[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - Kaduna state governor Nasir el-Rufai made a startling revelation last week. He admitted openly to financially sponsoring terrorists in Nigeria and neighboring countries. The governor publicly admitted that he sent emissaries to give money from Nigeria's treasury to Fulani insurgents who had taken to brazen and brutal terror, mass massacring mostly Christian communities in South Kaduna in retaliation for alleged deaths of their members and cows.
The governor said:
"So many of these people were killed, cattle lost and they organised themselves and came back to revenge. ...There are one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem, and we paid some."
The state governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai admitted to knowing these terrorists involved in wanton acts of incendiarism and murder with the resulting loss of property worth billions and lives of innocent Nigerians.
Nigeria's anti-terror bill as amended is implicit in the implication of aiding and abetting and concealing terror and terrorists and the bill declares arrest of such persons and recommends life imprisonment or the death penalty for those who act in aid of terrorists.
The Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 and Amendment Bill of 2012 with amendments to Section 17 states;
"Any person who does, attempts to do, threatens to do, promotes, assist or facilitates terrorism in any way or manner, or participates in terrorism financing, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to life imprisonment or to a fine of not less than N150Million or to both the term of imprisonment and the fine.
"Arranging and supporting terrorist meetings, harboring terrorists, obstructing terrorist investigations, being declared an international terrorist group or individual or failing to report terrorist financial transactions are offences which on conviction carry terms of imprisonment of not less than 3 years and not more than 20 years."
Governor Nasir el-Rufai by self admission is guilty of the above violations of Nigeria's anti-terror act.
Possibly fearing that he will be exposed for having been in touch with the terrorists and giving them money, the governor made an after the event public announcement of his sinister actions.
It must be stated clearly that according to Nigeria's constitution and anti-terror bill, an amnesty for terrorism can only be declared by the Federal government and must be approved by congress.
Nigeria’s anti-terror bill, “Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended in 2013, Part 1, subsection” clearly states that “(2) without prejudice to sub-section (2) of this section, where death results from any terrorist act, the penalty shall be death sentence.”
No Nigerian, civilian or state administrator can singularly forgive and pay off terrorists without Assembly approval.
We therefore call for the immediate declaration of a state of emergency in Kaduna and the arrest and prosecution of the Kaduna state administrator and all those implicated in this act above the law and in violation of Nigeria's security.
All other possible ties of governor Nasir el-Rufai with terror organisations in Nigeria including Boko Haram must be promptly investigated. Did the governor also order financial compensation to Boko Haram terrorists to stop them from attacking Kaduna state after the July 2015 market place bomb detonation? Reports of northern governors paying off Boko Haram terrorists were commonplace during the Goodluck Jonathan past administration. These funds used to pay terrorists to divert them from the governors' states are the reason why Boko Haram was able to acquire its arsenal and inflict severe damage on the northeast.
While the past reports of northern governor paying off terrorists must also be investigated, this current payment by the Kaduna state government to terrorists deserves top priority. For how long has Nasir el-Rufai maintained such relationships with perpetrators of terror in Nigeria? The Buhari administration must take this infraction as seriously as it is, recognizing all implications of aiding and abetting known terrorists guilty of deadly crimes against humanity.
Nigeria must also know exactly how much money was paid out to these terrorists and who and where they were paid.
Apparently as presents from a tweet the governor made in 2012, there is a "Fulani constitution" the governor claims exists and to be betrothed to which he abides by over the Nigerian constitution he swore to, in execution of his administrative actions."We will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes." - Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai @ElRufai.
While the victims in cities across Nigeria are not regarded and compensated, the governor places priority in paying off self-admitted terrorists.
Such an administrator is clearly not fit to remain at the helm of affairs in a polar democratic Nigeria.
There is need for urgency of action by the Buhari government as Governor Nasir el-Rufai poses a serious danger to himself, Kaduna state and Nigeria as a whole.
A state of Emergency must be declared in Kaduna immediately and/or any means of invoking Nigeria's laws to protect its citizens must get the governor off the mantle and investigated and repudiated for concealing and sponsoring terrorists.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Gov. Nasir El-Rufai
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - Excerpts Below With Pictures Expose The Extortionist Activities Of The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) And Army On Southeast Roads; Whereby The NPF Had In The Past 1...4 Months: October 2015-December 2016 Criminally Pocketed A Total Of N9.13Billion From Roadblock Extortion In Their Various Roadblocks In The Southeast Zone
"That another ulterior motive behind the Jihadist Nigerian Army operations in Igbo Land or Southeast Zone is for the purpose of criminal enrichment or illegitimate pocketing of hundreds of millions of naira from the Southeast Roads by way of organized road crime or roadblock extortion through open and closed sources; (26) that recent update of the Intersociety on road crimes committed by police and military personnel (i.e. army and navy) clearly showed that there are not less than 200 military roadblocks and 1000 police roadblocks on Southeast Roads as at 4th of December 2016; (27) that in those roadblocks, various forms of extortion are applied to rob the motorists and other road users at official gunpoint.
