All posts by Jungle Journalist

Incurable OPTIMIST; unrepentant Africanist, highpriest of metaphysics, teacher, writer, journalist, biographer.

NIGERIA AT 60; UNITY AND FAITH; PEACE AND PROGRESS AND GOVERNOR UGWUANYI’S ROLE IN FOSTERING ALL-INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE IN ENUGU STATE

By RT. HON. CHIMA OBIEZE

The history of Nigeria can be traced to settlers trading across the middle East and Africa as early as 1100 BC. Numerous ancient African civilizations settled in the region that is known today as Nigeria, such as the Kingdom of Nri , the Benin Empire, the Oyo Empire and the Borno Empire.

Archaeological research, pioneered by Charles Thurstan Shaw has shown that people were already living in south-eastern Nigeria (specifically Igbo Ukwu , Nsukka, Afikpo and Ugwuele) 100,000 years ago. Excavations in Ugwuele, Afikpo and Nsukka show evidence of long habitations as early as 6,000 BC. However, by the 9th Century AD, it seemed clear that the Igbos had settled in Igboland.

In 1851, Lagos was invaded by British forces and formally annexed in 1865. Nigeria became a British protectorate in 1901; the Northern and Southern Protectorate were almagamated in 1914 and Nigeria colonization lasted until 1960, when an independence movement succeeded in gaining her independence as there were various resistance to colonial rule and struggle for independence such as the likes of Oba Ovonramwen of Benin Kingdom to King Jaja of Opobo, to King Kosoko of Lagos, all through the early 20th century with the protests over water tax in Lagos led by Oba Eshugbayi Eleko (1908), the nationalist press in Lagos, Aba Women’s Riots (1929), Abeokuta Women’s Revolt (1946), the Enugu Coal Miners’ Strike (1949), the cultural protests by the likes of Hubert Ogunde, the nationalism of Herbert Macaulay and others including Labour Union leader Michael Imoudu, all leading to the various conferences, 1953 -1957.

On the 1st day of October, 1960, Nigeria regained her independence from Britain, amidst pump and pageantry. Nigerians from all works of life took to the streets, to public and personal houses to celebrate this momentous occasion and epoch making event. It was on a Saturday, Nigerians gathered at the Race Course (now Tafawa Balewa Square) in Lagos as Princess Alexandra, the representative of Her Majesty the Queen of England handed over the instruments and symbols of independence to Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa. It was 12.01am as the Nigerian flag of green white green was hoisted. We celebrate and honour our founding fathers who fought tirelessly for our Independence. Most notably are the three Titans(Nnamdi Azikiwe; Tafawa Balewa and Obafemi Awolowo).

Sixty years after, the time for stock-taking by all stakeholders in the Nigeria Project is finally here and starring us directly in the face. We must now gather to appraise our journey so far, reflect on the paths taken or not taken, mistakes made, lessons learnt; and debate future trajectories. This article is therefore to interrogate these numerous challenges, their nature and character and what they portend for our nation building efforts as well as finding solutions to the Nigeria State. Nigeria is populated by three major ethnic groups and over 250 others with an estimated 5,000 subgroups. Nigeria was birthed in mutual suspicion and nurtured in political rivalry built on religious, ethnic and sectional sentiments as the three Titans(Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa and Obafemi Awolowo) in as much as we celebrate their efforts and struggles towards independence, they clearly played the ethnic and sectional card to the extent of forming tribal and sectional political parties as Nnamdi Azikiwe was a leader of NCNC that dominated the Eastern Region, Tafawa Balewa was a Leader of NPC(Northern People’s Congress and Obafemi Awolowo was a Leader of AG(Action Group- mainly Yoruba). Several questions are still being fervently asked about Nigeria, the most prominent being its continued existence in the current form. Some want the country balkanised. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) wants the Igbo to exit the Nigerian “zoo”. There is a clamour for Oduduwa Republic by those who say the Yoruba need to be rescued from the “shackles” of the federation. The Niger Delta region, where the oil money comes from, has been fighting for “resource control” and some of its groups want out of the federation. It would appear only the Core North is not intensely agitating against the union, at least for now.

