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JUNE 12: Declare Abiola president now

JUNE 12: Declare Abiola president now

…YCE, Afenifere, Ohanaeze,Arewa Youths tell FG

  • Ahamba, Ojo, others disagree

 

Sequel to Thursday’s passage of the Public Holiday (Amendment) Act by the Senate, in which June 12 has been recognised as Democracy Day and a public holiday, some prominent Nigerians and groups yesterday asked the Federal Government to declare the winner of the day’s election in 1993, the late Bashorun MKO Abiola, as a former president posthumously.

This is coming on the heels of suggestions that President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately accord the late Abiola the title of a former president, before the next June 12, which is less than a month away. The Yoruba Council of Elders, the Afenifere, some lawyers and a host of others had argued that the only way to make the celebration of the day meaningful is to refer to the deceased as a former president, since there is presidential order for the day to be placed in the national gazette as public holiday. President Buhari had in June last year directed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami Malami, to take immediate steps to gazette the presidential order declaring June 12 as Democracy Day and conferring national awards on late Chief MKO Abiola, late Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Alhaji Babagana Kingibe.

Make pronouncement before June 12 – YCE

At the forefront of the agitation was the Yoruba Councils of Elders (YCE), which yesterday asked the Federal Government to make the declaration a possibility before the next anniversary of the day. In an interview with Saturday Telegraph yesterday, the Secretary-General of the YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, said the decision of the National Assembly to approve June 12 as Democracy Day and public holiday is a positive step forward but should be backed with the immediate declaration of Abiola as president. “The next thing hopefully is that they should declare MKO Abiola president because he won the election free and square. Yoruba elders believe that Abiola should be declared as president posthumously since he has been given the highest honour and the day (June 12) has now been declared Democracy Day.

“It means that the government; the legislature and executive, have acknowledged June 12 as historical and very eventful. And since it has been rightly linked to democracy, they should take the whole step and declare him president posthumously.” In the same vein, the National President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima, while speaking with Saturday Telegraph said: “Now that June 12 has been approved as Democracy Day and public holiday by Federal Government, they should go a step further by declaring the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, President of Nigeria.

He should be declared as president posthumously. Government should declare Abiola as president before that day, June 12 if they are really sincere. “MKO Abiola should be declared as former President and all his entitlement as a former president should be paid to his family. A gazette should also be put in place to amend the constitution to ensure that handover date is shifted from May 29 to June 12 in recognition of that day as a Democracy Day.”

Put those that annulled June 12 in hall of shame – Ohanaeze

In its reaction, the Pan Igbo sociocultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo also threw its weight behind the call for the posthumous declaration of Abiola as President of Nigeria, but with an addendum that those who were behind the annulment should be placed in hall of shame. Speaking with Saturday Telegraph in Enugu yesterday, Ohanaeze through its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mazi Chuks Ibegbu, also called on the Federal Government to recognize and honour Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, the then chairman of the electoral body that made June 12 possible.

“June 12 is a watershed in our democratic journey in Nigeria, nobody can discountenance that. Without June 12 there won’t be President Buhari, there won’t be President Goodluck Jonathan, and there won’t be President Olusegun Obasanjo. In fact, June 12 is the taproot of what we are experiencing today.

“So recognizing June 12 and commemorating it in our political calendar is not a bad idea, it is right; without June 12, other sequence of political activities that culminated into the Buhari presidency will not be there. “The symbol of that June 12 was of course MKO Abiola, and he’s been honoured by the Federal Government, which is not bad. However we have to go beyond mere honour and recognition to practice the significance of June 12. “What was June 12 all about? It wasn’t just ceremonials, the lessons of June 12, are we internalizing? Is our democracy touching the lives of the people? That is the issue.

“As for recognising Abiola posthumously, well Abiola was the symbol of June 12, there is nothing wrong with that. But the most important thing is that the lessons of June 12 must be practiced, the lessons of June 12 must be learnt; our politicians have not done anything to prove that they have learnt the lessons of June 12. Ohanaeze further demanded that those “directly or indirectly annulled June 12 election should be declared enemies of democracy and placed in hall of shame”, and that “the man that made June 12 possible Prof. Humphery Nwosu should be made a Pillar of Democracy in Nigeria”.

It’ll be a symbolic declaration – Afenifere

Despite its nod to the idea, the Pan Yoruba Socio-political group, Afenifere, said the agitation would be an exercise in futility if the electoral system is not rejigged to reflect the spirit of June 12. The spokesman of the mainstream Yoruba organisation, Yinka Odumakin said the declaration would just be symbolic in nature and would not bring Chief Abiola back to life to mount the leadership of the country. He said the best honour that can be done to the memory of MKO Abiola is for the Federal Government to conduct free and fair election that would meet the best practices. Odumakin said you cannot be honouring Abiola and declare June 12 as Democracy Day and yet conduct election that did not meet the International best practices. Declaring Abiola as the winner of June 12, 1993 election will not bring him back. His bones have rotten in the grave. The best honour we can do to his memory is to conduct free and fair elections similar to that of June 12. “Abiola’s case will be similar to that of a 14-year old black boy who was sentenced to death by USA court for killing two white women. But years after, be was declared innocent. That will not bring him back. But it is symbolic to his memory.”

