Connect with us

Op-Ed

Op-Ed: State-Backed Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen And Shuwa Arabs Now Occupy 350 Igbo Communities And Villages-Intersociety.

Published

on

Herdsmen problem in Nigeria

Special Report: 27th May 2020
Intersociety, Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria
 
There are not less than 350 Igbo communities, villages and other locations now invaded and permanently occupied by the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and ‘imported’ Shuwa Arabs, also called ‘Cowmen’ in Arabic. The number of Igbo communities forcibly occupied by the Jihadists has recorded exponential increase from about 139 in August 2019 to alarming 350 in May 2020. The jihadist occupation is vicariously, if not directly aided by the Government of Nigeria and its security agencies especially the Army and the Police. By the combined accounts of the Association of the Eastern Town Unions, the Alaigbo Dev Foundation and the Eastern Outlook Newspaper, “as at August 2019, 139 Igbo communities, villages and locations have been occupied by Fulani Herdsmen, out of which Enugu State has the highest number with 56, followed by Anambra with 24, Imo 17, Ebonyi 12 and Abia seven. In Igbo areas of Delta and Rivers, there are 15 in Delta and nine in Rivers”.
 
But in our recent detailed review and update, the number has exponentially increased from 139 in August 2019 to not less than 350 in May 2020, out of which 318 were factually located and presented below while 38 others were added as ‘dark figures’ or “factually existing but not captured figures”. The ’32 added dark figures’ are likely to be found in Imo and Ebonyi States, with a fraction in Enugu State. The breakdown of the current figure of 350 invaded and occupied Igbo Communities show that Enugu State has the largest number with 72 communities, followed by Anambra with 70, Imo 61,  Abia 43, Ebonyi 36, Igbo Delta 21 and Igbo Rivers 15; totaling 318 and 350 when added with a ‘dark figure’ of 32.
 
The geographical and geopolitical implication of this is that the Jihadist Herdsmen have roughly invaded and violently occupied two States in Igbo Land. This is on account of the fact that Enugu and Anambra State have total of 368 autonomous communities; with 187 in Enugu and 181 in Anambra, as against 350 of them already occupied by the Jihadist Herdsmen. In grand summary, while most of these 350 Igbo communities, villages and other locations have been invaded and violently occupied, some are already under attacks or on a verge of invasion and violent occupation.
 
The Research Did Not Include Northern “Economic Refugees” In Igbo Land
Granted that there presently are hundreds of thousands of “economic refugees” of Northern extraction now flooding the cities and towns in Igbo Land; some of them surviving victims of Boko Haram/ISWAP, Ansaru, ‘Zamfara/Birnin Gwari’ Bandits and Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen anti Christian butcheries in the north; but they are strictly not included in our research categorization of invading “Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and Shuwa Arabs”. In other words, those engaged in meaningful means of livelihood in Igbo cities and towns are not included; even though some, if not many of them are potential security threats to Igbo Land and her indigenous natives and their properties.
 
Appreciation
We must thank in special way Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, PhD (Awka North & South), Odikpo Mmadubueze (Anambra East & West and Ayamelum), Mr. Oselloka Obaze (Ogbaru), Eric Eyituche (ADF, Enugu), Emeka Obi, PhD (Chukwuemeka-Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam),Comrade Paschal Oziri (Imo), Comrade Samuel Kamanyaoku (Abia & Ebonyi), Hon Abia Onyike (former Commissioner for Information in Ebonyi), Ndidi Ndudi (Asaba), Kenneth Odenigbo (Ezeagu, Enugu), Ifeanyi Uzoma (Orlu, Imo) and Samuel Okoro (Uzo Uwani, Enugu). Their contributions and assistance in the course of our field data collection and authentication are remarkable and commendable.
 
 
Purposes Of This Research Report
Following serious concerns especially the fear of imminent jihad recently expressed by the general Igbo population of ‘home and abroad’; on account of organized movement or flooding of mostly uneducated and radicalized young Islamists (dubbed Alamajirai) to different parts of old Eastern Nigeria mainly Igbo Land using the cover of ‘COVID-19’; we have deemed it necessary to set the record straight to the effect that: though the general fears and their ascribed intents are well understood, but the current worrying situation did not start with the said ‘COVID-19’ movement of Alamajirai. It started way back in 2016 with the full knowledge and conspiracy of the Igbo Govs and community (traditional rulers and town unions’ presidents) and church leaders.
 
Not setting the record straight at this point in time would expressly mean creating escape routes for the Govs and community leaders. Another purpose of this research work is to intellectualize the consciousness of the general Igbo population to the effect that such violent invasion and occupation are not ordinary. They are done with clear jihadist intents and defy all geographical and geopolitical excuses. It is also one of the purposes of this research work to expose the conspiracy of the Igbo Govs and community leaders and the hypocrisy of the today’s church leaders (today’s ‘faith profiteers’) in Igbo Land. This work is further intended to alert the ‘attentive’ Igbo public (policy makers, political actors and the educated class) and the ‘un-attentive’ Igbo public or larger population to be on extreme alert, as the old saying goes “Hausa abatago Awka”. Setting the record straight in this respect will further make the general Igbo population to be in the know of those who have abominably compromised to sell the Igbo Nation out to jihadist enemies.
 
Finally, the research work is a clarion call on those in charge of Nigeria’s Presidency and security establishments to immediately retrace their steps from their steady match toward breeding of ‘war of anybody against anybody’ or religious war and throw in towel if they are tired of piloting the affairs of the country. From the way things are speedily unfolding, the country is likely to be thrown into the Rwandan style genocide and other forms of mass bloodletting. We demand and insist that the country be strictly governed with full forms and characteristics of modern limited government where citizens must enjoy their inalienable liberties and be allowed and protected by the State to freely and constitutionally practice religion of their choice outside the confines of state aided jihadism.
 
Renewed Jihadism Is Sweeping Across Christian West, East, Central & Southern Africa
As never recorded in recent times, Islamic Jihadism is now ravaging the Christian West, East, Central and Southern Africa. It looks like a regional project with powerful sponsorship and state protection where jihadist elements are in charge of political and military powers. Today in Congo DRC, a country with largest Catholics in Africa, there is ongoing jihad. In Central African Republic, a country with dominant Christian population, jihadists are substantially in charge. Similar situations are found in Burkina Faso, Angola, Mozambique, Congo Republic and Togo; to mention but a few. Like in Libya in 1969 and Sudan in 1989, the jihadists are penetrating and gaining grounds, aiming at capturing state power and changing the socio-legal secular status quo to brutal Sultanate and Shariah regimes.
 
