The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared 21 days mourning for its members allegedly killed during the military invasion of the home of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu at Afara Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State.
The Biafra agitation group also says it has discovered more corpses of her slain members in a bush within the precincts of the home of its leader, SunNewsOnline reports. The group also informed that it is burying the slain members, numbering more than over 28 who were killed during the invasion, in piecemeal with 11 of such bodies already interred.
A senior member of the group, Mark Eze Ofuonye, who disclosed how some of their members were shot dead by the invading soldiers, and their corpses dumped in a bush near the home of the IPOB leader, said:
“Some of our members, numbering over 28, were murdered in cold blood by the military during the invasion of our leader’s home at Afara Ukwu. The soldiers were doing a sort of mop up operation; whenever they killed any of our members, they carried away the corpse to conceal their horrendous act but it was not possible.
“So, they filled up their trucks with our members’ corpses. The corpses we retrieved and which we are burying at present are those the soldiers could not carry. They just came out with the intention of killing any human being or living thing that was found in the compound of our leader. The people they met were not armed still they shot them, even people just standing nearby and those passing through the area were caught in the attack.”
“The corpses we are burying now (referring to the day of the interview) were found inside the bush. They were shot by soldiers and they ran into the bush with bullet wounds thinking that they could receive help there but no help came their way and they died inside the bush. Some of the dead bodies were discovered last week inside the bush at the back of Nnamdi Kanu’s house. The 28 were those ones that were killed within the axis of the house of our leader. But the total number killed within this range is 305 persons.”
The IPOB chieftain who said there was no need for the operation by the Nigerian army as members of the group did not carry arms neither were they violent, added that the leadership of the group declared the 21-day mourning for their slain members.
Disclosing that those killed were from the Eastern heartland, Ofuonye said that in addition to burying the dead, the group is also treating the injured and taking care of the imprisoned ones.
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has asked former Minister of Environment now UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, to resign her appointment and be made to face criminal charges following her indictment in a $300m timber scandal.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a Washington-based environmental campaigning organization, recently released a report accusing Mohammed of issuing export certificates to some Chinese importers to illegally clear more than $300 million worth of rosewood logs (timbers) out of Nigeria.
The agency alleged that the former Minister on January 16th, shortly before she left office, 'hurriedly' signed some export certificates. Read here.
FFK reacted to the news via his twitter handle. See his tweet below...
PM Mariano Rajoy (L) joined the leader of his PP party in Catalonia for campaigning on Sunday
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said regional elections next month in Catalonia will help end "separatist havoc" in the north-eastern region.
He addressed a campaign event on his first visit there since imposing direct rule on the region a fortnight ago.
Defending his decision in Barcelona, he said he had "exhausted all roads" after the Catalan government's unilateral declaration of independence last month.
Several key Catalan leaders are currently being detained over the move.
Some 750,000 people protested in Barcelona on Saturday against the arrests, local police estimated.
The crisis was sparked by a disputed referendum held in Catalonia in October, which had been declared illegal by the Spanish courts.
Catalan officials said the independence campaign won 92% of the vote, from a turnout of 43%. Many of those who were against independence did not cast votes, refusing to recognise the legitimacy of the referendum.
The Catalan government subsequently declared independence. In response, the Spanish government dissolved the region's parliament, imposed direct rule and called a snap regional election on 21 December.
Speaking at a campaign event in Barcelona for his Popular Party (PP) on Sunday, Mr Rajoy called on the participation of the "silent majority" to "convert their voice into a vote".
"We must reclaim Catalonia from the havoc of separatism," he added, saying: "With democracy, we want to reclaim Catalonia for everyone."
He told PP supporters that the right result would boost Spain's economic growth next year to above 3%.
He called on companies not to leave the region, after hundreds of firms moved their headquarters away amid uncertainty over the region - which accounts for a fifth of Spain's economy. He also urged people in Spain to continue buying Catalan products.
Rajoy's message to the faithful
By James Reynolds in Barcelona
For a short while, the man who ultimately runs Catalonia was in Catalonia. But Mariano Rajoy's advisors made sure he would not run into vocal pro-independence opponents.
Instead, he spoke to the party faithful. Mr Rajoy's main campaign event was held inside a hotel ballroom, in front of mostly older supporters.
Spain's prime minister came here in order to win the regional Catalan election he's called for 21 December. His People's Party doesn't command widespread support in this region.
