Given the unfolding events in our country, I believe that this is the time for deep introspection and sober reflection. I am not a member of IPOB, I have never attended any IPOB meeting and neither am I Igbo.
I am however deeply concerned about what is going on in our country, what the Igbos are being subjected to and what I consider to be the greatest assault on the human rights and civil liberties of the Nigerian people since the military left power in 1999.
A violation of the constitutional right of freedom of association and freedom of speech affects not just those that have been targeted but each and every one of us. An act of injustice against one is an act of injustice against all. What affects the part also affects the whole.
If you beat my neighbors child it is as good as beating mine and consequently I have a duty to defend that child.
That is the essence of humanity and chivalry: to speak up for those that are being persecuted, to defend the defenseless, to fight for those that are too weak to fight for themselves and to be the voice of the voiceless.
We must cultivate the discipline and courage to defend the right of others to be different and to think differently from us and to express contrary views.
We may not all agree with the style, language and objectives of IPOB but we surely have a duty before God and the law to defend, uphold and affirm their right to express themselves in any way that they deem fit providing they do not threaten or hurt others whilst doing so.
This is the very essence, foundation and indeed cornerstone of freedom and democracy and if we allow the government to take that away from us and to get away with what they are doing without a stiff challenge we are finished as a people.
It is IPOB today, but tomorrow it could be OPC, Ijaw Youth Council, Ohaneze, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Arewa Youths, Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders Forum or indeed anyone else.
I have never heard of a “terrorist” organization that has not killed or threatened to kill anyone and that has totally rejected the idea of violence and an armed struggle.
I have never heard of a “terrorist” organization whose only aspiration is to have a referendum to determine whether or not their people should or should not remain in Nigeria.
I have never heard of a “terrorist” organization whose only objective is the peaceful and lawful exercise of the right of self-determination.
I have never heard of a “terrorist” organization whose only crime is to take objection to the stripping away of their historical and cultural identity and to speak out against the willful marginalisation and mass murder of their people.
I have never heard of a “terrorist” organization who believe in passive and non-violent resistance and who consistently emphasize the importance of peaceful opposition.
Saying that IPOB is a terrorist organization is like saying that Mother Theresa is the Marquis De Sade. It is like saying that an angel from heaven is a demon from hell.
It is like saying that Little Red Riding Hood is the hungry and ravenous wolf. It is like saying that Snow-white is Jack the Ripper. It is like saying that Florence Nightingale is Aleister Crowley.
It is like saying that the Apostle Paul is Anton La Vey. It is like saying that John the Baptist is Atilla the Hun. It is like saying that Desmond Tutu is Ghengis Khan.
It is like saying that John Knox is Adolf Hitler. It is like saying that Martin Luther King is Osama Bin Ladin. It is like saying that Nelson Mandela is Ali Al Baghdadi.
It is like saying that Mahatma Ghandi is Abubakar Shekau. It is like saying that Amnesty International is the Fulani Herdsmen. It is like saying that Medecine Sans Frontier is Boko Haram.
It is like saying that Human Rights Watch is ISIS. It is like saying that the white dove of love and peace is the savage, cruel, blood-crazed and cadaver-eating vulture from the seventh circle of hell. It is like saying that ice is fire.
It is like saying that a believer is an infidel. It is like saying that a peaceful preacher is a violent blasphemer. Such a designation and categorization is unhelpful, inappropriate and unfair.
It is a damning and specious lie that has been put out by a Federal Government that is paranoid, weak, bereft of ideas and scared of its own shadow.
It is a desperate attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. It is childish nonsense and it does not make sense. Finally came the most absurd allegation of all: that IPOB is being funded by “treasury looters”, “disgruntled” and “destabilizing” elements “in the opposition” and by France.
Some assertions are so asinine that they ought not to be dignified with a response and this is one of them. I urge IPOB to go to court and have the order that has designated them as a terrorist organization set aside.
I also urge President Muhammadu Buhari and his Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to remember that when they exercised their right of freedom of speech three years ago and openly defended Boko Haram by saying respectively that “an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north” and that it was “unconstitutional” and “unlawful” to ban them no-one threatened them with arrest because the government of that day had the presence of mind to recognize the fact that the right to express one’s opinion, no matter how reprehensible that opinion may be, is enshrined in the constitution.
The Federal Government should take a queue from that and stop trying to manufacture a crisis where there is none or kill a fly with a sledgehammer.
They should also consider declaring the Fulani militants and herdsmen, who have been described by the International Terror Index as the “fourth most deadly terrorist organization in the world” and who have killed more innocent Nigerians than any other terrorist organization in the last two years, as the malevolent, vicious, murderous and bona fide cowards and terrorists that they are.
By Chief Femi Fani-Kayode
Fulani Terrorists Continues Their Genocidal Massacre In Ebonyi
Again, Fulani Terror herdsmen sponsored, armed, and guarded by Nigeria Fulani-led federal government has continued their genocidal massacre of Biafrans in Ebonyi.
According to a viral video online, a reporter can be heard saying that the Fulani Terrorists are not relenting in the quest to kill everyone in Ebonyi state.
This is about the 4th time in the last 6 months that Fulani terrorists have gone on the large-scale slaughter of Ebonyi people.
He called on Eastern Security Network(ESN) to come to the aid of the Ebonyi people. ESN was formed by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to safeguard Biafrans against marauding Fulani terrorists.
This is the reason why we need #ESN.
Anybody on Uniform in Biafraland is a terrorist. pic.twitter.com/P9l7mfD9Ec
— IPOB FINEST 20K HANDS (@20kIpob) June 7, 2021
However, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi has been against the formation of ESN and has been working assiduously to eliminate ESN personnel from Ebonyi instead of supporting them.
