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There is no future for Biafra – France

Dreams of a Biafra Republic was dealt a massive blow as France which aligned with Biafra in the 1967 secession bid, has affirmed its support for a one indivisible Nigeria.  Speaking to The Guardian, the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauerthat said his country would not support any group agitating for the disintegration of the nation. He said France was working with Nigeria and supporting it as a country. Gauer pointed out that Nigeria has evolved since his country threw its weight behind Biafra during the civil war. He said that France has been cooperating with Nigeria and will continue supporting the nation to surmount numerous problems especially on the fight against the insurgency.   The French envoy further stated that Biafra had no future and urged agitators to remain part of the country. He said “We are working with Nigeria and we are supporting it as the only country. This is absolutely clear and I don’t think there is any kind of future for Biafra. They are part of Nigeria and Nigeria has to remain as the only country”. “Apart from encouraging neighbouring African countries to cooperate with Nigeria we have also developed a strong bilateral relationship with the Nigerian Armed forces,” he said. Recall that Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai, recently issued a stern warning to calling for the break-up of the country to “forget it.” However, in a swift response the Leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Uchenna Madu told The Guardian that the struggle for Biafra “is real and cannot be stopped by any man created by God” He stated that: “We in MASSOB do not believe what he said because that does not represent the position of France. France is a friend of Biafra and even during the Nigeria/Biafra war, they assisted us so much. “In this current agitation for Biafra, France has sympathy for us. We advise our people to disregard what he said. We think that the Nigerian media misinterpreted what the French envoy said.   Source:NAN

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#iStandWithBuhari rally holds in Awka.

Thousands of youths converged in Awka the Anambra state capital to show their support for the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration. The rally which held at Ekwueme Square was organised by The rally which held at Ekwueme Square was organised by #iStandWithBuhari organisation.  There were initial apprehension and reluctance by many as there had been threats by the members of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and other pro-Biafra groups had earlier threatened to disrupt any rally in support of Buhari. Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in particular had issued a statement through its spokesperson Comrade Uchenna Madu stating that “This rally will not hold anywhere in Biafra land. We have discovered that this is the reason why some Igbo politicians are driving their way into APC that has no interest for Ndigbo. “We shall never allow them to bring political disgrace to Igbo land. “What is the significance of the APC rally in Igbo land? Do Ndigbo have any love or likeness for Buhari and APC? Why must such disgraceful rally be planned to hold in Ojukwu’s home state? “Is the rally more important than the Federal Government’s abandoned second Niger Bridge, Enugu-Onitsha federal road, Enugu- Port Harcourt express way, Onitsha- Okigwe Federal road, etc? “MASSOB warns the Professor Osibanjo-led Federal Government to call off the APC proposed rally because we shall resist it. “Our advice is that such a rally should be held in Hausa- Fulani land, where Buhari’s kinsmen are living.” However, the rally was held successfully without hitches and coincidentally President Buhari himself arrived in the country in the early hours of the same day.

Blog, Reverie

This Irish woman is the world’s best mum!

Her story is an emotional one which has dominated the news for the past few days. The poor woman said her daughter sometimes suffer up to 20 seizures in a day and watching her suffer has become unbearable hence her decision to embark on this protest.

Blog, Essays, Monishots

Moving forward after the SE Governors meeting.

Ours is a region blessed with abundant natural resources like oil, coal, zinc, limestone, salt and much more which remain largely untapped. The necessary requirements are also there, we have human resources, capital and most importantly entrepreneurial spirit. What is lacking is the vision and platform.

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Nwodo excited as South-East Governors meet, elect Umahi Chairman.

The President General of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has expressed optimism as Governors from the South-East region met in Enugu today. He commended the governors on their synergy and solidarity saying that such tonic was very essential for regional integration and progress. He said that one of the promises made by Ohaneze Ndi Igbo has been fulfilled as the governors were meeting for the first time since the 2015 general elections. Speaking to newsmen after the meeting he said, “I came to congratulate them for their synergy and their new found solidarity and the resurgence of that solidarity. “I have promised that whatever misgivings they have between them is a storm in the tea cup and is grossly exaggerated and you can see that happening now”, adding that there were speculations over the past few years that all is not well in the region due to the inability of the governors to meet, he however explained that there were no real issues except that they have been finding it difficult to meet.  He went on to say that “The headquarters of Ohaneze is in Enugu and it is only courteous that as the president general, I should come and greet them and brief them about our activities as well as wish them well in their deliberations. “All five of them are here. Nobody is represented by the deputy. They are in serious deliberation and I am grateful to God that this is happening”. “I am infused that within two months of my coming into office they are back on the saddle, united and in total solidarity addressing the problems affecting us as a geographical region,” Nwodo said.  The governors also elected Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state as its new Chairman at the meeting which was hosted by Governor Ugwuanyi at Lion Building Enugu. Governor Ikpeazu of Abia state who announced this said that it was the turn of Ebonyi as Abia and Anambra had earlier taken their turns. He said, “I want to specially recognise the oldest members of this forum, Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra. “We have just risen from a meeting and it is my pleasure to officially introduce the chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum in the person of Gov. Dave Umahi. “He is our chairman today because Anambra and Abia have taken their turns in the past and we are moving forward from Ebonyi flank at this moment,” Ikpeazu said. Umahi said he was honoured to lead the forum despite the fact that he might not be the most qualified. “I want to thank my brother governors and to accept the leadership position my colleagues have pushed on me. “Not being the most qualified but they decided that I should be the chairman of the forum at a time like this. I want to thank them with all sense of humility”. The meeting was attended by all the 5 governors themselves unlike previously when they sent their deputies as representatives.   Source: NAN

