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Don’t Repeat Operation Python Dance Experience, Ohanaeze Warns Army |RN

  •  Southern Christians task INEC, security agents on credible elections

Raphael Ede, Enugu

 

Ohanaeze Ndigbo has warned the Federal government and Nigerian Army in particular against a repeat of September 2017, Operation Python Dance experience which saw Igbo sons and daughters being killed in a gruesome manner without consequences.

In a statement, the Ohanaeze President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, said that the marching orders given by the Chief of Army Staff to Division and Garrison commanders in the South East of Nigeria to go after IPOB members in the region in order to forestall their threat to boycott the forthcoming general elections might be a well-planned agenda to execute carnage. IPOB had threatened to hold a referendum on the said date.

Chief Nwodo said “Ohaneze is disturbed that this kind of order might be misconstrued to execute carnage, drowning in shallow water and inhuman and degrading treatment on our youths as happened in the last Operation Python Dance in Abia State.

“IPOB remains a peaceful organisation championing self-determination. Their last threat for a boycott of Anambra State elections witnessed no violence but instead, we saw a higher turnout of voters than in the previous elections. The army did not order any such operation then as they are ordering now.

“We hope this operation is not aimed at scaring the people of the South East from coming out to cast their votes. We should be allowed to use our traditional rulers, community leaders, and religious leaders to restrain our children,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Southern Christian Forum on Tuesday warned the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the security agencies against compromising the forthcoming general elections.

It said that anything short of the credible election would not be accepted by Nigerians and would be resisted.

This was contained in a communiqué the forum issued after an emergency meeting of the youth wing of the forum.

The communiqué signed by Priscilla Adetoye, Vice Chairman, South-West; Iniabasi Asuquo, Secretary, South-South, and Deacon Vincent Ogbonna, Chairman, South-East, said the INEC must allow the will of the people to prevail in the elections.

It read: “Christians should come out en-mass and support a man who can restructure and revive the country’s economy.

“The Christian youths should shun violence before, during and after elections,” they said, adding “the security agencies must, however, be non-partisan in the discharge of their duties during the elections.

“That the Independent National Electoral Commission should ensure that there is free, fair and credible election across the country.

“That Nigerians should stand against vote-buying during the election.”   (The Sun)

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Buhari To Ndigbo: You’re Not Marginalised; I Appoint Heads Of Security Agencies On Merit

•Promises infrastructure development

 

Aloysius Attah, Onitsha

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said that the appointment of the heads of security organisations under his government has been based purely on competence and merit.

 The president stated this while addressing the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe,  Zik’s son, Ambassador Emeka Ayo Azikiwe, traditional and religious rulers while on a courtesy call at the Obi’s palace on the sidelines of his campaign visit to Anambra State.

 Responding to issues raised by the traditional rulers about marginalisation of the South East states particularly, in the security sector, President Buhari commended the courage of the leaders in speaking their minds.

 He, however, explained that he had remained fair to all regions of the country since his assumption of duty as president on May 29, 2015.

 He said: “I am pleased that you have the courage to present issues about your constituency but I expect you to be more patriotic in your presentation.

 “In the South East, there are five states, in the North, I think there are 18 states. In the South East, out of the five states,  I think five members of the Federal Executive Council, are from this region, trade and investment, foreign affairs, labour, science and technology ministers. And seven of the northern states have only minister of state,” he noted.

President Buhari stressed that he had appointed most people into the country’s security architecture without knowing them personally except their professional records.

 According to him, “I think I tried to be fair. And you can ask these ministers. I never asked them how they are running their parastatals, their boards. I appointed them and I trusted them. I allow them to work.”

 He said the same complaints from the South East have been coming from other parts of Nigeria but that did not reflect the truth.

 “I don’t have to tell you what noise the other states are making especially when compared to the votes I got in 2015. So, I think I try to be fair.

 “The question about the police. Those of you who were in the military even in the Biafran Army, know that the entry point is the same and you go for basic training until you go to your formations or institutions whether it is Army, Navy, Air Force or the police. The most competent or senior person is the one that gets there.

 “If there are half a million soldiers, only one man can be the Chief of Army Staff at a time. This is so for the rest of the troop. In recruitment, we make sure that by states, people are recruited. At least, this is what I do; people are recruited from each state. For those who manage to get recruited, it’s up to them to get to the top if they are professional and work for it.

 “The present Chief of Army Staff, the Chief Air Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff even the previous Inspector General of Police that just left, I didn’t know them personally before I appointed them. I follow records,” the president said.

