Adeseye Ogunlewe, a former Minister of Works, has said the southeast cannot produce a president in 2023.
Ogunlewe said the inability of the people of the southeast to unite under a common leadership would work against their presidential ambition.
He disclosed this while featuring on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ programme on Wednesday.
The former minister also pointed out that the lack of cohesion among the southeast people would work against them.
He said: “Another set of people that are appropriate, they are the people from the Southeast but they have the problem of leadership.
“They are so endowed that they are spread all over Nigeria and they can gather a lot of votes, but they are too divided. An Imo person, an Enugu person, an Ebonyi man will not listen to themselves.
“They have the money. If they sit down and aggregate what they can offer, they have more money than almost everybody in Nigeria.
“But have you seen one person from the south-east that said ‘I am interested in the presidency, I will start to campaign all over Nigeria immediately, raise money for me?’ and influence the structure of the party?” (BarristerNg)
Among those who became victims of ruthless attacks of the security operatives were the volunteers of the Eastern Security Network
No fewer than 115 people have been killed and 500 arrested in the South-East region of the country by Nigerian security agents in four months.
Also, both the military and police have jointly tortured innocent civilians and subjected them to cruel treatment in their numerous raids.
Among those who became victims of ruthless attacks of the security operatives were the volunteers of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), a militia arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
These revelations were made by Amnesty International in a Press Release obtainable to SaharaReporters on Wednesday.
“Amnesty International documented at least 115 persons killed by security forces between January and June 2021. Many relatives of the victims told Amnesty International that they were not part of the militants that were attacking security agents.
“Many of the victims were deposited at government hospitals in Imo and Abia states. According to several hospital sources all the victims deposited by the police had bullet injuries.
“Nigerian security forces have committed a catalogue of human rights violations and crimes under international law in their response to spiralling violence in southeast Nigeria, carrying out a repressive campaign since January which has included sweeping mass arrests, excessive and unlawful force, and torture and other ill-treatment,” said Amnesty International in the statement.
Most of the alleged atrocities unleashed by the nation’s main security agents were carried out in Imo, Anambra and Abia states.
“The evidence gathered by Amnesty International paints a damning picture of ruthless excessive force by Nigerian security forces in Imo, Anambra and Abia states,” said Osai Ojigho, Country Director at Amnesty International.
According to the statement, the security agents haunted South-East residents who they believed were part of the ESN that have killed their men and attacked government infrastructural facilities.
The non-governmental human rights organisation also stated that media firms and eyewitnesses documented some of these inhumane activities of the army and police against armless civilians.
“Nigeria’s government has responded with a heavy hand to killings and violence widely attributed to the armed group calling itself Eastern Security Network (ESN), the armed wing of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), a pro-Biafra movement.
“According to government officials, the ESN killed dozens of security operatives and attacked at least ten public buildings, including prisons, police stations, and other public buildings from January to June. In response, security forces comprising military, police, and Department of State Services (DSS) have killed dozens of gunmen, as well as civilians where attacks have been committed.
“Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that the security forces have engaged in excessive use of force, physical abuse, secret detentions, extortion, burning of houses, theft, and extra-judicial executions of suspects.
“Human rights groups estimated that the death toll of violence between January and June 2021 in Anambra, Imo, Abia, and Ebonyi states might run into the hundreds. The police said ESN fighters killed 21 of its personnel in Imo state alone.
“Amnesty International carried out an extensive investigation to document the human rights violations and crimes under international law in Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi and Abia states from January 2021.
“The organisation documented 52 incidents of unlawful killings and 62 cases of arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment and torture. Media reports, video and audio recordings reviewed show that the Nigerian security forces also employed excessive force and other unlawful means to address the rising violence,” the statement continued.
While establishing some of the horrible occurrences, the Amnesty International buttressed its points with the incident of a German-based Uguchi Unachukwu killed by soldiers at Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri at the last day of May. It also spoke about another man, Matthew Opara shot dead by soldiers near Owerri on May 25.
“Uguchi Unachukwu, a German-based businessman was killed by soldiers on 31 May at a checkpoint near Owerri airport on his way out of the country. The police are yet to investigate the crime.
