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Governor Obiano’s Investment Tour of Austria on TV Today

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Recently, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano traveled to Austria to seek for foreign investors. While there, the governor visited a number of important companies and held deliberations with some prospective investors. He was also honoured by the group known as Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO) and the Anambra Community in Austria.
Join us today on the following stations for a fuller detail of this investment tour in the documentary titled ‘Taking the Anambra Story to the World’ which will be showing on the following stations –
NTA International – 8pm
AIT – 9.30pm
Silverbird Television – 10.30pm
Don’t miss it!
Thank you
James Eze
Chief Press Secretary

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‘It is Not the Business of Ohaneze to Adopt Candidates’

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige is one of the leading figures in the All Progressives Congress (APC) within the South-east zone and one who had once taken the party to electoral victory in a senatorial contest. Ngige tells Onyebuchi Ezigbo of the strategies and calculations to be deployed by his party to overrun opponents in the general election.

In 2015 President Buhari secured less than 200,000 votes in the South-east and of recent leaders from that region who are members of APC have often boosted that in 2019 it would be different that the president will score a good number of votes, where does that confidence come from considering that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice President candidate is from that region?
True the PDP has a Vice Presidential candidate from my zone and I can tell you that it won’t be easy for them. Politics and winning of election is all about calculation and strategic positioning and measured steps towards a direction. Two things are happening; in 2015 election there was no voting in most of the South-east and South-south states. Votes were allocated, the card reader hadn’t become functional it was just new and it can be tampered with and at the end of the day most votes were allocated. So Muhammadu Buhari was allocated 18,000 votes in the entire Anambra state; is it possible? When my local government alone, Idemili South had 80,000 registered voters, Idemili North had 200,000 registered voters you are talking about 280,000 votes. Even if they want to allocate they can’t do it now because they are not in charge of police and army like that time. They took police, army, navy everything and armour tanks and drove us away, in fact they put a price on my head when I was going to the collation centre. I got a call they said I shouldn’t go because the situation has been taken over from the centre but I refused I wanted to go because I am not afraid of death. So my boys insisted and I said they can go so they started chasing them about. It was my boys chasing them around that resulted in the writing of only 600,000 votes for Jonathan against the 1.2 million votes promised that they would bring. This time it won’t happen they will go and cast votes and whatever is cast is what we will announce. We are not interested in rigging or chasing people about with armour tank. Secondly, the Vice President of the PDP is former Governor Peter Obi my successor in Anambra state. I can tell you that those who are shouting that Obi is this and that are the elites who are looking for one thing or the other and people who don’t believe that Muhammadu Buhari has done something good in their lives because he is already building infrastructure for them. They want money.

They want all the monies that have been trapped by the TSA to be pushed down again on the table for them to start taking. That one is no longer possible. Peter Obi hasn’t been a wonderful governor as people expected him to be because I am the one to tell you because I know what I handed over to him. He is making noise that he handed money over to Governor Obiano. I was the first to leave money. I left N3.8 billion cash in the bank and I am not counting the bank shares we bought and dividend but because of propaganda they shouted that the left eighty something billion naira for Obiano and I left a lot of infrastructural work done, federal roads of which he received close to N15 billion as refund after my tenure. I was the first person to handover schools to the missionaries in Anambra state. I built more 880KM of roads. If you go there today you will see the roads I built 15 years ago they are still standing and most of them have no single potholes because I used first class contractors. So for people to say because he chose Obi ‘this will happen’. Nothing will happen. If anything, Peter Obi has no influence in South-east apart from Anambra. Even in Anambra Central Senatorial district we are going to battle him in there. Presently, I can tell you that in Anambra state Obi and I will struggle for the votes. We are not going to be pushed down like we were the last time.

