Archive for June, 2018

Islamiya College Patigi: A School Where Students Learn in Uncompleted Buildings

Posted on June 30, 2018. Filed under: Press Release |

Islamiya College Patigi: A School Where Students Learn in Uncompleted Buildings

Abandoned 2 classroom block of Ahman PatigiCivil society group the Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD) has lambasted the Kwara state government over the shameful status of government schools across the state.

As part of its mandate to keep an eye on the activities of the state government and bring government attention to areas of public interest that need immediate government attention, the group’s team of
investigators paid a visit to Islamiyyah College, Patigi so as to assess the current situation of the public school established on the 15th of February, 1982 and currently has about 650 students. Our findings are as summarized below:

1. The JSS section has about twelve (12) teaching staff (including the principal) and onlyclassrom converted to multipurpose store one non-teaching staff (bursar). The SSS section has about twenty two (22) teaching staff and eight (8) non-teaching staff. There are however insufficient number of teachers in some major subjects as follow: English (0), Maths (3), Biology (1), Chemistry (2), Physics (2), Agric (1), geography (1), literature (1), Arabic (1), Government
(3), Accounting (1) and Economics (2).

2. A 2-classroom block has been abandoned for long time by a Federal legislator who is serving his 3rd time in the House of Representative (Hon. Aliyu Ahman Bahago Patigi). Because of its long term abandonment, many parts of the building have fallen apart, leading to these 2 small uncompleted structures without anything joining them togethermultipurpose lab
multipurpose lab (cond..)

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It’s time to choose candidates – Princewill

Posted on June 29, 2018. Filed under: Politics |

It’s time to choose candidates – Princewill

TP 4Fresh after returning from the national convention of the APC in Abuja, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the “prince of the Niger Delta” as he is fondly called, had a brief chat with newsmen where he intimated them on the next steps for his party in the state.

Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill highlighted the emergence of Adams Oshiomole as a catalyst for the erosion of PDP in the South South commencing with Rivers state.

According to him, “What we have now is a solid team headed at different tiers by warriors of change, from the national through to the state, local governments and wards. I don’t underestimate the task before us but I can categorically confirm that Wike will be history come 2019. Take it to the bank.”

He confirmed that the team put in place in Rivers state under the Chairmanship of Hon Ojukaye Flag Amachree had all it takes to ensure APC wins the next election but warned that the missing piece in the jigsaw was still the choice of candidates the party will field in 2019.

“Starting with the position of Governor, we will decide who the cap best fits in the next few weeks so we can begin to sell him and them to our members aggressively. It has to be a team who can build on the 2007 blueprint Amaechi put in place. Amaechi left free schooling and free medical in Rivers state and grew our economy with the ushering in of peace. What has this Wike now done? Intellectual capacity mixed with boldness and humility is key. Plus he must be Riverine. Power must rotate. It’s that simple.” the Prince explained.

He denied that the Honourable Minister Rotimi Amaechi will impose a candidate because his style was now collegiate, citing the recently held Congresses leading to the convention as an example. There he claimed Amaechi delegated his powers to people who knew their people whereas in the past, he delegated to only a few, now he has delegated to many more and they were all critical to any decision.

“Wike is history. Even he knows it. Those who are afraid of him have no business leading us and thankfully no longer do. 2019 will be decided in 2019, there and then on the day of the election. If he likes he can go to court. We won’t.”

On the subject of the recent killings in the country, the Prince while praying for the souls of the departed reminded Nigerians, especially the media, to stop immediately, the fanning of embers of hate. Every sad incident cannot be Buharis fault, he said citing the herdsmen issue to the putting food on our plates as examples. “If you hate Buhari, an election is coming up. Feel free to be driven by personal hate if your thinking is that narrow. Why preach that hate, blind to all the many achievements he has made? I and my kind will preach love, not hate. You cannot truly love your country and its people yet you promote its division by stoking ethnicity. Don’t you get it? Don’t you have children? Are you not aware that the fallout will consume us all? Continue. God is watching you.”

It will be recalled that Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill was the candidate for AC in the 2007 elections for Governor but has since declined to contest in 2019 because in his opinion, personal ambition should always be secondary to the group ambition of his people.

 

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ENetSuD Commiserates with Kwara State Flood Victims

Posted on June 25, 2018. Filed under: Press Release |

Civil society group, Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD) has expressed its sympathy for the victims of the recent flooding in Okekere, Oloje, Ode Adana, Okelele, Dada area, Aduralere, Alagbado, Amilegbe, Akerebiata, Kuntu-Oja road, Harmony estate, Mubo Street, and many other communities in Kwara state where thousands of people were displaced and properties worth millions of naira destroyed.

The executive director of the civil society group, ENetSuD, Dr Abdulateef Alagbonsi, in a press statement released on Monday June 25, 2018 attributed the recent flooding in Kwara to negligence on the part of the Kwara state Government, and mismanagement of the Ecological Funds the state gets from the Federal Government.

