The President General of the socio-cultural group of the Igbo in the entire globe known as Ohanaeze has in its response sternly warned the Northern Coalition Group with regards to their 30-day ultimatum for the federal government to rescind its decision to suspend RUGA settlement plan. The Northern Coalition group has earlier in a video making rounds warned the entire southern Nigeria of dire consequences, if they do not accept the RUGA, which they interpreted as refusal to Fulani right of abode in Southern part of Nigeria.
In a very sternly-worded press release, the Ohanaeze president warned the group of giving threat to the rest of the country and asked the federal government to dismantle the federal structure and allow Autonomous Federating Units. Ohanaeze also warned that it will no longer tolerate Northern war mongers and asked the Igbo to get ready to defend itself.
Read the press release below.
My attention has been drawn to a broadcast by Abdul Azeez Suleman, speaking for a coalition of Northern Groups in which he had the audacity to give the Federal Government an ultimatum of 30 days to rescind its decision on the suspension of its RUGA settlements policy. Abdul went further to threaten the expulsion of Southerners resident in the North at the expiration of his dateline if the Federal Government does not rescind its suspension decision.
This irresponsible, unlawful and provocative outburst reminds me of the quit notice from Northern Youths two years ago.
Ohanaeze insists that the RUGA policy is an Islamization and a Fulanisation policy. It is a violation of our constitution and Supreme court decisions on the Land Use Act. It’s suspension without cancelation leaves the Federal Government still in violation of our laws.
The threat to evict law abiding Nigerians from their places of abode in Northern Nigeria is treasonable and obviously like the gun trotting herdsmen will go unnoticed by our Federally controlled law enforcement agencies. Let Abdul, the Federal Government and others like them take notice that Ohanaeze has no objections to all Igbos in the North returning home so long as all Northerners in the East leave the East and we dismantle the Federal structure imposed on us by the military and return to Autonomous Federating Units.
The nepotism exhibited by this Federal Government, her duplicity of standards in law enforcement, her undisguised Fulanisation policy is repugnant to rule of law and good governance. We will no longer tolerate any further threats from these Northern war mongers.
After all, who should be the aggrieved under the circumstance? The millipede that has been marched is whimpering, but the person that marched it is complaining that his foot has been soiled. The South that is bearing the yoke of oppression from cattle herders are trying their best to coexist with their aggressors, yet it is the aggressors that are threatening further mayhem. This cannot be.
I call on all Igbos to be ready to defend themselves. Enough of these threats!
Chief John Nnia Nwodo President General Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.
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• We scheduled meeting before election timetable –Nwodo
Magnus Eze, Enugu
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Ohanaeze Ndigbo of frustrating the party in the South East, including President Muhammad Buhari’s visit to Anambra and Enugu states today.
They alleged that the fixing of meeting of the Imeobi, the highest decision making organ of the body, today, by the Chief Nnia Nwodo leadership, was a design to diminish the import of the President’s visit.
Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chuks Ibegbu said Ndigbo would, at the meeting take a position on which direction they will cast their votes, particularly on the presidential election.
APC National Vice Chairman, South East, Chief Emma Enukwu said the “Ohanaeze is the only socio-cultural group that has taken a position on 2019 election with adoption of a candidate, but power belongs to God.”
Also, a chieftain of the apex Igbo organisation, who belongs to the APC in Enugu State, Prince Richard Ozobu, on Monday, faulted Nwodo for scheduling such an important meeting on the day the President is visiting two states in the region.
Ozobu said: “I’ve been a frontline player in Ohanaeze for many years and Imeobi meeting has never held on a Thursday but Saturdays.
“I can clearly tell you that Nwodo fixed this Imeobi meeting in bad faith. There is no emergency in Igboland to warrant the message he sent across that emergency meeting of Imeobi holds Thursday. This is to show the least, Nwodo’s disdain for President Buhari and he should not hoodwink the entire Igbo nation into his personal calamity.”
But, Ohanaeze, in a swift reaction denied that the Imeobi meeting was scheduled to sabotage the campaign tour of the APC presidential candidate.
Nwodo said in Enugu, yesterday, that the NEC of Ohanaeze Ndigbo had chosen the date without knowing the campaign timetable of the ruling party.
He explained that it was even the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige and the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi that called his attention to the clash. He disclosed that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has in deference to Ngige and Umahi, shifted the time for the meeting from 10:00am to 4:00p.m “on the same day at the instance of Dr. Ngige.
