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Anambra EXCO Retreat ends with Lecture by Magu, EFCC Boss

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The two-day Retreat organized by Governor Willie Obiano to tune up his incoming cabinet for a high performance came to a glorious end at the weekend with a lecture delivered by the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu.
The EFCC Chairman who spoke on the topic “A New Dawn: Expectations from the Public Sector,” addressed the incoming commissioners and special advisers as well as the governor’s principal officers on the imperatives of avoiding the banana peels in the Nigerian public service.
According to the EFCC boss, the service component of every public office holder is enshrined in the SERVICOM charter which tasks every public officer with ensuring quick, efficient and effective service to the citizenry in line with the principles of public accountability.
Pointing out that the man on the street sees government essentially as the public officers who owes him transparency and accountability, Mr Magu maintained that the “betrayal of public trust is the worst crime a public officer can commit against the people.”
The economic and financial crimes boss reminded the members of the soon to be inaugurated EXCO that ‘vicarious liability’ is a clear and present threat to top public officers who may be called out of their retirement to account for the criminal actions of their subordinates. “Have at the back of your mind that time does not run out on criminal investigation,” he warned.
Offering a comprehensive rundown of the ‘don’ts’ of the Nigerian public life, Mr Magu observed that a pre-condition for life as a public officer is to purge oneself of all vices that may negatively influence one’s conduct, pointing out that eliminating all likely sources of a conflict of interest was a good beginning for a peaceful public life.
“The Constitution and Public Service Rules have made it mandatory for public officers to declare beforehand, all personal interests. And where such interests may negatively affect the discharge of your official functions, divest yourself of such interests or simply excuse yourself from the discharge of that function,” he warned.
Speaking further, Mr Magu reminded the audience of the need to raise the red flag whenever there is a clear indication of a breach of due process in the system, pointing out that ‘it is a crime not to report a crime.’
Offering insights into the Code of Conduct for Public Officers, Mr Magu observed that it was a crime for a public officer to hold two jobs for which remuneration is made while in office or operate a bank account in any country outside Nigeria.
He also warned that ‘a public officer is prohibited from asking and accepting property or benefits of any kind for himself or any other person on account of anything done or omitted to be done by him in the discharge of his duties and further.’
Mr Magu further read out the portion that addresses the incubus of bribery directly, observing that ‘no persons shall offer a public officer any property, gift or benefit of any kind as an inducement or bribe for the granting of any favour or the discharge in his favour of the public officer’s duties.’
In his own remarks, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano observed that Anambra was ahead in many of the campaigns mounted by the EFCC and that whistle-blowing had been in practice in the state for quite some time.
He assured the EFCC boss that he had great confidence in his team but that he believed that Mr Magu’s “presence at the retreat would help the team to do better.”
Thanking the EFCC boss for making out time to participate in the retreat, Governor Obiano reiterated the warning that as leaders, team members should be mindful of the fact that they were vicariously liable for the crimes committed by their subordinates under their watch.
“So, keep an eye on the people under you. Don’t say, I was not part of it. Always be careful. If you see a crime, report it,” he advised.
The Anambra EXCO Retreat was an intense two-day exercise organised by the newly inaugurated Obiano administration to tune up his cabinet for an excellent performance that would help the governor in leaving an enduring legacy of visionary governance in Anambra State.
Signed:
James Eze
Chief Press Secretary

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My VP position won’t clash with Obiano – Obi

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Chief Peter Obi, Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said his position would not clash with that Gov. Willie Obiano if elected. Obi said this in a statement issued by Mr Val Obienyem, his media aide on Saturday.

He said that his job and that of the governor of Anambra would be parallel and complementary, adding that the interest of the common people of Nigeria would override all other considerations.

