings such as this one Since many of the businessmen are relatives, the extended family usually tries to mediate in any disputes and when they fail, the ancestral village of one or both parties steps in and try to resolve the matter.
Sometimes issues are amicably resolved, at other times they are not, leaving the apprentice to fend for himself after years of free labour.
‘An example for Africa’ Mr Okoro’s foundation is looking to institutionalise the Igba Boi scheme to minimise the risk of people defaulting on agreements.
“An institutionalised system would have backing of the law and won’t just be something between the traders and the apprentice and his family,” he says. “The apprentice will even get a certificate after his apprenticeship.”
Mr Ekweke notes that helping potential business rivals goes against traditional capitalist thinking but it goes to the heart of this system, which generally seems to work well for all concerned.
“[Economist] Adam Smith believes that success in business entails ensuring driving out your competitors, but this system is hinged on bringing more people into the business,” he says.
In the forthcoming issue of the Harvard Business Review he says he wants “to present the Igbo Apprenticeship System [IAS] as a thesis for the world as the conversation continues on stakeholder capitalism, not just shareholder capitalism”.
On his website, he suggests that it should be used across Africa. “Put the IAS in Economics textbook in Nigeria!”
‘Better than a university degree’ Current unemployment data in Nigeria paints a dire picture – 33% of those looking for work cannot find any. Many of them are university graduates.
Mr Orie says his financial situation is better than many of his peers who went on to acquire a university education.
He has also started thinking of getting a young man from the village to learn the trade under him, an act that is at the heart of the system.
Many of his peers are now hiring sales assistants to run their shops, rather than using the Igba Boi system.
However Mr Ilo says the future of the system that produced him and millions of other businessmen is safe.
“As long as there are markets and Igbo traders, there will be apprentices,” he says. (Source: BBC)
■Shehu Sani, former senator representing Kaduna central, says the Igbo have been systematically marginalised since the civil war.
Speaking in Kaduna at a meeting organised by the Association of Eze-Ndigbo in Diaspora on Saturday, Sani described the marginalisation as a “collective punishment”.
The civil war took place between 1967 and 1970.
The former senator said the injustice faced by the Igbo affects them in terms of how they are represented in politics.
“There has been a systemic exclusion and marginalisation of your people, stemming from the historical Biafra war — this is a collective punishment,” he said.
While recalling how Faruq Altine, a Fulani man, was elected a mayor in the south-east shortly before the beginning of the war, Sani said the Igbo have proven themselves to be patriotic Nigerians.
“That act alone (appointment of a Fulani man as mayor) sends a message to Nigeria that whatever happens subsequently is not the fault of Igbos,” he said.
“Today, Igbos are being seen as unNigerian, unpatriotic, forgetting the feat Altine achieved in the region.
“Most of those who want to divide this country aren’t picking their reasons from the sky. They are building their reasons on injustice and inequity meted to them. The only way to defeat a secessionist who doesn’t believe in one Nigeria is by giving justice to them.
“Each time we have a government, they give juicy positions to other tribes, excluding the Igbos. When you exclude an Igbo man from appointment, you are proving those who don’t believe in one Nigeria right.
“Since the end of the civil war, Igbo have been distrusted and regarded as unfaithful and unpatriotic Nigerians. The violence going on in the country is capable of thwarting the stability and peace of the country.”
The former lawmaker added that rotation of power in 2023 is what can guarantee peace.
“There can’t be peace and stability when positions in government become hereditary,” Sani said.
“As we move towards 2023, rotation of power is key to peace and unity.” (SaharaReporters)
Briefing Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs (Reinhardt) to Secretary of State Kissinger
Washington, August 18, 1975
Nigeria After the Coup of July 28
This memorandum is presented in response to your request of August 14. It is concerned with the nature of the new government, its prospects, and continuing American interests.
The New Leadership
The leader of the coup against General Yakubu Gowon is an erratic, vainglorious, impetuous, corrupt, vindictive, intelligent, articulate, daring Hausa. Brigadier Murtala Muhammed was a prime force in the Nigerian coup of July, 1966, which brought Gowon to power, and is one of the two principal plotters against Gowon for the past two years. He commanded a division during the Nigerian civil war, was involved in the only documented cases of genocide, won one important battle, and thereafter coasted for upwards of two years until Gowon finally removed him from command and placed him in charge of Army signals, a position which he held until last month, though he combined his military role with the civilian position of Commissioner (Minister) of Communications from July, 1973, until the coup.
Muhammed inherits from Gowon vast petroleum resources (potentially 3–3.5 million BPD, based on known reserves), considerable but neglected agricultural wealth, tremendous but untapped natural gas reserves, other minerals (coal, tin, columbite, uranium), by African standards an excellently trained civil service, and the dubious asset of eighty million people.
To match his assets, Muhammed also inherits—and has contributed to—a tradition of corrupt civilian and military officials, urban problems second only to those of Calcutta, drift and inepitude in development, insoluble but containable ethnic problems, and a national temperament which combines pride, aggressiveness, arrogance and patriotism into a brand of xenophobia best labeled Nigerianism.