Alagbonsi in the statement said the negligence on the part of Kwara state government is unconnected to the non-implementation of the Kwara state master plan for environmental management, a view that had been corroborated by the press statement of a former Kwara state Commissioner on Environment and Tourism, Dr. Bola Olaosebikan OON.

Dr. Bola Olaosebikan’s claim that Kwara state had a blue print and action plan for the capital and urban cities, which has been severely neglected, is a strong indication that the state is being governed by leaders who do not value the lives of the tax-payers and the citizenry.

Executive director of ENetSuD, Dr Abdulateef Alagbonsi,further said that the state government had prioritized the income generating strategy of the state by enforcing the robust tax payment system, without a proportornate implementation of people-oriented policies and projects that will ease the lives of Kwarans. According to Alagbonsi, Many internal roads in Kwara state have roads that are not “motor-worthy”, “bike-worthy” or even “leg-worthy”.

ENetSud further lamented that the enforcement of drainage construction on building owners across the state has never been the concern of Government. Rather, the payment of tax by poor citizens into the government purse is the priority of the government.

“We are also aware that the Federal Government has been releasing Ecological Funds to the various constituencies of Kwara state, with the sole aim of improving water drainage and channels and forestalling the occurrences of this preventable flooding” Dr Abdulateef said .

According to Dr Abdulateef , “Though some commendable works were done on selected water channels in Kwara state, it is however obvious that those works were unprofessionally done, and below standards, which had caused more harms than before. We are also aware of the fact that some of the projects were neither commenced nor completed, despite the allocated and released funds by the Federal Government.”

ENetSuD called on the Kwara state government to promptly take steps towards the implementation of the Kwara state master plan for environmental management. As the government has taken tax collection as a serious government business, Kwara state environmental issue should also be taken with more seriousness due to its important and direct impact on all Kwarans.
ENetSuD also called on the relevant agencies of Federal Government to thoroughly investigate the utilization of all the Ecological funds released so far to all the constituencies of Kwara state, as this will greatly benefit the masses.

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Igbo Group Condemns Arrest of Abaribe, Demands Immediate Release

Posted on June 22, 2018. Filed under: Press Release |

Igbo Group Condemns Arrest of Abaribe, Demands Immediate Release

A leading Igbo socio-cultural group, Igbo Bu Igbo, has condemned what it terms “the continued indiscriminate arrest and persecution of political and business leaders of Igbo extraction by overzealous security agents”.

In a statement signed by Dr Law Mefor-Anueyiagu and Jude Ndukwe, Chancellor and Head, Media Directorate, respectively, the group stated that ” With this latest arrest of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, it has become indisputably obvious that Ndigbo have been deliberately marked out for intimidation, harassment and, ultimately, perpetual subjugation”.

Continuing, the Igbo group said, while they believe in the efficacy of the rule of law which also implies that no one is above the law, “we will not accept a situation where our leaders are subjected to random humiliation without recourse to decorum and constitutionalism”.

“We call on good-spirited Nigerians, human rights organisations and the international community, to take note of the systematic use of state institutions to persecute opposition members and those who hold divergent views from the government.

“Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe is a ranking Senator of the Federal Republic, and, it is our belief that, if not a system where things are done crudely and where persecution takes the place of persecution of political opponents, the Senator should have been invited rather than arrested in a manner executed to humiliate him.

“Let us assure those on this path of error, that, just like it was with our leaders and people who have faced one form of persecution or the other under this government in the recent past, Ndigbo will never be intimidated to abandon their own. The era when our common traducers used to pitch us against one another for their own selfish interests is gone. Today, our common age-long  persecution in the country has taught us to be together and be there for one another no matter the circumstances. It is therefore needless for any person, group of persons and or institution(s) to continue picking on Igbo sons and daughters in the hope that such victims of persecution would be abandoned by their people; rather, such actions bind us even closer and stronger.

“Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe remains one of our leading lights not only in Igboland but also the entire country. We hereby demand his unconditional and immediate release,” the statement concluded.

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Wike Begs Police Inspector-General, Idris Ibrahim – Rivers APC Claims

Posted on June 22, 2018. Filed under: Press Release |

….Sends a Delegation of his Cardinals (Hangars-on) to Deliver his Apology to the IG

The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress APC, said “despite all the false public posturing, blackmail, propaganda and media war by Gov. Nyesom Wike against the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and the FSARS Commander in Rivers State, ACP Akin Fakorede, the governor has finally lost the war against the two police officers as his delegation has arrived Abuja to beg the IG for forgiveness on his behalf.”

The opposition party in the State claimed that the “delegation sent to Abuja by Gov. Wike to beg the IG is made up of his close hangars-on commonly referred to as his Cardinals and they include Chief Ferdinand Anabraba, Desmond Akawor, Glory Emeh, Sergeant Awuse, Celestine Omehia and Austin Opara. The team is in Abuja as we write.”

