The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has received the news of the arrest and deportation of Nnamdi Kanu to Nigeria and his subsequent arraignment in court in continuation of his previous trial.
2. This development is very unfortunate both for the continued existence of the crisis-ridden Nigerian federation and the struggle for the self-determination and emancipation of Igboland from the artificial Nigerian federation.
3. The arrest or elimination of Nnamdi Kanu from the scene of the struggle is most unlikely to result in the smashing of the spirit of the longing for the freedom of the Igbo Nation or that of other Nationalities that are equally struggling to free themselves from the chaotic Nigerian federation.
4. Earlier in the day, we saw a social media news item with the headline: “Nnamdi Kanu arrested and Boko Haram fighters released”. This news item summarizes the grave injustice in the Federal government’s attempt to crush Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB supporters, while the blood-sucking Boko Haram and other bandits are on the prowl throughout the entire Federation including Katsina the home state of Mr. President.
5. The Igbo Nation is meanwhile groaning under the agony of the massive arrests, torture and killing of many Igbo youths by security agents of the Federal Government.
6. One thing is very clear. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is breathing its last. It may well go the way of other federations which were created artificially and held together by the force of arms.
7. We call on the International Community not to turn it’s back on the horrors taking place in Nigeria, especially in Igboland.
8. We equally call on all Igbo lawyers no matter their persuasions, to come together and defend Nnamdi Kanu as well as several other Igbo youths who are languishing in various detention centers and prisons all over Nigeria.
PROF. UZODINMA NWALA,
CHAIRMAN, ADF BUREAU OF MEDIA & PUBLICITY.
Date February 17, 2020
ADF PRESS STATEMENT
The Community Policing Proposal of the South-East Governors and the Nigerian Police.
PART A. Two Meetings –
Joint Meeting of Ime-Obi and the SE Governors
Meeting of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze.
On the 9th of February, the Ime-Obi Ohanaeze met in Enugu on the current acute Security Challenges in Nigeria with particular reference to Alaigbo.
At the meeting, the President General of Ohanaeze , Chief Nnia Nwodo and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu addressed Ime-Obi followed by speakers from all the States in Alaigbo including Rivers and Delta States.
The President of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), Prof Uzodinma Nwala, presented to Ime-Obi, a document referred to as a DISTRESS CALL signed by over twenty pan-Igbo and civil society organizations.
After deliberations, Ime-Obi took two key decisions, namely –
To set up, as a matter of utmost urgency, a Special Security Committee to forge and drive an Igbo Security Agenda that would enable Ndigbo to protect the lives and property in their zone just as other zones are currently doing.
To set up, as a matter of utmost urgency, an Elders Council to sustain an interface with the Governors and Legislators in the zone.
Joint Meeting of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze and the SE Governors Forum.
On the same day, a team of the Igbo leadership who attended the Ime-Obi, proceeded to the Enugu Government House for a joint meeting with the Governors of the South East.
At the Meeting, representatives of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze conveyed to the Governors key elements of Ime-Obi deliberations at her meeting earlier in the day.
In turn, the Vice Chairman of the Security Committee of the Governors, briefed the joint meeting on the deteriorating state of insecurity in the South-East.
At the meeting it was resolved that both the Governors and Ime-Obi should work together to promote a common Security Agenda for Alaigbo.
In keeping with the above, it was agreed that Ime-Obi should be fully appraised of the Security proposals by the Governors of the South East and that Ime-Obi would come up with its own proposals, so that Ndigbo can evolve one comprehensive and adequate set of Agenda to meet the Security Challenges in the South East. And indeed in Alaigbo in general.
Reports on the Alarming State of Insecurity in Alaigbo.
If anyone at those meetings was in doubt about the grave dangers of insecurity facing Ndigbo, such doubts were confounded by two very terrifying reports received at both the Ime-Obi Ohanaeze and the Joint meeting with the Governors.
At the Ime Obi meeting, the former President-General of Ohanaeze, Chief Enwo-Igariwey from Ebonyi State, narrated a very heart-rending account of the Security Situation in Ebony State. According to him, the Fulani herdsmen and insurgents have taken over many of the farms with their cattle ravaging farm crops. The farmers and the people are hardly able to access their farms because of the menacing presence and threats from the herdsmen and insurgents wielding AK 47 and other dangerous weapons. Not only farms and crops but their women and daughters as well as the men are desecrated. Killing and kidnapping are the order of the day.
