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BREAKING: Southeast Governors Meeting Ends With Ban On Movement Of Cattle By Herdsmen In The Region

The five South East governors meeting with all security Chiefs in Enugu has ended with them issuing strong-worded communiqué at the end of the deliberation.

There have been tensions in the region due to the activities of the Fulani herdsmen bandits, causing many deaths and creating internally displaced persons, IDP in the communities.

Igbo youths have recently like before issued statements that their governors and other political leaders in the region are not doing enough to checkmate these attacks and stop the activities of these bandits

Governor of Imo state, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha arriving for the meeting
Cross section of security Chiefs in the region

The communiqué reads as follows

  1. Enugu airport to open December 2019 after renovation.
  2. Joint air patrol to flush out bandits in all the forests in southeast.
  3. No more foot movement of cattle and herdsmen from one state to another.
  4. No more foot movement of cattle from community to another across farmlands.
  5. Any cattle herder with gun or machete will be arrested.
  6. Southeast governors never invited the army nor requested for Operation Python dance in the region.
  7. Adequate security to be provided along the routes to Owerri airport where flights have been diverted due to closure of Enugu airport.
  8. Southeast governors to meet with Mr President.
  9. Commended governor Ugwuanyi for establishing forest guards and asked other states to take a cue from Enugu state government and establish forest guards.
Left to right, Governor of Anambra state, H.E. Willie Obiano, Governor of Enugu state, H.E. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
Ohanaeze President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo

Here is the full communique on papers.

Governor Willie Obiano, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Chief Nnia Nwodo

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Insecurity: Miyetti Allah To Meet Yoruba Governors |The Republican News

Miyetti Allah Leaders

Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure 

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the South West geo-political zone of the country has concluded arrangements to meet with all the six governors of the region with a view to ensuring security in the region. 

The chairman, Ondo State chapter of the association, Alhaji Bello Garba who disclosed this in Akure said the association would soon meet on how to work with governments in the South West to tackle the issue of kidnapping and other crimes in the region.

Garba said the association had been working with security agencies in the region on the issue of security.

He said the organisation discovered that some herdsmen who were not their members were coming from Edo, Ogun and other neighbouring states to operate in Ondo State, especially along the Shagamu-Ore expressway.

According to him, the National Chairman of the association, Alhaji Mohammadu Kirwa, had directed that the Ondo State chapter should cooperate with the state governors, police commissioners and other security agencies in the South West to deal with the issue of kidnapping

This development followed the spate of kidnapping and killing on highways in the South West, especially along the Lagos-Ibadan, Lagos-Benin, Ondo-Ore, Akure-Owo-Akoko and Ibadan-Gbongan-Akure expressways.

In one of such attacks on July 12, 2019, suspected kidnappers shot dead Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the 58-year-old daughter of an Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

Garba asserted that the Ondo chapter of MACBAN and the national body had resolved to deal decisively with the scourge of kidnapping and killings in the South West region.

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Ohanaeze President General, Nnia Nwodo Writes Nnamdi Kanu, Denies Being Fulani Stooge |The Republican News

Ohanaeze President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, IPOB Leader, Maazi Nnamdi Kanu

PRESIDENT General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Thursday, replied the leader of Indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. He said that Kanu’s latest allegation against him necessitated his response. Nwodo in an open letter to Kanu, reeled out his contribution

The letter reads thus:

“My attention has been drawn to a recorded speech made by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of IPOB, now streaming in the social media.

The speech was ostensibly made in Germany ahead of a visit, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu and I were scheduled to make to Germany for a meeting of Ndigbo.
In that video, Nnamdi peddled unprintable lies about me and rebuked Igbos in Germany for inviting me and threatened that I will not leave Germany alive. I would have ignored this speech as I have ignored many of his previous abuses and deliberate falsehood previously broadcast against me.

I had ignored them in the past not only because the distortions and falsehood were indirectly countered by the robust publicity of my activities and utterances which negated his representations but also because I thought it was indecent for a father and his son to be engaged in public disputations, especially when such disputations in our present circumstances will weaken our solidarity and portray us as a divided and unserious lot.

It has however become necessary now to rebut his persistent falsehood because, not to do so will make them credible amongst those who may not have heard my side of the story.

The IPOB leader first of all accuses me of being an accomplice to the invasion of his homestead in Umuahia by the Nigerian Army in Operation Python Dance.

Secondly, he accuses me persistently of being a Fulani stooge who would always do the beckoning of the ruling Fulani elite in Nigeria. He also accuses my late father of being a Fulani stooge.

He holds me and our South East Governors and Legislators responsible for the marginalization of the South East. He accuses me of being against the realization of Biafra and a saboteur to the Igbo cause.
First of all, I am neither the Commander-in Chief of The Nigerian Armed Forces nor a member of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Secondly, I never participated in any meeting where operation python dance was ever recommended or ordered. Truth is that when the second operation python dance was ordered, I wrote against it and advised against it in the media. I saw no need for it

I condemned the mayhem that followed it. I wrote to the GOC 82 Division N.A on the violation of the UN rules of engagement by his troops. I listened to the brief of the Abia State Government on the clashes between the Nigerian Police and Nnamdi Kanu on the establishment of the Biafra Security Service without legislative approval or knowledge of the Nigerian Police. I called for caution.