According to Obi, while Obiano will pilot the affairs of people of Anambra, he will be in Abuja ensuring that the federal government carries out its obligation to the generality of Nigerians. “The work of the governor and that of the vice president are parallel but complimentary. “While he will be in Anambra tending to state needs, I will be in Abuja making sure that the Federal Government carries out its obligations to all the states in Nigeria, including Anambra State. “While he works on state roads, for example, the Federal Government will work on Federal roads, the Second Niger Bridge and other federal projects. “In matters like this, the welfare of the people should be the leading principle and our individual concern. “I thank God all the Igbo leaders we have visited are on the same page. From our interactions with them, it is clear they see it as a task that requires unity of purpose because its success will be ours as well as that of the entire country,” he said. Obi said Nigerians should eschew hate attitude towards one another and realise that every part needs the other for better welfare of all. “Now is not the time for exhibition of hate,” he said. It would be recalled that Obi, a two term governor of Anambra on the platform All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) was instrumental to the victory of Obiano in 2014. There has been no love lost between the two gladiators following some seeming misunderstandings. Obi withdrew his support for Obiano in the 2017 governorship poll in Anambra for Mr Oseloka obaze, candidate of the PDP in that contest. Obi’s reassurance was in response to questions on how his relationship with his successor would not conflict with their official positions if elected after he met with the national president of Ohanaeze and some political stakeholders of the Southeast.


(NAN)

 

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Kaduna govt. imposes 24-hour curfew in Kaduna

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Kaduna State Government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Kaduna town and environs with immediate effect.
The Senior Special Assistant to the state governor on Media and Publicity, Mr Samuel Aruwan stated this on Sunday in Kaduna.
“This is a notice of a 24-hour curfew imposed on Kaduna town and environs, with immediate effect.
“Residents are advised to comply by this directive.
The decision has been taken in the best interest of the state,” Governor Nasir El-Rufai tweeted.
The curfew is a fallout of the violence in Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government area, where a market dispute between porters led to the killing of 55 people and the burning of many homes, between 18 and 19 October.
Aruwan said the 24-hour curfew on Kaduna metropolis and environs was a preemptive measure to avert breakdown of law and order.
He said the decision was based on the advice of security chiefs in the state.
A curfew was already in place in Kasuwan Magani.
A check by NAN reveals that the latest crisis was said to have begun at Mararaba Rido, and spilled over to Sabon Tasha, Tudun Wada, Central Market and Ahmadu Bello way, the city center.
A resident of Mararaban Rido, Mrs Hanatu Simon said that the problem began at a Church in the area where a man was caught suspiciously recording the pastor’s sermon with his phone.
Simon said that the church officials reported the matter to the police and the man was arrested and taken away by the police.
“However, around 3 pm we heard gun shots around the market area with people running in all directions, houses were being burnt and everyone was running for his life.
“Although military and police officers are all over the place, we heard gun shots all over the place,” she said.
Another resident, Julius John said: “I don’t know what is happening, I am in my house, but all I can hear is gunshots with people shouting and running.”
At Sheikh Abubakar Gumi Market, a trader, Ibrahim Ya’u said that it was a spontaneous reaction as people “just started running when they heard there is crises in town.
“Most traders quickly closed their shops to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the situation to steal our goods.”
Some youths who reportedly blocked the busy Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway and Ahmadu Bello Way burning tires, were later dispersed by security agents.
“In the pandemonium, a car ran over my brother, a fruit seller at Lagos street. We are trying to get the police to help us take him to the hospital,” a resident, Malam Abubakar Abdullahi, told NAN.
In Janruwa community, a resident informed NAN that the youths there had barricaded the road, stopping and searching vehicles coming from both direction.
Stranded commuters from across the city were seen trekking to their destinations as vehicle owners kept off the roads.

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Ex-Chief Justice Idris Kutigi dies

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Justice Idris Kutigi: dies at 78, two months short of his 79th birthday

Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Idris Kutigi is dead. He was 78 years old.
Niger state commissioner for Information, Danjuma Sallau said Kutigi died in a London Hospital.
Idris Legho Kutigi was the chief justice of Nigeria between 2007 and 2009 and after retirement, he was made the chairman of the Constitutional Conference set up by the Jonathan administration in 2014.
Kutigi was born on 31 December 1939 in Kutigi, Lavun local government of Niger State.
He began his early education in the town and later had his secondary education in Bida and Barewa College in Zaria.
He also graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, after which he left for England, where he studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Gibson and Weldon, before returning to attend the Nigerian Law School in Lagos.
Justice Kutigi served as the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Niger State until 1976, when he was appointed high court judge.
He was on the bench in Niger for more than 10 years before his appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court in 1992.
He became the chief justice in 2007, succeeding Justice Alfa Belgore.
He retired on 30 December 2009 and did the unusual by swearing in his successor, Justice Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu, who died in July. He did so because President Umaru Yar’Adua was not in the country at the time, due to ill-health.

