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Shekarau Confirms Exit From PDP, Joins APC

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Former Kano state governor, Ibrahim Shekarau has defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ibrahim Shekarau confirmed his exit from the People’s Democratic Party during a meeting with the national Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole and governor Abdullahi Ganduje in Kano on Friday.
Welcoming Shekarau, governor Ganduje, said his return to the party will further strengthen the APC in the state given their existing relationship.

APC national Chairman, Adams Oshiomole, commended the move by the former governor, reiterated the party’s commitment to internal democracy and unity.
On Tuesday, spokesman of the former governor, Sule Ya’u Sule, had said discussions were at a conclusive stage on the return of his principal to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Sule said the move was triggered by the dissolution of Kano state executive by the national headquarters of the PDP despite a court order restraining the action.
Shekarau left the APC in 2014.

Apparently referring to the strength of his party, the Acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yekini Nabena, tweeted: “When spider web unites, they tie up lion.”

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Osodieme Warns Fraudsters Using Her Name for APGA Ticket

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The wife of the Governor of Anambra State, and founder of the NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE), Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) has alerted members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), political aspirants and the public to beware of the activities of unscrupulous individuals and influence peddlers who are going around promising political aspirants tickets in her name for the forthcoming party primaries and warned such persons to desist forthwith.
In a statement by Chief Media Officer, Emeka Ozumba, Osodieme said that she does not decide who gets APGA ticket neither has she mandated anybody to enter into discussions nor negotiations with APGA aspirants, warning that those using her name for such schemes if caught will be handed over to the security agencies.
Said she:
“As a loyal party member, I stand by the promise of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of APGA, His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano which guarantees that APGA primaries will be free and fair. I have made no promises, endorsement or pact with any candidate. My candid advice to aspirants is to go out there with confidence and sell your programmes and plans for the people to the delegates. Trust in the Lord and do not give in to such fraudulent tales claiming that I have endorsed anybody.”
Furthermore, Osodieme charged all APGA aspirants: “Do not solicit or give anybody money on my behalf. Let your credentials speak for you, and remember that at the end there will only be one winner for every position. I wish you all the very best of luck.”


Emeka Ozumba
Chief Media Officer

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APGA alleges sale of PVCs in Nasarawa State

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The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Nasarawa State has raised the alarm over the alleged buying of Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) from women in the state.

APGA national secretary, Labaran Maku, raised the alarm yesterday while addressing a Catholic women conference in Agharagu.
His words: “There are some persons who are going about the state demanding PVC from women in return for N10,000 loan.
“According to intelligent reports, this group is representing the All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling party in the state. They demand PVC, which they clone.
“Why are they demanding the PVC and not national identity card or other forms of identity before issuing the loan to the women?”
The former minister of information called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate the allegation and plug any loophole that could compromise the 2019 general elections in the state.
Maku, however, cautioned women and other voters to report anybody who demands the PVC in exchange of any benefit.
Meanwhile, founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), Prof. Pat Utomi, has urged Nigerians to participate effectively in the 2019 general elections to restore the country’s glory.
Utomi said although Nigeria is listed among failing states in the world because of bad leadership, “Nigerians can collectively decide to reverse the trend” by electing leaders who are capable of realising the vision of the country’s founding fathers.


Abel Abogonye (Lafia) and Gloria Ehiaghe

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Diaspora PDP chieftain joins APGA

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A founding member of the United States (US) chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Charles Maduka, alongside about 300 of his followers, have dumped the party for the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

Maduka, a notable US-based attorney and legal adviser to many organisations, was formerly welcomed into APGA at the weekend by a former commissioner for Information and Culture in Anambra State, Chief Maja Umeh, who also elevated him to the status of a stakeholder in the party.
The brief, but very colourful ceremony, which held at Maduka’s Amichi, Nnewi South Council country home, was envisaged to be a small event to usher in “a big catch,” drew commendations to the Amichi Ward Chairman, Mr. Augustine Ezebulue, as it became a rally of big-time contestants for the various positions in next year’s general elections.

