[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Igbo Union Atlanta USA, Inc., in collaboration with the Igbo Community and friends of Igbo people, will hold the 2014 Igbo Day Symposium on Friday, November 7th (8.00-10.00pm), followed by the main event on Saturday, November 8th, 2014, in the Igbo Community building [aka “Obi Ndi Igbo”] in Atlanta. Venue is at: Igbo Community Building [OBI NDI-IGBO], 5912 Mableton Parkway, Mableton, GA 30126.   
 
 
This symposium is one of the activities marking this year’s 2014 Annual Igbo Day – “Celebrating the Dream and the Vision (Igbo Facility Transformation).”
 
 
In our quest to advance the collective interests and well-being of Igbo people (Ndi Igbo), this symposium will focus sharply on the imperatives of the daily challenges of Family Life & Marriage Challenges and “Umu-igbo” (Youth) who reside in the international community (aka Diaspora).
 
 
Therefore, we are looking for published authors who have written extensively – essays, articles, papers, etc. and dynamic presenters and creative, interactive presentations that can deliver unique insights and best practices on topics focusing on these three broad areas:
 
 
    Igbo family and marriage challenges and how to mitigate them,
    Domestic violence from legal perspective, and
    Career guidance for success (Youth, Adult, etc.).
 
 
The Igbo Day Symposium Committee is now accepting presentation proposals that address any of those topics.
 
Please submit your presentation proposal for review to CFSNL@YAHOO.COM no later than Saturday, October 25, 2014.
 
 
Include the title and a brief summary or synopsis of your presentation. Selected presenters will be notified by email no later than Saturday, November 1, 2014.
 
 
The 2014 Symposium Committee will carefully review your title, synopsis to make the final selection. 

 

We look forward to receiving your proposal as well as look forward to dynamic and intellectually stimulating insights on this year's symposium as always. 

 

Symposium Subcommittee:
Rev. Dr. C. K. Ekeke (Moderator), Prof. Martin Okafor (co-Chair), Mr. Michael Brian Odiakosa, Mrs. Priscilla Madu and Dr. Nze Dan Onyeagba (2014 Igbo Day Event Chair).
 
*Photo Caption - Event flyer. Click link below for Enlarged Flyer.
http://nigeriamasterweb.com/Etc12/IgboUnionAtlanta2014FlyerLg.jpg

[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] -This is to let the general public and Abians in particular, to know that the sealing of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) formerly Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) offices in the state was a judicial matter caused by the refusal of the EEDC to remit all Pay As You Earn (PAYE) taxes deducted from its workers salaries.
 
The Abia State Board of Internal Revenue BIR, whose statutory responsibility it is to handle taxation matters in the state audited the EEDC and from 2006 till date the EEDC has a PAYE Tax liability of Six Hundred and Twenty Three Million Naira ( 623 Million) which has been duly communicated to all relevant authorities including the Federal Ministry of power. However, the judgment debt from 2006 to 2011 as allowed by the extant laws and established a tax liability is four hundred and seventeen million, (N417million) naira against the EEDC and it was for this that demand notices were served on the company which it refused to pay.
 
The company was taken to court by the State Board of Internal Revenue BIR, as has been the case with other organizations. The High Court granted the Board an Order to seal their offices in order to recover the said amount.
 
On the 23rd of November 2013, the BIR attempted to seal the EEDC (PHCN) then, but it used the military and the police to resist the sealing.
 
However, the company came to a meeting with the BIR on the 5thof December 2013 and it was resolved that the Board should grant the EEDC two weeks from the 5th of December  2013 to enable it to liaise with the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company for the payment of the outstanding liability.
 
The EEDC further asked for the 20th January 2014 as the date for the payment of the liability failure which the law will take its course, but, in an apparent display of bad faith, the EEDC went behind to file a suit in the High Court for Stay of Execution Order.
 
The Board of Internal Revenue followed the EEDC to court and it was not until the 2nd of October 2014, when the court rejected the request of EEDC for a stay of execution of the earlier order that BIR moved to enforce the court order, hence the sealing of the EEDC on the 9th of October 2014.
 