“Mathew Opara, a 45-year-old businessman, was shot by soldiers on 25 May 2021 in Orji, near Owerri. Witnesses told Amnesty International that he was returning from work when he ran into a team of soldiers in an armoured vehicle and Hilux vans shooting at residents.
“He was shot in the chest and could not receive immediate medical help because of the violence. His family said the military acknowledged the killing but did not launch an investigation or offer any apology,” Amnesty International added.
President General Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide Ambassador George Obiozo has commended the Nigerian Army for its role in restoring peace to South East Region.
He made the commendation in Enugu when he hosted the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Maj Gen Taoreed Lagbaja on a courtesy visit on Wednesday.
Ambassador Obiozo expressed his delight for the visit saying “without peace nations cannot progress and without the Armed Forces, we will have more problems. They are the pillars of Nigeria’s unity.”
He described the Nigerian Army among “the best in Africa”. He calls on troops to continue to do their best to ensure peace and security nationwide.
Responding, the General Officer Commanding described Ohanaeze Ndigbo as a key stakeholder in managing the affairs within the Divisions core Area of Responsibility.
He said the “Nigerian Army is an instrument of the state to safeguard peace, security and to ensure economic activities” hence the need to partner all stakeholders to achieve its mandate.
General Lagbaja commended the leadership of the group for their recent pronouncement against the threat of using force in enforcing secessionists’ planned weekly sit at home order.
He assured the entire residents of the region of security and warns troublemakers against any breach of security.
He extended the hand of cooperation of the Division to the group in areas of security in the region.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo is a socio-cultural organisation designed to provide a platform where Ndigbo, within and outside Nigeria come together for the purpose of nurturing better understanding and harmonious relations amongst themselves and with other ethnic groups in Nigeria and beyond.
Ekpa, who is also former host of Radio Biafra, said Kyari’s alleged roles and injustice in suppressing the Igbo paved the way for the expose of the fraud he ventured into.
Finland-based ardent member of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Simon Ekpa has said the alleged hatred of embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, for the South-East region and the Biafran agitations ended his career.
Ekpa, who is also former host of Radio Biafra, said Kyari’s alleged roles and injustice in suppressing the Igbo paved the way for the expose of the fraud he ventured into.
He stated these on his Twitter page while reacting to the indictment of the top police officer in $1.1million fraud involving serial fraudster, Abbas Ramon, also known as Hushpuppi, as revealed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.
This led to the suspension of Kyari on Sunday by the Police Service Commission for an investigation.
Ekpa wrote, “I was very sure Abba Kyari’s life and career will end in Biafraland, but I didn’t see it coming this way. All the same without our outcry, the criminal government will shield him. Today, his injustice and hate against a Biafra in the name of Vincent has ended his career.”
Hushpuppi had told FBI about a deal with Kyari that led to the arrest of another suspected fraudster, Kelly Chibuzo Vincent.
The US wants Kyari extradited to answer questions on the allegations.
However, Kyari has denied the allegation, saying he only introduced Hushpuppi to a tailor. (Sahara Reporters)
I am shocked that the Igbos are not speaking up at the apparent siege laid on their land by uniformed person of different categories. They range from Army, Navy, Police, Civil Defence, Customs, FRSC, etc. My journey had taken me by road from Isele-Mkpitime, where I had gone to pay tribute to a Nigerian icon, Chief (Dr) P.K.C. Isagba, the Odogwu of Isele-Mkpitime. He was one of the first Nigerians to believe in my ability as a young fledgling lawyer.
I had been handling his cases whilst at Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s Chambers. When I left as Deputy Head to set up my practice in January 1986, Chief Isagba personally went to Chief Gani Fawehinmi, to allow him move his files to me, to continue handling his cases; a request the amiable and selfless Gani granted immediately. So, Chief Isagba became my first major client as a tottering practising lawyer, trying to find my groggy feet. He became my bossom friend and elder brother.
My journey from Isele-Mkpitime, through Asaba, to Port-Harcourt, told me clearly that the entire Igbo land is locked down in a physical, psychological and mental siege, reminiscent of a civil war time.
When the Civil War ended January 15, 1970, the then military ruler, General “Jack” Yakubu Gowon, who became Head of State, at 31 and a bachelor, proclaimed the three Rs: “Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation”, which heralded his policy of “No Victor, No Vanquished.”
