Wednesday, 17 December 2014

MASSOB takes over Owerri for Ojukwu memorial day.


For those who thought the crisis that rocked the headquarters of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in Okwe, Onuimo Local Government Area of Imo State has broken and weakened the organisation, they may after all be wrong as proved on December 10.

Many had thought that MASSOB had been hit so hard by the crisis and its members disintegrated and dispersed, which raised fear that the Ojukwu Memorial Day observed by the group would be greeted with low turnout.

But on December 10, the rescheduled memorial day for the late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, members of the group took over Owerri by storm, especially the New Owerri axis where the Ojukwu Memorial International Library and Convention Centre is located.

Most of the members of the group in Biafran camouflage and T-shirts were in high spirits as they took positions, sector by sector, in canopies mounted outside the Ojukwu Library regaling and dancing to tunes from the musical groups that came with them.

They were waiting for the arrival of Ojukwu’s widow and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, Iyom Bianca Ojukwu on whose instance Ojukwu’s memorial date of this year was shifted from November 26 to December 10 to enable her attend.

By 2:15p.m; Bianca arrived at the venue and was received by the leader of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, who took her round the library to greet thousands of  MASSOB members who sat state by state, zone by zone, making them to erupt in thunderous cheers as some of them surged forward to greet Ojukwu’s widow.

Soon, the event began with Archbishop Chukwuereka Iheanacho  who came from Lagos leading in the opening prayers laced with words of advice for the Igbo.

He thanked the MASSOB members, their leader Uwazuruike, Eze Nri, Obidiegwu Onyesoh, Iyom Bianca for keeping alive the Ojukwu memories.

The archbishop noted that the day was significant to the Igbo man, praying that

God should bless Ndigbo, Biafra, Nigeria and Africa in general.

He lamented that Nigeria is now in a precarious condition like when the Israelites left Egypt and got to the Red Sea, saying that the country only requires prayers.

“In the 60s Nigeria was pregnant and it delivered the civil war, Nigeria is now pregnant with corruption and may deliver crisis; therefore, we need to pray for God to deliver our people,” he said.

The archbishop said that he had come to Owerri to celebrate the great man of valour Ojukwu, saying that he has two mentors, God and Ojukwu, who, he said, “was consistent with the aspiration of our people.”

The cleric said that Ojukwu showed the Igbo man that a man could be consistent with his dreams.

Also speaking, Ambassador Bianca expressed happiness that the Ojukwu Memorial Library was also completed.

She thanked the MASSOB leader and the Biafran war veterans who have sacrificed to ensure that the project is completed for their tenacity of purpose.

She, however, frowned at the way some politicians have been using the name of her late husband to enrich themselves while the same people have not done anything to immortalise him except what Uwazuruike, his adopted son was doing.

Her words: “I want to thank Chief Uwazuruike and the war veterans who have continued to remember Ojukwu every year by organizing a memorial anniversary for him. But those who have used the name of Ojukwu to win political offices and even those who have set up companies using his name have done nothing to remember him”.

Bianca also enjoined the MASSOB members not to allow external forces to cause them to disintegrate or break their ranks for the selfish interest of those people.

When Biance arrived at the home of Uwazuruike, she was amazed by the main door of the MASSOB leader which had a large picture of Ojukwu on the door, making her to tarry awhile at the door in order to raise praises for her late husband.

Also speaking, the Eze Nri, His Royal Majesty Obidiegwu Onyesoh, who led other traditional rulers to the event, said he had attended the anniversary because of the respect and honour he has always accorded to Dim Ojukwu while he was alive.

He commended Chief Uwazuruike for keeping the memorial of Ojukwu in the consciousness of Ndigbo by organizing the anniversary of his passage every year.

The traditional ruler of the Nri Ancient Kingdom pointed out that Uwazuruike has not only deemed it necessary to continue to celebrate the late revered Igbo leader but has gone a step further by erecting a befitting Library and Convention Centre in his name.

The royal father also lamented the continued marginalization of the South-East in the scheme of things in the country and insisted that the South-East must be given an additional state at least to assuage the region’s structural marginalization.

Hear him: “We South-East is marginalized today because of the injustice in the land and I am saying that the South-East must be given another state at least to redress the structural marginalization. Our people in government must see to it that it is done.

“I want our people to emulate the life Dim Ojukwu who scarified all he had for Ndigbo and that is why we are here today to honour his memorial as a great son of Ndigbo whose only thought and action was how to liberate the people from oppression and marginalization”.

Similarly, Dr Dozie Ikedife, erstwhile President -General of the apex Igbo cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said that the late Ojukwu remained the spirit of the Biafran struggle and as long as the spirit of Ojukwu was with the Igbo people the Biafra state would come to fruition one day.

“The state of Biafra will come to fruition because the spirit of Ojukwu is with the people. But this time we are not going to fight another war, what we are going to use now is wisdom because the case of Biafra in still in the court and we are going to be victorious, but Ndigbo should love one another as Ojukwu had loved Ndigbo,” he advised.

Also, Reverend Samuel Aniebo who came from Lagos to attend the memorial ceremony said that though the Ikemba Nnewi had left the physical world, he is still alive because his spirit has continued to live among the Igbo people.

“Even  though our revered and beloved leader has departed this physical world he is still alive because his spirit still lives among the people that is the reason you see this mammoth crowd of people who have abandoned their various businesses just to come to in order to honour the memory of the man who had sacrificed his father’s wealth, personal comfort to fight their cause,” he said.

He maintained that Ndigbo would be free in no distant future, pointing out that “if East Timor with a population of just 150,000 and Montenegro which has a population of 800,000 is free then Ndigbo with a population of about 70 million will definitely be free.”

One of the Biafra war veterans, Chijioke Nnam, a 67-year-old  man from Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, said that he has continued  to attend the memorial of Ojukwu, saying that if not for him Ndigbo would have been wiped out during the civil war which was imposed on the East by Nigeria.

The war veteran maintained that he would ever remain grateful to the late Dim Ojukwu for his sacrifice to Ndigbo, pointing out that other veterans who attended the event did so to honour his memory.

He also thanked Chief Uwazuruike for keeping the flag of Biafra flying.

In his speech, the leader of MASSOB, Chief Uwazuruike said that “Ojukwu brought Biafra,” promising that “Biafra would never die.”

He pointed out that before this time when Biafra was mentioned “the Nigerian security agents would clamp down on us but today that era has passed.”

Uwazuruike said: “Today, the Federal Government has come to the reality that Biafra has come to stay  because of the sacrifice that we have made towards the realization of the state of Biafra.”

Monday, 24 November 2014

Biafra becomes AU member: ECOSOCC




Agitators for the actualization of the state of Biafra have revealed their admission as members of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) General Assembly of the African Union (AU). This is even as they stated that notable Igbo leaders were still in court with the Federal Government of Nigeria over rights to self-determination.

Going by this development, according to a document made available on-line and countersigned by the solicitor of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Emeka Adolf Chigozie, the actualization of Biafra is now taken up by elders and professionals in Igbo land, home and abroad, including Ohanaeze Ndigbo chieftains, using a legal framework outside the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) method.

The document read in part: “The skepticism and doubts expressed by some people, like Mr. Kalu Onu­ma, who asked the question, ‘Are you guys for real or you’ve been smoking something?” Our solicitor has decided to countersign this announcement and include his professional details. It is unfortunate that the pro-Biafran groups, which started the Biafran independence movement many years ago, did not follow due process of law and thereby, brought disgrace and ridicule upon a genuine self-determination struggle of indigenous people of Biafra that should be anchored on law. At the moment, the Biafran independence movement has taken a new shape. It is no longer in the hands of charlatans and fraudsters or blind leaders of the blind. It is now in the hands of intellectuals, professionals and diplomats.

