Anarchy!!! Nigerian Navy Sets A Nigerian Police Station Ablaze In Calabar

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Three policemen were on Tuesday reportedly set ablaze, following a clash between the police and some officers of the Nigerian navy in Calabar, Cross River state capital.

In a report monitored on Channels TV, the naval officers allegedly set the deceased ablaze in their station during the fight.

According to the report, the misunderstanding between the two parties had started at a police checkpoint, opposite the Navy barracks in Akim area of the town.

According to a source, trouble started earlier in the day after a policeman stopped a naval officer at the checkpoint, but the officer reportedly refused to obey.

The source said the refusal had led to a shootout.

He added that following the incident, some naval officers mobilized later in the evening and “set the police station ablaze.”

Efforts to reach Irene Ugbo, the State Police Public Relations Officer could not yield any fruit at the time of this report.

Similarly, the navy in the state has also not made any official statement concerning the issue yet.

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Nigeria At The Verge Of Another Collapse, Precipitating To Another Civil War– Tunde Bakare

08Tunde Bakare​, the Senior Pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, has said failure to address recurrent killings by Fulani herdsmen, may lead the country to another civil war.

Bakare said this during his sermon at the Lagos-based church on Sunday.

He said Nigerians may be forced to taking action against the herdsmen if security agencies fail to address the situation.

“We are at the verge of another collapse, if care is not taken. We are pushing ourselves into the (edge of the) precipice of another civil war.

“All these marauders, called herdsmen; if you don’t checkmate them quickly, and the people begin retaliation against what they are doing, we will begin to kill ourselves again. And violence and corruption will rob us of the great future which God has for us,” Bakare stated.

Bakare added that the country was fast dividing among between ethnic lines.

“I don’t know n gba ti, n gba ti. When I slept in Umuahia many years ago and heard a cockcrow in the morning, it was as if I was in my village.

“I do not see the difference between Igbo and Yoruba other than the language which God created and culture which people develop themselves; and rather than tearing ourselves into pieces, we can begin to understand ourselves,” he said.

Bakare noted that individuals had their roles to play in helping Nigeria to become a force to reckon with in the comity of nations.

The cleric stated, “This is the time to pause and think of ‘what is my role in this?’ How do I bring change to my own immediate territory of influence? How do I see beyond this evil, Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba thing? How do we forge a nation?’

“There are 12 tribes of Israel but there is only one nation of Israel. They have their own civil wars; they have their own challenges, but that purpose of God for them is still there today. Israel is a formidable force to reckon with today.”

“The enemies have turned us against ourselves. Rather than maximising our potential and taking advantage of our differences, we are now hating ourselves and thinking evil of ourselves.”

Nigeria Is Not Functioning And Can Never Function– Nnamdi Kanu

“I can’t go outside to call for a press conference. I can’t go on Biafra Radio to broadcast. I can’t allow large [groups of] people to basically congregate outside to see me … it’s like asking me not to breathe.”

05Nnamdi Kanu waves his hand and puffs in frustration: “Nothing seems to be working in Nigeria. There is pain and hardship everywhere. What we’re fighting [for] is not self-determination for the sake of it. It’s because Nigeria is not functioning and can never function.”

The leader of a group demanding the secession of southeastern Nigeria is speaking exclusively in the parlour of his father’s home in the southeastern city of Umuahia.

Kanu’s interview with Al Jazeera is the first time he has spoken to an international media outlet since he was granted bail on health grounds last month. His bail conditions prohibit him from being in a crowd of more than 10 people, leaving the country and giving media interviews.

But when asked if he is worried that he will get in trouble with the Nigerian authorities for speaking to Al Jazeera he scoffs, “I don’t care,” and rolls his eyes.

“I can’t go outside to call for a press conference. I can’t go on Biafra Radio to broadcast. I can’t allow large [groups of] people to basically congregate outside to see me … it’s like asking me not to breathe,” he says.

On the other side of the parlour door, dozens of people are waiting to see Kanu. A throng of young men dressed in black guard the compound. They refer to Kanu as, “our supreme leader” or “his royal highness”.

Kanu left Nigeria to study economics and politics at the London Metropolitan University and started Radio Biafra, an obscure, niche, London-based radio station in 2009.

In one broadcast, Kanu said: “We have one thing in common, all of us that believe in Biafra, one thing we have in common, a pathological hatred for Nigeria. I cannot begin to put into words how much I hate Nigeria.”

Over the past two years, Kanu’s status has risen.

Today, he’s a highly visible activist and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) organisation, and after being imprisoned in the Nigerian capital of Abuja for nearly two years on treasonable felony charges, he has now returned home.

“Kanu is my saviour,” says Sopuru Amah, a senior student at one of Nigeria’s oldest universities, the University of Nigeria in the southeastern city of Nsukka.

“Just like Jesus was sent to save the world, Kanu was sent by God himself to save the Igbo people.”

Nigeria’s ethnic politics

With an estimated population of more than 180 million, Nigeria is often called the “giant of Africa”. The complexity of Nigeria’s population is compounded by its ethnic diversity. Around 250 ethnic groups, each with their own languages, reside in Nigeria. With a myriad of ethnicities dotted across the landscape, three major groups tend to emerge in national dialogue due to their sheer numbers: the Yoruba, from the southwest; the Hausa-Fulani in the north and the Igbo from the southeast.

Pro-Biafrans say the federal Nigerian government is discriminating and marginalising them, the Igbo people.