The Abia State Government, wishes to state that it has no hand in this obviously legal matter as the BIR is a statutory body with extant responsibilities and rights. We would rather advice the EEDC to act as other responsible corporate citizen and pay its taxes or alternatively act in good faith and approach the BIR for amicable resolution of the issue in the interest of our citizens.
Abia citizens will bear witness that this is not the first time an organization was sealed by the BIR for non remittance of PAYE taxes and this shall not be the last.
 
However, based on solemn promises made by EEDC Board and management His Excellency, Governor T.A. Orji has magnanimously waded in and directed that BIR suspend the sealing of EEDC premises in the state to avoid any hardship such legal tussle may cause Abia citizens and other  residents. The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) is advised to reciprocate this gesture by expeditiously pay-off its outstanding debt with the BIR as promised to avoid further embarrassment.
 
Dr. Eze Chikamnayo 
Commissioner for Information 
& Strategy, Abia State.  
 
*Photo Caption - Map of Abia State 

[ Masterweb Reports ] - Following mixed reactions on the joining of the PDP by the former Governor of Anambra, Mr. Peter Obi, more facts have emerged on what
informed his decision.
 
 
Speaking to journalists during an interactive session with Igbo group  in Lagos State, Obi said  "There is nothing wrong with APGA and my joining the PDP has nothing to do with APGA. I enjoy cordial relationship with  Chief  Willie Obiano and the Government is doing well.   I  will continue to support him in building a better Anambra State  for the good of the children of the State."
 
 
Asked the main reason why he left APGA, he said that it was because of his commitment to be strongly involved in President Jonathan's re-election bid saying: "Mr. President is doing very well. He has a lot of policies in place that will transform the country if re-elected. We shall support him fully for the benefit of the country."
 
 
The delegation was led by Barr. Olisa Metuh, who said that never in the history of the PDP was such a delegation sent to persuade anybody to join the PDP, but that the a South-East leaders had to do it in Obi's case because of his past performance and the value he would  bring to the party.

 
It will be recalled that Governor Olusegun  Mimiko of Ondo State recently joined the PDP saying it was not because of Ondo State or  Labour Party, but that it would offer him the opportunity to support the President more strongly.  Obi who also cited the same reason said that he discussed the matter with  Mimiko  severally.
 
 
*Photo Caption - Mr. Peter Obi

[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - The entire members and National Working Committee of INITIATIVE FOR NATIONAL REBIRTH join Nigerians and Nigerians in Diaspora to felicitate with our Principal and President, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR and the Vice President His Excellency Arc. Namadi Sambo GCON as we celebrate Nigeria’s 54th Independence Anniversary. We also use this opportunity to pray for PEACE and UNITY of our great country Nigeria and God Almighty will continue to grant them the WISDOM and GRACE to continue delivering to the good people of our great country DIVIDENDS OF DEMOCRACY and GOOD GOVERNANCE. We pledge our unalloyed loyalty and to galvanize support for total victory in the 2015 Presidential Election.
 
Mr. President Sir, keep moving for history is on your side no matter what people say or print in ignorance. You will fulfill your destiny by God’s grace. No amount of ambuscade and evil machinations against you shall prosper.
 
The current rebasing of our GDP as the biggest in Africa is a positive step in the right direction for the current administration’s TRANSFORMATION AGENDA. With your untiring and genuine efforts coupled with the NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION AGENDA which your God ordained administration adopted as a policy and regulatory framework to move our country forward, and with God Almighty on your side as the NIGERIAN CONSENSUS CANDIDATE, victory at the 2015 Presidential Election is a foregone conclusion.
 
We commend the Federal Government under your able leadership for the proactive approach to curtailing the Ebola Virus Disease and give kudos to the Hon. Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu and Minister of State, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan acknowledged worldwide to be round pegs in round hole for their giant strides in HEALTH CARE REFORMS of the TRANSFORMATION AGENDA.
 
 Insurgency and terrorism which is alien to the Nigerian Culture is the next thing that sits close to the Devil. We do appreciate the recent success recorded by the Nigerian Armed Forces in tackling this menace which would soon be a thing of the past.
 