This led to the creation of the Ebubeagu Security Network to fight the ESN in Ebonyi and other Eastern states. Ebubeagu has never and does not have the capacity to confront Fulani Terror Herdsmen wielding automatic assault rifles given to them by the Nigerian government.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe’s Speech At Mississippi, USA..
“What I will say here today may come as a surprise to many of you. For those that I will rub the wrong way, I apologize in advance.
However, “NDIGBO si na owu onye nke mmadu na ghu ya ahu na agbata ukwu”. If I fail to say the truth about the existential challenges that we face today in our country Nigeria, and how we believe we should face them, then I would not be true to myself and to you who sent me to represent you in the red chamber.
From the Past to Today.
We can situate our position today following the end of the civil war in 1970. Igbo’s in 1970 were impoverished having lost an estimated 3m Igbo souls in the war, with a ruined and destroyed landscape and infrastructure.
Every Igbo man/woman with savings in the banks before the outbreak of hostilities were pauperized as the military government decreed that one would only get 20 pounds notwithstanding the amount you had. The indigenization decree was passed in 1972 and no Igbo could participate since all had been reduced to penury.
Today the Igbo have the largest pool of educated Nigerians. In 2007, Imo State had more subscribers to the JAMB UTME exams than the 19 Northern States put together.
In 2017, 56% of of NYSC members are from the South East. Our feat in education means that we now have the army to win the war of competition in a market driven economy. Since 1999, the south east states have been the best in all exams.
The largest group of direct domestic investors in Nigeria are from the south east. Igbo investments in property in Abuja alone probably has more than any other ethnic group. We are the most travelled in Nigeria.
In all parts of Nigeria after the indigenous population, Igbo’s are the next largest group. We are the largest propertied class of all ethnic groups in Nigeria and despite all this confusion, we have grown the most economically since the inception of the current democracy in Nigeria.
We have the richest and largest pool of Nigeria diaspora population. Taking an example of Lagos state, Ndigbo form a large proportion of the economy of the state. We created the following from nothing;
- Computer Village in Ikeja.
- Ladipo Spare Parts market.
- Alaba Electronic Market.
- Balogun Int’l Market.
- Balogun (Trade Fair) International Market
- Aspamda market in Festac.
- Orile Market for house fittings & appliances etc
- All second hand clothing markets in Lagos. About 4 markets
The combined turnover daily of these markets run into billions daily. Lagos state benefits by collecting taxes and now its economy contributes 56% of all VAT collected in Nigeria.
Above scenario is replicated in most big cities in Nigeria. Go to Kano, Port Harcourt, Benin City, Kaduna, Sokoto, not to talk of Abuja. Ndigbo are very large players in the economy of all parts of Nigeria. I will return to this.
The ALLURE of BIAFRA
So the question is, given all the advantages that we as Ndigbo have in Nigeria, why the clamour by our youths and others for a separate state of Biafra?
The present agitation in the SouthEast for a sovereign state of Biafra seems very tempting under the prevailing circumstance given the manifest sectional approach to governance at the center.
To some especially the youth and the disadvantaged it is the way to go and when viewed critically you cannot help but to agree with the agitators.
Of a truth there is an obvious feeling of alienation within the Nigerian state today. But has this always been the case? Apart from the civil war and the pernicious policies of the military regimes, we have not fared badly during civil rule until presently.
Given that following the civil war, there seemed to have been a glass ceiling in certain professions in Nigeria where it looked as if Igbo should not aspire to. In the police, military etc.
But we can posit this as the lingering effects of the war where the victor in a war finds it very difficult to fully integrate the other part they fought with into all areas. In the US for example, I understand that it took a very long time for someone from the southern part of the US several decades after the civil war which they lost to break the stranglehold of the north for the presidency of the US. (Correct me if I’m wrong).
But come to think of it, Dr Alex Ekwueme became the Vice President of Nigeria barely 9 years after the civil war. The glass ceiling was on its way to being broken! The military interregnum from 1993 led by the same Muhammadu Buhari put a hold on this. In the US, Germany, Japan and other climes deliberate policies were used by governments to build stronger ties among groups and opposing tendencies.
This helped to forge a bond within their nations. Nigeria seemed to think that a policy of benign neglect will resolve our problems. Of course it didn’t and that’s why we are seeing a resurgence of separatist agitation going on all over the country.
Fast forward to the civil rule era starting from 1999. Nobody would accuse Presidents Obasanjo, late Yar’adua, or Jonathan of what seemed like sectionalism as state policy.
A look at the pattern of appointments by President Obasanjo evinced the fact of an all inclusive government from all parts of the country. Same as President Yar’adua. President Jonathan took it a step further by appointing the first Igbo chief of army staff, first Igbo secretary to the federal government, coordinating minister for the economy etc.
In fact, one of the criticisms we face today in Nigeria is to explain why should this agitation for separation be under President Buhari when it was not done under the previous administration?
However, that criticism is not true. Recall that under President Obasanjo and Yar’adua there was Massob which was managed much better than today.
However, you will recall that when this government came into place, President Buhari went to the US where he made a most unfortunate statement that was widely condemned at that time.
He reportedly said that he doesn’t need to bother about the 5% that didn’t vote for him but will rather concern himself with the 97% that voted for him.
I had at the time the statement was made raised concern that such declaration from an elected President sounds discriminatory and may create the impression that our elected President Buhari is sending a message to those who didn’t vote for him that he will be partial in his decision making.
Unfortunately, it seems also that the people who are in and around the president didn’t advise him properly. They left him to make appointments and take decisions that gave the impression that there are some parts of the country that are not supposed to be part of Nigeria.
Little wonder that our youths feeling left out and not having anything to give them hope in Nigeria, started believing that a separate country would be better. But I say it is NOT. I will come to this later.
I recall that in November of 2016, after seeing how things were going, the South East caucus of the Senate sought for and got an appointment with the President Buhari.
