THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, accused the federal and Anambra State governments of recruiting those it described as uneducated individuals and students in the universities to infiltrate its ranks in order to label the organisation a violent group.
IPOB members at Federal High Court Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan It also expressed gratitude to Imolites over the reception granted its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in Owerri during his unscheduled visit to a friend over the weekend, where an estimated three to four million residents thronged the streets to welcome him. Meantime, leader of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has included opening of another Radio Biafra in Germany as part of activities lined up to mark the 18 years of the founding of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, which he said was formed September 13, 1999.
‘Miscreants have infiltrated our ranks’ IPOB was apparently reacting to Sunday’s incident at Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, where some youths dressed in IPOB uniform and waving Biafra flags tried to force themselves into St. Joseph’s Church in the town where Governor Willie Obiano was worshipping at the time. In a statement, yesterday, IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, accused government contractors of mobilising people who went to the Catholic church and harassed worshippers, alleging that the aim was to create room for security operatives to begin to arrest IPOB members in Ekwulobia and its environs. The statement by Powerful read:
“IPOB leaders and members are very intelligent people who cannot involve themselves in any act of violence. It is crystal clear to all and sundry that IPOB under Nnamdi Kanu remains non-violent in its pursuit for Biafra freedom and cannot change our method of peaceful approach towards the restoration of Biafra. The election boycott in Anambra, come November this year, remains, but cannot cause any violence.
“We are aware that some politicians and Nigeria security employed some uneducated individuals and groups in the society to harass the general public in the name of IPOB members. Some government contractors have printed IPOB T-shirts and Biafra flag with huge amount of money to be shared to the hungry youths to claim to be IPOB members under Nnamdi Kanu. “We advise the general public to beware of fake IPOB members, who were paid by politicians to cause confusion in Anambra and states in Biafraland.
” Suspected IPOB members sighted in Awka Meanwhile, several bus loads of suspected IPOB members were sighted in Awka, Sunday evening, as they headed towards Onitsha through the old Enugu-Onitsha road. Comprising mainly people between the 20 – 25 age bracket, and chanting Biafra songs and displaying Biafra banners, they kept shouting to other motorists and passersby that there would be no election in Anambra State in November.
Many residents of Awka said they were part of the reinforcement that tried to disrupt Governor Obiano’s church service at Ekwulobia. Thanks Imolites for reception given Kanu at Owerri Emma Powerful in a statement also thanked Biafrans and IPOB members in Anambra, Rivers, Ebonyi, Abia and Imo states respectively for “the overwhelming and immeasurable welcome they gave to our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, during his visit to the respective states.
“We equally thank God Almighty (Chukwu Okike Abiama) for making the outings and visits a successful one without any hiccup or breakdown of law and order despite the provocations of Nigerian Army and Police in Ebonyi State.” IPOB in its statement further stated that “since the inception of these private visits to various towns in Biafraland by our leader, we have not had any altercation, interruption or any act of misunderstanding with IPOB, the public and law enforcement agencies. At IPOB, we make it a point of duty to stream live videos across the world of our movements and events, to prevent our enemies from instigating trouble with which they can use to justify their illegal arrests and mass murder.
” Uwazuruike opens another Radio Biafra in Germany In a statement to newsmen, yesterday, in Onitsha, Anambra State, signed by Biafra Director of Information, Mazi Chris Mocha, Uwazuruike noted that the celebration proper of 18 years of MASSOB would take place in Onitsha, Anambra State on September 13. He noted that other activities lined up for the 18 years of non-violence and non-exodus by MASSOB would also feature the official opening of Voice of Biafra International, VOBI, radio located in Germany, which would lead to the radio commencing broadcast on short wave (SW) band, this week.
The statement further quoted Uwazuruike as saying that the radio station would be the “authentic voice of the Biafran people and always educate, inform and enlighten our people on the issue of Biafra and not to spread hate messages or blackmail.” The statement maintained that “BIM would continue to play a leading role in our quest for Biafra”, assuring Ndigbo that it is only non-violence that will lead them to Biafra independence without firing a gunshot.
On Anambra State governorship election fixed for November 18, the statement added that its members would suffocate Anambra as the Ijele Ndigbo, Uwazuruike and BIM will visit Onitsha in solidarity with Chief Willie Obiano to tell him and Ndi-Anambra that the election must hold on November 18 as planned.
Oyo: Makinde Mother’s Burial Holds December
Body of Chief (Mrs.) Abigail Makinde, the mother of Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde will be interred in the first week of December.
Governor Makinde disclosed this yesterday while playing host to a delegation from the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi Ogunlade Odundun II, which was in Ibadan, the state capital to commiserate with him on the death of his mother.
The governor said he was very delighted with the visit, urging Akure people, the kingdom where his mother was born, to actively participate in her funeral.
Makinde, who described them as one of the most upright, bold and honest people in Yoruba land and the nation at large, also added that his late mother was a role model whose dedication to work, uprightness, boldness and honesty were the traits of Akure people.
A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, quoted the governor as saying “when you see an average Akure man or woman, you see courage and see people who are true to their words.”
While delivering the condolence message from the Deji of Akure, the leader of the delegation, who is the Asae of Akure Kingdom, Senior High Chief Sola Adegbonmire, described the governor’s mother as a worthy daughter of Akure Kingdom.
He stressed that the Omoregie family, where Madam Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde hailed from, is a family of exceptional and wonderful people in Akureland.
