Wednesday, August 30, 2017

To Re-arrest Kanu While “Arewa Youths” Roam Free is a Declaration of War


It’s no longer news that the quasi-militaristic government of former military dictator and current president of Nigeria, Mohammadu
Nnamdi Kanu
Buhari, against common-sense, has approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to revoke the bail granted the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. On Friday, August 25, 2017, the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for an order revoking the bail granted Kanu on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. It wants Kanu to be re-arrested and committed to prison pending his trial for treason. Their grounds for the revocation of the bail, re-arresting of Kanu and committing him to prison are that he has violated his bail conditions.

As already mentioned, Kanu was granted bail on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja. His bail conditions were so stringent and unprecedented that many thought it would be practically impossible to meet. He was required to provide three sureties in the sum of N100 million each. Of the sureties, one must be a senior highly placed person of Igbo extraction such as a senator. The second must be a highly respected Jewish leader since Kanu’s religion is Judaism, and the third must be a highly respected person who owns landed property and is resident in Abuja. Also, he was required to deposit his Nigerian and British passports with the court, and provide the court with reports on the progress of his health and treatment on a monthly basis. The IPOB’s leader bail conditions included that he must not hold rallies, must not be in a crowd of more than 10 people and must not grant press interviews.

From the onset, Kanu had maintained that parts of his bail conditions violated his constitutional rights. These are the aspects dealing with holding or attending rallies, being in a crowd of more than 10 people, and granting press interviews. Constitutionally, these bother on freedom of association and peaceful assembly, and freedom of expression and press guaranteed under sections 40 and 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), respectively. Already, the IPOB leader has challenged these prohibitive and discriminatory conditions in court through an application dated July 1, 2017, and filed at Federal High Court in Abuja by his counsel, Attorney Ifeanyi Ejiofor. So, one wonders why AGF, Malami should be in court, asking for the revocation of Kanu’s bail.

To be sure, this is not about the rule of law. It’s about fighting for the soul of Nigeria. It’s not about the rule of law, because the current regime
Arewa Quit Notice Announcers
in Abuja does not bother about the rule of law. If it operates by the tenets of the rule of law, then, it ought to have released Nnamdi Kalu when Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court ordered that he be released unconditionally from illegal detention on December 17, 2015. If the Buhari regime had respect for the rule of law and even-handed justice, then, it would have by now rounded up the authors of Kaduna Declaration for their genocidal call against the Igbo living in the North, and commenced their prosecution in earnest instead of Malami saying that they couldn't arrest them, because of the security implications. Malami’s statement makes one wonder if there are no security implications in re-arresting Kanu. Further, if this government had respect for the rule of law, it would have also by now sought out the composers of anti-Igbo songs for genocide and those circulating them and prosecuted them. This government has not attended to any of those serious and credible security threats to a huge section of its population, the Igbo. Rather, it wants to re-arrest a man, who is leading a non-violent organization that is seeking for self-determination for his people in a struggle against manifest injustices and genocides perpetrated against them since 1945.

Since the Federal Government initiated the move to re-arrest Kanu, voices of reason rang out in condemnation of it. Mr. Nnia Nwodo, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in a courageous statement on Saturday, August 26, 2017, said he was amazed that the distinguished attorney (Malami) is prepared to contest the superiority of the provisions of the Constitution on fundamental human rights of freedom of movement and freedom of association over an erroneous judicial proclamation violating those rights. Further, Mr. Nwodo described Malami’s action as biased, insensitive and misdirected, citing his inability to bring to book Arewa “Youths” who issued quit notice to the Igbo in the North.

In their own reaction on Sunday, August 27, 2017, the Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-cultural group speaking through its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said the idea of re-arresting Kanu will overheat the polity, more so when youths in the north that issued a notice to quit were not arrested, even after the Kaduna State Governor and the Vice President ordered their arrest, he said the police did nothing. He posited that the government was engaging in double standard, by giving the impression that what is red line for someone from a particular region is green line for someone in another part of the country. The group advised the government to engage to bring down the tension rather than strong-arm tactics that would overheat the polity.

