By SKC Ogbonnia
Editor’s note: 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.
The current Biafran struggle has meant different things to different people. For former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, it appears more of a specious opportunity to exploit the Biafran masses—for selfish interest, motivated by blind ambition for power and primitive accumulation of wealth. The result has been blackmail, political persecution, loss of many innocent lives and, by consequence, the protest in Nuremberg, Germany, where the senator was flogged naked. But these developments should not have come as a surprise, particularly to the principal actors, namely, Ekweremadu, Nnamdi Kanu, and Muhammadu Buhari.
In a 2015 piece, “How PDP And APC Created New Biafran Agitations”, I narrated how the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), having squandered the huge oil boom, “had nothing on the ground for the Igbo masses and thus needed to sustain mass following by deceit.” I added that a perilous perfidy deployed by the Igbo PDP caucus–under the leadership of Ekweremadu–to prevent the restless Igbo youths from revolt was that a support for President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 was an automatic Igbo presidency in 2019. In fact, the baloney was the sole message conveyed from Jonathan to us at the World Igbo Congress convention in Houston in 2014, through Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Senator Hope Uzodinma.
Nyesom Wike, then a governorship candidate, took the gambit to the extreme when he threatened secession, if PDP were to lose the 2015 election. Hear him: “I will lead a war against them (Nigeria) like Ojukwu. Am not joking, I know am on air, and I am warning them now… In fact, we from the South-South and South-East we remain in PDP. We leave the South-West and North to run APC. That is how they tactically shared the Country.”
Thus, the Buhari’s victory in the 2015 election was read as a coup d’état in the East, particularly among the jobless youths, who thence answered the call for a Biafran Republic. Yet, the call would not have gained much currency and sympathy, if President Buhari of All Progressive Congress (APC) did not declare vendetta against the Biafran area for voting against him in the said election.
The biggest beneficiary of the Biafran agitation thus far has been Ike Ekweremadu. Upon conniving with Senator Bukola Saraki to snatch the post of Deputy Senate President from the ruling APC, Ekweremadu knew he was in for trouble, big trouble. And President Buhari went after the Igbo senator and Saraki, the Senate President, like tornado, including outright charges for forgery and corruption. The only strong defense the duo had at their disposal was to whip up the ethnic sentiment; and the Igbo saw an opportunity for revenge against Buhari.
Ekweremadu suddenly became an Igbo totem. Every Igbo group began to sing Ekweremadu or nothing at all—as if some how the region witnessed any tangible development the previous 8 years the senator was the de facto Senate president while his party was in power.
Yet, the fiercest opposition to Buhari or, rather, the strongest support of Ekweremadu and Saraki came from Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by Nnamdi Kanu. Though Kanu would be arrested and detained, President Buhari knew to backpedal on Ekweremadu or risk a serious revolt from the South-East and the South-South zones. In short, Ekweremadu and Saraki would have been jailed by 2016, if not for a stout opposition from the IPOB organization worldwide. Said differently, Nnamdi Kanu sacrificed his freedom and the lives of many Biafran activists, so that Ike Ekweremadu could remain as the Deputy Senate President under Buhari.
It is true that Ekweremadu provided support to the IPOB before and after Kanu’s detention, quite alright, including a portion of the bail money, but his support was utterly selfish and dreadfully deceitful. This approach provoked the eminent economist and former Governor of Central Bank, Chukwuma Soludo, to use the occasion of the launching of the book, “The Politics of Biafra: And the Future of Nigeria”, to admonish such politicians exploiting IPOB for selfish interest to recognize that the Biafran activists “are no fools.”
The duplicity of politicians in the saga compelled me to pen: “Biafra And Corruption: When A Judas Becomes A Muhammad.” I was able to highlight how the corrupt hawks from the South-East and South-South zones exploit the fact that the Muslim North, which currently holds power, typically appears willing to turn an evil bearer of ‘One Nigeria’ into a saint. I detailed how such Southern leaders, who harbored dream for national leadership, suddenly abandoned the Biafran agitators they helped to create, and started singing a different tune. I noted the unholy subterfuge in which Governor Wike not only renamed Rivers State Stadium after Gowon, but also his dramatic handshake across the Northwest through the Sokoto Caliphate. More relatively, I demonstrated how Ekweremadu, after consolidating power as the political leader of the entire Biafran area, betrayed and dumped the IPOB on the altar of political opportunism. That Judas piece was published August 16, 2017.