I confronted the Attorney General of the Federation on his move to obtain an interlocutory order to enable him classify IPOB as a terrorist organization. When the Federal Government finally proscribed IPOB, I criticized it.

I wrote to the UN secretary General in these words. “It is a verifiable fact that, other than recourse to the use of intemperate language, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) campaign has been generally peaceful, non-violent and in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Their campaign has also been in conformity with the United Nations’ Instruments and Protocol on Human, Civil and Political Rights. It is for this reason that I, the undersigned, without endorsing some of the their methods of agitation, still make bold to observe that their protestations have remained at the level of verbal expressing, radio communications, peaceful street demonstrations, prayer sessions and lately, a sit-at-home event in memory of the millions of Igbo lives lost during the civil war.

At no time has any of these groups resorted to the use of arms or violence. If their sit-at –home event of 30th May 2017 was an inconvenience, it was more so to the Igbo communities of the South-East and not to the people in the Northern States or the rest of Nigeria.
To therefore turn around to use it as a reason for mass ejection of the Igbo in Northern Nigeria is a mere ploy to isolate the Igbo for another round of massacre, dispossession and deprivation of their fundamental human and constitutional rights. This, Your Excellency, portends the danger of degenerating into another civil war in African’s most populous country, a breach of international peace and security, a messy break-up of Nigeria resulting in massive internal displacement of persons and high incidence of refugee flows.”

I took the IPOB case to the British Institute on International Affairs in Chatham House London and said the following words, “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 cultural organization I lead, are, 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 communities wherever we live. We are proudly Christians but very accommodating of our brothers of other religious persuasions. We are grossly marginalized 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 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 1999Constitution.

Deployment of the army in the constitution is only allowed in circumstances of insurrection, terrorism and external aggression not in 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 a Federal Republic of Nigeria without Igboland had committed serious infractions of the law. First by declaring a 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 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”

I rebuked the Federal Government for the way IPOB, an armless group fighting for self-determination, was classified as a terrorist organization whilst Fulani herdsmen classified by the Global Terrorist Index as the 4th deadliest terrorist organization in the world was treated with kid gloves.

I maintained the same view in my public lectures at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, UNN, Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State and many other places within and outside Nigeria.

I challenge Nnamdi to give me one single evidence of my involvement in conspiring Operation Python Dance.
Notwithstanding these abundant evidence of my championing IPOB cause, he ordered an invasion of my telephone with numerous insulting calls and threats to my life. My home in Ukehe was bombed. Police investigations of these incidences linked some of them to IPOB members. Their lawyers approached me and I thought that a father taking his son to court and subsequently to jail would be un-Igbo. Notwithstanding their confessional statements, I withdrew my compliant against them and they pledged to be of good behavior.

Thereafter the campaign of calumny resumed. Prof. Ben Nwabueze, a foremost Igbo leader, summoned two meetings of myself accompanied by some members of Ohanaeze executive and IPOB leaders to his homes in Enugu and Atani. After these meetings, he declared that IPOB has not established any prima facie case against me and that he did not want any of their spurious allegations raised again. We shook hands and embraced each other.

Nnamdi accuses me of being a Fulani stooge!! I am sure no reasonable Igbo man believes him. I have criticized President Muhammed Buhari more than any other Nigerian. Perhaps, what I don’t do is to insult his person or call Nigeria a zoo. I was trained to be respectful. I can disagree with you without being rude and impertinent.

No matter how sectional, incompetent or unproductive I consider the President of Nigeria to be, I must respect his age and office in my criticisms of him. As for the attack on my late father, I forgive Nnamdi. My father was Zik’s Minister and Okpara’s Minister. My father and late Chief M.N Ugochukwu were some of the prominent financiers of the Biafran War. I fought the Biafran War myself as a Biafran soldier at a very young age without my parents objecting.

Yes, I served President Shehu Shagari and General Abdulsalami Abubakar as minister. I respect them notwithstanding differences of opinion we may have on the structure of Nigeria.

Odumegwu Ojukwu was like my senior brother. Bianca can attest to our closeness and my loyalty to him. Vice President Alex Ekwueme was my mentor and friend. Nnamdi Azikiwe confided in me and treated me like a son. M.I. Okpara was the Chairman of my wedding. Late Dr. Dozie Ikedife was the first person to sign my nomination form for the office of President General of Ohanaeze. None of these Igbo leaders found me a traitor of Igbo cause. Every-where I have been in Igboland, young men and women embrace me, pose for photographs with me and commend my efforts in championing our case. I salute them all.

The IPOB leader accuses me of joining the South East Governors to sabotage the cause of our people. This youngman either does not understand nor appreciate the system we run. Our Governors were elected in accordance with the law. They are Chief Security Officers of our States even though the armed forces that should assist them take orders from Abuja.
I do not belong to any organ in their governments. They do not give me instructions neither do I give them. We are supposed to cooperate and work together in the interest of our people. Where we differ, I must respect our freedom to do so but in some cases I must also respect the confidentiality of our discussions.

