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Afenifere, PANDEF, M-Belt Angered, As Miyetti Allah Seeks Inclusion Of Fulani, Others In Amotekum |RN

Miyetti Allah

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, yesterday, called for the inclusion of its members and other ethnic groups in the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, in Oyo State, to overcome the language barrier, which sometimes causes misunderstanding.

The call by MACBAN, however, elicited angry reactions from other ethnic groups like the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and the Middle Belt Forum.

The leader of the Fulani herders in Oyo State, Ibrahim Jiji, made the call, while speaking with newsmen at the Ibadan palace of Sarkin Sasa Sardaunan Yamaa, who is also the Chairman, Council of Arewa Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, in the Southern states.

Jiji, who expressed sadness over the killing of his men at Ayete, called on the relevant security agencies and Governor Seyi Makinde to expedite the release of his men, numbering 46, who were mistaken for criminals and erroneously arrested by security agents.

While clarifying the issue, he noted that security agents arrested members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, who are the people fighting banditry, robbery and kidnapping in the area.

His words: “After the commandant of Amotekun called us that we should join in a clearance operation, we agreed that 50 men from us, who are members of Vigilance Group, would go with them.

“When Amotekun operatives wanted to go for the operation, we were in Eruwa. But, Amotekun operatives went for the operation without carrying us along. We were only informed thereafter, that they had gone and killed three of our members.

“We got information that some people were kidnapped at Igangan and our Vigilance Group was directed to go there and rescue the victims. But, on their way to the place, some security men arrested them; they are 46. They were taken later handed over to the Police Area Commander at Eruwa.

“They are not criminals at all. This Vigilance Group had arrested and handed suspected criminals to the police. How would they now be taken as criminals?

“We plead with Governor Seyi Makinde to expedite their release because they are certainly not criminals as being branded.”

Jiji urged the people not to brand any criminal they see as Fulani adding that criminality, robbery and banditry should not have any ethnic colouration.”

“A criminal is a criminal. He may be Igbo, Yoruba, Fulani or any other ethnic group in the country”.

They’re asking for too much —Afenifere

Reacting to Miyetti Allah’s request, Afenifere said MACBAN was asking for too much.

Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin said: “Why don’t they ask for them to come and mount traditional stools in Yorubaland? These people are climbing over the leaves of the tree in their unbridled ambition.”

Address worsening security problem in North —PANDEF

Also, the Deputy National Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum, Thompson Okorotie flayed the move by the Myetti Allah but urged them to address the worsening security problem in the north.

Okorotie said: “What do they really want to achieve? Though we do not have a direct link, as far as we know, Amotekun is purely a South West arrangement to help the region. It is a self-help arrangement borne out of the rising insecurity in the land. The security situation has so worsened that everybody is to himself.

“What is the role of Myetti Allah? Do they have any structure that is related to Amotekun? Amotekun, as far as I know from outside, is well structured and it covers the South West, the Yoruba states.

“So, I do not understand what they want to do. I think they have more jobs in the North. Although we have security challenges all over the country, there is a bigger problem in the North. But if they want to solve the security challenge, let them concentrate on Yobe, Borno and others where fellow Nigerians are dying in their droves in the North. So, I don’t think it is a good idea. I don’t even believe that the Amotekun structure will accommodate then.”

It doesn’t make sense —Middle Belt Forum

On its part, the Middle Belt Forum described MACBAN’s request as “irrational because it does not make any bit of sense.”

National President of MBF, Dr. Pogu Bitrus in Makurdi said: “What is their business with Amotekun? Is the South-West not predominantly Yoruba? So, the suggestion is just like saying that we should go and have traditional rulers like Emirs of other ethnic groups in the north. It simply doesn’t make sense, it is irrational and there is no justification for that.

“Amotekun is a Yoruba outfit to save the Yoruba people from aggression. Aggression from which people? From Fulani herdsmen.

“So, it is only proper that Amotekun should be a Yoruba affair. We are not saying that Nigeria should not be plural in all spheres. But what we are saying is that when a particular ethnic group takes it upon themselves to attack others unprovoked, for whatever reason, those people have the right to defend themselves. And that is what brought about Amotekun.

“Amotekun is a Yoruba answer to the aggression by the Fulani herdsmen and of course other insurgent groups on their people.