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Osisioma Pipeline Fire: Obiano Calls For Proactive Measures To Preserve Sanctity Of Life

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By JAMES EZE

Governor Willie Obiano has called for precautionary measures to
preserve the sanctity of human life.
The Governor made the call while reacting to the fire incident along the Osisioma axis near the NNPC depot in Aba, Abia State, which claimed many lives and destroyed property worth millions of naira.
The Governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary Mr James Eze, while commiserating with his counterpart in Abia State Dr
Okezie Ikpeazu and entire people of the State, regretted the untimely
loss of many lives mostly youths at a time when life needs to be better nurtured and preserved.
Governor Obiano who stressed the need for the sanctity of human life to be maintained, through conscious efforts, urged the citizenry to avoid acts capable of undermining the sustenance of life.
The Governor while praying for the repose of the souls of the departed sent his condolences to the bereaved families, praying God to give them the fortitude to overcome the trauma of the tragic incident.

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Chinua Achebe : There was a Country- A Review

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Chinua Achebe

There was a country is just another literary paragon that Achebe brings forth, a powerful recount of history, culture, war and nationalism. To summarise, the book is a historical satire of Nigeria and Biafra, a personal and first hand chronicle of his experience before and during the Nigerian civil war of 1967–1970, and how Nigeria unfolded from an Imperial colony, to an optimistic Independent nation and its aftermath decline into a war stricken zone (which constitutes the bulk of the book) and his personal experiences during this period. He narrates almost angrily and sentimentally on the Biafran War, on not only the genocidal atrocities and war crimes but also tries to capture the Image of what Nigeria used to be like before Independence and what it is now- a failed, corrupt, mediocre, ethnically bigoted and politically inept state.

Cover Design

PART 1: The book is divided into four parts. Part 1 starts on a comedic note, talking about his family, education, youth and “magical years” and how things used to be back-in-a-day. He writes of how he grappled with culture, religion and colonialism. There is a particular expression that Chinua tells about him coming to terms with western religion during his youth:
“I often had periods of oscillating faith as I grew older, periods of doubt when I quietly pondered and deeply questioned the absolutist teachings or the interpretations of religion. I struggled with the certitude of Christianity- I am the way, the truthand the life”- not its accuracy, because as a writer one understands that there should be such latitude, but the desolation, the acerbity of its meaning, the lack of options for the outsider, the other. I believe that this question has subconsciously influenced my writing”
However, Achebe also recounts on his academic years and a reader can see how intelligent and bright a student Achebe was from his primary school days even to University college, Ibadan. He studied alongside prominent academia like Chike Momah, Flora Nwapa, Mabel Segun and Elechi Amadi amongst others and the alma mater also produced great scholars like Wole Soyinka, J.P Clark and J. C Echeruo. Talk about Alumni…
After securing a good job at a broadcasting company, meeting his life partner and publishing things fall apart, he then narrates the trail of Nigeria getting its independence, to the dark days- the times of ethnic tension and resentment. The story gradually begins to darken with events like the 1966 military coup and the countercoup and assassinations that followed, the pogroms and mass killings of the Igbos in the north, the Aburi accord and the declaration of the  Biafra War, the beginning of the Nightmare.

PART 2: According to the writer, the final provocation for the Biafran war was entirely a function of an Injustice committed by the Northerners against the Igbos by the widespread butchering of thousands of Igbo in the north as a response to the assassination of the highly revered Northern leader Sir Ahmadu Bello by Major General Kaduna Nzeogwu(The Hyena) when he seized power as military head of state in the 1966 coup. Even before this, there had been increased and heated tensions between these two ethnic groups and it had finally reached its tipping point. The Nigerians felt that the Igbos had a bloodlust for power as many of them seemed to occupy high position in government and academia. Subsequently, In response to these mass murders, the Igbo nation was furious and had to get justice whichever way possible because clearly Yakubu Gowon wasn’t providing it. Achebe writes:

“On May 30 1967, Ojukwu citing a variety of malevolent acts directed at the mainly Igbo easterners such as the pogrom that claimed over 30,000 lives of men women and children, the federal government’s failure to ensure the safety of easterners in the presence of organised genocide; and the direct incrimination of the government in the murders of its own citizens- proclaimed the Independence of the republic of Biafra from Nigeria”.

