Tag Archives: igbo

Igbo girls are least educated in Nigeria – Kemi Olunloyo.

Advertisements

Kemi Olunloyo has sparked controversy by saying that Igbo girls are the least educated in Nigeria.

She also stated that they display the mentality of housegirls and street prostitutes.

Kemi Olunloyo blamed it all on their female icons whom she aid have failed to empower them.

“Igbo girls are the least educated in Nigeria. The HOUSEGIRL and street prostitute mentality is still there. Igbo female icons don’t empower their women enuff. Once they reach the top, they forget the girls in the village. People like Blessing Okoro are changing that”, she tweeted.

Advertisements

See reactions below

@DaraChidinma: I’m an Igbo girl from Orlu LGA, in Imo state
I am educated, I studied Hospitality Mgt in Yaba college of technology, I am a Licensed
@zumba
Dance fitness Instructor, I am a professionally trained Dancer and a backup dancer for NINIOLA.
I AM PROUD OF MY SELF,
Thank you!

Advertisements

@omnidavinci007: I am from orlu too sis, even in imo state we are called British for plenty reasons. She’s on her cheap weed again

@o_luwafemi: My igbo female frds are doing well and educated, so I can’t relate to what u are saying ma Face screaming in fear

Advertisements

@RealAfesoAkanbi: That’s how you people live in delusion, the same delusion of self importance that has made Nnamdi Kanu what he is today…you speak of south east girls being most educated when the facts say something different…

@Fuomatic9: I have few female Igbo friends and they are doing good financially and good hustlers. They are educated too.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements
Advertisements

Stay away from your parent’s funeral – Imeobi tells Kanu


Nnamdi Kanu has been warned by an Igbo socio-political organization, Imeobi Igbo Forum, on Monday, to stay away from his parents’ burial.

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was given the advise in order to avoid any confrontation with the government.

His Royal Highness, HRH, late Eze Israel Okwu Kanu of Afaraukwu community, Umuahia, in Abia State and wife, late Ugoeze Sally Nmeme Okwu Kanu, parents of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, would be buried on 14th February, 2020.


Addressing newsmen in Onitsha, Anambra state, the National chairman of the group, Chief Mike Ikegulu-Onugha, said “Left for me, the government of the federation should allow him to come and bury his parents. I wish he will come and bury his parents the way I did mine.

“However, rather than come and get involved in all sorts of legal matters and military stuff as well as other issues, it is better for him to keep off,” he noted.

He urged the federal government to forgive “a freedom fighter who is asking for a democratic/judicial means of independence”.

“In all struggles, stories like these come up. These are stories that will be told better in life. His parents died in the struggle, let us not mince words about it. The struggle has taken toll on them” he stated.


#Newsworthy…

Controversy on how a pregnant girl died for having a Yoruba Muslim boyfriend

... neighbors say parents beat her to death


The parents of an 18-year-old girl identified as Amaka Nweke have been accused of allegedly beating their daughter to death for allegedly dating a Yoruba boy by residents of Agility community at Mile 12 area of Lagos State,

Amaka was also allegedly tortured and starved by her parents who were enraged that she got impregnated not just by a Yoruba boy but also a Muslim.

The girl’s father, Mike Nweke who denied putting his daughter through such horrendous act repeatedly said “Is it possible for a parent to kill his own child?” when questioned by newsmen. He was also accused of confronting residents of the community who were vocal about the brutal torture he and his wife allegedly subjected their daughter to.


Before her death, Amaka reportedly welcomed a baby boy christened Zaeed, fathered by one Ibrahim Lawal she started dating when she was in Senior Secondary School (SSS).

Recounting the torture the deceased was subjected to, one of the Nwekes’ neighbours identified simply as Adebola, said;


“Amaka went through a lot. She really suffered. When Amaka and Ibrahim were dating, her parents were always threatening her. They told her that they didn’t want her to continue associating with the boy. What broke the camel’s back was Amaka becoming pregnant for Ibrahim. Her parents were livid and starved her of food.

“Whenever her parents were beating her, some of us would approach and beg them to stop. They used to beat her with different objects even while she was pregnant. Whenever her boyfriend brought food to her, they would not allow her to have access to it.


“When Amaka was delivered of her baby, her parents couldn’t afford the medical bill. They had to call on Ibrahim’s family. His family gladly paid up before the new mother was discharged from the hospital.

“After she was released from the hospital, her parents tried to prevent the husband’s family from naming their grandchild. But it took the intervention of the Chairman of the Community Development Association (CDA) and some elders in the area before the Nwekes released the baby to them.”


NobleReporters culled that Ibrahim’s mother, Mrs. Ebunola Lawal alleged she reported the incessant assault Amaka got from her parents to the police.

“When my son impregnated Amaka, I didn’t reject the pregnancy. I was already used to seeing them together. When it was clear to me that Ibrahim was the owner of the pregnancy, I started taking care of the girl as my daughter-in-law. I, however, noticed that whenever I go to give her foodstuff, her mother wouldn’t want her to collect it from me. I used to force her before she would collect it.


“When Amaka was in labour, her parents didn’t inform us. It was Ibrahim who saw her mother take her to hospital and alerted us. I couldn’t go to the hospital that fateful day, but the following day, Ibrahim went to the hospital to check on her and found she was delivered successfully.

“When it was time for mother and child to be discharged from the hospital, Amaka’s parents couldn’t afford the medical bill. They sent for us and we later paid the money. The parents took Amaka and the baby to their house, instead of the father’s house.


Ebunola also alleged that the Nwekes refused releasing the baby for the naming ceremony on the 8th day.

She said;

“We went to Amaka’s house as early as 6a.m. We begged them till noon before they finally released the baby to us with the assistance of some elders in the community.

“The parents also gave us two hours to return the baby. Two weeks after the naming ceremony, my husband and I went back to Amaka’s parents’ house to check on our grandchild, but Mrs. Nweke prevented us from seeing the baby and Amaka.


“When the pressure from her parents to stop seeing Ibrahim was becoming too much, Amaka told Ibrahim to stop coming. She said that they would be discussing on the phone. She told him that whenever he comes to visit her, her parents would pounce on her and beat her mercilessly. Mrs. Nweke didn’t like Amaka’s union with my son.

“The major issue that led to Amaka’ death started on January 1, 2020. This was after she came to our house to collect clothes for herself and the baby, to celebrate the Yuletide. A few minutes after she left our house, she called Ibrahim on the phone that her mother had started beating her for collecting the clothes and money from us. I was informed that her parents collected the baby from her and locked her in their apartment and beat her for two days.


“It was in the process of beating her that she became unconscious. The parents rushed her to hospital in the neighbourhood and they were referred to Gbagada General Hospital, where she was confirmed dead on Sunday. When Ibrahim went to check her at the hospital, she couldn’t stand up or sit. She just lied on the bed. The most annoying aspect of it was that when they were rushing Amaka to hospital, they gave our four-months-old grandson to a neighbour, instead of bringing him to us to mind.

“When we went to collect the baby from the woman they gave him to, she refused to release him to us. But out of pressure, she eventually released him. I’ll miss Amaka; she was an easy going girl. I accepted her as my son’s wife because of her attitude. It was her parents that killed her.”


A nurse identified as Omotola, disclosed that the deceased sought her assistance after the beatings from her parents became unbearable.

Omotola said;

“Amaka called me and asked that I should rescue her. She said that she didn’t want to die.


“When I didn’t see Amaka for some days, I became worried. I chatted with her up on Facebook, and she told me that she was sick due to the series of beatings she received from her parents. She told me that Ibrahim was bringing money to her to buy drugs. When I couldn’t bear it again, I went to see her. When I saw her, I noticed that her breathing was difficult and terrible. I didn’t like the way she was breathing. I went to a chemist to get her some pain relieving drugs, which I gave to her.

