Dr. Harris Chuma-Odili popularly known as Ogene Igbo, a foremost media public relations practitioner in Anambra State, and formerly, a chief publicity strategist for the Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo governorship campaign, has resigned from active and partisan politics.
The Ogbunike born filmmaker cum Journalist, who is presently the National President of Association of Digital Media Core Advocates (ADMCA), organizers of the world famous Anambra Media Excellence Awards, resigned from active politics yesterday, citing “personal reasons”.
According to the press statement made available to newsmen in Awka, Dr. Chuma said he had “resigned from partisan politics” and that he “wanted to do the right thing” as a professional journalist.
“I wish to formally announce that henceforth, I will be playing a non partisan role in my media works. This, should serve as an official statement on my resignation from partisan politics.” Chuma said
This is to inform you of my intention to resign from active and partisan politics with effect from today, the 22nd day of September, 2021.
My decision in this regard is entirely personal to me and having served in various capacities, including as Media Director, and Director General Nwankpo Governorship Campaign Organization, I have resolved to immerse myself in some other vocations and take on some new challenges.
I must sincerely admit that right from our days in All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA, and our sojourn in African Democratic Congress ADC, it has been a mutually rewarding relationship which I cherished most and greatly too.
Without doubt, I will miss the company of my friends and associates and all those relationships I built in the course of promoting your gubernatorial ambition all over the state. While I crave for your kind understanding, do accept assurances of my highest regards.
Yours faithfully, Dr. Harris Chuma-Odili, FCMsp Ogene Igbo
Cc: Chief Ralphs Okey Nwosu National Chairman African Democratic Congress(ADC)
The decision of some governors in the north-west to close markets in the region is reportedly taking a toll on bandits. Three governors in the region ordered the closure of markets in their states to check the activities of bandits that have led to abductions and loss of property. Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto are the […]
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has faulted the exclusion of persons from South-east geopolitical zone in the security architecture of Nigeria, describing such as a worrisome development.
He said that the policy of exclusion had denied the South-east region representation and voice in the highest decision making body on the issue of security despite the fact that the region was a direct victim of the activities of criminal herdsmen.
Governor Ikpeazu expressed this misgiving while addressing a delegation of high ranking clerics of the Methodist Church of Nigeria led by the Prelate, His Eminence Dr. Samuel Kalu Uche who came to Government House Umuahia.
He vowed that his administration was committed to strict enforcement of the anti-open grazing law, which had been in existence in Abia since 2018.
The governor explained that the anti-open grazing law was enacted in response to the excesses of the criminal herdsmen, who had been terrorising the people, maiming, killing and raping.
He assured that plans had been concluded “to flush out these criminal herdsmen from our forests”, adding that the present administration was fully committed to the security of lives and properties of Abia people and residents.
The Abia governor emphasised the need for Igbo youths to tread with caution in the prevailing security situation in the country, noting that with meaningful productive engagement, the young Igbo generation would survive the harsh condition they’ve found themselves.
Ikpeazu further stated that with resilience, dedication and the age-long Igbo apprenticeship mentorship system, Ndigbo would definitely prevail in the socio-economic landscape of Nigeria.
He noted that Abians were known globally for their ingenuity and entrepreneurial skills and had remained the SME capital of Nigeria, noting that no foreign direct investment would be attracted in the midst of insecurity.
The governor expressed confidence in the ability of the Methodist Church Nigeria to manage the physical, spiritual and mental upbringing of children. He assured that the Prelate’s request for the government to return some schools originally owned by the church would be considered.
Earlier, the Prelate said that he was an advocate of a Nigeria with true federalism devoid of marginalisation of any section or region.
He regretted the level of marginalisation of Ndigbo within the Nigerian political firmament and called for an additional state for the South-east in the ongoing constitution review to enable the region be at par with others in number of states.
The Prelate who also expressed support for the ban on open grazing by the Southern Governors, condemned in its totality the wanton destruction of lives and properties of Nigerians especially Christians in the North.
He noted that he had been following the governor’s transformation agenda with remarkable infrastructural facelift in Aba and other parts of the state.
