Tag Archives: IGBO

“ALL NORTHERNERS SHOULD LEAVE NIGER DELTA BEFORE OCTOBER 1” – MILITANTS REACT TO IGBO QUIT NOTICE

Niger Delta militants have issued an October 1 ultimatum for northerners to leave their region, in response to the quit notice given to the Igbo by some Arewa youth groups. The militants also said the FG should hand over all oil blocs controlled by northerners to the people of Niger Delta.

In a joint statement released on Friday, the coalition of Niger Delta militants also said they will declare the independence of the region on October 1. “A coalition of the Niger Delta militants met today in Port Harcourt to review the recent call by the Arewa Youths groups that the Ndigbo should vacate all the Northern states within three months,” it read.

“We see the declaration by Arewa Youths as a declaration which the northern elders, leaders, political elite, security heads from the North and governors were fully aware of . We demand 100% control of our resources.

We demand that the FG should hand over all oil blocs owned by northerners to Niger Delta indigenes. All the companies operating in such oil blocs/wells should vacate within three months.

The FG should immediately relocate NNPC and all the offices that have to do with oil/gas sector back to Niger Delta states and immediately replace the Group Managing Director with an indigene of Niger Delta.

All northern indigenes working in NNPC and any other board that has anything to do with oil/gas should be sacked with immediate effect. We demand an independent and sovereign Republic of Niger Delta. .

Our money has been used to fund Boko Haram, a problem created by the Northerners in order to use it as conduit pipe to siphon the resources of Niger Delta. On October 1, 2017 we shall declare our independence come rain, come shine. .

We shall take our destiny in our hands and free ourselves from the slavery of the North as they are tired of one Nigeria. From October 1, 2017, we don’t want to see any northerner close to (the) Niger Delta; any attempt to penetrate shall meet fierce resistance. This time, we are not going to play defence, but attack.”

Advertisements

16 NORTHERN GROUPS GIVE IGBOS OCTOBER 1 TO VACATE NORTHERN REGION

President, Northern Emancipation Network, Abdul-azzez Suleima (left); President,

Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Shettima Yerima and North Central Coordinator, Arewa Citizens Action for Change, Mohammed Eneji Abdulhamid, at the presentation of a joint paper on the Igbo’s persistence for secession in Kaduna …yesterday.

  • Ask relatives in S’ East to return home
  • Seek global observers to witness dissolution of Nigeria
  • MASSOB accepts quit notice, Afenifere warns

Sixteen northern youth groups rose from a joint meeting in Kaduna yesterday to give Igbo residing in their states up to October 1, 2017 to vacate the region. This came days after the shutting down of major towns in the South East on May 30, 2017 as part of the campaign by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for the actualisation of Biafra Republic.

The action of the northern youths shows that the agitations for self-determination are spiraling out of control. The nation’s leaders need to immediately intervene to stop these agitations from resulting in violence that may consume the entire nation.

The youth organisations in attendance at the Kaduna meeting included Arewa Citizens Action for Change, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Arewa Youth Development Foundation, Arewa Students Forum and Northern Emancipation Network on the Igbo Persistence for Secession.

Mallam Abdulazeez Suleiman who read the statement issued on behalf of others at the Arewa House in Kaduna, said the North was tired of the political marriage existing in the country, hence the need for restructuring as being canvassed by many notable Nigerian leaders, including former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

“The persistence for the actualisation of Biafra by the unruly Igbo of South-Eastern Nigeria has lately assumed another alarming twist which involved the forceful (sic) lockdown of activities and denial of other people right to free movement in the South-East by the rebel IPOB and its overt and covert sponsors.

“This latest action and similar confrontational conducts which amount to a brutal encroachment on the rights of those termed as non-indigenous people residing and doing lawful businesses in those areas illegally demarcated and defined as Biafra by the Igbo, are downright unacceptable and shall no longer be tolerated,” the northern youths said.

Alleging persistent Igbo threat to national integration, the northern youth said they had met with several other people in their region and reviewed the current position of the North and jointly came up with the declaration.

The statement further reads: “The Igbo people of the South-East, without remorse for the carnage they wrought on the nation in the 1960s, are today boldly reliving those sinister intentions connoted by the Biafran agitation that led to the very first bloody insurrection in Nigeria’s history.

“Emboldened by the apparent indifference of the Nigerian authorities, the Igbo secessionist tendency is widening in scope and action at every stage, with adverse effects on the law-abiding people of other regions residing in or passing through the East, while the Igbo leaders and elders by their utterances and direct action or inaction appear to support and encourage it.

“This is happening irrespective of the undisputable fact that Igbo have done and are doing more damage to our collective nationhood than any other ethnic group; being responsible for the first violent interference with democracy in Nigeria resulting in a prolonged counter-productive chain of military dictatorship.