“Before I left, I noticed she was not improving. I quickly called her father on the phone and urged him to take her to hospital. I even suggested taking her to the hospital I work. I heard the following day that the parents didn’t heed my advice. They didn’t take her to hospital that day. They decided to take her to the hospital the following day. I don’t know why they decided to waste the life of that poor girl. Amaka was punished until she died.”


Mike Nweke however maintained his innocence and that of his wife. He said;

“Is it possible for a father to kill his only daughter, I don’t beat my children. My wife is a woman of virtue; she doesn’t beat our children, she is not a wicked woman. We didn’t beat her because we saw her going to Ibrahim’s house. Everything Ibrahim’s family said was false because now I’m in mourning. I came from a Christian family. I warned my wife to stop disturbing Amaka and Ibrahim. I told my wife that if God said the union was ordained from Him, they would live together as a husband and wife. I have never disturbed them.


“When Amaka took ill, we rushed her to two private hospitals before we were referred to Gbagada General Hospital where she died.”

When asked about Amaka’s baby, Mike said they left the baby with a neighbour in Lagos because he couldn’t take him to Ebonyi State.

He added;

“I’m only going to Ebonyi State with Amaka’s mother and siblings.”

Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bala Elkana who confirmed the incident said they are awaiting a medical report to ascertain the cause of death.

Bala said;

“We are waiting for medical report to ascertain the cause of death. Investigation is still ongoing.”


#Newsworthy…

Ohanaeze strives for 2023 Presidency

…to set up lobby group as northern group adopts El-Rufai, Onu


Igbo leaders rose from a crucial meeting, weekend, with a resolve to pursue both restructuring and emergence of Nigerian president of Igbo extraction.

They also asked other ethnic nationalities and zones, to as a matter of justice, equity and fairness, support the emergence of a president of Igbo extraction in 2023.


These were highlights of a nine-point communiqué at the 5th World Igbo Summit (WIS) held at the Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, from January 2 – 4.

They noted that there were three options left for Nigeria’s survival namely: to retain the dysfunctional status quo, to balkanise the country through a rash of successions and to reset or restructure the country to its federal origin.


They stated that the Igbo had cause to lead the campaign for a restructured Nigeria and stressed that the process should start with the restructuring of the social, cultural, political and economic systems of Ala-Igbo.

The Igbo leaders noted that the Igbo, as one of the tripods of the country, had not produced a president, hence the urgent need to reach out to other ethnic nationalities and zones to achieve support for president of Igbo extraction and restructuring.


They therefore mandated the leadership of Ohanaeze to constitute a high-powered lobby group for the project.

Part of the communiqué signed by Prof. George Obiozor, National Coordinator, and Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, Director General, of the summit group, read: “The leadership of all political parties should as a matter of justice, equity and fairness, cede the nomination of their presidential candidates to the South East.


“That the President-General should in consultation with Ime-obi constitute a Pan-Igbo organizing Committee to develop and pursue a sustainable strategic plan of action for the “handshake outreach” across Nigeria.

“The handshake programme should cumulate in a grand finale during which the harmonized positions of the alliance-zones would be adopted and publicized as a basis of a joint bill of the people to the National Assembly; to pass into law and use as a document for convoking a national conference for restructuring.


“The alliance-zones would use the harmonised positions to commence the arduous task of lobbying and working with politicians, political parties, interest groups and other stakeholders to come on board the movement for restructured Nigeria.

“On its part, Ohanaeze Ndigbo will sustain a vigorous publicity, press campaigns, sustained education and mobilisation of the electorates and encourage peaceful mass rallies in support of the restructuring project.


“In pursuit of these demands and rights, all these resolutions will be done in accordance with the principles of municipal and international laws and best practices.”

However, a northern socio-political group, Rundunar Mai Gaskiya, has endorsed Kaduna Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai as its preferred presidential candidate and deputy respectively.


In a statement by its president, Aminu Ahmad Brano and vice president, Abubakar Isyaku, the group said after wider consultations across board, particularly in the northern states, it adopted El-Rufai for his leadership qualities, trust creation and confidence building between him and the Nigerian people, mostly the northerners.

The group also adopted Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, as it preferred candidate for the office of the vice president.


According to the group, the minister is a man of strong integrity, detribalised, well educated, loyal to a fault, patient, genuine and believes that God’s time is the best.

Pairing Onu with El-Rufai will bring peace and more progress to the country, the group said.

“Onu has been aligning himself politically with the North at all times. He is supportive of the northern agenda and mostly, his contributions and support of the northern interest in 2015.”

The group insisted that the north should reciprocate Onu’s numerous gestures. They also added that Onu was the majority choice of the South East for the office from their consultations. The group further pleaded with the southern people of the country to allow the north another single term stating that death could not allow the late Musa Yar’Adua serve out his tenure.


#Newsworthy…

More problems coming as FG gives Herdsmen visa free entry into Nigeria – Ohanaeze


Outspoken southern socio-cultural groups, Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have responded to the boastful claims by Miyethi Allah that herdsmen all over Africa will not require visa before entering Nigeria, warning that such grandstanding in the face of the proposed visa on arrival policy of the federal government can only worsen the security challenges currently faced by the country.

In his reaction, Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin said “They are just confirming what we knew all along that the visa-free entry into Nigeria is a policy for Fulani herdsmen all over Africa to invade Nigeria. The government is shutting border in the western part of the country while leaving it open in the north shows it all. Who are the Africans the government is opening its borders for, is it not the Fulani that is coming to Nigeria. We knew but kept quiet and now they are confirming a secret we all knew that it is a policy for the Fulani herdsmen, to invade Nigeria, to change our demography and carry out their plan without let or hindrance because we have what people are calling ‘Fulani government of Nigeria.’Some might think there is confusion here; there is no confusion on the agenda. Shutting the border in the southern part of the country is to promote the rice being grown in the north. Asking people to come into Nigeria without a visa is a Fulanization policy; to allow herdsmen to invade and use Miyetti Allah against the rest of us.”


Also speaking for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the group’s National Publicity Secretary, Uche Opaga- Achi said that Miyetti Allah could afford to do whatever it likes in the country because it has the backing of the powers that be.

“It stinks to high heavens that these people could speak with impunity because one could see and say that the Federal Government has tilted towards one ethnic group, the Fulani group. It also shows that the immigration law of the country has been rubbished and thrown to the dustbin and that is why you don’t need the international passport as long as you are a Fulani and a herdsman. It is just unimaginable. This does not obtain anywhere, only in Nigeria.

“These people are saying it with impunity because they feel they are protected and truly nobody could stand them because they are truly in charge of all the security apparatus; military and paramilitary. Is there any security agency that they are not in charge of, absolutely none. Theycouldalsosaythatbecausethebor- der is free for them to cross at any point in time they desire while other tribes or groups cannot. It is the absolute truth of what we are facing in Nigeria, it is what the country has become. The rule of law no longer obtains here, what is obtained here is body language and that is the body language we have in the country. It is quite a pity that we have come to the end of the road.

“This is why the insecurity of this country has remained intractable. Our borders are porous because we allow people who are not Nigerian to invade and kill us in tens and thousands, and a group is boasting about it because it is to their advantage. It is a pity for us and I hope that someday somehow our leaders will be called to account for their stewardship,” he stated.


#Newsworthy…

How my brother escaped from kidnappers – Lady narrates.

…they disguised as police


A Nigerian lady took to Instagram to narrate how her uncle almost got kidnapped by some men in police uniform after being flagged down at Agbarho/ Warri road by Urohbor hall, Delta State.

According to hennesse_, her uncle was arrested by men who claimed they were police officers who insisted on taking him to their police station after finding drugs he purchased from a pharmacy in his car.


