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May 30: Alaigbo Development Forum Backs IPOB, Others |The Republican News

…Seeks Ohanaeze, town unions’ endorsements

Magnus Eze, Enugu

 

TheAlaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has backed the call by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other pro-Biafra groups for the observance of May 30 as Biafra day of remembrance.

The body appealed to the apex Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), churches and other Igbo organisations to set aside the day as it would help in recreating and enhancing Igbo national consciousness and rebirth.

IPOB had last week, through a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, declared a sit-at-home on May 30, throughout Biafraland in remembrance of its fallen heroes and heroines, who paid the supreme price in the struggle for Biafra.

The group said it would also remember all victims of Fulani herdsmen’s attacks, Boko Haram violence and those that died at the hands of security agencies over the years that nobody remembered. 

A statement by ADF President, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala, Secretary, Prof. Nath Aniekwu and Public Relations Officer, Chief Abia Onyike, noted that the people of the South West, through persistence and with the support of their legislators would soon have a legislation recognising June 12, date of the annulment of the 1993 election, as Democracy Day.

“ADF is aware that several groups and individuals have annually been celebrating this auspicious day in our history as a remembrance day in one form or the other. Many religious groups and several pan-Igbo organisations, including pro-Biafra groups such as Ekwenche, MASSOB, IPOB, Coalition of Pro-Biafra Groups, etc, have been celebrating this for some years.

“ADF is of the view that we, as a people should collectively do this in remembrance and honour of millions of our brothers and sisters who died for our sake.

“We should also honour several nationalities and their governments, churches, humanitarian organisations and heroic individuals including those, who burnt themselves for the sake of our liberty, we should hold May 30 as a solemn day in our history.

“We do this also for the sake of our national consciousness, solidarity and to unite with all our neighbours who suffered with us and still believe in the unity and progress of our region.

“We shall formally address this appeal to all governments, churches, state Assemblies, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, clans, town unions and other bodies for endorsement of this call,” the group stated.  (The Sun)

 

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Anger Over Miyetti Allah Official’s 2023 Presidency Statement |The Republican News

• Ohanaeze, Fulani elders, others fault Miyetti Allah’s position

Magnus Eze,Enugu, Ndubuisi Orji,Abuja

 

National president of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alhaji Bello Bodejo, has come under attacks over comment that the north will retain the presidency beyond 2023.

Bodejo who spoke at the weekendcategorically told southerners, particularly the South East and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, believed to be jostling to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari to forget it.

However, the Concerned Fulani Leaders Forum disowned Bodejo who they claimed lacked the mandate and moral standing to speak for the Fulani.

In a statement, yesterday, signed by Muhammad Musa Bawa (Manman) in Sabin Garin Nabordo, Bauchi State, the Forum slammed Bodejo for attempting to arrogate to himself the power of Nigerians to determine who leads them.

“Bello Bodejo’s statement is unfortunate and repulsive in all ramifications. For one, he lacks the mandate and credibility to speak on behalf of the Fulani.

“On the issue of 2019 he raised, no one can arrogate to himself the power to decide who should lead or aspire to lead the country. The generality of the Nigerian people will take that crucial decision. Only a charlatan like Bello Bodejo, masquerading as a leader would make such sweeping statements credited to him. The way and manner he spoke suggest he is out to play God, which speak to the creeping-in of early signs of schizophrenia expressed in infantile behaviours.”

Similarly, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo said Bodejo neither spoke for the north nor for the millions of progressive people scattered in the middle-belt.

Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chief Chuks Ibegbu warned those who believe Nigeria belonged to them to desist from self-delusion, emphasising that the Nigeria of today was not the Nigeria of old.

Even though the Ohanaeze believes that restructuring was the solution to the nation’s problems, Ibegbu stated that it is the turn of the Igbo to produce Nigeria’s next president.

“He’s speaking for himself and not for the north; he’s not God that’ll decide the future; 2023 is still far off, so, why’s he talking about 2023 when we’re in 2019. Besides, those of them that are under the illusion that this country belongs to them are making a very great mistake. The country belongs to everybody and everybody has the right to aspire for any post. Now, the north has had their fair share of the political power; the Southwest and South-south have had their own share. It’s only the Southeast, the Igbo, that haven’t produced executive president, but that’s not the issue.

“Ordinarily, competence, merit should prevail over where somebody comes from. We’ve been having turn-by-turn presidency since the second republic. So, it’s not when it’s our turn that somebody will begin to talk rubbish, inconsequential things. Even though we want peace and unity of this country, peace and unity is predicated on justice and fair play, political, economic, social justice. Nobody should arrogate to himself that authority or power to say how the nation’s political permutation should go. Now, all other zones have had their first share except the Southeast. So, it’s very germane that the Southeast should have the next president.”

Also, a professor of Political Science and former Director General of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Elochukwu Amaucheazi described the comment as diversionary.

The main issue at the moment, he said, is the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging President Buhari’s victory.

“All these things, whether 2023 or Atiku’s nationality, are to divert attention.”

Also reacting, Publicity Secretary of the Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, lamented that the country has deteriorated to the lowest ebb that cattle breeders now determine her political future.

He told Daily Sun that the comment was a confirmation that the country is sinking and gradually dying a natural death. 

“We have seen what we have brought to ourselves; and it is only God that can take us out of this low situation. The implication is that Nigeria is sinking and dying. You know that when a country is dying, it does not die like a human being. It dies gradually. Those ominous signs to indicate that Nigeria is dying gradually are things like this. Only God can safe this country from sinking deeper into the pit. It is really a shame,” he said.

Asked if Nigerians should treat it with levity, he replied: “If you think that cattle rearers should just talk on such sensitive issue without backing, you must be deceiving yourself. The Yoruba says that when you see a butterfly dancing on top of water, there must be a drummer under the river.”

Former minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Dubem Onyia said the only way to safeguard the country is to allow the presidency to return to the south in 2023.

“If they want this country to disintegrate,then let them make good their statement. The unity of this country is pivoted on rotation ofpower. The federation is not by force. You can conveniently get seven countries out of Nigeria. If they want Oduduwa Republic to go; Biafra to go;Niger Delta to go; Middle Belt to go; let them make good their statement. Nobody is going to be forced to stay under anybody’s rulership. Power must rotate.In2023, if they think the country will remain under bondage, let’s see how it goes,” Onyia, who is also a leader of the PDP, said.  (Th Sun)

 

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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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