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Ibe Kachikwu, Niger Delta And The Scions Of Usman Dan Fodio, By Charles Ogbu |RN

Kachikwu-Baru

By Charles Ogbu.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating now, President Muhammadu Buhari is an incurable ethnoreligious Jingoist and a Fulani supremacist with a feudal mindset. As far as he’s concerned, the North, specifically the Fulanis, owns Nigeria with the whole South as a conquered territory.

When a Fulani Muslim or any Northerner is involved in corruption, Buhari views that the exact way a man views the action of a son who takes his father’s money which is his by the right as the son of the father. But when a southerner is suspected of corruption, Buhari sees that with the anger a slave master feels when a mere slave steals from him.

Examples abound:

Till today, Buhari has continued to swear that Abacha did not steal. Dasuki is not in prison for any 2billion dollars arms fund. He’s in jail for his role in booting the Daura born ex-soldier (Buhari) out of office in 1985. In Olisah Metuh’s trial, he was handcuffed and his request to go treat a spinal cord problem abroad denied even when former Kano state governor, Attahiru Baffarawa, facing the same charge, was allowed to go pray in Mecca for one whole month.

The case of Ibe Kachikwu is a further testament to the criminal disdain which the Sons of Danfodio hold for all Southerners.

Make no mistake, Ibe Kachikwu’s humiliation in the hands of the Feudalists IS NOT an isolated case. If you think it is, then you are mistaken.

As I type this, vice President Yemi Osinbajo is going through worse indignity at the hands of Abba Kyari and co. Most of the things he says like when he described those asking for Restructuring as hungry people looking for appointment etc, were not his thought. Ngige, Ogbonnaya Onu and every Southern minister in Buhari government is passing through one humiliation or the other in the hands of Arewa men who ordinarily are not qualified to hold their bag.

They were all given an unwritten option which is to either be in office as obedient slaves creating the impression that there is a regional balance in the appointment and be collecting salaries with the attendant humiliation or resign. And because they are all integrity-challenged men with no principle, they accepted the former.

The only reason Kachikwu is still in office is just to keep maintaining the lie that Niger Delta is represented in Buhari’s government so the Creek boys will keep being deceived.

The day Buhari took the AK47 assault rifle from Kachikwu (NNPC Director) and handed him a catapult without even a stone (junior Petroleum minister) was the day he should have resigned if he had any honour in him.

Buhari is the Petroleum minister. Baru is the NNPC boss. As I type this, a mega power project has been launched in Kaduna for the Northern region. Rail-lines connecting the North to the even Niger Republic are in progress. Northeast Development Commission is heavily funded. VAT, which is sourced mainly from Alcohol, has a special % going to the North even when alcohol is banned in the Sharia North. Last week, there was a report in the Guardian that NNPC compels firms to pay a monthly sum of 100million to fund Northern projects.

Meanwhile, in the Niger Delta region, Ibe Kachikwu’s region, the main region producing the oil, what you will be greeted with is an environment unfit for even non-living things. No good water for fishing or drinking, no clean air to breathe, no land to farm on, no nothing!

All because of oil exploration in the region.

Nature blessed you with oil. But all you have to show for it are pains, miseries and death while those who do not have even a litter of “condemned” oil in their land are the ones owning all the oil wells in your own backyard and using them to develop their place and still treating your sons and daughters like subhumans.

An Ibrahim from Sokoto can own oil blocks in the Niger Delta and make billions without doing any work but if a Tompolo from Niger Delta gets a contract to secure oil pipeline in the same Niger Delta, he will be hunted like a common thief and his father brutalized, leading to his death.

Yet, we are all busy chasing shadows.

How far about Ogoni Clean-up, the same Ogoni struggle for which Ken Saro Wiwa and others were hanged?? After deceiving the people with noise about cleaning up Ogoni, the Oligarchs simply turned to their own region.

If the Niger Delta youths do not force the Caliphate to clean up their region now and develop it with the same zeal with which Lagos and Abuja were developed, is it when oil loses its value that they will do it??

In no distant time, even if the oil hasn’t dried up then, it will no longer be the beautiful bride it is today, considering that most countries are turning to the alternative source of energy far removed from the oil. When that time comes, you can be sure the Core North will have finished developing her region. The question is, what will be the condition of the Niger Delta region then?? We can all guess correctly, can’t we?

Those of you sitting quietly and waiting for Nigeria to be restructured so you can all take control of your resources, you are on a very long thing. The North WILL NEVER allow for any genuine Restructuring without a well-coordinated RADICAL push from the South. And you can NEVER get Restructuring through the existing constitutional framework. Even if you borrow lawmakers from 2 or 3 states in the North and add to the entire federal lawmakers from the South, you will not get up to the 2/3 required to change the atrocious apartheid manual masquerading as the 1999 constitution.

So I ask, how does the Restructuring group intend to get it?

Those of you who think Buhari’s unsettled but unsettling grudges and unmitigated hatred is for the Igbos alone, you are grievously mistaken. Down South, we are all Dwarfs in the eye of the “Giant” Fulani supremacists even when “Height Enhancer” is ours by right. Ndigbo are not even the shortest of the Dwarfs.

