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Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi Feast Day Jan 20 – Full Text

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Mount St. Bernard Abbey: Re-internment of the remains of the Lulworth Monks & Blessed Cyprian Tansi.
Re-Internment of Lulworth Monks at Mt. St. Bernard Abbey at which BLESSED CYPRIAN TANSI was present and appears.

Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi (born in Aguleri, Anambra State, Nigeria in September 1903 – died in Leicester, England, 24 January 1964) was an Igbo Nigerian ordained a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria on 19 December 1937. He worked in the parishes of Nnewi, Dunukofia, Akpu/Ajalli and Aguleri.
He was later a Cistercian Monk at Mount Saint Bernard Monastery in England. After being recommended by Cardinal Francis Arinze, who was inspired by Tansi as a boy (he had been one of Tansi’s students and knew him personally), he was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 22 March 1998, who said, “Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi is a prime example of the fruits of holiness which have grown and matured in the Church in Nigeria since the Gospel was first preached in this land. He received the gift of faith through the efforts of the missionaries, and taking the Christian way of life as his own he made it truly African and Nigerian.”
Heritage and Early Life
Before he was born, the British had come to colonize Nigeria. The British [Royal Niger Company] was traded in Aguleri before Michael was born, and buying palm oil from the local people to sell abroad. An incident happened when a local person named Onwurume wanted to take a little palm oil to put on his roasted yam (yam is the staple food of Igbo people, and palm oil to yams is the cultural equivalent of butter to bread) and he decided to puncture a barrel of palm oil to get some. When the hole he made caused the entire barrel to be emptied out, he ran away but was grabbed by employees of the Company and put into custody. When the local people heard about it they gathered together to negotiate with the company agents, but the company called for military reinforcements and arrested the twelve chiefs who came to negotiate, and then afterwards proceeded to attack the neighbouring villages, burning down the homes of the local people, pillaging their property as well as mistakenly destroying a nearby village of a different group that had no relation to the incident.
Michael’s father was Tansi of Igbezunu, Aguleri. He was one of the people taken hostage by the Royal Niger Company, and later released. Later he named his firstborn son ‘Iwe-egbune’ shortened to Iwene, meaning ‘let malice not kill’; which was the birth-name of Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi. His father was a pagan, but not a polygamist, and he married twice, the second wife after the first one died. Michael was his first born, and he had another son with his first wife. His second wife gave him four boys and one girl.
His parents were poor farmers.
When he was a young child, he became permanently blinded in one of his eyes as a result of a mud-fight with other children.
His father sent Iwene to a Catholic mission school, with the intention of getting his son to receive a better education that would help lead their family out of poverty and would never again be taken advantage of by the westerners. Michael automatically became a Catholic by being enrolled and taught at the school, and he was baptized in 1913 with the Christian name of Michael.
Upon graduating, he became a teacher, and worked as a teacher from 1919-1925.
Seminarian-
At that time there was little enthusiasm for Blacks becoming priests in Nigeria. The Bishop was Irish, and most of the clergy were Europeans. Bishop Shanahan saw the native Igbo, even after conversion, as still being steeped in paganism, and that it was going to be difficult to teach them to be proper priests. While Igbo could become priests they were subject to strict discipline and were often expelled from seminary for relatively minor lapses. The priests who taught them were concerned that only the very best men should become priests.
Michael attended seminary from 1925-1937. His family was appalled at his entrance to the seminary, because they wanted him to go into business or something that would take them out of poverty, which was what his father had always planned. His family was poor and they desperately needed his help, but he felt that God, the same God he had learned about in the mission school his parents had sent him to as a child as a means of getting material benefits for the family, wanted him to continue in the seminary rather than do something else.
Parish priest
At that time in Nigeria, almost all priests were foreign missionaries. Few Africans were being ordained to the priesthood. The foreign missionaries were generally unwilling to live in the same poverty or conditions that the native-born Nigerians endured, and as a result if an area wanted a parish priest the local people had to get their money together and be able to supply enough money so that the priest could live well. This included building a church and rectory (which rather than adobe or mud, could be brick or concrete, with two stories and a zinc roof), buying a car, scooter or bicycle for the priest’s use, European style foods including wine, chicken, tea, coffee, sausages, peas, potatoes, imported foods, etc.
As Black priests became more common some often followed the lifestyle of the foreign missionaries. Monks and nuns also lived more comfortably than most Nigerians and some people began looking at taking holy orders as a priest, monk or nun as a way to escape poverty.
When Michael became a parish priest, he refused to live in this fashion. He lived a very austere life in comparison to the other priests around him. He refused to live in a nice home, and he would build his own home using adobe, mud brick or other traditional materials. He would sleep on any bed even if it is uncomfortable. He would eat even poorer food than what the local people ate, surviving on tiny portions of yam. He sometimes had a motorbike provided to him, but he often preferred to use a bicycle or even just to walk. He was not deterred from doing his work by tropical rainstorms.
His lifestyle shocked and amazed the Nigerian Catholics, who were not accustomed to this kind of priest. And he became extremely popular and loved among the four parishes that he served in. He organized the community to help the poor and needy, and he personally would help people to build their own homes or perform other projects. He never insisted that poor people pay the AMC, although for richer people he insisted. He was very good at building homes, and taught people new building techniques with adobe or mud brick that were copied and used by the whole community. He was remembered as always being very kind.
He was unyielding in confronting vice among his flock. For example, towards the issue of pre-marital sex, he would not allow men to see their brides before they got married, and he would organize the community to place the bride to be in a special home wherein she would be looked after until she got married, and if the groom attempted to go there without Fr. Tansi’s permission, he could be penalized. He also had a women’s group organized who would enforce disciplines on their own members to avoid pre-marital sex and deter abortion. He was also a very strict disciplinarian with students who failed to work hard at the parish school to the point of hiding near the school, waiting for the bell to ring, and then when he saw students coming late he would come out of his hiding place and penalise them for coming late to school.
