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Why Nigerian Army denied Declaring IPOB Terrorist Organisation (0)
Why Nigerian Army denied Declaring IPOB Terrorist Organisation

TUKUR Buratai, chief of army staff, on Monday, stated that the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, did not declare the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB a terrorist organization in the country. The Army Chief made the denial in Abakaliki during the official launch of Operation Python Dance II, he argued that what the Defence Headquarters did was a pronouncement on IPOB added that the statement of the military gave room for the right steps to be taken on the matter. According to Buratai, the action of the Federal government concerning IPOB was right and that the military did not over step its bound towards the protection of lives and properties in the country. “You have to get it very clear. First of all, what the Defence Headquarters did was to make pronouncement. It wasn’t a declaration per se. But this has given room for the right step to be taken. I think the government is doing the right thing. “It is not that we are overstepping our bounds. We are still within the limits. And I ensure you that what the military said was to set the ball rolling and to bring the awareness to the public that this is what this organization is all about. I’m happy that the government has done the right thing right now. The Chief of Army staff, General Tukur Buratai further assured the people of the Southeast that the Army will abide by the rule of law and rules of engagement in carrying out the Exercise Egwu Eke II which kicked off on Saturday in the region. Also in a courtesy to Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, the Chief of Army Staff noted that the exercise was targeted at improving the security situation of the zone which according to him, was very strategic to the security of the country. According to him the exercise will help to bring about the much needed peace and security and also be used to train the Military in basic internal security. “They army have taken into cognizance the security of the people in deployment of it’s personnel for the operation”. He said the army in carrying out the operation will liaise and work with other security agencies in the region. “The army is very sensitive to the cultural norms of the people and will abide by all the rules of engagement and code of conduct that have been laid down which is quite in tandem with the Constitution”. According to him, some of the activities of the exercise will include Patrols, indoor battle exercises, Civil-Military cooperation activities like medical outreach, sanitation, donation of books to schools etc. He therefore appealed for understanding.

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The All Progressives Congress, APC in Katsina state on Saturday endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari and the state governor Aminu Masari as their sole candidates for the 2019 general elections. Briefing newsmen at the end of its executives meeting, the state chairman, Shittu S. Shittu said the party decision was informed by their well-laid policies and programmes that have impacted positively on the lives of the people. He said the party did not recognise any faction, noting that factionalisation is contrary to the provision of the constitution of the party . “The Buhari and Masari administration have run open door policies and achieved a lot, we have witnessed great changes of development,” he added

Barely three weeks after an ambush on a military houseboat that killed two in Southern Ijaw creeks in Bayelsa, suspected militants have attacked a tugboat in the same area and killed three crew members. Suspected Niger Delta militants had on Aug. 28 ambushed a houseboat operated by the Joint Task Force and killed a soldier and a civilian crew member. An oil services vessel with a combined team of security escort on board and civilians was attacked on Friday by suspected sea pirates at Ekebiri Waterways in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that two of the victims of the incident which occurred on Friday were security escorts and a civilian crew member of the tugboat towing a vessel. Mr Asinim Butswat, Police Public Relations Officer for Bayelsa Command who confirmed the incident said that one police operative was still missing as his remains has yet to be recovered. He said a response team dispatched to the crime scene rescued eight occupants of the ill-fated boat while efforts are underway to arrest the suspected armed men. “On Sept. 22, at about 18.45hrs, a Tugboat, towing a Barge with a combined team of policemen from the Nigerian Inland Waterways, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and civilians on board was attacked by suspected sea pirates. “The incident took place at Ekebiri Waterways in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa. “A reinforced team arrived shortly and rescued one policeman, three NSCDC personnel and four civilians. “However, a policeman, one NSCDC personnel and a civilian were shot dead by the sea pirates; one policeman is still missing,’’ Butswat said. He further said the remains of the victims had been recovered and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Mortuary, Yenagoa, for autopsy. According to him, a search party has been deployed to find the missing policeman while all security operatives in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area have been alerted, while efforts are ongoing to arrest the culprits.

