Tag Archives: Abia State

NBS ranks Abia third for 2020 capital inflow

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has ranked Abia State as the third state with top capital inflow in 2020.

According to NBS, “By destination, Lagos emerged as the top destination of capital investment in Nigeria with $8.3 billion, followed by Abuja, which received $1.3 billion.

“The others on the list are Abia State with relatively $56 million, Niger with $16.4 million, and Ogun with $13.4 million.

Anambra State recorded $10.2 million, Kaduna State recorded $4.03 million, Sokoto got $2.5 million and Kano got $2.4 million”.

It stated that the remaining 26 states received no foreign capital inflows the entire year.

The states include: Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara States.

Jonathan’s COAS, Ihejirika, joins APC

A former Chief of Army Staff, retired Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, has joined the All Progressives Congress.

The ex-Army Chief formally declared for the APC and registered with the party in the ongoing registration and revalidation on Tuesday.

Recall that General Ihejirika, served at the helm of the Nigerian Army from 2010-2014 under former President Goodluck Jonathan, made his declaration to join the APC at his Isuikwuato country home in Abia North Senatorial District.

The former COAS made his declaration and subsequently registered at Ezere Ward 2.

His registration was conducted by the APC Ward Chairman, Iheanyi Chukwu, in the presence of stalwarts of the party, including Kalu; State Secretary of the party, Perfect Okorie; Deputy State Woman Leader of the party, Lady Franca Osuwa; Chairman, Abia APC Registration panel, Ambassador Bala Mohammed Mairiga; Chief Ameobi Ogah; Dr. Lilian Obenwa; Abia North APC Zonal Chairman, Chief Chris Ajah; Member, Abia State House of Assembly, representing Isuikwuato Constituency, Hon. Emeka Okorofor; and party faithful.

Recall that in November last year, Kalu, the APC leader in Abia State, urged Ihejirika to join the party.

“General Ihejirika’s decision to join us today in the APC is no doubt a great one and I must commend him for taking the bold step after over a year of convincing him to join the party.

“He should be assured that his membership in our party will be a very fruitful one.

“I am loyal to the party.

“This is why I have always subjected myself to the party’s decision-making process.

“My appreciation also goes to the Chairman, Abia APC Registration panel, Ambassador Bala Mohammed Mairiga, and his team for joining me to grace this exercise.

“The chairman can see for himself that the APC in Abia is deeply rooted.

“In the last few days, he has accompanied me to some decamping ceremonies of people from other parties into our party.

“On behalf of our National Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, I welcome you to our great party.”

Disclosing his reasons for joining the party, General Ihejirika said his coming into politics by joining the APC is to contribute to the progress of the party in the state and at the national level.

The former COAS said further that having served in the Army for almost 38 years, he has gathered sufficient experience to contribute to the democracy of the nation and the fortunes of the party.

In his words:” I am delighted by the presence of the leader of the party in our state, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, to honour this event.

“Having served almost 38 years in the military, I am convinced that it will be a waste of experience for me to remain outside government activities.

“Thus is because I have a lot to offer and assure you all that I will operate an open-door policy.

“I will also learn fast.”

Ihejirika said his first goal is to unite the party.

He said: “My first goal is to unite the party.

“Unity is very important because if we are united, we can achieve all our goals for the state and the nation at large.”

Recall that similar advances by Senator Kalu had yielded results as it saw the founder of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and United Peoples Party, Chekwas Okorie; former governorship candidate of the APGA in 2015 and 2019, Dr. Alex Otti; former governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Emeka Atuma; former Commissioner for Finance in Abia State, Obinna Oriaku, joining the party in the state.

We are starving, please save our souls, Abia Law Students appeal to Gov Ikpeazu

Students group A group, under the aegis of Abia Nigerian Law School Students’ Association (ALSSA) has called on the Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr. Victor Okezie Ikpeazu to intervene on their behalf.