Lawyers differ

Disagreeing, some lawyers that spoke over the legality of declaring Abiola as the winner of the June 12, 1993 annulled Presidential election, said, the man, who died on July 7, 1998, barely five years after former military President Ibrahim Babangida, annulled the presidential election, would have been the president, because the process would have brought him to the seat of power, if not truncated.

Though Buhari honoured Abiola with the title of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) and declared June 12 as Democracy Day, some people still felt that the posthumous honour and the National Assembly’s passage of June 12 as a public holiday is not enough. There are arguments in some quarters that the Federal Government should in addition to declaring June 12 as Democracy Day, also declare Abiola as president, having won the said election. But some senior lawyers differ in their opinion on the issue. In his own reaction, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ahamba commended the Federal Government for declaring June 12 as Democracy day and the honour bestowed on Abiola. He however raised reservations on the legality of declaring Abiola as President posthumously. “To declare MKO president is not a legal possibility, those who are calling for it should realise that.

This is because President Buhari has no power to declare anybody president. It is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that should do so after an election. “The Senate’s call for the announcement of June 12, 1993 presidential election result is a tall request. It is not possible. The result was annulled by a constituted authority at that time. So, nobody can say that the annulment, even though not right is not legal.

“The then military president had the power and he used it. So, nobody can go back and start reversing what happened. The annulment of the election is unfortunate but the military decision on it cannot be revisited. “More so, it is impossible to declare a dead man the winner of an election. We should be realistic and stop being unnecessarily emotional. The honour done to the man by the president is okay and I think it should stop there.”

For Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, he equally commended that gesture of Buhari on the declaration and posthumous award, and added that the President should go ahead and call for the declaration of the 1993 presidential election results, in order to pave way for the posthumous declaration of Abiola as president. “President Buhari should ensure that the June 12, 1993 presidential election results are officially declared and Abiola formally pronounced the winner, and therefore president of Nigeria.” A law lecturer, Dr. Kingsley Ogbonna noted that there is no law that barred the president from declaring Abiola the President posthumously.

“To me, it is welcome call to declare the results of the annulled election. The results were being announced when it was halted by former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, who for reasons best known to him canceled the poll. I think the Senate’s request will only complement what the president has done. It would also mean that everything that needs to be done in relation to that election is now being done.”

It’ll bring legal crisis

Two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Dr. Biodun Layonu and Mr. Olalekan Ojo, also disclosed that any attempt by the Federal Government to declare the late Abiola as Nigeria’s president posthumously would create legal crisis. The senior lawyers in different telephone interviews with Saturday Telegraph, opined that Buhari’s government declaration of June 12 as democracy day in Nigeria is the best honour that could be accorded the late business mogul regarding the circumstances surrounding his case. In his comments, Dr. Biodun Layonu, noted that declaring the late Abiola as president posthumously would create legal crisis because he was never at any time at the helm of affairs.

He said: “That is a very serious and weighty matter. Declaring the late Chief M. K. O. Abiola as president posthumously will occasion serious legal issues. “Firstly, if we look at the category of people that receives the highest honour in Nigeria, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), it is exclusively for former presidents and Heads of State of the country.

“When we are now saying Abiola should be declared Nigeria’s president, what time will be recorded against his name that he was the president of the country? Are we going to say he ruled the country from 1993 when the election was done and Babangida refused to hand over power? “When Babangida eventually left, he put Chief Shonekan there and his name was recognized as one of Nigeria’s past president. That is to say that all the period that Abiola was supposed to be in power, Shonekan was there.

“So, what period are we now going to say Abiola was Nigeria’s president? That is the legal problem that would be created. My view is that Buhari has done what I think he could really and seriously do without occasioning legal problems”, he said. Speaking in the same vein, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, disclosed that from the legal point of view, it is impossible to declare the late Abiola as Nigeria’s president posthumously.

“That can only be possible from the political perspective but legally it is not possible. This is because there are laid down procedures on how a candidate in an election can be declared as the winner. Without this declaration which as concerns the late Abiola has become practically impossible, nothing can be done again. So, it will be better to continue to refer to the late business mogul as the presumed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election. “For the Federal Government to have declared June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria, that in itself is a recognition of the historical fact of a watershed in the political annals of Nigeria.

That is the best that could be done for the late Abiola in the circumstance we found ourselves”, the silk said.However, a former Vice- President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Monday Ubani, thinks otherwise. Believing that the logical thing for the Federal Government to do is to declare the late Abiola as Nigeria’s president posthumously.

He said: “I think that is the proper thing to do. If the Federal Government has recognised that the man won the June 12, 1993 presidential election and that the polls was wrongly annulled, the most logical thing to do is to declare the late Abiola as a president that was elected but was never allowed to rule. “It should not be too much for the Federal Government to do. So, it should not stop at just declaring June 12 as democracy day, government should go further by declaring the man as president posthumously”.