The body noted that they were aware of the extra cost implications due to those that would have gone after the meeting, but would now be accommodated in hotels, apparently to give all Igbo sons and daughters scheduled for the meeting opportunity to be there. The statement added that although Ohanaeze Ndigbo is apolitical, it could aggregate the collective interest of Ndigbo for a candidate that answers to their wish and inclination but would not be dragged down to the level of vile politicking.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has called on Ndigbo to vote massively for President Buhari in the February 16 poll because of the long term benefits to them.
Addressing a meeting of APC faithful in Enugu, he said: “We want to be on the side of history, we want to be on the side of victory because in years to come, we will look back and we want our children and our grandchildren to say this was the moment when the South East got its act together, united and followed a path of victory and a path of sustainable development for the South East and for Nigeria.” (The Sun)
Chief Nnia Nwodo, President General – Ohanaeze Ndigbo
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo said executive orders are an attempt to subvert the fundamental rights of the citizenry.
Raphael Ede, Enugu
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has warned the Federal Government against the use of executive orders, which, he said, could lead to excessive abuse of law and order, thus, “unacceptable in a democratic dispensation.”
Nwodo, who stated this in a statement he issued through his Media Adviser, Chief Emeka Attamah, said in exercising the orders, President Buhari must subject it to the provision of Chapter 4 of the constitution, which enshrines fundamental rights of individuals.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo said executive orders, in a situation where a state of emergency does not exist or has not been proclaimed, are an attempt to subvert the fundamental rights of the citizenry.
He opined that a man cannot be subjected to any disability except as provided by the nation’s constitution and judiciary, adding that it was not proper for the president to stay in his office and decide the fate of any citizen outside the provisions of Section 6: 33 to 45 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo affirmed that fundamental rights cannot be derogated from without judicial pronouncements,” he said. (The Sun)
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday, gave reasons why it is opposed to the planned Ohanaeze Ndigbo summit on the restructuring of Nigeria, slated for May 21 in Awka, Anambra State.
Stating it has nothing against those who genuinely believe restructuring would best address the myriad of problems afflicting the masses in the country, IPOB said it would not allow those who allegedly connived with Nigeria soldiers to attack and kill its members, including its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The group also feels strong against those it described as traitors and collaborators using the cloak of restructuring to advance their personal political ambitions, at the expense of the masses.
IPOB accused the apex Igbo body of trying to use the cover of a restructuring summit to hoodwink the people, when, according to it, the actors in the body are against restructuring and “act against the interest of IPOB whose activism made restructuring widely acceptable.”
A statement by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said: “We feel the need to clarify why we are opposed to this particular Ohanaeze Ndigbo jamboree, slated for Awka on May 21. Anybody or group who attends the event will be seen as an enemy of the people, and a direct supporter of Operation Python Dance, which was instigated by the organisers of the said Ohanaeze Ndigbo summit, to eliminate Kanu and his family, thereby, leaving our land open to Fulani dominance in perpetuity.
“To associate with Nnia Nwodo’s summit is tantamount to an endorsement of mass murder of innocent agitators fighting for the freedom of everybody.
“IPOB is not against those who hold the legitimate view that restructuring will best address the myriad of problems afflicting the masses. We are firm believers in democracy, a plurality of opinion and divergence of views; so, if during a referendum, a majority of the people vote to adopt restructuring as the preferred option to outright break from Nigeria, we would be bound by it.
“We have issues with traitors and collaborators using the cloak of restructuring to advance their personal political ambitions at the expense of the well being of the masses.”
Meanwhile, the newly sworn-in leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, National Youth wing, has said it will not succumb to intimidation and threats of truncating the May 21, Igbo summit.
They stated this during their maiden meeting, held in Owerri, on Tuesday, where they said any attempt to stop the meeting, would undermine their fundamental human rights to speech, association and assembly.
In a communique they issued at the end of the meeting, signed by the Deputy National Leader, Dr Kingsley Dozie, and 10 others, the youths said they recognise and uphold the fact that Ndigbo are industrious, enterprising and law-abiding people, with incontrovertible sense of conviviality, “but, we advise members of IPOB to embrace peace, dialogue and constructive reasoning as the best medium for the common good.”
“In as much as we condemn the unjust killing of our people and proscription of IPOB, we will not succumb to intimidation and threats of truncating the Igbo summit holding in Awka on May 21, 2018.” (The Sun)
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the pan-Igbo socio-cultural group, has asked the Federal Government to stop carrying out “unwarranted inquisition” into the life of Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu.
Speaking in Enugu yesterday, President of the group, Nnia Nwodo, said Ohaneze Ndigbo will resist any attempt to discredit Ekweremadu.