But the pro-Spain movement as a whole makes up about half the population of Catalonia. An election victory for this sector would make it much harder for pro-independence forces to make another attempt to break away from Spain.
After speaking for 25 minutes, Mr Rajoy posed for pictures and made his way out of the hotel amid a crush of supporters.
"Will you meet your opponents?" I asked him. "Yes," he said. But he didn't say where or when.
Asked about the possibility of becoming friends with the North Korean leader during a Sunday joint news conference in Vietnam, Trump did not rule it out.
"Strange things happen in life. That might be a strange thing that happens. But it is certainly a possibility," Trump said. "If that did happen, it would be a good thing for, I can tell you, for North Korea. But it would also be good for lots of other places, and it would be good for the world."
"The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger," Trump said about North Korea during an address at South Korea's National Assembly in Seoul. "Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face."
He called on nations to stop financing and trading with North Korea.
"Together we have in our power to finally liberate this region and the world from this very serious nuclear menace, but it will require collective action, collective strength and collective devotion to winning the peace," Trump said.
North Korean officials described Trump's trip as "nothing but a business trip by a warmonger to enrich the monopolies of the US defense industry."
"Trump, during his visit, laid bare his true nature as destroyer of the world peace and stability and begged for a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula," the nation's foreign ministry said in a statement.
The US on Saturday began a three-carrier strike force exercise in the Western Pacific. It involves the USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Nimitz and the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The exercise, set to continue through Tuesday, will involve operations showing the Navy's ability to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated effort, it said in a release.
The strike force plans to conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, defensive air combat training as well as other maneuvers.
This is the first time three carrier strike groups will operate together since 2007 during an exercise off the coast of Guam, according to the Navy.
Trump continued to push his harsh rhetoric for North Korea on Sunday, telling reporters that "the world has been provoked" by the rogue nation.
"We want progress not provocation," Trump said. "We have been provoked. The world has been provoked."
PM vaunts 'revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations,' goes on the offensive against the Iran nuclear deal
September 19, 2017,
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses world leaders at the 72nd UN General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on September 19, 2017. (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)
Full text of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly, September 19, 2017:
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,We’re in the midst of a great revolution, a revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations. This is happening because so many countries around the world have finally woken up to what Israel can do for them. Those countries now recognize what brilliant investors like Warren Buffet and great companies like Google and Intel, what they’ve recognized and known for years: that Israel is the innovation nation — the place for cutting-edge technology in agriculture, in water, in cyber security, in medicine, in autonomous vehicles — you name it, we’ve got it.
Those countries now also recognize Israel’s exceptional capabilities in fighting terrorism. In recent years, Israel has provided intelligence that has prevented dozens of major terrorist attacks around the world. We have saved countless lives. You may not know this, but your governments do, and they are working closely together with Israel to keep your countries safe and your citizens safe.
I stood here last year on this podium and I spoke about this profound change in Israel’s standing in the world and just look at what has happened since, in one year: hundreds of presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and other leaders have visited Israel, many for the first time.
Of these many visits, two were truly historic. In May, President Trump became the first American president to include Israel in his first visit abroad. President Trump stood at the Western Wall, at the foot of the Temple Mount, where the Jewish people’s Temples stood for nearly a thousand years. When the president touched those ancient stones, he touched our hearts forever.
In July, Prime Minister Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel. You may have seen the pictures. We were on a beach in Hadera. We rode together in a jeep outfitted with a portable desalination device that some thriving Israeli entrepreneur invented. We took off our shoes, waded into the Mediterranean and drank seawater that had been purified only a few minutes earlier. We imagined the endless possibilities for Israel, India, for all humanity.
In the past year, Israel hosted so many world leaders, and I had the honor of representing my country on six different continents. One year. Six continents.
I went to Africa, where I saw Israeli innovators increasing crop yields, turning air into water, fighting AIDS.
I went to Asia, where we deepened our relations with China and with Singapore, and expanded our cooperation with our Muslim friends in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
I went to Europe, where in London and Paris, Thessaloniki and Budapest, we enhanced our security and economic ties.
I went to Australia, becoming the first Israeli prime minister to visit our great allies Down Under.
And just last week, I went to South America, visiting Argentina and Colombia, and then I went on to Mexico, becoming, if you can believe it, the first Israeli prime minister ever to visit Latin America.
After 70 years, the world is embracing Israel, and Israel is embracing the world. One year. Six continents. Now, it’s true. I haven’t yet visited Antarctica, but one day I want to go there too because I’ve heard that penguins are also enthusiastic supporters of Israel. You laugh, but penguins have no difficulty recognizing that some things are black and white, are right and wrong.
