(Onitsha Nigeria, 10th February 2019)-Though we, the Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights & Democracy Organizations (a coalition of 22 human rights & democracy organizations) are deeply shocked and dismayed over the roles of retrogressive and destructive forces in the Mainland and outpost Igbo parts of Eastern Nigeria, but such retrogressive and destructive roles are not unexpected or seen as a surprise or unheard of. These retrogressive and destructive roles are in connection with the fate and future of the Igbo Nation ahead of the 2019 General Elections in Nigeria particularly the Presidential Poll.
Rather, such retrogressive and destructive roles should serve as a big and unforgettable lesson to the entire Igbo People of Nigeria including not keeping a short memory or being flimsily dismissive of the retrogressive and destructive roles and their players. Names of such retrogressive and destructive forces and roles played shall be profiled and documented across board and kept for the day of reckoning; whether political, economic, cultural, and social or camouflaged self determination agitations.
Smiling To Bank On The Blood Of Massacred Igbo Sons & Daughters
For too long, the age long ordeals suffered or passed through by the Igbo People of Nigeria, represented in the context of structural, physical and cultural violence perpetrated and perpetuated at state actor and non state actor levels in the country or any part thereof; have been used by generations of retrogressive and destructive forces to earn undeserved social or societal positions and crookedly enriched their pockets and themselves. On the blood and tribulations of their own people and ethnic nationality, these retrogressive and destructive forces have stood and earned their cursed living including criminal and vicious castles, mansions, marriages, exotic cars, etc.
Pretended as “freedom fighters” or “independent statehood activists” or “human rights defenders” or “democracy promoters” or “people’s governors” or “people’s legislators” or “Igbo leaders” or “Igbo born security chiefs” or “leaders of Igbo socio-political or think tank organizations”, etc; these retrogressive and destructive forces or “profiteers of miseries of the Igbo People and their Nation” have done more harm to the Igbo sub Race and their emancipation struggles than “outside” enemies of the Igbo People and their Nation.
Hiding under collective sentiments or social emancipations such as “Igbo or Biafra rebirth” or “defense of Igbo rights” or “social, economic, cultural and political emancipation, development and ethnic identity of the Igbo People and their Nation”; these retrogressive and destructive forces have, once their pretended agitations gained collective currency and legitimacy, relapsed and shown their true color-swindling, criminal enrichment, backbiting, sabotage, betrayal and abandonment of the cause they pretended to be fighting for people of their own ethnic nationality.
We have seen these severally or on several occasions in the pro Biafra movements, legislative chambers, gubernatorial corridors, socio-cultural movements, intelligentsia groups, “Igbo” political parties, “human rights” campaigns, church activities, geopolitical allotment of offices and resources including Federal and State constituency projects, to mention but few.
These retrogressive and destructive forces are so mean, heartless, wicked, shameless and conscienceless that whenever reports or findings are made cataloguing and exposing the killing and maiming of their defenseless brothers and sisters by perpetrators of State terror and other violent non state actors, they rush for copies of such reports and use them to swindle the named or suspected perpetrators particularly the public office holders or crookedly rich ex public office holders.
These they do in the form of “image laundering” for a fee including writing and submission of frivolous petitions against the researchers of the reports, organizing rented crowd as protesters and media conferences or holding “human rights award” sessions for the perpetrators named or listed, etc. In other words, whenever such atrocity crimes reports are released, they instantly become “bloody diamond or gold” for the retrogressive and destructive forces; making them to smile to their banks on the altar of the blood of their murdered brothers and sisters.
These despicable acts are also very common among the so called “freedom fighters” or “secessionist activists” and “intelligentsia groups”. Among the latter are “doctors” or adulterators of such reports and those who use them to earn masters’ and doctorate degrees or professorial titles only; instead of fundamentally using them and their prime positions to seek and get justice for their murdered brothers and sisters as well as ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to book or made to kiss the iron bars of prisons.
Red Capping Dei Dei Or Alaba Market Garage Touts For Aso Rock Trips
According to Nze Na Ozo Emeka Umeagbalasi (Intersociety Boss), “it is also common among these retrogressive and destructive forces to organize groups and trips to Aso Rock on “image laundering-for-money visits” with newly bought red caps from Alaba or Dei Dei Market, etc.
