6/20/2021

[GIST] Biafra Is Valid, By Evans Ufeli Esq.

[GIST] Biafra Is Valid, By Evans Ufeli Esq.

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Human rights as a social fact can be viewed as normative responses to expressions of oppression and domination. They represent the minimum living standards for civilized humanity, to wit: they are the morality of the depth rather than the morality of the heights. They are won through struggles of the oppressed against their oppressors. Human rights remains a valid intention of self expression.  

The congregation of multi-ethnic groups, tribes and race into nationhood by a treaty influenced by colonial or imperial concepts is common in Africa, dates back to history and traceable to the Berlin conference of 1884.

However, when nationhood fails, people recline to their tribes and the tribe is a natural enemy of the state. The state by its natural reaction and coercive tendencies often strive to keep all ethnic divides in a nation together but not in the absence of equity and justice. Where some tribes or ethnic groups are forced to be in a union that has failed them in all ramifications agitations will always become inevitable. 

By international law a people can by their majority resolve, decide to secede from a nation to pursue their common aspiration just like the people of Biafra in Nigeria are making frantic agitations to leave Nigeria to be on their own with the belief that this movement holds a better promise for them.

I must say that while their agitations are valid for whatever reasons they broach it from, it must be tailored within the bounds of law and not violence or war. The last attempt to achieve the objectives under reference, between 1967 to 1970 resulted in the loss of many lives. It is therefore not safe or practicable, if you like, to continue in that line of action when there are legal routes to achieve this objective. 

Biafra can be achieved through article 19 and 20 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Ratification and Enforcement Act (CAP 10) LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA 2004, which provides as follows : All people shall be equal. They shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same rights. Nothing shall justify the domination of a people by the other.

Article 20 says, All people shall have right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen. Subsection 2 says, colonized or oppressed people shall have the right to free themselves from the bond of domination by resorting to any means recognised by the international community.

With the aforementioned provisions of law, Biafra is achievable by undertaking procedures laid down by law without necessarily resorting to violence that will lead to casualties and the wanton destruction of lives and properties.

My advocacy therefore is that if violence and/or peaceful agitations  could not grant Biafra its request in the past it is time to change the approach. The laws earlier cited had been long domesticated and now form part of our laws and so let the proponents of Biafra leverage on the law to clinch onto their collective aspiration and objectives. 

Let the leaders of the group collaborate with the international communities, presenting the law as the bases of their agitations and with this, the legal process for self-actualization can be properly instituted. 

This applies to other groups that desire the same objective. 

I shall go to Rabbi again.

 

Evans Ufeli Esq is a Lagos based Lawyer and Executive Director Cadrell Advocacy Centre.

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[GIST] Chiamaka Udeh And That Blood-stained National Flag In Moscow, By Ozodinukwe Okenwa

[GIST] Chiamaka Udeh And That Blood-stained National Flag In Moscow, By Ozodinukwe Okenwa

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Last Tuesday, a video had gone viral online showing Ms Chiamaka Udeh displaying a blood-stained Nigerian flag while appearing on stage at the international beauty pageant featuring African damsels in Moscow, Russia. She was representing Nigeria in the event. The Lagos-born model from Anambra state was apparently protesting against the bloody events in her native country and reminding the global audience of the state terrorism which many innocent Nigerians had fallen victim to.

While her action had received applause from certain quarters it had attracted outrage from others. In a nation divided on ethnic, religious and regional lines it is not unexpected that her denunciation of tyranny or brutality of power and its agents in Nigeria through her brazen display of a bloodied green-white-green flag in a show shown to the whole world must have riled a whole lot of Buharists and their apologists who see nothing wrong with the system back home. 

SOC Okenwa

The urgent need for a radical solution to the steady slide into anarchy confronting us as a nation ought to be  put on the front burner. We have nothing more to hide or be ashamed of. We have reached a point of no return!

Watching the short video clip online one could see the elegant damsel immaculately-dressed clutching the Nigerian flag as she walked onto stage. And suddenly she had stooped down wrapping the bloodied flag around her head as if mourning the dead. One could notice the emotion that must have enveloped her as thoughts about those 'sacrificed' in different cities and towns Nigeriana ran through her young mind. 

