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11/30/11

Permalink 08:52:00 pm, by ifeatuagbu, 1343 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, South East News, Niger Delta( SS ) News

*Nigeria: Training New CEOs in Niger Delta

By Ifeatu Agbu

Almost on a regular basis now, Nigerians are being assailed with scary economic indicators that are consistently pointing to the negative pole. If it is not inflation index that is sitting pretty in the double digit column, it is the value of the naira that has continued to nose-dive. All these, of course, have serious implications for the labour market and the biting unemployment situation in the country. It is sad that in spite of Nigeria’s oil wealth, our economy has been stuck deep in the woods and no one is sure when we can find the right compass to take us out of the economic labyrinth. While the search for an elixir for our financial system continues, scores of our young graduates continue to pound the streets in search of scarce jobs. For these desperate job seekers, it is now illusory to hinge their hopes on white collar jobs.

All over the world, self employment through small and medium scale enterprises is replacing government and the multinational corporations in providing employment. This is because the big companies can only employ thousands but providing jobs for teeming millions of youths lies in the hands of small scale entrepreneurs.

It gives some measure of comfort that the Federal Government is working along this line and is placing emphasis on economic reforms anchored on poverty alleviation and self-employment. One can see the efforts being made to create jobs for fresh graduates and other school leavers through skills acquisition for the development and management of new Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises.

Even the National Youths Service Corps [NYSC] is being re-engineered to add value to the certificates already acquired by graduates from tertiary institutions. The NYSC Director General , Brigadier General Mahrazu Tsiga said that plans are underway by the scheme to introduce a skills acquisition programme to empower corps members after their service year.

Brigadier Tsiga said the directorate has already asked corps members to carry out feasibility studies on businesses of their choice and that those committed to the programme would be given N250, 000 as take up grant. This initiative was more or less endorsed recently by the Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi during the media briefing to mark the 100 Days of the Administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)

The minister said that time was ripe for the overhaul of the NYSC, from that of national integration to an NYSC of national transformation. According to him, the NYSC should address the concerns and challenges of today. He said the scheme would henceforth emphasise the S (service) in the NYSC. “The central idea is that corps members should serve where the nation has critical needs such as Education, Health, Infrastructure and Agriculture. For instance, young graduates could learn and participate in large scale mechanised farming during their service year and later, can be encouraged to become agro-entrepreneurs.”

Perhaps, the idea is to use the NYSC as a finishing school, where corps members would spend considerable time of the service year learning valuable life and enterprise skills. This would bridge whatever educational gap they might have and provide them with market-ready skills.

It would appear that the battle against unemployment is being waged at different fronts. The Federal Government, for one, is using agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, the Central bank of Nigeria, CBN, among others to fight the scourge. The CBN, for instance, introduced Entrepreneurship Development Centres as a means of equipping people with entrepreneurial skills so that they can be self employed and consequently be employers of labour. This pragmatic approach is being run in conjunction with some universities in the country.

The University of Nigeria, Nsukka is one of such higher institutions collaborating with the CBN in setting up training programmes in entrepreneurial studies for graduates and secondary school leavers, aimed at reducing unemployment among youths and checking rural poverty in the country.

The university is currently running the programme under the auspices of its Entrepreneurship Development and Research Centre, CEDR. According to the Executive Director, Prof. Alex Ikeme, the objective of the training was to change the mindset of graduates, school leavers and retired personnel that without government jobs, they could not attain great heights in life.

The NDDC, as an interventionist agency, has also weighed-in to assist in giving practical training to youths in the Niger Delta to ensure that they are gainfully employed. Clearly, this is a very critical intervention aimed at stemming the tide of restiveness in Nigeria’s oil-producing region. One major programme introduced by the commission is the NDDC Technical Aid Corps [NTAC], which is designed to meaningfully engage graduates from the region and serve as an unemployment stop-gap for them. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

Since the programme took off last year, thousands of unemployed graduates have been enlisted by the commission and sent to various companies, including the SMEs to work for two years. During the period the commission will pay each of the beneficiaries N30,000 a month which will be augmented by the employer with N15,000. Like the National Youth Service Corps [NYSC], the scheme is expected to help the young graduates gain the necessary experience, which would enhance their chances of securing gainful employment or to become self-employed at the end of their tutelage in the industries. The NDDC scheme has the potential of reinvigorating the SMEs which are among the most potent forces responsible for the fast-tracking of the economic transformation of any country. Most of them lack the resources to hire graduates to boost their productivity. They can therefore take advantage of the availability of this relatively cheap labour to optimise their productivity and profitability.

The programme is designed in such a way that the young graduates would be given the opportunity to improve their skills in their areas of specialisation, so that at the end of the day they would be empowered to set up their own businesses and stand on their own. The NDDC is also running a wealth-creation programme designed to train entrepreneurs on ways to achieve success in their businesses, thus creating jobs in the region. According to the Acting Managing Director of the commission, Mrs. Osato Arenyeka, the empowerment programme would support entrepreneurs in the micro, small and medium enterprises across the Niger Delta and go a long way in tackling the problem of unemployment in the region. She said the commission had concluded plans to train 1,000 entrepreneurs drawn from the nine states of the region as a way of creating employment and rejuvenating the economy of the states in the Niger Delta.

The NDDC boss said that the programme would enable entrepreneurs to gain access to business development services, increase access to finance and move them from micro to small enterprises. She said: “I believe that the Niger Delta region is gifted with millions of creative, productive and constructive individuals, I am looking forward to seeing made-in-Niger Delta goods all over the world,” she said.

The NDDC has been involved in other training programmes like the elaborate agricultural programme in conjunction with Songhai Delta, a reputable capacity building and youth empowerment centre based in Amupke, Delta State. The scheme was designed to train 3,400 youths in Niger Delta in various aspects of agriculture. In the first phase, 1,700 participants selected from Bayelsa and Delta states were exposed to modern techniques of aquaculture, poultry production, bee keeping, grass cutter production, piggery, agro-processing, among others. No doubt, the various initiatives to empower new entrepreneurs hold out hope for the future. There is a lot to gain by developing the intellect of our youths and showing them the way to prosperity and ensuring that they are engaged in productive ventures that would chart a new course for the nation’s technological and industrial growth.

Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( ifeatuagbu@yahoo.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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*Nigeria: List of Schools Handed Over To Original Church Owners By Governor Obi

[ News Roundup ]

Awka, Anambra State capital, was agog November 21 this month, when Governor Obi handed over a total of 1040 primary schools back to their original Church owners who were equally given six billion naira(N6b) to maintain them. The N6b is to be distributed to the affected churches over a 15 month period based on the number of schools owned by each Church.

Below is a list of the schools ( a total of 757 schools ) so handed over to affected Churches.

List of schools handed over by Governor Peter Obi
CLICK FOR THE COMPLETE LIST OF SCHOOLS HANDED OVER (757 in all).

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11/29/11

Permalink 10:07:00 pm, by markclint, 203 words   English (GB) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, South East News, Niger Delta( SS ) News, World News

*Biafran Activist Faces Deportation From UK

By Mark Clint

On 20th November 2006, Mazi King Eze Onuigbo, a Biafran activist based in UK participated actively in disrupting the image-laundering project of the Nigerian government called "Nigeria Heart of Africa", which took place at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Hall. Till date, the Nigerian government is still looking for the protesters. Mazi King Onuigbo’s participation in that disruption can be viewed via this link:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=f5mNjp-ddvk

The demonstration at the Nigerian High Commission at Northumberland Street can be seen here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R0WxiLKgYE
( Continues below….. )

Heart of Africa Logo

Photo Above: Heart of Africa Logo

Furthermore, Mazi Onuigbo is a leader and not an ordinary member of a number of pro-Biafra organizations in the UK. He is a member of Biafra Liberation in Exile (BILIE); the current president of the Good Shepherd Movement and former director of mobilisation Biafra Liberation League/MASSOB INTERNATIONAL.

Onuigbo's arrest by UK authorities instigated by the Nigerian High Commission is illegal and should be deplored. Currently, he faces deportation to Godforsaken Nigeria. Self-determination is right and not a privilege, Biafrans must be free.

Mark Clint can be reached at markclint2000@yahoo.co.uk

Map of Defunct Republic of Biafra

Photo Above: Map of Defunct Republic of Biafra

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Permalink 12:05:00 pm, by lateef lawal, 484 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News

*Nigeria: FAAN In 'Intensive Care Unit', says Chairman, House Committee on Aviation

By Lateef Lawal

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is about to collapse operationally if care is not taken to urgently rescue it. This was the position of the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha after a visit to the authority's head office in Lagos recently. She specifically said: "FAAN has potentials to make as a huge money spinner for government, but it is sad to note that FAAN is on the intensive care unit, which is about to die, but this committee will rescue it from dying."

The committe chairman raised issues with the management on, why FAAN will pay over N1.2 billion to two of its concessionaires, as opposed to the target N890 million earmarked for such payment?" Other issues begging for answer posed by the Chairman were: "How come the concessionaires are owing FAAN and could not pay ? It is clear that FAAN lacks live cycle. It then follows that FAAN may have failed as an organisation. This is because of the way and manner the organisation runs, the irregularities that surrounds its concession agreements. It also appears there is no plan to make Nigerian airports look like what they should look like. Could it be privatised, considering the huge investment of capital in the airports , which gives the feeling that budgeting in FAAN is just like a ritual ." The committee charged the authority to explain the rationale for its failure to meet up its N35 billion revenue target for the year having chalked in only N20 billion as at the end of the third quarter of the year. ( Continues below..... )

Airborne Plane

Photo Above: An Airborne Plane

She wondered why despite the huge budgetary allocation to FAAN, it could not boast of any airport in the country that has the trappings of a modern facility and that FAAN lacked basic airport commercial infrastructure, which disallowed it from meeting its huge potentials. The chairman that the authority appears to have failed in recovering its huge debt profile running into billions on Naira. FAAN, according the House Of Representatives Committee chairman has the potentials to make the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, huge revenue spinner for the Authority, the reliance on aeronautical sources for money has not demonstrated the financial creativity of the authority.

She expressed reservations over the lopsided expenditure profile of FAAN, which weighed higher on overhead costs, running into 60 per cent as opposed to capital projects which pegs around 40 per cent. She however cautioned the Managing Director of FAAN, Mr George Uriesi who is barely three months in office to take responsibility and make the airport system work, as the committee would no longer accept diplomatic answers on key questions that bordered on the processes and procedure for effective airport administration.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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11/28/11

Permalink 06:58:00 pm, by callmeike Email , 1596 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, South East News, World News

*Nigeria: Governor Obi - Your Name Is Written.

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

Men of honor have come and gone, with their names imprinted in times. Men of honor are, and there are those yet unborn whose names have been written in the prophecy of seasons. Mr. Peter Obi, the executive governor of Anambra state is in the now a man worthy of great honor; a man who truly deserves the honor of heaven, of his people, and of everyone to whom truth is not an offence. A king who values the touch of God is that one who will not be moved from his place-even when the world shakes. Such a man shall fulfill his times and seasons, and shall retire in fulfillment. When men reject truth, they only do so to their own peril, and that of their children. A king who assumes the god of his people is the blindest of the blinds; that tells the story of Nigeria’s leaders, those who support falsehood, and those who oppose the spirit of truth. The events which keep unfolding in the country called Nigeria, and even in several other places across the globe, defend the spirit of truth; it does not matter how much pressure is put against truth, truth will never be obliterated.

