Killings: Catholics held a nationwide procession

By Richard Okundia
Catholics nationwide today held mass and rosary procession for victims of violent killings across the country. Urhokpota Reporters monitored the processions and now report.
In Adamawa, the Bishop of Yola Diocese, Most Rev. Stephen Mamza, during the procession, urged government to do more on security to end the killings, particularly in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Borno and Zamfara states. The Bishop called on Christians to pray against the evil scourge and seek for legitimate ways to protect themselves.
In Kogi State the Bishop of Lokoja Diocese, Bishop Martins Olorunmolu and the Catholic community in the Kogi State defied the morning downpour as protest against the recent killings in the country. The adherents gathered at the Bishop’s Court, Government House, Lokoja as early as 8am, moving through major streets of the capital, with rosaries in their hands, and in prayers and supplication to God.
In Abia, our correspondent gathered that Catholics faithfuls held a peaceful rally where they took off from CKC Aba after prayer sessions.
In Edo State, procession was withness at the Benin Diocese. Catholic faithfuls came out massively at St Paul Airport Road Benin on Tues, 22 May 2018 at 10am to do a peaceful rally and  rosary procession to Holy Cross Cathedral where they concluded with Holy Mass. Speaking to our correspondent, the Chancellor at the Diocese, Fr Mike Oyanoafoh said “This is in solidarity with those killed by herdsmen/terrorists at Makurdi. Also against kidnapping and other kinds of attacks.
The procession is taking place all over Nigerian church”. In Anambra state, Catholic faithfuls trouped out en masse across the major cities. In Umunze, our correspondent gathered that adherents prayed with rosary for intervention of God the mindless killings in the country. With the Priest of every parishes in attendance. In a chat with our correspondent, one of the Catholic faithful Naomi Chineye  told Urhokpota Reporters that it was a peaceful rosary procession for God to intervene in the killings happening in Nigeria. Continuing she said we can not be one Nigeria with one mouth but with one heart. There was also a huge turn out in the procession from Oko to Nanka.  In Osun State, the Bishop of Oshogbo Diocese  Most Rev. John Oyejola, led all catholics in Osogbo Diocese to be part of the peaceful and prayerful protest tagged: “March For Life”. The procession started from Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Hospital (Jaleyemi) Osogbo, through  Orita Ola-iya, Ogo-Oluwa, to the Osun State House of Assembly.

My administration has achieved significant milestone despite APC distractions – Wike

By Richard Okundia

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that despite the deliberate distractions of the APC Federal Government, his administration has achieved significant milestones in projects delivery.

Speaking during a Special Appearance on Channels Sunrise Daily on Monday, Governor Wike said that the commitment to serve Rivers people is at an all-time high.

Governor Wike said: “We are committed in serving the people of Rivers State. That is why we are able to roll out projects. We are also completing projects started by the previous government “.

He stated several high profile projects started or completed by his administration will be commissioned between May and July of this year.

The governor stated that the APC is working desperately to take over Rivers State through illegal means.

He said that statements credited to the National Chairman of APC, Chief Oyegun prove the desperation of the party to use impunity against the state.

Governor Wike said the connivance between the police and INEC in the printing of fake result sheets underscore the promotion of electoral fraud in the state during the rerun elections .

He noted that the Rivers East Senatorial District presentation and certification of INEC results with original serial number by the Police remains a sad commentary on the nation’s democracy.

On the issue of soot challenge, Governor Wike accused the APC Federal Government of playing politics with the environmental challenge. He said the claim by the Minister of Transportation that his political party can resolve the soot challenge in six months is indicative of the fact that the APC Federal Government is involved in negative politics.

The governor said that the crude way security agencies demolish illegal refineries is responsible for the soot.

Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government is working with three oil majors to institute a measure towards addressing the soot challenge. He said in the interim, the Rivers State Government is involved in sensitization of members of the public.

On the failed attempt by the APC to close down the Rivers State High Court, the Rivers State Governor maintained nobody will be allowed to close down the Judiciary.

“The Judiciary is the most important arm of Government. This is personal opinion. It is my duty to make sure that the state is safe for business. They were trying to give an impression that the Judiciary can be shut down at will”, he said.

He said that the failed attempt to block Rivers High Court was implemented by the Police and the APC. The governor stated that he mobilised Rivers youths to resist the illegality.