Ms Udeh sent a strong message home and abroad! We cannot continue pretending that Nigeria is working when the opposite is the case. We cannot continue in our hypocritical ways. We need more Chiamakas exposing the executive sins of our oppressors to the outside world.

Defending her action in a chat with the BBC Igbo the beautiful Biafran lady had argued that what she did was from her heart. She said she used that platform to create an awareness of what was happening in Nigeria including the #EndSARS demonstrations and the undeclared Biafran war in the South-East region of the country, her homeland.

Of course, blood flowed in Lekki Toll-gate in Lagos during the #EndSARS protest last year October that saw the swift dissolution of the dreaded and deadly police unit known then as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. And now blood is still flowing from Maiduguri to Owerri, Ibadan to Katsina, Umuahia to Enugu.

While arguing that it was never her intention to tarnish the image of Nigeria she made it clear that she just wanted to create an awareness that we needed help! Nigeria needs international help indeed as we suffer under Buharism.

Those condemning or attacking Chiamaka must be reminded that what she did was not a crime! It was a legitimate expression of disappointment or disgust at the gory news emanating from the home front. Besides, as an Igbo lady she ought to feel disgusted by the killings, abductions and state terrorism going on in her native land.

Ever since the heinous brutal attack by soldiers on unarmed flag-waving #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll plaza, Lagos on October 20, 2020, during which some protesters were killed and others wounded the red-stained Nigerian flag had somewhat become a symbol of protest to honour the brave youths that died in that ugly incident.

Again the brutal clampdown also reminded Nigerians of the fight against insecurity and human rights violations yet to be won. While President Buhari still sounds unlike a democratically-elected President that he is state terrorism has assumed an alarming proportion lately with violent agitations for the dismemberment of the country becoming a daily occurrence with grave consequencies.

When the black-American George Floyd was killed by an overzealous white-supremacist police officer, Derek Chauvin, in Minneapolis last year, thousands of Black-Americans poured out on to the streets in many cities chanting 'Black-lives-matter!' It was days of fire and fury as blacks protested violently against racism and police brutality targeted at their members.

Chauvin was filmed kneeling on the late Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest last year May. Even his shouts of "I can't breath" never elicited any form of sympathy from the notorious killer-cop. A 12-member Jury had found Derek Chauvin guilty on three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Chauvin could spend up to 40 years in prison if his appeal fails.

Racism is to America what religion and tribalism is to Nigeria. While America remains a beacon of democracy, land of the free and a prosperous great nation where the rule of law is supreme Nigeria is a den of corruption and leadership diffidence and vacuousness. Justice was served to the murderer of George Floyd but the killer-soldiers that murdered scores of #EndSARS protesters were never arrested nor judged!
Following the George Floyd fatal incident many entertainers, stars, actors, footballers and athletes around the world demonstrated their support for the 'black-lives-matter' mantra by placing their knees on the ground during live events as a reminder of injustice to somebody. And remembrance of how George was dispatched to his untimely grave by hate and intolerance.

A whole lot of George Floyd, in different epochs and levels, had happened in Nigeria with impunity. And when folks tried to voice out their disapproval of extra-judicial killings and oppression the federal or states' governments would send in troops or police to kill and maim. Yet we pretend to be a democracy; a ruinous democracy with a retired General, a brute and bully, at the helm of affairs.

Now with Twitter still banned President Buhari reminds us of his inglorious Jackboot days. Freedom of the press and freedom of expression were emasculated during those years of primitive tyranny under the Daura man. Journalists were imprisoned as Decrees 2 and 4 were obnoxiously enacted to deal with the media and narcotics trade.

We commend Ms Chiamaka Udeh for her concern and solidarity towards the murdered and wounded! It was a strong display of patriotism far away from home. That blood-stained national flag on display in Moscow should rather serve as a rude awakening for us as Nigerians. No one should be happy for what is happening back home.

With Naira recording a resounding historic bashing in the hands of the American Dollar, security of lives and properties of our compatriots no longer the primary responsibility of government, poverty gaining foothold on majority of our people whoever says all is well must be living in another planet where lunatics hold sway.

To pull the nation back from the brink President Buhari and his misruling APC predators must retrace their steps before igniting a war that would consume the nation. It may not start in Biafraland but elsewhere!

