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Herdsmen and Farmers: Realities, Response and Resolution of a National Dilemma

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Herdsmen and Farmers: Realities, Response and Resolution of a National Dilemma

A Lecture Delivered by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano at Double Tree by Hilton, Boston, Massachusetts, USA to mark Nigeria’s 58th Independent Anniversary.

It is a great honour to stand before you today to deliver a Lecture on Nigeria’s 58th Independent Anniversary. I had looked forward to this moment just as I had looked forward to the month of October in particular. Every October, I celebrate two of the most important women in my life… my wife and my country. Yes, my beloved wife, Ebelechukwu, marked her birthday last Sunday. So, you can see how important October is to me.

Ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely do not know where the idea of looking at a country as a woman came from but there is probably no better way to look at Nigeria than to see her as a beautiful woman…very lovely and glamorous, but full of shakara. A beautiful woman needs care and tenderness to remain fresh and glamorous. Nigeria needs care and tenderness to reward our hopes and fulfil our dreams. Nigeria needs us now more than we need Nigeria. And we must not let her down!

Engaging Nigeria
Indeed, it is difficult to think of Nigeria without thinking of her enormous gifts and endowments; or her many unfulfilled promises. With an estimated population of almost 200 million people and a land area of 923,768 square kilometres, Nigeria is potentially a big country. But sitting on the 157th position in the global Human Development Index in 2017, it is obvious that Nigeria has not kept the promise of a huge material wealth to her population. It is not for want of effort on her part though but a challenge of sustainability.

To illustrate this point, as at 2015, Nigeria was rated as the 20th largest economy in the world with a nominal GDP in excess of $500 billion. A year earlier, it had overtaken South Africa to become Africa’s largest economy. Consequently, the World Bank rated it an Emerging Market and Nigeria became a Regional Power on the continent, a Middle Power in International Affairs and an Emerging Global Power. Yes, Nigeria has shown tremendous promise. So, I have no doubt that Nigeria can and shall attain greatness. It is just a matter of time!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not an empty rhetoric. Nor is it a statement driven by excited optimism. If history is any guide to memory and knowledge, then we may remember that the area known today as Nigeria covers a wide expanse of geography that once brimmed with outstanding human achievements. Long before much of the world knew anything about civilization, the area that covers Kaduna and Plateau States gave the world the Nok Culture which dates from between 1000 BC to 500 BC. It documents a movement in civilization that covers the Neolithic or Stone Age and the beginning of the Iron Age. It drops hints about what might be the oldest organized human society with current research suggesting that the Nok Culture may have predated the founding of Rome by about 500 years. In contemporary history, the ancient Eri Kingdom in my own Anambra State, the glorious Benin Kingdom, the Yoruba Kingdoms, Kanem Bornu Empire and the great Hausa city states are a sparkling confirmation that greatness is neither strange nor new to modern Nigeria. And if our ancestors did it, then we too can do it. The key is in our own hands!

Introducing the Dilemma
Nigeria is a fascinating study in human tribulations and resilience. But that is not an extraordinary story. Every progressive society known to man has its own stories of socio-political turbulence, mutual suspicions, bitter rivalries, armed conflict or full blown war.

Essentially, since the end of the Biafran War, Nigeria has had many dangerous disagreements, violent eruptions, wild protests and other symptoms of a society in transition. But none of these past experiences is as menacing and wide-spread as the recent clashes between farmers and cattle herders. Even at their most violent peak, the exploits of the dreaded terror group, Boko Haram, were restricted mostly to the North East region of Nigeria. But the violent clashes between the herdsmen and farmers present a different test of willpower. What many Nigerians would like to understand is why everyday people who have lived together for ages would suddenly become each other’s dread. Why the farmer who is bound to his ancestral farmland by sweat and blood should run for his dear life when he hears a rustle in the tree. Why the herdsman who had walked the open fields of Nigeria with his dropping straw hat and a harmless stick across his shoulders should suddenly become a source of fear and anxiety. And finally, why after 58 years of living together as a country, we have allowed this mild irritation to develop into a national nightmare?

