Biafran Activists acting ostensibly under the orders of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, have murdered on the 16th of April, Prophet Anthony Nwoko, a friend and colleague in this struggle to free Ndigbo from internal and external contradictions.
Prophet Anthony Nwoko was a friend and colleague in the quest for Igbo emancipation. He was introduced to me in 2011 by Apostle Dr PCJ MacJossy when Igbo clerics were negotiating with the then Acting President Goodluck Jonathan’s kinsmen on what to do for Ndigbo in return for massive support during 2011 re-election.
Prophet Nwoko followed us in the General Assembly of all Igbo Christian Organizations and Ministers (GAAICOM) when the group wrestled out Ohanaeze Leadership from the hands of state governors and ensured that Ambassador Uwechue was given a second term as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo (not known to then Ohanaeze constitution) to help Uwechue finish the negotiations with Jonathan started by GAAICOM. This was August 2011.
Prophet Nwoko was part of GAAICOM .under the leadership of Apostle Dr PCJ Macjossy. I was the Director of Media and Communications of the prestigious clergy group and under the leadership of Apostle Dr Macjosssy, GAAICOM was able to reconcile many political and ecclesiastical feuds in Igbo lands including in Ohanaeze, CAN, PFN and elements within PDP. Prophet Nwoko was with us during the 2-Day Pre Convention Prayer Conference held at the Ohanaeze National Secretariat in July 2012 in Preparation for the ‘3 Day Walk into the Presence of God’ , a prophecy which God gave Apostle Macjossy as a must, if Igbos will find their feet politically in Nigeria.
I noticed Prophet Nwoko, very joyful whenever you mention Igbo affair, Biafra affair et all. He exudes the confidence that God will deliver Ndigbo soon.
I was surprised during the initial introduction that Prophet Nwoko said that he knew me some years back as an Igbo cleric and activist in Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other places. The prophet Nwoko I knew lived a quiet life. He was not married. His passion for Ndigbo and Biafra made him to leave the United States of America for Nigeria to join the activist movement. (This is not strange because I remember receiving delegates from the US in 2012 who inquired from me whether it is ripe for them to relocate to Nigeria for the Biafran cause)
Prophet Nwoko lives like a monk at his Ugbene Road residence. He could be likened to a Catholic priest or monk who live a celibate life of prayer in remote mountains to pray for world peace.
Prophet Nwoko that I knew prays for Ndigbo hours every day and sometimes he shares with me and some clerics what God told him concerning Igbos. However, due to busy schedules, I haven’t met Nwoko for a while but I knew that he was very busy with Nnamdi Kanu and his lieutenants and I erroneously believed that they are working as one.
Apostle Dr Macjossy, Rev Msgr Oko and I among other clerics, mobilized pressures on certain elements in Nigeria during the incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu. While Nwoko was among the group that believed that the Biafran protests would lead to quick release of Nnamdi Kanu, we believed that contacts and goodwill amassed over time around Nigeria will be very helpful, hence we warned authorities against any attempt to poison Kanu in prison.
As the Director of Media of GAAICOM, I was mandated to seek audience with relevant authorities concerning Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Also as Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress, our people talked with many Igbo elites to step down from their high horse and help secure the release of Kanu. These are known in public spheres worldwide. However, we disagreed with IPOB on principles because Igbo Mandate Congress is a pro-igbo group which believes that Igbos can achieve greatness in Nigeria and Africa if we put our hands and acts together according to divine mandate and scriptures. Prophet Nwoko differed with us on these, he believes that only Biafran actualization can save Ndigbo, and we respected his opinion.
When IPOB and Ohanaeze Youth quarreled over sharing formula of money collected by high profile politicians in 2016, IPOB asked their members to kill Okey Isiguzoro and they pasted his photos and phone numbers. Isiguzoro who knows too well about IPOB financial secrets was ready to explode if they try anything. It was a very disappointed Prophet Nwoko that I met at Ohanaeze secretariat lamenting how money politics wants to disorganize Biafra again.
