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.
2019 elections: Uduaghan is my boss, I can’t insult him – Fmr Delta SSG, Macaulay
Immediate past Secretary to Delta State Government, Comrade (Chief) Ovuozourie Macaulay says he didn’t insult his former boss, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan as was portrayed by Executive Assistant on Communications to Delta State Governor, Dr. (Barr.) Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe in an article posted on Facebook.
Macaulay who reacted to the article in a statement on Tuesday signed by his Media Assistant, Mr. Iteveh Ekpokpobe, said that the fact that him and his former boss are now in different political party would not warrant a disrespectful assertions as was credited to him by the said Latimore.
The former SSG who described Uduaghan as his “boss” and “elder brother”, however noted that his decision not to follow the former governor to All Progressives Congress, APC but to remain in PDP was based on “principle” and not because of any frosty relationship.
We gathered that the Governor’s aide known for his media propaganda had made the distorted post reportedly from an earlier news report credited to the SSG where he was quoted to have said; “Isoko Nation is not known for talks. We are known for delivering the figures. Isoko is a PDP nation. We have never failed. We will do it again.”
The statement entitled: “I am Not A Fan Of Armchair Journalism – Macaulay” made available reads:
“The attention of former Secretary to Delta State Government, Comrade (Chief) Ovuozourie Macaulay has been drawn to a post credited to Executive Assistant on Communications to Delta State Governor, Dr. (Barrister) Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, which is currently making the round.
The post titled, “Delta Decides 2019. Nothing For APC In Isoko Nation; Gov Okowa, Senator James Manager Our Mandate – Former SSG Ovuzorie Macaulay” (sic) ordinarily wouldn’t incite a response due to its Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) orientation. However, there were issues raised which must be addressed for the sake of posterity.
In the first instance, Macaulay never discussed any issue with the writer. He was at the verge of exiting the PDP Campaign Secretariat in Asaba when Latimore ran into him. Been acquaintances for decades, Latimore sought his permission to take a photo shot with him which he obliged. It ended there. There was never any discussion except exchange of pleasantries. Hence, Macaulay is most perplexed about claims contained in that article, to say the least.
Being a veteran journalist, Macaulay is not a fan of armchair journalism. He does not hope to change that stand either in future. He will never be a fan of armchair journalism, which is obviously on crass display with that article.
Latimore claimed that Macaulay “berated the former Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan for abandoning a party (PDP), that baby-nursed him from semi-poverty as a medical doctor with a low-key lifestyle to a prosperous individual of enormous proportion…” A claim taken too far.
Macaulay is known for many virtues including respecting his elders. He would not insult his elders. He would not insult his boss. That they are now on different sides of a political divide will not be a yardstick for such attitude.
He took his stand to remain in the PDP as a matter of principle. Macaulay has instituted structures for the party ahead of the elections. He is a member of the National and State campaign councils of the party. He has campaigned vigorously for the party. He is still campaigning. But he holds it dear that his campaigns are issues based. Insulting his former boss, who by age, is his elder brother, will not be part of his campaign and winning strategy.
The former SSG believes in issues based campaign and will continue to go by that dictate. As a matter of reiteration, he posits that latimore’s claims never emanated from him. Never!”
Obaseki earmarks N500m for Benin Royal Museum
…as efforts on retrieval of stolen artefacts yielding results
Edo State government has proposed N500 million for the construction of the Benin Royal Museum, stating its intentions to make Benin the culture capital of West Africa with the planned return of the artefacts stolen from the state in the colonial era, which is yielding positive results.
Governor Godwin Obaseki said this while presenting the 2019 Budget proposal on Monday before a session of the House of Assembly.
Addressing the legislators, he said, “To fulfil our commitment towards making Edo the culture capital of West Africa, we have earmarked N500 million in 2019 proposed Budget, to commence the development and construction of the Benin Royal Museum. This will be done in collaboration with the Palace of His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, Ogidigan”
Efforts by the Edo State Governor and the Benin Monarch, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, to retrieve artefacts stolen from the state in the colonial era are yielding results as European governments have set modalities in place for either permanent or temporary return of the artworks.
Oba of Benin, Eheneden Erediauwa Campaign for the return of the prized heritage objects has raged for decades, with Nigerian authorities mounting pressure on European governments and museums to return them, while the Europeans argue that holding the work was best for the preservation of the artefacts, as there were no structures in Africa to properly hold them.
The French government recently approved the return of 26 artefacts stolen from the Benin Republic after a report recommended the move, raising the prospect of more of such moves from the European country.
Okowa presents staff of office to Warri Monarch
An array of tradition and culture played out in Warri, Delta state when Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Monday presented staff of office to the Orosuen of Okere Urhobo Warri Kingdom, Prof. Paul Okumagba, Idama ll.
The event took place 11 years after the death of the late traditional ruler, Benjamin Okumagba in Warri South Local Government Area of the state.
The new monarch, Prof. Okumagba is a renowned professor of Sociology from the Delta State University, Abraka.
Gov. Okowa who was represented by his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro, congratulated the monarch on his selection and subsequent recognition as the Orosuen of Okere Urhobo Kingdom and urged the monarch to entrench peace in the Warri metropolis.
“The Orosuen is one of you and it is a win-win situation for all the people of Okere Urhobo, Warri.
“No doubt, the government is aware of some pockets of dissenting voices in the processes leading to today’s ceremony.
“I sincerely urge you to give him your fullest support and cooperation for sustainable peace and progress of the kingdom.
“Your Royal Majesty, you are the father of all your subjects, so you should be fair to all and sundry, as the custodian of the tradition of your people, it is important that you uphold the sanctity of their custom,’’ he said.
Several traditional rulers across the state including the Orodje of Okpe, Orhue 1, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, Abe 1, religious leaders and government functionaries attended the event.
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