Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Buhari Regime Deports Cameroonian Saparatist Leader from Nigeria to Cameroon

A key Cameroonian separatist leader arrested in Abuja earlier this month has been deported by Nigerian authorities to
Julius Tabe of Ambazonia
Cameroon, his lawyer and the government in Yaounde said.

Nigerian authorities on Friday deported Julius Tabe, president of a self-declared breakaway state made up of the Anglophone regions of majority-Francophone Cameroon, said his Nigerian lawyer Abdul Oroh.
His deportation marks an escalation in Cameroon’s fight against the separatists who have taken up arms over the past year in their bid to create a nation which they call Ambazonia.
“A group of 47 terrorists, among them Tabe, has for some hours been in the hands of Cameroonian justice, before which they will answer for their crimes,” Communications Minister Issa Bakary said in a statement.
The Ambazonian movement has gathered widespread support due to a government crackdown on peaceful protests by Anglophones who complain of being marginalized by the French majority.
Nigeria and Cameroon are increasingly coordinating efforts to deal jointly with the growing insurgency that Yaounde has struggled to contain – in part because most of the leading actors are orchestrating events from abroad.
The countries had previously been at loggerheads over the latter’s violent crackdown on the separatist movement, which has sent tens of thousands of refugees flooding across the border into its neighbour.
In his statement, Cameroon’s communications minister praised his government’s cooperation with Nigeria, adding that the two countries “will never tolerate their respective territories serving as a base for activities that destabilise one or the other.”
Tabe, a former businessman who had lived in Nigeria, is seen as a moderate voice in the separatist movement and has in the past promoted dialogue over violence.
Nevertheless, he has been the target of Cameroonian authorities as a leading member of a resurgent movement to break away from French-speaking Cameroon.
In December, his family home in Anglophone Cameroon was surrounded by government troops, he told Reuters at the time from Nigeria.
“If you can kidnap someone like Ayuk, who wanted meaningful dialogue, who will you be able to speak to?” said Cho Ayaba, head of the Ambazonian Governing Council, a separatist body established to create an independent state called Ambazonia.
“This is an intolerable act. Now we have no choice but to defend our homeland.” From the Guardian

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Vandal Wants to Be the Rebuilder: Obasanjo's Clarion Call for Bla, Bla, Bla, etc.

THE WAY OUT: A CLARION CALL FOR COALITION FOR NIGERIA MOVEMENT --- by Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo

Since we are still in the month of January, it is appropriate to wish all Nigerians Happy 2018. I am constrained to issue this special statement at this time considering the situation of the country. Some of you may be asking, “What has brought about this special occasion of Obasanjo issuing a Special Statement?” You will be right to ask such a question. But there is a Yoruba saying that ‘when lice abound in your clothes, your fingernails will never be dried of blood’. When I was
Obasanjo
in the village, to make sure that lice die, you put them between two fingernails and press hard to ensure they die and they always leave blood stains on the fingernails. To ensure you do not have blood on your fingernails, you have to ensure that lice are not harboured anywhere within your vicinity.
The lice of poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condonation of misdeed – if not outright encouragement of it, lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality – are very much with us today. With such lice of general and specific poor performance and crying poverty with us, our fingers will not be dry of ‘blood’.
Four years ago when my PDP card was torn, I made it abundantly clear that I quit partisan politics for aye but my concern and interest in Nigeria, Africa and indeed in humanity would not wane. Ever since, I have adhered strictly to that position. Since that time, I have devoted quality time to the issue of zero hunger as contained in Goal No. 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. We have set the target that Nigeria with the participating States in the Zero Hunger Forum should reach Zero Hunger goal by 2025 – five years earlier than the UN target date. I am involved in the issue of education in some States and generally in the issue of youth empowerment and employment. I am involved in all these domestically and altruistically to give hope and future to the seemingly hopeless and those in despair. I believe strongly that God has endowed Nigeria so adequately that no Nigerian should be either in want or in despair.
I believe in team work and collaborative efforts. At the international level, we have worked with other world leaders to domicile the apparatus for monitoring and encouraging socio-economic progress in Africa in our Presidential Library. The purpose of Africa Progress Group, which is the new name assumed by Africa Progress Panel (APP), is to point out where, when and what works need to be done for the progress of Africa separately and collectively by African leaders and their development partners. I have also gladly accepted the invitation of the UN Secretary-General to be a member of his eighteen-member High-Level Board of Advisers on Mediation. There are other assignments I take up in other fora for Africa and for the international community. For Africa to move forward, Nigeria must be one of the anchor countries, if not the leading anchor country. It means that Nigeria must be good at home to be good outside. No doubt, our situation in the last decade or so had shown that we are not good enough at home; hence we are invariably absent at the table that we should be abroad.
All these led me to take the unusual step of going against my own political Party, PDP, in the last general election to support the opposite side. I saw that action as the best option for Nigeria. As it has been revealed in the last three years or so, that decision and the subsequent collective decision of Nigerians to vote for a change was the right decision for the nation. For me, there was nothing personal, it was all in the best interest of Nigeria and, indeed, in the best interest of Africa and humanity at large. Even the horse rider then, with whom I maintain very cordial, happy and social relationship today has come to realise his mistakes and regretted it publicly and I admire his courage and forthrightness in this regard. He has a role to play on the side line for the good of Nigeria, Africa and humanity and I will see him as a partner in playing such a role nationally and internationally, but not as a horse rider in Nigeria again.
The situation that made Nigerians to vote massively to get my brother Jonathan off the horse is playing itself out again. First, I thought I knew the point where President Buhari is weak and I spoke and wrote about it even before Nigerians voted for him and I also did vote for him because at that time it was a matter of “any option but Jonathan” (aobj). But my letter to President Jonathan titled: “Before It Is Too Late” was meant for him to act before it was too late. He ignored it and it was too late for him and those who goaded him into ignoring the voice of caution. I know that praise-singers and hired attackers may be raised up against me for verbal or even physical attack but if I can withstand undeserved imprisonment and was ready to shed my blood by standing for Nigeria, I will consider no sacrifice too great to make for the good of Nigeria at any time. No human leader is expected to be personally strong or self-sufficient in all aspects of governance.
I knew President Buhari before he became President and said that he is weak in the knowledge and understanding of the economy but I thought that he could make use of good Nigerians in that area that could help. Although, I know that you cannot give what you don’t have and that economy does not obey military order. You have to give it what it takes in the short-, medium- and long-term. Then, it would move. I know his weakness in understanding and playing in the foreign affairs sector and again, there are many Nigerians that could be used in that area as well. They have knowledge and experience that could be deployed for the good of Nigeria. There were serious allegations of round-tripping against some inner caucus of the Presidency which would seem to have been condoned. I wonder if such actions do not amount to corruption and financial crime, then what is it? Culture of condonation and turning blind eye will cover up rather than clean up. And going to justice must be with clean hands.
I thought President Buhari would fight corruption and insurgency and he must be given some credit for his achievement so far in these two areas although it is not yet uhuru!
The herdsmen/crop farmers issue is being wittingly or unwittingly allowed to turn sour and messy. It is no credit to the Federal Government that the herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution to it. And it is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term! The timing was most unfortunate. The issue of herdsmen/crop farmers dichotomy should not be left on the political platform of blame game; the Federal Government must take the lead in bringing about solution that protects life and properties of herdsmen and crop farmers alike and for them to live amicably in the same community.
But there are three other areas where President Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew about him. One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court. This has grave consequences on performance of his government to the detriment of the nation. It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest. What does one make of a case like that of Maina: collusion, condonation, ineptitude, incompetence, dereliction of responsibility or kinship and friendship on the part of those who should have taken visible and deterrent disciplinary action? How many similar cases are buried, ignored or covered up and not yet in the glare of the media and the public? The second is his poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics. This has led to wittingly or unwittingly making the nation more divided and inequality has widened and become more pronounced. It also has effect on general national security. The third is passing the buck. For instance, blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for devaluation of the naira by 70% or so and blaming past governments for it, is to say the least, not accepting one’s own responsibility. Let nobody deceive us, economy feeds on politics and because our politics is depressing, our economy is even more depressing today. If things were good, President Buhari would not need to come in. He was voted to fix things that were bad and not engage in the blame game. Our Constitution is very clear, one of the cardinal responsibilities of the President is the management of the economy of which the value of the naira forms an integral part. Kinship and friendship that place responsibility for governance in the hands of the unelected can only be deleterious to good government and to the nation.
President Buhari’s illness called for the sympathy, understanding, prayer and patience from every sane Nigerian. It is part of our culture. Most Nigerians prayed for him while he was away sick in London for over hundred days and he gave his Deputy sufficient leeway to carry on in his absence. We all thanked God for President Buhari for coming back reasonably hale and hearty and progressing well in his recovery. But whatever may be the state of President Buhari’s health today, he should neither over-push his luck nor over-tax the patience and tolerance of Nigerians for him, no matter what his self-serving, so-called advisers, who would claim that they love him more than God loves him and that without him, there would be no Nigeria say. President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the side line for the good of the country. His place in history is already assured. Without impaired health and strain of age, running the affairs of Nigeria is a 25/7 affair, not 24/7.
I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service. President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward.
