Category Archives: News

Edo Indigenous Movement congratulate over Olumide Akpata NBA National Electoral Victory

An Edo Indigenous Movement known as Edo Progressive Indigenous Association (EPIA) has commended Olumide Akpata who emerged Presidential winner of the Nigerian Bar Association’s (NBA) national elections, after defeating two other contestants who are Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs). This victorious win makes him the NBA’s first non-SAN President in years.

This commendation was made in Benin by the leader and President of EPIA, Chief Dr Bishop J.O. Enoyiogiere Edokpolo. He said the overwhelming solidarity that the Benin Branch of the NBA drummed up for Akpata could as well earn him the well deserved victory at the International Bar Association’s cadre.

“This result represents a sudden change in the order, as Akpata is now the first non-SAN to lead the Nigerian Bar Association in years. Feedback from members of the NBA indicates that there has been a long-standing hunger for a paradigm shift. And now it appears many of the association’s members have a good reason to be excited.

“Patriot Olumide Akpata-For us, members and trustees of the Edo Progressive Indigenous Association Worldwide, your eminently deserved victory at the NBA presidential election polls did not come to us as a surprise. ‘Owamagbomwan – oresetin’ is an esoteric Benin maxim, which espouse the unbreakable power of home support.

“In the spirit of ‘Evbuomwan aro ne amen ro yi’, we rise in altruistic felicitation, for your resounding victory, while wishing you a landmark tenure. We beseech you, to be humble in victory, and extend a sincere hand of fellowship to your co-aspirants.

“Additionally Mr. President-Elect, put on the toga of a statesman, and not that of a politician. While politicians think of the next election, statesmen think of the next generation.

“We are praud of our son and brother, a bonafide Edo Indigene to be the president of NBA. You have made us proud. Be assured of our prayers, now and always. Once again, congratulations. Kindly endeavour to make Edo nation proud of your tenure. Barrister akpata Ose- nobla re- kpaee Ise. Obagha to kpere ise “, Chief Edokpolo said.

Recall that Akpata won the election with a total of 9,891 votes of the total 18,256 ballots cast, while his closest rival, Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) polled 4,328 votes and Dele Adesina (SAN) polled 3,982 votes.

The election commenced at exactly 11 am on Wednesday, July 29, and ended at 11 pm on Thursday, July 30. It was a virtual voting process where registered members of the association logged into the National Officers Election webpage with their Supreme court numbers and cast their votes. About 29,636 eligible voters were registered, and the election committee sent the voting link to the registered members via emails and sms.

Enugu govt flags off decontamination of schools ahead of resumption

The Enugu State Government, on Friday, flagged off comprehensive decontamination and fumigation of secondary schools in the state, ahead of resumption of academic activities.

The exercise is being carried out by the State Fire Service, led by its Chief Fire Officer, Engr. Okwudiri Ohaa.

It would be recalled that Enugu State Government, on March 24, 2020, closed all educational institutions in the state, as part of proactive measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The state government directed all public officers/civil servants to work from home till further notice, except those on essential services, and has been paying them salaries, including the teachers, as and when due, since then.

Briefing newsmen shortly after the flag off, which took place at Queen’s School Enugu, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze, who monitored the exercise alongside the Chairman of Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB) Barr. Nestor Ezeme, said that it was Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s directives that “all our schools, classrooms, dormitories and school premises should be decontaminated and fumigated in preparation for resumption”.

Prof. Eze disclosed that “this is to ensure that when the students and teachers are back to schools, they will be safe to learn in conducive environment”.

The commissioner added that the exercise will take place in all the schools and will be completed on or before the evening of Monday, August 3, 2020.

He pointed out that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration has utilized the four months of break in academic activities “in renovation and expansion of our school facilities to ensure that we have enough space for our children to maintain social distancing when they return to schools.

“In fact, a few days ago, His Excellency himself moved round schools to inspect our state of readiness and this decontamination and fumigation exercise, which is very important, is going to be the last stage of our preparation”, Prof. Eze said.

Also speaking, the PPSMB Chairman, Barr. Ezeme, added that “our education friendly Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi during the four months of lockdown had paid our teachers, totaling 11,000 in number their salaries, from the 22nd to the 23rd of every month”.

