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APC Accuses Ohanaeze Of Sabotaging Buhari’s Campaign |The Republican News

• We scheduled meeting before election timetable –Nwodo

Magnus Eze, Enugu

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Ohanaeze Ndigbo of frustrating the party in the South East, including President Muhammad Buhari’s visit to Anambra and Enugu states today.

They alleged that the fixing of meeting of the Imeobi, the highest decision making organ of the body, today, by the Chief Nnia Nwodo leadership, was a design to diminish the import of the President’s visit.

Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chuks Ibegbu said Ndigbo would, at the meeting take a position on which direction they will cast their votes, particularly on the presidential election.

APC National Vice Chairman, South East, Chief Emma Enukwu said the “Ohanaeze is the only socio-cultural group that has taken a position on 2019 election with adoption of a candidate, but power belongs to God.”

Also, a chieftain of the apex Igbo organisation, who belongs to the APC in Enugu State, Prince Richard Ozobu, on Monday, faulted Nwodo for scheduling such an important meeting on the day the President is visiting two states in the region.

Ozobu said: “I’ve been a frontline player in Ohanaeze for many years and Imeobi meeting has never held on a Thursday but Saturdays.

“I can clearly tell you that Nwodo fixed this Imeobi meeting in bad faith. There is no emergency in Igboland to warrant the message he sent across that emergency meeting of Imeobi holds Thursday. This is to show the least, Nwodo’s disdain for President Buhari and he should not hoodwink the entire Igbo nation into his personal calamity.”

But, Ohanaeze, in a swift reaction denied that the Imeobi meeting was scheduled to sabotage the campaign tour of the APC presidential candidate.

Nwodo said in Enugu, yesterday, that the NEC of Ohanaeze Ndigbo had chosen the date without knowing the campaign timetable of the ruling party.

He explained that it was even the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige and the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi that called his attention to the clash. He disclosed that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has in deference to Ngige and Umahi, shifted the time for the meeting from 10:00am to 4:00p.m “on the same day at the instance of Dr. Ngige.

The body noted that they were aware of the extra cost implications due to those that would have gone after the meeting, but would now be accommodated in hotels, apparently to give all Igbo sons and daughters scheduled for the meeting opportunity to be there. The statement added that although Ohanaeze Ndigbo is apolitical, it could aggregate the collective interest of Ndigbo for a candidate that answers to their wish and inclination but would not be dragged down to the level of vile politicking.

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has called on Ndigbo to vote massively for President Buhari in the February 16 poll because of the long term benefits to them.

Addressing a meeting of APC faithful in Enugu, he said: “We want to be on the side of history, we want to be on the side of victory because in years to come, we will look back and we want our children and our grandchildren to say this was the moment when the South East got its act together, united and followed a path of victory and a path of sustainable development for the South East and for Nigeria.”   (The Sun)

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Python Dance 2 Drove Away Nnamdi Kanu From South East, Says Buratai |RN

PHILIP NWOSU

 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, on Monday attributed the escape of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu as one of the major successes of Exercise Egwu Eke II.

The Army Chief who spoke at the flag off of the third edition of the military maneuver Exerciser Egwu Eke III in Lagos said: “One of the important achievement of the Exercise held in 2016 was the escape of Nnamdi Kanu; let him come and face the battle if he wishes.”

General Buratai said if Nnamdi Kanu dared, the python would have swallowed him, warning other criminal elements and those planning to cause trouble in Lagos and Ogun states to stay clear or “the python will swallow them.”

He explained that the objective of the military maneuver was to reinvigorate all existing operations in the country with additional manpower, equipment and resources to address the lingering security problems in the country.

His words: Nigerians should be assured that at the end of the exercise which is also conducted simultaneously by other divisions in the army; the python must have swallowed all the bandits, rustlers, terrorists, kidnappers, robbers and militants in the country. The python will also swallow thugs and other miscreants that may raise their heads to disturb the peace in the country.”