I have had occasion in the past to say that the two main political parties – APC and PDP – were wobbling. I must reiterate that nothing has happened to convince me otherwise. If anything, I am reinforced in my conviction. The recent show of PDP must give grave and great concern to lovers of Nigeria. To claim, as has been credited to the chief kingmaker of PDP, that for procuring the Supreme Court judgement for his faction of the Party, he must dictate the tune all the way and this is indeed fraught with danger. If neither APC nor PDP is a worthy horse to ride to lead Nigeria at this crucial and critical time, what then do we do? Remember Farooq Kperogi, an Associate Professor at the Kennesaw State University, Georgia, United States, calls it “a cruel Hobson’s choice; it’s like a choice between six and half a dozen, between evil and evil. Any selection or deflection would be a distinction without a difference.” We cannot just sit down lamenting and wringing our hands desperately and hopelessly.
I believe the situation we are in today is akin to what and where we were in at the beginning of this democratic dispensation in 1999. The nation was tottering. People became hopeless and saw no bright future in the horizon. It was all a dark cloud politically, economically and socially. The price of oil at that time was nine dollars per barrel and we had a debt overhang of about $35 billion. Most people were confused with lack of direction in the country. One of the factors that saved the situation was a near government of national unity that was put in place to navigate us through the dark cloud. We had almost all hands on deck. We used people at home and from the diaspora and we navigated through the dark cloud of those days. At that time, most people were hopelessly groping in the dark. They saw no choice, neither in the left nor in the right, and yet we were not bereft of people at home and from the diaspora that could come together to make Nigeria truly a land flowing with milk and honey. Where we are is a matter of choice but we can choose differently to make a necessary and desirable change, once again.
Wherever I go, I hear Nigerians complaining, murmuring in anguish and anger. But our anger should not be like the anger of the cripple. We can collectively save ourselves from the position we find ourselves. It will not come through self-pity, fruitless complaint or protest but through constructive and positive engagement and collective action for the good of our nation and ourselves and our children and their children. We need moral re-armament and engaging togetherness of people of like-mind and goodwill to come solidly together to lift Nigeria up. This is no time for trading blames or embarking on futile argument and neither should we accept untenable excuses for non-performance. Let us accept that the present administration has done what it can do to the limit of its ability, aptitude and understanding. Let the administration and its political party platform agree with the rest of us that what they have done and what they are capable of doing is not good enough for us. They have given as best as they have and as best as they can give. Nigeria deserves and urgently needs better than what they have given or what we know they are capable of giving. To ask them to give more will be unrealistic and will only sentence Nigeria to a prison term of four years if not destroy it beyond the possibility of an early recovery and substantial growth. Einstein made it clear to us that doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the height of folly. Already, Nigerians are committing suicide for the unbearable socio-economic situation they find themselves in. And yet Nigerians love life. We must not continue to reinforce failure and hope that all will be well. It is self-deceit and self-defeat and another aspect of folly.
What has emerged from the opposition has shown no better promise from their antecedents. As the leader of that Party for eight years as President of Nigeria, I can categorically say there is nothing to write home about in their new team. We have only one choice left to take us out of Egypt to the promised land. And that is the coalition of the concerned and the willing – ready for positive and drastic change, progress and involvement. Change that will give hope and future to all our youth and dignity and full participation to all our women. Our youth should be empowered to deploy their ability to learn, innovate and work energetically at ideas and concepts in which they can make their own original inputs. Youth must be part of the action today and not relegated to leadership of tomorrow which may never come. Change that will mean enhancement of living standard and progress for all. A situation where the elected will accountably govern and every Nigerian will have equal opportunity not based on kinship and friendship but based on free citizenship.
Democracy is sustained and measured not by leaders doing extra-ordinary things, (invariably, leaders fail to do ordinary things very well), but by citizens rising up to do ordinary things extra-ordinarily well. Our democracy, development and progress at this juncture require ordinary citizens of Nigeria to do the extra-ordinary things of changing the course and direction of our lackluster performance and development. If leadership fails, citizens must not fail and there lies the beauty and importance of democracy. We are challenged by the current situation; we must neither adopt spirit of cowardice nor timidity let alone impotence but must be sustained by courage, determination and commitment to say and do and to persist until we achieve upliftment for Nigeria. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and we believe that our venturing will not be in vain. God of Nigeria has endowed this country adequately and our non-performance cannot be blamed on God but on leadership. God, who has given us what we need and which is potentially there, will give us leadership enablement to actualize our potentiality.
The development and modernization of our country and society must be anchored and sustained on dynamic Nigerian culture, enduring values and an enchanting Nigerian dream. We must have abiding faith in our country and its role and place within the comity of nations. Today, Nigeria needs all hands on deck. All hands of men and women of goodwill must be on deck. We need all hands to move our country forward.
We need a Coalition for Nigeria, CN. Such a Movement at this juncture needs not be a political party but one to which all well-meaning Nigerians can belong. That Movement must be a coalition for democracy, good governance, social and economic well-being and progress. Coalition to salvage and redeem our country. You can count me with such a Movement. Last time, we asked, prayed and worked for change and God granted our request. This time, we must ask, pray and work for change with unity, security and progress. And God will again grant us. Of course, nothing should stop such a Movement from satisfying conditions for fielding candidates for elections. But if at any stage the Movement wishes to metamorphose into candidate-sponsoring Movement for elections, I will bow out of the Movement because I will continue to maintain my non-partisan position. Coalition for Nigeria must have its headquarters in Abuja.
This Coalition for Nigeria will be a Movement that will drive Nigeria up and forward. It must have a pride of place for all Nigerians, particularly for our youth and our women. It is a coalition of hope for all Nigerians for speedy, quality and equal development, security, unity, prosperity and progress. It is a coalition to banish poverty, insecurity and despair. Our country must not be oblivious to concomitant danger around, outside and ahead. Coalition for Nigeria must be a Movement to break new ground in building a united country, a socially-cohesive and moderately prosperous society with equity, equality of opportunity, justice and a dynamic and progressive economy that is self-reliant and takes active part in global division of labour and international decision-making.
The Movement must work out the path of development and the trajectory of development in speed, quality and equality in the short- medium- and long-term for Nigeria on the basis of sustainability, stability, predictability, credibility, security, cooperation and prosperity with diminishing inequality. What is called for is love, commitment and interest in our country, not in self, friends and kinship alone but particularly love, compassion and interest in the poor, underprivileged and downtrodden. It is our human duty and responsibility so to do. Failure to do this will amount to a sin against God and a crime against humanity.
Some may ask, what does Obasanjo want again? Obasanjo has wanted nothing other than the best for Nigeria and Nigerians and he will continue to want nothing less. And if we have the best, we will be contented whether where we live is described as palaces or huts by others and we will always give thanks to God.
I, therefore, will gladly join such a Movement when one is established as Coalition for Nigeria, CN, taking Nigeria to the height God has created it to be. From now on, the Nigeria eagle must continue to soar and fly high. CN, as a Movement, will be new, green, transparent and must remain clean and always active, selflessly so. Members must be ready to make sacrifice for the nation and pay the price of being pioneers and good Nigerians for our country to play the God-assigned role for itself, for its neighbours, for its sub-region of West Africa, for its continent and for humanity in general. For me, the strength and sustainable success of CN will derive largely from the strong commitment of a population that is constantly mobilized to the rallying platform of the fact that going forward together is our best option for building a nation that will occupy its deserved place in the global community. May God continue to lead, guide and protect us. Amen.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Imo State will Give Land to Herdsmen for Cattle Colonies – Rochas

