■ FIRS in suit no FHC/PH/CS/149/2020 had through a motion on notice applied for a Stay of Execution on the earlier judgement of the court presided over by Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam, that declared that it was the constitutionally role of State governments to collect VAT and not FIRS.
AFederal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has dismissed an application by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, seeking to stop the Rivers State Government from collecting Value Added Tax, VAT in the State.
FIRS in suit no FHC/PH/CS/149/2020 had through a motion on notice applied for a Stay of Execution on the earlier judgement of the court presided over by Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam, that declared that it was the constitutionally role of State governments to collect VAT and not FIRS.
Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam, in his ruling on FIRS application for a stay of execution, said the granting the application would negate the principle of equity.
He noted that the Rivers State Government through the State Assembly, has duly enacted Rivers State Value Added Tax No. 4, 2021, which makes it a legitimate right of the state to collect VAT.
According to the judge, every court in the country is constitutionally mandated to obey every legislation enacted by both the National and state Assemblies respectively.
He explained that the Rivers State government law on VAT remains valid until it has been set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Justice Pam stated that since FIRS was ab initio acting in error by collecting VAT in Rivers State, and had huge burden of refund of those monies, there was need not to allow it incur further liability.
The judge declared that the FIRS application is refused and dismissed in the light of the fact that all subsisting laws concerning the collection of VAT stand in favour of the Rivers State Government.
Earlier, Justice Pam had read a letter that FIRS lawyers served the court seeking for stay of any ruling on their application.
But, in the absence of any requisite document that ought to have been attached to the letter, the judge dismissed the letter.
Speaking on the implication of the ruling, the counsel for Rivers State Government, Mark Agwu, said the Rivers State Government was still entitled to collect VAT within the State.
“Today, the court has delivered its ruling dismissing the said application for stay of execution, though without cost. In fact, the court’s reason is that if it should grant stay, it is more or less like over- ruling itself.
“And then, since the court is empowered to recognize all laws enacted by the National Assembly or the State Houses of Assembly, therefore, that law(Rivers) stands, it is a substantive law.
“Therefore, the issue of collection of VAT, as it stands today; Rivers State Government is still entitled to so collect. That is where we are today.”
In his reaction, the Rivers State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Isaac Kamalu said the decision by the court confirmed the position that Rivers State had the authority to collect VAT.
Lead counsel to Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) Reuben Wanogho, said the court delivered its ruling on the basis of how it saw the facts of the case before it.
According to him, they did not agree with the ruling and already resolved to take all necessary steps to challenge it. (Sahara Reporters)
In March 2021, the British Government released on its official Home Office website, a 56 page report in which it shared its thoughts on the Biafran agitation.
The report talked about IPOB, MASSOB, ESN, Nnamdi Kanu, Buhari and his administration. The report also offered Asylum to IPOB and MASSOB members. Excerpts of the report are below
On IPOB being declared a terrorist group: While MASSOB appears not to be banned, IPOB has been proscribed as a terrorist organisation.
However, both groups have generally acted peacefully in advocating for an independent ‘Biafra’ and been the victims of state violence.
The groups have also used inflammatory rhetoric, including comments in support of violence, and clashed violently with the authorities during demonstrations and protests, resulting in deaths of security force members and damage to property
ESN: In December 2020, IPOB is reported to have set up the Eastern Security Network (ESN), a militia to counter the rising insecurity in the region. In February 2021, Facebook locked Kanu’s account for violating its rules on harm and hate speech.
The security forces have also alleged that IPOB members have on occasion targeted and killed police officers. Reports of casualties vary, but in October 2020 at least three police officers and six army officers were killed in clashes with IPOB.
It is not clear from the sources consulted whether supporters or members who have been arrested have since been prosecuted or convicted for treason or other offences. Nor do sources provide specific information about the length of or treatment of members or supporters of Biafran groups in detention.
In February 2021 the Nigerian military launched land and air operations against operatives of the ESN, a militia/vigilante group originally set up to protect the south-eastern region, which IPOB claims marked the beginning of the second Nigeria/Biafra war
MASSOB: MASSOB, since its formation in the late 1990s, has clashed with the security forces. Numerous members have been killed, wounded and arrested –usually during demonstrations.