The Indigenous People of Biafra on Friday asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to set aside the orders proscribing it and designating it as a terrorist group. The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, had, on Wednesday, issued the proscription order upon an ex parte application by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami. But in a motion filed by IPOB’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, before the same judge on Friday, the group contended that the proscription order was unconstitutional. The motion was anchored on 13 grounds, first of which was that the proscription order was made without jurisdiction, “as the order was granted against an entity unknown to law.” The grounds of the application read in part, “That the ex parte order made on the 20th day of September 2017 by this Honorable Court was made without jurisdiction, as the order was granted against an entity unknown to law. “That there is a clear suppression and misrepresentation of facts in the Attorney General’s Affidavit evidence, pursuance to which the Order was granted. “That the Order is unconstitutional, as it was made in clear violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right of the Indigenous People of Biafra to self determination; Article 20(1) of the Africa Charter on Human & Peoples Rights, now domesticated into our Law under (Ratification and Enforcement Act) (Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990; Right to fair hearing, Right to freedoms of expression, and the press and Rights to peaceful Assembly and Association; clearly provided for under Sections 36, 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (Amended) 2011. “That a declaratory order cannot be made pursuant to an ex parte Application, without hearing from the party against whom the order was made. “The Indigenous People of Biafra who are majorly of Igbo extraction, have no history of violence in the exercise of their right to self determination.

A Lagos activist lawyer, Ebun-olu Adegboruwa, has called on the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu to challenge the decision of the Federal High Court which proscribed him and the group. Recall that an Abuja Federal High Court had on Wednesday declared the activities of IPOB as “acts of terrorism”. The court gave the ruling, following an application filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, asking for the proscription of the group. Reacting to the ruling, Adegboruwa said the order proscribing IPOB was faulty because the group was not a legal entity before the law. The activist lawyer argued that the AGF cannot seek legal action against the group because it is non-existent, adding that the court cannot also issue orders against the group as it is “unenforceable.” In a statement he signed and sent to DAILY POST, Adegboruwa urged President Muhammadu Buhari to follow his advice to the United Nations, UN, General Assembly and “adopt dialogue in the resolution of agitations.” The statement reads, “The Order of the Federal High Court proscribing IPOB is faulty in law and should be challenged and set aside by all those affected or to be affected by the said order. “First, there cannot be any legal entity in law known and referred to as IPOB, as such entity does not exist in law. “The Attorney-General of the Federation cannot competently sue IPOB as a defendant, in any court of law, the same being an entity unknown to law. “The Court cannot make an order against a non existing entity, such as IPOB. Such order, if and when made, is at large and unenforceable. “The Supreme Court has stated it times without number that the court cannot proceed against a non juristic person. “The court, which is a creation of law to interpret the law, cannot competently proscribe what does not exist in the eye of the law. “If IPOB is registered in Nigeria at all, it can only sue and be sued in the corporate name of its incorporated trustees. The Hon Attorney-General, with all due respect, cannot file or maintain a suit in court against IPOB, in the manner formulated in this case. “I urge Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and all those concerned to proceed to challenge the competence of the suit itself and the jurisdiction of the court to make the order. “I verily believe that the federal government should follow the noble advice that General Muhammadu Buhari gave to the United Nations, to adopt dialogue in the resolution of the agitations coming from the South East.” Source:

Master Mohammed Sani the victim of military brutality who`s hand was amputated as a result of injury sustained has been given the sum of N660,000 for his education and up keeping. The chairman Presidential Investigation panels to review compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Right Obligations and Rules of engagement, Hon. Justice Biobele Abraham Goegewills while delivering his remarks at the closing of the Public sitting for the North-east at the High Court complex in Maiduguri on Thursday said the panel has donated the sum of N250,000 for the education and up keep of the boy, while the Borno state commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, Barrister Kakashehu Lawan donated N100,000 on behalf on himself and N250,00 on behalf of his chambers among other donations from lawyers and individuals. The chairman assured the people of the North-east that the panel will look into all their petitions with a view to addressing them, adding that they will listen to all petitions and complaints and compare them with the submission of the military with a view to ensuring justice and fair hearing. He said the Unity and peace of the country is paramount and as such the panel will do everything possible to ensure its unity and assured the general public that those that were not able to submit their complaints, should still do so through the state ministry for Justice. Earlier, the Borno state commissioner for Justice, Barrister Kakashehu Lawan said the people of the state are satisfied with the way the panel handled the sittings, as the lawyers, general public and the state government are satisfied. He said a desk will be opened in his office specifically to collect petitions from the public for onward submission to the panel in Abuja.

