[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety report ] - (Onitsha, Southeast Nigeria, 27th November 2015)-The leaderships of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, led by Emeka Umeagbalasi; Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization, led by Comrade Aloysius Attah; Forum for Justice, Equity & Defense of Human Rights, led by Justus Uche Ijeoma, Esq.; and the Electricity Consumers Forum in the Southeast, represented by Iyiowa Electricity Consumers Forum in Ogbaru LGA of Anambra State, led by Rev Elisha Umeh & Barr Mrs. Walson Nduka; have risen vehemently against the fraudulent activities of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
The Southeast zone has in recent months witnessed a series of protests by various power consumer bodies including the large scale industrialists, the small and medium scale industrialists, market associations, residential forums, landlords associations and the human rights segment of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) against the unchecked sharp practices of the EEDC in the Southeast zone. The graft practices range from abandonment of management and maintenance of distribution transformers and replacement of their accessories when burnt or worn out; non provision and installation of distribution transformers; swindling and extortion of customers; non provision and installation of prepaid meters; indiscriminate arrests and long detention of customers and EEDC staffs in police cells with unsubstantiated accusation of vandalization or tempering of EEDC equipment including prepaid meters; issuance and collection of criminally estimated bills; to reckless mass disconnection of power lines and abysmal customer relationship.
Several petitions have been lodged in several public offices against the EEDC including those lodged before the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). The petitions include those of Intersociety and Anambra CLO, dated 10th of November 2015 as well as those written by the Consumers Forums through their lawyers. As a follow to these petitions awaiting bureaucratic response from the offices they were directed including the NERC; a crowded media brief was held in Iyiowa Layout of the Ogbaru Business Unit in Anambra State on 25th November 2015 to further raise public awareness on the issues under complaint.
At the media briefing organized by the Iyiowa Electricity Consumers Forum in conjunction with International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (lead-petitioner), the Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization and the Forum for Equity, Justice & Defense of Human Rights; clear messages were sent to the management of the EEDC to retrace its fraudulent steps or face the legal and advocacy wrath of the rights community in the Southeast zone. The management of NERC was also called upon to proactively take up its statutory responsibilities particularly its regulatory responsibilities or be seen as an accomplice, aider and abettor in fraudulent practices under complaint.
Below are pictures of the crowded media briefing: picture 1 (chairman of the Iyiowa Electricity Consumers Forum, Rev Elisha Umeh answering questions from media reporters), picture 2 (Intersociety Boss, Emeka Umeagbalasi interviewed by media reporters at the event), picture 3 (Intersociety Boss, Emeka Umeagbalasi entertaining questions from media reporters) and picture 4 (Barr Mrs. Walson Nduka of the Iyiowa Electricity Consumers Forum speaking to media reporters).
Others are: pictures 5 & 6 ( Emeka Umeagbalasi of Intersociety analyzing the graft practices of the EEDC in the Southeast zone), picture 7 (Legal Secretary of the Anambra CLO & Lead-Director of Forum for Justice, Equity & Defense of Human Rights, Justus Uche Ijeoma, Esq., interviewed by media reporters at the event), picture 8 ( Rev Elisha Umeh, Emeka Umeagbalasi & Justus Uche Ijeoma, Esq. at the event), picture 9 ( chair of the Iyiowa Electricity Consumers Forum, Rev Elisha Umeh giving detailed account of the EEDC’s graft practices in his area), picture 10 (Paulinus Onah of the Telegraph Newspaper, Barr Charles Okeke of the Point Newspaper, Comrade Aloysius Attah of the Sun Newspaper and Mrs. Franklyn Onyekachi of NTA at the event), picture 11 (a section of the audience that attended the event), picture 12 (Comrade Aloysius Attah, chair of Anambra CLO making his presentation at the event), picture 13 (Intersociety Boss, Emeka Umeagbalasi making his presentation at the event), picture 14 (a section of the audience at the event) and picture 15 (Legal Secretary of the Anambra CLO, Justus Uche Ijeoma, Esq., making his presentation at the event).
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
*Photo Caption - Masterweb Breaking News logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - We the Igbo Ekunie Initiative, IEI, comprised of individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora; alarmed at the continuing extra-judicial detention of Nnamdi Kanu in a constitutional democracy are constrained to intervene once again and warn of the dangerous slide to dictatorship, tyranny and human rights violations which the continuing extra-judicial detention of Nnamdi Kanu by the DSS and Buhari administration portends.