The party in a statement signed and issued by the party’s spokesperson, Warisenibo Chris Finebone: “The APC is aware that shortly after ACP Akin Fakorede threatened to pursue legal action against the Rivers State Government for running a damaging front-page blackmail against him in many national newspapers running close to N1b for months, Gov. Wike was prevailed upon to discontinue the media war and seek peace with the Police IG. Those who prevailed on the governor to balk down and beg premised their advice on the seeming refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the Police IG and Akin Fakorede based on propaganda by Wike and other detractors of the Police boss.”

The APC recalled that quite early in this dispensation, Gov. Wike launched an all-out media attack against IG Ibrahim Idris hoping that President Buhari would be hoodwinked into removing the IG. When that scheme failed, the governor turned his war on ACP Akin Fakorede and the FSARS in Rivers State believing that the IG would be so embarrassed as to remove the FSARS Commander. It must be stated that the attack on Akin Fakorede was launched because the officer severally turned down monetary offers from the governor in exchange for doing the governor’s bidding. The war was to get Fakorede out to make way for a replacement who may be pliant or likely to succumb to the governor’s insidious advances.

According to Senibo Finebone, “Having failed to get the Inspector-General and the FSARS Commander out of the way, Gov. Nyesom Wike assembled his delegation who reached out and booked an appointment with the office of the IG culminating in the delegation members’ trip to Abuja where they will see the IG and beg on behalf of the governor.”

The APC surprised that after Gov. Wike huffed, puffed and blackmailed IG Ibrahim Idris and ACP Akin Fakorede to no end, the governor decided to eat the humble pie by sending a high-powered delegation of his men to go Nicodemusly to beg the IG.

The statement reads: “The position of the APC is that the IG should discountenance the dubious olive branch Gov. Wike is offering through his delegation because the governor has made up his mind to disrespect and rubbish federal institutions (especially the Nigeria Police) on the altar of partisan politics. Having maligned and blackmailed IG Ibrahim Idris and ACP Akin Fakaroede publicly, Gov Wike should apologise to both officers and gentlemen publicly. Sending a ‘midnight’ delegation to go and beg the IG indicates that Gov. Nyesom Wike is not sincere and not ready to turn a new leaf.”

“The APC wishes to advise Gov. Wike to stop giving Rivers State and its people poor public image because his private and public uncouth utterances do not portray the true image of Rivers people. Our people have a track record of being respectful, groomed in good behaviour and well cultured in our utterances. These are clearly attributes inherently lacking in Gov. Nyesom Wike. Indeed, he does not (any bit) represent who Rivers people are.”

“We remind the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris that Gov. Nyesom Wike’s latest olive branch is not altruistic, lacking in honesty and totally opportunistic. The IG should realise that if President Buhari had listened to the damaging media war Gov. Wike levied on him and his men, by now he would have been removed by Mr. President. The IG must reject Wike’s evil entreaties for lack of sincerity.”

 

 

 

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Reaction trails Gov. Wike’s “Why the Riverine cannot get a University”

Posted on June 18, 2018. Filed under: Politics |

PRINCEWILL 5Recently, Governor Nyesom Wike gave reason Rivers Ijaw cannot get a University. The governor while speaking to the people of Ekpeye Ethnic nationality who paid him a solidarity visit at Government House last Wednesday, said he will instruct the Chairman of the Governing Council and the Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University to cite a campus of the University in Ekpeye land and when other people come (apparently referring to the Riverine people) they should establish University for themselves.

Governor Wike said “Those things that you did not get before, you will get it now. If we don’t do it, who would do it for us. Now that God has given us this opportunity, we have to do it for ourselves. When other people come, they should do it for themselves. Let me assure you that I will call the Chairman, Governing Council of Rivers State University and the Vice Chancellor, they must have to work out a way where we can have a campus of Rivers State University in Ekpeye land.”

“This statement by Governor Wike reveals why he cited a new Port Harcourt Polytechnic (Elechi Amadi Polytechnic) in his Obio Akpor LGA, despite the fact that the Rivers State University and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education are all cited in Port Harcourt” some political pundits noted.

Observers say that it is unfortunate that such words of extreme discrimination and hate should be spoken by a sitting governor, considering that the College of Science and Technology was established in Port Harcourt by an Ijaw man, Governor Diete-Spiff and upgraded to Rivers State University of Science and technology by another Ijaw man, Governor Melford Okilo.

Prince Tonye Princewill an APC Chieftain in Rivers State in his reaction said Wike forgets that the College of Education (now Ajuru University of Education) was established near his community by a former Governor of Ijaw extraction, Diette-Spiff; even the College of Arts and Science was established and upgraded by Spiff and Okilo, all of them former governors of Ijaw extraction.

He said: “It is disheartening that Rivers Ijaw, a people that embraced western education, and produced graduates in several fields of human endeavour ahead of some major tribes in Nigeria do not have a single state-owned higher institution and now Gov. Wike is saying that they must wait until they have their son or daughter as governor.”

“Wike is probably already seeing his end and is predicting his hand over. What he doesn’t realize is a Governor of Rivers state is a Governor for all and should govern with that as his guide”  Princewill advised.

