Python Dance and the Bite of Biafra

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Simon Kolawolelive!, Email: simon.kolawoe@thisdaylive.com. SMS: 0805 500 1961

Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the army chief, is a famous snake farmer. Naturally, he had no hesitation in unleashing pythons on south-eastern Nigeria to enforce the peace. The pythons have been dancing dangerously. Our polity, sharply divided along ethno-religious lines, is writhing in snake poison. The aim of Python Dance II, as the military operation is code-named, is to tackle “mindless assassinations (even in religious places), attacks on security personnel and theft of weapons, kidnappings, armed banditry and violent agitations by secessionist groups, amongst other crimes that have recently bedevilled the region”, according to the army chief of operations.

There are military operations in the north-west (Operation Harbin Kunama — “scorpion sting”) and the north-east (Operation Lafiya Dole – “peace by all means”), but Operation Egwu Eke (“python dance”) in the south-east is the one dividing opinion. On one side are those who think the clampdown is necessary to send signals to secessionists (and bandits) that the government still has the capacity to enforce law and order. If Nnamdi Kanu, the “Supreme Leader” of Biafra, and his boys are not contained, more groups may embark on balkanisation campaigns. Crush them and let them know there is still a government in power and in control. That is one argument.

On the other side of the divide are those who are wondering, as the Yoruba would say, “Kilagbe, kileju?” (“Why kill an ant with a sledge hammer?”) After all, there have been agitations in different parts of the country over the decades and the Nigerian state has not been this ruthless in dealing with what is, in the main, a largely peaceful campaign by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Unlike the Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram jihadists, IPOB has not launched an armed campaign yet. And unlike the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) in the late 1990s and early 2000s, IPOB did not attack police stations before the Python Dance. Well, that is the other argument.

There are several narratives out there. There is a strong belief that Kanu has the tacit backing of Igbo leaders, both political and traditional. Kanu was just a UK-based internet warrior campaigning for the re-election of President Goodluck “Azikiwe” Jonathan in 2015, using all known foul language to oppose the “Awusa people” (pejorative name for northern Muslims, whether or not they are Hausa). He revved up his poor language and hate speech when Jonathan lost the election. He soon came to town to pursue the secession of Biafra from the Nigerian “zoo”. His message resonated with so many young Igbo people who promptly signed up for his cause. Hate sells, if I may add.

The emergence of IPOB was viewed in Aso Rock as blackmail. Initial security reports fingered a former senator from Ebonyi state and a governor from the south-south as the financiers. With the APC/PDP poison still fresh and deadly, the natural instinct of the Buhari administration was to deploy a strong-arm response to the “blackmail”. If the arrest of Kanu in 2015 turned him from a mere internet noise maker to a freedom fighter, the refusal of the government to release him on bail after several court orders turned him into a carbon copy of Nelson Mandela among his fans. He won many sympathisers and his crowd ballooned.

But what made Kanu possible? This is where the issues, most unfortunately, get muddled up. In an underdeveloped, multi-ethnic country still struggling to build a strong union, mutual suspicion cannot be ignored. There is always this fear of domination. We can theorise and pontificate all we want, but we cannot wish it away. There is a fear among the Igbo that there is an agenda to punish them for not voting for Buhari. Kanu seized the opportunity and preyed on the fear. Things were not helped by Buhari’s Freudian slip on the way he would treat those who gave him 97% of their votes compared to those who gave him a paltry 5%.

Some people have tried to justify the 97% vs 5% formula by saying the Igbo should live with the political choices they made in 2015. If you did not vote for Buhari, then don’t expect anything significant from him. I disagree. It is said that you draw your friends “close” and your enemies “closer”. Since the Igbo did not vote for Buhari, the ultimate political strategy should be to win them over, not to alienate them. President Olusegun Obasanjo did not score up to 25% in the south-west in the 1999 election. He courted them by any means. In 2003, he got over 90%. Politics works better this way. If I were Buhari, I would court my opponents. Who needs enemies?

Interestingly, the principle of federal character was conceived to foster integration, “to promote unity and command national loyalty”, according to the 1999 constitution. Ironically, this principle is always heavily criticised by my Igbo friends who think merit and federal character are incompatible. Many southerners still operate under the colonial-era mindset that northerners are illiterates and can only benefit from appointments under federal character, not on merit. Yet, the biggest complaint from the south-east today is lack of federal character in Buhari’s appointments! For those who think balancing doesn’t matter in a diverse society, they should wear the shoe first.

Having said this, I now need to emphasise my points. One, I do not support Kanu. For sure, I do not like the kind of tongue in Kanu’s mouth. I once watched a video clip of him calling any Igbo who attends a church led by a Yoruba an “imbecile”. God forbid that I support such hate for the Yoruba and Hausa, and obscene verbal attacks on Buhari. Nevertheless, Kanu did not invent hate speech in Nigeria. We must condemn every form of hate speech. I once made this point on a forum and only escaped lynching by the skin of my teeth. Bizarrely, you have people who condemn the hate speech of IPOB and condone that of Arewa youth, and vice-versa. Hypocrisy is human nature.

Two, I do not believe Kanu speaks on behalf of Ndi Igbo, even though many of them might have been enjoying his antics. But there are two issues that we should not muddle up. One is the feeling of marginalisation, the other is the approach in voicing out the feeling. Kanu may be expressing the grievances of the average Igbo, but his rhetoric, methods and tactics should not be regarded as the official communiqué from the south-east. Kanu’s poor manners should not offer a red herring to sweep the complaints of the Igbo under the carpet. No attempt should be made to silence or intimidate the Igbo because of Kanu’s adult delinquency.

Three, we need an honest conversation around the complaints of marginalisation by the Igbo, variously expressed by IPOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Are they saying the truth or not? Can we have a complete list of all the appointments made by Buhari since he assumed office on May 29, 2015 and do a zone-by-zone analysis to determine if indeed he has been fair to them? We can look at these issues dispassionately and honestly without throwing stones at each other. There is a scientific way of looking at things, devoid of biases and prejudices but based purely on facts and figures. I will welcome a fact-based analysis on this. Let’s be very sure of what we are dealing with.

On the surface, though, I do not agree with IPOB that the Igbo are so marginalised that the only option left for them is secession. Kilagbe, kileju? There are always other options. Under Jonathan, just a little over two years ago, Igbo certainly got a good bargain even if the masses in the south-east did not feel the impact. This does not justify anything going on under Buhari, but it should put things in perspective. Even then, the show of brute force by the pythons is totally unnecessary. Kilagbe, kileju? Government is already in court to get Kanu’s bail revoked. Why not wait for the court? Why pour so much venom on Aba? You can never enforce unity with guns. Never ever

At this point, I want to plead with those extremists stoking ethno-religious tension across Nigeria to calm down. I would also advise Kanu to calm down. Is he battle-ready for the Nigerian military as things stand? It needs reminding that our military has a record of massacring defenceless civilians in Odi, Zaki Biam, Baga, Bama, Gbaramatu and Zaria. Up till today, there is no chance of justice. Kanu should stop inviting pythons to bite the people he says he is fighting for. As the Great Zik once said, only a fool will argue with a man who has a gun. Snake bites are deadly. If you don’t have the antidote, you will dance with death. Wisdom is the principal thing. My two cents.
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AND FOUR OTHER THINGS

DOMINO EFFECT
Those who don’t know how linked we are in Nigeria after 100 years of amalgamation should have gained some knowledge from our present circumstances. The report that some Hausa residents in Port Harcourt were attacked led to a reprisal in Jos. And suddenly the whole of the north was tensed up, with millions of Igbo lives in danger. If, God forbid, killing and counter killing of innocent people are not prevented, the whole of Nigeria, north and south, will soon be swimming in human blood. Nobody is safe, even in the relatively peaceful south-west. Nigeria is delicately poised. I hope those who specialise in promoting ethnic and religious hate understand this fact. Boomerang.

AREWA YOUTH
Maybe I missed the news — what has become of the Arewa youth who gathered somewhere in Kaduna and issued a quit notice to all Igbo in the north because of Nnamdi Kanu’s reckless utterances? In a society where there is anything called fairness and justice, they should be facing different charges in court right now. Nobody has any right to issue quit notice to anyone on the basis of ethnicity and religion, and I hope we are not setting a bad precedent by treating these lawless guys like national heroes. The October 1 ultimatum might have been withdrawn (as if it were legal in the first place) but the seed has been sown. Nobody knows what will happen next. Danger.

THE AFTERMATH
In my opinion, the tension in the country today is a direct consequence of the bitterness that surrounded the 2015 elections. It was the most bitterly fought election in recent times and some people cannot just seem to be able to get over it. I often dream of a country where as soon as elections are over, we are back together on the same train. Regrettably, we are permanently in election mode. Winners gloat and losers try to make the country ungovernable. Yet what we need badly is more integration, not recrimination. My position remains: politics does not have to be a zero-sum game. It can be a win-win in the spirit of nation-building. Pragmatism.

AKANDE AND CONSTITUTION
I recently made reference to the statement by Chief Bisi Akande, former governor of Osun state, that the 1999 constitution is Nigeria’s greatest misadventure since 1914. In fairness to him, he also highlighted several ills with Nigeria, particularly leadership, in the speech he made in Osogbo, Osun state, in July. He said: “Some of the newbreed elected leaders do not even appreciate that the 60,000km of roads claimed to have been paved out of Nigeria’s present 193,000km… have already been taken over by pot-holes. Such leaders are crowded in state capitals and Abuja, bluffing the rest of us at our roadless villages with fleets of exotic cars under their control.” Word!

  • Kelly

    I hate attacking people. But Honestly I have to let SIMON KOLAWOLE know that he is both a pathological liar and deceiver. God forbid this guy for using his priviledge to peddle lies and misinformation. What a man!!!

  • E don do Niaja

    My take from Simon “You can never enforce unity with guns. Never ever”!

  • omnia1

    SK, you are like a doctor that made a wrong diagnosis. All your prescription will also be wrong.

    You see, Nigeria’s problem is NOT bad leadership, bad constitution, poor economy, corruption, etc.

    The problem with Nigeria can be summarized in 4 simple sentences:
    I: Unless a society runs a merit-based system, all sectors deteriorate.
    II: Nigeria tried merit before and ended up with Igbos leading EVERY sector (economy, education, military, science, transport, trade etc).
    III: Nigeria refuses to go back to merit because of ‘risk’ of Igbo domination.
    IV: Nigeria cannot improve, because it cannot run a merit-based society.
    Igbo people (the engine of Nigeria’s advancement), are stifled by an Islam-motivated cabal which prefers power to meritocracy. Igbo ostracisation is the main reason for Nigeria’s irreversible backwardness.
    SUMMARY: Nigeria is in a catch-22. Institute merit and Igbos inevitably become the top dogs. Deny merit and Nigeria goes to the dogs.
    SOLUTION: The only way forward is Igbo autonomy or independence. Otherwise neither Igbos nor Nigerians can make much progress. The only other way is to attempt to destroy the Igbos totally (like Hitler’s final Jewish solution). This second option has been tried (through the Civil War) but failed!.

  • DrKnight

    As an ethnic Igbo, I doubt if everyone agrees with Kanu’s style. I think common sense is key here. Like Simon said, this marginalization has to be researched and findings made public. Such research could act as a working document to confront the administration. PMB on his part should stop sounding like the dictator he was. When people have challenges, it changes their world view. Respected Senator McCain has demonstrated a great deal of humility following his current ordeal. I think the mortality of man should be considered at all levels. PMB has not been visiting London for fun; we all know that and for whatever it is, it’s something to reflect upon The General should accept that the world has changed and that the army cannot kill everyone in the east. A war based on ideology is a tough one.

    • omnia1

      NIGERIA-BIAFRA UNION IS PLAIN UNADULTERATED EVIL.
      It is like forcing Turkey, France, Britain and Italy to be one nation. It will not work. During the 20th century a number of troubled nations dissolved themselves to avoid continuing ethnic conflict: Norway, Singapore, the Slovak and Czech Republics, former Soviet states etc. Norway-Sweden dissolved in 1905; Singapore-Malaysia dissolved in 1961; Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992. All these unions were FAR MORE SUCCESSFUL than Nigeria, BUT TO SAVE LIVES, the parties decided to go their separate ways.
      Among the wastage of lives to retain troubled national unions, Nigeria’s is the most catastrophic: Biafra cost 3 million lives (in contrast Chechnya has cost 200,000 lives; Yugoslavia, 260,000; Kashmir, 60,000; Sri Lanka, 70,000 and so on). Simon cannot be so heartless to justify such human sacrifice (which continues to this day)!

      Nigeria is the ONLY British colony of its size that has not been divided for a better outcome. UK that created Nigeria has divided (into Britain and Ireland) and is preparing to divide again twice (externally via Brexit and internally via the second Scottish referendum). Yet Simon Kolawole is so devilish and uncharitable as to want future generation to grow up in this messy and deadly contraption he calls a nation!
      ALL BECAUSE HE WANTS HIS YORUBA PEOPLE TO KEEP ON LOOTING THE SS/SE

    • FrNinja

      Common sense does not work in the ZOO. Common sense says you cannot sustain 36 states and a federal government on oil revenue. Nigerian government officials think otherwise. Common sense says you must fix power as a priority in order to diversify or go bankrupt by 2030. Importing 3 billion naira worth of vehicles for the National Assembly is a priority. Common sense says that family planning should be a priority for the nation at large to reduce the pressure on resources. But no, the National Assembly cannot even legislate against child marriage because of the paedophiles it has in its chambers.

  • Paulocaesar

    …..literal Biafra as an end in itself…
    …..may our friends…..

  • Paulocaesar

    Folks, I’ve followed Simon Kolawole from the time of Obasanjo when no Yoruba man no matter how much he disagreed with Obj would acknowledge the marginalization and crass disparagement he casually heaped on Igbos on a regular basis, in those days, many journalists met with intimidation or untimely demise from “car accidents”…. or “armed robbers”…. Simon Kolawole did not hesitate to call out those injustices then, and has even more incentive now to gratuitously attack Buhari, but SK is a true professional, possesses ethics and journalistic integrity, and in my opinion is a friend of igbos.
    Let’s be respectful and respectable please my peeps.

    That said, I disagree with SK that NK was just an internet gladiator suddenly thrust into fame by his arrest.

    Every Igboman’s mind since the end of the civil war, the presidency of ibb and Abacha, and the civilian presidency of Obj has been preoccupied by the thought of how to wriggle ourselves free (not from our fellow Nigerians whom we love and with whom we share common cause) but from the trap set by Frederick Lugard whose victims have elected to voluntarily remain their own worst enemy by refusing to move forward in progress lest it profit the Igboman inadvertently.

    During the obj era a recurring problem was how to make our voices heard without having to go through the 9ja media (largely under the control of scared stooges, contract seekers, and position seeking sycophants) many turned to internet message boards and persisted from there till they came up with something.

    NK seems to have recognized that you not only need to have your voice heard but to mobilize people, and generate enough publicity that if you get killed, a thousand more would be waiting to step in.

    For all those who believe 9ja needs change, and that the igbos are not the only one suffering marginalization, your voices should be stronger and louder in rejecting the likes of Buhari, obj, and the token igbo sycophants in corridors of power they installed to frustrate igbos and continue the prosecution of the civil war all these years. If not then there should be no envy and propaganda against igbos coming from you as you’re only hurting yourself.

    So here we are at the fork in the road, and as yogi Berra would say, we’ve decided to take it! Ojukwu did encourage igbos to seek not the literal Biafra as anyone in itself, but a “Biafra of the mind”. May we reach out to our friends and neighbors, may our friends share common cause with us, may our propagate the just Nigeria that has eluded us all and stripped us of our potential, or may our friends join us to ensure the attainment and success of a Biafra that will reflect the honest intentions lacking Lugards “Nigeria”…our present trap.

    • omnia1

      “refusing to move forward in progress lest it profit the Igboman inadvertently” – You have hit the bull’s eye with that phrase.

      You see, Nigeria’s problem is NOT bad leadership, bad constitution, poor economy, corruption, etc.

      The problem with Nigeria can be summarized in 4 sentences:
      I: Unless a society runs a merit-based system, all sectors deteriorate.
      II: Nigeria tried merit before and ended up with Igbos leading EVERY sector (economy, education, military, science, transport, trade etc).
      III: Nigeria refuses to go back to merit because of ‘risk’ of Igbo domination.
      IV: Nigeria cannot improve, because it cannot run a merit-based society.
      Igbo people (the engine of Nigeria’s advancement), are stifled by an Islam-motivated cabal which prefers power to meritocracy. Igbo ostracisation is the main reasons for Nigeria’s irreversible backwardness.

      SUMMARY: Nigeria is in a catch-22. Institute merit and Igbos inevitably become the top dogs. Deny merit and Nigeria goes to the dogs.
      SOLUTION: The only way forward is Igbo autonomy or independence. Otherwise neither Igbos nor Nigerians can make much progress.

