The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has disagreed with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) over the attack on Senator Ike Ekweremadu, last Saturday.
In a statement signed by its Director of Information, Edeson Samuel, yesterday, MASSOB stated that, “The leadership of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has condemned in its totality, the assault, physical attack and disrespectful actions of some Igbos against Senator Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany, which we later confirmed as members of IPOB in Germany through the affirmation of IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful.
“It is disheartening that some groups have turned the non-violent struggle for the actualisation of Biafra State into an abusive and systematic Gestapo against the supposed citizens of Biafra.
“The physical attack on Ike Ekweremadu by IPOB is not commendable. Igbo culture abhors disrespect on elders and persons in authoritative positions. If Ike Ekweremadu is sabotaging or has sabotaged Biafra struggle as alleged by IPOB, what meaningful and acceptable steps has IPOB taken to draw the attention of Ike Ekweremadu to the alleged degradation?
“MASSOB as a leading figure of current Biafra agitation advise other pro- Biafra groups, including IPOB that Igbo political leaders are not the major obstacle of our chances of achieving independence from the Nigerian state, the major hurdles militating against the freedom of Biafra people from Nigeria is non-cohesion and brotherhood among the leaders of leading pro-Biafra groups. The tendency of superiority complex on ideology and the spirit of lordship over others are the detrimental tendencies grossly affecting the freedom of Biafrans.
“Ike Ekweremadu and other perceived and alleged enemies of Biafra are not our major obstacle. IPOB can never actualise Biafra alone, neither MASSOB, LNC, BNC, BIM and others operating individually can achieve Biafra alone. Biafra will be more achievable when a strong coalition of MASSOB, IPOB, Lower Niger Congress, BNC, BIM and others from Niger Delta regions are established under a collegiate leadership.
“The tendency of grooming authoritarian leadership under any guise in Igbo land and Biafra in general will never be tolerated because the republican nature of Igbo man does not allow such authoritative and empirical rulership.
“MASSOB also condemns the directives to attack the governors of southeast, consciously attacking a governor will never give us Biafra but will continue sending our youths to untimely deaths because every attack on a governor will attract the trigger happy Hausa Fulani security agents in Igbo land to open fire on our defenceless youths. Tomorrow, they will say governors ordered the killings of IPOB members.
“MASSOB also apologized to Chief Ike Ekweremadu for the physical assault on his person at Germany during the Igbo traditional ceremony of iri ji. We admonished Senator Ike Ekweremadu to abreast the assault as a family affair between a father and his children. Hausa Fulanis and other enemies of Ndigbo are happy but we must shame them when they see you in a cordial relationship with your people.
“MASSOB calls and extend a hand of fellowship to IPOB led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, BIM led by Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, BNC led Alhaji Dokubo Asari and other pro Biafra groups to rally together in the true spirit of Biafra and defend Biafra land from the Fulani invaders and marauders. The era of propagandas and talking on radio/newspaper have gone, people’s opinions on social media will never give us Biafra. Let’s unite and confront our common enemy. Though our governors and other leaders are not assisting the Biafra struggle, we can engage them traditionally, not insulting them”, the statement added.
Also, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, condemned the violent attack on former Deputy President of the Senate in the Eighth Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, by some members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra.
Omo-Agege said this in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yomi Odunuga, in Abuja, yesterday.
He said the dastardly act was not only an exportation of irrationality, but also an international affront against the image of the Igbos and Nigeria in general.
He expressed shock over the undeserved assault and called on law enforcement agencies in Germany to investigate and bring to book the perpetrators of the attack.
He said: “Sen. Ekweremadu honoured the invitation of patriotic Igbos in Germany who wanted him to deliver a keynote address at the event organised to commemorate the new yam festival.
“But some aggressively discourteous elements hijacked the effort to perpetrate a disgraceful assault that seeks to deepen the portrayal of members of the IPOB as enemies of democratic norms and values.
“What they did is not only a violent assault against the good image of the Igbo race across the world.
“It is also an aggressive attack against the traditional norms of a people known to be hardworking and respectful of meaningful contributions by leaders such as Ekweremadu.
“Such disappointing physical abuse also grossly disregards Ekweremadu’s democratic antecedents and his long-standing commitment to the cause of his people.
“Such criminal attack along with other anti-social attempt, to accuse, condemn and lynch anyone remains utterly condemnable and illegal.”