She further revealed that her uncle jumped out of the car, after it dawned on him that he might be kidnapped by the men who drove past two police stations.

She wrote;

My uncle escaped kidnappers today in police uniform this morning at along agbarho/ warri road by Urohbor hall. This is the story

The men on uniform waved me down and requested that I should open my vehicles for a search . Of which I obliged.
After a thorough search of my vehicle and nothing was found, the saw a pain relieving drug (in sachet) inside my car handrest and they asked for a doctor’s prescription that warranted me to get hold of such drug.
After a few explanations , and I told them that I purchased it from a pharmacy store. They insisted that I should be arrested and be taken to their station.

I then requested that i put a call through to my people or my lawyer for them to be aware. Immediately, they engaged their guns, pointed it at me , seized my phones and handcuffed me.
I then insisted they should tell me where they are taking me to, but they said when I get to their station, that I will know. *I then remembered of a story about one headmaster that was kidnapped by some* *uniformed police men along that same road and he paid 300k ransom before he was released* .

They picked him up from 9am and drove along side with him for a very long distance. And while in the vehicle, they started negotiating for ransom (from 3m till it got down to 300k). No reason for arresting him and he was threatened to be killed if he doesn’t comply.
So we drove passed agbarho police station and they didn’t branch. Got to DSC round about, I was hoping they will take me to ebrumede police station. Yet again we passed the station.

Then I realized I was in for something serious. My vehicle has this Central lock thing. So the moment you engage the gear system, the entire doors automatically gets locked down. So I first of all opened up my own side of the door from the Central luck. Lucky enough, they didn’t notice it.

So immediately I got to Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) junction, they slowed down a little then I quickly opened up the door handle and jumped out of the vehicle while on motion, still on handcuff . There were crowed at the junction and I know that people must ask questions.

I started shouting and pleading for help from those at d junction

Lady narrates how her uncle escaped from kidnappers in police uniform in Delta

Lady narrates how her uncle escaped from kidnappers in police uniform in Delta
Lady narrates how her uncle escaped from kidnappers in police uniform in Delta


#Newsworthy….

Open Visa : Nigerians should reject policy – Ezeife said (Reasons)


Elder statesman and former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, is not happy with the situation of things in the country. He described the situation as very bad, pointing out that it is being suffered more by the Igbo in the country.

He lamented that there have been sustained marginalization and series of attacks on Igbo people and their businesses by the Federal Government for no reason.

He noted that the horrible situation has prompted their youths to agitate for a country of their own where they would feel loved and accepted.


In this interview with Sunday Sun, he also spoke on other issues of national interest. Excerpts:

How in your view have the Igbo fared since after the civil war in Nigeria?


After the civil war, Igbo people have been suffering. Some sufferings resulted directly from the civil war. The others resulted from policy of government which seem directed to pull the Igbo down; P-I-D, Pull Igbo Down. Well, when you fight a war and you come out of it and you are not victorious, there are consequences. We lost people; many people. The Nigerians declared ‘no victor, no vanquished’ yet they gave us 20 pounds for all the money we have in the banks. If you have million pounds, you get 20 pounds. And since then, we have been suffering in every way. Our people are commercial people, businessmen. They are attacked in their businesses. They import goods and the goods are seized and auctioned to other people. Individual business people are attacked. First, Jim Nwobodo lost his bank, Savannah Bank. It was taken from him. Second, Chief Cletus Ibeto, once the greatest importer of cement into Nigeria was attacked and his business crumbled. He is now trying to build up. Ifeanyi Ubah of Capital Oil was humiliated with detention by the EFCC several times. NNPC was owing him. Instead of helping him to recover the money, the government added insult to injury. Innoson Motors, the young man who has the first motor manufacturing company in Africa was dragged from Nnewi to Abuja in pants. Fortunately, the Central Bank has decided on the case between Innoson and GTB and Innoson is the winner. Emzor Pharmaceuticals was closed down because they said that some recalcitrant youths were inhaling some of the drugs which were produced by the factory; which drugs have been in production for decades. The attacks on businesses have continued. I understand that Sunnewspaper was visited by the EFCC. Now, we are hearing stories about Onyema and Air Peace. We are sure that it is a case of selective justice, assuming that there is any justice in it; it has to be a case of selective justice that he is being attacked because people who have done worse things are still in the country. Apart from attack on businesses of Igbo people, there are all kinds of humiliation. Noticed that our boys were asked to lie down in the mud and some were drinking mud water. And then eventually many were killed. The killing has been quite much. When young men wanted to have a memorial of the Biafra war dead ones, they were massacred; first in Aba, and then in Onitsha. The one that is most intriguing was the massacre of young men who were celebrating the victory of Trump in faraway America. Now, humiliations are many. There is Awka-Etiti down there. Awka-Etiti is a very small town in Idemili. Where we are now is Igbo-Ukwu. There is about three miles distance between Awka-Etiti and Igbo-Ukwu. It may be less even. When I was coming back on Wednesday, we passed through four checkpoints between Awka-Etiti and Igbo-Ukwu; a distance of three miles. And, of course, humiliation is obvious. The way you are treated at the checkpoints, not just the way you are delayed. So, the Igbo have been going through hell since the end of the civil war that was declared ‘no victor, no vanquished.’ I must say that our people who import containers are the worst hit because when they import containers, the containers are seized and auctioned to other people.

There has been unending outcry of marginalization by President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government. What do you think is the way out?


Well, first of all, marginalization; for years now, if there is a meeting of the National Security Council, the Igbo man is not represented and he is one of the three largest tribes. Two, if you hear there is a list of new appointments, you will find the Igbo absent from that list or largely absent from that list. But if there is a list of people removed from employment, especially the military, security people, the Southeast people dominate that list. Well, there are so many examples. The recent appointment of commissioners of police was only good for the Southeast. They got one commissioner. Why do I say very good? They normally don’t get any at all. This time they got one while Northwest got 12. There was a time some justices were appointed across the country; 27 justices. No Igbo, two people from Southwest and South-south. I mean, one has to keep a record in order to roll out the many cases of injustices done to our people. So, humiliation, marginalization, and pull them down have been the fate of the Southeast people in Nigeria since the end of the civil war. And the civil war, contrary to the impression people got, did not result from any coup which Igbo organized. The coup was organized for the benefit of the Yoruba, to make Nigeria grow faster by putting Awolowo who was a very good manager of people as Prime Minister of Nigeria. It was not done for any Igbo interest except that Igbo is most interested in the progress of Nigeria.

There have been agitations by the youths for a Biafra Republic. Do you think that the agitation was justifiable?


Because of what I have told you so far; since the civil war, the youths who didn’t even participate in the civil war are calling for Biafra. Calling for Biafra is a reaction to what the Federal government is doing to the Igbo and the youths want fast solution. They want Biafra. But the elders see some advantages in Nigeria that is made to work. Because of the large market and our people are businessmen, the elders are thinking of the economies of scale and they are feeling all the pains the youths are feeling, but they are bearing it a little more than the youths. So, if you want to look at it very well, you will see that the youths are reacting faster to Nigeria’s government pushing the Igbo out of Nigeria. It is the Nigerian government pushing the Igbo out of Nigeria. The youths are reacting to it more than the elders.

Presidents have come and gone in this country. Looking back at the years of the previous administrations and comparing them with the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, do you think things are getting better?


