By Chioma Gabriel, Vincent Ujumadu, Abdallah el-Kurebe , Peter Okutu & Chimaobi Nwaiwu
.Arrest him now, Arewa youths tells FG
.Seeking self-determination not declaration of war —IPOB
.Denies maintaining Biafra Army camp in Israel
.Praying for Nigeria means continuous killings, oppression of Igbo — MASSOB
.Our rotten system fuelling agitations – Sultan
THE Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, said yesterday that the ongoing agitations in the country are as a result of the rot in the Nigerian state.
The Sultan stressed the need to dialogue with sections of the country to resolve all the misunderstandings and problems in the country.
He spoke when the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal, paid him Sallah homage in his palace.
This came on a day All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Awka, Anambra State, slammed the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, leader, Nnamdi Kanu, over call on Anambra people to shun the forthcoming gubernatorial poll in the state.
This is even as the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, said yesterday that the group’s demand for self- determination or a referendum did not amount to declaration of war as some people erroneously insinuated, describing such posture as the figment of the imagination of some politicians in the North.
The Sultan said: “In the past, a lot of things were done by some people with impunity and nothing was done. That is why you find shortage of good governance now weighing us down in the country. ‘’However, as it is now, no matter how bad your hand is, you cannot cut and throw it away. We must stick together.’’
In his remarks, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wik,e said the people and government of Rivers State did not believe in the break-up of the country, adding that the people and government of the state believed in the unity of Nigeria.
“Rivers State and its people believe in the oneness and unity of Nigeria and that is our stand. We Sultan is a father to all Nigerians and he is a peace builder in Nigeria and beyond,” he said.
Answering questions from journalists at Government House, Wike observed that there were better ways to solve the agitation and problems of Nigeria, rather than seeking a break up of the country.
“My message to Nigerians is for us to call for the unity of Nigeria and continue to work for its unity. For all those who have one problem or another, there are many ways through which we can sit and resolve those problems and not to call for the break-up of Nigeria.
“The other time the Sultan of Sokoto was in Rivers and today I have come to pay homage to him and the governor. That shows you that we believe in the unity of this country.
‘’We don’t believe in the break-up of this country. We call on our people to pray for peace and unity of Nigeria and not to say something that will divide us,” Wike stressed.
Meanwhile, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has slammed the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, leader, Nnamdi Kanu over call on Anambra people to shun forthcoming gubernatorial poll in the state.
APGA, in a letter to Mr. Kanu, signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Ifeatu Obiokoye, in Awka on Monday, said the call was irresponsible and devoid of intellectual focus.
The party also said that Kanu had no authority to speak for the Igbos of the South-East, although APGA acknowledged him as the leader of IPOB.
It explained that Biafra’s concept was a metaphor for the demand for equity and fair play in the Nigeria state and not a separatist movement.
According to the letter, “Nnamdi Kanu’s call for a boycott of elections in the South-East, beginning with the governorship polls scheduled for November 18, 2017 in Anambra is irresponsible, irredentist and totally devoid of any focus.
“You must appreciate that for different logical reasons and perception, the Biafra concept has attracted favourable comments among our people, ostensibly borne out of the marginalisation of Ndigbo in the Nigerian state.
“While youths of the East are agitating for Biafra, the Arewa youths are equally restive; the same goes for Níger Delta youths and youths from Oduduwa states.
“In this popular agitation for Biafra, Ndigbo have not instituted a separatist movement or a terrorist gang as it were. We are more concerned about the continued existence of Nigeria under the present structural arrangement,” it said.
APGA said that it stood for restructuring and implementation of the 2014 National Conference resolutions “as a certain way to peaceful co-existence among ethnic nationalities and for dousing tension.
It urged Mr. Kanu not to be carried away by the success of the May 30 sit-at-home call, which was attributable to many reasons, including fear.
It demanded a re-visit and implementation of the report of the 2014 national conference, which arguably addressed the parameters for the restructuring of the nation.
The party reminded Mr. Kanu that the right to vote and be voted for was a universally declared right under the United Nations Charter of People’s and Citizenship Right, and in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
It advised the IPOB leader to drop his “emperor” perception of himself “and humble yourself to the true leadership of Ndigbo for a proper and better articulation of the Biafra struggle”.
Meanwhile, as the ripples over the quit notice handed the Igbo in the north begin to simmer, Arewa youths yesterday berated Igbo leaders for not chastising Nnamdi Kanu for threatening to disrupt the 2019 general election and cause confusion in the country.
The northern youths under the aegis of Arewa Youth Forum, (AYF), condemned in strong terms the refusal of Igbo leaders to denounce the self acclaimed IPOB leader for asking Igbo to boycott the next general election starting with the Anambra governorship poll later this year until a referendum on Biafra was determined.
In a statement signed by its President, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, and made available to Vanguard in Abuja, the youths also called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of Kanu for threatening national peace and stability with careless statements.
The group said it was disturbed that Kanu made issued the election boycott threat not minding the tensed atmosphere in the land arising from the recent threat issued by Arewa youths to the Igbo to quit their land on or before October 1.