Unmasking The Fulani Herdsmen
The militant Fulani Herdsmen are the armed terrorist and Islamic jihadist department of Fulani Herdsmen in Nigeria, the country’s primitive cattle herders. They were created and funded and are still funded by some extremist Northern politicians and security chiefs and made more devastating and jihadist in 2010. The formation and funding of the now world’s fourth deadliest terrorist group were achieved using the draconian and age-long Fulani rural cattle grazing networks in Nigeria. The jihadist branch of the Fulani Herdsmen in Nigeria is also strongly believed to have been joined by ‘imported’ jihadists made up of ‘Shuwa Arabs’ or ‘Cowmen’ from Chad and Sudan, etc.
 
The Fulani jihadist group is likened to ‘Sudanese Janjaweed’ and different from ‘machete and dagger-armed’ wandering cattle herders or the ‘Fulani Herdsmen’. The age-long grazing networks of the Herdsmen, spanning the country’s rainforest regions of Southeast, South-south, Southwest and North-central including Christian parts of Northwest and Northeast, will in the nearest future, if not months away, serve as area intelligence and grounds for full scale jihadist attacks or violence in old Eastern Nigeria and other Christian settlements in the Southwest, FCT, etc.
Under these, too, the country’s four main Jihadist groups: militant Herdsmen, Boko Haram, ISWAP and Ansaru; and even embryonic “Zamfara/Birnin Gwari” Terror Bandits with state cover and protection can successfully launch jihadist attacks anywhere in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the Fulani Herdsmen in the country are today serving as ‘rain forest intelligence suppliers’ to the four main jihadist groups. It must also be remembered that the movement for formation of jihadist department within the ranks of the country’s primitive cattle herders or ‘Fulani Herdsmen’ was dated back to 2001, two years after Nigeria returned to civil rule in 1999.
 
Difference Between Fulani Jihadists & Herdsmen
The major difference between the Fulani Herdsmen and their jihadist component strictly lies on their modus operandi and the role of the state actors. The original Fulani Herdsmen operated and still majorly operate with machetes and daggers used in cutting foliages and clearing bush paths for their cattle and guarding their cattle against malicious attacks especially from their rival farmers and cattle rustlers. They also engaged in seasonal grazing usually during dry seasons and hardly settle or live in their host communities. The Fulani Herdsmen are well known serial wanderers (Fulani Daji) and different from sedentary Fulanis or ‘Fulani Ngida’. The clashes between Fulani Herdsmen and farmers before now were usually rag tag and seasonal; with zero state actor involvement except in settling disputes between them and their host farmers or other rivals.   
 
However, the malicious state actor regimentation, militarization and radicalization of militant segment of the Fulani Herdsmen or formation of their jihadist department in Nigeria started rearing their ugly heads from the year 2001, with Jos area of Plateau State as one of their earliest crime scenes. They were among those fingered as malicious actors in the orgy of sectarian violence that ravaged Plateau State in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008. They moved closer to full jihadism in 2010 and got fully transformed with state backing, cover and protection in mid 2015, following the emergence of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s sixth President. It was also from that period that southward movement of Fulani Herdsmen increased with rapid speed to the extent of the Herders becoming ‘sedentary in foreign land’, strictly for purpose of supplying area intelligence and grounds for their jihadist brothers.
 
Aided by forests’ mapping exercise reportedly carried out by the Nigerian Army in 2015, it has become much easier for the jihadist Herdsmen to infiltrate and occupy (using night movements) the marked Southern bushes and forests including those located in Southeast and South-south. These they now do with alarming speed with backing from malicious members of the country’s security forces. Since then, they have become ‘untouchable’ and vicariously, if not directly aided by the state to invade, confiscate, loot, plunder and takeover any land(s) or property(ies); and abduct, torture and kill any person or group of persons or rape and sexually abused (including forced pregnancies for jihadist intents) any woman or group of women of sexually active age bracket. It must be recalled that the Nigerian Army had reportedly carried out forests’ mapping throughout Nigeria in 2015, originally for purpose of ‘effective counterinsurgency operations’. Critics say the exercise was later found to be reportedly done for religiously malicious motives.
 
Nigeria’s Fulani Herdsmen presently operate under the three major umbrellas of ‘the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria-MACBAN’, ‘the Miyatti Allah Koutal Hore Association of Nigeria’ and ‘the Fulani Nationality Movement-FUNAM’; all federally registered organizations in Nigeria. ‘MACBAN’, for instance, was registered on 12th Feb 1986, while ‘Fulani Koutal Hore’ got registered around 2010. The jihadist intents of the Fulani Herdsmen took another dimension in 2018 when they announced the renaming in Fulfulde and Arabic and formal occupation of indigenous communities and villages violently attacked and seized from Christian dominated populations in Plateau State mostly between 2010 and 2015; with eight others earlier seized in 2001. In the Vanguard Newspaper report of 30th June 2018, no fewer than 54 communities mostly belonging to Berom Tribe were renamed. Also renamed were eight communities in the State attacked and seized between September 7 and 10, 2001. In Southern Kaduna (32 villages lost between 2016 and May 2020), Plateau and Benue States, no fewer than 300 Christian communities and villages have been devastatingly attacked and razed by the Fulani Jihadists.
 
 
 
State Aided Movement Of Fulani Jihadists To Old Eastern Nigeria
The movement of Fulani Jihadists commenced in 2016, but reached its peak between 2017 and 2019. The movement had involved: non state actor ‘move in and settle or occupy’ and state actor ‘security forces aided yearly movement’, facilitated through the Nigerian military’s annual regional exercises, usually held between Sept and Oct-Dec. The exercises, which first commenced in 2016, were initially code named: ‘Python Dance’ for Southeast and ‘Crocodile Smile’ for South-south; and later renamed in 2019 as ‘Atiliogwu Udo’ for Southeast. Through the combination of the reported Nigerian Army forests’ mapping of 2015, state security forces aided movement of the jihadists and the existing Fulani grazing routes and networks throughout the country’s rainforest regions, not less than 350 communities, villages and other locations in Igbo Land have been invaded and violently occupied by the Fulani jihadists as at May 2020.
 
Vicarious Involvement Of The Nigerian Government & Its Security Agencies
First is the fact that Igbo Land has the least land allocation in Nigeria with 29,525km2 and estimated 20,000 others for her outpost population; as against a Northern State of Niger that has 76,363km2; roughly three times more than that of the entire five States of the Southeast. So land issue is out of it. Second is the fact that the Buhari Presidency had in the same 2016 when the movement for jihad in old Eastern Nigeria started, requested to govern Nigeria with ‘emergency powers’; thereby tending to castrate the Constitution including its Human Rights Chapter. Since then, the 1999 Constitution has been applied in such mode alongside the country’s various treaty laws. Third is that the Nigerian Army had in same 2016 announced the introduction of ‘Army Ranching’ throughout the country’s military formations. This was how Fulani Herdsmen seemingly became a branch of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies.
 