“I’m not allowed to contest for the presidency of Nigeria because I’m Igbo. I’m not allowed to aspire to become the inspector general of police because I’m Igbo. I’m not allowed to become chief of army staff because I’m Igbo. What sort of stupid country is that?” Kanu asks. “Why would any idiot want me to be in that sort of country?”

In Kanu’s mind, Umuahia does not exist in Nigeria. It is in Biafra and he is waiting for the world to acknowledge it.

Since the 1964 appointment of the first indigenous Nigerian as the head of the Nigerian Police Force, known as the inspector general, more than a dozen officers have held the post. Two of them have been Igbo. In a lineup of almost two-dozen chiefs of army staff, the highest-ranking military officer in the Nigerian army, two have come from southeastern Nigeria.

Perceptions of marginalisation

“The southeast feels it has been politically marginalised. There is a point to that. It has been shrunken from being one of the three major regions of the country to now being virtually a minority with the smallest number of states of the six zones in the federation,” explains Nnamdi Obasi, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group.

He says that there has only been one Igbo president and one Igbo vice president since Nigeria declared independence from the UK in 1960.

Pro-Biafrans also complain that the federal government is not funding enough infrastructure development in the region, despite a recent announcement by the federal Minister of Power, Works and Housing that road construction will be completed in the southeast.

The southeastern region of Nigeria has five states, while other regions have more.

“They certainly are at a disadvantaged position now,” Obasi says. “The political configuration of the country ensures that less federal allocation gets to the southeast.”

Nigeria’s national economics is closely tied to its politics. Nigeria is a highly centralised federalism that relies on revenue from oil sales. Money trickles down from the central government and more money flows towards regions that have more state and local governments.

A recent poll conducted by SBM Intelligence, a local research group, found that the pro-Biafra movement is gaining popularity in the southeast and that this growth could be a reaction to the perception that the region is marginalised and economically deprived.

“So the Nigerian government has to be seen clearly as carrying the region along,” Cheta Nwanze, a lead researcher at SBM Intelligence, says.

But pro-Biafrans like Amah have written off the Nigerian federal government and, in particular, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Buhari hates the southeast because we didn’t vote for him,” says Chukwudi Diru, a taxi driver with a mini Biafran flag taped to the dashboard of his 2003 car.

In his landmark 2015 election victory, Buhari garnered the least amount ofvotes in the southernmost and southeastern region.

Buhari commented on this during a visit to the United States shortly after his win. During an address at the United States Institute of Peace, Buhari responded to a participant in the audience who asked how he would bring development to the oil-rich Niger Delta region in the south, which has suffered decades of environmental degradation due to oil spills and oil bunkering.

“I hope you have a copy of the election results,” Buhari responded to the woman. “Naturally, the constituencies that gave me 97 percent cannot, in all honesty, be treated [in the same way] on some issues with constituencies that gave me five percent. I think this is a political reality.”

Buhari’s soundbite has been tagged and re-posted across Nigeria’s social media spaces.

“To be honest, things like the president’s 97 percent and five percent comment only helped add further fuel to the fire that the southeast is being marginalised,” Nwanze says.

And that fire is already burning in the southeast. On storefronts along the streets of Umuahia, photos of Nnamdi Kanu and Odumegwu Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, the leader of the short-lived Republic of Biafra (1967-1970) are pasted on wooden doorframes.

At the campus of Amah’s university, more students are reading pro-Biafran books and followers of Kanu hold “evangelism” meetings to preach the gospel of pro-Biafra.

At crowded bus stations in town, Kanu’s voice booms from loudspeakers. Many people here mark May 30 as Biafra Remembrance Day.

A bloody past

Kanu and leaders of other pro-Biafra groups have called for supporters to stay at home on May 30 to remember those who died during the 1967-1970 Nigerian-Biafran War.

This May 30 will mark 50 years since the 1967 declaration of the Republic of Biafra, by the late Ojukwu.

The declaration of the establishment of the Biafra nation, carved out of southeastern Nigeria, came after failed attempts by the Nigerian government to address the grievances expressed by southeastern Nigerians. In 1966,thousands (PDF) of Igbo civilians were killed, mainly in northern Nigeria.

The 1966 killings began after a group of young army officers – some of whom were Igbo Christians -overthrew Nigeria’s democratic government and assassinated several people, including the prime minister and other Muslim northern leaders.

“They came with every dangerous thing, some with arrow, some with gun, some with cutlasses, some with iron. So anything they could handle, they handled it and began to kill Igbo people,” says Lawrence Akpu, recalling the day in 1966 when he was in a market in a town in northern Nigeria where he lived with fellow Igbos. “Everybody started running up and down and from there, we left everything we had.”

Akpu joined the mass exodus of Igbo people from northern Nigeria to their ancestral homeland in the southeast.

When the war started, he joined a Biafran brigade to fight Nigerian soldiers. He says he fought wearing rubber sandals and t-shirts with holes in them. During a heavy wave of shelling, a piece of shrapnel cut into his spinal cord. Today, he’s in a wheelchair.

Three years of war left southeastern Nigeria in ruins. Estimates of the death toll range from one million to six million. After the Nigerian federal military government – supported by the UK – imposed blockades that made it difficult for aid groups to deliver food and relief supplies to Biafra, many children died of kwashiorkor, a severe form of malnutrition characterised by a distended abdomen.