“It is on record that since the inception of the current democratic dispensation, the Igbo have shown and maintained open contempt and resentment for the collective decision expressed by majority of Nigerians at various stages via generally acceptable democratic processes.

“While these provocative acts of aggression persist and grow in dimension with each new move, leaders of the North whose people are at the receiving end of the threats, appear helplessly unperturbed.

“Without pursuing a resolute action-plan, these northern leaders have adopted and have been dragging their people into a pitifully pacifist position in order to sustain an elusive national cohesion that has long been ridiculed by the Igbo.

“From today, June 6, 2017, when this proclamation is signed, the North, a critical player in the Nigerian project, hereby declares that it will no longer be disposed to coexisting with the Igbo and shall take definite steps to end the partnership by pulling out of the current federal arrangement.

“This conclusion is necessitated by the realisation that it since (sic) ceased to be comfortable or safe to continue sharing the same country with the ungrateful, uncultured Igbo who have exhibited reckless disrespect for the other federating units and stained the integrity of the entire nation with their insatiable criminal obsessions.

“Rather than certain sections holding the whole country to ransom at every stage, each should be allowed to go its own way as we categorically proclaim today that the North is fed up with being in the same country with this pack of acrimonious Igbo partners.

“The North hereby openly calls on the authorities and other national and international stakeholders to acknowledge this declaration by taking steps to facilitate the final dissolution of this hopeless union that has never been convenient to any of the parties.

“As a first step, since the Igbo have clearly abused the unreciprocated hospitality that gave them unrestricted access to, and ownership of landed properties all over the North, our first major move shall be to reclaim, assume and assert sole ownership and control of these landed resources currently owned, rented or in any way enjoyed by the ingrate Igbo in any part of Northern Nigeria.

“Consequently, officials of the signatory groups to this declaration are already mandated to commence immediate inventory of all properties, spaces or activity in the north currently occupied by the Igbo for forfeiture at the expiration of the ultimatum contained in this declaration.

“With the effective date of this declaration, which is today, Tuesday, June 06, 2017, all Igbo currently residing in any part of Northern Nigeria are hereby served notice to relocate within three months and all northerners residing in the East are advised likewise.”

The groups mandated all northern civil society and pressure groups to mobilise for sustained and coordinated campaigns at their respective State Government Houses, Houses of Assembly, Local Government Council Secretariats and traditional palaces for steps to be taken to ensure the enforcement of the directives .

“We are hereby placing the Nigerian authorities and the entire nation on notice that as from the 1st October 2017, we shall commence the implementation of visible actions to prove to the whole world that we are no longer part of any federal union that should do with the Igbo.

“From that date, effective, peaceful and safe mop-up of all the remnants of the stubborn Igbo that neglect to heed this quit notice shall commence to finally eject them from every part of the North.

“And finally, all authorities, individuals or groups are hereby advised against attempting to undermine this declaration by insisting on this union with the Igbo who have thus far proved to be an unnecessary baggage carried too far and for too long.”

In its reaction, the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) said it received with gladness the “quit notice” and urged the Igbo to return home immediately.

MASSOB, in a statement by its leader Uchenna Madu said: “The latest quit notice by the coalition of northern youths under the umbrella of Arewa youths is not a surprise gift to Biafrans residing in Arewa land. MASSOB is aware that such rascality will happen. As a matter of fact, this is the only rascality exhibited by sponsored Arewa youths to forcefully (sic) exit the people of Biafra residing in Arewa land that MASSOB will hundred percent support. Their Boko Haram tactics didn’t work as planned.

“MASSOB gladly received the good news of quit notice order to the people of Biafra living in Arewa land. We pledge our total support towards this divinely approved quit notice. MASSOB congratulates the Arewa political, religious, and traditional and opinion leaders who sponsored their youths wing by using Arewa House in Kaduna for this greatest meeting of a coalition of Islamic fundamentalists.

“MASSOB is hereby advising the people of Biafra mostly the Igbo living in Northern Nigeria (Arewa land) to take this quit notice serious (sic) as the plan to violently kill your children, wives and demolish your investments are already perfected. MASSOB will never fight or defend your lives and properties in Hausa Fulani land. The consciousness and realities of Biafra is highly overwhelming now.”

Igbo youths under the aegis of Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), said the statement was capable of causing chaos in the country but urged the Igbo to remain “wherever they are and defend themselves if pushed to the wall.”

One of the leaders of the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo said the development was a bad signal for the country. Adebanjo called on the northerner leaders to urgently condemn the statement by the northerner youths by saying that they did not speak for the north. He also urged the Federal Government to make a statement on the issue “otherwise it has far-reaching implications to the unity of the nation. Otherwise nobody is afraid of separation. If the North wants to break, there is nothing wrong but the idea of giving ultimatum to a particularly set of people to vacate their region is unacceptable.”