What do you make of the recent endorsement from the leadership of Ohanaeze for the PDP Presidential candidate?
Ohanaeze is a socio cultural organisation. In a bid to please their masters they went overboard. First and foremost they went overboard to do an endorsement in November 2018 and when the strategy committee of Ohanaeze confronted them in the executive they denied. They said they endorsed them just like every other person whereas the clips showed that they were in that meeting in Nike Lake Resort Hotel. I am telling you we found it difficult to still conceal what they were doing so just two weeks ago they put this meeting on a date that Mr. President was visiting Anambra state. I personally spoke to the Ohanaeze President General who is my personal friend of many years and I said to him we have a guest so he should do us that favour of moving this meeting so that we can all attend, so that the governors of the South-east will also be involved; the governor of Anambra and Enugu who will welcome Mr. President to their domain because the President was to commission CBN Centre of Excellence build in Nsukka. These were functions created for that day and he said no that he couldn’t do so because this meeting had been long fixed and I said no the president of the nation fixed an appointment in our place. So finally he said we can move the hours. He said no he can only move it to 4pm so I spoke to Ebonyi state governor who is the chairman of governor’s forum and I said look at the problem we have with the current Ohanaeze maybe you can intervene because you are supposed to be part of this meeting. I had already contacted the governor of Anambra state so he said he will take it up with him which he did. In fact I personally invited him and said it is your function, you should be there and the Governor of Anambra also told me he invited him. The Governor of Ebonyi called me and said I should tell my colleagues that we would be accommodated that the meeting will be for 7pm because he had spoken with him. By 6pm, the President departed at Enugu airport and we started heading to the meeting which we arrived around 6:30 pm and we were told that the meeting was concluded by 20 minutes past 5pm and that they have endorsed the candidate of the PDP. Two things are clear; Ohanaeze is a socio cultural organisation not known for endorsement of any candidate. What you are supposed to be doing is to get the candidates and give them your demands not going to endorse because it is clear in our constitution that we are not allying with any political party and some people have tried it before unfortunately they got their fingers burnt. With all due respect, Professor Nwabueze in 1999 without clearance from Ohanaeze general assembly endorsed Olu Falae against Obasanjo. Olu Falae was flying the flag of APP/AD alliance and Obasanjo won the election and they held it against the Igbos and claimed that it was late Chief Alex Ekwueme that secretly told Nwabueze to go and endorse Falae. Little did they know that it caused a lot of bitterness between Alex Ekwueme and his friend Nwabueze. Nwabueze is a strong willed man so he did that by his own judgment thinking he was doing the Igbos good and Obasanjo antagonised Alex Ekwueme and all of us who are members of Ohanaeze and all of us who he felt were close to Chief Alex Ekwueme and that was how he took some mafias from South-east and made them his friends. At another time, they went and endorsed in 2003 and the same thing happened. In 2015 the immediate predecessor of Nwodo and the Secretary General, my good friend went and endorsed President Jonathan and said he is Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, that he is their brother and they failed because President Buhari beat Jonathan in the 2015 election. The claim of marginalisation because of that endorsement and even the award and allocation of votes that followed there after some APC members used it against all of us in the APC. They said there was no vote from us that the election was won without input from the South-east. That gave rise to the famous five percent; those who gave me five percent and those who gave me 95 percent being peddled against Mr. President. In any case we are all human beings if someone looks you in the face and says ‘I will not vote for you’ and you eventually win the election and he didn’t vote for you and you saw he didn’t vote for you even though it is a secret ballot buy you also saw that there was allocation tell me would you be very happy? I am not trying to justify anything. All I am saying is that we can’t be adopting candidates. We can see the second Niger Bridge. He has committed N3 billion. No other government has done it. He put it in the national budget and put it as a flagship project in Nigeria and we are funding it. Unlike the previous governments that said it should done on PPP basis for foreigners to invest and collect money this president said I am building direct. Okonji Ewela when they came into the senate caucus of the South East in 2011 when we became senators the first meeting they came and told us that it is an PPP that they are doing on second Niger Bridge and investors are coming and I told them that they should clear away with that kind of proposal. We did a bridge to connect FCT which cost N80 billion. It was funded from the federal budget and at the time they came the Niger Bridge was estimated at N110 billion and Madam Okonji Ewela and my friend Pius were saying that it would be built on contractor PPP and I said no and that was what happened. Today this man is building second Niger Bridge. He is building Enugu to Okigwe to Umuahia to Aba to Port Harcourt which was abandoned in the last 16 years. He is building Enugu, Oji River, Awka to Onitsha also abandoned during PDP regime so I have no apologies to say that this man is doing well. A lot of us, the South-east governors don’t believe in what they have done. Governor Obiano has voiced his discernment. I have worked in Ohanaeze, I was Secretary in Ohanaeze strategy committee, I was deputy chairman of Ohaneze Ndigbo as President of Aka Ikenga. I brought Aka Ikenga from Lagos and we organised a forum for South-east delegates under Abacha regime to go to the constituent assembly. We did it with our own resources.
No one will talk to me about Ohanaeze or Igbo politics. I have paid my dues. I was president of Aka Ikenga for six years. All these people that are parading themselves can’t talk to me about Ohanaeze or Igbo politics and no one can tell me that he loves Igbos than me. The Igbos of Anambra know that I love them more than any of these people that are parading themselves up and down. I put my life on the line for the people of Anambra state so that they would have good things and I am also ready to put it on the line again for the Igbo nation so that they can secure their future in the nation and the only way they can secure their freedom is for them to follow a man who has shown signs that he loves everybody, that he is working for everybody. People say that Obi is Vice President what is Vice President? The shortest route for the president of Igbo extraction is for them to vote for APC and in 2023 by the rotation principle even if it is not entrenched in our constitution but has become a norm and convention now the presidency will come back to the South and when it comes back to the South on moral grounds it will be the turn of the people of the South-east. We must struggle for it and it starts now. We must show our party that we can deliver. We must show our party that if we are given the ticket in South-east, we can do something with it.

This issue of 2023 presidency is one of major plank of APC campaign in the South East. The party has not decided on it. Don’t you think that you are building castle in the air when indeed there is no such decision within the party?
