| Published Thursday, August 16, 2018 | 11:55 GMT

FIFA Threatens to suspend Nigeria & Ghana over dishonesty and government interference

FIFA President Gianni Infantino

FIFA has threatened to suspend the Nigeria and Ghana football federations over government interference.
Nigeria will face the wrath of world football’s governing body unless “the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) offices are not handed back to the legitimate NFF executive committee under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick”, FIFA warned in a statement on Tuesday.
Nigeria put itself on a collision course with FIFA in July when the government’s sports ministry directed the NFF to comply with a court order to overturn Pinnick’s election and recognise Chris Giwa as its head.
The long-running dispute over who is in charge of the NFF dates back to 2014.
Giwa first claimed to have won election to the top job.
However, FIFA did not endorse the vote and threatened suspension unless it was re-run.
Pinnick won the re-run, although the vote was also deemed to have been flawed. Giwa then launched court action over the result.
FIFA said the ban would only be lifted once Pinnick has confirmed the NFF is back under his effective control.
Ghana’s problems stem from a corruption scandal engulfing suspended GFA federation boss Kwesi Nyantaki.
FIFA are on the warpath after the country’s Attorney General ordered the GFA to be dissolved.
“If the petition to start the liquidation process of the GFA is not withdrawn” by August 27 the association “will be suspended with immediate effect”, FIFA said.
FIFA statutes dictate that member states should “manage their affairs independently with no influence from third parties”.
| Published Thursday, August 16, 2018 | 11:47 GMT 

Nigerian soldiers protest as Boko Haram attacks surge

Nigerian soldiers during a combat against Boko Haram

Kano (Nigeria) - Disillusioned and exhausted, Nigerian troops battling a surge in Boko Haram jihadist attacks have reached breaking point, protesting less than six months before presidential polls.

The Nigerian army dismissed it as a "misunderstanding", but on Sunday hundreds of soldiers protested in the airport of Maiduguri, the capital of restive northeast Borno state, for several hours, shooting into the air and disrupting flights.

They were furious about a planned redeployment to a battlefront in the remote Lake Chad region after fighting Boko Haram jihadists for years without relief.

"We should not have been here for more than a year but this is our fourth year and still they are asking us to move to Marte," one of the protesting soldiers told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"We need some rest, we are war-weary and need to see our families."

The protest comes after a wave of bloody assaults on military bases in the northeast, forcing the army to retreat and marking a Boko Haram comeback.

The resurgence of violence has put pressure on Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who is seeking a second term in office and maintains that the country is now in a "post-conflict stabilisation phase."

Experts say that Nigeria hasn't faced such a serious threat from the jihadists since the peak of the insurgency between 2013 and 2015, when Boko Haram controlled swathes of territory in the country's northeast.

"There has been a military evolution akin to what we've seen in Syria and Iraq," said security analyst Yan St Pierre to AFP.

"Boko Haram's quality of attack is higher, the level of preparedness is higher."

The Nigerian military is overwhelmed by the "catastrophic security situation," said St Pierre, "they are relying on old tactics no longer applicable in the northeast."

Desperate to stop the onslaught, Nigeria's military chief Yusuf Tukur Buratai said that "cowardly" soldiers would be punished by death in a July 27 memo seen by AFP.

Soldiers who "abandon their positions" have the potential to "rubbish all the laudable gains made in the operations in the past 3 years against BHT (Boko Haram terrorists)."

- Relentless attacks -

The attacks are relentless. In less than a month, dozens of soldiers have died, though in the absence of any official death toll from the military, the number is feared to be much higher.

Boko Haram has traditionally launched attacks during Nigeria's rainy season between June and September when roads become water-logged, making it difficult for troops to do patrols.

The more mobile jihadists seize the opportunity to restock their arsenal of weapons from war-torn Libya and Mali through Nigeria's porous borders.

Sanda Kime, who is part of the militia force fighting against Boko Haram in Lake Chad, said the latest attacks were because of "huge arms supplies" secured by the jihadists.

"They are now better armed which makes them more daring," said Kime.

The garrison town of Monguno is on high alert after Boko Haram sent out a warning this week that it would attack on August 22 during the Muslim Eid festival, said residents and aid workers.

Similar threats were sent to troops in Askira and Uba towns, security sources said.

On Monday, the United Nations announced the suspension of humanitarian work by its agencies in Monguno from August 19 over security concerns, according to an internal memo seen by AFP.

Fighters loyal to IS-affiliated Boko Haram factional leader Abu Mus'ab Al-Barnawi are believed to have carried out most of the raids.

The faction is mostly based in the Lake Chad area and in areas south of Maiduguri including Benisheikh and Buni Yadi in nearby Yobe state.

In June, Nigerian fighter jets bombarded Al-Barnawi's Tumbun Gini enclave in the Lake Chad area, forcing him to flee southwards to a forest near Benisheikh, 80 kilometres south of Maiduguri, according to sources with deep knowledge about the group.

