Inforgraph: Osun Local Government Parliamentary System – The Facts

Posted on February 2, 2018. Filed under: Opinion |

Osun Parliamentary System ExplainedMisunderstood in different forms, the Osun Local Government Parliamentary System is not in contrast with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The system which provides for only parliamentarians at the local government setting operates with Councillors; a new method of governance away from the customary presidential system where the Chairman exercises full Executive Powers as practiced over the years.
In the new arrangement, there will still be the acclaimed “Local Government Chairman” but not elected. The chairman is a product of the Councillors who are lawmakers at the council level. He/She is elected by his/her colleagues who have been duly elected by citizens of respective wards across the state.
The arrangement is not in any way an aberration of the 1999 constitution as it fully defines the relevance of Section 7(1) of Nigeria’s Constitution and Section 22 of the LG(Administration) Law of Osun State 2002 as amended.
The elected Chairman among other councillors will exercise full executive powers over the local government just as the Prime Minister does in other parliamentary democracies.
The new system reduces cost of governing the third-tier of government, eliminates local government wide campaigns by prospective LG Chairmen and their deputies as well as curbing wastage in providing for two more offices since the Chairman and Vice Chairman are councillors and maintain their status quo as Councillors.
A good attribute of this is that the chairmen and vice-chairmen can be removed and replaced if they under-perform or lose the confidence reposed in them by their colleague


By Kikiowo Ileowo

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Commentary: Leave Obuah Alone

Posted on January 31, 2018. Filed under: Opinion |

By Jerry Needam

Bro. Felix ObuahAscribing the quality of a political enigma to the person of the Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Bro. Felix Obuah, not only in his native Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) but in Rivers State as a whole, may seem contrived to some, but it is unquestionably true when viewed in the context of his fame and popularity. 

As a matter of fact, his emergence as the Executive Chairman of ONELGA in 2004 signaled the beginning of an era as he took the political scene by storm and left a bold statement that the much-sought after ‘man of the people’ had at last materialized in that LGA. 

Mba Anabara Agu, as he is popularly called, Bro. Felix Obuah’s nature typifies the sobriquet which translates to the futility of raising a voice against the lion.  Bro. Obuah, politically, is a lion in ONELGA hence his opponents who are the weaker ‘animals’ quake and dread at his fame and popularity.

In line with the truism that success not only attracts friends and admirers, but also brings with it, foes whose primary preoccupation, regrettably would be to ‘Pull Him Down’ (PHD), Obuah who is presently the Sole Administrator of Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) has not only been enjoying wide support from his army of friends, relations, supporters, political associates and aides; he has also on many fronts become the subject of unsubstantiated abuse, castigation and slander carried out by self-seeking, jobless desperados and faceless political jobbers acting on the prompting of paymasters and political opponents.

That quickly brings to mind one of these faceless hirelings who recently launched another smudging campaign against the person of the State PDP Chairman through a purported World Press Conference in which the group masqueraded as ‘Civil Society Groups in Orashi Region of Rivers State’.

Without playing the soothsayer, I am fully aware that in his characteristic manner, Bro. Felix Obuah would have chosen to ignore the ranting of a faceless group and wave off their babblings as nothing but another distractive gimmick coming from the same familiar source.  But he had to respond for want of clarity and to set the records straight so that the gullible public would not be misled.

And so, while dismissing their misleading and fabricated allegations, Obuah said: “the accusation against him by a section of the so called Civil Society Groups and some members of the Orashi National Congress (ONC) after their kangaroo meeting at Omoku Civil Centre, Wednesday, January 17, 2018 of sponsoring the killed notorious cultist, Don Wanny is shocking, false, unfounded and malicious”.

The State PDP boss described the accusation as yet another plot by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and his political detractors to drag his name to the mud to make way for their sinister plans ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Bro Obuah chided the teleguided so called Orashi National Congress members, all of them, APC card carrying members, for turning their gathering at the Omoku Civic Centre to a jungle court for delivering unsolicited judgment against him perceived as an enemy of their paymasters, describing them as a liability to humanity.

It’s also regrettable, Bro Obuah noted, that rather than join hands with the State Governor, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike to fight insecurity in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (Onelga) and elsewhere in the State, the so called ONC members and their cohorts prefer taking sides with desperate power seekers to run down those who mean well for the people and those that have committed their time, energy and hard earned resources to build and develop Onelga while the real enemies of the people are being provided cover and glorified just for a pot of yam porridge.

Reassuring that he will not be deterred by the false malicious accusation, but will continue to ensure that Onelga people are liberated from the shackles of poverty and ignorance, Bro Obuah said he has invested more than any other person(s) in Onelga and cannot possibly turn around to promote insecurity or support any effort that will destroy his investments or his people for whom he has invested.

The State PDP chairman also noted that he too, has been a victim of insecurity and other acts of lawlessness, with several attempts on his life during which he lost his police orderly and driver in one of such attacks.

In the recent new year mayhem, Bro Obuah said he lost six of his relations in the senseless killing including his in-laws.

“I cannot but conclude that by this false accusation against me, my accusers are rather jubilating and celebrating over my predicament. Their actions are very understandable as none of them has any investment whatsoever in Onelga nor have invested in the welfare of the people.

“Otherwise, they should be sober and thankful to the security agencies for helping to bring life back to normalcy in Onelga by killing Don Wanny and some of his gang members”, Bro Obuah observed.

Bro Obuah wondered the wisdom for his accusers to have kept quiet while Don Wanny and his gang ravaged all the nooks and crannies of Onelga while he lived only to speak out now he is gone, saying their only fear was not to be exposed by the notorious cultist who was their hatch man.

Warning his accusers and detractors against treading the path of unreasonableness and danger, the State PDP boss said all that is needed now is not pointing accusing fingers and looking for scapegoat to satisfy the cravings of overzealous and power drunk politicians but to join hands with the Wike administration and complementing the efforts of the security agencies in sustaining the peace and security in Onelga and the State generally.

Bro Obuah insisted he never knew who Don Wanny was until he saw his pictures after the amnesty was granted to the repentant militants and cultists by the State government and had never related nor supported him in any way.

“During the previous administration under Rotimi Amaechi, Don Wanny and his group had a field day, operated unchallenged and were readily used by that government and not until this present administration came up with the amnesty programme, Don Wanny would have remained uncovered and committed APC member.

“These enemies of the people are at it again. They never supported the amnesty programme that exposed their hatchet men who are being trailed by security agencies and this is their sole reason for wanting to incite another round of crisis in Onelga through these unfounded accusations against me”, he said.

Bro. Obuah had repeatedly alerted the world of grand plots by the APC to malign him.

He would not be deterred in his quest to serve humanity and be the good neighbour as entreated by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  A wise posture though, given the fact that 2019 is around the corner and the sycophants are up again working out their heads in mudslinging just to please their paymasters.

But some of us who are in touch with reality and having followed the antecedents of this noble personage, a philanthropist par excellence and selfless servant of God would not be silent in the face of flagrant misinformation and falsehood orchestrated by a group of people whose angst would not be quelled on account that they lost the 2015 General Elections to a more credible and popular political party, hence the heavens must fall!

They adopted different tricks to pull down and rubbish the laudable paths which Governor Nyesom Wike is treading, but they have failed in all their attempts to run Governor Wike down.  They declared that the inroads being recorded in infrastructure and other sectors of the economy were mere completion of projects initiated by their leader, and former Governor Rotimi Amaechi, now Minister of Transportation.

Again, their propaganda failed as Wike rather than being discouraged, swung into an infrastructural blitz that has won him many national and international accolades.

They tried unsuccessfully to promote the narrative of insecurity in Rivers State which would persuade the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the State, and they failed.

Having run out of lies and falsehood, they have turned to this infamous ‘Civil Society Groups in Orashi Region’ as a willing wanton using the Don Wanny saga as their latest stunt.

Those who unmasked themselves during the show of shame called ‘World Press Conference’ were one Chief Emeni Ibe, the CMD of UPTH, Prof. Henry Ugboma and Chief Henry Odili among others.

Have they been told that contrary to their insinuations about President Mohammed Buhari and the APC-led federal government being the one that allegedly ‘funded and ordered’ the killing of Don Wanny in Enugu on Saturday, January 6, 2018.

“Why is it that it is just this last one (Don Wanny) that the President would order to be killed?” retorted Governor Wike during a recent interview he had with a popular radio presenter in Port Harcourt, explaining that it was the Rivers State Government and not the federal government which funded the logistics and operation that led to the death of the notorious cultist kingpin.

They blabbered about the enormity of losses suffered by the Orashi region as a result of unwarranted killings which has been known to have predated the administration of Governor Wike. 

At the same radio programme mentioned above, Wike revealed among others the harrowing killings under the administration of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

“32 persons were murdered in cold blood in Omoku by Don Wanny and his group with their heads cut off on December 14, 2014”, Wike revealed even as he reeled out other killings carried out under Amaechi.

That is why it is very expedient for these commentators to make their identities known so that the public would know the extent of investments they had in ONELGA so as to juxtapose same with the losses recorded during the mayhem.

Have these hirelings been reminded that aside from losses suffered by residents, multinational oil companies as well as shop owners particularly in Omoku, Bro. Felix Amechi Obuah was the worst hit individual.  The casualties suffered following the loss of close family relatives and in addition to unparalleled destruction of his investments.