Decisions of this nature are not taken four years away from when it will happen. ‘The come comes to become the men would be separated from the boys’. So when 2023 comes, the party will speak. The gladiators who are interested will come out and it will be the turn of the South if Muhammadu Buhari does another term. He even said it in the South-west rally in Ekiti that he isn’t seeking for third term because some people have tried it and failed but he has only a second term so we should support him to go for a second term. After his second term, the different zones in the South will come out and lay claims and make their point so there is no question of building castle in the air, we are being realistic. It is those that are saying the Vice President in PDP is a step away from presidency that are building castle in the air and not us in APC. When the time comes for the shuffle or the push, we will do it
Why did it take so long to resolve the issues with ASUU?
In 2017, ASSU went on strike. They had at that time about 12 points which we tried to address, we addressed them. Some of the issues are the ones in court now which is about pension reform which they floated for university workers. They made that demand in collaboration with other people operating universities ; Non Academic Staff Union, (NASU); National Association of Technologist (NAT) so that was one thing that unified all for a common demand. So government told them what to do, set the process in motion for them and they started. Midway they felt there was a lot of money and they were required to make some deposit and they paid some deposit and but later found out that they didn’t have an office which was locked which you can call the headquarters of the organisation, They didn’t have personnel so we summoned PENCOM and they got that together. It was there in 2017 negotiations, it is also there now but we resolved it finally because there has been an issue with an operating licence. Again there was the issue of end allowances both for NASU, NAT and SANU and of course with ASUU which is called ‘End Academic Allowance’ which are all part of a generic allowance therefore last time we paid them N31 billion. This time around that they have been computed collectively to know the aggregate amount because at that time in 2017 they were paid N30 billion by the Jonathan-led administration and this government came and said it will be verified by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA). So PICA was looking at that and we discovered that it wasn’t necessary for PICA to do that because PICA was more of looking at allowances and salaries. So we felt that a consultant should be engaged by the former minister to audit the usage of the N30 billion before the new one can be released which was an agreement that was done. So we gave the auditors and they worked on it and found out that government was in arrears of that money from 2013 to 2016. So we owed them N105 billion which were allowances earned from extra teaching, extra work in laboratories, and allowances earned by those who ordinarily will do what we call overtime so government saved and paid it.
In 2017, we released N31billion to them. On that N31billion they were asked to bring a template for the sharing between the various workers in the various universities and that was just concluded early this year. The money is being paid to them which came in two tranches of N23 billion and N8 billion making N31 billion. That was the agreement which spilled over to 2018. One month ago, the last tranche of N8 billion was paid to the various unions because they had problems in carrying out the template for the payment. Then there was the issue of revitalisation of the universities. Again we gave then N20 billion as a sign of good faith that the agreement they reached with President Jonathan in 2009 that we believe in it notwithstanding the fact that we had a negotiating committee which was supposed to get alternative source of funding for the revitalisation of the universities. Take note that President Jonathan’s administration paid them N200 billion in 2013 after four years and they had programmed that they would be paying N220 billion every year for six years and that was what was in the agreement and that came to N1.3 trillion. Therefore when they could not pay in 2013, the administration went into TETFUND money and took N200 billion and paid the universities which was just like recycling. We don’t want to do that, we are looking at alternative source of funding so we gave them this money and said it is an act of good faith. The summit for the alternative source for funding completed its work and reported to the president where they listed and categorised alternative source of funding for university education because come to look at it; everybody knows education is an expensive business and that is why even in the best of climes like the United States of America students have to pay, they have to go for loans, even in Nigeria there was a time that students were paying from loans. So these were the things that government thought about, saying let’s look for an alternative source of funding. Today, you now know that there is an education tax and that tax goes to TETFUND and another education tax goes to UBEC. So that raised its head again and we appealed that the workshop had to finish but the president isn’t yet decided on the sources of funding. However, N25 billion was dedicated to universities for them to go on until government makes its final decision. There are other issues like human calculations that resulted in shortfall in salaries of people and immediately it was brought to our notice Finance Ministry intervened, the Accountant General’s office made up the payment for the shortfall. About N15.4 billion was released for the university system alone and they confirmed that they had received the money starting from about one month ago. The last was Tafa Balewa University that got their money last week. Therefore, all those issues were almost done with, however, I must tell you that ASUU saw a different kind of negotiation with me. I believe in being bitterly frank, straight forward and saying things as they are. Whatever they cannot get I tell them. For example one of their requests was that the University Panel renegotiating the 2009 agreement should be disbanded and we said no. I even referred them to the various statutes and conventions that no partner in a negotiation between an employer and an employee can dictate who would be in your team to come for the negotiation. So we can’t tell labour people that we don’t like the face of Mr. A and Mr. B and in the same way they can’t when a panel has been set up to negotiate something, you turn back and say you suspect that Mr. Babalakin because he had appealed for a university license for a private university so therefore he shouldn’t lead the negotiation party on government side.
They consulted their constituency and came back two, three times and finally they saw reason and we agreed because everything that has a beginning, has an end. That panel should be commencing work on the February 18th and they are to finish their work by March 28 and turn in their report which is six weeks to conclude their work. Other issues they raised include visitation panel because they wanted the rot in the university system cleared which we also felt the same way. This is an anti-corruption government. In fact they were aiding us in what we wanted to do so we had no problem in putting up Visitation Panels. They also talked about state universities being inferior in terms of funding and infrastructure. We then set up a Standing Committee comprising of ASUU members, NASU members, other unions in the university and on the government side, Pro- chancellors of universities as members. It is a seven man panel and they are supposed to be the Standing Committee that meets with the governors under the auspices of Governor’s Forum and also commissioners for education on things they want rectified. About eight issues were handled during this period and I can tell you that we had to do what we had to do so that they can get back to schools and our children can go back. A lot of people registered in university campuses to vote in the election and if these universities are closed then these students won’t be able to vote.


