Southeast leaders on Saturday have warned the prime agitators for Biafra Republic to desist from causing problems in Nigeria.
The Igbo leaders disowned the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other pro-Biafra groups.
The Igbo leaders at the meeting were past governors, ministers, National Assembly members, other members of the political class, religious leaders and traditional rulers from the zone.
Reading from a communique at the end of the meeting held in Enugu, Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, said the meeting set up a committee to engage the agitators to stop and allow the elders of the Southeast to address their fears.
Umahi, who is also the chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum, also assured the non-Igbo living in the Southeast of their security and protection.
The meeting mandated Southeast governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to liaise with Northerners and other Nigerians living in the Southeast to come out openly to assure their people and Nigerians that they are safe and well protected while living in the area.
Umahi said the meeting was a follow up to the one between a presidential delegation led by Defence Minister Bashir Magashi and Igbo leaders on June 11, 2021, on the security challenges confronting the region in particular and Nigeria in general.
The communiqué reads in part: “We the Southeast leaders condemn in totality the violent secessionist agitations in the Southeast. We firmly proclaim that we do not support them. They do not speak for Southeast.
“The impression that Southeast leaders are silent over the agitations of our youths for secession is not correct.
“Southeast governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo president and our National Assembly members, our ministers and our leadership from Southeast, notable leaders from Southeast had come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations.
“In order not to mismanage the unfortunate situation we found ourselves, Southeast leaders have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow the elders of Southeast to address their fears.
“Meeting directed our governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to liaise with indigenes from Northern part of Nigeria and other indigenes of other regions that are living in the Southeast to come out openly to assure their people and Nigerians that they are very safe and well protected while living in the Southeast.
“The meeting also set up a committee under Ohanaeze to articulate and address all burning issues to further meet amongst ourselves and further meet with the presidential team.
“We the Igbo reaffirm commitment to one united Nigeria under the platform of justice, equality of rights, fairness, love and respect for one another.”
”The communiqué also noted the threats by some groups in some other regions against the people of Southeast even as the leaders firmly promised to protect everyone either from the Southeast or anywhere living in the Southeast.
“We plead with the leaders of other regions to please note the threats against our people and protect them.
“We condemn the killing of security agents, burning of security infrastructure and killing of civilians in Southeast and even other regions. We request the security agencies to discharge their duties within the rules of engagement under the rule of law.”
The communiqué endorsed the Southeast joint security outfit, Ebube Agu, and asked all the personnel of Ebube Agu to work with security agencies and respect the rights and privileges of all those living in the Southeast and her visitors.
The communiqué also requested the National Assembly members from the Southeast to support state police creation in the ongoing Constitutional amendment.
9/11: Biden surrendered in defeat, Trump on US withdrawing from Afghan
Former US President Donald Trump has slammed the “horrible” withdrawal from Afghanistan and the “incompetence” of Joe Biden’s administration during the frenzied end to America’s longest war.
Speaking during the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack in the US, Trump said it was a horrible thing that took place.
“It looked like we retreated, it looked like we gave up. Like, they use the word surrender,” he also told officers at the precinct, referring to the final withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan last month following the Taliban takeover of the country.
“And we didn’t surrender, our people didn’t surrender and our soldiers sure as hell didn’t surrender,” he said.
The US military intervention in Afghanistan began in late 2001 in the wake of Al-Qaeda’s attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside the US capital.
Al-Qaeda had been sheltering in Taliban-held Afghanistan, and the US invasion toppled the extremist regime in a bid to find Al-Qaeda’s leaders.
But the Taliban launched an insurgency and came back to power last month.
As a president, Trump brokered a deal with the Taliban in February 2020 that would have seen all US troops out by May 2021 in return for security guarantees from the insurgents.
But it was his successor Biden who carried out the withdrawal, moving the date back to August 31 but lifting all conditions.
The Taliban captured Kabul and the Afghan government collapsed on August 15, giving the US and its allies two weeks to conduct one of the biggest airlifts in history.
Earlier on Saturday, Trump also released a video message calling September 11 a “very sad day” and again slammed the Afghan withdrawal.
He blamed “bad planning, incredible weakness, and leaders who truly didn’t understand what was happening.”
“Joe Biden and his inept administration surrendered in defeat,” Trump said in the message.
Gov Matawalle sends strong message to bandits
Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, says that his government is no longer interested in having a dialogue with bandits.
While speaking to a congregation in Gusau, Matawalle said that security forces would flush them out of the state.
“My administration will no longer grant amnesty to bandits as they have failed to embrace the peace initiative earlier extended to them,’’ the governor said.
He urged residents to be patient and to support new security measures put in place to flush out bandits and their collaborators to restore peace in the state.
The governor said the barrage of attacks on bandits by security forces had made them to make a fresh overture to government seeking dialogue.
He said the bandits’ emissaries informed him that they had repented and would want to dialogue with government.
He noted that some of the bandits were running out of Zamfara to other states as a result of the new security measures introduced by the state government.
Matawalle warned politicians against giving any form of support to bandits, stressing that: “politicians should fear God and stop buying motorcycles to distribute to people who, in turn, sell to bandits to perpetuate their evil acts.’’
The governor said also that Zamfara government would prosecute any politician caught in the act.
Afghanistan: Taliban now has new leader
The Taliban announced Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund as the leader of their new government in Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also told a press conference that Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar will be the deputy leader.
Two senior figures in the Haqqani Network, a US-designated terror group aligned with the Taliban and al Qaeda, will be in in the interim government. Both have been sanctioned by the United Nations and the US.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, the network’s leader, will be the acting interior minister. Haqqani has been one of two deputy leaders of the Taliban since 2016 and has a $10 million US bounty on his head. Khalil Haqqani, Sirajuddin’s uncle, was appointed as acting minister for refugees. Two other members of the Haqqani clan were also named to positions in the interim government.
The other deputy leader of the Taliban, Mullah Yaqoob, has become acting minister of defense. Yaqoob is the son of Mullah Omar, the founder of the Taliban.