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Monday, 18 September 2017

Falana Blasts Obasanjo, Jonathan Over Advice To Buhari On IPOB.

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A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has criticized two former presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, over their advice to President Muhammadu Buhari on how to tackle the tensions caused by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Falana called on Obasanjo to apologise to Nigerians over the deployment of the military, to invade communities under his administration.

Obasanjo had said: “I don’t see anything wrong in that (Buhari meeting with Kanu). I would not object to that; if anything, I would encourage it. I would want to meet Kanu myself and talk to people like him; people of his age and ask, ‘What are your worries?”
Reacting, the legal luminary said: “In calling for a dialogue between President Buhari and Mr. Kanu, former President Obasanjo ought to have apologised publicly for the military invasions of Odi in Bayelsa State and Zaki Biam in Benue State ordered by him.
“The basis of the call should have been explained since President Obasanjo charged Niger Delta militants, leaders of ethnic militias and separatist movements with treason, which led to their prolonged detention in prison custody.
“Convinced that former President Obasanjo has realised that the criminalisation of such agitation did not achieve its objective, his suggestion for a dialogue should be seriously considered by President Buhari and the South-East governors.”

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) also faulted Jonathan, for calling for a meeting of the Council of State, to resolve the crisis caused by the secessionist group.
“For goodness sake, why was such a meeting not called before soldiers were deployed in the Niger Delta to deal with militants? Did President Jonathan call any meeting before deploying soldiers all over the country for the 2015 general elections in defiance of the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal?
“Instead of suggesting irrelevant meetings, the root causes of the increasing loss of faith in the corporate existence of Nigeria by unemployed youths and other poverty-stricken people should be urgently addressed by the ruling class.
“As a matter of urgency, the underdevelopment of the nation caused by the mindless corruption and criminal diversion of public funds by unpatriotic public officers on our hapless people should be addressed,” he added.

