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Showing posts with label South South. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South South. Show all posts

Circumstances of Dr Mailafia's Death: Press Statement by MBF

Circumstances of Dr Mailafia's Death: Press Statement by MBF

 MIDDLE BELT FORUM

Press Statement 














The death of the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada, Abuja,  this morning came to us as a great shock. As someone who relentlessly participated in the activities of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), his untimely death has dealt  a deadly blow on ethnic nationalities of not only the Middle Belt but the country at large.


Arising from various enquiries from Nigerians over the circumstances of his death, the Forum wishes to state as follows: That Dr Mailafia arrived Abuja last Sunday September 12, 2021 from Akure and was received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by his wife.


On arrival at home, the wife noticed he was not in the best of health conditions and seemed to be suffering from malaria. After three days of treatment without signs of improvement, he went to the CBN Hospital on Friday September 17, 2021 where he was shabily treated. It took the intervention of a senior medic who immediately placed him on oxygen and admitted him.


Dr Mailafia's was later given the option of choosing three hospitals: Gwagwalada Hospital, National Hospital and EHA Clinics. The wife opted for the third choice. On arrival at the EHA Clinics, the wife was subjected to yet another moment of anxiety as it took a direct order from the top management of the hospital to accept him.


After few hours of treatment, the EHA Clinics told the wife that it was expedient to transfer the former CBN Deputy Governor to Gwagwalada as the clinic was not fully equipped to handle the case.


The wife opposed the decision and insisted that she was opposed to the idea of taking her husband to Gwagwalada. Mailafia's wife only succumbed when the consultant assured her that nothing bad will happen to her husband. 


Yesterday, Saturday September 18, 2021, Dr Obadiah was transfered to Gwagwalada. on arrival, the name of the doctor that was billed to attend to Dr Mailafia was not on duty. Even when an attempt was made by foreign health consultants to save the situation, the doctor on duty got angry and said he was not obligated to listen to any foreign consultants that had been brought into the matter with the sole purpose of ensuring nothing  goes wrong.


Wife of the former CBN Deputy Governor was asked to pay the sum of N600'000 as deposit even when it was a referral case, with accruing medical bill to be settled by the CBN. At a point, Dr Mailafia complained over his breathing problems and pleaded with the doctors to place him in a ventilator. The doctors flatly refused.

Even after the doctors declared Dr. Mailafia dead, foreign consultants who were brought into the matter through Dr Mailafia's son that is  living abroad, had directed a family member who is a medical professional, with the wife of the CBN Deputy Governor, to mount pressure on the chest of Dr.  Mailafia for  resuscitation and thereafter place him on a life support.


The doctors in Gwagwalada refused all entreaties by the family members of Dr Mailafia to follow the advice of the foreign consultants, insisting that they have already pronounced him dead. Even when the wife could feel the pulse of her husband, the doctor flatly declared there was nothing they could do since they had already pronounced him dead.


While the above narration sums up the circumstances under which Dr Mailafia died,  we still  await the result of the actual cause of his death. As a nationalist and patriot that he was, Dr. Mailafia  was completely dedicated to the emancipation of ethnic nationalities from the clutches of oppression. The economist was never afraid to speak truth to power just as he remained committed to the enthronement of justice and equity to all citizens across ethnic and religious  divides.


In the twilight of his life, this consummate technocrat and global scholar of repute beamed his searchlight on the raging insecurity ravaging our country. He expressed regrets over government's incapacity to rein in the activities of insurgents and criminal groups terrorising the nation.


As a former presidential candidate in the 2019 poll, Dr Mailafia sought to deploy politics to bring about the dream he had for his country. Even after he lost the election, he never let down the bar in demanding for a fair treatment for all Nigerians.


The Forum recalls his patriotic zeal in standing up for truth and justice. He was never a letdown in being at the forefront of  showing the way for national greatness as he was willing to lay down his life for Nigeria.


The Forum is inspired by his altruistic disposition and contributions to national development. We remain proud of his footprints on the political, economic and social sands of our nation. 


In this period of grief, we extend our sympathy to his immediate family members and pray to the Almighty God to grant each and everyone of them the fortitude to bear the pain of this irreparable loss.


The death of Dr Mailafia today represents a dark day for not only only the Middle Belt but also for all citizens  who yearn for a new dawn for justice in Nigeria. 


Signed:


DR ISUWA DOGO

(National Publicity Secretary)

Sunday September 19, 2021)

 MIDDLE BELT FORUM

Press Statement 














The death of the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada, Abuja,  this morning came to us as a great shock. As someone who relentlessly participated in the activities of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), his untimely death has dealt  a deadly blow on ethnic nationalities of not only the Middle Belt but the country at large.


Arising from various enquiries from Nigerians over the circumstances of his death, the Forum wishes to state as follows: That Dr Mailafia arrived Abuja last Sunday September 12, 2021 from Akure and was received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by his wife.


On arrival at home, the wife noticed he was not in the best of health conditions and seemed to be suffering from malaria. After three days of treatment without signs of improvement, he went to the CBN Hospital on Friday September 17, 2021 where he was shabily treated. It took the intervention of a senior medic who immediately placed him on oxygen and admitted him.


Dr Mailafia's was later given the option of choosing three hospitals: Gwagwalada Hospital, National Hospital and EHA Clinics. The wife opted for the third choice. On arrival at the EHA Clinics, the wife was subjected to yet another moment of anxiety as it took a direct order from the top management of the hospital to accept him.


After few hours of treatment, the EHA Clinics told the wife that it was expedient to transfer the former CBN Deputy Governor to Gwagwalada as the clinic was not fully equipped to handle the case.


The wife opposed the decision and insisted that she was opposed to the idea of taking her husband to Gwagwalada. Mailafia's wife only succumbed when the consultant assured her that nothing bad will happen to her husband. 


Yesterday, Saturday September 18, 2021, Dr Obadiah was transfered to Gwagwalada. on arrival, the name of the doctor that was billed to attend to Dr Mailafia was not on duty. Even when an attempt was made by foreign health consultants to save the situation, the doctor on duty got angry and said he was not obligated to listen to any foreign consultants that had been brought into the matter with the sole purpose of ensuring nothing  goes wrong.


Wife of the former CBN Deputy Governor was asked to pay the sum of N600'000 as deposit even when it was a referral case, with accruing medical bill to be settled by the CBN. At a point, Dr Mailafia complained over his breathing problems and pleaded with the doctors to place him in a ventilator. The doctors flatly refused.

Even after the doctors declared Dr. Mailafia dead, foreign consultants who were brought into the matter through Dr Mailafia's son that is  living abroad, had directed a family member who is a medical professional, with the wife of the CBN Deputy Governor, to mount pressure on the chest of Dr.  Mailafia for  resuscitation and thereafter place him on a life support.


The doctors in Gwagwalada refused all entreaties by the family members of Dr Mailafia to follow the advice of the foreign consultants, insisting that they have already pronounced him dead. Even when the wife could feel the pulse of her husband, the doctor flatly declared there was nothing they could do since they had already pronounced him dead.


While the above narration sums up the circumstances under which Dr Mailafia died,  we still  await the result of the actual cause of his death. As a nationalist and patriot that he was, Dr. Mailafia  was completely dedicated to the emancipation of ethnic nationalities from the clutches of oppression. The economist was never afraid to speak truth to power just as he remained committed to the enthronement of justice and equity to all citizens across ethnic and religious  divides.


In the twilight of his life, this consummate technocrat and global scholar of repute beamed his searchlight on the raging insecurity ravaging our country. He expressed regrets over government's incapacity to rein in the activities of insurgents and criminal groups terrorising the nation.


As a former presidential candidate in the 2019 poll, Dr Mailafia sought to deploy politics to bring about the dream he had for his country. Even after he lost the election, he never let down the bar in demanding for a fair treatment for all Nigerians.


The Forum recalls his patriotic zeal in standing up for truth and justice. He was never a letdown in being at the forefront of  showing the way for national greatness as he was willing to lay down his life for Nigeria.


The Forum is inspired by his altruistic disposition and contributions to national development. We remain proud of his footprints on the political, economic and social sands of our nation. 


In this period of grief, we extend our sympathy to his immediate family members and pray to the Almighty God to grant each and everyone of them the fortitude to bear the pain of this irreparable loss.


The death of Dr Mailafia today represents a dark day for not only only the Middle Belt but also for all citizens  who yearn for a new dawn for justice in Nigeria. 


Signed:


DR ISUWA DOGO

(National Publicity Secretary)

Sunday September 19, 2021)

Herdsmen kill Omoyele Sowore's Immediate Younger brother Olajide Sowore in Okada, Edo state

Herdsmen kill Omoyele Sowore's Immediate Younger brother Olajide Sowore in Okada, Edo state

Felix Olajide Sowore

Herdsmen have killed immediate younger brother of the AAC national chairman and presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections Omoyele Sowore near Okada, Edo state.


Sowore confirmed that his immediate younger brother Felix Olajide Sowore was killed by herdsmen while on his way from Igbinedion University in Edo state where he is studying Pharmacy.


His statement:

I have VERY SAD NEWS!

