BIAFRA HEROES DAY: If we keep running away from Nigerian politics, every other thing will elude us-Rita Anigbogu, DG, Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria

Rita Eberechukwu Anigbogu is the Director General of Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria(MOBIN). Anigbogu, who says that MOBIN is the political arm of the Biafran struggle, argues that Biafrans should actively participate in Nigerian politics since they are Nigerians at the moment.

Anigbogu incidentally, holds an appointment with Enugu State Government, walking the talk in political Biafran activism.

In this interview with Mobin Media, she explains how Biafrans celebrated the 2020 Biafra Heroes Day, the place of MOBIN in the current struggle for nationhood, and Nigeria.

She also speaks about the Asari-Dokubo/Nnamdi Kanu face off, as well as the future for Biafrans in Nigeria:

Today marks another memorial for Biafrans all over the world who have lost people to the war and other causes related to the war?

You and I know the story of Biafra, how give world powers came together against the tiny people of Biafra in 1967. When our leaders back then saw we were not accepted in the country, they decided that we should go our separate ways but Nigeria did not take it kindly. They fought us, they killed us, in every part of Nigeria.

They even brought the war back home to Biafraland, and they assassinated our people. So we decided that these heroes cannot be forgotten, and we keep keeping faith, that that which they sought, and fought for is still living in us. They are our heroes, their blood is still speaking, is still crying. That is why we remember them every 30th May. This year’s edition, because of the Covid 19 pandemic, we felt that it will be better we remember them indoors. So there are so many activities, like we started fasting and and praying since the beginning of this month.

Are you saying you have been fasting with the Muslims?

We are not fasting with the Muslims. They are fasting for a different purpose while we are fasting for our fallen heroes. So we fasted and prayed for our heroes to keep resting in peace, and we fasted and prayed that God should keep helping us, and keep preserving and sustaining us and keep encouraging us for us to continue in the struggle.

Because it is not over until it is over.
Last night some of us had candle night sessions in our respective homes, some in Emene Enugu here came together in their fives and tens, and they prayed together. But those of us who were unable to do that- of course you know there is curfew in Nigeria, we had to light candles in our respective homes, hung the flags, remember them. We did it, we have been doing it, and we will continue to do it.

Even if Nigeria refuse to recognize it, those of us who are remnant of Biafra will continue to remember them and pray for the repose of their souls.

Then there are our brothers and sisters who live abroad. They don’t have the kind of challenges that we have here. They also came together and prayed. In the United States, in Germany, in the diaspora, they came together. So many other Biafrans took to the social media, some had online Facebook discussions. Like Barrister Emeka Emekesiri, Chief Maxi Okwu, Tony Nnadi, Ohaneze Ndigbo President Nnia Nwodo, they were at BBC to discuss Biafra.

Then MOBIN Directors were also on MOBIN Media to discuss, and it was anchored by Zulu Ofoelue. We used the MOBIN Media handle on Facebook to reach out to the world.

That is how we celebrated the Biafra Heroes Day this year.

MOBIN has been working in the sidelines since it’s inception in 2017. What makes it unique and stand out as a Biafran organisation, that stands it out from other groups like Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB?

MOBIN is the political watchdog of the Biafrans. We are not like Nnamdi Kanu because we still believe in Nigeria. Believing in Nigeria I mean is that we are still in Nigeria. Though we are Biafran, but we are still in Nigeria. We have not gotten Biafra. Biafra existed for three years-1967 to 1970.
By 1970, it was pronounced that there was no victor, no vanquished. We came back to Nigeria which is a sovereign state. Biafra is a state in the making, but we are still in Nigeria, and we felt that in as a much as we are still in Nigeria, that we participate, we play part in everything that happens in Nigeria especially in the politics. For instance today, Buhari is the President. Whatever laws, whatever rules, whatever dictates, it covers everybody, be you Arewa, be you Oduduwa, be you Biafran. Because the constitution of Nigeria is still intact. We believe that Biafrans should participate in the politics and political structuring of Nigeria. MOBIN is the Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria and is a political movement. That’s why we said that we can be playing politics, and be part of governance while we are still part of Nigeria so that if by tomorrow there comes Biafra, of course there will be politics in Biafra. There is still going to be President, Governor, law makers, and others. If we don’t practice it now, by the time we get Biafra, it will be difficult for us to practice. Number two, we believe that we have the best administrators in Biafra. We can show Nigeria example. If for instance our own territory-Delta, South south states, South East and parts of Middle Belt, if we have core Biafran activists in leadership, of course we will do better than the core Nigerians, we will do better.

Are you saying that Biafrans will demonstrate better leadership through their leaders if they hold political power?

Of course. If we continue to run away frol politics the rogues, the never do wells, people who jut use politics for business will continue to rule over us and things will never get better. That is what MOBIN is all about, we want to bring in core Biafrans into the leadership of the Biafran people, even to lead Nigerians because at this time, we are still in Nigeria. To show them example.