“We are presently in Court with Nigeria in Suit No. FHC/OW/ CS/192/2013 at the Federal High Court, Owerri. We sued Nigeria in a representative capacity by Bilie Human Rights Initiative because Biafra is not yet a sovereign entity that can sue or be sued. We are discussing with powerful governments in the international community. “The Biafran struggle is now led by the elders of Biafra­land. The Chairman is, the Honourable Justice Eze Ozobu, OFR, the founding father and founding Presi­dent of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. The Deputy Chairman is Dr. Dozie Ikedife, Ikenga Nnewi, JP, OON; the Secretary is Col. Joe Achuzia. Other members of the Governing Council are drawn from all parts of Biafraland, including South East, parts of South-South and parts of the Middle Belt being the land of Biafra, as shown in the Ancient Map of Biafra 1660 and 1707, which we have filed in court.”

To:
All Indigenous People of Biafra at home and abroad
We are happy to announce that Bilie Human Rights Initiative Representing Indigenous People of Biafra has been granted the Membership of the ECOSSOC General Assembly of the African Union (former OAU).
Our membership of the African Union now opens more doors for us in the international community. We hope to hear very soon from the United Nations regarding our Consultative Status.
We shall give you more information during our monthly meetings regarding the effects, powers, rights and obligations which our Membership of the ECOSSOC General Assembly confers on us.
Please spread the good news!
Best regards

Admin Manager
Office of Indigenous People of Biafra

SOURCE 1

SOURCE 2 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Where did Igbo originate from?


* The biblical connection

BY VINCENT UJUMADU
THERE is a  debate over the origin of  Igbo. Two Anambra communities – Nri in Anaocha local government area and Aguleri in Anambra East local government area claim the  Igbo originated from their areas.

It was Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh, the traditional ruler of Nri, who started the argument when he said  his community  is the origin of Igbo. Shortly after,  Aguleri debunked it, saying Onyeso ought to know the truth because he had to visit Aguleri before his coronation in 1988 to receive blessing as Igbo custom demanded of him. According to Aguleri people, Aguleri is the first son of Eri who migrated from Egypt.

Igbo-menBut Onyesoh would not accept that as he insisted that his community is the first home of the Igbo  before they migrated to other areas and even beyond the shores of eastern Nigeria.
His words: The origin of Nri is Egypt about two centuries ago and the father of Nri was called Gad. Gad was the son of Jacob while Jacob was the son of Isaac and Isaac was the son of Abraham. The family tree of Nri was traced from the origin of Abraham who was the favourite child of God.

A man called Eri, the progenitor of Ndigbo, lived in Egypt and was the special adviser on religious matters to the 5th dynasty of Pharaohs of Egypt.

It was in those days in Egypt that Eri determined who was going to be the next Pharaoh. And by their law, there was a deity called Emem and anything to happen during the time, the man called Eri, in his capacity as the religion adviser to the Pharaoh of Egypt, was responsible.

Now Eri needed people to help him and he recruited devotees. These devotees were all appointed by him but he had to do something to really found their own loyalty. In their movement towards southern side, they arrived another confluence. This confluence was the tributary of River Niger and Benue known as Ezu na Omambala.

The last son of Eri, Agulu remained by the sea side because he was a fisherman. The first child Eri remained in his father’s house until he had a vision and was called to serve God in their own way. Nri was an incarnate to his grandfather, Eri.

So Nri was the reincarnate of Eri, and the functions which their grandfather performed came back to him. While his siblings all left to their respective farming positions, he remained in his father’s compound. The Ofo   Ndigbo resides at Nri because the process is from one Eze-Nri to another. There is a handover known as Ofo and Alo  and to become Eze-Nri without original Ofo and Alo,  you are not Eze Nri. The Ofo and Alo have been existing for the past 1,009 years.

When I finish and gone as the Eze Nri, the Ofo and Alo   will be handed to the next Eze-Nri.
Today, about 180 communities could trace their origin from Nri and the civilization of Nri spread around. He founded the Ozo title just like his father did; he spoke about anything that has to do with fairness and justice. Everywhere he founded was on behalf of his grandfather and they called themselves, Igbo.

He added: Aguleri, the last born of Eri, remained at the very close of the water front. Aguleri cannot claim that Nri came from Aguleri. Nri came from a place called Eriaka and, for now, Eriaka has gone defunct because the main man left Eriaka.

Eze Nri, Onyesoh said, doesn  t go to Aguleri to be crowned or be purified, adding that Eze Nri, as part of the tradition, after crowning him and other things perfected, must go to where there is water divided into two. He continued: We don  t have any other water divided into two as  found in Lokoja, the confluence between River Niger and River Benue. The place is too far for us and the closest one to us is the tributary river of Niger and Benue known as Ezu and Omambala. They have two rivers there, now it is at that river where the covenant must be taken. That covenant is what we know as ‘Udu-Eze’.

Any person telling you that Eze-Nri must go to Aguleri for any other thing is lying. Apart from the distance, one could also go to converging place between Niger and Benue to performance the rite instead of going to Aguleri. So, all manner of propaganda you now hear are all tissues of lies.

Nri has no similar culture with Aguleri. Since the beginning of Aguleri, it has no traditional institution.
If Nri and Aguleri have much in common, Aguleri would be producing their own traditional ruler just as Nri does. For the past 110 years, it has been only Idigo dynasty that occupies the kingship.

‘Historical distortion’

But Aguleri people described Igwe Onyesoh  s story as a historical distortion and a travesty of Igbo history.  They appointed nine persons from the area who chronicled their community  s version of Igbo origin. Those who carried the assignment are Ralph Igwah, Eddy Okoye, Osita Chinwuba, Jerome Nnechi, Paul Nnamah, Raph Chikwenze, Emma Ikem, George Ejimofor and Charles Chieze.

In their report, they said: We find it difficult to believe that a prominent member of the family of Eri, the progenitor of the Igbo, and of all personages, His Royal Majesty Obidiegwu Onyeso of Nri, is credited with such a grievous falsification of facts on the history of the Igbo.

Igwe Onyeso’s present stance, as reflected in the story, is a shocking contradiction to what he knows and believes to be the correct situation, as he practically and faithfully demonstrated during his visit to Aguleri in 1988, as part of the necessary traditional rites for the traditional ruler of Agukwu-Nri.

For him to be singing a different tune now, even to the point of contesting the headship of Eri clan, and by extension of Ndi Igbo, with Aguleri is, indeed, unfortunate.  The erroneous assertions by Igwe Onyeso have made it necessary to correct that impression and set the records of Igbo history straight, particularly their settlement in Nigeria.

The continued: Eri from Israel was the fifth son of Gad, the seventh son of Jacob (Genesis 46:15-18 and Numbers 26:16:18).  He migrated from Egypt with a group of companions just before the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt many centuries ago. They travelled by water and finally arrived at the confluence of Ezu and Omambala (Anambra) Rivers, located in present-day Aguleri, where, according to oral tradition, it was spiritually or divinely revealed to Eri that the point was to be their final destination and settlement. They moved into the hinterland and settled in the present-day Aguleri. Eri lived and died at Aguleri.

Agulu was the eldest son of Eri, and not Menri, as claimed by Igwe Onyeso. This is supported by oral tradition in Aguleri and in other communities of Eri clan. It is also confirmed by historical accounts by many writers of Igbo history.

As the population at the settlement of Eri at Aguleri increased, and in combination with other factors, the children of Eri and/or their descendants left the settlement and founded various other settlements outside Aguleri, while Agulu, the first son, remained in their father’s home at Aguleri with his descendants. Agulu, fondly called Agulu-Nwa-Eri, appended the name of their father, Eri, to his name and founded Agulu-Eri (Aguleri). Menri left Aguleri and settled at a big forest, where he engaged in hunting and farming, while also performing his spiritual work. He called the settlement Agu-Ukwu (Nri).

When he was getting very old, he told his children to take him back to his ancestral home, as he would not want to die outside his father’s home. Menri was brought back to Aguleri, where he died and was buried. His grave is still marked at Okpu, in Ivite Aguleri, till this day. There is no other grave site of Menri, the founder of Nri, anywhere else in Igbo land, even in Nri itself, except in Aguleri.

