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No regret serving Under Rochas – Nnanna Okoro; As Governor grades ex-commissioners, aides



Barr. Ugochi Nnanna-Okoro

Barr. Ugochi Nnanna-Okoro

The erstwhile Commissioner for Community Government Council (CGC) and Chieftaincy Affairs, Imo State, Barr. Lady Ugochi Nnanna-Okoro said she enjoyed her tenure while it lasted and that she would not feel disappointed if she was not re-appointed.

Nnanna-Okoro, popularly called the Lady of the Masses, spoke to THE LEADER while handing over to the Permanent Secretary, on Friday, July 19 as directed by Governor Okorocha.  The Governor had earlier dissolved the enlarged executive council, comprising commissioners and senior aides.

Lady Nnanna-Okoro said dissolution of cabinet is a normal process of administration, explaining that dissolution is not “sack” as some press would like to put it because the chief executive could dissolve the cabinet for several reasons.

She paid glowing tribute to Governor Okorocha for giving her the opportunity to showcase herself, stressing that she has demonstrated that she is truly the Lady of the Masses within the short period.

On what she considered her greatest achievement, the former PDP stalwart said, settlement of disputes in several autonomous communities in the state that were embroiled in ezeship tussle for several decades.  She attributed the peaceful settlement to the Governor’s impartiality, honesty and transparency in handling the ezeship issues.

On the allegation that traditional rulers were disappointed that a woman was asked to head a ministry that superintends over traditional rulers, the outgoing commissioner described the claim as baseless.  She insisted that the traditional rulers enjoyed her administration because the ministry has brought dignity to Ndieze, who are now chairmen of CGC in their various communities.

In any case this is a government in a rescue mission and God had used women to rescue the people in abnormal situations.  Again, don’t forget that men had headed various ministries in-charge of chieftaincy affairs before now.  What extraordinary thing did they do to improve the lots of our traditional rulers?  So, the argument does not follow.

Ugochi Nnanna-Okoro who ended her tenure with the usual 3 o’clock Divine Mercy Prayer said she would not return to PDP because she foresaw the crisis ravaging the party currently.  Rather, she would intensify her campaign for All Progressive Congress (APC), which she started the previous month in various communities in Owerri West.

Meanwhile, Governor Rochas Okorocha has presented awards of various categories to the few commissioners and aides that he said distinguished themselves in their stewardship in the last two years.

Okorocha said that the award meant automatic reappointment for the recipients. “The award is a confirmation that they will be reappointed into their former offices.”

The governor said political appointments should not be seen as a means of primitive accumulation of wealth but an opportunity to make history through service to humanity and dedication to duty. “I charge you to be more dedicated to your duty because these appointments are not sentiment driven but issue-based to ensure that our people get the best of service anchored on good governance.

“Most of the people think that by dancing around the governor or showing their faces around every morning to sing my praise will excite me and earn them a place. But we have shown Imo people what leadership is all about,” he said.

However, there was a mild drama shortly after the governor announced the reappointment of the recipients, as visibly disappointed former Commissioners and Special Advisers stormed out of the hall in anger and disapproval of the selection criteria for the awards.

Among those that received the award were his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, former Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, his sister, Mrs. Ogechi Ololo, who was former Special Assistant on Domestics,  Mr. Chinedu Offor, former Commissioner for information, Culture and Tourism and Ichie Best Mbanaso, former Commissioner for Commerce.



Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes



Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers



CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike



Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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