(28) That while soldiers and navy use structured form of extortion (i.e. hiring of civilians or garage touts to forcefully collect tolls on their behalf), the police use open method or direct extortion at gunpoint; (29) that the choice of Southeast Roads is because of its blue-collar nature or high commercial and cash transactions; (30) that as a result, the Jihadist Nigerian Army commanders and their foot soldiers in the Southeast Zone; with transmission of routine monthly brown envelopes (returns) to their superiors in Abuja; collectively and crookedly smile to bank on daily basis with tens of millions of naira derived from roadblock extortion; (31) that empirical evidence at our investigative disposal shows that the Nigeria Police in the Southeast Zone and its Roads had in the past 14 months or between October 2015 and December 2016, criminally collected and pocketed a total of N9.1Billion from roadblock extortion on Southeast Roads.
(32) That our updated checks as at today show that there are not less than 250 police roadblocks on Anambra’s Federal and State Roads as well as its city roads and that each police roadblock extorts minimum of N50 note and average of N100 note from each commercial motorist; translating to at least N30,000 for each police roadblock per day; N7.5million daily from not less than 250 police roadblocks; N225million monthly and N2.7Billion per year; (33) that the same facts and circumstances are applicable to Abia State; another major blue-collar State after Anambra State; with its 250 police roadblocks criminally pocketing N2.7Billion per year; (34) that Imo State; a lesser blue-collar State, has at least 200 police roadblocks to its name; with each police roadblock pocketing not less than N15,000 daily; N3Million for its 200 police roadblocks per day, N90Million per month and N1.08Billion per annum.
(35) That Enugu and Ebonyi States with relatively white-collar or civil service sub culture, have at least 300 police roadblocks to their names on average of 150 each; and each of the police roadblock criminally pockets at least N15,000 per day and N4.5Million for the 300 police roadblocks per day; N135Million per month and N1.62Billion per year; on average of N810Million for each of the two States; (36) that in all, the police personnel at over 1000 police roadblocks mounted on Southeast Roads have between January 2016 and December 2016 criminally collected and pocketed from Southeast commercial road users a total of N8.1Billion; with Anambra State accounting for N2.7Billion; Abia State N2.7billion; Imo State N1.08Billion; Enugu State N810Million; and Ebonyi State N810Million; (37) that added to N1.03Billion criminally collected and pocketed between 21st October and 21st December 2015 by not less than 750 police roadblocks then on Southeast Roads; the total roadblock theft by the Nigeria Police Force in the past 14 months from Southeast Roads is N9.13Billion"
*Photo Caption - Police officer extorting N50.00 from a motorist, November 30, 2011. CLICK FOR ENLARGED PHOTO.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Malam Barkindo Saidu, the Executive Secretary, Borno Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (BOSACA), says 512 new cases of HIV infections have been recorded in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the state. He spoke on Sunday in Maiduguri while briefing newsmen. Saidu said that the cases were recorded after voluntary screening in some IDPs’ camps in the state.
He pointed out that two out of the 512 persons were children.
“We are currently conducting voluntary screening on HIV/AIDS in IDPs’ camps across the state to determine the status of the people, especially those rescued from the Boko Haram terrorists.
“As at last week, we have recorded 512 positive cases, among which two are children,” Saidu said.
He said that the state had witnessed rising cases of the disease due largely to the Boko Haram terrorism.
“Currently, 2.4 per cent of the population of the state are living with HIVand AIDS, which translates to 108,000 persons, going by the record of the National Population Commission.
“But only a tiny portion of these people can access treatment because most anti retroviral centres have closed,” Saidu said.
He explained that only 32 out of the 90 anti retroviral centres were still operational in the state.
“Before the Boko Haram terrorism, we had 90 treatment centres across the state, but only 32 are still functional today.
“The rest have been closed down due to the Boko Haram terrorism, ” Saidu said.
He called on the Federal Government and donor agencies to intervene in the HIV and AIDS control in the state.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Linus Effiong reports ] - Aba in Abia State prides itself as the “Japan of Africa”, and a creativity hub in Nigeria. The appellation came through the dexterity and ingenuity of its artisans which have endeared it to investors within and outside the country.
Made in Aba products are fast capturing the world market and shoes are no exemption.
Indeed, the shoe section of Ariaria International Market in Aba reveals the ingenuity and the enterprising spirit of the people. This section comprises the Bakassi Zone, Shoe Plaza, Power Line and Imo Avenue. The section is populated with artisans who churn out shoes of different kinds and is estimated to house over 70, 000 shoemakers besides the apprentices under their tutelage.
Various levels of production, marketing and transportation of the products are involved in shoe-making. While the artisans are busy producing, traders from within and outside Nigeria are picking products of their choice while transporters are evacuating them for onward movement to their respective destinations.
