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National Conference: Igbos abroad move against Ike Nwachukwu.


 

A cross section of Igbos in the Diaspora have kicked against the choice of retired General Ike Nwachukwu as leader of the Igbo delegation to the National Conference inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan this evening in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

Acting under the aegis of Nzuka-Igbo USA, they are demanding Nwachukwu’s withdrawal from the conference, saying that his antecedents do not inspire any confidence in his ability to represent Ndigbo well the confab. Nzuko-Igbo USA made its case in a statement signed by For and on behalf of Nzuko-Igbo USA Vincent O. Erondu, President; Owen Owunwanne, PhD, Secretary; Attorney Uche Okedi; Mr. Oster Nwankwo; Mr. Ugo Ukandu; Sylvester Nwaoye, PhD; and Mr. Clement Dennar, The statement reads as follws:

“Nzuko-Igbo USA, calls on South-East Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndiigbo, Aka-Ikenga and all stake holders in the South-East to please replace General Ike Nwachukwu as the leader of South – East delegation to the forthcoming National Conference.

“Various reactions are trailing General Ike Nwachukwu’s selection not only to be a member of the delegation from Abia state, but to lead the South-East delegates to the national conference. The issues arising from this nomination go beyond General Nwachukwu’s membership of Abia delegation, but how he emerged as the leader of the delegation. The public, particularly the Igbo would like to know who chose General Nwachukwu to lead the delegation. As for the membership of the delegation from Abia State, no one should be surprised that he made the list. “Governor T.A. Orji never believes in fairness, experience and equity. He is an ardent believer in personality cult, rubbing the palms of praise singers, hand outs to political party agents disguised as traditional rulers, instead of using public resources to execute projects beneficial to the citizenry regardless of status, ethnicity, and local government of origin.

“Unreservedly, we admit that Abia state delegates to the conference are qualitative. Abia has so many qualified people for this job in all respects. Picking just 10 with all the strings attached is an onerous task. The two Generals; Ike Nwachukwu and Ihejirika should not have been on the delegation list for obvious and different reasons.  With several qualified persons in Abia and the South-East region the choice of General Nwachukwu as a delegate let alone leader of the team is a mistake that should have been avoided.

“Whoever that recommended or chose General Ike Nwachukwu to lead our delegation should tell us when the General began to take interest in Abia State, Igbo and regional matters. Do his supporters not know that this General has a lot of political baggage? He has not been able to defend all allegations against him about the Nigerian-Biafra war. He is not known to be a builder or a leader even though he led soldiers.  The National Conference calls for civilian leadership. It is not for the elites alone, or for the military top brass. General Nwachukwu was given the opportunity to lead the Igbo twice: as Military Governor and Senator but he blew the opportunity each time.

“As a military Governor, he set the Igbo clock of progress backward. He destroyed all that Governor S.O. Mbakwe put in place. Our cities Aba, Owerri, Umuahia, etc began to deteriorate as all rubbish/trash bins stationed at strategic places for the proper disposal of rubbish/trash disappeared. His era marked the genesis of urban deterioration in the old Imo State. Our cities are yet to recover from the disappearance of the sanitary equipments. We were subjected to Educational suffocation as he abolished a system that had campus in the five senatorial districts of the state and replaced it with a single campus university. Each campus of the then Imo State University system had the potential of developing into a university. The cost to the Igbo as a result of this hindsight or lack of planning is not quantifiable.

“As a senator, he was not effective. Let him tell the Igbo Bills he initiated to correct the structural imbalance and obnoxious military decrees and edits that targets the Igbo, including boundary adjustments to deprive Igbo States off shore oil revenues. Since he left the Senate and retired to private life what Igbo group does he belonged to and what has he done to further the interest of the Igbo or our region. Former Senator Joseph Waku from Benue State (a retired Non Commission Officer) was more active than our General in the Senate. Since Senator Waku left the Senate he has been active in Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).  He is heard in almost every national debate but nobody hears from General Nwachukwu. Now he wants to lead the South-East delegation to the National Conference.