Any southern tribe boasting of having a better deal in Nigeria than the other is as criminally moronic as a Dwarf boasting of being taller than a fellow Dwarf instead of striving to be the Giant which he’s created to be.

Shame isn’t it??

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Ohanaeze, Niger Delta Leaders Back Yoruba’s Demand For Regional Gov’t |RN

Yoruba-Summit-on-restructuring

Cross section of Yoruba leaders at summit supporting restructuring

Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan

The umbrella body for the Igbo, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and leaders of the Niger Delta joined leaders of the South-West in Ibadan on Thursday, where they demanded a return to regional government in Nigeria.

The Yoruba Summit, held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was convened to deliberate on the position of the Yoruba on restructuring and the future of Nigeria.

The summit was attended by Yoruba leaders, South-West governors, traditional leaders, lawmakers, Yoruba socio-cultural groups, professional bodies, various Yoruba youth groups and leaders of various groups from the South-East and the South-South.

The South-South and South-East leaders and groups, who said they came to offer solidarity to the Yoruba’s position on restructuring, came in large numbers and added colour to the event with their traditional performers.

In the 16-point communiqué, dubbed Ibadan Declaration, which was signed by the summit chairman, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), and the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Dr. Kunle Olajide, and read by National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, the Yoruba elders stated that Nigeria must return to proper federation as obtained in the 1960 and 1963 constitutions.

They stressed that this had been the position of the zone since the 1950 Ibadan Conference.

The communiqué read, The “Yoruba are clear that restructuring does not mean different things to different people other than that a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria can only know real peace and development if it is run only along federal lines.

“The greatest imperative of restructuring Nigeria is to move from the money-sharing anti-development economy to productivity, by ensuring that the federating units are free to own and develop their resources while they pay an agreed sum to the federation purse to implement certain services.

“The federating units, whether states, zones or regions must be governed by a written constitution to curb impunity at all levels. Nigeria shall be a federation comprising six regions and a federal capital territory in Abuja.”

The summit proposed that in the new arrangement, the Federal Government could make laws and only have power in relations to items specified on the exclusive list contained in the constitution of the federation.

It added, “Each region shall have its own constitution, containing enumerated exclusive and concurrent lists. Contiguous territory, ethnic nationalities and settlements shall be at liberty, through a plebiscite to elect to be part of a region other than the region which the current system has.

“The power to create state shall be within the exclusive power of the region provided a plebiscite is conducted following the request by the agreed percentage of the ethnic nationality within the state.

“The power to create local government and assign functions to them shall be vested in the state.

“States shall be entitled to manage all resources found within their boundaries and the revenue accrued thereof. The sharing ratio of all revenues shall be 50 per cent to the state, 35 per cent to the regional government and 15 per cent to the federation.”

At the summit, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, urged Yoruba elders to be honest and place the future of the youth ahead of every consideration. He said it was the only way to preserve and strengthen the Yoruba race.

The monarch said, “I thank God for this forum; He is God forever. He made the Yoruba people leaders of the human race.

“My appeal is that we should all approach restructuring with honesty. We should separate politics from it because of the future of our youths. Out of 10 people in Nigeria, seven are in the youth brackets. We should be firm in our pursuit and let peace reign in our agitation.

“With peace, we can get what we want. Patience can earn us everything we want. We should place the future of Yoruba youths in front and not selfish interest.”

Yoruba problems are the leaders, says Fayose

But the Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose, at the summit, alleged that Yoruba elders were the problem of the region because they failed in their duty to protect their own people.

He said, “People can only discard my voice but they cannot throw me away. Our forefathers in Yoruba land tried their best but the present Yoruba elders are our problem. This is our fathers’ land and they must defend it.

“We have had great meetings like this that were held in the past and which were attended by Yoruba elders, but after the meetings, the so-called elders would approach the media and said we do not need restructuring. This does not make any sense.

“The war against Yoruba land is from within. We have selfish elders in the land. Through the period when one of our elders ruled Nigeria, he never deemed it fit to honour Chief M. K. O. Abiola, who died fighting the cause of Yoruba people.

“We are fighting for a just cause now but this man will appear on the television and say restructuring is not the way. He put us in the position we are today.”

Fayose said he supported the position of the forum and that there was no alternative to a return to regionalism.

He said, “I align myself with what our elders have said but they must fight without fear if we have to move forward. God will help you. There is no alternative to regionalism.

“You cannot blame the governors who are not here because our present leaders have turned themselves to Lions. When the governors want to talk, they roar at them to keep them quiet.”

In his own contribution, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, called on the Yoruba elders to prepare for an agitation for the Oduduwa Republic if the restructuring was not possible.

“If we cannot have regional restructuring, let us prepare ourselves for the Oduduwa Republic. That is the thinking of the majority of our people but as a first step, let us demand to restructure.

“We appeal to the Federal Government, all political leaders and all parties, let us restructure this country and devolve powers to the regions. Give us the power to live our lives.

“Nobody can suppress the Yoruba people, nobody stops us; we are the sons of Oduduwa and we shall go forth.”

