IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered Senator Eyninnaya Abaribe, and two others standing as sureties for the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, to explain the IPOB leader’s whereabouts.
Kanu who was granted bail by the judge on April 24, 2017, was absent from court on Tuesday when his trial was billed to commence.
But his three co-defendants were produced in court by prison officials.
Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told the judge that Kanu had been missing after soldiers allegedly invaded the IPOB leader’s home on September 14, 2017, adding that the Nigerian Army was in the best position to produce the defendant.
A lawyer, Mr. Ogechi Ogunna, appeared for Abaribe on Tuesday, informing the judge that his client had filed a motion seeking to be discharged as Kanu’s surety.
The two other sureties, Immanuel Shalum Okabenmabu and Tochukwu Uchendu, were absent from court and not represented by any lawyer on Tuesday.
But Justice Nyako said Abaribe’s motion could not be heard until Kanu was produced in court.
The judge gave the senator three options.
One of the options was for Abaribe to produce the defendant in court and then apply to be discharged as a surety.
The other option the judge gave was for Abaribe to be ready to forfeit his N100m bail bond.
The third option was for Abaribe to request to be given time to produce the defendant in court.
But Ogunna replied saying, “he (Abaribe) is not in a position to do any of these.”
However the judge insisted that Abaribe must opt for one of the three options.
With the judge’s insistence, Ogunna opted to be given time to produce him.
The two other sureties were not represented I court on Tuesday.
Earlier, prosecuting counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, noting that Kanu was not present in court, urged the judge to revoke defendant’s bail, order for his arrest, and direct the defendants’ three sureties “to show cause why the bail bond of N100m entered into by each shall not be forfeited or they be committed to prison.”
The trial was been adjourned until November 20. (Punch)
Three of the co-defendants facing charges of treasonable felony against the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, have arrived the Federal High Court in Abuja.
They were brought to court by prison officials at about 10am on Tuesday.
But Kanu, whose lawyers said was last seen on September 14, 2017 following a military operation in his hometown in Abia State, is absent from court as Justice Binta Nyako is now set to commence proceedings.
His co-accused already in court are the National Coordinator of IPOB, Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe; an IPOB member, Benjamin Madubugwu; and a former Field Maintenance Engineer seconded to the MTN, David Nwawuisi.
But Bright Chimezie, who became a co-defendant in the case following an amendment of the charges was also absent.
Kanu was on bail before he was declared missing.
Announcing his appearance on Tuesday, Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejifor, told the judge that the IPOB leader was still in the custody of the Federal Government. (Punch)
I write as an Ijaw son from Bonny and Nkoro in Rivers State. Ijaw is my tribe, but Biafra remains my national consciousness. I have noticed an inexplicable and unnecessary division in the South-East and South-South in analogy to the reinvigorated quest to restore the Sovereign States of Biafra. I think our people in these sister regions should reflect on these political and divisive ascriptions and rediscover themselves. We are neither South-South nor South-East. We are the people of the Eastern Region, a people politically and economically impugned by our enemy in their bid to break our solid SOLIDARITY. We were too formidable for our enemies. Some of our people think Biafra is an Igbo thing because they are ignorant of the origin of the name. Let me do justice to the origin of Biafra.
THE ORIGIN OF BIAFRA
Biafra is not aboriginal to Biafrans since it was birthed out of the need to work together and escape the pogromists, rapists, land invaders, and religious fundamentalists called Fulani. The leader of the Eastern Region, Dim Ojukwu, an educated military officer, assembled stakeholders from Ijaw, Ibibio, Efik, and other tribes that constituted the region in his bid to come up with a name that would reflect the heterogeneous ambience of the region. Chief Frank Opigo, an Ijaw traditional ruler that hails from today’s Bayelsa, suggested BIAFRA, and this went down well with everyone in attendance, for it referred to the water body that covers the entire region. What Ojukwu sought after was a name that would not be exclusionary to any of the tribes (Ijaw, Ibibio, Itsekiri, Urhobo, Anioma etc) in the region. Biafra became the baby of that quest.