“Father of all bombs’’, the new Iran’s powerful and deadly arsenal, is causing panic in the Gulf states and Israel. But Russian military expert Vladimir Korovin expressed doubt that Iran would use the 10-ton conventional aviation bomb against the U.S. The creation of the 10-ton non-nuclear aviation bomb, has sent a strong signal to Israel and Tehran’s other potential adversaries in the Middle Eastern region. Korovin, an expert at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations’ Center for Military and Political Studies, said that Israel was deeply worried about the fact that Iran is edging closer to its border in Syria. Although Iran was not going to use the bomb against the United States, but Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain are the main addressees of Tehran’s “message,” according to Korovin. Reports cited a top Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) commander, Ali Hajizadeh, that Tehran had developed a massive non-nuclear munition comparable to the US’s GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) also known as the “Mother of All Bombs.” Describing the new bomb, Hajizadeh specified that it could be launched from “Ilyushin aircraft” and dubbed it “the father of all bombs” in a reference to America’s most powerful conventional ordnance. Commenting on Hajizadeh’s statement, Korovin pointed out that given the heavy load of the bomb it is most likely the Iranian top military commander referred to the modernized Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO reporting name: Candid) — a multi-purpose four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter, produced either in the USSR or the Russian Federation. However, according to the expert, the possibility that the Iranian 10-ton munition will be used in real combat is doubtful, since the modified Il-76 bomber carrying the “father of all bombs” must be accompanied by jet fighters, and remain at a certain altitude flying to the target in the absence of fire resistance from the ground. “Therefore — it’s just a demonstration of Iran’s capabilities,” Korovin noted.

Reasons have emerged recently why the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday suspended Ifeanyi Ubah, its Anambra State Gubernatorial Aspirant, for one month. The reasons are over matters related to indiscipline. Mr Dayo Adeyeye, PDP National Caretaker Committee, Publicity Secretary, disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja. Adeyeye also disclosed that the party had referred Ubah and Sen. Buruji Kasamu, representing Ogun East Senatorial District, to the party’s Disciplinary Committee. Adeyeye said the decision was reached by the party National Caretaker Committee in line with the PDP constitution. He added that “this week, we had some disciplinary issues regarding the Anambra governorship primaries, in which one of the aspirants, Ifeanyi Ubah, launched a major media attack against the leadership of the party. “Ubah, who was not satisfied with the decision of the Governorship Appeal Panel, decided to launch rhetoric attack on the leadership of the party. “He also launched an attack on those who were involved in the conduct of the primary.” Adeyeye explained that the National Caretaker Committee took decision to issue him a query, asking him to retract the statement. Ubah was also to offer apology to those who he disparaged by his remarks in the press, but he chose not to answer the query. “Of course the query was issued under relevant sections of the Constitution of the PDP, but he decided not to answer the query. “Consequent upon which, the National Caretaker Committee today (Thursday) decided to suspend him for a period of one month and to refer the matter to National Disciplinary Committee for further action.” On Sen. Kashamu’s case, Adeyeye said he too was issued a query by the National Caretaker Committee some weeks ago over allegation of challenging the party decisions. He said Kashamu in his reply to the query, denied some of the allegations against him. “Consequent upon which, the National Caretaker Committee decided to refer his case to the National Disciplinary Committee for further action too. “The National Disciplinary Committee is expected to report its findings to us within the next two weeks,” he added. Adeyeye also disclosed that the party’s leadership had appointed the immediate Legal Adviser of the party, Mr Victor Kwon, as Legal Adviser to the PDP National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi. When contacted, Ubah said he was yet to receive any query from the party’s leadership. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Ubah has said that he is dragging PDP to court over the Anambra governorship primary election where he lost to Mr Oseloka Obaze. Also reacting to the development, Kashamu described the query issued to him as contemptuous of the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, issued on Sept. 5, 2017. He said the court in Suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/732/2017 ordered that “all parties Should desist from taking any further step or steps that may affect the respondents in this matter as previously made by Hon. Justice N. Dimgba on 10/8/2017”. The party had earlier inaugurated a Caretaker Committee chaired by Mr Tunde Akogun, former lawmaker for PDP Oyo State.

Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, has applauded members of the Bridge Builders, a political pressure group under the auspices of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ika South Local Government Area of the state for showcasing the achievements of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to people in the area and beyond since his administration came on board. Mr. Ukah made the commendation during the maiden prayer session convened by Mr. Peter Idion on behalf of the Bridge Builders to seek God’s divine protection on the governor of the state and members of his Executive Council and to also solicit God’s intervention in the affairs of the state which was held in Agbor, recently. The Commissioner, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Ogbueshi Christopher Nwaoboshi, expressed delight over the activities of members of the Bridge Builders vis-à-vis information dissemination to the people at the grassroot, adding that Deltans need to be adequately informed about the achievements of Senator Okowa since he assumed duty as the governor of the state. According to him, the State Ministry of Information would partner with the Bridge Builders in disseminating information on government’s policies and programmes to the people at the grassroot, just as he enjoined members of the group to educate youths in the area on the need to key into the various state government skills acquisition and empowerment programmes. He noted that despite the dwindling economic fortunes of states in the country, Senator Okowa has prudently managed the lean resources in the state to the admiration of most Deltans and to the glory of God, pointing out the governor needs the overwhelming support of all Deltans to enable him consolidate on his achievements. Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of Bridge Builders, Hon. Chuks Emuebie, said that the aim of the political pressure group was to reconcile aggrieved members of the PDP in the area and to support the party in its mass mobilization towards the 2019 general election, among other. In doing this, Emuebie said it is their intention to interact with both the formal and informal groups on sensitive policies of government, adding that the Bridge Builders would also be used as a platform to organize periodic prayer sessions using governor Okowa as a point of contact. The highlight of the ceremony, where Pastor Joshua B. Igumbor led over 42 clergymen from Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), was an intercessory prayer session for the Governor Okowa, members of the State Executive Council and the state in general

The coming of democracy or civil rule in Nigeria in 1999 has thrown open a can of worms and indeed exposed the varying degrees of rapid deterioration of political leadership.. The above assertion is not to invalidate the rich literature that speaks about spectacular leadership failures in all facets of Nigeria since after the colonial rulers left for their United Kingdom’s homeland. For instance, in the second Republic, a globally acclaimed Novelist and writer Professor Chinua Achebe had authored a book “The trouble with Nigeria” in which he rightly argued that Nigeria is accursed with poor and bad leadership. Professor Achebe of the blessed memories stated that the Nigerian geography or climate is not the source of worry but that leadership failure presents the worst kind of problems occasioning the crippling of development of the country. Again, long before the book aforementioned, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and a host of other excellent writers had also written lots of books on how messy Nigeria’s leadership profile had assumed even in the first Republic or soon after the political independence in 1960. In all of these scenarios, the military which frequently seized political power have contributed in the deterioration of leadership qualities at play in the polity. So it can safely be argued that Nigeria’s leadership troubles predates the advent of civil rule in 1999. This is because the processes that characterized the introduction of the extant grund norm(1999 Constitution) were shrouded in lots of conspiratorial manipulations suggesting that the military rulers handpicked the writers of that constitution to insert and import lots of provisions that completely favours a particular zone of the country which is the North from where most of the top military rulers originated in the over 30 years of military interventions in politics. For instance the sharing formular of federally generated revenues is in such a distorted status that some states from where the crude oil resources are derived aren't adequately compensated. But the birth of elective government in 1999 also delivered the unforeseen issues of electoral manipulations by godfathers who have consistently imposed their surrogates in offices in the different levels both at the state and Federal level. The worst affected region or geopolitical zone of the Nigerian state is the South East of Nigeria whereby these rash of impositions of bad politicians as office holders, have progressively denied