Posts Tagged ‘Northern leaders’

Quit Notice: Igbo leaders drags FG, Arewa youths, Northern leaders to world court

Igbo leaders under the aegis of Alaigbo Development Foundation Monday dragged Arewa youths, their sponsors including officials of governments in the Northern Sharia States to the International Criminal Court, ICC, at Hague and the Nigerian Courts to answer to the notice of quit issued Igbo residing in the Northern parts of the country. Spokesman Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Mr. Abdullazeez Suleiman; Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, Former minister of Agriculture, Alh Zango Daura and Sen. Kabiru Gaya during a world press conference on the suspension of the Kaduna Quit Notice declaration by CNG in Abuja.  According to the Igbo group, the legal action was aimed at piling judicial pressure to restrain Arewa youths, their sponsors and supporters including officials of the Northern governments from executing their threat of Quit Notice and take-over of properties owned by Ndigbo in the Arewa territories planned for 1st October. In a statement issued in Abakaliki and signed by its President, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala, Secretary Prof. Nath Aniekwu and Chairman, Media and Publicity Bureau, Chief Abia Onyike, the Igbo leaders warned that any attack on any Igboman linked to the threat by AREWA groups will be interpreted by Ndigbo as an announcement for the final dissolution of the federation. The statement read in part: “ADF is assuring all that never again will any Igbo or Biafran property be declared abandoned or confiscated by an authority or group of persons in any part of the country. ADF and Ndigbo will fight that in accordance with international laws and conventions. “ADF insists that the only thing that will convince Ndigbo and Biafrans that the federal government is genuinely interested in protecting our lives and property in the North is the immediate enactment of a law by the National Assembly prohibiting confiscation or declaration as abandoned, properties of Ndigbo or any Nigerian for that matter in any part of the federation before 1st October 2017. “ADF stands for a peacefully re-negotiated federation based on the principles of self-determination, truth, justice, equity and equality or a peaceful dissolution of Nigeria if the above is not feasible. This is a matter of extreme urgency. “ADF resolves to take urgent legal action at the international criminal court at the Hague and the Nigeria courts to pile judicial pressure to restrain the Arewa youths, their sponsors and supporters including officials of governments in the Northern Sharia states from executing their threat of Quit Notice and take over of properties owned by Ndigbo in the Arewa territories planned for 1st October, 2017.”


Restructuring: North takes first step, sets up committee

The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) yesterday in Kaduna constituted a high-powered committee to collate views and comments on the state of the nation, with specific reference to the current agitations for the restructuring of the country. 

This is coming on the heels of the statement by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar that the move by the United Kingdom and other developed countries to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2040 had given credence to his earlier warning that Nigeria must restructure now or risk being bypassed by the global economy.

At the end of the Northern governors’ meeting held at the Government House, Kaduna, the Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal was picked to head a 12 member committee to collate views on the agitation for restructuring of the country from individuals, groups and corporate organisations in the North.

The committee, according to a communique issued at the end of the meeting, is to come up with acceptable, tenable and sustainable position for the northern region in consonance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, taking into cognizance, the current constitutional amendment process going on at the National Assembly.
The communique signed by the Chairman of the NSGF and governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, said other members of the committee include the governors of Nasarawa, Gombe, Benue, Bauchi and Kaduna states as well as the Emirs of Kano, Zazzau (Zaria), Gummi, the Etsu Nupe and the Gbong Gwom Jos while the Deputy Governor of Plateau state, Prof. Sonni Tyoden is to serve as the secretary to the committee.

The governors also decried “escalating clashes between farmers and cattle rearers,” noting that the situation is being worsened by the infiltration of criminal elements from outside the north who posed as fulani herdsmen and deliberately engaged farmers in deadly conflicts to create disunity and unnecessary crisis in the region.
“The forum therefore, discourages ethnicising the deadly conflicts and crimes with the Fulani tribe as other tribe could be cattle rearers too.
“The free movement of persons, goods and services within the West African sub-region as ratified by the ECOWAS Convention should be subjected to the laws of individual member states in order to check cross-border crimes, especially cattle rustling.
“Creating more grazing reserves and providing adequate infrastructure in such reserves by way of addressing the needs of cattle rearers and those of their animals before the enactment of the appropriate legislation will ameliorate the challenges” the communique maintained.

