Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has always been a man one cannot afford to be neutral about. It is either you like him or you dislike him.
I do not know him that much but it seems Governor Wike, to many Nigerians, is a leader who is never afraid to raise his voice against injustice and dishonesty .
Governor Wike may have again grabbed the admiration of many Nigerians when he recently stood up to speak, unequivocally, against the outlawed armed group who identified themselves as Independent People of Biafra (IPOB). The group had this week declared a sit-at-home order for all Igbos and other residents in Southeast Nigeria to remain in their homes on Monday to commemorate „Biafra Day“.
During that unofficial holiday, declared by the self-styled IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu, anybody seen in the streets would be „killed“.
Of course, most states of Southeast Nigeria complied with the threat order and has stayed at home simply because the residents fear their lives. Mr Kanu had however pushed his luck beyond limits when he mentioned that even states in the. South-south should observe the forced holiday.
Even though the political leadership in the southeast had failed to condemn the stay-at-home order, Governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike, rose to the occasion and called the bluff of the IPOB order.
Governor Wike said it categorically that IPOB has no right anywhere in the constitution of Nigeria to declare a sit-at home order, because „we don‘t have IPOB in Rivers!“.
Wike was emphatic as he spoke on national TV that such breach of rights and laws should not be accepted anywhere in Nigeria. That alone speaks to the fact that IPOB remains a group that has no place in the country called Nigeria.
It should be recalled that about a year ago, Governor Wike had banned the activities of IPOB and asked them to leave Rivers state. He even placed a N50 million bounty on any information that will lead to arrest of the IPOB leadership in Rivers.
It should also be noted that the sit-at-home order which was declared by Nnamdi Kanu, came amidst wanton killings and abduction of security personnel and destruction of police stations and INEC facilities by the group. We should also be reminded that the Nigerian government had in the past year, named IPOB a „terrorists“ organisation.
IPOB gunmen had burnt over 40 INEC and police offices across the six states of the Southeast.
IPOB has carried out many abductions and broad day murder of prominent personalities in the country. Sadly and much to everyone‘s surprise, none of the leaders of the Southeast has come out to speak strongly against their worsening illicit activities.
It seems our leaders in the southeast and other parts of the South have prioritised local political considerations over National interest.
A group that armed itself with lethal assault rifles and engage in senseless attacks and destruction of critical security facilities have waged a war on the country. As such leaders should be seen to be swift in condemning them and their activities. Keeping quiet is either a sign of cowardice or endorsement for IPOB.
Why must wonder why did the leadership in Southeast kept silence on the issue of IPOB when they convened their regional security meeting last month.
On this matter, Governor Wike has provided true leadership for the southern region, most especially the South-south. Let everyone join him on this patriotic stance. This includes even leaders in the North.
All leaders should be nationalistic in their views, expression and even body language.
Leaders should see anything that confronts the Constitution of Nigeria, as their number-one issue to condemn frontally.
All leaders must believes that a man‘s country is not all about a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle that a citizen belongs to all parts; and his patriotism is loyalty to that principle.
IPOB must be told, and boldly for that matter, that there is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people and destroying public infrastructure for a purpose that is unattainable.
Wike has, as usual, spoken; it is time we all join his nationalistic outlook on this simmering matter.
Audu, a public analyst, writes from No. 13 Maiduguri Street, Wadata, Makurdi
Jukka Davidson: American democracy in ruins
A documentary film, just aired on regional TV channels in France, lays bare the US role in unleashing wars that lead to numerous civilian casualties around the globe.
By 2016, the United States, acting as part of NATO, had been enmeshed in wars in eight countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Cameroon and Uganda). The scope of the US-led NATO bombings of the former Yugoslavia was even bigger, with the civilian death toll exceeding 10,000.
NATO’s expansion led to militarization of European countries, seen as a means of political control on the part of the United States with the European states unable to exert any notable influence on the US-led Western military alliance. However, military force is not the only form of US pressure on Europe. Fully aware of their impunity and strong support from Washington, swarms of business people of every hue, many of them with close links to the US political elites, are heading to the Old World, especially to the Eastern European countries, still going through difficult times after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union.
Backed by corrupt local elites, members of foreign boards of directors, both private and public, are able to generate huge incomes at the expense of the masses. At the same time, the general level of poverty in those countries keeps going up. The case of President Biden’s son, Hunter, is particularly revealing. As a member of the board of directors of the Burisma group of companies in Ukraine, Hunter Biden earned $850,000 in 2014 alone with the help of corruption schemes and pressure from the United States. Joe Biden and his son used Ukraine exclusively for the purpose of their personal financial enrichment. Meanwhile, the Biden administration publicly declares its support for Ukraine in a clear show of double standards. In reality, however, this “support” is limited only to military supplies, thus fueling tensions in that country’s long-troubled southeast.
As for the promised financial assistance for the implementation of planned social and political reforms in Ukraine, it is still in the pipeline, which, as we know from history, does not mean that the promised funds will ever reach the final recipients – the people of Ukraine. Meanwhile, a widespread smokescreen campaign was launched portraying Russia as the main culprit of what was going on in Ukraine, as the main enemy of reforms and the aggressor country, all of which, according to the Americans, should justify the current militarization of Washington’s assistance to Kiev.
As a result, Ukraine, just like the rest of Eastern Europe, is being used as a platform for the realization of their political and economic interests by exacerbating internal contradictions and subsequently using them through corrupt and illegal methods to undermine the people’s living standards, infringe on their rights and often lead to numerous deaths as a result of many conflicts that have erupted across Europe and the rest of the world during the past 30 years.
Expert/Author: Jukka Davidson, political scientist, economist (FInland)
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