He said that the teachers are coming back to schools, ready and much energized, expressing optimism that their output will be maximized.

In his speech, the State Chief Fire Officer, Engr. Ohaa stated that the decontamination and fumigation exercise will be carried out simultaneously in about 297 secondary schools, saying: “We are sure that on or before evening of Monday, we will complete it”.

Engr. Ohaa revealed that the state fire service offices at different local government areas have been mobilized to carry out the exercise, reassuring that the schools will be ready “for students and their teachers to be safe when they return”.

He maintained that the Enugu State government has been consistent with the decontamination of its public places since the outbreak of COVID-19, stressing that “there is no other state that is as consistent as Enugu State”.

Appreciating Gov. Ugwuanyi’s efforts towards enhancing the standard of education in the state as well as the welfare and safety of the students and their teachers, the Principal of Queen’s School Enugu, Mrs. Ada Nweke, said that the teachers will ever remain grateful to the governor for his commitment and good works in the education sector and beyond.

Federal Government begins construction of N64bn fence for University of Maiduguri

THE Federal Government has begun the construction of the 27.3-kilometre perimeter fence for the University of Maiduguri to check incessant attacks by Boko Haram terrorists.

The project, which is valued at N64bn, is to stop the terrorists who have been penetrating the North-East part of the institution’s campus.

Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities in UNIMAID, Dr Dani Mamman, who stated these in an interview with The PUNCH, said only the western and southern parts of UNIMAID campus were initially fenced.

He said, “The UNIMAID perimeter fence is still being constructed. The Federal Government approved N64 bn for the construction of 27.3-kilometre perimeter fence for UNIMAID. That place is very porous.

“The ASUU UNIMAID wrote to the Minister of Education through the ASUU president after an explosion during which we lost a professor and seven other staff.”

COVID-19: Abia Students To Resume August 10

Final year students in Abia State may soon go back to school, as stakeholders in the state education sector are considering August 10, 2020, for reopening of schools to enable students in exit classes prepare and write their examinations.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the state governor on Media, Mr. Enyinnaya Appolos, said this was the outcome of a one-day summit held at the Government House in Umuahia, the state capital, where it was agreed that the planned school reopening was subject to verifiable compliance with all the proposed COVID-19 protocols, prevention and control measures.

In his opening remarks at the summit, the state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, insisted that while the state was desirous of ensuring its high flying students resume classes as quickly as possible, he maintained that his administration would not sacrifice the health of the children for anything.

He said: “We must find a balance between ensuring that they continue to enjoy good health and protection from this virus and continuing their education. I therefore urge all of us to take responsibility for our protection from this virus as well as the protection of our children and loved ones. Our lives cannot stop because of this virus, but we must take necessary measures to protect ourselves and loved ones from the pandemic.”

Addressing journalists after the summit, the Secretary to Abia State Government (SSG), Mr. Chris Ezem, listed some of the agreed pre-conditions to include clearing of school premises, decontamination/fumigation, provision of sick bays with relevant medical staff, compulsory provision of digital thermometers and hand washing stations as well as maintenance of social distance with maximum of 20 students in each classroom.

Ezem said the measures applied to both public and private schools in the state.

He also listed other conditions to include ban on gatherings among the students and ban on food vendors in the schools, however, assuring the state that the government would provide original pocket-size hand sanitizers for all the school children in the exit classes.

Head teachers were also directed to ensure that the students spend a minimum of 10 minutes daily to learn about COVID-19 and its prevention and control measures, while also charging parents to ensure that their children have and wear face masks to school always.