It is also a known fact that, by tradition, no Nri man would break the kolanut where an Aguleri man is present, except with his permission. This is in deference to the fact that Agulu (Aguleri) was the elder brother of Menri (Nri). Furthermore, in recognition of the fact that Aguleri is the first son of Eri and the ancestral home of Ndi-Igbo, as well as the custodian of all the spiritual sites and places of Eri kingdom, traditional rulers of Agukwu-Nri, from time past, till date, including the famous late Igwe Tabansi Udene, visited Aguleri for certain traditional rites, without which they would not have become traditional rulers of Nri. These facts amply confirm that Aguleri was the first settlement and the ancestral home of the Igbos, and not Nri, as erroneously claimed by Igwe Onyeso.

In fulfillment of the age-long traditional rites for kingship in Nri, Igwe Obidiegwu Onyeso, as Igwe-elect, visited Aguleri in 1988, accompanied by a delegation from Nri, which included the late prominent lawyer, Chief Ezebilo Umeadi (SAN). Igwe-elect Onyeso and his delegation spent seven days in Aguleri, from 9th February to 15th  February, 1988, visiting sacred places, paying homage and making sacrifices to certain deities/shrines.

It is, indeed, unbelievable that after going through these entire coronation rites, Igwe Onyeso could refer to his visit to Aguleri in 1988 in a very casual and less-than-honest manner. Also, by saying that Aguleri and Nri do not have much in common, Igwe Onyeso knows, from the bottom of his heart, that he was being very economical with the truth. His visit to Aguleri to collect the Ududu-Eze or clay from Agbanabo is not a casual affair. It goes with a lot of ceremonies and tradition.

Besides, Agbanabo, in the oral tradition of Eri clan, including Nri, is not just  any place ‘where two rivers meet’. It has great spiritual significance, because it was at this point that Eri had a divine revelation that they had reached their ordained place of settlement.   Members of Eri clan, including Nri, therefore, have a strong spiritual attachment to Agbanabo. And this has made it an important and mandatory feature in the coronation rites of the people of Nri.   That was why Igwe Onyeso had to go to Agbanabo, at Aguleri, as a matter of traditional obligation, and not merely as any place ‘where two rivers meet’.

The visit of Igwe Obidiegwu Onyeso, as Igwe-elect, with his people to Aguleri in 1988, including the places he went to, making sacrifices and paying homage to certain deities/shrines, was well captured in a video coverage. The video is available in Aguleri archives for anyone who cares to see and is interested in knowing the truth.

From historical facts, Aguleri, and not Nri, is the first son of Eri and the ancestral home of Ndi-Igbo. We do not know what propelled our brother, Igwe Obidiegwu Onyeso, to engage in virtual apostasy by repudiating the traditional rites he went through at Aguleri, as well as the unwarranted denigration of Aguleri and the sacred and spiritual facts about Eri and his descendants, even to the extent of saying that ‘Aguleri and Nri do not have much in common’. This was after he had stated that Aguleri and Nri were among the direct children of Eri.

We are, indeed, at a loss  to understand our brother any more. We hope it is not a case of ‘he who the gods want to destroy, they first make mad’. The spiritual and traditional bond between Aguleri and Nri cannot easily be wished away, just as we are reminded of the fate of some Igwes of Nri in the past, who failed to visit Aguleri to consummate the traditional rites for kingship in Nri. Perhaps, what happened to them is instructive and should be a guide to all it may concern!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Biafrans Protests as FG fails to arraign 12 Biafra activists





 SOURCE.


The expected arraignment of 12 members of the Biafra Zionist Federation (BZF) before the Federal High Court Enugu on Thursday was stalled, prompting angry reactions from members of the group.

The Biafra activists are facing charges of treasonable felony.

The Attorney General of Federation (AGF) is prosecuting the accused persons on behalf of the Federal Government

As early as 8.am, BZF members thronged the court premises to
see their leaders, who had been in detention in an isolated police cell in Force Headquarters Abuja for over four months
now.

Although it was reliably gathered that the detainees were brought down to Enugu two days ago for their arraignment, they were not in Court.

The accused persons are Benjamin Onwuka (Leader of the Movement), Kelvin Eke, Samson Ijaga, Uduma Uduma, Bethrain Obiekwe,Abraham Ugwu, Paulinus Uzoegbu, Fidelis Nwaano, Nnamchi Ndubuisi, Michael Olennya, Jeophet Nwaodo and Aloysius Chukwuma.

The AGF, who filed the charge against the accused persons, also did not appear in Court yesterday.
 Addressing the Court, the defence counsel, Olu Omotayo, said he was surprised about the absence of the AGF.

Omotayo, who is the South-East Zonal Director of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) said: “I am surprised that despite the fact that AGF has filed a charge in this case, the accused persons have not been brought to court.

“They have not written to Court about it. In this circumstance, we are asking for a very short date. On the next date, if they fail to bring them, we will ask that the matter be struck out.

“This is a ploy to frustrate our fundamental human rights suit, which we have filed. We are asking that they should be brought to court or they should be released. They filed the charge to frustrate our matter that is coming up next week”.

After hearing the submissions of the defence counsel, the presiding judge, Justice D. V. Agishi adjourned the matter for November 19.

Speaking with journalists outside the courtroom, National Chairman of BZF, Mr. Cyril Onyia expressed their disappointment over the setback in the arraignment of their leader, Ben Onwuka and 11 other members who have been in detention for over four months without trial.

“We are not happy. We came the other day and their lawyer pleaded that they will bring them today. We came today again, we didn’t see their lawyer and our people who they are holding in Abuja.

“I won’t say more than this because we are in court. We are waiting for the court to decide. We will not take law into our hands. We have never taken the law into our hands before”, Onyia said.

He noted that their members converged in the court from Kogi, Abuja, Lagos, Calabar, Benin and other parts of the country in solidarity with their comrades being held in captivity by the Federal Government, and not seeing them in court, they were now stranded.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Biafra traced through factual history ... Part 1




Outline of History .. (The leaves of a tree can not survive without the roots of the tree.)

Many of us are interested in the pre-history of Biafra and its events. When we read any West African history in particular there are contradictory accounts, and its not always clear to differentiate between mythology and history. As we progress and more archaeological and historic research is acquired we will have a clearer factual account. I personally find it exciting to bring pieces of history together, I search for only the proven history that which emanates from written historical records.

THE PORTUGUESE CONNECTION TO BIAFRA

In 1454 Pope Nicholas V gave exclusive rights to Portugal to explore and conquest the African sea routes. Later because of a Columbus voyage that touched the Indies by a western route there was a dispute between the Spanish, the British and the French who had claimed they had used the routes before 1380 but this was not proven and Pope Alexander VI settled the dispute by a Papal Bull on 4th May 1493 giving Portugal the influence over a line drawn north and south a hundred leagues to the west of Cape Verde Islands, and the Spanish extended to the west of the line. So West Africa and what we are looking for Biafra and the Gold Coast were under Portugal influence for now until the soon decline of papal rule. The coast lines had been explored by the Europeans prior to this date as it is shown on The Medicean map of 1351 and 1356 at Florence, known as the Laurentian Portalano (sailing directory).

In 1472 the King of Portugal sent the ship Fernao Gomez to explore the coast lines and the Gomez reached LAGOS and this was the “first” recorded history that Europeans set foot in what was then Biafra, (yes on the old maps Lagos and Benin were part of Biafra and the capital city was in what is now Cameroon but we can argue this later, just keep an open mind as a lot has been bastardized over time). In 1481 British explorers tried to set out for Benin but the King of Portugal protested and under papal rule they were denied the voyage. In 1485 Jao Affonso d’Averio a portuguese made the journey to Benin to meet with the Oba and he was well received and not only gave them lots of pepper the Chief of Ugwato (the port of Benin) went to Portugal with the ship as an ambassador to the court of Portugal. The Portuguese loved the pepper it was good for the cold dull winter diet but the King never encouraged it as he had good relations with india trading for spice and didn’t want to cause any rivalry. The Oba/Chief had told them of the Yourba race in the interior lands and that the King of the interior lands was a white man a christian who would send slaves for them along with jewels in a cross, however the portuguese went to find this mythical King and it was never concluded so they took it to be a myth. The Portuguese ventured far up the cross rivers to lead mines in Abalkaliki. Jao Affonso d’Averio died on the Coast and he had spoken of the magnificence of the City of Benin in those days and the excellence of its art in brass and wood.