Lai Mohammed: Treasury Looters Sponsoring IPOB

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• 59 members of separatist group to be prosecuted, troops withdraw from Abia
• Jos curfew relaxed, youths push for dethronement of Kanu’s father
In another condemnation of the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the federal government has alleged that the separatist group was being sponsored by those who had looted the treasury in order to destabilise the nation.
Making the charge during a press briefing in Lagos yesterday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed however did not substantiate it.
According to him, IPOB was not set up to further the rights of Nigerians of South-eastern origin or any other group.
He said: “Nigerians must understand that IPOB was not set up to fight for the rights of anyone or group, but as a tool to destabilise the nation, divert attention from the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration and obliterate the laudable achievements of the administration.
“IPOB is being sponsored by those I will call the coalition of the politically disgruntled and the treasury looters. They believe that by sponsoring this group to destabilise the country and trigger chaos, they will realise their ambition of escaping justice and then be free to dip their hands into the nation’s treasury again,” Mohammed alleged.
Mohammed noted that IPOB’s activities became heightened with the advent of the Buhari administration and has been unrelenting since then.
He said the fact that the activities of IPOB picked up since Buhari became the president could not have been coincidental.
“Remember that Nnamdi Kanu, who led a protest at the Nigeria House in London against the Boko Haram insurgency and in support of Nigeria’s unity under the Goodluck Jonathan administration, has suddenly metamorphosed into an IPOB monster who would rather set the nation ablaze,” he said.
Mohammed pointed out that IPOB was nothing more than a contraption by those who believe they had lost political power as well as those who had looted Nigeria’s treasury.
“It is a tool in the hands of the corrupt and disgruntled elements to sabotage the Buhari administration. It fights for no one but the corrupt and the disgruntled.
“It seeks to set us apart as a people, exploiting our fault lines. Its modus operandi is to trigger conflagration nationwide through attacks and reprisals,” he stated.
The minister also wondered why IPOB decided to up the ante in its violent campaign immediately it was announced that Nigeria had exited the recession.
He said: “Now, instead of the government being given the chance to consolidate on that achievement, it is being distracted and the airwaves have been polluted with the activities of IPOB.
“The good news of the end of the recession and its fallout are being replaced in the headlines with the IPOB show of shame.”
He disclosed that the government had seen the trend in the past and warned the public about it.
“The starting point was the rise of hate speech, fake news and disinformation. These were used in an attempt to downgrade the achievements of the administration and to hoodwink an unsuspecting public into believing that the administration has not moved the nation forward an inch since assuming office.
“Since 2016, we have been calling attention to the dangers posed by hate speech, fake news and disinformation. Our calls did not gain traction until those behind the campaign sought to overwhelm the nation,” he added.
He described the IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu as the master of hate speech, adding: “No one, including the same people whose rights he claimed to be championing, escaped his vitriolic and primitive attacks.”
He challenged all his sympathisers to scrutinise what he termed Kanu’s incendiary, divisive and inciting speeches, the “name calling and the derogatory remarks about the nation’s leaders”, and demand to know if such did not constitute hate speech.
“Leaders of thought and commentators who have shown the inclination to accommodate Kanu and his excesses should say if this is what they expect from someone who wants to lead,” he added.
Mohammed observed  that the wounds inflicted on the nation’s psyche by the activities of IPOB would take some time to heal, noting that the past few days had been a trying one for Nigeria as IPOB’s activities reached a crescendo and threatened the unity of the nation.
“A ragtag mob that calls itself IPOB and its gullible supporters felt they could seize a large swathe of the Nigerian territory, set up parallel military and para-military organisations, mount roadblocks and even confront the Nigerian military.
“Their leader openly solicits for weapons and incites hatred and violence,” he added.
Mohammed blamed IPOB for the incident that happened in Abia State last week, saying no nation in the world would fold its arms and allow  people like Kanu to go on the rampage as he had been doing.
He listed some of the atrocities committed by the group to include the formation of the Biafra Secret Service, formation of the Biafra National Guard, unauthorised blockades of public access roads, extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks, and possession and use of weapons such as stones, Molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles, among others, which he alleged were used on a military patrol vehicle on September 10.
According to him, IPOB engaged in a physical confrontation with troops at a checkpoint on September 11, during which they attempted to snatch soldiers’ rifles and carried out an attack on a military checkpoint on September 12.
“No nation, not Nigeria, will allow that to happen unchallenged. The fact that Boko Haram festered because it was not decisively tackled by the immediate past administration meant we should never again give room for any organisation to threaten the corporate existence of our country,” he said.
While welcoming the decision of the South-east governors to proscribed IPOB, Mohammed said the decision should have come earlier.
He also said IPOB had been writing to other countries in its effort to externalise its lies and propaganda.
He assured the international community that the Buhari administration has no agenda to suppress its citizens for whatever reasons.
He added: “Not even the excesses of some people on the social media has forced the government to do anything that will stifle press freedom or freedom of expression.
“The truth is that IPOB is being sponsored to destabilise our nation. It serves no other purpose beyond that,” he said.
The minister further accused IPOB of engaging in a massive harvest of gory videos from the distant past and from other lands to hoodwink the public, and in particular the international community into believing that its members were the victims of state-sponsored violence.
He urged Nigerians and the international community not to jump to any conclusions on the basis of the videos but scrutinise them.
He also appealed to the media to show greater restraint, accusing a section of the media of sensationalising reporting on IPOB issues, especially since the military was deployed in the South-east for its exercise, tagged Operation Python Dance II.
He also expressed gratitude that the crisis had de-escalated, saying since the military has labelled IPOB a terrorist organisation and the South-east governors have proscribed it, it was time to let IPOB go to where it belongs – the dustbin of history.
59 IPOB Members for Prosecution
Even as the minister gave the damning verdict on IPOB activities, the new Commissioner of Police in Abia State, Mr. Anthony Ogbizi yesterday confirmed that at least one person – a police officer – was killed in an attack by suspected members of the separatist group in the state.
He also announced that at least 59 suspected members of the now outlawed group were arrested by security personnel last week during the bloody clashes between soldiers and IPOB members, adding that the suspects will be prosecuted for murder, arson and other related crimes.
Ogbizi disclosed this during a press briefing and parade of seven suspected members of IPOB at Ariaria police station in Aba.
He said following the proscription of IPOB by governors in the South-east and its declaration as a terrorist group by Nigerian Army, anybody found with Biafran materials would be arrested and prosecuted.
He said they would be prosecuted under the Anti-terrorism Act to ensure they are properly dealt with.
Re-echoing the pronouncement of the Nigerian Army, Ogbizi stressed that IPOB by its action had shown itself to be a “terrorist group” which must be dealt with.
He said between September 10 and September 14, the Ariaria police station was attacked by suspected members of IPOB who destroyed everything at the station.
According to him, they came with petrol bombs which they used to gain entrance to the station, destroyed property and stole three pump action rifles.
“Even some policemen were seriously injured. In fact, as I am talking to you, one of the injured police officers is dead. Doctors tried in vain to save his life.
“Now we have lost a soul and you know what it takes to train a police officer. You know the vacuum that creates. It takes a minimum of one year to train a police officer,” he said.
