Injustice In Appointments Responsible For Disunity- Sultan of Sokoto

The Sultan of Sokoto and the President General of the Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar II, on Wednesday said the injustice in appointments and allocation of resources in the country were responsible for crisis and disunity in the country. The monarch said this at a Collaborative Interfaith Peace and Security Capacity Building Workshop, organized by the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, NARC, in collaboration with Inter-Religious Peace Initiative in Abuja.



He was represented by the Executive Secretary of Abuja National Mosque, Alhaji Ibrahim Jega, Abubakar who said an all inclusive governance remains the panacea in addressing the myriads of problems confronting the country. He urged leaders at all levels to be equitable, fair and just to every member of the society in the distribution of amenities and resources, irrespective of the political, religious and tribal inclinations of members of the society.



According to the monarch, “When it comes to issue of dispensation of justice and equitable distribution of resources, that should be done without fear or favour, affection or ill will.



“You are not there yourself as a leader and because you have some encounters with a group of people, either a person or a group of persons in a particular area, you should not hold on to it so as not to extend justice to them.


“Allah says “do not allow your hatred of a particular group of people to make you decide not to extend justice to them. Whatever happens, you must extend the spirit of justice to them all without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.


“This issue of justice goes down to whatever decision you are going to take, whether it’s against you or against your parents or against your own children or against your other relations, let alone saying you will not extend justice because you know somebody or because he is from your town. Justice must be based on fair and equitable distribution of assets to all.”


2023 Beckons: Will Igbo Play The Real Politics This Time? By Joe Igbokwe

As we gradually move towards 2019 and 2023, I am beginning to get worried whether Igbo is putting their acts together to take a shot at the Presidency in 2023 when the North would have completed their 8 years? I am worried because I do not know whether we understand the dynamics of the politics we must play to position an Igbo for the exalted office in the land. Are we thinking or considering the political party that will bring us close to the Presidency in 2023? Is it PDP, APGA or APC? If it is PDP are we playing the real politics? If it is APGA what are we doing to take APGA across to those who will vote for our candidate? If it is APC what are the plans to key in to the ruling Party? Of all these three Parties mentioned above which one presents the shortest distance to the Presidency in 2023?

Now let me analyze these three Parties, their stand, capacity, spread and leadership.

APGA rules only one State out of 36 States in Nigeria. It is only domiciled in Anambra State and has not moved beyond Anambra State to reach out to other Nigerians. For an Igbo to be elected to the exalted office other Nigerians especially Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and others must vote for him. Without sounding immodest Anambra State occupies a unique position in Igbo land. Anambra is the engine room of Igboland politics and they lead the way. Now if the State that will lead others to the main stream is saddled with APGA, where is the plan to work with others? If you ask me I will suggest that we do the needful by joining other Nigerians to play the real politics. APGA cannot lead Igbo anywhere in the politics of Nigeria. If Yoruba can sacrifice ACN to form an alliance with other Nigerians to give birth to APC, Igbo needs to think again.

What of PDP? Now, this Party is still being pulled down by internal contradictions, credibility crisis and hangover of 16 years of massive looting of Nigeria. PDP may not be the option for Igbo because for 16 years the party was in power, the South East was officially and systematically neglected. Besides PDP just zoned the presidency to the North and assuming their candidate wins in 2019 what is the guarantee that the winner will not seek a second term in 2023? Therefore, I do not think PDP is the shortest distance for Igbo Presidency or the way to go.

Now what of APC? To all intents and purposes I think APC provides the best platform and the shortest distance for Igbo presidency in 2023, and Igbo must take this very seriously. To do this, Igbo must look at this big picture. Igbo must consider everything. Igbo must sacrifice APGA for the big business in 2023. Igbo must swallow this bitter pill in order to be politically relevant in Nigeria again. Pride, arrogance, political stupidity, bloated self-worth, persecution complex, selfish sense of superiority, leadership complex etc must be jettisoned for other Nigerians to trust us. We must also prove to other Nigerians that we love them and Nigeria. Trust is the key factor. Let us stop the hate speech and ethnic bigotry and work for a new Nigeria of our dream. Igbo must stop the Biafra project because a lot is at stake. It is counterproductive and provocative. If we are sensible and I think we are, we should be faced with the choice of the best option for Igbo in Nigeria. The best option is that Nigeria offers the biggest market for Igbo in Nigeria. We must rise now to remove the huddles and take the hard decisions. We must not give those who make us to look little the oxygen we breathe. Let them suffocate for us to make progress. It always seems impossible until the deed is done. Let us selectively and productively deploy committed men and women in Igboland to work with other Nigerians to create a new Nigeria. We need war of sense now and not war of words and bullets.

Someone once told me that if a man stands in a place for so long without making a move, lizard will climb him thinking it is a tree. We have made political mistakes for a longtime and mistakes are allowed. After all he who makes no mistakes makes no progress. This is the time for Igbo to move on in Nigeria.

UK Accuses Nigeria Over The Operation Of Biafra Radio

The United Kingdom has blamed Nigeria for the continued operation of pirate Radio Biafra which the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)uses to preach hate against the country.

The radio station domiciled in the UK was established by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) with Mr. Nnamdi Kanu as Director.

Kanu, also a British citizen, operated the radio on behalf of MASSOB and later took over the radio as a megaphone of IPOB.

