■ FIRS in suit no FHC/PH/CS/149/2020 had through a motion on notice applied for a Stay of Execution on the earlier judgement of the court presided over by Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam, that declared that it was the constitutionally role of State governments to collect VAT and not FIRS.
AFederal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has dismissed an application by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, seeking to stop the Rivers State Government from collecting Value Added Tax, VAT in the State.
FIRS in suit no FHC/PH/CS/149/2020 had through a motion on notice applied for a Stay of Execution on the earlier judgement of the court presided over by Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam, that declared that it was the constitutionally role of State governments to collect VAT and not FIRS.
Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam, in his ruling on FIRS application for a stay of execution, said the granting the application would negate the principle of equity.
He noted that the Rivers State Government through the State Assembly, has duly enacted Rivers State Value Added Tax No. 4, 2021, which makes it a legitimate right of the state to collect VAT.
According to the judge, every court in the country is constitutionally mandated to obey every legislation enacted by both the National and state Assemblies respectively.
He explained that the Rivers State government law on VAT remains valid until it has been set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Justice Pam stated that since FIRS was ab initio acting in error by collecting VAT in Rivers State, and had huge burden of refund of those monies, there was need not to allow it incur further liability.
The judge declared that the FIRS application is refused and dismissed in the light of the fact that all subsisting laws concerning the collection of VAT stand in favour of the Rivers State Government.
Earlier, Justice Pam had read a letter that FIRS lawyers served the court seeking for stay of any ruling on their application.
But, in the absence of any requisite document that ought to have been attached to the letter, the judge dismissed the letter.
Speaking on the implication of the ruling, the counsel for Rivers State Government, Mark Agwu, said the Rivers State Government was still entitled to collect VAT within the State.
“Today, the court has delivered its ruling dismissing the said application for stay of execution, though without cost. In fact, the court’s reason is that if it should grant stay, it is more or less like over- ruling itself.
“And then, since the court is empowered to recognize all laws enacted by the National Assembly or the State Houses of Assembly, therefore, that law(Rivers) stands, it is a substantive law.
“Therefore, the issue of collection of VAT, as it stands today; Rivers State Government is still entitled to so collect. That is where we are today.”
In his reaction, the Rivers State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Isaac Kamalu said the decision by the court confirmed the position that Rivers State had the authority to collect VAT.
Lead counsel to Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) Reuben Wanogho, said the court delivered its ruling on the basis of how it saw the facts of the case before it.
According to him, they did not agree with the ruling and already resolved to take all necessary steps to challenge it. (Sahara Reporters)
As a result of the identity imbroglio whether Ikwerre in Rivers State is Igbo of which Gov Nyesom Wike vehemently said Ikwerre isn’t IGBO while making a point in his skirmishes with IPOB recently, Africa Press Chamber decided to republish the article below:
In his paper entitled Obowu Identity Recovery and Rectification in Post-invasion Africa presented before scholars, political leaders, various cultural and professional groups, traditional rulers and government leaders Osuagwu delves into the age long Ikwerre-Igbo identity conflict and the Aro roots of this crisis. He also explains why Port Harcourt and Anioma States were not created in 1991 by the General Ibrahim Babangida regime despite all expectations, as well as why the leader of the Port Harcourt State creation Committee, Senator Obi Wali, was murdered. And, for the first time, disruptive effects of the famous Aba Women Riot in the Igbo heart is also brought to light in this paper. Excerpts: Obowu Identity Recovery and Rectification in Post-invasion Africa
Imperialism is Identity-stripper! Egypt and the Arab Spring
The invasion of Africa, in the last more than one thousand years; first by Arabs, then Europeans has meant the gradual reduction of Africans to corpses; living dead. The identity-stripped and personality-warped is a living dead. Unless one understands this, he would not understand what is wrong with Africa; wrong with us. If we now have bad governance in Africa, not based on the Oma n’achi (the knowledgeable leads) principle, it is because ‘ozu’ are ruling Africa. The post-invasion (after slavery and colonialism) chief problem of Africa is the crisis of identity. Some short stories will illustrate this point. Sometime in 2009, I went for a conference in Morocco. They gave participants a cocktail party at which two bands entertained. One band was Arab, the other Amazigh (Berber). It was clear the Arab band was playing non-African, while Berber band played African music. The Arab band had only men (sharia-compliant!), while the Berber band had males and females, like Africans would. The lead female dancer moved across to where I, the darkest man in the audience of mainly white people, sat and asked me to dance. We danced.
Later I got to understand that the Berbers, 52% of the population, whose culture the Arabs suppress in the name of Islam are intensely nationalistic; pan-Africanist. They would rather identify with black Africa and have an identity than identify with Arabs in the name of Islam and lose their identity. Unless we understand this identity crisis in North Africa, we cannot understand why the so called Arab spring has run into a desert storm.
The Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt, for instance, are salafists; like Boko Haram in Nigeria, who are Arab cultural purists; identity-strippers! They ran into trouble because they are trying to strip others, like Coptic Christians, of their identity. The Egyptian Army intervened to avert a civil war, like President Anwar Sadat did in 1982 and got shot for it.
Aro roots of Ikwere identity crises
In 1991, Babangida regime created new states without creating Igweocha or Port-Harcourt as requested by Igbo people of Rivers State, led by Senators Obi Wali and Francis Ellah. A short while later, I accompanied Mazi Philip Nkwocha, a friend of Obi Wali’s, to visit him at his home in Umuigbo. As Senator Wali saw us enter his house, he shouted at his friend “Phil, what happened?” His friend retorted, in surprise, “Obi about what?” “How come you people asked for Igbo States without including Port-Harcourt?” Wali further asked his perplexed friend. At this point I had to speak up to minimize the confusion. I knew something they both didn’t know.
In 1991 Emeka Omeruah, from Imo State (later Abia), was Military Governor of Enugu State, while Anthony Ogugua, from Anambra (later Enugu) was in Imo State. As the agitation for states heated, these two Governors, quietly, set up a committee to harmonious Igbo demand for States. I was a committee member. Four states were identified; Abia, Anioma, Enugu and Port-Harcourt. Outreach groups were constituted to reach out to the Igbo in the different states. But events were moving so rapidly that the group decided to go with only demands that would not elicit identity confusion. Port-Harcourt was dropped, for this reason, for the Igbo there to do the best they could under the circumstance. Hearing this Senator Wali sat still for a long while, then said “Phil, our gamble about identity has failed! You will buy me three traditional Igbo dresses.
I will attend this year’s Ahiajoku Lecture, and seek to deliver that of next year”. He never made it! He was assassinated a short while later, his friends believed, for his continued Port-Harcourt State creation agitation. When I read later that Dr Wali’s son, Ihunwo, was one of the leaders of the Congress for the Liberation of Ikwerre People, COLIP; an ‘Ikwerre-back-to-Igbo-fold’ youth movement, whose mission is to wean Ikwerre off Biafra-war propaganda, I knew where he was coming from.
Identify-confusion is a horrible disease. Barack Obama’s greatest political strength is his very early decision to be African-American and nothing else. He knew where his father came from; and where his mother came from. Those who pretend in America that they are, socially, half-white and half-black, for example, end up as friends of psychiatrists.
“Our gamble about identity has failed!” That statement, by a man who, a short while later, was murdered; for his just state-creation aspiration, still haunts one to this day. And no one can understand the current crisis in Rivers State without understanding the identity crises there. For instance what it means to be Ijaw, but not Izon or ‘core-Ijaw’. And, to be Igbo-speaking, but not Igbo? Or, in fact, all of the above. Not to talk of Ogoni ‘war-of-all-against-all’.