The Prelate was accompanied by the Archbishops of Umuahia and Okigwe Archdiocese, Most Rev Chibuzo Opoko and Most Rev Emem John Koko Bassey, as well as the Bishops of Nneochi, Isuikwuato, Uturu and Ihube and their wives.
The Next Governor of Anambra State, Please, hear this…..
Me, Ogene Igbo do not want any political appointments, I don’t need it, just come to Ogbunike my hometown and help in developing the town. Use me as a vessel to attract developmental projects.
Come, help my people, help the community to take it’s rightful place in the comity of nations. We have worldclass tourist center, help build our roads and develop the town.
The Anambra Airport is 20mins drive from the ancient Cave. We need streetlights, hospitals, good roads, and schools. One of the universities campuses should be cited in Ogbunike.
May the next governor take note, or I will not allow him to have peace. Remember, good governance at grassroots level is the hallmark of democratic government. Develop my town, and have peace of mind. Forget about political appointment or other gratification, I don’t need it. Come and finish the good works Our amiable inlaw Gov. Obiano has started in the town. Don’t forget ndi Ogbunike and Ogbunike in your plans for ndi Anambra.
The leadership of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB)has reinstated that Biafra Day Anniversary for this year will be a unique and special because it falls on a Sunday.
‘Observing the Biafra day anniversary celebration on a Sunday makes it more Christianized because the people of Biafra are predominantly Christians’, MASSOB said in a statement.
The statement which was signed by Comrade Uchenna Madu, Leader of MASSOB, Biafra was declared on May 30th, 1967 by General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. According to him, May 30th is sacrosanct and sacred in the history of Biafra.
He further said in the statement “The ordinances of our greatest leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu must be jealousy and eloquently adhered to.
“MASSOB directs all the churches in Biafra land to observe a special prayers and supplication for the fallen Biafra heroes during the Nigeria –Biafra war and our comrades that were killed by Nigeria security agents including the people of Biafra that died in the hands of Islamic Boko Haram and Fulani terrorist herdsmen. Our religious and church leaders should stop praying for the betterment of Islamic Republic of Nigeria.
“There will be movements and normal social activities on May 30th being Sunday because of Christian worship but there will be a sit at home exercise on May 31st being Monday for the people of Biafra as a mark of a solidarity and honor Biafra land. MASSOB directs all markets, schools, banks and all other public offices in Biafra land to observe the sit at home exercise as a mark of respect for our fatherland
“In the spirit of brotherhood and Biafranism, MASSOB and other pro Biafra organizations have unanimously agreed and resolved to jointly observe, commemorate and celebrate together, the 54 years anniversary of Biafra declaration by our foremost leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu on 30th May, 2021.
“This year’s anniversary will be celebrated by the people of Biafra in a unique style, it is a mark of respect and honour to our father land, it is also a reminder to the visions and commandments of our great ancestors that we are not Nigerians but Biafrans.
“We enjoin our people to get ready for the celebration of this great anniversary which will hold to remind ourselves to continue the self determination movement for Biafra actualization and restoration.”
The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on Wednesday, said the series of attacks on the commission’s facilities may undermine its capacity to organise elections and negatively impact the country’s electoral processes.
Yakubu made the remark during an emergency meeting with resident electoral commissioners at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
Yakubu’s worry emanates from a series of accidental and coordinated fire outbreaks on INEC’s facilities across the country, dating back to 2019, even before the general elections of that year.
Over time, a number of INEC offices around the country have been destroyed, with critical infrastructures affected, thereby stretching the commission’s capacity to manage elections.
The unceasing attacks and possibility of continuing means that the commission is put on the edge, especially if critical tools like the electoral register and card readers are affected.
Chronicle of infernos
On January 28, 2019, there was a fire incident at the INEC office in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State. However, in a statement after the incident, the head of the Department of Voter Education and Publicity for the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Edwin Enabor, said it was a minor incident. According to him, contrary to some reports that it was caused by hoodlums, it was a result of an electrical fault.
Enabor said, “The management of the INEC in Rivers State wishes to inform the general public about a minor fire incident that occurred at our office in Oyigbo Local Government Area.
An investigation has shown that it was caused by an electrical fault and not by hoodlums as insinuated in some quarters.
“We want to assure the public that everything is under control and that our offices across the state are well secured.”