Over a hundred arrests were made in September 2018, at least 10 in 2019; and, in July 2020, it was reported that members of MASSOB were arrested following clashes with police. IPOB grew out of MASSOB between 2012 and 2014 and reportedly has a presence outside of Nigeria, including the UK.
There are also reported to be a number of minor Biafran groups but these do not seem to have a significant presence in the country. In recent years, MASSOB has become divided, splitting into several smaller groups and is less active than IPOB.
Both MASSOB and IPOB have largely advocated for peaceful change but on occasions have used rhetoric that may encourage violent resistance.
IPOB in particular, through its online platform, Radio Biafra, and online comments of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, has stoked secessionist aspirations and encouraged resistance to the authorities.
Oyigbo(Obigbo): Further clashes and violence occurred between security forces and IPOB in August 2020 in the city of Enugu when police stormed an IPOB meeting and also in October 2020 during confrontations in Rivers State.
These incidents resulted in the arrests and deaths of IPOB supporters as well security force personnel, although there seem to be contradictory reporting on the exact figures.
In November 2020 there were reports that security forces were carrying out revenge killings following the October attacks in the Rivers State area of Oyigbo, these reports were denied by state Governor Nyesom Wike.
Following an attack by IPOB members in Rivers State in October 2020, the governor offered a reward for information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of the IPOB state leader Stanley Mgbere.
CPIT could find no further information in the sources consulted that Mr Mgbere had been located and arrested
Nnamdi Kanu: The IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu reportedly resides in the UK. He is the director of London-based Radio Biafra, an online radio station set up to broadcast the demands of secessionists. Programmes are transmitted daily in English and Igbo.
He had been recruited by MASSOB leader Uwazuruike to run Radio Biafra in London.
The pair fell out and Kanu later re-emerged as IPOB leader. BBC monitoring also stated:‘The leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu says he is ready to face trials and defend Biafrans at the International Criminal Court (ICC), against “genocidal” attacks by “killer herdsmen and bandits”. Speaking on a live broadcast on Radio Biafra, he says: “Herdsmen will attack us, rape our women, destroy our farms and kill our farmers nobody will arrest them but when we try to defend ourselves, the government will come after us rolling out the tanks and using their helicopter gunboats.
If defending our ancestral land against conquest by Fulani supporter of APC invaders will take me to The Hague, I am ready to go to The Hague.
Another major clash between the armed forces and the pro-Biafra activists occurred in October 2015 when the IPOB-leader Kanu was arrested on charges of treason and ethnic incitement.
A wave of street protests and arrests followed. Kanu was released on 25 April 2017. However, on 22 September 2017, soldiers attacked the house where Kanu was staying and killed 28 people in the surroundings. The government denied the claim.
To read the full 56 page report visit the link below.
DJ Switch is seeking asylum in Canada following her testimony on the Lekki Toll Gate massacre.
A report by News Wire stated that DJ Switch has appeared before the Sub-committee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the Canadian Parliament, where she spoke about her ordeal during and after the #EndSARS protests.
A post by Dr. Kemi Olunloyo on social media also confirms that DJ Switch is already in asylum hearings in Canada.
She revealed in her statement that the soldiers insisted they were working under strict instructions.
See the screenshot;
Saharareporters reports that she told the Canadian parliament that she counted not less than seven persons shot, adding that one of the soldiers threatened to shoot her.
She said this about the October 20 incident:
“On October 20, 2020, we had spirited Nigerians there united with one goal against police brutality against bad governance. What started out as a protest against police brutality with the unit called SARS, unfortunately, degenerated into something I still find hard to reconcile within my heart.
We got information that the government wants to see me and six other people and I remember saying to them that we have no leader and if the government wanted to speak with us, he should kindly come to the toll gate and address Nigerians because we have been out for eleven days.
As we didn’t know where the gunshots were coming from and what they are about and then the lights went off.
I remembered the military came in first, they stopped shooting at some point and I walked up to one of them and I asked why he was shooting at us and he said he had express order from above, and I was coming too close to him and if I come too close, it would be considered an attack on him and he would have to shoot.
It didn’t take another ten minutes, the shooting started again. I remember seeing seven people that have been shot down and we were telling people on my live Instagram to help us call an ambulance.”
“I have been on the move because they have been after my life. The first threat came in, I thought it was a joke, I sincerely thought it was a joke. Just as I was leaving, I got a phone call that I should leave the vicinity because there are military men at the hospital.