When I observed to Senator Wali that his person epitomized the Ikwerre identity dilemma; his very village is Umuigbo (Igbo-children/Igbo descendants/Igbo people), but he too claimed not to be Igbo, his response pointed to the great depth of our identity crises. He told us that his problem was not Igbo identity, as such, but Aro-Ikwerre domination. He informed us that he used to attend the Council meeting of the Village deity priesthood with his father. Even as a child, who carried his father’s stool, it struck him that of the seven stools of the Council, the small Aro population in Umuigbo controlled four. That information struck me.
Famous writer, Elechi Amadi, had given me a variant of this Aro-Ikwerre problematic tale in 1985. We had served together on an interview panel at the then Rivers State College of Education, Port-Harcourt. He told me he had no problem with Igbo identity, but had problem when the Aro-Ikwerre, during the Nigeria-Biafra War, plotted to kill him. Now, it seems the Ikwerre suffer from a significantly misdirected anger.
They are, in this case; holding their Isuama-Igbo (Ikwerre, traditionally, distinguished between ‘Ikwerre and Isuama’; not ‘Ikwerre and Igbo’) kinsmen, who are ethically more related to them than to the Aro, accountable for Aro domination.The Early British, before oil became a factor of ethnic classification in the Lower Niger, had a cultural sub-group of the Igbo they called Orratta-Ikwerre (that is Owerri-Ikwerre, in current usage), who, both call the heartland Igbo as Isuama . Ekwensu wu amaghi ihe! The Devil is Ignorance! The solution to our identity crises, then, is ‘Know self, know other!’
Now to consider the Aro a purely Igbo people; and hold Igbo responsible for Aro mischief is the height of identity confusion. One day, the Cross-river Ejegham, who own the Ibini-Ukpabi soul of the Aro system, the Efik who control the social organizational Ekpe; the Ogoja Akpa that supplied the fighters and the Ibibio on whose land Arochukwu was founded will turn around and blame the Igbo, from among whom a few medicine men were coopted, for inventing Ibini-Ukpabi and Aro slavery. That would be a most uncharitable treatment of truth, but the world is a clever place.
That the Aro and Arochukwu have been in the process of Igbonisation, as Dike and Ekejiuba called it, because of the sheer weight of Igbo population and Culture in the neighbourhood, does not alter their fundamental archeology and history as a synthetic people who exist beyond Igboland. Aro exist, physically and culturally, at the very Igbo border (that is why they are called Aro-okeigbo; Igbo-boundary-Aro).
An informed internet site gives the following information on the Aro Confederacy: Created: 1690; Capital: Arochukwu; Official languages: Igbo, Ibibio, Ijaw …etc; …; Dissolved: 1902 (http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Aro_Confederacy). Where, then is the pure ‘Igbo Aro’? Aro sins cannot be visited on the Igbo or Ibibio, who were the chief victims; leaving off the coastal Ijaw and Efiks; who were the ultimate slave-traders, in direct contact with European slavers.
Closer home, and happier; Okenze BG Okonkwo, Obowu Development Association President-General, visited the Abuja branch recently. He was surprised to have some attendant introduce himself as Obowu man from Amachara, Umuopara, in Abia State. Luckily my brother, High-chief BC Osuagwu, whose wife is, logically, High-lolo was present to explain. A branch of our Umuabazu-Umunachi people migrated to Amachara. They, of course, retain the name Umuabazu as the branch of our Umuikwe kindred retains the name Umuikwe at Ogbodi, Umuopara.
As Opara Asonye (father of Dr. MI Okpara) said in an interview, in 1977 “Umuhu and Okaiuga are Ohuhu. My grandfather Onyemobi said we came from Obowu. We all came from Obowu because the names of the villages on both sides are the same.” Former Provost of AICE, Owerri, from Umunwanwa Umuopara, Prof SN Nwosu, had also asserted in a television Interview some years ago, that Umuopara people migrated from Obowu, which explains the presence of my people at Amachara and Ogbodi. Also, my mother’s Ehume Obowu people migrated to form Ehume Umuopara. When the last Eho (totem tree of Eho-ume; Ehume) died, in the early 1950s, I saw them come for the funeral, in long lines, with their celebration guns firing in Uwuwuru-egbe . If we recall; when the British colonial soldiers thought they had defeated Obowu, in 1911, our Mbaloha (Ohuhu and Umuopara) kinsmen started shelling them from across the Imo River to their discomfiture, forcing Britain to negotiate with Obowu. Would their ill-informed descendants come to Obowu’s support today, in similar circumstane? Can we now appreciate the cost of loss of identity-consciousness between us and our Ohuhu/Umuopara kinsmen?
It was not of-course a one way flow of solidarity. Support flowed from Obowu to our Mbaloha kinsmen, too. As Isichei’s Igbo Worlds informs “When we were children, Abam people came to Aguebi-Umuagu … two villages appeared at once with their guns, attacked and finished Abam people. Abam people never escaped each time they strayed into Ohuhu because we are Abam in our own way. In those days, before our people went to war they were prepared by medicinemen … Some of the medicine men came from Mgbowo or Obowo and Ugwueke. The most famous came from Obowo … captains were chosen by the medicine men through a test.” Solidarity of Obowu kinsmen kept Ohuhu free from slave raiders. And later solidarity of Ohuhu helped sustain Obowu dignity in encounter with British colonialism. Identity is everything! No identity, no dignified existence!!
Ezumezu-2013 and Partially failed Obowu Gamble about Identity
When we talked about identity gamble it sounds distant from us. But the clan that is ancestral root to Drs MI Okpara and Sam Mbakwe, Obowu, did indeed gamble about their identity under colonial pressure. Today, Ihitte-Obowu is the only Ihitte in the known universe that pretends to be a proper name, instead of adjective. That is why we are here today; on a pathway to recovery and rectification of Obowu identity. If Obowu youth had their way, Ikenga-Obowu was to drop Obowu and answer Ikenga simplicita . Ihitte was to do likewise. The gamble failed on the Ikenga side; but succeeded on the Ihitte side. What happened?
Ikenga and Ihitte within African Social-structural Binarism
Some people think Obowu was some man; Ikenga his son, Ihitte another (adopted) son, e.tc . That is ridiculous thought, fueled by ignorance of Igbo and African social philosophy.
In introducing myself above, I had shown that Ehume is named after Eho, the tree, which symbolizes an ideology of commitment to life-promotion. Was Eho a man, also? Was Nnachi a man who gave birth to four sons that constitute Umunachi? When Avutu talks of ‘Olengalaba-ama-iteghete’, how many know Umuikwe that I just said are part of Umunachi, Ogbodi, and elsewhere, is one of them. And I said that Nnachi is the ‘Spirit-of-knowledge-driven-wise-governance’; spirit of the philosopher-king, symbolized by the Achi tree. Obowu was not a man; and neither Ikenga nor Ihitte. These are social categories; social communities. Obowu (Obi-owumowu) means the ‘Heartland People or Hometead-of-all’ as we understand it. Ikenga and Ihitte are ‘social moieties’, as Adiele Afigbo called it, that constitute a proper Igbo community. Professor Afigbo made this point in relation to his own hometown, Ihuwe (Ihube, as the Whiteman corrupted it), which also has an Ikenga part and an Ihitte part: “According to the unadulterated version of … oral history, the seven villages of Ihuwe fell into two moieties– Ikenga and Ihitte with Ikenga being the senior moiety and Ihitte the junior moiety”
… Afigbo… Uturu, which neighbours Ihube, is also organized into Ikenga (Ikeagha) and Ihitte. Around the same Okigwe neighbourhood, one finds Ikenga-Aku, Ihitte-Aku, Ikenga-Isiokwe, Ihitte-Isiokwe, etc. Nearer home, Obowu neighbours to the West, is Ezi-na-Ihitte; our Ohuhu kinsmen; across the Imo, are also organized as Ikenga-Ohuhu and Ihitte-Ohuhu. Scholars have long established that every properly established Igbo community is organized in binary moieties of Ikenga/Ihitte, Ezi/Ihitte, Ndiugwu/Ndiagbo, Ndiama/Ndiowerre, etc. The complementary-binary structuring of communities is universal in Igboland.This social-structuring motif is the reason Ikenga-Obowu (alias Obowo LGA) is also organized into two moieties as Ekwerenote/Okwunanso. Furthermore, all the towns of Okwunanso, where I belong, are grouped in pairs; Alike/Amuzi, Umunachi/Avutu, Umuoke/Umulogho. Because seven towns cannot fit into pairs, the left-over town, Okwuoha, is paired with Umuihi on the Ihitte side.