He said that the APC Federal Government has adopted several methods to intimidate and frustrate the Rivers State Government through the use of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to make spurious claims on an account of the State Government.

He said that would be the premise for the freezing of certain accounts of the Rivers State Government, for the purpose of crippling the operations of government ahead of the forthcoming elections.

The governor said that his administration has created an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, pointing out that the easy access to certificates of occupancy has improved access to finance for businesses.

 

Over 100 Idogbo Secondary School students trafficked in four months – Edo State Government Aid

By Richard Okundia

Over 100 students of Idogbo Secondary School, Benin, have been trafficked to Libya in the last four months.
This was disclosed in Benin by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration, Comrade Solomon Okoduwa.
Okoduwa declared this while fielding questions from Urhokpota Reporters in Benin City, stating that some teachers disclosed to him that the school has become a harvesting ground for traffickers. Speaking at the sensitization tour in Idogbo he said,
“Henceforth, report anyone who tells you to travel to Europe; they are simply taking you through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, and you may eventually end up in Libya”. Continuing he said,
“The number of students that have been trafficked from your school in this short period is overwhelming.”
“The truth is that many of them; over 100 might have been imprisoned there or facing one challenge or the other.” he added.
Further more he said,  “Taking the route of the Sahara Desert and other illegal routes is hellish. Many died of hunger, many were drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in search of greener pastures.” Continue he said,
“Worst still, the families of those people that died on their journey were made to pay for the travel expenses; when unknown to them, their loved ones have gone to the great beyond”. In Conclusion he charged them to travel in a legitimate way if they choose to travel. In his words,  “If anyone tells you to travel abroad through Libya, tell him or her capital ‘NO’. If you must travel for any reason, travel the right way.”

Over 100 students of Idogbo Secondary School, Benin, have been trafficked to Libya in the last four months. This was disclosed in Benin by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration, Comrade Solomon Okoduwa. Okoduwa declared this while fielding questions from Urhokpota Reporters in Benin City, stating that some teachers disclosed to him that the school has become a harvesting ground for traffickers. Speaking at the sensitization tour in Idogbo he said,  “Henceforth, report anyone who tells you to travel to Europe; they are simply taking you through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, and you may eventually end up in Libya". Continuing he said, “The number of students that have been trafficked from your school in this short period is overwhelming."  “The truth is that many of them; over 100 might have been imprisoned there or facing one challenge or the other." he added. Further more he said,  “Taking the route of the Sahara Desert and other illegal routes is hellish. Many died of hunger, many were drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in search of greener pastures." Continue he said, “Worst still, the families of those people that died on their journey were made to pay for the travel expenses; when unknown to them, their loved ones have gone to the great beyond". In Conclusion he charged them to travel in a legitimate way if they choose to travel. In his words,  “If anyone tells you to travel abroad through Libya, tell him or her capital ‘NO’. If you must travel for any reason, travel the right way.”

We want equality – Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo

The Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, a social cultural group has called for equality in the affairs of Nigeria. The group made the declaration today Monday during  the Southeast Summit on the Restructuring of Nigeria held at Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka. In his address, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo declared that Ndi Igbo deserves better, togetherness and oneness in ensuring one Nigeria that we all clamor for.
Others who spoke at the sum

Dignitaries at the Event

mit include former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo who advocated for a six-year single term for President.

In a chat with our correspondent, former AGPA National Chairman and  the Senator representing Anambra Central constituency, Senator Victor Umeh said that “Nigeria can only prosper when all citizens [are] given equal opportunities and treatment in the affairs of the nation”. Continuing he said,  “those opposed to restructuring do not want Nigeria to make progress”.
Also in attendance at the event were the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Niger Delta Leader Edwin Clark, amongst others.
Richard Okundia, 
Reporting for Urhokpota Reporters .

Restore Okpella electricity within 10 working days – NERC orders BEDC

By Richard Okundia

In pursuance of a workable solution to the lingering Okpella electricity problem, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Forum in Benin, on Thursday 17th May called for hearing between representatives of Okpella community and BEDC.

The Forum headed by Prof. Canice Asonye, Chairman, ruled thus, BEDC should restore Okpella electricity within 10 working days; that a grace period of 90 days be used to determine the actual average meter readings of the meters in the transformers; and that within these 90 days, Okpella households should be individually metered with prepaid meters Urhokpota Reporters reports.

