Okorocha to Wike: Amnesty to militants meant to enthrone peace in Imo

The Imo State government has reacted to an allegation by the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike that it was frustrating its effort at curbing crime by offering amnesty to criminals declared wanted in the state, explaining that the amnesty it granted to “repentant” militants was part of its continuing effort to restore peace Imo and by extension, the Niger Delta Region.

The state’s Commissioner for Information, Prof N.O. Obiaraeri, who made the clarification in a press statement on  Thursday, emphasised that the government “lawfully” granted State pardon to Ohaji/Egbema militants who hitherto operated around the Awarra Court Area of Ohaji/ Egbema LGA of Imo State after due consultations with the relevant security agencies and in the interest of peace in the region.

“The State pardon was granted as part of the continuous effort to restore permanent peace in Imo State and the entire Niger Delta region because these boys have been responsible for ceaseless oil pipeline vandalism, kidnappings, loss of lives and properties in the Awarra Court Area and entire Ohaji/ Egbema/Oguta oil producing communities of Imo State.” the statement read.

“The Security Council of Imo State made up of the Army, Police, SSS, NSCDC and others took the decision to grant State pardon to these repentant militant boys on 5 February 2018 after they voluntarily and publicly surrendered their large cache of arms and ammunitions and confessed to sundry crimes they committed in Imo State.”

Emphasising that the amnesty programme has helped to reduce crime in Imo, Obiaraeri noted that at no point did the Imo State government grant amnesty to those declared wanted by the Rivers State government.

“It is public knowledge that for a long time now, Imo State has been having zero cases of insecurity and as a responsible and responsive Government, the State Government in league with the State Security Council will do everything lawful and within its powers to continue to secure the lives and properties of Imolites and residents alike.

“At all material times, Imo State Government stands prepared and ready to co-operate with or share security information and strategies with Rivers State and or other neighbouring States on effective and mutually benefitting ways and means of combating transboarder crimes and criminality and promoting good neighbourliness.

“Out of abundant caution, it is made clear that no amnesty or State pardon was granted by Imo State Government to any person or group of persons for any crime or crimes committed in Rivers State, Nigeria or any other part of Nigeria beyond or outside Imo State.

“It is not the intention of Imo State Government to enmesh itself in needless controversy over this voluntary and successful disarmament exercise with Rivers State Government or anyone else as Imo State Government has not violated any laws or breached any protocols or security codes in granting State pardon to militants that operate within her territorial jurisdiction,” he concluded.

Wike, Akande, Baru, others win 2017 Zik Prize Award

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, former Governor Osun state and first Interim National Chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande and Minister of Agriculture and rural development, Chief Audu Ogbeh were amongst nine prominent Nigerians that won the 2017 Zik Prize Award.

Announcing the names of the winners to journalist in Lagos, Member, Advisory Board, of Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre, (PPRAC), Professor Pat Utomi, said the Zik Prize Leadership Award was instituted 24 years ago in honour of the first President of Nigeria, Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, primarily to encourage and nurture leadership on the African Continent and in the Diaspora.

“The year 2017 Zik Prize Award is set to follow this noble tradition of recognizing service excellence,” he said.

He disclosed that an exhaustive appraisal of nominees in various award categories have been done before these official announcing of their names.”

He said Bisi Akande who won the Zik Prize in Political Leadership, was honoured for his long standing dynamic service to Nigerian state and undying commitment to entrenchment of democratic ideas in the Nigeria polity.

While Chief Audu Ogbeh who emerged the Zik Prize winner in Public Service for his success in the last two years as he championed the return to Agriculture as a means of diversifying the nation’s economy.

Utomi added that “Today, Nigeria is now the largest rice producer in West Africa and agriculture the largest employer of labour providing up to 70 per cent of the national’s employment.”

Also, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru also won the award in professional leadership along with Mr. Ernest Ebi in this same category.

Other winners include Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike who emerged the winner as Zik Prize in Good Governance.

He was described as a dogged fighter and honoured for his people oriented reforms and the massive grassroots and infrastructural development projects across the state.