Prophet Nwoko is not a money bag, despite that, he hates corruption. I remember in 2015 after Jonathan allegedly released cumulative N6.2 billion naira to Ohanaeze leadership to share to get endorsement, the sharing which caused fighting at Ohanaeze Secretariate in January 2015, I met a devastated Nwoko on my way to Abuja who cried and wondered when Ohanaeze will be delivered from money politics.
Therefore, Prophet Nwoko by nature loves Ndigbo, loves Biafra, hates corruption, and hates ostentatious life. He left the US to come and fight for Biafra and was murdered by six machete wielding Biafra activists at his residence in Abakpa Nike, Enugu, according to reports by Biafran Youth League.
Propphet Nwoko that I know loves Nnamdi Kanu , he loves Asari Dokubo, loves Tompolo, Ateke Tom and other Biafran activists outside Igboland. Prophet Nwoko loves Uchenna Madu, Ben Onwuka among others and had told me that on more than one occasion.’
When I wrote an article in 2015 titled ‘Why Tompolo Must not be Arrested’, and the follow up ‘War in the Creeks as Buhari Tompolo Alliance Crumbles’ A visibly excited Prophet Nwoko volunteered to photocopy the write up and give to his activist friends.
Therefore for some IPOB hounds to murder a Biafran prophet, priest, saint, because he accused Mazi Kanu of corruption is tantamount to introducing bloodshed into the Biafran struggle. This bloodshed has rendered this struggle dead on arrival.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has made the same mistakes Ojukwu made when he turned against Nzeogwu, Ifeajuna, Banjo and got them murdered directly or indirectly, thereby introducing bloodshed into the Biafran struggle. Thirty months later it was a shameful surrender to a victorious Federal Force and Ndigbo is yet to recover from it till date.
It is too early for IPOB to begin to kill dissenting opinion. The killing of a high profile prophet like Nwoko’s caliber has brought a big curse on the whole process. A friend militant from the Niger Delta have asked me questions on why IPOB should kill Prophet Nwoko. One militant ex general asked me “is that how Nnamdi Kanu will kill all of us if that Biafra comes”. Elements within MASSOB and other activist groups are thinking in the same manner.
Igbos has lost lots of front liners in the past few years. Alex Ekwueme died in 2017, Col Joe Achuzia died in 2018, Dr Dozie Ikedife died too, Apostle Dr PCJ Macjossy died and now Prophet Nwoko was murdered. All who protect Igbo interests are dying one after the other. Something is wrong!
Let the IPOB hounds that killed Prophet Nwoko and their principal make open confessions now because Chukwu Okike Abiama (God of Abraham) never authorized any IPOB or Biafran activist to kill anybody on his behalf.
Failure to do so, that same Chukwu Okike Abiama, whom Biafrans lay claim to, will be the one to frustrate the entire project again by Himself until bloodshed is excised from our system
Benue, Plateau, Wukari, Kafanchan are among our brothers who killed innocent Biafrans during the civil war. Today bloody herdsmen are rampaging on their collective destiny piecemeal and there’s no help in site.
The same fate will be visited on us if we turn deaf ear and begin to kill each other over dissenting opinions’
(Rev Obinna Akukwe, a Church Leader and Rights Activist is the Director General Igbo Mandate Congress, IMC)
email@example.com, facebook.com/igbomandate congress.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Oriental Times or any employee thereof.
Let Me Shine!
By Odunayo Oluwatimilehin
I am a little creature,
created to fulfill a special purpose on earth.
I am a product of human consummation.
I developed first as a foetus, and progressed gradually,
into a living being composed of a spirit, soul, and a body.
I am the long awaited bundle of joy,
A symbol of conjugal completeness,
A magical color that beautifies Marital vows.
I brought joy, happiness, and change of status to the family I was delivered to.
I was the reason behind the bright moon smiles on faces.
I was cherished, loved, and cared for at my arrival.
Now that my parents desire to have me has been granted.
I have just “One wish”.
Just one wish and I’ll be fine.
One wish to express my inert dreams.
One wish to be ‘Me’.
One wish to leave an indelible mark on the sand of time.
One wish to dazzle like Diamond.
One wish to shine forth as Gold.
Please, strengthen me when I’m weak.
Counsel me when I’m discouraged.
Hold my hands often, and affirm your love to me.
