Emir Abbas Tafida of Munir has read the riot act to the Fulani herdsmen and bandits and orders them to leave the forests in his community or face outright revenge.
Emir Tafida made this known during the Sallah prayer session and he spoke with anger bellowing from his voice while his hands shook.
“Our Fulani herdmen in the forests you came to this state and we accepted you, why then will you be coming to our towns and kidnap residents, even up to the extent of raping our women, he said.
He orders, “because of this unending menace, every Fulani herdsmen in the state have been given 30 days to vacate the forests without which we will be forced to take the laws into our hands to kill in revenge.
Emir Abbas went on to say, ” from today henceforth, anyone caught conspiring with those hoodlums, his parents, siblings will not be spared, just as we will not allow for the bail of criminals in the police custody.
He concluded that “we are tired of having sleepless nights and the hunger alone in the land is enormous and we will not allow it to continue.
The Minister of Power, Alhaji Saleh Mamman in response defended that the president has been on it and asked all Nigerians to support Mr President. He further claimed that the government of Buhari has made efforts and have recently achieved success. He said, “we believe we going to solve the problem.
Senator representing Nasarawa West, Abdullahi Adamu, has in an interview with Sunday Sun, warned that no one should complain should the North begin to retaliate the killings and damages suffered by northerners living in the South. Adamu who was a two-term governor of Nasarawa State, and now a senator under the All Progressives Congress (APC), said Northerners living in the South have suffered injustice, while southerners living in the North enjoy the benefits without being attacked.
He however, added that moves by Southern Governors to ban open grazing without providing alternatives, and also doing nothing about the killings of Northerners in the South, could come at a heavy cost, as Southerners living in the North could end up paying the price.
He said while the governors pretend to be against the breaking of the country, their actions speaks otherwise.
“They (Southern governors) are sounding like a broken record. You know what a broken record does? It cracks,” he said while condemning the decision of 17 Southern Governors to ban open grazing.
“I expected them to be more educated people with responsibility of governance. Each of those governors is under an oath for loyalty, for preservation of the sovereignty of this country.
“That means every one of them is duty-bound to stay away from any act or words that have the tendency of being perceived as being separatists.
“I was a governor for eight years. I know what the Governors’ Forum is. I headed it for five years of my right years. Before that, I was chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum. So, the secretariat you see and the bureaucracy I set them up during my time.”
Adamu added, “Before the Asaba Accord, there was a meeting of all the state governors. About 36 of them were there. Less than a week of that meeting, some people came out and claimed Southern Governors Forum. There is nothing wrong with regional bodies.
“But these governors know the constitution and they know that every Nigerian has the right of movement and association. A right to pursue legitimate goals. These governors are saying no cattle or open grazing. What is the alternative? Have they provided any? If Northern governors come together and take a position, what will happen? What right have you to tell Nigerians not to move freely?
“If northern groups say no southern business in the area, how will that end up? There are killings of northerners going on in the South. If the North decides to retaliate, we will call it genocide. What is happening to us? We only know about problems, but not solutions. People are openly calling for a break up of the country.”
The ban was also condemned by the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, who insists that herdsmen have the constitutional right to graze anywhere in the country, and made it clear that the only thing that would stop herdsmen from grazing in any part of the country, is lack of grass. Otherwise, they’ll continue to graze and nothing would happen.
While speaking on ban on open grazing declared by the Southern governors, he said, “We are going to follow the law and see how to approach some good leaders in the South-East, South-West and the South-South. We will also approach the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to protect our people.
“It is not about grazing; it is a plan against Fulani people. Some people want to hijack the cattle business from us. Anywhere you go now, you see Fulani grazing cows and you will think they belong to them. No! The cows belong to some people in that area or community.
“If you go to Benue, the state that first promulgated the anti open grazing law, you can see cows grazing; their owners are Tiv people. Even the governor, Samuel Ortom, has so many cows. They want to chase us away and continue with our business.
“What these Southern governors are trying to do, some other African countries tried it, but it didn’t work. So, this one will not be an exception. You can’t just wake up without plan B, and say you have banned open grazing.
“This business has history; we didn’t just wake up and start cow rearing. It is a blessing from God; it is God that blessed us with this business, it is not like farming or palm wine tapping business. This is from the beginning; the only thing is how to transform the business.