One month after the exposé, September 17, 2017, to be exact, Chief Ekweremadu and the South-East governors met at Enugu to proscribe IPOB. The sheer shenanigans have led to maiming and killing of innocent Biafran activists, gross political persecution, and mass exodus of youths from the East to anywhere but Nigeria—Nuremberg not excluded.
The popularity of the public protest against Ekweremadu has shown that the Nigerian masses and IPOB have gotten wiser. As Buhari’s Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, would say, “If you see a thief and you allow him to be stealing, what have you done? You have stoned nobody; that is why we are stealing.” And I say, where there are no consequences for bad behavior, the bad behavior usually worsens.
But it does not appear that Ike Ekweremadu has gotten the message. Since returning to Nigeria after “Nuremberg”, the senator has had the audacity to resort back to his familiar mélange of propaganda and prodigality. Mr. Ekweremadu has been celebrating failure, deploying tax-payer’s money into chartering private aircrafts, and renting gullible crowds—crowds, who have done nothing but hail the whited sepulcher, while heaping abuse on the tireless masses of the Diaspora community, particularly the IPOB. This is impunity gone too far!
Be that as it may, the gist of my January 2017 piece, “Buhari and Nnamdi Kanu Fighting the Wrong Enemy”, remains profoundly instructive. Both Buhari and Kanu ought to unite and focus on the common enemy, being the Biafran politicians who colluded with contractors to loot development projects in region. Instead of seeing every dissent as terrorism or treason, Buhari should embrace dialogue, switch back his anti-corruption toga, and key into the current wave of worldwide revolution targeted against the looters of our commonwealth.
SKC Ogbonnia, a 2019 APC presidential aspirant, is the author of the Effective Leadership Formula.
‘Amotekun, What Is The Arewa North Afraid Of?’
By Charles Ogbu
The level of apprehension, paranoia, and panic that has gripped the Arewa North since the inauguration of the Yoruba Regional Security Outfit codenamed Operation Amotekun (which is not even going to bear arms) is indicative of something very positive for the non-Caliphate rest of the country.
In the entire southwest, there are state owned vigilante services helping to provide security for the locals. In the East, you have the Forest guards in Enugu, the Homeland Security (not fully operational but has been approved by the police) in Abia and one of the best organized vigilante services in Anambra. Yet, neither the Northern controlled security agencies nor the Attorney General has declared those ones illegal.
Well the answer is not far fetched.
It is not really the Amotekun the Danfodios are scared of. It is the fact that a Southern region was able to find the needed UNITY and COURAGE to look beyond partisanship and other mawkish considerations by setting up a regional security outfit to protect their people from a govt sponsored terrorist group masquerading as cow herders. The Caliphate sees this as a form of defiance on the part of the Yoruba. But even more than this, the Arewa North fears the ripple effect of the success of operation Amotekun and one of those ripple effects is that other regions which have been victims of the murderous indiscretion of the fulani killer herdsmen will follow the Yoruba example by setting up their own regional security. And when this is replicated in most part of the country, you will have Organic Restructuring even without amending the Constitution. This is their biggest fear.
As for Miyetti Allah, their fears are understandable; no thief will be happy that his victim has decided to put measures in place to secure his home.
What the Jukun people of Taraba just did, announcing their own security outfit is what every non-Caliphate part of this forced union needs to do. Don’t just stop at showing solidarity to the Yorubas, come out with your own regional security outfit. This is not about the Yoruba as a people. This is about every region in the country making a bold statement that a govt which has refused to protect her citizens has no right to stop them from protecting themselves especially when the killers of these citizens are being protected by the same govt.
There is something the Southeast can learn from Amotekun.
The fact that both the official inauguration of Amotekun and the back and forth verbal gymnastics with the affidavit Attorney General are being handled by the duly elected governors of the SouthWest (most of whom are APC and even in their first term) has a lesson for Ndigbo: YOU CANNOT LIBERATE A PEOPLE WITHOUT BEING IN CHARGE OF THEIR POLITICS. It is your being in charge of their politics that will give you the needed legitimacy, platform as well as the structure to be their savior. As a matter of urgent importance, we must take more interest in the caliber of men and women managing our affairs at home. If we don’t, by 2023 which is almost here, this same crop of politicians will still be running our affairs and no amount of social media insult and name calling will change that. When your regional politics is controlled by men who think of their political interests before thinking of your safety, you stand absolutely no chance of being liberated. You can dislike your politicians. But you cannot hate politics itself because it is the key to everything including your liberation. Political power is the number1 controller of all other powers. It is the reason some clown in Abuja can sit in some office and declare a regional security effort illegal. It is also the reason the Yoruba governors who are resisting him haven’t been “gifted” with Python dance.
~ Charles Ogbu is a social-political analyst and a good governance advocate.
Amotekun By South-West Is Illegal: How To Respond To AGF’s Opinion
By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
The governors of South West had recently established Amotekun, a regional security organization to protect the people of SW. Mr. Malami, the attorney General of the federation has declared this formation to be illegal. The leaders of SW, SE and NC have cried out against the proclamation by AGF as not correct and Mr. Falana, a well know civil rights leader and a respected attorney has said the AGF is wrong. Merely saying that the AGF is wrong is a timid response to AGF and the federal government that the represents.
No matter what the Supreme Court declares as the constitutional requirements, the first law of nature is self-preservation. Anybody, who fails to protect himself from any enemy has himself to blame. Any government that is incapable of protecting its citizens has lost the authority of the people. And lost the reason for its existence. The leaders of SE, SS and NC should go beyond verbal challenge of AGF’s opinion (it is only an opinion). They should move on to form their own versions of Amotekun. They should also sign a cooperative agreement whereby an attack on one Amotekun is an attack on all the others.
The reign of King Muhammadu Buhari has been nothing than a reign of terror. It has showered a situation in the places around and below the confluence of Niger and Benue where neither life no property is safe. Ordinary citizens, in pursuit of their legal businesses are kidnapped and killed; their property, like farm lands, have been taken over and if they dare resist, their lives go with the property. These criminal activities are blamed on Fulani Herdsmen, yet nobody is in the police custody, nobody has been tried. The laws and the law enforcement apparatus are incapable of protecting innocent citizens from the attacks by enemies within and without.
We the people have absolute right to protect ourselves and in situations where one cannot do so by himself, one should form alliances to help. That is what Amotekun is intended to do.
Man is not made for law; but laws are made for man.
What should the federal government do?
1. The FG should listen to the voice of the people (onuorah) and hear the fears that are driving the formation of Amotekun.
2. The FG should come to the negotiation table in good faith and negotiate with the zonal leaders to amend the laws and allow for the regional protection forces and establish the modus operandi by the forces.
3. The regional leaders must show that they could control the forces they have created so that they don’t become another kind of armed marauders. In USA each municipality has its police force which calls on neighboring police for help in difficult situations. This round robin calls go all the way to the state and FG police until the emergency is resolved and eventually to the armed forces of the US if the enemy is from without.
The emergence of Amotekun is not good for Nigeria, but it is an opportunity which if seized would make Nigeria better and safer.
If President Muhammadu Buhari is indeed interested in the future of Nigeria he should seize this opportunity or he will be forever remembered as the architect of Nigeria’s collapse.
~ Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba writes from Boston, Massachusetts.
Why Humans Don’t Live As Long As They Once Did – Reno Omokri
By Reno Omokri
Have you ever wondered why the animals in the Garden of Eden never posed a physical threat to Adam and Eve, or why the wild animals Noah kept in the Ark never attacked him and his family?
It is because in the beginning, God created humans and animals to be vegetarians. Don’t take my word for it. Let Scripture convince you:
Genesis 1:29 is for humans:
“Then God said, “I give you every SEED-BEARING PLANT on the face of the whole earth and EVERY TREE that has FRUIT with seed in it. They will be yours for FOOD.”
Genesis 1:30 is for animals:
“And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground–everything that has the breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.”
The difference God made between the food for humans and animals is that we were only to eat fruits and vegetables that had SEED in it. While animals were allowed to eat any fruit and vegetable, whether or not it had seeds.
Yes, Cain kept livestock-Genesis 4:2. But he did NOT eat them. They were for sacrifice.
From Genesis 1 to Genesis 9, you will not find even one verse were any man or animal ate meat. So why did man and animal start eating meat?
Genesis 9:3 gives us the answer. That verse reads:
“Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the GREEN PLANTS, I NOW give you everything.”
Notice the word ‘NOW’. God gave man and animal meat to eat because the Great Flood had destroyed all vegetation on Earth. It took a while for the Earth to be revegetated.
But then you will notice something. Noah and his ancestors all lived extraordinarily long. It was only after Noah and his children started eating meat that their lifespan reduced. Let me give my readers some examples.
Adam lived for 930 years. His son Seth, lived for 912 years. Seth’s son, Enosh lived for 905 years. Enosh’ son, Kenan, lived for 910 years. Kenan’s son, Mahalalel, lived for 895 years. Mahalalel’s son, Jared, lived for 962 years. Jared’s son, Enoch, lived for 365 years, but never died. He was taken to heaven, alive. Enoch’s son, Methuselah, lived for 969 years (the man with the longest lifespan ever). Methuselah’s son, Lamech, lived for 777 years. Lamech was the father of Noah. Noah lived to be 950 years. You can find these information in Genesis chapter 5.
Now go to Genesis 11. After man started eating meat, Shem, Noah’s son, lived for 500 years, which is half his father’s lifespan. His son, Arphaxad, lived for 403 years. Arphaxad’s son, Shelah, also lived for 403 years. Shelah’s son, Eber, lived for 430 years. Eber’s son, Peleg, lived for 209 years. Peleg’s son, Reu, lived for 207 years. Reu’s son, Serug, lived for 200 years. Serug’s son, Nahor, lived for 119 years. Nahor gave birth to Terah, who was the father of Abraham.
So you can see that it was AFTER man started eating meat that we started to live shorter and shorter lifespans.
Consult your doctor and he will tell you that if you want to live a long and healthy life, you must stop eating or reduce your intake of red meat.
In Japan, the nation with the highest life expectancy in the world, the eating of meat was banned for centuries. Google it. Even after the ban was lifted in the last century, the Japanese still rarely consume red meat. That is the secret of their longevity.
If you want to live a long, healthy and happy life, your chances are increased (but not guaranteed), if you can eat only fruit and vegetables. And not just any. Eat organic fruit and vegetables.
Think back to Daniel. Daniel 1:8 reads:
“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not DEFILE himself with the portion of the king’s MEAT”.
Daniel was a vegetarian. Daniel 1:12 reads:
“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but VEGETABLES to eat and water to drink.”
Daniel 1:15 reads:
“At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.”
I am proof of Daniel’s word. I don’t eat meat. I eat only organic fruit and vegetables. I eat fish and seafood. Yet, I am stronger and healthier than my own blood brother who eats meat, despite the fact that I am 10 years older than him. He travels the world with me. I run everyday for an hour. He lasts 30 minutes and gives up.
I never get sick, even though my brother gets sick periodically. Health insurance is wasted on me. Without trying to be vain, I look physically good though I am 46 years old this year (2020).
Follow the word of God. Eat and live as it says you should. “It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones.”-Proverbs 3:8.
If a doctor tells you you are going to die next month, you will make peace with God and man and start living right. But we will all die one day. Tomorrow is promised to no man. Why wait until death is imminent before having a conscience at peace with God and man?