Igbos play the worst politics in Nigeria — Okorocha
Pursuant to the crisis breeding in the South East between the Nigerian Army and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday took a hard stand against the Ndigbo, accusing them of playing the worst politics in Nigeria, adding that the Hausa and Yoruba don’t need the Igbo to win elections in Nigeria.
This came at a time the Federal Government said that it was discovered that the headquarters of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, is France with some foreign countries funding the group.
This is even as the Senators and members of the House of Representatives have expressed dismay over what they described as high level of marginalization of the Igbo by the present administration, and asked President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency address it.
Address marginalization of Igbo now, Senators, Reps tell Buhari
Rising from a meeting in Abuja, the South East Caucus of the National Assembly said that the only way to end the agitations in the South East geo- political zone of the country and other zones of the country, was to put an end to marginalization in the areas of appointments, as well as ensuring that people were carried along in the scheme of things.
In a communique jointly signed by both the chairman, Senate South-East Caucus and that of the House of Representatives, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Hon. Chukwuka Onyema respectively, the South-East lawmakers called on the leadership and members of IPOB to cease fire, to enable them explore political solutions to the ongoing face-off.
The communique reads in part: “We call on IPOB to suspend all its activities as we engage our colleagues in the National Assembly and work with them in addressing all issues of concern to IPOB in particular and the entire South East in general.
“We appreciate the efforts of the South East Governors and the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo in the handling of the agitations in the South East with regards to the confrontations of the military with IPOB, especially in Abia State.
“We condemn all acts of terrorism. In the case of IPOB, we reject the branding of any organisation in Nigeria without cause or following due process where such cause do exist.
“We take this position because of the implication of such branding to innocent citizens from the area who maybe affected by the consequences. This branding, we believe, will foreclose any dialogue that will bring about a peaceful end to the activities of such group.
“We call on the leadership of Nigeria to look into the problem that feed never ending agitations by youths of the South East and other geopolitical zones of the country.
“We condemn the use of hate speeches and remarks by anybody, as the dignity of humans must be respected at all times, even while dissenting on any issue.
“We affirm our support for the unity of Nigeria anchored on justice, equality and fair treatment on all parts of the country.”
Peace critical to Nigeria’s unity, Igbo, Arewa groups insist
Also yesterday, the Igbo Peace Movement, IPM, and some Arewa groups met in Awka, Anambra State, declaring that they would pursue moves to ensure peaceful coexistence among the various ethnic groups in the country.
At a joint media briefing after a meeting in the Anambra State capital, the President of Arewa Youths ,Alhaji Bello Maigari and the Leader of Igbo Peace Movement, Divine Onyekachi observed that peace and unity are critical ingredients to the survival of any great nation.
They said: “The Igbo Peace Movement, in agreement with the Arewa groups, hereby unequivocally declares her unwavering commitment to the peace and unity of Nigeria.
“While we agree that there may be valid reasons for demands from some groups in the country, we are also aware that there are laid down lawful procedures for presenting and addressing these concerns.
“We, alongside all well-meaning Nigerians disagree from using violence as a means of pressing our demands.
“The peace and unity of Nigeria is paramount and supersedes the unlawful agitations of few, who from all indications have little or no love for our dear country Nigeria.
“Collectively, as a country of diverse ethnic groups, we have worked so hard to make this country great and we will not allow some acts of lawlessness to throw us down the path of retrogression.
“Our strength is in our unity in diversity and only a convergence of efforts from all ethnic groups can make Nigeria reclaim her rightful place in the comity of nations.
They said further: “We will do our best to ensure our great country does not plunge into anarchy. We hereby call on Ndigbo living in the nineteen Northern states to disregard any threat to their safety and to go about their lawful duties without fear of molestation and, for our brothers from the North, we also guarantee their safety. Ndigbo are a peace loving people and will continue to be so.”
Biafra, other agitations product of govt failure says ex-gov Peter Obi
Meantime, immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has blamed the agitations by the Indigenous People of Biafra and others in other parts of the country on the frustrations being encountered by ordinary Nigerians as a result of the failure of successive Nigerian governments to address their basic needs.
