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Nigeria Masterweb News Report

    Nigeria On The Verge of War?

    Below are 2003 pre/post election violence news, outbursts or threats by Buhari, Obasanjo, Ojukwu, Gov. Osoba, Inspector-General of police, the army, others, & other developments

    *Your guess is as good as ours.

       Updated    Monday, April 9, 2007  

    Breaking Development(s):-
    (1) Nigerian militants vow to engage govt in war (2) Nigeria risks collapse -World Bank (3) Civil War Still Possible -Soyinka (4) NY Times Warns of Civil War (5) Nigeria 'll Fail in 15 Years -US Intelligence - [Go to 'Other Developments Continued -5' below for details] xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (6) Nigeria’ll break up if… Gowon, Adebayo cry out (7) Biafra: The sun rises again? - [Go to 'Other Developments Continued -4' below for details]
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    Pre Presidential/Gubernatorial Election]
    [Post Presidential/Gubernatorial Election]
    [Other Developments]
    [Other Developments Continued -1]
    [Other Developments Continued -2]
    [Other Developments Continued -3]
    [Other Developments Continued -4]
    [Other Developments Continued -5]

    Weeks Before 2003 Election

    Political violence in Nigeria
    The Delta has seen clashes in recent weeks The levels of political violence in the country are now causing increasing concern, with elections in Nigeria just a few weeks away. Nigeria's oil producing areas have been particularly volatile in recent weeks, with continuing instability in the rivers and creeks of Delta State, forcing the evacuation of major oil facilities and severely disrupting production there. This latest incident was in neighbouring Rivers State, near one of the key oil industry centres in the south - Port Harcourt. Hundreds of members of the opposition All-Nigeria People's Party had gathered to hear their local leaders speak. Accounts vary as to how the violence began, but eyewitnesses from the ANPP say that as they arrived at the venue they were set upon by local youths with machetes and other weapons, forcing people to flee and creating total confusion. According to the police, scores of people died as the crowd stampeded into a river to escape the disturbances. Another violent incident, also reported over the weekend, involved members of a group calling for the secession of eastern Nigeria. The group, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob), has been officially banned, but attempted to hold a rally near the eastern town of Owerri on Saturday. Their route to the venue was blocked by armed police, and in the confusion that followed, the police say at least seven people were shot and killed. Members of the group say the number of dead was far higher, with hundreds arrested. It is becoming increasingly evident that there are those within Nigeria who are intent, for whatever reason, on disrupting the election process through violence. Tensions are so high in some areas that President Olusegun Obasanjo recently held an all-party emergency conference to address the issue. -Culled from BBC-Online, Monday, March 31, 2003

    Nigeria Police in The Dock
    Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State has not known peace since the Saturday, March 29, police killing of 50 members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB. The community has been deserted as inhabitants have fled for safety. There was still a heavy presence of armed policemen in the area as at press time. Kenneth Anyanwu, MASSOB director of information, told Newswatch that MASSOB was on its way to a solidarity rally in support of American war against terrorism in Iraq when a combined team of the armed mobile policemen laid ambush and opened fire on them. Anyanwu accused Governor Achike Udenwa of Imo State of being behind the killing of MASSOB members. He said Ralph Uwazuruike, MASSOB leader, was arrested and detained at the Imo State police headquarters near Government House, Owerri, before the Presidency ordered his transfer to Force Headquarters, Abuja , on Monday, March 31. The police last week ordered his release. Uchenna Nmahu, MASSOB's provincial secretary, Onitsha, told Newswatch, that their members had gathered in Okigwe, the country home of Uwazuruike, Friday evening, March 28, for an all-night vigil to usher in their yearly three-day rally which was also to feature a solidarity rally in support of American war against terrorism. Nmahu said the rally was to be held in 10 states - Imo, Abia, Enugu , Anambra, Delta, Cross River ,Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Bayelsa states. Newswatch learnt MASSOB members were all dressed in the defunct Biafra military uniform and were in a convoy of more than 30 vehicles led by Uwazuruike from Okigwe to Owerri when the incident happened in Umulolo, one kilometre from Okigwe. The policemen had laid ambush there and ordered the convoy to stop. While the members were coming out of the vehicle, the police threw tear gas at them thus, causing confusion during which they opened fire on them. Another account said that the convoy refused to stop hence the police fired at them. Newswatch learnt the police took some of the dead bodies to unknown destinations. MASSOB members carried those wounded to rural areas for treatment. It was gathered that the police also monitored hospitals in the South-East to arrest any doctor who treated MASSOB members. -Culled from Newswatch Issue of Monday, April 28, 2003

    Yoruba Group in Nigeria Seek Sovereign State
    A Nigerian group called on Saturday for a sovereign state for the Yoruba, the country's second biggest ethnic group, raising political tension in the multi-ethnic nation one week before key elections. The Oodua Republic Front (ORF) said independence had become imperative for the southwest region because the Yoruba were being held back by the country's conservative north. The Yoruba consider themselves Nigeria's educationally most advanced ethnic group. "Events since independence...have shown beyond doubt that development and fulfilment are impossible for the Yoruba within the Nigerian neo-colonial enclave," the ORF said in an editorial-style advertisement in the independent newspaper Punch. The advertisement, the first open call for a sovereign state of Oodua, urged the Yoruba to fly the Oodua flag and wear its logo and symbol. The Yoruba are angered by the fact that they had never produced a post-independence leader of Nigeria until President Olusegun Obasanjo, whose election in 1999 ended 15 years of brutal army rule. "This is the beginning of the struggle and we are willing to go to any lengths to get an independent state of Oodua," ORF spokesman Jubril Ogundimu told Reuters. "We are willing to negotiate our breakaway, but if that fails and it means war, we are prepared," Ogundimu said. "We are being cheated, Nigeria is a fraud, that's why we must go our own separate ways." -Culled from Reuters AlertNet, UK Issue of Saturday, April 5, 2003

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    Pre 2003 Presidential/Gubernatorial Election [Back to Top Page]

    Buhari on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 was quoted as saying:-
    "We would like to emphasize that any repeat of the fraud of April 12, a fraud we have rejected in totality, will result in mass action and its consequences, which no one can today foresee."