In Nigeria today, several issues are currently mind-troubling such as Tribalism, Nepotism, Insecurity, Corruption, Criminality (armed robbery, banditary, kidnapping, cyber crimes and extortions); Economy hardship, Infrastructural decay and total System Failure. These issues are facing us like a fully loaded double barrel gun ready to annihilate us. Many years after the civil war, where the then Head of State- Gen. Gowon declared No Victor, No Vanquished; there is still a cold civil war going on today in Nigeria even worse than the 1967 – 1970 war as Nepotism, Segregation, Gross Marginalization and Sectional Favouritism is still the order of the day. Therefore; I, Chima Emmanuel Obieze, want to clearly say that in the true spirit of Sportsmanship, Equity, Fairness, Justice and all Inclusiveness, it’s time for an Igbo President to emerge in this Nation Nigeria.

To this end, as we celebrate our Diamond Jubilee as a Nation, we must hunker down and search for lasting solutions placing all cards on the table such as Regionalism, Balkanisation/Separation into different Nations or if we have to stay as a Nation, we must depart from the divisive, ethnic, religious, bitter politics and we must face the future by pursuing the right politics that will build a nation where justice and equity shall reign. This is because, our obsession with replicating and propagating the bitter mindsets of over 60 years ago will continue to obstruct our progress. We will keep moving from one crisis to another. We will never be able to face the right direction. Nigeria desperately needs new founding fathers and mothers: leaders who will promote nation-building, peace and progress — not to keep reviving and propagating the destructive colonial-era rivalries.
We have choices before us: to continue fanning the embers of disunity and unhealthy battle for supremacy or to chart a new course, knowing fully that no nation develops by accident. It is a shame that we are busy discussing 1914 while development-minded nations are discussing 2080. The vast majority of Nigerians — northerners and southerners, Muslims and Christians — still wallow in abject poverty, lacking access to the basic amenities that sustain life: health care, education, water, sanitation, security, roads and power. Shouldn’t this inflame our passion more than “religion, tribe and tongue”? We desperately need a new mindset.

Bringing the Independence Celebrations back home to Enugu State, we can draw one or two lessons from the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s led adminstration. The Governor runs a Unified, all Inclusive, Equity, Justice and Fairness and Peaceful System irrespective of your Dialect, Tribe, Zone and Political affiliations. This is revealed in his Rural development Initiative where he ensure that every local governmentin Enugu Experiences even development. These factors has enabled Social-Economic-Political Growth and Excellent Developmental Strides across Enugu State. All Communities, Local Governments and various Zones are enjoying Security and Peace and are developing at the same time as developments are evenly spread. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is not only ensuring massive development across Enugu State, he is also developing and investing in the people through Human Capital Development. Today young & brilliant But indigent Enugu sons & daughters now enjoy scholarships from the State up to their masters programs even outside the shores of Nigeria. For the first time Law School Students now recieve bursary awards. This is the first of its kind in Enugu State. Various Youth bodies have successfully organised empowerment/skill acquisition programs for their members under the sponsorship of Gov Ugwuanyi. We need leaders like Governor Ugwuanyi in this Nation Nigeria who are Self-less, Intelligent, Smart, Hardworking, Compassionate with a Beautiful mind putting the interest of the people first as utmost priority.

Enough said as we commemorate Nigeria at 60. I strongly believe it’s time for sober reflections. This Nation belongs to us all and we clearly have no other Nation to call our own. To this end, we must come together as one and all hands have to be on deck to restore the Greatness and Giant-ness of this Nation Nigeria.

Let there be indeed Unity and Faith; Peace and Progress!

Yours in Service

Rt. Hon. Chima Emmanuel Obieze;

Member Representing Ezeagu Constituency at the Enugu State House of Assembly.