Igwe Christopher Ejiofor, aide-de-camp to Ojukwu throughout the war, remembers carrying nearly dead children as he helped to manage relief services.

“I can’t count the number of people I picked [up] who were at the point of starvation and death,” he says. “And every time I took them to the hospital, they died and I [would go] back the next day [with more children].” Igwe Ejiofor is the traditional ruler of his community in the southeastern state of Enugu.

07When images of Biafran children flooded Western media, the world began to pay attention. Beatles singer-songwriter John Lennon returned his MBE order in protest at the UK’s involvement in the Nigerian-Biafran War. Writer Kurt Vonnegut travelled to Biafra and wrote about the war. Steve Jobs, according to Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of the Apple co-founder, began to question his beliefs about God after he saw a picture of two skeletal Biafran children on the infamous July 12, 1968 cover of Life magazine. In the wake of what unfolded in Biafra, doctors and journalists formed Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF.

Biafra today
The war ended in January 1970 with the surrender of the Republic of Biafra, which dissolved and was reincorporated into Nigeria. The federal government’ s “no victor, no vanquished policy” was promoted to foster national unity.

But today, the pro-Biafra movement is back and louder than ever.

Dozens of pro-Biafra activists were arrested last week in cities across southeastern Nigeria.

Last year’s May 30 Biafra Remembrance Day ended in what Amnesty International described as part of a “chilling crackdown” that left at least 60 peaceful pro-Biafran activists dead at the hands of Nigerian security forces. An investigation by the organisation revealed that more than 150 pro-Biafrans were killed from August 2015 to August 2016.

“The night before the rally, the security forces raided homes and a church where IPOB members were sleeping,” thereport reads.

Amnesty International has released a statement recommending that the Nigerian security forces not repress today’s Biafra Remembrance Day activities.

Nigerian federal government officials say the country must remain united.

“They say that secession is the answer to the charges of marginalisation,” said Acting President Yemi Osinbajo during a Biafra civil forum last week in Abuja. “Brothers and sisters, permit me to differ and to suggest that we’re greater together than apart.”

But people like Amah and Kanu no longer identify as Nigerians. They say Nigeria has failed them. They are Biafrans.

And with that Kanu stands up and goes outside to meet the people who have waited hours to see him.

This story was first published on Al Jazeera by Chika Oduah 

 

 

Remembering The 50th Anniversary Of The Declaration Of The Sovereign Nation Of Biafra

May 30, 2017

Press Statement

REMEMBERING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DECLARATION OF THE SOVEREIGN NATION OF BIAFRA

The Directorate of State (DOS) of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) do remember today, 30th of May 2017, as the 50th anniversary of the declaration of the sovereign nation of Biafra. We also use today’s anniversary to remember millions of Biafran heroes and heroines who paid the ultimate price between 1966 and 1970 in the hands of the genocidal Government of Nigeria headed by Yakubu Gowon, armed and supported by the British Government. The dead Biafrans also include the two million Biafrans massacred by Muhammadu Buhari and his Northern colleagues at Owerri in 1968. In addition, we remember the thousands of Biafrans killed by Muhammadu Buhari between July 2015 and May 2017 where he used state military apparatus to accomplish his orgy for Biafran blood.

We recall that the Nigerian government-supported genocide on Biafrans started as early as 22nd of June 1945 in Kano and was repeatedly and frequently executed by the Biafra-hating Hausa-Fulani killers in the Northern parts of Nigeria from then on. The situation worsened for the Biafrans in 1966 when some military officers overthrew the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa-led Nigerian government with their intention of installing Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the new Head of Nigerian government. The coup was erroneously dubbed an “Igbo Coup“ even though majority of the coup plotters were not Igbos. Thus the stage was set for the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Biafrans beginning from July 29, 1966 with the assassination of Major General J. T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi at Ibadan by a group of Northern soldiers among whom was Muhammadu Buhari, the current president of Nigeria.

For over nine months, thousands of Biafrans were killed on daily basis all over the Northern and Western regions of Nigeria and on the 27th of May, 1967, the Eastern Region Consultative Assembly met and agreed to separate Biafra from the killing fields called Nigeria. In their solemn resolution they declared in paragraph-a thus:
“a. Mandate His Excellency Lt. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, to declare at the earliest practicable date Eastern Nigeria a free, sovereign and independent
state by the name and title of the Republic of Biafra.”

On the 30th of May, 1967, Lt. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu declared the Republic of Biafra by stating as follows:
“Now, therefore, I, Lieutenant-Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, by virtue of the authority, and pursuant to the principles, recited above, do hereby solemnly proclaim that the territory and region known as and called Eastern Nigeria together with her continental shelf and territorial waters shall henceforth be an independent sovereign state of the name and title of “The Republic of Biafra””.

On July 6, 1967, Nigeria with the open support of British Government invaded Biafra and for three years carried out genocide that resulted in the death of over 30% of then Biafra’s population of 14 million citizens.

Although Yakubu Gowon and his fellow genocidists have not been prosecuted for war crimes, Biafrans cannot forget the deaths of their citizens most of whom died from starvation because of the land, air, and sea blockades enforced by the British military plus the aerial bombardments of schools, hospitals, markets, churches, old peoples‘ homes, and other civilian targets perpetrated by the British military through their Egyptian mercenary pilots.