The wife of Anambra State Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obaino, the governor of Katsina State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello-Masari, wife of Bauchi State Governor, Hajia Hadiza Abubakar Mohammed, and Adedeji Adeleke were also honoured with Zik leadership awards.

The award, meant to encourage the development of patriotic leadership among Nigerians, Africans and all black people of the world, has drawn notable world leaders in the past, who recognise it as a veritable platform to earn national and international reputation in political and corporate governance, especially in an era of severe leadership crisis and organisational deficiency across the globe.

Some recipients of the prize in the past include; President J.J. Rawlings (1995), President Nwalimu Julius Nyerere (1997), Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim (1998), President Sam Nujoma (1999), Dr. Nelson Mandela (2000), President Yonweri Muzeveni (2003); President John Agyekum Kuffor (2008), Senator David Mark, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed (2010), Otunba Subomi Balogun (2010), President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2011), Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, Rabiu Kwakwanso (2012); Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (2013) and Alhaji Umar Tanko Al Makura (2014).

 

Massive celebrations as 104yr-old Ini – Arochukwu road wears new look

Tony Okoh, Uyo

The massive 14.1 Kilometer road which begins in Odoro Ikpe community, traverses Ikpe Ikot Nkon, Nkana, and Obotme all in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa ibom and terminates in Arochukwu in Abia State is nearing completion with residents expressing gratitude to Governor Emmanuel for the project.

The once impassable road is now open up for commerce and other activities after 104 years as a bush track,

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State who initiated the construction of the road last year through peculiar ultimate construction ltd yesterday urged the firm to fast track the project and get it completed before may this year.

The completed road project

Represented by the State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen during a routine visit to project sites, he pledged government cooperation to ensure the project with side drains and 110 meters span bridge is delivered to boost commerce, trade and interstate relations with the neighboring Abia state.

At Awa Iman – Asong – Ikot Edim – Ikot Emem road covering Onna and Mkpat Enin Local Government Areas, the Works Commissioner expressed satisfaction with the level of progress on the 12 kilometres road with side drains and outfall drains to contain heavy rainfall being handled by VKS Nigeria Construction Limited.

Completed road project

In the same vein, the 18.95 km Ikot Ibritam -Ikot Ekpuk – Ikot Ekon – Etuk Nkwo – Ekeffe – Odoro Ikot – Idung Akpan Uko – Ikot Owure – Ikot Oto Iwo – Ikot Andem – Ikot Akpan Afaha road in Ukanafun and Oruk Anam LGAs of the state is another project that has opened the state for investment.

The commissioner for works who toured the project site extracted assurances from the contractors on timely delivery of the job.

Works Commissioner on project inspection

 At the site of the 6.4km Nto Edino Ekwere azu road with two 45m bridges in Obot Akara local government area of the state, Akparawa Ephraim inyang eyen urged the contractors seyan Nig Ltd to quickly linked the two bridges to ease movement access for residents.

He pledged government support to ensure timely delivery of the projects.

At the 5.1 internal roads within the premises of the Akwa ibom state university obio akpa campus, the commissioner promised to immediately pay compensation to the property owners who have been affected by the ongoing road expansion in the area to enable the job progress without hitches.

 

 

Oyo chieftaincy crisis: Court nullifies installation of 21 kings by Ajimobi

An Oyo State High Court presided over by Justice Olajumoke Aiki on Friday declared the review of the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadan land by the Justice Akintunde Boade Review Commission, which was set up by the Oyo State Government, as unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect.

The commission had recommended, among others, the creation of several monarchs in Ibadan which led to the installation of 21 kings by the state Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

But the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Rashidi Ladoja, challenged the composition and recommendations of the commission in court, joining Ajimobi as co-defendant.

While delivering judgment, Aiki held that wearing of beaded crowns is beyond the purview of sections 10, 12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law, stating that Section 25 of the Chiefs Law could not be treated in isolation to the provisions of Parts Two and Three of the Chiefs Laws.

The court also said provisions of Parts Two and Three of the Chiefs Laws, particularly sections 10, 12 and 25, did not give power to the governor to review the Olubadan chieftaincy declaration, while also restraining the government from accepting and implementing the reports of the commission.

 

 

Details later…

IPOB launches Hausa service

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has launched “Radio Nigeria Hausa service”.