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Dr. Kelechi E. Igwe: 48 Garlands to the Most Humble and Loyal Deputy Governor

Posted on June 15, 2018. Filed under: Opinion |

By Monica Ada Chidinma Eze

Prelude

Hurray! Hurray!! Hurray o!!! To the glory of almighty God my boss and friend, Dr. Kelechi Eric Igwe the amiable Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State is 48 as I plead with all my friends, fans, admirers and associates all over the world to join me to celebrate this man whose life defines what humility and loyalty is all about.

Having this unassuming, indefatigable, humble and great son of Ebonyi State in mind, one of the best Chinese philosophers, Lao-Tzu also known asLaozi or Lao-Tze credited with founding the philosophical system of Taoism who died in 533 BC described the special attributes of Dr Igwe thus and I quote,”I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”

When I was appointed by my uncle and Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, Apostle Dave Nweze Umahi as one of his Technical Assistants on Media in 2016 and was introduced to Dr Kelechi Igwe the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, I asked myself if someone so educated and occupy the second highest office in a State can be this humble. It was then that I took special interest on this man whose life truly redefines humility and loyalty. I can now understand why John Ruskin stated, “I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility.”

Dr Kelechi Eric Igwe an astute and consummate politician was sworn in as Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on May 29, 2015. This core politician who has the trust and confidence of his boss, Governor Dave Nweze Umahi was born on June 17, 1970 to the family of Chief Francis Igwe of Onu-Nwakpu, Ndufu Alike in Ikwo Local Government. He  attended the Umunneato Central School, Oun-Nwakpu Ndufu-Alike, where he graduated with First school leaving certificate and finished his post primary school at Abakaliki High School (Presco) in 1988. He obtained both the General Certificate of Education (GCE) and Senior Secondary School Certificate same year. An Alumni of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka in Anambra State (1989-1993) and attended the Law School, Lagos (1994-1995). He further attended University of Jos where he obtained his M.Sc in Human Resources Management and in 2015 obtained his Ph.D in Law.

Dr Igwe was a member of Governing Council, University of Jos between 2010 and 2011. He also served as Special Assistant, Operations and Mobilization to the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Presidential Campaign in 2007, Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Industry between 1999 and 2002, Principal Partner, Kellys Chambers from 2002 until his election as the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State. He was also the Personal Assistant to the National Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Abuja from 1998 to 1999.

He once served as Executive Director, Dr. Sam Egwu Presidential Campaign and one of the great leaders of the ruling party PDP in Ebonyi State and a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and Institute of Credit and Risk Management of Nigeria. 

Dr. Kelechi Eric Igwe and His Journey to the Ebonyi State Government House

John Stott one of the best Philosophers of our time could be attributed to have defined the force behind the rise of Dr Igwe to his present status when he stated, “The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.”

But in case Scott’s stand didn’t satisfy you then listen how one of the best Philanthropists of all times, Bill Gates captured the rise and rise of Dr Igwe and where he rightly belongs, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” Thousands of Ebonyians who have benefitted one way or the other from this child of God could attest to the fact that Dr Igwe lives and loves the act of given which is the hallmark of his boss, Apostle Dave Nweze Umahi and the partnership of this two great sons of Ebonyi is the testimony of the great feats and remarkable changes currently taking place in Ebonyi State.

The account as told by Governor Umahi and Senator Egwu of how they formed prayer quartet against erstwhile Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Martins Elechi through which Dr Kelechi Eric Igwe rose to the office of the Deputy of Ebonyi State is like a fairytale account and this testimony below should truly amaze you.

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and former Governor Sam Egwu narrated how they outwitted the immediate past governor, Martin Elechi and his allies to emerge victorious in the April 2015 elections during a thanksgiving service by Egwu who is the current Senator representing Ebonyi North senatorial zone, in Umuebe in Ohaukwu Local Government Area. They stated that they formed a prayer quartet and handed over their struggle to God and the results are the current offices that they are occupying.

While Egwu, who was the first to disclose this, described Umahi as the arrow head of the struggle, “I remember a particular day, myself, Pius Anyim,David Umahi, and Kelechi Igwe   sat down in the dining room  of the former SGF(Anyim) and we prayed about our mission. We asked God to support us in the mission we had embarked upon. We knew it will be difficult, very, very difficult but we committed it into the hands of God. Four of us prayed that we were going by the grace of God to contest the elections; we prayed that Engr. David Umahi becomes the Governor of Ebonyi State; myself to be the Senator and Kelechi Igwe to be the Deputy Governor. Of course, Senator Anyim said he was not going for any position, but he would solidly be behind us. We thanked God for answering our prayers but I must hail Governor Umahi and Senator Anyim who was the force behind our victories and the face of the struggle in Abuja. With what God did in our lives, I must call on political office seekers to always seek God’s endorsement.

Governor Umahi, in his own remark, also narrated the struggle with former governor Elechi, even after he (Elechi) was advised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to allow Egwu and himself to contest the elections. He disclosed that after their prayers at SGF’s home, they became stronger and more determined to contest the elections. According to Governor Umahi, ” We can’t thank you enough our dear Senator Anyim; we can’t thank you enough. You got all the important personalities to help us; you also brought the funds needed alongside with your friends. At a time, we were more interested in former governor Egwu going to Senate than myself going for governorship position. I must praise Eunice Egwu for lending her support to the struggle as she was our main political consultant.