But the national coordinator, Oodu Peoples Congress, Gani Adams, noted at the summit that it would be dangerous to call for devolution of powers to the states, arguing that it could lead to the disintegration of the Yoruba states.

Adams said, “To devolve power to the states is dangerous for the Yoruba states. This is because if for example, Lagos has the power to be on its own, after having its own constitution, police and other things, it will one day tell Ogun State that it does not want anything to do with it since it already has what it wants. This can also apply to other states in the region.

“What we want is to go back to regionalism. From the beginning of history, Yoruba has always been a pacesetter. They should not set us backwards.  What we need is restructuring based on the regional line.”

Among the Yoruba socio-cultural groups at the meeting was the Yoruba Liberation Command, which said restructuring was too late to save the nation. According to the group’s spokesperson, George Akinola, the Yoruba have been trampled upon in the Nigeria arrangement.

He believed that it was time to gain independence.

“We are serious about our demands. Every region has its agitation. Nigeria is the impediment to the development of the Oduduwa Republic.

“We had television before France and radio before South Africa. Look at where we are today. Restructuring is what we need and we are talking to our leaders,” he added.

South-East supports Yoruba position –Nwodo

Meanwhile, Nwodo, who led the South-East delegation to the summit, said Nigerians, especially, people in the Southern part, were being ruled by a set of documents they were not a party to.

According to him, it was time for every region to dictate its level of development as it was in the regional system of the past.

The Ohanaeze president-general added, “I am here with a large delegation to emphasise the Ndigbo solidarity with this occasion. What is happening today shows that democracy has begun to grow in Nigeria.

“Is it right to be ruled by a document that you are not a party to? What we are saying today is that the people of Nigeria must have a say in the way they are governed. It is not only the Yoruba that is saying it; we, the Igbo, are saying it loud and clear. Many people have tried to destroy restructuring by saying that it is a ploy by Southern Nigeria to monopolise the God-given mineral resources in the area. Those who are doing this do not love Nigeria.

“The Netherlands is the 18th richest country in the world. Its agricultural export every year comes to $100bn. The Netherlands has 34,000 square kilometres but Niger State in Nigeria has 73,000 kilometres. If Netherlands can export $100bn worth of agricultural produce, Nigeria should be able to do more in million folds.

“In a restructured Nigeria, only those who can till their land and produce food will be rich. All parts of Nigeria are endowed with agricultural resources.

“California is the largest economy in the world, yet, it is only one state in the United States. California has given birth to richest companies in the world whose founders grew from universities in California. If you give the people the power to develop themselves, they will do well.

“Education knows no boundaries, I was taught by Yoruba professors and today, I can mimic the Yoruba intellectual powers.

“I want to tell you that we support your motion for the restructuring of Nigeria.”

Also, the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Albert Horsfall, said Nigeria’s structure was lopsided, stating that it gave undue advantage to a set of people to be at the saddle because of questionable population figure that remained unproven.

Horsfall stated, “The whole issue of restructuring depends on the control of what you or your soil produces. We in the South-South have, for several decades, provided the engine room that runs Nigeria but we are still expecting to be given the privilege to run our own affairs. That is the restructuring that we are talking about.

“The rest of us in the south speak with one voice over restructuring. We believe in one Nigeria but every country must do something and contribute something to the nation. We do not want a system called federalism but based on a unitary system of government.

“If you go to the Niger Delta today, despite the fact that we lay the golden egg, our people are still agitating. We are not mad; we are agitating because history repeats itself.

“The issue of restructuring must start with resource control. That is what we believe. We support the Yoruba motion in its entirety. The sage, Chief Awolowo is closely related to politics with my father, who was also a leader of the Action Group. We have an affinity with the Yoruba and that is why we are here to speak in acknowledgement of what the Yoruba people are doing today.”

OPC factions clash at Ibadan summit

Meanwhile, some members, belonging to two factions of the OPC, clashed shortly after the end of the Yoruba Summit on restructuring at the Lekan Salami Stadium, in the Adamasingba area of Ibadan.

Tension began to rise at the venue of the event when a faction of the group alleged that it was not recognised or given an opportunity to contribute to the discussion after one of the factional leaders, Gani Adams, made his contribution.

Although elders present at the venue kept the peace, the animosity grew and degenerated into a fight outside the stadium.

Our correspondent learned that there were casualties on both sides after they opened fire on themselves and used dangerous weapons during the street fight.

It was also learnt that the National Public Relations Officer of the Reformed Oodua group, Adeshina Akinpelu, was critically injured after he was hit in the head with heavy stones.

A call to his mobile was answered by an aide who said he was in a critical condition and receiving treatment at the Police Hospital, inside the Oyo State Police Command Headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, Adekunle Ajisebutu, confirmed the clash to our correspondent

He said, “Two OPC groups clashed and one person was injured. No death was recorded and police have restored normalcy.

“No arrest has been made but we are working hard to arrest those who participated in the clash. The injured person, who was treated at the Police Hospital, has been discharged.”   (Punchng.com)

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Niger Delta Militants Withdraw Quit Notice To Yoruba, Northerners |RN

• Dump declaration of Republic October 1

From Fred Itua, Abuja

Niger Delta militants have formally withdrawn the quit notice handed down to northerners and Yoruba who reside in the oil-producing region.

