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Anambra poll and Obiano’s triumph

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By Michael Jegede
THE November 18, 2017 Anambra State governorship election has come and gone. Incumbent Governor Willie Obiano of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) emerged triumphant, defeating 36 other candidates to carry the day in the election which turned out to be an easy win for him, against the thought by some that it was going to be a tough contest among the contestants seen as the top four contenders.
Obiano won convincingly in all the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state with a total votes of 234, 071 representing 55.43% of the total valid votes. He was followed, with a wide margin, by the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Tony Nwoye, who polled a total of 98,752 votes. Oseloka Obaze of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) placed third with 70,293 votes, while Osita Chidoka of United Progressives Party, (UPP) came a distant fourth after gathering 7,903 votes.
The triumph of Obiano in the Anambra guber poll did not come to many as a surprise. Maybe because the Anambra people – from the civil servants, students/youths, farmers, traders, market men and women, artisans, Okada riders to the traditional rulers – had prior to the election overwhelmingly endorsed his second term bid, on account of his superlative performance since he assumed office as the state governor. Obviously, his remarkable achievements spoke for him more than any other factor that may have contributed to his landslide victory.
Not even the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari and his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, in Anambra State to campaign for their respective candidates with sweet promises, could sway the voters to act at variance with their inner convictions that Obiano was the best. Three days to the election, Buhari was in Awka in company of several APC governors, legislators and ministers to market the party’s candidate, Nwoye. A day after, ex-President Jonathan also led about six governors on the platform of PDP to promote the candidature of Obaze. However, the people spoke very loudly in one voice to affirm the re-election of a man they believe has significantly affected their lives with the kind of leadership he has offered them since they first elected him.
In his victory speech, Obiano, who dedicated his triumph at the poll to the entire residents of Anambra State, remarked: “Indeed, this victory is a referendum on the solid resolve of Ndi Anambra to rise above average in all we do. We have demonstrated that we are capable of taking charge of our lives and making difficult decisions that will brighten the future of our children. I have no doubt in my mind that we shall continue to lay the building blocks for a prosperous tomorrow for all. Ndi Anambra, this mandate is dear to my heart. I see it as a historic call to inspire my people to greatness.
Continuing, he said: “This victory did not come by chance. It is the final product of the combined efforts of brilliant men and women who sacrificed their personal comfort to ensure that Anambra’s steady march to progress is not derailed. “My first and deepest gratitude goes to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for proving to Ndi Anambra that under his watch, democracy will sink deeper roots in the Nigerian soil. Mr President promised us a free and fair election. Today, we can all see that he has kept his promise. Thank you so much Mr President! To the indefatigable Chairman of my re-election campaign organization, Chief Victor Umeh, Ibobo Aguleri, Ohamadike!”
The elated governor thanked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “for conducting what has been widely adjudged a transparent election in Anambra State. With this election, INEC has shown that it has fully braced up for the 2019 elections. I will also not forget the vigilance of the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Army and other law enforcement agencies whose alertness ensured that the expressed will of the people was not subverted. Indeed, you have done an incredible job!”
Speaking in an interview with newsmen in Awka, Umeh, a former national chairman of APGA, who was so delighted that the efforts of the team he led to campaign for Obiano’s re-election yielded the desired result, advised the electoral body to use the “Anambra model” to conduct all subsequent elections in the country. He opined that INEC has demonstrated to the whole world that Nigeria can actually conduct credible elections.
According to him, “INEC carefully selected the ad-hoc staff and the collation officers independently. They did not select politicians, or allow politicians to submit list of ad-hoc staff this time around. In order to avoid rigging of the elections, no one knew where the ad-hoc staff were coming from. The professors selected as collation officers are very credible Nigerians. All the ward collation officers came from Calabar. The politicians from the state had no contact with them. And they came in and did their job.”
The erstwhile APGA helmsman further stated: “This (the landslide victory) is not strange to APGA. It is not a new thing. In 2013, when Obiano contested for the first time, we won in 20 local governments. This is just an addition of one local government. We just cleaned it up. And this is because of the great work he (Obiano) did. He was able to touch all the communities with one project or the other.  You can see that the mandate for second term is unanimous.
Virtually all the candidates and political parties that participated in the guber contest appear to have accepted the election result. Though, some of them insisted there were certain irregularities and operational lapses that INEC would need to work on for future elections. At a press conference in Awka, the PDP’s candidate, Obaze, reversed his earlier statement where he reportedly rejected the outcome of the Anambra guber poll and congratulated the victorious Obiano.
He said: “I wish to congratulate His Excellency, Gov. Willie Obiano and his running mate, Dr Nkem Okeke, on their victory at the Nov. 18 governorship election.
Before now, I had expressed concerns about the contradicting variables that  led to the electoral outcome. I have closed the chapter on this particular election, we must now move on and return to the task of promoting good governance and the wellbeing of Anambra people.”
On his part, candidate of APC, Nwoye said: “I accept the results myself but it may not be the stand of the party. I am sure that INEC really compromised. Imagine that the party chairman was arrested on the dawn of the election; party members were arrested across the state.” The APC aligned with Nwoye in conceding defeat and even appealed to other candidates and parties to accept the outcome of the election as a true reflection of the will of the Anambra people.

