■ Groups rebuff Akpabio’s overtures, warn of dire consequences
June 5, 2021
NDDC: Pressure mounts on Tompolo, as Ateke, others back demand for board
By Paul Osuyi and Ben Dunno, Warri
Tension is building again in the oil rich Niger Delta region as the seven-day ultimatum issued by ex-militant warlord, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo for the Federal Government to reconstitute the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) expires today.
Tompolo had last Sunday roared from the creeks, warning of dire consequences should the interventionist agency continue to be operated by a sole administrator which other stakeholders described as a flagrant disregard for the law establishing the commission, and taking the people of the Niger Delta region for a ride.
As a result of the tension generated by Tompolo’s ultimatum, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godswill Akpabio visited Delta State where he met with some key stakeholders with a view to dousing the rising tension.
But at the closed door meeting with stakeholders held at the palace of the paramount ruler of Gbaramatu Kingdom, the Minister was tongue-lashed for his foot dragging in inaugurating the board.
Sources said the meeting was so heated that at a point Akpabio attempted to stage a walkout.
Tompolo was said to have snubbed the meeting but reportedly sent a message to Akpabio to go back to Abuja and inaugurate the NDDC board without further delay.
Speaking at the meeting, the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa represented by his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro said the position of Delta State Government was that the right thing should be done regarding the NDDC Board in accordance with the Act that established it.
President of Isoko National Youth Assembly (INYA), Amos Ogbokor-Etaluku who also spoke, said the entire youths of the region had aligned themselves with the ultimatum, warning that the safety of oil workers would not be guaranteed in the coming days.
On his part, President of Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Benjamin Okaba expressed dismay that Akpabio was running NDDC with a sole administrator in contravention of the Act establishing it.
Spokesman of Gbaramatu Traditional Council, Chief Godspower Gbenekeme was quoted as expressly telling the Minister that “the people seated here are not IYC executives that you can just call to Abuja.
“The presence of soldiers in our region is not the reason for peace, it is because of our resolve. We want that board to be constituted, the ultimatum stands. After the ultimatum and nothing is done, don’t blame anybody.”
Speaking earlier Akpabio made reference to how war would break out in the Niger Delta if tension continues to grow.
He said that it was necessary for the youths to give peace a chance going by the fragile nature of the Niger Delta region, saying that “we must not allow our region to boil. We must support the Federal Government, particularly this present government.”
He said his visit was primarily to consult the people on the way forward and also to appeal for peace.
It was, however, learnt that the minister left the peace parley at Oporoza with the promise to commence the process of constituting the substantive NDDC board on returning to Abuja.
1 year in office: Buhari, Osinbajo, others to storm Imo for Uzodimma
From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The Imo State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the immediate resignation of Governor Hope Uzodimma for his evident lack of capacity to guarantee safety and security of lives and property of Imo people.
The party also expressed grave concern over the daily wanton killings in the state, which have claimed the lives of security personnel and innocent youths.
The Imo PDP said the climax of the deteriorating security situation in the state was the gruesome murder of Ahmed Gulak, former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and member of the PDP.
Speaking at a press conference in Owerri, yesterday, the state chairman of the PDP, Chief Charles Ugwu, said the resignation of Governor Hope Uzodimma has become necessary in view of his evident lack of capacity to guarantee safety and security of lives and property of Imo people.
Said he: “The resignation of Governor Hope Uzodimma has become necessary in view of his evident lack of capacity to guarantee safety and security of lives and property of Imo people. Governor Hope Uzodimma, in his capacity and responsibility as the chief security officer of the state, has failed to protect the lives and property of Imo people.
“The PDP in Imo State is alarmed and worried at the continued escalation of the militarization of Imo State, mass arrests and killing of Imo youths, on-going intimidation and harassment of Imo people. No doubt, security has very sadly completely collapsed in Imo State.
“We strongly agree that the heightened insecurity has everything to do with such provocative policy decisions that have sustained the injustices and marginalization of Ndigbo, giving ample impetus to the avoidable emergence of such self – determination groups as IPOB, MASSOB and an army of enraged youths. These, coupled with the uncanny imposition of the Senator Hope Uzodimma as the governor of Imo State by the state.
