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Hardship: Ohanaeze Warns Ndigbos Against Joining Protests

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The Ndigbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has directed Ndigbo all over the country not to join the ongoing protests against hardship.
In a statement signed by the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, entitled “Message to all Igbos worldwide”, he said: “I write as your leader at this critical period in our Country, Nigeria. Events in Nigeria today are no doubt very disturbing. The economy has turned very bad, a sceptre of frustration is everywhere.
“I have received many entreaties from many parts of the country requesting me to call Igbos to join in demonstration and violent action in the country against the government.
“As your leader, I am directing that no Igbo group or community in Nigeria or in Diaspora should join in this action. I am still studying the situation. I have asked Nigerians who approached me the following questions, what did they do when the past government disfranchised Igbo land?
“Most of the Igbo are in the South East and the South East is very sadly marginalized in all ramifications. We are the only geopolitical zone that has only five (5) states. This situation has cost us billions of financial losses. It has also cost us losses in both political appointments and legislative representations. In 2005 and 2014, we raised this issue at various political conferences. All men of goodwill at the conference agreed that it was unfair for the Southeast to have only five States and recommended that an additional state be created in the Southeast but up till today, this has not been done. I have severally drawn the attention of the Federal Government to this injustice against the Southeast. This statement should serve as a notice that if no step is taken by the Federal Government and the National Assembly towards the creation of an additional state in the Southeast, I will have no choice than to go to Court.
“In the 1999 Constitution as amended, we all endorsed a federal character. Igbos by nature would have preferred the free competitive process rather than a federal character paradigm. But we realised that Nigeria is a federation comprising so many ethnic nationalities and as part of our sacrifice towards the unity of Nigeria, we accepted the federal character option but unfortunately, it has been used to manoeuvre the Igbo out of most critical positions in Government. For Example, the former President Muhammadu Buhari openly confessed that he didn’t give us our due because we didn’t vote for him.
“Youths all over the world are very restive and sensitive to any issue affecting their future. In Nigeria, Igbo youths and youths from other tribes at various times expressed their dissatisfaction with events in the country. It is clear to us that when youths from other tribes of the country are involved they are reprimanded and forgiven; but when the Igbo youths are involved they are arrested, incarcerated and even charged for serious offences. For example, the arrest and detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu generated a lot of problems for the Igbos. Many Igbos, including governors, members of the National Assembly, religious leaders, traditional rulers, and business leaders pleaded with Mr. President for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu but without success. Also, there are many Igbo youths detained in various correctional centres for flimsy excuses. For example, there is a case of Eze Fredrick Nwajiagu who has been in detention in Lagos without any justifiable reason.
“Since after the 2023 general election, Igbos have been victimised over the failure of APC to win in Lagos and Abuja. It has been brought to my notice that there is a conspiracy to cripple Igbo business enterprise in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of Nigeria. All these are aimed at incapacitating the Igbos from all future political activities.
“In some parts of Nigeria, Igbos who answer Igbo names, who are raised in Igbo culture and tradition, continue to deny their Igbo heritage. This is because some people outside the Eastern Nigeria who assume the monopoly of political power, have continued to brainwash this set of people and turned their minds against their kit and kin, the Igbos. For example, after the Civil War which was fought by the entire Eastern Nigeria this group of people profiled it as if it was a war by a few Igbos and they influenced our kit and kin in Rivers State to seize our assets in the name of abandoned property. Remarkably, the end of Civil War was based on 3Rs Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction. Most unfortunately, the 3Rs were never implemented in the war torn areas. History will always record the contributions of General Yakubu Gowon, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and General Obasanjo towards the peaceful conclusion of the Civil War on the basis of no victor, no vanquished. It is regrettable that up till today, in spite of the efforts of Igbos to demonstrate their commitment to one united Nigeria, Igbos are victimized in many parts of the Country and people profile them wrongly at various times.
“It is clear to me that Igbos must work hard in order to succeed in Nigeria. It is no secret that most contracts executed by Igbo business men in Nigeria are bought from original awardees. In terms of political power, the Presidency of Nigeria was zoned to rotate between the North and the South. We accepted it. The last election was a defining moment in the country when in fact Igbos generally believed it was their turn to produce a president but some groups of Nigeria ganged up against Igbos and we failed in this quest. We once more thank all Nigerians who have shown their patriotism and love for one united Nigeria by supporting a very credible Igbo candidate, Mr Peter Obi. These Nigerian leaders are too numerous to mention but we cannot fail to express our thanks to Chief Dr. Edwin Clark, the Leader of South South region, Pa Ayo Adebanjo the Leader of Afenifere and Dr. Bitrus Pogu the Leader of Middle Belt Forum for their courage in supporting an Igbo candidate.
“It is important to remind all Igbos that the 2023 presidential electoral matter has reached the Nigerian Supreme Court where they declared President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR the winner. We don’t have any personal issues against him. As a Governor of Lagos State, he was good and charitable to Igbos. We have therefore decided to support him. We expect him also to reciprocate this gesture by giving us what is our due in the federation. We are not asking for another person’s position.
“The economic crisis in Nigeria is very unfortunate. Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide intends to convene a meeting of Igbo top economists and experts in diverse fields to strategize on how to overcome the hardships. We will also proffer advice to President Tinubu on the economy. It is important to note that the best thing for us as Igbos is to rally round President Tinubu and to do what we can to enable him complete his tenure. Igbos are opposed to military rule. We prefer a democratic government where we can express our views”.