While noting the various giant stride the government has accomplished which includes but not limited to the construction of major roads in Abia, Provision of amenities, and core infrastructural developments which has enveloped the state since the beginning of his tenure.

The President of the association, Mr. Darlington Uwaoma appealed to the Governor to help out members of the group which comprises Abia state law students in the 6 campuses of the Nigerian law school – Abuja, Lagos, Yola, Enugu, Kano, and Bayelsa).

Revealing that the majority of them are starving and are yet to meet up with the financial demands of the Law school. Others are debtors due to the monies borrowed to actualize their dream.

Darlington Uwaoma also stated that Abia State students have always been among the best for the past 5 years with many students who are now lawyers bagging first-class from different campuses of the Nigerian law school and stressed that this year’s set will replicate the amazing feat.

He pleaded that timely intervention of the Governor will go along way to help them prepare adequately for the task ahead.

Recall that some states, recently Enugu State gave out grants to their indigenes to help curtail the financial hardship especially in this covid-19 season.

Violation of face mask rules to attract N5000 fine in Abia as state govt bans cultural festivals

Following the second wave of coronavirus infection across the country, the Abia State government has placed a five thousand naira(5,000) fine on any resident of the state without a face mask.

The State Government also disclosed that it has banned cultural festivals till further notice and warned that it would hold responsible the Traditional Ruler of any community that contravenes the government’s directive in preventing the COVID-19 infections.

The Government in a press release signed by the Secretary to the Abia State Government and Chairman Inter Ministerial Committee on COVID-19, Barrister Chris Ezem and made available to newsmen, on Saturday, in Umuahia, directed that all hotels and hospitality places paste a “No face mask No entry” banner at their entrances and maintain all COVID-19 protocols.

It added that any contravention will attract N100,000.00 fine including sealing off of the premises.

The Government’s statement said, “All churches are now to operate on a 50-person basis per stream and must conclude all religious activities by 2pm on Sundays and Saturdays whichever is applicable. All weekly activities must be limited to 2 activities only. Whilst night vigil and crusades are totally banned. All religious places of worship must paste at its entrances “No face mask No entry”.

“All eateries are now to operate on a take away basis and must maintain all covid-19 protocols at their premises. They must place at their entrance “No face mask No entry” sign. They must ensure the availability of running water and sanitizers at their premises. Any contravention will attract a fine of N100,000.00 and the premises will be sealed off.

“All COVID-19 market Committees are to be revived and must ensure total compliance with all COVID-19 protocols at all markets failing which the Government will not hesitate to shut down such a market and proscribe its Union.

“All burials and weddings must be limited to 50 persons only and maintain all COVID-19 protocols. Traditional rulers of communities must liaise with the Local Government Chairman of the relevant Local Government and set up an enforcement Committee made up of people of integrity to ensure compliance. The enforcement Committee is at liberty to stop any burial or wedding in contravention.
“All public places, ministries and parastatals must paste at their entrances “No face mask No entry” sign.

All schools, private and public, must observe all COVID-19 protocols.

“Community testing and sample collection is ongoing in all the 17 LGA’s. The State medical protocol team are in place and our molecular lab is 24 hours in operation to run samples”.

The State Government, however, urged all Abians to continue to observe and comply with all COVID-19 protocols and take these directives seriously.

We Are Not Interested In Profiling Hausas Or Fulanis But Criminal Elements, Says Abia Gov

Abia State governor Okezie Ikpeazu says the state government is not interested in profiling any tribe but clamping down on criminal elements violating open grazing law in the state.

Ikpeazu disclosed this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily. He also explained why open grazing is banned in the state.

“Abia State was one of the first states that came out with legislation banning open grazing and our argument is that Abia State is perhaps the smallest state apart from Lagos in land area in Nigeria and we have a lot of minerals and crude oil beneath the soil.

“God did not endow us with sufficient land to permit open grazing and leaving our land for cattle grazing.
“Our interest is not to generally profile the Hausas or the Fulanis, we are interested in the criminal elements,” Ikpeazu said.

