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South-East Think Tank Sends Apology to Buhari, Ekweremadu Over IPOB, Says Kanu Diverting Attention From FBI List as a Beneficiary

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Some respected Igbo elites, under the aegis of South-East Economic Revival and Development Movement (SERDM), has apologised to Nigerians, especially President Muhammadu Buhari and erstwhile Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu over the recent spiteful antics of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The group made this known in a press conference by President, Obumneme Chijioke Udeh, in Enugu on Tuesday to address what it described as “maligning of the Igbo nation by miscreants”.

According to the SERDM, IPOB’s new gimmick may not be unconnected with the recent clampdown on 74 Igbo sons for fraud by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The fugitive leader of the terrorist group, Nnamdi Kanu, is a well-known beneficiary from sympathisers across the globe, particularly Igbos irrespective of the source of wealth.

For this reason, the South-East movement believes Mr Kanu may be attempting to divert attention from the heinous deeds of his collaborators who have been indicted for various degree of fraud.

On completion of their investigation, instead of jail term, the group, however, appealed to the United States to repatriate these Nigerians, so they can be tried for terrorism financing in line with extant legislation in Nigeria.

Read the full statement below:

Gentlemen of the press, the event of recent days and weeks call for deep introspection. The need for collective soul searching on the part of the Igbo people in the south-east of Nigeria is not because the Igbo nation is in the wrong but because a minuscule part of our population is bent on tarnishing the ancestral and historical track record that we have maintained as a people.

This slur on our ethnic identity was committed on two fronts. One front was the despicable assault by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on a former Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; the threat to attack other Igbo leaders whenever they travel abroad; the N1 million bounty promised by IPOB leader –Nnamdi Kanu to anyone that divulges information about the travel plans of Igbo leaders; and the laughable call for the IPOB members to arrest President Buhari in Japan during his ongoing visit to the country.

The second front is the disgraceful indictment of as many as 74 Igbo sons out of the 80 persons fingered for fraud by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It is humiliating that the dint of hard work that so many Nigerians, particularly Igbo in the Diaspora, have engaged in abroad has been rubbished by the greed and avarice of a few misguided elements who succumbed to the get rich quick syndrome that threw away all forms of ethics in pursuit of instant gratification.

What the public may not know however is that the two events – the growth of IPOB’s belligerence and the fraudulent lives of the 74 indicted persons – are not unconnected. They are different sides of the same coins. We have been able to establish that the proceeds of the fraud committed by these young men is the major source of financing for IPOB’s terrorist activities in Nigeria and, more recently, around the world. The N1 million bounties promised to those that divulge travel details of Igbo politicians was to be sourced from remittances from the 74 indicted persons.

The decision to attack Senator Ekweremadu and the threat to beat up visiting dignitaries from Nigeria and well as the comical directive for President Buhari’s arrest were all attempts to create diversions from the boiling issue of the indictment of fraudsters and scammers that had been the mainstay of IPOB financing. The objective was to ensure that IPOB’s errant behavior dominated the news space such that Nigerians will not notice the indictment of those financing its activities. Thankfully, the plan failed.

We strongly believe that justice will not be served if the United States merely indicts, try and jail the 80 indicted persons, including the 74 Igbo among them. This is because they will merely be jailed for fraud without the aspect about terrorist financing coming up. Yet, financing terrorism is the primary reason they went into the business of depriving other people of their hard-earned cash. Jail terms for fraud in the United States are tantamount to lodging these criminals in five-star hotels. We therefore suggest that the government of that country should repatriate these criminals to Nigeria to be tried for terrorism financing in line with extant legislation in Nigeria because the more grievous of their crimes was committed here against Nigeria.

Those that attacked Senator Ekeweremadu in Germany should be expelled from the European Union and sent to Nigeria, not only for engaging in terrorist acts but also for being beneficiaries of fraud and terrorist financing. They should be made to answer for their crimes in Nigeria where the victims of their terrorist activities are resident for their crime is not a victimless one.

We expect that the Federal Government of Nigeria will complement the actions of the United States and countries of the European Union by withdrawing or cancelling international passports of both the fraudsters and their terrorist collaborators that attacked and are planning to attack Nigerian officials. The state must adopt a tough stance against terrorism driven international fraud so that it can safeguard the nation’s image and safety of citizens at the same time.

It is pertinent to at this point apologise to President Muhammadu Buhari for the insult poured on him by Kanu’s directive for his arrest in Japan. Only a drug addict on a hallucinatory trip or someone severely mentally compromised would be deluded enough to think he can order a gang of terrorists to arrest the leader of a sovereign country on a visit to another nation. That such order was given is enough for the IPOB terrorists to question both the motive and sanity of their leader.