The Author looks back in retrospect and claims that the war was deemed inevitable and there was no other path to go than to secede. For the Biafrans at that point, there was no going back, it was either secession or death. An all-out declaration of war.

Biafran Leader- Colonel Odimegwu Ojukwu

The War: The war accounts are holistic enough coupled with enough facts and data as he simultaneously captures the bloody atmosphere at the receiving end of the battering. Bombs, Napalms, shells and bullets rained constantly upon Igbo land with heavy loss of human life and mass destruction of property. It was more of a genocide than a war and the primary weapon of mass destruction was no other than- Starvation. As the Nigerian republic shut off food supplies to the east and effectively bombed arable land suitable for farming, the Biafran men, women and children starved and died in cataclysmic numbers that it created an international media upsurge. Innocent children starved to death, victims of a war fought against an unapologetic, ruthless administration that endorsed the starvation of women and children as a “Legitimate weapon of war”.

Starving biafran Children

There were massacres indeed, and the most notorious of them was the Asaba Massacre carried out under the orders of General Murtala Mohammed and Ibrahim Haruna of the Nigerian Army 2nd division, 2 of the generals that led the 3 tonged offensive, the Pitchfork attack, that rained terror on the Igbos. Emma Okocha in his poetic classic The last dance on the Niger wrote that “Sons buried their fathers in their thousands and fathers buried sons in their thousands”. The Asaba Massacre and the Calabar Massacre joint together scores a death toll of over 3000 lives. The author horrifically recounts that Death and destruction were the order of the day and there was “blood, blood everywhere”. By the time the war was over the death toll hit around 3 million lives and even more displaced, thousands of buildings destroyed, property vandalised, women raped, children hospitalised and the whole eastern region came to the brink of poverty.
Notwithstanding, it was still a war and in war, you fight back. The Biafrans sure fought back bravely. Perhaps the most important battle strategy used by the rebels was the Che guevara style guerrilla warfare, leveraging on home advantage, the rebels usually made late night/early morning sneak attacks on enemy soldiers and violently battered them to pulp and there were even rumours that Biafrans ate the cooked flesh of Nigerian soldiers. ewww..

the Ogbunigwe

He also reminisces on the contingent but creative technologies used by the Biafran engineers like the Ogbunigwe, a locally made bomb made up of explosive gunpowder and scraps of sharp metal. Nevertheless, the Biafrans were completely outgunned and outmanned and the ratio of Nigerian soldiers to Biafran rebels was about 6:1. The rebels had guns too mainly supplied by the French and the Chinese but still not enough to go around for them all. He mentions:
Frederick Forsyth recalls in an excellent BBC documentary , Biafra: fighting a war without guns, that Biafran soldiers marched into war one man behind the other because they had only one rifle between them, and the thinking was that if one soldier was killed in combat the other would pick up the only weapon available and continue fighting.
The Nigerians had advanced military equipment like fighter planes and armoured tanks while the Biafrans could only make manage with Saracens, Howitzers and SUV’s. Also, The Ahiara declaration would have been the primary constitution and rule of law for Biafra if secession succeeded and the nation just like any other would have had a Biafran flag, anthem, a military and an economic policy. That was the plan.

Achebe also sentimentally reminisces of how he and his family were displaced 4 times and they had to constantly keep relocating to ensure their safety. He talked particularly a lot about his dear friend and confidante Christopher Okigbo, an astute and talented poet and thinker and the junior brother of the renowned economist Pius Okigbo. During the hardest periods of the war, Christopher remained close to his family until he signed up to join the Biafran rebels and was sadly executed as a Major. One can tell how close and important Okigbo was to the author’s life.