The following month, February 3, 2019, hoodlums set the INEC office in Isiala- Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State ablaze. The hoodlums were said to have stormed the office around 2 am.
The attack was said to have woken the youths of the area from their sleep as they quickly mobilised and alerted the police, who assisted them in putting off the fire.
Although the fire did maximum damage to the structure and materials there, the quick intervention of the youths and the assistance of the police saved the situation from escalating.
The commission, however, continued to operate from the old office until few weeks before the incident when it decided to relocate from the local government headquarters.
That was the second time the INEC office in Isiala-Ngwa was burnt down.
In 2015, in the heat of the controversy surrounding the governorship election in Abia State, thugs reportedly set the commission’s office at Omopa on fire, prompting the relocation to Umu-Ikaa.
The following week, February 10, the Plateau State INEC office in Qua’anpan Local Government Area, where ballot boxes, generators filled with fuel, cubicles, newly printed electronic and manual voters register, unclaimed permanent voter cards, were destroyed.
Two days later, on February 12, the Anambra State INEC office in Awka, the state capital, was set ablaze. Card readers and other sensitive materials for the elections were burnt. Two containers containing 4,695 smart card readers were destroyed, along with other sensitive materials.
Also, on February 24, 2019, the Osun State INEC office in Ijebu-Ijesha, Oriade Local Government, was engulfed in fire, which burnt parts of the office. No life was, however, lost in the incident.
On March 8, 2019, the Akwa Ibom INEC office in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area was gutted by fire. One hundred and ninety-eight smart card readers, printed voters register, 13 generating sets, voting cubicles, as well as other sensitive and insensitive election materials, got burnt.
The following day, March 9, 2019, the INEC Registration Area Centre at Ezza North Local Government Area in Ebonyi State was set ablaze by hoodlums.
Before that, on March 3, 2019, the Jigawa INEC office in Gumel Local Government Area was burnt. Everything was destroyed, including documents, furniture, generators, electronic gadgets, computers, among other materials.
In 2020, the INEC equally recorded some fire incidents, including that of February 2 when its office in Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State was gutted by fire.
Confirming the incident, a police spokesman in the state said “the fire allegedly emanated from a bush burning.”
A few days later, on February 8, 2020, hoodlums reportedly set the INEC office in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State ablaze, a week after the supplementary election held in the state.
The police public relations officer in the state said the incident happened in the early hours of Monday and no casualty was recorded, but electoral materials and properties belonging to staff members of the commission were burnt down.
This occurred less than one week after the winner of the Orlu/Orsu/Oru East federal constituency supplementary election was announced by the INEC.
Similarly, on September 10, 2020, just before the Ondo State governorship election, 5,141 card readers were destroyed by fire at the state head office of the commission in Akure.
There was also a fire incident on April 17, 2020, at the national headquarters of the INEC in Maitama, Abuja, where a section close to the media centre of the commission and the election party monitoring office were affected.
The first reported fire incident that affected the INEC in 2021 was on April 20 when an early morning outbreak razed the commission’s data processing centre in Kano State.
It was gathered that the fire incident started about 10:15 am and razed the whole building, destroying all equipment and other valuables.
On May 2, 2021, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, reported that the commission’s office in Essien Udim Local Government Area had been set ablaze.
The national commissioner and chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, in a statement noted that the incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday.
Okoye stated that the security guard on duty escaped unhurt, but the destruction to the building and property therein was extensive.
“Items destroyed include 345 ballot boxes, 135 voting cubicles, megaphones, water tanks and office furniture,” Okoye added.
He recalled that on the eve of the 2019 general elections, the commission’s newly constructed prototype office in Ibesikpo Asutan was burnt down while two more offices in Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo local government areas were bombed.
Attack on INEC headquarters in Enugu earlier this month
A few days later, on May 9, 2021, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Abia State, Dr Joseph Iloh, reported that the recently renovated INEC office in Ohafia Local Government Area was set ablaze.
He, however, said there were no casualties on the part of the commission’ staff on guard duty, but the building was virtually destroyed, including electoral materials and office equipment.