The British government seems not happy with reports credited to Nigerian information and culture minister Lai Mohammed, who insinuated that the UK had not shut the radio station.

A terse statement released on Thursday by Mr. Joe Abuku, Press and Public Affairs Officer, British High Commission in Nigeria, said the “The UK is not aware of any representation from Nigerian government about Radio Biafra.’’

“Were we to receive any such request, we would, of course, consider it carefully on the basis of the available evidence, recognizing that freedom of speech and expression carries responsibilities.’’

The minister recently accused some people in France and United Kingdom of having links with the proscribed IPOB.

According to reports, Mohammed was quoted that “the financial headquarters” of the separatist group “is in France”.

He said this is a “fact”while faulting the UK for not doing something to stop Biafra radio from airing over there.

As the Minister pointed out, the Biafra Radio was probably not taken down by the UK authorities is that the radio is a free channel of communication available to any law-abiding person.

Very much like the internet and social media, anyone who has the license to operate a radio can always air whatever they want to.

Biafra Is Larger Than Nnamdi Kanu By Ijabla Raymond

Fellow Nigerians: Hate or love Nnamdi Kanu, it is undeniable he has brought the issue of injustice in our country to the front burner. But Biafra is not about him. It is about all of us. If you a Nigerian then you are a Biafran. Unless, of course, you are one of the perpetrators of injustice against the Nigerian people.

BIAFRA IS AN IDEOLOGY that cannot be extinguished by military force. We tried in the 1960’s but did not succeed. You do not defeat an ideology with brute force – this is the same argument I have been making about jihadist extremism. If we had addressed the issues that led to the Nigerian civil war in 1963 we would not be here today talking about Biafra. Nigeria is not working for the common man and we cannot continue like this. Anyone who has the best interest of ordinary Nigerians at heart would agree we need to restructure this country.

I now understand why a revolution is impossible in Nigeria. We are too divided and distrustful of one other. Biafra is bigger than Nnamdi Kanu. Biafra is about the injustice suffered by the ordinary man in Kano, Maiduguri, Birnin Kebi, Owo, Asaba, Yenagoa, Kalabari, Orlu, Abeokuta, Makurdi, Ilorin, Jos, and in every nook and cranny of this country. Biafra is the fight against the injustice of our corrupt leadership. Biafra is about all of us!

The fundamental concern of Biafra is an injustice. Our citizens are literally eating from bins whilst our political elites are feeding fat on our commonwealth. A few days ago, a seven-year-old child died from typhoid fever that was complicated by a bowel perforation. His father took him to several hospitals including a tertiary hospital but he did not get the care he needed because the hospitals were grossly under-resourced and poorly staffed. This child suffered right until the last seconds of his short life. Meanwhile, Buhari spent nearly three months in a London hospital. It was reported that the presidential aircraft was parked in London all that time. Think about the high-quality medical care he received which this child had no access to. Consider the number of dead children that could have been saved with the parking charges of Buhari’s aircraft. I shudder to think what his medical bills amounted to. What does Aso Rock clinic do with its generous budgetary allocations that it cannot treat an ear infection? Is Buhari’s life more valuable than the life of this child? For as long as our public officials can continue to treat themselves and their families abroad they will have no incentive to fix our broken healthcare. For as long as these people can continue to school their children abroad they will have no incentive to fix our broken schools and stop the incessant strikes. But I digress.

Predictably, some of us are blinded by our hatred of Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB and the Igbos, and cannot see past the distractions and the smokescreen. You may rejoice the government has used the “terrorism” card to crush IPOB but you can be sure they will deploy the same tactic against you tomorrow. What you do not realise is this: the government is also sending a clear message to you – put up with your suffering or complain and get crushed. Citizens have a right to protest against injustice and bad governance. In Nigeria, instead of listening to the legitimate concerns of its citizens the government just rolls out armoured tanks.

What makes IPOB a terrorist organisation? When were Fulani herdsmen killing innocent citizens – how many of them were charged to court or even arrested? When Buhari was in the opposition, he was widely reported to have asked the Jonathan government to stop killing Boko Haram jihadists and to grant them amnesty. To my mind, Boko Haram is not comparable to groups like MEND which received amnesty from the federal government at that time. MEND was campaigning for resource control, better governance and an end to the exploitation and degradation of the environment. Therefore, it seems to me that the people who question Buhari’s judgement have a valid argument.
We need to refocus this debate. You can disagree with Kanu and disapprove of his methods but your enemies are not Kanu or IPOB. Your real enemies are the people who make it impossible for your children to have quality education and healthcare. They are the people who benefit from the current system and who tell you Nigeria cannot restructure. Therefore, let us unite and seize this moment to demand reform and the restructuring of our nation. Enough of the bickering and the divisions.

How do you deal or engage with a government that refuses to listen and slams the “terrorism” label on you in order to legitimise military action against you? This strategy of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it is not new. It was used by the South African government against Nelson Mandela and ANC. But as someone said: those who make dialogue impossible make violence inevitable. Mandela eventually took up arms against the apartheid government. His organisation was labelled a terrorist organisation by enablers such as the British and American governments. In truth, the terrorists were the apartheid government and its sympathizers.

The solution to this impasse is dialogue. IPOB has a legitimate grievance – this country is not working for ordinary Nigerians whether they be in the north, south, east or west. It is much easier to label IPOB a terrorist organisation and crush it militarily. But this does not solve the problem that gave rise to IPOB in the first instance. If I were to advise the President, I would tell him to dialogue with IPOB. Listen to their concerns. Treat the disease, not the symptoms.