Aba Automated Shoe Factory, Best In Nigeria – Technical Partner

The Technical Partner of the Aba Automated Shoe Factory, Mr Osaro Ekonweren, has described the Aba Automated Shoe Factory as currently having the most updated shoe producing machines in the country.Mr. Ekonweren said this yesterday in an exclusive interview immediately after the inauguration of the Board of the Company by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.According to the Technical Partner, “we were amazed and impressed by what we saw on ground. Our group has been into shoe production in Nigeria for over a decade now and I must confess that the machines we saw there when we went on inspection cannot be found anywhere in the country. We use machines in our own company but we have is no where near what is at the Aba Shoe Factory”.Mr. Ekonweren said that at present, the factory has an installed capacity for the production of 5000 pairs of shoes every day which translates to about 2 million pairs of shoes annually, with facilities for expansion and assured that they plan to actually expand this capacity within the next one year.He saluted the foresight of Governor Ikpeazu and confirmed that the factory will change the face of shoe production in Nigeria.He said that his organization was selected as Technical Partners for the factory based on a proven and verifiable track record of quality automated shoe production spanning over 10 years. He stated that they make shoes for companies like PEP of South Africa and several others, assuring that the products from the Aba factory will be well received by the markets. According to him, products from this factory will not just be for the local market here but will be sold across West Africa and beyond.He assured that the factory will be run as a professional and commercial outfit with clear opportunities for value addition and job creation.On when actual production will commence at the factory, he assured that they will start test runs in the next two weeks while they will start production by the second week of September. He made it clear that by December this year, shoes from the factory would have gained ground in the local and international markets. He also stated that the factory will also produce other leather works like bags, belts, wallets, etc.Also speaking, the Executive Director, Operations of the Factory, Mr Chinenye Nwaogu said that with the new management structure in place, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has sent a clear message that the factory will be run solely on a basis of professionalism inspired by commercial expediency. He said that the 30 shoe makers who were sent to China by the Governor for training on the use of machines in shoe production will form the initial technical staff of the factory while there will be huge emphasis on training for more operators.Mr Nwaogu said that the apparent delay in the start of production at the factory was because the Governor insisted that a professional organization must be found to run the place and the process took some time, coupled with the pandemic of COVID-19 which shut down the country for about three months.The Governor inaugurated the Board of the Factory yesterday and gave them a clear mandate to raise the bar and cement the place of Abia State as the powerhouse of leather works in Nigeria and West Africa. The Board has Mr. Mark Atasie, a Management Consultant as Chairman.More photos:

2023: MAMMAN DAURA’S MERIT PRESCRIPTION AND ITS MISDIAGNOSIS

By Law Mefor

A significant number of people have died due to misdiagnosis of their medical conditions done with the best of intentions. One can be right the wrong way and vice versa. Such is life.

The nephew and closest confidant of President Muhammadu Buhari, in a BBC Hausa interview days ago, called for merit in deciding who governs Nigeria at the expiration of Buhari’s tenure.

In case you missed the interview, Daura said: “This turn by turn, it was done once, it was done twice, and it was done trice…It is better for this country to be one… It should be for the most competent and not for someone who comes from somewhere…”

What one understands the elder statesman to say is: Nigeria has come of age when merit should govern our national life. This is not quite a fair postulation if merit will not be applied in every aspect. The office of the President cannot be an exception and since federal character is what obtained, given its indivisible nature, only rotation can apply to it. For related good reasons, the Federal Character and Quota System still override merit in most official considerations in Nigeria as ways of carrying every part of country along. This is point missed by the elder statesman.

Right from the foundation of Nigeria the political and structural imbalances of the country have been at issue and have caused much crisis and continually arrest the nation’s development. Before independence, Nigeria operated three regions, two in the South and one in the North. Nigeria added one more region in 1963 – Mid-Western Region, still in the South.

The four regions operated up till the Biafra civil war when the then head of state Yakubu Gowon abolished the 4 regions and created 12 States. Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi created no states. General Olusegun Obasanjo who succeeded Murtala Mohammed, who also created states, did not create any State also.

Generals Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and Sani Abacha created States as Heads of State of Nigeria, bringing the number of States in Nigeria to 36 plus the Federal Capital Territory, which is also given the Status of a State, given the North an overarching advantage where it comes determining who becomes the President of Nigeria.

The number of Local Governments in Nigeria (774) also gives the North nearly 60% while about 40% to the Southern part, using landmass instead of human population. Yet, these amorphously and unfairly created States and Local governments form the basis of determining which part of the country produces the President of Nigeria. Going by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, it stipulates that the winner of the nation’s presidential election would score 25% of the votes in 2/3rd of the States of the federation and simple majority of votes. This makes it almost certain that the North is always in a position to determine who emerges the President of Nigeria at any time.

