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2023: Tinubu Will Regret Alliance With The North, Touched On Vast Nigerian Political Issues —Fani-Kayode

The Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode in this explosive interview with The Nigerian Express touched on very touchy past, present and future political issues in Nigeria.

He discussed about Buhari, Tinubu, Osinbajo, Awolowo, Obasanjo, Jonathan, IPOB, Biafra-Nigerian civil war, the North, The South and more.

Below is the interview.

Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister is a lawyer, essayist, poet and a political activist. He spoke to AKANI ALAKA on the contemporary political developments in Nigeria, relations among the ethnic groups in the country, the civil war, agitations for self-determination, the need to restructure the country, as well as the jostling for the 2023 presidency among politicians from the South, among other issues.

QUESTION: Just recently, Nigeria celebrated its 59 Independence anniversary. You also celebrated your 59th birthday some days ago. As an historian and somebody whose father also played a significant role in ensuring that Nigeria became an independent nation, would you say the country’s founding fathers will be proud of the position the country is in now 59 years after?

ANSWER: I think we ought to have gone much farther than we have gone. And if I am to be frank, I will tell you that those that fought for Independence of Nigeria, including my father and many generations before them, will not be too pleased with the situation we are in today.

We were meant to have gone much further, become much stronger, much more united. We were meant to be the greatest asset of the Black man on planet Earth. But we have failed in all these respects. And consequently, I will have to say that I am rather disappointed.

We are like a giant that has shrunk into the position of a dwarf. We have been dwarfed in many ways – even by countries that are far smaller, with less potential than us, even in the African continent. And that’s not good enough. And I think it all boils down to one thing – the fact that we have had leadership that has not been the best for much of the past 59 years.

And of course, the other part of the problem is that we have not been able to answer the fundamental questions like, for example, the national question and the outstanding issues concerning the Nigerian civil war and so many other things.

And I think this is why our development has been stagnated and in many ways, has become retrogressive.

QUESTION: You talked about the national question – what is that national question and do you think there have been sincere efforts to address it?

ANSWER: I don’t even think most political leaders or politicians in Nigeria even know what the national question is. And that is really, really worrying because as long as you don’t answer that national question or address that issue, we will continue to go round in circles.

Of course, it starts with one fundamental question, which was asked in 1947 by the great Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his book, The Path To Nigerian Freedom. And the question was simply this – “Is Nigeria really a nation?” He (Awolowo) concluded by saying, No, that it’s a geographical expression.

He added that there is as much difference as between a German and a Turk as there is between a Fulani man and an Igbo man and everybody ought to be able to develop at his or her pace within his or her own region or zone. That was essentially Awolowo’s contention in 1947. And many decades later, I still think he was right.

We pretend to be one nation, we tell ourselves that we are one, but deep down, we know how much we resent one another for various reasons. We continue to act as if this is a marriage that is eternal, even though we don’t want it. That’s the reality of Nigeria’s situation today.

Most politicians will not say this to you because they are interested in getting votes from all over the country and so, they prostitute their principles and compromise on so many issues. But the new type of politicians that I think will deliver this country will not think like that. I don’t think like that.

I will rather tread the path of truth and justice than to say things that are politically correct in order to gain favour with Northerners or anybody from any other part of the country.

The path of truth is the path that will deliver this country into the light of God and the greatness that she deserves and we must not shy away from treading that path. We are not a nation; we are a union of ethnic nationalities that are yet to resolve our fundamental differences and fundamental issues.

The questions that were raised before the Nigerian civil war and in the course of that war are still being raised today. And my prayer is that it does not take another war or civil conflict in this country for us to resolve those issues.

We can resolve them in amicable and peaceful way, so that everybody will feel equal before God and everybody will feel they have equal opportunity to aspire and to excel in this country as citizens and not that we have some that are born to rule and some that are destined to serve.

QUESTION: How can we, as a country resolve this question – because some like the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, want every tribe in the country to go their separate ways as independent entities while others think restructuring of the polity will give every Nigerian a sense of belonging. On which side of the divide are you?

ANSWER: The battle for restructuring is dead and buried. Restructuring is not discussed in the National Assembly. It’s not discussed even in the main political parties. As long as they are concerned, restructuring is a dirty word.

To me, it is a way out of the mess that we have put ourselves in. But to most politically correct politicians, who are mostly insincere and cowardly, they won’t even talk about it. The leadership of the two main political parties – the PDP and APC – will not talk about it as a matter of policy and neither will most of the small political parties.

But this is something so obvious, that ought to have been done long ago, not now. And the problem now is that it may well be too late for that. The sentiment is so strong now for ethnic nationalism – it is happening all over the world. Look at what is happening in Germany, in the US with Trump, in the UK with Brexit, the right wing political parties in Europe like in Holland and Germany.

The rise of ethnic nationalism is going on all over the world and Nigeria cannot be isolated from that. In this country, we have major ethnic nationalities that see themselves as members of that nationality before seeing themselves as Nigerians.

There is nothing wrong with that. It’s the perfectly natural order of things and that is the conflict we have in Nigeria. This globalized hybrid state, that we must all become one, to my mind, is not natural. Yes, we can become one if we share common values, common vision, a common understanding about how life should be and common worldview.

But if we don’t have that, and if one believes that he is king and the others are slaves and must be slaves forever, then, on what basis can we continue to stay together? And why should we remain together, just because a rather misguided man in 1914 by the name of Lord Lugard, with his wife, decided that we should be together? I resent and reject that.

