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Declare IPOB a terrorist organisation, American don tells Biden

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There seems to be a string of compounding woes for the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Kanu is currently in the custody of Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS) following his arrest in Kenya in June.

However, his ongoing treason trial does not seem to be the end of his travails as international forces have now joined demands for the proscription of his group.

The Federal Government had declared IPOB a terrorist organisation in 2017.

Ivan Sheehan, an American academic who is the executive director of the school of public and international affairs at the University of Baltimore,

in a piece published in The Washington Times, gave reasons why IPOB should be designated as a terrorist group by the US.

Sheehan said the establishment of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) by IPOB signalled the end of the group’s “pretenses of being a peaceful movement”.

He accused IPOB leader of supporting terrorism and issuing threats via Radio Biafra.

“Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB’s leader, is clearly unconcerned. That he feels no need to even disguise his support of terrorism is worrisome.”

“Though IPOB’s principal aim is to restore a breakaway state of Biafra in the southeastern parts of Nigeria, Mr. Kanu’s rhetoric has become increasingly strident, “I don’t want peaceful actualization (of Biafra).

“Mr. Kanu has said through his Radio Biafra channel, used to project threats, instructions, and propaganda into Nigeria from the safety of London, “If they don’t (give us Biafra), they will die.

“Neither does Mr. Kanu make idle threats. The December revelation of IPOB’s 50,000 strong-armed paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), complete with a Swastika-style flag, marked the end to all pretenses of being a peaceful movement.

“What had been largely unspoken was publicly declared. Since then, violent IPOB attacks on both security personnel and civilians have surged by a terrifying 59%; deaths by 344%,” he wrote.

Sheeran further explained that tagging the secessionist group with a terror label would “hit IPOB’s wallet hard”, adding that if done, no organisation that uses the US currency would be able to conduct legal transactions with IPOB.

“As soon as the designation is applied, no organization that utilizes U.S. currency would be able to legally conduct transactions with the organization. By cutting off IPOB’s funding, the U.S. would weaken the 50,000 strong paramilitary outfit, and provide Nigeria’s security forces room to train their sights squarely on ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram in the Northeast of the country.”

“Counterterrorism operations against Boko Haram have long been assisted by U.S. agencies working in close coordination with the West African government,” he added.

Daily Trust

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Updated: #EndSARS memorial protests rock Lagos, Abuja, two arrested at Lekki tollgate

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Youth group leaders, entertainers and activists on Wednesday staged protests in major cities of the countries including Lagos, Abuja and Enugu in memory of victims of last year’s #EndSARS protests against police brutality.

The police arrested at least two protesters at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos during the EndSARS memorial protest.

The police had repeatedly warned against the EndSARS memorial protest and deployed armed security operatives to the tollgate. But the organisers of the protest said there was no going back and some persons on Wednesday morning converged around the tollgate where protesters were forcefully dispersed exactly one year ago.

The arrests on Wednesday, it was learnt, were made by the armed police who had stormed the area to enforce no protest order earlier issued by the security authorities.

One of those arrested claimed to be a journalist and the other was seen carrying a placard.

Protesters in Lagos used their vehicles to protest, shouting that they want a better Nigeria.

In Abuja and Enugu, protesters reportedly stormed major streets, carrying different placards and shouting #Endsars and police brutality in Nigeria. Some of the inscriptions on their placards are “We will never forget 20-10-20”, “Endsars” and “End Police Brutality”.

In Abuja, Omoyele Sowore, former presidential candidate of the Africa Action Congress, and founder of an online news agency Sahara Reporters, was seen campaigning against police brutality.

In Lagos, Charley Boy, popular singer and song writer, Folarin Falana aka Falz, rapper, songwriter and actor joined protesters in Lekki remembering those that allegedly died last year during EndSARS protests.

Falz wrote via Twitter, “365 days ago, Nigerian citizens were shot and killed at the toll gate by our own military men.

“Today, we honour them because they have sacrificed their very existence for a cause bigger than all of us. They live forever in our hearts.”

Debo Adebayo, a comedian popularly known as Mr Macaroni was also one of those that led the EndSARS vehicular procession at Lekki tollgate.

The organisers had announced the procession on their Instagram handles on Tuesday.

“In memory of those who died that day and those we have lost to police brutality, we will: drive through the toll gate from 8-10 am; blast our horns in unison as we drive through and wave our flags,” the information on the e-flier read in part.

Around 9am, the entertainers joined by some youths rode in a convoy, waving flags at journalists and security operatives at the tollgate.

They said the procession was in memory of the EndSARS protest which ended controversially on October 20, 2020.

Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, had said his men would only allow any procession of vehicles around Lekki, or any form of protest and had deployed officers in the area.

The arrested journalist told newsmen that he works with LegitTV and that his phone, driver’s licence and other documents were taken away from him.

He spoke from a Lagos State Task Force van where he was kept by the police, identifying himself as Abisola.

A report by the Punch said about 30 police trucks and armed personnel were stationed at the tollgate.

It also reported a car procession in honour of those believed to have lost their lives at the tollgate when soldiers dispersed the EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020.

The Lekki tollgate was where many youths gathered day and night to air their grievances against police brutality and bad governance.

The protest was later said to have been hijacked by hoodlums, leading to destruction of private and public properties in other parts of Lagos.

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Missing journalist: Group threatens showdown, gives seven-day ultimatum

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The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, an umbrella body of all the youth groups in the South-East zone has threaten to stage massive protest should the police fail to find missing Tordue Salem, a journalist with Vanguard newspaper within seven days. Salem covers the House of Representatives for Vanguard newspaper.

It gave the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, and other security agencies in the country a seven-day ultimatum to find the journalist.

The ultimatum is contained in a statement released on Tuesday by Goodluck Egwu Ibem, President General of the Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders.

The group said it received with “rude shock the news of the sudden disappearance of Tordue Salem since October 13, in Abuja.

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari who is the Command­er-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan; the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, to activate all necessary machinery to ensure that everything is done to ensure the safe return of Tordue Salem.

Ibem said, “If we don’t see Tordue Salem after seven working days, we will stage a one-million-man protest until he returns safely to his family. The time has started counting,” Ibem posited.

“This kind of story is totally unacceptable to us and we demand that the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, and other security agencies “must” find Tordue Salem and hand him over to his family within the next seven working days.”

He also said, “These seven days ultimatum given by us to the IGP and other security agencies to find Salam is not negotiable.

“The IGP must prove his mettle by bringing back Salem to his family. No form of excuse will be entertained. The IGP and other security agen­cies must find Salem immediately.”

The coalition insisted that any form of attack on any journalist is an attack on the entire society.

“They are the backbone of our democracy and any attack on them is an attack against all Nigerians and non-Nigerians,” he said.

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Ota among Ogun communities in darkness after rainstorm havoc

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Scores of communities in Ogun State including Ota have been thrown into darkness after a heavy rainstorm wreaked havoc in the area.

The rainstorm, which occurred last weekend, destroyed many electricity poles and plunged the communities into darkness.

Some houses also had their roofs blown away by the storm just as many roads were flooded.

Residents of the affected areas are said to have been battling with a power outage since Saturday.

They said the power outage was making life more difficult for them and called on the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company to rescue the situation.

The power distribution company has apologised to the affected customers for the inconveniences caused by the power outage.

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