[ Masterweb Reports ] - Few weeks ago, the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad asked the Federal Government to grant members of the militant group, Boko Haram, a “total and unconditional amnesty” for the sake of peace in the country. The Sultan’s basis is premised on the fact that a presidential amnesty to even one member of the sect could make others to lay down their arms for peace to reign in the nation. In reaction to the sultan’s call, President Jonathan, during his visit to Maiduguri, said his administration would not grant members of the group amnesty until such a time the group comes out in the public to dialogue with the federal government. Since these two prominent figures made these comments, Nigerians seem to have been divided on the justification of amnesty for Boko Haram. Although this division can be understood if viewed from different perspectives, it is quite disappointing that most of the views expressed are either beclouded by sentiments or emotions, especially on the part of those who think that an amnesty for Boko Haram will be a tragic mistake. It is even more disheartening when those who are in support of amnesty for Boko Haram are immediately branded Boko Haram sympathizers, just because they dared........Read More
*Photo Caption - An assault rifle, one of the weapons used by Boko Haram.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - On 21st day of January, 2013, the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, released a public statement-titled: "The Nigeria Police Force: The Good Versus The Bad & The Ugly". We had in the widely publicized statement stated clearly that despite the corporate failure of the NPF in matters of security and crime in the country, there is still the good side of the Force. We also stated that there are some personnel of the Force who are less corrupt; patriotic and proven to be good ambassadors of the Force in recent times. Some of the commendable works of the NPF in recent times were highlighted in the statement, which included its investigation into the gruesome murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde; a principal aide to the Governor of Edo State, South-south Nigeria. We made it clear that despite the very bad image the Force attracted to itself over the years, it should be commended when its works commendably and condemned when the reverse is the case. Some of the atrocious acts of the Force in recent times such as continued extra-judicial killings, torture and corruption were highlighted. Also highlighted as part of its good works was........Read More
*Photo Caption - Late Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The divide and rule tactics applied by the Government of Kano State, Northwest Nigeria over the 18th day of March, 2013 deadly bomb blasts that killed up to 200 people, if not more, and injured hundreds of others, mostly Nigerian citizens of Igbo extraction, at the New Road Luxury Bus Terminal in Sabon Gari city of the State is unreservedly condemned by the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law. This has also exposed the State as an accomplice in the dastardly act, which amounts to pogrom. The said State Government risks being made to answer for crimes against humanity before the ICC, at The Hague, the Netherlands. It is recalled that the multiple deadly bomb blasts occurred at about 4:00pm on 18th day of March, 2013; minutes after an unmarked Volkswagen Golf car drove into the Park and parked in between two fully loaded luxury buses belonging to Gobison Nigerian Limited. The car was loaded with undetected improvised explosive devices, which were detonated minutes later. Beside the two luxury buses were three other scantly loaded luxury buses belonging to.......Read More
*Photo Caption - Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State
[ Masterweb Reports ] - On Sunday, March 31, 2013, about two billion people on planet earth will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even though the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by the Romans and Jewish authorities occurred over two thousand years ago, yet the Cross of Christ remains the most perplexing event in all of human history. Off-course the crucifixion of Christ was brutal and barbaric, yet Christ atoning death on the Cross still remains the pivotal event of the gospel message and His resurrection the central event of the good news of the kingdom. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of Christianity. Without it, Christianity will be a tale.
For years, I have been asked questions about the Cross, about Christ’s death, His resurrection, about Easter celebration, about the Church and so forth. I have read arguments for and against. I have read from atheists and doubters. On this Easter Day, I’ll like to answer few of them to explain what makes Easter Day and celebration so special for Christians.
. Why do Christians celebrate Christ resurrection on Easter Day, which has pagan origin?
As you know, in Christian faith, no other Holy Day can match Good Friday and Easter Sunday. While the feast of Easter was first celebrated in the second century, it wasn't until the Roman Emperor Constantine called “The Council of Nicaea” in 325 A.D., that a date was officially pronounced. One debate of that Council was whether the observance of Easter should follow the Jewish custom of holding Passover on a weekday or should be on a Sunday. During the Council debate, it was decided to celebrate Easter on the Sunday following the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. Later the date of March 21 was selected as the Vernal Equinox. Like so many early Christian holidays, the actual day selected for Easter celebration was as much a political decision as it was a symbolic one.
Why was Jesus Christ crucified?
The Jews and Roman authorities crucified Jesus because He claimed to be the Son of God, which is tantamount to being God (Matthew 26:63-65) and in so doing the Scripture was fulfilled. The portrait of Jesus as Messiah was not easy swallow for the Jewish Israel to understand and accept. The Scribes and Pharisees considered Jesus a heretic because he claimed to be the “Messiah.” Jesus did not meet the expectations of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were looking for a charismatic political leader to deliver them from the Roman occupation. The crucifixion of Christ is the vilest wickedness in all of human history. Crucifixion is a malicious manner to murder or kill someone. It is a wicked way to kill a human being, an innocent person for that matter.