Ogbizi said the IPOB members also destroyed the property of lawful citizens, adding that their demonstration was not peaceful.
He also alleged that the group attacked a nearby bank to get money to acquire more weapons.
The police boss said about 30 IPOB members were arrested when they attacked soldiers at Isiala Ngwa in Abia and about 29 were arrested in Umuahia, the state capital.
He said suspected IPOB members also attacked military officers and the residences of the Commissioner of Police and AIG Zone 9 in Umuahia.
Ogbizi said that the army recovered several exhibits including the coat of arms of Biafra from the suspects.
“As I am talking to you, information reaching me shows that they have started gathering at Nnamdi Kanu’s house,” he said.
Ogbizi called on the people to volunteer information on Kanu’s whereabouts and denied rumours that his father was arrested.
IPOB Rejects Terrorist Tag
In defiance, however, IPOB yesterday defiantly rejected the invidious label, saying that the Nigerian Army “has no right or power” to group it alongside other terror groups.
A statement issued by its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, said the decision of the military high command to paint the separatist group with that of terrorism was “laughable and a mockery of the army’s professionalism”.
The proscription of IPOB and tagging it as a terror group has drawn sharp criticism from Ohanaeze Ndigbo which rejected it, as well as from some senior lawyers, including Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who stated that both the South-east governors and army lacked the power to ban IPOB.
IPOB insisted that since the inception of its struggle for the restoration of the Republic of Biafra, it had never engaged in criminal or terrorist activities and challenged the federal authorities to make public proof of the allegations and not fabricate lies aimed at demonising the Biafra independence struggle.
The group said it had never taken up arms and has always been a victim of unprovoked attacks by the security agencies who “kill and maim unarmed and innocent civilians who have not been involved in any act of crime or violence since the inception of this struggle for Biafra’s independence championed by IPOB”.
IPOB also faulted the position of the South-east governors for wielding the big stick, saying that “it is very appalling” that the governors should allow themselves to be “teleguided” by the powers that be to clamp down on their people “because they (South-east governors) want re-election in 2019”.
Ikpeazu: Govs Averted Holocaust
But in yet another reaction to the bloody clashes in his state last week, Abia state governor Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu yesterday justified the action taken by the South-east governors to douse the tension generated by the clashes between the Nigerian Army and members of IPOB.
He also expressed gratitude to God for averting what would have been a bloodbath in the state, following the withdrawal of troops from the streets of Aba and Umuahia.
He said with the action of the state chief executives of the South-east and their Northern counterparts, “what could have been a holocaust has been averted”. 
According to him, the lives of over 11 million Igbos scattered across the states in the Northern part of the country could have been jeopardised if the situation had gotten out of control.
Ikpeazu made this known when he visited the secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abia State council, to sympathise with its members, after the invasion of the press centre by troops last Tuesday.
“God has intervened in what could have been the greatest bloodbath in the history of the whole world,” he said, adding that if the face-off had continued, the attendant reprisals would have led to a massive bloodbath.
He regretted that the security situation in Abia had attracted negative attention to the state at a time his administration was putting made-in-Aba products on the global map and concluding plans to establish three industrial parks in the state.
Ikpeazu assured that normalcy had returned to Abia, adding that doomsday prophets had lost the battle.
While he commiserated with journalists over the assault by soldiers, the Abia governor said that though “you didn’t deserve what happened, it is part of the hazards of the profession”.
He also commended the army for demonstrating “rare humility” by apologising for their invasion of NUJ press centre and restoring the damaged items.
Youths Want Kanu’s Father Dethroned
In another fallout of the bloody clashes in Abia State last week, a group, the Umuahia Youth Movement, gave Ikpeazu a 24-hour ultimatum to dethrone Kanu’s father – Israel Kanu, traditional ruler of Isiama Afaraukwu in Umuahia.
In a letter addressed to Ikpeazu and copied to Buhari, the group said failure to dethrone the traditional ruler would make them take the law into their own hands.
The youths blamed the current security situation and shutdown of economic activities in the state on Kanu who “could not call his son to order”.
Details of the letter were disclosed in a statement issued yesterday by Ifeanyi Okwudili, the group’s president.
The letter read: “With tears and sorrow, the Umuahia Youth Movement respectfully write to request the dethronement of Nnamdi Kanu’s father as a traditional ruler of our clan.
“It beats our imagination that a man who calls himself a royal father and an elder could not call his son to order but rather encouraged him in his madness that has plunged Umuahia city to a great crisis today.
“Sir, recall that Umuahia had been the most peaceful capital city in Nigeria to live and do business in, but just because of one man, we are today facing the wrath of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Our shops, markets, schools, churches and all banks have been shut down. For the past three days, we have been indoors for fear of being attacked by the military just because of one man whose father is our traditional ruler.
“Based on the above, we hereby request he should be dethroned within 24 hours or we will take the law into our hands and dethrone him and even strip him unclad and raze his house.
“We appeal to every well-meaning Nigerian as well to prevail on Governor Ikpeazu to as a matter of urgency dethrone Nnamdi Kanu’s father.”
The group also demanded the continuation of the military exercise (Operation Python Dance II) “as any attempt to withdraw will make the IPOB criminals rob our shops and houses”.
The group assured the governor of its commitment to a united Nigeria and making Abia State great.
Lalong Relaxes Curfew
Meanwhile, following the return of peace to Jos and its environs after the skirmishes last Thursday between Igbo and Hausa traders, the Plateau State governor Mr. Simon Lalong has relaxed the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed on the Jos-Bukuru metropolis to 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
 A statement yesterday from the governor’s spokesman, Mr. Samuel Emmanuel Nanle, said: “The governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, having considered the improvement in the state of security, since the unfortunate incident of Thursday, 14th September, 2017 which necessitated the imposition of a dusk-to-dawn curfew, has with effect from Sunday the 17th September, 2017 approved the relaxation of the curfew from 10 p.m. daily to 6 a.m. of the subsequent day until further notice.”
While appreciating the swift response of security personnel in the quick restoration of peace in the state, the governor also commended the widespread community consultative meetings held by various community and religious leaders after the fracas.
Turkey Denies Supporting IPOB
In a related development, the Turkish government has denied supporting the secessionist agitations in Nigeria and disowned its citizen, Abdülkadir Erkahraman, who has expressed support for the Biafran agitation.
Erkahraman, who identifies himself as the president of the International Nations Commercial Association in Turkey had visited Kanu in his hometown in Afaraukwu, Umuahia, Abia State last July.
He announced the visit on his Facebook page and encouraged “Biafrans” to “rise up and fight a good fight for freedom”, which went viral.
In response to the development, the Embassy of Turkey in Nigeria issued a statement on its website.
The embassy distanced the Turkish government from Erkahraman’s visit to Kanu.
In the statement at the weekend, the embassy said: “Erkahraman is not a Turkish diplomat or an official representative of the Turkish government.
“The Embassy of the Republic of Turkey wishes to inform the Nigerian public about the following: Abdülkadir Erkahraman, a Turkish citizen, has been sharing videos for some time against the Nigerian government and presents himself as a Turkish diplomat.
“Mr. Abdülkadir Erkahraman is neither a diplomat nor a civil servant or an official representative of the government of Turkey.
“The government of Turkey is committed to the territorial integrity and political unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Furthermore, Turkey never supports secessionist activities against the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Source: Thisday