A Million Pythons Cannot Dance Away The Biafra Question By ‘Fisayo Soyombo

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. — Albert Einstein

Whoever he is, the military officer who coined the codename ‘Python Dance’ is a genius. Although an original version of the military operation, the Python Dance I, held between November 27 and December 27, 2016, no one should have looked any further than the codename to deduce the possible outcome of the army’s latest incursion into the south-east. As a rebel scientist, I’ll break this down.

‘Python Dance’ more than mere nomenclature

Although they are a family of nonvenomous snakes, pythons, scientifically Pythonidae, can be extremely dangerous. They are some of the largest snakes in the world, and are notorious ambush predators in that they typically lay motionless to evade the notice of a passing prey but then suddenly strike when danger is least expected. Ordinarily, no one should tease the python — that is where Nnamdi Kanu and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) got it wrong. Even though it looks innocuous when motionless, a python cannot be active without inflicting harm — that’s the misjudgment of the army, the thought that the operation would run without tension.

Prior to the take-off of the operation, the Nigerian Army acted like a python, listing a raft of harmless activities to cover up it’s one controversial aim of the operation. David Dawandi, a Major-General and Chief of Training and Operations of the army, said in a statement on September 8, that “during the exercise, emphasis will be placed on raids, cordon-and-search operations, anti-kidnapping drills, roadblocks, checkpoints, patrols, and humanitarian relief activities such as medical outreach.” That’s the motionless python. The statement also made it clear that there would be a “show of force to curb the rising threat to national security in the south-eastern part of the country.” A “show of force”? That’s a python in ambush mode. The summary is that it was an unnecessary operation. For many reasons.

Needless dance

Nnamdi Kanu’s court trial is ongoing. When he returns to court on October 17, the court will hear the federal government’s application for the revocation of his bail. There is no chance Kanu will win that argument — unless Justice Binta Nyako, who granted him bail in April, wants to make a mockery of herself and the judiciary. Kanu has repeatedly violated his bail conditions, the most obvious being his prohibition from hanging out with a company of more than 10 or granting interviews. The violation of the latter Kanu has already tried to defend, bizarrely claiming that he doesn’t “grant interviews” but he only “answers the questions” of journalists because it would be “rude and arrogant” of him to keep quiet when asked a question! But no such ingenious explanation exists for the former; there are numerous footages of him among scores and hordes of people, including videos of him preaching raw hate. Kanu’s return to prison will be permanent in October, so the first question for the army: why roll out the pythons against a drowning adversary?

While the pythons were still dancing, the defense headquarters rushed to designate IPOB a terrorist group without even taking a moment to find out the procedures, as laid down by the same law they claim to be enforcing. The army erred by failing to follow the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011, amended in 2013, that “setting up or pursuing acts of terrorism, the judge in Chambers may on an application made by the Attorney General, National Security Adviser or Inspector General of Police on the approval of the President; declare any entity to be a proscribed organization and the notice should be published in official gazette.”

Even that move itself is an overkill. Of course, Nnamdi Kanu is very annoying — I can imagine the Chief of Army Staff watching him in one of his numerous hate videos and itching to grab his throat and strangle him. There can be no arguments that he is unstable: how can a man who so passionately preached Nigeria’s unity under Goodluck Jonathan now so vehemently champion secession? But a more careful look at him will reveal his true nature: a mere radio/internet noisemaker elevated to the status of Biafra champion by a zealous and unlawful Muhammadu Buhari government. Kanu would never enjoy half his current popularity if he wasn’t repeatedly denied bail. Kanu talks too much; die-hard rebels talk less and act more. His Biafra Security Service (BSS) is toothless; not one of the so-called trainees carried any sort of weapon. They, in fact, looked too confused to be able to withstand confrontation by a private, the lowest-ranked officer of the Nigerian army. Little wonder Kanu himself is now in hiding.

Lessons and questions

The deployment of soldiers to the South-East has caused needless tension. The death of a hard-to-ascertain number of people, the assault on suspected IPOB members (which, by the way, will go unpunished despite the army’s claim to be investigating it), the combing of buses by IPOB members in Aba for Hausa to harm, the Igbo-Hausa tension in Jos and Port Harcourt are all worrying scenarios that would have been avoided without military action. The seething inter-ethnic tension is worrisome; this is how wars start. In the past week, whether we admit it or not, Nigeria took one giant step towards a second Civil War. The good thing, though, is that the situation is still reasonably under control. To avert a total breakdown of law and order, our leaders must learn from our history and ask themselves the hard questions.

Speaking of lessons, it is hard to imagine how quickly our leaders have forgotten the role of military action in the escalation of Boko Haram from a nonviolent ideological group under Yusuf Mohammed to a ruthlessly violent one under Abubakar Shekau. The 2009 police crackdown on Boko Haram in Bauchi led to violence in Kano, Yobe and Borno states; and after Mohammed’s capture by the military and extrajudicial execution by the police, the reins of Boko Haram fell on the bellicose, blood-thirsty Shekau. The rest, as they say, is history. It will take decades for the north to recover from the ruin of this insurgency — the deaths of hundreds of thousands, displacement of at least 3 million people, the humanitarian crisis, the sheer destruction of flora and fauna, the physical and socioeconomic regression. So, even if the military succeeds in taking out Kanu, the Biafra mantle will naturally be transferred to someone else, who may even be more dangerous than Kanu. Tact, not force, is what President Muhammadu Buhari needs to handle Kanu and the Biafra agitation.