I am a proud Omo Kaaro o o jiire, I refused to use the word Yoruba. I am a proud son of Oduduwa and I believe proudly and passionately in the rights of the people of the South-west to self-determination, if that’s what they choose to do. I believe that the people of the East, the Igbo, have that right as well, if that’s what they choose to do.

And I believe in the power of referendum, self-determination and I think it is absolutely wrong for anybody to say I don’t have a right to exercise that right, provided I do it in a peaceful, logical and rational way.

QUESTION: Are you calling for the dissolution of Nigeria as a country then, because that is what this right to self-determination will amount to…

ANSWER: I’m calling for the self determination of any ethnic nationality that chooses to be self-determined based on referendum. This happens all over the world, international law backs it and it’s something that should be done, provided it’s what the people want and it is done peacefully. And that’s my view.

Even if I don’t believe in it, I don’t think it will be right for me to impose my will on others and deny them the right to believe in self-determination or the right to referendum to decide whether or not we should remain as one.

The UK that brought us together and declared our marriage one – between the poor husband of the North and the rich wife of the South – and said that we must remain one forever is doing that today.

They are brexit-ing, based on referendum, from Europe, and they are also doing it internally within the United Kingdom. Scotland had a referendum recently. They narrowly agreed to stay in the United Kingdom. If they hold another referendum in the next few years, definitely, Scotland is leaving United Kingdom.

All the polls suggest that, and they will be allowed to leave. It is on that basis of expression of freewill that you can say you will create and establish a nation. Now, if you don’t want that part to be taken by the people, the only way is to treat them with respect, love and apologise to them when you got it wrong. I will cite the case of the Igbo people and I have said it over and over again.

A situation where three million people -civilians- were killed during the civil war, the greatest act of genocide in the history of African continent -black on black, not white on black- because King Leopold ll killed 10 million Congolese.

But we killed three million Igbo -civilians, men, women and children- in a space of three years and we have not apologized for that. This is a crime against humanity. It is a war crime. And for that kind of thing, the Nigerian commanders in the field, the Nigerian Head of State at that time, all should be at ICC. But I haven’t called for that.

All I am saying is that, at least, we should have the decency to apologise and also apologise for the fact that between 30,000 and 100,000 of them were killed just before the civil war by mobs in the North. These are the fundamental issues.

Every country that has indulged in such barbarity in the past has apologised, including the Belgians. The only country that has refused to do so and has committed genocide is Turkey. And I don’t think we should be in the same bracket as Turkey.

They killed one million Christian Armenians and they haven’t acknowledged it. We don’t want to be in that category. Everybody else, including the Germans, what they did in the Second World War, 50 million people died, six million Jews gassed to death, they apologised.

Everybody at some time recognizes the power of apology, reconciliation and restitution but we haven’t done that. Instead, we are still killing Igbo people till today. Is that how a nation is built? And when they say they want to go because they are tired of being killed even now, we are still killing them.

It is unacceptable. Sadly, it is not just the Igbo now that are being killed; if you go to the Middle Belt, Niger Delta, the West, Mid-West you will find slaughter. All these slaughterings are being carried out by Fulani herdsmen and, of course, you have Boko Haram in the North-east. It is so bad that Fulani herdsmen are even killing the local Hausa in the North itself.

The ethnic group carrying out this havoc, seven per cent of the population, that’s what they are, and we will sit here and say we are one nation. We don’t have the right to retaliate, we don’t have the right to cry, we don’t have the right aspire to be leaders in this country because we are second class citizens, even, when we are the indigenous people of Nigeria.

And you are saying we must accept that? I will never do that. Unless they change and these things stop, Nigeria’s unity can never be something that will be accepted by all of us.

QUESTION: Some critics, especially from the North had always faulted the call for apology to the Igbo people over the civil war with the argument that the war was a reaction to the killings carried out in the first coup of 1966, led by officers who hailed mostly from the then Eastern region…

ANSWER: I am very conversant with the history; I am part of it. They came to my father’s house in January 1966; I was conversant with what they did. And my father was the only person that was taken away from home that night who was not killed. About 20 people -key leaders in the military and the government of that era- were killed.

My father only escaped by divine providence because the federal troops saved him at Dodan Barracks and I appreciate that. And I appreciate the pains that were caused that night because I felt the pains too. I will never forget it. I witnessed it. I saw it. And I suffered the consequences of that for many, many years because it traumatized me.

The killing of all those people was barbaric and unacceptable. I have said so. Definitely, the majority of the participants were Igbo, I am not disputing that. But the question that you have to first answer is did those Igbo officers conduct a referendum in the East before embarking on the coup? Did they do it on behalf of the Igbo people?

Because if you say you want to punish a whole ethnic nationality because of the action of a few people -barbaric action in terms of the slaughter. They killed 20 people. You now say you want to wipe out entire nationality, I think that’s an unacceptable behavior. The reaction is even more barbaric and quite unacceptable in my view.

QUESTION; The argument was that the killings took place during a war situation…

ANSWER: It was not a war, because there was a coup in January 1966, 20 leaders were killed from all over the country and only one leader was killed in the South-east. It was a tragedy. It was a wicked act. I accept that. But there was no war at the time, there was a coup, an attempted coup. The coup failed.

And what happened next? The Northerners now decided to do a counter coup. Again, there was no war. It was what they called a Northern revenge coup to avenge those that were killed in the first coup. And what did they do? Here is what they did.

They killed 300 Igbo officers in one night. They killed an Igbo Head of State – Ironsi. They killed a Yoruba Governor of the Western Region, Fajuyi and they killed a number of other people – all in one night. Now, look at it in numbers – 20 of yours were killed, you killed 300 of theirs, plus the Head of State and Yoruba Army officers six months later.

