[ Masterweb Reports ] – Dr. Chris Ngige who is attracted to controversy as the bees to honey is at it again. He said that Governor Obi runnel Government by bribery, which, according to him, could never be a substitute for good work. Ngige was speaking to friends at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, May, 20 shortly after the night of Tributes for Prof. Chinua Achebe, when the discussion among those with him zeroed on Obi.
Ngige was angered by the argument of one of those in the circle that whenever politics is removed from comment on Anambra State, that Obi is “doing extremely well.”
Angry Ngige said that reducing Government to giving few Million to Bishops is not governance, but a clever way of the Governor abdicating his responsibilities. Ngige who insisted that what Governor Obi is doing – giving money directly to institutions, especially Churches –is wrong, said it was against financial guidelines and a clear way of bribing Bishops.
“Have you been reading newspapers lately, you will see that one Bishop or the other, Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal and even native Doctors who received money from him daily tell us that Obi is the best. How can their judgement not be subjective?” Ngige queried.
Ngige said that one of the first things he would do if he became the Governor was to stop giving money directly to the Churches. “I will follow the financial laid down guidelines and deliver even more than Obi is doing today. The contracts will go round the boys and everybody will be happy,” Ngige submitted.
Ngige said that during his tenure that he did not give money to Bishops and yet he achieved a lot in education. He claimed that even the celebrated return of schools back to the missionaries were his brain child.
*Photo Caption - Dr. Chris Ngige
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The Catholic Bishops, priests and clergymen from other denominations have condemned the violent persecution of Christians in the north. This was part of the outcome of the International Conference on ‘Religious Freedom and Tolerance, Need for Dialogue’, which held at the Ofuobi Cultural Centre, Enugu. The clergymen asked for God’s mercy just as they called on Christians to be security conscious and be their brother’s keepers. Speaking during the conference organized by Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) in collaboration with Christian Defense Force on Wednesday, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Rt Rev Dr Callistus Onaga endorsed the emergency rule imposed by President Jonathan in parts of the north. The cleric decried the situation where out of 52 churches in Maidugeri and environs, 50 have been destroyed by Boko Haram terrorists. He urged the Igbos in the north to consider relocating to the East to avoid more casualties.
In his contribution, the chairman of the occasion and Catholic Bishop of Minna Diocese, Rt Rev Dr Vincent Mbaukwu recounted how 47 of his parishioners died on Christmas day as a result of Madalla bomb blast, while another 147 are left with life disabilities, including blindness. He called on concerted prayer efforts by both Christians and Muslim devotees alike to contain the ugly solution.
Rev Obinna Akukwe, a political columnist and human rights crusader disagreed with the United States position that poverty was responsible for Boko Haram uprising. He alluded that there is state sponsored terrorism in the North citing the example of the recent Kano bomb blasted Bus Park which the state government was bent on converting to Islamic school, despite protestations from Igbos and Ohaneze leadership. The Pentecostal cleric wondered why it took president Jonathan ages before declaring state of emergency.
Venerable Ezeji, representing the Anglican Bishop of Enugu, disagreed with Rev Akukwe’s position that the imposition of State of emergency was coming too late. He believed that President Jonathan merely ran out of patience with the north. He asked Christians to add legal means while enforcing their rights especially in the North.
The President of Christian Solidarity International, based in Switzerland, Mr Herbert Meier noted that CSI shares the pains of Nigerian Christians. He said that “the CSI came to Nigeria to learn, hear and listen to the youth of Nigeria”. He maintained that though CSI is a Christian based organization, it however maintains the right of any religious group to religious freedom.
Comrade Chuks Ibegbu, leader of Christian Defense Force said that his group is ready to assist the security agencies with tips, hints and information that can aide in averting the tide of insecurity against Christians.
Governor Sullivan Chime, speaking through his commissioner for Human Capital Development, Dr Chuks Oguenyi stated that the government provided another set of 100 vehicles to aid security in the state. He asserted that the South South youth made noise and got amnesty, the North made noise through Boko Haram and got amnesty, and therefore, Igbo youths should make pragmatic noise without attaching violence, in order to attract good attention to the plight of affected Christians.Oguenyi remarked that Enugu State Government assisted some displaced persons from the north to start a new life.