Finally, Senator Anyim said, I am elated because our prayer for Umahi to become the Governor of Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe as the Deputy Governor of the State and for Egwu to become a Senator was answered by God. 

Governor Umahi, Dr Igwe and the 2019 Project

Contrary to the experiences of most Deputy Governors both in the past and present in Nigeria on how they are treated shabbily and reduced to nothingness but in Ebonyi State the story is totally different. In this regard, Gov. David Umahi the wonder working Governor of Ebonyi in support and approval of the inputs of his supportive Deputy have declared to the entire world, that he is happy with his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, and would pick him as his running mate during the 2019 gubernatorial elections in Ebonyi State.

Explaining further, the peoples Governor during a civic reception to honour Dr Igwe organised by the people of Ikwo Noyo, Igwe’s home clan at Onuebonyi Echara in Ikwo Local Government described Dr Igwe thus: “Igwe has been very special; he has been extremely loyal and honest. He has assisted me greatly within these three years in office,. I am lucky to have Igwe as Deputy, declaring that his (Igwe)’s position was “not negotiable and by God’s special power, both of us will continue together beyond 2019.”

Governor Umahi who can be described as the modern Emancipator of Ebonyi State considering his relentless efforts to develop every area of Ebonyi State during the event further stated and I quote, “In Dr. Igwe’s  honour, I shall extend the 18km road that traverses the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (AE-FUNAI), to the rice mill in the area. Work has already commenced on this preoject since March, 2018.”

He directed the Council’s Chairman to “rehabilitate” those that defected from the All Progressive Congress (APC), “so that they will appear differently after defecting to the People’s Democratic Party”. The Governor during the reception also appealed to Ikwo people to re-elect both members of the Ebonyi House of Assembly from the area in 2019, saying that both had garnered useful experience that would help the law making process.

“I will be here, again, to beg you to return Chike Ogiji (PDP–Ikwo South) and Humphrey Nwuruku (PDP—Ikwo North), because I want the House of Assembly to be intact beyond 2019,” he said.

Chief Austin Umahi, the PDP South-East Zonal Vice Chairman, in his remark, urged the governor to listen to the clarion call of the people and seek re-election in 2019. “I am a member of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and will not allow it assign you greater roles in 2019 because Ebonyi people need you more.”

While Sen. Obinna Ogba (PDP—Ebonyi Central) promised that national assembly members from the state would support the governor’s re-election bid in 2019, saying that they were all proud of his achievements.

Also speaking, Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi, the State’s PDP Chairman, said that the governor’s good work had endured him to the people, making his re-election bid easy.

The governor was given the traditional title of “Okwuoha I’’ (Peoples’ benefactor) of Ikwo, in addition to a bus, a horse, several piece of yams, among others during the reception.

Ebonyi State Politics in the Eyes of Dr. Igwe

One could captures the mind of this great son of Ebonyi State on what he thinks about the future of the State when he opened up on why Ebonyians embarked upon massive rallies in almost all the Local Government Areas of the State and according to him, “The rally evolves from the people of the state to show solidarity to the state governor, Chief Dave Umahi for the good works he is doing in the state and also support the construction of that ring road. The ring road is very important for an Ebonyi man; whether you are from the Central, North or South because that ring road is a key to unlocking the economic potentials of the state. People have been clamouring and calling on the governor that we learnt that some people went to court to challenge the effort of the government to reconstruct that road and people of Ebonyi are saying ‘Governor, please make yourself available, we want to show you solidarity, we want to show you support.’ Unfortunately, the governor was not around. He has travelled for a meeting with Mr. President. The people are saying that they want to converge at the local government areas to demonstrate their support for the construction of the ring road and we cannot stop them. What we can do as government officials are that if we have the time, we will go to various local governments and see what the people are saying, to see whether they are speaking from their mouth or they are speaking from somewhere else.”

On the allegation that the Ebonyi State Government is borrowing money to fund its 2019 general elections, Dr Igwe said, “Anybody who is misleading you with false information that the Ebonyi State government is borrowing for the forthcoming general election is really an enemy of the government and the people of Ebonyi state. Some persons made no investment to ensure that this government came to be. Some persons feel that we removed food from their table because it was like ‘come and chop’ for them.

Government and governance was ‘come and chop’. They felt they needed to fight back and return to power so that Ebonyi State can be looted once more, so that this government can have nothing to show for. Knowing that if the ring road is completed, added to the newest project that the state government has constructed, it will be a very tall order for anybody to rise up and say he wants to contest for the office of the governor of Ebonyi State. In knowing that, they think that one of the strategies to confront them will be to raise a campaign against the approval of that fund.”

Conclusion

When the news about this great and tested leader’s birthday got to me on my sick bed, I asked the Pneumonia attack that kept me hospitalised for two weeks to step aside so that I could put my thought about this man on paper.