He said the allegation that deputy senate president, the highest ranking Igbo politician in the country, embezzled public funds without any prima facie case was inappropriate.
He said as a revered Igbo son, Ekweremadu had attracted a lot of developments to the Southeastern region without any previous accusation of embezzlement.
“Senator Ekweremadu is a revered Igbo son, whose public image is very high. He has attracted a lot of development to his area. He has never occupied any public office and accused of embezzlement.
“The idea of asking the senator to defend himself, instead of his accusers showing how he fraudulently enriched himself, amounts to turning the law upside down,” he said.
Nwodo queried the system of investigation where one is tried for “simply belonging to a political party while another is exonerated of an offence he committed for belonging to a political party or being in government.”
He alleged that a former governor of Enugu State, whose property was under investigation is now dining with the president after dumping his former party for the ruling party.
Nwodo warned that the apex Igbo group will no longer fold its arms while Igbo sons are being “systematically singled out for persecution in a country they have contributed so much to build”.
The federal government is about to charge Ekweremadu before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false asset declaration.
It has also commenced the process of confiscating some of the lawmaker’s property abroad. (The Sun)
The Ohanaeze President, Chief John Nnia Nwodo spoke at the famous Chatham House, the royal institute of international affairs, where many Commonwealth heads of states have delivered speeches.
Dr John Nwodo spoke on national issues bordering around devolution of power and a complete restructuring of Nigeria to boost national cohesion and for economic development.
The speech was delivered on Wednesday, Sept 27, 2017.
Here is the speech:
RESTRUCTURING NIGERIA: DECENTRALISATION FOR NATIONAL COHESION
Let me begin by extending my deep sense of gratitude to the Royal Institute of International Affairs, for inviting me to participate in this current series of discussions on, Next Generation Nigeria: Accountability and National Cohesion. The involvement of this reputable British Institute in discussing and proffering suggestions for extant Nigeria’s problems is not only commendable, but I believe most relieving for the British establishment, who must understandably feel a deep sense of vicarious responsibility for putting together a country confronted which such grim future.
Nigeria became a united British colony by the amalgamation of its Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914. In 1960 it attained independence, fashioned a federal Constitution which had three and subsequently four regions as its federating units. The pre-1960 and the 1963 constitutions of Nigeria were fashioned by the people of Nigeria as represented by the leaders of their ethnic nationalities. The coup of January 1966 and the counter-coup of the same year occasioned by ethnic tensions and disagreements within the military-led our country to disastrous consequences.
Our first Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Tafawa Balewa and the then premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, as well as the then Minister for Finance Festus Okotie-Eboh, were murdered. A massive pogrom was unleashed on South Eastern Nigerians living in the Northern Nigeria. A sitting Head of State from the South East, Major General Aguiyi Ironsi and a governor from the South West Col. Adekunle Fajuyi were murdered. The military suspended our 1963 constitution and adopted a unitary system of government to fit their command and control structures. Opposition to this move by Southern Nigeria led to constitutional talks in Aburi, Ghana. The agreements reached Aburi were jettisoned. War broke out and claimed more than three and a half million lives mostly from the South East. After the war, the military-authored two more constitutions, one in 1979 and another in 1998/99. The two military constitutions were finally approved by the Supreme Military Council.
Under military rule, this organ was the highest legislative organ for the country. It was made up of senior military officers, a majority of whom were from Northern Nigeria. The last constitution of 1998/99 which the military approved was the legal instrument that governed Nigeria’s transition to democracy. It is still in use in Nigeria today. It was not subjected to a national referendum. It created 19 states out of the old Northern Region, 6 states out of the Western Region, 2 states out of the old Midwestern Region and 9 states out of the old Eastern Region.
An agreement by a constitutional conference convened by General Abacha divided the country into six geopolitical zones. This agreement was never incorporated into a legislation even though it continues to be adopted for administrative purposes by Government and the political parties. The creation of states and local governments in these six geographical areas did not respect any equitable parameter.
Our present constitution is not autochthonous. It was not written by the people of Nigeria. It was not approved in a National Referendum. In jurisprudence, its effectiveness will score a very low grade on account of its unacceptability. Regrettably, it continues to hold sway and begins with a false proclamation, “We the People of Nigeria….”
Our present constitution was written at a time of unprecedented increase in National revenue following the massive discovery of oil in Nigeria and its global reliance as a source of fuel for mechanical machines. It had as its centrepiece, the distribution of national revenue and national offices using states and local governments as units for a division. It constructed a federation in name but a unitary government in practice following the pattern enunciated in 1966 from the inception of military administration in Nigeria.
