Party primaries: Ohanaeze president breaks silence, urges Igbos to lament no more

The President General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Professor George Obiozor, has reacted to the presidential nominations of the ruling All Peoples Congress and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, for the 2023 elections.

The South-East presidential aspirants in the two mainstream political parties had lost in the primaries with some not getting any vote despite the overwhelming agitation for the region to produce the next president based on equity, justice and fairness, and in the spirit of rotational presidency between the North and South.

While Bola Tinubu, the former Lagos State Governor from the South-West, emerged the presidential candidate of the ruling APC, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the North-East emerged the PDP presidential candidate in elections that were allegedly ‘dollarised’, that is, for the highest bidder.

But Obiozor, who had remained silent about the outcome of these primaries, broke his silence on Saturday morning in a statement titled: “What does Nigeria want from Ndigbo?”

The former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States of America, said, “Now it is clear that the Nigerian national political elite have successfully orchestrated to deny the South-East an opportunity to produce the president of Nigeria come 2023.

“By this machination, some Nigerian leaders have demonstrated gross historic injustice towards Ndigbo, beyond our expectations.”

Obiozor, who is convalescing in a Dubai hospital, states that Nigeria, by its deliberate injustice, has failed the Rotary Club International four-way tests, “which are: First – Of the things we think, say or do: Is it the TRUTH? Second – Is it FAIR to all concerned? Third – Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? And Fourth – Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

While urging Ndigbo not to lament much but wait for the verdict of history, he expressed his conviction that in the end, this political manipulation would end in “a Pyrrhic victory for those who rejoice and celebrate injustice.”

Obiozor, who conveyed his statement through the National Publicity Secretary of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, thanked Nigerian statesmen and patriots across the country, who supported the idea for the South-East to produce the president of Nigeria in 2023, based on Nigerian proven history of rotation of power between the north and the south as well as commitment to equity, justice and fairness.

(Punch)

Physical, mental fitness critical to NAF’s operations – Air Chief

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, has stated that with Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel actively engaged in various operational theatres across the country, it is important that they maintain a high standard of physical and mental fitness.

According to a statement by NAF spokesperson Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the CAS stated Saturday at the 2022 Second Quarter Route March Exercise for NAF personnel in Abuja.

The Route March, which is routine, is part of the efforts aimed at continually promoting comradeship and esprit de corps among personnel as well as physical and combat fitness with a view to enhancing NAF operational readiness.

According to Air Marshal Amao, route march is a military tradition practiced worldwide and aims at ensuring NAF officers, airmen and civilian staff are physically fit in order to handle the rigours and stress associated with their daily tasks and responsibilities.

Speaking further, the CAS reiterated the need for personnel to continue to be vigilant and security conscious, while remaining apolitical, even as the Nation gradually approaches another election year.

According to him, “While I encourage you all to exercise your franchise, please be guided by the ethics and discipline that has been inculcated in you. You must also continue to foster peace and be law abiding even as you carry out your civic duties.”

Air Marshal Amao, who led the route march, went on to state that in addition to the weekly sporting activities held in all NAF units, the NAF Sports Week has been planned for the Third Quarter of 2022 so as to promote peaceful coexistence amongst personnel and families as well as serve as an avenue for discovering new NAF talents for the upcoming 2022 Armed Forces of Nigeria Games.

He also stated that the games would give the NAF an opportunity to engage the large base youths population rather than them engaging in the rampaging vices in the society.

While congratulating participants for a successful exercise, Air Marshal Amao expressed the gratitude of the NAF to the President Muhammadu Buhari, for his support to the growth and development of the NAF.


He also thanked the Commander 053 HQ NAF Camp and his team for professionally and successfully hosting the Route March with desired outcomes.

(Blueprint)

Edo Primaries: INEC accepts Dan Orbih Faction’s list of Candidates

What could be termed as respite is what is currently being experienced in the camp of the National Vice Chairman, South-South of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the candidates who emerged from the primary conducted by his faction in the Edo State chapter of the party have been submitted to the Independent Nation Electoral Commission, INEC.