Even though there are four villages in my Umunachi, things are not shared that way. They are shared into two; Ogboghoro-na-Abazu and Uta-na-Awom, to maintain the binary motif. My own Umuabazu, in Umunachi, is organized as Eluama/Agboala (note: Ugwu/Agbo that is the standard in Enugu area exists in Obowu). The interesting thing is that Umuabazu people are back-migrators from Mbaloha (Ohuhu and Umuopara), pressed to come back, as great Dibia (medicine-men), who played key role, in the Obowu cultural, leadership and defense system.
For instance during the Isuama battles, 1911, the British were worried because “There was the report received by Frank Hives that prior to the Final onslaught on Obowu, ‘a strong juju was being prepared’ … ‘strong juju’ was regarded as highest national defense strategy”. So, people that played such key roles, including ‘Ofo’ holders, were usually discouraged from migration. We recall that it was mostly to dibia that Whiteman handed warrants to be chief. Examples are Mgbaja Uwandu of Umunachi and Obasi of Amuzi, who both turned down the offer as ridiculous; infradig to them.
That I, descendant of Osuagwu Nwuku, holder of ‘ Mpiokpu Ikwe ’, who led the Umuabazu returnees back and Umuowom Ehume woman, whose family holds ‘ Ofo-Agwukwu’ Obowu, delivers this lecture today is an indication of the efficacy of the policy of discouraging elite migration (something modern Igbo can learn from). It is, indeed, only Obowu cultural that both Premier MI Okpara and Governor SO Mbakwe were sons of Dibia (note: they both went back to school after holding high office). In any case, some Umuikwe-Umuabazu migrated back to Obowu, with demographic imbalance between them and Umuekete that left Uhuekete in Ndundu, where Avutu poultry now is, to join them. To recreate the imperative ‘two moiety’ socio-structural framework, Umuenwezuo and Umuokereke from Umuikwe had to be excised and joined to Umuekete to form Eluama (this recently led to an identity face-off), while only Umunwuku-Umuikwe formed agboala. Both Nwuku and his father, Ikwe, were great medicine-men.
To understand this Igbo socio-structural motif, we recall that the Igbo equate one to zero … “Ihe foduru otu agwula … remainder one equals zero. Ihe-uwa wu abuo-abuo … the world is populated by binary pairs. Ihe-uwa wu oke-na-nne … the world is populated by males and females (cosmologic origin of fierce African opposition to homosexuality). Ihekwuru, Ihe akwubido ya … nothing stands alone. Indeed Complementary-Binarism is a pan-African cosmologic motif. Ancient Egypt, though under one pharaoh, was structured on the ikenga-ihitte binary motif as ‘Upper and Lower Egypt”, with separate patron deities. And so was the Africa-founded Hebrew nation formed along the motif as Isreal and Judea, in spite of being 12 tribes.
So, there is absolutely nothing special about Ikenga-Obowu and Ihitte-Obowu. It is part of a general Igbo social-structuring model. The Erima Societal System of the Igbo, best developed in the Isuama Igbo heartland, is a nature-imitating, bionic, community. Indeed Obowu would not be founded by an Igbo people without Ikenga and Ihitte; complementary moieties, which would make a natural, stable, community. Community standing, firm, on two legs! How can a system stand on one leg for long?
1929 Women’a Riot and Obowu Identity Watershed, 1929.
There are some features of note on this map. The first is the prominence of the term ‘ISU’ written all-over the Map. The Isu people are the autochthonous Igbo people, whether found at Obowu, Ohaozara, Awka, Igbouzo (Ibusa), Awgu, Etche or Ihechiowa, etc.
Okigwe District was created for the core of the autochthonous Isu called Isuama (which according to the binary socio-structural motif is balanced with Isu-Owerre/Isu-Ohia/Isu-Agu). Until a few years ago, I did not know I was an Isu man; because my Obowu people called our Uboma neighbours ‘Isu’ in contrast to ourselves (e.g. Umuoma-Isu). Books told me, I’m Isuama; like Isu-Ochi, Isu-Ikwuato, Isu-Njaba, Isu-Ngele, etc.
Isuama was the largest formal State structure; with judicial (Ogbunorie), military arms and administrative headquarters (Ezumoha, near Anara, in Mbano) of which Obowu was a part before the British came. It turned out that Obowu, and indeed Etiti Confederacy, from documented evidence, was an Isuama affair; sanctuary and fortification against the Trans-Atlantic Slave. A close look at the map will show ‘Nso’ (Nsu). The term Nso means, literally, joiners; those that follwed. The one on the map is Nso-Uboma. The majority people of Ikenga-Obowu today are also ‘nso’ (Okwunanso). Ekwereazu in Mbaise are also part of the ‘Nso’ group.
These had great medicine men (knowledge experts) as well as fighters. Avutu (un-uprootable; unconquerable), Alike (land of braves) in Obowu; Umuokirika (underminers) in Ekwerazu and Agbaghara (avengers) in Nsu-Uboma were the best fighters (Achara Ogboogu ; invasion-blockers, are also border-fighters, but of Ihitte-Obowu, non-Nso, origin).
It is the pan-Isuama character of the new Obowu (original Obowu was Ekwerenote-Ikenga and Ihitte) that explains the British reports, 1911, that; “From Obowu had gone out the threat that it would be punishable by death for ‘any natives to submit to government (British) rule’. Consequently neighboring villages (Isuama clans) had sent their men and cap-guns to assist Obowu in their struggle”. Not surprisingly, Obowu/Etiti; like under threat from slavery and British colonialism, was the last Biafran fortress; sanctuary of freedom, as Ojukwu’s final headquarters. The physical geography of the territory explains this role.
Finally, we note that on this map Obowu is written twice; northeast and southwest of the Aham-Abadaba water system. There is one Obowu where Ikenga-Obowu is located and another where Ihitte-Obowu is. No name like Ihitte anywhere. 1929 is a watershed date in Obowu (particularly Ihitte) identity and crises. Why?