Competition and drive for production by the federating units was destroyed. Each state and local government waited every month for proceeds from oil generated revenue to be divided out to them.
The Federal Government became enormously powerful taking over mining rights, construction of interstate highways, major educational establishments, rail and water transportation, power and several infrastructural responsibilities previously undertaken by the regions. Competition for control of the Federal Government became intense and corrupted our electoral system. Corruption became perverse as the Federal Government became too big to be effectively policed by auditing and administrative regulations.
As I speak to you today, Nigeria has a grim economic outlook. Nigeria’s external debt has grown from $10.3 billion in 2015 to $15 billion in 2017. Her domestic debt has also grown from 8.8 trillion Naira in 2015, to 14 trillion Naira in 2017. Domestic debt component for the 36 states rose from 1.69 trillion Naira in 2015 to 2.9 trillion Naira in June 2017.
The Federal government has on two occasions released bailout funds to enable states to meet their recurrent expenditure requirements. Only about eight states in Nigeria namely Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Edo, Delta, Abia, Rivers, and Kwara have their internally generated revenue sufficient enough to cover their interest repayments on their debts without depending on allocations from Federally collected revenue.
For the Federal Government close to 40% of its annual revenue was spent on servicing of interest repayments on debts and according to International Monetary Fund (IMF), this percentage is expected to increase further. According to Fitch ratings, Nigeria’s Government gross debts is 320% of its annual revenue!! – one of the highest in the world.
In the face of this economic reality, the Population Reference Bureau predicts that Nigeria will in 2050 become the world’s fourth-largest population with a population of 397 million coming after China, India and the United States of America. This is only 33 years away.
In 2011, five Colonels in the United States Centre for Strategy and Technology, Air War College did a case study on Nigeria and the global consequences of its implosion and came out with a conclusion that, “despite its best efforts, Nigeria has a long-term struggle ahead to remain a viable state, much less a top-20 economy”.
Faced with this grim economic outlook and a structure inimical to growth what is, therefore, our way forward? Our growth model has to change for us to survive as a country.
A model based on sharing of Government revenue must give way to a new structure that will challenge and drive productivity in different regions across the country. This new model must take into account that the factors driving productivity in today’s world are no longer driven by fossil oil but rather the proliferation of a knowledge-based economy. The restructuring of Nigeria into smaller and independent federations limits and the devolution of powers to these federating units to control exclusively their human capital development, mineral resources, agriculture, and power (albeit with an obligation to contribute to the federal government) is the only way to salvage our fledging economy. The restructuring will devote attention to the new wealth areas, promote competition and productivity as the new federating units struggle to survive. It will drastically reduce corruption as the large federal parastatals which gulp Government revenue for little or no impact dissolve and give way to small and viable organs in the new federating units.
Those campaigning against restructuring in Nigeria have painted an unfortunate and untrue picture that those of us in support of restructuring are doing so in order to deny the Northern States who have not yet any proven oil reserves of the ability to survive. This is unfortunate. The new model we propose for Nigeria recognizes that revenue in the world today is promoted by two main sources namely, human capital development leveraging on technology to drive the critical sectors of the economy and agriculture. Ten years ago the top ten companies in the world were the likes of Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Total. Today the top eight companies in the world are represented by technology-related companies. They include Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
The example of Netherlands in Agriculture is also relevant here. The Netherlands is the 18th largest economy in the world. It has a land area of about 33.9,000 square kilometres. Niger State, one of Nigeria’s 37 administrative units has about 74,000 square kilometres. Netherlands has over $100 billion from agricultural exports annually, contributed mainly by vegetables and dairy. Nigeria’s oil revenue has never in any one year reached $100 billion. Northern Nigeria is the most endowed agriculturally in Nigeria. Its tomatoes, carrots, cabbages, cucumbers, tubers, grains, livestock and dairy feed the majority of Nigerians in spite of its huge reserve of unexploited export potentials. In a restructured Nigeria, Northern Nigeria with the right agricultural policies will be the richest part of Nigeria.
Our analysis here must be viewed from the background that datelines have been fixed by OECD countries and China for the cessation of production of automobiles and machines dependent on fossil oil. This development and the new technology for production of shale oil in the United States has made world dependence on Nigeria’s crude oil a rapidly declining phenomenon.