My immediate younger brother, Olajide Sowore was today shot and killed near Okada in Edo state by reportedly herdsmen /kidnappers on his way from Igbinedion University in Edo sate where he is studying Pharmacy.


They snuffed out the life yet another real human being! 

Rest In Power, “Dr. Mamiye!” 


This act in itself will not delay their day of justice. 


I traveled widely with you and our father as a little kid. You were the most loved robust kid I ever first knew. You, Mr. magnet had no enemy! 


You, Mr. Sunshine Foundation who made everyone happy. 


You, the boy who snuck out his older ones to parties, taking all the blames when our disciplinarian father found out. 


You, the guy who was an out-of-the-box thinker who decided school wasn’t for you and created you own genre of music and then turned around to go to school after you almost turned 50! 


You lived your life so that everyone could be alright but now assassinated by everything that’s not alright! 

 

Saddest day yet!

Felix Olajide Sowore

Herdsmen have killed immediate younger brother of the AAC national chairman and presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections Omoyele Sowore near Okada, Edo state.


Sowore confirmed that his immediate younger brother Felix Olajide Sowore was killed by herdsmen while on his way from Igbinedion University in Edo state where he is studying Pharmacy.


His statement:

I have VERY SAD NEWS!

My immediate younger brother, Olajide Sowore was today shot and killed near Okada in Edo state by reportedly herdsmen /kidnappers on his way from Igbinedion University in Edo sate where he is studying Pharmacy.


They snuffed out the life yet another real human being! 

Rest In Power, “Dr. Mamiye!” 


This act in itself will not delay their day of justice. 


I traveled widely with you and our father as a little kid. You were the most loved robust kid I ever first knew. You, Mr. magnet had no enemy! 


You, Mr. Sunshine Foundation who made everyone happy. 


You, the boy who snuck out his older ones to parties, taking all the blames when our disciplinarian father found out. 


You, the guy who was an out-of-the-box thinker who decided school wasn’t for you and created you own genre of music and then turned around to go to school after you almost turned 50! 


You lived your life so that everyone could be alright but now assassinated by everything that’s not alright! 

 

Saddest day yet!

Two Internet Fraudsters Bag Three Years in Port Harcourt

Two Internet Fraudsters Bag Three Years in Port Harcourt


Justice A.T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced Morgan Innocent Chinda (aka Richard Johnson Adams) and Joshua Pina to three years imprisonment, for internet-related offences.


They were jailed recently after pleading “guilty" to one- count separate charges bordering on impersonation and Internet fraud, upon their arraignment by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.



The lone charge reads Chinda: "That you Morgan Innocent Chinda (aka. Richard Johnson Adams) sometime in 2021, at Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court fraudulently impersonated one Richard Johnson Adams, an American citizen and pilot working with American Airways with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (IV) of the same Act".

The charge against Joshua Pina reads: "That you Joshua Pina (aka Berry Williams) sometime in 2021, on or about 28th June 2021 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court fraudulently impersonated one Berry Williams with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (IV) of the same Act"

In view of the pleas of the defendants, prosecution counsel, N.A. Dodo prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

Justice Mohammed found them guilty as charged and consequently convicted and sentenced Chinda to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N 250,000), and Pina to one-year imprisonment, with an option of fine of Fifty Thousand Naira ( N50,000).

The judge ordered that the items recovered from the convicts at the point of arrest: iPhone 6S, iPhone 6 and Qukitel C 19 be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

By EFCC

Justice A.T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced Morgan Innocent Chinda (aka Richard Johnson Adams) and Joshua Pina to three years imprisonment, for internet-related offences.


They were jailed recently after pleading “guilty" to one- count separate charges bordering on impersonation and Internet fraud, upon their arraignment by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.



The lone charge reads Chinda: "That you Morgan Innocent Chinda (aka. Richard Johnson Adams) sometime in 2021, at Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court fraudulently impersonated one Richard Johnson Adams, an American citizen and pilot working with American Airways with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (IV) of the same Act".

The charge against Joshua Pina reads: "That you Joshua Pina (aka Berry Williams) sometime in 2021, on or about 28th June 2021 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court fraudulently impersonated one Berry Williams with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (IV) of the same Act"

In view of the pleas of the defendants, prosecution counsel, N.A. Dodo prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

Justice Mohammed found them guilty as charged and consequently convicted and sentenced Chinda to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N 250,000), and Pina to one-year imprisonment, with an option of fine of Fifty Thousand Naira ( N50,000).

The judge ordered that the items recovered from the convicts at the point of arrest: iPhone 6S, iPhone 6 and Qukitel C 19 be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

By EFCC

NIGERIA: States Govt, Not FG Should Collect VAT, Related Taxes, Court Rules

NIGERIA: States Govt, Not FG Should Collect VAT, Related Taxes, Court Rules


In a landmark ruling, the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has declared that the Rivers State Government and not the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), an agency of the federal government, should collect Valued Added Tax (VAT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT) in the state.


Presided over by Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam, the court also issued an order of perpetual injunction restraining the FIRS and the Attorney General of the federation, both first and second defendants in the suit, from collecting, demanding, threatening and intimidating residents of Rivers State to pay to FIRS, personnel income tax and Value Added Tax.


Justice Pam made the assertion while delivering judgement in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/149/2020, filed by the Attorney General for Rivers State (plaintiff), against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (first defendant) and the Attorney General of the Federation (second defendant).


The Court, which granted all the eleven reliefs sought by the Rivers State Government, stated that there was no constitutional basis for the FIRS to demand for and collect VAT, Withholding Tax, Education Tax and Technology levy in Rivers State or any other State of the Federation, being that the constitutional powers and competence of the federal government was limited to taxation of incomes, profits and capital gains, which did not include VAT or any other species of sales, or levy other than those specifically mentioned in items 58 and 59 of the Exclusive Legislative List of the Constitution.


The judge dismissed the preliminary objections filed by the defendants that the Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit and that the case should be transferred to Court of Appeal for interpretation.


Justice Pam, who also dismissed objection raised by the defendants that the National Assembly ought to have been made a party in the suit, declared that the issues of taxes raised by the state government were issues of law that the court was constitutionally empowered to entertain



He declared that after a diligent review of the issues raised by both the plaintiff and the defendants, the plaintiff has proven beyond doubt that it was entitled to all the eleven reliefs it sought in the suit.


The court agreed with the Rivers State Government that it was the State and not FIRS that was constitutionally entitled to impose taxes enforceable or collectable in its territory of the nature of consumption or sales tax, VAT, education and other taxes or levies, other than the taxes and duties specifically reserved for the federal government by items 58 and 59 of Part 1 of the Second Schedule of the 1999 constitution as amended.


Also, the court declared that the defendants were not constitutionally entitled to charge or impose levies, charges or rates (under any guise or by whatever name called) on the residents of Rivers State and indeed any state of the federation.


Among the reliefs sought by the Rivers State Government, was a declaration that the constitutional power of the federal government to impose taxes and duties was only limited to the items listed in items 58 and 59 of Part 1 of the second schedule of the 1999 constitution as amended.


The Rivers State Government had also urged the court to declare that, by virtue of the provisions of items 7 and 8 of the Part II (Concurrent Legislative List) of the Second Schedule of the constitution, the power of the federal government to delegate the collection of taxes can only be exercised by the State government or other authority of the state and no other person.


The State government had further asked the court to declare that all statutory provisions made or purportedly made in the exercise of the legislative powers of the federal government, which contained provisions that were inconsistent with or in excess of the powers to impose tax and duties, as prescribed by items 58 and 59 of the Part I of the Second Schedule of the 1999 constitution, or inconsistent with the power to delegate the duty of collection of taxes, as contained in items 7 and 8 of Part II of the Second Schedule of the Constitution, were unconstitutional, null and void.


Lead counsel for the Rivers State Government, Donald Chika Denwigwe (SAN), who spoke to journalists after the court session, explained that the case was all about the interpretation of the constitution as regards the authority of the government at the state and federal levels to collect certain revenue particularly, VAT.


“So, during the determination of the matter, some issues of law were thrown up like, whether or not the case should be referred to the Court of Appeal for the determination of some issues.


“The court noted that the application is like asking the Federal High Court to transfer the entire case to the Court of Appeal. In which case, if the court so decides, there will be nothing left to refer back to the Federal High Court as required by the constitution.”


According to Denwigwe, the court refused that prayer and decided that the case was in its proper place before the Federal High Court and to determine it.


Donald Chika Denwigwe, SAN, lead counsel to Government of Rivers State and Ken C.O. Njemanze, SAN, briefing journalists after the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt on Monday declared FIRS collection of Value Added Tax in Rivers State unconstitutional.


On the implication of the judgement, Denwigwe said it was now, unlawful for such taxes as VAT in Rivers State to be collected by any agency of the federal government.


“In a summary, it is a determination that it is wrong for the federal government to be collecting taxes, which are constitutionally reserved for the state governments to collect. The implication of the judgement is that the government (federal and state) as an authority under the constitution, should be advised by the judgement, that it is the duty of all government authorities to comply with and obey the law so long as the court has interpreted it and said what that law is.


U“So, in other words, the issue of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the territory of Rivers State and Personal Income Tax should be reserved for the government of Rivers State.”