Our discussion centered on the south East perception of not being part of this administration thereby giving rise to our people feeling disconnected from the government.
We pointed out that it should be a cause for concern if a major part of the country is not represented in the security architecture of the country in addition to other critical sectors from the inception of the administration.
We were promised that our concerns would be looked into. Sadly, this was not done till today. Our country Nigeria is supposed to be for inclusion; for making sure that everyone makes his or her input into its affairs.
Allowing such fairness and equity to prevail in a plural society like ours will make us a bigger and better nation. Today that is not the case.
Either as a deliberate act as it seems or a willful omission geared towards achieving a pre-determined goal, Ndigbo have been pushed to the fringes of the Nigerian Union in so many ways by the present government.
The unfortunate scenario is enough for one to ask the hypothetical question….why am I here?
As much as the music of separatism stirs the soul, one must ask the question; Is relapsing into a sovereign state of Biafra the optimum option or is it a restructuring of the state such that all the federating units would have greater autonomy in the mould of a near quasi self determination the better option?
When these two options are posed; a sovereign state of Biafra or restructured Nigeria, the position of most Nigerians as of today is for the latter.
See How Mohammadu Buhari Is Looting Nigeria Bankrupt
Apart from the problem of even determining the boundaries of the state of Biafra and the multifarious and multifaceted problems a simplistic solution such as Biafra poses, perhaps it makes more sense for those who have tasted war to be a little more discerning when matters affecting their race comes up in Nigeria.
Nigerians have been known to come together to use the Igbo head to break coconuts (apologies to late Abiola). Despite the problems that befell the Yoruba race following the annulment of the June 12 elections, they didn’t seek to break out out of Nigeria despite some of them calling for an Oduduwa country.
They simply used the sympathies of other Nigerians to create an economic haven for themselves which has led to massive relocation of industries by all Nigerians to Lagos and Ogun States.
They also got the Presidency of Nigeria. Our brothers from the Niger Delta have not sought to go away either. They also got the Presidency of Nigeria. However we seem to be in the unfortunate position of seeming to drag the Niger Delta into a Biafra unwanted by them.
The agitation for Biafra and how it was being prosecuted by IPOB has rather elicited hate and disdain for our people from other ethnic groups notwithstanding that they may have been nursing such tendencies.
The agitation as championed by IPOB somehow gave muscle to traditional traducers of Ndigbo to spew out hate and envious vituperations. This was exemplified by the October 1st quit notice given to Igbos to leave the North by the so-called Arewa youths which persons are yet to be arrested for hate speech and breaching the law.
They claimed to be responding to our own hate speeches etc. Indeed, other people seem to want to see us fall into the trap for them to use us to solve their own problems with Nigeria.
That notwithstanding, we as political leaders from the South East were unequivocal in asserting that that the rights of Ndigbo to peaceful and democratic engagements must be respected.
On this score we made it clear that no amount of threat will cow Ndigbo from consistently demanding for an equitable, fair and just society within the Nigerian State.
We also cautioned our youths on their vituperative calls and employed the Igbo concept of “bu uzo chu fuo Ufu, tutu ta wa Okuko uta”! This of course was misunderstood by other Nigerians as support rather than constructive engagement.
WHY NOT BIAFRA?
We believe that the best way to go given our situation today is to look before we leap. We must not be pushed to abandon our huge contribution to the modern Nigerian state.
As we pointed out in the beginning of this paper, Ndigbo have been the single ethnic group that have welded the country Nigeria together given our way of life as sojourners everywhere in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and the world.
I dare say that we make up to 50% or more of Nigerians in the US. The question is why would we look to confine ourselves to a small landlocked entity when we have the whole of Nigeria to cavort in?
I have deliberately left out of this discussion the practical impossibility of even getting our brothers from the Niger Delta to go with us in this quest. Not to talk of the Idoma or the Kogi that we insist are part of us.
One thing seems to elude our people when these questions are posed. We look at the determination of the present government to treat us dismissively and feel that it is well nigh an impossible task to get our wish for a just society but we fail to look at the historical evidence before us.
When the 97% vs 5% controversy erupted, I told our people that my people the Ngwa says that “Ohu afor abughi ndu ebighi ebi”. Governments come and go. PDP government lost election and quit the stage for this APC government.
Who says they cannot also lose? Why are we then acting as if it’s the end of the world? The maximum any government can stay is two term totaling 8yrs. “Obughi ndu ebighi ebi”!
Restructuring is an idea whose time has come and it will happen. Biafra should be a last option, only after every other avenue to realize a restructured Nigeria where every component part is allowed a measure of autonomy and self determination fails.
Let me state here that if the dominant views in Nigeria is for restructuring, then that should be the minimum that Ndigbo should demand, so that every component part of this country can substantially harness its resources and develop at its own pace.
Do not forget that the breached Aburi accord was about restructuring and today this call has garnered overwhelming momentum even from quarters that hitherto opposed it.
Just recently former President Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and lately Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a host of others have joined the fray.
Restructuring has become a singsong which we must explore vigorously. Even the ruling APC has set up a committee led by Governor el-Rufai to bring about a considered view on it. Forget the fact that it was part of their manifesto. The fact is that the discussion is on, as it should be.
I recall that in August, the Igbo political elite, Ohaneze, Governors, National Assembly Caucus met in Enugu and affirmed that the terms of our marriage in Nigeria is stifling to everybody and therefore we must have another look at it.
That position has not changed but has in fact been reinforced by the agreement by other parts of Nigeria that it is time to look at the matter as evidenced by the South West Political Summit where they endorsed restructuring back to the 1963 constitution.
To me the strident calls by IPOB for a referendum should be seen as a legitimate demand to compel the state to see the urgency of having a second look at our marriage, with the ultimate aim of enthroning equity and fairness, where our people will no longer be treated as second class citizens in Nigeria.