Lies, no matter the efforts dissipated to fortify it, can never stand. But truth, like a rock, would always stand any test.  These masquerades should be asked why their principals would not borrow the example set by Bro. Felix Obuah by investing their wealth in ONELGA. 

Bro. Felix Obuah has invested his wealth not in foreign lands like your principals do but in his native land which in the process, has gone a long way in providing gainful employment to thousands of his kith and kin.

Some of his investments located in Omoku include multi-million Naira Krisdera Hotels and Resort Limited and Annexes; multi-million Naira Krisdera International Stadium; Agwubata Commercial College (ACC), Ogba Comprehensive High School (OCHS) and Go-Round Football Club of Omoku, a Nigerian Premier League club side which has provided gainful employment to thousands of youths across the State and beyond.  These investments epitomize love for the people and fatherland!

It is inconceivable that someone would make these investments in a place and for a people he never meant well for.  It follows logically too that anyone who kicks against any individual or group that has demonstrated such commitment to his land and people is what my pastor referred to as ‘witch’ and deserved to be caged.

Bro. Felix Obuah’s philanthropic gestures for ONELGA people and those in other parts of Rivers State and Nigeria transcend politics.  The right thing for any sane person to do is to commend rather than vilify him, or better still, shut up for lack of what to say.  I therefore urge these armchair critics to leave Obuah alone.

God bless ONELGA, Rivers State and Nigeria.

Jerry Needam is a Port Harcourt based journalist

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Ekiti 2018: Now That the Cloud is Gathering

Posted on January 24, 2018. Filed under: Opinion |

Ekiti 2018: Now That the Cloud is Gathering

Not too long ago, a few members of the PDP in Ekiti led by Prince Adedayo Adeyeye held a press conference, calling on Governor Ayodele Fayose to in their words, “disqualify himself” from the process leading to the emergence of his successor as in their reckoning, having pitched and openly endorsed his deputy governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola.

Amongst several puerile claims, they equally inferred that the imitable Fayose, only came to reap in the PDP, from their several years of toiling and hard work as though the governor was plucked from dreamland and foisted on them. Honestly, the ways of the average politician in this part of the world is past finding out. How infantile and nauseating this claim can easily fall flat in the face of a reality check. It is only imaginable how the claimant(s) kept a straight face, beats my imagination. Such claims, however, if left unchecked with irrefutable facts will certainly find respectability in the minds of some undiscerning people since the arrow head of this toxic claim is a party stalwart in his own right, whose visibility like that of some of his co-travellers is traceable to the magnanimity and good grace of Fayose. It is indeed traumatic that these fellows can act in this dishonourable manner all in the name of politics and here I specifically have Senator Abiodun Olujimi and Prince Adedayo Adeyeye in mind.

I wonder why hitherto respected members of the party would take to brazen revisionism because they cannot reconcile themselves to the obvious fact that their legitimate aspiration is running out of steam before take-off. I wouldn’t have bordered to take to this public medium but for the fact that the record must be set straight before the public. We live in a part of the world where mischief is a cardinal principle amongst those who ought to act honourable, but appear seemingly becoming an acceptable tradition. There is no scintilla of doubt as to the fact that Fayose is the dominant factor in Ekiti politics today- it is either you are with him or against him-you cannot simply ignore him.

At no time has Foyose, called Prince Adeyeye, Senator Olujimi and others to halt their race-never. He only openly endorsed (HE) Prof. Kolapo Olusola and the process leading to that choice is in the open. It was after a painstaking consultation with party faithful and stalwarts. At no time did the governor foist his deputy on the party, rather the reverse could be said to be the case. I will come to that later!

Till date, no indigene of the southern senatorial district has governed the state since creation. The first executive governor, Otunba Niyi Adebayo (1999-2003), Ayodele Fayose (2003-2007, 2014-2018), are both from central senatorial district, Segun Oni (2007-2010) and Kayode Fayemi (2010-2014) are both from the northern senatorial district. It is this seemingly discrimination that ought to be correct for fairness and balance sake.

In the said press conference, the conveners created several false impressions such as though the governor has the powers to close up the political space to other aspirants-that’s not possible and the governor has not acted as such. Another impression is the erroneous belief that; there is a seeming crisis of confidence following the choice of Prof. Kolapo Olusola. All of these claims been bandied about from the crooked imaginations of the peddlers; as nothing can be further from such. The truth of the matter is that Fayose being a democrat who rose to power or rather was returned to power by the people, did so on the wave of vast support in Ekiti in a broad coalition that defied party affiliation and religious creed, cannot in all good conscience trump the popular will of the people. The unprecedented political tsunami that characterized the return of Governor Fayose to the state house is still the talk of town and several academic interrogations after close to four years. He as a democrat would not rubbish the right of choice of the people which is a cardinal aspect of its tradition.

Kolapo Olusola became the toast of the people and several groups in deference to the loud cries for power shift to the Southern Senatorial District, a part of the state that has been politically marginalized on account of this fact, it is the only part of the state that has not produced governor since the creation of the state. Fayose had made allusions in the past that political office can only be zoned within a political party if it is control of power and it was after series of representations had been made to him as the leader of the party in the state that he yielded most respectfully to the wishes of advocates under the weight of irrefutable logic and good judgement as long as merit and excellence are not sacrificed in arriving at such a choice. All this while, the name of the deputy had not featured.

It was in a bid for the people to owe the process leading the choice of his successor that he now threw an open challenge to the stakeholders across the party/state that the lot now fell on his deputy. Here, we are talking about a most dutiful, loyal, visionary and articulate deputy who doubles as commissioner for education and has returned the state back to its foremost frontline position in education. This is the man that Adeyeye and cohorts paints in very negative light to score an undeserving point in the run-up to the primaries: how petty!

Fayose bought into the agenda to sustain the revolutionary and giant strides in the physical infrastructure of the state; which remains unsurpassed and for the sake of continuity of his unmatched record in the annals of Ekiti. It can be said and rightly so, that Fayose started the revolution in physical infrastructure and was stalled when he was uprooted in 2006 and continued afterwards in his second coming. It is heart warming that even the main opposition, APC, in the state have grudgingly attested to the fact that Fayose administration has sterling performance in its kitty. It is little wonder that they have not been able to hoodwink the people of Ekiti in their desperation to recruit people via propaganda, hence, their attempt to sponsor disgruntled elements within the PDP in a tepid attempt to capture power.

It is trite for Adeyeye and cohorts to search their consciences why all critical stakeholders from their zone didn’t deem it worthy to push their candidature; rather the deputy governor. That is worth pondering over in the solitude of their houses. It is indeed surprising that rather than reconcile themselves to their deficiency and stock in influence in their zone, they are hands in gloves with some elements within the APC with the intention to precipitate a needless crisis against the governor. This is rather unfortunate as such a futile orchestration to contrive a crisis where none exist to frustrate the resolve of the good people of Ekiti to elect a candidate with impeccable credentials of their choice through cheap, subtle and naked blackmails by individuals and groups whose ascendancy to political relevance bear the imprimatur of fayose’s influence would be contained by the popular will of the people.

Turning around in the looming sunset period of their career to say; things that cannot stand the test of time or logic is mind-blogging. For them, rather than join hands in the people’s resolve to enthrone preferred candidate, they would want the house to cave in because of base emotions of greed and self centeredness. It is condescending for anybody to suggest that the deputy governor was forced into the race. Kolapo Olusola-prefaced with his demonstrable performance as deputy governor for three years remains a silent achiever.

The deputy governor; a professor from the renowned Obafemi Awolowo University, a scholar par excellence, a man of impeccable integrity, a consummate team player, a superb leader and goal getter who doubles as the state commissioner for education, who has been able to within a record period of just a year in office, restored Ekiti back to the Olympian height of academic glory, deserves our support. A silent achiever, whose aversion for brinkmanship, loose talk and cheap publicity is been taken undeserving of what they hitherto considered theirs for the taking. How mistaken they are!

By every stretch of imagination and divine blessings and the support of the good peoples of Ekiti, Olusola’s ambition has gained traction with the people and is like a moving train-that’s why the traditional politician with infantile ego are scared. His ability, track record, commitment to good governance and willingness to meet the people yearnings and aspirations is unswerving and well known to all and sundry. His extant contribution to recent huge successes under the fayose administration is priceless. He remains tireless, detailed, sacrificial, determined, focused and humble. All of his attributes has positioned him as the heir apparent for no fault of his and some agitated people are trying to no avail to cry wolf where none exist.

While commending the determination of the governor in his resolve to do the needful, he should with steadfastness and continued sagacity which he is well noted for; continue to pilot the affairs of the state till the expiration of his well deserving mandate. He cannot afford to fail in this regard. He has stirred the people to the possibility of their power of choice-he shouldn’t let us down now to despair as this is a most critical time.

Finally, election is a march of history. The aggregate support of the people for the deputy governor must be sustained. This support is essential and the people as purveyors of his ascendancy should not be allowed to pander or derail to the machinations, dubious tactics of expiring politicians whose stock in trade is to peddle falsehood, half-truth and perpetuate principles which are antithesis of peace and stability. On no account, must the Olusola project be frittered away.