Three days later, on May 13, 2021, the national commissioner and chairman of the IVEC, Okoye, said the REC for Enugu State, Emeka Ononamadu, reported that the INEC office in Udenu Local Government Area was set ablaze by gunmen suspected to be members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
“The latest tragic incident occurred around 8.40 pm on Thursday, May 13, 2021. Casualties were not reported.
“However, the office building was extensively damaged while electoral materials and office equipment were destroyed in spite of the best efforts of the Enugu State Fire Service to contain the inferno,” Okoye stated.
On May 14 and 16, the Enugu State INEC office at Obollo-Offor, Udenu Local Government Area, and the commission’s headquarters were attacked and burnt, after the security personnel on duty were overpowered.
Two days later, on May 18, 2021, two INEC offices were simultaneously attacked in Ebonyi State.
The Ezza North Local Government office and that of Ebonyi were burnt, while the Izzi Local Government office was vandalised; the ceiling and doors were badly damaged.
Lamenting the series of attacks on INEC offices and facilities, the chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, warned that the situation may undermine its capacity to organise elections, including the 2023 general elections, as well as negatively impact the country’s electoral processes.
Yakubu said some events in the recent past had challenged the commission and adversely affected its commitment to continue to improve the electoral process. He added that the spate of arson and vandalism targeting its facilities and property had become worrisome.
“Unfortunately, this has been on the rise since the 2019 general elections, but it has now developed into a crisis. In the last three weeks or so, three of our local government offices in Essien Udim in Akwa Ibom State, Ohafia in Abia State and Udenu in Enugu State have been set ablaze by unidentified persons.
“Last Sunday, May 16, 2021, our state office in Enugu suffered another arson and vandalism, in which parts of the building were ransacked and several vehicles razed. More of our facilities are being systematically targeted and attacked.
“Just last night, Tuesday, May 18, 2021, two more offices in Ebonyi and Ezza North local government areas of Ebonyi State were burnt down. Although there were no casualties, the damage to the physical infrastructure and electoral materials was total,” he said.
He lamented that nothing had been salvaged from the attacks, from ballot boxes and voting cubicles to generating sets and office furniture and equipment. He added that the attacks were targeted at the INEC.
He said, “The facilities of the commission are there to serve the local communities for the most fundamental aspect of democratic governance – elections. Therefore, targeting such important national assets and repositories of electoral materials that took time and enormous resources to procure cannot be justified.
“Replacing these facilities in the prevailing economic circumstances will indeed be a tall order, thereby adversely affecting electoral services in the same communities. These facilities are not only limited to voting but also used for other critical electoral activities, such as voter registration, the coordination of stakeholder engagements and voter education and sensitisation.”
He pledged that the commission would work with security agencies to deal with perpetrators of these heinous crimes according to the law, thus a meeting with all the security agencies is expected to hold on Monday, May 24, 2021.
He, however, said it had become imperative to call on all and sundry, particularly communities where these assets are located, to see themselves as owners and custodians of these facilities and assist the commission in protecting them, expressing delight that some of the communities are already doing so.
He added that the challenges posed by these threats notwithstanding, the commission is still positive that it can find lasting solutions to the spate of attacks on its facilities.
He said, “However, this must be done quickly to forestall disruptions to several upcoming electoral activities, particularly the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, which we plan to undertake continuously in 2,673 centres nationwide for a period of over one year involving thousands of INEC officials supported by security personnel.
Parties, CSO, experts react
Speaking on the development, the director of programmes, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, said the trend of attacks on INEC offices was becoming worrisome and had grave impacts on the commission’s preparations for the next elections with the potential to affect the implementation of its activities towards the off-cycle governorship elections and the 2023 elections.
According to her, this also comes with a huge cost implication on INEC’s budget, especially with some of its offices/structures and election materials burnt/destroyed.
“In addition, these attacks are major distractions to INEC. The commission is working to expand voter access to polling units and the plan to commence the national continuous voter’s registration exercise. There is a need for better security provision for all INEC offices and structures as a matter of national emergency.
“The spate of attacks is beyond mere coincidence and requires in-depth investigation that ensures the culprits and their sponsors are apprehended and prosecuted.
“These attacks are an indication of an absence of effective security architecture in Nigeria, which has created a porous and vulnerable system. The government at the federal and state levels must rise up to their responsibilities of ensuring the security of lives and property,” Mbamalu stated.
