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6 Soldiers: Counter Nigerian Army with facts, not fake news, group replies Igbo intelligentsia

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The Coalition of Civil Rights Group (CCRG) has challenged IPOB-affiliated Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition (ENRIC) to back its claim that six soldiers of Igbo extraction were killed with facts.

According to the coalition, the ENRIC has continued to feed the unsuspecting public ‘fake news’ without substantial evidence to back its case, thus provoking widespread ethnic strife across the country

The CCRG noted that ENRIC has failed to give the names of the soldiers from another ethnicity that were reportedly exonerated neither has it given the names of the military tribunal that held the court-martial that condemned the said executed soldiers.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, Executive Director, Kunle Adeyemo, said the move is intended to spike a massive defection from the Army to the “criminal” Eastern Security Network.

Adeyemo added that the allegation is another IPOB propaganda to instigate Nigerians and the international community against the Nigerian Army as an institution.

The coalition, therefore, urged Nigerians and the International community to dismiss the fake news being purveyed by the Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition, describing the group as “terrorists masquerading as activists”.

It also called on the Nigerian Army to approach the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other professional/legal body to report its head, Barrister E.R. Okoroafor for misconduct.

The Coalition of Civil Rights Group, however, advised the group to desist from its ill-conceived agenda of criminalizing and demonizing the Nigerian Army simply to cause defection to their terrorists Eastern Security Network.

Read the full statement below:

Gentlemen of the press, we have become aware of the ongoing criminal attempts by elements working for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to provoke widespread ethnic strife across the country. They are doing this by giving ethnic colouration to terrorist activities and national issues to consolidate the separatist agenda of the proscribed IPOB.

The latest of this pro-terrorist campaign is the allegation by an IPOB-affiliated Igbo group called Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition that is spreading the fake news that six soldiers of Igbo extraction were executed on the eve of the retirement of former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.

This coalition, which has International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) in its lead, went ahead to make the harebrained claim that soldiers of other ethnicities were shielded and exonerated from the accusation of weapons theft for which the soldiers of Igbo extraction were allegedly executed.  Intersociety is incidentally the NGO wing of the proscribed IPOB terrorist group, which clearly indicates the direction this attack on the sensibilities of Nigerians is emanating from.

We find it disheartening that the coalition made up of people parading bogus credentials have not been able to counter the Nigerian Army with concrete proof after it dismissed their claim as FAKE NEWS. All they have done is to keep alleging that soldiers were executed on the eve of General Buratai’s departure from service. They failed to give the names of the soldiers from another ethnicity that were shielded or exonerated neither did they give the names of the military tribunal that held the court-martial that condemned the said executed soldiers.

In what can at best be described as self-indicting, the coalition quoted one Barrister E.R. Okoroafor, a supposed international human rights lawyer, who was allegedly denied the right to defend his client at the secret trial. Okoroafor was comically aware of the secret trial going on and never raised the alarm for several weeks but instead waited for the phantom soldiers to be executed before tepidly coming out to make his claims. This beggars belief and presents the lawyer as a collaborator assuming the executions took place. But he was able to assume this disposition only because there was no such thing.

We have since discovered that this spurious allegation was orchestrated to cause ethnic strife across the country in the long term while the short-term objective is to detract to the treasonable attack on the Nigerian Military by the element of Eastern Security Network, the militant wing of IPOB, which engaged troops in a gun battle in Imo state recently.

On the surface, dragging General Buratai’s name into this matter tends misleading the unwary observer to conclude that the false accusations are a continuation of IPOB’s tradition of personal attacks on the retired military chief. However, IPOB’s propaganda against General Buratai has never been about his person but rather a roundabout way of undermining the credibility of the Army.

Note that affiliates of this coalition had floated another story earlier that five retired Nigerian soldiers have joined the ranks of Eastern Security Network (ESN). This is part of the attempt to create a sense of disaffection against the military institution while encouraging defection of soldiers of Igbo extraction to defect to ESN and fight for IPOB.

To further stoke ethnic strife, IPOB members took the pain of filming themselves killing cattle and burning the homestead of herders of Fulani ancestry in the hope that there would be retaliation against Igbos in other parts of the country and consequently set off a violent chain reaction that will ground the country in violence. The video was well-publicized, especially on the pro-IPOB Sahara Reporters news site.

The farcical fake news about the execution of soldiers of Igbo ethnicity is therefore intended to spike a massive defection from the Nigerian Army to the criminal Eastern Security Network after the IPOB terrorists have learnt their lesson that they are no match for a sovereign state.

We conclude that the so-called coalition of Igbo lying that soldiers were killed because of their ethnicity is nothing but IPOB propaganda to instigate Nigerians and the international community against the Nigerian Army as an institution.