We boldly affirm that what God has decreed from His Throne of grace, no mortal being can change it. Your Election in 2015 has been ordained by God. Only its manifestation that is left. This is an indisputable fact because even in numerology (Spiritual Mathematics) God is a constant factor, a denominator and a determinant in the quadratic equation of life.
 
Mr. President Sir, even Heaven knows you have performed creditably and admirably well within the period under review in restoring and consolidating political, economic and social stability in the country despite the challenges with respect to eschatology (Principles of Divine Judgment). Your reward is in the hands of God Almighty and the Nigerian Electorate comes 14th February, 2015.
 
CONGRATULATIONS! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION.
 
Signed:
 
PATRICK OKPOMU                                              COORDINATOR
PROPHET KAYODE .O. ELIJAH                           DEP. COORDINATOR
DICK CHUKS IBEGBU                                          SECRETARY
ALHAJI ISAH HASHEM                                        TREASURER
M.Z. UMAR                                                          ORGANIZING SECRETARY
FEMI OLADIMEDI                                                PUBLICITY SECRETARY
MRS. JOYCE OKPOMU                                       FINANCIAL SECRETARY
HON. AHMAD UMAR                                         YOUTH LEADER
UCHEBUAKOR .P. CHISAA                                 WELFARE OFFICER
DINAH YAKUBU                                                  WOMEN LEADER
 
 
(FOREIGN COORDINATORS) MOBILIZING AND COORDINATING NIGERIANS IN DIASPORA.
 
CHIEF CHARLES .O. OKEREKE                           USA
BENJAMIN OGBEBULU                                      EUROPE
OSADEBE IBEGBU                                               SOUTH AFRICA.
 
 
*Photo Caption - Members of the National Working Committee of Initiative for National Rebirth during a sensitization and mobilization tour for Goodluck Jonathan 2015 Re-Election project led by the National Coordinator, Mr. Patrick Okpomu, paid a courtesy visit to His Royal Majesty, Igwe M.O. Kanu (Ochiriozuo of Arondizuogu, Imo State) and chairman Agura Hotels, Abuja.

[ Masterweb Reports: Mr. Gabriel Maji reports ] - My name is Gabriel Maji, a Nigerian from Kogi State. I was highly embarrassed to see the picture of my late wife on the cover of The Punch newspaper this morning along with a story which quoted me. It was a neighbour who showed me the story. 
 
This is the link of the article online - http://www.punchng.com/news/synagogue-nigerian-togolese-beninoise-victims-still-missing/.
 
I wonder how a newspaper like The Punch would go out of its way to write such a wicked story which is completely false about me and my wife. I was thoroughly shocked to see what was written and I don’t know how the paper came about it.
 
The Punch story has not only embarrassed me and my relatives but is also misleading to the whole world because it was all concocted to achieve the ulterior motive of the writer.
 
I want to say clearly that I am still with the church and since this ugly incident happened, the church has also been with me. The SCOAN has been communicating regularly with me and has never said or done anything bad against my wife or me. Even my children and I have been here and the church has been 100 percent with me. What happened was not only to my wife.
 
Many people were coming in to sympathize with me not knowing some were false sympathizers like The Punch writer who came with ulterior motives. He even secretly took the picture of my late wife on the wall in my house. I leave him to God for judgment. My advice to him is to desist from falsehood. Stop writing what did not happen as truth to mislead the public, because you will account for everybody you mislead by your writing.
 
Mr. Gabriel Maji ( Email: gabriel.maji2@gmail.com ) reports.
 
*Photo Caption - Mr. Gabriel Maji, insert his wife Veronica.

[ Masterweb Reports: Ihechukwu Njoku Writes Nicholas Ibekwe ] - Dear Nicholas; Firstly, thanks for standing up for your moral principles this week! I
appreciate your zeal and bold resolve to let integrity lead in your journalistic pursuits.

My name is Ihechukwu Njoku, a freelancer currently in Lagos. Let me be honest - a brief online check will show that I am a fan of TBJ, evidenced in my numerous write-ups about The SCOAN. I am not however a ‘church spokesman’ as a few people have insinuated due to the positive focus of my reports.