Olajide Taylor, a public affairs commentator writes from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State


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On the Cattle Colony: Governor Bello, bewares of sycophants

Posted on January 23, 2018. Filed under: Opinion |

By Shaibu Stephen Ojate

Sycophants are group of people in any society who unnecessarily rain praises on a leader in any society in any planned actions or decisions. Sycophants therefore come inform of two different dimensions. Sycophants could involve those in government or those outside the government.

Those in government comprise of the political appointees, elected government officials or political nominees while those outside government comprise of professional politicians eyeing political appointments’, financial favour, government contract or government patronage in their business. Those in government indulged in sycophancy just to please their paymaster. They remain supportive in any planned actions in a bid to retain their seat.  Even where their pay Master in taking a wrong step, they will never voice out or call on him to correct his doing.

The common attributes of this group of people are: They are self-seeking and selfish in their doing. They are not truly sincere in their resolves and actions as their decisions are cosmetic. The general interest of the society is not usually their primary focus but how to fill their pockets to the brim is usually their objective. The sycophants are known to always ill- advise Leaders in any unpopular decision, anti-peoples’ or anti-mass policies. They are fond of asking the Leader to carry on even when it is glaring to the least man on the street that the Leader has lost the confidence of the people and therefore cannot garner handful votes at the election contest.

The history of sycophants in Nigeria can be traced to the era of military regime in Nigeria. Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babandgida was one of such Leaders who had played into the hands of the sycophants. The activities of sycophants led to the annulments of June 12 1996 general election in Nigeria, one which was adjudged to be free and fairest in the history of Nigeria.

Late General Sani Abacha was another notable Nigerians Leader who had felt into the hands of sycophants. The activities of sycophants were taking to high heaven in 1998 when the 26 political parties in Nigeria unanimously adopted General Sani Abacha as their sole presidential Candidate for the election. They organized one million peoples’ match for him urging him to transform from military ruler to civilian President of Nigeria. They regarded General Sani Abacha as the Moses of our time who could take Nigeria to the promise land not until the cruel hands of death snatched him away.

Same goes to the immediate past President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan who also felt into the hands of sycophants under the organization called “Transformation”. The transformation of Nigeria (TAN) had traversed all the sections of Nigeria and declaring to people that Goodluck Jonathan remains as the only viable option for Nigerians. They assured him of winning election even when it was glaring to all that he could not win the 2015 general election.

One of such sycophants making a show of themselves on the propose Cattle Colony idea in Kogi State are Local Government Administrators. The Local Government administrators have placed advertorial in Nigeria newspaper declaring to all that having Cattle Colony is a popular and acceptable idea in Kogi State. One pertinent question to ask is that are these local government administrators truly doing this for the general interest of the society or just to please the Governor?

If their action is primarily for the society, I must ask again, have they summon stakeholders meeting to ascertain the mind of the people on the issue of planned Cattle Colony in our respective local government areas? When I talk of Stakeholders, I mean the Clans, who are the owners of the respective Lands in our State? I mean opinion Leaders of Kogi State. Also, did these local government administrators crafted a radio programme for our villagers to phone-in and share their thought in order to know the position of people for having a Cattle Colony in our State?

If they have not done these and unilaterally took decision and went  ahead to declare in the newspaper advertorial that Cattle colony proposal is a popular idea in Kogi State, let me alert Governor Bello that these Local Government Administrators are dangerous individuals in his government and he needs to be careful with them. They are digging Governor Bello’s grave and ready to bury him while he is still alive for the sake of retaining their seat.

I make this proclamation because they ought to have done the needful before going on the newspaper advertorial in order to avoid an instance where the Governor would be standing alone on the Cattle Colony proposal.

I know many people out of political and tribal interest would erroneously consider my stance as ant- Bello’s government.  That is a wrong assumption as I am not.  I am after Governor Bello success and I frown at him trending on the wrong path. I frown at him taking a decision which would spell doom for him in future. I am after his progress and wish him not only to spend two terms in office as Kogi Governor but also to represent us at higher offices in the years ahead.

I am passionate about my society as Alhaji Yahaya Bello is the first Kogi Governor from Kogi Central, a senatorial district where I hail from too. His success and downfall is ours. Governor Bello should as a matter of concern learn from experiences of past Nigerian Leaders on the activities of sycophants. The sycophants who ill-advised former President Jonathan on the issue of Boko Haram insurgency and other sundry national issues during his administration where are they now? They have deserted him and have even jumped to All Progressive Congress declaring to Nigerians that the last administrator was a colossal failure as it was not proactive on National issues.

Recall that many of these sycophants abandoned and deserted Jonathan immediately after the election when it done on them that there are no more milk and honey anymore. Is Governor Bello aware that if these similar praise singers can do this to our past Nigerian Leaders, they can as well do the same to him?

Let me remind Governor Bello that Kogi Gubernatorial election comes late in 2019 when the main general election must have been conducted. If Kogi gubernatorial election is to take place the same period with that of presidential election, I would say President Buhari election winning favour would come to play too for the easy victory of Governor Bello at the election day.

Kogi gubernatorial election comes later in the year 2019 and that is why Governor Bello should be careful and watch his steps in all his actions and decisions.  He should ensure that the society forms his backbone and not the deceitful sycophants. The performance of his administration, policy direction and programme would form the bulk of campaign of the opposition against his government. The issue of ethnicity will be another factor at the election. He should not allow sycophants to ill-advised him in taking a step which would slip his votes within his domain. Now that the Igallas are poised to take power back, he should not insist on unpopular idea which would make majority of Kogi central and Kogi west axis to frown at his re-election.


Shaibu Stephen Ojate is a Journalist and public affairs commentator write from Abuja. He is on facebook with the same name and reachable


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Belema Oil and Robo Micheal: New Threats to Human Rights in Ogoni

Posted on January 23, 2018. Filed under: Opinion |

The toxicity level in Ogoni today is such that we can conclude that Ogoniland is currently awaiting its formal burial. The death of everything – land fishes, seas, vegetation, men, women and children are expected as pollution has turned everything including foods and water into toxic products.
The genocide in Ogoniland and the entire Niger Delta may eventually be difficult to redress if nothing is done to help now. This amounts to gross human rights violation, but is truly regrettable and unfortunate as it is being prosecuted with the endorsement of our own government. Nigeria has aided a third party, Shell in this instance, bring death to its own people and nothing is being done to punish or at least remediate.
One study by MOSOP (Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People) reveal that 4 out of every 10 child born in Ogoni will die in 90 days. Another study by a Swiss professor shows the death rate is as high as 70 percent within 3 months.

Despite these terrifying reports the Nigerian government continue to encourage the oil industry whose sole aim is to further plunder our resources and trample on our collective dignity as a people sponsoring local actors against the collective position of our people as articulated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights and driven by MOSOP, thereby creating a potential for crises in Ogoniland.

Most recently Shell’s allies in the Nigerian oil industry particularly Belema Oil Producing, Robo Micheal Limited Shell Petroleum (SPDC) and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd (NPDC) had been vigorously sponsoring local actors and groups to cause division in Ogoni.

One major strategy of the oil industry and the groups they sponsor is deceit. Currently their is a battle between the supporters of Robo Micheal and those of Belema Oil. Those who are sponsored by Belema Oil see nothing good in those sponsored by Robo Micheal and vice versa. Government and the oill industry in Nigeria hopes that their divide and rule tactics will defeat the collective wishes of the Ogoni people which MOSOP insists must be respected.

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has prescribed a multi-stakeholder dialogue involving the three principal parties to the conflict namely, the federal government of Nigeria, Shell and MOSOP (representing the Ogoni people). This process has to be driven by a negotiator. But the government refers a divide and conquer approach driven by the oil industry notably Shell, Belema Oil, the NPDC and Robo Micheal Limited.

MOSOP insist that the Ogoni struggle is not just about oil. It is about the rights of the Ogoni people as a distinct ethnic group within Nigeria whose resources have been plundered by the government and Shell overtime. It is about the Ogoni people who have made significant contributions to national budge, a people whoe oil revenue is been shared among the majority ethnic groups in Nigeria and nothing goes back to the people.

MOSOP insists that the rights of the Ogoni people as Nigerians must be respected and we must function within Nigeria as Ogoni people. This must begin with the creation of an Ogoni state that guarantees that a fair portion of our resources must be used for Ogoni development.

Government on the other hand is earnestly attempting to trivialize the Ogoni issue and reduce it to the environmental question  playing down on the demand for political rights to self determination which guarantees our dignity as Nigerians.. This has only always ridiculed the human rights records of the Nigerian government and prolonged the conflict.
Nigeria must face the realities about the Ogoni situation and understand that the continuous denigration of political, economic and environmental rights of the Ogoni people with an attempt to sponsor discordant voices through the oil industry operators has only aggravated the problem and moved us miles away from whatever progress had been achieved towards a peaceful settlement.
The Ogoni cleanup report by the UNEP had offered a window for dialogue. The government, if truly concerned about progress and development of Ogoni should have used this opportunity to open discussions on the issues of political  and economic rights. But unfortunately, there had been more lies than truth coming from official government circles.