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PDP: Like Sheriff, like Jonathan.

Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to cope with conflict by peaceful means.~Ronald Reagan Widely regarded by many Americans as the greatest president, the above quote was in an address by the 40th POTUS at the commencement exercises of Eureka College (Illinois) in May 1982. Remarkably he was equally commemorating his 50th graduation anniversary having become an alumnus of the same school in 1932. In his time President Reagan often harped on the need to supplant the old policy of hostility with the Soviet Union with gradual reduction of nuclear weapons, while covertly pursuing a scheme to sabotage their economy, a paradoxical strategy which nevertheless proved ruthlessly effective in diminishing Soviet power in the twilight of the twentieth century. On Monday news filtered in that Ali Modu Sheriff and his supporters visited Goodluck Jonathan as part of his consultation and appeal for acceptance since the appeal court victory of last week. Sheriff accompanied by a former governor of Niger state Babangida Aliyu had earlier made a similar visit to ex-military leader IBB at his hilltop mansion in Minna. It was reported that former president Jonathan while receiving them in his Abuja residence repeatedly referred to Sheriff as “my chairman” in his characteristic humility. He later assured newsmen that he had also met the others and that the problem of the party is being resolved as they are one family. In other news however, the Ahmed Markafi led faction had despite a police cordon, gathered in Fayose’s Abuja residence to announce that they have appealed the judgement at the Supreme Court and went on to issue a communique that totally rejected Sheriff as party chairman stating that they “are not at all deceived by the supposed olive branch being offered by Senator Ali Modu Sherrif, knowing that the only thing that can come from traitors of his ilk is nothing but a poisoned chalice and a Greek gift”. Strong words I must say, it appears some party members didn’t get Reagan’s memo, the die is cast and the result may likely be a requiem rather than revival for the once upon a time Africa’s ‘largest’ party. Let us take a look at the party’s road to perdition. A party founded on the virtuous principles of the G-34 led by former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, PDP grew to capture the seat of power in 1999. The party’s membership spread across the 6 geopolitical zones while it also built solid structures in all 36 states of the federation. Indeed so formidable was PDP in our national politics that its former Chairman Vincent Ogbulafor boasted that the party will rule Nigeria for 60yrs! Our people say that “no one should gloat over prison when the police have not departed”. I wonder what Ogbulafor will make of the current imbroglio. Once and again with many African stories, attaining success is often easier than managing it. The party became intoxicated with power and relegated the people. PDP had money and power, the essential ingredients required to improve the well-being of people, rather it chose to conquer and further pauperise them. We watched helplessly for 16yrs as they continued their wilful misrule while looting our collective patrimony with gleeful impunity. The party was so corrupt that it gained the notorious alias of “share the money”. As if that wasn’t enough, they also made sure our votes didn’t count as they rigged their way to electoral victories throughout the nation. Well, nothing lasts forever they say and like I warned in my article 10 years ago, the rise of progressives which coalesced into the APC resulted in the ultimate defeat of the party of looters. Since its defeat, the party has continued stuttering in a downward slide to ignominy. Not only have they failed to offer a whimper let alone serious opposition, they have equally been embroiled in a needless leadership tussle. Without delving into the chronology of the party’s numerous crisis which some trace back to its very 1st convention, when retired military money bags hijacked the process to thwart the candidacy of a better qualified Ekwueme for their fellow jackboot Obasanjo. Let us assess the current crisis which I believe was precipitated by ex-president Goodluck Jonathan’s insistence to contest elections in contravention of the rotational ‘gentleman agreement’ of the party, recall that while the former president chose to maintain calm in the face of startling revelations of wanton corruption under his watch, those who were to steer the ship rarely got off to a united start. When Senator Ike Ekweremadu who is the highest elected member of the party selfishly joined Saraki in the senate leadership, yours truly had wondered how one can offer credible opposition from an APC dominated NASS leadership? To me, that move magnified the leadership vacuum earlier created by Jonathan’s indifference and thus presented an opportunity for Governors to hijack the throne. Fayose, being a smart politician seized the moment and rallied his colleagues to fill the position left by Alhaji Adamu Muazu with the former Borno state governor. It is no secret that he was instrumental in Sheriff’s emergence as the acting Chairman of the party despite the screening of about 5 other candidates of which Sheriff wasn’t even among. In the usual manner of disregarding laid down principles, the party had once again shot itself in the foot. Olisa Metuh had said then that Sheriff was picked by National Caucus of PDP comprising the governors, members of the National Working committee, NWC and the leadership of the National Assembly. Sheriff himself thanked the governor profusely on his visit to Ado-Ekiti acknowledging that he helped him become the leader of the party. The coast looked to be clear and some expected the ship to set sail but that didn’t happen and may not happen anytime soon. Some say that certain elements within the party hierarchy had learnt of an alleged plot by the new chairman to contest the 2019 presidential election with Fayose as his

