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Igbo elders: We want votes not bullets in S’East *Obi, better option to Biafra



Ndigbo are not known for killing each other, leaders of the South East, said on Tuesday, to underscore why the people must vote in the 2023 general elections, especially the presidential elections, scheduled for Saturday, in which Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, is running on the platform of the Labour Party (LP), is a front-line candidate.

Led by Simon Okeke, former Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), the group, bemoaned a situation where blood-thirsty miscreants have plunged the area into an arena of bloodletting, adding that the “South East today is not what we are known for.”

In a statement, signed by the Okeke alongside other Igbo leaders like former Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife,  Prof. Ihechukwu Maduike, Fidelis Ozichukwu, Charles Nwokeaku, Onrou Arua, Austin Egwuagu, and Lincoln Ogunewe, both retired Generals in the Nigerian Army and Osita Obierika, a retired Air Vice Marshal (AVM) in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), warned those responsible for the killings in the name of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), that violence would never achieve their purpose.

“The state of South East today is not what we are known for. Our homeland had the tradition of peace and tranquility, industry, academic adventurism and culture of family wellbeing. Today, a small clique of misguided persons mostly youths, has inflicted mayhem and blood letting to contaminate the orderly life of Ndigbo to the extent that one cannot freely go about one’s daily pursuits. People of the South East have been cowed into submitting to a sit at-home order. This irregularity which has also been extended to the election day, when people are looking forward to using their vote to speak their mind, must not be allowed to happen,” the group said.

The group, comprising elders, youths, men, women and our retired military and paramilitary officers, said its combined voice was to state unequivocally the rejection of the situation in its entirety, added: “We must speak up against those who say there should be no elections. Elections in the South East must hold. We call on the people of the South East to come out en masse on the 25th February, to vote and vote in candidates of their choice.”

Assuring the safety of the people during the exercise, the body saluted the courage of Igbo traditional rulers for assuring all of their subjects of safety on the election day, 25th February and subsequent election days and President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent broadcast in which he promised adequate security measures to allow everyone to come out and cast their votes freely without any intimidation. “This is quite re-assuring. The President of the country has given his assurance for safety. The Royal Fathers have followed suit in the assurance of your safety. The police and armed forces have been fortified to protect you all throughout the election period. Even as we speak, our armed force.

“The police and other security agencies are now being positioned in strategic places all over the country including and particularly in various states of our South east Geopolitical Zone. This is aimed at providing adequate protection and safety for all to come out to exercise their civic right and to vote for candidates of their choice.

Therefore, come out and do the needful. Come out and vote in whom you think will make the change you want. If you don’t come out to vote on February 25, 2023, you have no one to blame other than yourself.”

Speaking on the agitation for Biafra, given as reason for the parlous situation, in which facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had been attacked and many people killed by those who claimed that IPOB would not allow elections in the area, the Igbo elders urged those involved not to forget that their fathers and grandfathers had demanded and fought to have that same Biafra roughly 52 years ago.

“Millions died in action and out of sheer starvation. Some of us here participated in that bloody war. What makes you believe that you can win that war this time through extreme activism? That war was fought with guns armoured tanks etc. We must think strategically in determining how to structure the future for our people, children and grandchildren.

“Yes, you may say that it is your fundamental human right to demand separate existence. But the quest for separate existence is not restricted to Nigeria. In Britain for instance, Scotland which is part of that country is seeking a separate existence. So also, is the case with Spain where Barcelona is demanding same. None of them is demanding it by killing and maiming their fellow country men and women or by imposing a needless sit-at-home order or carrying out unspeakable acts of violence and destruction against their own people.

“They do it by participating actively in their country’s general elections where they sponsor candidates that will be their voice in their parliament where they argue their case and push it via a referendum to decide which way to go. Why not borrow a leaf from them and pursue your demand in a civilized manner? You can never get Biafra through violence and slaughtering yourselves and sitting at home when parents should be at work and children should be in Schools. That system makes the world look on you as both unserious, or at best immature. Let us go the way of the wise.”

Arguing that Ndigbo had never had a better chance in the Nigerian project since Independence in 1960, the group stressed that the opportunity being presented by Obi emerging President of Nigeria was so immense that it would be suicidal not to support it.

“Since our Independence in October 1960, this is the best chance of South East to produce a President. Both North, East and West have come to accept that our son Peter Obi is the best out of all the Presidential candidates canvassing for votes to win the presidential election on 25th February 2023. Any Onye Igbo thinking otherwise or standing on the fence may be of doubtful genealogy and needs to submits to DNA for proper proof of his or her true parentage.

“We request that you come out and be part of the history to vote in Peter Obi and Datti Ahmed to take the mantle of leadership and rebuild our badly divided country, to save the boat from sinking.  We need your Votes not Bullets. In a democracy, your vote is your weapon, not bullet or sit-at-home. Peter Obi is Primus inter pares i.e 1st among equals.

You use your vote to get what you want. Only your votes will make the President we need. You vote in the person you trust will help you get who or what you want. You vote in the person who is sympathetic to your cause.