On the other hand is a campaign of calumny targeted at MOSOP the only credible and legitimate representation of the Ogoni people. The oil industry knows that MOSOP remains the only voice of the Ogoni people with a history and knowledge about the Ogoni persecutions and clear documentation on the Ogoni struggle and demands. MOSOP remains the hope of the Ogoni people and for the government and the oil industry MOSOP’s obstinacy need to broken through the sponsorship of local actors and groups.

While the government and the oil industry continues to disregard the call for a dialogue,  Shell alone has spent on image building, over 50million dollars which should have gone a long way in building the confidence of the Ogoni people in the lazy-loaded clean-up programme being frustrated by lack of funds.

Belema oil is doing the same thing, donating loads of rice and money to buy favour from perceived key local actors. Robo Micheal and the NPDC are not different. Very recently, MOSOP uncovered a fraudulent communication from a group sympathetic to Robo Micheal attempting to misrepresent its position and had to disown the falsified statement.

Belema Oil and Robo Micheal are currently the principal actors sponsoring crises in Ogoniland and should be held responsible for any breakdown of the peace currently prevailing in the area. But this is in sleek alliance with Shell, the NPDC and a tacit endorsement and support from the Nigerian government whose military is continually deployed to repress any resistance seeing to project the true wishes of the Ogoni people.
One behavior which characterizes the groups sponsored by these oil industry operators is that those in favour of Belema Oil will focus their media war against Robo Micheal while those in favour of Robo Micheal are critical of the pro-Belema group.
The Nigerian government and Shell appear not to have learnt from the past. They still probably believe in the recommendations of Major Paul Okuntimo, the then executioner of the Ogoni people, who suggested “Wasting Operations” as a way of securing Shell’s re–entry into Ogoniland.. Okuntimo’s wasting operations meant divide and rule,, causing inter and intracommunal crises, shooting indiscriminately and killing the Ogoni people.
Unfortunately over eighteen years of democratic rule has not shown that Nigeria is willing to respect human rights and allow peace to reign in Ogoniland.  For the Ogoni, its been a costly struggle in which a generation of leaders have been lost.. But we are more hopeful than ever before.. I repeat,we are more hopeful than ever before. Freedom is coming but all Ogonis must remain peaceful standing for non-violence. Freedom is coming
Fegalo Nsuke is the Publicity Secretary of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). He wrote from Port Harcourt, Nigeria
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Adetola-Kaseem (SAN): A Hero of the People (HOP)

Posted on January 9, 2018. Filed under: Opinion |

Tribute by MSSN Lagos AMIR

Adetola-Kaseem (SAN): A Hero of the People (HOP)

By Saheed Ashafa

I write with heart-felt lamentation and praise of Almighty Allah for a life well lived. However, with the passing away of this defender of the rule of law and justice, a quintessential personality, brilliant, dogged, indefatigable, relentless, entertaining but uncompromising promoter of human rights, who dedicated his adult life to the cause of humanity and Allah, it is an understatement to say the MSSN and Muslims in general have suffered a back-breaking subtraction that would be difficult to replenish for a very long time.

Apart from the religious sphere, Nigeria and especially the legal profession have indeed lost an illustrious and enigmatic personality. Quite evident is the fact that in spite of all that he had been able to accomplish in his fulfilled life in the course of his practice as a lawyer and other selfless activities, he remained an epitome of modesty and humility, who never looked down on anybody.

He was always ready, even eager to help others in the time of need of moral, social and psychological succour. Adetola-Kaseem’s heart was always driven by empathy and uncommon compassion for his fellowman.

Humbly, I am pleased to name baba, Hero of the People (HOP), for his consistent and persistent fight against all forms of oppression and repression, especially as a core supporter, lead counsel and a motivator of our struggle against the ban of hijab usage by students in Lagos State.

His passage is particularly painful for us in MSSN Lagos, for the roles he played in supporting actively our activities, including being a patron of the MSSN Lagos for more than ten years now . He was the chairman of many of our occasions, the last being our 2016 reportorial conference. He is one of the few whose intellectual support and guidance have greatly impacted on us.

Baba Adetola-Kaseem was an embodiment of morality. He never discussed schism but gives life-changing inspirational talks whenever the youths were opportune to sit around him.

Adetola-Kaseem, who died on Monday – 08/01/2018, was indeed a rare kind and in a class of his own.

I pray that Allah (SWT) forgive his shortcomings, accept his sacrifices and admit him to Al-janat Firdaus.

Inna Liĺlahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Rajiuun

Dr. Saheed Ashafa,

Amir, MSSN Lagos


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The Factors/Projects that Put Umahi Poles Ahead of Other Leaders (PART TWO)

Posted on October 24, 2017. Filed under: Opinion |

The Factors/Projects that Put Umahi Poles Ahead of Other Leaders (PART TWO)

By Monica Chidinma Eze

I have treated six major issues in part one of this study as stated above out of the 21 projects that put Umahi poles ahead of other leaders in his class, I will as space will guarantee me present another six projects executed by this enigma that have made him achieve more than what his predecessors achieved since 21 years of the creation of the State.

  1. The 5,000-unit mega city housing project

Another great feat that Umahi will forever be remembered in the annals of Ebonyi State was the 5,000-unit mega city housing project he initiated. This project to be bankrolled by the Africa Nations Development Programme (ANDP) is yet another milestone by the administration of Governor Dave Nweze Umahi. This housing project that will comprise of 5,000 detached two bedroom bungalows and other facilities such as schools, water, electricity, police station, barracks, hospitals among others is not only a milestone but also a strategic move to put Ebonyi in the league of the most developed states in Nigeria. This project that will be executed by this international body will cost the Ebonyi State Government little or nothing apart from the donation of the land and construction of a two-kilometre road to the site.

Governor Umahi, who laid the foundation for the project in Umuobuna Etiti Uburu in Ohaozara Local Government Area, has pledged that a similar project would be sited at Izzi Local Government before the end of hisfirst tenure in office.

  1. Steady payment of the salaries of the State Civil Servants

At a time when many other states are finding it difficult to pay workers’ salaries or meet other basic needs as a result of the economic recession in the country, the Umahi Administration, despite Ebonyi’s modest resources, embarks on numerous road projects, flyovers, roundabouts, street lights and hospitals, while also executing a revolution in agriculture, as well as the educational and health sectors. This is in addition to regular payment of civil servants, who also get paid a 13th month by the State Government.

While the current recession ravaging most states in Nigeria has made them unable to pay their staff salaries for many months, the administration of Umahi in Ebonyi State has not only increased the salaries of its workers by 5 per cent, but also pays regularly on 15th of every month.

  1. Welfare of the Pensioners and widows

On the side of welfare for the people of the State, the administration of Dave Umahi recently released over N1.5 Billion for the immediate payment of the pension and gratuity to retired workers from 1996 when the state was created till date and empowerment of 2000 widows across the State. To me, this act can only be described as not only as unprecedented, divine, redefinition of governance but as God’s induced rescue mission to save the lives of our Pensioners and widows through Gov. umahi to put smiles on the faces of various families in Ebonyi State at this critical time of economic downturn in the country. Engr. David Nweze Umahi the amiable Governor of Ebonyi State has by these acts not only redefine governance in Nigeria but has made governance in Ebonyi State both humane and a divine mission to touch the lives of the people of Ebonyi State.

As if the above wasn’t enough, the release of another N400 million for the immediate empowerment of over 2000 widows domiciled across the 13 local government area of the State  to the tune of N200, 000 each puts Governor Umahi in a different class among political leaders in Nigeria.

I am glad to note that the widows empowerment programme have been expanded to accommodate additional 2000 widows that will be selected, verified and paid the sum of N200, 000 each from 1st October, 2017.

It is also on record that the N1billion naira budgeted for the empowerment of 4000 eligible Ebonyians is still being disbursed by the Ministry of Empowerment and Job Creation with about 1000 people collecting their grants of up to N250, 000 each while Others who meet the criteria have started collecting their payments with effect from Monday the 21st of August, 2017.

Thanks to God for the conclusion of the work of the Committee on the Verification of the State Pensions & Gratuities from 2nd October, 1996 to 6th June, 2017 and formal approval of the Committee’s Report by the Executive Council of Ebonyi State on Tuesday the 15th of August, 2017 which led to the release of the sum of N1.5 billion for the payment of arrears of pensions and gratuities of Ebonyi workers from 1996 to 2017. It is now left to all eligible beneficiaries to proceed immediately to the office of the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State for verification in order to ensure that payments are disbursed with dispatch.

These great steps to alleviate the impact of economic recession amongst our people simply show that we have truly a divinely oriented administration in Ebonyi State.

  1. Setting up the largest Cement Factory in Nigeria and Industrialisation of Ebonyi State

I must state that Ebonyi Sate and her people are truly benefitting so much from the training background of its Governor who is a well qualified Civil Engineer as he is set to embark upon projects that will industrialise the State. In this regard, arrangements have been concluded by this administration with the Bank of Industry to deposit N2 billion to fund small scale industries in the State, which will be made available to any group of people in the state with viable projects. I am happy to note that efforts are being made to assist investors interested in the development of limestone and salt in the State, while the administration is cooperating with a multi-national cement company, Larfage, which is at the final stage of establishing the biggest cement factory in the country in Ebonyi, even as efforts are in progress to see that Nigercem in Nkalagu resume production soon.