Fourth was the establishment by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2017, 2018 and 2019 of ‘RUGA’ or ‘Rural Fulani Settlement’ and the ‘National Livestock Transformation Plan’; a grand disguise to forcibly facilitate the movement of the Jihadists who hide under ‘cattle herders’ to force themselves into indigenous populations and violent takeover of their farmlands and forests throughout Nigeria. Sixth is the grossly lopsided composition of the country’s top security positions at Federal, regional and state levels. These are to the extent that as at Sept 2019, 18 of the country’s 22 security, policing & justice positions were occupied by Muslims; out of 26 top military commanders manning strategic formations in the Southeast, 18 were Muslims; out of six senior police commanders in the Southeast, four were Muslims and out of five State directors of SSS in the Southeast four were Muslims.
 
In the South-south, out of 22 senior military commanders manning key military formations in the region, 14 were Muslims; out of its eight senior police commanders, five were Muslims; and out of its six State directors of SSS, four were Muslims. It was so bad that wherever there was new Fulani Herdsmen settlement in any part of Igbo Land during the Military Python Dance/Atiliogwu Udo, there must be established a new military or MOPOL roadblock near such settlement. A typical example took place in 2017 in Umu-Ura Forest (in Ogwe Community) Ukwa West LGA of Abia State where an Army roadblock was created by the corner of the thick forest hosting a new Fulani settlement.
 
Conspiracy Of The Igbo Govs & Community Leaders
It must be clearly understood that violent invasion and occupation of not less than 350 Igbo communities, villages and other locations by Jihadist Herdsmen has the trio of state and security backing and conspiracy of Igbo Govs and most of the community leaders. Community leaders include traditional rulers and presidents general of the town unions and the Government appointed or selected chairmen of various local government areas. The Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen movement Southward is also heavily funded clandestinely. Such conspiratorial involvements of the Govs, community leaders and council chairmen include ‘conspiracy of silence’,  inaction, cover-up, ‘donation’ of lands or procurement of same through moles or compromised third parties, receiving criminal cash sums from leaders of the Jihadists or collection of monthly royalties, and exhibition of fears and cowardice, among others.  As a matter of fact, the Igbo Govs saw all these coming but covered same up so as to ‘retain’ and ‘finish their office tenures’.
 
 
 
There are only few instances in Igbo Land where community leaders including traditional rulers and presidents general resisted and still resist them. These few communities include Arondizogu in Ideato South LGA (ikpa-ocha debacle), Issele-Ukwu in Aniocha North LGA (Delta) and Umuchu in Aguata LGA. In Issele-Ukwu, a mole was hired to procure and ‘donate’ a parcel of land for “private Hausa Market” but the Community stood its ground in the contrary.  In Umuchu, a group of violent Fulani Herdsmen, accompanied by an Army officer, were caught recently negotiating a forest path in the Community in a bid to settle in same. The police authorities in the areas were alerted and on interrogation, they claimed to have come from ‘Abia’ and after a phone call with the Abia State Police Command, they were ordered to be returned to Abia State while the Army officer was picked and taken to Anambra State Police Command headquarters, Awka for further investigation.
 
In Umuzu, Ogbaru LGA of Anambra State, a sum of N200, 000 was recently paid to Fulani Herdsmen for ‘their two missing cows’. In Umunnachi, Dunukofia LGA of Anambra State, a highly placed citizen and personality of international repute recently told Intersociety that the Fulani Herdsmen have just invaded and settled at the top of a hill from where they monitor local maidens and young married women farming in the farms for possible abduction and sexual violence including rape and forced pregnancies. It was also found that some times, the natives and leaders of concerned Igbo communities are taken unawares by the Jihadists, only to wake up one morning to discover that their distant farmlands and forests have been taken over by the Jihadist Herdsmen. News of their occupation only breaks out when some of their natives are reported missing, or abducted, or raped, or killed.
 
In furtherance of their sexual violence, the Jihadist Herdsmen use three malicious methods: enticement with cash sums where necessary and false promises where necessary; use of charms where necessary and use of violence where necessary. Once succeeded in forcing their victims to be pregnant, they will insist on ‘inheriting both the forcibly impregnated local maidens or young married women and their pregnancies or children. A number of these young girls and married women are strongly believed to have fallen victim to them in Awka (Agu Awka), Ayamelum, Uzo Uwani, Ezeagu and some parts of Ebonyi State; and when rarely complained to Christian or community leaders or Government actors, they would be told to retire to their fate so as to ‘to avoid being hacked to death or have their families or villages wiped out’.  Many, if not most of the church leaders in Igbo Land, on their part, have also become more of ‘faith profiteers’ than ‘defenders of faith’. They are busy chasing after money while the House of Jesus crumbles under their watch.
 
Names Of Occupied 350 Igbo Communities And Villages
Enugu: 72 Locations: Ibite Ogbaku, Akpugo, Achi, Inyi, Nachi, Ukpabi-Nimbo, Ukpata, Akegbe-Ugwu, Ugwuoba, Eka Aku, Igbo-Etiti, Amagunze, Amaechi Idodo, Ugwu-Onyeama, Egede, Adada, Nkpologwu, Afa, Uvuru, Ugwu Aboh, Waziri Estate-Nsukka, Enugu-Ezike, Neke-Uno, Akpogasi, Ugwuogo, Ekpebe, Madonna University Layout, Ihuokpa-3-Corner, Akwuke, Industrial Layout-Emene, Unity Layout, Ibagwa-Nike City Layout-Amokwe, Heritage Layout-Oyoho-Nike, Odo Rice-Emene, New Zion State Layout-Ugwu Onyeama, Phase 11, Independence Layout, 4-Corner (Enugu), Redemption Layout (Enugu), Amokpo, Ugbaka-Nkanu, Aninri, Umuabi (near FRSC Regional Training Headquarters in Udi), Awgu, Nenwe (in Aninri LGA) and Amiri Village in Nkanu West LGA. Others are: Eziani (Nsukka LGA), Ugwuogo-Nike, Oyoho Village (Nike), Ngwo, Ibeagwa Community (Enugu East LGA), Amaoji (Enugu East LGA), Okutu (Enugu North) and Akwegbe-Agu (in Igbo-Etiti LGA); Imezi-Owa, Umuna-Ndiagu, Umuna-Ndiuno, Oha-Ndiagu, Okpogho-Mgbata, Amankwo-Ndiagu, Amansiodo-Ihuonyia and Owa Communities; all in Ezeagu Local Government Areas; and Adani, Igga, Urobo, Ugbene-Ajima, Nkpunator-Nkpologwu, Umulokpa, Adaba, Opanda, Ojor and Asaba in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Areas.
 