Finally, no amount of insultive, provocative and incendiary speeches can get us Biafra or Restructuring.
I was one of the agents that put together the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum. No pressure group in Nigeria is as strong as this group in the struggle to restructure Nigeria. Restructuring Nigeria will give the South East sovereign independence in the control of our national resources and political control of our government structures.

Short of a war you can’t force Nigeria to grant us Biafra. I believe that working together we can achieve a referendum/constitutional amendment or a plebiscite. That will be a first step to self-determination. The journey of Catalonia and Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic are examples of how long and tedious the struggle for self-determination is in our contemporary world. Let’s go step by step and without acrimony.
I have noted the threats to my life from the IPOB leader. I leave that to God and the law.

Ndigbo will recall that when the leader of IPOB was released, the South East Senate caucus advised him to leverage with me and other Igbo leaders so that we can achieve a synergy. We met once and three weeks after that in spite of our cordial discussions, I was the subject of his abuse on Radio Biafra. It would appear that he is on a megalomaniac streak where he arrogates to himself the monopoly of wisdom and capacity to cause mayhem.

Ndigbo, I have championed your cause with every amount of energy in me. I have worked with little encouragement or assistance.
Thank God my team and I have elevated Ohanaeze Ndigbo to an enviable status. It is dangerous for our solidarity and ultimate success if we allow these vituperative outbursts to truncate our solidarity. In spite of all I say, I salute Nnamdi for his courage and his persistence in upholding our case but I urge you all to rise up and condemn what is condemnable. Speak up and shame those who would want us to split into pieces and destroy our resolve to fight as a united people.

As a father, I will always forgive an erring child but not without drawing his attention to a misdemeanor which should never be repeated.”

JOHN NNIA NWODO
PRESIDENT-GENERAL
OHANAEZE NDIGBO WORLDWIDE.

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Miyetti Allah To Shut Down Meat Market All Over Nigeria, Says Nigerians Will Know Their Value

Miyetti Allah leadership

Follow the shocking move made by Miyetti Allah to shut down meat markets in Enugu state due to insecurity of the herdsmen residing in Enugu, the leader of cattle breeders association has made an open announcement that there is going to be a nation wide shutdown of all the meat markets in Nigeria.

He made this statement on live TV program in AIT kastina.
He said ” There is going to be a serious scarcity of meat in Nigeria very soon because we are shutting down entire meat markets in Nigeria. This is because entire Igbo people in Southern Nigeria here have never appreciated our constant effort over the years now to ensure availability of meat in the nation”

Even when the government decided to support our work to establish the RUGA settlement in South, the Igbo’s were the first to oppose that notion, thereby causing the plans of the federal government to be null and void.

We have decided to shutdown the meat markets nationwide just to see how terrible life will be without meat for months. You can never appreciate our works until the day we take this action.

Apart from this, we are also doing this to save the lives of herdsmen residing in South East and South South based on threats we have received many times from the leader of Ohaneze Ndigbo and from people in Enugu, Abia and Rivers State, which is not a good sign that our lives are secured.

The only news we hear daily is just accusations of killings just like the hersmen were recently accused of killing a Reverend father in Enugu which we know it was a cooked plan.

This new plan will take place few weeks from now and Nigeria will see our values.

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Anambra State Vigilante Head Warned Killer Fulani Herdsmen To Stay Away From South-East |RN

Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha

The Chairman of Anambra North vigilante services, a subsidiary of Anambra state Vigilante Group, (AVG) Chief Chinenye Ihenko (Okpompi) has warned the armed killer herdsmen operating in any guise to steer clear of Anambra state and entire Southeast geopolitical zone.

He warned that any further killings in the South-East state by either the herdsmen, gunmen or suicide bombers would be reciprocated to with immediate effect.

Ihenko who sounded the note of warning while reacting to speculations making the round in various parts of Anambra state that Fulani herdsmen have taken over forests in the zone declared: “let them strike again we are ready for them”.

“Nigeria is our country and we all must defend the peace, unity and stability of Nigerian at all costs. We are ready to pay the supreme sacrifice now because Enough is Enough”.

Ihenko spoke to newsmen in his office at Onitsha Main market assured customers coming to buy or sell goods in Onitsha of their safety, adding that they should have no course to fear of any attack.

He also assured the Federal government of their readiness to give support if called upon, even as he called on President Mohammed Buhari to rise to the challenges of insecurity in the country.

“Ndigbo has no other place to go and we have learnt our lessons during and after the civil war “We will rather die together than to allow our people to be slaughtered like a goat on daily basis”.

He, therefore, called on all the stakeholders, traditional rulers town union leaders, members of the National Assembly, civil society groups and Nigerian women to join hands in the crusade to return Nigeria to its formal glory.

According to him, “I wish to align myself with the former president of Nigeria president Olusegun Obasanjo’s call for dialogue by all the sectors of Nigerian society to put a stop to the incessant killing of innocent Nigerians.

“All hands should be on deck to tackle this insecurity headlong now or else it will consume all of us. As it stands now, nobody or place is safe in Nigeria of today and if the ugly trend is allowed to continue, it will degenerate to a catastrophic situation” Ihenko stated. (The Sun)

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Insecurity: Stop Labelling Fulani Criminals, Says Bodejo, Miyetti Allah President

Alhaji Bello Abdullahi Bodejo

PAUL OMOKUVIE, Bauchi

The President of Fulani socio-cultural association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alhaji Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, has said that allegations of Fulani being behind some violent criminal activities in the country were not true.