Also, dealers on raw materials such as leather, shoe soles, gum, fibre and other accessories make good sales. Women are also compete for patronage at various stages of production.
Interestingly too, the trade is no longer a business for school dropouts and semi- illiterates as graduates are now actively engaged in it. Little wonder, new innovations are being introduced to the trade.
The chairman Power line Shoe Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (POSMAN), Comrade Joseph Nmeri, told Daily Trust on Saturday that they are impressed with the decision of the Nigerian Army to purchase 50,000 pairs of boots from Aba. He said it is a feat which would encourage local manufacturers.
Nmeri added that shoes produced in Aba can last up to three years because of their quality. However, despite the assurance on quality, shoe manufacturers in Ariaria still find it difficult to label their products “Made in Nigeria.”
According to Nmeri, from the early 80’s, manufacturers were labelling products ‘Made in Aba’ and traders were coming from various parts of Africa to place orders. There was no challenge then but sales issues began when Nigeria signed a bilateral trade agreement with China.
He said the Chinese flooded the markets with their shoes. “To be able to sell our products, we were compelled by the attitude of Nigerians to label our products “Made-in-China” because our customers believed that Chinese shoes were superior.
Also the Chairman, Aba North Industrial Market (Shoe Plaza division), Christian Okoro, said the order by the Nigerian Army was the beginning of good things for the country and products made in Aba, as it can handle demands from even outside the country.
He pointed out that Aba-made products are exported to Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Italy, where they are given more touches and imported back to Nigeria and marketed as foreign shoes. Three major factors, according to him, are responsible for this practice. They include craze for foreign goods, lack of interest in locally made products and the absence of modern machines and equipment for perfect finishing on the products.
Okoro said if provided the needed materials and enabling environment, foreign shoes would be no match to those produced in Aba, adding that most of the artisans would be proud to label their products “Made-in-Aba”. He identified their major challenges as high cost of raw materials, importation of inferior materials, especially gum and chemicals and the unwillingness of leather producers in Kano to sell genuine items.
Other daunting challenges, according to him, include unstable power supply, absence of modern equipment and machines, poor access roads and lack of funds. He called for government intervention, especially in the provision of modern machines which he said, would make their products compete favourably in the international market.
He also appealed to the federal government for financial assistance to artisans. He said a loan of N1billion could change the stories of the over 70,000 shoe makers in the market. This will enable them acquire modern shoe-threading machines among others, he added.
An artisan, Elder Kenneth Nwachukwu, who specialises in military and paramilitary shoes and belts, said he needed some funds to acquire the right machines that would enable him manufacture with better finishing.
He said: “Already, we have orders from contractors for the Civil Defence, Police, Navy and National Youth Service Corps. We produce some of the shoes and the contractors buy them at cheap rates.”
Lawrence Agochi, a 42 year- old father of five with 27 years experience in shoe making, identified lack of funds as his major setback.
He said he could produce an average of 50 pairs of shoes a day, but could triple the quantity with improved equipment. He said he needed N2 million to upgrade his machines.
Another shoe maker, Paul Madubike, who has been on the job for 15 years, said he was a fulfilled man. But like his colleagues, the 40 year-old identified irregular power supply and lack of modern equipment as his major challenges. According to him, with modern equipment he could produce 200 pairs of shoes a day to meet increasing demands from his customers.
In the same vein, Mr. Ikechukwu Anaele, Paul Maduabuchi and Boniface Ejike all expressed satisfaction being shoe makers but also identified lack of facilities as major setbacks. They pleaded for government’s intervention to make progress.
They want the government to also ensure that the needed facilities are provided at the proposed industrial cluster for shoes, garments, belts and bags workers at Umukalika in Obingwa council area before relocating the artisans to the new site. This will boost their morale, they said. The artisans expressed readiness to improve on the quality of their products to enjoy the much desired local and international patronage.
Linus Effiong reports from Umuahia, Abia State.
*Photo Caption - Aba made shoes.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The Federal Government has pledged to support the inclusion of Nigerian Diasporas to participate in future elections. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a seminar on the “Validation of Proposed National Policy on Diaspora Matters.”
Onyeama, who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Sola Enikanolaiye, said the empowerment of Nigerians in the Diaspora as change agents for national development should be speedily scaled up.
“To achieve the immense potentials of the Diaspora, there is the need for effective promotion and harnessing of the capacity of Nigerians at home and abroad for the socio-political and economic development of the nation,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chairperson, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu disclosed that her committee had been in touch with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the issue of Diaspora voting.
On her part, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, harped on the need to integrate Nigerian professionals in Diaspora to the development of the country.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Clement A. Oloyede reports ] - A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has today refused to grant the bail application filed by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and three others. Justice Binta Nyako, while delivering ruling on the bail application, held that charge against the defendants “are very serious in nature”, and therefore not ordinarily bailable.
She held that some of the charges against the defendants could attract life imprisonment if proven beyond reasonable doubt by the FG.
“The offences are serious in nature and carries very severe punishment if proven.