majority of the people living in the South East of Nigeria, of the benefits that usually comes from good governance, accountability and sustainable development. There seems to be a peculiar kind of leadership curse in such places as Imo , Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu most especially. Anambra may have escaped some of these adversarial leadership curses because evidence abounds to demonstrate that in the last 16 years, Anambra state has been lucky to have elected quality political statesmen to steer their ship of state. Although the good people of Anambra state still complain of certain manifestations by the Political leadership such as lack of proper accountability as a big challenge. For instance, Peter Obi was governor for eight years and handed over to his successor Mr Willy Obiano and left lots of cash to the credit of the state treasury. Soon after the transition of power, stories started trending of alleged misapplication of these huge amounts left behind by Peter Obi and the pace of infrastructural development can not justify the uses to which these massive resources saved for Anambra state by Peter Obi was put into by his successor. The poor quality of governance in the entirety of South East of Nigeria was the fundamental reason for the growth of youth restiveness and agitations for self determination. The larger issue of marginalization of the South East of Nigeria is also very fundamental in giving rise to overwhelming agitation for self determination.. But since charity begins at home, there is a general perception that the bad state of governance in the entirety of South East of Nigeria is the single largest factor that instigates youth restiveness and the clamour for independence since there is a general perception that even from the center the sharing formula of the national cake doesn't favour the South East which has fewer number of local government areas and states unlike the other two equally dominant Ethnicities of Yoruba and Hausa. The Constitution which was written by the Sani Abacha's military dictatorship made local government areas as the basis for sharing of allocations generated federally notwithstanding the level of endowments found in the states with fewer local area councils created by successive military dictators. Then again, even the allocations coming into South East of Nigeria in trillions are simply pocketed by the Political class and taken away to other countries for private safe keepings of the politicians whilst the millions of ordinary citizens of South East of Nigeria wallow in want, poverty and lack of development. Because the millions of young persons from the SouthEast of Nigeria who graduate from schools and can't easily find jobs in either the public or private sectors, these restive and alienated young persons then chose to demand accountability. Some of them also lost hope in the ability of the existing political structures and persons to be able to steer the South East of Nigeria away from failed infrastructures and lack of good governance. Mind you, the old Eastern region suffered devastations from the bombing campaign waged for 30 months by the federal forces and their allies from the West against the then Biafra Republic. The end of the war in 1970 did not lead to reconstruction and rebuilding of the destroyed privately built assets and public infrastructures. So they (youth) then saw an openning in the message of liberation being preached by the Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu who schooled in the United Kingdom and got the inspiration to put the platform of IPOB into use as a vehicle to achieve independent self governing process for the South East of Nigeria. There are serious issues of total lack of openness, transparency and accountability in the South East. Governors of the South East have since 1999 failed to grow the local economies of their states. South East States have since 1999 failed to improve the quality of social services to the people despite the huge revenues accruing to them from the Federation accounts monthly. In 2004, Imo state got N55,909,252,893.81 while Abia state got N47,673,976,707.47. To what use then did the governors put these huge allocations? These States can't even pay the few persons that are working as genuine civil servants their salaries nor have they been able to offset the huge wage bills owed to pensioners. South East of Nigeria does not have effectively functional manufacturing sector apart from Anambra State. Imo state in the last 7 years has seen the closing down of many of such manufacturing firms and even state owned businesses and the state is littered with several poorly constructed state roads projects. The leadership failure in the South East of Nigeria steers you in the eyes and if you have conscience you will then ask where all the federal allocations to the South East of Nigeria have disappeared into given the severe infrastructures' deficits afflicting the Zone. We will return to discuss the circumstances that gave legitimacy and popularity to the liberation messages that IPOB brought but first let's in a brief presentation demonstrate how