The communique further condemned the recent attack on the NNPC staff, security personnel and the staff of the University of Maiduguri, Borno state which resulted in the suspension of oil exploration activities in the Chad Basin.
It called on the federal government to urgently ensure the reconstitution of the Federal Character Commission, Federal Civil Service Commission and the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to enable them discharge their constitutional responsibilities, stressing that failure to do so, has so far resulted in lopsided appointments.
The governors restated their commitment to national unity, peaceful co-existence and the rights of all Nigerians to reside and own property in any part of the country as guaranteed by the constitution.

“We re-assure all Nigerians who live in the north of our readiness to protect their lives and property and we therefore call on our colleagues in the south to emulate this gesture” the communique said.
Atiku: UK ban on diesel, petrol cars makes it now more urgent
Meanwhile, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said that the move by the United Kingdom and other developed countries to ban petrol, diesel cars by 2040 is giving credence to his earlier warning that Nigeria must restructure now or risk being bypassed by the global economy.
The former Vice President’s Media Office in Abuja said yesterday that his position had been vindicated with recent news coming out from the developed countries of the world where dependence on petrol and gas is increasingly giving way to alternatives.
“Exactly a week ago (Wednesday July 19, 2017), at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, former Vice President, predicted that the automobile industry would be moving away from diesel and petrol powered cars in favour of electric and alternative energy powered cars.
“Of course the Waziri Adamawa was criticised and painted as crying wolf by the usual suspects, yet only eight days later his view has been further vindicated by the news from the United Kingdom which was reported in Thursday, July 27, 2017 THISDAY front page headline: ‘Doom for Nigeria, Britain Moves to Ban Petrol, Diesel Cars by 2040’,” it said.

Atiku had recalled that during his recent visit to the United Kingdom, he noticed that senior members of the Conservative Party were driving the Toyota Mirai, a car that runs on hydrogen and emits water instead of harmful carbon monoxide.
He stated that Professor Tony Seba, a world renowned global economist, had published his findings which predicted that all new cars will be electric by 2025.
Atiku said this was one of the reasons why Nigeria must restructure now or risk being bypassed by the global economy.
The statement said that the British move would serve as a warning to Nigeria to heed the warnings of patriots like Atiku and others like him and “while we still have a few good years of income from oil, we need to urgently diversify our economy which will only be possible by embracing restructuring.”
Anti-restructuring: CSOs threaten civil disobedience, election boycott
In a related development, as a result of the failure of the National Assembly to approve devolution of power to states in the just concluded constitutional amendment, the Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) and a number of civil society organisations in the South East zone yesterday vowed to embark on civil disobedience in the continued struggle for true federalism.
To this end, the groups stated that “if genuine processes towards restructuring Nigeria are not embarked upon by the federal government on or before the 1st of October 2017, our people will find it extremely difficult to continue to participate in the Nigerian project”.
They also declared that “We will no longer vote in any elections whatsoever, until Nigeria is restructured” saying that their stance “is the demand, desire and decision of the masses of Eastern Nigeria”.

This decision was taken at an emergency meeting attended by representatives of eight other civil society organisations (CSOs) held in Enugu, during which the action of the National Assembly members in shooting down the clamour for restructuring was deliberated upon.
Aside from the ECA, other CSOs that participated in the meeting include South East Elders Union, South East Christian Network, Igbo Women Assembly, Igbo Traders Association, Igbo Youth Movement, Igbo Students Union, South East/South South Youth Assembly and Ofuobi Cultural Association.
In a communiqué entitled Enugu Declaration endorsed by their representatives the CSOs   vehemently condemned “the desperate attempts by enemies of equity and justice to sustain by all means this evil unitary structure that has visited untold hardship, misery and disequilibrium on our land”.
It also declared as “enemies of the people” those struggling to resist the desirable change that will save Nigeria, and grant every zone a sense of belonging, adding that their action “is provocative”.
The groups therefore declared that “we are now left with no other choice than to embark on civil disobedience and passive resistance, (and) accordingly, our people will no longer participate in their unitary Nigeria events henceforth”.