Biafra, having come from a non-Igbo stakeholder, became the national consciousness of both the Igbo and non-Igbo constituents of the Eastern Region. Thenceforth, the need to actualise the nation of their dreams, the Land of the Rising Sun, became the aspiration of every easterner. The failure of Nigeria to heed the Aburi Accord reached in Ghana for restructuring stoked the fire of the agitation for freedom. The Sovereign States of Biafra was declared, but it was short-lived because of avoidable internal wranglings that spiralled into the loss of the Civil War. The incongruity in the Eastern Region was the result of the feud between Ojukwu and Dr Kenule Benson Saro-Wiwa, an illustrious Ogoni son and Ojukwu’s military mentality and disposition.
WHY THE STRUGGLE FAILED IN THE 60S
Popular perception has it that the struggle for emancipation from perceived and obvious oppression by Nigeria was scuttled by the Civil War. That is part of the truth, not the whole. Biafra was rocked by internal wranglings. Two prominent figures in the region, Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa, became estranged friends over an issue that should have remained personal. In one of our serious meetings, I was made to understand this side of the story. Legborsi, Emmanuel, a very prominent Ogoni son who doubles as a formidable member of my team, THE SOUTH-EAST/SOUTH-SOUTH COALITION FOR BIAFRA, opened up the Pandora Box concerning the real cause of their feud. Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa were caught in a love triangle, with Princess Amina, the daughter of the then Sultan as the magnetic force. As scions (sons of very wealthy parents), they had the needed charisma to steer the imagination of the Sultan. Gowon, a senior military officer, joined the fray, but found himself as an underdog, financially and academically, for the duo of Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa were of both fabulous financial and transformative academic standing.
Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa, once friends, now rivals, had to slug it out. The laurel at stake was Amina’s affection. Saro-Wiwa dishonestly struck a cord in Amina’s emotion and carried the day. The Sultan, according to the veracious story, could not find his daughter and had the innocent Gowon, the suitor he abhorred, to blame for it. A triangle of hate became the result of this misdeed by Saro-Wiwa: Gowon hated both Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa; Ojukwu hated Saro-Wiwa for edging him out in the most dishonest manner, and Saro-Wiwa burned in annoyance over the contest. An Ikwerre elder, nonagenarian, corroborated this story when I met him. He told me that the struggle hit the rock then because of two reasons:
(1) the feud between Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa
(2) the militarised mentality of Ojukwu’s.
The elder thinks that if Ojukwu, though well educated and exposed, were a civilian, he would have appreciated the need to dialogue with other stakeholders before going to war. If the stakeholders had been told what each constituent would benefit from the emerging nation, the leaders would have had what to say to their people to excite them to take the struggle seriously. Ojukwu, on the other hand, wanted these stakeholders to convince their people to fight first and discuss later. This did not go down well with them. Some, however, saw the need to fight. The festering relationship between Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa led to a huge sabotage. The bottom line of the accounts of Legborsi and the elder is that our people were not united. Our disunity caused by personal grouse and lack of tact cost us that war. It is incontrovertible that we would have won the war had our house not been in disarray.
THE URGENT NEED FOR OUR UNITY NOW
Several years have gone by, yet the socio-economic and political inconcinnities that gave rise to the agitation then still stare us in the face. As a matter of fact, there is no gainsaying that if our fathers had reasons to fight then, there are more reasons to fight now. The situation today is worse than it was then. Oppression, socio-economic exclusion, and glaring prejudice meted out to the South-South and South-East, the real economic mainstay of this contraption called Nigeria, have reached unbelievable and unimaginable proportions. Even Ojukwu could not have conceived the precarious level of hate shown to us by the sons and daughters of Uthman Dan Fodio. The unfair treatment we are shown should make our unity imperative. Our personality issues and lack of tact gave them the happenstance to divide us and make us conquerable. We, the South-East and South-South people, are the victims of their jihadist rituals. Our women get raped, our lands invaded, our crops killed, and our men butchered.