by Voice News

Governor Rochas Okorocha of IMO State has
Rochas Okorocha
said his state is ready to be the pioneer testing ground for the cattle colonies being proposed by the Federal Government across the federation.


He reassured farmers and people of the state that it will be of immense
Fulani Herdsmen

communal land, that the policy is never an indirect attempt by the Federal Government to take and handover ancestral land to herdsmen.

“To ensure that everyone is carried along in this process, imo State, through the Ministry of Agriculture, will soon be embarking on a series of stakeholders’ engagement to sensitise the people, farmers, cattle breeders and other stakeholders on the implementation of the new policy.
“The traditional rulers, leaders of various communities, opinion leaders, religious leaders and the entire citizens will all be carried along in the course of the stakeholders engagement, so that we can collectively study the merits and demerits of the policy.

“This will enable us to jointly find solutions to the demerit and at same time improve on the merits to make it work for our state and for our people without any form of grievances.”
Continuing Rochas said: “The insinuations and speculations from various quarters across the nation that the Federal Govern-ment is conspiring to take over communal land and give it to herdsmen is far from the truth.

“The planned cattle colonies is for the interest of our people; to ensure their safety, develop and boost agricultural production; in turn boost the economy and a better life for all.
“It is a Federal Government initiative and the Federal Government will fund the project, but we will need to contribute our quota to this laudable initiative at the state level by making land available for the project in Imo State and ensuring proper implementation to ensure the goal is achieved.”

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Benue State Belongs to the Fulani People by Right of Conquest

A Fulani professor, Prof. Umar Labdo Muhammad, of the Faculty of Humanities, Northwest University, Kano says that Benue State belongs to
Prof. Umar Labdo Muhammad
the Fulani by right of conquest
because half of the state is part of the Bauchi Emirate, and the other half is part of the Adamawa Emirate. Benue is therefore part and parcel of the Sokoto Caliphate. So no one has the right to expel the Fulani from Benue under any guise.