Everybody knows that Nigeria has been taken giant steps backward. It cannot be worse now. Impunity has become the norm in Nigeria. Things are not done according to norm or constitution. And the judiciary has been finally destroyed. The politics has always been down and has been worse in the years. The executive is not making impact. Hunger is taking Nigeria to dark places and it doesn’t appear that anything has been done to improve the welfare of the people. In fact, the welfare of the people has been tumbling; tumbling down in every way. It is not difficult to prove these things. One indication of how you are going is your exchange rate. Your exchange rate has now come to N365 to $1. It is not easy to bear that. Naira was superior to dollar before. Now you have to get N365 to $1. The price of rice and all consumables have gone up. Unemployment has never been as bad as it is now. Security is worse; banditry everywhere, kidnappers, thieves everywhere. And there are many cases. The president is not helping much. The president talked about free visa. I mean, visa not required of Africans and we know whom he is talking about. I think that is the case that cannot be left like that. The National Assembly must act. I don’t believe the president has the power to open the gates of Nigeria and allow everybody to come in. It’s like planning for war; planning for foreigners to dominate us. That cannot happen. We should not allow it. And we are not going to go fighting anybody. But we want good reason to prevail.

Do you think that the closure of the Nigeria’s border is good for this country?


It is not easy to pronounce on border closure because there are many aspects of it. Why should imports come to Ghana, Togo and some other West African countries, and they collect the duties and then send to Nigeria? We lose duties if we allow it to continue that way. But we know we are suffering because of our rice. Even that suffering is temporary. For me, it is alright. I just ordered Anambra Rice for my Christmas. Abia also wrote me that they have rice to sell to me. So, temporary suffering is imposed by the border closure, but there are good reasons for closing the border. And there are serious problems arising from closing the border. It is not something you will just dismiss because…we don’t say something is bad because it is done by a government which has been failing, but make judgment given our understanding.

What is the implication of returning to budget circle of January to December? What implication do you think it would have on the economy?


I don’t see any problem with that; I don’t see any implication. If it is made regular, it will be very good. It is good to have enough time to implement the budget. That is part of planning. I think I should commend it and encourage them to keep it constant like that.

Let us come home. By 2021, Ndi-Anambra will be going to the polls to elect the next governor. Lately, some persons are promoting the issue of zoning. Here in Anambra, before now, we talk about competence. Would you prefer a competent governor who comes from any zone or any governor that must come from a particular zone whether competent or not?


Very good question and very important. In 2021, a new governor must emerge in Anambra State. That governor must be a very competent person, fully qualified, well educated, ready to work, and seriously interviewed and processed to know that he is good enough. There is one good thing about Anambra. The good thing about Anambra is that from any village, you can get competent people to be governor of Anambra State. From any zone you can get, maybe, up to 10 people qualified to be governor of Anambra State. From every local government you can get somebody qualified to be governor of Anambra State. What we are talking about now is that we want to reduce tension. We want to reduce the cost of election. We want to make routine, if possible, the election of governor. And we agreed on zoning. It is an agreement we reached. It is important that is why we are talking about the presidency being zoned. The North has had more than enough. So, with respect to Anambra State and governorship, Anambra Central has ruled for 11 years, Anambra North will soon complete eight years, Anambra South has not ruled for more than five years or five plus. And Anambra South has dominance of qualified people. So, what people are saying is that there is no point going away from equity and justice. We expect the next governor to come from Anambra South. And there is a new element. I was the first governor of Anambra State. I took the whole state as my area of concern. I never did anything for Anambra South because I am from Anambra South. No! But as you know now, everybody who comes as governor pays special attention to his zone. There is no point repeating what you know already. Everybody in Anambra State knows that governors now take special care of their zone and then do something for the rest of the state. So, I support strongly that the next governor should come from the South and I will not be too concerned about the governor paying extra attention to the South because all others are doing it. In fact, I am the person to advocate it because everybody is blaming me for not doing anything for my special area, my zone.

Because I thought, we could not be doing that because of zone.


How would you assess Governor Willie Obiano’s administration so far? How well or badly do you think he is doing?

Well, sometimes we forget; especially we forget the good ones and remember the bad ones. Obiano increased security level in Anambra State. Since Obiano, kidnapping has been low. Since Obiano, Iweka North in Onitsha has been quiet or relatively quiet. He has done so many other things in the medical field, in the education field, in many fields. I have been hearing complaints that the second term hasn’t been as good as the first term. I am hearing complaints about his not being open to people; not listening to people, and not even receiving people as he did in the first term. There may be reasons for that. I don’t know. So, as a matter of judgment, I will say that Obiano performed very well in the first term. And I am not sure I know enough in the second term to make any statement.


What can you say about the level of economic integration in the Southeast? Are you satisfied with it?

Your point is one, that economic integration in the Southeast has not been strong and that it is necessary for it to be strong. When I was sworn in as governor of Anambra State, my inauguration speech was titled ‘think home.’ I asked our people to invest everywhere they are investing, but to remember home also. We must have a strong home base. That helps us to deal with problems from outside. We must have a strong home base. And it is inevitable for our success that we have a strong home base. You gave the example of Enugu Airport being federal and Anambra Airport not making progress; Ebonyi talking about airport, but the one we have in Enugu was abandoned and we are waiting for the Federal Government to come and build it for us. Yes, Federal Government has been building for other people, but we know that Federal Government does not care for Southeast. If the Federal Government does not care for us, should we not care for ourselves, also? This is the point you are making. And I agree totally with it. The economic integration of the Southeast should be very strong; it should be planned. Effort was made before to plan it, but it didn’t go far. Today, we have to find a way to design a commission that plans the development of the Southeast. I am proposing a new leadership model for the Southeast so that even the governors we bring out will be people who know their onions and know what to do to boost the economy of the Southeast. The way things are done now, anybody who has money comes out to contest for governor and when he wins, it is his business. The development of Southeast is the responsibility of Southeast and we can jointly face it. And if you are to be governor, we must approve you as somebody who can help develop Southeast. If you are to just bring money, share it and become governor that will be a thing of the past by the time we get the right leadership which we are now working on.

Chukwuemeka Ezeife


What are your predictions for the year 2020? What do you foresee for Nigeria in 2020?

It is very bad now, 2019; and has been progressively bad for at least four years. As I said in one of my interviews, man has failed Nigeria. What do we do? The only thing is to go back to God and beg Him to produce a change. And we hope that that change will come even within 2019 or not later than Easter 2020. Change that we desire for progress. It can be change of attitude. It can be other changes. But there is need for change and we pray God that change comes before Easter.


#Newsworthy…

Izuogu – Peace in Nigeria, Igbo Presidency.

…issues with Arthur nzeribe


Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu, a revered politician and scientist in this interview with STANLEY UZOARU expressed his mind on the security challenges in the country and ways to tackling it. He, however, attributed most of the challenges to Nigeria’s poor immigration system which he said allows every Tom, Dick and Harry to lay claim to its citizenship. Also, he recalled the troubled days with maverick politician, Senator Arthur Nzeribe.

How do you feel about the reoccurring cases of kidnap in the country today?

Well, it underscores the bad security situation in the country; this is what we have been speaking to President Buhari about, that everything needs to be done to secure Nigeria. Every Nigerian citizen needs to have a sense of security in his home country and we say President, take note of that, give it a special attention in the interest of all Nigerians, whether from the North East or South East or even South West or North Central, every Nigerian needs a sense of security. That is very important. I hope Mr President is taking note of these complaints from all kinds of Nigerians.


Do you think the federal government is living up to its expectation in resolving it?

I think the President is making some efforts. For example, the recent instructions to the armed forces on security appears to have come from the President but what is important is, how effective it is. Any measure that is taken should be very effective to average Nigerian. The average Nigerian wants to stay alive first before he talks of what to eat or drink, it is very important.


There have been outcries of herdsmen invasion on farmlands in Imo State lately. If you were in the governor’s shoes, how would you tackle it?