'The attempt to wipe out the Igbo race by Buhari shall fail' - Femi Fani-Kayode

Former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has said efforts by President Buhari to wipe out the Igbo race shall fail.
According to him, 'the attempt to break, subjugate and wipe out the Igbo race through the auspices of ethnic cleansing by Buhari shall fail. This is not about IPOB but about an irrational and pathological hatred of Igbos.If he gets away with it he will come after the rest of us!'.

$1.1bn Malabu deal: Crisis brews over Reps invitation to Jonathan

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A major is brewing in the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigating the alleged fraud in the award of Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 to Malabu Oil and Gas, with lawmakers from the South-South, poised to thwart moves to have ex-president Goodluck Jonathan appear before it. 

The Razak Atunwa-led committee had on July 5, written Jonathan to explain his part in the deal, particularly as his name had been mentioned a number of times in relation with the matter, which saw the country fraudulently losing huge revenues.

But the former president is yet to respond to the letter even as the House of Representatives prepares to resume next week.

Signals that inviting Jonathan would divide the committee along zonal and party lines came to fore months back as it took the committee two days of extensive meetings before it could issue the July statement on its decision to investigate the role played by the ex-president on the award of OPL 245, which covers a large area of 1,958 square kilometers including two deep water fields and is reckoned to hold an estimated 9.2 billion barrels of crude oil.

Despite his silence on the invitation from the committee, Jonathan has rejected claims of guilt on the Malabu deal through his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze.

Daily Sun investigations showed that members of the committee, especially those from the South-South, are unhappy that the committee went ahead to write the former president, insisting that it was a great embarrassment to them.

“Whenever we meet, the meeting is going to be contentious and any attempt to indict the former president may be hotly contested,” a member of the committee who pleaded anonymity in a follow-up phone chat revealed.

“You could see a lot of political interests at play over the issue. Many members will be asking if this was the same treatment given to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, during the power sector probe by this same House. They will want to know what has changed and why Jonathan’s case is different,” a source in the committee told Daily Sun.

Regardless, Atunwa, in a phone interview with Daily Sun over the weekend, said members of the committee will decide on the next line of action with regard to the former president. The lawmaker had explained before the annual vacation of the National Assembly that there is a need to bring to a close the probe and that the testimony of the former president was the only missing item in the report.

“The committee is going to call for a meeting immediately the House resumes. The opinions of members is going to shape the committee’s decision on the matter,” he said.

Video: Davido's uncle, Senator Adeleke is back dancing at a church thanksgiving

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Senator Adeleke Known for his electrifying dance moves, he's seen in this new video singing and dancing all by himself during a church thanksgiving and as usual its super hilarious.
Source: Linda Ikeji

Governor Ayo Fayose reacts to allegations by APC that he is funding IPOB

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Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose, has reacted to allegations made by APC members in his state that he is one of those funding members of the now-outlawed secessionist group, IPOB. The party in a statement released by the state party publicity secretary Taiwo Olatunbosun over the weekend, said utterances made by Fayose in the past have proven that he is one of those funding the group. Part of the statement reads
"He led a campaign to the Chinese Embassy in Abuja and later to Shanghai, the Chinese capital, to urge the Chinese government not to lend hands in helping Nigeria out of recession. Relentlessly, he led hate campaigns against the symbol of the Nigerian authority, President Muhammadu Buhari, wishing him dead, including hounding and haunting the President across the world, including on his sick bed, and threatening to expose the President on a life-support machine, all these in spite of swearing to uphold the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to be loyal to the Nigerian state and her President. He went further as reported in the media on May 25, 2017 that ‘Ekiti State is now part of Biafra’, which drew the ire of several Yoruba groups as reported in the media. Not done, while Nigerians and indeed the country’s leaders were celebrating Nigeria’s exit from recession, Fayose was the only governor across the country who dismissed the celebration as a ruse, maintaining that Nigeria was still in a deep economic mess even though in his state, he is the biggest stumbling block to the survival of Ekiti people by diverting all loans he took to pay workers salary to needless projects contracts awarded to his friends’ companies in which he allegedly has interest. His support for Kanu in funds mobilisation for his treasonable act and the activities of Fayose’s media men in promoting the Biafran cause only point to one agenda to destabilise Nigeria and that has proved us right that Fayose has no agenda than the destabilisation of Nigeria to enable him to escape all illegal and criminal activities linked to him in recent past".
Fayose, took to his twitter handle to react to the party's allegations. See his tweets below

IPOB vows to continue its agitation for Biafra despite Army labeling them a terrorist organization