Today, we remember our gallant forces who fought against all odds to prevent complete annihilation of the Biafran people which was the objective of the murderous Nigerian forces as advised by the British Government. We are proud of our dead heroes and heroines. We promise them that their deaths shall never be in vain because we shall eventually restore the nation of Biafra. We assert that nothing on this planet earth can quench the resolve of a determined people. Biafrans are determined to restore their nation and, this time, we shall do so through the instrumentality of a United Nations-mandated and supervised Referendum.
Happy 50th Anniversary of the declaration of the nation of Biafra.
Long live Biafrans and long live the blessed land of Biafra!!!

Signed
Barrister Emma Nmezu
Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya
Spokespersons for IPOB

Democracy Day Speech By Acting President Yemi Osinbajo

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Dear Nigerians, I bring you good wishes from President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, who as we all know is away from the country on medical vacation.

1. Today marks the second anniversary of our assumption of office. We must thank the Almighty God not only for preserving our lives to celebrate this second anniversary, but for giving us hope, strength and confidence as we faced the challenges of the past two years.

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2. Our administration outlined three specific areas for our immediate intervention on assumption of office: these were Security, Corruption and the Economy.

3. In the Northeast of our country, the terrorist group Boko Haram openly challenged the sovereignty and continued existence of the state, killing, maiming,and abducting, causing the displacement of the largest number of our citizens in recent history. Beyond the North East they extended their mindless killings, as far away as Abuja, Kano And Kaduna.

4. But with new leadership and renewed confidence our gallant military immediately began to put Boko Haram on the back foot. We have restored broken-down relations with our neighbours, Chad, Cameroon and Niger – allies without whom the war against terror would have been extremely difficult to win. We have re-organized and equipped our Armed Forces, and inspired them to heroic feats; we have also revitalized the regional Multinational Joint Task Force, by providing the required funding and leadership.

5. The positive results are clear for all to see. In the last two years close to one million displaced persons have returned home. 106 of our daughters from Chibok have regained their freedom, after more than two years in captivity, in addition to the thousands of other captives who have since tasted freedom.

6. Schools, hospitals and businesses are springing back to life across the Northeast, especially in Borno State, the epicentre of the crisis. Farmers are returning to the farms from which they fled in the wake of Boko Haram. Finally, our people are getting a chance to begin the urgent task of rebuilding their lives.

7. Across the country, in the Niger Delta, and in parts of the North Central region, we are engaging with local communities, to understand their grievances, and to create solutions that respond to these grievances adequately and enduringly.

8. President Buhari’s New Vision for the Niger Delta is a comprehensive peace, security and development plan that will ensure that the people benefit fully from the wealth of the region, and we have seen to it that it is the product of deep and extensive consultations, and that it has now moved from idea to execution. Included in that New Vision is the long-overdue environmental clean-up of the Niger Delta beginning with Ogoni-land, which we launched last year.

9. More recent threats to security such as the herdsmen clashes with farmers in many parts of the country sometimes leading to fatalities and loss of livelihoods and property have also preoccupied our security structures. We are working with State governments, and tasking our security agencies with designing effective strategies and interventions that will bring this menace to an end. We are determined to ensure that anyone who uses violence, or carries arms without legal authority is apprehended and sanctioned.

10. In the fight against corruption, we have focused on bringing persons accused of corruption to justice. We believe that the looting of public resources that took place in the past few years has to be accounted for. Funds appropriated to build roads, railway lines, and power plants, and to equip the military, that had been stolen or diverted into private pockets, must be retrieved and the culprits brought to justice. Many have said that the process is slow, and that is true, corruption has fought back with tremendous resources and our system of administration of justice has been quite slow. But the good news for justice is that our law does not recognize a time bar for the prosecution of corruption and other crimes, and we will not relent in our efforts to apprehend and bring corruption suspects to justice. We are also re-equipping our prosecution teams, and part of the expected judicial reforms is to dedicate some specific courts to the trial of corruption cases.

11. We are also institutionalizing safeguards and deterrents. We have expanded the coverage of the Treasury Single Account (TSA). We have introduced more efficient accounting and budgeting systems across the Federal Government. We have also launched an extremely successful Whistleblower Policy.

12. The Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance has succeeded in plugging leakages amounting to billions of naira, over the last two years. We have ended expensive and much-abused fertilizer and petrol subsidy regimes.

13. We have taken very seriously our promise to save and invest for the future, even against the backdrop of our revenue challenges, and we have in the last two years added US$500m to our Sovereign Wealth Fund and US$87m to the Excess Crude Account. This is the very opposite of the situation before now, when rising oil prices failed to translate to rising levels of savings and investment.

14. Admittedly, the economy has proven to be the biggest challenge of all. Let me first express just how concerned we have been, since this administration took office, about the impact of the economic difficulties on our citizens.

15. Through no fault of theirs, some companies shut down their operations, others downsized; people lost jobs, had to endure rising food prices. In some States civil servants worked months on end without the guarantee of a salary, even as rents and school fees and other expenses continued to show up like clockwork.

16. We have been extremely mindful of the many sacrifices that you have had to make over the last few years. And for this reason this administration’s work on the economic front has been targeted at a combination of short-term interventions to cushion the pain, as well as medium to long term efforts aimed at rebuilding an economy that is no longer helplessly dependent on the price of crude oil.

17. Those short-term interventions include putting together a series of bailout packages for our State Governments, to enable them bridge their salary shortfalls – an issue the President has consistently expressed his concerns about. We also began the hard work of laying out a framework for our Social Intervention Programme, the most ambitious in the history of the country.