Christopher Okigbo

PART 3: The war gradually draws to an end, the Biafra republic surrenders to the Federal republic of Nigeria and Ojukwu flees to asylum. One can see the myriad of events that led to the loss of morale on the Biafra side- the endless starvation, the silence of the United nations, Azikiwe’s withdrawal of Biafran support, the bombing of the Uli strip, Ojukwu’s execution of the italians at Kwale oil rig that trumped International support and the recapture of Owerri, all which led to the Biafran surrender in January 1970.

PART 4: After such a rough, bloody and terrible past, Nigeria was expected to arise from this miry clay into a peaceful, unified and productive nation but after all said and done, Nigeria still remains a hub of corruption, mediocrity and indiscipline largely controlled by the ruling class. He suggest ways for State resuscitation and recovery with this final note:

A new patriotic consciousness has to be developed, not one based on the well worn notion of the unity of Nigeria or faith in Nigeria often touted by our corrupt leaders, but one based on awareness of the responsibility of the leaders to the led- on the sacredness of their anointment to lead- and disseminated by civil society, schools and intellectuals.

Poems and Notes: The book is also decoratively laced with beautiful haunting poems positioned in-between chapters. Before I read this book I had no idea that he was such a great poet and I was indeed mesmerised by the quality of his poetry. Such of the poems included in the book are — The Penalty of Godhead(already on the blog in the poetry section), Biafra(1969), We laughed at him and After a War.
In conclusion, Achebe is also a very heavy indexer and a voracious researcher. I guess writing a book of this cadre requires a dense investment into research and data collection. He cited 391 articles and notes in the course of writing this Chronicle.

DID YOU KNOW?

-The Nigerian civil war of 1967–1970 is Africa’s bloodiest war to date with 3 million lives lost and over 4.5 million people displaced.

-Achebe turned down Nigeria’s second highest national award (Commander of the federal republic) twice in 2004 and 2011 as a result of his anger on the condition of Nigeria. He writes “I had very little at my disposal to protest with, so the strongest statement I could make was to turn down the honour of Commander of the Federal Republic, which i was awarded”

-The three Military generals picked by Gowon that led the attack on the Biafrans were General Murtala Mohammed,Gen Mohammed Shuwa and the notorious Brigadier Benjamin Adekunle aka The Black Scorpion. They spearheaded what they call the Pitchfork Offensive

-Colonel Odimegwu Ojukwu(The Biafran Leader) came from a very affluent and wealthy family, his father Sir Louis Odimegwu Ojukwu was considered the wealthiest man in Nigeria at the time(similar to Aliko Dangote now). He was so rich that he was the only African to own a fleet of porsches as a student in Oxford University England.


This article was written by Farah Izu

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The Power of Heroes in the Fight against Human Trafficking

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Secretary Pompeo and Ivanka Trump present U.S. Embassy to the Holy See-Nominee Blessing Okoedion with the TIP Hero Award

Human trafficking, also known as modern slavery, is a global crime that deprives millions around the world of their human dignity and freedom. Its victims are often lured with false promises by people they trust — including family members — and are forced into prostitution, debt bondage, domestic servitude, and other forms of modern slavery.
Human trafficking also compromises national security, distorts markets, and emboldens transnational criminals and terrorists. It threatens international peace and security.
The United States is fighting human trafficking on all fronts, engaging in robust domestic and international efforts.
On October 11, President Trump convened this Administration’s first meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF). He vowed that America “will not rest until we have put these vile organizations out of business and rescued every last victim.”
The Trump Administration understands that the path to ending human trafficking demands action, but also cooperation. No single government or individual can fight it alone. Governments, faith-based organizations, civil society, and survivors must work together.
This is why members of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, comprised of survivor leaders representing a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences participated in last week’s meeting. These leaders, appointed by President Trump, provide a formal platform for trafficking survivors to advise and make recommendations on federal anti-trafficking policies to the Task Force.
It’s also why each year, the U.S. Department of State recognizes the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Heroes — brave individuals who dedicate their lives to this cause. They are celebrated for their tireless efforts — despite resistance, opposition, and even threats to their lives — to protect victims, punish offenders, and raise awareness of ongoing criminal practices in their countries and abroad.
As U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, I’ve had the privilege and honor of working with one of these extraordinary individuals: Blessing Okoedion.
Blessing is a survivor, an activist, an author, and a fierce protector of victims suffering under the evil of human trafficking. She has helped a multitude of women escape this horror. Her advocacy on their behalf has saved numerous lives.