 

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For Chido Obidiegwu, Egbokide Nke Ino Na Okija, A Testimonial

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By Uche Nworah

 

I am making this post in my personal capacity in favour, honour and support for my friend, brother and colleague, Chief Chido Obidiegwu, an aspirant under the platform of APGA for Ihiala federal constituency in the Federal House of Representatives.

I have known the white haired, baritone voiced Egbokide iv na Okija, and Agujiogene Ndi Igbo for over 25 years.

Growing up, I wanted to practice advertising and was fascinated by the glitz and glamour. My final year undergraduate research project was on the topic ‘Comparative study of the advertising campaign strategies of NRC and SDP in the Presidential Elections’. This took me to Lagos where I went to gather materials and interview first hand ad executives such as Biodun Shobanjo of Insight Communications, the agency that had managed the NRC ad campaign, and also officials of May Nzeribe -led Sunrise D’Arcy which managed the SDP campaign.

I had come into Lagos on a Young Shall Grow night bus which dropped us at Jibowu, Yaba. From there I bussed down to Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja where Sunrise D’Arcy’s office was located. I got there before the big executives started arriving. I was able to see Oga May Nzeribe of blessed memory and explained my mission to him. He took a liking to me immediately and asked that I come work for him when I graduate. I later worked for him and Sunrise D’Arcy (story for another day). Oga May handed me over to a certain Chido Obidiegwu, the Client Services Manager of the SDP account and told him to look after me. Chido disarmed me with his baritone voice and charming reassuring buddy-buddy smile and introduced me to some of the other execs. He then took me to his office and gave me all the materials I required and answered all the questions I posed.

We spent some hours doing this and as we were rounding up, he asked me how I planned to get around in Lagos seeing that I had just arrived from the province, he asked where i was staying in Lagos and other personal questions that showed he genuinely cared. He later took me to lunch and gave me some money to sort myself out until I went back to Uyo. Chido really encouraged me and opened up to me on how best to get into advertising, the job opportunities, the ad agencies to work for and most importantly critical pathways to a successful career in advertising.

Years later, I will run into Chido at Oceanic Bank where i worked at the time. He had come to pitch for business. We re-united again in Anambra State years later, this time as political appointees under Chief Willie Obiano, Governor of Anambra State.

We all have seen the dedication, passion and style he has brought to his job as the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on events to the Governor of Anambra State. If Ndi Ihiala send Egbokide iv to Abuja, there is no doubt that he will not be cowed, his voice will echo powerfully in the chambers like the ogene and rest assured that oke ndi Ihiala ama nfu.

I know Chido to be a no – nonsense person who says it as it is. He has a famous kind heart and hates to see people being oppressed. God did not bless him with a baritone voice for nothing, God also blessed Chido with the intellect, soundness of mind and courage to roar, and thunder in defence of public good and causes, and in defiance of oppression, qualities needed to represent a people, the good people of Ihiala Constituency in the green chamber.

As those who know Chido will attest to, he prides himself in this saying, one he personally invented; ‘Obia’m na uche, ma na obi, obia’m na onu’. That’s the mark of a man who can stand and defend his people.

As APGA goes to the primaries, and later the parties go to the polls, I lend my voice in testifying that Chido Obidiegwu is the man for Ihiala Federal Constituency.


Uche Nworah is MD/CEO of Anambra Broadcasting Service.

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Taraba APC factions clash as court restrains newly sworn-in State Chairman from entering office

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THERE was a serious clash between the two factions of All Progressive Congress (APC), Taraba State chapter as a federal high court seating in Abuja have restrained the newly inaugurated Chairman of the party in the State to take over the office in Jalingo, Taraba state capital.

A high court of the federal capital territory before his lordship, Hon. Justice Valentine Ashi, granted the order which was applied by the embattled Chairman, Dr Abdulmumuni Vaki, restraining Hon. Ibrahim Elsuldi from taking over the party office in Taraba State.