The Igbo, Ijaw, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Anioma, Ibibio, Efik etc have always lived together in love and conviviality. A critical observation of our values and culture reveals our common ancestry. We dress alike, eat alike, behave alike, and worship alike. How different are we, brothers and sisters? Let us come together and fight this monster. They have sent their soldiers to occupy our two regions out of fear of our imminent reunion. Exasperated by their inability to stop us from uniting, they have taken to poisoning our children under the pretence of immunization devoid of the viva of the health departments. In their bid to hold on to power at all cost, they flouted the constitutional proviso concerning the absence of the President. Their hatred for us led to the embargo placed on our Igbo brothers and sisters, which makes it difficult for any of them to become President of Nigeria. We and our Igbo brothers and sisters are the real victims here. We have to come together, sit together, discuss together, reach a documented agreement, and escape together.
Our unity is the only leeway out of this fortress called Nigeria. Is it not shameful that whereas we have all the resources the Gambari are the ones exercising power over them all? Our Igbo brothers and sisters own both oil and the business environment that sustain this oppressive dungeon called Nigeria, but travel to the East and you will weep. They killed the Bill seeking the relocation of company headquarters to regions where the raw material is fetched. They killed the Bill seeking compensation to developing the Eastern Region. Whatever comes from the South-East and South-South dies on arrival. If bills that seek better welfare packages for our regions always die, who is that mad person that is telling you that we can restructure this dangerous citadel that they claim belongs to them? Was it not the failure of Nigeria to heed restructuring agreement that sparked off the Civil War? The only way out of this quagmire is the unity of South-East and South-South. Let us unite and live in peace and harmony. Our sister regions need a respite from rape, massacre, genocide, pogrom, alienation, discrimination, and prejudice. Let us keep our unreal differences aside and face the enemy together. They will continue to defeat us as long as we remain divided. Our division is their strength, but our unity is their weakness. Jasper Adaka Boro, Dr Ken Saro-Wiwa, and Sen. (Dr.) Obi Wali is some of the great men this fake nation has killed gruesomely. We have not found Mazi Nnamdi Kanu even as I write. Do you see how they hate us? The python that danced in the East has become a crocodile smiling in the South-South.
Brothers and sisters, Saro-Wiwa was guillotined by Nigeria after a kangaroo judgment. Boro was used and shot. Obi Wali was butchered like a condemned chicken. Our beloved leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is nowhere to be found because of his liberating activities. Nigeria is a place where it is a heinous crime to speak up against oppression and neo-slavery. Nigeria has become too dangerous for Christians. Nigeria has become too stuffy for anything that breathes. We have to go, brothers and sisters. We have overstayed in this prison. We do not even know who signed the 1914 amalgamation since all our nationalists were either adolescents, toddlers, or unborn at the time. Nigeria is the property of Britain’s under the management of the Fulani. Let the South-South and South-East come together and rebirth Biafra. They hate us and we hate ourselves. Let love and understanding lead the way this time. Let us dialogue and end our differences once and for all. The enemy has become vicious. We should become more tactical now. May God bless us all as we heed this clarion call. May God bless the entire constituents of the Old Eastern Region.
(Russell Idatoru Bluejack is a thinker, revolutionary writer, university tutor, and socio-economic and political analyst that writes from the creeks in the coastal part of Biafra.)
There is pandemonium in Anambra state as pupils, students and market women and men ran for their lives and that of their wards in school as the Nigerian Army free medical attention cause serious concern among citizens.
The free medical treatment by the Nigerian army has gotten a very bad impression in South East Nigeria, where they are obviously not welcome. The Operation Python dance is ill-conceived and the people have refused it by all means
The Republican News can authoritatively confirm that the people of Ekwusigo LGA, Nnewi, Onitsha and other towns have deserted markets, schools and other public places to avoid army medical outreach.