The order came as a result of some conditions the BEDC sent to the community, which was subsequently redrafted by Dr Ayuba Giwa and others prominent Okpellans.

The Chairman Okpella Electricity Committee, Chief Luke Obalo on behalf of the Community expressed joy over the decision of the NERC and described the ruling as an act of God.

The order came after BEDC threw the community into 152 days of perpetual darkness since 16th day of December 2017 because of the community’s indebtedness to the tune of six hundred and sixty three million, six hundred and thirty-three thousand, four hundred and fifty-nine Naira electricity bill.

In a chat with Urhokpota Reporters, a member of Okpella delegation Abu Abdulganiyu
congratulated his team, the NERC forum and lamented that the issue of power outage in Okpella could have been avoided.
Another member of the group Akemokue Lukeman expressed satisfaction with the decision of the Forum. Commending his team he said, “Because of the unity of purpose, the collectivity of resilience and tenacity of insistence, we have succeeded in this struggle”.

Women marches for women inclusion in governance

Women group under the aegis of Women-for-Women today carried out an awareness march to advocates for the inclusion of more Women in governance in Nigeria.

In a chat with Urhokpota Reporters the leader of the group Senator Uche Ekwunife told our reporter that it was a march of Women of like minds who seeks to draw support for Women in Politics and Governance.
The group also seeks to awaken the interest of Women in Politics, Governance and Community Development she added.

During its maiden outing and awareness march in Abuja, the group stressed the need for women to seek and vie for elective positions; noting that women are sound policy makers as well as natural change agents who are the life support of not just many homes but many thriving establishments.

The former senator representing Anambra Central constituency lamented that less than 10 percent of National Assembly Members are women with equal or less percentage seen in most States’ House of Assembly, Federal & States Executive Cabinets and the Local Government System.

Richard Okundia, Reporting for Urhokpota Reporters.

STOP PROMOTING IGBO CULTURE, SAYS DEIN OF AGBOR

The Dein of Agbor Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Dr. Benjamin Ikenchukwu Keagborekuzi I, has enjoined his subjects to stop promoting Igbo culture, describing the Agbor culture as ‘unique and peculiar’.

The Dein gave the admonition at his palace recently while giving his royal blessings to the new Iregwa of Ogbemudien Community, Pa. Bogi Abagi. He called on the good people of Agbor Kingdom to join hands with him to effect the changes he desires to be in place. According to him, “I am back and happy to be in the midst of my subjects. This kind of gathering gives me joy because it is an opportunity for me to learn more from my people. There is room for change, therefore my wish and desire for my subjects is that they adopt and respect every change that is being made. Going through the history of Agbor Kingdom, one will thank the gods for wisdom. Thus, everyone will join hands with me to reposition things the way they ought to be in order to restore our lost glory”.

He called on all Agbor indigenes to preserve Agbor culture and stop promoting Igbo culture. His words, “stop giving our children Igbo names. The native names given to our children should be pronounced and written in Agbor language and not in Igbo or Ika language as Agbor has its own unique language. The Igbo red cap should also be dropped as it is not a native cap for Agbor Kingdom. Soon, I will start driving away my palace chiefs who are fond of coming to the palace, wearing in red caps. Agbor traditions should be respected and preserved for future generations. Parents and the elderly should teach our children and the youths the culture of Agbor”.

The Odion of Agbor Kingdom, Chief Julius Ochei who led the new Iregwa and the people of Ogbemudien to the Dein’s Palace for blessing, said the Iregwa title goes to the oldest man in Ogbemudien Community, stating that it is the turn of Pa. John Bogi Abagi who is 89 years and the oldest man. The Iregwa, according to Chief Ochie is the traditional head of Ogbemudein Community in Agbor Kingdom.

In a chat with reporters, the Chairman of Ogbemudien Community, Hon. Simon Okpali lauded the Dein for his wealth of knowledge and prayed the good Lord to empower him. He expressed his confidence in the new Iregwa of Ogbemudien to lead well and thanked the Dein for his blessings.

Julius Ehiabor, the Onu-otu of Ogbemudein Community, on his part, said Pa. Abagi leadership is good and that the good people of Ogbemudien Community are happy. He prayed God to give the new Iregwa good health and long life.

Mr. Johnbull Okwuogori Aghaulor felicitating with the Iregwa, appealed to him to continue to lead them in truth. He prayed God to bless the Dein of Agbor, the Iregwa, Ogbemudein Community and Agbor Kingdom.