“I hereby therefore refuse bail of the applicants. But in the alternative, I hereby order accelerated trial of this matter to almost commence immediately, but not later than two months”, the Judge ruled.
Justice Nyako further dismissed the arguments of the defendants that President Muhammadu Buhari had openly directed that they should not be released on bail.
She held that President Buhari, being a citizen of Nigeria, was at liberty to exercise his freedom of speech.
She said the President lacks the capacity to influence the decision of the court, saying the defendants did not place any new fact or law capable of persuading the court to reverse an earlier ruling of the court that denied them bail.
Kanu’s and his co-accused, Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawusi were arraigned before the court by the Federal Government on offences bordering on treasonable felony and their alleged involvement in acts of terrorism.
Meanwhile, the Federal government after the ruling was delivered applied for all the witnesses to be allowed to testify behind screen.
Counsels to the defendants opposed to the application submitting that granting such request would amount to a gross violation of their rights to fair hearing.
*Photo Caption - Nnamdi Kanu
[ Masterweb Reports: C. K. Ekeke reports ] - If Buhari’s second-term plan, which his wife Aisha hinted us a month ago during her interview with BBC Hausa news and which some selfish cabals are seriously working on to impose Buhari again on Nigeria was tabled during Ohaneze Ndigbo Executive meeting held in Enugu recently; Ohanaeze leaders, youths at war over 2019 Buhari Presidency; I must ask: who has bewitched Ohaneze Ndigbo? Are these people truly Igbos? Do they have eyes to see, ears to hear and any intellect to reflect on what is happening to them since the amalgamation of Nigeria.
Ohaneze Ndigbo and their Youth Wing did not talk about the massacre of Biafran youths, the rampaging of villages and framers by Fulani herdsmen, the heading of a 60-year Igbo woman in Kano and all the five be-headers were acquitted by the judge, the kidnapping of young Igbo girls being married off in the North, the destruction and strangulation of Igbo businesses in Nigeria – among other political and economic atrocities against the region.
They say Igbo people are doing well all over Nigeria – I ask: where and in which Nigeria when millions of Igbo youths are jobless and graduates are traders, taxi drivers, and bus conductors; thousands are fleeing Nigeria on daily basis and millions already on exile.
I do not have better words to describe the insanity and stupidity of Ohaneze Ndigbo than to use the words of Jesus to his Jewish brethren – especially the religious and political leaders of his day (Pharisees and Sadducees).
Jesus described them as:
Snakes, brood of vipers, hypocrites, blind fools, full of greed and self-indulgence, whitewashed tombs – who look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean, who kill their true prophets while neglecting the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness (Matthew 23:13-39).
I believe Jesus’ deep disappointment and angry words aptly and correctly describe the Ohaneze Ndigbo today.
Regarding the prickly issue of Buhari’s second-term in office; how can any Nigerian with any sensibility even support this failed ruler again? In his 2-year presidency, he has destroyed Nigeria’s fledgling democracy and ruined the economy.
According to Bloomberg today, Nigeria’s economy is depressed – that’s deep recession with high inflation. Buhari’s myopic monetary policy has killed Naira and forced hundreds of companies out of business. Today, many foreign businesses and investors are divesting their capital expenditure and investing elsewhere out the country.
Famine, hunger and starvation are everywhere and cost of goods and services have skyrocketed. In fact, the Senate said recently that the President has no plans to get the economy out its current deep recession. Suicides are on the rise due to debt and inability for many to provide for families. Crime, corruption and immorality have rapidly increased. Under-age Igbo girls are now married off to Alhajis and Northern men for survival.
Additionally, Buhari has sharply divided Nigeria with his lopsided appointments and ethnic hatred toward Igbo people. The man lacks basic skills of democratic leadership and governance. He lacks the ability to galvanize the nation with no sense of national cohesion and inclusiveness at all.
He has also bastardized the judiciary and legislative arms of government. Government repression is rampant – with no free press and media freedom any more. Free speech is under assault and people are being arrested, tortured and even killed for criticizing the President or his government. Executive lawlessness, rascality, repression, nepotism, cronyism and even corruption are rampant.
Personally, I have received a number of threatening emails and phone calls from yahoo boys working for the president. But I cannot be cajoled or silenced. I’ll continue to write and speak-out against injustice and for freedom, liberty and purposeful leadership as long as God gives me breathe each day.
President Mohammadu Buhari is a total disaster to democracy. And for some selfish individuals to be wishfully working to impose him again on Nigeria in 2019 is the height of conspiracy to finally destroy and disintegrate Nigeria. This is a president that may be forced to resign or impeached because of the thousands of Biafrans, Shiites Muslims and thousands of innocent Nigerians that have been massacred under his 2-year autocratic administration by DSS, military, Police, Boko haram and Fulani herdsmen among other crude means. IPOB, IMN, Amnesty International, Intersociety, etc. and several human rights groups have filed severe and damaging reports against Buhari/APC government.