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Free Audu Maikori by Adebayo Ajagunna

we can advocate for Audu because he has a platform I will like to say that there are too many innocent young Nigerians languishing in various detentions on flimsy accusations with no one to speak for them. We must review the way law enforcement in our nation relates with the entire citizenry. 

Blog, Essays

Apostle Suleman as the tipping point.

Religion is the opium of the people ~ Karl Marx One of the greatest sayings in the history of mankind. Karl Marx could not have put it better. Some say he was so ahead of his time that even in this age he would have still been among the greatest philosophers.  I am not a Marxist and even though I love written works I only tried reading one of his books “The Poverty of Philosophy”. It was more or less a critique of another philosopher and halfway through I dropped it because I was distracted by what I’ve totally forgotten now. I think I need to read more of his works. Growing up as a student of the College of the Immaculate Conception (CIC) Enugu, I learnt a lot about religion. Prior to then, I used to see the robed men as angels or even saints if you like who could not be faulted.  Now a man in his forties, I have learnt even more about religion, especially its perception in my country by both leaders and followers. The common denominator is that majority of us see religion as a means to an end. That explains why young men and women who seek financial and marital breakthroughs respectively flock to the modern churches that have sprung up in every nook and cranny. A majority of the modern pastors themselves are smart businessmen, latching on the ignorance and desperation of the youth to preach prosperity in the usual pattern of “give more and get more”. The trick here is simple: When you tell the gullible to give 1000 and receive 1ook there is every likelihood that they will ‘drop’. But when 1000 gullible followers give 1000, the church coffers have swollen by 1m. This is where I categorise Apostle Suleiman and so many like him. The Apostle was recently in the eye of the storm for callous statements he made calling on his followers to kill any “Fulani herdsman” they see around them. Granted he made the statement after narrating how he got information about a plot by Fulani herdsmen to attack him, but this is definitely not the kind of message that should emanate from religious leaders whether Christian or Muslim. I am all for self-defence don’t get me wrong, however, I also know that majority Fulani herdsmen we see are peaceful citizens going about their daily hustle. It is, therefore, condemnable that a so-called man of God who should be urging restraint will be inciting his followers to murder others. Having said that, it will be right to look at what led to his vituperation. I know the herdsmen problem has been with us for as long as anyone can remember but we appear to have it magnified under this administration. Two things suffice here; One, Buhari is a Muslim and allegedly a leader of Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association. He is reputed to be a champion of their interests and once travelled all the way from Daura to Ibadan to parley with the then Governor Lam Adesina over some fracas involving Fulani herdsmen. Two, the opposition is spearheaded by Christians who even though are aware this has been a perennial problem have not failed to whip up sentiments and media hysteria whenever there is an incident involving Fulani herdsmen. This combination of factors has made it even more difficult to diligently pursue any lasting solution to this thorn in our flesh.    Just like many Nigerians, I believe that this government has not been vocal on the problem of rampaging Fulani herdsmen. This has led to anger and frustration in many quarters, it is perhaps this frustration that has pushed Apostle Suleiman to make unguarded comments. It may also be the reason behind the widespread support he received especially from Christians who are often the targets of the murderous herdsmen down South. A sad but unfortunate reality.   The smart Apostle has since retracted his statement and has parleyed with the DSS. Stories had it that the timely intervention of CAN calmed frayed nerves and he was let off with a caution. I appreciate and applaud the maturity of all sides but the problem remains unsolved. So while we urge leaders to be guided in their utterances, we must urge govt to hasten its proposed grazing reserves. Controversial as it seems many state governors appear to agree it is a panacea to this age-long problem. Bayelsa for instance recently donated 1,200 hectares of land to cattle rearers, for grazing, ranching and slaughtering of their cattle in the state. This is a laudable development worthy of emulation and I will suggest the govt should make laws that forbid grazing outside such designated areas. The DSS must as a matter of urgency step up its intelligence-gathering to ensure planned attacks are busted and nipped in the bud, because going by the narrative in the Southern part of the country any other attack by herdsmen may likely precipitate a crisis of unimaginable magnitude. A stitch in time….