And there was no war declared. You didn’t stop there, but went a step further few months later and you slaughtered in the North -the official figure is 30,000, the real figure is close to 100,000- Igbo civilians who knew nothing about coup plotting, who did not participate in it, who are equally victims and were still mourning that their people were killed.

Those killings took place in few pogroms in a space of two months and again, no war had been declared at that time. But you didn’t stop there. When the Igbos said it’s enough, let’s go back to the East, as they were going back, you were killing them at train stations, firing bows and arrows at them.

And when they got to the East, they now said ‘look, if you want to wipe us all out, it is perfectly natural for us to say we want to leave’ and they now said they want to go. First, you agreed that they will go based on terms agreed to at Aburi, then, you now change your mind that even Aburi, which you have signed and agree on, you are not going to accept.

They must stay by force and the war started. And what did you do during the civil war? You killed three million Igbo civilians. The number of Biafran soldiers that were killed was not more than between 30,000 and 40,000. But you killed three million Biafran civilians. One million of them were starved to death with the policy of starvation that you put in place.

And you justified that policy before the world when you, Nigeria, said starvation is a legitimate weapon of war. Have you ever heard anything as inhuman as that? I know who said that. I don’t want to mention the man’s name.

Another government official, a minister in Gowon’s government, went to America and when Americans were crying that we were committing genocides against the Igbo people, he said ‘no, we are simply defending ourselves, we will starve them to death.’ The people that said these were politicians, civilian leaders, but military commanders executed that policy.

Then, at the end of the war, you said ‘no victor, no vanquished,’ but that was the biggest lie from the pit of hell. You gave them 20 pounds and then, you took all their properties.

It is only in the South-west that their properties were not taken and you turned them into not second, but third class citizens. And today, one of those who participated in that war and all those atrocities is now our President.

Now, we have killed many in the last four years. You killed many IPOB people. And now, they are saying they want to go and you are saying they have no right to go. Is that just or right?

QUESTION: The civil war was followed by a succession of military regimes and in 1999, Nigeria returned to democracy. How well would you say we have done as a democratic nation since 1999?

ANSWER: I don’t think we have a real democracy and I will tell you why. In a real democracy, political parties can be formed based on whatever criteria you choose. Anybody can literally get up and say, this is my party, register it, I’m going to run as an independent, as whatever in my local government area.

But here, INEC, which is essentially a tool for government of the day controls everything in terms of elections. And if you have a man who is the chairman of INEC working against you as the president, which is what happened in 2015. (Attahiru) Jega worked against Jonathan at that time.

I’m accusing him of that right in this interview. And I’m also saying that there was time he was asked to resign and the evidence was clear on why he has to …. but, in my view, very naively, (former President Goodluck) Jonathan decided to keep him there. If you can control the INEC and the chairman of INEC as an opposition party or if you can put your man there to run INEC as this government has done since 2015, then, you know you have no democracy.

Yes, they can let you win some states as they did in 2019, but they can rig you out wherever they like. If you control the courts and you can remove the Chief Justice of Nigeria just like that or you can raid the houses of judges at night with the DSS and you have, more or less, captured the judiciary and intimidated the judges, you don’t have a democracy and neither do you have rule of law.

If you can send DSS officers to the National Assembly to go and raid the place and lock out legislators because you cannot control the place as happened some months ago, then you don’t have a democracy. Today, the APC, by design, controls the National Assembly.

They control it because they control virtually all the elections and so, they returned as many people as possible through INEC – mostly unfairly. They control the elections tribunals, in my view.

They control the courts, in my view, and they control the media, in my view, because this kind of interview, I will be surprised if you publish what I am saying. You may publish it online, but if you publish it in your paper, you may get into trouble.

They control the television. If you go there and you say anything against them that is strong, factual, the NBC will come down on the television station. And you called that democracy? It is tyranny. It’s a dictatorship. And everything that I, FFK, said in 2015 during the course of the election that would happen if Buhari became the President has happened.

And everybody that insulted me then, laughed at me then, and said I was talking rubbish, even from within the PDP itself, are now being prosecuted. All of them are now calling to say I was right.

And everybody that stood with them (APC) then, including Atiku, Obasanjo, Kwankwaso, Tambuwal, Dino Melaye, Saraki has come back now. And now, they are all victims of this monster that they helped to create in 2015.

Now, we fought them in 2015 and we are still fighting them up till today. And until the end of time, we will continue to fight them, not as individuals, because I have nothing against anybody personally. If anything, I have more friends in APC than in PDP.

That’s the truth. But in terms of ideology, politics and what I think is best for my country, I see them as immortal enemies; I see them as nothing but darkness. And I see those that seek to liberate this country from their shackles as the light and the vessels and the tools of God to fight that darkness. That’s my position.

So, if you asked me that do I believe that we have a democracy? My answer is, no. They have corrupted it, they have abused it and I knew this was going to happen. And let me tell you that it is going to get worse.

QUESTION: What has APC done to our democracy since they took power in 2015 that made you to arrive at this conclusion?

Since 2015, what have they done? First, they introduced religion and ethnicity into government. Every security agency in this country – whether the military, the one that have to do with external or internal security – 17 agencies in all – they are all in the hands of Northern Muslims, except for one, which is the Navy.

And that’s unacceptable in a multi-religious, multi-cultural society. A situation where the whole of the judiciary from the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal, the Federal High Court has just changed now – but the three tiers of the judiciary were being headed by Northern Muslims.

