Oba of Benin Golf tournament to go international – Obaseki

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said efforts are being made to transform the Annual Oba of Benin Invitational Golf Tournament into an international event.

The governor disclosed this while taking part in the 7th Oba of Benin Invitational Golf Tournament at the Benin Golf Club, Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The governor urged for support from members of the Benin Golf Club to transform the golf tournament into an international event to feature international players.

“This is the only golf tournament which blends the traditional with the modern. This is a unique feature of the tournament.”

Obaseki called on Edo people to embrace golf as a game, as it enables players exercise and relax and develop skills requiring focus.

He noted that it was erroneous to consider golf as an elitist game as it has so many aspects, adding that, “The game reveals one’s character, the type of person you are – whether you are patient, strategic, foresighted or greedy. All of these are expressed when you play golf.”

The Captain of Benin Golf Club, Mr. Osagie Nehikhare, praised the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II and Governor Obaseki for participating in the event, which adds colour and beauty to the tournament.

He said it was the second time that the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II will be featured in the Oba of Benin Golf Tournament.

Truth, forgiveness panacea to national unity, development – Ikpeazu

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has called on leaders and people of Nigeria to imbibe the virtues of truth, forgiveness and transparency, which he said are panacea to the challenges of rapid development and national unity.

Speaking as the guest lecturer at the 3rd Convocation lecture of the Gregory University Uturu, Abia State, Governor Ikpeazu stressed that there cannot be true national unity and development unless the leaders and people of Nigeria speak the truth about their past and consequently forgive each other.

Citing the post-genocide experience of Rwanda to buttress his position, Governor Ikpeazu said that it was easy for Rwanda to become what she is today because the people and leaders of that country spoke the truth of their genocide experience to each other, and forgave themselves thereby paving the way for national unity and development of the country.

His words: “It will be difficult for us as country to achieve national unity and development if we shy away from speaking the truth about our past as a basis to seek forgiveness from each other.

“Rwanda is what it is today because after their genocide experience, they spoke the truth about the ugly event and forgave themselves, that is why Rwanda is today, one of the leading lights in Africa.

“Today Rwanda turned 360 degrees from a country that was nearly wiped away by war in 1994 to an emerging economic power house and success story in 2018.

“Rwanda had a problem, they solved their problem by identifying the cause of the problem, identified everyone’s role in the problem, ensured everyone accepted their roles in the problem and took steps to ensure that the problem never occurs again.

“As leaders in Nigeria, we must tell ourselves the truth about our past, including the civil war. We have a problem as a nation, and this problem is bedeviling our development and unity as a country. Therefore, we must identify this problem, it’s remote causes and those behind it, and make everyone to accept their role in the problem.

“That way, we can begin to tell ourselves the truth about the problem, seek for forgiveness and also ensure it does not happen again. That way, we will achieve national unity and wholistic development as a country.

“Again, leaders must see their role as a duty that must be carried out in the interest of all and eschew greed for power and material acquisitions because corruption in our system is as a result of greed by those in power which in turn is also aided by those who are not in power.”

Speaking further on the need for transparent leadership in Nigeria, Governor Ikpeazu said that leaders must take responsibility for their actions as a sure way to lay solid foundation for development.

He cautioned against the society’s attitude of celebrating people of questionable character as heroes.

“Unfortunately, what we have today is a situation where people of questionable wealth and character are celebrated as the heroes of the community and role models to the young ones. Any society that celebrates material acquisition without questioning the process of the acquisition is rolling down a steep slope.”

APC Endorses Governor Ikpeazu For 2nd Term

A senator of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has endorsed the PDP government of Abia State for a second term.

Senator representing Zamfara Central Senatorial District, on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator Kabir Marafa endorsed Dr Okezie IKPEAZU in Umuahia during a visit to Government House earlier today.

The outspoken APC Senator, whose party produced two governorship candidates in Abia State from parallel primaries, in the persons of Chief Ikechi Emenike and Mr. Sampson Ogah, commended Governor Ikpeazu for his achievements in Abia, and wished him well “in the remaining four and half years you have ahead of you as Governor of Abia State”.

Senator Marafa, who is also the chairman of Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, spoke at Government House in Umuahia when he led members of his committee on a courtesy call to Governor Ikpeazu, describing Abia as an emerging new Nigeria.

