Category Archives: Community Reports

Benin Chief Dares Oba of Benin, Edo Govt Over Land Matter… I Determine What Happens in My Community – Ohen

The Oba of Benin

The Community Development Associations CDA in communities and villages in Edo State seem to have staged a deadly comeback against the backdrop of the position of the the palace of the Oba of Benin and Edo State Government on land allocation, land grabbing and double dealing on land matters.

The latest, among hundreds of such victims who are helpless and have lost their lands and property to the avarice of the CDA leadership is the Former Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council and Principal Editor, Sparknewsnaija, Otunba Mike Aladenika, who at a press conference in Benin City alleged that the Ohen of Okhuoromi village in Benin City, Chief Ovbokhan Igbinovia trespassed “on my land measuring 100 × 100 feet at Okhuoromi, destroyed the foundation of two blocks of three bedroom flats built up to DPC level and sold the land to someone else”.

Otunba Mike Aladenika who was presented a video playback of relics of the destroyed property, his petition to relevant authorities among other documents said “I am forced to cry out now because I have realized that there are hundreds of Otunba Mike Aladenika out there who have suffered the same victimisation but were helpless”.

“Can you imagine that the same Ohen validly allocated the said land to his cousin, Uyi Enadeghe, who sold the said land to me, to the knowledge of the Ohen as he personally facilitated the documentation and signing of the deed of transfer, years back”.

“The Ohen collected his traditional respect and acknowledgement from me, while the Okaighele (youth leader) collected the sum of hundred thousand naira (100,000 Naira) from me in lieu of the required traditional cooking and they asked me to commence work on the land”.

“All these happened about three years ago. Between then and December 2020, there was no contention on the land until the Ohen, Chief Ovbokhan Igbinovia, came to encroach, destroyed and resold the land to one Uche”.

The former NUJ Chairman while fielding questions from journalists on efforts made to retrieve his property before now said “I have approached so many well meaning Edo citizens to talk to him to make him see reason. A principal officer of the Benin Traditional Council (BTC), top political leaders and some of his friends who were privy to my ownership of the land called and severally met with him all to no avail”.

“Rather for him to retrace his steps even when some people told him that his action to have demolished foundation is a forbidden act, he said he is the one that can determine whatever happens in his domain, stressing that he is not subject to any other authorities”.

“My fear now is that my life is been threatened because I am asking for what rightly belongs to me but I have my mind made up that I will not give up on this crusade as this will also liberate many who are currently suffering the same issue.”

Calls put across to the Ohen to get his own side of the story were neither answered nor replied.

Tributes as indigenes, others bid Eze Aro farewell

It was a moment of solemnity amidst deluge of outpouring, day indigenes, friends and well-wishers of Arochukwu and the entire kingdom bid farewell to late Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro popularly known as Eze Aro.At the final burial rites on Monday, April 5, 2021, both the young and old were at their best in display as the remains of Eze Aro were eventually interred.One by one, the indigenes of Arochukwu in Arochukwu local government area of Abia state took turns to eulogise the lives and times of the departed first class Traditional Ruler.The Chairman, Aro National Rites of Passage Committee, Prof. Okoro Ijeoma, described the deceased king as highly talented, educated, relaxed and very respectful.He said the late traditional ruler sacrificed a lot for the peace of his community.Prof. Okoro used the occasion to draw the attention of the federal government on the deplorable state of Arochukwu/Ohafia highway.He said the completion of the road would be the best way to immortalise the highly respected late Monarch.”We have had a road which is in despair and it was one of those agonies that faced him when he was alive and we want a lasting legacy for the road to be fixed to honour him, because that is how we can grow economically and socially,” he said.Also speaking, a two-time governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance now one of the top APC leaders in Abia state Dr Alex Otti who chaired the burial event commended the chairman of the National Committee on the burial rites of passage and committees for working so hard to organise a befitting burial for the Aro monarch. He also thanked Aro sons and daughters both at home and in the diaspora for their huge financial contributions to the burial and encouraged them to maintain the spirit of unity engendered by the event.”He remarked that the entire Aro people are consoled by the legacies the late Eze Aro left behind. Dr. Otti then prayed to God to show him mercy and grant his soul eternal rest, while calling on the immediate family of the deceased and the entire Aro kingdom to bear the loss with fortitudeConvener of the New Nigeria Group, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, said the late Eze Aro loved his community and Nigeria at large.He said, “Late Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, preached peace and collective responsibility towards the development of his community while on the throne. Each time we visited him, he will tell us that the crown he was wearing was also on our heads, therefore we must work hard to protect it.”He wanted all of us to be involved in seeking the peace, progress and development of the Arochukwu Kingdom.“He never demanded anything from anyone, he was content with what he had. He was an extraordinary king, one would have expected him to be more demanding but he wasn’t.Born on Monday, March 6, 1932, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, he ascended the famous Eze Aro throne in 1995 and his reign witnessed tremendous transformation of the kingdom and growth in inter-communal relations.Among other positions, Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro, was a first-class traditional ruler and occupied one of the ancient traditional stools in Nigeria and was the custodian of the Aro heritage worldwide.He passed on after a protracted illness.

