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IPOB: Stop mass arrests of Igbo youths in Imo – Ohanaeze warns Nigerian Army

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IPOB: Stop mass arrests of Igbo youths in Imo – Ohanaeze warns Nigerian Army

The Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has lamented alleged mass arrests of innocent Igbo youths in Owerri, the Imo State capital by the Nigerian Army.

Ohanaeze, in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, said there are indications that “the military personnel, suspected to be led by the 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze since Sunday have been arresting male residents and youths, particularly in Oguta and Ohaji communities and packing them into vans and taking to unknown destinations.”

Ohanaeze is also raising alarm over reports of raids, discreet searches and arrests of youths and residents who the army only suspect to have links with the IPOB and ESN.

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Ambassador Prof. George Obiozor said although it is unequivocal about the use of firearms by unauthorized persons, bodies or groups, democracy, all over the world vests the absolute authority for the legitimate use of force in government.

“We had admonished that the exclusive indulgence of AK 47 to the Fulani herdsmen as canvassed by Governor Bala Mohammed is antithetical to the ethos of a decent society,” the group added.

“For the armed forces to arrest the Igbo youths without evidence of arms, means of violence or crime is cowardly, uncivilized and mostly unacceptable to Ohanaeze Ndigbo,” it said.

Ohanaeze said the arrests and actions of the military in Imo State, runs contrary to every sense of natural justice and rights of citizenship.

The apex Igbo organization said the army is adding salt to injury by invading Igbo communities in search of youths most of whom are brilliant university graduates whose society has denied employment and a sense of belonging.

“We stand on a firm wicket that it is ruthless to arrest any Igbo in the guise of membership of a terrorist organization unless there is sufficient evidence of a crime or unlawful possession of firearms.”
“We call on the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru to urgently stop the wave of arrests.”

GENERAL

Ban foreign football matches so that Nigerians can watch their League – Shehu Sani to FG

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Ban foreign football matches so that Nigerians can watch their League – Shehu Sani to FG

The former Senator who represented Kaduna Central at the 8th Assembly, Senator Shehu Sani has lamented that Nigerians are not showing interest in the Nation’s football league.

He observed that last week’s match between Kano Pillars and Enyimba FC was not discussed by Nigerians. He said neither the people in Kano nor those in Abia showed interest in that match but if it were to be an English Premiership or European Football matches, countless Nigerians would have been interested.

The former senator suggested banning of foreign football match broadcast so that Nigerians can start watching the local teams.

“Yesterday, Kano Pillars defeated Enyimba FC by 2:1 at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium kaduna; neither the people of Kano nor those of Abia showed any interest in the match. If it were English or European Football matches, the madness could have been immeasurable. What about banning the broadcast of foreign football matches so that we can all be patriots and watch our local teams”, Shehu Sani said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Insecurity: Time running out on Nigeria – Onaiyekan warns

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Insecurity: Time running out on Nigeria - Onaiyekan warns

Some Nigerian leaders of thought have urged urgent action to address the country’s present challenges and stave off impending doom, saying it is no longer a time to just complain and do nothing.

The leaders who came under the Nigerian Inter-Faith Initiative for Peace (IIP), under its Tripartite Consultation (TC), called for reconciliation, peace and national cohesion for a prosperous nation under God.

The group made the call during the TC joint consultation meeting on the “State of the Nation” in Abuja, Wednesday  June 9.

The convener of the meeting, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, said that as heavy clouds of impending tempest hang over the nation, people should not just sit back and complain.

“Nigerians cannot just sit back, complaining or merely waiting for the worst to happen. Many are thinking aloud, speaking out clearly, discussing and dialoguing to seek a way out of our impasses quickly.

“This tripartite consultation is one of such many voluntary fora for positive conversations on the state of the nation.

“We must find our way back as a country from the brink of chaos and look forward to reconciliation, peace and national cohesion, for a prosperous nation under God,” he said.

According to the Archbishop of Emeritus of Abuja, the state of the nation calls for major concern as the challenges facing the country were many, serious and well known to all.

Cardinal Onaiyekan noted that Nigerians were talking, often complaining and, at times, even threatening to quit a dysfunctional state in which they had lost all trust and faith.

He said that in the midst of the voices, the government should come out with a clear position and explanation why certain things that ought not to happen were happening in a modern and civilised state.

The clergyman also said that the National Assembly, which is the institutional forum for fruitful dialogue and conversation, should try to live up to expectation.

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NATIONAL NEWS

I alone can’t guarantee security in Imo, says Uzodimma

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I alone can't guarantee security in Imo, says Uzodimma

The Governor of Imo State, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, has declared that he cannot guarantee security in the state if left alone.

After meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Uzodimma told newsmen that stakeholders, including traditional, religious and political leaders, must engage more with the people to restore normalcy in the beleaguered state.

According to him, former political office holders, who fail to speak against the activities of trouble-makers, have questions to answer.

“If they speak out against the unwholesome activities of those destabilising the country, things would be different,” he said, adding that he was at the Villa to brief the President on the situation in the state.

While acknowledging that all is not well with the country, the governor warned that those destroying government property must be ready to face the consequences.

Although insecurity is prevalent everywhere in Nigeria, the authorities in Imo were doing their best to tackle the situation, he stated.

“So far, the situation is relatively okay in Imo State than it was. People can come around and do business. Normal life has resumed in the state. Security agencies are on top of the situation,” he said.

The governor dismissed the allegation that his recent utterances foreclosing dialogue were part of the problems fuelling the seemingly hopeless situation in the state.

His words: “That is their thinking. I don’t know the kind of utterance that I have made that suggests that I closed the door. If you have monitored what is going on in Imo of late, you would have seen me receiving leadership by leadership according to the local council, trying to find a common way of resolving these security challenges in the state.

“It is not only Imo that has security challenges. In fact, I can even tell you that Imo’s case is better, apart from one or two cases that involved Very Important Personalities (VIPs). There has never been a time 20 persons died simultaneously or school children were kidnapped, and all that.”

On why it was difficult for him to mention names of politicians behind the insecurity in the state and get them arrested, he said: “It is not only in Imo; I didn’t limit it to Imo. I am saying, and I want to say it again, that cases of insecurity here and there in the country have not been helped by the posture of the opposition party and some aggrieved politicians.”

According to him, anybody worth his onion as a leader should be able to speak out.

“How many of them are speaking out? How many of them are condemning what is going on? Rather, what you see are leaders fanning the embers of insecurity, blaming the only government.”

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LEAD STORY JUNE 13

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