    Gov. Segun Osoba of Ogun state in a radio speech on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 dug in with:-
    "I can tell you that my boys are incensed. They are armed and ready...If anybody tries what they did last Saturday they will meet legitimate force."

    Obasanjo on Thursday, April 17, 2003 sent to Buhari a letter partly reading as follows:-
    "Let me emphatically urge you not to incite the society and law enforcement agencies. You know both as military leader and former head of state that (any) direct appeal... against lawfully constituted authority is both reprehensible and extremely unfortunate."
    "Those who are planning violence would meet their Waterloo."

    Ojukwu joined in the saber-rattling in a delivered speech with:-
    "I want him (Obasanjo) to know as a warning from me that if he continues along this line the events of 1967 to 1970 will be child's play to what will be unleashed, not by me but by the massive anger of the Nigerian masses."

    Tafa Balogun( I-G of police ) on Friday, April 18, 2003 threatened use of punitive force:-
    "The rhetoric of the past few days is enough to ignite violence in tomorrow’s elections."
    "Anybody that dares the security forces will be crushed by the might of law enforcement."
    "We have declared more than ever to blast, wound and technically amputate any thug or thugs and their sponsors."

    Chukwuemeka Onwuamaegbu( army spokesman ) makes no joke of the army's readiness:-
    "We are prepared for anything, be it peace or trouble."

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    Post 2003 Presidential/Gubernatorial Election [Back to Top Page]

    Nda-Isaiah( Buhari spokesman ) on Tuesday, 22, 2003 after the announcement of the election results was quoted as saying, "Any government that is formed on the basis of this so-called election shall be illegitimate and we shall not recognise it. A fraudulent democracy is worse than dictatorship."

    On Wednesday, April 23, 2003, about 20 parties, including the main opposition group led by Muhammadu Buhari, joined forces to demand that Obasanjo step down by May 29, dissolve the country's election commission and quickly allow a new vote. "We avoid any form of violence, but since the government is violent and has unleashed violence on the nation, the consequences will fall on Obasanjo," said Olagbade Ogboro, chairman of the National Action Congress, reading a joint statement. "If Gen. Obasanjo fails to heed this humble advice being dished out to him, the consequence may be massive revolt," Ogboro said.

    Buhari on Wednesday, April 23, 2003, called on his supporters to "massively participate" in the May 3 polls for state parliaments. He also said that, "Where there were no elections, there must be a repeat, otherwise there will be no government by the 30th of May."

    Obasanjo on Wednesday, April 23, 2003, threatened a crackdown on any mass protests over the election results opponents say was rigged, leaving the opposition in disarray. Obasanjo's ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) warned Buhari that Obasanjo, would stamp out any uprising. "Rebellion is unconstitutional, illegitimate and despicable. Any rebellion will be crushed. Whoever lets himself out for mass action has himself to blame," PDP Chairman Audu Ogbeh told a news conference.
    Following culled from SunDayTimes.Co.Za Issue of Sunday, April 27, 2003:-
    Nigerian leader says he will not step down, amid claims that election was riddled with irregularities. Addressing a press conference on Friday, Obasanjo made it clear that he was not preparing to step down. He instead announced plans to include members of the opposition in his next Cabinet, to be announced at the end of May. Ministry of Information spokesman Dan Unimna later told the Sunday Times that Obasanjo would not give in to demands for new elections, saying opposition parties should take their complaints to the electoral tribunals that have been set up to investigate such matters. "The government has no power to reverse the election results. We can't bypass constitutional structures set up to handle the elections and set aside the results," Unimna said. A number of such tribunals were set up on Friday. But most of the opposition parties have expressed misgivings about such tribunals, claiming that they are made up of individuals who have been hand-picked by PDP loyalists. But the ANPP seems divided about the issue, with some of its leaders now saying they will co-operate with the tribunals. Opposition allegations of fraud are supported by various international election observer groups, who say that new elections should be held in at least 11 of the country's 36 states. The US State Department's observer mission on Thursday joined other observer groups who reported serious voting irregularities. Only the African Union observer mission gave a favourable assessment of the elections.

    Daniel Bach, head of France's Center for African Studies was quoted with the following statements regarding the Nigerian election:-
    "Obasanjo cannot ignore the opinion of the monitors." He said the foreign teams were the only bodies who could bestow legitimacy on his re-election.-Lebanon Monday Morning, Issue No.1583 Monday, April 28, 2003
    "The fraud was not an exception to the rule in Nigeria. It's a continuation of everything that happens in Nigeria-" For Bach the level of the corruption was not a surprise, but he too sees the fault in the system that Obasanjo has failed to control rather than any plot by the presidency to cheat its way back into power. -Lebanon Monday Morning, Issue No.1583 Monday, April 28, 2003

