Vol. 1 No. 38, May 2014
Chime, Ekweremadu rift deepens Page 2
Oduma community defies Enugu Govt, honours DSP, Minister, 2 others
Ekweremadu was not honoured by any monarch â€“ Enugu Govt By Ted Peters & Rex Arum
t was another power game in Enugu State on Saturday, April 19, 2014 when the people of eight autonomous communities of Oduma Kingdom in Aninri local government area of the state rolled out their drums to honour their beloved son in whom they are well pleased, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. The communities had arranged a civic reception and conferment of chieftaincy title on Ekweremadu in appreciation of the senator's role in facilitating the construction of the N12 billion Nenwe-Oduma-Uburu roads which was flagged by the Federal Government in November 2012. Work on the project has progressed steadily and the people of community, who are usually cut off from Enugu during the rainy season owing to the deplorable condition of the road, now heave a sigh of relief. But while the communities were planning to celebrate their illustrious son, Governor Sullivan Chime and his aides went to the drawing board of political manipulations. Sensing that the beneficiary (DSP) might earn some political advantages from the L-R: Wife of the Deputy President of the Senate, Lady Nwanneka Ekweremadu; DSP, Chief Ike Ekweremadu; densely populated farming communities, Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma; and Chairman Senate Committee on which is close to his own community, Mpu,
Communications, Senator Gil Nnaji acknowledge greetings from crowd at the reception and conferment of chieftaincy title on the DSP by Oduma Community, last weekend.
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Enugu Deputy Gov, Onyebuchi joins 2015 Senatorial race WAR IN THE HOUSE OF GOD Nnamani, Nnaji, Nwobodo also eyeing Enugu East senatorial seat The Advocate was reliably informed by a By Ted Peters
eputy Governor of Enugu State, Chief Sunday Onyebuchi has joined the race for the 2015 Enugu East Senatorial zone on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
top member of the ruling party in the state that Onyebuchi has already informed the leadership of the party that he would contest the senatorial seat, adding that the party stakeholders were aware of his ambition, though he is yet to make it public. The deputy governor, according to the
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Chime, Ekweremadu rift deepens Continued from front page Chime who is working hard to take over from Ekweremadu as the senator for Enugu West senatorial zone upon completion of his second term as governor in 2015, moved quickly to stop the conferment of the chieftaincy title. The government immediately set out to halt the event by issuing an order suspending the conferment of chieftaincy titles by traditional rulers in the state with effect from April 7, 2014. The government's directive contained in a letter dated April 7, 2014 with reference number MCM/CM/98/T/203 and addressed to all recognised traditional rulers in the state was signed by Ibe Nnamani on behalf of the Commissioner, Ministry of Chieftaincy Matters, Pastor Emeka Abugu. The letter specifically said that the order would elapse on December 31, this year. The letter reads: “I am directed to inform you that Enugu State Government has suspended the conferment of Chieftaincy titles on individuals with effect from
Monday, 7th April 2014 and ends 31st December 2014 by Traditional rulers or group of Traditional rulers in Enugu State. “If there is however any reason for which any Traditional ruler will confer any title on anybody, a written permission should be obtained from the Hon. Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters. “Please ensure strict adherence to this directive as appropriate sanctions, in line with traditional rulers law will be meted on defaulters. Please accept the assurance of our warm and best regards.” This, however, did not go down well with the people of Oduma community who insisted that the reception Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu being bestowed with must hold as scheduled the traditional chieftaincy title of Dike Eji Ejemba by Oduma Community, more so when they claimed Aninri Local Government Area, Enugu State last weekend. to have earlier sought and by the letter as observers of Though the letter was sent to all Eze's decision to stay away obtained the approval of political developments in the state traditional rulers in the state, many without notice might not be the Commissioner for the event. described the government's action believed that it was targeted at the unconnected with his Tension heightened in the state on as “autocratic and impunity”. celebration and honour planned gubernatorial ambition as he account of the confusion created for Ekweremadu and three others. would not want to be seen as A member of the organising disobeying the governor, who has committee, Chief Johnson Orji zoned the governorship slot to his had said in the midst of the senatorial zone. controversy that the community The people of the community would go ahead with its plan to including Prof Richard Uwakwe, honour the selected personalities, who served as chairman of the said. whom he said had long been occasion, the National President Onyebuchi grew notified and have mobilized their Oduma Unity Forum, Chief through the ranks to friends and well-wishers for the Ezekiel Chukwu and Mrs. Felicia the position of ceremony. The government Aka, a woman leader; who spoke Permanent Secretary viewed this as an attempt by the on behalf of the community at the in Enugu State Civil community to test its will and event, described Senator Service. He was a went ahead to direct the state Ekweremadu as a liberator of the Social Mobilization police command to ensure that people sent by God. Officer for Nkanu there was no gathering anywhere Speaking at the occasion, Senator East and Nkanu West at Oduma on April 19. As learnt, Ekweremadu expressed gratitude in the defunct the government had planned to to God for making the event Directorate for Social dethrone any traditional ruler possible despite efforts made by Mobilization, found at the event but unknown to some people to frustrate it from MAMSER, . the government the eight taking place. While announcing a H e w a s monarchs had decided to stay donation of N6.3 million for the Commissioner for away but members of their cabinet completion of St. Anthony's Works and Transport (cabinet chiefs) were fully present Catholic Parish Oduma, venue of while Governor at the ceremony which was well the event, Ekweremadu said he Sullivan Chime was attended by thousands of people would continue to collaborate Commissioner for from Oduma communities and with other representatives of Justice under the well-wishers from within and Enugu state at the National Chimaroke Nnamani outside the state. A s s e m b l y, i n c l u d i n g H o n Chief Sunday Onyebuchi administration. Apart from Ekweremadu, who Ozomgbachi to attract dividends Although the deputy governor Onyebuchi is acclaimed to have was conferred with the traditional of democracy to the people. could not be reached to confirm served well under Chime as title of Dike Eji Eje Mba 1 of “I have not come to receive a the speculation, his Special Deputy Governor and was Oduma (a worthy ambassador) chieftaincy title, no; I have come Assistant, Mr. Sampson Ani, reputed to be very loyal to the others honoured at the at the to celebrate with the people of confirmed that he (Onyebuchi) governor. occasion included the member Oduma because God has has decided to contest the 2015 While Governor Chime was representing Udi Ezeagu federal eventually heard their cries. You senatorial election and was away on medical trip to United constituency and Chairman House see this road? This Egyptian you already making consultations Kingdom last year, Onyebuchi Committee on Works, Hon are seeing today, you'll see them with party members. Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, the held forth as Acting Governor no more; your problem is over. By “The Deputy Governor is Minister of Works, Arch Mike and sustained the activities of the this time next year, there will be running for the Senatorial Onolememen and the group asphalt on the whole length and government in the absence of his position and he is eminently Managing Director of SETRACO breadth of Oduma,” he said. principal. Nigeria Limited, Engr. Fayez qualified to represent Enugu East The chairman of the occasion, Meanwhile, other contestants for Khalaf. at the National Assembly. I Prof. Uwakwe said the people of Enugu East senatorial seat that The senator representing Enugu Oduma were limited by human believe he has good advantage have so far declared their interest North and Chairman Senate language in expression of their having be highly favoured by the include former Governor Committee on Works, Senator gratitude to Senator Ekweremadu PDP zoning arrangement. He is Chimaroke Nnamani, Senator Ayogu Eze, who was among those for attracting the road project from Nkanu East which has never Gilbert Nnaji, Enugu State Chief selected for the honour, was currently being handled by produced senator for the zone. of Staff, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo conspicuously absent. A member SETRACO Nig Ltd, through the Apart from zoning, he is the man and Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr, all of the organizing committee said to beat in terms of merit,” the aide Continues on page 8 from the PDP.
Enugu Deputy Gov Onyebuchi joins 2015 Senatorial race Continued from front page source who pleaded anonymity, has also embarked on wide consultations with leaders of the party within and outside the six local government areas that make up the Enugu East Senatorial zone including Enugu North, Enugu South, Enugu East, Nkanu Nkanu East, Nkanu West and Isi-Uzo .“I can tell you authoritatively that the Deputy Governor, Sunday Onyebuchi, is in the race for Enugu East senatorial seat and he is very serious with his ambition. He is working underground and consulting with party stakeholders whom he has duly informed of his senatorial ambition and I believe at the right time he would declare publicly,” he said. He described Onyebuchi as a “serious contender” explaining that he stands a better chance to clinch the position as he is favoured by zoning and rotational principle adopted by the party leaders. Onyebuchi hails from Nkanu East which is the only local government that has never produced the senator for Enugu East Senatorial zone. Senators that have so far represented Enugu East include Chief Isaiah Ani (Isi -Uzo), Chief Jim Nwobodo (Enugu South), Chief Ken Nnamani (Enugu South), Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani (Nkanu West) and the incumbent Senator , Gilbert Nnaji (Enugu East).
Scrap ESWAMA now, Enugu residents tell Gov. Chime ·ESWAMA MD may face murder charge By Ted Peters, Rex Arum & Uche Chukwu
ver the years, since the creation of Enugu State in 1991, the state has faced the challenges of indiscriminate disposal of solid and liquid wastes, un-cleanliness and poor environmental sanitation. The creation of the defunct Enugu State Environmental Protection Agency (ENSEPA) failed due to inefficiency of the officials to tackle the challenges of modern day waste management coupled with irresponsible attitude of the citizenry to keep to etiquettes of a clean environment. This led to the replacement of ENSEPA with a new waste management body, the Enugu State Waste Management Agency (ESWAMA) which was created in 2004 CAP 75 Revised Laws of Enugu State of Nigeria 2004.
various zones. Section 6(1) sets out the power of the Authority to carry out its functions under this Law, among others,(a) to hold, manage and alienate moveable property; (b) to enter into contract or partnerships with any company or partnerships with any company firm or person which in the opinion of the Authority will facilitate discharge of the said functions; (c)To train managerial, technical and such other staff for the purpose of the running of its operations and for waste management in general. It equally provides that notwithstanding subsection 1 of the Law above, all contracts including alienations and acquisitions made by the Authority shall be referred by the Authority to commissioner for Approval and in strict compliance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry. The agency is further empowered to prosecute defaulters of sanitation laws, as
Governor Sullivan Chime ESWAMA was made a corporate body with perpetual succession, may sue or be sued in its corporate name. Section 5 of its Law spells out the functions of the Authority, inter-alia to develop and implement policies on the management of solid and liquid wastes that would promote the health and well being of the people, ensure effective and efficient collection, removal, treatment and disposal of all kinds of waste, check the illegal dumping of refuse at roadsides, enclosures, streams in neighbourhoods and in drains and provide waste management facilities. The state's sanitation laws compel residents to cooperate with ESWAMA in its efforts to keep the environment clean by cleaning up their environment, bagging wastes and disposing them at nearby designated dumpsites. The residents when presented with demand notice are also required to pay approved sanitation rates in favour of ESWAMA through any of its designated banks in the
Enugu as a very clean city through sound waste management. The appointment of the former Managing Director of the Agency, Mr. Greg Anyaegbudike, had good fortunes for the Agency as some remarkable achievements were recorded including prompt clearing of wastes and maintaining a clean environment that indeed transformed the Enugu metropolis into one of the cleanest state capitals in the country. The good sanitary conditions and clean city symbol achieved by ESWAMA then impressed the last FIFA delegation to Nigeria that was led by Jack Warner that the team okayed Enugu as pledged to select the city as one of the venues for the World Cup matches. Anyaegbudike was on his way to actualize the plan of the Agency to establish a waste recycling plant, among other innovative measures when he was kicked out of office.
Callistus Chidiebere Ede, Murdered in cold blood by ESWAMA Officials
Section 30 of the Law provides for the establishment of State Court to be known as 'the Environmental Protection Court.” When the present administration of Barrister Sullivan Chime assumed office as the governor of the Enugu State in 2007, one of the objectives of the Four-point Agenda of the administration is to make Enugu State a destination for business and tourism. To achieve the objective, he not only took the bull by the horn to put in place adequate measures for protection of lives and property of the citizenry but also ensured cleanliness of the major cities of the state. For effective supervision, ESWAMA was originally placed under the Ministry of Environmental and Solid Minerals but later moved to the Enugu State Capital Development Authority and back. The then Commissioner for Enugu Capital Territory, said the idea was to reposition ESWAMA for a more focused service delivery, pledging that it would be strengthened to restore the past glory of
Since his exit, efforts to turn around the fortunes of the State in terms of cleanliness and effective waste disposal have not been sustained. Another step taken by the governor to ensure close monitoring of environmental sanitation and cleanliness was his appointment of a Special Adviser on Environment in his office, in the person of Mrs. Chinyere Ogakwu, who later became the Chairman of ESWAMA. The re-arrangement, it was gathered, created functional conflicts between the Ministry of Environment and ESWAMA until the latter took full control of waste management. But these efforts have not yielded much result. One good thing about the whole arrangement, observers say, is that ESWAMA could sue and be sued in competent courts over cases of disagreements in line with the laws. Another issue is on the powers of ESWAMA to arrest, detain, and prosecute
offenders. A number of atrocities have been committed by the officials of the Agency who have adopted overzealousness and lawlessness in the discharge of their duties. In Enugu State, the fear of ESWAMA is the beginning of wisdom. ESWAMA officials are feared more than the conventional police empowered by law to arrest, detain and prosecute offenders. Many residents of Enugu State have come to associate ESWAMA officials with abduction, extortion, brutality, inhuman treatment, lawlessness, overzealousness, burglary and criminal trespassing to which little or no satisfactory answer has come from the authorities in their defence. Today officials of the Agency accompanied by a police man have been known to break into homes, forcefully abduct people including minors and sick persons, breast feeding mothers, from the homes and bedrooms. Innocent victims who do not live in certain houses visited by officials of ESWAMA have paid dearly for finding themselves in compounds where the Agency's officials raided. Some abducted victims are known to have stayed several hours and days in the so-called ESWAMA detention camp after undergoing trial for real and imagined offences. In churches, men of God have had occasions they condemned the excessiveness and lawlessness on the part of the sanitation officials and wondered why supervising Ministry and Government House have continued to turn deaf ears and make barren inhuman argument to the anguish and cries of hopelessness and helplessness from the innocent citizens. Nemesis appeared to have caught up with some of the Agency's officials lately when their attempt to get away from one of their excesses boomeranged. According to a report, parts of Enugu State erupted in anger and cry of vengeance on Tuesday April 8, following the alleged gruesome murder of a 16-year-old secondary school student, Callistus Chidiebere Ede by enforcement team of the E S WA M A , f o r a l l e g e d l y u s i n g unauthorized ESWAMA bag to dispose refuse at a designated ESWAMA dumpsite. Master Chidiebere was the first of the three children of Mr. and Mrs. David and Catherine Ede from Owo in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu state but reside at 21 Ifenze Street, Iji Nike, in Enugu East Local Government of Enugu state. He was 16 years and is in Senior Secondary School at Annunciation Secondary School Nkwo Nike and currently sitting for his last Exams. The mother of the deceased, Mrs Ede David told our correspondent that her son, Callistus Chidiebere Ede, met his untimely death when she asked him to go and dispose refuses already bagged with grains bag on Monday morning. According to her, “I was preparing to go to market to sell my food that morning, so as he left with the waste in our wheel-barrow to the dumpsters for disposal, I quickly prepared for market. While I was going out with a tricycle operator popularly known as Keke, I had noise towards the area my son went to dispose refuse, I asked my sister to carry my food to market with the Keke man and I proceeded to the dump site to know why my son had not returned. “When I got to the dump site, five heftylooking boys were beating him. I approached them and asked why they were beating him but none of them uttered a word. I asked them to stop beating him and asked my son what the matter was.” The woman who spoke amidst sobs, said
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Obiano's newly-sworn commissioners, aides swing into action By Uche Chukwu, Awka
9 newly-sworn in commissioners and 10 advisers appointed by Anambra State governor, Dr. Willie Obiano have swung into action with a charge to them to be loyal to the administration and work hard to justify their respective appointment. The Governor who spoke during the swearing-in ceremony inside the conference hall at Government House, Awka also warned that he would not tolerate any act of laziness. He urged them to live and abide by the oaths of allegiance and office which were administered on them under his (Obiano's) supervision. The commissioners who took the statutory oaths sequel to the confirmation of their appointment by the State House of Assembly were Anali Chude, Justice and Attorney General, Architect Callistus Ilozumba, Works, Greg Obi, Finance, Florence Chinwuba, Housing, Prof. Solomon Chukwu, Economic Planning/ Budget, Ifeatu Onejeme, Trade and Commerce, Mrs. Lelian Azuka Enemuo, Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Dr Vicky Chukwuelu, Women Affairs, Dr Chinedu Emeka, Public Utilities and Water Resources, Anthony Umerah Onyima, Information,
Chukwuma Mbonu, Transport, Evaristus Ubah, Environment, Stella Onuorah, Lands, Survey and Urban Development, Prof. Kate Omenugha, Education, Tony Nnacheta, Youths and Sports, Norbert Obi, Special Duties, Dr Josephat Akabuike, Health, Chief Nnamdi Meko, Agriculture and Obi Nwankwo, Science / Technology. The senior special advisers who were also sworn-in after they were also confirmed by the House of Assembly include, Barrister Alex Ejesieme, Legal Counsel and Litigation, Mrs Tonia Tabansi-Okoye, Special Duties, Barrister I.0 Udemba, Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Architect Amechi Okume, Town Planning and Urban Development, Mrs Vivian Nwandu, MDGS, Mrs Amaka Ilobi, Public Works, Mrs Ngozi Okonkwo, I n t e r n a l l y G e n e r a t e d Revenue(1GR),Chief Chikodi Anarah, Security and Dr Onyeka Ibezim, Youth Empowerment. The key aspects of the ceremony is that six former political office holders who served the former Peter Obi's government, Ilozuma and Enemuo, including Joe Martins Uzodike, Alex Ejesieme, Tabansi Okoye, Vivian Nwandu and Tony 0nyima, the former managing director of SUN Newspapers, were among those who formally assumed duty yesterday.
It is the turn of Ndigbo after Jonathan – Igariwey By Christopher Tom, Uyo
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he President-Geneal Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Nnchi EnwoIgariwey has categorically emphasised that Ndigbo must seek the presidency of this country at the expiration tenure of South-South for true justice. Chief Igariwey who stated this in his address during the inauguration / swearing in ceremony of Ohanaeze Rivers State Chapter in Port Harcourt with the theme “OJEMBA CHETAKWA NWANNAGI”, said with this gesture in keeping with their stand that equity, justice and fair play demand that as the only zone remaining to hold the prime office in the country Igbos should be given opportunity as others. According to him, they should be allowed by our fellow Nigerians to occupy it in unbroken succession after the SouthSouth, “respecting democracy as it ought to be, as people and law abiding citizens frustrating political crisis among us.” He appealed to the Igbo political class on why they should put their house in order despite their differences as a people, adding “we cannot afford to continue to play a second-fiddle forever” while he called on Nigerians to support the course of Ndigbo since they are putting their house in order. The President General called on newly inaugurated Rivers State Chapter to
always respect the aims and objectives of the organization and embrace peace among them to avoid crisis as respected members of Ohanaeze Nidgbo. The deputy secretary-general Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, Chief (Engr) Isaac Wonwu (JP) said they are committed to rediscovering and repositioning the Igbos within the country and sincerely hope that “we will all aim at achieving our objectives by thinking together as Ndigbo, planning together, respecting one another, stopping to run down one another and finally when we begin to respect and emulate our past leaders and their selfless approaches to the service of the people and national unity, then our dream will come through that one day an Igbo man will be the president of Nigeria”. He said despite that the newly inaugurated Rivers State chapter should not relent to foster unity through cooperation, integration, synergy, understanding and seamless relationship across boundaries as one family without discrimination and truly showcase the organization's character to the nation and international community. Despite the rain on the day of the occasion, the ceremony witnessed various Igbo cultural display as if there was a carnival. The Igbo traditional fathers in Rivers States and beyond and stakeholders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo took part in the display of their ancestral tradition and culture of starting their occasions with the breaking of kola nut.
Akwa Ibom PDP warns Jonathan's aide T
he Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has warned the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak to desist from interfering in the affairs of the State. The party, in a communique issued on Tuesday night, after its Executive Committee Meeting in Uyo, condemned the "ignoble and contemptuous role of Alhaji Gulak, who visited the State recently and threw all known protocol overboard in purporting to inaugurate a sectional and unknown Support Group in favour of our dear President, without bothering to pay any courtesy to the State leadership of the party.” The communique, which was read by the State Chairman of the Party, Obong Paul Ekpo, advised President Jonathan to "caution his aides, who are bent on causing disaffection in various States of the federation, purporting to act on behalf of the Villa and further advised Alhaji Ahmed Gulak to "sort out PDP problems in Adamawa and deliver the State to the President, before rushing to safe territories like the South-South Nigeria, where President Jonathan requires no campaign.” The party "unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the President on his pivotal roles and the transformational agenda in Nigeria and urged him to contest the 2015 Presidential election.” It also "passed a vote of confidence on all members of the National Working Committee of PDP and the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu
President Jonathan Muazu, which it described as "Mr Game Changer" for
restoring the confidence of Nigerians in our great party.” The party equally passed a vote of confidence on the State Governor, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, for the unprecedented way he has turned around the fortunes of Akwa Ibom, through his u n c o m m o n transformation programmes and his continuous support to Mr. President and the Party, both at the national and state levels and urged him to accede the request of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District to represent
ne time senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Itak Ekarika said that zoning formula is the only solution and way forward to stop political crisis. Senator Itak Ekarika, who spoke with our political correspondent in Uyo on the issue of advantages and disadvantages of zoning and other pressing political issues in the nation, said the people should not understand issue of zoning as a monster, rather as a benefit for
interest. Governor Akpabio maintained that it was important for the party to consider decisions that will strengthen the unity and growth of the State, adding that all the achievements recorded by his administration could be jeopardized if the party fails to take decisions that go along with the general wishes of the people of the State. In attendance at the meeting were the Governor Godswill Akpabio; his deputy, Lady Valerie Ebe, Senator Ita Enang who led other PDP National Assembly members; Senator Anietie Okon; former Governor Idongesit Nkanga; a former federal lawmaker and former Minister of Lands & Housing Chief Nduese Essien, State Officers of the Party; the Deputy Speaker who represented the Speaker and led members of the state House of A s s e m b l y, p a s t N a t i o n a l Assembly members; all chairmen and vice chairmen of local government councils and chapter chairmen of the party, among other party officials.
National conference will crash, Muslim group warns By Rex Arum
he Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria, MSSN, has expressed strong reservation and displeasure over the composition of delegates to the National Conference. This was contained in an address by the president of the society, Mallam Abdulzeez Strajudeed Faloyemi at the 60th Anniversary lecture for South East zone with the theme, “Impact, problems and prospects held in Enugu.
According to the MSSN president, “The million of Muslim students in Nigeria and the diaspora reject in strong term the deliberate and calculated reduction of the Muslims in this country. The group warned that the National conference will crash since according to them the conference 'had taken off on a bad note' except something urgent is done to redress the anomaly. The president recalled that the group had made similar
Zoning is an integral part of democracy - Senator Ekarika By Christopher Tom, Uyo
the zone come 2015.” It zoned the 2015 governorship position of the State to Eket Senatorial District, in line with the decisions reached at the justconcluded town hall meetings in the 10 federal constituencies of the State; the Party State Working Committee; the body of Chapter Chairmen of the Party and the body of Local Government Chairmen and Vice Chairmen, in pursuant to section 7(3) of the PDP Constitution 2012 as amended.” The Party condemned in totality all forms of terrorism and its manifestations in the country, particularly the recent bombing of innocent civilians at Nyanya, Abuja, the abduction of innocent girls at Government Girls' Secondary School, Chibok, Bornu State.” Earlier, while welcoming the party chieftains to the meeting, the Leader of the party and Executive Governor of the State, Chief Godswill Akpabio had advised them to seek the interest of the state above personal
all segment or group that want to have fair participation in the political process of any given society. “I am an ambassador and crusader of zoning formula in all ramifications and without any fear of contradiction that would surely generate peace among us as people of respected character” he said. Senator Ekarika, who is a friend to the less privileged said despite the issue of zoning ringing bell across the globe, the just concluded town hall meeting in Ukanafun / Oruk Anam Federal constituency would have taken different dimensions.