  • Mystic mallam

    Simon Kolawole, when will you start to redeem yourself as a man of truth and honour, failing that, when will you start to clean up yourself as a credible journalist? Each time, I read you, I see a tortured man twisting and turning between the truth and propaganda, dancing on the fence of neutrality like a PYTHON caught in the sand. In all honesty, I think we all who claim to be part of the informed elite, owe our ”less-elite” countrymen a duty to humbly admit that we made a big mistake in persuading them to select General Buhari to be President of Nigeria at this time. Of course, Jonathan may have been many things and perhaps more, that his opponents said he was, but one thing he certainly wasn’t, was a deliberate and determined ”DIVIDER and not UNITER” of the country. Even your fellow fickle, feckless colleague and Buhari apologist, Mr Dele Momodu, appears to have come to the same sad conclusion – that Buhari is a ”divider not a uniter”, that he is no good for Nigeria as president at this time. See his Saturday column of 15 Sept, how desperately he’s struggling to redeem his professional image!! In the name of whatever you hold sacred Simon, how could you propose Buhari’s 97%/5% doctrine as a ”Freudian Slip”? Freudian slip on a pronouncement he not only verbally doubled-down upon, but also proceeded to execute with vicarious zeal!! Not even the admonition of his close acolytes [Junaid Mohammed and co.] could persuade him to shift a little ground. Come on Simon, no Freudian slip was intended and none was delivered. President Buhari came to right old wrongs and heal old wounds supposedly inflicted on his Fulani-Hausa-Kanuri kith and kin since they lost power in 1999. You advise him to stop alienating the Igbo, he should try to win them over so they’d vote for him the next time. Sorry my dear, hell may have to freeze over first before you thaw the hate between those two. It’s not about whether or not the Igbo voted for him. Must everyone in a democracy vote the same candidate? No. You win some, you lose some, but to make a good leader, you must be magnanimous in victory , you must carry everyone along – that’s duty not favour, that’s leadership. And face it Simon, the MB [Northerners when convenient] voted for him, has he been sharing the spoils of office equitably with them? One last point, your illogical attack on the beleaguered Igbo for critiquing federal character, preferring merit, and turning around to blame Buhari for excluding them in fedral appointments. This is absurd Simon, the last time I checked, the law of the land is still Federal Character. Are you suggesting that because the Igbo say they prefer the use of merit in federal appointments, they should forgo their rights under the prevailing laws, they should wait until meritocracy becomes the law?

    • Uche

      My brother take this revelation from me: Yoruba elites are the worst of the breed. They are worse than the uneducated Yorubas and the worst among elites from other part of Nigeria. My best childhood friend is a Yoruba. We just had a facebook divorce. Just this weekend he cut me off from his page after l called him out in strong terms over his litany of jaw-breaking hypocrisy and sycophancy on issues since Buhari came to power

      • omnia1

        Yoruba displacement activity (by antagonizing Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB, Igbos, etc) is always puzzling to me. Only a coward leaves his real enemy to attack an innocent party.

        Throughout history, the wars and woes visited on Yorubas all came from the Fulani. Biafrans have do not kill their people. Biafrans never imprisoned Awolowo and kill thousands of Yoruba youths who rioted in protest against the unjust imprisonment for days in several Yoruba cities in 1963. It was the Fulanis and incidentally the wanton killing was spearheaded by the platoon leader of the 2nd infantry brigade, Abeokuta, a certain MUHAMMADU BUHARI. As a reward for dealing with Yorubas, that same 1963, Buhari was given a double promotion on the same day by the Balewa regime.

        Was it not a Biafran, Odumegwu Ojukwu, who released Awo from Calabar prison and personally sent a squad of Eastern Nigeria policemen to escort him right to his house in Ikenne?
        It was not the Biafrans who sent many Yoruba elders and leaders to prison, stampeded others
        into exile and killed others like Abiola after annuling the freest presidential election in Nigeria.
        It was not the Biafrans who attacked Yoruba people in Lagos neither was it the Biafrans who desecrated their cradle of civilisation, Ile-Ife by decapitating a Yoruba man and parading his head all over Ile-Ife, thereby igniting a deadly ethnic fracas that ended in the arrest and detention of only the Yorubas including an Oba by the same Muhammadu Buhari and his Fulani security agents.

        No Biafran herdsman ever kidnapped Chief Olu Falae or attacked Wole Soyinka. Biafran herdsmen have not been going about terrorizing and killing Yorubas in Osun, Ogun, Kwara etc with silent but tacit govt support.

        If the above is so, I wonder why enlightened Yorubas like Simon Kolawole are subtly baying for Biafran blood instead of worrying themselves on how Yorubas can free their future generation from the Fulani-led zooNigeria. The man has died in you, Simon! It is a pity!!

        • Jon West

          The problem is in the genes and not in the Yoruba star , that they are are perpetual “slaves” to the Fulani. The genes of Afonja are really too strong. Read Yoruba history and you will understand, especially the Yorubas of Kwara . Their greatest leader Aalafin Aole, forced to commit ritual suicide by his parliament, the Oyo Mesi, cursed the Yorubas to be perpetual slaves to the Fulani, who are also their perpetual ethnic, economic and social inferiors. He also curse them to be Carrie to all corners o the globe as slaves, hence the prepoerance of the Yoruba in the Black slave diaspora.

          From Afonja in Ilorin, to Aburi, Biafra, Abiola and June 12, all the National Conferences, etc, these people will always sell-out for a mess of porridge and most times for the petty reason of spiting other people especially their Igbo intellectual an economic rivals. Better the ignorant and backward Fulani and Hausa drag all down than risk being outshone by the indefatigable Igbo. That is really the crux of the matter.
          Now that there is talk of restructuring and Federalism and Loud and hyped meetings in Ibadan, please be positively sceptical, because the leopard never changes its spots. Genetics is a terrible burden to carry or a great asset, depending on your genes.

          • pel boi

            It is amazing how Ibos like you always lay the heap of your problems at the feet of the Yorubas… Yorubas are the only ethnic group that have stood up to the North since 1960 whilst Ibos just itched to play 2nd fiddle to the North…. Lets talk facts not ethnic propaganda and baseless drivel… In 1959.. Zik of Africa preferred to team up with the North rather than Awo… due to a “grudge”….. (Zik lost a political game fair and square) .. This regressive govt in which Ibos played a HUGE role before their fall out in with the North in 1964 is now the fault of Yorubas abi? During the war, some Yorubas fought alongside Biafra -Victor Banjo comes to mind. (who was executed by Ojukwu.) The war ended in 1970 and nine years later you would have that the SE political class wld have learnt their lesson-NO! They still lined up to play house nigger to the North.. Even the Great Odimegwu came back from his self-imposed exile to be ridiculed by the NPN…. 3rd republic came.. the same thing… this time even some elements north was tired of its self and voted for MKO… But no…. NRC still did quite well in the East.. In the 4th republic.. before the advent of APGA… which party was the 2nd dominant party in the SE? ANPP-A core Hausa Fulani party…. You think Yorubas are stupid? Until 2015, Yorubas have always been the bulwark of oppositon to the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy… Infact, where were these SE leaders when the North was giving GEJ hell as acting president— O yh.. i know preparing to do houseboy again to any govt in power… The bitter truth is.. The SE political class has always envied and hated the Yoruba.. They have preferred to play 2nd fiddle to the North than to actually join forces with the Yoruba and fight the North…. And that is their lot..

          • sadiqueens

            The first sensible comment on this thread. Thumbs up

      • Mystic mallam

        No Uche, you over-generalise. Of course, there are bad Yoruba elites and good ones; just like there are bad Igbo elites and good ones; same applies to the Hausa/Fulani and every other tribe in Nigeria. There’s always the good, the bad and the ugly at ant time, in every place and every clime. And note, that Simon Kolawole writes the way he does makes him neither good, bad or ugly person. It simply makes him a writer with the type of bias I strongly reject.

  • KWOY

    Meanwhile liar, Buratai did not send himself, neither did the military send itself to Gbaramatu, Zakibiam, & Odi itself! Why are you not naming names? Because it is a big moral issue for you naming those who deployed them!

  • MDG2020

    Dear simon, I can swear with my late father(Rest his Soul) grave that you were grinning from ear to ear (as the pakistani man will say) while you mischievously penned this your weekend column.
    I see your dejavu feeling of “serves the omoyibo right’ written all over your face. However, always remember the saying, once beating twice shy. Mark my word 2017 can never be 1967.
    For all those secretly gloating that the “Yibos” -as you often call us- have been roundly defeated a second time: should rejoice not yet. Every for human knows the way of violence, but no human can tell the “end” of a unjust violence unleashed against another.
    Our only consolation is we know who buhari is, we never trusted him, and we all in unison rejected him with our ballot paper, we also know what he was capable of using his fleeting position to inflict on us, yet we didn’t care. We were prepared for him and what is to come! Simon are You?
    My only pity is for you the hypocrite from SW who think you have it all going for you now based on a slavish disposition! We shall all leave to tell our stories God willing and then we will know who was wiser.
    As for this column, you have said nothing as usual spending more time to heap the blame on Kanu while tacitly skirting round the obvious cause of all the problems. Thank God you did not drag GEJ into your column today: which I know will feature prominently in your next week column.
    Finally, I say Goodluck to buhari and his “wan nijeria” eternally UNRESTRUCTURABLE, ETERNALLY FUELLED with OYEL from the SS, and ETERNALLY RULLED by HAUSA-FULANI whether in UNIFORM or MUFTY! Amin.

    • omnia1

      Exactly! Only a coward leaves his real enemy to attack an innocent party.

      Throughout history, the wars and woes visited on Yorubas all came from the Fulani. Biafrans have do not kill their people. Biafrans never imprisoned Awolowo and kill thousands of Yoruba youths who rioted in protest against the unjust imprisonment for days in several Yoruba cities in 1963. It was the Fulanis and incidentally the wanton killing was spearheaded by the platoon leader of the 2nd infantry brigade, Abeokuta, a certain MUHAMMADU BUHARI. As a reward for dealing with Yorubas, that same 1963, Buhari was given a double promotion on the same day by the Balewa regime.

      Was it not a Biafran, Odumegwu Ojukwu, who released Awo from Calabar prison and personally sent a squad of Eastern Nigeria policemen to escort him right to his house in Ikenne?
      It was not the Biafrans who sent many Yoruba elders and leaders to prison, stampeded others into exile and killed others like Abiola after annulling the freest presidential election in Nigeria.
      It was not the Biafrans who attacked Yoruba people in Lagos neither was it the Biafrans who desecrated their cradle of civilisation, Ile-Ife by decapitating a Yoruba man and parading his head all over Ile-Ife, thereby igniting a deadly ethnic fracas that ended in the arrest and detention of only the Yorubas including an Oba by the same Muhammadu Buhari and his Fulani security agents.

      No Biafran herdsman ever kidnapped Chief Olu Falae or attacked Wole Soyinka. Biafran herdsmen have not been going about terrorizing and killing Yorubas in Osun, Ogun, Kwara etc with silent but tacit govt support.

      If the above is so, I wonder why enlightened Yorubas like Simon Kolawole are subtly baying for Biafran blood instead of worrying themselves on how Yorubas can free their future generation from the Fulani-led zooNigeria. The man has died in Simon! It is a pity!!

  • KWOY

    If for nothing else we have given you another Moral burden. Criminals, you could not condemn Boko Haram nor the Dogs of vandalism & death that Fulani herdsmen represent. Boko Haram terrorists & Fulani herdsmen have continued to be released. But now you can recognize your greatest headache in Nnamdi Kanu & IPOB! I assure you, the STRUGGLE CONTINUES!

    • omnia1

      Aniefok Udoabasi wrote ~
      Boko haram is deadly. They are armed to the teeth. They have killed military men in their hundreds. They have killed civilians in their tens of thousands. They have burned down houses and villages. They have burned down churches and mosques. They have threatened to blow up Nigeria. They even blew up the United Nations building in Abuja.
      YET,
      Northern elders/leaders, including Buhari, opposed any attempt by the military to invade any Northern community as a result of boko haram’s presence. Northern elders,again and again, asked the government to withdraw the army from Borno ,the headquarters of boko haram.
      In fact, Buhari publicly said that it was wrong for the military to move against boko haram. He specifically said that any attack against boko haram should be viewed as an attack against the North as a whole. I’m not talking about a century or even a decade ago. I am talking about a few years ago.
      ALSO,
      Lai Mohammed,speaking for APC ,Buhari’s party, said that it was wrong for the government to label boko haram as an unlawful organisation. This was immediately after the Nigerian government had declared boko haram an unlawful organization. APC said that declaring boko haram an unlawful organization in Nigeria is unconstitutional.
      I also remember that when the United States government wanted to declare boko haram a terrorist organisation, the North vehemently opposed it. The Sultan of Sokoto led the opposition. He openly canvassed that the USA should not label boko haram a terrorist organisation.
      Only CAN ,as led by pastor Ayo ,canvassed for the United States to pencil boko haram down as a terrorist organisation. I remember that when pastor Ayo traveled to the United States to lobby its government to declare boko haram a terrorist organisation, he was ridiculed by Northern leaders for daring to cause their boko haram to be called a terrorist organisation.
      THE POINT IS:
      If an organization as murderous and satanic like boko haram could have northern leaders and APC leaders, including Buhari, as open supporters, why should the unarmed and harmless civilians in the south East not be supported and protected? Why are southern leaders acting dumb? Why are south East governors behaving like house boys?
      Nnamdi Kanu, hate him or love him, has not killed a single soul. You may be irritated by the conduct of some of his followers ,but the fact remains that they are not armed. They have not burned communities, have not blown up mosques or churches. They are just a group armed with social media and a radio station.
      And yet you say that the army should clamp down ,attack and kill them.
      Same you who said that boko haram should not be attacked because that would mean an against the North!
      Same you who said that boko haram should not be declared an unlawful organization by the Nigerian government!
      Same you who pleaded that boko haram should not be declared a terrorist organisation by the United States government!
      Shame on zooNigeria!

  • Bello Muhammad Sharada

    I agree with your position. IPOB case is political and it can ony be solved politically, espicially issue of Biafra is in the mind of every Igbo in Nigeria or elsewhere, East is synnonmous with Biafra, militrisation is not the best way to handle it, moreso in the democratic set up . BUT where the problem lies was; there were no efforts from Igbo leaders to persuade Nnamdi Kanu to change approach, even after the stringent bail he secured. His method is not like that of Scotish, Irish, Catalans and many others, BUT rude,unrulyand intolerant.
    Igbo have genuine case to seek for reconfiguration or restructuring of the polity espicially with the way PMB is handling SS, SE mindset, their grievences should be channellled with decorum, and in the best interest of all.
    I appeal to Buhari to order Buratai to halt this army occupation in the East, to suspend the designation of IPOB as militant organisation . Let Kanu be apprehended, his bail revoked and let This Arewa Youth chaps be arrested and prosecuted and Let Igbo pursue their agenda logically within the confine of law.

    • Don Franco

      Dear Bello Sharada,

      Buhari isn’t interested in a peaceful negotiated settlement of the issues that divide us as a people. He’s still with the Civil War mindset.
      I was born and raised in Gujungu, but every last bit of my DNA is registered with Biafra, and the Igbo will not rest or slumber until we get a country of our own. Pyton Dances may delay it, but it is unable to deny it.

      • omnia1

        NIGERIA-BIAFRA UNION IS PLAIN UNADULTERATED EVIL.
        It is like forcing Turkey, France, Britain and Italy to be one nation. It will not work. During the 20th century a number of troubled nations dissolved themselves to avoid continuing ethnic conflict: Norway, Singapore, the Slovak and Czech Republics, former Soviet states etc. Norway-Sweden dissolved in 1905; Singapore-Malaysia dissolved in 1961; Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992. All these unions were FAR MORE SUCCESSFUL than Nigeria, BUT TO SAVE LIVES, the parties decided to go their separate ways.
        Among the wastage of lives to retain troubled national unions, Nigeria’s is the most catastrophic: Biafra cost 3 million lives (in contrast Chechnya has cost 200,000 lives; Yugoslavia, 260,000; Kashmir, 60,000; Sri Lanka, 70,000 and so on). Simon cannot be so heartless to justify such human sacrifice (which continues to this day)!

        Nigeria is the ONLY British colony of its size that has not been divided for a better outcome. UK that created Nigeria has divided (into Britain and Ireland) and is preparing to divide again twice (externally via Brexit and internally via the second Scottish referendum). It is pure devilry for Simon Kolawole to want future generation to grow up in this messy and deadly contraption he calls a nation!
        ALL BECAUSE HE WANTS HIS YORUBA PEOPLE TO KEEP ON LOOTING THE SS/SE

    • Akaraka

      Unadulterated, straightforward and understood. Dialogue is made easy with the likes of you.

    • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

      Thank you Bello.
      Most fair minded people will come to the same conclusions as you have eloquently written.
      The question must be that can Buhari be fair minded?
      His CV says otherwise. His utterances say otherwise.
      Kanu maybe bile and IPOB unreasonable.
      But so is the Presidency’s response.
      I fear that this President is racist.

  • Daniel Obior

    Buhari has simply turned a democratic government environment into another military rule.
    He knows nothing else but the impunity of the military. He is more dangerous to the polity, than Kanu he is pursuing.

  • sunny okocha

    Simon nothing is wrong with this article the only wrong is the readers that have decided to read the article upside down with bile and illogical prayer for disintegration. You only pray for pain and sadness to befall you when you have failed in life and if you failed whose fault and why wish sadness on those who have striven hard to build a home/happiness in this entity called Nigeria (if you no happy na you take your hand do yourself).

  • Cheta God

    It is Busari’s old military style approach to politics and problem solving that caused this problem. His personality is such that other than the cabal of cousins in the Villa no other opinions matter. We wish him good luck.

  • KWOY

    Part of the strategy to force an ‘unmerited’ integration is the reason Igbos have been held down by a conspiracy of a race of cowards & imbeciles since 1966. Any success in the current supression attempt can be located within the context of our helplessness, of having been conquered. But rather deter us, it will give further energy to the struggle; it will constitute the very reason to fight the system!

  • the masked one

    “We know what the birth of a revolution looks like: A student stands before a tank. A fruit seller sets himself on fire. A line of monks link arms in a human chain. Crowds surge, soldiers fire, gusts of rage pull down the monuments of tyrants, and maybe, sometimes, justice rises from the flames”…..Nancy Gibbs.

    It may be convenient to dismiss Kanu and his IPOB as a terrorist band bent on exploiting certain presumed injustices against the Igbos for selfish, if not political motives. And hence justify the militarization of the Igboland.

    Simon Kolawole wrote Kanu was an internet warrior who campaigned for Jonathan but turned into a pro-Biafra agitator because Jonathan lost out. Earlier on these pages, Segun Adeniyi, also wrote that Kanu is a fraudulent young man ‘who wants to get money out of people because of Biafra’ and wondered why supposedly respected persons in Igboland are genuflecting before him?

