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Rivers, Benue Leaders Reject Biafra

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The Ogbakor Ikwerre, a body of the Ikwerre ethnic nationality in Rivers State has categorically rejected the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu’s demand that Rivers State must be part of Biafra.
According to the President-General of the Ogbakor Ikwerre Convention Worldwide, Prof Simeon Achinewhu,  Biafra failed in the past because there were attempts by the former Biafran leader, late Odumegwu Ojukwu, to force unwilling minority groups into Biafra.
Speaking on behalf of the Ijaw nation, the factional President, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Eric Omare, asked Kanu to restrict his Biafra agitation to states of the South-East.
Omare said: “The Ijaw nation has said it times without number that the South-South, especially the Ijaw are not part of Biafra territory.”
It would be recalled that Nnamdi Kanu recently paid a visit to the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt, where he was received by a large number of pro-Biafra supporters.
Addressing the crowd, which was reported to be over three million, Nnamdi Kanu, said there was nothing like one Nigeria, insisting that Biafra is the reward of the people.
The IPOB leader described Biafra as the destiny of the people.
He urged his supporters to demand for Biafra now for the benefit of their children and their grand children who have been marginalized by those in Abuja.
Some prominent leaders in Benue State have strongly rejected the plan by the Leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to extend his proposed Biafra Republic to their state.
The reaction of the leaders followed a claim by the IPOB leader that while he was in detention, an agent of the Federal Government had offered him to secede with the five Igbo states but that he rejected the offer because it did not constitute the complete territory of Biafra.
Speaking on the issue, a prominent Benue leader who is a retired police chief, Abubakar Tsav, said Kanu’s speech has shown that the IPOB leader must have some mental disorders.
He said: “I think the man has some mental problems. What is the connection between the Tivs, the Idoma and the Igbo? I think the man needs to see a psychiatric doctor because something is wrong with him.
“He is not well because nothing connects the Tivs, the Idoma to the Igbo. How can he say he wants Benue State to be part of Biafra? He should stay where he is, and carry on with his madness. We are not ready to be part and parcel of his madness”.
Other prominent indigenes of Tiv, Idoma and Igede, the three major ethnic groups in Benue State, who rejected Kanu’s plan to expand the Biafra territory to their state included, a first-class traditional ruler in Tivland, the Tor Sankera, Abu King Shuluwa; a former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro; a former minister of state for education, Prof Jerry Agada and former economic adviser to former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, Prof Ode Ojowu.
The Traditional Ruler, King Shuluwa, questioned Kanu’s intelligence for trying to extend Biafra Republic to Benue State.
He said: “His level of intelligence is in question, else, how dare him to annex Benue as part of Biafra territory. In fact, if you are looking for more people to be part of your territory, does common sense not say you should have a talk with them?”
On his part, former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, said Benue State had no connection with Biafra agitation in any way. Benue is not part of Biafra, we do not have any relationship with Biafra in genealogy, culture and by colonial creation, Benue is part of the North,” Moro stated.

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Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court

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The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.

Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.

The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.

It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.

They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.

According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.

The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.

However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.

Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.

The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.

Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.

He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.

More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.

Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.

The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.

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World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.

The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.

The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.

“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.

“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?

“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.

“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.

“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”

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Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation

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Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.

The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.

“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.

Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.

It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.

It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.

“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’

“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.

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