Rev Fr David Baka, the coordinator of Justice and Peace Commission, Lafia, Nassarawa State, noted that the menace of Fulani Herdsmen in villages in Nasarrawa States is capable of causing crisis worse than Boko Haram. He described the situation in Nasarrawa State as Pasture Haram and asked Southern Christians to come to the aid of their displaced brethren including finances.
Rev Frs' Michael Gidache and Chiedozie Ezeribe from Minna diocese asked for financial help to continue to support the victims of Madalla bomb blast especially the orphaned and those maimed for life, noting that the church cannot abandon them. Rev Fr John Attah from Oturkpo Diocese, in his submission believed that “government should take the bull by the horn to nip the madness of constant attack by Fulani herdsmen on the Agutu people of Benue State in the bud to stall further loss of hundreds of lives.”
The chief host, Rev Prof Msgr Obiora Ike also decried the persecution of traditional religious practitioners by Christians in the South East, and the destruction of their ‘Ikenga’, describing it as forms of intolerance. He sued for dialogue and emphasized the need for proper education as means of wiping off violence mentality.
The Vice Chancellor of Godfery Okoye University, Enugu, promised to grant scholarships to 19 students from 19 northern states as show of solidarity with their persecuted northern counterparts while a security expert, M C Orji gave useful tips to securing the churches.
Rounding off the programme, the moderator, Rev Fr Ikechukwu Odigbo joined the Catholic Bishop of Minna in harping on the need for divine intervention through prayers as powerful in defeating the agents of terrorism.
Obinna Akukwe ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
*Photo Caption - Christian Symbol
[ Masterweb Reports: Chuks Ibegbu reports ] - History was made at the Government College Umuahia, Abia State on Friday, May 17, 2013 when distinguished men and women from all works of life gathered at the school auditorium to give honour and pay their last respect to Prof. Chinua Achebe during the “Day of Tribute and Colloquium” organized by World Igbo Leadership, Education And Cultural Council (WILECC) in partnership with the Centre For Igbo Empowerment And World Igbo Youth Council.
Hon. Chuks Ibegbu, a well known social and political activist and the President of WILECC told the well organized and publicized gathering that the essence of the event was to emphasize the role Government College Umuahia played in the life of Chinua Achebe, who was the Senior Prefect of the school in 1948.
Dr. Alwell Onukogu, Rector of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba and guest speaker of the event praised the literary ingenuity of Prof. Achebe, his brutal frankness, patriotism and sense of duty. Achebe who taught Dr Onukogu English at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka traversed the whole crevices of literary field, social commentary, and human development. Dr Onukogu came with a large entourage of staff and students.
Analyzing the works of the literary giant, Dr Onukogu lamented that Ndigbo, Nigeria, Africa and the entire world lost a titan. In his speech, the chairman of the occasion, Dr Arthur Agwunch Nwankwo went into memory lane to x-ray the dialectics of Achebe and his works . He lamented that the ideals Achebe stood for were no longer there. Dr Okey Emordi, a retired Don, enraptured the audience with the story of the great literary legend. He was not happy however with the dilapidated state of buildings and structures in the school, a situation he advised Government of Abia State and Old Boys of the school to address.
The state governor, Chief (Dr. ) T A Orji represented by the Deputy Governor, Col Emeka Ananabe (Rtd) promised that the Government of the state would continue to do its best to restore the glory of the great college. He however advised the Old Boys of the school to also redouble their effort to complement the government’s effort. The event was witnessed by many dignitaries among whom were Chief Charles Okereke, publisher of Nigeria Masterweb, Barr. Uche Okwukwu, a well known Port-Harcourt based lawyer, a two time Presidential candidate of the African Rennaissance Party, Alh. Yahaya Ndu, Chief Don Ubani, the immediate commissioner of petroleum in Abia State and many other dignitaries.