Next at the Joint Meeting with the Governors at the Enugu Governor’s Lodge, the Vice Chairman of the Security Committee set up by the SE Governors, Mr. Aduba CP Rtd, presented even a more harrowing picture of the state of insecurity in the South-East. According to his account. what exists today in the South-East is not just a threat of insecurity, it is that the entire zone has been occupied or simply overrun by the insurgents. What is worse is that there exists a state of utter hopelessness in the face of the grave dangers facing the people of the South East.
That Joint-meeting of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze and the Governors Forum undoubtedly raised some hopes. It was, therefore, expected that –
certain immediate and urgent consultations would take place towards implementing the decisions of the Ime-Obi regarding setting up of two Committees.
Proposed consultations between the Ime-Obi and the Governors Forum would quickly take place to ensure the emergence of a Regional Security Agenda for the South East.
All the above did not take place before news came about a Security Summit of the Nigerian Police and the SE Governors.
Security Summit of the Nigerian Police and the SE Governors.
The next we heard was that a Security Summit had been convened by the Governors and the Inspector-General of Police. And that at the Summit, the South-East Governors have accepted and adopted Community Policing proposed by the Nigerian Police as an effective tool in bringing policing to the grassroots.
Composition of the Security Summit by the Nigerian Police and the SE Governors.
There were two segments of this Security Summit –
The first segment during when the actual decisions were taken by the Police and the Governors.
The second was during when the decisions were formally announced to a larger audience.
According to the Communiqué there were twenty (20) participants in that first substantive meeting
Five (5) from Alaigbo
Four Governors and One Deputy Governor
Fifteen (15) from the Nigerian Police.
DIG 2 Igbo 1
AIG 5 Igbo None
CP 5 Igbo None
DCP Igbo 1.
None Igbo 13
This is the composition of the participants from the Nigerian Police Force who have come to plan for the Security of Alaigbo.
The Communiqué of the Summit of the SE Governors and the Nigerian Police.
According to the communiqué of this SE Security Summit, the South-East State Governors have accepted and adopted Community Policing as an effective tool in bringing policing to the grassroots.
It is important to note two things about this Summit and its outcome
that it was the SE Governors who accepted and adopted the so-called Community Policing Plan and not the People of the South East whose security is being planned. It is the people of the SE whom are the victims of the horrendous state of insecurity revealed by both Mr Enwo-Igariwey, former Ohanaeze PG and Mr Aduba, CP rtd and Vice Chairman of the Security Committee set up by the SE Governors Forum.
However, what was adopted was
COMMUNITY POLICING PLAN and not
SECURITY AGENDA FOR THE SOUTH-EAST
AND INDEED FOR THE ENTIRE REGION OF ALAIGBO.
If we understand this development thus (and it is the correct way for Ndigbo to understand it) then two things follow as the appropriate reaction to the SUMMIT of the SE GOVERNORS and the NIGERIAN POLICE .
A critical but constructive appraisal of the POLICING PLAN, which is the program and an affair of the Nigerian Police meant to be their contribution in tackling the GRAVE STATE OF INSECURITY IN ALAIGBO.
The Creation of an Appropriate SECURITY AGENDA (with an appropriate supportive laws and structures) for tackling the acute state of insecurity in Alaigbo, a bit of which were highlighted by Chief Igariwey during the meeting of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze at Enugu on the 9th of February as well as the that contained in the Report of Mr Aduba, CP rtd who is the Vice Chairman of the Security Committee set up by the Governors of the South-East.
Thus, the POLICING PLAN of the Nigerian Police is neither a substitute for nor in principle mutually opposed to the a SOUTH SECURITY AGENDA which is to be put in place by the people of the South East and their Governors, Legislators and Stakeholders, PROVIDED
The POLICING PLAN of the Nigerian Police is not a FULANI PLAN to subdue and overrun the South East, nay the entire Igbo nation.
Understanding the proposed COMMUNITY POLICING PLAN
Information reaching us indicates that already there has long been a Security Program of the Nigerian Police in the South East called POLICING PLAN.
The so-called POLICING PLAN was set up and operated solely by the Nigerian Police. It is meant to monitor and moderate what they call FARMERS-HERDERS CLASH in the South East. The senior officers of the POLICING PLAN are non-Igbos, mostly Fulani Police Officers. They also recruit local members of the body of the POLICING PLAN, most of who are junior and subordinate officers and other unsuspecting members of the public.
Reports from the field monitors of the Policing Plan which are not in favour of the Herders, are frowned upon and demand made for any such report to be torn and so they get torn immediately.
It is our hope that it is not this outrageous outfit that the Enugu Security Summit organized by the Nigerian Police that is being elevated to what is now CALLED COMMUNITY POLICING FOR THE SOUTH-EAST.