INSECURITY: Edo Indigenes visit new Edo CP, as Commissioner promises crime free state

A team of members of the Edo Indigenous movement have paid a courtesy visit to the new Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Mr Ogbadu Philip Aliyu.The team, led by the founder and president of Edo Progressive Indigenes Association, (EPIA) Chief Dr Bishop J.O.E Edokpolo, said it’s worried about the high level of insecurity in the state, and needed the police to become more proactive in its fight against crime.Speaking during the meeting at the Police Headquarters in Benin, the Commisioner said that since he took over as the Commisioner of a police, adequate security has been put in place to ensure the protection of lives and property. He said all the patrol forces has been put on 24 hours alert to comb all parts of Edo State. CP Philip Ogbadu said that since kidnappers like striking on Sundays, adequate security has been put in place in churches.The Commissioner added that a lot of kidnappers and armed robbers have been arrested at the Benin by pass, and harper on the need to rid the by-pass of criminal elements.In his speech, the leader and president of Edo Progressive Indigenous Association, Dr Bishop Omogiade Edokpolo said few months ago, the state witnessed very serious security challenges. He commended the Police Commisioner for his zeal and effort to check criminal activities.Edokpolo urged the police to put in place effective measures to protect farmers due to the frequent at tacks by bandits.He said: “As we all know, the level of insecurity in Edo State in the past 6months has gone beyond the amber level to the red light level. As you can see, we have our fathers, our mothers who are from the rural areas and the vice presidents representing the 3 senatorial district are well represented. But we are highly disturbed by the insecurity. That’s the area of our primary concern. It’s not just about meeting with you, but also listening to you and looking into other challenges.”But as far as we are concerned, we are not yet satisfied. We want to see a lot of progress, we want to see a lot of prosecutions, not only to arrest, because the reality of it is that justice must be served.”So, we must be up and restore normalcy, as we will do everything it takes to stabilize our state, its unity and peace.Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, DCP Dantawa was thereafter invited by the CP to serve as a Liaison officer between the Police Command and the Edo Progressive Indigenous Association.

Senate begins process to unbundle NIPOST

The Senate has commenced moves to unbundle the Nigerian Postal Service with the consideration of a bill to repeal and re-enact the Nigerian Postal Service Act 2004.

The bill, which scaled the second reading on Tuesday, was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central), according to a statement.

Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, Tinubu said the piece of legislation seeks to reform the Postal Industry and to make Comprehensive Provisions for the Development and Regulation of Postal Services in Nigeria.

According to the lawmaker, the Nigerian Postal Service which dates as far back as 1852, evolved from an exigency of the colonial administration to a Collection Office of the United Kingdom and eventually, to the NIPOST.

She recalled that as of 1st of October, 1960, when Nigeria gained independence from colonial rule, there existed 176 Post Offices, 10 Sub-Post Offices, and 1,000 Postal Agencies.

Tinubu, however, noted that the agency presently has over 955 post offices and more than 3,000 Postal Agencies in the 35 states and Federal Capital Territory of the federation.

The lawmaker observed that in view of existing realities, it had become imperative for the NIPOST Act to be reviewed to guarantee improved efficiency and service.