If they truly have proof, we advise them to empower their lawyers to seek appropriate channels to represent their clients instead of using the media to whip up unnecessary sentiments against a national institution like the Army. They should desist from this ill-conceived of criminalizing and demonizing the Nigerian Army simply to cause defection to their terrorists Eastern Security Network.

We, therefore, urge Nigerians and the international community to dismiss the fake news being purveyed by the Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition, a group that is nothing but a government-baiting terrorist sympathizing separatists cohort masquerading as activists.

On its part, the Nigerian Army should approach the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and any other professional/legal association to which Barrister E.R. Okoroafor is affiliated to formally report him for misconduct such that he would be struck off their registers and prevented from further running errands capable of jeopardizing the peace of the country. His ilk should not be allowed to run amok spreading fake news that threatens the stability of the country. The same treatment should be meted out to all the known lawyers in the coalition because they pervert justice.

Thanks for listening.

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Troops Foil Boko Haram Attempts To Infiltrate Dikwa Town

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The troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have decisively routed elements of Boko Haram Terrorists and their Islamic State of West Africa Province(ISWAP) counterpart who attempted to infiltrate and attack Dikwa town in Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.

The terrorist groups who stormed the town in an unconfirmed number of gun trucks and motorcycles were visited with heavy bombardment and overwhelming firepower by troops of 81 Task Force Battalion with reinforcement from other formations of the Nigerian Army and aided by air support of Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

The terrorists attempted to invade the town to loot food items and other logistics having got wind of the recent food distribution to residents of the town by the state governor, Professor Babagana Zulum.

They came in their droves through the Marte axis but could not gain access to the town due to the combat readiness of troops who were positioned there.

The terrorists subsequently lost initiative as they were cut off completely following the recent successful recapture of Marte town by the gallant troops.
In desperation and to scare off residents from returning to their homes, they planted series of landmines on the roads which were also detected and successfully detonated by troops.

Consequently, the Army Headquarters wishes to debunk the unsubstantiated reports on social media suggesting that the terrorists attacked UN Base in BORNO, trapping 25 Aid Workers as published by some outlets.

Those false and sensational reports are clearly aimed at stirring up tension in the region and diminishing the glaring efforts and sacrifices of the Nigerian military in the fight against insurgency.

The COAS, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, has commended the efforts of the gallant troops’ and the prompt response of the Air Task Force in providing air interdictions throughout the operation.

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Apologise To Abia Gov Or Face Recall, Kogi West Youths Tell Adeyemi

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A group called Concerned Kogi West Youths has called on the Senator representing Kogi West, Smart Adeyemi, to immediately apologise to Abia State governor, Victor Ikpeazu, over his uncomplimentary comment on the latter or face recall from the Senate.

A statement issued by the group and signed Mr Michael Oluwaseun Bolorunduro on Monday said Senator Adeyemi must apologise to the Abia governor and the people of Abia State within seven days or be ready for the consequence.

The youths, however, apologised on behalf of the Kogi West people to Governor Ikpeazu for the “behaviour” of Senator Adeyemi on the floor of the Senate during a debate on the Safe School Initiative agaisnt the backdrop of incessant attacks on schools by bandits in the North last week.

“We the concerned Kogi West Youth are writing to apologise for the behaviour of the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Smart Adeyemi, recently on the floor of the Hallowed Chamber.

“It took us this long to react or respond to his ungentlemanly attitude because the character trait that he displayed is alien to our culture in Kogi West. We tried to know reasons for such reactions and alas, we couldn’t find any justifiable and sensible reason for such.

“We, too, were personally shocked and offended by his actions and utterances which were a direct contravention of the values of dignity and good mannerism that we teach in our locality.

“We all know that emotions can get heated, but it does not excuse the language and behavior of our representative,” the group said.

They added that they as “wise constituents” have decided “to right the wrong of the malady and public show of shame as displayed by Senator Smart Adeyemi” to apologise and as well demand apology from Adeyemi.

“It is on this note that we demand that Senator Smart Adeyemi within seven days apologise at the same Hallowed Chamber of the Senate for his uncontrollable utterances against the governor and people of Abia State or face recal,” Bolorunduro declared.

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COVID-19: Coalition Salutes FG, NPHCDA Overall Early Arrival Of Vaccine

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With the expected arrival of coronavirus vaccines into the country on Tuesday, the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) has applauded the Federal Government and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

The group, at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, noted that this is a big step in containing the rampaging contagion that has consumed millions across the world.

Nigeria will become the third West African country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and the Ivory Coast when it receives 3.92 million doses of the vaccine.