Jumping forward in time a bit, thou there is documented history on the explorers in the years in between and battles but I’m trying to keep concise and to the relevant parts..

In the years around 1700 in Benin there was a great warrior by the name of Chima he quarreled over the then kingship and took his followers and led them eastwards to the Niger where they divided into two groups one crossed to Onitsha and the other went down to Aboh (Delta). It is then noted (**please also note) that the Obi of Onitsha recognized the Obi of Aboh as his close relation not only his brother but his senior brother. Later as years went on and on the people begrudged to admit this and the relationship faded.

In 1644 Portuguese priests from Sao Tome Island visited King Mingo of Warri (Delta) and they tried to persuade him it was not good to have so many wives and that he should give them up, so the King agreed to the proposal and told them he would give up his wives only if they gave him one good one “a white one”. The priests agreed this was the only solution they returned to Sao Tome and persuaded a Portuguese woman from Sao Tome to marry the King and they did and they had many sons which there are authentic reports later of the mulatto Kings of Warri.

(Explains a little.. more history to follow as I search for and explore many records).

Thursday, 21 August 2014

4 die as MASSOB commanders battle Uwazuruike.

Four persons were feared dead as the cri­sis rocking the Move­ment for the Actuali­sation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) esca­lated yesterday.

There were also reports that dissatisfied members of the movement had ousted the leader of the group, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike after over­powering his loyalists in a fierce battle.

Daily Sun reliably gathered that heavy fighting broke out at the administrative head­quarters of the group in Okwe in Onuimo Local Government Area of Imo State as early as 7.30 a.m. when suspected armed thugs numbering over 5,000 invaded the facility, ap­parently to dislodge the com­manders, who had earlier taken over the premises on the alleged orders of the MAS­SOB leader.

National Secretary of the movement, Ugwuoke Ibem Ug­wuoke, who confirmed the incident, said Uwazuruike re­cruited the thugs, who alleg­edly attacked the headquarters with sophisticated weapons but were resisted by MASSOB commanders, who had already taken over the secretariat.

However, when contacted, Uwazurike said he was not aware of such incident, but he got the information that there was a crisis at Okwe, and promised to contact his administrators there to find out what the problem was.

“ So many people have been wounded in the early morning attack and those people were not members of MASSOB but were hired by Uwazuruike from Onitsha to come and as­sassinate us because we chal­lenged his style of leadership, but we overpowered them and we have taken over the head­quarters of MASSOB. Uwa­zuruike has turned the struggle as a personal property.”

He added: “Our crime is that we told him to reduce the dues collected from poor members of MASSOB, who toil monthly to pay money into his personal account.

“ As I speak with you, over N20 million is remitted to his account monthly, while those who died in the struggle have been abandoned in the mortu­aries without proper burial.

“What we are saying is that we can no longer be used by Uwazuruike to enrich himself. While we are dying, he is busy buying houses and exotic cars, but we cannot continue like this anymore. We are calling on Igbo leaders to intervene because Uwazuruike has used the blood of innocent Igbo youths, who are killed daily while obeying his orders, to make money.”

Similarly,  Ndubuisi Ig­wekani, the leader of the Bi­afra Defence Mission, stated that if swift actions were not taken to call Uwazuruike to order, the security situation in Igboland would worsen.

“We have called on Igbo leaders, especially Ohanaeze Ndigbo, to call Uwazuruike to order because his kind of Bi­afra was not the one Ojukwu fought for. He has abandoned the struggle and now uses MASSOB as a means to extort Ndigbo, we are out to stop him no matter what he does.”

“ There was no problem, except that some of the security men working at the headquarters were transferred but were yet to relocate and that may have been misconstrued as disobedience to my instructions” Uwazurike said.

SOURCE 1, SOURCE 2

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Biafrans are heroic people & the minorities are more loyal than other Biafrans: Bishop of Birmingham(1968).

    
By THE LORD BISHOP OF BIRMINGHAM (John Leonard Wilson) while addressing the UK parliament about Biafra on 29th of April, 1968. SOURCE.

   My Lords, I do not apologise for speaking on this subject, even at this late hour, because it is one of great importance. Although it may not be a "forgotten war" it is one that very few people know much about. I have often asked people what they know about Biafra, and they have said. "Isn't that an Italian football club?" That is about as far as the large majority of people can go. Yet this is not just a tribal internal matter; it is a matter of a large number of people.

    I know it is difficult to get at the truth, and that people use the words "truth" and "liberty" for base and ignoble ends. I know there are many rebels against just law and wholesome moral restraint who have masked their caprice under the name of "liberty". On the other hand, we should have to blot out half the pages of heroic history if we are to erase the deeds done, the suffering endured, in the name of liberty. I am sure Biafra comes in the second category. They are heroic people. Some may regard them as wicked because they defend themselves, but I was there last month and I spent five days, not only with the Ibos who are the main body in the central part, but also with the minorities, and there is no doubt whatever that they are strongly Biafran—the minorities included. I will speak about them later.

    I do not want to raise too many difficulties about the question of bombs. It is quite certain that people believe that the bombs are British, and I said to them: "If I am going to be briefed as an advocate I must have the truth, and I must have evidence which would stand up in a court of law". They did not give me the evidence that would satisfy me in a court of law, but I did see the outside shells. I saw the casings which said, "Made in Britain" and I saw "GE" cut off—and it could not have been stuck on, because every dent and every cut corresponded with the other half of the casing underneath it. If it was faked it was done by a highly skilled person who had come from China, or somewhere like that. But it was not faked; it was definitely what it purported to be. When we put it to them that these may have come from another nation to which Britain had sold them, their answer was, "No, Britain makes a stipulation that they are not for re-sale". Of course that does not mean that the stipulation is kept.

    I also argued—and I hope genuinely, because I believe what I have heard—that there was not an escalation. I dislike the fact that we went on sending arms, but I do not think we had escalated the war to that extent. When I asked whether these bombs might have been there before, the man in charge of the ordnance gave me his full assurance that he was there before this war broke out and therefore he could certify that they were not there because there was nothing of that kind among the ammunition which had come from Britain. However, there were the markings and sufficient superficial evidence for a large number of people to believe this story. It is easy for these things to be exaggerated, and I hope there may be some way of convincing them by an assurance that it is a lie. For instance, one might have suggested an examination by Crown Agents, or something like that.

    I want now to address myself to the question of minorities, because this is an important and delicate question. It is true that many of the minority peoples were in positions of responsibility in the Biafran Government. It is true that there had always been peaceful relationships, cultural exchanges and a good deal of inter-marriage between these peoples. But the main brunt of the destruction in the war fell on these areas and had the effect of stiffening their loyalty to Biafra rather than the reverse. It had been pointed out that we could only meet the leaders, who were unquestionably loyal to Biafra—the others might be far away. It is true that one cannot examine every witness, yet the crucial test was the force of the argument put to me by Colonel Ojukwu: what happens when the minority areas are invaded? Instead of falling into the arms of the Federal soldiers and greeting them as great liberators, the inhabitants retreated towards Biafra. I went to meeting after meeting which was crowded by various minority groups who gave me "large welcomes", as they put it, a little tempered by their dislike of Britain, but still thinking that the Church of England was the Government of England. I tried to disillusion them on that point, and said that we had very little influence whatsoever but that I would do my best to put their case forward.

