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Igbo Will Fight Anyone Who Wants To Divide Nigeria, Says Iwuanyanwu

 

Chief-Emmanuel-Iwuanyanwu

Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu

Omotayo Yusuf

– Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu called on the government to stop the marginaliation against Igbos

– He said they have invested a lot in the country than Yorubas and Hausas

– The businessman said the region would fight anyone who wants to divide the country

Prominent Igbo politician, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has declared that the Igbos were not interested in leaving Nigeria and would fight anyone who wants to do so.

The Punch reports that Iwuanyanwu spoke at the National Unity summit organised by Arewa Ambassadors Congress of Nigeria in partnership with Youth Assembly of Nigeria.

The businessman said Igbos were major stakeholders in Nigeria and would therefore fight anyone who wants to divide the country including the Arewa and Oduduwa people.

He also spoke about the detention of Nnamdi Kanu describing it as unnecessary as he had not done anything wrong.

“He (Kanu) only expressed his view. No arm was found in his possession. We are Biafrans and we are not ashamed to say it. Igbo have invested more in Nigeria than Arewa and Oduduwa. We want to be one Nigeria in fairness.”

He said Igbo youths were only rebelling against the injustice happening against them in the country and not about leaving the country.

“Biafra is not about secession. It is a name of a particular people in Nigeria from the South East. Therefore, it is not an offense to say that I am a Biafran. There was no victor, no vanquished after the civil war.

I am impressed with Yakubu Gowon because he implemented all the agreements reached at the end of the Civil War. Igbo were not deprived at the end of the civil war.”

He called on Nigerian youths to “work for the growth of the country and shun tribal and religious sentiments” as “the country had the capacity to become one of the best countries in the world in the years to come.”

Iwuanyanwu accused the federal government of marginalising the Igbos because they voted for the Peoples Democratic Party during the last election.  (Naij.com)

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Igbo Refusal To Invest In Buhari’s Campaign Cause For Marginalisation, Says Ngige

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige,
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige,

Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Chris Ngige. has linked the perceived marginalisation of the South-east geopolitical zone by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to the refusal by the zone to properly invest in the 2015 presidential election.

The minister, who spoke with THISDAY in an exclusive interview in Abuja, said all his efforts to persuade the Igbo to wisely invest in Buhari’s presidential bid in 2015 failed because of lack of co-operation by many South-east leaders, who threw their weigh behind former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Ngige’s statement, unsurprising reinforces the president’s statement at the outset of the administration that more focus would paid on geopolitical zones that supported him than those that did not.

“This is not a question I should answer because I’m a politician. But before these things happened, before the government of Jonathan failed, I went to all the Igbo fora to tell them that the Jonathan government will fall.

“I went to our Eze Ndi-Igbo in Enugu twice. They could not even reply to a letter written by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, seeking for a meeting with them,” Ngige stated, while responding to a question on how he feels about the marginalisation of the South-east zone by the Buhari administration.

The minister, who accused some Igbo leaders of playing a cat-and-mouse game with Buhari during the electioneering period, said he went to Lagos and convened an Igbo stakeholders forum in William Nwodo’s house in Ikoyi, Lagos in 2014, where he analysed the voting pattern in Nigeria and told them that even if they did not want to support Buhari, they should give him 25 per cent of their votes.

The minister added: “They refused to listen to me, and to make matter worse, there was no voting in most of the areas in the South-east; they just allocated 5 per cent to APC.

“It was that bad, it is too late to cry when the head is off. Politics is business in a way, you invest in business and you reap profit.
“Yes, that is what it is. But all I want to tell you is that we played bad politics; we made a bad investment because they invested in the Jonathan presidency. They invested in Jonathan more than the South-south, where he hails from.
“I am not saying that is enough to marginalise them or not allow them come in but we are there. I will continue to speak for them and when there is anything to be distributed, we will make sure that the South-east gets its own portion. But they will not get excess portion.”

Drawing an analogy from a wise, successful farmer, Ngige, a former governor of Anambra State, said: “Even in a family where the head of the family goes to the farm to harvest his yams those who accompany the farmer to the farm get more share.
“When they bring back the yams some of them will be damaged, and the pieces are put out in one section. Then the whole yams are put into the barn and some will be sent to the market for sale. And some will be sent to the family centrally for distribution among the family units.

“Those ones that are in pieces, the extras, will be shared among those that went to the farm.
“We did not benefit from the extras with people who went to the farm. We didn’t go to the farm in the south-east.”
He noted, however that leaders in the zone are reassessing their political strategy so that in 2019, the zone does not repeat the same mistake.