We are not like Nnamdi Kanu’s version of IPOB who say that Nigeria is a zoo. But we say that Nigeria is not a zoo because Biafrans are still in Nigeria and Biaftans who are still in Nigeria are not animals. So if we are not animals, we cannot say that we humans are living in a zoo, because the zoo is where you keep animals. That is number one. Number two, we are not running away from the politics of Nigeria because we are still Nigerians. We still use Nigerian currency, passport, driver’s licence, and we still bear Nigerian citizens. So we should participate, we should partake, we should get ourselves involved in things that concern us, Nigeria concerns us, so we should get involved. That’s just the difference between us and Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB.

We have respect for our elders. We don’t castigate our elders. We don’t say our parents are witches, wizards, fools, if they are witches and wizards and are our parents, that means that as their children, we are little witches and wizards. Because our parents are not fools and not dullards, we cannot castigate them. These are still our parents that fought that war. If they were able to organise themselves and go into that war with Nigeria, just to protect our territory. If they did not go into that war, I don’t think we will still have a place we call Biafraland.

So we don’t castigate our parents like Nnamdi Kanu’s people.

Taking about Nnamdi Kanu and castigation of elders, how will you react to the current bickering between Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, and Alhaji Muhajeed Asari-Dokubo and Niger Delta Biafrans?

You remember that we were with Nnamdi Kanu before we left him. It was some of these things that we saw that made us to leave him. Asari-Dokubo is our brother, the same blood. He is a Biafran to the core. Nnamdi Kanu is a Biafran, he is our brother, there is no how in this struggle you would want to sideline some people. It’s not done anywhere. It’s like what Kanu said a few days ago, where he threatened that American-based Biafrans that if they refuse to pay 1 dollar each, that I’d Biafra is finally restored, they cannot come into Biafraland.

Asari-Dokubo has been fighting in his own way to liberate us, Nnamdi Kanu has been doing things in his own way too to liberate us, likewise Emeka Emekesiri, likewise Tony Nnadi. I see all of them as people who are working in one way or another to restore Biafra. No one has the monopoly of it all. Are you more intelligent than all others? Or is your father the owner of Biafra? Is Biafra a private enterprise? So Nnamdi has continued in this way, and if he does not stop, he will make more enemies for himself.

Of course you remember the roles Asari-Dokubo played when the Python Dance attacked his father’s house in Afara. But let me not go into details. Then you turn around and start castigating him. It’s not good, it’s unfair.

The world is not sure where it is heading at the moment. There is the apparent, imminent collapse of the economies, and governments are having serious challenges, especially in Nigeria. What will be your advise for Biafrans in view of all these things and the possible coming of Biafra?

Some of us are like Nostradamus who saw the future. Since 2011, we have been crying and we have been crying for our brothers and sisters to come home and develop Biafraland. There are those of them in diaspora who have the best factories and the best investments.

They left here, now that the economy is going the way it’s going, hunger will take our people. Let me tell you one thing they don’t know. The Hausa are busy going into massive agriculture, using state funds, our resources.

They are using Nigeria’s resources to equip their people in agriculture and they are moving in here en masse, they may even the little farming that our people are doing, unmechanized, their cows are destroying them, they are maiming our people.

In the near future, very soon, our people will depend on the Hausa for food and agricultural products. If our brothers and sisters, rich as they are all over the world, if they don’t come home now to invest here in Biafraland, if they don’t come now to try and make sure we retrieve our lands and territory from these Hausa Fulani cattle rearers, in the near future, they will not only cause havoc here, hunger will also destroy us. So my advice is that it’s still not too late. They should come home and invest in agriculture, industries and start engaging our youths, if not, there will be crises.

Any advice for them as regards political participation?

Yes, it’s because Buhari is the President, that is why he could use state funds to develop his area, the north. If our brothers and sisters come and fight for this power, they can still get it. So they can use it to do one or two things in the positive for our people. We should stop running away from the politics of Nigeria. We should be partakers, everything here is owned by all of us, why are my people running away? Why are they running away? They should come, it’s a game for numbers. If we keep running away from Nigerian politics, every other thing will elude us.

Abia Gov. Ikpeazu, EXCO, Covid-19 Task Force members to undergo Covid-19 test, isolation over Commissioner’s death

The governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has directed all members of Abia State COVID 19 taskforce and members of the his executive council who might have had contact with the late Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Solomon Ogunji to immediately undergo the COVID 19 test and go into self-isolation, pending the outcome of the result.

The decision was based on the outcome of the result conducted on close family members to the late commissioner for environment as revealed by an Abia Government Press Release.

The release also revealed that Governor Ikpeazu himself will also take the test and go on isolation.

FULL TEXT OF PRESS RELEASE:

Following the outcome of tests conducted on close family members of a late member of the state executive council (Exco) and member of the Inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19, Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has directed all members of the committee and those of the Exco who might have recently come in contact with the late commissioner to immediately undergo COVID-19 tests and isolate themselves thereafter pending the outcome of the tests.

Governor Ikpeazu who is still in mourning will also subject himself to all other necessary protocols as he has directed his Exco members including the Deputy Governor to do.

We wish to call on all Abians to continue to observe relevant regulations issued by the government and health authorities to stem the spread of the disease.