Just like houseplants,
Nurture me to grow on the right path.
Do not spare the rod when I’m wrong.
Release me like an Eagle when the time is right.
No matter the heights I’ll reach,
I will forever remain your little child.
Let me Shine!
Dedicated to Children all over the world, in celebration of May 27th, 2020 Children’s Day
HAPPY CHILDREN’S DAY!
Odunayo Oluwatimilehin, OYEWOLE.
An Open Letter To Governor Ifeanyi Okowa
Your Excellency Sir,
This open letter is a direct response to the official press statement that was made by the secretary to the state Government, Mr Chiedu Ebie on the 19th of May. In the press release, he announced that the government of Delta State is putting measures in place in other to establish a security organization which will be positioned to combat the rising insecurity in the State. I agree with your decision considering the porous security situation in the country and coupled with the covert moves of the powers that be to export hundreds of Almajiri folks to states that are unconnected to their political and economic misery.
Indeed, your decision is commendable but there is an observable error in it. This error is not telling good about us. Gains will not be made if what was mentioned in that press statement should come to be. People who are fighting for survival must apply common sense when it comes to their security. This letter is simply designed to remind you that the idea to include some Northerners into the yet to be established Office of Special Adviser on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution calls for a serious concern.
Your Excellency Sir, there won’t be any need for me to start schooling you again about insecurity in the country. You are the chief security officer of your state and moreover you duly understand the security situation in the whole of Nigeria. I still don’t understand the rationale behind the planned inclusion of some Northern extraction into the Office of Special Adviser on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution. After examining the decision, I can prognosticate dark days ahead. Things are not done that way. The decision of your government is somewhat misplaced and makes us to look like people who can’t do things on their own.
Dark days are truly ahead. We the Easterners should stop acting to love Nigeria more than others when at the end the people whom we are trying to align ourselves to doesn’t care about our ‘one Nigerianness’. Damning this mentality of ‘let’s do it this way so that nobody will see us as divisive people’ is one necessary thing that must be done. We owe no one apology or explanation on how we can go about our security in as much as it’s done according to the extant laws. Perhaps, it’s a matter of survival and not a cry for political correctness!
There is hisbah police in the North and Amotekun in the Southwest, how many Easterner can we see both in Hisbah and Amotekun security formations or any of their affiliated committees? Can they even conceive such dastardly idea? These people for a minute don’t trust us but we easily trust and unnecessarily engage them into sensitive issues about us. This is a country that thrive on suspicion. No oneness! No trust! So I wonder what your government is planning to achieve by getting these Northerners involved in the so called committee. Don’t quote me wrong. I’m not trying to say that your government shouldn’t engage the stakeholders in consultation when it comes to matters like this. But the main point is that limitations should be defined in sensitive issues like the one at hand. Some people are meant to stand outside while certain problems about us are being discussed.
We know the solution to farmers and herders clashes in the region. Open grazing should be completely banned in the state. A defined space should be made available for grazing of cows. 24 hours surveillance should be mounted in the place. Any herder caught with firearms should be arrested and prosecuted without minding who is infuriated or not. As the chief security of your state, you are constitutionally responsible for the security of your constituents. Adequate security decisions and actions should be made to work in consonance with the present security reality.
On several occasions, the marauding herders have killed and displaced hundreds of farmers in the Eastern region with little or no actions by the governors to arrest the escalating tension. Without minding the damage the activities of the herders have caused on the region, you unfortunately fell to the trick of wanting to involve a total stranger into the Office of Special Adviser on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution. It is unacceptable Sir! That decision can blatantly result to self sabotage.
However, when Hisbah was formed, no Easterner was there. And when Amotekun was constituted, they never invited an Easterner to be a member of any committee so why are we inviting strangers into important issues about us? Remember, he who sups with the devil should have a long spoon. The purported plan of involving some Northern elements into the Office of Special Adviser on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution is a slap on us. The plan should be revised. There is no benefit in it. It will only complicate matters and magnify the arrogance of these tormentors. Don’t make the mistake of buying a baby lion that will grow and turn around to devour our flesh.