Unfortunately, when it comes to UN decisions about Israel, that simple recognition is too often absent. It was absent last December when the Security Council passed an anti-Israel resolution that set back the cause of peace.
It was absent last May, when the World Health Organization adopted — you have to listen to this: the World Health Organization adopted a Syrian-sponsored resolution that criticized Israel for health conditions on the Golan Heights.
As the great John McEnroe would say, “You can-not be serious!” I mean, this is preposterous.
Syria has barrel-bombed, starved, gassed and murdered hundreds of thousands of its own citizens and wounded millions more, while Israel has provided lifesaving medical care to thousands of Syrian victims of that very same carnage. Yet who does the World Health Organization criticize? Israel.
So is there no limit to the UN’s absurdities when it comes to Israel?
Well, apparently not, because in July, UNESCO declared the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron a Palestinian World Heritage site. That’s worse than fake news. That’s fake history. Mind you, it’s true that Abraham, the father of both Ishmael and Isaac, is buried there, but so too are Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca – Sarah is a Jewish name, by the way – and Leah, who just happen to be patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people. You won’t read about that in the latest UNESCO report.
But if you want to, you can read about that in a somewhat weightier publication — it’s called the Bible. I highly recommend it. I hear it even got 4 ½ out of 5 stars on Amazon. And it’s a great read. I read it every week.
Ladies and gentlemen, a moment to be serious: Despite the absurdities, despite the repetition of these farcical events, there is change. Slowly but surely, there are signs of positive change, even at the United Nations.
Mr. Secretary General, I very much appreciate your statement that denying Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitism, pure and simple. Now, that’s important, because for too long the epicenter of global anti-Semitism has been right here at the UN. And while it may take many years, I am absolutely confident that the revolution in Israel’s ties with individual nations will ultimately be reflected in this hall of nations. I say that because there is also a marked change in the position of some of our key friends.
Thanks to President Trump’s unequivocal support for Israel in this body, that positive change is gathering force. So, thank you, President Trump. Thank you for supporting Israel at the UN. And thank you for your support, Ambassador Nikki Haley. Thank you for speaking the truth about Israel.
But, ladies and gentlemen, here at the UN, we must also speak the truth about Iran, as President Trump did so powerfully this morning. Now, you know I’ve been ambassador to the UN and I’m a long-serving Israeli prime minister, so I’ve listened to countless speeches in this hall, but I can say this: none were bolder, none more courageous and forthright than the one delivered by President Trump today.
President Trump rightly called the nuclear deal with Iran, he called it an embarrassment. Well, I couldn’t agree with him more. And here’s why: Iran vows to destroy my country every day, including by its chief of staff the other day. Iran is conducting a campaign of conquest across the Middle East and Iran is developing ballistic missiles to threaten the entire world.
Two years ago, I stood here and explained why the Iranian nuclear deal not only doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, Iran’s nuclear program has what’s called a sunset clause. Let me explain what that term means: It means that in a few years, those restrictions will be automatically removed — not by a change in Iran’s behavior, not by a lessening of its terror or its aggression. They’ll just be removed by a mere change in the calendar. And I warned that when that sunset comes, a dark shadow will be cast over the entire Middle East and the world, because Iran will then be free to enrich uranium on an industrial scale, placing it on the threshold of a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons.
That’s why I said two years ago that the greater danger is not that Iran will rush to a single bomb by breaking the deal, but that Iran will be able to build many bombs by keeping the deal.
Now, in the last few months, we’ve all seen how dangerous even a few nuclear weapons can be in the hands of a small rogue regime.
Now imagine the danger of hundreds of nuclear weapons in the hands of a vast Iranian Islamist empire, with the missiles to deliver them anywhere on earth.
I know there are those who still defend the dangerous deal with Iran, arguing that it will block Iran’s path to the bomb.
Ladies and gentlemen, That’s exactly what they said about the nuclear deal with North Korea, and we all know how that turned out. Unfortunately, if nothing changes, this deal will turn out exactly the same way.
That’s why Israel’s policy regarding the nuclear deal with Iran is very simple: Change it or cancel it, fix it or nix it. Nixing the deal means restoring massive pressure on Iran, including crippling sanctions, until Iran fully dismantles its nuclear weapons capability. Fixing the deal requires many things, among them inspecting military and any other site that is suspect, and penalizing Iran for every violation. But above all, fixing the deal means getting rid of the sunset clause.