The youths justified the quit notice on the provocation caused them by Kanu’s persistent and unwarranted calls for Nigeria’s disintegration without any justification.
Seeking self-determination doesn’t amount to declaration of war –IPOB
A statement by the IPOB media and publicity secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful said such ignorance about what IPOB stood for was the reason Nigeria could not meet the basic needs of the people, including provision and distribution of electricity and creating job opportunities for the teeming unemployed, despite the abundance of coal, palm oil, gas and crude oil in the country.
The statement specifically faulted a statement credited to a foremost Northern politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai to the effect that IPOB’s demand could result to war, arguing that it was due to such a stance that the problem of Boko Haram had persisted in the country.
The statement said: “They always see civilized debate as a call to war. Such people and the values they represent can never be reconciled with the civilizing effects of genuine democracy that allows for freedom of expression.
“It is fair to assume, going by the utterances of certain corrupt segments of the Nigerian society, that most of what
IPOB is saying and stands for is lost in translation because anybody with basic understanding of rudimentary English and constitutional law will know that self determination does not mean war and that referendum is not hate speech.
“We would like to use this opportunity to clarify once again that IPOB is asking for self determination as recognized in both the United Nations charter on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the African charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
“Before these Northerners threaten us with war that IPOB hasn’t called for, let them spend a bit of their valuable time acquainting themselves with these charters and declarations. The only instrument IPOB has at its disposal is civil disobedience, which is entirely legal. Civil disobedience, it must be understood, has nothing to do with armed conflict.
“Furthermore, people should better be advised to study and assimilate the subtleties and nuances of English language before engaging in any public discussion regarding Biafra independence.
“Our leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is a peaceful man that constituted IPOB with peaceful foundation and the sole aim is to liberate his people from humiliation and bondage. If some oil revenue dependent Northerners wish to misunderstand him and IPOB aims and objectives, that should be their business.
“We also understand that some people console themselves with the constant reference to a war fought over 50 years ago by saying that those asking for Biafra did not see war. Ignorantly, they forget that the generation fighting today to defend Israel was not born when Hitler’s Nazi regime murdered six million Jews during the Second World War.
“The fact that our fathers were defeated in a war which Britain, defunct USSR, Egypt and other Arab world fought against our people during that war of genocide between 1967 and 1970 does not mean we cannot ask for our freedom in this 2017.
“More so, we would like to remind the likes of Tanko Yakassai and co to know that if not for the support of Britain and its allied forces, there was no way Nigeria would have defeated Biafra in a battle field.
“In fact, gloating over the outcome of the Nigeria/Biafra war is a source of motivation for us, contrary to what people might be thinking. We are not asking for war; rather what we are requesting for is referendum or plebiscite for Biafrans to decide if they want to remain in Nigeria or not.”
IPOB also said no politician or elite had ever contributed any money to it and would never, adding that most of IPOB finances came from monthly and voluntary contributions from members worldwide.
It also described as laughable the alleged notion by the embattled chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu that IPOB was being sponsored by corrupt politicians and looters in Nigeria, describing it as the latest joke designed to keep the chattering classes happy.
Praying for Nigeria means continuous killings, oppression of Igbo – MASSOB
In a statement issued in Abakaliki, the Leader of MASSOB, Comrade Uchenna Madu insisted that the prayers must stop now “because the God of Bible can never answer prayers that oppose his divine will.” adding that such prayers would also amount to continuous islamisation agenda of the Hausa Fulani who want to be enthroned and impose Islamic religion that openly declared hatred on the followers of Jesus Christ.
The statement read: We demand that the weekly prayers offered on the alters of Christian churches every Sundays for Nigeria should stop now; Praying for existence and continuation of Nigeria simply means praying for continuous killings, oppression, marginalization, subjection and unprovoked killings of Christians in Nigeria mostly the Igbo Biafrans. It also mean continuous islamisation agenda of the Hausa Fulani to enthroned and impose Islamic religion that openly declared hatred on the followers of Jesus Christ.
“The continuous prayers for Nigeria that literally hates Christians will spiritually energise the Islamic fundamentalists including the Fulani herdsmen to continue their religious killing of Christians in Nigeria. MASSOB draws the attention of Igbo Christian church leaders to Hosea 4:6-7 where the God of the Christians lamented that “My people (Christians) are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
“As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame (Destruction by Islamic fundamentalists). MASSOB want the Igbo Christian leaders in Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian churches and all Pentecostal churches in Biafra land to see the impending doom and spiritual dangers of continuous prayers for Nigeria.
Aso Rock, the seat of power that controls the physical affairs of Nigeria is dedicated to a demon that resides in Zuma Rock, this spiritual being controls the spiritual affairs of Nigeria in the spiritual realm. This spiritual being has a relationship with the Islamic religion.
“MASSOB also advice the Biafra Christian leaders to heed to the clarion call of God Almighty on Revelation 18:4 that commanded thus; “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her (Nigeria), my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. We advised Biafra Christian leaders to stop romancing with the politicians now. MASSOB also warns on the proliferation of Yoruba churches in Biafra land, MASSOB is not happy that Yoruba church leaders are using Igbo land as a fertile land for economical adventures through plantation of churches owned by them in Biafra land.