Umar Labdo Muhammad went on to say that second only to Arabs, perhaps the Fulani are the most benevolent and merciful conquerors in history. If they had applied the Nazi final solution to the natives, or if they had treated them the same way the European settlers treated Red Indians in North America or the Aborigines in Australia, the story would have been different today.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Nigeria: The Land that Devours its Own, Genocide in Benue

The Fulani of Nigeria Have Done it Again!  

Mass Burial of Benue People Slaughtered by Fulani Herdsmen


Straight from the Mouths of Benue People to the IGP

Chief Edward Ujege:
Mr IGP sir, until you explain what you meant by "Communal clashes" we are not going to trust you. And these questions have occupied our hearts since your arrival to the state.
Do you have a heart to fight these people?  Are you
Mass Burial in Benue
not compromised already? 
Help us convey these words to the president,  while insurgency erupted in the east the president ordered for a special military unit called Operation Python Dance. We also demand for a special military operation in Benue. I may be speaking rubbish but it's  because the person who seems to be our shield has abandoned us.

Hon Mrs Apedzan:
Mr IGP,  the women have asked me to demand an unreserved apology from you for referring to  Benue state attacks as a communal clash. May I bring to your notice that the people killing us are not hoodlums, they are Fulanis,  we know the real Fulanis who are staying at Abuja and other  big cities in Nigeria,  these ones are just spies. Six Fulanis are currently standing trial in the state,  the people killing us are Fulanis.
How could Audu Ogbeh have  suggested he is creating colonies. We say no. The answer is ranching. In Audu's local government,  a catholic priest was killed by the Fulani militia
Tell Mr President, there would be no going back  on the issue of Ranching

TERRENCE KUANAM:
"Sir your coming to the State is an insult on our sensibility, your DIG said on the television that the terrain is complex to the Nigerian police,  are you now coming to clear the terrain?  What we need here is a military presence,  we don't need you here.  Audu Ogbeh is not representing us, he is representing his family.

PROF DANIEL SAROR:
"I have been to those affected areas,  these people are not looking for grass to feed their cattle, their mandate is to kill and take over. If they were looking for grass they won't carry arms with Islamic inscriptions on them.  Sir don't let us be fooled into thinking that you are here to protect us,  the federal government should also join us in creating ranches all over Nigeria.  Colonies and grazing reserves won't work. Creation of grazing reserve is an evil plan. How do we sleep with people carrying sophisticated arms? Ranching is the only way out for us. Sir,  the president sent you to Benue and you couldn't drive straight, you had to stop over at Nasarawa state?  We have lost confidence in your ability to protect us"

JUSTICE UTSAHA:
Just yesterday, my village was attacked,  my house was burnt down. Permit me to speak on the word integrity.  When you were to be appointed, so many senior ranking officers were sacked on the believe that you have integrity, do we believe on this or we should say all that glitters is not gold? We voted overwhelmingly for Mr President,  is he saying all that glitters is not gold?  Is it an offence that we have refused to hit back?
Tell Mr President that  his integrity is in question. Inform Mr President that by 2019 we are going to vote against him overwhelmingly.

CHIEF ADANYI:
I want to start by asking this question,  is the Governor of Nasarawa state a friend or a foe? Nasarawa state has become a camping ground for our enemies,  Commissioner of Police Nasarawa state,  what have you been doing? 
IGP sir,  are you here to ridicule us,  if not you must arrest all the culprits before you leave. Even yesterday,  the leader of Miyetti Allah said on the television that our anti grazing law in Benue is impracticable. Now that you are here,  go to these affected areas and see things for yourself. Last year when Agatu was affected and the Fulanis ran to Nasarawa state, the Benue state assembly member from Agatu reported to your office, (then you were Commissioner from Nasarawa state.) you said until you received information from the headquarters,  today you are in the headquarters. IGP, in clear terms, you are not doing enough.

JOSEPHINE  HABBA:
"Sir, if the Nigerian Police can not protect us, we will exercise our constitutional right by defending ourselves. Tell Mr President that since he can not come to Benue to sympathize with us,  he should forget the idea of coming here for campaigns by 2019"

REV  FR SOLOMON MFA:
"First I want to appreciate the president for sending you to Benue. I have been a priest in the most affected local government for 13 years,  I have also been severally attacked myself.  The president has made several intelligent appointments but who are those heading the security agencies, (the Fulanis ). When Yusuf Buhari,  son to our president had an accident,  our president was devastated,  here in Benue our 'Yusufs' have been slaughtered."