I have watched and listened carefully as claims and counter-claim have reason on this noble man of Anambra; I have also watched how men have sworn to politicize the future of a great nation, while vainly assuming that Mr. Obi is one “good man” who must not live, the light which should not shine before others who have sworn that darkness is a tool for obedience and loyalty. Without mincing words, yet without having to allude to any particular individual (such a man’s reasons, personality, or connections notwithstanding), I have arrived at the truth of leadership in Nigeria, and especially as it concerns Ndigbo: Mr. Peter Obi has come out as the only man who truly has, not only the interests of his state at heart, but the support of heaven. The best that any man, any leader can do for himself and for his people would be to allow God into his leadership; to let God father everyone who is under him. When the foundation is destroy, what would you, oh righteous man, do to escape a colossal punishment? God remains the answer. It holds no sand when those who have frustrated their faith in God by allowing others to dictate how they relate to the Spirit of truth stand out-even in Nigeria, strangely- to deny the very God into whom they were fathered and in whom they are held together. Many of these self-proclaimed atheists were named after God, a name which they still bear to this date, and which has become hereditary. The only sure foundation, the only solid ground In Nigeria and for any man, for that matter, is a complete return to God. ( Continues below..... )

Anambra State Governor Peter Obi

Photo Above: Governor Obi's high performance score symbolized on photo     *Click here to Read Full Story of Gov. Obi’s High Rating

Nigeria, as has always been said and proven, has largely remained an estate of the great grandfather of the North, Uthman Dan Fodio, even to this day. Right from the amalgamation through the first and false election in Nigeria, the genocide against Biafrans, to the abolition of mission’s rights to control schools, the sole aim has always been to appeal, always and only, the Northerners. The so-called unity of Nigeria, since the 1914 amalgamation, has remained solely hinged on pleasing the North, and the North alone-to the obvious detriment of other regions, and to a sure eventual dissolution of the project called “Nigeria.” When the first election could not appease enough, the bloodshed of the Igbos followed suit; yet it was scarcely enough. Then, in the 70s, the churches must relinquish schools to the federal. The sole reason behind this, they said, is to balance the education imbalance between the North and the South. My question today is: did the forceful removal of schools from the churches done any good to appease the North or to balance the so-called “education imbalance?” I leave you to the obvious answer. What the South, and indeed the entire country, gained in those wicked plots was and still is great loss. Today, with all the sacrifices made by every Nigerian to appease the North over no fault of others, the Northern part of Nigeria has remained largely aggressive in their pursuit. Everything has fallen to the ground; nothing still holds-not matter the force applied to in-in Nigeria.

The missions were robbed of their schools (which did a lot for good moral upbringing in the society in the days) by the federal government solely to appease the Muslim-majority Northerners who have remained intolerant of any other faith except theirs. The South were denied Christian schools so the North would be equally educated, but instead, they promoted Sharia; today, Sharia is threatening to be entrenched in the entire country-from the government, to the schools, religion, business…everything Nigeria. The North insists that it becomes the law of the country. As if that has not been a far greater price squeezed out from Nigerians, “Western education is sin” came in to stay; what then did we fight for, why the many injustices against the South? ( Continues below..... )

Governor Obi and others pose for photo

Photo Above: L-R Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, the Hon. Minister of Education; Most Rev. Dr. Christian Efobi, Archbishop of the Niger Province of the Anglican Communion; Gov. Peter Obi; Most Rev. Dr. Valerian Okeke, Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Catholic Province; and the National Chairman of APGA at the return of 1040 schools to the missionaries by the Governemnt of Anambra State. - CLICK FOR ENLARGED PHOTO.

Many have called repeatedly for the return of mission schools to their rightful owners, without success. Governor Peter Obi, a man who found himself amongst those who would never stand the light, has found the truth; for morality, which has since been lost in Nigeria, to return, schools must go back to their original owners. A nation laden with moral decadence has no power to fight corruption, nor to stand for the truth. According to the truth which Mr. Peter Obi has dared to speak in these times of gross falsehood: “The collapse of education in Anambra State is directly connected with the takeover of schools owned by the missionaries, churches and voluntary organisations in 1970. That singular exercise signalled the disappearance of morality and the building of character from our school system.” He went further to declare finally: “This can no longer be allowed,” This is true in Anambra, and it’s true in every other part of the South. There are some states that have attempted this but, like I said, they have largely remained mere attepts; Governor Peter Obi is the only governor who went ahead to stamp his feet on it. And for the so-called Anambra NUT and their so-called MOA, I say this: even if you have refused to see that your so-called MOA has done nothing for Anambrarians than institute an ever declining slope of moral decadence in our schools and in our society, you would not blame those who see the truth. That agreement, if it solely stands against the return of schools to missions, is obsolete and ineffective.

One may impulsively ask what relationship education has with morality in a society; I will answer you: Everything! This is a time of return; nothing else will suffice. It’s a time of return to the early truth which, though discarded for decades, still remains what it is: truth. This change should not be limited to Anambra, or to the South-East; it should permeate the entire regions. As God is allowed His rightful place in the upbringing of our children, the running of states and the peace which has eluded all will return and dwell amongst us. As this step is taken, more steps will be required for truth to set us free. It will service for wisdom to note here that the return of schools to churches has nothing, whatsoever, to do with forceful introduction of Sharia; while morals will be better encouraged and harnessed by the missions, Sharia law of Nigeria has no room for human weakness. While we wait on other governors to take the footsteps of this great man, Mr. Peter Obi, I personally would like to say to his Excellency: Sir, well-done! You have written your name in the annals of the great. As you have realized the place of God in the governing of your peoples, and especially, in the lives of our children, God will fix your reign and days in the place where pushing and pulling are not, no matter from where. And as you put your decision into action, may God open your eyes to other crucial matters that affect our state and society. And may God surround you with willing, obedient, and faithful hands as you journey with God’s approval and blessings towards a better Anambra and a restored Igboland. You have shown Ndigbo, by your total care for Ezeigbo, Chief Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, in these times of trial for us all, that Ndigbo are your heartbeat; the returning of schools to the churches is yet another feather to the crown which only God has given and his servants confirmed. You are unstoppable, worthy father! You are great amongst us, and indeed, your name is written and forever written.

Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at ike.enyiagu@gmail.com

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*Ojukwu, The Blessing Of Zion: Adieu! You Have Conquered In Our God!

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

Dearly beloved father, daddy, Chief, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the blessing of Zion, adieu! You have conquered in our God! You have run the race, set the pace, and finished your course. There remains for you a crown of victory in glory. We know you, daddy, and we know where you have gone to; we love you, and we rejoice with you. Thank you because you have ushered in a new generation from now, a generation that works above the spirit of time. Now that you know even as you are known, you can smile broadly because the vision is open to you. Biafra is! Those who hate you, those who defile Ndigbo are a curse to themselves. Our light has come, who can quench it? No one! We are not men that work in the dark while the light shines, we do not live anywhere except in the light of the times and his word. Ndigbo knew when God happened on the scene, we are all alert as the trumpet was blown, and we all echoed the voice of the spirit: It’s time! Who can refute your ministry, who can deny the truths you have so freely shared-even in these times that men who need freedom the most live in self-induced darkness. Your transit is no death; it’s the birth which must be. From up in glory, nothing is ever hidden. See! You have done a great job; you have shown the way-the way of prophecy. The journey which has led you through to your crown is the journey we all shall experience in fulfillment. ( Continues below….. )

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu

Photo Above: Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Photo 1)

Who are those that cry, why do you weep? Where may woes be found, and why are there cries of hopelessness? Is Rachel ready to cry for her loss the second time? By all means, no! It’s done, it’s finished; the prices for Biafra has been paid. When men refuse to look beyond the flesh, hopelessness sets it, but freedom is the first message of God, and He brought it in love and sealed it with the blood of our savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. My brothers, Ndigbo, all men of truth: Rejoice! Sing songs of freedom! Rejoice and sing because daddy Dim is rejoicing and singing; be glad because a hero receives his crown! Who calls his transition “a dark time,” who works in ignorance? Look! It’s the sun that is rising; it’s the star of promise! Heaven rejoices when men of love consummate their works and return home; the earth should rejoice, or mourn over themselves-but not for the so-called dead. A great Iroko fell, but it’s the Iroko of stagnation, depravity and chains. Our General did not fall, he never did; his is only a transition into a higher realm for a greater mission. I would that Ndigbo stand up, taller than ever, now that our General did not stop on the way. It was not an accident, it was never a sudden rush; he was called home in peace. And, yes, Ndigbo are standing in great zeal, strength, and wisdom. ( Continues below..... )

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu

Photo Above: Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Photo 2)

There are those who have brought untold pains upon themselves; states have incurred the wrath of divinity by their hate and Genocide against Biafra. For those who stood silently, watching to see if there is a God who truly saves; heaven shall stand and watch through your pangs of pain. And let me make me make this clear enough: if you hate Biafra and those who champion it, then the word says that you are not among us-you are never with us. Then you have hated me from the start and we were never one, because if we were, you would want my freedom as much as you had always wanted yours. You sought yours with tears and pains but you never found it because your hate is your chain. You may have, through your hatred, delayed my journey, but you never stopped it. And you who gave yourself to be used against me, you shall perish in your self-inflicted pains. Though you think you have delayed your friend, have you moved beyond your own chains? Yet a time is when human wickedness shall be met with divine fury; that time is come upon us. You who claim that a free Biafra is your destruction: well, Biafra has gained freedom and you are still destroyed because it’s a prophecy you have given yourself. You who fail to see, and to read the times, why should the spirit of time not overtake you in your wickedness? Tell me; also, tell it to the God of Justice! It is so because I am Biafra-from head to toe; a Biafran in spirit, soul, and body.

Biafra is beyond a name, it's a movement-it's an exodus. And this move is a continuous journey into eternity. It’s a movement that will climax into eternity. Biafra was not because Ojukwu was, Ojukwu was because Biafra is. He came for a purpose, he fulfilled it, and he has returned to our God of great love and mercy. This is the true story of the children of Israel in the strange land, in the land of Egypt. To those who simply refuse the rhelma and cling to the logos and all the deceitfulness of the flesh, you would never understand the workings of the Almighty. You see, yet all you see is darkness and chains and pains. You see but your limitation limits you-your hatred for God consumes you. Biafra is a spirit, and he has come to stay; he has no pact with death. Even as a pillar of cloud by day and as a pillar of fire by night shall the Lord perfect His lead unto the land of the ever-shining glory. Before Nigeria was, Biafra is! Biafra is called from the division of the seas, called to a place where streams of life flow through. Egypt was truly stubborn, but was destroyed for it; Egypt was destroyed by its stubbornness. Shall the Pharaohs still prove stubborn and ask: “Who is that God that can rescue you from my hand?” Isn’t it yet obvious that freedom is ordained from eternity to eternity for them that love the Lord-for those who have been called through a predestination and foreknowledge? Yet again, God’s voice shall be heard. He spoke once but it shall be heard twice-all over the world. Look! The cloud and the fire have, once again, taken the lead; it’s time to move on. Biafra is moving on, and frustration shall frustrate itself; obstruction shall obstruct itself, disunity shall disunite itself, and those who kill by the sword are now being killed by the sword. The angel of Biafra is mighty and valiant; he is strong and in the lead. Even as we follow, blessings follow us; and as we go to worship, forever, our God in the mountain of His holiness, Egypt shall experience the price of its pride-it shall utterly fall and drown…when we have crossed over. ( Continues below….. )

Late General Aguiyi-Ironsi addressing the nation in his 1st press conference as Head of State.

