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Bandits Are For Business, IPOB Is Calling For War – Joe Igbokwe

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Bandits Are For Business, IPOB Is Calling For War - Joe Igbokwe
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Bandits Are For Business, IPOB Is Calling For War – Joe Igbokwe

EXCERPTS from Helen Oyibo’s interview with Joe Igbokwe, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Drainage & Water Resources.

HO: You posted one very dramatic picture on hearing about the arrest of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu; raised your hands in the air, thanking God for your life. What was going through your mind?

Joe Igbokwe: “He (Kanu) said, on Radio Biafra, that if they see me, his boys, they should behead me and kill all my children, destroy my home and I played it down but I put my life in the hands of God and that of my family because I was asking myself, I was like has it gotten to this, that you cannot hear voices that are not saying no, we can’t go this way.

”I’m older than him, I saw the civil war, he didn’t see the civil war. I know what we went through, I couldn’t go to school during the civil war, I was in Primary 5 when the war started in 1967 and after the war, I started again from Primary 5 and I understand what played out, the casualties, the pain, the tears, the losses, my father lost his business and we said, do we have to go through this way again?

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Bandits Are For Business, IPOB Is Calling For War – Joe Igbokwe

“Having seen it all because I know what he doesn’t know and I have seen what he has not seen, I have the experience, I have seen it all and I have the history behind me. Has it gotten to this that if you have dissent voices then the person has to be killed?

“It could have been worse, many people died. I am not celebrating death; I’m just thanking God that at least I may be a little bit free… Again, I’m looking at the big picture too; do we have to go this way again?”

“Again, I am looking at the big picture too. Do we have to go this way again? Because my people will say if elders are not at home, children will wear snakes, and call them necklaces.”

HO: You talk about the pains of the Civil War and some people will say the memories as well as the inability of the Country to truly compensate for the loss (marginalisation) might be a reason why the likes of Nnamdi Kanu are calling for a separation. What are your thoughts on it?

Joe Igbokwe: “It’s not the option, you negotiate, you go to the conference table to negotiate because you may say we have been marginalized, yes because, after all, we have the least number of states if you compare us to other zones, it is denying us a lot of things but if you place the three major ethnic groups on the table, Igbo is not the last in terms of anything, education, wealth, cash, we are not the last. I won’t tell you we are the first but I won’t tell you we are the last.

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“Enterprising spirit is our culture, our tradition but they are not doing the business in the southeast, across everywhere, Lagos, Kaduna, Sokoto. Igbos are widely travelled people, we need the space, we can go anywhere, why are you asking for a small space? There’s no ethnic group in Nigeria widely travelled as our people. An Igbo man will go to a place and start a small business and start booming.

“What I want is that the Federal Government should give Igbos additional states, I’ve been advocating for that for years now, just one state because we work hard in this country, we built Abuja, a sizeable part of Abuja, if all the governors gather here in Abuja, we will be the least — five others have six.

Bandits Are For Business, IPOB Is Calling For War – Joe Igbokwe

“Kanu’s arrest was serious international diplomacy, a delicate and seamless operation that must have taken years to plan. So, take the leader away and the followers will scatter.”

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HO: Again, how can you respond to criticisms that the FG is deploying resources with a big sledgehammer on a fly in the case of Nnamdi Kanu and haven’t employed their energy, resources and attention to the rising spate of Boko Haram and the newest (banditry and kidnappings) to quell insecurity?

Joe Igbokwe: “That is the argument of the weak human beings, you want to compare Sambisa Forest to the South-East that is smaller than Kogi State. Bandits come to kidnap for money, you pay them and they release you, that is their business, those people may not even be Nigerians. It is not war, it is not secession. In fact, in the Supreme Court of Nigeria when the issue of secession came up, the Supreme Court will not entertain it; we don’t discuss it.

“You don’t talk about it, tribes must die for you to build a nation? It is unheard of, we have made mistakes in the past, we don’t want to make them again. It is a delicate, complicated matter. Almost 400 young men lost their lives in two months.”

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Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

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Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has expressed concern over the sit-at-home order given by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.

It noted that the development was adversely affecting its preparations for the Anambra State governorship election slated for November 6.

The Anambra State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nwachukwu Orji, said this during the commissions ‘s Monitoring and Support Centre EMBER Zone Implementer Workshop, held in Awka, on Thursday.

He said, “Our preparations are on course, even with all the challenges we are facing, such as the attack on our state office on May 23rd and the sit-at-home which are eating into our preparation time, but we are doing our best.

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“Ad hoc staff are already being recruited online and we are interacting with the stakeholders and we are happy with where we are now and we are confident that come November 6, we will have a successful election.”

