Connect with us

Politics

I Was Amazed Obasanjo Asked Buhari To Negotiate With Kanu –clarke, SAN

Published

on

During
the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the leader of
the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, preached the unity of
Nigeria. But now that President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, is in
charge, he’s preaching secession. Can we say the agitation of such a
person is genuine?

Let me be honest with you: No agitation in
Nigeria, whether from the South, West or North, is genuine. None is
genuine and let’s be honest about that. They all have political
connotations. They sing one tune when politically, their allies are in
power, then they sing another tune when those they construe as their
opponents are in power. Take a classic example of IPOB. During
Jonathan’s regime, it stood for the unity of Nigeria; it believed that
the Biafra it was asking for was to be part of the country. It believed
that the Igbo were being marginalised, even though during Jonathan’s
regime, the Igbo could not fully claim they were being marginalised.
Now, the new Kanu we see today is a Kanu who is fighting for the
creation of the Republic of Biafra, which is a U-turn from who he was
about five years ago. In fact, what he’s now demanding, by any legal
ramification, is treasonable. Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable by any
tribe in the country.

Nigeria was created either by the act of a human
being or by that of God. I listened to a gentleman on Channels TV last
Sunday and he said the problem with Nigeria was that the country was
created by the colonial government to fail. I don’t believe in that.
When you look at developed countries all over the world today, they
experienced what we are experiencing today. As I’m speaking today, there
is nothing united about the United Kingdom. They have been in existence
for over 300 years, but even at that, the Scottish man does not like an
English man. Likewise, the Irish man does not like the English man.
They are just staying together and they have been doing that peacefully.
Look at the United States of America; today, there are over 500
nationalities making up the country, but they have always displayed
their patriotism despite their differences. Therefore, Nigeria was never
designed to be a failure; it is the people who have made it impossible
to work. And what are the problems? The two basic problems of Nigeria
are ethnicity and religion and these two elements are being used by
politicians to gain power. When IPOB started, I had so many Igbo
friends, some professors, some lawyers and so on.

 They all loved what
Kanu was doing. The politicians loved to be associated with him because
he had the following of the youths, whose votes they needed. But now
that the tune is changing and the governors found out that if the
situation continued, a state of emergency might be declared in their
states, they knew they could become redundant and now they are fighting
Kanu, dissociating themselves from him. My thinking is this: We cannot
allow any part of Nigeria to preach secession. In our own generation,
when I was in my 20s or 30s, I saw what happened during the first Biafra
and no reasonable Igbo man should be asking for secession again. Up
till now, the Igbo have a great stance in the society; they are a very
dominant tribe. You cannot go to any local government in Nigeria today
and not see the work of an Igbo man. If they had tried Biafra and failed
in the 60s, I don’t see why any other tribe in Nigeria would try it and
succeed. So, secession is a phenomenon that we must all forget and we
should encourage Buhari to fight it with all constitutional means in his
power.

Last Friday, the Defence Headquarters declared IPOB as a
terrorist organisation, though it later came out to say it wasn’t a
declaration. In a democratic dispensation, does the military have any
power to declare an agitated group a terrorist organisation without the
assent of the National Assembly?

Even though I am not
holding brief for the military, I must say this: The best brains in
Nigeria are in the military. Check it from any person. If a soldier has
undertaken all military training and risen to the rank of a colonel,
please respect his brain. So when they pronounced that IPOB was a
terrorist organisation, they were giving an opinion, because they too
know, as they have a legal department, that they cannot just come out
overnight and declare a group a terrorist organisation. They gave an
opinion which you and I can also give. What they said is not the law and
I’m happy the Chief of Army Staff [Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai] came out on
Monday to say that they were not making a law, but they were saying that
as a military organisation, they considered IPOB a terrorist
organisation. They are entitled to their views because, through
intelligence, they know exactly what is happening in this country more
than you and I. I was privileged as the only Nigerian to lead a group of
lawyers in fighting the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorism and my group was
able to discharge the claim that the group was a terrorist organisation.
Why? It was because the law says that to declare a group a terrorist
organisation, it must be gazetted, it must pass through a process. So
when I was defending the Lebanese, I said, ‘Look, you cannot bring up
terrorism charges because this organisation has yet to be declared by
law as a terrorist group. There is no gazette.’ That was how we threw
the case away. In Nigeria today, the only group that is a terrorist
organisation is the Boko Haram and the Nigerian military also knows that
it cannot create laws, but it, however, has a right to its opinion.
Every Nigerian today can confirm that there is trouble in the South-East
as it is in the North-East, except if we don’t want to be truthful. In
2004, I represented former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff of Borno State to
defend his mandate. I stayed in Maiduguri, the state capital, for three
months and I could go to night clubs, there was no restriction during
the whole period. Then I saw how Boko Haram started as a group of young
boys. The group started just like IPOB and because nobody did anything,
it became what it is today — an international terrorist organisation. So
to be honest, the military doesn’t have any right to declare any
organisation a terrorist one and I’m very happy that it has rescinded
any impression that might have been created. But like I said, the
military of Nigeria today, just as the police, has the best brains and
training. When it speaks we should not think it is naive.