Thank you.

Chief John Okiyi Kalu,
Honorable Commissioner for Information, Abia State
31/05/2020

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUHARI AND ASIWAJU TINUBU ON EDO ELECTION

By Sebastine EBHUOMHAN

Your Excellency, my dear President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I hope your families are well and safe. I hope also that this letter will meet the two of you, Sirs, in joyful mood.

Let me respectfully crave your indulgence, Mr President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic, to begin with a reminder. On Monday, 26th September, 2016, you stormed Benin City with the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) along with the then Governor of Edo State and present National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to lead the governorship campaign of APC for Mr Godwin Obaseki, which he easily won, defeating the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate then. This open letter highlights issues and conflicts arising from the current struggle for re-election by the incumbent, Mr Obaseki, in APC.

I will like to clarify before any other thing that I’m not a card-carrying member of APC or any other political party. Nonetheless, I am eminently qualified to write this letter based on the following facts. First, I am a bona-fide citizen of Nigeria from Edo State. Second, I championed your presidential election project in Benin owing to your unimpeachable integrity. Third, your promise to tackle corruption resonated with my patriotic zeal. Fourth, I have a son-father relationship with Comrade Oshiomhole. Fifth, I shared his overwhelming call to support the governorship aspiration of Mr Obaseki without a second thought. Sixth, I actively contributed to Mr Obaseki’s unarguable victory in many ways including the personal authorship and production and printing with the support of Barrister Emmanuel Usoh, an APC chieftain, 10,000 copies of the historic critical handbook titled: The Simple Agenda, Ize-Iyamu’s Manifesto of Sophism.

Holding and reading from that handbook in your hand, with the support of other party leaders inside Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, you led Obaseki to victory in the election of Wednesday, 28th September, 2019.

Mr President, despite the fact that I refrained from bothering the governor with calls after he refused to pick my initial calls, neither him nor any other official of the government has had anything to do with me since the inauguration to this day even as I have never asked for any favour or privilege from the government. So, I had already moved on before his delegated authorities denounced me. But for over three years now as I have watched Governor Obaseki, I have seen him frittered away all the goodwill that ushered him into power with needless and avoidable statements and acts unbefitting of a state governor. In the process, he has totally alienated himself from those who united forces to give him election victory on a golden platter, and regrettably, polarised his party into factional camps as makes for the jugular of all those perceived to be unsupportive of his reelection bid. The irredeemable and irreparable damage to a once cordial relationship between Governor Obaseki and his party on the one hand and non-party members on the other hand has become a big question mark not just on APC’s unity ahead of the forthcoming governorship election, but also APC’s ability to win Edo State governorship election if it fields Obaseki.

To say that Mr Governor’s confidence has taken a blow and that fear has come upon him and his followers most since the failure of his blind pursuit of Oshiomhole removal as APC National Chairman instead of resolving his differences with all his helpers that he cunningly disparaged and chased away after attaining power, is stating the obvious. His mortal fear has been highlighted in the past days by his insistence for only an indirect primary election or nothing long before the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC unanimously adopted the direct mode of election.

Governor Obaseki changed gear to campaign against direct primary after his vocal demand for an unconstitutional “Right of First Refusal” as “a performer” gained no ears of both Edo APC and National APC. He believes he can only win by influencing the selected voters of indirect primary. The governor, in his predetermined arrogant, disrespectful and destructive course, had initially focused on that narrow but illegal narrative that would have conferred a concensus status on his aspiration. But that was not to be for a ‘leader’ that relegated, destroyed and attempted forcing his party leaders to adopt him, the same people he labelled with unsuitable names and chased away.

Considering how Oshiomhole and all his loyalists polished and assisted Obaseki for an effortless victory in 2016, the aspirant and later candidate would not have defeated his tougher, more popular, better prepared and more experienced opponents that contested against him in APC and other parties 2016 even as Oshiomhole’s Chairman of Economic and Strategy Team (EST), a backroom position.

Today, even as an incumbent with a plummetted popularity, it is doubtful if Obaseki can pick APC’s ticket in a free, fair and credible field that includes the following heavyweights. Dr Pius Odubu is a lawyer and the immediate past Deputy Governor for eight years, who has had eight solid years respectively as Representative and State Assembly lawmaker. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a lawyer, farmer and clergy, has been a former Secretary to Edo State Government and former South-South Vice Chairman of ACN besides directing Oshiomhole’s and Jonathan’s elections in Edo State in the past. Dr Chris Ogiemwonyi had also risen to the pinnacle of NNPC management before retirement. Mr Charles Airhiavbere is a retired Army Major-General with extensive experience in Edo State politics. Ditto, Mr Saturday Uwulekhue, a former Edo State NDDC Commissioner.

Looking at the initial field of APC aspirants for next month’s primary, can Obaseki thump his chest that he can defeat any of the eight other aspirants fairly? Indeed, only dialogue, persuasion and horse trading could have ensured a concensus adoption of Obaseki instead of the labelling, profiling, intimidation, harassments, threats, estrangement, assaults, arrests, violence, removal of office holders and destruction of personal properties that he adopted.