Counsel to FIRS, O.C. Eyibo said he would study the judgment and advise his client.


By Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt.


In a landmark ruling, the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has declared that the Rivers State Government and not the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), an agency of the federal government, should collect Valued Added Tax (VAT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT) in the state.


Presided over by Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam, the court also issued an order of perpetual injunction restraining the FIRS and the Attorney General of the federation, both first and second defendants in the suit, from collecting, demanding, threatening and intimidating residents of Rivers State to pay to FIRS, personnel income tax and Value Added Tax.


Justice Pam made the assertion while delivering judgement in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/149/2020, filed by the Attorney General for Rivers State (plaintiff), against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (first defendant) and the Attorney General of the Federation (second defendant).


The Court, which granted all the eleven reliefs sought by the Rivers State Government, stated that there was no constitutional basis for the FIRS to demand for and collect VAT, Withholding Tax, Education Tax and Technology levy in Rivers State or any other State of the Federation, being that the constitutional powers and competence of the federal government was limited to taxation of incomes, profits and capital gains, which did not include VAT or any other species of sales, or levy other than those specifically mentioned in items 58 and 59 of the Exclusive Legislative List of the Constitution.


The judge dismissed the preliminary objections filed by the defendants that the Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit and that the case should be transferred to Court of Appeal for interpretation.


Justice Pam, who also dismissed objection raised by the defendants that the National Assembly ought to have been made a party in the suit, declared that the issues of taxes raised by the state government were issues of law that the court was constitutionally empowered to entertain



He declared that after a diligent review of the issues raised by both the plaintiff and the defendants, the plaintiff has proven beyond doubt that it was entitled to all the eleven reliefs it sought in the suit.


The court agreed with the Rivers State Government that it was the State and not FIRS that was constitutionally entitled to impose taxes enforceable or collectable in its territory of the nature of consumption or sales tax, VAT, education and other taxes or levies, other than the taxes and duties specifically reserved for the federal government by items 58 and 59 of Part 1 of the Second Schedule of the 1999 constitution as amended.


Also, the court declared that the defendants were not constitutionally entitled to charge or impose levies, charges or rates (under any guise or by whatever name called) on the residents of Rivers State and indeed any state of the federation.


Among the reliefs sought by the Rivers State Government, was a declaration that the constitutional power of the federal government to impose taxes and duties was only limited to the items listed in items 58 and 59 of Part 1 of the second schedule of the 1999 constitution as amended.


The Rivers State Government had also urged the court to declare that, by virtue of the provisions of items 7 and 8 of the Part II (Concurrent Legislative List) of the Second Schedule of the constitution, the power of the federal government to delegate the collection of taxes can only be exercised by the State government or other authority of the state and no other person.


The State government had further asked the court to declare that all statutory provisions made or purportedly made in the exercise of the legislative powers of the federal government, which contained provisions that were inconsistent with or in excess of the powers to impose tax and duties, as prescribed by items 58 and 59 of the Part I of the Second Schedule of the 1999 constitution, or inconsistent with the power to delegate the duty of collection of taxes, as contained in items 7 and 8 of Part II of the Second Schedule of the Constitution, were unconstitutional, null and void.


Lead counsel for the Rivers State Government, Donald Chika Denwigwe (SAN), who spoke to journalists after the court session, explained that the case was all about the interpretation of the constitution as regards the authority of the government at the state and federal levels to collect certain revenue particularly, VAT.


“So, during the determination of the matter, some issues of law were thrown up like, whether or not the case should be referred to the Court of Appeal for the determination of some issues.


“The court noted that the application is like asking the Federal High Court to transfer the entire case to the Court of Appeal. In which case, if the court so decides, there will be nothing left to refer back to the Federal High Court as required by the constitution.”


According to Denwigwe, the court refused that prayer and decided that the case was in its proper place before the Federal High Court and to determine it.


Donald Chika Denwigwe, SAN, lead counsel to Government of Rivers State and Ken C.O. Njemanze, SAN, briefing journalists after the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt on Monday declared FIRS collection of Value Added Tax in Rivers State unconstitutional.


On the implication of the judgement, Denwigwe said it was now, unlawful for such taxes as VAT in Rivers State to be collected by any agency of the federal government.


“In a summary, it is a determination that it is wrong for the federal government to be collecting taxes, which are constitutionally reserved for the state governments to collect. The implication of the judgement is that the government (federal and state) as an authority under the constitution, should be advised by the judgement, that it is the duty of all government authorities to comply with and obey the law so long as the court has interpreted it and said what that law is.


U“So, in other words, the issue of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the territory of Rivers State and Personal Income Tax should be reserved for the government of Rivers State.”


Counsel to FIRS, O.C. Eyibo said he would study the judgment and advise his client.


By Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt.

Edo College abuse video: Govt suspends Principal, House Master

Edo College abuse video: Govt suspends Principal, House Master

...to prosecute abusers with Child Rights Law_*


The Edo State Government has watched with disdain the disturbing viral social media video of abuse by students of Edo College, Benin City, the Edo State capital. 


The State Ministry of Education on enquiry discovered that the incident took place at the college premises and involved Senior Secondary School (SSS) students of Akenzua Hall of residence, who are writing their National Examinations Council (NECO) final examination.


The disturbing video exposed the incompetence of the management of the school authority and the delinquent behaviour of the students who carried out the abusive action. 


On account of the above, government has taken the following actions:


1. The Principal of Edo College, Mr. Peter Edomwonyi, has been instructed to proceed on suspension effective immediately. He is to hand over all property and assets of the school in his possession to the next most senior Vice Principal of the school. He is to remain on suspension until the investigation of the incident is concluded and government provides further directive on the matter.


2. The House Master for Akenzua Hall of Residence, Mr. Oamen Stanley, has also been suspended indefinitely, with immediate effect.


3. All the students involved in the abusive behaviour have been handed over to the Ministry of Justice for investigation and prosecution in accordance with the Child Rights Law.


4. The Edo State Ministry of Health is reaching out to the victims to ascertain the state of their health and provide the necessary support.


The Edo State Government is committed to maintaining a school environment that is safe for children and offers apologies to the victims of the abuse, their parents and members of the public. 


Osarodion Ogie Esq.

Secretary to Edo State Government

...to prosecute abusers with Child Rights Law_*


The Edo State Government has watched with disdain the disturbing viral social media video of abuse by students of Edo College, Benin City, the Edo State capital. 


The State Ministry of Education on enquiry discovered that the incident took place at the college premises and involved Senior Secondary School (SSS) students of Akenzua Hall of residence, who are writing their National Examinations Council (NECO) final examination.


The disturbing video exposed the incompetence of the management of the school authority and the delinquent behaviour of the students who carried out the abusive action. 


On account of the above, government has taken the following actions:


1. The Principal of Edo College, Mr. Peter Edomwonyi, has been instructed to proceed on suspension effective immediately. He is to hand over all property and assets of the school in his possession to the next most senior Vice Principal of the school. He is to remain on suspension until the investigation of the incident is concluded and government provides further directive on the matter.


2. The House Master for Akenzua Hall of Residence, Mr. Oamen Stanley, has also been suspended indefinitely, with immediate effect.


3. All the students involved in the abusive behaviour have been handed over to the Ministry of Justice for investigation and prosecution in accordance with the Child Rights Law.


4. The Edo State Ministry of Health is reaching out to the victims to ascertain the state of their health and provide the necessary support.


The Edo State Government is committed to maintaining a school environment that is safe for children and offers apologies to the victims of the abuse, their parents and members of the public. 


Osarodion Ogie Esq.

Secretary to Edo State Government

SENATOR ABARIBE ON BIAFRA, KANU AND NIGERIA

SENATOR ABARIBE ON BIAFRA, KANU AND NIGERIA

ABARIBE

Enyinnaya Abaribe, the brilliant and brave senator who signed the bail for Nnamdi Kanu's release delivered perhaps the most perceptive and wisest speech on Igbos and Nigeria last week in Mississippi, US. Every Igbo who cares about the present and the future of our people should read it. It's a bit long but the effort is worth it. Please see below:


"What I will say here today may come as a surprise to many of you. For those that I will rub the wrong way, I apologize in advance.


However, "NDIGBO si na owu onye nke mmadu na ghu ya ahu na agbata ukwu". If I fail to say the truth about the existential challenges that we face today in our country Nigeria, and how we believe we should face them, then I would not be true to myself and to you who sent me to represent you in the red chamber.


From the Past to Today.


1970


We can situate our position today following the end of the civil war in 1970. Igbo's in 1970 were impoverished having lost an estimated 3 Million Igbo souls in the war, with a ruined and destroyed landscape and infrastructure. Every Igbo man/woman with savings in the banks before the outbreak of hostilities were pauperized as the military government decreed that one would only get 20 pounds notwithstanding the amount you had. The indigenization decree was passed in 1972 and no Igbo could participate since all had been reduced to penury.


2017


Today the Igbo have the largest pool of educated Nigerians. In 2007, Imo State had more subscribers to the JAMB UTME exams than the 19 Northern States put together. In 2017, 56% of of NYSC members are from the South East. Our feat in education means that we now have the army to win the war of competition in a market driven economy. Since 1999, the south east states have been the best in all exams.