  1. The Abakaliki Ring Road, its benefits and challenges

Umahi’s visionary leadership prowess has made him to remember some hitherto abandoned key projects like the Abakaliki Ring Road that links eight of the thirteen Local Government Areas of the State (Abakaliki, Izzi, Ishielu, Ohaukwu, Ebonyi, Ikwo, Ezza North or Ezza South LGA). A project whichinfrastructural, economical, social and developmental importance to the good people of Ebonyi State in general and Ebonyi North and Central zones in particular need not be overemphasised. It may shock the reader to know that as far back as 1979 this particular ring road was one of the major campaign promises of Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo to the people of Abakaliki in the then old Anambra State. It is a fact that Jim Nwobodo who later became the Governor attempted to construct this RING ROAD in 1981 and sadly since 1982/83 the completion of the Ring Road Project remained a mirage for over 15 years that various Military Governors/Administrators held sway in Anambra/Enugu States where our people sojourned and even after another 21 years following the creation of Ebonyi State. It is fact also a fact that the first and second Civilian Governors of Ebonyi State are from Ebonyi North and Central Zones respectively whose people are the direct beneficiaries of the Ring Road project but did nothing to actualise it not minding that this project whose economic benefits to us can’t be overemphasised.

Shockingly, it is under Umahi’s administration, the first civilian Governor from Ebonyi South extraction that such a gigantic and multi-dimensional project that will assist to fast track the development of the State is cajoled. For demonstrating sagacity and exemplary leadership by embarking upon the completion of this project that will benefit the Northern and Central Senatorial zones of the State the more simply put Governor Umahi not only a pole ahead of the past Administrators that governed the old Anambra and Enugu States for fifteen years that this project was mooted.

For Umahi to have thought of borrowing money to construct the Abakaliki Ring Road within 2 years in office without minding that his own people are not the direct beneficiaries, then such a man to be commended for genuinely loving Ebonyi people of Abakaliki extraction more than they love themselves, but sadly he is being condemned and frustrated by Chief Martins Elechi erstwhile Governor of Ebonyi State and some other misguided political leaders in the State.

Though as a daughter of Ebonyi State from the Southern Senatorial zone, I must confess that I wish that the Governor can look inwards and borrow money to also develop the OHANIVO-AFIKPO-EDDA RING ROAD as well.

No fewer than 6500 stakeholders across the 13 Local Government Areas, (LGAs) of Ebonyi State have given approval to the $130m loan sought by the State Government in both African Development Bank (ADB) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for the construction of 198km ring Roads that cut across 8Local Areas of the State.

Though, with the unalloyed support of the Elders from the State who have asked him to do anything humanly possible to see that this project see the light of the day; I am glad knowing Umahi very well that when he is determined to execute any project no Jupitar will frustrate him in that regard but as a responsible and respected democrat, he id aware that he derives his powers from his people and have gotten approval both from the State Assembly as the representative of our people, the traditional, opinion leaders and the people of the State to go ahead to obtain the $150million Loan from the Islamic Bank and the Africa Development Bank for the construction of the 198km Abakiliki Ring Road but has decided not to take any further step until he is assured that he has the support of the hundred percent of the people of the State.

This is what makes his leadership of the State very unique even as he has obtained over 6500 signatory support to go ahead with the project. The obstacles before him notwithstanding of the construction of 198km Abakiliki Ring Road, he has assured that with or without the loan he will embark upon this project by November this year.

Throwing more light about the importance of this project, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezuruike disclosed that the loan will not only enable the governor to reconstruct the over 198km ring roads that cut across eight local government areas of the state but when completed will curb delay in accessing health facilities by rural dwellers and also unlock the development potentials of the local government areas were the ring road cut across, the entire state and its neighbours. “When this ring road is constructed, health will be the number one beneficiary because there are so many of our health facilities in the corridors of this ring road which will increase accessibility to these facilities.”

To the Secretary to the Ebonyi State, Prof Bernard Odo, the importance of the ring roads cannot be overemphasized. He said that the collapsed Abakaliki ring roads have greatly affected farmers and the economic growth of the State as they find it difficult to bring their agricultural produce to the city hence the need to reconstruct the roads. He further emphasised that with the revenue of the State assets which is about 29.78 billion annually, the loan would be repaid between five and seven years.

Governor Umahi on his own part commended the Federal Government for approving the loan for the construction of the Abakaliki Ring Roads which he said would boost the economy of the State when completed. Umahi who noted that the loan would be obtained by the Federal Government explained that it has no interest rate. His words: “We are not the one obtaining the loan. It’s the Federal Government that is obtaining the loan for us on request. I was at the African Development Bank (ADB) and we estimated a total of $150million US dollars. ADB after their own internal Evaluation felt that they should partner with Islamic Development Bank. So, they invited Islamic Development Bank on their own. Nigeria is a member of that Bank with equity Share Capital of One billion US Dollars, and there is nothing religious about this bank other than that the bank doesn’t charge interest. People have not understood the process that we as a State are not the one borrowing. It is the FG that is borrowing and what is required is that National Assembly must give approval.”

He stated the Ebonyi State Executive Council and the Ebonyi State House of Assembly would approve the loan request after appraisal by both Banks as the State was prepared to construct the ring roads. The Governor further maintained that the project would solve the transpiration problem being faced by the people. He pointed out that the State has enormous mineral resources and vast land for agriculture that would enable them to pay back the loan.

“We have 13 Local Government Areas and this is one particular project that cuts across  8 LGAs and this project is very viable. Over 10% of our landmass is blessed with solid mineral. This ring road is going to serve as very serious alternative to solve that Transportation problem. So we have multiple means of repaying the loan. We have the capacity. We have the capability.”

  1. Umahi on the Unity of Nigeria and future of Ebonyi State

Governor Dave Nweze Umahi who doubles as the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum emphasised on the need of the unity of the Igbos in a peaceful nation like Nigeria. According to him, “There is no need to continue with hate speeches. There is no need to continue with violent agitations. We have to dialogue and do everything that will make sure we live in peace. We are stronger when we are together. There’s no need of insulting the President. There is no need of insulting other tribes. There’s no need of insulting southern governors. The operation Python dance was to ensure security in the zone”.

He assured all residents in the state of their optimum security, insisting that the proscription of the activities of the Independence People of Biafra (IPOB) was to avert bloodshed and save the lives of about 12 million Igbo people living in other parts of the country.

The first executive governor of the state and senator representing Ebonyi North zone, Senator Sam Egwu in his reaction commended Governor Umahi for his achievements including infrastructural development, youth and widow empowerments and Agricultural Revolution, the Former governor called on the Federal government to be fair in governance and recognition of Ndi Igbo.

“We support our Governor, the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State His Excellency, Engr Chief David Nweze Umahi for his quality leadership style.”

“We support one Nigeria and ” We call on the Ruling Government APC, to know that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander, there should be fairness in governance and recognition of Ndi Igbo” Senator Egwu further asked Governor Umahi to continue with his good work, assuring him of his support and solidarity.


Let me conclude this segment of this treatise that will cover 21 special projects embarked upon by this great leader of our time to drive home his efforts to make Ebonyi State the number one State in Nigeria.

In segment three, I will pick up other projects that differentiate this new leader from others in his class.


Monica Chidinma Eze is Technical Assistant (TA) on Media to Governor Dave Nweze Umahi and can be reached through,dunaebonyitransformation001@gmail.com andquintrelking@gmail.com




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The Factors/Projects that Put Umahi Poles Ahead of Other Leaders (Part One)

Posted on October 24, 2017. Filed under: Opinion |

By Monica Ada Chidinma Eze


October 1st, 1996 will ever remains a milestone in the annals of Ebonyi State and her people as it was on this great day that God used the late General Sani Abacha to create the State out of Enugu and Abia States. The State known as the Salt of the Nation marked her 21st anniversary celebration as a State on 1st October, 2017.

Ebonyi State with 13 local government areas and 77 development centres since creation has been governed by one military officer (Navy Captain Walter Feghabo) between October 1996 and August 1998 and one police officer (Retired AIG Simeon Oduoye) from 1998-1999 and from 1999 till date, by three democratically-elected civilian Governors; Dr Sam Egwu – now a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – governed the state from May 29, 1999 to May 28, 2007; while Governor Martin Elechi ruled between 2007 and 2015 and currently by Engr. Dave Nweze Umahi who was sworn in on May 29, 2015 hopefully to conclude his tenure in 2023.

After going through series of the history, actions and activities of some of the political key actors of Ebonyi State, it behoves on me on this auspicious period of the 21st anniversary of the creation of Ebonyi State to unveil and present to the world the emergence of a new political leader, Engr. Dave Nweze Umahi the incumbent Governor of Ebonyi State described in some quarters as the wisest Governor in Nigeria and the new Zik of the politics of Nigeria. In doing this, I will be presenting some of the key factors and projects that put him poles ahead of other leaders in his class and possibly postulate the key role he is to play in the future politics and greatness of Nigeria.