Mr. Obi, who is now a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, after ruling Anambra State for eight years on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, told Vanguard in an interview in Abuja that the neglect of the core areas of needs by the ordinary Nigerian over the years would continue to trigger fresh demands for basic needs.
Mr. Obi said, “Agitation all over Nigeria is not coming to an end because of poverty and joblessness which make the young people free agents of destruction and crisis.
“What you are seeing today is the cumulative effect of the failure of the past which were not addressed. The government needs to take the people away from hopelessness and give them succour and source of livelihood.
“The renewed agitation is triggered by shrinking economy and lack of opportunities for the majority of the people. We need to take the right steps to solve the problem of the country and reduce agitations,” Obi suggested.
Tell your people that Nigeria must not disintegrate, Saraki to South East Senators
Similarly, the Senate President Bukola Saraki has asked Senators to seriously educate their constituents on the continued need to keep Nigeria as one indivisible nation.
Saraki who spoke Tuesday night during a meeting with the South East Senate caucus, said that the National Assembly was spearheading the fight against calls for disintegration of the country, adding that the meeting became imperative because of the urgent need to save Nigeria from total collapse.
At the meeting, Saraki was said to have told the lawmakers that they must all go to their constituencies to douse tension as Nigeria as a country cannot afford another civil war against the backdrop of the implication of such and its effects, just as the categorization of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB as a terrorist organization also formed the centre of discourse at the meeting.
Speaking to Vanguard, the source said, “ the meeting the Senate President held with the South East Senators was a bid to save the country from disintegration and total collapse. Every one is running around to salvage the country and the meeting was designed to mobilize the Senators and members of the House of Representatives to dounce tension in
“The senate is trying to look at the peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians, states and as a country and for us to move forward, Saraki is spearheading the move to get Senators from the South East to live up to expectation to get their people to trend softly.”
The source further said that “Nigerians must reflect deeply that not all the countries of the world want us as a country to remain as one, to remain united as a country with 170 million people and for us to go into 30 million cannot work, it cannot help us as our strength as a country would be threatened.
As part of his trouble shooting mission and the need to also carry other senators from the geo- political zones along, Senate President Saraki will today meet with the Northern Senate Caucus where he would also preach peace and the need for the Senators to discuss with their constitutes on the need to live as one Nigeria and to avoid hate speeches.
Ameh Ebute writes UN, says IPOB could trigger genocide in Nigeria
In another development, Senate President during the end of the third republic, Ameh Ebute, has written a letter to the UN over the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The former lawmaker said the group, which he described as a terrorist sect, was capable of causing “mass genocide” in Nigeria.
In the letter, Ebute appealed for the intervention of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to avert a crisis of “genocidal dimension” in Nigeria.
The letter reads in part: “The league of elder statesmen in Nigeria sends you special compliments as well as extends same to the entire staff of the UN Secretariat Headquarters, New York.
‘’We are sure the UN is aware and, indeed, monitoring the precarious insecurity situation in Nigeria, heightened by terrorist sects and other violent insurrectional groups. These crises escalated in the last few years beginning from the year 2009, when Boko Haram terrorists invaded Nigeria terrifyingly.
‘’The extremists Boko Haram Islamic sect members mindlessly and gruesomely murdered people; abducted hundreds of Nigerians; perpetrated acts of arson and violently seized swathes of land under Nigerian territorial sovereignty and committed other heinous atrocities already recorded by history.
‘’It has deposited on the land internally displaced persons, IDPs, the UN has estimated at over 2.4 million people in northeast Nigeria, where terrorism hibernated for years before its defeat by the Nigerian Military.
‘’The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under President Muhammadu Buhari has been battling the scourge of terrorism and allied insurgencies in parts of Nigeria in the last two years. But as the insecurity situation in Nigeria is gradually being normalised, the country is again woken up by sounds of unpleasant drums of war chanted by emerging terrorists sects, garbed in ethnic separatist movements which have perfected plots to unleash more heinous atrocities on Nigeria.
‘’We wish to notify your office that investigations by the appropriate security authorities in Nigeria have identified the latest and budding terrorists sect in the country as the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), whose leader is Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.