Asked what the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will be campaigning on as the country gradually slips into another election year, Ngige stated: “Oh my God, so you are in the group of those who are pessimistic, who have refused to see the wonders of this government?
“Well, I’m from the South-east, so when we get there we will show them that first and foremost we have fought corruption to a standstill and that people can no longer steal at will, much less keeping such monies at home.

“The movement was from the bank to the house, but now that homes have been raided, maybe they will go to the farm to keep them. But people cannot steal money because there is no hiding place anymore. They cannot steal primitively like it was done before. The poor people of Nigerian are happy about this,” he said.

The APC chieftain said he has no regret for his role in helping to bring Buhari to power, saying if the opportunity presents itself again he will do exactly the same thing.

According to him, “If anything, I feel happy every day when I wake up, and as I pray to my God, I asked him to enable me to take important decisions with him guarding me.

“If not for this government, the government of Muhammadu Buhari, government of change, Nigeria would have been worse than Venezuela.
“The crisis you have in Venezuela today, the demonstrations in Venezuela, are as a result of the collapse of the whole economic firmament of that country. Venezuela, like Nigeria, did not plan for the rainy day.”
Ngige scored the Buhari-led government high in the fight against corruption and terror. (ThisDay)

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The Igbo Are Not Happy, Nigeria Must Take A Decision On The Igbo

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                                                Azuka Onwuka

Azuka Onwuka; azonwuka@yahoo.com; 0809-8727-263 (sms only)

Before August 9, 1965, the Singaporeans were seen as an irritation in Malaysia. Then Singapore was one of the 14 states of Malaysia. Singaporeans were viewed as arrogant, stubborn, and domineering. While the United Malays National Organisation wanted affirmative action or “quota system” for the Malays, the People’s Action Party of the Singaporeans insisted that the best thing for the country was a merit-based policy on all issues, so as to bring out the best in the nation and create a spirit of excellence.

This constant disagreement and tension resulted in race riots. It got to a point where the Malays could take it no more. So on August 9, 1965 they convened the parliament, with no Singaporean parliamentarian present. At that sitting, the legislators voted unanimously (126 – 0) to expel Singapore from Malaysia.

When the Singaporeans heard that they had been expelled from the nation, at first they were devastated. But they took their fate in their hands and started building a new nation. And, indeed, by applying merit and the pursuit of excellence, Singaporeans built a country that moved from the Third World to First World in record time, overtaking Malaysia in all ramifications.

Interestingly, despite this sad way of parting, Malaysia and Singapore have remained good neighbours. In spite of the success that the latter has recorded, it has not made Malaysia not to record its own success.

There are many similarities between the story of Singapore and Malaysia and the Igbo and Nigeria. The Igbo are not happy with the quota system policy used in the admission into federal schools and federal positions. They want competitiveness in every sector, which will lead to the best being selected, for the sake of excellence.

The Igbo are seen as arrogant, noisy, domineering, greedy, over-ambitious, to mention but a few. Many Nigerians see them as irritants. They get killed frequently, especially in the North, at the least misunderstanding. Sometimes the cause of the provocation is someone from Denmark, Cameroon or another part of Nigeria.

There are many Nigerians who will easily tell you: “We will never allow an Igbo person to rule Nigeria.” There are many who believe that the problem of Nigeria is from the Igbo and that once the Igbo are done away with, Nigeria’s problems will disappear.

Given this scenario, the Igbo want a true federal system that will make Nigeria look like what it was before 1966, with each state or region taking charge of most of its affairs and moving at its own pace. Sadly, anytime it mentions restructuring or true federalism, there are forces that resist it vehemently and insist that such will not be allowed.

Ironically, despite this view by many Nigerians about the Igbo, anytime any person or group from Igbo land asks that the Igbo be allowed to leave Nigeria to form their own country, the resistance from most Nigerians is fierce. This reaction creates a contradiction. If the Igbo are irritants and troublemakers, why not expel them from Nigeria the way Singaporeans were expelled from Malaysia? But if you see them as valuable and believe they must be part of the Nigerian state, why not treat them as equal partners in the union? What does Nigeria really want from the Igbo?

Last week news broke that the Department of State Services embarked on a recruitment exercise, with 165 people recruited from the North-West.  The report said that 51 people were recruited from Katsina State alone, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Director General of Department of State Security, Mr Lawal Daura, while the number of people recruited from the five states of the South-East was 44 and the number recruited from the six states of the South-South was 42.

Compare that with the academic performance of the different zones of Nigeria. The Unified Tertiary Matriculation Education of 2016 produced the following number of applicants from the six zones:

South-East (five states) = 335,883;

South-West (six states) = 320,691;

South-South (six states) = (299,632);

North-Central (six states plus the FCT) = 259,846;

North-West (seven states) = 163,240;

North-East (six states) = 96,220.