However, we have to understand that those who crucified Jesus were not really bad people but blind people. They were not wicked people but people without the wisdom of God. They were humanly wise and self-righteous elite of the day who knew the Old Testament Scriptures better than anyone yet; they did not know the God of the Scriptures. When God showed up in the flesh, they did not recognize Him. They were not really wicked but ignorant, misguided and stupid men who thought that they were doing God a favor. The Apostle Paul was that kind of man until the glory of Christ met him on a Damascus road. We still have such religious zealots in the various religious organizations today.
Biblically and spiritually, Christ resurrection marked the reconciliation between God and mankind thus opened the doors of resurrection for all who will believe in Him (see John 11:25-26).
Why did Jesus Christ have to die?
There are hundreds of prophecies in the Bible as well as Jesus statements alluding to His death on the Cross and His resurrection. For instance, in the Gospel of Matthew 16:21, Jesus declared that, "He must die." The Greek word ‘dei,’ is an impersonal verb, which means that it is a necessity or must. It is the strongest Greek word to express necessity. Christ death on the cross was voluntarily self-imposed. Jesus gave him up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Christ died to accomplish God's eternal purposes. In the Gospel of John 12:27, He stated, "No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father glorify your name.” In Revelation 13:8, "He is the lamb slain before the foundation of the world.” He was chosen before the foundation of the world but was revealed in these last times for your sake (1 Peter.1: 19-20).
What is the significance of Christ death?
The biblical reason of Christ crucifixion remains the central message of the Gospel message. The crucifixion of Christ is the means by which God provided salvation and forgiveness for the sins of mankind. It is a supreme demonstration of God’s love toward sinful mankind (John 3:16). The prophet Isaiah summarized the human condition: “We are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Even the high priest, Joshua, in his exalted position among God’s people, was clothed in filthy rags before God (Zechariah 3:3). The apostle Paul, who labored arduously to be righteous before God, realized that his most strenuous efforts to please God were no more valuable than rubbish (Philippians 3:4-10). The plight of humanity is that nothing we could ever do could satisfy God’s desire for righteousness. But the miracle of God’s mercy is that God exchanges our filthy rags for rich robes of righteousness (Zechariah 3:4). In this awesome exchange, God placed the sin of humanity upon His righteous Son. Jesus became so identified with our sin that Scripture says God made Him to be sin on our behalf. Christ bore the excruciating pain of our sin upon the cross. He endured the worst physical and spiritual suffering for sinful humanity.
Therefore, Christ sacrificial death on the cross was for the forgiveness, justification and redemption of lost humanity. The precious blood of Christ was shed for the remission of sin. His blood is a perfect and efficacious act that satisfied the demand of God’s holiness for ever. The message of the Cross is a supreme act of God to help the afflicted, heal the wounded and reclaim lost humanity. It established Christ reign all over the nations, provides eternal life and activated the exaltation and glorification of Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Did Christ actually rise from the dead?
In Acts 10:39-40, the apostle Paul writes, “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. When the three women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Salome went early Sunday morning to pay their last respects to Jesus by anointing His body with spices. The three women had all they need for the anointing, except for access to the body of Jesus. Who would roll the great stone from the mouth of the tomb?
Suddenly when they looked up they had a terrible shock: the stone had been rolled away already and there a young man in the cave, but no Jesus. Then the divine messenger spoke to them:
“Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go; tell His disciples and Peter that He is going before you to Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you” (Mark 16:6-7).
What is the significance of Christ resurrection?
If the crucifixion of Christ is the means by which God provided salvation and forgiveness for the sins of mankind, Christ resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Crucifixion and resurrection are the central message of Christian Theology and the major defense of its teaching. The resurrection is the pivotal point of Christian Theology and Apologetics. While crucifixion is the central event of the good news of the kingdom, Christ resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity. It is the divine truth of Christian faith.
Christ resurrection marked the beginning of His exaltation as Lord and Christ, God anointed Jesus—King, Prophet and Priest in the heavenly throne. In raising Jesus from the dead, God proclaimed Him to be the divinely appointed Judge of the world and the provider of salvation for mankind. His resurrection provided the believer the divine guarantee of His justification and reconciliation. The believer is indeed reconciled to God and made righteous.
Does the Church today look like what Christ and apostles established more than two millennium ago?
No. Dr. Hank Hanegraaf, president of Christian Research Institute in California and one of the fearless Christian apologists, in his book, “Christianity in Crisis” prophetically and passionately argued that modern-day “Christianity is in crisis.” He argued that the church is undergoing a major transformation and that Christians have embraced another gospel, another Jesus, a gospel of false promises of prosperity, healing, signs and wonders. George Barna, the famous church consultant, researcher and writer also supports Dr. Hanegraaf postulations that the church is dying due to lack of sound Bible teachers and strong Church leaders.
