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IPOB AGITATIONS: BETWEEN ACTIVISM AND TERRORISM

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UNTIL the recent declaration by the Nigeria’s military that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a terrorist group, members have been operating with impunity particularly in the South-Eastern part of the country. Before the skirmish and eventually onslaught against IPOB members by the Federal army, the general impression created by Nnamdi Kanu’s boys was that they can over-run the country within a twinkle of an eye.

If not for the excesses and display of anarchistic principles by IPOB, the Nigeria’s army wouldn’t have started military campaign in the region. One other thing that prompted the operation python dances II is the recalcitrant nature of Kanu’s group.

Given the secessionist objectives, hate speeches and inciting videos of Nnamdi Kanu in the last three months, it will be a great disservice to the nation for President Muhammed Buhari to keep mute over the group assault against our collective psyche as a people. If he had heeded the warning early enough, the decision to launch military campaign in the region wouldn’t have arose.

Even if he had meant well for his people when he started the activism, the inherently random use of propaganda and fire arms has turned the harrow-head of the struggle to a villain instead of an hero. Whoever are the group advisors and strategists had done a sort of collateral damage to the struggle with the militarism and excesses of the group. Worse still, the proscription of IPOB by the southeast governors and Ohanaeze is a big blow to the survival of the group and it’s members now and in the future.

Expectedly, the Kanu’s group had not only been disowned but with the disclaimer by the leadership of the region, the members had obviously become endangered. I am therefore not surprised that Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) described the emergency of the terror group as a consequence of failure of Igbo leaders to provide proper leadership for the region.

On whether President Muhammed Buhari was right or wrong to have declared military action depends on the angle from where one looks at the issue. In my own view, President Buhari owes the nation the responsibility of depending it’s sovereignty and territorial integrity at all times. Obviously, the actions and ulterances of Kanu and his cohorts are not only capable of undermining the Nigeria’s sovereignty, it can equally put its territorial integrity into total jeopardy.

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Given the frequent and widespread reports of wanton destruction of properties, maiming and killings, kidnapping and secessionist activities of Kanu’s group in the southeast, the military might be right for tagging IPOB a terrorist group.The activities of the group is treasonable and has reached a stage where it can no longer be tolerated.

The degrading conduct of IPOB is now attracting international attention. IPOB qualifies to be called a terrorist group for its felonious pursuits and lawlessness. IPOB is not different from Boko Haram given the fact that it has adopted its flag, raised military and declared independent states within the federation. If Boko Haram is regarded as terrorist group for arms struggle, assassinations, kidnapping and contesting the nation’s sovereignty the same description suits IPOB.

Both groups are best be described as enemy of the state for their persistent attacks on Nigeria’s sovereignty.It is therefore not an aberration or affront against the natural order for the military to opt for the option of counter terrorism.

Again, the diplomatic row spurred by the romances between IPOB and AbdulKadir Erkahraman, a Turkish citizen has given the entire narrative a necessary international dimension. Until the recent disclaimer by Turkish Embassy, the insinuation that the Turkish government was drumming support for Biafra agitation and were behind the accusation of genocide against President Buhari was very popular particularly on social media and new media.

Whoever has read the book titled ‘Terrorism’ by Walter Laqueur and ‘The ultimate ‘Terrorists by Jessica Stern would agree with the Defence Headquarters that sociologically, psychologically and legally, the activities of IPOB qualifies it to be described as a terrorist group.

In the circumstance where Nnamdi Kanu keep on threatening and inciting his militias to burn the country if he is re-arrested, government is justified to have endorsed operation python dances.

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Similar operations had been launched and prosecuted in other parts of the country in the past where corporate existence of the nation was earlier being threatened.

The argument that army’s presence around Afara Ukwa, the ancestral home of Nnadi Kanu amounts to act of provocation is utter nonsense.

With the manner of retreat and how Kanu hibernated since the military campaign in his home town began, the inward and outward cowardliness of this do called Biafran agitator is glaringly exposed. He would have waited to match the Nigeria’s Army with equal force as a proof of his preparedness for secession from the federation.

From the facts available, the victimhood rhetorics and propaganda that President Buhari is trying to wage a genocidal war against Igbo is baseless and unfounded. Apparently, the propaganda has failed. The retreat by Kanu’s group is a triumph of the federal might over ethnic militarism and chauvinism.

Of significant note is solidarity parade across Kano streets by the northern youth in response to provocation by the IPOB. This has really prevented the possibility of reprissal attack against the Igbos living in the North following the activities of ethnic jingoists in Abia, the country home of Nnamdi Kanu. What this implies is that the Northern youths seen to be more committed to national integration and cohesion in the present circumstance.

The call by the southeaster governors for the withdrawal of federal troop from the region, however sounds plausible but the timing depends on how soon peace is restored to the region.