‘INEC can’t release June 12 results’

However, a law lecturer, Abiodun Adeloye, disagreed with the calls to declare Abiola president, saying there is no need for that after Buhari has exercised his prerogative in giving an award. “The request that the full result of the election should be declared is unnecessary. I don’t think that matters again. This present INEC cannot do so because it did not conduct the said election. I don’t think the present INEC can be declaring the result of an election it did not conduct”. An Abuja based lawyer, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, in his own reaction noted that this present INEC cannot be compelled to declare the June 12 presidential election. “In Nigeria, we operate constitutional democracy where powers of state actors and institutions are prescribed with little allowance to broaden same. The power of INEC is limited to the election it conducted, with a specific timeframe of casting ballots, collation of results, eventual declaration/ release of election and finally petitions if any. “It is my humble opinion that irrespective of how sentimental and desirable the formal declaration of June 12 election may be, doing such, INEC will against the statute of Limitations and other ruling and judgment of court on the issue which have not been vacated or upturned”. An Abuja based lawyer and Rights Activist, Solomon Ehiane noted that the power to order INEC to declare 1993 election results lies in the hand of the court. “This is because the matter has become a constitutional issue which only the court can make pronouncement on. “As for declaring MKO ex-president posthumously, it boils down to the declaration of the election results. Without declaring the results, the winner cannot emerge. And hope you know that law is not about insinuations but of facts placed before the court “The first thing is to get a court order on INEC to declare the result and subsequently declaring Abiola if he is the winner of the said election as president posthumously can follow”.

Bill not yet law – INEC

However, INEC said yesterday said it has no opinion on the matter, whether Abiola should be declared president-elect posthumously or not, because Buhari has not yet assented to the bill passed by the National Assembly. INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said the bill declaring June 12 Democracy Day is not yet a law, as such, INEC can’t have a position till then. “The president has not signed the bill, so INEC has no opinion on that,” Okoye said.

‘NASS, not Buhari can do it’

However, a top government functionary within the seat of power, who prefers not to be quoted told our correspondent that given the unique incident of the June 12 annulment, it is unclear if the President has the power to declare Abiola as the president-elect. The man, who spoke in Villa, said: “remember that elections had been conducted and results were being collated. It was clear from the results being announced that someone was in the lead before the annulment. “The same way the National Assembly has passed a bill to recognise MKO and celebrate June 12 as the country’s Democracy Day, the lawmakers can also pronounce him presidentelect if they so wish. There is no constitutional provision where the President can exercise such powers,” he added. Asked if the directive by Buhari to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for gazetting of June 12 as Democracy Day has been effected, the top government functionary explained that only the AGF is in a position to explain the matter.

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Two Israeli drones crash in Beirut – Hezbollah

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Two Israeli drones crash in Beirut – Hezbollah

An Israeli drone came down and another exploded in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut, Lebanon, an official from the group said.

Residents of the Iran-backed group’s stronghold in the south of the Lebanese capital reported one large explosion that shook the area early on Sunday, triggering a fire.

They said the nature of the blast in the Moawwad neighbourhood was not immediately clear but said it may have been caused by the drone that went down in the area amid Israeli air activity in neighbouring Syria.

The Hezbollah official, who spoke to Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity, said the drone crashed before dawn close to the organisation’s media centre in the suburb of Dahyeh.

Residents told the Associated Press they heard an aircraft flying just before the blast and reported later that Hezbollah sealed off the area.

One building appeared to be slightly damaged where the drone went down. A man was seen taking away metal fragments in a white plastic bag that he said contained parts of the aircraft that went down.

The Israeli military said it does not comment on “foreign reports”.

Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut, said it was “a densely populated neighbourhood in the Lebanese capital and also a Hezbollah stronghold”.

Israeli warplanes regularly violate Lebanese airspace and have struck inside neighbouring Syria from Lebanon on numerous occasions.

Israeli attacks

Late on Saturday, the Israeli military attacked targets near Syria’s capital of Damascus in what it said was a successful effort to thwart an imminent Iranian drone attack on Israel, stepping up an already heightened campaign against Iranian military activity in the region.

The raid, which triggered Syrian anti-aircraft fire, appeared to be one of the most intense attacks by Israeli forces in several years of hits on Iranian targets in Syria.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Al Quds force, working with allied Shia fighters, had been planning to send a number of explosives-laden attack drones into Israel.

Syrian state TV said the country’s air defences responded to “hostile” projectiles over Damascus and shot down incoming missiles before they reached their targets.

In recent days, US officials said Israeli attacks have also hit Iranian targets in Iraq.

Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war in 2006. The volatile border between the two countries, which remain technically in a state of war, has been mostly calm since.

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…IPOB breeding enemies for S’East –Balarabe Musa

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…IPOB breeding enemies for S’East –Balarabe Musa

•Attack destroyed Ndigbo legacies, integrity in global politics –Yakassai

•It’s wake up call for others –Ohanaeze

 

E

lder statesman and Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Alhaji Balarabe Musa, has berated the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) for putting spanners in the wheels of the quest for an Igbo presidency in 2023.

Reacting to the agitation for the zoning of the presidency to the South East on the heels of the attack by IPOB on Ike Ekweremadu last weekend, Musa said that he is among those canvassing for Igbo presidency in 2023, but that IPOB is making their job difficult.

Musa said: “They (IPOB) are now breeding enemies for the South East. We are campaigning for the presidency to go to the South East,  even though zoning was introduced by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that we are opposed to. It is good for us as a country because it gives every person and area a sense of belonging.