HRM ZAKI PROF JAMES AYATSE ( Tor Tiv 5th):
 "I want to welcome you to our state. On the controversy about your stop over at Nasarawa,  I want to believe that your stop over was to commune with the Tiv people over there.
I am happy you deployed troops to Benue but we are keenly waiting to see the nature of instructions that will be handed to the troops.  Benue people are not interested in self defence, we are law abiding. We are promising to cooperate with you, we will however wait to see your modus operandi.  It's not difficult to detect a genuine project.  Be informed that in our silence we also have a God that can rise up and defend us."






















BEING A HOMILY DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERDENOMINATIONAL FUNERAL SERVICE AND MASS BURIAL OF VICTIMS OF THE RECENT GENOCIDAL ATTACKS BY DIABOLIC, CRIMINAL TERRORISTS IN BENUE STATE, ON JANUARY 11, 2018 AT IBB SQUARE, MAKURDI,

MOST REVD WILLIAM A. AVENYA
(Catholic Bishop of Gboko)

1. Introduction

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

We all know the reason we have all gathered here today. It is to pay our last respect to our brothers and sisters whose remains are before us; pray for the repose of their souls; beg God for fortitude and strength to bear the irreparable loss and solicit for peace in our State. Our deceased brothers and sisters have suffered the fate of dying gruesomely, dying under intense and inhuman torture, dying in an undignified manner for no fault of theirs. We also remember not only those lying here before us today but by extension all those who have been killed since the beginning of these attacks perpetrated by diabolic, criminal terrorists. May the blood of these martyrs bring healing to our land, may their death usher in a new dawn of peace in Benue State, may the excruciating torture they experience unite the people of Benue sate more than ever, and usher in a culture of civilization of love, true justice, peace and end the culture of impunity in our land. We also in a special way remember all those who are affected directly or indirectly due to the orchestrated massacre, but particularly those who are recovering from the injuries sustained due to the unwholesome attacks. We pray for healing and spirit of forgiveness.

2. Recent Genocidal Attacks in Benue State in Brief

On this day, it is important to recall in brief, the historical antecedence of these attacks. The Benue people in different parts of the State have been under siege from armed terrorists for protracted period of time. These attacks have been unrelenting, brutal, bloody, gruesome, barbaric, and indeed unjustifiable on innocent and vulnerable peasant communities. They have gradually carried the hallmark of genocide and led to the killings of our people in their thousands; several houses and farms have been destroyed, resulting in high rate of poverty and dependency, and with many children out of school. It is on record, that out of the 23 local government areas of the State, the criminal terrorists have unleashed terror in 14 local governments. Those mostly affected in the North West Senatorial District are Katsina-Ala, Logo, Ukum and Kwande. In the North East Senatorial District, they have attacked Guma, Gwer West, Gwer East, Buruku, Tarka, and Makurdi; while in the Benue South, they have attacked Ogbadibo, Agatu, and Apa.



3. Our Collective Silence 

As we gather to pay tribute to the victims both living and dead of the killing rampage in our state, killings that are really genocides against a defenseless people, we have for the most part remained silent both as individuals and groups. It will be recalled that silence was maintained by the international community in the past concerning the holocaust in Germany against the Jews in 1933, the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 against the Tutsis, the ethnic cleansing against the Armenians in 1992-1995 and until recently, the failure of the world to stand up against the Rohingya persecution in Myanmar. All these, have stained the moral conscience of the world.

Here in our country, the government has in several instances remained silent on issues involving genocide against the people in local governments like Katsina-Ala, Logo, Ukum, Kwande, Guma, Gwer West, Gwer East, Buruku, Tarka, Makurdi, Ogbadibo, Agatu and Apa as earlier mentioned.

History is replete with the sacrifices made for the nation by the people of Benue State; the sacrifices of Benue indigenes and the blood shed for the unity of the Nigerian nation. Now, it seems, our pay back for this sacrifice is the silence and sometimes seeming complicity in the senseless killings, the wanton destruction of the means of livelihood and impoverishment of our people.

4. General Elections in 2015

We had high hopes in 2015 general elections that ushered in a new government; expecting a nation that defends the weak against the powerful, a nation that will protect itself not only against terrorists in the North East, but also unarmed farmers, against vicious terrorists masquerading themselves as herdsmen whose expansionist territorial appetite seems to be insatiable and to the conquest of the Benue Valley.

What has happened recently in Benue state may be called anything except a communal clash. It will be recalled that Benue people voted overwhelmingly for the government in power, yet what we get in return are the dead that are lying here. Lack of federal presence is exemplified in the broken federal roads from Makurdi-Gboko-Katsina-Ala, and Otukpo-Enugu that cast doubts on responsible leadership or leaving one to wonder whether there is any government in this country at all.