“These governors are confused; they are trying to deny Fulani their rights and means of livelihood. Nigeria has only one constitution, which the governors are breaching. We may approach the court to stop them from carrying out their plans.
“The process by which they arrived at their decision was wrong. They were supposed to have invited us because we are part of their various states. If you are a governor, you are a governor for everybody living in that state. Since we live in all the states doing our business, it behooved them to have invited us to the meeting.
See also Osinbajo reacts to rumours on Buhari’s purported order “I don’t know who is giving them this evil idea. No state can progress without Fulani being in that state; any state without Fulani is backward and poor. Fulani attract blessing. They don’t have problem, but unfortunately, people attribute kidnapping, robbery and banditry to them. It is not fair.
“They have not seen their people killing police and other security personnel. How many police stations have Fulani burnt? How many policemen have Fulani killed? But they want to tamper with the business God has blessed us with. The governors are very wrong.”
When told Southern governors are determined to execute the recent ban, he said, “I say it categorically that this ban on open grazing by the Southern governors will never work. The only thing that can stop us from grazing in any area is if there are no grasses and water in such place. Fulani don’t have borders or boundaries; they don’t need permission to graze their cows from one area to another area.
“There is no law, no constitution prohibiting them from doing so. Fulani are educated and they believe in leadership. They follow the constitution, which permits them internationally to graze anywhere. ECOWAS permits us to graze anywhere, but any person that commits a crime, let the law of the land be visited upon such a person,” he added.
After reading a profiling statement of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s aide, Jacks Obasunyi and Dare Ajiga against the Igbos, relating to a statement made by some IPOB members as regards the death of army chief of staff I felt cold. They both attempted to manipulate those comments to appear as the opinion of the Igbos. Yet I came across a video by Mayegun, a Yoruba guy and comments of a few other persons who are not Igbos showing their disdain for the late chief. Those IPOB boys have accused him and other officers of killing their members in their hundreds during their rallies to call for the restoration of Biafra. It is naturally expected that they will consider anybody in uniform as enemy. But to use this opportunity again to rekindle hatred against Igbos is nothing but a demonic affair.
THIS IS AN AGE LONG HATRED AGAINST IGBO AND IT WAS HERE BEFORE 1966.
In 1945, indigenous peoples in Jos, Plateau State, had a clash that had nothing to do with Igbos. But in the end, Igbos were killed and their shops were looted and burnt down for what they knew nothing about.
Again In 1953 in Kano Igbos were massacred and their properties looted for an issue they did not create. Enahoro who was Awolowo’s associate had moved a motion for independence and the north was opposed to it, they went to the north to try and convince the people, northerners took offense and rioted. They killed Igbos, looted their shops and burnt them down. Yet the was not an Igbo man.
Yet in 1953, the north wanted to secede from Nigeria, (exactly what IPOB is asking for now) an Igbo man called Nnandi Azikiwe pleaded with them so that we can all leave as one family. Life bullets were not used to exterminate their young ones as being done in Igbo land now. Rather they were begged.
Then the worst happened. A fine gentleman and refined military officer from Okpanam in present day Delta State, South South Nigeria, along with Ifeajuna, Ademulegun and two others got other military officers both of northern and southern extraction to execute a coup in what they considered an attempt to clean up the political space in Nigeria. It was eventually branded Igbo coup. Despite the counter coup that led to the retaliatory killing of over 300 top Igbo military officers and Ironsi the then military head of state, they still went ahead to massacre thousands of Igbo civilians for an issue that was a simply a military affair and at best involved the political class. Over ninety thousand (90,000) Igbos were killed in a pogrom, women and children, poor artisans and traders massacred in cold blood. Yet it was not a war.
Then came the ultimate blood letting event of 1967 to 1970. A genocidal war was levied against eastern Nigeria. In a manner to explan the deep seated hatred for the Igbo, women and children were bombed to death in their millions. This was against rules of engagement in war. Women and children were targeted for mass murder. The Asaba massacre story is still being suppressed because those who did it are now ashamed of their history.
By the end of 1970, over 3 million Igbos had been killed in that genocidal war, over 2 million of them being women and children, a genocide only next to the Jewish Holocaust.
There has never been blood letting like it on the continent of Africa. Yet there still are efforts to suppress this story of animosity, even to the extent of banning history from being thought in schools in the country.
Yet the obsessive hatred against the Igbos that a British journalist working for the BBC talked about when he interviewed one of Nigeria’s leaders before independence and 1966, has not stopped.