In Igbo Land, the original traditional title holders especially members of the Nze Na Ozo noble class are marked out by their worn out or old red caps signifying decades of initiation or holding of such titles. Those whose red caps wear new looks are classified as newly initiated or new entrants into the noble Ozo title. Others wearing new or fresh red caps are described as “Okoros in red caps” or “urban red cap chiefs” including urban chief thugs and those in touting occupation.
“In other words, they are “Nze n’ agus” or commoners who perch red caps on their hairs (not heads) without authorization or passing through rigorous initiation rites and processes in their rural communities. Ozo titles are not taken in urban areas except among the aborigines of the cities (i.e. people of Onicha Mmili or Onitsha). Real red cap chiefs rarely wear their caps in urban cities to avoid contamination. These “Okoros-in-red-caps” include the rented groups of outpost markets’ garage touts or clothed street urchins with no lineage of Nze Na Ozo titles in their generational lineages.
Among them must have been those who went to Aso Rock on 8th February 2019 or those that had gone to same in the recent past under such circumstantially and heavily induced circumstances. It is therefore likely a fact to say that those that trouped to Aso Rock on the said date are nothing short of “Alaba or Dei Dei Market garage touts”, red capped with newly arrived China bound red caps and ferried to Aso Rock on “political image laundering for fat pocket” trip.
Other Characteristics Of Retrogressive Forces In Igbo Eastern Nigeria
Retrogressive and destructive forces in Igbo Nation are also marked out as follows: (1) they are viruses finding their ways as “founders” or “key members” into various Igbo emancipation bodies such as those named above as well as human rights and democracy bodies, (2) they are talk show “experts” in various gatherings and forums including long grammar speakers, (3) they are wolves in sheep clothing and always harbor dubious intents but pretend as “social crusaders”.
Others are: (4) they are serial saboteurs and betrayers and when trusted and taken brotherly to the bush for hunting, they turn round and shoot their fellow brothers as “wild animals”; (5) when elected or appointed to govern or administer, they end up as “monumental failures or failed statesmen or public office holders” and (6) they are collective security threats and more dangerous than outside enemies; and can sell their kinsmen and women as well as their Ethnic Nationality for a cursed fee or criminal enrichment.
Condemning FG/APC’s Vote PMB Or Your Ethnic Persecution/Collective Violence Threats
The Coalition is therefore shocked and dismayed with total condemnation the litany of threats and various forms of corruptive measures adopted by the Presidency and its ruling Party to force the Igbo Nation to slavishly vote for same in the next Saturday’s Presidential Poll.
It saddens our heart that a Government that has made the loudest noise of “fighting corruption” could engage in brazen recruitment and reported or circumstantial inducement of the retrogressive and destructive forces among Igbo population to divide the People of Igbo Nation and force them into voting APC and its Presidential Candidate outside their will and collective resolve.
The Federal Government is so recklessly determined that it is bent on getting the Igbo Nation at all costs to slavishly vote for it. Despite organizing or superintending series of butcheries, military sieges, economic destructions, collective security threats and communal invasions, political segregations and exclusions, recruitment of puppets and other forms of structural, physical and cultural violence as catalogued in Intersociety’s special report (under Buhari & Osinbajo: many have gone & crippled for life in Eastern Nigeria); the Buhari Administration has remained unyielding, remorseless and unrepentant with audacity and alacrity; to the extent that more threats are being let loose or unleashed, reminding the Igbo Nation what would happen to them “if Buhari does not win in the Southeast”.
This is nothing short of pushing a people to the wall, which could have calamitous consequences in short or long run.
Condemning Oligarchic Slavery Roles Of Govs Obiano & Umahi Of Anambra & Ebonyi
Specifically condemned are the oligarchic slavery roles of Govs William Obiano of Anambra and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi States who have abandoned their People and chosen to become more oligarchic puppets than Gov Rochas Okorocha of Imo State.
