Friday, November 27, 2015

Buhari’s Neglect of Confab Report Fueling Biafran Protests – Okurounmu
Senator Femi Okurounmu

Eniola Akinkuotu
Nigerian Punch

The Chairman of the defunct Presidential Advisory Committee on the National Conference, Senator Femi Okurounmu, says the pro-Biafran agitations probably started due to the failure of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to implement the resolutions of the National Conference.

He told our correspondent during an interview on Wednesday that the conference endorsed fiscal autonomy and the devolution of powers from the centre to the federating states.

Okurounmu, however, noted that Buhari’s body language, including his penchant for making too many northern appointments, had made some other parts of the country, especially the South-East, feel unwanted.

He, therefore, urged the President to have a rethink on the issue.

He said, “The National Conference had foreseen this agitation and that was why we agreed that there would be certain autonomy of the federating units.

“The problems of Nigeria lie on the issues of devolution of power and that of resource allocation. These were the problems that we set out to address but President Buhari threw away these resolutions.

“He is giving most of the appointments to the North; the same people who fought against resource control. Eighty per cent of his appointees – who are not ministers – are from the North. Why wouldn’t other parts of the country feel left out?”

When asked to comment on Buhari’s ministerial appointments which favoured the South-West, Okurounmu said the appointments could be a trap.

He said Buhari had not achieved anything remarkable in his six months in office.

Okurounmu, who represented Ogun-Central senatorial district between 1999 and 2003, said the President had failed to impress Nigerians.

He noted that Buhari, who received widespread support on his promise to fight corruption, had failed to effectively tackle the menace.

The ex-lawmaker said even ardent supporters of the All Progressives Congress were beginning to regret campaigning for Buhari as the problems of fuel scarcity, power failure and insecurity have worsened.

He said, “As you would have observed, there is fuel scarcity and electricity supply is poor. I did not support Buhari so I am not disappointed in him. Even some of his biggest supporters are disappointed but shame will not allow them to admit it. Nigerians are disillusioned with this administration that has achieved nothing in six months.

“He promised to fight corruption but we have not seen anything in the last six months. During his visit to Iran, he said some of those that looted the treasury are already returning the stolen money. Is that how to fight corruption? Is there no punishment for corruption anymore? How does one determine how much was stolen without a proper investigation and judicial processes?

“He has surrounded himself with people like Rotimi Amaechi who have been accused of corruption.”

The former lawmaker said in six months, the Chibok girls had not been found but Nigerians seemed to have forgotten about them.

Okurounmu explained that at the tail end of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Nigeria was winning the war against terrorism. He, however, lamented that Buhari’s administration had seen an increase in the activities of terrorists.

‘Ojukwu’s Spirit Guiding Biafran Protests’

Gibson Achonu, Owerri
Nigerian Punch

A chieftain of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, Chief Chris Uche, says the spirit of the late Leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, is behind the recent pro-Biafran agitation.

He said this in Owerri on Thursday at the third memorial anniversary of Ojukwu.

Uche added that Biafra would be declared a sovereign state without the shedding of blood.

He also noted that those who died for the Biafran cause would never be forgotten.

Uche, who is also a former Commissioner for Housing in Imo State, said that the time for the realisation of Biafra was drawing near.

He said, “Ojukwu gave us a template. He is still alive in our minds. Chief Uwazuruike’s yearly remembrance ceremony in his honour is bringing the time closer for the realisation of Biafra. We shall keep the flag flying and we shall achieve it without shooting of gun.”

Also speaking, the founder of the Oodua People’s Congress, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, said there was nothing wrong with the recent protests for the creation of a Biafran state.

The 80-year-old politician thanked Biafran agitators for going about their protests peacefully and urged the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra to continue to protest peacefully.

Also speaking, the leader of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, said that the essence of the anniversary of Ojukwu was to rekindle the consciousness of Biafra among the people.

He said that MASSOB was a non-violent group but regretted that the Indigenous People of Biafra, which recently emerged, was using threats of violence to achieve its aim.

He called for the unconditional release of Radio Biafra Director, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.

Uwazuruike said, “They (IPOB) believe that since MASSOB has not achieved Biafra through non-violent methods for 16 years, they will achieve it through violence. They threatened fire and castigated some Igbo leaders.”

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