The largest group of direct domestic investors in Nigeria are from the south east. Igbo investments in property in Abuja alone probably has more than any other ethnic group. We are the most travelled in Nigeria. In all parts of Nigeria after the indigenous population, Igbo's are the next largest group. We are the largest propertied class of all ethnic groups in Nigeria and despite all this confusion, we have grown the most economically since the inception of the current democracy in Nigeria. We have the richest and largest pool of Nigeria diaspora population.


Taking an example of Lagos state, Ndigbo form a large proportion of the economy of the state. We created the following from nothing;

Computer Village in Ikeja. Ladipo Spare Parts market. Alaba Electronic Market. Balogun Int'l Market.

Balogun (Trade Fair) International Market. Aspamda market in Festac.

Orile Market for house fittings & appliances etc.


All second hand clothing markets in Lagos. About 4 markets. The combined turnover daily of these markets run into billions daily. Lagos state benefits by collecting taxes and now its economy contributes 56% of all VAT collected in Nigeria. Above scenario is replicated in most big cities in Nigeria. Go to Kano, Port Harcourt, Benin City, Kaduna, Sokoto, not to talk of Abuja. Ndigbo are very large players in the economy of all parts of Nigeria. I will return to this.


The ALLURE of BIAFRA


So the question is, given all the advantages that we as Ndigbo have in Nigeria, why the clamour by our youths and others for a separate state of Biafra?


The present agitation in the South East for a sovereign state of Biafra seems very tempting under the prevailing circumstance given the manifest sectional approach to governance at the center. To some especially the youth and the disadvantaged it is the way to go and when viewed critically you cannot help but to agree with the agitators. Of a truth there is an obvious feeling of alienation within the Nigerian state today. But has this always been the case? Apart from the civil war and the pernicious policies of the military regimes, we have not fared badly during civil rule until presently.


Given that following the civil war, there seemed to have been a glass ceiling in certain professions in Nigeria where it looked as if Igbo should not aspire to. In the police, military etc. But we can posit this as the lingering effects of the war where the victor in a war finds it very difficult to fully integrate the other party they fought with into all areas. In the US for example, I understand that it took a very long time for someone from the southern part of the US several decades after the civil war which they lost to break the stranglehold of the north for the presidency of the US. (Correct me if I'm wrong).


But come to think of it, Dr Alex Ekwueme became the Vice President of Nigeria barely 9 years after the civil war. The glass ceiling was on its way to being broken! The military interregnum from 1993 led by the same Muhammadu Buhari put a hold on this. In the US, Germany, Japan and other climes deliberate policies were used by governments to build stronger ties among groups and opposing tendencies. This helped to forge a bond within their nations. Nigeria seemed to think that a policy of benign neglect will resolve our problems. Of course it didn't and that's why we are seeing a resurgence of separatist agitation going on all over the country.


Fast forward to the civil rule era starting from 1999. Nobody would accuse Presidents Obasanjo, late Yar'adua, or Jonathan of what seemed like sectionalism as state policy. A look at the pattern of appointments by President Obasanjo evinced the fact of an all inclusive government from all parts of the country. Same as President Yar'adua. President Jonathan took it a step further by appointing the first Igbo chief of army staff, first Igbo secretary to the federal government, coordinating minister for the economy etc. In fact, one of the criticisms we face today in Nigeria is to explain why should this agitation for separation be under President Buhari when it was not done under the previous administration? However, that criticism is not true. Recall that under President Obasanjo and Yar'adua there was Massob which was managed much better than today.


However, you will recall that when this government came into place, President Buhari went to the US where he made a most unfortunate statement that was widely condemned at that time. He reportedly said that he doesn't need to bother about the 5% that didn't vote for him but will rather concern himself with the 97% that voted for him. I had at the time the statement was made raised concern that such declaration from an elected President sounds discriminatory and may create the impression that our elected President Buhari is sending a message to those who didn't vote for him that he will be partial in his decision making. Unfortunately, it seems also that the people who are in and around the president didn't advise him properly. 


They left him to make appointments and take decisions that gave the impression that there are some parts of the country that are not supposed to be part of Nigeria. Little wonder that our youths feeling left out and not having anything to give them hope in Nigeria, started believing that a separate country would be better. But I say it is NOT. I will come to this later.


I recall that in November of 2016, after seeing how things were going, the South East caucus of the Senate sought for and got an appointment with the President Buhari. Our discussion centered on the south East perception of not being part of this administration thereby giving rise to our people feeling disconnected from the government. We pointed out that it should be a cause for concern if a major part of the country is not represented in the security architecture of the country in addition to other critical sectors from the inception of the administration. We were promised that our concerns would be looked into. Sadly, this was not done till today.


Our country Nigeria is supposed to be for inclusion; for making sure that everyone makes his or her input into its affairs. Allowing such fairness and equity to prevail in a plural society like ours will make us a bigger and better nation. Today that is not the case. Either as a deliberate act as it seems or a willful omission geared towards achieving a pre-determined goal, Ndigbo have been pushed to the fringes of the Nigerian Union in so many ways by the present government. The unfortunate scenario is enough for one to ask the hypothetical question....why am I here?


WHAT ALTERNATIVES


As much as the music of separatism stirs the soul, one must ask the question; Is relapsing into a sovereign state of Biafra the optimum option or is it a restructuring of the state such that all the federating units would have greater autonomy in the mould of a near quasi self determination the better option? When these two options are posed; a sovereign state of Biafra or restructured Nigeria, the position of most Nigerians as of today is for the latter.


Apart from the problem of even determining the boundaries of the state of Biafra and the multifarious and multifaceted problems a simplistic solution such as Biafra poses, perhaps it makes more sense for those who have tasted war to be a little more discerning when matters affecting their race comes up in Nigeria. Nigerians have been known to come together to use the Igbo head to break coconuts (apologies to late Abiola). Despite the problems that befell the Yoruba race following the annulment of the June 12 elections, they didn't seek to break out out of Nigeria despite some of them calling for an Oduduwa country. They simply used the sympathies of other Nigerians to create an economic haven for themselves which has led to massive relocation of industries by all Nigerians to Lagos and Ogun States. They also got the Presidency of Nigeria.


Our brothers from the Niger Delta have not sought to go away either. They also got the Presidency of Nigeria. However we seem to be in the unfortunate position of seeming to drag the Niger Delta into a Biafra unwanted by them. The agitation for Biafra and how it was being prosecuted by IPOB has rather elicited hate and disdain for our people from other ethnic groups notwithstanding that they may have been nursing such tendencies. The agitation as championed by IPOB somehow gave muscle to traditional traducers of Ndigbo to spew out hate and envious vituperations. This was exemplified by the October 1st quit notice given to Igbos to leave the North by the so-called Arewa youths which persons are yet to be arrested for hate speech and breaching the law. They claimed to be responding to our own hate speeches etc.


Indeed, other people seem to want to see us fall into the trap for them to use us to solve their own problems with Nigeria. That notwithstanding, we as political leaders from the South East were unequivocal in asserting that that the rights of Ndigbo to peaceful and democratic engagements must be respected. On this score we made it clear that no amount of threat will cow Ndigbo from consistently demanding for an equitable, fair and just society within the Nigerian State. We also cautioned our youths on their vituperative calls and employed the Igbo concept of "bu uzo chu fuo Ufu, tutu ta wa Okuko uta"! This of course was misunderstood by other Nigerians as support rather than constructive engagement.


WHY NOT BIAFRA?


We believe that the best way to go given our situation today is to look before we leap. We must not be pushed to abandon our huge contribution to the modern Nigerian state. As we pointed out in the beginning of this paper, Ndigbo have been the single ethnic group that have welded the country Nigeria together given our way of life as sojourners everywhere in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and the world. I dare say that we make up to 50% or more of Nigerians in the US. The question is why would we look to confine ourselves to a small landlocked entity when we have the whole of Nigeria to cavort in?


I have deliberately left out of this discussion the practical impossibility of even getting our brothers from the Niger Delta to go with us in this quest. Not to talk of the Idoma or the Kogi that we insist are part of us.

One thing seems to elude our people when these questions are posed. We look at the determination of the present government to treat us dismissively and feel that it is well nigh an impossible task to get our wish for a just society but we fail to look at the historical evidence before us.


When the 97% vs 5% controversy erupted, I told our people that my people the Ngwa says that "Ohu afor abughi ndu ebighi ebi". Governments come and go. PDP government lost election and quit the stage for this APC government. Who says they cannot also lose? Why are we then acting as if it's the end of the world? The maximum any government can stay is two term totaling 8years. "Obughi ndu ebighi ebi"!


Restructuring is an idea whose time has come and it will happen.

Biafra should be a last option, only after every other avenue to realize a restructured Nigeria where every component part is allowed a measure of autonomy and self determination fails. Let me state here that if the dominant views in Nigeria is for restructuring, then that should be the minimum that Ndigbo should demand, so that every component part of this country can substantially harness its resources and develop at its own pace.


Do not forget that the breached Aburi accord was about restructuring and today this call has garnered overwhelming momentum even from quarters that hitherto opposed it. Just recently former President Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and lately Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a host of others have joined the fray. Restructuring has become a singsong which we must explore vigorously. Even the ruling APC has set up a committee led by Governor el-Rufai to bring about a considered view on it. Forget the fact that it was part of their manifesto. The fact is that the discussion is on, as it should be.