In June, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recognized Blessing and nine other individuals with the 2018 TIP Report Heroes award. I couldn’t have been more proud of her selection.
Prior to her work in fighting human trafficking, Blessing worked as a computer technician in Nigeria. A recruiter found her through her local church and offered Blessing, a college graduate, a job in Spain in a tech store, where she could have a better life. When Blessing arrived at the airport in Benin City, an immigration agent told her that her visa was fake. She was allowed to board the flight anyway.
Blessing never stepped foot inside the tech store. After arriving in Spain, her exploiters took her to Naples, Italy and forced her into prostitution. Her traffickers told her that she owed them over $70,000 to cover travel and recruitment costs. After four days on the street, Blessing managed to escape. Her perseverance took her to Casa Rut, a shelter operated by Ursuline nuns in nearby Caserta, Italy.
During an April 11 symposium hosted by our embassy, Blessing explained how the sisters of Casa Rut provided her with shelter and care. Blessing has written a book, Il Coraggio della Libertà — The Courage of Freedom, to help others better understand the horrors of human trafficking. Today she works as a cultural mediator and an advocate for women forced into human trafficking networks.
We desperately need heroes like Blessing Okoedion in the fight against modern slavery. Her perseverance and advocacy is an example of how trafficking victims can overcome, thrive, and help others to do so as well.
Leveraging input from human trafficking survivors is critical to combating human trafficking. Doing so strengthens federal policy and programming efforts. As Secretary of State Pompeo explained at last week’s Task Force meeting, survivors, “set a courageous example of service for the United States, and for the world, by choosing to transform their harrowing experiences into powerful advocacy.”
The Holy See, like the United States, understands and appreciates the crucial role survivors play in the fight against this global evil. Pope Francis has called for a victim-centered approach to this endeavor, a method U.S. law enforcement has adopted for some time.
Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States will not rest until human trafficking is eradicated. And the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See will continue to join heroes like Blessing Okoedion and our Vatican partners in this cause.


This article was written by Callista L. Gingrich, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See

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ANAMBRA STATE COMMISSIONER FOR WORKS BAGS AWARD AS AN ICON OF INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT

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ANAMBRA STATE COMMISSIONER FOR WORKS BAGS AWARD AS AN ICON OF INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT

 

By Maduabuchi Nwalieji

Accolades have been showered on the Anambra State Commissioner for Works, Engr. Marcel Ifejiofor, for his outstanding leadership, knowledgeable expertise and commitment to the advancement of the State through the wonderful administration of Governor Willie Obiano.

This came as the award of Icon for Infrastructural Development was today, 18th Oct, 2018, conferred on him by the Nnamdi Azikiwe Students Union Government, Awka, in a follow up to the occasion of the 25years anniversary of the University.

The Students Union President, Comrade Igwebuike Ikenna, disclosed that this award was conferred on Chief Engr. Marcel Ifejiofor for his forthrightness, passion, talent, ability, competence, patriotism, zeal, loyalty and commitment to the advancement and betterment of our dear State.

In his remarks, the Honourable commissioner for works, expressed his heart felt gratitude and admiration for the award.

He dedicated the award to the Anambra State Governor, H.E Governor Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano, the Permanent secretary, directors, contractors, Engineers, consultants and other staff of the Anambra State Ministry of Works.

He appreciated Governor Obiano who deemed it fit to bestow on him the right and privilege to manage the affairs of road construction and infrastructural developments in the State.

He urged the Students Union Government of Nnamdi Azikiwe University to ensure that peace reign in the campus and as well work towards achieving a peaceful coexistence between all the Universities in the State.

Present in the function are; the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs, Ndidi Mezue (Mrs), HRM Igwe Ben Emeka, Okebo II Umueri amongst other big names in the Ministry of Works.

*See photos below*

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Obiano Condoles with Ikpeazu on Osisioma Tragedy.

