The Northern Elders have made U-turn on the Biafra agitation.
Speaking through one of the vocal voices and National Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum Prof Ango Abdullahi the northern elder said if the Igbo are tired in remaining in Nigeria, they should be allowed to leave.
He stated this while answering questions in an interview with Daily Sun. Professor Ango said he said it openly in front of the Vice President of Nigeria Prof Yemi Osinbajo that he supports Biafra in line with the principle of self-determination.
He said: ”I do if the Igbo want it. If the people of Igbo want Biafra I support them. I said this in front of the Vice-President that I support Biafra if the people of Biafra want Biafra according to the principles of self determination as agreed in the United Nations. It is a convention people should have their self determination.
See what is happening…I mean South Sudan had self determination and Nigerians if they are tired because I have said so openly that if Nigerian elites particularly those who are creating all the problems we are having today if they feel that we cannot sit down and talk honestly…
”Yes I am and I am saying we should sit down and face each other and say we want one Nigeria. If we say we want one Nigeria okay let’s sit down and discuss how we will get along with the job of creating one Nigeria. But if at some point we feel that one Nigeria will not be possible except on individual terms, not on collective terms then I am in favour of quietly and peacefully going our different ways. That is what I have said. I still say so.” he said.
BREAKING: Fresh Crisis In Presidency As Aisha Buhari Attacks Garba Shehu, Mamman Daura
Wife of the President, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has accused the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, to have shifted his loyalty to some personalities within the corridors of power outside President Buhari.
She alleged that Shehu was meddling with her affairs.
In a statement personally signed by her and released in the early hours of Wednesday, she also said because of his disloyalty, the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), is deliberately refusing to clear the air on the viral video in which she was seen having a quarrel with the daughter of President Buhari’s uncle, Mamman Daura.
Tilted “Garba Shehu Has Gone Beyond His Boundaries,” the statement read: “Nigeria’s development is hinged on the ability of public officials to execute their mandates professionally, and to be shining examples in their various areas of endeavor. It is not a good sign when officials abandoned their responsibility and start clutching at straws.
“As spokesperson of the President, he has the onerous responsibility of managing the image of the President and all the good works that he is executing in the country.
“Rather than face this responsibility squarely, he has shifted his loyalty from the President to others who have no stake in the contract that the President signed with Nigerians on May 29, 2015 and 2019.
“To make matters worse, Mr. Shehu has presented himself to these people as a willing tool and executioner of their antics, from the corridors of power even to the level of interfering with the family affairs of the President. This should not be so.
“The blatant meddling in the affairs of a First Lady of a country is a continuation of the prodigal actions of those that he serves. We all remember that the chief proponent appropriated to himself and his family a part of the Presidential Villa, where he stayed for almost four years and when the time came for him to leave, he orchestrated and invaded my family’s privacy through a video circulated by Mamman’s Daughter, Fatima, the public was given the impression that on arrival into the country I was locked out of the villa by Mr. President.
“Garba Shehu as Villa Spokesperson, knew the truth and had the responsibility to set the records straight, but because his allegiance is somewhere else and his loyalty misplaced, he deliberately refused to clear the air and speak for the President who appointed him in the first place.
“Consequently, his action has shown a complete breakdown of trust between the First Family and him.
“Mr Shehu was privy and part of the plan and its execution and he was shocked when he realized that I had publicized my return to Nigeria on October 12, 2019 and cleared the air on the many rumors that took over social media, a job he was supposed to do but kept mute to cause more confusion and instability for his Principal and his family.
“Garba then, vented his anger on the National Television Authority (NTA) Management insisting that the media crew to my office must be sacked. He succeeded in getting them suspended for doing their job.
I had to intervene to save the innocent staff from losing their means of livelihood by involving the Department of State Services (DSS) in order to ascertain roles played by key actors in the saga.
“It is at this late hour that I recall, sadly, that it was the same Garba Shehu who claimed that the government will not allow office of the First Lady to run. He was later to confirm to one of my aides that he was instructed to say so by Mamman Daura and not the President.
“This antic attracted the anger of Nigerian women. He didn’t realize the fact that First Lady’s office is a tradition which has become an institution.
“Today, even without a budget, I am able run my humanitarian programmes.
“In saner climes, Garba Shehu would have resigned immediately after going beyond his boundaries and powers.
“GARBA SHEHU NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR WILL NO LONGER BE TOLERATED.
“The latest of his antics was to wage a war on the first family through an orchestrated media campaign of calumny by sponsoring pseudo accounts to write and defame my children and myself.
“Based on Garba Shehu’s misguided sense of loyalty and inability to stay true and loyal to one person or group, it has become apparent that all trust has broken down between him and my family due to the many embarrassments he has caused the Presidency and the first family.
“We all have families to consider in our actions and, therefore, it is in the best interest of all concerned for Garba Shehu to take the advice of the authority, given to him sometimesn the first week of November, 2019.”
Shehu was yet to react at the time of this report.