Both men and many other proponents of the crisis in the Church are right. There no doubt that Christianity is in crisis. In his best seller, “Crisis in the Village,” Dr. Robert M. Franklin, a public theologian and intellectual, wrote that the “Church has lost her moral mission, call and commitment.” Today baby boomers and the new “millennials” are flooding to churches and synagogues because of widespread hunger for meaning and many bring aversion to such traditional teachings such as sin, evil, forgiveness, commitment, even truth itself. As a result, what we have today in many large churches is “designer gospel message” and “religious syncretism” where the gospel are re-packaged to suit those who want a faith to satisfy their “felt need,” the gospel message that “God wants you to be rich.” “Send money as a step of faith and God will bless you message.” “Give a $1,000 pledge and God will bless you.” Name it claims it.” “Give to get rich message.” “100 fold return-blessing and even 1000 times return” is another gospel, a different gospel from what Jesus Christ taught.
The Apostle Paul dedicated the entire epistle of Timothy teaching against false prophets, false doctrines and godlessness in the last days. He warns Timothy, his son in the ministry to flee from such things.
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (Second Timothy 4:3-4).
In Second Timothy 3:1-5, Paul warns,
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
C. S. Lewis, the famous Oxford apologist for the faith, wrote:
“We must return to Christianity in order to preserve the things we value. But we cannot return to Christianity at all unless the thing we value above all else is Christ….. Otherwise, we are in effect, asking to save our idols for us.”
What we have today is a perverted church; a church that is totally misconstrued, misguided and misinformed where spiritual witchcraft and biblical ignorance are in abundance. What we have today is a church that is bewitched, a church that is preaching and teaching another gospel; another Jesus and a message of “get rich and get healed theology.” The church was called upon to uphold the honor, glory and authority of Christ on planet earth. Instead of upholding this divine mandate with dignity, the church and her former rebellious and satanic leaders have been deceived and trampled upon by demons of antichrist and cultic and pharisaic associations where the presence of God is completely absent and self and pride are enthroned. What we have today are church buildings where sin, wickedness, witchcraft and all manners evil are practiced and people accept it so; multi million dollar buildings and temples where the spirit of Christ has been thrown out and Satan himself is enthroned on the altar. No wonder atrocities such as the ones we read in our newspapers and watch on television are happening every day.
The Church must pray for revival and renewal. I believe and agree with Rev. D. Peter C. Moore, that the Church that God cherishes is one that is “Evangelical in Teaching, Catholic in Sacrament, Reformed in Doctrine, Charismatic in Ministry Gifts, and Liberal in Ethos and Global in Scope.”
Anything else is just humanistic and designer religion.
What about those who denigrate the Church, Christianity and Pastors!
For those who denigrate Christianity or the existence of God, King David wrote, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good” (Psalm 14:1).
The Apostle Paul writes, “The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one. One day, God will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent He will frustrate.” (1 Corinthians 1:19)
Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is a new way of life and living given by God and revealed to mankind through the divinely inspired writers. Christianity is not a religion of the Jewish people. Christianity is not Western religion either. It is a new way of thinking and living empowered by the Holy Spirit. For those who blame religion for the problems in the world—especially Africa, which has been described a bloody continent because of religious intolerance, violence and killings, you are absolutely incorrect in your assessment. Nigeria-Africa’s problem is not religion but religious intolerance and ignorance as well as incompetence, ethnicity, and bad leadership.
It is sad that Africans intellectuals blame God, religion, and Church for our woes—which are not true. There is no doubt that there are many atrocities, pervasion, godlessness, deception, manipulation, false doctrine and false prophets now rampant in our society, but those are not Africa’s problem. I also wish the so-called African intellectuals will read African exegetical Christian writers such as Minucius Felix, Clement, Origen, Tertullian, Cyprian, Marius Victorinus, Lactantius, all born before Athanasius and then Didymus, Arnobius of Sicca, Optatus, Augustine, Cyril of Alexandria, Shenute of Atripe, Quodvultdeus, Victor of Vita, Fulgentius and others, who shaped the Church’s liturgy, prayers, confessions and even Holy Scriptures. Africa is the seed-bed of Christianity and therefore, not an imported religion.
Despite the intellectual, liberal and pagan attacks on Christianity, against the illogical reasoning of the Cross, Christianity still remains the only faith that makes more sense. The Church is still God’s number one agenda for His creation. It is through the Church that mankind can be redeemed. One of the most controversial and castigated attacks on Christianity is its assertion and claim to absolute truth. Christianity is the only faith with claims to absolute truth. The Church is the custodian of that divine truth. Jesus made those assertions in the gospel of John 14 to Apostle Thomas who doubted Jesus’ resurrection. After Thomas saw and touched Jesus’ hands, Church history documented that Thomas went to India where he preached to millions of Indians who were worshiping many deities. Jesus also said, “I am the way and the truth and the life, No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Pilate, the Roman general asked him, ‘what is truth? (John 18:38). The Romans and Jews killed Jesus because of who claimed to be—the Truth, King, Messiah, and God. No other religion or spiritual guru made such claims.
The crucifixion of Jesus is not a tragedy to Christianity or mere incident of Christ’s human life but a supreme purpose for which Jesus came into the world. There could not have been a resurrection without crucifixion. While Christ crucifixion is the central message of Christianity, Christ resurrection is the wonder that distinguishes Christianity from the other three thousand religious beliefs scattered across the globe. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of Christianity. It is the central message and the power of God to redeem lost humanity.
I wish you peace, joy and the blessings of Christ resurrection power.
Dr. C. Kingston Ekeke reports. *Dr. C. Kingston Ekeke is a public theologian and the author of several books including Leadership Wisdom and Leadership Liability. He is the president of Leadership Wisdom Institute.
[ Masterweb Reports ] – Strange things keep happening in Nigeria every day. On Monday, the 25th of March, 2013, another drama played out in the Court of Appeal, Enugu on the cases of APPEALS NOS CA/E/84/2013 AND CA/E/13/2013: CHIEF SIR VICTOR UMEH V. ICHIE JUDE OKULI EJIKE.
Surprisingly, a special panel was set up for Chief Victor Umeh comprising: HON JUSTICE M. GALINGE, HON JUSTICE F. A. KWASSAMI AND HON JUSTICE TOM YAKUBU were detailed by the Acting President, Court of Appela, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa to grant the request of Victor Umeh and grant stay on a declaratory judgment removing him as the Chairman of APGA.
It is reliable that Ifeanyi Ubah, in whose monthly payroll Victor Umeh is, provided the 100 Million Naira to the AG CJ for the Job. He is desparatly seeking to run as the gubernatorial candidate of APGA under Victor Umeh’s APGA and is said to be sustaining Umeh’s blackmailing exploits.
The night prior to the sitting of the court, Victor Umeh and his group were celebrating at Enugu, eating and drinking that people were wondering what was in the offing.
In fact, Chief Austin Ndigwe, an aide to Chief Victor Umeh called so many people and sent texts via the phone no of: 08033294666 telling people that the granting of their request was a foregone conclusion.
On the day of court’s sitting, Victor Umeh group actually sent out text messages saying they had been granted a stay, even before the court started sitting. To make matters clear, they came to court very prepared with three sets of musical groups: Atilogwu, Nkpokiti and Agwunaechenyi.
To drive home their point, Umeh came with retinue of press men in a bus boldly written Capital Oil & Gas Ltd, preparatory to breaking the news.
The justices, determined to do what they had been contracted for, proceeded to hear the motions even when the respondent, Jude Okoli was not served. As the case proceeded, Jude was called and told what was happening; he now rushed to the court and was even prevented from entering until he created a scene. When he said that he was not served, the Justices apologized and asked that he be served in the court, but went on to fix ruling for the 8th of April, 2013 even when Okoli has not responded. What manner of trial is this? Even if they were contracted to do the hatchet job, they should do it with decorum so that people will not understand what is happening.
*Photo Caption – Chief Victor Umeh
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The average Nigerian does not feel like he is being represented anywhere in the country, whether at the Federal, State, Local Government, and certainly not by his or her elected members of the State House, House of Representatives, or Senate. In fact, most people do not know who their representative is. Nor do most politicians understand that they are there in any representative capacity.
The situation is even worse for Ndigbo in Northern Nigeria. Here is my conversation with two prominent Igbo Community Leaders in Kano following the March 18, 2013, suicide bombing at a luxury bus park in Kano which killed over forty people and left well over 40 seriously injured. The interviews were conducted over the weekend.
“Sir, Has Governor Kwankwaso called you to offer any condolences and to offer assistance of the government of Kano State?”
“No, on the contrary, following the aftermath of the bombing, the Governor insisted on demolishing all stalls belonging to Igbo Patent Medicine dealers in Sabon Gari despite our begging him to punish only those who have been caught doing bad things. We feel humiliated that while the Igbo Community was in mourning, the Governor chose to beat a wide path of destruction through our businesses. It took only court injunction to stop him but he has indicated that he is coming back.”
“Did he visit the terror scene to ascertain first hand what was going on?”
“No, but his deputy did.”
“Did his Deputy call you to offer condolences or visit with you or offer government assistance?”
“No Sir. He just visited the scene.”
“Do you know the Kano Senator representing the area of the bombing?”
“Did he call you to offer any condolences or government assistance or find out how the Igbo community is coping?”
“Did the Emir of Kano call you?”
“And you are a well know bona fide representative of Ndi Igbo in Kano?”
“Did any Hausa or Northern elite call you?”
“So the Igbo community in Kano is on their own as far as the Kano State Government is concerned?”
“Okay. Did any Governor from the South East call you?”
“Yes, Sir. Only one Governor.”
“What did he say?”
“He said that he has told us to leave Kano and that it is our fault that we are still staying.”
“Is that all he said?”
“Pretty much, Sir.”
“So no other South Eastern Governor called you?”
“Did any South Eastern Senator call you?”
“Yes, Sir. Senator Chukwumerijie and Senator Ekweremmadu.”
“And are you satisfied with the nature of their call?”
“Did any Traditional Ruler from the South East call you?”
“Did any Igbo Organization in Diaspora call you?”
“No Sir. Only journalists, but no Igbo organization in Diaspora has called to find out how we are doing or to offer us any support. Are you a journalist, Sir?”
“No, I am a victim’s and good governance advocate and I will see to it that the world knows that Ndigbo in Northern Nigeria are an endangered species in their own country.”
“Sir, be brutally frank with me, who do you think is responsible for the suicide bombings?”
“It is Boko Haram, Sir.”
“Who is behind them?”
“I don’t know, Sir, but they are well organized. All I know is that the Northern elite does not seem as concerned as we are. When you challenge them, they tell you that Northerners were also killed but the truth is that Ndigbo are the primary targets.”
“Sir, last year, there was a coordinated series of attacks in Kano that left many people dead. Knowing that Kano is a hotbed of terrorism, why do you people stay?”
“Sir, that is the question we ask ourselves. The truth is that many Ndigbo in Kano are born and raised in Kano. My kids all grew up here, schooled here, went to University here, speak fluent Hausa, have occasionally visited the South East but otherwise have Hausa friends and see themselves as Nigerians first. In fact, they do not think of themselves as Ndigbo. Many Ndigbo have lived here all their lives –30, 40, 50, 60 years. We are Northern Nigerian Igbos not Southern Nigeria Igbos. There are more Igbos in Abuja than in Ebonyi State. Outside Abuja, in the rest of Northern Nigeria, there are more Igbos than in any State in the South East and we intend to live indefinitely outside the South East as Nigerians. Sir, funny enough, people want to blame us for living out the true meaning of one Nation and funny enough, the policy makers and Hausa and Yoruba journalists speak of NdeIgbo as the people who do not want a United Nigeria. I have lived in Kano for a long time, but I can tell you that there are very very few people from the Southwest and South South here. We, Ndigbo of Northern Nigeria should be the pride of Nigeria but instead, they treat us like Hausa goats.”
“Sir, what I am saying is that we are Northerners even though we are Igbo by state of origin of our parents. You people in America should make that clear. WE ARE NORTHERN NIGERIANS who happen to be Igbos and we are not running away from our country. The Hausas live peacefully in Igboland and nobody is killing them. Nobody is killing them in the SouthWest. Why are they killing us in the North? Are we not Nigerians? Do we have two countries? Did I come to Kano with my family on a Visa? I came here with nothing and worked very hard for everything I have. I have many Hausa people that I am responsible for feeding their families through my business. I am proud of everything we have done to make Kano look like Nigeria.”
“Sir, I am saying that it is a shame that we Northern Nigerian Igbos are treated like a people without a country. Governor Kwankwaso does not treat us like fellow Nigerians who should be protected by his Government. The South Eastern Governments do not treat us like we deserve protection. The Federal Government pays lip service to terrorism. It is only when it comes time to vote that Jonathan will remember that there are Ndigbo in large numbers in the North who can help give him the 25% margin of victory.”
“Sir, you in America, does the country protect you or do they treat you like a foreigner?”
“Absolute protection guaranteed, but we are talking about Nigeria, not America.”
“Sir, you saw that the Northerners own 83 percent of the oil blocs in Southern Nigeria. No one is killing them for that. Why are people telling us to run away from Northern Nigeria just because we are trying to live and work hard as Nigerians within our own country? If they want to divide Nigeria, let them divide it so that we know where we are. At least, if I come here on Visa then I know. But these people cannot be killing us and also be telling us that they are one Nigeria.”
“Sir, it is beginning to look like 1966 again. First, the North rejected one Nigeria. Then they killed us all over Northern Nigeria. Then when we had no protection under the government of Nigeria, we formed a country that will give us protection. Then the Whiteman told them that they prefer one Nigeria. Then they came and attacked us claiming that the love one Nigeria and we don’t. Since after the war, Gowon has been telling people how much he loves one Nigeria and that he killed and starved NdeIgbo to keep Nigeria one. Now it is becoming obvious that he lied. It is the same thing like 1966. The Northerners slaughter us like we are not part of Nigeria and when we try to go away, they force us to stay so that they can control the oil in Southern Nigeria. Some people want to make Nigeria ungovernable just because a non-Notherner is the President, but look who is the Vice President, Senate Leader, Speaker of House of Representative. They have every plum position in the country, yet they are not happy. You people should do more to expose the injustice of one Nigeria because we certainly don't feel like we like in a country that values our lives.”
