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Ogbuehi Chukwudolue: A devotee to the public good

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Ogbuehi Chukwudolue: A devotee to the public good

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Ogbuehi Chukwudolue loved his Ihiala people with all his heart and mind and soul. He devoted his life to their being and welfare.

C. Don Adinuba

Very few leaders I have ever seen who have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of the public good as much as Chief James Agukwu Chukwudolue, Ogbuehi Omeihekwu XI of Umuezeawala, Ihiala, Anambra State. It is doubtful that he was comparable to any leader in the whole of Ihiala, the fourth largest town in Anambra State, by the time he breathed his last on August 28, 2018, after 54 years on the throne. It will be almost a miracle if we could be blessed with a leader like him in the near future.

READ ALSO: Anambra market produces 4 chairmen in 4 months

Researchers keenly interested in resolving the conundrum of whether leaders are born or made will find Chief JA Chukwudolue a most rewarding study. He did not have much of formal education, having stopped going to school after his First School Leaving Certificate examination on account of a lack of funds. Yet, he displayed the kind of wisdom and knowledge and integrity envied by many highly educated and successful professionals. He was frequently saddled with the most complex of community cases in Ihiala, and he frequently handled them to the satisfaction of all parties and admiration of all Ihiala people.

My own family once had a dispute which appeared intractable. But when the matter was brought before the Ogbuehi Palace, it was resolved with careless ease. A couple of years ago when my kindred complained of not having a communally owned land, I watched Ogbuehi at close quarters demonstrate acute diplomacy as well as compassionate, inclusive and farsighted leadership. He got the other three kindred families in Umuohachom to agree to relinquish a considerable swath of land to my immediate kindred in the spirit of brotherly solidarity.

Any person who is familiar with the preeminence of land ownership in contemporary Igbo cosmology will appreciate the profundity of this gesture. It is telling enough that the majority of cases in both state and federal courts in Igboland are over land.

A prosperous businessman even at almost a callow age based in Port Harcourt and moved to Aba after the Nigerian civil war, Chief Chukwudolue used to travel to Ihiala almost every weekend. It is remarkable that he never encountered armed robbers or had an accident on any of the several trips over the decades.

Blessed with a wonderful physique, Chief Chukwudolue rarely took ill. Though he had always had a driver, he used to drive himself up to two years ago when he was 87 years old. He would indulge in physical exercises by sometimes riding on a bicycle over considerable distances. Ever jovial, his house was ever full of people from far and near who came to eat and drink and have a good time. He was active on the social scene as he was on the spiritual scene. He played prominent in the building of churches in Port Harcourt, Aba and, of course, Ihiala. He was high in the hierarchy of the Knights of St John International.

Ogbuehi Chukwudolue reflected authentic Christian values. When the “ofo”, a symbol of moral and spiritual authority in a given family or kindred or community, was handed over to the second oldest person in a certain kindred rather to the oldest man on grounds of the circumstances of his birth, Ogbuehi was disappointed. He spoke to members of the kindred and reminded them ruefully that the action carried out in the name of tradition was a gross violation of Christian values and of the right of the oldest person against discrimination.

Ogbuehi Chukwudolue loved his Ihiala people with all his heart and mind and soul. He devoted his life to their being and welfare. He could not have done much as a leader without the fantastic support of his wife, Mrs. Janet Chukwudolue, and mother of all his eight children. They were particularly close. Ogbuehi used to joke that two of them would die within the same period. What was considered a joke has turned out prophetic. Two of them will be buried on Thursday, November 22. Not even death could put asunder what God joined together. May God receive their souls.

READ ALSO: Ihiala community launches N100m agric project

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Adinuba is Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment, Anambra State

The post Ogbuehi Chukwudolue: A devotee to the public good appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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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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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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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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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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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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