    Chief Don Etiebet, National Chairman of ANPP, speaking in Abuja on Monday, April 28, 2003 said:-
    “They said President Obasanjo is reaching out to us. Count us out. We are not going to be part of any broad-based government or whatever it is called.We are not morons. We were in government before and now we are out to protect the interest of the masses. Everybody knows that the event of April 12 and 19 were riddled with all kinds malpractice and we are already preparing data to challenge the elections. ANPP is not fighting this war because ANPP lost election. We have not lost election and nobody has won because there was no election. We are out to protect the interest of the masses and to build a standard for the future. I will continue to say there was no election even in my grave. I don’t mind who rules for the next 20 years but not on this election.Let them set aside this elections and set up acredible election commission or by whatever name to do a new one."
    News Article - The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), yesterday, foreclosed its participation in the next government to be formed by President Olusegun Obasanjo, who won the last presidential election. President Obasanjo had, in his first term, formed a government comprising members of all the then registered political parties, including the ANPP. However, speaking in Abuja, yesterday, National Chairman of the ANPP, Chief Don Etiebet, stated that members of the party would not take part in the next Obasanjo government. He stated that the position of the party was sequel to the rejection of the April 19 elections result which gave victory to President Obasanjo. -Culled from Vanguard issue of Tuesday, April 29, 2003

    Uche Ezechukwu, Director(media and publicity) of ANPP, on Wednesday, April 30, 2003, in a signed statement stated:-
    "We shall leave no stones unturned in our legal and legitimate efforts to ensure that President Obasanjo does not get away with his civilian coup d'etat which is guaranteed to plunge Nigeria into an era of dictatorship and painful oppression."
    "PDP's new drift is a clear vindication of the insistence of the other parties that what took place on April 12 and 19 were no elections and must therefore be cancelled."
    "Nothing short of the total cancellation of the elections will satisfy us and the millions of Nigerians whose votes were stolen in a daylight armed robbery operation carried out by the Obasanjo government with the guns and security personnel bought and funded with public resources."
    News Article - The statement explained that the demand of the ANPP presidential candidate has been validated by the recent discovery that INEC's website had awarded victory at the gubernatorial polls to the PDP candidate instead of Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the AD who had deservedly won the election, betraying the fact that the 'results' had been prepared in advance and ahead of the elections. It argued that the recent announcement of a fresh list of candidates as 'victors' in the National Assembly elections in Anambra State to replace those who had purportedly won the elections was also another indication that elections never took place in Anambra or any other state in the Southeast or Southsouth. -Culled from Daily Trust issue of Thursday, May 1, 2003

    Ojukwu, on Saturday, May 3, 2003, at the Royal Palace Hotel, Enugu, addressing a gathering of his supporters numbering 15,000 said:-
    “The Igbo voted for me in the last election. They have done everything for me. They have given every support I need. We are here today to show that what we said before we still insist on.” “We demand for justice.”
    “There must be protests. You cannot stop it, PDP committed an abomination. Same with INEC.”
    “I need your support. If you tell me to go ahead, I will not hesitate.”

    ANPP party delegates, on Sunday, May 18, 2003, rising from the SE zonal conference of the party held in Enugu, in a 10-point communique declared:-
    “That we pledge our unflinching loyalty and salute the courage and statesmanship of our presidential candidate General M. Buhari and Vice- Presidential candidate, Chuba Okadigbo, the national leadership of the party and completely endorse their stand for mass action.”

    The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, on Monday, May 19, 2003, threatened to deal with anybody or group of persons that engages in any form of public rally or procession without police permit. In a nationwide broadcast from the Force Headquarters, Abuja, the IGP warned:-
    "Let me sound a note of warning here and now that any individual or group of people who convenes a public rally or procession without police permit is contravening the law and will be arrested, detained and prosecuted."
    "Anyone who causes or incites public disturbance will be arrested, detained and prosecuted."
    "Some people have gone as far as manufacturing explosives with the aim of using the same to cause panic and make the country generally ungovernable." Tafa Balogun, said in the statement.

    Ojukwu, on Tuesday, May 20, 2003, reacting to the threat by the Inspector-General of Police, to arrest and prosecute anyone involved in mass protest without police permit said, "no one can intimidate us. Are you talking tough to children? Nobody will or can intimidate us. All we want is justice. Nobody will intimidate us and allow a fraud to continue. We will continue the fight."

    Chief Chekwas Okorie, APGA Chairman, addressing a meeting of Igbo leaders of thought called Third Igbo National Assembly of Nnewi, on Monday, May 26, 2003, sternly declared:-
    “The days of first class and second class Nigerians are gone. Ojukwu has every constitutional right to fight for his mandate. Arrest him and see fire.”

    Alhaji Musa, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties(CNPP) Chairman, on Thursday, May 29, 2003, after an emergency meeting of CNPP, responding to Guardian's request to comment further on his reference to the 1964 and 1983 transitions, said:-
    "What happened in 1964 and 1983, governments were sworn in as a result of rigged elections and every Nigerian knows what followed immediately after."
    "It was because of the rigged election in 1964 that the army came in 1966, it was as a result of the rigged election in 1983 that the army came in three months later". He added: "Now, though we are not wishing this to happen, we are even opposed to it happening, but we have to draw the attention of Nigerians to the danger that we face."

    Mr. Nnamdi Olebara, National Publicity Secretary of ANPP, in an interview with Daily Trust on behalf of his party warned that increase in fuel price was a big time-bomb which the government of Obasanjo would not survive. -
    "ANPP is not surprise that the PDP government which lacked moral fortrightness is desirious of misappropriate power to force a hike in fuel price at this time when the nation was facing socio-economic and political uncertainties"
    "The truth remain that ANPP has not shifted ground concerning its mandate that PDP openly stole. The masses of Nigeria have not given up the mandate they gave to ANPP. We will constantly and consistently oppose any form of illegality and unconstitutionality," he said, adding: "ANPP is a party built on solid moral foundation, people's will and desire. We are party that is prepared to make Nigeria greater, that it is and which believes in a better tomorrow for our children."
    Mr. Nnamdi Olebara lamented on behalf of ANPP.