He said the town hall meeting was a welcome development, to rub mind and discuss issues affecting their constituency and for government also to close the lapses as they acknowledge the people's predicaments through the fulfillment of their campaign promises to them. He called for unity among the people of the state so as to eschew political crisis being generated by some ungrateful and desperate politicians roaming about to cause confusion among them, adding that during his time politics was played with respect and obedience to the rules of the game as law abiding citizens.
observation in respect to the composition of the Advisory committee which “was considered as faulty and bias as it excludes Muslims from the south especially south west” where they have dominance in population. Mallam Falayemi noted that there were enough competent brains or intellectuals, leaders, professionals and seasoned administrators from the South who can function very appropriately as members in the Advisory committee, yet those who compiled the list did not consider the interest of the southern Muslims. According to the group, their observations were further confirmed with the final list of delegates bearing 38% percent of Muslims in which there were none of them from the south west, southern East and the minority Muslims from North Central. “We are bold to say, the composition of delegates to the conference is bias, discriminatory, undemocratic and above all does not reflect the Nigerian population in reality”. “The conference is aimed at giving the minority dominance over the majority.” The group also condemned the killing of Fulani herdsmen during a burial ceremony recently in Keana Local government area of Nasarawa State, describing it as “unfortunate and barbaric. They said that a similar killing of
one Mohamad Yusuf at a funeral was the actual beginning of Boko Haram insurgence in Nigeria. They called on Federal government to commence full investigation and publicly punish anyone found to be culpable in the matter. They also accused the Christian governments in southeast of marginalizing Muslims in the area such that Muslims are ostracized from the rest; the worst being experienced by the members of Muslim Students Society of Nigeria in various institutions in the south east. In his lecture, the guest lecturer during the occasion, Mallam Hussain Abubarkar identified the MSSN's problems as infective leadership, Islamophobia or nonacceptability of Islam, Intolerance, Inadequate enlightenment and lack of resources. He chronicled the history of the organization which dates back to 1954 through some fourteen students of Methodist Boys' High School Lagos which includes Abdulrahman Sahid, Babs Fafunwa, Tajudeen Aromoshodun, Lateef Adegbite, etc. He called for the total commitments of members of the society to educate the general public on Islamic activities especially the western propagation of Islamophobia, evil perception and lies against Islam and her perceived affinity to terrorism. The lecture brought together Islamic scholar from far and near.
Youths extol Udemba's appointment as Obiano's SPA on Chieftaincy By Our Reporter
overnor Willie Obiano has received kudos from Nigerian youths for appointing people of integrity to positions of authority with merit as his primary consideration. The youths described the appointment of Barr R.O. Udemba as the governors Special Adviser on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters as one of such appointments and as one that will bring peace and harmonious coexistence among the state citizens and promote the peoples customs and tradition. At their one day meeting in Awka, the youths under the auspices of the South East Youth Movement o f N i g e r i a ( S . E . Y. M . A . ) remarked that from his antecedents, Barr Udemba possesses all the attributes of ebullience, resilience, selflessness and courage as well as the unbending will to remain fair and just to perform creditably in that position. The meeting described Chieftaincy and Town Union Affairs as crucial in every society, and one that needs a person of peaceful disposition with the
interest of the people at heart as well as the ability to co-ordinate and interact with the people, and intervene when disputes arise. While describing him as a man of unwavering courage, the meeting remarked that with his firm commitment to integrity, equity and Fairless, Barr Udemba will
work assiduously to promote chieftaincy institutions and stabilized town unions in Anambra state. According to the group, by virtue of their proximity to the people, Traditional Rulers and Town Union Executives play vital role in maintaining peace and stability
in their communities and act as important agents of development. The youths therefore called on Anambra State Traditional Rulers and Town Unions to co-operate with the Governor's Adviser by giving him all the necessary support, even as they pledged to remain supportive to him too.
''Negligence of road safety officials killed my husband, cries mother of 4
rs Salomy Awoni, wife of the man who was involved in a fatal motor accident when his Honda SUV vehicle ran into a stationary Mack Truck along Abak road flyover on Tuesday blamed it on negligence of the Road Safety officials. Awoni soaked in tears confirmed the death of her husband in the early hours of 10th April at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital while speaking with newsmen in Uyo. She refuted the claims by Road Safety that her husband was drunk adding that the Road Safety officials should not give excuses to cover their ''irresponsibility
which led to her husband's death and many others on the spot. ''It is unfortunate that the people who are supposed to be responsible for the safety of everybody are the ones who are trying to use this avenue to show their irresponsibility which has lead to the death of many people on the highways. ''My husband just went out to buy something on that faithful Tuesday evening; he had closed from work and wanted to get something when he ran into that truck. ''Before the incident happened a good Samaritan who is even a journalist called the Uyo command Road Safety Public
Enlightenment Officer, Mr Godsgift Uwen, to alert them of the danger posed by the Truck parked on the speed lane of the flyover but nothing was done by them before my husband ran into the truck. “They should stop telling lies to cover up for their negligence on duty because even up till this moment the truck is still there and they did not place any sign to guide or inform motorists that there is danger ahead.'' she said. She stated that when her husband was involved in the accident there were many people who tried to rescue him, but they never said he was drunk, even the doctors who battled to save his life never said
Double voter registration:
Nwoye fails to stop Obiano
he bid by P e o p l e s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the November 16, 2013 Anambra Governorship e l e c t i o n , To n y Nwoye, to restore the multiple registration case of Governor Willy Obiano of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) b e f o r e t h e Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka, was stalled on Thursday. Nwoye had brought a petition before the Tribunal, seeking for the nullification of Obiano's election on the grounds that it was marred by widespread irregularities. Shortly after the PDP candidate mounted the witness box, the counsel to Obiano, the 1st respondent, O.J Nnadi (SAN) raised an objection that certain paragraphs of the petition were struck out by the Tribunal and that the documents in relation to them cannot be tendered and admitted in evidence. But,Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, the
President of the movement, Mr Obi Ejemeri from Mbosi Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State said the new Governor began well by making “worthy” appointments while Secretary to the movement, Joy Ndubuaku from Nsukka Enugu State expressed optimism that Barr. Udemba will perform creditably.
some defects on it. Nnadi noted that the judgment was not certified and that there were five justices in the matter, but only one person signed among other defects. Following the objection raised by the respondents, the Tribunal presided over by Justice Ishaq Bello adjourned till next Tuesday to allow the petitioner (Nwoye) to bring a certified true copy of the Court of Appeal judgment. The tribunal had earlier at the pre-
trial stage struck out certain paragraphs in the petitions by Nwoye and Senator Chris Ngige of All Progressives Congress (APC) against Obiano, including the reliefs sought by the petitioners on the multiple registration matter. But the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu on Tuesday ordered the restoration of all the reliefs struck out by the Anambra Election Tribunal sitting in Awka during the pre-trial stage.
he was drunk, “why should they say he was drunk? Awoni who alleged that about four other vehicles including a Tricycle had run into the Truck after her husband did asked whether those people were also drunk as it was being alleged about her husband. It will be recalled that the Head of Operations of FRSC Akwa Ibom Command, Mr Emmanuel Onuoha, who confirmed the accident to newsmen, said that though they had no tow truck to evacuate the truck, the officer contacted failed to send our officials to control traffic or place signs on the spot. ``Whenever there is a distress call, the officer contacted must make every arrangement to ensure that a palliative measure is brought on ground pending the arrival of a tow truck. “When our men went to rescue the accident victim, they were almost mobbed by angry youths because according to them our men could have averted the accident. ``The command is not happy with what happened and we remain grateful to the journalist who called earlier to inform us of the broken down truck before the sad incident that later occurred,” he said. Onuoha appealed to the state government to help the command in providing them with two vehicles to enable the command to do its job more effectively.
ANSG sets up 7-man Committee on Ose Okweodu fire incident Government, Mr Oseloka H. By Uche Chukwu, Awka Obaze.
Gov. Obiano petitioner's counsel argued that they can now tender the document because they have a Court of Appeal judgment, which restored all those paragraphs that were struck out by the Tribunal. The respondents counsel, Nnadi disagreed with the counsel to the petitioner, Ezechukwu, saying that they cannot rely on the judgment without tendering it before the Tribunal. When Ezechukwu eventually brought out the Court of Appeal judgment, Nnadi pointed out
he Anambra State government has set up a seven (7) man Committee to probe the immediate and remote causes of the recent fire incident at the Ogboji section of OseOkwodu market Onitsha. Gov. Willie Obiano recently inaugurated the investigation committee whose Chairman is Igwe Roland Odegbo, Abogu II of Nteje. The formation of the committee was previously announced in a Public Service Announcement on 14 April 2014 signed by the Secretary to the State
The Terms of Reference for the Committee includes inter alia, that it should determine the remote and immediate causes of the fire incident; determine what will be done to mitigate the fire incident; produce a rebuilding plan of the market; determine the role played by the Fire Service, the Police and other relevant agencies to stop the fire, and make any other recommendation/s to avert future occurrence. Other members of the Committee are; Chief Chuma Eruchalu, Barrister C.I.Okoye, Mr Emma Ndubuisi, Superintendent of
Police, Fasugba Temitope, Mrs. Promise Ezeigwe, and Mrs. Grace Okonkwo.The Committee has until 2 May 2014 to submit its report to the government. Gov. Willie Obiano Thursday visited the Emergency Call Centre (ECC) at Awka in furtherance of his enhanced security mosaic for Anambra State. He was accompanied by the Commissioner of Police Mr AU Gwary, other Security Service Chiefs and the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze. Gov. Obiano has declared Anambra State a "Zero Tolerance Zone" for crime and criminality.
Seven years of Governor Akpabio's administration, how well? By Christopher Tom, Uyo
overnor Godswill Akpabio was elected the Governor of Akwa Ibom state on May, 29 2007 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Since assumption of office about six years ago, Akpabio's government has lived up to expectations in terms of meeting the yearnings of the people socially, politically and economically. The state is known for its uncommon transformation. Wherever you go, everyone talks of the state as one with an uncommon transformation. Those that have visited the capital, Uyo, as well as the other towns insist that such a tag is no misnomer. Indeed, Akwa Ibom State has, in the past few years, earned itself a name as Nigeria's most transformed state, with many asserting that the governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, is the best among his peers in the country. Information and Communication Commissioner, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, during an interview with Journalists insists that the state has become Nigeria's most desired destination since 2007 when Akpabio took over the leadership of the state. “Governor Akpabio has handled the affairs of the state with uncommon zeal, determination and pragmatism since assumption of office. The Governor's approach to governance has been bold, decisive, and methodical. And since his assumption of office he has left no one in doubts that he was angry at the state of affairs that he met and therefore is in a hurry to develop the state. These, he has done by embarking on monumental development projects that have changed the face of the landscape of the state. In the area of education, Governor Akpabio has bequeathed a great legacy to the people of the state with a free and compulsory education policy. Under the policy, children of school age attend school free from primary to senior secondary school level. The state also pays a N100 per primary school pupil and N300 on each secondary school student to cater for logistics and expenses for the administration of each child. There is massive improvement in school renovation. According to our investigation many school blocks have been reconstructed, and laboratory and science equipment provided. Besides, the government also pays examination fees for the senior secondary school certificate examination with the latest release of the sum of 403million for settlement of WAEC fees for students in the state. Governor Akpabio led Government has also performed creditably well in road construction and rehabilitation. According to the Commissioner “Many roads,
Gov. Akpabio including the Afaha Obong Etim Ekpo, Iwukem road; Abak Ikot Ekpene road; Nung Udoe, Itak Use Ikot Amama road, Enin Nsit and Ikot Ekpene internal roads in various local government areas were completely impassable, thereby cutting off residents of those areas from activities of the state,” Soon after mounting the saddle, Governor Akpabio started awarding road contracts. Right now, close to 300 roads, covering well over 1, 000km has been constructed, says Umanah. The government also installed modern digital traffic lights in Uyo and started the Uyo Urban Renewal and Regeneration Project. Dual carriageways have replaced hitherto narrow roads leading into Uyo, just as flyovers recently constructed by the government now ensure the free flow of traffic. Collapsed concrete bridges have been reconstructed in many parts of the state, and the government also procured one grader in each of the 31 local government areas to ensure periodic maintenance of rural roads. To tackle flood and erosion in Uyo and its environs, the government constructed a N13.8 billion underground drainage system. It is also constructing a 10-lane ringroad III with two new flyovers, costing the state N28.5 billion. In agriculture as in education Governor Akpabio has also done creditably well. He initiated various programmes to boost agriculture and food production even as he also empowered women farmers and agro traders. A major programme of the administration is
the Women Agro Entrepreneurship Development Programme WAEDEP. Under the programme, no fewer than 6, 500 women have received an interest free loan of N250, 000 each for their agro businesses. Besides, hundreds of youths have been empowered with N500, 000.00 each under the Integrated Farmers Scheme. Other interventions by the government include the approval of N11billion for the accelerated livestock and fish production programme (ALFIPP), procurement of 180,000 metric tons food storage and processing infrastructure at Abak at the cost of N1.5billion, under the Akwa Ibom State Reserve Food Programme, and the procurement
and distribution of over 26,000 metric tons of assorted fertilizer at 60% subsidy to farmers in the last two years. “The government also activated and expanded eight anti-retroviral therapy centres, 15 prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) centres and 37 HIV counselling and testing centres, all rendering free services. Others include the procurement and commissioning of state-of-theart ambulances; construction of new primary health centres in the three senatorial districts of the state; procurement of utility vehicles to close to 200 doctors employed by the state; construction of Cottage Hospitals in Essien Udim, Ibeno, Ukanafun, Eastern Obolo and Ika, and a high immunization coverage to eradicate polio and all other childhood killer diseases which is being done in conjunction with International donors and federal government. “There is also the provision of counterpart funding for all health programmes by donor organizations like UNICEF, UNFPA, Operation Roll Back Malaria and HIV/AIDs World Bank Assisted Programme,” Umanah affirms. The commissioner says the governor is currently working on providing 10,000 modern and affordable houses to the Akwa Ibom populace. Akpabio's government also constructed a functional Governor's Lodge complex just as the state built 10 prime units mini estates in each of the local government areas for local government administrators. An ultra-modern banquet hall was also built within the Government House. “The present government has been working hard to make life better for women, children, the elderly and socially disadvantaged people,” Umanah told our corresspondent. This category of people, he avers, have benefitted and will continue to benefit from the government's free medical services, including
surgeries. In the area of tourism, few states can claim to do it better than Akwa Ibom. In truth, many are those that daily troop to the state to experience the unique Akwa Ibom hospitality. The five-star Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort have been completed, and the multi-million naira Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre is also there. However, some opposition parties and critics said despite that a lot still need to be done, especially in the area of industrialization. While some argue that the state is not evenly developed. Observers believe that the state government has not done much in the area of industrialization to really revitalise the ailing industries so as to provide employment opportunities for the teaming populace. The opposition parties strongly believe that development in the state is not evenly spread across the nooks and crannies of the state. Some local governments are yet to experience the uncommon transformation of the state government. In many of such areas there is noticeable absence of good road networks, rural electrification and good drinking water to mention but a few. According to former government official now a member of the APC but wishes not to be mentioned “Still there's need to spread development for the people to experience the uncommon transformation they are talking about, while the improved monthly allocations being collected from the federation account cannot be equated to the entire project the government has carried out for the past six years.” Political observers have also blamed the state for abandoning the Science Park Project started by the former Governor Victor Attah which would have launched the state into a digital super highway in terms of the manufacture of GSM phones and other electronic software's.
Some of the Governor Godswill Akpabio’s landmark projects
Ekweremadu was not honoured by any monarch – Enugu Govt constitute Oduma or from any other part of Enugu State conferred any chieftaincy title on either Senator Ekweremadu and/or others on the said April 19, 2014.” The government frowned at the chieftaincy titles conferred on Ekweremadu by those other than traditional rulers in Oduma, saying Section 19 of the Traditional Rulers Law, Cap 151 of the Revised Laws of Enugu State, 2004, prescribed two years jail for anybody who falsely ''holds himself out, portrays or allows himself to be portrayed or addresses other persons; or himself as a recognized chief of any town or community.'' The statement signed by the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters, Pastor Abugu, recalled government's earlier directive suspending the conferment of chieftaincy titles in the state explaining that the directive was not targeted at any single individual.
government which came after it had unsuccessfully tried to scuttle the reception, was unfortunate, Continued from page 2 committee for the event, Chief Unity Forum and conferred the stressing that the chieftaincy titles Johnson Orji had said that the titles on them using the traditional on the four personalities were assistance of Hon. Ozomgbachi community was not bothered by Igbo regalia which were procured conferred by the entire eight and the Federal Ministry of Works. the government's directive which by the royal fathers. communities under the Oduma Prof Uwakwe said the ceremony was targeted at halting the But as Ekweremadu and his large Unity Forum. was divine as it came at the time the reception for the Deputy Senate entourage were driving from his Describing the statement as “a face entire world was celebrating the President. He said that Nenwe Mpu through the road which has saving device” by the government death of Jesus Christ. community was the first to host been asphalted from Mpu up to whose decision to interfere in the Uwakwe, a university don, said Senator Ekweremadu to a very Ohafia Ndumeze Kingdom, affairs of the traditional institutions Ekweremadu has resurrected great reception and conferred a Oduma, the traditional ruler of the after it had coerced the monarchs Oduma community from the dearth chieftaincy title on him in 2013 for c o m m u n i t y, I g w e O n y i o h a into forceful endorsements of some of infrastructure especially road ensuring the construction of their Nwanjoku came out with some aspirants for 2015 elections, had which had constituted great road. members of his cabinet to the gate been roundly condemned by the impediment for the development of “The entire Oduma community of his palace to welcome the people of the state, Orji said the the area. He said he was aware of made up of several villages has Deputy Senate President. The government should rather the challenges the DSP been planning this reception for royal father blessed Ekweremadu, apologize to the people of Oduma encountered in attracting the road Senator Ekweremadu since last whispered to him and shortly after over its failed attempt to disrupt the project, stressing that "even the year for making it possible in our the convoy continued to the programme. dead will be shaking in their graves lifetime that what we never reception venue near Oduma “I wonder what gave these people because of what is happening here imagined could be possible. Many market square. Many natives who the courage to do what they are today just like the living are administrations in the state from could not find their way to the doing. Is it because in Igbo land celebrating this great and historic military to the present democratic venue lined up both sides of the traditional rulers are not well achievement.” regime had come with promises road waving and cheering the respected like their counterparts On his part, the president of Oduma during campaign, but always Deputy Senate President. who are Emirs in the North? I can't Unity Forum, Chief Chukwu said reneged on the promises after Before Ekweremadu and his imagine what gave this that the emergence of government the confidence to Ekweremadu as senator dish out arbitrary orders to royal representing Enugu West did not fathers as if they (monarchs) are only bring about construction of government political Oduma road which successive appointees. They are accusing administrations played politics us of desecrating the tradition with, but “the fortunes of Aninri and customs of our people LGA changed dramatically in whereas they are the people that all essential particulars: road are actually guilty of the networks, electricity, water offence. Government has no supply and human business with the conferment of development; there are palpable chieftaincy titles on deserving positive changes." personalities. Besides, I The event was attended by Sen challenge them to give us the Hope Uzodimma, Sen Gilbert official reason why they Nnaji, the Deputy Governor of suddenly banned conferment of Ebonyi State, Engr Dave chieftaincy titles from April 7 to Umahi, members of House of December 31, 2014 if it was not Representatives Linus Okorie, targeted at political opponents,” Toby Okechukwu, and Offor Orji submitted. Chukwuegbo among others. Recent developments in the Prior to the conferment of the state have further escalated the chieftaincy titles on the political rift between Governor personalities, tension actually Chime and Senator heightened among the people of Ekweremadu who had engaged Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu being welcomed to Oduma by the Chairman, the community as the natives in a silent war since the governor feared that the state government Traditional Rulers Council, Aninri LGA, HRM, Igwe Godwin Nwanjoku in front of his palace while declared that all the serving m i g h t d e p l o y s e c u r i t y moving to the venue of he reception and conferment of chieftaincy title of Dike Eji Ejemba on the Deputy National Assembly members operatives to disrupt the event President of the Senate by Oduma Community, Aninri Local Government Area, Enugu State last weekend. from the state would not be having given an order allowed to seek re-election. suspending conferment of election. This is due majorly to the entourage arrived the venue, He said that Section 19 of the The governor's position had chieftaincy titles in the state. very difficult topography of the several dignitaries were seated and Traditional Rulers Law, Cap 151 of pitched the National Assembly Sources said that the state police Nenwe and Oduma once described among them were members of the the Revised Laws of Enugu State, members against him and the command had in compliance with by Governor Sullivan Chime as an traditional rulers' cabinet from the 2004, prescribed two years jail for leadership of the party in the state the government's deployed its impossible terrain, but this has various villages who were anybody who falsely ''holds and while the tension in the party operatives in the morning of April been made possible by our son, officially dressed for the occasion. himself out, portrays or allows continued to heighten, Chime 19 to stop the event but a superior Chief Ekweremadu,” Chief Orji However, the cabinet chiefs and himself to be portrayed or declared his intention to replace order reportedly came from the had told reporters in Enugu before leaders of the Oduma Unity Forum addresses other persons; or himself Ekweremadu at the senate while Force Headquarters directing the the event. p e r f o r m e d t h e t r a d i t i o n a l as a recognized chief of any town his Chief of Staff, Mrs. Ifeoma command to provide adequate Orji disclosed that the chieftaincy conferment of chieftaincy titles. or community.” The statement Nwobodo also declared her interest security and ensure that there was titles were earlier approved by the The convivial atmosphere at the said that “it was laughable “if some to also replace Senator Gil Nnaji no breakdown of law and order State Government through the e v e n t w h i c h w i t n e s s e d lackeys, without the vested powers representing Enugu East at the during the event at Oduma. This Ministry of Chieftaincy Matters performance by several cultural of a Traditional Ruler had senate. led to the flooding of the venue when traditional rulers from troupes, it was clear that the people heedlessly tried to usurp the This, however, did not go down with several policemen while the Oduma sought government's of Oduma and the well-wishers authorities of the Igwes of Oduma well with the current National event progressed peacefully. approval, but the government that came to cheer the honorees did land. It is even more regrettable Assembly members and some The controversy that preceded the decided to make u-turn when it not waste their time by responding that people in such high places like stakeholders of the party who are reception only succeeded in became aware of those to be to the invitation which was aired by the Deputy President of the Senate particularly worried by the alleged attracting more people to the venue honoured.” Apparently to avoid some radio stations in the state. a n d f e w o t h e r s s u b m i t t e d allocation of offices by the as supporters of Ekweremadu and being sanctioned as threatened by But while the community and the themselves to such unholy acts of governor and his aides. Besides, Ozomgbachi in the divided the government, the traditional chieftaincy awardees were still desecrating our customs and, today the forceful endorsement of PDP political camps of Peoples rulers from the eight autonomous celebrating the honour bestowed try to hoodwink our people that candidates by some groups Democratic Party in the state communities in Oduma were on them, the Enugu State chieftaincy titles had been including traditional rulers is trooped to the venue in solidarity. absent but the entire community Government came up with another conferred on them. generating much tension in the However, supporters of Governor agreed to honour the personalities. statement on Friday, barely a week Reacting to the government's party as those opposed to the Chime and officials of the party Hence, leaders of the eight after the event, declaring that statement, Chief Orji, a community undemocratic practice are being stayed away. chiefdoms in Oduma came “none of the traditional rulers from leader in Oduma, said that the marked as enemies of the Chime But a member of the organizing together under the aegis of Oduma the eight communities that l a m e n t a t i o n b y t h e s t a t e administration.
