[ 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 ] - People are never literary giants by providence, as maybe the case in some other fields such as politics, showbiz, etc. The circumstance of discovery of a literary giant maybe by providence but that cannot be said of Prof. Chinua Achebe. Prof. Chinua Achebe’s position in the literary world is not by circumstantial evidence either. In all, I think that one literature, 50 languages and over 12 million copies is by no means a position of chance or luck. I recapped, recently, two tributes on Prof. Chinua Achebe by Tola Adeniyi (“Chinua Achebe: The Uncrowned Nobel Laureate”) - The Sun, 25th March 2013 - and Shola Balogun (“THE NOBEL LAUREATE WE NEVER HAD”) - The Sun, 24th March 2013. These two tributes are just but a figment in the avalanche of tributes to the great writer upon the news of his passage to the world beyond. The highlight of Tola’s expose, without disregards to other streaks in that tribute, is that “Chinua Achebe was not just a writer; he was a distinguished writer with the best and noblest of human virtues. A non hypocrite. A non bully. Achebe was both a great ambassador of Africa and a true and respectable specimen of the finest humanity" On Shola Balogun’s tribute, the aspect of his highlight includes; "… even literature is no longer immune from the vagaries of global politics and other........Read More
*Photo Caption - Women Wing of Ogidi Union during the airport reception of the body of Late Prof Chinua Achebe at the Private Wing, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on May 21, 2013.
[ Masterweb Reports: Ikechukwu Enyiagu reports ] – Recently and ongoing, Ahiara, Mbaise of Imo State has become the waves in the news as both priests and adherents protest what they consider to be a papal oversight in their home churches. It's to be recalled that most of the decay we experience in Christianity in the name of Pentecostalism all over Nigeria today is as a result of fallout between the Holy See and the early Christian world. It started with muffled opinions and voices and grew to gatherings of adherents with anti-Roman-Catholic-mindedness. Then it became a world of Protestants and Pentecostals. The high-handedness of Rome in handling the misunderstanding within the early church sowed the seed of further diverging views even when the Holy Spirit keeps calling us to converge to God. Then, many faithful died for what they believed; today many still die in their hearts. When shall we understand that love remains the only power which holds us all in God?
During the recent ordination of Monsignor Peter Okpalaeke who was slated for the office of the bishop of Ahiara Diocese, Bishop Ugorji delivered a sermon from which I take out this exceptional excerpt:
"Rudely demanding for front office jobs in God's vineyard is disrespectful to the owner of the vineyard. The Pope is only a foreman in God's vineyard. He takes instructions from the boss. When you disrespect the Pope, you disrespect his boss and that is what these Mbaise Priests have done in demanding for front office jobs. In due time, he will pick as he sees fit." - Bishop Ugorji
According to available data, the newly-ordained bishop is from Ontisha Province. And ex-seminarian of the Vatican City claims that Cardinal Arinze brought nepotism to the Igbo catholic community. FURTHER, Okoro said, “He (Arinze) wants to use his power to put his people everywhere in the church. Awka has 180 priests, 5 bishops and one Cardinal, while Mbaise has 750 priests and no bishop. Possibly, the Ahiara parishioners could neither understand any spiritual rationale in the continued exclusion of their priests from bishop-hood even when statistics shows that their commitment, exemplified by their mass sacrifice to catholic celibacy, is second to none, nor could they stomach the taxation without representation which the neglect seems to insinuate. Maybe Bishop Ugorji and his Pope (assuming he was speaking on behalf of the Pope) should explain to us all if it's better to settle misunderstandings in the church as the twelve apostles did when the Hellenistic Jews complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food Acts 6:1-4 (), or to take the stand of our today's Pentecostals in claiming that God is a key in their hands alone with which they decide who, what and where to open or shut, contrary to Biblical expressions. Now, I know that majority may assume the overused false stand that the Pope, Bishops and priests have the final say in their spiritual affairs, but supposing you find the Bible to differ in this rule which has divided the church more than it united us, would you stand out speak and act on the truth you now believe, seeing that it's only with God can one or many be truly said to be in majority?
As this anomaly unfolds, one may even be tempted to wonder if Mbaise people should not have first looked at the so called ‘God’s ultimate authority on earth” and see the damage it's done to the psyche of the entire Igbo race before they further campaign for a bishop from wherever. 750 priests! And they are not yet qualified for a single bishop? No! They should not question the Pope's wisdom or even that of the bishops - including all the priests who defecate on God's altar by abusing God's children from the anus! So they insist.