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FULL TEXT OF HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S BROADCAST TO THE NATION, FEBRUARY 14, 2019

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President Muhammadu Buhari has on Thursday evening made a nationwide broadcast in which he addressed issues concerning the general elections and gave his stewardship.

The president emphasised his commitment to peaceful and credible elections.
He advised the people, particularly the youth, not to allow themselves to be used for violence during the elections.

FULL TEXT OF HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S BROADCAST TO THE NATION, FEBRUARY 14, 2019

Fellow Citizens,
On Saturday, February 16, 2019, you will, once again, be called upon to choose the leaders who will pilot the affairs of our great nation for the next four years. This is a constitutional right which should be freely exercised by all eligible voters.
2. I wish therefore to start by assuring all Nigerians that this Government will do its very best to ensure that the 2019 elections take place in a secure and peaceful atmosphere.
3. It was indeed such free, fair and peaceful elections that made it possible for our Government to emerge, despite the fact that we were contesting against a long-standing incumbent party.
4. And as your president and a fellow Nigerian, I ask that you come out and queue to fulfill this important obligation you have to yourselves and your fellow citizens – and to our common future.
5. Let me at this point, reaffirm the commitment of the Federal Government to the conduct of free and fair elections in a safe and peaceful atmosphere. Just yesterday, I signed the Peace Accord alongside 72 other presidential candidates.
6. I want to assure all Nigerians, the diplomatic community and all foreign election observers of their safety and full protection. Any comments or threats of intimidation from any source do not represent the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
7. As Government has a critical role in maintaining the democratic traditions, so do citizens. I therefore urge you all, as good Nigerians, to take a personal interest in promoting and maintaining peace in your respective neighbourhoods during the elections. This is certainly not a time to allow personal, religious, sectional or party interests to drive us to desperation.
8. At this point, I want to make a special appeal to our youth: Do not allow yourselves to be used to cause violence and destruction. The people who want to incite you are those preparing the ground for discrediting the elections. Having lost the argument, they fear losing the elections.
9. When you elected me in 2015, it was essentially in consequence of my promise of CHANGE. We committed ourselves to improving security across the country, putting the economy on a sound footing and tackling rampant corruption, which had in many ways become a serious drawback to national development.
10. Our Government spent the last 3 years and 9 months striving faithfully to keep this promise, in spite of very serious revenue shortages caused mainly by a sharp drop in international oil prices and an unexpected rise in the vandalisation of oil installations, which, mercifully have now been curtailed.
11. We nevertheless pressed on in our quest to diversify the economy, create jobs, reduce commodity prices and generally improve the standard of living among our people.
12. The damage that insecurity and corruption have done, over time, to our collective livelihood is incalculable. However, it is pleasing to note that our frontal attack on these twin evils is gaining momentum and bringing about visible progress.
13. The recovery of the economy from recession is complete and Nigeria is back on the path of steady growth.
14. The key to creating more jobs lies in accelerating this momentum of economic growth. Happily, we have succeeded in making the fundamental changes necessary for this acceleration, and we are now beginning to see the efforts bearing fruit.
15. Our ease of doing business policies and programmes are already impacting medium, small and micro industries, as well as Manufacturing, Mining and Agriculture, among other key sectors.
16. Our commitment to critical infrastructure – that is Roads, Rails, Bridges, Airports and Seaports – will create more jobs, improving the efficiency and competitiveness of our industries.
17. Many of these projects are at different stages of completion, and those who use them regularly will attest to the fact that even while construction is ongoing, they are beginning to see reduced travel times. This will ultimately translate to reduced costs and greater convenience, making transportation, and business in particular, much easier.
19. The economic recovery that we promised is well underway, as demonstrated by the recently released statistics. In 2018, the economy grew by 1.93%, with the Fourth Quarter growth being 2.38%, up from 1.81% in the Third Quarter.
20. Remarkably, the strong economic performance was driven by the Non-Oil sector, which grew at 2% as at full year. Indeed, Non-Oil growth rose to 2.7% in the Fourth Quarter of 2018, up from 2.32% in the Third Quarter. These results further underscore our commitment to diversifying the economy away from the past dependence on Oil.
21. Other indicators confirm the economy’s steady recovery. Our monthly food import bill has declined from $664 million in January 2015 to $160 million as at October 2018. Inflation fell from 18.72% in January 2017 to 11.44% in December 2018. Our External Reserves have risen from $23 billion in October 2016 to $43.12 billion as at 7th February 2019.
22. Now that the recession is well behind us, our next task is to redouble our efforts, accelerate the growth and use it to create even more jobs for our people.
23. The Executive Orders, No. 5, and No. 7 issued by me, and the recently approved National Infrastructure Maintenance Policy demonstrate our commitment to accelerated job creation and infrastructure development.
24. We believe that Governments cannot simply proclaim jobs into existence. Job creation will only expand as a result of economic policies that enable the private sector to flourish, and this is the approach our Administration has taken.
25. Executive Order No 5, which Promotes Nigerian Content in Contracts, as well as Science, Engineering and Technology, will preserve and prioritize job creation for our citizens.
26. Executive Order 7, on the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, seeks to mobilize private capital and capacity for infrastructure development.
27. It responds to the demands of manufacturing and industrial complexes which wish to construct access roads without waiting for government, so long as they are allowed to recover the cost from taxes they would have paid to government.
28. We expect that this approach will boost industrial expansion and rural development, consequently creating more jobs for our people.
29. Similarly, our recently issued Maintenance Policy targets artisans, carpenters, welders, tailors, painters, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, landscapers and many more Ordinary Nigerians at the base of our economic pyramid who will get regular and large-scale opportunities to improve themselves.
30. It is an economic solution that also brings the relevant artisans and professionals into long term sustainable employment to maintain our Schools, Court Rooms, Hospitals, Police Stations, Federal Secretariats and other Public Buildings.
31. Human Capital Development has also been a key priority for this Administration, which has increased investments in health and education. Innovative measures have been introduced to complement the traditional budgetary allocations to the relevant Ministries.
32. For instance, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority has invested US$21 million in three healthcare projects as a Public Private Partnership with three Federal medical institutions. These include two modern Medical Diagnostic Centres located at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano and the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia; as well as one outpatient Cancer Treatment Centre in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos – which I commissioned on 9th February 2019.
33. Of course, our radical commitment to developing Critical Infrastructure is the foundation upon which we will deliver an all embracing national prosperity and a shared commonwealth.
34. There is no country that aspires to greatness without spending massively on its Critical Infrastructure. Rather than the discredited policy of ‘stomach infrastructure’, which could only benefit a few for a little while, we are focused on real infrastructural development for the growth of our economy and the long-term benefit of all Nigerians.
35. When you voted for our message of CHANGE, you invited us to assume office and depart from that bad and most regrettable choice. We have responded by making a choice for real infrastructure of Roads in every State, Housing in 34 States, Power Stations across Nigeria, Rail from Lagos to Kano.
36. The choice that now confronts us is whether we want to continue with real infrastructure development, which is the road to prosperity and jobs or return to the era of ‘stomach infrastructure’.
37. Agricultural Self-Reliance and Food Security is also a choice we made in fulfilment of your mandate for change.
38. Our Presidential Fertiliser Initiative has resulted in savings of US$150 million in foreign exchange due to local sourcing of inputs at 16 Blending Plants. It has also conserved N60 billion in Subsidies as well as supported tens of thousands of farmers and agro-dealers nationwide.
39. Our Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has substantially raised local rice yields from as low as two Metric Tonnes per hectare, to as high as eight Metric Tonnes per hectare.
40. Through this programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria has cumulatively lent over N120 billion to over 720,000 smallholder farmers cultivating 12 commodities across the 36 States and Abuja. Targeted crops and livestock have included cattle, poultry, fish, cassava, soybeans, ground nut, ginger, sorghum, rice, wheat, cotton and maize.
41. As a result, we have seen a remarkable rise in the production of key agricultural commodities. I am pleased to note that in major departmental stores and local markets, there has been a surge in the supply of high quality Nigerian agricultural produce.
42. Behind each of these products, are thousands of industrious Nigerians working in factories and farms across the nation. Our interventions have led to improved wealth and job creation for these Nigerians, particularly in our rural communities.
43. Again, these outcomes have been a major departure from the previous focus on consuming imported food items, which literally exported our children’s jobs to food-exporting nations, whilst depleting our precious foreign exchange reserves. This, of course, caused a closure of our factories while keeping open other peoples’ factories.
44. The choice made by this Administration to assist farmers directly and promote agriculture in every way possible has gone a long way to enhance our food security while enabling us to tackle poverty by feeding over nine million children daily under our Home-Grown School Feeding Programme. It also puts us clearly on the road to becoming a food secure and agriculture exporting nation.
45. Next to Agriculture, we are focusing on Manufacturing Sector. The Purchasing Managers Index, which is the measure of manufacturing activities in an economy has risen for 22 consecutive months as at January this year, indicating continuous growth and expansion in our manufacturing sector.
46. I will conclude by going back to where I started: that our choices have had consequences about employment and cost of living.
47. In making your choice this time, please ask yourself whether, and in what ways, others will do anything different to address the issues of Agriculture, Infrastructure, Security, Good Governance and Fighting Corruption.
48. If they are only hoping to do what we are already doing successfully, we are clearly your preferred choice.
49. Think carefully and choose wisely. This time, it is a choice about consolidating on growth for Jobs and Prosperity.
50. February 16th is all about a choice. But it is more than a choice between APC and the opposition. It is a choice about you, it is a choice between going back or keeping the momentum of CHANGE.
51. The road to greater prosperity for Nigeria may be long, but what you can be assured of is a Leadership that is not prepared to sacrifice the future well-being of Nigerians for our own personal or material needs. You can be assured of my commitment to remain focused on working to improve the lives of all Nigerians.
52. Thank you very much for listening. God bless you, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

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FG Closes All Land Border

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The federal government has directed the closure of all land borders effective from 12 noon Friday 15th February to 12 noon Sunday 17th February 2019.

A statement signed by the comptroller general of immigration Muhammad Babandede said the directive is to help restrict movement across the borders during the elections.
Members of the public have been advised to comply with the directive.