Vaki was elected at the recent APC State congresses and was inaugurated by John Oyegun while the current National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshomole, last Monday inaugurated Ibrahim Elsuldi as another Chairman of the party in the State.
The judge in the interim injunction did not only stop Hon. Ibrahim Elsuldi from taking over the party office, he also stopped the Elsuldi from parading himself as the State Chairman of APC in Taraba State.
A development which has sparked serious disaffection between members of the party who are royal to Sen. Jumai Arhasan, the minister for women affair and those in support of Hon. Ibrahim Elsuldi.
Arhasan who supported Abdumumuni Vaki for the chairmanship earlier thought the inauguration of her candidate by John Ouegun has put all issues of the party in the State to rest, only for the Adams Oshomole national leadership to inaugurate Ibrahim Elsuldi who was strongly opposed by the minister.
TribuneOnline visit at the State Secretariat of the party in Jalingo discovered that Nigerian Police and Military took over the premises of the Secretariat to avert the pending clash between the two factions.
Ibrahim Elsuldi who came into town to take over the Secretariat was also been prevented by the security agents who man the gate of the temporary office of the party in the State.
Supporting youths of both factions were seen carrying cutlasses and axe at Hwmaruwa way where the office is located close to government house Jalingo.
Efforts to speak with spoke persons of both factions prove abortive as both parties were busy ironing ways for meetings to strategize for ways out.


— Tribune

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Saraki Takes Campaign To Calabar

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Supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party in cross-river state thronged the Magret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar on Wednesday to receive the senate president and Presidential Aspirant Bukola Saraki.

The senate president who was in the state to consult with party delegates and stakeholders in his bid to clinch the PDP presidential ticket met with Governor Ben Ayade, his deputy and members of the state executive council.
In the entourage of the presidential hopeful was the former governor Of Kogi State, Idris Wada, Former PDP National Chairman, Abubakar Kawu Baraje among others.

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Okupe, Accord Party chief, chairs Saraki’s media campaign team

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Dr Doyin Okupe has been appointed the chairman of the media council of the Bukola Saraki campaign organisation.
Okupe until now was the South West leader of the Accord Party and chairs the party’s committee to discuss with the Coalition of United Political Parties.
The Director General of the campaign, Mohammed Wakil, said Dr Okupe will work with other professionals on the team to effectively communicate the campaign messages of the Senate President to Nigerians and the international community.
Okupe who is a medical doctor and politician served as the National Publicity Secretary of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in the aborted Third Republic.
He has also worked as the Director of Communications during the presidential campaigns of two former presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.
He later served as a Senior Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs to both Presidents.

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Will Saraki succeed where his father failed?

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Late Dr. Abukakar Olusola Saraki was a prominent and accomplished national political figure before his demise in 2012. Albeit holding the politics of Kwara State under an iron-cast grip, he took a shot at the presidency of Nigeria on two occasions: first, under the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1983; and in 1999 under the then All People’s Party (APP). Now, his scion and successor to the throne, Olubukola Saraki, is threading same path for the presidency of Nigeria. Will the junior Saraki triumph where his father failed twice? Majeed Bakare reports:

A bold move for Buhari’s job…
Two weeks ago the President of the Senate and former governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, picked a symbolic place to declare for the presidency in 2019: a consultative forum by the #NotTooYoungToRun movement. The platform represented exactly what Saraki’s campaign team will want to sell his candicacy as: youth-inclined, cosmopolitan, savvy and most importantly, opposite of current President Muhammadu Buhari. The move however, was badly implemented with a boomerang effect attending the event as the organizers condemned the Senate President for hijacking their event for personal political advantage.