Bodejo said, rather most crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery and farmers-herders’ clashes among others were instigated by some politicians and enemies of Fulani to blackmail the ethnic group and to cause unnecessary confusion and disaffection.

He said this in Bauchi over the weekend  while interacting with reporters, saying  acts of kidnapping and armed robbery shown in videos via social media were all drama to portray Fulani in bad light.

He said:  “You as journalists, have you ever investigated those they arraign in court after the drama; if any, did the court convict them? Did I challenge you the press to tell me any ethnic group that does not have people with questionable character?  Were they not being arrested by security agencies, did you ever hear security agencies describing their ethnic group? Why are they doing this to Fulani? Even in the drama, do you see the picture of the actor asking them questions? It’s only blackmail.”

He said even the farmers and herders fracas had been politicised, recalling that the misunderstandings between the two groups was age-longed, and have traditional ways of resolving them.

Bodejo said: “But unlike before, when these feuds happened, they and were resolved immediately. But politicians now use them as ways of causing disaffection between Fulani and other tribes.”

He said as part of the blackmail, on many occasions, “you will see someone taking pictures from accident scenes and before you know, they post it on social media claiming Fulani herdsmen were responsible for the killings; it’s unfortunate.”

Bodejo said that his kinsmen herders do not bear arms of any form except the traditional sticks they are known for.

On the controversial plan by Federal  government to establish ranches across the country known as RUGA, the Miyetti leader faulted northern governments at all levels for being insensitive to the plights of Fulani herdsmen in the country.

He said: “The Nigerian government has been insensitive to the plights of Fulani herdsmen across the country even when they are contributing immensely to the nation’s economy through their herd business.

“Let the Federal government bring back the grazing reserves across the country. We have national and international cattle routes across the country; they have been taken over by modern roads, These are the rights of Fulani as citizens. I agreed that cattle-rearing is a personal business, but governments must look for ways of easing business for these herders. If the government can disburse billions of Naira as loans to petty traders across the country which are personal business, then they (governments) should also look at what they can do to ease Fulani herders in their cattle-rearing business, it is a business that governments at all levels must support them to do at ease.”

 Bodejo said Fulani are educated and are leaders in Nigeria, saying the majority of the northern governors, ministers and emirs are sons and daughters of Fulani and they need to protect the group and provide them with  the essential social services in their settlements and that will help to ease their sufferings and make them live happily.

He commended the Jigawa State government for doing more to assist the Fulani and challenged all northern states governors to implement the grazing reserve policy in their states.

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Buhari Orders Fulani Herdsmen, Their Cows To Remain In The South, Vows To Protect Them

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, has enjoined all Fulani herdsmen to ignore the recent call by the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, asking them to leave the Southern part of Nigeria.

According to a statement by the President’s Spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Wednesday night, Buhari said that all citizens of Nigeria are free to move and live within any part of the country they please, whether or not they are originally from there.

“In line with our country’s Constitution, the government of Nigeria and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will protect citizens of Nigeria wherever they find themselves.

“No one has the right to ask anyone or group to depart from any part of the country, whether North, South, East, or West”, Shehu quoted the President as saying.
The Presidential Aide questioned the intentions of the NEF and the other so-called Leaders, in delving into issues with unsolicited, ill-intentioned advice.

Shehu said: “They have no one’s authority to make such pronouncements.

“The polarising role of the Northern Elders Forum and all those other groups dabbling into issues of security to score cheap political points, has for long been a sore point in Nigeria’s body polity.

“They should not be allowed to mislead anyone, least of all the Fulani herders.

“The Buhari administration is fully devoted to finding a lasting solution to the herder-farmer clashes in different parts of Nigeria; one that would be acceptable to all the parties involved.’’

Shehu quoted the President as calling on all Nigerians to help keep the peace in the country. (Post Nigeria)

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Bola Tinubu, Defender Of The Fulani |The Republican News

APC national leader, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Abimbola Adelakun

This is, undoubtedly, a difficult time for Afenifere leader, Baba Reuben Fasoranti. He has suffered a grievous loss of his daughter, Funke Olakunrin, in untoward circumstances. The loss of one’s child is a painful and traumatic experience. My prayer for him and his family is to find strength at this trying time.

Now, the death of Mrs Olakunrin is bad enough; the politicisation of the grief is grossly unfair to the family of the deceased. We have always known that some of our leaders have bad manners, but this incident has further exposed them as lacking the ethic of charity. When the news of the death was first announced, the President’s media aide, Femi Adesina, hastily jumped on Twitter to say her killers were “those described as armed robbers by Ondo State Police Command.” Adesina cared little about the deceased; his obsession about roughening up the narrative was to preempt people’s angst that would be directed at his paymasters. If he cared about the poor woman and he respected the Fasoranti family, he would have hesitated and not tried to stuff words in the mouth of the police. The bereaved family not only have to contend with their pain, they also have to deal with the irritation of their daughter’s name being evoked each time we bring up the petty politics of shameless politicians who are using the sad incident to burnish their credentials as bona fide national leaders.