Days after they were declared a terrorist militant organization, members of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, have vowed to continue their agitation for the creation of Biafra. In a statement released by their spokesperson, Emma Powerful, the group maintained that the Nigerian Army had no power to label them a terrorist organization. It said that it was only a competent court that had the power to categorize them as such. The group labeled the Nigerian Army as a terrorist group working towards the Islamization of the South East. The statement reads
"We in IPOB condemn the illegal declaration made by Nigerian army labeling the peaceful freedom fighting organization as IPOB as a terrorist organization. We found the statement made by Nigerian army a laughable and caricature the Nigerian Army is making of itself, we will continue doing what we are doing which is peaceful agitation for Biafra freedom. Whatever be the case, the Nigerian Army has no right or power labeling IPOB a terrorist group whiles the case still in the court. It is the duty of Nigerian court to decide the case between the Nigerian government and IPOB under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. We urge the Nigerian government and her security operatives to stop their barbaric and unprovoked attacks to unarmed and innocent civilians who have not been involved in any act of crime or violence since the inception of this struggle for Biafra independence championed by IPOB.  It’s very appalling that south East governors will always stoop so low to allow our general enemies to continue to  tele-guide them in their meeting at Enugu in collaborating with security operatives to eliminate their people whom they suppose to protect because they want re election of political office in 2019. In any case, we do not even regard the South East governors, as far as Biafra struggle is concerned we do not regard, and do not even know that South East Governor exist, they are not in control of the states they are Governors”
"It is imperative to remind Nigerians that we are not in doubt that Nigerian government and her security operatives especially the Nigerian army cannot win this battle and don’t have the temerity to label IPOB under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu a terrorist group, while the case between the Nigerian government and IPOB is still in the Federal High Court Abuja. It is very clear to all and sundry that this action of the Nigerian Army which started killing innocent Biafran populations in the name of pursuing criminals in every part of Biafra land, and at the same time labelling IPOB as a terrorist group is an indicative of the completion of the extermination of Igbo agendas set during the time Usman Dan Fodio. We are not surprise that the present killings and intimidations in South East particularly in Umuahia, Aba and Port Harcourt has the backing of the present caliphate in Sokoto, which  has deemed it necessary to follow the steps laid down by their forefathers to wipe out Biafrans and to pave way for the islamization of South east. The Fulani herdsmen has been involved in killing and ravaging of South East, destroying farm crops without any record of arrest or detention of any of them since the inauguration of this present government Muhammadu Buhari, and he has always kept silent on their activities, and the solders always assist them whenever they are on mission to kill Christians, they have not be declared a terrorist group of people, what a government. Buhari and his soldiers cannot win this war against IPOB because it is on record in every part of Biafra land and the world over that since the inception the IPOB activities, nobody will say he has been harassed intimidated or shot by IPOB, nobody will ever come out to prove he has seen any of our member with arms like the herdsmen are clearly seen with AK 47 riffle. Nobody in Biafra land or in the Diaspora including foreign citizens and those strangers living in any part of Biafra land, will ever say IPOB carry arms, our weapon peaceful protest which we have suspended for some time now, yet we are passing our message to the people while Nigerian Government continue to be jittery. IPOB under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wins more converts every day in spite of the attacks, killings, intimidation on the innocent civilians and peaceful members of IPOB, we cannot accept the statement credited to Nigeria Army of labelling us a terrorist group, Nigerian Army is the real terrorist group. “We urge Nigerian government and its Army to wait till October 17 October 2017 when the case will come up, if they have a superior arguments to challenge our leader Mazi Kanu and IPOB members worldwide they should come to the competent court of jurisdiction to table their case not parading themselves, not us as a terrorist group. The only constituted authority that can declare IPOB a terrorist group is a competent court of jurisdiction in Nigeria, not the Nigerian Army and South East Governors, they are only making mockery of their selves.”

'Declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organization is unconstitutional' - Bukola Saraki says

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Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has described as unconstitutional, last Friday's announcement by the Nigerian Army that IPOB is a militant terrorist group whose activities have been banned in Nigeria. In a statement released this morning, Saraki said the action by the Army and also the South East governors who proscribed IPOBs activities, did not follow due process. Read his statement below...

1. Following the clash between the military and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), I hereby call for calm and restraint by all Nigerians so that we would all jointly find the right solution to the current problem rather than worsening the crisis.

2. Our brothers and sisters in the South-east, in particular, should continue to maintain peace and tranquility and go about their lawful business. This crisis will not benefit anybody but would only expose innocent people to unwarranted danger.

3. At this point, Nigerians outside the South-east who have worked to ensure that the crisis does not spread to other parts of the country deserve our commendation. I therefore call for continued efforts to sustain peace, unity and stability in all our communities so as to ensure that all residents, no matter their religion, tribe and creed remain protected and safe under the law.

4. It is also important that commentators and purveyors of information on all media platforms should be conscious of the need, at all times, to maintain the unity of the country. Therefore, they must refrain from circulating information that has the potential for aggravating the crisis. We should all realize, as individuals and as a collective, that Nigeria is all we have and it is in our individual and collective interests that we do not stoke the fire of crisis and fan the ember of discord through the message we are spreading. We must all protect and strengthen our country rather than contributing to her collapse and disintegration.

5. I also wish to state that the announcement of the proscription of the group known as Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by Governors of the South-east states and the categorization of the group as a 'terrorist organisation' by the Nigerian military are unconstitutional and does not follow due process. Our laws make clear provisions for taking such actions and without the due process being followed, such declaration cannot have effect. I am sure the President will do the needful by initiating the right process. This will go a long way in demonstrating to the world at large that we are a country that operate by laid down process under every circumstance. So, those who have been hammering on this point should maintain their cool.

6. We must commend the military for their efforts in restoring peace to different parts of the country and sustaining the unity of the country. However, in the face of provocation, the military should allow themselves to be guided by their training which emphasizes respect for human rights, even in war. Also, giving the nature of this particular situation, the military has every reason to be hesitant in the use of force.