It is just now that we have only one being headed by Northern Christian, that’s the Federal High Court. A situation whereby in the National Assembly, the Senate is headed by a Northern Muslim, House of Representatives headed by a Southern Muslim – Femi Gbajabiamila, he is a good friend of mine, I have known him for over 40 years – but he is a Muslim as well. So, you have Muslims heading both wings of the National Assembly.

And you know what they have done with Femi Gbajabiamila? They have surrounded him with Muslims – his deputy is also a Muslim and the four principal officers around him are also Muslims. So, what is there for us in that place?

In the executive, apart from the security agencies, look at all the key appointments – nine times out of 10, they go Northern Muslims. Go to the Villa today – the official language is Hausa, 90 per cent of the people that are working in the Villa are Northern Muslims.

Look at the appointment of chief executives for the key agencies – they were Northern Muslims, look at the ministerial appointments in terms of substance – the North-west where the President comes from, the Hausa-Fulani catchment area, you have 10 substantive ministries, those are full ministries, not Ministers of state, 10 in the North-west.

Next is the South-west where I come from, we have five substantive Ministers and everywhere else – the South-east, the North-central and North-east have three substantive ministers each.

That means the North-west where Buhari comes from, which is the Fulani heartland has over three times the number of substantive ministers that all the other zones have, except for the South-west. And south-west has only half the number the North-west have. Is that fair? (Nigeria Express)

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IPOB Members Remanded In Jail Since June For Treasonable Felony, Prosecutor Surprisingly Withdraws Case Today

IPOB members appearing in court before the judge

by Reporter

For a fifth time the 17 IPOB members who were ambushed and unlawfully arrested by the Nigeria Police from Ikot Ekpene Police station in Essien Udim LGA of Akwa-Ibom State as they were driving out from a venue of a Conference, are still languishing in Prison custody because their case has not been heard due to flimsy excuses.

Today, Mr Emma Bassey, a representative of IPOB States Media was on ground at Essien Udim High Court to cover the proceedings.
The IPOB Legal Team arrived in high spirits to achieve a bail for all 17 members who were facing Charges of Treasonable Felony preferred against them, but to their shock when the case was called up, the Prosecuting Counsel told the Court that they were withdrawing from the Case and wouldn’t want to continue, for personal reasons.

The State Media Personnel, Ngozichukwu Ada-Dav spoke with the head of the IPOB Legal Team Barrister Chijioke who again confirmed that the case could not be heard because of the withdrawal or discontinuation by the Prosecuting Counsel.
On this note, the IPOB lawyer Bar Chijioke could not raise for objection because it is the duty of Minister for Justice to prosecute and not his.

The matter was adjourned to 6th Day of November 2019, for a Plea and bail.
Hopefully, by this date, there wouldn’t be any cause for further incarceration of these innocent IPOB members whose crime was carrying Biafra flags and fliers in the bus they hired. This is another evidence of a lawless state called Nigeria.

The single crime they committed was that they were in their own bus wear Biafran uniform and with Biafran flags and fliers. The was reason enough to arrest them and tuck them away indefinitely in detention.

We shall keep you posted on the next hearing from the State High Court Essien Udim, Akwa-Ibom State.

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Ibrahim Babangida Tasks The Igbo To Use Their Enterprising Skills To Keep Nigeria One |The Republican News

Former Military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida

Former Military Head of State Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) has urged Igbos to always allow their positive impacts be felt amongst host ethnic communities in the country and work towards promoting the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.

Babangida made the declaration when he granted audience to the Igbo Delegates Assembly (IDA) from the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, led by IDA President Chief Chikezie Okezie and the Eze Igbo of Minna, Eze Pampas Ngozi Wahiwe.


Nigerians, including Igbos, the former Head of State said, should ensure they uphold the ideals of the country’s Independence founding fathers, adding that,

“an indivisible Nigeria is very necessary and we must do everything possible to remain as one family though we differ in tribes and tongue.”


Babangida appreciated the Igbos for being very enterprising and determined to succeed by expanding into all parts of the country for business exploits, as he urged the community to use the same spirit of enterprise to promote peaceful co-existence among Nigerians in all that they do, especially their host communities.

The former leader, who said he once wished to spend part of his life in the eastern part of the country, reminded every Nigerian that,

“the indivisibility of the country is non-negotiable and this we must all promote at all times.”

“You have done well to keep Nigeria together,” Babangida who expressed appreciation to the delegation, said, adding that the Igbo are known for traveling far and wide exploring new frontiers and business opportunities.


The delegation had earlier told the retired General that the purpose of the visit was to congratulate him on his 78th Birthday, praying that God continues to grant him strength and wisdom to offer advice that would help Nigeria in solving its teething problems.


The Eze Igbo of Minna, Pampas Wahiwe, and IDA President were unanimous in their resolve that, “as an elder statesman, Ibrahim Babangida’s wise counsel is very much needed at this point in our national life.”

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Nnamdi Kanu Petitions United Nations Over Alleged Human Rights Abuses In Nigeria |The Republican News


Edward Nnachi

Leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, on Thursday, petitioned the United Nations and its relevant agencies over alleged human rights abuses suffered by its people at the hands of the Nigerian government.

A statement signed by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Director, Comrade Emma Powerful, which was made available to The PUNCH, in Abakaliki, hinted that there was hope that the UN and officials in Geneva, were giving adequate attention to the various human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated against members of the group.

The statement read, “The enigma championing the current restoration quest of Biafra and leader of the indomitable Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, today, the 18th day of September 2019, scored yet another mark as he led a delegation of Biafrans to an all-important series of meetings with various United Nations agencies and its officials in Geneva.