According to the governor, the problem of farmer-herders clashes can be solved after proper diagnosis and when the Federal, State and local governments come up with a joint policy to tackle the problem.

“Nigeria is supposed to do a proper diagnosis of the problem and treat it accordingly. We are not diagnosing the problem properly; we are just diverting the attention of serious-minded people in this country.

“We have people who are interested in creating anarchy and confusion so that opportunist anarchists like ISIS who are interested in destabilising the country will come in.

“The Federal government down to the local government should come on one page and have a policy dealing with criminal elements wherever they may be found irrespective of the state of origin or background.”

It will be recalled that Southeast governors recently announced that they have banned open grazing and the movement of cows by foot in the region in a bid to tackle the security challenges confronting the zone.

Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi disclosed this on Monday during the inauguration of the All Progressives Congress in Abakaliki.

Woman sentenced to two weeks imprisonment for indiscriminate waste disposal in Abia

The Sanitation Mobile Court, Aba North has sentenced Miss Hannah Geoffrey of No 53 Osusu Road, Aba to a two week imprisonment at the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Aba for indiscriminate dumping of refuse into the drainage and littering the newly reconstructed Osusu Road.

Delivering his judgement, the Presiding Officer, E.U. Eke Onuoha stated that the accused was guilty of two count charge occasioned by illegal dumping of refuse inside the gutters and littering of refuse around her premises contrary to section 18 schedule 12, No. 9 of the Abia State Environmental Basic Law 2004 and 2013 as amended.

While reacting to the judgement, The Deputy General Manager Abia State Environmental Protection Agency ASEPA Aba Zone and Environs Hon Chief Rowland Nwakanma lauded the judiciary for upholding the law and warned that the era of Indiscriminate dumping of refuse into the drainages and littering the roads with garbage is over in Aba. He further reiterated his willingness to implement the directive of the executive Governor of Abia State Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu to ensure that sanity is maintained in the city by ensuring that no one defaces the newly constructed roads in Aba while commending his Taskforce Teams for apprehending defaulters and charged them to pursue their duties diligently.

Ikpeazu to commission three roads in Aba Friday

IN continuation of his statewide projects inspection and commissioning programme tagged “Kinetic Abia Tours”, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State will, on January 22, commission three roads he reconstructed in Aba.

The roads are Eziukwu Road, Milverton Avenue, and Ojike Lane, all in Aba South Local Council.

Disclosing the move, Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Kalu, in a statement, said the governor would be accompanied on the tour by Prelate and Moderator of The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Nzie Nzi Eke.

Others are elected political and party leaders and members of Abia State Traditional Council, among others.

APC membership registration: Alex Otti sends message to Abians

A renowned economist and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State, Alex Otti, has called on Abians to make use of the opportunity provided by the forthcoming membership registration exercise of the APC to get registered and become card-carrying members of the party.

Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ferdinand Ekeoma, on the forthcoming registration exercise, Otti who joined the APC last year with thousands of supporters from his former party, explained that the membership registration exercise billed to commence on Monday, 25th January 2021 would provide members with the opportunity to enjoy the necessary rights and privileges accorded to members of the party, as well as the platform to make critical decisions that would assist the party achieve huge success in future elections.

According to Otti, “What our party the APC is about to do is an exercise that would ensure that the membership of the party is captured in an electronic database, and would give us the opportunity to review our membership record, get to know our numerical strength, and above all, provide willing Nigerians the opportunity to become members of the APC, and the platform to participate in critical decisions of the party geared towards the advancement of democracy and upliftment of the welfare of the people.”

The ex-bank chief made it clear that he will align with other progressives in the party to ensure that the party was rejigged and repositioned to become more formidable so as to robustly play its role as the alternative party in Abia state with the ultimate desire of ensuring that Abians reap the benefits of democracy which has been denied them by successive governments, while also leveraging the opportunity of being the ruling party at the federal level to demand for what is due to Abia from the federal government at all times.