Nigerian Government and theory of â€˜Yes, it is possible! By Com. Jasper Azuatalam
es, it is possible! This is one slogan that is rampant in Nigeria under PDP government. It has become the response of the, helpless, gullible and those that have fallen to deceit. It started with fair stories to weird stories and then incredible stories. Imagine, a man was eating Amala and ewedu soup and suddenly he swallowed a razor blade and died, "yes, it is possible". Then, another man died and we were told, he was eating fufu and ogbono soup and suddenly, he swallowed a knife. "Yes, it is possible". Isn't it. The knife may have fallen into the soup when it was being cooked. Now, the other man died and we heard he was drinking a cup of coffee and suddenly swallowed a pistol. "Yes, it is possible". The coffee may have been prepared by a soldier and his pistol fell inside the coffee while preparing it. Isn't it possible? Surely, it is in Nigeria. Fuel subsidy increased from #600 billion in 2010 to #2.7 trillion in 2011 an election year. "Yes, it is possible". Our population may have quadrupled that year. A handcuffed and hungry Boko Haram suspect dispossessed an SSS official who came to feed him of his pistol and took over the entire SSS headquarters with the pistol causing a jail break. "Yes, it is possible". It even happened in 'Titanic' and '24'. The SSS got information that some Boko Haram
members were hiding behind APO legislative quarters with heavy weapons and getting ready to bomb Abuja. They accosted alleged Boko Haram members in the building, allegedly engaged them in a heavy gun fire and killed all those occupying the building, but no single weapon was recovered from the dead bodies alleged to be Boko Haram members and not even a single knife was found in the whole building. Yes, it is possible. The weapons may have disappeared because Boko Haram members are also spirits. Wetin concern Nigerians. Organize a press conference and tell them a frog gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. "Yes, it is possible". It could be a miracle. The next day, it will make the headlines. $20 billion dollars were recently found to have been missing from the NNPC as the said money was not remitted to the National account. The said amount is more than the 2014 capital budget, even Okonjo Iweala wondered if Nigeria had such amount of money. Yes, it is possible. NNPC is a republic of its own and managed by the defector president, her royal majesty. The Ministry of Interior organized a recruitment exercise through the Nigerian Immigration Service and extorted over N700 million from mostly young unemployed
graduates. Over 20 young people died in the process and another 100 were injured. The Minister of Interior blamed the youths for not being orderly and responsible for their death. Yes, it is possible. Did the Minister shoot them? At least the wife of the Minister has organized a requiem mass for the deceased to rest in peace. Boko Haram murdered over 70 teenagers in a government college in Yobe, The attack was reported to have taken place immediately soldiers left the zone and lasted for many hours, amidst several calls to the security agents by the school authority and well meaning Nigerians. Yes, it is possible! The soldiers may be having their sister during the massacre. Body no be fire wood.. Armored helicopters were recently seen supplying food and weapons to members of the Boko Haram sect in Maiduguri recently, yet the security agents were not aware. Yes, it is possible! Who doesn't know that the devil is behind Boko Haram and may have sent the spiritual helicopter to supply the food and weapons to the sect members? Nigeria has sunk over 40 billion dollars in the power sector since 1999, yet power generation still stands below 4,000 MW in Nigeria. Even President
Jonathan's town, Ogbia in Bayelsa state has been without power supply for over 9 months. Yes, it is possible! We have learnt that witches and wizards were responsible, till recently when we also learnt that it has become the handiwork of the opposition. The universities in Nigeria were at home for 6 months and the Polytechnic students are counting about 8 months at home. The president recently boasted that if the state governments where improving the primary and secondary schools the way he is improving the tertiary institutions, illiteracy would have been a thing of the past in Nigeria. Yes, it is possible!. Don't you know that the home is the best place for students to learn? Recently, Dr Okonjo Iweala claimed that President Jonathan's administration has employed over 1.5 million youths in the past one year. Yes, it is possible! Don't you have a telephone set? Have you forgotten that telephone sets are meant for big men and women? If you are not employed, how come you can afford a telephone set? Vision 2020, by the year 2020, Nigeria will become the world's largest economy. Yes, it is possible! If all the goods produced by developed countries are brought into Nigeria and citizens buy all, aren't we the world's largest economy? Everything that defies explanation can be explained only in Nigeria
Don't throw away the Messenger with the Message
By Mr Osita Okechukwu
hereas, President Robert Mugabe is not the moral compass or the credible messenger; however President Goodluck Jonathan should not throw away the messenger with the message. Penultimate week Mugabe while addressing his people said, 'Are we now like Nigeria where you have to reach into your pocket to get anything done. You see, we used to go to Nigeria and every time we went there, we had to carry extra cash in our pockets to corruptly pay for everything. You get in a plane in Nigeria and you sit there and the crews keep dilly dallying without taking off as they wait for you to pay them to fly the plane.â€™ The Conference Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) is at a loss why Jonathan instead of introspection and deep reflection on the statement made by Mugabe, directed the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhomoihbi to issue a vitriolic query via Head of Zimbabwean Chancery, Ambassador Stanley Kunjeku to Mugabe. \It is our considered view that Mugabe did not denigrate Nigeria more than Jonathan and his cohorts who have scant regard to transparency and accountability. Jonathan did not start corruption in Nigeria, but we are
horrified to observe the shoeless boy dinning with robber barons and hence abandoning his core constituency of millions of shoeless Nigerian youths. On the last count of monumental corruption under Jonathan's watch is the astronomical rise of fuel subsidy from less than N1 billion in 2010 to N2.6 billion in 2011, the purchase of two bullet proof cars at N255 million, the daily expenditure of N700 million on Kerosene subsidy, the missing $20 billion crude oil revenue and bare extortion of unemployed youths of over N700 million. As long as Jonathan's regime continues with the inchoate and nebulous economic policy that government has no business in business, share the money and wait for the Chinese, Dangote and the private sector to invest in critical infrastructure, so long will the world view Nigeria with Mugabe's mirror. In sum, we cannot in all honesty throw away the messenger and the message, as it is also height of corruption for Jonathan's regime to shamelessly boast of economic growth in the midst of extreme poverty and gross unemployment.
Mr Osita Okechukwu National Publicity, CNPP
The reintegration of Igbos into Nigeria has just begun â€“ Chief Nnadi Chief Richard Nnadi a public commentator and industrialist said the marginalization of the Igbos after the war was a terrible experience noting that there was no reality in the 'No victor no vanquished' declared to end the war as the entire infrastructure consumed by the war were abandoned and not rehabilitated. He also lent his voice to the alarm raised by United Nations on possibility of Igbo language going into extinction saying that a language is the people's identity. Excerpts: Do you support the convocation of a National conference and if yes, what do you think should be the major demand of Ndigbo. I support the on-going National conference and its timing is apt. This is because it is coming on the occasion of celebration of the Nigeria's centenary; to mark 100 years of existence of the country. One major thing Ndigbo need is to have at least, an additional state created for the South East. Of the 6 geo-political zones in Nigeria, it is only the South East that has the least; precisely five states while others have between 6 and seven. Given the high population of Igbos who are scattered all over the world, South East deserves two. But if we are given an additional one to make it six now, it is still okay. I expect creation of additional state to top the priority of Ndigbo in the forthcoming National Conference. If Ndigbo have an additional state, the issue of inequity and marginalization would have been almost solved, South East would be able to have equal number of law makers to back their demands in the National Assembly. At present, the five South East states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo have a total of 95 local government areas, which is about the equivalent of what Kano and kastina States put together has. The shortcoming is glaring in the House of Representatives, where there are 360 members elected on the basis of federal constituency comprising of one or more local government areas. In this respect, if there is a bill to be passed into law and it is in the best interest of Ndigbo, any other ethnic group that do not want it or fear Igbo domination will easily mobilize and kill the bill. Recently, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo made a request for reparation to Ndigbo to the tune of N3.4 trillion arising from the deliberate marginalization, and destruction of their properties and means of livelihood, aftermath of the Nigerian civil war. It is a request in the right direction, the Igbos were truly deprived of their lives, means of livelihood and properties before, during and after the civil war. The Igbos lost their properties in
various parts of Nigeria which in some cases were tagged 'abandoned property'. They lost lives in various parts of Nigeria. Don't forget that before the war, the former Eastern Nigeria economy was the fastest growing economy in West Africa, given the infrastructures that were put in
banks, the Igbo man was left with only twenty pounds. In the fifties and sixties, Ndigbo were on top of the country's economy. Don't forget also that an Igboman was the first millionaire in West Africa in the person of Sir Louis Philip Odumegwu-Ojukwu who donated his Rolls Royce to
Chief Nnadi place by the then Eastern Regional government. But these things were lost to the war; the Oji River power station was lost to the war; the Niger Steel company, a premier steel company in this part of the world; Niger Gas in Enugu is today a shadow of what it were, and Nigercem at Nkalagu, could not find its feet since after the war; they were all consumed. Where do we begin from? Our agricultural base including the famed farm settlements that produced the palm plantations, cashew plantations, rubber plantations, banana plantations, and a host of others were all consumed by the war. But most disheartening is the obnoxious fiscal policy that economically impoverished and psychologically traumatized Ndigbo in that no matter what amount of money you had in the
chauffer the Queen of England when she visited the country. Sir Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu was the father of Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, Ikemba Nnewi, the first graduate produced by the Nigerian army, who led Igbos to fight the Biafran war of 1967 70. So I support the call for the reparation to Ndigbo to sooth them and give them a sense of belonging since the no victor, no vanquished policy of the federal government has turned out to be a mere lip service. After the war, the federal government came up with the 3Rs Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction. But from indications, these policies were not translated into programmes as marginalization of Ndigbo, underdevelopment policy via neglect of roads into Eastern region to slow
down the region's economy, and denial of citing of infrastructure in Igboland prevailed. As we all know, there was problem of hostage taking in the Niger Delta and the federal government introduced amnesty programme for the youth in the area by which they were made to receive monthly pay and got entrepreneurial sponsorship in and outside the country to build their capacity. In Igboland, the young ones that got involved in kidnapping on account of joblessness are yet to be extended the liberal policy of amnesty and rehabilitation.
The United Nations shocked Nigerians especially the Ndigbo when it declared that Igbo language is endangered and may go into extinction if nothing is done to salvage it. What do you think should be done to rescue Igbo language? It is true that the Igbo language is not safe and something needs to be done to rescue it from going extinct. Go to a higher institution in Nigeria including those in Igbo land, take your time to monitor discussions of about five different persons and you find out that about 80 percent of them speak other languages except the Igboman. Come down to the secondary school level here and you find out that there are schools in Igbo land where students are punished for speaking Igbo language during school hours. Then come down again to the nursery and primary schools levels and you discover the worst especially in privately-owned schools where the pupils compete against one another to excel in speaking English language. Yet school after the home should be where Igbo language should be spoken regularly. As you may wish to k n o w, t h e r e a r e domains where every language should be spoken and these domains are at home, school, church, media, market, government office and society. At home, it s expected that parents and guardians should tell stories, folklores and proverbs to their children and wards in Igbo language since they are in a better position to interact and encourage their children and wards at
home and transmit Igbo language and culture. Regrettably, this is missing. After the home, is the school where the child or ward is expected to learn in the educational environment and acquire knowledge and skills. But what happens here is that when children come home, their parents and guardians speak another language like English to them in order to exercise feeling of pride and satisfaction that their children and wards are learning fast the white man's ways of life and language. Consequently, Igbo language bears the brunt of negligence. In the church, where people are exposed to scriptural teachings and morality, the pastor or clergy do much of reading or preaching in English language or other languages rather than Igbo. The church bulletin or magazines are not written in Igbo language. This equally contributes to dwindling scope of speaking Igbo language. In the media, the programme content and news casting are dominated by English language in most media organizations. Little room is given to Igbo language and this does not encourage development of the language. In the markets, trading and selling are done more often in languages other than Igbo and this does not help matters. In the government offices, memoranda and letters are written in English language and this is a threat to Igbo language. In the societal gatherings, use of Igbo language should be made compulsory to encourage speakers to adapt. It is sad that such assemblage produce people who speak English or at best 'Engligbo', a corrupt combination of English and Igbo languages. What I think is that the coming of the white man contributed to the bad fortunes of Igbo language.
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The coming of the white man contributed to the bad fortunes of igbo language Continued from page 10 This is because, the while man came with his own culture and imposed it on Nigerians including Igbos, they as well made it compulsory that credit in English language is required before one can gain admission into higher institutions of learning. Unless something is done to make Igbo language compuls ory like Englis h language, the problem will still linger. It is cheering news that in Ebonyi state in particular, students are expected to enter Igbo as a compulsory language in the school certificate examinations. Such mandatory reform in educational curriculum is required to make the use of Igbo language compulsory in all the domains so as to achieve effective results.
2015 is around the corner and some people are of the opinion that the leaders delivered the democracy dividends as expected. Of course, y ou know as elections approach, you begin to see the politicians trouping down to their constituencies more often. In fact you will not be surprised that those it took about one or two years to come to their constituencies since they were elected into office would be seen visiting monthly or twice in a month. At this point in time, they will be wearing smiles and be greeting everybody even those who have not recognized their presence. They attend almost every public function and identify with stakeholders and opinion moulders. It is normal but the only snag there is that it usually takes place before and during election period. As 2015 elections have been fixed this year, you will begin to notice
Chief Nnadi most of these things. However, it is only left for the electorates and constituents to take their destiny into their hands. Election period offers an opportunity for the electorates to legitimize the authority given to the public office holders. It is the power of the ballot box that the electorates will use to enthrone or dethrone a leader. If the public office holder has done well and delivered democracy dividends and always identifies with the people, he should be voted for but if he is the opportunist that comes around every election time, it is the responsibility of the people to use their vote power to disgrace such person. But sometimes these electorates err and among the reasons why I think that the electorates do not vote according to their co n s cien ce ar e N ig er ia' s developing negative political culture, poverty, greed and
bribery and corruption in the electoral system. The voter is given money to vote for even an unpopular candidate, and even popular candidates are made to cough out huge sums of money since the electorates see election as t h e opportunity to get their own share of the national cake. In the end, the moment the contestant is sworn in, the first persons he shuts out are the electorates because he had settle them when he gave them money and other materials to get their vote. For the elected politician, it is time he will spend the years in office to recoup his money. This accounts for the reason why most politicians, instead of touching the lives of their constituents, they first of all concentrate on amassing wealth and calling the bluff of the electorates. How many electorates know how much those they voted into public office earn? The salaries and allowances of the members of the National Assembly; Senate and House of Representatives are not fully known. There were reports that the salaries and allowances of a senator in Nigeria is higher than what the American President earns. The seeming poverty and hunger in the country is because money
is in the hands of few persons and as such does not circulate fully. The challenge of poverty and high unemployment rate in the country are worrisome and require that all hands should be on deck to tackle them and check their multiplier effects among which are insecurity and insurgencies, low agricultural yields, declining industrial output, and low per capita income.
To d a y i n N i g e r i a , elections have been staggered to such an extent that state governorship elections are held at various dates in
How do you see the President's visit to Anambra for ground breaking ceremony of the Second Niger Bridge, Onitsha recently?
Nigeria. Does this augur well for the country's enduring democracy?
Anambra APC gets new Exco By Uche Chukwu, Awka
he All Progressive Congress, APC, Anambra state chapter held its state congress with Emeka Ibe, a lawyer emerging as the state chairman after voting that formalized the consensus arrangement for the exercise. Others who were elected at the congress include Chukwuma Agufugo (Secretary), Mrs Onyinye Okongwu (Treasurer), Okelo Madukaife (Publicity Secertary),Engineer Emeka Nnodu, (Financial Secretary), Emma Chikelu (Legal Adviser), Mr. Obidike (Auditor) and Mrs
Calista Nwachukwu (Women Leader). About 35 seats were contested in the election in which 2007 delegates participated in the peaceful congress conducted under the auspices of state congress committee led by Ogbuehi Ezenna. Announcing the winners, Ezenna stated that a harmonization exercise took place leading to the emergence of the state executive of the party held at Ekwueme Square, Awka, the state capital. Speaking after his election, the new state chairman, Ibe pledged Senator Ngige to carry everybody along saying he would work to ensure that the state. APC becomes the party to beat in Also speaking, the leader of the
No. It does not augur well. We will never know how successful we have been operating the democracy if elections are not held one and same day. Efforts should be made to hold elections same day. The advantage is that each state is given equal opportunity and level playing around to contest election. But if election is conducted in one state, the chances of moving voters from other states to come and register in another state is there, but if the elections are held simultaneously, the issue of double registration or voting will not be there. I canvass for conducting of all elections in all the states same day especially for the governorship in which once you are elected as governor of a state; your tenure begins to run from that date of swearing in.
party in the state and senator representing Anambra Central senatorial District, Senator Chris Ngige said the peaceful nature of the congress was an indication of the progressive nature of the party. Describing APC as a party for the progressives and for the future, the senator said the party would uplift the poor masses and ensure provision of amenities and social security for the aged and less privileged as well as unemployed. He predicted that APC would form the next government saying the incessant insurgencies were as a result poor leadership.
It is one of the greatest things that would happen to Nigeria. The Second Niger Bridge is an interface connecting the SouthEast, South-West and SouthSouth and the Middle Belt. It will enhance economic development significantly through the free movement of goods and services across both ends from Lagos to South east, South-South and Northern Nigeria. It will surely serve the economic needs of Nigerians especially in the area of commerce and industry. We in the South-East are elated that in no distant time the traumatizing experience that commuters have at the old Onitsha Bridge will come to an end. The Igbos cannot thank President Goodluck Jonathan enough for living up to his promises. We are aware of the futile efforts of successive administrations to put the Second Niger Bridge in place, but today President Jonathan has shown with the ground breaking ceremony that it is no longer an empty campaign promise. President Jonathan has finally reintegrated the hitherto marginalized Igbos holistically into Nigeria's developmental mainstream, talk of practical construction of Ziks mausoleum, talk of national burial of Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, talk of Onitsha Cargo Port, talk of Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu, talk of appointment of the first Igboman Chief of Army Staff, talk of the appointment of the first Igbo Inspector General of Police, and so on
WAR IN THE HOUSE OF GOD
Assemblies of God has many corrupt leaders â€“ Rev. Paul Emeka The Assemblies of God Church Nigeria which was founded for the purpose of worshipping God and to bring souls to God through aggressive evangelism has now become a house of corruption, intrigue, infighting , politics and power-play. General Superintendent of the church, Rev. Paul Emeka, who was recently suspended over allegations of misconduct, financial misappropriation and other matters by a powerful group in the church led by the retired GS, Rev. Charles Osueke, in this interview, fired back at his accusers saying his only offence was that he refused some fraudulent leaders of the church to steal church funds. The embattled Rev. Emeka who has been reinstated by the court but was denied access to the office by his traducers, vowed never to allow those whose interest is to steal the church funds to continue with â€œthe business as usualâ€? in the House of God. Excerpts What is your position about the crisis now rocking the Assemblies of God Church? Everything has immediate and remote causes, so in a situation like this, you don't really know where to start. I must let you know that there was a time we got license to operate the Evangel University. The Board of Trustees employed people and of course members of the church, but they began to mismanage and equally mis-run the university, making it too expensive for us to continue with. They employed without looking back, they employed without consulting, because by the law of the University, statutorily as the General Superintendent, Ii am the Chancellor and equally the Visitor. The proper thing is that I am the Proprietor, so I was concerned that they were spending too much. We had 73 students who were admitted but they went ahead and employed 135 workers. In their first salary schedule, they brought six million naira. We protested but helplessly paid. In the second one, it went up to nine million naira and it never came down until it came to thirteen million naira. They were employing and not consulting with us and they were meant to interview people and bring the list to us to look through and make recommendations but they did not do so. Each time we call them to give account, they said no, that they were not accountable to the BOT or even the Executive Committee of the church, that they were accountable to the Governing Council. So there was a problem, nobody was accountable to us. So the board of trustees in the process of recognising and adopting a pragmatic approach in the running of the university suspended them and then set up a panel to look into how the university was being run. But these people ran to what we call a body of Ambassadors of the Kingdom which we have in the Assemblies of God, whom my predecessor felt had served the church and called them and gave them the award as 'Ambassadors of the Kingdom'. It was not meant to be an association; it has no place
Rev. Paul Emeka, GS Assemblies of God Church in our constitution or organogram of the church. But somehow the people (Ambassadors) came together and began to see themselves as a pressure group or political arm of the church. The Vice Chancellor of the school happens to be a member of the body and he ran to them and called on them to help him out. They came to the Executive Council (EC) to see us and we asked them to wait that we will invite the BOT and explain everything to them. They laid their complaints that the young university will soon be closed, that they were not happy that the people were suspended and didn't care to know the reason for our action. Few weeks later, they came up with a write up that they addressed to the Presbyters (These are Pastors in Assemblies of God and are up to 2000 in number). They didn't address it to the EC members which is the highest decision making body of the church. This was where the trouble started. All of us had different approach towards solving it. They came up with so many allegations that didn't have to do with the
University but other things. They alleged many things against me, for instance, they talked about a house we bought in Germany. The allegation associated with the Germany house purchase are very shapeless, the story keep increasing by the day. They calculated all these to smear my image in the public. They also alleged what we created the Assemblies of God Ministers benefit fund. The Pastors every month make contributions to that and each time a Pastor retires, he is given what he contributed with interest and the balance remains with the church. They also alleged that I made a pledge to the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria without consulting the Executive Council, that my brother In-law was the one hiring equipment and being given two million naira each time we are to do a programme and helping himself from that. The truth about these things is not farfetched because the purchase of the project in Germany was started by my predecessor, the advance which was twenty million naira was paid by the General Treasurer who was
serving under him and later on there was this election that brought me in when he retired and we continued from there. The church obtained a loan from the GTB and it was the responsibility of the General Treasurer and the Accountants there to pay and they paid and kept remitting the money for the company until the transaction was completed. They have the cheques with which the payment was made and the receipts handed over to us. I didn't have anything to do with the money, all I did was to go and see if it was true, the General Secretary equally went and the Assistant General Superintendent also went, all these things are in our minutes. But when they were making their allegations, they didn't do them as if all these things are in the minutes; they talked as if I woke up one day and carried the money to buy a property in Germany. That of Pastors benefit fund started about sixteen years ago, each Pastor contributes automatically to the fund and goes home with what he contributed on retirement with interest. But I discovered that each month all the Ministers of Assemblies of God contribute an average of thirty million naira but the Ministers who retire in a given month don't take up to six million naira and
there was a board set up to use that money and invest. It was from there that we built our bank called
AG Homes; that continued for many years until I became the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God. I proposed before the Executive Council that here you have one man who is managing these millions of naira that the Ministers are contributing and here you have the bank. He is the Managing Director of the bank as well as the Chairman of the board, that it would be nice that we separate it so that he will continue to be the chairman of the board and another person the Managing Director of the bank. The Committee bought the idea. I equally said that these Ministers that are retiring, and given what they contributed with interest and the money remains there, they are not coming back at any time to benefit from the investment that their money was put into. I said the only way that these people could have a share is that since this body doesn't give them pension and since what the General Council pays to them as pension monthly is too small, that we should do something to enhance their living standard from the money. If you look at it by the time the former board was handing over, they had already about N2.5billion and I said to the people it was possible for us to take part of this money to increase their pensions so that they don't suffer too much. They accepted and adopted it unanimously. I proposed N350 million but they handed over about N1.5million and said they had invested the other. We said they should give the N200million so that we start helping the pension of these people and they sent it from the bank called the AG Homes to the General Council account. It did not go to my personal account. The General Treasurer received it, receipted it; but when they were writing, they started alleging and talking as if I had direct access to the money and using it on my own. It was credited to the general council account. On the allegation about making donation to the PFN, we went to the NAC (National Advisory Committee) meeting of the PFN, all the church leaders were there. So there was this spontaneous fund raised, people were pledging fifty to one