On his part, a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Professor Ifeanyichukwu Abada, said the attacks by hoodlums on offices of the INEC, if unchecked, may affect the commission’s ability to successfully conduct elections.
“I am worried that the INEC, a vital democratic institution in the country, has become a target of attacks by some hoodlums. No matter the reason by anybody or group, the commission should not be a target for destruction.
“Destroying the commission’s facilities amounts to destroying Nigeria’s democratic process. Sponsors and perpetrators of this heinous act should have a rethink on their dangerous mission to kill the country’s democracy and disrupt the 2023 general elections,” he said.
He urged the federal government to beef up security at INEC offices nationwide to ensure 24-hour surveillance in order to arrest those behind the attacks and prevent further incidents.
“With CCTV cameras in all INEC offices, identities of those behind this crime will be unmasked; they will be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
Also, registered political parties in the country, under the aegis of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), condemned the attack on INEC facilities, noting that the materials being destroyed would still be replaced with taxpayers’ money, which could be used in addressing infrastructural challenges.
The national publicity secretary of the IPAC, Ambassador Agbo Major, said the trend could affect the conduct of the 2023 elections, which could lead to a constitutional crisis and ultimately derail the country’s developing democracy.
Major said, “It is clear that those perpetrating this act are enemies of Nigeria. The IPAC, therefore, calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to come together and fight these our common enemies.”
The youth wing of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Enugu State Chapter, led by Mazi Nnamdi Odo has written a petition against the Provost of the Federal College of Education Ehamufu, Dr. Mrs. Pauline Ngozi Ikwuegbu.
The petition, which came in a 17-point allegation against the Provost, was addressed to the presidential Visitation Panel, accusing her of poor leadership, victimization and harassment of Enugu youths, and illegalities.
Below are the allegations served before the Presidential Visitation panel by Ohaneze Ndi Igbo youth Enugu State Chapter:
“1. Eha-Amufu College of Education is a federal high institution and demands that federal laws should be used as a stepping stone but the Provost has turned it against Ndi-Enugu state by generating an association which houses all other members of staff from all other states within the federation with #Non_Enugu_Indigene as the nomenclature. There is no denial that the Association is to syphon the rights of Ndi-Enugu to Imo.
2. Ever since 2018, Ikwuegbu has declared war against Enugu State youths. She always says to anyone who cares to listen that she hates dealing with Enugu people because they are backward people who irritate her. And when confronted on issues, she tells you to go do your worse as she is untouchable.
3. Dr. Mrs Ngozi Ikwuegbu has employed more than 300 persons from her state without taking due processes of recommendation for employment. Instances abound of some newly recruited staff without the necessary prerequisites being elevated to ranks/positions beyond their certificate. This needs legal justification.
4. It is pertinent to note that one of the reasons why Federal Government builds institutions in different parts of Nigeria include but not limited to creating employment for the citizens, irrespective of their locality. But Ikwuegbu does not believe in this. She believes that it is an opportunity to illegally settle her people from Imo State to the detriment of the Enugu State Youths who are directly robbed by her actions. The youths of Enugu State being the host are denied the federal character percentage of employment as enshrined by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) thereby increasing the unemployment in the state. It is a great injustice that our state feeds the institution with 97% of students but when it comes to employment we are told that we are not good enough.
5. It is also important to note that Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Ikwuegbu is in habit of threatening students and staff who are from Enugu State. Instances abound of several students who have been denied of their results simply because they are not in her good books. We condemn her action and continued threats against Enugu State youths working with her in the strongest terms and state that it is not evil to be from a particular place(Enugu State) and Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Ikwuegbu or any other person whosoever, has no right to threaten to deal with our people for no reason. She claims that she has a powerful person in the Presidency who protects her from liabilities for her actions.
6. Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Ikwuegbu is barely seen in the school premises hence it is almost impossible to access her but the few occasions that she is around, she makes sure that persons from Enugu State do not see her and when they manage to see her, all she says is that they can go and report her anywhere, that she is connected to powers in the presidency to ‘water down’ any allegation against her and that this is the time of her people from Imo State, therefore Enugu State people must give way for her in an institution sited in Enugu State. For instance, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria who has been the legal adviser of the institution was unceremonorously removed and replaced by her Imo State brother. All efforts by this SAN to speak with the “almighty” Provost, proved abortive until a suit was slammed against her. We hereby ask, if we should leave our land for Dr. Ngozi Ikwuegbu, where are we going to live?
7. Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Ikwuegbu’s terrible attitude is not limited to only the way she treats Enugu State people but even extends to the way she runs the administration of the institution. For instance, from the school gate, the decay is manifest as there is no gate and even inside the hostel, it is cassava sticks that are used as hostel beds. You should know that the institution is sitting on a time bomb and except something is done about it, it will explode beyond containment. It is not in contention that since she resumed office as the provost, the Federal College of Education, Eha Amufu has been decaying gradually and if the decay is allowed to continue unabated, even before her tenure expires, the institution will have already been grounded.
8. The living conditions of the students inside the hostels is pitiable, the roofs of all the hostels are leaking, there are no restrooms, no bathrooms, our female students are at the receiving ends as they have to bath and cook outside. In our fact finding mission, we discovered that, the windows are broken, the roofs leaking, students baths and defecate outside. The hostels have no power supply and the student have to use lamps. Can the provost keep her daughter or sister in such pig holes like the Eha-Amufu hostels?
9. What happened to the reparation fee the students paid after the demonstrations they carried out? The provost and her Imo state cabal siphoned every dime of the reparation fee without even regards to the welfare of the students.
10. There were transfer of members of staff from Avan Ikoku College of Education to the Federal College, Eha-Amufu, these people were placed above their level at the college. There must be a reason why these staff got these unlawful transfer and placements. It’s either to leave more job opportunities for those in Imo or to jump promotion protocol as to attain high positions un-merited or to remove Ndi-Enugu and place her people around her.
11. Over 400 staff have been employed by the Provost. The employments are lopsided and greatly favours her kinsmen from Imo State. Out of this number more than 300 are from Imo. Are the unemployed youths from Enugu not qualified enough to be employed at Eha-Amufu?
12. Some students are victimized with their results being seized. They have used every known legal means to get there results but every effort proved abortive as the provost swore to deal with them for demanding for a better welfare for the students. They paid reparations fees for destroying no school property yet their results are not given to them. Why are they denied of their results after taken the punishment? Can this happen at Alvan Ikoku where the provost come from?
13. Students pay N20, 000 every year by new intakes both NCE Pre -NCE, Degrees or Direct Entry meant for renovation of hostels. The management led by the Provost should give an account what this money has being used for.
14. The provost increased collection of results from N1,000 to N5,000. This is unwarranted.
15. The Provost shows she is above her own laws as she mandates and forces students to buy her text book, “Classroom Management”. For students to get points, they must buy her book. Those who fail to purchase them are threatened with serious sanctions and failure of course works. These crime is perpetrated by course coordinator ably represented by one Bro. Jude Nweze. Worthy of note is that she doesn’t teach this course.
16. The College has no adequate drug/facility at the clinic to take care of students. The Ambulance for instance is rotting away. What happens to the money allocated for the clinic?
17. There are no security for students. Village roads pass through hostels.”
Here follows the demands of the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo youth:
“Ohaneze Youths, Enugu State Chapter led by Mazi Nnamdi Odo hereby make the following demands to be met as a matter of urgency to make room for peace to prevail.
1. Unconditional release of the results of all 15 students seized.
2. The group known as ‘Association of Non Enugu Indigenes’ should be disbanded immediately.
3. New hostels should be built and while that is going on, the older ones should be renovated. Conveniences should be put in place immediately.