Others that contributed poems and papers included Barr Debe Ojukwu, son of late Ikemba Nnewi and Senator Emma Nwaka, Abia State PDP chairman. There were performances by the school cadet and cultural troupes . The Odumodu Dance from Umuawa Alaocha also performed at the event.
*Photo Caption – Prof. Chinua Achebe
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Gov. Obi said that Anambra was ready to accord Prof. Chinua Achebe a befitting burial and that the Govt would not relent in honoring people like him, both dead or alive, but who contributed positively to the advancement of society. The Governor said this yesterday during the inspection of St. Philip's Anglican Church, where his burial service will take place on the 24th.
Later in his country home, the Governor inspected his country home and his final resting place which is nearly completed and is designed as a mini museum to house all his works.
Obi who expressed satisfaction with the level of preparations, called on the people of the State, especially Anambra people to emulate people like Achebe rather than despicable characters that are let loose on the State.
Meanwhile, Anambra State Government will partner with the Anglican Diocese of Aguata for the construction of modern Maternity. Gov. Obi disclosed this yesterday at the Second Session of the Third Synod of the Diocese at St. Thomas Anglican Church, Umuchu.
The Maternity, which will cost 30 Million Naira, according to the Governor, is in the spirit of the collaboration between the Church and the Government of Anambra State. Obi said he was encouraged to the deepening of the collaboration because the Church by her nature was more positioned to reach the people in the spirit of love and compassion. He said the basic thing remained the fact that any project executed either through the Government or the Church was for the good of the people.
Speaking at the event, the Anglican Bishop of Aguata and the Archbishop of the Province on the Niger, Most Rev. Christian Efobi thanked the Governor for turning the face of the State through massive work. He commended him for being a man of his words
*Photo Caption - Gov. Peter Obi(with Microphone) and his SSA on Creative Media, Bobmanuel Udokwu with members of Achebe's family during the inspection of Chinua Achebe's final resting place in his compound, Ogidi on Sunday.
[ Masterweb Reports ] – A day of tributes and colloquium for Late Prof. Chinua Achebe holds at his high school alma mater, Government College Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria today, Friday, May 17, 2013 at the school’s Assembly Hall (Auditorium). The event starts at 10.00 am and will feature lectures, speeches, film shows and other side attractions. There will also be the inauguration of “Chinua Achebe Foundation For Peace” and “Hall of Fame”.
People from all works of life are expected at the event that precedes the national events in Enugu and Anambra States later in the month. Be part of the event; come one, come all.
For Event Organizers – World Igbo Leadership, Education And Cultural Council, WILEC in conjunction with World Igbo Youth Council (WIYC).
*Photo Caption - Event flyer
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The Anambra State Commissioner for Works, Arc Callistus Ilozumba has described as lunacy, wickedness and manifestation of deep-seated ill-will for any person to demand from Gov. Obi the account of how he spent the close to "3 Trillion Naira" he received in his Seven years as the Governor of Anambra State, when elementary arithmetic based on yearly budget was enough to give any genuine inquirer an idea of the income profile of the State. Rather than engage in what he called "infantile musings", the Commissioner advised those that want to be Governors of Anambra State to tell the people what they did for them and what they are going to do for them. He made these remarks yesterday during the flag-off of Upper- Iweka road.
The Commissioner said that he found it ironic that while Ngige was here dreaming about 3 Trillion Naira he perhaps did not understand, that Gov. Obi was in South Africa as part of the President's State visit to the country. He noted that for the interest of Anambra, Obi took the opportunity to market the State as an investment destination; concluded talks with Distell of South Africa on building their facility in the State; accompanied the Federal Minister of Trade and Investment to visit Nissan South Africa on possible collaboration with INNOSSON Motors of Nnewi; visited the water facility at Pretoria of the PCI South- Africa that is working on Onitsha Water Scheme; visited the international Hotel Managers to manage the three hotels under construction in the State, among other high profile meetings.