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â€˜I'm being attacked for fighting corruptionâ€™ Continued from page 12 hundred million, but on behalf the Assemblies of God, I pledged ten million naira and that was not to say that I paid it immediately. When I came back, I brought the matter before the Executive Council meeting and they approved that the General Treasurer should go and pay. Nobody gave me cash, it was a cheque credited in the account of the PFN. But here they said the Executive Committee did not know about it even when they paid willingly. The house in Germany has been subject of rumours; some said it is my personal house, others said I didn't buy while some said that I bought and went with some other money until people started visiting and seeing that it is true and all the documents came home and the legal department looked at it and everybody accepted that the business was correct. Till today, I do not know why they are making allegations on this. Another allegation about my Inlaw hiring equipment; the truth of the matter is that whenever we are doing a big programme, there is a central committee that will meet in the board room with subcommittees and at a time the committee told us that they now have a company owned by one Okezie and that they supply power and sound to the government at Okpara square each time they had a programme and that if we would hire them, they would do us good. We told them to bring them and they brought them. The central planning committee would always beat price with this man depending on the nature and duration of the programme. We would agree and immediately we agree on price the manager of the company would go to the accounts office where he would be given a cheque and that ends it. Nobody gives me the money and that is the structure of the church. The General Superintendent does not have anything to do with money, we take the decisions and it is the responsibility of the General Treasurer with the people working under him to take action. Now when the Ambassadors brought their complaints and started alleging all these things, they were not in a position to know since they are not in the organogram of the Church. It was somebody that made them to know and they came up with these allegations that never existed. They are alleging over N450 million. The Executive Committee working with me who knows when all these decisions were
taken, I thought they would come to my aid when these allegations were raised but some of them were of the opinion that these Ambassadors will be brought and
they would be made to repeat the allegations and I would answer, but I never knew that they (Executive Committee members) had a hand in what is happening. That continued until a certain time when they appealed to the General Committee. The General Committee judicially speaking is higher than the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee makes decision. The General Committee is called twice a year but if a General Committee is needed, the General Superintendent can on his own call it but if it is called without the General Superintendent, the constitution says they will obtain 33 percent signatories of the members of the General Committee and they will lay it on the table of the General Superintendent and he will invite the people for the General Committee and he equally will determine the terms to be discussed with members of the Executive Committee. Now they called the General Committee without respect to this process. They were not able to obtain it because the constitution says that the General Committee will serve as a court of final appeal and I told them that if the General Committee will serve as the final appeal, it means that the Executive committee will serve as court of first appeal. First of all, we have to look at it so that if the General Committee sits, we will now tell them the extent to
which we have looked at it. But I never knew there was a political plan to be hatched that day. They never allowed me to execute it as constitution demands and that was on the 6th of March. I told them I wouldn't attend because it fell short of constitutional demands. There were text messages here and there but before that day, I had called Police to say I was not comfortable with the meeting and asked them to stop it but the police said no, that they don't have right to stop private meeting of the church, that all I need to do was to obtain a court order to stop it. I invited my lawyer to prepare a court order to the effect. It was not to be a court order against the Assemblies of God but against certain individuals I perceived were responsible for the general
because the Trustees is not there, the General Council is not there and Assemblies of God is not there but those there are individuals he felt could cause a breach of peace, but they wouldn't like to listen. He also failed to let them know that the suit was abandoned and the court wrote to that effect, that the suit was not in existence. Nobody was served any summons. What is happening is that there is a group of men in the church whose interest in the finances of the church became threatened and they felt I was the one anchoring it. But when I was making the reorganization, I didn't deliberately did it to step on any toe, I was doing what I felt would help the church to go forward because to me, I didn't feel comfortable that every day you stand before the church to go and raise fund, that instead of
Rev. Paul Emeka, GS Assemblies of God Church committee. But along the line, I called the lawyer and said I would want to abandon the suit, that I would be misunderstood and I asked him to leave it. But do you know that on that very day of the meeting, somebody from among the Ambassadors and the eleven executive committee members standing against me was sent to go to court and look for the abandoned suit and he brought it to the general committee. In that meeting the Legal Adviser of the church who is leading these people was the one who read it that the General Superintendent had taken the church to court and should be suspended. But some others said he didn't take the church to court,
people hearing sermons, you are telling them about money whereas we have ventures here and there that could yield money to the church. Without worrying people, our offering and tithe should be enough. That was my aim. We had money. If you invest N250 million very well, it will increase the revenue of the church. As at last year, the Pastors fund generated N2.5 billion from the time that scheme started, all that had been paid to the Pastors was only N123million in sixteen years, up to N300 million and more was spent on office. The purpose of that scheme was not to run office or other things but to help our Pastors in retirement but many of them are suffering and
we felt free to our conscience to allow them in that state and pay lip service to our holiness. I said it was not good but ironically, the same people who were guilty of all these turned around to say that Paul Emeka is a thief. They are more loud mounted; they have a very large network of information spread. I wouldn't speak like they do because I am a preacher and wouldn't like to speak against anybody. Why they did it is that the council meeting where they elect us is at the corner and they felt that three years ago (Nov 2010), when we had that election, I scored 4,075 votes, the man following me, Rev Chidi Okoroafor scored 784 votes. So the gap was wide. It is well founded that since that time,
But we learnt some members of the church later went to court . Is this true? You have heard about court and I said I didn't go to court. Dr Nathan Udeze and another one who is a lecturer in one of our Bible Schools, Dr Ekenedilichukwu Offodile, they didn't like what transpired, they went to court and sued and the nature of the suit was in representative capacity, not only for the two of them but for any other person who does not like what happened. We went to the court for hearing for three times and the court said return to status quo and by this that I am still the General Superintendent and that Chidi remains the Assistant and that there is nothing like acting. Yet our people have decided to ignore the court order. This is what is happening and on daily basis they keep writing against me. In the Assemblies of God, the maximum punishment is suspension and after suspending me, you say you are setting up a panel, so when the committee must have concluded its work, what other punishment will you give to me? If you have allegations of fraud, the police is there to look into it. I have been telling them to call a general committee where we have about 105 unit heads but here a quorum was not formed, they even used observers and even there they spoke hateful words, so many unconstitutional things done there all in an attempt to ease me out, to truncate the mandate the people gave to me. It is like the Abiola case, it is injustice in the broad day light. I have gone to Osueke who chaired it to say I did not sue the church and asked him to rescind his decision, he said no, he said one of the reasons was that I did not attend the general committee and I said it was not called in line with constitution and that I wouldn't attend. Last Friday, people came from different parts of the country to
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APC vows to snatch Enugu Lion Building from PDP in 2015
s preparations for the 2015 general elections gather momentum, the All Progressives Congress ,APC, has vowed to send the ruling People's Democratic Party, PDP, parking from the Lion Building, the Enugu state Government House, via the ballot box. To this end, the opposition party said it has begun aggressive sensitization of the state electorate on the need to embrace APC “because it is the alternative party meant for democrats and progressive minds. Speaking to newsmen Saturday at the end of the Enugu state APC congress, newly elected state chairman of the party, Dr. Ben Nwoye, said “APC is determined in effecting that change the poor Nigerian masses have been yearning for come 2015.” According to him, “that change is going to start from Enugu state, because the ruling People's Democratic Party, PDP has failed Nigerians woefully in all ramifications, especially Enugu state people. “I want to say that the change Nigerians and Enugu state people have been yearning for is near, and it will come in 2015″ he declared. Nwoye, a US trained Aviation expert, said that not until the PDP is shown the exit doors at all levels of governance will continue to experience instability in all sectors of the nation's economy. He, therefore, urged all true democrats and believers of democracy in Enugu state and elsewhere, to take the bull by the horn by embracing APC, maintaining that the opposition party has the capacity and all it takes to rewrite the history of Nigeria. “We are calling on our people to rise up and embrace the APC because it remains the last hope of the common man in Enugu state, and Nigerian in general” Nwoye said, adding that the party is also the voice of the voiceless such as of Okada riders, Keke NAPEP riders, market women, including all those who have suffered all forms of injustices occasioned by the PDP bad governance” In his remarks at the event, held at the Enugu state APC secretariat, chairman of the congress committee, and former member, House of Representatives from in state, Hon. Uche Onyeagocha, had explained that the essence of the merger of other major political parties to form APC was to have a strong force to be used in capturing power from PDP in 2015. He also used the forum to correct
the wrong notion in some quarters that APC is a muslim party, saying such mischievous propaganda is the handiwork of PDP which is not happy with the aggressive conversion of its members to the opposition party in parts of Nigeria. The ex-National Assembly (NASS) m e m b e r, w h o announced the returning of all the state APC officials unopposed via a voice vote, explained that they were elected in line with the party's electoral guidelines. He had equally used the forum to dismiss speculation in some PDP quarters that the party was planning to field a Muslim P r e s i d e n t i a l / Vi c e R-L- Chief Uche Onyeagocha, Chairman, APC congress committee, Dr Ben Nwoye, newly Presidential candidates elected Chairman APC Enugu State and Chief Osita Okechukwu, APC spokesman, South East in 2015. Onyeagpcha, alleged that such Vice Chairman (Enugu West), Secretary, Mr. Sydney Eze, Leader (Enugu West), Chief rumours are being peddled by the Chief Anike Nwoga, Vice Financial Secretary, Chief Basil Bartho Udeaba, Ex-Officio, Chief PDP with a view to discouraging Chairman, Enugu East, Major Chukwu, Assistant Financial Chris Onyeke, Ex-Officio, unsuspected millions of people Gen. Chris Eze rtd, Secretary, Secretary, Nze Matthias Ukpai, Sunday Ezeji, Ex-Officio and Louis Okolo Jnr. Assistant Auditor, Okwor Mike, Assistant Juliet Eze, Ex-Officio. willing to embrace the party. He, however, urged Nigerian Secretary, Mr. Sampson Eze, Auditor, Lolo Queen Nwankwo, The APC congress was observed electorate to ignore such Assistant Treasurer, Hon. Ebere Women Leader, Mrs. Charity by officials of the Independent unfounded fallacy, saying there is Okoro, Treasurer, Chime Ifeanyi Nkpume, Assistant Women National Electoral Commission no way the party could engage in Ede, Organizing Secretary, Leader, Mrs. Maris Jideofor, INEC, led by the Enugu state such a thing, because APC, Ijeoma Agu, Assistant Organizing Women Leader (Enugu East), Dr. Resident electoral commissioner, according to him, remains a Secretatry, Mrs. Kate Offor, Mrs. N. Adonu, Women Leader (REC), Mr. Lawrence Azubuike disciplined party, which cannot Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony (Enugu North), Mrs Nkechi and other chieftains of the party take any decision that would Eze, Assistant Publicity Secretary Anikwe, Women Leader (Enugu including Chief Okey Ezea, Brig. and Barrister Ben Nnebe, Legal West), Ikenna Oloto, Youth Gen. J.O.J. Okoloagu rtd, Chief undermine any religion. Leader and Ndubuisi Agbo, Onyemuche Nnamani, Chief Other members of the 35-man Adviser. state executive are Comrade Also elected were Hon. John Assistant Youth Leader. Emma Eneukwu, Chief Uche A d o p h u s U d e h , D e p u t y Nebo, Assistant Legal Adviser, Others are Chijioke Ede, Youth Onyeagocha, Chief Valentine Chairman, Barrister Emecheta Chief Mrs. Joy Ebe, Welfare Leader (Enugu East), Emma Nnaedozie and Chief Osita Ugwu, Vice Chairman (Enugu Secretary, Hon. Barnabas Orji Idoko, Youth Leader (Enugu Okechukwu. North), Engr. I.K. Omenkeukwu, N g e n e , A s s i s t a n t We l f a r e North), Ngwoke Gregory, Youth
PDP wins over 2,100 APC, LP defectors in Edo
o fewer than 2 100 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) on Saturday in Auchi defected to the People Democratic Party (PDP). Mr Onasa Momoh, Edo North Senatorial Chairman of LP, who led defectors from the party, said they were joining the PDP because it was an all-inclusive party. Momoh said that the entire structure of the LP in the senatorial district had been collapsed to enable the members join the PDP. He explained that the LP had in the past worked in alliance with the APC. He, however, explained that such alliance had to end as the party never kept to any agreement reached with it. He decried the victimisation, harassment, humiliation, and the deprivation of LP members' right
during last election in the state. "We must put an end to cartels and individuals who have perfected the culture of greed and selfishness. "We have chosen to join a party that is focused on creating jobs within a moral economy, a party that responds to the needs of the vulnerable," he said. Similarly, Chief Lance Momodu, who led the APC members that
decamped, said they were PDP members who went on sabbatical to APC. Former APC chieftain said they went to APC to give opportunity to Gov. Oshiomhole to lead because of his desire to lead and promise of change ``but he has failed us''. "Instead of one man, one vote, what we are experiencing is one man, no vote. "APC is disorganised and
running a one man show and also playing the politics of exclusiveness,'' he said. Receiving the defectors, the state PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, described the defection of more than 2,100 people to the party as ``historic''. Orbih said that more so when the event was happening in the Local Government Area of the present governor.
Vice President's brother, Captain Sambo the Presidential Air Fleet before dies in auto crash retiring to be on his own.
ice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo's brother Capt. Yusuf Sabo Sambo has died at the age of 58 Capt Yusuf Sabo Sambo, who is the immediate junior brother to Vice President, died Sunday April 27, 2014 at the Bill Clinton drive Airport Road Abuja. He has since been buried at the Apo
cemetery, Abuja according to Islamic rites, in the presence of former military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and several other dignitaries and sympathizers. Until his death the deceased was a qualified pilot who worked with the former Nigerian Airways and
Late Capt. Sambo was born in 1956. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and 10 brothers and sisters. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, was at the Aguda House residence of the Vice President in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to personally condole him over the sad event.
The Nigerian Nationalist Remi Fani-Kayode V
ictor Babaremilekun Adetokunboh FaniKayode (nicknamed "Fani-Power"), Q.C., S.A.N, C.O.N (19211995) was a leading Nigerian politician, aristocrat, nationalist, statesman and lawyer. He was elected Deputy Premier of the Western Region of Nigeria in 1963 and he played a major role in Nigeria's legal history and politics from the late 1940s until 1995. Fani-Kayode hailed from a prominent and well educated Yoruba family who are of Ife stock from south-western Nigeria. His grandfather Rev. Emmanuel Adedapo Kayode was an Anglican Priest who had got his Master of Arts (Durham) degree from Fourah Bay College which at that time was part of Durham University in 1885 and his father Victor Adedapo Kayode studied law and graduated from Cambridge University in 1921, was called to the British Bar (Middle Temple) in 1922 and went on to become a prominent lawyer and then a judge in Nigeria.
Political career Chief Remilekun Fani-Kayode played a major role in the struggle for Nigeria's Independence. In 1952 he, together with Rotimi Williams, Bode Thomas and a number of others, were all detained by the British colonial authorities for the very active and passionate role that they played in the struggle against the British. He was elected the leader of the Action Group youth wing in 1954. He set up a youth wing for the party who wore "black shirts" and used the "mosquito" as their emblem in order to reflect their disdain for British colonial rule. Again, in 1954, the Oloye FaniKayode was elected into the Federal House of Assembly on the platform of Chief Obafemi Awolowo's Action Group and he continued his fight for Nigeria's Independence from there.He was the Assistant Federal Secretary of the Action Group and in that respect played a pivotal role, with the Federal Secretary, the late Chief Ay o Rosiji, in the organisation and administration of the Action Group. He, alongside Chief Awolowo, S. O. Ighodaro, E. O. Eyo, Adeyemi Lawson and S. G. Ikoku, represented the Action Group at the 1957 London Constitutional Conference. In 1957 he led the team of Action Group lawyers who represented and fought for the people of the Northern minorities at the Willinks minorities Commission in their quest for the creation of a middle belt region which would
Remi Fani-Kayode have been carved out of the old Northern Region of Nigeria.In July 1958 he successfully moved the motion for Nigeria's independence in the Federal House of Assembly(the minutes of Hansard, 1958; p. 269; Professor Onabamiro's "Perspectives on Nigeria's History", p. 140). In 1959 Remilekun Fani-Kayode resigned from the Action Group and joined the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), an opposition party. In 1960 he was elected the leader of the NCNC in the Western House of Assembly. In 1963 he was elected Deputy Premier of the old Western Region of Nigeria under Chief Samuel Akintola on the platform of the Nigerian National Democratic Party.He was also appointed Minister of Local Government Affairs for the Western Region in that same year. In the early hours of the morning of January 15, 1966, Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, a Nigerian Army officer of Igbo extraction, attempted to effect the first military coup d'ĂŠtat in the history of Nigeria. The attempt, though ultimately unsuccessful, resulted in a lot of bloodshed and many senior members of the ruling party, the military and the government of the day were brutally killed. Early that morning
the coupists, under the command of Captain Emmanuel Nwobosi, attacked and stormed the home of Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, the Deputy Premier of the Western Region. Fani-Kayode was brutalised by the mutineers in front of his whole family and in the presence of his son Femi FaniKayode, who was to become Nigeria's Minister of Aviation 40 years later He was then whisked away by them to an unknown destination. After leaving FaniKayode's home the mutineers, with Fani-Kayode in their custody, went to the Ibadan home of Chief S.L. Akintola, who was Premier of the Western Region, stormed his house as well and murdered him in front of his whole family. They also wounded his grandson and daughter-in-law. Chief Fani-Kayode witnessed the killing of his friend S.L. Akintola by the mutineers and from there he was taken to the military cantonment in Lagos where he was also scheduled to be executed by them. However, luckily for him, on arrival at the Ikeja military cantonment in Lagos the mutineers were overpowered, overwhelmed and killed by loyalis t troops under the command of Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon (who later became Nigeria's Head of State). FaniKayode was freed by the loyalists
and kept by them in a safe house until law and order was restored in the country. The coup attempt was effectively quelled by the loyalist forces and all its ringleaders were either killed or captured and detained. Out of all the key government officials and senior military figures that were attacked in their homes and that were apprehended by the mutineers and coup plotters that night, including Sir Ahmadu Bello (the Premier of the Northern Region), Sir Tafawa Balewa (the Prime Minister), Chief OkotieEboh (the Minister of Finance), General Maimalari (the Chief of Army Staff), Brigadier Ademulegun (Commander of the Northern Garrison) and so many others, Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, together with Sir Kashim Ibrahim (the Governor of the Northern Region) were the only ones that were not killed. Consequently, General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi himself took over power from the remnants of the Tafawa Balewa government on January 16 the day after successfully foiling Major Nzeogwu's mutiny and violent coup attempt. He then assumed the position of the Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Supreme Commander of the Nigerian Armed Forces. However a few months later he himself was toppled in a successful northern coup d'ĂŠtat which was effected on July 29, 1966 and which was led by Lt. Col. Murtala Mohammed and Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon (as they then were). During the coup General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was arrested in Ibadan, together with his host General Adekunle Fajuyi, by northern soldiers under the command of Major Theophilus Danjuma (as he then was). Both men were then whisked away and taken to a road side bush where they were both stripped naked and shot. Such was the brutality of the northern "revenge" coup of July 29, 1966 that no less than 300 Igbo army officers and non-commissioned officers were killed. This was due to the fact that, among a number of other grievances, the northern officers were of the view that General Aguiyi-Ironsi had been far too lenient with Major Nzeogwu and his fellow mutineers after the January 15 Igbo coup attempt in which many northern (Hausa - Fulani) and western (Yoruba) political leaders and senior military officers had been brutally murdered. The suspicion by the northern officers that there was some kind
of collusion and understanding between the Nzeogwu group and General Aguiyi-Ironsi was further fuelled by the fact that AguiyiIronsi himself was of Igbo ethnic stock. Interestingly 40 years after his murder Aguiyi-Ironsi's son, Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi, was to become Nigeria's Minister of Defence and ironically he took over that position from General Theophilus Danjuma, the man that had killed his father 40 years earlier. Many have said that the seeds of the northern officer's counter-coup of July 1966, which witnessed the killings of General Aguiyi-Ironsi and many other officers of mainly Igbo extraction and which eventually led to the Nigerian civil war itself were planted on that fateful night of January 15 by the bloodletting of Major Nzeogwu and his men, most of whom were of Igbo extraction. After the first ever attempted military coup in Nigeria on January 15, 1966 Remilekun Fani-Kayode together with a number of other notable figures were all detained by the military government of General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi.They were later released in July 1966, after the northern counter-coup, led by Lt. Col. Murtala Muhammed and Major Theophilus Danjuma. After Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon became Nigeria's Head of State, Remilekun Fani-Kayode left Nigeria with his whole family and moved to the seaside resort town of Brighton in south eastern England.They set up home and lived there in exile, for many years. In 1978 he was one of those that founded and pioneered the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). In 1979 he was elected to the position of the National Vice Chairman of that party and in recognition of his contribution to national development he was conferred with the honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (C.O.N) by President Shehu Shagari. From 1990 until 1994 he was a member of the elders caucus of the National Republican Convention (NRC), one of the two political parties set up by the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida during Nigeria's third republic. After the annulment of Chief Moshood Abiola's presidential election on June 12, 1993, Chief Remilekun Fani-Kayode was one of those who openly wrote about and spoke out strongly against the annulment. He even went to court over the issue. In 1994 the government of General Sanni Abacha appointed him into the Justice Kayode Eso panel of inquiry which effectively probed and helped to sanitise the Nigerian judiciary and rid it of corrupt judges.
The Man, Archbishop Chukwuma D
escribing His Grace, Most REV. DR. EMMANUEL OLISADEBE CHUKWUMA (OON) may be herculean and even confusing just like the description of the Elephant by three blind men. Each had given the elephant his own based on his perspective. One said the elephant is like tree because he only stumbled on the huge leg, another said it's like a house and the last like a bush. There's no doubt that his Lordship E. O. Chukwuma is different things to many, based on their perceptions. Anyway like one of the blind men, he is an eminent clergy in Nigerian whose reputation surpasses mathematical computation. Interestingly, this jewel of inestimable value has criss-crossed the length and breadth of this globe preaching the good news as well as fighting corruption in the society. Severally, various eminent organizations have had cause to stand on the threshold of history, rolling out the drums to give honour to this invaluable treasure of our time, the ebullient, sagacious, charismatic, indefatigable, eloquent, Solomonic and a highly revered Bishop of Enugu Anglican communion. Born to the Anglican family of late Sir Nathaniel and Lady Theresa Chukwuma Mgbeze of Umuonaje Quarters in Asaba, Delta State of Nigeria, on the 1st" Day of January, 1954, Bishop Chukwuma is both the second child and the second son of the family. He had his primary and secondary education at various towns and regions of Nigeria. For his University education, he attended University of Lagos and University of Jos where he obtained B.A (Hons) Ed, (second class upper division) and M.ED (Distinction) respectively. He attended Emmanuel College of Theology, Ibadan where he obtained Dip. Th; Dip. Rs, U.I. and St. John's College Nottingham, England, where he bagged L. Th and Doctor of Divinity of Harvard University, USA. He also had the conferment of Doctor of Applied Theology THD Commonwealth University UK. He hails from a church that is bible based, spiritually dynamic, united, disciplined, self- supporting, committed to pragmatic evangelism, social welfare and one that epitomizes the genuine love of Christ. His work is succinctly defined by St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430AD) to include (I quote) "to rebuke agitators, to comfort the faint hearted, to take care of the weak, to confront the enemies, to take heed of the snares, to teach the uneducated, to waken the sluggish, to hold back the quarrelsome, to put the self conceited in their place, to appease the militant, to give help to the poor, to liberate the oppressed, to encourage the good and to endure the evil, and Oh! To love them allâ€?. This task is by no means an easy undertaking in any generation. So it is important for one to relax, read, understand and inwardly digest the profile of this rear entity. There's no gainsaying that there is much in it that will not only enhance our spiritual growth and make us wise unto salvation, but will implant in us the germs of greatness for explosive intellectual rascality, rigidity, ruggedness and legal vocality. Called to the ordained ministry in 1980 as a Deacon, made a priest in 1981, preferred Canon in 1989, he was elected, consecrated and enthroned the first Bishop of the Missionary Diocese of Bauchi in 1990. He midwifed the birth of Gombe Diocese, and on 6th February 1998 (Ash Wednesday) assumed office as the second Bishop of Enugu Diocese. He is: The man that came, saw and conquered the then pluralized Diocese whose problem arose out of sectionalism of indigenes and non-indigenes "the Agbaenu and Wawa dichotomy", such that today the ugly malady is no more; the man in whose heart, we find a harmonious convergence of the vision to saturate the entire Nation with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to establish a strong relationship among all Christian brethren irrespective of tribe and denomination; the
Bishop that believes that knighthood investiture should be a thing of merit and not for money making. The Bishop Organist par-excellence is a Grand patron of Jerusalem Pilgrims (GPJ), represented the Church of Nigeria at the World Bank Conference on Poverty Alleviation in Nairobi, Kenya in 1999 and 2000 and was a nominee by the Anglican Frontier Mission of USA who attended the strategic Conference for Missions in West Africa at Singapore. He is an ecumenist of the highest order and that is why in CAN, he remains a great mover, shaker and rallying point. Currently, he is a patron of CAN in Enugu State, and CAN Chairman Bauchi State 1991-1998. In CCN, he has also made indelible imprints financially and otherwise. In
BSN, his contributions have remained unmatched and in PFN, he has been a source of inspiration to ministers of all denomination. Through his activities in the Men's Christian Fellowship (MCF), men have been salvaged from drunkenness, nightclubbing, and irresponsible family lifestyles. He is the immediate past CAN Chairman South East and also been made a patron at that level. On societal ills, he is one of the African! Asian Bishops who, in 1998, at the Lambeth Conference, insisted on a strict biblical understanding of sexual morality. With the support of Europeans and North American conservatives, they pushed through several amendments that strengthened the language condemning several expressions by homosexuals, declaring abstinence as the only acceptable alternative to marriage. Today, he is in the lead of the protest against same sex marriage. Socially and politically, he is a man of the people who never runs away from social responsibilities; a good homosapien, who has shown love in supporting the government to succeed but never compromises with the government whenever there are bad policies and progammes. A strong voice for the masses, who various segments of labour run to for counsel and support whenever contentions arise in the fight for civil liberty rights. Simply put, he is a world acclaimed human rights activist; one of the world's most outspoken Bishops.