Omo-Agege said it was notwithstanding whether the attack took place on Nigerian or foreign soil, it was the “easiest invitation to anomie.”
However, miffed by the attack on the immediate past Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany, the House of Representatives is contemplating a legislation that would protect politically exposed people abroad.
The Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Yusuf Buba Yakub made the disclosure in a statement he personally signed, yesterday, on the heels of the attack.
It would be recalled that Ekweremadu was attacked by suspected members of IPOB while participating in Iri Iji Festival of Igbo in the Diaspora.
Condemning in strong terms the assault, Yakub said that there were other civilized ways within a democratic setting to show grievances by any individuals or groups.
The federal lawmakers hinted the House upon resumption in September would thoroughly investigate the matter, urging the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Maitama Tugger to immediately probe the issue with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book.
The statement read thus: “I, like most concerned Nigerians and others across the globe, have followed with utmost concern and worry about the treatment that was meted out on Senator Ike Ekweremadu in far away Nuremberg, Germany, where he had, on the invitation of his people, gone to attend the Second Igbo Cultural Festival of Iri Ji in that part of Europe as a Distinguished Guest of Honour.
“Sen. Ekweremadu, an accomplished scholar in the legal profession and political leader of high standing in society, is one of our longest-serving senators, who had also in the last twelve years until June this year held sway as the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate. Before joining the Senate, he was also Secretary to the Enugu State Government and had before then served in various capacities in that state.
“Given the high personality profile and the public service record which Sen. Ekweremadu parades, it is unthinkable that any individual or group anywhere in the world, let alone his very own people in the Diaspora, who ought to know better, should contemplate and carry out the despicable public act of shame that was brought upon a well-respected national leader of Sen. Ekweremadu’s stature before the glare of the entire global community in Germany.
“I, therefore, in very strong terms, condemn in its entirety the action of the group of Igbo people, alleged to be members of the outlawed IPOB, that had attacked Sen. Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany on Saturday, August 17. I also wish to join other Nigerians and leaders to call on the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Amb.Yusuf Maitama Tugger to make good his promise to investigate and bring to book everyone who was part of that dastardly assault on a serving national leader.
“On my part, I promise to lead the House Committee on Foreign Affairs which I currently chair, and, indeed, other members of the House, who have since yesterday continued to call in to express their indignation against and condemnation of the act, to move a motion on the floor of the House and to call for broader investigations on the matter with a view to decisively dealing with all those involved and seeking protection for the politically-exposed persons on foreign trips and assignments in foreign jurisdictions.
“While conceding that it is the right of any group or individual to protest against a perceived wrong done to them in every democratic set-up, like ours, but it goes without saying that there is a limit to the extent any protest can go. It ceases to be a protest, for instance, when those involved in such a protest begin to make attempts on life or endanger the rights of others to peaceful and lawful assembly as we saw in the case at Nuremberg, Germany. As law-abiding people, we must have recourse to civility and proper ways of doing things at all times.”
Similarly, the Chief Whip of the Ninth Senate, Dr Orji Kalu condemned the attack on the former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweramadu in Germany by some members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
A video showing the assault on Ekweremadu by the group had gone viral across the various social media platforms.
Kalu, a two-time governor of Abia, in a statement issued by his Media Team, yesterday in Abuja, described the action of the group as uncivilised, unacceptable and barbaric.
He urged Igbo people to respect leaders at all levels, noting that the only way the South-East zone could be prosperous was to embrace dialogue, peace and unity.
Kalu, in the statement made available to newsmen, yesterday, also urged the Embassy of Nigeria in Germany, the German Government and appropriate authorities to bring the perpetrators of the act to book.
“After watching a viral video of the physical attack on former Deputy President of the Senate Sen. Ike Ekweramadu, I was not only disappointed but irritated and disturbed with the action of some members of IPOB.
“The assault on the senator is a slap on Igbo leaders regardless of age, party affiliation and religion,’’ Kalu said.
According to him, the perpetrators of the uncivilised act must face the wrath of the law.
“Sen. Ekweramadu is not only one of the Igbo leaders but also a prominent Nigerian and as such should be accorded due respect by all and sundry at home and abroad.
“For the South-East to move forward, the people of the region must embrace dialogue as a way of resolving pertinent issues and eschew violence.”
