The ceremony for the official opening of the first Sports University in Sub-Sahara Africa is to hold April 3, 2018 in Idumuje-Ugboko, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.
In a statement released by the Management of the Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation, it stated that the ground breaking event will involve the laying of blocks of classrooms, hostel accommodation, take off campus project for the proposed university, Stars University.
The statement further stated that the event which will be attended by the Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, as the host, will have Capt. Hosa Okunbo as the Special Guest of Honour and the Iyase of Ogwashi-Uku, Chief Mike Nwaukoni as the Guest of Honor.
It could be remembered that in a recent media chat with the members of Delta Online Publishers Forum, DOPF, the founder of the University, Hon Prince Ned Nwoko, and a Senatorial Hopeful in Delta North in 2019, stated that the university has officially obtained a provisional certification from the Nigerian Universities Commission, NUC to commence academic activities.
According to him, Stars University will be a wholly sports university, the first of its kind in sub Saharan Africa, which will aid in the training of sports men and women for the African of Continent.
Hon. Ndudi Godwin Elumelu represented Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives. He is a Card Carrying Member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He was elected a Member, House of Representatives in 2007 and served in the Sixth Assembly. Considering his outstanding performance, he was re-elected into the House of Representatives by his people in 2011 and in 2015 he contested for the governorship of Delta State.
As a Member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu made impactful contributions by way of sponsoring several Motions and Bills for the improvement of quality of life of his immediate constituency and people of Nigerian in general.
In 2007, Hon. Elumelu made history in the House of Representatives when he became the Chairman of Grade A Committee namely (House Committee on Power) as a first time Member of the House. This feat is yet to be repeated by any Legislator up till date.
He later Chaired the House Committee on Health and also a Member of the following committees: (1) information, (2) Climate change (3) Interior, (4) Water Resources (5) Science and Technology (6) National Security and Public Safety. He Chaired the House Committee on Power between 2007 and 2010.
Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, was born in Jos, Plateau State on February 23, 1965 to the Christian family of Dominic and Susan Elumelu of Onicha-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.
He is the immediate younger brother of Tony Elumelu, founder of Tony Elumelu foundation and Chairman of United Bank of Africa, UBA.
Young Ndudi obtained his West African School Certificate (WASC) at the Lagos State School of Arts and Science (1985-1986) and proceeded to Yaba College of Technology where he obtained his ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Business Administration in 1989.
He then proceeded to Edo State University, Ekpoma, where he obtained his B.Sc. (Hons) in Accounting in 1993. He later took a Mater Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the same University in 2000. The same year, he obtained the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria (CPA) and the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (ACIB) in 2003. He undertook the course of Strategic Leadership Programme (SLP) from the University of Oxford in 2004, capping it up in 2005 with a certified in Leadership Best Practice (LBP) Course from Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, Post-Graduate Diploma in Organisational Leadership (2008/2009) from Oxford University, Oxford and Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Administration from Galilee Institute, Isreal in 2017.
Hon. Elumelu is an Associate Member, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria (ICPAN), Associate Member of Chartered Institute of Insurance Brokers of Nigeria (NCRIB), Member Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and Member, Insitute of Directors of Nigeria, Nigeria EO1246 (IOD).
His other activities include: Board Member, Governing Council NCRIB (Finance Committee) from December 2003-2009, Member NCRIB Secretariat Development Committee from March 2002 to date; Member, PDP Monitoring Team for State Congress in Edo State, November 2003; Member Publicity Committee, PDP National Convention, December 2003; Chairman, Finance Committee for Local Government Election, PDP Aniocha North LGA, Delta State, March 2004; Member, Building Committee of Redeemed Christian Church of God (Praise Sanctuary), Ikoyi, Lagos, 2003 and Member, Ikoyi Club, 1988 (E954).
Hon. Elumelu served as Secretary, PDP Fund Raising/Building Committee for the new Delta State PDP Secretariat, 2009-2011. Chairman Father’s Day Committee Aso Villa Chapel 2011-2013.
Hon. Elumelu was Executive Vice Chairman, TransGlobal Insurance Brokers Limited and later rose to become the Chairman/Chief Executive TransGlobal Investment Limited, Victoria Island, Lagos. He was at various times Head, Credit & Marketing, Inter Capital Limited, Lagos, Acting Head, General Trade & Commerce, Head, Treasury/Credit & Marketing, Ikeja Branch and Credit Analyst (Corporate Banking) at Head Office of Gulf Bank of Nigeria Limited, Victoria Island and Lagos.
In the course of his career, Hon. Elumelu attended the following courses: Banking induction (GBN), July 1995, Marketing of Financial Services (GBN), July 1995; Functional Credit Courses (GBN), August 1995; Banking Operations Course (GBN), August 1995; Credit Analysis Workshop (GBN), October 1995; Credit Analysis Course by H. Pierson Associates Limited, August 1996; The Role of Accountants in Developing Economy in Democracy 2000; Insurance Brokers Certification Course by CIIN, 2001; The Role of the Director in Corporate Governance (LOGS) February 2001; Lagos Business School, Lagos- Strategies for Service Excellence 2001; Company Directors Course (LBS/IOD), November, 2003
His publications include (a) The Chronicles, Causes, Effects and Panacea of Bank Distress in Nigeria (MBA Thesis) and (b) Accounting under Inflationary Conditions: Implications for Financial Reporting in Nigeria (B.Sc) Project.
Hon. Ndudi Elumelu is an amiable and notable philanthropist with an avowed commitment to improving the conditions of humanity especially the poor, underprivileged and widows. His youths’ and women empowerment programmes have torched lives in virtually all the wards in Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency and beyond.
He single-handedly built and handed over a magnificent Church edifice for his community in Onicha-Uku that has become a centre of attraction and excellence for the Christian community.
Hon. Elumelu is the recipient of several chieftaincy tittles, honours and awards. His chieftaincy titles include:
(i) Ogodileze of Obior, Delta State;
(ii) Ezediohanma of Issele-Azagba, Delta State;
(iii) Omelora of Ukwunzu, Delta State;
(iv) Uwolo Ochiagha of Onicha-Uku, Delta State;
(v) Hasken Daura (Light of Daura), Katsina State and
(vi) Onwa of Oligbo Kingdom, Issele-Uku, Delta State.
(vii) Odoziani of Oko, Oshimili South, Delta State
His Awards include:
(i) The Most Outstanding Niger Delta Representative of the year 2007 by the Business and Leadership Development Centre (BLDC), Abuja. (16thDecember 2007).
(ii) Award of Excellence by the University of Port-Harcourt Graduate Students’ Association, School of Graduate Studies, University of Port-Harcourt in recognition of exemplary Contribution towards transforming Nigeria’s Power Sector (25th March 2008).
(iii) The Offspring of David Award (TODA) as Courageous Voice of the People and youths in the House of Representatives by the Central Parish Youth Fellowship of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Abuja, in recognition of his exemplary courage During the House Investigation into Power Sector Funding between 1999 and 2007. (25th April 2008).
(iv) Award for Exemplary Leadership by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Delta State Chapter in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards the welfare of the underprivileged as represented by the labour movement in Delta State. (1st May 2008).
(v) Award by Delta State Student Union, Ebonyi State University Chapter in recognition of his ardent support for Students and Exemplary Leadership Qualities and Philanthropic Gestures. (8th August 2008).
(vi) HEROES AWARD by Crusade for Greater Nigeria (CFGN) in collaboration with ICPC/UNDP in recognition of his efforts to expose the rot in the Power Sector and bring an end to the lingering power crisis in Nigeria (21st August 2008).
(vii) Patriotic Achievers Award in Accra, Ghana by Vision Africa Magazine in recognition of his contribution to good governance in Africa. (30th August 2008).
(viii) The Prestigious Africa Merit Gold Award by Tony Africa Media in Lagos in recognition of his contribution to humanity and society at large. (24th September 2008).
(ix) NTA Distinguished Peace Ambassador Award for his Exemplary Contribution in the enhancement of Peace and Development of the Niger Delta. (17th April 2009).
(x) Merit Award by Illah Development Union. (8th October 2011).
(xi) Award of Recognition by Igbo Women Progressive Union (Northern Chapter). (10thNovember 2011).
(xii) Award of Recognition by committee for the Victims of Extra Judicial Killings & Torture. (25thNovember 2011).
(xiii) Award of Recognition towards Sports Development in Ibusa by Ibusa Youths.
(xiv) Award of Excellence by National Youth REA South South. (23rd March 2013).
(xv) Merit of Honour Award by Honour & Care International. (29thSeptember 2013).
(xvi) Award of Excellence by Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) Chapter, Benin (12th December 2013).
Hon. Elumelu’s hobbies include Reading, playing Lawn tennis, table tennis, meeting people and socializing. Hon. Elumelu speaks English Language, Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa dialects fluently. He is happily married with children.
A Proactive, focused, courageous, uncompromising and determined personality, he exudes a sense of urgency for a better Nigerian society. His major legislative interest is human development and the prudent utilization of national human and material resources to promote welfare of Nigerian citizens, particularly in the power, Health, water, and other vital infrastructural sectors and removal of all impediments which hamper the achievement of this goal. His driving objective is to contribute to nation building based on peaceful co-existence and sustainable progress in Nigeria that will leave a lasting legacy in the sands of time.
“Dear Senetor Nwoboshi, It is with great consternation that the Igbuzor Community in the United Kingdom has received the sad news of your incaceration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commision (EFCC).
“Apart from the scanty information on social media, we are at this moment in time not privy to the reasons for your travail. It is therefore premature for us to state an opinion in the matter. We also understand that the case is still subjuce and as law abiding citizens, we will at this point refrain from any comments that could offend the court or portray ignorance on our part until we get reliable information in the matter.
“Suffice it to state that the love and prayers of the Igbuzor Community in the United Kingdom are with you at this challenging time.
Dibeooo!, na ife dioku gemesie ju oyi. May the good Lord be with you throughout these dark hours”.
The coalition of state chairmen of registered political parties in Delta state has called for the replacement of the senator representing Delta North senatorial district at the National Assembly, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi come 2019, over multiple allegations of corruption and embezzlement running into billions of naira levelled against him by the Economic and financial crimes commission EFCC .
This is contained in a press statement signed on behalf of the coalition of registered political parties in Delta state by its chairman, Hon Peter Okeme, secretary Ambassador Jude Eze JP and publicity secretary comrade Emeka Bidokwu .
The group expressed regret that the tenure of Senator Nwoboshi in the senate since 2015 had been characterized by ineptitude, graft, and ridicule to the utter disappointment and embarrassment of the people of Delta North and the state in general. They noted that Senator Nwaoboshi has not attracted any meaningful development to Delta North but endless controversy.
Nwaoboshi who hails from Ibusa in Oshimil North local government area of Delta state is being quizzed by the EFCC over N4billion naira contracts and possession of 20 accounts in six banks.
He is also under the investigation of EFCC for allegedly obtaining a 1. 2billion Naira facility from Nigerian Export -imports Bank NEXIM while sitting as a board member to buy electrical equipment but later diverted the loan to his pockets.
The embattled senator is also accused of fraudulently using one of his firms, Golden Touch construction project limited to purchase a 12 storey building in Apapa Lagos belonging to Delta state government at a cost of N805, 000,000.00.
EFCC also uncovered that Nwoboshi using a firm , Bilderberg Enterprises limited allegedly supplied refurbished equipment to Delta state owned Direct labour Agency DLA contrary to the Bill of quantity ( BOQ) which specified new ones at a cost of N1, 580, 000.000.0 0.
The coalition of registered political parties while viewing these weighty allegations demanded that Nwaoboshi should be replaced in 2019 and noted that ” the exalted position of a senator of the federal republic should be given to people of exemplary character who will bring honour to Delta North through their conduct in the hallowed chambers .