I have lost all confidence for Ohaneze Ndigbo. This group is simply selfish and greedy group. These are terrible folks willing to sacrifice their offspring, land and future for the crumb that Buhari has given them or promising to give them – while the major stake of crude oil running from their back-yard are used to enrich people in the North and SW.
Ohaneze Ndigbo – click the link below and read about a true and courageous leader. Mr. Kanu has been promised everything – money, oil well, and probably big position in government, etc. to regain his freedom and renounce Biafra – but he refused. The freedom of his people is more important that all those material things. Freedom is a precious thing.
[ Biafra: I won’t give up fight, vows Nnamdi Kanu ]
It is time Ohaneze Ndigbo wake up from their slumber and seriously rethink their future in Nigeria. ‘One-Nigeria’ is simply a myth concocted by the British and sold to the North to deceive, marginalize and enslave former Eastern region.
Frankly, the North do not believe in ‘One-Nigeria.’ The moment America, Britain, Germany, etc. oil companies find crude oil or some vital natural resources in the North, ‘One-Nigeria’ will be discarded. Then Igbos will be forced to go their separate ways or be enslaved and Islamize if they want to remain in Islamic Nigeria.
All those northern rulers – like Gowon, IBB, Danjuma, Atiku, etc., are preaching One-Nigeria because they own the crude oil wells in your backyard. Isn’t it ludicrous that a man from Nasarawa, Sokoto, and Kaduna, Niger State, Ogun State or somewhere outside SS/SE region owns the crude oil running at my backyard?
While I suffer every day to make ends meet, their children and family members are living at large with the wealth of the crude oil running at my backyard with all its pollution and environment effects. And when I speak-out, they send military men, Fulani herdsmen and Boko haram jihadists to massacre us. And when our so-called Igbo leaders are giving the crumb of it, they sell-out and even assist the northerners to kill their own family. What a travesty and cursed people.
This time, we must be liberated. For Igbos or any Biafran who want to remain Nigerian, can always do so by relocating to the North or SW – after the restoration of Biafra nation. We cannot continue to live in a failed and cursed country ruled by war-mongering Fulani who believes it is their birthright to rule Nigeria forever.
C. K. Ekeke ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Intersociety, Onitsha Nigeria, 26th of November 2016)-In the late evening of November 23rd, 2016, the long awaited Special Report of Amnesty International; the world’s largest and most respected rights body, was released from its London Headquarters, and almost immediately after the release of the Report; the Nigerian Army hurriedly, cheapishly and shamelessly released a statement of denial and falsehood, reproduced below; bolded and italized:
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S PLANNED CAMPAIGN OF CALUMNY AGAINST THE NIGERIAN ARMY ON MASSOB/IPOB VIOLENT PROTESTS IN THE SOUTH EAST NIGERIA BETWEEN AUGUST 2015 AND AUGUST 2016
The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a planned release of a report by Amnesty International on an unfounded storyline of mass killings of MASSOB/IPOB protesters by the military between August 2015 and August 2016. We wish to debunk the insinuation that our troops perpetrated the killing of defenceless agitators. This is an outright attempt to tarnish the reputation of the security forces in general and the Nigerian Army in particular, for whatever inexplicable parochial reasons. For umpteenth times, the Nigerian Army has informed the public about the heinous intent of this Non-Governmental Organisation which is never relenting in dabbling into our national security in manners that obliterate objectivity, fairness and simple logic.
The evidence of MASSOB/IPOB violent secessionist agitations is widely known across the national and international domains. Their modus operandi has continued to relish violence that threatens national security. Indeed between August 2015 and August 2016, the groups’ violent protests have manifested unimaginable atrocities to unhinge the reign of peace, security and stability in several parts of the South East Nigeria.
A number of persons from the settler communities that hailed from other parts of the Country were selected for attack, killed and burnt. Such reign of hate, terror and ethno-religious controversies that portend grave consequences for national security have been averted severally through the responsiveness of the Nigerian Army and members of the security agencies.
These security agencies are always targeted for attack by the MASSOB/IPOB instruments of barbarism and cruelty. For instance, in the protests of 30 – 31 May 2016, more than 5 personnel of the Nigeria Police were killed, while several soldiers were wounded, Nigeria Police vehicles were burnt down same as several others of the Nigerian Army that were vandalized.
The strategic Niger Bridge at Onitsha came under threat thus leading to disruption of socio-economic activities. In the aftermath of the encounter that ensued between security agencies and MASSOB/IPOB militants many of own troops sustained varying degrees of injury. In addition, the MASSOB/IPOB recurrent use of firearms, crude weapons as well as other cocktails such as acid and dynamites to cause mayhem remain a huge security threat across the Region.
In these circumstances, the Nigerian Army under its constitutional mandates for Military Aid to Civil Authority (MACA) and Military Aid to Civil Powers (MACP) has continued to act responsively in synergy with other security agencies to de-escalate the series of MASSOB/IPOB violent protests.
Instructively, the military and other security agencies exercised maximum restraints despite the flurry of provocative and unjustifiable violence, which MASSOB/IPOB perpetrated. The adherence to Rules of Engagement by the military has been sacrosanct in all of these incidents.
Therefore, it is rather unfortunate for the Amnesty International to allow itself to be lured into this cheap and unpopular venture that aims to discredit the undeniable professionalism as well as responsiveness of the Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles.
Thank you for your usual cooperation.
Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman
Acting Director Army Public Relations
While we gladly and unreservedly commend the authorities of the Amnesty International-UK for their courage, in depth investigation and analysis and apt findings concerning the Report; we wish to expressly state and hold that the statement of the Nigerian Army, in which it shamelessly attempted to deny culpability and grossly misrepresented facts of the matter; is totally provocative, false, watery, unprofessional, crude, culpably homicidal, atrocious, shameful, Jihadist and remorseless.
The Army statement also falls far below or acutely short of the doctrines of modern soldiering or military science; the international best practices in civilian affairs handling styles as well as the Principles and Purposes of the United Nations particularly protection and promotion of human rights and international peace and security.
The contents of the Army statement further depict unprofessionalism and grossly run contrary to the Fundamental Rules of the International Law particularly the “Ten Basic Standards of the International Law and Humanitarian Principles”; containing strict guidelines for State actors in managing nonviolent (and even riotous) assemblies; other than active armed rebellion against an independent political territory recognized under the UN System.
Therefore, having critically and expertly studied the Nigerian Army statement, the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law; firmly finds contradictorily and boldly states as follows:
- That the Nigerian Army of present composition is Jihadist and ethnically biased in its operations and exercise of its auxiliary securitization roles particularly as it concerns its genocidal response to the peaceful and nonviolent processions and protests by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and other Pro Biafra campaigners as well as those of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
- That the Nigerian Army is a military assemble dominated by promoters and perpetrators of ethnocide, religocide and genocide.
- That the Nigerian Army’s operational modes are utterly vindictive, Yorean, hegemonic, crude, barbaric, murderous and atrocious.
- That the Nigerian Army grossly and recklessly adopts and uses via Presidential backing; operational death code of “treat (including waste or kill) any Pro Biafra Campaigner as a terrorist, failed coupist or insurrectionist with associated torturous and murderous sanctions outside the law.
- That the Nigerian Army is engrossed in falsehood and criminal spinning of alarming proportions.
- That the Nigerian Army brazenly and wickedly corrupts and bastardizes the UN Principles of Rules of Engagement; which are fundamentally embedded in the Geneva Conventions or Laws of War of 1949; which, in turn, originated from the three war (bellum) principles of Jus Ad Bellum, Jus In Bellum and Jus Post Bellum.
- That the Nigerian Army’s constant reference to use of “Rules of Engagement” in massacring unarmed and defenceless members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and unarmed and defenceless citizens exercising their regional and international rights to Self Determination such as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a total corruption and bastardization of the UN System’s Rules of Engagement; strictly designed for internal and international armed conflicts as well as a fundamental breach of the Fundamental Rules of the International Law under the UN System.
- That under the UN System, no armed forces of any member-State of the UN including the Nigerian Army are allowed to use war-like weaponry and force to control or manage citizens’ street match grievances; and where force is allowed at all, principles of Use of Force and its Proportionality must be strictly applied at all times (i.e. firearms or automatic weapons must not be used to disarm protesting citizens holding catapults).
- That till date, there are no traces of members of the IPOB taking up arms against the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any part thereof.
- That till date, no concrete evidence has been produced by the Federal Government empirically showing that members of IPOB have engaged in bombing of any government or public facility or killing of soldiers and other members of the security forces in battle fields.
- That till date, no battle fields whether active or passive have been identified and linked to members of the IPOB.
- That till date, no member of IPOB dead or alive has been linked by any branch of the Nigerian security forces; with provable evidence; to culpable homicide or murder of any innocent Nigerian citizen.
- That almost all the street protests embarked upon by members of IPOB since July/August 2015 have been devoid of violence; particularly at the beginning of the protests and where any violent rarely erupted; it most likely occurred on account of rare expression of angers and frustrations by the surviving peaceful protesters over the unprovoked shooting and killing of their unarmed and defenceless colleagues by soldiers and other members of the security forces.
- That the host State Governments in the protesting areas, in conjunction with killer-security agents have on several occasions, attempted to plant violence into the peaceful protests so as to find grounds to unleash deadly State violence on the Pro Biafra peaceful protesters; and in some cases; some police personnel were found to have been used as sacrificial lambs by their operational commanders during the peaceful protests by being collaterally shot so as to portray IPOB as a violent or militant group.
- That where such unfortunate police officers rarely met the wrath of provoked and retreating peaceful protesters by way of clubbing or fist cuff wounds, they most likely got shot under in-service circumstances so as to blame it on IPOB and its leadership and portray same as “Armed Independent People of Biafra” (Retired IGP Solomon Arase, June 2016).
- That the use of Biafra Flags, Chaplets and Holy Bibles during IPOB street protests or Church Vigils or School Compound Singing and Praying can never be translated or interpreted to mean “use of firearms”, “dynamites” or “raw acids”.
- That conversely, there were provable evidence that it was soldiers that used raw acids and machetes against the unarmed and defenceless Pro Biafra Campaigners particularly during the 9th of February 2016 IPOB singing and prayer procession inside the National High School in Aba as well as the 29th and 30th of May 2016 World Igbo/Biafra Heroes Day at Nkpor and its environs.
- That further attestation to the fact that Pro Biafra Campaigners particularly members of IPOB have remained nonviolent and a non-armed opposition group could be seen in the nine-count criminal charges preferred by the Federal Government against Citizen Nnamdi Kanu and three others before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
- That in the whole charges none of them is charged with evidence generated murder or manslaughter, or rape, or armed uprising or active terrorism; and that in the case of Engineer Chidiebere Onwudiwe who was charged with “terrorism”; the accusation to the effect that he was “caught in Enugu researching on how to make Improvise Explosive Devices (IEDs)”, will legally take the second coming of Jesus Christ for it to convictably proved.
- That in the case of Mr. Benjamin Madubugwu, who was charged with “unlawful possession of firearms (Pump Action Gun)”; the “Pump Action Gun(s)” is categorized under the Firearms Act of 2004 as “non prohibited firearms” (i.e. it can be possessed by any citizen with a valid license).
- That the Nigerian Army and other culpable security agencies in the butchery of at least 250 Pro Biafra Campaigners have no iota of defense or justification for heinously perpetrating the mass-murder with reckless abandon in about eight different locations between July/August 2015 and May 2016.
- That their attempts to “manufacture or plant group violence” to escape their deadly culpabilities have failed woefully; locally, regionally and internationally.
- That these explain desperation of the Buhari Administration and its killer-security forces, leading to seemed unleashing of both physical and psychological threats on the authorities of the Amnesty International in Nigeria so as to scare them from releasing the Special Report in Nigeria; forcing them to change its release venue from Nigeria to UK, as was the case three days ago.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348180771506
Chinwe Umeche, Esq.
Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
Mobile Line: +2347013238673
*Photo Caption - Map of Defunct Republic of Biafra
[ Masterweb Reports ] - CNN is reporting that Fidel Castro, the Cuban despot who famously proclaimed after his arrest in a failed coup attempt that history would absolve him, has died aged 90, Cuban state media reports. At the end, an elderly and infirm Castro was a whisper of the Marxist firebrand whose iron will and passionate determination bent the arc of destiny.
"There are few individuals in the 20th century who had a more profound impact on a single country than Fidel Castro had in Cuba," Robert Pastor, a former national security adviser for President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s, told CNN in 2012.
"He reshaped Cuba in his image, for both bad and good," said Pastor, who died in 2014. "Cuba will be a different place because he lived and he died."
Castro lived long enough to see a historic thaw in relations between Cuba and the United States. President Barack Obama announced in December that the United States would re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and urged Congress to lift a 52-year-old economic embargo.
Cuban President Raul Castro -- who took over from his ailing brother more than eight years earlier -- announced the breakthrough to the nation, but observers noted Fidel's silence on the matter.
Castro's stage was a small island nation 90 miles from the underbelly of the United States, but he commanded worldwide attention.
"He was a historic figure way out of proportion to the national base in which he operated," said noted Cuba scholar Louis A. Perez Jr., author of more than 10 books on the island and its history.
"Cuba hadn't counted for much in the scale of politics and history until Castro," said Wayne Smith, the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba from 1979 to 1982.
Castro became famous enough that he could be identified by only one name. A mention of "Fidel" left little doubt who was being talked about.
No other nonroyal ruler clung to power as long as Castro did.
*Photo Caption - Late Fidel Castro
[ Masterweb Reports: Odimegwu Onwumere reports ] - In this report, Odimegwu Onwumere writes that climate change is impacting on the health of Nigerians, suggesting that the authorities have to put the right measures in place to handle its effects through research and enlightenment
Ngozi is a lady in her middle 20s and was a pump attendant at a newly built filling station along the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway by Imo River Bridge, Uzuaku, Abia State.
She was curious to earn a living, but could not bear with the brunt of weather conditions as a result of climate change at her once job place. She was falling ill at every given point in time while her job lasted.
“When it rained, the downpour was usually heavy, making the expressway not to be pliable. Likewise, when it was dry, dust that vehicles raised was unbearable,” Ngozi lamented.
She told this writer that she was always sick when she was working at the filling station, perhaps, due to petrol emission or something, unlike now she is at home. Ngozi was afraid that something was wrong with the ozone layer. “I was always falling sick while at my duty post. I’m not yet okay. The weather was not favourable to me because of the openness of the filling station,” she said.