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    Other Developments [Back to Top Page]

    Four Die as Gunmen Shoot at Obasanjo's Daughter
    On Sunday, April 20, 2003, President Olusegun Oba-sanjo's daughter, Iyabo, Sunday evening escaped gun attacks as men suspected to be armed robbers fired at her car, killing four of the people inside the vehicle, a Peugeot 607 with presidency number plate. Presidency officials, however, do not rule out assassins. Those killed include the driver, police orderly, and two young children. The police orderly who was wearing a bullet proof vest was shot in the neck. The fifth passenger, a friend of Iyabo's, was said to have been injured and is recuperating in an undisclosed location. Efforts to confirm the identities of the victims were not successful at press time, but THISDAY gathered that the two children killed may have been children of Iyabo's friend who were visiting her for the Easter celebration. Iyabo was, however, not in the car as she was riding in another friend's car when the gun-men struck. A close family source told THISDAY that Iyabo was returning to Ota from Ibogun-Olaogun, in company of her friends in a three-car convoy, when few kilometers from her father's ancestral home a group of men suddenly opened fire on her car killing four of the occupants. According to sources, the president was not sure if the attack was a robbery or assassination attempt. But one source disclosed that the general feeling was that the gun men actually set out to kill the president's daughter. "One car was at the front, she was in that car. The second car was her own car. But the assailants allowed the first car to pass then opened fire on her car," said a source who described the attack as an "execution." He said the gun-men did not give the occupants of the car any chance of survival. -Culled from ThisDay Issue of Tuesday, 22, 2003

    Protests erupt in Anambra
    On Tuesday, 22, 2003, protests erupted in parts of Anambra State following the announcement Sunday night of the governorship election result by INEC which gave victory to PDP's Dr. Chris Ngige. Protesters, who in their hundreds stormed Ekwulobia-Agulu-Awka Road as early as 8.00 a.m. rejected the result which they said did not reflect the way they voted. They claimed that the result was "completely manipulated in favour of the PDP." According to the protesters, Peter Obi of APGA "won the polls with a wide margin." However, at about 1.00 p.m. over 100 anti-riot mobile policemen were despatched to the area, especially Agulu, Peter Obi's home town to stop the protest which was, however, not violent as the people termed it "just a warning protest." Battle ready soldiers are also now guarding the state radio station and other public places like INEC offices in the state. -Culled from Vanguard Issue of Wednesday, April 23, 2003

    Obasanjo to Quit if Court Says Election Illegitimate
    Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has reportedly said he will step down if the nation's electoral courts declare his re-election last week was illegitimate. In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Obasanjo said all those who have complaints about last Saturday's vote should go to the special courts with evidence. But he said he will not accept attempts to undermine the integrity of the vote with what he called "general statements" from the opposition. Nigeria's Independent Electoral Commission has urged any political party with complaints or evidence of vote fraud to file an official grievance with the commission's tribunals. -Culled from VOA News article of Friday, April 25, 2003

    Protests, Threats Swathe Election Results
    In apparently reaction to Buhari's call, the United States has called on those who lost the election to take their grievances to the courts or Election tribunals, even though it noted certain irregularities in the conduct of the election. Its spokes-man also observed that the governorship and presidential elections were a shade better than that of the National Assembly. Meanwhile, as Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) went a step further by declaring himself winner of the election, the Conference of Nigeria Politi-cal Parties (CNPP) in a press conference addressed on its behalf by Rev. Olapade Agoro, presidential candidate of the Nigeria Action Con-gress (NAC), gave Obasanjo May 29 ultimatum to vacate office for an Interim National Government (ING) or face the consequences of "massive revolt and whatever becomes of this nation." While the Arewa Consul-tative Forum (ACF) also added its voice to the cancellation of the polls results, its counterpart in the South West, Afenifere smarting from the political shocks that shook its enclave, have rejected only the results of the National Assembly and governorship elections in the South West keeping mute on that of the Presi-dential election. The Yoruba group however said it would take its case to the "Tribunal of God" and that of public opinion instead of the Election Tribunals for adjudication. But in a quick and unexpected move which drew the consternation of the South West wing of the party, the National Chairman of the Alliance for Demo-cracy (AD), Alhaji Ahmed Abdulkadir accepted the results of the elections "wholeheartedly." The AD governors wasted no time in distancing themselves from the Chairman's "personal opinion," saying they were not consulted on the issue. -Culled from ThisDay Issue of Friday, April 25, 2003

    Boycott mars Nigeria's local vote
         Local elections are under way in Nigeria but are being boycotted by the opposition. The ballot follows the re-election of President Olusegun Obasanjo on 19 April which was rejected by the opposition and which international election monitors said was marred by vote rigging. Nigerian opposition parties are refusing to take part in the latest polls in protest at the irregularities they say occurred in the previous ballots.
         There are also reports of gun battles in the oil-rich Niger Delta in which 14 people are said to have died. Ethnic Ijaw militants using speedboats are said to have opened fire on a naval base in the port of Warri. Voters are choosing the 990 members of Nigeria's 36 state parliaments - the third and final stage of a historic series of polls. When voting booths opened queues built up in Nigeria's commercial centre Lagos.
         But elsewhere, witnesses spoke of deserted polling stations, including in the south-east of the country where the elections for president and state governors were marred by violence and opposition protests. Local people have accused President Obasanjo's government of foisting unfavourable voting boundaries on their region ahead of elections in April. -Culled from BBC-Online, Saturday, May 3, 2003

