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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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APC Accuses Ohanaeze Of Sabotaging Buhari’s Campaign |The Republican News

• We scheduled meeting before election timetable –Nwodo

Magnus Eze, Enugu

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Ohanaeze Ndigbo of frustrating the party in the South East, including President Muhammad Buhari’s visit to Anambra and Enugu states today.

They alleged that the fixing of meeting of the Imeobi, the highest decision making organ of the body, today, by the Chief Nnia Nwodo leadership, was a design to diminish the import of the President’s visit.

Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chuks Ibegbu said Ndigbo would, at the meeting take a position on which direction they will cast their votes, particularly on the presidential election.

APC National Vice Chairman, South East, Chief Emma Enukwu said the “Ohanaeze is the only socio-cultural group that has taken a position on 2019 election with adoption of a candidate, but power belongs to God.”

Also, a chieftain of the apex Igbo organisation, who belongs to the APC in Enugu State, Prince Richard Ozobu, on Monday, faulted Nwodo for scheduling such an important meeting on the day the President is visiting two states in the region.

Ozobu said: “I’ve been a frontline player in Ohanaeze for many years and Imeobi meeting has never held on a Thursday but Saturdays.

“I can clearly tell you that Nwodo fixed this Imeobi meeting in bad faith. There is no emergency in Igboland to warrant the message he sent across that emergency meeting of Imeobi holds Thursday. This is to show the least, Nwodo’s disdain for President Buhari and he should not hoodwink the entire Igbo nation into his personal calamity.”

But, Ohanaeze, in a swift reaction denied that the Imeobi meeting was scheduled to sabotage the campaign tour of the APC presidential candidate.

Nwodo said in Enugu, yesterday, that the NEC of Ohanaeze Ndigbo had chosen the date without knowing the campaign timetable of the ruling party.

He explained that it was even the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige and the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi that called his attention to the clash. He disclosed that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has in deference to Ngige and Umahi, shifted the time for the meeting from 10:00am to 4:00p.m “on the same day at the instance of Dr. Ngige.

The body noted that they were aware of the extra cost implications due to those that would have gone after the meeting, but would now be accommodated in hotels, apparently to give all Igbo sons and daughters scheduled for the meeting opportunity to be there. The statement added that although Ohanaeze Ndigbo is apolitical, it could aggregate the collective interest of Ndigbo for a candidate that answers to their wish and inclination but would not be dragged down to the level of vile politicking.

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has called on Ndigbo to vote massively for President Buhari in the February 16 poll because of the long term benefits to them.

Addressing a meeting of APC faithful in Enugu, he said: “We want to be on the side of history, we want to be on the side of victory because in years to come, we will look back and we want our children and our grandchildren to say this was the moment when the South East got its act together, united and followed a path of victory and a path of sustainable development for the South East and for Nigeria.”   (The Sun)

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Executive Order Will Lead To Abuse Of Law, Order, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Warns|RN

The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo said executive orders are an attempt to subvert the fundamental rights of the citizenry.

Raphael Ede, Enugu

 

President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has warned the Federal Government against the use of executive orders, which, he said, could lead to excessive abuse of law and order, thus, “unacceptable in a democratic dispensation.”

Nwodo, who stated this in a statement he issued through his Media Adviser, Chief Emeka Attamah, said in exercising the orders, President Buhari must subject it to the provision of Chapter 4 of the constitution, which enshrines fundamental rights of individuals.

The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo said executive orders, in a situation where a state of emergency does not exist or has not been proclaimed, are an attempt to subvert the fundamental rights of the citizenry.

He opined that a man cannot be subjected to any disability except as provided by the nation’s constitution and judiciary, adding that it was not proper for the president to stay in his office and decide the fate of any citizen outside the provisions of Section 6: 33 to 45 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo affirmed that fundamental rights cannot be derogated from without judicial pronouncements,” he said.  (The Sun)

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ENUGU COAL: Buhari Not A Promise Keeper – Ohanaeze |The Republican News

                                        President Muhammadu Buhari

Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu

 

The apex socio-political body of the Igbo, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has expressed disappointment over the Federal Government’s inability to revive coal production in Enugu.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, while campaigning before the 2015 elections, promised to revamp the moribund coal industry, which had been abandoned for several years.