“So we support the zoning and we are saying the presidency should go to the South East and we have our reason. Now, they are making our job even more difficult and they are not helping even the people in the South East .”

On the attack on Ike Ekweremadu, the former governor of old Kaduna State said: “IPOB is wrong to have attacked the former deputy president of the Senate. Even though we are opposed to them because they are a separatist organisation, because they are an organisation that wants to separate NIGERIA, but we also have sympathy for them because they have genuine grievances.

“They are now spoiling the little sympathy they have by doing what they did. It is uncalled for, the person they attacked is an individual, not an organisation. I think it’s wrong for them to have done so.

“They are also making it difficult for us. Even though we are opposed to them as a separatist group, we have sympathy for them because of their grievances. But this mindless violence is making them to lose sympathy. I expect them to be concerned with organisations, not individuals; they should engage individuals with reasons. They should stop this violence.”

Musa added: “The threat on the South East Governors is not worth it. As a separatist organisation like Afenifere, OPC, Northern Elders Forum  and so on, these are separatist groups, what they are doing will further alienate them from people that have any sympathy for them.”

Also weighing in, Elder Statesman and former adviser to late  former President  Shehu Shagari, Mallam Tanko Yakasai said that the hostile position of the Igbo Nation to Northern Nigeria and not the attack on Ekweremadu would do damage to their ambition.

In a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, Tanko Yakasai, said: “Neither  the Ndigbo collaboration with the Yorubas nor  the entire South would  make them realize their ambition, but the support of the entire  country.

“The votes of the entire South can’t produce the president in 2023, neither would the North alone. We need one another, and the Igbos who are being favored by some elites are showing some uncompromising attitudes that would completely deny them the chance of producing the president.

“Although there are strong agitations to allow Igbos to have the 2023 bid, but that is within the elites. What happens to the downtrodden electorates? Northerners are not that stupid.”

Yakasai continued: “Talking about what happened to Ekweremadu, that has proven to the world that these people have problems and they cannot be trusted. That action has completely destroyed their legacies and integrity in global politics.

“Ekweremadu is a leader with no match in the entire South East in the current dispensation. Do not forget he was Deputy Senate President thrice and he has done all he could for the Igbos, but because of the behaviour of some, look at how they disgraced themselves.”

But the apex Igbo socio cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo differs. Rather, it said the Nuremberg, Germany show of shame would enhance the Igbo 2023 presidential ambition.

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Pan Igbo group, Mazi Chuks Ibegbu, drew a parallel to similar attacks on former President Goodluck Jonathan by Ijaw youths as well as rejection of former President Olusegun Obasanjo by the Yorubas in 1999 and yet both still became presidents of Nigeria.

Ibegbu also argued that despite the terrorist activities of Boko Haram and the attendant killings and destruction of the economy of the North East and other parts of the North, both current president Muhammadu Buhari and late President Umaru Yar’Adua still became the president of Nigeria.

The Ohanaeze spokesperson said that the action of IPOB, though misguided to the extent that it was violent and targeted at the wrong person, will serve as wake up call for Igbo leaders, especially the governors, to rise to their responsibilities to the people that elected them into office.

He counseled IPOB not to use illegal means to address their grievances, noting that Ekweremadu was a victim of circumstance; as he had been at the forefront of the fight against the marginalization of Ndigbo and also one of those that secured the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB when he was detained.

“The attack by Ijaw militants on Jonathan did it stop him from becoming president. They attacked him. I was in Yenagoa the day they attacked him, attacked his house, sacked him from his house. Did it stop him from becoming president?

“The refusal of the Yoruba to support Obasanjo, did it stop him from becoming president? Yoruba voted against Obasanjo, they voted for Olu Falaye.

“Boko Haram militants and their killings did it stop Buhari and Yar’Adua from becoming presidents? Why must everything about Ndigbo, even we ourselves we start doubting ourselves?

“There is no effect. It (attack on Ekweremadu) will not stop the Igbo presidency; in fact, it will enhance it. How? Because these young men are not happy with the situation of things in the country. They are not happy that they are politically, economically and socially marginalized. They are venting their anger, although misguidedly. They are venting their misguided anger because I don’t think Ekweremadu deserves that treatment.

“Ekweremadu is seen as being at the forefront of de-marginalisation of Ndigbo. He was one of those that stood for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, he was one of those that worked against Operation Python Dance. So the attack on him was misguided. I think he was a victim of circumstance.

“My advice to IPOB is that they should not use illegal means to approach their grievances. I know they have grievances, but they should not use illegal means and unlawful means; and it will also be a lesson to those who are not doing anything in Igbo land.

“I’m aware some governors owe their workers’ salaries and pensions; I’m aware that infrastructures in some states are dilapidate. I don’t want to mention names. Our cities are dilapidated and the little money that comes to South East, they pocket it. So this is a warning to them that they should live up to expectation,” he said.

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Another woman raped, murdered in Enugu by suspected herdsmen

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Another woman raped, murdered in Enugu by suspected herdsmen

Ohanaeze calls for investigation

 

 

Less than 74 hours after 67-year-old Mrs. Pat Ugwu was raped and murdered in her farm by suspected herdsmen at Nchatancha Nike, Emene Enugu in Enugu East LGA, another woman has been raped and killed around St Benard Road, Nchatancha Nike, Enugu.