This brings me to the question of what form Nigeria will assume under a restructured arrangement and how this restructuring can be brought about. Two basic models have been canvassed for restructuring in Nigeria. A conservative model aimed at maintaining the status quo has been proposed to mean simply a shedding of some of the exclusive powers of the federal government like issuing of mining licences, permission for constructing of federal roads and shedding of regulatory powers over investments in critical sectors of the economy like power. This model merely scratches the surface of the problem. It avoids fundamental devolution of powers.
The second model calls for a fundamental devolution of powers to the States as federating units and a lean Federal Government with exclusive powers for external defence, customs, immigration, foreign relations and a Federal legislature and judiciary to make and interpret laws in these exclusive areas.
This second model proposes states at the federating units with two different approaches. The first approach simply wants the states as the federating units and a federal government with limited powers. It wants the states to control a percentage of revenue accruing from their areas and contribute an agreed percentage of such revenue to the federal government.
The second approach proposes the states as the federating units with a region at each of the six geopolitical units whose constitution will be agreed to and adopted by the states in the geopolitical region. The regions will have the powers to merge existing states or create new ones. There will be regional and state legislatures and judiciary dealing with making and interpreting laws made in the respective political entities. This approach proposes a revenue sharing formulae of 15% to the Federal Government, 35% to the State Government and 50% to the State Governments.
To achieve a national consensus on this subject requires a national discussion. Regrettably, the ruling party, APC which promised to restructure in its manifesto after two years and four months in office is still appointing a committee to define what sort of restructuring it wants for Nigeria. To make matters worse, none of the other political parties has come up with any clear-cut route for achieving a consensus on this matter.
The National Assembly itself is a reflection of the deep ethnic divisions in the country and the Northern majority conferred on it by the military makes it highly unacceptable to Southern Nigeria. Recent resolutions made by it on the devolution of powers have not helped the situation. Happily, the Senate President has promised a revisit of the subject matter.
In the recent past, self-determination groups have sprung up in Nigeria. The self-determination groups include IPOB, MASSOB, YOLICOM, Arewa Youths, Niger Delta Republic and the Republic of the Middle Belt.
Of all these groups IPOB and Boko Haram have been designated as terrorist organisations by the federal government. This development in relation to IPOB is unfortunate. Boko Haram is an armed organisation which has attacked and occupied Nigerian territory hoisted its flag and appointed local authority governments.
It has abducted and abused Nigerian women kidnapped and imprisoned many and killed over two hundred thousand people. It is still involved in guerrilla warfare against Nigeria yet the Federal government is negotiating with them. No member of Boko Haram captured by the military is under trial. Members of this Federal government are on record for condemning the previous government for the brutal murder of Boko Haram members and condemning the retired Chief of Army Staff for the zealous prosecution of the anti-terror campaign. Members of the sect who confess to a change of mind have been received along with their abducted female partners in the Presidency and rehabilitated.
The declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation is in my view hurried, unfair, and not in conformity with the intendment of the law. Whereas I am not completely in agreement with some of the methods of IPOB like its inappropriate and divisive broadcast, the uncontested evidence given by the Attorney General of the Federation in an interlocutory action claiming that IPOB attempted and/or actually snatched guns from law enforcement agents are, if proven, merely criminal offences. They do not constitute enough evidence to meet international law definitions of a terrorist organisation. Happily, the United States Embassy in Nigeria only three days ago shared this conclusion and asserted that the United States Government does not recognise IPOB as a terrorist organisation. This same unarmed IPOB that is being stigmatised by the Nigerian government had its members murdered in Asaba, Nkpor, Aba and Port Harcourt simply for having public demonstrations without the federal government ordering a judicial inquiry. Instead, after I called for one and Amnesty International provided evidence that 150 of them were killed, the Chief of Army Staff set up an inquiry composed of serving and retired army officers thus abandoning the rules of natural justice which prescribes that you cannot be a judge in your own court.
The Igbos in Nigeria feel the treatment of IPOB as unfair, discriminatory and overhanded. They see the move as an attempt to encourage a profiling of Igbos in the international security arena.
We know of other self-determination groups in Nigeria that are armed and have destroyed government and private sector installations and wells that government prefers to negotiate with rather than labeling them as terrorist organisations.
Fulani Herdsmen otherwise called the Fulani militants have ravaged farms in Middlebelt, South West, and South Eastern Nigeria killing several farmers in the process. In January 2016 they killed 500 farmers and their families in Agatu in Benue state. In Enugu state, they murdered more than 100 farmers in Ukpabi Nimbo in April 2016. Photographs depicting them with automatic rifles trend in the entire world media, yet not one of them is facing criminal charges, nor is Operation Python Dance being conducted in the areas where they ravage and kill and the Federal government describes them as criminals and not a terrorist organisation notwithstanding their classification by the Global Terrorist Index as the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world (see British Independent Newspaper, 18th November 2015). The London Guardian Newspaper of 12th July 2016 indicated that Fulani herdsmen killed one thousand people in 2014.