There are two questions the government must answer if Nigeria must remain peaceful. Why, despite his apparent weakness of character, lack of purpose, unruly choice of words, does Kanu continue commanding huge youth following? And, why, after almost four decades post-Civil War, are we still discussing Biafra? I do not have all the answers, but I’ll supply some.

First question: as I said earlier, Kanu is the number-one beneficiary of government’s misuse of power. But more importantly, Kanu’s followers are mostly made up of unemployed or unprofitably employed, disillusioned youth who have finally found someone to identify with their struggles. For the second, it must mean that the Biafra question was never addressed after the war. Buhari must think long and hard about what the Igbo want, why they feel sidelined, and what he can do to make them feel part of Nigeria.

Otherwise, a legitimate Biafra question will be left in the hands of an opportunistic Kanu, and we will lose a golden opportunity to once and for all resolve our differences and strengthen the bond of our nationhood. Buhari should let the courts decide Kanu’s fate. He must jettison the use of force and embrace dialogue — because whether we like it or not, a million pythons cannot dance away the Biafra question!


Biafra: Jonathan Faults Buhari, Tackles Lai Mohammed

The former Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan has criticised his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari, for planning to extend military deployment to the South-South and the South-West.

Jonathan said this in a Facebook post on Tuesday, which was signed on his behalf by his media aide, Reno Omokri.

“However, we want to advise the Buhari administration, which has announced plans to extend the military show of force to the South-South and the South-West through Operation Crocodile Smile, to tread with caution.

“Nigeria is no longer under military rule. In a democracy, you separate the military from the police. The military is not meant to fight criminality within a nation because they are trained to fight a nation’s external enemies.

“It is the police that is trained to fight crime internally. When the military starts doing the job of the police and starts fighting or doing what they call a ‘show of force’, the effect will not be to reduce crime. The effect will be to intimidate people,” he wrote.

Jonathan also lambasted the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for saying the activities of IPOB started because he lost the 2015 election.

The former President said: “The insinuations in the press conference given by Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Sunday, accusing the opposition of sponsoring the IPOB and the fact that he mentioned that Nnamdi Kanu preached Nigerian unity during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan is another clear indication that the present administration has not left propaganda mode for proper agenda mode two and a half year into their tenure.

“If the government, in which Lai Mohammed serves, knows which opposition members are sponsoring IPOB, then they should identify them, arrest them and then prosecute them.”

The Python Does Not Dance, By Reuben Abati

Operation code-names have been an important part of military operations since the Germans first applied them in World War 1 but it may be said that the recent (or ongoing?) controversial military exercise in the South Eastern part of Nigeria codenamed Operation Python Dance II is the first major incident in Nigerian military history to draw attention to this seemingly routine aspect of military operations worldwide. An operational code name requires creativity, it is meant to be a cover-up, hide the real intentions of the operation, achieve a public relations stunt if possible, and ease communication and strategic documentation within the military hierarchy.


The Nigerian military has never been so clever in coming up with operation code names: many of them are dead giveaways  (Operation Lafiya Dole, Operation Pulo Shield, Operation Maximum Safety, Operation Crackdown) or so stupidly incongruous they evoke instant suspicion (Operation Python Dance, Operation Crocodile Smile). Pythons don’t dance. Crocodiles don’t smile.  Wars have been fought over the use of wrong codes; nations have been sabotaged due to poor communication. Whoever came up with the code name – Operation Python Dance- (sometimes a code name may be computer generated) may have been aiming for irony, but it was strange irony given the facts of the situation and the manner of operation. I make this point to argue that the Nigerian military has messed up Operation Python Dance II in the South East conceptually and operationally, and the attendant arrogance does not serve the Nigerian state well in my view.


A dance is accompanied by music, it is celebratory in its kinetic and spatial expressions, and it is probably one of the most ingenious explorations of the human frame. Accompanied usually by music and the symbolism of movement and flexibility, a dance, vertical, horizontal or earth-bound is one of the wonders of human creativity and the most universal of human languages.  There is something called snake dance.  It is of course celebratory. To say a python is coming to a community to dance is a revelatory oxymoron. A python swallows, it cuts off blood, constricts and suffocates, it is a pretentious animal that curls itself up when it is ready to eat, and then strikes, employing the techniques of velocity, ambush, and surprise.


In December 2016, the pythons of the Nigerian military went to the South East on Operation (I) but they did not blow their cover. They said they wanted to help reduce crimes during Christmas.  In September 2017, they blew their own cover and revealed the absurdity of their cryptonym. They did because they behaved exactly like pythons.  If that was meant as a covert operation to protect the sovereignty of the country in the face of “seen and analyzed threat levels” in the South East, the Nigerian military got it terribly wrong. There is every reason for other military authorities in the international community to laugh at Nigeria.


The military admittedly can conduct routine exercises to prepare its men, to tune up or to check out the country’s territorial integrity. Before and even shortly after the civil war, Nigerian soldiers occasionally came out of their barracks and drove round the town. They used to sing, march on the streets and dance inside their trucks and wave at the people. The people waved back, and in due course, many children mastered some of their songs. In our neck of the woods at the time, there is an Alamala barracks in Abeokuta, one popular song was: J’amala n si ko, mo ti j’amala ki n to lo s’ogun, j’amala n siko”.