In conclusion Sir, I will suggest you reassemble your security tink tanks. All of you should sit and do a deep brainstorming on your decision. Weigh the future implications and make proper amendments. Let’s avoid the issue of had I known.
Kalu Nwokoro Idika
Kalu Nwokoro Idika is a political analyst, investigative and freelance journalist. He can be reached via email: Kalunwokoroidika@yahoo.com
‘If You Can’t Take Blows, Don’t Throw Blows’
By Femi Adesina
Let me start by giving due credit for this headline, which is not original to me. I lifted it from the 1983 song by reggae star, Peter Tosh, in the album titled Mama Africa. The song is Glass House, and it goes thus:
“If you live in a glasshouse
Don’t throw stones
And if you can’t take blows brother
Don’t throw blows.”
I’ve recently found out that it’s the opposite that some Nigerians want. They want to use foul language, harangue their President, abuse him, and then, nobody must respond to defend the President. They want to dish out blows, and they don’t want to take any.
But it doesn’t work that way. If you can’t take blows brother don’t throw blows. That’s the way life goes.
For about five years, some people have made it a pastime to talk about President Muhammadu Buhari anyhow. They attempt to lead him by the nose, order him around, and call him names. The man just ignores them, and continues to work calmly for the country. And he’s making the difference in different spheres of national life. Steadily.
Last week, I chose to give out some light blows. Very light ones. That was when I realized that those who had been dealing out the blows for years have nothing but glass jaws. They collapsed, and saw stars.
I had got a request to appear on the breakfast show of Naija Info FM. There were initial scheduling difficulties, but eventually, we found a mutually acceptable time.
It was like the station was the bastion for some angry Nigerians, the type that saw nothing good in government, and who took delight in negative criticisms. No problem. We have learnt to deal with all sorts.
I responded to questions from the show presenter, the relevant and the not so relevant ones. And then the phone lines were thrown open.
One man first charged that the interview session was a waste of time, as I had parried all the questions thrown at me. Oh ho. What did he want? Dabble into issues that do not involve a presidential spokesman, and then make a mess of eating an egg? I simply referred the interviewer to those who could answer his questions in government. As spokesman to the President, you were not Jack of all trade, otherwise you would end up being master of none. Whatever was outside your purview, just refer to the right quarters.
Another man came on the line. When would the President talk to us, he charged. At least we voted him into office, so he has a moral duty to talk to us. He said he was a school principal, and he talks to his students every morning at the assembly hall.
Wrong premise. Wrong conclusion. You can’t parallel a President leading 200 million diverse people with a principal superintending over less than 500 or 1,000 students, who were even half paying attention, or giggling, and poking fun at the shoes or shirt, or tummy of the man talking to them.
Now, this narrative of ‘he must talk to us’ is a common one in the country. I’d responded to it more times than I could remember. But what made it a bit irksome last week was the fact that the President had just made three major national broadcasts over the previous four weeks. And here was a man commanding him to ‘come and talk to us’ once again.
I threw my own jab. Why was the man sounding like a broken record, repeating itself endlessly? Before the series of national broadcasts started, you said President Buhari was not talking on the COVID-19 pandemic, when he had set up a team of experts and professionals, who were handling the emergency adequately, and briefing Nigerians daily. Then he makes three broadcasts, and you still say he’s not talking. He must do a media chat. You want a talkative President? Soon, you would say again that he talks too much.
I explained that it was not the President’s style to chirrup like a cockatoo. He is a man of few words, who preferred action to words. I even pleaded that we should understand the nature of the man we have elected to lead us, and let him do the work.
You know what? If it was former President Olusegun Obasanjo that had come under the ‘you must talk to us’ barrage like that, and on live television, he would have first cleared his throat noisily, adjusted himself in his seat, and then bellowed:
“And who are you, that I must talk to you? I say who the hell are you? Who is your father? Who is your father’s father, that you are commanding me to talk to you? Were you born when we fought a Civil War to keep this country together? Where was your father when I received the instrument of surrender from the Biafra Forces? Don’t come here and tell me nonsense. Talk to us, my foot!”
But President Buhari would not upbraid anyone like that. He rather keeps his peace. And some people have now taken liberty for license, till they begin to sound like broken records. Yes, no apologies. That’s how they sound.