“In 2003 General Elections, General Ike Nwachukwu contested for the presidency of Nigeria. He was the flag bearer of National Democratic Party (NDP). His campaign never got off the ground, turnaround he was merely filling in for a northern General. How can the Igbo trust his leadership to the National Conference?  Considering all of the above, this man does not have us at heart. He does not know our states, Igbo or our regional problems and boundaries. He lacks community spirit and community organizing skills. We have not read where the Federal Government indicated that zonal delegates must be lead by retired Generals. South-East may be the only zone to be led by an uninterested retired General in a predominantly civilian affair.

“The old war horse Senator Uche Chukwumereije is suitable for this leadership position, but for the national assembly’s lackadaisical attitude towards the national conference. Senator Chukwumereije, is a solid gentleman who would under no circumstance stab his people or colleagues at the back. We understand Senators Adolphus Wabara and Senator Ken Nnamani, having held the highest political office currently in the South-East zone can lead the delegation. As a matter of fact any vibrant and experienced politician from the zone should replace General Ike Nwachukwu. We are not short of qualified personalities. We still have people like Admiral Ebite Ukiwe who has fully integrated himself into civilian society and has participated directly or indirectly in matters affecting the region and Nigeria at large. Replacing General Ike Nwachukwu is imperative to get our delegation back to track and have them enjoy the fullest support of our people the represented.

“The constitutional Conference is a rarity; Nigerians have agitated for it for several years. It offers an opportunity to shelve or consign all manners of injustices, inequalities, imposed colonial and military constitutions, to the dust bin and put traditional colonists in check. It will replace the anomalies in our polity and lay the foundations for modern Federal system of Government rooted in democratic principles and Rule of Law.

“General Azubuike Ihejirika, the Darling of the people: This newly retired gentleman should not have been nominated to the National Conference. He needs time to rest, reintegrate himself into civilian society, and understand the needs and aspirations of his people at various levels; Local, State, Regional and Federal governments. His accomplishments speak for themselves. When our win at all cost politicians could not retrieve the arms they gave to their tugs and kidnappers to intimidate their opponents and the public for election purposes, and could not provide them with livelihood, the tugs turned their weapon on our people. General Ihejirika with the blessings of President Jonathan rid our home of the tugs turned kidnappers and made the South-East livable again. General! Take it “Nwayoly” Age is on your side. We shall not forget when your time comes. We also, disagree that the elevation of General Ihejirika ended Igbo marginalization in Nigerian Army but a desirable improvement to our aged long situation.

“The stake holders and the powers that be in the South-East should feel the pulse of the people, read and digest comments from various Igbo organization and individuals and act accordingly.

Remember that “a stitch in time saves nine”. Avoid had we known.

“Nzuko-Igbo USA, calls on South-East Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndiigbo, Aka-Ikenga and all stake holders in the South-East to please replace General Ike Nwachukwu as the leader of South-East delegation to the forthcoming National Conference.”

Source News Express

Nigeria to pay N12m to each delegate at the confab; Bakare says he won’t receive allowance.


 

Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has said that he will not partake of the N12m to be paid to each delegate to the three-month National Conference to be inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday (today).
Bakare, representing Ogun State at the conference, said he made the decision not to collect the money to be paid to delegates by the Federal Government in order to dispel any speculation that his motivation for accepting to take part in the conference was material.
Each of the 492 delegates to the National Conference would be paid N4m per month for the three month duration and this has been the subject of controversy with some Nigerians condemning the amount to be spent.
Announcing to his church members that he had accepted to be a delegate to the conference, Bakare told the congregation that he would be giving them weekly report as the conference progressed.
He said, “A friend of mine called me this (Sunday) morning that he heard on the radio that ‘Pastor Bakare had accepted to go, that his own fee is N12m’. Pastor Bakare will not take a kobo in the National Conference.
“I will not take a penny. It has nothing to do with others; that is by choice. We go with integrity of heart, it is not money. The God of heaven will prosper us.
“What I say here is what I will do there. I do not say others should do it, but I intend to do that so that our heart can remain pure. That does not mean the hearts of others are not pure but I don’t want anybody to think in any slight manner that the motive is this.
“This is the moment we have been waiting for, for this end I was born. Nigeria will be saved, Nigeria will be changed, and Nigeria will become great.”
Bakare explained that before he decided to be a delegate, he sought the approval of Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the man to whom the cleric was a running mate on the platform of Congress for Progressive Change in the 2011 presidential election.
He said, “Before I answered the call, before I said yes, I called General Buhari that ‘I don’t want our stands on this national conference issue to be different. The governor of Ogun State put me on his list, the Elders of South-West put me on their list. What do you say?’
“He said the All Progressives Congress might not be going, but you are free to go because you never can tell how God will help our nation. That does not mean I am in APC. People have been asking, ‘are you in APC,’ ‘are you in PDP?’ I have told you, I am on the side of God. In this season I don’t know until we fix Nigeria.”
by PUNCH
(From Biafra Galaxy)