They spoke overwhelmingly in favour of Gov. Willie Obiano and APGA. I want to congratulate him in the spirit of sportsmanship and brotherliness as Anambra people. I also want to call on my fellow contestants to accept the result of this election as representing the voice of Anambra people. We must join to build our state.”
Anambra State Chairman of Hope Democratic Party, HDP, Sam Oraegbulam, in his reaction, held that the Anambra gubernatorial poll was a great improvement from  previous elections conducted by the electoral umpire. Oraegbulam posited: “We do not have any argument with the results, even though, there are areas in the electoral process that need to be improved on. The vote was a reflection of the wishes of the people and it will be unfortunate for anyone to complain about the outcome.”
Chidoka, the UPP candidate, likewise accepted defeat in the election, but maintained that Obiano won due to his financial muscle. In his words, “On November 18 our people announced strongly their rejection of politicians. They traded their votes because they doubted we would truly represent their interest. While our message resonated with the people, they doubted that the political class cared about them. They voted for the highest bidder. When by Thursday (before the election) a large percentage of our supporters insisted that they will not vote unless we paid, I insisted we will not pay for votes. The decision not to pay ended our good run.”

Jegede writes from Abuja

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2019: Buhari Launches Unity Band, Preaches Peace

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President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the “Unity Band” which is aimed at keeping Nigerians united ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The President made the launching on Thursday at an event organised by the Good Governance Ambassadors of Nigeria (GOGAN), in Abuja.
He wants Nigerians to wear the wristband as a sign of resolve to stop the violence that occurred in previous elections.
He said, “By the grace of God, we shall remain strong and united, our country has passed through difficult times, on occasions threatening the foundations of our unity, but with the help of God, we have always emerged from each crisis stronger.

“There is no doubt that we still have pockets of issues that question our unity, but we are convinced that, with the determination of all Nigerians, we shall remain strong and united.
“The Buhari Unity Band is a visual and token symbol of our resolve to live in unity as one and to preach the message of unity wherever we live”.
The launch of the wristbands comes three days to the kick off of the campaigns of the 2019 elections which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fixed for November 18, 2018.

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Goodluck Jonathan to release autobiography on his final moments as president

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By Oludolapo Adelana

Former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will release his autobiography, My Transition Hours, on November 20, 2018.
The book which will focus on Jonathan’s time as Nigeria’s president will be launched on his 61st birthday.
The official book launch which will hold at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, will have President Muhammadu Buhari as the Special Guest of Honour and former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as the Chairman of the Occasion.

Other persons expected at the event include John Mahama, former President of Ghana; former Nigerian Head of States; General Yakubu Gowon, General Ibrahim Babangida and General Abdulsalam Abubakar; former Nigerian Vice Presidents; Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Namadi Sambo.
The book will be reviewed by Justice Salihu Alfa-Belgore, former Chief Justice of Nigeria, former Chief of Defence Staff, General Theophilus Danjuma as the Chief Book Presenter and Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson as the Chief Host.
Other special guests include Alassane Ouattara, President of Cote D’Ivoire; Alpha Conde, President of Guinea; Macky Sall, President of Senegal; Faure Gnassingbe, President of Togo; Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya; Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe; Adama Barrow, President of Gambia; Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger; Ibrahim Keita, President of Mali. The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and the United Nations Secretary-General Representative for West Africa and the Shel, Ambassador Ibn Chambers are also expected to be in attendance.