This was after the unfortunate failure of the 4th-5th January, 1967, of the “Aburi Accord”, that would have prevented the bloody war in which over 2 million civilians and 100, 000 military combatants were killed. Or, was it an historical mistake that these people who had already manufactured “Ogbunigwe” (series of weapons, that included detonation mines, IED, and rocket propelled missiles), with which they prosecuted the Nigeria – Biafra war between 1967 and 1970, were prevented from leaving Nigeria? Perhaps, we would today have had a Japan, Singapore or South Korea lying side by side a sprawling “giant of Africa” on clay legs.
These policies were meant to quickly heal the gaping wounds of the gruesome blood-letting, forget the horrors and evils of the fratricidal war and quickly reintegrate the Igbos into the society.
But, have these hardworking, gregarious “Jews” of Nigeria been reconciled, rehabilitated and reintegrated into the mainstream of the Nigerian society? I doubt it. Simple proof: show me any Igbo man in today’s all powerful cabal kitchen cabinet of PMB’s Government.
My journey from Isele-Mkpitime, Delta State, through Asaba, Onitsha, Oba, Oraifite, Okija, Ihiala, Mgbidi, Awomama, Owerri, Aba to Port-Harcourt, was a strangulating reminder that the Igbo, inspite of their unquantifiable contributions to the commerce, industry and innovations that drive the non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy and give it oxygen, are nearly a conquered people. The check-points along the above stretch of road are nauseating and asphyxiating, as the security agencies, including para-military ones out-do each other to harass, torment, search, intimidate and extort money from travelers.
Earlier journeys by road (I travel a lot on professional duties), had shown me the same siege through countless roadblocks: Enugu, through the Ugwogo Nike-Opi-Nsukka Road; Amansea in Awka-Ugwuoba Oji River; Nnewi, Alor, Ekwulobia, Amesi, Ugar, Umuchu; Okigwe, Awgu and Ituku Ozalla, Umuahia and Isiala-Ngwa, on Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway. On the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene highway, you have exasperating road blocks at Michael Okpara University junction; Isingwu-Nkweogwu junction of the Isuikwuato-Uzuakoli-Ajayi-Igbere road; and the 14 Brigade Army barracks junction at the Ohafia-Arochukwu highway.
As you are crossing one check point, a mere look ahead of you, of less than half a kilometer, will reveal another barricade. It is all so frustrating. There is no war, or security breach. South East is not North East where Boko Haram still calls the shots (forget about Government’s pet words of “we have degraded Boko Haram”; Boko Haram is still very potent, controlling large areas, killing and maiming people on a daily basis. Their representative said that much at the 2nd May, 2017, Re-Union meeting of the 2014 National Conference delegates at Daar Communications Centre, Abuja, where I delivered the keynote address).
Yet, in this Boko Haram-ravaged region, you would not find this armada of security, treating the entire geo-political zone made up of five states (the least in Nigeria; some others have seven states), like a conquered territory.
It is only the recent suit by my good friend, Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, (six of us founded the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) – the first human rights body in Nigeria-on 15th October, 1987), over “marginalisation of the South East region”, that has perhaps brought to the front burner, these disturbing tons of injustice. That is why no one can ignore Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB, Ralph Uwazurike’s MASSOB, etc, agitating for self –determination, a right sanctioned and recognised even by the UNO.
These fully armed and trigger-happy security personnel have never taken steps to protect the Igbo race, against rampaging Fulani Herdsmen that raid their homes, to maim, kill and rape their wives (remember Nimbo in Uzo Uwani LGA in Enugu State). They have never repelled the incessant reign of terror by armed robbers, kidnappers, hired assassins and murderers. No, they are stationed there for three main reasons: (1) check the bid for self determination by the Igbos; (2) extort money from the wealthy and poor Igbo traders who ply these routes; (3) remind the Igbos that the all powerful Federal Government is on ground to silence the people and force them to toe their ruling party line.
Wait a minute; is that why some prominent Igbos, including erstwhile leaders, members of the BOT and two-time Governors for eight years under PDP, have been outdoing each other to decamp to a non-performing and fundamentally flawed party like the APC?
Let me end this piece by recommending to the Ndigbos, the legendary Hubert Ogunde’s immortal words, in his most famous 1964 play, “Yoruba Ronu” (“Yorubas, think”), a stinging satire that got his theatre company banned, which ban was later lifted in 1966, by the new military Governor.