so poor the quality of political leadership has become to an extent that we are compelled in this piece to affirm that indeed the South East of Nigeria has a leadership curse that must be exorcised by one way or the other especially now that those reactionary jackboot forces have driven underground the liberation movement that was hitherto championed by Nnamdi Kanu and his Worlwide group known as Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB). The consistent failures of South East governors have compelled this writer to make inquiry into the nature and functions of man vis-a-vis the teachings of one of the earliest fathers of philosophy-Aristotle. Aristotle asks, “Are we then to suppose that while carpenter and cobbler have certain works and courses of action, Man as Man has none, but is left by Nature without work?” Or, if “the eye, hand, foot and in general each of the parts evidently has a function , may one lay it down that man similarly has a function apart from all these?” Surely, man too has a distinctive mode of activity, but what is it? Here Aristotle analyzes man’s nature in order to discover his unique activity, saying, first of all, that man’s end “is not mere life,” because that plainly is shared with him even by vegetables, and, says Aristotle, “we want what is peculiar to him.” Samuel Enoch Stumpf who analytically presented these Aristotelian thoughts in his scholarly book, also stated tgat next there is the life of sensation, “but this again manifestly is common to horses, oxen and every animal.” There remains then “an active life of the element that has a rational principle…if the function of man is an activity of soul which follows or implies a rational principle…then the human good turns out to be activity of soul in accordance with virtue… Aristotle said human action should aim at its proper end. Everywhere men aim at pleasure, wealth, and honor. But none of these ends, though they have value, can occupy the place of the chief good for which man should aim. In his wisdom, Aristotle reasoned that in order to be an ultimate end an act must be self- sufficient and final, “That which is always desirable in it-self and never for the sake of something else” and it must be attainable by man. Aristotle seems certain that all men will agree that happiness is the end that alone meets all the requirements for the ultimate end of human action. Indeed, we choose pleasure, wealth, and honour only because we think that “through their instrumentality we shall be happy. “Happiness, it turns out, is another word or name for good, for like good, happiness is the fulfillment of our distinctive function; or, as Aristotle says “Happiness…is a working of the soul in the way of excellence or virtue…” This brings us to the question of why South East of Nigeria is so cursed with bad leaders? Is it that the Political class of the South East of Nigeria that dominates the Political scene for now are not men enough to lead their States to economic Eldorado so as to ultimately deliver happiness to the greatest percentage of the people of the South East of Nigeria? This writer therefore is challenging the upcoming political class especially those who aspire to lead from 2019 in the South East of Nigeria to imbibe such exemplary redemptive qualities that the United States born black Brain Surgeon Ben Carson is known for. As one of the few Brain Surgeons in the USA, Dr. Ben Carson is known for thriving in difficult cases. He has had experiences in participating and leading highly complex brain surgeries that defies common appreciation of the human mind. He is such an uncommon medical doctor of excellence. In one of his books titled 'Take the Risk-learning to identify, choose, and live with acceptable risk", Dr Carson narrated some of his many medical feats which demanded courage. He believes that life itself is a risky business. He wrote that there was a particular surgery that he handled but affirmed that the complications started almost as soon as the surgery did. The person being operated is called Miranda. Carson wrote thus: "Miranda’s brain was so inflamed that anywhere an instrument touched it, she began to bleed". "We kept calling for more and more blood from the blood bank. Gradually I eased away the left hemisphere of her brain, cutting away tissue and cauterizing blood vessels as we went. Finally we were done. We sewed her skull back into place and sutured her scalp back over the wound. We’d successfully removed the entire left half of Miranda’s brain." "Not only was it one of the most difficult operations of my career up to that point, it was also one of the longest. We had planned on five hours at the operation table. It took ten. By the time we finished, we had replaced almost twice Miranda’s blood volume- nine pints in all." Carson continued: "Now all we could do was wait. Would she walk or talk again? I watched for the slightest sign of movement. The anesthesiologist unhooked the ventilator, so at least she was breathing on her own. A nurse called her name. Nothing. I felt confident she would wake up soon, but I couldn’t be certain." "I followed the gurney as we wheeled her out