Saraki’s political trajectory…
Bukola’s late father, who attained the height of Senate Leader in the Second Republic, towered over the politics of Kwara State until he was dislodge by his son in a rather unceremonious manner that some argued hastened his transition to the great beyond.
But there is no controversy whatsoever that it was the senior Saraki who groomed and nurtured a sure path for his son in politics. Bukola Saraki started his political career in 2000 when he was appointed as Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on Budget. In 2003, he contested the governorship election against his father’s former godson, the late Muhammed Lawal, and emerged victorious. Bukola rode on that pedestal to serve two constitutionally allowed terms in office. He was also shrewd in seizing maximum political advantage using that office.
Accordingly, he served as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) from 2007 and eventually declared interest in the 2011 presidential election but withdrew from the race following the adoption of Atiku Abubakar by the Northern power bloc. He then settled for the Kwara Central Senatorial seat, after the unexpected withdrawal of the then candidate, Isiaka Gold, paving way for a fresh primary to be conducted.
If there was any romance between him Jonathan it certainly did not last long as Saraki who was then the Chairman Senate Committee on Environment in September 2011 moved the motion “to investigate the current fuel subsidy management and consider the challenges it poses to the implementation of 2011 budget.”
This motion set the ball rolling for the anger that trailed removal of subsidy by President Jonathan in 2012. Saraki again was also at the heart of the final blow against Jonathan’s administration, as he played vital role in the formation of the New PDP (N-PDP) with his Kin and political lapdog, Kawu Baraje serving as chairman of the contrived faction. This crisis subsequently led to the defection of 5 governors and several lawmakers, including Saraki and all his allies into the coalition that eventually metamorphosed into APC. It was on the platform of the APC that he, like scores of others, secured election into the Senate.

Saraki’s chequered senate presidency…
Saraki’s emergence as the Senate President on June 9, 2015 was heralded by high drama. Unwanted by the APC and faced with a cold indifference from the Buhari presidency, the Kwara-born politician had to scheme a coalition with the opposition PDP to emerge as the number one senator of the extant assembly. Although, Saraki’s assumption led to the continuous stay of the senate presidency in the North-central geo-political zone (his predecessor, David Mark, being from Benue State, served 8 years as Senate President), this upset the zoning arrangement of the APC which had zoned the position to the North-east.
But Saraki had murdered sleep as it were. He reeled from one battle to the other. From a prolonged Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) trial that pushed up to the Supreme Court, to several brushes with key operatives of the Executive who confronted the Senate, Saraki battled one prosecution or persecution or the other till he left the party to the PDP on July 31, 2018.
Saraki’s relationship with security agencies has been cold rather than cordial: the list includes the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Controller General of Customs, Ali Hammed and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, while his relationship with the former head of the Department of Secret Service, Mamman Daura is under investigation following the siege and blockage of the National Assembly after Saraki defected from the ruling party.
In all these, the Senate President maintained an iron grip on the red chamber, using the sledge hammer on erring and errant colleagues perceived to be agents of his traducers. Two senators: Ali Ndume and Ovie Omo-Agege were examples, although the latter fought back fiercely and is shielded by the court for now. While the jury is still out on the performance of the 8th Assembly led by Saraki, the Kwara political kingpin declared for the presidency in 2019, upping the stakes in an already tensed polity. This was not long after he decamped from the ruling APC with his allies and supporters under the platform of R-APC.

Saraki’s chance with the PDP ticket
Can Bukola Saraki trump heavyweights like Atiku to pick the PDP presidential ticket? Can he ride over the likes of Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, ex-gov Sule Lamido, and others to emerge flag-bearer of the opposition party in 2019? This is the big question even as Saraki has launched out ferociously in series of consultations with key national leaders, including ex Heads of State, Ibrahim Babangida and Goodluck Jonathan, among others.
Does his Kwara ancestry offer him any advantage, especially given the perception that being a Yoruba man from Ilorin is in itself a clash of geopolitical/ethnic conundrum? This is one dilemma the Senate President is going to face, just like his father before him.