Kalu, who appealed to Igbo across the globe to be law-abiding and remain good ambassadors of Nigeria, urged Igbo groups to educate their members on the consequences of social vices.
Earlier, Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) condemned the attack on Senator Ike Ekweremadu at the 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival held in Nuremberg, Germany.
In a statement in Abuja, the Chairman of NIDCOM, Mrs AbiKe Dabiri-Erewa, said that the incident was an embarrassment to the country.
“It is also shamefully pathetic that an event, which was nobly put together by the Ndi-Igbo community whose members make up the majority of Nigerians living in Germany, ended up in such a disgraceful manner,” she said.
Dabiri-Erewa noted that the event was to provide a forum for those in Diaspora and various stakeholders to network and facilitate better cooperation between German and Nigerian businesses.
She disclosed that some of the culprits who perpetrated the act had been apprehended.
Dabiri-Erewa called on the German government and law enforcement agencies to ensure that there are consequences for the actions of the culprits.
She also appealed to Nigerians to be of good behaviour wherever they find themselves; as such unruly incidents tarnish the image of the country.
In a statement, last Saturday, Ekweremadu confirmed that he was physically assaulted by some members of the proscribed IPOB in Nuremberg, Germany.
Enweremadu confirmed the attack in a statement released by his Media Assistant, Uche Anichukwu in Abuja.
Reacting, the senator representing Abia-South Senatorial District, Enyinnaya Abaribe condemned the attack on the former deputy Senate president, Dr Ike Ekweremadu by members identified as IPOB.
Abaribe, who along with two other sureties bailed Nnamdi Kanu, frowned at the incident, noting that it was un-Igbo for IPOB members in Germany to treat Ekweremadu that way.
His words, “Obviously this is not how to repay a man, an outstanding leader of men, an unpretentious Igbo leader.
“He has given his all even going as far as deploying his means to arrange for the bail of Nnamdi Kanu, not minding the repercussions to his illustrious political career.
“It is unfortunate. The perpetrators of the attack should know that as the Igbo, we respect elders and reverence our leaders.
“The unwarranted attack is not the character of the Igbo. This is un-Igbo.
“It is most worrisome and even inconceivable that the attackers will choose an auspicious occasion where our people are celebrating and showcasing our rich culture to exhibit such unbecoming and condemnable conduct in the name of agitation.
“No, that was not agitation, no right thinking human will identify with such behaviour.
“Yes, Nigeria is going through a horrendous phase, which is a fault line that her leaders, particularly we the Igbo leaders are engaging others to find a lasting solution to.
“Resorting to mob mentality and venting the spleen on our leaders rather creates a vacuum that will leave our people helpless and confused in the circumstance”, he said.
Also speaking, Senator Shehu Sani, said that IPOB spanked the wrong horse with the wrong whip on the wrong track with the attack on the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
Sani on his Twitter handle said: “Ike; IPOB spanked the wrong horse with the wrong whip on the wrong track.
“The attack on Senator Ekweremadu in Germany stands unreservedly condemned.
“Whatever is the political or philosophical agenda of the people that attacked him, the strategy of physical assault or violence cannot lead them to success.”
A 64-second video about the attack had gone viral on the social media earlier on Saturday.
In the video, Ekweremadu was seen being violently questioned over his alleged conspiracy with the Federal Government to proscribe the IPOB in the South-East and killing several of its followers.
There were initial speculations on the veracity of the video where the senator was attacked with eggs by the irate IPOB members.
The Senator who also gave an account of the event on his social media handle, @iamekweremdu, however, assured that he was safe.
He said: “I attended the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organised by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nurnberg today (Saturday) where I was billed to give a keynote address along with the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who, however could not make it eventually.
“I was given a resounding welcome by Ndigbo in Germany and everything went smoothly until some men, who identified themselves as IPOB members stormed the venue and began to complain about the killings in the South-East, stressing that there would be no Igbo event at the venue.
“I tried to engage them, but when they became unruly, I had to leave the venue. The organisers also invited the police, and I was accompanied out of the venue.
“Much as I am disappointed in their conduct, especially as I am one of the persons, who have spoken up on justice for Ndigbo, the Python Dance, judicial killings in Igbo land, and elsewhere both on the floor of the Senate and in my written and personal engagements with the Presidency and the media as well as rallied the South-East Senate Caucus to secure Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe taking him on bail to douse tension in the South-East, I nevertheless do not hold this to heart against them, for they know not what they do.
