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.
Eid-El Fitr: Gov. Bala Urges Muslims To Emulate Prophet Muhammad By Making Sacrifices Beneficial To Less Privileged People
Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, Kauran Bauchi has enjoined Muslim ummah in the state to emulate prophet Muhammad by making sacrifices for the benefit of less privileged members of the society as they celebrate this year’s Eid-El fitr.
The Governor in a Goodwill message on the occasion of the 2020 Eid-El fitr celebration, urged them to use the celebration to reflect on their past activities so that they may take corrective measures towards improving their relationship with their creator.
According to him, Eid-El fitr celebration marks the end end of the mandatory fasting which entailed abstinence from some of the most basic human needs such as eating, drinking and pleasure of the flesh during the day.
” Fasting strengthens our faith in the Almighty Allah and purifies our souls and guides our utterances and conduct, muslims believe that Ramadan teaches self discipline, self control, sacrifice and empathy with those who are the less privileged thus encouraging actions of generosity and clarity.
” It is my hope that we will continue to be responsible in both our utterances and conduct even after the Ramadan period, as believers, we should be guided by the teachings of Ramadan in our day to day dealings with our brothers and sisters and extend hands of fellowship to adherents of other faith.
He also called on them to consider the occasion a period to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness, love, generosity and respect for one another.
Governor Bala Mohammed said the state government on its part, is committed to maintain peaceful and harmonious coexistence amongst the various interest groups in the state and therefore appealed for tolerance and accommodation by the different ethnic, religious and political groups.
” I would like to appeal to all and sundry to join hands with the Government towards our resolve to establish a peaceful, prosperous and United Bauchi state. ”
On COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor observed that the, current economic downturn and its attendant consequences arising from the virus will no doubt have adverse effect on how majority of the people celebrate the Eid-El Fitr.
” I want you to see this as a temporary set back that affects the whole world and will be over in no distant future by the grace of Almighty Allah. Government has eased the lockdown restrictions in consideration of the tremendous achievement recorded in preventing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.”
He tasked people not to relax in taking preventive measures such as, maintaining social and physical distancing, observing constant washing of hands with soap and water, use of face masks among others.
He assured that, government is doing everything possible to alleviate the sufferings of its people in addition to the measures taken to contain the spread of the disease.
” Government is not unaware of the discomfort our people are facing both economically and spiritually as a result of this pandemic, that is why I directed the early payment of May salaries and pensions to enable the workers and retirees to celebrate the Eid-El fitr joyfully, I assure you that the present administration will not fail in its responsibilities to see to the welfare of the people of the state.”
Governor Bala Mohammed used the opportunity to call on all motorists to observe traffic regulations so as to reduce accidents on highways throughout the period of the celebration.
Eid-el-Fitri: Oyo State Governor Felicitates Muslims, Calls For Prayers For Nigeria And States
The Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has congratulated Muslims in the state and beyond on the successful completion of the month-long Ramadan fasting.
He expressed gratitude to Muslims and residents of the state for remaining steadfast despite the situation imposed on the state by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor equally rallied them to use the auspicious occasion of the Eid-el-Fitri to make supplications for themselves, the state and Nigeria.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Governor Makinde as saying that it was regrettable that Muslims in the state and across the country cannot observe Eid-el-Fitri prayer this year the usual way, adding that the situation should be seen as “part of the sacrifice we all have to make at this time.
”He said: “It is gratifying to note that we are concluding this year’s Ramadan on a good note.“Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the whole world, the Almighty Allah allowed Muslims in Oyo State to join the Muslim Ummah in making supplications for the forgiveness of our sins.
“I remain grateful to my Muslim brothers and sisters and residents of the state for remaining steadfast despite the situation imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic.
”Governor Makinde sought for the continued support and cooperation of the Muslim Ummah and all residents of the state in adhering to the COVID-19 protocol such as wearing of face masks, observing social distancing, regular washing of hands and eating of immune-boosting foods and others, as directed by the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force.
He promised to continue to make life more meaningful to all residents of the state, reiterating his administration’s commitment to the socio-economic transformation and the infrastructural revolution currently going on in the state.
“On the part of this pacesetter government, I solemnly promise that we shall continue to make life more meaningful to all the people of Oyo State through policies and programmes that are godly and humane.
“As we look forward to an end to the current gloom and a return to normalcy, let us continue to work together for the safety, wellbeing and prosperity of our state.“Once again, I felicitate our Muslim brothers and sisters and our community,” the governor said.
Sallah Celebration: Gov. Ayade Urges Muslims To Embrace Love And Unity
Cross River State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade has urged peace, love and unity among Nigerians as Muslims celebrate Eid-El- Fitr which marks the end of the thirty days Ramadan Fast.
The Governor in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity,Mr Christian Ita said Nigerians must use the period for a sober reflection on the state of things in the country.
While congratulating the Muslims Ummah for completing one of the Five Pillars of Islam, he urged them to remember that moderation is important in everything one does.
He said the poor and less privileged people in society must be catered, a principle which informed his decision to exempt low income earners from taxation, including the petty traders in Bogobiri Muslim Community.
He told the faithful that the month of Ramadan is intended to teach all Ummah how to live good and compassionate lives which must continue even after the Ramadan fast.
“Ramadan is a month of sacrifice, abstinence and above all, love and care for humanity. I encourage you all to be your brother’s keeper. Look out for your neighbour in the firm belief that he too will look out for you and most importantly always use your face masks while going out to contain the Spread of Covid-19 disease.
“As you celebrate Eid-el-fitr, which marks the end of the Ramadan fast, I urge everyone, regardless of your religious beliefs, to continue to keep the peace and to live in unity with one another in Nigeria and particularly in Cross River State”he said.
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