    These were people from minorities, who said that they would be loyal as Biafrans. In some cases they were critical of individual leaders, but still they were more loyal than the other Biafrans. So I do not think there would be a great deal of trouble with the minorities. There is no doubt that some kind of a nation has been formed and, as I said out there, I consider it is a crazy way to try to get people into a Federation—bombing their civilians; and I know it was civilians because time after time I was shown the hospitals, the market places, the colleges that had been bombed. Of course there may have been military objectives as well to which they did not take me, but I went up as far as Onitsa and I saw what they were doing. I definitely saw a large number of market places that had been bombed. How can we expect people, 30,000 of them, or even if we amend it to 20,000, being massacred not in war but definitely being massacred, chiefly as they came out of the churches, right through the North, to federate? Between 1 million and 2 million were scattered from their homes—and these are true facts which are accepted generally.

    To go on bombing their peoples and then say, "You will come into the Federation whether you like it or not, and it is one of the conditions that you must come in and can never have your independence", is asking for trouble. We have asked for it in our own British history, and had it for years, with a certain country that used to be part of Great Britain and is now a republic. You will never get these people working together for a very long time unless there is far greater mutual trust. They definitely believe that it is genocide; that the others want to wipe out the Ibo people. They think it is also a religious war. I tried to calm them down. They think it is Moslems against Christians. There are no Moslems among the people in that western part of the Eastern Region; they are nearly all—95 per cent. of them—Christians, chiefly Roman Catholics, though there are a large number of Anglicans, Presbyterians and Methodists, with great names like Mary Slessor of Calabar, whose great work is remembered with love and affection by the people she cared for and thought of. And now so many of them are being killed by arms which they think are coming from Britain.

    I know it is true to say that "If you stop your supply other people will supply bombs". But the psychological effect would be tremendous if Britain said, "It is time you got together, and until you do we are not going to send any more arms". I doubt whether one could say that it was a de facto Government, let alone de jure, of the Federal Army. The main thing, if we are to get them to come together, as I hope we shall (I do mot think it will be in London, because of this deep feeling: I wish it could be, because I think Ojukwu would be safer here) is that they should come together without conditions. When I say "without conditions" I mean just that. I pressed Ojukwu on this question. He had at first said a cease-fire and peacekeeping forces on the borders. But later on, I understand, it was to be entirely without conditions, though the cease-fire would be at the beginning of the agenda. Let us try to get that. But do not let 'us British try to force them back, because we had a wonderful blueprint of a great union of Nigeria. Do not let us press them too hard to go back into something which will cause more and more difficulty in the future. I am grateful to the Commonwealth Secretariat. They have done fine work. I am extremely grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Brockway, for introducing this Question, and giving us a chance of clearing our minds as to what are the real issues.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Non-northerners must relocate in 2 weeks —Arewa youths


 A group  of Northern youths, under Arewa Youth Development Foundation, on Tuesday, called on southerners in the north to relocate to their respective states to make room for northerner who would be returning home.

This ultimatum was contained in a statement read and jointly signed by the group’s national president, Mr Aliyu Usman and its secretary, Comrade Alfred Solomon, during a visit by the group to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sunusi II, in his palace.

The group alleged that for the past four years, a  policy of direct subjugation of the north and its people had been pursued by the Federal Government and its agencies, in collaboration with various  governments in the south.

The group described the   alleged crackdown on northerners in the name of Boko Haram, the recent arrest of all imams of Juma’at mosques in Abia State, the arrest of northern traders, the happenings at the  national confab,  among others issues, as regretable.

It added that “in the event that all the resolution failed, we call on all northerners to rise and support agitations for a peaceful dissolution of this union called Nigeria, for every region to go its own way.”

While addressing the youths, the Emir of Kano  called on youths to be ambassadors of peace and imbibe the culture of peaceful coexistence

He said: “We should not forget that it is natural for people of different minds and cultural backgrounds to live in one entity called a nation. I, therefore, urged you to imbibe the culture of peaceful coexistence.”

SOURCE

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Why we recognised Biafra.

By President Nyerere

Leaders of Tanzania have probably talked more about the need for African unity than those of any other country. Giving formal recognition to even greater disunity in Africa was therefore a very difficult decision to make. Our reluctance to do so was compounded by our understanding of the problems of unity - of which we have some experience and of the problems of Nigeria. For we have had very good relations with the Federation of Nigeria, even to the extent that when we needed help from Africa we asked it of the Federation.

But unity can only be based on the general consent of the people involved. The people must feel that this State, or this Union, is theirs; and they must be willing to have their quarrels in that context. Once a large number of the people of any such political unit stop believing that the State is theirs, and that the Government is their instrument,  then the unit is no longer viable. It will not continue to receive the loyalty of its citizens.

For the citizen's duty to serve, and if necessary to die for his country stems from the fact that it is his and that its Government is the instrument of himself and his fellow citizens. The duty stems, in other words, from the common denominator of accepted statehood, and from the State Government's responsibility to protect all the citizens and serve them all. For States, and Governments exist for men and for the service of man. They exist for the citizens' protection, their welfare and the future well-being of their children. There is no other justification for States and governments except man.

In Nigeria this conciousness of a common citizenship was destroyed by the events of 1966, and in particular by the pogroms in which 30,000 Eastern Nigerians were murdered, many more injured, and about two million forced to flee from the North of their country. It is these pogroms, and the apparent inability or unwillingness of the authorities to protect the victims, which underlies the Easterners' conviction that they have been rejected by other Nigerians and abandoned by the Federal Government.

AGREEMENT

Whether the Easterners are correct in their belief that they have been rejected is a matter for argument. But they do have this belief. And if they are wrong they have to be convinced that they are wrong. They will not be convinced by being shot. Nor will their acceptance as part of the Federation be demonstrated by the use of Federal power to bomb schools and hospitals in the areas to which people fled from persecution.

In Britain, in 1950, the Stone of Scone was stolen from Westminster Abbey by Scottish Nationalists while I was still a student at Edinburgh. That act did not represent a wish by the majority of the Scottish people to govern themselves. But if for some peculiar reason, the vast majority of the Scottish people decided that Scotland should secede from the United Kingdom would the Government in London order the bombing of Edinburgh, and in pursuing the Scots into the Highlands, kill the civilians they overtook? Certainly the Union Government would not do this, it would argue with the Scots, and try to reach some compromise.

As President of Tanzania it is my duty to safeguard the integrity of the United Republic. But if the mass of the people of Zanzibar should, without external manipulation, and for some reason of their own decide that the Union was prejudicial to their existence. I could not advocate bombing them into submission. To do so would not be to defend the Union. The Union would have ceased to exist when the consent of its constituent members was withdrawn. I would certainly be one of those working hard to prevent secession, or to reduce its disintegrating effects. But I could not support a war on the people whom I have sworn to serve, especially not if the secession is preceded by a rejection of Zanzibaris by Tanganyikans.

Similarly, if we had succeeded in the 1963 attempt to form an East African Federation, or if we should do so in the future, Tanzania would be overjoyed. But if at some time thereafter the vast majority of the people of any one of the countries should decide, and persist in a decision, to withdraw from the Federation, the other two countries could not wage war against the people who wished to secede. Such a decision would mark a failure by the Federation. That would be tragic; but it would not justify mass killings.

SECURITY

The Biafrans now feel that they cannot live under conditions of personal security in the present Nigerian Federation. As they were unable to achieve an agreement on a new form of association, they have therefore claimed the right to govern themselves. The Biafrans are not claiming the right to govern anyone else. They have not said that they must govern the Federation as the only way of protecting themselves. They have simply withdrawn their consent to the system under which they used to be governed.

Biafra is not now operating under the control of a democratic Government, any more than Nigeria is. But the mass support for the establishment and defence of Biafra is obvious. This is not a case of a few leaders declaring secession for their own private glory. Indeed, by the Aburi Agreement the leaders of Biafra showed a greater reluctance to give up hope of some form of unity with Nigeria than the masses possessed. But the agreement was not implemented.

