*Ohanaeze Youth Organizes West Africa, Appoints Chief Okorie Mbah Ohanaeze Youth West Africa Coordinator
By Masterweb News Desk
Chief Charles O. Okereke, Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) Ambassador-at-Large/Diaspora Coordinator on behalf of OYC and powers conferred to his office, on June 1, 2014 appointed Chief Okorie Mbah, a deserving well decorated Igbo son based in Mali, Ohanaeze Youth West Africa Coordinator. The appointment letter partly read: “I wish to inform you that after due consideration of your immense contributions and zeal towards the progress of Ndigbo, and with the power vested on me as the Ohanaeze Youth Ambassador-At-Large/Diaspora Coordinator and Media Coordinator, I am pleased to appoint you Ohanaeze Youth West Africa Coordinator. By this appointment, you are delegated to direct and coordinate activities that will promote the interest of Ohanaeze Youth Worldwide in the following West African countries - Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. This will include the setting up Ohanaeze Youth Executive Boards in all the listed countries of either appointed or elected officers that will call for general elections in one year.” ( Continues below..... )
Chief Mbah in a signed letter by email dated June 2nd accepted the appointment and was congratulated by phone next day by Chief Okereke, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro (OYC National/Worldwide President) and Comrade Chuks Ibegbu (Ohanaeze Chieftain & Ex-Acting Ohanaeze Youth Leader). OYC is the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and popularly kown as Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing.
Chief Mbah, a well respected Nigerian and Igbo patriot has been busy since the appointment, setting up the necessary structures in the launching of Ohanaeze Youth West Africa Chapters of OYC. Mbah is the CEO of Superior Cargo, a successful shipping and clearing company based in Mali.
*Chief Okorie Mbah, Ohanaeze Youth West Africa Coordinator can be reached at +223 76083633 [ From Nigeria it is dialed 00922376083633 ]. Please call to congratulate him.
*30 May Biafra Independence And Bruce Mayrock Story
By Osita Ebiem
Biafra became independent of Nigeria on 30 May, 1967. The country Biafra seceded from the Nigerian union through the now internationally recognized principle of United Nations stipulated and universally accepted rights of nations to self-determination and the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Biafra’s justifying reason for separating from Nigeria has been well documented by many experts and is easily accessible by all interested readers. But in a nutshell, it is freedom, Self-dignity, Self Determination, Self-preservation and Self-defense against the openly declared project of pogrom, genocide, ethnic/religious cleansing, and deliberate and systematic program by the rest of the Nigerian Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba and others to totally exterminate them from the face of the Earth that pushed Biafra out of Nigeria.
But interestingly, in the crucibles of the fierce fight that ensued heroes and villains of Biafra were created. In the end over three million Biafran heroes emerged as blazing, shining, deathless stars on the bejeweled Biafran firmament. It is these stars of matchless glory that we continue to celebrate with pride and reverence on the 30th of May, every year. The light of these transcendent stars blaze the path and serve as the beacon that shows Biafrans alive today that the only way that will lead them to their true home of peace and untainted freedom is outside the Nigerian union. By this light every willing Biafran alive today can see clearly, be guided and guarded as they walk this hallowed path. It is by the light of these heroes that we know that there is available to us only but one genuine option – a free and independent Biafran homeland which is apart from Nigeria. Almost 50 years ago the light of these heroes shined so bright and powerful that it successfully pushed back the threatening darkness of total eclipse by the intolerant and bigoted violent Islam, and its mad and inordinate desire to forcefully impose Islam on other people. The light of these heroes shines ever so bright as we continually celebrate them but today we remember especially one star among them that shines so remarkably bright – Bruce Mayrock of New York-Biafra. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Defunct Republic of Biafra
Many of us who may have heard of the other great heroes of Biafra like Christopher Okigbo, Chukwuma Nzeogwu, the heroic pilot Artur Alves Pereira, Joe Achuzia, the Count, Carl Gustaf von Rosen may not have heard of Bruce but his star in the Biafran crown shines especially bright. Bruce did not pull the trigger of Dick Tiger’s Madison or Ojukwu’s Catapult or the trigger-wire of any Ogbunigwe. He did not dodge into the fortified Ojukwu Bunker amidst the jungles of Umahia to escape the enemy’s bombings, shelling and strafing of civilian targets like hospitals, schools, churches, marketplaces and private homes. The Biafran hero Bruce Mayrock did not dive into the marshy trenches to spend the night in the company of poisonous snakes and stinging scorpions. He did not go through any of those things for him to feel the pain, the fire and starvation that Biafrans endured. But in the far away heart of New York City, in the middle of Manhattan’s glistering marbled sky high office buildings lining well-paved great avenues and boulevards and with carefully manicured and watered lawns Bruce was able to feel and endure the same pain and fire of ethnic and religious hatred from Nigerians that Biafrans went through and are still going through. Yes, though 5 thousand miles away, Mayrock became the Biafran hero par excellence.
Barely one month after the declaration of independence, on the 6th of July, 1967 the Nigerian state declared war on the new country and fired the first shot on that day at Gakem, a Northeastern part of the Biafran territory. So, by that first shot, Nigeria became the aggressor and Biafra the aggrieved. And from that fateful day till the 12th of January, 1970 the Biafrans who though knew the odds that were against them: they were from the onset outnumbered, outgunned and almost entirely unfriended but they were nevertheless determined to fight on to defend the Homeland. With the exception of those brave and heroic countries like Tanzania, Haiti, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Zambia, France, Israel, Portugal, Spain, Sao Tame and Principe, Ireland, Vatican, Biafrans had no friends. The enemy was so powerful because it had very powerful allies and so with an entire world’s might behind it, the enemy determined to annihilate the entire people of Biafra. We may need to emphasis here that the friendship and support of the countries on the Biafran side was more of emotional, moral and humanitarian relationship. But today and as then and for all time we highly value their very honorable friendship and help. Even though we acknowledge that a country like France could and should have done more than she did but nevertheless we remain eternally grateful for what they did. We recognize that without the help and support of these our friends in need Biafra’s story would have been written differently and perhaps with too many irreversible deficits. Yes, Biafra had and we believe still has friends in these countries and peoples and we will continue to cherish and depend on them. We say thank you great heroes.
Soon after Nigeria started the war – Biafra-Nigeria war, Christopher Okigbo would be among the very early harvests of the choice seeds that would fall into the ground and die to germinate into the mighty and marvelous iroko that Biafra would become. Yes because Chris the poet-soldier believed in the Biafran idea, he willingly became one of the early heroes of Biafra. At the foot of Okpatu Hills near the University of Nsukka in Biafra while defending the territorial integrity of his newly liberated and independent fatherland, Okigbo would fall into the ground to further enrich the fertile, creative and prosperous Biafraland. In his translation to glory the poet carved out an enviable niche for himself in the middle of the foundational stones of the towering solid superstructure that would become the independent Republic of Biafra.
Counting from the first wave of the pogrom and genocide that ranged effectively from May, 29, 1966 till the 12th of January, 1970 and beyond, 3.1 million Biafran heroes and heroines would be enlisted in that long and sobering list of children, women and men mindlessly murdered and buried in mass graves by Nigeria and its allies. Yes, Biafrans have many great heroes who died to purchase with their blood the liberty and security of their fatherland and they all shine so bright on the Biafran horizon but one of these stars shines especially so bright. This special star is that of the 20 year old Bruce Mayrock. He was from Old Westbury, New York born on the 6th of May, 1949. At the time in May 1969 when he took his own life protesting with this large and unmistakable sign, “YOU MUST STOP GENOCIDE! PLEASE SAVE NINE MILLION BIAFRANS” he was then a student at Columbia University. On that day in New York City at the premises of the United Nations Headquarters Mayrock set himself ablaze protesting the world’s conspiratorial genocide on the nation and people of Biafra.