From the above, it is important to underscore the point that this POLICING PLAN of the Nigerian Police has been IN OPERATION IN THE SOUTH EAST while the horrors in Ebonyi State as depicted in the Report of Chief Igariwey at the last Ime-Obi meeting as well as that depicted in the Report by Mr Aduba CP rtd at the Joint meeting of Ime-Obi and the Governors Forum, all those horrors rather than abating have been rising in crescendo with our helpless people wondering if they have any Government or leaders who care for their plight.
It is Possible that the Governors of the South East are ignorant of the truth of the POLICING PLAN as it has been in operation in the South East. And this is because they do not work with the people they are elected to serve. They rather work with the Oti Nkpus and the Oji Akpa elu ozus in the South East.
REACTIONS TO THE POLICING PLAN OF THE SE GOVERNORS AND THE NIGERIAN POLICE
There have been several negative reactions, indeed widespread condemnations by the people to this development – the idea of so-called COMMUNITY POLICING as the ultimate panacea to the dangerous Security situation in Alaigbo.
PART F.Position of the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF).
ADF totally and unequivocally reject this so-called COMMUNITY POLICING for the South East.
We stand by the message conveyed as a DISTRESS CALL to the Igbo leaders and Stakeholders presented to the last Ime- Obi Ohanaeze. That position was signed by over twenty (20) Civil Society and pan-Igbo organizations. Based on that ADF therefore affirm the following –
The Security of Alaigbo is a joint responsibility between the Government and the People of Alaigbo.
ADF is not opposed to any genuine and positive role of the Federal Government and her agencies in helping to tackle the prevailing state of grave insecurity in Alaigbo, provided –
That such role by Federal Agencies must be under the exercise and full control of personnel of our zone.
The primary Security outfit for the protection of Alaigbo must be that created by the Government and people of Alaigbo.
ADF shall continue to work with those genuine and patriotic authorities and civil society organizations in Alaigbo including our Governors, Ohanaeze, the Churches, the traditional institutions, etc, to protect and advance the interest of our people and the entire Igbo nation!
PROF. UZODINMA NWALA
PROF. NATH ANIEKWU
BISHOP OBI UDEZUE ONUBOGU
Chairman, ADF BoT
PROF ELO. AMUCHEAZI
ADF Vice President
BARR MAX OZOAKA
Director. ADF Legal Bureau
HON ABIA ONYIKE
Chairman ADF Publicity Bureau
ADF PRESS STATEMENT
By Alaigbo Development Foundation
Addressed by Barr. Max Ozoaka,
Co-ordinator, ADF Legal Bureau
On 6th February, 2020.
MEETING SECURITY CHALLENGES FACING NDIGBO IN THEIR HOME LAND
Security Is the joint Responsibility of the People and their Government!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I hereby welcome you to this Press Briefing in my capacity as the Coordinator of the Legal Bureau of the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF). The Bureau is currently charged with supervising the input and measures which the ADF is currently advancing in the on-going efforts to ensure the Security of our people and our neighbors.
We like to begin by emphasizing some fundamental facts about the on-going security crises in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The situation in Nigeria today is one of the worst security crises in human history. For us in Alaigbo, the situation is more critical than the one we faced during the Biafra war.
There does not seem to be anyone in charge to whom the people can look up to for their protection or the Government in power is in collusion with the forces responsible for the state of generalized anarchy in the land.
The people must take full responsibility for the protection of themselves, their families and their property.
We must stop mystifying the issue of security as if when the enemy attacks us and our families, when he goes into our farm to destroy our crops, or forcefully enters our home s to seize the little foods we have for our children, we must do nothing but sit down until Buhari or any Federal or State Authority comes to our rescue.
Indeed, the Security of any man is first and foremost his personal responsibility.
The role of Government on matters of security of the lives and property of the people is crucial but only second to the efforts of the individual citizen who are direct victims.
It is true that one of the major reasons for the establishment of Government by man is to ensure his security and that of his family.
However, this does not in any way remove the citizen’s personal responsibility in matters of his own security and that of his family.
There are layers of responsibility over the security of every man – from the family, kindred, village to the Clan, and, ipso facto, from the Local Government to the State, the entire country and indeed to the Global Community. Thus, every tier of society has a role to play in matters of security of lives and property of the people.
It is in this sense that the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) emphasizes the fact that – SECURITY IS THE JOINT RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PEOPLE AND THE GOVERNMENT.
In the light of these truths the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) categorically declares –
That every citizen has a duty and a right to carry defensive weapons for the protection of himself, his family and his property including his farmlands and ancestral homes.
The Government should legalize private ownership and possession of defensive weapons.
Anti-Grazing Law should be enacted by the State Houses of Assembly, This is very urgent!
