Non-Inclusion of Igbos In NNPC Board : The World is Watching-Igbo Leader

The cries of marginalization continues across Nigeria, as the Federal Government intensifies efforts to have a firm grip of Governance. In this interview with Federationews2day, an Igbo leader, who is also the Onyendu Ndigbo of Ibadan and Oyo state, High Chief Alloy Obi, says that the South Eats Geo-Political zone of the country has not been treated fairly, in appointments into the board of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC). Excerpts :

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What is t your reaction to the suit filed by Dr. Olisa Agbakoba against the Federal Government on non inclusion of Igbos in appointments made into the board of the NNPC ?

The issue is very clear, how can there be 15  appointments on the board of the NNPC and no single person from the South East was appointed, 10 are from the North, three from the South West, two from the South-South, it is very bad. This is marginalization. The  whole world is watching, do we really belong to this country ? Why can’t they give us our own share of appointments ? Out of 15 appointments, they do not deem it fit to give us just one or  two slots.  It is very bad, so, I support Dr. Olisa Abakoba for instituting a suit against the Federal Government.

Are you of the belief, that the rule of law and due process exists in Nigeria ?

There is no rule of law i Nigeria.  There is nothing like that as far as I am concerned and there is nothing like due process Those at the top don’t respect the law.

What is your position on restructuring ?

Call it whatever name, the fact remains that we have to sit down and talk. Agitations will not stop unless Government does the right thing. People are not having what they are  entitled  to. I am an apostle of one Nigeria, but the issue of marginalization must be addressed.

Are you comfortable with  governance in Nigeria ?

Come 2019,  Nigerians should vote out the old brigade, the future of the young one is under threat, if one should go by all that is happening. There a lot of young people, who are competent enough to steer the mantle of leadership. My view is that come 2019, the old  people in governance should be voted out. We are blessed in this country, but the problem is bad leadership. Politicians are holding this country to ransom. I commend the wife of the President, Hadjia Aisha Buhari, for exposing the poor state of the Aso rock Villa clinic, Look at what is happening inside the villa clinic, I sorry for this country.

What are your views on the crisis rocking the traditional institution in Ibadan ?

I don’t like what is going on in the Ibadan traditional institution presently.  I will appeal to His Imperial Majesty and the Oyo state Government to resolve their differences amicably. We are also part of this state, I have been here for the past 45 years and anything that is going to affect the peace of the state, we must speak out. Everybody must make concerted efforts in sustaining the prevailing peace in the state. The traditional institution should not be desecrated.

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Involve Ethnic Diaspora Heads in National Issues-Vice President, Ezendigbo in Diaspora(South)

Nigerians  agree  dialogue could be effective  in solving the multifaceted problems of the country, but a sizable number of Nigerians fail to adopt dialogue as a solution to the challenges that confront them on a daily basis. In this interview with Federationews2day, the Eze Ndigbo of Ibadan and Oyo state, who also doubles as the Vice President of Ezendigbo in Diaspora, Eze(Dr.)Alex Anozie urges Government to include diaspora Ethnic Heads in meetings to find solutions to the country’s problems. Excerpts :

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What are your views on the constitution of any  body, set up to discuss the country’s problems ?

I am in support of Ango Abdullahi’s idea. I read his suggestion in a national newspaper of Saturday 5th August, 2017, page 3, there he suggested that the Federal Government should invite both Northern and Southern agitating youths and their elders to a round table, where he hopes some common ground shall be reached. I seriously support the idea, but with some additions. (1) When the Federal Government is making such arrangement, they should insist that diaspora ethnic group Heads of all the states in the country should be included in that meeting. Why do I say so ? In all the meetings that have been held on this particular issue before now, nobody had ever thought it wise to bring in these ethnic group Heads, whom we all know play vital roles in the mutual interaction and unification of the country, as they are the ones living, mixing, relating on daily basis with each other in the various states of the Federation. They have become friends and this has brought about inter ethnic marriages. The diaspora ethnic Heads feel concerned for their safety and that of their property, when threats are issued, such as directing everyone to return to their ethnic regions. When the diaspora Ezendigbos and Oba Yorubas and the South South heads all from the South residing in the North alongside the Northern Ethnic heads, who also reside in the Southern part of the country, sit down in any meeting of such, it will definitely be easier to reach a compromise, that will go a long way in getting the country out of this very dangerous situation, we find ourselves. So, I support Ango Abdullahi’s idea seriously, Federal Government should go ahead to implement this suggestion, without much delay, please.