The question is: what is an election in which an incumbent aspirant is only confident of winning if he could influence the process?

It is within the power of the NWC of APC to adopt any mode for Edo APC primary. Governor Obaseki, like any other aspirant, lacks the power to dictate the mode or process of primary he wants to contest. Article 13, Section 4, Sub-section 13 of APC constitution empowers the NWC to decide on a mode of primary election subject to the approval of NEC. So, ab initio, the grandstanding of Obaseki and his henchmen was a futile exercise that simply justify his fear of losing.

The decision of the APC NWC is also legally backed by Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

Furthermore, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has lucidly clarified whatever doubt is left through a judgment delivered by John Inyang Okoro, JSC, on 17th September, 2015, in a case between Appellant Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Respondents Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari of All Progressives Congress (APC) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the decision of the national party is supreme.

As Obaseki’s government vehemently argues that the indirect mode of election is the best tactic to contain the outbreak of coronavirus in Edo State during APC’s primary, reality indicates contrary even from the viewpoints of the government. First, the governor had been claiming he has a foolproof plan for the containment of COVID-19 already compelling residents to maintain social distance, use face masks, ban large gatherings, observe night curfew, manage cases of outbreak etc. Second, the government had sought to go ahead with hosting the National Sports Festival for tens of thousands of visitors scattered across different game venues in Edo State, insisting it was prepared to host, until the Federal Government suspended the games. Third, it is seen daily, in spite of the government efforts, how traders relocated from markets to public schools observes no distancing owing to lack of space even as they still pay taxes and daily tickets. Fourth, the government claimed it is prepared against COVID-19 to welcome stakeholders of roughly not less than 5,000 voters, aspirants, observers, media, security, traders, onlookers and other stakeholders in a single location for an indirect primary. Fifth, it follows therefore, that tens of card-carrying members drawn from Edo State’s 192 wards that come together for a direct primary election in atmospheres where the rules of COVID-19 are respected, is better for the interest of the people of Edo State.

Moreover, the promoters of indirect system cannot be myopic to overlook the task of undergoing a shorter and lesser direct process to select delegates for an indirect primary, especially in the absence of a party convention. How they intend to go round this hurdle in days, I don’t know.

Perhaps, APC NWC must have approved direct primary after considering all the risks. As commendable as it is, NWC’s decision provides an equal democratic platform for all aspirants. And since Obaseki, as incumbent, says his popularity is overwhelming, there is no better way to elect the party’s flag bearer than through the free, fair and credible votes of ordinary members, who Obaseki may find difficult to convince for votes after chasing them away with whips.

The direct primary gives ordinary APC members the right to vote. The right to vote gives them constitutional power and protection.

According to Lyndon Baines Johnson, “This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies.”

Often called by his initials, LBJ was an American politician who served as the 36th President of the United States from 1963 to 1969 after serving as the 37th Vice President from 1961 to 1963.

In his view, Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), lauded the direct primary as a most democratic system. Other experts and political scientists readily concur with him.

In spite of the general recommendation of direct primary, the spoken words and body language of Governor Obaseki has been disturbing since NWC announcement. With undenied reports of unrequited visits with the aim of meeting Mr President and the National Leader assuming headlines in place of strategies to win the primary, Governor Obaseki’s run from pillars to posts have made him a Conservative, aptly defined by a former United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt as: “A man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.” The dilemma, Mr President, is: how does a man who has never learn to walk with his two good legs suddenly run with them when they are wobbling in fears?

Irrespective of any reason, observers are unanimous that such visits at 11th hour mirror attempts to drop names and gain undeserving endorsements or upper hand in the heart of voters and the public. They have therefore urged you, Mr President and the APC National Leader, not to give Governor Obaseki or any other aspirant any audience, endorsement or support ahead of Edo APC primary election in line with your democratic etho of neutrality. This is also their message to the Progressive Governors’ Forum, which leadership that has Obaseki as Vice Chairman has been seeking illegally and unconstitutional route to influence the forthcoming primary election in Edo State.

The danger of Nigeria’s ruling APC under the leadership of President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu losing its only state in Nigeria’s South-South Region is real and looming if the party hands its ticket to Obaseki in a tainted primary election. While APC remains the only visible party in Edo State today, the unpreparedness of the opposition for the election is underlined in the readiness of the PDP to accept Obaseki in its platform with less than a month to party primaries.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Obaseki, who no longer enjoys the support of majority leaders and members of APC, has continuously flirted with other parties just as he has been openly endorsed and invited to the PDP to contest its primary. Speaking on this issue recently in Benin, the PDP Vice Chairman for South-South Zone, Chief Emmanuel Ogidi minced no words when he insisted the governor will be welcomed if he desires to defect.

“If Governor Obaseki comes, we will take him. We can’t drive anybody from entering our party. Our doors are wide open.”

“I am not, however, aware that he has started negotiation with us with a view to defecting. If the governor has seen the light and wants to come to the PDP, he is welcomed.”

“There is going to be a primary. The PDP does not award its ticket. If you win the primary, you become the candidate.”