1929 Women’s War, Juo Onwunali and War of Okonkwos
In 1929 Ogu-umunyanyi , the Women’s War, alias ‘Aba Women’s Riot’, took place. The war was furious in Obowu. The leader of Obowu women in the Women’s war was Akulechura. Akulechura was a woman of Amakohia Ihittte-Obowu. Her historical speech at the Commission of Inquiry following the war, informed the Whiteman that Igbo women think for themselves. The speech, popularized by Gailey’s book The Road to Aba, gave the current worldwide Women’s Liberation Movement their battle-cry ‘ Thinking for Ourselves!’ Said she:
“It has been suggested here that men encouraged women to move about. I deny that statement. It is not true.We were not encouraged by men. … Men had been made to pay tax and the rumour that women were going to be taxed was spread around. Women became infuriated because they had already felt the burden of the tax on men. We acted according to our consciences. There is no law made by men that women should not move about. The matter did not concern men”. Akunechura (Akuura Nwanyi-Amakohia, like my mother would call her); Obowu and African heroine, was probably the last real leader out of Obowu, before the subsisting political night fell on the clan.
The warrant chiefs were the problem. They wanted power and were ready to sacrifice anything, including identity, for it. This is not surprising, as already noted, real Obowu elite; like Mgbaja of Umunachi and Obasi of Amuzi rejected the insolent warrant chief appointments. Some people of questionable integrity and public spirit, and, at times, straight charlatans, efulefu, as to be expected under the circumstance, put themselves forward. Ndorondoro-ochichi ; self-interested struggle for political power, which was alien to the land, had arrived in Obowu.
The tradition was “ O ma n’achi; Nze n’achi ”; the knowledgeable-righteous leads’. Ndinze-Onugaotu (parliament-of-righteous-democrats), that met at Onugaotu, Ehume, led and ruled Obowu before the Whiteman came. These men, Nze-Iyinze , were subjected to the Nze-oath; Iyinze, that involved Isaire ; cleansing of the tongue, to wash-away the tendency to lie. Nze-Iyinze, compared to current Nze-akupe (made by warrant-chiefs by striking fan on their backs) would never lie. They represented Obowu at higher assemblies on the principle of “ Aho ndisi-ala, ha ahogharia onye ha” … a leadership elects its own leadership. After the Women’s War, the British flooded Eastern Nigeria with anthropological scholars, to try to better understand the rebellious people they thought they had conquered to rule, with a view to more effective control. Assistant District Officer NAPG Mackenzie studied Obowu. If we look at the map (Fig.3), we see NC (native court) written between the two Obowus, across Lake Abadaba.
That court (Abadaba Court it was called) was for Ikenga and Ihitte-Obowu. Mackenzie could not understand why during his interview Ihitte chiefs wanted a separate court from Abadaba Court. The issue is simpler, though; Abadaba Court had a fixed number of Warrant-chief Judges. If Ihittte got a separate court, more warrant-chiefs would become customary-court judges and access more bribes. That set the stage for Ihittte-Obowu becoming named simply Ihitte, an adjective.
Perverse effect is the unexpected negative effect of an action intended for good. The Women’s War, glorious as it was, exacerbated Obowu identity crisis in an unexpected way. This was the removal of the most educated and sophisticated warrant-chief in Obowu, Onwunali Obasi of Amuzi. De-stoolment and imprisonment of Onwunali created a vacuum for two less sophisticated, but articulate and ambitious, chiefs; ‘Konkwo Anowi of Umulogho, Ikenga-Obowu and ‘Konkwo Olujie of Umuihi, Ihitte-Obowu to struggle to fill. The process polarized support along the sub-clan lines. ‘Konkwo Olujie bargained for the chiefs of the four Ihitte towns that had relocated to Ikenga; Odenkume, Amanze, Umungwa and Achara, to show solidarity and vote for him. They, particularly his friend Ibe Nkume of Umungwa, disappointed him. They had voted, with the rest of the Ikenga group, for ‘Konkwo Anowi who they thought less unscrupulous. Obowu was split!
Onwunali whose Dibia father, Obasi, turned down the warrant-chieftaincy as below his dignity, took over the role from his uncle, Koriocha, who his father had earlier nominated to the Whiteman; as more worth the time waste, after acquiring the Whiteman’s education and political ways. The Whiteman likeed him and relied on him, as he spoke their language. Obowu, who were not Whiteman’s friends, took note. Ugha ka mma na bekee!; lies are best told in English!
That’s why it was possible for Onwunali to tell his Whiteman friends that his hometown, Amuzi, one of the joiner Okwunanso group, was the ‘head town’ of Obowu. ‘Ma Uwa amarala si Ehume wu Opara!’ but the whole world knows that Ehume is the first son of Obowu; holder of ‘ Ofo-nze-onugaotu ’. When the Commission on the Women’s War asked Obowu people of what they knew about the uprising, to one man, they retorted “Juo Onwunali !”; ‘Ask Onwunali!’ Find out from Onwunali!
His Britannic Majesty’s Commission, on the basis of the overwhelming consensus opinion of witnesses before them, concluded, logically, that Onwunali was behind the uprising and recommended long imprisonment. They sent Onwunali to Port-Harcourt prison, near where they had the seaport to their home. People thought that, because of the seriousness of the crime, they sent Onwunali near the seaport with plans to send him to a harsher penitentiary overseas. In any case, the British, shortly, discovered that Obowu had tricked them into jailing their friend. They granted Onwunali free pardon, and restored him as chief.
Meanwhile the struggle to fill the vacuum, as chairman, his absence in the customary court created had torn Obowu apart along sub-clan lines (Ikenga versus Ihitte). Hence the vehemence with which Ihitte demanded a separate court three years later. Obowu women dealt with the warrant-chiefs, for their iniquities and collaboration with invaders, during the women’s uprising.
They caught ‘Konkwo Olujie, for instance, urinated into his mouth and burnt his house. When Biafra came, later, all prominent Obowu warrant-chiefs, except Onwunali Obasi who, after his ‘Juo Onwunali’ experience, became a just chief from Ikenga and Ogwuegbu Ndegbe, who was naturally a fair enough man for his son to learn and became a justice of Nigeria’s Supreme Court, from Ihitte, were de-stooled for their Whiteman-taught bad rulership and impunity.
The Whiteman imported rulership impunity ( omekome) into Obowu, as all Igboland. Nigeria now has enshrined that in the constitution, yet America from whom we copied, tried President Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky Affair while in office.
This opportunistic customary court problematic of Ihitte-Obowu chiefs came up again a generation later. Around Nigeria’s independence time (1958), the Eastern Nigerian Government decided to close unviable customary courts, to save costs. Ihitte-Obowu chiefs saw the hammer approaching them, and panicked. They quickly went into a secret deal with the chiefs of three of the Ihitte towns (Odenkume, Amanze and Umungwa) that had, in ancient times, renounced the harsh jurisdiction of their patron-deity, Ajala, to join their Ekwerenote kinsmen on the Ikenga side (note: none of the four joined the ‘nso’ Okwunanso group). Chiefs Akaliro of Odenkume, Timothy Njoku of Amanze and Chijioke Emelogu of Umungwa would be reserved three of the seven customary court judgeships on the retained Ihitte Court, if they signed-up. They signed-up. They sent their application to Enugu, without informing their people. Unfortunately, for them, Chief Richard Onyeneho of Ikenga-Obowu was Secretary, Eastern House-of-chiefs at the time, to whose desk their petition landed. Instead of filing their application, Onyeneho summoned Ikenga-Obowu and read it to them. These three chiefs were de-stooled and ostracized in Obowu. Whiteman-made warrant-chiefs have played central roles in the Obowu identity crises.
