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Ogwashi-Uku monarch harps on unity in kingdom, promises development

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By Dave Okpogadie, Asaba

The Obi of Ogwashi-Uku Obi Ifechukwude Okonjo the second in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta state has emphasised the need for sons and daughters of the kingdom to come together and ensure there is peace, unity and progress in the community.

The Obi made the remarks while speaking with journalists shortly after the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council was inaugurated by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in Asaba.

According to the monarch, who is a brother to Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwealla, “Ogwashi-Uku is highly endowed with human and capital resources and our efforts is to leverage the resources that we have for the greater good of the community. We know what our problems are. We have identified them. It is for us to work together to build a solid community based on the fundamental values that will transform our people. The fundamental values will be anchored on hard work selflessness and dedication to duties.”

On the recent Supreme Court victory and the taking over of the palace, the monarch said there was no victor and no vanquished.

“ The people are our relatives and as such I don’t want them to see themselves as losers. I want to embrace them as my brothers because I believe there is much benefit in unity.”

He revealed that the palace would be reconstructed to a befitting and modern standard with all modern facilities attached.

The Obi added that every member of the community has a stake in what happens in Ogwashi-Uku and therefore called on every member of the community to key into that.

On the perennial water scarcity in his kingdom, the monarch noted that Ogwashi-Uku had been without water for a very long time, adding that the community neighbours had encroached on their land and water sources.

“Ogwashi-Uku is sitting on a plateau and that also makes it difficult to get adequate water supply.”

The Obi, however promised that the water problem would soon be a thing of the past.

“What I am trying to do as Obi of Ogwashi-Uku is to reach out to various development agencies to reactivate the dam that was built for irrigation purposes to get a water work in place. We are working with some firms to do a cost analysis to see how much it would cost to develop the water works for Ogwashi-Uku and other nearby communities.”

The Obi also spoke on Otulu, part of Ogwashi-Uku kingdom that wanted autonomy.

According to the monarch, Otulu remained part of Ogwashi-Uku because Otulu has been part of the kingdom until recently that children of settlers and some non indigenes started to make noise about autonomy.

“We have gazette dating back to the establishment of Ogwashi-Uku Council in 1952 under the Western Region. We have the Bendel state gazette of 1983 where Otulu was gazetted as part of Ogwashi-Uku.”

He revealed that one Francis Odiakose, who crowned himself as the king of Otulu was not from the community but from Ika-South LGA of Delta state.

Obi Okonjo revealed that the community had taken a legal action against Francis Odiakose for the criminal act of crowning himself a king over a part of Ogwashi-Uku kingdom, adding that they were still waiting for the state government to act accordingly.

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Stakeholders are rallying support for the establishment of Anioma State

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Some stakeholders in Delta have declared support for the proposed creation of Anioma State.

Sen. Ned Nwoko(PDP Delta-North), had in bill presented recently before the Senate, proposed the carving out of Anioma state from the present Delta in the South-South region and make it the sixth state in the South-East region.

The stakeholders spoke at an interactive session with the media and interest groups on Thursday in Asaba, Delta.

Speaking at the forum, Dr Godwin Ossai, Ex-Dean, Novena University, Ogume, Delta, who hails from the Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency, said that the creation of Anioma state had been generally accepted among the people of Delta-North Senatorial District.

According to him, wherever the issue of the creation of Anioma state is discussed, there is a general acceptance for its creation.

He urged the media to help disseminate, build consensus, truth and commitment of the constituent that made up the nine local government areas of Delta-North to manage the distractions that were emerging.

Ossai cautioned that it was better to first have the state rather than expressing fear for any marginalisation thereafter.

On his part, Dan Okenyi, former State Commissioner for Lands and Survey, said that the agitation for the creation of Anioma state dated back many years ago.

He said that some of them met the issues in 1977; then, as a movement, adding that it was rather disappointing to hear certain persons kicking against its creation.

“We are pained to hear people agitating against the creation of Anioma state; the state we are asking is for the nine local government areas currently in Delta-North; no other town in the South-East is to be added to the proposed Anioma state.

“We had a meeting with the Igbo senators and because of the marginalisation in the South-East, it is proper to create Anioma state to make it six states in the region.’’

According to Okenyi, the two senators from Delta-South and Delta- Central Senatorial Districts are in support for the creation of Anioma state.

He said that the creation of Anioma state could be done under the doctrine of necessity, adding that the people of Anioma should rather be happy and grateful.

While urging the media to support the move through adequate education of the people, he expressed hope that the Anioma project would be realised.

“This agitation is not about Sen. Ned Nwoko; yes, it is true that God is using him to champion the project,” Okenyi said.

In his remarks, Mr Victor Sorokwu, President General, Igbo Media Journalists, (IMJ), said that the agitation for Anioma state was dated back to the period of regional government in the country.

According to him, the agitation for Anioma state must not be seen as an embodiment of one man.

He said that there was need to sensitise the people on why Anioma state should be created.

Also speaking at the forum, Chief Ugo Ashibelua, Special Adviser to Sen. Ned Nwoko, said the people should look out for the merits of the project.

According to him, it is obvious that the Anioma people have close affinity with the Igbos in the South-East.

“Besides, what alternatives are there for those opposing the creation of Anioma state?’’ he asked.

He, however, urged the people to strive to achieve the creation of Anioma state in order not to become politically irrelevant.

In his contribution, the State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Mr Churchill Oyowe, said that it was apt for the people to agitate for the creation of Anioma state.