He said the commission would recruit no fewer than 25,000 ad hoc workers for the poll.

He insisted that sensitive materials for the election would be brought in from Owerri, Imo State, because of the destruction of the Awka office of INEC

Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

Stakeholders had expressed reservations over INEC’s plan to import electoral materials from Owerri for the simple reason that the chairman of the All Progressives Congress National Campaign Council for the election is Governor Hope Uzodinma.

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In response, the REC said, “You know that the Anambra State INEC office was attacked on May 23rd and that led to the destruction of our store. Since that incident, we had to fall back on the INEC zonal store.

“INEC has zonal offices and for the South East, the zonal office is in Owerri and that is where we have been trying to remobilise for the election.”

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Igbo lawmakers to intervene in Nnamdi Kanu’s case, set to meet Buhari govt

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Igbo lawmakers to intervene in Nnamdi Kanu’s case, set to meet Buhari govt

The Southeast caucus of the National Assembly has resolved to intervene in the issue of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

The caucus resolved to seek political solution over Kanu’s matter.

To this end, the caucus resolved to set up a committee to interface with the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders over Kanu’s matter.

This was part of the r solutions reached by the caucus during a meeting held in Abuja, at the residence of former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting reads partly: “We elaborately discussed the issue of Mazi Nnamdi and resolved to intervene.

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Igbo lawmakers to intervene in Nnamdi Kanu’s case, set to meet Buhari govt

“To this end we resolved to set up a committee to constructively interface with relevant stakeholders, the Federal Government and its relevant agencies towards finding a political solution. We will keep Ndigbo abreast of developments in regard.”

The caucus also commended IPOB for calling off the Monday sit-at-home order.

“Noted with delight that IPOB has called off the Monday sit-at-home order and resolved to ensure that nobody uses them as façades to bring ruination on Igbo land.

“Call on our people to go about their lawful businesses and enjoin our governors and the security agencies to rebuild confidence in our people by not only ensuring the security of their lives and properties, but also ensuring that our people feel safe as they undertake their legitimate businesses,” the lawmakers added.

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Garba Shehu Criticises Yoruba Nation Over UN March, Partnership With IPOB

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Garba Shehu Criticises Yoruba Nation Over UN March, Partnership With IPOB
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Garba Shehu Criticises Yoruba Nation Over UN March, Partnership With IPOB

The Nigerian Presidency has launched an attack on the Yoruba nation pro-secession group over its recent rally at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA.

In a strong worded statement signed by Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, the Nigerian leadership criticised the group stating that “Nigerians and the entire World” would “judge them” over their collaboration with the proscribed Indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB.

The statement read in full; “For Nigerian diaspora groups to use the world’s largest platform – the United Nations General Assembly – to garner attention to their causes is not unexpected. It was, however shocking, to see “Yoruba Nation” advocates yesterday unequivocally throw their lot in with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).”

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“IPOB is a designated terrorist organisation. It has now publicly revealed a 50,000 strong paramilitary organisation. It regularly murders security services and innocent civilians, with a significant uptick of violent attacks this year. And it is currently attempting to hold Nigerian states hostage with orders to stay at home under threat of terror.”

“Without doubt, Nigerians and the entire world will judge Yoruba Nation by the company it keeps. No one can take seriously this organisation if it continues its IPOB association. When their allies systematically trample human rights, it raises sober questions about their claims to uphold the values of the UN.”

“The cooperation is a worrying development, once parsed with Yoruba Nation’s increasingly violent rallies in Nigeria. Actions and associations speak louder than words. Yoruba Nation’s talk of human rights promotion must therefore be ignored.”

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Garba Shehu Criticises Yoruba Nation Over UN March, Partnership With IPOB

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government will continue its work at the UN- to fight against corruption and illicit financial flows, and international cooperation. If we want to see stolen funds returned to their rightful home in Nigeria, the government must continue to campaign for and coordinate global action on asset recovery.

“The government will remain the leading regional actor in the fight against global terror – particularly against threats emanating from the Sahel. Through the Nigerian Technical Aid Corps programme, the country also shares technical expertise with countries from the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific. At the same time, the administration is implementing a programme of environmental sustainability to combat developments which destroys Nigerian communities in vulnerable regions.”

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“Only through the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development can we secure a prosperous future for Nigeria. As the largest country in Africa, the government takes seriously its leadership role and will continue to strive for continental unity, cooperation, and shared prosperity.”

“Our expectation is therefore for the media to work with the government to focus attention on the core issues the President, the leader of the country has on his programme.”

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