Monday, 25 April 2016

Blood and Tears Flow in Enugu as Fulani Herdsmen Massacre People, Take Over The Places.

Massacred Community In Enugu state Nigeria.

Scores of people are reported killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen who invaded Enugu in the early hours of Monday.

State police spokesperson Ebere Amaraizu have confirmed the report. Amaraizu said the police and the army are responding to the situation.

The suspected herdsmen reportedly invaded Ukpabi, Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani local government area of the state sacking houses and killing many.

According to reports, Enugu residents are fleeing the affected (and other) communities in search of safe havens.

Reports say neighbouring Nkpologu and Uvuru, and far away Nkpologu, have fled to Nsukka.

It’s not the first time suspected Fulani gunmen would invade communities. Two months ago, the herdsmen reportedly killed over 300 people in Agatu, Benue State.

They said the killings were reprisals for a Fulani man killed by members of the community in 2013.
President Muhammadu Buhari said the conflict is a “perennial problem” and “we’ll look into it.”

Information and culture minister Lai Mohammed said the government is working “silently” to fix the menace

Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume E-5, Documents on Africa, 1969-1972

‘Europeans wrongly see Igboland as a region for notorious robbers, kidnappers, ritual killers’

A delegation of the Nigerian Igbo Community in Europe ,NICE , an organization of Igbos living in Europe, led by its International President, Chief Chris Ebede, embarked on a fact-finding mission to  Anambra State. The one- week  tour was inspired by information gaining momentum in Europe  that the  region was  in  steady decline due to long years of neglect by  the Federal Government and lack of honest and people-oriented leadership.

By Akoma Chinweoke

What is the Nigerian Igbo Community in Europe, NICE , about?

Igbos in Europe, with  international headquarters in the United Kingdom, is the brain child of Chief Ebede and now one of the leading Igbo organizations in Europe and the Diaspora . The organization was formed in 2003 with an initial membership of 20  persons of both genders embracing academics, business people, students and religious ministers residing in London. However, in the past one decade, following sustained membership and enlightenment campaign, the organization has  grown rapidly with about  250 members  resident in various countries  across  Europe including the United Kingdom, France,Germany Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Russia, Denmark and the Netherlands. More national chapters are due to be inaugurated this year. The  vision of the organization was to constitute an  organ of Igbos in Europe which would not only serve as the voice of Ndigbo  but also  provide a  tool  to promote  the image of Nigeria.

The organization holds its international biennial annual conference (convention) in London while national chapters hold their annual conferences in their respective countries usually in November or December of each year and  is also affiliated to Igbo organizations in the Diaspora as well as to some pan-African groups with similar vision. It also has a strong  link with major British and European governmental and non-governmental social, economic, political and religious  which provide the  platform for  the dissemination  of  information  about Ndigbo and Nigeria.

Why are you  on a fact-fact finding mission to the  South-East, Anambra State in particular?
Chris Ebede

The fact-fact finding mission to Nigeria, Anambra State in particular, was motivated by some negative report circulating in the United Kingdom and some countries in Europe to the effect that there is a steady degeneration of social and economic infrastructure in the south-eastern  states occasioned first by the neglect of the zone by the Federal government and secondly by the poor and dishonest leadership and governance style of the governors in spite of bogus claims of achievements. This report  was tabled at the organization’s biennial annual conference/convention in November last year and this did not go well with  us. Consequently, the  conference resolve to  send a  fact-finding delegation to the South-East  to investigate the situation on ground. Due to some logistic challenges,  the organization restricted this first mission to only  Anambra State, using it as a pilot  project. The Anambra  tour was  carried out without the prior  knowledge  of the state governor or any other group in the state. This strategy was adopted to ensure a free and uninhibited information gathering and pre-empt possible hijack of the mission by the government or other vested interests.  Even at the end of the  investigation, the delegation did not make its mission formally known to the government for the same purpose. So, the entire exercise was carried out anonymously  in the sense that the areas and projects visited by the delegation were done as a sightseeing visit by ordinary citizens of Igboland.

Prior to the visit, members of the delegation had undertaken  a  study of  newspapers  and noted the various programmes and projects undertaken by Governor Willie Obiano  as well as claims of achievements made by his administration. The delegation also studied the party manifestos and election promises of the incumbent party and governor. These formed the basis of the delegation’s investigation and assessment. The investigation took the delegation to several parts of  the state with a copious  pictorial and video clips of many of the projects visited although security agents prevented the taking of photographs or shooting videos at some sites.

So, what are the high points of the Anambra  tour?

One of the  high points  was in the area of security which was one of the major points of negative report about the South-East in the United Kingdom and Europe. The picture was that the South-East,  Anambra State in particular, was  Nigeria’s most insecure zone and a no-go area for visitors to Nigeria as  it is a haven for armed robbers, kidnappers,  advanced fee fraudsters and ritual murderers.

Another negative report was abysmal lack of  employment generation facilities especially for youths in the zone  which has exacerbated the rate of crime  in the zone  which, in this case, was true in the recent past in Anambra State, resulting, among other repercussions, in our people residing outside the state,those in diaspora not visiting home  to contribute to the development of the state. The first part  of call by the delegation was the Upper Iweka area of Onitsha which had been reported as  the major base of crime and criminals in Anambra  from where they  launched  out to other parts of the state.