A resident of Emene area who gave the information to Sunday Telegraph, said the woman was a native of Akpugo and was attacked by suspected herdsmen on her way to Emene in the morning of Saturday.

The source, who could not give the name of the victim, said the development has sparked panic among residents of the area, even as security personnel had been alerted.

But in a quick reaction, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the death of a woman however, said the body of the deceased was found floating in a river.

Amaraizu said the locals alerted the police who rushed to the area to take charge of the situation.

He said there was no mark on the body of the woman to suggest rape.

The PPRO, however, said police were still investing the matter with a view to ascertaining what happened.

“There was no mark on the body of the woman to suggest rape or violence, and the incident happened around Nkwubor Emene, not Nchatancha,” he said.

Meanwhile President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has called for thorough investigation into the killing of Mrs. Ugwu.

In a release by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Emeka Attamah, the President General said that though the Executive of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Enugu State had visited the home of the victim, it was still necessary for him to add his voice to the condemnation of the dastardly and inhuman act.

Chief Nwodo decried the growing tendency of some detractors of the state government who are out to destabilise the peace and tranquility in Enugu State that earned it the sobriquet of the most peaceful state in the country.

The President General enjoined the state government not to be distracted by enemies of progress, but to continue to carry out measures it has put in place to secure lives and property in the state.

He called on security agencies to unravel the conspiracy and tendency of hoodlums who are making the state insecure through incessant kidnappings and killings which hitherto were absent.

Chief Nwodo commiserated with the family of the deceased and urged them to bear the loss with fortitude.

Chief Nwodo called for general vigilance and precautions among the people to nip these acts in the bud.

Meanwhile Enugu State Government has directed the Management of ESUT Teaching Hospital Parklane, Enugu, to immediately carry out an autopsy on the deceased.

In a statement the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, the medical exercise is to assist the security agencies in their ongoing investigations.

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Primate Ayodele predicts outcomes of Bayelsa, Kogi Edo guber polls

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Primate Ayodele predicts outcomes of Bayelsa, Kogi Edo guber polls

The servant of God, Primate Elijah Ayodele of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Oke Afa, Isolo, Lagos, has released some prophecy regarding elections coming up in some states in the country in few months’ time.

Speaking at a press presentation of the latest edition of his best seller, “Warning to the Nations, the 2019/202 and Beyond Edition”, the servant of God revealed the parties that will likely win the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Edo states.

According to him: “For the election in Bayelsa in November, if it is free and fair, PDP will win. In Kogi State, it is going to be volatile; if PDP wants to get it right and win, Dino Melaye should be the best candidate for them; otherwise Governor Yahaya Bello will retain that seat. In Edo State, PDP cannot get it. If PDP don’t want to waste their money, let them wait for the next four years because APC will still retain that seat. I appeal to Governor Obaseki of Edo State to align with his boss, Adams Oshiomhole, continue with his developmental projects, that will help him coast to victory. At the moment PDP cannot take Edo State, it will still be maintained by APC.”

Primate Ayodele has been publishing prophesies since 1994 and has always given insights to the happenings going on in various arms of government all over the

world and a number of his prophecies have been proven to come to pass at various points in time.

Speaking also at the press conference, the Primate warned former Vice President Atiku Abubakar not to continue in pursuit of his mandate at the tribunal as it will not come to fruition.

“For Atiku and Buhari tribunal, Atiku should step down. The money he is using to hire lawyers to go for further court cases should be used to help the poor in our society because it will be a waste for him to continue. He can still pursue his cause later in the next election but he cannot win at the tribunal or even at the Supreme Court. As for the Kano case at the tribunal, PDP’s governorship candidate will win it but it will be maneuverer.”

The Primate did not give a positive prediction concerning the economy, saying the country is likely to go into another recession if care is not taken.

“We are still going to face another recession if we are not careful enough because Nigeria is broke; that’s what’s God said to me. Buhari should not take the security issues for granted thinking he can handle it. He should sack all the service chiefs because they don’t know what they are doing again. He should put the right people there so that the country can move forward. Buhari should also change his economic team and put competent hands so that the poor will not continue to stone the rich,” he said.

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Archbishop Martins to ministers: Be selfless, patriotic, diligent

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Archbishop Martins to ministers: Be selfless, patriotic, diligent

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he Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, has admonished the newly sworn-in Ministers of the Federal Republic to serve the nation with utmost diligence and deep sense of patriotism in their various Ministries in order to help the President move the nation to greater heights.

He gave counsel in a statement issued through the Acting Director of Social Communications, Lagos Archdiocese, Rev Fr Anthony Godonu, and made available to journalist yesterday.

While congratulating the new ministers on their appointments, the Archbishop reminded them that they have a great responsibility as the country was going through very difficult times in all facets.

Hence he charged new cabinet to rise up to the demands of their offices by hitting the ground running and being alive to the yearnings of all segments of Nigerians who, the Archbishop noted had been clamoring for better life.

His words: “There have been varying analysis and evaluation of the appointments but what is beyond contention is that the challenges before the new ministers are enormous. They are coming in or being re-appointed at a time when there is so much distress, anger and dissatisfaction among the people.