The best way to handle that kind of situation is to identify who is a citizen of Nigeria and who is not; all over, the important countries are careful of those they admit into their country. If you want to go to the US now, it’s a problem getting their visa, if you want to go to UK, Germany, it is difficult getting their visas because they want to minimise those that are entering their territories. So, if the government of Nigeria is very serious of the insecurity situation of the average Nigerian, they should mount proper surveillance on those who want to enter Nigeria, they must have them properly screened, they must have means of livelihood, because if you allow somebody who is not employed to come into Nigeria, the man has to eat, has to drink, and that leads to temptation if he has no means of making money. He may start thinking of funny things to do in order to raise money to eat. So, they want to minimise that in a descent country. If the country is decent, the people being admitted must be very decent.


I guess that was your suggestion as the President; now what if you were Governor Ihedioha?

If I am the governor of a state, I will take special interest in those who are entering the state, knowing their identity, everybody would have an identity; if you don’t have an identity, you are not a citizen. There is national ID; there is driver’s licence, there must be a place where your name is recorded, that is very important. If you don’t do that, you are exposing the people to the market square because anything can happen in the market. Whoever is entering Imo State, if I am the governor, I must know the person; I must know his credentials, I must know what he is coming to do in Imo, whether he is coming to do business or live in Imo, those things are very important now, you don’t joke with it. If you do, you will be joking with the lives of your citizens.


The Igbo are jostling to take over from Buhari in 2023; in all fairness, do you think this is achievable?

They are Nigerians, why can’t they achieve it? They are one of the most populous ethnic groups in the country. There are three major ethnic groups and the Igbo are one of the three; they need to occupy the position. Other people have been doing that; Yoruba have done it several times; the Hausa/Fulani have done it several times, even our brother, minority Ijaw, have done it. We supported Jonathan, so why can’t we now? We have supported all the presidents. Those who wanted to be President, from the West, the Middle Belt, I supported all of them. so, why can’t they support the Igbo now? This is how to build a stable and peaceful country; you must be fair to all the parts of the country. If you are not fair to them, that means you have hidden agenda to the particular people and that would have a reverse reaction in their minds which would not make for peace in the country. If anybody wants Nigeria to be at peace, they should give the presidency to the Igbo. I admire the northerners and the westerners who have been championing it, the way they have spoken; Balarabe Musa and so many others, they said give it to the Igbo, remove your hand, it’s their turn, let it be for Ndigbo alone; just as we brought out Olu Falae and Obasanjo from Yorubaland some time ago, only the two of them were the candidates and we supported them, eventually one of them became the president, they should do the same thing for Ndigbo.


President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo might take its turn of rotation to Imo, who would you tip to become the next President-General?

(Laughs) Well, it is still far, as an old politician, I have to watch and see. I have to watch those who are showing interest, I want to know their character, I want to know their antecedents, I want to know if they want to go and collect money and sell the interest of Ndigbo, I want to know if they just want to use it to advance their political career, those things cannot mix. Ohanaeze is a sociocultural organisation, it is not a socio-political organisation, so, whoever has political ambition cannot go there. They have to allow it for those who have cultural values, who understand Igbo tradition, allow it for them, those who have political ambition either to become governor or president should not go for the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. It is not like Afenifere; Afenifere in the West is a socio-political organisation, it is not socio-cultural; Ohanaeze is a sociocultural organisation. So, I am going to support a socio-cultural personality who has integrity, who has character for which the Igbo are praised, admired, so, let them come, we are watching them, very soon, we would make our position known.


Can you give us five likely best shots for the position?

You are giving me a tough task, however, it’s too early. There are some names in my mind, I would want to think it over before I answer that question, because anybody I mention now is important, I can’t just mention anybody. People know my standard; I have to take that standard into consideration before I mention them.


Recently, maverick politician, Senator Arthur Nzeribe turned 81; could you recount some of your experiences with him?

Nzeribe has done his bit in politics; he has been a senator of my senatorial zone, Orlu. We both disagreed in SDP. I don’t hold this against him, I have forgiven him, I am a Christian; he was opposing my candidature because he wanted another person and all that, no problem, the past is gone. Arthur Nzeribe is my friend; if he had invited me to his birthday bash, I would have attended and wished him many more years, no problem, it’s okay.

For not inviting you like you pointed out, do you think he is still bearing grudges against you?

I don’t know why he did not invite me, may be because he has so many friends to invite and I am not one of the important friends, no problem (laughs).


#Newsworthy…

Igbo groups to drag FG to world bodies over roadblocks.

…Demand removal of checkpoints

Worried by the hardships, suffering, and humiliation suffered by road travellers due to multiple roadblocks and checkpoints mounted by security agencies on the road leading from South West to South East and South South regions and also within the two regions; some influential Igbo groups have threatened to drag the Federal Government to court; the International Human Rights Commission and other global bodies.

They said that multiplicity of roadblocks and checkpoints mounted with logs of wood, sand bags, solid concrete and all sorts of unsightly materials especially on the Sagamu-Benin-Onitsha Expressway and on all major roads in the South East and South South were simply extortionist centres.

Those at a world press conference in Lagos, yesterday, to highlight the issue, were Chief Emmanuel Chuks Ikokwu, President, Out Oka Iwu, Major Gen. Obi Umahi (retd); President General, Ndigbo, Lagos, Mr. Oscar Onwudiwe, President, Aka Ikenga and Mr. Ngozi Odumuko, Coordinator, Nzuko Umunna.

While not questioning the constitutional role of the agencies to combat crime, the groups bemoaned that serious abuses and negation and curtailment of human rights and civil liberties pervaded their operations at these roadblocks and checkpoints.

They therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to dismantle the roadblocks, particularly at this festive period when the Igbo had commenced mass movement to the South East.

Describing the roadblocks as a national disgrace for which the operators and perpetrators ought to be ashamed, they wondered why IG Adamu had returned roadblocks even when his predecessors dismantled them because of their ineffectiveness in combating crime.

According to the groups, “Our citizens are routinely harassed, intimidated and extorted of their belongings at these checkpoints. Huge man-hours are merely a fraction of the economic losses occasioned by these roadblocks, as journeys that ought to take a few hours are punctuated at every few 100 meters stretching the journey to four times the normal hour it ought to take. In many instances especially on the Sagamu-Benin-Onitsha Expressway, the roadblocks are barely a pole apart. Ohanaeze Ndigbo lists 24 checkpoints between Lagos and Ore, 23 checkpoints between Ore and Benin, and 13 checkpoints from Benin to Onitsha, accounting for a total of 60 checkpoints on that narrow corridor alone. This is replicated throughout the South East and most of the South South zones. Aside from the mental torture that travellers now go through, turning an otherwise routine activity into a nightmare, the impression of an economic siege and blockade is inescapable.

“Instructively, the Sagamu–Benin, Benin–Onitsha, Otukpo–Enugu and Enugu–Port Harcourt expressways were specifically listed among the roads affected by this directive. Sadly, instead of building on this brave and well-intentioned initiative, the current Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, who was on assumption of office viewed as reform-minded, has taken the police force and the country backwards with the reintroduction of these illegal roadblocks that truncate the ease of doing business policy of the Federal Government and cause huge economic losses among others.

“However, very disturbing, is the recent statement credited to the current Inspector General of Police Mr. Mohammed Adamu to the effect that these illegal roadblocks would remain. We consider this statement as highly insensitive, provocative and unacceptable, especially in light of constitutional breaches occasioned by these roadblocks and the hardships which our citizens are subjected to at these checkpoints. Aside from the fact that there is no empirical study to show that these countless roadblocks are more effective than highway patrols in combating crime, we note that even in the North East including Maiduguri which is the hotbed of insurgency, the roadblocks are curiously fewer than those on the Sagamu-Benin-Onitsha expressway and other South East roads. We therefore find the position of Mr. Adamu as untenable and unacceptable. We reject it in its entirety.