"He moved his operational base to the Benisheikh area from where he planned the attacks on military bases," said a source who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.

Al-Barnawi, the son of Boko Haram's deceased founder Mohammed Yusuf, has found sanctuary in the Lake Chad region, an area fertile in vegetation and fish that is difficult for security forces to penetrate.

"The camps are a reservoir of fighters for the group from where they plan and launch attacks", said Usman Nalado, a fisherman from the town of Baga on the shore of the lake.

"To end their attacks troops need to smoke them out."

- Yahoo News

    | Published, Wednesday, August, 15.2018 | 13:22

                              Biafra Referendum, A quest for freedom

IPOB Leader.Nnamdi Kanu

Fifty million Biafrans across the nation are gearing up for a referendum, one big decisive event that will determine their fate and as well set Nigeria on an everlasting shattering mode. 

Many have favored a referendum vote for an independent state of Biafra whilst many are calling rather for a restructuring of the current system of government but have received huge criticism by the pro-Biafran supporters calling it a waste of time because it had been proposed before in 1967 and 2014 national confab respectively but has been hugely ignored by the political leaders mostly from the North.

The Southeast has been largely marginalized by the federal government, therefore, raising all for separation and unending uprising following a brutal clampdown on pro-Biafra supporters which has left many dead, allegedly thousands as reported by Amnesty International. 

One of the leading movements in the Biafra struggle "IPOB" is at the forefront with the whereabouts of its charismatic leader, Nnamdi Kanu, unknown after the military invasion of his home residence last September, which sparked outrage among members and sympathizers.

Mr. Kanu who was arrested in October 2015 in a Lagos Hotel was charged to court on a treasonable felony. He was issued bail in June 2017  with a stringent condition of not to speak or appear in public. Kanu reportedly broke his silence after accusing the Nigerian media of falsely publishing lies against him, therefore had to come out to speak for himself rather than remain silent. He took to the media to make it clear that the people of the Old Eastern region of the country will no longer participate in any further political activity in the country, leading the group to launch the famous "No election" campaign which was first tried in Anambra state last November and recorded huge success as few citizens turned out to vote in the governorship election.

The campaign has so far upset the Nigerian government as the group is currently campaigning for a total boycott of the 2019 general elections unless a referendum is awarded to them. But despite massive support for the campaign, the group still faces big opposition from within the region with different factions and in-house division.

Last week, the group backed out of a negotiating deal with the socio-cultural Igbo apex group "Ohanaeze Ndigbo" after reports of little or no sign of sincerity from Ohanaeze to meet with IPOB's preconditions for peace, one of which is to De-Proscribe the group. The group accused them of playing a major role with the South East governors in proscribing IPOB  after an operation python dance military invasion of the leader's home in September that also left many dead. The group claimed the Nigerian military is keeping its leader and demands his immediate release, an accusation the Nigerian military has denied. Kanu has ever since then been MIA.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian political scene is in severe turmoil. We have seen politicians defecting from one party to another. 

Last week was a showdown at the National Assembly when men of the DSS - security operatives - barricaded the premises refusing members of the house entrance, which caused a national outrage as Nigerians massively condemned the act. This event saw the DSS chief sacked by the Vice President Yemi Osibanjo.

Also, according to sources, a faction of the government wants senate president Bukola Saraki to resign after he allegedly defected from the leading APC party to PDP. Over the last months, there has been a massive defection from APC to PDP thereby upsetting the president who is hell-bent on recontesting in the 2019 presidential election.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have expressed dissatisfaction to the current leadership, tagging it "A failed government and a dictatorial one", some are calling for the impeachment of the president  amid incapability to rule, besides there have been extrajudicial mass killings and destruction by the Fulani herdsmen "Miyetti Allah" who claims to have protection from the federal government led by President Buhari who is also a Fulani indigene. 

The president has been widely criticised for total silence on the massacre and destruction committed by the Fulani Herdsmen across the country especially in the middle belt where thousands have allegedly been killed.

Therefore, out of dissatisfaction and unfair treatment to other regions of the country, Biafrans have made up their mind to leave the union which they claim was put together by force by the British colonial masters. 

The first attempt to breakaway was in 1967 which saw millions dead in a bloody  three years civil war led by Gen. Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu who surrendered after the Nigerian military with the help of the British masters subdued the  ill-armed Biafran soldiers who fought for survival and were later reintegrated to the Nigerian economy in 1970 after the war ended.

Some of the Biafrans are still upset about the war crimes and events saying if they ever have to fight again it will be a different scene but many hope the situation doesn't lead to another war, therefore, opting for a diplomatic solution, and a referendum seems to be the last option  for the people but the Nigerian government is totally against any chance for either a referendum or restructuring and seems hardened to the use of force in an uprising. 

The international community may be following ongoing events in Nigeria, expecting the UN to wade in to avoid more bloodshed and approve a decisive referendum for the people of Biafra because a referendum for a sovereign state of Biafra is the only lasting option for peace as seen by the people.


IPOB Writers