Leaders of the CSOs said that they “consulted widely amongst our people, in order to build lasting and binding consensus, before taking final decision, since the spirited but shocking attempts of those fiercely opposed to returning Nigeria back to regional arrangement through a peaceful restructuring process”.
Citing the quit notice issued by a coalition of Arewa youths to Igbos living in the north the CSOs noted that it was part of the grand design to scuttle any attempt to restructure Nigeria and free the country from the grasp of underdevelopment.
According to them,  “to insult the entire country by embarking on childish distraction of quit notices and divide and rule tactics, and unhelpful constitutional amendments, all geared towards sustaining the current unitary structure imposed on Nigeria on May 26th 1967, it has become necessary to make public our findings and decision.
“Their arrogance and ruthlessness has no place in the 21st century. It can only lead to the death of Nigeria,” the groups warned in response to the modus operandi if the opponents of restructuring and true federalism.

Said the CSOs: “The struggle by a tiny clique to sustain by all means, the status quo, imposed on Nigeria by unelected soldiers, by issuing threats of war in the false hope that the 196 million Nigerians held down in unacceptable squalor, fear, helplessness and arrested development will be cowed by this threats of military action and therefore back down from the noble struggle to save Nigeria, through a peaceful restructuring.

“Nigeria must be restructured, if Nigeria is to survive. Egalitarianism, equity and merit-based system must be enthroned. And fiscal federalism and regional autonomy established through a new people’s constitution, affirmed at a referendum. This is the irreducible minimum.”

Caution Biafra agitators, supporters of restructuring, Northern governors tells South

Northern governors has listed agitation for restructuring, creation of a Biafran state and the Fulani herdsmen’s attacks on communities as vices threatening the unity of Nigeria – The governors say the hate speeches being propagated by groups such as IPOB and MASSOB are inimical to the unity of Nigeria – The northern leaders urge southern leaders to condemn the Biafra agitation Governors from the northern region of Nigeria have cautioned pro-Biafra activists and those calling for restructuring to refrain from conducts that could risk the unity of Nigeria.   The governors gave the caution on Thursday, July 27, at a joint meeting of the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) and traditional rulers at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House in Kaduna state. Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state, who doubles as the chairman of the NGF, described agitation for restructuring, creation of a Biafran state and the Fulani herdsmen’s attacks on communities as vices threatening the unity of Nigeria.  Shettima, who was represented by the governor of Katsina state, Aminu Masari, at the two-day meeting which began on Thursday, July 27, said the hate speeches being propagated by groups such as IPOB and MASSOB are inimical to the unity of Nigeria. He said: “Agreed that being citizens of a democratic country, Nigerians are entitled to exercising their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and association, and the clamour for the restructuring of the country falls within the purview of these freedoms. But the exercise of such rights outside the confines of responsibility is not acceptable. “The resort to shenanigans, hate speech, and sometimes incitement to violence by organisations such as IPOB and MASSOB must be unconditionally condemned as they are inimical to national unity, stability, peaceful coexistence and national security. “These elements must be encouraged to pursue their agitations within processes enshrined in our constitution and with the full and willing participation of all parts of our nation. The governor called on the southern leaders to condemn the Biafra agitation the way northern leaders condemned the quit notice issued by some northern youths to Igbos residing in the north to leave by October 1.

Restructuring: Take your case to National Assembley, Northern leaders tells agitators