General Buratai warned criminals within Lagos and Ogun states to flee or would be crushed by troops of the Exercise Egwu Eke 111.

He said: “The exercise is a realistic training package in internal security operations, clearance operations, emergency management, rescue operations, roadblocks, cordon-and-search as well as anti-kidnapping and anti-cultism.

“It is necessary to draw the attention of well-meaning Nigerians that while reporting issues of defense and security, they must have at the back of their minds, the importance of national security. Just as mentioned earlier, defense and national security are not all comer’s affairs. No one is permitted to divulge any information that is injurious to national security.

“This is contained in the Official Secret Act 1962. “Section 1(3) of this Act states that a person who transmits any classified matter to a person to whom is not authorised on behalf of the government to transmit it; or obtains, reproduces or retains any classified matter which he is not authorised on behalf of the government to obtain, reproduce or retain, as the case may be, is guilty of an offence.”

“l enjoined Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that this is the only country that we have and all efforts should be focused to save it from the claws of unpatriotic elements fighting to pull the country down. Giving out official information or spreading fake news is inimical to national security.”

General Buratai said that prior to EX EGWU EKE III, the Operation AWATSE had intensified operations to crack down the activities of illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism, kidnapping, armed robbery and cultism among others, adding that the operations conducted against economic sabotage by pipeline vandals and cultists as well as other criminals had achieved commendable successes. He said several vandals had been apprehended while other criminal elements especially cultists were on the run.

General Buratai said the momentum of the Operation Awatse must be sustained, pointing out that the military must continue to display professionalism in the discharge of its constitutional roles while acting in aid to civil authority.

“Do not provide any opportunity for criminal elements to infiltrate your ranks. You must also embark on civil-military relations activities like medical outreach and others.

“Let me use this opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the Nigerian Army and our mandate in aid to civil authority. Accordingly, EX EGWU EKE III has the mandate to provide adequate protection and security for the good people of Nigeria.

“I am also calling on all law-abiding citizens to provide troops adequate support and cooperation, especially timely information to enable them to accomplish their task. I assure you of adequate logistic and operational support throughout the conduct of this exercise.

“You must deal decisively with the criminals and ensure that the right of law-abiding citizens is protected. I wish you good luck as we commence EX EGWU EKE III in 81 Div AOR and Nigeria.”  (The Sun)

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Obi Of Onitsha Wants Osu Caste Culture Abolished |The Republican News

                                      Obi of Onitsha

Tony Okafor, Awka

 

The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, has said the time has come for the Osu caste system to be abolished in Igboland.

Describing the practice as antiquated, unlawful and obnoxious, Achebe called for a concerted war against the act.

The Osu caste system, our correspondent learnt, is a practice in Igbo land that discourages social interaction and marriages with a group of persons regarded as slaves. The stigma is transferable to even children yet unborn.

Speaking at a workshop on Thursday in Awka, Anambra State, organised by the Initiative for the Eradication of Traditional and Cultural Stigmatisation in Our Society,  a non-governmental organisation, Achebe said the practice had no place in a 21st century.

He urged traditional rulers in Igbo land to stamp out the practice in their domains, while hailing the body (IFETACSIOS) for its initiative in that regard.

He said, “There is the need for people from all parts of Igbo land to come together and agree that this obnoxious cultural practice, which our fore fathers introduced, no longer have effect on us and our children.

“We are happy with the coming of IFETACSIOS group on this project and we are going to collaborate with them to ensure we end this bad culture that has held our people backward for many years now”

The President of IFETACSIOS, Oge Maduagwu, in her address, sought the help of the traditional rulers in the area in the abolition of the Osu caste system.

Maduagwu said abolishing the system would restore the dignity of human beings, promote peaceful relationship and reduce communal conflicts.

She said the Osu caste system had wreaked havoc on the socio-cultural, economic and political lives of the Igbo.