Before placing me in any stereotypical mould, I am not here to declare some ‘Deuteronomy-style’ curse on your head or quote the whole ‘touch not my anointed’ jargon as I know some other religious fanatics (nutheads) have done.

I simply wish to express my own personal observations of this current ‘bribe-saga’ in the hope that it may also help clarify a couple of things.

I agree 100% that journalism in Nigeria is darkened by a cloud of corruption where truth is doctored to suit the political will of the paymasters with ‘brown envelopes’ running the show behind the scenes. This deserves denunciation and renunciation at every available opportunity by all who believe ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’.
 

I would sincerely, however, paint a different picture in the case of T.B. Joshua – based on my own personal experiences and the principles Joshua has espoused and stood for over the years.

I am not sure how well you know TBJ or SCOAN but I would say first of all that it would be impromptu to use this particular tragic incident and the church’s rather unusual reaction to it as a yardstick to determine his integrity.

I have watched Emmanuel TV for nearly five years and visited The SCOAN several times during this period. I was initially very skeptical but what caught my attention was the sheer simplicity of Joshua’s message and lifestyle. He is a fresh exception to the ‘money-mongering’ ‘private-jet-boasting’ lifestyles of most Naija men of God today. Joshua lives simply, drives simply, dresses simply, talks simply… he is hands-down the most humble, generous and unusual man I’ve met.

The first time I met T.B. Joshua (without him knowing I was into a journalism and without my asking), he gave me N10,000 for ‘transport’. Where I lived only needed about N500 to get there! There was no condition attached or surreptitious motive at play. That’s just the type of man T.B. Joshua is – a good giver. Ask anyone who knows about SCOAN and they will tell you the same. That’s why I termed him
unusual. Such attitude is so rare to find in Nigeria that the insinuations and connotations you arrived at in the light of what he offered you last Sunday are completely understandable.

Don’t think I am naïve! Of course, the money offered by Joshua to you and other journalists last week was certainly influenced by the situation on ground. However, it does not change the truth that this has been Joshua’s habitual practice – not only to journalists but to anyone he meets. Don’t judge by my perception alone – ask anyone who has met him and has not left with some form of blessing.

Besides, what facts are really there to be ‘covered up’ by this ‘bribe’ in an international incident of this magnitude? The money, either received or rejected, didn’t change the facts that the media reported.

I could say a lot more but I’m not here to preach. I am just positing that there is more to T.B. Joshua than could be appreciated on a first encounter in a challenging scenario.

My candid advice is to take some time to watch Emmanuel TV, even if you consider yourself ‘unreligious’. Watch the man, listen to what he has to say over a significant period of time and in the light of such, arrive at your conclusion. After all, for over 360 South Africans to take the long journey to Lagos, ignoring the fears of Ebola and Boko Haram, show he certainly has something worth looking at.

That’s just my two cents.

God bless!
 
 
Ihechukwu Njoku
Email: chuk.njoku@gmail.com
 
*Photo Caption - Nicholas Ibekwe

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah ] - On June 3rd 2013, the United States Department of State declared “Abubakar Shekau” alias, Abu Bakr Skikwa, Imam Abu Bakr Shiku, Abu Muhammad Abu Bakr Bin Muhammad Al Shakwi Al Muslimi Bishku, wanted. A bounty of $7 million was put on his head for “information on his location” or leading to his capture. Quote: “rewards for information on key leaders of terrorist organizations in West Africa.”
 
In February of 2014, I on behalf of the ENDS organization released an explicit article, “Boko Haram Leader Abubakar Shekau Is Dead!” In the article, we proved with clear evidence that the new person appearing in all videos released since August of 2013 were impostors of the late Shekau I. See article: http://ends.ng/boko-haram-leader-abubakar-shekau-is-dead/
 
In May of 2014 after Boko Haram abducted 234 girls from Chibok in Noerth Nigeria, we provided side-by-side picture comparisons which fully exposed the differences between the new Shekau II who released the videos and the original Shekau I declared wanted. [http://ends.ng/when-they-bombed-the-churches/]
 
So many media local and international rejected our position. CNN on May 13th of 2014 denied our claims as supported by Nigerian Government’s intelligence position; they wrote: “The man identifies himself as Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. Nigerian officials disputed that claim on Monday, arguing that Shekau is dead. Other experts say the notorious terror group leader is still alive.
 