4. There should be no further victimization of staff or students from Enugu state by anyone whatsoever.
5. A committee to look into the students welfare should as a matter of urgency be set up.
6. Review of all appointment made by the Provost.
7. Immediate employment of 300 Enugu youths.
8. A panel of investigation should be set to look into all allegations against Mrs. Ngozi Ikwuegbu.
9. An acting Provost appointed to revamp the decaying institution.
10. Immediate removal of the Provost from office to answer for her mismanagement.”
Responding to the plea of the association yesterday on a panel set for the petition hearing yesterday, the Presidential Visitation panel thanked the Youths for coming to the panel instead of taking Laws into their hands. He went on to promise the panel will look into the grievances of the youth wing of Ohaneze. Speaking to the Panel, Ohaneze Youth leader, Honourable Nnamdi Odo emphasized that their mission is to restore peace and progress to the institution. Meanwhile, he told the panel that they are not giving up on the fight against the victimization of Ndi Igbo youths, and would not back down until justice and peace is restored.
Since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, lack of good Governance had been the bane of our democracy.
One would ask: What is DEMOCRACY?
DEMOCRACY they say, is Government of the people by the people and for the people. By this definition, one would understand that the citizens of the country are the major stakeholders in the leadership of the country. But question is, are they truly the stakeholders?
The answer is totally no!
The majority of citizens of Nigeria had been sideline in affairs of this nation. It is only few privileged individuals who are benefiting from the system that are enjoying the dividends of democracy. In a country with over 200 million population only about 10% are benefiting from the system. This is one of the reasons while there are a lot of agitations across the country because the leaders have taken the followers for granted for so long.
As Government of the people, how many times have the people been involved in the process of choosing their leaders? The electoral process has not been free of impunity. The general elections has not been free, fair and credible. A country where leaders earn millions of naira as salaries, allowances and leave but refused to pay #30,000 minimum wage. A country where the leaders enjoy the economic resources of the country for free of charge but keep hiking the prices for their followers.
Look at our electricity bill, pump price of fuel etc. All keep rising on daily basis. The country is sitting on a time bombs that if not well managed will explode and cause a very big havock. Our leaders have to make a u turn and put the interest of the citizens at heart. The interest of the citizens are not too numerous that it cannot been achieved. The citizens need to be involved in the process of governance. What the people need is good Governance. Good Governance entails access to free and quality education, access to good road network, to good health facilities, good power supply, creation of industries, etc. The current administration can keep a track record if they will be able to implement the followings:
Sign into law the new Electoral act.
Make INEC to be truly independent where the selection processes of appointing the chairman and commissioners will be devoid of political considerations.
Sign into law the 2014 national confab reports.
Reshuffle the security network.
Creation of employment opportunities for the massive unemployed youths of this country.
Reduce the rate of taxation.
Slash the salaries and allowances of political office holders to accommodate the civil servants.
When all these things are put in place, I believe that Nigeria will be better again.
Hon. Edeh J Arinze is a good governance advocate and currently the Director of finance of Enugu based good governance advocate group, Enugu State Citizens Support for Equity and Good Governance (ESCSEG) and write from Enugu.
There is something happening in APGA. Ordinarily, it’s all for laughs. But just look at it.
A rumour broke out that Hon. Ifeanyi Momah representing Ihiala constituency in House of Representatives, has struck a deal and likely going to be given the APGA ticket for the governorship election, for whatever reason. Now ask yourself, what can you remember Hon. Ifeanyi Momah for, aside dressing well and posing for photographs? This is not the point though. He can still leverage on his contacts to reach serious political deals. But I am yet to see or hear anyone who takes the rumour seriously.
But here is the thing.
From nowhere, U-AYA and U-AWA jumped into this rumour and did a “Press Release”, addressing the rumour, more or less on behalf of APGA.
Is U-AYA and U-AWA now the Public Relations department or mouthpiece of APGA? Is the group a parallel APGA existing under a covert nomenclature? These are questions people have been asking.
What I have to say is that the Press Release from U-AYA and U-AWA over that matter is ill advised, in bad taste and bereft of even the slightest modicum of strategy. It in fact did not set out to achieve anything, because no response was needed to dispel a rumour. And as sure as one can be, the audacity of the group has only added even more anger and resentment within the APGA party fold, which is both unhealthy and totally avoidable. If anything, considering the interest of the group in the coming governorship election, their press release has only given credence to the rumour and from now, those close to Hon. Ifeanyi Momah can attest to upsurge in the attention he will be getting now. If I am a staker, I can bet on this.
Even more profound, this speaks to my earlier position on the question of Obiano’s preferred candidate.
It is at this point that one doesn’t find it funny any longer.