While endorsing Governor Ikpeazu, Senator Marafa said; “I want to rejoice with you over the development you have been able to put in place, despite the tight budget you have and the other challenges before you. On our way to the depot, I saw the wonderful job, the flyover you are constructing, I am told it is the first in Abia State. I will only say more grease to your very powerful elbows and may God see you through the remaining four and half years you have ahead of you.

“I am sincerely very proud of you and I think, more than ever before, I can now boldly call you a friend.”

The Marafa led Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream is in Abia State on oversight duties at the Osisioma pipeline explosion sites.

Political Thugs Prevent Court Sitting In Umuahia

SCORES of suspected political thugs allegedly mobilised by a faction of the APC in Abia State yesterday, disrupted activities at the State High Court sitting at Okpuala Ngwa and stopped the court from sitting.

The activities of the thugs alleged to be supporters of the Donatus Nwankpa faction of the party in the state, had arrived the court premises early in bus and were positioned by one of their leaders in strategic places in the court premises, including the two entrances through which lawyers and litigants enter the court room. They also blocked the narrow road leading to the court which is located in a remote area of Isiala Ngwa North Council headquarters, with one of the buses to prevent those in the other faction from having access to the Court. The leader who directed affairs for the thugs was overheard boasting that the court would not sit.

As instructed by their leader, the thugs who were armed with dangerous weapons, including machete, identified members of Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe-led executive committee, backed by an order of the court and stopped them from gaining access to the court and even beat some of them, including the youth leader of that faction who had his shirt torn to pieces. The situation degenerated to a level where some vehicles belonging to the Ndukwe camp were attacked and the windshield of a four- wheel Toyota Jeep belonging an official of the camp was broken. Worried by the development, one of the lawyers to Ndukwe camp approached his colleague from the Nwankpa faction to prevail on the people but his effort did not stop them. Sensing danger under the tense and chaotic atmosphere, aimed at frustrating the Court from sitting, the presiding Judge, Justice Collington Okoroafor directed the registrar of the court to take a date with the parties, who after a long argument, eventually, agreed on October 31st, 2018. The matter has been enmeshed in controversies ranging from disparaging the rulings of the court and the Judge; to transferring the case file to another court without the knowledge of the presiding judge and lawyers to Ndukwe faction, an action the Judge has since directed the Court registrar to reverse and return the file for him to hear the motions on transfer and other pending motions before him. Meanwhile, the Ndukwe faction has petitioned the State Chief Judge over the unauthorised removal of the case file which they said was a “criminal obstruction of justice, and muzzling and ridiculing of the judiciary and to pervert the course of justice in our suit”. The petition signed by Ndukwe and other officers of the party, said: “We write to strongly protest the unilateral, fraudulent removal of the case file of our suit no: HIN/4/2018 [Fabian Okonkwo and others vs All Progressives Congress and 5 others] before His Lordship HON. Justice C. U. Okoroafor without due notification, consent and approval of the presiding Judge. “This illegal action, we humbly submit, is tantamount to criminal obstruction of justice and ridiculing of the judiciary with the aim of perverting the course of justice in our suit.” “Please note that the court, by an interlocutory order on May 8, 2018, gave our executive legitimacy as authentic and legally constituted party EXCO in Abia State. Since the order was issued, several motions and counter motions which have been filed are still pending in the court, which were adjourned to October 2, 2018 for hearing.

On the said date, October 2, 2018, the court sat, called up the case and it was discovered that the case file was strangely missing. “The defendants’ penchant for disrespecting judicial orders and processes has been curious right from the outset, when they were served with the suit. They ignored it, and refused to appear in court after three adjournments. The court in its wisdom granted an interlocutory order in our favour. Only then did they bestir themselves into action, which regrettably, was to disparage the honourable court as a “kangaroo court” and instructed their supporters to ignore the order. “Thereafter, they approached the same court they maligned to set aside the order. When that ruse failed, they went to town again characterizing the refusal as “judicial rascality”. To worsen matters, the sacked state APC chairman, Donatus Nwankpa [allegedly] boasted that the matter would be wrestled from the current Judge to “a friendly Judge.

“We appeal to the commission to wade into this unacceptable development by doing a thorough investigation of the involvement of these officers of the law with a view to restoring the integrity and sanity of our judicial system in Abia State in particular and Nigeria in general. We trust in your timely intervention”.