Jonathan was Nigeria’s president from 2010 to 2015. He was defeated at the 2015 polls by Muhammadu Buhari.


Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.

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Winner’s Chapel church Dartford, London Denies ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ After Report

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An ITV investigation claims the Winner’s Chapel in Dartford has offered gay conversion therapy

REVEALED: Pastor Gbenga Samuel (Photo credit: ITV)

A LONDON-based church has denied engaging in so-called gay conversion therapy after an undercover reporter claimed leaders said God could “fix” him.
The news was revealed in a report from ITV, where a journalist went undercover at Winner’s Chapel in Dartford.
The unnamed reporter who featured in a the television broadcast on Monday night, said: “I went through hours of counselling and prayer sessions, all directed at ridding me of my homosexuality.

“Sometimes the prayers in themselves seemed harmless, such as for God to direct me and guide me.
“I felt it changed from something that could have been comforting to something sinister and potentially traumatising.”
The journalist claims that Winner’s Chapel pastor Gbenga Samuel began praying ‘heavily’, shouting, and spinning him around on the floor within an hour or so of first meeting him.
The reporter, who attended the church for two months, was reportedly told he needed a “complete mind reorientation”.
Despite the damning footage, the church has said the church takes “inclusion and diversity very seriously,” and their activities are lawful and follow the “biblical teachings of love for everyone regardless of their belief, gender, background or sexual orientation”.
The church said it would carry out an internal investigation in to ITV’s findings, but denied engaging in any form of gay conversion therapy.

 

 

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RE: APGA A CATHOLIC PARTY OR A PARTY FOR THE CATHOLICS!-RESPONSE TO THE SPONSORED ARTICLE WITH THE CAPTION ABOVE MEANT TO DIVIDE ANAMBRA ALONG RELIGIOUS LINES.

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Anambra State the light of our Nation Nigeria is too complex and stable for a few extremists to toy with along religious lines. After reading the Sun Newspaper advert of October 20, 2018, we were convinced that some felons are out to tarnish the good work of democracy that has kept Anambra State ahead of other states in the country.

We read with disgust, the above titled advert which appeared in the Sun Newspaper of October 30, 2014. A thorough perusal of the advert shows that it is the continuation of the war against Anambra state now hiding under the cloak of religion.

In the said advert, they tried to portray Anambra state as an unstable state whose cabinet and other positions in the government were occupied by 80% Catholics.

The accusation is totally false and was calculated to diminish Anambra State and dredge us in religious crises.

We shall take the points they wickedly raised serially.

A. POLITICAL APPOINTMENT

It is not in doubt that the current Deputy Governor of Anambra state is a proud Anglican. We can take it further to still confirm that the Chief Protocol to His Excellency, Uzuegbunam Okagbue who also double as the Deputy Chief of Staff is a proud Anglican. So numerous to mention are Commissioners, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants, SAs and other appointees in this government are proudly Anglican.

Going back memory lane, we have the capacity to open up the lies from the pit of hell of some disgruntled elements who do not wish Anambra state well.

Prof. Stella Chinyere Okunna, who tripled to the irritation of many, as the Chief of Staff to the former Governor; Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning; as well as the Chairman, Good Governance Group. Prof. Okunna is an Anglican.

Mrs. Vivian Nwandu was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Budget and Economic PlanningPlanning and also a member of the Good Governance Group and, in fact, the de facto Deputy Chief of Staff is an Anglican.

Kindly peruse through the list of former Anambra state appointees and the denomination they belonged to.