I had to abandon my home, I moved from people’s home, and then just to get out of Nigeria. I am still travelling, and I am not done with my trip.”
The United States in a press statement by the Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo has sent a strong message to the government of Nigeria to hold and bring those responsible for these crimes to book.
But, knowing the culture of impunity in Nigeria and the complicit attitude of the present administration, nothing will be done and it would be business as usual while more lives are lost in these senseless mass murders.
We condemn the recent senseless and brazen killings of civilians in northern Nigeria.
In recent weeks, suspected ISIS West Africa militants launched multiple attacks in Borno State, killing more than 120 civilians, including women, children, and the elderly. On June 9, unidentified armed bandits attacked a village in Katsina State, killing dozens.
These horrific crimes follow the shooting of a pastor and his pregnant wife on June 1 and the killing of an imam, local village head, and several civilians on June 5 in the course of intercommunal violence in Taraba State.
Tens of thousands of civilians have lost their lives in Nigeria in recent years to violent attacks by terrorist groups or criminal gangs, in inter-communal violence, or due to their religious beliefs. The United States calls on the Government of Nigeria to do more to strengthen ongoing efforts to address this violence, hold those responsible accountable, and protect civilians.
Find below the detailed briefing by Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB to United States State Department detailing the activities of various Islamic groups on mass murders of Christians.
This was the briefing that made Buhari’s special assistant on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu to cry foul and claimed that IPOB, a terrorist group is using Christianity to wage war against Nigerian state.
Read below the details and make your own conclusions if the group lied in their account of the events in Nigeria or they were simply telling the truth.
Briefing for US State Department
Nigeria: A History Of Serial Genocide And The Urgent Need For US Intervention
Being a Presentation by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the U.S. State Department in June 2019.
Abstract: The purpose of this submission is to formally bring to the attention of the Government of the United States, the violent Islamization that is taking hold in Nigeria against Christians and Jews, especially of Biafran extraction. As shall be demonstrated, this Islamization is by both State and by non-State actors that enjoyed the patronage and tacit support of the State. It is such that may lead to another genocide that will offend the conscience of nations, including particularly the United States, which possesses the singular capacity to intervene with lasting solutions.
1.. Background History: Nigeria is an oil-rich country and a regional power in West Africa. It is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual country with a population of about 180 million people.
There are three major ethnic groups, the Igbo (also known as Ibo), the Yoruba, and the Hausa-Fulani; and 250 other smaller ethnic groups. The Hausa-Fulani are predominantly Muslims, and live in the Northern (Sahelian) part of Nigeria; the Yoruba who live in the Southwest are split almost evenly between Muslims and Christians. Yoruba Muslims profess a moderate form of Islam, as opposed to the more fundamentalist Sunni practice observed in Northern Nigeria, and from which the Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen Islamic terrorists emanated. There is a small Shia minority amongst the majority Sunni Muslims that are ruling Nigeria.
The Biafrans (the centerpiece of this submission) inhabit the Southeastern part of Nigeria with a population of over 70 million. About 50 million of them – the Igbos – speak the Igbo language and are predominantly Christians, but with a rapidly growing Jewish minority. Their land is blessed with human and mineral resources including hydrocarbons. Biafrans are very commercially-inclined, industrious and are given to scholarly and professional pursuits. They had an established democratic institution even before colonization by the British. They are very republican and egalitarian in nature, and coexisted peacefully with their neighbours prior to colonization and their amalgamation with the rest of Nigeria in 1914.
In 1966, soon after the world commemorated the 21st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and made the customary solemn declaration of ‘Never, Never Again’, Nigeria defiled that season of reflection, commiseration and hope. Its military officers, the police, Hausa-Fulani emirs, Muslim clerics and intellectuals, civil servants, journalists, politicians and other public figures planned and executed the Biafran (aka Igbo) genocide – the foundational genocide of post-European conquest Africa. This is also Africa’s most devastating genocide of the 20th century. A total of 3.1 million Igbo people were murdered between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970. And had Biafran not unilaterally declared its independence in order to protect itself, the massacre would have been incalculable.
Most Biafrans, especially the Igbos were slaughtered in their homes, offices, businesses, schools, colleges, hospitals, markets, churches, shrines, farmlands, factories/industrial enterprises, children’s playground, town halls, refugee centres, cars, lorries, and at bus stations, railway stations, airports, etc.