NIGERIA@60: Buhari’s Full Speech

INDEPENDENCE DAY ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF NIGERIA’S SIXTIETH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY, THURSDAY
1ST OCTOBER 2020

Fellow Nigerians,

I speak to you today as your President and fellow citizen on this epoch occasion of our country’s 60th independence Anniversary. As President, I wish to renew my appreciation to Nigerians for entrusting me with your hopes and aspirations for a better and greater Nigeria.

2. Today, it is my unique privilege to re-commit myself to the service of this great country of great people with profound diversities and opportunities. We are bound by destiny to be the largest and greatest black nation on earth.

3. At this stage in our nationhood it is important that we reflect how we got here to enable us work TOGETHER to get to where we aspire to be as a strong indivisible nation, united in hope and equal in opportunity.

4. On October 1st 1960 when Prime Minister Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa received the constitutional instruments symbolizing Nigeria’s independence, he expressed his wish that having acquired our rightful status as an independent sovereign nation, history would record that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace.

5. This optimism was anchored on the peaceful planning, full and open consultation and harmonious cooperation with the different groups which culminated in Nigeria emerging as a country without bitterness and bloodshed.

6. Our founding fathers understood the imperative of structuring a National identity using the power of the state and worked towards unification of Nigerians in a politically stable and viable entity.

7. That philosophy guided the foundation that was laid for our young nation of 45 million people with an urban population of approximately 7million occupying an area of 910,768 square kilometers. These demographics led to development challenges for which major efforts were made to overcome.

8. Today, we grapple with multiple challenges with a population exceeding 200million occupying the same land mass but 52% residing in urban areas.

9. Sixty years of nationhood provides an opportunity to ask ourselves questions on the extent to which we have sustained the aspirations of our founding fathers. Where did we do the right things? Are we on course? If not where did we stray and how can we remedy and retrace our steps?

10. Upon attaining independence, Nigeria’s growth trajectory was anchored on policies and programmes that positively impacted on all sectors of the economy. However, this journey was cut short by the 30-months of civil war.

11. We came out of the civil war with a focus on reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation that enabled the country to put in place world class development structures and a strengthened public service that well served the government. This positive trajectory continued with a return to democratic government which was truncated by another round of military rule.

12. For a cumulative 29 of our 60 years existence as a nation, we have been under military rule.

13. My summary of our journey so far as a nation is necessary to appropriately chart where we need to go and how to get there TOGETHER.

14. Today, I am aware that our economy along with every single economy in the world is in crisis. We still face security challenges in parts of the country, while our society suffers from a high loss of moral rectitude which is driven by unbridled craving for political control.

15. An underlying cause of most of the problems we have faced as a nation is our consistent harping on artificially contrived fault-lines that we have harboured and allowed unnecessarily to fester.

16. In addition, institutions such as civil service, police, the judiciary, the military all suffered from a general decline.

17. We need to begin a sincere process of national healing and this anniversary presents a genuine opportunity to eliminate old and outworn perceptions that are always put to test in the lie they always are.

18. The stereotype of thinking of ourselves as coming from one part of the country before seeing ourselves as Nigerians is a key starting point to project us on the road to our deserved nation’s evolution and integration.

19. To start this healing process, we are already blessed with the most important asset any nation requires for such – OUR PEOPLE – and this has manifested globally in the exploits of Nigerians in many fields.

20. It has been demonstrated time and time again that Nigerians in the diaspora frequently excel in science, technology, medicine, sports, arts and many other fields.

21. Similarly, the creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Nigerian at home have resulted in globally recognized endeavours.

22. I am convinced that if we pursue our aspirations TOGETHER we would be able to achieve whatever we desire. That informed our adopting the theme TOGETHER to mark this epochal event.

23. Together we can change our condition for the better and more importantly, together we can do much more for ourselves and for our country.