Soldiers were honored in those days for protecting and saving the country, but since the Nigerian military became politicized and greedy, soldiers have lost so much respect. The proposed demilitarization of African governments, long after the second wave of democratization in Africa has not yet yielded significant outcomes. The soldiers tasting politics has been like the tasting of the forbidden fruit. In and out of uniform, they have retained their hold on power and when one of their own manages to return to power in a civilian dispensation, they simply lose their nerves.  The Nigerian military has fallen victim in this regard on many occasions since 1999. This is what we are dealing with.


The latest instance is the bungled operation in Abia State. Operation Python Dance II did not have to take place in the streets of Isiama Afara in Umuahia, Abia State, close to Nnamdi Kanu’s father’s house. The public show of force could have been done anywhere else in the South East.  Strutting military force close to the home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, who in the last year has been busy mobilizing his people, and making demands on the Nigerian state is an undisguised act of provocation with all the pythonic elements of invasion, surprise, and suffocation. It was the equivalent of the state descending to the level of rabble-rousing. This happens when an institution like the military opts for street politics, and our military certainly exposed itself in ways that called its professionalism to question in the last few days.


One, the Nigerian military has consistently usurped police functions since the return to civilian rule. The functions of the military are properly spelled out in Sections 217-219 of the extant Nigerian Constitution. But the leaders of the Nigerian military and their retired masters in partisan politics like to behave differently. They’d rather do police work in pursuit of a responsibility expansionist agenda.  In a statement issued by Colonel Sagir Musa, of the 82 Division, we are told that Operation Python (II) is meant “to sharpen the skills of the participating troops in the conduct of Internal Security Operations” and these include challenges such as “kidnappings, farmers-herdsmen clashes, secessionist agitations and insurgency of any form… armed robbery and traffic gridlock.”  Colonel, sir! There is no insurgency or insurrection in the South East, and it is not the duty of the military to focus on armed robbery and traffic gridlock!


If the issue is the country’s sovereignty, the simplest thing to do would have been for the police to invite Kanu for questioning, or ask the courts to revoke his bail, or declare him and his associates wanted if they fail to cooperate. The continuous reliance on the military for virtually every national security matter overstretches it and renders it less efficient for its core mandate, and by the same token weakens law enforcement agencies.


Two, the military performed a political function and committed a procedural error when on its own, it declared IPOB, a terrorist organization. Senate President Bukola Saraki has already dismissed this as an ultra vires act. The grounds for declaring a group a terrorist organization in Nigeria is already defined in the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 (as amended), and as outlined in Sections 3-15 thereof. I admit that IPOB may have engaged in acts of provocation within the purview of these provisions given the establishment of the Biafra Secret Service and the Biafra National Guard, but it is not the duty of the military under a democratic dispensation to act as judge, jury and executioner.  What exactly is the level of threat actually posed by Kanu and his followers? The military talks further about “unauthorized blocking of access roads, extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal roadblocks and militant possession and use of stones, Molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles…” The Nigerian military is now looking for machetes and stones? It is also in charge of the monitoring of hate speech?


The Governors of the South East also announced that the IPOB had been proscribed in all five states of the South East. They simply made a pronouncement, without any legal backing whereas in a decided matter, the IPOB had been declared legal and legitimate and that Federal High Court ruling has not been vacated. The panic response by the Governors can probably be excused. It must be clear to some people that with Kanu’s increasing messianism and popularity, the South East was clearly one step away from Operation Python Dance II to the declaration of a state of emergency.  But the Governors may just have been more interested in their own political survival.


What has been achieved in the South East right now is a profit and loss situation for all the parties concerned. The military is certainly not looking professional enough. The reported abuse of human rights in the wake of Operation Python Dance II is bringing nothing but shame to Nigeria in the international community, and many Igbos at home and in the diaspora who were aloof towards the IPOB campaign have suddenly been woken up to express concerns about the politics of being Igbo in Nigeria.

Southeast Governors Proscribe IPOB, Stand By One Nigeria

Governors of the South-east zone rose from an emergency meeting in Enugu yesterday and proscribed all activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the region, even as they appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the military from the zone. 

They called on the leaders of IPOB and all other aggrieved groups to articulate their position on all national issues and submit to the committee of governors, Ohaneze Ndigbo, and the members of the National Assembly from the zone through the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum.

In an eleven-point communique issued at the end of the meeting in which they reviewed the prevailing security situation in the zone and its attendant consequences, the governors insisted that they would no longer tolerate the separatist group.

They asked IPOB and all other aggrieved groups to articulate their position on all national issues and submit to the Committee of Governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and National Assembly members from the zone through the chairman of the South-east Governors’ Forum, David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

In the Communique which was read by Umahi, the governors also noted that the entire zone including the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and National Assembly members reinforced their commitment to a united and indivisible Nigeria.

“All governors of the south-east zone are to ensure compliance in their respective states,” Umahi said.

They insisted that police be allowed to perform their traditional role of maintaining law and order.

The governors also reinforced their desire for the restructuring of Nigeria where all national issues will be discussed and amicably settled to achieve justice and fairness to every Nigerian.