Buhari had promised that the abundant coal deposits in Enugu would be harnessed to grow the Nigerian economy, and also generate employment opportunities for youths in the South-East and other parts of the country.

The then All Progressives Congress presidential candidate had also assured the people that the coal deposits would be used to revamp the Oji River Power Station, which generated electricity for the defunct Eastern Region.

However, about three years after Buhari won the election and assumed office as the President, the Enugu coal mines have remained moribund.

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr Chuks Ibegbu, on Sunday said the Federal Government’s failure to revive coal production in Enugu was disappointing.

Speaking with our correspondent in Enugu, the Ohanaeze spokesman said coal deposits in Enugu could transform Nigeria’s economy if the Federal Government decided to develop the sector.

“We are very much disappointed that the Buhari-led Federal Government has not been able to fulfil the promise to revive the coal industry in Enugu.

“It is very unfortunate that the coal mines seem to have been forgotten.

“But we will continue to remind the Federal Government of the urgent need to revamp the coal industry in Enugu, and in so doing, also revive the Oji River Power Station,” Ibegbu said.

The Ohanaeze spokesman noted that the revival of the coal industry would be to the benefit of the entire country, and not only the South-East geopolitical zone.

“We all know that coal was driving the Nigerian economy before the discovery of oil in the Niger Delta region,” Ibegbu said.   (Punch)

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Why We Oppose Ohanaeze Summit – IPOB |The Republican News

IPOB-Crowd

Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka and Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday, gave reasons why it is opposed to the planned Ohanaeze Ndigbo summit on the restructuring of Nigeria, slated for May 21 in Awka, Anambra State.

Stating it has nothing against those who genuinely believe restructuring would best address the myriad of problems afflicting the masses in the country, IPOB said it would not allow those who allegedly connived with Nigeria soldiers to attack and kill its members, including its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

The group also feels strong against those it described as traitors and collaborators using the cloak of restructuring to advance their personal political ambitions, at the expense of the masses.

IPOB accused the apex Igbo body of trying to use the cover of a restructuring summit to hoodwink the people, when, according to it, the actors in the body are against restructuring and “act against the interest of IPOB whose activism made restructuring widely acceptable.”

A statement by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said: “We feel the need to clarify why we are opposed to this particular Ohanaeze Ndigbo jamboree, slated for Awka on May 21. Anybody or group who attends the event will be seen as an enemy of the people, and a direct supporter of Operation Python Dance, which was instigated by the organisers of the said Ohanaeze Ndigbo summit, to eliminate Kanu and his family, thereby, leaving our land open to Fulani dominance in perpetuity.

“To associate with Nnia Nwodo’s summit is tantamount to an endorsement of mass murder of innocent agitators fighting for the freedom of everybody.

“IPOB is not against those who hold the legitimate view that restructuring will best address the myriad of problems afflicting the masses. We are firm believers in democracy, a plurality of opinion and divergence of views; so, if during a referendum, a majority of the people vote to adopt restructuring as the preferred option to outright break from Nigeria, we would be bound by it.

“We have issues with traitors and collaborators using the cloak of restructuring to advance their personal political ambitions at the expense of the well being of the masses.”

Meanwhile, the newly sworn-in leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, National Youth wing, has said it will not succumb to intimidation and threats of truncating the May 21, Igbo summit.
They stated this during their maiden meeting, held in Owerri, on Tuesday, where they said any attempt to stop the meeting, would undermine their fundamental human rights to speech, association and assembly.

In a communique they issued at the end of the meeting, signed by the Deputy National Leader, Dr Kingsley Dozie, and 10 others, the youths said they recognise and uphold the fact that Ndigbo are industrious, enterprising and law-abiding people, with incontrovertible sense of conviviality, “but, we advise members of IPOB to embrace peace, dialogue and constructive reasoning as the best medium for the common good.”