” If we compare his( Nwaoboshi) senate era to senate era of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa from 2011-2015, we would appreciate that while Okowa went to the senate to work,for the district ,the senator in question went there to work for himself. Throughout the senate years of okowa not one incident of corruption was recorded against him. Why then should Delta North be saddled with unending news of sleaze against their senate representative? “The group stated.
The coalition noted that senator Nwaoboshi had failed the people of Anioma through crass insensitivity to their plight and values of the indigenes.
Delta state House of Assembly hopeful for the Warri South West constituency seat, in the forthcoming 2019 General elections, Mr. Tony Okirika, has hailed the people of Anioma nation in Delta North Senatorial zone for the recent grand reception they organized in honnour of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa recently, even as he lauded the governor for his excellent achievements so far and urged the other Senatorial zones in the State to follow suit and endorse Okowa for a second tenure in 2019.
Mr. Tony Okirika, a successful businessman and publisher of Dandora Magazine, made this commendation and call for the endorsement of Governor Okowa for a second term, while expressing his joy with the people of Anioma nation for organizing the grand reception for their son and endorsing him as their sole candidate for the 2019 governorship election, in recognition and appreciation of the good governance and giant developmental achievements in virtually all the sectors, which have been the hallmarks of Governor Okowa’s administration, since he assumed office on May 29, 2015.
According to the Delta State House of Assembly hopeful, Governor Okowa merited the grand reception from the Anioma nation and deserves his endorsement for a second term to consolidate on the good works he has been doing through the SMART Agenda in job creation for the youths through the YAGEP and STEP entrepreneurship schemes, enhancing healthcare and education structures, ensuring sustainable peace in the Riverine areas which has yielded improved revenue generation, provision of proper and functional administrative processes, dedicated financial support for market women and small scale businesses through the Micro credit scheme and major infrastructural development initiatives seen in the visible projects like the rehabilitation of schools, construction of roads, upgrading of the Asaba intermational airport and the massive storm drainage to check flooding in Asaba the stste capital, amongst other outstanding achievements of his administration so far.
While noting that Governor Okowa took over a depleted economy which was ravaged by recession for nearly two years of his administration, Okirika stated that the Delta Governor had succeded in turning around the economic fortunes of the state by an honest, pragmatic, dedicated, dynamic and God fearing leadership style, which has plugged administrative loopholes, stemmed financial wastages and set down a well articulated strategic governance roadmap which has been followed with precision and guided the administration from an almost dead economy to the recent confirmation that the IGR of the state had hit a whopping N51billion.
The the Delta Assembly aspirant, a scion of the famous Okirika family of Gbaramatu kingdom in the Ijaw nation of Delta South, who is eyeing the seat presently occupied by distinguished Hon. Daniel Mayuku, stressed emphatically that with all the achievents so far recorded by Governor Okowa, there is absolutely no doubt that he deserves a second term to bring more dividends of democracy to Deltans and while hailing the Anioma nation for endorsing Okowa as their sole candidate for 2019, urged other Delta ethic nationalities who had not already done so, to quickly follow the example of the Anioma people and endorse Okowa for a second term, so that more prosperity for all Deltans will be delivered as he has already been doing.
President of the Nigerian Senate , Dr. Bukola Saraki, has visited a female Sergeant-At-Arms, Mrs. Sandra Davou, who was brutalized and badly injured when she and her colleagues struggled to stop the hoodlums who invaded the Senate and snatched away the Mace, on Wednesday, April 18, 2018.
A statement issued and signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, Sanni Onogu, said that Dr. Saraki visited Mrs. Davou who lives in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and is presently recuperating after she was treated and discharged from the hospital.
Saraki who was accompanied on the visit by his Deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Senator Isa Hamma Misau and Senator Baba Kaka Garbai, commended Mrs. Davou and her colleagues who had put up a spirited fight to prevent the invaders from gaining access to the Senate Chambers.
He also commended his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and all his colleagues who successfully took charge and safeguarded the National Assembly and the nation’s democracy, adding that the visit was meant to thank and show appreciation to Mrs Davou and her colleagues for their hard work, commitment and courage.
Answering questions from reporters during the visit, Saraki who was away in Washington on official assignment at the time the incident occurred, said: “I was told that few of our staff were injured during the invasion of the Senate last Wednesday, including Mrs. Sandra, who is very committed and hardworking.
“She was taken to the hospital and discharged and we felt that for the sacrifice they made by putting their lives at stake beyond the call of duty for our democracy, we have to come and appreciate her.
“I keep on emphasizing that what really defines a democratic nation is the parliament and the moment the parliament is not there, democracy does not exist.
“So what she and her colleagues have done, fills us all with gratitude and therefore we have come here to thank her and show that we really appreciate what she and her colleagues did,” he stated.
Saraki described last Wednesday, the day of the invasion, as a “sad day” and “disgrace” for the nation’s democracy and called for unity and firmness to eliminate all such undemocratic tendencies.
“My colleagues and I have said that the day of the unfortunate invasion was a sad day for democracy. It was a disgrace to our country at large and that such things should not be associated with our country. We must ensure we stand firm as a country to nip all those kind of undemocratic acts that exist in the bud.”
Former Member who represented Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, has congratulated Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, on the occasion of the reception being organized by the People of Anioma nation, on Saturday April 21, at the Cenotaph, Asaba, in his Honour and in recognition of the good governance and giant strides he has accomplished since assuming the mantle of leadership of the state on May 29, 2015.
According to the congratulatory message made available to newsmen on April 20, 2018, in Asaba, Elumelu said that the Delta state Governor, by all standards, deserved such an honour from his people, adding that as a leader, he has continued to be a selfless personality that has the development and unity of the Anioma nation and the entire Delta State at heart.
The renowned politician and astute businessman, who is a proud Anioma son himself, from Onicha Ukwu in Aniocha North LGA of Delta state, affirmed that under the leadership of Dr. Okowa, Delta State has continued to experience relative and sustainable peace, which has resulted in the accomishment of giant developmental strides in every sector of the state, even as he commended the governor’s passion in ensuring that every senatorial district is being carried along in the implementation of his SMART Agenda and Prosperity for all Deltans objective in the last three years.
Hon. Elumelu, who held sway on behalf the Aniocha/Oshimili people for two meritorious terms in the House of Reps, was particularly happy with the transformation prasently going on in Asaba, the Capital of Delta State, noting that only a Governor with the political will and strong determination to make a difference could embark on such developmental projects that have directly impacted positively on the lives and needs of the generality of the people even as he stressed that the Asaba storm drainage flood Control project when completed, will remain the best thing to have happened to the metropolis of thev state capital.
“Even in times of distress and recession, the Governor has remained steadfast and focused. I see him as a man sent by God for the Mission of taking the State to an enviable place, and I know without doubt that God is with him. It is only a Man with God’s guidiance that can perform without stress the way the Governor is performing,” Elumelu noted.
He equally applauded the people of Delta North and the entire Anioma nation for coming together as one, to honour their son and Governor of Delta state, who he described as a symbol of peace and unity, adding that the event is a great testimony that the Senatorial district remains highly united in recognizing the obvious, that Governor Okowa is working.
“We will continue to work as a family to ensure that our share in the Delta State project is not compromised and we will work hard to ensure that the Governor remains in office beyond 2019 to continue with his mission of uniting the State through his developmental agenda geared towards prosperity for all Deltans,” Elumelu stated in the message.
He then called on the good people of Anioma nation in the Four local Government areas in Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, to come out in their large numbers to join others in Anioma Nation, to accord Governor Ifeanyi Okow a rousing and beffiting reception worthy of an Anioma son who has done Anioma proud with his effective and efficient governance in the State.
Frontline Delta North Senatorial seat hopeful in the forth-coming 2019 general elections and former member representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constuemcy in the House of Representatives, Prince Ned Munir Nwoko, has felicitated with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state, on the occassion of the grand reception organized to celebrate the Delta State governor for good governance and a job well done so far, by his kinfolk, the Anioma nation.
Prince Nwoko, himself a proud Anioma son from Idumuje Ugboko, in Aniocha North LGA, Delta state, in a statement issued and personally signed by him, described Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as a man of history, a jinx breaker and iconic accomplisher who, through courage, tenacity and divine grace, emerged as the first indigene of Anioma origin to be elected governor of Delta state since its creation in 1991, adding that Okowa has, since his election, been inspirational, socio- economically dogged and Standard in his leadership outlook.
The statement, issued on Friday April 20, the eve of the grand reception slated for Saturday April 21, 2018, at the Cenotaph in Asaba, the Delta state capital, is titled: “FELICITATIONS TO GOV OKOWA A MAN OF HISTORY,” and reads thus:
“I Prince Ned Nwoko, on behalf of my Royal family, political family; friends and well wishers, heartily felicitate with His excellency the executive governor of Delta state ,Senator Dr . ifeanyi Okowa on the momentous occasion of his reception by the Anioma Nation on the 21st April, 2018.
“Your Excellency , you are inspirational, socio- economically dogged and Standard in your leadership outlook.
“Through courage, tenacity and divine grace , you emerged as the first Anioma origin to be elected governor of our dear state since its creation in 1991.
“You have a glorious place in history as a jinx breaker and iconic accomplisher.
“I am happy to note that with you on the saddle, Deltans have witnessed appreciable peace and development as envisioned in your SMAR Agenda.
“While commending your giant strides, let me assure you that I am poised to amplify and strengthen your laudable contributions to the growth and prosperity of the Anioma land in particular and Delta state in general.
“Congratulations on this well deserved hosting by the great people of Anioma.”
Prince NED MUNIR NWOKO
The Delta State High Court sitting in kwale, Ndokwa West, has fixed May 10, 2018 to hear the appeal filed for a stay of execution filed by Deputy Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Friday Ossai Osanebi over its judgment on the 2015 House of Assembly election in the local government, in suit No. HCK/78/2017 between Mr. Ozegbe Lawrence v Hon. Friday Osanebi and two others.
Hon. Ossai Osanebi has filed an appeal asking the court of Appeal to set aside the judgment of the lower court saying that the issues in contention as ruled by the lower court were not valid.
Hon. Ossai said the learned Trial Judge erred in law when he held that Osanebi had no basic educational qualification to contest the Delta State House of Assembly.
Hon. Ossai also stated, that the Learned Judge Trial Judge erred in law when he made an order declaring the plaintiff/ respondent as the winner of the Delta State House of Assembly election held in 2015, for the parliamentary seat of Ndokwa East Constituency.
He said the Learned Trial Judge erred in law when he held that the Deputy Speaker, was in breach of the provision of Section 31 subsection five of the Electoral Act 2010 and further that the certificate of the appellant were forged amongst other grounds duly stated.
The appellant by virtue of the appeal sought the relief of the court to set aside the judgment of the lower court and to dismiss the suit of the plaintiff before the trial court.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon Friday Osanebi, has continued to sit in the State Assembly’s plenary and has requisitely participated in several legislative duties, in accordance with the law and as it is statutorily required of him in line with his distinguished office as Deputy Speaker of DTHA.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has denied any involvement in the dramatic actions which led to the invasion of the Senate Chambers during a plenary session and subsequent removal of the Mace, which is the symbol of authority of the Nigerian Senate, by unknown persons, who were neither Senators nor staff of the National Assembly, on Wednesday April 18, 2018.
The denial of involvement by the Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial zone in the Senate, was contained in a statement issued and signed by Barr. Lucky Ajos, For: The Office of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
The statement titled: SENATOR OMO-AGEGE WENT TO WORK TODAY LIKE OTHER SENATORS; HE DID NOT REMOVE THE MACE OF THE SENATE, reads thus:
“On Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Senate purportedly suspended Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. However, based on legal advice and his understanding of the current position of the law, Senator Omo-Agege today resumed work and sitting with his colleagues. A few champions of the unconstitutional, invalid and tyrannical suspension tried to stop him but those who opposed it welcomed and protected him throughout the sitting. We are grateful to the many Distinguished Senators who stood by Senator Omo-Agege.