Image result for nigerian flagStrong denunciation of the collaboration between the Middle Belt and the South came from the core North, yesterday, with a challenge to advocates of the restructuring of the country to use the National Assembly to push their case. In the same vein, the spate of laws by State Houses of Assembly prohibiting open grazing of cattle was flayed in the same quarters as an infringement of the freedom of movement of herdsmen which they affirmed would sooner than later be annulled by the courts. The Northern insistence on the status quo was rebuffed by advocates of restructuring from the Middle Belt and the South who affirmed that Nigeria cannot continue on the present framework which they said was discriminatory and oppressive. Northern leaders, including Tanko Yakasai, Balarabe Musa and Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, spoke in open rebuke of the Southern and Middle Belt leaders who were also accused of lacking the democratic platform to speak. Southern leaders from all three geopolitical zones, last Saturday, took a position with Middle Belt leaders during which they canvassed the immediate restructuring of the country to reflect fiscal federalism, and the prohibition of open grazing among others. Reacting, yesterday, Kano-based elder-statesman Yakassai, who served as adviser on National Assembly Affairs to President Shehu Shagari, in dismissing the collaboration of the South and the Middle Belt said:  “None of them was elected by their people to speak on their behalf. To the extent that this country guarantees freedom of speech, they are entitled to their opinion. “My quarrel with the people who are advocating this restructuring is that they failed to give the details of the restructuring. If Nigeria is restructured, every Nigerian will be affected. So it is incumbent upon anybody who is campaigning for this to spell it out so that Nigerians can look at it. But to just go about shouting slogans without giving the actual details is nonsensical. “Every one of them is represented in the state assemblies or the House of Representatives or the Senate. Every one of them knows that the way to change our Constitution is defined in our Constitution and our Constitution empowers our legislators, federal and state, to change the Constitution the way they deem appropriate. “So I challenge them to sponsor a bill through their elected representatives so that the bill can take its natural course. If the majority support it, it will be implemented. “I don’t know why they are ignoring the democratic institutions that we have? Why can’t they make use of the democratic institutions? Why are they avoiding the legislature? “Why do they think that press conference is a substitute for our elected representatives? In a democracy, you channel your views through your elected representatives if you are serious.” Yakasai responding to the position of the Southern and Middle Belt leaders on the rampage of herdsmen, said:  “The problem of herdsmen has been with us, even long before the British came and there was a process of handling it. If they strayed into your farm and destroyed your crop, usually, the local authorities would get them to compensate the victim. The right to move freely “As long as they are Nigerians, the Constitution of this country has guaranteed their right to move freely. The only thing is that where their livestock stray into other people’s land and damage their crops, they should be made to pay. “Any state assembly that makes a law to stop people from moving their cattle about is attempting to deny people their constitutionally guaranteed rights, and once the matter is taken to court, it will be declared a nullity,” the elder-statesman said. Alhaji Balarabe Musa, who served as governor of Kaduna State at the commencement of the Second Republic, on his part, was dismissive of the gathering. He said: “I have already said enough on this, and I don’t want to waste my time talking on this again. How different are they from those rascally northern youths who gave the southerners the quit ultimatum? How different are they from them, so I don’t want to waste my time.” Tsav, a retired commissioner of Police from Benue State in the Middle Belt, on his part, dismissed the Southern and Middle Belt leaders as opportunists. He said: “They are opportunists because they are trying to create a situation that will benefit them. Their coming together seems as if they want to go into Biafra. “The ordinary man does not know the meaning of restructuring. It is the politicians who are pushing for it. When there is a government that favours them, they don’t do anything but when they are not getting anything they embark on the type of thing they are doing. “I don’t agree with their demands. Some of these people are vying for the Presidency, and they feel they can get supporters from the South by supporting calls for restructuring.” The Yoruba socio-cultural body, Afenifere, which was strongly represented at the Southern-Middle Belt summit in reiterating the call for restructuring, said through its spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin yesterday:  “That call was made by a majority of Nigerians. It behoves on the Federal Government to listen to the requests, so it does not appear to the world that it is serving the minority like the apartheid regime in South Africa. “The polity is so fragile at the moment, and the government must promote inclusiveness to restore some level of confidence.” Mr. Akin Osuntokun, who served as Political Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo in his second term said:  “It is consistent and valid, but I would have wished that the coalition encompasses the whole of Nigeria, including the far North. “The consolation is the weighty and open support and identification of eminent political leaders like Ibrahim Babangida and Atiku Abubakar. Bias, nepotism, and discrimination are inherently built into Nigeria, and until the country is restructured, it will continue to be plagued by this dilemma. “The meaningful solution is devolution and decentralization of power which divests the centre of its oppressive and over-centralized powers.” Mrs. Esther Gonda, a retired permanent secretary in the Federal Civil Service from Plateau State, who was also a member of the 2014 National Conference on her part, said restructuring was inevitable on account of the structural dislocations in the polity. “Restructuring is a positive word, you restructure an organization to make it more efficient, and I think it is time that we did that in this country, given the agitations that are all over the place to look at what needs to be done to make it workable. “Nigerians all over the place are excelling, but for some reasons, as we are configured, there is a lot of vices that are being generated. So it is good to face it squarely and see what we need to do. “During the national conference, we talked about so many of these items, and we know it is time for us to sit down and face our dragon squarely.”