5. Some Consoling Biblical Texts

Man’s inhumanity to man is an old phenomenon; right at the beginning of the Bible, we are told that Cain killed his brother Abel. Every normal person who reads that story is shocked by Cain’s wickedness, and each time such a brutal and vicious act is repeated, it is difficult to understand why God allows such things to happen. In 2 Maccabees 12: 43-45, Judas Maccabeus led his army in battle, and discovered afterwards that God permitted some of the Israelites to be killed.

Time and again, precious lives and property have been destroyed in innumerable numbers in Benue state. Again one will ask why God would allow such outrageous massacres to be carried out repeatedly.

Brothers and sisters, while it is proper to raise this question, we are here not to attempt to answer the question or how God might judge the moral grey areas of human acts. We are gathered here to pray for our innocent, defenseless and vulnerable brothers and sisters, including children who were brutally murdered in cold blood.

The need to pray for the dead is highlighted in 2 Maccabees 12: 43-45. The passage shows that the pious Jews believed in praying for the dead; a practice, which proves that there is life after death (cf. Lk 20:27). It shows that praying for the dead was done prior to the time of Christ, and the Letter to the Romans states categorically that “we do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Rm 14:7-8). Indeed, the early Church continued the practice of praying for the dead, and hence it is praise worthy that we are gathered here in huge numbers to commend the souls of our slain beloved brothers and sisters to the Lord.

As we pray for the peaceful repose of our Benue martyrs, past and present, let us be consoled by the Maccabean text that affirms belief in life after death. This consolation is intensified in the Letter to the Romans 8:31-39, Paul is astounded by God’s unconditional love for all humankind and he offers three assurances, namely; i) that if God is for us, there is nobody or nothing that can be against us; ii) there is no condemnation of anyone, because in the death and resurrection of Christ, we are all justified (Rm 8:33-34); and iii) nothing can separate us from the love of God, be it tribulation, anguish, famine, nakedness or peril, persecution, the sword or death (Rm 8:35-39).

In this regard, death does not separate our slain beloved brothers and sisters from God’s love. We will always be led to victory in Christ because God is for us and there is no separation in our relationship with God by death. This passage should, therefore, comfort and console the immediate family members and relatives of our deceased brothers and sisters; indeed all of us.

In Jn 11:1-44, Mary and Martha separately say to Jesus “if you had been here my brother would not have died but even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him” (Jn 11:21, 32). This is our conviction and prayer too that God should grant eternal rest to our slain beloved brothers and sisters.

6. Schools of Thought

i. Fulani Pastoralist: The Fulani man that we know was at peace with his neighbour not criminal and diabolic. The Fulani man that we know used a shepherding stick but not an AK 47 riffle. Of course society is dynamic and keeps changing. So a Fulani man may not only walk on foot but move on a motor bike; he not only drinks fula de nono but drink beer and eat pepper soup. These are indices of a changing society. Hence, we call on the Fulani man to adapt to the modern world view and engage in activities that will be beneficial both to him and to society in general.

ii. Cattle Colonies: Recently, it was on the news that the Federal Government through the office of minster of agriculture desires to introduce an interim measure to forestall the regular clashes through the establishment of Cattle Colonies. We wonder if the Federal Government has blessed the anti-open bill that was recently passed into law in Benue state and assisted in providing a more sustainable measure for its implementation. While we applaud the good intention concerning the cattle colonies, we call on the Federal Government to animate the full force of the law on the anti-open grazing bill in Benue state.

iii. Anti-Open Grazing Bill: Given the changing trends of time, the Benue state Government and the Benue House of Assembly have after consultation with the Benue people passed into law the anti-grazing open bill. This Bill was received by the people of the State with a popular acclamation. We have to acknowledge that this is world best practice as far as care for our people is concerned. Unfortunately, we doubt if the bill has enjoyed the full support of the Federal Government. All we want is ranches. Let there be ranches and there will be peace in the land. This is our appeal.

7. Commendation

We commend our Holy Father Pope Francis for his singular response to the plight of Rohingya people. For our own, we commend the sons and daughters of Benue home and abroad, for their efforts to raise international awareness about the persecution of our people and their efforts towards lasting solution to this recurrent crisis. While we notice the rapid response from non-governmental organizations, and other agents, when these happen, these services regrettably most often come in the aftermath of the mishap. We are equally grateful to Nigerians who genuinely angry and have expressed solidarity with the Benue people. We call on the various governments and agencies in our nation to put in place practical measures to prevent the re-occurrence of this crisis.

We recognize the unflinching efforts of the Benue State Government under the leadership of Samuel Ortom to protecting lives and property. We commend his Amnesty program that recovered about 700 arms and ammunitions and over 800 youths giving up arms. We also acknowledge the desire of the Benue State government for her efforts towards constant peaceful-coexistence and his support in the passing into law anti-open grazing bill. On this note, we also appreciate the efforts of the traditional rulers, security agencies, nongovernmental organizations, media, relief-service providers, Church bodies, and numerous men and women of good will who are offering one service or the other towards the our sustainable peace in the land.