    Quite unfortunate we are reading these decidedly parochial and jaundiced articles on a thorny national issues from one of the flagships of Nigerian journalism, ThisDay newspapers. Contrast with the above excerpts from Nancy Gibbs, former editor-in-chief of Time international magazine. What a shame!

    As Nancy Gibbs rightly wrote, what ignites revolution is just a small spark. Our prejudices and biases and hypocrisies and primordial sentiments count for nothing.
    It took the defiance of unknown student, a 19 year old Weing Weilin, on a day the Tiananmen protests were violently struck down ala python dance with dozens of Type 59 Tanks for the whole of China to come to a standstill. The events in Beijing that fateful June 4 1989 reverberated all the communists nations including Russia.

    That one man defiant non-violent protest became one of the most powerful and recognisable images of the protests movement. We may be making another Weing Weiliin out of Kanu and creating another Beijing spectacle in Igboland that we will live to regret.
    Again it took the self-immolation of a vegetable vendor, Mohammed Bouazizi, to spark Arab spring that consumed the autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and another powerful autocrat and friend of the West, Egyptian Mubarak.
    The story of Bouazizi was quite interesting in that it shared similarity with the Igbo situation. The uprising against Ben Ali came mainly in the Central and Southern regions of Tunisia, regions who perceived themselves as marginalized by successive governments. Perhaps, Simon Kolawole would have castigated the spinach and pumpkin seller as a misguided youth who just died for nothing.
    Again as the tyrant of Burma steered his ugly tentacles, it took the Buddhist monks who led the largest human chain of protests ever against military dictatorship to bring the tyrannical government to its knees.

    Buhari may be spurred by people like Simon Kolawole into a brazen declaration of war against the Igbo nation but the tyrant should know that no war is ever fought exactly the same way.
    Those who rolled armoured tanks against protesting students in Beijing in 1989 never reckoned with one unknown quantity Weing Weilin.
    Ben Ali in his imperial majestic powers and influences never reckoned with one Bouazizi.
    The tyrant of Burma never thought the Buddhists monks will come out of their relative comfort to stand in arms in chains against amassing military columns.
    Buhari wants to stifle the Eastern Region and thus stagnate the development of the entire region but he should look at history and contemporary events.
    My last line: With a single act of defiance a lone Chinese hero revived the world’s image of courage. Kanu may yet be hounded and thrown into the gulag or killed. But one thing is certain: Kill one Kanu and out of the ashes many more Kanus will rise. The youths of today are more sophisticated than their fathers who fought against Nigeria and her allies. It may yet be an unending dance for the python. But God gave man dominion over animals!

    • FrNinja

      Abacha murdered Ken Saro Wiwa who peacefully marched for environmental rights in the Niger Delta. They branded him a terrorist. In his place tens of militant movements arose.

      The Nigerian petro state should not pray for an igbo terrorist group for the damage it will cause will be proportionate to the sophistication of the well travelled igbo.

      • Intrepid

        Sure, but we will not take that route,except when pushed to an unbearable extreme.

    • Tony Oshea

      Most people viewed “Arab spring” as a distant phenomenon, restricted to north Africa ,until they heard the rumbling sounds of revolution, in our neighbor’s backyard in Lome,Togo.Soldiers armed with guns were arrested by UNARMED Togolese,yet Nigerian govt fails to comprehend. It is being contained in Lome,however,like “Ebola” no one can determine the next port of call for a revolution.

    • Akpobome

      This fight of injustice is not for the Igbo’s alone, they must dialogue with the South south or Niger delta. Please tell KANU not to make the same mistake Biafra made by occupying the then Midwest by force. We should all be in this fight of oppression together, and not be seen as wanting to replace one oppressor with another. Nigeria is doomed and no amount of force or intimidation can bind us together again.

      • the masked one

        Thanks immensely for your thoughtful insight!

    • PureWater1985

      Well said.

  • Priestley Okorro

    The 97/5% was not a slip. Please stop covering evil. There is no excuse for any body who aspires to lead to be parochial. I will not accept any excuse. The only excuse is not to have contested in the first place. Any way Nigeria has been cursed with rulers not leaders.

    • KWOY

      Calling Buhari’s actions a ‘slip’ is part of the campaign of lies!

    • Arabakpura

      It was premeditated and now that the man has become demented, it even becomes more difficult to get him to rescind or defend it but he definitely shall have his comeuppance!

  • KWOY

    Of course you know it is a deliberate trivialization to link Biafra agitation to 2015! Using the word ‘hate’ is also a deliberate strategy to fight Biafra agitation. But I will trade away my seat in paradise rather than accept an earthly paradise if Nigeria were to become one!

  • RumuPHC

    Simon, Why spoil a good Sunday by writing about a secessionist group that has been labeled a terrorist organization by the Nigeria Army and even proscribed by the entire political leadership of the SE including the Deputy President of the Senate ?

    The 1999 Constitution is the law of the land today . Individuals that don’t wish to abide by the provisions of the grundnorm can either emigrate to other countries or seek constitutional ways to alter the document.

    Only the NASS is permitted to amend the constitution. Resort to self help or burn-it-down mentality by some extremist groups will only end in chaos and anarchy . Well meaning agitators however may wish to focus their energy on changing the political leadership of their states and elected representatives in NASS if their intentions are genuinely to change the constitution for a better Nigeria.

    Essentially, good leadership and not rabid demagoguery engenders sustainable development.

    • Arabakpura

      Congratulations on your newly installed federal military government of Nigeria headed by major General M. Buhari!

      • RumuPHC

        Power is power…..Cersie Lannister.

        • Grelia O

          It is a mentality like yours that keeps Nigeria and many African countries in perpetual backwardness when it comes to democracy. While the rest of the world is moving ahead and improving the well-being of their citizens through empowering everyone through inclusive policies, your type and ultra-conservatives are for the use of instruments of coercion to enforce peace without justice. Good luck doing that.

          • RumuPHC

            On the contrary it is the mentality of people like you that is fueling underdevelopment in Africa.

            People who won’t participate even in ward elections of their constituencies to elect credible and competent leadership but will sit down at home a type all sorts of rubish .

            People who have elected legislature at local and state levels including executives and failed to question their leadership but will rather point accusing fingers at a distant federal government simply because the leadership is not of their ethnicity.

            People who will wish to change a constitution simply because they are out of power or the candidates they support lost an election.

            People who narrow the essentials of democratic governance to appointments in public service and sharing of resources .

            People that have failed to develop themselves even after receiving a share of oil revenue from the FG but will turn round to accuse the same constitution and government that is sustaining them of all manner of injustices.

            People who will lend their support to any cause as long as it act to diminish the government in power who does not enjoy their support.

            People who will openly march with a motley group of angry uninformed youths who have vowed to cause the break away of an ethnic group from the country and openly disobey the laws of the land.

            People who a hypocritical challenging why government is taking the same steps previous governments took to fight insurgency and extremism which they hitherto supported.

            People who with extremist ideas and believe it is ether them or nothing else.

            People who don’t believe or invest in developing leadership. Africa is full of people like you. Exactly why Africa is the least developed of all continents. People like you….

          • omnia1

            HYPOCRITICAL ZOO NIGERIAN!
            .
            FULANI HERDSMEN or FH (aka MIYETTI ALLAH, OF WHICH BUHARI IS GRAND PATRON)
            1. has serially raped women in the SW, SS, SE and MB
            2. has systematically destroyed farms in the SW and MB
            3. has brutally murdered farmers in SW, SS, SE and MB
            4. carry unlicensed AK-47 rifles as they roam Nigeria freely, totally unchallenged
            5. carry out cattle raids all over Nigeria with absolute impunity
            6. regularly uses violent kidnapping-for-ransom to supplement their income
            7. has never dis-avowed violence
            .
            BOKO HARAM or BH (WHICH CHOSE BUHARI AS ITS CHIEF NEGOTIATOR)
            1. has killed over 20,000 citizens
            2. has set off bombs in Abuja the FCT and continues to bomb zooNigeria till date
            3. has declared an independent Caliphate in northern nigeria
            4. kidnapped over 200 teenagers and continues to kidnap people till date
            5. has pledged allegiance to to ISIS
            6. uses violent kidnapping-for-ransom to supplement their income
            7. has never dis-avowed violence
            YET, Northern elders/leaders, including Buhari, opposed any attempt by the military to invade any Northern community as a result of boko haram’s presence. Northern elders,again and again, asked the government to withdraw the army from Borno ,the headquarters of boko haram. In fact, Buhari publicly said that it was wrong for the military to move against boko haram. He specifically said that any attack against boko haram should be viewed as an attack against the North as a whole. I’m not talking about a century or even a decade ago. I am talking about a few years ago.
            ALSO, Lai Mohammed,speaking for APC ,Buhari’s party, said that it was wrong for the government to label boko haram as an unlawful organisation. This was immediately after the Nigerian government had declared boko haram an unlawful organization. APC said that declaring boko haram an unlawful organization in Nigeria is unconstitutional.
            I also remember that when the United States government wanted to declare boko haram a terrorist organisation, the North vehemently opposed it. The Sultan of Sokoto led the opposition. He openly canvassed that the USA should not label boko haram a terrorist organisation.
            MAZI NNAMDI KANU (MNK) AND IPOD
            1. MNK is a British-educated intellectual who has zero tolerance for war
            2. IPOB by its constitution is a non-violent organization
            3. how many citizens have MNK and IPOB killed?
            4. how many armed forces personnel or police have MNK and IPOB murdered?
            5. how many bombs have MNK or IPOB detonated?
            6. how many farms have has IPOB destroyed?
            7. How many innocent people have IPOB kidnapped or raped?
            The SE politicians are houseboys, who have been warned that the Daura Demon will sack them via a state of emergency. Their declaration will not change anything. The terrorist group is the Nigerian Army, not the freedom-seeking IPOB.
            There is no difference between the Nigerian Army (NA), the Fulani Herdsmen (FH) and Boko Haram (BH). NA, FH & BH are all creations of the Northern cabal to terrorize the non-Sunni Nigerians. However, they will all meet their waterloo as their game of deceit and terror unravels and they the hunters become the hunted.

          • RumuPHC

            People who a hypocritical challenging why government is taking the same steps previous governments took to fight insurgency and extremism which they hitherto supported.

        • Arabakpura

          You think it’s a game of thrones? In the near future, you will see the damage done by Buhari! I am only trying to find the space in my heart to give him the benefit of the doubt since it’s now confirmed that he is suffering from dementia!

          • RumuPHC

            It is no GoT ; we only borrowed Cersie’s to bring home the point. Power and use of it is the underlying imperative of all governments. No government should allow itself to be overawed by any group especially through disobedience and projection of force.

            The secessionist group overstepped its reach and played into the hands of government when it inaugurated its secret police and others. IPOB should have known better.

            Government must necessarily ensure law and order. This we cannot query . How they do this must nevertheless be subject to extant laws and procedures . This however can be challenged at the court of law.

          • Obi Ike Sorres

            By so doing you are creating another problem. Use the right approach.

          • Daniel Obior

            Just listen to yourself. The same court of law which Buhari and his government disobeys regularly with impunity? Is there no limit to your adulation of a lousy government? Pathetic.

          • RumuPHC

            I can understand your hatred for another man . Most people are yet to get over the defeat suffered at the last polls. Sometimes it’s just like that.

          • Daniel Obior

            Still drunk on election with a hangover? Wake up. Elections are long gone. This is time to govern according to election promises made. Alas! They can govern well due to incompetence. Your type just wont wake up to this glaring fact. You instead prefer to hide your shame behind a long gone election. Wake up, man. Wake up.

          • RumuPHC

            Hatred can confuse a poor soul…..

            The last time I looked PMB can read and write well enough, and he got the popular vote in the last general election.

            That you didn’t vote for or support PMB does not mean that everything the president does is wrong. We have called out PMB severally when we felt his actions or inactions are inappropriate. We even once called on him to resign .

            True,elections have since passed and it’s time for good governance and objectivity in criticism. Unfortunately people like you are still unable to recover from the shock of defeat.

          • Daniel Obior

            You would not know better if you belong to the same. That probably is why you do not see PMB as barely literate. You are the one stuck in your election hangover. That is why you would refer to the election when this exchange had nothing whatsoever to do with election. The man is governing badly and contributors in this forum are criticising him objectively. But you have been all over the place running from pillar to post defending the indefensible. Lets talk performance of this lousy government. Not election and hatred, behind which you are shamefully hiding. Wake up.

    • E.Udah

      And where is it in our constitution that the military or southeast governors has the power to proscribe a group of unarmed agitators as terrorists?
      I am asking for research purpose, please.

      Is it not a show of power without the dew process for the military to make that declaration under our civil law?

      I remember the long process of Jonathan/PDP government in declaring Boko Haram a terrorist organization which was then opposed by the then opposition party (APC).
      What has changed?

      • RumuPHC

        The military is empowered by law to aid civil authorities when called upon by government while state governors are charged with the responsibility to ensure law and order .

        Apparently both will stretch their powers under the constitution as much as they can until called to order by the judiciary. Aggrieved parties will however need to approach the courts first to seek justice.

        It will be very interesting to see how a group whose leader has violated all terms of his bail and continued to derided the constitution and labeled the country a zoo including calling citizens zoo animals , will now approach the zoo courts and ask the zoo animal judge to interprete the constitution of the zoo.

        • E.Udah

          Though sometimes, you could be very biased in your analysis but you could be broadminded too. And that’s OK by me. One of the reasons i like your views on burning national discuss.
          However, I wasn’t expecting anything more from your rebuttal knowing that you know the right answers to my earlier questions.

          I found this in an another report on ThisDay.

          THISDAYLive
          Home Nigeria
          South East Governors Proscribe IPOB, Reaffirm Commitment to United Nigeria
          September 16, 2017705095

          223
          DHQ declares IPOB terrorist organisation
          No cause for panic, Masari tells non-indigenes Steer clear of Rivers State, Wike warns
          Igbos in Kano reject Kanu and his group
          We’ll not run away from Igboland, say northerners in Enugu
          Obasanjo urges Buhari to dialogue with Kanu
          By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu, Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt, Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia, Paul Obi in Abuja, Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano and John Shiklam in Kaduna

          Governors of the South-east zone rose from an emergency meeting in Enugu yesterday and proscribed all activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the region, even as they appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the military from the zone.

          On the same day, the Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) formally declared IPOB a terrorist organisation, while former President Olusegun Obasanjo urged President Muhammadu Buhari to dialogue with IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

          In an eleven-point communique issued at the end of the meeting in which they reviewed the prevailing security situation in the zone and its attendant consequences, the governors insisted that they would no longer tolerate the separatist group.

          They asked IPOB and all other aggrieved groups to articulate their position on all national issues and submit to the Committee of Governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and National Assembly members from the zone through the chairman of the South-east Governors’ Forum, David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

          In the Communique which was read by Umahi, the governors also noted that the entire zone including the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and National Assembly members reinforced their commitment to a united and indivisible Nigeria.

          “All governors of the south east zone are to ensure compliance in their respective states,” Umahi said.

          They insisted that police be allowed to perform their traditional role of maintaining law and order.

          The governors also reinforced their desire for the restructuring of Nigeria where all national issues will be discussed and amicably settled to achieve justice and fairness to every Nigerian.

          They also reiterated their earlier position that the November 18, 2017 gubernatorial election in Anambra State must hold contrary to the order by the now proscribed IPOB.

          The governors noted that they had taken concrete steps to protect lives and property of both indigenes and non-indigenes in the zone, adding that they are in touch with the Northern Governors Forum, who they said have equally assured them of the safety of “all our people living in the north and we have also planned for exchange of visits between the governors to reinforce the confidence of Nigerians in this respect”.

          They reassured Nigerians that full investigation on all allegations of killings, maiming and other unlawful conduct in the zone within the last couple of days have commenced, adding that they are in agreement with the security agencies that appropriate action be taken against anyone found culpable.

          The governors therefore advised all residents of the zone to be law abiding and go about their normal businesses as government of each of the states remained committed to protecting everybody.

          Those who attended the meeting were Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state and chairman of the forum, and Prince Eze Madumere, Deputy Governor of Imo State.

          Others include the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo; former Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State and Vice President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof Chigozie Ogbu and Prof Joy Ezeilo representing the Human Rights Community.

          Umahi said the leadership of IPOB was invited to the meeting but could not attend.

          DHQ Declares IPOB a Terrorist Organisation

          The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has declared IPOB a militant terrorist organisation.

          The Director of Defence Information, Major General John Enenche said “the antics of IPOB clearly indicate that it is not a peaceful organisation.”

          He said: “The Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) group which has posed to be a security challenge in the Country, has been metamorphosing from one stage to the other.

          “After due professional analysis and recent developments, it has become expedient to notify the general public that the claim by IPOB actors that the organization is nonviolent is not true.

          Enenche added that IPOB illegal activities includes the formation of Biafra Secret Service and Biafra National Guard, unauthorised blocking of public access roads and extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks.

          He listed their other offences to include possession and use of weapons (stones, molotov, cocktails, machetes and broken bottles among others on a military patrol on 10 September 2017 and physical confrontation with troops by Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB actors at a check point on 11 September 2017 and also attempts to snatch their rifles.

          “From the foregoing, the Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to confirm to the general public that IPOB from all intent, plan and purpose as analysed, is a militant terrorist organisation.

          “Therefore, parents and particularly unsuspecting residents of the South east and other Nigerians should advice their wards to desist from joining the group, he said.

          Steer Clear of Rivers State, Wike Warns IPOB

          Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the state government would not tolerate any attack on other Nigerians living in the state by members of IPOB or any other group.

          The governor also declared that Rivers State belongs to all those who live in it, saying that the state heartily welcomes any Nigerian who resides in the state and carries out lawful businesses.

          In a state broadcast yesterday on the security situation in the state, Wike said: “Rivers people fully subscribe to Nigeria’s corporate existence and its indivisibility. As a people, we shall continue to support the unity and peaceful co-existence of all ethnic nationalities and work towards actualizing our collective aspirations for a just, inclusive and progressive nation.