Most Rev. Chukwuma remains an outstanding evangelical Bishop whose socio-spiritual activity epitomizes him as a true lover of the people and a true man of God. This gifted man and servant of the Most High who is a forgiver, reproofer, a rebuker of evil and a bridge-builder who belongs to the North, South, East and West is equally an Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), a United States Gold Medalist for Freedom and an awardee for promotion of theological Education by the Immanuel College of Theology- Ibadan. He is also a Red Ribbon awardee on HIV / AIDS - Best Practice in Faith-based Response 2004 and an awardee of Excellence- Pillar of innovation by Nigeria Postgraduate Union 2006. This First Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the Renaissance University, Ugbawka Enugu since 2006 - Date has also won an award on Humanitarianism in Prison Ministry by the Negro theatres Lagos State, Nigeria. Other meritorious awards in recognition of his outstanding contributions to society include the Old Boys Association of St Augustine Grammar School Nkwere - 22nd Nov 2003, Meritorious Award in recognition of his Commitments and contributions to the Bible Society of Nigeria during her last 40yrs of service to the people of Nigeria, an award in recognition of his contribution to the fight against HIV / AIDS in Nigeria given by International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2004 Enugu Nigeria and the World Medal of Freedom for significant accomplishments in the Field of Evangelism, Peace and Reconciliation, by the Governing Board of Editors of the American Biographical Institute. (Medal number 27 of 50) 2007. This former Chairman, Enugu State Christians Pilgrims Welfare Board - 2009 - 2013 also bagged these awards: African Leader of Integrity award by Africa International Magazine 2009, International Service award by Rotary Club of Trans-Ekulu, African Leader Per Excellence award, International Ambassador for Peace- UN, Fellow, Chartered Institute of Public Administrators 2009 and Godly Leadership award by Ministers Prayer Network International. January 2011 The prayer in the lips of those that have passed through the crucible of this living legend and others, is that the Almighty will grant this humble colossus more years of steadfastness, sacrifice, love and absolute dedication to the well being of our people. It is obvious that looking through the prism of prophetic trance, the potentials of Most Rev. Dr E.O. Chukwuma are yet to receive a wider scope of utilization in Nigeria and Worldwide. He is a man noticeably armed with honesty, forthrightness, courage, erudition and with simple minded commitment to the rule of due process. One who is firmly and glaringly stamped with the noble and exemplary traits of personal and professional accomplishment permanently manifesting day after day. Now that Nigeria is in short supply of sculpturally religious and pastoral square pegs in square holes, here is a sprightly, sharp-sighted, sharp-witted, and mentally astute shepherd of God's sheep. Indeed, here is an anointed man of God, a committed, respected, responsive, and responsible Nigerian (of Igbo extraction); this charismatic great visionary, prophet and minister with a mission, messenger with a message; this accomplished administrator par excellence, who carry the undying passion to serve humanity qualitatively; this humane and welfare- oriented personage, this courageous, amiable and humble gentleman; this exemplary follower and mature leader; this good husband of the Diamond Mummy, Dr (Mrs.) Joyce Chukwuma, the loving father of Oby and Nonso, and the Lord Archbishop of the Anglican communion Enugu province, Most. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Olisamedualim, Ngozikachukwu Chukwuma (OON, GPJ; FCPA)
Who is Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma? However The Advocate went to town inoder to find out the impression of the people about His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Olisdebe Chukwuma. Here are excerpts. Ven. Dr. Moses Ifeanyi-Eze, Vicar, St. Bartholomew Anglican Church Asata and Chairman of Clergy Association, Enugu Diocese
ishop E.O. Chukwuma is the Anglican Arch-Bishop of Enugu. He is a man of the people. Though he is an Anglican Bishop, he is a Bishop to all Christians. He is a man that has no angle. He operates an open door; he is a man of accord spirit, a man with a large heart. With his coming into Enugu, the door of evangelism opened. He is a bridge-builder across democracy. He is not a parochial Christian who is concerned with his denomination alone. That is why he has led the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), South-East. Not just leading, he leads with his own resources. Arch-Bishop Chukwuma has made the Bible Society what it is today, using his own money to revitalize it and many other organizations. Politically, he s a sensitive Bishop, Because in Nigeria there's corruption, no politician wants people to look into the political arena. He is taking this risk. He is s a man who is ready to take a jump into the political arena. He is deeply involved in national agenda. He knows Igbos are marginalized and does not take it lightly. However, he knows Igbos are problems to themselves. That's why he preaches to them to love themselves. In the church, Arch-Bishop Chukwuma is not ignorant of that, he is Anglican and bridge-builder who looks into Pentecostalism within Enugu Ecclesiastical Province. This is a man who is recognized in the Enugu Ecclesiastical Province of Anglican Communion. Hence his recent elevation to the post of Arch-Bishop which we learnt he got unopposedâ€ŚThis is a pointer to the type of man he is. His recent elevation means Enugu is now Arch-diocese. For us as clergies, and members of the Anglican Communion, we feel recognized, we feel encouraged, we feel our leader is recognized. What we see in Enugu will spread and the light will spread. We are proud and have pledged our unalloyed support in terms of praying for him, and paying allegiance to him as our leader. At 60 years, he is now an Arch-Bishop; he is the most senior in the Anglican Communion. His elevation is nearly overdue. As a man of God by experience, he's the most senior before his elevation. He is a senior Bishop to most of the Bishops. He has gained experience and will use it as an added advantage. We pray that that position does not get into his head, let him continue to touch lives within this Diocese and beyond. It is an added responsibility taking him out of us occasionally, but we still hope to see him stay with the people, let him keep being available to us. God will keep him alive to work and retire as an Arch-Bishop. Our prayer is that he'll be working actively to point of retirement.
Ven. N.N.P.C Ghamzi, Arch-Deacon of Enugu South,Vicar of Christ Church Uwani, Medical Dirtector, Good Shepherd Specialist Hospital, Christ Church Uwani
rch-Bishop Emmanuel O. Chukwuma is somebody who is very difficult to describe; difficult in the sense that he is a man of many parts. Ecclesiastically, or in Episcopal Ministry, he told us that he has three major areas you see him literally flying viz: Education, Mission, and Health. There is the fourth one, Agriculture which has not lived up to the others in terms of huge success. He is responsible for creating the other Dioceses like Enugu North, Nike, Awgu-Aninri and Oji River, He is somebody who pushes to the end in whatever he wants to do and we clergies find it difficult to measure up even at his age. He is somebody who can do so many things at the same time and do them perfectly well. At a time like this, we really celebrate him. Every moment of his life is activity. He is a social crusader who loves people with a passion. He cannot stand injustice; many of us look up to him to comment on national issues when there are problems but after his comments, they make us proud. He sacrifices his leisure and pleasure for the benefit of others. He speaks and people get employed or helped. He is somebody we celebrate. As Arch-Bishop, with 12 Dioceses to oversee, he has a lot of work to do. If he was so busy in just one Diocese, he needs God's Grace in these 12 Dioceses. The God who saw him through in one Diocese can see him through in these 12 Dioceses.
Ven. Dr. Honest Uche Gad Nwosu, All Saints Church and Chairman, Church of Nigeria Missionary Society, Enugu Diocese.
ishop Emmanuel O. Chukwuma was made a Bishop in 1999 in Kaduna. He was among the first nine missionary Bishops of Church of Nigeria consecrated. He has been a versatile man, achieved results in Bauchi, built Diocese in Bauchi and that is why you have Bauchi and Gome Dioceses. His coming to Enugu, four Dioceses have come to Enugu because of his missionary dexterity. These Dioceses are Oji River, AwguAninri, Enugu North and Nike Dioceses. Many churches have been founded in the hinterland, many areas have been reached. He is missionary-oriented. The Diocese has grown in leaps and bounds. When he came to Enugu, he pursued agenda bordering on mission, health, education and investment. On mission, many churches were founded. On health, the Good Shepherd Specialist Hospital, Christ Church Uwani came into being. In the area of education, you have the Good Shepherd Schools nursery, primary and Convent. In the area of investment, you have the Good Shepherd Micro Finance Bank including agro forestry development where we have crops like cassava, etc. He is an activist. He did not stop at being a church man, he is sociallyconcerned in the area of ensuring that the poor gets their rights, and the poor gets something at occasions like Christmas, Easter celebrations, etc. he goes out to defend labour unions. He reconciles labour with government. He is an ecumenist, he is not just a Bishop of the Anglican but other denominations. That is why he remains the Patron of CAN. He was just recently elevated and left the CAN seat South-East. In the Bible Society, he is in the forefront to ensure it maintains its focus. Because of his educational orientation, he is the only Bishop that is a Pro-Chancellor, at Renaissance University. The Ecclesiastical Province of Enugu is five years old, but it means it needs somebody to move it forward, probably that is why in the wisdom of Bishops of Nigeria, they decided to elect him the Arch-Bishop for the whole Church of Nigeria. Synod will come up in September this year in Enugu, being hosted by Enugu Province. With him we hope it will be a brilliant success. It is expected that the Ecclesiastical Province will be much more united. As a family man, who works in love with the wife and children, he is one who doesn't leave the wife out. His children are also in tune with his principle. His wife is indeed a very supportive wife and who carries the women of the Diocese along for productivity. At 60, I wish that he now has about 10 years in the active episcope. He has a decade of greater active Ministry and we believe he's going to contribute much as a legacy for the upcoming leaders of the church. This decade we believe he'll leave a lot for posterity.
Lolo Kate Ezeofor, President General of Umuadaigbo in Nigeria and in diaspora
am Lolo Kate Ezeofor, President General of Umuadaigbo in Nigeria and in diaspora. His Grace Most Rev. Dr Emmanuel O. Chukwuma, OON, the Archbishop of Enugu Archdiocese is a rare personality. We the Umuadaigbo in Nigeria and in diaspora congratulate him on his Episcopal promotion to the rank of an Archbishop. We are happy for the elevation of Enugu as an Archdiocese and his recent promotion is well deserved. As the Bishop of Enugu diocese he created many dioceses. So it is a welcome development that he is elected the Archbishop of the province,; that is the Enugu Ecclesiastical province. He has made sacrifices of self to fish out widows and the less privileged; rendering assistance to them. He is an outspoken gem whose propositions and views are respected throughout the world. As an outspoken Bishop, he is always prepared to praise good governance and condemns policies that do not accommodate Christian principles. He is our Grand patron, the Umuadaigbo in Nigeria and in diaspora. We thank God for his 25years of meritorious service as a Bishop. We also celebrate with him on his 60th birthday anniversary. Our prayer is that the good Lord will strengthen him and take care of him for effective service delivery in the years ahead; that God will continue to bless him with wisdom and take care of him in all his endeavours.
How mad cow killed Flora Nwapa's ex-driver By Ted Peters
rampaging mad cow caused serious stir in Owerri, Imo State capital when it reportedly kicked and killed Mr. Aloysius Ohaegbulem Amadi, 61, former driver to the late popular novelist, Mrs. Flora Nwapa. Now the late Amadi has left behind his very old mother, Mrs. Martina Amadi in her 80s, Mrs. Pauline Amadi a retired nurse as widow, five children three male and two female. The mad cow actually inflicted serious injuries on its victim, tearing his right lap with one of its sharp and hard horns after it was said to have hit the man's groin, according to Mr. Emmanuel Amadi, second son of the driver. Amadi hailed from Umuotunwanyi village of Obodo Ahiara Autonomous Community in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State. He worked as a professional driver since the early 1970s till the time of his tragic end. In 2012, he returned to his Mbaise community from Orlu also in Imo State where he operated as a commercial driver. Described by natives as “a kind and gentleman,” the late Mr. Amadi was about loading passengers into the Mitsubishi L300 bus which he operated along Mbaise-Owerri Road when he met his sudden death on Saturday, March 22, 2014 along the ever busy Mbaise Road in Owerri. The saddest aspect of the man's ordeal was that when he was brutally attacked by the cow, those around the area deserted him, leaving him at the 'mercy' of the cruel beast that dealt fatal blows and kicks on him, Emmanuel told our reporter. at the Federal Medical Centre, (FMC), Owerri where he was rushed to by officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Emmanuel alleged that he was also abandoned by the hospital workers as he continued to bleed until the last drop flowed out of him. “He was lying down there at FMC helplessly, shouting what did I do?', 'what did I do?'. We were told that those were his last words. And I believe he died because they abandoned him and were waiting for the children to bring money so they could start treatment. Even the Road Safety officials called to inform us that my dad was speaking soundly when they handed him over to the FMC. That was how my father died,” Emmanuel told our reporter during an interview. But the Medical Director of the
Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, one Dr. Uwakwem expressed surprise that somebody made such a false allegation. She insisted that “it is not in the practice of the FMC to abandon a patient whether brought by Road Safety people or not.” The medical director further explained: “It's not our practice here to abandon a bleeding patient. It's within the ethics of our profession to take care of people. We have nursed people (patients) for three months without waiting for the relations to come and bring money. Our main interest is to save life and money would be secondary. Road safety officials have brought a number of people to FMC here and they know we treated such people without waiting for the relations to bring money first.” According to Uwakwem, “Now I don't know exactly what happened in the man's case until I see his record and give you the accurate information.”
sympathizers who visited the family: “I didn't know he would die like this. Every morning, before he leaves for work, he would come to ask me how I am feeling. He was a friend of all. I am going to miss him quite a lot. There can be no replacement for Aloy, my son.” Suddenly, she stopped talking and began to star into space with her hand under her jaw. She shook her head and continued grinding her teeth. She was looking quite frail in her old age, coupled with the shocking and tragic death of the son. The effect of the misfortune was visible on her. For the widow,
T H E ADVOCATE recalls that some time in the late 1 9 6 0 s , a similar incident occurred at Apapa Lagos where a cow attacked and crushed a certain Igbo man. “The cow knocked the Igbo man down and marched on him until his heart b u r s t out of his body. But the entire Igbo people who witnessed the ugly incident mobilized and armed themselves with cutlasses. From Apapa they chased the cow up to Ebute-Metta where they macheted the cow to death and shared its meat. The owner of the cow never showed up because the cow killed someone,” recalled 82-years old, M r. A n t h o n y C h i m e z i e Adibe, who lived in Lagos in those days. Lamenting the demise of her son, who she probably thought would give her a befitting burial when she dies, Mrs. Martina Amadi, in her 80s muttered to
Mr. Aloysius Mrs. Pauline Amadi, who will now shoulder the responsibility of catering for the entire family, the death of her husband must have been designed by God and, she said, the family accepted it just like that. To bear the huge loss arising from the husband's demise, the widow wants every member of the family to be quite s t r o n g i n p r a y e r. “ A l l I have to say is that everyone should be strong in prayer. The way he died was an act of God and we accepted it,” she said. Saying that her husband was an industrious and well-mannered family man, Mrs. Pauline recalled that she never fought with him since 1979 they got married. “We got married in 1979 and ever
since, we never had a fight. Really, as husband and wife, we used to have misunderstandings but we never fought each other from the year we married till the time of his demise. He had started driving, may be, in 1975 before he married me in 1979. He was a well-mannered person but then as human beings we could have misunderstandings and later resolved our differences. He was an industrious man,” she said. First son of the late driver, Mr. Nicholas Ogedi Amadi said the misfortune that visited his father was a rather complicated incident. He said witnesses to the ugly incident “told us it is not something that o n e c a n understand fully.” Nicholas told our reporter: “It happened to be something concerning a cow and a human being. He l o a d e d passengers at Eke Ahiara Junction, Mbaise and drove to Owerri o n t h a t fateful day, 22nd March, 2014. Then on his way coming back from Owerri, suddenly, they said a cow, a mad one for that matter came unexpectedly and hit him. And he couldn't survive the attack. That was the incident and it was reported to the police Area Command in Owerri and e v e n u p till now, the case is still under investigation.” On his father's experience with Nwapa the late author of “Efuru” and “Wives at War,” as well as why he left her employment eventually, Nicholas saidt: “He drove the popular novelist, Mrs. Flora Nwapa as personal driver for about 12 years. Although, at the time we were still in our tender ages, but we the children observed that the novelist and our father had good relationship in terms of employer-employee relationship. They had very good rapport. Everything about his job was absolutely well. And even up to the time of his sudden
death, our father still communicated with the Nwapa's family. He always remembered members ofthe family of the novelist because he loved them. That's all I can remember for now.” He said his father resigned from Nwapa's appointment when his salary was no longer sufficient for the demands from a large family. “He went there to work for money and then the agreement was that certain salary would be paid him at the end of the month. But as the years were moving on, things started changing; he began to have children and his family became large and the family demands became more. May be, the salary was no more enough for him. When he complained to his employer and things were still not as he expected, then he had to resign his appointment,” he said. However, Emmanuel remembered his last moment with his father, saying that there was nothing to suggest that that would be his last time of seeing him alive. “Few days ago before my last moment with him, there was a plantain tree fallen by the wind caused by heavy rain. Every day, he would tell me to help him lift it so it could once again stand firm and then bear fruits,” according to Emmanuel. “The very morning before my last moment with him, I was able to lift the plantain tree. When he came back from work in the night, he observed that the plantain tree has been lifted the way he wanted. Then the following morning, as he was about to go to work, he called me to know the 'magic' I used to lift the plantain tree. Then I told him that I did it alone, and he praised me and said that at least it could yield something for the family. Then he left for work. And that was the last moment I had with my dad,” he told our reporter. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Joy Elemoko confirmed the incident. She said one of the relations of the deceased reported the case at the Owerri Urban Police Station and that the case is still under investigation.“Some people were chasing a cow and the cow attacked the driver; the Road Safety people later rushed the driver to the FMC here in Owerri,” the PPRO said. But she did not say whether the police arrested the owner of the cow or those that were chasing it or the cow that killed the driver. However, the remains of Amadi was laid to rest on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at his family compound in Umuotunwanyi village of Obodo Ahiara Autonomous Community in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area.
Assemblies of God has many corrupt leaders Continued from page 13 denounce what Osueke and his team did and passed a vote of confidence in me and cancelled all that they did. It is true they did this but we still need more to restore peace because there is no normalcy for now.
What then is the way forward? People have asked me the way forward and I said the way forward is for us to call a general committee of all the unit heads in representation as recommended by the constitution and all of us will come together and the Ambassadors who have something against me will come and present whatever they have and the Executive committee members will be called upon to present everything they have against me and I would defend myself against all that they have written - monetary or otherwise, but they don't want it that way. Osueke who is supposed to be an umpire takes the story of the Ambassadors and tells it as if he is one of them, takes the story of the Executive Committee and tells it as if he is one of them. He has nothing good about me and paints me black before people. Let us call the general conference to stop the crisis in the Assemblies of God.
Was there any allegation bothering on immoral behaviour? As far as I am concerned I have not come upon any allegation bothering on immorality and nothing resembling it. It has never been an issue. Nobody has mentioned that aspect.
Why did you call the rally last week? I called the rally for people to hear me because since it happened, nobody has heard me and I have spoken to Rev Osueke a couple of times, so that I could tell my story, but he wouldn't. I felt that even if
position of the Youth Director, he is a statutory member; but for these other ones, it is when the Presbyter nominates you that you will come. The person they will nominate today may not be the same person nominated another day. But in that past meeting, without being nominated, all these Ambassadors came in their number and were deciding what should be done and quorum was not formed because when they were taking roll call, most of the people did not come and they said observers could be used.
What could in the
Where do you think this development will lead the church?
Are there other hidden issues apart from what we have already known? There could be remote issues, and even if you are sure, you won't speak things that you would not come out plainly to defend. There were certain things that happened and they became obvious. I know that bias played a role and that is that some people do not like me to continue. The biases assumed different shapes but I won't call names. I will stop at things that I will at least defend to an extent but there are so many things that many other people also know about.
It seems that you are alone fighting, how come all m e m b e r s o f the committee you superintend are against you? There was that divide. When it occurred, some people were with me. One member of the Executive Committee is dead; another is a Missionary who by policy is not meant to take part by anything we do by showing where he belongs. I had about four persons to my side including the General Secretary but when this coup took place, threats came and the people with me joined them. The General Secretary for one came and apologised with me, Rev John Ikoni, Rev Idogo went and others.
general committee and if they pass it, he is not removed until he comes to the general council in session. The general council in session is the one that will happen in November when delegates from all over the nation will gather and one of the items in the agenda will be the recommendation by the general committee for removal. The two third majority will say yes we support what the general committee has said and that will be the only time, they have succeeded in removing someone. But in this case, all these things are not followed. The past General Superintendent used his influence as a retired Minister and an old person to be doing what he is doing now in the church.
Rev. Paul Emeka you brought up a new allegation against me, you needed to hear me. That was the first time the General committee was sitting on the matter and even if I didn't deliberately come, they should reinvite me to ensure they heard me but nobody cared. They never heard me. The position is not a small one, not because I am holding it. You suspended your General Overseer with a wave of the hand, without hearing him is an absurd. Again, there were so many illegalities which followed what they did.
Could some of those affected in the reorganization be members of the Executive Committee? There are no permanent members in the General Committee but we have statutory members. By virtue of my position, I am a statutory member, by virtue of the
Assemblies of God lead to the suspension of a person in your position? The Constitution and By-laws of the church states that to remove an officer (we are four officers), I number one, my deputy, General Secretary and Treasurer. We meet almost on daily basis for the running of the church. It is assumed that my position is number one among equal. It is spelt out clearly things that could lead to the cessation of an officer from the office and these include if he is dead, if he goes insane, if he is no longer living in this country, if he is convicted of a crime by a law court and if he is recommended by the General Committee to be disciplined or removed from office. The same constitution said that if the general committee recommends that this person be disciplined that way, it must be by two - third of the
I believe that the matter can be resolved and it will be resolved. The truth is that illegality remains illegality see what is happening as a sort of revival, revival is not only when people are praying and speaking in tongues, revival can come when injustice is corrected because if you leave it to continue, you are allowing stealing and fraud to still go on and no matter how you pray and speak in tongue, illegality and evil is going on and God is laughing at the church. Like I told you, I approached all these changes sincerely with child like mind; I didn't approach it like to say I want to fight with someone. I just felt that if we do this thing this way, it will pay the church better and I didn't know why God allowed me to get into it. It was as we continued that some people began to come up and felt otherwise and that was why the unconstitutionality of their practice became glaring and they were ashamed to tell the world why they are doing what they are doing. That is why they resort to writing falsehood; and not refer to the minutes where these decisions were taken. They simply want the world to believe that Paul Emeka is the worst human being in the world. I have not replied all that they have been saying. The little I told last Friday, nearly sent people crazy. It will lead the church to have a forum that I told you about earlier. But if they still become adamant, the court is there and it will continue. It lingers but by and by, justice will come out. It is part of revival. They are there expecting us to run because they are people of timber and calibre, it is not possible. People now are coming up and people are beginning to know what is happening and they are saying they will never allow it to happen. So for some of us fighting this thing, we feel that we are on the path of revival for the good of the church.
All these years, that you have served, are there things that are not constitutional that they want you to do that you felt otherwise?
To tell you the truth, I try as much as I can to be a very careful man. I do not take pleasure in lording it over people. I feel cheated if I cheat somebody and that is why I insist on going by the constitution. Since I started as the General Overseer in 2010, there is cordiality among the Executive Committee members so much that each session will attract praises from them to me. But rancour sprang up when the ambassadors wrote when the issue of money came up. The Ambassadors started infiltrating the Executive Committee members; they started having meetings with them even in the night until prophesies began to come about my removal. The minutes are intact because it is distributed during each meeting. This is a church set up, even if someone desires a thing, he may not come to mention it straightforwardly, he try to go about it in different ways. I am not a hard man, if you work with me; I try to make provisions for people to be taking care of. None of the Executive committee members can say he has not benefited from the largesse. I am not strict to that point. If I am that conservative, I cannot bring innovations. We take care of ministers. The Church made rules against itself even by my predecessor especially on those retiring. We did the same to the past Treasurer and even people serving today are benefitting. The only thing that I would not accept is stealing or committing outright fraud, not me. Paul Emeka is a clean man and let them stand boldly and accuse me of anything if not all these things they are writing in the papers. When we came into office, we discovered that for more than twelve years, one of the Ambassadors of the Kingdom is the Treasurer of the Easter Retreat and the Easter Retreat is a major programme of the Assemblies of God and each Easter retreat, funds are raised all over the districts. But that department never cared to have an account. It would go into one man's personal account and this continued until I took over. When I took over I said it wouldn't be business as usual, we reorganized the board and appointed a treasurer and they opened an account in the bank. I tell you for an Easter retreat that has spent more than twelve years and raising funds and when they were handing over, they were only able to hand over about two million naira. But when I reorganized and there
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ESWAMA MD may face murder charge Continued from page 3 her son told her that the ESWAMA officials asked him to enter their vehicle and he refused because he committed no wrong and one of the officials "told me that they are beating him because he refuse an arrest for disposing refused with another bag other than ESWAMA bag which is meant for the disposal of refuse in the state.” “I pleaded with them to allow him to go because he was writing his senior school certificate examination, SSCE, instead they should arrest me since he is underage and I sent him on the mission, but they refused,” she added. Mrs. Edeh further narrated that after all efforts to dissuade them from arresting him failed she asked her son to go with them while she promised to come for him and he entered their vehicle.” Continuing, Mrs. Ede said: “I went back to the house and got some money and while going to ESWAMA office, I saw somebody lying on the road along Abakpa timber market but on getting closer I saw that the person lying on the road in a pool of blood is my son. "When I stopped I raised alarm and people came out in their numbers and rushed him to a nearby private hospital, called Ogechi Hospital where he was confirmed dead at about 3:30pm Monday." Speaking further under heavy tears, Mrs. Ede said that the matter has been reported to the Trans Ekulu Police Station. When we visited the station, the Divisional Police Office in charge of the station, CSP Ita Selong, confirmed that his division is investigating the matter but there has not been any arrest so far. The State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu confirmed the killing of the student by ESWAMA officials in a statement yesterday. “We have received information on the alleged murder of a 17 year-old boy by yet to be identified persons and investigations into the incident have commenced to ascertain their motives,” the police spokesman said. The State Police Command said that a full scale investigation had commenced to unravel the circumstances that led to the death of the student. "The deceased living at N0 10 Ugwuoke street, Abakpa with his aunt identified as one Chidinma Ochudo Michael had gone to dispose some refuse at a dump site near Trans Ekulu junction Abakpa Nike around 6.am when he was allegedly confronted by men suspected to be Enugu state waste management Agents who had laid siege at the dump side which they designated unauthorized. "The student was thoroughly beaten and left unconscious along the road by Cornerstone along Nike Lake road Trans Ekulu Enugu before he was taken to Ogechukwu Hospital Trans-Ekulu where he was confirmed dead.