Prospects for Survival
Almost six years after the civil war, Muhammed is probably ushering in a period of coups. As a corrupt Hausa, he automatically attracts Ibo and Yoruba enmity, which he knows and has attempted to reduce by early appointments. As a Northerner and a Muslem, he will be expected to consolidate once and for all the leadership role which his fifty million brothers are certain is theirs. Muhammed will agree, of course, but will seem to the Hausas to vacillate as he sings “One Nigeria.”
While there is no reason to believe that he can approach Gowon’s success in accommodating ethnic rivalries, there is also no reason to think that he will be any more successful in rapidly developing the country, and rapidity is the great need if he is to avoid Gowon’s political problems stemming from stymied development. Money is obviously plentiful, but absorptive capacity is low (corruption, unrealistic planning, confused priorities, and a demonstrated reluctance to turn to the outside).
Finally, Muhammed and his co-plotter and now deputy, Brigadier Olusegun Obasanjo, are the most militant of Nigerian military leaders on the Southern African question. Gowon and his principal lieutenants burned with the rage of all Africans when considering this issue, but they were realistic. Muhammed and Obasanjo are advocates of a NATO-type military command within the OAU having the avowed objective of strengthening liberation movements. More responsibility may bring more realism. On the other hand, formidable ethnic and developmental problems could convince the new leadership that they should deal repressively with the domestic scene while joining militant [Page 3]Arabs and Africans in organizing a Pan African jihad for liberation. (A large Libyan delegation visited Lagos last week.) Muhammed and Obasanjo are unlikely to bring any more inspiration to this enterprise than Nkrumah and Amin. At any rate they do not enhance their prospects for survival by any launchings on this uncharted course. Yorubas and Ibos, at least, will be disinclined to travel with them.
Nature of American Interests
An early but undocumented and probably inaccurate assessment is that certainly Muhammed and perhaps Obasanjo are anti-American. I believe that this initial reaction is based on no more than an unfortunate U.S. visa restriction entered in Muhammed’s passport and Obasanjo’s impulsive move to evict our Embassy from prime Lagos property. Nigerian leadership is far more pro-Nigerian than anti-any cause or country, which is the essence of Nigerianism.
Still, we can probably do little or no political business with the new regime, which of course does not distinguish it from the old. We are simply too far apart on the political issues which they exalt, mainly Southern Africa and the whole range of UN controversies. (The Communist countries have no better political opportunities, unless they foment and become involved in the jihad scheme, which I believe to be as imprudent for them as for us.)
It is in the economic-commercial area that the USG will have greatest opportunities. Even in this area it is the private sector, motivated by the USG, which is in the best position to advance our interests. And it is in this area that Muhammed has demonstrated some responsiveness.
When the corrupt Muhammed succeeded the more corrupt J. S. Tarka as Commissioner of Communications, he immediately perceived that at least the telephones must operate properly if his fate were to be any different from Tarka’s. American businessmen, in extended conversations with me, described Muhammed as being un-Nigerian in his acceptance of their proposals. Specifically GTE and ITT were close to multi-million dollar contracts when [Page 4]Muhammed turned from communications to plotting. (These deals have all the earmarks of Ashland and Mobil Oil arrangements, which is another problem. The point is that they are deals in a country where Americans have not enjoyed much success outside the petroleum sector.)
Muhammed is intelligent enough to realize that he cannot survive unless he can convert oil revenues into tangible development. Among his considerable faults is not Idi Arminian stupidity. His questionable maneuverings as Commissioner reveal a respect for American technology and a realization that capital markets do not begin and end in London. (British and Canadian communications interests have absorbed Nigerian revenues for years without producing a workable system. Other fields point up similar examples, as USG policy has deferred to a British sphere of influence.)
What we badly need, to put it bluntly, is focused American investment and economic penetration of Nigeria. The planes between New York and Lagos are filled with American businessmen, most of whom return frustrated because their proposals are a part of no plan other than their own. Our AID program, even when it received substantial appropriations, demonstrated the same shortcoming.
It ought not be beyond USG ingenuity to organize appropriate sectors of American private industry to spend Nigerian money to gain perceptible development in response to Nigeria’s economic and Muhammed’s political (survival) needs. Emphasis is on the U.S. private sector: (1) USG foreign assistance funds cannot be appropriated and are not needed; (2) USG political closeness to the Muhammed regime is probably unobtainable and undesirable.
1. Determine critical Nigerian development areas in which American private industry can make unique and mutually advantageous contributions. Organize a high level economic-commercial mission with demonstrated technological skills in these areas, and send this mission to Nigeria, after proper advance preparations here and there.
2. Avoid even semblances of close political ties to the incumbent Nigerian leadership, until and unless it proves more durable than now seems likely.
3. Gradually phase small AID mission into Embassy Economic Section, which should be staffed with carefully selected State/AID personnel competent to foster and continue objective of Recommendation 1.
4. Maintain discreet, friendly State ties with Gowon, though avoiding commitments. After another coup or two, probably bloody, Gowon may seem more and more to be the indispensable military leader, or at least the only acceptable one.
Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 202, Geopolitical Files, Nigeria, January-August 75. Secret. Drafted by Reinhardt without clearances↩
Reinhardt evaluated Nigeria’s new leader, Murtala Muhammed, following a July 28 coup. He recommended avoiding close ties to the new regime but sending an economic/commercial mission to Nigeria.↩