Whether Governor Obaseki will eventually contest the primary, withdraw from the contest or defect to another party is a decision he is constitutionally entitled to announce after reconsidering his slim chance of winning. But of utmost fidei is APC’s promise to organize on an equal platform, subject to democratic rules of credible election instead of parochial wishes of elders, political office holders, power of incumbency, manipulation of security, exploitation of health crisis etc. It depends entirely on Obaseki to decide how to realize his agenda on 22nd June, bearing in mind that Comrade Oshiomhole has no problem with him, whatsoever, but that the governor’s problems are directly with friends, loyalists and sons of Oshiomhole that Obaseki cheated and took for granted. Again, it is not deniable that Obaseki, without a political structure, is severely disconnected from the grassroots he seeks to lean on.

I have listed below for your perusal an outline of anti-party offences allegedly committed by Governor Obaseki since November 2016.

(i) Appointment and patronage of ‘strange’ and imported people dubiously branded as “technocrats”.

(ii) Branding, profiling, rejection, shaming, arrest and detention of political leaders.

(iii) Abandonment of strategists that helped Obaseki to win election, an action that portrays him as an ingrate.

(iv) Muzzling of dissenting voices, which clearly breaches the Freedom of Speech and other rights enshrined in Sections 38, 39 and 40 of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic.

(v) Fraudulent abandonment of his predecessor’s policies and projects with which he campaigned and won his election.

(vi) Loss of 2019 presidential election in his ward, local government area and district.

(vii) Nocturnal inauguration of Edo Assembly with nine legislators and refusal to issue fresh proclamation to inaugurate 14 lawmakers as constituted authorities directed; a clear violation of Article 21, Sub-section 3 of APC constitution.

(viii) Imposition of Edo Assembly Speaker.

(ix) Opposing the appointment of Edo sons into the NDDC and other federal offices.

(x) Suspension and call for arrest of APC National Chairman.

(xi) Masterminding removal of APC National Chairman.

(xii) Rejection of APC National Reconciliation Committees.

(xiii) Open call for attack of political leaders opposed to his re-election, especially the National Chairman who house was later blocked in response to the call, clearly violating Article 21, Sub-section 7 of APC constitution.

(xiv) Demolition of properties and businesses of people opposed to his re-election.

(xv) Assault, violence, bombing and assassination attempts.

(xvi) Attack on APC rallies held to receive new members.

(xvii) Initiation of direct and indirect court cases against APC NWC, APC National Chairman, NASS leadership etc. without exploring and exhausting internal redress mechanisms, a clear breach of Article 21, Sub-section 10 of APC constitution.

(xviii) Using APC platform to explore inapproriate talks with the opposition.

(xix) The celebration of APC’s loss of Bayelsa State.

(xx) Lack of transparency and accountability largely underlining lacking openness in Obaseki’s government, in spite of record showing it has received over N320 billion from FAAC till date.

(xxi) Poor governance and mismanagement of Edo State economy, which many people have cited for his inability to commission any notable project till date.

(xxii) Closing down the College of Agriculture Iguorhiakhi and showing disobedience to the judgement of the National Industrial court.

(xxiii) Closing down the Tayo Akpata University of Education formerly known as College of Education , Ekiadolor.

(xxiv) Covering up the sudden disappearance of his serving Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and the Diaspora, Mr Osaze Osemwegie-Ero, rumoured to be detained in Europe since last November, 2019, following an alleged arrest with huge money.

Obaseki denies all the allegations against him, however, even as his body language portrays resignation to fate owing to the adoption of direct primary.

Obaseki’s biggest pain today is suddenly finding himself home, dry and abandoned. Confronted with an increasingly revolting foot soldiers throwing in resignations, he will have to learn to walk alone, no thanks to the peaceful adoption of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the concensus aspirant of all the APC aspirants. For POI, as Ize-Iyamu is popularly known, it is deserving for his humility, courage, determination and organization (expect more from me on POI and GGO). But for Obaseki, should he decide to contest or withdraw for others or entirely defect from APC, it can only bring more shame, pain and uncertainty. He is not helped by the fact that the PDP is already selling nomination forms to aspirants. Left with no option, a signal for the disruption of APC’s direct primary, as his aides are threatening, will force the NWC to submit Ize-Iyamu’s name as Electoral Act empowers a party to do.

Mr President, between the parallel lines above: confusion, dilemma, regret and anguish supremely mock the thoughts of Governor Obaseki, his advisers and supporters, which makes any presidential audience, endorsement or support for a return to Dennis Osadebey Avenue a reward for ingratitude, unkindness and inhumanity.

Sebastine EBHUOMHAN is a multiple award-winning journalist from Edo State resident in Abuja. He can be reached at: usie007@yahoo.com or 08037204620.

Kalu urges PDP to unite ahead of 2023, gubernatorial elections in Edo, Ondo and Anambra states

~Wants NWC to resolve crisis in states with factions

A Chieftain of People’s Democratic Party(PDP), Dr Emeka Kalu has urged members of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) to unite and embrace the ongoing repositioning of the party by the National Working Committee(NWC) of the party and help it regain its lost glory.