Ndigbos, cheenu echiche (Igbos, think).
(Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), is a constitutional lawyer and human rights activist)
Earlier yesterday after news of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu’s re-arrest and re-arraignment surfaced a very quick press release was made public by a faction of Ohanaeze praising the rearrest of Nnamdi Kanu.
The tone of the release was unlike Ohanaeze that is now made clear that such did not emanate from the desk of Ohanaeze President General but by some factional mischief maker.
The Ohanaeze press release reads as follows.
The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to a publication currently circulating in the media suggesting that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has issued a statement regarding the alleged rearrest and re-arraingment of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB).
Ordinarily, we would have ignored the said press release, but silence in this circumstance would mean giving validity to such fallacy by the unsuspecting public.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor has not issued any press statement on the matter. Ohanaeze Ndigbo as the apex Igbo cultural organization does not issue public statements in a hurry. I hereby dissociate ourselves from the said press release and also warn those mischief makers, impostors and charlatans peddling the name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to achieve selfish gains to desist from that shameful misadventure.
In the event of further breach of this warning Ohanaeze Ndigbo will be compelled to invoke the full weight of the law to deal with the offenders.
Chiedozie Alex. Ogbonnia National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide
Elder statesman and foremost Igbo leader, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has urged the Federal Government to review its operation in the Southeast and initiate dialogue with the pro-Biafra groups to tone down the agitations.
Iwuanyanwu, who spoke in Abuja, when he was conferred with awards by the Northern Youth Council of Nigeria, and the Inter-Faith Youth Council of Nigeria, the Vanguard of Good Leadership and Epitome of Hope and Integrity Award of Selfless Service to Humanity respectively, maintained that the issue of insecurity in the country cannot be resolved through the barrel of a gun.
He wondered why any group would be thinking of breaking away from the country when the world is already a global village, adding that bringing all parties to the dialogue table, remains the most viable option in pacifying all the warring groups across the country.
Commending President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the area of infrastructure development, Iwuanyanwu however noted that Buhari was voted into power based on his promise to tackle insecurity, adding that “the protection of lives and property was the essence of life and not even to dole out money to somebody.”
He said, “you have seen it already and you know this is very serious and very bad. I think really that the government should now realise that this thing cannot be solved through barrel of guns. So, I think it has reached a point when the government should realise that peace cannot be attained from the barrel of guns. It is now time to start searching for these people.
“Go to Southwest, go to the man, Igboho or so or whatever they call him; go to Southeast, get those people from the Southeast, get all those people who are causing trouble, bring them together, they are your children, they are Nigerians, let us know what is the matter.
“That will be the best solution because it will save us money. But if you think we can solve it by this thing, it will embarrass us. If one day, these people come and start throwing bombs in Abuja here, Abuja will scatter and that could embarrass this country anywhere in the world. It means that all the embassies will run away, everybody will run away.
“And these people are not showing any sympathy. They kidnap in schools, they kidnap children; call them. Let’s beg them and see how we can solve the problem,” Iwuanyanwu further said. (The Nation)
Ebube Agu Security Outfit is the only recognized security outfit in the Southeast region and no other has the mandate to speak for the region.
The clarification was made by the Chairman, Southeast Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr Dave Umahi on Friday after a closed door Southeast Security Council Meeting, held at Enugu.
The Federal Government delegation led by the Minister for Defence, Retired Major-General Bashir Magashi, also included Heads of the various security agencies, including the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Farouk Yahaya.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting which lasted for hours, Governor Umahi, condemned exchange of inflammatory comments, killing of innocent citizens, attacks on security operatives, as well as destruction of public infrastructures in the Southeast region.
He restated the ban on open grazing in the region, which is fueling insecurity across the nation, including the Southeast region.
“In resolving any conflict, the nature and causes of the conflict must be identified and discussed. This meeting discussed the issues of insecurity and I must commend the Federal Government delegation for the commitment they have shown. Our stakeholders are excited and satisfied with such sincere commitment which I believe, is a new dawn not only in the Southeast but the entire Nigeria. We discussed issue of ban on open grazing and the delegation has agreed on our position on the ban,” he said.