“He demanded urgent action against the numerous rights abuses inflicted daily upon Biafrans and the need to support the undeniable right of Biafrans to self-determination as enshrined in law, statute and various UN conventions. The case of RUGA settlement by stealth was also raised and the august body was left in doubt that Biafrans will never allow Fulani settlements in Biafraland.

“Every issue concerning our people is now before the various arms and agencies of the United Nations. Our case will no longer be ignored.

“‘Every issue concerning our people’ as mentioned by Kanu ranges from the incessant killing of Biafrans in their own land, extortion and killing of Biafran motorcyclists and commercial drivers.

“Exploiting the rights of indigenous people to self-determination as provided by the UN charter 2007, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in his usual charismatic poise has conscientiously pursued freedom for the oppressed people of Biafra.


“He also raised the issue of the continued illegal detention of Omoleye Sowore, the relentless persecution of the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria led by Sheikh El-Zakzaky, ongoing tragic ethnic cleansing in the Middle Belt and plight of Christian minorities in core North. From every indication, there is palpable air of assurance that all the years of neglect of Biafra as a global issue requiring serious attention is now a thing of the past.”

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South East Leaders Treating IPOB Issue With Kid Gloves — Yabagi Sani |The Republican News

IPOB members , Alhaji Yabagi Sani

Engr. Yabagi Sani, National Chairman of Action Democratic Party (ADP) in this interview with JOY ANIGBOGU, spoke on the role of youths in national development, recent activities of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other issues. Excerpts:

Recently you held a maiden national youth summit. What did you plan to achieve?

We believe that for youths to bounce back to reckoning, they need the backings and support of governments. They have to be educated, employed and empowered socially, politically and financially.

Unfortunately the leadership cadre in Nigeria is filled with aged politicians who think nation building is their exclusive preserve and as such youth should not be given a chance. Perhaps, their stand explains why though youths are said to be leaders of tomorrow, that future never comes.

The national youth summit is another testimony to the pride of place ADP has for young men and women as well as persons living with disability who by the ADP compulsory and constitutional provisions, must occupy 25 percent of Party Executive and all other elective and appointive positions from the National, State, Local Government down to the unit level.
Hence our decision to hold this Youth Summit, the first of its kind in the history of our Party, with the theme: “Building Bridges Amongst Youth Across Continents” and the reason we have invited one of the youngest members of the British Conservative Party with a rising profile from the United Kingdom, “Mr. Jaymey Mclvor” as our Guest Speaker.

How can you describe the recent activities of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) abroad, attack of Ekweremadu in Germany and their attempt to meet with Mr. President in Japan?

The IPOB activity can be viewed from both political and economical angles. When people start thinking that they are not part and parcel of what should belong to them, there is problem. If the unemployment level is not as high as it is I don’t think people would want to leave the country, because they have seen that nothing is happening that would give them confidence, that is why what happened in Japan took place in the first place.

I think that the political aspect of it is what the president should be able to solve but also my message to the South East is that if they want to have leadership of the country, they should exhibit discipline and maturity. Today we are talking about power shift and the South-East says power should return to them. It is a political issue that the South-East at this time should understand that what happened in Japan gave them a bad name. Would Mr. President hand over power to his enemies if he has to make that choice? The reality is that Nigeria as we have today would go beyond where we are when power at national level ceases to be an issue based on merit.

What is your view about the opinion in some quarters that Mr. President is treating Fulani herders with kid’s gloves?

Being a former head of State, I cannot see any reason why he cannot take effective measures to handle the issue of Fulani herdsmen, banditry, kidnapping and what have you. If the president cannot take care of the security and welfare of the people, what is the use of the government if it cannot tackle the issue of security and welfare of the people? Whatever it is that is standing between the president and these issues. I think that by now he should have been able to jettison those things.

Do you believe in power shift in the country?

As a political party, we are for all-inclusiveness. We believe in justice and fair play. We allow democracy to have its way because when you allow democracy to have its way then you can begin to talk about good governance. The reality we have today in terms of deciding who gets what, I think the South-East people should do better if they begin to act with maturity and sense of responsibility. What is four years in the life of a nation? If in four years’ time you are going to have the opportunity to rule the country, wait until it comes to you, then do what you like with it. When you start to act not only in the country but outside the country, giving the country a bad name, the consequences may be huge when you need the support of other regions. People would begin to ask if they share the sentiments of one Nigeria. I know that in Nigeria if care is not taken, because the impression that the South-East may likely want to consider seceding, Yoruba may take the next presidency, in spite of the fact that they have just finished. If you see that the South-East cannot be controlled with what IPOB is doing, then why do you want to give power to those who cannot control their erring members?

What if the South-East region refutes the allegation that IPOB represents it?

A question was asked as to why President failed to control the Fulani herdsmen because they believe that Buhari is a Fulani man and should be able to take care of them. Similarly people can start inferring that South-East should be able to take care of IPOB. Just as you can say that Buhari has failed because you think that he possesses other avenues he can explore aside being the president to solve this problem.

We can also say that for reasons best known to the South-East people, they are treating IPOB with kids gloves. We saw the case of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), former President Olusegun Obasanjo ordered they be shot at sight, but we saw some governors of the South-West using them, till today. It will do the South-East good to tackle the issue of IPOB, just like Buhari should call Fulani herdsmen to order.

El-Rufai has said that the North will not handover power in 2023. What is your view?

He was probably speaking for All Progressives Congress (APC) not ADP.

What do you think about the speculation in some quarters that Buhari is planning to handover to Tinubu?