One of these Job’s comforters is the All Progressives Congress leader and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, who answered some journalists’ questions during his visit to the Fasoranti family. First, he downplayed the circumstances of Olakunrin’s death by suggesting that she could have died in a road accident if it was duly fated. This line of reasoning is about one of the most uncharitable things one can say to the hearing of a bereaved family and, frankly, unbecoming of someone who wears the label of an elder. Such misspeaks bolster my conviction that the withdrawal of the permanent pass that some folk have awarded themselves as Yoruba leaders is long overdue for withdrawal. However manner Olakunrin might have died, the fact remains that she was killed and allegedly by herdsmen. To even overlook the circumstances of her death, sidestep the tense reactions by the exasperated populace, and begin to meander logic through bush paths is moral cowardice.

For a while now, Nigeria has been in a difficult situation because of the activities of killer herdsmen. Mind you, these herdsmen have been labelled as the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index. They have carried out massacres in rural and agrarian communities, and have been emboldened enough by the slackness of state security forces to move into urban settings. Tinubu only needs to go to rural areas in southwestern Nigeria, and his ears will be filled with stories of assault, kidnapping, and vicious murder. People are no longer at ease. They have lost their lives and entire investments in farming to the herdsmen menace. Those that have survived deadly encounters live in fear of the herdsmen. The fact that death is cheap in Nigeria does not mean we should refuse to label an issue for what it is. There is a context to the suspicion that Olakunrin might have been killed by herdsmen; why try to obfuscate matters by pointing out other ways she could have died? Why not just tell the bereaved you are sorry and go home?

The herdsmen nuisance got to the point that Adesina told Benue people to yield their land to their killers or continue to lose their lives. How can anyone look at all of these stories – including the “your land or your life” propositions to the poor hapless and undefended Nigerians – and merely shrug and say death could have come by a road accident anyway? We all know death is inevitable, but nobody throws their life outside the window for the fun of it. Otherwise, why does Tinubu himself travel with an armed escort and in a bulletproof vehicle too? Why can he not test his fate by stripping himself of the paraphernalia of defence and let’s see what happens?

While responding to the press, Tinbu tried to deflect, engaged in a rhetorical strategy called ‘whataboutism’ for no other discernable reason than not wanting to address the hippopotamus on his laps. The question at hand was the issue of insecurity – the kidnappings and killings by herdsmen – but somehow, he managed to drag in another issue entirely when he alluded to the alleged kidnapper, Evans, who was arrested a while ago. What has Evans’ kidnapping career got to do with herdsmen who did not even start their crimes with kidnapping but massacres and displacement of poor villagers whose farms they raided? Why stop at Evans when he could equally have raised other issues such as Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo’s pending lawsuit and even climate change? He even threatened to give us a history of kidnapping to show us that what we are presently dealing with is an imitation of the criminal proclivity of southerners.

All of the above bring me to the point that baffled me most and which summarises all of the rhetorical acrobatics he did at the Fasoranti’s house: the needless defence of the Fulani by Tinubu. By now, everyone would have noticed that the most strident defence of the Fulani over the herdsmen issue has come from southerners, particularly the Yoruba. On the question of whether the Fulani deserve the stereotype of cold-blooded killers or not, the Yoruba people have wept louder than the bereaved. The Fulani themselves are an ethnic group with enough power to take over the media in their own defence, but they do not do so. Today, the Fulani are resented, and not just because of the herdsmen issue but also because of the clannishness and tribalism of President Muhammadu Buhari who has more or less driven collective benefits in the direction of a selected class. Why have they not refuted the narrative about them, considering that they have the necessary clout to challenge the demonising of their ethnic identity? They can use the airwaves and other media forms to vehemently denounce the herdsmen who attack undefended populations. They can rebuke Miyetti Allah group over their inflammatory statements, and also condemn the actions of reprobate groups such as the Coalition of Northern Groups who gave governors a 30-day ultimatum to enforce RUGA and students of Usman Dan Fodio University who insisted that RUGA must be established in all the 36 states of Nigeria.

They are so many crisis-management strategies the Fulani ethnic group can deploy to manage their image being battered all over Nigeria because of the spate of herdsmen attacks. If the Fulani themselves are not engaged in activities to refurbish their image, it is because they are too self-secure in their political power and privileges to be bothered about the long-term implications of ethnic stigmatisation. They probably also do not concern themselves so much with pushing back against stereotypes because their lackeys in the South run those errands on their behalf.

Tinubu, in rounding off the interview, made a rather curious statement cum question, “I don’t want to be political, but I will ask, where are the cows?” If by that he means that the crime of murder could not have been committed by herdsmen because there were no cows at the crime scene, it means he has reached the end of reasoning. I do not want to be political either, but the question of where the cows have already been answered by none other than Tinubu himself. The cows are everywhere. If some people look into their mirror, they will find those cows staring back at them in all their bovine glory.

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Nigerian, Kurtis Adigba Replies To Obasanjo’s Latest Letter To Buhari |The Republican News

Former military head of state and two-term democratic president of Nigeria, Dr Olusegun Obasanjo

There have been cacophonous responses to the latest letter from the two-time president, Dr Olusegun Obasanjo to the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari. This has been the third letter he has written to Buhari tittled ‘The State of Nation”. He wrote him two letters prior to the last general election campaigns in what many thought to be an ambush before the general election.