“To our amazement, these churches which include Mountain of Fire, Redeemed Christian church of God, Christ Embassy, Winners Chapel do not appoint Igbo man as a pastor in charge even in Igbo land. The leadership of these churches in Igbo remote villages also appoints their Yoruba kinsmen as local presiding pastors. All their States, zonal, regional and provincial pastors and superintendents are Yorubas posted to Biafra land to represent the monetary interest of their General Overseers.
“MASSOB warned these Yoruba church leaders to stop these religious colonialism against the people of Biafra now or ….”
CAN, youth group caution against doom
Also yesterday, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in Bomadi, Delta State warned against doom of the country if the Arewa Youths did not back out of their stance against the Igbos living in northern Nigeria, just as a Niger Delta youth group, Izon Movement for Positive Change and Youth Development, IMPCYD, discribed Arewa Youth’s position as babaric and an abuse of human rights.
Chairman of CAN, Bomadi local government chapter, Snr Apostle Sunday J. Ekeremor, and the president of IMPCYD, comrade Ebiotu S. S. Ebareotu, stated this weekend in separate interviews at Bomadi, headquarters of Bomadi council area of Delta State.
Snr Apostle Ekeremor said that Nigeria was governed by laws and that the constitution protected every citizen’s right to live in any part of the country without being molested and at such, urged the Arewa Youths to make public withdrawal of their threat without any further delay.
He said the action was a violation of the constitution of the federation and also called on federal government to act accordingly to avoid doom of the country, stressing the Christian body condemned the threat in its entirety.
He cautioned that failure on the part of the authorities concerned would spell unimaginable doom for all with the unfortunate support for the youths by some leaders from the north, noting that anybody reasonably serving God would not plan such attack.
Comrade Ebareotu, on his part, noted that the statement had already heated up the polity and advised government to act fast before it was too late.
He warned that if the ultimatum was not openly retracted, it would not augur well for the nation, stressing IMPCYD was of the view that it was premeditated which portended bad omen for the well-being of the nation.
He said, “it is an abuse of human rights, it is heartless for them to have given the quit notice. Since the northern governors are not in support, they should take serious action to call them to order. Federal government should take a more drastic action to arrest the situation to avert doom”.
Biafra National Guard, carpet Obasanjo over comments on civil war
Meantime, the Biafra National Guard, BNG, yesterday described as afterthought and a face saving statement, coming after a long wait for Biafra extinction which refused to happen, the alleged statement credited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo that then Nigerian Military government did not plan to wipe out the entire Biafrans in the 1967 to 1970 Nigeria Biafra Civil war, but rather, it was a brotherly war to retain the Biafrans in Nigeria.
BGN also dismissed as “belated and too late for us to listen to” the alleged call by Acting President Yemi Oninbajo, for the Biafra agitators particularly, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnandi Kanu to drop Biafra agitation and join hand with the present administration in the country in rebuilding Nigeria.
BGN in a statement by its leader Mr. Innocent Orji, made available to Vanguard through its Public Relations Officer, Mazi Okoro Ruben, said “we will accept Obasanjo’s apology and Osinbajo’s appeal on condition that they resurrect all Biafran children starved to death, and all our parents, our over six million Biafran civilians, soldiers and heroes, killed during the Nigerian Biafra war and those killed in recent agitations and still being kill up to date.
“We totally and vehemently reject all apologies and calls for us to drop Biafra agitation, it is too late for us to listen to you all making the calls, unless you will miraculously resurrect all our 6 million Biafran civilians, especially our children whom you starved to death and all our parents, including gallant Biafran soldiers and heroes killed and still being killed till date by Nigerian government.”
“We wonder how the Federal Government of Nigeria will convince us that they are sincerely regretting the civil war, need Igbo in Nigeria after the genocidal war against Biafrans from 1967 to 1970, while they are still incarcerating our 22 Biafra freedom agitators at Onitsha, and Awka prisons since over ten years now and are still waging court war against IPOB leader Mazi Kanu and other IPOB members held at Kuje prisons Abuja.
“You better allow us to separate and go our ways peacefully; through conducting referendum to be supervised by the United Nations, so that Nigeria will have peace, that is the only panacea to all these self determination agitation going on now in Nigeria.”
BGN and however thanked all citizens and the Indigenes People of Biafra, all tribes of Ijaw, Itshekiris, Isokos, Efiks Ibibos, Urhobos, Ogonis, Ogojas, Calabaris, Izons, Igedes, Igalas, Kiamas and Igbos, in the former Eastern Nigeria, for observing the Sit-at-home order by the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“You all made us the Biafra agitators proud by your total compliance worldwide on May 30th2017 Sit-at-home call by the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and if truth is to be told, the Sit-at-home is sufficient to us as our own last Biafra referendum result, what we need is sovereign state of Biafra.”
He lashed out on those who are calling for the re-arrest of Mr. Kanu describing them as “mischievous funny and jokers of the years” warning that any more action against Kanu and other Biafra agitators will lead to pathetic and regrettable situations for Nigeria and its leaders.