Ladies and gentlemen, once in every while, I ask myself hard questions and I think you should do same too. I ask myself if all that history had taught us about our ancestors were a heap of lies. Are we the true heirs to the Nok Culture, the great Eri Kingdom, the Kanem Bornu Empire, the Benin Empire, the Ife and Oyo Empires or even the more recent Opobo Kingdom where King Jaja taught the British a few lessons in trade and statecraft? Are we the true inheritors of all those great civilizations that our ancestors wrought with their own hands? Are we the great grandchildren of those great men and women who created those magnificent kingdoms and ran them with unbelievable efficiency? If we are, how can we not manage a mild headache like an argument between a farmer and a cattle herder? Again, I ask HOW?

Why the Stakes are High
Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petrol in the world, the 8th largest exporter and the 10th largest confirmed reserves of crude oil but what keeps Nigeria going is Agriculture. That is why I made Agriculture the number one pillar of my Economic Blueprint. All statistical and geographical facts point us in the direction of Agriculture and that is why the stakes are sincerely high. It may be important to know at this juncture that in agricultural terms, Nigeria has 91 million hectares of land. 84 million of these hectares are arable. But only 40% of our arable land has been cultivated. Nigeria also has 230 billion cubic meters of water and has abundant rainfall in over two thirds of her territory. These facts make Agriculture the natural route to greatness for Nigeria. Our founding fathers knew this and designed all their economic plans with it in mind. That was what led to the groundnuts pyramids and made Nigeria the largest producer of palm oil and the second largest exporter of cocoa at the dawn of independence in 1960. And this is why the stakes are high!

Indeed, the stakes are high because the National Bureau of Statistics estimates that 25% of Nigeria’s GDP comes from Agriculture while 70% of Nigerians are employed in the Agricultural sector. At the same time, recent studies indicate that Crop Production accounts for 93.45% of overall nominal growth in the agriculture sector. In the light of this therefore, a disruption of the natural balance that has kept things together is bound to throw large populations out of employment, create avoidable food scarcity and lead to a painful loss of revenue. A clear demonstration of what could happen when a disruption occurs in the food supply chain could be seen from the acute shortage of tomatoes that hit Nigeria in the early part of 2017. The scarcity was so severe that tomatoes became an instant metaphor for Nigeria’s national grief.

On the other hand, Nigeria is home to about 22m cattle. The other day, the Minister of Agriculture was quoted as saying that Nigeria consumes about 90,000 of this figure per day. Lagos alone consumes 6000 cattle per day. At N150,000 per head, the cow business stands at about N3.4 trillion or $16.2 billion today. This is a huge amount of money. The cow business is a big business. And that is also why the stakes are so high!

The Sources of Trouble
One of the most recurrent causes of conflict between the cattle herders and farmers is cattle-rustling. Herders often point fingers at farmers for their missing cattle which they consider a serious loss of revenue. There is also the usually unspoken emotional attachment that the herders have to their cows which outsiders to the cow business do not easily understand. They rightly or wrongly believe that herders exact revenge in blood for missing cows because of this strange attachment. Another point of conflict that is regularly cited is that cattle herders graze their livestock on the crops of farmers, ruining a whole season of work and throwing families into avoidable hunger. In some instances too, herders brazenly graze on large industrial farms thereby destroying huge investments. Not quite long ago, it took all the political will of the government of Anambra State to move cattle herders away from the famous Coscharis Rice Farm in Anambra State which is valued at over $200 million dollars. We can all imagine what would have happened if we had not intervened. There are so many other reasons offered for these bloody conflicts. But what no one has been able to tell us is the reason why they seem to have risen just when the flames of Boko Haram began to die down.

Gauging the National Rhetoric
Anyone who has followed the farmers and herdsmen conflict will recall that when it started, many people did not know what to make of it. It began slowly like a typical quarrel between unfriendly neighbours and quickly grew in dimension and scale into a national tragedy. And when conversations eventually began about it, views were polarized along ethnic and religious lines. While that should be expected, our diversity should be our strength and not our weakness. However, the dominant views that emerged from the deluge of commentaries and opinions are quite fascinating. There have been strong moves for the establishment of Cattle Colonies. There has also been an effort to introduce a National Grazing Reserve Bill. Interestingly, neither the establishment of cattle colonies nor the National Grazing Reserve Bill has gained the acceptance of the Nigerian people. On the contrary, many Nigerians prefer that rather than roam freely in the wild, cattle should be properly ranched as is the case in most countries in the world. They argue that since cattle-herding is a private business, it should not be allowed to evolve into a public headache!