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FG Declares Thursday Additional Holiday For Eid-el-Fitri

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The Federal Government has declared tomorrow, Thursday, as additional public holiday to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Aishetu Ndayako, made this known in a statement he shared on the ministry’s X account, yesterday.
The statement said, “The Federal Government has approved Thursday, April 11, 2024 as an additional public holiday to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.
“The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, while congratulating the Muslim Ummah for a successful completion of a month of spiritual rejuvenation, reiterates President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s firm commitment to providing a safe and prosperous Nigeria for all to thrive.”
Saudi Arabia, on Monday, said the crescent of Shawwal has not been sighted, indicating that the fasting would continue on Tuesday.
It also added that the Eid-el-Fitr would hold today, Wednesday, to mark the beginning of the new Islamic month.
The Federal Government had earlier on Sunday declared yesterday (Tuesday) and today, (Wednesday) as public holidays to mark the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

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Engage In Credible Opposition, We Won’t Hunt You, Fubara Tells IPAC …As Group Passes Confidence Vote On Rivers Gov

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has assured that the right climate will be created for all political parties to operate so that they can engage with Government and offer credible opposition.
The Governor emphasised that it was the best thing to do, especially because the opposition political parties have acknowledged that elections are over, and are resolved to offer effective support required to advance good governance in the State.
Governor Fubara spoke on Monday when he played host to the leadership of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Rivers State Chapter, led by its Chairman, Barrister Sensei Solsuema Osaro, at Government House in Port Harcourt.
The Governor insisted that an egalitarian society will be engendered so that people can feel free to voice their opinions without intimidation, because, according to him, those criticisms will contribute to having more focused implementation of policies that serve the general good of the State.
“So, we are happy to identify with you. We are assuring you, even when you leave here, criticise me, I don’t have problem with that, it is meant to spur me to do well. We will continue to give you the freedom. We will not cage anybody. We will not revoke your property.
“You can also take my message to your National Secretariat, we will continue to stand on the right path. We will support them because we can see that they are also doing what is right. Anytime they need our support, let them feel free to ask for it,” the Governor said.
Governor Fubara commended IPAC for identifying with his Administration, and pledging to collaborate efforts for the good of the State.
The State Chief Executive pointed out that no person who truly loves Rivers State, whether embittered, or not, will gladly want to burn down the State to achieve personal or political agenda.
The Governor said whatever political strength anybody claims to have, it amounts to nothing without the State and its people.
Governor Fubara assured that his team in Government will steadily work, genuinely, to protect the interest of the State.
While thanking the delegation for the vote of confidence passed on him and investing him as their Grand Patron, Governor Fubara urged them to tread the path of peace always in their activities.
Governor Fubara promised to consult with them and include their interest whenever appointments are made, and promised to donate a utility vehicle to enhance their logistics, while committing to support the upcoming programme of the body.
In his address, the Rivers State Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Barrister Sensei Solsuema Osaro, thanked Governor Fubara for the opportunity to meet with them, and announced that IPAC has passed a vote of confidence on the Governor.
He also announced the decision of IPAC to honour the Governor as the Grand Patron and Leader of the umbrella body of all political parties in the State.
“IPAC is a roundtable of political parties saddled with the responsibility of enlightenment, advocacy, educating, and inspiring courage among political parties and the society at large.
“With the elections come and gone, it is practically the time for governance and to ensure all derivable of dividends of democracy to the people of Rivers State.
“Herein lies the core of our visit today to forge a collaborative bond with you, His Excellency, to foster partnership for the overall interest of Rivers State.
“We heartily congratulate you on your victory at Supreme Court judgement, which affirmed your election at the polls. To this end, we in IPAC have passed a vote of confidence on His Excellency, and assure you of our collaborative, collective and individual support to succeed now, and in the course of your administration, and after,” he added.
More than 17 State Chairmen of Registered Political Parties in the State were in the delegation to pay a solidarity visit to the Governor.
Highlights of the visit were the presentation of a large plaque of portrait picture, certificate as Grand Patron, IPAC T-Shirt and Fez Cap by IPAC Chairman to Governor Fubara.