He maintained that Governor Uzodimma should accept full responsibility for the huge loss of lives in the conflict he has created and exacerbated with his invitation of the military into Imo state.
•You need no permission to graze anywhere •People hate us because of Buhari, but president has done nothing for us •Southern govs are confused jokers
May 22, 2021
National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Abdullahi Bello Bodejo has dismissed the ban on open grazing declared recently by the Southern Governors Forum. He has also instructed Fulani herdsmen not to obey the directive but to keep grazing their cattle wherever they find themselves in all the states of the country.
In an interview with VINCENT KALU, the leader of the Fulani socio-cultural organisation stressed that the governors were jokers, accusing them of plotting to take over the cattle business in Nigeria.
How will Fulani herdsmen cope with the ban on open grazing declared by the Southern governors?
We are going to follow the law and see how to approach some good leaders in the South-East, South-West and the South-South. We will also approach the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to protect our people.
It is not about grazing; it is a plan against Fulani people. Some people want to hijack the cattle business from us. Anywhere you go now, you see Fulani grazing cows and you will think they belong to them. No! The cows belong some people in that area or community. If you go to Benue, the state that first promulgated the anti open grazing law, you can see cows grazing; their owners are Tiv people. Even the governor, Samuel Ortom, has so many cows. They want to chase us away and continue with our business.
What these Southern governors are trying to do, some other African countries tried it, but it didn’t work. So, this one will not be an exception. You can’t just wake up without plan B, and say you have banned open grazing. This business has history; we didn’t just wake up and start cow rearing. It is a blessing from God; it is God that blesses us with this business, it is not like farming or palm wine tapping business. This is from the beginning; the only thing is how to transform the business. These governors are confused; they are trying to deny Fulani their rights and means of livelihood. Nigeria has only one constitution, which the governors are breaching. We may approach the court to stop them from carrying out their plans. The process by which they arrived at their decision was wrong. They were supposed to have invited us because we are part of their various states. If you are a governor, you are a governor for everybody living in that state. Since we live in all the states doing our business, it behooved them to have invited us to the meeting. I don’t know who is giving them this evil idea. No state can progress without Fulani being in that state; any state without Fulani is backward and poor. Fulani attract blessing. They don’t have problem, but unfortunately, people attribute kidnapping, robbery and banditry to them. It is not fair. They have not seen their people killing police and other security personnel. How many police stations have Fulani burnt? How many policemen have Fulani killed? But they want to tamper with the business God has blessed us with. The governors are very wrong.
You said other African countries tried to ban open grazing and it didn’t work, but these governors seem determined to execute it.
I say it categorically that this ban on open grazing by the Southern governors will never work. The only thing that can stop us from grazing in any area is if there are no grasses and water in such place. Fulani don’t have borders or boundaries; they don’t need permission to graze their cows from one area to another area.
There is no law, no constitution prohibiting them from doing so. Fulani are educated and they believe in leadership. They follow the constitution, which permits them internationally to graze anywhere. ECOWAS permits us to graze anywhere, but any person that commits a crime, let the law of the land be visited upon such a person.
Do these governors want to tell me that in their states, only Fulani herdsmen are their problems? Let them know that what they are doing is against the law. They are confused and they don’t know what they are doing in their respective states. They are confused and also jokers. That law cannot be obeyed. You can’t wake up and ban somebody from doing his legitimate business without providing a Plan B for him. Are they not in Nigeria? If they have a hidden agenda, they should make it open for everybody to see. They don’t have a reason for what they want to do. Governors have powers and if they wake up and decide to do whatever they like with the Fulani, then we shall see. They should remember that before them were some leaders in this country and if all these leaders, Zik, Awo, Ahmadu Bello, etc had toed their line; this country would not have been here for them to be governors. God has blessed some parts of this country with oil, some parts with agriculture and others with cattle rearing. However, we don’t want anybody to tamper with what God has blessed us with.
You said you are going to petition the IGP. Why?
We are going to write to the Inspector General of Police to provide enough security to our people wherever they may be in the South because they are under threat. This morning I have received 46 calls from our people there who want to leave, but they are scared of what may happen to them on the way. Since the governors are the chief security officers of their states, they should provide security for them to leave their states. Grazing or no grazing, the Fulani will survive. A Fulani man can trek from Abuja to Cameroun, from Abuja to Somali, Abuja to Central Africa. It is only Fulani that can do that. You can’t dictate to them how to run their business or their lives. You didn’t provide electricity, water, school, hospital to them. Now, people are taking vaccine for COVID-19, you don’t remember them. They are doing their businesses inside the bush and you still want to stop them, and yet they are feeding you with the meat! If we order our people to leave the South, may be the governors will be eating dog meat. I don’t know what they will be eating if we stop our people from going there.
If you were a farmer, you took a bank facility to plant maize, millet, cassava, and then cows descend on the farm and eat up the crops, what would you do?
Is there any nearby police station in that area? Is there any court in that area? Such a wicked person is supposed to be arrested, prosecuted and jailed. Such person is not a good rearer. In Nasarawa, Plateau states, for example, we have a vigilante that joined hands with the communities. We will send our vigilante to arrest any person who commits this kind of atrocity. If he is a small boy, they will arrest his father and everybody in the house and take them to the police station and force them to pay for the damage done to the farmer. We are good leaders, we can’t support anybody who will go and destroy somebody’s farm. That is what the governors should do. They are supposed to join hand with the good Fulani to deal with those who are spoiling our names, which is better than waking up to ask our people to leave their area.
Will you invite Buhari to mediate over this matter?
We will like the Federal Government to intervene between Fulani and these governors who don’t like them. They should be made to know that this country is one and forget about those their boys – IPOB and Oduduwa boys. These boys are joking and we are not part of their joke. We don’t have time for that. They killed Fulani fathers and children. I urge the security agencies to go after these killers.
Talking about killings, last month, some people alleged to be herdsmen killed about 25 people in Ebonyi State. What do you say to that?
If other people kill some people, they pin it to herdsmen. How many herdsmen have the police in that area arrested? How many herdsmen are in police custody? Herdsmen were not responsible for the killings. They can say Fulani were the ones involved, but how many of them were arrested? I can only believe it if the Commissioner of Police says that they arrested a Fulani or some of them who did the killing. The propaganda is too much. Like a big lie that Ortom told. He said Fulani attacked him and he ran away. How did he recognise a person who wanted to kill him while he was running? Did he have any video to prove they were Fulani? Some people are now learning Fulani language. Like in a video, one boy alleged to be a Biafra person was speaking pure Fulani language and people will take him for a Fulani. If such a person goes to kill, and he speaks Fulani, people will say the killer was a Fulani man. Let the police do their investigation, and thereafter people can draw conclusions. Many people are trying to cause trouble because Buhari is a Fulani man. Everybody is angry with the Fulani.
How do you mean? The late President Yar’Adua was also Fulani, and there were no such issues…
Yes, Yar’Adua was Fulani. He tried to unite the country. He gave the Niger Delta militants amnesty. Buhari is also in the process of uniting the country. Till now, the Federal Government has not looked into our problem. I get very much annoyed and curse such people who say Buhari is backing the Fulani. He has not done anything for us. We are the first people he is supposed to do something for, but he hasn’t done anything for us. See how they are funding rice farmers. See what work he is doing in the South. We are calling on him to wake up and give us our grazing areas. We may consider paying a courtesy visit to Southern governors on this issue and make them see reason to reverse their position. If they can’t invite the Fulani associations, they are supposed to invite the Sultan of Sokoto and other emirs, who are also Fulani for that policy. Some people were educated and went to school through the Fulani, so they are not supposed to treat us in this way. Thank God that the Nigeria’s constitution gives the governors only four years and the highest is eight years. These governors who came up with this evil law, some of them in the next two years will become former governors. We also believe that those who will replace them will change the narrative. We believe in one Nigeria and we want everyone to be one. I’m about going to marry an Igbo girl from Enugu. Then these people shouting Biafra will see that the leader of Miyetti Allah has become their in-law. A Rivers State man is married to my aunt and they have ten children – some of their names are Kate, Ndidi, Kingsley, etc. If I go to Rivers State, nobody can chase me out because I have cousins there. But it should be pointed out that Igbo and Yoruba cannot stop Fulani from grazing their cattle in their areas.