“We are aware of several media reports suggesting that Senator Omo-Agege personally removed or encouraged anyone to remove the Mace of the Senate. This weighty allegation is not true at all.
“Following the said media reports on the Mace issue, the Police authorities decided to hear from Senator Omo-Agege. He has told the Police his perspective to help them carry out a proper investigation. He has since left the Police. Senator Omo-Agege trusts them to thoroughly investigate this very serious matter.
“We are also aware of a statement allegedly issued by the Senate Spokesperson, Senator Abdullahi Sabi. Without any investigation, Senator Sabi willfully, deliberately and unfairly made very serious allegations against Senator Omo-Agege on the Mace incident. We are carefully studying Senator Sabi’s allegations to ascertain their full ramifications. Appropriate responses will follow, as may be necessary.”
Barr. Lucky Ajos
For: The Office of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege
Meanwhile and in a related development, the Nigerian Police appear to have corroborated the claim by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege that he was not actually arrested contrary to reports that the Senator was arrested after allegedly leading thugs into the Senate chambers to snatch the mace.
A senior police officer reportedly confirmed that Omo-Agege was not arrested, but that he was simply taken away from the NASS premises for security reasons.
“Was he (Omo-Agege) arrested? He was only taken out of the premises for security reasons, he wasn’t arrested or detained,” the senior officer stated.
When asked if the Police would investigate the lawmaker as directed by the Senate leadership, the source declined comment and referred all inquiries to the FCT Police spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah.
The Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Sadiq Bello; and some other police officers had taken Omo-Agege out of the NASS complex inside a black Toyota Hilux pick-up following the melee that ensued after the theft of the mace on Wednesday.
However it was also reported that the CP also refused to comment when asked if the Police Command would investigate the senator for allegedly leading thugs to forcefully take the symbol of authority of the Senate.
“I dont know anything; please ask the PPRO,” Bello, who led the squad to whisk Omo-Agege awsy from the Senate premises had said to foreclose enquiries.
However, in a swift reaction to the invasion of the Senate and the mace-theft episode, the Delta State PEP has strongly condemned the incidence describing it as shameful and an assault and affront on Nigeria’s democracy.
The condemnation of the Senate invasion and mace-theft was contained in a Press statement titled: DELTA PDP CONDEMNS INVASION OF SENATE AND SNATCHING OF MACE BY ALLEGED THUGS LOYAL TO SENATOR OVIE OMO-AGEGE, issued on 18th March, 2018 and signed by Mr. Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza, State Publicity Secretary, PDP, Delta State.
The statement reads thus: “DELTA PDP CONDEMNS INVASION OF SENATE AND SNATCHING OF MACE BY ALLEGED THUGS LOYAL TO SENATOR OVIE OMO-AGEGE
“The Delta State PDP is shocked and greatly disturbed by the unsavoury incident which occurred in the hallowed chamber of the Nigerian Senate, at about 11am, on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, when certain non-members of the Senate, described as thugs, invaded the chamber, disrupted the plenary session in progress and one of the invaders, in a brazen act of lawless audacity, plucked the Mace from its stand and walked away with it, escorted by his cohorts.
“The suggestions that these ‘foreigners’ to the Senate chamber, who committed this unscrupulous and sacrilegious attack on the Senate, were acting at the behest of Senator Omo-Agege, has been fully supported by unedited and unfiltered film footages streamed by credible Nigeria News media organizations, showing Senator Ovie Omo-Agege leading a group of unruly individuals, who are neither Senators nor staff of the Nigerian Senate, into the Senate while in plenary, first to brutalize and severely attack some members of staff of the National Assembly, particularly the Sergeant-at-Arms on Chamber duties and then proceed down the chamber steps to the Senate President’s area, where one of the fist-waving individuals acting in a thug-like manner, plucked away the Mace, which is the sacred symbol of Authority in the Senate and walked away with it audaciously, escorted gleefully in his nefarious act by his other violent colleagues.
“Senator Omo-Agege from the footage, did not make the slightest effort to dissuade them, but rather watched in satisfaction, shook hands with some Senators and proceeded to sit down calmly and with smug countenance, despite the fact and in total disregard of his suspension from the Senate for 90 legislative days, through the plenary session which had resumed with a substitute mace, even collecting a copy of the Senate hand book which was handed over to him by one of the Senate staff.
“Delta state PDP is aghast and flabbergasted by this shameful show of brazen impunity and unbridled affront on our democracy by a member of the Senate, who is not only expected to be distinguished and matured in actions, but is sadly from Delta State and representing the intelligent, discerning and well respected people of Delta Central Senatorial Zone.
“Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who has been described as the mastermind of this invasion act by foreigners, for even being mentioned, associated and identified with this callous act, has brought shame to his name, the name of Delta State and the name of the people of Delta Central Senatorial Zone, who he represents, with this shameless act of national embarrassment, indiscretion and disgrace.
“The Delta State PDP condemns the actions of the alleged thugs identified as loyalists of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, for invading the Senate chambers and taking away the Mace, the symbol of Authority of the Senate, illegally.
“We fully align ourselves with the position of the National Assembly, NASS, which has quite appropriately described the action as treason and given the police, DSS and other responsible security agencies, 24 hours to recover stolen mace.
“We are in total support of the decision of the Senate, signed by Sen. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, to get to the roots of this sad assault on democracy and an obvious act of treason which the seizure of the mace by some hoodlums represent.
“We endorse the position of the Senate which has mandated the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Idris Kpotum Ibrahim and Director General of the State Security Services (SSS), Mallam Lawan Daura, to retrieve the mace stolen by the hoodlums within 24 hours.
“Nobody is above the law, no matter your position and acts of lawlessness and brigandage such as this, allegedly coming from a man occupying such a hallowed position is shameful and should be condemned by one and all.
“Delta State PDP hereby tenders an unreserved apology, on behalf of the good and law abiding citizens of Delta State, to the distinguished members of the Nigerian Senate and the National Assembly and indeed the entire Nigerian population for this national embarrassment which a Deltan has brought on our dear State. This is another clear testimony of the kind of leadership that the All Progressives Congress, APC is giving Nigerians and a dangerous early warning signal of what and how they intend to prosecute the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
“We hail the brave pronouncements by the Senate leadership that the National Assembly cannot be intimidated or taken for granted and we are hopeful and confident that the law of the land will take its due course in the resolution of this matter.”
Long Live PDP!
Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza
State Publicity Secretary,
PDP, Delta State
Immediate-past Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan has said he wants to represent Delta South Senatorial District at the Senate in 2019 because of his desire to pursue quality legislation that will lead to the end of the crisis in the Niger Delta region.
The medical doctor, who hails from Abigborodo in Warri North LGA of Delta state and governed the state for eight eventful years, leaving indelible marks in the state as legacies of his tenure as governor, said he would soon officially declare his intention to contest the senatorial seat of Delta South at the National Assembly.
“I have not declared but I have decided to run. The official declaration is going to be very soon,” Dr. Uduaghan said.
Dr. Uduaghan, who was instrumental to the emergence of the incumbent senator representing Delta South, Senator James Manager 15 years ago, also said he withdrew from the race in 2015 to ensure that peace reigned in the state as he has always maintained that peace was more important than electoral victories. He, however, noted that the coast was now clear for him to serve his people.
In his words: “Despite the pressure from the good people of Delta South in 2015, I decided to step down, but looking at the horizon now, the issues that caused the security challenges that made me to shelve my ambition in 2015 are no longer there.”
Uduaghan, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), gave reasons why he wants to go to the upper chamber of the National Assembly and spoke of his plans for his constituency, the Niger Delta and the entire country.
According to him, without being boastful and in terms of capacity, he had the capacity to do the work of a senator in Delta South Senatorial District, and the experience he garnered over the years as commissioner, Secretary to the state government, governor, among others, had prepared him to serve at the national level.
“I was commissioner for four years under Chief James Ibori and I was close to him. I knew what he was doing in terms of peace issues. I was the first state government official to enter into creeks to meet ex-militant chief, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo in the heart of the Niger Delta as SSG to start negotiating peace with him. I did it severally when I was the governor of Delta State. At one of the outings, it was even the soldiers that pointed AK-47 at me when I was coming back.
“Sometimes, I would come back at night from negotiating peace, so I know the place in and out. I have been there in the day and at night, in fact, at one of them, I was sitting on a chair with about 20 of the boys with their guns, they were drinking, and we were there for three hours negotiating peace. I know the challenges; let me just say this, what we did and what the government has been doing is having what I call two boxes in managing the problems,” he explained.
The former governor said the first was that of engagement, as he used his influence then to mobilize religious leaders, traditional rulers and the youths to engage the boys in the creek in dialogue.
“We had the other box of enforcement; that is, using the military, the army, the police, navy, etc. One will think that with the two boxes, that would be enough to deal with the problems, but they are still there and re-occurring in different forms, some criminality and some genuine agitation; we still have the Niger Delta Avengers bursting pipelines; sometimes, we have those hijacking boats and sometimes ethnic quarrels,” he said.
According to Uduaghan, from his experience, the military, as an enforcement body was not a permanent solution to the problems in the Niger Delta as they were not very familiar with the terrain, “so, when the thing is really happening, it requires mobilizing the young people to show them the terrain or to prevent the crisis.
“For us to move forward, we must have an enforcement body that includes the community; especially the youths in the community, since they know the terrain. It is easier for people in that area to try and carry out enforcement or execute security challenges; it is easier for people in that area to know those who are involved in illegal bunkering. There are two parts to it, there is the part of genuine agitation, which has now been mixed with criminality and the criminality seems to have overshadowed the genuine agitation.
“To deal with it, we need the local people to be involved in the security arrangement and that will require legislation. The Waterway Security Committee I put up for instance, there is no law backing it up, so we need to put up laws that will help us in moving forward in solving the Niger Delta crisis.”
The Itsekiri-born politician, who was the 3rd Governor of Delta State from 2007 to 2015. added that there were lots of projects abandoned in the Niger Delta, and specific laws were needed to revamp these projects. If there were previous laws, he said, there was the need to bring them out and tailor them to meet what is happening in the Niger Delta.
“All these engagements we are doing, we need to promulgate laws backing the engagements, there is a lot of environmental damages going on. There are laws backing the environment, but we need to tidy them up. What I have done is to get a team of lawyers, they have looked at the laws and brought them out as it affects issues in the Niger Delta,” he said.
He lamented that since the crises in the Niger Delta, nobody has been prosecuted or brought to book.
“Nobody has been prosecuted so far. First of all, you cannot catch them and the people that are supposed to catch them don’t know how to catch them. I am going there to put up an enforcement body of people who know them and can get them and take them to court. If we are not serious of law and order in the Niger Delta, we will continue to have crisis.
“Right now, there is no law and order in the Niger Delta and we need to come out with and remind ourselves of the existing laws and tailor them towards the issues in the Niger Delta so that we can have permanent peace. A lawmaker is to make law and that will be my cardinal point. Also, there is the issue of attracting things to your area. There are very few people in the National Assembly that I don’t know. I have the capacity to attract things to my area more than anybody on the field today.
“Also, Nigeria has invested in me. Being in government for 16 years is a lot of investment. I think I should pay back by going to serve at the national level,” he explained.
The former number one citizen of Delta State, an exponent of modular refineries and development of the non-oil sector, promised not to collect his pension as a former governor while in senate if given the mandate by his people.
He also pledged to carry his constituents along by involving them in the lawmaking process and holding town hall meetings every six months.
“I am going to sign a contract with my people; the Senator-Citizens Contract. I have a group of lawyers who are already working on it,” he disclosed.
Asked his chances of picking the PDP ticket and eventually winning the senatorial election, Uduaghan, 63, sounded upbeat, noting that he is a grassroots politician well known and trusted by the people. He promised to justify the confidence reposed in him by ensuring them the very best representation if they give him the mandate to represent them in the Senate in 2019.