“Sir, they cannot continue to kill us like pigeons. You people have to make it clear that we deserve a government that can protect us. If Governor Kwankwaso does not understand that we need his protection, he should resign or be impeached. If Goodluck Jonathan does not realize that his number one job is to provide for the security of all Nigerians, he should be impeached. Never in the history of Nigeria since the civil war has there been this much killing of Ndigbo and it is not like Ndigbo have political power in Nigeria. Imagine how it would be if Ndigbo become the President of Nigeria?”
“What I am saying, Sir, is that we are tired of being killed and we are not running away from our fellow Nigerians either. Nobody has a monopoly on violence. If you people in America want to support us, fine. If you want to go and hide and speak English while drinking Oyibo tea, fine. But don’t blame us when you come home and they kidnap you or you become a victim of terrorism in your expensive hotel room in Abuja. This fight is for all of us.”
“But some Northerners lost their lives, too, you realize that. Have you called their local leaders to offer condolences?”
“Yes, I have. But let me be clear with you, Sir, Ndigbo are the primary target. The hypocrisy of the Northern elite is that they look the other way so long as majority Ndigbo are slaughtered. What they do not consider is the impact of Ndigbo in the economy of Kano State. If we all run away because Kano State is too violent for people to live and do business, terrorists will take over Kano State and businesses will run away from Kano State. With hunger and unemployment, the violence will get worse. Sir, this was how Somalia began. If they think that getting rid of Ndigbo will solve their problems, it will be a huge mistake because the poverty in Northern Nigeria is the reason why people are willing to kill themselves just so they can kill other people. It does not make sense. Some elites are exploiting poor Northerners and it is time poor Northerners open their eyes and stop being used. If somebody tells you to go and kill yourself and go to heaven, you should ask them to go there first. Unfortunately, they promise the suicide bombers that they will take care of their parents and loved ones and brainwash them into committing suicide. Out there in the community, somebody is brainwashing Northern Nigeria youths to go and kill themselves and kill others as we speak. It is a huge moral failure in Northern Nigeria that their elite should hide their faces in shame. It is becoming a way of life in Northern Nigeria and all I am saying is that we Igbos in the North do so much for the Northern economy that it does not make sense for the Northern elite to just throw away their faces when we are attacked.”
“Mark my words, eventually the poor Northerners will get some education and turn against the elite who preferred to use them as suicide bombers than giving them proper education so that they can be something in life.”
‘Do you have any message for Ndigbo in Diaspora?”
“Yes, tell them that the slave that is indifferent to the death of a fellow slave is being indifferent towards his own impending death.”
“Do you have any message for Traditional Rulers in Igbo land?”
“Yes, Sir. Ask them if the people being killed are not from their towns originally. Why is it that the only time they care is when we are paying homage to them?”
“Do you have any message for Igbo Governors?”
“Tell them that we are ashamed of them. Ask them if dying in the hands of terrorists is better than dying in the hands of kidnappers. Tell them that when they stop becoming Governors, they will start hiding from kidnappers like the rest of us.”
“How about civic groups, lawyers etc?”
“Sir, we need people to sue Governor Kwankwaso, the Commissioner of Police, the Federal Government. Everybody knows that Kano State is a hot bed for terrorists. We do not feel that they are doing everything reasonable to protect us. The terror victims are victims of bad government and the government should be responsible. Unfortunately, if you do not come quickly to claim your loved ones, they dump them in a mass grave. Our injured victims are left on their own. No one pays their medical bills. Our country is becoming quite a hell for all of us. Sooner or later, it will touch everyone. “
“Thank you for taking the time. Thank you for your leadership. I want you to not forget that the death of a Northerner by suicide bombing is just as bad as the death of an Igbo man. The innocent Northerners selling groundnuts and cigarettes and cleaning shoes to make a living should never be blamed for the violence even though the Northern elite may look the other way. Also, please continue to use your leadership position to work for the welfare of all Nigerians, not just NdeIgbo. Ofor ka ide ji awa ana. Don’t forget that. Oji ofor ga ana? Don’t forget that too.”
“Thank you, Sir and God bless.”
"Speaking about God, how is God doing these days in Kano?"
"Sir, we don't go to Church anymore. You won't find any Igbo man gathering with others to pray. We used to go to the Churches in Army Barracks and Police Stations and they went after Police Stations. We do not feel safe anywhere in Kano State and we certainly do not conduct any form of religious assembly for fear of being killed."
Chris Aniedobe ( email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Map of Igboland of Nigeria
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law notes with gravest concerns the uncontrollable and systematic killing in recent times+ of Igbos in Nigeria particularly in the northern parts of the country. Less than two months ago, over four dozens of Igbo youths who are in their prime stages of socio-economic productivity were both killed extra-judicially and murdered in cold blood by the Nigeria Police Force and dumped into the Ezu River of Death in Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria. As we speak, the outcome of the sampling autopsy, as seemingly manipulated as its process appears, which was carried out by selected government bodies, is still being awaited many days, if not weeks after it was concluded and reportedly handed to the federal government committee in Abuja, Nigeria. While the snippets of the scientific exercise, corroborated by a top government official in the State, are already in the public domain, clearly showing that the victims were gun-shot, bruised, suffocated, etc, by their captors while in their custodies, we have every reason to suspect that the result of the sampling autopsy is being re-worked on to extricate the culprits and shift the blames to God knows angle. As if the forgoing atrocious act was not enough, up to 108 Nigerian citizens of Southeast extraction popularly called Igbo tribe, including 59 passengers who bought tickets and boarded a modern luxury bus belonging to the Gobison Motors Limited were on Monday evening, 18th day of March, 2013, massacred at the New Road Luxury Park in the Sabon Gari(non-native zone) city of Kano State, Northwest Nigeria(elomba reports 20-03-2013). According to confirmed accounts from the crime scene, corroborated by the Kano State Police Command, a strange Volkswagen golf car drove into.......Read More
*Photo Caption - 1st Photo: Bombed buses and their passengers on firie; 2nd Photo: Bombed-out buses
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law can confirm to the world that most, if not all of those found floating on Ezu River of Death on 19th day of January, 2013, died from suffocation. It is recalled that we had in the part two of our explosive report on Ezu River of Death dated 4th day of Match, 2013, stated clearly that the methods used by Anambra SARS in killing those found in Ezu River were methods not restricted to gun-shots. That is to say that they might have been killed through other means, which include clubbing, lethal strings, strangulation, macheting, poisoning, rubber/tube tying, etc (including suffocation). Our further findings after part one and two of our report clearly indicate that most, if not all of them were killed through manually traceless means-called mass suffocation. This clearly explains why the Anambra State Police Command, having gotten briefing from its SARS leadership on how it killed the victims being referenced, hastily told the world that no gunshot wounds or bullets were found on any.......Read More
*Photo Caption - Floating dead bodies in Ezu River
[ Masterweb Reports ] - On 21st day of January 2013, the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, released a public statement-titled: The Nigeria Police Force: The Good Versus The Bad & The Ugly-in which the major challenges facing the Force including nefarious conducts of some, if not many of its senior/field officers, such as killing outside the law, torture and excessive use of force, were highlighted. On 19th day of February, 2013, we released another statistically grounded public report-titled: The Return Of Anambra’s Killing Fields (Part-One). Today, part-two of the Report is continued and concluded. For our teeming readers all over the world, the central idea of part one and two of the report is to expose locally and internationally the entrenched culture of extra-judicial killings and torture within the Nigeria Police Force and direct and indirect backing of the locally and internationally atrocious acts by relevant political authorities in.......Read More
*Photo Caption - Floating dead bodies in Ezu River
[ Masterweb Reports ] – Irri community was one of the peaceful communities in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, until in 1989/1990 when the Late Archbishop Benson Idahosa of Church of God Mission International had a strong altercation with his former second-in-command, Archbishop Apena of Bethseda Church International which almost created a mini-war that resulted into massive destruction of property that worth millions of naira and people were wickedly killed and ostracized from the community. After that similar incident, Irri community is one the largest community in both Isoko South and Isoko North that has over 9 villages which include Ivrogbo, Ada, Uro, Ivori, Ikpide, Idheze, Utwe, Ekenni, Orie and others.
In the late 80s, similar leadership crisis on oil dichotomy also resulted in one of the Irri communities, precisely Idheze Irri where High Chief Sergeant Uredi and Late Chief Owajutome fought mercilessly that torn the community apart where some Idheze people went on compulsory exiles and some were grossly ostracized and victimized by powers that be. Though Idheze community was divided into two parts where some weresupported by the former and others for the latter. Most of these notorious crises emanated from the oil companies that were found in these Irri communities where some Isoko power brokers wanted to take all benefits that belong to these suffering communities without considering the community people that owns the land. Idheze community crisis took many years to be totally resolved after many lost of precious lives, intimidation of certain Isoko cabals and ingenious powers in the community.
It took the intervention of government and some notable Irri sons and daughters to amicably nail the crisis to the bud. Even as many political elections were conducted in all the Irri communities, no crisis emanated until one Chief Joshua Uturu, a former Irri President- General, ordinarily, a community leader not a registered one almost torn Irri community into a free for all fight trying to incorporate Agip oil under his own name through influence in government circles. The so-called and self-styled Chief Joshua Uturu leadership crisis started in 2009 where over innocent and hapless eighteen persons were killed with no just cause. The fear of living in Irri community under Uturu 1 was the beginning of being killed indiscriminately or publicly without any protection from government security agencies. Even most of the Isoko community crises were caused by the Agip oil, Chevron and others for not pacting with the host communities on MOU.Uzere lingering crisis waas caused by Agip oil by some dubious elements who wereonly interested in enriching themselves and nothing else. Even Emede and Igbide crisis in the late 90s was caused by land dispute while oil companies were not exempted from the issue. In 2007, precisely, Ekpe in Ndokwa East had land dispute with Ivrogbo-Irri which Shell discovered oil that almost made these two communities resulted into fierce war but was intercepted by some eminent sons of the latter.
To some large extent, the Irri community lingering communal crisis that has led to the killings of innocent sons and daughters of the peaceful Irri kingdom was pioneered by Uturu 1.Though many people believed much on Uturu because the community was controlled by certain cabals that led to the Lagos based Chief to be nominated as the fearless former President- General that could take the people to the promised land without qualms but abysmally failed to carry the people along when the ovation was the loudest. Despite the efforts of His royal Majesty Oviese Eba Ojenuwe 11, Odiologbo of Irri kingdom to resolve the issue which the then Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 5, Benin City, Edo state, Baba Ahmed was accused of releasing some Uturu boys and collaborators that allegedly involved in the series of murder in the kingdom. Several petitions were sent to the Inspector- General of Police, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta State Governor and President Jonathan Goodluck to arrest Uturu and his boys with no avail until the late Barrister Alex Ofehe personally wrote a petition against him that led to his arrest.Uturu was a fearless leader with high connection from above and a notorious mafia in Irri community. He initially had good intention to integrate Irri community as one but Agip oil brought the total distraction. The problem with the said Uturu is that after completing his second tenure in office as a President- General of Irri community, he dubiously and unconstitutionally opted for third term as the then former President Olusegun Obasanjo wanted to do in 2007, which was contrary to Irri constitution with his maladministration, highhandedness and misappropriation of Irri community funds. The Uturu crisis was even worse than Boko Haram saga in the Northern parts of Nigeria.
Those who benefitted from Chief Joshua Uturu has equally denied him since he was incarcerated in the Kwale prison while only few people still pay him visit in the prison. One of the problems that escalated Uturu’s mindset was that some of his faithful and dedicated followers were afraid to advice him rather than supported his infamous moves of eliminating innocent Irri sons and daughters in the land. Several security curfews were imposed by the State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan to quell the situation but the crisis generated into uncontrollable tactics that Chief Uturu was untouchable together with his sponsored boys. Again, some of these innocent Irri sons and daughters were killed by Uturu’s squad are yet to be interred while some of his political groups are making significant moves to see that Uturu is released from the prison while all aggrieved parties resolved the altercation for future progress of the Irri community. But rumors making round indicated that Uturu was released on bail that his camp was overwhelmed and elated to welcome their mentor only to be told that he was re-arrested by the police and with several court charges of murder case against him of 2011.Chief Joshua Uturu was once a leader with vision who saw Irri community as the only community to influence tangible projects to the youths and others. Some schools of thought assume that Chief Uturu is cooling his feet in Kwale prison pending when the court would grant him bail if the need arises. Though, many people saw Uturu as a wicked leader who created unnecessary problems to Irri community with amidst tears of lost of innocent souls. In spite that government officials paid courtesy visits to make peace in the land, Uturu never care to listen to these advisers rather doing what he liked best in terms of community leadership and others.
The fear that Uturu would be released soon has created palpable fears of some of the Irri people that went on compulsory exiles only to return after Uturu’s arrest. Lastly, Chief Uturu only met the crisis which he was sent from Lagos to resolve the crisis amicably over some powerful Irri community cabals that used National Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to manipulate its people without considering its implications. The state of Irri community was an eyesore where people fled to nearby Isoko communities for protection of being killed unjustly by the killers’ gang. Again Uturu intended to incorporate his name on Agip oil as his own property without the notice of the community. Most of the Isoko community crises are caused by oil companies. For Irri community to have glowing serene environment, all the affected families of the slain victims must be compensated and befitted burial ceremonies should be organized to the victims too. These sets of cabals from 2000 to 2002 have been using NAOC to defraud its people which instituted panel set up to checkmate the excesses of some of the past and present Irri community leaders over the activities of Agip oil since it came to the land. It is time for Agip oil and other oil companies to enter into signed Global Memoranda of Understanding (GMOU) with Irri community on how to provide Scholarships for all Irri students to the University level both abroad and Nigeria. Some of the prominent sons and daughters that contributed to the peace of Irri community which must be commended are Hon. Benjamin Essien, Hon Raphael Okelezo, Rt, Major-General Paul Omu, Rt. Gen Alex Ogbomudia, Dr Gregory Akpojene, Senator Stella Omu, Hon Fineboy Dickson, Prof. Ekoko and others.
Godday Odidi (08058124798) reports from 20 oro street Ajegunle Apapa Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states (including Delta State), and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT).