Monday, 14 December 2015

You can’t be more Biafran than Ojukwu who abandoned struggle

Chief Ben Apugo was a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the former ruling party at the centre.
In this interview, Apugo speaks on why he, alongside Senate President Bukola Saraki, former Governor Nyako of Adamawa State, and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, quit the PDP. He also speaks on the fate of the APC in the South-East and the pro-Biafra quest by some Igbo elements, among other issues.
Pro-Biafra agitators have been protesting across the South-East and some parts of the South-South.  Are you in support of their agitation?
The civil war ended a  long ago  time and we are all Nigerians. No reasonable human being should  come out today to talk about Biafra. Our people have to speak up and make our children understand the situation of things. Those things they should be protesting for are employment, roads, water, airports and other amenities that are lacking in the zone. If they are agitating for these things, they should not block roads; they should talk to the government of the states in the South-East, not the Federal Government.
These people you are talking about are small boys whose mothers were not even born during the civil war. So, what I am saying is that the governors of the South-East    should enlighten the youths and make them know that there is nothing like Biafra today. People should not be using Biafra as a tool for causing confusion and defrauding uninformed people.
The Federal Government should not be looking at the South-East, especially Umuahia, since they said their leader,Nnamdi Kanu, is from here, as not supporting Buhari. Buhari did not create any problem in the South-East. All the while, (former President Goodluck) Jonathan was there, they should have gone to demonstrate about  Biafra. Buhari will tackle all the problems we are facing now, our former governors did not perform, and they did not create avenues for employment, no empowerment. My advice to our children is that they should forget about hoping against hope. We have cancelled Biafra.
Let them look for the betterment of this country and themselves. They should avoid this protest because it will not yield any fruit. Their leaders will not fight more than Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and Joe Effiong, who despite their efforts,    Biafra failed at the end.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Change would come only when leaders lead by example – Lai Mohammed

Abuja – The Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed says the Federal Government has done “very” well in the fight against corruption and terrorism in the country.
Mohammed said this in Abuja at the weekend.
The minister stated that one major achievement of the Federal Government’s fight against corruption is that for the first time in a long time, people have begun to appreciate the fact that corruption is an ill.
He said that in its anti-corruption war, the present administration would go beyond prosecuting people, to changing the way Nigerians did things.
Mohammed, therefore, said that the government would soon launch its change initiative tagged: “Change begins with me”.
“We did campaign majorly on creating jobs for our youth, building the economy, fighting corruption, and addressing insecurity.
“I think so far we have done very well in the area of fighting insecurity and terrorism; we have done very well in fighting corruption.
“All Nigerians agree that corruption is one of the major ills of this society and one major achievement of this fight against corruption is for the first time in a long time people have begun to appreciate the fact that corruption is really an ill.
“But beyond prosecuting people, this administration is bent on changing the way Nigerians do things.
“And this is why this administration is going to start very soon a massive campaign to re-orientate Nigerians to let them know that they cannot continue to do things the same way and expect different results.
“It is not all about criminalising people, who have been corrupt; of course if you have been corrupt we are going to follow due process; but it is more about a total change, total sanitising of our society.
“We are working very hard to break our campaign, which is `Change begins with me’.
“ Every Nigerian wants change, but they do not know that that change is embedded in them.”
He urged Nigerians to embrace the change initiative in order to promote development at all levels of the society.
The minister said that corruption and indiscipline were worse at the lower level of the society because the people at that level “have no good example to look up to’’.
“Corruption, indiscipline is even worse at the lower level of the stratum and you cannot blamed them, because they have no good example to look up to.
“I think Nigeria is fortunate today that we have a leadership, the President himself, who has shown by his examples that this change is possible.
“But we are not going to leave it to the president alone, we are going to involve everybody; when we show good example it is easier for people to follow.
“And that change would come only when leaders lead by example. When leaders lead by example, it will inspire those who are governed to do the right thing.”
Mohammed also urged Nigerians to always strive to promote the image of the country, saying that marketing the positive aspects of the country would change the way the country was perceived by the international community.
“The challenges Nigeria is facing today are small compared to challenges being faced in other parts of the world.
“Yet this perception in other parts of the world is being managed and nobody really notices them.
“We on our part have to market Nigeria vigorously; we have to look at those areas that are positive and market them while we are addressing and tackling the issues of insurgency here and there.

Breaking News: INEC declares Yahaya Bello Kogi Governor-Elect

The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Alh. Yahaya Bello as the winner of the Kogi governorship poll.
APC polled 247,752 votes to defeat PDP who came a strong second with 204,877 votes. In today’s supplementary poll, APC polled 6885 votes to beat PDP which polled 5363 votes.ININEC declares Yahaya Bello Kogi Governor-Elect
Declaring the results in Lokoja, the Chief Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Emmanuel Kucha, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, said having fulfilled all legal requirements, Alh. Yahaya Bello is declared winner of the election and Kogi Governor-Elect.
Kucha declared: “That Yahaya Bello, having polled the highest number of votes and satisfied the law is hereby returned elected”.
The collation of results was temporarily paused when an unidentified agent of the PDP asked about the status of APC running mate. But the Resident Electoral Commissioner said Faleke remains the running mate to Alh. Yahaya Bello. The supplementary poll took place in 18 of the 21 Local Government Areas in the state.
Immediately the results were announced, the streets of Lokoja, Kotonkarfe and Okene erupted in jubilation as people poured into the streets in hundreds to celebrate the victory.
At Isanlu, Bello Support Organization said it is victory for democracy.
Speaking exclusively to Vanguard at Isanlu, Chief Strategist of the organization, Abdulrasaq Ashiru said Yahaya Bello is God-sent for Kogi redemption.
In his words: “This is the moment we have been waiting for; the moment of history. This is the time we have worked for; the hour of renaissance. Generations after us will be told the history of this day.
“You can see the state-wide jubilation. That is the level of acceptance of the man, Yahaya Bello. He is the symbol of a new direction for our dear state. It is high time we placed emphasis on the factors that unite us. We are one people.
“To the people’s governor, the time for ethnic equality is now. We must be united by the actions of government so that we can move forward as a state”.
Also, a former Chairman of Okene Local Government Area, Hon. Saliu Ohize told Vanguard that Yahaya Bello’s victory os a product of the works of the late political leader of Ebiraland, Sen. A.T. Ahmed.
“Today, I am shedding tears of joy and regret. Joy in the sense that a great governor has emerged. Regret in the sense that our leader, Sen. A.T. Ahmed is not here today to savour the fruits of his labour”.
When our reporters contacted the governor-elect, Alh. Yahaya Bello, he said the victory belongs to all Kogites, asking everybody to rally round him to translate the victory to a success. He is expected to address the press soon.
Final Results
Ibaji: PDP 220 APC 369
Adavi: PDP 12 APC 878
Ankpa PDP 629 APC 562
Ajaokuta: PDP 12 APC 538
Omala: PDP 323 APC 317
Igalamela/Odolu PDP 434 APC 92
Ofu: PDP 484 APC 105
Dekina: PDP 1999 APC 2178
Kabba/Bunu: PDP 131 APC 201
Ijumu: PDP 102 APC 86
Lokoja: PDP 145 APC 301
Kogi/Koto: PDP 281 APC 406
Yagba West: PDP 73 APC 86
Okene: PDP 02 APC 208
Okehi: PDP 0 APC 108
Idah: PDP 70 APC 62
Bassa: PDP 114 APC 221
Olamaboro PDP 332 APC 167
Total: PDP 5363 APC 6885
Grand Total: PDP 204,877
APC 247,752

Nigerian government reacts to Biafra, says protest “completely legitimate

Nigerian government reacts to Biafra, says protest “completely legitimate”

Photo: TodayNG
Photo: TodayNG
The federal government has described the agitations by some Nigerians, largely in the South-East, as “completely legitimate.”
There have been mass protests by Igbos in South-East Nigeria for an independent country of Biafra. The protests have sometimes gone violent with reported deaths of about six people, allegedly at the hands of security officials
The protests got worse following the arrest and prosecution of Nnamdi Kanu, the promoter of Radio Biafra, a pirate radio the Nigerian government accuses of spreading hate and violence.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who spoke on the agitations, however said the basic cause of it was “economic” which would have gotten worse but for the efforts of the current administration.
Speaking at a News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja at the weekend, Mr. Mohammed appealed to leaders in the country not to exploit the economic situation to further destabilise Nigerians.
He also urged Nigerian leaders to be courageous enough to come out and defend the unity of the country even though “in the short term it might be politically fashionable for them to be on the side of some agitators.”
The minister, who noted that current agitations by citizens were “completely legitimate,” assured of the Federal Government’s commitment to strengthening the economy.
“There are many political frontlines in Nigeria, religious, ethnic and the like but these things do not come to the fore until when there are serious economic problems like we are having today.
“I have listened to the complaints of many of these agitators and right down it is economic.
“They must understand too that but for this furtiveness of this administration, this country would have been by far much worse.
“There is need for Nigerians to understand also that these are not ordinary times and that the government is not just making excuses.
“I appeal to our leaders not to exploit this situation to further destabilise Nigerians; our leaders should be courageous enough to come out and defend our unity.
“In the short term, it might be politically fashionable for them to be on the side of some agitators but in the long term, it is in the overall interest of Nigeria that we all understand our differences, respect them forge a united Nigeria.
“There will be no alternative to one united Nigeria.”
The minister emphasised the need for government to have accurate and timely information on complaints presented by citizens.
“The most important thing is that the government must do a lot of self-assessment itself.
“The government has the responsibility to listen to all; it also has the responsibility to analyse issues to see which complaints are genuine and those that are not and look into them.”
He also stressed the need for the government to take advantage of different media platforms to make accurate information on its policies and plans available to citizens at all times.
He said that the availability of timely information would curtail agitations, rebuff rumours, and enhance citizens’ understanding of government’s plans and policies.
The minster urged the media to take advantage of available opportunities to “dominate” the social media platforms with positive and accurate information about the country.
He further said that such dominance would pre-empt negative information and activities on such platforms.
“At times some of the agitations might be because the government is not adequately publicising what it is doing.
“Some of the agitations could also arise from lack of understanding of government policies.
“Unfortunately, we have allowed the social media to dictate the agenda for us; that must stop immediately.
“If, for instance, we dedicate platforms that churn out positive stories, very soon other negative platforms become irrelevant.
“It is only the absence of an alternative narrative with the correct information that makes such other platforms relevant.”
He stated that churning out accurate information will present a positive image of Nigeria to the international community

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Risk of huge IS influx into Libya, France warns

There is an increasing risk of Libya becoming a haven for combatants from Islamic State, even as western nations target the extremist jihadist group in Iraq and Syria, the French defence minister warned in comments published Saturday.
“We see foreign jihadists arriving in the region of Syrte (northern Libya) who, if our operations in Syria and Iraq succeed in reducing the territorial reach of Daesh (Islamic State, IS) could tomorrow be more numerous,” defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the Jeune Afrique weekly.
Le Drian ruled out military intervention in Libya but warned the West had to try to foster Libyan unity in the face of such a threat.
“It is a major risk and that’s why there absolutely must be understanding between the Libyans,” said Le Drian.
Analysts believe Libya would present a less hospitable environment for IS than Syria and Iraq.
But Tripoli is hampered in presenting a united front as rival governments vie for power — a militia alliance including Islamists that overran Tripoli in August 2014, and the internationally recognised administration that fled to eastern Libya.
The current chaos in Libya with groups of competing militias since the overthrow and death of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011 has allowed IS to build influence, notably in Kadhafi’s coastal home town of Sirte, east of Tripoli.
And there are widespread fears the group could exploit tribal conflicts further into Africa.
Recognising Islamic State’s increasing Libyan reach, Le Drian said he feared that ultimately the group could form one half of a double-edged jihadist challenge in conjunction with Boko Haram, which pledged allegiance to their fellow Islamic extremists in March and which has been bringing terror to Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
“There is a major risk of a link being forged with Boko Haram,” said Le Drian, urging Libya’s rival administrations to make common cause while urging neighbours Algeria and Egypt to work diplomatic channels to that effect.
But Le Drian insisted that France would not countenance military action at least while the Libyans are divided among themselves.
“That’s not on the agenda. One cannot release the Libyans from their responsibilities by suggesting there might one day be an intervention. They must find solutions themselves.”

OPEC against cutting oil output to lift prices

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has decided against cutting its oil output to lift prices, its president and Nigerian oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said following a meeting here Friday.
OPEC, whose members together pump out more than one third of world oil, is currently producing above its official target of 30 million barrels per day.
“Given the present position of the economy of countries that are purchasing (oil) and the worldwide economy, we will retain production at current levels,” said Kachikwu, who is minister of state for petroleum resources in Nigeria.
OPEC is currently pumping out around 32 million barrels of oil per day.
The cartel on Friday published no figures on output in its communique, as it awaits increased output from Iran after sanctions were lifted on the Islamic republic.
“We cannot put a number now because Iran is coming, we don’t know when Iran will come, and we will have to accommodate Iran one way or the other,” said OPEC Secretary General Abdullah el-Badri.
“We decided to postpone this decision to the next OPEC meeting (in June) until the picture will be more clearer for us to decide on a number,” he added.
Despite oil prices plunging by more than 60 percent in 18 months, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and the cartel’s other Gulf state members are defying calls to reduce output — in a year-long strategy of attempting to preserve market share and fend off competition from non-OPEC and world leading producers Russia and the United States.
Saudi Arabia on Friday repeated the kingdom’s stance that it would be willing to cut as long as non-OPEC also reduces its output.
“We have said on more than one occasion that we are willing to cooperate with anyone that will help balance the market… with us,” Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters gathered at OPEC headquarters in Vienna.
OPEC’s poorer nations — notably Venezuela, Ecuador and Algeria — had led the calls for a cut to help boost prices and in turn their badly-hit revenues.
“Everyone is concerned about… the prices, no one is happy,” said Iraq’s oil minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi.
OPEC on Friday confirmed that Indonesia had returned to the cartel after a near seven-year absence, bringing the number of member countries to 13.

IS hails California attackers as ‘soldiers of caliphate

The Islamic State group on Saturday hailed the perpetrators of a mass shooting in the US state of California as “soldiers” of its caliphate, without explicitly claiming the deadly attack.
In its English-language radio broadcast, the group praised the Wednesday shooting that killed 14 people and wounded 21 others.
“Two soldiers of the Khilafah (caliphate) executed an attack on the Inland Regional Centre in San Bernardino, California,” the IS radio broadcast said in English.
IS refers to the swathe of territory it controls in Syria and Iraq as an Islamic caliphate.
The group’s Arabic-language radio broadcast earlier in the day had referred to the attackers as “supporters of the Islamic State.”
The English-language broadcast said the attackers, Syed Farook, 28, and his 29-year-old Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik, were “killed in the path of Allah.”
But the group stopped short of issuing an official claim of responsibility for the shooting in the format it has used in the past for attacks in Paris and elsewhere.
The FBI said late Friday it was probing the attack as “an act of terrorism” after reports that Malik had pledged allegiance to IS on Facebook.

Uti’s confession: I have broken hearts and my heart has been broken too

Uti Nwachukwu is a multi talented dude who burst into the limelight when he won Big Brother Africa       Season 5, The All Stars edition in 2010.Ever since, the debonair entertainer has continued to up his game and remains a force to reckon with in the Nigerian entertainment scene.
Uti Nwachukwu
Uti Nwachukwu
Handsome, stylish and rich too, many would think this guy has women falling over him as easily as a piece of candy but it is not so. Uti has had his share of heartbreaks just as he has broken a few of others too. He owned up to Ayo Onikoyi in a recent chat.
“Of course who hasn’t?” He retorted when I asked him if his heart has ever been broken. “And I have had my heart broken too. We all break people’s hearts please.
Let’s leave that one. They have broken my heart, they have crushed it. I have broken heart and my heart has been broken. especially     when I was young   in my late 20’s.Right now, I am trying to allow myself to be loved. The last girl that was on my case said something to me:’Uti allow somebody to love you’ and I guess I did”

Friday, 4 December 2015

IPOB blames APC for death of 9, names victims

Markets, schools, banks remain shut in Onitsha
Soldiers, mobile policemen take over streets, conduct stop-and-search on motorists
MASSOB dissociates self, factions trade blames
By  Anayo Okoli, Vincent Ujumadu, Festus Ahon, Nwabueze Okonkwo,  Ugochukwu Alaribe, Chimaobi Nwaiwu & Omeiza Ajayi
ONITSHA—Following the three-week long protests embarked upon by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, over continued incarceration of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu which led to the alleged killing of its members by  members of Joint Military Task Force,  markets, banks and schools in Onitsha and its environs remained closed, yesterday, in apparent solidarity with the protesters.
The Building Materials International Market at Ogidi, near Onitsha, New Auto Spare Parts market at Nkpor and other major markets remained closed, just as banks and schools remained under lock and key.
A detachment of stern-looking soldiers and mobile policemen were seen in their numbers  standing on the roads and stopping all vehicles, a situation which led to a traffic gridlock from the former toll gate at Ogbunike to Bridge-head end of the Enugu/Awka/Onitsha express way.
Meanwhile, a coalition of civil society groups had called for immediate resignation of the  Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Solomon Arase for his alleged  shoot-at-sight order and roles in the Onitsha killings of protesting IPOB members.
Extra judicial killings
Scene of Onitsha protest
Scene of Onitsha protest
In a press statement released, yesterday, and signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, the coordinating principal of the  coalition said it was equally important to inform that the Nigeria Police Force under Arase was already under the jurisdictional watch of the International Criminal Court as compilation and computation of cases of all police and military related extra judicial killings in the country were steadily in progress, adding, “for failing to heed our warning of 13th November 2015, we will be glad to ensure that IGP Arase and his named sub-commanders are handcuffed and flown to The Hague for the purpose of making them face international trial for crimes against humanity.”
According to the coalition: “We call on the IPOB and its teeming followers to remain peaceful, non- violent and law-abiding at all times, not minding the violence recently visited and unleashed on them.
“They must also watch their back and be extremely vigilant so as to ward off sustained efforts of some commissioned elements within the Federal Government, particularly its security establishments and stooges within the South East Governors Forum to implant elements of violence into their fold so as to destroy their globally -approved method of non- violence and peaceful means  of agitation.
IPOB blames APC
Still wallowing in the confusion that followed the killing of nine of its members, Wednesday, in Onitsha, the IPOB,  also yesterday alleged that the All Progressives Congress, APC, was behind the crisis that led to shooting to death of nine people and injuring of over 18 people that sustained various degrees of injuries at the Niger Bridge Head Onitsha and other parts of Onitsha and its environs.
Spokesman of IPOB in Anambra State, Mr. Emma Powerful disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Onitsha, saying that it was a calculated plan by the APC government in the country which became unsettled with their peaceful and non- violent protests in South East, and had been looking for a way to provoke violence in their protests to justify the continued detention and incarceration of their leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
The victims
The IPOB spokesman gave the names of  some of the  IPOB members that were shot dead,  Wednesday,  morning as Chima Onoh, from Enugu state, Kenneth Ogadinma from Abia State,  Angus Chikwado and Felicia Egwuatu from Anambra State, including another, he said they got information was killed in Idemili  side of Anambra State late Wednesday evening.
He also said that the JTF killed a young lady that was later identified as Nkiruka and tried to take her corpse away.
An eye witness, who took some photographs told Vanguard that he was in his office watching as JTF men were shooting sporadically at Obodoukwu Road by Nigerian Customs Service Onitsha.
He said Nkiruka is from Adazi Nnukwu in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State,  a 200 level student of Federal College of Education Technical, Umunze and the only daughter of the family.
“Nkiruka was coming from Nigerian Customs  Service  by Asaba Onitsha Enugu expressway towards Obodoukwu Road and on hearing gun-shots, she ran into a restaurant and one of the JTF members  shot her dead and was about taking her corpse away when her family  came with an ambulance and spoke with the JTF men who later released the corpse to them.”
However, the police from Anambra State had denied any killing by the JTF through the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Ali Okechukwu.
MASSOB disassociates self
Meanwhile, the  Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday, dissociated itself from the violence being perpetrated by IPOB,  which had resulted in the killings and destruction of property.
Speaking to newsmen  in Asaba, zonal leader of MASSOB in Delta North, Mr. Chinedu Amaifeobu, said MASSOB was not a violent group and condemned the acts of violence being perpetrated by the IPOB.
Amaifeobu said: “MASSOB  is not in support of the killings and destruction of  property. We are not against any group in Igbo land but would not support killing of  innocent people and destruction of property. “
Disclosing that there was no faction in MASSOB as allegedly being speculated by one Uchenna Madu, he said Mr. Raph Uwazuruike  remained the founder and leader of the group worldwide, alleging that the said Uchenna Madu was sacked from MASSOB since last year for misconduct and his group was  the one terrorizing Onitsha.
Amaifeobu expressed confidence that they would actualize Biafra without violence and urged the media to reach out to them in any of their offices  for verification of information concerning MASSOB before going to press.
Insisting the group had offices in all parts of the Biafra zone, he held that MASSOB under the leadership of Uwazuruike was committed to the Biafra struggle.
Meeting of North, S/E monarchs
However, at the  IPOB’s media briefing, Mr. Powerful dismissed the meeting said to have been held on the directive of the Sultan of Sokoto with Governor Rochas Okorocha as host and some South East traditional rulers in attendance as meeting of APC members, adding that some South East traditional rulers must have been disappointed  with the outcome of the meeting.
“How can anybody be holding a meeting concerning IPOB, MASSOB and issue of Biafra in Imo State instead of Enugu State or Anambra State, the home of our spiritual leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu without any IPOB and MASSOB member, even one person from the groups being present.
“We therefore maintain that it was an APC meeting and its outcome does not have any binding on IPOB or MASSOB,” he said.
Call for dialogue
Biafra protesters
Biafra protesters
Speaking further, the IPOB spokesman berated the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, for reading a riot act to armless, defenseless and non-violent IPOB and MASSOB members when he should be apologizing and sympathizing with the families of the people his men and their JTF counterpart killed during their indiscriminate shooting of protesting people.
“We are demanding that IGP Arase should resign voluntarily or be removed by Buhari if he is not using him to do a hatchet job. He is not a competent and intelligent police officer, let alone being IGP, or he should have  consoled  the bereaved families whether it was his men that did it or not.
“Every killing that  happened, Wednesday, constitutionally falls on the Police, because they invited the Army and the Navy to help them because of their incompetence.“
The APC government through their youths had been looking for a way to destroy our peaceful protests, but they could not see. They bribed market  leaders to accuse us of shutting the markets and breaking into stores and shops and that did not work. They now decided to send their youths to start making bonfire on the roads in Onitsha and other parts of the state to disrupt economic, social and commercial activities in the state and give an impression that we are violent.
“This was after they had ordered the Joint Military Task Force to shoot five of our members, who were observing our three days ‘Sit  at  the Niger Head Bridge’ protest as directed by our leaders to press home our demand for the release of Mr. Kanu. Yet, we did not react.
“We are demanding for the release of our leader and the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra. We are determined to have Biafra and detention of Mr. Kanu and other members of IPOB and MASSOB will not deter us. Since the end of the civil war, we have not been treated as part of Nigeria  and now, we want to go and nobody will stop us because we have exhausted our patience in Nigeria,” he said.
Appeal for peace
Calling for calm, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, the Ogirishi Igbo has appealed to IPOB and MASSOB to maintain the peace that they had been known for even in the face of the killing of their members and the attack by the APC-sponsored youths in the state.
Ezeonwuka urged the youths  to keep calm  as  their anger had been established.
“ I want them to know that IPOB, known for peaceful protest is being infiltrated by criminals sponsored by politicians from inside and outside the state to involve in violent activities to destroy their name.”

How police arrested alleged cross-border robbery gang

Bendossou Celestine, a 57 year old man from Benin Republic who was alleged to be a notorious cross-border armed robber has been arrested by the Oyo State Police Command  after several robbery attacks. Before his arrest, he and other members of his gang had thought they were invincible. To him and members of his gang, the proverb which says all days are the thief but one day is for the owner was nothing but mere wishful thinking that would never come to play in their own case.
•One the robbery suspects nabbed by the Police
•One the robbery suspects nabbed by the Police
But, their   oracle seemed to have fallen into a deep sleep when the long arms of the law caught up with them. While parading the suspect along with other suspected criminals at the state police headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan, the Oyo State  Commissioner of Police, Mr Leye Oyebade said the arrest of the suspects was as a result of their renewed effort to dislodge criminal elements and dismantle their operational bases in the state.
He told Vanguard how the suspects were arrested through effective intelligence. He said, “a criminal gang of cross  border hoodlums domiciled in the neighbouring Benin Republic stretched their luck too far when they clandestinely entered the state and unleashed mayhem on innocent citizens.
They did this by snatching at gun point a Toyota Corolla with registration number BDG 238 DR from one Kafo Musiliu at Odo Ona area of Ibadan”.
The same gang, according to him, also snatched from one Dr. Alonge Funto , a Toyota Hilux vehicle marked LSR 261 SB at Elebu area of Ibadan. “Our response time was put to test when a report of the robbery was made to us. In a jiffy, our combat-ready  operatives were mobilised. In a determined and unrelenting spirit, the policemen engaged the fleeing robbers in a fierce battle at various points.
During the exchange of fire, one of the armed robbers was hit by a bullet on the left hand and was subsequently arrested while trying to escape to Benin Republic. Others escaped with bullet wounds. The undying spirit of the command coupled with operational dexterity of our detectives led to the recovery of the two stolen vehicles in Cotonou, Benin Republic”.
Items allegedly recovered from the gang include two vehicles without number plates, a pair of female shoes, some mechanical tools, an identity card and a black bag. The suspect, Celestine,  who looked menacing with his grey beard confessed to the crime saying his condition led him into robbery.
Also cooling their heels in the police custody were suspected kidnappers who are believed to be Fulani men. They were said to have been arrested with the support of the intelligence network put in place by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase. About a fortnight ago, the IGP told Governor Abiola Ajimobi that his men from Abuja had succeeded in arresting the notorious kidnappers who had been terrorising the South West states especially Oyo State.
Narrating how the suspects were rounded up, CP Oyebade said the six-man gang was   rounded up at Okeho in Oke Ogun area of the state. He quoted the suspects as saying they were responsible for a series of kidnapping activities in several places in the state.
The suspects were identified as Muhammed Sanni, Abubakar Abubakar, Damahayah Gambo, Usman Saidu and Hassan Saidu. Mr. Pelumi Ariyibi who claimed to be a 400-level student of Bowen University, Iwo in Osun State was also arrested for alleged internet fraud.
The innocent looking young man allegedly opened a fake Facebook account purportedly belonging to Mrs. Florence Ajimobi,   wife of the state governor , Senator Abiola Ajimobi. The CP alleged that the suspect had the intention to defraud innocent and unsuspecting members of the public on the wall and time line of the fake Face-book account  by requesting them to pay certain amounts into his bank account-2020524644.
He was said to have lied to many people informing them of non-existent women empowe-rment programme and car loan schemes of the first lady. Pelumi confessed to the crime and told Vanguard how she opened the fake Facebook to defraud people.
Internet fraud
He said, “ I opened a new Face-book account in the name of Mrs Ajimobi by searching for her pictures on Google which I later uploaded on the account. I then posted on the wall and time line of the account two schemes – Women Empowerment Programme and Car Loan Scheme.”
When asked how many people he had defrauded, he said four persons had contacted him but were yet to make any payment.
“Initially, I contacted a woman about a woman empowerment programme going on in Oyo State and she promised to get back to me. She was the only one I contacted concerning the empowerment programme.
I then made it public on the time line that there is a car loan scheme going on with which the governor and his wife intend to compensate the people of Oyo State for their loyalty and faithfulness towards his administration. “A woman contacted me first and asked about the details. I told her that the kind of car she wants would determine how much she would pay as deposit.

How Ekiti under-aged girls are turning into comfort women

Ever heard of the Chinese World War 11 comfort women? Well, comfort women were a group of Chinese women in the occupied territories, forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during  World War 11, just for the singular purpose of providing emotional support for soldiers.
•Under-aged girls
•Under-aged girls
Though Ekiti is not at war with anyone, neither is it an occupied territory, but a group of criminally minded street urchins, popularly known as area boys have created a colony in Atikankan area of Ado-Ekiti, where they have been luring teenage girls, just for the purpose of sexual pleasure after a heavy   bout of cannabis sativa smoking.
Strange crime
This type of criminality, where under-aged girls are recruited to give sexual pleasures to drug addicts is so novel in Ekiti, that it almost escaped the radar of the law enforcement agencies, but thanks to the vigilance of the Vigilante Group, what was hidden has been exposed.
Atikankan, a City’s dark spot
Atikankan in Ado-Ekiti, could easily be described as the most notorious area in the state capital, it housed most of the criminal dens and hideouts, where   drug peddlers trade their wares openly with reckless abandon, it is also an abode for commercial sex workers, most of the brothels in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, are situated in that particular area.
Once, it is dusk, Atikankan comes alive and trading of all sorts begins. The population of these run-away teenage girls is swelling by the day, and it is instructive to note that most of these girls are from broken homes. They have found homes in the abode of drug addicts, who use them as sex slaves in exchange for drugs and little cash.
Victims of abuse and stories: Tobi Gbadamosi is just 15-years-old, but the young girl’s ordeal in her short span of existence far outweighs her age, she has experienced what many ladies in their twenties, or thirties and forties have never seen in their lives: she smokes marijuana, engage in wild sex and aborts pregnancies at will.
In her words, “ I have only aborted once, then I was fourteen. I had gone to stay with a relative in a neighbouring town when I met a man who eventually impregnated but bolted away thereafter. I returned home to find out that the only option available to save my face was to abort the baby and my mum helped me after she had found out the truth about it,” Tobi said.
How the girls were apprehended
A member of the Vigilante group who had led a vigilante operation to the places where the girls were picked up, Mr. Babatunde Owoeye told Vanguard that “we picked two of them in Atikankan area and the others in Okeila. The parents of one of the girls named Tolu have been looking for her for about two weeks.
‘’When we eventually got a tip-off about her whereabouts from her friends around their house. We stormed the place in a notorious dark spot in Ado-Ekiti, popularly known as Atikankan and we were able to apprehend her. “ She had raised the alarm to alert some tough looking young men in the place who rushed out carrying cutlasses to attack us. But when they found out that we out-numbered them, they took to their heels.
“We discovered that the girls are being camped in the hideouts, made to have marathon sex with the wild young men there who also smoke marijuana and initiate the girls into occult activities.
Occult activities
“Many of the girls had absconded home three weeks ago. A parent of one of them had come to report that her daughter had ran away from home to practice prostitution with street boys, and pleaded that we help look for her,’’ the father said.
Confession: None of the girls who were scantily dressed, deny any of the allegations levelled against them. In fact, they not only corroborated the accusations but also added details.
The 16-year old told Vanguard that she had actually left home for about 9 days before she was caught. Suliya said she had been asked to hawk her mother’s wares when she absconded and teamed up with two other  friends to visit their boyfriends’ places.
“I had dropped the palm oil my mother asked me to hawk at my grand mum’s place and followed my friends to visit the boys. I have a boyfriend among the boys. We had stayed with the boys till around 7pm that day and I reasoned that it was already too late so we passed the night with the boys and had sex with them.
“ Since that first day, I was afraid to go back home, thinking that my mother would beat me, so we began to stay with my friends’ in their grandmother’s place. We would sleep there and in the morning, eat and go to the boys’ place and be with them till late in the night and return to the grand mother’s place.”
Tolulope, while relating her own story said, “We all have boyfriends among the boys whose cult name is seven stars in Atikankan. Tolulope , 16, stayed in Ogbando street before she abandoned home for the street boys’ abode. Her mother had sent her on an errand which she was supposed to return to in a couple of hours but which she never came home until two days after.
Unhappy at her daughter’s attitude, the angry mother in a fit of anger, sent her back to where she was coming from. To avoid her mother’s rage, Tolu said she ran off to her grand mother’s place where she has since been staying. “I also have a boy friend among the boys from where the Vigilante group apprehended us. We would leave my grandmother’s place every morning and resume at the boys place and be there, catching fun till late in the night when we return to my grand mum’s place.”
What was their reward for the amorous service rendered to their drug-addict boyfriends. While two of them said they don’t receive a dime for giving emotional comfort to the boys, Tobi, one of the girls, confessed that “ My boy friend buy clothes for me and other belongings such as shoes and bras. He also feed me and sometimes give me about N2500 to take care of myself.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Soldiers nab 15 Delta youths allegedly on protest

UGHELLI—SOLDIERS have intercepted about 15 youths of Ndokwa ethnic nationality in Delta State who were going for a peaceful protest against an oil company at Ase Omoku community in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of the state.
They accused the youths accosted at Ashaka of planning to raze the Independent Power Plant, IPP, project in Okpai.
A source, however, said that the soldiers found no dangerous weapons on the youths when they searched them.
Among those arrested were Nnamdi Uwai, Onowoma Dickson, Nnamdi Community, Valentine Uyabeme, Ijeegbunem Obi, Kelvin Nwadele, Kanayo Kukagha, Agriga Ossai, Dinma Kukaya, Nelson Mabeme, Chidi and Uche Mabeme.
Leader of the Coalition of Ndokwa Youth Leaders, Mr Alex Agha, who confirmed the arrest of the youths said, “They explained to the soldiers that they had no business with IPP and their mission was to Ase Omoku, where they were going for a peaceful protest, yet they were arrested.”
He said other members of the coalition who were earlier stopped by soldiers from going to Ase Omoku proceeded to Umuseti community, the headquarters of the oil firm, Sterling Global, to lodge their grievances and were received by the Base Manager of the company, Mr Mohan.
A source at the 222 Battalion, Agbarha-Otor, in Ughelli North Local Government Area, confirmed the arrest of the youths, but alleged that a youth leader sponsored them to disrupt activities of oil companies in the area and extort money for personal benefit.
He told one of our reporters that the military handed over the youths to the Police Area Command, Ughelli

The apex Igbo organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, rose from its Imeobi (highest decision organ) meeting in Enugu and called on the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanu, the detained Director of Radio Biafra and leader of IPOB, unconditionally. Nnamdi-Kanu in court Nnamdi-Kanu in court However, the meeting, which was billed to hold with representatives of MASSOB and IPOB was boycotted by the pro-Biafra groups. Ohanaeze‘s directive was contained in a communique jointly signed by the National President of Ohanaeze, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey and the Secretary General, Dr. Joe Nworgu. They said that agitations and public protests over Biafra had been exacerbated by the detention of Mr. Kanu, the director of Radio Biafra. At the meeting attended by representatives of both the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and the Independent People of Biafra, IPOB, in Enugu yesterday, Ohanaeze further expressed displeasure over the continued incarceration of Kanu, saying that it was gravely concerned over current wide-spread public Biafra agitations in states of the South-East and some other states of Nigeria for the actualization of Biafra. The communique read in part: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex socio-cultural organization of Ndigbo in Nigeria and the Diaspora, is gravely concerned by current wide-spread and public Biafra agitations in states of the South-East and some other states of Nigeria. “These agitations and public protests have become exacerbated by the detention of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the promoter/proprietor/director of Radio Biafra by Department of State Services, DSS.” It further stated that “Ohanaeze Ndigbo fears that these developments may threaten the security and peaceful co-existence of Nigerians wherever they may be domiciled, and consequently, decided to summon an emergency meeting of Imeobi Ohanaeze Ndigbo to discuss the situation. “This emergency meeting was held in Enugu at the National Secretariat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Sunday, (yesterday), November 29, 2015. Representatives of the various organizations and associations involved in the current public protest also attended the meeting. “The Imeobi Ohanaeze Ndigbo, after extensive candid discussions and analysis of the situation is of the view that the current agitations are the direct result of the excruciating pain of severe injustice, marginalization and exclusion of Ndigbo from decision making structures in Nigeria as currently configured. “The Imeobi Ohanaeze Ndigbo strongly avers that the exclusion of Ndigbo in decision making structure presents danger to the unity and well-being of the country, not only now, but also in future, and should be redressed urgently. Attacking Uwazuruike Meantime, the movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, also yesterday, lashed out on the leader of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazurike, accusing him of hypocrisy and deceit over his call for the unconditional release of the incarcerated director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government. This came as the former Chairman of Police Service Commission, PSC, Chief Simon Okeke cautioned some Igbo elders to “stop making pronouncements that can be very infuriating and dishonourable to the agitating groups . He also urged them to speak out early when youths start derailing, instead of keeping what he called “criminal silence” and subsequently condemning them when things get out of hand. MASSOB and IPOB leaders after their joint meeting attended by other leaders of the two groups said: “Chief Uwazurike’s appeal was “an expression full of insincerity.” The groups’ statement made available to newsmen by Mr. Uchenna Madu, and spokesman of IPOB Mr. Emma Powerful on behalf of other leaders, also alleged that “Uwazurike has never liked Mr. Kanu because he (Kanu) is becoming more popular, consistent and trusted by Biafra agitators,” adding that “in Uwazurike’s mind, he is happy with Kanu’s ordeal in the hands of the Federal Government .” Chief Uwazurike while addressing loyalists and friends of MASSOB who stormed Owerri for the third anniversary of the exit of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, which had Ojukwu’s wife, Chief Bianca Ojukwu, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun and Major Hamza Al- Mustapha in attendance had called for Nnamdi Kanu’s release. “We do not believe in Uwazuruike’s call for Mr. Kanu’s release, just as we condemn the speBiafra is dead and buried – Akinjide

Akinjide served as minister of education in the Tafawa Balewa’s cabinet in the First Republic and as minister of Justice and Attorney General in the Second Republic government of President Shagari. Akinjide was a frontline member of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN and served as the party’s legal adviser prior to his appointment as attorney general.
He is presently, a member of the Board of Trustees, BoT of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. In this interview, he reviews the actions and inactions of the Buhari government, the prospects of the PDP following its recent electoral loss among other national issues.
You have not been so visible in politics in recent times.
Is it age or you are just playing it cool?
I am a prominent member of the Board of Trustees of the PDP and I play very active role in Ibadan, Oyo State and in other parts of the country. So I am very active in the PDP.
Apart from the former Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, is there any of your other children who is also in politics?
All of them.    Abayomi who also is a lawyer is very active in politics, Mobola, my daughter is very active in politics and if you count Jumoke that makes them three, so my family is very active in politics.
What is your assessment of the assignment of portfolios to the ministers?
He nominated very good people, I have no doubt about that. But my concern is with Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. When we were in Lagos as Federal Capital, Yar Adua was a Minister for Lagos and he came from the North. When Obasanjo was in office before the Capital Territory was created, a Yoruba person was in charge. But since the Capital Territory has been created, Northerners have been ministers throughout. I don’t think that is the best for the country.
I will like to see an Igbo, Yoruba, Middle-Belt man be a minister in charge of the Capital Territory. To consistently pick someone from the North as Minister for the Capital Territory is not in our national interest and is not good. I am not saying the people that have been picked are bad but I am talking about geographical spread. We should not give the impression that the capital territory belongs to a particular part of the country.    It should be something that belongs to the whole country. That is the objection I have and I hope that will be corrected very soon.
Since President Buhari assumed office six months ago, how can you rate his performance in the fight against terrorism?
He has been trying his best. I mean there are areas in which I might have done things differently but overall, I will give him a good pass mark as president of the country.
So Nigerians did not make mistake voting him as the President?
I would not say Nigerians have made mistake although I would have preferred Goodluck Jonathan to win the election. But since he has been elected, I accept the election and all of us will support him to succeed.
In your wealth of wisdom, what do you think the president should do to make this country better?
Economically, Nigeria is the greatest in Africa. There is no doubt about that. But, we have a committee of 20 of which South Africa is a member and Nigeria is not, I don’t think that can be supported at all. Nigeria should be one of the people in the committee of 20, why Nigeria is excluded, I don’t understand at all. It cannot be defended, it cannot be justified. We should not be looked upon as if we are the colony of Europe or somebody who should be playing third or fourth role in that regard. Europe and America, Japan are wrong.
What is your candid advice to both the Federal Government and the Pro Biafran protesters on the Biafran agitation?
Anybody supporting Biafra must be very, very wrong. I don’t know their reason but whatever their reason, they are wrong. We fought a war for three years over Biafra and Biafra was defeated and the whole country united with the belief that Nigeria should remain one country and the Igbo joined the country and since then they have been governors in the country, they have been ministers both at the state and federal levels. They have been ambassadors abroad. I don’t see why anybody should now be asking for Biafra again, I think it should be rejected.
I think they should call them to a meeting and talk to them as father to son and ask them to stop because there is no reason for them to do what they are doing. In the last government, we had an Igbo as Minister of Finance (Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) and also, we had an Igbo as Secretary to the government, we also had Igbo as ambassadors in many parts of the world. So, there is no excuse for anybody to say he wants to break up the country again after we fought a bloody war of about three years. We don’t want to go back to that. We want peace everywhere and we want a fair share whether you are from the North, East, West, South, Middle-Belt everything should be evenly and fairly distributed.
While you say you are still active in politics but the likes of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and Edwin Clark have chosen to opt out of politics. Do you think it is good for the polity when men of your stature are opting out one by one?
Those people you have mentioned have positions and are statesmen. There is no way they can get out of politics. It is in our blood; it is part of our life and it is in the national interest for us to be actively involved in politics and in governance. I will forever be in politics throughout my life, I will not opt out of it at all either as an adviser or as a statesman. In whatever form that is appropriate, I will definitely    play some role in the national interest.
What do you think actually led to the defeat of PDP in the last general election?
I don’t want to talk on the defeat of PDP. In all elections, somebody has to win somebody has to lose. Nobody should talk of defeat as if it is a disease. When they do elections in America, one has to win one has to lose. The same in England, even in Germany, Israel, Australia and Japan. Defeat in election is not a disease; it is a normal process. One party cannot be in power forever and one party cannot be in opposition forever. I don’t see defeat as a disease; I see it as a normal political process.
But the fact is that with the reputed numerical superiority and influence that PDP wielded years back, nobody thought it could lose election quickly?
I don’t use the word quick. What happened was normal; sometimes, a party rules the country and in another election it is defeated and after another election that party finds its way back. Don’t look at winning or defeat as a disease it is a normal process. It happened recently in Canada whereby the son of a former prime minister is now a prime minister in Canada.
Looking at our electoral system, what do you think should be done to make it more attractive to people outside to stop complaints of rigging?
It is culture. This type of election is not in our blood.    We copied it from Europe and America and other countries, and over in the generations and years to come it will become part and parcel of our culture. Look at India. India is the second largest country in the world following China and yet in my view the greatest democracy in the world is India. I will rate India better than America and that is very good and that is what Nigeria should copy.
So, do you see any role for the BOT of the PDP to return the party to winning ways?
Leadership is very important, leadership of the party with the right person. Then, two, we should nominate the right candidate, once we have the right leadership and candidates who have credibility. I am sure the country will vote for PDP again.
The issue of internal democracy was very loud in the PDP in Oyo State and some other states prior to the last general elections. So, what is really the way out?
That is subjective whether there is internal democracy or not. What I know is that in any election, one will win one will lose.
Whether this is the reason for winning or losing is a different matter. But I have no problem that what happened has happened and I have no doubt that PDP will come back to power again, PDP will win elections.
In 2019?
As soon as possible.
Can you say precisely that PDP did well in the last 16years?
Very well in many respects.
Very well?
That comment is subjective. It is not objective and other people may hold opposite views. Politics is argument and I listen to anybody whether it is right or wrong. But in my view, PDP has done well. Once we pick the right leadership to run the party and we pick the right candidates to contest elections for us at all levels we will be winning.
Do you agree with Raymond Dokpesi when he said that the party made a mistake on the issue of zoning?
He said the party ought to have allowed the North to complete its term and also to allow the North to go for a 2nd term instead of choosing the former President Goodluck Jonathan.
You may be right you may be wrong. I respect his opinion that is what is called democracy. You may see something as white, I may see it as black and you may see it as green.
Ok sir, do you believe in Zoning?
Oh yes. Certainly, we cannot be monolithic.    One country cannot be run by a set of people all the time. We can have a Yoruba running it this time next time it could be Igbo after that it may be Kanuri, Hausa or Fulani. I believe that we should be moving the offices from place to place.
Given the recent kidnap of Chief Olu Falae by some Fulani herdsmen and the agitation of some Yoruba leaders on the issue, what suggestions would you proffer to solve the issue of Fulani herdsmen in the Southwest?
What they did to Falae was very bad and we all support Falae. But, I don’t believe we should break up the country. We should be objective; we should be nationalistic. We should warn those people and if they don’t stop they should be called to order.
What is your advice to the APC government, at least on how it can do things better?
We should offer very strong opposition at the federal level and make sure the government is run properly and in those states where we won elections, we should provide good government and run the government properly. In those areas where we are opposition, we should be good opposition, we should not make it as a matter of life and death.
How has the judicial system fared in the last 55 years after independence?
Oh Nigeria we’ve got the best democracy and judiciary in the whole of Africa. I have no doubt about that at all. If you look at our judgments and law reports it is as good as anything in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England and we will continue to do better. I am proud of this country. I am a member of the English Bar, Nigeria Bar and African Bar. I practise in three jurisdictions and I enjoy it very much.
Is there any of your children practising law?
Oh yes.    I have about nine or ten of my children who read law and wife and grandchildren who are studying law and I have about three of my grandchildren who are in banking and I also have in business and I am very proud of my children and grandchildren. I have been lucky the boys have married very well likewise the girls and we will do our best to continue to contribute to the well being of this country.

BIAFRA: Ohanaeze seeks unconditional release of Radio Biafra boss

The apex Igbo organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, rose from its Imeobi (highest decision organ) meeting in Enugu and called on the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanu, the detained Director of Radio Biafra and leader of IPOB, unconditionally.
Nnamdi-Kanu in court
Nnamdi-Kanu in court
However, the meeting, which was billed to hold with representatives of MASSOB and IPOB was boycotted by the pro-Biafra groups.
Ohanaeze‘s directive was contained in a communique jointly signed by the National President of Ohanaeze, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey and the Secretary General, Dr. Joe Nworgu.
They said that agitations and public protests over Biafra had been exacerbated by the detention of Mr. Kanu, the director of Radio Biafra. At the meeting attended by representatives of both the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and the Independent People of Biafra, IPOB, in Enugu yesterday, Ohanaeze further expressed displeasure over the continued incarceration of Kanu, saying that it was gravely concerned over current wide-spread public Biafra agitations in states of the South-East and some other states of Nigeria for the actualization of Biafra.
The communique read in part: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex socio-cultural organization of Ndigbo in Nigeria and the Diaspora, is gravely concerned by current wide-spread and public Biafra agitations in states of the South-East and some other states of Nigeria.
“These agitations and public protests have become exacerbated by the detention of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the promoter/proprietor/director of Radio Biafra by Department of State Services, DSS.”
It further stated that “Ohanaeze Ndigbo fears that these developments may threaten the security and peaceful co-existence of Nigerians wherever they may be domiciled, and consequently, decided to summon an emergency meeting of Imeobi Ohanaeze Ndigbo to discuss the situation.
“This emergency meeting was held in Enugu at the National Secretariat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Sunday, (yesterday), November 29, 2015. Representatives of the various organizations and associations involved in the current public protest also attended the meeting.
“The Imeobi Ohanaeze Ndigbo, after extensive candid discussions and analysis of the situation is of the view that the current agitations are the direct result of the excruciating pain of severe injustice, marginalization and exclusion of Ndigbo from decision making structures in Nigeria as currently configured.
“The Imeobi Ohanaeze Ndigbo strongly avers that the exclusion of Ndigbo in decision making structure presents danger to the unity and well-being of the country, not only now, but also in future, and should be redressed urgently.

Attacking Uwazuruike
Meantime, the movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, also yesterday, lashed out on the leader of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazurike, accusing him of hypocrisy and deceit over his call for the unconditional release of the incarcerated director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government.
This came as the former Chairman of Police Service Commission, PSC, Chief Simon Okeke  cautioned some Igbo elders to “stop making  pronouncements that can be very infuriating and dishonourable   to the agitating groups . He also  urged them to speak out early when youths start derailing, instead of keeping what he called “criminal silence” and subsequently condemning them when things get out of hand.
MASSOB and IPOB leaders  after their joint meeting attended by other leaders of the two groups  said: “Chief Uwazurike’s appeal was “an expression full of insincerity.”
The groups’ statement made available to newsmen by Mr. Uchenna Madu, and spokesman of IPOB Mr. Emma Powerful on behalf of other leaders, also alleged that “Uwazurike has never liked Mr. Kanu because he (Kanu) is becoming more popular, consistent and trusted by Biafra agitators,” adding that “in  Uwazurike’s  mind, he is happy with Kanu’s ordeal in the hands of the Federal Government .”
Chief Uwazurike while addressing loyalists and friends of MASSOB  who stormed Owerri for the third anniversary of the exit of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, which had Ojukwu’s wife, Chief Bianca Ojukwu, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun and Major Hamza Al- Mustapha  in attendance had called for Nnamdi Kanu’s release.
“We do not believe in Uwazuruike’s call for Mr. Kanu’s release, just as we condemn the speech at Ojukwu Memorial ceremony where he also said that some people claiming to be champions in their little knowledge, forget that Igboland is landlocked and the five states of South East contribute less than eight per cent of the economy of Nigeria. That is the height of his deceit that he is actually fighting for the actualization of Biafra. It is a statement of somebody that has been compromised, and should not be taken serious.
“That statement was indirectly encouraging the Nigeria government to continue their detention and persecution of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the current Biafra hero. If not, how can somebody like Uwazurike be making such comments and he wants people to take him serious?  We saw where he was going and we decided to leave him,” they said.

Discrediting agitators
Chief Simon Okeke, who was the former PSC chairman regretted that some Igbo leaders had been discrediting the youths agitating for the sovereign state of Biafra.
He said: “The war is over, we have all integrated into Nigerian, there was the doctrine of ‘no victor, no vanquished,’ so the Nigerian experiment has been going on. I have served as PSC chairman and even after that, I have been in pursuit of progress of Nigeria, starting with peace and progress in Igbo land. I think we should stay together as a country, but issues of Igbo marginalization and victimization are real. They are there and very glaring and must be addressed, but not with violence and incessant protests.
“Sometimes truth can be bitter, but it must be told. There are certain pronouncements from Igbo elders that can be very infuriating and dishonourable  of someone that calls himself an elder.
“I have always spoken aloud, I have always said that our Igbo elders should correct the youths early when they are going astray, but they seem to be keeping silent. Their silence is what I have always called ‘criminal silence.’
“If you see the young ones going astray and fail to speak out, your silence is criminal.,” he said.

Discussing with  Buhari
Meantime, Governor  David Umahi of Ebonyi State, weekend, revealed that the governors of the South East geo-political zone had taken a decision to discuss issues revolving around the recent agitation by  IPOB in the country.
Governor Umahi made this known when he received the leadership of the Abakpa Main Market Traders Association at the Government House in Abakaliki.
According to Umahi, the South-East governors had listened to the complaints of the agitators and had decided to discuss the issues with the President.
“We have listened to the complaints of the boys. There is no way anybody would say that what they are saying is completely outside the truth, but just like husband and wife, you must have a way of getting along through dialogue.
“The governors of the  South-East have taken up the matter with Mr. President and I believe that we don’t need another war in this country. I want to plead with you to encourage whoever is involved that we have taken up the matter and we will do everything possible to make sure that their feelings are addressed.
“We should not support secession. We should not  support demonstrations; we should not support the castigation of our leaders.”

British govt. offers to help Buhari develop Niger Delta region

Abuja – The British Government, weekend expressed readiness to collaborate with the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s to urgently fast tract the development of the Niger Delta Region.
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Paul Arkwright gave the assurance when he visited the minister of Niger Delta Affairs Pastor Usani Usani in Abuja,
Arkwright said his government is more than ready to join hands with the Federal Government and other development partners with a view to placing the region on the global map of massive development.
The High Commissioner, who is barely two months in the country disclosed further that he was at the ministry to enquire about key priority in the region, adding, his country was gratified with recent successful and credible elections as well as the smooth transition of power in Nigeria.
The British Government he said on that note decided to partner with it in every possible areas of collaboration to actualise peace and development, particularly in the oil rich region of Nigeria.
The Ambassador who described Niger Delta Region as a critical Part of Nigeria , said, it is poised to achieving new targets set to boost uncommon opportunities that will close existing development gaps in the oil rich region.
Responding, the Minister , Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani expressed satisfaction with the offer and commended the British government for what he termed as massive support in the democratic process of Nigeria and in the fight against insurgency .
He pleaded with the British not to withdraw it support to the nation especially in the area of boosting Nigeria’s politics, product and industry as well as its assistance as it pertains to regulatory institutions.
He also stressed the need for government of British to help secure the nation’s badly polluted environment by aiding to upgrade the existing environmental standard and procedure that is already in
Usani told the high Commissioner that while Nigeria is working tirelessly to diversify from Oil to Agriculture, it would be highly appreciated if the tender professional support in this regard as well as help in convincing the World Bank to key into the vision.

My boyfriend walked away when I started acting – Funmi Awelewa

awelewaUp and rising Yoruba actress, Funmi Awelewa is so beautiful that it is almost impossible to think a man in his right senses would walk away from her – for any reason. But the Ibadan-based producer of Ife O Dogba and Aromimawe will tell you this is something that nearly tore her apart when she was starting out on her acting path.
“Yes, I have been heartbroken before” she told Potpourri when asked if her heart has ever been broken.
“My ex boyfriend broke up with me because of my profession – acting. I don’t know what really happened, he just walked away, probably intimidated by the profession”
“In life, we encounter the good and the bad side of love. All I know is that I am grateful that I am still capable of love” she said, but added that not every man gets intimidated by an actress.
Funmi’s beauty is not the type that sends electric wave at you at first instance, it is the type that envelopes you in its embrace and cuddle you to sleep,without you even having any knowledge of it. She could very well be the most gorgeous Yoruba actress around but Funmi wouldn’t take that.
“Why would I say I am the most beautiful actress in the Yoruba sector when the beautiful ones are not yet born. I am not the most beautiful but one of the most beautiful actresses. We have got many beautiful actresses in the Yoruba sector.” she retorted
When asked to name at least five Yoruba actresses she thinks are more beautiful than her, she named ‘Mercy Aigbe, Bidemi Kosoko, Liz Da’silva, Olaitan Ogungbile, Joke Jikan and many more’.

Buhari and the Biafrans

Dr. Chu S. P. Okongwu in his 2004 tributes to Ukpabi Asika, took an aside in his eulogies to emphasize the following: “The generation born after the civil war will not know that the former Eastern region, comprising East-Central State, South-Eastern state, and Rivers state, enjoyed a highly developed road network, with probably the highest quality road density in sub-Saharan Africa. These had been damaged or neglected during the war. Ukpabi Asika planned to reconstruct and modernize these.
BiafraAction was also taken to upgrade and transfer to central government responsibility some trunk ‘B’ roads (1, 240 kilometers) and introduce some new federal highways and alignments… .” Dr. Okongwu was East Central State’s Commissioner forEconomic Planning from 1970-1975, and presumably has the data. But that’s besides the point. The real point is that assertion that the East had the “highest quality road density in Sub-sahara Africa” before the damages of war and neglect ruined it all.
The terrible state of roads and interchanges in the old Eastern region, particularly in the current areas now known as the South East zone, remain even now, a sore point; and hard evidence of the neglect of the East by the Federal government since the end of the civil war in 1970. Those who have challenged the current agitation for Biafra, talk of equal opportunity misrule of the federation. But Biafrans present evidence of a specially targeted form of neglect.
There was no reason for agitation for a Biafra from 1970-1983, because in those intermediary years, the East was in recovery mode, and its key intellectual and political leadership, and its highly trained bureaucracy was still intact, and they had the requisite institutional memory to mediate some of the more difficult and challenging obstacles placed on the Eastern states, through both strategic negotiation and initiative. I do recommend Dr. Okongwu’s tributes to Asika to readers of the “Orbit” for a really good context, and a closer understanding of “where the rain began to beat us.” From 1983, a strategic neglect of the East became more pronounced.
Every effort of the past made to rebuild it; including investments in new industry, new skills, and so on, were stripped deliberately, almost as if to stifle the resurgence of its people by Federal authorities. Two marked examples for me includes Dr. Okongwu’s claim that the East Central State’s Data Processing Center, the first of its kind presumably in the continent, long before the current IT craze, was stripped and moved to Kaduna following the 1975 military coup.
Here are Chu Okongwu’s words: “Immediately there was dispatched to East-Central State a mandatory pro-consul in the person of the late Colonel Anthony Aboki Ochefu. His assignment: the dismantling of the East-Central state. Colonel Ochefu dismantled the public service of East Central state.
For good measure he declared that the mainframe computer of the Eastern Data Processing Center was unnecessary madness, beyond the needs and interests of the state. It was summarily dismantled and relocated to the Ahmadu Bello University where it found a necessary sane and needful home. Everybody in East Central state, except Col Ochefu, elements of the army of occupation and their touts, was a thief; the hounding campaign was underway. Cheer leaders and Coryphaei were not wanting in East-Central State.” Buhari was a member of the Supreme Military Council of that regime in 1975.
The same scenario played out following the December 31, 1983 coup at which Buhari was head. A little drama played out in Owerri when, according to close associates of the late Governor Sam Mbakwe, he held out at the Governor’s lodge, Owerri, prepared to call out a mass demonstration starting with street protests from Aba to resist the coup, until he was finally persuaded to give up that move. Buhari appointed his own proconsul, in the person of the then Brigadier Ike Nwachuwku. Again, his assignment: dismantle the gains made in Imo under Mbakwe. Ike Nwachukwu’s first declaration, under what he called the “Imo Formula”  was to dismantle all the 42 industrial installations embarked upon by Sam Mbakwe, which were at various stages of development, and to which financial commitments had been entered.
Nwachukwu’s “achievement” was to consolidate the Imo state university under a single campus at Uturu, near his ancestral home, from the five-campus design which had been envisioned on a model of the State of New York University system, by Mbakwe and his team, to evolve into beautifully designed network of university campuses to stimulate strategic development, and carter to a wider range of students and skills development in the long run.
The effect of these was to stultify development in the East and drive a growing population of highly educated and skilled youth out of the East, into the wilderness. Kids who grew up in Government Reserved Areas in the East, for instance, suddenly found themselves living with rats in the ghettoes of Lagos because all the systems created to afford them the opportunity of living productive lives in the East on equal terms with their peerselsewhere in the world were strategically dismantled.
It is called diminution. Divestments, and lack of investments in both industry and infrastructure in the East, especially by the federal government has led to this moment. What these examples suggest is that Nigeria’s postwar domestic policies have, it has always seemed obvious to Easterners, especially the Igbo, been directed towards subduing, rather than reconstructing the East. Even now, Buhari is talking about billions of naira to be earmarked for the “reconstruction of the North-East.”
What about the East that has suffered from a devastating civil war levied against it, and from the mindless exploitation of oil that has rendered what was the entire Eastern region, one of the world’s great ecological disasters, with incidents of new cancers, the result of massive pollution, possibly the highest currently in the world? Easterners consider themselves victims of state-terror. There must be both reconstruction of the East and reparation for the years of discrimination.
These facts will continue to drive the agitation for Biafra. And this is the point that Ohaneze and the South East governors meeting last week in Enugu failed to acknowledge, and which continues to make them irrelevant to the solutions for these agitations.
The governors in the East and Ohaneze may make ex-cathedra claims, but they do not yet speak for these young people, who have clearly defied them in staging their protests. Again, whoever is advising this president must be plain in telling him that this generation considers him a great part of the Igbo problem, because under his watch as military head, progress in the East was stifled; and the East was isolated in his administrationfrom 1983-85; and as a member of the SMC in 1975, the first postwar moves to “dismantle” the East was set in motion. The onus is on him to show good faith, and dissuade the agitators, or he could show further proof, as some have suggested, that Buhari is rigid and does not listen.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Nearly 1,000 ‘security risks’ denied entry to France since Paris attacks

Nearly 1,000 people thought to pose security risks have been denied entry into France since stepped-up border controls were imposed ahead of the COP21 climate talks on November 13, just hours before the Paris attacks, the interior minister said Saturday.
They were prevented from entering France “because of the risk these people could represent for public order and security in our country,” Bernard Cazeneuve said during a visit to the northeastern city of Strasbourg.
He said nearly 15,000 police, gendarmes and customs agents have been deployed to the borders.
The aim of the boosted controls is to enable the authorities to reinforce security as the COP21 climate talks officially get under way in Paris on Monday and also to confront the high terrorist threat level facing the country, Cazeneuve said, adding that they would make any necessary arrests.
A few hours after the tougher border controls ahead of the climate talks took effect on November 13, extremists carried a series of attacks at several sites in Paris, killing 130 people.
The French government, which has declared a state of emergency, said it would continue the increased border security as long as the terrorist threat remains high.

Court of Appeal sacks Sen. David Mark

The Court of Appeal, Makurdi Division, has annulled the election of the immediate past Senate President, Senator David Mark.
The Court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct fresh elections in the Benue South senatorial district within 90 days.
Mark’s victory at the March 28th., 2015 National Assembly elections, was challenged by Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who petitioned the Benue state Legislative Houses elections tribunal asking for the cancellation of the election and an order detailing INEC to conduct fresh election in the district.
The Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu led trial panel had on October 7th., 2015 dismissed Onjeh’s petition on the ground that evidences tendered before the tribunal were documentary hearsay evidences.
However, in a unanimous judgement read by Justice Peter Ige, the appellate court dismissed the judgement of the tribunal and upheld the plea of the appellant that Mark’s election failed substantially to meet with the provisions of paragraphs 39 and 40 of the INEC approved electoral guidelines and sections 73 and 74 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
The panel of jurists also questioned the failure of the trial court to admit evidences tendered by the appellant to canvass his case and in another instance refer to the same evidence to arrive at its decision.
Justice Ige thus held that, “the lower tribunal cannot be seen to blow hot and cold at the same time. The appellant has established his case on the balance of probability. It is our considered view that the appellant’s appeal is meritorious.
“The appellant showed by oral evidence that collation of results was still ongoing a day after the declaration of results of the election in seven local government areas of the district.
“The judgement of Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu led tribunal of October 7th., 2015 dismissing the petition is nullified. Therefore the election of Senator David Mark is hereby set aside.
“INEC is by this judgement to conduct fresh senatorial election in the Benue South district within 90 days.

Plateau bye-election: INEC seizes 7 PVCs, 5 fake agent cards

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Jos says it has seized seven Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from under aged voters and five party agent cards during the Qua’an Pan North House of Assembly bye-election.

Prof. Anthonia Simbini, INEC National Commissioner, North Central, made the disclosure to newsmen in Kwa, Qua’an Pan on Saturday.
“We discovered in some polling units three major problems during the accreditation in this bye-election; under aged, fake party agent cards and low turnout of voters,’’ she said.
The commissioner expressed happiness with the presiding officers, who she said had turned away most of the under aged voters that came for accreditation.
“We have seen with our eyes and seized seven PVCs from the under aged and five fake party agent cards in some few polling units visited.
Simbini said it was totally unacceptable to see g under aged carrying PVCs to participate in elections.
“The children should not take the law into their hands but should wait until they reach the age of 18.
Commenting on the election, Dr Godwin Kwanga, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, described the accreditation as “peaceful and orderly.’’
He appealed to the people of Qua’an Pan to give the INEC officials the necessary cooperation for a successful and credible election

World leaders make Queen wait at Malta party

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles were made to wait for world leaders at a drinks reception in Malta on Friday after the high-level guests got stuck in traffic on the Mediterranean island.
The queen and her eldest son were hosting a drinks party at the presidential San Anton Palace after the opening ceremony of the 2015 Commonwealth summit.
But the pair were left waiting for five minutes for some of the 10 new Commonwealth leaders attending, after most of them fell foul of heavy security measures which closed many roads.
“Are you sure they’re here?” quipped Charles as the queen, dressed in an aqua-green coat and hat with pink flowers on it, peered around the entrance to the Grand Master’s Hall where the reception was to be held.
Relief came in the form of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari — the first to arrive at the reception, where pomegranate and orange juice and Australian sparkling wine were served with a selection of canapes.
Queen Elizabeth, who is the head of the 53-country strong Commonwealth, was in Malta along with her husband Prince Philip, Charles and his wife Camilla.

Boko Haram claims suicide attack on Muslim procession

Boko Haram on Saturday claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on a Shiite Muslim procession near the northern Nigerian city of Kano that killed 22 people.
The hardline Islamist group said in a statement in Arabic on social media its bomber “detonated his explosives which led to the death” of the victims on Friday.
“And by the permission of Allah these attacks of ours against Shi’a polytheists will continue ‎until we cleanse the earth of their filth,” it warned.
At least 21 people were initially reported killed but the toll rose after one more person was confirmed dead.
“For now, we have 22 deaths following the death of one more person yesterday. Thirty-eight people have also been injured, two of whom have been discharged from the hospital,” one of the organisers of the march Ali Kakaki told AFP Saturday.
He said that, despite the attack on Friday, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria members had continued their march from Kano to Zaria in neighbouring Kaduna state, where their leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky is based.
The march is to mark Ashura, which commemorates the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.
“Following the attack, many more of our members have joined the procession,” Kakaki said, adding that they aimed to arrive at their destination next week.
Friday’s attack took place in the village of Dakasoye, some 20 kilometres (13 miles) south of the city of Kano.
One of the procession’s organisers said a bomber clad in black ran into the crowd and detonated his explosives.
Boko Haram, the radical Sunni jihadists who want to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria, has previously been blamed for attacks on Shia Muslims in the region.
Boko Haram, whose six-year insurgency has left at least 17,000 people dead and made more than 2.6 million homeless, condemns Shias as heretics who should be killed.
The group has increasingly used suicide bombers against “soft” civilian targets since the start of a military offensive earlier this year that pushed them out of territory they controlled.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has given his military commanders until next month to end the conflict but there are fears that suicide and bomb attacks may persist.

Monday, 23 November 2015

FIFA court opens case against Blatter, Platini, decision in December

The judgement arm of FIFA’s ethics committee on Monday opened a case against the body’s suspended president Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, with a verdict in the corruption allegations surrounding both men due next month.
“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee … has today opened formal adjudicatory proceedings against Joseph S.
Blatter and Michel Platini based on the final reports submitted by the investigatory chamber,” a statement said, adding that the “chamber intends to come to a decision in both cases during the month of December.

Photos of burial of Abubakar Audu

Audu death1

Monday, 16 November 2015

Nigeria must move from patriarchy to gender equity

Wife of former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Arese Carrington, has called for sustained emancipation of Nigerian women in the drive to attain a developed status for the country.
Nigeria-mapCarrington, an International Public Health Consultant and Vice President, Africana Consultants, USA, noted that Nigeria would only attain a developed status if it adopted and maintained the culture of gender equity like is the situation in developed countries.
Speaking recently during the Eminent series lectures of the University of Benin, Uniben, with the theme “Nigeria and the future of the Black World”, held in collaboration with  Pfizer Nigeria, she urged Nigerian women to get better educated and enlightened because education gives ability to think and analyse things critically.
Noting that there is a patriarchal mindset ruling Nigeria, she avowed that Nigeria must move from patriarchal society to a gender – equal one.
Her words: “An uneducated population is a population in bondage. Education is the passport to freedom. Hence, we must speak the truth to ourselves. With education, no one can pull the wool over our eyes.
“Education, health and income generation form the axis of development. So, it is essential for more Nigerian women to have access to these. They need to be given the opportunity to advance in science and technology.’’
Further, she noted that a lot of women are gifted in Mathematics and Science but lamented that some can’t harness this potential to halt the problems that have stunted growth in Africa.
A UK study on gender issues in Nigeria shows that 49 percent of the Nigerian population is female (80.2 million) and nearly one out of every four females in sub-Saharan Africa is a Nigerian.
Carrington argued that if given opportunity, Nigerian women are great potential for development, urging that Nigeria must, thus, lead the change in stopping education disparity, dehumanization and control of women.
“Nigeria and Africa’s future is dependent on not discarding the role of females in the society nor their potentials to contribute economically and politically. Rwanda has harnessed this opportunity. After the genocide, the women were in the forefront in the reconstruction and the emotional healing of the nation. Realizing this, President Paul Kagame made the extra effort to empower women. Half the Supreme Court population is female,” She said.
She emphasised that the 2015 data from the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) shows that in Rwanda 63.8 percent of the lower chamber of parliament and 38.5 percent of the upper chamber are women.’But in Nigeria, only 5.6 percent and 6.5 percent are women in the lower and upper chambers respectively.
A 2012 UK study data ranks Nigeria 118 out of 134 countries in the Gender Equality Index. It showed that women make up only 21 percent of the non-agricultural paid labour force, the majority occupied in casual, low-skilled, low-paid informal sector employment.
She regretted that each day, 144 Nigerian women die in childbirth, equivalent to one death every 10 minutes.  “Women don’t have to die because they want to give birth. Birth should be a thing of joy. It is essential for women to have access to education.”

Prison officers brutalize Vanguard reporter in court premises

ABUJA—The harassment and assault on journalists by law enforcement officers one again came to the fore as officers of Nigerian Prison Service from Kuje Prison, Abuja, numbering about 10, openly brutalized a Vanguard reporter, Mr. Emmanuel Elebeke.
The incident occurred at about 2p.m. at the premises of Court 2 of the FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja, when the reporter took the photograph of the six accused persons from Kuje prison, who were standing trial for a murder case.
The officials demanded for his camera and, together with family members of the accused, descended on him.
The picture was taken outside the courtroom.
The incident drew the attention of court officials, who came to the journalist’s rescue, but were overwhelmed. While one prison official was hitting the reporter his gun butt, the others kicked with their boots.
Meanwhile, one of the officials, Rita, ordered that one of the handcuffs be removed from the accused persons and used on the reporter.
The beating stopped when they got hold of the camera and made away with it in an official bus with number plates PS635A01.
When the report of the attack got to the judge, he was quoted as wondering why prison officials should take laws into their hands.
NUJ reacts
In a swift reaction, the Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory council of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Mr. Paul Ella, condemned the attack and insisted that the prison officers must be brought to justice.
He said: “It is totally unacceptable to us as a union and the profession of journalism. Such an act cannot be tolerated in a society where we all call for social justice.
“We, as a union, will investigate the case in full and make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. We will do everything within our power to ensure that this does not repeat itself.”