FG insists on no-go areas on National Conference.


There were indications last night that the Federal Government was serious about enforcing the no-go area clauses contained in the report of the Presidential Committee on National Conference, as many of the delegates began to arrive Abuja, yesterday, for the confab inauguration today.

Vanguard learnt from competent Presidency sources that the government was working hard to ensure that the delegates did not discuss any issue that could lead to the dismembering of Nigeria.

While unfolding the details of the National Conference in Abuja, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius

Anyim, listed the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as the areas that the delegates were not expected to deliberate on.
Vanguard learnt from authoritative sources that the government was bent on ensuring that the delegates kept to the issues canvassed by majority of Nigerians when the Femi Okurounmi-led Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue went round the country to collate their views on what should form the issues for discussion at the conference.

It was gathered that the Federal Government through the Conference Planning Secretariat had also developed a set of rules and regulations to guide the delegates’ deliberations and to ensure that they do not go outside their brief during plenary.

One source said that it was in recognition of the need to ensure that the delegates conform to what Nigerians had already pinpointed as the main areas of interest, that each delegate would be given a set of rules and regulations upon arrival in Abuja.

“While the government would not gag the delegates on what to discuss, it is also clear that the government will not allow anything that could lead to the break-up of Nigeria.

It is important to say that the committee planning the conference had outlined the major areas of interest to Nigerians based on the views expressed by them when the committee went round the six geo-political zones of the country.

“There is no doubt that the submission of the committee will help immensely in shaping the agenda of the meeting even though the secretariat will not in any way try to gag the delegates on what to say.

“It is also pertinent to say that anyone who wants to deviate from the views of the majority of Nigerians at the conference will have to test the superiority of their argument by winning by at least 75 per cent votes,” the source explained.

Vanguard also gathered that in a bid to ensure the success of the exercise, the secretariat might adopt a modified version of the Votes and Proceedings of the National Assembly for its work.

Although the delegates were expected to arrive for accreditation today, Vanguard observed that no fewer than 20 delegates had already been screened by hordes of security agents manning the expansive compound of the National Judicial Institute, NJI, the venue of the talks.

Each of the screened delegates was issued with tags with machine-readable security features and biometrics of the delegates.

Source: Radio Biafra.

By SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North

Rev. Franklin Graham Praises Putin for Stance Against Homosexuality.


Image: Rev. Franklin Graham Praises Putin for Stance Against Homosexuality(AP)

By Todd Beamon

The Rev. Franklin Graham has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his stance against homosexuality and slammed President Barack Obama’s “shameful” embrace of gay rights.

“To be clear, I am not endorsing President Putin,” Graham, the son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, said in the March issue of Decision magazine.

The magazine in published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, based in Charlotte, N.C. Franklin Graham is the association’s president and CEO.

“To survive in the KGB and rise to power in Russia, you have to be tough,” Graham said of Putin. “His enemies say he is ruthless. To some, he is a modern version of a czar. His personal life has its own controversies.

“Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue — protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda — Russia’s standard is higher than our own?

“Putin is right on these issues,” Graham continued. “Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”

Last year, Putin banned the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,” Graham said. The restriction was highlighted by the Russian president’s critics leading up to the Winter Games in Sochi last month.

