Orji Uzoh Kalu
By Charles Ajunwa
Former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzoh Kalu, Tuesday asked the dreaded Islamist sect, Boko Haram, to stop with immediate effect the killings of the Christian faithful and other Southerners residing in the northern part of the country.
Also, he implored Christians and all Southerners residing in the North to refuse to be made scapegoats urging them to get together to resist what he described as “unwarranted attacks.”
The former governor of Abia State in a statement he personally signed titled “Halt Anti-Igbo Pogrom, Killing of Christians/Southerners In Northern Nigeria Immediately”, said that time has come “to boldly state that enough is enough - stop these senseless killings of the Igbo, Christians and Southerners.”
According to him, “If the attackers get help from outside the country to attack, Christians and Southerners should also do the same to defend, if help will not come from within” adding that “If we are singled out for attack again, we shall no longer turn the other cheek but shall demand an eye for an eye.”
The former governor who called on the Federal Government to live up to her constitutional responsibility towards providing security to all citizens, said he had watched with extreme sadness recent developments in the country, and can no longer remain silent, particularly when the Igbo political intelligentsia who he said ought to speak out and those who ought to protect us as citizens of this great country maintain questionable silence.
The statement partly reads: “The Igbo as a group have paid dearly for the unity of this country, and despite the pogrom that preceded the civil war, and the genocide against them during the civil war, they have continued to believe in and practically work for the unity of this country, settling and developing the economies of all parts of this country, despite the continued marginalisation and balkanisation of their region. Everywhere you go, you see the Igbo. We are the salt the nation.
He added that: “The ingredients that caused the last civil war are fundamentally being thrown up again by what is happening today. Despite the massive budgetary allocation to defence and security, the Federal Government has not risen to the occasion in taking steps to stop this unwarranted descent towards ethnic cleansing,” Kalu said.
“Let me quote Nigeria’s literary icons (Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and JP Clark) in their recent joint reaction to the unfolding national tragedy: “All who possess any iota of influence or authority, who aspire to moral leadership must act now to douse the first flickers of ‘responses in kind’ even before they are manifested, and become contagious.”
ACN Condemns Arrest of Ex-scribe, Calls for His Release
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday condemned the arrest of its former National Secretary, Dr. Usman Bugaje, by the State Security Service (SSS) over an interview he granted a radio station on the on-going fuel price hike protests across the country, and called for his immediate release.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party expressed concern that the Federal Government, having boxed itself into a tight corner due to its obnoxious, anti-people policy, was now baring its fangs at perceived enemies, especially members of the opposition, civil society and the unions.
“There is nothing that Dr. Bugaje said in that interview that has not been said many times over by other Nigerians since the government decided to over-reach itself by inflicting avoidable pain on the people in the name of fuel subsidy removal. Perhaps Dr. Bugaje's only sin is that he is a member of the ACN.
But our party is not responsible for the unenviable situation in which this rudderless government has found itself.
In fact, had the government listened to our wise counsel, it would have avoided the troubles it had now brought on itself,” the party said.
ACN wondered why the Federal Government was dissipating its energy on targeting and harassing the opposition, when it is confronted with monumental problems, including the worsening cases of insecurity of lives and property, most of which the administration brought upon itself.