Since after that war Igbos are still being killed and are made to suffer loses from issues that does not concern them. Even when others quarel amongst themselves they will find a way to settle it with the blood of Igbos. Kano 1980, Maiduguri 1982, Jimeta 1984, Gombe 1985, Zaria 1987, Kaduna and Kafanchan 1991.
They either start as religious riot or ethnic crisis. The ultimate end is that Igbos will be killed and their properties looted even when they are not party to the quarrel. It continued in Bauchi and Katsina 1991, Kano 1991, Zangon-Kataf 1992, Funtua 1993, Kano 1994, Kaduna 2000, Kaduna 2001, Maiduguri 2001, Jos Crisis-Setember 2001, Kaduna 2002 and Jos-November 2008.
Yet there was the beheading of Gideon Akaluka in December of 1996 in a POLICE STATION in Kano.
And then there was the post April 2011 Presidential Election: 10 youth-corps members and numerous citizens murdered and Igbos were not spared. Not to forget that there was Jos Christmas Eve 2010 killing of Igbos, Mubi January 6 2012 and many Igbo deaths caused by boko haram.
Go and look up your history and know how many times Igbos have been mindlessly killed since 1945 to date.
Yet some people are not satisfied. Recently, Nigerian youths from across the country protested against police brutality tagged Endsars. Some over zealous government officials mismanaged the situation and everywhere went up in flames. Quickly the manipulators of Nigeria against the Igbos cooked up their narrative in order to instigate the Yorubas to attack Igbos in Lagos but the Yorubas resisted their propaganda. This mindless propagandists did not even mention that many of shops that were looted or destroyed in Surulere Area and Aja belong to Igbo people. They did not mention that in the South East where Igbos are predominant properties where also destroyed, including the famous Aba North local government headquarter. They wanted to manipulate things again so that Igbos can be attacked and their properties to be destroyed. They succeeded in Rivers where Governor Wike, basking in his zealous stupidity attacked Igbos in Obigo in the guise that Endsars protest was an IPOB affair and that they operated from the town. He has succeeded in killing many Igbos in that community and closing down Igbo markets in the city. A product of abandoned property reinventing hatred against Igbos.
Yet no one remembered that Igbos in Abuja were killed during the protest and their properties destroyed in Apo.
The trend is continuing with the recent statement by the shameless Code of Conduct Tribunal Chairman who was seen on video assaulting a security guard in Abuja. Rather than explain his nonsense behaviour he sent his media aide to put out junk of a press release trying to implicate Igbos and create ethnic sentiment against them being their usual fall guys. Not minding that the security guard in question is from Plateau State in northern Nigeria where the Chairman comes from.
As if that was not enough, Lagos State commissioner of police raised another false alarm trying to cause serious disaffection between Igbos and Yorubas in Lagos. He was supported one “fame chaser” called Joe Igbokwe who is always sell his people out for his selfish interest, a man whose belly is his god. But God did put them to shame as the Yorubas again told them off. And it was eventually discovered to be a lie but nobody knows if they are still planning to bomb Lagos in order to implicate Igbos.
Then came Mr. Malami, the AGF, with his killer herdsmen and Igbo motor parts dealers narrative. Something suggesting that he was levying another ethnic hatred against Igbo business men and women in the north. But it did not materialise.
And now the death of Nigeria’s Army Chief is being used to malign the Igbos again. Any statement made by a typical IPOB member who sees the army as enemy for killing over 700 of their members since 2017, is posited as Igbos speaking. I mean people that have never equated any statement of herdsmen or meyattialah as that of the north talk more of those of Boko Haram or Bandits using comments by IPOB members to colour the opinion of Igbos, notwithstanding the fact that millions of Igbos are not their members and many are opposed to them.
And I ask: what is this hatred all about? You hate them so much yet you don’t want to let them go. How much more of their blood do you want before your vampire gods will be appeased? You sent Python to dance against their protesting harmless youths and you extracted their blood and buried them in shallow graves. They gathered to pray at Ngwa High School in Aba and you turned the venue into a horror field shooting life bullets as many of them were sent to their early graves. You sent Crocodile and all manner of metaphorical animals to stop them from speaking out against their oppression and they have paid severely with their blood but it doesn’t appear you are yet appeased.