I recall that in August, the Igbo political elite, Ohaneze, Governors, National Assembly Caucus met in Enugu and affirmed that the terms of our marriage in Nigeria is stifling to everybody and therefore we must have another look at it. That position has not changed but has in fact been reinforced by the agreement by other parts of Nigeria that it is time to look at the matter as evidenced by the South West Political Summit where they endorsed restructuring back to the 1963 constitution.


To me the strident calls by IPOB for a referendum should be seen as a legitimate demand to compel the state to see the urgency of having a second look at our marriage, with the ultimate aim of enthroning equity and fairness, where our people will no longer be treated as second class citizens in Nigeria. Though the methods may be misconstrued, the true colour of the agitation would have come out had there been a concerted effort at dialogue. The agitations gives fillip to the Igbo idiom..."Ma Opara emeghi nkpotu, agaghi ilughi ya Nwanyi ".


Our people are saying this union is stifling us, and we are making a lot of noise so we can find a solution.

The solution I think can be found in a restructured Nigeria. The beauty of it is that while we can enjoy near wholesale autonomy, our people as itinerant business people could have an unrestrained space in a larger market provided by a united Nigeria.


We should not be swayed by what we think is the attraction of an exclusive opportunity to be provided by a sovereign Biafra. No. That would box us into a tiny corner which has its own challenges which would prove overwhelming as time goes on. This is a topic for another day.


DIASPORA IGBOS AND US.


One of the problems those of us who attempt to show a direction to our people at home is the near universal disdain that some of our brother Ndigbo in Diaspora have for our leaders and elected representatives at home. Nowhere is it more apposite than in this matter of Biafra agitation. While some of our brothers/sisters here in the comfort of their homes seems to urge our youths through their utterances and actions to use unconstitutional means and disparage other ethnic groups that which actions seems to alienate us from our neighbors and the Nigerian State, we the leaders at home have been been left with the task of intervening in such a manner to dissuade the government from deploying the coercive instruments of state against the agitators. The aim was to stop bloodshed and waste of human lives. We have lost enough from the civil war. Those egging our youths on from here do not seem to appreciate this fact.


Most distressing is the labeling of those who disagree with their positions as "cowards, saboteurs, Hausa slaves etc". This tends to discourage those who genuinely strive to lead our people through a very distressing period in our history as a nation.


Nnia Nwodo as President of Ohaneze has been vilified for taking a stand for restructuring in Nigeria for Ndigbo, a position agreed by all of us in the earlier summit I referenced. Governors come in for bashing everyday. As for us legislators, we have been called all sorts of names such as 'legislooters' etc.


Yet, when it came to taking a stand at ground zero, to bail Kanu; to reject the Federal Government ascribing Terrorism to IPOB, we are the people doing so and we never hesitated to say that agitation in every clime is constitutional. We take the bullets from other ethnic groups and the government for standing firm and demanding that Nigerians should be left to talk to each other about the best way forward without preconditions. We would use this opportunity plead with our internet warriors who stay here in their comfort zone here that our Igbo say, "ma Opara nzuzu adighi nwuo, Opara ma izu aga beghi ibichi ezi".


SOME FINAL THOUGHTS


Why are we not Investing at Home.


Lack of Infrastructure. 


Should we continue to blame the Federal Government for the dilapidated infrastructures in Ala Igbo? What of our home governments in Igbo States? Sam Mbakwe of blessed memory did not wait for the Federal Government before undertaking massive rebuilding of old IMO State. We think that we have not given our best to our people with the little we got. 


Insecurity. 


Nowhere have we hurt ourselves and investment in Ala Igbo than in the insecurity pervading all parts of our homeland. Of course the latest imbroglio in Abia especially in Aba and Umuahia has worsened matters. We run the risk of undoing all the efforts made in promoting 'made in Aba' that we had embarked on as a catalyst for growth in Ala Igbo. Industries have relocated from Ala Igbo to other parts of Nigeria especially Lagos and Ogun States because of the very serious insecurity such as kidnappining and armed robbery faced by those who invest at home. We cannot be looking for investors and yet make our place not conducive to investment. 


Unemployment 


Unemployment is the single biggest problem we have in Ala Igbo today. Before this time due to our domestic investments and industry, this was not a very big problem but due to the dis-investment going on today in Ala Igbo today we are faced with a existential problem in our hand. Diaspora Igbo's have to assist us to also invest at home despite the problems and reduce the unemployment in Ala Igbo. Once we get Ala Igbo right the frustrations that fuel the agitation in ala Igbo will be dampened. What we have playing out in the world today is a knowledge economy. Oil is going out of fashion. As I pointed out earlier, we are poised through our educational exploits in Nigeria to dominate the economy of tomorrow. Why would we turn a blind eye to this emerging scenario? 


In ending let me quote what the great son of Igbo land, the great Zik of Africa said about himself: 


"Despite the mythic heights to which he was raised, Azikiwe was nothing if not pragmatic, a realist, always conscious of his limits and ever eager to extract all that was possible from that limited horizon". May we be guided by such humble thoughts as we seek a better Nigeria for us all. What we should look for is a BIAFRA of the MIND like some have suggested in order to play our role in the emerging Nigeria that will come...


ABARIBE

Enyinnaya Abaribe, the brilliant and brave senator who signed the bail for Nnamdi Kanu's release delivered perhaps the most perceptive and wisest speech on Igbos and Nigeria last week in Mississippi, US. Every Igbo who cares about the present and the future of our people should read it. It's a bit long but the effort is worth it. Please see below:


"What I will say here today may come as a surprise to many of you. For those that I will rub the wrong way, I apologize in advance.


However, "NDIGBO si na owu onye nke mmadu na ghu ya ahu na agbata ukwu". If I fail to say the truth about the existential challenges that we face today in our country Nigeria, and how we believe we should face them, then I would not be true to myself and to you who sent me to represent you in the red chamber.


From the Past to Today.


1970


We can situate our position today following the end of the civil war in 1970. Igbo's in 1970 were impoverished having lost an estimated 3 Million Igbo souls in the war, with a ruined and destroyed landscape and infrastructure. Every Igbo man/woman with savings in the banks before the outbreak of hostilities were pauperized as the military government decreed that one would only get 20 pounds notwithstanding the amount you had. The indigenization decree was passed in 1972 and no Igbo could participate since all had been reduced to penury.


2017


Today the Igbo have the largest pool of educated Nigerians. In 2007, Imo State had more subscribers to the JAMB UTME exams than the 19 Northern States put together. In 2017, 56% of of NYSC members are from the South East. Our feat in education means that we now have the army to win the war of competition in a market driven economy. Since 1999, the south east states have been the best in all exams.


The largest group of direct domestic investors in Nigeria are from the south east. Igbo investments in property in Abuja alone probably has more than any other ethnic group. We are the most travelled in Nigeria. In all parts of Nigeria after the indigenous population, Igbo's are the next largest group. We are the largest propertied class of all ethnic groups in Nigeria and despite all this confusion, we have grown the most economically since the inception of the current democracy in Nigeria. We have the richest and largest pool of Nigeria diaspora population.


Taking an example of Lagos state, Ndigbo form a large proportion of the economy of the state. We created the following from nothing;

Computer Village in Ikeja. Ladipo Spare Parts market. Alaba Electronic Market. Balogun Int'l Market.

Balogun (Trade Fair) International Market. Aspamda market in Festac.

Orile Market for house fittings & appliances etc.


All second hand clothing markets in Lagos. About 4 markets. The combined turnover daily of these markets run into billions daily. Lagos state benefits by collecting taxes and now its economy contributes 56% of all VAT collected in Nigeria. Above scenario is replicated in most big cities in Nigeria. Go to Kano, Port Harcourt, Benin City, Kaduna, Sokoto, not to talk of Abuja. Ndigbo are very large players in the economy of all parts of Nigeria. I will return to this.


The ALLURE of BIAFRA


So the question is, given all the advantages that we as Ndigbo have in Nigeria, why the clamour by our youths and others for a separate state of Biafra?


The present agitation in the South East for a sovereign state of Biafra seems very tempting under the prevailing circumstance given the manifest sectional approach to governance at the center. To some especially the youth and the disadvantaged it is the way to go and when viewed critically you cannot help but to agree with the agitators. Of a truth there is an obvious feeling of alienation within the Nigerian state today. But has this always been the case? Apart from the civil war and the pernicious policies of the military regimes, we have not fared badly during civil rule until presently.


Given that following the civil war, there seemed to have been a glass ceiling in certain professions in Nigeria where it looked as if Igbo should not aspire to. In the police, military etc. But we can posit this as the lingering effects of the war where the victor in a war finds it very difficult to fully integrate the other party they fought with into all areas. In the US for example, I understand that it took a very long time for someone from the southern part of the US several decades after the civil war which they lost to break the stranglehold of the north for the presidency of the US. (Correct me if I'm wrong).