    ‘We’ll reclaim our stolen mandate’
         ANPP candidate and former Abia State deputy governor, Dr. Enyinnaya Abaribe who challenged his erstwhile boss, Governor Orji Uzor Kalu of PDP described the governorship election in the state as "sheer armed robbery." Abaribe who addressed journalists in Nicon-Hilton Hotel Abuja, alleged that policemen and soldiers led by Abia government officials invaded polling units and collation centres in the state during the exercise. He also alleged that results of the poll were re-written at Government House, Umuahia before they were taken to INEC collating centres.
         Ballot boxes and results sheets were also allegedly snatched by thugs. "Patriotic Abians that resisted attempts by PDP men to commit electoral fraud were either killed, maimed or arrested and locked up at police stations all over the state", he alleged. He gave an instance of a presiding officer, Mr. Enyeribe who was allegedly shot dead at a polling centre at Akpa in Ward 8 Obingwa when he refused to handover his ballot box and paper at gunpoint. "A polling agent of ANPP at Ukaegbu Road Ogbor Ward, who refused to go away from the polling centre when ordered to do so, was shot dead by the police and army units", he further alleged.
         Abaribe also alleged the arrest of 37 ANPP members from the Abia South Senatorial Zone by the police because they refused to leave their duty posts. On the basis of these allegations, Abaribe was confident of being declared winner if the result is challenged. "The results as announced by the Resident Electoral Commissioner is not a reflection of the mandate of the people but a pronouncement on the spoils of armed robbery. No responsible government and people can accept such a result", Abaribe said, insisting on challenging the result "using every legally accepted procedure." -Culled from Vanguard Issue of Sunday, May 4, 2003

    Ojukwu, others want national govt
         Igbo Leaders of Thought, led by presidential candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu rose from an emergency summit in Enugu yesterday, proposing a government of national unity to take over governance of Nigeria from May 29, 2003. The group demanded that such a government when put in place "shall promptly organise a national conference of Nigeria's ethnic nationalities, undertake a comprehensive and proper voter registration exercise, constitute a truly Independent Electoral Commission and conduct a free, fair and non-violent elections in which the military shall play no role.
         This, according to the Igbo leaders, was the path of honour that shall guarantee stability and restoration of confidence in the Nigerian enterprise. In a seven-point communique signed by former Minister of Health, Dr. Tim Menakaya and Chief Onwuka Ukwa, Chairman and Executive Secretary of the group, they declared support for all the political parties who have rejected the results of the general elections, which according to them, "were characterised by unprecedented fraud and manipulations." -Culled from Vanguard Issue of Monday, May 5, 2003

    ANPP Won't Join PDP Govt, Says Buhari
         The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) presidential candidate and former Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) has ruled out the possibility of ANPP joining rival Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) in a government of national unity. This, he said, was because ANPP won the last general election and would definitely form the government of the country soon.
         Speaking shortly after casting his vote at the state assembly election in Daura, his country home on Saturday, Buhari pointed out that from evidence available to the party, ANPP won the general elections based on the facts and figures collated by the party. ANPP, he said, had a lot of evidence to show that the elections were rigged by the ruling party hence the question of forming national unity government did not arise.
         Such evidence and documents would be presented at election tribunal, court of appeal and the Supreme Court to make it clear that ANPP won the elections, he said. He said the party was out to fight for justice, adding that the judiciary would vindicate ANPP's claim of victory at the elections.
         Buhari alleged rigging by PDP saying many innocent people who voted for ANPP in many states were wounded and shot so as to manipulate the elections. Buhari declared, "I am confident that the judiciary will solve the election problem and that ANPP will emerge victorious and form the government at the centre."
         He said ANPP would not accept defeat and would not take the position of opposition in the country because it is our belief that we won the election. The ANPP flagbearer said his party would pursue the election petition to the Supreme Court because we have not been defeated fairly as expected, stressing that all constitutional means would be involved to reclaim our victory from those who stole it at the polls. -Culled from ThisDay Issue of Monday, May 5, 2003

    There Will Be Trouble Says Ojukwu, Ex-Biafra War Lord
    [ Exerpts of interview by The News with Ojukwu ]
    Ouestion by The News:-
         You have called for the cancellation of the two previous elections in the country. What will you do if they are not cancelled?
    Answer by Ojukwu:-
         Your question is most appropriate, and I am thinking it is better answered by telling you what I would do. It is not my intention, and I will, in no way, become a latter day Chief M.K.O. Abiola. I have always believed in the people of Nigeria. I believe solidly in the ability of the masses to claim their rights. I will proceed in non-violent manner to seek what is right for us. All dictators try to drag you into fighting on an uneven platform. Here is a situation where the person who decides when the election is free and fair has the control of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He has control of the police and the army. He, then, is the only one permitted to announce the result. And, then he beats his chest that he had won the election.      These are the problems, and what I am saying is that Obasanjo is going to learn that he is not God. The election should better be cancelled or there will be trouble in this country. I will certainly reclaim my stolen mandate. I will use non-violent means to reclaim my mandate. -Culled from The News Issue of Monday, May 5, 2003