Already, various groups and individuals in the Delta South Senatorial District are waiting with bated breath to see their amiable son of the soil in the race as they believe he will replicate in their constituency his magic that turned around entire Delta State
Peter Nwaobossi and Ned Nwoko are two different persons. But they have the same character trait. None is gentle. They have stubborn aggressive streak. Nonetheless, on closer unmasking of their make up, Ned appears more cosmopolitan. A shade more polished. His western assimilation with British education and culture gives him the vintage .
The hot-headed temperament of both men seeking Delta North senatorial seat in 2019 is however not a snag. Politics in Nigeria is not for timid people. Oh yes urbane tendency may be a universal virtue but power in Africa ‘s most populous country is not for the faint – hearted.
Even with the cultured social behaviour of Anioma people, it is suicidal to walk like the catholic mass server on Nigeria’s thorny political terrain. There is no dove in the local politics of Nigeria!
The Anioma aborigine is not fully integrated into the mainstream Igbo in the South East, even with linguistic and sociological relatedness. Neither is he fully celebrated back home, as a strategic partaker in Delta patrimony, no thanks to an elitist tribal cabal, using diversity to sow divisiveness in the land for greed.
This leaves the Anioma persona some times in a dilemma like “a child of no world” depicted by Kenyan writer Gerald Angira, in a satirical allusion to the westernized African out of touch with traditional lifestyles, and yet not foreign not local!
Whatever station an Anioma model must have attained in Nigeria, is largely a function of merit and grace. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Tony Elumelu, Jay jay Okocha, Godwin Emefiele, Ibe Kachikwu…
Neglect remains the bane of Anioma area for ages predating the Nation’s independence ,through the first republic, the war, military interregnum to the dispensation of civil rule.
Asaba, capital of Delta state and Anioma flagship town is on the fringes of Eastern heartland, but it suffered the bloodiest horrors of Nigeria/Biafra pogrom, with the worst massacre on record. Neigbouring autonomous communities are also pining over the dark consequences of the 30-month war.
The political experience of ANIOMA in the Nigerian federal structure hence demands that her representative must be the best senator at Abuja to make impact. He must have presence and clout.
Peter Nwaoboshi versus Ned Nwoko. The battle promises to be rugged. Both men are roughnecks. The face off ahead is not a laughing matter. Each knows how to spit fire.
Ned, a former House of Representatives member from Idumuje Ugboko, once engaged Ika – born Ifeanyi Okowa in a stormy fight for Delta North senatorial seat in April 2011. Okowa ( PDP) won with 98,140 votes. Nwoko ( (DPP) lost with 67, 985 votes.
Time and perhaps brotherhood would settle the past as Ned teamed up with Okowa in 2014 to fulfill Ekwueme’s destiny as first Anioma governor of Delta state.
Invariably, Nwaoboshi, former PDP state chairman and civil commissioner had unsuccessfully backed Mrs Mariam Alli, Asaba native, for Delta North senate slot against Okowa in 2011. A flashback to the televised commotion that assailed our eyes at Asaba arcade.
But Nwaoboshi would emerge years later to his credit as the loudest voice of power shift and equity in Delta ,culminating in the historic Okowa governorship.
Today the fiercest critics of Nwaoboshi as senator said he has done nothing to justify a comeback, but for modest empowerment programmes and cameo appearances at high profile ceremonies. But his men insist the Ibusa born senator has made smart moves on the saddle since two years at Abuja.
Senator Nwaoboshi and his activities seem low key and self effacing, surprisingly uncharacteristic of a man loud and loquacious in nature.
Ned Nwoko’s foot soldiers boisterous and noisy are rallying him every where, presenting a picture of a super man and messiah, particularly in the social and mainstream media.
Between the two main contenders, the joker is not in external influences or marketing communication no matter how iconic or attractive.
The duo are at the mercy of the polling point, now that political parties and rigging are in trouble. Thanks card reader.
Let Peter Nwaoboshi and Ned Nwoko keep standing, whether with Umbrella, Broom or even Cock. Soon, Anioma people will give one of them a seat.
2019… Delta North needs one respite – the best CHANCE.
Former Ika Federal Constituency House of Representative member and now an All Progressive Congress, APC Delta state chieftain and governorship hopeful in the 2019 general election, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh has intensified his criticism of Governor Okowa, this time accusing him of contriving a purported endorsement by Asaba chiefs-in-council and alleging of a plot by the Delta State governor to transfer a whopping $18million slush fund grafted from a bogey new secretariat building project already approved by the Delta state government.
Ojougboh, who spoke to newsmen in Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area shortly after flagging off his “One-man-one-Vote” campaign in the area on Saturday, April 14, disclosed that evidence already abound that the project is laced with alleged fraud, including a plan by a bank to wire $18million to Governor Okowa’s foreign account as kickback.
These allegations, which are a follow up on earlier accusations including running the state on a blank budget, claim that the high scale fraud involved in the award of the N13.6 Billion Secretariat Building contract, is meant to enrich Okowa’s offshore account to the tune of $18 Million, adding that the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) have been mortgaged for 4 years in respect of the project.
Acccording to Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, investigators are currently collating evidence against Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on the deemed controversial N13.6 billion new Secretariat complex project in Asaba, to reveal alleged shady deals about the contract awarded to North China Construction Group Limited (NCCG) amd a formal press conference would be held before the end of April 2018 to disclose the gory details.
According to him, “We are giving a full press conference next week. We have the agreement signed by the state government and we have the plan by the bank to wire the sum of $18million dollars to the Governor’s personal account abroad and are going to expose and discuss that this new week”, Ojougboh revealed.
Speaking further, the former PDP South South Zonal Chairman who is now an All Progressive Congress (APC), chieftain in Delta state, accused Governor Okowa of exhibiting shameful lack of integrity not only in the award of the Secretariat project but also in the Asaba Airport project in which he accused the governor of ‘bribing’ some Asaba chiefs to endorse him, saying that the alleged endorsement by the Asagba in council was achieved by financially inducements to the chiefs in a well defined plot by Governor Okowa to play politics with the tour of the Asaba International Airport.
“A man who gathered Asaba Chiefs and packaged them to Asaba Airport and when they left, the Governor’s Press said, the Asagba and the Asagba in council has adopted Okowa for a second term but the Council came out and said it was fraud, that they were bribed. Is that a man with integrity?” Ojougboh queried.
Continuing, the APC governorship hopeful and Special adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, spoke on his on his “One Man, One Vote Campaign” to Ndokwa Nation, describing it is the weapon to eliminate electoral corruption, saying that the essence of the “One-man-one-Vote” campaign is to raise awareness and stamp out election rigging come 2019 so that the Vote of every Deltan will count in the 2019 general elections.
Dr Cairo Ojougboh said: “It is important that we elect somebody who will stop corruption first and the first corruption to stop is election rigging. If we do not stop rigging, they will out rig us and that is why we are launching the “One Man, One Vote Campaign” all over Delta State. We must first checkmate the rigging carried out by PDP. APC can win over PDP rigging but we must first purge ourselves of indiscipline.”
Ojougboh however expressed worries that APC will have a tough time in defeating PDP in Delta State, even as he noted that if Deltans do not allow PDP to buy them over with money, APC will emerge victorious.
“In Delta state here, if anybody comes and tells you that it is going to be very easy to defeat the PDP the person is not saying exactly the true. The reason why I’m telling you that the person is not telling you exact truth is that; as we gather here do we have one mind? If we don’t have one mind we cannot win.
“Number two reason is that; are we going to allow the PDP people, you know they have a lot of money. If they give some of you money, will you still stand by APC, won’t you say I have taken my own o what’s my business with APC? Even as we are in this meeting, they will come and wanting to buy you over, will you stand firm?”
Ojougboh, however said that the 2019 governorship election for him, is not a “do or die affair” but for the interest of his party APC, he will continue his grassroot structure building and ensure that APC capture Delta state whether he picks the party ticket or not.
“We will win if we work together as one family. I know that some people are working for Cairo, some for Ochei, Ogboru, Utomi and others, but the beauty of APC in Delta State is that, everyone is working and the aim of this meeting is to work as one family.”
While assuring Ndokwa Nation that the marginalization slammed on them by the PDP administration will be history during an APC administration in the State, Ojougboh charged them to speak with one voice in supporting an APC governorship candidate in the 2019 election.
He said that it is only a united force of all gladiators and party faithfuls plus the forces of the deprived people of Delta state that can oust the PDP led government of Okowa and therefore charged APC members to forge a formidable force and stand firm against election rigging come 2019.
Delta State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. David Edevbie has released the official figures of revenue generated in the State including grants and supports received, and the current debt owed by the State Government for year 2017.
Edevbie who made a smart presentation of the figures on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at the 2018 Ministerial Press Briefing organized by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah for Commissioners in the State to reel out the various achievements of their Ministries for the year under review, lamented that, the ministry is faced with numerous challenges which has adversely affected its capacity on service delivery and revenue generation.
Flanked by the Information Commissioner, Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Staff of the Finance Ministry, Edevbie stated that the internally generated revenue (IGR) realised between January to December 2017 was N51,352,398,514.94 representing 73.18% performance when compared to the budgeted revenue for the period. “It represents an increase of 13% when compared to IGR of N45,586,142,651.63 received in the year 2016. This is a credible performance under the circumstances but can be improved upon”, the Finance Commissioner submitted.
For the Statutory Allocation, Value Added Tax, 13% Derivation Revenue and other Capital Receipts, the Commissioner disclosed that State during the period received a total of N179,481,702,851.92 as Gross Statutory Allocation, VAT and derivation revenue from the Federation Account compared with the proportionate estimate of N294,457,040,477 showing a performance of 60.95%.
Speaking on the controversial Paris Club Refund, Edevbie said that the State Government has so far received the total sum of N51,072,882,220.49 which came in 5 tranches since December 2016 till date. While for the Budget Support Facility from the Federal Government, the State Government has since its inception in 2016 received the total sum of N16,069,000,000 as at December 2017.
The Commissioner further revealed that the total sum of N40,683,297,546.46 was credited to the Delta State Joint Local Government Councils account from the Federation Account during November 2016 to December 2017 and has all been released to the Local Government Councils. Adding that the State Government released a total sum of N506,637,534.93 as bailout funds to the Local Governments to pay outstanding staff salaries and also, the sum of N10,666,548,019.57 received from the Federal Government as refund of over-deductions on foreign loan was released to the Local Government Councils between December 2016 to December 2017.
On Expenditures of the State Government, he stated that for the period under review, an aggregate expenditure of N218,912,268,244.91 was made compared to a budget of N294,457,040,477. “Of this amount, the sum of N145,657,263,184.90 was spent on recurrent expenditure compared to the provision of N158,013,660,828 representing 92.18% performance, while out of the N136,443,379,649.00 budgeted for capital expenditure, only the sum of N63,255,005,060.01 was spent representing a budget performance of 46.35%. while the sum of N17,285,000,000.00 was released to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) as against the N28billion provided in the 2017 budget”.
Still besieging the financial base of the State is a domestic debt stock of N228,328,360,009.20 as at the end of December 2017. The breakdown as disclosed showed that contract arrears took the largest share of over N110 billion. The statistics as presented by the Finance Commissioner is as follows; 3rd Delta State Bond – N7,701,234,719.43, Contractors Arrears – N110,740,916,972.66, Commercial Bank Loan – N3,791,682,429.91, Pension and Gratuity Arrears N18,593,501,654.17, Commercial Bank Loan Restructured into FGN Bond – N67,977,682,285.79, Salary Bailout CBN – N10,428,704,931.35, Bailout E.C.A N8,584,864,924.28 and Judgement Debts – N509,772,091.61.
While lamenting on the challenges posed by Tax evasion and avoidance by companies and individuals, collapse of the capital market, relocation of oil companies from the state due to various crisis and the decline in revenue from the federation account due to the fall in oil price which however improved over the last quarter of 2017, Edevbie informed that a number of remedial measures are being put in place by the Ministry to improve the revenue and financial base of the State.