Anambra: 70 Locations: Nteje, Ogbunka, Ndiukwuenu-Obaeze (location of Mamu River Forest), Amaetiti, Ufuma, Ezira, Umunze, Ozubulu, Oba, Umuchukwu, Akpu, Ndikeilionwu, Ogboji, Ndiowu, Mmiata-Anam, Achala, Ebenebe, Ogbunike, Ihitte (Orumba South), Umunnachi (hilltop), Okija, Ihiala, Dunukofia, Agulu, Neni, Ogbu, Awkuzu and 3-3 Area of Nsugbe. They have also violently settled in Atani, Akiri-Ogidi, Akiri-Ozizor, Aminyi, Mputu, Obeagwe, Ohita, Ogbakuba, Umuodu, Ossamala, Ogwu-Aniocha, Umunankwo, Umuzu and Ogwuikpere; all in Ogbaru LGA (using Odekpe/Atani/Oba/Ozubulu Forest Swamp as their main base).
It is strongly suspected too that the Herdsmen have infiltrated and settled in Ukpo, Lilu, Akwa Ihedi and Unubi (in Nnewi South LGA); all owing to their difficult terrains or topographies. Other Anambra Communities involved are Amanuke, Ugbene, Ugbenu, Amansii, Urum, Ukwuru, Isu Aniocha and Mgbakwu, all in Awka North LGA; and Umuawuru, Awka, Isiagu, Ntoko, Ndikpa and Nibo in Awka South LGA. In Anambra East LGA, they have infiltrated and settled in Aguleri, Nando, Nsugbe and Igbariam and in Aghamelum (Ayamelum) LGA, they forcibly settle in the whole eight communities of Anaku, Omor, Umueje, Omasi, Igbakwu, Umumbo, Umuerum and Ifite-Ogwari.
 
Imo: 61 Locations: Onuimo, Ehime and Isiala Mbano, Ndegwu and Orogwe in Owerri West, Ogbaku in Mbaitoli LGA, Amakaohia-Ubi and Obokofia (Owerri West LGA), Obudi-Agwa Community (Ohaji/Egbema LGA), Okohia Village of Umuduruodu-Okwelle (Onuimo LGA), Ejemekwuru, Eziorsu, Izombe and Agwa Communities (Oguta LGA), Nkwerre, Eziama, Obaire, Amaigbo and Umozu in Nkwerre and Nwangele Local Government Areas, Oru (Ahiazu Mbaise), Ikpa-Ocha (Arondizogu-Ideato South LGA) and Agbala Community (Owerri North LGA), Umuekune-Irete Community (Owerri West LGA), Umuchima, Ugwuaku-Ezinnachi and Umuowa-Ibu (Okigwe LGA), Umuoma (Ihitte Uboma LGA), Naze Cluster (Nekede) and Nekede Old Road Forest.
 
They also include: Osina, Obinze (near Military Barracks); Umundugba, Nkume and Abba Communities in Orlu Local Government Areas; Mbieri and Ubomiri in Mbaitolu LGA; and Agbabo Village in Umulolo and Mechanic Village; all in Okigwe Local Government Area; Uratta (Owerri North), Emeabiam and Amakohia-Ubi in Owerri West,  Umuanyim Village (Onumiri) in Ngor-Okpala LGA, Achicha Community in Ngor-Okpala LGA, Olokwu na Umusu Village in Owerri West, Umunakara Village in Ngor-Okpala LGA and Ngwuru Village in Ngor-Okpala LGA.  
 
Also out of the 24 Communities in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area, over half of them or at least fifteen are now occupied by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen. They are Umuagwo, Oloshi, Umunkwaku, Umapu, Obile, Obitti, Opuoma, Mgbirichi/Abakuru, Assa, Awara, Ikwerede, Umuokanne, Obiakpu, Oroba, Obosima, Abackeke, Abaezi, Ekugba, Obeakpu, Obiakpu, Mgbara, Umuoji and Mmahu-Opuoma. The Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen violent settlement in the area follows high presence of military and police roadblocks mounted because of crude oil exploration; to the extent that from Obinze/Umuagwo to Elele in Rivers State, there are no fewer than 44 roadblocks including at least ten military (Army and Navy) roadblocks. The route to Port Harcourt is a journey of not more than one hour under normal circumstances.
 
Abia: 43 Locations: Leeru, Ohambele-Ndoki (Ukwa East), Nkpa, Ohafia, Bende, Ubakala and Owerre-Nta, Obohia-Ndoki (Ukwa East LGA), Aru Umuonyeukwu in Aru-Ngwa (Osisoma LGA), Umuora/Umuchichi (Osisioma LGA), Owaza Village (Ukwa West LGA), Ebem/Okagwa Ohafia (Ohafia LGA), Ihechiowa (Arochukwu LGA), Ututu Village-Arochukwu (Arochukwu LGA), Lokpanta (Isuochi LGA), Eberi Omuma (Abia State), Umuenye Village (Isiala Ngwa LGA),  Ama Oji, Isiokporo (Isiala Ngwa LGA), Abiriba-Uzo (Ohafia LGA), Igbere (Bende LGA), Ugwueke (Bende LGA), Abam (Bende LGA), Alayi (Bende LGA), Item Village (Bende LGA), Omuma-Uzo (Ukwa West LGA), Umuorie (former site of old Imo Airport) Isiala Ngwa South LGA), Ozu Item and Ozu Abam (Bende LGA), Obeaku City (Ukwa West LGA), Amaeke-Abiriba (Ohafia LGA), Ndiebe Abam (Bende LGA), Mkpa Community (Bende LGA), Uzuakoli (leprosy center) Bende LGA, Alaojii Village (Obingwa LGA), Assenentu Village (Ugwunagbo LGA), Umuakpiti-Nkara (Isiala Ngwa LGA), Umuokpo Village (Obingwa LGA), Mkpuko Ohuhu-Ala (Isiala Ngwa LGA),  Umuako Nsirimo (Umuahia South LGA),  Umuakuma Umueze (Isiala Ngwa South LGA),  Umumba Nsirimo (Umuahia South LGA) and Umuerim Nsirimo (Umuahia South LGA).
 
Ebonyi: 36 Locations: Emoha, Nkalagu, Afikpo, Izzi, Ezza, Ezzaegu, Ezamgbo, Ukpo, Ekeimoha, Akpoha, Abomege, Onicha, Ohaukwu, Umuogudu-Akpu, Ukwagba-Mgbo Community (Ohaukwu LGA), Uburu (Ohaozara LGA), Okposi (Ohaozara LGA), Aga Village (Ohaukwu LGA), Ama Nguzu in Nguzu Edda (Afikpo South LGA), Ama Oso Edda (Afikpo South LGA), Eziedda (Afikpo South LGA), Amangwu Edda (Afikpo South), Oso Edda (Afikpo South LGA), Owutu Edda (Afikpo South LGA), Agharosa Village (Izzi LGA), Ndiohia Iboko (Izzi LGA), Ezza Egu Ndebo (Izzi LGA), Ishiagu (Izzi LGA), Amuzu Igeagu (Izzi LGA), Nkaleke Igbeagu (Izzi LGA), Ndu Nwanphu Igbeagu (Izzi LGA) and Uzashi Igbeagu (Izzi LGA), Ndiakpurata Oguzereonwiya (Igbeagu) in Izzi LGA, Ndiegbe-Onuebonyi, Igbeagu (Izzi LGA) and Nwanwu-Igbeagu (Izzi LGA).
 
