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Abiriba Stakeholders Reaffirm Support For Sen. Orji Kalu, Warn Town Union To Steer Clear Of Politics



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By Iyojo Ameh

Stakeholders from Abiriba community in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State have expressed optimism and reaffirmed their support to the lawmaker representing Abia North Senatorial District, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

They expressed their views separately while reacting to some decisions made by the leadership of Abiriba Communal Improvement Union (ACIU), against the lawmaker.

ACIU had on the 3rd of May, 2023 published an article on ThisDay newspaper against the lawmaker titled: ‘Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu and his cheap linkage of the Abiriba people with IPOB’. The union had also written a letter to Hon. Agbai Kalu excommunicating him from the activities of the union for allegedly testifying at the tribunal in favour of the APC and Senator Orji Kalu.

A youth activist from Abiriba, Eleanya Kalu said the community are grateful to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu for his developmental strides in the community. He warned the leadership of ACIU not to turned the union to a political party.

“Abiriba is not fighting any war with Igbere or Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. We are grateful to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and the development he brought to Abiriba. You can see the number of rural roads he facilitated to Abiriba, the ones he constructed when he was the governor of the state. He gave our children top positions in his government. How can we fight such a person? Some people are trying to score cheap political goals, but the majority of the Abiriba people are with Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.”

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Reacting to the activities of the ACIU, Abiriba-born scholar, Dr. Ndukwo Onwuka in a statement on Sunday titled: ‘ACIU drifting away from the Abiriba spirit’ slammed the community for backing non-state actors like the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), against Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

While reaffirming his support for Senator Orji Kalu, he reminded the Abiriba people that the former Abia State Governor tarred most of the roads in the community, warning them against “fighting the lawmaker”.

He said: “It is pertinent that we revisit some of the activities of the ACIU, as some of them are now being detrimental to our communal interest. Examples are the ACIU position published on ThisDay newspaper on the 3rd of May, 2023, page 15, titled: “Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu And His Cheap Linkage Of the Abiriba People With IPOB” and the letter excommunicating Mr. Agbai K. K.

“Interestingly, most of the focus has been on the political battle between our brother, Hon. Nnamdi Iro Oji (Opotoyom) and Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
ACIU engaging in a political war against Senator Orji Uzor Kalu through publications on national dailies and the use of other divisive approach has elicited many reactions —and — it is certainly becoming a joke taken too far.

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“ACIU must understand that partisan politics would expose them to all sorts of indignities, given that politicians are not known to be too economical with disparaging language. To be in politics is akin to entering the boxing ring, for a fight: Once in, you cannot hide; you throw and take punches and your opponent may not respect your height or status. We must rekindle the Abiriba spirit of communal development and pragmatism devoid of emotional sentiments. We must reinvent the Abiriba of Nnanna Kalu, Echeme Emole, Kalu Ogba, Ikwan Onwuka, Jona Ndukwe Kalu, Ebitu Ukiwe and others — and not the Abiriba of APC, Labour Party, APGA, and PDP.

“How did we get to the stage where we are fighting the politician who tarred most of the roads in Abiriba in support of a proscribed group who made Ohafia the epicenter of its hotspot?. You are free to accuse me of anything, but my conscience is clear— and I did clearly saw the inhumane activities of IPOB in Ohafia on social media — including posters where they warned voters against coming out to cast their votes. As a community, this is where I expected ACIU and other prominent sons and daughters of our community to come out strongly and condemn them. ACIU should concentrate strongly on community development and allow politics for politicians as Abiriba is not at war with Igbere or Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. ACIU should stop aiding the drifting away from the Abiriba spirit.”

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Dr. Amarachi Otisi, a medical doctor from Abiriba said: “I am fully with OUK (Orji Uzor Kalu). I enjoyed free education under him as the governor of the state. He has done very well as senator too. Those fighting him are on their own. Why would Abiriba want to put all her eggs in one basket? It’s suicidal to do so. I will vote OUK again if I have the opportunity to do so,” she said.

Mr. Emekwo Ijekpa said: “I am not a politician, but I have little knowledge about politics and how it supposed be. Abiriba is still far from politics; I am seeing that we think politics is buying and selling business. Politics is pure fight. Abiriba, we really made a mistake by allowing political matter to come into our community issues. Yes, that’s true. I studied all these issues and understand it is political issue— and it does not concern us as a community, because all the party belongs to us.”