In the same article, CNN went ahead to argue that: “The same man appears in Boko Haram videos claiming to be Shekau at least as far back as August. And at least one expert doubted Ogar's claim.” [http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/12/world/africa/nigeria-abducted-girls/]
 
However shockingly erroneously, CNN compared Shekau II to an edition of him in August of 2013, after the new impostor had taken over, and did not responsibly compare the new person to editions of Shekau I between 2011 and July of 2013, which were clearly a different person.
 
Our accurate updated information on the whereabouts of Shekau I, derived from careful analysis of all past video and picture images of Shekau, determining authoritatively that an impostor appeared in all post August 2013 releases by Boko Haram and their affiliates, was essential and invaluable towards asserting the strength of the group, and phase of security departments in the war on terror and for determining US strategies of involvement.
 
Today the Nigerian government is announcing the likely killing of Boko Haram leader Shekau II. There are images of his body for careful analysis and his physical carcass genetic studies to confirm that this person is an impostor as we accurately proved. Several experts including Australian negotiator, Stephen Davis have now asserted and confirmed our asserted publications, that Shekau I died since July of 2013. See: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/09/killed-shekau-nigeria-cameroon/#sthash.cM7D4RTM.dpuf
 
In light of the new evidence, we believe ENDS deserves the US reward for clarifying with detailed analysis and pictorial evidence the location of Shekau I – Dead and buried. Our press releases categorically informing the world of the impostor taking up the deposed leader’s role, were essential in the fight against Boko Haram who depended on portraying the real Shekau as still alive to maintain moral, confidence and loyalty of its members.
 
We look forward to the initiation of the compensation process for our invaluable role.
 
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: drbrimah@ends.ng ) reports.  
 
*Photo Caption - Dead body thought to be that of Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram leader. The deceased was killed by Cameroonian soldiers; Nigerian army claims to have killed Shekau earlier in battle near Konduga in Borno State.. Unconfirmed reports say the man killed by the Cameroonian army might be a body double used by Shekau.

[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Security, International Justice & Human Rights, Onitsha Nigeria, September 21, 2014)-On Thursday, 18th of September, 2014, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) wrote us. The reply letter under reference was sequel to our earlier letter to it dated Sunday 14th of September, 2014 over the sponsorship of the Nigerian Insurgency Violence orchestrated majorly by the duo of Boko Haram and Fulani Islamist terror groups. The ICC’s letter to the Intersociety is second in three months. Its first letter bordering on the same ethno-religious atrocity criminality in Nigeria was dated 2nd June, 2014 in response to our forwarding letter to it dated 30th of May 2014. The forwarding letter was in reference to our (now) four-part letter to Mr. President of Nigeria, dated 29th and 31st May, 2014(Boko Haram Terror & Other Unlawful Killings In Nigeria).

 In its September 18, 2014 letter to us, the ICC Prosecutor states as follows: “on behalf of the Prosecutor, I thank you for your communication received on 30/5/2014, as well as any subsequent related information. The office is analyzing the situation identified in your communication, with the assistance of other related communications and other available information. Under Article 53 of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor must consider whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court have been committed, the gravity of the crimes, whether the national systems are investigating and prosecuting the relevant crimes, and the interest of justice. Analysis will be carried out as expeditiously as possible, but please be aware that meaningful analysis of this can take time. As soon as a decision is taken on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation, we will advise you promptly and we will
 provide reasons for the decision.” The ICC letter was signed by Mr. M.P. Dillion, Head of the Information & Evidence Desk of the Office of the Prosecutor.

