Why I released ‘I Must Testify’ album – Gospel Singer

By Jethro lbileke

Gospel music exponent, Prophet Samuel Ikechukwu, has revealed the reason behind his latest album ‘I Must Testify.’

The Abuja-based founder and Prophet of Shiloh Word Chapel, made the revelation while briefing entertainment writers on events lined up for the launching of the album.

The talented multi-instrumentalist said contrary to the traditional gospel songs about his birth, Jesus Christ specifically instructed him to sing about his victory over death and to honor his resurrection.

“Jesus showed up to me 3rd January, 2020, and said ‘my son, Samuel, sing this to honor my resurrection. Worldwide, men do not sing about my victory over death they only sing of my birth over 2000 years.

“If you do, I will glorify the song and lift you high in love to shine brighter,” he said.

Hit tracks include Jesus is alive.

The prolific song writer and composer said the album launch which is scheduled for 3rd April, 2020, at Silverbird Cinema Galleria Hall, Abuja, by 4pm, will herald another new phase of the gospel ministry.

Ikechukwu also said he has authored over 39 life-changing books.

Enugu State witnesses poor but peaceful turn-out at LG elections

Enugu LG Polls: Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State votes at his Amube Ward II Polling Unit, Ohom Orba, Udenu LGA

The turnout for the local government elections in many parts of Enugu State was generally low, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

NAN correspondents who monitored the elections in the state on Saturday reports that there was voter apathy in the wards visited as very few voters were seen at the various polling units.

NAN reports that as at 9.30 a.m., accreditation had yet to start in most polling units in Enugu East, North and South, Igboeze North and Nsukka Local Government Areas.

However, accreditation and voting started simultaneously at about 9: 47a.m. at Maryland Ward 13, polling units 1, 2, 3 and 10 in Enugu South council area.

As at the time of filing this report, voting had yet to start in any of the polling units in Enugu North Local Government Area.

Officials of the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) were still at the headquarters of Enugu North Local Government to take delivery of election materials.

Meanwhile, the turnout for the election in most of the polling units is generally low as most residents were going about their businesses.

The chairmanship candidate of African Peoples Alliance (APA) in Enugu South, Chukwunonso Ogbe, described the conduct of voters as `peaceful’.

Mr Ogbe, however, decried the attitude of the electoral officers whom he said were forcing the electorate to vote in their presence.

The chairmanship candidate said the people needed to be given the latitude to vote according to their conscience without inhibitions.

NAN correspondent in Enugu South observed that as at 9: 00 a.m. material were yet to leave the local government headquarters to the polling units for the council election.

A collation officer at Achara Layout, Romanus Odili, decried the delay, but urged them to remain calm as the materials would soon arrive.

“The late arrival of material is what is delaying the distribution and commencement of the election,” he said.

Felicia Chime and Godwin Agu, who were at the Igbariam Primary School ward 7 for the exercise, expressed disappointment at the poor preparation by ENSIEC.

“We don’t understand why materials have not arrived as at 9 a.m. for a local government election,” they said.

The election started at Abakpa Nike in Enugu East local government by 10 am with low turnout of voters.

NAN reports that there was heavy security personnel in all the centres visited as voting was going on peacefully.

A party agent of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) in Abakpa two Ward 16, Christopher Ugwu, expressed satisfaction with the election process.

”This election is moving on well but the materials arrived very late.

”Despite the late commencement, voting is still peaceful and orderly but I am not happy with the turnout.

Chigozie Oguegbu, the All Progressive Party (APC) agent at the Tipper Park polling unit in Abakpa two, also expressed dismay over voters’ turnout.

“In this polling Abakpa two ward 17, we have 10 polling units and in Ngwo Park centre we have 11 polling units.

” This is still the best election so far in the state as at this morning, unless things will change at the long run,” Mr Oguegbu said.

It was a similar story in Nsukka, as materials arrived late in most polling units visited.

An official of ENSIEC in Nsukka, who pleaded anonymity, blamed the delay to logistics.

Fabian Onah, the PDP Chairman in Nsukka LGA, expressed satisfaction with the distribution and movement of election materials to the wards.

Mr Onah urged ENSIEC and security agencies to ensure that the election was free, fair and violence-free.