He also stood up against oppression of women within the traditional culture and advised women to fight back against those who would rape them or mistreat them. On one occasion, a female parishioner was attacked by a group of pagan males, and she fought back against them, and Fr Michael, who was nearby, came on his bicycle and joined with her and fought them until they fled. He then encouraged her to bring the assailants to court and she did, and won the case against them, forcing them each to pay her four pounds; this case was a milestone in the establishment of women’s rights in Nigeria.
He also was opposed to some aspects of the traditional pagan culture in Nigeria, especially the masquerades, who were believed to be spirits and used to punish innocent people at times. Nigerian pagans had murdered his own mother after claiming she was a witch who had caused mischief.
He gave the community advice and teachings about the right way to live in a practical fashion. For example, there were many mango trees in his locale, and it was common for people to go to the trees and throw rocks at the fruit, and in the process they would knock down far more than they were going to eat, or they knocked down the unripe fruit along with the ripened fruit; and as a result the tree would be denuded before the season was over. Michael considered this very wasteful, and told his parishioners to pluck each mango individually so that nothing was wasted and that they would not lack mangoes to eat later.
He worked in four large parishes: Nnewi, Dunukofia, Akpu/Ajalli and Aguleri (his own home town).
He was also remembered as being a perfectionist, who wants things to be done in the most perfect of way possible, which sometimes placed a burden on those who were under him that they resented.
Trappist Monk
While serving in his last parish, in his own hometown of Aguleri from 1949-1950, Michael began to become attracted to the religious life and was asking about becoming a monk. At that time there were no monasteries established in Nigeria, and the bishop was interested in the idea of sending some candidates to a monastery in Europe who would become monks in Europe and later would return to Nigeria to start up the first Nigerian monastery. Michael and others were selected for this project.
1950 was a jubilee year in the church, and Michael was first sent to Rome to make the pilgrimage to the four major basilicas. He was then sent to Mount St. Bernard in England, to join the Trappist monks there. He arrived on June 8, 1950
At the monastery he joined the novitiate and took his vows, later becoming a full monk, taking the name Cyprian after the Roman martyr. No one at the monastery had any idea of how he had constructed such great parishes in Nigeria and all his accomplishments, and he never told them. He did not try in any way to stand out among the other monks, and to them he seemed like just a normal monk, and many of them did not think that he was a saint or special person.
Despite fears of being treated with racial prejudice, he was fully accepted by the other monks, with the exception perhaps of one South African monk who seemed to look for things to find wrong in his work.
His novice master was very hard on the new monks, which caused him much stress. Bl. Cyprian was sensitive to criticism, and his novice master could always find things that were wrong with what he had done. This caused him much suffering and it was during this trying time that he understood he had made some mistakes in Nigeria with the hard discipline and expectations he had placed on those under him.
He was found to be intelligent and educated. When the monks were listening to a reading of Julius Caesar’s invasion of England, when the boats could not continue, Cyprian asked, ‘Why didn’t they turn on the motors?’ He also didn’t memorize the psalms which the monks sang every morning at 2am after getting out of bed, and would make up words as he sang along.
The English winter was also hard on him.
He didn’t go back to Nigeria again, but remained in Mount St Bernard, because of illness. He did not feel Nigeria independence movement was properly done. His health deteriorated, but he accepted death with no complaint. Before he died he went to Leicester Royal Infirmary, and when he was examined the doctor came out of the examination and spoke with monastery priest Fr James saying “Can you help me please, Father? This man must be in terrific pain, but he will only admit that he has ‘a little pain.'”. He died the same day as a result of Arteriosclerosis and ruptured aneurysm. The date of his death was 20 January 1964.
His body was buried at the monastery in England, but it was later moved to Nigeria.
His Quotations
“Count no one saved, until he is found in heaven” (Onye afuro na enuigwe, si aguyi na)
“Do not be imitating the whites in everything, strive hard to gain the Kingdom of God. The whites are already in heaven in this world, but you are suffering every want. Are you going to suffer also in the next world: Life on earth could be compared to the journey of a young student who received a slip for a registered parcel, and he had to go to Lagos to claim this parcel. On the way he passed through many beautiful towns, towns with very attractive things in the shops. He started going from one shop to another, stretching his hands to the beautiful things he saw. He stopped so often in these big towns that he almost forgot what he was travelling for. It was after a long time that he ultimately reached Lagos, and when he went to claim the parcel he was told that the parcel had lain in the post for so long without him arriving to claim it that they had finally decided to send it back to the sender.”
“God will give you double for what you give Him”
“If you want to eat vultures, you may as well eat seven of them, so that when people call you “vulture eater” you really deserve the name. If you want to become a Catholic, live as a faithful Catholic, so that when people see you, they know that you are a Catholic. If you are going to be a Christian at all, you might as well live entirely for God.”
“Whether you like it or not, saving your soul is your own business. If you are weak and fall by the wayside, we shall push you aside and tread on you as we march forward to meet God.”
“She is not ‘Onye Bem’ (a common Nigerian expression for wife, meaning ‘in my place) but your wife, your better half, part of your own body. ‘Onye’ means a stranger which your wife is not. You must recognize the worth and position of your wife and treat her as your partner and your equal. Unless you do that, she is not a wife to you but a servant, and that is not what God wants a wife to be to the husband.”
INSTITUTIONS NAMED AFTER BLESSED CYPRIAN IWENE TANSI
Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary,Onitsha Anambra State Nigeria (Provincial Seminary)
Blessed Iwene Tansi Secondary School,Aguleri
Blessed Iwene Tansi Parish,Umudioka
Blessed Iwene Tansi Parish Ugwu Orji Owerri Imo State
Blessed Iwene Tansi Chaplaincy, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (Igbariam Campus)
Tansi International College Awka
Tansian University,umunya
Mount St. Bernard Abbey: Re-internment of the remains of the Lulworth Monks & Blessed Cyprian Tansi.

