Lawal Usman, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State, says the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are troublemakers seeking the attention of the federal government.
Mr Usman, popularly called ‘Mr LA’ said IPOB’s campaign lacked support from leaders of the South-East region, and faulted the group’s threats to break away from Nigeria, saying it was not real.
“We have Igbo people living and doing business in all parts of the country. Are you saying that this people are ready to fold their businesses and fortunes and just go back empty handed from Nigeria?
“The whole thing about IPOB is a great joke, they just want attention from the federal government.
“I don’t take them seriously, left to me, they won’t last more than one week, especially if the government is serious about them.
“There are great people in South East who believe in oneness of Nigeria. I think that IPOB is made up of some trouble makers, making noise trying to seek government attention,” Mr Usman said, adding that the group had no knowledge of Nigeria’s politics.
“They are young men who have no knowledge of the country’s history, especially the Civil War, I think they needed to be educated on the history of the country, because they are acting blindly.
“They are also seeking for foreign funding from enemies of Nigeria who do not wish the country well,” he said.
Mr Usman said that Igbo businessmen were scattered across the country, doing legitimate businesses and owning properties.
“There are Igbo businessmen and women in Kano for example doing business and living peacefully for years and they are not talking of Biafra.
“There are Igbo businessmen in Abuja, in Yola, Kaduna, Sokoto and all-over the North owning property and living like Kings in the areas, they are not talking of Biafra.
“The Anambra election was also held peacefully where people voted for their choice candidates, without thinking of Biafra,” he said.
Mr Usman advised members of IPOB to channel their grievances through representatives of South-East at the National Assembly rather than engage in fruitless campaigns.
APC Crisis: Ex-Gov. Yerima calls for unity in Zamfara
Former Governor Ahmad Yerima of Zamfara has called for unity in the All Progressives Congress (APC) family in the state, urging those challenging the party’s leadership in the state to stop in the interest of peace.
Mr Yerima said this when he received newly inaugurated state executives of the party at his residence in Gusau.
Yusuf Idris, APC’s publicity secretary in Zamfara, disclosed this in a statement in Gusau on Monday.
The statement said the executives’ visit was to show appreciation to APC stakeholders in Zamfara over their emergence under the chairmanship of Tukur-Umar Danfulani.
“During the visit, Danfulani promised to show leadership by example, promising that all loyal members will be fully engaged in party activities,” said the statement.
It added that the executives also visited former Governor Mahmud Shinkafi, serving and former lawmakers at the National and State House of Assembly, among others.
COVID-19: Botswana confirms 19 Omicron cases
Botswana Health Minister, Edwin Dikoloti, has confirmed 19 cases of the newly-discovered Omicron variant of COVID-19.
“Such detection should not be confused with Botswana being the country of origin of the strain,” the Botswana health minister said.
Mr Dikoloti disclosed this at a briefing that additional assessments and analyses of other positive COVID-19 samples had revealed 15 more cases of the Omicron variant on Sunday after four foreigners were declared infected.
“We will continue to expand our conduct tracing to ensure that no potential cases go undetected,” Mr Dikoloti stressed.
He further stated that the initial cases of the Omicron variant in Botswana were detected after four foreign nationals, who had briefly visited Botswana, tested positive for COVID-19 on November 11.
The variant was confirmed as the Omicron variant on November 24.
Omicron: Philippines launches ambitious vaccination drive
The Philippines on Monday launched an ambitious three-day vaccination drive to give COVID-19 shots to up to nine million Filipinos amid the threat of the highly mutated Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Thousands of security forces and volunteers were deployed nationwide to implement the campaign, which was being held as the country again imposed international travel restrictions.
“The national vaccination day is very timely and truly a milestone in our COVID-19 pandemic response and mitigation efforts,” Carlito Galvez, the country’s vaccination chief, said. “Inoculating nine million individuals in three days is our most ambitious target so far.”
According to the Department of Health, three million people would be vaccinated a day or nearly four times the average of 813,734 daily doses in the past week.
The department said before Monday, more than 35.78 million Filipinos had been fully vaccinated, or over 32 per cent of the country’s total population of 110 million.
The government aims to vaccinate 54 million people by the end of 2021 and 77 million by next March.
Mr Galvez said with the country’s increasing supply of vaccines, the key was now to “accelerate and expand the capacity” of local government units, especially those outside the capital region of Metro Manila.
The Philippines banned flights from 14 countries, including seven European nations, due to rising COVID-19 cases and the detection of the Omicron variant.
The government also indefinitely delayed a previous decision to start accepting some foreign tourists again from December 1.
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