Dr Igwe, an astute and charismatic politician and a seasoned administrator with an amiable personality is a phenomenal reformist whose cult-followership stature among the youths and god-fearing people puts him as a leader to be admired, watched and associated with.

Indeed, Dr. Igwe has become legendary for showing limitless benevolence to the downtrodden, associates, colleagues and practical display of immense love and compassion to everyone that has crossed his path in life and I thank God for allowing me cross the golden path of this great son of Ebonyi State.

I will like to conclude this by quoting Rick Warren, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others.” And John Maxwell, “Authority is not the power a boss has over subordinates, but rather the boss’s ability to influence subordinates to recognize and accept that power.

Happy Birthday my boss! Happy Birthday the most humble and Loayl Deputy Governor in Nigeria!! Happy Birthday to one of the most educaed Deputy Governor in Nigeria!!! God bless you for us and grant you better and greater years ahead!!! In Jesus Name!

Finally, Dr Igwe is married to the Amazon and elegant Nnenna Igwe and are blessed with three children.

  • Monica Ada Chidinma Eze is the President, DUNAETA & Technical Assistant (TA) on Media to Governor Dave Nweze Umahi and can be reached through: dunaebonyitransformation001@gmail.com or quintrelking@gmail.com
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Rivers State: Gale of defection hits Ubima PDP

Posted on June 15, 2018. Filed under: news |

….as Prince Chinedu-Ordu, 700 members of PDP decamp to APC

Ubima pix1The People’s Democratic Party,PDP in Ubima community, Ikwerre Local Government Area , Friday was hit by a wave of decamping as over 700 of its members under the aegis of Ubima Progressive Group,  defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Leader of the group and Grassroots Development Initiative coordinator in the community, Prince Chinedu-Ordu told a mammoth crowd of APC faithful in Ubima that the PDP which they belonged to and worked for has reneged on its promises and abandoned them.

Speaking at the event which attracted the cream of the party in the area and beyond, Hon. Ezemonye Ezekiel-Amadi,a frontline aspirant for the House of Representatives in Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency and immediate past Commissioner for Lands and Survey in the state, said the move was a welcome development.

He also urged the defectors to support the Minister of Transportation,Rt.Hon.Chibuike Amaechi and work for the success of the party in the 2019 general elections.

Receiving the defectors, the Leader of the APC in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Hon. Chibike Ikenga tasked them to be worthy ambassadors of the party.

Hon.Ikenga on behalf of the party, handed the defectors to the Chairman of the party in the area, Hon. Bestman Amadi who welcomed them to the APC family.

Hon. Amadi equally tasked them to work for the success of the party in the 2019 general elections.

Highlights of the event were solidarity speeches and burning of insignia and sundry paraphernalia of the PDP by the defectors.

Sent in by: #EmpowermentMachine Media

Credit: Wazobiainfos

 

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Wike Has Merely Labeled Angry PDP Members Threatening Saturday’s Sham LG Council Elections As APC Members – APC

Posted on June 14, 2018. Filed under: Press Release |

Which is Text of a Press Conference by the Rivers State Chapter, All Progressives Congress, APC, On Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the State Secretariat, 43 Forces Avenue, Old GRA, Port Harcourt

Gentlemen of the Press

…’Wike is a curse to Rivers State and like every evil ruler God used to punish the Israelites, he’ll end in disgrace come 2019’

Thursday morning, Rivers people and members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, were subjected to a piece of broadcast in which the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike blurted out hardly legible lines in the name of a state broadcast concerning the sham local government council election in which he clearly mentioned some leaders of the APC he claimed were working to disrupt the said sham election in the State.

It is absolutely important to quickly mention that the APC, its leaders and members across Rivers State have no stake in the sham local council elections and have no reason at all to consider or disrupt a process we have clearly distanced ourselves from and made such position known to the world.

However, it is pertinent to state that in that broadcast, Gov. Wike was simply showcasing his typical self by shying away from the groundswell of protests by cheated PDP members who have told him to his face that they will disrupt the sham council polls especially in the local government areas he enumerated in his broadcast. It is clear without doubt that by dragging the names of the APC and its leaders into the fray, Gov. Nyesom Wike was merely pre-empting the disruption his disgruntled party men and women have vowed to visit on the sham elections on Saturday. Attempting to place his fears at the doorsteps of the APC is the typical pedestrian and cowardly indwelling traits of the man called Nyesom Wike.

Analysing the speech further, it is all too glaring to see that the target of Wike in the broadcast is to frame up his own members who may have agreed to vote out the candidates the governor imposed on their party against popular opinion of their members. It is noteworthy to state here and the governor knows it that no APC member will get close to any polling booth. But why did the governor harp so strongly about people voting and defending their votes? This is merely to frame up those of their members who have decided to vote for and defend the interest of their popular candidates against the choice the governor imposed on them.