But come to think of it, Dr Alex Ekwueme became the Vice President of Nigeria barely 9 years after the civil war. The glass ceiling was on its way to being broken! The military interregnum from 1993 led by the same Muhammadu Buhari put a hold on this. In the US, Germany, Japan and other climes deliberate policies were used by governments to build stronger ties among groups and opposing tendencies. This helped to forge a bond within their nations. Nigeria seemed to think that a policy of benign neglect will resolve our problems. Of course it didn't and that's why we are seeing a resurgence of separatist agitation going on all over the country.


Fast forward to the civil rule era starting from 1999. Nobody would accuse Presidents Obasanjo, late Yar'adua, or Jonathan of what seemed like sectionalism as state policy. A look at the pattern of appointments by President Obasanjo evinced the fact of an all inclusive government from all parts of the country. Same as President Yar'adua. President Jonathan took it a step further by appointing the first Igbo chief of army staff, first Igbo secretary to the federal government, coordinating minister for the economy etc. In fact, one of the criticisms we face today in Nigeria is to explain why should this agitation for separation be under President Buhari when it was not done under the previous administration? However, that criticism is not true. Recall that under President Obasanjo and Yar'adua there was Massob which was managed much better than today.


However, you will recall that when this government came into place, President Buhari went to the US where he made a most unfortunate statement that was widely condemned at that time. He reportedly said that he doesn't need to bother about the 5% that didn't vote for him but will rather concern himself with the 97% that voted for him. I had at the time the statement was made raised concern that such declaration from an elected President sounds discriminatory and may create the impression that our elected President Buhari is sending a message to those who didn't vote for him that he will be partial in his decision making. Unfortunately, it seems also that the people who are in and around the president didn't advise him properly. 


They left him to make appointments and take decisions that gave the impression that there are some parts of the country that are not supposed to be part of Nigeria. Little wonder that our youths feeling left out and not having anything to give them hope in Nigeria, started believing that a separate country would be better. But I say it is NOT. I will come to this later.


I recall that in November of 2016, after seeing how things were going, the South East caucus of the Senate sought for and got an appointment with the President Buhari. Our discussion centered on the south East perception of not being part of this administration thereby giving rise to our people feeling disconnected from the government. We pointed out that it should be a cause for concern if a major part of the country is not represented in the security architecture of the country in addition to other critical sectors from the inception of the administration. We were promised that our concerns would be looked into. Sadly, this was not done till today.


Our country Nigeria is supposed to be for inclusion; for making sure that everyone makes his or her input into its affairs. Allowing such fairness and equity to prevail in a plural society like ours will make us a bigger and better nation. Today that is not the case. Either as a deliberate act as it seems or a willful omission geared towards achieving a pre-determined goal, Ndigbo have been pushed to the fringes of the Nigerian Union in so many ways by the present government. The unfortunate scenario is enough for one to ask the hypothetical question....why am I here?


WHAT ALTERNATIVES


As much as the music of separatism stirs the soul, one must ask the question; Is relapsing into a sovereign state of Biafra the optimum option or is it a restructuring of the state such that all the federating units would have greater autonomy in the mould of a near quasi self determination the better option? When these two options are posed; a sovereign state of Biafra or restructured Nigeria, the position of most Nigerians as of today is for the latter.


Apart from the problem of even determining the boundaries of the state of Biafra and the multifarious and multifaceted problems a simplistic solution such as Biafra poses, perhaps it makes more sense for those who have tasted war to be a little more discerning when matters affecting their race comes up in Nigeria. Nigerians have been known to come together to use the Igbo head to break coconuts (apologies to late Abiola). Despite the problems that befell the Yoruba race following the annulment of the June 12 elections, they didn't seek to break out out of Nigeria despite some of them calling for an Oduduwa country. They simply used the sympathies of other Nigerians to create an economic haven for themselves which has led to massive relocation of industries by all Nigerians to Lagos and Ogun States. They also got the Presidency of Nigeria.


Our brothers from the Niger Delta have not sought to go away either. They also got the Presidency of Nigeria. However we seem to be in the unfortunate position of seeming to drag the Niger Delta into a Biafra unwanted by them. The agitation for Biafra and how it was being prosecuted by IPOB has rather elicited hate and disdain for our people from other ethnic groups notwithstanding that they may have been nursing such tendencies. The agitation as championed by IPOB somehow gave muscle to traditional traducers of Ndigbo to spew out hate and envious vituperations. This was exemplified by the October 1st quit notice given to Igbos to leave the North by the so-called Arewa youths which persons are yet to be arrested for hate speech and breaching the law. They claimed to be responding to our own hate speeches etc.


Indeed, other people seem to want to see us fall into the trap for them to use us to solve their own problems with Nigeria. That notwithstanding, we as political leaders from the South East were unequivocal in asserting that that the rights of Ndigbo to peaceful and democratic engagements must be respected. On this score we made it clear that no amount of threat will cow Ndigbo from consistently demanding for an equitable, fair and just society within the Nigerian State. We also cautioned our youths on their vituperative calls and employed the Igbo concept of "bu uzo chu fuo Ufu, tutu ta wa Okuko uta"! This of course was misunderstood by other Nigerians as support rather than constructive engagement.


WHY NOT BIAFRA?


We believe that the best way to go given our situation today is to look before we leap. We must not be pushed to abandon our huge contribution to the modern Nigerian state. As we pointed out in the beginning of this paper, Ndigbo have been the single ethnic group that have welded the country Nigeria together given our way of life as sojourners everywhere in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and the world. I dare say that we make up to 50% or more of Nigerians in the US. The question is why would we look to confine ourselves to a small landlocked entity when we have the whole of Nigeria to cavort in?


I have deliberately left out of this discussion the practical impossibility of even getting our brothers from the Niger Delta to go with us in this quest. Not to talk of the Idoma or the Kogi that we insist are part of us.

One thing seems to elude our people when these questions are posed. We look at the determination of the present government to treat us dismissively and feel that it is well nigh an impossible task to get our wish for a just society but we fail to look at the historical evidence before us.


When the 97% vs 5% controversy erupted, I told our people that my people the Ngwa says that "Ohu afor abughi ndu ebighi ebi". Governments come and go. PDP government lost election and quit the stage for this APC government. Who says they cannot also lose? Why are we then acting as if it's the end of the world? The maximum any government can stay is two term totaling 8years. "Obughi ndu ebighi ebi"!


Restructuring is an idea whose time has come and it will happen.

Biafra should be a last option, only after every other avenue to realize a restructured Nigeria where every component part is allowed a measure of autonomy and self determination fails. Let me state here that if the dominant views in Nigeria is for restructuring, then that should be the minimum that Ndigbo should demand, so that every component part of this country can substantially harness its resources and develop at its own pace.


Do not forget that the breached Aburi accord was about restructuring and today this call has garnered overwhelming momentum even from quarters that hitherto opposed it. Just recently former President Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and lately Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a host of others have joined the fray. Restructuring has become a singsong which we must explore vigorously. Even the ruling APC has set up a committee led by Governor el-Rufai to bring about a considered view on it. Forget the fact that it was part of their manifesto. The fact is that the discussion is on, as it should be.


I recall that in August, the Igbo political elite, Ohaneze, Governors, National Assembly Caucus met in Enugu and affirmed that the terms of our marriage in Nigeria is stifling to everybody and therefore we must have another look at it. That position has not changed but has in fact been reinforced by the agreement by other parts of Nigeria that it is time to look at the matter as evidenced by the South West Political Summit where they endorsed restructuring back to the 1963 constitution.


To me the strident calls by IPOB for a referendum should be seen as a legitimate demand to compel the state to see the urgency of having a second look at our marriage, with the ultimate aim of enthroning equity and fairness, where our people will no longer be treated as second class citizens in Nigeria. Though the methods may be misconstrued, the true colour of the agitation would have come out had there been a concerted effort at dialogue. The agitations gives fillip to the Igbo idiom..."Ma Opara emeghi nkpotu, agaghi ilughi ya Nwanyi ".


Our people are saying this union is stifling us, and we are making a lot of noise so we can find a solution.

The solution I think can be found in a restructured Nigeria. The beauty of it is that while we can enjoy near wholesale autonomy, our people as itinerant business people could have an unrestrained space in a larger market provided by a united Nigeria.


We should not be swayed by what we think is the attraction of an exclusive opportunity to be provided by a sovereign Biafra. No. That would box us into a tiny corner which has its own challenges which would prove overwhelming as time goes on. This is a topic for another day.


DIASPORA IGBOS AND US.


One of the problems those of us who attempt to show a direction to our people at home is the near universal disdain that some of our brother Ndigbo in Diaspora have for our leaders and elected representatives at home. Nowhere is it more apposite than in this matter of Biafra agitation. While some of our brothers/sisters here in the comfort of their homes seems to urge our youths through their utterances and actions to use unconstitutional means and disparage other ethnic groups that which actions seems to alienate us from our neighbors and the Nigerian State, we the leaders at home have been been left with the task of intervening in such a manner to dissuade the government from deploying the coercive instruments of state against the agitators. The aim was to stop bloodshed and waste of human lives. We have lost enough from the civil war. Those egging our youths on from here do not seem to appreciate this fact.


Most distressing is the labeling of those who disagree with their positions as "cowards, saboteurs, Hausa slaves etc". This tends to discourage those who genuinely strive to lead our people through a very distressing period in our history as a nation.