Umahi revealed that the meeting also agreed that the Southeast governors articulate the grievances of Ndigbo as identified by Ohaneze Ndigbo, especially as it affects marginalization of the region.
He expressed belief that if the numerous agitations are addressed, it will go a long way to douse the tension in the region and encourage the people to continue to believe in the Nigerian project.
“Ndigbo are committed to one united Nigeria, where fairness, equity and justice thrive. There is need for the various zones to advise leaders of this country to mind their utterances so as not to speak the country into violence. Those who dish out hate speeches, or threats of succession do not speak for Southeast. Southeast people are not for secession and we condemn the wanton killing of security agents and attacks on security formations. This is not what we are known for,” the Southeast governors’ Chairman posited.
He made it clear that Ebubeagu is the only local security outfit recognized in the region, adding that the position of the region, which is in line with that of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, will be articulated at a meeting scheduled for the 19th of June.
Responding, the leader of the Federal Government delegation, Retired Major-General Bashir Magashi, said the Buhari-led administration is committed to addressing instability and other forms of criminality bedeviling the nation and the region in particular, and thanked SouthEast leaders for efforts in that regard.
The Minister, who promised to bring the issue of marginalisation reechoed in the meeting to the attention of the President, enjoined stakeholders in the region to encourage Community Policing as the Southwest did with the Amotekun regional security outfit.
“We have listened to the government, the traditional institution, and the religious leaders and we agreed to commit ourselves to addressing the issue of insecurity in the country. We have seen the commitment of the Southeast governors to the unity and stability of the country and I am giving them the assurance that the commitment will be raised to the President.
“We have discussed the Herders complaint, marginalization of the zone, issue of community policing among other things and we believe we can work together to bring back peace and stability in the region and the entire country,” he said (The Chronicle)
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) says the Igbo should be allowed to secede from Nigeria if that is what the south-east wants.
The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) are campaigning for the secession of the south-east from Nigeria.
IPOB was formed in 2012 by Nnamdi Kanu, while MASSOB was founded in 1999 by Ralph Uwazuruike.
Addressing journalists after a closed-door meeting held in Abuja on Monday, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, spokesman of the forum, said the agitation by the Igbo for secession has become widespread, adding that the leaders in the state appear to support the decision.
Baba-Ahmed advised that standing in the way of the agitators will only worsen the insecurity in the country.
“This nation has had to fight a terrible war to preserve the country. The north had paid its dues in that war, as indeed it did in many ways throughout the history of the country. Under our current circumstances, no Nigerian should welcome another war to keep the country together,” he said.
“The forum has arrived at the difficult conclusion that if support for secession among the Igbo is as widespread as it is being made to look, and Igbo leadership appears to be in support of it, then the country should be advised not to stand in its way.
“It will not be the best choice for the Igbo or Nigerians to leave a country we have all toiled to build and a country we all have the responsibility to fix, but it will not help a country already burdened with failures on its knees to fight another war to keep the Igbo in Nigeria.”
The forum warned that attacks and killings of northerners, federal government employees, and destruction of national assets must stop, adding that those involved must be arrested and prosecuted.
The northern elders also noted that until the Igbo decide whether it wants to secede or remain part of Nigeria, the law applies to it, as the federal and state governments have a responsibility to enforce the law and protect citizens.
They also supported the calls for northerners who are exposed to harassment and violence, to consider relocating to the north. They, however, advised that all Igbo and other ethnic groups residing in the north should be accorded the usual hospitality and security.
They, however, advised that all Igbo and other ethnic groups residing in the north should be accorded the usual hospitality and security. (The Cable)
Former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Usman Yusuf has accused Southerners in the country of profiling the Fulani ethnic group even though some tribes from the region are allegedly responsible for some vices in the Northern region of the country.
Speaking in an interview with The Sun, Usman alleged that agitations for restructuring and secession are blackmail tools being employed by the Igbos and Yorubas to force their way into the Presidential Villa in Abuja in 2023.
