The House of Representatives, has called on the Federal Government to immortalise late Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu who passed on at a London hospital last Saturday at the age of 78.
“We are calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to immortalise this gentleman, officer, courageous, successful politician and a leaders’ leader,’’ the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Zakari Mohammed, said in a statement.
The House also described Ojukwu’s death as a colossal loss to the country.
The statement added: “While alive, Ojukwu displayed rare courage on principled stand on sensitive national matters.
“We in the Seventh Assembly regret his death, but we are consoled by the fact that we will continue to uphold his principle, ideals and the uncommon courage that Ojukwu lived and died for.’’
“The history of Nigeria will not be complete without a chapter solely dedicated to this great son of Nigeria and indeed Africa.’’
He stressed that Ojukwu was the first Nigerian graduate to have enlisted in the Nigerian army and added intellectual dimension to the force while in the service of his fatherland.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Emeka Ihedioha said that Ojukwu played a great role in the evolution of Nigeria’s socio-political history.
“Love him or hate him; his landmark contributions in making Nigeria what she is today cannot be dimmed by his passage to the great beyond.
“We will all surely miss this bold and courageous man.’’
Rep. Uche Ekwunife (APGA, Anambra), the leader of Anambra caucus in the House said that the nation had lost a rare gem.
“We have lost the finest of Igbo extraction, a rare gem, a selfless and patriotic Nigerian.
“A nationalist whose principles are unequalled, he will be remembered for his brevity, commitment, sincerity of purpose and most importantly, his undiluted love for his people; we greatly miss him.’’
Rep. Abiodun Akinlade (ACN-Ogun) said Ojukwu made a statement in his lifetime with his leadership of the defunct Republic of Biafra.
Rep. Sarki Adar (PDP-Sokoto) said the late Ojukwu was a man of his words who stood for the cause he believed in.
From faraway United States of America, the President of World Igbo Congress, Chief Larry Udorji, described the life of Odumegwu-Ojukwu as courageous, visionary and prophetic.
“It is unfortunate that Ikemba Nnewi died,’’ Udorji told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York, saying that he sacrificed his personal comfort and life to the liberation of Igbos.
According to him, Ojukwu as Biafra leader ensured that Igbos were accorded respect and freedom as a people.
“He stood up to fight for the future of Igbos in the polity call Nigeria,’’ he said.
Udorji added that the things the deceased fought for several years ago were still the problem of the country.
President of a U.S.-based Nigerian socio-cultural association; Zumunta Association, Dr. Ezekiel Mancham said the death of Ojukwu was a great loss to the country.
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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