24. I chose the path of self-reflection because this is what I do on a daily basis and I must confess that at most times, I always felt the need for a collective reflection as I know that the foundation for a solid future which this administration is laying can only be sustainable if there is a collective commitment by Nigerians.

25. Nigeria is not a country for Mr. President, any ruling or opposition party but a country for all of us and we must play our part, irrespective of challenges we face, to make this country what we desire.

26. To achieve this, we must focus our minds, TOGETHER as a people, on ways of resolving the identified critical challenges that underlie our present state. These include:
a. Evolving and sustaining a democratic culture that leaves power in the hands of the people;
b. Supporting the enthronement of the rule of law, demanding accountability of elected representatives and contributing to good governance;
c. Increasing our commitment to peaceful co-existence in a peaceful, secure and united Nigeria;
d. Harnessing and Optimizing our tremendous human and natural resources to attain our goal of being in the top twenty economies of the world and in the process;
e. Lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years;
f. Strengthening institutions to make them stronger in protecting National Interests; and
g. Imbibing tolerance in diversity.

27. I am a firm believer in transparent, free, fair and credible elections as has been demonstrated during my period as a democratically elected President.

28. The recent build-up and eventual outcome of the Edo State elections should encourage Nigerians that it is my commitment to bequeath to this country processes and procedures that would guarantee that the people’s votes count.

29. The problems with our electoral process are mainly human induced as desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office.

30. Democracy, the world over and as I am pursuing in Nigeria, recognizes the power of the people. However, if some constituencies choose to bargain off their power, they should be prepared for denial of their rights.

31. This call is made more urgent if we realise that even after a transparent, free, fair and credible election, desperation leads to compromising the judiciary to upturn legitimate decisions of the people.

32. It is necessary to, therefore support the enthronement of the rule of law by avoiding actions which compromise the judiciary.

33. Fellow Nigerians, our history has shown that we are a people that have the capacity to live peacefully with one another.

34. As a government, we remain committed to our constitutional oath of securing the lives and properties of the citizenry. I, however, call on the citizenry to also support government by providing the necessary community level intelligence in addressing these challenges.

35. In moving forward together, it is important to strengthen our economy to provide sustainable means of livelihood for as many Nigerians as possible so as to eradicate absolute poverty from our midst.

36. I want to re-emphasize my dedication and commitment, a dedication and commitment that propelled my public service career and informed my quest to continually seek for an opportunity to improve the lives of Nigerians, set the country on the path of prosperity and lead the country to a better future.

37. This administration has been focused on rebuilding and laying the foundations for a sustainable Nigeria. Of course, we have met and are still meeting the challenges inherent in any rebuilding initiative – more so that of a nation like Nigeria that has undergone avoidable levels of deprivation – but can be surmounted if we all work together.

38. I wish to re-iterate that our people and our spirit of excellence remains our most important asset.

39. In this wise, the need to return to our age-old ethical and high moral values would be necessary and this informed my launching of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy on Monday 28th September, 2020.

40. The policy would not implement itself and the first contact of the visibility of its implementation is the Public Service whose on-going reforms would be expected to be sustainable and give a radical re-direction in providing services to all Nigerians.

41. Fellow Nigerians, in addition to public health challenges of working to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, we have suffered a significant drop in our foreign exchange earnings and internal revenues due to 40 per cent drop in oil prices and steep drop in economic activities, leading to a 60 per cent drop in government revenue.

42. Our government is grappling with the dual challenge of saving lives and livelihoods in face of drastically reduced resources.

43. In this regard, sustaining the level of petroleum prices is no longer possible. The government, since coming into office has recognized the economic argument for adjusting the price of petroleum. But the social argument about the knock-on effect of any adjustment weighed heavily with the government.

44. Accordingly, in the last three years, we have introduced unprecedented measures in support of the economy and to the weakest members of our society in the shape of:
a. Tradermoni
b. Farmermoni
c. School Feeding Programme
d. Job creation efforts
e. Agricultural intervention programmes

45. No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources. We have managed to keep things going in spite of the disproportionate spending on security. Those in the previous Governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticize our efforts.