Above all, the specific lessons in the entire development need special highlights. The first is that there is discontent and disaffection in the land due to lopsidedness of the Nigeria’s federal structure. Irrespective of the name tag, the fact still remains that there is the need for national dialogue to address some unanswered national questions.

Whether this is to be called restructuring or borrowing Prof. Wole Soyinka’s word-reconfiguration – it is an incontrovertible fact that Nigerian are not one in spirit, thoughts, belief system and culture.
If the country must remain indissoluble and indivisible entity, strong and united nation, the government should create opportunities and enabling environment for the aggrieved groups to come up with their demands and grounds for agitation for the country to experience a lasting peace.

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Another important lesson is that social crusaders and activists should learn not to over-estimate their strength. Besides, all of us need to realise that it is always calamitous to start a war one cannot win. From all indications, IPOB is already being defeated by men of operation Python dances.

What this potend is that by October 2017 next adjournment of Kanu’s court case, he would see the full wrath of law in case he fails to appear in court for proper prosecution of his case.

I am sure, the man would be both hypertensive and in serious dilemma as the next date of his case adjournment is drawing near wherever the place of his hibernation. Moreso, he has ran foul of virtually all his bail conditions in speeches and action. Predictably, the bail bond will be reviewed to advantage of the nation’s security system thereby putting the man in shackle until he is considered remorseful.

 

Rahaman Onike,
An Author and Policy Analyst,
writes from Oyo State College of Agriculture & Technology, Igboora.

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National Issues

#ENDSARS: Buhari to address the Nation at 7pm on Thursday

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President Muhammadu Buhari will make will make a national broadcast Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 7pm.

This was stated in a Press Statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adriana

According to him, “Following detailed briefing by security chiefs on the current situation in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari

”Television, radio and other electronic media outlets are enjoined to hook up to the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Radio Nigeria respectively for the broadcast”.

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National Issues

#ENDSARS: ‘Military offensive on protesters is an abomination, Akande -Sadipe talks tough

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Akande-Sadipe

The Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe has called on President Muhammed Buhari to address the killing of unarmed protesters across the nation, while condemning the killing of protesters by Armed Security operatives in the country.

Tolulope Akande Sadipe in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday said, “I weep for my beloved country, Nigeria. This is the Darkest Moment in our Nation. The Current Action is Unacceptable”.

She wondered why men of the Nigerian Army turned on the people they were meant to Protect, firing live bullets at citizens holding the Nigerian Flag and chanting the National Anthem, describing such as an “Abomination”.

“I, as a member of the House of Representatives cannot keep quiet in the midst of this abominable action. I was duly elected to be the voice of my people and my people are weeping”, she said.

She opined that the protests were about a generation trying to end the systematic rot that pervades the society, which had eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nation.

The APC chieftain  continued, “We need to be honest with one another on this matter. We need to face the truth on ground. The youths were out there because they are tired and fed up of victimization, daily oppression, injustice, unemployment, untapped talents, lack of opportunity, poor healthcare, poor education and lack of infrastructure and power across the Nation. The Youths are protesting for a better future for themselves and their children. The #EndSARS PROTEST stands for the systematic ROT in our Nation.

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“This was about the realities on ground. This was about the ROT since independence. This was about genuine service to the people who elected us to represent them. This was not about the President, this was not about the current administration, this was not about North and South, this was not about Religion. This was not about party affiliation. This was about a Generation trying to end the systematic ROT that pervades our society”.

Speaking against the backdrop that there are some external forces pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, the lawmaker representing Oluyole Federal Constituency  said the Federal Government should genuinely address issues.

“Those alluding, that there is a 5th Columnist within or external, there is a solution. If there is a 5th columnist or external negative force, pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, if we do the right thing, by genuinely addressing the issues that have led to the distrust between leadership and our youths, by addressing the rot that has pervaded our Nation. The 5th columnist in our midst or external negative force, would fail. But with this action, what have we said to the Youth and to the world.

“This is the time to make the wrongs right and it is not by bringing out the Army to shoot its own citizens, that we achieve this. We can still put a stop to this inferno. We must realize that no position is permanent and it is the country we make that we shall all live in”, she added.

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Concluding, she empathized with all the families of fallen Youth Patriots, praying that their death would not be in vain.

 

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National Issues

Nigeria Excluded From 2022 US Visa Lottery

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Nigeria has been barred from the US visa lottery application for 2022, a document obtained from the US Government website showed. 

In a 19-page document published on the website, Nigeria is the only African country barred from the visa lottery.

“For DV-2022, persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than, 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam,” the document read. “Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.”

Although natives of other African countries are allowed to apply, the document explained that “persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt,” it said.

“Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria.”

In the document captioned “Instructions for the 2022 diversity immigrant visa program (dv-2022),” applicants must meet certain guidelines to be eligible for the visa lottery.

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“The Department of State determines selectees through a randomized computer drawing,” the statement added.

“The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven per cent of the available DVs in any one year.”

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