But do
they have the right to invade any place in the country for training
exercises just like they did in the South-East and are now planning to
do in the South-West and South-South, especially as it is believed that
it is the work of the police to address issues of internal security?

You
see, there is a wrong impression that has been created by some lawyers
about the duties of the military. Do you see what is happening in South
Korea today? Do you see what they call the joint exercise by the South
Korean military? They are preparing just in case there is an attack. The
military has the right to do military exercises anytime, especially if
there is an imminent or expected danger. It is part of its duties during
peaceful times to go into places it deems fit and practise so that it
can know how to respond should something happen. What the Nigerian
military is doing is done by other militaries all over the world. It
would be stupid for any military, knowing that there are flashpoints in
some parts of the country, not to make any preparation to avert serious
problems. I’m not holding brief for the military, but in going to Abia
State, it went there because the South-East was a flashpoint. It is a
fact we must all accept. There was a time bomb there and it could
explode anytime and no military in the world, which has the duty of
maintaining the security of the country, will have this kind of
knowledge and not start practising if the unexpected occurs. So, it
didn’t invade the South-East; the word “invasion” is wrong. It once did
similar thing in Ikorodu, Lagos State, when some boys were terrorising
the residents. The Lagos State Government didn’t complain. The military
has always done that to fish out people causing security problems. So,
we are not seeing anything new. What is new is that a particular strong
group of a particular tribe in Nigeria is making noise about it. Again,
the military has the right to do exercises in any part of Nigeria. If
during the course of their exercises, it discovers a situation on the
ground, it also has the right to say its opinion.

This means that
when the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, came out to say that the
process of tagging IPOB as a terrorist organisation was
unconstitutional, he was saying what was correct, right?

What he
said was the obvious truth. Even the military officers know this. Many
of those top military officers are more knowledgeable than him, so
Saraki is not saying anything new. But what I fault him for is that
knowing that IPOB is a set of people causing problem in this country,
should he be concerned with what the military did or what Kanu was
doing? What should concern him more is what the South-East governors did
by proscribing the group because they did not want to see the situation
escalate. By his statement, he was escalating the whole issue and this
was unbecoming of a Senate President. Ask yourself: which is more
capable of causing crisis in this country — the military’s statement or
Kanu’s actions? Saraki ought to tune his mind and support the governors
and the military.

Can the National Assembly then de-proscribe IPOB?

Definitely!
There is a process in the constitution on how to proscribe or
de-proscribe a group. When an organisation’s name is gazetted and the
law regards it as a terrorist organisation, the National Assembly can
then de-proscribe.

Last Sunday, the Minister of Information and
Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said he believed some people opposed to
Buhari’s government were behind IPOB, but he didn’t give any name. Can
we describe such a statement as vague?

I don’t want to hold brief
for Mohammed. I wouldn’t want to fault his statement because as a
Minister of Information, he must have got access to some information
which I don’t have access to. I wouldn’t want to say what he said was
correct or wrong. He looked at it from his own angle. In fact, I also
believe there are people behind all these agitations. As I told you
before, I saw how Boko Haram started with some ragamuffins. The whole
IPOB thing too is being backed by some politicians who want to contest
elections and think they need these youths to vote for them. Some people
are behind it.

If the Federal Government has always engaged in
dialogue with a terrorist group like Boko Haram, don’t you think it is
hypocritical of the government not to have also done same thing with
IPOB?

We lawyers believe that before you make any pronouncement,
you must know the facts. Boko Haram is an insurgent group, destroying
churches, mosques, schools and police stations – that is their modus
operandi. Biafra is a different thing. Its members are saying they don’t
want to be part of Nigeria, so there is a difference between the two.
You can negotiate with terrorists and get them out of their ideology,
but no government will go and negotiate with people who want to secede. I
was amazed that my good friend, [former President Olusegun] Obasanjo,
asked Buhari to have a dialogue with Kanu. I am very sorry that he made
that statement because I have the greatest respect for him.
We have been
friends from youth and I adore his intellect in keeping Nigeria
together, but I refuse to accept that statement from him because what
IPOB stands for is the destruction of Nigeria’s unity. What do you want
to negotiate with such a group? By negotiating with Boko Haram, you can
tell them to release the citizens they are holding as hostages while you
also release their members. However, on what terms will you negotiate
with IPOB? By doing so, you are giving them an inflated idea of their
importance. Once the government makes that mistake, the group will feel
pompous. Why should we talk to a group of rascals who say they want to
leave Nigeria when their own governors have even proscribed them? Why
should Obasanjo say we should talk to them?