Rising from a meeting on Wednesday, the militants, in a U-turn, declared their support for the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), whose leadership they had earlier disowned, to lead the region in ongoing negotiations with the Federal Government.

The agitators also announced the suspension of planned attacks on the oil installations in the region, while putting aside intention to declare a Republic of Niger Delta on October 1, 2017.

In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, a coalition of the agitators, led by General John Duku, said the withdrawal of the quit notice, among other threats, was sequel to PANDEF’s intervention and Nigeria Ethnic Nationality Youth Leaders Forum (NENYLF), led by acting National Chairman, Imoh Okoko.

Those who signed the statement included General John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs and convener, Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators); General Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers); General Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Major General Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); Major General Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters) and Major General Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice).

Others were Major General Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network); Major General Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate); Major General Abiye Tariah (Niger Delta Development Network); Major General Joshua Ebere (Renewed Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta); Major General Jeremiah Anthony (Movement for Actualisation of Niger Delta Republic); Major Francis Okoroafor (Niger Delta Freedom Redemption Army) and Colonel Nelson Okochi Walter. (The Sun)

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Quit Notice To Yoruba, Northerners In Niger Delta Stands – Militants |RN

91e96-urhobo_militant

• Threaten to attack oil installations from September 10

From Fred Itua, Abuja

The coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, yesterday, reiterated its quit notice to Yoruba and northerners living in the region.

Besides, the coalition said plans have been concluded to protest disaffection with the current state of affairs in the country.

The protest is scheduled for all niger delta states, from September 12, 2017.

The group declared that it has the backing of over 500 groups for the protest and warned that markets, schools and other public institutions would not be opened from that day.

The militants also said the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration has failed to commission a single road project or improve on the epileptic power situation in the country, among other infrastructure, since its inauguration on May 29, 2015.

The agitators, in a statement which had the endorsement of heads of the groups in the coalition, said they will carry out threats to cripple economic activities in oil-producing states.

Signatories to the statement included General Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers); General Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Major General Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); Major General Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters);

Major General Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice); Major General Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network); Major General Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate); Major General Abiye Tariah (Niger Delta Development Network) and Major General Joshua Ebere (Renewed Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta).

Others were Major General Jeremiah Anthony (Movement for Actualisation of Niger Delta Republic); Major Francis Okoroafor (Niger Delta Freedom Redemption Army) and Colonel Nelson Okochi Walter.

“The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators has concluded arrangement for a mass protest. We have concluded plans and have the backing of over 500 groups, and we want to warn everyone that would not be part of the protest to stay indoors, all shops, markets, businesses, schools, parks and companies should remain lock as we cannot guarantee that the protest is going to be peaceful because we shall resist any attempt by security forces to destabilise the protest.

“Our quit notice remains valid, we have not withdrawn it.

“Our attention has been drawn to the publication in some national newspapers of Friday, September 1, 2017, that we, Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators mandated one Chief Mike Loyibo of Pan Niger Delta Peoples’ Congress (PNDPC) to withdraw the quit notice on our behalf.

“We want to state here clearly that we did not, at any point in time, appoint or mandate anyone to withdraw any quit notice on our behalf neither did the self-acclaimed leader of PNDPC ever meet with us or our representative to discuss any matter relating to quitting notice. 

“Our quit notice stands… We cannot work with PNDPC or PANDEF. We stand by our previous statements.

“The quit notice we issued to northerners and Yoruba remain valid.

“As a matter of fact, our strike team are already prepared and positioned to start the attack on oil facilities in the Niger Delta from September 10, 2017, in preparation for our planned declaration of Niger Delta Republic on October 1, 2017.”  (The Sun)

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Bombing Of Pipelines, Oil Facilities May Resume In Niger Delta, Says Evah |RN

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Comrade Joseph Evah

•Nigeria won’t have peace without restructuring

 

The Federal Government has been advised to honour the terms of the agreements reached with leaders of the Niger-Delta during a recent meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo. The meeting which led to the suspension of the November 1 ultimatum to the Federal Government was put together by the Pan Niger-Delta Forum (PANDEF). An activist, and coordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group, Comrade Joseph Evah, made the remarks in this interview with ’TUNDE THOMAS. He spoke on various issues.

What’s your reaction to the November 1 ultimatum to the Federal Government by the Pan-Niger-Delta Forum, PANDEF recently to meet its 16-point demand? Although the ultimatum has been withdrawn, the group earlier threatened it would suspend further talks with the Federal Government on issues relating to peace and development of the Niger-Delta region?

Although the ultimatum has been withdrawn following talks between PANDEF leaders led by Chief Edwin Clark and the Federal Government, it is unfortunate that the ultimatum had to be issued before Federal Government decided to swing into action.

Why did the Federal Government refuse to implement or show commitment to the implementation of PANDEF’s 16-point demand until PANDEF issued the ultimatum?