Let me seize this opportunity to once more thank the Royal Institute of International Affairs for inviting me as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to speak here today. In Nigeria, Ndigbo whose social cultured organisation I lead is, notwithstanding their historical experiences in Nigeria, the most loyal ethnic group to the concept of one Nigeria. We are the largest ethnic group other than the indigenous group in any part of Nigeria. We invest and contribute to the economic and social life of the committees wherever we live. We are proudly Christians but very accommodating of our brothers of other religious persuasions. We are grossly marginalised and still treated by the Federal government as second-class citizens. No Igboman, for instance, heads any security arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Our area is the most heavily policed as if there was a deliberate policy to intimidate us and hold us down.
Our endurance has been stretched beyond Hooke’s gauge for an elastic limit. The deployment of the Nigerian Army under the guise of Operation Python dance to the South East was unconstitutional under S. 271 of the 1999 Constitution.
Deployment of the army is only allowed in circumstances of insurrection, terrorism and external aggression, not in the killing of priests, or fighting kidnapping. And in those circumstances where they can be deployed, leave of the Senate must be sought. This brazen impunity in dealing with matters which concern the South East is provocative.
The Arewa Youths Council by issuing a quit notice for Igbos to leave Northern Nigeria and declaring the Federal Republic of Nigeria without Igboland had committed serious infractions of the law. First, by declaring the new Republic of Nigeria which excises the South East unilaterally, they were committing treason. By issuing a proclamation for Nigerians to leave any part of Nigeria forcibly they were infringing the fundamental rights of innocent Nigerians, as guaranteed by the Constitution to live and do business anywhere. By commencing an inventory of Igbo property in Nigeria for seizure by October 1st, 2017, they were attempting a conversion. By proclaiming a mop-up action of those who did not comply with their order by October 1st, they were, without doubt, inciting genocide. Yet in spite of all these orders to arrest them by the Kaduna State Government and the Inspector General of Police were not enforced nor were they prevented from holding court with Governors and leading elders from the North.
The only hope for change in Nigeria today is the rising call for restructuring pioneered by the Southern leadership forum, supported lately by ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, former President Ibrahim Babangida and leaders of the Middle belt including Dan Suleiman and Prof. Jerry Gana.
Our expectation is that now that our President is fully recovered and back to work, he will address the situation by constituting a nationwide conversation of all ethnic nationalities to look into the 2014 National Conference report and the trending views on this subject matter so as to come up with a consensus proposal that the national and state assemblies will be persuaded to adopt.
To continue to neglect a resolution of this impasse will spell doom for our dear country.
Our argument is further reinforced by a two-year extensive study by the UNDP titled, JOURNEY TO EXTREMISM released in September 2017 which indicated that exposure to state abuse and marginalisation, not religious ideology are better predictors of radicalisation.
It also indicates that those living on the periphery of their country with less access to education and health services are more vulnerable to be recruited into violent extremist groups. In Nigeria, millions of unemployed graduates from universities waiting for up to 10 years without gainful employment are restive, agitated and veritable cannon fodders for escalating restiveness.
In conclusion, I hope that the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the British Government and British interests associated with Nigeria will continue to offer useful advice to our polity that will lead to an early resolution of our situation.
I thank you for your kind attention
John Nnia Nwodo
Chatham House, London
Wednesday 27th September 2017
Igbo apex socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday said that it would use its 2017 Igbo Day celebration to seek the face of God to help the Igbo nation overcome the long years of marginalization and myriad of problems facing them in the country.
The Chairman, National Organising Committee of the 2017 Igbo Day celebration, Dr Gregory Ibe, who disclosed this at a world press conference held at the Ohanaeze secretariat in Enugu after the inauguration of the committee, said they have lined up several church activities for the one-week long celebration to seek divine solution to the problems of the Igbo, as well as pray for the nation.
His words: “As you are aware Ohanaeze annually organizes the Igbo Day Celebration as a way of commemorating the unique Igbo traditional heritage. Against the backdrop of the current challenges of Ndigbo and as a way of seeking divine solutions to these problems, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has decided to use the annual Igbo Day Celebration for 2017 to mobilize Igbos across the globe to pray and seek the face of God for Nigeria and Ndigbo in particular.”