We also apologise to Senator Ekweremadu and the distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic to which it belongs. True Igbo sons will not engage in the brigandage that led to his being attacked. He should take solace in the fact that his attackers have fallen below the threshold for qualifying to be referred to and treated as a human being. Our apology extends to other Nigerians who might have been hurt by IPOB in one way or the other. The way of the terrorist is not the Igbo way.

As for IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu, we have little to say. He has, by his action, confirmed that he is not an authentic Igbo for only a bastard will point his father’s house with a finger on his left hand. We now have cause to ask that he holds crucial heart to heart talk with his mother to find out if there was an accidental swap at the hospital where she was delivered of her baby when she had Nnamdi Kanu lest we conclude that there are paternity issues she is yet to tell her son about.

In Igboland, there are rites for cleansing the madness that derives from being of such questionable birth and the South East Economic Revival and Development Movement is willing to foot the bill for Nnamdi Kanu’s head to be washed with all the necessary local items to be specified by elders of his clan. However, this does not absolve him of crimes he has committed and for which he is still validly standing trial in Nigeria. He must answer for his crime same as those that committed crimes on his instruction.

Thank you and God bless you.

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Military Powers Alone Can’t Defeat Boko Haram – Buratai

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Buratai, has declared that the war against Boko Haram could not be won by military might alone due to series of indoctrination that have been carried out in the north for more than two decades.

Buratai said that only 25 per cent of the war falls within the ambit of the military.

The rest, according to him, is for the civil populace to handle. He made these declarations yesterday in Lagos during the 2020 Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Security Meets Business Dialogue. Buratai stated that: “We are fighting the mind. So, can the military fight the mind of the people? That is not the job of the military.

Psychological operation is government-driven. Facility to reach the minds of the people is within the precinct of the governments.

Does military have control over religious leaders that preach hate? There is lot of mundane issues that culminated to this problem. And unfortunately, we do not look at these little things that really matter. You see religious leaders addressing congregation violently on social media to instigate violence against other people.”

He urged Nigerians to own the military and other security agencies and support them with information to enable them win the fight against Boko Haram.

He also debunked the insinuation that there was no synergy between the security agencies in the fight against mounting insecurity facing the country.

“It is easy to sit in our rooms and make conjectures even though we are not on the ground. In 2013 the international community issued a warning that foreigners should not go beyond Lagos.

But starting in October 2015 they started coming. Can this be achieved without synergy?” he asked.

Buratai also regretted that the country failed to develop the “Ogbunigwe” that was invented by Biafra during the Nigerian civil war and lamented that Nigeria’s allies were denying the country strategic military supplies needed to combat insurgency.

He said: “We all know how the armed forces have been deprived of what it is supposed to have in terms of equipment. There was civil war in this country between 1967 and 1970. Did all our allies support Nigeria as a country? Those Nigeria relied upon for the supply of equipment disappointed her. We are experiencing the same thing with Boko Haram. Some of the arms the government has paid for since 2017 and 2018 have not been supplied. As I speak, no pin has arrived Nigeria. Will Boko Haram sleep and wait till our arm arrives? These are the issues.”

He said that during the civil war, the ingenuity of the Biafrans produced the “Ogbunigwe” but Nigeria paid no attention in developing it. He therefore, called for a detailed research and development to enable Nigeria to produce some of these equipment domestically.

“Honestly, this is the crux of the mater. As Nigerians we must develop our own solutions. In doing this we need help and assistance,” he said.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, who was represented by Air Vice Marshall Ado Inuwa, regretted that Nigeria’s security challenges which would have been treated when it was a small ailment has now become cancerous. Olanisakin noted that “Nigeria is at war whether we like it or not,” and called for all hands to be on deck rather than the current attitude where Nigerians viewed the country’s security challenges as personal problem of the security agencies.

“The Boko Haram issue has lingered for too long. We cannot see a group that is a rag-tag militia holding up a nation for almost 10 years now if it is not having adequate supplies and logistics. It is not possible. Something is really wrong somewhere,” he said.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of SGF, Dr. Amina Shamaki, said that the country needed to strengthen its moral fabrics in order to win the war against insecurity.

“If we all account for every member of our families and uphold the tenets of moral, religious, cultural, societal and traditional values, there will be no terrorists, bandits, robbers, arms smugglers, child traffickers, cattle rustlers, militants, etc. And, the work that our government, military and security agencies are doing, will become positively, evident,” he said.

The Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Zubairu Muazu, noted that community policing is the way to go in finding lasting solution to the insecurity challenges facing the country.

Similarly, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, who was represented by the Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral O B Daji, said the navy is fishing out foreigners that carry out 90 per cent of crimes in Tarkwa Bay Beach in Lagos to protect maritime business.