Earlier yesterday, Prof. Ben Nwabueze described the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as a great Igbo man, stressing that marginalisation has robbed the Igbo of greatness.

Nwabueze, who spoke in Enugu when Kanu led the leadership of the Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) to his office, said that those undermining the agitation for secession were making a huge mistake.

“We are supposed to be one of the leading ethnic groups in Nigeria but today we are in the minority; we have been so marginalised. Nnamdi Kanu’s case teaches that repression is seldom the right response to complaints and agitations for amelioration in the conditions of things in the society. Repression seldom settles grievances. If anything, it forces them underground.

“Another lesson to learn from Kanu’s case is that this self-determination should be a graduated process. It should begin with regional autonomy. The country should be restructured into six more or less self-governing zones or regions, with the powers of the central government drastically reduced, so as to minimise the fierce contest for its control,” the constitutional lawyer said.

Igbo Political Renaissance And Rescue

A presentation by the National Chairman of the United Progressives Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie at the recent World Igbo Summit in Enugu

The unfortunate state of affairs that has led Ndigbo to where we are in Nigeria today calls for dedicated, selfless, focused, and patriotic leadership that will provide direction and articulate a properly thought-out political roadmap that will re-launch a sustainable Igbo political resurgence in spite of man-made obstacles.

There are certain potentialities that Igbo political leadership can wield into an irrepressible political force on the platform of a political party we control its machinery, which also has its Manifesto registered with INEC, with provisions that articulate policies and programmes that are inclined towards the realization of Igbo political aspirations and agenda.

Studies have proved that Igbo people are the most widely dispersed people in Nigeria. We are at least the second largest population in most states of Nigeria and constitute the overwhelming majority of the people in the South-East geopolitical zone of the country.

It has been conservatively estimated that we constitute about 40 per cent of the population of Lagos State and about 60 per cent of the population of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the Federal Capital Territory. In political terms we can mobilize minimum of 25 per cent of the voting population of 31 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, while controlling 99.9 per cent of the voting population of the five states of the South East geopolitical zone.

In Nigerian democracy population and spread are the critical factors that can determine the direction and control of power after every general election. Ndigbo have no business being irrelevant in the matter of politics in Nigeria with what God has already given to them.

A properly organized political platform championed by the Igbo that promises true federalism, devolution of power, resource control, State Police and Community Policing etc shall attract the involvement of people of other geopolitical zones that are similarly inclined such as the South-South and North Central geopolitical zones. Such movements will also attract interest from other sections that share in such political ideology.

We must not forget that in the Second Republic, Plateau State led by Dr. Solomon Lar formed a State government elected on the platform of the Nigerian Peoples Party led by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, an Igboman. What is clear is that the Igbo is like a sleeping giant. The challenge that we face today is the proactive steps we need to take to arouse this giant from its slumber.

This Summit is a commendable step in that direction. It was upon the realization of the Igbo political dilemma as far back as 1995 that I mobilized my associates to commence the process of forming a national political party based on Igbo initiative. In 1996 we approached the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON) to register the Peoples Democratic Congress (PDC) but the political association was not registered. In 1998 we made the second attempt to register again the Peoples Democratic Congress.

We were for a second time denied registration. In those two attempts we had the Cock as symbol because we realized that our people needed to be woken up from slumber and in Igboland as in other places in Nigeria the Cock crows to signal the dawn of a new day.

We also had “Be Your Brother’s Keeper”, in Igbo, “Onye Aghala Nwanneya” as the motto. In 2001, when the opportunity presented itself again for the registration of new political parties, we had realized the intrigues and the machinations that played out in the two failed attempts.

We therefore changed tactics and strategy and succeeded in the registration of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), still with the cock as logo and “Be Your Brother’s Keeper” (Onye Aghala Nwanneya) as its motto. The Certificate of Registration of APGA was received by me in the company of the Protem National Officers of the party on June 24, 2002. APGA then became the first political party registered in Nigeria based on Igbo initiative.

I entered the history book as the founder and National Chairman of this historic political party. The excitement among Igbo people at home and abroad was palpable. As a result of that accomplishment Ohanaeze Ndigbo under the leadership of the indomitable Hon. Justice Eze Ozobu (rtd) former Chief Judge of Enugu State and now a traditional ruler of his community conferred on me the title “Ogbaturu Enyi Ndigbo.”

With all humility, I remain the only person, whether living or dead that has ever been conferred with a traditional title by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo since its formation in 1976. Our first policy pronouncement was to zone the presidential slot of the party to the South East geopolitical zone for the 2003 presidential election. It was at this point that I and my associates came face to face with the timidity that had afflicted Igbo political leaders.