Nnamdi Kanu was arrested on the 17th of October by the Nigerian Department of State Services, and according his to his lawyer Vincent Obetta he has met his bail condition. His lawyer has described his continued detention despite meeting the bail conditions "a clash between judiciary and executive". This implies that the Nigerian Presidency is undemocratically detaining Nnamdi Kanu against his fundamental human right, which clearly undermines the basic concept of separation of power in a democratic government.
At the minimum, democracy by its ideological meaning and constitutional statute, guarantees for all citizens their fundamental rights under the full dictates of the rule of law. It then beggars belief that an administration that came to power on the basis of a constitutional democracy and its attendant principles of the rule of law would descend in less than 6 months into wanton human rights violations and thus desecrate the very constitutional principles with which it rode to power through the harassment and detention of several individuals and in particular Mr Nnamdi Kanu who having fulfilled all his bail conditions since the 20th of October remains illegally detained by the DSS despite subsequent court orders.
It should be noted, that the crude resort to harassment, killing of unarmed protesters and the illegal detention of citizens in violation of court orders constitutes an assault on our democracy and betrays the sacrifices made by the many who lost their lives in the struggle to return Nigeria to constitutional democracy based on the rule of law. Indeed, it is even more incriminating and self defeatist for the Buhari administration whose main campaign message/manifesto was anchored on the promise of bringing positive change in all facets of national life. Extra-judicial detentions, harassment and other human rights violations cannot in the least represent change, for those belong to the sordid and harrowing past the nation struggled to escape from by opting and struggling for constitutional democracy.
We maintain that the underlying drivers of Nnamdi Kanu’s separatist activism are the undeniable contradictions, structural imbalance, marginalisation and injustices in the system which should be resolved through the implementation of the 2014 National Conference report and the hosting of further dialogues to continue the process of consultation and nation building. We hereby call on the African Union, United Nation, and European Union to beckon on the Federal Government of Nigeria to end its abdication of the rule of law and immediately release Nnamdi Kanu, all other detained activists, and also stop further killing of unarmed Pro-Biafran protesters. At a time the nation needs to be making progress on all fronts, the resort to human right violations by the administration not only sends a wrong signal to the international community, it evidently indicates a dangerous slide into dictatorship that is contradictory to the spirit and letters of a constitutional democracy.
Igbo Ekunie cannot understand the rationale behind a country that is willing to negotiate with a terror group (Boko Haram) on the one hand, while shooting and killing peaceful protesters with live ammunition on the other hand. We thus demand that the government respect the rule of law and accordingly uphold the fundamental rights of all citizens. In that regards, we restate our call for the immediate release of Nnamdi kanu and all other detained activists and to put a stop to the killing of unarmed activists and pro-biafran protesters.
Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke
President Igbo Ekunie Initiative
+44 (0)774 861 2933
*Photo Caption - Nnamdi Kanu
[Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - On behalf of IUA President, IUA leadership, Chair, Igbo Day 2015, and 2015 Igbo Symposium Subcommittee, I thank you – Ndigbo Community in Atlanta for your generous presence at the symposium last night.
It was an extraordinary gathering and powerful night filled with life-changing conversation and discussion on many of the crucial issues facing both our aging and young population in the Diaspora. I would not have been any where else last night except at Ndigbo Atlanta Community Building – where the presenters and panelists assembled for this year’s symposium shared wonderful wisdom, hidden knowledge, incredible insights, and dished out innovative ideas and mesmerized the audience.
I like to summarize in one statement or two, some of my own personal take-away from the presenters and panelists.
1. Dr. (Mrs.) Ijeoma, a legal practitioner and director of African Bar Association in America – all the way from Houston, TX, powerfully spoke on the issue of death and will. We cannot live in denial that we are not going to die. She emphasized the necessity to prepare for it as we prepare for neonatal. Prepare your will, make burial arrangements. Without making these arrangements, we will leave our survival family members bereaving as well as fighting in courts and may probably loose our properties and assets to the State.
2. Mr. Joe Okoronta, IUA president, spoke eloquently and powerfully on what true wealth is - in terms of investment and savings for retirement. Mr. Okoronta was superb. He is a brilliant man and orator. I’m personally very impressed of him.
3. Dr. Uzo Geoff Onukwugha, an MD who specialized also in natural medicine, electrified the audience with ways to stay healthy and live longer. He talked about the 7 pillars of health, deadly sins of nutrition and unpacked the unbelievable benefits of coconut and palm oil. I am sure that African & Caribbean stores in the city are going to be in high demand for these precious life-saving Igbo oils and vegetables.