Oba Aladetoyinbo further described the death of Madam Makinde as a painful loss not only to the Makinde family but also to the entire Akure Kingdom.
He then prayed that God would grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
‘My mother was an epitome of love, humility’ – Gov. Makinde mourns
The Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has described his late mother, Chief (Mrs.) Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde, as an epitome of love and humility, despite being a disciplinarian.
The governor stated this on Friday while receiving the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Sencondus, on a condolence visit to his house at Ikolaba GRA, Ibadan.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the governor expressed gratitude to the PDP NWC, noting that the fact that the leadership of the party made it to Ibadan barely 24 hours after Mama’s demise showed the love they have for him.
The statement also noted that apart from the PDP NWC entourage, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo, and Delta States, Alhaji Daud Akinola, Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniyy Abubakri Agbotomokekere, the Grand Mufti of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdul Fatai Alaga, and other Muslim leaders also paid condolence visits to the governor.
Similarly, the Oyo State Judiciary led by the Chief Justice of the state, Justice Muntar Abimbola, and the General Officer Commanding, 2 Div, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major General Anthony Omozoje, were also at the Makinde residence to condole with the governor.
Speaking while receiving the PDP entourage, which included the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (retd); Deputy National Secretary; National Financial Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi MaiBasira; National Woman Leader, Hajia Mariya Waziri; National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, as well a leader of the PDP from Osun State, Hon. Soji Adagunodo, Governor Makinde said the family remains grateful to God for the life Mama lived.
He said: “I want to thank you most sincerely for this condolence visit. I want to say, on behalf of myself, my wife, immediate family, and extended family, we are very grateful and appreciative of this visit. This happened yesterday morning and you are here this morning. It shows that you truly love me. So, I want to say thank you.
“Actually, we were preparing for my mummy’s 81st birthday, which would have been on the November 7, exactly three weeks from yesterday. But who are we to question God?
“We are grateful to God for the life she lived. To us, she was an epitome of love, humility. She was tough. If you see that trait in some of us, it came from her. And we also thank God that it was not like we were carrying her from one hospital to the other. She died peacefully in her sleep. So, we thank God for what He has done.”
Governor Makinde, who also took the opportunity to appreciate the PDP NWC for the confidence it had in him to lead the Ondo State governorship campaign, said what the outcome of the election meant was that the party would have to go back to the drawing board, adding that the campaign council will submit a report as soon as practicable.
“I will also like to use this opportunity to thank the National Working Committee of our great party for the opportunity you gave to us to lead the campaign in Ondo State. We can’t question God for the outcome of that election. What it means is that we have to go back to the drawing board. We will be submitting a report of those areas where we fell short, to the NWC as soon as practicable.
“I really want to use this opportunity to thank all of you who were there in Akure for the love of our party and for the support that you gave to our candidate in Ondo State.
“Once again, my Chairman, I am appreciative of this visit and I thank you and all the members of the NWC of our party.”
Earlier, the PDP national chairman said that the visit was to condole with the governor and the family for the loss of their mother.
He said: “A time like this is the time you know those who care and those who are with you. Unfortunately, we have two situations on our hands. We lost the chairman of the party in Zamfara. Obviously, we divided ourselves; the Deputy National Chairman of the party left for Zamfara yesterday morning for the burial of our late chairman of the party. And I and the rest of us in the National Working Committee leadership decided yesterday to come to Ibadan today.
“We are here by the grace of God to console you and the rest of the members of your family. We have no other way to do it than to join you in prayers.
“It is a very painful experience that you have to go through, sometimes alone. I know what it is because I have experienced it. It is only God that can fill the vacuum in your heart because the care of a mother is quite different from that of a father.
“So, on behalf of the leadership of our party, we are here to console you on this condolence visit. The Lord will strengthen you. And because you are one of our best and doing good works for the people of Oyo State and at this time that you are giving out your best, suddenly, God who gives has taken your beloved mother.
“We are here to share the pain and sorrow with you and to let you know we will continue in prayers during this period, even as we prepare for the funeral. After the funeral, we will continue to pray for you, your immediate and larger family. It is important for us to do so, having worked with you and having seen you as a man who is compassionate and cares for others.
“Today, we are here with you and we pray that God will energise you at this period and stretch His right hand of righteousness to touch every one of the members of the family to bear this great loss.
“Therefore, as members of the National Working Committee, we pray that God will keep you now and thereafter to make you continue to do the good work for the people of Oyo State
Nigeria: Group drums support for #ENDSARS
Benchmark Group of Nigeria on Friday declared its support for the ongoing peaceful #EndSARS protests, as Nigerians speak up against police brutality.
Akanbi Bukola, founder of the group in a chat with Mega Icon Magazine said it is imperative to identify with Nigerians as protests continue around the country to end police brutality and the abuse of power by the institution established to protect its citizenry.
She noted that aside corruption and oppression from the hands of some elements of the Nigeria Police Force, “this time around, Nigerians, irrespective of faith, ethnic or political biases, must come together to eradicate police brutality once and for all in the society”.
According to her, for many Nigerians, the police has failed to fulfill its mandate of providing public security as enshrined in the constitution, adding that officers are now viewed more as predators than protectors.
Akanbi lamented further that Nigerians struggling to make ends meet are accosted on a daily basis by these officers who demand bribes and commit abuses against them as a means of extorting money.
“Those who fail to pay are usually threatened with arrest and physical harm, by those expected to protect them”, she said.
Akanbi, however called for the overall reform of the country’s police force.
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