46. In the circumstances, a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions.

47. Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted. We sell now at N161 per litre. A comparison with our neighbours will illustrate the point;

a. Chad which is an oil producing country charges N362 per litre
b. Niger, also an oil producing country sells 1 litre at N346.
c. In Ghana, another oil producing country, petroleum pump price is N326 per litre.

48. Further afield, Egypt charges N211 per litre. Saudi Arabia charges N168 per litre. It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.

49. Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.

50. Fellow Nigerians, let us collectively resolve to continue our journey beyond the sixty years on the clear understanding that as a nation we are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities. By the special grace of God we shall come through any transient challenges.

51. It is my sincere hope that by the end of this anniversary on September 30th 2021, we will all be proud of taking this individual and collective self-assessment for the progress of our great Nation.

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

God Bless us all. Thank you.

Queen Of England Congratulates Nigeria On 60th Independence Anniversary

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of England, has sent a message of felicitation to President Muhammadu Buhari on the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, October 1, 2020.

The message, conveyed by the British High Commission in Nigeria, goes thus:

“It gives me great pleasure to offer my warmest congratulations on the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence, together with my best wishes for your country’s continued happiness and prosperity.

“The United Kingdom and Nigeria benefit from strong and enduring ties as Commonwealth partners through shared history and most importantly, our people. These are bonds that I hope and believe will flourish long into the future.”

Nigeria got her independence from Great Britain on October 1, 1960.

The Promise of Independence, By Taiwo Odukoya

I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing – Genesis 12:2

There are many ways in which Nigeria is a miracle.

With the unique distinction of being the most populous black nation on earth, she is a confederation of cultures and languages, religions and dreams; a country that has survived colonialism and a civil war, draconian dictatorships and doomsday predictions and one, which in spite of her deep-seated challenges, has contributed so much to the African continent and to the world. She is a country still full of promise 60 years since she wrested herself from colonial rule.

The truth is, nations are products of promises, conceived by the collective desire to build systems and structures that guarantee the fulfilment of individual potential. Former US president Barack Obama captured it quite well when speaking of the promise of the American nation. “Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation – not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago,” he said.

The promise of Nigeria, in many ways, is what has kept us together and driven us forward against all odds. Fraught with difficulties as our journey has been, we are grateful to God that we are still here, still with hope, working to build the country of our dreams. Congratulations, Nigeria! Happy Independence Day! But as we celebrate, we must also reflect.

The psalmist reminds us to “number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Moments like this afford us a chance for introspection, to celebrate and strengthen what is good, and also to face up to our mistakes, learn from them and course correct.

Many may argue, with good reason, that Nigeria has hardly lived up to its potential. Like the biblical children of Israel, we have circled the same mountains for too long.

A recent survey by the United States Institute for Peace on how the state of insecurity in the country is affecting the government’s coronavirus response shows that roughly six in 10 respondents across several states have experienced insecurity or violence in the last 12 months. Sixty years after independence, it is most unfortunate that Nigerians still do not feel safe within their own borders.

In 1987, violence erupted in the College of Education, Kafanchan in Kaduna State, where Christians were attacked by Muslims over an alleged misrepresentation and interpretation of the Quran.

Hundreds of people were killed. In 2020, in the southern part of Kaduna, violent attacks and conflict have again left scores dead and many families bereaved, a perennial cycle of violence that has claimed thousands of lives since 1980.

Boko Haram, armed bandits, kidnappers and suspected Fulani herdsmen continue to be on the rampage, wreaking havoc, across the northern part of the country, with incursions in the southern part.

The question is: What have we done to genuinely stem this ugly tide? What have we learnt from our mistakes?