The major problem with our leaders and government is insincerity. The Federal Government promised to implement or start implementing some of these demands several months ago, but in its usual style, after making the promise, the Federal Government went to sleep and it took the PANDEF’s ultimatum before it was roused from its slumber. This is very unfortunate. It shows that some of these avoidable crises are a creation of the government itself.

The Federal Government refused to show respect to the people of Niger Delta and that’s why it refused to honour its pledge to the region’s leaders until the ultimatum was issued to push the government to take concrete action towards implementing those 16 demands that will serve as a catalyst for the development of Niger-Delta.

I commend our leaders led by Chief E. K. Clark for issuing that ultimatum because it was getting to a situation where the people of Niger-Delta were getting frustrated with them and were even accusing PANDEF leaders of not being forceful enough in its demands. Some were even thinking that PANDEF leaders had sold out. It was when the ultimatum was issued that many Niger-Deltans believe that it was the Federal Government that was not showing a genuine commitment to the implementation of promises and assurances given to PANDEF leaders.

But that ultimatum was condemned by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger-Delta, MEND, and some other prominent Nigerians who described it as unnecessary and a kind of blackmail. They further accused PANDEF leaders, especially Chief Clark of looking the other way and not complaining about underdevelopment of the Niger-Delta when former President Goodluck Jonathan, a Niger-Deltan was in office, what’s your take on this?

Don’t mind those critics of PANDEF. They are hypocrites. One thing people should realize is this, in any struggle, you will always have some people being sponsored to disorganize the genuine agitations or struggle. This is what is happening in the case of PANDEF.

PANDEF is the only genuine group the people of Niger-Delta recognize. Not only that, the people of the Niger-Delta have put their trust in PANDEF leaders to handle negotiations on their behalf with the Federal Government. Forget what MEND and those other critics are saying. PANDEF leaders are our recognized leaders in Niger-Delta. We won’t allow any group or individual to break our ranks or sow seeds of discord among us. We have high regards for Chief E. K. Clark. He is our undisputable leader, no matter whatever anybody says about him. Clark is our hero, a patriot and true leader of the Niger-Delta.

One thing is this, in any struggle, you will have some dubious groups and individuals being used to scuttle the genuine struggle. These are people we refer to as saboteurs. This is not the first time it will happen. It happened during the June 12 struggle when M.K.O. Abiola was betrayed, it happened during the early struggle for development and emancipation of the Niger-Delta, and we all remembered how the military hanged late Ken Saro-Wiwa for leading the struggle against the injustices in the Niger-Delta. Ken Saro-Wiwa was betrayed. Any group or individual that condemns PANDEF should be regarded as saboteurs. Anybody or group that condemns PANDEF is being sponsored to derail the genuine agitations for the development of Niger-Delta, such groups or individuals should not be taken seriously. They are enemies of Niger-Delta.

What if the issue of PANDEF leaders looking the other way and not talking during the six years of Jonathan’s administration?

People saying that need to go and re-examine their heads. People should stop being unfair to Jonathan. They should stop accusing him of not developing Niger-Delta.

For several years, Gowon, Murtala Muhammed, IBB, General Sani Abacha and Abdusalam Abubakar were presidents and heads of state of Nigeria, but for all the decades they were in office, what did all those leaders who come from the North do for the Northern region? Nothing. Today, poverty is rampant in the North. North is suffering serious underdevelopment, despite all the donkey years that Gowon, IBB, Abdusalam, Murtala Muhammed and Abacha spent in the office.

Today, the problem of insecurity is more pronounced in the North than any other region in Nigeria. You have Boko Haram insurgency there, and all these leaders I have mentioned, have they been able to do anything about it? No.

What about the Almajiri problem in the North? The menace of Almajiri has been there for decades, and for all the years that all these leaders from the North were in power, were they able to tackle it? What of the problem of illiteracy, infrastructural facilities, decay or even lack of it, were they able to address or tackle all these problems? As we are talking today, you get to some areas in the North, pupils are still learning under trees. They show you some classrooms from the North and you see students sitting down on the bare floor to receive lectures. So you ask these leaders from the North why did they fail to transform the North into Dubai of Africa when they were in power.

Jonathan was in office for just six years, and people were expecting miracles from him. Jonathan’s critics are being unfair to him. Some of Jonathan’s critics need to undergo psychiatric tests.

Was it not even during Jonathan’s era that Lagos-Ibadan expressway that has become a deathtrap over the years was repaired and given a face lift; when Obasanjo a Yoruba man was President for eight years he abandoned that road. Not only that Obasanjo abandoned his own state, Ogun State. During Obasanjo’s time, roads in Ogun State were so terrible that whenever he came home from Abuja, he usually took a helicopter from Lagos to his Ota Farms and Abeokuta. Jonathan deserves respect. He should be given his dues. It is only in Nigeria that you see people who call themselves professors or PhD holders talking like children.

When Obasanjo was there, what did Obasanjo do for the South West? Nothing and I stand to be challenged. Apart from the construction of the Presidential Library which is his personal property, Obasanjo did nothing for the South West.