“Let us move enmass and cast our votes to Labour’s Obi-Datti Box. Your vote works better than the bullet from the gun. It is better you are alive to achieve your desire in peace. Best way to achieve a purpose is by use of your vote. The peace you achieve with bullets from the gun is the peace of a grave yard. Your vote does a better job than the bullet from the barrel of the gun. If you fail to come and vote you perpetuate your problems and your detractors will mock and lord it over you until the next election (in 4 years) when you may have a chance to change your situation, using your vote to vote in your choice candidates.

“If you don’t vote, those you regard as your oppressors, who have denied you your rights will be voted in again and you will continue to grumble. Your one vote can change the fortune of this great country. Let your vote and my vote speak eloquently that Nigeria today needs OBI-DATTI Presidency.”


BREAKING: All clear for Tinubu! S’Court dismisses PDP’s double nomination suit *Says, PDP a busy-body



For being a meddlesome interloper and a busy-body in bringing a case that was none of its business, the Supreme Court, on Friday slammed a N2million fine on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over its suit demanding that the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25 presidential election be vitiated.

The main opposition party, had claimed that Kashim Shettima, being a candidate in a Senatorial election in Borno and as well as the running mate to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate in the election, amounted to  double Nomination, which is forbidden by the law.

Based on that, the prayed the apex court to declare the ticket null and void and the votes recorded for it in the election, through which they were declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), wasted, a prayer, which if it had succeeded, would pave the way for Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the party in the election to take over from Tinubu as the 16th President on Monday, when he is due to be inaugurated.

But the court, while dismissing the prayers, which originated from the Federal High Court Abuja, and travelled through the Court of Appeal, before it,  agreeing with the positions of the lower courts which dismissed them on the ground of lacking in locus standi to institute the case.

But, Justice Adamu Jauro who read the Judgement, not only held that the PDP acted as meddlesome Interloper and a busy body as it is an internal affair of the APC, ordered the main opposition party to pay N2milllion, for its troubles, after establishing that its arguments tended to misleading the court, which was “sad”.

The court, which said it was aware of the case of Uche Nwosu, former governorship candidate in Imo State, the court, held that it did not applay in the instant case, as it agreed that Shettima withdrew his senate nomination on 6th July 2022 and was subsequently replaced and therefore, was no longer a candidate for the Senate before he picked up the running mate ticket, thus, making the allegation of multiple nomination untenable.

On the other hand, the court, held that Nwosu in his case, got nominated by two political parties for different positions, and having not being on all fours, PDP suit, was bound to fail right from the trial court, to the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court.

Accusing the PDP of attempts to use the social media to set a trap for the apex court to blackmail it, which he said was “painful, unfortunate and uncalled for,” the court said a political party had no right to challenge the action of another party, or the decision of INEC, in respect of another party, adding that for a person to have locus standi to challenge the nomination process of a political party, the person must be a neutral person and an aspirant to that position, and a member of the party.

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Nigerians must allow the love they share abroad resonate at home – Obasanjo



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is worried that the level of love Nigerians abroad share among themselves is not replicated at home, adding that a situation where they are quick to become friends outside and enemies at home, must be stop. The former President, who acknowledged how Nigerians in the diaspora were making the country proud in their different areas of endeavour, told participants at an evening reception held at New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, that Nigerians in the diaspora must conduct themselves as good citizens wherever they domiciled.

Obasanjo, whose views were captured in a statement by, Kehinde Akinyemi, his spokesman, expressed satisfaction over the unity exhibited among Nigerians in the United States of America, urging them to reciprocate such togetherness when they are back home.

The former President, said to have spoken on behalf of a delegation of eminent traditional leaders and academics that included the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Saka Matemilola, was quoted as saying: “Nigerian nationals are often very united when they are abroad, but something else when they return to the country, therefore, I want to urge all to be good citizens, not only where you are, but when also you come home to Nigeria.”

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Uproar, social media exchange of fire, over Ooni’s handshake with Pete Edochie, KOK



The exchange of handshakes between veteran actors Pete Edochie and Kanayo O. Kanayo with Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyey Ogunwusi Enitan, has spurred a flurry of reactions on social media, The Nation, is reporting.

The paper, which reviewed the viral video shared on Thursday, where Edochie and Kanayo approached Ooni’s table at Elizabeth Jack Rich’s 40th birthday party on Tuesday and exchanged Igbo “cultural” handshakes with the monarch, acknowledged the different meanings being read into it.

Social media users on Twitter took to the comment section of the video with some knocking the actors for disrespecting the tradition by exchanging handshakes with the monarch, while others praised Ooni for showing respect to the Igbo culture.

Man of Letters said: “Igbakeji Oorisa?! It’s acceptable that he received the  cross-culture respect handshake with Pete Edochie because the man Pete carry, but what’s his excuse for doing it with Kanayo O Kanayo??”

Kelvin Odanz said. “Is this ceremony holding in the Ooni palace? I mean, if an Igbo man (from a culture that doesn’t bow to another man) meets the Ooni in the UK for instance, is it disrespectful if he chooses to greet the respected Oba in a way he was brought up to respect dignitaries?”

Another user Onyemauchi tweeted: “This man supposed be King for him community”

Another tweep tracesorba wrote: “Igbos don’t bow down to any man, An evolved or wise man is their our own Chi.”

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