” Based on the various measures that have been put in place in the Ministry since the inception of this administration, we are quite optimistic that the financial base of the State would continue to be strengthened through prudent management of resources and investment in viable projects while looking for new areas of economic growth.
“To ensure quality, efficiency and responsiveness of its delivery, the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue (DBIR) tax administration machinery is being overhauled through systematic repositioning of the structure of the organization and staff mobility. Since assuming office, the DBIR has raised its monthly IGR collection from N3.2 billion to an average of N4 billion. However it is deploying new strategies and initiatives towards a monthly revenue target of about N7 billion.
“The Board is also collaborating with the judiciary and security agencies with a view to stepping-up tax compliance and enforcement. It has also stepped-up taxpayer education through the media. To expand the database of taxpayers, the Board is also focusing on capturing more than 70% of taxable persons in the informal sector in the State in the tax net. It has also increase its tax database from 1800 to over 5800.” The Finance Commissioner informed.
Reported by Miracle Enuji (Asabametro)
Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has called for collective efforts for peace to be achieved in Nigeria.
The Governor made the call yesterday (13/04/18) during the 50th birthday celebration of his Deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro in Warri.
South-South zone of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice, Nigeria organized the birthday celebration which also, featured a public lecture and the presentation of the book, ‘Governance, Security and Peacebuilding in the Niger Delta.”
According to the Governor, ”this is a good way of celebrating a man who has worked for peace in the Niger Delta and Nigeria, we should all be involved in achieving peace in the country, the traditional rulers, youths, everybody should be involved in achieving peace because, it is participatory, peace is elusive without partnership.”
“I congratulate my friend, my deputy for turning 50 years, I thank God that this kind of ceremony has been put forward for him because, it is a very good way of celebrating a man who has spent the larger part of his life finding peace, building peace in the Niger Delta and Nigeria,” the Governor emphasized.
Immediate past Governor of the state, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan expressed joy that when he gave Barr. Otuaro appointment he did not know that he was grooming him for the position of Deputy Governor and commended the role he is playing to achieving peace in the Niger Delta while the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Same Oyovbaire decried the state of security in the country and other parts of the world.
He observed that Nigeria would be a better place if the people avoid divisive tendencies and embrace peace.
The Director of Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Albert stated, “peace building is what all of us should be involved in.”
Prof. Chris Ogbogbo reviewed the book at the event which was attended by prominent Nigerians including the former Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief Benjamin Elue, Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr Nkem Okeke, among numerous other personalities.
The Delta State Government has announced plans to construct two pedestrian flyovers across the Asaba end of the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha Express Road.
The State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Kingsley Emu, disclosed this on 12/04/2818, during the ongoing Delta state ministerial press briefing to address the press on the activities and achievements of his ministry at the Ministry of Information conference hall in Asaba.
Dr Emu, who was responding to questions raised on alleged abandonment of the Bonsac- Asaba Aluminum axis of the capital territory, stated that the state government had plans for every part of the territory, saying the flyover would be sited at the Summit and Koka end of the express road, saying that when completed, they would check the risk of pedestrians crossing the express road
While affirming that more would come in due course, Dr. Emu also disclosed that the government was currently scouting for land across the express road to establish school and markets for residents of the area.
Throwing more light on the budgetary allocation to Isoko nation, the Commissioner debunked the allegation that only one percent provision was made, explaining that when the specific and general allocations were put together, the provision amounted to over four percent.
Speaking on the ongoing construction of flood drains in Asaba, the Economic Planning Commissioner said that the project would last for one year but would cause some discomfort to residents and motorists, noting that the suffering would be worth it at the end.
Dr. Emu described road construction across the state by the state government as outstanding, saying that the quantum of projects going on had made the entire state a quality construction site.
On the budgetary performance of the state in the out gone year, the Commissioner, reeling out statistics as back up, stated that the state budgetary performance had gone up significantly scoring about 70 percent.
He affirmed that the contributory health scheme was now more robust, indicating that it covered all packages of health policies ranging from primary to secondary and tertiary.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning stated that Delta State Government has adopted International Best practices in Budget preparation processes to enhance the passing and achievement of the State Budget.
Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, has appealed to traditional rulers in the State to support efforts of government in combating societal ills especially kidnapping, armed rubbery, banditry and other anti social behaviors.
The Governor who gave this charge when he presented the staff of office to His Royal Majesty, Onu Paul Odirile Opili, the Onu of Ebu, Omukorjodu ll, congratulated the Onu on his ascension to the stool of his ancestors in Oshimili North Local Government Area and while expressing confidence that, though he “Now has very big shoes to wear, he will be meticulous in every action he takes on the throne, noted that as a traditional ruler, His Royal Majesty will be creative, in confronting all challenges facing his people.
Govenor Okowa, who was represented by his Deputy Governor, Deacon Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, did the presentation of staff of office to the Onu of Ebu, Omukorjodu ll, at Ubueni primary school field Ebu, Delta State, and added that, “this administration is committed to building a state that will compete favorably with others in terms of socio-economic development, this is in line with this administration’s SMART AGENDA. Government has taken cognizance of the proximity of Asaba axis to his neighbouring commercial centres. we have come up with a development plan that enhances the socio-economic activities of the state capital”.
He revealed further that government has overhauled the infrastructural landscape of the state and as well committed enormous resources in the provision of roads, mass housing, economic and marketing outlets in their quest to enhance socio-economic activities of the people as they are constructing township roads and building drainage within the state capital, because of the influx of not only indigenes of the state but people from across Nigeria.
Governor Okowa then enjoined traditional rulers to use their good offices to promote peace and rapid social and economic development in their various domains, even as he felicitated with indigenes of the kingdom because their desire to have a monarch has come to reality, and appealed that the people should embrace and cooperate with the monarch to make his reign a memorable one for the kingdom and its indigenes.
The historic event was spiced by exciting traditional dances including the famous Ebu wonder cultural performance, and was attended by top politicians and members of the Delta State executive including Barr. Moses Iduh, Delta North PDP Chairman, Princess Pat Ajuduah of Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Patrick Ukah, Delta state Commissuoner for Information, as well as notable and prominent Ebu sons and daughters at home and abroad amongst whom were Ogbuefi Nduka Ukwubuiwe from the diaspora and Mrs Shimite Bello, the Executive Secretary of Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, DSMEDA, who herself is a proud indigene of Ebu kingdom.
It was a dour, solemn, sombre, funereal day of moving tributes, eulogies and encomiums, as Tukumaye Walton Orubibi, younger brother of Rivers born legal practitioner and philantropist, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, was laid to rest in the city of Abonnema, in the Kalabari Kingdom, on Saturday April 7, 2018.
The funeral movement, which had comnenced from Ashes to Ashes Funeral Home in Port Harcourt, where the corporeal body of Tukumaye had been preserved since his demise, had processed straight to his father’s gate in Abonnema from where necessary stops had also been made first at Danagogo’s family gate, then Jack’s compond gate before proceeding to Tubofia Square for the lying in state and open air service and the final interment.
There is indeed an old saying that tcompound g must bury the dead as a final mark of honor and we know that the six feet below is not a prison to the soul, but to the earth which the body must return, and it was in fulfillment of this, that, friends, well wishers, as well as business and political associates joined Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs and his family to pay the last respect to the departed Tukumaye Orubibi, who passed away in March at the prime age of 47 years.
Paying tribute to the departed soul, Hon. Dakuku Adol Peterside, DG NIMASA and Rivers state Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2015 elections, made a faith declaration that though Tukumaye is gone, his exit does not translate into hopelessness.
“It’s a period of mourning and not of celebration because our brother Tukumaye Orubibi passed on at a very young age. He left responsibilities to his elder brother, a distinguished proud son of Rivers State; someone who is accomplished in every sense of the word; someone who has become a role model to young people; our brother and friend Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs.
“We condole with you. I have had that unfortunate experience of losing my younger brother when he was in his thirties; so, I can slightly feel how you feel. But one thing you can be sure of is that you are not alone. So many persons share in your pain, we share in the pain of the family; and you can be sure of our prayers. And for the rest of the family and friends of the family, you have lost a son, one that represented hope for the future but his passage doesn’t mean hopelessness, it simply means the beginning of a new chapter.
“Nothing takes God by surprise, Tukumaye has gone to be with the Lord but God will open new doors; God is going to raise new generals in the family,” Dakuku Peterside consoled the family.
Speaking on behalf of the Old Port Harcourt Friends, Amb. Idaere Ogan presented the association as one that was born out of love, commitment and loyalty to friendship, even as he described Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs as a critical member of the Association who has successfully introduced those core elements of love, selflessness, commitment and loyalty to friendship to Rivers politics.
Also speaking at the funeral gathering, Rt. Hon. Pastor Iyke Oji, chairman Grand Rivers Alliance, GRA and former Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, addressed Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the Chief Mourned, thus: “We deem it incumbent to pour upon your wounded bosom the balm of brotherly consolation and we use you as a point of contact to the rest of the family; that the Almighty God will grant you the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Once again, on behalf of your numerous friends home and abroad, we say take heart,” Sir Iyk Oji prayed.
Speaking on behalf of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC Rivers State, which Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs is a staunch and frontline member, the Secretary of the Party Chief Emeka Beke deeply condoled with Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, describing him as a man who has added so much value to the party.
Chief Beke said: “Dumo! You have added so much value to our party; be rest assured that we are with you at this time of grief. Burial is the best that we can do for the dead. May his soul rest in peace and may God see you through and bless you,” intoned with compassion.
Hon. Mrs. Maureen Tamunor who spoke on behalf of former Rivers State First Lady, Dame Judith Amaechi, encouraged Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs to be strong and take solace in the fact that God knows everything.
Responding to all the tributes and admonitions, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs said among other things that, “Tukumaye and I shared a very special bond; reason being that both of us were brought into this world by a woman who labored so hard but never had time to enjoy the fruits of her labor. My mother faced the ill luck of losing her children about five of them but God didn’t abandon her; she gave birth to me and I was named Dumo which means ‘Life’.
“Until his passing, I and Tukumaye were the only surviving sons of our mother; so, all that she had, she gave to us. As much as she gave to me, she gave Tukumaye even more. I used to say to her Tukumaye is your son, and I am your friend. She loved me so much so you can imagine how much she loved Tukumaye. If my mother were alive today, she would probably be struggling to have a space in the same casket where my younger brother is. That’s how much she loved him, Chief Dumo said solemnly.
Continuing his passionate tribute to his departed brother, he said: “Through Tukumaye a lot of people learnt to love and give selflessly; perhaps that was the message he came to give to us; the message of love, selflessness and sacrifice. I’m sure he is in a better place; may his soul rest in perfect peace. GOODBYE TUKUMAYE. We pray the Almighty God to bless everyone who supported the family one way or the other during this period of grief,” he concluded in a heavy voice.
The event, which had been spiced with seasoned cultural displays beffiting such an occassion, also had in attendance, top politicians, elder statesmen and women, corporate moguls, royal highnesses and distiguished men and women from all works of life, including Chief Davies Ikanya, Chairman, Rivers State APC, Lady Joi Nunieh, DG National Centre for Women Development, HRH Diamond Tobin- West, King of Okpo in Kalahari Kingdom, members of the Grand Rivers Alliance and other All Progressives Congress, APC Rivers faithfuls as well as social groups and other prominent and well respected members of the Rivers society.
Mr. Tukumaye Walton Orubibi was born in August !971 and passed on in March 20!8. He was survived by two sons, Mr. Walton Dei-Otemie Walton and Master Ibibote Daniel Tukumaye; Walton; two brothers, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs and Mr. Pakribo Walton; two sisters, Tonye Walton Orubi and Mrs Ibinabo Chukwu, as well as many relatives too numerous to mention.
May his gentle soul rest in peace. Amen
Reported by Uche Woke. Photos from DLB Media.