1. Mr. Oseloka Obaze, former Secretary to State Government Catholic
2. Stella Okunna, former Chief of Staff and Comm. for Economic Planning/Budget Anglican
3. Peter Afuba, former Comm. for Justice and Attorney General Catholic
4. Azuka Enemo, former Comm. for Local Government Anglican
5. Lawrence Ikeakor, former Comm. for Health, Anglican
6. Henrietta Agbata, former Comm for Women Affairs Anglican
7. Callistus Ilozumba, former Comm.for Works Catholic
8. Edozie Aroh, former Comm. for Youths and Sports, Anglican
9. Sebastian Okoye, former Comm. for Environment Catholic
10. Ohamobi Chike, former Comm for Transport, Catholic
11. Chibunna Okoli Akirika ,former Comm. for Lands Anglican
12. Engr. Patrick Obi, former Comm. for Housing, Catholic
13. Ngozi Okoye, former Comm. for Finance Anglican/Pent
14. Emeka Nwankwu, former Comm. for Utilities Catholic
15. Uju Okeke, former Comm. for Education, Catholic
16. Okoli Christopher, former Comm. for Science and Tech, Anglican
17. Ndubisi Menakaya , former Comm. for Agriculture, Anglican
18. Vivian Nwandu, former Special Adviser on MDG, Anglican
19. Godfrey Muotolu, former Special Adviser on Chieftaincy Matters, Catholic
20. Emenike, Obi, former Principal Secretary to the Governor Catholic
21. Oby Nwankwo, Perm. Sec. Govt. House, Anglican
22. Ferdinand Obi Permanent Secretary/closest aide Anglican

23 Mr George Asuegbu Ijezi (Secretary) Anglican
24. Barr Gabriel Onyeozili Anglican
25. Dr (Mrs) Kate Obioji Catholic
26. Mrs Pauline Ndibe Catholic
27. Mr. Shedrach Onuigbo Anglican

C. 1 JUDICIARY

Those that placed the advert also said that over 80% of Judges in Anambra State were Catholics, here are the statistics:

Chief Judges in Anambra state in the last dispensation.

1. Justice Chuka Okoli Anglican
2. Justice Nri Ezedi (appointed by Obi) Anglican
3. Justice Emeka Nzegwu (appointed by Obi) Anglican
4. Justice Paul Obidigwe (appointed by Obi) Anglican
5. Justice Peter Umeadi (appointed by Obi) Catholic
Anambra State Judiciary has 18 Judges. The under listed, 10 in number, belong to Anglican faith, while the rest belong to Catholic and other faiths:

1. Justice Ijeoma Onwuamaegbu Anglican
2. Justice O.M Anyachebelu Anglican
3. Justice J.I Nweze Anglican
4. Justice O.C. Amaechina Anglican
5. Justice P.C Obiora Anglican
6. Justice V. N Agbata Anglican
7. Justice G.C Anulude Anglican
8. Justice Ike Ogu Anglican
9. Justice C.C Okaa Anglican
10. Justice Otti Anglican

C.2 JUDICIARY

The Customary Court of Appeal became functional in Anambra State during the last dispensation. The two Presidents of the court appointed then were Anglican!

1. Justice Chinwe Amaechi Anglican.
2. Justice Samuel Okoye Anglican

C.3 JUDICIARY

The Magistrates Cadre has far more Anglicans than Catholics and other denominations put together..

D. PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CHURCH ON HEALTH

Anambra state supports Anglican hospitals that did not fall under the original hospitals slated for assistance, namely, Faith Hospital and Maternity owned by the Anglican Diocese of Awka. Another one is the Amichi Diocesan Hospital. Anambra state also assisted hospitals owned by the Pentecostal fellowship, an example being Jesus the Physician Hospital at Awka.

In Anambra state partnership with the Churches to build and rebuild institutions, the state built 10 maternities and four of them were for the Anglican Church and are located in:

1. Umueje, Anyamelum L.G.A
2. Awba-Ofenmili, Akwa North L.G.A
3. Ihiala, Ihiala L.G.A
4. Umunze, Orumba South L.G.A

E. RETURN OF SCHOOLS

On the return of schools, there was no way any particular denomination was favoured. Schools taken over by Government in 1970 were all gazetted and it was those schools that were returned. Anglican Church benefitted more from some local Authority schools that were also returned to them. In few places there were disputes, Government set up a Committee to look into the challenges and resolve it.

Following the heroic return of schools, Anambra State Government gave to Catholic and Anglican Churches over 2 Billion Naira each to rehabilitate those schools and still dolling out millions every year to the curchrs in their partnership for a better Anambra. Anambra currently continued to pay the salaries of both tutorial and non-tutorial staff. This is now being adopted as a model across the globe.

Today, schools in Anambra come first in all external examinations. This is what Anambrarians should be celebrating rather than condone people who vilify the government who was the architect of it all.