    Handover to Chief Justice, Okadigbo Writes Obasanjo
         Vice-Presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Dr. Chuba Okadigbo has advised President Oluse-gun Obasanjo to hand over power to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on May 29, so that a Provisional National Government (PNG) would be set up to conduct fresh elections in the country.
         In a three-page letter he wrote to the president on the controversies surrounding the parliamentary, presidential and governorship elections, Dr. Okadigbo further advised that provisional governments be set up in the states under state Chief Judges.
         Okadigbo's position is coming on the heels of condemnation of the conduct of the April 12th and 19th elections by international and domestic observers, as well as outright rejection of the results of the polls by 28 out of the 30 registered political parties in the country.
         He said that the provisional government to be headed by the CJN should govern the country for three months within which it would conduct fresh general elections to resolve all controversies.
         According to him, by invoking Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution, the National Assembly can provide the mechanisms for the establishment of such governments and for fresh elections. "Since the constitution provides no remedy for the current quagmire or its equivalent, the questions of constitutional change does not at all arise and therefore the National Assembly can intervene by empowering itself to provide for a National Provisional Government and its adjuncts," he suggested. -Culled from Daily Trust Issue of Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    NCP Calls for Cancellation of Elections
         National Chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Chief Gani Fawehinmi, has called for the immediate cancellation of all the general elections held by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He said the elections into the National Assembly, presidential/Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly were characterized by varied and wide-spread electoral malpractices that were unprecedented in the history of the country. Fawehinmi, who made this remark, yesterday at a press conference accused President Olusegun Obasanjo, of being the master-mind and major beneficiary of the electoral malpractices.
         He regretted that the present government was not interested in bringing to book all those who along with him perpetrated the electoral malpractices. "The massive nature of the rigging and electoral malpractice as well as the brazenness of the methodologies adopted in their implementation has elevated corrupt practices and crass abuse of office to an unprecedented dimension, clearly violative of the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy contained in Section 15(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and several provisions of the Electoral Act 2002", he said. -Culled from ThisDay Issue of Thursday, May 8, 2003

    ANPP asks Service Chiefs, IG to quit
         The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has called for the resignation of the service chiefs and the Inspector-General Police on account of the conduct of their men in last month’s general elections. The party made the call in a communiqué of its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting issued in Abuja yesterday. In the communiqué signed by the National Secretary and Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Sani El-Katuzu and Mr. Nnamdi Oleobara, the party accused the police of exhibiting partisanship at the elections. "The Inspector-General of Police must take responsibility for the conduct and partisan role of his men in the massive rigging by the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) in the so called elections. We demand the immediate resignation of the Inspector-General of Police for the obvious lapses and the despicable role the police played in the whole electoral process. "We further call for the resignation of the Chief of Defence Staff and the service chiefs for allowing members of the Armed Forces to be used unlawfully during the elections, thereby exposing the military vagaries of this election and their partisan use by the PDP."
         The party pointed out that the involvement of the military in the election was illegal because Senate approval was not secured before their deployment. The party also condemned the police as well as the Attorney-General of the Federation for allegedly refusing to arraign anybody in the states where the ANPP members had been either killed or injured during the elections. In an apparent reaction to the congratulatory visit of the Kebbi State Governor, Adamu Aleiro to President Olusegun Obasanjo, the party stated that any member of the party had been forbidden from further engaging in any act affecting the collective resolve of the party to fight the alleged rigging of the elections. -Culled from Vanguard Issue of Thursday, May 8, 2003

    Polls: Northern Leaders List Conditions for Peace
         A group of Northern leaders led by Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Umaru Sanda Ndayako, yesterday presented Pre-sident Olusegun Obasanjo with a list of conditions which they said are the panacea for saving the country from "a near state of emergency" arising from the rejection of the April general elections by more than 16 opposition parties led by All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
         The northern leaders, who had one hour discussion with Obasanjo included the former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Bello (rtd.), former President of the Federal Court of Appeal, Justice Mamman Nasir (rtd.), two ANPP leaders, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi and Lt. General Jeremiah Useni (rtd.) as well as newspaper columnist, Mallam Mohammed Haruna. Useni was, however, not part of the meeting.
         Although the meeting took place behind closed doors, THISDAY checks revealed that the northern leaders had met Obasanjo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja to discuss the rejection by the ANPP and the other political parties in the Coalition of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) of the results declared by the Indepen-dent National Electoral Commis-sion (INEC) in the just concluded general elections.
         The spokesperson of the northern leaders, Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Ndayako, was said to have demanded that Obasanjo should dissolve the present INEC, sack all the resident commissioners across the nation and reconstitute another electoral body. The traditional ruler was further quoted as demanding the cancellation of election results where rigging had been alleged while the process of fresh election should be initiated as soon as the new electoral body is reconstituted.
         Ndayako, presidency sources further disclosed, also told Obasanjo that the general election has pushed the nation to a position of "a near state of emergency," adding that where the pendulum would swing depends largely on the actions of the President. He was said to have told the president that he had already spoken to Buhari to remain calm. "He also demanded that a political solution should be adopted in respect of the presidential election rather than asking the loser to seek redress at the Electoral Tribunal," a source at the meeting said. The northern team also frowned at the mood of celebrations by Obasanjo and the members of his party since they were declared winner of the elections and asked for restraint. The PDP not only organised a victory gala, Obasanjo had also cut a victory cake.
         In his response, sources said the president told the group that electoral tribunal remains the channel where the allegation of rigging can be proved and restated his position that those who considered the elections as fraught with irregularities should seek redress in accordance with the laws guiding elections in the country. -Culled from ThisDay Issue of Friday, May 9, 2003