Yes, democracy is about majority but where the primordial sentiments and skewed structures pervading the nation are irrational, other measures must come to play to stabilize the polity. Voters do not consider candidates on merit in Nigeria but on religion, ethnicity, and region and so on. There is nothing democratic about that pattern of voting and where it is rife and one side of the country dominates the rest based on such factors, rotation becomes inevitable. Such factors made the United States of America to introduce popular votes and electoral votes.

Recall that Hillary Clinton won the popular votes but Donald J. Trump is President based on electoral votes. One may as well argue that the US approach is undemocratic but it has kept the country peaceful and progressive. Zoning of presidential position in Nigeria is akin to the US introduction of Electoral Votes, which supersedes popular votes where necessary.

Nigerian political class was therefore wise for the zoning understanding that has decided the political life of the country since 1999. It has served the nation well and each time efforts are made to set it aside, there has been an overly overheating of the polity. The most classic example of the crisis was an attempt by an incumbent to go for another term when the power ought to move to Northern Nigeria. The attempt of President Goodluck Jonathan (as he then was) to set aside zoning to enable him contest again brought the nation to a precipice.

That decision to set aside rotation and zoning gave oxygen to the formation of the first successful coalition to stop Dr. Goodluck i.e. the All Progressives Congress (APC). It formed the basis for the legacy political parties, namely: Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the PDP rally Nigerians.

The political leaders rallied round APC because it was a just resistance of an action to thwart a beautiful measure aimed at giving the nation political stability and progress.

In other words, merit as seen by the elder statesman, Mamman Daura is inoperable and does not apply to the nation’s presidency without moderating factors given their due premiums. Again, it also depends on how the nation applies merit. Nigeria as perhaps 6 nations rolled up in one can always have competent men and women in each of the six zones.

In the South East for example (just like in other regions of the country), there are at least a dozen acknowledged men and women who can provide topnotch leadership to our nation.

In other words, rotation does not mean that merit is scarified in Nigeria. Those who have ruled Nigeria were blighted by the nation’s skewed structures, which they lacked the political will to confront, not lack of merit.

There is none who has ruled Nigeria that was not competent enough. But each either lacked the guts to set the skewed structures of Nigeria aright or they maintained the status quo for the little, passing gains enjoyed by their regions.

Those who argue otherwise argue amiss. Merit and competence to rule a country render the many factors of leadership too secondary. The real deciding factors could be National visibility, acceptability, Integrity and Political courage. However, in application, judging by the Nigerian experience, what is important is the person being known and acceptable to a broad spectrum of national power stakeholders, influencers and to the generality of Nigerians.

Elder Statesman Mamman Daura knows what is meant by “broad spectrum of national power stakeholders”. To this group who decide who rules Nigeria, merit is not an educational qualification. It means much more. After all, to date Jonathan has been the only university graduate to rule Nigeria.

Rotation will give the nation the opportunity to keep the struggle for power by the regions, which ruined the First Republic, to be less rancorous. It will give the nation the chance to focus on development since the area when the next president will come from is predictable.

Rotation of presidential power became inevitable. All the factors that have made Restructuring Nigeria inevitable have equally made rotation inevitable. These are the centrifugal forces tearing the nation apart. All the measures that can help keep Nigeria one, progressive and peaceful are, by all means, democratic. Democracy is agreement and consensus, and there is nothing more consensus than rotation, given the nation’s peculiarity.

Dr. Law Mefor, a Social Psychologist, writes from Abuja; e-mail: drlawmefor@gmail.com; tweet: @LawMefor1.

Nigerian SS3 students now to resume Tuesday next week

The Federal Government has announced August 4, 2020 as the date for resumption of secondary schools across the country.

This was contained in a statement issued on Monday by Ben Bem Goong, Director of Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Education.

According to the statement, the decision was reached after a meeting of stakeholders in the education sector on Monday.

Only students in exit classes are expected to resume, so that they can participate in the West African Examination (WAEC) exercise scheduled to begin on August 17, 2020.

More to follow…

‘We are Biafrans fighting for freedom, our PVC is our AK 47- Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria, to inaugurate Dunukofia Anambra chapter

The umbrella body of Biafrans in politics, Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria has stated that although they are fighting a bitter war for the purpose of Biafra’s freedom from Nigeria, they are battling with different kinds of weapon from the ones usually deployed for war. It said that in place of the gun AK47, its deploying Biafrans with their PVCs to ensure that core Biafrans win the elections and take control of government in the state.