Delta (Anioma Land): 21 Locations: Agbor, Olor, Ewulu, Okpanam, Iselleukwu, Oshimmili, Onicha-Ugbo, Ndokwa, Umunede, Ogwasiukwu, Ibusa (forest), Kwale, Obiaruku and Igbo-Akiri (boundary Igbo towns with Edo), Asaba (rural), Ella, Ubulu-Ukwu, Ubulu-Unor, Abor, Akwkwu-Igbo and Issele-Azagba. While they have infiltrated and lived in the named 21 communities, they violently operate in 20 Delta Igbo communities spread across Aniocha North, Aniocha South, Oshimiri North and Oshimiri South LGAs of the State.
 
Rivers: 15 Locations: Onuimo, Ugurunta, Omoku, Ahuada, Omuha (Umoha), Emeoha, Okehi, Isiokpo, Oleh, Umuechem, Agbomchia Farm Road/Pipeline, Eleme, Emeagwa Int’l Airport area, Ubima/Nval War College (Isiokpo LGA) and Elele
 
Signed:
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law
 
Emeka Umeagbalasi
Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies
Master of Science, Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution
Board Chair
 
Amaka Damaris Onuoha, Esq., LLB, BL
Head of Campaign & Publicity
 
Chinwe Umeche, Esq., LLB, BL
Head, Democracy & Good Governance
 
Ndidiamaka Bernard, Esq., LLB, BL, LLM (Cyber Law)
Head, Int’l Justice & Human Rights
 
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq., LLB, BL
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law
 
Comrade Samuel Kamanyaoku (HND)
Head, Field Data Collection & Documentation
 
Contacts:
WhatsApp/Mobile: +2348174090052
Email: info@intersociety-ng.org
Website: www.intersociety-ng.org

Disclaimer
 TNC addresses a range of topical subjects and openly invites your views; however, independent opinions expressed in our media presence are those of the authors.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Op-Ed

Op-ed: Is the Niger Delta Still Part Of Nigeria?

Published

on

Is the Niger Delta Still Part Of Nigeria

The dance of the absurd taking place in the media space in recent times couldn’t have been had President Buhari not ordered for a Forensic Audit of the Books of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

The National Assembly under Senator Ahmed Lawan and Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila seems to be unconcerned about the imminent dangers of a resurgence of youth restiveness in the oil and gas rich area of the country as some Lawmakers with obvious insidious interest have continued to challenge the authority of the President on the all-inclusive probe of the Commission which has been wobbling, twenty years after its creation. The excessive freedom enjoyed by those who have been publicly accused by the supervising Committee of the NDDC has been overstretched as the leadership of the 9th Assembly has either chosen to look the other way or become complicit in the macabre dance.

Since the decision by the President to look into the way billions of Naira have been frittered away through the Commission, the discordant tunes from a few, powerful Lawmakers from the Niger Delta region has become worrisome that the reading public is now suspicious of their involvement in the pathological sleaze that has characterized the Commission while leaving the region underdeveloped and gasping for air, in a manner akin to the African-American, George Floyd who died while begging to breathe.

It is worrisome that in spite of the fact that the National Assembly is led by the ruling party, APC, yet, the synergy expected between the Executive and the Legislature is far from being in existence as it concerns the Niger Delta region, which has consistently sustained the economy since 1956, when oil was discovered in commercial quantities.

Is it not beyond surprising and an effrontrey for a group of Lawmakers to challenge the decision of the President in approving an intervention for the people of the region for the purpose of the pandemic? The impudence displayed by these Lawmakers who definitely have something sinister to frustrate the efforts of the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Commission and the supervising Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio is a pointer that all is not well, particularly, when the supposed leader of the recalcitrant Lawmakers is from the opposition party, PDP. Could it be that the Senate President has conceded his powers to his Deputy, who recently, walked into the Headquarters of the EFCC with a letter written by the Clerk of the Senate, albeit on his instruction and requested for the probe and arrest of Buhari’s Minister, even when other Senators were kept in the dark of such an offensive? With the denial of Omo-Agege of his involvement in the scandal, will the Senate President set up a Committee to investigate him alongside the Clerk or simply sack the latter? That is up to him to stand for the truth or let his exalted office be ridiculed by his Deputy and his quest for power!

The desperation to have Akpabio removed and the Pondei-led IMC sacked is purely an effort to ensure that Buhari leaves no legacies in the Niger Delta region. The cry over the mismanagement of funds at the NDDC has been on, over time and was enunciated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, sometime in 2019 at Delta State. There was a follow up visit to the President by the Governors of the States under the NDDC which compelled the President to give Akpabio the mandate to appoint Forensic Auditors to look into the books, with an Interim Management Committee to oversee the running of the Commission while the audit lasts.

Sadly, those who seem to have been squandering the funds meant to build high grade Schools, Hospitals, Roads and Bridges amongst other infrastructures, are desperate to have Akpabio’s head on the slaughter slab, as millions of Naira have been deployed to different youth groups and a section of the media to further plant negative stories in other to discredit those saddled with this responsibility.

More worrisome is the involvement of high profile and principal officers at the National Assembly in this distracting dance, that one begins to wonder if truly they mean well for the region. What really do they intend to achieve in ensuring that Buhari does not add a stone to projects in the Niger Delta. Is there a fifth columnist working against the President but are pretending to be partners in progress with him?

The effort made by the NDDC to source for international grant of $126 million from the International Fund for  Agricultural Development, IFAD, has been aborted at the point of delivery by this same Lawmakers who wickedly slashed the budgetary provision for the counterpart funding from N1.3 billion to a paltry N100 million in the 2019 Budget of the NDDC! Funds from IFAD meant to massively engage in Agriculture in the region was wished away with the stroke of the pen. Not done with the plot to keep the region perpetually underdeveloped and totally dependent on crumbs from. Federal Allocation, these agents of darkness ensured that the budget of N10 billion for the construction of three Specialist Hospitals in the region was slashed to another paltry N100m! Yet, they prefer that billions of Naira are allocated for non-existent Training programs, Desilting of the Waterways and Medical Tourism overseas that yield nothing.