Introducing Anambra State
For purposes of enlightenment only; not as a prescription of what should be the standard response to this national dilemma, I would like to share the Anambra story here. I avoid prescriptions because prescriptions are usually subjective and easily misunderstood. Now, Anambra presents a very interesting scenario. Anambra is blessed with natural gas, crude oil, bauxite, kaolin, salt, gypsum, lead, lignite, limestone and iron ore among others. We have the largest retail market in West Africa. With an economy of N3.8 trillion, Anambra has the lowest poverty rate in Nigeria with $1,615 per capita. And if Anambra were an independent country, our GDP would be 17th in Africa. We have great tourism potentials with the Ogbaukwu Caves and Waterfalls in Owerre-Ezukala and Ogbunike Cave in Ogbunike. Anambra is the 10th most populous state in Nigeria with a population density of 860 per square kilometre. And in the past four years, we have been Nigeria’s safest state. With only 4,844 square kilometres of land, Anambra is Nigeria’s second smallest state. It is just slightly bigger than Lagos. But while Lagos has expanded into the sea with the Eko Atlantic City Project, Anambra has lost a sizeable chunk of her precious land to over 950 gully erosion sites. Anambra has 100% arable land. Land is not something we have in abundance in Anambra, and with the growing reports of violent clashes between farmers and herdsmen over land, my administration needed to think its way out of the danger that loomed over Anambra.

Solving a National Dilemma
In Anambra State, we like to look at the big picture. We realize that diversity is life and that if God wanted a homogenous world, He would have made everyone look the same. Being the birthplace of the Igbo, our worldview is broad. We believe in the ancient Igbo saying that the world is like a dancing masquerade; you cannot appreciate its full splendour if you choose to watch it from the same spot. This philosophy is at the heart of our people’s wanderlust and drive for success. We are almost everywhere on the planet. The large Anambra Community in this great city is enough proof of this.

Now, during our routine scenario-planning in 2015, we foresaw the impending threat by herdsmen in some parts of the country and moved quickly to save Anambra State from the looming attack. That was long before the menace of the herdsmen took over the front-pages of our national newspapers. Our counter strategy was to include the threat of a possible attack from them into the security architecture of Anambra State. We had prided ourselves as Nigeria’s safest state for a while and we did not want that profile to be shattered. Once we did that, our next step was to set up the Herdsmen/Farmers Cattle Menace Committee. Members of this Committee are leaders of the Hausa-Fulani Community, government officials, the traditional rulers of agrarian communities and the Service Commanders of the various security agencies in the state. Through the mediating influence of this Committee, an agreement was sealed between the agrarian communities and the herdsmen, which specifies that compensation would be paid by either party for breaching the rules of engagement between them. In other words, the herdsmen would pay compensation if they allowed their cattle to destroy people’s farms while the host communities would pay for confirmed cases of cattle rustling or any other breach of the agreement reached with the herdsmen.

To further strengthen our interface with the Hausa-Fulani Community, I appointed one of them known as Garuba Haruna as my Special Assistant on Islamic/Hausa-Fulani Affairs with the mandate of nurturing and sustaining cordial relations between the farming communities and the cattle herders. This agreement was unanimously applauded by all the members of the committee including Mr Sidiq Gidado, the Chairman of the Fulani Herdsmen Association in the South East. Similarly, the leader of the Muslim Community in the state, Alhaji Sule Momodu also commended our decision to give a Hausa-Fulani a position in the government; the first since the creation of the state.

The lesson here is that we must create more room for tolerance and diversity in our communities. That is one of the sustainable ways of forestalling extremist tendencies and maintaining peace in our communities. Many Nigerians may not know that 1% of the population of Anambra State does not speak Igbo Language. They speak Igala Language. But my administration appointed an Igala man, Bonaventure Enemali, as a Commissioner and a member of my Cabinet; another first since the creation of Anambra State. It is a gesture that carries a loud message of tolerance and inclusiveness.

Finally, Nigeria must hasten up to join the 43-nation group of Climate Vulnerable Forum. This Forum is a global partnership of countries that are most vulnerable to global warming and have come together to negotiate for special concessions and considerations from the United Nations. Many analysts have pointed at climate change as one of the remote causes of the violent clashes between farmers and herdsmen. They point at the rapid pace of desert encroachment in the far North as the reason behind herdsmen’s invasion of farmlands in the North Central and some parts of Southern Nigeria. It is believed that membership of the Climate Vulnerable Forum will attract some concessions that will checkmate the spread of this national anxiety. This is an option worth exploring!