And beyond fixing this bad deal, we must also stop Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and roll back its growing aggression in the region. I remember we had these debates. As you know, I took a fairly active role in them. And many supporters of the nuclear deal naively believed that it would moderate Iran. It would make it a responsible member, so they said, of the international community.
Well as you know, I strongly disagreed. I warned that when the sanctions on Iran would be removed, Iran would behave like a hungry tiger unleashed, not joining the community of nations, but devouring nations, one after the other. And that’s precisely what Iran is doing today.
From the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, from Tehran to Tartus, an Iranian curtain is descending across the Middle East. Iran spreads this curtain of tyranny and terror over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere, and it pledges to extinguish the light of Israel.
Today, I have a simple message for Ayatollah Khamenei, the dictator of Iran: The light of Israel will never be extinguished.
Those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in mortal peril. Israel will defend itself with the full force of our arms and the full power of our convictions. We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces. We will act to prevent Iran from producing deadly weapons in Syria or in Lebanon for use against us.
And we will act to prevent Iran from opening new terror fronts against Israel along our northern border.
As long as Iran’s regime seeks the destruction of Israel, Iran will face no fiercer enemy than Israel.
But I also have a message today for the people of Iran: You are not our enemy; you are our friends. Shomaah doosteh mah hasteed [You are our friends]. One day, my Iranian friends, you will be free from the evil regime that terrorizes you, hangs gays, jails journalists, tortures political prisoners, and shoots innocent women like Neda Sultan, leaving her choking on her own blood on the streets of Tehran. I have not forgotten Neda. I am sure you haven’t too.
And when that day of liberation finally comes, the friendship between our two ancient peoples will surely flourish once again.
Ladies and gentlemen, Israel knows that in confronting the Iranian regime, we are not alone. We stand shoulder to shoulder with those in the Arab world who share our hopes for a brighter future.
We’ve made peace with Jordan and Egypt, whose courageous President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi I met here last night. I appreciate President el-Sissi’s support for peace, and I hope to work closely with him and other leaders in the region to advance peace.
Israel is committed to achieving peace with all our Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians. Yesterday, President Trump and I discussed this, all of this, at great length. I appreciate President Trump’s leadership, his commitment to stand by Israel’s side, his commitment to advance a peaceful future for all. Together, we can seize the opportunities for peace and together we can confront the great dangers of Iran.
The remarkable alliance between the United States and Israel has never been stronger, never been deeper. Israel is deeply grateful for the support of the Trump administration, the American Congress and the American people.
Ladies and gentlemen, in this year of historic visits and historic anniversaries, Israel has so much to be grateful for. A hundred and twenty years ago, Theodor Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress to transform our tragic past into a brilliant future by establishing the Jewish state. One hundred years ago, the Balfour Declaration advanced Herzl’s vision by recognizing the right of the Jewish people to a national home in our ancestral homeland. Seventy years ago, the United Nations further advanced that vision by adopting a resolution supporting the establishment of a Jewish state. And 50 years ago, we reunited our eternal capital Jerusalem, achieving a miraculous victory against those who sought to destroy our state. Theodor Herzl was our modern Moses — and his dream has come true. We’ve returned to the Promised Land, revived our language, in-gathered our exiles and built a modern, thriving democracy.
Tomorrow evening, Jews around the world will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of our new year. It’s a time of reflection, and we look back with wonder at the miraculous rebirth of our nation, and we look ahead with pride to the remarkable contributions Israel will continue to make to all nations.
You look around you and you will see those contributions every day — in the food you eat, the water you drink, the medicines you take, the cars you drive, the cell phones you use, and in so many other ways that are transforming our world.
You see it in the smile of an African mother in a remote village, who, thanks to an Israeli innovation, no longer must walk eight hours a day to bring water to her children.
You see it in the eyes of an Arab child, who was flown to Israel to undergo a life-saving heart operation.
And you see it in the faces of the people in earthquake-stricken Haiti and Nepal who were rescued from the rubble and given new life by Israeli doctors.
As the prophet Isaiah said, “I have made you a light unto the nations, bringing salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Today, 2,700 years after Isaiah spoke those prophetic words, Israel is becoming a rising power among the nations. And at long last, its light is shining across the continents, bringing hope and salvation to the ends of the earth.
Happy New Year, Shanah Tovah from Israel. Thank you