“I have received thousands of solidarity calls and messages from well-meaning Ndigbo. I want to assure them that I am hail and hearty. I have also spoken with the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar.”
Meanwhile, the former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose and Peoples Democratic Party stalwart and ex-minister Chief Femi Fani-Kayode also condemned the attack on Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
Fayose said the attack on Ekweremadu was an assault against the Igbos and Nigerians in general, adding that “Igbo touts” demonstrated that pigs have no value for gold.’
He said: “Attackers of Ekweremadu, a defender of democracy who symbolizes courage and decency, are miscreants who don’t deserve a place in a civilized society”.
Fani-Kayode said “What happened to my friend and brother Sen. Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany at the hands of IPOB is an eye-opener and clear signal to every political leader in southern Nigeria! The people of the south are getting angry and you either stand up and defend them or stand aside!”
The National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South-East zone, Chief Austin Umahi, condemned the attack on Senator Ike Ekweremadu by suspected members of the proscribed IPOB in Nurnberg, Germany.
Umahi made this known in a statement signed and forwarded to newsmen at the weekend in Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State.
He frowned at the action of the group against Ekweremadu whom he said has been on the forefront of the struggle against the marginalization of Ndi-Igbo in the Nigerian Federation.
The zonal chairman said he was surprised that some individuals could hide under the name of the proscribed IPOB to attack Ekweremadu after all his efforts as the leader of South-East Senate Caucus in the 8th Senate to secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the self acclaimed leader of the group, from detention.
He said for Ekweremadu to have travelled to far away Nurnberg in Germany to attend the second annual festival and convention organized by Ndi-Igbo resident there, was a demonstration of his undying love for Ndi-Igbo which he has been exhibiting over the years.
Umahi urged Ekweremadu not to be discouraged by the attack; but see it as one of the many sacrifices he has to pay in pursuit for justice and better treatment for Ndi-Igbo both within and outside the country.
He also called for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the dastardly act to serve as a deterrent to others.
“I advised any individual or group that has any genuine reason to agitate, to do so, through the South-East Governors Forum, the Ohanaeze Ndi-igbo and through other legitimate means within the Nigerian federation; rather than resorting to self help” he stated.
Responding to criticism on the IPOB action, the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, yesterday, described the attack on the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in Nuremberg, Germany, as a ‘courageous act’.
Reacting in his official Twitter page, Kanu said the attack was a polite warning.
He tweeted, “the courageous act by IPOB at Nürnberg, Germany, is a polite warning to those engaged in selling our collective interest to Fulani caliphate. Nwodo, Igbo governors are warned.”
The IPOB explained that the attack serves as a warning to Nnia Nwodo, Dave Umahi, Okezie Ikpeazu, Willie Obiano and others to stay away from any public event abroad unless they want to be humiliated.
Southern Govs Back Wike, Insist On VAT Collection …A’Court Urges Rivers To Submit Written Application For Receiver
Southern Governors met in Enugu, yesterday, and declared their support for Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, insisting that it is within their purview to collect the Value Added Tax (VAT).
This is coming amid row between the Rivers State Government and the Federal Government, a case that is now subject of litigation.
The governors also reaffirmed their stand on open-grazing ban, urging every state in the region to quickly pass a law to that regards.
The resolution by the Southern Governors Forum is part of the six-point communique reached at its meeting at the Government House, Enugu, Enugu State, and read by Chairman of the Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN.
The meeting of the Southern Governors Forum, which reviewed the state of the nation and the progress of the implementation of the decisions reached in its previous meetings, expressed satisfaction with the rate at which the states in Southern Nigeria were enacting and amending the anti-open grazing laws which allowed a uniform template and aspiration of Southern Governors, and encouraged the states that were yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.
Reading the communique after the closed door meeting to journalists, Akeredolu said that the meeting reiterated its earlier position that the next President of Nigeria most come from the southern part of Nigeria, in line with politics of equity, justice and fairness.
According to the communique, the Southern Governors agreed to encourage the full operationalization of already agreed regional security outfit which will meet, share intelligence and collaborate to ensure the security and safety of the region.