In our recent letters to the Pope and the Nigerian Christian leaders including the Catholic Church its Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), dated 17th and 18th July 2014, we had, among other demands, called upon them to continuously break their silence and take detailed stock of the ceaseless killing of Christians and burning of churches in the northern part of the country by the two murderous groups above mentioned. On Monday, 15th of September 2014, the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri, spoke publicly through its Director of Social Communications, Rev. Father Gideon Obasogie. The Church shockingly and chillingly revealed that its diocese of Maiduguri covering Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States has documentarily lost over 500 members including over 170 children in the insurgency violence waged by the Boko Haram terror group since the beginning of 2009. It also revealed that over 50 of its parishes and rectories have been destroyed or burnt down; that over 500 women and 1,500 child members of the Diocese have been made widows and orphans respectively; and that over 90,000 parishioners are displaced.

The Church further revealed that its parishes and outstations in Pulka, Barma, Gamboru Ngala, Maffa, Gubio, Darnasak, Madayi, Baga, Gwoza, Madagali, Gulak and Shuwa all in Borno State as well as Michika, Bazza, Mishara and Mubi in Adamawa State have been under siege. These, according to the Church, amounted to over 100 parishes, outstations, local churches and other small Christian communities. Also adversely affected by the Boko Haram anti-Christian terror attacks are some churches within Potiskum and Damaturu in Yobe State. The Church cited the example of such calculated and well coordinated bloody and destructive attacks to include the January 25, 2014 attack at an outstation attached to the St. Denis Parish in Chakawa community in which the outstation was completely burnt down and 60 worshippers slaughtered. The 23 nursery and primary schools and 10 secondary schools belonging to the Church in Maiduguri Diocese have also come under heavy Boko Haram terror attacks leading to desertion of the schools by pupils, students and teachers and present takeover and militant occupation of St. Joseph Minor Seminary, Shuwa, St. Joseph Nursery & Primary School, Gamboru Ngala and St. Michael Nursery & Primary School, Maiduguri by the murderous terror group.

The Church lamented that the Catholic faithful in the area are leaving in enmasse for safety as the Diocese is facing a moment of fierce persecution. This has also led to the closure of 15 adversely affected Catholic missionary schools in the area. The Church concluded thus “the adverse effects of these incessant attacks can be seen clearly in the dwindling number and mass exodus of people from the area. Every aspect of the diocese is shrinking by the day and the number of masses celebrated in large parishes has drastically been reduced. Our St. Denis Parish in Madagali is presently occupied by the Boko Haram”.

The Archbishop of the Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Oliver Dashe Doeme gave further insight into difficulties afflicting the Diocese of Maiduguri. In a press engagement on Friday, September 19, 2014, the Archbishop cried thus “our people are dying every day and in most cases with no one to bury them decently, they are left to rot; their homes and properties looted; they have become slaves and prisoners in their fatherland, here is a government that cannot safe guard the lives of its citizens and indeed life has become so cheap that it can be wasted any moment. We used to think that salt is the cheapest commodity in the market, well, life is cheaper now especially in the North-eastern part of Nigeria. We are faced with a huge humanitarian crisis; people are sleeping on the streets in Maiduguri, despite the seven or more camps within the city for the IDPs. We are again witnessing a mass exodus of our brothers and sisters from the East, South and West. Many people are relocating to other parts of Nigeria; even the soldiers are moving their families out of the barracks to safer towns and cities in Nigeria. This is our current situation in the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri”.

The Archbishop revealed that 25 towns in Borno State have fallen to the Boko Haram terror group including his Diocese’s parishes, outstations and rectories. The towns are Damboa, Buni Yadi, Madagali, Gwoza, Gujba, Gulak, Bama, Gulani, Shuwa, Marte, Kukawa, Michika, Dikwa, Bularafa, Bazza, Gamboru Ngalla and Buni Gari, Banki, Bara, Pulka, Bumsa, Ashgashiya, Taltaba, Limankara and Njibulwa. He further revealed that close to 20 priests have been taken refuge by Boko Haram terror group in Yola, Adamawa State. The church cried out saying that Maiduguri,  the Borno State capital “is sitting on a keg of gun powder, with the fall of Bama which is about 71 kilometres away and Konduga, the next major target is Maiduguri”.

According to the Archbishop, “there are conflicting reports about Bama as to whether it is in the hands of the terrorists. But the number of civilians that have migrated into Maiduguri on foot from Bama, Kawuri and Konduga is suggestive that the terrorists have an upper hand in the fight. The last one month has seen the intensification and aggressive devastation of the Boko Haram activities in northern, central and southern parts of the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri. The brutality and callousness with which people are killed can only be compared to that of the ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Many of our people are being forced out of their ancestral homes, villages and towns”.

“Right now, thousands are living in caves on the mountains, some in the forest; the few who were able to escape are being absorbed by friends and relatives in Maiduguri and Yola. Thousands have managed to escape into Cameroun and are living under very difficult conditions of lack of food, shelter and medication. What is very worrying and discouraging in the whole scenario, is the attitude of the military that we mortgage and depend on for security. In the face of these attacks, they flee and ask civilians to do the same. The level of sophistication and capabilities that these terrorists have attained within five years is very revealing and scary. The mastery and tact with which they fight is unequalled by our military. Their resilience can be compared to that of trained Marines. That is why they are able to over-run towns and villages almost unchallenged. They can boast of armoured tanks and armoured personnel carrier (APC), rocket launchers, anti aircraft and anti tank destroyers, sub-machine guns, new and latest guns AK 47 and an inexhaustible boxes of ammunitions and bullets”.

“We are sinking fast in the quick sand, let us swallow our empty pride as Nigerians and ask for international assistance in tackling this problem. After all, if we have been assisting other countries and nations restore peace and order, why do we feel that it is humiliating to ask for help now that our house is on fire? The near inaction of the government, the lukewarm attitude and the silence of the government is very disturbing. There is a total disconnection between what our so called leaders in Abuja report in the media and the reality on ground. We wish they have the courage to fly into these areas and see things for themselves. We might shy away from it, we may be silent and unable to speak up or speak out now against the plan to Islamize the North-east and eventually Nigeria. But what we are witnessing in Northern Adamawa is a clear confirmation and the unfolding of this agenda”.

Collectively, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) also spoke strongly against the ongoing ethno-religious butchery in the country and ceaseless attacks on Christians and churches in northern Nigeria in particular. Rising from its Second Plenary Conference in Warri in Delta State on Friday, September 19, 2014, the CBCN observed sadly “first –hand and horrifying reports reaching us from Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Kano and Kaduna States about the mass slaughter of fellow Nigerians; the burning and sacking of whole villages, churches and rectories”. It lamented precarious situation in the North-eastern Nigeria, where killings, burnings and fleeing of defenseless Nigerians have created heightened sense of unrest and siege to the whole nation”. It asked the Federal Government of Nigeria to “do more than it is currently doing to fight off and disarm these destroyers of Nigerians and Nigeria”. It said that the Federal Government “must do more than it is currently doing to prevent segments of our nation from drifting, anarchy and mutual self-destruction and bring the criminals to justice”. The CBCN’s statement was signed by its President, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama and its Secretary, Archbishop William Avenya.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC and the body of the Catholic Church in Nigeria through its Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) are commended for these commendable bold steps under reference. The recent public accounts given by the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri through its Archbishop and Director of    Social Communications as referenced above, particularly gladdened our heart and are absolutely in line with our earlier call in July 2014 through our letters addressed to them in which we called for an end to “silence of the graveyard” condemnably maintained by Nigerian Christian bodies in the midst of the ongoing Islamist groups’ butcheries and property violence. The leadership of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), which earlier revealed that “over 750 of its churches have been destroyed or burnt down in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram terror group since 2009” is still being commended. We still call on other Christian bodies and leaderships in the country including the Anglican Communion in Nigeria to open up and speak out in the same or similar directions.

While the steps taken or roles played so far by the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC and the Nigerian Christian bodies and leaderships in respect of exposing the atrocities associated with ongoing ethno-religious violence in Nigeria and atrocity criminals behind them, are worthy noting and commendation, they are not good enough. More actions are steadily expected of them.

Signed:

For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law

Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
+2348100755939+2348100755939(office only)
info@intersociety-ng.org, emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk

Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Esq., Head, Campaign & Publicity Department

Onyinyechi Angela Nwankwere, Esq., Deputy Head, International Justice & Human Rights Program
 
*Photo Caption - Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau

[ Masterweb Reports ] -Gov Orji to be Conferred National Honours Award as Commander Order of the Niger (CON) by President Goodluck Jonathan

The Executive Governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Chief Theodore Orji, has been pencilled down for the prestigious National Honours Award as Commander Order of the Niger (CON).