          “Rivers State belongs to all those who live in it. Therefore, we shall not tolerate any attack by any group on other Nigerians living in Oyigbo or any other part of the State. We warn troublemakers those who are bent on causing violence on others to steer clear of Rivers territory.

          “Nobody should take our hospitality and peaceful disposition for weakness, as we are capable of dealing decisively with any situation that threatens peace and serenity in the State.”

          He called on Rivers people to be vigilant and not allow themselves to be used by anybody to foment trouble in our State.

          IPOB has been enmeshed in conflict with members of the public and the police in Rivers State, especially in the Oyigbo axis of the state since Tueday. The police have confirmed the death of an anti-riot police officer when suspected members of IPOB attacked a police post in the area. A mosque was also destroyed while people believed to be of Northern extraction were allegedly molested.

          The police arrested and arraigned 32 persons for their alleged involvement in the violence unleashed by suspected members of IPOB. Most of those arraigned were remanded in prison.

          No cause for panic, Masari tells non-indigenes

          Also yesterday, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State called on non-indigenes in the state to focus on their legitimate endeavours, assuring them that they have no cause to fear for their safety.

          The Governor, who spoke against the backdrop of the heightened tension between the Nigerian military and some irredentist militants in the South Eastern part of the country, said Katsina State was safe for every resident regardless of their religious, ethnic and regional background.

          “Let me once again call on and reassure our fellow Nigerians from outside Katsina, who chose to live among us in pursuit of their livelihood, to go about their lawful activities with hope and confidence in the belief of our ability and willingness to give adequate protection to everybody without prejudice to any group.

          “We will lead in accordance with the oath of office we swore to uphold, which is “to treat all manner of people without fear or favour, ill will or affection. This national covenant is in rhyme with our age-long slogan of “Katsina is Home of Heritage and Hospitality.

          “We make bold to state without fear of contradiction that Katsina is the most peaceful state in Nigeria, where differences in background are non-issues as far as the indigenes are concerned. It is in our religion and culture to treat our guests with no less decorum and hospitality as we would ourselves. Accordingly, we will not fold our arms and allow anybody or group to breach the peaceful ambience Katsina State is famed for.

          “Let me urge our people to live by these ethos and disregard any information which is capable of breaching the peaceful ambiance in the state. We should regard all Nigerian as brothers and sisters. While we are at it, let us not forget to always seek God’s intercession for our various challenges through regular prayers for the nation and our leaders,” said Masari in the statement signed by his media aide Abdu Labaran Malumfashi.

          Igbos in Kano reject IPOB, Kanu

          The Kano State chapter of Igbo Community Association yesterday disowned Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB.

          Addressing reporters at Igbo House Kano, the President General of the association, Chief Ebenezer Chime said: “We unequivocally state that we dissociate ourselves from the activities of IPOB and its leader Nnamdi Kanu.”

          The Igbo leaders also encouraged their members not to panic based on assurances from security agencies.

          “We want to use this medium to condemn in the entirety the avoidable crisis happening in Abia State. In as much as we will not dwell on apportioning blames or asking for who is right or wrong, we are strongly advocating for peace and unity in the land,” he said.

          JNI Calls for Calm As Igbos Close Shop in Kaduna

          The umbrella body for Northern Muslims, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, (JNI) under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has cautioned Muslims against any form of revenge over the IPOB crisis.

          The JNI in the statement signed by its Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar on behalf of the Sultan, said all Jummat Mosque Imams had been advised to use the Friday prayers to pray for peace and unity of the country and to charge their congregation not to react in any way to what is happening in the South East.

          The statement appealed for calm and expressed the believe that government would tackle the situation adequately.

          Most Igbo traders in Kaduna did not opened shops yesterday for fear of being attacked.

          Those who had earlier opened their shops eventually closed and returned home following uncertainty over their safety, even though security personnel were seen patrolling the metropolis.

          ‘Python Dance Not Meant to Intimidate Citizens’

          The Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Danbazzau has reassured Nigerians that Operation Python Dance was not meant to intimidate citizens, but rather, to ensure that law-abiding citizens are protected.

          The Minister, who disclosed this in Jos, Plateau State yesterday, said he was in Jos on a fact finding mission and also on solidarity visit to the government and people of the state over the fracas in the state on Thursday night.

          He said: “I don’t know the details of that Operation Python Dance; probably the minister of defense will be in a better position to explain that. But I want to believe that the essence is not to intimidate but to ensure that law-abiding citizens are protected. And we want to assure you that nothing will be done to harass law-abiding citizens.”

          On the reprisal in Plateau, Danbazzau said, “Of course, it is the responsibility of government to protect the lives and property of the citizens; and we are happy that the governor of the state has done just that.”

          Meanwhile, the Governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong has confirmed that two persons died in the Thursday night reprisal, adding that the report reaching him also indicated that several others were injured and are being treated in some hospitals across Jos.

          The governor stated this at a meeting with community and religious leaders resident in the state, which held at the Rayfield Government House, following the fracas that engulfed Jos Thursday night.

          Lalong assured citizens of his administration’s commitment to peace and stability in the state, saying that all non-indigenes in Plateau state were safe and urged them to go about their legitimate businesses without fear.

          “The incident took us by surprise. I call on community and religious leaders to caution their wards at home as any culprit arrested would not go free as nobody is above the law.”

          We’ll Not Run Away from Igboland, say Northerners in Enugu

          Despite the tensed atmosphere in the South-east, northeners living in Enugu State yesterday vowed to remain in Igboland as their security was not threatened.

          The northerners insisted that they were at peace and not under any threat to run away from the state following bloody skirmishes between the Nigerian army personnel and members of IPOB.

          Speaking to newsmen after their Jumat service at Owerri Road Central Mosque, Asata Enugu, the Deputy Chief Imam, Murtala Mohammed said Muslims in Enugu were at peace with their hosts in the state.

          “There is no problem, we are happy with the people. Every day I encourage my people to stay in peace and shun anything that will lead to violence,” Mohammed who spoke through an interpreter said.

          He expressed gratitude to the Enugu State government for ensuring daily security surveillance of the areas occupied by northerners.

          “May God bless Nigeria and Enugu state,” he prayed.

          He however called for increased security surveillance around Abakpa, especially along Liberty-Nike Road, saying that some hoodlums attack their brothers selling wares at night along the axis.

          He said the attackers were criminals and not pro-Biafra agitators.

          Obasanjo: Buhari Must Meet Nnamdi Kanu

          In a related development, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has advised President Buhari to meet with Nnamdi Kanu “before violence between the army and separatists escalates into a full-blown conflict.”

          Speaking to Newsweek in London, Obasanjo said that the heavy-handed tactics of the Nigerian state against pro-Biafra activists had not succeeded, and a more conciliatory approach was needed.

          “I don’t see anything wrong in Buhari meeting with Kanu. I would not object to that; if anything, I would encourage it,” Obasanjo said.

          “I would want to meet Kanu myself and talk to people like him, people of his age, and ask: ‘What are your worries?’ not only from the South-east but from all parts of Nigeria.”

          Ozekhome: DHQ Declaration on IPOB not Justified by Law, Constitutional Backing

          Human Rights Activist and legal luminary, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN yesterday said the Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) declaration of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) as a militant terrorist organisation is not justified by any law or constitutional backing.

          Ozekhome also took a swipe on the federal government and the military for treating herdsmen with kid glove, where displaying a penchant of hatred and bias for other groups.

          He said: “I do not believe the istances cited by the Defence Headquarters justify declaring IPOD a terrorist organization.

          “The last time I checked, I can’t remember any of such organizations operating in the country being declared terrorist organizations.”

          • RumuPHC

            Yes I am biased towards constitutionally and law and order. Everybody ought to be for this is what distinguishes us from animals. Understandably, no charter or law of man can be perfect. Again how we proceed to make changes to existing agreements further separates our methods from how resolutions are arrived at in the jungle.

            Law and order is a very important public good and social imperative for development . Our position and support for pursuit of objectives of the provisions of statutes should however not be construed as promotion of political fortunes of any government in power . This I suppose is why you consider our opinion biased.

            The political leadership inadvertently invited the military into the realm of domestic security matters. This invitation is valid constitutionally but unfortunately conduct and extent of reach by the military in Internal Security operations have never been defined in subsidiary legislation of NASS.

            Apparently the Military defines its participation according to its view of the threat and necessary operations. The implications therefore is that we can only challenge the actions of the military on pages of newspapers as Olisa Agbakoba has done ( why is this man or his type not a senator of SE in NASS?) or in court of law long after the harm is done.

            The need therefore for State of Emergency Act cannot be overemphasized. Such resolutions made by SE political leadership would have been adequately capture in the act to tame the military in domestic operations.

        • Daniel Obior

          And what about the government that regularly disobeys the same court with impunity, and against that same constitution it swore to uphold? When will you be wise enough to see the contradiction in your arguments? Sad.

      • 4T2

        Even the EU has disagreed with the Nigerian state that IPOB is NOT a terrorist organisation but a political pressure group in a Democratic society.

        see 247ureports dot com [EU COMDEMN AND CAUTION NIGERIA MILITARY, REJECTS THE DECLARATION OF IPOB AS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION]

        Biafra: reloaded

        • E.Udah

          Thanks for the link. This one of the sentiments that’s not helping our unity as a nation. The brazen injustices melted out daily to SE by the government is enough to push people to the streets.

          I found this in another report.

          THISDAYLive
          Home Nigeria
          South East Governors Proscribe IPOB, Reaffirm Commitment to United Nigeria
          September 16, 2017705095

          223
          DHQ declares IPOB terrorist organisation
          No cause for panic, Masari tells non-indigenes Steer clear of Rivers State, Wike warns
          Igbos in Kano reject Kanu and his group
          We’ll not run away from Igboland, say northerners in Enugu
          Obasanjo urges Buhari to dialogue with Kanu
          By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu, Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt, Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia, Paul Obi in Abuja, Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano and John Shiklam in Kaduna

          Governors of the South-east zone rose from an emergency meeting in Enugu yesterday and proscribed all activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the region, even as they appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the military from the zone.

          On the same day, the Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) formally declared IPOB a terrorist organisation, while former President Olusegun Obasanjo urged President Muhammadu Buhari to dialogue with IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

          In an eleven-point communique issued at the end of the meeting in which they reviewed the prevailing security situation in the zone and its attendant consequences, the governors insisted that they would no longer tolerate the separatist group.

          They asked IPOB and all other aggrieved groups to articulate their position on all national issues and submit to the Committee of Governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and National Assembly members from the zone through the chairman of the South-east Governors’ Forum, David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

          In the Communique which was read by Umahi, the governors also noted that the entire zone including the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and National Assembly members reinforced their commitment to a united and indivisible Nigeria.

          “All governors of the south east zone are to ensure compliance in their respective states,” Umahi said.

          They insisted that police be allowed to perform their traditional role of maintaining law and order.

          The governors also reinforced their desire for the restructuring of Nigeria where all national issues will be discussed and amicably settled to achieve justice and fairness to every Nigerian.

          They also reiterated their earlier position that the November 18, 2017 gubernatorial election in Anambra State must hold contrary to the order by the now proscribed IPOB.

          The governors noted that they had taken concrete steps to protect lives and property of both indigenes and non-indigenes in the zone, adding that they are in touch with the Northern Governors Forum, who they said have equally assured them of the safety of “all our people living in the north and we have also planned for exchange of visits between the governors to reinforce the confidence of Nigerians in this respect”.

          They reassured Nigerians that full investigation on all allegations of killings, maiming and other unlawful conduct in the zone within the last couple of days have commenced, adding that they are in agreement with the security agencies that appropriate action be taken against anyone found culpable.

          The governors therefore advised all residents of the zone to be law abiding and go about their normal businesses as government of each of the states remained committed to protecting everybody.

          Those who attended the meeting were Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state and chairman of the forum, and Prince Eze Madumere, Deputy Governor of Imo State.

          Others include the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo; former Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State and Vice President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof Chigozie Ogbu and Prof Joy Ezeilo representing the Human Rights Community.

          Umahi said the leadership of IPOB was invited to the meeting but could not attend.

          DHQ Declares IPOB a Terrorist Organisation

          The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has declared IPOB a militant terrorist organisation.

          The Director of Defence Information, Major General John Enenche said “the antics of IPOB clearly indicate that it is not a peaceful organisation.”

          He said: “The Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) group which has posed to be a security challenge in the Country, has been metamorphosing from one stage to the other.

          “After due professional analysis and recent developments, it has become expedient to notify the general public that the claim by IPOB actors that the organization is nonviolent is not true.

          Enenche added that IPOB illegal activities includes the formation of Biafra Secret Service and Biafra National Guard, unauthorised blocking of public access roads and extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks.

          He listed their other offences to include possession and use of weapons (stones, molotov, cocktails, machetes and broken bottles among others on a military patrol on 10 September 2017 and physical confrontation with troops by Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB actors at a check point on 11 September 2017 and also attempts to snatch their rifles.

          “From the foregoing, the Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to confirm to the general public that IPOB from all intent, plan and purpose as analysed, is a militant terrorist organisation.

          “Therefore, parents and particularly unsuspecting residents of the South east and other Nigerians should advice their wards to desist from joining the group, he said.

          Steer Clear of Rivers State, Wike Warns IPOB

          Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the state government would not tolerate any attack on other Nigerians living in the state by members of IPOB or any other group.

          The governor also declared that Rivers State belongs to all those who live in it, saying that the state heartily welcomes any Nigerian who resides in the state and carries out lawful businesses.

          In a state broadcast yesterday on the security situation in the state, Wike said: “Rivers people fully subscribe to Nigeria’s corporate existence and its indivisibility. As a people, we shall continue to support the unity and peaceful co-existence of all ethnic nationalities and work towards actualizing our collective aspirations for a just, inclusive and progressive nation.

          “Rivers State belongs to all those who live in it. Therefore, we shall not tolerate any attack by any group on other Nigerians living in Oyigbo or any other part of the State. We warn troublemakers those who are bent on causing violence on others to steer clear of Rivers territory.

          “Nobody should take our hospitality and peaceful disposition for weakness, as we are capable of dealing decisively with any situation that threatens peace and serenity in the State.”

          He called on Rivers people to be vigilant and not allow themselves to be used by anybody to foment trouble in our State.

          IPOB has been enmeshed in conflict with members of the public and the police in Rivers State, especially in the Oyigbo axis of the state since Tueday. The police have confirmed the death of an anti-riot police officer when suspected members of IPOB attacked a police post in the area. A mosque was also destroyed while people believed to be of Northern extraction were allegedly molested.

          The police arrested and arraigned 32 persons for their alleged involvement in the violence unleashed by suspected members of IPOB. Most of those arraigned were remanded in prison.

          No cause for panic, Masari tells non-indigenes

          Also yesterday, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State called on non-indigenes in the state to focus on their legitimate endeavours, assuring them that they have no cause to fear for their safety.

          The Governor, who spoke against the backdrop of the heightened tension between the Nigerian military and some irredentist militants in the South Eastern part of the country, said Katsina State was safe for every resident regardless of their religious, ethnic and regional background.

          “Let me once again call on and reassure our fellow Nigerians from outside Katsina, who chose to live among us in pursuit of their livelihood, to go about their lawful activities with hope and confidence in the belief of our ability and willingness to give adequate protection to everybody without prejudice to any group.

          “We will lead in accordance with the oath of office we swore to uphold, which is “to treat all manner of people without fear or favour, ill will or affection. This national covenant is in rhyme with our age-long slogan of “Katsina is Home of Heritage and Hospitality.

          “We make bold to state without fear of contradiction that Katsina is the most peaceful state in Nigeria, where differences in background are non-issues as far as the indigenes are concerned. It is in our religion and culture to treat our guests with no less decorum and hospitality as we would ourselves. Accordingly, we will not fold our arms and allow anybody or group to breach the peaceful ambience Katsina State is famed for.

          “Let me urge our people to live by these ethos and disregard any information which is capable of breaching the peaceful ambiance in the state. We should regard all Nigerian as brothers and sisters. While we are at it, let us not forget to always seek God’s intercession for our various challenges through regular prayers for the nation and our leaders,” said Masari in the statement signed by his media aide Abdu Labaran Malumfashi.

          Igbos in Kano reject IPOB, Kanu

          The Kano State chapter of Igbo Community Association yesterday disowned Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB.

          Addressing reporters at Igbo House Kano, the President General of the association, Chief Ebenezer Chime said: “We unequivocally state that we dissociate ourselves from the activities of IPOB and its leader Nnamdi Kanu.”

          The Igbo leaders also encouraged their members not to panic based on assurances from security agencies.

          “We want to use this medium to condemn in the entirety the avoidable crisis happening in Abia State. In as much as we will not dwell on apportioning blames or asking for who is right or wrong, we are strongly advocating for peace and unity in the land,” he said.

          JNI Calls for Calm As Igbos Close Shop in Kaduna

          The umbrella body for Northern Muslims, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, (JNI) under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has cautioned Muslims against any form of revenge over the IPOB crisis.

          The JNI in the statement signed by its Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar on behalf of the Sultan, said all Jummat Mosque Imams had been advised to use the Friday prayers to pray for peace and unity of the country and to charge their congregation not to react in any way to what is happening in the South East.

          The statement appealed for calm and expressed the believe that government would tackle the situation adequately.

          Most Igbo traders in Kaduna did not opened shops yesterday for fear of being attacked.

          Those who had earlier opened their shops eventually closed and returned home following uncertainty over their safety, even though security personnel were seen patrolling the metropolis.

          ‘Python Dance Not Meant to Intimidate Citizens’

          The Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Danbazzau has reassured Nigerians that Operation Python Dance was not meant to intimidate citizens, but rather, to ensure that law-abiding citizens are protected.

          The Minister, who disclosed this in Jos, Plateau State yesterday, said he was in Jos on a fact finding mission and also on solidarity visit to the government and people of the state over the fracas in the state on Thursday night.