This despondent state of affairs has further widened the chasm of mistrust between the leadership and the people. The Bible tells us that hope deferred makes the heart sick, which is why a promise, in the context of nationhood, cannot go unrealised in perpetuity without irreparable repercussions.

There is an urgency to get things right; we can no longer afford to ignore or overlook the problems that seek to tear us apart. We, therefore, make a desperate call to leaders in every strata of society, particularly those at the helm of affairs, to fix Nigeria. And the time to do it is now. As we bask in the euphoria of patriotism that attends the Independence Day celebrations, let us remember that the greatest act of patriotism we can demonstrate is to serve, within the purview of our respective offices, with competence and integrity, with a renewed determination to leave no one behind, ethnicity or religion regardless.

The words of Franklin D. Roosevelt continue to ring true: “In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people.”

As a country, we can go up. We have the potential to. One of the greatest tragedies of human existence will be for Nigeria to fail. We cannot let that happen. No, not on our watch! As Tafawa Balewa, speaking at Nigeria’s independence ceremony exactly 60 years ago, said, “I promise you, we shall not fail for want of determination.”

We look forward to many more years of celebration, together, stronger and more prosperous, each one playing his or her part.
Nigeria has a great future. Please let it be!

Taiwo Odukoya is the senior pastor of The Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos.

Governor Ikpeazu receives report on post covid-19 economic recovery plan, promises full implementation

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has assured that the content of the report of the Abia State post Covid-19 recovery Committee will form the key pedestal upon which Abia will launch into a new economic world.

Governor Ikpeazu who said this while receiving the report of the committee headed by Elder statesman, Professor Anya O. Anya, at his his Umuobiakwa country home, restated his vision and commitment towards launching Abia into a new economic order that will be self sustaining.

The Governor thanked Professor Anya O. Anya for his level of commitment to the development of the state and noted that the greatest of the state remains the ingenuity of Ndi Abia.

He recalled the role played by tailors in Aba in the mass production of locally made facemasks as their own way of supporting the government in containing the Covid-19 pandemic, and promised that a convocation of Abia elites will take place to chart the best way of implementing the report to its fullest.

Governor Ikpeazu equally restated commitment to repositioning the state civil service as an enabler for greater productivity, adding that he only wants to be remembered by the quality of infrastructure put in place and not just the number of roads built during his time.

He noted that Abia as of today remains the only State providing health care services to Abians leveraging the Tele-Health Initiative, adding that the performance of Abia children in national examinations also speak volume of his huge investment in the education sector, especially with retraining of teachers and provision of critical school infrastructure.

Speaking while presenting the report, chairman of the committee, Professor Anya O. Anya stressed the need for Abia to embrace the opportunities provided by the Covid-19 pandemic and leverage on the areas where the state has comparative advantage.

Professor Anya while noting that Abia has produced many great leaders in history, said that the performance of Abia children in national examinations is a confirmation that the state has all it takes to challenge the world in the competitive global arena.

The former University Don and national award winner equally called on Government to invest in human capacity and capability development so as to be able to fit into the challenges and innovations of the 21st century.

He called for a system where the pursuit of excellence, truth, innovation and high quality of education will be the order of the day, adding that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu must have been inspired by God to set up the committee.

Moderating the event through the Zoom platform, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Diaspora Matters, Dr Ngozi Ogbonna-Erondu recalled that the committee was inaugurated by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in May this year to come up with a blueprint to manage the economy of the state beyond the Covid-19 era as well as profer recommendations for the sustainable development of the state.

Other members of the committee present during the presentation of the report included the secretary of the committee, Dr Mrs Nnenna Chikezie, Chief Chris Odinaka Igwe, Mr Eze Ajuzie while others joined through the Zoom platform.

NIGERIA@60: Prof Ibe Urges Leaders To Deliver Democracy Dividends

The Chancellor of Gregory University Uturu Prof Gregory Ibe has charged leaders at all levels of governance in Nigeria to prioritize the patriotic act of delivering impactful dividends of democracy to the people.