“If they are not happy with it, they should go to their own states and have their own outfit. The truth remains that even in the north, different ethnic nationalities have vigilante groups of their ethnic nationalities to defend their people.

“So there is nothing wrong for the Yoruba to defend themselves. It is up to the Fulanis to ask their people to stop killing others, to stop attacking farmers, to stop carrying out unprovoked attacks on communities so that Amotekun will not be necessary.” (Vanguard)

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2023: Ohanaeze Gets Support To Negotiate For Igbo President From Other Regions |The Republican News

Ohanaeze Ndigbo

…We’ll support them but there must be restructuring — Afenifere

…There must be conditions — Balarabe Musa

…We shall look at presidential candidates when they emerge and evaluate them — ACF

…Let Igbos speak with one voice — PANDEF

Apex Igbo socio-political organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said yesterday that it had gotten the mandate of the Igbo-speaking states to negotiate with other Nigerians for the president of Igbo extraction in 2023.

Anambra State president of Ohanaeze, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene said during a press briefing in Awka that the mandate would be pursued with the seriousness it deserved because the South East was the only zone that had not occupied the office of president of Nigeria since the present democratic dispensation began in 1999.

However, different ethnic groups and personalities have reacted to the development with Afenifere saying it would support Igbo Preisdency but noted that there must be restructuring, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, said it would look at presidential candidates after they had emerged to evaluate them.

According to Ohanaeze, if in 2023, Igbo do not get the president, Ohanaeze would continue with the struggle until it is achieved, recalling that it took the late Nelson Mandela several years of struggle to achieve it in South Africa.

Okeke-Ogene also spoke on the recent attempt by some people, led by a traditional ruler in Anambra State to factionalize Ohanaeze through what he described as a misguided effort to deceive the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, to register a parallel Ohanaeze.

He said: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo is an institution of credibility and repute that spans seven states and beyond and should not for any reason be subjected to  ridicule because of selfish interest of self- seeking individuals.

“We want to use this opportunity to advise the said traditional ruler to focus on activities of his kingdom and desist from meddling in the affairs of Ohanaeze so as to protect the integrity of the stool he occupies. I want to assure everybody that Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Nnia Nwodo remains intact and very strong. We want to use the opportunity to apologize to other Igbo states for this dance of shame.”

He also explained that through the intervention of the elder statesman and first republic minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, Ohanaeze and the Indigenous People of Biafra,

IPOB, had resolved their differences and had started working together to achieve the collective agenda for the Igbo.

On the recent misunderstanding between some traditional rulers and the Anambra State government, the Ohanaeze president said: “We want to advise our revered royal fathers to emulate the conduct of the Chairman, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council and Obi of Onitsha, lgwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, the grand patron of the Council and traditional ruler of Nnewi, lgwe Kenneth Orizu, as well as the traditional ruler of Mbaukwu, Igwe Peter Anugwu, among others and avoid confrontational stance against the state government as there is need to avoid sending wrong signal to the outside world.

“It is necessary to follow laid down processes and procedures in channeling grievances to appropriate authority.  We equally want to use this opportunity to urge stakeholders in the state to avoid overheating the polity and creating opportunity for few individuals to hijack the power structure and hold the entire people hostage and in bondage.”

We’ll support them but there must be restructuring — Afenifere

When contacted, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, said though it supports the South East’s agitation, the country must be restructured before the 2023 general elections.

Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said: “We will support the South East to get the Presidency in 2023 provided Nigeria is restructured.

“We have been on the same page with Ohanaeze as far as restructuring is concerned, but if Nigeria goes into any election before carrying out restructuring, it will spell doom for the country.”

There must be conditions — Balarabe Musa

However, Second Republic governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa said majority of Northeners were now  in support of the emergence of a President from the Southeast come 2023, particularly of Ndigbo extraction.

According to him, “this time around, it would not be solely an Ndigbo affair, as all Nigerians would participate in selecting the most competent person among the Igbo that will fit the number one seat in Nigeria.

“He must be someone that will bring about peace, justice and equality in the country. He must be someone with the qualities of late Zik of Africa,” he said.

He reiterated that  Nigerians would have to participate in choosing an Igbo person with such sterling qualities, who would be President in 2023 unlike in similar exercises.

