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Gowon has no business praying in Igboland *Abia visit mockery to Ironsi, PDP tackles Otti



The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has launched an intensive attack on Alex Otti, Governor-elect in Abia State over his invitation of Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s war-time Head of State as a special guest for special prayers ahead of his inauguration on May 29, saying the decision stoked some grave implications.

Among the implications was that the former Head of State, not only led to the annihilation of millions of Igbo people during the civil war, through deliberate hunger, and bombardment of civilian targets, but was in fact at the centre of the coup that led to the killing of the late Aguyi Ironsi, first Nigerian Head of State and an indigene of Umuahia, the Abia State capital, where the inauguration would take place.

The PDP, in a statement, by Abraham Amah, the Vice Chairman, of the state chapter, maintained that Gowon was the wrongest person to pray in Igboland, let alone Umuahia, adding that without first apologising for his past roles, the attempt would amount to gross insensitivity to the feelings of the people.

The full statement, read: “The attention of the Abia PDP has been drawn to a news item in circulation on social media indicating that Nigeria’s former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon would on Sunday April 23, 2023 lead a prayer session in one Master’s Vessel Church Umuahia, Abia State under the auspices of his pet project, Nigeria Prays, to herald a new Abia. Whatever ‘a new Abia’ means.

“The press release signed by the Abia State Coordinator of Nigeria Prays, Apostle Chuks Alozie named General Yakubu Gowon and the Abia governor-elect Dr. Alex Otti as special guests of honour, Vice Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Prof. Madu Ofo Iwe as guest speaker and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as chief host.

“While the PDP does not object to praying for Abia State and Nigeria at large at any given time, we are worried about the choice of General Yakubu Gowon as a special guest of honour and the Team Lead as well as the timing of the prayer session. The name, Yakubu Gowon is unsettling to many people in the South East given the ignoble roles he played during the Biafran Civil War for which he is yet to render any public apology.

“Moreover, the choice of General Gowon as the guest of honour at an event in the home town of slain General Aguiyi Ironsi who was killed by coupists among whom was General Gowon and the subsequent pogrom and fratricidal 30-month Biafran Civil War that led to the massacre of millions of South Easterners in an orchestrated orgy of violence smacks of indifference and insensitivity to the sensibilities of the people of South East. To many, it sounds like the eventual triumph over the conquest of the South East and perpetuation of dominance over the Igbo nation.

“The PDP wonders if there are no other men of God who could be called upon to lead the prayer session except the very Yakubu Gowon who oversaw the genocidal killing of the people of the South East and the continuous implementation of the State-policy for her subjugation and marginalisation in all facets of Nigeria’s national life. It beats our imagination and quite irreconcilably that a state like Abia that has produced a Catholic Bishop and other high ranking members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN that are well versed in the word and sacrament would settle for a man whose hands are tainted with the blood of defenseless Igbos to pray for the State. This is an aberration that finds no place of comfort in the face of every imaginable scrutiny.

“Up till today, General Yakubu Gowon remains unrepentant and is yet to publicly admit his mistakes in the Civil War, including reneging on the international treaty at Aburi, Ghana where the most plausible solutions to the intractable questions of Nigeria’s unity were soundly proffered by himself, General Emeka Ojukwu and members of international community.

“The only way the prayer session would make meaning to the millions of South Easterners, dead and alive, is for General Gowon to use the opportunity of the prayer session and convert it to a moment of truth and apologise to the people for his role in the atrocious war that led to the untimely death of millions of our very resourceful people.

“And to those who have become overzealous with the prospects of a Labour Party government in Abia State and are looking for very many ways, howbeit meaningless, to identify with the Labour Party, let us warn that this prayer session is one of the many fruitless efforts that has derailed and has no significance in the lives of Abians. This prayer session under Gowon’s watch will only bring back memories of old wounds and rather than healing, would only make the wounds afresh except there is a public atonement for the sins.

“We call on the organisers of the prayer session to prevail upon General Yakubu Gowon to admit his errors before, during and after the Biafran Civil War and apologise to the people of the South East while he is still alive and write his name in gold because no time is late to do the right thing. He should borrow a leaf from former German Chancellor, Angela Merkel who after more than 70 years apologised for the Holocaust and opened the doors of Germany to millions of migrants from Africa and the Middle East to change the narrative about Germany’s inhumanity as portrayed by the fascist Nazis. To the members of the PDP and the good people of Abia State, we urge everyone to remain calm, peaceful and have an abiding faith in the ability of Abians to make Abia a better place for all of us.”

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Imo massacre: Armoured vehicles procured for police used to rig elections – LP



Labour Party, palpably in anguish at the slaughter of eight soldiers in Imo State on Tuesday by some rampaging gunmen, has raised questions over the whereabouts of the nine Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) Athan Achonu, it claimed its governorship candidate for the November 11 election, repaired and donated to the authorities in the state.

The party, all but called out the leadership of the Imo State Police Command, to whom they claimed the equipment were handed over, alleging that the last time they APCs were seen was during the last general elections, where they were used by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party in power in the state to snatch ballot boxes for candidates in the national and state assemblies.