IPOB made the announcement on Thurday via a statement issued by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful.

The group noted that the Hausa Service was created to communicate ideologies of liberation to “oppressed indigenous northerners”.

IPOB stated that it would begin broadcast of the Hausa Service on Saturday, January 6 at 7PM Nigerian time.

“The broadcast will have the widest coverage of any radio signal in Africa,” the statement noted.

“It will be received all over West, East and Southern Africa. Every Hausa speaking community in Africa will be able to receive it.

“In our opinion, we feel it has become imperative to educate the poor masses of northern Nigeria. The ruling class cleverly enslaved and impoverished ethnic populations of the north by keeping vital information and knowledge away from them.

“This information deficit is what Radio Nigeria Hausa Service has come to remedy.”

IPOB noted that its mission is to ensure that Radio Biafra is perceived as unselfish in its liberation movement as opposed to the wrong perception that it was out only to help liberate people of Biafran association.

“Regardless of ethnicity, religion or creed, IPOB is pursuing an agenda of freedom for all,” he said.

“Our message is very simple, 2018 will be like no other in the history of Nigeria and will prove to be the year of liberation for those brave enough to confront the evil that Nigeria has become in the lives of millions of people.”

It added that those “deluding themselves” with the notion that IPOB has been weakened because of the absence of Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, “are in for an almighty shock”.

“This move today is the beginning of a mass revolution against our oppressors that will spread outside the borders of Biafraland.

“Every Hausa speaking northerner is advised to tune into 15110 KHz every night at 7PM, starting from this Saturday 6 January 2018, to be educated in order to be liberated.”

It’s a sad situation Nigeria can’t refine its oil – Kachikwu

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has bemoaned the country’s inability to refine its own crude oil despite four decades of operations in the downstream sector.

Kachikwu made this statement before the senate committee on petroleum on Thursday, noting that the ministry he presides over and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were working actively to provide lasting solutions to the current fuel crisis in the country.

Kachikwu, however, noted that Nigeria’s refineries need to be functional in order for fuel crises to be resolved totally.

“In what I might call an emergency before the work that we are doing on the refineries that would be finished sometime in 2019,” Kachikwu said.

“I want to remind that over two years we haven’t had queues. We are spending night and day to find solutions to nip this in the bud.

“Ultimately what this country needs is to have its refineries working and I have said that it is shameful that after 30, 40 years of activities in the downstream, cannot produce sufficient [petroleum products]. I have said nobody sells crude in its form in the world and we have to have the technical capacity to do this.”

The minister also listed non-payment to marketers as one of the reasons for the scarcity. Kachikwu expressed regrets that some people took advantage of the situation.

 

Nigerians are suffering; change or be removed from office! – Mbaka warns Buhari

The spiritual leader and general overseer of Adoration Ministries in Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari about that he may be removed from office in a shameful manner.

Mbaka, a staunch supporter of Buhari in the months up to the 2015 presidential election, warned the president not to consider seeking a second term in office. Mbaka noted that his warning is premised on indications and stories making the rounds about the president’s intention to run for presidency in 2019 even though he has not made this public.

“I had wanted to pray for you (Buhari) and go because I don’t want anybody to attack me, I don’t want the Bishop to invite me, I don’t want politicians to attack me anywhere. But God forced me, you must say it,” Mbaka told his congregation at the first service of the year.

“Listen to me – 2017 became one of the most horrible years in this country.

“The Lord says captive Nigerians, you will be speedily rescued. Things are very very difficult, hard and tough nowadays. The hardship is not from God, they are man-made.

“The wicked cabal and satanic agents in this country have wickedly kidnapped the goodwill and good intentions of Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari. His good intentions have been kidnapped.

“President Buhari must wake up and sit up immediately. Heaven demands Buhari, our president, to change all those who are holding and caging him in captivity. If he will not change them, he will be changed.

“Mr. President, wake up, sit up. God said you are toying with the privilege given to you. There is no time. Nigerians are dying in your hands. People are not happy with your system.

“Change or you will be changed – God said that Buhari is in trouble. Buhari is hypnotised. Buhari is in a horrible bondage. Buhari’s mantra has been cannibalised.