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AGULERI CALLS ON UMULERI TO EMBRACE PEACE AND AVOID PROVOCATIONS

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Our attention has been drawn to two recent statements by two prominent members of Umuleri community in which they tried to disparage Aguleri. The first was by Elder Aniegboke Ndive, who is one of the Umuleri representatives in the current Aguleri/Umuleri Peace Committee, working on the modus for peaceful coexistence between the two communities, on the initiative of the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State. The other was by Chief Pius Okonkwo, the President-General of the Umuleri Town Union and one of the facilitators of the current Aguleri/Umuleri Peace Committee. He was also a member of the 2004-2010 Aguleri/Umuleri Peace Committee, which produced an agreement between the two communities in 2006, from the riverside to I.N.E.C. office at Otuocha, before the Umuleri community aborted the peace process, as a result of internal problems in the community.

Of course, we are not surprised at Aniegboke’s alleged attempt to denigrate Aguleri, as it has always been his pastime to insult Aguleri. However, we had thought that with the passage of time and his present assignment to help fashion out peace between Aguleri and Umuleri, that he would have been more educated on Igbo history by now, as well as shown more circumspection in his public statements concerning Aguleri. But, alas, he has not changed! His recent statement/interview on the celebration of Eri Day by the Eri clan, on 1st December 2018, at Aguleri, is a reflection of his previous publication in the Daily Sun of Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in which he said, among other things, that “it is these mercenaries from Aguleri and co that are forcing (these) names of different known and unknown communities on Eri, which the Aguleris don’t belong to”.