The claim, was made when Nick Opara-Ndudu  and Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiareri , chieftains of the party appeared as guests on The Morning Show, a breakfast programme on Arise Television to sell the candidacy of Achonu, whom they said would never have allowed the type of insecurity in the state to endure under his watch.

Both men, who said that Achonu, whose highest political office so far, was his short stint in the Senate, where he served via the 2015 election before he was removed through the courts, remained the only solution not to the insecurity, in the state and even the South East,  but the one to rescue the people from years of underdevelopment from poor leadership.

Obiareri, spokesman of the LP in the state, argued that if the APCs had been in place, Tuesday’s incident in which the military men were killed alongside some policemen and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), would probably not have happened, said a check on the social media would reveal how they were used by party men of the APC for rigging the 2023 general elections.

He said: “The military men that were killed if they had armoured vehicles patrolling, they wouldn’t have been shot by those criminals. Athan Achonu, go and confirm from Innoson, paid hundreds of millions of naira to Innoson, Innoson is still alive, you people can still go and interview him, to repair nine armoured vehicles for the police. Five were supposed to be in Okigwe zone. Till today, we don’t know where those nine armoured cars are.

“If you go to Youtube, you’ll see Youtube record of members of the House of Assembly in Imo State using those APCs to carry ballot boxes. It’s there on Youtube, you can search it out. What Athan Achonu will do is very simple. Every local government area will have one humvy vehicle for the police. Police stations had been totally burnt in Imo State and Athan repaired most of those police stations.

“Then, there will be community vigilante. We’ll train those 50 youths per community – train them, equip them and arm them. They should guard their communities. When you have over 50,000 hectres of land, reclaimed from the bandits, and you have youths who are not only just farming, but who are trained to protect their communities, they’ll do the job.

“Then, we have to set up a security trust fund. Ndi-Imo are not scared. As at today, there are some communities in Imo State, where bandits – unknown gunmen, are ransacking and collecting levies from the communities. Basically, Athan Achonu will provide training, recruitment for people donated by the communities. Communities know those who are the terrible ones in their midst. And I tell you, in six months, they will flush them out.”

Opara-Ndudu, who dismissed the claim by the state governor, Hope Uzodimma that the carnage and other killings in the state were politically-motivated, blamed the governor for misplacing his priorities and failing to provide jobs for the teeming youth population in the state, questioning why nobody had been arrested and prosecuted fully in the courts if the insecurity in the state was all about politics.

Hear him: “The security problem has to do with objective conditions in the state. The young people are frustrated. The government is not making any investments in the areas that are required. We’re busy pursuing projects that are designs in deception. Look at the roads that are being done in Imo State, you know for you to deal with the problem of poverty and other economic challenges, you have to deal with the problem of infrastructure.

“In Imo State, the government has dedicated all of its time and half of its time to reconstructing federal roads without any attention – little or no attention paid to the rural areas. If you go to length and breadth of Imo State – Ngor Okpala, Ezinifte Mbaise, even in the governor’s local government – everywhere in Imo State, you find that the rural areas are looking desolate and abandoned.”

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Police find body of missing female student dumped in the bush, vow to get killers



Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), command, have vowed to fish out the killers of a university student, Blessing Karami, whose body was said to have been picked up from the bush days after she was declared missing on September 11.

The FCT police, which released the painful news on Thursday, said in a statement by its spokesman, Josephine Adeh that the remains were found in the woods in the Karimu area of the city.

The police spokesman acknowledged that her disappearance was reported to the police authorities last,  Thursday, September 14 added that 26-year-old Blessing, a student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), was declared missing after leaving her place of work in Garki, Abuja.

She said in the statement: “The body of Blessing Karami Moses, a 26-year-old woman who had been missing since September 11, 2023, was tragically discovered in a wooded area in Karimo. Her disappearance was reported to the authorities on September 14, 2023,” the statement read.

She said Commissioner of Police, FCT, Haruna Garba, had directed that command should conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, adding: “While we are working closely with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to facilitate the respectful retrieval of the decomposed remains acknowledging the sensitive nature of this task, we will continue to provide updates to the public as our investigation progresses.”

Adeh, a Superintendent of Police (SP), also commiserated with Blessing’s family and loved ones over the incident.

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Ogun cult massacre: DSS raid home, pick up PDP lawmaker, five others



Damilare Bello Mohammed, a serving member of the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA), is currently telling operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) his side of the story, after he was picked up over his alleged involvement in the rival secret cult clashes that occurred in Sagamu town.

Mohammed, recently elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Sagamu State Constituency 1, was picked up on Wednesday by the agency over the incident in which at least eight persons were killed last weekend during the violent clash in the town, alongside five other suspected cultists allegedly involved in the cult violence.

The five other suspects; Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade, were arrested by the DSS operatives during a sting operation after a tip-off at the early hours of Thursday within the residence of the lawmaker.

Lekan Adeniran, spokesman to Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State governor, announced the development in a statement on Wednesday, saying the secret police tracked the six suspected cultists to the official residence of the lawmaker.

Accusing the lawmaker of providing shelter to the cultists, Adeniran, said in the statement, that the suspects were presently undergoing interrogation in DSS custody after many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from them.

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