Children in schools ran for their lives at the sight of the Nigerian army medical group, who they called Hausa-Fulani killers who inject children with deadly diseases.
All schools in Anambra have closed at the time of this report.
Parents have taken their wards away from school to avoid medical attention by members of the Nigerian armed forces medical outreach.
Some of the children The Republican News interviewed in Omagba Primary School in Onitsha confirmed with hard breathing after running away from their school to avoid being injected.
They claimed that those who were injected by the’ Hausa people’ fainted on the spot after the injection. They said that Hausa-Fulani people were in the uniform of nurses and came to their school gate and banged on the gate. Their gateman refused to open but went to inquire from their head teacher and other teachers, who then came to the gate but refused to open for those uniformed nurses.
After this incident, the teachers reportedly ran away and they told their pupils to run away to avoid being injected. This caused a very big pandemonium in the Omagba primary school in Onitsha.
This very same news was confirmed in Nnewi, Ozubulu and other towns in Anambra state.
But The Republican News later learnt that it was the Nigerian army medical outreach, who obviously are not welcome in this region to conduct any medical outreach. The people do not want the Nigerian army and whatever they will give out whether free or not.
The embattled Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Monday said that it has gone far beyond the bloody attack launched against it by the Nigeria military, police and the governors of the South-East states, insisting that only referendum would stop its agitation for Biafra freedom.
Advising its members to be patient, IPOB said it would not relent until the present government or any other Nigerian government gives it a date for a referendum to decide whether its people want to continue to stay in Nigeria.
A statement in Awka by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, blamed the action of the South-East governors on jealousy assuring that, “South East governors cannot kill the Biafra idea and longing rather they are creating insurmountable problems for themselves.
“IPOB cannot and will not succumb to pressure resulting from intimidation, arrest and brutal murders going on now all over Abia, Anambra and Rivers state at the moment. In other words, we have gone too far ahead to be bothered by the sound of bullets, bombs and fighter jets waiting to rain bombs on us. Nobody can stop the agitation for Biafra freedom at this point in time, only a referendum can do that.”
The group accused the new Commissioner of Police, Abia State of trying very hard to please his “masters from the North” by allegedly “complimenting the murderous scripts of the Nigerian Army and Igbo governors as handed down to them by Abuja.”
It wondered why the Defense Headquarters (DHQ) should attack an unarmed group (IPOB) and declare it a terrorist organization when it (DHQ) did not raise an eyebrow when Fulani herdsmen with sophisticated weapons attacked and killed people in communities in Igboland.
It said, “It is also on record that till date, no police commissioner or governor in the South-East or South-South has risen against the fourth most deadly terrorist group in the world we know as Fulani herdsmen.
“When Fulani herdsmen attacked Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi and Abia state, none of the police commissioners in these states or any of these governors now supporting genocide against their people ever uttered a word in opposition. 82 Division of the Nigerian Army at Enugu, a mere 13 kilometres from where Fulani herdsmen armed with sophisticated weaponry attacked innocent villagers, did not aid Enugu people. They did not storm the hideout or known settlements of Fulani herdsmen in Enugu.
“There was no stop and search of Fulani people. There were no arbitrary arrests of Fulani men. Fulani women were not carted off to be raped and dehumanized by Nigerian soldiers. Fulani leaders and Arewa North never rose up in condemnation of Fulani herdsmen. National newspapers did not carry anti-Fulani news items or articles. South East governors did not rise from any emergency meeting to label Fulani herdsmen a terrorist group or call for their activities to be proscribed. (The Sun)
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says engaging in dialogue with those agitating for an independent state of Biafra is a sure way to resolving the issue.
Speaking at the Biafra conference in Abuja on Thursday, the former president said Nigerians must treat the country with care.
He said the country’s fundamental problem was that it had lacked national leaders.