In order to set the records straight and educate people like Aniegboke on Igbo history, especially in relation to Aguleri and Umuleri, the people of Aguleri published a rejoinder to Aniegboke’s article, as an addendum, to an advertorial in the Daily Sun of Tuesday, July 15, 2014, captioned: ‘Aguleri Is The Ancestral Home Of The Igbos, Not Nri’. In light of continued exhibition of gross ignorance of Igbo history by Aniegboke and his ilk, that rejoinder is still relevant today, for the proper education of Aniegboke and people like him. As observed in the rejoinder, it is evident that Aniegboke’s dabble into Igbo history, especially as it concerns Aguleri and Umuleri, is “driven by a strong desire to re-write the history of Umuleri, recently changed to Umueri”.

And, of course, in doing this, he distorted a lot of historical facts and manufactured stories to fit his design. For example, in his previous publication, Aniegboke labored hard to assign to Umuleri a new founder, in the person of either Dabaw or Eri, as he appeared not to have made up his mind on which one to stick to. In one instance, he claimed that Umuleri “are direct descendants of Dabaw” and in another place, he referred to Umuleri as “the original Eri descendants”. His statements on historical issues are as confusing as they are full of inaccuracies and contradictions.

The truth of the matter is that Igbo history is short or silent on the historical paternity of Umuleri. Rather, there is historical knowledge that Adamgbo, the daughter of Eri, was the founder of Umuleri, hence Umuleri and Aguleri are regarded as related communities, since Adamgbo was the sister of Agulu, the founder of Aguleri. Another school of thought has it that Umuleri was founded by an itinerant woman, named Iguedo, hence Umuleri is a prominent member of the Iguedo clan, known as ‘Umu-Iguedo, till date. Not Umu-eri, as their recently adopted name suggests. As a matter of fact, the original name of Umuleri bore evidence of the above circumstances of its founding. The name then was ‘Umu-Ulu-Eri’ (i.e. children of profit to Eri), since they are the children/descendants of Adamgbo, the daughter of Eri, who was not known in history to be married. It was later shortened to ‘Umuleri’, and now ‘re-baptized’ to ‘Umu-Eri’.

We believe that it is an attempt to justify their new name and carve out a prominent role or position in Igbo history for Umuleri that is propelling people like Aniegboke to embark on the fabrication of history and the denigration of Aguleri. But this need not be, as Umuleri, being children/descendants of Adamgbo, the daughter Eri, are already connected to Eri. And we regard them with all the loving sentiments of our father, Agulu, the first son of Eri, for the children/descendants of his sister. This, indeed, has always been the moderating factor of the attitude and behavior of Aguleri to Umuleri, even when provoked. But, of course, as the saying goes, ‘there is a limit to human endurance’. We, therefore, call on Aniegboke and co to change their mindset and embrace peace with Aguleri. And work for it.

With respect to the statement credited to the President-General of the Umuleri Town Union, Chief Pius Okonkwo, at the Ofala celebration of the Traditional Ruler of Umuleri, Igwe Ben Emeka, on 29th December 2018, we are, indeed, surprised that, given his involvement in peace efforts between Aguleri and Umuleri, as well as his exposure, he could publicly refer to Aguleri as an intruder into Otuocha land. He also made reference to the Otuocha land case between the two communities in a manner that suggests that Umuleri was the winner. This impression is far from the true position. But it goes to show the mindset of some people in leadership positions in Umuleri, as well as how uninformed they are about the court’s decision on the Otuocha land matter. Perhaps, this was what the court anticipated when it specifically warned the Umuleri community against such attitude.

In the judgement of the Onitsha High Court on the land case, which judgment was restored by the Supreme Court as its decision on the case, the judge stated thus: “May l, however, sound a note of warning to the defendants (i.e. Umuleri community). In dismissing the plaintiffs’ case (i.e. Aguleri claim for exclusive ownership of the land), I have not decided that Otuocha land belongs to the defendants (Umuleri community). It is my view that neither side can establish exclusive ownership of the whole of Otuocha land. If on leaving this court premises, no doubt, jubilant, they (the Umuleri community) should go home to assert that Otuocha land belongs to them, defendants (i.e. the Umuleri community) and their leaders should take full responsibility for any breaches of peace that may occur). What a timely warning! But what we are witnessing today in careless talks and brazen actions by some leaders of Umuleri indicate otherwise. Else, how can the Umuleri President-General and Aniegboke respectively refer to Aguleri people as “intruders” and “mercenaries”?