7. Also, it is my view that we should not over-stretch the military. We need to protect our military against dissipation of their fighting strength. And this means we need to strengthen the police and equip them with the capacity to deal with civil crisis. That is why we, in the aNational Assembly, are already reviewing the Police Act and also looking at the possibility of enabling other para-military agencies to help in curbing civil unrest and maintenance of law and order.

8. I want to also make it clear that the National Assembly intends to embark on a fact-finding investigation aimed at determining what actually happened during the period of the military exercise in the South-east. We want to be able to sift the facts from the fiction and determine who did what. It is quite clear that all the facts are not yet known. We assure Nigerians that there will be no cover up. We intend to lay the facts bare.

9. On a long term, we want to remind Nigerians that the reason for embarking on constitution review by the National Assembly was to enable us look into issues that are agitating the minds of Nigerians and creating tension among us. We have promised that the exercise would be continuous. We intend to keep that promise by further taking decisions that would strengthen and improve on our structures. The Eighth National Assembly, on resumption, will play its constitutional role by addressing all those issues that are agitating the minds of our people and over which they feel so strong. I appeal to all our people to always direct their grievances to the right channels.

10. Let me further reiterate the need for all leaders of thought -political. religious and traditional- to continue to engage with our people on the need to maintain peace and be our brothers' keepers.

"Dethrone Nnamdi Kanu's father now or we would do it ourselves""- Umuahia Youths

Youths in Umuahia under the aegis, Umuahia Youth Movement, have issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Abia state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, to dethrone the father of the leader of the now-outlawed secessionist group IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu or they would take the laws into their hands by dethroning him, stripping him naked and burning down his palace.
Kanu's father is the ruler of Isiama Afaraukwu community in Umuahia. The decision of the youths is against the backdrop of the civil unrest witnessed in their community following the clash between IPOB members and the Nigerian Army. 
In a letter addressed to the state governor, the youths said they are demanding the monarch's dethronement because he failed to call his son to order but rather encouraged him in his "madness". The letter reads
“With tears and sorrow, the Umuahia Youth Movement respectfully write to request the dethronement of Nnamdi Kanu’s father as a traditional ruler of our clan. It beats our imagination that a man who calls himself a royal father and an elder could not call his son to order but rather encourage him in his madness has have plunged Umuahia city to a great crisis today. Sir, recall that Umuahia have been the most peaceful capital city in Nigeria to live and do business but just because of one man, we are today facing the wrath of the federal government of Nigeria. Our shops, markets, schools, churches and all banks have been shut down. For the past three days we have been indoors for fear of been attacked by the military just because of one man whose father is our traditional ruler. Based on the above, we hereby request that he be dethroned within 24 hours or we will take the laws into our hands and dethrone him and even strip him unclad and raze his house. We appeal to every well meaning Nigerian as well to prevail on governor Ikpeazu to as a matter of urgency dethrone Nnamdi Kanu’s father.”
The youths called for the continued stay of the military's Operation Python Dance in their community. They alleged that if the soldiers are withdrawn, IPOB members would attack them and rob residents of the community of their belongings.

"I fought with two presidents. Umaru Yar’Adua ended in his grave, Good luck Jonathan in Otueke.” Governor El-Rufai

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Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai on Saturday, has warned his political opponents not to fight him as late former President Umaru Yar’Adua who did, died while Goodluck Jonathan was voted out of power.
APC in Kaduna State is going through crises, with senators Shehu Sani and some members of the House of Representatives forming a formidable faction against the governor.
“I had fought with two presidents,” Mr El-Rufai said at the Kaduna APC stakeholders meeting held at Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna, “Umaru Yar’Adua ended in his grave, while President Goodluck Jonathan ended in Otueke.”
He therefore called on the warring factions of the party to sheath their swords and unite for the development of APC in the state as he is ready to confront whoever tests his will as the leader of the party in the state.
“Let us forget our differences and work for the development of the party. If you are not willing to stop the fight, you should know that I am a dogged fighter,” he said.
The governor later knelt before the stakeholders, apologizing to the ward, local government and state excos, members of state and National Assembly and other stakeholders of the party for all his wrongdoings.
“I implore you to tell me the wrong I did to you and I will apologize. But if it goes beyond today, I will never tender apology,” he added.
-Daily Nigerian

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Osinbajo takes over FG’s team in talks with ASUU

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

• Standing ovation as Buhari attends FEC meeting
• Awards $5.792b contract for Mambila power plant
• ’Why composition of minimum wage panel is delayed’
• D’Tigress players get N1m each, officials N.5m

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday appointed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to lead the Federal Government’s team to negotiate with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to facilitate the resolution of some of the contentious issues.

Osinbajo, who immediately began meeting with the government’s team yesterday at the Presidential Villa, is expected to schedule another meeting with the leadership of ASUU.

Also, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved the award of the engineering as well as electromechanical works contract worth $5.792 billion for the Mambila hydroelectric power plant located in Taraba State.

The decision to hand over the negotiation team to Osinbajo was reached during the council meeting presided over by President Buhari.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige expressed the government’s regret over the prolonged strike which he said had paralysed academic activities in the nation’s universities.

Ngige said: “The government sympathises with the parents, even with the students who are supposed to be taking their degree exams and promotion exams now but have been forced by circumstances beyond their control to be at home.

“I have my child at home as we speak. So, government is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that we reach a conclusive agreement with ASUU so that they can go back to the classroom. This is the first national strike that this government is facing and we want to discuss.

“At Council today (yesterday), the vice president has taken over some aspects of the negotiation and discussion. So we are continuing the meeting in his office and when we finish, we will get back to ASUU with another round of meeting.