“The expectations of Nigerians are high since their desire for no more than the barest minimum of good living has been left unfulfilled for far too long. So, we hope that the Ministers would hit the ground running.”

The Cleric took cognizance that the two-day gathering or retreat organized for the Ministers should have helped them to identify the various ways their ministries can impact meaningfully on the lives of the people.

He added that he ruling party had made  lots of promises pointing out that Nigerians only hope that the Ministers would work to ensure that the promises would not go the way of similar promises made in the past that were not satisfactorily discharged.

“It is only by making the lives of people manifestly better that they would be able to justify their appointments to these high offices,” Archbishop Martins stated.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari and his Ministers to avail themselves of wise counsel from all well-meaning Nigerians irrespective of the source of counsel.

“The President should use his second term in office to make amends for all the shortfalls of his first tenure, namely: security of lives and property, supply of constant and stable power (electricity), fixing the dwindling economy as well as consolidating on the construction and provision of social infrastructure in country,” he added.

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Owerri Declaration: Igbo leaders demand autonomous status for Igboland

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Owerri Declaration: Igbo leaders demand autonomous status for Igboland

•Say ‘Anarchy prevails in all spheres of the society’

 

 

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gbo leaders and development groups in Igboland, weekend rose from the 2019 Igbo National Summit with a demand for the autonomy of Igbo land and her neighbours.

The summit was convened by Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) led by Prof. Uzodimma Nwala; World Igbo Congress (WIC) led by Prof. Anthony Ejiofor; Association of South-East Town Unions (ASETU) led by Chief Emeka Diwe and Christian Association of Nigeria, South-East (CAN-SE) led by Bishop Goddy Okafor.

The summit which was convened primarily to discuss the peace, security and development of Igboland and her neighbours, regretted that the endemic instability in Nigeria was due to the inherent incompatibility of values among the dominant religions, traditions and cultures of its indigenous ethnic nationalities.

Participants regretted that the democratic norms that would have provided the regulatory and binding force for all Nigerians is missing by the deliberate machination of a few.

A communiqué signed by 11 Igbo groups read in part: “The participant note that today the Federal Republic of Nigeria as it exists today is a phantom political state which has lost all the basic principles of rule of law, justice, equity and humane values; anarchy now prevails in all spheres of the society.”

The communiqué continued: “Given the daunting and unabated militarization of our homeland by extortionist Police and Military agents of state, the senseless and conscienceless killing of our clergy, the condescending sacking of our churches, villages and rural communities, the routine rape of our women, mothers, wives and daughters, the wilful destruction of farmlands and humiliating desecration of our sacred traditional grooves, shrines and deities by ravaging terrorist Fulani herdsmen; the immolate destruction of our lives and properties; and the wanton implementation of the obnoxious RUGA policy despite widespread citizen rejection and resistance, we hereby declare that our people are no longer willing to live a life of meaningless existence in Nigeria.”

Furthermore, it urged that Ndigbo and her willing neighbours be regarded as an autonomous region, with the right to full control of her territory, her resources, her executive and legislative institutions, her judiciary, her economic and social resources among other things.

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We must take action against slavery –Buhari

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We must take action against slavery –Buhari

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resident Muhammadu Buhari has called for strong action against all forms of slavery around the world.

The President said although slave trade had been abolished 400 years ago, African descent are still facing the effects of the dehumanizing legacy.

President Buhari, in a article to marks the United Nations (UN) declaration of International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, said centuries ago, the first 20 documented African slaves arrived on the shores of Virginia. In the years that followed, millions more were shipped in dehumanizing conditions across the ocean and enslaved.

In the article published in the Washington Post newspaper, President Buhari says slavery had, of course, existed before, it  thus indicated the beginning of a mechanized trade that saw human beings reduced to property on an unprecedented scale.

He said: “Despite the fact that descendants of African slaves have made valuable contributions across the society, they are still dealing with the effects of this poisonous legacy. They still have to navigate its everyday manifestations, such as discrimination, racism or lack of access to resources and opportunities. This must not be overlooked or forgotten.”

The article reads in part: “Yet, as we reflect on this day, International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition, it is clear slavery did not only thrive then. It still thrives today. Across the world it is estimated there are as many as 40 million men, women and children living in forced servitude. They are the industrial victims of a business many believe was abolished hundreds of years ago. They are the modern enslaved.

“Their exploitation appears in many guises, though usually unrecognized as slavery. Many victims are unseen, hidden beneath opaque supply chains. Others are hidden in plain sight, entrapped by circumstances that rob them of autonomy. In any case, their labor, often dangerous, is no product of choice, and its conditions are self-perpetuating.

“In Africa, its modern forms include debt bondage, the enslavement of war captives, commercial sexual exploitation and forced domestic servitude. Holding people held against their will, controlling their movements and forcing them to work for the sole profit of others — wherever they are — is slavery today and always.”

It continued that: “The abolitionists of the 19th century succeeded more than any before: By working to extinguish the transatlantic slave trade that had claimed 15 million victims, they laid the groundwork to ensure it did not manufacture millions more. But their work is not done. We must take up their examples as we forge a path forward to eliminate modern-day slavery in all its forms.