To Ralph Waldo Emerson an American Essayist, Lecturer and Poet probably foreseeing the type of politics that this new enigma and unassuming leader from Ebonyi State will be playing in this generation stated, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”. With testimonies from world, national leaders and leaders from Ebonyi State all have agreed and testified that Engr. Dave Nweze Umahi has become a trailblazer so far governance is concern in Nigeria. This visionary, egalitarian, humanist and philanthropist par excellence, an enigma have redefined governance since he assumed office that today both his opponents and associates all have accepted the fact that he has become a tool for not only the emancipation, development of Ebonyi State but has become the light of democracy in the politics of the nation.Today, under his governance, Ebonyi State that used to be known as one of the most awkward and undeveloped States in the nation has become the proverbial stone rejected by the builders, which turned out to be the cornerstone for the emancipation of the Igbo race and revolution of agriculture in Nigeria.


Before presenting to you the twenty one projects that put him poles ahead of other leaders in his class, let me formally state that this enigma of a man who goes by the title – Akubaraoha – because of his philanthropy and concern for the less privileged is truly a study in humanity and revolutionary leadership in Nigeria.

1. Redefining governance in Ebonyi State

Umahi has not only redefined governance, but has achieved within two years in office what past administrators couldn’t achieve in the 21 years of the creation of the state. This is why it looks as if John Maxwell had Umahi in mind, when he stated: “Knowing how to do a job is the accomplishment of labour – showing others is the accomplishment of the teacher – making sure the work is done by others is the accomplishment of the manager – inspiring others to do better work is the accomplishment of the leader.”.Umahi truly is an accomplished leader of our time no matter the stand of few of our leaders who out of jealousy want to paint a contrary picture of this committed leader whose goal and aim of turning Ebonyi State into Eldorado is not in doubt.

Umahi, considered by many as the pride of Ebonyi State, have truly redefined governance in the state. He came into the governance of the state when the country was in a recession with determinate consequences of dwindling economic fortune, both at the state and federal levels. As result, it was a big challenge for state governments to pay salaries of civil servants, talk-less of embarking on any meaningful projects that will impact on the lives of their citizens. Umahi came to power when Ebonyi State was considered the most underdeveloped state not only in the Southern part of Nigeria but as one of the most underdeveloped in Nigeria. He came to power when our people have lost hope in governance, as they were not only denied dividends of democracy but no longer knew what governance is all about.

Apart from the above challenges and in order to compound the situation in Ebonyi State; it is sad to note that most members of the opposition political parties in Ebonyi instead of complimenting or supporting the efforts of the Umahi’s administration prefer not see anything good in his efforts to improve on the wellbeing and progress of the State and in their attempts to castigate and ridicule the Umahi’s administration, their embark upon campaign of calumny by presenting an erroneous picture of the government as not performing or executing any meaningful project. Some of them have mischievously ascribed the three flyovers being built by the administration to the Federal Government, questioning the financial muscle of the state government to embark upon such gigantic projects, in view of the lean purse of the state. It is sad that some people, because of politics, have resolved to be blind to the great works that the governor is doing in Ebonyi. Their unfortunate stand notwithstanding, majority of Ebonyians, including outsiders, are fully aware and appreciative of the great work happening in the state.

I am glad to note that all these challenges and uncomfortable scenarios were just incentives for Umahi to do the impossible in Ebonyi State as he demonstrates his ingenuity in the arts of governance that forced the amiable Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, to describe him as the “wisest governor” in Nigeria. It is also a fact not minding the position of the opposition political parties and people that are awed by the great feats of the Umahi’s administration in such a short period of time that under the administration of this enigma, Ebonyi State can boast of the best Laboratory Diagnostic Centre and equipped Virology Centre. Recently, the Inspector-General of Police stated that Umahi is the most-friendly governor in Nigeria, while the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington described the Ebonyi Rice as the best in the entire world; while the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright stated that, “Ebonyi roads are the best in the South-East”. With all these postulations, one cannot make any mistake to declare that Umahi has delivered.

Let me state further that at a time when many other states are finding it difficult to pay workers’ salaries or meet other basic needs as a result of the economic recession in the country, the Umahi Administration, despite Ebonyi’s modest resources, embarks on numerous road projects, flyovers, roundabouts, street lights and hospitals, while also executing a revolution in agriculture, as well as the educational and health sectors. This is in addition to regular payment of civil servants, who also get paid at 13th month by the State Government. Therefore, Governor Ikpeazu was 100% correct in describing Governor Umahi as the wisest State Governor in Nigeria.

2. Turning Ebonyi State into one Huge Construction site

Today, Ebonyi State is referred to as one huge construction site. The following projects explain this better –

The dualisation of Abakaliki to Enugu and Abakaliki to Afikpo express roads which are all federal roads are being worked upon.

Construction of Roads, Bridges, flyovers, streets light

As part of activities marking the 2017 Democracy Day celebration, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, has inaugurated two bridges completed by his administration at Amangwu Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area. The governor also inaugurated street light at the Presbyterian Joint Hospital Road, Uburu in Ohaozara LGA and inspected some ongoing road projects in the town.

Other projects inspected during this auspicious event were the Abakaliki-Afikpo Road, 11.2km Okue-Nzerem-Akaeze Road and water treatment plant in Ivo Local Government Area; 25.3km Amasiri-Okposi- Uburu Road; a six- span bridge across Ebonyi River in Ishinkwo, Onicha LGA and St. Mary Road in Afikpo North LGA.

Ongoing projects in Ebonyi North

Ezzamgbo–Effium Road, Hill Top–Nwofe road, Ishieke–Odomoke road (Nwiboko Obodo Road), Amike–Abegu-Ozibo bridge, Amachara–Oferekpe–Ovuduechi Road.

Ongoing projects in Ebonyi Central

Enyibichiri Ikwo Road, Ndufu–Alike–FUNAI Road, Nkalagu–Ehamufu Road.

Ongoing projects in Ebonyi South

Amasiri–Okposi–Uburu road, Ezzama–Oshiri-Onicha-Isu-Uburu Road, Amasiri–Nguzu–Owutu Edda Road, Amangwu–Owutu Edda Bridge, Ihenu channelisation/culverts, Ntezi–Agba–Isu Road.

Engr. Dave Umahi further stated that his aim of using indigenous contractors in the execution of projects was to empower them. “It is a debt I owe Ebonyi people to also empower indigenous contractors to come of age.”

On his part, a former governor of the state, Dr. Egwu, commended Umahi for his performance, saying his achievements within so short a time had repositioned the state. At the border between Amasiri and Okposi, Egwu who was highly impressed with the thickness of the concreted part of the road, said, “I must confess that you have surpassed all of us.” He thereafter after asked Umahi to walk along with him on the road and jocularly told him:”I think with the long stretch and smoothness of this road that I am seeing it can be a tarmac. Aircraft can land it.” Governor Umahi had told the team that the road, when completed would last 75 years.

3. Changing the status of Abakaliki City from glorified Local Headquarter to a decent and outstanding State Capital

Before the inception of the administration of Engr. Dave Nweze Umahi, there is nothing to truly place Abakaliki as a State capital but more of a glorified Local Government headquarter. With three solid flyovers almost completed and to be commissioned as soon as possible places the State capital as one of the most developed State Capitals in Nigeria.

The State capital is lighted by solar powered street light. The seat of government situated in the State Capital that was more like outdated Government House is now modernised to look like a true Government House of a State. The State capital now boasts of an equipped Olympic seized Stadium with all the relevant structures that can enable it host any international sports fiesta.


Hitherto unmotorable roads in the State capital are now rehabilitated and asphalted to qualify as roads suitable for a State capital. The following roads so far attended comes to mind – Water Works Road, Ogoja–Onuebonyi–Rice Mill Road, Gunning Road, New Market Road, Nkaliki–EBBC–EBHA–Abakaliki LGA Road, Hosanna Park, Hosanna Street, Ezika Street (Yam market), Old Park, Jos Street, Obiri Street, Nwodo Street, Mberi Street, Awolowo Street, Nsugbe Street, Uga Street, Ezza Road, Udensi Round-about–Mile 50, Adiq Suite Road, Gulf Round-about–Quarry–Fide Mbam Road, Hausa Quarters, Onwe Road, Vanco Junction to Government House, Convent Road, Meat Market, New Market Road, Udemezue Street, Arondizuogu Street, Nkwogu Street and Zik Avenue.


Akanu Ibiam fly-over, Presco Junction flyover, International Market flyover, EBSU Campus-gate Pedestrian crossing, Udensi Bridge, Haraca–Oshim Igbele Street, Obi Street, Watchman Street, Ibe/Obodoukwu Street, Osborn La-Palm–Ogbaga Road, Eze & Bros–Oroke Onuoha Road, Erkanka Street, Agbado-Ozo Street from FRSC, Aguogboriga layout, Police Quarters internal road, Mbam-Agbo Extension (a virgin road), Mbam-Agbo Street, from G Hostel, Off Hatchery Road, Ezeadikwa Street, Ugo Dan Street, Emefor Street, Agbaja Road (from Chosen church, IDU Hall), Omougo Street, Itapa Azobu, opposite Grace Court, Amike Aba Road, Edema Close, Ezekeikwo Street, Mgbabor Street, Oroke Onuoha Road, St Patrick’s Church–Ogbaga Road (swamp), Diamond Point Road, road behind Staff Development Centre, Anulo Junction–Nwogodo Road.Ndiagu Layout, Abakaliki, Onoogolu Street, Isuofia Street, Okeke Street, Ugwuoba Street, Nsukka Street, Nawfia Street, Akaeze Street, Mbadugha Street, Neni Street, Ukpo Street, Uke Street, Anekwe Street, Igbokwe Street, Iwolo Street, Adazi Street, Atuenyi Street, Mbanefo Street, Ezejiofor Street, Nnewi Street, Abagana Street all at completion stages.