According to him, the prayers which would start in Sabbath and Celestial churches on September 23 would see the Igbo raising as prayer points supplications to God to help the Igbo get justice, peace and equity that would truly make them belong to Nigeria.
“The Igbo operate on the premise that there is God; God dictates the pace so we will put everything in the hands of God, we are now looking unto God to help Nigeria to be one,” he said.
Dr Ibe, who is also the Chancellor and founder of Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, said the theme of the celebration is “Oganiru Anyi di n’aka Chukwu”, meaning our moving forward is in the hands of God.
The chairman who said that the grand finale of the celebration would be held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State which is the host state with Enugu State co-hosting the event added that a day would be set aside for prophetic prayers in Abuja after an interdenominational service in selected churches across the country and in the Diaspora.
He said that Ohanaeze would mobilise Ndigbo at home and in the Diaspora to pray for the country to give the people their due in the nation, enjoining all Igbo to participate in all the programmes lined up for the celebration. (The Sun)
The apex Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze, has flayed the Federal government over the recent reorganisation at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
It said the lopsided nature of the exercise was a confirmation of the disdain the incumbent administration has for the South East.
President-General of the body, Chief John Nnia Nwodo said the marginalisation of the South East in the reorganisation showed that President Muhammadu Buhari’sstatement that the unity of Nigeria was settled and non-negotiable was mere lip service.
Nwodo who stated this in a statement he personally signed, said the president must revisit the exercise in the interest of peace, unity and good governance.
The NNPC, last Tuesday, announced fresh appointments and deployments of top executive officers across the value chain of its operations.
Nwodo said the reorganisation, which involved 55 top executives of the corporation, was not only appalling but also betrayed“consistent and unrepentant dispositionof disdain for the South East by the Buhari administration.”
He stressed that the Ohanaeze had thought that following the president’s declaration in a broadcast recently that Nigeria’s unity was settled and non-negotiable,he would take all necessary actions in his governance to achieve it.
However, it noted that the NNPC shake up had not shown that the administration was walking its talk.
“This brazen disregard, marginalisation and non-compliance with the Federal character provisions in our Constitution are the causes of lack of confidence, which our youths have in our present governance structure.
“As long as President Buhari continues to live out his speech abroad that his government will favour those who voted 97 per cent for him against those who voted 5 per cent for him so long will the dissatisfaction and unrest in our polity subsist,” Nwodo warned.
He added: “There is no oil well anywhere in Northern Nigeria. Four of the five states in the South East have proven oil resources some of which provide our nation’s revenue, yet our people are not found fit to be adequately represented in a key corporate institution like the NNPC.”
He restated call to the president to revisit this recent reorganisation exercise in NNPC in the name of God and in the spirit of the ongoing festivity being celebrated in this season and in the promotion of unity and good governance.
Fifty-five top management staff of NNPC were affected in the shake-up.
Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the exercise would not only help to position the Corporation for the challenges ahead but would also fill the gaps created due to statutory retirements of staff.
According to a statement signed by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, under the new arrangement, Roland Ewubare, formerly managing director of the Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) moved to the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) as the new group general manager while Diepriye Tariah, former group general manager and senior technical assistant to the NNPC GMD takes over from Ewubare as MD of IDSL.
Malami Shehu, executive director (operations) of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) was appointed managing director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) while Adewale Ladenegan, former MD of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) was moved to KRPC as MD.
In the same vein, Muhammed Abah, until recently, the executive director (operations) of WRPC succeeded Ladenegan as MD of Warri Refinery.
With the retirement of Alhaji Farouk Ahmed as the MD of the Nigerian Products Marketing Company (NPMC), Umar Ajiya, former GGM in charge of Corporate Planning and Strategy (CP&S) assumed duty as MD of NPMC while Bala Wunti, former, General Manager, Downstream, GMD’s office took charge as GGM CP&S among other changes. (The Sun)
We Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) worldwide under the command and leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu condemn in its entirety the statement credited to the clueless and uninformed Northern Elders Forum and their decorative happy-slave leader Chief Paul Unongo for daring to attack Ohaneze Ndigbo Chairman Chief John Nnia Nwodo for rising up in defence of the truth.