“NIPOST has been touted as having so much potential not only for revenue generation but also for impacting the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

“However, the Agency’s struggles are well known. With its apparent inefficiencies, advancement in technology and the introduction of electronic mail there has been a decline in demand for traditional postal services, thus necessitating a reform in the Agency mode of operation.

“The Global Postal Industry and indeed, every facet of human life has continued to evolve, thus requiring the Nigerian Postal Industry to rise to the demands of existing realities.

“Consequently, the subsisting Act which has been in place since 2004 has been overtaken by events and is not reflective of the times we are in.

“To set NIPOST back on track, we need innovation, integration, and inclusion in keeping up with current trends and introducing ICT to ensure quicker and more effective service delivery.

“To do this, however, it is important to take a look at, and reengineer the Agency’s establishment Act, its powers and its functions,” the lawmaker said.

Tinubu disclosed that the Bill also provides for the establishment of the Nigerian Postal Service and designates it as Public Postal Operator, a corporate body with a common seal whose responsibility includes the provision of Universal Postal Services in Nigeria.

The bill after scaling second reading was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Communications.

The Committee was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.

Insecurity: Obi of Onitsha unveils security outfit, as NSCDC kicks over colours

Indigenes of Onitsha in Anambra State have floated a security outfit known as Onitsha Ado Vigilante Network to check the increasing wave of crime in the commercial city.

The traditional ruler of Onitsha Kingdom, Obi Alfred Achebe, who unveiled the security outfit over the weekend, said there was need to keep the security of the city, especially being a commercial hub.

The monarch also unveiled branded Toyota Sienna vehicles said to have been donated by good spirited individuals in the city for the fight against insecurity.

Onitsha has lately fallen for criminals and hoodlums who dispose visitors and residents alike of their belongings, even in broad daylight.

Meanwhile, the Anambra State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has protested the choice of colour for the branding of the vehicles donated for the Onitsha Ado Vigilante Network.

The NSCDC said the colour conflicted with theirs, while urging the Vigilante Network to immediately repaint all their vehicles to avoid clash of interest.

A press release by the
State Commandant of NSCDC Anambra State Command, Comdt David Bille said, “The attention of the Anambra State Command of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC has been drawn to the crested vehicles painted in Civil Defence Colours presented to Onitsha Ado Vigilante Network.

“The corps while appreciating the Onitsha community for taking a bold step in complimenting the functions of federal security agencies in the fight against crimes and criminality in the state, urges the community to as a matter of urgency effect a change of colours on the said vehicles to avoid clash of interest.”

The Commandant wondered why the initiators of the said vigilante network could not have known that white, red and black colours are being used by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, before unveiling the same colours to the Public.

Imo Assembly moves to unify bride price, marriage rites

A bill for a law to prohibit and persecute persons who oppose marriage on the ground of Osu Caste system has passed second reading on the floor of the Imo State House of Assembly.

The proposed piece of legislation also stipulates that both bride price and total expense for the marriage rites will not exceed N80,000 and N180,000.

“No person (s) or group of persons shall have the right under this law to prevent customary marriage between two persons, the bride and the groom, who have agreed to marry themselves due to the practice of any obnoxious social stratification or caste system in Imo State, which practice has been prohibited by law or overtaken by current realities,” it read in part.

The chief sponsor and member representing Obowo Constituency, Kennedy Ibe, said the bill, when passed into law, would also ensure the unification of bride price and other marriage-related matters across the state.

Briefing newsmen in Owerri shortly after plenary, Ibe disclosed that the proposed law would also prosecute anybody who directly or indirectly gives false information to prevent, blackmail, disrupt or stop any customary marriage in the state.

His words: “Anybody guilty of the offences shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N500,000 or seven years imprisonment or both punishments.”

He added that the move would also make it a crime for anybody, group or family to make demands for customary marriage rites in excess of the stipulated amount of money.

“Anybody, who contravenes the provision of the law, by making excessive demands for customary marriage rites, shall be guilt of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or imprisonment for three months or to both punishments.

“Any other act committed by anybody, not provided in this law, which is considered or judged as being obnoxious by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be punished in line with the provisions of this law,” Ibe further clarified.

Jubilation as Obaseki commissions Ovwor — Effurun-Otor Bridge in Delta State

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Tuesday, commissioned the multi-million naira Ovwor-Effurun-Otor Bridge, Ughelli South Local Government Area, built by the Delta State government.