When Obasanjo was military Head of State, the only project he executed or got for the South West was the Ota Farm, which personally belongs to him. But today, when Obasanjo moves about, people eulogise him and give him awards. The same thing for IBB, Gowon and Abdusalam Abubakar; people sing praises of them, but what did all these past leaders achieve or do to transform their regions? Nothing. Go to the North, move into the hinterlands of the North; poverty, hunger, and underdevelopment are more pronounced there than in any other region in Nigeria, and yet the Northern region has produced more leaders than any other region in the country.

People should stop their provocative attitudes on Jonathan. They are being unfair to the man. Jonathan deserves the same respect being given to Gowon, IBB and Obasanjo. Nigerians should give him his dues.

On Chief E. K. Clark, I want to say enough is enough. People should stop disrespecting Clark; Papa Clark is our hero, our own icon. Clark is a selfless leader who loves the people of Niger-Delta and the people also love him and that’s why they accept him as their leader.

But Chief E. K. Clark was accused of making so much money during Jonathan’s era that he even built a private university, married a new wife and …

Yes, what’s wrong with that? Is Pa E. K. Clark at 90 too young to own a private university? Do these people talk rubbish about the old man know about E.K. Clark’s pedigree? Chief E. K. Clark is an accomplished Nigerian. He was a former state commissioner. He was also a former senator and he was also a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Clark is also the foremost Ijaw leader. Are these people saying a man with such prestigious record and credentials can’t own a private university? This is why I said earlier that some of these critics need to undergo psychiatric tests.

We will not allow anybody to rubbish or blackmail Chief E. K. Clark. All the private universities in this country, who are the owners? Are they more important or more eminent than Chief E. K. Clark? This is one of the injustices against the Ijaws and people of Niger-Delta. What do some Nigerians take the people of Niger-Delta to be? That we are paupers and second class citizens in Nigeria? God forbid.

Look at the case of oil block ownership in Nigeria; oil is found in Niger-Delta, but the irony of it all is that no Niger-Delta indigene owns an oil block. Rather it is Nigerians from other regions that own the oil wells. What an insult! For example, General T. Y. Danjuma from the North, not because of any other accomplishment but because he was a military leader was given an oil block, while Chief E. K. Clark has none. It is because political leaders from the Niger-Delta are not united, that’s why they are perpetrating all these injustices against us. What about the richest woman in Africa, Mrs Folorunsho Alakija who owns an oil well in Bayelsa State. Alakija single-handedly sponsored Babangida University in Minna because she got oil block from IBB’s government.

But some Nigerians are saying that the Niger-Delta appears to be asking for too much in that PANDEF’s 16-point demands, what’s your view on that?

That’s very unfair to the people of the Niger-Delta. It was the Federal Government that invited Niger-Delta leaders for discussion in the first place, and if you go for a discussion, there must be a give-and-take in your discussion. But the Federal Government later slowed down and kept the Niger-Delta leaders in suspense.

The people of Niger-Delta thereafter started asking their leaders about the talks with the Federal Government. People were expecting to see signs of the Federal Government’s commitment to the talks, but none was visible.

For example, the Federal Government promised to kick-start Maritime University at Okereonkoko, but as we are talking now, nothing has been done. It is a case of empty promise. Since no visible projects by the Federal Government have been seen, some Niger-Delta people started asking Niger-Delta leaders if they had collected bribe from the Federal Government so they could keep quiet. This is one of the reasons that ultimatum was issued by PANDEF.

Niger-Delta people are not blackmailing the Federal Government, it is a government that is reneging on its promise to the people.

The Federal Government has been releasing some Boko Haram suspects under the guise of brokering a peace deal, even Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader was released on bail, but some Niger-Delta indigenes are still languishing in detention, rotting away in jail. Is that not another case of injustice. If Kanu is granted bail and Boko Haram suspects are released, what prevents the Federal Government from releasing Niger-Delta political detainees like Edward Eduware, Charles Okah and Henry Okah? If the Federal Government is applying a political solution to problems of Nigeria by releasing Kanu and Boko Haram suspects, then our own children from the Niger-Delta in detention should also be released? The South East took up their struggle, today Nnamdi Kanu is on bail. I also was among those that fought for Kanu’s bail. But what about Ijaw people in detention like Eduware and Okah brothers?

These are some of the injustices our leaders in PANDEF are trying to address, and the Federal Government should be seen to be fair to all.

Chief E. K. Clark is our own mouth-piece. Niger-Delta people want dialogue and not violence, and therefore, it will be wrong to describe those who want peace as trouble makers. As we speak now, the Federal Ministry of Finance is starving the Amnesty Programme office of funds.

Are you saying the Amnesty Programme is being underfunded?

Yes, and it is being very unfair to the people of Niger-Delta. It is obvious that some people in this present administration are not happy with the Amnesty Programme, and if they actually have their way, they would scrap it. But is this not another case of injustice against the people of Niger-Delta?

Since 1989, nomadic education programme has been going on in the northern parts of the country. Jibril Aminu who was then Minister of Education under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida introduced nomadic education.

How many people from Niger-Delta own oil block? None.