The six states that produced the highest number of candidates were:

  1. Imo – 104,383
  2. Delta – 78,854
  3. Anambra – 77,694
  4. Osun – 72,752
  5. Oyo – 72,298
  6. Enugu – 69,381.

The six states that produced the least number of candidates were:

  1. Adamawa – 15,615
  2. Jigawa – 12,664
  3. Yobe – 10,045
  4. Sokoto – 10,006
  5. Kebbi – 8,947
  6. Zamfara – 5,295

The states that were given a minimum of 130 cut-off mark out of 200 in the 2013 examination into the Unity Schools were:

Anambra – Male (139) Female (139)

Imo – Male (138) Female (138)

Enugu – Male (134) Female (134)

Lagos – Male (133) Female (133)

Delta – Male (131) Female (131)

Ogun – Male (131) Female (131)

Abia – Male (130) Female (130)

For the same examination, the states that were given cut-off marks of less than 50 were:

Borno – Male (45) Female (45)

Jigawa – Male (44) Female (44)

Bauchi – Male (35) Female (35)

Kebbi – Male (9) Female (20)

Sokoto – Male (9) Female (13)

Taraba – Male (3) Female (11)

Yobe – Male (2) Female (27)

Zamfara – Male (4) Female (2)

The six states that scored above 50 per cent in the 2015 West African Senior School Certificate of Education were: Abia (63.94%), Anambra (61.18%), Edo (61.05%), Rivers (55.69%), and Imo (52.49%). The states that scored below 13 percent in the same examination were Kebbi (12.08%), Katsina (10.81%), Gombe (7.41%), Jigawa (6.37%), Zamfara (6.23%), Yobe (4.37%).

These are verifiable results that have remained virtually the same for decades. And they give an idea of the number of candidates that are involved in education from each state and zone, as well as their academic performance.

The point of this essay is not that it is only the Igbo that excel in many sectors. Other ethnic groups, especially from the South, also excel. But the focus of this essay is the Igbo. From the attitude of other ethnic groups, it seems that they are comfortable with the status quo. If not, they should not be focusing on the Igbo as their problem.

The call for restructuring of the country has been promoted as the solution to Nigeria’s problem.  However, there are strong forces that are hell-bent on ensuring that the restructuring of the country will never succeed. They have been erroneously schooled that restructuring will impoverish them.

The danger in this hard line against restructuring is that if restructuring fails, the alternative may not be palatable. Nigeria has moved in a self-destructive path for long. Nigeria has been wallowing in retrogression for long because some stakeholders are afraid that pulling it out and setting it on the path of progress will cost them their feeding bottle. But nothing lasts forever.

Last week the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, met his seemingly impossible bail conditions within 48 hours. When the bail conditions were made public, the belief of many was that no serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would want to associate with him. But the South-East caucus of the Senate met and quickly chose one of them to stand bail for him. All other conditions were also swiftly met.

If those conditions were given in December 2015, no Nigerian Senator would have wanted to be associated with Kanu. Since his coming into office, Buhari has continued to display a type of croynism and prebendalism that has never been witnessed in Nigeria. And the worst beneficiaries of this are the Igbo. He has been making it clear by his words and actions that the North and the Igbo are not equal partners in the Nigerian project. He has been distributing Nigerian resources and appointments to his kinsmen and region as if they are his personal property. This brazen nepotism has made even the fiercest Igbo critics of Kanu’s call for secession to develop sympathies for Kanu.

Nigerians must decide what they want from the Igbo. It is either they want the Igbo in Nigeria as full citizens or they want them out as non-citizens. As the English say, Nigerians can’t have their cake and eat it!    (Punchng.com)

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BIAFRA: Breaking Up Nigeria Has Consequences, Says Junaid Mohammed

Wants Buhari to look beyond US for ways out of recession

By ISMAIL OMIPIDAN

Kano-based fiery politician, Junaid Mohammed, has called on the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to look beyond the United States, for ways out of the country’s present economic recession.

This is even as he said that if the Igbo continued with their agitation, a democratic means could be devised for them to vote and decide whether they want to go or remain in Nigeria. He was, however, quick to add that those who think that breaking up Nigeria, was a universal remedy to all its problems, were deceiving themselves.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Saturday Sun, Mohammed, who cannot understand why the US would be prescribing what it never applied to its economy, when it faced economic challenge, similar to that of Nigeria, about eight years ago, further said: “Ironically, when the US ran into economic crisis in 2008, they did not do what they are now advising us to do. They say, we must control our budget, rein in on our spending and expenditure, bla, bla. But, when they were in economic crisis, instead of reducing government spending, they increased their own spending. They also maintained a high level of their currency. So, what makes you think that we must listen to those advising us to do what they never did, when they faced similar challenge in the past? They never did what they are asking us to do.”