“Unless President Buhari quickly and strategically positions the right people and changes the former ones inaugurated by him, the wind of change, that he himself inaugurated, will blow him away shamefully.

“The wind will be too strong that Mr. President and the cabal will be blown out of office shamefully.

“The wind will be irresistible for it will come like a hurricane. Buhari can handle this problem but his office, if he is not careful, another will take.”

Mbaka reportedly said Buhari had himself to blame for his problems, especially after “failing to heed the advice of his wife, Aisha”.

“Mr. President, as I was waiting on the Lord, I am asked to advise you, don’t come out for second tenure, after this, retire peacefully,” he was quoted to have said.

“Mr. President, you are the cause of your own problem. God gave you an adviser, a wonderful mentor, a visionist, a matriarch, in the person of your wife, Aisha, but you don’t want to listen to her; that woman is heartbroken, because she understood that you are not yourself.

“Come back to yourself or you will cry by the time you will be sent out of office. Those who are encouraging you to come out and run again, they want to disgrace you shamefully and publicly.”

Mbaka adviced Buhari to take responsibility for the problems in the country.

 

“Mr. President, you are to be blamed, not your cabal. You have your brooms, but the cabals have their bags; either you sweep them away or they throw you into the bag,” he said.

“Heaven cried that your methodology is not just archaic but too sluggish, very slow. The situation in Nigeria needs speed but you are too dull.

“His (Buhari’s) pattern of battling corruption is not just archaic and barbaric; it is a witch-hunt, terribly selective.

“Mr. Buhari, as the President, why should you be picking and choosing those that you and your so-called EFCC man would want to arrest, so that your party becomes a hideout for criminals, so that any person who does not want to be arrested will become an APC person? Is that not corruption in itself?

“It is the same people that go to the APC, they drop their umbrella and pick the broom, but instead of using the broom to sweep away corruption, they are using it to sweep money into their pockets.

“Your change mantra is questionable. You are to change your change or you will be disgraced out of office.”

Power Generation climbs to 5,222.3MW

The Transmission Company of Nigeria has announced that power generation across Nigeria has attained a new peak of 5,222.3 megawatts.

The TCN made this announcement on December 18 through a statement from Ndidi Mbah, its General Manager of Public Affairs. Mbah credited the new milestone in power generation to the strategy developed by the present administration to improve supply in the country.

Mbah noted that the TCN’s ability to key into the FG’s plan for the power sector enabled it to develop the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP), which would empower it to execute transmission projects nationwide.

She added that the project required the clearing of TCN’s containers [housing various transmission equipment] stranded at the seaports, in order to enable it complete previously abandoned projects to further expand the transmission grid.

A total 759 containers were abandoned by contractors at the seaports within the last five years and 454 have been cleared by the TCN from March to date. Mbah noted explained that payment for 193 containers have been made and are in the process of being cleared. However, she said that payment for the outstanding 112 containers are yet to be made.

She further explained that all the 454 containers cleared from the ports had been taken to various construction sites of the TCN in Yola, Gulak, Katsina, Jos, Dambatta, Ganmo, Abeokuta, Onitsha and Benin, as well as to Odoguyan, Ede, Igangan, Okene, Walalambe, Akwanga, Kachia, Kumbotso and Kaduna.

She added that the containers had been abandoned at the ports for between two and six years by contractors for various reasons, including suspension of TCN’s Import Duty Exemption Certificates (IDECs) in 2013 by the Ministry of Finance, slow processing of the IDECs by TCN in the past, and inefficiency of the contractors.

“The result was several uncompleted transmission projects in various parts of the country,” Mbah stated.

Mbah reiterated TCN’s commitment to stabilise, rehabilitate and expand the national grid and called on the public to work with it to safeguard transmission facilities across the country.

Emefiele woos Private Sector on job, wealth creation

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has again urged the private sector to support in creating jobs and wealth for the overall growth of the Nigerian economy, even as he pledged the Bank’s support for any company committed to the objective of job creation.

Mr. Emefiele made the call in his special remarks on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at the Blue Band Factory launch held at the Unilever factory, Agbara, Ogun State, noting that there were many Nigerian youths whose potentials could be harnessed to strengthen the industrial base of the country.