The fact that you have voted a man into office is not carte blanche for you to lead the man around by the nose. A leader worth his salt would not even submit himself to such cavalier treatment. Definitely not President Buhari. I made that point clear on the program.
Another caller came. Why are you talking to us like used toilet paper? You are too arrogant.
Oh, really? Well, if you see yourself like used toilet paper, then, I can’t help you. ‘If you don’t say you are, nobody would say thou art,’ goes a popular saying. If you see yourself like grasshoppers beside the giants in Canaan, just like 10 of the 12 sons of Israel sent to spy the Promised Land, then you can’t be helped. You will end up like grasshoppers. Like used tissue paper.
Then came another angry man. Things are not going well in this country. We are even tired of this government.
We? Does a single man use that collective pronoun for himself? The man could only talk for himself, but why was he talking for other people, without a power of attorney? I calmly told him: another election is due in 2023. Who says you can’t be President? You should simply run for office.
The Good Book says by the measure with which you mete to others, so shall it be meted back to you. The callers chose to be pugnacious, unruly, and I didn’t go back home to fetch replies for them. That was what they asked for. Part of the duties of being a presidential spokesman is that you must defend your principal, particularly if you had calmly explained for years, and some people chose not to listen. If they throw blows, then they must be ready to also receive. Once in a while.
Some people revel in trying to bring down those in government. The moment you choose to serve your country, they try to position you as enemy of the public. They try to dress you in borrowed robes. Oh, he’s a liar. He is in government to feather his own nest. He has become pompous and arrogant. He talks to us anyhow. He will end badly. Didn’t the ones before him end in oblivion?
Hateful people. Envious souls. In vain do you wish some people reversals in life. And let me tell you: my destiny does not rest in the hand of any man. Yes, not you, evil wishers. You missed it this time. My case is different, because God has got my back. He brought me into government at a time I didn’t aspire for it, didn’t even want it. He is the master of my fate. The Master Mariner will land me on halcyon shores, however stormy the voyage could be. And President Buhari will succeed.
My friend, Kurtis Adigba, a dyed-in-the-wool Buharist, not like some fair weather supporters we have known, was the first person to call my attention to an attempt to demonize me on social media, arising from the interview.
“They want to bring you down, smear your reputation,” he told me on phone. He said they were already sharing video clips of where I spoke sharply to people, and saying I was rude and arrogant. I laughed, and thanked him. Adigba went ahead to mount a robust defence of me on his Facebook wall, as did many others. I thank them. There are friends that stick closer than brothers.
My family, relations, acquaintances, all got the video clips home and abroad. They called, asking if I was allowing some nasty people to get under my skin. I explained to each one. I was firmly in control of my emotions, and what I did was deliberate. The President has been insulted enough, and it was time we fought back. He that throws blows must be ready to receive. It’s only pathetic that they have glass jaws.
I remember a story I heard in the late 1970s.I actually knew the couple, and the woman was like four times the size of the man. But the husband was always rough-handling his wife, beating her up at will.
One day, the woman was said to have purchased Indian hemp worth sisi (five kobo). She smoked it. And there came the husband to beat her up again. The woman simply packed the man, spun him round and round on her head, and threw him against the wall. The man saw stars, but he thought it was a fluke. He got up, attempted to lay his hands on the wife again, and the woman gave him a bear hug. After almost choking him to death, she threw the man against the wall again. When the man managed to get up, he took to his heels.
That was the last day he ever raised his hands against the woman.
You Tarka me, I Dabo you, God no go vex (the younger generation may not understand this. A story for another day). What am I saying in summary? Those who run down our President on every platform for inexplicable reasons should not think they will always get away with it. If you live in a glasshouse, don’t throw stones. And if you can’t take blows brother don’t throw stones.
United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, recently warned against what he called the “virus of hate.” His words: “We must act now to strengthen the immunity of our societies against the virus of hate.”
Yes, that virus is well and alive in Nigeria. It is even deadlier than Coronavirus. But those who harbor it will not always get away with it. There will always be a fight back.
~ Adesina is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari
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