Photo Above: Late General Aguiyi-Ironsi addressing the nation in his 1st press conference as Head of State. *In photo - sitting from left to right are Hassan Katsina, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, David Ejoor, J.E.A. Wey and Yakubu Gowon. Click For Enlarged Photo

Pharaoh, do you know your call; have you understood the reason you became? Or shall you be taught in pains again and again? Look! Even your firstborns are nothing to God when you seize His firstborn. God is saying to Pharaoh today: “Let my people go; let Israel go because he is my firstborn. If you will not, even your firstborn and that of all of Egypt shall I take away from amongst you.” For Israel, God will give up nations; He will crush kings and utterly remove kingdoms from their places. He’s the God of His word. Biafra has been called out into freedom, who shall stop her? Nigeria must be forced to obey and compelled to confess. To those who fear the Lord and love themselves, salvation may still be found. But to those who say: “Who is that God,” you shall see Him, and you shall die for it. Biafra is going upward and forward and any nation or king that stands in the way of this word shall die in the sea of rebellion and pride against the most high. Let every created thing bear witness to this truth; let men be forced to hear-from the rising of the sun to its setting: Biafra is! Daddy Chukwuemeka, joyfully take your place amongst the elders. Your work lives by the streams of life; it’s ever green and fruitful. Ojukwu is, Biafra is! Adieu papa. Your victory is in God forever.

Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at ike.enyiagu@gmail.com

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11/26/11

Permalink 10:29:00 am, by admin Email , 217 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, South East News, Niger Delta( SS ) News, World News, African News

*Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Is Dead

By ( Release From Ojukwu's Family )

After a protracted and brave fight against stroke, the People’s General, Ikemba Nnewi, Dikedioranma Ndigbo, Odenigbo Ngw, Ezeigbo Gburugburu, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu died in the early hours of today in London.

We thank all those that showed concern in our period of difficulties, starting from the President of Country, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR. We thank in a special way the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi who went above and beyond the call to duty to look after him. Besides paying the hospital bills, he visited London on monthly basis to see him. He was there yesterday and only came back this morning to receive the news, whereupon he entered the next available flight back to London. He even had to fly Economy since other classes were fully booked. We thank him for the sacrifices.

We thank all Nigerians for their solidarity, especially those that continued to pray for him. May you continue to pray for the repose of his soul.

Further details shall be made available.

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu
For the family

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu

Photo Above: Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu

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11/24/11

Permalink 06:47:00 am, by admin Email , 1011 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, South East News, World News, African News

*Nigeria: Address By Governor Obi At Formal Handover of Schools To Original Church Owners

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ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. PETER OBI, GOVERNOR OF ANAMBRA STATE, AT THE FORMAL RETURN OF SCHOOLS TO THEIR ORIGINAL CHURCH OWNERS AT THE WOMEN DEVELOPEMNT CENTRE ON THE 21ST OF NOVEMBER, 2011

Let me begin this address by simply stating that our Government's commitment to delivering quality education for the good people of Anambra State is total. That is why I have decided that our state shall henceforth be speaking only of "acceptable global standards in education", instead of "minimum standards". By the same token, we are saying good bye to the low quality education that this state has suffered because of the takeover of mission schools by Government.

The collapse of education in Anambra State is directly connected with the takeover of schools owned by the missionaries, churches and voluntary organizations in 1970. That singular exercise signaled the disappearance of morality and the building of character from our school system. This can no longer be allowed to continue.

May I therefore apologize to those whose schools were forcefully taken over. It was one of the biggest and costliest mistakes ever made by the Government. We regret that due to the takeover, these schools have deteriorated in all respects. Academic performance, infrastructure, and simple discipline were all lost. Today, we shall make a new beginning by returning to the point from where we turned into the wrong road.

Only last week, the Hon. Minister of Finance pointed out how unreasonable it is for a nation to keep pumping money into an educational system that delivers nothing close to what it was set up to deliver. Let me state her exact words, ladies and gentlemen: "Our education system is broken and we cannot continue pumping money into a broken institution.”

Not only do I concur with the Minister, I am demonstrating my concurrence by the action I have invited you to witness today. We are hopeful that by returning these schools to their owners, a progressive cleansing of that sector will begin. This is a demonstration of good faith and also of our Government's determination to rescue the education sector, because of its crucial role as the bedrock of development.

We are part and parcel of the modern world and the only way to show this is to always ask ourselves where the rest of the world is going in all that we do pertaining to the life of our people. A few days ago, at the Rivers State Invest Forum in Port Harcourt, the former Prime Minister of Britain, Mr. Gordon Brown, said that one of the major ingredients of prosperity was education. He went further to describe education as the biggest asset for providing skills for the future.

Any society that deliberately allows its educational institutions to fall into stupor has already arranged the burial ceremony of the leaders of tomorrow. A progressive leader who sees danger for his people must take serious, radical actions, even if they are unpopular, in order to bring renewal and re-birth.

Having the foregoing in mind, and after due consultations, we have decided to return all schools, primary and secondary, taken from the missionaries, with the exception of those in dispute. This exercise is continuous, hence those who still have genuine cases of schools yet to be returned are advised to write to the Ministry of Education. In returning these schools, Government is expecting the type of dramatic improvement in discipline and academic performance that used to be associated with these schools.

We are not abandoning theses schools, in the name of handing them over, because the State Government will continue to pay the salaries of all their academic and non-academic staff; while the Missions will be in charge of the day-to-day running and general administration of the schools. This is the subsisting practice in the schools already taken over by the Government.

I want to be on record to have said, again and again, that we are handing over these school because we want to see them return to what they used to be, as centres of academic excellence; as well as strongholds for character and citizenship development.

Being mindful of the urgent need to turn around the education sector, and in line with our commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the State Government has made special financial provisions to ensure that the churches do not have any initial problems in managing the schools. We have made available the sum of Six Billion Naira (6,000,000,000.00), which shall be distributed to the new owners of these schools over the next 15 months, based on the number of schools each group owns.