Today as Biafrans remember all their heroes Mayrock occupies this special enviable place amidst our numerous heroes and heroines. Though the war raged so far away in Biafra on the other side of the Atlantic coast he recognized and demonstrated in the profoundest manner the true spirit of the brotherhood of man. Yes he knew that in the injustice of Biafra was an indicting display of human depravity and that in the face of such inhumanity to man every individual must absolve themselves and by their actions redeem the soul of our common humanity. Bruce Mayrock on that day, by his self-immolation redeemed the entire humanity. He proved that all hope was not lost and that we can still believe in our common humanity. By Bruce’s supreme sacrifice he performed the redemptive ritual and gave back the other special Biafran hero Steve Jobs his faith. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Bruce Mayrock grave at Mount Ararat Cemetery, Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York, USA.
When Jobs saw the pictures and wondered how humanity could have callously inflicted so much pain and suffering on little children and their mothers as Biafrans were deliberately starved to death by Nigeria he lost his faith in God and humanity and stopped going to Church. But by the deliberate and consciously chosen action of self-sacrifice, Mayrock gave back to Jobs his faith. And, because Mayrock died, Jobs believed and this faith would eventually propel him into inventing the Apple Empire and several other things that transformed for the better our common human experience. Yes, Bruce Mayrock was the Biafran hero par excellence who changed the world.
Today as Biafrans scattered around the world are celebrating these heroes who gave their lives to preserve the sanctity of human dignity of freedom and human life, everyone must reflect on what they can give for the ultimate freedom of Biafra. Biafra is still not completely free. Boko Haram is still rampaging and threatening to run rough shored over Biafraland again. The vicious and bestial enemy is still at the gate growling. Political and radical Islam is still raving and prowling about the precincts of the Biafran territory. The enemy mercilessly is still out murdering, maiming, looting, and abducting again girls and forcefully converting them to Islam and selling them into domestic and sex slavery as they did in Biafra. With all these dangers and threats of being swallowed up completely by the utter and hopeless darkness of Islamic terrorism, we are asking again what will every Biafran alive today give in exchange for their freedom and that of their children.
You hear some Biafrans talk about some kind of events-orchestrated non-predetermined conscious plans and actions as their wishful hope at liberation and independence. But the deliberate and conscious sacrifices of the heroes like Mayrock, Jobs, Okigbo, Nzeogwu, Achuzia, Pereira, von Rosen and a host of the other 3.1 million children, women and men fault this lazy, non-committal and unrealistic lethargic stance. The acts and words of these heroes are speaking differently in a very certain language. By their actions they have thrown the gauntlet and challenge the spineless and pacifist Biafrans to wake up from their sleep, pick up the gauntlet and become proactive in saving themselves, children and homeland. Mayrock and other noble heroes of Biafra are challenging every true Biafran today to believe enough to accept that the next generation of their people is worth dying for. Can’t you hear, brothers and sisters the words and actions of Mayrock and others as they are saying that your freedom and the freedom of your children and your fatherland is worth more than the life you have right now. Give your life if Biafra’s freedom demands it. Okigbo did, Nzeogwu did, Mayrock did and 3.1 million others; children, women and men did and we must do.
Yes, let’s celebrate the sacrifices of these heroes without feeling guilty but let’s resolve to become heroes in our own right for the love and freedom of our fatherland – Biafraland. We must resolve to willingly give her everything we have got even if it means our very lives. But today, while we celebrate the memory of these heroes we must not spoil it by remembering or thinking about any of the Biafran villains, the saboteurs, and those who cannot work with their fellow brothers and sisters in a team without backstabbing and betraying and selling them for material gains to the enemy. The Biafran villains are those who erroneously misconstrue the Igbo noble concept of Igbo enweze. Such ones are deceived into believing that Igbo do not and should not have rallying figures. They believe in error that Igbo enweze translates to the Igbo should not have leaders or leadership or that Igbo should not have heroes. But today, on this 30thof May we now know that Igbo must submit themselves to each other and begin to create heroes from amongst them.
Today we have come to know that in any great society every new generation must create their own heroes while they still honor the ones of generations gone by. Fellow compatriots, the villains of Biafra that we know are those who do not refer to the works of past heroes and give them credit. Past heroes are not only those who have worked and died but even those who have done works in the past and are still doing things for Biafra. These heroes must be recognized and respectfully credited and continually honored. It is only in this way can Biafrans be a people that are progressive, standing on the shoulders of their fathers and mothers to reach greater heights.
True Biafrans do not abandon ship and they are those who take stock of the labors of the past generation, study them with reverence, learn all the lessons there are and continue building from where they stopped. Real Biafrans do not discard their past history nor destroy the bridge they have crossed. No, they reserve the best places in the shrines and museums of our collective Biafran memory to the works of fellow Biafrans other than themselves. True Biafrans showcase the works of fellow Biafrans and even prefer that their brothers’ and sisters’ lights outshine theirs. True Biafrans know that in raising high and causing to shine brighter the light of their brothers, they themselves will become even more visible. The true Biafran knows that he cannot stand alone as ofu osisi and expect to achieve the forest status. The real Biafran recognizes that it is only in teams can everyone and the Biafran state achieve true greatness.
So, here at this point we urge every Biafran who has read or listened to this message and are moved in their hearts: Don’t fold your hands, listen to your heart. Get out of your seat and go out there to do some heroic act for the sake of the freedom of Biafra. But in all you do you must honor and credit the works and persons of other heroes and always aim to accomplish all your goals and aspirations in the team – the Biafran Team. Our brother and fellow compatriot Bruce Mayrock and others have shown to us the example of how to love Biafra: With our very lives if need be. How much do you love Biafra?
Osita Ebiem ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Revisiting The Issue Of Double Or Multiple Voter-Registration In Nigeria
Legal Issues On Double Or Multiple Voter Registration & Voter’s Transfer( As Contained In Sections 12 & 13 Of The Electoral Act Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria 2010)
(Public Statement, Onitsha-Nigeria, 30th day of April, 2014)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law wishes to revisit and re-educate Nigerians and the rest of the global community over continuing misinterpretation by some malicious Nigerians of the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2010 as they concern who, in the eyes of the criminal law (misdemeanor), is a double or multiple voter registered voter. We had prior to the November 16 and 30, 2013 crucial governorship poll in Anambra State, released publicly circumstances under which a citizen can be tagged” a malicious double or multiple voter registered voter”. This followed accusations to the effect that one of the governorship candidates in the poll, Mr. Willie Obiano “is a double or multiple registered voter”, having been accused of registering doubly or multiply in one or more than one registration centers.
Our findings then showed that while Section 12 of the Electoral Act of 2010 frowns and criminalizes double or multiple registration, Section 13 provides for exemption only if the citizen involved undertakes the process of voter’s card and data transfer from his or her previous place of registration to his or present place of registration. This must be done in full compliance with the provisions of the Act under reference. Our revisiting the issue, therefore, is based on continuing misleading statements and misinterpretations of the affected provisions oiled by the camps of the malicious citizens.
Below are the full provisions of Sections 12 and 13 of the Said Electoral Act:
Section 12.-(1) A person shall be qualified to be registered as a voter if such a person:
(a) is a citizen of Nigeria;
(b) has attained the age of eighteen years;
(c) is ordinarily resident, works in, originates from the Local Government/Area Council or Ward covered by the registration centre;
(d) presents himself to the registration officers of the Commission for registration as a voter; and
(e) is not subject to any legal incapacity to vote under any law, rule or regulations in force in Nigeria.
(2) No person shall register in more than one registration centre or register more than once in the same registration centre.
(3) Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (2) of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both.
Section 13.-(1) A person who before the election is resident in a constituency other than the one in which he was registered may apply to the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the State where he is currently resident for his name to be entered on the transferred voters List for the constituency.
(2) An application under subsection (1) of this section shall be accompanied by the applicant's voters' card and shall be made not less than 30 days before the date of an election in the constituency where the applicant is resident.
(3) The Resident Electoral Commissioner to whom an application is made under the provision of this Section shall cause to be entered the applicant's name in the Transferred Voters' List if he is satisfied that the applicant is resident in a polling area in the constituency and is registered in another constituency.
(4) Whenever an Electoral Officer on the direction of the Resident Electoral Commissioner enters the name of any person on the Transferred Voters' List for his constituency ,he shall-
(a) assign that person to a polling unit or a polling area in his Constituency and indicate in the list the Polling unit to which that person is assigned;
(b) issue the person with a new voters' card and retrieve his previous voter’s card; and(c) send a copy of the entry to the Electoral Officer of the constituency where the person whose name has been so entered was originally registered and upon receipt of this entry, that Electoral Officer shall delete the name from his voters' list.
Contrary to the position of Mr. Willie Obiano’s opponents, Section 12 of the Electoral Act of 2010 reproduced above, cannot be validly read or applied in absence of Section 13. Both must go together whenever an accusation of double or multiple registration and a defense of voter’s card and data transfer arise. Once it is proved documentarily that Mr. Obiano followed all the processes laid down above with respect to voter’s card and data transfer, he has no case to answer either in criminal law’s misdemeanor or in civil law. Where there is documentary evidence both in INEC and Obiano’s records showing transfer of his voter’s card from Lagos to Anambra, then, double or multiple registrations is extinguished.
Further, Mr. Willie Obiano can never be punished for perceived administrative lapses of the relevant INEC staffs, assuming they failed to delete his name in his previous area of registration (i.e. Lagos). Doing so amounts to transfer of criminal liability, unknown to Nigeria’s criminal laws. The responsibility of deleting a voter’s previous data in a voter’s card transfer squarely lies on INEC. Section 13 (4) of the Electoral Act of 2010 is very clear on this. It states: (4) Whenever an Electoral Officer on the direction of the Resident Electoral Commissioner enters the name of any person on the Transferred Voters' List for his constituency, he shall-(a) assign that person to a polling unit or a polling area in his Constituency and indicate in the list the Polling unit to which that person is assigned; (b) issue the person with a new voters' card and retrieve his previous Voter’s card; and(c) send a copy of the entry to the Electoral Officer of the constituency where the person whose name has been so entered was originally registered and upon receipt of this entry, that Electoral Officer shall delete the name from his voters' list.
Where Mr. Willie Obiano Will Be Guilty As Accused:
Mr. Willie Obiano will be guilty as accused only if he has no documented records known to INEC and law showing he undertook the process of transferring his voter’s card from Lagos to Anambra within a time allowed by the Electoral Act of 2010, and that he deliberately registered more than once in one or more than one registration centers. He is not to be held criminally or legally liable for multiplicity of his voter’s registration if such multiplicity is found to have been caused by INEC’s poor electronic data management. This is because no citizen is allowed to be punished over a crime or misconduct or negligent act of another under Nigeria’s criminal law, except where he or she is a partaker.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Phone: +234(0)8033601078, 8180103912
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Ohanaeze Youth Set To Organize Spain, Appoints Hon. Onuoha Ohanaeze Youth-Spain Chairman and Media Coordinator
By Masterweb News Desk
Chief Charles O. Okereke, Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) Ambassador-at-Large/Diaspora Coordinator on behalf of OYC and powers conferred to his office, on April 28, 2014 appointed Honourable Uchendu Precious Onuoha, a deserving well decorated Igbo son based in Spain, Ohanaeze Youth-Spain Chairman and Media Coordinator. The appointment letter partly read: “I wish to inform you that after due consideration of your immense contributions and zeal towards the progress of Ndigbo, and with the power vested on me as the Ohanaeze Youth Ambassador-At-Large/ Diaspora Coordinator and Media Coordinator, I am pleased to appoint you Ohanaeze Youth-Spain Chairman and Media Coordinator. By this appointment, you are delegated to direct and coordinate activities that will promote the interest of Ohanaeze Youth Worldwide in the kingdom of Spain. This will include the setting up an Ohanaeze Youth-Spain Executive Board of either appointed or elected officers that will call for general elections in one year.” ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Honourable Uchendu Precious Onuoha, Ohanaeze Youth-Spain Chairman and Media Coordinator.
Hon. Onuoha in a signed letter by email dated May 1st accepted the appointment and was congratulated by phone the following day by Chief Okereke, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro (OYC National/Worldwide President) and Comrade Chuks Ibegbu (Ohanaeze Chieftain & Ex-Acting Ohanaeze Youth Leader). OYC is the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and popularly kown as Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing.
Hon. Onuoha, a well respected Nigerian and Igbo patriot has been busy since the appointment, setting up the necessary structures in the launching of Ohanaeze Youth-Spain Chapter of OYC. Onuoha is a prolific writer, an acclaimed poet and author of “The Road We Traveled: A Memoir of Two Worlds”, a must-read literary masterpiece.
*Honourable Uchendu Precious Onuoha, Ohanaeze Youth-Spain Chairman and Media Coordinator can be reached at +346 32971388 [ From Nigeria it is dialed 00934632971388 ]. Please call to congratulate him.
*Ohanaeze Youth Makes Giant Stride Globally, Appoints Chief Okereke Ambassador-at-Large
By Masterweb News Desk
Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo also popularly kown as Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing, under the able leadership of Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro has taken a giant stride in the mobilization of Ndigbo wherever they are in the world. Ohanaeze Youth last month made three extra ordinary appointments to Chief Charles O. Okereke, a deserving Igbo son based in the U.S. In a letter dated April 17, 2014 and signed by Okechukwu Isiguzoro (OYC National President) and Okwu Emmanuel (OYC National Secretary-General ), Chief Charles O. Okereke was appointed OYC Ambassador-at-Large, Diaspora Coordinator and Media Consultant. Chief Okereke accepted the appointment in a letter by email the following day with phone calls from Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Okwu Emmanuel and Comrade Chuks Ibegbu (Ohanaeze Chieftain & Ex-Acting Ohanaeze Youth Leader) congratulating him on his well deserved appointments.
One of the duties of Chief Okereke as Ambassador-at-Large/Diaspora Coordinator is to set up OYC chapters in all countries of the world. The chapters may in turn set up branches in the regions, zones or states of the country. In solidarity with Ohanaeze Youth initiative of reaching out and mobilizing Igbos all over the world for Igbo Unity and Progress, Chief Okereke and some Igbo organizations in the U.S. will be holding an Igbo Unity Rally in Chicago from July 11-13 this year. Details of the event will be released soon. Ohanaeze Youth-USA will be inaugurated during the rally which is expected to have in attendance Igbo governors and important dignitaries from both U.S. and Igboland.
Chief Okereke on April 28 made an appointment in Spain that will enable the setting up of Ohanaeze Youth-Spain Chapter. Details of the appointment will be released tomorrow. Plans are underway for similar appointments in all the countries of the world. ( Continues below….. )
Chief Okereke is CEO/Founder Nigeria Masterweb( www.nigeriamasterweb.com ), Africa Masterweb( www.africamasterweb.com ) and composer of God Bless Africa, an African Union award winning anthem amongst other patriotic songs/anthems. He is a prolific writer, an acclaimed poet, song writer and recipient of several international honors and awards. He is also popularly known as People's Servant (Ps.) Charles O. Okereke.
Some of Chief Okereke’s most popular quotes include:
(1) - "The cross of grief and pain from predators and oppressors in disguise as leaders or liberators ceases with age, but the people live from age to age through generations. Eventually, the nation reverts to the people. Time on your side."
(2) - "Peace and justice are of prosperity, human rights and freedom. These are the main elements of humanism, which is not of tribe, race, group or section, but of God’s love and human conscience. Music and media guided by His Grace are vehicles of everlasting peace and justice."
(3) - "Let the guns implode, the wooden barrels decompose to fertilize a vibrant agriculture, and the metallic barrels and structures melted for industrialization. Let the ensuing abundance fill up the greedy and the rest of society for the complete healing of Africa."
Photo Above: Late Amb. Raph Uwechue -Left; Chief (aka People's Servant) Charles O. Okereke -Right
*Chief Charles O. Okereke, Ohanaeze Youth Ambassador at-Large, Diaspora Cordinator and Media Consultant can be reached at [ USA: +14148070329 ]; [ Nigeria: +234 07065170809 - ]. Please call to congratulate him.
*Nigeria Police Criminality: Nigerian policeman Assaults 8-year-old Girl in Rape Attempt - Manhunt for Rapist Police Begins
By Masterweb News Desk
(1). FORWARD: While Masterweb commends members of the Nigeria Police Force who have honestly dedicated their lives to the protection of lives and property in Nigeria, we will not relent in condemning all the bad eggs in the force. We salute the police officer who saved our CEO from untimely death in Umuahia in the hands of an armed robber in Nigeria Police Force who unsuccessfully hatched out plans for the murder and robbery of our Chief Executive. It happened in December of 2011 when our CEO who was in Nigeria on vacation was on his way with his wife and daughter to visit a relative at World Bank Estate, Umuahia. Our CEO who was trying to find his way at the estate made a legitimate left turn into a street with a police post in the midst of other residential buildings - the time was 8.25 pm. An armed police officer lying in wait for a prey at gun point ordered our CEO to stop and out of the car. Our CEO came out of the car with both hands in the air. All the police officer was shouting was: "I will kill you". "I will kill you", "I will kill you", cocking his gun four times as our CEO pled for his life, explaining that he was trying to find his way to Coping Junction. The trigger happy officer ordered another officer who came to the scene to search our CEO's car. The intervening officer shouted: "Don't you see he is a chief", "Ihugi owu chief" (Ihugi owu chief is "Don't you see he is a chief" in Igbo). He refused to search our CEO's car. The trigger happy evil officer now turned around to speak in Igbo that he was sorry for his action, that he thought our CEO was one of the teenagers driving around drinking and smoking dope. Our CEO in his mid fifties could not have been mistaken for a teenager.
The truth was that it was dark and the evil police officer in question suspecting that our CEO had money, planned to rob and murder him, thereafter killing both his wife and daughter, then finding something to cover up the crime. Our CEO's wife might have helped in getting the intervening officer save the situation by complaining to him as soon as he stepped out that what his fellow officer was doing to an innocent law-abiding unarmed citizen was wrong.
When our CEO visited the police post the following morning, the DPO in the building told him that all streets adjourning their post were thoroughfare. He said he did not understand why the officer threatened to kill our CEO. Efforts by our CEO to file a complaint against the evil officer were frustrated by the relative he was visiting at World Bank Estate who warned him that the police would raid her residence at night if he took any action against the officer. People we gathered are afraid of reporting cases involving the police for fear of reprisal by criminal elements in the force.
Masterweb hereby calls on the Inspector General (IG) of Police to use his good offices in ensuring that:
1. The police officer identified as Corporal Gbuchenge Augustine, with Force number 400823 who lives on Olufowobi Street in Ikosi area of Ketu, Lagos, who assaulted, tied and injured an 8-year-old girl, Amarachi Abakwuru in a rape attempt on Thursday, April 24 this month, at their Lagos -Ketu neighbourhood is prosecuted in court to the full extent of the law.
2. All criminal elements in Nigeria Police Force are identified and flushed out.
3. The gunmen who robbed and murdered Odinigwe Mokelu in Port Harcourt on his way back from Church on Sunday, June 19, 2011 are identified and prosecuted in court.
4. All unsolved murders and rape in Nigeria are properly investigated to determine those responsible for the nefarious act.
5. Nigeria Police does its best in protecting lives and property in the country, and reducing to a minimal corruption and criminality within its ranks.
PLEASE READ ON BELOW – ( Scroll down to read. )
Photo Above: Rapist Policeman Corporal Gbuchenge Augustine (Top Photo); Assaulted 8-year-old Amarachi Abakwuru (Bottom Photo)
(2). Nigerian policeman Assaults 8-year-old Girl in Rape Attempt
An officer of the Police Mobile Force identified simply as Augustine who assaulted, tied and injured an 8-year-old girl, Amarachi Abakwuru, at their Ketu neighbourhood has since disappeared into thin air, even as the Lagos State Police Command keep mum over the matter.
The incident, which came on the heels of a similar act by the Onikan Divisional Police Officer (DPO), DSP Adekunle Awe, who allegedly raped one Ms. Idowu Akinwunmi, a mother of two recently also in Lagos, has again exposed the soft underbelly of allegations of sexual abuse perpetuated by policemen.
When THISDAY visited the hospital where the girl was admitted, she was seen writhing in pains on the bed, with a neck brace to support her neck and plaster to cover her broken skull.
THISDAY learnt that the victim was lured into the suspect’s house about 8pm on Thursday, and although he didn’t succeed in having carnal knowledge of the minor, he exerted his frustration at being thwarted by tying her up and cutting her skull.
It was also gathered that a search at the suspect’s house unearthed several clothing items belonging to young girls, fueling speculation that the items may be souvenirs from possible past escapades with his victims.
Barely managing to speak from her parched throat, the victim, who was saved by her sheer grit and brilliance, said she never saw what was coming till it happened.
She said, “Mopol had sent me to buy bean cake for him earlier on which I did. Later, as I wanted to go into our apartment and sleep, he dragged me into his room. Then I heard my father calling my name and I told him to allow me go answer him.
“Mopol told me to shut up my mouth and the next thing, he covered my mouth with his hand and tied it with a cloth. He also tied my neck and my hands. He then used a sharp iron and hit me on the head. I started bleeding but I could not shout because he tied my mouth. “When he heard my parents looking and shouting for me, he pushed me under his bed. Later, he locked the door and left me under the bed bleeding. I could hear my parents shouting my name but I couldn’t do anything.
“Later, although I was weak, I heard some people at the window and I heard my mother’s voice there. I used my last strength and dragged my body till one of my legs came out from under the bed. It was when they saw my leg from the window that they now broke the door.
“I want the government to arrest Mopol. He hurt me. I thought the police was my friend. Why did Mopol do that to me? I thought I would die.”
Speaking to THISDAY, the victim’s mother, Mrs. Nkiru Abakwuru, said the suspect was their next door neighbour at their residence in Ketu.
She said, “We have always been friendly with him so I cannot explain what pushed him to treat my daughter this way. “In fact, that night, Mopol came back from a trip and we asked him about his car. He told us he had a collision with another vehicle at the toll gate and so he had to park it there.
“While we were still talking, he asked my daughter Amarachi to go buy some bean cake for him. When she came back with some change, he asked her to use it and buy fried yam for herself. She did but she didn’t finish it and gave the rest to me.
“Later about 8pm, she said she wanted to and sleep. So while she went upstairs to sleep, I headed to the kitchen to wash the plates. Few minutes later, my husband came back and asked for Amarachi and I told him she went to sleep.