4. Mrs. Ada Egbufo, Esq, a practicing attorney here in Atlanta, spoke on Police Power and their relationship with community – especially the young black males. Because of perceived notion of black people as ‘no-good’ in this society and persistent racist culture in America, we – all need survival guide to respond to Police authority when confronted or encountered. We have to know our rights – whether confronted on the road or at your home. Police do not wound you – they kill you when you do not know how to interact with their power and authority. Really practical wisdom and survival legal insights to avoid being a statistic in police hands.
5. Dr. Christian Ike, a clinical pharmacist and scholar in Abandoned Property Policy of the Nigerian State, spoke on how to re-integrate the Igbos into the Nigerian State and how Igbos can forge unity and speak with one voice again even in the midst of the current Biafra resurgence. He called for a new Biafra renaissance.
6. Mr. Sam Adim, an Information technology professional with 20-plus years experience and Igbo Atlanta leader, encouraged us to tap into the power of wealth building by participating in the stock market as a vehicle for long term investment. He said we should not be afraid to use savvy and social media technologies available today to play the game of stock market.
7. Engr. Larry Ndule, an Architect and Realtor, educated us on another aspect of wealth building – Real Estate ownership. He said, Real Estate investment and ownership is one of the best ways to build lasting wealth. He shared several insights on how to get started.
8. Prof. Francis Ostia Onukwuli, an eminent community leader and educator, spoke boldly and courageously on leadership and followership behavior of Igbos and its impacts to the economic and political instability in Igbo land today.
Off course, due to the vacuum of true leadership and a quest for authentic leadership in Igboland today, millions of Igbo youth are followers of Mr. Nnamdi kanu, the executive director Radio Biafra in London England and leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) currently in detention by the Nigerian State (DSS and Buhari/APC government). They are currently protesting all over SE/SS – demanding for his immediate release of their leader. By the way, Mr. Kanu does not need a title or formal authority to be a leader. He may have an informal authority but he’s clearly exercising leadership. He is a courageous and fearless man. I admire his courage.
9. Finally, Mrs. Teresa Osinachi kemp, an author, historian and curator of African arts, mesmerized the audience with the history of Igbo people tracing their origin – off course to the Hebrew people. Her 1000-page book: “Keeper of the Fire: An Igbo Metalsmith from Akwa,” traced Igbo people from the 1600’s until date. She not only mesmerized the audience but became an instant celebrity. She received several standing ovations during her talk and after her talk – many rushed to get a picture with her. Cellphone cameras popped out every where to take a picture with her. And then the IUA leadership – Mr. Joe Okoronta presented her with a beautiful plaque for her writings, teachings, contributions and educating of the people of America and beyond on the culture, traditions, and accomplishments of Igbo people of Nigeria. She was named ‘ADA Igbo’ of Atlanta - a true Igbo daughter, mother, grand-mother by President Okoronta. What an amazing gesture of visionary leadership.
There are many things to write and comment on – but these are just my own personal take-away for now. I know there are lots of great points I missed. We will share with you the detailed minutes of the symposium after our secretary and recorder complete the transcription as well as the video highlights by KC Omega Studios and complete papers of the panelists.
However, in every successful event, there is always going to be some dissenters. I was approached by two young people last night. And their complaint is simply this: we did not see more young people here and their voice were not represented. They want to learn about their people and ancestors as well as share innovative ways of doing things in this fast paced technological and data-driven world. By God’s grace, next year, they will.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your presence, patience, and precious time you waited-out the night. You truly made the Igbo Day Symposium an extraordinary success this year. And our presenters and panelists were excellent and wonderful this year, as always.
The main event is tonight, and I know you’ll be generous with your presence and financial support as well.
May the blessings and peace of God be upon you and your family! Amen.