In the end, the genocide was enforced by Nigeria’s simultaneously pursued land, aerial and naval blockade and bombardment of Biafraland, Africa’s highest population density region outside the Nile Delta. In other words, even in their own heartland where they had taken refuge, they were pursued and eventually subdued. The excuse then, as it were, was that Nigeria was prosecuting a war of ‘reunification’. On the contrary, there is quantum evidence that the war was provoked in order to accomplish the genocide that had begun against Biafrans – generally and Igbos – particularly. The difference this time was to take it to their homeland where they had fled and taken refuge under the defunct Republic of Biafra.
The following excerpt from recently declassified US Embassy diplomatic dispatches of the era on the pogroms and the war that followed states that:
“The North was minded to use the war as a tool to reassert its dominance of national affairs. Mallam Kagu, Damboa, Regional Editor of the Morning Post, told the American consul in Kaduna: “No one should kid himself that this is a fight between the East and the rest of Nigeria. It is a fight between the North and the Ibo.” He added that the rebels would be flushed out of Enugu within six weeks. Lt. Colonel Hassan Katsina went further to say with the level of enthusiasm among the soldiers; it would be a matter of “only hours before Ojukwu and his men were rounded up”.
“The northern section of the Nigerian military was the best equipped in the country. To ensure the region’s continued dominance, the British assigned most of the army and air force resources to the North. It was only the Navy’s they could not transfer. All the elite military schools were there. The headquarters of the infantry and artillery corps were there. Kaduna alone was home to the headquarters of the 1st Division of the Nigerian Army, Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria (Army Depot), Air Force Training School and, Nigerian Defence Academy. Maitama Sule, Minister of Mines and Power in 1966, once told the story of how Muhammadu Ribadu, his counterpart in Defence Ministry, went to the Nigerian Military School, Zaria, and the British Commandant of the school told him many of the students could not continue because they failed woefully. When Ribadu thumbed through the list, Sule said, it was a Mohammed, an Ibrahim, a Yusuf or an Abdullahi. “You don’t know what you are doing and because of this you cannot continue to head the school,” an irate Ribadu was said to have told the commandant. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua was one of the students for whom the commandant was sacked. “You can see what Yar’Adua later became in life. He became the vice president. This is the power of forward planning,” Sule declared.
“Ten trucks of Nigerien soldiers were seen being transported for service in the Nigerian Army from Gusau to Kaduna and over 2,000 more waiting on Niger-Nigeria border for transportation to Kaduna. The secret document went on: “1,000 Chadian soldiers passed through Maiduguri en route Kaduna. These mercenary soldiers constituted the “Sweepers.” The captured American teachers aptly observed that there were soldiers regarded as fighting soldiers and there were other units that came behind to conduct mass exterminations. Major Alani, it was understood, was trying to get as many civilians as possible into the bush before the sweepers could arrive. On the 5 October, when they came, a lieutenant attempted to arrest the American teachers at St. Patrick’s College and their non-Igbo refugees, who had hidden from retreating but still vicious Biafran troops. Captain Johnson quickly summoned Major Alani. The lieutenant claimed to be acting for a “Major Jordane,” but a check proved this as false. Alani sent the lieutenant and his men away and posted a guard to the school until the staff and refugees left Asaba. There were too many civilians to be executed that Captain Paul Ogbebor and his men were asked to get rid of a group of several hundred Asaba citizens rounded up on 7 October. Not wanting to risk insubordination, he marched the contingent into the bush, told the people to run and had his men fire harmlessly into the ground. Eyewitness accounts confirmed that he performed the same life-saving deception in Ogwashi-Uku.
“However, other civilian contingents the sweepers rounded up were shot behind the Catholic Mission and their bodies thrown into the Niger River. This incident and many others were reported to Colonel Arthur Halligan, the US military attaché in Nigeria at that time, the document concluded.” End quote.
Earlier on in 1945 and 1953, the Hausa-Fulani political leadership had carried out two premeditated pogroms on Igbo immigrant populations in Jos and Kano in opposition to the Igbo vanguard role in the struggle for the restoration of Nigerian independence from British conquest. Hundreds of Igbos were murdered on each occasion and their property looted or destroyed. Neither in Kano nor Jos did the regime apprehend or prosecute anyone for these massacres and destruction. Tragically, these pogroms turned out as ‘dress rehearsals’ for the 1966-1970 genocide that was to later claim millions.