1. One of the first tasks of the Cabinet and the Economic Management Team was to put together a Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 budget, targeting initiatives that would create speedy yet lasting impact on the lives of Nigerians.

1. Indeed, much of 2016 was spent clearing the mess we inherited and putting the building blocks together for the future of our dreams; laying a solid foundation for the kind of future that you deserve as citizens of Nigeria.

1. In his Budget Presentation Speech to the National Assembly last December, President Buhari outlined our Economic Agenda in detail, and assured that 2017 -would be the year in which you would begin to see tangible benefits of all the planning and preparation work. It is my pleasure to note that in the five months since he delivered that speech, we have seen tremendous progress, as promised.

1. Take the example of our Social Investment Programme, which kicked off at the end of 2016. Its Home Grown School Feeding component is now feeding more than 1 million primary school children across seven states and would be feeding three million by the end of the year. N-Power, another component has engaged 200,000 unemployed graduates – none of whom needed any ‘connections’ to be selected. Beneficiaries are already telling the stories of how these initiatives have given them a fresh start in their lives.

2. Micro credit to a million artisans, traders and market men and women has begun. While conditional cash transfers to eventually reach a million of the poorest and most vulnerable households has also begun.

3. Road and power projects are ongoing in every part of the country. In rail, we are making progress with our plans to attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to upgrade the existing 3,500km narrow-gauge network. We have also in 2017 flagged-off construction work on the Lagos-Ibadan leg of our standard-gauge network, and are close to completing the first phase of Abuja’s Mass Transit Rail System.

4. In that Budget speech in December, the President announced the take-off of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative. Today, five months on, that Initiative – the product of an unprecedented bilateral cooperation with the Government of Morocco – has resulted in the revitalisation of 11 blending plants across the country, the creation of 50,000 direct and indirect jobs so far, and in the production of 300,000 metric tonnes of NPK fertilizer, which is being sold to farmers at prices significantly lower than what they paid last year. By the end of 2017, that Fertilizer Initiative would have led to foreign exchange savings of US$200 million; and subsidy savings of 60 billion naira.

5. The Initiative is building on the solid gains of the Anchor Borrowers Programme, launched in 2015 to support our rice and wheat farmers, as part of our move towards guaranteeing food security for Nigeria.

6. All of this is evidence that we are taking very seriously our ambition of agricultural self-sufficiency. I am delighted to note that since 2015 our imports of rice have dropped by 90 percent, while domestic production has almost tripled. Our goal is to produce enough rice to meet local demand by 2019. In April, the President launched our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which built on the foundations laid by the Strategic implementation Plan of 2016. The plan has set forth a clear vision for the economic development of Nigeria. I will come back to this point presently.

7. Another highlight of the President’s Budget Speech was our work around the Ease of Doing Business reforms. As promised we have since followed up with implementation and execution. I am pleased to note that we are now seeing verifiable progress across several areas, ranging from new Visa on Arrival scheme, to reforms at our ports and regulatory agencies.

8. The President also promised that 2017 would see the rollout of Executive Orders to facilitate government approvals, support procurement of locally made goods, and improve fiscal responsibility. We have kept that promise. This month we issued three Executive Orders to make it easier for citizens to get the permits and licenses they require for their businesses, to mandate Government agencies to spend more of their budgets on locally produced goods, and to promote budget transparency and efficiency. The overarching idea is to make Government Agencies and Government budgets work more efficiently for the people.

9. The impact of our Ease of Doing Business work is gradually being felt by businesses small and large; its successful take-off has allowed us to follow up with the MSME Clinics -our Small Business support programme, which has taken us so far to Aba, Sokoto, Jos, Katsina, and we expect to be in all other states in due course.

10. Let me note, at this point, that several of our Initiatives are targeted at our young people, who make up most of our population. From N-Power, to the Technology Hubs being developed nationwide, to innovation competitions such as the Aso Villa Demo Day, and our various MSME support schemes, we will do everything to nurture the immense innovative and entrepreneurial potential of our young people. We are a nation of young people, and we will ensure that our policies and programmes reflect this.

11. One of the highlights of our Power Sector Recovery Programme, which we launched in March, is a N701 billion Naira Payment Assurance Scheme that will resolve the financing bottlenecks that have until now constrained the operations of our gas suppliers and generation companies. Let me assure that you will soon begin to see the positive impact of these steps.

12. Our Solid Minerals Development Fund has also now taken off, in line with our commitment to developing the sector. Because of our unerring focus on Solid Minerals development over the last two years, the sector has, alongside Agriculture, seen impressive levels of growth – in spite of the recession.

13. On the whole, just as the President promised in the Budget Speech, these early months of 2017 have seen the flowering of the early fruit of all the hard work of our first eighteen months.

14. We opened the year with an overwhelmingly successful Eurobond Offer – evidence of continuing investor interest in Nigeria. We have also launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, to build on the gains of last year’s Strategic Implementation Plan. And the implementation of our 2017 Budget, which will soon be signed into law, will bring added impetus to our ongoing economic recovery. In the 2016 Budget we spent 1.2 Trillion Naira on infrastructure projects, another milestone in the history of this country. Our 2017 Budget will double that investment.

15. That budget also provides for substantial investment to implement the rollout of Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones (SEZs), as well as our Social Housing Programme. The Industrial Parks and Economic Zones will fulfill our ambition of making Nigeria a manufacturing hub, while the Family Home Fund of our Social Housing Programme will provide inexpensive mortgages for low-income individuals and families across the country.