We are also somewhat worried that Chief Pius Okonkwo, who was a member of the Aguleri/Umuleri Peace Committee of 2004-2010, which produced the 2006 agreement between the two communities, should talk about the Royal Niger Company in his statement in a way that leaves the impression that the ownership of the place is in issue, whereas it was one of the places clearly settled by that agreement. One of the Resolutions/Decisions of the Peace Committee states as follows: “the Umueri community hereby relinquishes its interest in the site of the Royal Niger Company, which area is otherwise known as ‘Company’, to Aguleri community, in the interest of peace.” Wherein then lies the basis for the apparent contention on the ownership of the Royal Niger Company created by the President-General in his statement? It is now becoming clear that the Umuleri community is pursuing a deliberate policy of discountenancing and dishonoring previous land agreements with Aguleri. The question for him is, how is it possible that his community Umuleri gave out their ancestral land to the royal Niger company and allowed Aguleri community to sign the lease agreement on their behalf? Does it not sound incredulous to even his fabricating mind?

Provocative activities from Umuleri continues unabated to date, while Aguleri continues to embrace peaceful coexistence. Aguleri sign-posts and structures in areas already settled by agreements to belong to Aguleri have been severally vandalized by Umuleri youths, apparently, with the support of the leadership of their community.Similarly, prominent Umuleri persons buy land in these settled Aguleri areas (especially in areas bordering Umuleri settled areas) and promptly and provocatively appropriate these areas by changing their sign-posts to prominently proclaim these areas as Umuleri areas.

Certainly, this is not the way to build and sustain peace. We, therefore, appeal to the Umuleri community to embrace peace with Aguleri by talking and acting in peaceful manners. And, of course, respect all peace agreements with Aguleri. The question truly is why and who in Umuleri is not happy with the recent positive developments taking place in our two communities? Why this move to choose inflammatory statements and provocative actions over peaceful co-existence?

Of particular note is the record high level of Umuleri provocation against Aguleri since the inception of Obiano’s administration. Aguleri have turned a blind eye to all their acts, as is in our character. But they have deliberately and consistently stepped up their provocative acts by the day even to the extent of coming right inside Aguleri villages to knock down buildings not situated in the contested lands. Our elders have continued to prevail on our youths not to retaliate. Just before the Christmas, Umuleri youths destroyed several signposts built by Aguleri World Forum for the Aguleri Beautification Project, even when they were installed right inside Aguleri lands. And just a few days ago, Umuleri youths, armed with machetes, guns, and all sorts of weapons, have blocked Dabawu road leading to Igboezunu, and burnt bushes, in apparent readiness to defend a fence they wrongly erected in disputed land that belongs to Adegbe-Umueze in Igboezunu.

This is just a few of their provocative acts, that include gestapo type invasions of some Aguleri homes in the middle of the night, where they have removed some of our elders, or beaten them up in their homes, and set fires on our farmlands. Each time the culprits were arrested, their community Leadership will immediately call for their release. Yet, our leaders keep on restraining our youths. Umuleri’s thirst for blood and disorderliness have also caused them to repeatedly harass Worshippers at St. Peter’s Anglican Church Aguleri. Even the worshippers at Odoziobodo Aguleri have not been spared of their wrath. The have sworn to terrorize Aguleri families living on that side of the road until they park out. They think by so doing, they will own that side of the road.

It is obvious Umuleri are using the peaceful tenure of our Son, Governor Obiano as a bait against us. It also appears that while Igwe Ben Emeka talks peace, he acts with aggression and his PG and others act with aggression, all orchestrated as their strategy. Perhaps they do this because they have the false notion that we will continue to turn the other cheek as long as our Son is the Governor of Anambra State so as not to embarrass him. However, while we are a Peace loving people, Aguleri cannot stomach that provocation forever. We are therefore crying out now, making every peace loving person aware of what is going on so that if and when peace breaks down the whole world would know that Umuleri have been the aggressor, and not that Aguleri likes to fight. We are being constantly provoked. And we need all peace loving people to take notice.

We do not need any more wars in our communities. A word is enough for the wise.

Long live Aguleri! Long live Eri Dynasty!! Long live Ndi Igbo!!!

