Eze Israel Kanu, the traditional ruler of Isiama Afaraukwu in Umuahia, has appealed to the Federal Government to withdraw all the charges against his son and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu, who made the appeal in Umuahia on Monday, said such measure would help to foster peace and douse tension in the country.
“I call on the Federal Government to immediately withdraw all the charges preferred against Kanu in the interest of peace in the country.
“He did not commit murder. He did not carry arms; neither did he commit any heinous crime to warrant such a government clampdown.
“His only offence was that he expressed his opinion in a democracy where people are free to express themselves without the fear of arrest or molestation,” he said.
The monarch said he was not in a position to stop his son from pursuing his conviction, adding that Nnamdi was mature enough to hold an independent opinion.
“He is more than 18 years of age and has become an adult. He is capable of having an independent opinion on any issues. So, I cannot ask him to stop pursuing what he believes in.
“The only thing that can assuage him is to allow him to have Biafra and no amount of inducement, even giving him an oil block, would stop him.” he said.
Kanu, who described the bail conditions by the Abuja High Court as stringent, thanked Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, (Abia South Senatorial District), an Igbo Jewish Rabbi from Port Harcourt , Immanuu El-Shalom, and a renowned Chartered Accountant, Tochukwu Uchendu, for securing his release.
He assured that his son would not betray the trust the sureties reposed in him.
He said that while in his palace, young able-bodied members of IPOB volunteered to restrict the number of visitors around him “so that he does not run afoul of one of the bail conditions.”
The visibly elated octogenarian described the two-year incarceration of his son as a period of depression.
“Very often, I kept wondering what would be his fate and hoping also that he would not die in detention. I had very strong hope that God would not allow him to die in the cell,” he said.
He also spoke on how he felt when the IPOB leader arrived at his palace on Friday, after regaining his freedom, saying that he felt very happy and excited.
“He looked quite healthy and strong. His looks showed that the prison warders took good care of him, so I was very happy and impressed when I saw him,” he said.
Nnamdi arrived at his country home at Isiama Afaraukwu in Umuahia on Friday to the warm reception of his parents, kinsmen and other relations as well as IPOB members.
The palace has been hosting visitors daily, including traditional rulers, politicians and other members of the community seeking to catch a glimpse of the IPOB leader.
Nnamdi, who was arrested on Oct. 14, 2015, had been standing trial at an Abuja High Court on an 11-count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter and illegal possession of firearms, among others.
He was, however, granted bail by Justice Binta Nyako on April 25.
Delta South 2019: Youth Group backs Uduaghan for senate
A formidable group in Delta State known as Inspired Youths is drumming support for ex-governor and Delta South senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan to represent the zone in 2019.
The group which spoke through their leader, Joy Omodafe reiterated that their support for the former governor was not unconnected with his landmark achievements during his tenure in the state as governor.
She disclosed that they were prepared to mobilize thousands of their supporters who are mostly youths and women from across Delta South Senatorial District come 2019 elections especially as it has to do with their representation in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
Members of the group whose opinions were sampled agreed that they have not been feeling the impact of democratic dividends for a long time, but in 2019, things would be different as they are looking forward to a quality representation with Dr. Uduaghan at the National Assembly.
Between the two heavyweights who are the major contenders: the immediate past governor of the state, who is of the All Progressive Congress (APC), has been posing a problem to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent senator representing the district, Senator James Manager as he is generally adjudged to have good ideology and developmental programmes.
Pundits are of the opinion that the former governor is most favoured to represent the people of Delta South who are said to be tired of bad representations by previous representatives.
Their argument is hinged on the fact that those who have been in the National Assembly for the past 19 years have failed to make any meaningful impact on the lives of the people.
The group also disclosed that one of the reasons they are prepared to follow the former governor is that he is synonymous with excellence, “He is not only a hard worker but a master planner whom observers believe stands a better chance with the growing strength and popularity of the APC in the state.
“This political oracle held forte while Chief James Ibori was away and the fortunes of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in the state did not dwindle nor did they lose the state to the opposition.”
Joy Omodafe who is also the managing director of OJ Blizz, a popular event centre in Warri, equally stated that as governor of Delta state, Dr. Uduaghan created a lot of landmark achievements which still stands today in the Big Heart state.
“One, as Delta State governor, he did a lot for the state in health, education, roads, human capital development, job creation and meeting the needs of youths and the aged.
“There is no one who did not benefit from his programmes and this has endeared him to the people. Dr. Uduaghan commands respect amongst all the ethnic groups in the state, so it will be difficult for his opponent to defeat him,” she said.
Also lending their voices in support of Dr. Uduaghan’s senatorial move, some members of the group, whose base spans across the eight local government areas of the senatorial district, said the group has mapped out plans to embark on massive grassroots rally to all the local government areas.
They disclosed that their resolves to campaign for him was based on his antecedents in peace building and achievements in public offices he held in Delta State.
The group cited some of his landmark achievements to include the 7.6km Umeh Road in Isoko, which ended 30 years of abandonment of the agrarian community, the Abigborodo Bridge project in Warri North, Ugbenu Koko Road, the 0-5 years free health care delivery programme across the state and the revolutionary Uduaghan Park, “which brought transportation across Delta State to an easy and comfortable ride with lowest fares”, and these make him eminently qualified to vie for the prominent legislative position in 2019.
The group also noted the construction of “10 International Model Schools” in the three senatorial districts of Delta State, the construction/renovation of hundreds of schools, the introduction of EDUMARSHAL programme to ensure the downtrodden children go to school free of charge as well as the payment of enrollment fees for SSCE candidates as some other reasons that informed their decision to back Dr. Uduaghan’s senatorial ambition. She also noted that the ex-governor’s current empowerment programmes and provision of teaching and learning materials to schools in the rural areas are quite commendable.
They summed up that a man who sacrificed his senatorial ambition for the sake of peace in Delta State, particularly inter-ethnic harmony in Delta South in 2015 should be given all the necessary support to represent Delta South in 2019. They also describe the former secretary to Delta State Government as “an intellectual and bridge builder with the requisite national as well as international connections for the job.
Speaking further on the immediate-past governor, the group expressed appreciation to the former governor for heeding to the cry of the people from the region, which has been neglected and grossly marginalized by the Federal Government due to lack of robust and effective representation at the upper house of the National Assembly.
Libation not fetish, but prayer – HRM Appolus Chu
World Food Day: Over 30 per cent farmland in Niger Delta lost to floods – Uduaghan
The immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has disclosed that over 30 per cent of farmland in the Niger Delta region has been lost to this year’s ravaging flood.
Uduaghan, a senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the Delta South Senatorial District in the 2019 general elections, noted that the development posed a great threat to the nation’s food sufficiency drive.
In a statement to commemorate the 2018 World Food Day on Tuesday, the former governor lamented that this year’s flooding had led to premature harvesting and destruction of farmland including fish ponds in the country, particularly in the oil-rich region.
He said the situation would not only result in great losses to farmers but also negatively affect the already improving food self-sufficiency drive of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
Uduaghan, therefore, called on the governments, corporate bodies and individuals to render assistance in order to alleviate the plight of farmers caught in the web of the natural disaster.
“Over 30 per cent of our farmlands have been overtaken by the floods, including fish ponds.
“As shown on AIT on Monday, some of the farmers have had to hurriedly harvest the immature farm produce, and are selling them at less than 40 per cent of their market value.
“Their future seems to be hopeless. As we mark the day, let us remember the losses and sufferings of these our farmers.
“Whatever we can do individually, as organised groups, or as a government will go a long way in alleviating their plight,”. He said.
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