It is not exclusive right of APC to present the next president. Nigerians should decide who would emerge and not APC. The APC would bring its candidate and others too would bring theirs and Nigeria would decide who the next president would be. Awakening the consciousness of the people and making sure that the electoral laws are amended to give level playing ground, ensuring that power is held accountable. Nigerians should speak out. The important thing is that the press must be alive to the need to change the scenario. It should be in the vanguard. Systems that are more entrenched than Nigeria did it. We had Obama as president of United Sates of America. We also have Trump, which is more revolutionary. It means that change is possible.

Don’t you think that it was unfair for the president to have asked the Governors of Taraba and Benue States to answer questions to the killings in Taraba, when we know that governors are not in control of the military and police?

They are the security chiefs in their States. Administratively, the commissioner of police is under the governor but functionally he is under the Inspector General of Police (IGP) which means that they are supposed to explore the administrative relationship between the commissioner of police and the governors to ensure that some of those things happening are checked. The commissioner of police and other agencies in that State sit in a security meeting every week. If the President asked the governors to account, he was right because the governors are heads of the security meetings that they hold in their States.

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JUST IN: Nnamdi Kanu Officially Invited To Speak To United Nations On Restoration Of Biafra

Nnamdi Kanu

Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu has been officially invited for a meeting with the officials of the United Nations, a report from Radio Biafra says on Friday.

The meeting according to the report gathered by ORIENTAL TIMES is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at Geneva in Switzerland.

It would be recalled that Kanu on Tuesday took his agitation for the actualization of a Sovereign State called Biafra to the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

The IPOB leader had disclosed in a statement on his social media accounts that he was “invited to the EU parliament by few members of the parliament to address the burning issue of IPOB agitation and what a new Biafra means for Africa.”

However after the meeting on Tuesday which saw top ranking IPOB members and many supporters of the pro-Biafra group outside the building of the European Parliament, Mazi Kanu tweeted on micro-blogging website, Twitter, that his next meeting would be at the United Nations. (Oriental Times)

Details later…

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Return Home And Call A Meeting For Dialogue, We’ll Attend — SE Governors Tell Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB

South East Governors with Security Chiefs in the region after meeting to ban movement of cattle by Fulani herdsmen

BY IFEOMA OKEREKE 

South-East governors have said they are ready to engage in dialogue with the Indigenous People of Biafra to resolve their differences.

IPOB had threatened to attack South-East governors and other Igbo leaders outside the country after beating former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in Germany for allegedly working their interest.

The Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, Chief David Umahi, told our correspondent on Thursday that they never proscribed IPOB, but rather they banned their activities in the region.

The Ebonyi State governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Emma Uzo, asked IPOB to convene a meeting and invite the governors for discussions.

He said, “IPOB are our children. They are our brothers and sisters. They fight for their fight on the pages of newspapers and social media, and it does not help. The best thing is for all of us to sit down and talk. The governors are ready to speak with them.

“They should have a way of coming home or convene a meeting and the governors will attend anywhere they want. Let us sit down and discuss it. And they should know that the governors did not proscribed them, they lack constitutional powers to proscribed them. They only banned their activities in the region where they have jurisdiction.”

IPOB on Wednesday through Aloy Ejimakor, counsel for Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, wrote to the governors, giving conditions for peace to reign.

The group in the letter, titled ‘Operation Python Dance: An Open Letter To South-East Governors’, demanded “immediate and unconditional de-proscription of IPOB and delisting it as a terrorist organisation. A truth and reconciliation commission on the Python Dance lethal military operations of September 2017.”

The separatist group added, “A public apology for the extrajudicial killing of IPOB members and desecration of the palace of an Igbo traditional ruler at Afaraukwu, Abia State. A genuine dialogue with IPOB on its referendum demand for the restoration of Biafra and discontinuance of the ongoing prosecution of IPOB members and forbearance of any future arrests and prosecutions.”

But the governors said the group were channelling their demands to the wrong people.

Umahi said, “Why can’t they channel their grievances straight to the Federal Government? So, that demand is dead on arrival. It is not the governors that will apologise to them but rather they should apologise to the governors and Ndigbo.”

On whether they will lift the ban on IPOB activities in the zone, Umahi said the issue would be discussed at the meeting (convened by IPOB).

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We Will Arrest Buhari In Japan On Sunday, Japanese Law Permits Citizen Arrest Of Criminal —IPOB |The Republican News

President Muhammadu Buhari and IPOB leader, Maazi Nnamdi Kanu

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Friday boasted that it’s members in Japan will arrest President Muhammadu Buhari when he arrives the country.

Buhari will depart Abuja on Sunday for Japan to participate in the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) holding in the City of Yokohama, August 28-30, 2019.

Reacting to the trip, IPOB insisted that Buhari was Jibril Al-Sudan masquerading himself as Nigerian President.

IPOB said its members should arrest Buhari and hand him over to security operatives because his an impostor.

A statement signed by IPOB’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful, on Friday reads: “The formidable IPOB family in Japan is hereby placed on direct order to ensure the impostor Jubril Al-Sudani, masquerading as the late dictator Mubammadu Buhari, is arrested and handed over to the authorities when he sets foot on Japanese soil.

“He is not only a fake president, he is wanted for mass murder and crimes against humanity for his role in previous and ongoing genocide in Biafraland.

“Under Japanese law an impostor is a common criminal and subject to citizens arrest. International diplomatic protocol as it relates to visiting heads of state is not applicable in this instance because whoever Abba Kyari is sending to Japan is not the real Buhari. We must make sure he is apprehended and handed over to the police in Japan.

“Any legal fall-out emanating from any confrontation will end up in a Japanese court where we will be able to establish before the world that Jubril is indeed a fake Buhari.”