“Slavery, once again, has become entwined in the global economy — and it is largely unseen. For instance, most of us might know in principle that the mining of cobalt crucial to our smartphones might have used forced labor. But what do we know of those that experience it? Just as personal testimony and resulting public pressure led to the passing of the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in Britain in 1807, these stories must be told and used to inform policy. Once heard, they can elevate visceral reactions, driving the public pressure needed to ensure the application of anti-slavery laws.

“One distinction from then and now is important: the costs. From records, adjusted for today’s prices, the cost of a human-being-as-property was valued on average at $40,000. Today, it is just $90, sometimes even lower. We must remember that slavery is not simply a campaign of hatred; it is the pursuit of profit. One way to extinguish it in its current forms, therefore, is to make it economically unfeasible. This means making sure that any anti-slavery laws have bite, come with strong penalties and are enforced.”

President Buhari notes that: “It is also vital to have a robust tip-off and reporting system. Where this once meant detecting ships, today the signs are less conspicuous. The public must be shown how to see what is hidden in plain sight, particularly signs of suspicious behavior. This might seem broad. But vagueness should not give rise to reluctance to report anything that could be smuggling or forced servitude. If something doesn’t look right, report it, for you could be securing another human’s freedom.

“In Nigeria, our anti-trafficking agency has rolled out the ‘Not for Sale’ campaign to protect against the deceptions of human smugglers, helping those who might be vulnerable to false promises see through the ruse and say no,” the article noted.

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APC to kidnap kingpin: Name APC members who gave you money

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APC to kidnap kingpin: Name APC members who gave you money

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n reaction to the allegation of the Kidnap Kingpin, Hamisu Balla, popularly known as Wadume, that the All Progressives Congress (APC) gave him N13 million as a political thug to work for the party during the elections, the party has asked the alleged kidnapper to names it’s members who gave him money.

The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, who reacted to the allegation, dissociated the party from any relationship with the kidnapper.

According to him, APC would not in any way patronize a thug for its election, as such behaviour ended with opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Wadume, who was recently arrested by policemen for kidnapping, in an interview with a national daily, denied being a kidnapper, but refered to himself as a political thug that worked for the ruling party in the last elections.

But reacting to his allegation, Onilu  said, “It is expected that the alleged kidnapper, haven come face to face with justice, would throw whatever he could lay his hands on into the fray.

“In any case, our party did not have budget for thugs.  Unlike the period when the ruling party dipped hands into the public treasury to fund political campaigns and elections, APC had to rely on its own resources. Even if we had all the money, we would never allocate money for kidnappers and murderers. That era ended with PDP.

“Perhaps, he can name whoever gave him money. Definitely, it was not APC. From his purported confession, he claimed to be a PDP member before he went on to contest under another party.”

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War against terror: How we smoke out insurgents –Theatre Commader

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War against terror: How we smoke out insurgents –Theatre Commader

General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division Nigerian Army and Sector Commander Sector 2, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maiduguri, Major General AbdulMalik Bulama Biu, has assured the residents that his men would do all within their power to ensure they give the insurgents a bloody nose.

Major General Biu gave the assurance recently, while giving an account of what his men have been doing to give no space for the remnants to carry out their attacks on innocent citizens.

Also, he said that seriousness is required on all concerned for the enemies to be hurriedly quashed. What we are seriousness. “What we are doing now is to go after them and smoke them out from their enclaves to ensure that we conclude this business that we are very much in a hurry to do.”

“In a speedy move to stamp out insurgents”, he continued, “Army created Operation Alakadodo, which was intended to focus more greatly and more closely under degrading the remaining marauding Boko Haram insurgents.

“Not that Boko Haram has been substantially degraded, so what they go around is to look for some targets or look for a way to make they relevant by attacking here and there on some of these targets.”

Since his redeployment as the Commander sector 2, Operation Lafiya Dole he said: “We have been engaging with the terrorists, on a daily basis, on hourly basis, a minute basis, my business is to look out for Boko Haram and look out for those that are very adamant.

“In spite of the fact that they have been given the opportunity to lay down their arms , so that they can be integrated into the society, but for those of them that have remained adamant, we are on the watch every minute, hour for everyday, and for every week for them.

“And in most of these timings that I have outlined to you, there are occasions, that we have engagement with them. But every day that we go out, we locate them in some of their hideouts. We make contacts with them as they maraud about. As they run here and there, we try to bring them to book.

“I must say that, if you look at the fight against terrorism before now, it has been so difficult, because of the issue of perception. The issue of understanding of the people and that is why we have always been on top of our game in terms of our civil military relations.

“We’ve tried to also up of our game or trying to call on the civil populace to understand that this war is not about the war against the army alone, or the security agencies.

“It is not even the war against the Borno State, but this is a war that seeks to undermine the corporate existence of Nigeria, as a people to undermine our national security.

“So our call has been very consistent that the people must be together with us, share with us, understand the problem together, and then we find the solution together. And I think if I look at it days back or years back and now, there is a lot of achievement.

“Today, I can say we are enjoying a lot of good level of information from the civil populace. We have seen some individuals, but not trying to condemn the sector and their activities. What we are trying to say which is very fundamentalist is the fact that we are still not there.

“There is a need for everybody to continuously come on board, so that we can all together in unity, strength put hands together, so that we will be able to complete this business.