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Police denies intercepting thumb printed ballot papers in Kano

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The Kano State command of the Nigeria Police has denied report that the original thumb printed ballot papers for elections were intercepted in the early hours of Thursday.
Spokesman for the command, DSP Haruna Abdulahi said what was intercepted were specimen of ballot papers which the suspects said were for the enlightenment of their members on how vote during the upcoming elections.
The use of such specimen is legal,’’ Abdulahi said.
He said the specimen contained in 14 sacs were Jigawa state bound according to the suspects.
Further investigation
Abdulahi stated that the suspects have been transfered to the CID for further investigation.
“There is no iota of truth that the ballot papers were original,”
Abdulahi stated.
He displayed the specimen before news men at the command headquarters in Bompai with inscription boldly written on them.

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President vows to prosecute $16 billion power sector expenditure

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President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that those involved in the spending of over $16 billion on power under the previous administrations would be investigated.

He made the remark on Wednesday at the Federal Capital Territory’s Presidential rally of the governing All Progressives Congress APC.

“You know there was no power under the previous administrations and a previous government admitted without anybody asking them, that they spent $16 billion for power.
You know more than I do. Where is the power? Where is the money? My point is on bribery and corruption, which is one of my three areas of focus. Those people who say they spent 16 billion American dollars on power, they will account for it.

Yes we are under a system now. Those who have been given responsibilities, in the three tiers of government; the Federal, States and Local Governments as they are busy, we will ask antigraft agencies to investigate and prosecute them.
We have already done a lot of cases, you know it, they came here and bought properties here in Abuja, and they invested outside the country.

We are appealing to different States in Europe and America to please help us recover looted government properties, which we are now putting back to building infrastructure,” he said.

Make life better
The Nigerian leader assured citizens that government will continue to use the little resources at its disposal to make life better for them.

He used the opportunity to seek for votes from Nigerians of voting age, as they go to the polls on Saturday.

The rally was attended by Ministers, the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello as well as other top government functionaries.

The President has so far held rallies in 35 States and Abuja. He will round off his campaign for his second term of office with a rally in his home State of Katsina, where he will also cast his vote on Saturday.
#ThinkElectionThinkPeace!

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Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Ibn Chambas in Nigeria ahead of the holding of presidential elections

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Mohamed Ibn Chambas, begins today his mission to Nigeria ahead of the presidential elections, scheduled on 16 February
DAKAR, Nigeria– As part of the efforts of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) to support the consolidation of democracy and good governance in Nigeria, and in line with the commitment of the United Nations Secretary-General for conflict prevention, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNOWAS, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, begins today his mission to Nigeria ahead of the presidential elections, scheduled on 16 February.

During his mission, Ibn Chambas will visit various states in Nigeria and meet with all stakeholders, local and national, to renew United Nations support for inclusive, peaceful and credible elections.

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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT : Please, Go Out and Vote on Saturday

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1. The Anambra State Government urges all residents of Anambra State who are 18 years and above and registered to vote in the election to hold on Saturday, February 16, and the rest of the 2019 general elections to go out and exercise their civic duty without any fear of disturbance from any quarters.

2. Governor Willie Obiano has made a comprehensive arrangement with all security agencies in the state and some other organizations like the Anambra State Fire Service to protect all relevant offices, voting centres, voting materials, electoral officials and voters.

3. The Governor has directed the police to ensure that unauthorized persons do not move about on the election day with their vehicles in violation of the restriction order on movement of vehicles. The Inspector General of Police has already ordered that security officers attached to private individuals be withdrawn immediately until the election is over.

4. Ndi Anambra are advised to report immediately any attempt to compromise the integrity of the electoral process or cause a breach of the public peace. The number to call for prompt action is 0703 919 4332.

5. The people and Government of Anambra State are committed to a free, fair and transparent election in line with our reputation as Nigeria’s safest and most peaceful state. We are determined to ensure that the 2019 general elections in the state are held as scheduled and as credible as the November 17, 2017, gubernatorial election which has gone down in history as the country’s most peaceful and transparent election ever.

Signed

C. Don Adinuba

Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment

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Lamin Sanneh: A Foremost African Theologian From Gambia

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By Prof Anekwe Oborji

Lamin Sanneh (1942-2019), a foremost African theologian of our time from Gambia in West Africa, was called to great beyond on January 6, 2019, the Feast of Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ to the gentile world. Sanneh suffered a stroke and died at the age of 76, in his place of abode, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut in the United States of America. Until his sudden demise last January, Professor Lamin Sanneh was the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity at Yale Divinity School and Professor of History at Yale University. Sanneh is internationally, respected and acknowledged as the world’s foremost theologian of World Christianity and Islam.
He was also a co-founder and joint convener of the Yale – Edinburgh Group on the History of Missions and World Christianity. The Group’s annual Conferences, meeting in Yale and Edinburgh alternately, have been an input feature of the academic contribution of this illustrious son of Africa to the world. And as one of the tributes in his honor rightly notes, “the title of Professor Sanneh’s autobiography (“Summoned from the Margin: Homecoming of an African” (2012), appropriately states, Sanneh’s felt “summoned from the margins” in a small island on the Gambian River in West Africa.” From his Gambian environment in Africa, Sanneh was transformed by his Christian faith, embarked upon a distinguished career in the academy, and leaving behind an extraordinary scholarly legacy.

Professor Sanneh also taught at the University of Ghana, Accra, where an Institute, “Sanneh Institute” was established last year in recognition of his illustrious academic career and strive to continue his mission of offering scholarship as a tribute to God with the other within hearing distance. John Azumah, professor of World Christianity and Islam, Colombia Theological Seminary, and director of the Sanneh Institute at the University of Ghana in Accra, shared the following words from Sanneh’s last but one email to him, days before his sudden death last January:

“When I was thwarted in my wish to study theology and be ordained, I went through a terrible period of confusion and doubt. It was like a sickness in which I wondered whether God really wanted me. I started to emerge out of that hole when I saw that I could offer my training and scholarship as a small tribute to the God of Jesus, with Muslims within hearing distance.
Call it a sense of vocation if you like, but I was determined to do the best I could to appeal to Muslims not to dismiss Christians when they give evidence that following Jesus does not mean speaking or thinking ill of others. The resulting proximity should make Christ less a stranger to all of us when his spirit moves in our midst.”
Professor Lamin Sanneh was supposed to present his keynote paper “Themes in Reconciliation and harmony with Reference to Contemporary Africa” at the International Harmony Conference organized by Bishop Prof. Dennis T.W. Ng in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 7 January 2019. It turns out to be his last paper and was read out at the conference after a moment of silence and prayer.
Tributes have been coming from far-and-wide since the sad news of the demise of this great son of Africa, Professor Lamin Sanneh. Many professional associations, academic institutions, research institutes, libraries, editors of Journals and international Newspapers like New York Times and Washington Post, as well as professionals of all classes have all published in their platforms, tributes of landmarks in honor of this great African scholar of our time. These are colleagues and groups, Professor Lamin Sanneh had in one way or the other interacted with and influenced positively while with us in this mortal world.
As expected, most of these tributes in honor of Professor Sanneh highlighted his contribution to dialogue between World Christianity and Islam, an area he had dedicated much of his life and publication since his conversion from Islam to Christianity as young adult, and all through his university teaching profession.
However, the purpose of our present tribute is to highlight the African dimension of Professor Lamin Sanneh’s writings and theological thought. Although, he worked at the limelight of international stage in the world of academia, Professor Lamin Sanneh had always written and lectured from an African perspective and context. Africa remained the animating spirit and goal of his theological writings and engagements from time immemorial till death snatched him away from us last January.

Who is Professor Lamin Sanneh?
Professor Lamin Sanneh was born and raised in Jinjanburch, Gambia (West Africa). He descended from the nyanchos, an ancient African royal line. His earliest studies in Gambia were with fellow chiefs’ sons. He was born into and raised in an orthodox Muslim family and grew up practicing Islam as his religion. However, as divine providence would have it, he converted later in life to Christianity. He became first a member of the Methodist Church and later moved into the Catholic Church, where he remained a practicing member until his demise on January 6, 2019.
Lamin Sanneh was married to Sandra Sanneh, who is a Professor of isiZulu at Yale University. They are blessed with a son, Kelefa Sanneh, who writes about culture for “The New Yorker”, and a daughter, Sia Sanneh, who was a Research Scholar in Law, Senior Liman Fellow in Residence, and lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.
Professor Lamin Sanneh was educated in four continents, namely, Africa, America, Asia and Europe. He studied precisely in Gambia his native land, University of Birmingham, The Near East School of Theology, Beirut and University of London.
He went to the United States on a U.S. government scholarship to read history. After graduating, he spent many years studying classical Arabic and Islam, including a stint in the Middle East, and working with churches in Africa and international organizations concerned with inter-faith and cross-cultural issues. He studied classical Arabic and Islam for his M.A. and subsequently received his Ph.D. in African Islamic history at the University of London.
A seasoned scholar, highly busy and committed Professor, Lamin Sanneh was Honorary Research Professor in the School of Oriental Studies, University of London, and a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He was Chairman of Yale’s Council on African Studies. He was an editor-at-large of the ecumenical weekly “The Christian Century” and a contributing editor of the “International Bulletin of Missionary Research.” He served on the editorial boards of several academic journals and encyclopedias, and was a consultant to the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Professor Lamin Sanneh is listed in “Who’s Who in America.” He was an official consultant at the 1998 Lambeth Conference in London and was a member of the Council of 100 Leaders of the World Economic Forum. In 2004, Pope John Paul II appointed him to the Pontifical Commission for the Historical Sciences, and Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to the Pontifical Commission on Religious Relations with Muslims.
He had received an award as the John W. Kluge Chair in the Cultures and Societies of the South by the Library of Congress. For his academic work, he was made Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Lion, Senegal’s highest national honor, and is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. His other academic awards include: Carneige Trust of the University of Scotland, 1980 and the Pew Scholars Program, University of Notre Dame, 1993.
As a professor, Lamin Sanneh had taught and worked at the University of Ghana, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, eight years in Harvard University and since 1989 took the position of the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity, Professor of History and, also Chair of Yale Council on African Studies at Yale University.
According to the Yale University website, “He was an Honorary Research Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London, and a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He served on the board of Ethics and Public Policy at Harvard University, and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama.”
Professor Lamin Sanneh had delivered a series of lectures in different parts of the world. In fact, Joel A. Carpenter on pages 25-26 of International Bulletin of Missionary Research, vol. 37, no. 1 of January 2013, described him as “one of the most original and influential Christian thinkers of our time … whose “intellectual biography is thus one long tale of his finding occasions to look across the grain of conventional wisdom and come to conclusions. He has enjoyed the combined gifts of a relentless critical curiosity and a very different cultural vantage point from that of most Western scholars. Those gifts prompt him to see things that others do not.”
In all his writings, lectures and inter-personal and communal encounters, Professor Sanneh always brought with him his magnanimous spirit. What is most evident in such encounters is his great contagious humanity, humility and friendship. This is most apparent in all his works and writings, which he always did from an African perspective on the North-South global dialogue. He proved himself really, an authentic ‘African ambassador’ in the world of academia and theological studies.
Lamin Sanneh was the author of several books and over a hundred articles on religious and historical subjects. He wrote mainly on the relationship between Islam and Christianity and the study of World Christianity as well as Missions. His books include, “Encountering the West: Christianity and the Global Cultural Process: The African Dimension” (1990); The Jakhanke Muslim Clerics: A Religious and Historical Study of Islam in Senegambia (c. 1250-1905)”,(1990); “Religion and the Variety of Culture: A Study in Origin and Practice” (1996); “Piety and Power: Muslims and Christians in West Africa” (1996); “The Changing Face of Christianity: Africa, the West, and the World (co-edited with Joel A. Carpenter”, (2005); “Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity” (2008).
Among his first works I read and which made me fall in love with his writings include, his Magnus opus, “Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture” (1989/2009); and his, “Whose Religion Is Christianity? The Gospel Beyond the West” (2003).
Finally, I was glad to read his masterpiece autobiography, “Summoned from the Margin: Homecoming of An African” (2012). It was a parting gift of this great African scholar to the world. There are other countless works of his, too numerous to mention here, all bordering on his favorite subjects, World Christianity, Islam, History and Missions, all of which he discussed always from an African perspective for cross-cultural encounters and inter-faith dialogue.
My first contact with Professor Lamin Sanneh was through his writings. Before then, however, we have admired each other’s academic commitment of African scholarship from long distance. He later invited me to the Yale Divinity School to participate as a resource scholar for that year’s annual “Yale-Edinburgh Conference”, which he organized together with Professor Andrew F. Walls of the Edinburgh University. However, because of pressing academic loads at the time, I could not honor this last professional invitation from Professor Sanneh at the Yale University. He was gracious enough to understand.
Professor Lamin Sanneh had been a great source of inspiration and model scholar to many young African theologians and beyond. My consolation here is that through my suggestion and under my direction, one of my students in Rome, in 2017, wrote his doctoral dissertation on the thoughts of Lamin Sanneh on the theme of “transcultural and translatability of the Gospel in missions.” Again, Sanneh’s life experience, his religious and conversion journey from Islam to Christianity, and from one Christian denomination to the other, had singled him out as a unique figure and man of rare faith.