Otti, however, called on party leaders and stakeholders at all levels, especially at the wards to ensure a hitch free process that would encourage people to troop out and register with the party.

Recall that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had announced January 25th, 2021 for the commencement of Registration and Revalidation of membership of the party.

APC, APGA lose 3000 members to PDP as mass defection hit parties in Abia

More than 3, 000 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia State have decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Making this known in his address during a well attended PDP stakeholders meeting held at Okpara Auditorium, Government House, Umuahia, under the leadership of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Chairman of the PDP in Abia, Rt Hon Asiforo Okere while giving account of the recent tour of Abia LGAs embarked upon by the party leadership in the state said, “we rebuilt the confidence of our members and strengthened their tiers of unity. The hallmark of that was our harvest of not less than 2,000 opposition members particularly of APC and APGA stock across the state.

“In addition, new members numbering over 3,000 came up at different LGAs across the state and declared openly for the party.”

In his remarks, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who congratulated members of the party on the successful recent local government elections in the state, assured them that his administration will not allow itself to be distracted by the opposition who, according to him, are bent on attempting to lure him into joining issues with them politically and abandon the ongoing rapid development of the state.

He briefed party members on ongoing projects of his administration assuring that he intends to complete all projects started by his administration before 2023. “Abia is a PDP state and the other party has nothing to offer our people now or in future, hence, their resort to propaganda of defection”, he said.

Continuing, Governor Ikpeazu said, “our people know that they are better off with PDP and will never agree to return to the dark days represented by those now masquerading as APC leaders. We know their pedigree and footprints in this state and when it is time I will challenge them to come forward and show the people of the state what they have done for them both in the past and present”.

Also speaking, Senators T. A. Orji and Enyinnaya Abaribe called for unity of purpose among party members to ensure that the party consolidates in the state and expressed appreciation to Governor Ikpeazu for his focused efforts to deliver quality infrastructure to the people of the state.

The National Organising Secretary of the PDP, Colonel Austin Akobundu, announced that the party was set to embark on fresh membership registration drive in the country and called on members to treat all new members as equal members.

Others at the well attended meeting include the Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu, current and former PDP members of the National Assembly. Speaker of Abia State House of assembly, Engr Chinedum Orji, and members of the state House of Assembly, members of the state Executive Council, Local Government Chairmen, party leaders and stakeholders from all the LGAs, including Chief Emma Nwaka, Chief Tony Ukasanya, Prof Greg Ibe, among others.

BALANCING THE POWER EQUATION IN ABIA STATE COME 2023

The creation of Abia state out of the old Imo state in 1991 was greeted with much excitement and euphoria. Abia was born and predicated on the idea that creating a new state called Abia would be a tool for rapid even socio-economic and infrastructural development across the nook and cranny of the area without any section or zone feeling marginalised, discriminated against or even neglected.

It was also aimed at bringing government closer to the people and give all component parts and people a due sense of belonging without any group left behind in the development architecture of the state.

The entity was anchored on the principle and philosophy of equity, justice and fairness as enunciated in the Abia Charter of Equity as envisioned by the founding fathers of the state who were drawn from the various
parts of the state.

The name, ‘ABIA’ itself is a.coinage derived from the first alphabets of the former divisions that were to become part and parcel of the yet to be created state, namely, ‘A’ for Old Afikpo Division, ‘B’ for the Old Bende Division, ‘I’ for the Old Isuikwuato Division, and the last ‘A’ for the Old Aba Division to complete the arrangement.

The belief and understanding.was that the chief executives of the state would emerge alphabetically as anticipated in the letters and spirit of the Abia Charter of Equity. Following the creation of Abia state in 1991, the first governor of the new state in the person of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu came from the erstwhile Afikpo division as contemplated in the document. Though that administration was shortlived following a military coup d’etat that toppled the democratic government at that time, the fact remains that Ogbonnaya Onu had kick-started the process by taking the turn of the Old Afikpo division. As fate would have it too, Old Afikpo Division is now in the present day Ebonyi state.