of the ward. When her parents heard us coming down the hall, Mrs. Francisco called out; “wait” The two of them ran to meet us. After Mrs. Francisco bent down and kissed her daughter, Miranda’s eyes flicked open for just a second. “I love you, mommy and daddy,” she said. "Her parents wept. A nurse shouted, “She talked!” I stood in amazement. We have removed half of this little girl’s brain, the dominant half that controlled her speech. Yet she talked. She could hear. She could think. She could respond. As she lay there on that gurney in the hallway, she even began to move the right arm and her right leg.Unbelievable!" (TAKE THE RISK…Learning to identity, choose, and live with acceptable risk By Ben Carson with Gregg Lewis). This story is just like what is at play in the South East of Nigeria. The political office holders have messed up the place. The South East yearns for genuine transformation of leadership. They (politicians) have robbed the people of their shares of the National cake and the South East of Nigeria lays desolate. There is little or no functional infrastructures in place which exists in other states built by their governors. South East of Nigeria suffers from systemic and deliberate marginalization from the Nigerian state which refuses to locate any strategic governmental assets in the zone such as Refineries even when the Zone is crude oil rich but a place like Kaduna without crude oil has had crude oil refinery. In the South East of Nigeria the cost of living is high due to poor state of infrastructure. The farmers hardly enjoy credit facilities. The Federal government has not built a single dam to help farmers during dry seasons. Farmers who are left alone to work under adverse situations are attacked by armed Fulani herdsmen but the governors are timid and lack courage to protect their people. Abuja is headed by Muhammadu Buhari who doesn't give a damn about the South East of Nigeria. The federal lawmakers from the South East of Nigeria have made no impacts to bring about development to the South East of Nigeria. Now these non-performing political class conspired with Abuja to bring in soldiers on operation python dance 11 since last week to last for one month to chase away the group known as Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) whose leadership posed formidable challenge to the lethargic and cursed leadership of the South East. Effectively, South East of Nigeria is under military siege for one month. The South East governors illegally proscribed the activities of this liberation movement alleging that they constituted danger to national unity but the real millions of ordinary Citizens of the South East of Nigeria have identified with the liberation messages of this group to an extent that the action of the governors to ban IPOB has received global condemnation. The thievery of fund belonging to the South East of Nigeria by political office holders constitute grave challenge to national security. Sadly, section 308(1) of the military's midwifed constitution provides these thieving politicians immunity from prosecution whilst they are in office. The South East of Nigeria is like the patient with political brain tumour that requires the resilience of a brave surgeon to correct the abnormalities. As the next polls draw near, let the people of South East of Nigeria obtain their voters cards and show deeper interest in the political process so as to bring in only committed statesmen that would restore confidence in the people by working to deliver services to the people. Let 2019 bring to an end the years of the locusts in the South East of Nigeria. The ball is our court. * Emmanuel Onwubiko is head of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) and blogs@ , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

OHANAEZE Ndigbo, the apex socio-cultural Igbo group has warned courts in Nigeria not to allow themselves to be used against the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. Nnia Nwodo, president general of Ohanaeze, in a statement, on Tuesday, September 19, urged the courts not to undermine the nation’s democratic process by granting frivolous orders against IPOB. Nwodo, said that the Ohanaeze has credible intelligence that Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney general of the federation, has secretly approached courts to obtain an order to designate IPOB as a terrorist group. He said that such move was not only illegal, but aimed at furthering the harassment and intimidation of Igbo youths who have been pursuing their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights. The IPOB has been asking the federal government to conduct a referendum on the future of Biafra. But last week the federal government responded heavily by sending troops to the South East under Operation Python Dance II. The troops clashed with the IPOB resulting in death of more than 18 unarmed youths who were shot with live bullets. The soldiers also raided the house of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of IPOB, whose whereabouts and that of his parents are unknown.

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