The 2020 Budget which has since been submitted in 2019 is yet to be attended to. Those who have gathered irrespective of party affiliations, to keep the region in agony at the risk of illegal activities of oil bunkering, environmental degradation and deprivation, and massive pollution of the air and water resulting in the cancerous black smooth and death of aquatic life are not done with their offensive as they question the rationale behind the payment of contractors owed by successive Boards of the Commission.

The recent probe of N40 billion by the two Houses of the National Assembly is only a disguise of their real intents. Why is this probe more important to the supposed watchdogs of the Commission rather than allow for a thorough Forensic Audit? What is the real purpose of the Adhoc Committees of the two Houses in writing the Bureau of Public Procurement to deny the Forensic Auditors access to the nine states to verify the records of the Commission? This is not only suspicious but scandalous by those who claim to be in support of the Presidential Order of the Forensic Audit!

One begins to wonder who is actually ruling the country when a few Lawmakers have effortlessly challenged the powers of the President to seek to know what has been of the monies poured into the NDDC for over 19 years.

For the second highest ranking Senator who flaunts the title of “Leader of the South South” to resort to a petition against a Minister to the EFCC, in order to frustrate the President and leader of his political party, leaves much to be desired! It is clear that the 9th Assembly is not interested in the development of the Niger Delta region.

No wonder the same Lawmakers who claim to have an oversight function on the Niger Delta have failed to query the Presidential Infrastructural Development Fund, PIDF, on the deliberate neglect of the East-West Road which is one of the five critical projects under the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA. While they are at war with the managers of NDDC, they have left the people of the region to suffer as they navigate from one state to the other through the East-West Road. In spite of a Presidential approval of N100bn in 2018 for the completion of sections 1 to 4 of the road and a release of N19.5bn by the Minister for Finance, three years ago, for the payment of legacy debts, the PIDF under Mr Uche Orji has failed to pay the Contractors, thereby delaying their return to the site and allowing the road to deteriorate. 

Without a recent intervention by the NDDC to repair the failed sections of the road, the people of the region would have completely been cut off from the West.

It is clear that there is an orchestrated plot to make sure that the APC controlled Federal Government fails in the Niger Delta region. And who are those responsible for this mess? Obviously, they are not far from us as the fate of the Niger Delta region now depends on them!

Obiaruko Ndukwe

President, Citizens Quest for Truth Initiative

The Newscap, part of NYMEWSNET addresses a range of topical subjects and openly invites your views.
However, independent views expressed in our media presence are those of the author. And are not necessarily those of NYNEWSNET or any of its employees and volunteers

Continue Reading

Op-Ed

Op-ed: NDDC, When Strange Bedfellows Unite To Rape a Region

Published

on

NDDC: When Strange Bedfellows Unite To Rape a Region

If the news of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday 3rd June 2020, denying ever writing any letter for an extension of the tenure of the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Ataba Omolori and other Staff is anything to go by, then one wonders why till date the Clerk still retains his office when he is supposed to have been retired since February, 2020, according to the National Assembly Service Commission rules.

The seeming conspiratorial silence of the leadership and members of the 9th Assembly should worry any right thinking Nigerian, especially when it is an institution that inspires hope in our democracy.

According to a highly placed source in the National assembly, It has become worrisome the twist in the face-off between the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and some members of the National Assembly as the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege mandated the Clerk to write a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes and Commission, EFCC, against Akpabio, bothering on alleged malfeasance and money laundering. In what looks like a desperate launch of a vendetta against Akpabio, the petition refers to a  $4.9bn Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contract award to Osmoserve for supply of relief materials for the Covid-19 pandemic across the nine Niger Delta States. This is most likely because the Minister chose to courageously take the right course of action by backing the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of NDDC to plug all loop holes from which scarce funds were surging  out of the Commission over the years.

There are strong indications also that the duo of Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege and Sen. Nwaoboshi, the Chairman, Senate Committee on NDDC, both from Delta State are in active connivance with the Clerk of the National Assembly to ensure they frustrate the work of the Forensic Auditors currently perusing meticulously through the accounts of the NDDC.

Nothing else explains coherently the reason the EFCC currently working with other renown financial institutions in auditing the books of NDDC will welcome an isolated case bothering on same concerns as the ongoing Forensic Audit.

It all reeks of vindictive intent on the part of the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who, very obviously, is still disenchanted by the way the Bernard Okumagba-led Board ended in a still birth. Omo-Agege had nominated his former contemporary, Bernard Okumagba with whom he served as Commissioners under Ex Governor James Ibori’s Government in Delta State. Unknown to many, Peter Nwaoboshi and the duo of Omo-Agege and Okumagba all served at the same time in that Government, from where they got the appellation, “the Ibori Boys.”

The decision of President Buhari to jettison the already screened members of the Board has not gone down well with Omo-Agege and co, who believe that Akpabio opted for an IMC in a bid to upstage the nominees and their sponsors.

The President’s action is considered an advise from the Minister and that has pitched some members of the National Assembly against Akpabio and by extension, the Interim Management Committee saddled with the responsibility of running the affairs of the Commission during the period of the Forensic Audit.

It is sad to realize that the Clerk of the National Assembly,  Sani Ataba Omolori’s desperation to keep his job for another 5years, albeit illegally can make him resort to anything, including joining an unholy union with Principal Officers of the Senate and House of Representatives, simply to retain his job. It won’t be out of place, therefore, if I refer to these strange bedfellows as friends with benefit.

That the Deputy Senate President in a letter addressed to the Chairman of EFCC with a reference no. NASS/CS/99/R/21/19, the Clerk of the Senate stated that he was directed by the office of the Deputy Senate President to request the assistance of the EFCC “in an ongoing inquiry into the affairs of the core members of the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC…” According to the letter titled, “SENATE REQUESTS THE INVESTIGATION AND MONITORING OF MINISTER OF NIGER DELTA AFFAIRS HON. GODSWILL AKPABIO AND POSSIBLE CRIMINAL AFFILIATE MR. SCOTT IKOTT TOMMEY”, the Senators are overriding the adhoc-committee already inaugurated to look into the alleged misappropriation of N40 billion by the Minister and the IMC. This also implies that the Senate President may have mandated his Deputy to petition the EFCC or it could be that his powers have been whittled down by his Deputy and his ally, Nwaoboshi.

 Shamefully, it has become a story of one day, one propaganda while another day comes with yet another blackmail, petitions, lies and deceit as the case maybe against the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs and the IMC of NDDC.

 Most shocking is how a notable figure like the  Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-agege can go all out to scuttle a Forensic Audit authorized by the President on the request of the Niger Delta Governors.

How is it that Senator Peter Nwaoboshi is throwing every available spanner into the works, like a drowning man holding unto a straw, ready to pull anyone along with him? How can Sen Peter Nwaoboshi be so knowledgeable about the NDDC, yet, this level of sleaze is being perpetuated under his watch? Is he saying he is unaware of the 50 billion naira payment to NGOs in a single day, on May 15, 2019, and another payment of billions of Naira to 360 NGOs in 2018, and another singular payment of 15 billion Naira to a company based in Akwa Ibom, without any commensurate work done?