"Meanwhile, the Commissioner of police Adamu Abubakar Mohammed has appealed for calm just as he promised to fish out the perpetrators of the act. Shortly after, police in Enugu made public the arrest of three persons in connection with the alleged murder of the said Chidiebere. According to the State Police spokesman, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, “Enugu State police command has arrested three staff of the Enugu S t a t e Wa s t e M a n a g e m e n t A u t h o r i t y, E S WAM A , w h o allegedly murdered a 17-year-old student, Chidiebere Ede for allegedly using unapproved waste bag to dispose refuse at TransEkulu area of Enugu on Monday”. The State Police spokesman, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, who disclosed this Wednesday, identified the suspects as Ferdinand Nwoye, Leader of the ESWAMA Team that operated on April 8, 2014 at the
our reporter that Chidiebere, an SSS 3 student, was supposed to write his geography examination on Tuesday. “He was to head for school after disposing that refuse, but ESWAMA officials ended the life of such a promising young man that way”, he lamented. When our correspondent visited ESWAMA office shortly after the incident, the gate to the premises was locked as hundreds of people besieged the gate protesting the gruesome murder of the school boy. The Managing Director of ESWAMA, Mr. Dom Okonkwo who was contacted on phone, declined comment. Controversy has continued to trail the power of arrest, detention and prosecution by officials of the Agency in 'ESWAMA court' with the chairman of Movers Nigeria, a non-governmental organization
authorities consider being his/its rights or entitlement.” He said that 'it is trite in law that, if a person is not found guilty by a court of law of an offence, he cannot be made to pay a fine. To do otherwise, is that the Authority has usurped the judicial function of court.” Most worrisome aspect of activities of ESWAMA is what some ordinary citizens' term as tendency for alleged insensitivity to human plight and excessive monetary demand on the citizens which they claim is not commensurate with service delivery from the Agency. In the public notice on the Supplement of Enugu State of Nigeria No.1, Vol. 21 dated 15th March 2012 (Part B), in pursuant to Section 3 of sub section 19 of the ESWAMA Law (As Amended) Cap 75, the instrument empowered the Agency to increase Waste
ESWAMA Vehicle affected dump site, Chuka Egbosimba and the driver of the bus used by the team, Afam Agu He said that the three persons were being quizzed by the operatives of the Homicide Section of the State Criminal and Investigations Department of the command with a view to ascertaining their level of involvement in murder of the student. “Two other members of the team are still at large and manhunt on them has been intensified. The arrested persons are now helping the operatives in their investigations,” Amaraizu said. Less than 24 hours to the careless death of the teenager, hundreds of youths from Iji Nike trooped out to the streets to express their anger over the death of their colleague. The youths numbering hundreds chanting war songs and calling for scrapping of ESWAMA for outliving its purposes, visited various media houses to lend their voice to the allegation that Chidiebere was arrested when he attempted to drop refuse at an official dump site being managed by the ESWAMA. One of the protesting youths told
and social crusader Chief Ifeanyi Okonkwo maintained a position that no section from number one to 43 of CAP 75 of ESWAMA Law permits the Agency to arrest and detain persons or to direct the Nigerian Police Officers to enforce its laws by arresting or detaining of citizens for any alleged violation. According to him, “had the Enugu State House of Assembly wanted the Nigerian Police Force to assist ESWAMA, it had not said so in the current Law.” Submits Okonkwo, “It is my humble view that ESWAMA is part of the Executive arm of government of Enugu State. The court will frown upon any manifestation of Arbitrary Power assumed by any person or Authority over the life or property of any citizen, even if that citizen is suspected of having breached some Law or regulation. Referring to a case of Eronini vs Eronini (2013) 14 N (PT 1373) 32.7, Okonkwo states that “The only option allowed in a democracy is to “take the citizen to court.”People and authorities must never take the law into their hands by attempting to enforce what the citizens or the
Management fees Most residents have termed the rates especially on commercial ventures as exorbitant, obnoxious and inhuman. A small one-room shop owner who simply identified herself as Amaka cried out against the imposition of N18,000 for her shop which total cost of goods is less than N80,000 and she will also pay other taxes and levies to the local government, ministry of commerce and industry, etc. She questioned the rationale for the Agency to introduce new waste bin while some of which were bought about a year ago are still in good usable condition. Her worry is that ESWAMA goes about selling these at an exorbitant rate of about N7, 000. In her word, “imagine a situation where I was asked to buy what they called 'new ESWAMA bucket for refuse disposal at the cost N7, 000. I can buy a bucket and use it to dispose refuse at about N500. What on earth should I do with a bucket sold at the cost of N7, 000? Do you know there are households that don't see as much as that amount in a year? Government is increasing
the burdens of poor masses through the high taxation they are made to pay. The former chairman Enugu State chapter of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) and now President of International Solidarity Comrade Osmond Ugwu condemned the killing describing it as wicked, barbaric, inhuman and forceful deprivation of life. In a statement issued to newsmen on the act of killing, a copy of which was made available to The Advocate, the International Solidarity boss states that the killing of Chidiebere, “has robbed the family, the nation and humanity at large the opportunity of benefitting from the rich endowment of the deceased. “Consequent upon the above, we demand for an expedite action in the investigation of the matter as justice delayed is justice denied. The process of investigation in this matter shouldn't be too cumbersome as those involved are clearly known to the ESWAMA management. The management knows very well those in charge of Enugu East Local Government while those in Enugu East in return knew whom they sent out on duty at such place, date and time. “ I f p e r h a p s t h e E S WAM A Management fail to produce them under the alibi that they don't know them, it means that members of public are in danger and should be encouraged not to honour any people acting under the guise of ESWAMA even when they are in company of the police. Hence the management and Chief Executive should be held responsible. “We therefore call on the Commissioner of police to prevail on the ESWAMA management and the police men assigned to ESWAMA to produce the killers of Chidiebere and prosecute them in accordance with the law while the ESWAMA authority should pay the necessary compensation to the family for the great loss. The police authority knows the policemen assigned to the ESWAMA and should summon them to find out who amongst them was assigned to the ESWAMA agents covering Enugu East and those went on duty that day at such areas and from there they can identify those that killed the boy,” said Comrade Ugwu. Comrade Ugwu demanded more transparency and judicious use of resources on the part of the agency, so as to enhance its efficiency, urging it to be more responsive to its challenges. Meanwhile, irked by this worrisome development the Enugu state House of Assembly has set up a joint committee comprising the Ministry of Environment, Judiciary, security to dig deep into unraveling the remote and immediate of the cause and circumstances that led to the death of late Chidiebere Ede. However, nothing has been heard about the committee on the assignment.
‘I have not laid bad example’ Continued from page 19 was a proper account, do you know that right now, the Easter Retreat is building a Guest House of up to 124 rooms within the three years I have been in office and the man who had been the Treasurer is not happy with me because he wanted it to continue that way. Another example is Sunday School. Assemblies of God has a printing press in Aba, it has been in existence for over seventy years and the press prints and uses the money and never brings anything to the General Council, even the Sunday school manual that is printed twice yearly. When I took over, I said that this is not the way to do business because when you do business, you do account. We have a Sunday school department that owns the manual and I said they should print and give back to the Sunday school who now sells and we tried this for the first time last December and they printed and the Sunday school department under Rev Oriuwa took a delivery and I want to tell you that right now in a separate account for the General council, we have not less than N106 million and our Sunday school is twice in a year You hear us begging for money here and there when we have things that will yield us money. When I set a new board for that Assemblies of God Ministers benefit fund, they have been able to acquire estates even in Enugu and people are going to live there even the retired
ministers because I told them to spend less in the office to enable the fund serve the purpose for which it was established. These things are happening but when I think people will be clapping, they turned round to say Paul Emeka is
a thief. In the Women department before my wife took over they had women wrapper that they use to sell. The department was gaining nothing, rather what happened was that a member of the department would go to the factory and tell them to print for her and they will print for her to
sell and make gain. When I was Assistant General Superintendent, I settled a matter between the producer and the women department where I discovered all these fraud. When my wife took over, she was very astute in that and she told them it will not be business as usual. She set up a body, women brought the money to the executive committee of the women for the purpose, and they now produce and sell and put the money in their account. They have been able to buy bus that cost about N7.5 million recently and instead of commending this woman; they turn around and say they are thieves. An independent body was set up to go and look into the university and after looking at it, one of the members of the Ambassadors now shouting that I am a thief promised that he will donate books to the library of the school and they clapped and he donated what he called books but in the night he brought a bill of N1.2million for the books. Imagine a governing council that should sit and go and receive only the sitting allowance but set up sitting allowances for themselves and didn't come to the BOT that set them up for approval, they established medical allowances for themselves per annum, signed it to be executed. The Vice Chancellor came with a car of N19.6 million that he wanted to be bought for him and we said to him, that even I who is the Chancellor
has not got such car and this is a university that is beginning newly. NUC had told them that they were not getting it right and they took us to court. This university sued me as a General Superintendent, sued the Trustees, sued Assemblies of God and these are the people who are supposed to be suspended for suing the church, but nobody did so.
How do you feel about what is happening and at what point can you leave it for God. What will be your advice to members? I have already left it for God. What I am doing is simply what God wants me to do. I have tried my best; a man does not praise himself. I have not laid bad example - morally speaking or with money. You cannot say that you find Paul Emeka messing up with women or in fact that you suspect him at all. The salary I take is enough for me; forget about what they are writing about. Think about it, in a corporate organization, you cannot steal money alone, you cannot go and take half a million alone, there must be a Treasurer and you cannot in the name of General Superintendent pounce on people's money and you begin to cart it away. It is not like that and only outsiders think of the possibility but one who is close knows that a thing like that is not possible. I have tried my best to
live by example not because I am leader but because I know that Jesus is coming soon. It is my strong faith and believe that it will never continue, they can't continue and why I said that they should not continue is not for them to give me the money. If I hear from God today and He said don't do, I will go and sit down because it is even tiring to fight. I will be a big coward to see what is right and refused to do it. I will be a naïve fellow to see and close my eyes and if i do that, I am only saying that iniquity should continue. People are coming and have come to settle and I said I am okay. Rev Dr Osueke was the man who chaired it and Rev Chidi Okoroafor looked like man climbing on the houlders of Osueke. Sam Onyishi has offered to mediate, Uma Ukpai has mediated, the PFN, Enugu state and they said no. The District Superintendents selected themselves and fell down for him and he said no. The national leadership of PFN has come and they keep turning them here and there. They would want to come to open and tell the world what is happening. Somebody is retired and wants to be the father of the Assemblies of God and that is why I believe it cannot last for long because the people do not like it and God himself does not like what is happening. But we will not chicken out for the evil to continue even if I am out.
The hungry bug hiding in the grass can wreck your life for years Continued from back page responsible for carrying the ticks into urban areas - and humans. The hotspots for infected ticks are the Scottish highlands, Exmoor, Dartmoor, the New Forest, but with increasing urbanisation of rural areas, inner cities are no longer immune. Indeed, areas of undergrowth (and that includes parks and gardens as well as woodland and open country) are most likely to harbour ticks as they drop off their original hosts then climb to a point where they can latch on to other passing wildlife. It's why most people are bitten below the waist. With the forecast of increasingly damp winters and hotter summers - ideal conditions for the ticks to thrive - as well as growth in deer numbers, the concern is that the incidence of Lyme disease will rise further. The increase in incidence of illnesses such as Lyme is 'a serious' cause for concern and
'ticks will become a very serious public health issue in the UK as a result of climate change', claims Julie Barratt, the director of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. She thinks we need to take a similar approach to avoiding tickborne disease as we do to sun
exposure - covering up and using insect repellent as we would sunscreen. This means taking precautions 'in the great outdoors, whether you're camping, walking in the countryside or in your back garden', she says. This is all too late for Vanina,
who, while doctors failed to make the right diagnosis, even began to develop cognitive problems. After her two weeks in hospital, her health continued to deteriorate. 'I'd offer to make a friend a cup of “cloud” instead of “coffee” - my brain knew what I wanted to say but a different word came out,' she explains. 'I'd get lost on familiar streets. And I had short-term memory loss, forgetting the names of even close family. 'Having hardly ever visited my GP in the past, I was now a regular visitor. But he'd treat the symptoms without investigating the cause,' she explains. 'Instead he suggested I was depressed. It was clear to me he thought it was all in my head.' It's difficult for doctors, says Dr Dryden. 'On the one hand Lyme is a fashionable disease in that many people with non-specific symptoms, or with conditions such as MS or Parkinson's, hope that they may instead have this infection because it can be treated with antibiotics,' he says. 'But, on the other, a diagnosis can be difficult because symptoms
such as fatigue, muscle and joint aches and cognitive impairment can be caused by so many conditions, including a variety of infections as well as autoimmune condition.' Furthermore, the blood test for the disease that looks for antibodies to the bacteria is complicated, 'and there can be false negative and false positive results'. Indeed, when Vanina discovered from an online checklist that she had most of the symptoms of Lyme disease, she demanded a test for the antibodies. Despite also insisting Lyme hardly exists in England and certainly not in London, her GP 'gave in', she says. But the results came back negative. False negatives - and indeed false positives - are known to occur with the test, often when it is given too early, before antibodies have developed, but also, according to Stella HuysheShires, because it isn't particularly sensitive against a complex bacterium that is expert at hiding itself away in tissues. (Daily Mail)
Wage fraud rocks Fed Poly Oko Continued from last edition N850- N1200 for primary pupils Pension Limited (FGPL) who per term. would not want to be mentioned PTA connection I n v e s t i g a t i o n f o r confirmed dealing with the h e P a r e n t s Te a c h e r s Polytechnic as they never had A s s o c i a t i o n o f t h e confirmation
Polytechnic staff Schools, Oko had on 15th May, 2002 wrote then Rector of Federal Polytechnic Oko a letter acknowledging an increase in school fees from 2003/2004 academic session with regards to a letter from the Acting Registrar. The letter tagged Re: Proposed increase in school fees was signed by the Chairman of PTA, Chief J.C Aroh and Secretary , Mrs G.U Anene , both top staff of the Polytechnic. And the letter read thus,'' we have just received a letter signed by the Ag Registrar informing us about a new management decision to increase fees payable at the Polytechnic staff schools. The PTA in her emergency general meeting held on Wednesday 14thMay, 2003, discussed the issue extensively and resolved to observe as follows: --That the Polytechnic staff school is relatively young school of about two years old. --That the present fees payable was introduced in this current school years 2002/2003 and have been paid by parents for only two terms. --That the proposed increase of about 100 percent in fees which is expected to be effective from this 3rd term of 2002/2003 school year will imply a double increase in fees in academic year. --That the nonpayment of salaries to the new recruited experienced teachers is adversely affecting the standard of the school and this could lead to withdrawal of service and enrolment by teachers, students and pupils of the school . --That we are aware that the school is expected to generate some revenue for the Polytechnic, but the Principal aim of establishing the school is to provide welfare service to the Polytechnic community and her neighbours'. Action sought: Having considered the special circumstance of the Polytechnic with regard to finance and funding we wish to state as follows: That we will rely reluctantly accept an increase in school fees if pegged at the following maximum amounts of Nursery school N1,500; Primary school N2,000 and Secondary School N4,000. --That the said increase of school fees will be effective from next academic session 2003/2004. That all the teachers recruited should be paid regular monthly stipend in the interim pending their full payment of salary since these teachers report for duty on daily basis. While thanking management in anticipation, we wish to highlight that the fees payable in other similar but religious organizations owned schools around range from
Going further to confirm that the staff of the Polytechnic staff school were duly employed by the Polytechnic and supposed to be earning salary equivalent to Non Academic staff members of the Polytechnic as obtainable in other similar schools. They were not paid their salary as stipulated in the engagement letters in the past 13 years and owed 19 months salary. A document from office of the Registrar signed by then Deputy Registrar , Okey Mgbemena (JP) dated 1st August, 2005 cleared some dust and it read thus,'' confirmation of appointment with Ref No FPO/SC/1196 (names with held). I am pleased to inform you that the confirmation of your appointment as a staff of Federal Polytechnic, Oko has been approved with effect from 20/11/2004. Please a c c e p t o u r congratulations. The letter was copied to all the Principal officers of the Polytechnic beginning from the Rector, Registrar, B u r s a r, I n t e r n a l A u d i t o r , Headmistress staff school, Principal staff school. F u r t h e r investigations in the registry Bio data in ' A s o R o c k ' administrative building showed that a staff (names with held) categorized as Academic placed in the Rectory with department being staff school and qualification NCE 1993/TC 2 1989 was placed in salary grade CONTISS 9. First appointment 11/14/2002, confirmation of appointment 11/20/2004 and present appointment 10/9/2012 with staff no FPO/119--- (details with held by us). What else does one need to confirm that these staff were frustrated and their monies diverted in the past 13 years. Even when a Rector felt it was wrong, the then Bursar Mr Joseph Obi allegedly defied orders of the Rector that they would be paid only over his dead body. The question is every time a Rector is appointed hundreds of people are appointed from all walks of life and from every part of the country yet the people in the Polytechnic staff schools were not considered for proper engagement. They were left unsung and dying.
anything to do with the staff school as an entity brandishing data which showed that the Bio data they were working with as that from the Polytechnic management as staff of the Polytechnic under Rectory department and not from the staff school. They were worried that such could exist in this modern age because all the schools like Oko Polytechnic staff school were paid by the Federal Government with salary scale of Non Academic staff of the Institution like Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka and Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze among others. Pension Administrator FGPL alert
Prof. Godwin Onu to one of the staff read thus,'' Dear .......your RSA account is credited with N32.191.2k as contribution for August 2013, your balance as at 30/09/2013 is N2,813,259.98. Thanks for choosing FGPL 012715500-3 Another FGPL alert read thus,'' Dear ......, your RSA is credited with N30,159.00 as contribution for September 2013. Your bal is N2, 864, 561.72. Thanks for choosing FGPL 01-2715500-3 A staff of the school (names with held ) had an alert from FGPL pension administrator written this way,'' Dear-------your RSA is credited with N35,239,06 contribution September, 2013. Your Bal is N3,347,747.70. Thanks for using FGPL Tel : 012715500-3
Reaction of Ubaka, the Polytechnic Governing Board Chairman
correspondent which he got severally from office ID to NUJ ID before he started denying that the staffs were owed. ''…the problem is that people don't tell stories of how they came in but how it concerns them. Are you relevant with Uba Nwuba regime? The Polytechnic staff school teachers were employed during Prof Uba Nwuba regime and you know how that regime is? Prof Nwuba made the engagement when they were not covered by our budget even though he assured them that they would be paid once they are covered in the budgetthat's when government approves. ''Those claiming they were owed 19 months salary arrears were not sincere to themselves because their engagement were not in line with laid down procedures and rules. There was a time Prof Nwuba threatened to sack all of them but they came begging until they were allowed to continue. He agreed to pay them once budget comes. We do not owe them 19 months salary arrears. They were owed nothing. Where are the documents showing that they were owed 19 months salary so that I can confirm that they are authentic? But when reminded that they had an engagement letter after an interview advertised in National Dailies, he said ''the man who engaged them did an agreement with them and your employer determines where he places you or where he posts you…… They should complain to the management about their emoluments not me. Management controls emoluments and monetization. They are still resolving those that had problem. They should find out what the position is based on how they started'. Whatever that means could only be explained by him. But when pressed further on why for 19 months the staff were paid between N3,500 and N7,000, Ubaka then changed the music ,'' I am not aware of that. How can they be paid such amount but I became Chairman of the School Board in 2007 after the exit of the council. The staff school is managed by a member of the Governing council and unless there is no council before a staff can be handed over.
Ubaka in line with his training in Prof Godwin Onu reacts to Pension commission m e t i c u l o u s d e m a n d e d f o r the allegations Officials from First Guarantee i d e n t i f i c a t i o n f o r m t h i s Reacting on the numerous
allegations and counter allegations, the Rector Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Prof Godwin Onu stirred more confusion than expected. He spoke through his PRO, Obini Onuchukwu Obini. Obini said, ''the staff school we met was on a terrible condition. We i n h e r i t e d a r i c k e t y environment. The management of that institution lies fully on the hands of the Management Board of the school headed by one Dr Ubaka. '' They are fully in charge including monetary involvement. The Polytechnic has nothing to do with the income from the staff school rather the Polytechnic has spent N10 Million on yearly basis to sustain the rickety environment. ''Two weeks ago the Polytechnic management paid in N5 Million to clear salary arrears and pay their staff up till December 2013. And whatever one naira they collect does not come to us. The petition is mere efforts of our detractors who have failed in their efforts to scuttle our second term bid. They are using the gullible staff of the staff school to mount a campaign of calumny against the Rector believing that they will create tension that will bring us to ridicule. ''The staff school is not in the scheme of service. Government has banned us from including staff school in the pay roll of Institutions and to that extent their condition of service cannot be same with the Polytechnic. We rather advise them to be independent and work hard to attract students' population that will sustain them because today no establishment folds its hands and watch government sponsor all their activities because government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility. All the money totalling about 10 Million which we have already remitted all came from our internally generated revenue. The PRO continued, ''All along the staff school has operated in difficulty and we cannot continue to spend without results forever. On the allegations on Gaius Benton,'' Gaius Benton belongs to Ekwueme's wife not the Federal Polytechnic, Oko. And there was never a time we had a discussion with the school not to talk about a letter compelling us to frustrate the school. And if anybody has evidence, let him tender to the public. On the N20 Million from Chief Eze, Obini informed, “For the N20 Million donated by Chief Jonah Eze for building of a modern Secondary School of International standard in Oko Polytechnic, the Image maker of the Institution said,'' the money was not donated for the Polytechnic staff school but with a specific instruction from the
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A'Ibom Assembly Leader calls for more investment in Education
he leader of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, has called on government, corporate bodies and individuals to invest more in education since “it is the pillar on which our development stands”. Etteh, who while speaking to reporters after the first session of the 20th Nigerian Economic Summit, said without education, a nation cannot grow. “We must invest in educations as government, corporate bodies and individuals. Education encourages growth. Education drives away ignorance and diseases. Even poverty is checked by education. So it is important we increase the vote for education in our budgets”. He went further to say “investment in education should
also be about training and retraining of teachers, provision of books, return of moral instructions to schools, cleaning of the environment where our
children learn; provision of feeding for our children. In short it should be holistic.” Etteh, who commended the Free Education Policy of A'Ibom State
Governor, said that the free tuition scheme had really helped to triple school enrolment, but that the challenges are in the area of quantity and quality of teachers;
economic empowerment of parents to support the children prevent them from child labour to help their families provide school materials.
Students set to stage a protest at the Confab venue
he latest news update on ASUP Strike is that students are planning to stage a protest at the venue of the National Confab. Students have threatened to disrupt ongoing national confab in Abuja next week during the protest of months of closure of their schools due to lecturers strike. According to reports, hundreds of students “will mobilize” to join lecturers from polytechnics and
colleges of education, who have already planned in protest in Abuja next week. “We are supporting our lecturers because they are fighting for our own rights and those of all polytechnics in the country,” said Abdulmajeed Oyeniyi, spokesman for National Association of Polytechnic Students. Friday morning, bus loads of polytechnic students blocked
traffic at Federal Secretariat junction in central Abuja to protest their months of stay at home. They demanded the sack of education minister Nyesom Wike, insisting on placards that he was “weak” and “not competent.” They also called on federal government to meet their demands and targets. The protesters came from states across the country; Anambra, Adamawa, Kogi, Niger. Heavy police presence met the
protesters at federal secretariat to control their flow and movement, not to stop them. Only hundreds were mobilized for the protest in Central Abuja, but future planned protests could see larger numbers as protesters continue to reach out to fellow polytechnic students on social media. “We want to send information to people that are not here today. By next week Wednesday we are stopping the confab in Abuja again,” said Oyeniyi.