The sleepy, serene, rural community of Idumuje Ugboko, in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, came alive in a bubbling gusto of excitment, as it witnessed an event of historic significance, with the official performance of the ground-breaking ceremony for the Ned Nwoko Sports University.
The ground breaking ceremony for the STARS University, which took place on April 3, 2018 in Idumuje Ugboko, was performed by the Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who used the opportunity of the occassion to once again highlight the importance of sports in national development, even as he charged future students of the Sports University, to always strive to excel in order to justify the privilege of attending a specialized University, established with the objective of producing the best in the world of sports.
Governor Okowa, who was represented by the Delta state Commissioner for Higher Education, Engr. Jude Sinebe, noted that the name STARS University had already identified the intent of institution as a breeding ground for champions and raised the bar for aspiring and intending students once the academic programme kicks off fully.
The governor equally hailed Prince Ned Nwoko, the Pioneer House of Representatives member to represent Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in the National Assembly and presently a senatorial hopeful for the Delta North Senatorial ticket, for being the first Nigerian to establish a specialised sports university in the country and with the location in Idumuje Ugboko, thus making Delta State the first state to host such an institution.
”This groundbreaking event is a call to service. Let those who are blessed in our various communities in Nigeria come back home and invest in their communities.
“Let us bring our investments back home to develop our communities so that those who cannot afford to travel around can have the benefits of such facilities back home. This Sports University would be the first in sub-Saharan Africa, when completed,” the governor noted, urging well meaning and wealthy Deltans to emulate Nwoko and bring such projects home to Delta State.
In his welcoming comments the founder of STARS University, Prince Ned Nwoko, thanked all for coming and recalled how John Fashanu and Chioma Ajunwa, among others, had done the country proud globally with their exploits in sports, adding that both Fashunu and Ajunwa had remained his friends because they were sources of inspiration to him.
He said: “Many Nigerians are out there representing this country in various fields of sports, we have the raw talents, characters and we have children that we have to train”.
Speaking further at the impressively attended event, Nwoko told the people that the university is for people who would study all courses along with sports. He said: “You can study Biology with sports, you can study any course along with sports,” noting that it will give interested students opportunity to study two courses at the same time.
He said Delta state has been best in sports and still remain the best, adding that beginning from when it was Bendel state, the state was clinching the best position and now that it has been splitted into two, Edo and Delta, Delta is not lagging behind.
According to him, the university would concentrate on sports and conventional courses, adding that students will be admitted into any discipline of their choice with sports as joint honours.
In his own comments, the Chairman of the occassion Capt. Idahosa (Hosa) Wells Okumbo commended Prince Ned Nwoko, the proprietor of the university, not only for his progressive foresight in establishing the specialized institution but indeed for the love and passion he has for his people and community by opting to locate the University in his home town of Idumuje Ugboko.
Captain Okunbo, who himself is a renowned business magnate, investor, philanthropist and trained commercial pilot, further noted that the decision to locate the University in Idumuje Ugboko, would not only bring global attention and recognition to the community but would equally generate youth employment, enhance robust commercial activity and accelerate a quicker developmentof the community, all of which will commence now that the ground breaking ceremony of the University has been performed and while adding that Ned Nwoko was not looking for what his people would do for him but what he would do for them, affirmed the fact that the establishment of the specialized university has, without doubt firmly located Idumuje Ugboko in the map of the world.
Expressing his excitment at the occassion of the ground breaking ceremony, former Nigerian football international player and well respected global football ambassador, Mr. John Fashanu said that he was extremely happy to witness the ground breaking ceremony of an institution, which he whole heartedly endorsed as citadel that was specifically dedicated to teaching and promoting excellence and acedemic brilliance in his beloved field of sports.
Fashanu said: “I would call today’s event unique because this is the first time in Africa, we would have a sports university solely for men and women who have the capacity to do something extra in sports. This is a blessed country and we have wonderful sportsmen and women, but no opportunities. So this university will give everybody a level playing field which is absolutely wonderful.”
The former Super Eagles international, who enjoyed a hugely successful playing career in the English Premier League with clubs including, Norwich city, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Wimbledon, with whom he won the English FA Cup in 1988 and scoring over 100 fantastic goals along the way, expressed his willingness to be directly involved in the affairs and development of the new institution because, according to him, “this is sports and I have two decades of playing football. As I said before, the potentials we have in this country are phenomenal which would never be fulfilled because we do not have enough sports universities.”
High point of the epoch making ceremony, which attracted corporate moguls, royalty, captains of industry and top politicians and public officers amongst others, was the formal foundation stone laying ceremony performed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa through his representative Engr. Jude Sinebe and supervised by the team of ULO, the reported Construction company for the STARS University, as Prince Ned Nwoko and his special guests looked on and applauded with satisfaction.
The ground breaking event signals the formal construction work on the takeoff site of the university, with the blocks for administration, classrooms and hall of residence of the proposed university.
The commencement of the project is coming on the heels of the approval granted to the premier university of sports in the sub-Saharan Africa by the National Universities Commission (NUC), on November 3, 2017.
The ground breaking ceremony for STARS University was preceded by the Ned Nwoko Swimming Competition, where the outstanding winner, Miss Anita Okpochini, a senior secondary school student of Akashede Girls College in Obiaruku, Ukwuani local government area of Delta state, won two gold medals and was instantly awarded a scholarship by Prince Ned Nwoko, to pursue her university education in any university of her choice from first year to her final year.
Miss Okpochini, who achieved this feat following her accomplishment of winning two gold medals at the swimming event, one for relay race and the other for free style event, hence emerging the best in the keenly contested competition at mount Delta, Idumuje Ugboko, was awarded the scholarship at the swimming competition, organized as part of the activities lined up for the ground breaking ceremony of the STARS University.
The Asaba International Airport runway and taxiway will be closed for traffic for six (6) weeks beginning 9th April to 15th May, 2018, to operators of Airlines and Passengers.
This closure, according to a statement signed by the Delta State Director of Information, Mr Paul Osahor, is to make way for the rehabilitation work of the middle section of the runway to be executed and completed.
The Delta State Government and the Contracting firm handling the rehabilitation work at the Asaba International Airport, Setraco Limited, while calling on the general public and airline operators to take note of the notice, expressed regret any resultant inconvenience the closure might cause them.
Expressing her joy and appreciation to the two revered Monarchs of Issele Uku and Onitcha Ugbo, for their magnanimity and benevolence in finding her worthy of honour/recognition to be so confered with the chieftaincy titles, Barrister Josephine Ada Kachikwu, in an exclusive interview earlier granted to a leading Newspaper in the country, in her country home, Onicha Ugbo, disclosed that the decisions of the royal father of Onicha-Ugbo Kindgom, HRM Obi Victor Chukwumalieze I, who confered on her the Chieftaincy title of the Ochiligwe of Onicha-Ugbo kingdom and the traditional ruler of Issele-Uku (Oligbo) Kingdom, sHRM Obi Nduka Ezeagwuna I who honoured her with the chieftaincy title of the “Ezinne” of Oligbo Kindom, might not be unconnected with her contributions to the development of the two communities and betterment of humanity.
Former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Victor Ochei has described the present administration of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as the worst since the creation of the state in 1991.
Ochei who came third to Okowa at December 2014 People’s Democratic Party, PDP’s governorship primary, stated this on a programme on Trend FM in Asaba. Fielding questions from the panel, the lawmaker chided the Okowa led government for what he “lack of vision and planning.”
According to him, when compared to the previous administrations, especially since the return of democracy in 1999, the okowa government is a failure. “The immediate past administration of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan had star projects within the first three years and they all started and went on at the same time. The Asaba airport was there within the first three years. So was Ughelli/Asaba dualization and Government House Asaba”.
On what may be the problem, Ochei said, “lack of planning! For the avoidance of doubt, Dr Okowa was part of that administration and knew the policies and strides. Did he plan on how to ensure security and welfare of Deltans? The answer is No!”.
Citing examples with states like Anambra, Edo and Lagos which he said had followed long-term plans, he wondered why the present Delta state government could not follow a template, having somebody like Okowa who served under Dr Uduaghan and Chief James Onanefe Ibori his predecessors. “Just like me, he was part of these governments and was even at the senate. Let him bring his experience to bare”.
On the notion that the recession and sharp drop in crude oil price have affected the fortunes of the state, hampering execution of meaningful project, Ochei disagreed vehemently. ” Delta gets higher than Edo and Anambra yet they are carrying out capital projects. Go to neighbouring Edo state where Governor Godwin Obaseki has been in power for less than two years. What money is he using that Okowa does not have.”
He further accused the government of ineptitude and corruption.
“Let us not forget that weeks before Dr Uduaghan left office, the State Accountant-General disappeared and money could not be withdrawn. When Okowa came in, did he bother telling us how much he met in the state coffers to work with”.
Looking back, Ochei said he has no regrets leaving the PDP as he is very comfortable in the All Progressives Congress, APC. “I feel so liberated in APC”, he stated.
Contrary to speculations in some quarters that he may decamp from the party if the forthcoming primary does not favour him, he asserted, “I can assure you that I will not leave the APC even if the primary does not favour me. When I lost to Dr Okowa in 2014, I did not leave the PDP. I worked assiduously to ensure he emerged Governor. In APC, we have internal democracy unlike in the PDP where the names of those who won primaries were swapped with others. If I lose, I will congratulate the winner and work with him because it will be free and fair”.
He expressed confidence in the leadership of President Mohammadu Buhari and appealed that he needs the patience of all Nigerians to effect a positive change after 16 years of “impunity and maladministration” by the PDP.
Delta NUJ Press Statement
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council, has suspended union activities in Ika Correspondents’ Chapel, Agbor.
The Council has also suspended dealings with the outgoing leadership of Ika Correspondents’ Chapel, led by Maxwell Momah and the Credentials Committee Chairman and Secretary, William Odede and Darligton Okonma till further notice.
The suspension is predicated on the constitutional illegalities perpetuated on Friday, March 23, 2018 by both the outgoing leadership and members of the credentials committee in conducting elections and performing swearing-in exercise without recourse to the State Council.
These acts contravene Article 6, Section 6 of the NUJ Constitution that empowers Councils to supervise and swear in elected members of chapels.
The Council views these acts as dangerous for the Union in the sense that it is a bad precedent capable of rubbishing the Union in the eyes of members of the Union, other well meaning stakeholders and members of the public if not checked with appropriate sanctions.
The general public, particularly stakeholders in Ika North East and South are advised not to deal with anyone parading themselves as leaders of the NUJ Ika Correspondents’ Chapel till further notice.
The leadership of the Delta State Council uses this medium to warn those who are bent on rubishing the image of the union to desist forthwith as it will not hesitate to invoke relevant sections of the union’s constitution to deal with such individual or group of individuals.
NUJ, Delta State Council
The people of Oshimili North local govt area in Delta State, have endorsed, Delta State Governor, Sen. Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, as the sole candidate of the LGA, for the 2019 gubernatorial election.
The motion to adopt him was moved by Dr. Austin Izagbo, the President-general of Ibusa Development Union, IDU and seconded by Mr. Pat Ukah, the Delta state Commissioner for information, The question for its adoption was then put forward by Hon. Pat Ajudua, member, representing Oshimili north at State House of Assembly, which prompted the adoption.
Similarly, Hon Louis Ndukwe, the chairman, Oshimili North Local Govt Council, moved a motion for the adoption of thecincumbent Senator representing Delta North Senatorial zone in the National Assembly, Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi as the sole candidate of the LGA for the Delta North senatorial seat in the forth-coming 2019 elections. Mr Pat Ukah seconded the motion and Hon. Pat Ajudua once again put a question for its ratification and it was carried.
The endorsements were done on April 2, 2018, in grand and impressive occasion put together by Hon. Louis Ndukwe in his hometown of Ukala, to thank the distinguished Sen. Nwaoboshi for his fatherly love to him.