 

SOC Okenwa
soco_abj_2006_rci@hotmail.fr
 

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[GIST] Freelance Journalist Shot Dead In Ibadan, Police Confirm

[GIST] Freelance Journalist Shot Dead In Ibadan, Police Confirm

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The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Oyo state command, Adewale Osifeso on Sunday confirmed the killing of an on-air personality, Titus Badejo by unknown gunmen at a popular nightclub in the Oluyole area of Ibadan, Oyo state capital. 

Badejo, popularly called Ejanla was reportedly shot dead around 9 pm on Saturday.

Confirming the incident to reporters in Ibadan on Sunday, the police spokesman said, "At about 0730hrs, Sunday 20th June 2021, One Damilola Afolabi 'm', Manager at Club 407, Oluyole Ibadan reported at Oluyole Divisional Police Headquarters that on Saturday 19th June 2021 one Titus Badejo, journalist and Freelance Disc Jockey with the club was shot outside the club premises by unknown assailants. 

"However, comprehensive investigations are in top gear to unravel circumstances surrounding the incident and to apprehend the assailants. Verifiable updates would be provided soonest, please."

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[GIST] We Don’t Support IPOB; Nigeria Remains United— South-East Governors

[GIST] We Don’t Support IPOB; Nigeria Remains United— South-East Governors

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Members of the South East Governors’ Forum have distanced themselves from the agitations of secessionist groups in the region and other parts of the country.

According to Daily Trust, they also condemned the violence that followed the agitations which led to the loss of lives and destruction of properties.

Recall that a proscribed group in the region, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been fighting for the secession of the region from Nigeria.

The group has been blamed for all the violent attacks on security agencies and government’s infrastructures in the Southeast recently.

The governors of states in the region met on Saturday in Enugu State to deliberate on ways to tackle the security challenges and restore peace in the region.

The Chairman of the Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, spoke on behalf of the governors at the end of the meeting, saying: “We condemn in totality, the activities of violent secessionist groups in the South East and elsewhere.

“We firmly proclaim that we do not support them, they do not speak for South East.

“The impression that South-East leaders are silent over some of our youths’ agitations for secession is not correct.

“South-East Governors, Ohanaeze President, National Assembly members, notable leaders had come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations.

“In order not to mismanage the unfortunate situation, South-East leaders have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow elders speak to address such fears,” he said.

They appealed to the security agencies to discharge their duties within the rules of engagement and the law.

They also urged members of the National Assembly from the South East to support the creation of state police in the ongoing constitutional amendment.

“We, the Igbos do reaffirm our commitment to one united Nigeria under a platform of justice, equity of rights, fairness, love, and respect for one another.

“The meeting endorsed our South East joint security outfit – Ebubeagu – and asked them to work with security agencies and to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in South East and our visitors,”

Governor Umahi said while reading the communique issued at the end of the meeting.

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[GIST] Police Launch Manhunt For Killers Of Media Mogul, Billionaire, Usifo Ataga, In Lagos

[GIST] Police Launch Manhunt For Killers Of Media Mogul, Billionaire, Usifo Ataga, In Lagos

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The Lagos State Command has said that its operatives are on the trail of the killers of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, and billionaire, Usifo Ataga, who was found dead in his apartment in Banana Island area of the state.

It was learnt that the owner of the apartment rented out to the late CEO has been arrested and currently in police detention.

Sources familiar with the incident had confirmed the death of Ataga, who was murdered last week.

Mr Ataga, whose company promises video livestream at zero Internet cost, was found in a pool of his blood in the apartment after days of being incommunicado.

He had checked into the apartment allegedly with a lady, suspected to be his mistress last Sunday.

His wife and children, all resident in Abuja, had been worried about his absence and their inability to get through to him.

After efforts to get across to his office and colleagues proved abortive, security agents tracked him to the Lekki apartment.

The door of the apartment was forced open but only his corpse was found there while his phones, debit cards and other valuables were missing.

He had multiple stab wounds on different parts of his body, according to on-the-spot assessment by police officers.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, said while his men are still on the trail of the lady who reportedly carried out the act, the apartment’s owner is in detention.

He also noted that investigation is ongoing and the police would keep the public abreast as events unfold.

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