 

Pastor Jossy  Akwuobi (PhD)

Chairman Aguleri World Forum (AWF)

 

Prof Mike Obiefune

Chairman Board of Trustees Aguleri World Forum( AWF )

 

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Presidential race: Ezekwesili flags off campaign in South West

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Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), says she would chart a new direction toward making Nigeria great if elected president in the Feb. 16 election.
Ezekwesili spoke on Tuesday in Akure while flagging off her South West presidential campaign that drew party members from Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states.
She said the ruling All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party had failed the country, arguing they lack the capacity take the country to the desired great heights.
The former Minister of Education, who described ACPN as a party of the people and committed to restructuring, said it would “steer the country out of the woods.”
“This is not a movement of politicians, this is a movement of the citizens. I am not running so that I will answer a title, I will mobilise the Nigerian people for us to do things differently.
“I will mobilise Nigerian people for us to form a government in the way that matters to the people, not for the politicians and looters but for the people; everyone in Nigeria that is tired of the situation will run with me, I am not running alone.
“We want a different Nigeria, a system that will make the child of the poor to have access to quality education.
“We will ensure that the private sector is part of the economic development of the country.
“Today, three to four million of our young people come out of schools and could not find job, that is horrible.
“The ACPN is a party that will bring new dawn on the country,” Ezekwesili said.
Earlier, Ezekwesili’s running mate, Alhaji Abdul-Ganiyu Galadima, had said that ACPN had always been strong in Ondo State.
He advised party members to avoid the pitfall of the past and work hard as a team to ensure victory for the ACPN in the forthcoming general election.
“Let us take our destiny in our own hands. With the unity of purpose and hard work, it will be a walkover for ACPN come election time,” Galadima said.

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Buhari presides over “ Special FEC ’

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President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over a special meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FEC meeting usually holds on Wednesdays but late last year, a Special FEC meeting was convened on a Friday to discuss and approve the 2019 budget proposal.
However, the agenda of today’s meeting which started at about 3.20 p.m., is unknown.
Attending the meeting are Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Head of Service of the federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita.
Others are Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, National Security Adviser to the President, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Munguno as well as cabinet ministers and some presidential aides.

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President Buhari decorates Acting Police Boss

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President Buhari Muhammadu Buhari has decorated the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammadu, who has been appointed to replace Abubakar Idris.
The ceremony took place on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, when the new police boss came to the Villa, accompanied by Idris.
Speaking to State House correspondents after his decoration, Adamu thanked Buhari for considering him worthy to be the next Inspector-General of Police.
He said he would diligently work to tackle the Nigeria’s security challenges and fight violent crimes.
“We know that there are security challenges that we need to tackle in the country like the issues of kidnapping, abduction and other security challenges.
“From the strategies put in place by the former IGP, we will re-strategize and make sure that we tackle these challenges squarely.’’
Hitch-free elections
The Acting IGP said he would build on the strategies put in place by his predecessor to ensure a hitch free 2019 general election.
He also pledged to maintain neutrality and to be fair to all while carrying out his official duties before, during and after the general elections.
“Adequate arrangement has been made to make sure that free and fair and credible elections take place in Nigeria.
“We are going to build up on the strategies put in place to make sure that we have hitch-free elections in the country.
“We are going to stick by the rules, we are going to do the right thing. We will not go outside the ethics of our job to do things that are untoward, everybody will be given level playing ground to play his or her politics,’’ he said.
The out-going IGP, who also addressed the correspondents after the decoration of the new IGP by the president, announced his retirement from service.
“I want to inform Nigerians that today I am 60 years and I think I have reached the pinnacle of my career.
“So, I am going to handover to my successor, the incoming inspector General of Police.
“He is an officer I know very well. We knew each other in the past, we have worked together and I wish him success,’’ he said.
The Acting IGP, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, enlisted into the Force on February 1, 1986 as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police
Before his appointment as the Acting Inspector General of Police, he was a Directing Staff at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State.
He was Commissioner of Police in Ekiti and Enugu States and also Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 5 Police Command Headquarters, Benin, Edo State.

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An Address Presented by the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano to mark the Armed Forces Remembrance Day on January 15, 2019.

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Ndi Anambra today is a special day in the history of our country, Nigeria. Today, we join our fellow Nigerians across the country to reflect on the weighty issues of nationhood and honour the memory of our fellow compatriots who laid down their lives that we may live a more meaningful life of our own.

Fellow Nigerians, today, we remember all our fallen heroes and heroines, the unknown soldier, the Patriots who lie in unmarked graves and our brave veterans who live with mortal wounds sustained in defense of our Liberties and our ideals. We remember them in absolute fondness and we reassure them that the sacrifices they made for our lives and liberty were not made in vain.