Very importantly, it must be clarified that the APC leaders he listed are all out of Rivers State on various national and international assignments. While the APC State Chairman, Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree and Hon. Emma Chinda have been in Abuja and Lagos respecteively, His Excellency, Oji Ngofa is in faraway Netherlands where he is the Nigerian Ambassador. Indeed, Wike doesn’t know the difference between political propaganda and outright white lies unbefitting of the high office of a governor. It goes to confirm that no one values what he he/she does not merit. We all know what a street dog will prefer to a piece of good meat.

On the reference to our State Chairman, Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree as a fugitive, we make bold to inform Nyesom Wike that the matter he was referring to is before a competent court of law and the governor was simply displaying his disdain for and/or ignorance of the courts (despite being a lawyer) by making such uncouth and sub-judicial comments on the matter. It is on record that if there is anyone with accusations of murder today in Rivers State it is Gov. Wike who inspired and supervised the wanton killings in Rivers State before, during and after the elections by compromising INEC and security officials alongside none state actors whom he seduced with state assembly slots in the PDP.

We would like to mention that after watching and listening to Gov. Nyesom Wike in the past year or so, it is obvious that he has become paranoid about the 2019 elections. It is obvious that his trickery of Rivers people and his party members is steadily but slowly coming to an end. This is typified by the gale of defections that has hit the PDP recently including that of Hon. Martins Mannah representing Ahoada Constituency I and several appointees and supporters of the governor and PDP in Oyibo and Andoni LGAs.

We will not end this press briefing without serving notice to Gov. Nyesom Wike to begin to pack his luggage to vacate Government House Port Harcourt as the APC and Rivers people will uproot him like the stubborn Iroko tree on the path of their enduring and sustainable development. It is always logical and sensible to serve people their own soup after all they say the taste of pudding is in the eating.

Permit me to call on all members of the APC and peace-loving Rivers people and residents of the State to ignore the frivolous and totally baseless statements made by Gov Wike in his broadcast. The APC knows that there will be no value addition to it as a party to indulge in disrupting or undermining a process we have already washed our hands off because we know that it is an exercise in futility ultimately – a total waste of valuable time. We very well know that the law will deal with the sham elections in fullness of time. Our members should shun anything that will directly or remotely associate them with the sham exercise on Saturday. Governor Nyesom Wike has brought home ant-infested firewood, he should deal with it squarely!

The APC will continue to encourage leaders and members of the collapsing PDP still suffering Wike’s high-handedness and misrule to throw in the towel and free their conscience same way Larry Pepple, Hon. Martins Mannah, Hon. Sir Bright Jacob, Hon Nnamdirim Ihute and Chief Mowan Etete amongst several others have recently done. Ahead of 2019, Wike must be left alone in the severely torn umbrella of PDP.

Warisenibo Chris Finebone

State Publicity Secretary

 

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Child Bride: Issue facing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) attainment in Africa

Posted on June 14, 2018. Filed under: Opinion |

Child Bride: Issue facing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) attainment in Africa

By Ekene Odigwe

Noura Hussein Hammad was forced to experience the misery of child marriage at the age of fifteen. Despite her refusal, she got married on paper to one of her relatives at 15 years old, and three years later the husband – along with her family insisted to complete the official wedding ceremony. Miss Hammad escaped to stay with her aunt in Sinnar city to avoid her fate, but was deceived by her father who convinced her to return, claiming that the family stopped the marriage ceremony. Upon her return, was surprised with the preparations of her own wedding which ended up happening against her will. She went to Khartoum with her husband and stayed in an apartment in Mohandiseen as part of their honeymoon. Noura refused to consummate the marriage for five days and on the sixth day, her husband brought his brother and cousins and they held her while he raped her. The next day, on May 3rd 2017, the husband tried to rape her again, but she stood up for herself and stabbed him in the back with a knife that he brought into the bedroom to threaten her into sleeping with him. After she stabbed him in different parts of his body, she ran to her family’s home where she admitted what she had done. Her father took her to the police station. Subsequently, her family abandoned her, never visited her or provided any support. On April 19th 2018, Noura was charged under article 130 of the criminal act and on the 10th of May 2018 sentenced to death and some activist lawyers are appealing her case. This is the most recent scenario in The Sudan a country in Northern Africa that is number 5 on International ranking of Child marriage rates, statistics from UNICEF in 2017 shows that 9% were married off by their 15 years while 52% were married by 18, this implies that approximately 1 in 3 girls in the Sudan are married before their 18th birthday.

Well, In Nigeria the story is not so different as 43% of girls are married off before their 18th birthday. 17% are married before they turn 15. According to UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2017 report, Nigeria currently sits at international ranking of 11 on Child marriage rates though the prevalence of child marriage varies widely from one region to another, with figures as high as 76% in the North West region and as low as 10% in the South East. Available Data shows a 9% decline in the prevalence of child marriage since 2003 however action is still needed to prevent thousands of girls from being married in the coming years.

Child marriage directly hinders the achievement of at least six of the Sustainable Development Goals. Child marriage violates girls’ rights to health, education and opportunity. It exposes girls to violence throughout their lives, and traps them in a cycle of poverty. The indigenous African traditional system restricts the education of the girl child to the well-known form of Informal domestic education in which she receives training at home on hygiene, cooking, laundry and general home management. Some parents would easily give their girl child’s hand in marriage to some older wealthier man believing that the marriage will bring some economic gains their way.