In the case of Gov Obiano, he has chronically abandoned governance of the State which he was elected in 2013 and 2017 to do. Anambra State under him is in quandary and he has sadly transformed himself into “Emperor or Kingly Governor”; governing the State outside the confines of collectivism or welfarism and only according to his whims and caprices.
The Road network in Anambra State has collapsed; likewise drainages and waterways which have blocked and become a serious threat in the incoming rainy season. Several failed State roads are begging for rehabilitation or Government attention, all to no avail. The massive road construction and reconstruction with which the State was known for as at the last quarter of 2014, has become a thing of the past in the State.
The State has also become a safe haven for all kinds of touts, street urchins and criminals; to the extent that women petty traders and widows can no longer move a kilometer with their food stuff or kitchen utensils particularly in Onitsha, Nnewi and their adjoining cities without threats of being lynched or beaten to a pulp unless each of them coughs out thousands of naira for a food stuff bag of not more than N5, 000; members of the trading population are not spared, too, yet the Governor is busy running from pillar to pole forcing a presidential bad market on Anambra People in particular and People of the Igbo Nation in general.
Where Is The APGA Presidential Candidate Allegedly Lavished With Over N600m Anambra Money?
The Coalition was authoritatively informed late last year that the Government of Anambra State “facilitated a whopping cash of N500m and nine vehicles including brown new campaign buses and SUVs” to the “Presidential Candidate of APGA”. The APGA Presidential Candidate was said to have received same the day of the Party’s flag off.
The Government of Anambra State was asked to credibly confirm or deny or throw more light into same vide the Coalition’s open letter dated 16th December 2018, till date, no official response has come from the Obiano’s Government of Anambra State.
See the Coalition’s open letter here: https://www.thenigerianvoice.com/news/273712/appointment-of-next-igbo-igp-and-public-declaration-on-the-p.html
The said cash of N500m when added to monetary value of the said nine vehicles clearly indicates that Anambra State must have lost not less than N600m to N700m to such political gambling. Yet, the Gov and his aides are ceaselessly running riot on web, electronic and print media campaigning for PMB and abandoning their own “Presidential Candidate”; all at the expense of Anambra State and the entire People of Igbo Nation.
Taming The Retrogressive Forces & Their Puppetry Masters
It is therefore clear and shocking that Governors Obiano of Anambra State and Umahi of Ebonyi State and the central Government of Muhammadu Buhari and Yemi Osinbajo know nothing about the principles of democracy and universal adult suffrage.
They must be tutored here and now that voting is a conscientious and moral obligation of every eligible citizen or group of voting population.
It is beyond the powers and authority of any Government including the present Governments of Anambra and Ebonyi States and the Buhari/Osinbajo central Administration to force people especially the Igbo Ethnic Nationality to cast their votes for a particular Government or political party. Under the 1999 Constitution, too, civil and political rights including political participation, voting and representation are inviolably fundamental and justiciable.
No amount of desperation or threats of structural violence or ethnic cleansing can change same or force the Igbo People to do otherwise. Also Political office tenure in Nigeria is not permanent.
The Buhari Administration will one day be a bygone and all its vicarious and direct misdeeds including series of butcheries, military sieges, economic destructions, collective security threats and communal invasions, political segregations and exclusions, recruitment of puppets and other forms of structural, physical and cultural violence severally and serially organized against the Igbo Nation would be revisited, likewise the retrogressive and destructive forces recruited or used to perpetrate and perpetuate same.
The central Government of Nigeria had existed since almost four years and fully piloted and executed the policy of structural, cultural and physical violence against the Igbo Nation including ostracizing the sub Race from the country’s top security establishments and other important projects such as national railway and seaport projects and befitting international airport.
If by bare faced or scientific rigging, widely expected to play out next week Saturday, 16th February 2019, the present central Government finds its way back to power and decides to continue the orchestrated persecution against the Igbo Nation and her People, let it be strongly noted here again that the sub Race shall endure and survive same waiting for the day of reckoning which must surely come either in togetherness or in apart.
Other ways of taming the retrogressive and destructive forces and their nuisances in Igbo Eastern Nigeria are by henceforth treating or regarding their comments and activities as trash.