The perpetrators, who subsequently seized and pillaged the rich Nigerian oil and gas economy, got off free from any form of sanctions for what are, unquestionably, crimes against humanity. Suffice to say that it’s the same people that have controlled the government of Nigeria since then, including Mr. Buhari – the current President.
There was an extensive coverage of the Igbo genocide in the international media throughout its duration. The United Nations though never condemned this atrocity unequivocally. U Thant, its secretary-general, consistently maintained that it was a ‘Nigerian internal affair’. The United Nations could have stopped this genocide. In the wake of the Jewish genocide of the 1930s-1940s during which 6 million Jews were murdered by Nazi Germany, Africa was, with hindsight, most cruelly unlucky to have been the ‘testing ground’ for the presumed global community’s resolve to fight genocide subsequently, particularly after the 1948 historic United Nations declaration on this crime against humanity.
Only a few would have failed to note that U Thant’s reference to ‘internal’ was staggeringly disingenuous as genocide, as was demonstrated devastatingly 20-30 years earlier on in Europe, would of course occur within some territoriality (‘internal’) where the perpetrator exercises a permanent or temporary sociopolitical control as a State actor.
To make matters worse, a senior British foreign office official was adamant that his government’s position on international relief supply effort to the encircled and bombarded Igbo was to ‘show conspicuous zeal in relief while in fact letting the little buggers starve out’. (See: Roger Morris, Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger & American Foreign Policy (London & New York: Quartet Books, 1977), p. 122. See also Michael Leapman, ‘While the Biafrans starved, the FO moaned with hacks’, The Independent on Sunday (London), 3 January 1999).
Robert Melson, a foreigner, a Holocaust survivor and a Nigerian expert who witnessed what happened between 1967 -1970. In his book, ‘Revolution and genocide’, Melson states that: “I could not help but make the connection between their experience and my own. Biafrans were being killed purely for their identity: it was as if the twenty-some years after the Second World War had been compressed into a few minutes. The Holocaust monster was on the prowl again, and it was no use trying to escape its implications in Africa or elsewhere”.
If the Rome Statute had then existed, Nigeria’s head of the Federal Military Government, Yakubu Gowon, his commanders and several others would have been prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity for orchestrating the destruction of Biafrans in whole or in substantial part because of their ethnicity
The Present Era: We are aware of the propaganda emanating from the Nigerian government and Northern Nigerian Islamic fundamentalists aligned with the government that the neo-Biafran struggle for self-determination is an ethnic backlash against President Mohamadu Buhari just because he is an Hausa-Fulani Muslim. We state unequivocally that this is false and petty. The truth is that the post-War struggle peaked in mid-2015 when Mr Buhari systematically embarked on his Jihadist policies, coupled with his open toleration of Fulani herdsmen terrorists that had simultaneously commenced an intense ethnic cleansing of Christians, including Biafrans. This was also immediately following a well-publicized comment by Mr Buhari (during his campaign for the presidency) that ‘an attack against Boko Haram is an attack against northern Nigerian muslims’. Little wonder then that Boko Haram terrorism has peaked to new highs since Buhari’s Presidency.
In the face of Mr Buhari’s anti-Christian posturing and his complicit inaction to reign-in on herdsmen and Boko Haram terrorists, Biafrans responded by organizing themselves under a group named the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, a devout Jewish adherent of dual Nigerian and British citizenship.
It is to be noted that Kanu was borne in 1967 and thus never participated in the war of 1967 -1970. So, he couldn’t have been driven by a sense of loss, revenge or bitterness; but by, instead, a sense that his people are being mistreated badly and are verging in again becoming the victims of another genocide. Majority of Biafrans share the same view, even so quietly because of fear of retribution by the Nigerian government or other non-State Islamic groups in alliance with the government.
Kanu, who employed non-violent means was nonetheless harassed, arrested, tortured, jailed without trial; and according to credible accounts, was offered gratification to abandon the struggle but he refused. His tribulations is but one of such levied by the Buhari-led administration against thousands of Biafrans, all because their ethnicity and religion and for possessing a political opinion (self determination) which the government of Nigeria is intent on suppressing through a punishment of some sort.