“American media and liberal activists were outraged that the Olympics would be allowed in such an ‘intolerant’ culture,” Graham said. “Even though Putin said that gays and lesbians would be allowed at the Olympics, the fact that he took a stand — simply to protect children — ignited a worldwide cultural firestorm.

“He further explained the law by saying, ‘We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia,’ ” Graham said.

The evangelist called the American response to Putin’s crackdown “sadly predictable,” noting that President Obama sent gay and lesbian athletes to Sochi. He also mentioned Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement last month that his office would push forrecognition of same-sex marriage in all 50 states — “even in the 33 states that outlaw those marriages.”

Graham then charged Obama and Holder with having “turned their backs on God and his standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead. This is shameful.

“The world used to look to America for moral leadership,” Graham said. “But those days are long gone.”

He said that the United States has “abdicated our moral leadership” — at home and abroad.

“We defeated Communism, only to relax and see secularism and progressives take over our country,” Graham said. “Secularism is as godless as communism. Secularists and progressives have taken over our schools, media, and local and federal government. And it has all happened in the twinkling of an eye.”

He ended by quoting portions of Matthew 25:34 from the New Testament.

“But the Bible makes it clear that one day, ‘all nations will be gathered before [God]’ for judgment, and that ‘at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,'” Graham wrote.
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Duplicitous Atiku Commends Jonathan On 2nd Niger Bridge, knowing full well that it is a scam.


Former Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, said, Monday, that the flag off of the construction of the second Niger Bridge by President Goodluck Jonathan was belated, “as the project ought to have been completed before now.”

Atiku stated this while delivering a keynote address at the 16th annual conference of African Council for Communication Education.

The conference was entitled “Communication, Children and the Youth in the 21stcentury,” and was hosted by the Department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

At the time Atiku was speaking at Nsukka, President Jonathan was in Onitsha, Anambra State, flagging off the construction of the second Niger Bridge.

The former vice president, however, commended the President for eventually flagging off the construction of the second Niger Bridge after long years of wait.

He said that when completed, “the bridge would boost economic activities and transportation in the South-East zone and environs.”

In his address, Atiku urged participants at the ACCE conference to find solutions on how best to ensure that 10 million out-of-school children returned to school.

“The participants should also seek solution to the high rate of unemployment facing youths in the country,” he said.

He tasked the media on content that would promote the Nigerian economy, which, he said, has diverse sources of revenue and employment generation. “We don’t have to depend just on oil, but on agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing and services”.

He said, “The media as an agenda setter should promote ideas for building the 21stcentury robust economy. You also have the responsibility to promote an education system mix of academic and vocational training, so as to cater for diverse needs of the youth and the emerging economy.”

Atiku, a presidential hopeful in the All Progressives Congress, advocated that federal schools be handed over to states in which they were located, saying, “It would help in administration and management of the schools.”

He added, “The Federal Government should also focus on setting regulatory standards and insist on implementing these standards.

“It will save cost as well as make it easier in management if federal schools were handed over to the states.”

The Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria, Prof. Bartho Okolo, expressed appreciation to the former vice president for honoring the invitation.

Earlier, the Head, Department of Mass Communication in the institution, Dr. Ray Udeaja, explained that the aim of the conference was to continue to advance evolution of communication education in Africa as well as guarantee the dignity of young Africans in the coming days.

“We are aware of the faith our society reposes on those of us who are in the academics. This is why we organise such conferences as these to enable us contribute to sustainable development.

“This conference targets young Africans who are our successors on this planet,” he said.

Udeaja added that the ACCE 2013 annual conference held this year (2014) because of the protracted Academic Staff Union of Universities strike last year. [Vanguard]

(From Biafra Galaxy)

Boko Haram killed over 1,000 in one week –Borno Senator.


Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas, Ahmed Zannah Khalifa, has alleged that over 1,000 people have been killed by the Boko Haram insurgents in the last one week in the North East region of the country.
Khalifa, who is representing Borno Central in the Senate, spoke on Sunday in an interview with the Daily Independent in Abuja.
He lamented that the casualties in various killings were high due to the inability of the armed forces operating in the area to contain the insurgency.
Khalifa, also a member of the Senate Committee on Industries, accused the Federal Government of not equipping the soldiers enough to be able to surmount the insurgents that have been terrorising the region in the last three years.
He insisted that the terrorist sect was still in full grip of Borno and Yobe states, pointing out that over 20 villages in the areas were under the control of the insurgents.
“Since there are no schools, no markets functioning in those villages, it shows that the Boko Haram are still in total control of the area,” Khalifa said.
Reacting to insinuations that most of the bombings were carried out by the security operatives, Khalifa, a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said: “We are still investigating whether the security personnel were responsible for the bombings. We are not sure yet. But after our investigation, we will be able to say whether there are complexities in the military operations or not”.
He, however, regretted that he had not been able to have access to President Goodluck Jonathan to narrate his ordeals to him in the midst of the crisis, adding that he has been under serious threat because of his position on the crisis in his area.
“I have no access to the President to tell him my ordeals. I have made effort several times to see him, but I could not. He is supposed to look for me as a sitting Senator, not me looking for him,” Khalifa lamented.
On the threat by the Northern elders to take former Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, a retired General, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his alleged role in the crisis in the North East, the Senator said: “We are still gathering evidences against him. We have enough, but we are still gathering more. At the right time, we will come up with our position”.
Khalifa implored Jonathan to be more serious in the efforts towards eliminating the insurgents.
He reminded the President that he (President) was elected by the people of Nigeria without a drop of blood, urging him to do everything within his powers to stop the on-going bloodbath in the country.
Meanwhile, residents of Borno State are primed for a three-day fast beginning today and ending on Thursday to seek divine intervention in the resurgence of killings by members of the Boko Haram Islamist sect.
According to Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn-Garbai, who issued the directive on Monday in Maiduguri, the fast is to ask for Allah’s help in restoring peace to the state.
“I am appealing to all residents of the state to observe a three-day fasting to seek Allah’s mercy towards ending the crisis facing us”, he said.
“I believe we should continue to seek for Allah’s help toward restoring peace in the state.”
Ibn-Garbai bemoaned the human and material devastation caused by the renewed killings by the terrorists, saying there can be no other time to seek God’s intervention.
Although he said special prayers would be held in mosques and churches during the period, he further implored residents to remain relentless in their prayers afterwards.
Ibn-Garbal’s prayer-and-fasting directive came on the same day the Borno State Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) pleaded for the material and financial support of the Federal Government to bolster the contribution of its members to maintenance of peace in the state.
Spokesman of the group, Iliasu Saidu, said while vehicles would aid the movement of the 2,500-plus youths, an allowance would serve as a steady source of livelihood while also motivating them for the challenge.
“Borno is Nigeria and the people fomenting violence and the killings are Nigerians”, said Saidu, who revealed plans of the state government to recruit another 1,500 youths to the civilian group.
“If we can have assistance from the Federal Government, it will help us to achieve peace. Borno is a beautiful state that must not be taken over by hoodlums.”
Also, the All Progressives Congress (APC) again on Monday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to “take time off his premature electioneering campaign” to visit Yobe State to commiserate with the bereaved families of the school children who were brutally murdered by terrorists last month.
Fifty-nine students of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State, were massacre by the Boko Haram insurgents on March 25.
In a statement in Lagos by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, APC said it is inconceivable that about two weeks after the “heart-wrenching killings of more than 29 schoolchildren, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has not deemed it fit to visit the state”.
It said far from being a mere formality, such a visit will provide great succour to the families of the victims, reassure them and other residents of the state that their government has not abandoned them to their fate, and also serve as a morale booster for the troops who are battling the terrorists, against all odds.
‘’There is no other democracy in the world in which that number of schoolchildren will be killed and the head of government will carry on with business as usual.