What Umahi has achieved in making Abakaliki a model State Capital demonstrates that this is a leader in a hurry to make his mark and put his name in the sand of time so far governance is concern in Ebonyi State.

4. Remarkable Feats In the Health Sector

A. The menace of Lassa Fever epidemic in Ebonyi state and Construction/Equipping of Virology Centre

In 2005, Lassa fever killed five health workers. In 2008, it killed three health workers and affected many others and sadly two of these three health workers were Medical Doctors while in 2012, it affected about 12 health workers with one person dead. In 2013, there was also isolated case where one person died. These affected numbers exclude other citizens we don’t have their records.

This menace was a real terror and caused a lot of havoc in the state and the major challenges the State had in curtailing it was the fact that the treatment of this disease is very costly, two; is that the Virology Laboratory in the State a Federal health Institution qualified to treat this ailment doesn’t have isolation ward with only three rooms. In this case, if we have more than three victims at a time, others are kept in the general ward thereby endangering both patients and health workers. The State can’t also confirm the diagnosis of victims until samples are sent to Irrua Special Hospital in Edo State for confirmation of the diagnosis.

It takes about five days to get the confirmation report from Edo which means treatment of the victim will be delayed and if proven positive the symptoms becomes very bad. If you commence early treatment the patient has chances of survival as the disease is curable and preventable provided the needful are done at the appropriate time

When the above ugly scenario and challenges was presented to Governor Umahi, he immediately charged the Ministry of Health to commence the building of a Virology Centre in Ebonyi State within a month and to equip it accordingly. Based on the Governor’s charge, the ministry has completed the construction and equipping of a multi-million naira modern virology centre in FETHA II, Abakaliki, where suspected cases of Lassa fever and other acute hemorrhagic fevers will be diagnosed and managed. This is the first of its kind in the South-east. This project started because of the governor’s love for his people, who before this period has lost so many lives due delays in sending and receiving sample results from Irrua Specialist Hospital in Edo State.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole who commissioned the centre stated that with the establishment of this centre that it will enhance a great partnership between FG and the state government and will among other benefits, lead to the provision of more equipment and grants to the Centre. Adewole expressed hope that the centre would help curb the menace of lassa fever ravaging the zone, assuring that the purpose of the centre would never be defeated. To me, this a feat unprecedented and marks him an astounding leader.

B. Checking Epidemic Outbreaks

The ministry, since May 29, 2015, has put in professional competence in management of outbreak of epidemics in the state. It has strengthened the epidemiology unit and its emergency response unit to ensure that all cases of outbreaks are brought under control. This is evident in the way the ministry managed and controlled the cholera outbreak that was ongoing in different parts of the state, starting from February 2015, and prior to the inception of this administration in May 2015. This deadly disease was successfully controlled within two weeks of Umahi’s intervention. The ministry also, during the recent outbreaks of the dreaded Lassa fever, controlled it to barest minimum, and ensured free treatment of 83 patients who had fully recovered and discharged from the hospital. The state government, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, has also approved that the treatment and diagnosis of malaria, in all government-owned hospitals free of charge. This has drastically reduced the morbidity and mortality associated with malaria.

C. Medical Outreach

One of the most recent achievements of this administration is the medical outreach, called Akubara-oha Free Medical Outreach, conducted at Ezzeama in Ezza South LGA and Agugwu-Uburu in Ohaozara LGA. The results of the exercises are quite successful. Over 2000 medical cases were seen: 98 surgeries, 26 tooth extractions, and 262 eye glasses issued to eye patients. Most of our people who because of economic situation could not access medical care were treated free of charge. The joy of these people knew no bounds as they prayed for God’s guidance and long live for the governor. His Excellency, having seen the success of these exercises and its attendant benefits, gave the ministry the mandate to conduct such free medical outreach in all the 24 constituencies of Ebonyi. The ministry is already concluding arrangements to kick-start the exercise. The whole essence is to ensure that the poorest of the poor get medical care of all ailments, and to reduce their disease burden and, ultimately, prevent untimely deaths to the rural people.

D. Incinerators

The ministry, under this administration, attracted 2No modern giant incinerators from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, which is used for the management of medical waste. Such medical wastes had posed treats and constituted public health hazards in the past in Ebonyi State, as what we have been using is local crude methods of medical waste disposal. The ministry has completed the construction of the concrete base platform for the installation of these incinerators. One of the incinerators is located in Onicha General Hospital, and the other one at Ezzamgbo General Hospital, and they will service the whole of the state and beyond.

Construction of Chest Clinic at Mile 4 Hospital, Upgrading of General Hospitals, Purchase of Medical Equipment to FETHA, proper Immunization of our kids, Integrated measles campaign in Ebonyi State: 28thJanuary to 1stFeb 2016, saving three Million Lives, Arresting the scourge of cholera etc,

Engr, Dave Nweze Umahi is a leader indeed.

5. Security and Peace in Ebonyi

The governor, in his principle that if there is no peace meaningful development will not only be elusive but developments earlier achieved will be destroyed, have reiterated that trouble-makers should look for other states to relocate. In this regard based on the Governor’s vision to fight the menace of kidnapping, robbery and other vices prevalent in the State, the Governor collaborates with the State commissioners of police and other security agencies to achieve security of the State. Today, Ebonyi State is one of the most secured States in Nigeria with zero tolerance and operation of criminals. To achieve this and according to the Governor, “We’re trying to man all our exit points with provision at every exit junctions with the use of CCTV to see what happens 300 metres along the road. Every base will be powered by solar light. So, we’re starting the pilot scheme with hope that the Police will assist the State with the relevant manpower.”

Setting the pace in sustaining peace in Ebonyi, thereby making the state conducive for a peaceful co-existence, Chief Umahi said he would deal decisive with any individual or group of persons that attempt to re-ignite the Ezza-Ezillo crisis that has claimed more than 200 lives, and property worth millions of naira destroyed.

The governor said that he is still committed to ensure that the peace accord signed by Ezilo and Ezza-Ezilo people, which brought to an end the protracted communal clash, is not violated by any individual no matter how highly placed.

The Governor maintained that, in the area of security, my government is awake to the challenges of securing lives and property in the state and will remain so ever. Ebonyi is no longer a safe haven for kidnappers and armed robbers. I am glad to tell Ebonyians that throughout the Yuletide, there was no news of kidnapping or armed robbery in any part of the state.

His words: “I stand on the altar of God to say that anybody that wants to ignite crisis in Ezza-Ezillo, I will crush the person. I have directed that the people that organised or wanted to organise a rally in honour of their brothers and sisters in the unfortunate incident should be made available to me. They will spend the Christmas in cell. I must be emphatic, there is nothing to remember.”

6. Governor Umahi and his efforts to secure the Igbos in Nigeria

Let me at this juncture reproduce his historical stand on issues pertaining to the future of Igbos in Nigeria. According to him, “I had private discussion with Mr. President in New York and I want to assure the South-Easterners that the President will address all our problems. Nigeria is going to see peace. We are stronger when we are bigger. Let me also tell our people that we are playing too much politics. It is only in the South-East that you see petitions that they are piling in the EFCC. Everything is now about politics and we left our hard work for politics.

I want to thank the Governors of South-East and the North for their efforts in ending the ugly incident that occurred recently. Let me assure Nigerians that Mr. President has heard you and he is going to address all the issues raised.

There is no need to continue insulting our leaders and abusing other tribes. No need trying to pose danger to the existence of our people. We are not untrustworthy people. We are very, very trustworthy. We are hardworking and well cultured people and so, we have made our points.”


Let me conclude this segment of this treatise that will cover 21 special projects embarked upon by this great leader of our time to drive home his efforts to make Ebonyi State the number one State in Nigeria,

In segment two, I will pick up other projects that differentiate this new leader from others in his class.

Monica Ada Chidinma Eze is Technical Assistant (TA) on Media to Governor Dave Nweze Umahi and can be reached through;dunaebonyitransformation001@gmail.com and quintrelking@gmail.com

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The Ogoni People and Nigeria’s Faulty Configuration

Posted on September 28, 2017. Filed under: Opinion |

The Ogoni People and Nigeria’s Faulty Configuration

Agitations for a fair and just system in Nigeria is increasingly becoming a threat to the country’s stability. This is  largely because the leadership appear to turn blind eyes to the concerns of the agitators and not see it as an opportunity to right the wrongs and set the country on the path of progress.The immediate response of the authorities had been to ignore the merits of the agitations and to deploy the military to troubled regions with the usual mandate to restore “peace”.
Peace in Nigeria means the absence of protests, peace means the people must be silent in the face of discrimination, peace means military clampdown to force people not to express themselves in ways that are against dominant interest of those in power. Peace in Nigeria is not the collective will and happiness to work together in a fair and just system.
The Nigerian system expects, for instance, the Ogoni people to be silent in the face of clearly unfair and discriminator laws which splits our country into 36 states, all of which are funded by resources from one region including the Ogoni whereas we, the Ogoni people, cannot have a state of our own” We have consistently protested against this arrangement and I am confident that a compromise will only be reached when and only when the Ogoni people will be allowed to function within Nigeria as a distinct ethnic nationality.