Sanneh’s Theological Thoughts from an African Perspective
Lamin Sanneh was born, brought-up and studied earlier in life as a Muslim in his native Gambia in West Africa, and from there, converted to Christianity. In Christianity, he was first a Methodist before becoming a Catholic. He studied in four continents and specialized in many fields of studies. He also travelled wide, spoke many languages and interacted with different cultures.
All these experiences put together helped to shape his theological perspective. His theological perspective, reflected in his writings, covers two major areas, namely, the relationship between Christianity and Islam, and the study of World Christianity and Missions. He wrote always from an African perspective, highlighting the place of Africa in the emerging world Christianity and in the increasingly globalizing world.
In this way, Western scholars and Asians as well, were able to identify easily with his writings and recognize him as a theologian of class of all seasons. This is the most distinguishing aspect of him in comparison with some other African theologians that have remained at the level of critical analysis of the activities of the past colonial Christianity in the continent. Professor Sanneh wrote for post-colonial and post-modernity Africa.
In addition, he had an ecumenical and interreligious theological perspective. He was an ardent apostle and advocate for the timely acceptance of cultural plurality. He maintained that cultural plurality is a fact of historical and religious experience of humanity. God created people differently in many ways and as such gave room for cultural plurality. He held strongly that the incarnation is a defining event in human history that showcased the importance of culture in the lives of peoples. He was an advocate of “mutual respect, mutual understanding and co-operative existence between adherents of different religions of the world because all believe and call on the same God who is Creator of all.”
However, Lamin Sanneh’s writings were all African contextualized and homemade, even though, during most of his adult life, he operated from North America and Europe. His writings portray the effort of an African theologian who wanted to show how the two religions, Christianity and Islam, could live side-by-side with the religious traditions and cultures of African people, in spirit of dialogue, respect, mutual enrichment, encounter and tolerance.
He wrote extensively about the translatability of the Gospel into African culture. Sanneh contends that the translatability of the Gospel into local cultures, different contexts and languages, is something very unique to Christianity, among the other world religions. This can’t be found in Islam since only in Arabic it was believed, Allah spoke to Mohammed. Therefore, translations of Quran into other languages and cultures, is considered anachronistic in Islam.
Sanneh used this argument to explain why Christianity made more inroads in those places in Africa where traditional religion was strongest but very little progress where Islam had been planted during the Arab invasions of the continent:
“Africans best responded to Christianity where the indigenous religions were strongest, not weakest, suggesting a degree of indigenous compatibility with the gospel, and an implicit conflict with colonial priorities… Muslim expansion and growth, which occurred, were most impressive in areas where the indigenous religions, particularly as organized cults, had been vanquished or else subjugated, and where local populations had either lost or vaguely remembered their name for God. For this reason colonialism as a secularizing force helped to advance Muslim gains in Africa. The end of colonial rule inhibited the expansion of Islam in Africa, whereas the opposite seems to have happened with Christianity.” (Lamin Sanneh’s “Whose Religion Is Christianity: The Gospel beyond the West” (2003, 18-19).
Speaking further on the importance of African local languages in spreading the Gospel, he writes that:
“Christianity has felt so congenial in English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, Russian, and so on, that we forget it wasn’t always so, or we inexcusably deny that the religion might feel equally congenial in other languages, such as Amharic, Geez, Arabic, Coptic, Tamil, Korean, Chinese, Swahili, Shona, Twi, Igbo, Wolof, Yoruba, and Zulu. Our cultural chauvinism makes us overlook Christianity’s vernacular character.” (Lamin Sanneh’s “Whose Religion Is Christianity” (2003, 105). See also chapter three of his “Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture” (1989).
Furthermore, Professor Sanneh advances the argument of the significance of Africa of the new southward shift in Christian landscape. In this context, he argues that the significance of Africa of the new southward “shift” must be located within the global transformation of the Christian landscape by the new centers of Christianity in the southern continents. He adds that the growth of Christianity in the southern continents does not mean a displacement of the “old centers” of the faith. It does not also mean a redefinition of the missionary concept or goal. Rather it is a confirmation of the history of Christian mission that faith travels through the missionary movement of believing community:
“When the Christian faith first traveled from Jerusalem to Athens, North Africa and then to Rome, none of the previous centers was displaced by the new ones. And none of the new centers was considered inferior to the “old centers” of Christianity. Each encounter was, rather, a manifestation of how the evangelizing church was fulfilling its mission in the world.” Indeed each encounter was a demonstration of Christianity’s universal appeal. Moreover, none of the centers, “old” or “new”, considers itself the sole bearers of the Christian mission. Each center sees itself as a full participant in the evangelizing mission of the church. (cf. Lamin Sanneh’s “Whose Religion Is Christianity”, 36ff.).
Seen from this perspective, the new southward shift in Christianity is not a matter of worries but the triumph of its universal expansion and adaptability to all peoples of the world. Sanneh adds that the history of Christian expansion and adaptability enabled Christianity itself to break the cultural barriers of its former domestication in the Northern hemisphere to create missionary resurgence and renewal that transformed the religion into a world faith. He opines that there is much to be gained by respecting this historical missionary paradigm. Modern African Christianity provides us with an indispensable example of what is at stake.
In this context, Sanneh presents an argument about the limitations of the concept of mission as one-way traffic, from the West to the rest of the world. In fact, his critique of the idea of Christendom advanced at the Edinburgh 1910 Missionary Conference. He makes the case most forcefully in connection to African experience:
“African Christianity has not been a bitterly fought religion: there have been no ecclesiastical courts condemning unbelievers, heretics, and witches to death, no bloody battles of doctrine and polity, no territorial aggrandizement by churches; no jihads against infidels, no fatwas against women, no amputations, lynchings, ostracism, penalties, or public condemnation of doctrinal differences or dissent. The lines of Christian profession have not been etched in the blood of enemies. To that extent, at least African Christianity has diverged strikingly from sixteenth and seventeenth-century Christendom.” (Lamin Sanneh, “Whose Religion Is Christianity” (39).
This is the perspective from which Sanneh advances his basic argument on intercultural process in the history of Christian mission. In the first place, he acknowledges that statistical weight has moved Africa firmly into the Christian orbit, and that happened only a few years ago, which is why the notion “Africa is a Christian continent” is so novel and dramatic. But we should bear in mind that Christianity from its origins was marked by serial retreat and advance as an intercultural process. Bethlehem and Jerusalem were superseded by Antioch and Athens, while Egypt and Carthage soon gave place to Rome. Rival centers multiplied the chances of further contraction and expansion. Then it was the turn of the North Atlantic world to inherit the mantle before the next momentous phase brought the religion to the southern hemisphere, with Africa representing the most recent continental shift. Sanneh writes:
“These developments went beyond merely adding more names to the book; they had to do with cultural shifts, with changing the books themselves. This serial feature of the history of Christianity is largely hidden from people in the West now living in a post-Christian culture. Even in Africa itself the churches were caught unprepared, and are scarcely able to cope with the elementary issue of absorbing new members, let alone with deeper issues of formation and training” (“Whose Religion Is Christianity” (36-37).
The point here is that the concept of Christendom (“mission as one way-traffic”) imprisons the study of non-Western Christianity within a Western theological framework and thus impoverishes understanding of its nature and significance. It entrenches the notion of Christian missionary movement as “one-way traffic”, as a movement from the “old Christendom” (the West) to the so-called “non-Christian land” (or “mission land”).
The missionary significance as well as the real Christian identity of Christians from the former “non-Christian land” or (“mission land” – southern continents), is thus suppressed by the concept of “Christendom” – mission as one-way-traffic. Moreover, the experience of Christendom perhaps predisposes Westerners to think of religious phenomena in terms of permanent centers and structures of unilateral control.
These were some of the strands in contemporary missiological thinking, Lamin Sanneh, masterly discussed in his writings from an African perspective. They all constitute the strength of his scholarship and contribution to mission studies, World Christianity and Islam.