Nigerians Should Shun Hate Speeches and Songs-Vice President Ezendigbo in Diaspora(South)

 Nigerians have been called upon to shun hate speeches and songs, as a result of its destructive tendencies.

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This  call was made by the Ezendigbo of Ibadan and Oyo state and Vice President Ezendigbo in Diaspora, Eze (Dr.) Alex Anozie.

”May I use  this medium to advice against the use of  abusive and insulting utterances, while trying to  make public their divergent views. I sincerely believe that  people can make their points known without necessarily using abusive, insulting and foul language. All and sundry should as much as possible do away with such. Acting President Yemi  Osinbajo should do everything possible to see that  this very misunderstanding gets resolved peacefully without delay, and history will remember the Buhari Government for good. Let us all continue in our  relentless prayers and avoid hate talks and songs, I believe it is  the  devil at work, let us join hands together to shame the  devil and his cohorts, so that at the end of the day Almighty God the creator of Heaven and Earth will take all glory”, Eze(Dr) Anozie concluded.

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Ozubulu Killings : Govt Should Pull Down the Church If It was Built With Drug Money-Vice President Ezendigbo in Diaspora(South)

Security agencies have been called upon  to do the needful, if established, that the Catholic Church in Ozubulu, Anambra state, where 13 people were shot  dead and  many others  severely injured, was built with proceeds from hard drug business.

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This call was made in a Press Release  dated 9 August, 2017 and signed by  the Ezendigbo of Ibadan and Oyo state and Vice President Ezendigbo in Diaspora(South), Eze(Dr.)Alex Anozie.

”If after all proper investigations, and it is confirmed that the particular Ozubulu Catholic Church was built and donated by a drug lord from his ill gotten wealth, please let the church be pulled down without delay”.

”I am of this opinion, because like I said, if it is confirmed to be so, the souls of those innocent people, who were massacred in that gruesome incident will join hands with the conscience of anybody wanting to walk into that church again to worship henceforth and forever to work against the answering of anybody’s prayers from God, who is Holy, in that church, therefore the church deserves to be pulled down”.

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”When this is done it  will make our  church leadership and even that of the Muslims to sit up and do what they should be doing, and abandon the rampant  preaching for money by most Churches and Mosques. It is  common knowledge that everywhere in our country now,  only the rich ones are appreciated and worshiped because of their wealth, nobody bothers to know the source of  the wealth been flaunted about. Who is even sure,  that God did not  allow this particular Ozubulu incident to happen  in order to open the eyes of the world to the wicked crimes going on in our assumed holy place of God. These are the things that have killed our societal integrity and  discipline, because every youth now have the belief that if one is not stinkingly  rich,   life is not worth it, because he is nobody in society”.

”We all heard how the drug lord built roads for the community, and the churches, and in the eyes of the community, he is an hero. Some  of our politicians who  stole the country’s wealth in billions of Dollars, have embarked on this kind of gesture in various communities and churches, that is for those of them, who are bold enough to come out to do such, there are many who out of fear of been suspected or exposed of their crime, just steal the wealth and go out to any part of the world and stash the money away in banks, thereby  developing the economy of those countries, while our country’s economy is disintegrating rapidly. And when the looter passes on, the loot gets stock permanently in those countries”; Eze (Dr.) Anozie noted.

He lamented that it was the absence of Government in these communities that resulted  in the intervention of questionable characters in issues of development.

”If the Federal and State Government had built roads for the communities, the way it ought to be and had the wealth of the country not been stolen, these criminals would have seen no reason to build anything for the communities with their blood money”.