History repeating itself?
The views of an article published on Sahara Reporters in 2010 and authored by Abdul-Rahoof Adebayo Bello, an academic staff of the National Open University of Nigeria, bears restating here: “Governor Bukola Saraki’s attempt at ruling this country suffers the same fate like that of his father because of his identity crisis but ironically, he fails to learn from history. In 1983, Dr. Olusola Saraki made a frantic effort to contest for the presidency on the platform of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) but was told that the incumbent President Shehu Shagari was to go for second term but he was not satisfied because President Shagari was a reluctant candidate.
“The fallout of the power game led to a grand conspiracy and discrimination against the elder Saraki, which led him to seek a political asylum with the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). To take his pound of flesh from the NPN, he directed his supporters to vote for the UPN’s gubernatorial candidate Senator C. O. Adebayo. Another attempt was made by him under the Social Democratic Party but had to chicken out for a more formidable power bloc formed by the late Chief M. K. O. Abiola and late Gen. Shehu Yar’Adua. “Again in 1998 when the presidency was zoned to the southwest to compensate for the injustice done to Chief M. K. O. Abiola, Dr. Saraki attempted the APP ticket but got disappointed by the northern cabal in the party who preferred to go into alliance with the AD for the 1999 presidential elections. How else does Dr. Olusola Saraki want to be told that he has overstayed is welcome in the north? If your religion cannot change you, then change your religion.”
Over three decades after, has anything significant changed to make for success for the Saraki scion where his late father failed? The coming weeks will surely tell.

 

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Former Senate President, David Mark Joins Presidential Race

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Former Senate President, David Mark has joined the 2019 presidential race.
The former Senate President picked the presidential nomination form of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the party’s secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday.
More to follow …

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Valentine Obienyem: When Mischief Is Taken Too Far.