“In as much as we condemn the unjust killing of our people and proscription of IPOB, we will not succumb to intimidation and threats of truncating the Igbo summit holding in Awka on May 21, 2018.”  (The Sun)

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Fulani Herdsmen Killings: IPOB Read Riot Act To South-East Governors, Ohanaeze |RN

south-east-govs-forum

**Demands reverse of proscription to get ready for herders

Jeff Amechi AgbodoOnitsha


Following
 incessant attacks by herdsmen in some parts of the country, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has called on South-east governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to reverse their public proscription of the group or get ready to be held responsible for any major herdsmen attack anywhere in the South-east and other parts of the Biafra land. 

The Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, who read this riot act in a statement issued yesterday alleged that the South-east governors and Ohanaeze were under heavy pressure from the Fulani caliphate in mid-2017, which made them conspire to leave Igbo land defenceless by their treacherous proscription of IPOB. 

His words: “Going by unfolding events and the imminent danger of attacks by Fulani terror herdsmen in the South-east and South-south, it has become imperative for concerned citizens to compel Igbo governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to reverse their public proscription of IPOB or else they will be held responsible for any major herdsmen attack anywhere in the South-east or other parts of Biafraland.”

“We are hereby placing all Biafran ethnic nationalities on record, especially the Igbos, that the criminal conspiracy to proscribe IPOB by South-east governors in collaboration with Ohanaeze Ndigbo was hatched to aid the Fulani invasion and conquest of Igboland. Under heavy pressure from the Fulani caliphate in mid-2017, Igbo governors along with Nnia Nwodo and Ohanaeze Ndigbo executives conspired to leave Ala-Igbo defenceless by their treacherous proscription of IPOB.

“By proscribing IPOB and aiding the indiscriminate arrest, torture, murder and detention of IPOB family members at the hands of Fulani law enforcement officers, these Igbo governors working alongside Ohanaeze Ndigbo literally sacrificed Igbo land and the lives of thousands of Igbo people to the marauding herdsmen. 

“They not only opened the door for the invaders to come in, they knowingly aided the slaughter of hundreds if not thousands of innocent people in their quest to please their Fulani masters. Interestingly enough, the same Arewa leaders that prevailed upon Igbo governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to proscribe IPOB have so far refused to proscribe their own Fulani terror herdsmen that are doing the killings in the South-east, Middle Belt and other parts of Southern Nigeria. How perverse is that?

“How is it possible that seemingly reasonable and apparently educated Igbo leaders could be persuaded by their northern counterparts to proscribe, ban and fight IPOB that are the only people capable of defeating Fulani herdsmen when the same northern leaders have repeatedly failed to offer mere verbal condemnation of the atrocities of their all-conquering herdsmen? One is forced to ask, where are the brains of these Igbo leaders.

“Definitely, these are not the type of people that will defend Igbo land in times of crisis such as now. They are too cowardly, compromised, materialistic and will not hesitate to hand over Igbo land to Fulani jihadists as long as they retain their political power, patronage and wealth. They are infinitely incapable of confronting this common threat to our existence.

“Before the murderous invasion of the home of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in Isiama Afaraukwu on the 14th of September 2017 by Nigerian soldiers acting on the instructions of South-east governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, it was common knowledge that the menace of Fulani terrorists was a distant memory.

“IPOB quietly and effectively checkmated their activities across the length and breadth of Biafra land. We repelled the terrorists and stopped them in their tracks in Delta and Enugu State on six separate occasions without fanfare.

“That there weren’t any Fulani terror herdsmen attacks throughout the period our leader was touring Biafra land was down to the excellent work IPOB did in our communities to keep it safe from herdsmen attacks. Since the invasion of our leader’s home and his abduction by Nigerian soldiers, followed by the hasty and illegal proscription of IPOB by Igbo governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Fulani herdsmen have been emboldened to attack outlying villages with impunity. The most distressing aspect of it is that these governors have no solution to curb the menace.

“There has been more than four reported attacks in Ebonyi State alone in recent times to which Governor Dave Umahi has appeared impotent to do anything about. Instead, he is advocating for the establishment of Fulani cattle colonies in Ebonyi State all because he wants to be a vice presidential candidate to a northerner.

“The blame for any Fulani invasion of any part of Biafra land must be laid squarely at the doorstep of South East Governors Forum and Ohanaeze Ndigbo.”  (The Sun)

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