” There are no jobs for our youths, no electricity, no easy transportation system working, no good water, no salary for workers and pensioners, no good health facilities, our leaders are all going abroad to treat themselves, flood is threatening to consume the whole country, due to erosion and bad drainage systems, our security agencies are  increasingly finding it difficult to cope, as a result of their negligible number and inadequate equipment. This is happening because the country has no wealth anymore to cater for these challenges. Fellow Nigerians, we have a lot of work to do. May the soul of those unfortunate people, who lost their lives in that gruesome murder rest in peace in the Lord. I seriously condole with the people of  Ozubulu community and the  Anambra state Government over this wicked act. May God give them the fortitude to bear the loss”, Eze(Dr.)Anozie concluded.

 

I Remain Head of Igbos in Ibadan and Oyo state-Eze(Dr.)Anozie

Recently, a group, Concerned Igbos in Oyo state,  alleged that it was against the principles of the rule of law and due process for a party to  the Igbo leadership tussle in Oyo state to continue parading  himself as the head of Igbos in the state, when the matter has moved from the state High Court to the Appeal court, Ibadan Division. In this interview with Federationews2day, a party to the matter, Eze(Dr.)Alex Anozie throws more light into the contentious issue, while advising Nigerians to be law abiding by respecting court judgment

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Are you aware of any appeal against the Judgement of an Oyo state High Court, which affirmed you as the Head of Igbos ?

First and foremost, I am Eze(Dr.) Alex Anozie, the Eze Ndigbo of Ibadan and Oyo state and the Vice President Eze Ndigbo in Diaspora(South)  who was democratically elected Head of Igbos by Igbos in Ibadan and Oyo state, since 1997. On the issue of appeal, I am aware of it, but did they mention what that judgement stated  ?  That judgment stated that I am the only  head, leader of Igbos, call it whatever name, Onyendu, Ezendigbo or whatever, that I am the one, head of Igbos in Ibadan and Oyo state. The court asked the other person who was challenging me, to stop parading  himself as such, and up to this moment I am talking to you, no superior court has vacated that judgement. And as far as we know and we are law abiding citizens of Nigeria, the  judgment was given by a court of  competent  jurisdiction, and that judgment or ruling has not been vacated by any superior court, that judgment or ruling stands to be obeyed by every  law abiding citizen of the country. So, they went on appeal, about a month after the judgment, they went and slotted a notice of appeal, but the case is still in the Appeal court and the Appeal court has not vacated the judgment of that High court, neither did they succeed in getting any stay of execution against that particular judgment. Therefore, you must agree with me that all and sundry must obey that judgment, until any superior court  will ever vacate it,  by the special grace of God, I know that no superior court will vacate it, because truth will always  remain truth, no matter how much anybody try to bend it.

So, what is your position on the  Igbo leadership issue in Oyo state?

My position on the issue is that I am the one there, my people have said it, God first said it, my  people said it and the High court of competent jurisdiction confirmed it. And that is it,  I have been serving my people joyfully, my people are happy, the law abiding ones are happy, people who believe in the rule of law, people who believe in due process are happy about it, but people who do not believe in due process, people who think that unless they say it, it can never be, those people are not happy.  We have no apologies.

Are you aware of  the existence of the  group named, Concerned Igbos in Oyo  state ?

I am not aware of any such group in existence. I am sure that it is still the same group of people, who were defeated in the High court, that are coming up again, but as far as I know and as far as the Igbos in Oyo state are concerned, we are not aware of any  group called Concerned Igbos or whatever, we are not aware. And anything that concerns the Igbos in Oyo state, if I am not aware of it, Igbos  in Oyo state can claim that they are not aware of it. As far as God has said that I am the leader of Igbos in Oyo state, my people have said it and the court has also  said it, there is nothing left to argue about again.

 

Decision of Igbo Leaders A Good Omen For Nigeria-Vice Chairman, Ezendigbo in Diaspora(South)

The Governors and leaders of thought  of the South East Geo-Political zone  have been commended for adopting a definite position on the raging debate between the people and their leaders on the contentious issue of secession and restructuring.