Also speaking, Joseph Ugwuoke, the APC Chairman in Nsukka LGA, said he had no problem with the process so far unless what would happen later in the day.

NAN reports that the distribution and movement of election materials were done under tight security provided by the police, Department of State Security and other security agencies.

At Ajuona ward 2 in IgboEze South LGA, voting commenced at about 10 a.m.

The member representing Nsukka/ Igboeze south federal constituency, Patrick Asadu, cast his vote at about 10: 40 a.m.

Mr Asadu said that Enugu was known for its peaceful nature adding that what they did in the state was to encourage dividend of democracy mostly at the grassroots.

He said that PDP had worked so hard to win this council election as they were the only party that campaigned for the election.


Chinese hospitals discharge 36,117 recovered patients of coronavirus infection

A total of 36,117 patients infected with the novel coronavirus had been discharged from hospital after recovery by the end of Thursday, Chinese health authority said Friday.

Thursday saw 3,622 people walk out of hospital after recovery, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.

By the end of Thursday, a total of 78,824 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions on Chinese mainland, and 2,788 people had died of the disease.

IGR: How Abia hit N1bn mark in January, paid new minimum wage — Aham Uko

Dr Aham Uko, Honourable Commissioner for Finance, Abia State

Abia State has met her target of hitting the N1bn mark in her internally generated revenue drive for the month of January 2020 thereby significantly raising her revenue profile while also paying the new minimum wage agreed by the Federal Government and Labour to its civil servants without any rancour or hesitation.

This much was stated by the State’s Commissioner for Finance, Dr Aham Uko, during a radio program monitored in Umuahia the Abia State capital on Wednesday.

Dr Uko stated that Abia State pays the highest wage per worker in the entire southeast region and praised the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, for approving a wage structure that pays the lowest wage earner in Abia above the approved N30,000 minimum wage.

According to him, Dr Ikpeazu has shown enormous commitment to the welfare of the workers and parastatals in the state by approving commencement of payment of the new minimum wage to civil servants in the state and regular payment of subventions to affected parastatals.

“We have been able to achieve these targets, and to sustain them, we are doing everything possible to ensure that the new improved workers’ wages in the state are paid promptly by pursuing an aggressive revenue drive strategy that ensures government is not stranded and is never found wanting in the discharge of its responsibilities to its citizens.

“For us as a State, what we are doing is to ensure we bring in a lot more people into the tax net; it is not by having multiple taxations. No! We are also ensuring that those that withdraw PAYE (from their workers) remit the taxes to the State’s Board of Internal Revenue. We are going to be very aggressive in the collection of taxes because it is part of the citizens’ responsibilities to the state to pay their taxes just as government is obligated to use the taxes so collected to provide infrastructure and other amenities for the people”, he said.

To plug leakages, Dr Aham Uko stated that the state government is introducing automation in the collection of flying revenues and generally reform the mode of collection. “Our internally generated revenue has since gone past the usual N650m – N700m monthly threshold. We did N1bn in January, and our target is to ensure that by June/July, we must do N1.5bn and take it up to N2bn by December or early next year.

“I am very much aware that we need this revenue to repair our facilities and to build our infrastructure. We are going to do a lot more because the opportunities are there for us to do a lot more. If we increase the consciousness of the people, and with the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, taking very bold steps across board to ensure that we join the league of the big states in terms of internally generated revenue, Abia will remain highly competitive and viable”, he concluded.

Women boil used sanitary pads to get high – NDLEA

Investigation has proved that some women in Gombe State boil used sanitary pads and drink it to get high.

Gombe State command of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, disclosed this during a sensitization program in Bajoga area of the state.

The commander in charge of the Funakaye command of the agency, Muhammad Alkali, said the sensitisation campaign was to enlighten the people on the fight against illicit drugs abuse.

Lamenting, Alkali urged the society to help the agency in the fight against the use of illicit drugs.

She said “It has come to our notice that mostly female addicts have devised means of getting high without consuming constitutionally known substances.”

“Nowadays, they now boil used sanitary pads mixed with other substance mostly waste then filter the water before drinking.

“This is very bad for humans, our society really needs the help of all and sundry in this fight as NDLEA cannot do it alone,” Alkali lamented.