16. These plans offer yet more evidence that we are ramping up the pace of work; the work of fulfilling all that we promised. In the next two years we will build on the successes of the last two. We have demonstrated a willingness to learn from our mistakes and to improve on our successes. The critical points that we must address fully in the next two years are : Agriculture and food security, Energy, (power and Petroleum,) Industrialization and Transport infrastructure. Every step of the way we will be working with the private sector, giving them the necessary incentives and creating an environment to invest and do business.

17. Our vision is for a country that grows what it eats and produces what it consumes. It is for a country that no longer has to import petroleum products, and develops a lucrative petrochemical industry. Very importantly it is for a country whose fortunes are no longer tied to the price of a barrel of crude, but instead to the boundless talent and energy of its people, young and old, male and female as they invest in diverse areas of the economy.

18. And that vision is also for a country where the wealth of the many will no longer be stolen by or reserved for a few; and where the impunity of corruption – whether in the public or private sectors – will no longer be standard operating practice; a land rid of bandits and terrorists.

19. As citizens you all deserve a country that works, not merely for the rich or connected, but for everyone. And our promise to you is that we will, with your support and cooperation, take every step needed to create that country of our dreams.

20. We also know that this journey will of necessity take time. But we will not succumb to the temptation to take short-cuts that ultimately complicate the journey. We did not find ourselves in crises overnight, and we simply do not expect overnight solutions to our challenges.

21. The most important thing is that we are on the right path, and we will not deviate from it, even in the face of strong temptation to choose temporary gain over long-term benefit. As the President has summed it up: “The old Nigeria is slowly but surely disappearing, and a new era is rising.”

22. And so we commemorate this second anniversary of our administration with confidence and optimism. I firmly believe that we have put the most difficult phase behind us; and we are witnesses to the ever-increasing intensity of the light at the end of the tunnel. We ask for your continued cooperation and support, to enable us realise all our best intentions and ambitions for Nigeria. On our part We will continue to carry you along on this journey, speak to you, explain the challenges, and share our Vision.

23. And while we all daily pre-occupy ourselves with pursuing the Nigerian Dream – which is the desire to better our lives and circumstances vigorously and honestly – it is inevitable that grievances and frustrations will arise from time to time.

24. This is normal. What is not normal, or acceptable, is employing these frustrations as justification for indulging in discrimination or hate speech or hateful conduct of any kind, or for seeking to undermine by violent or other illegal means the very existence of the sovereign entity that has brought us all together as brothers and sisters and citizens.

25. Nigeria belongs to all of us. No one person or group of persons is more important or more entitled than the other in this space that we all call home. And we have a responsibility to live in peace and harmony with one another, to seek peaceful and constitutional means of expressing our wishes and desires, and to resist all who might seek to sow confusion and hatred for their own selfish interests.

26. Before I end this speech, let me ask for your continued prayers for the restoration to full health and strength and the safe return of our President.

27. I congratulate all of you on today’s commemoration of this important day in the democratic calendar our country. Nigeria is on a journey of greatness, and together we shall arrive at the destination of our dreams.

28. May God bless you all, and bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Catalan club announced on Monday that the former Athletic Club boss will take over from Luis Enrique at Camp Nou this summer

06

Barcelona have confirmed that Ernesto Valverde will be their new coach for the 2017-18 season.

The 53-year-old stepped down after four seasons in a second spell at Athletic Club last week and was widely expected to take over from Luis Enrique this summer.

Barca had promised an announcement after the Copa del Rey final and a statement on Monday confirmed Valverde as the new coach on a two-year deal.

Messi leads Luis Enrique tributes

“I have spoken personally with Ernesto Valverde and I told him of our decision,” said club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

“He said he is very excited and very happy, that it’s a great challenge to come in as head coach of Barca.

“There is time to talk about why we chose him. We know he has ability, his knowledge and his experience.

“He loves youth football and he has a special style, similar to what we do at Barca. He has philosophy similar to Barca’s and trains the way we like to train.”

Luis Enrique’s three-year tenure yielded nine trophies, including a third successive Copa as Barca beat Alaves 3-1 at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday night.

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The Asturian announced at the beginning of May that he would not be renewing his contract and Barca began to look at a number of candidates.

Valverde, twice considered in the past, topped a list that also included Jorge Sampaoli, Ronald Koeman and Luis Enrique’s assistant, Juan Carlos Unzue. Continue reading The Catalan club announced on Monday that the former Athletic Club boss will take over from Luis Enrique at Camp Nou this summer

Biafra Heroes Day Prayer/Program

Biafra Anthem: Land of the Rising Sun
Land of rising sun, we love and cherish,
Beloved homeland of our brave heroes;
We must defend our lives or we shall perish,
We shall protect our hearts from all our foes;
But if the price is death for all we hold dear,
Then let us die without a shred of fear.

Hail to Biafra, consecrated nation,
O fatherland, this be our solemn pledge:
Defending thee shall be a dedication,
Spilling our blood we’ll count a privilege;
The waving standard which emboldens the free
Shall always be our flag of liberty.

We shall emerge triumphant from this ordeal,
And through the crucible unscathed we’ll pass;
When we are poised the wounds of battle to heal,
We shall remember those who died in mass;
Then shall our trumpets peal the glorious song
Of victory we scored o’er might and wrong.