We have separatist agitators who want to leave Nigeria. What is your view?
If the country breaks up, we don’t have any problem. Even if they break it into 32 parts, it is not a problem to us. But let them not forget that the Fulani are cooking their food under the trees in the bush. If you are looking for Fulani trouble, be ready to leave the city and join him to cook your food under the tree. Or else, allow him to be. Don’t touch them. If you chase the Fulani away, you kill their mother, father, and others, do you think you will sleep with both eyes closed? They don’t look for trouble, but don’t look for their trouble.
You said if Nigeria splits, it doesn’t concern the Fulani. How do you mean?
The Fulani don’t have borders. If I want to migrate to Ghana now, nobody can stop me. If a Fulani man wants to relocate to Sudan, can you stop him? So, we don’t have a problem if they tear Nigeria apart. But the only thing is that our forefathers suffered to build Nigeria and they treated everybody, Igbo, Yoruba and others equally, and that is why we are saying let Nigeria be one united country. But we are not scared of anything. For Yoruba, if you leave Ogun and Lagos, you cannot see any other Yoruba country again. It is the same thing with the Igbo. Go anywhere, you can see Fulani, even in the 36 states. The only thing is that you can’t appreciate their population because they are inside the bush and don’t care what is going on in the city. How then do you want to chase them out? I’m directing all the herdsmen in the South not to leave or go anywhere and they should continue to graze their cattle in that region because it is Nigeria. They should not mind the governors who have violated the constitution that guarantees everybody freedom to live and do legitimate business in any part of the country. They can’t expect the Fulani to respect their law, which is inferior to Nigeria’s constitution. Let them think on how to provide basic amenities to their people instead of fighting the herdsmen. Fulani are not problem in this country, but some desperate politicians are trying to give them a bad name. Some of these Southern governors have seen that their tenure is ending in two years time and they are not popular among their people to the extent that any candidate they sponsor for election, even for councillorship in 2023 will fail and that may be the reason for the meeting, to cause confusion in the country.
I want to tell these governors, even in their dreams, none of them will be president or vice president in this country. If they have a hidden agenda, let them make it open so that Nigerians will advise them. I don’t know what they are looking for.
The Biafra Internal Government Minister of Information, Chief Samuel Njoku has called on the leadership of Nigerian Police force to unconditionally release one of their member that was arrested and detain at Ikot Akpan, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State.
The Minister who is also the Chief Minister of Biafra Independence Movement and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, (BIM-MASSOB) in Owerri, noted that Effiong Ekaidem is an Area Administrator under Chief Dr Ralph Uwazuruike led BIM-MASSOB in Lagos but traveled to the village to settle some family issues.
Speaking in a statement signed by him and made available to Newsmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Njoku appeal to security agencies to release him and every other non Violence and innocent Biafra activists incarcerated in different prison and detention center across the country.
“In Nigeria, we have different laws for different people, in the east non violent Secessionist groups are being killed, Detained, jailed, humiliated and disgraced but in the northern part of the country, terrorists are being trained and redeployed to the Military and Paramilitary.
“All this injustice against the people of the Eastern parts was the main reason why Chief Ralph Uwazuruike started the Agitations for the realisation of Biafra project.
“BIM-MASSOB are non violent group and we are not prepared to abandon our non violent methodology for any reason soon,” he said.