So Obasanjo is wrong, Buhari shouldn’t negotiate with IPOB?

I’m
not saying he’s wrong, that’s his own opinion. As a former President,
he has access to much information which I don’t have, which might have
made him to make the statement.

Successive governments in Nigeria
have had to contend with agitation from different groups, especially
from the region where the President is not from. For instance, when late
Musa Yar’adua was the President, he had the Niger Delta militants to
contend with; Jonathan, Boko Haram; and now, President Buhari is
contending with IPOB. What is the real problem with Nigeria?

Somebody
asked me this question 10 minutes before this interview started. When
Obasanjo was the President for eight years, whether you want to believe
it or not, he made sure that the power the North had been holding onto
since the military regime was incapacitated. It is a known secret that
his action would take the northern elite another 25 years to get back to
that place. Saying this, I must repeat it again that ethnicity and
religion are our problems and the main factors responsible for
corruption as the President in charge would want to appoint his kinsmen
to positions. Every time someone is in power, the other two main tribes
will complain about it and this often leads to agitations by the other
tribes.

In Nigeria today, apart from IPOB, there are so many
groups springing up here and there with various agitations. It is
believed that this is so because of the failure of the political class
to unite this country. What should the country be doing to curb this
phenomenon?

In 1999, Nigeria’s constitution gave us what they
call democracy. I am of the firm belief that we are not a democracy,
even though; we have been running a so-called democratic constitution.
Even though we are being governed by civilians as against the military,
we have yet to practice democracy. What make democracy survive are the
institutions that are used to promote it. We must have a strong
judiciary, a strong and independent police force and a strong military.
There are establishments that make democracy work and we don’t have them
in Nigeria. The institutions have been hijacked because of the type of
political system we run. When you have a constitution that gives the
governor of a state absolute power to control finance, determine who
gets a contract and so on, that’s not democracy. If you have a situation
where the President is the Alpha and Omega and where you have a
constitution that states in Section 5 that all executive powers belong
to the President, then that is not democracy. Our politicians are happy
with the status quo of the 1999 Constitution, which I regard as a rotten
egg and there is nothing we can build on it. Some people are saying
that the confab report is there, but just as the Yoruba do say, “Odo n
gbodo ru” (meaning, you cannot build something on nothing). So unless we
restructure Nigeria to change the system of governance, we cannot
become a successful country. The politicians are taking advantage of all
these things because they now use them to make money for themselves.
That’s why now you find disgruntlement in every part of the country. The
youth are restless. It’s not only in the South-East. It’s in the North,
the West and the Middle Belt; all of our youths are restless. Something
has to be done

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Politics

Amaechi Vows To Release Names Of Those Sabotaging Security

Published

on

By


Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said that cabals are frustrating the recently approved $198m maritime security contract.

Amaechi vowed to publicly mention names of saboteurs while speaking at a Maritime Stakeholders’ Interactive Forum held in Warri, Delta State on Thursday.

He said “Reason, why vessels will not come to the Eastern ports, is because there is war insurance due to insecurity in the ports here.

“The war insurance means if the goods cost N10,000 in Lagos, it will cost N20,000 here because there is an extra cost on it due to Insecurity issues. Even as a minister, I can’t enter a boat ride from Warri to Port Harcourt due to insecurity issues, but I can move around Lagos at any time of the day.

“I once asked a former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, why people from Anambra don’t import from Port Harcourt port, and he said it cost less to import from Lagos and move to Onitsha even with the price they pay on the road. It is cheaper to import from Lagos to Aba, yet Aba to Port Harcourt is a 30-minute drive.

“For shipowners, you need to do a petition to Mr President. The President approved a contract of $195m for maritime security, but there are people in the system sabotaging the contract because it will restore security in the water. I won’t say who they are until it gets out of control. We are still battling for the contract to take place, but if it gets out of place, we will name them publicly, including the security people involved.

“There are people who make billions of Dollars from the insecurity on the water, so they don’t want security on the water because if we secure the water, all their rubbish will go.

“There are businesses which provide the vessel for oil companies in the name of providing security. The moment we secure the water, they are out of jobs?

Continue Reading

Politics

Prison Officer Brutalizes Son, Injures Him For Playing Football (Graphic)

Published

on

By

According to a photographer who shared photos of a teenage boy brutalized by his father, almost went into coma after he sustained a deep injury on his head, just for playing football.

The Nigerian Prisons staff beats his son from 7:00pm till 2:30 am, says report.

See what the photographer/Instagram user wrote..

