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IPoB: Bid to force US to intervene in Nnamdi Kanu’s case gets boost

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The call by a US congressman, Jarvis Johnson of the State of Texas, seeking the American government’s intervention in the continued detention of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has received the backing of eminent Igbo personalities.

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Johnson, who made the demand in a statement dated January 9, 2023, said it would be wrong for the US, which had defended democracy in different parts of the world, to stay aloof and watch the Nigerian government fragrantly violate both its rules and international laws.

He accused Nigeria of carrying out genocide against her citizens.

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The US lawmaker maintained that “Kanu committed no crime by asking for a referendum for the self-determination of his oppressed Biafrans”.

He strongly condemned Kanu’s abduction and extraordinary rendition from Kenya, saying that the time has come for the US to call the Nigerian government to order.

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The statement read in part:” Mazi Kanu’s only offence is that he is the leading advocate for the freedom of all oppressed Nigerians, and for a referendum on the Biafran issue. The right to free speech including political advocacy is a cornerstone of all democracies.

“At a time when democracy is threatened globally, it is imperative that we all join hands to protect Mazi Kanu’s right to freedom of speech.

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“The illegal kidnapping, torture, and solitary confinement of Mazi Kanu offends our democratic norms. So does the willful disobedience of the judgments of its own courts by the Nigerian government.

“I am demanding the immediate release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The Government of Nigeria needs to comply with the UN Mandate and the Orders of its own Courts.

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“The Nigerian government is carrying out another form of genocide, one citizen at a time. I am calling on the American Government to get involved to stop this genocide.

“We have protected other countries around this world to help vulnerable populations; we need to do the same for Nigeria and its Biafran citizens.”

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‘Long overdue’

Speaking with Sunday Vanguard on the matter, National President, of Abia State Elders Consultative Forum, Professor Princewill Ariwodor, described the call as long overdue.

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He said that it was signified that the international community was aware of the plights of the IPOB leader, and the persecution of the Ndigbo in Nigeria.

His words: “The call is timely. I’m glad that the international community sees the ordeals of the Igbo man in Nigeria.”

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Ariwodor expressed disappointment that despite repeated appeals by Igbo leaders, President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to release Kanu.

“The late President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador George Obiozor, before his death, had an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari and begged him to release Nnamdi Kanu. Despite the promises, Kanu is still detained”, the Abia Elders leader said.

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“Igbo elders have done everything to show Buhari our protest in a gentle way. We had thought that by taking a more civilized approach, Buhari would take the path of honour. But instead, he chose to listen to his brothers who are not interested in the unity of this country.”

Ariwodor said that the continued detention of Kanu against court judgments amounted to the humiliation of the entire Igbo race.

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The Abia Elders expressed optimism that the call by the US congressman would be heeded by the US government.

‘Heed growing calls’

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On its part, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Abia State Chapter hailed the move by the US congressman and urged Buhari to heed the growing calls for Kanu’s release.

CAN Chairman, Abia State, Apostle Emmanuel Agonmuo, said the opinion of the US lawmaker was an indication that the world was monitoring developments about Kanu’s continued detention.

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He urged Buhari to show he is the father of all by giving a political solution to Kanu’s matter as being clamoured by many.

The cleric noted that early resolution of Kanu’s matter would help restore peace to South-East for the good of all.

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He commended the US congressman for speaking up while urging the US government to also take a position on the matter.

Motion

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Also speaking, a former presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Cosmos Ndukwe, commended the US congressman for the bold move but urged him to go beyond mere press statement and raise it as a motion in the American House of Representatives.

The former Deputy Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly said it would carry more weight if the move had come as a motion to the House.

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Commenting on the matter, the Chairman Board of Trustees, BoT, Igbo Think Tank, Professor Madubuike Ezeibe, urged the Nigeria government to obey various court judgments concerning Kanu.

He said it was a violation of the rule of law for the government to still hold Kanu against court pronouncements as doing so sends wrong precedents about the rule of law in the country.

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The professor of virology argued that it’s in Nigeria’s interest and global image to obey court orders.

Right step

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A coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), also speaking, described the action of the US congressman as “a right step in the right direction”.