8. Conclusion

The people of Benue cannot be forgotten in the history of our nation. Our contribution to national growth cannot be overemphasized. In spite of all odds, we are committed in keeping the spirit of Benue alive. These attacks are nonetheless ways of crippling our economic and political force and therefore making us extinct as a people. We hereby condemn in totality the inhuman, brutal, barbaric, gruesome murders of our people. We maintain that no one has any justification to take life. We reiterate our commitment to the protection of life from the moment of conception to natural death.

All we desire is a nation, we would all be proud of, a nation where like the message of Christmas we have just celebrated reminds us the instruments of war, will become instruments of peace as prophet Isaiah says: “he shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations shall not lift up swords against nations neither shall they learn war anymore (Is 2:4). We were heartened to hear at the advent of our new government, the words of our President ‘he belonged to everybody and to nobody’.

In the words of a Lutheran Pastor, Martin Niemoller we call on everyone to be actively involved in the efforts for peaceful co-existence in Nigeria. He is reported to have said

“They first came for the communist and I did not speak up because its a communist, then they came for the Jew but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew, then they came for the trade unionist and I did not speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist, then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a protestant...” (let me interrupt the quote) then they came for the Tiv and I didn’t speak up because I was not a Tiv, then they came for the Idomas and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t an Idoma) “then they came for me and by that time, no one was left to speak up”

Ultimately, it is God who brings peace and we have to turn to him to bless our land with lasting peace. Amen.
1. May the Spirit of Benue arise !
2.May the spirit of Nigeria arise!
3. May the spirit of the middle belt arise!
4. The spirit of Benue  must not die!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

IPOB Launches Radio Nigeria Hausa Service

In keeping with our promise to facilitate  the creation of an
IPOB
unbiased informative platform to take the message of liberation to the down trodden and oppressed indigenous populations of Northern Nigeria, we the family members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) worldwide and it’s indomitable leadership, wish to happily announce the official launch of the much anticipated IPOB sponsored Radio Nigeria Hausa Service. The maiden daily broadcast will hit the airwaves on Saturday the 6th of January 2018 at 7PMNigerian time on Short Wave 15110 KHz 19 Meter Band.

The broadcast will have the widest coverage of any radio signal in Africa. It will be received all over West,  East and Southern Africa. Every Hausa speaking community in Africa will be able to receive it. In our opinion, we feel it has become imperative to educate the poor masses of Northern Nigeria. The ruling class cleverly enslaved and impoverished ethnic populations of the North by keeping vital information and knowledge away from them. This information deficit is what Radio Nigeria Hausa Service has come to remedy.
All the hitherto hidden history of the conquest of indigenous Hausa speaking populations of the North will be laid bare for the world to know. More importantly, enslaved minorities of Arewa North, brutally savaged by Fulani terrorist herdsmen, through this unbiased platform, will acquire the necessary education needed to liberate them from the suffocating stranglehold of the caliphate born to rule class.
What we hope to demonstrate through the launch of this liberation radio station is to prove beyond every conceivable doubt that IPOB is not a selfish movement concerned only about the well-being of Biafrans, but are also genuinely concerned about the plight of all oppressed people in Nigeria as stated by our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on countless occasions. Regardless of ethnicity, religion or creed,  IPOB is pursuing an agenda of freedom for all. Our message is very simple, 2018 will be like no other in the history of Nigeria and will prove to be the year of liberation for those brave enough to confront the evil that Nigeria has become in the lives of millions of people.
Our quest for the total and adulterated liberation of Biafraland is unstoppable; this we shall demonstrate in the coming months. Those deluding themselves with the laughable and perverse notion that IPOB has been weakened because of the absence of our leader is in for an almighty shock. This move today is the beginning of a mass revolution against our oppressors that will spread outside the borders of Biafraland.
The coming of this new and revolutionary Radio Nigeria Hausa Service will expose centuries old dark secrets through education of the oppressed Hausa Fulani youths that IPOB and Biafra mean well for them contrary to the lies being peddled by their corrupt leadership. We will not fail to let all Northern youths understand that their political leaders, elders and fathers like those in Biafraland are the real oppressors that over the years have kept them in the dark through a carefully crafted and systematic regime of misinformation and propagation of falsehood. Every Hausa speaking Northerner is advised to tune into 15110 KHz every night at 7PM, starting from this Saturday 6 January 2018, to be educated in order to be liberated.

COMRADE EMMA POWERFUL MEDIA AND PUBLICITY SECRETARY FOR IPOB