He recalled with nostalgia the practice in time past when companies tested and offered jobs to the brightest among fresh graduates of different disciplines before they proceeded for their national youth service, stressing that a vast number of Nigerian youth were hardworking and willing to contribute their quota to the development of the country.

He also commended the management of Unilever Nigeria Plc for heeding the Bank’s call to return to Nigeria and build a world-class plant capable of producing in spite of the foreign challenge that necessitated the CBN to restrict access to some 41 items, including margarine, which could be produced in Nigeria.

Emefiele told the audience that included representatives of the British and Dutch envoys as well as bank chiefs, that the policies of the Bank and its aggressive intervention in the interbank foreign exchange market management had ensured transparency in the foreign exchange market, coupled with an accretion to the foreign reserves that now stand at $38.2 billion.

With a population estimated at about 180 million people, the CBN Governor said Nigeria was a ready market for investors and was indeed ready and open for business. He, therefore, reiterated his call to investors to take advantage of the opportunities in Nigeria by investing in Nigeria.

Mr. Emefiele, however, cautioned that Nigeria, with the population growing at an average of three per cent per annum, had to focus on growth and prosperity if it is to transform its population into assets. “We must plan to feed our growing population so it does not become a disadvantage,” he warned.

Welcoming guests earlier, the Executive Vice President of Unilever Ghana & Nigeria, Yaw Nsarkoh lauded the CBN for supporting the company to achieve its goal of setting up the plant in Agbara and boosting capacity in Africa.

While urging investors to disregard negative stories about Nigeria, Nsarkoh noted that businesses must be part of the solution to thriving communities.

The highpoint of the ceremony was an inspection of the new Blueband factory by the CBN Governor and other guests present at the ceremony.

Goverenor Okorocha’s sister now Imo state Commissioner for Happiness and Couples’ Fulfillment.

Chid Samuel   |

Mrs. Ogechi Ololo (nee Okorocha), the biological sister of Governor Rochas Okorocha and former Deputy Chief of Staff and Special Adviser on Domestic Matters to the Governor, has been appointed as the state ’s Commissioner for Happiness and Couples’ Fulfillment.

Sworn-in with 27 new commissioners and 27 Transition Committee Chairmen for the 27 local government councils in the state, the Governor, at the swearing-in ceremony at the Imo International Convention Centre, Owerri,, enjoined them  to leave their marks in their respective ministries and local government, saying that the appointment is not business as usual.

“We shall not tolerate any sharp practice or corruption of any type. Neither shall we accept indolence or laziness. You have been called to duty to help us to achieve our vision in the Rescue Mission Project.

“At this moment, I charge you all to be good ambassadors of the Rescue Mission wherever you find yourselves.

“To the Transition Committee Chairmen, you must ensure that ongoing projects must be completed especially the schools, chapels etc.”

The commissioners sworn in and their portfolios are: Prof. Nnamdi Obiaraeri (Information); Lady Ugochi Nnana – Okoro (Agric and Food Security); Gertrude Oduka (Primary and Secondary Education); Dr. Jones Uzoka (Niger Delta Affairs); Uchendu Mark (Public Utilities ); and Gerald Okolie (Rural Development).

Others are Dr. Cyril Okafor (Tourism ); Emmanuel Ojinere (Trade and Investment); Chief Lasbery Anyanwu (Transport); Onwueyiagwu Valentine (Youth Development); Mrs. Ngozi Njoku (Gender and Social Development); Chief Josephine Udoji (Works); Achilike Nwawuike (Internal Resources and Pension Matters ); Prof. Emenalo Chizoba (Tertiary Education); Nwamerenini Chukwuka (Labour); and Dr. Iyke Njoku (Planning, Budget and Statistics).

The Transition Committee Chairmen sworn in are: Okechukwu Onyechere (Ideato South); Sir Anyehe Okeneme (Ikeduru ); Julius Onyeneho (Isiala Mbano); Akas Paschal, (Isu ); Steve Odoemena (Mbaitoli); Eke Chidi (Ngor Okpala); Aloysius Onwuegbuchulam (Njaba ); and Paschal Onwukaike (Nkwerre‎.