1945 to 2021 is long time enough to have shown hatred against a people. Don’t give me that nonsense excuse of 1966 coup because you the killing of Igbos started before then. Your 1966 coup was just a good excuse enough to attempt to annihilate them because the war you levied on them looked like a premeditated genocide. The BBC British journalist interview even before independence was a good reference to the hate against Igbos before the coup. Or how do you explain that many other coups outside that one were not branded along ethnic lines?
Enough of this hatred against Igbos. Whatever that is motivating it is evil. Igbos love to travel, relate with others and even build and develop places where they reside outside their homeland. They are hard working and adventurous, bold and ambitious. I see those who hate them like the brothers of Joseph who hated him for nothing but his dreams and coat of many colours. If Joseph could be so hated for his dream and coat of many colours and Cain could kill Abel for offering God the best sacrifice I am not surprised that some people can hate Igbos. But don’t look for cheap excuses to hinge your dark heart.
Great Imo Jonathan
(Disclaimer, the content and opinions are that of the writer and based on history)
President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected a report alleging that there is genocide against Christians in the country.
In the report, the United Kingdom All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom or Belief, a group made up of British parliamentarians, said Christians are being targeted because of their faith in Nigeria.
But in a statement on Friday, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said Boko Haram insurgents have targeted Christians because they know it drives religious tensions in the country.
Shehu said the Buhari administration is committed to addressing these challenges and has already begun taking measures.
“The president and government of Nigeria wish to thank members of the United Kingdom All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom or Belief for their report, launched a few days ago,” he said.
“Although it is difficult reading, the statement also acknowledges the importance of accurate, unbiased, depoliticised and truthful information when it comes to understanding the realities and addressing the challenges for those of faith in Nigeria.
“In this regard when uncritical attention is afforded to critics with dubious intentions, it only becomes harder for both the government and people of Nigeria to engage in constructive dialogue to resolve our differences, and uphold what is enshrined in our constitution and laws: that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
“In concert with our American and British allies, Nigeria’s military have pushed back the terrorists and largely reduced their capacity over the last five years compared to the previous decade.
“Boko Haram have targeted Christians and Churches specifically because they know it drives forward religious and land tensions already existent in the country. Similarly, they attack mosques and Muslims in order to issue the threat: radicalise, or become targets yourselves.”
Shehu said while the government is increasing efforts “to fully defeat and finally finish Boko Haram”, it has not stopped seeking to negotiate for those held captive by the insurgents.
According to him, under the leadership of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, there are efforts to unite the country through dialogue as regards religious differences.
“The president and government have and will at all times work with those – both within and without Nigeria – with a concern for the rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,” he said.
“In this regard, we look forward to welcoming members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group to our country to see for themselves the work that is going on to promote these fundamental rights of our citizens.”
The Eropean Union in a new report released on January 16, 2020 said over 6000 Christians had been murdered by “Fulani militants whereas in Sharia states, Christians face constant discrimination and are often considered second class citizens.”
The European parliament, legislative branch of the European Union, has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of overseeing the persecution of Christians in the Northern part of Nigeria where Sharia law is in practice.
The EU in a new report released on January 16, 2020 said over 6000 Christians had been murdered by “Fulani militants whereas in Sharia states, Christians face constant discrimination and are often considered second class citizens.”
The report further adds that, “These attacks have continued with total impunity with perpetrators rarely being held to account whereas Amnesty International report has demonstrated wilful negligence by the Nigerian security forces concerning deadly attacks against farming communities.”
The report says Buhari’s poor handling of Nigeria’s deteriorating situation in the North-East has worsened as non-governmental organisations ready to help are denied access by the Nigerian Government for political reasons.
The EU condemned what it described as “extermination of human beings or ethnic cleansing” while calling on the Nigerian Government to find immediate solutions to the conflict now affecting the stability of West Africa.
No fewer than 19 cows were killed by lightning at Iba in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun State.
It was gathered on Saturday that some Fulani herdsmen were grazing their cattle on the field around the Apala area of the town when the incident happened.
It was learnt that all the 19 cows on the field at that time were killed by the lightning.
In his reaction to the incident, the monarch of the town, Oba Adekunle Oyedeji, sympathised with the victims, while urging them to burn the dead cows to avoid an outbreak of an epidemic.
Oba Oyedeji, in a statement by his media assistant, Gbolagunte Bamigbola, called for calm among indigenes and residents of the town.