In an emotion laden speach, Ndukwe recalled how he had lost hope after his 2007 House of Assembly election and how things became unbearable for him until Sen. Nwaoboshi picked him and wiped away his tears.
He stressed that his town, Ukala, was a very small town, which if she was left to struggle chairmanship position with any other town, she would never have got it, but, here he was as Oshimili North Local Council Chairman for the second time running, courtesy of Sen. Nwaoboshi.
He then expressed his profound gratitude to Senator Peter Nwaibishi, popularly referred to as SPON for all these.
In his response, Sen. Nwaoboshi said that no body makes any body, but, men were instruments God used to make others.
He affirmed that he used that gesture to appreciate the people of Ukala for their loyalty and faithfulness to the PDP even as he noted that they have always been the winning votes for the party in the local govt, since 1999, therefore, they deserved to be rewarded.
Senator Nwaoboshi then implored them to continue in the same vein as more rewards were coming, adding that as long as God lived, before his first tenure elapsed, he shall complete the Ukala-Akwukwu-Igbo road which he started even before he became a Senator.
He further expressed his gratitude to the people Oshimli north for the love they have always showed him.
Among those present at the colouful and well attended occasion, spiced with traditional dances were: Mr. Moses Iduh, Delta North PDP, chairman, Chief Nduka Ogwuda, Oshimili North PDP, Chairman, HRM Obi David Azuka, the Obi of Akwukwu Igbo kingdom, Chief Chris Agbobu, former Minister of State for Agriculture, Chief (Engr) Emma Chinye, Delta State Commissioner, Arts and Culture and his counterpart Mr. Austin Chikezie, Commissioner for Agric, Hon. Pascal Adigwe, former House of Reps member and a host of others.
Shoneyin tirelessly advocates for a culture of creative and critical thought,’ – judges said.
Nigerian poet and novelist Lola Shoneyin has been named the Literary Person of the Year by African literature portal Brittle Paper.
Shoneyin, who is the third recipient of the prize, was named for her extraordinary contribution to the growth and development of “creative culture” on the continent.
“Both in her writing and her work as a community leader, Shoneyin tirelessly advocates for a culture of creative and critical thought,” says Dr. Ainehi Edoro, founder of Brittle Paper.
“In 2017, Shoneyin, more than anyone else out there, has worked the hardest to provide platforms where communities of readers and writers are empowered to think, do, and create,” Edoro adds.
Aside from her own writing, which has been internationally lauded, Shoneyin was also one of the founders of Nigerian indie publishing house Ouida Books, which has made the works of Nnedi Okorafor and Ayobami Adebayo available to Nigerian readers.
“”This is for all the people doing the important work of promoting, developing and celebrating the arts (especially literature) on the African continent. I see you. Thank you!” Shoneyin said on Twitter after receiving the award
Garreth Van Nieker, News Reporter Huff Post
The Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and co-founder of Microsoft, Mr. Bill Gates, addressed the special session of the National Economic Council, NEC, on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at the Presidential villa, Aso Rock, Abuja.
The expanded council session, which was chaired by Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, had state governors, relevant ministers and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, amongst others, in attendance.
The special session, also had in attendance, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Foundation, and Dangote Group, at whose behest Mr. Bill Gates was in Nigeria, to attend the wedding ceremony of Alhaji Aliko Dangote’s daughter.
Below is the full text of Mr. Bill Gates’ speech at the NEC Session.
As a means to finding lasting solution to the age-long Aladja-Ogbe-Ijaw crisis, the Delta State has resolved to divide the parcel of land in dispute equally between the two communities.
The State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, made this known yesterday in Government House, Asaba at the First Quarterly Media Chat in 2018 with Journalists in the State.
Governor Okowa argued that the State Government decided to take the approach in order to ensure that the right thing was done to the benefits of all, as against calls from some quarters that government should take over the disputed land.
“I remain committed to doing what is right and doing what is right that will bring peace to our communities,’’ the Governor Said.
On the spate of youth activities discouraging investment in the State, Governor Okowa said it would no longer be business as usual, warning that stern action would be taken against any person scaring investors from coming to the State.
“We will not take it lightly with our youths making it difficult to make investors come’’, Governor Okowa said, adding, “The more we stop investors from coming, the more we are destroying the future.’’
He called on the youths and all stakeholders in the state to help in providing the enabling environment for investors to stay and more attracted to the State.
Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has described the numerous clash between herdsmen and farmers in the country as great threat to sustainable food production.
Speaking at first quarterly media interaction in 2018 in Asaba, yesterday (21/03/18), the Governor decried the threat posed by herdsmen to food production across the country.
According to the Governor, “if we are going to encourage agriculture in this country, we must address the loss of farm produce from these security challenges posed by the herdsmen/farmers clash all over the country.”
While disclosing that his administration took proactive steps, including setting up interventionist committees to ensure that the clashes does not escalate as being witnessed in some states of the federation, Governor Okowa expressed confidence that the Presidential Committee set up on the issue will proffer solutions for the Federal Government to give policy trust for Nigerians to follow.
He also, stated that the issue of herdsmen taking over Uwheru community in Ughelli North local government area was being taken care of by security operatives, asserting that his administration will always employ diplomacy to avoid loss of life as a result of the activities of herdsmen.
On the issue of tractors being hired to farmers at exorbitant cost, the Governor expressed joy that most Deltans were into farming, noting that farmers’ co-operative societies took charge of the hiring of tractors, but promised that more would be procured to cater for those who could not access tractors being run by the co-operative societies.
Fielding question from Journalists on the taking over of land belonging to Umutu community by the Edo State government, Governor Okowa stated that the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice has been directed to liaise with Umutu community because, the issue was before the court.
On the issue of security generally in the state, Governor Okowa thanked Deltans for their peaceful dispositions which has ensured effective take off the multi-billion naira Premium Steel Rolling Mill, formerly, Delta Steel Company, Aladja. He attributed the performance of ground-breaking ceremony for the take-off of companies in the state and the flooding of the state by investors to the peaceful atmosphere in the state.
He observed that the state was peaceful, adding that his administration also, hold regular Security Council meetings to nip security challenges in the bud.
DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has explained why his administration was involved in the construction of markets despite the fact that it is the function of local government councils to do so, saying markets grow rural commerce.
The Governor at a quarterly interactive session with Journalists on Wednesday (21/03/18), in Asaba stated that his administration was committed to the over-all socio-economic development of the state and markets, especially in rural communities where such markets play vital roles in the development of the areas.
He said, “we are trying to assist our people through rural markets because, that helps to grow commerce and the local government councils that are directly in charge of markets may not be very strong financially and if we continue to leave them, that means we will be impacting very badly on the economy of the state and in the course of this year, we are building markets, one of which is the Ozoro market which was just recently awarded, it was a promise made and it is a huge market; the other is the Oghara market which was in very bad shape; we are also building the market in Burutu town and others.”
At the well-attended session, Governor Okowa lauded the synergy that exists between his government and the media, stating, “without that partnership (with the press), it will be difficult for the world to know exactly what we are doing as a state either in terms of projects or the challenges that we have in the course of this administration.”
He disclosed that the revenue to the state has greatly improved which led to the state not owing salaries of workers and also, complementing local government councils to offset backlog of salaries owed their staff.
“I know that when we spoke the last time, that we were anticipating things will gradually get better and I want to confirm to us that by the special grace of God in terms of receipts from Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocation as it concerns the state, and by God’s grace a lot has been done in the course of time; it has been confirmed that at the end of December 2017, in terms of salaries, we have paid all our salaries at the state level up to date; we have even began as a state to give support to the local government councils to enable them pay their salaries more regularly and we are beginning to find ways to settle some of the backlog of salaries; we are committed to that and it is going to be a gradual process and we hope that the councils that owe will eventually be able to settle the backlog of salaries,” the Governor assured.
Governor Okowa who reeled out some of the achievements of his administration, urged Deltans to key into the compulsory health insurance scheme of his administration, adding that the contract for the construction of phase I of Oko road in Oshimili South local government area have been awarded.
Reported by Jonathan Onwuka
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Thursday congratulated Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and Chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, as he turns 55 years on March, 22nd 2018.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, in a statement made available to journalists in Asaba said Delta State is proud to have Tony Elumelu as an illustrious son.
Aniagwu said the Governor joined the Heirs Holdings, Transcorp Plc, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the Elumelu family and all his business associates to rejoice with him as he turns 55 years.
Governor Okowa lauded Elumelu’s contributions to the development of the Nigerian banking industry as well as his pace-setting contributions to Africapitalism and Creating Shared Values.
“Tony Elumelu has continued to inspire both the young and old through his entrepreneruship programme for Africans which has continued to create more Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs in Africa.
Describing Tony Elumelu as an illustrious son of the State, he noted that the entrepreneur has contributed immensely to the economic development of the country, adding: “Mr Elumelu is an illustrious son of Delta State in whom we are all proud of. His astute contributions to the development of the banking industry in Nigeria is laudable and we thank him for his efforts in reengineering and rejuvenating UBA Plc to become one of the leading banks in Africa today”.
“As a distinguished Deltan, Mr Elumelu has had a remarkable and enviable career in banking as a former Managing Director of UBA Plc before emerging as the Chairman of the Bank. We are proud of his achievements in managing the Bank to become one of the largest banks in Africa”.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I congratulate Mr Tony Elumelu, CON as he turns 55 years today.
The Governor prays that the almighty God will grant Tony Elumelu long life, good health, more wisdom and power towards making life better for Africans.
Delta State Commissioner for Information Mr. Patrick Ukah recently took the ‘Alor’ cheiftaincy title in his home community, Okpanam Kingdom, in Oshimili South LGA of Delta state.
In keeping with the ancient traditions and cultural tenets of those worthy and confered with Chietaincy titles in Okpanam Kingdom, Ogbueshi Chukwubueze Patrick Ukah, after receiving his Alor title, made the customary visit, in a procession through the streets of the town, to the community market the following day, to felicitate with his market women kinfolk and buy a few things.
He was well received in the market as he interacted with the market women who prayed for him and wished him well at the end of his journey through the market, where he was accompanied to by some senior Journalists including former Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ Delta State Council Chairman, Comrade Osita Biose, former Chairman of the Association of Comminity Newspapers Publishers of Nigeria, Delta State and Publisher, Flashpoint Newspapers and Flashpointnewsreports online, Comrade David Diai, renowned Vanguard Newspspers Photo-Journalist Comrade Nath Onojake and Senior Media Aide to Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Hon. Andie Onyemeziem, amongst others, who had all come to pay homage to the newly installed Chief. Patrick Ukah.
Below are photos of the historic market visit for Ogbueshi Chukwubueze Patrick Ukah.
It was scintillating evening of fanfare and heartwarming, soul lifting praise worship when the prominent Rivers state business mogul and renowned philanthropist, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs joined the hosts of “TO HIS GLORY” musical extravanganza, at the Atlantic Hall of Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, as over 40 home based, Rivers born Gospel Artists entertained the sizable audience, Reggae Style, on Saturday, March 3, 2018.
The musical show tagged ” TO HIS GLORY” hosted by Eugene Abels, Komboye Sinclair and Hilda Dokubo was an extra ordinary event that brought together and showcased the musical talents and creativity of sons and daughters of Rivers State to celebrate and praise God, with the main objective of re-igniting the creative spark which once made Port Harcourt the musical and entertainment hub of Nigeria and breeding ground of creative talents who eventually spread out into places like Lagos , Abuja and the diaspora in search of recognition and a conducive atmosphere for the nurturing and acceptance of their creative gifts.
