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Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 09 January 2019

At Olumba's Centenary, Islamic Cleric Preaches Unity

They came in their thousands from all over the world to participate in the Centenary celebration of the leader of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, Olumba Olumba Obu.

For thousands of members of the BCS the event which took place at the UJ Esuene stadium  was a momentous and memorable one.

An Abuja-based Islamic cleric and Chairman of Interfaith committee in Bwari, Abuja, Dr Ibrahim Idris delivered a goodwill message.

In the message which attracted applause intermittently from the crowd at the grand finale of the centenary celebration, he called for unity among adherents of various religions in the country.

Idris quoted copiously several verses of the Bible and the Quran to substantiate the fact that humanity needed not to be divided on account of ethnicity or religion.

 “In a multi-religious society like ours, we should love one another unconditionally. We should not erect walls of hatred against members of other religions.

“The invitation to leaders of other religious groups to grace this event signifies the desire of Leader Obu to unite our people. Efforts must be made by all to entrench an egalitarian society. Love brings people together as demonstrated by Leader Obu through the Brotherhood creed which is, love for all, hatred for none.”

According to him, the major problem in the world was absence of love, adding that faith was a matter of the heart, not compulsion.

Chairman of the central organising committee of the centenary, Bassey Imowo also spoke about the virtues of Leader Obu and how he had touched the lives of thousands of people through his philanthropic activities such as award of scholarships to indigent students and providing the needs of internally displaced persons.

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Why We Invited A'Ibom Assembly Clerk, Cashier –Police

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The Akwa Ibom State police command has explained the circumstances that led to the invitation of the Assembly clerk and the cashier, Mandu Umoren and Monday Akpan, respectively.

Police spokesman, Odiko McDon told TNN over the telephone on Saturday that they were invited and questioned based on a petition from some aggrieved members of the Assembly.

The PPRO said the Assembly staff were invited for questioning over a petition from five lawmakers who were sacked from the assembly in November last year, for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC).

The sacked lawmakers are Nse Ntuen, who represents Essien Udim State Constituency; Idongesit Ituen, Itu; Victor Udofia, Ikono; Otobong Ndem, Mkpat Enin; and Gabriel Toby, Etim Ekpo/Ika.

 According to McDon, “there was a petition by other members, those who defected from the APC, to the police, stating that monies meant for them have been diverted for personal use by the cashier and the clerk.

“It is in that ground that they were invited, to ascertain the truth and if there is any culpability and the extent. When they came, immediately after, they had to listen to them and they were allowed to go.

“The commissioner of police gave a clear instruction to the officer handling the case to release them on bail. They were not kept overnight. They were released same day after the findings.

Investigation is on-going. It may not be concluded in a day. If there is need for them to be re-invited, they will be re- invited and if there has been a criminal breach, they will be charged to court.”

The Akwa Ibom assembly has been embroiled in crisis since the lawmakers were sacked.

The state government has repeatedly accused the police of taking sides with the APC and the sacked lawmakers.

Even, the governor, Udom Emmanuel, in November last year led some security officials and some youths loyal to his government, to the assembly premises to chase away the sacked lawmakers who had taken over the Assembly complex.

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Udom: All My Opponents Deserve To Die

January 2 every year is usually set aside by the government and people of Akwa Ibom State, since the era of the then governor Godswill Akpabio in 2008, to thank God Almighty for the out-gone year and to re-dedicate the affairs of the state in the new year to God.

However, the governor, Udom Emmanuel turned this year's event to an opportunity to visit political vendetta on his critics and the opposition, while praising himself and extolling his achievements particularly peace to high Heavens.

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Ayade Will Fight Toughest Battle Of His Life- Emmah Isong

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The presiding Bishop of Calabar-based Christian Central Chapel International, Bishop Emmah Isong, made some prophetic declarations for 2019 during the annual crossover night service in his church in Calabar on 31 December. Our correspondent, DAVID ODEY was there and recorded the event. Here are the declarations:

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The Shehu Shagari, Lulu Briggs Connection By Godknows Igali

Two great friends and political allies died peacefully a few hours apart. One in Abuja, Nigeria's capital city. The other in Accra, the capital city of neighbouring country, Ghana where he had gone for a short visit. One from the aridity of the peaceful sub-urban town of Shagari, close to the headquarters of the Sokoto Caliphate in Nigeria's extreme northwest. The other from the swampy creek town of Abonnema, once a vibrant base for Europe's “Legitimate Trade” in agricultural produce in the aftermath of the abolition of slave trade, but today in the heart of the famous Niger Delta.   More, one was a professional public servant who at a time ruled the country. The other, a business mogul and strategist, who dexterously controlled the political machinery that brought his friend to power.