Ndi Anambra, if we cast our minds back to this time four years ago, we may remember that we organized an epic event in memory of our heroes and heroines who fell to the Civil War. That epic ceremony is known as Ozoemezina (Never Again!)

Ozoemezina was a bold effort to confer dignity on all our brothers and sisters who were taken by the war and therefore experienced death without a proper burial. By holding a solemn memorial service in their honour, we brought closure to that sad episode of our national life and paved the way for a deeper healing among the living.

Ozoemezina was epic in its entirety. I implore everyone who wishes to know about Ozoemezina to visit my official YouTube Channel and watch the special documentary that tells that story in a profound way.

Fellow citizens, we must never fail to appreciate our service men and women. Or show gratitude to them for standing up in defence of our ideals, our Liberties and our lives. The Nigerian Armed Forces have continued to play their roles as the defender of our freedom and the ultimate pillar of our unity. Indeed, our service men and women have continued to inspire their counterparts across Africa for decades. The bravery of our military has always been the defining factor in all their peace-keeping operations across Africa and beyond. Fellow Nigerians, we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

Indeed, the Nigerian Armed Forces have risen above great odds to fulfill the mission that established them. The growing spate of unrest in different parts of the country has thrown up more challenges to the military than can ever be imagined. The battle against the proliferation of small arms as well as the war on terror have made enormous demands from our Armed Forces. The battle line has become unclear and it is almost impossible to tell who the enemy is. All these call for more support to the Nigerian Armed Forces.

For us in Anambra State, we are bold enough to say that we have cordial relations with our service men and women. My administration struck a perfect partnership with them in the early stages of inception and together we have created a peaceful and prosperous state. We have enjoyed peace like never before and our beloved state has become the safest state in Nigeria.

Ndi Anambra, we shall continue to enjoy peace and security in our beloved state by the Grace of God. We shall continue to appreciate our service men and women especially in these difficult times when our own brothers and sisters have become our country’s enemies. We shall continue to remember them and their families in our prayers. We shall continue to encourage them to do more, to fight more and to sacrifice more for the good of Nigeria and for the safety of Nigerians.

At this juncture, I’d like to invite everyone here to join me in observing a minute of silence in memory of our fallen heroes and heroines who gave their lives that we might live.

God bless Nigeria
God bless Anambra State

Thank you

Willie Obiano
Governor

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Ohaneze Ndigbo Condemns Trial of Onnoghen

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The apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohaneze Ndigbo has condemned the planned arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, describing the action as shocking, sectional and provocative.
The President of Ohaneze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, said the pan Igbo socio-cultural organisation received with shock and disappointment, the decision of the federal government to prosecute Onnoghen.

“Legal opinion abound that the action is premature and ill conceived following an extant Court of Appeal decision which interprets the procedure for prosecuting judicial officers. This procedure has not been followed. The fact that the National Judicial Council (NJC) has been ignored is not just illegal but suggests deliberate court shopping and a predetermined objective.
“Secondly, the fact that one of the issues being canvassed by the CCB before the CCT is for an order of the CCT for the Chief Justice of Nigeria to step aside from his exalted office pending the conclusion of the trial contrary to the procedure for his removal from office as provided by the Nigerian constitution exposes the aim of the prosecution.
“A perusal of some of the depositions in the charge sheet also shows a completely distorted conception of the regulations pertaining to the declaration of assets. Assets acquired after assumption of office are declared at the end of a public official’s tenure in order to present a comparison with assets declared on assumption of office.
“The federal government is heating up the polity. Not long ago we were entertained with all sorts of interpretations of the Vice President’s powers while the President is on leave. The Group Managing Director of NNPC was accused of violating laws pertaining to the award of contracts. Because he comes from a protected ethnic group and class, no investigation was conducted.
“Fulani herdsman killed 110 natives of Nimbo in Enugu State. Police investigations led to the arrest of some of the herdsman with their telephone pictures of the carnage but not one has been prosecuted .
“The same carnage took place in Benue State. Pictures of the murderers wearing the uniform of the choir members of a Catholic church where they murdered their priests and members of their congregation were all over the social media. No one was arrested or prosecuted.
“Their sponsors, Miyetti Allah, addressed a press conference recently extolling their ethnic agenda and making decisive and inciting statements. Not one of them was arrested.
“The insensitiveness of the federal government to respect for our constitution and it’s patronage of double standards in the enforcement of the law is sickening and abhorrent,” Nwodo added.