Though the methods may be misconstrued, the true colour of the agitation would have come out had there been a concerted effort at dialogue. The agitations gives fillip to the Igbo idiom…”Ma Opara emeghi nkpotu, agaghi ilughi ya Nwanyi “.
Our people are saying this union is stifling us, and we are making a lot of noise so we can find a solution.
The solution I think can be found in a restructured Nigeria.
The beauty of it is that while we can enjoy near wholesale autonomy, our people as itinerant business people could have an unrestrained space in a larger market provided by a united Nigeria.
We should not be swayed by what we think is the attraction of an exclusive opportunity to be provided by a sovereign Biafra. No. That would box us into a tiny corner which has its own challenges which would prove overwhelming as time goes on. This is a topic for another day.
DIASPORA IGBOS AND US.
One of the problems those of us who attempt to show a direction to our people at home is the near universal disdain that some of our brother Ndigbo in Diaspora have for our leaders and elected representatives at home.
Nowhere is it more apposite than in this matter of Biafra agitation. While some of our brothers/sisters here in the comfort of their homes seems to urge our youths through their utterances and actions to use unconstitutional means and disparage other ethnic groups that which actions seems to alienate us from our neighbors and the Nigerian State, we the leaders at home have been been left with the task of intervening in such a manner to dissuade the government from deploying the coercive instruments of state against the agitators.
The aim was to stop bloodshed and waste of human lives. We have lost enough from the civil war. Those egging our youths on from here do not seem to appreciate this fact.
Most distressing is the labeling of those who disagree with their positions as “cowards, saboteurs, Hausa slaves etc”. This tends to discourage those who genuinely strive to lead our people through a very distressing period in our history as a nation.
Nnia Nwodo as President of Ohaneze has been vilified for taking a stand for restructuring in Nigeria for Ndigbo, a position agreed by all of us in the earlier summit I referenced.
Governors come in for bashing everyday. As for us legislators, we have been called all sorts of names such as ‘legislooters’ etc.
Yet, when it came to taking a stand at ground zero, to bail Kanu; to reject the Fed Govt ascribing Terrorism to IPOB, we are the people doing so and we never hesitated to say that agitation in every clime is constitutional.
We take the bullets from other ethnic groups and the government for standing firm and demanding that Nigerians should be left to talk to each other about the best way forward without preconditions.
We would use this opportunity plead with our internet warriors who stay here in their comfort zone here that our Igbo say, “ma Opara nzuzu adighi nwuo, Opara ma izu aga beghi ibichi ezi”.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS
Why are we not Investing at Home? Lack of Infrastructure. Should we continue to blame the Fed Govt for the dilapidated infrastructures in Ala Igbo? What of our home governments in Igbo States? Sam Mbakwe of blessed memory did not wait for the Fed Govt before undertaking massive rebuilding of old IMO State.
We think that we have not given our best to our people with the little we got. Insecurity. Nowhere have we hurt ourselves and investment in Ala Igbo than in the insecurity pervading all parts of our homeland.
Of course the latest imbroglio in Abia especially in Aba and Umuahia has worsened matters. We run the risk of undoing all the efforts made in promoting ‘made in Aba’ that we had embarked on as a catalyst for growth in Ala Igbo.
Industries have relocated from Ala Igbo to other parts of Nigeria especially Lagos and Ogun States because of the very serious insecurity such as kidnappining and armed robbery faced by those who invest at home.
We cannot be looking for investors and yet make our place not conducive to investment. Unemployment is the single biggest problem we have in Ala Igbo today.
Before this time due to our domestic investments and industry, this was not a very big problem but due to the dis-investment going on today in Ala Igbo today we are faced with a existential problem in our hand.
Diaspora Igbo’s have to assist us to also invest at home despite the problems and reduce the unemployment in Ala Igbo. Once we get Ala Igbo right the frustrations that fuel the agitation in ala Igbo will be dampened.
What we have playing out in the world today is a knowledge economy. Oil is going out of fashion. As I pointed out earlier, we are poised through out educational exploits in Nigeria to dominate the economy of tomorrow.
Why would we turn a blind eye to this emerging scenario? In ending let me quote what the great son of Igbo land, the great Zik of Africa said about himself….”despite the mythic heights to which he was raised, Azikiwe was nothing if not pragmatic, a realist, always conscious of his limits and ever eager to extract all that was possible from that limited horizon”.
May we be guided by such humble thoughts as we seek a better Nigeria for us all. What we should look for is a BIAFRA of the MIND like some have suggested in order to play our role in the emerging Nigeria that will come…
Monkey Pox – Is Nigeria Military Using Biological Weapon Against The Biafrans?
Monkey Pox epidemic that started in Bayelsa has spread to River State and Akwa Ibom State. The Indigenes of these states are accusing the Federal Government of Nigeria of having injected the virus to them via recent Immunization exercise allegedly carried out by the Nigeria military in the affected areas.
People from the affected areas took to social media pointing accusing fingers on the Nigerian Military using the virus as a form of biological warfare against them.
However, the reason for the allegation is not far fetched, given that the Nigerian Military and Police, who are 99% Huasa-Fulanis, has been killing people from such areas in large numbers in recent times because of a peaceful call for referendum.
These Biafrans believe beyond reasonable doubt that the Nigerian government introduced the Biological Weapon of warfare as a means of ethnic cleansing to further deplete their population.
They cite the notorious Kunle and Alhaji telephone conversation, where the Northerner revealed their plan to decimate the Biafrans and form a North West regional development plan.
“The Ahaji in the conversation boasted that after 4 years of Buhari’s administration, that the Biafrans will be irrelevant in the scheme of things. And the contents of that phone conversation, like a self fulfilling prophesy, is exactly what is unfolding before our eyes today,” on of them commented on social media.