On the roads that were flagged of - Upper Iweka and The Ozubulu end of the the Atani- Ozubulu road- the Commissioner assured that the State had set aside enough money to complete all projects being flagged of. He called on the benefitting communities to monitor the projects and report any wrong doing to the Government.
In his own remarks, Governor Obi said that he must be considered a genius and money tripler for receiving the total of 3 Trillion Naira in a state with monthly allocation of less than 3 Billion Naira in seven years. Laughing over the matter, he said he knew the machanisations of the haters of the State under different guides to distract him, but that he will not be distracted. " For those who hate the development of Anambra State or who scheme for the money meant for development to be shared among them, let me happily increase their blood pressure by announcing that by the end of the year we will spend Billions of Naira to procure buses for all secondary schools in the State, computers for all primary schools in the State, among other revolutionary measures that are coming", Obi said.
The Governor also inspected the pace of the rehabilitation work going on at Rogeny Stadium, where Anambra State Government had committed the initial N30 Million Naira.
Describing those against the governor as enemies of the State, the proprietor of the Centre, Chief Rommy Ezenwuka said that Obi was clearly distinguishable from other past Governor of the State because he was developing all sectors simultaneously.
*Photo Caption – Dr. Chris Ngige
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Governor Obi has encouraged investors interested in Nigeria to feel free to come to the country for so many opportunities available. He said this on Tuesday during the South-African-Nigerian Business Forum in south- Africa, which was packaged as part of the State visit by the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to South Africa.
Speaking as a panelist at the Forum, Gov. Peter Obi said that Nigeria was a place to be now in terms of investment as, according to him, the country has the natural resources and huge population that are desiderata for investment. Giving example with the South African brewery giant, SABmiller, Obi said that in a year the company built it's facilities in Anambra State of Nigeria, that they confessed that in the history of the company, that Anambra and Nigeria is a place they have had highest return on investment, going beyond their projection. "Ladies and gentlemen, you see why Anambra is a place to be," Obi said.
Speaking further, Obi said that because of the success of SABmiller that other companies were presently building their facilities in the state.
On the issue of security, Obi said that the problem with Nigeria was over sensationalization of news from Nigeria. Though he agreed to the existence of security challenges, he insisted that Nigeria is safer than countries like South-Africa and Brazil.
Earlier in his own contribution, the Hon. Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga said that the President , Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was during everything possible to overcame to challenges to during business in the Country. He assured that the President would not relent.
The Presidents of Nigeria and South Africa, Dr. Jonathan and Presudent Jacob Zuma pledged that Nigeria and South-Africa would continue to work together for the integration and industrialization of Africa, creation of better micro economic regime, promotion of intra-African trades, continued economic linkages, strengthen relations, and other activities that would be for mutual benefits to both countries and Africa. They urge the business community to invest more in Africa.
The event was attended by Ministers from Nigeria and South-Africa, Governors of Anambra and Bayelsa States, business communities from both con ties including the likes of Dangote, Jim Ovia, Paschal Dozie, and Tony Elumelu.
*Photo Caption - Aliko Dangote (middle), Peter Obi (left) and Akinwumi Adeshina (right), during the South-Africa-Nigeria Business Forum as part of President Goodluck Jonathan's State visit to South-Africa.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The Nigerian State frowns at peaceful, organized and civil approach to matters of self determination but beckons on faceless armed militants who kill and maim innocent citizens in the name of agitation against the state on purely no defined principle. It is on record that despite the full blown civil war of 1967 to 1970, there has never been a greater destruction of human beings, who are all Nigerians predominantly of a certain tribe and religion, in the annals of our country. So what you get is that a group from a section of the country that is peacefully asking for self determination is put forth for treasonable felony trial while the State is, at the same time, negotiating amnesty with another group that has........ Read More
*Photo Caption - Map and Flag of Nigeria
[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] - The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio and his Abia State counterpart, Theodore Orji are yet to settle the rift caused by the refusal of the later to cooperate in the completion of the six lane Oron-Uyo-Ikot-Ekpene-Aba and four lane Ikot-Ekpene- Umuahia roads.