Indigenes of both communities who were excited by the completion of the project were on the ground to entertain Obaseki, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and other dignitaries who graced the occasion.

Commissioning the bridge, Obaseki who had earlier inaugurated the rehabilitated 34 kilometres Otu-Jeremi-Okwagbe Road, the interlocking of Ughelli South Secretariat and access road to the council’s staff quarters, expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done on the project.

Describing Okowa as an unusual politician who was not known to make promises he had no intention of fulfilling, he said “He is not only building physical bridges, he is building community, social and economic bridges.

“With the kind of leadership he is providing, we are very encouraged in Edo State. See the number of projects he has been embarking on in the last six years.

“Those who are criticizing Niger Delta governors on what they are doing with 13 per cent derivation should come to Delta State, should come to Ughelli South.”

Congratulating Governor Okowa, the Ovwor and Effurun-Otor communities on the completion of the project, he said “that the contractor “Is an indigene of this place is very impressive. It shows that we have the people and capacity to do quality jobs”.

In his remarks, Governor Okowa expressed delight that “what we started a few years ago has brought joy to our people”, assuring that his administration had no intention of abandoning any project it has embarked on.

While promising that his administration would deliver on the Ovwor hospital by next year, he reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to execute projects that would impact positively the social and economic lives of the people.

On his part, the Orovworere of Effurun Otor kingdom, HRM Johnson Duku Il, thanked Okowa for resolving “the age-long infrastructural deficit” the communities, noting that “Executing people-oriented projects has become a way of life of Governor Okowa”.

Earlier, Chairman of Ughelli South, Dr Richard Kofi, described the project as a legacy project that has connected the two communities and other communities in the council area.

Chatting with newsmen on the sidelines of the Commissioning, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Obakpor J U Construction Company, Olorogun J U Oguma thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for giving them the opportunity to express their technical know-how in the building of roads, bridges and other infrastructures in the State.

Oguma said the completion and Commissioning of the bridge have opened up Ovwor-Olomu and Effurun-Otor, adding that it was a boost to the socio-economic lives of the people.

Akwa Ibom Attack On Arochukwu: Ikpeazu, LG Boss Appeal For Calm

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu
The Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has appealed to residents of Ugbo village, Arochukwu in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State to maintain calm, following an attack on the community by Ikpanja village, in Akwa Ibom State.

Jungle Journalist Media Limited earlier today, reported that hoodlums in their hundreds had attacked Ugbo village in a Sunday midday violence. In the attack, one persons was killed and the killers chopped off his head and carted it away.

Many others were also reportedly shot and injured.

But in a message signed by the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, and made available to Jungle Journalist Media Ltd, the Governor assured the community that the government is already looking into the matter, and would never compromise their safety or well being.

He also revealed that the local governments involved, in Abia and Akwa Ibom, as well community leaders have waded into the matter and are already working out modalities to ensure that peace is achieved.

He said “I understand we have only one fatality. The Chairman spoke with the other chairman(Akwa Ibom) and we have situation under control. Let our people not attack please”, the Governor pleaded.

Many killed in Ebonyi renewed communal crisis

No fewer than seven persons were on Tuesday confirmed killed in a renewed communal war between Ezza- Effium and Effium in Ebonyi State.
Recall that there has been a lingering communal crisis between Ezza-Effium and Effium people since January this year, which resulted in the killing of hundreds of persons and destruction of property worth millions of Naira.

Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi had summoned and arrested prominent leaders as well as stakeholders of the two communities in a bid to end the killings, but the two warring communities have remained adamant.

When contacted, the Commissioner for Internal Security, boarder peace and conflict resolution, Mr. Stanley Okoro Emegha confirmed the renewed killings but threatened that the state government will clampdown and rearrest the stakeholders for allowing the war to subsist.
According to him: “As for how many that were killed this morning, police will let us know. Government has done what it’s supposed to do to make sure that the peace which lasted for three weeks now is sustained. But the State government will not be tired of tackling this security situation in that community.

“We will find out what is really the problem again that caused this renewed crisis.
“We are not yet sure whether those killed were up to four or six persons as people who are from that place are saying. It is still a rumour until we are sure. However, it is the duty of the government to provide security and we have deployed more troops to the place.