Expectedly, the Arewa Consultative Forum through its Chairman, Chief Paul Unongo is in full support of the move by the Federal
Paul Unongo
Government to re-arrest Kanu. Unongo has countered Nwodo’s position, accusing him of condoning criminality. Others who have expressed support for the move are Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, Senator Joseph Waku and Alhaji Abubakar Tsav. They expressed their support through separate interviews granted to the Vanguard and published on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. Instructively, these people have never risen in strong condemnation of the Arewa “Youths” since Tuesday, June 6, 2017, when they issued a quit notice with its attendant genocidal intent to the Igbo resident in the North. They’ve not strongly risen in condemnation of the anti-Igbo songs for genocide against the Igbo in Hausa that is being widely circulated in the North. Yet, they are quick to back the re-arrest of someone leading an organisation a Nigerian court has pronounced as lawful, and an organisation seeking for self-determination through a referendum, an internationally recognised instrument for such quest. It’ll not be wrong to assume that these people are some of the forces behind the Arewa “Youths”.

It’s not as if the Federal Government and those backing it to re-arrest Kanu are unaware of the possible consequences of their action. It’s just that they believe they can contain it with the help of the lopsided security forces. Throwing all caution to the wind in this matter is dangerous. And it has to be clearly stated that re-arresting Kanu while leaving the "Arewa Youths” to roam free is a declaration of war. The UN must now do the needful by urgently supporting the call for a referendum in Nigeria to avoid a looming catastrophe.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Owerri Blood on Rochas Okorocha's Hands: Eke-Ukwu Owerri and the Anti-Igbo Governor in the Igbo Heartland


On Saturday, August 26, 2017, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, the anti-Igbo Governor
in the Igbo heartland of Imo State continued the destruction of Owerri, the state capital in the name of urban renewal by destroying the ancestral and famous Eke-Ukwu Owerri Market. But unlike the destruction of the State Library, the Mbari Cultural Centre, Shell Camp, and other landmarks he met when he became governor in 2011, the destruction of Eke-Ukwu Market came with the spilling of the blood of 
innocent citizens, including the blood of a 10-year-old boy, who was callously shot in the head. The destruction came with a lot of tears and sorrow for many traders whose wares worth millions of naira were destroyed in this hard time.

Pathetically, shortly after the destruction and killings, the governor through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo issued a statement in which he claimed that Owerri people were jubiliating over the relocation of the market when in actual fact they resisted the destruction of the market. The reaction of Owerri people is well captured by video recordings of what went on during the destruction, and is available on social media. See for example, Trouble at Eke-Ukwu Owerri: Rochas Okorocha Causes Bloodshed, Fire, and Destruction.   Inhumanely, the statement neither mentioned the dead nor did it offer condolences to the bereaved families.

Also, in the said press statement, Okorocha claimed that the reason he destroyed the market was to recover Douglas Road, which links the state to other states. But the truth is that there is a by-pass from Orlu Road junction, which he creditably constructed, that connects Douglas at the Emmanuel College end. So, the destruction of Eke-Ukwu Market is nothing but a punitive action taken against perceived enemies, in this case, the Owerri people. It has nothing to do with recovering Douglas Road for access to other states. And definitely, it has nothing to do with traders using it as a refuse dumping ground as also claimed in the statement since the government can cart away the refuse and tax the traders accordingly.

It’s wicked that Okorocha chose to carry out the destruction
10-year old boy gunned down at Eke-Ukwu
during the rainy season and at a time when his so-called market at Ohi that is erosion prone is far from being ready for business. And what he has done is lawless considering that there is a subsisting order of a court of competent jurisdiction restraining him from moving Eke-Ukwu Market to a new location. This is not the first time he is flouting a court order. He has done that several times, particularly since he joined the All Progressives Congress, APC. Under him, Imo State is being governed by impulse. He has no governance blue print for the state. And there is no due process in the running of the affairs of the state. Indeed, executive lawlessness has been the order of the day since he assumed power and became intoxicated with it.