When asked why he said the 17 Southern governors should have consulted Fulani groups before banning open grazing even though Kano and some other northern states banned the consumption of alcohol without carrying along other stakeholders, Usman said;
I said and I’m repeating it that the Asaba declaration is unconstitutional based on Section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution, which guarantees every Nigerian the right to live and earn a living in any part of the country regardless of ethnicity, politics or religion. What they did was unconstitutional, null and void. Secondly, making a particular law that is specific against an ethnic group is dangerous. I also said that Asaba declaration is nothing but a premeditated quit order for all Fulani to leave the South. It is just like the governor of Kano or any state in the North saying, ‘do not sell spare parts’ and does not provide an alternative place for Igbo traders to sell their wares.
Many of these Fulani in the South have lived there for generations; many don’t even speak Hausa. So, if I’m governor of a state in the North and say, do not sell spare parts in this place, but I did not provide an alternative place for you to sell spare parts, it is just like saying Igbo spare parts dealers should leave my place. Asaba declaration was nothing but a quit order for all Fulani to leave the South. Fulani herders have started leaving the South-East, which is very dangerous. Leadership matters.
Those 17 governors didn’t think through the national security implications of their political gerrymandering in Asaba. Those herders are citizens of the South; you don’t make laws without consulting them. They have lived there for generations more than many of these governors. All of a sudden, you tell them not to do what they have done for generations. You vilify them for all the crimes in the South. What of the Eastern Security Network and IPOB that are killing police and everybody there? Let’s see if these killings will stop as Fulani are leaving the South.
Southern governors need to be sensible. They are saying all the security problems in the South are because of Fulani herders who have lived there for generations. They are just trying to find an ethnic group to vilify and I warned that they should be very careful. There are over 15 million Igbo living peacefully in the North. We elders and all our traditional rulers, as well as clerics have been trying to keep things down. We have seen seven Hausa Suya sellers killed in Imo; we have seen pictures posted online by ESN IPOB of Fulani families, women and children they killed. I have personally interacted with these families.
Nobody is saying anything. I blamed Igbo leaders for their silence. If anything happens to the Igbo in the North, the first people that will come out are traditional rulers and the clerics will be calming down the situation. But in the South-East, Nnamdi Kanu and ESN are doing that rascality specifically targeting another ethnic group, but I do not hear a word from any Igbo elder. They are in Abuja looking for Igbo presidency.
The way they are going, South-East will be worse than the North-East. These Igbo leaders that are shouting Igbo presidency will run to Abuja or Lagos. They are afraid of Nnamdi Kanu and are trying to appease him. In the South-West, Igboho, who is nothing but an illiterate, a political thug is doing all this nonsense and now calling the shots in the region that claims to be very educated, but everybody is keeping silent. The North is looking and watching quietly. All of a sudden, the South-West leaders ran to Lagos to say, they are not for secession. You cannot have your cake and eat it.
You can’t gather 17 of you in Asaba and give people quit notice and came to Lagos and say, we are not together with them. No, you are together. Asaba declaration is unconstitutional, null and void and they need to be very careful. Politics is not threat, it is not blackmail. It is reaching out to people.
Usman also alleged that the Igbos broughts drugs to the north, while the biggest armed robbers in North have allegedly been Igbo, Yoruba and Edo people.
I’m 60 years old and I have lived in this country long enough. All they are saying is bullshit and they know that. All thee SANs, many of them are my juniors and interact with them and they call me. They are telling us that the Fulani are the cause of the security problem in the whole of the South. The Fulani have left the South-East now and it is scary. They can do all their talks. These SANs you are talking about are in Abuja, they should be in the South-East engaging IPOB, just as we go inside the forests to engage the bandits.
If I use my cows to destroy your farm, isn’t there a law against it? Why should they paint the whole of the Fulani in the South in bad light? The Igbo brought drugs in the North and they are also into robbery. The 19 governors have never tainted the Igbo. The biggest armed robbers in the North have been Igbo, Yoruba and Edo people and they are also the biggest kidnappers. Go to Kano, the drugs are brought from the East. We are warning the South against profiling, vilifying, dehumanising an ethnic group, as this will not get us anywhere. So they can do all the nonsense, we are very educated too. The constitution is clear; Section 4 protects every citizens. There are a lot more Yoruba, Igbo and other Southerners in the North living very well and peacefully.