Nurah Mohammed 35 was arrested after he tried to kill his 13 year-old wife Ai’sha. His young bride had angered him by fleeing their home to stay with her mother after enduring years of abuse from her husband and mother-in-law. Nurah came to the mother’s house to kill Ai’sha for leaving their home, and ended up stabbing Ai’sha’s grandmother multiple times as well when she tried to cover Ai’sha with her body to protect her. Ai’sha was engaged to Nurah when she was only a 1-year-old and was married at 9. As a premature bride, she lacked the skills to be a proper wife, which resulted in the abuse she received. Ai’sha’s mother, Latifah, said, ‘I kept my daughter at my house and hoped to explain to my son-in-law why he should not beat her, but he barged into the house and tried to kill her.”

In the eastern part of Nigeria, there’s a saying “ogo bu chi onye” literary meaning that someone’s in-law is his god. It is so because they believe those in-laws bring succour and that can only be an act of god. This is majorly economic succour that’s why at a tender age they restrict the training at home.

Father of a bride, Obi Oko, 60, said he is unhappy giving his daughter away at such a young age, but has no choice due to severe poverty. ‘I am very poor and have many problems,’ Obi Oko said. ‘I need money and I have three other daughters. Do you think I want to marry my daughter so young?’ the daughter Nnenna is 9 and married off to 58 year old Dimgba.

Apart from obvious reasons of poverty, major factors are responsible for child bride; these include traditional practices, religious or customary laws and social/ family honour. According to the UN, 37,000 girls under the age of 18 are married each day. We now have the greatest number of married girls and girls at-risk of child marriage than ever before, therefore 1 in 3 girls in the developing world are married before 18 and 1 in 9 are married before the age of 15. If the present trend continues, more than 140 million girls would be married before the age of 18 in the next decade.

Though some believe that this idea is fast becoming a thing of the past considering the ever-dynamic nature of people and culture all over the world, these recent stories beg to differ. It is not becoming a thing of the past rather it is becoming less pronounced but still in effect. These are just few recorded stories around here, a lot of persons are scared of speaking up, and they have been told that “ala” the god of the land will strike them dead if they dare tell anyone, so they just keep enduring the violence, the trauma, the agony and the evil it brings. Child marriage violates the rights of children; it affects both boys and girls, but it is more common among girls and child brides are also subject to extreme domestic and sexual abuse, causing psychological, physical harm and dangerous pregnancies.

Recent research by UNICEF shows that worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children. 17% of them, or 125 million, live in Africa and for a place like The Sudan where Child bride are sold for cows with the refusal resulting in a death sentence like in the case of Noura one can only imagine what will be the possibility of achieving the 17 SDGs with its 169 subsections.

With inadequate legislative framework and the state of a country’s civil registration system in place the implementation of African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child is only but a dream. In 2003, Nigeria signed the International Human Rights convention agreement on the rights of child. It was officially passed into law in 2003 by Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as the Children’s Rights Act 2003 (CRA). It was created to serve as a legal documentation and protection of Children rights and responsibilities in Nigeria but the question is has the law being implemented especially as it concerns child marriage?

Understanding that all these goals are interconnected and to achieve one is to achieve all. It dawns on us all that we cannot cheery pick any one and tweaks it to suit our narrative then ignore the rest. Child marriage effectively ends a girl’s childhood, curtails her ability of acquiring education, minimizes her economic opportunities, increases her risk of domestic violence, and puts her at risk of early, frequent, and very high-risk pregnancies with deteriorating health conditions. Girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s and face higher risk of pregnancy-related injuries, such as obstetric fistula. Child brides are often unable to negotiate safer sexual practices and are therefore at a higher risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. The negative consequences of child marriage reach beyond the girls themselves: children of child brides are 60 percent more likely to die in the first year of life than those born to mothers older than 19, and families of child brides are more likely to be poor and unhealthy

So in order to achieve sustainable development goals and meet the aspirations of Agenda 2063 that envisions the “Africa We Want”, Africa must accelerate and increase strategic investments in its young people no matter their sex or gender and rebuild our women especially our girl children. Our judicial institutions should do better, embrace what is coming and begin to restructure to protect our children. Government and civil society organisations should make plans of taking this message to the grassroots, invite all stakeholders: from high influencers / low interest to low influencers/ high interest groups to the table. Training and seminars should be organized for Religious leaders, Town union Presidents’ general, Traditional rulers and the Media. Empowerment programmes, hygiene education, family planning training need to be coordinated for the girls already trapped in this cycle. They should be nurtured as children that they are, allowed to be children and not brides.

Introduction

@Ekeneodigwe is OAP @coalcity929fm Advocate @afrikaYM Fellow @YALINetwork

SDGs Champion & Social media campaigner

#Activista with 7 honours & 3 Fellowship awards

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