“Since the killings, President Jonathan has made a national broadcast in which he mentioned the killings only as a footnote, instead of making it the central point of the broadcast.
‘’Since the killings, the President has presided over a wasteful national celebration, in which the drums were rolled out to mark the country’s centenary even as devastated families were still mourning and those injured were reeling from their pains.
‘’Since the killings, President Jonathan has been gallivanting across the country, surreptitiously kick-starting his electioneering campaign for 2015 under the guise of receiving some inconsequential political jobbers now wearing the tag of defectors.
“This junketing has taken the President everywhere, including Sokoto, Minna, Ilorin and Onitsha. But he has pointedly avoided Yobe.
“To put it mildly, the father of the nation has been practically dancing on the graves of those innocent souls. This is not the stuff of leadership and the President must make amends by visiting Yobe today,’’ APC said.
The party said Jonathan should take a cue to what obtains in other lands, especially in the U.S after which Nigeria has modelled its democracy.
‘’In January 2014, U.S President Barack Obama flew to Tennessee, where he spoke at a high school where students were still reeling from the shooting death of just one of their classmates; In 2012, President Obama paid a similar visit to Newtown in Connecticut, where he met relatives of the 20 schoolchildren and eight adults who were shot. These are examples worthy of emulation by President Jonathan,’’ APC said.
It challenged the President to tell Nigerians why he has not or why he would not visit the scene of the gruesome murders.
‘’Whatever his reasons are, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces must not give the impression that there is any part of the country he cannot visit for any reason whatsoever, otherwise he would only have succeeded in handing some sort of victory to the terrorists who have continued to kill and plunder in the North-east,’’ the party added.
In a related development, the United Nations Education and Children Fund (UNICEF) has expressed concerns on the killing of children by the Boko Haram sect.
The Fund said it will, in collaboration with other stakeholders, carry out a verification exercise of the North East region of Nigeria to access the situation on ground.
This is coming jus as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also expressed concern on the human rights and humanitarian condition of women and children especially in the North East following the instability in the region.
To this end, the commission said it was committed to lead the UNICEF and other stakeholders in the campaign against child rights violations in Nigeria, particularly in the North East where insecurity has greatly affected the vulnerable group.
According to a statement by Chief Press Officer in the NHCR, Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, “the Executive Secretary of the Commission Prof. Ben Angwe, gave the assurance when he received a delegation from the UNICEF led by its Country Representative, Jane Gough, who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja”.
Earlier, Gough had expressed worries over the difficult challenges being faced by children in the North Eastern part of the country, saying most of them are afraid to go to school for fear of being killed or bombed by members of the Boko Haram sect.
Also on Monday, an angry Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology queried the Federal Ministry of Environment for paying N21 million to a contractor who claimed that his firm was currently executing a construction project in the troubled Bama community of Borno State.
The committee has, therefore, directed senior officials of the ministry to institute a probe into the issue and forward their findings to it before their 2014 budget could be approved.
Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Taiye Haruna, had listed the Bama road construction, which also include drainage work and erosion control, as one of the 20 other constituency/intervention projects at different stages of execution and on which N1.4 billion had been paid.
He stated this when he stood in for the Minister, Lawrencia Labaran-Mallam, when the Senate committee led by the Chairman, Bukola Saraki, visited the ministry headquarters in Abuja on oversight functions.
Haruna had drawn the anger of members of the committee when he claimed that his ministry had effectively implemented all the 20 constituency/intervention projects under its supervision and reeled out the details.
Senator Boluwaji Kunlere, a member of the committee, immediately drew the attention of the Perm Sec to the fact that there was no way any contractor could execute any project in Bama between July 2013 and now when the area had been fully occupied by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Kunlere, also a member of the Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence, believes that the claims of the contractors were fraudulent because it was difficult for even his team led by heavily armed military personnel, to gain access to the area when they went there on oversight functions within the same period.
The Perm Sec, however, referred the issue to a director in charge of the project who justified the N21 million paid to the contractors when he said convincing evidences, including documents and pictures, were presented to him.
He told the committee that the N1.4 billion appropriated to the ministry for constituency projects had been fully disbursed to the various contractors that handled them.