Depending on who you are talking to and on whose side you are, the repsonses from analyses from political analysts on televisions channels to pages of newspapers both papers and online version of these media outlets, are overwhelming. Above all, one thing stands out, there is serious problem in the land irrespective of how the citizens see it or on whose side they are.

Here, Mr Kurtis Adigba, who is a contrary voice to that of president Olusegun Obasanjo, seems to exonerate the current president, Muhammadu Buhari on the issues raised by the writer of the letter.

OPEN LETTER TO FORMER OLUSEGUN OBASANJO.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,
Obasanjo presidential Library,
Abeokuta,
Ogun State.

Dear sir,

I’m Kurtis Adigba, a lawyer, political consultant, and a citizen of Nigeria. I’m an Idoma from Benue State. My father; Samuel Ochola Adigba, was a classroom teacher, and retired as a Headmaster. My father, was some years ago, the Benue State Secretary of the National Party of Nigeria( NPN). That was the highest he attained. My mother, was a school teacher who later joined the civil service, and retired as a Head of Department of Adult Education Department of Apa Local Government Area, of Benue State. She died in 2015.

I chose to introduce myself to you upfront so you know I have no pedigree to match yours, and because I know your supporters and attack dogs will come after me, and raised questions about my pedigree. They will ask: “who is his father….who is he to dare write a letter to a former Head of State and President..”. Now you know. And hopefully, they know too!

The only pedigree that I stand on to write you today sir, is my citizenship of Nigeria, a privilege and right I share and enjoy with you. The Constitution of Nigeria, confers on us ( you and me and others)the right to free speech. You have constantly and frequently exercised that right in writing letters to our fellow citizens who happened by good fortunes to be former and present leaders of the country. Only yesterday, you penned and published a letter to President Buhari on the state of our nation. I’m writing you this letter in the exercise of the same right- free speech.

In your open letter to President Buhari, the last in the series, you raised so many critical issues: Boko Haram, Insecurity, Poor Management of our diversity, Unity or Disunity, Economy, Poverty, and of course, the violent death of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of Pa Fasoronti, an elder statesman and leader of Afenifere, in the hands of some yet to be determined people. Some people have jumped to conclusions and prejudged the investigation into the despicable act, I have chosen to wait until investigators complete their work and inform Nigerians about their findings.

Sir, apart from the death of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, which is the trigger for the letter, there is nothing new in your new letter. Even her death, is not new in the sense that many Nigerians have been dying on that road and others, unmentioned. The only reason her death attracted your attention and that of others, is because she was the daughter of a powerful figure. After her unfortunate death sir, some Nigerians have died in similar circumstances unmentioned and unannounced, because they are ordinary citizens. As I write sir, many are suffering from the same fate.

Let me talk about the specific issues in your letter:

  1. Boko Haram. The seed that germinated into Boko Haram, was planted under your Administration. It grew and became a big tree under your handpicked successors due to outright denial, mischaracterization, poor management,and corruption. It was under your government that full Sharia regime was introduced in Zamfara state. You chose to ignore it because you said it will fizzle out because of internal contradictions. It did at some point; but before then, it spread to other states with deadly consequences. One of the groups that emerged from the Sharia revolution that started in Zamfara, metamorphosed into the deadly terror group known today as Boko Haram. It is true that under your administration, Boko Haram, was an unknown group nationally, but it was under the administration of your handpicked successors, Yar’Adua and Jonathan, that Boko Haram exploded into the deadly terror group that it is today.

President Yar’Adua tried to deal with Boko Haram, but his poor health stood on his way. He died and was succeeded by president Goodluck Jonathan. It was under Jonathan that Boko Haram became the most deadly terror group in the world. They abducted over 200 girls from Chibok, killed over 100 children in Buni Yadi, carried out regular deadly attacks at Abuja and different parts of the country. President Jonathan from the onset denied and disputed the Chibok girls abduction. He said it was an orchestrated smear campaign against his person and government. It took a global outrage before he sprang into taking some tepid actions- he set up a panel to determine if the girls were indeed abducted. Sir, you wrote about the same issue in your epistle to President Jonathan. It was one of the issues you used to canvass support for the candidacy of president Buhari in 2015.

In your your previous letter to President Buhari, where you asked him to dismount from the horse of Nigeria leadership, you gave President Buhari some credits for dealing with Boko Haram and fighting corruption. You also called for more efforts in combating Boko Haram and corruption. As you know, President Buhari on assumption of office took the fight to Boko Haram. He relocated soldiers to the epicenter of the terror group’s operations. He recovered territories occupied by them, destroyed their key infrastructures, and forced them into negotiations leading to the release of some of the abducted Chibok girls. Many people hitherto unheard of, but in captivity of Boko Haram, were also set free. The government discovered massive corruption in the management of funds earmarked for procurement of equipment to prosecute the war on Boko Haram. The funds are still being recovered.