In her opening remark, the President of LCCI, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, said that “insecurity erodes business and investors’ confidence, resulting in disruption of domestic supply chains and weakening of capital formation required to drive significant economic growth as Nigeria finds it more challenging for us as a country to attract new investment and grow the economy.”

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Bayelsa: APC Insists on Fresh Governorship Election

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The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr. Yekini Nabena has said the volte face commendation of the Supreme Court and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the Bayelsa Governorship has exposed the opposition party as a fraudulent and a two-faced party.

The deputy APC spokesman specifically asked the PDP’s National Chairman whether democracy is no longer under threat as he has claimed?

According to him, APC has formally demanded a fresh election in Bayelsa state.

“The party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole while affirming the supremacy of the Apex Court, forwarded a letter to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu titled: Judgement in Appeal No: SC.1/2020 between Peoples Democratic; Party Request for conduct of fresh governorship election in Bayelsa state.”

Nabena, however, urged Nigerians to be wary of “motor park politicians majorly in the opposition PDP.”

Speaking with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, the Baylesa born APC chieftain demanded that the rule of law must be adhered to in the case of the Bayelsa governorship.

“When the Supreme Court decided against the PDP on the Imo governorship, the PDP led in protest by its National Chairman, Uche Secondus went around the European Union, UK and US embassies wailing that ‘Nigeria’s democracy is under threat’. What has suddenly changed in the case of the Bayelsa Governorship?

“This only goes to show that these foriegn concerns and all Nigerians must be wary of the motor park politics and insincere antics of the PDP.

“The contentions on the Bayelsa Governorship is far from over. We are all aware of the NYSC certificate forgery case of the Bayelsa deputy governor,
Senator Lawrence Oborawharievwo Ewhrudjakpo as well as the decision of the APC National leadership to continue to pursue all legal avenues to contest INEC’s decision to declare Duoye Diri as Bayelsa Governor, having failed to meet the mandatory constitutional requirement to become the governor.

“I urge all lovers of democracy to continue to press that the rule of law is adhered to not only in the case of Bayelsa state, but in all matters. Democracy is a game of numbers and the majority must have their way.” Nabena stated.

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Army Nabs 11 High Profile Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province Logistics Suppliers

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The Nigerian Army on Wednesday said it has arrested 11 high profile Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province logistics suppliers within Biu LGA of Borno State, during a well-coordinated sting operation conducted by troops of 231 Battalion in conjunction with elements of 331 Artillery Regiment between 1 – 3 February 2020.

This, the army said is part of the ongoing counter terrorism operations to make life unbearable for the marauding remnants of the Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West African Province’s criminals across the North East Theatre despite heightened propaganda in recent times.

This was contained in a press statement made available to news men by the Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu.

According to him, those apprehended are; Aminu Abubakar, aka Aminu Alhaji Habu, Gambo Abubakar – aka Gambo Alhaji Habu, Abdullahi Alhaji Habu – aka Audu Alhaji Habu, Zaradini Jafaru, Lawali Abdullahi, Lawali Sando, Sule Ahmadu – aka Sule Dan Kasa, Saidu Ibrahim – aka Saidu Doctor, Audu Haruna – aka Mainasara, Isiya Salisu, Usman Alhaji Ahmadu – aka Manu and Nasiru Mallam Abbas.

Iliyasu also revealed that troops of the Nigeria Army, during the month under revuew confiscated one Buffalo Gun Truck, one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 3 Machine Guns, 2 AK 47 Rifles, 141 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, one suicide vest, one Improvised Explosive Device Box,10 motorcycles, one pumping machine and some mechanical tools were captured from the marauding criminal insurgents.

The statement reads as follows: “Despite heightened propaganda to the contrary, troops of the Nigerian Army continue to sustain the ongoing counter terrorism operations, making life unbearable for the marauding remnants of the Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West African Province’s criminals across the North East Theatre during the period under review.

On 9 February 2020, troops of 25 Task Force Brigade deployed at Damboa in Borno State in conjunction with elements of the Civilian Joint Task Force while on a fighting patrol established contact with the remnants of Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West African Province criminals hibernating within their Area of Responsibility with Gun Trucks as well as motorcycles.

During the ensuing meeting engagement which occured at Njaba along Damboa – Bale Road, the troops unleashed superior and overwhelming fire power to obliterate the criminals. At the end of the encounter, several of the insurgents were neutralized while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

One of the Boko Haram fighters named Koise Bulama was captured alive by the valiant troops. Additionally, one Buffalo Gun Truck, one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 3 Machine Guns, 2 AK 47 Rifles, 141 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, one suicide vest, one Improvised Explosive Device Box,10 motorcycles, one pumping machine and some mechanical tools were captured from the marauding criminal insurgents.