Speaking while interacting with journalists recently in his country home at Amaokwe Achara Uturu, the university don who also doubles as the chairman of Committee of Proprietors of Private Universities in Nigeria, contended that provision of critical social infrastructure by leadership in all spheres of governance in Nigeria will stem the alarming rate of restiveness and agitations in the country.

According to Prof Ibe, “As we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the birth of our nation, I want to wish Nigeria our motherland a prosperous diamond independence anniversary. Let me however use the opportunity of the anniversary to charge our political leaders to recommit themselves to the task of addressing the huge infrastructural deficiency currently plaguing the nation as a means of reducing the escalating degree of restiveness.”

Stressing that the level of infrastructural deployment directly impacts on the quality of life provided to the citizenry, he encouraged leaders to justify the number of years chronologically credited to Nigeria with equal amount of social amenities to assuage frail nerves.

In his words, “Benefitting from many years of consultancy to multinational agencies and personal interactions with leaders across the globe, I know that a development minded leadership automatically secures the peoples buy-in. Nigerian leaders should therefore work to secure public acceptance and willing participation in the act of governance through the delivery of impactful dividends of democracy.”

In conclusion, he asserted that given the enormous potentials of Nigeria, especially in the Human Resource sector and against the backdrop of the current deployment of technology and virtual platforms for knowledge transfer, the nation at sixty definitely has immense potentials going forward.

Enugu High Court bars Ugwuanyi’s  Administrative panel on Ugwuaji  land disputes

An Enugu State High Court presided over by Justice Ajah has suspended the the sitting of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry into the land dispute in Ugwuaji community, Enugu South Local Government Area.

Ruling in a motion ex parte on Tuesday in Suit No. E/464M/2020 brought by the applicants, Paul Anike and Chinenye Maduekwe(for themselves and on behalf of the people of Ogui Nike and Umunevo Ogui Nike Communities), Aja ordered the respondents to stay all actions relating to the issue of ownership and or boundaries of the disputed land.

The respondents include the six members of the panel namely, James Ikeyi, Godwin Ugwoke, Prof. Daniel Nwachukwu, Godwin Ishiwu, Chudi Ozokolo and Robinson Odo being the first to sixth respondents.

Others are the Governor of Enugu State and the Attorney General of Enugu State being the seventh and eight respondents respectively.

The court also granted an order of substituted service of the originating processes and other processes on the first to sixth respondents by pasting the same at the front door of the entrance of the venue of their sitting at Abuja Building, Government House, Enugu.

The court also granted an order for substituted service of the originating process and other processes on the state governor through the office of the Attorney General of the state.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the applicants had through their counsel, Mr A. C. Anaenugwu (SAN) approached the court to challenge the setting up of the panel by the state government.

Anaenugwu said that the motion was brought pursuant to Order 40, Rule 3(1) and (2) of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2006, Section 72 of the Administrative Law, Cap. 6 Revised Law of Enugu State.

Recall that the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Ortuanya had on Sept. 3, 2020 inaugurated the administrative Panel of Inquiry.

However, the applicants faulted the move on the grounds that the issues pertaining to the terms of reference of the panel were already before the court.

Nigeria: We Will Soon Reopen Land Borders – Says Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the federal government will soon reopen Nigeria’s land borders.

Speaking during a webinar organised by The Africa Report, Osinbajo said the federal government is working towards reopening the borders.

The webinar, which was themed “Bouncing back: Nigeria’s post-pandemic recovery plan”, focused on issues regarding government frameworks to be adopted towards economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic which affected countries globally.

Reacting to a question on the continued closure of the land borders despite preparations for the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the vice president said the government is working with neighbouring countries on the terms of reopening the border.

“We are working with our neighbours to see on what terms we would reopen those borders. At the moment, we are undertaking joint border patrols to control smuggling along the borders and we think it is working and I am sure that soon enough we should have the borders opened,” he said.