Listen to the phone conversation below.
Some allude to fact that vaccination was given by the Nigerian government in the area just two weeks before the outbread of the fear inspiring Monkey Pox.
Below is some of the comments and posts by People of the affected areas on social media.
So the Nigerian government invented the #MonkeyPox and decided to test it in Southeast.
The biggest project of APC in SE after the genocide
— Onuoha (@mexiew) October 8, 2017
I REPEAT,THOSE RECEIVING MEDICARE FRM NIGERIA ARMY SHOULD BE WARE OF MONKEY POX,NOTHING GOOD COME FRM NGR GOVT!!!
— Uwa Turns (@UwaTurns) October 8, 2017
Being educated is indeed beyond speaking good English. How can some1 in right frame of mind believe that it is FG who induced monkey pox???
— aminu aliyu (@aminualiyu11) October 8, 2017
— VOFN Bayelsa (@VOFNBayelsa) October 8, 2017
Nigeria govt exterminating Biafrans through Army’s free medical care.
— Candi-Boi (@PFreshwine) October 8, 2017
Meanwhile, here is what the World Health Organization (WHO) has to say about the Monkey Pox Epidemics
- Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
- The monkeypox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans and, although it is similar to human smallpox which has been eradicated, it is much milder.
- The monkeypox virus is transmitted to people from various wild animals but has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.
- Typically, case fatality in monkeypox outbreaks has been between 1% and 10%, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.
There is no treatment or vaccine available although prior smallpox vaccination was highly effective in preventing monkeypox as well.
Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms in humans similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although less severe. Smallpox was eradicated in 1980.However, monkeypox still occurs sporadically in some parts of Africa.
Monkeypox is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.
The virus was first identified in the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1958 during an investigation into a pox-like disease among monkeys.
Human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then known as Zaire) in a 9 year old boy in a region where smallpox had been eliminated in 1968. Since then, the majority of cases have been reported in rural, rainforest regions of the Congo Basin and western Africa, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is considered to be endemic. In 1996-97, a major outbreak occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In the spring of 2003, monkeypox cases were confirmed in the Midwest of the United States of America, marking the first reported occurrence of the disease outside of the African continent. Most of the patients had had close contact with pet prairie dogs.
In 2005, a monkeypox outbreak occurred in Unity, Sudan and sporadic cases have been reported from other parts of Africa. In 2009, an outreach campaign among refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo into the Republic of Congo identified and confirmed two cases of monkeypox. Between August and October 2016, a monkeypox outbreak in the Central African Republic was contained with 26 cases and two deaths.
Infection of index cases results from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals. In Africa human infections have been documented through the handling of infected monkeys, Gambian giant rats and squirrels, with rodents being the major reservoir of the virus. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor.
Secondary, or human-to-human, transmission can result from close contact with infected respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or objects recently contaminated by patient fluids or lesion materials. Transmission occurs primarily via droplet respiratory particles usually requiring prolonged face-to-face contact, which puts household members of active cases at greater risk of infection. Transmission can also occur by inoculation or via the placenta (congenital monkeypox). There is no evidence, to date, that person-to-person transmission alone can sustain monkeypox infections in the human population.
In recent animal studies of the prairie dog-human monkeypox model, two distinct clades of the virus were identified – the Congo Basin and the West African clades – with the former found to be more virulent.
Signs and symptoms
The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 16 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.
The infection can be divided into two periods:
the invasion period (0-5 days) characterized by fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph node), back pain, myalgia (muscle ache) and an intense asthenia (lack of energy);
the skin eruption period (within 1-3 days after appearance of fever) where the various stages of the rash appears, often beginning on the face and then spreading elsewhere on the body. The face (in 95% of cases), and palms of the hands and soles of the feet (75%) are most affected. Evolution of the rash from maculopapules (lesions with a flat bases) to vesicles (small fluid-filled blisters), pustules, followed by crusts occurs in approximately 10 days. Three weeks might be necessary before the complete disappearance of the crusts.
The number of the lesions varies from a few to several thousand, affecting oral mucous membranes (in 70% of cases), genitalia (30%), and conjunctivae (eyelid) (20%), as well as the cornea (eyeball).
Some patients develop severe lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) before the appearance of the rash, which is a distinctive feature of monkeypox compared to other similar diseases.
Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 14 to 21 days. Severe cases occur more commonly among children and are related to the extent of virus exposure, patient health status and severity of complications.
People living in or near the forested areas may have indirect or low-level exposure to infected animals, possibly leading to subclinical (asymptomatic) infection.
The case fatality has varied widely between epidemics but has been less than 10% in documented events, mostly among young children. In general, younger age-groups appear to be more susceptible to monkeypox.
The differential diagnoses that must be considered include other rash illnesses, such as, smallpox, chickenpox, measles, bacterial skin infections, scabies, syphilis, and medication-associated allergies. Lymphadenopathy during the prodromal stage of illness can be a clinical feature to distinguish it from smallpox.
Monkeypox can only be diagnosed definitively in the laboratory where the virus can be identified by a number of different tests:
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
antigen detection tests
polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay
virus isolation by cell culture
Treatment and vaccine
There are no specific treatments or vaccines available for monkeypox infection, but outbreaks can be controlled. Vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox in the past but the vaccine is no longer available to the general public after it was discontinued following global smallpox eradication. Nevertheless, prior smallpox vaccination will likely result in a milder disease course.
Natural host of monkeypox virus
In Africa, monkeypox infection has been found in many animal species: rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian rats, striped mice, dormice and primates. Doubts persist on the natural history of the virus and further studies are needed to identify the exact reservoir of the monkeypox virus and how it is maintained in nature.
In the USA, the virus is thought to have been transmitted from African animals to a number of susceptible non-African species (like prairie dogs) with which they were co-housed.