Finally, looking at the map, one realizes that the term Etiti would lack proper meaning without integral Obowu (Ikenga plus Ihitte) and integral Uboma (Uboma with Nsu). The road from Oriagu in Nsu to Ekeikpa in Amanyi-ama, Ihitte, literally, passes through the boundary (etiti-ala) of Obowu and Uboma. We don’t find ‘Uboma’ on the map, though. Uboma was called Onicha (note: Lowa-Onicha), because the paramount ruler was Chief Osuji of Onicha-Uboma. That is why when the Church Missionary Society (CMS) wanted to build a central primary school for Obowu and Uboma, they build it along the boundary, calling it Onowu ( Onicha + Obowu) Central School. The Roman Catholics also built one called St Joseph, Ihitte-Obowu.
Wankwenkwe and ‘Magicians’: Last Straw that Detached Obowu from Ihitte Obowu Ihitte did not, formally, drop Obowu from their name until the colonially-induced notoriety of Obowu became a serious embarrassment to Obowu youth abroad; in the new Nigerian cities they migrated to. Obowu never surrendered to the British, because they did not know what it meant to surrender to one on the wrong side of Truth-justice, Ogu.
So the British adopted a scorch-earth policy against them … “until the rebels suffer a severe loss by way of men”, as Captain Taylor of the invading British force recommended. Except that men did not mean adult males; women, children as well as adult males were shot at sight. Stealing yams carried death-penalty in traditional Obowu. The British earned that death sentence thousands of times over; they burnt farms, barns and shot animals. The British never understood Obowu’s opposition, as wrote the Colonial Commissioner to the Colonial Secretary “It is difficult to understand the attitude of the natives and the persistent opposition which they offer the (British) government”. How would the British understand? What did Britain know of Erima (the organic/ecological community); what did they know of Onugaotu (consensual democracy of Oha ; the political ALL), what did they know of Ohanawueze (Republicanism), what did they know of the Nwaara; Spirit-of-the-age-grade; Covenant of Shared Breast-milk that made age-grades formidable fighting formations, and what did they know of Ndi-mmiri, Ndu-azu (Right to life of all life)? The Obowu were far too socially advanced for British comprehension. Obowu was in desperate way, in a strange circumstance!
In reaction, Obowu youth became bandits; law and order broke down. They took such age-grade names as Nkume-mgbe-ebighiebi (Rock-of-ages; my father’s age-group), Dike-okaaomee (Braves that deliver on their threats), Dike-meelee! (let-the-mighty-dare-and-see!), etc. The warrant chief was treated as enemy agent. Colonial establishments and clans that had accepted the Whiteman’s rule were raided and property looted. They had a name for themselves ‘Ndi-majik’; the magicians. Many took ‘church’ names; Nelson of Umunachi and Aaron of Ehume were examples. Their English name for themselves, ‘Magicians’, shows that they were a new phenomenon with no basis in Obowu culture.
The clash of the Avutu age-grade, Dike-okaomee, with Warrant-chief Nwosu Ikeagwu can illustrate what the new ‘rulers’ were doing and the Obowu youth perception of and reaction to them.
Nwosu Ikeagwu was warrant-chief for Umunachi/Avutu (before they were separated into two ikputu mba), and like other warrant-chiefs corrupt. He bought a bicycle that ate yams. At intervals he would deflate the tire of his bicycle and summon Umunachi and Avutu to contribute yams to feed the bicycle. Then, he would go in, pump the bicycle and bring it out to show ‘well fed’. He kept doing this, until he ran afoul of Dike-okaomee age-grade and they, calmly, organized and de-stooled him.
The then was that British colonialists sequestered contributory forced-labour from the communities. This was thoroughly hated, fiercely independent Obowu. The warrant-chiefs were the enforcers. In Obowu the age-grade was a traditional labour formation, so the British took advantage. When it came to the turn of Dike-okaomee, Nwosu took money from, and exempted, some of them. Others, who did’t pay, were to go do forced labour. Now, the age-grade is a frame of absolute equality, based on the nwaara; Shared-breast-milk covenant (Available mothers of same age babies would brest-feed all hungry babies, including orphans. This created a sense of common motherhood among age-mates called nwaara ). Partiality within the age-grade would be absolute sin. In theory an age-grade is a commonwealth; so money taken from any member is taken from all. On the appointed day, every member of the age-grade stayed away from work.
Nwosu sent his ‘official list’ of defaulters, and the British summoned them to court, for trial. On the judgment day, all members of the age-grade appeared in court as co-accused. A security issue! In any case, they explained that none of them went to work because Nwosu took money from all of them not to go work. Chief Nwosu became the accused; judged and de-stooled.
Now other chiefs were no better, nor the youth less alienated. Colonial establishments and clans that had accepted the Whiteman’s rule were raided and property looted. This was consistent with the warning Obowu issued to Isuama in 1911. Communities that prospered more under the Whiteman were proportionately more subject to Obowu youth raids and lootings; particularly markets.
Within this climate of anarchy, the Methodist Church established a Bookshop at Umuahia, and news of the novel establishment went abroad. People were visiting the Bookshop on excursion, as tourist site; a palace where packed knowledge was sold. One day an Ihitte-Obowu young man, Wankwenkwe of Nkwumeato, went into the Bookshop, saw the books and decided to pack some away. It was broad daylight looting. The Zik Group of Newspapers carried nation-wide story of an Obowu young man who raided a new Bookshop to steal books he could not read or know what to do with. This story embarrassed Obowu youth, who were jeered at, in the colonial townships. They decided to act. Obowu youth decided that Ikenga-Obowu should excise Obowu from the name and answer Ikenga; Ihitte was to do same and answer Ihitte. In desperation, Obowu youth had decided to abolish their proper names and answer adjectives. Richard Onyeneho, of Umuariam, led the youth to inform Ikenga-Obowu of the new development in clan nomenclature, while David Epeagba led the youth to inform Ihitte-Obowu. The warrant-chiefs having created the framework for an easy-sale in Ihitte, the idea was adopted. It failed in Ikenga because of the intervention of a patriot Obowu people had better come to know better; Biringa Odiotu of umunachi Obowu.
*Odiotu Querry and Obowu Identity.” When Richard Onyeneho presented the case of the youth to their Ikenga-Obowu kinsmen, one of the delegates drew his machete and charged at him, shouting “O wu Ikenga-Eghu k’owu Ikenga-Nkita? … is it Ikenga of goats or of dogs?” The serious question ‘O wu Ihitte-Eghu k’owu Ihitte-Nkita?’ was, apparently, not dealt positively with on the Ihitte-Obowu side, because there was no Biringa Odiotu present, and armed. Ikenga is a function; a subject that must be attached to an object to make sense. Among goats, the mother-goat that exercises leadership is the Ikenga. Among Igbo the side of the community that exercises ritual leadership, holders of the Ofor, is the Ikenga. Ofo Obowu, Ofo-nze-onugaotu , is at Ehume in Ikenga-Obowu, where Obowu ritual activities, including for ihitte end.
That is why it is said of Ajala, the Ihitte-Obowu deity “Ajala ga-elu, ga-Ala ya alakwuru Onugaotu.” Ajala may travel where she may, but must return to Onugaotu (This is in reference to the Mbomuzo (Wiyi high-way cleaning/mending) festival which moves through all the communities, including Ihitte, in turn, but must finally end at Onugaotu, Ehume. Traditionally, some specified parts of the sacrificial animals of the festival will be sent forth from each town for the final festival).
So, Ikenga and Ihitte, kind of adjectives are meaningless without attachment to a proper name they qualify. Biringa would not accept a nonsensical name for a name. Odiotu’s thesis : A name that is not a proper name is not a name at all! That thesis saved the name Obowu from colonial destruction.