“We never had a national leader. Our leaders at the beginning were mindful of their regions. That is our problem till today,” he said.
”I have maintained that the young officers who struck in 1966 were naive but there were some element of nationalism in some of them. Be that as it may, it set us back.”
He said the war showed the bad side of the country.
“The language used in the war did not help matters, the people on the Biafra side called us vandals and we called them rebels,” he said.
“We thought we would end the war in three months, but it took us 30 months, and the federal side nearly lost it.
”Civil war is more difficult than fighting in a foreign land because we are fighting to unite.
”Even a soldier of mine who tried to rape a woman… I had to chase him with a gun. He did not succeed in raping the woman, and I did not have to gun him down.”
Obasanjo said some of those agitating for Biafra today lacked an understanding of what it entails.
“Some of the people agitating for Biafra today were not even born then. They don’t know what it entails,” he said.
”But I think, we should even appeal to those saying they want to go, we should not tell them to go, we should make them understand that there is enough cake to share. We should massage Nigeria just like in a love relationship.” (The Cable)
The peaceful protest embarked upon on Monday by members of Chief Ralph Uwazuruike-led Biafra Independence Movement/ Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, as part of a seven-day activities for the commemoration of their 17th year anniversary of the re-declaration of Sovereignty State of Biafra, continued unabated yesterday in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, the strong base of MASSOB.
The BIM/MASSOB members had on Monday grounded business activities in the commercial city, and continued the protest yesterday along the major streets of Onitsha under the watchful eyes of security agencies who, however, did not open fire on the protesters as before.
The group, as early as 8 am, converged on Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area from where they matched in a convoy of over one hundred Keke Napep and Buses, brandishing the Biafran Flag and fliers along Obosi, Nkpor road through the Limca road to upper Iweka and Bridge Head, chanting and dancing to Biafra songs.
The Divisional police officer (DPO) in charge of Onitsha central police station, SP Ikechukwu Egbochukwu who led the monitoring team, confirmed the protest match but said the police patrol was on the ground to ensure it was peaceful.
He, however, referred newsmen to the Anambra Police Public Relations Officer ASP Nkiru Nwode for confirmation and briefing on any further development.
When contacted, the PPRO said that Anambra did not witness any MASSOB protest since Monday claiming that Anambra was peaceful and calm and therefore no person was arrested except for the gang of kidnappers smashed by the police at Urum in Awka North LGA.
She said the police also rescued the kidnap victim and recovered the gang’s rifles.
Meanwhile, MASSOB/BIM Director of Publicity, Mazi Chris Mocha said although the celebration was for seven days, they had no activity slated for yesterday but since it was a peaceful exercise there was no cause for alarm. (Authority)
Boxing legend and Biafran soldier and trainer, Late Dick Tiger Ihetu
By Kimberly Ada B
As Biafrans are getting ready to immortalized those who gave their lives to Biafra struggle and to those that gave up everything they have amidst social criticism just to be ” Biafran” on the May 30th sit in, we must remember one man that took our fight globally, Middleweight and Light Heavy Weight Boxing Champion of the world, the Biafran, late Dick Tiger Ihetu.
Dick Tiger was a lieutenant during the Biafran war. He trained young soldiers. When he sensed how his people were slaughtered, he rushed home to help. Most of his boxing money was used to cater for them during the war.
Dick Tiger called a press conference one morning in New Jersey Atlantic city where he was scheduled to fight, and said ” pressmen, I called you to let you know that I am relinquishing this O.B.E title I won in London because I can not wear this around my waist while the British government are supplying ammunition to kill my people in Biafra.
In the morning, he mailed the title back to London, with a note.” I am hereby returning the O.B.E, because every time I look at it, I think of the millions of men, women, children who died and are still dying in Biafra because of the arms and ammunition the British government is sending to Nigeria and its continued moral support of this genocidal war against the people of Biafra. Signed, Dick Tiger Ihetu.