We shall look at presidential candidates when they emerge and evaluate them — ACF

Reacting, Spokesperson for Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, in a terse statement, said: “ACF believes that it is the constitutional responsibility of political parties to produce candidates. Until they do that, the forum will not interfere in that process. We shall look at the presidential candidates when they emerge and evaluate them at that stage.”

But a chieftain of the ACF, Anthony Sani said Ndigbo has the constitutional right to field a president in 2023.

“The decision by Ohanaeze Ndigbo to field a candidate to contest for the post of president in  2023 is their constitutional right under the nation’s multiparty democracy. They should design their winning game plan and canvass support across the nation, considering the president would preside over the whole Nigeria and not president of Igbos alone.

“And as Ohanaeze canvasses support, they should note that democracy is a contest of ideas and reasons and not a bull fight in a sumo ring. That is to say, in a multi-party democracy, threats and intimidation, nor playing victim with lamentation cannot secure power. Reasoned persuasion of the voters devoid of bellicose and percussive posturing are the instruments, while social skills are the requirements. More so,  there is no national consensus on rotation of the president between the North and the South that is binding on the political parties.”

Let Igbos speak with one voice — PANDEF

Also yesterday, the apex socio-cultural group of the South South geopolitical zone, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, said it will welcome Ohanaeze just as it called on all Igbo leaders and groups to eschew any form of division and support ‘Ohanaeze’ to negotiate with other parts of the country for the 2023 presidency.

National Chairman of PANDEF,  Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, who gave the advice yesterday in Uyo stressed that Ohanaeze must work together with everybody, including those in government to win the support of other parts of the country.

Nkanga said PANDEF would welcome Ohanaeze when approached because the South South had held  that the next president of the country should come from the South East.

His words: “I think what Ohanaeze is trying to do is the right thing and they should have the support of everybody in the Southeast and also in Southern Nigeria. Which other organisation would have done it other than they themselves?

“If they (Igbos) have other organizations, whether women, youth groups, especially those in govermment, they should support Ohanaeze. It should not be while Ohanaeze is negotiating for Igbo presidency, other organizations are negotiating for other regions to take the position. Let the Igbos speak with one voice.For Ohanaeze to succeed, the elders and leaders must make sure they eschew any form of faction in the organization. This is not the time to talk about faction; they should close ranks because when they close ranks they should be able to convince the rest of the country.”

“Though they have not approached us yet on that, Ohaneze will not have problem if they come to us because they are a component of Southern and Middle Belt Forum. And PANDEF over time had supported the idea that we should allow the presidency to come to the South this time.

“And of course if it comes to the South the logical thing will be to allow the Southeast have it. In an open letter our Chairman Board of Trustees,Chief Edwin Clark wrote, he specifically said that the presidency should go to the Southeast” (Vanguard)

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Fulani Vigilante: MASSOB Calls SE Governors Cowards, PANDEF Asks Them To Form One In North East

Biafrans

Chukwudi Akasike and Theophilus Onojeghen

The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra has described state governors in the South-East as cowards for failing to defend the Igbo when leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria offered to raise a vigilante outfit to protect the region.

MASSOB explained that while the governors and leaders in the South-West were suggesting ways to tackle the menace of herdsmen within their states, governors in Igboland could not reject the suggestion.

Director of Information of MASSOB, Sunday Okereafor, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH in a telephone interview, said the Igbo should know that the attitude of their governors was an indication that they had no leader.

He said, “We say no to the plan to make Igboland part of Fulaniland. If there is any problem in the South-East, the governors indicted will pay the price; it is going to be a heavy price. We are ready for them.’’

Also, the Pan Niger Delta Forum also condemned the call by the cattle breeders association.

PANDEF warned the Federal Government not to heed the demand of the group, saying the government should stop treating the group with “obnoxious impunity.”

In a statement on Saturday signed by PANDEF’s National Secretary, Dr Alfred Mulade, it stated that the call was misplaced, promising to stand with other socio-cultural bodies, including the Ohaneze Ndigbo and Afenifere, to ensure failure of such plan.

PANDEF asked the group to rather form a vigilante group to tackle insurgency in the troubled North-East.

The statement read in part, “PANDEF stands solidly with its contemporaries, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere in their similar response as PANDEF’s position on this yet another reckless display of rabid impunity covered by rabid obnoxious immunity.’’ (Punch)

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

Image result for Edwin Clarke

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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