Source: Vanguard

Abia Not Planning To Ban Tricycles-Okiyi Kalu

Abia State Government has stated that it has no plan to ban the operation of tricycles (Keke NAPEP) in the state. This was made known by the state commissioner for information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, during a chat with newsmen at Aba.

He dismissed the rumor making the rounds that with the introduction of “Abia Easy Taxi Scheme” in Umuahia the state government is planning to ban the operation of commercial tricycles in the state.

According to him, “We consider the operation of commercial tricycles an integral part of our ever improving transport system in the state and we have no plan to ban or restrict their operations to rural areas as being rumored. We believe they render essential services to a key segment of commuters in the state just like taxis and buses operating within the state also serve other different segments”.

He called on Keke operators and members of the public to ignore the rumors which according to him “must have emanated from desperate political actors in the state who are intimidated by the widely acclaimed top performance of the Ikpeazu administration and have since resorted to spreading unfounded rumors, falsehood and propaganda to pit the government against the hardworking and appreciative people of the state”.

He however appealed to the operators to conduct their businesses within the ambits of the law to ensure that criminal elements do not use their Keke to perpetuate crimes in the state.

Abia to distribute more medical equipment and supplies

Abia State Government is set to distribute medical supplies and gadgets from the United State of America worth millions of naira to healthcare facilities in the state.

The latest supplies which were shipped by a non governmental organization (NGO), Life Resources International, Inc., Arkansas, USA, and facilitated by a local NGO, Zikora Foundation, Aba, are the 4th set of medical equipment and supplies received by the State in the last 2 years.

Speaking to newsmen at the government house warehouse in Umuahia, coordinator of the medical equipment and supplies delivery project of the State Government, Dr Michael Enyinnah, described the latest delivery as containing “very wide range of medical supplies and small gadgets essential for optimal healthcare delivery in the state”.

He assured that the supplies will be distributed to secondary and primary healthcare facilities in the state. Dr Enyinnah further confirmed that the 3rd tranche of the Medical supplies from USA, which included Intensive Care materials and other equipment and supplies, were dispatched to Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, and expressed confidence that the hospital is well equipped to handle healthcare needs of patients who visit the facility.

Dr Enyinnah who applauded Governor Ikpeazu for his efforts in ensuring that the materials are received and distributed, assured that the government will monitor the use of the materials at the designated facilities to ensure that they are not diverted to private clinics.

Governor Ikpeazu Mourns Justice Kutigi

Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has described the late former Chief Justice Of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, as an impartial jurist of all times.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, Governor Ikpeazu said the late Justice Kutigi would be remembered for his “impartiality and fair minded contributions to the democratic development of the nation”.

According to Governor Ikpeazu, “the late Justice Idris as a strong advocate of Justice in Nigeria, was a shinning light, an impartial jurist and a good example for young persons who desire to build their career in the legal profession”.

While commiserating with his family, the Governor said his demise came at a point in the history of the country when men like him are needed to stabilize the country and
stressed that Justice Kutigi would not only be missed by his family and the judiciary but also by all who came across him in one way or the other.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO FREE, FAIR ELECTIONS IN 2019 – PRESIDENT BUHARI

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja assured Nigerians and international community that the forthcoming general elections in 2019 will be free and fair, saying it will usher the country into another clime of maturity, peace and unity.

President Buhari, who received Letters of Credence from four ambassadors at the State House, including the Ambassador of the Peoples’ Republic of Japan, Mr Yutaka Kikuta, said the country’s political and electoral institutions have continued to evolve in strength, skill and experience after each election.

“We are currently at the threshold of another general election and after five general elections in the country since 1999, we expect that the 2019 elections will be free and fair.

“The political system is good and if people work hard they will succeed,’’ the President said.

President Buhari also said the increase in number of political parties that will field candidates in 2019 elections indicates more democratic consciousness among Nigerians and willingness to serve the country.

Receiving Letter of Credence from the Ambassador of the Russian Federation, Alexey Shebarshin, the President noted that discussions on reviving the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, partnerships in agriculture and other bilateral interests in trade and economic development will be sustained, commending the country for always standing by Nigeria.

“We have opened discussions on the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, and we will continue,’’ President Buhari added.