You mentioned that the government hastily declared victory against a group that is strengthening, I agree to some extent with you sir. I agree that the government oversubscribed itself when it declared that it has defeated Boko Haram. Boko Haram, is not defeated. It has been weakened, but it is still capable of Carrying out deadly attacks given the time, resources, and opportunity. We saw them abduct over 100 hundred girls from Dapchi after their “ defeat”. All but one of the girls, have been released. Leah Sharibu, is still being held by Boko Haram because she refused to denounce her faith in Jesus Christ. She is today the highest value target because of the religious factors made worst by people playing politics with her. God in whom Leah Sharibu trust as her Saviour and protector, will keep her. She will be freed from her captors. Amen. The government made a mistake in declaring victory over Boko Haram because, Boko Haram is fighting an ideological war. Ideology cannot be defeated, it can only be overcome by superior reasoning.

But on the whole, the current government has done much more to fight Boko Haram and contain their terrorist activities than any other government. It can do more, and it will do more.

  1. Insecurity in the country. I believe that in the real world, cause has effect, and actions have consequences. The insecurity of today, is the consequence of the failures of the past. I’m talking about the huge and unprecedented corruption in the management of public resources that left us with poor infrastructures, created inequality with some few very rich and many so poor, that they cannot afford the basic things of life. I’m talking about the failure to manage the crisis that arose all over the country sir. When the agitation for better allocation of resources started in the Niger Delta areas under your watch, you responded with maximum force. You sent soldiers to invade Odi under the pretext of looking for the people who killed some soldiers. Many were killed, women and girls were allegedly raped, and the community destroyed. The people regrouped and armed themselves better. They started kidnapping expatriates and local oil workers for ransom. It became a huge business for some governors who claimed to have paid millions as ransom to free the victims. Your government did nothing to stop or prevent kidnapping, and it quickly spread round the country. what about Zaki Biam, where the invasion by the Army helped to militarized the people with deadly consequences for security in the area?

Your immediate successor, President Yar’Adua, tried to end the siege by proposing an Amnesty that was successful to some extent, but kidnapping has become a business. President Jonathan who succeeded Yar’Adua, didn’t do much in tackling kidnapping. President Buhari has made modest efforts in tackling it, but it is not enough because the governors are not playing complimentary roles. Peter Obi, former governor of Ananmbra state, fought kidnappers in the state to a standstill. Governor Obiano is doing the same thing. Lagos State, is also leading in the fight against kidnapping. Kaduna State has just enacted a law against kidnapping that prescribed death as punishment for the offense. Edo State too. Majority of the states, are not doing much sir.

Sir, you mentioned the killing of Mrs Olakunrin in your letter and described it as one death too many. In the statement you issued before then, you said her death has diminished Nigeria. I share in your sentiments and beyond sir. Her death, like the death of any Nigerian in the same or similar circumstances, is regrettable and diminishes the rest of us and the country in more than one way. But as painful and regrettable as her death is, it is not the first in the country. Under your watch as President sir, Chief Bola Ige, our nation’s Attorney General, was murdered in his home at Ibadan. The home, is supposed to be the safest place, but Ige was killed. Up and until now, no one has been brought to justice for his killing. What about Chiefs Harry Marshall and Sekibo? Funsho Williams and others? Of the people listed here sir, only Sekibo was murdered on the road. The rest were killed in their homes. No one has been found guilty for their murders. Do you then have the moral right to pontificate on insecurity sir?

You may not know this sir, but I want to tell you that bad roads and darkness, are also accelerators of insecurity and poverty. Bad roads ensure that motorists cannot move fast,and therefore, become vulnerable to the murderous activities of criminals. Under your watch as President, Billions of Naira were budgeted for roads, the roads were never built, but the funds disappeared. The Lagos-Benin Expressway featured in some many budgets but the funds were never utilized on the road. President Jonathan did a portion of it, and President Buhari, is working on some other parts. Your government did nothing about it. What about power? You claimed to have spent $16B on power, where is the Fower? Apologies to President Buhari. You generated megawatts of darkness with the humongous amount of money. And you don’t want us to talk about it! We can only imagine what that money would have done for the economy sir. Many of the people terrorizing the country today, may have been profitably engaged in other activities,and poverty, would have been significantly reduced. But you failed and betrayed our trust.

  1. Corruption. Where do I start here? Is it financial or political corruption? Do you know know who started corrupting our political system sir? It is you. Under your watch, we conducted the worst election in Nigeria. Figures were randomly awarded to parties and candidates. You promised it was going to be a do or die Affairs and you delivered on your promise. The major beneficiary of that election, president Yar’Adua agreed with the verdict that it was indeed a horrible event, but you went round western capitals praising the same election. Who introduced garrison command politics in Nigeria? It is you sir. You subjected Governor Rasheed Ladoja to the whims and caprices of your garrison commander, Adedibu, the late Alafin of Molete. You supported and facilitated his impeachment by a minority group in the house of assembly. And when his impeachment was overturned by the Supreme Court, you dithered in enforcing the judgment until the NBA protested against your illegality.

What about the impeachment of Peter Obi In Ananmbra state, and Dariye of Plateau State? In both cases, less than two-thirds of members of the Houses of Assembly, carried out the impeachment under your watch. Maybe we didn’t have a Constitution then sir! Under your watch, Ngige, former governor of Ananmbra state was abducted by the private of Chris Uba, Eselu of Uga, and your man Friday. You did nothing sir.