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Our Position On Rivers PDP Ward, LGA, State Excos Unshaken -Fubara

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The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has debunked as fake and misleading, the purported list of Caretaker Committee members circulating in the social media and published in some national dailies on Thursday, April 4, 2024.
The Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, who said this after a meeting with the NWC at the National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza in Abuja, last Thursday evening, restated that the resolutions of a meeting held between the NWC and members of the Board of Trustees (BOTs) and PDP Governors’ Forum in Abuja in March on the issue remain valid.
Governor Fubara reiterated the position of the party that the executive officers whose tenures had expired in March, shall remain in their various capacities until the three months’extension period approved by the NWC elapses, and new congresses conducted to replace them.
He recalled that a letter signed by the National Organising Secretary, Hon Umar M. Bature, dated Wednesday, March 27, 2024, addressed to the Chairman, Rivers State Caretaker Committee, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Aaron Chukwuemeka, and titled: “Approval of Wards, Local Government Area and State Caretaker Committee Members for Rivers State”, had clearly resolved the issue of the authentic members of the Caretaker Committees at the affected levels.
The letter, copied the Acting National Chairman, Amb. Umar Iliya Damagum; Deputy National Chairman, South, His Excellency, Amb. Taofeek Arapaja; the Executive Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara; National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu; and National Legal Adviser, Ajibade Kamaldeen Adeyemi, SAN, reads in full, “Following the expiration of the elected Ward, LGA, and State Executive Members in Rivers State, the National Working Committee (NWC), pursuant to the provisions of Section 29 (2) (b) of the Constitution of our Party, has, on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) approved the appointment of the expired Excos as Caretaker Committee Members.
“For the avoidance of doubt, attached to this letter is theauthentic list of the Caretaker Committee Members in Rivers State. These Caretaker Committees shall run the affairs of our Party at their appropriate levels for a period of three (3) months effective from the dates of their expiration, i.e. March 14, 18, 21, 2024 for Wards, LGA, and State, respectively.
“Please note that the NWC equally approved that anywhere vacancies have occurred due to death, removal, resignation, or defection, such vacancies shall not be filled.
“While thanking you for your continuous commitment, please accept the assurances of the NWC’s highest regards”.
Governor Fubara emphasized that the party stands on the agreement reached on the issue as encapsulated in the letter by the NWC to the State Chairman of PDP dated March 27, adding that no amount of intimidation, clandestine moves, wasteful lobbying and needless expenditure of public funds will change the position already taken.
The Governor stated that the list purported to be members of the Caretaker Committees of the party in the state was only the imagination of its purveyors, and advised those whose names were removed in the fake list and gullible members of the public to ignore it in its entirety.
He said that the party did not at any time remove or replace the names of officers whose tenures had been officially extended for three months, pending possible National Executive Committee ratification on April 18.
Governor Fubara insisted that what was published on Thursday and circulated on social media is not only fake, concocted and manipulated to suit the desperate ambitions of enemies of the State and its people, but a deliberate attempt to provoke members and cause discord in the party.
He observed that the list published in some national dailies and circulated on social media on Thursday was the handiwork of politicians who were spending public funds to cause unnecessary tension, anxiety and friction in the polity, and also distract the Government from the real task of governance in the State.
The Governor urged the elected officers of the party at ward, local government, and state levels whose names were removed and replaced with fictitious names to remain calm, and go about their legitimate duties as officers of the party.
He also warned those fomenting trouble and fanning the embers of confusion and disunity to retrace their steps, and embrace peace or face severe consequences.
The Governor also warned those whose names were forced into the fake and fabricated list of purported Caretaker Committee members being circulated not to be deceived by anybody with unmerited appointment, and avoid parading themselves or showing their presence at any party offices pretending to be officials, as anyone caught would be made to face the full wrath of the law for forgery and impersonation.

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