“We ask President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) to direct the Inspector General of Police and other heads of security agencies to comply with the Senate resolution and immediately dismantle these roadblocks. In place of these illegal and debilitating roadblocks, the security agencies should immediately commence high visibility patrols and effective surveillance of the highways. Further, security personnel who engage in such vehicular patrols on highways and major roads must wear bold name tags and service numbers to foster accountability.

The Igbo groups urged all citizens travelling on those routes to remain law-abiding and polite to law enforcement agencies while asking them to also report incidents at the roadblocks to them through their town unions and other cultural organizations.

“We hereby serve notice that continued abuse and curtailment of peoples’ fundamental human rights on the highways will be strongly challenged in the court of our land, ECOWAS Court, and presented to International Human Rights Commission, the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps in Nigeria and other International Organizations and will be requesting for sanctions accordingly on those who openly or tacitly encourage or condone these harrowing conditions on citizens.”

#Newsworthy..

How south, igbos can be president come 2023 – Prophet chukwuma.

…challenging Buhari’s election to apologise to God

The presiding pastor, Christ Foundation Miracle International Chapel, Lagos, Prophet Josiah Chukwuma has revealed what the Igbo must do if they are serious about the 2023 presidency.

In this interview, he stated that the high level of disunity, distrust, cold war, betrayal and bad blood among the Igbo, have been their Achilles’ hill, stressing that unless they urgently work on them, their dream of producing president in 2023 would not come to reality.

Why did you ask those who attacked you for urging the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar to withdraw the suit challenging Buhari’s election to apologise to God?

They must apologise, not for attacking me but for attacking God’s message. They must seek divine forgiveness. They called me names and rained all manner of curses on me for advising Atiku and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to withdraw the suit challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the interest of peace. After Atiku lost at the tribunal and went ahead to appeal the tribunal’s decision, I repeated my call and advised him to withdraw the case. The message was published in some national dailies, and what followed were threats and condemnations from individuals within and outside the country. I had advised the former VP not to waste his money by seeking justice at the election tribunal or any court, but that he should rather give the funds he had earmarked for litigation or part of it to charity.

But Atiku received a lot of sympathy as well as accolades from several Nigerians for pursuing justice up to the Supreme Court; do you have a problem with that?

Commendations and consolations are okay. But, I am saying that spiritually, Atiku led a fight without the light. When you are confronted with a fight without a light, you should let the fight go; that is what makes a great man. If Atiku had listened to divine advice, he would have, rather than litigation, set aside even half of all the money that he wasted in the legal battle for charity. It would have been more honourable and worthwhile for him. You can imagine how many indigent Nigerians that such move would have lifted out of poverty and given a new lease of life. All he needed to do was to announce such a decision to Nigerians and set up a committee to start implementing it immediately. That would have earned him optimum image boost because it is said that tomorrow never ends.

Having said that, I would add that God has a reason for allowing anything to happen, including allowing Buhari to continue in office; how his victory came about does not matter. It is like the biblical story of Esau and Jacob. Esau was meant to serve Jacob until the pottage incident occurred. Who knows whether God had allowed Buhari’s emergence in the first place, so that Nigerians can learn some lessons and appreciate Him? All I am sounding to Nigerian politicians is that they must learn to listen to God. I have been reiterating this call since Obasanjo’s era, and all our prophecies since then have come to pass. They are there on the internet and newspaper archives. And to deceptive prophets and men of God, I say that flamboyance and earthly wealth are only ephemeral. Speak the truth; speaking God’s mind to those in authority does not amount to hatred. Good leaders require truth to be on the right pedestal. Those who had called for my head for urging Atiku to withdraw legal suit against Buhari’s victory were quick to forget that I had advised against Buhari’s candidacy for second term, before 2019 general election. They also forgot that I had suggested that Atiku be given a chance to try his luck in the presidency. Buhari’s proponents and those who knew that I had served Buhari, as a little boy, had rebuked and accused me of being sponsored by the PDP.

Did you say you have served President Buhari before?

Yes, as a little boy, when he was still a young military officer. I knew him through late Mrs. Obeya. I used to wash his car and do laundry for him. So, I knew him very well. I knew him as a very gentle, principled man. But, as a prophet, that cannot stop me from speaking truth to him or his government whenever the need arises. It is in the archives that during the build-up to the 2015 general elections, I had prophesied about all the sufferings and difficulties of Nigerians under the current administration, as directed by God. In that pre-2015 election message, I had also advised Buhari not to run for the election, that God had revealed that those urging him to run were doing so for their selfish reasons; that he lacked the grace to rule Nigeria again according to his original motive; and that cabals would hijack his government and would not allow him to lead the country according to his true conscience and agenda. All these are there in achirves.

What is your view about the clamour for and against a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023?

I am not a politician and I don’t speak like politicians. But, if you want the truth, I would tell you that the issue of Igbo becoming president or not in 2023 lies in the hands of Ndigbo. They must learn how not to betray themselves only to end up blowing away their chances. You cannot put something inside a leaking bag because whatever you put there will pour away. The level of disunity, cold war and distrust among the Igbo is so annoying, embarrassing, shameful and unfortunate. When everybody schemes and fights to be the one to occupy a lone seat, there is bound to be massive betrayal and counter-betrayal. I had prayed recently about the fate of Ndigbo over the 2023 presidency. But, you know what? I was ashamed of the answer that I got, which I would not share in the media. So, Ndigbo must stop destroying, selling, and lying against themselves as well as committing all manner of evils against themselves. They are the ones preventing the glory of God from shining upon Igboland as He wills. Many of our people pretend to be dining and wining with God, while the devil is their actual best friend. We must love God, love ourselves and look upon Christ and depend on Him for liberation. That is the only way that we could make substantial political inroad in this country.

What is your take on the rebirth of third term tale in the country and alleged plot by some individuals to create a window for the extension of Buhari’s tenure?

Mark my words! If Mr. President fails to firmly kill the third term conspiracy, he would be messed up in the end. Third term is an evil plot that may consume many politicians, if care is not taken. When I prayed over the issue, I was shown two major things that would happen, except the idea is killed. Buhari would be messed up in the end and a hostility that would give birth to two rival groups would ensue, which would force some people to flee the country. I saw the crisis escalating to the extent that politicians would become endangered species. Politicians would be targeted and subjected to brutal attacks without party, religious or tribal consideration.

#Newsworthy…

Group of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo warns Igbo on defeatist comments.

…says they easily betray their own

Ohanaeze Ndigbo has warned some Igbo renegades who make defeatist comments on the chances of Ndigbo to produce the next Nigeria President in 2023 to shut their mouths or face dire consequences.

The apex Igbo sociocultural organization said some cowardly disposed Igbo elements, against all sense of decorum, have been making comments that depict them as cowards and agents of anti -Igbo political integrity in Nigeria “and we can no longer tolerate that.”

A statement by its deputy publicity secretary, Chuks Ibegbu remarked: “No Northerner or Westerner and Niger Deltan will come out openly and express doubt over the chances of their people to get their legitimate rights in Nigeria, it’s only few Igbo renegades that do so.”

“They are the ones easily used to betray their people,” Ibegbu regretted.

It recalled that maverick politician “Arthur Nzeribe did it, Daniel Kanu did it, and now Charles Enya and Chinedu Ogah in Ebonyi are doing it. Are they the only ones that need money in Igbo land? Why should they not use their brain and keep their mouths shut if they are frustrated or lack what to say.”

The group threatened them with the consequences of ostracising by their communities if they continue embarrassing Ndigbo.

#Newsworthy…

SOKAPU – We support yoruba, Igbo on restructuring.

The seemingly rested issue of restructuring in Nigeria came up yesterday when Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) said it would pitch its tent with other socio-cultural groups that believe in the restructuring of the country.