In a related development, in the early hours of 9 February 2020, some elements of the remnant Boko Haram criminals suffered yet another defeat in the hands of troops of 121 Battalion deployed in Pulka, Gwoza LGA of Borno State during an apparent failed attempt to attack the troops location. The dogged troops repelled the attack and neutralised one insurgent in the process while others retreated in disarray under the cover of darkness.

Earlier on, during the night of 5/6 February 2020, troops of 112 Task Force Battalion deployed at Ngwom in Mafa LGA of Borno State thwarted an attempt by the Boko Haram criminals to infiltrate their defensive location.

In their highly responsive and well coordinated response, the troops brought to bear their superior night fighting capability against the marauding criminals, neutralising one of the infiltrators while many of them escaped with various degrees of gunshot wound as evident from the trails of blood discovered along the insurgents’ withdrawal route.

During the exploitation phase, the troops recovered one Baofeng Hand Held Radio, one Rocket Propelled Gun bomb, 101 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition and 2 rounds of 60mm mortar bombs abandoned by the escaping criminals.

In yet another development that occured on 10 February 2020, the troops of 212 Battalion deployed at Tungushe in Konduga LGA of Borno State made contact with some Boko Haram criminal elements mounted on 6 Gun Trucks within their Area of Responsibility. The troops swiftly engaged the marauding criminals in a fierce fire fight. In the aftermath, 3 Boko Haram criminals were neutralised while one Buffalo Gun Truck, one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 2 AK 47 Rifles, 2 AK 47 Rifle Magazines and 60 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition were also captured from the insurgents as they succumbed to the superior fire power of the troops. Regrettably, one gallant soldier paid the supreme price during the encounter.

Similarly, on the same day, troops of 3 Battalion (Main) deployed at Rann in Kala/Balge LGA of Borno State delivered a devastating blow on some Boko Haram criminal elements. The insurgents attacked the troops’ location in 4 Gun Trucks alongside a number of their foot soldiers. The vigilant troops responded swiftly, engaging the criminals in a brief fire fight that lasted for about 20 minutes. At the end of the encounter, the heroic troops neutralized 2 of the criminal insurgents. Equally, the troops captured one General Purpose Machine Gun, one AK 47 Rifle, one Baofeng Hand Held Radio and 33 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition.

Additionally, on the same date, troops of 21 Special Armoured Brigade deployed at Bama, Borno State conducted a robust clearance operation at Kote (a suspected Boko Harm criminals enclave). On reaching the objective, the troops discovered that the criminals had fled the enclave. Nevertheless, the troops destroyed all the structures within the vicinity. It is also heart-warming to note that, 7 women and 9 children held hostage by the criminals were rescued while 2 Boko Haram flags, one motorcycle and one motorcycle engine were recovered.

In a similar vein, during a well-coordinated sting operation conducted by troops of 231 Battalion in conjunction with elements of 331 Artillery Regiment between 1 – 3 February 2020, troops arrested 11 high profile Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province logistics suppliers within Biu LGA of Borno State. The arrested suspects include, Aminu Abubakar, aka Aminu Alhaji Habu, Gambo Abubakar – aka Gambo Alhaji Habu, Abdullahi Alhaji Habu – aka Audu Alhaji Habu, Zaradini Jafaru, Lawali Abdullahi, Lawali Sando, Sule Ahmadu – aka Sule Dan Kasa, Saidu Ibrahim – aka Saidu Doctor, Audu Haruna – aka Mainasara, Isiya Salisu, Usman Alhaji Ahmadu – aka Manu and Nasiru Mallam Abbas.

Likewise, on 10 February 2020, based on credible information about the criminal activities of some Boko Haram elements along Rail Line Auno – Jakana in Kaga LGA of Borno State, troops of 212 Battalion swiftly mobilized to the general area for an aggressive clearance operation along the fringes of the Rail Line. The troops therefore, cleared Lassa, Jewu, Wazilongla, Male, Rail Line Jakana – Maiduguri and other suspected Boko Haram criminals hideouts. During the operation, troops arrested one Boko Haram criminal named Umar Musa at an abandoned Boko Haram hideout. Trooops discovered one abandoned Boko Haram criminals’ Gun Truck at Jewu Village.

Equally, on 8 February 2020, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team attached to troops of 151 Battalion while on clearance operation along Banki Junction – Miyanti Road in Bama LGA of Borno State discovered and safely detonated an Improvised Explosive Device planted by the criminal insurgents. Similarly, 2 Improvised Explosive Devices equally planted by the cowardly Boko Haram terrorists were discovered and safely detonated by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team attached to troops of Army Super Camp 19 deployed in Bitta, Gwoza LGA of Borno State.

The statement further sated that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, reassures the general public of the resolve of the Nigerian Army to continue to execute their constitutional mandate professionally and responsively for a safe and secure Nigeria.

He also thank all well-meaning Nigerians for their continued support, goodwill and understanding towards the gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army. He added.

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