They also reiterated their earlier position that the November 18, 2017 gubernatorial election in Anambra State must hold contrary to the order by the now proscribed IPOB.

The governors noted that they had taken concrete steps to protect lives and property of both indigenes and non-indigenes in the zone, adding that they are in touch with the Northern Governors Forum, who they said have equally assured them of the safety of “all our people living in the north and we have also planned for exchange of visits between the governors to reinforce the confidence of Nigerians in this respect”.

They reassured Nigerians that full investigation on all allegations of killings, maiming and other unlawful conduct in the zone within the last couple of days have commenced, adding that they are in agreement with the security agencies that appropriate action be taken against anyone found culpable.

The governors therefore advised all residents of the zone to be law abiding and go about their normal businesses as government of each of the states remained committed to protecting everybody.

Those who attended the meeting were Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state and chairman of the forum, and Prince Eze Madumere, Deputy Governor of Imo State.

Others include the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo; former Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State and Vice President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof Chigozie Ogbu and Prof Joy Ezeilo representing the Human Rights Community.

Umahi said the leadership of IPOB was invited to the meeting but could not attend.



‘Biafra Agitators Won’t Stop Until Govt Rise In Defense Of Innocent Nigerians’

A lady, Bridget Anurika Eze has called on Nigerian government to as a matter of urgency stop impending danger posed by the members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose agitation for succession is taking another dimension to harrass and intimidate innocent citizens.

The lady who shared her experience in the hands of IPOB members while on a routine facilities inspection at Aba on Tuesday, said for lasting peace in the region, the government must act fast to nip in the bud the rising breach of human right abuses in the region.

She recounted the torture and level of intimidation being meted on her and her colleagues along Eyimba Junction/Bakassi. Despite claiming she’s from Biafra, the suspected IPOB members turned deaf ears to her pleas and immediately removed the Nigeria flag inside her car before giving them a serious beating.

Bridget posted on Facebook; “All my life I have never had a first-hand experience of public harassment like today (Tuesday). As part of our normal routine in the office and the scheme at large, we left for facilities
inspection at Aba, and off Aba along Port Harcourt road. After we were done and coming back, we got to enyimba Junction/bakassi, coman see ipob boys terrorizing people, everyone running for their lives. We kept on moving but slowly and noticed that the road was kinda dry.

“Before we knew it ipob boys rushed out from nowhere and attacked our hilux, they were more than 15, carrying different weapons, one of them used shovel and hit the hilux hard, before I could blink my eyes they opened the door and started dragging us out, I heard my oga chorused , NO please, we are BIAFRANS ” I joined them o, and was shouting, biafra, biafra.. These boys weren’t even listening, one used a heavy big stone and was hitting my oga, others were removing the car Cover seat that’s made of Nigeria color /coat of arm. That we are not Biafra, that’s why we had that on, that were is our flag or means of identification…. I didn’t know what to do, they dragged me outta the car, I came down didn’t know what to do, I thought of hiding under the Hilux but no
way because they were just everywhere.

“I was just praying my last prayer just in case they decide to kill us. Ever seen or witnessed any case of jungle justice? Now, that’s exactly the scene today. The other part of the road was another set of ipob boys damaging a truck full of goods, and another Dangote truck full of cement on fire already.

“All this I witnessed/saw within 20mins…

“Finally, I heard oya enter your motor and run for your life. We sped off. It was just I, the coordinator, and the driver. I started asking the driver why they allowed us go, our driver said he gave them 500naira
that’s why they said we should go. On our way still driving carefully, because they are
everywhere, we saw soldiers in their convoy coming down to calm the situation.

“On entering umuahia, the check points are tight, every living thing except the driver inside a bus, car, Keke must come down and raise his/her two hands up to be sure the person isn’t with any weapon. Oh well… Until there’s a legal/defined way to go about this Biafra thingy, there will never be peace. If you haven’t experienced this ipob boys and there madness you will not understand, it’s not about writing epistle on Facebook in the comfort of your home that they should give us biafra this and that.

“These boys are terrorizing us, their people, the Igbos per se. Imagine if they had killed us or any of us. Just like that. Most of this ipob boys are touts, and thieves, I almost forgot to say that they
took our drivers phone too. And returned it when he gave them the money. This is too much really. My heart is still heavy. Find attached the selfies I took before and after, u’ll notice the car seat cover that was removed. I couldn’t take pictures of the other scenes because I was scared. I just Thank God we came out of this alive.

Source: Breaking Times


The Lie About Biafra By Frank Aig-Imoukhuede

In an article in the Africa Journal of October 1946 titled Les Portuguaisdans la Baie de Biafra au XViemeSiecle (‘The Portuguese in the Bay of Biafra in the Fifteenth Century’), Monsieur J. Bouchard had stated that the word, Biafra, is not of Portuguese origin as some people think, and does not come from any place or tribe within the region. It is simply a corruption by the cartographers of the sixteenth century of the word Mascha, which was the name of a mountain marked near this region on the map of Africa by Ptolemy.

‘By 1515, Mascha had become Mafra and by some error, Biafra. It is pertinent to note, for example, that Benin’s famous inland port, Gwato (also often written as Gatto), is a corruption of Ughoton, its Edo name. Similarly, although not many people know it, the oldest iron mining centre in Africa, Taruga, lies within the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja and its local name, from which it was corrupted, is Takunshara which Europeans found difficult to pronounce and approximated to ‘Taruga’.