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This commendation was given  on Tuesday in a chat with Federationews2day in Ibadan, Nigeria by the  the Ezendigbo nala Ibadan and Oyo state, who doubles as the Vice Chairman, Ezendigbo in Diaspora(South), Eze(Dr.)Alex Anozie, .

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”It  is a very good omen for our country, Nigeria.  I commend them for that bold step they have taken, these are people who have seen Nigeria both in the night and in the day, these are people who have seen the war, many of them even fought the war, many of them were in the battle field, and they saw war and what war means. So, everything that can be done to avoid war, I think I support it, so, I commend them for been courageous enough, despite whatever, whatever our youths may want to think about them or the way they may want to frown at their action, I commend them, it was a good move. I support it, and their stand, we must shed blood no more in Nigeria”.

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”We do not want to lose lives any longer, be it the life of Onye Igbo, or Yoruba or Hausa, or any Nigerian, even non Nigerians. So, whatever peaceful sacrifice anyone or group can make, let us go ahead to make such sacrifice, in order to have peace in our country, I think it is worth it. I am appealing to everyone to show understanding. And I am also appealing to those who are fund of doing the wrong thing in Nigeria, to please begin to do things the right way, in order to allow frayed nerves to calm down”.

”I am sure it is the stand of the majority of people of Igbo extraction, who have seen things and things in Nigeria. If restructuring is allowed to have its way, most of the problems would have been taken care of. So, we are still within the confines of one Nigeria, with restructuring, marginalization will minimize, injustice will minimize, killings here and there will minimize, corruption will minimize, and agitations here and these will fizzle out, because all the zones will put machinery in motion towards eradicating these social vices within their zones. So, it is a very good omen for our country, Nigeria”, Eze Dr. Anozie concluded.

The only thing Igbos hate about Nigeria is Injustice, Corruption and Killings-Vice President Ezendigbo in Diaspora(South)

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Recently, the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo,  warned  that all those fanning the embers of disunity in Nigeria would be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land. The Acting President’s statement has attracted reactions from several Nigerians cutting across ethnic divides. Eze Dr. Alex  Anozie, the Ezendigbo nala Ibadan and Oyo state, who also doubles as the Vice President, Ezendigbo in Diaspora(South) has  joined  the growing list of Nigerians who have reacted to prof Osinbajo’s statement. In this interview with Federationews2day, Eze Dr. Anozie insists that the Igbos,  who are the first among the tribes that love Nigeria most, would  be ready to live in a united Nigeria  devoid of injustice,  corruption and killings . Excerpts :

The Acting President has stated that those  found to be threatening innocent Nigerians and sponsoring disunity would be dealt with by security agencies. What is your reaction to this statement ?