When full democratic government was restored in Nigeria in 1999, the Old Bende Division produced the governor of the state in the person of Dr.Orji Uzor Kalu. He was at the helm of affairs as the chief executive of the state for eight years,1999 to 2007. Orji Uzor Kalu was succeeded by Chief Theodore Orji from Umuahia, also of Bende stock, 2007-2015.

Today, the incumbent governor, Dr.Okezie Victor Ikpeazu from the Old Aba Division is the governor. Hē is rightly christened ‘Nwa Aba’ in absolute reference to the Old Aba Division.Today the question that is agitating the minds of well-meaning Abians is, where is the place of Isuikwuato/Umunneochi axis in view of the other zones having successfully taking their turn on the basis of the alphabetical order of things?

Come the year 2023, Dr.Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, the incumbent governor would have completed his tenure of eight years.

The year 2023 is another national election year. Whether justice, equity and fairness to all will be brought to the fore without any individual, group or section attempting to outsmart or shortchange Isuikwuato/Umunneochi remains to be seen. It is therefore expedient and imperative that the political parties, especially the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA and the All Progressives Congress the major political parties while fielding their different candidates should give thought to this time tested agreement as enshrined in the Charter of Equity which is the pillar of equity and justice in the state.

Balancing the political power equation in Abia State on the basis of ’emenyere Nwogwugwu,emenyere Nwa Anosike'(( Live let’s live) philosophy becomes a truism that should not to be treated with levity. It is sine quo non in power equilibrium and stability of Abia state, the underlying principle behind its creation.

Equity, justice and fairness are ingredients of democratic ideals and tenets the world over. Its absence therefore creates the precondition for feeling of marginalisation, discrimination, exclusion, underdevelopment and sectionalism.

Such state of affairs obviously has the potential to create the scenario for lawlessness, anarchy, recklessness, and ultimately bad governance and poor performance.

The issue of fairness , growth and development would have been sacrificed on the altar of ‘dog eat dog and winner takes it all mentality if the principle of justice and equity are trampled upon in the sharing of political positions even at the highest levels.

As the clamour for the Nigeria president of Igbo extraction gathers momentum because that is the right thing to do, we need to also direct attention to the popular adage, ‘as above, so below’ , and that ‘charity begins at home’, but should not end there.

Isuikwuato and Umunneochi people deserve a fair deal in the Abia question. They have contributed immensely to the sustenance of socio-economic and infrastructural development of Abia state.

The landscape of the area is a gory sight in terms of provision of social amenities and infrastructure,to say the very least. The issue of neglect and marginalisation facing the people is an open secret that needs to be radically and sustainably addressed.

Governor Okezie’s giant strides in all facets of socio-economic and infrastructural develpoment across the entire gamut of the Old Aba Division amply highlights the truth that, ‘manu akara di uto, onye ratu ibeya aratu’ axiom. The philosophy and brand of development practice is a legacy bequeathed to him by his predecessors.

During the buildup to the governorship election of Okezie Victor Ikpeazu in 2015, the slogans, ‘Nwa Aba ga emezi Aba’ , and ’emenyere Nwogwugwu, emenyere Nwanosike’ were rife and dominated the political space at the time and even now.

In fact, the emergence of the first governor of Abia State from the Ukwa Ngwa at this time in the annal of the history of Abia state has proved that justice and equity will always prevail no matter how long it is delayed. And once achieved guarantees a sense of security, accomplishment and fulfilment.

Today, the quantum of development projects and programmes dotting the entire landscape of the Old Aba Division clearly pinpoints to the place of equity, justice and fairness in the distribution of democratic dividends and benefits.

Equity and justice liberates the people free from all forms of feelings of subjugation and second class citizenship.