The Anambra Success Story
At the risk of sounding immodest, I would like to observe that under my watch, Anambra State has evolved into one of the model states in Nigeria today. And there is really no magic to it. We simply started with clearly defined Vision and Mission Statements which serve as a roadmap to our overall development drive. When we started out, we declared that our Vision was to make Anambra State the 1st Choice Investment Destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities. We also declared that our Mission was to make Anambra State a socially stable, business-friendly environment that would attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth-creating opportunities. To ensure the realisation of these two Statements, we crafted a Blueprint known as the Four Pillars of Development which revolves around Agriculture, Industrialization, Trade and Commerce and Oil & Gas. The Vision and Mission Statements come together in a perfect synergy with the Four Pillars of Development to make up my dream for Anambra State. We also have what I call the Enablers. There are fourteen of them. The Enablers are those basic things that must be in place for the Pillars to function. Some of the Key Enablers include Security, Education, Health, Roads and Social Infrastructure, the Environment, Finance, Transportation, Public Utilities and others.

Ladies and gentlemen, after four years on the saddle, I am quite happy with the decision we took on matters pertaining to security. I have come to realize that for most of the developing world, security is the master-key to sustainable development. When we assumed office on March 17, 2014, we knew that no matter how bright our ideas or how eloquent our rhetoric was, if we failed to tackle the persistent challenge of insecurity in Anambra State, we would be dead on arrival as an administration. So, we designed a security architecture that helped us stamp out crime of all shades from Anambra State. And today, because of our decision to make security the number one priority of Anambra State, because we have donated a gunboat to the Naval Outpost in Onitsha to secure our waterways and 25 smart cars to the police to patrol our streets and alleyways, and finally because we occasionally launch surveillance helicopters into Anambra skies to detect threats beyond the range of human eyes, our dear state is a better place and we are within a touching distance of our vision and mission as a government.

Ladies and gentlemen, the results are there to see in all key areas of development. Commercial and socio-cultural activities have been on a steady rise in Anambra State. The impact is so much that in 2016/2017 when Nigeria’s economy went into deficit, the sub-national economy of Anambra State grew by 1% because of the measures we initiated to fight recession. We established the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) to anchor our investment drive. The Agency swiftly became a One-Stop investment powerhouse, offering first class solutions to all investment enquiries. It signed 42 MoUs across various sectors in the state valued at $5.4 billion out of which $1.6 billion worth of investments had come from the indigenes of the state alone.

We have also recorded many success stories in our drive for investments into Anambra State but I will mention only three here because of time. We have some interesting case studies especially in the agricultural sector where some indigenous entrepreneurs like Coscharis Farms has invested $200m in a large mechanized rice farm located in Anaku. We also have JOSAN Agro Limited which has invested $180m in an Integrated Farm in Ufuma and Umumbo and finally, Lynden Farms Limited which invested $180m in a modern integrated poultry farm in Igbariam. Similarly, our rice production output currently stands at 345,000 metric tons. When my administration took over four years ago, Anambra was producing only 80,000 metric tons. We have also paid a serious attention to roads and infrastructure. We built three iconic flyovers which have become aesthetic landmarks in Awka and Amawbia as well as the longest bridge in the South East of Nigeria which leads to the oilfields. Lately, we have focused a lot of attention on giving a facelift to our cities. We rolled out the Light-up Anambra Campaign which has turned our cities, towns and communities into dazzling beauties at night. Our quest to enhance the beauty of our cities recently witnessed the remodelling of the famous DMGS Roundabout in Onitsha. We have turned it into a magnificent monument with five long elephant tusks rising from the base to form a canopy of unity at the top over a refurbished sculpture of the Great Nnamdi Azikiwe. The five tusks symbolically represent the five states of the South East held together in unity by a bead at the top. Indeed, the remodelling of the DMGS Roundabout further confirms that leadership must inspire the society to remember what it might so easily forget. It was this impulse that informed the deceision of my administration to introduce a remarkable State Anthem which has powerful lines that inspire the citizens as they sing it at every event. By the Grace of God, I will continue to build monuments like the DMGS Roundabout to constantly remind Ndi Anambra of our common heritage and the imperatives of social peace. Indeed, Anambra State is on the rise! We have put our house in order and we are now ready to welcome the world.