Preventing monkeypox expansion through restrictions on animal trade
Restricting or banning the movement of small African mammals and monkeys may be effective in slowing the expansion of the virus outside Africa.
Captive animals should not be inoculated against smallpox. Instead, potentially infected animals should be isolated from other animals and placed into immediate quarantine. Any animals that might have come into contact with an infected animal should be quarantined, handled with standard precautions and observed for monkeypox symptoms for 30 days.
Reducing the risk of infection in people
During human monkeypox outbreaks, close contact with other patients is the most significant risk factor for monkeypox virus infection. In the absence of specific treatment or vaccine, the only way to reduce infection in people is by raising awareness of the risk factors and educating people about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus. Surveillance measures and rapid identification of new cases is critical for outbreak containment.
Public health educational messages should focus on the following risks:
Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission. Close physical contact with monkeypox infected people should be avoided. Gloves and protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill people. Regular hand washing should be carried out after caring for or visiting sick people.
Reducing the risk of animal-to-human transmission. Efforts to prevent transmission in endemic regions should focus on thoroughly cooking all animal products (blood, meat) before eating. Gloves and other appropriate protective clothing should be worn while handling sick animals or their infected tissues, and during slaughtering procedures.
Controlling infection in health-care settings
Health-care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed monkeypox virus infection, or handling specimens from them, should implement standard infection control precautions.
Healthcare workers and those treating or exposed to patients with monkeypox or their samples should consider being immunized against smallpox via their national health authorities. Older smallpox vaccines should not be administered to people with comprised immune systems.
Samples taken from people and animals with suspected monkeypox virus infection should be handled by trained staff working in suitably equipped laboratories.
WHO supports Member States with surveillance, preparedness and outbreak response activities in affected countries.
Also Watch: Biafrans Present Coffin To Nigeria Embassy Abroad
Monkey Pox Spreads In Bayelsa
Monkey pox virus that broke out in Bayelsa State has continued to spread in the state so far over ten persons has been reportedly quarantined in separate wards.
The state commissioner for Health, Dr Ebitimitula Etebu Thursday sensitized the general public to observe hand hygiene and ensure they don’t come in contact with dead animals and their secretions adding that the disease was
airborne and very infectious.
Speaking in Yenagoa at a programme to keep the public abreast of the virus, the commissioner said “We have mobilized virtually every arsenal at our disposal in terms of sensitizing the general public and making them
aware by radio programmes, jingles and fliers making them to know about the
The health commissioner listed the symptoms of monkey pox as severe headache, fever, back pains amongst other symptoms adding that most worrisome of all the signs were rashes bigger than those caused by chicken
He said the rashes are usually frightening and usually spread to the whole body of an infected persons. He described monkey pox as a viral illness caused by a group of viruses that include chicken pox and small pox, adding that the first case was noticed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and subsequently it had
outbreaks in West African region.
The virus he explained that the virus has the Central African and the West African types, the commissioner said the West African type is milder and has no records of mortality.
Maintaining that the Nigerian Center for Disease Control has mobilized fully to the state, the commissioner narrating how the virus came into the state said “We noticed the first index case from Agbura where somebody was purported to have killed and eaten a monkey and after that the people who are neighbors and families started developing these rashes.
He said the symptoms were seen as far as Biseni adding that they had invited the Nigerian Center for Disease Control together with the ministry’s epidemiological team adding that they had been able to trace most of the people who have come in contact with the patients.
” So far we have ten patients and we have created an isolation centre at the NDUTH and most of them are on admission and we are following up the forty nine cases that we are suspecting might come down with the illness.
As a state we are taking car of all the expenses of all the isolated cases”.
However he disclosed that a medical doctor and ten persons, who came down with the monkey pox had been quarantined in an isolation centre created at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH) Okolobiri, Yenagoa.
The isolation centre he said was created by the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the epidemiological team of the state’s Ministry of Health to stop the spread of the virus. Already the NCDC and the epidemiological team were tracking other forty nine persons who were said to have come in contact with the infected persons.
The state Commissioner stated that samples of the virus had been sent to the World Health Organization Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal for confirmation.“Recently in Bayelsa State we noticed a suspected outbreak of monkey pox. It has not been confirmed. We have sent samples to the World Health Organization (WHO) reference laboratory in Dakar, Senegal.
When that comes out we will be sure that it is confirmed. But from all indications, it points towards it”, he said. He said as the name implies, the virus was first seen in monkey, but could also be found in all bush animals such as rats, squirrels and antelopes.
The disease he said has an incubation period adding that it was also self-limiting in the sense that within two to four weeks, the person get healed and it confers the person with the immunity for life.
“We have mobilized virtually every arsenal at our disposal in terms of sensitizing the general public and making them aware by radio programmes, jingles and fliers. So the Nigerian Center for Disease Control has mobilized fully to Bayelsa state. We are on top the situation.
“A lot of people have come down with the symptoms but they are hiding in their houses. If they hide, there is the propensity for the infection to spread.
“It is better to quarantine them and treat so that we can interrupt the spread of the disease. People should be calm and they shouldn’t get frightened. The state has distributed personal protective equipment to workers and they are using it”
Also Watch: Southern Cameroonians Declare their Independence – Ambazonia
Nigerian Army In Fresh Trouble As CCTV Caught Them Looting Kanu’s Home
Again the Nigerian Army invaded the home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra looting items from the home. The incident was caught on hidden cameras careful planted at Nnamdi Kanu’s home.
The Nigerian army on Sunday, October 8, reportedly stormed the home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi kanu.
According to several reports, including a claim by the former minister of aviation, Fani Kayode, the army carted away some personal belongings of the IPOB leader.