F. CONTINUED SUPPORT TO THE CHURCH.

In line with the development agenda of the government, churches in Anambra State still benefits from the government. Below are the some of the financial assistance to some Anglican diocese in Anambra state.

1. Anglican Diocese of Aguata 5 Million for faith-based micro credit scheme/vehicle
2. Anglican Diocese of Ihiala 3 Million for faith-based micro credit/vehicle
3. Anglican Diocese of Amichi 3 Million for faith-based micro credit/vehicle
4. Anglican Diocese of Niger West 3 Million for faith-based micro credit/vehicle
5. Anglican Diocese of Mbamili a bus for their newly established secondary school
6. Other Anglican/ Methodist Dioceses and some other religious ​ ​denominations in the state benefitted

G. THOSE SENT TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR POLICY AND STRATEGIC STUDIES.

Among the Five persons sent to the Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at Kuru, Plateau State by Anambra state government, only two were Catholic. They also insinuated that the state is paying catholic priests and bishops salaries. This is the worst blackmail any human can peddle again a peace living state as Anambra.

We know their plans which is to divide Anambra state along religious lines going into the general election. Their plans have failed because Anambra state in in the hand of the God Almighty. Support Anambra state. Support APGA, Support governances.

ALLIANCE FOR EQUITY AND JUSTICE.

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Governor Willie Obiano sends early Christmas Gift

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-Head of Service takes delivery of first Batch of Christmas Rice for Civil servants-

…distribution commence 19th November, 2018.

Anambra State Head of Service, *Barr. Harry Udu*, today at the State Secretariat Complex, received the first batch of Christmas Rice for onward distribution to Civil Servants across the state.

On ground to make the presentation was *Hon. Confidence Asodo,* The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Finance and Secretary (JAC) stated that this is one of the many ways His Excellency, *Governor Willie Obiano* is reaching out once again to the Civil Servants across the State.

Hon. Azodo who stated that the disbursement will commence on the 19th of November 2018, also disclosed that the Governor has further directed that the payment of leave allowances of Civil servants commence from the first week of December 2018 so as to ensure that all Civil servants receive all due packages before Christmas.

According to him, the state Government has procured over 100,000 bags of Anambra cultivated and processed rice for the civil servants.

*Barr. Harry Udu,* Thanked His Excellency for keeping to his promise of making the Christmas of the workers memorable despite the harsh economy and pledged the support and loyalty of the civil servants to the people’s Governor.

Addressing Journalists during the presentation, Anambra Billionaire businessman and Chairman CEO Anambra Rice Mills Limited /Stine Group, *Chief Akai Egwuonwu* (Ume-Ebube Agu Nigeria) emphasised that every grain of the rice to be presented were cultivated, harvested and processed here in Anambra State and appreciated the support the Willie Obiano administration has given to both the rice farmers and the processors. Promising to deliver the best quality as his company is known for.

“Governor Willie Obiano has always proven that the welfare of the workers comes first, hence his timely payment of Salaries and other welfare packages ”


-Ofoneme Daniel-Scott
Anambra State Secretariat Awka

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Obiano Commends Anambra Assembly for Overcoming Crisis

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The Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano has commended the members of the Anambra State House of Assembly for the mature and wise way they handled the minor misunderstanding that arose in the House on Tuesday, November 13, 2018.
Speaking from Paris where he is on official tour with President Buhari, Governor Obiano commended the Speaker of the House, Hon Mrs Rita Maduagwu, the principal officers and other members of the House for rising to the acid test of true democracy and peacefully resolving the mild misunderstanding that erupted among them saying that the matter would have degenerated to something unpleasant if handled by a less competent crop of leaders.
The Governor expressed confidence in the ability of Anambra lawmakers to always resolve their differences in the truest tradition of representative democracy and forge stronger ties that would accelerate the development of the state.
He also expressed contentment with the assurances by the Speaker and the Principal Officers of the House that whatever grey areas that might be still lingering in the House would be amicably resolved in the next few days.
Speaking further, Governor Obiano assured that Anambra remains Nigeria’s most peaceful and safe state and that his administration would continue to work assiduously to ensure that the state maintains that status.

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BREAKING NEWS : Ikem Uzoezie In Failed Attempt To Impeach Hon. Rita Maduagwu, The Current Speaker House of Assembly.