    Ojukwu Dares Obasanjo
         It was supposed to be a gathering of Igbo leaders. But it turned out to be a gathering of Ojukwu’s followers from Igboland. Only a few Igbo leaders of thought were there. And at the end, the meeting turned out to be a rally of Ojukwu’s supporters from the various states of the South-East and South-South geo-political zones of the country.
         When he walked into the premises of the Royal Palace Hotel at about 12.45 p.m. May 3, it was to a tumultuous reception by a crowd of more than 15,000 supporters, chanting his praise. He actually came for a meeting with Igbo leaders but only a few attended. Those who attended included Clement Akpamgbo, former attorney-general of the Federation and minister of justice; Joe Achuzia, Ojukwu’s former military colleague; Offiah Nwali, a veteran politician; Chekwas Okorie, chairman of APGA and a handful of traditional rulers.
         But Ojukwu was not worried about the absence of many Igbo leaders, including the leadership of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex socio-cultural group in Igboland. Rather, he was content with the large turn out of the “masses” whom he claimed to be representing. He said he had come to ask for direction from the Igbo people on the next line of action to take on the irregularities in the result of the April 19 presidential elections.
         He was emphatic that APGA actually won the presidential and governorship elections in the South-East zone of the country but that this was upturned by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party,PDP through rigging, manipulation and changing of results. “The Igbo voted for me in the last election. They have done everything for me. They have given every support I need. We are here today to show that what we said before we still insist on,” said Ojukwu, who claimed to have won the five South-Eastern states. Ojukwu said his only prayer was for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declare him winner in the areas he won. “We demand for justice,” he said.
         Just a day after the declaration of the result by INEC, Ojukwu at a press conference in Enugu announced his rejection of the results and called for an outright cancellation of the polls. He alleged that there were serious cases of manipulation by the PDP, which culminated in the “injustice” manifested in the results. He described the election as a charade and a rape of democracy and accused INEC of dancing to the drums of the PDP. He had other 28 parties outside the PDP as company. They all called for the cancellation of the results.
         At the rally, Ojukwu demanded from his people to concretise their support for him through public demonstrations. He said that there was nothing wrong in their engaging in non-violent protests to demand for a cancellation of the polls. “There must be protests. You cannot stop it, PDP committed an abomination. Same with INEC,” he said adding, “I need your support. If you tell me to go ahead, I will not hesitate.” -Culled from Newswatch (Volume 37 No. 19, May 19, 2003), Online Print of Suday, May 11, 2003

    Residents flee as AD, PDP war escalates in Delta
         Hundreds of frightened residents of oil-rich Warri town have started fleeing, following the escalation of the violence in the town. The Nigerian Red Cross said about 12,000 people had fled the area and some killed. However, Delta State Security Council has requested the deployment of fresh troops to the troubled Effurun, headquarters of Uvwie Local Government. The violence allegedly triggered thugs of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) topped the agenda of an emergency meeting of the state security council yesterday. The meeting was presided over by the state Deputy Governor, Chief Benjamin Elue, with the security agencies represented. The meeting resolved to take decisive actions against the Uvwie warriors.
         However, Elue and his team had hardly settled down for the business of the day when the warlords invaded the streets of Warri town, with dangerous weapons, including firearms. The thugs, who apparently cashed in on the temporary withdrawal of soldiers and mobile policemen from the streets embarked on sporadic shooting with relative case. The security agents were withdrawn by their officers, who were worried that innocent people would be affected in their desperate efforts to check the rioters. No fewer than 10 building, most of them belonging to PDP chieftains in Ogaga Street and JJC area of Effurun, were razed in the yesterday’s incident. A young boy, simply identified as Henry, who went to bath at Effurun river, was mistaken for an arsonist, and gunned down by mobile policemen, deployed to restore sanity. An unknown member of people sustained injuries in the yesterday’s gun duel by the warriors. The shooting paralysed activities at Effurun as motorists from outside the state took the NPA expressway to the oil city of Warri. Residents have been recounting their experience of the last three days. "There has been a lot of killing and destruction of property," said Joel Bisina of Warri-based NGO Niger Delta Professionals for Development. "No fewer than 10 people have been killed."
         Citing eyewitnesses, Bisina said a supporter of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his family were burnt alive in their house by militants of the opposition Alliance for Democracy (AD) on Tuesday. PDP supporters responded in kind, burning alive an AD supporter and his family, he said. Other eyewitnesses, speaking on condition of anonymity, said no fewer than 25 were killed. "Shooting is still going on right now," Red Cross President, Emmanuel Ijewere said. "About 320 people are injured and about 12,000 displaced." Ijewere said "the clashes are both ethnic and political. The rival Itsekiri and Urhobo ethnic groups are battling each other, while there are also clashes between the PDP and AD," he said. The police and army have sent forces into the Uvwie Local Government Area, just outside of Warri to restore order, but denied there had been any deaths. Tensions have risen in the area ahead of local elections on June 21. Vote rigging allegations in presidential and governors’ polls last month, which were won by the ruling PDP in Warri and on the national level, have also heated the political climate. Warri has been the scene of frequent ethnic and political clashes since the early 1990s. -Culled from Vanguard Issue of Monday, May 15, 2003