“We are hopeful that with another round of meeting, we will be able to go an appreciable extent to solve some of the outstanding issues.” Also, the minister blamed the private sector for the delay in constituting the committee to review the minimum wage .

“On the national minimum wage committee, the government side is ready with four ministers – labour and employment, finance, budget and planning. I can’t remember the last one now but we have our team ready.

“We also have the head of service of the federation and the acting secretary to the government of the federation on the government team. The chairman will be unveiled when we have a full component of the committee. The aspect that is delaying from inaugurating the committee is the organised private sector,” Ngige said.

According to him, the organised private sector has eight representatives of which Nigeria Employers Consultative Assembly has four nominations, we have not gotten their nominations.

“Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has two nominations, their nominations just came in yesterday. Nigeria Association of Small Medium Enterprises and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) have not sent in their nominations. So we are waiting for these nominations. When they come in the government will nominate the chairman and inaugurate the committee.”

Also briefing the newsmen, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola disclosed that the Mambila project designed to deliver 3,050 megawatts of power was begun in 1972 but made no significant progress since then. He said the contract awarded to a joint venture with a Chinese civil engineering company would be completed in about six years.

Giving insight into the scope of work to be handled by the firm, the minister ‎said funding for the project was also expected to come from the Chinese government through its Exim bank.

“It requires the construction of four dams. One of them is about 150 meters in height, the immediate two are 70 meters in height and the smallest of them is 50 meters in height. ‎It also includes 700 kilometers of transmission line. It would be in Taraba State in the area called Gembu, and it would unleash the potential that has been reported about Mambila, including agriculture, tourism and energy,” Fashola said.

The minister noted that when completed, the project would help Nigeria strike a big blow on the climate change issue and fulfill its commitment under the Paris agreement.

“We have overcome the gas challenges and the vandals and pipeline repairs have progressed. And that has impacted successfully on the generation side. Our power is going to come from hydro, gas and solar, and that is why we are investing in Mambila for more hydro. This is so that when one source is vulnerable, we can rely on another source,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Buhari yesterday received a standing ovation from members of the FEC. The president was attending the council meeting for the first time since he returned to Nigeria from London, United Kingdom (UK) after a medical follow-up in that country.

He returned to Nigeria on August 19 and has since been working from his official residence in the Presidential Villa.

The president cancelled last week’s FEC meeting but received the report of the presidential investigative panel on alleged corruption cases against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir David Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayodele Oke.

As the president stepped into the council chambers, venue of the meeting, the members clapped in excitement after which he invited the Minister of Communication, Shittu Adebayo, and Ngige to say the opening prayers.

Before the meeting, Buhari received the victorious female Nigerian Basketball national team, D’Tigress who won the 2017 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket tournament in Mali. President Buhari, in his remarks, announced a cash award of N1million for each of the players and N500,000 for each of the official handlers.

US heavy bombers, jets in show of force against North Korea

This handout photo taken on August 29, 2017 and provided by South Korean Defence Ministry in Seoul shows South Korean fighter jets F-15K dropping bombs at a shooting range in Gangwon Province, east of Seoul, during a military drill aimed to counter North Korea’s missile test. Nuclear-armed North Korea said on August 30 that it had fired a missile over Japan the previous day, the first time it has ever acknowledged doing so. / AFP PHOTO / South Korean Defence Ministry / handout

US heavy bombers and stealth jet fighters took part in a joint live fire drill in South Korea on Thursday, intended as a show of force against the North after its latest missile launch, Seoul said.

“South Korean and US air forces conducted an air interdiction exercise in order to strongly cope with North Korea’s repeated firing of ballistic missiles and development of nuclear weapons,” the South’s air force said in a statement.

Two B-1B “Lancer” bombers from Guam and four F-35B stealth jet fighters from the Marine Corps’ Iwakuni airbase in Japan conducted the drill, with four South Korean jet fighters also taking part.

B-1B overflights of the peninsula from Guam, a US territory in the Pacific, infuriate the North, which cited them when it announced a plan to fire a salvo of missiles towards the island.

It was one of the moves that saw tensions spiral this month, including a new set of UN Security Council sanctions, US President Donald Trump’s apocalyptic warning to rain “fire and fury” on Pyongyang, and culminated with the North firing a missile over Japan on Tuesday.

The drill took place at the Pilseung shooting range in Gangwon province, some 150 kilometres (94 miles) south of the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas.

A South Korean airforce spokesman said it was separate from the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint exercises, which wrapped up on Thursday.

Tens of thousands of South Korean and US troops took part in the largely computer-simulated exercise that ran for two weeks in the South.

The annual drills are viewed by nuclear-armed Pyongyang as a highly provocative rehearsal for invasion, and it always meets them with threats of strong military counteraction.

The North’s state media called the Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile flight over northern Japan “a part of the muscle-flexing” against the war games.

Leader Kim Jong-Un called for more launches into the Pacific, the KCNA news agency said.

North Korea says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself against the US and analysts say Pyongyang has made rapid strides in its ballistic technology in defiance of seven sets of United Nations resolutions.

In July it conducted two successful ICBM launches which appeared to bring most of the US mainland into range.

Buhari-led government is a congress of baboons and a colony of monkeys - Femi-Fani Kayode'

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Femi Adesina almost defecated in his pants over a recent interview I had about this government'- FFK said this in a new article he published this morning on his social media page. Read below...