Thisday

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Court Summons AG, IGP On Onnoghen

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed hearing for January 17, in a suit by the incorporated trustees of international association of student economists and management against the code of conduct tribunal, the code of conduct bureau and the Attorney General of the Federation.

Justice N.E Maha who heard the motion ex-parte by the organisation, on Monday, however directed that all the parties in the case, including the inspector general of police, should not take any further steps on the issue before that day.
The judge also directed all the defendants in the case to be served with the court papers to enable them to be present in court at the next adjourned date.

In the motion on notice, the applicant is contending that the arraignment of the CJN at the code of conduct tribunal is a violation of provisions of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.

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Wike Bags NUJ Award

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has emerged winner of the Nigeria union of journalists NUJ prize for outstanding leadership and infrastructural development.

President of the NUJ, Chris Isiguzo says the union settled for the Rivers state governor because of the massive achievements recorded by his administration in the areas of infrastructural development, security, political tolerance and human capital development in addition to a cordial relationship with the media.

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INEC unveils election guidelines

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday released the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of the general elections.
The 33 page document obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja says Smart Card Readers (SCRs) and Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) would be used for the forthcoming elections.
“Voting shall be in accordance with the Continuous Accreditation and Voting System (CAVS) procedures as specified in these Regulations and Guidelines, the Election Manual and any other Guide issued by the Commission.
“No person shall be allowed to vote at any Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point other than the one at which his/her name appears in the Register of Voters and he/she presents his/her permanent voter’s card to be verified by the Smart Card Reader (SCR), or as otherwise determined by the Commission.”
Each voter shall cast his/her vote in person at the Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point where he/she registered or was assigned, in the manner prescribed by the Commission.
Separate queue shall be created between men and women, where the culture does not allow the mingling of men and women.
Presiding Officers would also create a separate queue for People Living With Disabilities (PWDs).
According to Section 10 (b) of the guidelines, “accreditation and voting shall commence at 8.00am and close at 2:00pm, provided that all voters already on the queue by 2:00pm shall be allowed for accreditation and voting.
“(d) The accreditation process shall comprise reading of the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) and authentication of the voter’s fingerprint using the SCR; checking of the Register of Voter.”
Section 11 (v) of the guidelines also requested a voter to remove his/her cell phone or any photographic device before proceeding to voting cubicle.
Also section 11(c) states that “where a voter’s PVC is read but the name of the voter is not on the Register of Voters, APO II shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit”.
Section 11(d) also states that: “In the event that the PVC fails to be read by the Smart Card Reader, the APO I shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit.’’
Subsection (e) adds that “where a voter’s PVC is read and the SCR shows the details of another person, rather than the details of the cardholder as printed on the PVC, the APO I shall:
“(i) Refer the voter to APO II to confirm that the details of the voter in the Register of Voters correspond to those on the PVC;
“(ii) APO II if satisfied that the holder of the card is on the Register of Voters, shall record the phone number of the voter in the appropriate box on the Register of Voters; and
“(iii) Proceed with the accreditation of the voter.
“(f) In all cases from 11(b) to 11(e), the Presiding Officer shall fill the appropriate forms in the PU booklet and make a report.
“Affected voters in 11(b) and 11(e) qualify to be issued ballot papers after consultation with Polling Agents.


(NAN)

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IGP Idris retires, Buhari shortlists replacement

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The presidency has shortlisted an Assistant Inspector General of Police from Nasarawa State as a possible replacement of the retiring Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Idris, who clocks 60 years on Jan. 15 paid “a bye-bye visit’’ to President Buhari on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
NAN reports that the outcome of the closed door meeting between President Buhari and the IGP was not disclosed as at the time of filing this report.
According to reports, Idris is expected to retire from service on attainment of the mandatory 35 years in service or 60 years of age.
A source close to the presidency, who preferred not to be named, confirmed to NAN that a replacement to the retiring IGP would be named on Tuesday, among the shortlisted candidates.
One of the persons said to be on the on the shortlist is AIG Adamu Mohammed. If he gets the nod, it means the DIGs may be required to retire.
“Yes, the IGP Ibrahim Idris is retiring tomorrow and possibly an acting Inspector-General maybe named very soon.
“But I will advise that you wait for official statement to that effect,’’ the source maintained.
IGP Idris, who was appointed by President Buhari on June 21, 2016, replaced Solomon Arase, who retired from the police force on same day.

Idris enlisted into the Nigerian Police Force in 1984, after graduating from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture.

(NAN)

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