“Because this is the only sure way in getting this done, as far as possible, so we will continue to encourage people to have faith in the Nigerian military, to have faith on the security agencies that they are also stakeholders, so that we work together and be able to conclude the problem.”

He, however, debunked the speculation that the three neigbouring countries were working against the Nigerian military, “I will tell you that, the neigbouring countries Niger, Chad and Cameroon, we are working together. As I speak, Operation Yankytanshi, the Chadians are there with us, they are operating operation Yankytanshi.

“Two days, we had an encounter in Wulgo, which is on the border, between Nigeria and Cameroon. We are jointly with the Nigerian Defence forces cleared in those areas and defeated the insurgency on that land.

“So one cannot say that we are not working together, you see the expectations of human beings are always very high. And a times we just assumed something, but I can tell you, we have multinational task forces belonging to the countries that are contiguous for us.

“We are working together, whatever we are doing as far as this insurgency is, there is gap, however, whatever we are doing, we can do better and work better than what we are doing.”

He assured Nigerians,“I think it is a stale news now for Nigerians to say that if the military is optimistic of the winning the war on terrorism, they know that. Nigerians we are winning the war, that is why, the hope of the Nigerians is increasing on a daily basis.

“And we saw that as amply demonstrated by their commitment, by giving information and to collaborate with us. I tell you any of the movement of the Boko Haram, we are getting the information.

“Their movement wherever they are, I can tell you, only few of them are marauding within the few of the ungovernable spaces and we will close up one day certainly.”

With all successes recanted in defeating Boko haram by the Sector 2 Commander, the army Chief, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai during the Nigerian Army Day Celebration, (NADCEL), July 6 presented awards and cash of two million naira each along with other officers for the commendation of excellence.

Also, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the accelerated promotion and subaltern of the Nigerian Army, along with others two officers and were granted promotion for their extra-ordinary feats, courage, exemplary leadership, loyalty, uncommon commitment and valour in the counter insurgency operation in the North Eastern part of the country.

Reacting to the army Chief’s recognition, Biu said: “It was an opportunity for me to show myself, I have gone there and I had put in my very best.

“The Chief of Army Staff has aggregated my contribution there and said indeed it is worth commending and this is how, I have been awarded this Chief of Army Staff Award of Commendation for Excellence.

He said the award gingered him to work harder: “It is something that will continue to inspire me to continue to put in my very best as a professional military officer and to the service of my country, Nigeria.”

Biu, who was not excited on the cash attached for his excellence performance, said, “I feel great of the excellence award, it is not even the issue of the monetary value that goes with the award.

“How else will I appreciate the Chief of Army Staff for bringing me before the Mammoth crowd and says I appreciate what you are doing?

“What you are doing is worth being recognized, that is a great thing for me, like I say today, I have been challenge once again to put in the very very best.

“If I have every other thing that would do more than I have done leading me to this award today, I am ready to bring it out and I will continue from there.

Recalling, “All that is going in 7 Division, Maiduguri, is ensuring that the Operation Lafiya Dole continue to work towards a very speedy resolution of the war against terrorism that we have been undertaken, and this will do with fashion, focus with a lot of strategist.”

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Attack on Ekweremadu: We’re afraid of Igbo presidency –ACF

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Attack on Ekweremadu: We’re afraid of Igbo presidency –ACF

…says court justified in calling IPOB terror group

 

 

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rewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has raised the fear that the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) may scuttle the chances of the South East producing the President in Nigeria in 2023.

The ACF said that other sections of the country are now genuinely afraid that a president of Igbo extraction can lead to the the break up of the country. The forum’s statement is based on the attack of Ike Ekweremadu recent by IPOB members in Germany.

Speaking through its Secretary-General, Anthony Sani, ACF told Sunday Telegraph that the implications of the attack on the Igbo Presidency in 2023, “would be the fear by other sections of the country that a president of Nigeria of Igbo extraction could play Gorbachev and cause the split of the country.”

He, however, added that, “the good news is that majority of Igbos do not share the aspirations of IPOB, which is to cause the disintegration of the country.

“Most Igbos seem to share the view that the certain benefits of togetherness are far more than uncertain gains of disintegration of the country. This is because there is not enough land for the Igbos in the South East.

“Igbo people, more than any ethnic group in the country, need large domestic market for expression of their commercial acumen by way of trading, considering that millions of Igbos have settled and invested outside their Igbo land.”

The Northern group scribe added: “I saw the attacks of the Deputy Senate President in a foreign land as vindication of Nigeria’s courts, which passed the judgment that IPOB is a terrorists group. Otherwise, the platform would use democratic due process to pursue its aspirations.

“As a result, both Nigeria and the international community would not take IPOB serious, by dismissing their members as group of rascals who have no idea of what they want, let alone how to pursue it.”

On the threat directed at the South East Governors, Anthony Sani said: “The threat to attack the governors of the South East further demonstrates the wisdom of those who believe members of IPOB are not democrats, but group of rascals with no idea of what constitute multi-party democracy.

“As a result, they are merely stone groping in the wild sea. Otherwise, they would know that the governors are elected by the people of the South East, and not by ghosts. And there is no way IPOB can realize its aspirations without the support of the elected leaders from the South East.”

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