Excerpts:

You once advised President Buhari, at the inception of his administration in 2015, that if Igbo want to go, they should be allowed to go. Do you still hold the same view?

Well, I don’t know if you understood the context in which I said the Igbo should be allowed to go, if they want to go. First, there is no way the Federal Government can allow any section of the country to go, without going through another civil war. And another civil war is an open invitation to anarchy and violence. I am not a violent man, I don’t believe in violence. But yes, if they continue with their agitation, a democratic way can be devised, so that they can vote, to decide whether they should be allowed to go, or to remain.

However, and most unfortunately too, Igbo have not articulated what they want. You cannot start talking for people who do not know exactly what they want. What will you be preparing for? And mark you, those who imagine that breaking up Nigeria will be a panacea to all the problems we have, are deluding themselves. I say so because, examples abound all over the world. Look at Southern Sudan experience, America insisted that the country must be split in two, it has since been done, but is there peace in Southern Sudan today? The South is already enmeshed in a bloody civil war; nobody knows how it will end, when it will end. I don’t believe Igbo would want to go through another civil war, after the first disaster of 1967-1970. And I believe they are entitled to every right and everything an average Nigerian is entitled to. And there is no evidence; they can claim to say they have been deprived.

But they are complaining of being marginalized under the present administration?

It is not correct. Tell me, who is not marginalized under this administration? Anyway, the two most powerful individuals running the country’s economy today, rightly or wrongly, are Igbo. The Minister of Budget and National Planning is an Igbo man, the Adviser on Budget is an Igbo man, and the CBN governor is an Igbo man. So, only the Minister of Finance is not Igbo. So, if they think they can continue to make irresponsible demand from the national patrimony, of course, let them go ahead. At some point, all things must come to a certain end. And I don’t lose sleep over certain demands made by some people.

One of the arguments they are making is that, in terms of equitable distribution of resources and political offices, they have not been fairly treated.

Are you also saying they have no case in that regard?

Well, first and foremost, they should tell us, who has been favoured, vis-à-vis the positions they claim? Two, was it a planned subterfuge by the government of the day to deny them certain positions or was it as a result of certain things that have happened in the past, when Igbo occupied those positions, which is not as a result of anybody’s planning? For example, after General Aguiyi Ironsi, who was implicated in the coup that brought him to power, the next senior Igbo man we had was (Gen Azubuike) Ihejirika, as the Chief of Army Staff. He turned out to be a big disaster, as he turned out to be a dangerous tribalist. What makes them think that we must now give them that position again, simply because they are now clamouring for it? That is number one. Number two, we had a former governor of the Central Bank, his name was Paul Oguma, and he was a disaster. We now have another Igbo man, Godwin Emefiele, who has turned out to be another disaster. So, if you allow me, I can go on and on.

(Cuts in) But we had another Igbo man, as CBN governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, who most Nigerians believe performed creditably well in office.

Soludo is only good at noisemaking; I don’t think he was such a brilliant governor of the CBN.

And talking about the economy, how do you think Nigeria can get out of its present economic challenge?

Let me be honest with you. I am ideological. I don’t believe in capitalism. But the government must look at its worldview critically. For instance, what do you stand for? Do you believe that the economy should be run in such a way that only the few are rich, with the overwhelming majority being poor? Do you believe that we should devise our own ways of running the economy or just taking everything the World Bank says, and other capitalist countries? Shouldn’t our economy be run to serve our own national interest alone?

Ironically, when the US ran into economic crisis in 2008, they did not do what they are now advising us to do. They say we must control our budget, rein in on our spending and expenditure, bla, bla. But when they were in economic crisis, instead of reducing government spending, they increased their own spending. They also maintained a high level of their currency. So what makes you think that we must listen to those advising us to do what they never did when they faced similar challenge in the past? They never did what they are asking us to do.

So what is the way out?

I think we should link up with our trading partners, those whom we share something in common with, not only the American government. I know that like Nigeria, America was a former British colony; I know we share certain things in common with America, but that does not necessarily mean we should be their slaves. And we have known the economic history of the country, over the last 200 years ago or so. The problem we had over the years, including the disaster that is unfolding under Buhari, is caused by our blind support for and obsessive following of capitalist ideas. And if we continue with that, we are going to have more problems. It is time to look at our economy, taking into cognizance our peculiar realities, and come up with ideas and policies that will suit our peculiar situation, and then decide what we want to do and how we want to go about it.