Akeredolu opined that the meeting also reaffirmed its earlier commitment to stick to fiscal federalism as resolved at the inaugural meeting of the forum held on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at Asaba, Delta State, and emphasize the need for the Southern States to leverage the legislative competence of their respective state Houses of Assembly, as well as representation in the National Assembly to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution, through the ongoing constitutional amendment.
The communiqué, according to the forum’s chairman, expressed satisfaction with the array of issues around the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and ownership of NNPC by the larger Nigerian Governors Forum.
The forum thanked the host Governor, IfeanyiUgwuanyi, and chose Rivers State as the next host for the Southern Governors Forum meeting in November, 2021.
Present at the meeting were Rivers StateGovernor, Chief NyesomWike; Delta StateGovernor, Dr.IfeanyiOkowa;AkwaIbom StateGovernor, Chief Emmanuel Udom; and Osun StateGovernor, IsiakaAdegboyegaOyetola.
Others were Enugu StateGovernor, IfeanyiUgwuanyi;Bayelsa StateGovernor, Senator DuoyeDiri;Lagos State Governor,BabajideSanwo-Olu; and Ogun State Governor,EngrOluwaseyiAbiodun.
The governors of Oyo, Ekiti, Edo, Imo, Abia, and Ebonyistates were represented by their deputies.
The communiqué read in full, “The Nigerian Southern Governors’ Forum at its meeting of Thursday, September 16, 2021 held in the Government House, Enuqu, Enugu State, reviewed the state or the nation and the progress of implementation of the decisions reached in her previous meetings and further resolved as follows:
“Expressed satisfaction with the rate at which the states in the Southern Nigeria are enacting or amending the Anti-Open Grazing Laws which align with the uniform template and aspiration of Southern Governors and encouraged the states that are yet to enact this law to do so expeditiously.
“Encouraged the full operationalization of already agreed regional security outfits; which would meet, share intelligence and collaborate, to ensure the security and safety of the region.
“Reaffirmed its earlier commitment to structural and fiscal federalism as resolved at the inaugural meeting of the Forum held on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at Asaba, Delta State, and emphasized the need for the Southern States to leverage the legislative competence of their respective State Houses of Assembly as well as representation in the National assembly to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.
“Following from paragraph 3 above, the meeting resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the states.
“Expressed satisfaction with the handling of issues around the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and ownership of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by the larger Nigerian Governors’ Forum.
“Reiterated their earlier position that the next President of Nigeria must come from the Southern part of Nigeria in line with politics of equity, justice and fairness.
“The forum thanked the host Governor, IfeanyiUgwuanyi, and chose Rivers State as the next host for the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in November, 2021″.
However, the Court of Appeal, yesterday, declined to accede to the request of Rivers and Lagos states for the appointment of Receiver or Manager for the purpose of collecting and keeping Value Added Taxes (VAT) in place of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) pending the resolution of all legal disputes in the matter.
The two states separately canvassed that the order of status quo ante bellum granted on September 10 in favour of FIRS to continue the collection be put on hold given the appeal already lodged at the Supreme Court against the order.
Counsel to Rivers State, IfedayoAdedipe, SAN, in his oral application, pleaded with the appellate body to exercise its power under Order 4 Rule 6 of the Court of Appeal to appoint a Receiver or Manager to take custody of the VAT in the interest of justice to parties in the matter.
The Attorney General of Lagos State, Mr MoyosoreOnigbanjo, SAN, who stood for his state, toed the path of Rivers in canvassing that the court be fair and just in the pending appeal.
Onigbanjo specifically asked the Appeal Court to restrain FIRS from further collecting the tax and replace it with a Receiver or Manager that would act for parties that are locked in the legal battle.
The Lagos Attorney General predicated his expressed fear of unjust treatment on the fact that FIRS apart from collecting the tax has been sharing it among the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) despite the pendency of the legal tussle.
“I think it is also necessary to restrain the FIRS, because they collect the VAT, distribute to all the states and keeps their own 4 per cent.
“If, at the end of the day, the court agrees with the judgment of the Federal High Court, how do we retrieve the funds that have been shared?”,Onigbanjo added.
The appeal by the FIRS is against August 9, 2021 judgment by Justice Steven Pam of the Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt, voiding the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act and holding that states could collect VAT.