Rev. C. K. Ekeke
Chair & Moderator, Igbo Day Symposium 2015
*Photo Caption - Rev. C. K. Ekeke
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 13th November 2015)-We, the Coalition of Southeast Human Rights Organizations, comprising the Anambra State Branch of Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy, Human Rights Club (a project of LRRDC), Southeast Good Governance Forum, Forum for Equity, Justice & Defense of Human Rights, Society Advocacy Watch Project, Anambra Human Rights Forum and PADDI Foundation; wish to align ourselves with the earlier statement issued by our leading Coalition Partner (International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law) over the above subject. The statement is reproduced below as follows:
“Our immediate and prompt attention has been drawn to a statement made by the Nigerian Army yesterday in Abuja, in which it issued a stern warning with vivid reference to millions of Nigerian citizens who are peacefully and non violently asserting through non violence and peaceful assembly and association, their regional and international rights to self determination. Such rights are also constitutionally guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution in the form of rights to personal liberty and peaceful assembly as well as rights to freedom of association and movement and they are contained and enshrined in Sections 35, 40 and 41 of the Fundamental Human Rights Charter of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Nigerian Army had in its statement, titled: “Reminder on Nigerian Army Rule of Engagement for Internal Security Operations”, stated: “the Nigerian Army would like to send an unequivocal warning to all and sundry, more specifically to all those threatening and agitating for the dismemberment of the country”. The statement is in vivid reference to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which has in the past one week grabbed global attention with sweeping marches in major cities of Nigeria and foreign countries. The army statement further said: “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), 1999 (as amended) vide Sect 217 (2) (c) provides that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) shall suppress insurrection and act in aid of civil authority to restore order when called upon to do so by the President, Commander-in-Chief. This provision is reinforced by Sect (8) (1) and (3) of the Armed Forces Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (LFN) 2004. This presupposes that troops have to use necessary force to quell crisis resulting in deaths, injury and damages to properties”.
We wish to state firmly that the Army statement is totally incoherent with and unknown to the 1999 Constitution particularly its Fundamental Human Rights Charter. It is also a clear misinterpretation of the 1999 Constitution particularly its Section 217; which clearly states that “there shall be an armed forces for the Federation”; and not “the army for the Federation”. The “armed forces” include other recognized armed forces segments like navy, air force, DSS etc. That is to say that the view of “the Nigerian Army” cannot represent the collective view of “the Nigerian Armed Forces” and the Nigerian Army is not “the Nigerian Armed Forces”. The statement also failed woefully to understand the common meaning of “suppressing insurrection”. The word “insurrection” is a military act of rising in revolt, rebellion, or resistance against civil authority or an established government or a range of violent behaviors aimed at destroying or taking over the position of an established authority such as a government, president, governor, or political leader.
When compared with the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB); a self determination pressure group, the stern warning or riot act so issued, is totally misguided, vexatious, shallow, dubiously intended and constitutionally incoherent. The stern warning or riot act was also grossly misdirected, as it ought to have been directed to the Boko Haram terror insurgents who have severally disclosed their intention to violently destroy the country’s existing socio-legal system and put in place radical Islamic theocracy. Till date, the IPOB pressure group and millions of its supporters have not used or advocated violence. We see the stern warning or riot act as a clear declaration by the Nigerian Army of an intention to commit crimes against humanity by indicating its readiness to deploy and use brute force to “suppress” ongoing peaceful and non violent processions involving the IPOB pressure group and its teeming supporters. From the body language of the Nigerian Army, it may most likely stage-manage or create group violence, arson, vandalism and damages to property so as to find grounds to deploy and use brute force as well as justification of same.
We wish to warn and remind the leadership of the Nigerian Army not to forget that there still exists International Criminal Court and other formidable local and international mechanisms through which its commanding officers found engaged in “brutal suppression or quelling” of ongoing peaceful and non violent protests shall be held accountable for crimes against humanity. Let the Nigerian Army also be reminded that during the recent economic meltdown in USA, some States agitated to secede from the United States, yet they were not tagged “insurrectionists” warranting “military suppression”. Even in the present United Kingdom, Scotland, which agitates for secession has not been militarily crushed. It is unarguably a case of “crimes against humanity” when brute force is deployed to crush a people asserting non-violently for fair belongingness and fortification of their ethnic identity”.
Beyond our alignment and total agreement with the referenced statement above, we wish to further demand for the immediate removal and replacement of the Service Chiefs particularly the Chief of Air Staff and the Chief of Army Staff. Their open threats and comments are attestation of desperation of their Commander-in-Chief to return Nigeria at all costs to closed and riotous society akin to present North Korea and Syria.
Having failed woefully owing to quack and crude military counter measures approaches to tame intractable atrocities of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents and bloody menaces of the Islamic Fulani terror brigade (erroneously called Fulani Herdsmen) despite countless public assurances; all they could now do is to turn their coercive and lethal arsenals against millions of unarmed and non violent self determination activists protesting for the release of their extra judicially detained leader (Citizen Nnamdi Kanu). From every indication, further oiled by the referenced lethal threats, the Service Chiefs have conspired with their Commander-in-Chief to turn Nigeria overnight into a wilderness of brigandage powered by jungle justice; leading to arrest and extra judicial and incommunicado detention of the leader of the unarmed and non violent protesting citizens. We ask the Service Chiefs: can you ever beat a child and ask him or her not to cry?
We had expected the Service Chiefs to advise their Commander-in-Chief who has long lost touch with modern military science and approaches under civilian-democratic processes and get him further acquainted and mentored in clearly defined military roles in democracy (including respect for human rights such as rights to peaceful assembly and association, life, human dignity, personal liberty and movement; as well as crowd control), but we are totally disappointed at the country’s Service Chiefs. Not even their international exposures gotten from their participation in international Peace Operations (peacemaking, peacekeeping, peace enforcement, conflict resolution, peace building and respect for human rights) have changed or affected their age-long military crudity and barbarism; presently under manifestation.
Lastly, we wish to remind the country’s Service Chiefs and warn them too that they should individually and vicariously be held responsible locally and internationally in the event deaths or injuries arise from their crude and lethal handling (as threatened) of future peaceful and non violent processions or protests in Nigeria or any part thereof. While other countries have advanced in their democratic processes to the extent of establishing liberty or freedom squares where their unarmed and non violent citizens irrespective of their religious, ethnic and other social affiliations usually gather to register their democratic grievances against policies and actions of the governing authorities; Nigerian military is here and busy issuing lethal threats to un-lethal and harmless citizens protesting against the unconstitutional and detention above judicial bail or extra judicial detention of their leader.
We challenge the Nigerian Service Chiefs to make good and practical their panicky and cowardly threats against the unarmed and non violent protesting citizens and get ready to be condemned and rot in jail internationally for the rest of their lives.
For: Coalition of the Southeast based Human Rights Organizations:
1. Comrade Aloysius Attah (+2348035090548)
For: Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization
2. Emeka Umeagbalasi (+2348174090052)
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
3. Comrade Peter Onyegiri (+2347036892777)
For: Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy
4. Comrade Samuel Njoku (+2348039444628)
For: Human Rights Club (a project of LRRDC)
5. Comrade Justus Uche Ijeoma(+2348037114869)
For: Forum for Justice, Equity & Defense of Human Rights
6. Comrade Chike Umeh ( +2348064869601)
For: Society Advocacy Watch Project
7. Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq. (+2348034186332)
For: Anambra Human Rights Forum
8. Comrade Alex Olisa(+2348034090410)
For: Southeast Good Governance Forum
9. Eze Eluchie, Esq. (+2348175177880)
For: PADDI Foundation
*Photo Caption - Demonstrators demanding the release of Radio Biafra Director, Nnamdi Kanu
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has congratulated the Enyimba International Football Club of Aba and the Nigerian Golden Eaglets for their exceptional victories which have made Abia State and Nigeria proud.
The Governor congratulated Enyimba FC for emerging champions of this year’s Nigeria Glo Premier League Competition after yesterday’s goalless draw with Warri Wolves FC at the Enyimba Stadium, Aba.
With this victory, the people’s Elephant as Enyimba is fondly called has made history as the first Nigerian Clubside to win the league trophy for a record seven times even with a match to go in the season.
Governor Ikpeazu expressed happiness over the achievements of Enyimba FC which has brought glory to the state and thanked the management and the players for being great ambassadors of the state, adding that by the feat, Enyimba has confirmed that Abia State remains Nigeria’s soccer power house.
In the same vein, the Governor also congratulated the Nigerian Golden Eaglets, who have retained the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the fifth time with its 2-0 win against Mali in Vina Del Mar. The Nigerian team won the maiden edition of FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1985 in China, the fifth edition of the tournament in 1993 in Japan, the twelfth edition of the tournament in 2007 in South Korea,the fifteenth held in the United Arab Emirates 2013 and again the sixteenth in Chile 2015.
Governor Ikpeazu said the victory of the Golden Eaglets is a double celebration for the people of Abia and Nigerians.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] - Igbo Mandate Congress has condemned the hate speeches against other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria which characterized the new face of Radio Biafra. Speaking with co-coordinators of the group at an emergency meeting in Enugu to evaluate the implication of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) successful protest march in Onitsha, Asaba, Owerri and Yenegoa on Friday, the Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress, Rev Obinna Akukwe, described the hate speeches as contrary to the spirit of Biafra.
According to Rev Akukwe” abusing the Hausa, the Fulani, and the Yoruba in the course of pursuing Biafra is anti-Christian. Christianity cannot support the dissemination of hate messages against fellow living beings created by God,and Igbos are predominantly Christians, rather anybody or group that wants Biafra should pursue it within the ambits of reasonable processes and international conventions.”
Rev Akukwe described the protesters as people who have been deceived into solely blaming the Nigerian project for the insensitivity of South East Leaders. Clarifying further, he said that “since 1999 Igbos have occupied positions of Senate Presidency, Deputy Senate Presidency, Party Chairmanship, Secretary to the Government of Nigeria, and yet the al important Enugu-Onitsha Highway, Enugu-Nsukka Highway from Opi to 9th Mile and Enugu-Port-Harcourt Highway from the Okigwe end are the worst roads in Nigeria due to their selfish representations at the center.
“These political bandits failed to ensure that these roads were repaired from the Obasanjo through to the Jonathan regime, preferring to pursue contracts and appointments. We should blame our corrupt Igb0 leadership first for our woes and make them to account for years of selfish superintendent over our destinies before blaming outside accomplices.”
He called upon the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanui and all arrested protesters and prepare them for proper reorientation and reintegration.
The Abia State Coordinator of IIgbo Mandate Congress and founding Secretary General of Ohanaeze Youths Council , Comrade Chuks Ibegbu in his submissions said that “we must be careful with these protests in order not to be used by selfish elements because there is not much difference between these agitations and the money making sentiments used by MASSOB leader Uwazurike over the years. Our people must be careful not to be dragged into another conflict driven by self interests.Security agencies should release the misguided elements that joined the protests due to bandwagon effects.”
Igbo Mandate Congress directed its directors and coordinators to embark on publicity enlightenment within their states, zones and councils using determined channels to ensure that hate speeches that alienates the Igbo from their neighbors is discouraged.
Leaders and members of Igbo Mandate Congress who monitored the protests in various centers, noted that the protests drew many sympathizers who though did not participate in the rallies, expressed optimism over a successful for Biafran dream.
The group received reports that failed corrupt politicians in Igboland are sponsoring the crisis to avoid their acts of economic enslavement of the South East from being exposed. and vowed to expose them at the appropriate time.
The group also noted that lots of people who joined the protests were not acting because they hated Nigeria and urgently wanted Biafra, rather because the harsh economic realities of the present day nation occasioned by years of corrupt leaderships have left them with no alternatives. The group resolved to put up pressures to ensure the release and reorientation of the misguided protesters.
Obinna Akukwe ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Radio Biafra logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - We the Igbo Ekunie Initiative, IEI, comprised of individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora unequivocally condemn the illegal arrest and incarceration of Mr Nnamdi Kanu the director of Radio Biafra by the DSS, and we demand his immediate release. We have in the past few months and weeks of Buhari’s administration observed with great concern a strident campaign of repression and human rights violations as it concerns non-violent self determination activists exercising their fundamental right to free speech and association. We note that the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu signals an escalation of such human rights violations and repression for which the Buhari administration is becoming notorious for in a supposed democracy.
We observe that while the Nigerian constitution guarantees freedom of speech and association, the right to self determination is an “inalienable right of all peoples and or indigenous peoples by virtue of which they can freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” as enshrined in the founding Charter of the United Nations. In addition, other international and regional instruments including the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights of 1981, the Helsinki Final Act adopted by the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) in 1975, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993 amongst others have all adopted the fundamental right to self determination as an integral part of their statutes. The international court of justice (ICJ) has likewise validated the right to self determination as guaranteed by international law in several judgements including the Namibia case, the East Timor case and the Kosovo case in 2010.
Igbo Ekunie Initiative therefore find it strange and unacceptable that whereas the Nigerian state won independence from the British Colonial Government in the first instance on the basis of the right to self determination and whereas Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and other self determination agitators were never arrested by the British Colonial authorities in the course of advocating self rule, the Nigerian state has oddly chosen to kill, brutalise, maim and detain those seeking self rule on the same premise as the founding fathers did. We warn that no nation can ultimately be built or held together by force just as no marriage/association should be by force. The fact of Nigeria’s increasing existential crisis and the proliferation of self determination groups in the aftermath of a civil war fought to keep the country together vindicates the futility of war and or repression as a means of nation building.
We submit that the fundamental drivers of the agitation for self determination/self rule by various groups is rooted in the contradictions, injustices, marginalisation, dysfunctional structure, human rights violations, unitary system, inequality and absence of nation building that are the hallmarks of the Nigerian state. Igbo Ekunie holds the view that failure of government to holistically address the underlying issues that give life to separatist agitation through the implementation of the National Conference Report of 2014 in the first instance, the further convening of a Sovereign National Conference with the ultimate aim of building national consensus and producing a nation building constitution and the establishment of a nation building commission or ministry charged exclusively with implementing reforms geared towards the consolidation of national integration and unity remains the only sure path of ending separatist agitations.
We call on the peace loving people of Ndi-Igbos to remain calm, law abiding and steadfast, and avoid playing into the hands of the current government which is looking for the slightest excuse to descend on them to maim and kill with impunity. The darkest hour of the night is always towards the dawn. Igbo Ekunie encourages Ndi-Igbo to continue with their lawful and dignified defiance and take solace in realization that the end to our slavery is nearer today than how it was yesterday.
Finally, we maintain that a nation must of necessity be built by mutual/democratic consent and not by force. The Quebec Independence Referendum of 1995, Scottish Independence Referendum of 2014 and the Catalonia Independence Referendum of 2015 suffices to vindicate the inalienable right of self determination and nation building through democratic consent to which all people’s are entitled under international law, alongside freedom of speech and of association as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution. We therefore call on the federal government to immediately and unconditionally release Nnamdi Kanu and all other detained activists, and to put a stop on the clampdown, maiming and killing of agitators.
Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke
President Igbo Ekunie Initiative
Secretary Igbo Ekunie Initiative
*Photo Caption - Igbo Ekunie logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Bamidele Famoofo reports ] - Africa’s Agricultural market will be worth $1trillion (about N200trillion) in the next 15 years going by estimation. Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AfDB) who made this disclosure in Dakar, Senegal Wednesday said the continent must urgently take advantage of this prospect by rapidly investing in the development of its agro-industry sector.
“A bold plan to transform agriculture will boost local food production, reduce food import bills, conserve foreign exchange, increase domestic savings and assure strong macroeconomic and fiscal stability,” the AfDB President emphasized.
He however noted that this can only happen if agriculture is treated as real business venture attracting investments from the private sector across the entire agricultural value chains, including modern seed and fertilizer (organic and inorganic) companies, agricultural mechanization, irrigation and water management, warehousing, commodity exchanges, food manufacturing and processing, logistics, cold storage and transport.
Adesina spoke on Wednesday, October 21 at the opening of a three-day high-level conference on “Feeding Africa, An Action Plan for African Agricultural Transformation” at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Centre in Diamniadio, near Dakar in Senegal.
He cited the remarkable progress made by Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Ethiopia in the global horticulture industry as a clear indication that well-designed policies, financing and infrastructure support can propel Africa to the top of the global food value chains.
The AfDB President also recounted how he leveraged Nigeria’s agro-food sector when he served as agriculture minister by working closely with the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank to encourage Bank lending to the sector.
“We need to look critically at how to accelerate commercial financing for agriculture. Banks do not lend to the agriculture sector and less than 3 percent of total bank lending in Africa goes to a sector that accounts for about 70 percent of all employment and over 40 percent of the GDP. Lack of access to affordable finance leads to underinvestment in agricultural technologies, growth of agro-allied industries and investments in infrastructure,” he said.
“By fixing agricultural value chains and de-risking the financial value chains, Africa can leverage billions of dollars in financing from its domestic financial markets into agricultural value chains.”
He also spoke on how the “New Deal on Energy for Africa,” part of the five-point development agenda he unveiled in September, would help transform the agricultural sector and make it attractive for young people and women.
President Adesina announced that the AfDB will work with other partners to establish a $300-million facility for Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa – which will be used to deploy risk sharing instruments for leveraging $3 billion in commercial financing and financing from microfinance institutions to women and women-owned businesses.
He said that by providing greater attention to labour-saving technologies, especially food processing technologies, to enable women to invest their time in more productive income-earning opportunities.
In closing, Adesina emphasized that Africa’s agricultural transformation should, in a decade, result in the elimination of extreme poverty in Africa, end hunger and malnutrition in Africa, turn Africa into a net food exporter, and move Africa to the top of the global value chains.
For his part, Senegal’s President Macky Sall commended Adesina for his five bold initiatives for Africa’s development in agriculture, energy, integration, industrialization, and for improved quality of life for the people of Africa, saying the entire continent should support these brilliant initiatives which are in sync with the continent’s development vision.
“Agriculture is life,” President Sall said, noting the diverse background of the conference participants was a guarantee that it would produce exceptional results.
Earlier, the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon, called for a new agricultural revolution in Africa, noting that we cannot continue to use hoes, machetes and poor seeds in our farms and expect a good harvest.
He suggested the construction of feeder roads, creation of agricultural cooperatives and agro-industrial parks to help boost the agricultural sector. Ponyo Mapon also supported the AfDB President’s call to leverage the entire agricultural value chain through to the market level, wondering, “Why should we produce cocoa and import chocolates?”
Bamidele Famoofo ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB)
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[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Remarkably, APC USA International Secretariat acknowledged President Muhammadu Buhari for considering the inclusion of women in his first batch of ministerial list; as ascribed in All Progressives Party (APC) constitution; while ascribing for more women in the 2nd batch of ministers and future appointments. Already, women are elated and are proud to be associated with this administration.
Ms. Ada Mesi Usiade, Diaspora Woman Leader orated; “appointed women must make Nigeria proud again; desisted from mixing business with pleasure as witnessed in previous administration. All their mischief put together almost turned Nigeria into financial catastrophes. Their attributes to leadership, power, politics and lust for worldly materials unlike Nigerian Women. Some of the reasons, their cartel is being rubbished today in the face of the world and may cost women appointments into positions in this administration. However, we trust President Buhari will give us another chance, for there are better women out there; tested and trusted available to serve. Nigeria should not use the past to judge the present, beside previous women incidences are shameful to our gender!
In furtherance to regenerate and reconcile woman concerns, Ms. Usiade advised the International Secretariat to pull-up historic feminists to reiterate women capabilities, while passionately airing women expectations: Nigerian Women irrespective of ethnicity and religion should brace up and work towards the corridor of responsibility, while borrowing from the following patriots and legends:
- Queen Amina of Zaria - Hausa Muslim Warrior,
- Wuraola Esan - Nigerian Teacher and Politician,
- Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, MON - The Woman Activist,
- Hajia Gambo Sawaba - Nigerian Politician and Activist,
- Tanimowo Ogunlesi - Nigerian Women's Rights Activist,
- Laila Dogonyaro, - Prominent Northern Politician and Female Activist,
- Margaret Ekpo Nigerian Women’s Rights Activist and Social Mobilizer,
- Bukola Oriola - Nigerian American Journalist and Former Human Trafficking Victim,
- Lady Oyinkansola Abayomi (also known as Oyinkan) - Nigerian Nationalist and Feminist,
- Elizabeth Adekogbe - Nigerian Nationalist, Politician, Women's Rights Leader and Traditional Aristocrat,
- Amina Temitope Ajayi (aka Mama Diaspora) – US Based Nigerian Social Entrepreneur and an Ardent Community Activist,
- Dora Nkem Akunyili, Public Health and Human Rights, etc.
The appointment of Female Ministers: Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Hajiya Amina Mohammed and Senator Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan is a welcome development, with the believe these iconic women of substance will do justice to Nigeria, erase the negative predisposition attached to women at this time. Similarly, seek to debunk 6.7% (2012) of women in Politics statistics and spearhead gender balance and prevailing ratios; in a population of estimated 179 million people, gender ratio is about 1.04 males to every 1 female. Demographically, women and men are to enjoy equal opportunity in an egalitarian society.
Ms. Ada Mesi Usiade, Diaspora Woman Leader expects women to aim higher, support one another, operate open door policy, lead by example, and revisit: “A National Feminist Movement was inaugurated in 1982, and a National Conference held at Ahmadu Bello University. The papers presented there indicated a growing awareness by Nigeria's University-Educated Women that the place of women in society required a concerted effort and a place on the National Agenda; the public perception, however, remained far behind”. Additionally, child trafficking, Adultery-Prostitution, Early Child Marriage and Women Rights among others.
Interestingly, women have been credited to be doing good in all sectors and gradually taking over workforce globally. This attribute is also directed towards the good tidings of National title holders and APC Women Stakeholders:
- Aisha Muhammadu Buhari – Nigerian First Lady,
- Mrs. Dolapo Osibanjo
- Senator Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan
- Senator Oluremi Tinubu
- Senator Binta Masi Garba
- Hon. Abike Dabiri Erewa,
- Dr. Ramatu Tijani - APC National Woman Leader, etc.
Today women play increasing roles in politics, 1979 constitution guaranteed their rights. In pre-colonial Nigeria, women had a much larger position in politics. Unfortunately, the western influences restricted women's participation.
Currently, Nigerian Women has relatively little opportunity to become totally involved, but they are learning fast and working smartly, never to be compromised again. Women’s empowerment requires widespread social change that involves both men and women.
Prof Isa Odidi, Director-General, Buhari Diaspora Campaign Support Group Center in his kind words, said “Give to Caesar what is Caesar's”
APC USA International Secretariat
*Photo Caption - APC logo on Nigeria map