Conclusion
In Professor Lamin Sanneh’s religious itinerary, life experience and scholarship, whether as a Muslim or Christian, we meet an example, a model of what a typical African scholar is likely to undergo. That is, whenever he comes to grips with the religious and cultural layers that underpin our African cosmology and religious worldview amidst other world religions and cultures in our increasingly pluralistic and globalizing world.
His, was the effort of an African scholar, struggling to reclaim his colonial dispossessed cultural and religious identity, and contribute to African renaissance in theological and missiological scholarship. It was an effort aimed at overcoming the crisis of cultural and religious identity of African people, and rediscovering the riches of African religious and cultural traditions after over five-hundred years of colonialism, the Western and Arab conquest of the Black continent.
Professor Lamin Sanneh had been on international scene for most part of his adult life and scholarship itinerary. It is not surprising therefore, that most of the colleagues evaluated his scholarly contribution to World Christianity, Islam and Missions, sometimes with the lens of Western scholarship other than African that it truly was.
However, as we have tried to demonstrate in this tribute in his honor, the fact remains that, beneath Professor Sanneh’s writings, is the effort of an African scholar. His was an effort of a former African Muslim, now converted to Christianity, doing a dialogue with his African reality and background. From that baggage of his religious experience and itinerary, he grappled with the question of the place of his people in the increasingly globalizing pluralistic world of different religions, cultures and philosophy of life. In his scholarship of dialogue with religions and cultures, World Christianity and Islam, his African experience, always loomed large.
Over his 30-year at Yale Divinity School as well as stints at the University of London and two Pontifical Commissions, Sanneh brought World Christianity and African presence to the forefront, drawing a global network of scholars and friends around his scholarship in the fields of study and research.
My condolences to his widow, Sandra Sanneh, their son Kelefa, and daughter Sia, as well as to his numerous friends and students in the world of academia and sciences. With the demise of Lamin Sanneh, Africa has lost one of his greatest scholars and theologians of our time. May God receive his good soul and strengthen the family he left behind. Adieu Professor Lamin Sanneh!
Francis Anekwe Oborji is a Roman Catholic Priest. He lives in Rome where he is a Professor of missiology (mission theology) in a Pontifical University.

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Anambra Govt Debunks Social Media Reports Of Instigating People Against PDP By Obiano

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By JAMES EZE –

The State government says its attention has been drawn to a story of hate being circulated on the social media by one Ikechukwu Emeka Onyia, which claimed that Governor Willie Obiano while addressing members of the All progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Awka last Thursday promised to bail any person that kills anybody in an effort to ensure that the People’s Democratic Party, PDP did not win any ward in the State during the forthcoming election.
A release by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Mr James Eze described the comment by the said Ikechukwu Emeka Onyia as absolutely untrue, misleading, unconscionable and totally condemnable.
According to the statement Governor Obiano never said such as he did not even attend any party gathering on Thursday the seventh of February, as he was in a mourning mood after attending the burial of the deceased APGA Chieftain, Chief Mike Kwentoh at Onitsha earlier in the day.
The release described the story by Mr Ikechukwu Emeka Onyia as a reprehensible lie against Governor Obiano, the office he occupies and the good people of Anambra State, who are genuinely concerned about the image of the State both within and outside the country.
According to the release in the past five years, Governor Obiano has demonstrated his care for the safety of Ndi Anambra and his respect for the sanctity of human lives, calling on Ndi Anambra to demand an explanation from the said Ikechukwu Emeka Onyia about where he got his horrible report.

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Igbos Should Not Put All Their Eggs In One Basket- Senator Onyeabo Obi

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By Chinenyelum Ojiaku.

A former senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Onyeabo Obi has asked Ndigbo not to put all their eggs in one basket as regards the forthcoming general elections in the country.
Senator Onyeabo Obi stated this while answering questions from newsmen recently at a function in his country home. He urged Ndigbo to learn from other tribes who diversify their patronage. “Igbos cannot put all their eggs in one basket. We have to learn the politics of Nigeria. No tribe puts all her eggs in one basket. Imagine if your choice goes wrong; then you are in enmity in the next four years. Some people must be on one side while others will be on the other side. The Yorubas have learnt that lesson as well as the Hausas, it is even so with the Tivs and other tribes in the country. It is about time we grow up and not put all our eggs in one basket”.
The senator regretted that the whole political system in Nigeria is terrible; the cross-carpeting, the intolerance, the do-or-die attitude, etc. These vices”, the senator said, “cut across religions and so on. When it comes to stealing, there’s no division of religion or tribe they share.
On the current situation in the country with so many killings and all that, Senator Onyeabo Obi said that every country had its prize to pay. He stressed, “like Congo, Venezuela and many others”, and concluded that every country has her own challenges.
The senator however noted that there’s a silver lining in the sky as the future is still bright.

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