10 widows lament their plight Continued from page 22 donor to build a standard secondary school of which plans have reached advanced stage for the commencement of the construction. . So far a choice location has been made and Architectural plan concluded and work will commence later. (he promised to communicate where the choice location is) but continued by saying that the staff school should rally round and generate their own money because the Chief Jona Eze money they are looking at was the sole effort of the Rector . So, they should go all out and look for their own money. ''What we are even waiting for is to get more IGR to make up the N20 Million because we have a policy here against abandoned property. It would be a surprise to hear that anybody in the staff school would be talking down on the efforts of the Rector Prof Godwin Onu to transform the Institution's entire environment. He left the issue to blow the trumpet of the Rector, he described as performing, “It is on record that infrastructural wise the management of Federal Polytechnic Oko Polytechnic is constructing no fewer than 17 structures and none is less than 2 storey building and they are going on simultaneously. 6 structures have been completed and virtually all the structures in t h e c a m p u s w e r e comprehensively renovated. The landscaping and beautification which remained the watchword of the rector have turned the environment to a citadel of learning, an envy of other
infrastructure . And these attracted commendation from the senate committee Chairman on Education, Senator Chukwumerije during his over sight function in Oko. He said and I quote,'' that Federal Polytechnic Oko remains the fastest growing institution in the c o u n t r y. A p a r t f r o m infrastructure the Rector has done 5 kilometre of roads in Atani and Oko campuses. The Rector has magnanimously sponsored the training of not less than 250 staff of the Polytechnic with majority of them about 200 studying abroad under TETFUND project. ''The aim is for them to study and improve the environment and management of the infrastructure he is building. All these are geared towards our long agitation for change of status for a Federal University Technology. And at this point we do not think that distraction from the staff school is ideal. The Rector has received commendation from several quarters including the host community Oko for his wonderful performance. Reacting on the short changing of staff based on job vacancies they applied before coming to the institution, Obini said ''you talk of short change when you are scheduled and in scheme of service .....the Institution is the staff school of Federal Polytechnic , Oko but not covered by the pay scheme of the Polytechnic. The school is managed by one Dr Ubaka as I said earlier and Oko Polytechnic has nothing to do with the school but rather we spend N10 Million on yearly basis to remedy the
rickety condition of the school. They keep losing their staff and students because they are not teaching and have come to blame the Polytechnic. On salary differences, Obini said, '' How are they supposed to know what they are expected to be paid? There is no form of intimidation as they alleged. The only time Rector visited them was on inspection and they were taken unawares, but they were not in school. There environment is far from us. The problems at the school have been there before we come on board and they have been folding their hands waiting for Polytechnic to carry their burden but we don't have the money to throw about because we have our own challenges. ''At a time the ceilings were pulling off and the students kept complaining to me but I asked them to march to Aso Rock and show the Rector. They went and I was blackmailed for that. I was asked to come. When I came I was asked to deny sending the students but I maintained I sent them since I have met with the Rector, Prof Onu and he promised to marble the classrooms but I insisted it may not be necessary as what we needed is putting the structures in other by re-roofing them and giving us more space because there is congestion already until we got to the permanent site but up till today nothing has happened. '' Whenever it rains, the students are in trouble but what shall we do as every little thing attracts threats and harassment. My interest is that the school should be put in other because we are not
interested in the allegations that we are sabotaging the system. I didn't request for this job and there is nothing to die for it, they can take it but let them pay us all they owe us, from arrears to all the underpayments to us. ''This suppose to be the school with the highest population of students around here but it is not. The students pay N7, 500 for children of staff and N8,000 for children of Non staff. Our typing is done outsi4de because we are using manual type writers which are now unserviceable. Our population was 420 but now 282 because of environment and it is unbelievable that students here study outside the classroom, in the corridors and under the trees. There is no library, there is not even a text book is in the Library, no laboratory, no chemical in the labs but we are staff secondary school. Some staff of the school who have left out of frustration but are still agitating for their rights denied them included Ezeobele G.N ; Obiagwu E.U ; Apunike MA; Nwafor C.N ; Ezeilo Alice ; Nwajiaku L.I and Ejikeme P.N . Others are Aniekwe Ngozi ; Ejikeme P.N ; Okoli A.O and Ogbuagu. A visit to the Federal Ministry of Education to confirm from the Minister or Director of school services how it is obtainable was not fruitful but a staff in the Education minister's office who would not want to be named said it is unthinkable for such to be heard and demanded that the staff write the Minister for appropriate actions if the management did not reverse the ill trend and pay them all their arrears of salaries.
''They can't answer you such questions on phone and I can't answer you on phone too. Come to my office but it is unthinkable to do such and I don't believe the story but if the Presidency or the Minister hears about this all the people concerned even those already out of the system will be recalled to account for the embezzlement and misapplication of fund as well as human rights abuses thereto. How one could be employed with a particular grade point as advertised and for 13 years or more you under paid them and even owed them up to 19 months salary arrears. '' This is preposterous and man's inhumanity against man. It is unthinkable but be assured that the Minister even the EFCC, ICPC and Human Right Activists should have a copy of their protest letter , so that a presidential or ministerial panel of inquiry should be set up to investigate the claims. If it true, they would be paid all their arrears and have their promotions while those who perpetuated evil will be punished adequately. The Senate President and House of Representative Speaker should be copied too as they frown at such graft. Is it truly that federal Polytechnic Oko staff schools is Independent from the Federal Polytechnic Oko as an Institution? Is this not another form of modern day slavery in the year of Human Rights Activism as encapsulated by the United Nations General Assembly in declaration of Universal Human Rights? Can these staff be paid their entitlements?
SME funds should pass through financial institutions – Uwanta By Christopher Tom, Uyo
he State Chairman, Nigerian Association of small scale industrialist, (NASSI), Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Andrew Uwanta said funds made for small scale entrepreneur should pass through financial institutions inorder not to regenerate crisis experienced before. Uwanta stated this while speaking with news men in his office immediately after inauguration of local government coordinators of the Association in Uyo. Pastor Uwanta, who is the Akwa Ibom State chairman of consolidated alliance, said the development will surely sanitize the structure as portfolio farmers will be kicked out in the system, paving way for the genuine farmers to benefit from the policy. The man of God said that he has
transformed the Association through the introduction of policies and programmes like seminars and workshops to give them basic orientation on how to
manage their businesses. He said that these strategies introduced by his administration have brought succour to members as there are no more crises or any
eople Democratic Party (PDP) in the land of promise, Akwa Ibom State may soon dip into an intra-party crisis over the issue of zoning or imposition of candidate on the people in form of consensus or otherwise. The advocate gathered the issue is already causing seriously disagreement in the party Governor Godswill Akpabio has already declared that Eket Senatorial District would produce the next governor come 2015 on grounds of what he described as true justice and fair play, but the gesture is being seriously kicked against by some members of the party who believe that it does not portend true democracy. Some aggrieved party faithful said that the governor is strongly angling for the secretary to the state government, Mr Udom Emmanuel, to succeed him after the 2015 elections. According to our source an emergency meeting held by the state party hierarchy recently to take a look at the issue yielded no dividend as it ended in a stalemate. The meeting chaired by the state party chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, had a divided house as those oppose to the governors position on how the next candidate of the party will emerge were overwhelming. It was revealed that although Obong Paul Ekpo is also adding his weight for Mr. Udom
service”. Uwanta enjoined the newly inaugurated local government's coordinators and their exco members to be transparent inorder to avoid crisis within the association, advising members to maintain loyalty and respect for their leaders in the association.
IGP ban use of serene in Anambra… ·Tasks Traditional Rulers to beef up security in their domain By Onah .O.Onah, Onitsha
he Inspector General of police Mr. Mohammed Abubakar has directed the police in Anambra State to impound and arrest anybody using siren without approval for onward prosecution. He also wants the traditional rulers as custodians of their people's culture and traditions, to brace up to their responsibilities
which makes it imperative that they maintain close relationship with the people of their respective domains. The Inspector General of Police, who spoke recently at the first Anambra Security summit o rg a n i z e d b y t h e O b i a n o administration at the women d e v e l o p m e n t c e n t e r Aw k a described the role of traditional rulers as very critical in riding the society of criminals and criminal activities.
A'Ibom PDP set for crisis over 2015 Guber Candidate By Christopher Okon, Uyo
form of discrimination in the process of securing fund meant for members of the association. “Since my administration, we have not collected any dues for four years rather we are thinking of empowering our members to achieve their business dreams which is our priority in this
Emmanuel r e m a i n s suspicious and would not succeed. It was alleged they jumped on the Party chairman accusing him of betrayal saying that he is suppose to be a neutral umpire but he l e f t t h e g e n e r a l interest of the party to seek h i s o w n agenda. Majority of the members it was also gathered did not support zoning to the Gov. Godswill Akpabio greatest surprise of top Emmanuel, the Secretary to the p a r t y State Government, to capture the hierarchies and therefore called seat come 2015, yet he was unable for open contest without any to get the support of party faithful discrimination to respect true rather they stood on proper democracy where every aspirant democratic principles without fear should be allowed to contest for intimidation. during the party primaries. Sources further revealed that Addressing journalists chapter chairmen and other exco immediately after the meeting, the members accused the party State Party Chairman PDP, Obong chairman of already having a Paul Ekpo denied the allegations candidate with an agenda to saying that they are still one impose him on the members of the family. party. He said its party affairs and the They alleged that the chairman's party cannot experience crack, plan would not succeed, while his adding “the party has come of age romance with the secretary to the to handle its matter internally state government, Mr. Udom without crisis; a situation other
traditional ruler of Obosi, Idemili-North l o c a l government, I g w e Chukwudubem Iweka told a pathetic story of their travails in the hands of kidnappers and other criminals and blamed the poor handling of cases and suspects by both the security agencies, especially the police and the courts. Okeke among other issues complained that IGP Mohammed Abubakar the Judiciary Addressing a cream of Anambra compromised his stakeholders on the theme: kidnap case while Igwe Iweka S e c u r i t y A s P a n a c e a f o r stated that the police have not Economic Development, the done enough to tackle what he police boss commended the state described as rising case of governor, Chief Willie Obiano for criminality in his domain, giving issue of security and safety lamenting that his Obosi town is a p r i o r i t y i n h i s y o u n g currently under the siege by administration. criminals. Stating that every criminal resides An Israeli security expert, Mr. in a particular community, the Moshe Keinan who spoke on IGP, said royal fathers as "Modern Methods of Crime "custodians of their domains" C o n t r o l / I n t e l l i g e n c e a n d should be able to know the Training" stated that for a society character of people living in their to be properly secured, every part respective areas adding that any of the area including residential, t r a d i t i o n a l r u l e r w h o farm, waterways, borders, compromises the security and industrial areas, etc should be safety of people is not worthy of p r o p e r l y m a p p e d o u t a n d the stool he is occupying. necessary security provided In his speech the state governor adding that culture of security Chief Obiano warned all criminals c o n s c i o u s n e s s s h o u l d b e in the state to leave the state inculcated in the people. i m m e d i a t e l y, s a y i n g t h a t Other speakers include National provision of security and safety chairman of the All Progressives w e r e c r i t i c a l f o r h i s Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief administration. Victor Umeh and member “I strongly believe that once the representing Anaocha, Dunukofia issue of insecurity was adequately and Njikoka federal constituency addressed and the state is rid of i n t h e F e d e r a l H o u s e o f criminals proper development Representatives, Chief Mrs. Uche would commence in the state”. Ekwunife who emphasized the "We must always remember that need for making sure that those one way or another, we have all who committed crime were wilfully aided the criminal properly punished. elements in our midst through our They also blamed poverty and dangerous silence", Obiano lack of skill acquisition as factors stated. that must be addressed among the A Frontline transporter, Chief G. populace for crimes to be U. O Okeke who was kidnapped eradicated in the society. about five years ago and the
Enugu Police Kogi State is a Work in Progress raid arm T manufacturing factory
peratives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad(S.A.R.S) of the Enugu state Police Command have raided a gun manufacturing company located at Ihuoha Amansiodo Oghe in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State allegedly run by an operator identified as one Ejike Eze who also manufactures the gun for the use of suspected hoodlums. It was gathered that when the eagle eyed operatives struck following a tip off by a well meaning citizen, the suspect was said to have relocated some of the manufactured cut to size double barrel and single barrel guns, manufacturing tools and some of the manufactured cartridges to the woman friend also identified as one Juliet Nwachukwu, a widow with about four children and allegedly absconded. On her part, the said Juliet admitted that the guns and the tools were brought to her two days ago by the manufacturer who she said did not tell her reason for bringing them to her house but however revealed that Ejike has been a manufacturer of gun for sometime now and regretted accepting the guns from him. Meanwhile, investigations into the alleged incident have commenced in full scale just as manhunt on the fleeing suspect is intensified while the said Juliet is helping the police in their investigations. It would be recalled, the operatives of the central police station of the Enugu state police command of the Nigeria police force early this month nabbed a notorious car stealing suspect identified as one Sunday Nome from Nkanu West local government area of Enugu state. He was arrested by the operatives at Mgbemena area of Coal Camp axis of Enugu state for allegedly stealing a brown Mazda Car with registration number AG 50 KFA belonging to one Obasi. The suspect is now helping the police in their investigations as the stolen car has also been recovered.
he people of Kogi State have always recognized and acknowledged Governor Idris Wada for his singular commitment to their well being and to the development of the State. On assumption of office as Governor, Capt Wada adopted four cardinal development priorities as a platform for achieving the transformation agenda objectives of the state. These priorities were Education, Agriculture, Health and Social Infrastructure. Despite lean resources accruing to the state in the last two years, and a huge salary wage bill amidst so much to be done, the State government under Wada's leadership has continued to remain true to its mandate; working to provide much needed social services, geared towards the transformation agenda of the administration. With very strong signals suggesting that Capt. Wada has kept faith to his vision of transformation, evidences abound that governance in Kogi State is a work in progress. The capacity of the State and its people to have attained the present pace of development witnessed under Capt Wada as governor amidst the State's rich untapped potentials, yet with limited available resources is now the new story on the confluence. This feat is said to have been achieved through the subsidy reinvestment and empowerment programme, an intervention device employed in catalyzing some of the federal and state government special projects in need of funds. The intervention of SURE-P in Kogi State has produced specific value in the areas of infrastructure, provision
Gov. Wada of portable drinking water, building roads, provision of mass transit, improved quality education and also the reduction in maternal and child mortality, as areas which the State has performed creditably well. Aside the provision of thousand of direct and indirect jobs created by the SURE-P, value has been added to the infrastructure that was already on the ground. The partial removal of the fuel subsidy by the federal government in January 2012 was aimed at conserving and maximising the oil wealth of Nigeria. This in specific term saw to the emergence of a fiscal formula for the sharing of the accrued subsidy savings. With the mandate trusted upon the state SURE-P committee by Captain Idris Wada, the committee identified few critical infrastructures and social safety nets that will ameliorate the sufferings of people of the state living in rural areas.
Ekweremadu calls for modified presidential system By Our Reporter
eputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday called for a modified presidential system of government in order to bring about effective governance and enduring democracy in Nigeria. Ekwerenmadu made the call while delivering a paper entitled, “Constitution Amendment in an Emerging Democracy: the Nigerian Experience” at the School of Advanced international Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC in the United States of America. The lawmaker enumerated the contentious constitutional issues in Nigerian federalism, and submitted that “the presidential system has often come under criticism for its concentration of powers in political chief executives. He also said the system encourages “divisive, zero-sum factional and
sectional competition for political offices, expensiveness, and promotion of the politics of strong men, rather than strong institutions.” According to a statement by his Special Adviser on media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, Ekwerenmadu however, stressed that while the parliamentary system looked attractive, it had nevertheless failed the country in the First Republic. He also noted that the challenges of governance in Nigeria was not essentially the choice of governmental system, but “the warped implementation of these systems.” Ekweremadu who is also Chairman, Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, admitted that a presidential system was necessary to hold the nation's vast territories and contending forces in the federation together. He posited that Nigeria needed to inject some elements of parliamentary system to
entrench greater accountability and cohesion in governance.” Ekweremmadu said, “I suggest a hybrid system or modification of the presentpresidential system to introduce 'Question Time' in the parliament at a predetermined regular intervals. He said the exercise should hold the ministers consistently accountable and to replace impeachment with a procedure for vote of no confidence to make way for early elections when the need be. Ekweremadu listed other issues in constitution amendment in Nigeria to include the tenure of political chief executives, federal structure, fiscal federalism, local government system, policing system, and legislative lists. Others, according to him, included the electoral system, independence of the electoral and oversight agencies, residence rights, and the processes for amending the constitution itself.
The Kogi State SURE-P Committee through an established desire and a functional structure at the state and local government areas, supervised by Yomi Awoniyi, State Deputy Governor, has ensured the successful completion of about 600 projects by the State and various Local Government Areas in the State. It is pertinent to highlight in more tangible terms some significant efforts by the various Local Government Area's aimed at mitigating the immediate impact of the removal of fuel subsidy and efforts it made in replacing the critically need infrastructure, as well as in employment generation in the State. The projects which have been successfully carried out are in the area of bore hole drilling, construction of schools, supply of medical equipments and extension of electricity. Others are provision of transformers, supply of buses to ease transportation, youth and women empowerment. The government is on-going investment in Agriculture, road, transport, education sectors etc, by the Capt Wada administration is to ensure one thing Kogi State remains a destination of choice, caused by the potentials, that are galvanized by sincere and committed leadership of Captain Wada. So much may have been achieved within the past two years. For Captain I Wada, this is only a beginning of a new chapter for a state that is fondly referred to as confluence of resources and possibilities. Infrastructural development in any State is seen as the fulcrum for its Economic development. Strong signals in Kogi State suggests that Captain Wada is not only laying a solid foundation for the financial independence of the State, he is also working towards the agricultural and industrial transformation of the state. The on-going transformation has been made possible through the inflow of foreign investors who have stimulated the State's economy. The political will and the enabling environment created for businesses and investment in Kogi State is certainly the catalyst for the attained development. The journey for the Captain Idris Wada's administration since its emergence has no doubt been challenging. The consolation however has been the introduction of scientific approach to governance, thus making administration in the state no longer business as usual. Bent on correcting the injustices and marginalization of the past, for a State that is least on the revenue accruing index in the country, the present administration has been able to harness untapped natural, mineral and human resources in making the State one to be positively reckoned with presently in the country. Creative leadership and sense of enterprise by the Captain Wada administration has remained the Governor's driving force. Today, through prudent use of resources, massive health, road and other infrastructures which dot the landscape in Kogi State, the state is now a work in progress.
The Advocate Gospel This Week
Popes John Paul II and John XXIII declared saints in double canonization
ON A DANGEROUS MISSION IN THE FAMILY TEXT: Matthew 10:34-36 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-inlaw - a man's enemies will be the members of his own household." (NIVUK)
NARRATION These words of Jesus seem very strong and almost offensive. But Jesus was affirming the prophecy of Micah 700 years previously: "Do not trust a neighbour; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace guard the words of your lips. For a son dishonours his father,a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - a man's enemies are the members of his own household." (Micah 7:5-6). In Micah's day, the divisions within Israel were tearing the nation apart as the Assyrians threatened to invade. Micah knew the reason for the fear and instability: the people had turned away from the Lord and were each doing what they thought best. Those divisions were present even within families and close relationships. So the true God-fearing people did not know who to trust except the Lord. Micah 7:7 continued, "But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Saviour; my God will hear me.” Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) who had told his men to proclaim peace, and find lodgings with people who were peace-seekers(Matthew 10:11-13). So, saying that He had not 'come to bring peace but a sword' seems rather odd. What He meant was that He could never satisfy Israel's desire to be free from Roman occupation; that was not His job. He had come to identify the division between those who resisted God's rule in their lives, and those who wanted God to be their Lord. In proclaiming the gospel, those two groups are dissected apart. Jesus intended His words and works to polarise people so that those who longed to be saved might find the truth and be set free from Satan's hold. We want to trust family and close friends. They are part of our human identity and security. But when we believe the gospel, the people who we love and confide in most may feel threatened by Jesus. After all, He is ultimate 'boss' and has the right to say how we should live. The Word of God (both Jesus and the Bible) always acts like a sword (Hebrews 4:12), separating truth from falsehood so that people can see what is true; and how they measure up to the truth. People who do not want God and His truth will not welcome His people either even if they are in the same family. When that happens, it is emotionally hard; but God will use our constant and joyful witness to enable some family members to want to welcome Jesus.
Prayer: Heavenly Father. Thank You for those of my family and friends who do love You; I am sorry when I am so discouraged when people who are close to me want to be far away from You. Please help me to stay joyful in the midst of that tension, living to Your glory and praying for the salvation of those I love. In Jesus' Name. Amen. (From BeaconLight)
Pope Francis celebrates mass during the canonisation ceremony in St Peter's Square at the Vatican of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II
ope Francis has declared two of his predecessors, John Paul II and John XXIII, saints of the Roman Catholic church in an unprecedented doublecanonisation mass in St Peter's Square on Sunday. The two towering figures of the 20th-century church were canonised to great applause from hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered in theVatican piazza. “We declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II to be saints and we enrol them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church," said Francis in the official proclamation at about 10.15am.
Later, in his homily, the Argentinian pontiff paid tribute to "two men of courage" who he said had "co-operated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the church". "They were priests, bishops and popes of the 20th century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them," he said. John XXIII, he said, was a pastor to the church, "a servant leader" who had called the Second Vatican Council. John Paul II, meanwhile, was "the pope of the family". As the church approaches a crucial synod at which thorny issues to do with the family are expected to be tackled such as
the status of remarried divorcees in the church Francis said he hoped the two new saints would intercede with God "so that … [the church] may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to the family". Carrying flags, backpacks and rolled foam mattresses, pilgrims from all over the world had flocked into Vatican City overnight and were let into St Peter's Square from 5.30am when the piazza was opened by authorities. The Vatican said they totalled around 500,000 in St Peter's Square and the surrounding streets, while 800,000 people were thought to have gathered for the mass in Rome as a whole.
Sheriff calls for prayers to win war against Boko Haram
ormer Borno State governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff had yesterday added his voice in condemning the abduction of 230 school girls by suspected members of the Boko Haram even as he called on Nigerians to rise up in unison against such “ignoble act and other related violences”. Senator Sheriff said the abduction of the innocent school girls was the height of all criminality being perpetrated by the insurgents and implored all Nigerians from all walks of life to intensify prayers and rededicate themselves to God for His mercies. The statement which was personally signed by the former governor reads; “I wish to join other Nigerians in adding my voice to the
condemnation of all acts of terrorism and aggression against the Nigerian state and fellow citizens. “I wish to particularly condemn the abduction of innocent school girls in Chibok, in my home state, Borno, and call on all Nigerians, irrespective of their religious, political inclinations to rise up against such ignoble acts. “The nation must rise up against this sheer madness and affront on all Nigerians. It is the height of insensitivity for innocent school girls to be taken out of their learning environment and be subjected to the criminal livelihood of these insurgents. “As former governor of Borno State, I am saddened that our people are being subjected to horrific experiences occasioned by the
condemnable activities of the Boko Haram, which agenda is to destabilise the country and subject Nigerians to undeserved conditions. “I am confident that Government at all levels are doing everything possible to get the roots of the matter and bring this madness to an end, but suffice it to say at this juncture that all Nigerians must rise up in unison to condemn these people and offer useful information on how they can be contained. “My heart goes out to my people every time one life is lost, or any citizen is subjected to unbecoming experiences, and I have always condemned such acts in my heart. We must intensify prayers and rededicate ourselves in these trying times, so that Nigeria can progress”.