Amnesty International reports that since the advent of the Buhari administration in 2015 till now, Nigerian government has killed more than 300 Biafrans and wounded many more while they held peaceful protests against the killings and for self-determination. Amnesty International says that many of those pro-Biafra protesters were shot and killed in their sleep and others while they gathered in churches to pray. Many of the protesters were shot and killed from behind while they tried to escape.
According to the Report titled – NIGERIA: SHADOW REPORT TO THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS, 62ND ORDINARY SESSION: 25 APRIL- 09 MAY 2018, it is stated that: “In the southeast, the military was deployed to respond to a series of protests, marches and gatherings by members and supporters of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB ), who are seeking the creation of an independent Biafran state. Between August 2015 and October 2016, security forces killed at least 150 IPOB members and supporters during non-violent gatherings. Amnesty International documented 11 incidents, including one where at least 60 people were killed in May 2016 when the security forces opened fire on IPOB supporters in various locations in the southeast and another in September 2017, where security forces killed at least 12 IPOB supporters in Umuahia, Abia state. The Federal authorities banned IPOB in 2017”.
Country Reports released by the US State Department between the current period in review (2016 – 2018) confirmed much of these, particularly the Nigerian government’s declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organization in September 2017, which shocked the conscience of the international community, especially as President Buhari had fought against declaring Boko Haram a terrorist organization and scoffs at the global view that Fulani herdsmen terrorists militia is the fourth deadliest in the world.
As you are reading this, the massacre by Fulani herdsmen Islamic terrorists is on-going. We continue to bury our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters every week, and every month. We have watched our daughters and wives publicly raped and butchered. People have been burnt alive.
President Buhari has made Nigeria the most dangerous country in the world for Christians, most especially Biafrans. Hundreds of thousands are routinely plundered, tortured, or killed with impunity by Nigerian security forces controlled and populated by Buhari’s tribesmen; often in collaboration with Fulani herdsmen Islamist terrorist group. The US Presidential Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended listing Nigeria as a country of concern because of its religious oppressions. Vice President Mike Pence has voiced acute chagrin over the genocidal persecution of Christians in Nigeria. United States sales or transfers of weapons to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram are diverted to killing and terrorizing largely Christian Biafrans.� President Buhari is undoubtedly promoting radical Islam in Nigeria. He has joined the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and is presently planning a publicly-funded OIC Islamist Film Festival in a secular Nigeria. He has endorsed Sharia law in twelve northern Nigerian states. He has treated Boko Haram with kid gloves, releasing from detention hundreds arrested by the previous administrations and gave them financial inducements and directed their Nass recruitment into the Nigerian army. He has appointed radical Muslims to head every Nigerian security agency. He is an ally of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism under United States law; and he has generally pursued policies that put Nigeria at odds with US national interest since he came to office. �President Buhari is conducting a genocidal campaign against tens of millions of Biafrans, including mass killings, torture, and the destruction of Christian schools, hospitals, and churches. He has wrongly branded and terrorized the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to retaliate against peaceful demonstrations favoring the restoration of Biafran independence that was cruelly extinguished by a genocidal military campaign Buhari partly led between 1967 and 1970. He has concocted treason charges against IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu to crush Biafran self-determination, despite the fact that self-determination is legal under Nigerian law. Mr. Buhari’s demonic rule is convulsing Nigeria and creating new safe havens for radical Islamic terrorists.
Just recently, former President Obasanjo publicly stated that there is an agenda to Islamize and ‘Fulanize’ Nigeria. And a few days later, former Christian military leaders of Nigeria filed a petition before the British Parliament pointedly accusing Mr Buhari of pursuing jihad to Islamize Nigeria. The sole umbrella organization of Christians in Nigeria – the Christian Association of Nigeria – has lately expressed similar fears.
Biafrans constitute a distinct “nationality” within Nigeria. Approximately 60 million Biafrans reside in Nigeria, the majority in the five Biafran states in the southeast: Imo, Abia, Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi, with a sizable number residing in Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.
Biafra enjoyed sovereignty before Great Britain commenced colonial rule over Nigeria. Prior to British colonization in 1906, Biafrans enjoyed decentralized self-government. In 1900, the British government assumed responsibility for the Royal Niger Company’s territories, and formed the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria, the Southern Protectorate and the Lagos Colony Protectorate territories 1914 witnessed the amalgamation of Nigeria into three administrative areas: the crown colony of Lagos and the Protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria, altogether called Nigeria.