Oh God, protect us from the hidden pitfall,
Guide all our movements lest we go astray;
Give us the strength to heed the humanist call:
To give and not to count the cost’ each day;
Bless those who rule to serve with resoluteness,
To make this clime a land of righteousness.

03

BIAFRA REMEMBRANCE DAY PRAYER

Fellow Biafrans; we are gathered here today ubosi Nkwo 30th May 2017 AD to pay befitting Biafra Memorial Service and Journey of Remembrance to; not only honour our heroes but to ask OKIKE (creation); CHUKWUABIAMA to grant their spirit eternal rest in HIS Kingdom. It is our custom, through the ages, for Biafrans to pay their respect to fellow departed Biafran. Our thoughts and prayers are with all families whose loved ones; Father, Mother, Husband, Wife, Children, unborn children, nursing mothers and many more were killed during the war and being killed, maimed, beheaded, massacred on daily basis by Islamic Jihadist in Nigeria and also all Biafrans who have died fighting for what they believe in. And at this moment, we invite every family and friends to remain coordinated for the memorial service and journey of remembrance. We remember our people who suffered and died so that we could be free and secure may their memory be more than a distant shadow;

Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi
Col. T. C. Onwuatuegwu
Lt. Col. Nicholas Ejike
Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu
Capt. G. N. E. Ugoala
Major C. J. Anuforo
Major D. O. Okafor
2/Lt. A. D. Mbadiwe
Lt. A. D. C. Egbuna
Capt. A. L. Orok
Capt. A. O. Akpet
Major B. E. Nnamani
Major Christopher Emelifonwu

Using a lighted candle, raise it up facing the east, we say:

“For their dreams left unfulfilled and their lives taken too soon away from us and humanity we remember;“

SECOND POST READER:
1. The Souls of the righteous are in the hand of GOD, and there shall be no more torment touching them. 2. In the sight of the unwise they seem to die, and their departure is taken for misery. 3. And their going from us to be utter destruction, but they are in peace. 4. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is there hope full of immortality. 5. And having been a little chastened, they shall be greatly rewarded for GOD proved them, and found them worthy for HIMSELF.
We remember our brothers and sisters whose sacrifice kept the dream of Biafra based on truth, love and justice alive we remember;

Capt. Chukwueke
Lt. E. C. N. Achebe
2/Lt. E. Ogbonnaye
Lt.Col. G. O. Okonweze
Lt. G. O. Mbabie
Capt. H. A. Iloputaife
Major I. E. Ekanem
Lt.Col. I. C. Okoro
Capt. I. U. Idika
Major J. I. Obienu
Major J. O. C. Ihedigbo

Using a lighted candle, raise it up facing the east, we say: “May their courage be our inspiration and strength.“

THIRD POST READER: Fellow Biafrans, we are called upon by the most solemn admonition to uncertainty of human life and inevitable termination of all earthly pursuits; for we gather to pay a last farewell to our heroes, the brave Men and Women who died that we may live. These last offices and honor paid to our dead provide us an opportunity to express our sense of loss and to offer a tribute to their memory, while they enable us likewise to bear witness to our belief in the immortality of the soul.
For Life cut short and vision unrealized; we remember:
Lt. J. D. Ovuezirie
Lt. J. U. Ugba
Capt. Jonathan Egere
Lt. K. Day Waribor
Capt. L. C. Dillibe
Major Obi
Major O. Isong
Capt. P. C. Okoye
2/Lt P. K. Onyeneho
2/Lt. P. D. Ekediyo
Lt. S. E. Onwukwe
Capt. S. E. Mmaduabum
Major T. E. Nzegwu
Lt. P. O. Ibik
Capt. R. Agbazue
Lt. P. O. Ibik
Capt. R. Agbazue

Using a lighted candle, raise it up facing the east, we say: “May their courage be our inspiration and strength.“

FOURT POST READER:
In particular they remind us that our lives are to be leaved in accordance with DIVINE providence and ready to lay it down for the course of Biafra and salvation of humanity, that we are diligently to work While it is yet day, so that when the call comes to lay down our tools, we may be found ready to enter into the Kingdom of CHI-UKWU ABIAMA (GOD) where in HIS Light we shall see Light. We remember the fallen of our Biafran Armed services; we remember the victims ofterror and tragedy. We remember the millions of defenseless women, men and childrenbombed in the markets strafed to their death in schools and hospitals by Soviet Migs and piloted by Egyptians;

W.O. 1 Elijah Anosike
S/Sgt. Ewom Ejiogu
W.O. 11 Ndarake Uyah
S/Sgt. Davison Njoku
S/Sgt. Sylvanus Ezekwu
Sgt. Evan Jim Udoh
Cpl. Pius Dike
Cpl. Michael Akwudike
Cpl. Johnson Agwu
L/Cpl. Gabriel Okezie

Using a lighted candle, raise it up facing the east, we say: “May their courage be our inspiration and strength.“

FIFTH POST READER:
While we sorrow for our loss, let us lift up our hearts in thanks giving for their sacrifice, fight well fought, life well spent, and work well done; And let us humbly pray that we may be given grace, strength and wisdom to enable us perform our duty in partway of Biafra quest and of life’s service. May the darkness of their loss not obscure the light of our peace. They were in love with the land of Biafra and were in love with life. For the agony, the tears, the mothers and the fathers, for the children who were and the children yet to be. We remember;
L/Cpl. David Ishikwuma
Pt. Fidelis Onyekwe
Pt. Mba Iroha
Sgt. Celestine Okafor
L/Cpl. William Olani
Pt. Innocent
L/Cpl. Josiah Onyejiaka
W.O. 1 Joseph Mba
L/Cpl. Mathew Njumike
S/Sgt. Joseph Ibekwe