Former Speaker Ghali Na’Abba, displayed bundles and wads of Naira running into millions of Naira that you bribed law makers with to remove him. You had no convincing deniability. What about the N50M given to law makers as bribe to get them to amend the Constitution and grant you life presidency? You denied it, but your daughter has confirmed it. You were behind it. It is true that you made efforts to fight corruption by setting up the EFCC, but you undermined the fight against corruption by your own actions. Let me remind you about the mismanagement of PTDF funds by you and your new friend, Atiku. The facts were made public during your roforofo fight. In 1999, when you were freed from jail, you had barely N100k. Today, you are said to be worth Billions. How did it happen and what did you do to become so rich? But you keep pontificating on corruption and pointing at others. Your like a sign post- pointing the directions, but never going there.

  1. Mismanagement of our diversity. You accused the president of mismanaging our diversity, a claim you said is responsible for the myriad of our problems today. You said the president has made lopsided appointments in favor of the North and his people, I don’t have the data, and you also did not provide any to substantiate your claim. You expressed outrage over the pattern of certain appointments and election of leaders of the National Assembly in terms of ethnic and religious balance, but you did the same thing happened under your government. You also believe like some Nigerians that only equitable distribution of public offices and positions, will guarantee Unity and imbue a sense of belonging in all, it is not true. Yes, it a good thing to do, but it does not promote Unity, and it will not guarantee unity. For a moment, let us assumed you managed our diversity well, and that you distributed equitably the opportunities available to you, why was Nigeria not United under you? Why do you keep talking about equity only with respect to the FG? Where is equity in the states, including Ogun where you are an influential and consequential figure sir? I’m not against fair and equitable distribution of opportunities, but it is no promoter of unity. It will only provide jobs and access to the few, and in most cases, not on merit, but on connection.
  2. Islamization and Fulanization. With fairness to you sir, the fear of Islamization has always been with some parts of the Nigeria. You played an active part in creating it. You and your party weaponized it against President Buhari. You said he is an Islamic fundamentalist seeking power to Islamize Nigeria. Many Nigerians believed you, and still believe you, even after 4 years of the man in power. Recently in Delta state, during the Anglican Synod, you upped the ante by declaring that the president had an agenda to Islamize and fulanize Nigeria. The of event, time, and audience, was telling. You tapped into the dangerous mood of the nation arising from the activities of herdsmen to ratchet up the tensions in the land, by telling Christians that Muslims and Fulani were coming after them and their lands and religion. You have created a dangerous and combustible Fulaniphobia in the country. It rings true to your reputation as a master schemer who can execute good and evil with equal efficiency.

Because of your actions sir, today, every criminal activity in Nigeria, is attributed to the Fulani. And I’m not saying that Fulani are not involved in criminal activities, they are in so many areas and cases, but it is not true that they are the only criminals in Nigeria. You singled them out to demonize President Buhari, who is also Fulani by tribe. Before Buhari became president, the Fulani were involved in different crimes and problems in all parts of Nigeria. After Buhari, the problems will continue if we don’t find solutions to them. Under your government, we had Fulani crisis. Same for Yar’Adua and Jonathan. Jonathan was at some point the grand patron of Miyetti Allah. Did he fulanize Nigeria? As a leader in this country, much more is expected from you. Stop encouraging centrifugal tendencies in Nigeria. It is funny that you are suddenly against the Fulani now. You campaigned so hard for another Fulani, Atiku to be president. The same Atiku, you accused of committing the most horrible acts of corruption against Nigeria; the man you said God will not forgive you if you support him to be president knowing what you know about him. He is still a Fulani sir.

Finally, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my long letter. I hope and pray that you find some of my thoughts useful! Nigerians are looking up to you to join other leaders in preferring solutions to the problems of the country. They are asking you to look at Gen. Yakubu Gowan, and make him your role model. My sincere respect and regards to you sir.

God bless Nigeria.

Kurtis Adigba.

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RUGA: Abia State To Scrutinise Land Sales Beyond Five Hectares – State Attorney General

Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu

Abia State Government has said that it has introduced a policy directing relevant agencies to scrutinise and ascertain the purpose behind the sale of any portion land above five hectares in the state.

Mr Uche Ihediwa, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the state, said this on Wednesday in Umuahia, while briefing newsmen on Abia government’s stance on land-use planning.

He said with the policy, applications for Certificate-of-Occupancy for land above five hectares may be honoured or declined, depending on the purpose the land would be put into.

He said, “With the present dispensation, any request for land will have to be scrutinised.

“The state government’s policy is to scrutinise it and make sure that it is not something that is convertible into Ruga.

“We have gone ahead to sensitise our communities to be sure that nobody sells large quantity of land.

“There is a standing instruction in the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Planning that sale of any land above five hectares will be scrutinised.’’

Ihediwa said that the Town and Country Planning Law allows the revocation of any piece of land which had not been used for the purpose it was acquired.

He said that there was no truth in the allegations that the state government secretly gave out land for Ruga settlement in Arungwa in Osisioma Local Government Area of the state.

(NAN)

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