Specifically, SOKAPU said it will reach out to the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum as well as Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) to press home for the restructuring.

Speaking, shortly after taking over the leadership of SOKAPU as its newly elected national president, Jonathan Asake said people will team up with the south east, south west and middle belt regions on major Nigerian projects including resource control, power sharing and rotation, states creation.

Other national projects that needed regional collaboration, according to Asake, also include land tenure and land ownership, devolution of power, self determination, institutionalised discrimination, chieftaincy and traditional institutions matters.

Asake who is the former House of Representatives member also said that his leadership will encourage unity and cohesion among the diverse groups of southern Kaduna and the nation at large.

His words, “Our leadership will reach out to other socio-cultural groups such as the middle belt Forum, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Afenifere, and Ohaeneze Ndigbo with whom we share common ideals and aspirations on the Nigerian project such as the restructuring of Nigeria including resource control, power sharing and power rotation, state creation, land tenure and land ownership, devolution of power, self determination, institutionalised discrimination, uncontrolled immigration, Chieftancy and traditional institutions matters, to mention but a few”.

Earlier, in his handing over speech, the outgoing SOKAPU national President, Solomon Musa noted that the union had never been confrontational with government and urged the new President to ensure that SOKAPU remains apolitical.

#Newsworthy…

IPOB – We’ll Resist RUGA In Any Igbo Land..

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has insisted that it would not allow Ruga settlement in any part of Igboland.

The group also said Ebonyi State remained one of its strongest holds in the South East, noting that their members and supporters were solidly on ground in all the 13 council areas.

IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, stated these, while reacting to a statement credited to Ebonyi State Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Mr. Stanley Emegha, who said that IPOB and other pro-Biafra groups were not only illegal but did not exist in the state.

Emegha allegedly made the comment while debunking a social media report attributed to the Biafra Restoration Voice (TBRV) that the Ebonyi state government had inaugurated a secret security outfit called Bakassi Boys to attack members of IPOB in the state because of their opposition to Ruga settlement.

But IPOB in a statement, yesterday, insisted that Ebonyi government had formed and inaugurated the counter force to confront their members in the state.

“IPOB Intelligence units on ground continue to report the treacherous activities of this very outfit. It was formed to provide grassroots’ logistics support to herdsmen in Ebonyi State who are raping our mothers and destroying our villages.

“Those that doubt our opposition to Ruga should ask Chief Willie Obiano of Anambra State, what became of his Miyetti Allah friends, he gave land in Anam. We, IPOB, chased them away from Anam and all over Anambra State and our ongoing operations in Ebonyi are designed to do exactly the same.

“Inviting Nigerian Army, Bakassi Boys and a myriad of local Fulani informants on ground in parts of Ebonyi will not deter us, instead it will embolden IPOB resistance to this blatant Fulanisation of our land,” Powerful stated.

#Newsworthy…

Igbo, Miyetti Allah And Oodua come together to prevent conflicts…

Leaders of ethnic and socio-political groups have agreed to continue engage one another to prevent conflict and ensure peaceful co-existence.

The groups said this in a statement in Lagos, yesterday, after the groups’ training with the theme: “Engaging the media, community-based groups for peace building and conflict prevention.” Participants urged the Federal Government to intensify the mopping up of illegal weapons across the country and initiate the process for continuous dialogue by the people.

Speaking at the training programme, Assistant Commissioner of Police Akinbayo Olasoji, said crises in Nigeria had continuously been promoted by greed and self-serving interests of some religious, political and community leaders.

He commended the coming together of young ethnic leaders to address the problems of conflict in the country.

Also, the leader of the African Conflict Prevention and Peace Network, Mr. Sina Odugbemi, said it was necessary to study the environment thoroughly to sustain peace.

Vice-President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) Mr. Tijani Suleiman, said: “As a people we have the responsibility to work towards peaceful co-existence. Violence is an ill-wind that blows no-one any good; we can make the choice to chose the part of honour by preventing conflict in Nigeria”.

President of Agbekoya, a Yoruba group, Chief Adekunle Oshodi, said his group was excited to participate in a forum initiated for stakeholders in conflict in which the people are the drivers of the process.

Retired Col. Tony Nyiam said one of the most crucial ways of preventing conflict was for people to engage themselves out of their own freewill. Present at the training were leaders of Miyetti Allah, Oodua Peoples Congress, Oodua Nationalist Coalition, Igbo Youth Council and the Indigenous Middle Belt Peoples Congress, the Arewa Youth Consultative Council, National Council of Iteskiri Youths, Agbekoya, Borno Youth Coalition and the Ijaw National Congress.

Representative of the Ford Foundation, Mrs Onyinye Onyemobi, said the involvement of young people in the conflict prevention training was an impressive initiative.

#Newsworthy…

Zik gave me the key that will open the way for Igbo presidency come 2023 – Mbazulike Amechi…

FIRST Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amechi will be celebrated in Owerri, the Imo State capital, at the end of this month to commemorate his 90th birthday. The elder statesman spoke to Sunday Sun on some issues, including the Igbo and 2023 presidency; and his relationship with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

After the 1966 coup; your movement was restricted. What actually happened?

The military governor, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu instead of doing what other military governors did, consulting their leaders even though they’ve been castrated as politicians, did one thing here, he sent M.I. Okpara, Dr Mbanugo to prison detention; served a restriction order on Nnamdi Azikiwe, restricting him to 10 miles radius to Nsukka where he lived, he served a restriction order on Mbazulike Amechi, restricting me to 10 miles radius from my house. I served that order, but I have to tell you, I broke that order on one occasion. Ojukwu and myself, we met in Lagos, he challenged me; I told him why. What happened was that on a certain date, Mrs Okpara came to my house crying, I asked her, she said Ojukwu was going to charge my husband to court for stealing 25,000 pounds security money, she said this was security vote in cash at Okpara’s office at the time of the coup. When the coup happened, Dr Okpara took the money and deposited it in First Bank not in his name, but for safety there. I said is that all, but you know me and what I can do; go back nothing will happen. I went to Ojukwu House in Enugu, he was in office; where he was living is where you have the Orthopaedic Hospital now in Enugu. I spent from morning till evening, Mojekwu and Onyeabor Obi, these were his close relatives who were around; they made it impossible for me to see Ojukwu. So, I went back to my friend and colleague C. C. Onoh, I said this is what is happening, I went back again and stayed there till 11:00p.m and they did not let me see Ojukwu. Then, I went back to town, I went to Onoh and we agreed that we should keep watching, that any day they’re bringing Okpara to court, C. C. (Onoh) will arrange and wire the court with explosives from the Colliery. Don’t forget C.C. was chairman of Coal Corporation. He will wire the court and if they saw the lorry ahead, bringing in Dr. Okpara into the court, they should blow up the court with the magistrate and with everybody inside. But meantime, I should go to Lagos and talk to Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu, Emeka’s father. I said okay and the following morning, I flew to Lagos and went to his father at Ikoyi and said this is what is happening. He said; how can Emeka do a thing like that; to charge Okpara to court for stealing 25,000 pounds. So, he picked up his telephone, but that time, when you want to call, the operator will ask you the number please and you tell the operator the number you are asking for and they will get you the number. So, the operator said that they were down on Enugu lines. They couldn’t reach Enugu. He tried and tried and tried, no way. So, I said, give me the phone and he gave me the phone. I dialled. He said Oga, we’ve been trying. I said, if you can’t get Enugu, give me that number now on the other line. He said may I know who you are sir? I said; you don’t have to know who I am. I said give it to me on the other line. So, the line rang. What happened was that, that was a security line. It will never be out. The Prime Minister had access to it. Some ministers had access to it. I happened to know about it when I was a minister and the operator asked me who I am and I didn’t give him an identity. So, the number rang and Ojukwu answered at Enugu. Then I gave the phone to his father. His father said Emeka, I didn’t know what Ojukwu said, but he spoke in Igbo, Onwere ife m n’acho I gwa gi. Banye plane biawa Lagos kitaa (There’s something that I want to tell you. Enter the plane immediately and come to Lagos) and the father dropped the phone. So, the following day, Emeka arrived and we met at his father’s place. Then when Emeka saw me, he said, ah, Alhaji. That’s what we used to call ourselves. He said Alhaji, you are supposed to be on restriction within 10 miles radius of your house. I said yes, didn’t you do Geography? I’m from Ukpor, your papa is from Nnewi and his house from my house is five miles. What are you talking? Then the father said, you don’t do a thing like that. You are trying Okpara? Don’t try it again. Don’t ever think of such a thing again. So, there, I took the phone and phoned C. C. Onoh at Enugu and said, Bushman, that’s what I called Onoh. Bushman, he said, yes, Foolish man; tell the mechanic not to bother again, that the electrician has repaired the vehicle. That was how the whole thing ended and I saved Okpara that embarrassment.