Tanzania would still like to see some form of co-operation or unity between all the peoples of Nigeria and Biafra. But whether this happens, to what extent, and in what fields, can only be decided by agreement among all the peoples involved. It is not for Tanzania to say.

We in this country believe that unity is vital for the future of Africa. But it must be a unity which serves the people, and which serves the people, and which is freely determined upon by the people.

For 10 months we have accepted the Federal Government's legal right to our support in a "police action to defend the integrity of the State." On that basis we have watched a civil war result in the death of about 100,000 people, and the employment of mercenaries by both sides. We watched the Federal Government reject the advice of Africa to talk instead of demanding surrender before talks could begin. Everything combined gradually to force us to the conclusion that Nigerian unity did not exist.

Tanzania deeply regrets that the will for unity in Nigeria has been destroyed over the past two years. But we are convinced that Nigerian unity cannot be maintained by force any more than unity in East Africa could be created by one State conquering another.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Over 50 people feared dead and 68 injured in Borno market bomb blast.

People gather to look at a burnt vehicle following a bomb explosion that rocked the busiest roundabout near the crowded Monday Market in Maiduguri, Borno State, on July 1, 2014. A truck exploded in a huge fireball killing at least 15 people on July 1 in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the latest attack in a city repeatedly hit by Boko Haram Islamists. AFP PHOTO.






















BY NDAHI MARAMA, MAIDUGURI
Over 50 people including 16 members of the Vigilante Youth, a.k.a Civilian JTF were killed, while about 68 persons were seriously injured when a Peugeot 505 saloon car carrying charcoal but laden with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) exploded around the busy Elkanemi Round -About, Monday Market and about 40 metres away from the office of the Power Holdings Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in Maiduguri, the Borno state Capital on Tuesday at about 7am.

Although, the Chairman of the Vigilante Youth a.k.a Civilian JTF attached to Sector 3, Mallam Iliya Saidu while briefing Governor Kashim Shettima said, his men were able to identify 9 of his members that died in the blast, but the Chairman of Monday Market Traders Association, Alhaji Bukar Jere while giving the breakdown of the number of casualty to the Governor when he visited the scene insisted that 16 Civilian JTF were among the dozens of people killed.

Briefing, Governor Kashim Shettima at the scene of the blast, the Manager Maiduguri Monday market said “16 civilian JTF were among those killed in the blast, while 69 sustained serious injuries”.

He said 4 vehicle and four tricycles, popularly called ‘ KEKE NAPEP’ were burnt in the blast, adding that the incident also affected 49 shops and Wares displayed by the petty traders on the road side.


3 Bomb blasts today:

2)   Kaduna State (Asikolaye/Bakin Ruwa area along the Kaduna western bypass) http://www.punchng.com/news/shops-razed-as-bomb-blast-hits-kaduna/.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

More than 21 dead in a bomb blast at Emab Plaza, Wuse II Abuja.


At least 21 persons have been confirmed dead and 17 others injured in an explosion that rocked Emab Plaza in Abuja.

The Wednesday’s explosion is coming barely two months after two explosions occurred at the Nyanya Motor Park in the outskirt of Nigeria’s capital city.

The bomb, concealed in an Abuja Taxi, went off at the popular shopping centre after it was dropped by an okada rider.

An eyewitness told Channels Television that the bomb was dropped at the exit point of the plaza, where a mini taxi park where passengers are picked by drivers.

Channels Television’s Lucky Isawode reports that the yet to be identified man dropped the bag and the blast occurred minutes later at about 3PM.

Isawode said: “On arrival we saw many dismembered bodies on the floor” but added that  officials from NEMA are trying to put out the fire and evacuate the dead bodies from the floor”.

He, however, couldn’t confirm the actual number of the bodies but reported that about 30 cars are badly damaged; burnt beyond recognition”.

The blast, which went off at the entrance of the plaza, has damaged the shops at the outer part, leaving the ones inside in a good condition.

The men of the Department of State Security, Nigeria Police, National Emergency Management Agency, Civil Defence and other security officials have cordoned off the place.

The blast is coming hours after a bomb exploded at Kasuwar Kuturu in Mubi, Adamawa State. The blast in Mubi was said to have been targeted at a military patrol vehicle, though there was no casualty in that incident.

Adamawa is one of the three states under emergency rule due to the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents.





Monday, 16 June 2014

486 Suspected Insurgents Arrested In Ukwa West, Abia State.



The 144 battalion of the Nigerian Army, Asa in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State last Sunday arrested a convoy of 33 buses conveying 486 suspected insurgents including eight females between Aro Ngwa and Imo Gate along the Enugu- Port Harcourt expressway.

The suspects intercepted around 3am on Sunday, claimed to have come from different parts of the Northern states and aged mainly between 16 and 24 and were said to be searching for jobs.

Briefing newsmen at the Headquarters of the 144 Battalion of the Army, Asa where the suspects are being detained, alongside the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Charles Ajunwa and Commander of the military base, Lieutenant Colonel Rasheed Omolori who confirmed the arrest, the
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Abia State, Dr. Eze Chikamnayo, explained that two buses escaped with their occupants.

Although Lieutenant Colonel Omolori declined comment, he said the incident has been reported to the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

The Commissioner said the sheer size of the movement made it suspicious, adding that none of the suspects was able to identify the location they were heading to and wondered how such a long motorcade could not be intercepted by security personnel until they reached Abia.

Dr. Chikamnayo said that at the moment, the Army and other security agencies in the state were working to unravel the actual mission of the suspects and those behind the movement. The Information boss thanked the state Governor, Chief Theodore Orji for creating the enabling environment and investing resources for security personnel to do their job effectively as well as lauded the men of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for being alive to their responsibility.

He was of the view that if other security personnel in other parts of the country will do as much as their counterparts in Abia, insurgency in the country will be a thing of the past.

“I expect every state to work hand-in-hand with their security personnel to check insurgency. Every security problem is local and if we handle it locally it will be nipped in the bud,” he said.

He cited the case of Abia State during the days of kidnapping and how it was taken as an Abia problem and condemned the idea of demonstrating in Abuja over matters that should be handled locally.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

IED (BOMB) defused at Living Faith Church, Owerri in Imo State.



The Imo State Police Command in Owerri on Sunday (today 15th June, 2014) defused a substance identified as an Improvised Explosive Device hidden under a flower pot at the entrance of the Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) along Port Harcourt road in the state capital.

The substance, kept in a polythene bag, had a bad refrigerator compressor, 2 cigarette lighters and a timer.

While assessing the scene, the State Commissioner for Police, Abdulmajid Ali, alongside other security chiefs in the state said the police command got the intelligence report at midnight and immediately directed the anti-bomb squad to the scene.

He further disclosed that 6 persons who were found hovering around the area as at the time the substance was found have been arrested and are facing interrogation at the command headquarters.

Some members of the church who spoke to newsmen said as usual, they were on their way for the first service which starts at about 8:00am but were barricaded by security operatives few meters from the church entrance with reasons that security operatives discovered explosives at the entrance of the church.

The Commissioner appealed to the people of the state to remain calm as all security operatives in the state are available to ensure peace and stability in the state.

However, the state government has commended the efforts of the security operatives in averting what would have been a devastating incident in the state. The government however called on the people of the state to remain calm and go about their lawful duties as the
government and the security operatives will ensure that the peace and tranquility enjoyed in the state is not disturbed.

Meanwhile, the incident did not deter members of the church from their normal Sunday service as they were  moved to the Heroes Square within Owerri metropolis, where they carried out their service.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Biafra, The Ostrich Mentality And Nigeria’s Tragedy By Okey Ndibe.




There is a sense in which the name of the malaise afflicting Nigeria is Biafra. I have argued before—and I must do so again—that Nigeria’s refusal to confront and address the sore of the Biafran War is the chief reason no nation has been able to materialize out of the space called Nigeria, no peace has been had in that space, and no real progress—much less development—has been recorded. As the world watches, riveted, Nigeria is spinning and spinning in a dizzying, ridiculous, violent dance, racing ever closer to the edge of that jagged precipice we have all romanced for fifty-four years—if not before.