MOBIN, while revealing its plans to go into Anambra 2021 elections, said it will be re-inaugurating its chapters in all local governments of the state, beginning with Dunukofia Local Government Area, and then moving into the other LGs of the state.

In her message to MOBIN MEDIA on the development, Rita Anigbogu who is the Director General of the political organization said;

“We want to gather the Biafrans especially those who believe that although they are Biafra indigenes, they are also Nigeria citizens. Those who say that as long as they are still in Nigeria that they will participate in everything happening in Nigeria till Biafra eventually regain its lost sovereignty after the 1969-70 war.

“We are different, we are reinaugurating to start getting our PVC together. Our PVC is our own AK47 and we will use it to decide who will go for us as long as the politics of Anambra is concerned. At the expiration of the reinauguration, we can authoritatively tell you how many MOBIN members that we have in Anambra state and whether we can drive home our insistence of deciding who goes to Agu Awka as the governor and those who will be in the House of Assembly.

“We are beginning to ease out of a pandemic lockdown. Life and it’s existence will not be terminated with the pandemic and so the political activities. The reinauguration is not only special but important to us because our enemies are not resting and we will not rest. We want to get our tact together, we want to be ready at all time knowing that Anambra election is almost with us. We will guide and guard ourselves with our facemasks, observe the social distancing and our hand sanitizers will be handy with us.

“In Anambra 2021 election, our people will witness the Biafra spirit. The multitude of Biafrans that will participate in the next year’s election will out number that of 2017. We have the message and we have the content. Long live Biafra, God bless Biafra, forward ever, backward never.”

Professor Greg Ibe hails Abia Gov Okezie Ikpeazu over COVID-19 recovery

The Chancellor/Proprietor Gregory University Uturu Prof Gregory Ibe has congratulated the Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu on his recovery from COVID-19.

Prof. Ibe in a letter addressed to governor Ikpeazu, dated July 23, 2020, expressed gratitude to God for His intervention that led to the recovery of the governor.

According to the educationist, the period of the governor’s absence prevented the people of the state opportunity to rally round irrespective of political and religious differences, to intercede and petition God for his miraculous deliverance.

Taking a quote from the Bible, in Psalm 118:5 (I called upon the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and set me in a large place), he said “It is against the backdrop of your recent miraculous healing and subsequent deliverance from the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic that I hereby write to formally felicitate with you, your family and indeed the good people of our dear state, on this immeasurable divine intervention by the God of Abia.

“Though very excruciating, it is however instructive that your season of indisposition presented an irresistible opportunity for Abians to rally together, irrespective of political and religious differences, to intercede and petition God for his miraculous deliverance. Indeed it was a unique case of a people united by adversity and delivered by divinity” the letter read.

Prof. Ibe further prayed to God to perfect the Governor’s healing and strengthen his resolve to take the state to greater heights;

“Therefore, while completely identifying with legions of spontaneous praise and thanksgiving generated by our people to the Almighty, it is my intercession that the good Lord will perfect your healing, preserve you, spirit, soul and body, while strengthening your resolve to recommit yourself to the onerous task of repositioning our state” he added.

BREAKING: Fuel tanker explodes in Delta, killing many (PHOTOS)

About 20 persons have been reportedly burnt to death when a tanker carrying petroleum product exploded around Koko Junction section of the Benin/Saepele Expressway in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State.

The incident, according to sources, occurred around 11am on Wednesday when the tanker exploded.

It was gathered that the victims were burnt beyond recognition while no fewer than 10 vehicles were gutted by fire.

“The tanker carrying petroleum product was trying to escape a bad spot when it fell and suddenly exploded between Koko Junction and Ologbo section of the Benin/Warri in Delta State.

“More than 20 persons were burnt beyond recognition. About 10 vehicles were trapped in the explosion. The victims were occupants of the burnt vehicles.

“Officials of FRSC and security agencies are already here trying to remove the corpses. Many persons were injured. It’s a terrible situation”, a source eh witnessed the incident told our correspondent.

Niger Delta Today