Nigeria's GDP Rebasing and South-East Economy T
By Ogbonna Onyeisi, mni he Federal Government of Nigeria on April 6th, 2014, announced the rebased figure of its Gross Domestic Products, GDP. The new figure for 2013, according to Dr.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigeria's Minister of Finance was $509.6 bn, positioning Nigeria as the 26th largest economy in the world and largest in Africa, surpassing South Africa which had maintained first in ranking in Africa for decades. She further stated that Nigeria has moved 10 points up on per capita basis of $2,688 which is now
Gov T.A Orji number 121 in the world . The Nigeria's Statistician-General, Dr.Yemi Kale said that with the report, Nigeria is close to being in the league of the top 20 economies by 2020, bringing Nigeria's Vision, NV: 202020 close to reality. Some economic financial analysts questioned the rationale of the GDP rebasing. A financial analyst, Bismarch Rewane criticized the GDP rebasing as a “vanity” and “changes nothing”. In his view, Nigeria's population is not better off tomorrow because the announcement does not put more money in the bank or more food in the citizens' stomach. Many economists and financial experts have made statements regarding the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of rebased GDP of Nigeria. However, some questions are still lingering, such as :Why is the rebasing necessary; what impact does it have on national and regional economies in Nigeria; specifically, what is the place of South East regional economy before and after rebasing and what are the challenges of GDP rebasing and strategies to reposition South East economy towards Nigeria's Vision 202020? The GDP figures being used in Nigeria before the rebasing exercise was based on 1990 parameters which somewhat did not capture many developments in
of emulation by other states in the geo-political zone as it helped to opened up local areas for economic development . More importantly, the relative security number of sectors of the national by North-East geo-political rebasing, now is right time for the in Enugu State is a critical success e c o n o m y. A c o l u m n i s t o f region. The GDP rebasing would South East to reposition its factor of the state in attracting strength to harness the potentials B u s i n e s s d a y N e w s p a p e r , not place South-East economy investors and creating enabling Opeyemi Agbaje stated that , the above other regions. However, of new status of Nigeria as the 26th environment whereby every rebasing does give us a more rebasing presents enormous in ranking of global economy and South-East person wishes to have accurate picture of the current opportunities which each regions the largest in Africa. According to Enugu as home. It is expected that Agbaje, the “potential” benefitsstate of our economy, as it presents can harness to improve their when Enugu State commissioned a more credible and contemporary comparative advantage in the GDP rebasing is that Nigeria has to its modern secretariat under report of the state of sectors within n a t i o n a l e c o n o m y. S u c h position policy and the investment construction, the entire state the economy and overall activity advantage will benefit national climate to realize these benefits. It government operation will be ICT within the economy. He argued e c o n o m y b y a t t r a c t i n g is expected the South-East region compliant. that the Nigeria's GDP rebasing investments on neglected sectors to do the same. Agbaje argued for To fill the gap of weak economic, c l a r i f i e s s o m e p r e v i o u s l y and contribute towards making a p p r o p r i a t e r e f o r m s a n d non-competitive advantage, improvement in some factors such unresolved incongruities in our Nigeria's Vision 202020 a reality. ineffective planning, noneconomy; for instance why the A critical look at South-East a s r e l e v a n t - i n f r a s t r u c t u r e , inclusiveness and lack of large global telecommunications economy before the GDP rebasing purchasing power, ports and leadership cohesion, South East companies and sector analysts depicts an economy that was weak customs procedures, corruption, should do what the South-West under-estimated the potential and uncompetitive. Also it was labour markets, judicial system, and South-South are doing with their zonal e c o n o m i c development initiatives. Most importantly, SouthEast should review the recommendations and implement the 2011 South-East Economic Summit on transport infrastructure, regional power and energy program, improving business environment, security, agriculture and food s e c u r i t y , industrialization and Gov Chime Gov Elechi Gov Rochas Gov Obiano revamping ailing industries, regional development bank and depth and size of the sector pre- characterized by ineffective securing title to property and digital mobile license auction in regional planned economy, very obtaining building approvals, capital market, education and 2001or why per capita GDP low growth rate and worst of all, human capital, and security. It is value system, re-orientation and appeared somewhat larger than lack of cooperation among its expected that the South-East nurture of trade ambassadors, previously thought. More so, leader towards collective socio- region will have to look at these grassroots administration and many experts believe that the political direction. In essence, strategic areas and identify key town unions and finally, strategic entertainment industry in Nigeria, being lowest in term of GRP to performance sectors that the political committee. under the umbrella of Nollywood other regions is a weakness South- region can effectively develop. Conclusively, GDP rebasing in can now be captured as a East should not take lightly. The South-East regional's state Nigeria is a reality. It has brought contributor to GDP with very S o u t h - S o u t h l e a d s i n o i l g o v e r n m e n t s s h o u l d h a v e many potentials and challenges higher potential for growth. producing regions while South- substantive insights on the that were not known before. It has The GDP rebasing in Nigeria East is the least. In the non-oil potentials from the revised GDP exposed the challenges facing the seemed somewhat to many producing, North-West leads figures, especially on the services South East geo-political zone, analysts as an issue of national while South-East is the least. Out sectors, such as financial services, such as weak economic base economy only, the reality is that of 36 states, four South-East States Information Communicating which resulted to low competitive the rebasing should trickle down are among the 14 lowest states in Te c h n o l o g y, I C T, t r a d e , advantage when compare to other to regional and even state term of aggregate oil and non-oil accommodation and food services zones. More so, the rebasing has economies. A holistic analysis of output in 2010. Most of the which now accounts for over 52% great lessons for South- East regional economies in Nigeria national industrial establishments of output above the industrial leaders to harness the potentials of depicts huge and untapped are in the South-West while North- sector which contributes 25% and new GDP figure for proper future economical potentials. Some geo- West and North-Central dominate agriculture down to 22% from p l a n n i n g . Wi t h e n o r m o u s challenges that arise as a result of political regions are far larger in agricultural sectors. Lacking over 30%. domestic products when compare competitiveness in oil and non-oil A p a r t f r o m T r a d e , I C T t h e G D P r e b a s e , to others. The potential of some sectors, lack of effective regional development is another area in recommendations, such as to regions are also unimaginable. economic planning as result of low which South East economy has development of ICT incubators U s i n g r e g i o n a l e c o n o m i c socio-political cohesion among its high potential for comparative and industrial clusters. Furthermore, looking into what structural data of National Bureau leaders unlike other regions and advantage over other regions but it of Statistics, NBS 2010 and also d o m i n a n c e o f c o m m e r c i a l has to tap into the rich human other progressive geo-political distinguishing between oil and activities of buy and sell instincts capacity reserves in the Diaspora zones are doing to reposition their non-oil output, the regional gross among South-East business from the zone to further bolster its regional economies and most South East should importantly, the reviewing and product of South-South region is persons compounded the regional economy. larger than South-East, South- economic growth of South-East in develop ICT incubator centers and implementations of the 2011 We s t a n d N o r t h - C e n t r a l the past. There are also the general other industrial cluster in every South- East Economic Summit combined. The South-East Gross national economic problems, such state of the geo-political zone. which took place in Enugu. Regional Product, GRP is one- as the dangers of unemployment, En u g u S tate mo d el u n d er tenth of South-South GRP. The poverty and inequality which Governor Sullivan Iheanacho Onyeisi is an alumni of National C h i m e o f i n f r a s t r u c t u r a l Institute for Policy and Strategic NBS 2010 figure depicts the South East is not an exception. South-East as the lowest in term of With these identified weakness developments across all the Local Studies( NIPSS) Kuru GRP in Nigeria, followed closely and challenges before the GDP Government Councils are worthy Can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org
Scientists say Ginger is a remedy for Cancer G
inger, a cousin spice of super anti-cancer substance turmeric, is known for its ability to shrink tumors. Astoundingly, it is even more effective than many cancer drugs, which have been shown to be completely ineffective and actually accelerate the death of cancer patients. Commonly consumed across the world in small doses among food and beverage products, the medicinal properties of ginger far surpass even advanced pharmaceutical inventions. Ginger Destroys Cancer More Effectively than Death-Linked Cancer Drugs. The subject of one study based out of Georgia State University, whole ginger extract was revealed to shrink prostate tumor size by a
whopping 56% in mice. The anticancer properties were observed in addition to ginger's role in reducing inflammation as
well as being a rich source of lifeenhancing antioxidants. But what about cancer drugs? Could this simple spice really topple the
advanced pharmaceuticals that are often touted as the 'only option' for cancer patients by medical doctors? It turns out that cancer drugs are not only severely ineffective at permanently shrinking tumors, but they actually make tumors larger and kill the patient more quickly. More specifically, the tumors have been found to 'metasize', meaning they come back bigger and stronger than their original size. What's more, the 'metasizing' was found to be very aggressive. According to scientists Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the premium priced drugs were little more than death sentences for many patients. “Whatever manipulations we're doing to tumors can inadvertently
do something to increase the tumor numbers to become more metastatic, which is what kills patients at the end of the day,” said study author Dr. Raghu Kalluri. These are the very drugs considered to be the scientifically proven solution by mainstream health officials. Meanwhile, ginger presents virtually no side effects and has been used as a food product by many cultures for countless centuries. Instead of creating super tumors, whole ginger extract was shown to exert significant growth-inhibiting and death-inductory effects in a spectrum of prostate cancer cells. Over 17 other studies have also reached similar conclusions on ginger's anticancer benefits, with the spice being shown by peerreviewed research to positively impact beyond 101 diseases.
Culled from, www.whydontyoutrythis.com
South Korea, now the plastic surgery capital of the world
lastic surgery in South Korea is now so good that people travelling home afterwards need CERTIFICATES to prove who they are Some hospitals in South Korea are offering 'plastic surgery certificates' to help overseas patients through passport control on their way home These patients are often seen to have bigger eyes and higher noses They often also have slimmer chins than on their passports When people go under the knife for plastic surgery they hope to come out of the operation looking a bit different and a lot better. They usually do not, however, anticipate looking so different that they are unrecognisable. However, some of South Korea's plastic surgeons are so talented that they are leaving their patients
with an unexpected problem, it has been claimed. Those who have flown in from abroad to have the operations are, in some cases, so transformed that they are struggling to get through passport control on the way home, Kotaku reports. According to Korean sites Onboa and Munhwa, some hospitals have resorted to handing out 'plastic surgery certificates' to patients to enable them to get home. These certificates are said to include the patient's passport number, the name of the hospital they were treated at and the length of their visit to South Korea. The theory goes that these certificates can smooth their path through passport control. While hospitals have been aware of the problem for a number of years, it is said to be becoming an increasingly common issue.
Before In 2009, 23 Chinese women are said to have struggled to return to China from South Korea after
After undergoing surgery. South Korea is rapidly becoming the home of plastic surgery and
Noni juice, cure for most incurable diseases
What is it used for?
problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, aches, pains, burns, arthritis, inflammation, tumors, the effects of aging, and parasitic, viral, and bacterial infections. Ancient healing manuscripts cite the fruit as a primary ingredient in natural healing formulations. Today, fruit preparations are sold as juice, in dried “fruit-leather” form, and as a dry extract in capsules.
Traditional/Ethnobotanical uses Polynesian healers have used noni fruits for thousands of years to help treat a variety of health
Noni has traditionally been used for colds, flu, diabetes, anxiety, and high blood pressure, as well
What is Noni?
he noni plant, native to Asia, Australia, and the islands of Polynesia, is a small, shrubby tree. The plant's white flowers are tubular. The fruit is yellow-greenish-white in color and large, with a pebbled surface. The ripe fruit has a characteristic cheese-like, bad odor.
as for depression and anxiety. All plant parts are used for a variety of illnesses in Samoan culture, and noni is one of the most frequently used Hawaiian plant medicines. Claims that have not been proven in clinical trials include: the use of bark for the treatment of bacterial infections, cough, diarrhea in infants, and stomach ailments; the flowers for sore or irritated eyes, styes, conjunctivitis, ocular inflammation, and coughs; the fruit for asthma, wounds, broken bones, mouth and throat infections, tuberculosis, worms,
diarrhea, fever, vomiting, eye ailments, arthritis, depression, seizures, bacterial and fungal infections, viruses, and as a tonic; the fresh fruit juice for cancer; the dried leaves used externally for infections, burns, children's chest colds, and inflammation, and internally for boils, pleurisy, inflamed gums, and arthritic pain; the fresh leaves used externally for burns and internally for fevers, hemorrhage, bacterial infections, and inflammation; and the roots for oral ulcerations, fevers, and cancerous swellings.
people there have the most cosmetic procedures per head of population, according to global figures released last year by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. Indeed, one in every 77 people in South Korea now goes under the knife or needle in a bid to improve their looks. Shockingly, some 20 per cent of women aged 19 to 49 in Seoul admit to going under the knife and one of the most popular procedures involves reducing excess skin in the upper eyelid to make the eyes appear bigger and more 'Western'. It is believed that the rise of the country's music industry is behind the boom and many patients visit clinics with photos of celebrities, asking surgeons to emulate American noses or eyes. Culled from Dailymail
he Archdeacon, Priests, PCC and entire congregation of Christ Church Uwani Enugu heartily rejoice with the Archbishop of Enugu Province and Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. E.O Chukwuma, OON, as we cerebrate 25 years of his Episcopacy and his recent election as Archbishop. We also thank God for his supportive, amiable wife, Dr. (Mrs) Joyce N. Chukwu JP.
May the good Lord continue the good work he started on you, Your Grace! As you cerebrate your 60th birthday anniversary, may you grow from strength to strength into good, old age! May heaven prosper and fulfil your noble dreams!
Long Live the Archbishop! Long Live Province of Enugu! Long Live Church of Nigeria!
Signed Mrs Comfort Ijemba PCC Secretary
Ven. Dr. NNPC Aghadi Ghamzi Archdeacon
s you cerebrate your 25th Anniversary of Episcopal Ordination and your 60th Birthday, the Management and Staff of THE ADVOCATE heartily rejoice with you and the entire members of Church of Nigeria Anglican communion, Enugu Province. We also congratulate you on your elevation as the Archbishop of Enugu Province and pray God to continue to strengthen you in your new office. Signed:
Most Rev. Dr. E.O Chukwuma, OON
By Okey Anyichie
Wladimir Klitschko knocks out Alex Leapai in fifth round to retain his four heavyweight belts
ladimir Klitschko toyed with Alex Leapai and knocked him out in the fifth round to retain his four heavyweight belts on Saturday. Klitschko, taller with a longer reach, controlled the fight at will, scoring with left jabs and straight rights with hardly any opposition from the Samoan-born Australian. Leapai went down when he was hit with a left-right combination. He got up but Klitschko put him away for good with 58 seconds left in the fifth. 'Glory to Ukraine,' Klitschko said after his one-sided win. 'It wasn't easy, my head was in Ukraine and what is going on there. I hope there is no war and people dying. I am proud of my people,' Klitschko recorded his 53rd KO in 62 wins, with three defeats. Leapai dropped to 30-5, with three draws. In his 25th world championship fight, Klitschko retained his WBA and IBF heavyweight belts, plus the minor WBO and IBO versions. Leapai, the first Australian challenger in 106 years, never had a chance. The only time he ever got close to the bigger Ukrainian was just before getting floored in the fifth. He took an eight count in the first round, although he claimed to have slipped. The challenger's only chance was to try to get inside, but Klitschko easily stopped him with his effective jab. Leapai appeared to finally hit Klitschko in the fifth but the champion replied with a barrage and put the Australian down. He got up but was clearly shaken, and Klitschko finished him off with a huge right to the jaw. Klitschko's elder brother, Vitali, who has retired from boxing to run for political office in Kiev and who has been one of the leading
opposition figures in Ukraine, was in Wladimir's corner as usual. Vitali's wife, Natalia, sang the Ukraine national anthem before
the fight. 'It was textbook fighting by Wladimir. He did not make a mistake,' Vitali said.
Leapai, a delivery truck driver, said it was time to 'go back to the gym.' 'I tried to take the fight to him and
it didn't work. I am all right, I was waiting for my opportunity but he is a champion and a great fighter,' Leapai said.
Cristiano Ronaldo hints at becoming an actor after his playing career is over
or the skinniest manager in Premier League history, the evening concluded as he rather hoped it would. Not just with a thumping victory but with a sense that the football club he has served with such distinction is once again united. But almost too united if the plan is now to bring in Louis van Gaal. If Ryan Giggs and the class of '92
ristiano Ronaldo is used to preening in front of a camera and
indicated on Friday that he would be interested in an acting career after he retires
are to end this four-match adventure by returning to more junior roles under the command of the combustible Dutchman. Remove them if you dare after this, even if the cold reality of Manchester United's situation demands that a man of Van Gaal's experience is handed the tiller for the next few years. Giggs is a man for the future, but not the immediate future.
from football. The 29-year-old returned from injury as Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinal first leg on Wednesday, ahead of a possible final in his native Portugal. It is the latest stage in a stunning season for the Portuguese, who won his second world player of the year gong in January, but he has admitted that a life in the
spotlight after his playing days would appeal. Asked if an acting career would appeal, he said: 'The door is always open. “I am always available” as they say in English. 'I am not thinking now about the end of my football career but it is always a possibility because I am used to it.' 'I am not thinking now about the end of my football career but it is always a possibility because I am used to it.’
Nigerian Steven Gerrard mistake gifts Demba Ba goal as ex-international footballer enters Jose Mourinho's Blues are back in the title race immortal existence
helsea manager Jose Mourinho got his tactics spot on to punch a huge dent in Liverpool's title dreams at Anfield and keep alive the Stamford Bridge side's hopes of an unlikely double. In a battle between a home side committed to attack and visitors intent only on defending, the latter triumphed, which may not have made for a good spectacle, but Chelsea - and Manchester City - were not complaining. Much has been made of this being the season when Reds captain Steven Gerrard ends his long wait for a championship medal, so it was cruel that his mistake led to Demba's Ba crucial opening goal in first-half injury time - only added on because of the visitors' persistent time-wasting. Substitute William scored a breakaway second in the final seconds. While victory took Chelsea within two points of their rivals at the top of the table, the ones to really benefit were third-placed City, still with a match in hand on both the teams above them. The Champions League is still the primary objective for the Londoners and to that end they fielded a slightly weaker side. It showed seven changes from the midweek goalless semi-final first-leg draw at Atletico Madrid, but it still boasted more than 500 international caps with an entire squad value of about ÂŁ200million. Tomas Kalas, with just two minutes' action in two different competitions this season, made his Barclays Premier League debut at centre-back and surrounded as he was by massed ranks of blue shirts he coped well. In January Mourinho criticised West Ham for playing a game from the '19th century', but the Portuguese brought to Merseyside his own unique brand of defensive football - and then some - as they slowed the game at every opportunity. Not only were the visitors happy to defend throughout, they almost actively engaged in not wanting to play the ball anywhere on the pitch, with players frequently looking to run into the corners. In time-wasting and breaking up play Chelsea denied their opponents any opportunity to establish the sort of rhythm which has regularly blown away teams in the first half. They even went as far as going to take throw-ins and free-kicks before suddenly changing their minds and getting another teammate to leisurely wander over to have a go instead. It was a classic Mourinho destruction and frustration ploy and infuriated Liverpool so much
John Obi Mikel celebrates in front of the Liverpool supporters after Demba Ba's first half opener Gerrard engaged in a bit of push and shove with the Chelsea boss in trying to get the ball back into play and Suarez stood to applaud goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer's time-wasting.
Referee Martin Atkinson made a big show of pointing to his watch, intimating he was adding on time, but he did not take decisive action in actually booking anyone until stoppage time.
But Mourinho will argue the ends more than justified the means against a side which had won their last 11 league matches and dropped just five points at Anfield all season.
he Nigerian soccer family has lost an astitute and brilliant footballer, Mr Albert Onyeanwuna. Reports reaching our sport desk states that this ever-green forward-liner who played for Nigeria from 1995 to 1964 had transited at the age of 78 years. He was from Abatete in the Idemili Local government area of Anambra State. He played for Port-Harcourt team, the 'Red Devils' and captained the team in 1963, when they won the Nigerian challenge cup now F.A. cup after beating Jos â€˜Highlandersâ€™ in the final by a lone goal. He was a staff of Nigeria ports Authurity Port-Harcourt and Lagos During his active days in Soccer from the mid-50's, to 60's, he was among the four 'Onyes' a name given to Four players, Onyeanwuna, Onyeali, Onyeama and Onyeador. He will be remembered for his uncanny way of displacing defenders and slotting goals.
Maria Sharapova to take on Ana Ivanovic for third Porsche Grand Prix title ...as Russian sweeps Sara Errani aside in Stuttgart
wo-time defending champion Maria Sharapova cruised past Sara Errani 6-1, 6-2 on Saturday to reach her third straight Porsche Grand Prix
final. Sharapova dominated the 59minute semifinal and will play either Ana Ivanovic in the final after the 2008 French Open champion beat fellow Serbian Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 7-5. Sharapova extended her
winning streak on Stuttgart's indoor clay to 12 matches and is undefeated against Errani in five matches. Errani hit a big cross-court return that kissed the line to save the first match point. But Sharapova then hit a superb
backhand winner down the line to close the match. Sharapova is looking for her 30th career title. The Russian returned late last year after missing more than four months following shoulder surgery.
Vol. 1 No. 38, May 2014
Austin Ejide Back page comment
The hungry bug hiding in the grass can wreck your life for years 路Vanina Mannu, 41, contracted Lyme Disease from a tick in her garden 路Heralded a 2-year struggle with ill health that left her severely incapacitated
ackling the undergrowth that had taken over her tiny back garden in spring 2011, Vanina Mannu knew she'd been bitten by something because the skin on her wrist became red and itchy. 'But after a few seconds of
eye and gums that were so painful she couldn't open her eyelids or mouth. It culminated in May 2012 with Vanina being admitted to hospital with suspected meningitis. 'One afternoon I suddenly began experiencing pain like electric
food down - Vanina was discharged by baffled doctors able only to say she had an unspecified infection. In fact, despite what her doctors said, the condition does exist in England. Indeed, cases rose by almost half between 2005
ugustine "Austin" Amamchukwu Ejide
(born 8 April 1984) is a Nigerian football goalkeeper. His name, Amamchukwu, means "Do I know God麓s wish?". Born in Onitsha, Anambra State, Ejide has played for Gabros International and SC Bastia in Corsica, which competes in Ligue 2 of the French Football League. He currently plays for Israeli Premier side Hapoel Be'er Sheva.
Vanina Mannu contracted Lyme Disease from a tick in her back garden in London
An engorged Ixodes deer tick, a carrier of lyme disease.
irritation, I gave it no more thought.' In fact, the episode heralded a two-year struggle with ill health that left the website designer severely incapacitated and unable to work, with a disease her doctors insisted scarcely existed in England. Of course she could hardly have expected this when, two weeks after the bite, a vivid red, bullseye-shaped rash appeared at the spot and began to spread. 'Over the next three weeks it reached around my lower arm and was unsightly enough to make me feel self-conscious, so I went to see my GP - although I didn't connect it with the bite,' recalls Vanina, 41, who lives in Hackney, East London. 'My doctor didn't recognise the rash, but because I complained of feeling incredibly lethargic coinciding with its appearance, he tested me for lupus - an immune system disorder - as well as arranging for me to see a dermatologist. 'But the test came back negative and the rash started to fade, so I didn't bother investigating further.' Over the next year, however, Vanina's health began to deteriorate. 'There was nothing specific,' she says. 'But lots of flu-like bouts, joint pain, high fevers and tiredness so consuming I sometimes couldn't get out of bed.' She also suffered from infections in her
shocks through my body and a headache that was like a bomb going off in my head,' she recalls. 'Within hours I was throwing up, with a temperature of 39.7c - and my bed was soaked through with sweat. I couldn't walk - my balance had gone. After three days a friend had to take me to A&E.' Vanina spent the next two weeks in hospital undergoing tests, but doctors couldn't identify the problem - the only treatment she could be given was paracetamol for her fever and anti-nausea tablets. 'A worried friend did some research on the internet and found out about a disease transmitted through bites from ticks infected with a bacterium called Lyme borreliosis,' Vanina continues. When he mentioned that two-thirds of people who've been infected display a bullseye-shaped rash, I thought of that bite in the garden a year before,' she recalls. 'When I told the doctors, however, they laughed and said Lyme disease doesn't exist in England. 'They tested me for everything else, though, even toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease they thought I may have caught from my cat, as well as for another bacterium transmitted by goats.' But with her temperature reduced although she was still unable to keep her
and 2011, according to Public Health England - formerly the Health Protection Agency - which estimates there are now around 3,000 new infections a year. Stella Huyshe-Shires, chair of the Lyme Disease Action charity, says the figure could be many times higher. In extreme cases the nervous system, joints and heart can be affected, and symptoms may be misdiagnosed as other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. At the other extreme, symptoms may be so mild that someone who's been bitten by an infected tick may experience only flu-like symptoms. Dr Matthew Dryden, a consultant microbiologist at the country's only national Lyme disease clinic, at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, says cases have 'increased to ten times their number from 20 years ago'. He estimates that in the South of England alone, 18 in every 100,000 of the population are affected. And yet despite the rise in cases, the clinic is due to close this summer due to lack of funding. Ticks, which flourish in long grass or undergrowth, typically attach to deer but can also be found on foxes, badgers, mice, birds as well as domestic pets -
Continues on page 21
Austin Ejide was named in Nigeria's squad for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He has been a member of the Super Eagles at international tournaments since the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), mostly as second-choice keeper after Vincent Enyeama. But, in the 2008 AFCON hosted in Ghana, German-born Nigeria handler Berti Vogts chose him ahead of Vincent Enyeama in all of Super Eagles' four games. On 21 January 2008, he played his first AFCON game as Nigeria lost 21 to C么te d'Ivoire in the first match of Group B. However, he kept a clean sheet in Nigeria's 00 draw with Mali and 20 win over Benin. Ejide was part of the team that won bronze at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004, 2006, and 2010, but never played in any match during the competitions. He was called up to Nigeria's 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Before the tournament it was reported by the Nigerian Press that Ejide will be replaced by former U-20 international Daniel Akpeyi due to an injury sustained in a match against Cape Verde. On 10 February 2013, he won the 29th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations as an unused sub. He was selected for Nigeria's squad at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.