But Odiotu’s querry had serious practical implication, too. If Ikenga-Obowu asummed ‘Ikenga’ as name, how would they distinguish themselves from Ikenga-Ogidi or Ikenga-Ihube? How does Ihitte-Obowu, which assumed ‘Ihitte’ as name, today, distinguish themselves from their neighbours that have Ihitte as part of their names; Ihitte-Nsu and Ihitte-Aforukwu?
Odiotu’s querry is relevant for all Obowu people and all others, particularly Africans, with identity crises in the modern world. Whoever answers it correctly will recover and rectify their identity. Identity crisis, as we see from Senator Wali, has a cost.
Today, Ohuhu people recall they came from Obowu, but not specify from Ihitte or Ikenga sides; consistent with the practice when they left, as reflected on map above. As Ihitte remains outside Obowu name umbrella, they forfeit Ohuhu kinship, by default, even when many communities there have Ajala suggesting Ihitte origin. Identity confusion is a costly affair. We must recover and rectify our Obowu identity, so that, for example, our children can, into the far future, enjoy the kind of mutual survival solidarity between us and our Ohuhu/Umuopara kinsmen across the Imo River.
For those who know, such mutual support is still going on. Like, Onyema Ugochukwu at NDDC building the connecting Road between Obowu and Ohuhu or me advise my Golden Guinea brewmaster brother, Chimdindu, to avail MI Okpara’s son, Uzodinma, of business opportunities in their company.
Let Obowu today reflect; on Akulechura’s querry and Biringa’s query! Obowu must Honour Biringa Odiotu and Honour Akulechura, forever. For it is the spirit of heros and heroines that guide a people to, eternally, remain themselves; maintain their identity and retain their personality. A people who are sure of who they are, are sure of a self-controlled future in an ever-mutating world.
Conclusion The post-colonial societal crisis in Africa is, significantly, a crisis-of-identity. Obowu as Igboland and all Africa is afflicted with this crisis. Obowu, a standard Igbo community, exists in two moieties; Ikenga and Ihitte. British colonial pressures led to Obowu socio-economic and identity crises. Rejecting British colonial authority, the youth turned Obowu into a realm of significant lawlessness. Obowu degenerated from marshal of the Isuama, core Igboland, people before British invasion to notoriety. In embarrassment Ihitte-Obowu excised Obowu from her name, becoming the only community in Igboland to answer Ihitte as proper name. With independence from Britain struggle, Obowu recovered her old socio-political rhythm; producing from her roots some of the best leaders; heroes and heroines Eastern Nigeria has had in modern times.
Obowu, and her Etiti confederates, in recovery, have also earned the admiration of others such that former Biafran leader, General Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu could say, in 2002, “They tell me the best things in Igboland come from Etiti; I, also, am from Etiti”. This paper is part of a movement for Obowu identity recovery and rectification, which hopes to set the pace for other peoples of Igboland and Africa. We should expand the discourse in an organic fashion. We should talk next with our Uboma (including Nsu) confederates, then our Ohuhu and Umuopara (Mbaloha) kinsmen, followed by Ezumoha-Isuama, all-Igbo and, then, all Africa (including African Diaspora). The self-unconscious is living-dead, Ozu . Let us self-know to livealive . NDU M IKENGA NDU M IHITTE.
Prof. Chidi Osuagwu of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, at this year’s Ezumezu Lecture, a colloquium organized by the Obowu Development Association (Federated), on the 16th of August, in Obowo, discuses identity crisis with its debilitating effects in Africa and Nigeria.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the state will continue to be home to people of the Igbo Ethnic Nationality.
Governor Wike gave the assurance during a meeting with South-East Governors, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo and the Igbo community in the state at Government House, Port Harcourt on Sunday.
The governor said in the wake of the Oyigbo crisis, people peddled the rumour that he is chasing Igbos out of Rivers State which is not true because the state has an enduring relationship with the Igbos.
“Tell your people, Rivers people will continue to live together with Igbos. Don’t allow your sons to tell you lies. Igbos are innovative and hardworking. There can’t be Nigeria without Igbos. Nobody should take them for granted. But that doesn’t mean you must allow criminals to spoil your name.
“If I hate Igbos, I won’t appoint your son into my state cabinet two times. But you have to obey rules. Don’t allow criminals to dictate to you”.
The Chairman of the South East Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, has warned Igbos to be weary of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) because the outlawed group is trying to instigate another civil war.
He said they were in Rivers State to ascertain the veracity of the news circulating in the social media over alleged killing of Igbo people living in the State. According to him, their findings has proved otherwise.
Umahi after listening to Governor Wike’s narration of the atrocious activities of IPOB in Oyigbo that culminated in the imposition of curfew in the entire Local Government, warned Igbos to be wary of IPOB as the group was bent on instigating another civil war that will result in the murder of Igbo people.
The governor said he finds it nauseating that IPOB could go to Benue and Rivers State to foist its flag and claim the territories belong to the Igbo people. According to him, Igbo leadership are opposed to this stance by IPOB.
Umahi, who revealed that he has huge investment in Rivers State, urged Igbos living in the State to respect the Government and people of Rivers State in order for them to continue to live and do business in the State peaceful. According to him, Ndi-Igbos cannot support any form of criminality.
Also speaking, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo said the meeting has reinforced the existing affinity between Igbos and the people of Niger Delta.
He described Governor Wike as a champion of restructuring of Nigeria and a man who loves justice.
He explained that the leadership of Igbos cannot remain aloof while some misguided few who did not experience the brutal reality of the last civil war continue to fan the ember of disunity.
Nwodo, said he was elated to hear from Igbo leaders that under the leadership of Governor Wike Igbo businesses have continued to thrive.
Former Rivers State governor, Dr Peter Odili, lauded the Igbo leaders for the peace initiative and decision to visit Governor Wike.
He stated that every governor desires peace to govern and Governor Wike is no exception. He stressed that the people of the State endorse every measure taken by Governor Wike to ensure lasting peace in the State.
Present at the meeting were the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr Nkem Okeke, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu. Other dignitaries are: Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; former Governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia; the chairman of Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council and Amanayanabo of Opobo, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, among others.
KELVIN EBIRI Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor. November 08, 2020.
Shekarau, had in a statement on Thursday condemned the alleged demolition of the mosque and wondered why the Rivers state government would take such actions in a secular country like Nigeria.
The Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike has carpeted the former governor of Kano state, Ibrahim Shekarau over his comments on the alleged demolition of the Rainbow Town mosque in Trans-Amadi area of Port Harcourt, the state capital.
In the statement personally signed by him, the former Kano State governor was much more perturbed by the declaration of Rivers State as a complete Christian state by Wike.
In his reaction, Wike noted that as a governor of Kano State, Shekarau introduced Sharia law and officially made the state a Muslim State. This action, according to Wike, was premised on the fact that over 95 per cent of Kano people are Muslims, adding that the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo did not stop him neither did Nigerians question his decision.
Speaking through his Aide on electronics media, Simeone Nwakaudu in an article, Governor Wike recalled, “In 2008, Kano State Government under the leadership of Ibrahim Shekarau demolished Christ the King Catholic Church.
“The Kano State Urban Planning Development Agency (KANUPDA) demolished the Church because the Church lacked Certificate of Occupancy. Shekarau’s Administration said the structure of the church at Na’ibawa in Kumbotso local government was removed, after serving them a notice, advising them to prove its legitimacy or removed the church.
“In November 2003, Shekarau sworn-in Hisbah, Zakkat, Sharia Commission Members to consolidate his declaration that Kano is a Muslim State. The establishments’ members were sworn-in at Sani Abacha Stadium after a bill was passed into law by the State House of Assembly for the creation of the establishments. These were agencies of Kano State that promoted one religion to the detriment of others,” the article read in part.