Hearing the news of the success of the Portuguese attracted to the coastline known as the Bight of Biafra by trade, some English and French merchant adventurers came to the Guinea Coast early in the 16th century; but it was not until the later part of that century that the English, French and Dutch came in any number. By that time, following the discovery of the Congo by Diego Cao, the Cape of Good Hope by Bartholomew Dias and India by Vasco da Gama, the West Coast had lost much of its importance to Portugal.

‘The British gradually gained ascendancy in the region and their position became consolidated by their efforts to abolish the slave trade. This position continued after the end of the slave trade, when they became middlemen traders in palm oil and kernels and dominated the markets far inland up the New Calabar, Sombreiro and Orashi rivers.

In the latter river, following a war with the Nembe people, their influence spread as far as to Oguta, north of Owerri Division’. Like the Kalabari who claimed Oba Ama (land of the Oba) as their place of origin, the Oguta people in their oral tradition (see Nzimiro) claim to have also come from Ado n’Oba (their name for Ado or Benin where the Oba lived).

Talbot, in his History of Southern Nigeria, Volume I, in tracing the origin of the name of present-day Calabar-which was also mixed up-states: ‘what in all probability actually happened was that the word was taken from the (New) Calabar river which was so named from the town of the Kalabari who lived on it and seems to have been more important from a trading point of view than the Cross river. Through some error, this name was applied to the Cross-river estuary which was finally called ‘Old’ Calabar to distinguish it from the Kalabari River, which was then named the ‘New Calabar River’.

The map at page 242 of Talbot’s History, described as a ‘New and correct map of Calabar River, shows the New Calabar and Old Calabar rivers as two channels of the same river, again shown West of Bandy (Bonny) and Dony (Andoni), issuing out at the same mouth called the Calabar River or Rio Real’.

After the Benin River and the Sangana outlet and before coming to the Nun, there is a projection of land called Cape Formosa. According to A.R. Mockler – Ferryman in ‘British Nigeria’ published in 1891, ‘The Bight of Biafra extends from this Cape, which is in latitude 40 5’ North longitude 60 East to Cape St. John, in latitude 10 15’ North, longitude 90 3’ East, a distance round the coast line of 400 miles, and in a straight direction, of 280. The Bight of Biafra also includes within it Fernando Po, Principes, Sao Thome and Anno Bon Islands’.

‘Within the Bight are the rivers Nun, Brass (or Bento), St. Nicholas, S. Barbara, St. Bartholomew, Sombrero, New Calabar, Bonny, Andoni, Old Calabar, Rio del Rey, Bimbia, Cameroons, Balimba, Boreah, Campo, Bati, St. Benito and Bassakoo’ some of which feature in both Ptolemy’s map of 1513 and the MERCATOR 1619. In strict sense, these rivers and the land through which they run, mark the boundary of the ‘Bight of Biafra.’

With the rise of British activities and the career of the Royal Niger Company, and British ascendancy in the adjacent coastal regions, which were incorporated in what became the British Protectorate of the Niger between 1884 and 1885, the various rivers of the Bight of Biafra became known as the Oil Rivers.

‘The Oil Rivers-from west to east-were ‘the Benin, Escravos, Warri (Forcados), Brass, St. Nicholas, St. Barbara, St. Bartholomew, Sombrero, New Calabar, Bonny, Andoni (St. Antonio), Opobo, Kwa Ibo, Akpayafe, Kwa, and Cross, the last four of which empty themselves into the Old Calabar before reaching the sea.’

In the neighbourhood of the Benin river, the people who lived in the Bight of Biafra were Bini. To their west were the Ilaje, Ikale, Mahin and the people of Okitipupa; eastward come the Urhobo and between them and the sea, the Jekri or Itsekiri. In the Niger Delta section of the Bight were the Ijo (with several off-shoots), and in their north west the Ibo, who are sub-divided into many minor tribes.

In the eastern division of the Southern Protectorate were a great variety of people mostly allied in language with the Ibo. Among them are the Aro who inhabited fourteen towns which encircled an oracle called the Long Juju, the bam, Edda, Abriba and Ohafia who fought battles for them; and the Ngwa.

In the immediate neighbourhood of Old Calabar, the ‘Biafra’ inhabitants were the Ibibio, Annang and the Efik who are ‘supposed by some to be connected with the Ibo, but by others to be a distinct people;’ while in the country watered by the Upper Cross River and the Cameroon River were the Ekoi and allied semi-Bantus.

Talbot quotes John Barbot as writing in 1699: ‘the territory of Calabar or Calbari, lies on and about the river called by the Portuguese ‘Rio Real,’ by the English ‘Calabar’ and by the Dutch ‘Calbary’ from the town of New Calbari or Calabar situated on that river’.

The Bonny River, which has the same mouth as the New Calabar, was originally called the Rio da Carmo. The Cross River is shown on old Portuguese maps as the Rio da Cruz. (Most of the names given to rivers and islands by the Portuguese were of a religious nature- the Cross river receiving its name not because it was supposed to have ‘crossed over from the Niger’, an erroneous suggestion of the origin of the name which has often been repeated.

The map in Talbot’s History earlier referred to, also states that some leagues north of Calabar Town is Hackbous (Ibo) country. Thus, the boundary of the Bight of Biafra is more clearly defined than it has often been made to look. Issues tagged ‘Biafra’ therefore, are within the competence and jurisdiction of the Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Delta states in which the Bight of Biafra is housed.