Punch To Now Address Buhari With His Rank As Military Dictator, Refer His Administration As A Regime
A Nigerian National Daily, Punch has shared a notice which gave off its stand on the alleged lawlessness witnessed in President Buhari’s administration.
In a notice titled “Buhari’s lawlessness: Our Stand”, Punch stated that it will “henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s ‘Major General’ and refer to his administration as a regime until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.”
The national daily reiterated that it will not adopt the self-defeating attitude of many Nigerians looking the other way after each violation of rights and attacks on the citizens, the courts, the press and civic society, including self-determination groups lawfully exercising their inalienable rights to peaceful dissent.
It alleged that this administration’s actions and assaults on the courts, disobedience of court orders and arbitrary detention of citizens reflect its true character of the martial culture. The SSS and Police were called out by Punch who also accused the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed of vigorously pressing for anti-hate speech laws to restrict social media even after being harassed by the SSS and accused of “loitering” in 2014.
The notice reads in full;
“As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, PUNCH (all our print newspapers, The PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH, Sunday PUNCH, PUNCH Sports Extra, and digital platforms, most especially Punchng.com) will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.”
The entire country and a global audience are rightly scandalised by the unfolding saga over Omoyele Sowore and the unruliness of the SSS and the government; but it is only a pattern, a reflection of the serial disregard of the Buhari regime for human rights and its battering of other arms of government and our democratic institutions. PUNCH views this tendency and its recent escalation with serious concern, knowing as the great thinker, Edmund Burke, said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Nigeria had trod a path, a veritable obstacle course, where repression, especially under military jackboots, was a malignant presence and this attracted heroic resistance by ordinary people, civil society groups and the press. But Nigerians have lately become lethargic, divided by ethnic and sectarian sentiments and weakened by widespread poverty brought on by a rapacious political class and bad governance.
PUNCH will not adopt the self-defeating attitude of many Nigerians looking the other way after each violation of rights and attacks on the citizens, the courts, the press and civic society, including self-determination groups lawfully exercising their inalienable rights to peaceful dissent. This regime’s actions and assaults on the courts, disobedience of court orders and arbitrary detention of citizens reflect its true character of the martial culture. Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) ran a ham-fisted military junta in 1984/85 and old habits obviously run deep. Until he and his repressive regime purge themselves of their martial tendency therefore, PUNCH will not be a party to falsely adorning it with a democratic robe, hence our decision to label it for what it is – an autocratic military-style regime run by Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).
Sowore’s travails are symptomatic: having ignored court orders granting him bail, the SSS, after much pressure following 125 days in captivity, released him only to stage a GESTAPO-style raid on the court where the journalist was standing trial. The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim el-Zakzakky and his wife have spent over three years in detention in violation of court orders granting them bail and ordering their release. A former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has been held in detention since 2015 in defiance of several court orders, including one by the ECOWAS appellate court that declared his continued incarceration illegal. Under Buhari, the SSS has become a monstrous and repressive secret police, acting often with impunity. Buhari bears responsibility for the state of repression because, as president, he can stop it today.
But the SSS is not alone. The Nigeria Police, whose notoriety predates Buhari’s second coming, has continued its serial abuse of human rights and is ever available to officials who routinely deploy police officers from the mundane abuse of sirens in traffic to arbitrary arrest and torture of victims. The police and military fail to understand that peaceful agitation and the right to associate are fundamental rights.
This situation is eerily familiar: as military head of state, Buhari’s appointee who headed the National Security Organisation, as the SSS was then known, Lawal Rafindadi, unleashed a reign of terror on Nigerians, featuring arbitrary arrests and torture in cells described by inmates as chambers of horror. Under the infamous Decree 2, agents had pre-signed detention papers, court orders were ignored and ouster clauses were inserted in decrees, while the press was specifically targeted with the infamous Decree 4 under which Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor were jailed.
Returning as an elected president, Buhari has followed the same template, appointing Lawal Daura as Director-General of the SSS, who re-enacted the Rafindadi playbook by his treatment of Dasuki and el-Zakzakky, among others, raided the homes of judges and twice deployed armed SSS heavies to foil the arrest of two former security chiefs by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Nigerian Navy authorities similarly ignored court orders to release Navy Captain Dada Labinjo, who they detained for over a year until his recent release on bail; Nigerian Army too detains suspects interminably on the grounds of being terrorism suspects.
Some governors have borrowed from this nefarious model, deploying security agents and perverting the law to punish critics and journalists. Critics, Dadiyata Idris and Stephen Kefas, have been arrested and arraigned. Agba Jalingo is facing a treason charge for offending the Cross River State Government. Jones Abiri, a local publisher in Bayelsa State, has been charged with terrorism while, in Delta State, two journalists are facing criminal defamation charges.
The regime’s Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, forgetting how, as opposition spokesman in 2014, he was harassed by the SSS and accused of “loitering,” has been vigorously pressing for anti-hate speech laws to restrict the social media. Abdullahi Sabi, a senator, along with others, has re-presented a hate-speech bill: their sole purpose is to insulate officials from criticism and compel unquestioned acceptance of Buhari’s draconian misrule.
