Image

“I’m Now Realising My Foolishness, FG Proscription Of IPOB Indirectly Tags Me, An Igbo Man A Terrorist – Nnia Nwodo

NniaNwodo
Ohanaeze President General, Dr Nnia Nwodo

By Chuks

Chief John Nnia Nwodo, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, at the weekend said that the declaration of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation was an attempt by the Federal Government to profile Igbo people at the international security arena.

Nwodo stated this while delivering a lecture at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Business School, Enugu, on Saturday.

He also re-affirmed Ohanaeze’s utmost belief in the call by the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum and a number of other well-meaning Nigerians for a new constitution for a politically restructured Nigeria similar to the 1963 arrangement.

Chief Nwodo said he viewed the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation as hurried, unfair, and not in conformity with the intendment of the law.

The two-time minister said whereas he was not completely in agreement with some of the methods of IPOB, like its inappropriate and divisive broadcasts, the uncontested evidence given by the Attorney General of the Federation in an interlocutory action claiming that IPOB attempted and/or actually snatched guns from law enforcement agents, if proven, were merely criminal offences.

He insisted that the said offences IPOB were accused of did not constitute enough evidence to meet international law definition of terrorism.

Nwodo noted that the United States embassy in Nigeria shared this conclusion and asserted that the United States government did not recognise IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

He said: “This same unarmed IPOB that is being stigmatised by the Nigerian government had its members murdered in Asaba, Nkpor, Aba and Port Harcourt simply for having public demonstrations without the Federal Government ordering a judicial inquiry.

“Instead, after I called for one and Amnesty International provided evidence that 150 of them were killed, the Chief of Army Staff set up an inquiry, composed of serving and retired members of the armed forces, thereby compromising the rules of natural justice which prescribes that you cannot be a judge in your own case.

“The Igbos in Nigeria feel the treatment of IPOB as unfair, discriminatory, and an overkill.
“They see the move as an attempt to encourage a profiling of Igbos in the international security arena.

“We know of other self-determination groups in Nigeria that are armed and have destroyed government and private sector installations and wells that government prefer to negotiate with rather than labelling them as terrorist organisations.

“Fulani herdsmen, otherwise called the Fulani militants, have ravaged farms in Middle Belt, South West, and South Eastern Nigeria, killing several farmers in the process. In January 2016, they killed 500 farmers and their families in Agatu in Benue State.

“This year alone, over 1000 people have been murdered by them in the Middle Belt and many more displaced from their homes.

“In Enugu State, they murdered more than 100 farmers in Ukpabi Nimbo in April 2016.

“Photographs depicting them with automatic rifles trend in the entire world media, yet not one of them is facing criminal charges, nor is ‘Operation Python Dance’ being conducted in the areas where they ravage and kill and the Federal Government describes them as criminals and not a terrorist organisation, notwithstanding their classification by the Global Terrorist Index as the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world (see British Independent Newspaper of 12th July 2016 which indicated that Fulani herdsmen killed one thousand people in 2014).”

He said the recent deployment of soldiers to South East in ‘Operation Python Dance’ was unfortunate.

According to the Ohanaeze leader, deployment of the army was only allowed in circumstances of insurrection, terrorism, and external aggression not in preventing the killing of priests or fighting kidnapping.

He explained that in those circumstances where they could be deployed, leave of the Senate must be sought, stressing that this brazen impunity in dealing with matters which concerned the South East was provocative.

On the issue of restructuring, Nwodo said: “Now, let us look at the statistical evidence that made the argument for restructuring compelling.

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Advertisements
Image

The ‘Terrorist’ Of IPOB Is Liking Mahatma Gandhi To Abubakar Shekau -Fani-Kayode

 

Biafra1

IPOB members in a rally

 

By Femi Fani-Kayode

Given the unfolding events in our country, I believe that this is the time for deep introspection and sober reflection.

I am not a member of IPOB, I have never attended any IPOB meeting and neither am I Igbo. I am however deeply concerned about what is going on in our country, what the Igbos are being subjected to and what I consider to be the greatest assault on the human rights and civil liberties of the Nigerian people since the military left power in 1999.

A violation of the constitutional right of freedom of association and freedom of speech affects not just those that have been targeted but each and every one of us.