Governor Akpabio has indicated willingness to complete the entire stretch of the multi billion naira road from Oron to Aba and from Ikot-Ekpene to Umuahia on the condition that Governor Orji pays compensation to those whose buildings, huts and thatches are on the proposed construction lane from the Abia end of the road. Orji is expected to pay compensation to those to be affected by the displacement caused by the road extension from Ngwa to Aba, while Akwa Ibom settles those from Oron to Ikot Ekpene to give room for a six lane highway through to Aba. In the same vein Akwa-Ibom state will settle its indigenes from Ikot-Ekpene to Obot-Akara while Abia completes its own end to Umuahia to pave way for a 4-lane express way.
Akwa Obom state government felt that opening these two roads will facilitate trade, commerce and distribution of goods and services between the two states and also aid travelers coming to Akwa Ibom from the North and West who mostly makes use of the old two lanes. Those from Abuja-Kano axis normally follow through Umuahia narrow stretch to Ikot-Ekpene while those from Lagos axis pass through Aba with its associated flooding, traffic snarls and street urchins. This small stretch of distance always translates to hours on bad, narrow, winding roads hence the efforts of Akpabio Government to open up the key roads.
However, Orji have refused to relocate those on the proposed road path citing lack of finances and lack of political will to enforce demolition of buildings with the anticipated public criticisms. The governor by this recalcitrant posture is sacrificing the economic development of his people, and the increase in the volume of commerce, trade and businesses which these key roads will enhance on the altar of political expediency. The people of Abia state should be aware of this opportunity from a sister state and put reasonable pressure on the Governor to act reasonably. Those whose huts, thatches and houses are blocking the overall development of the Enyimba city should be made to see reason to accept reasonable compensation. Some Abia elders have previously put pressure on the governor to see reason to no avail while his Akwa-Ibom counterpart effort to convince the governor also failed. Sources close to Godswill Akpabio told groups of concerned Igbo clergymen in Abuja that the stalled Abia end of the road is due to the misunderstanding.
Julius Berger is currently constructing the Akwa -Ibom end of the roads at reasonable speed and the quality of the road is standard enough. Soon the construction of the Akwa-Ibom end of the road will be rounded up and Abia State will still look for money to construct the said roads in the future if the state will link up for a favorable commerce driven initiative with Akwa -Ibom and Cross River States and enhance the future use of the Calabar Ports.
*Photo Caption – Gov. Godswill Akpabio-Left; Gov. Theodore Orji-Right.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra State has described Nigeria as a haven for investment, calling on investors to consider the country for investment if they wanted returns on their investment. He made this call last Thursday at the Canadian-Nigerian Investment Conference in Toronto, Canada.
Obi who is part of the Federal Government Delegation led by the Vice-President, Arc Namadi Sambo, said that while other continents appear to be saturated in terms of investment opportunity, that Africa remained a virgin land, with her resources both natural and otherwise still largely untapped. His words: "Africa today represents a world of unlimited potentials in terms of investment. I say this because while other continent are either saturated or in various levels of saturation, Africa remains largely untapped."
Speaking further, Obi said that even among African Countries, that Nigeria was a place to be considering her population, which, according to him, translates, ipso facto, to large market. Beyond Large market, he sited the friendliness and hospitality of Nigerians as another factor worthy of consideration.
Though he agreed that the country is facing critical security and infrastructural challenges, he said that all other countries had their own challenges and that one fact that must be admitted was that the country under President Goodluck Jonathan, ably assisted by Arc Namadi Sambo was doing everything possible to overcome those challenges.
Citing example of rewarding foreign direct investment in Nigeria, he used SABmiller as an example, saying the brewery giant, as well as other foreign ompanies that invested in Anambra State are doing excellently, far beyond their projections.
The Conference, organized by the Federal Government of Nigeria in collaboration with the Canadian Council on Africa(CCA), and the Department of Foreign and International Trade (DFAIT) is aimed at boosting the volume of trade and investment between Canada and Nigeria.
*Photo Caption – Governor Obi and others at the Canadian-Nigerian Investment Conference in Toronto, Canada.