COSEYL President General, Goodluck Ibem, told Sunday Vanguard that the continued detention of Kanu “is a confirmation that the President is on a gross personal vendetta against Kanu and Ndigbo.”

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“We want the President to obey the UN mandate and the Court of Appeal judgment that released Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally from detention,” Ibem stated.

COSEYL said the intervention of the US congressman “is proof that the decadence in our democracy and institutions has reached an alarming state where the center can no longer hold.

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“The US has seen with their eyes how our democracy has been reduced to an autocratic and dictatorial regime where there is no rule of law and obedience of court orders.

“We urge the United States and the international community to listen to congressman Jarvis Johnson to save our hard-earned democracy before it is totally destroyed.

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“Injustice to one is injustice to all. The UN should do its best to ensure that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is released”.

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Speaker Tunis Pledges Support For ECOFEPA

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By Gloria Ikibah

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Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Dr. Sidie Mohammed Tunis, has pledged his unflinching support for the ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians Association Network ECOFEPA in its attempts to increase participation for self-development in politics and entrepreneurship.

Speaker Tunis who stated this at the formal opening of ECOFEPA Women and Youth Leadership symposium, on the sidelines of the Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Guinea Bissau, with the theme: Unleashing the potentials of Women and Youth in Politics and Entrepreneurship; asserted that the meeting epitomizes the action stage for women’s involvement in decision-making bodies.

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He also commended ECOFEPA for always beaming their search light on issues that affect women and youth in the ECOWAS Sub-region and for firmly reinforcing the need to mentor the next generation of decision makers to bridge existing gaps and bestow sound political and decision-making legacies to them, reaffirming that until they as Members of Parliament replicate ourselves in the younger generation in multiple dimensions to deliver a democratic system that is anchored on good governance and societal growth and development, they cannot credit themselves for success.

Dr. Tunis acknowledged that the event amplifies ECOFEPA’s deliberate resolve to consistently pursue the dreams of its founding Members and recommend for members of Parliament to track generational transfer of knowledge, skills and all it takes to tackle the challenges of the future ahead.

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In her address, the 2nd Vice President of ECOFEPA, Madam Gabriella Fernandes, commended the ECOWAS Commission for its outstanding support in enhancing the activities of the association to achieve its goals for women’s integration and empowerment in politics.

She said that the resources mobilized by the ECOWAS Commission will allow the association to host its upcoming symposium in Togo March 2023.

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Hon. Fernandes reiterated that the symposium will spark the beginning of efforts to launch their projects and synchronize activities in the areas of leadership and entrepreneurship, which have the propensity to boomerang and catapult women’s advancement into decision-making in the ECOWAS region.

Earlier, the Youth Representative for the West Africa Youth Assembly, Mamadu Djalo, said everyone is aware of the social pressure and barriers that women and youth face daily, in trying to climb up to the political power, and employed men in Africa who control the political powers, to ensure that such power is balanced.

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According to Djalo, Women and youth are very isolated for too long, and that there is need for the men to work together with both youth and Women to fill the sense of belonging, as the deliberation cannot be realistic without the participation of the youth and women.

She therefore called for the creation of a youth parliament in order to give them a voice.

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Again, one injured as container crushes bus in Oshodi

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By Francesca Iwambe

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A 20-ft container crushed a commercial bus in the Oshodi area of Lagos State on Wednesday afternoon, injuring a commercial bus driver.

It was gathered that this is the latest container-related accident experienced in the state in the space of three days.

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Eye witnessed confirmed that Wednesday’s accident at Oshodi was caused by a brake failure.

While the passengers in the bus were said to have escaped without an injury, the same could not be said of the bus driver whose degree of injury could not be ascertained as of press time.

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Eight people were crushed to death by a 20-ft container that fell off a truck in the Ojuelegba area of Lagos on Sunday.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the Ojuelegba tragedy, a 40-ft container fell off another truck in the Dopemu area of the state on Monday, causing traffic on the road.

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Breaking: Chairman, MiddleBelt Forum Commodore Dan Suleiman is dead

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Chairman MiddleBelt Forum, Commodore Dan Suleiman is dead.

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A source close to his family revealed to Naijablitznews.com that the Commodore suddenly fainted in his house and passed on.

Details shortly…

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