Therefore, the money will be shared in four installments thus:

a. First Installment    - N1,750,000,000
b. Second Installment    - N1,250,000,000
c. Third Installment    - N1,250,000,000
d. Fourth Installment    - N1,750,000,000

For the first installment,

a. The Catholic Church with 453 schools will receive N762,259,615.38;
b. The Anglican Church with 296 schools will receive N498,076,923.07;
c. Government owned schools, 291 in number, will receive N489,663,461.53

This money will be released to you once you submit your work plans in the next 30 days. The Churches simply cannot afford to fail us because, as the Bible says: "If gold should rust, what will iron do?”

Let us all resolve today to become agents of positive change in Anambra State, especially now that we have a Government that is ready and willing to work with institutions and individuals that can complement the efforts of Government for the good of our society.

Thank you and may God bless you and our dear State.

Governor Obi and others pose for photo

Photo Above: L-R Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, the Hon. Minister of Education; Most Rev. Dr. Christian Efobi, Archbishop of the Niger Province of the Anglican Communion; Gov. Peter Obi; Most Rev. Dr. Valerian Okeke, Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Catholic Province; and the National Chairman of APGA at the return of 1040 schools to the missionaries by the Governemnt of Anambra State. - CLICK FOR ENLARGED PHOTO.

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Permalink 03:04:00 am, by ifeatuagbu, 1699 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News

*Nigeria: Free Healthcare Programme in Niger Delta

By Ifeatu Agbu

Like the Biblical woman with the issue of blood, who probably had a fibroid, Mrs Azuka Okwuosa endured the pains and shame of carrying a 20 kilogramme tumour for twelve years. Respite came for the poor widow when the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in conjunction with Pro-Health International recently moved its free medical mission to Oguta in Imo State. Today, Mrs Okwuosa has been relieved of her 20 kg burden and the public ridicule that came with it. As she recuperates, she now hopes to live a normal life and naturally, she could not find enough adjectives to qualify the benefits of the NDDC’s heath mission. In summary, she said: “NDDC is the hand of Jesus Christ, the saviour in my life.”

Mrs. Okwuosa is only one out of many poor people in the remote communities of the Niger Delta who have been rescued through the intervention of the NDDC’s free medical missions. For five days, the Oguta General Hospital was a beehive of activities as the sick and their caring relatives thronged the place for medical attention from the visiting volunteer medical team.

Mr. Gilbert Ikeagu, who brought a relative for treatment said he was delighted that the free healthcare programme came to Oguta at a time he was almost giving up hope on how to save his aunty who was very sick but could not find money to go for medical treatment. “You can see the joy in our faces. We are glad the NDDC has come to our rescue,” he said.

Of all the development programmes which the NDDC has undertaken in the Niger Delta, the one that brings tremendous relief and makes immediate impact on the lives of the rural people is the free health care programme. The free health missions have gone round virtually all corners of the Niger Delta, healing the sick and giving hope to the medically challenged.

At Oguta, the free medical train did not only provide medical services, it also gave a tremendous boost to the facilities of the General Hospital. The commission donated a mammogram for the benefit of breast cancer patients, an ambulance, a 30KVA generator and other important equipment to the General Hospital, as part of its effort to provide good health care service delivery in the Niger Delta region, Obviously happy with the gesture, the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Mrs. Osato Arenyeka, said the equipment will help improve mother and child healthcare. She said the free health care programme was a combination of many activities, which include carrying out of HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, healthcare promotion and malaria roll-back campaign. “Other health programmes include vaccination of 10,000 children against typhoid fever and 3,500 children received 3 doses each of hepatitis B vaccination,” she said. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

For the roll back malaria programme, insecticide-treated mosquito nets were given to children, pregnant women and nursing mothers in all the nine states covered by the NDDC. In 2010, 141,500 mosquito treated nets were distributed through the free rural healthcare programme. This has continued as the free health programme moves from one community to another.

The NDDC boss commended the Imo State Government, Imo Foundation, Pro-Health International and the Imo State Ministry of Health for their support in making the mission at Oguta a success. Speaking in the same vein, Professor Anthony Gozie Onwuka, the Secretary to the Imo State government, commended the NDDC for the equipment especially the Mammogram, which he said was the first of its kind in the state. “I thank the NDDC .We appreciate the much you have done so far with the human capital development programme. We appreciate what you are doing, and please continue to remember us and come again,” he said. Professor Onwuka who hails from Oguta said that the NDDC deserves to be given the title of “Ozo Igbo Ndu”, meaning saviour of Igbo people, for its efforts.

Also expressing satisfaction on behalf of the Imo State government, Dr. Obi Njoku, the commissioner for health, urged the people to show appreciation to NDDC for partnering with the state government to bring quality health services to them at the grassroots. He said that with the kind of equipment provided by the commission the status of the general hospital has been enhanced.

What happened in Oguta has been replicated in several other communities in the Niger Delta. According to Dr. George Uzonwanne, who is coordinating the NDDC free medical missions, there is virtually no community in the region that has not benefited from the free Health programme. He said that so far, 2.5 million people of Niger Delta have benefited from the free health care delivery by the commission since its inception.

He gave kudos to the Non Governmental Organisations that have been partnering with the NDDC in this critical intervention in the health sector. Giving an example, Dr. Uzonwanne said that Nelpan korea Medical Centre, one of the key partners, provided free healthcare services to 15 communities of the Niger Delta, last year alone. During this period, he said, they attended to over 60,000 cases, carried out a total of 863 general surgeries, 112 gynaecological surgeries, 3281 dental surgeries, 640 eye surgeries, distributed over 5000 reading glasses and over 12,000 insecticide treated nets.

Dr. Iko Ibanga, the coordinator of Pro-Health International, which started the free health mission with the NDDC in Odi, Bayelsa State, ten years ago, said that its medical team from the US volunteer their services and indeed pay their bill to come to Nigeria. Two days into the mission in Oguta, Dr. Ibanga said that the medical team had already attended to 800 patients and performed over 40 surgeries. The Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan, facilitated by the NDDC, had underlined the fact that Niger Deltans live in very difficult conditions. The very comprehensive document clearly showed that the people are trapped in a web of environmental problems. It stated that their fishing activities are inhibited because the waters are polluted. According to the document, frequent oil spills and pipeline fires ensure that their farmland does not yield much. It identifies illiteracy, ignorance and unemployment as factors inflicting poverty and deprivation on the people. The extreme poverty combined with the absence of potable water has also induced the widespread of preventable diseases.