According to him, Nigeria is a big administrative entity; the creation of Anioma state will create more opportunities for all.

He said that the Anioma state when created could sustain itself given the quantum of mineral deposits among other resources in the area.

Oyowe said that the creation of the state would ensure administrative efficiency and enhance development of the area.

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Lagos First Lady charges NYSC members to make positive impact in society

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The First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Mrs Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, has called on corps members deployed to Lagos State for the mandatory one year national service to make a positive impact for the growth of Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.

Dr. Sanwo-Olu made the call today during an interactive session with the Y2024 Batch ‘B’ Stream 1 Corps Members undergoing orientation at the NYSC Camp, Iyana Ipaja.

She noted that the NYSC scheme has fostered youth engagement and sustained the vision of its founding fathers who believed in a united Nigeria despite the differences in language, culture and religion .

The First Lady lauded the corps members for their resilience and patriotic spirit in serving the Nation, stressing that their commitment in enduring camping activities, following laid down rules and regulations guiding the Orientation Programme was commendable.

“Your decision to serve Nigeria through this program reflects your commitment towards making a positive impact in the society,” she said.

Mrs. Sanwo-Olu seized the opportunity of the interactive session to enlighten the corpers about various programmes and interventions her Office undertakes to improve the quality of life in Lagos.

While educating the youth corps members about her current project tagged ‘War Against Drug Abuse in Lagos State, the First Lady pointed out that drug abuse has assumed an alarming rate, emphasising that the project rrequires public support in increasing the campaign messages and expanding its reach.

She added that her office is also involved in raising public awareness about the dangers of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, in addition to the provision of assistive and protective care for victims while ensuring access to justice.

Appreciating the officials of NYSC Lagos State for their tireless efforts in nurturing the future leaders, Dr. Sanwo-Olu assured the gathering of the government’s commitment to supporting initiatives that empower the youths for a bright future.

Earlier in her welcome remarks, the Lagos State Coordinator, NYSC, Mrs. Yetunde Baderinwa described the First Lady’s visit as a source of motivation and inspiration to the corps members serving their fatherland.

Mrs. Baderinwa appreciated the State Government for its selfless efforts in ensuring that issues concerning the Scheme get top priority, reiterating that the program will continually contribute to the development of the Nation.

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Tinubu tasks livestock reforms committee on agricultural productivity

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President Bola Tinubu has tasked the Presidential Committee on Implementation of Livestock Reforms to address obstacles to agricultural productivity.

The president inaugurated the committee on Tuesday in Abuja and appointed former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, as Co-Chairman of the Committee.

Tinubu said the livestock reform would open up new opportunities to benefit farmers, herders, processors and distributors in the livestock-farming value chain.

He emphasised that the implementation of the reforms would require the collective efforts of members of the committee, drawn from the public and private sectors, state governors and others.

“From here, I will appeal to everyone to remove every iota of partisan politics from this. I will assume the chairmanship of the committee as President and appoint Professor Attahiru Jega as my deputy or co-chair.

“This is not about politics; this is about opportunity. This is about our nation. While I may be absent, Jega will preside and continue to promote our objectives,” the President said.

He thanked the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, for his efforts in assembling experts to ensure the activation of opportunities in the livestock sector.

Tinubu stated that a Ministry of Livestock Development would be created to further explore the potential in the area.

“When we have great opportunities in our states, why should Nigerians continue to experience conflicts?

“With the calibre of people that are here, this presents a unique opportunity also to delineate and establish a centric ministry called the Ministry of Livestock Development.

“It will give us the opportunity so that our veterinary doctors can have the necessary access to research and cross-breed. We can stop the wanton killings,” said Tinubu.

He said that the traditional method of livestock farming would need to be reviewed and repositioned with the support of stakeholders, which included state governments, in order to open up new opportunities for growth and prosperity.

The president said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) would ensure the removal of all legal obstacles to the implementation of the reforms, while the Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani would provide support with automation.

“Modern technology is available to us. We are ready to work. I said at the beginning, with you, all of you, the solution is here, and we must run with it.

“Any law that might inhibit the promotion and actualisation of our objectives, the Attorney-General is here, please give it a priority; and the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning is here; create a budget for it to grow, and the Minister of Finance is here as well to work out the money,” the President stated.

He also said the reforms would be comprehensive and collective, urging the support of all stakeholders.

“We need to provide the incentive to enable Nigeria to finally take advantage of livestock farming; dairy products and cold-chain logistics, which collectively offer substantial commercial and economic advantages.

“We have seen solutions and opportunities. With these adversities that have plagued us over the years, I believe that prosperity is here – in your hands.

“The dairy industry contributes significantly to nutrition and food security by supplying essential proteins and vitamins, through milk and its derivatives, such as cheese, yoghurt, and butter,” he said.

He added that efficient cold-chain logistics was crucial in maintaining the quality and safety of the perishable goods from farms to markets, thereby reducing food waste and ensuring a steady supply.

“This sector will boost agricultural productivity, enhance export opportunities and stimulate economic growth by fostering a robust value chain that benefits farmers, processors, herders, distributors, and consumers alike,’’ the President said.

In his remarks, Ganduje, the former Chairman of the committee, thanked the President for taking further action, following the submission of a report on livestock reforms on Sept. 28, 2023.

“We will surpass your expectations and bring succour to Nigerians. Once again, we thank the President,” he said. 

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