To really factor Isuikwuato/Umunneochi into the highest political architecture of Abia state, it becomes incumbent on all and sundry, especially the key political parties in the state to support any agitation, intention, ambition, aspiration, action, strategy, and undertaking that seek to zone the next governorship slot of Abia state to Isuikwuato Division for power to be truly balanced in Abia state.

This is the only recipe that will guarantee even and rapid socio-economic and Infrastructural development of Abia state and ultimately leading to.equitable distribution of power and resources.

The year 2023 is fast approaching and offers immense opportunity to squarely address the issue.

The Old Isuikwuato Division parades a galaxy of well-experienced technocrats, academicians, entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, seasoned administrators, politicians, entrepreneurs and professionals,etc who have national and global acclaim with the capacity and competence to transform Abia state to a glorious and eminent heights among the comity of states in Nigeria.

It is a new dawn in Abia State and the need to catapult Abia State to a new height of growth and development cannot be over emphasized.

Abia State is endowed with abundance of human, material and natural resources which are yet to be fully tapped and translated into economic growth and development for the overall good of the people of Abia State.

There is no gain saying the fact that Abia State is populated by highly creative, resourceful, visionary, patriotic, resilient, innovative and entrepreneurial men and women not found any where in Nigeria. Effective and efficient management of these wonderful human capital is a rarity that should always be leveraged upon.

Specifically, one outstanding and remarkable achiever and leader who has the capability, capacity and competence to become the next governor of Abia state is Prof.Greg Ibeh, 57 who is good to go for the exalted office come 2023.

The Uturu-born entrepreneur, businessman, academician, philanthropist and who is also the founder and chancellor of Gregory University, Uturu, Abia state, a foremost private university is excellence in Abia State has all it takes to offer humble and impacful service to the people of Abia state.

As a world -class iconic development consultant, he will bring his wealth of experience in the national and international development systems to bear on the overall development of Abia state by leveraging his extensive contacts and connections both in the business world and development to his state.

His relationship with multilateral, bilateral and international development organisations will be translated into practical actions and activities to jumpstart the development process of Abia state to a new height.

His familiarity with procedures and processes available in the national and international development community is a major ingredient that marks the governorship aspirant above his peers in their aspiration to govern Abia state.

Given the opportunity to serve as governor of Abia state, innovative and entrepreneurial approaches and strategies will be deployed to transform the entire Abia state.

In all honesty, God has endowed Prof.Greg Ibeh, Enyi Abia with resilience, resourcefulness, creativity, humanity and passion for development.
Enyi Abia is a man of destiny whose time has come to salvage the people from grinding poverty, excruciating unemployment, inequality, disempowerment, and infrastructure deficit. He is a man of selfless service whose zeal to serve others is unquestionable.

It is on record that the philanthropist par excellence as a change agent is the highest employer of labour in Abia State aside from the state government.Yet he remains humble and cool-headed in line with his christian principle of humility and service to the people without making much fuss about it.

Currently many students at all educational levels, local and overseas are on his scholarship programmes.

At the peak of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic that threatened and is still threatening humanity globally, the governorship hopeful lavishly provided palliatives of food, cash and other needful items to help cushion the effect, especially at the peak of the lockdown occasioned by the ravaging disease.

This gesture was also extended to even residents of Abia who are indigenes of Abia state.

The pan Igbo stance of Prof.Greg Ibeh is legendary. He has consistently and constantly hosted and sponsored the annual Igbo Rennainsance Project which is domiciled in the Gregory University of Excellence,Uturu.The Igbo Rennainsance Project is an annual summit that brings together all the eminent Igbo sons and daughters all over the world.

As a pragmatic leader and advocate of equity and justice, Prof. Greg Ibeh will carry all component parts of Abia state along in realising the vision and dreams of the founding fathers of Abia state who midwifed and envisioned the state to be the fastest growing economy in the country on the basis of participatory, bottom up approach to sustainable development and democracy.

The time to ponder and consider is now!

Arkin Rock Mba Ahukanna wrote from Aba.
7th January, 2021