Arewa Youths Consultative Forum l-Leader, Shettima Yerima
The leader of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF), Shettima Yerima, has described the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), as ingrates, who lack the sense to come to terms with reality.
Yerima said this against the backdrop of comments of IPOB members against the former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu.
In response to questions from newsmen,in Kaduna, yesterday, Yerima expressed surprise that IPOB spokesmen could “extend their traditional ways of insults to even someone like Orji Uzor Kalu.”
He said those who were not vocal, when their voices should have been loudest, are the true enemies of a society. Yerima disclosed that despite the former governor’s efforts in sustaining relative peace, IPOB resorted to calling him names.
“A man who has frequently shuttled the North, to discuss the safety of his people, deserves more than appreciation.
“IPOB members couldn’t contain their pot of insults and decided to extensively extend it to even the ones sticking out their neck on their behalf.
“It simply shows how ungrateful they can be.”
Commenting on Kalu’s statement on Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts and counter-claims by IPOB, Yerima said: “I wonder the reason for such propaganda by IPOB.
“Even when they said Kanu’s father was missing, a doctor in the Federal Medical Centre confirmed he slumped and was brought to the facility for treatment. But, IPOB claimed they disappeared or the Nigerian Army arrested them.”
Yerima’s group formed the Coalition of Northern Youths (CNY) with 15 other groups and issued a statement on June 6, 2017, when it advised Igbo living in the North to leave the region on or before October 1, 2017.
They later rescinded the quit notice, last month. (The Sun)
Former Governor Of Abia State, CEO Slok Holdings Orji Uzor Kalu
The former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu has said the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, holds a false opinion about him and advised them not to take a duty of misreading him at every comment.
In his reaction to an IPOB statement on a trending news regarding an interview he granted, Kalu reminded IPOB and the members how he had in the past helped the interest of IPOB and the members.
Notwithstanding their grouse on the issue, Kalu recalled that during Nnamdi Kanu’s long detention, he was the first Igbo leader to pay him a visit in Kuje and also facilitated the release of the members in the past and also intervened in their interest with the authorities.
He spoke in response to statements from the Publicity Secretary of the IPOB, Emma Powerful and lawyer to the IPOB leader, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, on their reaction to a press interview he granted.
He said this is not the first time he was misunderstood, ” I believe everyone has right priorities and knows what really matters. For instance, our Igbo brothers are safe in the North and our minds are settled over their property, and that’s what matters. Dancing to the beats of a popular drum isn’t top of my list. These boys hurling abuses and insults on everyone that stands against division are simply ignorant. I forgive them.” Kalu stated
IPOB’s statement on Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts was an offshoot of an interview he granted to a reporter. He referred to it as pathetic that most Nigerians are interested in sensational headlines and care less about details.
He added that Biafra agitation is an issue that concerns a lot of people and keeping silent in the face of its dangerous consequence would amount to wickedness and disregard for the safety of lives of the Igbo people.
The former governor accused the group of running the interest of some politicians and despising good counsel. He described it as laughable when people try to link his actions with corruption charges levelled against him since 2007.
According to Kalu, Nigerians knew him before the charges and the genesis of the allegations and how it was targeted to destroy him politically. He, however, said the case being in a court of competent jurisdiction has proscribed him from making further statements on it.
“I had wished the IPOB were more civil to monitor their utterances, and not take up a duty of attacking my personality and leaving the issue I raised.”
He said the group’s activities should be carried out with civility and respect adding that the lives of Igbo people are the priority.
Kalu advised IPOB not to forget their lines so quick and disclosed that through his intervention in the past, many detained IPOB members were bailed.
“I wonder how IPOB easily forgot their lines. They have had many of their detained members bailed through my intervention. “Would it be appropriate for even somebody like Emma Powerful to heap unprintable insults and accusations on me? I bailed him out when he was detained.
“When Nnamdi was in prison, I was the first to visit him, opening doors for others to do same. I did that because he is my brother. Although he showed a lot of appreciation during the visit he still maintained his ground on Biafra. For the sake of posterity, I have made my stand clear. In a restructured Nigeria, Igbo people would be better off. We got it wrong in 1967 and we need to get it right now, else we get it wrong again.” Kalu warned in the statement. (The Sun)
The recent noise over the whereabouts of the leader of the Biafra restoration movement in Nigeria and worldwide, Prince Nnamdi Kanu by the supposed revelation from a former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu who stated recently that Prince Nnamdi Kanu had escaped to London through Malaysia. The former governor also stated that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra [IPOB] had engaged in illicit acts that included robbery and rape of women in Abia State.
However, information recently made available to the US indicates that the former governor may have been angry and/or bitter with the Kanu family following a rebuff by the family when he attempted to reach out to the family to help in persuading Nnamdi Kanu into dropping the Biafra restoration project.
Specifically, Orji Uzor Kanu had visited the home of Nnamdi Kanu on December 27, 2016, to meet with Prince Nnamdi Kanu on the premise that he had a message from the President of the Republic of Nigeria, Major General Mohammadu Buhari.
Orji Uzor Kalu was greeted at the balcony of the house by the father and mother to Prince Nnamdi Kanu in the company of Emmanuel Kanu, the brother. He was not allowed entrance into the main house where Nnamdi Kanu was seated with other guests.