Kalu made the call in a statement signed by him.

He said that a united PDP would positon the party to reclaim power from the APC.

According to him, the unity and wellness of the party would enable her defeat the ruling APC in any election especially the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo, Ondo and Anambra states.

The PDP Chieftain further urged the NWC of the PDP to conduct a free and fair primaries in states where gubernatorial elections are holding.

He further urged the NWC to look into the crisis rocking the party in Cross River, Ogun, Ekiti, Kaduna and Kano state where there are factions.

According to him, a free and fair primaries would unite party members, thereby boosting the chances of the party’s victories in these states.

“Some of us are loyal to the party to the core. We are ready to mobilise, canvass and campaign effectively for the PDP in the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo, Ondo and Anambra states; but, the NWC should ensure a transparent primaries to enable peace reign in these states”

“NWC should equally look at the states where we have factions and resolve them for the overall success of the party ahead of 2023”

According to the Director General of Atikulated Agenda 2019, If the NWC ensures a free and fair primaries, it’ll attract experienced party men and women who shall bring their wealth of experience, ingenuity and initiative to enable the party win these states.

“Free and fair primaries attracts unity and it is capable of uniting all interests and assist the party win elections in the states where we have governorship elections.

He further urged the party to be proactive in her quest to reclaim power back from the APC by 2023.

“2023 is fast approaching and, as the largest party in Africa, we cannot afford to take chances at this time. We must unite and act fast.”

BREAKING! Please forgive me, Odumeje says to Pericomo, Arondizuogu & Awka people

Self acclaimed Nigerian Prophet, Chukwuemeka Ohanaemere, popularly known as Odumeje has apologised to the family of late Pericomo, People of Arondizuogu in Imo State and Awka in Anambra State, over hurtful statements he made in viral videos on their mode of worship.

Recall that Odumeje in several videos that went viral on social media in April had attacked Arondizuogu people, describing them as fetish, just as he attacked one of their prominent sons, Pericomo too.

For the people of Awka, Odumeje described their masquerade festival, Egwu Imo Awka as being fetish and a means of worshiping monkeys, which is the symbol of the god.

In one of the videos, Odumeje was seen boasting that if he came in contact with the monkeys worshiped by Awka people, he would destroy them.

Though Odumeje’s community, Orsu in Imo State had written to the communities involved, tendering apologies, he has remained indifferent, maintaining his silence, while more videos of him deriding the communities surfaced.

But in a press release signed by the popular pastor, he apologized to the two towns, saying that he had watched and found his own videos on them hurtful.

Below is the full text of the release:

“My attention has been drawn to publications on social media over the alleged face-off between me and the good people of Awka and Arondizuogu communities in Anambra and Imo States respectively.

”In the said posts, I was portrayed as declaring war on the people of these communities and their respective traditional festivals and beliefs. It was also alleged that I had vowed to destroy Imo-Awka festival and put a stop to the Ikeji festival of Arondizuogu.

”Consequent upon the above, I wish to acknowledge that the people of Awka and Arondizuogu communities are peace loving and I have over the years come to share fellowship and service in church with a great number of them.

”These two communities and their renowned indigenes have been known and recognized as major contributors to the development of their states, Igbo land and the nation at large.

”Awka and Arondizuogu communities have produced great men and women of integrity and pedigree and have always remained at the top of great sons and daughters of Igbo land.

”Against this backdrop and with every humility as a Servant of the Living God, I sincerely apologise to the great people of these two Communities, to the entire people of Igbo land and to my Elders for my utterances. I will not make any attempts to justify my statement as even I can see that it’s hurtful in all its ramifications.

”I also want to specially apologize to the family of Mazi Pericomo of Arondizuogu who I understand until his passing was a diligent servant ( Evangelist) of God. I apologize and put it on record that this experience has taught me that words that speak any form of divisive conversation amongst our people MUST be checked. This is a time for unity, love and unwavering support for each other.

”Similarly, I lend my voice to the directives of the federal and state government in observing all the COVID-19 protocols, while waiting on the Lord for the end of the pandemic.”

Igbere TV

PWAN Plus tickles thirst buds of Aba real estate consumers

MD, PWAN Plus, Julius Oyedemi

There is definitely no dull moment for real estate guru and Managing Director of PWAN Plus Business Concerns, Julius Oyedemi. Not even the economic challenges of the time is enough to stunt his creative prowess, marketing fecundity and innovative real estate products.

The property wizkid got land vendors falling head over toes as they rush to acquire a parcel of land in his Crestville Estate, just launched in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State recently. Barely three weeks after, Oyedemi dazzled residents of Aba, the commercial nerve center of Abia State, when he blazed the trail for unprecedented real estate activities in Osisioma Local Government of the state.

Could it be his way of saying ‘thank you’ to Enyimba City, as Aba fondly called, for the hospitality he enjoyed when he was a marketing executive for National Mirror and New Telegraph newspapers? While unveiling Lush City, the latest among his sprawling Cedarwood brand of exclusive residential grooves over the weekend, the ace property developer explained: “This is the first time that a real estate company is coming to Aba and it is the first outing by Property West Africa Network (PWAN) Group to Aba.Lush City is situated near Enyimba International Stadium, National War Museum, Azumili Blue River and the famous Aiaria International Market, amongst others landmarks in the state.”

