Nobel prize winner, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday, declared that the international community was duly obliged to wade into the security situation in the country, saying the Federal Government has failed to fulfill its obligation under the United Nations Charter to which Nigeria is a signatory.
According to him, he was calling for the intervention of the international community at this stage because he does not want what was going on now to become the new normal in Nigeria.
Soyinka also urged the government of Republic of Benin to immediately release Yoruba nation agitator, Mr. Sunday Adeyemo (a.k.a Sunday Igboho), insisting that he has not committed any crime.
Addressing journalists at Freedom Park, Lagos, Soyinka said somebody calling for a separate state does not deserve to be called a criminal, as long as it was done peacefully and within the law.
“You don’t criminalise such action. I am appealing to the government of Republic of Benin, why are you keeping this victim in prison? What crime did he commit against your state? He should be released and let him go about his business that was interrupted unjustly,” he said.
According to him, Igboho has not committed any crime in this nation and to ask for his repatriation is adding salt to injury.
“They went to the man’s house, destroyed his property, chased him to the wilderness. The security services committed criminal acts against him by raiding his home at 2.00am, killing two of his people and claiming they found weapon in his home. Who will believe that cock and bull story?” he queried.
Reacting to the query issued to Channels TV by the National Broadcasting Commission, Soyinka asked: “Who decides professionalism? Is it NBC or mass communication fora? It is Channels TV; it can be anyone. This is the first time I am seeing a kind of query the media is getting. This is one of the most semi illiterate queries that I have ever seen. Next time, those letters should be thrown into garbage bin. This should be stopped as soon as possible.
“We have a responsibility to tell the government that next time any media institution is sanctioned on this trivial or ludicrous ground, we will fulfill our responsibility by mobilising the nation to boycott all government media and we shall wage this media war against the government.
“Decree Number 4 has no place in a democracy and it is about time we emphasise that both in language and in act,” he said.
The Nobel laureate critisised last Saturday’s carnival-like wedding of President Buhari’s son, Yusuf, in Kano, saying it was wrong to have organised the wedding in that manner when some school children were in the kidnappers’ den.
His words: “There was a carnival of a wedding in Kano; the president’s child was getting married. But some school children are kidnapped. This is not what I understand of leadership. I am not saying president’s children should not get married. I had made the mistake of thinking it would have been sufficient giving these children money and say go to Dubai and have a good time there.
“He should set an example. The president seems not to hear things. Virtually the nation is screaming we do not want open cattle grazing. Then comes a new version of RUGA with the president sending his agent out to go and map out grazing routes. So, why is this president obsessed about something that is being rejected? The obsession to the extent that people who are rational begin to wonder if it is all about cattle or there is an agenda we don’t know about. Conspiracy theories abound when the leadership is pursuing interest against the people.
“How do we describe the targeting of children? There is a Charter for the protection of children. When these articles are violated and all we do is to celebrate weddings, it means such a nation has failed to live up to its responsibility under United Nations laws.
“We have been saying ask for international help, this thing is beyond you. It is not a question of begging; it has become an international responsibility. The international community is duly obliged to take action since there is failure on the part of governance to fulfill its obligation under United Nations Charter to which Nigeria is a signatory.”
He added that in Nigeria, a very successful slave trade was going on with the markets springing up, noting that the targets are children and school pupils.
“Very soon, Nigeria will be quoting slaves on the stock market. I can’t see any difference between slavery and what is happening to school pupils today.
So, we are calling on the United Nations to intervene and stop the slave trade. I’m speaking as a layman. I think the protocols of the United Nations enables it to declare a section of this country protectorate. If the government has failed to protect his own people, the UN has a right and responsibility to declare those zones United Nations protectorate.
We do not want what is going on now to become the new normal in Nigeria. We want intervention at this stage,” he noted.
Asked what he felt about some governors calling on Nigerians to defend themselves, he said if the state has refused to defend them, then the citizens could defend themselves.
Nigeria Triumph In Dubai Spelling Bee Challenge Despite Sponsorship Woes
Nigeria colours is currently flying high in far away United Arab Emirate, where her team came 1st in the senior category of an intercontinental Spelling Bee competition final held at the weekend.
Nigeria team featured in 2 categories of the 2021 Intercontinental Spelling Bee competition final held on Friday 24th September at the Best Western plus Hotel Deira Creek Dubai.
The team came 1st in the senior category courtesy Oni Inioluwa Daniel of the Ambassadors College, Ota and Nigeria also came 3rd with Olujobi Oluwadarasimi Opeyemi also of Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State.
In the junior category Pearl Koshi Etika-Matthews Eni Memorial High School, Calabar, Cross Rivers State came 2nd, whilst Nanret Adamu from St. Augustine College, DU, Jos, Plateau State emerged the most promising Speller in the Senior category.
The Nigerian Consulate in Dubai was ably represented by Consul Prince Wale Awolesi, who donated $500 of his personal funds to the over $4,000 left to settle their bill.
Akin Olu-Philips the executive director Of Peat Philips Foundation, led the team to a successful outing in Dubai.