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Written by Ezennia Nonso Chukwudebe
Dear Valentine Obienyem…
You know, you can actually go through life without lying or seeking to score cheap points out of what you know in your heart is nothing….. Right?
Recently, a massive brewery was unveiled in Ogun state and rather than join other Nigerians in celebration, you chose to be unduly negative by canvassing a horrible lie that claims the company in question was rebuffed by the Willie Obiano led Anambra state government when they sought to situate the brewery in the state.
Valentine, you know this is a lie and you know as well as I do that there was never a time the company approached the Anambra state government, let alone being denied.
For those who may have been swayed by the blackmail of this consummate propagandist, these are the facts of the matter.
1. The company INTAFACT which operates in Onitsha, began operation during the tenure of Valentine Obienyem’s principal Mr Peter Obi and it is instructive to note that the said Peter Obi owns 7.5% of the company and a highly prominent Igbo traditional ruler sits on the board on his behalf whilst Anambra State owns 10% and another Igwe sits on the board for the state.
2. At inception, the capacity was pegged at 250,000 Hectolitres but was gradually expanded to the 2.7m Hectolitres to meet the growing demands of the drinking public.
3. Overtime, there was a need for expansion and Cotton Mill owned by DOZZY INDUSTRIES was approached to acquire some land it owns around the current site where INTAFACT sits and Peter Obi played a prominent role in the negotiations which eventually broke down due to the unfavourable land sharing terms adduced by the chairman of DOZZY INDUSTRIES who incidentally, owns 1% of INTAFACT.
4. Besides INTAFACT situated in Onitsha, the company also owns other breweries in Port Harcourt and warri.
5. Due to the exponential growth experienced in the Onitsha business area, the company felt a dire need to expand to other areas to meet up with increasing demands for their brands especially in the West, which explains why the idea for a Sagamu plant gained currency..
5. The idea that the new brewery was initially planned to be sited in Anambra is a lie for we know the EXPANSION to Ogun state was a strategic business move to cater to the growing demands for their brands in those areas.
6. The Onitsha brewery with its current 2.7m Hectolitres capacity is capable of meeting the demands of its immediate business environment and it would not have made business sense citing another brewery when the demands from other areas are begging to be met.
7. What this means is that for the longest time, the Onitsha brewery has been overstretched to meet up with demands of the areas this new brewery was situated..
8. We also know that distributors have been known to send the company’s products to other African countries rather than places like Lagos they were initially approved for and this simply means that the Onitsha brewery was stretched beyond imagination to meet up with increasing demands.
9. Valentine Obienyem cannot claim not to be abreast of these facts when he sought to lie to the public and we know this for asides being the spokesman of Mr Peter Obi, he happens to be one of the very major super distributors of the company and his business name is PHOCLES ….
10. With his position as a super distributor, Valentine Obienyem cannot by any stretch of the sane imagination claim not to be aware that the move to Sagamu was strictly a strategic business move aimed at easing the pressure on the Onitsha brewery.
11. Never at any time did the company approach the Anambra state government for land and I challenge Valentine Obienyem to not only make such wild claims but validate them with documentary proof!
12. Being the consummate propagandist that he is, Valentine Obienyem knows the facts don’t matter when unleashing propaganda and what really matters is to say things capable of awakening the sentiments of his audience which he almost achieved by claiming Anambra state lost out in a project that would have seen a large number of its citizens gainfully employed…
13. Even a fool knows that there is no way a company of this magnitude would make such demands verbally and there must be a paper trail documenting the alleged demand…
What any smart person should do is to ask Valentine Obienyem to furnish us with these documents for failure to do provide this, all we have are the mere words of a highly mischievous mind bent on creating confusion out of nothing.
14. I understand Valentine Obienyem is merely acting out a despicable script in line with a resolve to never see anything good in the current leadership of the state but must he allow his personal animosities to becloud his sense of reason by coldly lying to the public?
15. For how long will Valentine Obienyem and those propelling him continue to embrace such barefaced hatred against Gov Willie Obiano and can’t he realize that the state has long moved on beyond these petty mischievous machinations?
16. Anambra state just came out from a hard-fought gubernatorial election where the governor was unanimously voted in by twenty one out of the twenty one local governments and I like to think what is paramount in Gov Willie Obiano’s mind is how to deliver quality governance to a people who reposed such immense confidence in his ability to lead them.
17. Anambra does not need such baseless distractions and one wonders how someone can claim they love the state whilst introducing needless seeds of discord but as sure as the sun rises in the east, this latest foray into infamy shall not achieve its nefarious purpose.
18. The Willie Obiano government is always open and willing to embrace those who desire to invest in the state as evident in the investment agency set up to attend to issues like these.
19. Valentine Obienyem and his co-travellers must be told in unmistakable terms that elections have already been conducted and won so there is really no need for preelection propaganda in a post election era.
20. The sooner they understand this, the better for his psyche and that of those beating his evil mischievous drums.
Finally, our people should learn to critically examine all issues brought to their attention to avoid situations where mischievous people like Valentine Obienyem would unleash barefaced lies in the sick hopes of cunning the gullible.
So Valentine Obienyem, over to you, put your money where your mouth is and don’t just speak, ACT!
SHOW ANAMBRARIANS DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE OF THE SAID DEMAND FOR LAND AND SUBSEQUENT INTERACTIONS WITH THE ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNMENT OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE.
The clock is ticking
Ezeznnia Nonso Chukwudebe
31/08/2018

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Book Review : The Morning Sunset By Joy Chinwe Aguguo Duru

 

By Joy Chinwe Aguguo Duru
The Morning Sunset is a book written to sensitize our people over the issue of engaging in a perilous journey to Europe via Libya. It is a story written for everyone: the youths; kids; fathers and mothers. The continuing migration of people into Europe across the Mediterranean is unnecessary. People are not born to waste their future that way.
The Morning Sunset is simply passing a message to people in Africa. Those that have not been opportuned to visit western world think that it is a bed of roses. In fact a paradise . Where as it is not like that. Many chose to come in search of greener pastures. They believe that Europe is the only place they will have the opportunity to get a better life for themselves and that of their families.

My messages to Nigerians and Africans are that our people should not abandon any tangible thing they have or their education just to embark on this long and dangerous journey through road and desert because the life in Europe does not worth such risk . Also let some parents and relatives be aware especially those that are anxiously waiting for the day their beloved children will come back from Europe but they never knew that the bones of their children have been rotten in Sahara deserts and in the seas of foreign land.

 


Joy Chinwe Aguguo Duru is originally from Nigeria but lived in Italy for several years before moving to Leicester , UK.

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VIDEO: Edwin Clark Threatens Legal Action Over Home Raid

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