“I don’t know why this has continued, in fact, the state government will take a certain measure that is harder. We will ensure that all the stakeholders are rearrested,” he stated.

However, an unconfirmed report from sources in Effium community alleged that over twenty innocent persons were reportedly killed by warlords during the renewed hostilities.
In a swift reaction, the Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Command, CP. Aliyu Garba confirmed that it is only one person that was killed in the renewed hostilities in Effium community.

“Police is doing everything possible to put an end to the crisis in Effium community. We have understood the modus operandi on how both Ezza-Effium and Effium operate. There is no need of blowing Effium crisis. Only one person was killed,” he stated.

This administration will complete, commission Abiriba Ring Road-Ikpeazu

Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu says that his administration will complete the Abiriba Ring Road and promised to donate by next month, 150 units of Solar Powered Street lights for installation along the main road that leads into the Abiriba Community.

The Governor stated this today while addressing the 2nd Town Hall Meeting with the Abiriba Community in Aba held at the Abiriba Hall, Jubilee Road, Aba.

The Governor also stated that the State will soon take delivery of a tunneling machine to be deployed for the Aba flood management project. The machine will handle underground tunneling and storm water management around , Ngwa, Portharcourt, Ohanku roads and environs.

The Governor disclosed that the underground work to be done in the area with the tunneling machine measures 17 metres beneath, hence, no building in the area would be pulled down as a result of the work.

The Governor, who informed that his decision to solve the flood water problem of the area permanently is to build solid roads, assured that his successor would no longer need to reclaim the area and maintained that he would do more roads in the days ahead. He revealed that his administration would build a health village at the Aba General hospital premises and informed that over 600 class room blocks have been built across the state while model schools have also been constructed to boost education in the State.

The Governor also directed the Commissioner for Works to visit the Igbere – Abiriba erosion site and report to him for remediation work to be done. Governor Ikpeazu commended the Abiriba people for their sustained support to his administration and their contributions to the State economy describing them as true representatives of entrepreneurial spirit of the Igbo nation and a pride to Abia State.

Governor Ikpeazu used the opportunity to pay tribute to late Hon. Ossy Prestige, who he described as his ally and made a donation of 10 million naira in support of the education of his children. He urged the Aba community to support to the PDP candidate in the forthcoming by-election.

Also speaking, the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu said the Governor has achieved a lot in many facets of the economy including security. He noted that Abiriba people are beneficiaries of the Governor’s policy thrust, adding that the Governor is ensuring that businesses are thriving in the State based on the aggressive promotion of Made in Aba and SME development.

In his speech, the Minority Leader and member representing Aba Central at the State House of Assembly, Hon. Abraham Oba, thanked the Governor for reconstructing many roads in his constituency, including Ukaegbu, Ehere, Egege, Ebenma, Milverton roads among others and asked them to hearken to whatever request of the Governor for the Abiriba community in Aba North & South Federal Constituency. Also, the member representing Ohafia North at the State House of Assembly, Hon. Mandela Obasi saluted the Governor and enjoined his people at Aba to give support to Ngwa people, in whose land they have succeeded in various businesses

The Executive Chairman, Ohafia LGA, Dr. Okoroafor Ukiwe and his Aba South counterpart, Mr. Clinton Ebere expressed joy that the Governor is doing various roads in Aba which is assisting in the businesses and economic growth of the people.

In their various speeches, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Women Mobilization, Chief (Mrs.) Nnenna Obewu-Onwuka and the leader of PDP in Abiriba clan, Chief Mba Ukariwo appreciated infrastructural development of Governor Ikpeazu said they appreciate the love the Governor has for Abiriba people and assured the Governor of their sustained support.

Earlier, the President, Abiriba Communal Improvement Union, Chief Nduka Agwu Onuoha commended the caterpillar revolution of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in Aba, which has impacted positively on the businesses of Abiriba people living in Aba and appreciated him for identifying with the clan in the meeting and said the meeting was held in Aba as Aba is the entry and exit point of Abiriba people hence the choice of Aba for the meeting.

He pleaded with the Governor to complete the ongoing construction of Abiriba ring road as well as drew his attention to the erosion manace along Igbere-Abiriba road.