 President Buhari explained further that the current acting Inspector General of Police Abubakar Adamu, was also appointed based on merit.

 “The same thing with the IG, that one was appointed last week. I don’t think I have ever seen him; I follow records. So, appointments in the armed forces and other law-enforcement agencies depend on individual performance after recruitment not where you think you come. At least between me and God, this is what I do,” he noted.

The president emphasised that his government had done a lot in the provision of infrastructure for the entire South East region including Anambra State.

 “On the issue of infrastructure, a lot of you that are here know that the last time the Enugu -Onitsha road was done was during the PTF days and it was also done again from Enugu to Port Harcourt.

He urged traditional rulers in the state to support the government in improving the security situation in the country at the grassroots.

 President Buhari who promised that he was committed to the development of the region pleaded for the Igbos to vote him in the February 16 election.

 Speaking on the fight against corruption, the president said going forward, he would jail those who have over the years, run down the fortunes of the nation saying that such individuals should not be allowed to go scot free.

 He attributed his slow-pace in prosecuting alleged treasury looters in the country to the need to follow due process of the law but assured Nigerians of his commitment to restoring the dignity of Nigeria while he serves as president.

 Governor Willie Obiono while welcoming the president thanked him for putting down a total of N30billion for the completion of the second Niger Bridge.

He also commended the president for the government’s intervention on the Enugu-Onitsha road and the on-going work on the second Niger bridge. He further told the president to also work on the Onitsha-Nsukka road.

 Present at the brief event were the Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige and the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola among others.  (The Sun)

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Stop Discriminating Against The Igbo, Nwodo Warns |The Republican News

Nwodo enjoined the Igbo people outside their home states to respect the culture of their host communities and be guided by the laws of the land.

Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure

President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nnia Nwodo, has cautioned Nigerians against any form of discrimination against the Igbo, saying the country belongs to all ethnic nationalities in the country.

Nwodo said the present composition of the country allows free participation of all ethnic groups in the political and social activities, hence, the need for Igbo to be given adequate opportunity to participate in political activities where ever they live within the country.

Speaking at this year’s Igbo Cultural Day celebration in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Nwodo observed that the Igbo ethnic nationality is the most marginalised ethnic group in the country.

The Ohanaeze leader said the Igbo should be allowed to hold political positions in any part of the state they find themselves.

He said: “As a student in the University of Ibadan, I contested the post of the President of the students union and I defeated a Yoruba man. Despite being an Igbo, I enjoyed the support of the Yoruba who were majority of the students.”

“I expect the same thing to happen in the larger society. I look forward to a country where an Igbo man will contest and win elections in Ondo or Osun State. And a Yoruba man will contest and win election in Imo or Enugu State.”

Nwodo also enjoined the Igbo people outside their home states to respect the culture and traditions of their host communities and be guided by the laws of the land.

He lauded the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, for creating an enabling environment for the Igbo to live and do their businesses, saying the support given to the Igbo is unprecedented.

Also, he stressed the need for business collaboration between the state and the Igbo, adding that the Igbo are ready to partner Akeredolu to drive the economy of the state forward.

In his remarks, Governor Akeredolu solicited the support of the Igbo ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Akeredolu, specifically, called on the Igbo living in the state to support his administration in his desire to transform the state and turn it to economic hub of the nation.

Similarly, former governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko, called on the Igbo to ensure they support credible candidates with good antecedents in next year’s general elections.

Mimiko, who is contesting for the Ondo Central Senatorial District election, on the platform of the Zenith Labour Party, said the Igbo hold vital position in the country and urged them to ensure they vote wisely during the forthcoming elections.

Describing the Igbo ethnic nationality as an indefatigable force in the country, Governor Akeredolu, who said the Igbo are lovers of good governance and democracy, assured his administration will not discriminate against them.

He said the Igbo living in the state benefit from programmes of his government, adding that many of them are given contracts like their Yoruba counterparts.

The governor said the Igbo have the right to enjoy the rights and privileges being enjoyed by the Yoruba in the state.

Also, he advised the Igbo to remain committed to the course of advancing the economic frontiers of the state, promising that his government will continue to partner them for the progress of the state.   (The Sun)

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Obi Of Onitsha Wants Osu Caste Culture Abolished |The Republican News

                                      Obi of Onitsha

Tony Okafor, Awka

 

The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, has said the time has come for the Osu caste system to be abolished in Igboland.

Describing the practice as antiquated, unlawful and obnoxious, Achebe called for a concerted war against the act.