This truth is that IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has not committed any crime known to the laws of Nigeria to warrant his rearrest. If Nigeria ever had a case against our leader, why have the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) not commenced the trial since October 2015 when our leader was first arrested? Instead, the Arewa North thought they could intimidate this present Ohaneze Ndigbo as they did to previous executives, into allowing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to be arrested. They miscalculated miserably because all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria today including some of the most ardent critics of our leader have conceded privately that IPOB has given enslaved ethnic nationalities in Nigeria the impetus to rise up and question their slave status. The Fulani/Arewa born to rule mentality has been broken by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. People are no longer intimidated by the disproportionate number of Arewa sons in the military and other armed forces who are in essence the foot soldiers of the Caliphate and not Nigeria.
The idea of wanting to use baseless trumped up charges to justify the extra judicial detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will be resisted by all men and women of good conscience. After all, it was Buhari himself that disobeyed court order after court order directing the unconditional release of our leader in 2015. If anyone deserves to be arrested, it is Buhari.
Paul Unongo and his caliphate handlers should also call for the arrest of the Director General of DSS and AGF for flagrant and serial disobedience to court orders. Whilst they are at it, they should not fail to add their beloved Arewa Youths, who actually committed the treasonable act of incitement to genocide, which is a far more serious crime than attempted coup d’etat. What Arewa Consultative Forum through their Arewa Youths did was nothing short of a call to mass murder and appropriation of properties that do not belong to them. Arewa Elders that incited the youths, provided them finance and logistics must also be arrested.
It’s a pity that Chief Paul Unongo who appear not to know his roots have consistently failed to raise his voice against Fulani herdsmen slaughtering and raping their way through swathes of Benue land where he comes from. That he found the courage to challenge the stance of Ohaneze Ndigbo publicly confirms what we have always known, that he’s suffering from what
psychologists call the Stockholm syndrome. A man who could not rise in defence of his own people being slaughtered by the same Fulani cattle interest shamelessly had the temerity to call for the arrest of the only person who had the guts to say no to Fulani herdsmen. Paul Unongo should in actual fact be grateful to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu for seeking to protect his people from Fulani annihilation and conquest.
We commend this act of Ohaneze Ndigbo for standing firm to demonstrate that they are different from past Ohaneze administrations. By refusing to be browbeaten by the mob mentality often deployed by the hegemonic Arewa North in times of crisis, they deserve our collective commendation. Fulani caliphate is not the owners of the constituent parts that make up the British contraption Nigeria and we IPOB are here to prove it to them.
The Fulani cabal that runs the Nigerian Government is busy deploying instruments of governance to terrorise the masses into accepting the re-arrest of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who committed no crime known to law. We promise Chief Paul Unongo and his collaborators in the Arewa North that Nigeria will never be the same after this encounter. Arewa North should concentrate on alleviating the long suffering poor masses of the core North and leave Biafra, IPOB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu alone.
Statement of the President General of Ohaneze on move to revoke Nnamdi Kanu’s bail
“ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION, PLEASE RESPECT YOUR OATH OF OFFICE!!
It has just been brought to my notice that the Attorney-General of the Federation has approached the courts to incarcerate Nnamdi Kalu for flouting his bail conditions.
I am amazed that the distinguished attorney is prepared to contest the superiority of the provisions of the Constitution on fundamental human rights of freedom of movement and freedom of association over an erroneous judicial proclamation violating those rights.
I am equally miffed by the audacity with which the Attorney-General displays his bias without regard to his oath of office.
A few hours ago under the watchful eyes of the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and in total defiance of the Head of State’s proclamation of the rights of a citizen of Nigeria to live anywhere in Nigeria and to do business anywhere in Nigeria, the Arewa Youths, pretending to withdraw their quit notice gave qualifications to the Head of State’s proclamation, issuing conditions for enjoyment of citizenship status
These same Arewa Youths are supposed to have been arrested on the orders of the Governor of Kaduna State and the Inspector General of Police for acts of treason, conversion and sedition. As the Chief law officer of the Federation, the Attorney-General looks the other way. He does not go to court to seek an order of arrest or prosecution.
Nnamdi, as a citizen of Nigeria, is free to hold any point of view no matter how displeasing to anyone so long as they are not inciting or provoking any criminal activities.
I and some Igbo leaders have differences of opinion with Nnamdi on a number of issues. We have been insulted and abused by Radio Biafra but we concede them their right to differ from us. We concede them their nature to be exuberant as Youths but we cannot be judgmental about their rights.
This is a democracy. In democracies, leaders are abused, pelted with rotten eggs and booed at, as the former Edo State Governor was booed in Abuja a few days ago. These acts are not necessarily criminal.
I urge the Attorney-General not to exacerbate our already tense nation by commencing a legal action which portrays him as biased, insensitive and misdirected.”