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General News




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By Sen. Ahmad I. Lawan, Ph.D, GCON

In these difficult times facing our beloved nation, Nigeria, we stand at a critical juncture where the weight of history rests squarely upon our shoulders. As leaders, we have individual and collective duties and responsibilities to safeguard the future of our country and ensure its prosperity. In the face of mounting economic challenges that threaten to undermine our national unity and progress, it is imperative that we unite and rally behind our President, regardless of political affiliation, ethnicity, or religious beliefs. It is time to set aside our differences and work together to build a prosperous future for us all.

Nigeria’s economy has been plagued by a myriad of problems, including high inflation, unemployment, and a widening income gap. President Tinubu, upon assuming office on May 29, 2023, had pledged to prioritize economic growth and job creation through a series of bold and innovative policies captured under the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’. He backed these up by investing heavily in infrastructure, making efforts to attract foreign direct investment, and promoting entrepreneurship. His thinking was that by creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, we can expand our tax base, generate more revenue, and provide the much-needed employment opportunities for our teeming youth population.

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Nevertheless, the economic headwinds that we encounter are not peculiar to Nigeria alone. The global economy has been severely impacted by a confluence of factors, which in turn have resulted in supply chain disruptions in the demand for crude oil, our country’s major source of revenue. These external forces have exacerbated pre-existing economic vulnerabilities within our country, leading to rising inflation, unemployment, and falling living standards.

President Tinubu is acutely aware of the challenges and hardship that Nigerians face. His administration, to the best of our knowledge, has outlined a comprehensive economic plan aimed at addressing these issues in a holistic and sustainable manner that seeks to, amongst others, Stabilize the economy and control inflation; Promote job creation and economic growth; Improve infrastructure and energy production; Enhance agriculture and food security; and Combat corruption and promote transparency.

However, the success of any government’s economic plan depends heavily on the cooperation and support of its citizens.

In the face of difficulties facing the country, it is essential that political leaders come together at this time to support President Tinubu in developing and implementing effective solutions to the unintended outcomes that trailed some of the policies of the administration.

The nation’s future hangs precariously in the balance, and it is incumbent upon all stakeholders to prioritize the well-being of our citizens.

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It is disheartening to witness the petty politicking and divisive rhetoric that have dominated our political discourse in recent times. While healthy debate is essential for a vibrant democracy, it must not be allowed to overshadow the urgent task of addressing the plight of our people.

The hardship that Nigerians endure is palpable. Skyrocketing inflation has eroded the purchasing power of the average citizen, leaving many struggling to put food on the table.

It is, therefore, imperative that as leaders, we all put aside partisan differences and work together in the national interest. By collaborating with President Tinubu, political leaders and stakeholders alike can pool ideas and expertise to come up with innovative solutions to Nigeria’s economic challenges.

Moreover, we all should be willing to make tough decisions and sacrifices for the greater good of the country. This may involve implementing unpopular reforms or policies, but these are essential in order to secure a better future for all Nigerians.

Although the federal government has announced the distribution of 20 trucks of rice to every state, which, in my opinion is a step in the right direction. But, I must point out that the quantity of foodstuffs needed in Nigeria today requires expeditious and massive supply by the FGN to address issues of both availability and affordability.

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President Tinubu cannot succeed in achieving this alone. He needs the support of governors, lawmakers, and local government officials. He needs the cooperation of the private sector and civil society organizations. And most importantly, he needs the patriotism of all Nigerians.

We must all be willing to compromise and find common ground, even if it requires us to step outside of our comfort zones.

The spirit of patriotism that once defined Nigeria must be rekindled. It is a spirit that transcends ethnicity, religion, and political affiliation. It is a spirit that puts the interests of the nation above all else.

By working together as leaders, we can overcome the country’s challenges and set it on a path towards sustainable development, growth and prosperity. It is my hope that we all rise to the occasion and support President Tinubu in his efforts to build a stronger and more vibrant economy; and a secured, stable and peaceful nation.

We are stronger together.

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Shitile Integrity Group Condemns Attacks on Harga, urges Improve security in Sankara



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Shitile Integrity Group (SIG),a social -cultural group of Shitile sons in diaspora have condemned in strongest term, the incessant attacks on Harga, a community in Katsina -Ala Local Government Area of Benue State where several innocent residents have been killed, including the recent attack which about 18 defenceless citizens were gruesomely murdered in cold blood ,at the early hours of Saturday, 20th July 2024.