If it is Asari Dokubo that declared that he doesn’t know what to do with money again, they would declare him a criminal. Dan Etete, an indigene of Niger-Delta applied for oil block and licence, they denied him while people from the North and other parts of the country have oil blocks. Is this not an injustice? Those of us who have oil in our backyard are denied oil licence whereas people who don’t have oil at all in their areas are being given our oil wells. Is that not injustice? Is it not unfair for people to say that Niger-Delta people are asking for too much? We are not asking for too much, but demanding our rights.

Some people have expressed fears that militancy might return to the Niger-Delta if there is no breakthrough in talks between the Federal Government and PANDEF, what’s your take on that?

We don’t want militancy to resume and that is why our leaders have been meeting with the Federal Government.

But what can guarantee sustainable peace is for the Federal Government to do the needful in Niger-Delta. If these injustices against our people are addressed, there will be peace, but if the Federal Government chooses not to fulfil its own obligations to the people, then the Federal Government should be held responsible for any consequences. There is no guarantee that bombings and militancy will not resume in Niger-Delta if the Federal Government fails to honour its promises to the people.

What is your reaction to the recent rejection of devolution of power by the Senate?

I’m disappointed, likewise others especially those from the southern part of the country. Rejection of devolution of power is also another way of rejecting restructuring. The Senate is playing with fire by rejecting devolution of power. Without restructuring, we are not going anywhere. Without restructuring, agitations here and there will not go away. Nigeria will not have peace unless we restructure.

The Senate had a golden opportunity to do the needful but missed it. It is only a true practice of federalism as enshrined in the Constitution of the First Republic that can move this nation forward.

Some of our former leaders like General Yakubu Gowon, General Babangida and former President Olusegun Obasanjo have been appealing to Nigerians to let peace reign following recurring violence and series of crises here and there in different parts of the country; how do you see these appeals?

Gowon, Obasanjo and IBB are hypocrites. Why are they suing for peace now when they were the source of Nigeria’s headache? Don’t mind these people, if they had done what they were supposed to have done when they were in power, Nigeria will not be in this terrible mess. Actually, some of our former leaders laid the foundation of the current crises facing the nation.

When these leaders were in power, they didn’t  listen to advice, those who will tell them the truth and give them the right advice, they chase them away. They were acting as if they were God. Nigerians should not take them seriously. When they were in power, you couldn’t even talk to them. They were very arrogant and unreachable.

Look at somebody like Obasanjo; see how he treated those people that were accused alongside with him for plotting that phantom coup. When Obasanjo became president after he had been granted pardon, he promised to help these people but for eight years he was in power, he did nothing about the case of these people.

Obasanjo knew that these people were falsely accused like him, yet he refused to help them. All the former leaders of Nigeria were bad managers, and that’s why Nigeria is where we are today. I would have even said these leaders should offer the nation an apology for putting Nigeria in this mess, but if you ask them to apologise, they will tell you that it is even Nigerians that are owing them an apology. The only way to move this country forward is to restructure. There is no alternative to restructuring. True federalism was working well for us in the First Republic, but the military came and truncated it.

Today, Nigeria is in crisis because we jettisoned true practice of federalism. For peace to reign, people have been clamouring for restructuring but it appears some forces that are benefitting from the status quo are bent on frustrating any attempt to restructure, and it is the same forces at play that manipulated or used the Senate to jettison demands for devolution of power. What we all don’t know is that we are all sitting on a keg of gun powder which can explode anytime. I’m not a prophet of doom, but there is no way we can continue like this and believe that all is well with our nation. The earlier we realize and accept the truth, the better. Nigeria is in dire need of fundamental changes that will guarantee lasting peace and ensure that genuine unity and harmony prevail among the different ethnic nationalities that make up the nation. (The Sun)

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Quit Notice: Northerners, Yoruba Must Leave Niger-Delta By October 1st |RN

The Republican News

Niger Delta Militants give quit notice

• Niger Delta militants order them to leave before October 1

From Fred Itua, Abuja

The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA), yesterday, handed an ultimatum to Northerners and Yoruba residing in the region to relocate to their regions before October 1.

The coalition also said it would resume bombing of major oil and gas installations from September 10 as a preparation for the actualisation of Niger Delta Republic.

The coalition made of up eight groups also dissociated itself from the leadership and membership of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and warned the Federal Government to stop dealing with the Coalition of elders and leaders of the regions on their behalf.

PANDEF led by leaders of Niger Delta, including a former federal commissioner for information, Chief Edwin Clarke, met twice with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo recently at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting was principally to articulate lasting solutions to the challenges of the people in the region.

But in a statement signed by the leaders of the groups, the agitators said that they had resolved to declare the Republic of Niger Delta on October 1, and ordered the Federal Government to return all the oil wells given to non-indigenes of the region.

The CNDA commended Yoruba for their intention to declare the Oduduwa Republic, and pledged to work with the South East and Middle Belt to achieve economic and diplomatic developments.

Signatories to the statement included General John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs and convener, CNDA); General Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers); General Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors) and Major-Gen. Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters).

Others were Major-Gen. Asukwo Henshaw for Bakassi (Freedom Fighters); Major-Gen. Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice); Major-Gen. Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network) and Major-Gen. Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate).