The army trucks allegedly parked outside Kanu’s house. Photo credit: Francis Rosevelt He wrote: “UPDATE…!!! The Nigerian soldiers are currently moving away every property in the compound of Mazi Nnamdi kanu, including mattresses clothes, generators, televisions into their trucks!!! Share this now!!!”
Another video showing the raid in kanu’s home.
We Lied, IPOB Didn’t Burn Down Any Mosque In Enugu, We Did It — Police
IPOB has denied ever burning a mosque at Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, saying it was not a violent organisation.
It further said it has no quarrel with Muslims in the country or elsewhere and as such had no reason to burn down their place of worship, as alleged by the enemy.
Confrming IPOB’s position, Enugu State Police Command, yesterday, warned residents against spreading rumour and blatant lies capable of jeopardizing existing peace in the state.
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, SP Ebere Amaraizu, gave the warning in a statement in Enugu.
He, however, said that contrary to the claims, preliminary investigations showed that electrical power surge was responsible for the inferno at the mosque.
He said: “The issue is that there was an incident and that incident involved inferno.
“When we first heard about it, we moved in with a view to finding out what actually happened.The incident happened at the wee hours of Saturday, September 16 at about 2 a.m.
“When we got there, following our preliminary investigations, we discovered that it could have been as a result of power surge.
“However, the following morning, we started hearing all sorts of things that are blatant lies.
“We need to put things in their proper perspective to avoid mixing up issues.”
We Burnt The Police Station In Aba To Implicate IPOB – Nigerian Police
A high ranking Officer of the Nigeria from zone 9 Umuahia has claimed that Nigerian Army and Police set the Police station on fire Aba, destroyed the Yoruba mosque and organized irate youths asking for Hausas in a commuter Bus.
The Officer who pleaded anonymity said he started having sympathy for IPOB after witnessing the brutal mass killings, rape, abductions and subsequent blackmail of Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) by the Nigerian army on ‘Operation Python Dance II.
He said a combine team of the Nigeria army and Police were responsible for the acts in order to have evidence for branding IPOB a terrorist organization and subsequently proscribing it.
According to the Nigerian Police officer who pleaded anonymity in a message sent to Afroinsider Facebook Page, ” in a meeting with the 5 state governors of the South East and Some senators in Enugu on 8th of September 2017, it was agreed that a means should be devised to impicate IPOB. They must be stopped by any means possible to hold Anambra elections,” the officer stated.
“This we hoped to accomplish by destroying the Yoruba Mosque at Azikiwe by Asa Road Aba. The aim was to create hatred and animosity between Yorubas and Igbos. This move was expected to cut off any relationship between the Yoruba Freedom Fighters and The Biafrans.
Secondly, it was expected to caused a wide spread indignation against the Indigenous People Of Biafra, there by justifying tagging them a terrorist organization,” he added.
About a video making rounds on social media, the officer has this to say “The video showing some boys asking if there was any Hausa person in a commuter bus was equally made by us to make the world believe that IPOB was actually lynching Hausas and Yorubas in Aba. This we thought will justify the inhuman torture and mass killings of Biafrans by the Nigerian Army”
Meanwhile, IPOB has remained peaceful and resolute despite the on-going brutal mass killings, rape, abductions and blackmail in Biafraland.
The Disappearance Of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu Is Troubling – WikiLeaks Boss, Julian Assange
JULIAN ASSANGE, the fearless WikiLeaks boss has joined a myriad of other world leaders in asking the Nigerian government the whereabouts of IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The embattled IPOB leader was last seen on 11th of September as he was holding a press conference, telling the members of the Nigeria press that the Nigeria army attacked his home killing 3 persons while injuring many others.
A claim which Nigerian army vehemently denied. However the Nigerian army returned later that day and besieged Kanu’s home while killings, rapes and abductions by the Nigerian army were going on along the high ways leading to Kanu’s home.
Having killed and abducted an unknown number of persons in Aba, Obigbo and Umuahia, the Nigerian army returned to Kanu’s home killing about 30 persons, while bullets rips through the walls of Kanu’s home. His dog also was not spared as every living thing in that house was killed by the Nigerian army.
Ever since then, Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra has not been sighted or heard.
Kanu’s lawyer, Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor and IPOB believe that the Nigerian army might have killed him or abducted him.
However, the International Community especially, the United States of America, The United Kingdom, the European Union has been asking the Nigeria government of the whereabout of the Biafran leader.
The latest of which is the tweet from the WikiLeaks boss, Julian Assange, in which he says that the EU and UK are right, that the dissappearance of the IPOB leader is troubling.
— Julian Assange ???? (@JulianAssange) October 4, 2017
— Ekpere Nwankwo (@EkpereNwankwo) October 4, 2017
— Nkiruka Nistoran (@NkirukaNistoran) October 4, 2017
Genocide against Biafrans for asking for referendum from the Islamic state of Nigeria! Call for referendum is not call for war! pic.twitter.com/UGaYaeRZzO
— Chinedu Onyeka (@edupeepy1) October 4, 2017
the Nigeria army went to the house of the leader of IPOB kill all his security men including the family dog
— Chiasraokwu Kakason (@mosesgodswill16) October 4, 2017
the Nigeria army went to the house of the leader of IPOB kill all his security men including the family dog
— Chiasraokwu Kakason (@mosesgodswill16) October 4, 2017
See What Late Muammar Gaddafi Told Asari Dokubo
Asaba Massacre, Radio Presenter Yanked Off-Air By Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC)
A radio presenter with Nigeria Info FM, known as Chxta tweeted that while he was discussing Asaba Massacre earlier today, he got a call from the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to shut down the show.
What exactly is the Nigerian government scared of? Why is there so much panic on the corridors of power? The Jubrin, oh sorry Mbuhari led Nigerian government is working so hard to cover it’s atrocities.
Genocide was committed in Asaba and it has been succesfully hidden for 50 years.
