The Movement for the Advancement of National Transformation, MANTRA, has called on the federal government to set Mazi Nnamdi Kanu free as a major step towards addressing the agitations in the southeast.
The group made the call as a fallout of the release of Mr Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba nation activist, by the Beninese government.
Recall the DSS reported that Sunday Igboho and his lieutenants engaged officers of the secret police in a fierce gun battle on July 1, 2021 at his residence in Soka, Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State after which he was arrested in Benin Republic while attempting to flee to Germany and had since remained in detention until Monday when he was set free.
In a statement signed by the Convener of MANTRA, Chief Jude Ndukwe and made available to the media on Wednesday in Abuja, the group described the release of Sunday Igboho as a welcome development and an indication that the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Presidency is not that of vendetta or vindictiveness and is not interested in persecuting its citizens.
“It is based on this that we urge President Tinubu to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from the custody of the DSS and free him to return home to his loved ones.
“Anything short of this will strengthen the suspicion of Nigerians that this is a sectional government with a sectional agenda.
“What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. We believe very strongly that there was no way Sunday Igboho would have been released without any intervention from the Nigerian government. We hereby request strongly that the same principles applied to Mr Sunday Igboho be applied to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu whose release will no doubt assuage the frayed nerves of youths of the southeast and help restore peace and security in the region.
“May we remind President Bola Tinubu that he shares a similar sociopolitical trajectory with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as an agitator.
“As a one-time activist, agitator and a leader of NADECO that was once proscribed by the federal government, Tinubu went on exile with several other NADECO members and were not only persecuted but also brutally hounded by the State over trumped up charges.
“Today, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is being made to unjustly pass through the same horrendous process the only difference being that Tinubu and his NADECO comrades passed through that tortuous road under a military regime while Kanu is experiencing his not just under a civilian administration but under an administration led by a veteran of agitation and activism.
“No other person in government today understands the experiences of Nnamdi Kanu better than the president himself who has passed through that route before. He knows better and we believe that he will do the right thing.
“We therefore reiterate our urgent call for Nnamdi Kanu to be released now,” the statement concluded.
Shedding Light on Unspoken Hardships: The Resilience Amidst Hostility
In the vibrant city of Lagos, Olaleye Ademola Surajudeen leads a seemingly ordinary life, but beneath his warm smile and compassionate nature lies a hidden truth. He grapples with the fear of persecution due to his sexual orientation in a country where same-sex relationships are criminalized.
Ademola’s life takes an unexpected turn when he crosses paths with Rafael, a supportive friend who encourages him to embrace his authentic self. With Rafael’s unwavering support, Ademola summons the courage to come out to his family and close friends.
However, this courageous decision comes at a cost. Ademola faces discrimination and prejudice from some members of his community, while others stand by his side.
As Ademola navigates the turbulent waters of being open about his identity, the story zooms out to explore the broader issue of LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance in Nigeria. It underscores the importance of empathy and understanding in a society where acceptance remains an uphill battle.
The ordeals of fear and understanding his rejections, embodies bravery and hope as Ademola, alongside those who support him, confronts their own biases and learns to celebrate diversity and love in all its forms.
Ademola coming out as gay in Nigeria, a country where same-sex relationships can lead to 14 years of imprisonment, exposes him to significant risks. News of his revelation spreads throughout his community, yielding a mixed bag of reactions.
While Rafael and a handful of close friends steadfastly support him, others distance themselves, and some openly express disapproval. Ademola grapples with the stark realities of stigmatization and discrimination that accompany his newfound honesty.
One fateful evening, Ademola faces a confrontation with a group of hostile individuals who subject him to verbal abuse and threats. Within a memoir of his escapade was when he narrowly escaped police raids during a gay community marriage in Delta state, the encounter leaves him deeply shaken and fearful for his safety.
However, despite the daunting challenges and the looming shadow of Nigeria’s severe laws, Ademola stands unwavering in his commitment to live authentically.
As Ademola journey unfolds, he forges unexpected alliances with dedicated activists tirelessly working to challenge the discriminatory laws.
Nevertheless, the path to change remains laden with obstacles. Some political leaders and conservative religious groups staunchly oppose any reforms. Ademola faces renewed threats and hostility, but he remains steadfast, recognizing that his journey has transcended personal struggle and has become a beacon of hope for many. As the story concludes, Nigeria’s legal landscape for LGBTQ+ individuals remains challenging.
NIGER: A WORD OF CAUTION TO THE DOGS OF WAR!
By Femi Fani-Kayode
I am on record as saying that if Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali or ANY OTHER country, attacks Nigeria, violates our territorial integrity or attempts to take one inch of our nation we must & will fight them to the last man.
I have also said that Nigeria’s defence budget is FAR higher than all the other 14 countries in West Africa PUT TOGETHER & that there is no nation in our sub-region that can defeat us in a military conflict despite our many challenges.
I stand by these words.
I am however constrained to add the following as a word of caution to those who seek to “cry havoc & unleash the dogs of war” & as a piece of unsolicited advice to the advocates of military invasion.
It would be imprudent & unwise for Nigeria to attempt to clean up France’s mess in Niger Republic.
The French are the most rappacious, greedy, vicious, pervasive, destructive & unrelenting neo-colonial foreign power on the African continent.
They have done nothing for Africa other than pillage, rape, undermine, plunder & take advantage of her.