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Our Members Have Orders To Attack Igbo Governors Abroad, Says IPOB |The Republican News

The Indigenous People of Biafra has ordered its members in 100 countries across the world to attack the governors of Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia and Anambra states if they are seen in any of the countries.

The group also put on notice Ndigbo leaders such as the President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who it accused of supporting the Operation Python Dance in the South-East.

Operation Python Dance was launched by the Nigerian Army in the South-East in 2016 in the wake of protests by IPOB members who were demanding secession from the country.

The group had cited historical events such as the victory of President Donald Trump in the 2016 United States elections and Brexit as proof of international support for self-determination.

During the Operation Python Dance, the army raided Umuahia, Abia State, the home town of the leader of the secessionist group, Nnamdi Kanu, whose whereabouts have been unknown since then.

Ultimately, the Federal Government designated IPOB as a terrorist organisation on September 18, 2017, under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013.

Speaking to one of our correspondents on Saturday, IPOB spokesperson, Mr Emma Powerful, noted that South-East governors and some Ndigbo leaders had been marked as enemies to be attacked if they were seen in any of the 100 countries their members were residing.

He said the directive was given by Kanu and that in obedience to the IPOB leader’s order, its members were the ones who attacked a former Deputy Senate President, Dr Ike Ekweremadu, in Nuremberg, Germany on Saturday.

Powerful said the lawmaker was “disgraced by the IPOB Nuremberg Family as an Operation Python Dance instigator.”

The IPOB spokesman described Ekweremadu as a “traitor,” accusing him of being among those that got the pro-Biafra group proscribed, alongside the South-East governors.

Powerful vowed that IPOB would take similar action against the South-East governors and Ndigbo leaders, if they dared to attend any public event abroad.

He said, “Today (Saturday), the Nuremberg IPOB family in Germany, in keeping with the long-standing directive from our leader to hound all instigators of the Operation Python Dance, is glad to report that Ike Ekweremadu was confronted and duly hounded out of a so-called New Yam Festival event in Germany.

“Despite repeated warnings to the organisers of this jamboree that Enugu, Ebonyi and other parts of ‘Biafraland’ is under siege by the Fulani caliphate and their collaborators within, they went ahead to invite a known traitor, co-conspirator and one of those who worked with Igbo governors to proscribe and tag IPOB a terror organisation while they never raised any voice against the murderous Fulani herdsmen.

“This should serve as a warning to Nnia Nwodo, Dave Umahi, Okezie Ikpeazu, Willie Obiano and others that any day we find them in a public event abroad, they will be humiliated. IPOB is strategically located in over 100 countries around the world. Anywhere we find them, they will be dealt with.”

How Ekweremadu was attacked with stones, yam

In apparent obedience to the IPOB’s directive to its members, there was commotion on Saturday when Ekweremadu was attacked in Nuremberg, Germany.

The lawmaker, who has served in the Senate since 2003, was seen being pelted with stones, yam, sticks and water packs in short video clips which had gone viral on the social media.

Decked in isiagu, a pullover shirt worn by the Igbo people on special occasions, Ekweremadu was said to have been attacked at Löwensaal am Tier Garten, Nuremberg, venue for the annual New Yam Festival of the Igbo.

The New Yam Festival holds at the end of the rainy season in August and symbolises the conclusion of the harvest and the beginning of a new planting season.

The age-long festival is celebrated across Nigeria and the world wherever the Igbo people live.

While attending the event at Nuremberg, Ekweremadu was seen being attacked by a mob who tore his cloth and dragged him out of the event.

In the video clips, the angry mob was seen preventing the lawmaker from escaping, but he was later whisked away in a Mercedes-Benz car, even as the mob continued to beat him.

As the scene played out, some onlookers, dressed in traditional Igbo attire, were heard condemning the assault meted to the former deputy senate president.

One of the onlookers was heard saying, “This is wicked; why now? It’s not good.”

Despite the commotion, the event went on as planned, according to the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar.

In a tweet via his handle @YusufTuggar on Saturday, the diplomat who was at the event wrote, “The Nuremberg yam festival organised by the Ndigbo Germany still took place and I was in attendance. There is no stopping Nigeria. It opened with the Nigerian and German anthems and I addressed the crowd.”

My ordeal in the hands of Biafra activists –Ex-DSP

Confirming the incident on Saturday, Ekweremadu, in a statement by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, described it as unfortunate. He, however, said he was safe.

He said he was invited to the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organised by the Ndigbo Germany in Nuremberg and billed to give a keynote address alongside the President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who, however, could not make it.

The lawmaker said he was welcomed by the Ndigbo in Germany and everything went smoothly until some men, who identified themselves as IPOB members, stormed the venue.

He said, “They began to complain about the killings in the South-East, stressing that there would be no Igbo event at the venue.

“I tried to engage them, but when they became unruly, I had to leave the venue.

“The organisers also invited the police and I was accompanied out of the venue.

“I am disappointed with their (IPOB members’) conduct, especially as I am one of the persons who have spoken up on justice for the Ndigbo and against the judicial killings in Igboland and elsewhere.”

Ekweremadu said he had defended IPOB on the floor of the Senate, with the Presidency and the media.

He said, “I had as well rallied the South-East Senate Caucus to secure Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, taking him on bail to douse tension in the South-East.

“I nevertheless do not hold this to the heart against them, for they know not what they did.

“I have received thousands of solidarity calls and messages from well-meaning Ndigbo. I want to assure them that I am hale and hearty.”

In the meantime, investigations by one of our correspondents showed that Kanu visited Nuremberg recently to protest against holding the New Yam Festival because of the killings in Igboland.