Nnia Nwodo as President of Ohaneze has been vilified for taking a stand for restructuring in Nigeria for Ndigbo, a position agreed by all of us in the earlier summit I referenced. Governors come in for bashing everyday. As for us legislators, we have been called all sorts of names such as 'legislooters' etc.


Yet, when it came to taking a stand at ground zero, to bail Kanu; to reject the Federal Government ascribing Terrorism to IPOB, we are the people doing so and we never hesitated to say that agitation in every clime is constitutional. We take the bullets from other ethnic groups and the government for standing firm and demanding that Nigerians should be left to talk to each other about the best way forward without preconditions. We would use this opportunity plead with our internet warriors who stay here in their comfort zone here that our Igbo say, "ma Opara nzuzu adighi nwuo, Opara ma izu aga beghi ibichi ezi".


SOME FINAL THOUGHTS


Why are we not Investing at Home.


Lack of Infrastructure. 


Should we continue to blame the Federal Government for the dilapidated infrastructures in Ala Igbo? What of our home governments in Igbo States? Sam Mbakwe of blessed memory did not wait for the Federal Government before undertaking massive rebuilding of old IMO State. We think that we have not given our best to our people with the little we got. 


Insecurity. 


Nowhere have we hurt ourselves and investment in Ala Igbo than in the insecurity pervading all parts of our homeland. Of course the latest imbroglio in Abia especially in Aba and Umuahia has worsened matters. We run the risk of undoing all the efforts made in promoting 'made in Aba' that we had embarked on as a catalyst for growth in Ala Igbo. Industries have relocated from Ala Igbo to other parts of Nigeria especially Lagos and Ogun States because of the very serious insecurity such as kidnappining and armed robbery faced by those who invest at home. We cannot be looking for investors and yet make our place not conducive to investment. 


Unemployment 


Unemployment is the single biggest problem we have in Ala Igbo today. Before this time due to our domestic investments and industry, this was not a very big problem but due to the dis-investment going on today in Ala Igbo today we are faced with a existential problem in our hand. Diaspora Igbo's have to assist us to also invest at home despite the problems and reduce the unemployment in Ala Igbo. Once we get Ala Igbo right the frustrations that fuel the agitation in ala Igbo will be dampened. What we have playing out in the world today is a knowledge economy. Oil is going out of fashion. As I pointed out earlier, we are poised through our educational exploits in Nigeria to dominate the economy of tomorrow. Why would we turn a blind eye to this emerging scenario? 


In ending let me quote what the great son of Igbo land, the great Zik of Africa said about himself: 


"Despite the mythic heights to which he was raised, Azikiwe was nothing if not pragmatic, a realist, always conscious of his limits and ever eager to extract all that was possible from that limited horizon". May we be guided by such humble thoughts as we seek a better Nigeria for us all. What we should look for is a BIAFRA of the MIND like some have suggested in order to play our role in the emerging Nigeria that will come...


NIGERIA: Miyetti Allah and Asaba Declaration

NIGERIA: Miyetti Allah and Asaba Declaration

By Lasisi Olagunju 

(Published in the Nigerian Tribune on Monday, 17 May, 2021)


Miyetti Allah

Have you asked why every saviour always ends up worse than his bad predecessor? King Dionysius (430 BC—367 BC) was famously called the tyrant of Syracuse. He conquered Sicily and southern Italy and made Syracuse the most powerful Greek city west of mainland Greece. But Dionysius was a very cruel king. Almost every citizen of his kingdom prayed for his death. Curiously, there was an old woman who prayed day and night that the bad king would live long and survive her. King Dionysius came to know of this woman and sent for her. "Why do you so much love me?" The king asked the old lady. She told Dionysius that what evoked her prayers was not love for the king but the fear of what may yet come. She said: "When I was yet a girl, we were oppressed by a tyrant, and I desired his death; he was slain, but he was succeeded by another who oppressed us even more harshly; and again I was greatly pleased to see the end of his reign. But he was succeeded by you, who are an even harsher ruler. So I fear that if you are taken from our midst you will be succeeded by one who is even more terrible." Muhammadu Buhari has mismanaged Nigeria so much that the much derided Goodluck Jonathan is now smelling so nice. But the current elite north-versus-south battle for the soul of Nigeria is not about 2023 and/or regime change. No. What is at stake is very much more fundamental than replacing cows with camels. It is not about replacing this president with another ethnic supremacist now or in 2023. It is about having a country that would make the emergence of another Buhari impossible. The cries we make are of a battle to end all wars. 


But, as usual, the north is misreading the south. A child cannot be birthed and raised in Sango (Zango) and he won't behave like a cow. We see that often in Nigeria. All the 17 Southern Nigeria governors met last week in Asaba, Delta State and demanded sanity in the running of Nigeria. And, because sanity and fairness are not supposed to have resident permit in Nigeria, the governors' declaration triggered alarm bell in pervert power circles in the north. One former governor, Adamu Abdullahi accused the governors of betrayal. He said they betrayed Buhari to whom they swore an oath of allegiance. Adamu said, “The recent meeting of the Southern Governors Forum is an act of betrayal of the trust Nigerians reposed in them. Each governor pledged and swore to an oath and they emphasised loyalty to the sovereignty of this country. They also pledged their loyalty to the President of the country. That’s their oath of office." The man who said this is a former governor and a sitting senator of our federal republic. What kind of bovine statement was that? The Yoruba say a child born and bred in Sango/Zango (Hausa's transit cattle camp) must reason like a cow. Adamu Abdullahi was governor of Nassarawa State from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007. Did he swear and pledge his loyalty to President Olusegun Obasanjo at the beginning of his governorship? Loyalty to the country is a yes. Even then, this is activated on the principle of reciprocity. 'Give me, I give you' is what Toad shouts at the river bank. 


South West, South South, and South East governors have met twice this month. They held the first meeting virtually on May 4 with all the 17 governors in attendance. To harmonise their positions, the second was held on May 11 as an in-person meeting in Asaba, Delta State. They met, came out and spoke clearly and got applause from their peoples and from the people of the middle belt. They asked Buhari to convene a "national dialogue"; they banned open grazing of cows in southern Nigeria; they "affirmed that the peoples of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples." The north shouted blue murder because the moribund Southern Nigerian Governors' Forum (SNGF) is back from the dead. Many thanks to General Muhammadu Buhari and his clan of northern supremacists. 


Other people's wisdom prevents the king from being called a fool. I don't think the Hausa Fulani elite and their president have heard that proverb before. Despite the howling wind blowing across the land, the north still does not understand what is happening. There is a movement against their misbehavour. A resistance against their slave trade has marched out. You can't hold your partners down forever with your 19th century thinking and with your very annoying sense of entitlement. A major prayer point among my people is may we not use our noble heads to be load-carriers for anybody. The south has dropped the Nigerian load; their governors joined them openly last week. 


Ex-governor Adamu was not alone in his unfortunate line of thinking. There are those who were scared of losing their feeding bottle to a restructured Nigeria. They desperately attempted to muddle things up by asking the governors to first restructure governance in their states before making a demand of Buhari, their patron. Those ones are a miserable lot. Whatever is wrong with structures at the state level is simply a symptom of a flawed federation. When we get Nigeria cured of its malignant afflictions, or we cure ourselves of Nigeria, the blisters we see in states will disappear. Even then, we ask the Adamu Abdullahi ensemble how a demand for the reconstruction of the Nigeria house equates a destruction of the edifice?


A professor is a big man/woman with lots of learning and wisdom. And so, there are some things professors must not say. They will be diminished if they say those things that are not wise. There is this Professor Usman Yusuf, a Fulani who also attacked the Southern governors for daring to act without Fulani approval. He said the governors did not consult Fulani leaders before asking his kinsmen to stop invading others' properties and grazing in farms. Yusuf, a former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) said: “Southern governors must provide land for Fulani bandits to graze their cattle if they want to ban open grazing. Gathering in one hotel and giving a blanket ban is irresponsible.” You needed to watch him on TV as he uttered those words. He spoke as a superior; he waxed paternal as a headmaster. Now, you should ask him: Who are those Fulani leaders the governors should take permission from? Was Yusuf referring to Buhari and his ethnic cardinals? 


My very wary people say if you give enough space to Tapa, he will build a house for his Igunnu masquerade. In a federation, the president is not king who is beyond reproach. Governors are not Buhari's houseboys - although we are seeing some who so act because of the 2023 fura and beef. The president and the governors are expected to collaborate and sing pro-people songs. However, where the president's nationalist eye is found blinded by narrow ethnic loyalty, any governor with survival sense will excuse himself from that presidential misadventure. That is what southern governors, especially those of the APC, did. They decided to bear their father's name, leaving the Fulani president to sort himself out - if he cares. Medieval theologian, St Thomas Aquinas exhaustively treated this matter of "unequal relationship between equals." He professed that obedience is commanded within the limits of due observance. He also noted that those who are wiser and righteous should have command over the rest if the nation would stand. He said authorities that are defective either in their origins or in their exercise should be spurned. That is what is happening between Buhari, his presidency and the governors. Buhari was elected for a purpose, now that his regime represents the opposite of the reason for his authority, he loses the scepter. That gives the contextual foundation for the current southern engagement with the north. So many mistakes have been made; several lessons have been learnt, several have been unlearnt and learned again. 