The wound called Biafra haunts Nigeria precisely because Nigeria imagined that it could get over Biafra through cheap sloganeering (no victor, no vanquished), the mere invocation of the mantra of the Rs—reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation—through silence and willed forgetfulness—indeed, by playing the ostrich.

I’m not going to be detained by contested, contending accounts of the Biafran struggle, or even questions pertaining to whether the quest for secession was inevitable. At minimum, we ought to agree that Nigeria, from the moment of its British conception, was neither essential nor natural. It was, above all, convenient and profitable for the British. And all the logic that informed its constitution made eminent sense, finally, mostly from the prism of British interests.

When the British removed their bodies—but not necessarily their spirits and ghosts—from the Nigerian space, we all had a historical duty. That duty was to pause and ask the question, what does Nigeria mean? It was to determine whether we all—the 400 odd ethnic collectivities that the British bracketed inside the space called Nigeria—wished to maintain the shape of this British design. It was to discern whether we all—the constituent elements of the space—felt sufficiently animated by the prospect of living together, fraternizing as a people with shared aspirations and common destiny. In the event that we all found Nigeria an irreducible, compelling proposition, then we should have hatched out the terms of our coexistence. We should have sketched out our imagination of Nigeria and spelt out what it meant to be called a citizen of Nigeria. In other words, we should have commenced the task of remaking the British-delineated space called Nigeria into a veritable, vital, and robust nation. Had we done this, we would have acquired some kind of compass for navigating our self-fashioned nation towards the direction of our own envisioning.

We did not as much as attempt to grapple with that arduous, messy, but inescapable process of nation-formation. We settled for the British-made illusion. We were content to take the British confection of a Nigerian idea and run with it. We pretended that there was some inherent logic to Nigeria, that it was coherent and organic, a full redemption of some promissory note, almost a divinely designed imperative.
Perhaps we shirked this duty out of laziness, a sense of convenience, or a naïve faith in the British. Perhaps, then, we believed that Nigeria was a nation just because imperial Britain had seen fit to outfit the space with roads that linked its different parts as well as such accouterments of the modern state as postal and telegraph services, railways, the police, prisons, schools, and a cadre of civil servants.

We neglected to pay attention to the fact that, at every opportunity—especially when our “nationalist” figures pressed the case for Independence—British officials had insisted that Nigeria was not a nation but a collection of “nations.” In retrospect, we should have paid attention to the British. They owned the patent on Nigeria; they knew that they had not achieved a nation—indeed, that they had not intended to achieve one—when they set out to cobble together the space called Nigeria.  

It was a monumental error, this collective failure to examine the crisis-prone, top-down edifice called Nigeria. We all found ourselves in the nightmarish situation of belonging to an ostensible nation that reflected little or no sense of community. Instead, life in Nigeria was marked by strife and disillusionment and mutual distrust and—above all—a pathological brand of competitiveness. Forced to belong within a space that had no spirit-lifting narrative, no pathos or inspiring ideal to impart, Nigerians became fascinated with “eating” the flesh of their hollow bequest unto death.

It is no surprise that the metaphor of the “national cake” was a central, if not dominant, part of the Nigerian discourse. In the literature, journalism and politics of the country, each group exhibited an obsession with cornering its own “share of the national cake.” Nigeria made sense to Nigerians only as a banquet, a delectable dish, as something to be consumed.

A nation is dreamed and then carefully, deliberately, consciously designed and built. No people in history have ever “eaten” their way into a nation. If Nigeria were a true nation—or even one with prospects—we would all have been concerned with working hard to lift it to great heights. We would have been bakers, baking Nigeria into a grand cake, not just devourers bent on cornering ever-larger slices of the Nigerian cake.

Truth be told, the Igbo appeared the most committed of any group to the idea of realizing Nigeria. They dispersed to all corners of Nigeria and threw down roots. Wherever they settled, they built homes and learned the language and opened businesses or began careers as civil servants. They seemed to have taken more seriously than most the summons to inspirit Nigeria with national consciousness.

The pogroms of the Igbo, especially in 1966 and 1967, exposed the fragility of the British-fangled space and amounted to a profound, blood-soaked repudiation of the Nigerian project. Consequently, Biafran secession became the most significant interrogation of the unformed, ill-formed, malformed project named Nigeria. Biafra was far from an idyll; it actually had its imperfections and contradictions, including the cooptation of the ethnic minorities of the Niger Delta. Even so, it was a charter for justice, a demand by a besieged people to be left alone to arrange their lives in a separate space, apart from their tormentors.

Nigerians had not taken time to audit the content of what they inherited from the British, but they were quite willing to sacrifice more than two million lives in a little more than thirty months in order to sustain their unexamined, British-made project. The Biafran aspiration—which was the first time a group had risen to question a colonial arrangement—was ultimately squelched, the better to uphold the inviolability of Nigeria.  

Alas, the defeat of Biafra birthed monsters that have since menaced all of us, exposing the seams and fissures in a space that continues to pretend that a nation already exists within it.

The concluding part of this column will be published next week. Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

To read the comments on Sahara Reports, please go here: http://saharareporters.com/column/biafra-ostrich-mentality-and-nigeria%E2%80%99s-tragedy-okey-ndibe?page=1 

Fears as Fulani herdsmen invade Enugu communities.




The people of over forty (40) communities in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State are currently panicking, following the invasion of their areas by Fulani herdsmen allegedly armed with AK 47 rifles in their communities.
The herdsmen, who invaded the council area with their cattle two weeks ago, had allegedly destroyed crops in the farms and were reported to have raped some women in the village who were working in their farmland.

Economic activities paralysed

Agricultural and economic activities in those communities have been brought to a halt on account of the violent activities of the herdsmen, while the local vigilante group in the area had become helpless due to the superior arms carried by the invading herdsmen.

Vanguard learnt that a retired police man in the area had confronted two of them who strayed into his compound and the confrontation that ensued led to the death of a herdsman.

Justice Ozobu speaks

Speaking on the development, former Ohanaeze President General, Justice Eze Ozobu, who is now the Traditional ruler of Imeziowa Community of Ezeagu local government area, said the situation had got out of control, adding that his people were on the fringe of death and anarchy.

He said: “I do not know what government has done or any action taken by security operatives to checkmate the insurgency by the Fulani herdsmen. These people who we thought carry only sticks and machetes now carry AK47 rifles openly and we wonder where they got those guns from.

“People no longer go to farm anymore and every one now lives in fear of these people. They come in and settle down as if it is their home, nobody is doing anything to stop them.

Shooting

“In my own place, my brother who retired as a police officer, came out in the night and asked them what they were doing with guns they were carrying. At some point, he had to bring out his gun and shot two of them.”

He, however, expressed fears that with the incident, the town was apprehensive of a reprisal attack by the herdsmen.

Ozobu further lamented that should the state government fail to take action over what was happening, the tension might develop into breakdown of law and order.

Also speaking shortly after a meeting of the Ezeagu general assembly in Enugu, the President General, Dr. Obiora Ozobu, said they had a resolution to make an official complaint to Enugu State Government, after speaking with the local government chairman and the state House of Assembly.

He said: “This is a very serious issue in Ezeagu and we shall make official entry with the police and also speak with the council chairman and elected political office holders and we shall also find out the position of the state House of Assembly in order to figure out how we are to go about it.

“At a neighbouring town, a farmer was shot dead by these Fulani people and we have had three reported cases of rape of village women that went to their farm.

AK 47 rifles

“The most frightening aspect of this problem is how and where they got those AK 47 rifles that they brandish openly. That means there is more to the cattle rearing that meets the ordinary eye.

“It is not that we cannot defend ourselves or that we do not have what it takes to defend ourselves, but we are only trying to do this within the ambit of the law so that our actions do not worsen the already bad situation.