It is a good initiative, the Acting President is doing very well, God has bestowed him with wisdom. This issue is very fragile, delicate and sensitive and it must be handled very cautiously.  I praise him for that courage he has, in coming out bold in making that statement. Be that as it may, I still want to say  that the truth is bitter, but let all of us be bold to say the truth. All these agitations coming up from different parts of the country, there are reasons for it, injustice, deceit, corruption and killings, here and there, lives and property are no longer secure, militancy here and there, kidnapping here and there. Igbo people think that if they are on their own,  they might be able to arrange things, the way it would be more suitable for them and they would live in peace, lives and property would be secure. The crime rate would  reduce, they are thinking that, may be, in their own separate entity,  they would be able to manage all these areas and live in peace.  They may be wrong and they may be right. Igbos are the section of the country  that love Nigeria more than every other tribal grouping in Nigeria. And that is why they are investing everywhere they find themselves. Igbos are all over the country. This is a straightforward statement, that Igbos have confidence in Nigeria and that Igbos love Nigeria. If they do not love Nigeria, if they are  not committed to one Nigeria, they would not have been investing. There is no other  tribe that is scattered all over the country, like the Igbos, there is no other tribe that is investing all over the country, like the Igbos.  In the North, Igbos’ properties are in trillions, in the South West, Igbos’ properties are in trillions. If they do not have confidence in Nigeria would they have been investing in that manner ? They would have been going to the South East to invest. So, that is the number one reason why everybody should be able to agree with the Igbos,  that they love Nigeria. The only thing Igbos hate about Nigeria is injustice, marginalization, lack of equity, corruption and killings, life has lost value completely in Nigeria. Human beings are killed like  mosquitoes everywhere and the Igbos have much value  for life.  There is no hope that there would be a  stop to these happenings, the Igbos are not happy about this.  The Igbos are desperately in need of peace and security.  If they  are assured today, that all these social vices, all over the place would stop, Igbos are very willing and ready to continue with one Nigeria.  Yes, injustice must stop, indiscriminate killings of  human being must stop. The 2014 national conference started and ended with an agreement reached  by Nigerians. Now, the Government has  refused to make use of the report  of the conference Why ? After the conference, a section of the country came out to say that they do not believe in the conference. This was exactly the same thing that happened before the civil war. It was one of the things that resulted in the civil war.  Before the civil war, agreement   was reached and signed, at Aburi in Ghana, by the representatives of both sides. But surprisingly, when they got back home,in Nigeria after 48 hours, the agreement was swept under the carpet. Had it been the Aburi agreement was implemented, we would not have fought the civil war and several lives would not have been lost on both sides. The same issue has been given another name, restructuring. Everyone is now  talking of restructuring. For how long shall we continue to deceive each other ? Is it not better we tell each other the  bitter truth ?  Had it been justice had been reigning in Nigeria, had it been fair play, truth,  equity and the fear of God had been in place in Nigeria, there would not be need for all these agitations everywhere. Nobody wants to leave Nigeria, Nigeria is a beautiful country, no doubt about that, there is strength in our diversity, no doubt about that, but the truth is that injustice with impunity is in this country, but if the Igbos are  assured that all these vices would be no more, I am sure they would have a change of mind.

Those Telling Igbos to Relocate Are Trouble Makers-Vice President (South)Association of Ezendigbo in Diaspora

16  youth groups in the North of Nigeria, some days ago, issued a press statement, directing the Igbos residing there to relocate within three months, specifically by 1st October, 2017. Nigerians are already reacting to the directive by the groups. One of such Nigerians, is Eze Dr. Alex Anozie, the Head of Igbos(EzeNdigbo nala Ibadan and Oyo state and Vice President, Association of Ezendigbo in diaspora(South). Eze Dr. Anozie says that nobody has the right to issue such a directive under the law. Excerpts :

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What is your reaction to the directive issued by some groups in the North for Igbos to relocate within three months ?

I think it is either that they have slipped off from the point or maybe they have refused to make use of the constitution. Maybe, they have refused to obey the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which guarantees freedom of  movement, freedom of association and freedom of residence and this, all and sundry must condemn because by their action, they have come out to challenge the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Secondly, we are in a new order entirely, Nigeria of today is not Nigeria of the sixties. We now realize that we are Nigerians and Nigeria belongs to all of us.  So, nobody can order anyone to leave any part of the country without constitutional backing, maybe someone committed an offense or a group of  people committed an offense and they were tried and found guilty and the law says that they should leave, if there is ay law like that in existence. But apart from that, any group of people coming up to sany to anybody that they should leave any part of the country, those groups are not only illegal, but are trouble makers and they should be treated as such. I want  to congratulate Nigerians who are already speaking out. I have not seen anybody giving support  to the unfortunate press statement.  Everybody are speaking against  them, including Government, ethnic groups and associations, including none Igbo associations are also speaking against this statement. I also want to congratulate Afenifere and some Yoruba personalities, who have spoken , condemning the statement in strong terms. I also congratulate the Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, for taking a drastic action, by ordering the arrest of the signatories to the press statement. This is Nigeria, we have all agreed  that we should remain in Nigeria. Any day, if we are going to disintegrate or restructure, let us sit down, discuss it, argue it and agree on what to do peacefully. The crime, they said the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra(IPOB) committed was that they appealed to Igbos all over the world to stay at home to remember the millions of their brothers and sisters, who lost their lives during the 1967 civil  war and this was done without any violence. There is no law stopping anybody who opts to sit at home, from doing so. And some people are now taking it as a crime and because of this, Igbos should leave the North, it is most unfortunate. It is unfair,  the Igbos are demanding for justice and truth to prevail in Nigeria, let us sit down to talk, everybody will come out with their points, telling us why we should disintegrate or why we should remain as one Nigeria or why we should restructure. We will disagree to agree. At the end of the day we must reach an agreement and the agreement  ought to be carried out.  By the way, there was the 2014 National conference report, which all parts of the country contributed to, but up till this moment, nothing has been heard of the report. I don’t think we should have any problem in this country, it is a very beautiful country, and everyone is proud to belong to it. Nigeria belongs to all of us, Igbos have invested in every part of the country.  One aspect that distinguishes Igbos  from other tribes, is that anywhere they are, they invest, make money and acquire property there, they have their homes there. Telling Igbos to leave, is just out of context. It is not done. But my final word is that whatever the situation, let us sit down, talk and agree. And whatever we want to happen, it should  be done peacefully. The leaders in the North should speak out and condemn this act. People should stop issuing out threats, because it is dangerous.