Oyedemi added: “Our coming to Aba will address the prevailing housing deficit here. It is not an exaggeration to say that in most Nigerian cities, many people are homeless. Aba, definitely, has its fair share of the debilitating housing deficit. We at PWAN Plus, owners of Cedarwood Estate, have brought ideal solution to the housing deficit here.

“Now, son, daughters and even the Abia State government can leverage on our home ownership made easy skills/products to enhance quality living. We are also passionate to affect the social and economic aspects of the people of Abia State positively as we unveil Lush City by Cedarwood in Aba.”

According to the chief executive of PWAN Plus, the process had already commenced. “Everyone can be a proud owner of an exquisite apartment in Lush City. Our home ownership made easy approach actually guarantees that; and it’s just as easy as make a deposit and get instant plot allocation while balance payment is spread over 12 month’s installments.”

No doubt, the property giant is set to tickle the thirst buds of consumers of real estate products in Abia State and environs. It’s collection of highbrow residential estates dotting the fast developing Ajah, Eti-Osa, Ibeju-Lekki, and Epe areas of Lagos State as well as an appreciable presence in Owerri, the Imo State capital, speak eloquently of the professional and financial competence of PWAN Plus. In the same vane, the glowing testimonies coming from the firm’s numerous clients conveys the genuineness of any property acquired through the PWAN Group. “You can go to sleep if you buy a property from PWAN. All encumbrances associated with getting genuine title documents, instant allocation, land owners’ troubles and other issues are taken off your shoulders while you enjoy trouble free possession, ease of payment and excellent facilities,” said Mazi Okorie, one of the firm’s clients.

“We have come to unleash a regime of affordable but exquisite residential estates here. Igbo people are known for their love for good homes. An average Igbo man believes that he is incomplete without a roof over his head. But like every part of Nigeria Abia State is saddled with the responsibility of making up for over 20% housing deficit, Oyedemy further pointed out.

He explained that with the arrival of PWAN Plus, the deficit will not only witness improvement, opportunities will also be crested for thousands of young people in the state to have genuine means of livelihood. Beyond that security architecture, education and other social and economic aspects will receive serious boost. ” When you have a massive estate that boast of befitting schools, recreational facilities, shopping malls, sporting complex and other live supporting facilities, trade and commerce will flourish more because Lush Estate City by Cedarwood will offer unique opportunities for people, especially those who buy and sale properties.

“As you know people don’t buy buildings just to live in it, they acquire properties to commercialise. Real estate has indeed contributed tremendously to the nation’s GDP, it’s part of that we will spread across Aba and the entire Abia State,” Oyedemy assured.

He however noted that housing is indeed an essential part of every government pointing out that over the years, subsequent governments have continued to build low cost housing for its citizens. The title of Lush City plots is covered by Registered Survey & Power of Attorney. Precisely, price & payment plans are as follows: N900k (232sqm) & N1.8m (464sqm) on 0-6 months outright. 12 months installment also available.

“PWAN Plus is ready to partner with governments and other interested parties to make home ownership easy for all. Our passion is to leave a mark in Aba and we are very concerned about Abia State as a choice location,” the real estate guru said.

Biafra Heroes Day: MOBIN holds broadcast, Webinar as Biafrans mourn their dead

Biafrans all over the world will be celebrating the 2020 commemoration of Biafra Heroes Day today.

The Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria, MOBIN has said that it will be hosting a global broadcast to mark the solemn ceremony.

According to a publication from the pro-Biafran organisation, there will be two broadcasts on the MOBIN Media Facebook page, to hold at 12pm and 10pm Biafra Time, later today.

The broadcast will be moderated by the Directorate of Biafran Orientation, headed by Comrade Zulu Ofoelue.

The organisation will also hold a Webinar as its second major event to mark the Memorial.

The Webinar is slated to hold on May 31st, 2020, and will be moderated by Nze Ugo Akpe Onwuka.

Discussants include MOBIN Chairman, Barrister Emeka Emekesiri, Chief Maxi Okwu, General CRU Ihekire and Chief Echezona Tony Okeke Ojiudu.

Titled ‘Ndigbo:Biafra and the Emerging Realities, the Way Forward’, will be a 2 hour conference on Zoom app.

Time is 7pm, and Meeting ID is 856 3983 1001. The meeting hall password is 656 701.

MOBIN, in a message, informed our reporter that this year’s activities will be held online in adherence to Covid19 safety measures.

MOBIN enjoined all Biafrans to join the broadcast (today)and the meeting (tomorrow). It also advised them to plant a tree on May 30, as a memorial of the fallen heroes.

Abia Covid-19 positive patient, Emmanuel Ononiwu submits self to hospital authorities

The COVID-19 patient, Emmanuel Ononiwu, who was declared wanted by Abia State Government after he bolted from a holding facility in Aba is now in medical custody and currently at the isolation center in Amachara.

