…Anglican Bishop, group hail honour on Abiola
…Declaration, hypocritical gesture—MASSOB
…Opportunity to rectify wrongs—Obi
By Chioma Gabriel, Chidi Nkwopara , Peter Okutu & Chinonso Alozie
APEX Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo yesterday expressed regret over non-inclusion of former election umpire, Humphrey Nwosu in the June 12 honourees’ list and insisted that the only long term solution to Nigeria multifarious problems including corruption, insecurity and economic challenges is the restructuring of the country and the implementation of most of the resolutions of the 2014 National Confab report.
This is part of the reactions trailing the decision of the Federal Government to honour the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election in Nigeria, Chief Moshood K. O. Abiola, with the highest honour in the land.
A spokesman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo , Chuks Ibegbu stated: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo is peeved by the exclusion of Prof Humphrey Nwosu who conducted the June 12 , 1993 election adjudged the freest and fairest in the country in the recent honourees list by the Federal Government.It’s a grievous omission that needs to be corrected urgently.
He also called for the immediate creation of an additional state and local governments in the South East to address the prolong structural marginalisation of the zone in the country , a situation which is adversely affecting the people in the civil service, representation in government, allocations, and other indices of governance in the country.
“For instance, in the last recruitment in the police, Kano got more than three hundred slots and Abia barely a hundred whereas Abia produces twenty times the number of graduates and school leavers than Kano. This is unjust . Merit should prevail more than any other factor if we must build the country of our dream “, Ibegbu stated.
Anglican Bishop, Eastern Mandate Union, hail honour on Abiola
The Anglican Bishop of Okigwe South Diocese, Rt. Rev. David O. C. Onuoha, and the overseas chairman of Eastern Mandate Union, EMU, Professor Eddie Oparaoji, described the honour on Abiola as “a most welcome development and a very bold attempt at sweepping the carpet clean instead of sweeping things under it”.
Bishop Onuoha said: “To honour the acclaimed winner of that election and his running mate, without the man whose strenght of character, courage, intellect and sagacity made that exercise second to none, is a serious omission. Professor Humphrey Nwosu, more than any other person deserves the highest accolade possible for showing the whole world that we can get it right if we are determined.”
In his own response, Professor Oparaoji commended the president for bestowing the honour on the winner of the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential election, Chief Abiola.
“EMU welcomes these pronouncements as they not only validate as sacred, the votes of all Nigerians from every part of the country, who participated in the election, but also aligned with some of our long-held positions on how to remedy the tragic events emanating from the annulment of the June 12, 1993, elections, which was adjudged the freest and fairest election in our history, by both local and international election observers,” Oparaoji said.
Declaration needs legal backing—Osuji
A governorship aspirant in Imo State, under Mass Action Joint Alliance, MAJA, Mr. Aloysius Osundu Osuji, said President Muhammadu Buhari, should have gone through the national assembly before his June 12 declaration as democracy day.
Speaking to Vanguard yesterday in Owerri, he said: “The president can only change the Democracy Day if the Act is duly amended. As at the last check, the Act has not been amended by the national assembly, making the president’s pronouncement unlawful and illegal.”
Honour Nwosu too—Onyegucha
Speaking also, Onyegucha, an APGA guber aspirant in Imo state, said: “It is a step in the right direction. But I have no doubt that the president is doing it with the intention of gaining from it politically, for his next re-election.
“It is not too late. Buhari can still go back to the national assembly to do it in accordance with the law.”
On the issue of recognizing Nwosu, Onyegucha said: “ It will also be good to honour Humphrey Nwosu, for conducting such a credible election. But if Buhari does not do so, I believe some other person in future should be able to do that. Buhari should be encouraged to honour him equally.”
Opportunity torectify wrongs—Obi
Also yesterday, a former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the decision he took on June 12, saying that the primary lesson inherent in that move is that no time is long or overdue to rectify wrongs and mistakes of yesterday. Obi was speaking yesterday with journalists at the local wing of Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos.
Obi advised the president to go a step further and rectify what he called “other wrongs that were by-products of June 12 and punctuated our democratic journey.” Listing the death of Ken Saro Wiwa as one wrong that needed rectification, Obi said: “Of course, we all know the exodus of the Igbos from Lagos during those turbulent times from which many of them lost their lives and means of livelihood. Comprehensive efforts towards correcting the ills of June 12 must look at such cases.”
Concluding, Obi called on Nigerians to look beyond the external gestures being expressed now to the lessons inherent in them, one of which, according to him, is that the survival of democracy requires sustained and patriotic sacrifices by all Nigerians, especially the leaders.
Declaration, hypocritical gesture of Islamic caliphate—MASSOB
In a related development, the leadership of the Movement for The Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday described the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari who changed the May 29th Democracy Day to June 12th as a sheer hypocritical gesture of the Islamic Caliphate under the control of the president and his kinsmen.
The group equally condemned the development, saying that the action was a cheap attempt by the president to use Moshood Abiola’s supreme sacrifice to score some unearned political points and corner subtle political favours for the caliphate.
In a statement issued in Abakaliki, the leader of MASSOB, Comrade Uchenna Madu who insisted that millions of Oduduwa people cannot be fooled by the action of the president, further described the president’s kinsmen as real parasites that have no conscience in dealing with non-Fulani in the country.
The statement read in part: “ We condemn this sheer hypocritical gesture of the Islamic caliphate run by President Buhari and his kinsmen.
“It is not that MASSOB and the people of Biafra are not happy about the fact that Abiola is acknowledged. It is the cheap attempt to use his supreme sacrifice to score some unearned political points and corner subtle political favours for the caliphate.
“President Buhari was an active part of the General Sani Abacha administration that incarcerated Abiola for several years.”