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The attempt by some members of the Anambra state House of Assembly led by Hon. Ikem Uzoezie and Hon. Harford Oseke, Victor Okoye, etc to unlawfully impeach the current speaker of the state Assembly, Rtn Hon. Rita Mmaduawu proved abortive.

It was gathered that some aggrieved members of the state Assembly today initiated an impeachment process against the speaker of the House which they intend to extend against the executive governor of Anambra state ,Chief (Dr) Willie Obiano but the process became frustrated owing to its failure to get the required 2/3 majority as required by law.

Unfortunately for the aggrieved members of the House who felt that they didn’t make it for 3rd and 4th tenure because they didn’t get the support of their constituents , and therefore had resorted for an illegal impeachment process, failed to achieve their selfish interest when the symbol of authority was not on ground to authenticate their act.

Interestingly, good atmosphere shall soon return to the state Assembly with the status-quo in maintenance. With this, the attempt by political despradors to return Anambra state her dark anarchy state has failed.

The people of the state are requested to disregard the rumour from disgruntled elements who believe that they have succeeded in impeaching the speaker as it is both unfounded and abortive mission.

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Anambra innovation centre: Brainchild of Gov Obiano

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By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
It was a very arresting sight to behold as Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State paced about under the sweltering afternoon sun. The all-action Governor could not be held back by the scorching sun as he took personal charge of going from stand to stand inspecting creative craft works being exhibited by the students of the Government Technical Colleges in Anambra State. On display were prototype vehicles running on water, hydro-powered generators, red bricks, blocks, assorted robots, modern cooking utensils, sports gadgets, diverse confectioneries, ultra-modern furniture, building accessories etc.

The splendid event was the 2018 Anambra State Technical and Creativity Day organised by the Anambra State Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy in alliance with the Ministry of Basic Education.
The day marked the grand finale following a series of competitions in the fields of Technovation, script writing, acting, music and dancing.
The visibly satisfied Governor Obiano announced his plan to establish the Anambra Innovation Centre to be domiciled in any of the universities in Anambra State. The proposed centre will provide the much-cherished opportunity for smart tech-heads with bright ideas to explore their innate potentials.
The inspiration for Governor Obiano to initiate the Anambra Innovation Centre came from his recent visit to the United States where he undertook a working tour of the Cambridge Innovation Centre in Boston, Massachusetts. A real estate wonder, the Cambridge Innovation Centre (CIC)
is popularly hailed as the “community of entrepreneurs.” Founded in 1999 by the esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the CIC houses such preeminent companies as Google, Maven Technologies that became a Yahoo subsidiary, Great Point Energy, HubSpot etc.
It is Governor Obiano’s plan that the Anambra Innovation Centre will replicate the feats of the CIC in this modern day that the service industries have overtaken the manufacturing sector.
The Anambra State government will, in the next fortnight, sponsor seven persons to the United States to embark on a study of the Cambridge Innovation Centre model. Among the seven persons designated for the study tour to America are the two youngest commissioners in the Anambra State cabinet, to wit, Mark Okoye, who is the 31-year-old Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget Development; and also, the Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy, Bonaventure Enemali, who is equally aged 31. Government and non-government officials will make the trip to ensure a profound replication of the Cambridge Innovation Centre in Anambra State.
Governor Obiano had, from the very beginning, given pride of place to technical education in Anambra State by making it entirely tuition free. He added one technical school to the 11 he met when he came to power. He has ensured that all the courses of the 12 technical colleges were now accredited as opposed to the unaccredited status he met. The 7,500 technical students in Anambra State have been duly armed to conquer as was on display at the 2018 Technical and Creativity Day in Awka.
The youthful Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy, Bonaventure Enemali, stressed on the occasion: “The integration of the creative economy in my Ministry has opened up a new dimension in government’s efforts to effectively address the challenges facing the youths.” He revealed that the ministry was “collaborating with NGOs to fully realise the mandate of discovering, developing and deploying talents in youths.”
For the resourceful Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof Kate Omenugha, the collaboration between her ministry and the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy “is in keeping with the state government’s vision of availing Anambra children education that is globally competitive.” She reiterated that through the governor’s intervention, 26 trade subjects have received full accreditation in the technical colleges in the State.
The creativity dimension of the day featured drama, dance and music. Governor Obiano made the crucial point that he was determined to put in place a creative economy not unlike California in the United States. It would entail marrying entertainment to technology, as in Hollywood matching up with Silicon Valley.
Unlike in the Caribbean where music is mostly seen merely entertainment sans management, Anambra State will embrace the Californian model by using astute management and technology to reap the many dividends inherent in the entertainment industry.
Governor Obiano presented cheques to the winners of the various categories of contests. Miss Christabelle Ezenekwe, aged 14, the winner in the Acting Category, received the sum of N500,000. She was full of thanks to Governor Obiano for the encouragement and support that will help her further her education and acting career.
The inauguration of the Anambra Young Innovators, a group of youths with ideas on how to provide solutions through technology, was a major highlight of the day. The Anambra Youths Art Group was equally unveiled.
Anambra State is, indeed, poised on a great drive toward leading the charge in technology and creativity with Governor Obiano on the driving seat.