In 1960, Britain ended its colonization of Nigeria without reference to the Biafrans or any other peoples of Nigeria entitled to self-determination. The Nigeria Independence Act established Nigerian territorial boundaries not by popular referendum or other reliable manifestations of self-determination of peoples, but according to the Nigeria’s Orders in Council, 1954 to 1960. Britain’s failure to offer Biafrans the right to self-determination violated the United Nations General Assembly Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples adopted on 14 December 1960. Paragraph 5 of the Declaration required that immediate steps be taken by the colonial power “to transfer all powers to the peoples of those [colonized] territories…in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire…in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.”
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations emphasized that, “By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, all peoples have the right freely to determine without external interference their political status….”.
The people of Biafra—recognized as distinct by British colonial authorities—were never provided an opportunity to vote for complete independence and freedom from the rest of Nigeria according to their freely expressed will and desire. They were never consulted on the subject when Nigeria became independent in 1960. Further, the 1960 Constitution of Nigeria was never approved by the people of Biafra in a referendum or otherwise. And neither has any subsequent Nigerian Constitution, including the current version decreed by a military dictator in 1999. After independence, Nigeria soon became a ‘house of horrors’ for Biafrans. Deprived of their right to self-determination, they were left to the tender mercies of the Hausa-Fulani of the North and the largely Muslim Yoruba of the South in a unitary state unsuited for Nigeria’s diverse tribal, ethnic, and religious groupings. The gruesome 1967-1970 Biafran War was emblematic. It featured ethnic-based massacres and starvation of up to 2 million Biafrans by the Government of Nigeria. At the war’s conclusion, Mr. Gowon (who led Nigeria) trumpeted, “No victor, no vanquished.” The words proved a cruel hoax. Biafrans have been marginalized, persecuted, and subjected to a Northern military political yoke ever since; and there is no end in sight as the current President Nr Buhari has ratcheted up on it, all with his burgeoning jihad.
The Indigenous People of Biafra and its leader Nnamdi Kanu have taken up the tasks of ensuring the survival of Biafrans while pursuing a legal pathway to the restoration of Biafra.
On the basis of the foregoing, we respectfully request that the State Department recommend, among other things, denying weapons sales or transfers to Nigeria under the Leahy Amendment; listing Nigerians complicit in persecuting Christian Biafrans under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act; and supporting a United Nations organized and conducted Referendum on restoring Biafran independence.
We would be grateful for an opportunity to continue this engagement and to meet with the US Congress and White House officials to discuss our conviction that the interests of the United States in protecting Biafran Christians, defeating radical Islam, and preventing instability in West Africa would be enhanced by adjusting or altering current bilateral relations with Nigeria based on the foregoing.
Respectfully Submitted by Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB)
In a press release that seems to be a cry for losing the fight against IPOB on the international diplomatic front, Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity stressed on how they are losing the war against IPOB.
For those who thought that Maazi Nnamdi Kanu and his group IPOB are group of fraudsters and low lifers, they now know very well what the fight is about and where the fight is fought, International diplomatic war front.
Obviously, it is clear that IPOB is winning the war and that the Nigerian state is fighting a losing battle. IPOB shocked Nigerian government by documenting every details of extrajudicial killings, human rights violations, murders by Fulani herdsmen and others and the dereliction by the Buhari’s government and pass them on to the various international groups and world super powers. These informations with time begin to draw the attention of these bodies and governments. The effect is what you are about to read below. Let’s remind you that other groups like Lower Niger Congress, LNC, Christian groups and others have been bombarding the international community with details just like IPOB has been doing.
The press release is below
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
IPOB, SELF-PROCLAIMED JEWS, USING CHRISTIANITY TO WAGE WAR AGAINST THE NIGERIAN STATE
The Presidency wishes to draw the attention of all citizens and the international community to a most misleading campaign spearheaded by the so-called Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) using false allegations of persecution of Christians against the Nigerian State.
A very deep and wide investigation by an agency of the Nigerian government, working with international partners have made us become aware that there are two, interconnected campaigns being run concurrently by the IPOB in this regard.
Both are using the cover of Christianity – and calling for a US Special Envoy to be appointed to stop the “genocide” of Christians in Nigeria. But the real purpose is to drive a wedge between the Nigeria government and its US and UK/European allies.