And the convener, Gabriel Agogo, speaking on behalf of the coalition, said Nigeria can not be left alone in the global immunisation against the disease, especially with the conspiracy theories and propaganda being peddled around.

He urged all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.

The NCVAA, however, called on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction.

Read the full statement below:

The leadership and members of the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) salutes and welcome all of you to this press conference. We also salute the courage and perseverance of Nigerians in the firm determination to fight Covid-19 to a standstill by observing the Government protocols to curtail its spread. Our case would have been worse, had Nigerians failed to imbibe self-discipline.

As all of you are aware, we have lost thousands of our brothers and sisters to the pandemic since it broke out in Wuhan, China in February 2020 and became a world health threat. And many more people infected by the virus are still hospitalized in different hospitals in the country. We prayerfully wish them a speedy recovery.

But the good news is that majority of Nigerians are uninfected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is this larger population of Nigerians free from the venom of the Covid-19 pandemic that our Government is more interested in insulating from the deadly disease. It is in this light that we have decided to create public awareness of the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine for immunization through this press conference and other necessary public enlightenment activities, to attract massive public awareness to it.

Therefore, we have decided to address Nigerians and draw their attention to the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country and the kick-start of the Covid-19 vaccine immunization exercise nation-wide. The vaccine is a proactive public health safety measure, which we believe will automatically arrest the spread of Covid-19 and put a halt to the other public inconveniences it causes if all of us avail ourselves to the immunization which is free of charge to everyone.

We wish to let all Nigerians know that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has acquired and taken possession of millions of dosages of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is a scientifically approved immunization vaccine, certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for onward worldwide circulation to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Nigeria cannot afford to be left out of this global trend. Nigerians should therefore emulate other very religious nations like Saudi Arabia, Rome, India, Australia, Sweden and a host of other countries worldwide which have accepted the Covid-19 vaccine and immunized their people with it. These countries have overcome the Covid-19 pandemic as a result of the intake of the Covid-19 vaccine. And with our collective resolve now, we shall also overcome it.

We find it imperative to emphasize this point because of the underground campaigns, conspiracy theories and propaganda peddled by perpetual anti-progressive forces in the country, who have aligned the Covid-19 vaccine to some unproven and barbaric death claims. There is no scintilla of truth in these negative assertions on the Covid-19 vaccine

Permit us to sound it loud and clear that the Covid-19 vaccine is approved by WHO, the global health body, after several scientific and clinical tests, before certifying it as safe for all humanity. So, in Nigerian, we must guide against repeating the same mistake which opposed the idea of launching a G5 network for telecoms in Nigeria. We are too enlightened to be deceived by those who wish us no good.

Nigeria is a very strategic country in the African continent, which cannot afford indifference or antipathy in the global fight against the deadly Covid-19 epidemic. NCVAA is aware of the campaigns of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on the Covid-19 vaccine and has decided to add its voice to it. We expect all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.

NCVAA is hereby calling on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction. We must resolve today to victoriously conquer the Covid-19 pandemic, in the same manner, we defeated Ebola, bird flu, SARS which occurred years back.

The Covid-19 vaccine is advantageous in several ways. Socially, the immunization against Covid-19 will secure us against contracting the coronavirus disease and ensure greater chances of our freedom from other allied ailments which comes with the Coronavirus and restore our social and communal interactions.

The Covid-19 vaccine is not only capable of saving the lives of the entire humanity, but it can completely prevent hospitalizations’ and the mass deaths we have experienced in the past over Covid-19. It will save us from agonies and pains associated with it. All conspiracy’s theories against the vaccine should therefore be discarded.

Also, medical scientists and researchers who have painstakingly worked and developed the Covid-19 vaccine have attested to its nearly 100% effectiveness at preventing other related severe illnesses related to it, like the common cold amongst others. Taking the vaccine is akin to the popular African proverb which alludes to someone using one stone to kill two birds.

Furthermore, a general public immunization against Covid-19 nation-wide in Nigeria would ease the Government lockdowns and other disproportionate or stifling public health measures, which causes us varying disruptions in our everyday operations. This is why we have found it expedient to endorse the NPHCDA Campaigns. It is now a direct invitation to every Nigerian not only to take the vaccine but become the chief propagandists of this good message of redemption from the grip of Covid-19.

NCVAA profoundly thanks the Almighty God for His Grace upon us; we salute the medical scientists for their wisdom in developing the Covid-19 vaccine and finally, the FGN under President Buhari for securing the vaccines and their early delivery to us. It shows we have a Government and a leader who is sensitive to the public health of Nigerians. We immensely thank all of you.

Thank you all and journey mercies to your various destinations.

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