It is becoming more difficult convincing Nigerians that government is for them, when news like the clandestine move by NASS leadership to extend the tenure of the Clerk of the National Assembly greeted the news media. For a personality like Sani Ataba Omolori who has served the nation meritoriously, the honour is in retiring from active service with pride, rather than be forcefully evicted going by allegations of illegal extension of his service, a position held by the National Assembly Service Commission.

Following the sudden sequence of allegations against the Minister and the IMC, you will not be living in doubt that they are all geared towards stalling the Forensic Audit, so as  continuing with business as usual in the NDDC; nothing more.

A keen observer of the face-off between the NDDC and NASS will tell you that should this impasse in the region be resolved in objectivity, the Niger Delta people will be the greatest beneficiary, and they will have a better NDDC than they ever before the crisis started.

To some gladiators, it is an ego battle, to some others it is a battle for the soul of the Commission to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta region. Whether you lend your voice to the developing debate or not, one thing is sacrosanct; it is the expectation of all well-meaning Niger Deltans that President Buhari will stop at nothing until the final report of the Forensic Audit is presented and is implemented to the letter.

Eghosa Sunday-Salami

Edo State Secretary

Citizens Quest for Truth Initiative

The Newscap, part of NYMEWSNET addresses a range of topical subjects and openly invites your views.
However, independent views expressed in our media presence are those of the author. And are not necessarily those of NYNEWSNET or any of its employees and volunteers

Continue Reading

Op-Ed

Op-Ed: “What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge”, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

Published

on

What was your first reaction when you saw the video of the white cop kneeling on George Floyd’s neck while Floyd croaked, “I can’t breathe”?

If you’re white, you probably muttered a horrified, “Oh, my God” while shaking your head at the cruel injustice. If you’re black, you probably leapt to your feet, cursed, maybe threw something (certainly wanted to throw something), while shouting, “Not @#$%! again!” Then you remember the two white vigilantes accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery as he jogged through their neighborhood in February, and how if it wasn’t for that video emerging a few weeks ago, they would have gotten away with it. And how those Minneapolis cops claimed Floyd was resisting arrest but a store’s video showed he wasn’t. And how the cop on Floyd’s neck wasn’t an enraged redneck stereotype, but a sworn officer who looked calm and entitled and devoid of pity: the banality of evil incarnate.

Maybe you also are thinking about the Karen in Central Park who called 911 claiming the black man who asked her to put a leash on her dog was threatening her. Or the black Yale University grad student napping in the common room of her dorm who was reported by a white student. Because you realize it’s not just a supposed “black criminal” who is targeted, it’s the whole spectrum of black faces from Yonkers to Yale.

You start to wonder if it should be all black people who wear body cams, not the cops.

What do you see when you see angry black protesters amassing outside police stations with raised fists? If you’re white, you may be thinking, “They certainly aren’t social distancing.” Then you notice the black faces looting Target and you think, “Well, that just hurts their cause.” Then you see the police station on fire and you wag a finger saying, “That’s putting the cause backward.”

You’re not wrong — but you’re not right, either. The black community is used to the institutional racism inherent in education, the justice system and jobs. And even though we do all the conventional things to raise public and political awareness — write articulate and insightful pieces in the Atlantic, explain the continued devastation on CNN, support candidates who promise change — the needle hardly budges.

But COVID-19 has been slamming the consequences of all that home as we die at a significantly higher rate than whites, are the first to lose our jobs, and watch helplessly as Republicans try to keep us from voting. Just as the slimy underbelly of institutional racism is being exposed, it feels like hunting season is open on blacks. If there was any doubt, President Trump’s recent tweets confirm the national zeitgeist as he calls protesters “thugs” and looters fair game to be shot.

Yes, protests often are used as an excuse for some to take advantage, just as when fans celebrating a hometown sports team championship burn cars and destroy storefronts. I don’t want to see stores looted or even buildings burn. But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.

So, maybe the black community’s main concern right now isn’t whether protesters are standing three or six feet apart or whether a few desperate souls steal some T-shirts or even set a police station on fire, but whether their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers will be murdered by cops or wannabe cops just for going on a walk, a jog, a drive. Or whether being black means sheltering at home for the rest of their lives because the racism virus infecting the country is more deadly than COVID-19.

What you should see when you see black protesters in the age of Trump and coronavirus is people pushed to the edge, not because they want bars and nail salons open, but because they want to live. To breathe.

Worst of all, is that we are expected to justify our outraged behavior every time the cauldron bubbles over. Almost 70 years ago, Langston Hughes asked in his poem “Harlem”: “What happens to a dream deferred? /… Maybe it sags / like a heavy load. / Or does it explode?”

Fifty years ago, Marvin Gaye sang in “Inner City Blues”: “Make me wanna holler / The way they do my life.” And today, despite the impassioned speeches of well-meaning leaders, white and black, they want to silence our voice, steal our breath.

So what you see when you see black protesters depends on whether you’re living in that burning building or watching it on TV with a bowl of corn chips in your lap waiting for “NCIS” to start.

What I want to see is not a rush to judgment, but a rush to justice.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the N.B.A.’s all-time leading scorer, is the author of 16 books, including, most recently, “Mycroft & Sherlock —The Empty Birdcage” www.kareemabduljabbar.com

Continue Reading

Op-Ed

Op-ed: THE 1967 NIGERIA-BIAFRA WAR EXODUS, by Nnedinso Ogaziechi

Some Igbos betrayed their kinsmen for filthy lucre – the notorious saboteurs who always ended badly despite their acquisitions, some accused others of greed, but yet, those who sang for him and encouraged him were not necessarily from the East

Published

on

By

Nigerian-Biafra-war

“ Joe de abukide takikwojawa” he sang and danced in all his elegance. He was the tallest man I saw growing up; he was the first ‘journalist’ I met and ‘interviewed’. He was in love with current affairs; he was up to date with the news. He was a good storyteller. He was an entertainer, and more than two decades after his death; he is widely quoted around his community. He was well admired; he was the quintessential man of integrity that was as compassionate as he was firm. He was my father….

The Igbos-the exodus

The opening sentence here is in the local language of his host community, he sang it often and danced in that his elegant form, he belonged to different village dance groups like the Ogene group, a group whose music was almost elitist at the time, they only sang at notable and remarkable ceremonies and at funerals of important chiefs and kings.

So growing up, he always sang this particular song and danced at times he felt depressed. Of course, we had that father/daughter bond, so I asked him the meaning …then he tells me;

 “I’m still the same Joseph that I was before the war” He smiled and sat down. 