An act of injustice against one is an act of injustice against all. What affects the part also affects the whole. If you beat my neighbour’s child it is as good as beating mine and consequently, I have a duty to defend that child.

That is the essence of humanity and chivalry: to speak up for those that are being persecuted, to defend the defenceless, to fight for those that are too weak to fight for themselves and to be the voice of the voiceless.

We must cultivate the discipline and courage to defend the right of others to be different and to think differently from us and to express contrary views.

We may not all agree with the style, language and objectives of IPOB but we surely have a duty before God and the law to defend, uphold and affirm their right to express themselves in any way that they deem fit providing they do not threaten or hurt others whilst doing so.

This is the very essence, foundation and indeed cornerstone of freedom and democracy and if we allow the government to take that away from us and to get away with what they are doing without a stiff challenge we are finished as a people.

It is IPOB today but tomorrow it could be OPC, Ijaw Youth Council, Ohaneze, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Arewa Youths, Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders Forum or indeed anyone else.

I have never heard of a “terrorist” organisation that has not killed or threatened to kill anyone and that has totally rejected the idea of violence and an armed struggle.

I have never heard of a “terrorist” organisation whose only aspiration is to have a referendum to determine whether or not their people should or should not remain in Nigeria.

I have never heard of a “terrorist” organisation whose only objective is the peaceful and lawful exercise of the right of self-determination.

I have never heard of a “terrorist” organisation whose only crime is to take objection to the stripping away of their historical and cultural identity and to speak out against the willful marginalisation and mass murder of their people.

I have never heard of a “terrorist” organisation who believe in passive and non-violent resistance and who consistently emphasise the importance of peaceful opposition.

Saying that IPOB is a terrorist organisation is like saying that Mother Theresa is the Marquis De Sade. It is like saying that an angel from heaven is a demon from hell. It is like saying that Little Red Riding Hood is the hungry and ravenous wolf.

It is like saying that Snowhite is Jack the Ripper. It is like saying that Florence Nightingale is Aleister Crowley. It is like saying that the Apostle Paul is Anton La Vey.
It is like saying that John the Baptist is Atilla the Hun. It is like saying that Desmond Tutu is Ghengis Khan. It is like saying that John Knox is Adolf Hitler.

It is like saying that Martin Luther King is Osama Bin Ladin. It is like saying that Nelson Mandela is Ali Al Baghdadi. It is like saying that Mahatma Gandhi is Abubakar Shekau.

It is like saying that Amnesty International are the Fulani Herdsmen. It is like saying that Medicine Sans Frontier is Boko Haram. It is like saying that Human Rights Watch is ISIS.

It is like saying that the white dove of love and peace is the savage, cruel, blood-crazed and cadavar-eating vulture from the seventh circle of hell.

It is like saying that ice is fire. It is like saying that a believer is an infidel. It is like saying that a peaceful preacher is a violent blasphemer.

Such a designation and categorisation is unhelpful, inappropriate and unfair. It is a damning and specious lie that has been put out by a Federal Government that is paranoid, weak, bereft of ideas and scared of its own shadow.

It is a desperate attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. It is childish nonsense and it does not make sense.

Finally came the most absurd allegation of all: that IPOB is being funded by “treasury looters”, “disgruntled” and “destabilising” elements “in the opposition” and by France.

Some assertions are so insane and asinine that they ought not to be dignified with a response and this is one of them.

I urge IPOB to go to court and have the order that has designated them as a terrorist organisation set aside.

I also urge President Muhammadu Buhari and his Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to remember that when they exercised their right of freedom of speech three years ago and openly defended Boko Haram by saying respectively that “an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north” and that it was “unconstitutional” and “unlawful” to ban them no-one threatened them with arrest because the government of that day had the presence of mind to recognise the fact that the right to express one’s opinion, no matter how reprehensible that opinion may be, is enshrined in the constitution.

The Federal Government should take a cue from that and stop trying to manufacture a crisis where there is none or kill a fly with a sledgehammer.

They should also consider declaring the Fulani militants and herdsmen, who have been described by the International Terror Index as the “fourth most deadly terrorist organisation in the world” and who have killed more innocent Nigerians than any other terrorist organisation in the last two years, as the malevolent, vicious, murderous and bona fide cowards and terrorists that they are.

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading