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IPOB orders sit-at-home, bans church services on May 30

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The Indigenous People of Biafra has ordered protest and a sit-at-home on May 30.

It also banned church services on that day in Biafraland.

It said the protest would hold in 100 countries where IPOB members and sympathisers reside.

The group’s media and publicity officer, Emma Powerful, made this known in a statement on Sunday.

He said the exercise was to honour its fallen heroes and heroines, adding that it would be observed in markets, churches, parks, airports and seaports within and outside the region and beyond.

The IPOB publicist said there would be no procession, protest nor church services anywhere in the zone, urging its members to stay indoors throughout the day.

The statement read in part, “We the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra wish to announce to the public and Biafrans both home and abroad that the annual anniversary of our fallen heroes and heroines will be on Sunday, 30th of May 2021.

“As usual, there will be a total lockdown of the entire Biafra land on that day.

Read Also: Buhari should have spoken with Biden, not US Secretary –Kukah

“There will be sit-at-home across Biafraland, Lagos, Abuja as well as northern towns with reasonable Biafran population.

“The sit-at-home order is also to be observed in all the markets within and outside Biafra land where our people do their businesses. It shall also be observed by Diasporan Biafrans in the over 100 countries with the IPOB family is present.

“We equally request our fellow comrades in Yoruba, Middle Belt and other Christians living in the far North to solidarise with us in the event as we honour all those who have paid the supreme price in our struggle for total freedom.

“All Biafrans living overseas must hold rallies in their respective countries of abode in honour of our fallen heroes and heroines including the gallant Imo State Eastern Security Network commander, Ikonso and his men murdered by the Nigeria security agents.

“The rallies will also show the outside world of our resolve and preparedness to leave Nigeria. We equally advise our Diasporan people to ensure they get the written approval of their host countries before embarking on the rallies.

“30th of May every year is very dear to Biafrans because it was the date our Hero, Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, declared our resistance to the genocidal attacks by Nigeria and Fulani Janjaweeds which culminated into the 30-month civil war from 1967 to 1970.

“We shall always remember all those who died in the course of the war and our march to freedom.

“Consequently, there will be no movement on the roads throughout Biafraland; no banking or financial services in our territory; no commercial activities of any kind.”

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Leadership

Govt approach wrong, ransom payment won’t end kidnapping – Obasanjo

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FORMER President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday declared that governments of former President, Goodluck Jonathan, and Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) paid ransom to kidnappers but they denied it.

Obasanjo said he did not believe in payment of ransom to kidnappers and banditry, maintaining that it encouraged criminals indulging in the act.

He spoke on Wednesday at his Penthouse residence within Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while playing host to members of Tiv Professionals’ Group led by Prof. Zacharys Anger Gundu.

He, however, submitted that the government must develop the means to deal with kidnappers and bandits heavily in place of ransom payment.

Obasanjo insisted that it required a “carrot and stick” approach to fight insecurity challenges to a standstill.

He said, “Some people are still reaching out, and hoping that lives can still be saved. But a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage.

Also Read: Senator demands drastic action against Buhari regime

“But if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it. Government has always paid ransom. Not only this government, even during (Goodluck) Jonathan (administration). They paid ransom, but they denied it.”

Speaking on the forthcoming 2023 elections, Obasanjo said leaders must ensure the election birthed the emergence of a new federation in Nigeria; otherwise the country might be “sliding into grand dissolution.”

He bemoaned insecurity challenges and insisted that 2023 must mark a watershed for Nigeria.

He said, “I do believe that whatever else we do we have to make the year 2023 a watershed for Nigeria. The year 2023 should give us the beginning of emergence of a new federation or feeling that the rot continues, and then, we are going to be sliding back to a grand dissolution. God forbid.”

While relaying the position of a military friend, Obasanjo expressed fears that those beating drums of division in Nigeria didn’t think about the interest of the minority ethnic groups.

He added, “And he would say to me if the Yoruba can stand as a country, if the Igbo can stand as a country, if the Hausa/Fulani can stand as a country, if you, major tribes, decide to break up from the country, where do you want the minority ethnic groups to stand? That, many Nigerians don’t know about, unfortunately.

“Where do we want those minor groups to stand? Wherever they stand, now they are by virtue of Nigeria’s present situation a little bit protected. But if Nigeria breaks up and they are in a smaller country, they will be oppressed. They will always be exterminated. Are we thinking of that?”

Presenting a paper earlier, the leader of the group, Prof. Zacharys Anger Gundu, told Obasanjo that “blood is flowing in Benue State” following killings of the people allegedly by Fulani and bandits.

He, however, demanded that full compensation for the victims of killings and destruction in Tivland, proscription of armed fulani groups, while “land grabbing must stop and all occupied lands must be vacated.”

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Nigeria Has Become A Giant Killing Field – PDP

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The National Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has decried the current security situation in the country, saying Nigeria has become a giant killing field.

In a communique read by the national chairman of the party after a meeting of the caucus at the Akwa Ibom Governors’ Lodge in Abuja, the party said Nigeria was fast descending into anarchy, with the security of lives and property “practically non-existent.”

Also Read: Buhari should have spoken with Biden, not US Secretary –Kukah

“Terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, rape, arson, mindless murder of citizens and even security agents are ravaging the land. Criminals have taken complete control of most aspects of our lives unchecked. The government seems powerless to act. Nigeria has become one giant killing field.

“The meeting also noted the unrestricted expansion of Boko Haram into newer and inner territories close to the seat of government in Abuja and expressed alarm at the capitulation of the security agencies and President Muhamadu Buhari’s APC government. In the view of the meeting, President Buhari has failed the people at a time of grave national crises,’’ part of the communiqué reads.

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Buhari should have spoken with Biden, not US Secretary –Kukah

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Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, says Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), should have spoken with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, last week, and not US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken.

The fiery cleric, however, said “half bread is better than nothing”, adding that the meeting is a sign that Nigeria is going somewhere.

Kukah spoke at the 2021 edition of The Platform, an annual conference organised by the Senior Pastor of the Covenant Christian Centre, Lagos, Poju Oyemade.

Buhari in a virtual meeting on Tuesday met Blinken and had asked for the support of the Biden administration to tackle the security menace in Nigeria.

Buhari, who warned of a likely spill over of insecurity to neighbouring West African states, also called on the US to consider relocating US Africa Command from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa, nearer the Theatre of Operation.

Speaking on Saturday, Kukah said, “Of course, all of us are angry but in my view, the challenge therefore is what kind of palliative do we need to calm our nerves and I am not talking here of the palliatives in the way and manner that we understand them but something needs to happen to send out a signal to Nigerians that things are under control.

Read Also: Messi’s record-breaking boots auctioned for £125,000

“With the fact that we have the US Secretary of State speaking to us virtually, we would have preferred that our President spoke to the President of America rather than the Secretary of State but anyway, half bread is better than nothing.

“I want to assure that this is a sign that we are going somewhere but we need to quickly get our people together, the need to rally our people together both to support government and otherwise is very urgent and we cannot do this if our country is divided between those who love the party and those who don’t love the party. We are in a democracy and we want to believe that this democracy has to be nurtured and the best we can do is not to subvert the process but to continue to uphold the ideals before those who are in power.”

“On the issue of Nigerians dying, government has come very short and this is what is increasing the pain, the agony, the sorrow of people that we are dying alone, burying our people alone and all we get are just simple statements that really say nothing to us. The lack of empathy and the deployment of empathy have two consequences.

“Government must have a sense of empathy and I have said this severally and I do not mean anything negative and everywhere you turn, this is what Nigerians are saying that people are dying and you do not get a sense that those who govern us understand our pain because we have not seen them on condolence visits.

“Empathy is not sympathy, empathy is at the heart of who we are as human being; it is the feeling of the sorrow, of the pain of the other person, indeed, entering the skin of the other person, it does not bring healing meeting but there is a certain kind of psychological comfort that it gives,” the cleric added.

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