Imo people are wondering why Okorocha is so obsessed with urban renewal of the old Owerri when there is new Owerri with vast and flat land. Is he imputing that he is wiser than the likes of Dee Sam Mbakwe, who sited and built Imo Concorde Hotel in the area? Why destroy the old city when you have a vast and flat land you could transform into a modern and model part of the capital, complete with state-of-the-art facilities, including a modern market? Does that really make sense? People assert that what Okorocha is doing is a manifestation of sadism and that his actions are largely borne out of vindictiveness. They point at the destruction of part of the house of Capt. Emma Iheanacho on Orlu Road as a vindication of this assertion. Capt. Iheanacho was a former Interior Minister, and one of Okorocha’s challengers in the 2015 gubernatorial election in Imo State. He ran under All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA.

The destruction of a people’s ancestral market and the spilling of the blood of
Rochas Rejoices After the Killings
innocent citizens that came with it is a new low for Okorocha who has long personalised governance by appointing his wife and in-laws into key positions in the state, and pushing his in-law to a ministerial position at the national level. It’s a new low for someone, who has spent billions of naira in constructing roads, but with none of the roads lasting beyond six months. It’s a new low for someone who has spent billions building hospitals that have now been taken over by bush while he is still governing and claiming those as achievements. It’s a new low for someone owing civil servants and pensioners arrears of many months. It’s a new low for someone shamelessly, preparing his son-in-law without any pedigree whatsoever to succeed him in 2019 as though Imo is a serfdom.

The blood of those killed in Owerri last Saturday is in Okorocha’s hands, vicariously. This is the height of his anti-Igbo actions in his governance of the state. He must be held to account. If not now, certainly, when he is out of office. The Igbo are killed at little or no provocation in the North, and now, they're being killed in Igboland under the watch of those who claim to be Igbo. This is untenable and unacceptable. It has to be redressed, using national and international statutes.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Trouble at Eke Ukwu Owerri: Rochas Okorocha Causes Bloodshed, Fire, and Destruction

Owerri, the capital city of Imo State is in trouble today at Eke- Ukwu Market as Governor Rochas Okorocha  demolishes that place. There is gun fire between the Nigerian Army and Owerri Youths.
Police and army claim they tried to maintain  neutrality though they showed up with thugs from Ohaji/Egbema and shot and killed a 10-year old boy.  Now, Owerri indigenes ordered any Ohaji man or woman doing business at Eke-Ukwu Owerri to vacate immediately and vowed to take the war to Ohaji in retaliation.

10year old boy killed by Rochas


Two lives have been lost, a thirteen year boy and an elderly man hit by stray bullet from hired thugs from Ohaji /Egbema.  Owerri indigenes retaliated and pursued the pay-loader man who fled with his pay-loader.

Eke-Ukwu is now on fire and destroyed.

Rochas celebrates victory as his fellow Aboki, Bature. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Biafra vs Mumu Don Do: the Rascality of Charly Boy


Charles Oputa a.k.a. Charly Boy, the Oguta-born
BNW: Charly Boy
Charly Boy
entertainer and son of the late revered Justice of Supreme Court, Chukwudifu Oputa, was in the news recently. I dare say for the wrong reason, considering the possible consequences that his actions could have on his kinsmen, the Igbo.

On Monday, August 7, 2017, Charly Boy and Deji Adeyanju started protesting under the banner “Our Mumu Don Do and Resume or Resign.” He and his supporters were asking Nigeria’s President Mohammed Buhari to resume or resign. Buhari has been on medical tourism in London for more than 90 days for an undisclosed illness as at the time they started the protest. Their protest was largely conducted around “Unity” Fountain, Abuja. On Friday, August 11, 2017, a pro-Buhari mob attacked and chased Charly Boy away.  A few days earlier during the first Mumu Don Do protest, Charly Boy was attacked by a combined team of Nigerian Police and a pro-Buhari mob and Charly boy collapsed after inhaling teargas from the police.  Also, on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, Charly Boy was nearly lynched by a mob at Wuse market. The mob was said to have been made up of pro-Buhari protesters.