The Southern governors need to be very careful. Ondo State governor, Akeredolu, who is spearheading this, did his NYSC in Yola and stayed in Yola to practise as a young lawyer. The hospitality of the Fulani in Yola is what made him what he is today. He is married to an Igbo woman and so, is supposed to be a better Nigerian that any other person. People need to be very careful; these politicians will mess this country and run away. This country we call Nigeria was brought by the blood and sweat of people, not this opportunistic politicians. If they continue making laws vilifying an ethnic group, Igbo will be the losers.
That is why we elders in the North are raising our voices to say that the Asaba nonsense must stop. The killing of Northerners in the East by the so-called unknown gunmen who you all know are IPOB/ ESN must stop. Igbo have far real estate and financial investments in the North, courtesy of the goodwill, the kindness and the generosity of our people across the North. If a governor decides to revoke or do any law to revoke their real estate or their financial investments, Igbo will be losers.
Igbo need to be very careful; they have so much investments and so many of them are living in the North. The North hasn’t anybody in the South, as they have now kicked out all the Fulani herdsmen in the South-East.
On Southern Governors asking for restructuring, Usman stated that it is equitable for northerners and also questioned the number of votes people from the South-East gave Buhari.
It is not equitable for us in the North. I’m from Katsina, the same state with the president. How many votes did the entire South-East give him? We gave him 1.2 million votes. What do we have to show for it? We have nothing to show but death and destruction. You guys say that Buhari is nepotistic. Is there any state that a president has fired four chief executives of key agencies from his state during his administration? Which state is that? It is Katsina. Lawal Daura, DSS; myself, Prof Usman Yusuf, NSIF; Prof Naimek Ahmed, and Hadija Bala Usman, NPA. These are four key agencies in this country that the president fired. Has he done that in any state? He is nepotistic when it comes to appointment and also nepotistic when it comes to firing.
The NHIS former executive secretary however doubled down and claimed that the north is not afraid of restructurig.
When told that the South cannot push for restructuring because the North will shout it down, he said;
Who is afraid of restructuring. People in the South think that the North is afraid of restructuring, and they are absolutely wrong. Our lives in the North were better than it was with all these states. All these people gathering themselves as Middle Belt Forum and this forum are not representing anybody; they are just representing themselves and trying to be relevant for 2023.
Nobody in the North is afraid of restructuring. Secondly, all those asking for restructuring don’t even know what they want. Thirdly, there are people who wrongfully believe that restructuring will change their electoral equation that will make their ethnic group to be the next president in 2023 and there are those who are using restructuring and secession, Biafra and Oduduwa Republic as blackmail tool, thinking that they will blackmail themselves into the Villa in 2023.
Restructuring can never happen without interrogating the 1999 Constitution as amended because it recognises 36 states. For you to do anything you must interrogate that constitution. I’m talking about going back to true federalism, where we were. Serious nations are charting the way forward, but selfish politicians want to take us backward where they will be the premier. These warlords that call themselves governors, can they relinquish their offices? They won’t. You want restructuring, go and interrogate the constitution. You can’t do it in the street of Orlu, in Sambisa Forest, in the forest of Niger, or in Igboho land. You can only do it in the House of Assembly through your elected representatives. All members of House of Representatives and Senators got their tickets through these governors who gathered in Asaba. They should assemble and tell them to push for the interrogation of the constitution to give way for restructuring. This is how politics is done.
Democracy is about number. How did Hope Uzodimma become Imo State governor? How did Wike become governor? Is it not because of the majority of the votes? That is democracy; a minority cannot impose its wish on the majority. If the minority wants its way, it reaches out. You gather 17 governors in Asaba and Igbo that are only about 15 per cent of the population want to intimidate a group with a larger population?
He also accused the Yorubas of making noise and also described their position as “nonsense”.
Yoruba have louder mouths than other people; they have the media, etc. The number two in this government is a Yoruba man. The number four is Yoruba. Fashola, a Yoruba was given three ministries. The South-West has benefited far more in this government than the North-West, and nobody from the North is making noise. They have been making noise and their position is nonsense. The South-West governors, after they went and romanced with the South-East and South-South governors, came back to Lagos to say we are not for secession. They should know that 17 governors or 17 states cannot make up the president. They need to learn politics. If you have a problem with the 1999 Constitution, go to the Senate and the House of Representatives. It wasn’t made in Katsina; wherever it was made, we need to sit down and sort it out. (Lindaikejiblog)