This award of excellence for distinguishing himself in the service of his fatherland will be conferred on him along with other distinguished Nigerians by President  Goodluck Jonathan on September 29,2014 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

A release issued in Umuahia by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Ajunwa, said that the award was a testimonial of the Governor's proficient and visionary leadership which has since restored Abia on the path of greatness.

According to the release, this award coupled with numerous others already conferred on the Governor by various communities, associations and institutions  both local and international speak volume of his administrative acumen and giant strides which have placed the state on an enviable height.

The statement reads in part: "There is no gain saying the fact that His Excellency Chief T. A Orji has laid a solid foundation for the economic and socio-political growth of Abia. Ever since he courageously liberated the state from political bondage and economic stagnation, Abia has witnessed rapid infrastructural transformation.

"He has also democratised Abia's political space such that even the opposition today criticise government without fear of intimidation or molestation unlike what previously obtained when the opposition went on self exile during the years of ruin and locust by his predecessor.

"It is evident that the array of legacy projects dotting the Abia landscape today is as a result of his prudence in managing scare resources as he has not mortgaged the future of Abia by accessing funds in the bond market as some of his counterparts who make the most of noise have done. Orji has judiciously managed the resources of the state to work for the state without incurring any debt.

"Apart from legacy projects, Governor Orji has also excelled in human capital development and youth empowerment thereby giving hope and future to thousands of Abia youths who were before he came on board willing tools in the crime industry."

The statement further noted that Orji unlike the previous administrations in the state had also carried Abia elders and founding fathers along in the governance of the state, a development that has resulted to the prevailing peace in the polity.
 

According to the statement, the award is also in recognition of the Governor's   commendable efforts in the restoration and sustenance of security in the state    which have made Abia rank among the three most peaceful states in Nigeria today.

The award, the statement further noted called for celebration by all well-meaning Abians as the Governor has dedicated it to their massive support and loyalty to his administration, while promising to consolidate on the successes so far recorded for the good of all Abians.
 
 
*Photo Caption - Governor T. A. Orji
 
 

[ Masterweb Reports: Valentine Obienyem reports ] … Complementing and strengthening the public opinion of Ojukwu are the general opinions from his comrade-in-arms.  Brigadier Adekunle Benjamin formed and led the defunct “Third Marine Commando” during the war.  He was known for his anti-Igbo activities.  His singular ambition during the war was the annihilation of the Igbos and the only words meaningful to him or his soldiers were: rifle, fighter, death, kill, shoot, rape, rapine, pillage and ethnic cleansing.  He commanded his soldiers to shoot at everything that moved, apparently believing, like a Roman emperor, that “The corpse of an enemy smells sweet.”  There were other tales of incredible barbarities associated with Adekunle.  It was said, for instance, that being callously cruel, he grew flowers in the skulls of his dead foes, after a close aide had advised against drinking water with them on health grounds.  Some Igbos indignantly swallowed these tales with their eyes shut.  Later investigations revealed that some of these tales were “war atrocities” manufactured by historians/journalists in a hostile camp.

 
The repentant Adekunle lately confessed that despite having fought against Ojukwu, that he would always run to him whenever he called him.  This was, perhaps, a self-serving apology of an officer who fought against his old commanding officer.  The same Brigadier Adekunle was very close to General Gowon, but when Gowon whom he fought for was overthrown, he made many remarks, largely unprintable, against him.  He spoke in terms of Gowon being a “nobody.”

 
I have never judged, I cannot judge, and I do not wish to judge.  All I want to say is that Adekunle should have added in his indictments that Gowon’s sins are legion, for ordering the massacre of the defenceless Igbos in what he ostensibly called “police Action” which degenerated into ethnic cleansing.  Furthermore, Adekunle should publicly show remorse for joining hands with the destructive forces of Gowon.

 
Valentine Obienyem reports.
 
 
*Photo Caption - Benjamin Adekunle