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: 

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.


“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.


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.


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.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Biafra Remembrance Day: #30thMay2014 IPOB Malmö, Sweden - SVT news.

From the Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra living in Malmö, Sweden. The clip was covered by SVT (Sveriges Television AB) who are the largest media house in Sweden on the 30th May, 2014.
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