    Mass Action: I'm Prepared to Go To Jail, Says Okadigbo
         The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) vice presi-dential candidate, Senator Chuba Okadigbo yesterday expressed his willingness to go to jail in defence of his party's position to resort to mass action as a means of protesting the irregularities which pervaded the last general elections. Also yesterday, his attempt to table a motion on the complaints of election irregularities before the Senate was stalled for the second time for lack of quorum. But the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has called on President Olusegun Obasanjo to order the immediate release of people arrested and detailed over election-related matters.
         Okadigbo later told reporters after the Senate session that the mass action option canvassed by the ANPP is guaranteed by the constitution. Okadigbo, however, noted that mass action does not necessarily imply violent demonstration and use of weapons or arms, but "public discussions of the rigging in churches, petrol stations, market places and everywhere." He said the pro-cess had already commenced. The former Senate President said it was through the process of mass action that the country won her independence from Britain, adding that the ANPP option would not be an exception. -Culled from ThisDay Issue of Monday, May 15, 2003

    We Shall Remain Undaunted, Says ANPP Chieftain
         A frontline member of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Hajia Naja'atu Bala Mohammed, has said that there was no going back in the party's quest for justice on the disputed results of the recently concluded elections, even as she lambasted a group of traditional rulers asking Buhari to forget the election results. Naja'atu, who is also a member of the Buhari/Okadigbo Campaign Organisation, disclosed that the organisation was heading to the courts to challenge the identified cases of electoral malpractices in 18 states of the federation.
         In a VOA Hausa interview, the woman leader noted that the only way to resolve the prevailing impasse on the election results was to "do away with injustice and replace it with justice. But the greatest wrong doer is one who folded his arms while injustices prosper. That's why we contested in the first place. We shall go to court, it is part of our strategy to fight injustice."
         She then chided a group of Northern traditional rulers who visited Buhari, to urge him to stand down his stance against the presidential elections. According to Naja'atu, the traditional rulers should first identify the electoral malpractices perpetuated before trying to console Buhari, adding that there was no need for consolation if no injustice was committed. "They should tell especially the Northerners where they were when this monumental fraud was being implemented," she said, alleging that the palaces of these traditional rulers were used in committing heinous electoral crimes. -Culled from Daily Trust Issue of Monday, May 15, 2003

    Buhari Writes Foreign Govts, Details Abuses
         The presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Maj. General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), and his running mate in the April 19 elections, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, have taken their campaign against recognition of President Olusegun Obasanjo's government after May 28 to foreign governments. Buhari and the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) are challenging the results of the general elections which the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won. THISDAY checks at the embassies revealed that Buhari, leading the pack of 28 parties that make up the CNPP, has sent a position paper on the issue to all foreign missions represented in Nigeria for onward transfer to their home governments.
         Confirming this development, the media aide to Dr Chuba Okadigbo, Mr James Okoroma, who spoke to THISDAY on phone explained that already, the CNPP has visited several embassies with a position paper aimed at influencing their home governments against recognising the election and its beneficiaries. "The CNPP has visited several embassies to intimate them that after May 30, there will no longer be a legitimate government in Nigeria," Okoroma said. He noted that "we need to tell the world that there was no reliable and fair election in Nigeria and so no government can be said to be formed out of that exercise." Asked about CNPP's response to EU's congratulation of President Obasanjo on his re-election, Okoroma stressed that "the EU still noted that there was massive irregularity in the election and that it was fraught with malpractices," adding that "we are very much in touch with the EU and other foreign agencies on the matter".
         He said the South-east zone of the party (All Nigeria People's Party) will meet tomorrow (Sunday) in Enugu to review the elections and take a position on the matter, especially on whether or not there is hope in going to the election tribunals to formally protest the "rape of democracy that took place at the polls." He said Dr Okadigbo is heading the committee on the internationalisation of the campaign. During the week, Okadigbo, in Abuja, after failing to get the senate to review the outcome of the election, had said he does not mind going to jail in the process of protesting the outcome of the polls. He argued that the promised "mass action" of Buhari is within the provisions of the constitution, adding that when people have been sufficiently mobilised in the churches, mosques filling stations etc., in such a way that they keep discussing the matter, then the said mass action would have taken place. -Culled from ThisDay Issue of Saturday, May 17, 2003

    Stop Obasanjo•Buhari sends delegation abroad
         Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and its presidential candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), have begun their campaign for the non-recognition of President Olusegun Obasanjo as winner of the April 19 presidential election with the despatch of a delegation led by Air Vice Marshall Mukhtar Muhammed (rtd) (Wazirin Dutse) abroad to sensitize the international community on the issue.
         Buhari had said that President Obasanjo’s government would not be recognised effective May 30, this year on account of what he called the ‘monumental fraud’ that characterized the elections. Obasanjo’s current tenure expires on May 29. Sunday Vanguard gathered in Abuja that the delegation left Nigeria last Tuesday to kickstart the international campaign that will be taken to the parliaments in the United States, United Kingdom and other European Union countries. The objective of the campaign, as learnt, is to bring about international push for the cancellation of the elections and if the push fails, a resort to isolation of the Federal Government effective May 30 on account of what the ANPP called "the dubious results of the 2003 general elections".
         Although the ANPP has been advised to go to election tribunal, sources close to the party hinted that much as the party will explore the avenue of the tribunal, it would not be putting its eggs in one basket in the circumstance. Besides, it was learnt that efforts by some Northern leaders and Emirs to prevail on Buhari to accept the outcome of the polls have run into a brickwall on the ground of a moral question said to have been posed to them by the former Head of State. Buhari was said to have told them that the issue transcended him as a person and that it is a question of principle and morality. He was said to have warned that if the election is allowed to stand, then it would have serious implications on the nation’s democracy as the alleged dubious standard of the election may become standard for future elections in the country. -Culled from Vanguard Issue of Sunday, May 18, 2003

    Other Developments Continued =>

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