Finally, APC crisis appears to be assuming a North and South dichotomy, is it healthy for our polity?

I think it is unfortunate, that tribalism has become the easiest nest we fall into, each time we find ourselves in political crisis. It shows that we have lousy elite and political class that cannot think for themselves. It is very unfortunate. Whatever happens, I believe what is happening today has been to the benefit of those who followed Tinubu into the merger. If they feel they have not gotten what they believe they should have, they should tell us who in the north has benefitted? The position of the APC in most of the so-called northern States is very pathetic. Buhari has spent more time, being in the service of the South-West, than he has been to the northern states. Whatever is happening now, one thing is clear, Oyegun, is not a northerner, he doesn’t come from the north. I don’t believe what Buhari has been doing has been to the pleasure of John Oyegun.

However, I am absolutely sad at the happenings. The truth remains that we cannot build this country without being sincere to ourselves. Most of those in the Buhari government today from the South-West are there because Tinubu introduced them to Buhari. Tinubu took the position he took in 2015 because he knew it was in the best interest of the country. And he has not come out to say he made a mistake.  (The Sun)

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Oduduwa Was Never The Founder Of Yoruba Race , Ife, He Met People There | The Republican News

Image result for yoruba, igbo people

Inyanya in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba attires

By Ike A. Offor

These are the indubitable facts about the history of Yoruba, and the presence of Benin and Igbo, Nupe in the ancient and consequently in the present day Yoruba race.

Many renowned history scholars have written about how much the Igbo and Benin are involved in the history of Yoruba race and some have been very blunt about the make up all these three groups, Igbo, Benin and Nupe. Igbo, Yoruba, and Benin are found in each others land at different times in the ancient historical records.

Read more: Yoruba, Benin And The Burden Of History In The Royal Politics Of Nigeria-1 |The Republican News

The similarity in these groups could also be seen from a linguistics approach, Yorubas, Igbos, Nupe, Idoma, Edo, Igala and some other groups all share a common ancestor.  They just splintered into different groups, with cultures, languages and histories. But no one can deny, that there are many similarities amongst their languages.
One would go even further to say that the Fon and Ewe should be included as well because their languages are also similar to Yoruba, Igbo and Nupe, Idoma, Edo, Igala.
In a book by Prof. Boalaji Aremo, as would be expected, Chapter One is a general introduction that provides brief notes on Yoruba and Igbo and their native speakers. The chapter also discusses the main objective of the book: to report the findings from a study aimed at searching (through books and among fluent speakers) for examples of words that are similar in sound and meaning in both Yoruba and Igbo and could, therefore, give further support for the claim by linguists that the two languages descended from the same ancestral language.
The next three chapters list, often with very interesting and informative “clarificatory” notes, the hundreds of examples the author has found of Igbo/Yoruba cognates, i.e Igbo and Yoruba words that are similar in sound and meaning by reason of having been inherited by the two languages from a common Igbo/Yoruba parent language.
It is intended that by considering the examples, the reader will be able to form a good impression of how the languages have diverged over time. And the items listed include: agba (or akpÍ, akpå)/agbÍn (= ‘chin’), awÍ /ewu (= ‘grey hair’), aga (or Ëga)/agan (= ‘barrenness, infertility, a barren woman’), Ígwå/oogun (= ‘medicine, poison, charm’), dimkpa/ igiripa (or giripa) (= person in prime of manhood, strong man, man of strength and courage’), Ëra (or Íra, Íha, Ísa)/ara (or ira (CY)) (= ‘the citizenry, the people, the masses, the public’), onye/ eniyan (or Íniyan(CY)(= ‘person, anyone, someone’), agå/ ¹kun (= ‘tiger, leopard’), enyin/ erin (= ‘elephant’), anwå /oorun (= ‘sun, sunlight’), ifufe (or ifufu)/af¹f¹ (or efuufu) (= ‘wind, breeze, air’), ogbodo/ogberi (or ogbere (CY)) (= ‘person not yet initiated into a masquerade or similar secret cult , a novice’), and akårËkÍ /iharihÍ (or ihaahÍ) (= ‘charred part of food which adheres to the pot or sauce pan’).
There is also proof, scientific proof, DNA. These groups differences are cultural, not biological because they share the same ancestors.

Oduduwa( Benin Prince Izoduwa) was never the founder of the Yoruba race nor the founder of Ife town. He met people there. A man known as Obatala was ruling a section of the Yorubas before Oduduwa surfaced. No less a personality than the Olugbo of Ugbo( Ilaje’s paramount Ruler) agrees with this. He put it directly to the Ooni of Ife recently.