Mr Ononiwu reported at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Aba, with his family, including his wife, at 8.05am today, Saturday, 30th May, 2020, and was moved by a state rapid response ambulance to the Abia State Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center, Amachara, Umuahia, for isolation and management.

Samples will be collected from his wife and other family members for testing while active contract tracing has commenced.

Meanwhile, three patients who are currently at the isolation center, including the 19 years old man from Afugiri, Umuahia, 30 years old man from Ofeme, Umuahia, and the Olokoro Umuahia returnee from Lagos who came to plan the burial of a relation who died in Kano are set to be released this morning after testing negative to the virus two consecutive times.

Edo Referees Council, NRA, others mourn with family of Otobrise as FIFA referee Emmanuel Otobrise (rtd.) passes on

Late Elder Emmanuel Otobrise, FIFA rtd. in his active days as a young referee

Chairman of Edo State Football Referees Council, Mr. Johnbull Nosa Okundolor said the death of a former Training Officer in the Council, retired FIFA badged Referee, Elder Emmanuel Otobrise, was a great loss to the Nigerian football community. He described Elder Otobrise as a leader who led by example.

The Edo Referees boss said this when he led members and elders of the State Referees Council on a condolence visit to the family of late Elder Emmanuel Otobrise in Benin City.

Those in his entourage included the immediate past Chairman of Edo Referees Council and the National Vice President 1 of the Nigerian Football Referees Association, FIFA Faith Irabor (rtd.); former Chairman of the Council, Venerable Mike Osayi; the Council first Vice Chairman, Comrade Friday Obamwonyi; second Vice Chairman, Pastor Isaac Ighodaro; Secretary General, Comrade Roland Temigbe; Treasurer, Mr. Elvis Ajiboye Osumah; PRO, Dr. Isaac Eranga; Chairman of Egor Referee Society, Deaconess Rachel Enagbare; Benin Referee Society’s Chairman, Mr. Jonathan Nodolomwanyi. Others include: Sir Jonathan Aichie; Mr. Sylvester Okobi; Mr. Dan Iruero; Mr. Mohammed Gimba Isa.

“He was one of my fathers in football refereeing, and was one of the pillars in my administration. His advice and constructive criticism helped a lot in improving the state of affairs of the Council. He never supported what was wrong.

Emmanuel Otobrise as a young Airforce Officer

“He was very punctual to the Council’s weekly keep fit exercises and also to matches he was appointed for. Until his death, he was very active in the training department and was seen as a great motivator and encourager to junior referees”, Mr. Okundolor said.

Also speaking through a telephone conversation, the President of Nigerian Football Referees Association (NRA), Otunba Tade Azeez described late Elder Otobrise as a progressive who love to contribute his best to the growth and development of football in Nigeria. He prayed God to grant the family of the diseased, and the Edo State Referees Council, the fortitude to bear the loss.

On his part, a former Secretary General of NRA and a renowned Referee Instructor, Mazi Linus Mba described late Otobrise as being passionate about the growth of football refereeing. Hear him:

“The late vibrant Air Force Officer was from the stock of the fourth generation of international referees decorated by Nigeria in the early 1990s. He was very passionate about refereeing development no doubt. Indeed he spent most of active refereeing years as a Training Officer.

Mr. Johnbull Nosa Okundolora addressing the family of late Emmanuel Otobrise

“Our late FIFA impacted positively on a good number of the current Referee Assessors during their formative years. We of the Nigerian football refereeing body owe him a lot of gratitude as we wish him farewell. I join all our colleagues in wishing him “good night” and a peaceful rest with our Heavenly Father. Amen”.

Mr. Dickson Otobrise, eldest son of late Emmanuel Otobrise

Speaking, the eldest son of late Elder Emmanuel Otobrise, Mr. Dickson Otobrise thanked the Edo State Referees Council for the visit, saying their presence has brought light to the family. He promised to keep the Council informed of all burial arrangements.

Enugu’s Gov. Ugwuanyi assists CAPIO in rehabilitating ex-prisoners

In keeping with his administration’s four-point agenda on security and justice, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, has approved the request for financial assistance made by Carmelite Prisoners’ Interest Organization (CAPIO), to enable the body acquire more plots of land for its Centre of Hope Programme.

CAPIO is a human rights organization that advocates for the rights and dignity of prisoners and prison reforms in Nigeria. It was established in 1992 and intervenes on the provision of basic needs of prisoners, free legal and medical services and rehabilitation of prisoners, in collaboration with the government and other human rights organizations.

In keeping with its mandate, CAPIO had in a letter to Gov. Ugwuanyi, signed by its Executive Director, Rev. Fr. Ambrose Ekeroku and dated May 28, 2020, requested for financial support of N5,000,000.00 (Five million naira) to enable it acquire more plots of land for the centre.

The human rights organization explained that it is currently setting up a half-way-home for the rehabilitation and transformation of ex-offenders by providing access to education and vocational skills in order to prepare them for re-integration as well as to enable them contribute meaningfully to the society as law abiding citizens.

The governor upon receiving the letter approved the request, accordingly.