Blog, Essays, Reverie

Trump’s Muslim ban is US tradition..only with a ‘Trumpet’ this time.

FACT: Just in case you’ve forgotten, Obama once banned immigrants from Venezuela. He also banned Iraqi refugees for 6 months and deported 2.5m people, more than any US president. Despite my views on Trump’s stupid Muslim ban, examining his policies with regard to the American context will tell you the man is no fool. When I read this article last year I realised how smart the really is. He only made a promise informed by the prevailing fact that more Americans want Muslims banned from their country. You see over the years it has been impressed upon Americans that they are at war with Islam since Bush declared his so-called war on terror. The media has not relented in painting a picture of ‘we against them’. This was unpacked in “Manufacturing consent” a book by Herman and Chomsky which proposed that the US mass media “are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalised assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion”. Make no mistake about it the SILENT majority love this policy but may not be willing to say so to appear politically correct, well with Trump political correctness is dead! Much as I see it as a stupid policy I cannot deny that he is fulfilling his promise to the electorate. That is why I ‘ve always maintained that a majority of Americans are ignorant. A point that often infuriates many of my good friends over there but very true nevertheless. Back home you cannot help but laugh at some ignorant Nigerians who applaud the ban while hoping that Trump their new hero will deal with Buhari and the Muslims they loathe. Hear me now, the white majority whose ancestors occupied America and almost wiped out the natives no longer want ‘foreigners’ in ‘their’ land. They are now scared that in years to come they will become the minority, so they don’t want Muslims who disguise as refugees only to come and bomb them in subways and other public places neither do they want ‘lazy’ Africans who troop in to register for social welfare only to lay back on the couch and gobble down free pizzas provided by hard working tax payers nor Mexicans who keep chicken in the backyard to wake them up in the wee hours. So Trump’s ban is in line with an age-long tradition only that his style of delivery is always greeted with so much media hysteria. The ban is in place all the same so the rest of the world will have to watch and see how it plays out while the grammar speaking minority of Americans who oppose it will have to live with it for the next 90 days. Ironically, the usual response of ignoble white supremacists when confronted with their shallow reasoning is “go back to your country”. And you can help but wonder where they ‘ll go if the real owners of the land should ask them to go back to their own country.

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On Trump’s Muslim ban by Nze Anizor

I neither believe nor accept that religion is the problem of Nigeria or the world. Religion is just a crutch which people, tribes or countries fighting for land, economic or political supremacy use to justify their blood lust. Ban religion and they will locate another crutch quickly. So Islam is violent? Are there no Muslims in South Western Nigeria? Most of the skirmishes between ‘alayes‘ and Hausas or Igbos in Lagos are purely tribal and have nothing whatsoever to do with religion. How come most of the religious violence in Nigeria is located in the Northern part of the country. Are there no Muslims in Gambia, Senegal, etc? Are there no Muslims in the UAE, Iran, etc? In reality, Nigeria is one of the very few places on earth which has a strong central government but still has a problem with violence tied to religion. Islamic violence in Libya, Syria, and Iraq became issues with the breakdown of their central govt. The implication, therefore, is that we really do not have as strong a central govt as we like to pretend. Coming to Trump’s ban, for me it is neither here nor there, especially seeing as it is temporary. Affected countries are free to retaliate if they feel injured enough. I have no doubt the ban won’t last but the inherent message will reverberate for long. A possible advantage is that people who intend to set their country on fire and flee to the USA may have a rethink. Build your country and you won’t care if another man bans you from entering his own country. Build your country and you can thump your nose at Trump and his ban and walls. I won’t mind if he bans Nigerian government officials from entering the USA . Maybe then they will pay the desired attention to responsible governance. I stand with Lolly Daskal. Nze tweets @okenze

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On deodorants and insecticides.

For me this matter is simple, his SGF wants to be ‘chopping’ while stopping our lawmakers from doing the same. He should know that the Nigerian way is ‘chop I chop’, that is how our democracy works and any attempt to stop it will be stiffly opposed.

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