Embalo sworn in as Guinea-Bissau president, election remains in dispute

Guinea-Bissau’s outgoing president handed over power on Thursday to the declared winner of December’s election, former army general Umaro Cissoko Embalo, even as the Supreme Court considered a new request by the runner-up to annul the vote.

The electoral commission has repeatedly confirmed Embalo as the winner of the Dec. 29 run-off despite complaints by the Supreme Court that the commission has not respected its orders to conduct a full audit of the vote.

Runner-up Domingos Simoes Pereira, whose PAIGC party holds the most seats in parliament, filed a fresh complaint on Wednesday, asking the court to order a re-vote because of what he says were widespread irregularities.

It is not clear when the court will rule.

The bitterly disputed result suggests that, whatever the final outcome, the election is unlikely to end the institutional chaos of the past five years, during which President Jose Mario Vaz cycled through seven different prime ministers while in a protracted dispute with the PAIGC.

Vaz, who was eliminated in the election’s first round in November, attended Thursday’s swearing-in at a hotel reception hall in the capital, Bissau.

So did high-ranking officials from the military, which has launched nine coups or attempted coups since independence from Portugal in 1974.

But many senior dignitaries, including the parliament speaker, Supreme Court judges and most foreign diplomats in Bissau, stayed away. While many foreign governments congratulated Embalo when he was first declared the winner, they have mostly kept silent about the subsequent legal wrangling.

In his inaugural speech, Embalo did not mention the electoral dispute as he vowed to tackle widespread poverty in a country dependent on a main export, cashew nuts, for which prices are volatile.

“The record of 46 years of independence is characterized by the total collapse of the dreams of our ancestors,” he said, wearing a sash with the red, yellow and green of the national flag.

The current generation of leaders “will work to have a better health and education system and to pull the country from the slump in which it is mired”, Embalo added.

Pereira, meanwhile, continued to decry on Twitter what he says is an electoral coup and hailed support he has received from party allies in the government and parliament.

“The national assembly, prime minister, government, political parties and legalists are united to prevent the anti-democratic threat (from) the competing candidate’s group,” he said.

(Reporting by Alberto Dabo; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Anti-Congo regime protesters set fires in Paris

Paris police arrested dozens of protesters on Friday who burnt scooters and bins outside a concert venue hosting a Congolese singer they accuse of giving a voice to the Kinshasa regime.

The nearby Gare de Lyon train station was partially evacuated during the chaos and police warned Parisians to stay away as a thick, black column of smoke billowed over the city centre.

Authorities had banned protests around the concert by singer Fally Ipupa at the AccorHotels Arena in the capital but dozens turned out in anger nevertheless, facing off with the artist’s fans and trading insults.

“With their music, they (the Congolese government) are bringing an entire people to their side while they slaughter and rape women and children,” opponent Willy Dendebe told AFP at the scene.

“I have been here (in France) for 30 years because of them! Thirty years and we let them be here in France as if nothing has happened. So yes, we are angry!”

Police said 30 people were arrested and 54 fined for participating in a banned protest, while train traffic was severely disrupted.

On Twitter, Paris police denounced the “unacceptable violence” and posted a video of what it said was “scandalous behaviour” by protesters shown wielding large roadworks barriers to prevent firefighters from getting to the flames.

Outside the station, AFP witnessed a dozen firetrucks at work amid the smouldering wrecks of about 30 vehicles, mainly scooters.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner condemned the violence and damage caused in the area, while National Assembly member Eric Ciotti described the events as an “unacceptable urban riot”.

Far-right National Rally leader Marine Le Pen called the demonstrators “scum” on Twitter and asked: “What image does our country give to the world?

– ‘It’s a shame’ –
Congolese expats regularly speak out against artists from home who perform in France or Belgium, accusing them of being close to former DR Congo president Joseph Kabila and his successor Felix Tshisekedi.

Tshisekedi took office in January 2019, succeeding President Joseph Kabila, who stepped down after 18 iron-fisted years at the helm. Many see Tshisekedi as an extension of his predecessor.

Last month, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the Congolese army and other state agents committed rights violations in the conflict-wracked central African country.

Just days earlier, Amnesty International delivered a damning assessment of Tshisekedi’s government, saying “insecurity and impunity continue to threaten human rights progress” in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lwangi Bienvenu, an Ipupa fan who travelled from Belgium for the concert, observed the chaos from his hotel near the Gare de Lyon.