People say that military incursion in politics was Nigeria’s major problem; but why is it so difficult to get back on track after 20 years of uninterrupted democracy?

Yes, we have shifted from military government to democracy. Have you shifted from military uniform or are you talking of military person because the last 20 years that you are talking about, has been the 20 years of Obasanjo, Abubakar and Buhari. Obasanjo has ruled in military and ruled in civilian. Buhari has ruled in military and he is ruling as civilian. Where is the democracy there? Democracy, is it in the dress he changed? Obasanjo ruled wearing khaki as a soldier, Obasanjo ruled wearing agbada as a civilian. It is the same Obasanjo. Buhari ruled having overthrown a democratically elected government. Obasanjo did not overthrow any government. Circumstances brought Obasanjo into government. Murtala Muhammed died and they had no choice than to make Obasanjo the head of state and immediately Obasanjo came in there, he decided to make arrangement to hand over government. So, Obasanjo cannot be described as a coup maker, but Buhari is a coup maker. He overthrew the Shagari government in 1983, now he is ruling from 1983. It is the same Buhari. The difference is the dress he wore in 1983 and the one he is wearing now, but it is the same dictator. It is the same man who hates democracy, who cannot understand the language of democracy, who cannot speak the language of democracy. Can’t you see it clearly?

Whose fault? We say we are in democracy, but we still bring them in.

Who brings them in? When you talk of we, who are the we, me and you? When we were fighting for independence, we called you (the press) the 4th estate of government. You were fighting side by side with us. In those days, journalists like you jump into the back of lorries, gwongworo, they jump at the back to go and cover news. Now, you have to dance to the tune of the owner and founder.

Your relationship with former President Olusegun Obasanjo has endured. What is the attraction?

Obasanjo was a military man and when he came into politics, he became a good politician. He played his politics well and I met him only as a politician. What happened was, I think in some way, there’s a way he understands things. For example, about April or so last year, I had occasion to talk with him. When he said that he was mobilizing to form a political party, an association or something, I said look, if you must overthrow this people, you must work together with the PDP; you can’t succeed alone. The PDP can’t alone. But he said, I’ve already left the PDP and I tore their membership card. I’m not going to have anything to do with the PDP. I said yes, but you can still reconcile. I can still reconcile you and the PDP people and you come together. Then he said, well, I recognize you as a father of this country. If you invite me to come to your place for any meeting, to meet with the PDP people, I will come and that was what brought them together here on June 16th last year. So, he came here with the leaders of the PDP, with leaders of some other political parties; Kwankwanso from Kano, Ihedioha, Tambuwal from Sokoto, the present Governor of Sokoto; they all came here in this my Obi here. We talked and talked and talked and they all agreed that they should come together and that they should now go back and plan to withdraw from the APC. It was here in my Obi that, that arrangement was effected…

The Southeast seems totally excluded in the present government. You’ve practiced parliamentary democracy, you’ve witnessed presidential democracy. Is there a place for what is happening in the country now in a democracy?

That is why I said that the Southeast is not being marginalized, but being treated as a slave. That’s what I said. In what other way will they show you that? They don’t regard you as part of them. They’re treating the Southeast as a slave, but the Southeast can change that position and assume a position where they will come on the throne and rule and be the head of this country in 2023. I can organize that. I’m not boasting. I know the last word Dr Azikiwe spoke before he stopped breathing on this earth, when he talked to me and when he handed me the golden key.

So you have the key?

Of course, yes.

And you don’t want to say the word yet?

I have forgotten (laughs). You know old age. I’m old now (laughs), but all I know, it’s not by my power, but by divine grace. I have the answer to Igbo occupying Aso Rock in 2023. Let those who want to believe it, believe it. Those who don’t want to believe it; let them not believe it. God who has left me alone in Nigeria, of all the nationalists in the country, of all the ministers that founded this country, of all the ministers that ruled this country at independence; all have died, except one man. God has His reason and purpose for doing that.

Is there any time the Igbo will be relevant again in national politics because as it were, Igbo politicians are relegated to the background and the people are saying that it was because Atiku Abubakar picked Peter Obi as his running mate that he lost the election; because the Northerners are afraid of an Igbo man coming very close?

Your question is; is there a time the Igbo will be or can be? Which auxiliary verb will I accept there? Will be? The next time they will be, I don’t know. If you say can be? I will say yes, they can be, but if you say will, I don’t know. Look, in a seminary, a senior seminary, a priest who is fond of smoking went to the superior of the seminary and said, excuse me Monsignor, can I smoke when I’m praying. He said, of course, you cannot smoke while you are praying. So, a very senior priest who was there who does pipe said, come here you foolish boy, turn that question the other way, turn it the other way. I said turn it the other way, can’t you understand? And he turned it and said Monsignor, can I pray when I’m smoking? He said, of course, you can pray (laughs).

What is the way out of all these mess we have found ourselves in?

I believe in one big country. I believe in Nigeria because what I fought for was Nigeria, because the political party which I belonged to had a slogan and policy of one Nigeria; and we demonstrated one Nigeria policy in everything we did. For example, Enugu the capital of the Eastern Region where my party, the NCNC ruled; elected a Mayor who was not from this part of the country, but from Northern region. Mallam Umaru Antine was elected Mayor of Enugu for two terms, even though he was not a native of this place. He was a Chairman of NCNC youth association. When the Zikist Movement was banned by the British Government after the Tom Jones lecture by Osita Agwuna, as we came out from prison we met and changed the name of the Zikist Movement to NCNC Youth Association and I was elected Secretary-General of that association. We also elected John Umoru from Esako in Edo State as a member of the Eastern House of Assembly even though he was not from Igbo land and in the House of Assembly, Dr Azikiwe, the Premier appointed him Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier. We also elected Umaru Ushaw the Saraki Hausawa at Onitsha, that is Eze Hausa at Onitsha. We elected him a member of the Eastern Region House of Chiefs in those days. So, I believe in one big country, but certainly not in a country where my people will be treated as slaves, where they will be treated as irrelevant, where they will be treated as no persons, no. I will rather opt out. I don’t want to go out, but if Nigeria forces me out, I don’t have regrets because what we did to build it up, to build up Nigeria, we can still use it to build ourselves. Don’t forget that when the war ended, Awolowo for whom we made every sacrifice when he was in imprisoned by the Balewa Government, aided and advised Gowon to deprive every Igbo man and woman of his or her money and give us only 20 Pounds and every man you see in Igboland now, every wealth you see in Igboland now and Igbo investment outside is that 20 pounds. So, if we could succeed in those difficult days, if Christ will have to come again to save man, we will ask Christ to come and save us again because He has saved us before.

#Newsworthy…