“In Ezeagu, we do not sleep at night because they can come at anytime and begin to slaughter people.”

Governor Shettima Warns That Boko Haram May Extend To The South.



Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima yesterday warned that the Boko Haram had the capacity to extend havoc across the country if they succeeded in overrunning the North-East.

He said: If Boko Haram succeeds in overrunning the North East as they seek, they will surely want to extend greater havoc to other parts of the north and if they overrun the north, they would want to extend to the south. Crisis of any type has got a life of its own which depends on something for survival.”

The governor, who spoke at a two-day conference on security and human rights organised by the Centre for Historical Documentation and Research of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, described as gross misunderstanding of the Boko Haram crisis by those who should be in a position to proffer solution to the crisis.

He said that it was unfortunate that the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku was blind to the real crisis of Boko Haram and therefore chose to trivialise it.

According to him, it was a thing of concern that the nation’s chief spokesman who once served as Supervising Minister of Defence had a shallow understanding of the Boko Haram crisis, saying “no one might ever know the extent he might have inflicted his understanding of the Boko Haram on the Service Chiefs he had to work with”.

The governor lamented that the insurgents had done so much harm to the religion of Islam and killed thousands of innocent souls in Borno state and destroyed property worth tens of billions of naira.

He, however, warned that if the insurgents were allowed to overrun the north eastern part of the country, they would seek to extend their territory to other parts of the country, blaming negligence as responsible for the current state the nation found itself.

He said: “As humans, we depend on oxygen and crisis depends on negligence and this negligence can be in different forms. Negligence can be in form of parents or teachers failing to instil the right habits in children to keep them out of crime; it can be in form of government failing to create and provide jobs to citizens in order to make crime unattractive or government failing to work hard to get the right intelligence at a good time or refusing to act appropriately with the right wares…

“Boko Haram insurgency has drenched our society in blood and systematically, it has been responsible for a creeping destruction of the harmony of communities in huge swathes of Borno state especially, but also in other states of northern Nigeria. The insurgency threatens the order of human and civilised existence and the ability of the state to provide the security and the welfare which Nigerian constitution says is the basis for the existence of the state.

“Boko Haram slaughters, shoots and crush innocent people, destroy communities and public establishments for the fact that citizens do not share their violent ideology of murder and destructions. To Boko Haram, the life of a Muslim who doesn’t share the sect’s ideology is as condemned as that of a Christian or a traditionalist.

“There is one form of negligence that I didn’t mention, which to me is one of the major factors standing on our way of ending Boko Haram. There is a supreme negligence of understanding of the Boko Haram crisis itself and this makes it stubbornly difficult to make prescriptions.

“Only days ago, the Minister of Information, the chief spokesman of the country, Labaran Maku trivialised the Boko Haram crisis by blaming it on Borno state government. Maku is the one to educate not just Nigerians, but the entire world on what constitutes Boko Haram. However, the driver happens to be blind.

Friday, 6 June 2014

The North Prepares For War: Arms Stockpiling.

Beware of Another Civil War, Break-up; US report warns Nigeria.

A new security report entitled "Nigerian Unity in the Balance" authored for the United States Army War College has, again, warned Nigerian leaders to beware of another civil war or an outright break-up following what it called ongoing divisive trends in the country. The report comes in the shadow of recent discoveries and interception of arms and ammunition in some parts of northern Nigeria.

This development has raised fears and alarm in security and southern political circles as to the goals of the forces behind the smuggling of arms. While similar arm discoveries had happened in some southern states in recent past, the frequency of such discoveries in the North in recent days has reportedly increased the level of intelligence shadowing and surveillance in the area.

The US Army report released in June this year by the Strategic Studies Institute of War College was written by two former American servicemen, Gerald McLaughlin and Clarence J. Bouchat. McLaughlin is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College while Bouchat is also an adjunct professor at the U.S. Army War College (USAWC). CONTINUE READING.

The 103-page report, whose foreword was written by the Director, Strategic Studies, Institute and U.S. Army War College Press, Professor Douglas Lovelace, observed that divisive forces were waxing stronger than uniting forces in Nigeria, warning that unless this was reversed, Nigeria`s existence could be jeopardised. According to the report, “Parochial interests created by religious, cultural, ethnic, economic, regional, and political secessionist tendencies are endemic in Nigeria. Under such stresses, Nigerian unity may fail.

Find the complete document with this LINK.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Uwazuruike and Cohorts moves to Destroy the Biafra Memorial Cenotaph.

On air at 7:00am (Wednesday, June 4, 2014), on Radio Biafra Special live edition, Ralph Uwazuruike (MASSOB) in connection with Ohaneze and Nigerian government was alleged to have planned an attack on the cenotaph this morning.

The cenotaph which the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra  has built at Hill Top, Ngwo area of Enugu in remembrance of 3.5 million Biafra Fallen Heroes, Heroines and starved-to-death Children.

Nnamdi Kanu; the Director of Radio Biafra announced this morning having got a tip-off of the move from an insider in MASSOB. He said that this is no joke and that they are waiting for them to show up now. He also said that the second phase of the struggle has commenced immediately. The Nigerian government using MASSOB may be ready to pull the trigger because they love sucking blood. Biafrans in diaspora calling in during the broadcast has confirmed readiness to defend their land.

THE BIAFRA CENOTAPH











NEWS UPDATE 6th June, 2014.

A group of men from MASSOB in collaboration with the Nigerian police finally attacked the Cenotaph today breaking the wing of the eagle.

According to Nnamdi Kanu:
"BIAFRA WAR MEMORIAL DESECRATED BY UWAZURUIKE IN COLLABORATION WITH NIGERIA POLICE: Just coming in from the site of Biafra Memorial housing our cenotaph in remembrance of our dead heroes and murdered children where Uwazuruike's thugs in Massob in collaboration with the Nigerian Police attended today in my absence to attack and damage the Eagle the centerpiece of the structure. The cowards struck at exactly 3.30 pm when Osita and Chuka came off the site to go and acquire materials for workers who are still working on finishing the work on the monument. By the time we received the news and went back to the site the cowards had fled. I am awaiting confirmation of the name of the MASSOB coward that led Nigerian Policemen and kidnappers to our sacred monument. Whoever Uwazuruike sent is a dead man walking we are looking for them. MASSOB is an organ of Nigerian Government working to frustrate genuine efforts to restore Biafra. We have reinforced our defences and will be waiting for them when next they come. We were waiting for them! Two days ago they came but could not attack because our men were on ground. Today the cowards came with cover from Nigeria Police, the same police that has been killing them. We are waiting for them next time, work resumes tomorrow morning on the site and I will as always be there."

NEWS UPDATE 8th June, 2014.

On the morning broadcast today, the Director: Nnamdi Kanu confirmed that the Cenotaph; Biafra Monument has been completely defaced by thugs and the Nigerian police. They were paid and misinformed by Ralph Uwazuruike. This Cenotaph is the only thing the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra had ever collectively built in remembrance of the fallen heroes.

Why would the Nigerian police destroy something that has not caused any obstruction to anybody? Indeed Nigeria is trying very hard to hide from its past.

NEWS UPDATE 13th June, 2014.

On the evening broadcast today, the Director of radio Biafra; Nnamdi Kanu confirmed that the Cenotaph has been completely destroyed despite efforts to rebuild it. The destruction was allegedly carried out by Ralp Uwazuruike's men in collaboration with the Nigerian police.
Nnamdi stated that the line has been crossed after giving them the benefit of doubt to see if they will come to their senses. "The culprits will get what they are looking for", he vehemently emphasized. "They shall pay for it". You can recall that the first attacked was launched about a week ago and continued since then.

Commentary:

Uwazuruike and cohorts could be testing the resolve of the Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra worldwide. We cannot say what will befall him and his cohorts. The Cenotaph does not block anyone's view, why would anyone destroy it. They must pay for it in one way or the other. I think the hoodlums are blood-thirsty, maybe now of their own.

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