It was also gathered that the IPOB members who attacked Ekweremadu on Saturday actually targeted Nwodo.

They reportedly descended on Ekweremadu when it was obvious that their main ‘target’ was conspicuously absent.

Following the attack on Ekweremadu, the Federal Government has condemned the IPOB members’ action.

The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement on Saturday described the incident as an embarrassment to the country.

She stated that some of the culprits who perpetrated the act had been apprehended and called on the German government and law enforcement agencies to ensure they faced the consequences of their actions.

She said, “It is also shamefully pathetic that an event which was nobly put together by the Ndigbo community in Germany, whose members make up the majority of Nigerians living in Germany, to amongst other things, provide a forum for the Diaspora and various stakeholders to network and facilitate a better cooperation between German and Nigerian businesses, ended up in such a disgraceful manner.”

Dabiri-Erewa appealed to Nigerians to be of good behaviour wherever they found themselves “because such incidents tarnish the image of the country.”

Also condemning the attack, the Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, Mr Debo Adeniran, condemned IPOB’s action, saying it was an act of brigandage.

He said, “These people ought not to have gone to such place to display brigandage because IPOB has been banned in Nigeria.

“However, our leaders should take heed because that is an example of what will happen, granted that it was a different ball game. They might have reacted that way because they possibly perceived that Ekweremadu had not been with them in terms of support.

“Be that as it may, the action of the IPOB members was highly condemnable in faraway Germany where the image of the country should have been jealously guided.”

Also describing the attack as barbaric, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo accused Kanu of sponsoring “miscreants” to trample on Ekweremadu’s fundamental human rights.

Nwodo told SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday that Kanu’s action reflected his disregard for the former deputy senate president, who was instrumental in securing the release of the IPOB leader.

Nwodo said, “In every 12, there is a Judas. Senator Ekweremadu and I were supposed to be in Germany but because my visa was not out, Senator Ekweremadu went on our behalf.

“The attack on him was unruly, uncivilised, a vitiation of his fundamental human rights and a sad story of where we are. I’m shocked that any true Igbo man could do this to Senator Ekweremadu.

“Without Senator Ekweremadu, Nnamdi Kanu would not have got bail. He (Ekweremadu) was the one who networked with senators who went ahead to sign on his (Kanu) behalf.”

Nwodo called on the German government to take appropriate actions against the perpetrators.

“I condemn it in its entirety. I think it is disrespectful, discourteous; I think it is a fundamental dent on our solidarity. I think that those who did it are not worthy to be called Igbo,” he said.

A former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, also condemned the attack on Ekweremadu.

Speaking to one of our correspondents on Saturday, he said the IPOB members attacked one of the “greatest heroes” in Nigeria.

“Ekweremadu is not the person they ought to attack and indeed they have to stop such attack on anybody for that matter,” Ndume said.

Assaulting us abroad not solution to agitation – S’East govs

Meanwhile, the South-East Governors Forum on Saturday said the IPOB order directing its members to attack them anywhere abroad would not solve the problem of their agitation for Biafra.

The chairman of the forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Emma Uzo, said that the governors had no problem with the members of the outlawed group to warrant such an order, adding that the insecurity in the South-East was a nationwide challenge which was squarely under the Federal Government’s command and control.

Condemning the attack on Ekweremadu, Umahi said, “If there is any issue IPOB holds against the governors, they should come home to settle it in Igboland instead of a foreign land.

“What happened was a security issue which was within the purview of the Federal Government. Attacking governors in a foreign land is a wild goose chase. We love them because they are our children.

“IPOB cannot achieve Biafra alone, except with the collaboration of all stakeholders including the governors. They don’t need to attack the governors to achieve Biafra.”

The governors’ forum warned the members of the proscribed body not to allow political opportunists to use them to destroy the South-East.

“They should come together and work with the governors and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to achieve the Igbo Presidency come 2023 instead of fighting the governors. We want them to be close to us instead of taking the struggle to the international arena,” it said.

Furthermore, Umahi’s aide described the IPOB’s threats as empty, saying the group lacked the powers to track down any South-East governor anywhere in the world.

“They have no such spread and powers to track down South-East governors for attack anywhere in the world. They are too small. I don’t want to say they sound so cowardly, but they can’t see the governors to attack,” he added.

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Buhari’s Government Continues With Clampdown On IPOB: Police Arrest 15 Biafrans In Ebonyi State

IPOB: Biafrans march in Ebonyi state

At least 15 people said to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have been arrested by the Nigeria Police Force in Amasiri, Afikpo North local government area of Ebonyi State.

A spokesperson for the police in Ebonyi, Loveth Odah, the 15 were arrested at their convention ground in Amasiri.

According to the police, the arrest was made after receiving a report that some secessionist groups planned to hold a two-day convention in the state.

“The Ebonyi State police command in active collaboration with other security agencies in the state, while acting on credible intelligence report that IPOB/MASSOB/BIM members will have their 2019 convention in the state, on 13 and 14 August 2019, embarked on a massive ‘show of force’ covering the entire length and breadth of the state with particular focus on identified flashpoints.

“The exercise dominated the entire state and frustrated the activities of IPOB/MASSOB/BIM members thereby denying them the opportunity to hold their meeting in the pre-arranged venue.

“They were, however, traced to a hideout in the bush around Amasiri, Afikpo North L.G.A of the state where 15 members led by one Rev. Ogbonna Nnachi, ‘M’, about 70 years of age were arrested.

“Items recovered from them include Biafra currency (two pounds), branded Biafra T-shirts etc.

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