 “That song, Nne nwa m, was sang by the men and women I lived with in the North before the war. They sought me out after the war and and they all came here to visit and sang that song and danced. They were happy I survived and I’m still the old Joseph they knew” The song means, Joseph is still the Joseph that we knew before the war. What they did not know was that the song they sang was an elixir for a former wealthy man who the war stripped naked materially, but he was happy to have survived with his family and some dependants , but many did not…

Biafran Girls at the battlefront
Biafran Girls at the battlefront

He had businesses and houses in the North, at the beginning of the war, he was scared for his family, apprentices and the larger Igbo community. He was an ardent BBC fan and so followed the pre-war news about the coups and countercoups and the attendant pogrom in the North. He called the Igbo community to urge them to get ready to leave because he was following the news and knew they were not going to be safe. His hosts at the time gave him assurances that they would protect him but he wondered, what of my people, what of those who depended on me for survival? He made arrangements to take as many people as he could back home amidst protests from his amiable hosts.

“I have investments here, I have houses, I have many debtors so I will always come back after the war. I have lived here since adulthood, most of my investments are here and not in my ancestral home. I will surely return but let me secure as many lives as I can first,” He told them.

Nigerian-Biara-civil war
Nigerian-Biara-civil war

The prognosis of events he was hearing on radio was not heartwarming. He was particularly disturbed by the radio speeches of an Emeka Ojukwu, the son of his business partner at the time, Sir Louis Ojukwu. For my father, it was an emotional but a survivalist decision to head East before danger enveloped him and the people he cared about.

So in August 1967, he hired a big truck to take as many people as it could accommodate home. So when Joe, as he was addressed made the trip out, the other nay-sayers knew that really, danger loomed…he continued to make arrangements for those willing to get back home…many left on his prompting.

But even the home was soon invaded…one of his houses demolished and his vintage Stone House building turned into Nigeria Soldiers Senior Officers House…it was stripped bare of all furniture and ornaments acquired over the years.

So he told me the war was a cocktail of humanity and the individual idiosyncrasies, he saw love, kindness, compassion, wickedness, sadism, narcissism and all sorts…In war and peace, humanity thrives, he told stories of resilience, of perseverance, gratitude and friendship across Nigeria.

Some Igbos betrayed their kinsmen for filthy lucre – the notorious saboteurs who always ended badly despite their acquisitions, some accused others of greed, but yet, those who sang for him and encouraged him were not necessarily from the East. They were Northerners who took him in as family. The contradictions of a nation caught in the throes of political intrigues across ethnic and religious lines and the grass that suffer when many, not two elephants fight…

The story of Nigeria-Biafra war is as diverse, intriguing, heart wrenching and devastating as every war story…but the essence of history is to look back and learn from mistakes of the past…we must document our tiny pieces for humanity…

 In memory of all the dead, the maimed and the dispossessed, we must raise our voices. In Igbo language, there are names like Ozoemena – let evil not be repeated, Agha Egbune – let war not consume, Osondu – the race for life etc. All these are snippets of oral and enduring history we must document and preserve.

The war has been described as a rain that fell on all roofs, we would all contribute our stories for prosperity…

 The coming days will have other stories…🙏🏼

 Pic: Google.

 ©Nnedinso

 May 27th, 2020.

Continue Reading

Advert

Recent Posts: Nigeria most reliable news source, independent & impartial

Op-ed: Is the Niger Delta Still Part Of Nigeria?

Op-ed: Is the Niger Delta Still Part Of Nigeria?

The dance of the absurd taking place in the media space in recent times couldn’t have been had President Buhari not ordered for a Forensic Audit of the Books of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. The National Assembly under Senator Ahmed Lawan and Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila seems to be unconcerned about the imminent […]

Op-ed: NDDC, When Strange Bedfellows Unite To Rape a Region

Op-ed: NDDC, When Strange Bedfellows Unite To Rape a Region

If the news of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday 3rd June 2020, denying ever writing any letter for an extension of the tenure of the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Ataba Omolori and other Staff is anything to go by, then one wonders why till date […]

Gen. James Mattis breaks his silence: Says, President Trump is a threat to the United States Constitution

Gen. James Mattis breaks his silence: Says, President Trump is a threat to the United States Constitution

Compares Donald Trump to NAZIS, accuses him of ‘mockery of the Constitution’ and ‘abuse’ of power and slams ‘military leadership’ for taking part in ‘bizarre photo-op’

Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Diddy, Halsey, Arianna Grande & others blast Donald trump!

Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Diddy, Halsey, Arianna Grande & others blast Donald trump!

Cardi B, wrote -” Believe it or not, the President have a lot of power in his tongue. Today, he held a press conference. Instead of comforting us letting know that justice will be made and THAT YES! Black lives matter! He goes and threatens the people making the people more angry.

Health Issue. New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Health Issue. New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo.

; WHO surge team supporting the response

George Floyd’s: final words ‘I can’t breathe’ are a wake-up call ‘for all of us’-Joe Biden.

George Floyd’s:  final words ‘I can’t breathe’ are a wake-up call ‘for all of us’-Joe Biden.

PHILADELPHIA — Joe Biden on Tuesday praised the nationwide peaceful protests to the death of George Floyd, calling his killing in police custody a “wake-up call for our nation” and drawing a stark contrast between President Donald Trump’s tactics and how he would respond. In a speech from Philadelphia City Hall, Biden repeated Floyd’s final words before he died after […]

Op-Ed: “What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge”, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

Op-Ed: “What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge”, by  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

What was your first reaction when you saw the video of the white cop kneeling on George Floyd’s neck while Floyd croaked, “I can’t breathe”? If you’re white, you probably muttered a horrified, “Oh, my God” while shaking your head at the cruel injustice. If you’re black, you probably leapt to your feet, cursed, maybe […]

George Floyd live update: violent protests escalate-Looting and arson, spread across the United States.

George Floyd live update: violent protests escalate-Looting and arson, spread across the United States.

videos of looters in Los Angeles.

George Floyd: Philadelphia Burns!!-see video

George Floyd:  Philadelphia Burns!!-see video

Initially peaceful protests in Philadelphia took on a different tone later Saturday afternoon after a car was set on fire and a crowd tried to gain access to a municipal building in one of many new demonstrations to emerge across the country during the day Saturday — only hours after violence rocked cities coast to […]

The Nigeria-Biafra war: Remembering the fearless heroes- photo-Gallery/video by Agu

The Nigeria-Biafra war:  Remembering the fearless heroes- photo-Gallery/video by Agu

It was probably 15 years after the Nigerian -Biafran civil war ended that my thought process comprehended the full tragic impact it had on my family. The first time I saw four of my nephews, I wondered why they could not speak my dialect. Also, they had a last name that does not sound anything […]

Advertisement
Advertisement

Emma Agu Playlist.

Trending