This happened at Oluwatedo area of Ibadan, Mr Adepoju Biodun is married with three kids,he works with Nigerian prison service Agodi,ibadan.his eldest child is Israel, On 16th February 2018 Israel went to play football and after the football his father beat him from 7:00pm till 2:30am in the early hours of Saturday till he sustained a deep cut on his head with blood everywhere in the house.his the appropriate way to correct or chastise our child. This is beyond chastisement. Israel was beaten to coma before he was later rushed to Don Bosco specialist hospital Ogungbade. I will soon upload the surface area of the deep cut as soon as they open it.his siblings also tolu and praise served severe punishment, they were relieved as soon as Israel was rushed to the hospital. Please share until the appropriate authorities sees this especially Nigerian prisons, UNICEF. #UNICEF #law #crazyfather #ibadan #opayemioludayo
#tolanialli #bayoomoboriowo #michaelomoboriowophotography #ajimobi #florenceajimobi #lawyer #nigerianprison #nigerianprison #freshfm #splashfm #inspirationfm

Beating for your son for playing football? My God.

Someone please remind him how much Neymar is worth per week!!! Kaii

There is another angle to look at this… No father in his right mind would do this to his own son!!! This is a clear case MENTAL ILLNESS/TRUMA probably due to the nature of his work. I am not a psychologist but I know in that in Nigeria  we lack the culture of looking out for the signs of mental fatigue amongst our workers in all sector. Military /Paramilitary have no proper way of been evaluated for any form of work trauma. This man could be having or experiencing trauma as the result of the nature of his job. May God help him and his family.

Continue Reading

Politics

UYO STATE LAWMAKER RESCUES PUPILS AGAIN …DONATES DESKS TO SCHOOL

Published

on

By

The member representing Uyo State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Eyo Okon, on Friday, donated 120 desks to the pupils of Government Primary School, Aka Offot, Uyo Local Government Area.

Hon. Monday Eyo who described Education as a bedrock of any society, and for any society to make progress, stated that when the foundation that is the primary level of education is well laid, motivated and properly activated, the child who is at the centre of learning is well prepared, informed and sharpened for the future both mentally and physically.

Headmaster of the School, Mr. Simon Edet Eyo, alongside the Village Head of Aka 1, Eteidung Francis, Hon. Kufre Mendi, while receiving the Lawmaker, commended him for his kind gesture and rapid response to the plight of the pupils within the short notice of time.

Continue Reading

Politics

PDP RESPONSIBLE FOR FUEL HIKE- Don Etiebet …BLAMES OBJ,JONATHAN FOR OIL SPILLS IN NIGER DELTA

Published

on

By

Former Petroleum Minister Chief Don Etiebet says the current fuel crisis in Nigeria is caused by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

Speaking in an interview in Uyo, Chief Etiebet the APC leader in Akwa Ibom explained that the petroleum distribution in Nigeria is controlled by PDP members who are causing the fuel hike to project President Muhammadu Buhari as a failure.

Buhari is the substantive Ministet of Petroleum in Nigeria.

“Who are still controlling the petroleum distribution in Nigeria; it is still the original PDP marketers.”

He attributed the fuel hike to the impending elections in the country, saying it is an attempt by the PDP marketers to discredit APC.

 “Election time is coming and they are doing all kinds of thing for petrol not to be available, and what do they want? They want increase I petrol price so that they can use that against APC”

Etiebet, who was minister of petroleum under Gen. Sani Abacha attributed all oil spill in the South-South Zone to illegal bunkering.

He said illegal bunkering in Nigeria where sponsored by the previous Government OF Chief Olusegu Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

“Many Government in the past even up to the last Government have been supporting illegal bunkering; please quote me, I am the former minister for petroleum and I know the details”

On the proposed reintroduction of onshore/offshore oil dichotomy by the APC restructuring Committee, Dr. Etiebet said there was nothing wrong with the committee report.

“ I believe what the committee meant maybe oil discovered or produced outside that isoba boundary.”

He assured that president buhari has done well for Akwa Ibom with the development programme been seen in all part  Akwa Ibom state and urged Akwa Ibom people to rally round him for the re-election of President Buhari in 2019

Continue Reading

Politics

The NANS JCC Chairman Comrade. Ekanem Utibe seeks for partnership with wema bank

Published

on

By

By Our Source

****Pleads with Bank to erect an Atm machine at heritage polytechnic and other tertiary institution in state
Akwa Ibom State NANS JCC Chairman Comrade Ekanem Utibe, accompanied by the Secretary General Comr. Akanimo Ifiokonon, Director of sports Comr. Akan Udom, P. R. O Comr.  Kokoette Udom and Enoima Monday Udosoh Monday, were today received by the Dir of Special Duty of WEMA BANK Mr Victor Akpan at Eket LGA branch who directed to the office of the branch service manager.
The chairman appealed to the bank management to assist the students community by erecting an Atm Machine at the campus for the benefit of Nigerian students and the bank. 
More Details Loading 

Continue Reading

Trending