The Yoruba are from Nupe,Benin and Igbo stock. Confirm this from the objective historian Odia Ofeimu. Ife is an Igbo divining CENTRE until the warrior Prince Izoduwa took it from them and made himself the theocratic governor of the place.

Nupe attacked old Oyo and sacked it because they believe they are the owners of the land.

The Ooni of Ife is not from the lineage of Oduduwa. No Oduduwa son remained at Ife to succeed him in his priestly role.

Like his father Ogiso Owodo,Prince Izoduwa( Oduduwa) had only one son whose name was Okanvbi( Okanbi in Yoruba). Note that, Okanvbi in Edo means ” I seek justice or I do not seek vengeance( a name Oduduwa may have given his son to remind him of his travails in his homeland,Benin) It was Okanvbi who had 7 children amongst whom we have the youngest Omonopopo( Prince Oramiyan).

All the current Yoruba clans have their separate history as a people and over 95% of them have no link to Oduduwa or the mythical Yoruba empire. The Ilajes and Akokos for examples. They all have their languages too which are clearly not dialects of the recent Yoruba language developed in Lagos and Ibadan.

Lagos at every point in their history was a Benin settlement and vassalage and never under any Yoruba power.

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Buhari Absent From South East Economic Summit By Advice Of Igbo Leaders |The Republican News

The Obasanjo connection

By Doris Obinna

Contrary to insinuations that President Muhammadu Buhari was absent at the South East Economic and Security Summit, which held in Enugu yesterday, owing to the threats by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), he did not attend because of advice by Igbo leaders, Daily Sun can reveal.

The South East Summit, convened by former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, had in attendance South East leaders and other stakeholders.

Daily Sun gathered that President Buhari wanted to personally attend the summit, but changed his mind when top Igbo leaders expressed reservations that his coming to the zone was at the instance of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Competent sources revealed that a top Anglican bishop from Abia State, working with the convener of the summit,  had contacted Obasanjo and persuaded him to lend his words for President Buhari to attend the summit.

Miffed by the fact that Obasanjo was at the centre of invitation to President Buhari to attend a prime programme in South East, Igbo leaders were said to have protested to the Presidency, advising that Buhari should not visit the South East now.

Also, it was gathered that Igbo leaders in the All Progressives Congress (APC) advised President Buhari to rather schedule a visit to South East when the rehabilitation of federal roads in the zone is at its peak and also when he would flag off the continuation of the work at the second Niger Bridge.

In this regards, Presidency source said that President Buhari would visit the South East, on the invitation of the APC leaders from the zone in April or May 2017.  By then, it was gathered, major work would have been done on federal expressways, which APC leaders reckoned would engender Buhari more to Igbo than coming to a summit, where Obasanjo played a major role.

Daily Sun also gathered that South East leaders reasoned that it will be insensitive for President Buhari to visit South East during the Christmas season, when Igbo are travelling to the villages.

President Buhari was said to have listened to voice of reason and heeded the advice not to attend the economic summit.

Presidency source told Daily Sun that following the advice, President Buhari wants to ensure that infrastructure rehabilitation is made top priority in the South East, especially since some Igbo leaders say they would join APC if perceived marginalisation is addressed.

Former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who joined APC recently, had stated that he did so over the fulfulment of President Buhari’s promise to him that South East roads would receive attention.

Kalu had stated that since rehabilitation work has started on the federal roads in South East, he was persuaded that President Buhari would give the South East its fair share in development.

At the South East Economic and Security Summit, Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, with other governors and major stakeholders in the zone restated the call for the Federal Government to complete the second Niger Bridge.

In his welcome address, Ugwuanyi had described the summit as a veritable platform to discuss the peace and economic growth of the South East geopolitical zone and the country in general.

He stated that security and economic development play vital roles in the upkeep of humanity, while explaining that the summit would afford the people ample opportunity to discuss the two vital elements that could make the zone  move forward.

He called on the Federal Government to rehabilitate federal infrastructure in Enugu State and other parts of the South East. (Punchng.com)

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Nigeria Can Only Work If Injustice Against Igbo Is Redressed, Says Anya |The Republican News

.How I escaped death five times during Biafra war

By Willy Eya

On January 3, 2017, Prof Anya Okoh Anya, former Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Economic Summit and President of the Nigeria Academy of Science shall have completed the Biblical three scores and 20 years. But even as he will be clocking 80, he believes that he has not done anything special to join the privileged group of octogenarians.

At 7, he lost his father who by all standards then was very wealthy and it seemed the world had ended for the family. It was like falling from grace to grass but God had a different plan for him and the family. The experience of that turbulent period is now history, and it is not surprising that for him, he has come thus far by the grace of God.