Justice Haruna Simon Tsanami, who led a three-member panel, directed them to make the application formal by providing the necessary facts, including ascertaining the amount being collected as VAT.
Other members of the panel are Justices BatureGafai and Peter Affen.
Meanwhile, the court has reserved ruling on an application by Lagos State to be made a respondent in the appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The court, after listening to arguments by lawyers to parties, yesterday, said they would be informed when the ruling was ready.
In arguing Lagos’ application, Onigbanjo (SAN) said his client was a necessary party as it would be affected by the outcome of the case.
He noted that, as a federating unit/state in Nigeria, Lagos was entitled to collect VAT by virtue of the judgment of the Federal High Court that annulled VAT Act.
Onigbanjo argued that even the appellant (the FIRS) recognised that Lagos State has an interest in the case, which he said, was evident in the affidavit it filed, wherein copious reference was made to the Lagos State Government.
He further argued that since FIRS, in an affidavit supporting its application for stay of the judgment, recognised the interest of the Lagos State Government in the case, “it cannot now turn around to say the Lagos State Government has no interest in this case and should not be joined. It cannot blow hot and cold or speak from both sides of its mouth.”
Onigbanjo also contended that it was unfair for the FIRS to oppose Lagos’ request to be heard in the case after making allegations against the state.
He added that even the court recognised the interest of Lagos State in the case when it extended its order on maintenance of status quo to Lagos State, which was not yet a party in the case.
Onigbanjo prayed the court to join his client as a respondent.
Adedipe adopted Onigbaajo’s argument, and urged the court to allow the application by Lagos State.
Following the observation by Onigbanjo that the written address filed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) was incompetent, the lawyer representing the AGF, TijaniGazali (SAN), withdrew the address, subsequent upon which the court struck it out.
Lawyer to FIRS, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), objected to the joinder application filed by Lagos State, arguing, among others, that the state was not a necessary party.
Magaji faulted the competence of the application, and urged the court to discountenance it.
On second thought, Magaji said if the court was willing to join Lagos; it should extend such indulgence to the other states of the federation.
Okonjo-Iweala Makes ‘TIME 100’
Nigerian-born Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has thanked the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, for the kind words they penned about her as she makes the TIME 100 list of The World’s Most Influential People.
The magazine has noted the globally-rated economist’s activities around the efforts to ensure that everyone on the planet earth gets vaccinated against any preventable disease for which there is a vaccine.
The ex-World Bank guru has been the Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, since January 1, 2016.
Gavi has the goal of increasing access to immunization in poor countries.
Concerning the TIME entry, the Duke and the Duchess state, “What will it take to vaccinate the world? Unity, cooperation—and leaders like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala”.
“As the first African and first woman to lead the World Trade Organization, a 164-member group of nations that oversees trade across the world, Okonjo-Iweala took on the role of director-general this March at a watershed moment for our global health and well-being. Make no mistake; her job affects every person, family and community.
“As we face a constant barrage of vaccine misinformation, bureaucratic slowdowns across both government and industry, and the rise of variants that underscore the urgency of the situation, Okonjo-Iweala has shown us that to end the pandemic, we must work together to equip every nation with equitable vaccine access.
“Our conversations with her have been as informative as they are energizing. This is partly because, despite the challenges, she knows how to get things done—even between those who don’t always agree—and does so with grace and a smile that warms the coldest of rooms.
“The fragility of our world right now cannot be overstated. Just over a quarter of the nearly 8 billion global population is fully vaccinated.
“Achieving vaccine equity is a global duty of compassion for one another. Our hope is that guided by strong leaders like Ngozi, we can get there soon”, they wrote.
Relocation Of Insurgents, Wake-Up Call, CAN Warns
The Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State Chapter, Revd Joseph Hayab, has described the alleged relocation of Boko Haram leaders to Southern Kaduna as a wake-up call on people of the area.
Hayabsaid that though the news of the alleged relocation was not new, government has not done enough to protect the people.
He claimed all the calls from voices of reason appeared not to have moved both the federal and state governments to rise to the occasion.
“The relocation of Boko Haram to Southern Kaduna is not new. Who are those that have been killing people indiscriminately in that area in the last few years? The church, SOKAPU and the people have been complaining about killings in Southern Kaduna but only fell on the deaf ear of those in authority.