          He said: “I don’t know the details of that Operation Python Dance; probably the minister of defense will be in a better position to explain that. But I want to believe that the essence is not to intimidate but to ensure that law-abiding citizens are protected. And we want to assure you that nothing will be done to harass law-abiding citizens.”

          On the reprisal in Plateau, Danbazzau said, “Of course, it is the responsibility of government to protect the lives and property of the citizens; and we are happy that the governor of the state has done just that.”

          Meanwhile, the Governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong has confirmed that two persons died in the Thursday night reprisal, adding that the report reaching him also indicated that several others were injured and are being treated in some hospitals across Jos.

          The governor stated this at a meeting with community and religious leaders resident in the state, which held at the Rayfield Government House, following the fracas that engulfed Jos Thursday night.

          Lalong assured citizens of his administration’s commitment to peace and stability in the state, saying that all non-indigenes in Plateau state were safe and urged them to go about their legitimate businesses without fear.

          “The incident took us by surprise. I call on community and religious leaders to caution their wards at home as any culprit arrested would not go free as nobody is above the law.”

          We’ll Not Run Away from Igboland, say Northerners in Enugu

          Despite the tensed atmosphere in the South-east, northeners living in Enugu State yesterday vowed to remain in Igboland as their security was not threatened.

          The northerners insisted that they were at peace and not under any threat to run away from the state following bloody skirmishes between the Nigerian army personnel and members of IPOB.

          Speaking to newsmen after their Jumat service at Owerri Road Central Mosque, Asata Enugu, the Deputy Chief Imam, Murtala Mohammed said Muslims in Enugu were at peace with their hosts in the state.

          “There is no problem, we are happy with the people. Every day I encourage my people to stay in peace and shun anything that will lead to violence,” Mohammed who spoke through an interpreter said.

          He expressed gratitude to the Enugu State government for ensuring daily security surveillance of the areas occupied by northerners.

          “May God bless Nigeria and Enugu state,” he prayed.

          He however called for increased security surveillance around Abakpa, especially along Liberty-Nike Road, saying that some hoodlums attack their brothers selling wares at night along the axis.

          He said the attackers were criminals and not pro-Biafra agitators.

          Obasanjo: Buhari Must Meet Nnamdi Kanu

          In a related development, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has advised President Buhari to meet with Nnamdi Kanu “before violence between the army and separatists escalates into a full-blown conflict.”

          Speaking to Newsweek in London, Obasanjo said that the heavy-handed tactics of the Nigerian state against pro-Biafra activists had not succeeded, and a more conciliatory approach was needed.

          “I don’t see anything wrong in Buhari meeting with Kanu. I would not object to that; if anything, I would encourage it,” Obasanjo said.

          “I would want to meet Kanu myself and talk to people like him, people of his age, and ask: ‘What are your worries?’ not only from the South-east but from all parts of Nigeria.”

          Ozekhome: DHQ Declaration on IPOB not Justified by Law, Constitutional Backing

          Human Rights Activist and legal luminary, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN yesterday said the Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) declaration of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) as a militant terrorist organisation is not justified by any law or constitutional backing.

          Ozekhome also took a swipe on the federal government and the military for treating herdsmen with kid glove, where displaying a penchant of hatred and bias for other groups.

          He said: “I do not believe the istances cited by the Defence Headquarters justify declaring IPOD a terrorist organization.

          “The last time I checked, I can’t remember any of such organizations operating in the country being declared terrorist organizations.”

    • Daniel Obior

      Similarly, the Apartheid constitution was also the law of the land in South Africa. The people who did not like it should have emigrated to other countries in your reckoning, instead of fighting it. Who would say you are not of a “noble” mind?

      • RumuPHC

        Very disingenuous to attemp to compare a struggle against minority rule in SA with call for secession from Nigeria by a disgruntled motley group.

        Very soon you will compare Nelson Mandela with some character pursuing ethnic agenda in the SE.

        • Daniel Obior

          Please be smart. I have not said they are the same. My point is clear. A bad constitution is a bad constitution. You do not go justifying wrongs based on a bad constitution. You called the Biafran agitators a disgruntled group. The whites in South Africa called the ANC even worse. What is clear is that both yourself and the oppressors in South Africa share similar mentality, with no tolerance for oppressed or marginalised groups.

          • RumuPHC

            Still very disingenuous……

          • Daniel Obior

            Evil minded and sadistic.

          • RumuPHC

            An unraveling…..

          • Daniel Obior

            The man is even no longer able to make full sentences. How sad for someone proclaiming himself as the most enlightened participant in this forum, while propagating ignorant views, propelled by evil mindedness in support of a sadistic government. Sadist.

          • RumuPHC

            PTSD can be serious matter if hatred is added to the disorder.

          • Daniel Obior

            He has again been able to make a complete sentence, but still hides behind the new buzz word hatred. I have several times in this forum, said I do not hate your barely literate despotic principal. He is just not worth that. But I have said I dislike him for his parochialism and nepotism in a plural society. I have the guts to say so. What about you? A lily livered evil man too afraid to be truthful and honest. Shame.

    • omnia1

      Aniefok Udoabasi wrote ~
      Boko haram is deadly. They are armed to the teeth. They have killed military men in their hundreds. They have killed civilians in their tens of thousands. They have burned down houses and villages. They have burned down churches and mosques. They have threatened to blow up Nigeria. They even blew up the United Nations building in Abuja.
      YET,
      Northern elders/leaders, including Buhari, opposed any attempt by the military to invade any Northern community as a result of boko haram’s presence. Northern elders,again and again, asked the government to withdraw the army from Borno ,the headquarters of boko haram.
      In fact, Buhari publicly said that it was wrong for the military to move against boko haram. He specifically said that any attack against boko haram should be viewed as an attack against the North as a whole. I’m not talking about a century or even a decade ago. I am talking about a few years ago.
      ALSO,
      Lai Mohammed,speaking for APC ,Buhari’s party, said that it was wrong for the government to label boko haram as an unlawful organisation. This was immediately after the Nigerian government had declared boko haram an unlawful organization. APC said that declaring boko haram an unlawful organization in Nigeria is unconstitutional.
      I also remember that when the United States government wanted to declare boko haram a terrorist organisation, the North vehemently opposed it. The Sultan of Sokoto led the opposition. He openly canvassed that the USA should not label boko haram a terrorist organisation.
      Only CAN ,as led by pastor Ayo ,canvassed for the United States to pencil boko haram down as a terrorist organisation. I remember that when pastor Ayo traveled to the United States to lobby its government to declare boko haram a terrorist organisation, he was ridiculed by Northern leaders for daring to cause their boko haram to be called a terrorist organisation.
      THE POINT IS:
      If an organization as murderous and satanic like boko haram could have northern leaders and APC leaders, including Buhari, as open supporters, why should the unarmed and harmless civilians in the south East not be supported and protected? Why are southern leaders acting dumb? Why are south East governors behaving like house boys?
      Nnamdi Kanu, hate him or love him, has not killed a single soul. You may be irritated by the conduct of some of his followers ,but the fact remains that they are not armed. They have not burned communities, have not blown up mosques or churches. They are just a group armed with social media and a radio station.
      And yet you say that the army should clamp down ,attack and kill them.
      Same you who said that boko haram should not be attacked because that would mean an against the North!
      Same you who said that boko haram should not be declared an unlawful organization by the Nigerian government!
      Same you who pleaded that boko haram should not be declared a terrorist organisation by the United States government!
      Shame on zooNigeria!

      • RumuPHC

        What the northern elders, PMB and Lai Mohammed said of Boko Haram in the NE then, is similar to what you say of the secessionist group in the SE today. Both of you are wrong !

        • omnia1

          The European Union has already replied on my behalf. Please read their statement about IPOB vs Nigerian Army.

  • remm ieet

    So the main influence to Kanu’s activism is derived from his political leanings and not based on ethno-cultural considerations!
    The only question I would ask is, how far did Goodluck Jonathan go to help the South east, apart from providing finance to a few of the easterners to have fun and build personal empires?
    Apparently, Kanu enjoyed the sweet personalised offerings of that administration.
    The personal pains of the excluded, very often morph into public agitation if the affected ones have a good megaphone.
    Even Kanu is not supported by all the south east people. What does that tell us about his agitation? There is no coherent argument about what is at stake and how to get there for the south east people. That is because as Simon argued, Kanu had no antecedents, until he felt the pulse of a few disgruntled people in the region.
    That is Nigeria for you.

    • Naija United

      Forget the lies Simon wrote there, IPOB predates Buhari and it started as far as 2012 when they got registered in UK. Linking it with 2015 election is a fallacy. Ask simon to produce any evidence either video or blog of kanu campaigning for goodluck i can bet my N1m he will not be able to produce it. Dont mind him he has been feeding too much of lie mohammed news

    • sunny okocha

      You the only one who is made sense keep it up.
      Read one talk of the last time they touched on Aba road was during Sam Mbakwe’ tenure what a complete illogical nonsense so the federal government stopped giving allocation to Abia/Imo state government after Sam Mabakwe’ tenure. How can a people be so blind to corruption and look for who to blame, high time south easterners started asking and making logical statement instead drumming war. For those drumming war please go speak to victims of the first civil war.

      • Priestley Okorro

        For your information there is agitation in Scotland in Britain , Catalonia in Spain and Kurdistan in Iraq. Nobody is talking of war. Please try and educate yourself. There are many principalities in Europe eg Monaco. They are almost independent. How did you think they arose? Accomodation to agitation is a major contribution autonomous and semi-autonomous areas all over the world. War is babaric and outdated in the face of agitations. UN law is superior to any nations constitution.

        • Obi Ike Sorres

          Don’t mind him. He joins others to say we want war. Thank for educating him

    • Akpobome

      KANU does not need to have 100% of Igbo’s support for his cause to be just.

      • Obi Ike Sorres

        Abi O

    • omnia1

      Go and study the pedigree of those who started the French Revolution. Then you will realise that Kanu is over-qualified for the role destiny has given to him.

  • share Idea

    I shed tears whenever I read Simon column because of level of lies he peddles to deceive the gullible instead of speaking the truth. Simon claimed that Nnamdi supported Jonathan even when it is obvious to everyone that followed Kanu speeches would know that he called GEJ several bad names and asked people not to bother voting then but to put their energy into Biafran struggle.

    Simon claimed that Igbos that were against Federal character, and prefer merit are now shouting federal character – can simon claim that what has been happening under Buhari is enthronement of merit – if yes, I bet you that Igbos will be making more than 40% of them – I bet it was merit that made NNPC not to find a qualified Igbo in recent reshuffle.

    • omnia1

      NIGERIA-BIAFRA UNION IS PLAIN UNADULTERATED EVIL.
      It is like forcing Turkey, France, Britain and Italy to be one nation. It will not work. During the 20th century a number of troubled nations dissolved themselves to avoid continuing ethnic conflict: Norway, Singapore, the Slovak and Czech Republics, former Soviet states etc. Norway-Sweden dissolved in 1905; Singapore-Malaysia dissolved in 1961; Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992. All these unions were FAR MORE SUCCESSFUL than Nigeria, BUT TO SAVE LIVES, the parties decided to go their separate ways.
      Among the wastage of lives to retain troubled national unions, Nigeria’s is the most catastrophic: Biafra cost 3 million lives (in contrast Chechnya has cost 200,000 lives; Yugoslavia, 260,000; Kashmir, 60,000; Sri Lanka, 70,000 and so on). You cannot be so heartless to justify such human sacrifice (which continues to this day)!

      Nigeria is the ONLY British colony of its size that has not been divided for a better outcome. UK that created Nigeria has divided (into Britain and Ireland) and is preparing to divide again twice (externally via Brexit and internally via the second Scottish referendum). Yet Simon Kolawole is so devilish and uncharitable as to want future generation to grow up in this messy and deadly contraption he calls a nation!
      ALL BECAUSE HE WANTS HIS YORUBA PEOPLE TO KEEP ON LOOTING THE SS/SE

  • debbie

    what most of you guys failed to put into consideration is this,once any goverment declare your organasition as a terrorist organisation.anything they do after that is cover under national security ,so there is no court that can meddle in any government or it agent when it comes to issues of terrorism or national security..so the best best is for the ipob guys to go back to the drawing board and fight with sense rather than giving the military any excuse to gun the down..because from now on it is going to be a slippery slope if care is not taken

    • Don Franco

      Dear Debbie,

      Illegally declaring nonviolent agitators like IPOB a terrorist organization helps their cause because they will only go underground and asymmetrical in their resistance, besides generating sympathy on a global level, where Biafrans in diaspora have now mobilized to battle the zoo.

    • Mystic mallam

      Debbie, which constitution gave the army the authority to declare anyone or any group terrorist? Even national governments cannot effectively declare any group terrorist, not least because one man’s terrorist may be another man’s freedom fighter. So, even national governments require the International Community’s [UN and other Govts] support and buy-in for any terrorist tag to stick. In other words, not even the federal govt, let alone its image-challenged army, could effectively declare IPOB a terrorist group. Recall how the federal Government of Nigeria, under blackmail by Northern leaders led by Buhari, opposed, lobbied against, and resisted recognition of Boko Haram as a terrorist Organisation by the USA and the UN. It happened in spite of Nigeria anyways, the same way the UN system has listed Fulani herdsmen as the 4th deadliest terrorist group in the world today, again in spite of the Nigerian Government. Do you know why the world takes a strong stand on who is, or is not a terrorist? Because, terrorism is a problematic global phenomenon with global ramifications and implications, it’s not nation-specific, especially when arms, bombs and other arsenals of violence and war are not involved. The federal govt. is wasting its time labelling IPOB a terrorist Organisation. Most Nigerians do not buy it, why should the world?

    • omnia1

      They first came for the Shiites,
      and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Shiite.
      Then they came for Southern Kaduna,
      and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t from Southern Kaduna.
      Then they came for Agatu,
      and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t from Agatu.
      Then they came for Biafrans,
      and I didn’t speak up because I was not a Biafran.
      Then they came for Ile-Ife
      and I didn’t speak up because I was not from Ile-Ife.
      Then they came for me
      and by that time no one was left to speak up.
      ADAPTED FROM A POEM BY Pastor Martin Niemöller

  • John Paul

    Biafra, to many IPOB members, means Eldorado

    The FGN – executive and legislature – can bring Eldorado to them by voting $1 billion to fix all the major roads in Aba. The city that suffered the most infrastructural decay, during the 16 years of the locust

    • austin

      Agree with you sans the last sentence.
      Tell me exactly when the last development was carried out in Aba. I’ll hazard a guess; Mbakwe.

    • Priestley Okorro

      Please thank God and thank you for using your God given brain. I told some one what you wrote that instead of Buhari deploying $1 billion to Burutai if he rather used it on roads in the east he would have achieved what 1 million Nigerian soldiers could not achieve. Thanks again. People with brains and that use them are very scarce in NIgeria. Indeed in my psychimetric analysis Nigeria is the most foolish country in the world.

    • Arabakpura

      Can that happen now that we have a Federal Military government?

    • omnia1

      You are wrong. Once a doctor makes the wrong diagnosis; his prescription will also be wrong.

      You see, Nigeria’s problem is NOT bad leadership, bad constitution, poor economy, corruption, failed infrastructure, etc.

      The problem with Nigeria can be summarized in 4 simple sentences:
      I: Unless a society runs a merit-based system, all sectors deteriorate.
      II: Nigeria tried merit before and ended up with Igbos leading EVERY sector (economy, education, military, science, transport, trade etc).
      III: Nigeria refuses to go back to merit because of ‘risk’ of Igbo domination.
      IV: Nigeria cannot improve, because it cannot run a merit-based society.
      Igbo people (the engine of Nigeria’s advancement), are stifled by an Islam-motivated cabal which prefers power to meritocracy. Igbo ostracisation is the main reason for Nigeria’s irreversible backwardness.

      SUMMARY: Nigeria is in a catch-22. Institute merit and Igbos inevitably become the top dogs. Deny merit and Nigeria goes to the dogs.
      SOLUTION: The only way forward is Igbo autonomy or independence. Otherwise neither Igbos nor Nigerians can make much progress. The only other way is to attempt to destroy the Igbos totally (like Hitler’s final Jewish solution). This second option has been tried (through the Civil War) but failed!.

      • Fula

        Which era of Nigeria’s existence are you referencing in your second point above. Please avail us of the source of this assertions.

      • John Paul

        My brother, we must move away from all these Igbo supremacist rhetoric for it is childish. It is the most foolish person in the room who announces, without provocation, that they are the brightest

        Our father’s generation – Chinua Achebe, Augustine Ilodibe (Ekene Dilli Chukwu) and Co – did not announce on the radio how wonderful they were because they were Igbo.

        White people that come out openly to profess how wonderful the white race is – White supremacists- are ostracized and relegated to the fringes of society.

        Before Nnamdi Kanu, even though Nigerian presidential politics had not favored Igbo, Nigerians from all tribes – the masses – loved and admired Igbo culture. From our gospel songs, to our food, to our work ethic. And we loved their culture too: aso ebi, suya, etc

        But Nnamdi Kanu, and his felllow Igbo supremacists came and set us back, many years. They released hate into the system.They failed to understand that, the fact that someone likes you, does not mean that they hate themselves

        So there is no conspiracy to stop Igboland from developing.

        The main thing that has stopped Igbo from developing is the selfishness of our leaders and elite. Up until recently, they only cared about themselves. They did not give a hoot about the development of the Southeast

        Under GEJ, Igbo was “No. 1”, as you will say. The Nigerian government was littered with Igbo – they are too numerous to mention here – and still, Aba did not see even a single bulldozer during that era. So of what use were those Igbo to the 2 million Aba residents

        Regarding the merit based system argument. We also have nepotism in Igboland. Remember when T.A Orji kicked out all none indigene of Abia State, including Igbo, from Abia State’s civil service

        Remember, when the people of the Ahiara, Mbaise Catholic diocese refused to accept Bishop Peter Okpalaeke, as their Bishop, because he was from Awka in Anambra State

        Of course, we need devolution of powers and resource control. But if our leaders and elite jettison selfishness and self interest, and focus on development, Igboland will go much farther than were it is today

        “There is only one race. The human race.”