We can recall that the BIM MASSOB chieftain, comrade Effiong Ekaidem was arrested on 12th May, 2021 at Ikot Akpan on the allegation of being a member of Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, says despite the current challenges, peace and security will be restored under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Adesina compared the present situation of Nigeria to the buildup to Manchester City winning the 2020/21 English Premier League (EPL).
In an article published on Thursday, and titled “Lessons for Nigeria from EPL”, the presidential spokesman said some people, who know what Buhari can achieve, have been working to sabotage the current administration’s efforts.
According to him, just like other English clubs challenged Man City at the beginning of 2019/20 EPL season because of the team’s overwhelming success in the previous season, many critics of Buhari are focused on setting themselves against the government.
“Recall what happened in the 2019/2020 season. Man City was eyeing a treble. Three back-to-back seasons as champions, and a record in English football. But the adversaries knew the record that was to be set, so they arrayed themselves against the team. Just as some forces knew the record that was to be achieved by Muhammadu Buhari as Nigerian President, and which he had begun to show since 2015 when he got into office, and they positioned themselves against the government,” Adesina wrote.
“Every team, big or small, strong or weak, set its sights on Man City last season, flexed muscles, summoned superhuman skills and strength whenever they were meeting the champions attempting a treble.
“The lesson? When you are high-flying, the centrifugal forces will come against you, and it would only take the grace of God for you to attain.
“Yoruba people call those forces Aiye. When Aiye is on your case, as it was against Man City, and it is against the Buhari government, you need God, and God alone. Aiye (meaning ‘the world,’ if freely translated) is the negative part of mankind. The pernicious, baleful, sly and scheming part of humanity. If Aiye gets on your matter, you need God and God alone.”
Adesina linked the security situation of the country with the stumble that Manchester City had at the beginning of the season, adding that like Man City, “under President Buhari, peace and security would be restored”.
“Aiye was in full force against it. And the 2020/2021 season was initially not looking promising either. Eight weeks gone, the team was placed 13th on the table. It had lost 2-5 to Leicester City at home in Etihad Stadium, Tottenham drubbed it by two goals, played a draw with teams that couldn’t hold a candle to it in the past, and was generally forlorn and limp. Aiye was having a ball, laughing Man City to scorn. Aren’t they doing the same thing against the government in our country today, due to unrelenting security challenges, some of them possibly instigated by Aiye themselves?” he wrote.
“Victory came after victory, to the extent that the team was unbeaten in 21 consecutive games in the different competitions it was involved in. From the ashes, the Salamander had risen. Fire could not consume it, and today, Man City are champions, fifth time in 10 years.
“Who says Nigeria will not rise from its current travails? Who says Aiye will always win? Not where God is involved. And God is involved with Nigeria, our own dear native land. Under President Buhari, peace and security would be restored. The economy would rebound. Life would be abundant for the people , and Aiye would be left standing small, holding the rump of the flag of a country it thought had gone into oblivion.”
The South East Igbo Youth Stakeholders today, Thursday 13th May, 2021 asked Federal Government to unproscribe the Indeginous People of Biafra as a terrorist organization.
The group is an expanded Igbo Youth stakeholders, comprising Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth, National Youth Council of Nigeria (South-East), Nigerian Youth Congress (South-East), National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and other youth leaders of South East extraction.
In a communique issued and signed by the Deputy National President, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Comrade Innocent Nduanya, Comrade Chuks Okafor, NANS Senate President, Maazi Chukwuma Okpalezeukwu, for Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth, Comrade Maxwell Ezelagwu, for Nigeria Youth Congress, Comrade Ilogebe Chidi, immediate past NANS president, Comrade Pascal Ugwu, South East, Chairman, among others at the end of their meeting in Awka, said that having considered the state of the Nation, the increasing state of insecurity, the overall development of the Igbo nation, they resolved as follows:
As a step towards genuine peace and reconciliation as championed by Ohaneze Ndigbo, the Federal Government and South-East Governors should as a matter of urgency, unproscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra, as a terrorist organization and called for the release of all political prisoners of Igbo extraction
They regretted the heightened insecurity in the South-East which has resulted in the loss of lives of their people, security agents and properties and they deeply commiserate with the families of the bereaved.
The group further called on the South-East Governors to synergize and liaise with the relevant stakeholders especially the youth to arrest the current security challenges in the region.
They condemned in totality the wanton destruction of lives and properties in the South-East and appealed to the perpetrators of the criminal act to desist forthwith and seek for a proper means of airing their grievances, and urgedSouth-East Governors to encourage Community Policing by strengthening and digitalizing the local vigilantees in the Zone.
They said that they unequivocally align with the resolution of the Southern Governors and call for necessary legal framework for immediate implementation of the resolution and proposed for quarterly interface between the Governors of the South-East and the Youth stakeholders so that the issues of the zone will be regularly reviewed.
The group called on the South-East Governors to fully implement the recommendations of the ENDSARS panel report, especially on Youth Development and also review the Laws of their various State Security Council Committees to include critical youth stakeholders.
The group further called on the South-East Governors to adopt business friendly policies to attract Ndigbo’s investments back home.
They noted that for the sake of fairness, equity and justice, every Political party should zone their Presidential candidate to the South-East.
They unanimously resolve to convene an all important Youth Security Stakeholders Summit to be held soon and to be an annual event to appraise security issues.
Akintoye said his struggles for the actualisation of the Oduduwa nation was necessitated by the need to save his people from their suffering.
Popular Yoruba historian, Professor Banji Akintoye has explained why he is in the struggle for the actualisation of the independence of the Yoruba Nation.
Akintoye, who is the leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, the umbrella body for Yoruba self-determination groups, said his struggles for the actualisation of the Oduduwa nation was necessitated by the need to save his people from their suffering.null
Akintoye, who was a senator in the Second Republic stated this in a virtual meeting with Dele Momodu’s Ovation Media on Wednesday night.
He spoke of how herdsmen were not violent in years past.
He said, “The herdsmen were not violent neither were they destructive but the ones that have been sent since 2014 have been deliberately indoctrinated and empowered to go and hurt people, as servants of a philosophy that says ‘That we, Fulani, Allah has given us Nigeria and all of Nigeria and it is our duty to drive the people off their land and take the land’.
“That’s what we have been having, people call them herdsmen but when I came and found people in Afenifere meetings talking endlessly about the menace, I concluded we need to find out what’s happening. We researched the crisis, I wrote a paper, I think 36 pages, I went all over Nigeria trying to understand and then I went to countries in West Africa, inside and outside Nigeria.
“I spoke to Fulani folks in places like Yewa, I spoke to Fulani folks in Upper Senegal and the Gambia in West Africa. Some eminent persons among the Fulani political elites decided that the terrible situation among the Fulani was an opportunity to unleash them as warriors against the rest of Nigeria and so they were indoctrinated, heavily indoctrinated to believe that God (Allah) has given Nigeria to the Fulani and that all that the Fulani needed to do was seize the land by force and that is what we are experiencing.
“One Aliu Gwazo wrote in January 2014, ‘In 1960, Allah through the British, gave us Nigeria to rule and to do with as we please. We have been doing that since 1960 and we wish to continue and if anybody tries to stop us, we shall kill, maim and destroy and turn Nigeria to the bloodiest war zone in Africa’. That is what they are doing, claiming and trying to achieve.
“I was on the delegation of those who visited Benue State Governor when the Fulani people came in large number on January 1, 2018, they wrote a letter to him, ‘Mr Governor, I see that you and your people are mourning and they carry out mass burials but what is happening is a little of what is coming to you and your offence before us is that your ethnic groups in your state believe that the land they are living on is theirs because they have been on it for thousands of years but the land is not theirs, it belongs to us Fulanis and Allah has given it to us and we will take it by force we have accumulated the money and weapon for the battle. And we will continue fighting for hundreds of years if that is what it will take and we are not talking of the ethnic groups in your state alone but all over Nigeria, the Yoruba, Igbo, Kanuri and nothing can stop us and if you think the FG can protect you, you are deceiving yourselves’.
“That is what is happening; saying it is a clash between farmers and herders, is a lie, it is not truth. When I came back to Nigeria, I was away for 25 years, I never thought I would come back to Nigeria. When I came back in 2015, I found our people in the midst of all these. I went about lecturing people that Yoruba is a great nation.”
The professor also spoke on why elections should not hold in the southwest region, he said, “The more we hold elections under the 1999 constitution, the more we prolong our suffering. The Fulani marauders are telling us that they are in Southern Nigeria, Yoruba land, Igbo land, everywhere because the constitution allows that, so the more we hold elections under 1999 constitution, the more we prolong our suffering.
“I am very confident that if it comes to a referendum or some sort of voting, the Yoruba people will say in a very large majority that they don’t want election in their part of Nigeria and those in the East and Middle Belt are saying the same and look at it, South and the Middle Belt account for three-quarters of the population of Nigeria so this is not the question of the minority.
“In our kind of situation, it is sensible to resort to what other nationalities have resorted to. Many nationalities that have tried to conduct their election like the Catalonians in Spain, like the Scots in Britain. We think it would be better to persuade the United Nations to come and run our referendum, the same way they did it in Sudan, I believe we can get that done.
“It is the pressure from three-quarters of the country that will put pressure on the United Nations to run it, the people running the country may not want it but the two-thirds will put such amount of pressure in the world that a lot of people will agree with them and that will amount to a vote on the United Nations that will authorise the UN to intervene. Process and procedure to expect in terms of self-determination
“We are setting up in a very strong way, the hands of some important members of this government, critically important members of the security council in this matter, we might also be going to court over some parts of the struggle all put together to create a situation where there will be no doubt that the United Nations needs to intervene.
“United Nations doesn’t choose to intervene in any situation on its own, it is the situation that pressurises the UN to intervene anyway and so we are going to be using that knowledge very much.”
Speaking on how some Yoruba politicians are reportedly preparing for the 2023 elections, Akintoye said, “They are warming up and there is nothing wrong with that but they will soon discover they will hit a rock very soon.”
The historian added that the Yoruba nation must be achieved as there is no other alternative to that.
“Yoruba must have their own country in the interest of humanity so they can bring development, prosperity and development to their people again, and I believe that it is the same type of thinking among the Igbo, Middle Belt and people of the South-South. There is no considerable option that will satisfy the humanity that we are seeking to satisfy.”
The leader and founder of Biafra Independence Movement and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (BIM-MASSOB), Chief Dr. Ralph Uwazuruike have directed his members to remain indoors and pray while observing the 22nd May redeclaration of the New Biafra.
Uwazuruike on May 22nd 2000 declared the defunct Republic of Biafra at 175 Folks Road Aba, the commercial city of Abia State. The declaration that triggered arrests, detentions, Killings and Intimidations of the members of MASSOB from Olusegu Obasanjo led Federal Government of Nigeria, even though Uwazuruike made it clear that he is not ready for violence, as he maintained that he will use non Violence methodology to achieve his purpose of Actualising the Republic of Biafra.
Speaking in a statement signed by his Foreign Representative, Mazi Ikenna Obibi Egeonu, Uwazuruike said. “As BIM-MASSOB prepare to celebrate May 22nd 2021, being the day New Biafra was reproclaimed, the father of the Nation and Ijele Ndigbo, Chief, Dr. R. Uwazurike has instructed all members of the family to stay indoors and mark the day with special prayers, in glorious thanks to the Maker of all things, for our life and successes so far.
“This decision becomes necessary to avoid mistaking and arresting BIM-MASSOB and other non-violence group agitators as IPOB/ESN. Similarly, every other person is advised to be mindful of their movements and actions, assured that on our road to homeland Biafra we remain dauntless and committed”, he said.
The Father of the New Biafra Nation also advise all Biafrans to report any suspicious movements within their environs to the appropriate authorities.
PROFESSOR BANJI AKINTOYE REPLIES SOUTHERN GOVERNORS, SAYS “WHAT THE SOUTHERN PEOPLE NEED NOW IS SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE, NOT POLITICAL CONFERENCE”
BACK GOVERNORS ON BAN OF OPEN GRAZING IN SOUTHERN NIGERIA
The statement, as made available to Newsmen by Akintoye’s communications Manager, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye on Wednesday evening, goes as thus:
Our Governors in the South deserve the gratitude of all of us their people for hurrying to hold a meeting on the terrible insecurity that is ravaging all the peoples of the South. We their people should commend them for the considerable amount of bravery that they have shown in their communique. In particular, it gladdens the heart that our Governors now have the courage to decide to eliminate open grazing of cattle in all parts of the South. That is a historic decision of great significance. So, we their people are looking forward to two things now concerning that decision; first, what are the processes by which the Governors intend to carry out this decision, especially in the face of predictable Federal opposition and resistance to the decision?
Secondly, what do our Governors intend to do in replacement of cattle grazing? What we the people propose is that our Governors should embark upon the policy of encouraging our indigenous entrepreneurs to venture into modern cattle ranching in their own homelands. If we make a success of this, it will eliminate the need for open grazing of cattle in our land forever.
Altogether, we the peoples of the South assure our Governors that if they sincerely go forward to embark on implementing this decision, we will support them every inch of the way and with all the strength at our disposal.
For us the peoples of the South concerning the open grazing of cattle, “Enough is now Enough “.
However, we are surprised that our Governirs are still calling on the Federal Government to come and deal with insecurity in the South. The Federal Government had recently made a statement that it is not responsible for fighting against banditry, kidnapping and raping, therefore, what should have been decided by our Governors is how they will replace the Federal Government in the fight against insecurity in the various states of the South. It does not make sense that they are calling upon the Federal Govermnent to come and bring insecurity to an end after the Fedrral Government has made a statement that it is not responsible for such functions.
What our Governors should have decided is how they would tackle insecurity in their various States. We therefore respectfully call on our Governors to go back to the meeting table again and take decisions on how they will tackle various aspects of insecurity such as kidnapping for ransome, killings, maimings, destruction, banditry, raping and others.
The Federal Government has abdicated responsibility in these matters and we need our State government’s to step boldly into the gap. We are surprised that our Southern State Governors have held a meeting without considering the issue of domestic and international terrorism as it affects the South. We know today, that a combination of terrorist groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Quieda and others have entrenched themselves decisively in Niger State, immediately to the North of the Southwest thereby standing in a position to have easy access to the Southwest and the rest of the South. At the same time, an important world power, the United States of America, has alerted the world that ISIS and its allies have infiltrated the South from the sea. The Federal Government is not saying or doing anything about all these. Again, our State governments must step into the gap and do the needful.
Our Governors speak of agitations for inclusiveness in appointments into the Federal government and its agencies in Nigeria as if that is the only kind of agitation that is going on in Nigeria. While there is agitation for inclusiveness, there is bigger and wider agitations for self determination of the various peoples of the South and the Middle belt accounting for a total of three quarters of the population of Nigeria. Our Governors ask for a conference to consider the question of inequality in the appointments into the Federal Government, but that is not really the kind of conference Nigeria needs right now. The kind of conference that Nigeria needs is a conference for the purpose of negotiating with the various peoples of the South and Middle belt of Nigeria concerning the assertion of their national self determination. That is the greatest need of the moment. Behaving as if it does not exist is unfortunate. Every nationality in Nigeria has a right to self determination and the right to seek to assert its self determination. The people of the South and Middle belt are doing just that now, and the Nigerian government needs to step forward to negotiate with them in order to prevent ultimate chaos in the dissolution of Nigeria. Self determination of the various nationalities of Nigeria is today the idea whose time has come in Nigeria, and it will have its way, one way or another. What is needed now is that it should not be allowed to have its way through chaos, violence, and human suffering.
We ask that our Governors should go back to the meeting table again and give serious and statesmanly consideration to the determination of the various peoples of the South and the middlebelt to assert their self determination in a peaceful manner according to International Law.