Uzoatu wrote in from Lagos

 

 

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Nigeria Names Fifth Commander in Under 2 Years To Lead Fight Against Boko Haram

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Nigeria has named its fifth commander in less than 2 years to lead the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency, the army said on Saturday, a move military sources say was related to continued attacks by Islamists.

The attacks could hurt President Muhammadu Buhari’s chances of re-election in Feb. 2019. He campaigned in 2015 vowing to end the insurgency but the conflict is entering its 10th year with attacks by Boko Haram and a group that splintered from it, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA).

Major General Abba Dikko, who in July took over command of Operation Lafiya Dole, has been replaced as the head of that operation by Major General Benson Akinroluyo, the army said in an emailed statement that outlined dozens of redeployments.

Dikko has been moved to the Department of Civil Military Affairs to fill the position of chief of civil military affairs.

“The Nigerian Army has redeployed some of its officers from Operation Lafiya Dole, Operation Delta Safe, as well as over stayed officers from the theatre as part of routine posting,” the army said in the statement.

Two military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was redeployed because of attacks by Islamists since he took over.

Since July, when Dikko was appointed, dozens of Nigerian troops have been killed in battles with militants and ISWA killed two abducted aid workers.

Soldiers also staged a protest at an airport in September.

An army spokesman did not immediately respond to text messages and phone calls seeking further details on the decision to replace Dikko as the head of the fight against Islamists just months after he took the role.


Reuter

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Diezani Alison-Madueke to be extradited from UK—EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed that the process for the extraditing former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke from the United Kingdom has begun.
Acting Spokesman of the commission, Mr Tony Orilade, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
There have been calls from different quarters for the extradition of the former minister over several allegations of impropriety against her.
According to Orilade, EFCC’s Operations Department has made presentation to the Legal Department to commence the process, and that process has commenced.
He, however, said that the action had to be processed through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, explaining that it was not something the commission would commence and conclude on its own.
“It is ongoing. Within the next few weeks, the extent to which we have gone will be made known to the public.
“It is not a fresh case; it is not a fresh petition that is just being looked into; the whole process is a total package.
“This extradition is just an aspect of Diezani’s investigation and commencement of trial,” he said.
In 2017, a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the final forfeiture of N7.6 billion alleged loot recovered from the former minister to the Federal Government.
Justice Abdulazeez Anka granted an application by the EFCC seeking the final forfeiture of the money to the government.
Granting the application, the judge had said: “I have read the motion on notice seeking the final forfeiture of the sum of N7.6 billion reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.
“I have also gone through the affidavit in support of the application.
“In the circumstances, I am of the view that the application has merit and is hereby granted as prayed. Parties have a right of appeal.”
In October, 2017, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had said that Nigeria had no immediate plan to bring Alison -Madueke back home to face trial.
Alison -Madueke, who is being investigated in the UK, had urged the Federal Government to bring her back to the country to face corruption charges against her.
But, Malami said that bringing her back to the country would jeopardise the investigation being carried on her in the UK.
“Steps have been taken by the United Kingdom authorities on issues bothering on corrupt practices involving Nigerians.
“If Nigeria feels strongly that there is need to bring Mrs Diezani Alison -Madueke here to face charges of corruption, government will not hesitate to do that.
“As things stand now, there is no need for that since the UK Government is already investigating her,’’ he had said.
The EFCC spokesman could not, however, say the point at which it became necessary to seek extradition of the former minister.

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