Gas flaring, which has been going on in the region for about 50 years, is another challenge identified as having very harmful effects on the people. The gas flares release a cocktail of toxic and green house gases into the atmosphere, endangering the lives of the people. Health workers say without equivocation that gas flares could cause respiratory diseases, cancer, acute leukemia and a variety of other blood-related disorders. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)

This dismal outlook must have caught the attention of the international community, as the World Bank warned in a study it conducted on the Niger Delta region that “an urgent need exists to implement a mechanism to protect the life and health of the region’s inhabitants and its ecological systems from further deterioration”. Other environmental experts agree with this finding, and note that the region is the least developed in Nigeria. This is also evident in the fact that health indicators in the region are way behind the national average.

Flowing from the regional development Master Plan, some quick impact programmes were identified. Of course health was high on the list of priority programmes to be tackled. Thus, the NDDC swung into action to redress the situation. The commission launched awareness campaigns in the local government areas, through public advocacy. Similarly, it adopted several strategies in the effort to provide healthcare services for the people of the Niger Delta. It has for ten years sustained the very popular regional free health care programme in partnership with Pro-Health International and other Non Governmental Organizations.

In the words of a former Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr. Timi Alaibe, “the free healthcare missions, which has taken us to the nooks and crannies of the Niger Delta, has indeed opened our eyes to the incredible level of poverty and diseases we hitherto never imagined existed.”

Dr. Uzonwanne, who drives the free healthcare programme, said that the mobile health care delivery system could not adequately meet the health care needs of the rural communities. This, he said, was evident from the large number of patients that swarm the centres for the free healthcare programme. “In almost all the cases, the benefiting communities pleaded with the health teams to stay with them for a longer period to be able to attend to their various medical problems,” he said.

The high demand for the healthcare services is understandable given the poverty-induced desperation of the people. The comprehensive health missions provide all forms of medical services, ranging from general consultation, laboratory services, general and gynaecological surgeries, as well as eye and dental services. Apart from the free medical missions, the NDDC has committed substantial resources to providing physical infrastructure in the health sector across the Niger Delta. In addition to building health centres, hospitals and residential quarters for medical personnel, the commission is also equipping these medical facilities. According to dr. Uzonwanne, the commission supplied medical equipment to 19 hospitals and health centres spread across the region last year.

The beneficiaries included Umunneochie Health Centre in Abia State; Ikot Udo Primary Health Centre in Akwa Ibom, Otuabagi Primary Health Centre in Bayelsa; Ukem-Odukpani General Hospital in Cross River; Ugbomoro Primary Health Centre in Delta; Ughotun Primary Health Centre in Edo; Eziorsu Primary Health Centre in Imo; Imoluma Comprehensive Health Centre in Ondo and Bodo General Hospital in Rivers State. It is no secret that the bane of our rural healthcare delivery is the lack of basic medical infrastructure and equipment. Thus, the intervention of the NDDC in this regard is like rubbing the much-needed soothing balm on our ailing healthcare delivery system. What is more, these health facilities give the necessary backbone to the free medical missions that have been sustained for one decade uninterrupted.

Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( ifeatuagbu@yahoo.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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11/23/11

Permalink 11:29:00 am, by callmeike Email , 1883 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News, African News

*Nigeria And The National Celebration of Failure

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

If there were no truths, then there would be no responsibility, no accountability; no justice, and no God. But even among atheists who have lost track with truth, responsibility, and accountability, strong demands for justice still echo throughout the horizon. The danger of atheism-even when hidden within the walls and alters of churches and mosques-is that it strips one of the will and the ability for a life of responsibility and accountability. Worse still, it drains from the one who believes in nothing the right, whatsoever, to demand for responsibility, accountability, and justice from those upon whom the affairs of the people have been thrust. And as faith in nothing secretly eats deep amongst these self-propelled atheists, amongst those who insist on a “One Nigeria,” a god is born: Selfishness; selfishness now becomes the god. But, to them, they still have no god; they are atheist in their hearts, and whether they are held in esteem in mosques and churches, or not, they can be sure of one thing: they have only themselves to worship. But suddenly, the wind of justice catches up with them and they are, not just no more, but worse than those they have oppressed.

This is the faith of those who have led Nigeria from one doom to another, and those who, even when they are quite aware that there can be no other solution for unity, peace, and progress than a divided Nigeria, still go ahead to confer and receive awards prepared and sealed with the blood of the innocents. This is the fate and end of those leaders in Nigeria who call evil “development,” and call decay, “achievement.” How worse off shall those who seek honor from the hands of murderers be!

Sometimes, most times-even in absolute rejection-, there seems to be evidently reasons to momentarily laugh at “project Nigeria.” The mockery in the tone of my laughter is not, in any way, directed to Nigeria or every-day Nigerian; no, but it’s in every way directed to the blind leaders who, in complete conviction, actually believe they are the best of the fold. They attribute their position as a proof for that, yet they forget the bribes, the compulsions, the blackmails, the threats to life, and the blood spilled and lives wasted in other to sit on those seats; they praise themselves for being elected and, all through their tenure, their election and re-election remain their highest and only achievements. The rest is their puppet-like controlled selves, preparing for the manifestation of their father, the antichrist. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)

It hurts when I remember all the oppositions and attacks that Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, had to go through in the hands of his enemies, detractors, enemies of the States, and enemies of mankind as a result of his stance on the slavery of blacks. After over one hundred and fifty years, and looking at the man OBJ and his Otah farm, and the incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan (a man who grew up in the raw realities of Nigeria and even had to divert his attention and affection to fishes and biology when he lost faith in everything Nigeria and returned to nature), one can only ponder aloud: Were the whites really right when they insisted that blacks should not be treated as equals with them? Looking at how consistent and caring OBJ is to his Otta farm (qualities he lacked entirely as the president of Nigeria the three times he ruled an autocrat), and the choices that the incumbent president has been taking towards everything (from education to power, insecurity to tenure elongation; fuel subsidy to prosecution of obvious guilty politicians, human rights to killing of Christians and Corpers in the North, etc), one wonders: why are blacks their very own enemies? Why do our leaders crave for praise from the west and other places, but give no hoot about the opinions at home?