IPOB leadership of course self-proclaims as “Jewish,” a position not shared by the generality of the members.
For reasons of convenience, he claims to have an interest in the welfare of Christians – but this is a ruse: the case for independence, the leader believes, is strengthened by “proving” the government of Nigeria is “autocratic”, engaged in a “silent slaughter” of their own citizens along religion and ethnic lines – and that therefore the only viable option for the unique religious and ethnic minority is a sovereign Biafra separate from Nigeria.
Nigerians and the international community are advised to be wary of this divisive campaign, which available evidence shows is being funded with a monthly spending of $85,000 USD since October 2019, with no records of the source of this largesse.
The campaign consists of producing articles in the names of the alleged Christian NGOs’ leaders (of campaign groups created at the time this PR contract with a US lobbying firm was signed) and letters to and from members of Congress to the White House.
Unfortunately, some Members of Congress have clearly been persuaded there is indeed a “Christian persecution” underway in Nigeria – and do so quoting the campaign – and they are known to be taking up the case directly with the White House to appoint the special envoy.
The American charity secured a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and has made presentations to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
There is also a UK and European angle of the Campaign, which is more opaque than its US sister campaign – given there is less legal requirement for public filings – but what is known of this at the moment is that their Budget is sufficient to hire four PR firms in the UK, Belgium, France and the US (the latter additional to the above).
They have founded an “NGO/Charity” and a linked web-based campaign named “Stop the Silent Slaughter” which is well designed and complete with video “evidence”-completely concocted.
Members of the alleged Christian NGO have had multiple Op-Ed articles in conservative news websites promulgating their message of a “Christian Genocide”. Some of those articles have also been used as “evidence” in the sister US campaign.
Two of those conservative news websites were co-founded by the owner of the UK PR firm they have hired to generate their publicity as well as an OP-Ed article in the name of a British MP who may have been convinced by their campaign under false pretences.
They have secured additional coverage in France, EU and Germany.
They secured a MPs debate on the “Christian Genocide” in the House of Commons in which staff member of the UK PR was referenced as the “private secretary” to the leader of the UK-based Charity.
It is clear from all of the above that the IPOB’s extraordinarily and dubiously well-funded campaign in the US and UK/Europe is misusing the issue of the welfare of Christians purely to further their own political ends, and it seeks to damage inter-religious dialogue in Nigeria as well as to damage the international reputation of Nigeria.
Nigerians and the international community are hereby advised to ignore this campaign as they have disregarded similar past campaigns originated by this group which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian State.
International groups and societies are welcome to send representatives to Nigeria and give a lie to the false claims made by these terrorist groups who are duping them of their money and involving them in conduct and activities disguised to destroy the harmonious relationships existing between their home countries and Nigeria.
Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) June 7, 2020
The police on Monday took over strategic locations in Lagos metropolis in readiness for the anti-government protest initially planned by popular musician Tuface Idibia alias 2baba.
The popular musician cancelled the protest on Sunday citing “security concerns and public safety consideration’’. However, some groups vowed to go ahead with the protest in spite of the cancellation by its initiator. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 100 policemen were seen at the National Stadium, Surulere, the planned take-off point of the protest.
The police team, led by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, came to the National Stadium, with over 15 vehicles and one Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC).
NAN reports that other locations in Lagos metropolis with heavy police presence were the Gani Fawehinmi’s Freedom Square, Ojota and the National Theatre, Iganmu.NAN reports that at 9.00 a.m, a group of about 100 protesters from different groups had gathered at the National Stadium awaiting the arrival of other members of the group.
Speaking with NAN at the stadium, Owoseni said that the police presence was not to stop the protest, but to maintain law and order during the procession.
NAN reports that the main entrance to the stadium, which was initially locked, was opened for the public to use the facility on the orders of the police commissioner.
Yemi Adamolekun, the Executive Director, OneVoiceNigeria, told NAN at the venue that the coalition was not discouraged by the last minute cancellation of the protest by Tuface.
She said the protest was not about Tuface Idibia, but about Nigeria. The planned protest had gained momentum with several public figures and civil society groups pledging to be part of it.
Tuface had called for nationwide protest against what he claimed as the worst economic crisis in the country which saw the costs of goods and services skyrocketing, with many families struggling to survive. (NAN)