When they, like their 'Pentecostal' sisters, insist on total submission, they should ask themselves: do we totally submit to God ourselves? For all the years they have extorted the souls of the Igbo from the spirit of the land, the Igbo have gone from good to bad; and now the worse is unraveling. When they consider themselves as the final say, I pray them to remember that even God Himself, who is forever the beginning and the end of all that has life, has, often than not, reasoned with men and that, most times, men have won him over. It’s so because, above all else, He seeks fellowship; He yearns for our union of mutual understanding with Him. But no! The Peters and Paul of today would rather that nobody questions them, including when they sodomize your teenage sons and abuse your little daughters! Paul was a new comer in the circle of the apostles; he was not even a disciple. But he openly rebuked Peter, the so-called "Rock," when he found out that Peter was being influenced by the very cunning and conniving spirit of the antichrist which has taken center stage in most of today's Nigerian churches (Galatians 2:11-21). Peter took correction and, at one time, even testified that Brother Paul, the corrector, had a higher spiritual insight (2Peter 3:16). One, from today's Catholic Church, would have expected Peter to bark at Paul and ask him to sit down or leave the church as Bishop Ugorji pontificated in his homily: "If those disrespectful Priests so badly wish to be Bishops, we have well over 41,000 Christian denominations. There is room for more, each with their own Pope and they can rest assured that he who is not against the Church is with the Church but they need not be of the Church."
If these 750 priests were traditional priests in one fold, Mbaise may have become our New Jerusalem, "The City of Peace." The Roman Catholic Church, and indeed all these political organizations with Christianity caps, should stand up and tell the world what they have done for the Igbo, most of whose sheepish and unquestionable submissiveness had never been a problem whenever requests were made in God's name. Should that surprise any? No! After all, about 99% of Igbo names derive life only when God becomes the alpha and the omega, the prefix and the suffix. Tell us, I pray thee, what good you have done to the land of the Igbos.
Not even the spirit of Christ resists our selfish prayers the way our religious leaders resist any truth which God has not revealed solely through them. But how can God reveal his mind to you and not to the poor little Joseph in the field (whose crime was that he obeyed his father who obeyed God and that he took food to his brothers in the field) when your self-importance would not even allow you to see that your love for your sheep has long been lacking in our midst?
What we are saying is this: Allow God to direct you and we will willingly follow you. God is neither partial nor is He seeking assurances of His Godness from man's submission and worship. Until Vatican addresses the mistakes of child abuses in the church and until they remove biased commitment to brotherhood in the selection of popes and bishops, I dare say, the wishes of Bishop Ugorgi that the protesting Roman Catholics of Ahiara should become Ahiara Catholics may not be waited long for before it becomes hitherto concealed salvation.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu ( email@example.com ).
*Photo Caption - A Catholic Church
[ 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 ] - This report issued by the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) details why Mr. Mike Okiro, former Inspector-General of Police, is unfit and unsuitable to be confirmed as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC). The report highlights and explains four very substantial grounds of objection to Mr. Okiro’s nomination, namely:- 1. The need to secure the role of the Commission as civilian credible and effective oversight mechanism; 2. Mr. Okiro’s role in popularising extrajudicial executions in Nigeria, an institutional illegality that has become a driver for internal extremism in Nigeria; 3. Mr. Okiro’s candidacy suffers clear and irremediable integrity deficits; and 4. As a person, Mr. Okiro’s partisan interests fail to comply with the Provisions of the Constitution. Each of the reasons summarised above raises insuperable obstacles to Mr. Okiro’s nomination. The NOPRIN and our member organisations believe that in combination, these factors make Mr. Okiro both unqualified and........ Read More
*Photo Caption - Mr. Mike Okiro
[ 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 ] - On 6th day of May, 2013, we addressed a letter to Your Excellencies with the above related caption. The letter is referenced: Intersociety/S/01/05/013/S/E/Presidency/ABJ/FGN. We also addressed another letter to the Executive Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, dated 6th day of May, 2013 and referenced: Intersociety/S/02/05/013/S/E/FCC/ABJ/FGN. Copies of the two letters are attached for Your Excellencies’ perusal and required action. Our writing Your Excellencies again is as a result of topical events of the past days. Apart from the said events, we also find it important and necessary to make the following corrections and clarifications pertaining to our first letter to Your Excellencies. It is recalled that we had in the said letter included the name of AIG (now DIG) Philemon Leha as one of the serving AIGs in the NPF. He hails from Taraba State, Northeast Nigeria. But further checks by leadership indicate that he was promoted to the DIG in 2012 on the heels of the tragic death of DIG Haruna John, who died in a helicopter crash. Also as we rightly pointed out in the letter to the effect that some CPs whom we thought to be from the Igbo-Southeast may most likely hail from the South-south Igbo areas. True to this position of ours, CP Kingsley Omire, who retired statutorily on 21st day of April, 2013 as Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, is not from Igbo-Southeast, but from Delta State. CP Benjamin Onwuka, who is Deputy Commandant, Police College, Jos, is not from Igbo-Southeast, but from........ Read More
*Photo Caption - Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
[ 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