Orji Uzor Kalu proceeded to tell the parents of Nnamdi Kanu that he had the powers to revamp the family and put them on money should they help him in persuading their son to drop the Biafra restoration project. He pointed to his powers as an operative of the CIA [Central Intelligence of America] – and that he had enormous pull in African affairs. He told them that America and the United Kingdom briefed him that there would not be any Biafra.
He pledged to the family that if given audience with Nnamdi Kanu he will arrange for Nnamdi Kanu to meet with the former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja – and that Jonathan can help open up doors of economic opportunities for the entire family.
Orji Uzor Kalu was softly rebuffed and told by the brother to Prince Nnamdi Kanu that the family was not for sale nor were they in the position to compromise the struggle in exchange for money or economic opportunities. The brother told Orji Uzor Kalu that IPOB is bigger than Nnamdi Kanu or anyone in IPOB. So no one can single-handedly collect bribe to compromise the restoration project.
Orji Uzor Kalu departed Kanu’s residence without achieving his objective.
Four months later in April 2017, Orji Uzor Kalu placed a call to the phone belonging to Nnamdi Kanu’s brother, Emmanuel. Orji Uzor Kalu lamented bitterly that the Kanu family was not giving him the leverage he requires to negotiate with the Presidency. He told Emmanuel that he visited Nnamdi Kanu while he was at Kuje prison – and had worked towards achieving his release from prison. But after his release, Orji Uzor Kalu lamented that Nnamdi Kanu abandoned him and decided to give glory to others and not him. He lamented bitterly that Nnamdi Kanu decided not to visit him in the same manner he visited other supposed Igbo leaders.
He was assured by Emmanuel Kanu that Nnamdi Kanu will make out time to visit him in Abuja once the schedule allows. But Nnamdi Kanu could not get around to visiting Orji Uzor Kanu before Orji Uzor Kalu lost patience with the Kanu family.
Orji Uzor Kalu then changed his tactics and immediately went public to vilifying the Kanu family and the Biafra restoration project.
Sources close to the former governor told us he had assured the presidency he had the magic to get the Nnamdi Kanu family to halt the Biafra restoration project. It was alleged that Orji Uzor Kanu was mobilized to the tune of N35billion to embark on the project.
“We are sure he is only trying to impress hiHausasa-Fulani masters”. His recent pronouncement that Nnamdi Kanu had escaped to London comes out of bitterness, failure and desperation, says Emmanuel Kanu.
FormerAbia State governor, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, has said that creation of an additional state in the South-east zone, would put it on par with the other zones in the country, and help end the agitation going on now in the zone.
He said that creating the state should be part of the restructuring, which has gained currency would enable the country to move forward.
Kalu made this submission when he spoke with journalists during annual youth summit of Junior Chamber International, Ikoyi, hosted by the Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation at Camp Neya, his country home in Igbere, Bende LGA, Abia State, Kalu said that apart from media exaggeration over the IPOB/Army encounter in the state, it became obvious that the situation was getting out of hand.
The decision of the government to outlaw the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at a time like this, he said, seems to be the only option that would guarantee stability which he said the country needs desperately at a time like this.
“I think a lot of hate speech had engulfed the country, and the matter escalated because the IPOB leader refused to abide by the terms of his bail. If he had agreed, and probably appealed against the conditions, the situation wouldn’t have gotten to this point. When two people are fighting and the court says, don’t fight, you obey the court. The court decision was not a personal decision of Justice Binta Nyako but the decision of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Kalu explained.
He noted that when the court ordered his investigation on allegations of corruption he submitted and at the end of the day, he was to be clean.
“Some of you know what Ojukwu said here when he was alive, one day it will be made public. If we say we are marginalised, everyone is marginalised. We are marginalised because our people refuse to work. As soon as one becomes a governor or minister he buys houses in Ikoyi and abroad and the people will celebrate him.
“Remember when I was governor, the army and police used to do joint patrol. We should not box ourselves into a corner because my conscience will not allow me to do what is evil,” he said.
He noted further that all over the country, after the aborigines of any community, the Igbo would be next in population.
“The demography of this country shows that if you go to Kontagora, after the aborigines the next is the Igbo. The same with Jos, Kano, the West, name it, so we need the peace and unity of the country more than anyone else,” he said.
He said that he is of the view leaders should look forward. What I say in Nigeria is what I say anywhere in the world. The way forward for Biafra agitation to stop is to create an additional state in the South-east because the country needs stability. There is so much hatred.
Kalu said that contrary to the widely held view over Kanu’s release from detention he was instrumental in the IPOB leader’s release, but expressed disappointment that the man refused to listen to advice to soft-pedal afterwards.
The former governor and chieftain of APC, however, appealed to the Federal Government to take the issue of restructuring seriously, saying, “We have gone past going to Abuja to share money every month.”
He pleaded with the federal government to go back to the 2014 confab report. “The South East zone should have one more state,” Kalu said, lamenting that rather than discuss the interest of the zone, “some Igbo leaders go to the president with the CV of their wives and children, “but I go to him to tell him the problem of the people.”
He said the youth programme was to prove that peace was achievable and called on everyone to embrace peace for the progress and prosperity of the country.
“We need peace everywhere, we condemn hate speeches,” Kalu said. (The Sun)