In Ogoni today, for us to have as common as a school, hospital or road, an Ikwerre man who sits as governor of Rivers State will have to decide. We have no right within Nigeria to set our priorities, build our own economy, set standards for the protection of our environment and make laws to improve our well being as Ogoni people.

The Ogoni story is an allegory of pre-conceived attempt to mislead the public on the true situation in Ogoniland. As an Ogoni, I can say that government is not and has not done anything regarding the pollution in Ogoni outside attempts to be smart and mislead the public about its commitment to clean Ogoni. I maintain that signing a piece of paper approving governing structures without funding the process to enable the structures to function does not amount to progress on the clean-up process.

The Nigerian government is interested in our oil but they do not care whether we are happy or not as Nigerians. They exploit our resources without concern to protect and preserve our delicate environment. We have decimated our collective heritage by allowing a third party like Shell to come into our country and violate our people’s dignity. We care not about our people in so  much as we get a portion of the proceeds from the violations. Our lawmakers, for instance, are the highest paid in the world despite the fact that our economy is no where near the top 10 in Africa in terms of standard of living. We pride ourselves of an impressive GDP but over 50percent of our people cannot eat a complete meal daily.

We encourage polluters like Shell to kill locals, destroy our environment and shamelessly use the cleanup of polluted lands for image laundering while leaving the polluters unpunished.

We make elections a war, decimating the cardinal principles of democracy while violating the professionalism of our military by allowing them to become a tool in the hands of politicians.

We grant amnesty to those who take up arms against the state while peaceful agitations like that of the Ogoni people are not rewarded. We encourage violence by rewarding it and fail to provide jobs and security to peaceful law abiding youths.

The clean up of polluted sites in Ogoniland has taken over 6 years and yet to commence since after the submission of the report by a U.N investigation team, the bogus flag-off which allowed praise singers to be all over the media has turned to be a total waste of state resources. While the flag-off which consumed millions of tax payers’ money was implemented with sufficient dispatch, the real implementation to restore the environment is still faced with bureaucratic bottlenecks.
In this emergency, Nigeria is till unable to provide safe water for the Ogoni people. Sometimes, reflecting on government’s failure to provide water for the Ogoni and the seemingly deceitful ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Integrated Waste Management Center in Bori which was launched by former environment minister, Amina Mohammed, I feel a lack of morality within the ruling class in Nigeria. – some kind of official deceit. The result is a total lack of trust in the Nigerian system to protect our people and guarantee our survival within Nigeria.
It is time to allow the Ogonis the right to decide their own future. We re-iterate our demand for self determination to manage our own affairs within the Nigerian federal republic. Self determination is a human right and the only guarantee for our survival as an indigenous community.
This underscores the need to re-structure Nigeria to accommodate and alleviate the pains of oppressed peoples like the Ogoni whose rights have been significantly violated and attempts to speak out are being suppressed using the country’s military might.
As an indigenous community, government cannot run away from allowing us the freedom to participate in Nigeria’s democracy as a distinct ethnic group. We remain strongly committed to the non-violent means to agitate for our rights which must be recovered from our oppressors through all legitimate instruments available.
Re-structuring is inevitable for Nigeria especially as more voices rise against the current discriminatory and socially unjust system. To use the words of our current president, Muhammadu Buhari, restructuring is an opportunity, “let us take it”.
The writer, Fegalo Nsuke is the Publicity Secretary of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). He wrote from Port Harcourt, Nigeria
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Mentor, Chief Clifford Ulasi: An Epitome of Christian Virtues Goes Home

Posted on September 28, 2017. Filed under: Opinion |

Mentor, Chief Clifford Ulasi: An Epitome of Christian Virtues Goes Home

By Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

The news of the passage to glory of Chief Elder Clifford Nwachukwu Ndubuizu ULASI alias Nwachinaemelu came to me as a rude shock. A man I have accepted as my Pillar, benefactor and Mentor based on the great role he played both in my education and Christian life.

I came into contact with this great man of God on 16th November, 1979 (38years) ago when he led Brother Ndukwe Duru, late Elder Chikelu, late Elder Joe Onuegbu, Brother Godwin and others to witness to me about the resurrected Christ at my uncle’s house in Enugu few months after graduating from Christ King College (CKC) Onitsha. Until I gave my life to Christ after this encounter, Elder C. N. Ulasi has been a special inspiration to me and family.

A principled, a rare gem and  a man who does not give to too much talking but if he talks, he will ensure that the purpose of such talk is achieved. A workaholic, honest, trustworthy, an embodiment of christain virtues, a respecter of christain family law and father to three Angels (Chinelo, Ngozi and Princewill) all well established in their various fields and families. He was a grandfather and a great husband to one and only mother of his children, Chief Matron, Deaconess Elizabeth Ulasi

An example of a patriotic Nigerian though fought during the Nigeria/Biafra war on the side of Biafra, has done everything immediately at the end of the war to preach love, equity and peace and advocate of virile and one united Nigeria until he gave up the ghost on 2nd August, 2017 by 12am.

The impact of Elder Ulasi in my life and lives of those that cross his path need not be overemphasized as he is bound to make a positive impression in such a person’s life.

Under his tutelage, he ensured and contributed immensely towards my university education and whatever I may have achieved in this life. He was there with me during the burials of my father, mother and Senior brother. He was a source of joy and strength to me and my family.

My initial reaction when my kid sister, Mrs Ngozika Amalachukwu Offiaeli sent a text to me to convey the sad news of his death was that of shock and unbelief because it wasn’t long that I spoke with him when he assured me that he will find time to visit my family to ascertain and greet my wife who went for a surgery some months ago and for me to receive the message that he was dead is to me unacceptable and that was why I was quiet for some time in order to reassure myself that my kid sister wasn’t playing a fast trick on me.

Now that it is a fact that our father has truly gone home to meet with our God, we his children, associates and family will console ourselves with the fact that he died not necessarily a believer but died as a true soldier of Christ. In this regard, we thank God for accepting and granting his soul eternal rest.

The challenge before us is to endeavour to live out his principles and virtues. This is the only debt we owe him pending when we meet with him during the rapture not to depart from each other anymore. Elder Ulasi who died at the age of 71+ lived a fulfilled life worthy of emulation.

Awards, Service to God and Humanity

He has tried in his own little way to contribute his quota to the development of his community and outside his community; to that effect his community has given him two awards at different times. One was on 24th December, 1999 for his selfless service and contributions to his community Ndiakwu Otolo.

In 1977, he was ordained an Elder of the church – Christ Disciples Church by then late Bishop J.A. Elioku. As well he was ordained a Chief Elder by the present Bishop of Life Dominion Christian Assembly – Rt. Rev. E.I. Moses on 26th November, 2015.

Nnewi Christian Brethren Inc. Nigeria also honoured him with an award in appreciation for his contributions towards the propagation of the ideals of the fellowship. He equally received an award from the Board of Directors and Management of National Salvation Printing and Publishing Company for his services to God and humanity in 2011.

On Nov. 28, 2015 he was blessed with two awards. One was from Aflame College of Bishop. He was given an award of “AMBSSADOR OF PEACE” (AP). As this was going on at the Headquarters of Life Dominion Christian Assembly Akwuzu. He received information that his family Ulasi Ezeanyika Family living in Lagos had given him an Award in recognition and appreciation of his outstanding contributions to the growth of the extended family. These were going on simultaneously at Akwuzu and Lagos.

His birth and early life

Born on 9th of February, 1946 and the 7th child of 9 siblings to late Mr. Benedict Ndubizu Ulasi and late madam Chirstiana Akuba Ulasi (Nee Umenwke) from Ezeoguine Royal family Ndiokwu Otolo Nnewi in the present Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State.

Elder Clifford Nwachukwu Ndubuizu Ulasi celebrated his 70 years birthday with his children and associates on August, 7th, 2016 at the historical and ancient city of Enugu where he has spent good number of years of his life.

Some of us never knew that will be the last public outing of this great soldier of Christ.

As much as we can’t query God over this at least we thank God that our father made Heaven which is the ultimate goal of any Christian.

He is survived by his wife, Retired Chief Nursing Officer – Deaconess Lizzy Chinyelu Ulasi, three children – Mrs Chinelo Uchenna Blossom Obiejezie, Mrs. Ngozika Amalachukwu Offiaeli and Master Princewill Okwudili Ulasi. He is blessed with seven grand children.

According to the funeral rites as announced by his family, his friends, brothers and associated gathered at his residence in Enugu on Friday 22nd, September, 2017 to offer Service of Songs in his honour to the Almighty of God. On Thursday 28th, 2017 they will also gather in another Service of Songs this time around at his home town compound, Otolo Nnewi in Anambra State while his interment will take place the next day, 29thSeptember at his compound. His funeral rites continue on Saturday and thanksgiving on 1st October, 2017 at Life Dominion Christian Assembly (LDCA) situated at Akoboezem Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra State.

Adieu Father and sleep on until we meet never to part again.

Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is a Public Commentator and Analyst based in Port Harcourt and can be reached through ezemediaconcept2020@gmail.com 



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