There were not less than 6 carefully selected Igbo persons who were politicians of appreciable political profiles we approached to fly APGA Presidential flag. One after the other, they declined. In deep sadness and frustration, I went to Hon. Justice Eze Ozobu, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to share my experience with him.

I resisted the temptation to fly the presidential ticket myself like what those who founded political parties did in the past. I refused to be persuaded because I had convinced those who supported the effort morally and/or materially that I did not lead the initiative for personal aggrandizement and I was determined to maintain that principled stand.

It was Justice Eze Ozobu that advised that we should make the same offer to Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, whom I had been closely associated with as my leader for over 20 years since he returned from exile in 1982. I requested Justice Eze Ozobu to present Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu to the party leadership at a private ceremony in Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s residence for reasons that space will not permit me here to narrate.

That presentation was done on 24th December, 2002, in the presence of people who are still alive but whose names shall be mentioned in a book that is still work-in-progress.

On 26th December 2002, two days after Justice Ozobu’s presentation of Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu to the Party, I addressed a World Press Conference at the Zodiac Hotel, Enugu where I proposed Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu as APGA presidential candidate. His candidature was ratified at a well-attended National Convention of the Party at the Old Parade Ground Abuja on January 10, 2003, where I handed over to him the Presidential flag of the Party.

That event signaled the match for Igbo political resurgence. Majority of Igbo people all over Nigeria, especially those in the South-East voted overwhelmingly for Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu as presidential candidate and other candidates who contested that general election on the platform of APGA

. The young party lacked the financial resources to protect its votes and the candidates also lacked the resources to defend their mandates except Mr. Peter Obi of Anambra State who had the support of the people of Anambra State and the resources to defend his mandate at the Election Petition Tribunal and ultimately prevailed to become the first elected governor on the platform of APGA. Unknown to us, the presidency under President Olusegun Obasanjo was uncomfortable with the emergence of Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu as our Presidential candidate.

APGA was viewed as a national security risk, based on the morbid fear that if Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu gained political foothold in Nigeria, he would re-enact the effort to lead his people to secede from Nigeria, a second time. This accounted for the undue attention paid to APGA to ensure that the Party’s candidates were denied their victory through massive rigging.

It was in April 2003, after the election that the then President Olusegun Obasanjo told me pointedly in his official residence in the Presidential Villa that I committed a “Political Sin” by presenting Dim Odumegwu- Ojukwu as presidential candidate. The conversation lasted for hours and we touched on so many other issues that are not proper to be disclosed on a presentation of this nature.

The Presidency was determined to decimate APGA and in no time they established a weak-link within the Party’s leadership which they used to launch their attack on the Party on the 15th of December, 2004, via a Press Conference at NUJ Press Centre, Abuja in which spurious and unsubstantiated allegations were spewed against me.

Before this press conference that signaled the unfortunate balkanization of APGA, the perpetrators of this act had craftily placed a wedge between me and our erstwhile presidential candidate with whom I had associated for over 20 years. The dispute that ensued lasted for more than 8 years, resulting in over 20 litigations that saw us approach the Supreme Court 3 times without resolving the issue of the authentic leadership of the Party.

Some of the litigations were still pending at the lower courts when we decided to let go and regroup to float another political party with the same vision, orientation and more radical and revolutionary agenda. This initiative led to the formation of the United Progressive Party (UPP) which was registered on October 2, 2012.

The attitude and the timidity of the Igbo political elite has not changed, instead it has further degenerated and retrogressed. In spite of the fact that we zoned the presidential slot to the South East geopolitical zone for the 2015 presidential election and given the fact that APGA adopted the presidential candidate of PDP, former President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2011 general election and repeated the same thing in 2015 general election, no Igbo aspirant stepped forward to be considered for the UPP presidential ticket.

It could be recalled that UPP became the first registered political party in Nigeria to host its National Convention in Igboland. It was on the eve of that Convention that took place at Aba in Abia State, that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our party in a pre-Convention meeting nominated me and Barrister Bello Umar from Zamfara State to become Presidential candidate and Vice presidential candidate respectively.

The 2015 presidential election is now an eye-opener to us in UPP and to Ndigbo in general.The inescapable truth is that, it is only when all eligible Igbo men and women begin to actively participate in the electoral process, wherever we are domiciled in Nigeria, that we shall begin to recover our long lost place of relevance in Nigeria and reap the benefits of quality representation, accountable leadership, respect and governance at all levels of government.

If we do not stir up ourselves and perform the civic responsibilities we owe to ourselves and our race, perpetual lamentation, shall be the outcome of political apathy and indifference. We must bear in mind that the economy of Ala Igbo, our businesses, our religion and the way we choose to worship, our self and group esteem, the quality of our education and our quest for self-determination are all inextricably woven around politics. This is the truth that is selfevident.