Communities Vigilantes should be fully legalized and provided with adequate security equipment.
The idea of State Police is fully supported by ADF provided that it is fully under the control of respective States Government.
We, in the entire Igbo nation, should not mystify issues concerning the Security of our People and our Ancestral Communities!
There is no mystery in the Security Measures being taken by our neighbors – the Yoruba in South West Nigeria, the Tiv in Benue State, the Junkun in Taraba, the Edo People, etc, to protect themselves (their men, women and children) and their Ancestral lands.
What they have done is to exercise their fundamental right to Self-Defense, a right which we ourselves have been trying to exercise BUT now need to assert in more positive and non-ambiguous terms.
The Yoruba nation first established the needed Security structures.
And now the various states within the Yoruba nation are enacting the relevant laws to back those security measures taken earlier.
With this step, all ambiguities in the earlier steps they took have been taken care of and thus challenges to their right to exercise Self-Defense has been neutralized.
The Benue State first established the enabling laws for their security;
And then the requisite structures and instruments followed.
And no one can rationally and politically challenge what they have done and are doing to protect their people and their land.
Within the Igbo nation, we are aware of some measures which some of our Governors are taking with regard to our security.
Apart from certain basic inadequacies, what those security initiatives lack is the backing of the popular will and support of our people. They also lack enabling laws to back them up.
DRAFT ANTI-OPEN GRAZING BILL BY THE ADF
In 2016, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), in anticipation of this crises and following consultations with some of our respectable stakeholders submitted a Draft Anti-Open Grazing Bill to all the Seven (7) States in Igbo-Speaking Areas. Information we have is that only Abia House of Assembly passed the Bill but it is yet to be signed into law by the Governor.
That initiative of ADF was sequel to her earlier intervention in both the Senate and the Federal House of Representatives, challenging the RUGA, CATTLE COLONY AND GRAZING ROUTES as was then proposed by the Federal Government. Those programs eventually have been rejected by majority of the various states and nationalities within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Why is the Grazing of Cattle an issue and core one for that matter which affects the Security of lives and property in the Federal Republic of Nigeria today?
Those who emphasize what they call herders-farmers clash as a major root-cause of the present bloody Security situation in Alaigbo and other parts of the Federation are right in a sense. The free roaming and grazing of cattle that lawlessly destroy the crops of helpless farmers is the major root cause of the problem.
What is more, criminals from West African and other countries have taken advantage of this situation to invade our communities, wrecking all manner of havoc, killing, maiming, kidnapping our innocent citizens, raping our wives, sisters and daughters with reckless abandon and mindless impunity. Our President, General Mohammad Buhari has himself publicly confessed that many of these criminals come from Libya.
The most common identity of these criminals is that they hide under the movement of cattle. Therefore, commonsensically, the first step in tackling the Security challenges, is to control the free movement and grazing of Cattle.
We are not saying that nobody should rear cattle. All we are saying is that open grazing of cattle is bad for our Security and bad for our economy and our survival.
Therefore, the law banning open grazing of cattle, goat and sheep must now be enacted for the above reasons.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE AND DONE URGENTLY?
IGBO NATIONAL CAUCUS TO ASSERT OUR COLLECTIVE RESOLVE AND OUR SUPPORT FOR OUR GOVERNMENTS TO ENACT THE ANTI-OPEN GRAZING LAW AND PUT IN PLACE ALL NECESSARY MEASURES TO ENFORCE THE LAW.
We, the undersigned are calling for an URGENT IGBO NATIONAL CAUCUS involving the people and our Governments to give popular backing to the necessary adequate Security arrangements for our collective action.
What do we have on Ground?
We have our Ancestral customary Laws which prohibit the roaming of GOATS, SHEEP, COWS, CATTLE, in our communities and farms.
We have Old Eastern Nigeria Law which prohibits the roaming of animals within the community. Such animals are teetered to avoid the destruction of farm lands arising from freely roaming within the community.
In most of our ancestral communities, women organize themselves and provide schedules for various groups of women to operate on assigned days, to monitor, arrest offending animals and hand them over to community leaders. The owners of such animals must pay approved fines before they can reclaim their animals.
All Governments in Alaigbo are called upon to Urgently enact the Anti-Open Grazing Law and provide all necessary measures to ensure the security of lives and property in our Region!
ROLE OF COMMUNITY VIGILANTE GROUPS.
Today, virtually all communities have their VIGILANTE (Local Security Watch), Therefore, every community should be encouraged to set up their Community Vigilante. State Houses of Assembly and Governors should quickly enact enabling Laws to back such measures. The State Governments and the various communities must provide the needed resources for their effective operation.
Security is the joint Responsibility of the People and their Government!