Ndigbo in Oyo state Pass Vote of Confidence in Eze Dr. Anozie

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Igbos in in Oyo state have  passed a vote of confidence in their head, Eze Dr. Alex Anozie.

The community, comprising all the people from the states  in the South East Geo-Political zone of Nigeria, hinged their decision on the forthright and purposeful leadership of Eze       Dr. Anozie.

They expressed concern over the unbecoming activities of some  individuals, geared towards sowing the seed of discord among the people, while advising Igbos in the state to be wary of such individuals.

They reiterated their resolve to continue to stand by the communiqué issued on 28 June, 2014 and signed by the state President of Ohaneze and Igbo leaders from Saki, Oyo, Iseyin, Eruwa and Ogbomosho.

The communiqué had stated ‘’We the various Igbo communities, Trade unions and Traders associations residing in Ibadan and Oyo state, under the umbrella of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Oyo state, do hereby  raise and endorse this communiqué  today, 28th of June, 2014, confirming our total support  and solidarity for Eze Dr. Alex Anozie, as the only Ezendigbo, Onyendundigbo nala Ibadan and Oyo state, sequel to his been democratically elected and sworn in as same since the year 1997 by Ndigbo. This is in addition to the High court judgment of 28 February 2014, which favours only him (Anozie)as the person in  that position with such titles’’.

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Similarly, the Ohaneze Ndigbo has made a passionate appeal to media organizations in the country-print and electronics- to resist all attempts by some personalities who  have been bought over and sponsored by ‘’those who lost out in the leadership struggle’’, to use these channels to disseminate wrong or  false information to the public, on the ‘’EzeNdigbo’’ title issue.

”Our Igbo title, Ezendigbo,  is not the title of any other ethnic group and can never be. The interpretation of Ezendigbo is purely ”the leader or head of Igbos”, no more, no less. Anybody that is giving it any other interpretation outside the above is on his own. We also know that there are Oba Yorubas in Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Abakaliki, Owerri, Jos, Togo and many other places in the world nobody is raising eyebrows. If Ezendigbo means King,  then Oba Yoruba in all the above mentioned areas outside Yorubaland means King as well ”.

”We go further to buttress our point by calling public attention to an NTA Network Programme which was aired on Friday the 12th of May, 2017 between 6.30am and 7.00am. The topic was the Peace and Unity of Nigeria. During the course of the programme, the Oba Yoruba of Kano was clearly shown on air, Ezendigbo, Kano was clearly shown on air, with their ethnic titles boldly inscribed on the screen”

”So we now begin to wonder why such should be possible in Kano and other parts of  Nigeria and even in foreign countries, only to become impossible in Ibadan and South West as the individuals are making people to believe”, the Socio-cultural organization concluded.