        • omnia1

          You are guilty of not seeing the forest, because your sight is blurred by trees. You string up anecdotal evidences from here and there, which prevent you from seeing the BIG PICTURE. Wooly thinking indeed! MAY GOD SAVE IGBOS FROM SELF-DEPRECIATING POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.

          For every Opaleke (Ahiara) there is a hundred Bishop Chukwuma (of Enugu; but a native of Asaba); there is a hundred Joseph Ahaneku (from Mbaise, but VC of UniZik, Awka).

          Igbos have four ethos – EGALITARIANISM, ENTERPRISE, EQUITY, AND EXCELLENCE (cf Ahiara Declaration). What you call supremacist is actually a fight for survival. If Igbos remain in Nigeria for one more generation, these ethos will be lost FOREVER. If we gain autonomy or independence, we can rebuild these dying ethos and become a light for all of Africa. WISDOM IS INDEED NOT COMMON.

          • John Paul

            There is no one stopping Igbo – in Nigeria as presently constituted – from exhibiting egalitararianism, enterprise, equity and excellence

            Excellence: Remember that Abia State students had the best result in WAEC in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Did anyone stop them from doing so. Remember that in every University in Nigeria, after the indigenes, the next in population are Igbo

            Enterprise: Remember that Igbo control commerce not only in Igboland but in many parts of Nigeria and even Africa. Those that are calling for Biafra are actually enemies of Igbo progress.

            They are trying to kill Igbo enterprise. They are pouring sand in the gari of Igbo who have shops, and who make millions every week in Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Dutse and other places

            Successful people are people who appreciate what they have. Igbo are doing well all over Nigeria. From Lagos to Abuja to Port Harcourt to Calabar.

            We will not sit by and watch people who are consumed by foolish pride to destroy things for us. And mess up the legacy of our fathers

            We have to zero in on the problem. The problem is that the most populous cities in Igboland are not developed. Especially Aba and Onitsha

            According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Onitsha, Aba and Umuahia. in that order, are the most polluted cities (air pollution) in Nigeria.

            Did Fulani prevent us from sweeping and cleaning our cities. Did they stop us from enforcing strict environmental sanitation and air pollution laws

            Igbo that are calling for Biafra are cowards. They do not have the courage to specifically confront their leaders, civilian and military, who looted the funds meant for the development of Aba and Onitsha. So they have given into sentimentalism

            Another reason why Igboland is not developed is the behavior of Igbo during elections and during the census.

            The population of Aba and Onitsha are at least four times the population recorded during elections and census. And Aba and Onitsha, as true cosmopolitan cities, are populated by mostly non indigenes

            But, as part of our clannishness, every election and census, Igbo will leave Aba and Onitsha in droves and go and vote and be counted in their villages.

            When you come to Aba or Onitsha on election and census day, once burgeoning cities, look like ghost towns

            This culture upsets the PH value, the equilibrium and the natural order of things in Aba or Onitsha. It causes the wrong people to win elections. It allows those cities to decay. And twenty Biafra Republics will not make the difference

            That is why Ojukwu abandoned the Biafra Republic as a territorial location. And called for “Biafra of the mind”.

            On election day, vote where you have lived for most of the year. Do not run to Ehime Mbano to cast your vote

            If Igbo want progressive and developed cities, we must abide by a cosmopolitan mentality

          • omnia1

            Please read through my highly summarized five-fold “lecture” carefully before you rush to make rejoinders. I gave you information which you never knew before and probably would never have known if I did not tell you.

            Settle down, read and digest my posts. If after that, you still do not understand why Biafra is the ONLY hope to save the Igbo nation, you are truly a hopeless case.

        • omnia1

          Let me throw a LITTLE light on on each of these Igbo ethos – EGALITARIANISM.

          Unlike Yorubas andHausa-Fulani, Igbos are divinely gifted in MANAGING DIVERSITY. You may compare how the Yorubas treated Western minorities to how Igbos treated Eastern minorities.

          As long as the Western Region lasted, a non-Yoruba was NEVER allowed to be the Governor or Head of Govt or Premier or Deputy Leader or Head of House of Chiefs or Mayor in Ibadan. (The non-Yorubas in Western Region were the Itsekiri, Edo, Ishan, Urhobo, Isoko, Western Igbo, etc)

          The Igbos were so egalitarian that they allowed non-Igbos to occupy most of these positions FIRST. Eyo Ita was the very first Head of Govt of Eastern region at the same time when Adaka Boro was elected the first SUG President of UNN (the only University in the Region); Alhaji Umaru Altine (who arrived Enugu as a Fulani cattle rearer!) was first Mayor of Enugu; the Obong of Uyo was first leader of the Eastern house of chiefs and Margaret Ekpo was the first woman to be elected into the Eastern House of Chiefs and also the leader of the NCNC women’s wing; The first Governor of the Eastern Region was a so-called Wawa man; Phillip Effiong was Ojukwu’s deputy, and all the Provinces in Biafra had governors from the indigenous people.

          The first Eastern industrial estates were sited in PH and Calabar (not in present SE); the first Eastern university was sited in Nsukka – one of the Northern-most parts of Eastern Region with its other campus in Calabar (now University of Calabar); the only cattle ranch created by Eastern Region was sited in Obudu

          In contrast, Awo’s govt sited EVERY MAJOR institution in the core Yoruba areas. The Sardauna also sited every major institution in the core North.

          Ndiigbo treated the Eastern minorities so well, that Gowon and the British were sure that if a plebiscite were conducted in Eastern minority areas, less than 1/3 of the minorities would vote against Biafra. So, Gowon rejected all calls made by Ojukwu for plebiscite in the Eastern minority areas.

          That is why the kind of massive riots in the Northern Region (such as the brutally suppressed Tiv riots of 1960 and 1964) and in the Western Region (nick-named ‘Wild Wild West’) NEVER took place in the Eastern Region.

          Igbo egalitarian ethos was also clearly manifest at the national level, where the three main ethnic groups were associated with three political platforms, viz:

          The National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons [NCNC] was formed in 1944 by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Herbert Macaulay. Macaulay was its first president, while Zik was its first secretary. Zik became its 2nd president and Dr. M.I. Okpara, its 3rd president. Note that the name ‘NCNC’ has 3 inclusive words – ‘National’, ‘Nigeria’ and ‘Cameroons’.

          Not to be outdone, the very next year (1945), Awo founded a political party – Egbé Ọmọ Odùduwà (what a name!). In 1951 the Egbé became the Action Group (AG). AG’s stated objective was to mobilize the Yorùbá into one political umbrella. Note that Awo avoided using the word ‘National’ and ‘Nigeria’ even though AG pretended to be a national party.

          Four years later (1949), Ahmadu Bello founded the Northern People’s Congress (NPC). The NPC was supposed to be a national party, yet it resisted all persuasion to change its name from Northern to Nigerian People’s Congress, even for the sake of appearances. It refused right up to the end of the First Republic.

          Igbos have found it totally impossible to learn unprincipled group selfishness; therefore Igbos CANNOT survive in Nigeria; in fact if Igbos remain in Nigeria as presently constituted they will eventually become totally destroyed as an ethnic nationality. WISDOM IS INDEED NOT COMMON.

          • John Paul

            My dear brother, let us talk about today and not ancient history

            Rumor has it that Bola Ige, Tinubu, Fashola and Ambode and not even indigenous Lagosians. But they were elected as civilians governors of Lagos State, in succession

            Go and ask longtime residents of Aba how the clannish politics of Abia State, during the fourth republic, almost destroyed Aba, the Enyimba City

            It is very sad to confess and admit that if cosmopolitan governors like Tinubu, Fashola, Ambode or Sam Mbakwe were governors of Abia State, between 1999 and today, Aba would have achieved it’s destiny – “Japan of Africa”

            Please realize that, as one American rapper said, “it is not where you are from that counts, it is where you are at [mentally] that counts”.

            This short story illustrates this point.

            In 1992, a family, from Orlu, in Imo State, occupied the main building in property around Adeniyi Jones Lagos. While a single man, Uchenna, from the same Orlu in Imo State, that worked in one of the new generations banks, occupied the boys quarters, in the same building.

            They gathered almost everyday and spoke the Orlu language, told Orlu stories and ate Orlu delicacies. Meanwhile, Uchenna, had an ongoing dispute with his landlord

            One week, while Uchenna, was in Benin,transacting business for his bank, the landlord evicted Uchenna and threw his property out on the streets, while it was raining profusely.

            The Orlu family, that lived in the main building, watched rain beat Uchenna’s property from the Balcony of their flat, because they did not want to get wet, while retrieving the property, and they did not want to clutter their flat with Uchenna’s property

            It was Ebi (the spelling of his name may be wrong) the Fulani man, that lived in a batcher across the street, and his wife and little children, that came out under the rain, and painstakingly picked up Uchenna’s property, every single item, and put in their batcher for him

            Stories like this are replete all over Nigeria. When you have time, please read Luke 10:29-37

          • omnia1

            I find you amusing. When you have no hard facts to present, you make do with bedtime stories and throw in a Bible passage like those pastorpreneurs who ply their trade on TV!. Beware – if I take you on the Scriptures you will be out of your depths very quickly.

            On a serious note, Igbo egalitarianism is not ancient history; it is a present day reality. The past president of Oha N’Eze Ndigbo was from Ikwere and before him was Anioma. Can a Kabba or Okun or Egun man lead Afenifere? Since Ogun State was created an Oke-Ogun has never been governor. No Ilaje man has ever broken the glass ceiling in Ondo State. Such monstrous discrimination is unknown among Igbos.

            For a recent but classic example of this deeply ingrained egalitarianism of the Igbos, consider the difference in how Egbe Amofin (the Western Bar) treats the Western minorities and how Otu Okaiwu (the Eastern Bar) treats the Eastern minorities. Ask any lawyer and they will tell you. The difference is clear!

            Let me end with a churchy illustration, since you have brought in the Word of God. You see, Yoruba tribalism is actually a spiritual problem! The Scriptural exhortations to treat all Christians as equal fall on deaf ears. All 18 members of the governing council of RCCG are Yorubas. No Igbo is a Bishop in Winners Chapel. No Igbo is a superintendent at Deeper Life Bible Church. No Igbo is a Senior Pastor at Daystar Christian center or Kingsway International Christian Center. But once you step into an Igbo-founded church like TREM, AFM or CPM you find Yorubas in all cadres of leadership. If you challenge this obvious discrimination they will say that these are Yoruba churches so Yorubas should lead. If you point out that in Christ there is no ‘Yoruba church’ and ask why the Church is collecting Igbo tithes while relegating them to second class they will say it is the directive of the Holy Spirit (Emi Mimo)! Neither you nor I can argue with Emi Mimo!!

            The BIG Question is this: if even in the Church you cannot trust the AVERAGE Yoruba man to be straightforward, what is the hope of having any kind of transparency in say politics or academia?

          • John Paul

            Ana Ekwu ekwu ana eme me – Actions speak louder than words

            Hopefully, you live in one of the Igbo cities and not Lagos, Abuja, the United States, Europe or South Africa.

            Instead of being stuck in the past and romanticizing the past, take a broom, shovel, wheel barrow and bucket, tomorrow, go to the market place, in the major city in your state, and start motivating people to clean up our streets. Plants trees in our communities and make the place nice and clean

            All these feel good, self aggrandizing, Igbo Supremacy mentality, is why kidnapping, armed robbery and corruption is on the increase in Igboland, more than any other region in Nigeria

            Please remember. A nation that has too many Chiefs and no Indians cannot survive. The nation that has more Indians than Chiefs, like the United States and Europe, end up doing better than nations that have all Chiefs

            In a nation that has too many chiefs, what you get is kidnapping, armed robbery, killing, stealing, dirty streets, clogged drainage system, etc, because everyone wants to go from zero to hundred in one minute

            Let us apply – our almighty degrees – in making our communities, under the present system, a better place for everyone

          • omnia1

            My dear I am closely involved in mapping out and IMPLEMENTING the strategy for rebuilding the Igbo nation. I am not an arm-chair theorist.

            If you gave all the issues involved careful thought backed by hard facts, you would come to the same conclusion: Igbos are doomed if they remain in “one Nigeria”.

            I will not rest until Igbos have a referendum and achieve a respectable closure to the Civil War. Outside of Biafra, there is no hope.

          • John Paul

            My brother, you are an Igbotic man to the core.

            There is nothing wrong with that. It is not a crime. There are people like you in every nation on this planet. People that are not open to change and are not accepting of people that are different from them.

            People who want to close all doors. Shut down all borders. And remain cocooned in a space that is populated by people who talk like them, eat the same color of fufu like them, walk like them and think like them

            There are also people whose minds are open.

            They are not afraid of change. They invented the internet to make the world a smaller place and a shared space. They refused to make “knowledge” a chieftancy title, so that they could pound their chest, and say to themselves, I know it all !

            So they put it – knowledge – on the internet. Including, Wikipedia

            They are not bugged down by tribe, borders and nationality. Their minds are enveloped by more important things. And that is also okay

            But please remember. A majority of Igbo do not think like you. They are not afraid or suspicious of Yoruba and Fulani. They were not screwed, in some looting venture, by some looting-class Fulani.

            They are happy with the only Fulani they have met in their lives. The Fulani man that has been roasting suya for them, in front of Presidential Hotel Port Harcourt for the past 27 years, with not problems or conflicts

            Ogadinma !

          • omnia1

            What do you mean by “Igbotic”? Are you not getting even more confused, Sir?

            What is the proportion of the Taiwanese population that have sustained the struggle for an independent Taiwan from China? Only 60%. Remember the Taiwanese share identical ethnicity, religion, language and culture with China; yet they want independence.

            What is the proportion of the Scottish that have sustained the dream of an independent Scotland from UK? Less than 50% (that is why the Scottish nationalists lost the first referendum). Also remember that the Scots share identical ethnicity, religion, language and culture with England; yet they want independence (Notice that those minority Scots Nationalist are not impressed with the already implemented devolution of powers – the same devolution of powers that the Fulani will not countenance in Nigeria).

            THE POINT: IF THE TAIWANESE AND SCOTTISH BELIEVE THAT THEY CANNOT ACHIEVE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL WITHOUT TOTAL POLITICAL AUTONOMY, HOW MUCH MORE THE IGBOS WHO HAVE A TOTALLY DIFFERENT ETHNICITY, RELIGION, LANGUAGE AND CULTURE FROM THE HAUSA-FULANI HEGEMONISTS OF NIGERIA?

            THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT THESE PEOPLE SET HIGH GOALS FOR THEMSELVES, BUT YOU ARE LIKE AN EAGLE WHO HAS DWELT SO MUCH WITH THE VULTURES THAT YOU THINK YOU MUST NOW “HUMBLE” YOURSELF AND BE A VULTURE FOR EVER. IT IS A PITY!

        • omnia1

          Let me throw a LITTLE light on another of these Igbo ethos – ENTERPRISE

          Nigeria forces the Igbo to say “I am not so good” so he will not be hated, but when you step out of Nigeria, in the absence of “quota system” and “federal character” the gap becomes manifest.

          To illustrate this, take a critical look at the two nations with the largest Nigerian community (UK and USA). The gap between Igbos and Yorubas (the largest population of Nigerians in both countries) is mind-boggling.

          Worldwide, about $600 billion is sent by migrants to relatives in their home countries annually. Nigeria is the sixth highest recipient country of remittances globally, and the highest in Africa. The open secret is that MOST of this remittance (about $20 billion pa, higher than Nigeria’s oil revenue) comes from Igbos. For example, in USA Igbos are not only the most successful Nigerians, but the most successful immigrant black community. In fact, an American author (Amy Chua) wrote a well-researched book to try and explain this ‘Igbo phenomenon’. IGBOS ARE THE MOST EDUCATED ETHNIC GROUP IN USA. Igbos make up less than 1% of USA black population, yet in 2013 nearly one-quarter of the black students at Harvard Business School were Igbo; over a fourth have a graduate degree, as compared with only about 11% of whites. Biafran share in the global remittance could quickly triple than the entire Nigerian budget if the Igbo diaspora were harnessed properly outside Nigeria!

          IN SHARP CONTRAST, Yorubas constitute the highest number of Nigerian convicts in American prisons. Go to the federal prisons in Atlanta, Chicago, New York (Rikers Island), California, Houston, Dallas, Maryland, etc and you will see huge communities of Yoruba inmates.

          In Britain, Chuka Umunna, Helen Grant, Chi Onwurah and Kate Ofunne Osamor were the very first 4 Nigerian MPs. ALL four are Igbos; and one could become the Labour party leader. Meanwhile Yorubas are historically more entrenched in the UK society. There are only two Nigerian Queen’s Counsel (QC) in the UK; both of them are Igbos. Meanwhile generations of Yoruba lawyers were called to the bar in the UK before the Igbos. Etc, etc.

          IN SHARP CONTRAST and on the other side of the law, there are over 1280 people of Yoruba descent in British jails today, some for the most heinous of crimes. Source – Her Majesty’s Prison Survey on Overcrowding in British jails- report published in 2010.

          Inside Nigeria itself the achievement gap starts right from childhood. For example in the Federal exams into secondary schools the Eastern States outperform all others. That is why Anambra, Abia and Imo States have the highest cut off points. Yet in spite of that the Igbo States produce the highest number of entries into schools like Kings and Queens College.

          NOTE: Amy Chua’s book is titled ”The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America”; you can read a summary in Wikipedia. Most of the USA educational stats about Igbos are in the book. IT IS INDEED CURIOUS THAT A FOREIGNER IS WRITING A BOOK TO EXPLAIN IGBO SUPERLATIVE SUCCESS, WHILE YOU (JOHN PAUL THE POLITICALLY CORRECT) ARE SHOUTING “NO, IGBOS ARE NO DIFFERENT; WE ARE LIKE ANYONE ELSE OR WORSE”.