The statement read: “At the general council meeting of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA) involving surveillance department, intelligence department and commanding officers held today to deliberate on the recent development in the Niger Delta and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) meeting with the acting president, after hours of careful deliberations, we unanimously resolved as follows:

“To commence operation zero oil in the Niger Delta from September 10, 2017, as a preparation for the actualization of Niger Delta Republic;

“We totally condemn the recent meeting between PANDEF and the Acting President; we see it as another plot to deceive the Niger Delta people. First and foremost, the meeting was marred with the inordinate greed of the PANDEF, as they did not involve the representatives of the agitating groups and youths leaders. We wish to let the acting president to know that those he met have no capacity and cannot solve the current crisis in the Niger Delta; therefore they cannot represent the militants or speak for the Niger Delta people;

“The Coalition unanimously adopts to stand by the previous demands, which are: 100 per cent percent control of our resources.

“The Federal Government should hand over all oil blocks owned by the Northerners/Yoruba to Niger Delta indigenes.

“All oil companies operating in such oil blocs/wells should vacate by October 1st, 2017.”

The group also ordered the relocation of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to any of the Niger Delta states and replacement of the Group Managing Director with an indigene of the region.

“All the multinational oil, gas, servicing and marine companies must relocate their operational base to the Niger Delta, sign a new Memorandum of Understanding with Niger Delta people which would include Niger Delta indigenes being paid same salaries with foreigners.

“We demand independence and sovereign Republic of Niger Delta, all the companies and business owned by the Northerners /Yorubas in Niger Delta should be vacated before 1st October 2017, we accept and congratulate the Yorubas for demanding the Oduduwa Republic and we wish them success.”

CNDA called on all agitating groups to resume attacks/bombings on all oil/gas pipelines, especially the exporting lines across the Niger Delta region from September 10, 2017.

This, it said, is to ensure zero oil/gas production before October 1, 2017.

The statement added: “We shall work to interface with more patriotic and zealous Niger Delta people to work out a new collective approach that will ensure total freedom and complete control of our resources by any means necessary.

“We shall from henceforth, fight to liberate ourselves from the shackles of neo-colonialism and rule ourselves under the Niger Delta Republic, with diplomatic and economic relations with the peoples of the South East and Middle Belt.

“Finally, we want to inform the federal government of Nigeria and the general public that we no longer recognize PANDEF under the present leadership as they are working against the interest of the Niger Delta people.”

The quite order by the Niger Delta group followed an earlier 90-day ultimatum issued by a coalition of Arewa youth group, Coalition of Northern Youths (CNY) to all Igbo to relocate from the 19 northern states by October 1.

Following the ultimatum, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo held series of peace-building meetings with leaders and elders of the North and the South East.  (The Sun)

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Niger Delta Threatens To Pull Out Of Peace Negotiations With FG If …. |RN

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Chief Edwin Clarke

From: Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has threatened to pull out of peace negotiations with the Federal Government if it does not address its 16-point.

It accused the Federal Government of not reciprocating the efforts of elders in the region to stabilise oil production and help the country out of recession, insisting that government has not demonstrated enough faith in the peace process.

National Leader/Co-Convener of PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, made this declaration at a press conference, in Abuja, on Monday, giving the Federal Government ultimatum of November 1, 2017, to meet their demands.

November 1 would make it exactly one year the group submitted  16-Point Agenda to President Muhammadu Buhari- led by Clark and King Alfred Diete Spiff, who co-chairs the group.

While acknowledging that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had given a firm commitment after his visit to the region, Clark regretted that the government has failed to take steps to implement what was agreed upon thereby putting Niger Delta leaders under pressure from their people.

He said: “I wish to urge the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, implement the pronouncements made by the Acting President, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), during his fact-finding visits to the Niger Delta Region, and to set up, without delay, the Federal Government Dialogue Team to engage PANDEF, towards resolving the pending issues contained in the Forum’s 16-Point Demands on behalf of the people of the Niger Delta Region, by, or before, November 1, 2017 (one year anniversary of our meeting with His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Human endurance has a limit beyond which one cannot predict what the outcome will be.

“We submitted a 16-point Demand to Mr President on November 1, 2016, and we had expected that by its next anniversary, the 16-Point Agenda would have been comprehensive sorted out.

“If at the expiration of November 1, 2017, ultimatum, the Federal Government fails and/or refuses to accede to these lawful and legitimate demands of the Niger Delta people, PANDEF may consider pulling out of the ongoing peace process in the Niger Delta.”

Clark while accusing government of not demonstrating enough faith in the peace process said,  “Unfortunately, however, it is a matter of regret to note that, the efforts of PANDEF to help Nigeria climb out of recession through a stable oil and gas production regime, have not been met with tangible reciprocal action by the Federal Government.

“Indeed, through PANDEF intervention, the people of the Niger Delta Region have demonstrated tremendous patriotism and goodwill towards the current Administration.

“This is in spite of our being placed at a disadvantaged and marginalized position, even on issues concerning the oil and gas industry.”  (The Sun)

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