“Therefore, the leaked document has simply confirmed our worries and shows that more days for killings of innocent citizens are coming unless the people take personal initiative to defend their lives and land. Our government has not done enough to convince us that they want to stop the killings going on all over the area.
“Now, we were being told that there is a leaked memo about Boko Haram when those in authority have always turned deaf ears to cries of our people when we complain about killers that people see every day. Boko Haram fleeing North-East to Southern Kaduna is simply a wake-up call for the Southern Kaduna people to rise to the occasion,” he said.
A leaked DSS memo had said insurgents were relocating from Sambisa forest in BornoState to Chikun LGA in Kaduna State.
The alert was in a leaked memo marked NSCDC/NHQ/INT&INVST/323/2021, dated September 9, 2021, and signed by the Acting Deputy Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Intelligence and Investigation, B.O. Bassey.
The DSS, therefore, asked the civil defence to be on the alert.
“It has been uncovered, plans by senior Boko Haram fighter, Ibrahim (FNU) alongside his foot soldiers relocating from ‘Sambisa Forest in Borno State to Rijana Forest in ChikunLocal Government Area of Kaduna State with a view to joining their counterpart under the leadership of one AdamuYunusu (aka Saddiqu).
“In light of the above, you are hereby directed to step up surveillance and intelligence gathering on the aforementioned areas and environs.”
Meanwhile, months after the crash involving a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) King Air 350 aircraft on May 21 at the Kaduna Civil Airport, Commissioner of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Akin Olateru, has submitted an interim report to the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Amao, at his office at NAF Headquarters, Abuja.
After the crash, the CAS directed that a joint investigative body consisting of NAF safety officers and the AIB be constituted to investigate the causes.
A joint statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, and General Manager, Public Affairs, AIB, TunjiOketunbi, revealed that at this interim stage, a total of 27 initial findings and eight safety recommendations were made for the convening authority as well as other aviation-related agencies for immediate implementation.
They further disclosed that it is expected that the final report would contain the flight data recorder readout, the reviewed operator’s and service provider’s standard operating procedures as well as other detailed analyses.
While receiving the report, the CAS reiterated the main essence of activating the ‘joint investigative’ clause contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the NAF and the AIB on July 1, 2020.
He said successful collaboration is a clear indication of the potency of collaboration in aircraft accident investigation, which must be encouraged.
Similarly, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has blamed Almajiri system in the North for the increasing cases of banditry, kidnapping, terrorism and armed robbery in the country.
The Chairman of CAN in Imo State, Rev. Eches Divine Eches, stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja, ahead of the organisation’s 45th anniversary and Founder’s Day billed to hold today in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
According to him, banditry and kidnapping are increasing because the authorities have failed to pay more attention to the critical factors behind the widespread insecurity in the country.
Eches also expressed concern over Sheikh Ahmed Gumi’s links with the bandits terrorising the North-West region and the alleged helplessness of the government to arrest and caution him for his many ‘unguarded utterances’ about their activities.
He said, “You can’t have Almajiri system of life and government in the last 40 years in our nation bringing up people without any trace to families, hometowns or nationalities.
“They are scattered all over the street, without you knowing that someday they will leave the street and go to the bush where they will begin to do the trade of kidnapping.
“Also, you can’t, in any sane nation, have the likes of Gumi, a religious scholar, going about promoting banditry and you don’t think that this will continue. Yet, that is what we are seeing today. We are not seeing anything more than what we have planted.
“We allowed this thing (insecurity) to continue and it is now going to consume the nation, if drastic measures are not put in place to take them (Almajiri) out of the streets, give them a sense of belonging, put them in school, and help them realise their potentials.
“These bandits we find today were the Almajiri who used to be in front of our houses and begging for food.
“We are praying and that is why God is still sustaining our nation. I trust God will continue to sustain us in Jesus name.”
On CAN’s 45th anniversary of its Founder’s Day, Eches said the programme was necessary to remember the labour of past heroes, including over 250 retired church leaders and indigent youth and women who were weak.
“They retired church leaders laboured to bring to bear what we are enjoying and working on today.
“We thought it very necessary to remember the weak among us as most of them are passing through terrible times, especially in such a time as this in our nation.
“So, we thought it very important that we will use this 45th anniversary of our Founders’ Day to celebrate such a people and remember their labours, and say to them ‘you deserve to be celebrated’ both by cash and gift,” he said.
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