          • John Paul

            Brother, leave all these Igbo Supremacy ideas alone

            Yoruba have also excelled in the United States. The richest Nigerian in the United States – Kase Lawal – is Yoruba. The most popular music artists from Nigeria – Fela – is also Yoruba. One of the best current NFL players – Ajayi – is Yoruba. The most recognizable Nigeria former NBA player- Akeem- is Yoruba.

            Yoruba also have hundreds of medical doctors, lawyers and other professionals in the United States. Same as Igbo

            Igbo also has so many of their people in prisons in the United States. Not to talk about Thailand, Malaysia, India and other places. No tribe in Nigeria has a monopoly on crime

            Come to the urban United States, you will find out that Yoruba culture – the Americanized version- has taken a foothold among many United States’ yuppies.

            It is so common, these days, to walk into a club in the United States and see scores and scores of Americans – including Brazilian Americans, Cuban Americans, Latino Americans, African Americans and European Americans- mainly women, telling you about Shango and Orisha. Whatever that means

            From Ebenezer Obey, to Sunny Ade, to Wole Soyinka, to Ola Rotimi, Yoruba artists, and writers, have brought joy, laughter and happiness to our lives. They have certainly brightened many of our weekends. Same as Igbo artists and writers. All this division is unnecessary.

            Igbo, amaka !

            Yoruba, amaka !

          • omnia1

            I gave you statistical evidence of the gap between Igbos and the other black ethnic communities in USA (not just the Yorubas). A gap so phenomenal that a book has been written about it.

            In response you string together a disconnected anecdotal list of Yoruba achievers, the sort of thing one would hear in a beer parlour when a man had too much alcohol. I never said Yorubas do not have great achievers, nor that I do not enjoy Ebenezer Obey’s miliki music.

            I only said the Igbos are (by far) the most successful ethnic minority in USA and the most educated ethnic group in USA (even more educated than all the Caucasoid groups). If that does not jolt you to ask why Igbos have been a hopeless failure in Nigeria, I do not know what else will!

          • John Paul

            My friend, you are engaged in an Igbo Supremacy mentality. This is the type of mentality that lead to the holocaust in Nazi Germany and Genocide in 1994 Rwanda

            Ethnic Supremacy idealogy is outdated and unproductive. So it is important that we move away from it

            Instead of reeling out “individual Igbo achievements” don’t you think it is more productive for the masses. Millions of them. If Igbo will collaborate and develop one or two cities in Igboland

            By the way, Igbo and Yoruba also have more PhD’s than European Americans. But so what. The last time we checked, every single city in Europe is more developed than Aba, Onitsha and Oshogbo

            So please let us talk about how to clean our streets, unclog our drainage system, eradicate kidnapping and armed robbery in our communities and get rid of corruption in our States. And not Self Aggrandizement – how many PhD’s that Igbo have.

            What we need today in Igboland – dedication to building our community – does snot require a PhD, that is fast becoming a chieftaincy title for Nigerians

            “There is only one race. The human race”

          • omnia1

            Igbo supremacy is only a figment of your imagination. Far from being supreme, Igbos are an endangered species. Many Igbos are in denial of their bleak prospects in “one Nigeria” (mind you, denial is a major survival strategy, so I do not blame you).

            Igbos are a stateless and hopelessly failed ethnic nationality in a hopelessly failed country. Today, Igboland is a de facto occupied territory.

            Most Nigerians are not aware of just how bad Nigeria (and by extension Igboland) is. Nigeria is much worse than its worst critics put it, including people like Nnamdi Kanu! I have all the facts and figures. There is no single index of human development in which Nigeria is not the worst or among the worst globally. NONE! And things will NOT improve; they will only get worse.

            Igboland is the worst part of a country aptly described as a “zoo”. Mind you, I believe that to call Nigeria a zoo is an insult to the animal kingdom; because animals do not kill themselves for no reason. And zoo keepers do not consume food meant for the beasts. When a Nigerian (including your “supreme” Igbos) obtains a foreign visa he goes for thanksgiving. Go to the embassies and see the mass of hapless Nigerians desperately looking for a way out; even animals trying to escape from a zoo are not that desperate.

            Igbos are entrapped in this “zoo” and you think they are supreme by any stretch of the imagination? Are you aware that Igbos are seventh-class citizens in today’s Nigeria (where the perking order is 1. Fulani 2. Hausa 3. Other Muslim Northerners 4. Non-Muslim Northerners 5. Other Muslims in Nigeria 6. Non-Muslim Yorubas 7. Igbos and other Biafrans).

            Wake up from your slumber and face the reality, my friend. All I wrote is simply to show the POTENTIAL of the Igbos. Nothing to do with supremacy.

          • John Paul

            We should not be stuck in the past, for it will prevent us from moving forward and achieving our destiny.

            It will “turn us into a pillar of salt” – Genesis: 19:17-26

            We can achieve a lot with what we have on the ground today. As for people that are waiting for Biafra, before Igbo will develop, as Igbo will say – “Anya erugi ha ala”

            There is a lot we can achieve by electing the right people into office, crafting creative legislation, appointing the right people as judges. And enforcing a culture of zero tolerance from Kidnapping and Armed Robbery

            Do you know how many Igbo that are afraid to travel to Igboland, from different parts of the world, with their wife, children, neighbors, coworkers, business partners, classmates, church-mates, friends, etc, on account of Kidnapping, Armed Robbery and Insecurity. And thereby depriving Igboland of billions dollars in tourism revenue. Ditto, other parts of Nigeria

            These Idiotic Kidnappers and Armed Robbers, in Igboland, are not Fulani or Yoruba, they are Igbo. So we should please take our heads out of the cloud, and take practical steps today that will make our communities a better place for everyone

          • omnia1

            Although I can sense your patriotism, the solutions you proffer are shallow and whimsical. You are like a doctor trying to cure the symptoms one by one, because you are too scared to tackle the disease itself. We can actually tackle the disease of Igboland; that disease is called “one Nigeria”. We can NEVER elect the right people in “one Nigeria”; in fact we should never have any other election until a referendum is done.

            Believe or not, Biafra will have no kidnappers and armed robbers; because there will no incentive and no opportunity for such crimes. You do not know the true Igbo spirit. If you did you would join the the Biafran movement with all your heart and soul. I fear that if our generation does not restore Biafra, no other generation will be able to do it. This is our last chance to allow God to use us to save our people.

            Biafra sovereignty will open up the entire world to the Igbos. There is a China town in Lagos. Are the Chinese Nigerians? Once Biafra is achieved Igbos will begin to acquire contiguous industrial estates all over the world in places where they will be respected and not treated with disdain as in zooNigeria.
            The choice facing the Igbo is ONLY two:
            1/ Remain a local but harassed itinerant trading champion in Nigeria
            2/ Achieve Biafra, and have the world as sphere of influence.

            The massive progress that will inevitably occur in Biafra will act as an INSPIRATION, CHALLENGE, CATALYST AND MODEL for what is left of Nigeria. (The same thing happened after Singapore left Malaysia. Malaysia experienced accelerated progress, because they were challenged by Singapore’s phenomenal transformation.) Very ironically, Biafra is actually Nigeria’s only hope.

          • John Paul

            It is the “non-shallow, too-deep thinking and non-whimsical” Igbo that destroyed Igboland. Their “thinking too deep and daredevil” mentality caused them to become treasury looters, armed robbers and kidnappers.

            They destroyed our mores and folkways and devastated our land. You do not need Biafra to achieve our dreams

            Let is not be like the proverbial coward, who in the middle of a street fight announces – “a beg wait, make I commot shirt first”. We should not influenced by folklore, fantasy and dreams

            Like our fathers generation – M.I Okpara, Akanu Ibiam, Sam Mbakwe, C.C. Onoh, etc – we should not wait for “Biafra” in order to achieve the Eastern Region of our dreams

            Most good virtues – hard work, perseverance, dedication, honesty, etc are universal – people that do not understand this simple truism, are very dangerous, can never be trusted, and create more problems than they solve

            History has thought us that hatred is almost an incurable disease.

            People that hate and blame Yoruba and Fulani today. When you give them their own country, they will turn around and look for some other group of people to hate and blame for their self inflicted wounds

            Go and ask Boko Haram.

            They started out by hating Christians. All of a sudden they started hating Muslims that did not share their ideology. Before you know it, their hatred caused them to start kidnapping and hating children and women, that had no ideology

          • omnia1

            You are naive to think that true Igbo leaders can emerge from Nigerian “elections”. Have you ever had a one-on-one conversation about “elections” with a Nigerian head of state, past or present?

            There is a difference between an Igbo leader elected by Igbos and an Igbo leader elected by Igbos under the influence of “the Nigerian factor”.

            Outside zooNigeria, Igbos would not elect a fraud like Okorocha, a thug like Wike or an Ibori acolyte like Okowa as ward Councillors not to talk of their becoming Governors. These people were elected by “the Nigerian factor” and not by Igbos. Michael Opara would not win a local govt election in today’s Igboland (a man who set up industrial zones without building one house for himself). Akanu Ibiam would not win a ward election in today’s Igboland. Anambra State is only slightly less unfortunate because the worst case governors chosen through “the Nigerian factor” lost out to the “slightly less worse” alternative governors also chosen by the same “Nigerian factor”; but how long will that “luck” last?

            You are also naive to think that any State governor can bring about sustained progress anywhere in Igboland. Even if we manage to elect an Utomi in Delta, a Soludo in Anambra and an angel from heaven in Imo, I have no doubt that they would fail woefully, simply because you cannot build any enduring progress on a faulty foundation. At the best they will achieve no more than 10% of the true Igbo potential, while you all hail them that they have “tried” in typical Nigerian lingo!

            If you wish to understand more about how this faulty foundation was laid you MUST study history, especially the memoirs of Harold Smith. Then you will see that the trouble of the Igbos in Nigeria is not accidental or self-inflicted, but a deliberate and calculated plot in which you are now an unwitting accomplice, given your totally unfounded hope that Igbos can “overcome” it by being in the zoo without being of the zoo – John 17:14-15

        • omnia1

          Let me throw a LITTLE light on another Igbo ethos – EQUITY

          The Igbo man has a very acute sense of equity (Egbe belu, ugo belu).

          I will give just one illustration.

          For example, a Yoruba man could greet you very respectfully in the morning and murder you in cold blood at night. THAT IS WHY ALL (YES, ALL) the governorship aspirants murdered before election in Nigeria are Yorubas – Chief Dele Arojo of Ogun State, Engr. Funsho Williams of Lagos State, Otunba Dipo Dina of Ogun State, Dr. Deji Daramola of Ekiti State, and possibly the recent Senator Isiaka Adeleke of Osun State ! (Some believe Kogi’s Prince Abubakar Audu was also murdered; if so, a major beneficiary of his death would have been his Yoruboid running mate – James Faleke!)

          Why are such high-profile political murders uncommon among Igbos? IT IS BECAUSE OF THE EQUITY ETHOS. When Igbos oppose you, they argue, shout, and tell you how they feel to your face and at the end you shake hands as brothers and go home. That kind of equity and transparency has no place in Nigerian politics.

          The ruthlessness of the Fulani-led Cabal in maintaining their hold on power cannot be tamed by any degree of good leadership in Igboland. If we are not willing to kill, rape and pillage the innocent, practice unrepentant tribal bigotry, subdue the common will of the majority, pervert justice, apply vicious divide-and-rule tactics, rig the constitution, falsify the census, witch-hunt and persecute opponents, suppress dissent and engage in all the other wicked and inhuman ills which are the hallmarks of the Cabal, we cannot beat them. It does not matter how good Igbo leaders are.

          The Igbo man simply does not share the same world view with the two-faced unprincipled hedonistic Yoruba or the murderous ‘born-to-rule’ Islamo-fascist Hausa Fulani.
          That is precisely the reason for the quest for self-determination. The Igbo man is not cut out for the ethos of Nigeria. Nigeria will eventually destroy the Igbo nation, unless we leave the zoo completely or gain local autonomy.

          • John Paul

            99.99% of Yoruba people will not greet you in the morning and murder you at night. Every tribe has good people and bad people.

            Remember, Evans the Kidnapper, from Nnewi. The guy lived in one of the finest estates in Lagos. Do you believe for one minute that Evans did not greet his victims in the morning and then kidnap them at night

            Additionally, the Eastern Part of Nigeria has more kidnapping and armed robbery than the Western part of Nigeria.

            Up until today, many Igbo feel safer in Lagos and Western Nigeria, than in their own villages. This is because even though everyone in their village is their brother , the statistics that they are aware of shows that, their so called brother that greats them in the morning, maybe a kidnapper at night

            Stereotypes are based on fear.

            We must jettison fear in our minds and live our lives. We must abandon the stereotypes and folklore that tells us that because someone speaks a different culture from us they are the enemy. Or because Amala is a dark fufu, it will make our complexion darker. For it is simply put, ignorance

            Igbo are doing just fine. If all the Igbo that served in any capacity in government, from 1999 to 2015, invest 25% their loot back to Igboland, “Biafra” will be Eldorao is less than 24 months

          • omnia1

            Again you miss the point. Instead of looking for a pattern, you are majoring on Evans-like anecdotes.

            A more intelligent approach is to ask:

            Why is it that Igbos in UK and USA have a very low involvement with crime while Igbos in Nigeria “feel safer in Lagos and Western Nigeria, than in their own villages”. The answer to that question also provides a clue as to why Igbos must leave Nigeria. A “Nigerianized” Igbo man who has lost the Igbo ethos is the worst of all human beings, precisely because the Igbo man excels in anything he does. Eventually, if Igbos remain in Nigeria, Igboland will become the epicentre of all sorts of crime. Only through Biafra can we stem the tide and rediscover the true Igbo character.

            NOTE: The Yoruba-controlled media tries very hard to sell the dummy of Igbos as THE international criminals. While every ethnicity has its bad eggs (including Igbos), the reality in the two nations with the largest Nigerian community (UK & USA), is that the TYPICAL Nigerian criminal is Yoruba. I do not gloat over that information; it makes me sad, but it is the truth.

            I stated that ALL the 5 governorship aspirants murdered before election in Nigeria are Yorubas. Similarly, all the international terror groups in Nigeria have been led by Northerners. Likewise, most of the human trafficking rings are led by Binis. WHEN YOU SEE SUCH A CLEAR PATTERN, THEN YOU ARE NOT FAR FROM THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ESSENTIAL CHARACTER OF THE PEOPLE!

            Nigeria’s most notorious prisoner in UK – Michael Adebolajo.
            Nigeria’s most notorious prisoner in USA – Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
            Nigeria’s most notorious robbers of all time – ‘Doctor’ Ishola Oyenusi, Lawrence Anini, Shina Rambo (Mathew Oluwanifemi) and Abiodun Egunjobi aka Godogodo.
            Nigeria’s most Notorious Fraudsters of all time – Ade Bendel and Maxwell Gbogboade (others are Dele Ilori, Oloruntoyin Akindele Ikumoluyi aka Akindele Ile Eru, Femi Abiodun Lekuti aka Danku Baba Imole, Lanre Shittu, Sanjay Oloruntoyin, Kenneth and Princess Hamabon William and two Igbos – Amaka Anajemba and Fred Ajudua) .
            Nigeria’s most notorious drug barons (the 4 that Buhari sentenced to death) – Bernard Ogedengbe, Lawal Ojuolape, Bartholomew Owoh, and Oladele Omosebi.
            Nigeria’s most notorious drug baronesses – Toyin Igbira, Gloria Okon, Miss Shola Oguntayo (aka Mrs. Ayisat Ajike Mohammed) & Alhaja Sidikatu Tairu.

            Why are Igbos scarce on the above list? It is because of the Igbo ethos. It is precisely these ethos that Nigeria is destroying. Without Biafra, the ethos would be totally destroyed within the next generation. The situation of the Igbos is much more dire than you think.

        • omnia1

          Let me throw a LITTLE light on another Igbo ethos – EXCELLENCE

          The greatest product known to man is human capital. Nigeria is depending on oil because of untapped human resources. In Biafra, the human resource potential of Igbos will take wings.

          I will give just three brief examples.

          Between June 2015 and July 2016, Nigeria received $3.4b in oil and gas revenue while Disneyland (just one entertainment company in USA) made $13.8b in the same period (four times). Nollywood alone can feed every single person in Biafra.

          The global football industry is now worth about $25 billion pa (eight times what Nigeria receives from oil pa). Did you notice that 9 out of the 13 players in the Eagles Lineup that defeated Cameroon in World Cup Qualifiers are Biafrans? No, it is not accidental, it is because of the IGBO ETHOS OF EXCELLENCE.

          The global book industry was worth over $110 billion in 2016. Chinua Achebe’s books alone outsell any other African or Black writer SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN and has been translated to more languages than any other African or Black writer in human history. Chimamanda has upped the ante by a paradigm shift that sees her not only selling books, but now earning royalties from her collabo with Beyonce in “Flawless”.

          An Igbo is the father of African literature – Olaudah Equiano (the first published black African writer). Chinua Achebe, is considered the father of MODERN African Literature. In poetry no other African ranks as high as Christopher Okigbo, winner of so many coveted poetry prizes over Soyinka in the 1960s. Soyinka’s emergence occurred only after Okigbo died.
          Amongst the women, Flora Nwapa was the first African woman author to be published in the English language; and is known as “the mother of modern African literature” In fact on 13 January 2017 Google created a Doodle on her posthumous birthday (the first ‘Nigerian’ to be so honoured). After Flora Nwapa, Buchi Emecheta is the most important Nigerian female novelist; followed by Ifeoma Okoye. All three are Igbos.