She said, “In Igbo land, it is very sad to note that a young man and young lady might be courting, but the moment either of the two discovers that the other is an osu, he or she will opt out of the relationship.”

According to her, the group has extended the advocacy on the abolition of the harmful practice to Imo and Enugu states.

Maduagwu disclosed that they would visit Ebonyi and Abia before the end of 2018, saying, “The big dream of IFETACSIOS is the coming together of all the eastern states of Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu and Abia to sign an accord on the abolition of Osu caste system one day.”

She said apart from meeting with the leadership of the traditional rulers, the group had engaged various community leaders to tackle peculiar challenges faced by communities with a view to ensuring total eradication of the system.  (Punch)

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South East Governors Poised To Kick-Start Economic Integration Of The Region

…Appoint 10-man team

From Chidi Nnadi and Petrus Obi, Enugu

South East Governors Forum, after its meeting in Enugu, yesterday named a 10-man economic team to kick-start its proposed regional economic integration aimed at boosting the local economy of the zone.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting, chairman of the Forum, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State noted that each of the five states of the zone nominated two names to make up the 10-man economic team.

The members of the team as listed by the Ebonyi governor are Dr. Chukwuma Agu, Dr. Ene Okoro, Ifeatu Onejeme, Mark Okoye, Prof. Bernard Odo, Mr. Denis Ekumankama, Prof. Barth Nnaji, Prof. Osita Ogbu, Barr. Obinna Mbata and Chief Iyke Njoku.

They will be inaugurated during their next meeting of the forum scheduled for June 4th at the Nike Lake Hotel, Enugu.

The governors who had a session with the Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu disclosed that the Nike Lake meeting will involve members of the National Assembly for their contributions in the zonal economic agenda.

Umahi told newsmen that the forum discussed extensively about the economic agenda for South East; “last time we told you about some integration of the states, like the railways, the power, the commerce, seaport among others.

“And so we have taken some necessary steps forward by referring these our intentions to our economic team so that they will do the preliminary studies, invite some consultants and then be able to do some presentations to us in the next meeting.

“We also interfaced with the South East economic Corporation. We had extensive meetings with them. Earlier on, they had a meeting with our economic team and we are expecting to know the areas of cooperation and the necessary assistance they will be giving to the forum.

“We also interfaced with the Bank of Agriculture; they are very important in the Agric Programme of the South East. They gave us some briefing and we asked them to put down; what their capacities and operations they can give to each of our states. I have also made presentations to the economic team so that they understand their areas of operations, what we can benefit from them.

“But one thing very important is that the anchor borrowers of the Central Bank is being handled by them, so we want to get the much we can from them. Of course they are not happy that the funds to South East is not as it should be so they are very happy with the governors for this initiative’’.

that through the governors we should be able to get our due share of the Agric funds

“We also discussed the power needs in the South East which is the catalyst for our development and we have invited the team of Geometrics. You know Geometrics set up a power plant in Aba, we want to know the reasons why these are not injected into the system. We believe that the injection will help the entire South East; it can power the entire south-east and further assist us in the area of our cement, breweries as well as our commerce.

“We have also invited the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, and in due course we will be interacting with a team from EEDC to know their challenges and ways and means we can improve on power distribution in the zone.”

The governors further discussed the proper setting up of its secretariat hoping to get nominees from the state, “and we would give the nominees to DFID who will do the due diligence and then make some recommendation to us.

“The other staff of the forum will be sourced; already there are existing staff of the forum from Enugu State. They will be properly put together so that our robust secretariat will take off in earnest.

“The same process of selecting our Director General will also be the same process of selecting our media consultant,” Umahi concluded.

The governors that attended yesterday meeting were Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State, Willy Obiano, Anambra, and Dave Umuahia of Ebonyi State.

Deputy governor of Imo State Prince Eze Madumere represented Governor Rochas Okorocha.      (The Sun)

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