He went further to recall that Shekarau compelled all Christian girls in his State to wear Hijab. “Those who refused to wear hijab under the leadership of Shekarau were asked to withdraw and leave Kano State. He burnt books believed not to promote the Islamic religion”.
Wike stressed that his declaration that Rivers is a Christian State is a statement of fact, adding that well over 98 per cent of the indigenous population are Christians. He promised to continue to promote religious freedom and tolerance in the state.
Subscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us. Call us for press release, enquiries. Email: RepublicanNewsNetwork1@gmail.com, phone: +32497220468, +23481819650279, +32466100102.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has blasted his Kano State counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje, for threatening to take him to court over the reported demolition of Rainbow Town Central Mosque in Trans-Amadi area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
Wike received serious backlash during the week over reported claims he demolished a mosque. He has since denied the claim.
Ganduje in a statement released today vowed to drag Governor Wike to court over the alleged demolition of the mosque.
Reacting to Ganduje’s threat, Governor Wike in a statement released by his media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, said the Kano state governor should be reminded that he, Wike, is not a dollar bill Ganduje can pocket” sheepishly and recklessly”.
Ganduje was involved in a bribery scandal last year after footage of him purportedly receiving wads of dollar bills from contractors in his state surfaced online.
Read Governor Wike’s statement below.
It beats my imagination that Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is still in the habit of making irresponsible comments about Rivers State. Up till now, Ganduje is yet to realise that Governor Wike is not dollars that he can pocket recklessly and sheepishly.
I saw a statement released by Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. He said that he will sue Governor Wike over the falsehood that a Mosque was demolished in Port Harcourt. For the umpteenth time, no Mosque was demolished by Governor Wike. No Mosque was demolished by the Rivers State Government.
The story was a fabrication by one Alhaji Tobacco. The fabrication was orchestrated by Daily Trust and The Nation Newspapers for obvious mischievous political reasons. These baseless press releases confirm the ugly plot.
Several journalists and civil society groups have visited the disputed land and no traces of any Mosque were found at the location. Governor Wike personally led journalists to the disputed land and the world saw that no Mosque existed there.
On Saturday, the Rivers State Islamic Leader/Vice President General, Rivers State Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Nasir Uhor stated that there was no physical structure of a Mosque at the disputed land at Rainbow Town in Port Harcourt. He said the insinuation that any structure was at that location was not true. He also admitted that a Rivers State High Court confirmed that the disputed land belongs to the Rivers State Government.
Suit Number PHC/986/2012 between Registered Trustees of Trans-Amadi Mosque, Port Harcourt (Claimant) and the Commissioner, Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning, Rivers State, the Governor of Rivers State and the Attorney General of Rivers State (Defendants) was resolved by Justice G.O. Omereji on Tuesday, 27th November 2018. This matter pre-dated Governor Wike.
Justice Omereji of the Rivers State High Court held that: “The defendants have in Exhibits J, J1 and J2 inclusive of Exhibit K, which is the Certificate of Title, established that the land, the subject matter of this suit, was acquired in 1959 by the Government.
“My humble opinion is that the claimants have not established that they have a better title to the land, the subject matter of this suit and they have not established that at the material time they were in possession and that the defendants do not have a better title to the land”. The Court further ruled that the claimants had no approval to build on the disputed land.
The entire world is aware of the above facts. Nobody has circulated any photographs or videos of the said Mosque that Ganduje and other APC Chieftains are harping on. They merely want to use a non-existent Mosque story to score ugly political points.
Pray, what redress would Ganduje be seeking in court when he sues Governor Wike? Would Ganduje tell the court to relegate the Rivers State Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning and enthrone its Kano State Counterpart? Would Ganduje be asking the Court to hand over jurisdiction to Kano State High Court?
Under the Land Use Act, the governor is responsible for allocation of land in all urban areas to individuals’ resident in the state or to organizations for residential, agricultural, commercial and other purposes. Perhaps, Ganduje would be telling the Court to deny the Rivers State Governor of such powers, while he retains same powers under the Land Use Act in Kano State.
The Press Statement attributed to Ganduje is a confirmation that this country is at its lowest point. This is the worst form of administrative ignorance.
As a Governor with a bruised ego, Ganduje thinks that this religious falsehood would afford him a backdoor entry into the national good book. Sadly, he has exposed himself as a terribly ignorant leader who basks in baseless claims.
The disputed land is already before the court, as the Registered Trustees of Trans-Amadi Mosque, Port Harcourt (Claimant) sued the Rivers State Government in 2012. Having lost at the Court of First instance, these trustees have appealed the judgment.
GANDOLLARS MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN
On December 8, 2016, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, as Chairman of the Rivers State APC Election Rerun Campaign Committee, threatened violence on Rivers people at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium.
Alongside several APC Governors, Ganduje called on APC thugs to unleash mayhem on Rivers electorate for the purpose of rigging the rerun elections. He claimed that the aim was to ensure that the APC took control of the House of Assembly for the purpose of impeaching Governor Wike.
The APC Federal Government deployed 57,000 security personnel, billions of naira, millions of dollars, Jet Fighters and Gunboats for the rerun elections. Rivers people stood with Governor Wike and the APC was roundly defeated. Rivers people rejected the plot to pocket Governor Wike by the APC rigging machine.
GOVERNOR WIKE IS NOT DOLLARS
Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, a man who enjoys bribery and falsehood, must realise that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is not dollars that he pockets with ridiculous abandon. Governor Wike is a lover of the rule of law, due process, religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence. He cannot be intimidated by the illiterate threat of a lawsuit from a man of low moral standing.
Subscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us. Call us for press release, enquiries. Email: RepublicanNewsNetwork1@gmail.com, phone: +32497220468, +23481819650279, +32466100102.
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that people of the state overwhelmingly voted for him during the 2019 governorship election because of his outstanding performance and project delivery.
In a response to an allegation made by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi during his appearance on Channels Television Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, Governor Wike said that the former Rivers State Governor failed in his quest to truncate his second term because Rivers people were happy with his work.
He said he wouldn’t have responded to the falsehood being peddled by the Minister of Transportation, but he oes the public the duty to set the record straight.
He said: “It is unfortunate. I extended the Olive Branch and I meant every word of it. It was on that basis that the State Attorney General filed a nolle prosequi to withdraw the charge against Flag Amachree.
“If I did not do well in my first term, PDP wouldn’t have given me the party’s flag to fly. In 2015, the same man vowed that over his dead body would I emerge victorious.
“I have done well for my people. It is for the people of Rivers State to decide. It is not the in the place of Amaechi to decide.
“We have over 6million people and over 3million registered voters. Therefore, Amaechi cannot say I cannot go for a second term. He has only one vote.
“In the past, he said an Ikwerre man cannot succeed another Ikwerre man. Today, he is saying his grouse is that I cannot go for a second term. At every step, he has one story or the other”.
Governor Wike said contrary to the story that Amaechi peddled whilst he was on Channels Television, kidnapping raged during his tenure. He said it was so bad that the State Chairman of Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission under Amaechi was kidnapped.
The Governor noted that despite the National High-Rate of insecurity, Rivers State is relatively peaceful, with very high ratings.
“Our internally Generated Revenue has improved due to the peace and security of the state”.
Governor Wike said that the political misfortune that befell the APC during the last general elections in Rivers State was principally due to the impunity of Amaechi .