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The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, commiserates with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and the people of Abia over the heartrending incidence of fire outbreak that caused heavy fatalities at Osisioma.
In a press release issued by Mr. James Eze, Gov. Obiano’s Chief Press Secretary, the Governor lamented the ‘untimely loss of so many lives, mostly youthful lives, in just one neighbourhood at peacetime.’ The Governor regretted that the heavy death toll occurred at a time in history when life should be better nurtured and preserved in our land.
While empathizing with the Government and people of Abia State, Gov. Obiano enjoined the people to ‘always take precautionary measures in preserving life by avoiding occasions or acts capable of undermining the sustenance of life.’ He instructed that ‘the sanctity of life demands conscious human efforts to keep life, especial at moments of need and trial.’
As the Governor wished repose of the souls of the departed, he sent assurances of his heartfelt sympathy in his condolences to the bereaved families, while praying God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss with equanimity.

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Electoral Bill: Senate stands down move to override Buhari

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The Senate on Thursday stood down consideration of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 for third reading and passage, until Tuesday.
The bill, which was captured on the Order Paper, was stood down at plenary for more legislative work.
Announcing the development, Leader of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said “in view of the sensitive nature of the bill and its importance, it is vital to give the committee more time to do a thorough job.’’
After his remarks on it, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, put the issue to voice vote and the “`step down’’ was unanimously adopted.
The bill scaled second reading on Oct. 10, a day after the Red Chamber resumed from recess.
Ongoing process on the Bill is the fourth attempt by lawmakers to have it ready for assented of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari had on Sept. 3, declined assent to the Bill, which was transmitted to him by the National Assembly on Aug. 3, for the third time.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, in a statement in Abuja, announced the president’s decline of assent to the Bill.
He had explained that the president declined endorsement of the bill due to some drafting issues and the period fixed for political parties’ primaries, among others.
In Auguat, Enang had clarified that the bill, which was forwarded to the President on Aug. 3, was “alive and awaiting assent.’’
The clarification was against the backdrop of media report that Buhari had again vetoed the bill forwarded to him for assent.
But, Enang explained that the vetoed bill was the one sent to the President on June 27 and not the one passed by the Assembly on July 24, the day the lawmakers commenced their annual recess.
In February, the president rejected the first Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 forwarded to him for assent and gave reasons.


This article was written by
Cecilia Ijuo

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11 trapped in Anambra building collapse

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No fewer than 11 persons were trapped under a three storey building which collapsed in Nnewi, Anambra in the early hours of Thursday.
The building was located in Okpuno, Otolo, in Nnewi North Local Government Area of the state.
According to SP Mohammed Haruna, Police Public Relations Officers (PPRO) who confirmed the incident, said the building belong to one Collins Avoyi.
Haruna said nine of the trapped persons have been rescued and taken to hospital while effort was on to get the remaining two out of the rubbles.
He said the trapped workers included foreign masons from the Republic of Togo.
“A three storey building belonging to one Mr Avoyi Collins ‘m’ collapsed at Okpuno Otolo in Nnewi North LGA of Anambra State.
“Police Patrol rushed to the scene and cordoned off the area to prevent looters from taking advantage of the situation to steal.
“So far, nine of them were rescued alive from the collapsed building while efforts are ongoing to rescue two others who are still trapped inside the debris.
“Meanwhile, the rescued victims were rushed to the Community Health Center, Okpuno for medical attention and investigation is ongoing to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident,” he said.


This article was written by  Chimezie Anaso

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Announcements, Arts & Books

YOU’RE INVITED to Life Everlasting Parish Annual Conference event in London!
Life Everlasting Parish is a registered Charity in England and Wales.They will be hosting their annual conference on Thursday October 25 2018. This event aims to celebrate positive contributors to the black community by way of a discussion on culture, diversity and inclusion.

Panel:
Cuppy – award-winning DJ, philanthropist and artist
Coleen Mensa – FT ‘Future Leaders 2018’, WeAreTheCity Rising Star – legal and trainee solicitor (Ernst & Young)
Peter Bakare – Team GB Olympian, UK performance coach and motivational speaker
Sup. Evang. M. Aduba – Minister and chief host of Life Everlasting Parish
The panel will discuss the successes and challenges faced in their individual industries. There will also be a Q&A.
Event details:
Date: Thursday October 25 2018
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Venue: THOMSON REUTERS – 30 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5EP

This is a FREE event, open to men and women but space is limited, so make sure you register today!

 

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