Female Journalist Laments EFCC Night Invasion Of Her Bedroom, Kitchen
A woman journalist, Mrs. Norah Okafor, has alerted authorities to the invasion of her home in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, by over 25 masked operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The incident, she said, took place on Thursday between 1:36 a.m and 2 a.m.
“At exactly 1:36 a.m, I was alerted by my brother that there were armed robbers at my gate trying to make their way into the compound. Because it was an electric fence, I didn’t bother enough because I felt they could not make their way in. Alas, I was wrong. At 2 a.m prompt, they entered the compound, and they came prepared. There were over 25 of them in two Hilux buses. They were masked and dressed in all-black attire.
A huge member of the team climbed the fence with a pair of pliers and immediately cut off parts of the wires. He jumped into the compound and, with an axe, broke the gate key open to enable the team enter my apartment.
“As a nude sleeper, while they tried to make their way into the compound, I found something to wear while my brothers and I were thinking of a way of escape. The worst case scenario for me was that they would rape or take the only valuable available (a car key).
So, I prepared my mind. The next thing I realised was that about seven of them were in my room with shouts of ‘Lie down, face down; (switch) on the light. Where’s your phone? Where’s your car key?’ They asked for so many things and I became confused. Seeing over 25 hefty men with different kinds of guns, mhen, e don be, be that (It had finally happened, I presumed).
“I handed the phone over to them with the key. Before then, they had taken my laptop. I turned to be sure if they were armed robbers.
They asked for my passwords to all the devices collected with masking tape to identify each. Still in shock, I heard someone destroying everything in the kitchen, my room, that of my brothers and all the drawers. I was still asking myself: what’s happening?
“They asked me to stand and follow them downstairs. Lo and beyond, they unmasked themselves. Hmmmm! Are these criminals? I asked. All my neighbours were already going through the same pain as I was.
They had given my brothers the beating of their lives, carried my neighbour downstairs and tried unlocking all the cars in the compound. And after searching all the phones and laptops, three of them walked in. Behold, they were from EFCC.
“What?” I screamed.
“Shut up” was the next thing I heard.
“When they couldn’t open my phone, they asked me to, and I did. After a while, I asked them: ‘Please, where is your office so I can come and pick up my things on my way to work?’ They asked me what I do and I said I’m a journalist. They asked my neighbour and he said ‘lawyer’; the other one a ‘doctor’.
“They looked at me, handed over the phones and said: ‘We just wasted our time.’
“Those fools spent over one hour molesting and destroying things in this compound. I feel so pained and embarrassed right now. “Is this how EFCC operates? How did we get here? Who is the informant? I am just confused right now. Thank God, my mum isn’t here…”
Yoruba Nation, Biafra Agitators, Two Others Protest As Buhari Addresses UN Assembly Today
While two of the groups are protesting against the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the third group will demonstrate in support of the ex-military leader.
One of the groups comprising Yoruba Nation and Biafra agitators, Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination, is headed by Prof Banji Akintoye.
Also, activists under the aegis of TakeItBack movement have mobilised for a protest at UN headquarters in New York with demands.
PUNCH gathered that the last group would be holding a pro-Buhari protest tagged, ‘One Nigeria March.’
Akintoye explained that NINAS’ protest tagged, ‘Million-Man Freedom March,’ was to show the world “the crimes against humanity, attacks on press freedom, free speech and other criminalities being aided by the Buhari-led government of Nigeria.”
He also said the agitators “are demanding the conduct of a regional referendum so that the indigenous people can decide on their nationhood”.
The renowned historian accused the Federal Government of sponsoring the counter-protest at UN headquarters, alleging that black foreigners living in the United States of America were “hired at $500 per head.”
Akintoye, in a statement on Thursday by NINAS Director of Public Communications, Mr Maxwell Adeleye, said, “Irrespective of the material and financial superiorities of these Lions, there’s no way they can defeat United Foxes in a democracy.
“The Friday Grand March in New York shall be historic; hence, the Nigerian government is jittery. The ring leader of government officials and a top Lagos journalist are now in New York to start hiring black people who will pretend as Nigerians to stage a pro-Buhari and One Nigeria protest to counter NINAS.
“But we refuse to be rattled. We shall not be intimidated. No oppressor has ever triumphed against the collective will of the people. The people are the government and power belongs to the people. The people make the constitution.”
TakeitBack Movement’s Global Director of Mobilisation, Gbola Owoborode, listed four demands for the activists’ protest, among which were that the leader of Independent People of Biafra and Yoruba Nation activists, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Igboho, should be freed.
He said, “The regime should also free Sowore, unconditionally and drop all charges, of which he has been falsely accused.
“We demand the immediate release of all political prisoners, including Nnamdi Kanu, Igboho and the over 300 #endSARS activists still under illegal detention, as well as an end to terrorism, kidnappings. and banditry that has completely ravaged the entire country.
“The resignation of the Buhari regime that is incompetent, lawless, despotic, nepotistic and corrupt.
It has failed to guarantee the security and welfare of Nigerians which is their primary responsibility as a government. The Buhari Junta must go!”
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