“We are committed to the AfCFTA but we are concerned about threats to security and the economy and we had to take certain actions that would satisfy the immediate needs of our country. It (border closure) certainly wasn’t meant to be permanent and we are looking forward to reopening as quickly as possible.”

Recall that the federal government had In October last year closed land borders to check the smuggling of goods and arms into the country.

CORRECTION: Abia State Govt approves N400ml bail-out fund for ABSU


The Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has approved the structuring of bail out funds in the sum of Four Hundred Million Naira (=400,000,000. 00) for Abia State University (ABSU).

This is in response to strong representations from the Management and Staff of the school, in the wake of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This bail out fund is expected to be applied by the University Management to meet basic financial obligations including but not limited to the payments of salaries of workers in the University.

According to a statement from
Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka,
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is mindful of the fact that the Abia State University has remained a strong model in resources management and maintenance of academic stability.

“The Governor notes, with pride that the University has, since the inception of his administration remained a signpost for excellence and service which has manifested in the consistent improvements in the rating of the University by independent assessment agencies in the country.

“The Governor notes further that the pandemic which took the entire globe by surprise has fundamentally altered the smooth academic environment in the University leading to obvious disequilibrum in their financial inflows.

“Governor Ikpeazu is of the firm belief that under the circumstances, the University is well deserving of this assistance from the State Government.

“Details of the structure of the bail out will be worked out between the officials of the State Government and the University Management Team.

“The Governor believes that this line of support, which is unprecedented in the history of the Institution will provide the needed impetus for the University to jump-start academic activities and continue to sustain her position in the nation’s academic environment.”

Abia to partner NSE for the promotion and development of SMEs

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has stated the willingness of his administration to partner with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises in the State.

The Governor made this known while receiving in audience the President, Council of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, at the Government House, Umuahia, where he enumerated the efforts of his government towards the promotion and development of SMEs noting that his government identified and made SME a pillar of development in the State and ensured that artisans were assisted and sponsored overseas for training on automated shoe making as parts of efforts to make them globally competitive. He assured that the same gesture will soon be extended to those in the garment and fashion industry.

While highlighting the contending issues confronting SMEs in the State such as power supply, automation, market share and finance, the Governor assured that the issues are being tackled headlong and commended leather and garment manufacturers for showing resilience in their work.

The State Chief Executive also used the occasion to commend the Lead Investor of Golden Guinea Breweries Plc, Mr Okey Nzenwa, for the successful reactivation of the brewery along with its leading brand, Golden Guinea beer and assured that his administration will soon implement an action plan that will ensure Modern Ceramics Umuahia is also reactivated. He thanked the Nigerian Stock Exchange team for their plans and efforts towards the development of Small and Medium Enterprises and expressed his delight to be associated with the Golden Guinea and Nigerian Stock Exchange. He assured of his collaboration in providing the needed atmosphere for the initiatives that promote SMEs and urged them to ensure their mission yields good fruits in Abia State.

“I know that the return of Golden Guinea will bring other good things to the state”, he said.

Speaking earlier, the President, Council of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr Otunba Ogunbanjo, stated that the essence of the visit was to intimate the Governor of available opportunities in the Nigerian Stock Exchange which will add value to Small and Medium Enterprises in the State.

He described Abia State as the home of SMEs while noting that the ntion’s economy which has been negatively impacted by the Corona virus pandemic can be made to grow faster by nurturing Small and Medium Enterprises. He also noted the existence of established guidelines for SMEs participation in government contracts and procurements while commending the Governor for his efforts towards the growth of SMEs in the State.

In his remarks, the Manager, Listings Business Division, Mr Olumide Bolumole, outlined the available opportunities embedded in the NSE which he said are to the advantage of the SMEs. He noted that establishing rudimentary corporate governance requirements for companies allows for longevity and trans-generational wealth. He also stated that the NSE has identified various players who are expected to add value to SMEs and other Nigerian companies.