“Few seconds later, he told me she wasn’t in the room. I wasn’t alarmed yet. We started searching for her and I remember we asked Mopol three times and he said she didn’t enter his room.” She continued, “At that point, we didn’t know he had already removed her clothes and tied her up and had also broken her skull. We went to the police station about 11pm and one of the officers came to the house with us.
“He however refused to break open the door because he said there was a possibility the girl was not in the room. He then went to the window and pried it open. It was then we saw my daughter’s leg under the bed. We broke down the door and rushed her to two hospitals, where they rejected her because of the severity of her head wound.
“But before then, Mopol fled the house and when I called him, he said he went to smoke. Up till now, he hasn’t come back. His mother even called me today to ask which hospital we were in. I heard the son’s voice in the background and when I asked for her location in Alapere, she switched off the phone.” The victim’s father, Mr. Patrick Abakwuru, who also spoke, called on the police and the state government to come to their aid in terms of treatment for the teenage girl.
According to him, due to the severity of the head wound, the hospital had concluded plans to transfer them to another hospital (name withheld) for better treatment.
(3). Manhunt for Rapist Police Begins
As the eight-year-old Amarachi Abakwuru, a victim of police brutalisation and attempted rape, continues to battle for her life, the Lagos State Police Command yesterday said it was working assiduously to arrest the alleged culpit, a fleeing mobile policeman identified as Gbuchenge Augustine from MOPOL 22 Squadron.
Gbuchenge, had on Thursday last week, dragged the victim into his room at night and when his attempt to have carnal knowledge of her failed, tied her up and brutally broke her skull before snuffing her under his bed at their Ketu residence. The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ngozi Braide, said: "We will get him. His pictures are already in all the papers, whether he is a policeman or not is immaterial.
“Like I said earlier, we have gone to check for him at MOPOL 22 Squadron, but nobody knows him. We have also checked other mobile police squadrons and still nobody knows him.
"We have sent signals to every police post and division within the command. We are not resting on our oars. If he is in this command, we will get him. If he is not in Lagos command, we would check other commands.”
Describing the victim as an amiable young girl, the landlord of the house, Mr. Tokunbo Adewale, said they never expected such an inhuman act by a policeman who had sworn to protect lives and property of Nigerians.
The victim's mother, Nkiru, told THISDAY that up till now, the suspect had not yet been seen and even though his mother called to apologise, they are yet to see the family.
She said: "His mother called me to ask which hospital we were in. I heard the son's (Gbuchenge) voice in the background and when I asked for her location in Alapere, she switched off the phone and we can't reach her till now." The victim's father, Patrick, also called on the police and the state government to come to their aid in terms of treatment for the teenage girl.
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
*Madam Chijioke Eke Udonsi To Be Buried Today - May Her Gentle Soul Rest In Peace.
By Masterweb News Desk
With gratitude to God for a long and fruitful life, the entire family of Nnanyi Mecha Udonsi of Ndi Ekea Compound of Okon Aku Ohafiai, in Ohafia Local Government of Abia State regrets to announce the passing of their mother, wife, grandmother, aunt, sister, and mother – in – law. She will be buried in her hometown today; details of her interment are as contained in the flyer below.
*2015: NDIGBO JOIN PRESIDENTIAL RACE As Ndigbo in Rivers State restates there Igboness.
By: kenechukwu Amazuoke
The race for the 2015 Presidential elections took a different twist with the declaration of Ndigbo that they will contest the 2015 Presidential elections. Speaking during the inauguration of the State Executives of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Rivers state at the Elekahia Stadium Port-Harcourt, the President-General of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo Chief Garry Enwo-Igariwey stated that “Ndigbo must seek the Presidency of this country at the expiration of the tenure of the South-South. This is in keeping with our stand that equity, justice and fair-play demand that we, the only zone remaining to hold the prime position in the country, should be allowed by our fellow Nigerians to occupy it in an unbroken succession after the South-South....we cannot afford to play second fiddle forever.”
On the spate of insecurity across the nation, the Afikpo Prince stated that Ndigbo has endured enough casualties and called on the perpetrators of the heinous crime of bombing across the northern part of Nigeria to cease forthwith, while the federal government should deploy resources and materials aimed at bringing the menace to an end, and compensate those who have been adversely affect by the wanton destruction of lives and properties.
In his address, the Deputy Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Engr. Issac Wonwu expressed great joy, as the occasion marks a watershed in a bold declaration of the re-integration of the Igbo elements in Rivers state with their kin across Nigeria since after the balkanisation of the Igbo ethnic nationality by the military junta at the wake of the Biafran civil war. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Chief Garry Enwo-Igariwey, President-General Ohaneze Ndigbo-Left; Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Ohanaeze National/Worldwide Youth Leader-Right
Chief Wonwu who also doubles as the leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the South-South also re-iterated on the need for an urgent value re-orientation amongst Ndigbo through cordial intra-national relationship aimed at bringing their present marginalisation to an end. He further stated that Ndigbo are committed to rediscovering and repositioning themselves within the Nigerian context, hoping that through concerted planning, respect for one another, stopping their selfish approaches, and the emulation of their past heroes and their selfless approaches to the service of the people, the Igbo dream of occupying the Presidency will be materialised.
For the National youth leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, he thanked the Igbo of Rivers State for coming out en masse to identify with their original roots, as this signifies an end to their suppression by their enemies who have been using the fractured nature of the Igbo in Rivers State as political tool against them in the politics of the state. According to Isiguzoro, “Ndigbo has made a bold statement and this will surely change the face of Rivers state politics”
Frowning at the psychological relics of the Biafran war, Isiguzoro called on the Igbo of Rivers State to stop using the name “Liberation Stadium” for the Elekahia Stadium as they were at no time “liberated” from the hands of their brother Ndigbo, rather that period (1968) marked the beginning of a dark era in the history of the Igbo of Rivers state and other Niger Delta ethnic groups leading to the economic plundering of the region by those who pretended to be their friends and the killing of both the Igbo and the minorities of the South-South region, an act which necessitated the rise of freedom fighters whom the Nigerian state wrongly termed “Militants”.
The President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Rivers State Prince Igo Okparamma, in an interview with odenigbo.com stated that “We, the Igbo of Rivers state have made a loud statement, and it is our belief that from now it is clear to all concerned that we are no longer in doubt of where our true roots are... we are Igbo and this is without doubt.
In a shocking revelation, the member representing Opobo-Nkoro Federal constituency Hon. Dakuku Peterside declared that the Opobo people have their roots in Igboland as the founder and first king of the Kingdom is an Igbo man. Hence Opobos are Igbo. He called on other Igbo elements within the state to identify with the greater Igbo cause.
In her vote of thanks, the Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the inauguration, Mrs Uju Nwanneka called on Ndigbo to return to their “Value Driven” efforts and relentlessly stand for justice and equality for all. The aspirant for the post of Deputy National Woman Leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo called on Ndigbo to make Igbo interest their guiding principle in all their pursuits while eschewing individualism.
The occasion which was blessed with heavy shower had in attendance notable Igbo people and friends of Ndigbo who defied the rains to be with Ndigbo. Among the dignitaries at the occasion were Senator Magnus Abe who represented the Rivers state Governor Hon. Rotimi Amechi, Hon Dakuku Peterside (Representing Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency) represented by Hon. Richard Nwoka; the former PDP Chairman Ikwerre Local Government Area, Chief Innocent Mbah; Deputy President Ohanaeze Ndigbo Rivers State, Amb. Anosike Onuowa; Vice Chairman Rivers State Petroleum Monitoring Committee.