Many Nigerians are suffering the existing health threats and the emerging ones as a result of climate change. Climate change is intensifying with dimensions in age, economic resources, and location.
As a panelist on a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) programme, the Minister of State for Environment, Usman Jubril, said recently, “The effects of climate change are felt at every sight of the country. Rising global temperatures would have a catastrophic effect on human health and patterns of infection would change, with insect-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever spreading more easily.”
Dr. Oyinlola Oduyebo, a medical microbiologist at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, said: “There are some infections that occur in season, so naturally if there is a change in season or climate there will have to be changes in the type of infections and in the manner that there were originally known to occur.”
Mr. Kolawole Ajanaku, Head of Department of Environmental Services, Ikeja Local Government Area (LGA), Lagos State, was afraid in a public presentation, saying: “Change in temperature could bring a lot of environmental problems. When sunlight reaches earth’s surface, it can either be reflected back into space or absorbed by earth. Once absorbed, the planet releases some of the energy back into the atmosphere as heat (also called infrared radiation).
“Greenhouse gases like water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) absorb energy, slowing or preventing the loss of heat to space. In this way, GHGs act like a blanket, making earth warmer than it would otherwise be.
“But the climate we have come to expect is not what it used to be, because the past is no longer a reliable predictor of the future. Our climate is rapidly changing with disruptive impacts, and that change is progressing faster than any seen in the last 2,000 year.”
Ngozi is one among many Nigerians who are sick as a result of the impact of climate change. The impacts of climate change cannot be overemphasised as they are affecting people physically and mentally, with scientists at the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying that the earth’s middling temperature has risen to 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) over the past century.
“All pathogens, viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites are temperature-sensitive. Furthermore, they have differences in how they reproduce and they infect people and other animals based on the temperature they are living at,” said an Associate Director of the Centre for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard University, Dr. Aaron Bernstein.
The Director, Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Joseph Alozie, who was also a panelist on the NTA programme, bared his fears, “From 2015-2016 research shows a reduction in rainfall, which will bring about shorter length of season thereby affecting farmers making them choose which seed variety to plant.”
Alozie added, “There will be further dry spells especially in the northern part of Nigeria. Since November 2015 Nigerians have witnessed drier conditions, stronger Harmattan even in Abuja a lot of dust is in suspension and flights have been cancelled, suspended and even delayed.”
The causative factors of illnesses are related to flooding, weakened infrastructure like the over flooded Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway, depleted agricultural production, destroyed livelihoods, pollution, and forced migration.
“The negative impacts of climate change such as temperature rise, erratic rainfall, sand storms, desertification, low agricultural yield, drying up of water bodies and flooding are real in the desert prone 11 front states of Nigeria. This leads to increasing population pressure, intensive agricultural land use, overgrazing, bush burning, extraction of fuel wood and other biotic resources.”
Prof. Fuwape Agboola of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, made the above disclosure early this year during the opening ceremony of the fourth biennial international conference and exhibition on environmental matters (ICEI4) organised by Environmental Research Group of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, in juxtaposition with the Centre for Atmospheric Research of the National Space Research and Development Agency (CAR-NARSDA), Anyigba, Abuja.
“Temperatures are projected to rise from 2 to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.13 to 6.42 degrees Celsius) over the next 100 years,” Agboola added.
There is apprehension that women and children are chiefly the most vulnerable to the forces of climate change. Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated the costs to health from climate change to be linking US$ 2-4 billion per year by 2030, across the world. When this is the case, Nigerians like Ngozi who do not make up to $1 a day, would be tremendously dealt with by climate change due to their exposure to chronic poverty.
Climate change is affecting agricultural produce seriously. Agricultural economist like Dr. Temidayo Apata at Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, was among those in this line of thought. Against this backdrop, Nkechi Isaac, a public affairs commentator cried out, “Nigeria is vulnerable to the impact of global warming on many fronts of her geography, climate, vegetation, soils, economic structure, population, energy demands and agricultural activities.
“The country’s large rural population depends on agriculture, fisheries and natural resources such as water, biodiversity and grassland. The adaptive capacity of the rural majority to climate change is very low. The operation of the nation’s oil and gas sector makes Nigeria a major emitter of greenhouse gases in Africa.”
Apata remarked recently that Nigeria is experiencing higher temperatures and when there is poor turnout of agricultural produce, there is bound to be malnutrition. The agricultural economist brought into line, fears to the flooding that ravaged the Niger Delta region in 2012, where households and millions of property were destroyed to the flooding, as one of the climate change impacts threatening the country.
With this, Apata predicted that 30 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) may be lost by 2050, if severe moves are not taken to put modalities in place in order to dwarf the bad effects of climate change. In the same line, the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, feared that there are natural disasters in the country resulting from weather change.
Onwumere writes from Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Email: email@example.com
*Photo Caption - As seen.