Responding, Pa. Abagi thanked the Dein, saying that his joy knows no bounds, while soliciting for the cooperation of every son and daughter of Ogbemudein Community to enable him give the Dein the needed support to move Agbor Kingdom forward.

Richard Okundia,
Reporting for Urhokpota Reporters.

Encomiums at evening of tributes for Dr. Chris Abebe

It was an evening of encomiums and glowing tributes for the first President and Chairman of Council of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered), Dr. Chris Abebe, FNIM, CNIM, OFR, when an evening of tributes was held in his honour.

The event held at the Jubilee Hall of St. Gregory College, Obalende, Lagos, was an opportunity for representatives of government and corporate world where the management icon and boardroom maestro held sway for over forty years to pay their last respects Urhokpota Reporters gathered.

The evening of tributes was jointly organised by the Nigerian Institute of Management, Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association, UAC of Nigeria Plc, Nigeria Breweries Plc and Vitafoam Plc where he had held position of President, Chairman/Managing Director during his eventful working years.

Dr. Abebe who passed on to glory on March 22 will be buried in his home town Iruekpen, Edo state on May 18.

Richard Okundia,
Reporting for Urhokpota Reporters.

Entrepreneurship: Edo to train 200 youths on solar panel installation, photography, others

Edo State Government has concluded plans to partner with the After Graduate Development Centre (AGDC) to train 200 youths on solar panel installation, photography and cosmetology.

The training programme, conducted through Edojobs, is aimed at equipping the youths with in-demand vocational, business intelligence and financial literacy skills. Youths will also be mentored to apply for business funding during the programme.

The trainees are to be drawn from Edo North, South and Central senatorial districts of the state.

According to the SSA to Edo State Governor head, EdoJobs Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Edo State Governor, on Skills Development and Head of EdoJobs, Ukinebo Dare the training will fast-track the realisation of the governor’s promise of creating a minimum of 200,000 jobs. She also noted that it will also equip the 200 participants with skills and resources to be self-reliant as trainees will be guided to access credit from the Bank of Industry (BoI).

She also noted that the state’s Ministry of Science and Technology is recruiting new hands for its Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and encouraged job seekers to get details and apply on the EdoJobs Portal.

According to her “application for the 200 slots on the training being run by EdoJobs in partnership with AGDC is ongoing and individuals desirous of becoming brand names in the different fields, should apply right away on edojobs.edostate.gov.ng”

The training programmes are on Solar Panel Installation and Maintenance, Photography as well as Makeup and Cosmetology.”

Richard Okundia,
Reporting for Urhokpota Reporters.

Ovia South-West LGA, Edo state, begins staff audit, verification …Exercise not to witch-hunt anyone, Enabulele assures

The Executive Chairman of Ovia South-West local government area, of Edo state. Comrade Destiny Oghayerio Enabulele, has ordered an audit and verification of all members of staff of the council.

The exercise which commenced on Tuesday at three locations in the council secretariat at Iguobazuwa, involves physical audit of each and every staff working across the 10 wards of the local government.

Enabulele while addressing the workers, assured the them that the exercise was not intended to witch-hunt anyone​, but to verify the exact number of staff on the payroll of the council.

“Let me assure you that this exercise is not to witch-hunt anyone of you. We just want to ensure that the right thing is done. This is just the first phase. After this, we will take it to the next level.

“When I resumed as council Chairman, the hand over not said there were 696 workers on payroll, but when I called a meeting of all staff, less than 300 attended, and I asked myself, ‘where are the remaining 300?’

“If you are said to be working at department ‘A’, we must be sent working there. But a situation whereby you are at the market or in far away Canada and you are drawing salaries from the council, it is no longer acceptable.

“If at the end if the exercise, we discover that anyone have not been coming to work, we will stop his salary and show that person the way out and replace him.

“There are so many of our youths out there looking for work, and are willing to work. We will be very willing to employ them to replace workers found wanting.

“Please, let us individually look for ways we can make this government work by contributing our quotas wherever possible,” he urged the workers.

Some of the workers who spoke to our reporter on the staff audit and verification exercise on condition of anonymity, commended the Executive Chairman, Comrade Destiny Enabulele for the initiative and pray for his sustainance.

Com. Iduwe Osagie reporting for Urhokpota news.