Following claims of achievements by the state government in the area of crime reduction and the clearing of Upper Iweka area of criminals, the delegation undertook a visit to the area where it confirmed government’s claim and found Upper Iweka a totally changed  place  with a  new serene and erotic view, complete with a security surveillance CCTV to match.  With this  achievement, Willie Obiono  has not only endeared himself to Ndi Anambra and left giant footprints in the sands of time, he has also proved wrong the negative propaganda in Europe and other parts of the international community that good governance and leadership are lacking in Nigeria.

Buoyed up by the excitement of this visit and the tremendous record of achievement, members of the delegation had some kind of pre-sentiment that our fact-finding mission was bound to witness  more records of achievements as  indeed reflected by the general development scenario that greeted us as we drove through the market and streets of  Onitsha. Another remarkable aspect of the fact-finding mission, was the team’s observation of the principle of continuity in project execution by the present administration, which is a clear departure from what is  obtained in the south-eastern states under successive administrations whereby projects initiated by an  administration are abandoned by succeeding ones in favour of new  projects, thus creating a vicious circle and huge deposit of abandoned projects which translates to a waste of billions of tax payers money. During his campaign,  Obiano enunciated what he called the 3Cs paradigm which stands for Continue, Complete and Commission,  and which emphasizes the need to continue the act of purposeful leadership that former Governor Obi started.  As is there for all to see, the Obiano administration has kept faith with his campaign promise of  continuity, namely to continue, complete and commission all the projects inherited from his  predecessor.

Today, there is hardly any project inherited from the immediate past administration that has been abandoned, with  a number of them completed and commissioned.

Were you impressed with what you saw and how can your mission promote the culture of  good governance in the region?

The delegation’s initial premonition turned out true in all the places visited, as members deciphered from the general euphoric mood of people wherever they went. As we drove through well built roads as well as several on-going ones, we saw newly built hospitals, health centers, flyovers, shopping malls and several other indices of good governance and people-oriented leadership. Others place  visited by the delegation  include the Onitsha  Industrial Park, Onitsha Shopping Mall, which is a world class shopping and entertainment portfolio under public-private-partnership initiative with Africa Capital Alliance comprising  ShopRite, a cinema and several global retail outlets and the  Onitsha Hotel project with a world class 3,000 seater convention centre being handled by the Cardinal Developers and Trust Limited for the state government at the cost of $75m to complete. The delegation also visited the project site of over 200 luxury flats and town houses in Onitsha GRA and the proposed Radisson Blu Hotel site and the rehabilitated Onitsha General Hospital and its newly commissioned ultra-modern diagnostic center.

From Onitsha, we drove to  the Technology Incubation Center in Nnewi where the Obiano administration is currently equipping 500 youths with life-enhancing skills under a two-months training crash programme in various technological skills after which they are given the start-up capital to begin their own businesses. This translates to 500 youths being trained in the programme every two months which will build up a pool of talents that will drive the new revolutionary dreams of the  administration. Another major index of good governance and leadership. We also inspected the Coscharis Road in Nnewi and the Nnewi industrial park, both constructed by the State government and also  the Richbon Automotive plant Ozubulu which was attracted by the State government and flagged off in March last year, and which is investing over $50million.

But one basic procedure is that NICE will process and disseminate these findings throughout Europe in form of a special documentary on the administration of governor Willie Obiano through its information network links including the social media and other internet media platforms, using the Anambra State as a case study to dispel and counter the false negative propaganda against the South Eastand Nigeria in Europe.“Already, plans are underway to  organize a special honours programme for Governor Obiano either in Anambra State or at NICE international headquarters, London. Also NICE will have to send a special invitation to the governor to visit London for the ceremony which will be attended by all national chapters of  the organisation. We will also ensure that the  Mayor of London , Secretary of State for International Development and Nigerians members of Parliament in Britain attend the occasion which will serve as a major image promotion programme for Nigeria and the South East in particular. These measures will serve as inspiration for other governors and political leaders from the South East as the NICE intends to visit other states in the region in due course for similar fact finding mission.

Biafra: A-Court shifts hearing on Kanu, others appeal to May 5: By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ARRAIGNED: Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
ABUJA—-The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Monday, shifted hearing on the appeal that was lodged by the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, till May 5. 

Following insistence by Kanu’s
A three-man panel of Justices of the appellate court led by Justice Abdul Aboki adjourned the matter after it was discovered that it was not listed for hearing in the court’s cause list.

lawyer, Chief Chuks Muoma, SAN, that it was the appellate court itself that originally fixed April 25 to hear the matter, Justice Aboki, promised that the court would look into the matter on the next adjourned date.

Kanu, alongside two other pro-Biafra agitators, David Nwawusi and Benjamin Madubugwu, had gone before the appellate court to challenge what they termed “strange procedure” adopted in their trial.
Already, the trio ‎who are answering to a six-count treason charge, has urged the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to stay further hearing on the case against them, pending the determination of their consolidated appeal.