On August 3rd 1857, in what can only be described as one of the most profound, moving, passionate and inspiring speeches in human history, Frederick Douglas, the former black slave and the great freedom fighter and philosopher said, inter alia, the following:

"Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle.

The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress.

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle.

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages and make no resistance, either moral or physical.

Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal.

We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others".

These powerful and insightful words are as true and as relevant today as they were 150 years ago when they were first spoken.

They are words that have universal application to humanity and that have been recited and repeatedly chanted like a haunting and inspiring mantra by virtually every notable prisoner of conscience, freedom fighter and agitator for equity, liberty and human rights over the last one hundred and fifty years.

They are particularly relevant in the Nigeria of today where tyranny and injustice runs deep, where any form of resistance or opposition is regarded as subversion and is met with brutality and lethal force and where any telling criticism of the ruling APC party, government officials or the President is regarded as "hate speech" that must be supressed.

Permit me to give just one example of the latter in this contribution which, in my view, clearly reflects the nervous and obsessive disposition, the sheer madness and the sociopathic narcissism of the Buhari administration. 

A few days ago I had a revealing, probing and in-depth interview with a leading television station about President Muhammedu Buhari, his record in office over the last two years, his health and his governent.

Lai Mohammed, our notoriously excitable and mendatious Minister of Information, was so upset and disturbed by the contents of that discussion that he personally called the television station that recorded it and told them that the government would close them down if they dared to air it.

His call was followed by an equally threatening one from the chief executive of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation who issued the same threat.

Yet it did not stop there. Femi Adesina, the President's spokesman, almost defecated in his pants when he got a whisper of some of the things that I had revealed and he wondered out loud how I managed to get all the facts and information that I shared during the interview.

He begged the station not to air it as well and also threatened them with dire consequences if they did so. Sadly the station in question got cold feet, succumbed to the threats and fell for the blackmail.

I am not surprised by this and neither do I blame them for doing so. I say this because they, more than any other, have been subjected to all manner of harrasment over the years yet despite that they remain one of the most balanced, professional, forthright and courageous media outfits in the country till today.

They are indeed the first amongst equals but they also know the monsters that they are dealing with when it comes to the Buhari administration and they appreciate the fact that they have to be extreemly careful even when it comes to reporting what are essentially notorious facts.

They have to be even more careful when it comes to allowing strong opposition figures like yours truly and other non-conformists and perceived enemies of the government to use their powerful platform to air their personal opinions and strong dissenting views.

The truth is that this government is vicious and dangerous and, in my view, they are only one step away from "disappearing" (Argentinian style) media practitioners, publishers, essayists, columnists and writers that are not prepared to bow down to their unholy will and lick their filthy, unclean and unwashed posterior.

Simply put they are a chicken-hearted government that are terrified of their own shadow.

They are a government of uncircumcised Philistines who were put in power by heathans and unbelievers and who attract and enjoy the support of every low-life and apostate from the south side of hell.

Nothing terrifies them more than public scrutiny and the glorious light of accountability and truth.

From the top to the bottom they are all the same: gangsterish and paranoid charlatans who flourish in darkness and who thrive in division, conflict, lies, deceit, suppression, threats, murder, violence and intimidation.

Femi Adesina's cowardice and perfidy particularly is nothing new. This is the same man that threatened the publisher of two leading national newspapers to close my weekly column and that has been begging and offering inducements to virtually every online magazine that I write for to stop publishing my essays.

That is how fearful, feeble, powerless, shameless, cowardly and paranoid the Buhari government has become. That is the level of their depravity and that is the level that they have degenerated to.

They cannot take criticism and they cannot bear any form of factual and in-depth analysis of their abysmal and woeful performance.

They do not have the stomach or intellectual stamina for a strong and lively challenge, for what I would describe as "hardtalk" or indeed for any form of virile debate and contentious public discourse.

Simply put they behave like a congress of baboons and a colony of monkeys. They always run away from a real fight and a real debate and they are terrified of those that are ready to take them on.

Instead of attempting to defend themselves in the court of public opinion they seek to silence the opposition by the power of their might and they seek to supress dissent, muscle the media and bury the truth.

Despite their sheer desperation to hold on to power at any cost and to cower the people and in spite of their despicable, tyrannical and inglorious mindset I have the following to say to them: like satan, your time is short.

You oppress the people and whip them into line, not by good works or inspiring leadership, but through the usage of nothing but intimidation, lies, threats, blackmail, disinformation, witchunts, fear, hate, division and terror. Your tactics are as despicable as they are deplorable.

Yet despite your subjugation and tyranny it will soon be over for you. The earth and the heavens have rejected you, the elemental forces oppose you and the Nigerian people secretly despise you. This is the doing of the Lord and it is marvelous in our sight.

You cannot wash away the blood that you have shed. You cannot erase the memory of your failures and your atrocities and those that you have humiliated, destroyed, insulted, tortured, incarcerated and subjected to persecution and the most vicious and callous media trials.

You cannot silence the voice of the voiceless, you cannot intimidate the servant of truth and you cannot supress the champion of the oppressed.

The finger of the Lord has marked you down for shame, torment and destruction and the sword of the Lord has wounded you beyond redemption. The rats were just the beginning. More miracles and wonders will soon come.

The truth is that no matter how hard you try to put out the raging fire and the crisis of confidence that has afflicted you it will not stop.

Your days are numbered and your end is nigh. The Ancient of Days has spoken and He shall perfect it.




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