The album itself, with the acronym THG (To His Glory) was a collaborative effort produced by Sound Compound, under the excellent and well respected genius and supervision of Port Harcourt Entertainment guru cum popular society big boy Eugene Abels, ably supported by the still delectable Nollyeood screen queen Hilda Dokubo and one of the finest, most popular and nationally acclaimed post millenium musicians and entertainment ambassadors groomed in Port Harcourt; Komboye Sinclair, whose father Coach Monday Sinclair, was not only a great footballer in his day and discoverer and mentor of some of the most exciting football talents in Nigeria but arguably one of the Coaching pioneers, who introduced the tactically robust and breathtaking, sleek passing movement, football pattern that eventually revolutionized and modernised the beautiful game in Nigeria.
The musical project, according to one of the organisers, Sir Eugene Abels is intended to be a continuous process, as the album collaboration presented on the night, was just showcasing 16 out of the 40 recorded artistes. The 16 home based artistes who performed at the show and coaborated in the THG album included; Big mozy, Afy , Ujay, Karina, Pacino, Smythikal, Tyfyne, Tonye, Push, Daddy-West, as well as, Nelia, Iro, Entity, C-Strokes, Ibiso, D’antonio.
Speaking at the event, the organisers of the show said it was a night of fulfilment as the show itself and the musical album was a climax of a work that has been in progress for almost four years, recording artistes and putting the album together.
In his own comments, the special guest at the show and renowned Port Harcourt society celebrity and youth mentor, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, hailed the organizers of the show for their courageous and progressive minded objective to restore the entertainment glory of Port Harcourt, just as it used to be from the glorious highlife days when Port Harcourt was truly the beautiful Garden city, even as he pledged to continue to identify with and support efforts to discover, nurture and assist with the crusade to provide a conducive atmosphere for creative talents to thrive in Rivers state and for those who have sojourned to places like Lagos in search of fame and recognition to be accommodated and celebrated at home.
According to him, Rivers state is indeed richly blessed with talented young men and women whose creativity continues to astonish and thrill whenever they perforn and that was exactly what had happened with the performances of the evening and in the company of some of the finest musical talents produced by Rivers state, who have graced the Nigerian music industry with their talent and creativity.
Chief Dumo who was greatly thrilled to be in the company of these creative talents, said: “I am happy to be at this event which is the Gospel Reggae musical concert tagged “TO HIS GLORY” hosted by my good brothers Eugene Abels and Komboye Sinclair and my beautuful sister Hilda Dokubo.
“The event has once again reaffirmed my belief and conviction that Our dear Rivers state is made up beautiful and wonderful people and we have talents and creativity flowing in abundance, especially in our young people.
“I have always felt that there is something that has been missing in all our ministries. When you go to church and get healed, it is for your benefit. When you hear the word it is also for your benefit. But when you praise God, that is for God and to Him be all the Praise and Honour. There is nothing God cannot do and the only thing He expects us to do for Him is to praise Him.
“The event tagged ‘TO HIS GLORY’ is a faith based project that began with praising God, therefore the objective of the project shall be met. There is nothing that cannot be achieved, once you bring faith into it and believe that God can do it.
“It is said that the faithful see the invisible, they believe the incredible and receive the impossible. Impossible is but a word, and with this event we have begun to demonstrate that nothing is impossible. The whole exercise was intended to bring back the glory of Rivers State
and with this show, we have begun to demonstrate that nothing is impossible.
“The whole exercise was intended to bring back the glory of Rivers State. We were once known as the people of hospitality, the people of creativity, but sadly we are beginning to lose all of that, so I am happy that we are finding our way back to God and our state, with an event like this.
“We will continue to assist and encourage the talents and creativity of our young people at home, support the efforts to create a conducive environment to bring back our creative talents who are now thriving in diaspora and make Rivers state the entertainment hub of Nigeria, once again.
“To His Glory, Hallelujah. Hallelujah, to His Glory”, the great Rivers state son and well respected Port Harcourt philanthropist concluded eloquently.
The highlight of the pulsating evening of beautiful live musical renditions, which was Mastered by the beautiful Nollywood Diva, veteran yet still stunning stage and screen actress and of course an original Port Harcourt girl, Hilda Dokubo, as well as K. O. Baba, as Anchors, and had other prominent guests like Honourable Enemi George, Bishop and Mrs Abiye Carrie, Davies Okarel and Bishop Norman Jonah, amongst others, in attendance, was the presentation of a gospel reggae musical album which 16 Artists and 16 Songs packaged in a hybrid fusion of ragga funk blended with the well known rhythmic acoustics of popular reggae standards that has thrilled port Harcourt music lovers over the years.
The highly revered Iyase of Asaba, Chief Patrick Isioma Goodluck Onyeobi has received Hon. Chief Mrs. Sandra Dumebi Demian, the “Adadioranma 1 Na Ogbaru” to his country home when she came with her entourage to report to the Iyase her new chieftaincy title and to seek the blessings of the elder statesman.
The Iyase who warmly received her on Friday 9th March, 2018, said he was pleasantly surprised at the magnitude in which she came, believing it could have been a normal visit.
Onyeobi however, blessed Chief Sandra Dumebi, asking God to give her the grace and wisdom to continue to affect the lives of her people who had deemed it fit to bestow such honour of Adadioranma on her.
He also maintained that the testimonies of Chief Dumebi’s activities were quite interesting, urging her to keep it up, just as he said that the best way to live is to serve humanity.
Meanwhile, Hon. Chief Dumebi Demian recounted to the Iyase how the Chieftaincy title of ‘Adadioranma 1 of Ogbaru’ came about and the processes she underwent before being installed on the 27th of December, 2017.
According to her, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Okakwu of Odekpe Kingdom in Anambra State had specifically asked her to go to the Iyase of Asaba for confirmation and to further seek his blessings.
Chief Dumebi said the Igwe of Odekpe holds Iyase Onyeobi in high esteem, hence he so directed.
Speaking further, the Oko born Chief Sandra Dumebi Demian, said the chieftaincy title is an honour from her maternal home, where it is believed she had affected lives positively.
She said the people of Odekpe believe she is one person who married out but constantly remembers home, adding that in their words she sunk a borehole for them, built a house for her father and had continued to give employment to their children.
“These were the words of Igwe Okakwu of Odekpe, the basis of which I was nominated for this chieftaincy title of Adadioranma Na Ogbaru. And for directing me to come and also pay homage to Chief P.I.G Onyeobi, I have therefore decided to make this place my home. I will from henceforth be at your service my revered father, Iyase of Asaba”, she submitted.
Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa inspected multiple storm drainage projects and charged contractors to speed up the pace of work.
According to the Governor, “the contractors must fully mobilize to site, they must get to appreciable level before the rain commences in full.”
The Governor frowned at the pace of work at the drainage site by St. Mary Vianney Catholic Church designed to empty flood water from Marian Babangida Way, DBS road, and adjoining areas.
“The pace of work here is very slow, if the rains come earlier than expected, the drainage will collapse, in some areas, the soil is softer than others, the contractors must mobilize fully to site and increase the pace of work,” the Governor said.
Governor Okowa disclosed that when completed, issues of flood in the state capital will be a thing of the past, observing that the contractor handling the storm drain that will take water out of DLA and Jesus Saves Road was doing a good job.
He urged motorists and commuters who are using alternative road to the Nnebisi road which was cut off as a result of the construction work to be patient as the contractor had shown commitment to open up the road within two weeks as envisaged.
Governor Okowa accompanied by some members of the Delta State Executive Council, members of House of Assembly also, inspected the drainage that will empty water from Okpanam and the level of work done on Okpanam/Asaba road project.
Joy laden with emotions, praises and prayers were part of actions that culminated in the ecstatic moment when Hon. Engr. Emeka Nwaobi, Member representing Aniocha North Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly, doled out millions to give scholarships to 24 indigent and less privileged undergraduates of Aniocha North origin, studying in various tertiary institutions across the country.
Nwaobi, alongside the Chairman of the occasion who doubles as the Delta North Senatorial PDP Chairman, Chief Moses Iduh, presented the cheques of N100,000.00 each to the beneficiaries at the Oligbo Royal Palace ground, Issele-Uku, venue of the presentation of cheques to beneficiaries of 2017 edition of Hon. Emeka Nwaobi’s Scholarship Scheme, which held on the 7th of October, 2017.
In an emotion stricken appearance, one out of the 24 beneficiaries who responded with thanks to Hon. Nwaobi’s gesture, Miss Bidokwu Juliet, said, “Hon. Emeka Nwaobi has lifted a major burden of school fees and purchase of books from our parents. The scholarship of N100,000.00 to us will go a long way in paying school fees and solving other major academic challenges like accommodation and text books. It beat my imagination when I heard I was selected without being a member of a political party or having anything to do with politics. We are grateful, and it is our prayer that God will replenish him and keep him victorious in all his endeavours”.
The Chairman of the Day, Hon. Iduh posited that he was not surprised at what Nwaobi could do as someone who is Godly and passionate about turning around the fortunes for the downtrodden.
Iduh clearly stated that Nwaobi has done more than enough, as he continued to hold sway in the House of Assembly, adding that God can never make mistakes having divinely returned his mandate to him.
The Chairman affirmed that Nwaobi had performed based on the giant strides evidence on the ground and had been able to attract state government’s presence to Aniocha North to the extent that almost all the communities are developmentally touched.
Overwhelmed by the accolades and intermittent ovations for him, Nwaobi returned all glory to God, the giver of power and grace.
He said that the scholarships scheme for the indigent in the society was part of what he promised God that he will continue to do from inception as a Member of the Delta State House of Assembly, stating that in spite of economic recession and loads of pressures he would not deviate from that divine agreement he entered into with God.
The man popularly referred to as the ‘Oji Chukwu Bulu-Uzor’ said, that since he has been working in line with that divine agreement to use his monthly salaries in feeding indigent people in Aniocha North Constituency, God has also given him the grace to sustain his scholarship scheme for the less privileged undergraduates from Aniocha North, which he said is part of his empowerment Programmes.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee for the Actualization of Hon. Nwaobi’s Scholarships Scheme for 2017, Monsignor Buchi Aninye, represented by Prince Dr. Henry Emelue who is also a member, has commended the Honourable Member, while giving account of their unbiased work.
According to him, “It is exciting and heartwarming to know that 24 students of Aniocha North origin, studying in various tertiary institutions have been carefully selected and will today receive the sum of N100,000.00 each to assist them in the pursuit of their education. The beauty of it all is that no town in Aniocha North is left out. The recipients of this award should therefore justify this kind gesture by studying hard to excel in their various fields of studies”.
In another development, over 5000 politicians defected from APC and Accord to PDP. It was a moment of truth as the returnees, mostly youths and non-indigenes across the local government area, regretted their decisions for leaving PDP and pleaded for amnesty.
The defectors through their leaders, Mr. Chukwunweike Okeleke a.k.a Anwi for the youths and Mr. Oliver Akubueze for the Non Indigenes affirmed their resolve to work in harmony with the PDP leadership to forge ahead politically and support the Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and the Member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Engr. Emeka Nwaobi beyond 2019.
They confirmed that after a passionate appeal to them by Hon. Nwaobi to come back to PDP with a view to supporting the re-election of the Governor in a landslide for second tenure and having seen the manner in which he was attracting development to Aniocha North, they had no other option but to take a step of faith and return back to the PDP their original home.
“We are pleased with Hon. Nwaobi and Governor Okowa for the monumental projects they are daily citing in Aniocha North. We were deceived into leaving PDP, but we have now learnt our lessons. In the same vein, we have abandoned Accord and APC and returned to the true and sincere party, PDP. On this note, we hereby endorse Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Hon. Engr. Emeka Nwaobi for second terms in office”, the two defecting leaders chorused.
The occasion was massively attended by both party leaders and members across the local government area. Meanwhile, various groups from various communities of the LGA came with their dance groups to appreciate Hon. Nwaobi and Governor Okowa for the developmental presence of government in their areas. Of particular mention were the people of Ukwu-Nzu who came specially to show appreciation to the duo of Okowa and Nwaobi for turning the gory looking Ukwu-Nzu road to a city class reference point.
Reported by Chijioke Ugbolue