The Osu caste system, our correspondent learnt, is a practice in Igbo land that discourages social interaction and marriages with a group of persons regarded as slaves. The stigma is transferable to even children yet unborn.

Speaking at a workshop on Thursday in Awka, Anambra State, organised by the Initiative for the Eradication of Traditional and Cultural Stigmatisation in Our Society,  a non-governmental organisation, Achebe said the practice had no place in a 21st century.

He urged traditional rulers in Igbo land to stamp out the practice in their domains, while hailing the body (IFETACSIOS) for its initiative in that regard.

He said, “There is the need for people from all parts of Igbo land to come together and agree that this obnoxious cultural practice, which our fore fathers introduced, no longer have effect on us and our children.

“We are happy with the coming of IFETACSIOS group on this project and we are going to collaborate with them to ensure we end this bad culture that has held our people backward for many years now”

The President of IFETACSIOS, Oge Maduagwu, in her address, sought the help of the traditional rulers in the area in the abolition of the Osu caste system.

Maduagwu said abolishing the system would restore the dignity of human beings, promote peaceful relationship and reduce communal conflicts.

She said the Osu caste system had wreaked havoc on the socio-cultural, economic and political lives of the Igbo.

She said, “In Igbo land, it is very sad to note that a young man and young lady might be courting, but the moment either of the two discovers that the other is an osu, he or she will opt out of the relationship.”

According to her, the group has extended the advocacy on the abolition of the harmful practice to Imo and Enugu states.

Maduagwu disclosed that they would visit Ebonyi and Abia before the end of 2018, saying, “The big dream of IFETACSIOS is the coming together of all the eastern states of Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu and Abia to sign an accord on the abolition of Osu caste system one day.”

She said apart from meeting with the leadership of the traditional rulers, the group had engaged various community leaders to tackle peculiar challenges faced by communities with a view to ensuring total eradication of the system.  (Punch)

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Anger In South East As The Military Plans For Python Dance 3 In The Region |RN

“The Operation Python Dance III should be sent to the areas where there are massive killings like in the northern part of the country…”

David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi and Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha

Anger and condemnation have greeted the proposed relaunch of the third round of Operation Python Dance also known as Operation Python Dance III by the Nigeria Army in the South East region.

The first and second rounds of the military exercise, according to a report by the Amnesty International (AI) led to the killing of 250 and 150 Igbo youths respectively.

A human rights group, Campaign for Democracy (CD) has condemned the planned operation, alleging that it is another ploy to unjustifiably kill defenceless Igbo youths.

National Publicity Secretary of CD, Dede Uzor A. Uzor said in a statement that another Operation Python Dance in Igboland where there is no crisis amounted to a deliberate plot to provoke Igbo and slaughter their youths.

Also reacting, former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Idemili branch, Ben Okoko, said the operations were a huge and monumental waste of public funds.

According to him, the exercises also showed the incompetence of the Nigerian military in handling the internal affairs of the country, adding that the military in Nigeria has come of age and should have a paradigm shift from “physicalism” to intelligence gathering and undercover operations.

“To announce to the whole world that you will be having Operation Python Dance or Snake Dance is
to say the least, letting the cat out of the bag as such activities would definitely bring the military in direct confrontation with the civilian populace who they are supposed to protect.

“Previous outings of this operation have resulted in huge casualties of civilians. There have been instances where military might may have been required but where they failed woefully. The resources they are trying to put on the ground for this Operation Python Dance III, if channelled to the flashpoints of the country, where the Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram sects are wreaking havoc, would send a Nunc Dimittis to the sects and get them eradicated.

 

“It will amount to adding salt to injury for the military to come to the South East under the guise of Operation Python Dance III where the population is already saturated with heavy police presence at peacetime. So, it will be superfluous for the military to add their presence to the South East and also very provocative.

“Since people are still recovering from the effects of the military/IPOB skirmishes in the recent past, my candid advice is for the military to allow the sleeping dog lie and to take their might to where it is needed in the North East and Middle Belt sections of Nigeria,” Okoko submitted.

 

In his own reaction, General Overseer of Mount Zion Faith Global Liberation Ministry Inc. (a.k.a. By Fire By Fire), Nnewi, Anambra state, Bishop Abraham Chris Udeh, declared that South East zone and its people did not need anything called Operation Python Dance for any reason whatsoever.

He warned that anyone fronting such a move is making a mockery of Igbo in totality and at the same time “reminding us of the civil war massacre against us.”

He added: “Enough of that remembrance and marginalization of Ndigbo. They must be put to a stop without further delay else, the wrath of God will visit them individually and collectively.