Under the law, suspects cannot be held beyond 48 hours except by a court order. But the regime observes this in the breach. Yet, Nigeria is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and other treaties guaranteeing fundamental rights. The 1999 Constitution also spells out basic rights. But the regime chooses which rights or court orders to respect or obey. This is unacceptable. Critical segments of the society have been assaulted, silenced or compromised. It is time, as a Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has strongly advocated, for civil society to rejuvenate itself and send the message to Buhari to “rein in his wild dogs of disobedience.” From the United States has come a message from the Department of State, two senators and Congress telling the Buhari regime to stop its shocking affront to the rule of law, reminding the General that “respect for the rule of law, judicial independence, political and media freedom, and due process are key tenets of democracy.”
Nigeria has had more than its fair share of draconian rulers, whether in military or civil garb, but none has succeeded in breaking our resilience and irrepressible spirit. This regime will not prove to be an exception. Nigeria, and Nigerians, will overcome. The strong desire of our people to enjoy the unfettered freedoms guaranteed by the constitution and the rule of law, including the freedom to speak freely and assemble peacefully, will again outlive, outlast and crush the spirit of despotism.
Buhari can still redeem himself and his out-of-control security agents and reclaim his past facade of tolerance. When Daura brazenly inserted himself in politics by recklessly sending armed masked SSS enforcers to besiege the National Assembly, as acting President, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo promptly sacked him and had him arrested. Buhari should similarly distance himself and his regime from the lawlessness and impunity of the current SSS DG, Yusuf Bichi, by dismissing him, ordering the release of all victims of illegal detention and compelling obedience to court orders. The SSS has not been efficient in the war against terror; it should perform its primary duty to safeguard the country. As a product of statute, its loyalty should be to the country, not to temporary occupiers of public office.
The regime’s repression cannot succeed but will further polarise the society and weaken national cohesion. The Nigerian Bar Association has vowed to defend the sanctity of judicial authority, while Soyinka has warned that disregard for court orders could beget desperation and civil disobedience. Nigerians need to stop their supine acquiescence to oppression and learn to stand up for their rights as many are doing around the world, using all peaceful and legal means, including the right to protest and of peaceful assembly. It is Dasuki, el-Zakzakky, Sowore and others today, who knows who is next if repression is not resisted?
Constitution Amendment To Make Foreign Men Who Marry Nigerian Women Eligible For Citizenship
A constitution amendment is being considered by the lawmaker representing Egbeda/Ona Ara, Oyo State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Akin Alabi to make foreign men who marry Nigerian women eligible for citizenship.
It was gathered that Alabi is considering the constitutional amendment after a foreign man only identified as Andrew cried out that he had to leave Nigeria for a few months because of the absurd law that he cannot use his wife’s nationality to gain citizenship because she is a woman.
Section 26 of The 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides for the requirement that must be fulfilled for a foreigner to register as a Nigerian. In doing this, Section 26 surreptitiously conferred on Nigerian men, the benefit of having their wives registered as Nigerians.
Section 26 of The Constitution provides that:
Subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, a person to whom the provisions of this Section apply may be registered as a citizen of Nigeria, if the President is satisfied that –
a. He is a person of good character;
b. He has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria; and
c. He has taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the seventh schedule to this Constitution.
The provisions of this section shall apply to:
a. Any woman who is or has been married to a citizen of Nigeria; or
b. Every person of full age and capacity born outside Nigeria any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria.
“I may have to leave Nigeria for a few months because of the absurd law that I can’t use my Wife’s nationality to gain citizenship because she’s a woman. Yet if I were a Nigerian man. Marrying her would grant her the ability to gain citizenship here. Second class women. And my contract is nearly over and I will need a new expatriate quota for my residency here,” Andrew tweeted using the Twitter handle @NigeriaBuilding.
Reacting, the lawmaker representing Egbeda/Ona Ara, Oyo State in the House of Representatives acknowledged constitutional amendment was not an easy task.
He, however, stated that after today’s, Tuesday 10 December 2019, plenary, he would liaise with his aides to begin the process of drafting a bill for a constitutional amendment.
“Section 26, 2 (a) of our constitution says a woman who has been married to a citizen of Nigeria may be registered as a Nigerian citizen. I think that’s awful.
“We will need a constitutional amendment so we can change the term “any woman” to “any person” or “anyone”. That will make foreign men who marry Nigerian women eligible for citizenship. Now here is where I see a small problem.
“Constitutional amendment is not an easy process. After passing the House of Representatives (3 readings) and the Senate, it will still have to go to the 36 House of Assemblies. Two thirds must pass it before it becomes law.
“If it was just an act of the National Assembly, that would have been easier and possibly take a shorter period because all we would have needed is the passage from both chambers and the president’s assent. That is not to say we should start the process.
“After plenary today, I will have a discussion with my aides and assistants to begin the process of drafting a bill for a constitutional amendment,” Alabi stated.