Such a Heroic act. They called me Dick Tiger of Nigeria, they still claim me. They would kill me, they would kill us all. I am a Biafran, he said to a radio personality.
Dick Tiger said, ” Without Biafra, the championship title is no good to me. The United States is a good country, a very nice country, but Biafra is my home. I was born a Biafran, I will die in Biafra. He said.
DickTiger was the greatest boxer to come out of Africa, and not taking anything away from one man that invited him to America, the boxing great, Hogan Bassey.
On June 15th, 1967, Dick Tiger publicly declares his allegiance to the Biafran State and renounced all association with Nigeria.
On each of his fights. He requests for the Biafran anthem to be played before he fights. Six times Ringman of the year. Knocked out Ruben Carter, whom Denzel Washington portrayed in a movie called ” Hurricane”.
Dick Tiger died in 1971 from cancer at 42 and was buried in Amaigbo.
Biafrans remembers you always. Rest on, the great Biafran Hero.
Economic activities within Owerri were on Monday paralysed by the splinter group of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereignty State of Biafra, who stormed the major roads and streets of the city in celebration of Biafra Independence Day.
The protesters, who arrived in buses from the 27 local government areas of the state with flags and placards bearing various inscriptions, depicting commitment to Biafra, wore military uniforms and chanted Biafra songs.
The protesters comprising of men, women and youths, arrived the busy Douglas Road by 8am from where they moved to the popular Ama JK Junction, Wetheral Road, Tetlow Road, Royce Road and Bank Road.
Acknowledging cheers from supporters, who incessantly shouted, “On Biafra we stand!”, the protesters defied the scorching early morning sun as they proceeded to the Maria Assumpta Roundabout, popularly called Control-Post, where they later assembled.
Armed policemen who were closely watching the agitators did not stop or harass the protesters ostensibly because it was non-violent.
In a telephone chat with our correspondent, the leader of the Biafra Independent Movement, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, said that the march was organised to prove his commitment to the actualisation of the Biafran project.
He said, “I challenge anybody who claims to be of a higher command and authority than myself in the struggle to actualise Biafra to come out and prove his mettle. Of course, nobody, group, or association can do this because they lack the capacity and membership to do so.”
Uwazuruike, who expressed satisfaction with the peaceful protest, said he was optimistic that the Biafran project would eventually be realised in no distant time.
Meanwhile, more than 40 pro-Biafra activists were arrested by the police while holding a rally to commemorate ‘Biafra Day’ in Enugu, on Monday.
Forty-seven were arrested in Cross River and 50 were nabbed in Ebonyi.
The arrested activists in Enugu were members of the Biafra Independence Movement, a group led by Uwazuruike, a former leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.
Major pro-Biafra groups, MASSOB and the Indigenous People of Biafra, celebrate ‘Biafra Day’ on May 30, but BIM commemorates the defunct Biafra nation on May 22. (Punchng.com)
The former governor of Imo state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim paid a surprise courtesy visit to IPOB leader, Mazi Nnmadi Kanu in his family home .
Nollywood actor, Jim Iyke also paid a courtesy visit to Kanu when the governor was there. Top Nollywood actor, Jim Iyke took the honour to serve kola nuts, as IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, hosts Ohakim
Chief Ohakim was seen exchanging pleasantries with Nnamdi Kanu’s family members in a very cordial atmosphere.
Ohakim had also a one on one conversation with his host but the content of their discussion was not made available to the public.
Some questions were raised in some quarters why these Igbo personalities were unable to pay Kanu a visit while he as in prison for almost two years, but many are now trooping in their numbers to pay him a visit. Were these folks afraid that a visit would expose them to danger or persecution? Hopefully, that question will really be addressed someday.
Ikedi Ohakim pays visit to Nnamdi Kanu, The Republican News
Ohakim greeting Kanu’s family members , The Republican News
Jim Iyke serves kola nuts to Ohakim, The Republican News