You are on your own, Northern leaders tell Dasuki, Yuguda, Baba-Kusa

…Yuguda,Shuaibu Salisu,Aminu Baba-Kusa others listed by EFCC

Leaders of the North have stated that they will not intervene in the ongoing trial of former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), and other alleged accomplices in the ongoing probe into an arms procurement scandal.

The leaders, under the auspices of the Northern Elders’ Forum, the Northern Elders’ Council and the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, dismissed reports that a section of leaders in the North were seeking a soft landing for the suspects in the arms deal probe, most of whom are northerners.

They asked the Federal Government to recover all stolen funds and prosecute all looters.

They asked the Federal Government to recover all stolen funds and prosecute all looters.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on Monday arraigned a former Dasuki; a former Director of Finance in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu; and an ex-Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Aminu Baba-Kusa and two companies for allegedly diverting N32bn.

On Tuesday, the EFCC arraigned a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; his son, Sagir Attahiru; and their firm – Dalhatu Investment – on 22 counts of misappropriation of about N13bn meant for the purchase of arms by the Office of the NSA.

Also arraigned along with them, before Justice Peter Affen of the same Federal Capital Territory court in Maitama, were Dasuki and Salisu. The accused were alleged to have misappropriated the money between August 2013 and May 7, 2015.

Speaking to SUNDAY PUNCH on the trials, the Secretary of the NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, said both the forum and the Arewa Consultative Forum, had jointly stated that the anti-graft war must continue.

Abdullahi said the NEF and the ACF had stated “emphatically” that the anti-corruption war must be fought to its logical conclusion and all stolen monies must be recovered.

(Politics) Why Northern Elders Are Angry with Jonathan @tj_shetade


As President Goodluck Jonathan declares his intention to run for second term in 2015, leaders of the North, under the auspices of the Northern Elders Forum, have expressed their decision to support any presidential candidate presented by the All Progressives Congress in the 2015 election.

They expressed their grievances with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party over the automatic ticket issued to President Goodluck Jonathan to seek a second term in the election. This, the elders said, had prevented aspirants from the North from contesting on the platform of the party.

The national leadership of the PDP, including the Board of Trustees, the National Executive Council and the National Working Committee, had unanimously adopted Jonathan as the consensus presidential candidate of the party.

In separate interviews with Punch correspondent on Friday, the Deputy Chairman of the NEF, Dr. Paul Unongo and spokesperson of the forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, stated that despite Jonathan’s power of incumbency and the deployment of state resources at his disposal, he would not win the election if the region voted against him.

He said, “Our position has not changed. We don’t mind him contesting, but we are not going to work for him to become president of this country again because we don’t believe that we have had any president that has been so divisive; that has heightened religious tendencies, hatred, ethnic militancy, high rate of impunity and a tremendous amount of insensitivity.

“The majority of northerners and the majority of Nigerians will decide for us and for the APC. We are not into party politics, but the APC has shown respect and deference to the North by allowing the North to produce its (presidential) candidate. But the PDP shut the door, saying there is nobody else but Jonathan; that he is the best for Nigeria. That is a lie.

“If not from the North, let somebody else come to contest; we will support him.”

The Second Republic Minister of Steel decried the abduction of over 200 Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram on April 14 and that they remain in captivity over six months after.

He said despite the claim by the Federal Government that it had reached a ceasefire deal with the sect and that the girls would be released, the insurgents had continued to launch attacks and kidnap more people.

Similarly, Abdullahi stated that the NEF would carry out its threat to frustrate Jonathan’s re-election bid, as the President had failed to secure the release of the Chibok girls before the end of October.

The Presidency had dismissed the ultimatum issued to Jonathan by the forum on August 11, 2014 to produce the Chibok girls or forget about his 2015 ambition.

Abdullahi said, “We did not even put ‘if.’ He should just forget about 2015. We cannot support him for 2015 for whatever reason. What we said would only confuse those who doubt; we have never doubted his failure. We have always believed that the man is incapable of running this country.”

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