The man who literally has seen it all both in the academia and public life in this interview, spoke on his journey so far, the state of the nation among others.

Barely two weeks away, you would be 80 years on earth. How do you feel and what does it mean to attain that age?

I live for each day. First of all is that God’s grace has been important in my life, from the beginning until now. This means, God’s grace has been there in my entire career. From the various positions that I have held, there is none that I applied for. I would not say I have never applied but somebody will just come and say, there is a job and we just want you to do it. From my first job immediately after secondary school, the principal just called me and another classmate of mine to go and teach.  From then, it’s been like that even when I became the Director General of NLNG. It was a group of the Chief executives who directed me on it. I remember that, on the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), you will be expected to be an economist but in my own case, it was not so. This is because at that time, we had worked together and they had seen me at work in the vision 2010. So, it’s been like that, the most important thing is that God has been in charge of my life and I am grateful to him.  If you look at me, there are many people who are younger than me but I look stronger than them. I have not done anything special and that is why I say it is the grace of God.

In all of these years you have spent on earth, what are your unique memories?

They are many. My father was a notably wealthy person; he died in the early 40s. Then he had a lorry; you can imagine an Igbo man who had a lorry in 1940 to 1941 how wealthy he was. But suddenly, he died.  I was about seven going to eight years then. If you were born and you start struggling, in the struggling, you will learn. But if you were born as you people will say with silver spoon in your mouth and suddenly, the silver spoon is dragged out of your mouth, life is more challenging for that person who started life comfortably and suddenly he is faced with destitution. Where do you begin from? Many people did not survive that but through God’s grace, we were surviving because even going to school became a challenge. My mother took charge of that and the rest is history. But then, it would also not have been possible if I did not get scholarships. From my third year, I got the Calabar County Council’s Scholarship. From that third year in secondary school,  I went to the University on the Federal Government scholarship. When I finished in Cambridge, I hear there was a mail for me from Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. Someone met me there and said he had a message for me and I said for me?, he said yes that he has a message for me from Nnamdi Azikiwe. And I said me?, what could the president of Nigeria, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria want with me?.  He said he wants me to come to Nsukka when I finish with my PhD, so, when I finished, I went straight to Nsukka.

What is the difference between the lives of your contemporaries and people of today?

First, people now want too many good things  and, the system that brought them in, might be taken for granted but if you work hard and begin to do good in what you are doing, success will come naturally. The success will not come because of the method but because of God’s grace. People are dying not realizing that God’s grace is important and the greatest gift for me is contentment.  Whatever situation you find yourself, do the best you can and give thanks to God. We have a very simple motto in my family, in all things the best and for God. That has been my guardian and what my children also have imbibed. You see, unless you recognize God’s providence and grace in one’s  life , you will then get to a point where your children will make you think you are a little god but the more you know God, the more you become humbled because of what you have seen Him do in other people’s lives. So my Christian belief is important, commitment to the values of Christianity and obedience to God are also important.

You talked about a personal encounter with God, would you like to share it?

It is not the kind of dramatic encounter. Just that, I can remember the passage in Ephesians, it was the JB Philips edition, and you know it is in simple English. It just came out then and with the little money I had, I bought one. I was reading it and got to a passage in Ephesians and it was just as if the Bible opened up and I understood things that I did not understand before. So, I won’t say it is the way people tell you they had this or that experience. No,  it was not that kind of dramatic experience and also, it was because I had grown in my Christian faith cumulatively over that period. So, I cannot say it was this or that experience or series of experiences, no. But I also know that God has been faithful because on my 50th birthday, very early in the morning,  I went to the church and laid on the altar and looked at my life at that time.  When I became professor in 1973, it was eight years after my PhD in 1965 and three of those eight years were in the jungles of Biafra. I was in Biafra then, I worked and served. If you remove three from the eight years, I became a professor five years post doctoral. Only God made that possible and I was not the most brilliant. So, there is a lot to be thankful for.

You already had a PhD before the Biafran war, and you were involved in the war?

Yes, I got my PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1965 and I came back August same year, and went straight to Nsukka. You can see the hand of God.  I can name five different incidences during the war in which I had no business but to be dead including going to somewhere in the boat with the late Colonel Ogbugo Kalu who was the Commander of Brigade section in Port Harcourt. Where we were going to, we did not know that the Nigerian Troop had infiltrated the area and they started shooting. The boat we were in just went on speeding and then we got out. The second incident took place in Umuahia. In fact, whenever I am going to Umuahia, I still remember the spot. We took cover when the plane was doing the bombing, they were in the plane in the air shooting, where I took cover; the person who took cover with me when I looked up, had been shot. It could have been me, that’s the hand of God. There are so many things one can use to illustrate it.