According to a report by Metrowatch Nigeria, Architect Mike Onolememen, Hon Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama and Hon. Paschal Ugbome top the list of names submitted as the senatorial candidates for Edo central, Edo South, and Edo North respectively.

An administrative staff of INEC in Abuja, confirmed that the list has been forwarded to INEC as ordered by the court.

Showing the receipt of acknowledgment as a proof, she said “Look, we have obeyed the court`s order instructing us to submit the names of those who emerged as our candidates from the primaries monitored by INEC, and these are the names”.

Some other names listed as sighted by our reporter in Abuja, are Mrs. Lucy Omagbon, Mr. Lewis Osobase, Mr. Felix Akhbue, Mr. Lawrence Ogieva, Mr. Nosa Adams, and all others who are members of the Edo Legacy PDP.

History, Historians and Nation-Building in Nigeria

OPINION!

By: Terhemba Wuam

According to the historian Jorma Kalela, “Why history?” is more fruitful than the question of “what is history?” The former question is posed because people need knowledge of the past, which they can use as they deem fit as the past is always used in the present. In the United States of America we heard of the Tea Party and talks of the Founding Fathers. In Britain, the Brexiteers anchored leaving the European Union on supposed British values and traditions that they believed Europe was eroding. Using the past is equally true for China, which is the most persistent civilization and culture area. China’s heritage and past imbues the Middle Kingdom with confidence about its place in the world.

In Nigeria, the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba and the other hundreds of ethnic nationalities are together due to history. Because more than a hundred years ago the British came to colonise the Nigeria area. Thus, although one can say these groups have nothing in common before 1914, and therefore that they should not be together, such thinking misses a basic point. They are now together because of history, a common and shared history. A jointly shared history of colonization, which they experienced together for over six decades.

History, will therefore always be about the past and the contemporary. How the past or history is used only heightens the politics in the usage of the history, that is, what historians choose to emphasise, what the elite, the religious authorities, and the government or the people decide to remember and value. As a result the entire gamut of experiences will be there, but often groups will emphasise certain strands and leave out others towards the achievement of certain aims. In Nigeria such battlegrounds are: religion, colonialism and 1914, 1953, 1966, the Civil War, June 12 and May 29 and other historical experiences. Such histories are often subjected to diverse interpretations and meanings. Some of which may be benign and others malignant to the national well-being.

The diverse interpretations of past historical events highlight that history and meaning can be twisted by groups within a nation or internationally. However, despite this bending of history to serve specific agendas, it is very much to the historian to remain impartial and objective and tell the story of the past as it was. Being objective prevents history from degenerating to myth-making. This is often a difficult task, as historians may find it difficult to limit the influence of their ethnic, regional, religious and cultural orientations from affecting their professional role as objective practitioners of the craft of history. As a result, some Nigerian historians against the tenets of the discipline may be less than objective in accounting for the past based on their ethnicity, religion or politics.

Despite such limitations with regards to interpretations of the past by some historians, it is still to be asserted that the relevance of history to society is in the broad perspective it provides by synthesizing how the roots of the present are located in a past, that even though long gone is very much still alive. Its influence being felt in the foundations upon which the present exists. The reality being that societies and nations in the past and in contemporary times have always used history as anchors. As history helps the present to make sense of the world, to understand trends and utilise same to shape the course of human actions locally and globally.

The relevance of historians in this grand scheme in Nigeria is to contribute to providing understanding, to shaping thought. To imbue the civic spirit of nationhood and community, patriotism and hardnosed idealism in citizens. It means historians helping the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory to work out compromises on the basis of an enlightened comprehension of the challenges facing the nation; and how to build a stronger Nigerian state and nation-hood.

Fundamentally, it is in the nation’s shared history of common roots before 1900 and after that historians can locate and provide the nation with the basis upon which it can face challenges and build stronger, better and more prosperous local, state and national communities. Historians can strengthen the nation through the histories they have researched and know so well and by how they explain the past as a source of lessons and inspiration to the present generation towards building a stronger and united Nigerian federation.

Wuam is a Professor of Economic History and Dean Students’ Affairs, Kaduna State University.