We have had a fruitful interactive session with European businesses in June this year during my investment tour of Austria. And we are here today in Boston to open our doors to American investors. We would never contemplate all these if we didn’t consider Anambra safe enough for investors or if live with the dread that any part of Anambra State could suddenly come under the assault of some cattle herdsmen. To you our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, I say, come home and invest and change the story of our people. Let us be guided by the encouraged by the inspiring stories of the contributions of the Jewish Diaspora to the greatness of the modern state of Israel today. The Nigerian Diaspora can do just the same. Nigeria is a better place today than it used to be!

In conclusion therefore, as we celebrate Nigeria’s 58th Independence Anniversary, we may do well to remember that no human society, no matter how advanced is without conflicts. So, the conflict between herdsmen and farmers is just one more hurdle Nigeria must scale on her way to a stronger union. And we can all lend a hand in the search for a sustainable solution to this dilemma by building more tolerant, more diverse and more inclusive communities.

God bless Nigeria
God bless Anambra State
Thank you

Willie Obiano
Governor

Governor Obiano's Tour of BostonDetermined to ensure that Anambra State remains the safest state in Nigeria, Governor Obiano recently visited the offices of IV & C in Boston Massachusetts. IV & C is the security firm that developed the hi-tech security gadget that was used in tracking down the Boston Marathon bomber.Governor Obiano is not sparing any efforts in his search for ideas and innovations that will make Anambra State a better place.Enjoy the video below….

Slået op af James Eze i Lørdag den 13. oktober 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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Nigerian Army redeploys 103 senior officers

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The Nigerian Army has redeployed 103 officers amongst who is Major General Abba Dikko, the Commander and Theatre Command of Operation Lafiya Dole.
This was stated in a press release issued by the Army Headquarters, Abuja, through its Director of Public Relations, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu.
According to the statement, the routine posting which affected 103 officers including Majors and Captains is aimed at injecting new hands to further actualize the vision of the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai which is: ‘To have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles’.
It will be recalled that before this redeployment, the Chief of Army Staff had earlier sent goodwill messages to the troops congratulating them for their bravery, alertness and doggedness in the ongoing fight against boko haram terrorists.
Also redeployed is Major General Jamil Sarham; who is to remain at the Headquarters, 6 Division as the General Officer Commanding/Land Component Commander, then, Major General Nuhu Angbazo who now moves to Headquarters 3 Division as the General Officer Commanding, while Major General Benson Akinroluyo redeployed from Headquarters 3 Division to Headquarters Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole as Commander.
Others are Major General Victor Ezugwu from Depot Nigerian Army to Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO), Major General Adeyemi Adetayo from Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) to Department of Army Standard and Evaluation as Director Procurement and Projects and Brigadier General Ifiok Obot redeployed from Headquarters Operation Delta Safe to Nigerian Army University Biu as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Military).
Others as contained in the statement are Brigadier General Olufemi Dada from Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) to Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) as Director Combat Development, Brigadier General Solomon Udounwa redeployed to Defence Headquarters as Deputy Director Campaign planning, Brigadier General Adekunle Adesope from Department of Army Standard and Evaluation to the Office of the Chief of Army Staff as Acting Director in the Directorate of Audit and Financial Management.
Also, Brigadier General Caleb Dalhatu moves from Headquarters Infantry Corps Centre to Headquarters 81 Division Garrison as Commander, Brigadier General Abdu Hassan redeployed from Headquarters 2 Brigade to Headquarters Infantry Corps Centre as Chief of Staff (COS), Brigadier General Kabir Mukhtar from Headquarters 81 Division Garrison to Headquarters Department of Army Administration as Acting Director Manpower, Brigadier General Nasiru Jega redeployed to Headquarters 2 Brigade as Commander, Brigadier General Sani Mohammed moves from Department of Administration to Depot Nigerian Army as Acting Commandant.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Kevin Aligbe is to remain in Headquarters 16 Brigade as Commander, while Colonel Adamu Nura from Headquarters 21 Special Armour Brigade is to move to Nigerian Army Armour School as Chief Instructor. Colonel Louis Lepdung is redeployed from Headquarters 25 Task Force Brigade to Headquarters Infantry Corps Centre as Deputy Director Research and Development.
Likewise, Colonel Kingsley Umoh from Administration Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) to Defence Headquarters as Assistant Director Defence Information and Colonel Kayode Ogunsanya moves from Headquarters 3 Division Army Public Relations to Defence Headquarters Garrison Army Public Relations as Deputy Director Army Public Relations.

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