I was on air discussing the #AsabaMassacre on this show, & a call came from the NBC.
"Shut the show down."
I've been kicked off the air. https://t.co/BTIX4aOE9G
— Chxta (@Chxta) October 4, 2017
Join @Chxta and @nellylaoni on the #MiddayDialogue today at 1 PM as we discuss the Asaba massacre and the unresolved scars of Biafra.
— Nigeria Info FM (@NigeriainfoFM) October 4, 2017
Was it not censored by Buhari led NBC to erase our history that is well known? #AsabaMassacre
— Nwadede (@DeclanIfeanyi) October 4, 2017
I have never seen it in this way before. This government is very "wonderful "
— Okala David CN (@DAVECARES) October 4, 2017
I really did enjoy the conversation, along the line, I couldn't hear the discussion anymore. Hope you don't mind a repeat broadcast. Cheers
— Brendan Unique (@Brencross) October 4, 2017
Probably it was on hold because of heightened tension concerning the biafra agitators so that it does escalate into something else.kudos
— Azodo Hycenth chifun (@zodoxohio) October 4, 2017
Really thought provoking,this is the first time i have heard,read or seen anything as it concerns stories of our war in the media,kudos
— nedu (@Nedu2000Nedu) October 4, 2017
Welcome to buhari's government
— Gloria Kalu (@kalu_gloria) October 4, 2017
In August 1967, three months into the Nigerian Civil War, Biafran troops invaded the Midwest Region, to the west of the River Niger. They spread west, taking Benin City and reaching as far as Ore, where they were pushed back by the Nigerian Second Division, under the command of Col. Murtala Muhammed.
The Federal troops gained the upper hand, and forced the Biafrans back to the Niger, where they crossed the bridge back into the Biafran city of Onitsha, which lies directly across from Asaba. The Biafrans blew up the eastern spans of the bridge, so that the Federal troops were unable to pursue them.
The Federal troops entered Asaba around October 5, and began ransacking houses and killing civilians, claiming they were Biafran sympathisers. Leaders summoned the townspeople to assemble on the morning of October 7, hoping to end the violence through a show of support for “One Nigeria.” Hundreds of men, women, and children, many wearing the ceremonial akwa ocha (white) attire paraded along the main street, singing, dancing, and chanting “One Nigeria.”
At a junction, men and teenage boys were separated from women and young children, and gathered in an open square at Ogbe-Osowa village. Federal troops revealed machine guns, and orders were given, reportedly by Second-in-Command, Maj. Ibrahim Taiwo, to open fire. It is estimated that more than 700 men and boys were killed, some as young as 12 years old, in addition to many more killed in the preceding days.
The bodies of some victims were retrieved by family members and buried at home. But most were buried in [mass grave]]s, without appropriate ceremony. Many extended families lost dozens of men and boys. Federal troops occupied Asaba for many months, during which time most of the town was destroyed, many women and girls were raped or forcibly “married,” and large numbers of citizens fled, often not returning until the war ended in 1970.
Ibrahim B. Haruna has sometimes been named as the officer who ordered the massacre, following a report of his testimony to the Nigerian Human Rights Violations Investigations Commission, known as the Oputa Panel. This article quoted him as claiming responsibility (as the commanding officer) and having no apology for the atrocity.
However, Haruna was not present in Asaba in 1967. He replaced Murtala Muhammed as C.O. of the Second Division in spring 1968. While there are no eye-witness reports of Muhammed ordering the killings, he was the Commander in the field, and thus must bear responsibility.
A comprehensive account of the massacre, its causes, consequences, and legacy, was published in August 2017: “The Asaba Massacre: Trauma, Memory, and the Nigerian Civil War,” by S. Elizabeth Bird and Fraser Ottanelli.
Let’s Go Our Seperate Ways, Nigeria Is Not Working – Northern Elders Forum
The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has called for the immediate break-up of Nigeria, saying: “Let us go our separate ways because the country called Nigeria is not working.”
The call was made by the Spokesman of the NEF, Professor Ango Abdullahi, who revealed that God did not create Nigeria, but Lord Lugard did, hence the need for the regions brought together by the colonial master to go their separate ways.
Abdullahi in a telephone interview with The Nation Newspaper said Nigerians should waste no further time in correcting the mistake of Lord Lugard.
According to him: “I have spoken extensively on this issue of restructuring, and I gave reasons why Nigeria has failed. The elites have insisted that Nigeria should work, which is why I am advocating that the mistake Lugard made in 1914 should be revisited.
“Lugard made mistake by bringing us together, and I don’t take it that God made this country, it was Lugard who made it. And now that we have agreed that he has made a mistake, we should correct it. Correcting it here means that we should go to the structures he put together, and go our separate ways; or at best, I support the position taken by the South-West, that we should go to our former regions. That is my position.
“If we cannot work Nigeria for 100 years, we should do something else, and doing something else means that we either go our separate ways, or go back to a point where our Leaders agreed for once that Nigeria should gain independence, but the original federal system. I also agree with the South-West’s position that we should have our parliamentary system back.
“We should stop wasting time by organizing constitutional conferences. Each time we organize the constitutional conference, they will say there is nothing wrong with the provisions of our Constitution, it is the people working it that are not implementing it properly. So, this shows that it is the Nigerian political class and the elites that have failed. So, why don’t we stop now and retrace our steps and go back to 1960?
“If we go our separate ways, I believe the people in the West as they always argue, will do like our father, Chief Awolowo did, people in the East will do as Zik did, and people in the North will do the same that Sardauna left for us.
“It is because the political class are selfish, that they don’t want to hear these views. They don’t want to hear that Nigeria is divisible, which is nonsense.
“You can’t say that Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable, it is not true, because the President said recently that Nigeria’s unity has been settled. It has not been So, you cannot say Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable”, he said.