‘In the first Portuguese maps after the ‘discovery’ of Nigeria, as well as of their Dutch successors, the whole of the present southern Nigeria, at any rate down to the Bonny River, was shown as the Benin Kingdom.’ (Page 156, Talbot’s Southern Nigeria, Volume 1).

In the MERCATOR 1619 (Redrawn 1925) – (also featured in Talhot’s History) left, next to what was described as Benin Regnum (Kingdom), was Dauma (Dahomey). In the book, the King of Benin is described as ‘the Lord of seven kingdoms’ and ‘Chief King of all that coast.’

According to Dapper (1668), ‘the kingdom of Benin was bordered to the North West by the kingdoms of Ulkami (Olukumi or Oyo), Yaboe (Ijebu), Isago whose army on horseback Benin had fought and defeated, Udobo (Urhobo), and east beyond the Niger, the kingdom of Istamia.

No kingdom or principality by the name of ‘Biafra’ was mentioned in the accounts of visitors to Africa between the 14th and 18th centuries and the 19th century accounts of Baikie, Lander, Crowther, Hutchinson, or other explorers and Claude Macdonald’s assistant, Mockler- Ferryman.

At a time when Europe scrambled for territories and ‘spheres of influence’ in Africa and land was grabbed along the coast to link with land in the hinterland, maps which feature Biafra were not consistent as to the position of ‘Biafra regnum’ or kingdom. A few had it spelt ‘Biafara’ and stretching from Adamawa’s present-day position to the coast next to the kingdom of Benin.

In one of the maps, the Benue River flows from west to east and into Lake Chad! However, one or two maps had on them a ‘River Kebbi’ flowing (correctly) from Yola to a village among the Tuburi swamps in German Cameroon called Bifara. This map had been surveyed by Major Claude Macdonald during his expedition to the Benue River. It was remarked in a footnote of ‘British Nigeria’ by A.F. Mockler-Ferryman where it appeared, that no Frenchman or German had stepped on Bifara soil before 1894.

The foregoing was extracted from the 1935 Intelligence Report on the Kalabari clan by Capt. V.C.M. Kelsey, District Officer and from the publications of Capt. (later Lt. Col. and then Barrister-at-law A.F. Mockler-Ferryman, who was assistant to Major (later Sir) Claude Macdonald, who at one time had served as Commissioner and Consul General of the Bights of Benin and Biafra. Capt. Mockler-Ferryman was the author of the books from which some of these facts were gleaned.

It is clear that the Bight of Biafra refers to the coastal space between the Benin River and the Cameroon River occupied mainly by the Bini, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Kalabari, Okrika, Andoni, Ogoni, Nembe, Brass, Efik, Ibibio and the Ekoi and the inhabitants of the land between Bakassi and the Cameroon mountains. It starts from the Benin River and ends at the Gabon River and is fringed to the northeast by some Ibo groups.

It is clear from the foregoing that matters and issues relating to Biafra are not the exclusive concern or preserve of any single ethnic group but belong to all the entities, territories and peoples within the area tagged the Bight of Biafra – the Bini, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ijo, Okrika, Ogoni, Efik, Annang, Ibibio, Ododop, Ekoi and some Ibo who at one time were also part of the Oil Rivers; and today are integral parts of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.

Unfortunately, as far as the question of self-determination is concerned, secession is being imposed on the indigenous people by elements with fewer claims to indigeneity.

Any matter, especially secession from Nigeria, involving the geographical space known as the ‘Bight of Biafra’, must also include the participation in the ensuing debate, dialogue and negotiation of its constituent elements, entities and all the peoples of the country.

Some people have described Biafra as a metaphor of national growth and development. Our experience of it, however, has proved very costly in the loss of lives; and very costly in its divisiveness and destructiveness what with the energy and resources it requires and has exacted and is required to unravel its conundrums and defuse its time bombs and booby-traps.

In fact, with the origin and antecedence of the word ‘Biafra’ and our bitter experience the last time, the best thing for Nigerians to do – once and for all- is to leave Biafra well alone!

Why Biafra Secret Service Was Set Up- Nnamdi Kanu

Nnamdi Kanu, Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB has finally explained why he set up the Biafra Secret Service saying it was to protect the people of Biafra.

There was tension in the Nation as a video went viral showcasing the fully dressed secret service of the Biafra agitators. He has now made a statement to journalists after a visit to the chairman, South East senate caucus, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, at his country home, Ohuru, in Obingwa council area of Abia State, explained that there was no need for anybody to be afraid of the internal operations of IPOB saying the group will never engage in violence or armed struggle.


According to him, ‘there is no need for anybody to be afraid of the internal operations of IPOB. Biafra Secret Service is like the vigilante outfits you have everywhere. It is not armed. We want to stop the menace of Fulani herdsmen in our land. We won’t tolerate it, it won’t happen here. In the North, you have the Hisbah Police, Sharia police; you even have the Janjaweed police. Here, we have nothing; we need to protect this land. We need to prevent the Fulani cattle men from rustling; we are opposed to every form of disorder and criminality. IPOB will never be violent, we will never be armed’.


He continued to say, ‘so, there is no need for people to be afraid of the internal operations of IPOB because we will never resort to armed violence or armed struggle of any sort .Our method is far more potent and effective than any armed struggle’.