Further efforts shall be made to isolate and exclude them from forums where critical issues and decisions regarding the Igbo Nation, their interests, welfare and future are discussed or taken.
Condemning Retrogressive Attacks On Mainstream Igbo Groups Over Their Presidential Poll Stance
The Coalition hereby condemns in strongest term sustained attempts by the Presidency through corruptive means and threats to create divisions in several mainstream Igbo organizations including the OHANAEZE Ndigbo and others that recently reviewed the ongoing political trends in the country and resolved to pitch tent with a political and its presidential candidate.
Such adoptive positions taken by leading socio-cultural groupings across Nigeria including OHANAEZE Ndigbo are commendable, well informed and thoughtful. This is more so when they are coherent with political realities on the ground and the Chapter Four of the 1999 Constitution as well as Nigeria’s ratified and domesticated treaty laws.
The attacks and other forms of campaign of calumny against the John Nnia Nwodo led OHANAEZE Ndigbo; strictly in the instant case, are hereby condemned.
Finally, we call on those who are bent on not being part of the adoptive position of the mainstream Igbo People and organizations including Govs William Obiano of Anambra State and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State to pursue their selfish political interests on their own and leave the Igbo Nation, her People and their collective interests and welfare out of same.
Henceforth, there must be clear cut separation between pursuit of personal political interests and critical issues affecting the Igbo Nation. Hiding under the “interests and welfare of Igbo Nation” to swindle, misinform and mislead the Ethnic Nationality must no longer be tolerated.
However, the Coalition recognizes the rights of Buharists in Igbo Land to dine and wine and even swim with the concept of Buharism, symbolized by their presidential bad market in Igbo Nation; provided they are done leaving the entire Igbo Nation and their collective interests and welfare out of it.
Issues of Second Niger Bridge project and an additional State proposal clearly go beyond the powers and authority of Gov Obiano of Anambra State. In his capacity as Anambra Gov, he is an interloper in the subject matter.
This is more so when he is neither the Chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum nor the elected or anointed spiritual leader of the Igbo Nation. Gov Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State who is the Chair of Southeast Govs Forum has, on his own part, lost legitimacy and moral authority to lead or speak for Igbo People.
For: Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights & Democracy Organizations (SBCHROs)
· Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Emeka Umeagbalasi & Chinwe Umeche, Esquire)
· CLO, Southeast Zone (Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah)
· CLO, Anambra State Branch (Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme & Comrade Chidi Mbah)
· Forum for Promotion of National Ethos & Values (FPNEV: Prince Emeka Onyesoh)
· Igbo Ekunie Initiative (Tochukwu Ezeoke, UK)
· Int’l Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative (ISPHRI: Jerry Chidozie Chukwuokoro, PhD)
· Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Dev (FENRAD: Comrade Nnana Nelson Nwafor)
· Society for Economic Rights & Social Justice (SERSj: Andy Ndukwe)
· Human Rights Organization of Nigeria (HRON: Comrade Samuel Njoku
· Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy (CHRPA: Comrade Peter Onyegiri)
· Southeast Good Governance Forum (SEGGF: Alex Olisa)
· Society Watch & Advocacy Project (of Intersociety)-WASP (Comrade Chike Umeosonwunne)
· Initiative for Ideal Dev & Emancipatory Leadership in Nigeria (IDEAL: Comrade Nwokocha Anozie Innocent)
· Igbo National Council (INC) (Comrade Chilos A.C. Godsent & Comrade Zulu Ofoelue)
· Anambra Human Rights Forum (ANHRF: Obianuju Igboeli, Esquire)
· Voice of the Voiceless Int’l (VOVI) (Violet Umenwofor-Ezekwike, Esquire)
· Easy Life Initiative for Rural Youths (ELIRY: Comrade Emeku Uche)
· Community Empowerment Network (Rep)
· Southeast Movement against Transactional Politics & Profligacy (Comrade Bright Obidike)
· Prof Justice Chidi (Academia)
-Neighborhood Environmental Watch Foundation (Okezie Kelechi)
Special Contact Persons:
Jerry Chukwuokoro, PhD- 08035372962
Prof Justice Chidi-Chidi-08039100804