Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, asked Ndigbo and their governors to take their destiny in their hands by developing the South-East geographical zone instead of waiting for the government.
Obasanjo said there was no need for the governors to wait for the Federal Government to develop South-East when they already had the instruments already.
Obasanjo noted that economy and security were two sides of the same coin, adding that none could be achieved without the other.
He also asked Igbo elders to intervene in the on-going agitation for Biafra Republic to bring the situation under control.
Obasanjo described the Igbo stock as unique people, saying their entrepreneurial and communal efforts were driven with the spirit of adventure.
He spoke as the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu asked President Muhammadu Buhari to obey an earlier court order compelling the Federal Government to release the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
Ekweremadu further lamented that the South-East zone was not represented at the apex level of either the military or the police.
On the rule of law and fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended, Ekweremadu insisted that Kanu must have his day in court and if court orders his release, he must be released.
Both Obasanjo and Ekweremadu spoke, yesterday at the South East Economic and Security Summit in Enugu.
Among those who attended the summit included former Secretary of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme; Chief Pascal Dozie; Mbazulike Amaechi; Ben Akabueze; Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (retd), among other dignitaries.
President Muhammadu Buhari was expected as a guest during the summit but he neither attended nor sent any representative.
Develop your zone, don’t wait for FG, Obasanjo tells S-East govs, Ndigbo.
According to Obasanjo, the aim of the summit was on how the industrious people of the zone could do things for themselves other than relying on government’s intervention.
Obasanjo said: “Insecurity in any part of the country affects the other. The instruments of doing the jobs are already with you.
“The South-East had been known from time for entrepreneurship, community effort services and their spirit of adventure. The papa Okafor has been there in my village right from when I was growing up and nobody has taken those traits away from the Igboman, but how do we use it to achieve economic prosperity and security?
“You can’t have security when the economy of your people is not well taken care of and you can’t have security without economic prosperity. What we need to do here is to harness what we have.
“The people of the South-East are extremely unique and need to be harnessed. We should work together and that is the purpose of this summit.”
The former president told the gathering to look in the ways of their fertile agricultural land, the Aba industrial cluster, and other minerals both on the surface and beneath the earth to grow their economy.
“Whatever we can do for ourselves, let us do it for ourselves. If I could go to Maiduguri when Boko Haram was raging and I had to try to reach out to them in the interest of the country, I don’t think I have to be eulogized for being part of the initiative of South-East summit.
“Security is all inclusive. If there is no security in any part of the country, there is no security in the entire country. All the governors have spoken. I am delighted. They said ‘we have things we can do if given the instrument’. You have the instruments already.
Obasanjo lists traits of Ndigbo
“We knew South-East for enterprise, entrepreneurial ability, communal interest and spirit of adventure. Nobody can take it away from them. What can we do with it in area of economy and security? The symbiotic relationship between economy and security has been mentioned by the governors and the chairman. You cannot have good economy when the security of your people is not taken care of. If security is not taken care of, the economy will diminish. What we have, how can we use it?
“The people of South-East are extremely unique. That uniqueness of the South-East must be used to your advantage,” Obasanjo said.
On agitation for a sovereign state of Biafra
On the agitation for a sovereign state of Biafra, Obasanjo attributed the situation to youth restiveness, caused by challenges facing the young people of the zone and asked: “But should we leave them with the agitation, should we leave them as elders?
“There should be agitation by the youths but should we leave them with the agitation? There is this saying that where youths are cutting trees in the forest, the elders should caution them because they are the people who know where the tree will fall,” he addeed.
Citing the Aba-made shoes and Ebonyi rice as examples, Obasanjo described the potentials of the South-East region as legendary, saying that the South-East could be the food basket of the nation.
He, however, described the challenge of youth restiveness in the region as understandable as the agitators had education and skills and yet they do not have jobs.
I’m not at war with Buhari
In his speech, Ekweremadu stressed that he was not at war with President Muhammadu Buhari, citing recent meetings he had had with the President.
Ekweremadu further called for the restructuring of the country, noting that if Nigeria’s democracy should thrive, the citizens should be ready to subject themselves to the basic rules of law.
He said: “So long as we have unified economic structure, it cannot work. It is also important that all parts of the country are represented in the affairs of government. As we talk now, nobody from the South-East is among the security chiefs in Nigeria.
“On human rights, the issue of liberty is an inalienable right. If court says release somebody, please do that. No matter the offence allegedly committed by Nnamdi Kanu, he should be released from detention.”
The Chairman of the planning committee of the summit and former Minister of Power, Prof. Bath Nnaji, said the essence of the summit was to brainstorm on how the private sector could work with the public sector to achieve infrastructure influx into the South East. Nnaji said the areas they are looking at to work on include gas pipelines, railway, sustainable agriculture, among other areas.
Anyaoku calls for restructuring of Nigeria
Earlier, Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary General of Commonwealth and Chairman of the occasion, reiterated his call for the restructuring of Nigeria to have fewer and effective federating units for this country to have stability and faster pace of development.
“There is no need for Federal Government to periodically bail out any of the 36 non-viable units from dire financial conditions,” he said.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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