          But there is also Adaora Ulasi – first Nigerian (male or female) to write detective fiction in English; Prof. Nwazuluwa Sofola (aka ′Zulu Sofola) – first published female Nigerian playwright and dramatist; apart from globally celebrated newcomers like Chika Unigwe. So an Igbo is the ‘Father of African literature’ and another Igbo is the ‘Mother of African literature’. This is not an ‘Igbo supremacy’ theory. It is the fact.

          I could make the same illustration from any single field of human endeavour.

          The Word Bank for example has not lacked an Igbo Vice President for decades. Today there are two Igbo Vice Presidents in the World Bank (the Treasurer and the General Counsel). No other Nigerian ethnic group has ever had a VP in the WB. The African Developent Bank (the African equivalent of the World Bank) has had only three CEOs since its inception; two are Igbos. It is not accidental, it is because of the IGBO ETHOS OF EXCELLENCE.

          Igbo unique excellence shines through.

          NOTE: For the records, Igboland is also sitting on vast but un-utilized natural resources. By zooNigeria’s law no state govt can harness its own natural resource. All land and everything in it belongs to FGN. That’s why zoo’s Anambra state which is home to Nigeria’s largest gas reserves is poor; that’s why zoo’s Enugu State which sits on the largest coal deposit in Africa is poor; that’s why zoo’s Imo and Abia States which have been oil producing for decades are getting poorer every year. However, even if you removed all these natural resources the Igbo human capital excellence is enough to make Biafra the world’s greatest black nation.

        • omnia1

          You ask why Igbos did not make progress under GEJ. The same Cabal who chose GEJ and gave him authority without power also used all sorts of subterfuge and fifth columnists to make a totally unsuitable leader even more confused and inept. It is the same cabal’s unimaginable wickedness that you are aiding and abetting.

          You see, Igboland has been a de facto occupied territory since the end of the Civil War.

          Before that, the economy of the Eastern Region was rated by the world bank in 1964 as the fastest growing economy in the third world. The Eastern Region had the first industrial development plan in all of Africa, with all eastern cities having industrial zones. The Eastern Region had the largest market in West Africa and the first indigenous bank (ACB) to have a continental focus.

          Not only that, at that time Igbo leadership also led much of Africa. That was why the very first request Nelson Mandela made (to the BBC) few minutes after his release from Robben Island in 1990 was “I would like to see Fidel Castro of Cuba, Brother Gaddafi of Libya and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Zik of Africa” Zik was a chief mentor to ANC and Nelson Mandela. Zik-led Igbo mentorship was also critical in the making of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Nwalimu Nyerere of Tanzania, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia etc.
          Biafra is destined to become the light of Africa and the diadem in the black man’s crown.

          • John Paul

            My dear brother, no Cabal was in control of GEJ. Many of the Igbo under GEJ were motivated by greed and selfishness

            They spent most of the six (6) years of the GEJ administration on self aggrandizement. Looting our resources, travelling to Dubai and other places and acquiring property

            As we speak. Patience Jonathan will be going to court soon to ask the court to release her $5 million. She is not going to court on behalf of Okirika, Otuke or Igbo people she is going to court for herself

            Apart from greed and selfishness, the other malaise that infected Igbo under GEJ, was elitism. Many of them felt that they were better and bigger than our metropolitan cities – Aba and Onitsha

            In their shallowness, they spent their whole term in office in Abuja and Lagos – when they were not out of the country. None of them came up with a plan to develop Aba or Onitsha. They felt that Aba and Onitsha was too small for them

            So during GEJ’s entire six (6) in office, Aba, inexplicably, did not even see a single bulldozer

            Remeber that the entire Aba – population 2 million – is only 72 square miles. If all the Igbo appointees under GEJ, had invested only 25% of their loot in Aba, IPOB will not be in existence today

            The IPOB members of Aba will have been enjoying the little infrastructure- Nigerians have very low expectations – that the government provided for them. And they will have been producing shoes, bags, belts and other things, as fast as baking cookies

            But these Igbo appointees, and their elitist mentality, lost their way. That is why we are where we are today

            As Igbo will say : “Hapu ihe edere na motor, ba na motor” – do not be too concerned about the label, focus on the product

          • omnia1

            You do not understand the Fulani-led cabal controlling Nigeria. How many times have you discussed with Jonathan one-on-one? How many one-on-one meetings have you had with the Sultan of Sokoto (the titular head of the cabal)? I am giving you insider knowledge, and you are depending on appearances and your fertile imagination.

            GEJ was simply granted leave by the Cabal to exercise authority without power (Remember that Granpa Shonekan was also supposedly Nigeria’s ‘Commander in Chief’). After he left office GEJ lamented publicly that he had been a prisoner for 6 years.

            The Cabal control their Nigerian Empire even more easily when they can find Southern willing tools. They carefully choose, MENTOR and use these Southern tools as a camouflage to fool the gullible. Why do you think they killed Abiola/Ironsi, blocked Awo/Ekwueme, but allowed OBJ/GEJ? You think all that was an accident? Why do you think an Igbo man is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs? You think it is a mere coincidence?

            The worst day for Igbo freedom will be when the Cabal eventually find a Igbo man they can entrust with the Presidency of Nigeria! Right now they are actively considering who could be their anointed Igbo President of Nigeria just in case they decide to ‘step aside’ again in 2023.

            Under the current structure of Nigeria, true Igbo leaders CANNOT emerge. The governors, senators and other serving politicians of the so-called ”South East” States are primarily agents of zooNigeria. That is why each of the governors is afraid of the wind of freedom blowing over Igbo land. But it is a strong wind which will EVENTUALLY blow both them and their Abuja masters away. Time shall tell.

        • omnia1

          AN ILLUSTRATION – SINGAPORE

          The simple unvarnished truth is often offensive: As long as the toxic ‘marriage’ of Biafra-Nigeria endures neither Nigeria nor Biafra will experience any sustained progress.
          Consider the former Singapore-Malaysia toxic ‘marriage’.

          Before August 9, 1965, the Singaporeans were seen as an irritation in Malaysia. Then Singapore was one of the 14 states of Malaysia. Singaporeans were viewed as arrogant, stubborn, domineering and having a SUPERIORITY COMPLEX. While the United Malays National Organisation wanted affirmative action or “quota system” for the Malays, the People’s Action Party of the Singaporeans insisted that the best thing for the country was a merit-based policy on all issues, so as to bring out the best in the nation and create a spirit of excellence.

          This constant disagreement and tension resulted in race riots. It got to a point where the Malays could take it no more. So on August 9, 1965 they convened the parliament, with no Singaporean parliamentarian present. At that sitting, the legislators voted unanimously (126 – 0) to expel Singapore from Malaysia (Intrestingly, the Arewa Coalition has now done same to Igbos by their Arewa House “quit notice” of June 6, 2017!).

          When the Singaporeans heard that they had been expelled from the nation, at first they were devastated. But they took their fate in their hands and started building a new nation. And, indeed, by applying merit and the pursuit of excellence, Singaporeans built a country that moved from the Third World to First World in one generation, overtaking Malaysia in every aspect of life. [The average life expectancy of a Singaporean today is 30 years higher than a Nigerian. Just by relocating from Nigeria to Singapore a person adds 30 years to his life span. Nigeria is at the bottom of most indices of national development and Singapore is at the top.]
          Interestingly, despite this sad way of parting, Malaysia and Singapore have remained good neighbours. In spite of the success that the latter has recorded, it has not made Malaysia not to record its own success.

          There are many similarities between the story of Singapore / Malaysia and Igbo / Nigeria. Nigeria is holding the Igbos down and in so doing also holding Nigeria itself down. The Igbos are seen as arrogant, noisy, greedy, over-ambitious, to mention but a few. Nigerians see them as irritants.
          Like Singaporeans, Igbos want competitiveness in every sector, which will lead to the best being selected.

          Mr. Lee Kuan Yew was the late founding premier of Singapore; Dr. Goh Keng Swee, the architect of Singapore’s economic breakthrough, and Mr. Sinnathamby Rajaratnam, Singapore’s national philosopher par excellence. These men would not have succeeded without the break from Malaysia.

          WITHIN THE SEMI-AUTONOMOUS EASTERN REGION (1960-1966) IGBOS WERE ALSO BLESSED WITH A SINGAPOREAN-LIKE TRIAD OF LEADERS. DR. M.I. OKPALA WAS A LEE KUAN YEW. MBONU OJIKE (THE MOST ACUTE ECONOMIC MIND OF THAT GENERATION) WAS A GOH KENG SWEE. ZIK WAS THE SINNATHAMBY RAJARATNAM WHO PROVIDED THE PHILOSOPHICAL IMPETUS FOR THE PHENOMENAL GROWTH OF THE IGBO NATION.

          Why has Singapore’s success endured whereas the Igbos are currently a failed people within a failed nation. It is because whereas Singapore became rid of a toxic twinning (Malaysia-Singapore), Igbos have remained yoked in the toxic twinning of Biafra-Nigeria.
          I repeat myself again: if you came back to Igboland 5 years post-Biafrexit you would find the same transformation that took place in Singapore. Biafra will convince the whole world that Africans and Blacks can excel.

          Nigeria as presently constituted is a failed State, entrapping the Igbos – Africa’s most enterprising ethnic group. Neither Nigeria nor Igboland will make progress until the toxic twinning of Biafra-Nigeria comes to an end. No amount of twisted logic can change that fact.

          • John Paul

            It got to a point where the Malays could take it no more. So on August 9, 1965 they convened the parliament, with no Singaporean parliamentarian present. At that sitting, the legislators voted unanimously (126 – 0) to expel Singapore from Malaysia (Intrestingly, the Arewa Coalition has now done same to Igbos by their Arewa House “quit notice” of June 6, 2017!).
            ———————————————————–
            That is not an accurate comparison

            There is not time that the Legislature of the Federal Republic of Nigeria voted – without Igbo present – and expelled Igbo from Nigeria. On the contrary. If the Legislature of Nigeria convenes, without Igbo present – Unlike Malaysia – they will vote unanimously for Igbo to remain in Nigeria

            We must stop this belief that a small group of people can make decision for millions of people because they take on a name that represents their tribe.

            Who is the Arewa Assembly. How many members do they have. You will be surprised to know that they are less than 1% of Northern Nigeria. So how can they speak on behalf of Northerners

            It just like you going to your village, with your laptop, assembling a few people, no more than 10 people, calling yourself the “Republic of Biafra”, releasing a press statement and claiming to speak on behalf of the entire Igbo

            Let us forget this “high-table mentality” and start with the little things.

            Let us clean up our streets, unclog our drainage system, enforce environmental sanitation laws, destroy kidnapping and armed robbery in our communities, eradicate corruption in our States, practice a merit based system in our communities, and you will see that every other thing follow

            If we do all these – small things – the Biafra that we seek shall appear like magic

        • omnia1

          CONCLUSION: A REFERENDUM

          BY MY OWN INFORMAL SURVEY, OVER 90% OF IGBOS WANT AN INDEPENDENT NATION TOTALLY FREE FROM NIGERIA. IF YOU WANT TO TEST THIS, THEN CAMPAIGN FOR A REFERENDUM.

          NIGERIA-BIAFRA UNION IS PLAIN UNADULTERATED EVIL. Nigeria is like forcing Turkey, France, Britain and Italy to be one nation. It will not work.
          During the 20th century a number of troubled nations dissolved themselves to avoid continuing ethnic conflict: Norway, Singapore, the Slovak and Czech Republics, former Soviet states etc. Norway-Sweden dissolved in 1905; Singapore-Malaysia dissolved in 1961; Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992. All these unions were FAR MORE SUCCESSFUL than Nigeria, BUT TO SAVE LIVES, the parties decided to go their separate ways.

          Among the wastage of lives to retain troubled national unions, Nigeria’s is the most catastrophic: Biafra cost 3 million lives (in contrast Chechnya has cost 200,000 lives; Yugoslavia, 260,000; Kashmir, 60,000; Sri Lanka, 70,000 and so on). You cannot be so heartless to justify such human sacrifice (which continues to this day)?

          Nigeria must dissolve like the toxic marriages of Bangledish-Pakistan; Indonesia-Timor; Singapore-Malasia; UK-Ireland; Eritrea-Ethiopia and so many others (even Egypt and Sudan used to be one country; today 3 countries have emerged from that one country).

          Nigeria is the ONLY British colony of its size that has not been divided for a better outcome. UK that created Nigeria has divided (into Britain and Ireland) and is preparing to divide again twice (externally via Brexit and internally via the second Scottish referendum).

          John Paul and your ilk should not be so uncharitable as to want future generation to grow up in this messy and deadly contraption you call a nation!

          CONCLUDED!

          • John Paul

            First of all 90% of Igbo do not want Biafra

            Those that want Biafra are not seeing the full picture. Before you take another informal survey, please tell your focus group the truth. Explain to them that one of the elements of Igbo mythology is “Njepu” (To travel and live in many places)

            Explain to them that the most successful Igbo people – on this planet – did not make it Igboland and were not even born in Igboland. Explain to them that From Nnamdi Azikiwe, to Emeka Ojukwu, to Pat Utomi and many other Igbo were not born, raised and did not make money in Igboland

            Explain to them that from Augustine Ilodibe (Ekene Dili Chukwu), to Vincent Amaechi Obianodo (Young shall grow) to thousands and thousands of Igbo traders and business men, did not make it in Igboland

            Explain to them that the average Igbo trader prefers a non Igbo customer to an Igbo customer because the non Igbo customer does prize things as aggressively as the Igbo customer

            Explain to them that if you declare Biafra, Igbo will need a visa to go to Lagos, Abuja and other places. Igbo will not be able to practice law medicine, accountancy and other professions without getting their licenses in Oduduwa and Arewa Republic. Igbo may even loose their licenses as clearing agents in Lagos

            Explain to them that Lagos, that Igbo see as a second home, will no longer be home. Igbo will have to start lining up like Foreigners to operate in Lagos – our home sweet home

            Explain to them that the landmass in Igboland is too small. It cannot accommodate Igbo. As we saw during “Ósó Abiola”

            Explain to them that Igbo do not like to be confined in a small space. As Okey Ndibe explained – Igbo needs a larger tapestry, than the territory that make up Biafra, to ply their God given talent

            Explain to them that they will have to pay import duty to sell their goods in Lagos – population 16 million – if they have Biafra

            Explain to them that the attendant consequences of a Biafra Republic will not only imporverish Igbo. It will wipe out the gains that we have made since the end of the civil war

            After explaining all these to your focus group. Only the suicidal ones among them will vote to leave Nigeria

            Every Igbo State has an Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. An they control their own land. By making use of these institutions and eradicating corruption, Igbo can create the “Biafra” of their dreams as part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

          • omnia1

            All that you have written shouts one thing “MYOPIA”. Myopia means short-sightedness.
            I have property in Lagos and Abuja. I would gladly give them up for the actualization of Biafra.

            Here is the paradox you fail to see: when Igbos attain self-government the whole world would become their market, and not just poverty-stricken and decrepit Nigeria. Already Igbos control much of the commercial activities on the West African coast, but with Biafra the whole world would come within reach. It is Nigeria itself that limits Igbos! That is the fact even if it seems so counter-intuitive to you.

            How many countries of the world have you visited? Do you know what it would mean for Igbo enterprise if we had a Biafran ambassador in China, Kenya, South Africa, Germany, etc. In those places the vast majority of Nigerian businessmen are Igbos, yet the ambassador is often one clueless Northerner who has a vested interested in suppressing the Igbos. You are like the folk that Paul talked about who have a veil hanging over them. Oh, may God open the eyes of John Paul so that he can see!

  • Mayo

    1) There are lots of Igbos who want a Biafra but do not support Kanu. These people also believe that Kanu is not helping the lot of Igbos.
    2) There are also lots of Igbos who believe that Kanu violated his bail condition and should have been arrested immediately he did so or after one or two warnings.
    3) However the same people who are in categories 1 & 2 above also believe that when the courts first granted Kanu bail, the government should have obeyed the courts. These people believe that the government’s refusal to obey the court wrt to Kanu’s bail was a clear sign of Buhari’s dictatorial characteristic.
    4) When the Minister of Interior announced that the reason government did not arrest the Arewa Youths who gave a quit notice to South Easterners because of the security implications of arresting them, the government lost support from all the folks in category 1 & 2 above.

    At the end of the day, you have Igbos who do not support Kanu and his hate speech (yes, these Igbos call it hate speech) but who at the same time now do not support government trying to arrest Kanu because it seems to them that the government does nothing when it comes to Northerners but are quick to descend on the Easterners.

    The conclusion here is – Buhari has shown that he is not Nationalistic in outlook. He is first and foremost a Northerner, the rest of the country be damned. I remember when ThisDay first published Buhari’s comments – when Niger Delta people carried arms, they gave them money and sent them abroad; when northerners carried arms, govt is bombing them and destroying their homes – I told my friends, such a person should not be Nigeria’s president (this was long before Buhari decided to contest again). Today we are seeing those characteristics being displayed in the Presidency.

    • E.Udah

      You’re one among many others why I must read whatever is published on Thisday Back page.
      Sometimes, digesting the comments is even more educative than the essay itself.
      Thanks for not relenting in educating us with your views and opinion

      • Mayo

        Thanks for your kind words.

    • FrNinja

      Buhari has not sent soldiers for Operation Cow Jump to stop Fulani herdsmen who have slaughtered over 4,000 people across 10 states instead he gets a hard on over igbo youths walking without arms asking for self determination.

      Make Aboki Great Again #maga.

      • Bishop

        Lol…..operation cow jump. That’s a good one.

      • KWOY

        And neither is it a great evil to YORUBAS that Fulan herdsmen are slaughtering People, first because they imposed Buhari, & secondly because Fulani herdsmen are not removing their life-Support by dividing their god-given nigeria!

  • Falaye Adeyinka

    Giving all that is happen in Nigeria today.Tear runs down my eyes considering that once upon a time Simon Kolawole was a watchman.But today he lies in hypocrisy, plays ostrich, panders around the truth, self serving and politically correct. Credibility eroded!

    • FrNinja

      Hunger has no principles.