Using a lighted candle, raise it up facing the east, we say: “May their courage be our inspiration and strength.“
SIXTH POST READER:
By the Light of divine countenance we shall then pass without fear in the face of our adversaries through the valley of the shadow, and at last shall receive the reward of true virtue, of truth and honesty and acquire the possession of Biafra land and of an immortal inheritance. For death cannot keep us from the face of CHI-UKWU ABIAMA(GOD), Whose strong grip will free us from Nigeria bondage and lift us out of shadows into the Light that cannot die.
In the numberless towns and villages in nigeria and the rest of africa and elsewhere in europe and asia where we have lived in too many of them we have endured cruel suffering died in the hands of our fellow human beings just because of who we are we remember:

S/Sgt. Afogboro
S/Sgt. Peter Bassey
Sgt. Robert Bassey
Sgt. Michael Uche
Sgt. Boniface Njemanze
Cpl. Timothy Isienyi
Cpl. Sunday Amaoli
Cpl. Anthony Amaoli
Cpl. Paul Udakwu
Cpl. Festus Nwaodika

Using a lighted candle, raise it up facing the east, we say: “Some we have forgotten. Others are sealed in our memory a wound that does not heal. May their courage be our inspiration and strength.“
SEVENTH POST READER: Generations of victims and martyrs; still their blood cries out from the earth: What can we say? What can we do? How do we bear the unbearable, or accept what life hasfor our people? We know that all that was born must die, but how do we compare the slow passage of time with the callous slaughter and the starvation of the millions of innocent cut off before their time. They lived with faith and hope .Not all but most. And surely most died with faith in God Chukwu Abiama, in life, in the goodness that even flames cannot destroy May we find a way to increase the strength of that faith, that trust, that sure sense that life and soul endure beyond this body’s death.

We remember;
Cpl. William Agbata
Cpl. Okorie Agwu
Cpl. Wilfred Azubuike
Cpl. Reginald Green
Cpl. Joseph Adaka
L/Cpl. Silas Uzomba
LCpl. Maurice Ibekwe
Pt. Joseph Ibe
Pt. Conelius Uwuoha
Pt. John Ekejuba

Using a lighted candle, raise it up facing the east, we say: “May their courage be our inspiration and strength.“
Call out those killed in Asaba on May 30th, 2016 which include:
1) Ichoku Ndu
2) Ebere Obidike
3) Nwabueze Uzonna
4) Okey Roland
5) Chukwudi Ifenna
6) Isaac Uzochukwu
7) Eberima Aguh
8) Henry Gideon
9) Efion Apani
10) Abuchi Obi
11) Ozoemena Chukwuma
12) Lotenna Ifeajuna
13) Ifebuchi Okenwa
14) Wisdom Omota
15) Ejike Abunchukwu
16) Ozobu Ogbonna
17) Emeka Madueke
18) Paschal Gideon
19) Afam Onyeburu
20) Izu Onwubiewe
21) Okey Agubata
22) Celestine Nnamdi
23) Obieke Lotenna
24) Nwabueze Oti
25) Chijioke Ozoro
26) Nwadike Chibuzo
27) Azuka Ifeake
28) Chioma Nkemjika
29) Obiora Okonkwo
Call out those killed at Nkpor/Onitsha area on May 30th, 2016 which include:
1) Obi Nkemakonam
2) Ubani Nwenneakonam
3) Nwuzo Friday
4) Ilo Friday
5) Olisama Chukwuemeka
6) Awah Sopuruchi
7) Okoye Chinedu
8) Ezeilo Chuka
9) Onyeduna Ifesinachi
10) Nnamani Sunday
11) Chinonso Amadi
12) Tagbo Chibuzo
13) Anyanwu Chika
14) Egbe Johnson
15) Osukwe Ijeoma
16) Nkechukwu Ikechukwu
17) Kenneth Eni
18) Orjichukwu Chigozie
19) Solomon Izundu
20) Ebili Edward
21) Gabriel Onyedikachi
22) Ilo Ozoemena
23) Nwauju Charles
24) Onuoha Chidozie
25) Onyemaechi Nwaezeoma
26) Innocent Obodoekwe
27) Ifeanyi Azubuike
28) Adigwe Chukwudi
29) Ogochukwu Mbam
30) Obiosa Chukwueme
31) Ugochukwu Samuel
32) Onuoha Chigozie
33) Maduka Egwela
34) John Onuchukwu
35) Maduabuchi Onwukanjo
36) Izuchukwu Nwaogba
37) Nnamdi Okonkwo
38) Ibekwe Okechukwu
39) Felix Odianwu
40) Okafor Moses Madukasi
41) Egwu Joseph.

Almighty and Most Merciful CHUKWUABIAMA, OKIKE (GOD); in WHOM we live and move and have our being, and before WHOM all men must hereafter appear to render an account of the deeds done in the body, we do most earnestly beseech THEE, to impress upon our minds the solemnities and infamy of this day. May we ever remember that in the midst of life we are in death, and so live and act our separate parts that we may have no cause for sorrow or fear when the hour of departure is at hand. And on this we commit our Being in pursuit of Biafra Nation that the Souls of those who have died may find rest in YOUR PRESENCE.

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