To deploy our military, go to war & allow Nigerian blood to be spilled just to help her to continue to gang rape the Nigeriens & subject them to slavery would be unjust, wicked, short-sighted, stupid & counter-productive.
Worse still it would have implications for the stability of our nation, our entire sub-region & our increasingly fruitful relationship with President Putin & the Russian Federation who are slowly emerging as Africa’s best friend &, together with the Chinese, appear to be the only foreign power that truly seeks to assist & support the growth & development of African countries.
To those who believe that Nigeria ought to continue to be the poodle, local enforcer & hatchet man of the French, the Europeans, the British & the Americans in our sub-region, I ask the following: who do they think is behind Boko Haram & ISWAP and why did these so-called Western allies refuse to sell us arms to fight those two terrorist organisations until Trump came along? And of course since Trump left we have been given nothing.
Not one of them truly cares for Nigeria in the way the Chinese or Russians do & to them we are nothing but a source of mineral resources and a local sheriff.
They want us to go & fight a war against our African brothers just to further and protect their own economic & regional interests and they want us to throw the West African sub region into a theater for a horrific, brutal & never-ending proxy war between them & Russia which would result in turning the whole of the West & North African sub region into a cauldron of fire.
Worst still they want Northern Nigeria particularly & the entire African Sahel region & all the countries in it to be burnt to ashes & go the way of Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya & Afghanistan whilst they sell their arms, test their weapons, pillage our resources, turn our people into homeless destitutes & penniless refugees, destroy our collective future & serve our flesh & blood, on a dark satanic alter to the sinister forces & the blood-lustng vultures & demons that they work for & serve.
We must never allow this to happen & if the truth be told the biggest mistake that ECOWAS made in the first place was to threaten Niger with military action if the coupists refused to step down & restore President Bazoum to power.
I say this because once a threat is issued & it is not followed up with action you look weak, ineffectual & pathetic.
That is the quandry we are now in & the wisest thing to do at this point is to step back from the brink and rhetoric of war and engage in diplomacy.
Deploying our troops into our neigbours country in an attempt to effect regime-change on behalf of a bunch of butt-f*cking, cunt-struck, power-obsessed feral psychopaths like the French whose primary dream and fantasy has always been the dismemberment, destabilisation and destruction of Nigeria is asinine and unacceptable.
Wike: Walking Into the Landmines
I find it difficult to comprehend the fuss surrounding a ministerial appointment for an individual who has previously held positions as both a Minister and a Governor. Is it considered a promotion to become a Minister after having a strong desire to be President or Vice President?
To me, it appears to be nothing more than a comfortable landing or a form of compensation in the form of a pension.
I had expected Governor Wike to take a cue from Dr. Peter Odili, who understood his own value, mission, and passion and quietly transitioned into an advisory role when he failed to become President or Vice President. No ministerial appointment could possibly compensate Odili for the substantial funds he invested during his unsuccessful journey to Aso Rock, especially not under the incorruptible leadership of the late Umaru Yaradua.
There comes a time when one should speak up and a time when one should gracefully retire from the political stage.
Attempting a desperate bid to become a Minister under the politically astute Tinubu and his associates would likely only leadto disaster. The individuals associated with Tinubu in Lagos spare no one who tries to undermine their authority.
It would indeed be a futile pursuit to spend a considerable amount of money supporting an opposition party, only to end up as an aide accountable to those whom you once financially supported while they revered you as a political godfather.
Apart from his substantial wealth, Wike’s primary desire seems to be power and control. However, can the Tinubu-led government afford to grant Wike such blatant authority and control beyond his home state? If power and control are the only benefits to be gained, then it may be a waste of both space and time.
Instead, Wike should focus on rebuilding his party, the PDP, and prepare to face the likely presidential candidate of the APC in 2027, if that is the path the divine providence leads him on. The APC will never serve as a platform for the Rumuepirikom strongman to establish a solid foundation for his future ambitions, beyond are curring ministerial appointment.
Perhaps, had Wike abandoned his plan to challenge Atiku in the presidential primaries of the PDP, he might have found himself in the position currently occupied by Akpabio, as the Senate President.
Wike’s significant financial resources and strong alliance with the Tinubu group could have potentially changed the dynamics of electing the leadership of the National Assembly. By humbling himself and setting aside his ego and thirst for power, running for the Senate could have placed the former governor in the prestigious position of the nation’s number three leader.
However, by allowing his bruised ego to guide him, he will only receive a portion of the benefits without the full rewards.
Those who cheer and celebrate Wike’s nomination into President Tinubu’s cabinet might have overlooked the fact that Wike should not settle for anything less. If he must serve in a government whose party he has been at odds with since 2014, then he undoubtedly deserves a more prominent role. The position of Secretary of Government would have been a suitable option.
It appears that Wike’s celebrated appointment is no different from Amaechi, who also should have been given a role like Chief of Staff or Secretary of the Government. However, credit must be given to Amaechi for his exceptional performance as the Transportation Minister. In the end, someone will inevitably be sacrificed for the sake of political maneuvering and power dynamics.
Despite the significant energy and resources invested in preventing Atiku from winning the election, it seems that there are no substantial new developments or achievements for the GS group to celebrate. Despite their efforts, the desired outcomes may not have been achieved, leading to a sense of disappointment or frustration.
Obiaruko Ndukwe, Publisher Media consultant, and public analyst writes from Abuja. Email: email@example.com
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