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Civil War: Ohanaeze Demands N2.4tn Reparation for Massacre of Ndigbo

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Chief Mbazulike Amechi

Chief Mbazulike Amechi

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday demanded the payment of N2.4 trillion as reparation and restitution from the federal government for the killings, violations, atrocities and injustices against Ndigbo in Nigeria since 1966.

Although the zone described as “incalculable,” the price on the death of millions of Ndigbo killed in the civil war and on other occasions, the amount is meant to cushion the sufferings the zone had passed through in the country, stressing that each of the five states of the South-east would receive a token of N400 billion from the money as compensation as well as Delta State for the benefit of Anioma area of the state.

Chairman, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Reparation Committee and First Republic Aviation Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, who briefed journalists in Enugu, expressed dismay that about 15 years after Ohanaeze Ndigbo sent a petition to the Oputa Panel for the reparation and appropriate restitution for the crimes committed against the Igbos, government had refused to address the issues.

“Having waited for 15 years, Ohanaeze Ndigbo on May 25, 2013 set up a reparation and restitution committee to dust up the petition and revisit the issue.

The organisation has had cause to reflect on the long chain of injustices, atrocities and deprivation, which have been inflicted on Igbos over the years in respect of which there seems to be no end. These are taking place in a country which great Igbo sons and daughters spearheaded its founding. The spirits of millions of Igbo men, women and children who have been unjustly murdered over the years are crying for justice. It is incalculable to put a price on the death of millions of Ndigbo who were killed in the civil war and are still being killed by Boko Haram in the North east Nigeria,” he said.

“In January 1966, some officers in the Nigerians Army organised a coup d’etat and overthrew a government of nationalists and founding fathers of the federation. A carefully planned pogrom and genocide was unleashed on the Igbos mainly in the north. On May 29, 1966, they commenced what they called “ARABA” test riots and this lasted for seven agonising days where hundreds of Igbos were killed.

“On July 29, 1966, in what was termed ‘counter revolution and ethnic cleansing’, which began with the heartless killing of Major Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi and over 300 military officers and men of Igbo origin escalated into the massacre of unsuspecting Igbo civilians, men, women and children in many northern towns on a scale unprecedented in any part of the world even more gruesome than the killings of Jews. This forced hundreds of thousands of Igbos to flee back to the east abandoning all their properties in the north. As many of them were received at Enugu airport and railway station, most arrived with broken limbs, some with eyes plucked, some with cut off arms and one body without a head.

“At Benue River at Makurdi, soldiers stopped trains evacuating Igbos to the East and picked out Igbo men, women and children, shot them and threw their bodies into the river. Some of the children were thrown alive into the river. Official figures estimated that 50,000 Igbos were killed in this operation which lasted for many days.”

He stated that on September 30, 1968, the Nigerian soldiers murdered two delegates of the International Red Cross, two missionary workers and several other relief workers and more than 200 civilians at Okigwe, adding that on the same day, some Biafran leaders of thought were invited for a meeting at Textile Mill, Aba where a bomb dropped shortly before the commencement of the meeting killing several civilians.

Amechi said when the war ended in 1970 with the declaration of no victor, no vanquished , the atrocities continued on Ndigbo where all their property in Rivers State including houses, shops, factories were seized in the name of “abandoned properties’, adding that no compensations were paid to the landlords or those who lost other property.

“The federal government made a law and adopted a banking policy that all moneys owed by Igbos in the banks should be reduced to nil balance and Igbo adults who presented themselves should be given the ridiculous amount of 20 pounds (equivalent of N40)”, he said.

He lamented the brutal murder on December 26, 1994 of Gideon Akaluka in the presence of government officials in Bompai Prison of Kano by some Islamic fundamentalists, stressing that it was more devastating that they cut his head, hoisted it on a spike and paraded in the streets with law enforcement agents looking away.

Amaechi said that on June 8. 2005, six young Igbo traders were gunned down at Apo in Abuja, stressing that till today, government has refused to bring to trail, police officers who committed the act, adding that in the present killings in the north by the Boko Haram, several Igbos have been killed in churches, markets, motor parks and their homes, among others.

 

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USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas

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USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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