In a statement made available to the Citypost, Hon. Ben Ukeji
Ivaan I Ayange Tsanyi,
President, SIG group says the continuous tergeted attacks on Harga ,and other places in Shitile land is an indication of a complete breakdown of law and order, and urges government at all levels to step up security around Shitile, and indeed Sankera axis to protect lives and property .

Jeremy Bentham, says the essence of government is utilitarianism .

SIG bemoans the manner where lives of their kinsmen are brazenly wasted in a horrendous manner and called on the government to ensure that perpetrators of the heinous crime are made to face the full wrath of the law.

The statement reads in parts: “We condemned in its enterity ,this act of barbarism where innocent people are slaughtered, murdered like animals within Shitile land . This shameful, inhumane , criminal behavior
have continued unabated for some years leading to herriofic deaths as well as the destruction of socioeconomic and educational activities.”

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“We also want to state emphatically that, such acts are inhumane , ungodly, and must stop now!

SIG, note with utmost dismay, the violation of all international protocols and municipal law, especially the fourth (4 ) Geneva convention of 1949 which protects Civilians and civil objects from harm even in a war situation, talkeless of peace time .

“It is therefore, surprising to us that innocent blood of peaceful citizens is being wasted without adequate machinery on ground to contend the renigants .
We use this midum to appeal to those behind this murderous activities to eschew violence and embrace peace for the growth and development of Shitile nation both in Taraba and Benue States respectively.
It’s very important for the youth to understand that, issues are resolved through dialogue”

“SIG wishes to commend His Excellency, the Governor of Benue State, Rev. fr. Hyacinth Iormen Alia, for his efforts towards ending the menace and urge him not to relent on his oars.

We are aware of the government approval for the deployment of a Police Mobile Force to Harga to quell the crises

While we acknowledge the many initiatives of the governor in this regard,we most respectfully request the government to seek for a wholeistic approach to end this wanton killings and distraction of lives and property.

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“We equally call on the” traditional institutions in Shitile and Sankera intermediate area to take necessary measures in conjunction with the political class, and other stakeholders towards bringing this sad narrative to an end.
We sincerely commiserate with the families of victims of the attacks , the Mbacher community, Shitile nation and indeed Katina-Ala LGA.
May the good lord in his infinity mercy ,restore peace to Shitile land “

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Business and Economy

Insecurity, primary healthcare, Education, rural development, others our priority — ALGON



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By David Odama

The Association of Local Government of Nigeria has insisted, boasted that it has the capacity to address insecurity, hunger health facilities, near collapse of education and other critical infrastructure in the grassroots level.

It has also vowed to collaborate with the various state governments, security agencies and other stakeholders to reinvigorate unity and peace co-esistence respect for rule of law and prudent management of resources.

ALGON in a communique issued at the end of its 48th National Executive Meeting in Lafia, Sunday said the local councils across the country would jealously tackle health care services, collaborate with security agencies and other relevant stakeholders to address insecurity, hunder restore the lost glory at the grassroots

The communique which was jointly signed by the ALGON chairmen of Gombe and Ogun States, Barr. Sani Haruna and Hon. Emiola Gazal respectively, also expressed their readiness to embark on meaningful projects in their respective LGAs that would have positive impacts on the lives of their people.

According to the communique, all the local government councils in the 774 in Nigeria would be guided jealously and judiciously in the management and use of the resources available to the local councils to provide adequate development, improve on the lives of the people at the grassroots.

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“All Local council chairmen across the country will be well-guided in the area of information to promote peace, harmonious existence between the third tiers of governments and other relevant stakeholders in line with global best practices as obtainable in other advanced countries of the world.”

The communique read in part, “It is important to state equivocally that the Local Government Councils can and will address issues of insecurity in collaboration with State Governments, address all its responsibilities in the of Primary Health Care, Basic Education, Water, Rural Development and other critical Infrastructures, as enshrined in the 4th Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended).

“The NEC appreciates all the private concerns, institutions, and corporate bodies that made valid presentations at the Council meeting on the development of Local Governments; and pledges to collaborate in the interest of the larger populace of the grassroots.

“The communique expresses gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, members of the Nigeria Governors Forum, the judiciary, the National Assembly, the Attorney General of the Federation, critical stakeholders, the media, civil society organisations and the entire leadership of our local communities for the historic Supreme Court judgment, which granted autonomy to the local governments.”

ALGON further expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu and the judiciary for the respective roles they played in ensuring that Local Government Councils function properly as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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