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After 2023, Who Will Be Able To Wear Ayade's Shoes?

The Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade has every cause to beat his chest about his achievements in the past three and half years he has been in power. He himself has acknowledged the fact that with the lean resources available to the state, he has been able to change the landscape of the state through agricultural revolution and unprecedented industrialization drive.

He took over the reins of power at a time the entire country was entering into economic recession and the debt profile of the state was almost strangling it. In fact, the huge debt the state was owing was almost bringing it down on its knees. Any incoming governor could have thrown his hands in the air in despair for inheriting about N120 billion debts from his predecessors. Not so for Governor Ayade who has the knack for confronting challenges head-on. Being a man with a clear vision and knowing the direction he was going to steer his government, he set about putting the right structures in place to change the pathetic story of the state to that of a positive one in spite of its parlous finances.

The governor created jobs by increasing the number of political appointees to at least 6,000. With his understanding of the dynamics of having people usefully engaged, he said he settled for this huge number of appointees to reduce social tension and combat hunger.

It is amazing that in the past three and half years he is yet to owe salaries despite warnings from people in high places that he would find it difficult to fund the hefty wage bill of the thousands of political appointees and civil servants in the state. He has never wavered in his resolve to pay salaries promptly and sometimes ahead of the beginning of a new month.

 Again, it is the first time in the history of the state that a governor would show the kind of commitment to the industrialization of the state as Governor Ayade is doing. No wonder he anchored his re-election mantra on sustainable industrialization. He is not just paying lip service to his desire to industrialize the state. He has many projects to show for it. Is it the rice seedlings plant in Calabar, the Ikom cocoa processing factory or the vitaminized rice mill in Ogoja that should be mentioned, all geared towards creating employment and improving the economic fortunes of the people and shore up the revenue base of the state? How about the toothpick factory in Ekori and the banana plantation in Odukpani? There is also the super highway and deep seaport which, when completed would be the greatest legacies of the Ayade-led administration. The two projects are the ultimate game changers which the governor said would be accorded utmost priority when he begins his second term.

Besides, the 148 kilometres mini super highway spanning the five local government areas in the northern senatorial district is already taking shape as asphalting has commenced. Commmunities along the road corridor from Mfom, Okpoma, Okuku, Ogoja, Bekwara, Obanliku, Obudu would witness the kind of transformation never heard of by the time the road is completed.The dualization of Tinapa to Odukpani junction road is very much in progress as well as the 28 kilometre Boki East –West road which has been completed. There is also the 2.5 kilometres Usung – Esuk road in Odukpani, another 2.5 kilometres road in Ikpakapit, Yakurr, and the 5 kilometres Ovukwa road in Obubra. Altogether, the Ayade-led administration is hgandling about 400 kilometre road projects in the state, besides the asphalting of existing roads that had potholes.

The noodles factory, Calapharm where drugs and syringes are to be manufactured for local and international markets, the shoe making factory, not to mention the garment factory which has employed hundreds of women and other projects too numerous to mention, are also part of the industrialization drive of the governor which has been applauded by many, including President Muhammadu Buhari who was on a visit to commision the rice seedlings factory some months ago.

All these accomplishments basically aimed at replacing the ignoble tag of civil service state foisted on our dear state with that of an industrial state wouldn't have been possible if not for the dogged determination of the governor to do things differently by deploying what he calls intellectual money to full advantage. It takes only a visionary leadership to achieve this feat. This feat which would be stretched further till 2023 in the governor's second term would definitely be difficult to match by his successors after he leaves office in 2023.

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Getting Ready For Peaceful Elections

The much awaited 2019 is here at last. Various political parties are warming up for the elections. The stage is set and the electoral umpire, INEC, looks good to conduct an election that will see herald the Fifth Republic.

Expectedly, the contenders have continued to speak of their readiness to conduct themselves in peaceful manner. Although, there are others who have declared that they would go violent if their opponents decide to go that way.

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