Then came Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, the haughty official mouthpiece of the Fulani people. The national secretary of the association, Alhassan Saleh said the Fulani were ready to dare and confront the south. He said: “If the south feels because they have oil, they can show this open hatred to the Fulani, I bet you, they are late. If the agitators want to divide the country today, or this minute, we will help them. We are ready to go. We are more prepared than any other tribe. They (southerners) want to force us to react but we don’t react that way. Compared to what we went through in Guinea and Sudan and we survived, this is even a child’s play." He added for effects that the governors did what they did because they wanted power-shift back to the south. He got it all wrong just as the tribe he speaks for. 


Time is fast running out for all of us. There is no southern state without a huge, growing crowd of separatists. Only the wise would see what that portends and act. The ship of freedom has set sailing for southern Nigeria. Justifiable resistance to the evil of domination is an act of faith. That is the philosophical basis for the repeated demand for the restructuring of Nigeria. And it is foolish to think that those opposed to the perfidy of today's Nigeria merely seek to suppliant the incumbent. This is not about the bumbling individual complicitly sleeping on duty while his cows eat the barns of his neighbours. This is about defeating the odious unitarism that has wrecked the ship of everybody. The alternative to an immediate truly Federal Nigeria is Czechoslovakia of 1993; or Yugoslavia of 1992; or Somalia of 1991-date; or Myanmar of 2021. The choice is ours to make.


By Lasisi Olagunju 

(Published in the Nigerian Tribune on Monday, 17 May, 2021)


Miyetti Allah

Have you asked why every saviour always ends up worse than his bad predecessor? King Dionysius (430 BC—367 BC) was famously called the tyrant of Syracuse. He conquered Sicily and southern Italy and made Syracuse the most powerful Greek city west of mainland Greece. But Dionysius was a very cruel king. Almost every citizen of his kingdom prayed for his death. Curiously, there was an old woman who prayed day and night that the bad king would live long and survive her. King Dionysius came to know of this woman and sent for her. "Why do you so much love me?" The king asked the old lady. She told Dionysius that what evoked her prayers was not love for the king but the fear of what may yet come. She said: "When I was yet a girl, we were oppressed by a tyrant, and I desired his death; he was slain, but he was succeeded by another who oppressed us even more harshly; and again I was greatly pleased to see the end of his reign. But he was succeeded by you, who are an even harsher ruler. So I fear that if you are taken from our midst you will be succeeded by one who is even more terrible." Muhammadu Buhari has mismanaged Nigeria so much that the much derided Goodluck Jonathan is now smelling so nice. But the current elite north-versus-south battle for the soul of Nigeria is not about 2023 and/or regime change. No. What is at stake is very much more fundamental than replacing cows with camels. It is not about replacing this president with another ethnic supremacist now or in 2023. It is about having a country that would make the emergence of another Buhari impossible. The cries we make are of a battle to end all wars. 


But, as usual, the north is misreading the south. A child cannot be birthed and raised in Sango (Zango) and he won't behave like a cow. We see that often in Nigeria. All the 17 Southern Nigeria governors met last week in Asaba, Delta State and demanded sanity in the running of Nigeria. And, because sanity and fairness are not supposed to have resident permit in Nigeria, the governors' declaration triggered alarm bell in pervert power circles in the north. One former governor, Adamu Abdullahi accused the governors of betrayal. He said they betrayed Buhari to whom they swore an oath of allegiance. Adamu said, “The recent meeting of the Southern Governors Forum is an act of betrayal of the trust Nigerians reposed in them. Each governor pledged and swore to an oath and they emphasised loyalty to the sovereignty of this country. They also pledged their loyalty to the President of the country. That’s their oath of office." The man who said this is a former governor and a sitting senator of our federal republic. What kind of bovine statement was that? The Yoruba say a child born and bred in Sango/Zango (Hausa's transit cattle camp) must reason like a cow. Adamu Abdullahi was governor of Nassarawa State from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007. Did he swear and pledge his loyalty to President Olusegun Obasanjo at the beginning of his governorship? Loyalty to the country is a yes. Even then, this is activated on the principle of reciprocity. 'Give me, I give you' is what Toad shouts at the river bank. 


South West, South South, and South East governors have met twice this month. They held the first meeting virtually on May 4 with all the 17 governors in attendance. To harmonise their positions, the second was held on May 11 as an in-person meeting in Asaba, Delta State. They met, came out and spoke clearly and got applause from their peoples and from the people of the middle belt. They asked Buhari to convene a "national dialogue"; they banned open grazing of cows in southern Nigeria; they "affirmed that the peoples of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples." The north shouted blue murder because the moribund Southern Nigerian Governors' Forum (SNGF) is back from the dead. Many thanks to General Muhammadu Buhari and his clan of northern supremacists. 


Other people's wisdom prevents the king from being called a fool. I don't think the Hausa Fulani elite and their president have heard that proverb before. Despite the howling wind blowing across the land, the north still does not understand what is happening. There is a movement against their misbehavour. A resistance against their slave trade has marched out. You can't hold your partners down forever with your 19th century thinking and with your very annoying sense of entitlement. A major prayer point among my people is may we not use our noble heads to be load-carriers for anybody. The south has dropped the Nigerian load; their governors joined them openly last week. 


Ex-governor Adamu was not alone in his unfortunate line of thinking. There are those who were scared of losing their feeding bottle to a restructured Nigeria. They desperately attempted to muddle things up by asking the governors to first restructure governance in their states before making a demand of Buhari, their patron. Those ones are a miserable lot. Whatever is wrong with structures at the state level is simply a symptom of a flawed federation. When we get Nigeria cured of its malignant afflictions, or we cure ourselves of Nigeria, the blisters we see in states will disappear. Even then, we ask the Adamu Abdullahi ensemble how a demand for the reconstruction of the Nigeria house equates a destruction of the edifice?


A professor is a big man/woman with lots of learning and wisdom. And so, there are some things professors must not say. They will be diminished if they say those things that are not wise. There is this Professor Usman Yusuf, a Fulani who also attacked the Southern governors for daring to act without Fulani approval. He said the governors did not consult Fulani leaders before asking his kinsmen to stop invading others' properties and grazing in farms. Yusuf, a former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) said: “Southern governors must provide land for Fulani bandits to graze their cattle if they want to ban open grazing. Gathering in one hotel and giving a blanket ban is irresponsible.” You needed to watch him on TV as he uttered those words. He spoke as a superior; he waxed paternal as a headmaster. Now, you should ask him: Who are those Fulani leaders the governors should take permission from? Was Yusuf referring to Buhari and his ethnic cardinals? 


My very wary people say if you give enough space to Tapa, he will build a house for his Igunnu masquerade. In a federation, the president is not king who is beyond reproach. Governors are not Buhari's houseboys - although we are seeing some who so act because of the 2023 fura and beef. The president and the governors are expected to collaborate and sing pro-people songs. However, where the president's nationalist eye is found blinded by narrow ethnic loyalty, any governor with survival sense will excuse himself from that presidential misadventure. That is what southern governors, especially those of the APC, did. They decided to bear their father's name, leaving the Fulani president to sort himself out - if he cares. Medieval theologian, St Thomas Aquinas exhaustively treated this matter of "unequal relationship between equals." He professed that obedience is commanded within the limits of due observance. He also noted that those who are wiser and righteous should have command over the rest if the nation would stand. He said authorities that are defective either in their origins or in their exercise should be spurned. That is what is happening between Buhari, his presidency and the governors. Buhari was elected for a purpose, now that his regime represents the opposite of the reason for his authority, he loses the scepter. That gives the contextual foundation for the current southern engagement with the north. So many mistakes have been made; several lessons have been learnt, several have been unlearnt and learned again. 


Then came Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, the haughty official mouthpiece of the Fulani people. The national secretary of the association, Alhassan Saleh said the Fulani were ready to dare and confront the south. He said: “If the south feels because they have oil, they can show this open hatred to the Fulani, I bet you, they are late. If the agitators want to divide the country today, or this minute, we will help them. We are ready to go. We are more prepared than any other tribe. They (southerners) want to force us to react but we don’t react that way. Compared to what we went through in Guinea and Sudan and we survived, this is even a child’s play." He added for effects that the governors did what they did because they wanted power-shift back to the south. He got it all wrong just as the tribe he speaks for. 


Time is fast running out for all of us. There is no southern state without a huge, growing crowd of separatists. Only the wise would see what that portends and act. The ship of freedom has set sailing for southern Nigeria. Justifiable resistance to the evil of domination is an act of faith. That is the philosophical basis for the repeated demand for the restructuring of Nigeria. And it is foolish to think that those opposed to the perfidy of today's Nigeria merely seek to suppliant the incumbent. This is not about the bumbling individual complicitly sleeping on duty while his cows eat the barns of his neighbours. This is about defeating the odious unitarism that has wrecked the ship of everybody. The alternative to an immediate truly Federal Nigeria is Czechoslovakia of 1993; or Yugoslavia of 1992; or Somalia of 1991-date; or Myanmar of 2021. The choice is ours to make.


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