It can only mean one thing: they have all been marked for the punishment of Herod, Nebuchadnezzar, Gaddafi, and the likes of Assad, whose burning shall be the first. These leaders will not go severely unpunished-even if those who claim to be fathers of all Christians in Nigeria pray and fast for them, day and night. To such pastors and Imams: Your prayers are abominations to God when you cannot tell them openly what the mind of God is. You are as accursed as they are when you tell them that all is well while heaven is angry. To such a man who claims to represent us before heaven but does not represent heaven among us, your eyes shall be shut forever, and your office taken from you and given to another. For God says: “He that will go for me will stand for the freedom of my people, but he that stands for the enemy shall not go unpunished.” Its’ time Nigeria’s religious men and women bypassed those who do everything to bind together again the very veil which was torn from top to bottom at the consummation of Christ’s sacrifice, and sat with Christ himself in the place where no veil and no treachery hinders truth. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states, and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)

Who do we celebrate from the amalgamation to date? Do we celebrate the first and false election, the counter-coup which had nothing to do with the first military coup; the genocide which Nigeria and those who led it will live their existence-here or there-paying, the man Gowon who now lives daily in regrets of what he has caused, military and civilian presidents who had nothing to show but guns, extorted and stolen funds, booze, and women? Do we celebrate those whose only mission in life is to dominate and not to lead; what about academicians who have led and are still leading? Obasanjo came and ruled thrice and left nothing but more decay, disease, loots, and deaths than IBB did; today, he has a farm which does well. Everyone knows that, to have a successful farm, one must posses a mother-like quality. That OBJ, a man who ruled Nigeria with iron fist and impunity for three consecutive times and made Nigeria worse, is able to keep his Ota farm growing and better, tells all the stories there is to tell about Nigeria and its leaders.

We had a president who was a lecturer: Musa Yar’adua. But all he convinced his wife and followers to believe was that, “when it comes to Nigeria, it is the property of the incumbent.” Now, we have another president in the person of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a man who holds degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries biology, and a Ph.D. in Zoology, yet he is not close to telling the country that the only way forward is a Sovereign national Conference. Since none deserves it amongst the leaders, maybe, we should look at their achievements: falsehood, bloodshed, looting, bad roads, no water, no energy; failed schools, corrupt privatization, juries and judges swollen with bribe, injustice, bloodshed, etc. Which amongst these should we celebrate? Obviously, neither the leaders nor their legacies are worth celebrating. The Nigerian security agencies are so corrupt that they only go for the innocent citizens or those who, by the actions of the government, were compelled (as with a rope round the neck) to do things they would never allow others do in an ordinary situation; they go after these seemingly helpless people, while those who have sat and are still sitting on the doors of any developments for Nigerians move freely about with their guns, thugs, loots, and blood-stained consciences. When the presidency cannot be protected by the country’s highest and best and open celebration of Independence has become a time-bomb in Nigeria, what do we have, as a country, to award or be awarded if not bribes? It is a shame that the government of Nigeria today really thinks that the way to save face is to celebrate individuals who were never given a single leadership post in Nigeria. The country and those who have turned it into their father’s estate have nothing to offer or celebrate; now another step is being sustained: the bribery of some Nigerians. It’s not just a shame; it’s a decay which shall not remain hidden or inconsequential for long. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria (2010 - present)

There is no honor in the land, and the government of Nigeria is not in any justifiable position to confer honors to anybody. Honors can only come from hands that have been thorough washed clean and honored; true honors cannot come from dishonorable places just as old wineskin cannot carry new wine. Professor and Elder Chinua Achebe, a man who has brought more glory for Nigeria than those who, with guns, force, and looted money, have ruled Nigeria from time to time, has made and won a case for Africa without having to soil his hands in the blood which keeps all government houses in Nigeria in their places. By his second rejection of the worthless national award, he has shown, once more, a greater concern for Nigeria than all who bribed, forced, threatened, and murdered their way into election and their respective seats. Any man whose self is no god would have followed the path of Achebe; a man who stands for responsibility, accountability, and justice must always seek these before receiving due praise. Prof. Achebe is not a man to be counted amongst the sycophantic crowds that have become the majority of our elders, spiritual leaders, and traditional leaders today.

To those who receive awards from a blood-soaked government, I say this: Even when you do deserve honor, it is an honor you should give yourself-not the honor that Nigeria, as a country, should confer. There are men who deserve honor, and there are governments worthy enough to confer honors. Even amongst qualified governments, there are times to receive honor and there are times to reject honor. But, in the case of Nigeria and all of you, the hand that honors, the honor itself, and the honored have proven to be no leaders to emulate. Finally, it does not matter whether a person believes in God or not, the laws of God always bring justice at appointed times. To demand justice is to accept responsibility and accountability; to accept responsibility and accountability, and to demand justice, it to accept, with all reasonable doubts, that there is a God somewhere, who is Supreme and before whom all are held accountable. When these are considered, one can only opine: Let all those who received award from the government of Nigeria return them without delay, and let every Nigerian speak with one voice in support and affirmation of Professor and Elder Chinua Achebe’s godly and perfect stand: The conditions why awards mean nothing in Nigeria are still standing today-unaddressed and worse. That alone is the only true award in a nation where injustice and evil are crowned.

Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at ike.enyiagu@gmail.com

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