“The Operation Python Dance III should be sent to the areas where there are massive killings like in the northern part of the country where Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents are disturbing the peace of the country and not in the South East where there are peace and quietness.”

He said the intimidation must be stopped, adding that if they insisted on relaunching the Operation Python Dance for the third time, they would see the wrath of God in action.

“Do you know that it is Ndigbo in the military that is being sent to the North to be killed by the Boko Haram insurgents. They think we don’t know all these things and that is why they still want to remind us of the harmful effects of the civil war and last year’s killing of Ndigbo. The current disagreements between Boko Haram insurgents and Fulani herdsmen are the effect of last year’s killing of innocent Igbo sons and daughters.”

Also reacting, Vincent Ezekwueme, Anambra State chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) declared: “I reject in its entirety, the proposed relaunch of the third Operation Python Dance in South East zone because the zone is yet to recover from the shock and damning effects of the first and second exercises carried out in the past which were very disastrous in nature.”

 

Ezekwueme noted that instead of Python Dance, the South East zone was in dire and desperate need of infrastructural developments, particularly the resuscitation of moribund Onitsha Sea Port, Onitsha/3-3/Otuocha road, Enugu/Awka/Onitsha road, Nnewi/Uga/Akokwa/Arondizuogu/Okigwe road, Akanu Ibiam Airport, appointment of easterners into sensitive and strategic positions.

Ezekwueme noted that with these developments in place, the people of South-East would rather stage a Dance of Smile and at the same time, have a sense of belonging, instead of the dreaded Dance of Python.  (The Sun)

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Biafra War Remark: Ajibola Is No Longer Our Staff, Does Not Represent Us – Babcock University

Alaba-Ajibola

Alaba Ajibola

By Ike A. Offor

Following the outrage generated in the social media by a hateful remark by one Mr Alaba Ajibola, who claims to be a staff of the prestigious private university,  Babcock University has distanced itself from the said fellow.

The remark on his Facebook wall that ” the Igbo should have been wiped out during the Biafra-Nigeria civil war” caused outrage that went viral on the social media and attracted the attention of the university and they had to make a disclaimer.

The only serious issue still pondering many readers is that the young man in question still has on his social media accounts profile that he is still the staff of  Babcock University.

Related: The Igbo Should Have Been Wiped Out During Biafra War – Babcock University Staff, Ajibola

The University’s disclaimer is as follow below:

The attention of Babcock University has been drawn to a story titled”Babcock University staff goes on a rant; Says Igbos Should Have Been Wiped Out During the Biafran War”.
The story is credited to one Alaba Ajibola.

This is to inform the public that the said Ajibola is neither a staff of Babcock University nor does he represent the University in any way whatsoever. The said Ajibola was once a staff of the Institution but his engagement with the University in that capacity ceased long ago. There is no longer any relationship, whether imagined or real, between the said Ajibola and Babcock University. Therefore, the University dissociates itself from him and his comments.

Babcock University’s pride is in its diversity of people and cultures. It is a global institution, and accommodates people, without bias, from every continent of the world. This confers upon the University its mark of uniqueness and identity as a global brand. The Institution celebrates the diversity of humanity because it gives a sense of beauty, and an acknowledgement of the power of God, the creator of all.

Babcock University values every and all persons irrespective of creed, culture, race, religion, and political persuasions.

The noble achievements of the University have been made possible by the contributions of the exceptionally gifted and immensely great individuals from the different parts of this country, and those from other nations of the world, who have found joy working in the University.

Whereas Babcock University believes in freedom of expression, and places premium on autonomy and responsibility, it is never supportive and does not wish to accede to any divisive tendencies intentionally or unintentionally couched, and are capable of inflaming the embers of discord or potentially devised to dismember the nation.

The University wishes to thank members of the public for their continued faith in the Institution, and for believing in it as socially responsible.

The University will continue to promote love, unity, excellence, integrity and accountability in all it does.

Yours sincerely,
Joshua Suleiman,
Director, Communication and Marketing, Babcock University, Ogun State, Nigeria.

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The Igbo Should Have Been Wiped Out During Biafra War – Babcock University Staff, Ajibola

A Babcock University staff identified as Alaba Ajibola is currently trending on social media after his rant against the Igbos of South-East Nigeria.

Ajibola who revealed how much he loathes the Igbos in a Facebook comment stated that the Igbos should have been wiped out during the Biafran war.

According to him, ‘If this happened, Nigeria would have ‘gone far off’ as the tribe is the most hated tribe in the world’.

 

Babcock University Staff, Alaba Ajibola

Source: Oriental Times

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