He said: “It is because of this impunity that his party was not on the ballot. Because of this impunity he has denied so many people their political future “.
He said that the plots by Amaechi to manipulate the Tribunal will fail like other previous plots. The Governor noted that Amaechi’s boast that he appointed the members of the tribunal and they would work for him remains one of his empty boasts.
Governor Wike said that Amaechi’s plot to use the police to illegally certify fake results as he did for Rivers East Senatorial District during the rerun elections tribunal would fail.
“The game he played in Rivers East of using the police to certify fake results will not work. During the rerun Police certified fake results. That game will not work again. We have gone beyond that. We are waiting for the police to certify fake results for Amaechi “.
He stated that there was no way that the defeated AAC Governorship Candidate, Engr Awara would have been coasting to victory when he neither campaigned or printed posters.
He said: “Awara ran for the PDP councillorship in 2018 and lost. For this election, he did not Campaign and never printed posters.
“Look at that kind of impunity. He brought a man that the people of Rivers State never knew three days to the election.
“The AAC had no House of Assembly Candidates, they had no House of Representatives candidates and no senate candidates for the elections. There is no way that such a party would have been coasting to victory “.
He added that the AAC Governorship Candidate could not have been coasting to victory and still approach the Federal High Court for the cancellation of the Governorship Election Results.
On the allegation that the INEC Chairman , Professor Mahmood Yakubu influenced the suspension of the Collation process because he worked under him at the Federal Ministry of Education, the Rivers State Governor said that the position of Amaechi was baseless. He said that at the Ministry of Education, he superintended basic Education, while the INEC Chairman served as TETFUND Executive Secretary under the Minister of Education. He said that the INEC Chairman was appointed by the APC Federal Government and since his appointment, there has been no links
Governor Wike said despite the evil machinations of the Minister of Transportation, he was unable to deliver 25 percent of votes for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019
“In 2015, as a sitting Governor, he failed to deliver 25percent of votes for President Buhari. He claimed that Jonathan helped us. In 2019, with all the security agencies, he still couldn’t deliver 25percent for President Buhari.
“He sang war songs, but couldn’t deliver 25 percent of votes for the President “, he said.
On the incident at Obio/Akpor LGA Secretariat, Governor Wike said that the GOC of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarhem sent soldiers to invade the Collation Centre and cart away results .
“I went there to stop the Army from carting away results from my Local Government Area “, he said.
Governor Wike said that the illegal activities of the Nigerian Army all through the Governorship Election were well documented by the media and the International community.
He said that the videos of the Army invading the Rivers State Governorship Election Collation Centre has since gone viral.
He said that even the Rivers State Commander of F-SARs has since written him a congratulatory letter on his well deserved victory.
He said that his administration continues to fund all security agencies in the state, including providing needed logistics. He said that the Israelis that Amaechi introduced were only used to siphon State resources .
He wondered why Amaechi finds Pleasure in de-marketing Rivers State, when the State made him Speaker, Governor and Minister of the Federal Republic.
Governor Wike said after four years as a Minister, Amaechi cannot boast of attracting a single project to Rivers State. He noted that as Minister of State for Education, he attracted several projects to the state.
He denied attempting to bribe the GOC, saying that he has never met him at any point. He said by Amaechi’s logic, it means that the Minister bribed the GOC 6 Division to subvert the Electoral Process. (Daily Post)
Subscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us. Call us for press release, enquiries. Email: RepublicanNewsNetwork1@gmail.com, phone: +2348189650279, +32497220468, +32466100102.
A former Governor of Rivers State and current Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that himself and other political leaders must asked God and the people of the state for forgiveness for things left undone and for the pain and anguish the people have “brazenly suffered.”
According to the Minister, the state, known as the Treasure Based of the Nation, is now almost always in the news for the wrong reasons.
He stated this on Sunday in his Easter message to Nigerians and Rivers people.
He urged Rivers people and other Nigerians to have hope and a renewed commitment to wait till the resurrection morning.
Amaechi said, “No doubt, our state has endured a tortuous political season, which saw political parties jostle and cajole Rivers people to make choices.
“Our state, which was known and respected as the Treasure Base of the Nation, is now almost always in the news for the wrong reasons. This is not the Rivers State of our dreams.
“We must find our way back to the path of a glorious future. I am one of you, therefore, as your father, son and brother, I beseech you to be of good courage and join hands to build and restore the glory of our state.
“For us as Rivers people, this is a moment for sober reflection and forgiveness.
“I will not hesitate to implore that we all ask God for forgiveness and mercy for all the things done or left undone and from the citizens for the pain and anguish that they have brazenly suffered, which most times are unreported.
“The persistence of gang violence, kidnappings and killings in parts of the state has dealt a telling blow on the psyche of the people. People no longer feel safe or sleep with their two eyes closed.” (Daily Post)
Subscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us. Call us for press release, enquiries. Email: RepublicanNewsNetwork1@gmail.com, phone: +32497220468, +2348189650279, +32466100102.
It has been seen as a very joyful thing to support that voting for Gov. Nyesom Wike brings life as a woman gives birth to a baby boy after voting for him in Rivers state.
The mood at the polling unit is like a mood in a church during “praise and worship” session when people are caught up in the mood for the holy spirit.
Some of the people in the crowd immediately called the baby, Oga Wike, after the name of the incumbent governor of Rivers State.
It is certain that Nyesom Wike would love to know this woman and her baby boy once the news of his deliverance and his mother’s vote reaches him.
The people in the crowd were almost running away with the baby in joyous mood to celebrate the birth until someone reminded them that the mother is yet to be taken care of but they are running away with the baby.
Congratulations to the mother and her family and welcome to the baby boy.
Subscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us, call us for press release, enquiries.
PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar at Rivers state party rally
By Ike A. Offor
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had another great crowd in his party presidential campaign rally in the stadium in Rivers state. Like his rally in Kano state yesterday, he had a jam-packed stadium and the crowd was entertained by the music superstar, Davido.
His campaign yesterday in Kano state, in which Kwankwasiya was the blaring slogan screamed by everyone in the jam-packed stadium, sent shock waves to the ruling party. The crowd prompted the national chairman of the ruling party, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to allege that the crowd was paid for by Alhaji Kwakwaso.
Oshiomhole reportedly alleged that Kwakwaso bought 700,000 persons who were imported into Nigeria to Kano from Cameroon. An allegation many have seen as a moaning of a dying man.
But many analysts said that if Oshiomhole made such statement, it means that the party is indeed worried by the size of the crowd in Kano state and wanted a way to wish it away by smearing it with such unfounded allegation.
Meanwhile, the outing by the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari was nothing but very shambolic one in Ogun state today. For the very first time since his presidency, Buhari was booed, pelted with water bottles and stones.
Angry looking President Buhari after being booed and stoned at APC rally in Ogun
Buhari was not allowed to finish his part of the ceremony of raising the hand of the gubernatorial candidate of Ogun before he was pelted with water bottles, stones and other items the irate youths found worthy of throwing at him and other Chieftains of APC.
Davido performing at PDP rally in Rivers state
PDP rally in Rivers state
PDP rally in Rivers state
Oshiomhole, Amosun and others were booed, stoned and water bottles were thrown at them. At some point, the DSS agents had to stand between irate youths who were armed with pellets and the president and other APC chieftains.
President Buhari was later taken away by the DSS officers to avoid him sustaining any injury.
PDP presidential candidate, Atiku was rather having some good time in Rivers state where the music star Davido gave a very exciting performance to the crowd.
Subscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us. Call us for press releases.