By Wednesday, August 16, 2017, it was déjà vu all over again,
a la the "Nzeogwu led Igbo coup," as a protest organized by Deji Adeyanju  and Charly Boy was now being referred to in the press as the Charly Boy led protest just so that the Igbo would bear the consequences. The same day, Charly Boy whom the media now calls the leader of the protest, instead of the co-convener, announced that they’ve suspended their protest. According to media reports, he said they did this, because the government wanted to unleash hoodlums against them. He (Charly Boy) said they would announce their next line of action in due course. It’s good that he has beaten a retreat, and

that Buhari is now back to the country he left 104 days ago. Buhari has even addressed Nigerians on Monday, August 21, 2017, in a speech most Nigerians have criticised as full of threats and lacking in unifying spirit, but which Charly Boy has hailed. On the protest, what Charly Boy did in the first place was insensitive and lacking in wisdom. While I condemn those who teargased him and those that tried to lynch him for exercising his right of peaceful protest guaranteed under the military baked Nigerian Constitution, I strongly believe that Charly Boy is old enough to know that even if his action was altruistic, it’ll be misconstrued by those who think they own Nigeria. At a time there is a quit notice hanging on the heads of Nd’Igbo in the North, and anti-Igbo songs for genocide circulating there, what is needed from every Igbo is entreatment of the Igbo resident in the North, especially the core North, to return home.

I can understand the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and their struggle. They’re seeking for self-determination for the Igbo. In a country where they and their people are treated like serfs, and all manner of injustice is visited on them by those the British bequeathed the country to at independence, their quest for a separate country cannot be faulted. And as long as they remain peaceful, they’ll continue to have the support of many Igbo people, especially the young people.

But what’s Charly Boy fighting for? He’s fighting for Buhari to resume or resign, and for the status quo to be maintained. He’s not even fighting for the restructuring of the Nigerian state like his fellow Igbo one Nigeria advocates. He knows that Nigeria as currently configured is skewed against the Igbo. He glosses over the many injustices inherent in the Igbo experience in Nigeria. How many times has Charly Boy protested against the killing of the Igbo in the North or even the killing of his kinsmen in Oguta by Fulani herdsmen? Who remembers what Charly Boy did or said when Mrs. Bridget Agbahime was killed in Kano and her killers discharged and acquitted?

Charly Boy should know that when an Igbo does something that affects the Nigerian state, he/she is not viewed as an individual acting of his/her own conviction, but seen as acting on behalf of the Igbo. When Maj. Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and his Yoruba and Hausa group wanted to bring to a halt the killings and destruction in the then Western Nigeria and Tivland through a military coup, they were fired by patriotic and nationalistic feelings. He never consulted Nd’Igbo. But the coup was branded an Igbo coup and the Igbo paid, and are still paying dearly for it. It didn’t matter that a Maj. Adewale Ademoyega, a Yoruba, an Atom Kpera, a Tiv and Nigerians of other ethnic groups were part of the coup. It didn’t even matter to other Nigerians that the beneficiary of the coup if it had succeeded was going to be Chief Obafemi Awolowo according to the plans of the plotters. One is sure that these hard facts are well known to Charly Boy. So, he should have thought through these facts before embarking on his now suspended protest.

Charly Boy embarked on a mission whose success as well as failure bodes ill for Nd'Igbo; it's heads, Igbo loses, and tails, Igbo loses. The average Hausa-Fulani man has got to find this dancing with the mumu charade to be more detestable than MASSOB or IPOB membership and activism. Because Charly Boy's mumu activism looks so bizarre, even to non-Hausa/Fulanis, it is also more likely to enrage and stir the Northern mob to violence and murder of Nd'Igbo. If Buhari resigns as a result of Charly Boy's misplaced patriotism/activism, Yoruba Osinbajo who stands to benefit therefrom considers himself to be Buhari's son and does not need help from an Igbo to assume his father's throne. Nd'igbo lose. Yet, here we have an Igbo man trying to start a fight between father and son. If Buhari resumes as they say he now has, his northern constituents stand to gain. Again, Nd'Igbo lose.

Nigeria as it’s today does not require political correctness in expression or action. Igbo elites must know this. They should learn to speak truth to power on the marginalization of their people, which is fuelling agitation among their youths. And if they cannot because of their vested interest in one Nigeria, they should stay off issues that they know can endanger the collective interest of their people.