“The people of Iba, have over the years been living harmoniously with Fulani in our domain.
“The death of the cows belonging to the Fulani cattle rearers living among us was a natural occurrence occasioned by thunder that struck in the town,” the monarch said.
Also the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola, sympathised with the Fulani traders in the town.
Oyetola, who spoke through his Special Adviser for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Biodun Ajisefini, during a visit to the town on Saturday, commended the people of the town for living peacefully with Fulani herdsmen in the town.
“We are indeed sad about the unfortunate incident.
“Lightning is a natural phenomenon that we have no power or control over.
“The traders who suffered this loss are part of us, not strangers.
“They have lived here for decades and I commend them for their exemplary contributions to peace in Iba community.
“I want to assure them of my support and indeed government’s support at a time like this,” the governor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that 36 cows were struck dead by lightning at Ijare in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State in September this year while grazing on a sacred hill. (NAN)
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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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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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Adesina also condemned Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, for being political in his criticism of President Buhari.
The presidency said bombing attacks have reduced since President Mohammadu Buhari took up office in 2015.
Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, said this in an interview with the Crest newspaper.
He also condemned Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, for being political in his criticism of President Buhari.
Adesina said: “Whatever former President Obasanjo says now cannot be taken as neutral. It cannot be taken as something from a disinterested party because he has a political position where he anchors everything he says. His opinion then cannot be taken as the gospel truth any longer.
“It can only be the opinion of one man and he has the right to that opinion.
“No doubt, there are security challenges in the country, but are things better than 2015? Yes, things are better than in 2015.
“In 2015, do you know how many bombs went off daily in this country? Yes, daily! And with scores dead in different parts of the country! “It happened in the North-East; happened in the North-West; happened in the North-Central. Abuja, the federal capital, was not immune from it. But, that has largely been reduced.
“You hardly hear of those bombs going off again because the government has made a big difference. Now, we have challenges in other areas-kidnapping, armed banditry, armed robbery, and all that. Yes, there are challenges but the government exists to solve challenges. And this government is doing its best to solve the challenges. People also exaggerate things for political reasons. We are not saying those challenges are not there. Of course, they are there.”
The presidential spokesman said Nigeria would not disintegrate contrary to predictions.
He said: “But then to now say the entire country has been taken over, to say that the government is failing, is political. Nigeria is still there, it is very solid. It will remain solid. It will remain one, and the challenges will be overcome.
“Government is not the only institution responsible for security. It is a collaborative thing between the government and the governed. Government at the federal level is not the only one responsible for security.
“But what do we find? You find some people, they will go and cause trouble at the local government (level), and they will be calling President Buhari, who is at the centre, to come and resolve it.
“You have a government at the federal level; you have a government at the state level. And you have a government at the local level. All of them-federal, states, and local governments, must collaborate to end this security challenge. The people, as well as the traditional institutions, have their roles to play. It is a collaborative thing.”
Concerning the menace of herders-farmers clashes nationwide, Adesina said the challenges were aggravated by those he termed as “political Fulani herdsmen” to de-market the administration of Buhari.
He said: “The herdsmen-farmers clashes are causing security challenges. There are also political Fulani herdsmen; those ones have been created by hidden hostile hands who want to de-market the government.
“The Fulani issue is there but it is no way near what has been trumpeted, and what has been claimed. To some people in the media, there is no other criminality in the country except Fulani herdsmen.
“Even when other criminals strike, it is Fulani herdsmen. It is stereotyping. It is finger-pointing which is not based on facts. I am not saying that there are no challenges about Fulani herdsmen due to climate change, dwindling resources and things like that. Yes, we have those challenges. But it is not every criminality perpetrated in the country that is done by the Fulanis.
“We have always lived with Fulani herdsmen in this country. They drive their cattle from different parts. When the rains are here, you see them. They move southwest and they get to forage for their cattle and all that. And when the rains go and the water recedes, you find them following the water as it recedes. In the process, they drive their herds into farmlands and it becomes an issue. There was a way that the problem was settled in this country before.
“The problem was there in the first republic, even in the second republic. But it was not as bad as we have it now because climate change has affected vegetation and the water table. Lake Chad, for instance, is ten percent of its former size. That has seriously affected grazing and availability of resources because the herdsmen follow the water. They follow where there is green grass to feed their animals.” (Sahara Reporters)
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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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