(From Biafra Galaxy)

We are seeing hell – Borno Elders.


 

The Bornu Elders, Monday gave a graphic details of how life in Borno and the entire north east has been reduced to hell by the activities insurgents.

Addressing a gathering of Northern Elders Forum in Kano, Zanna Hassan Boguma who delivered a goodwill message on behalf of Borno Elders Forum declared that the entire region is now engaged in full time war from enemy within.

Boguma stated that “we have been seeing hell, our people are constantly decimated, our towns and villages razed, properties destroyed, schools and places of worship burnt, even innocent travelers were not spared” .

The elder stateman said that from the inceasant attack that the axis had witnessed in the last weeks was a confirmation of how vulnerable the entire region is.
He disclosed that the region has been turn in to a war zone with attendant humanitarian crisis, stressing that this is the time the whole country should mobilized to stop the carnage.

Boguma who doubted the intention of the perpetrators of this crime against humanity in the region was quick to add that “much as we know, the whole matter has nothing to do with claimed intention of a section imposing their will on the others, or issues of sharia or making the country ungovernable for the President or a religious war as they want to look at it”.

He however accused the Federal Government of lacking the political will to address the crisis, pointing out that Borno Elders is surprised at the grave yard silence of Government and its inability to implement several report on the insurgency turned in by expert engaged to do so by the same Government.

The Borno Elders noted that the solution to the crisis does not lie with the PDP or APC, maintaining that the situation at hand transcend politics and urged the entire Country to identify with them at the moment of need.

This catastrophe which has befallen us should be the concern of all Northerners irrespective of tribe, region, or creed. Those of you who are residing far away shold know that other citizens needed your sympathy and attention”.

Boguma posited that “until those who were namd as supporters, financiers, and alliesto the Boko Haram were brought to justice, until the political Boko Haram were apprehended and prosecuted, until the operations to contain this madness is sincerely handled, lives of our innocent villagers will continued to be sacrificed”.

By AbdulSalam Muhammad

Source: Radio Biafra.

Nigerian Army failed Jonathan despite all efforts; FG recruits’s forest guards to fight B’Haram.


 

The Federal Government has resorted to recruiting forest guards to assist the Joint Task Force in combating Boko Haram insurgents in the northern part of the country.
Most of the insurgents are believed to be using routes cutting through forests in states like Borno, Yobe, Taraba and Adamawa to smuggle arms into the country from Cameroon and other neighbouring countries.
The Conservator General of National Park Service, Mr. Haruna Abubakar, told the House of Representatives Committee on Environment on Monday that the guards would help the JTF to comb the forests for hideouts of insurgents.
Abubakar had appeared before the committee in Abuja to defend the 2014 budget of the agency.
The NPS had been classified as a para-military agency in January this year by the government.
According to Abubakar, the agency will rely on its knowledge of the country’s forest terrain to conduct sweeps with the military.
He informed the committee that the agency controlled seven national parks in the country, covering about 24,000- square kilometres of land.
Abubakar said, “The National Park Service has been playing a crucial role in intelligence gathering for the country’s military in the North-East and the forest bordering Chad and Cameroon.”
The committee, which is chaired by Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, stated that insurgents operated camps in forests like Sambisa, Mafa, Wulgo and Kirenowa, all in Borno State.
Sambisa forest camp which was said to have been first discovered during a military raid in 2013, covers an area of about 300-square kilometres.
The chairman of the committee expressed concern that besides the loss of human lives and property, Nigeria was losing revenue from tourism due to the activities of insurgents.
“We have to look inwards to find a way to protect our forests.
“It is regrettable that our forests have been turned into havens for insurgents,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Baptist Convention has appealed to Boko Haram sect to pursue the path of peace for Nigerians to live in harmony.
The sect destroyed Mainok village, about 50 kilometres to Maiduguri in Borno State and killed 39 people in its latest attack on Sunday.
During a press briefing organised by NBC on Monday in Ibadan, the President of the church in Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, sympathised with the victims of the attack, adding that the church would maintain its stance against all forms of terrorism in the country.
Ayokunle called on the Federal Government to step up security in the northern part of the country.