The President told the Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Richardo Guerra De Araujo, that the historical ties between both countries and the shared potentials for growth will be further explored, with strong emphasis on economic and social development.

He said the number of Nigerians in Brazil already provide a strong reason for deeper and richer discussions for both countries.

Receiving the Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of United Arab Emirates, Fahad Al Taffaq, President Buhari assured him that Nigeria remains committed to strengthening the bilateral relationship that has existed between both countries for many years.

The President said the courtesies extended to Nigerians in the United Arab Emirates was commendable, assuring the envoy that his administration will continue to strengthen business and trade relations between both countries.

In his remarks, the Ambassador of Japan said his country remained grateful for Nigeria’s concern and support during the flooding that devastated the country, promising to work hard to further enhance relations in technology, agriculture and trade.

The Ambassadors of Russia, Brazil and United Arab Emirates assured the president that they will work hard to ensure improved relations in key sectors of the economy, while wishing Nigeria the best in the forthcoming elections.

Atikulated Agenda DDG Thanks Oshiomhole For Destroying APC

The Deputy Director-General of Atikulated Agenda 2019 (AA 2019), Chief Patrick Eholor has described the Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC as a patriotic Nigerian who deserve a national honours for gradually destroying the party.

Eholor in a Press Statement Eholor expressed gratitude to Oshiomhole whom he said is playing a major role in ushering in the government of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in 2019.

Eholor, who ran for Governorship in Edo State under Labour Party noted that ‘Oshiomhole is on a suicide mission ‘ since he became the party chairman.

Hear him “I want to thank my very good friend and former governor Oshiomhole for job well done. Adams Oshiomhole is a great goal getter. Did you notice that he practically hit the ground running since he became the chairman of APC? His record is unprecedented in the history political parties in Africa. First, the party’s top politicians all abandoned it. Then the primaries have polarised the party as never before. They have already lost Lagos, Imo and Zamfara governorship even before the elections. They have also lost Zamfara completely, and Ogun. Everybody is leaving the party.

Oshiomhole thinks politics is all about attacking people the way he attacked everyone in Edo State. He thought the National Assembly is Edo State House of Assembly where he instituted impunity and dictated what happened without regard for anyone or rule of law.

But God is using him to fight the battle for all of us, the battle against bad, incompetent leadership, the battle against impunity, the battle against the murder of Nigerians by terrorist herdsmen. Oshiomhole has completely destroyed the APC and more chieftains of the party will exit in no distant time.

They will all join the Atikulated train for Nigeria. In the end, even APC will be Atikulated because Atiku is the greatest force moving through Nigeria at the moment, Eholor enthused.

PETER OBI: Stop Embarrassing Igbos, Kalu Admonishes SE PDP, Govs

Leader of the frontline pro-Atiku support group, Dr Emeka Kalu has expressed disappointment with South East governors and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over their stance on the selection of Mr Peter Obi for Vice President.

Kalu in a telephone interview with our correspondent said that the position of the South East chapter of the PDP after its meeting on Saturday leaves a sour taste in the mouth as they have painted an image of a divided house among the Igbos. He described the message of Governor Umahi of Ebonyi State as a big embarrasment; “Out governors and leaders of this great party should understand that this country is not made up of Ndị Igbo alone and stop giving the world an impression that we are divided and cannot speak with one voice. How can you be given a position on a platter and all you come up with is a meeting without an endorsement of the respected gentleman?

“Our leaders should learn to connect with the grassroots so that they can speak with voice of Ndị Igbo instead of representing their selfish interests in their public comments.

“Let me state here and let the world bear me witness that Mr Peter Obi is at the moment, the best candidate for this position and my Boss, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has taken the best initiative by selecting him. As governor, Obi made Anambra State a haven and ended as the best governor in Nigeria. He did this while battling to retain his seat as governor.

“No one had been able to beat his record across the country country till date. He deserves to be the running mate by merit. He earned it.

“I stand with Ndị Igbo on the streets, the grassroots and the common man as we recognise Obi as the best candidate for Vice President. God willing, he will eventually become the second Igbo President that will continue with the legacy Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is about to build for Nigeria.

“Stop bringing shame to our name. You should be rolling out the drums and celebrating the choice of Peter Obi, our son as the next Vice President of the greatest nation in Africa”, Kalu stated.