“It’s a shame. He’s Congolese, we should all be behind him,” Bienvenu said of the singer.

“People will talk about the bad inside us. They put people in danger and they will now surely cancel the concert.”

Paris has had its share of violent demonstrations in recent months with protesters ranging from the anti-government “yellow vests” movement to workers striking against pension reform setting fire to public property and smashing store windows during several marches, and clashing with police.

PHOTOS: You are champions, Ikpeazu tells schools at Abia School Sports festival

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has flagged-off the Abia State School Sports Festival 2020 and 1st Edition of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu Table Tennis School Championship Cup.

Speaking while flagging-off the event organized by the State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and tagged “Catching Them Young” at Osusu Amaukwa Model Primary School, Obingwa Local Government Area, the Governor congratulated the Ministry of Youth & Sports Development for collaborating with other like Ministries in organising the festival. He stated that all participants at the festival are champions regardless of whether they lose or win and assured that his administration will hold the event regularly to ensure that Abia School children maintain healthy bodies in their award winning healthy minds.

Governor Ikpeazu said that Abia State was known for various sporting activities before shifting and concentrating on soccer. He disclosed that the essence of the festival was to re-write the narratives, return the glory of yesteryears and ensure that pulpils and students begin from the cradle to learn different sporting activities.

The State chief executive who revealed that his administration spent 1.5 million Euros in re-constructing the turf of Enyimba international stadium said the State has invested much in sports and highlighted the importance of sports to everyone including the young ones.

The representative of the Minister of Sports, Dr. Ademola Are, described the event by the Abia State government as laudable and stressed the need for more awareness about sports development.

He said the federal government attaches great importance to grassroots sports, stressing that the importance of sports in the general development of the nation cannot be over-emphasized and expressed his regrets at the decline of sporting activities in the country. The Federal Minister went ahead to appreciate the developmental projects of Abia State under the leadership of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu

Earlier, the Commissioner for Youth & Sports Development, Chief Emeka Ikwuagwu, said that the festival was instituted in line with the Governor’s mandate of reviving sporting activities in the state. He disclosed that the festival which has 800 public and private schools in the State as participants and categorized into males and females, would expose pulpils and students to 18 different sporting activities.

Chief Ikwuagwu said the event which is the biggest sporting activity ever done in the State could be described as a mega inter-house sports. He revealed that talents of various sporting fields would be fished out from the event for further development and informed that the event would be an annual one.

The event which saw the Governor playing table tennis also featured
march past of pulpils and students from various schools as well as unveiling of the the competition logo by the Governor.

Ibadan electricity consumers reject tariff increase

Several electricity consumers in Oyo State have rejected the proposed increase in tariff of power supply being prepared by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.

After the distribution company had sent its application for upward review of tariff to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, the body then invited electricity consumers in Ibadan to a public hearing at Jogor Centre, Ibadan where IBEDC presented reasons for possible review of the tariff.

The Chairman of the panel of NERC, Commissioner Musiliu Olalekan Oseni had hardly finished his welcome address when consumers started presenting their complaints about lackluster performance of IBEDC in the distribution of energy.

Almost all the statistics churned out by IBEDC through Mr Deolu Ijose were faulted by the consumers.

Though, IBEDC listed its myriad of problems why it could not meet the electricity demands of the people, its claim that unless the tariff was increased, the distribution company would not be able to perform as expected, was rubbished by the consumers.

Part of the problems which Mr Ijose highlighted inclBank the purchase of energy which was pegged at N9.7 since 2015; loss of N38.9bn in 2019; need to repay loan borrowed from the Central Bank of Nigeria; shortfall in collection of tariff running into N81bn and stealing of energy among others.

He proposed that a new tariff of over N31 would be charged.

Reacting to the proposal, Mr Ololade Hamzat Adebimpe from Oyo Parapo argued there was no need for tariff increase but that the IBEDC should ensure supply of prepaid meter and block all loopholes through which some of its staff plunder the funds meant for the company.

Other speakers like Abiodun Bamigboye, a human right activist, Adebayo Adegbite, from Initiative for Sustainable Infrastructure Development; and Alhaji Yusuf Adebayo from Monatan all concluded that there was no need for tariff increase.

In Memoriam

The entire Ofoelue Family remember you today, Papa.