 

(From Biafra Galaxy)

Vulture-like: Jonathan ignored the frequents deaths in Nigeria to justify centenary celebration.


President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday said the Federal Government decided to celebrate the 100 years of the nation’s amalgamation despite challenges facing it because of the need for the country to thank God for His faithfulness.
He said although Nigeria like any other country in the world had its challenges, the nation’s opportunities were more than its temporal predicaments.
“We have our challenges in this country like any other country in the world. But fortunately, we have more opportunities in this country than challenges. Our challenges are very ephemeral. Other countries have passed through even more difficult challenges,” Jonathan said at the centenary interdenominational church service held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
The service with the theme, “Good to give thanks” was the last in the series of a year-long programmes lined up to celebrate the 100 years of the nation’s amalgamation.
The President, who admitted that the country’s road to nationhood in the last 100 years had been rough, expressed optimism that Nigeria would triumph over its challenges.
He reiterated his position that the prayers of the faithful had been sustaining the country.
Jonathan added, “We need a new Nigeria filled with love, with great determination, with passion, a greater Nigeria. Of course, this is my article of faith and hope for a brighter future. Our commitment is to create a Nigeria that our children will be proud of.
“I appeal to all of us to show love more than ever before to one another, regardless of  tribe, religion or race. Let us show love even when it hurts most for our lives to be more fulfilled.”
While eulogising the nation’s past leaders, especially a former military leader, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), for their roles in keeping the nation united, Jonathan observed that Nigerians would not have been celebrating if the civil war had succeeded in dividing the country.
Gowon, in a short remark, said the reconciliation that took place at the end of the nation’s civil war was second to none in the world with his no victor, no vanquished declaration.
He urged Nigerians to keep faith with the country and ensure that it continued in peace and unity.
In his sermon, a former Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Ola Makinde, wondered where Nigeria would have been if God was not with the country.
He listed the various challenges the country had faced in its 100 years of existence to include the civil war, the various military coups and counter-coups, the annulment of the June 12,1993 presidential election and the ensued violence, the deaths of a former military dictator, Sani Abacha and Chief M.K.O Abiola, Niger Delta militancy, the death of a former President Umar Yar’Adua and the doctrine of necessity as well as the activities of the Boko Haram Islamists.
by Olalekan Adetayo
(From Biafra Galaxy)

‘Visa for extremist and Islamic terror preacher, Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips in order’ says Jonathan, yet he tells you that he is fighting B’Haram terrorism.


 

The Federal Government on Sunday said it had not done anything wrong in granting visa to an alleged extremist and Islamic terror preacher, Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips.
An online medium had reported that Philips who lives in Qatar had been issued a Nigerian visa to visit and preach in the country.
The preacher was said to have already been banned from entering countries such as Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, United States of America and Kenya.
The report said Philips celebrated his visa issuance with his followers on his Facebook page on Saturday morning, when he wrote, “Al hamdu lillaah. I just got a visa for Nigeria and will be going there in a few days, in shaa Allaah. So, I hope to see all my Nigerian brothers and sisters. Baarakallaahu feekum.”
Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, told State House correspondents that the fact that somebody was denied visa by other countries could not be a reason for such person to be denied visa in Nigeria since the country had its visa requirements.
Moro said it would be wrong for any applicant to be denied Nigerian visa after meeting the requirements.
He however said the government would not hesitate to deport whoever was found to be engaging in activities that were inimical to the security of the country.
He said, “Every country has its own requirement for the granting of visa and in Nigeria’s situation especially against the backdrop of our security challenges, we also have our requirement for granting of visas.
“We have our own blacklist of people that because of our security situation should not be allowed into the country.
“And if this preacher that you talk about for instance did not fall within the list of people blacklisted for their activities that are inimical to internal security; If he is preaching and the content of what he has submitted for the granting of visa will not undermine the security of the country, then certainly we will grant him the visa. That is the purpose we have achieved here.
“Let me also say here that we should not set some double standards, when the Nigerian government signed the anti-gay law and the West was complaining, we stated that Nigerian nation is a sovereign country that should be allowed to determine its destiny and practices.”
(From Biafra Galaxy)

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