Specifically, they alleged bias against trial Justice John Tsoho who not only ‎declined to quash the charge against them, but also permitted the prosecution to shield the identity of eight witnesses billed to testify in the ‎matter.

The Judge equally refused to discharge and acquit the three defendants as it was prayed to do under ‎section 351(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
‎The defendants are ‎contending before the appellate court that trial Justice Tsoho erred in law “when having refused the application for the witnesses of the prosecution to testified behind screens, or masked” on February 19, 2016, “suddenly varied the said order in the ruling delivered on March 7, 2016, on a mere oral application by the respondent”

They noted that the variation order was made on the basis of a mere oral application by the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Mr. Mohammed Diri.
‎The DPP had informed the court that witnesses scheduled to testify against Kanu and the others, said they would not appear unless they were allowed to wear masks or their identities shielded from both lawyers and people observing the proceeding.

“My lord, this is because they are already receiving threats from associates of the defendants that they will be dealt with. The witnesses said they love their lives and requested that their identities be shielded from people who are coming to witness the proceeding”, Diri added.
He said DSS operatives also billed to testify in the matter, made similar request on the basis that they are investigating terrorism cases and would not want their identities exposed.
Sequel to his application, Justice Tsoho gave an order permitting the witnesses to testify behind a screen.

The judge insisted that the decision did not amount to a variation of a previous ruling that prohibited the witnesses from appearing in mask.
The defendants had‎ on February 9, opposed FG’s application for secret trial, even as they queried the propriety of the court allowing ‎”masquerades” to testify against them.
Though Justice Tsoho maintained that the order he made on Monday was in tandem with the ruling of February 9, the defence lawyer, Muoma, SAN, went on appeal to challenge the revised order for the identities of the witnesses to be protected.
‎Muoma, SAN, ‎argued that the trial court had become functus-officio on the matter, having earlier ruled on the previous application by the prosecution.
It was his argument that FG ought to have appealed against that the ruling instead of re-approaching the same court with a similar application.
He is praying the appellate court to direct the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to transfer their case to another Judge for trial.

Nevertheless, FG, in a counter-affidavit ‎it filed before the appellate court, sought the dismissal of the appeal which it said lacked merit.
The DPP who endorsed the appeal, argued that the March 7‎ order of the high court did not amount to a variation of the previous order of the court.
FG insisted that Kanu and the others were never denied fair-hearing by Justice Tsoho to warrant re-assignment of the case-file to another Judge.
‎Besides, it accused the defendants of attempting to use frivolous interlocutory appeals to delay their trial.

‎‎Kanu who was hitherto the Director of Radio Biafra and Television, ‎has been in detention since October 14, 2015, when he was arrested by security operatives upon his arrival to Nigeria from his base in the United Kingdom.
The defendants were alleged to have committed treasonable felony, an offence punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
FG alleged that they were the ones managing the affairs of the IPOB which it described as “an unlawful society”.

Kanu was alleged to have illegally smuggled radio transmitters into Nigeria, which he used to disseminate “hate broadcasts”, encouraging the “secession of the Republic ofBiafra”, from Nigeria.
The accused persons however pleaded not guilty to the charge on January 20, even as the court ordered their remand at Kuje prison ‎in Abuja.

BREAKING NEWS: Alleged Contracted Activist Drags Nnamdi Kanu To ICC; Kanu's Brother Reacts.

The brother to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Prince Kanu has reacted to a petition made to the International Criminal Court against his brother Nnamdi Kanu who is a prisoner of conscience.

Prince told that the petition against the Leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu is an effort by the federal government to distract the agitation of Biafra by the IPOB.

A civil rights activist, Albert Ella in a petition had called on the ICC to investigate the claims made by the Department of State Services (DSS) over five Hausa-Fulanis alleged to have been killed by IPOB members.

The petitioned sent through Ella’s lawyer, Edward Omaga has also been said to be acknowledged by the ICC.

But in his reaction, Prince said: “These are people who have been planted by the so called federal government to distract the agitation of Biarfra that is what is happening. So in any way they come, we are more than able to challenge them, these are people paid for distractions.”

He also said the IPOB will not be deterred in their agitation for the freedom of Biafra.

“Even the case of Ikedife as well, it is well known to everybody that Nnamdi Kanu constituted the Supreme Council of elders of Biafra, on his own alone, he dissolved it as well.
“Because they were bringing problem, you cannot be pursing Biafra and at the same time a typical politician in Nigeria, above all supporting APC.

“This is something Nnamdi Kanu abhors, he says no to it, if you are out for Biafra you go for Biafra, if you are not then so be it. What I am seeing now is a pure distraction to distract the movement, we know our stand, on the shallow graves discovered by the DSS,” Prince said.

He also urged the ICC to immediately commence its investigation to enable it exonerate the IPOB from all allegations and crimes committed against the group.

“ICC has to commence any investigation they deem fit, but I can assure you that there is nothing like shallow grave, this is Biafra land, If anybody has been killed, it is the Biafra people. Let them go ahead with their investigation, but by the end of the day, you will discover that it we Biafrans that were been killed and buried,” he said.

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