What are your reflections on the current state of the nation?

I delivered two lectures last year, one was at the University of Lagos, the Eni Njoku Memorial Lecture and the title was ‘Nigeria and the future: the Challenge of National Development and National Integration in the age of change and transformation. Remember it was in August last year and Buhari had just just been sworn in as president. I was saying that development and integration are the challenges before the country. I made my suggestion to him on how to approach it. In October last year, I also gave the Emeka Anyaoku Lecture ‘Nigeria, the Continued Search for Leadership. Leadership is the central issue.

Even though you did not read economics but you are considered an expert in that field having held several positions in that field. What is your take on the almost prostrate state of the nation’s economy?

Human behavior is what determines the nature, type and even the quality of the economy that you have. If you remember that, you then know that as a leader, managing the economy starts from the way you manage the behavior of the citizens. What do I mean by that? You see in 2014, Nigeria was still being touted out internationally as one of the emerging economies to watch. In 2014, I think one of the rating agencies was suggesting that up to $14b investment was heading to Nigeria. In 2016, we cannot even get up to $1b coming into Nigeria. So, why the sudden change? The reason is simple. Once we came with the drama of change and corruption even though nobody can justify corruption, there is no country where there is no corruption. How you manage and tell it becomes important. If you deal with corruption without all the drama, people will know you are doing something about it and will have confidence in you. If you are doing it that way, first is that, the internal people will say, wait let’s see what will happen. They will hold back their money and will not invest and then, the economy starts feeling it. The outsiders now follow the people inside and are not prepared to take a risk because they hear things like my people are all rotten and untrustworthy. If you are an outsider, would you invest your money in such a country? In other words, the way we present our story is important. If you a carry a story in negative terms, it has its consequences and if you carry it in positive terms-yes, there are problems but we are meeting the challenges, it also has consequences. So, the question now is, why the dramatic change in our circumstances  in less than two years?. It’s because of the way we tell our stories. The economy responds to signals and something that tells you what is likely to happen. And all these signals are coming from human behaviors particularly from the leadership.   Until the story changes to more positive news, I am afraid we are not going anywhere. We talk about exchange rates and inflation, they are only summations of particular types of human behavior. When people withhold what they have, money becomes scarce and everything goes up. So the economy I am afraid will go through more difficult times until we change our stories. And the story is to say look, yes we have made mistakes but this is a country that has great potential and we are going to make sure that we fix the economy and we are going to mobilize everybody. Mobilizing is not about lecturing you. As some Christians will tell you, the best sermon is the one you give with your life, where people see you, they will believe what you are saying because they see it in your life. Our leaders have to tell us a better story than they are telling us. We are watching them, if they say one thing and begin to do another, people will take a cue from that.

There have been lots of ethnic division among the people of Nigeria since the inception of this government.  What is your reaction?

I believe is a matter of signals, as I pointed out in the first lecture, the Eni Njoku lecture. When you are working for integration, you first identify the things that people share and the things that make them different. You then try to reach the common ground, then the two will now work together in those things that are common to them and as they do that, confidence returns, trust rebuilt and you start greater cooperation. That is how a nation emerges. The first 32 appointments by Buhari, not one person from the South East was found appointable. So, what signals do you send? The South East is easy to illustrate and the same principle is applicable to people in the North. There are northerners outside this government that are not satisfied with what is happening. They do not think they are having their due. When you say that you have to be dealing with the 97 percent that voted for you, people take note of that. As I said at the national conference, between 2011 and now, there is no part of Nigeria that I have not been to. I was in the presidential and post election violence in 2011. I was one of the four members of that committee that had the privilege to interview Buhari in his house in Kaduna on that occasion and he impressed me with his passion for the country. When we were going out, he told his PA to get my number and for me to give him my number too. But that fervent passion that I saw is not evident in his government. As I said at the conference, there is no part of Nigeria that does not have a problem. None, but there is not part of Nigeria that can solve its problems on its own. We need each other to solve our problems.

Let’s be honest; this country can only be rebuilt by everybody joining in. Three weeks ago, there was a Christian meeting in Ibadan, Yorubas, ordained Ministers were asking God for forgiveness because of what they have done to the Igbo people; they had a vision. They said that the attitude of the people to the Igbo has hindered God’s plan for Nigeria, at the meeting. It was said that until the Igbo have justice that Nigeria was going nowhere. So, there are a lot of things happening at the spiritual level in Nigeria as we speak. (Punchng.com)

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