Others present are the Chief Ambrose Owuru; Member Ime-Obi Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lady Love Chimezie, Odozi Nwodozi: National Vice Leader Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing, Arthur Obiora Obiora: Deputy National Leader Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing among others.
*The Rwandan Genocide of April 1994 & Lessons For Nigeria Parts 2 & 3
20 Years Of Rwandan Genocide: Lessons For Nigerian Political Leaders & Armed Opposition Groups (i.e. Boko Haram Insurgents)-Part 2
In Memory Of Late Madam Agathe Uwilingiyimana
(International Issue, Onitsha-Nigeria, 17th day of April, 2014)-In the part one ( Here is the link: http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2014/04/16/the-rwandan-genocide-of-april-1994-lessons-for-nigeria ) of this international public statement by the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), the immediate and remote circumstances that led to the genocide under reference were graphically captured. It is important to remind that this statement is dedicated to the heroes and heroines of the tragic and disheartening butchery, chief among them is late Madam Agathe Uwilingiyimana; the transitional prime minister of Rwanda, who was gruesomely murdered alongside her husband in the early hours of April 7, 1994.
Butchery Following The Presidential Plane Crash Of April 6, 1994: Months before the plane crash, strong accusations were leveled against the Hutu controlled central government of President Juvenal Habyarimana to the effect that plans had been successfully hatched by the regime to massacre the Tutsis, moderate Hutus and rights activists in large numbers. To actualize this, mass recruitment of the unemployed Hutu youths was ordered. The killer exercise was said to have been supervised by two Hutu extremist political movements called “the National Republican Movement for Democracy (MRND)” and “the Coalition for the Defense of the Republic (CDR)”. Those recruited were later named “the Interahamwe militias”. They were trained by the presidential guards, indoctrinated and brainwashed. Their tribal killing operation code was “operation nettover” or “operation cleanup”. The Tutsis and moderate Hutus were labeled “enemies” and “traitors”, who deserved not to live or be spared alive.
The murderous messages of ethnic hatred and campaigns of calumny against the Tutsis and moderate Hutus were widely spread across the country using the State run radio station called “Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines”. The indoctrinated killer nationals were firmly directed not to spare any “enemy” or “traitor”, including newly born children. Externally, there were massive supports for the cleansing policies and operations of the then Hutu controlled central government in Kigali, which included arms supplies and technical supports. There were strong accusations that such killer supports came from Egypt and South Africa. France was also accused of providing expertise for the killer presidential guards and the “Interahamwe” militias.
The shocking and chilling killing spree exploded hours after the aviation killing of President Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundi counterpart, President Cyprien Ntaryamira on April 6, 1994. One of the earliest victims of the genocidal killings was the then transitional Prime Minister, Madam Agathe Uwilingiyimana. She was 41 years old and became prime minister in July 1993 following a power sharing arrangement. A moderate Hutu, she was dragged out of her official home, alongside her husband by the killer presidential guards on April 7, 1994, tortured and killed. Their five children were miraculously hidden and saved by courageous friends and colleagues.
Other prominent victims of the genocidal massacre were Lando Ndasingwa, a Tutsi cabinet minister in the transitional government, who was executed alongside his Canadian wife, their two children and mother; Joseph Kavaruganda, the then president of the Supreme Court and ten peace keepers from Belgium. Key members of the human rights groups were also felled by the genocidal knives and bullets. They included Charles Shamukiga, Fidele Kanyabugoyi, Ignace Ruhatana, Patrick Gahizi, Rev. Father Chrysologue Mahame and Abbe Augustin Ntagara. They were butchered by the rampaging presidential guards. Others like Mathieu Uwizeye (activist judge) and Charles Mbabaje (secretary of a human rights outfit: LIPREDHOR) were executed in the Rwandan cities of Kibundo and Byumba by the advancing rebels of the Rwandese Patriotic Front.
Some Catholic nuns and priests also paid dearly with their lives in the hands of “the Interahamwe” militias and the presidential guards. In turn, scores of defenseless civilians, especially women and children were massacred through homicidal collaboration of some priests and nuns when the said defenseless nationals sought refuge in churches and missionary school compounds. Barriers were mounted on all roads by the presidential guards and the “Interahamwe” militias so as to prevent the fleeing civilians from getting through. An estimated 20,000 people were executed in Kigali few hours into the genocidal operations. It was a killing by anybody against anybody in sight. Women also killed men as well as fellow women. Amnesty International account, for instance, quoted one Hutu woman as saying: “I killed three people, three men. I know them, they were my neighbors, I didn’t have any alternative. When I refused to kill, the government soldiers banged a gun on my child’s head and she died. She was six weeks old”.
On the other hand, the Rwandese Patriotic Front rebels fiercely matched to Kigali from their main base in Uganda. Some of their colleagues, stationed in Kigali following the failed peace accords, which included a cease fire, got entrapped and endangered. The genocidal killings went down following the successful capture of Kigali by the RPF rebels on July 4, 1994. This forced mass exodus of the Hutus and their failed central government into the then Zairian city of Goma as well as Burundi and Tanzania. There were 1.5million refugees in Zaire, 500,000 in Tanzania and 270,000 in Burundi. The genocide lasted from 6th April to 21st July, 1994. The then leader of the RPF rebels, General Paul Kagame told an international news agency that “the killings have stopped not because of changing of heart, but because there are few people left to be killed”.
A new central government was formed in Kigali on July 21, 1994 with the appointment of Mr. Pasteur Bizimugu (a moderate Hutu) as president and Mr. Faustin Twagiramungu (a Tutsi) as prime minister. The leader of the Rwandese Patriotic Front rebels, General Paul Kagame became the vice president and commander-in-chief of the new armed forces. He took over as the president in the year 2000 and remains so till date. There were also reported cases of post genocide killings and deaths in Rwanda. Cases of genocidal revenge massacres were rife.
The new RPF government and its sympathizers killed scores of suspected Hutus. The ousted Hutu central government, which escaped with bank funds, computers, vehicles and other luxury items to Tanzania, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and Burundi later regrouped and rearmed. Some of their victims were Tutsi communities living in the DRC, called “Banyamulenges”. They were systematically targeted and killed in large numbers. The ousted Hutu government forces and their “Interahamwe” militias also launched a series of cross border attacks into Rwanda and killed scores of innocent civilians.
In neighboring Burundi, similar massacres were also the order of the day. The then central government of President Sylvestre Ntibantinganya was helpless. The rift between the Tutsi dominated Army of Burundi and the Hutu backed rebel groups turned the country into killing fields leading to massacre of thousands of innocent nationals. The massacres reared their ugly heads after the gruesome assassination of President Cyprien Ntaryamira. The butchery came down after a bloodless coup in 1996 led by the former military head of State, Major Jean Pierre Buyoya.
In all, the Rwandan genocide cost an estimated death of between 800,000 and 1million people and generated over 2.5million refugees and millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Up to 200, 000 more died of post genocide diseases and starvation. In the Amnesty International account, “in one refugee camp in Zaire (DRC) alone, up to 80, 000 people died within weeks in a cholera epidemic”. Over 100,000 were also believed to have been killed in attacks and counter attacks between the ousted Hutu government and its allied armed persons and the incumbent Tutsi controlled government and its allies since the end of genocide in July 1994. In Burundi, it was estimated that up to 60,000 people were killed between 1994 and 2002.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
20 Years Of Rwandan Genocide: Lessons For Nigerian Political Leaders & Armed Opposition Groups (i.e. Boko Haram Insurgents)-Part 3
In Memory Of Madam Agathe Uwilingiyimana
(International Issue, Onitsha-Nigeria, 18th day of April, 2014)-The part one and two of this international public statement presented graphic details of what happened during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. The genocide led to the death of between 800,000 and 1million people, mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus. There was also post genocide deaths of over 200,000 people caused by diseases and starvation as well as over 100,000 post genocide killings by the parties to the Rwandan bloody conflict. In the areas of refugees and internally displaced persons, the genocide generated over 2,5million refugees and millions of internally displaced persons. This part concludes the important international public statement on Rwandan Genocide & Its Lessons To Nigerian Political Leaders & Their Armed Opposition Groups.
It is important to remind that this important international public statement of the leadership of Intersociety is in honour of Madam Agathe Uwilingiyamana, the late transitional prime minister of the troubled country, murdered alongside her husband by the presidential guards in the early hours of April 7, 1994. Also honoured are leading human rights activists who were butchered in the genocide. They include Charles Shamukiga, Fidele Kanyabugoyi, Ignace Ruhatana, Patrick Gahizi, Rev. Father Chrysologue Mahame, Abbe Augustin Ntagara, Mathieu Uwizeye (activist judge) and Charles Mbabaje (secretary of a human rights outfit: LIPREDHOR).
The Rwandan genocide has brought to bear the world’s unending wars and other unsafe conditions caused by human’s socially incoherent actions. The genocide was the height of unending butcheries on the African Continent and the Great Lakes Region in particular. It was a sad remembrance of tragedies of the long past. It reopened the healing wounds inflicted on the world populations in the past 5000 years with 14,500 wars globally and only 300 years of peace. That is to say that, historically, the world lived 5000 years with 14,500 wars and only 300 years of peace. It was a sad reminder that between 1945 and the 2000s, a period of about 65 years, 165 wars were fought around the world with 34 wars waging in Africa as at 1994 including wars in the Great Lakes Region. That between 1945 and 1985, a period of 40 years, 22million people died in wars around the world (UNDP) and that out of 21million refugees around the world in the 2000s, 14 million were generated by African bloody conflicts and located on the Continent.
Lessons To Nigerian Political Leaders & Armed Opposition Groups: The genocide under reference exposes the dangers inherent in failure to nip group crimes in the bud. It was the irresponsibility and inability of the successive governments in Kigali and Bujumbura to manage and tame group crimes perpetrated against the innocent nationals of the two countries by their armed ethnic zealots that snowballed into the genocidal butchery of 1994. In Nigeria, the failure of the Federal Government of Nigeria to curtail the homicidal excesses of leading ethno-religious murderous brigades like Boko Haram insurgents has risen to an apogee. In biology, once a mother gives birth to a child, she automatically becomes the caterer of the child. But in crime, once crime gives birth to “government”, the reverse becomes the case. In other words, the “government” becomes the controller of crime. This is because it was “crime” that gave birth to “government”, but surrendered its supremacy to the latter. But where the latter is found weak, the former takes charge.
Therefore, when government sneezes, crime catches cold. But where government fails to control crime, then the foundation of such government is threatened. It goes with a popular theory that where there is no government, there is no law and where there is no law, there is no crime. On the other hand, it is the existence of crime that brought about government and its policing agencies. Where crime rules over government, anarchy becomes the societal norms. Life in a lawless society is nasty, brutish, short, beastly and utterly homicidal and cannibalistic. This was the sorry situation in Rwanda in 1994, to the extent that “hunters became the hunted” and those in presidential mansions found themselves in refugees’ tents. In such a situation, the next armed person guarding a public elected or appointed official becomes his or her potential assassin or a broad day murderer.
It is a truism that over 60,000 Nigerians have been killed maliciously since 1999, a period of 15 years. In four months into 2014 alone, up to 3,000 Nigerians have been killed by group criminals. Those killed by Boko Haram insurgents are believed to be over 1,500. Another armed opposition group called “Fulfulde or Fulani Herdsmen” must have been responsible for over 1,000 deaths.
In the plain language of Criminology & Security Studies and Peace & Conflict, “war is any violent conflict with fatalities of over 999”. With this concise definition, it is not in contention as whether Nigeria is in a state of war. As at our last estimates in December 2011, 54,000 Nigerians were killed outside the law since 1999, with police related unlawful killings accounting for 21,000. Today, a number of Nigerians have been killed unlawfully and extra-judicially by the Nigeria Police Force. Others have gone missing in their hands too. Those that perpetrated these killings are still on the prowl, no thanks to culture of impunity and lack of presidential political will.
The worse case in respect of policy makers and public office holders including those manning the country’s policing policies is the entrenched culture of immunity of mental emptiness. From President Goodluck Jonathan down to a commissioner of police, they are resistant to innovative ideas and pieces of good advice. At times, they make Nigerians feel that they derive joy watching innocent Nigerians killed in droves. Their only apparent response is the steady increase in defense budgets with little or no concrete actions or impacts. In 2014 budget alone, over N1trillion was budgeted for securitization, capital and recurrent inclusive, yet nothing has been done concretely security wise. Many noble ideas and suggestions have been given as ways to manage or tackle the country’s porous security situations, yet none has been heeded. Till date, 95% of the country’s 371,000 police officers are still computer illiterates. Our question is: how is it possible for a typewriter police officer or security agent to fight or confront a computer literate bomb detonator?
We have said it a number of times that Boko Haram insurgency is not insurmountable. The country as a matter of reality does not have basic toolkits to curtail its menace. Nigeria suffers from security intelligence toxemia and lacks electronic security devices fundamentally needed to match the Boko Haram’s asymmetric warfare. In modern warfare technology, a mobile phone is more sophisticated in achieving final results than an AK-47 assault rifle. In kidnap crime operation, a mobile phone is more useful than an AK-47 assault rifle. When a single bomb detonator goes on rampage and kills scores of people, it does not require containers load of guns to track him or her down. It requires intelligence and electronic security devices to do so. This explains why there are over 4 million hidden security cameras in the United Kingdom. The world’s two most endangered countries: Israel and USA are secured every hour through electronic security devices and super security intelligence networks.
As the Rwandan Genocide of April to July 1994, has shown, when group crimes are not nipped in the bud or are not “de-escalated”, barbarism and cannibalism become the order of the day and in such situation, the presidential ruling class and members of the National Assembly are far from being secured because such is “a war by all against all”. Like in Rwanda, the president of the country’s Supreme Court, its prime minister and president, etc all perished in the butchery. Apart from apparent failure of the Federal Government of Nigeria to tackle the menaces of group crimes in the country, another genocidal provocation will be to launch deadly bomb attacks in the cities of Southwest, Southeast and South-south. This will be seen as a total declaration of war on the innocent peoples of the areas and self help methods including revenge killings will be uncontrollably entrenched. If the Federal Government has failed woefully in taming pockets of group crimes, it will be a near impossibility for it to control such “war by all against all”.
Finally, it may most likely be correct to say that Nigeria is nearing “a Rwandan Genocide” episode. With the butchering of over one hundred innocent Nigerians at the Federal Capital area of Nyanya last Monday (14/4/2014), which is totally condemned, it is correct to say that nobody or area is safe in the country. While the failure of the Government on security of Nigerians and the public and private properties is disheartening, the task now lies on those at the National Conference. They must be reminded that their main job at the Confab is to find solutions to the root causes of social vices in all its ramifications in the country.
These include: what causes unending group criminality in Nigeria? What is responsible for the country’s chronic economic downturns? Why are the country’s 33 solid mineral deposits not mechanized? What is the best ethno-religious legal system for Nigeria as a plural society? What form of federalism or confederacy will best suit Nigeria? Why are over 70% of Nigeria’s annual gross earnings going into the pockets of only 17,500 top public office holders and public/civil servants? Why is Nigeria borrowing serially? What is the cause of high cost of public governance in Nigeria? In what ways will the “public allowance and overheads squandermania” be tackled in Nigeria? Is there any equity and fairness in a section or few sections of the Nigeria permanently laying claims to the country’s presidency? What is the state of civil and criminal legal systems in Nigeria? Is there any lopsidedness in the number of States and LGAs per geopolitical zone in Nigeria? Are the present revenue sharing formulas acceptable to most Nigerians? Have the public office holders in Nigeria done justice to numerous international rights and humanitarian treaties in line with Section 12 of the Constitution? Can the Chapter Two of the Constitution be made justiciable? What are the causes and solutions to chronic ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria?
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Photo Above: Map of Rwanda
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
*The Rwandan Genocide of April 1994 & Lessons For Nigeria
The Rwandan Genocide Of April 1994 & Lessons For Nigerian Political Leaders & Armed Opposition Groups (i.e. Boko Haram Insurgents)-Part One
In Memory Of Late Madam Agathe Uwilingiyimana
(International Issue, Onitsha-Nigeria, 15th day of April, 2014)-As this month (April 2014) marks the 20th tragic anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide of April 1994, the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law-Intersociety resolves to revisit what has become known globally as “one of the darkest events in recent world”. This international public statement is also in honour of late Madam Agathe Uwilingiyimana; the late courageous prime minister of the then Rwandan transitional government.
The following account by Amnesty International summarizes the modern age butchery in Rwanda under reference: “Hundreds of thousands of women were slaughtered in a genocidal onslaught against the Tutsi ethnic group by soldiers and allied Hutu militia between April and July 1994. The victims included pregnant women, nuns, young girls and old women (vulnerable class). For nearly 12 weeks, women, men and children were murdered without mercy: most because they were Tutsi, but many others because they supported human rights or opposition political parties. The majority of those who escaped to neighbouring countries were women and their children. More than 300,000 Tutsis fled to save their lives.
As the Rwandese Patriotic Front took control of the country, at least a million Hutu refugees left in fear of reprisals. Conditions in the refugee’s camps are atrocious: in one camp in Zaire, up to 80,000 people died within weeks in a cholera epidemic. Violence against women in the camps is rife. Those who wish to return to Rwanda are threatened, attacked, sometimes killed by armed Hutu gangs and former government soldiers. Some refugees have braved the journey back, but many women who have returned and found their husbands dead, found themselves homeless, landless and destitute”(source: AI’s Join Our Campaign pamphlet). The above is the summary of the genocidal events during and after the genocide in Republic of Rwanda in 1994.
Historical Backgrounds Of Genocide & Other Mass Killings In Rwanda & Burundi: Republics of Rwanda and Burundi are twin countries with triplet tribes. The two countries were colonized by Germany from 1890 to 1916 and Belgium from 1916 to 1962. They are populated by three tribes: Hutu (84%), Tutsi (14%) and Twa (1%) with a combined pre genocide population of approximately 14 million people. While Hutus are predominantly herdsmen and largely illiterates, the Tutsis are mostly farmers and largely educated with strong influence in the countries’ armed forces. The differences between Hutus and Tutsis are three-folds: ethnic hatred promoted by their colonial masters, grazing land and farmland destruction conflicts and political domination including overbearing influence in the armed forces.
Before the genocide under reference, there have a series of mass killings in the two countries, resulting in the death of tens of thousands of their nationals and hundreds of thousands of injuries. One of the earliest mass killings took place in 1959, followed by those of 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1988 and 1993. Most of the killings were perpetrated against the Tutsi tribe and encouraged and funded by the Hutu controlled central governments in Kigali (Rwanda) and Bujumbura (Burundi). Before the genocide of April 1994 in Rwanda, there were two mass killings in Burundi in October and November 1993.
Circumstances That Led To The Genocide: Following the mass killings targeted at the Tutsi populations in Rwanda and Burundi in 1967, 1972, 1973 and 1988, there was mass exodus of the Tutsi populations to the Republic of Uganda. Some who settled in the Democratic Republic of Congo decades ago are called “Banyamulenges”. There was also an ethnic massacre targeted at the educated Hutus in Burundi in 1972. The then Tutsi controlled central government of President Micombero was accused of masterminding it. The Tutsi refugees in Uganda later became willing tools in the hands of various rebel groups fighting to overthrow the then governments in Uganda. One of such rebel groups is the National Resistance Army (NRA) of present President of Uganda, Lt. General Yuweri Museveni. The Museveni’s NRA fought and sought to overthrow the then dictatorial regimes of late Milton Obote and late “Field Marshal” Idi Amin Dada in the 70s. His rebel group fought until 1986 when he emerged from bush warfare and dethroned the military regime of Generals Tito and Basilio Okello.
Prior to General Museveni’s successful coup d’ etat in 1986, his NRA (National Resistance Army) had recruited 13,000 Tutsi refugees into its combatant fold and out of its 40,000 strong rebel force, Tutsis accounted for 13, 000 or 34%. This made Tutsis to rise steadily in the NRA’s command cadre, to the extent that Major General Fred Rwigema (a Tutsi) was made Uganda’s chief of army staff and Brigadier Paul Kagame (another Tutsi and current president of Rwanda) became the country’s army chief of Intelligence. Major General Rwegema was sacked in 1989 over suspicion of overbearing Tutsi influence in the Ugandan army.
In a bid to reward his Tutsi fellow combatants in the NRA, President Yoweri Museveni assisted the duo of Rwigema and Kagame in forming the military wing of Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which governs Rwanda presently. Other financial and technical supports came from USA, which allowed the formation of the political wing of RPF in the country in 1988. Burundi government then under Major Jean Pierre Boyoya (a Tutsi) also supported the RPF rebels tactically and financially.
The Tutsi’s Rwandan Patriotic Front, having been formed in late 80s, declared a total war against the then Kigali central government, led by President Juvenal Habyarimana (a Hutu) in October 1990. The neighbouring Burundi then was also under the Hutu led central government of democratically elected President Melchior Ndadaye, who got assassinated in 1993 in a bloody military revolt led by former military head of State, Major Pierre Jean Buyoya. The killings that followed President Ndadaye’s gruesome murder became widespread and led to beastly burning of schoolgirls at a petrol station in the city of Kibimba.
To find permanent solutions to these mass killings and political instabilities in the two twin countries, the Arusha Peace Accords of August 1993 were arranged for Hutu and Tutsi political combatants in the two countries by the leaders of the Great Lakes Region including former President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania. Arusha is a city in Tanzania. The Arusha Accords included ceasefire, power sharing, creation of transitional government, unification of armed forces, etc.
After months of extensive deliberations and consultations, the Arusha Accords were signed by the representatives of the two warring tribes from the twin countries (Rwanda and Burundi) including two Hutu Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi: Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira (who succeeded late Melchior Ndadaye in Burundi in 1993) as well as the leaders of Tutsi rebels in the two countries. The Accords were signed on April 6, 1994 in Arusha, Tanzania. Moments after signing the history Accords, a Falcon 50 plane carrying the two Hutu presidents (Habyarimana of Rwanda and Nkaryamira of Burundi) alongside others on board was hit by suspected missiles near Kigali, capital of Rwanda.
The plane burst, killing all on board. Swift accusing fingers were pointed at the leadership of the RPF as the mastermind. Before the plane crash and signing of the Arusha Accords, a good number of RPF rebel soldiers were already stationed in Kigali to be absolved into the proposed unified armed forces of Rwanda. They were entrapped and formed part of those killed at the beginning of the three months genocide. The presidential plane crash under reference marked the beginning of the Rwandan genocide of April 6 to July 21, 1994.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Photo Above: Map of Rwanda
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