Newspapers and maga
zines of different media houses worth thousands of naira were for three days destroyed under the Flyover Bridge, New Parts Market, Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, by men of the Nigerian Police following the vendors’ refusal to part with some money.
The vendors were said to have out of pressure to sell their papers, entered into unofficial agreement to pay the police N2,000 weekly for them to be allowed to sell their newspapers and magazines under the flyover bridge, having been prevented earlier from transacting their business there on the alleged instruction from the Idemili North Council Chairman.
Addressing journalists yesterday, Chairman of Onitsha Newspapers Directors Distributors Association (ONDDA), Mr. Jude Oguzie, said “sometime in July this year, we got a report from our vendors selling under the bridge that they were being harassed by policemen for selling their papers and magazines under the bridge, and I went with my Vice-Chairman and Secretary, Mr. Christian Ikpe and Emma Uwakwe to meet with the police.
“The police told us during our meeting that they were under instruction from the Idemili North Council boss not to allow anybody sell papers under the bridge, when we probed further to know their reason for preventing our vendors, the policemen told us that they can only allow our vendors if we will be paying them N5000 weekly.
“We reminded them that vendors are among the people on essential duties that are not disturbed even during elections, population census, national and state sanitation exercise and even time of curfew but they insisted on being paid, we however, told them that we will present their demands to the media houses to see if it will be approved.
“We did not know that the vendors later entered into agreement with the police to pay them N2000 weekly after initial payment of N5000, but when it became very unbearable to them, they decided to stop and the police swooped on them and destroyed their papers,” said Oguzie.
He said: “When we got this latest information about the destruction of our papers by the police, we went again to meet them and to our greatest surprise, the policemen recognised us and ordered the vendors who gathered around to leave the scene for them to discuss with us, and they told us that they cannot allow our vendors unless we pay them the N5000.
Oguzie said “the vendors had been paying the police N2000 since June this year and they decided not to pay for last week and the police got angry and resorted to destroying their papers. They did the first day being Tuesday, September 23 and we went to the local government to report and we were issued a letter permitting us but the policemen ignored the directive and came the third time, on September 27, to destroy more papers and claimed that their order came from the Area Commander in charge of the place and no more the local government.”
Oguzie said they are experiencing similar harassment from overzealous local government workers from Onitsha North and South Council Areas and Idemili North and South Council Areas and wondered if there was any restriction for vendors to sell their papers.
“There is no designated place we are told to sell our papers, we hawk around with our papers, we wonder why we will be harassed this way by people who should know better,” he said.
Mr. Emeka Onwuzuligo, who is the Head of Legal Matters in the local government, said the directive was given in error and that he had given a counter directive through a letter that vendors should be exempted from the order not to do business there.
When journalists visited the Ogidi police station to get the reaction of the DPO, Mr. H Musa, he expressed anger against the policemen and promised to withdraw them from the place.
Corpse Of Woman Found In Ebonyi Hotel Room
The police in Ebonyi State say they have discovered the body of a yet to be identified middle-aged woman in a hotel room in Abakaliki, the state capital. The spokesperson of the police in the state, Loveth Odah, stated this yesterday.
She said the body has deep cuts on the chest and neck and has been deposited in a mortuary. According to the spokesman, it was discovered at Crown Garden Hotel located along the ever-busy Afikpo road in the capital city.
Mrs Odah, who said that the victim was found in the pool of her own blood, said the suspect had been identified as one Uchenna Awoke.
She said the hotel manager, Emmanuel Eze, the supervisor, and other workers had been taken to the police station for questioning and accused the hotel management of negligence.
“The manager of the hotel, the supervisor and other staff of the hotel were taken to the station for questioning and I must confess to you that the whole thing is negligence on the part of the hotel management. How can a guest be murdered in a hotel room and days after, the management is not aware of the incident.”
“We will investigate the matter properly and I assure you, the perpetrator of the act must be arrested and prosecuted. All we are asking is for the members of the public to avail the police of useful information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect.”
Senate Passes S’East Dev Commission Bill
The Senate yesterday passed the South East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill 2018.
The proposed commission aims at enhancing the infrastructural development of the South East zone, which is grappling with huge ecological challenges.
It also seeks to act as a catalyst for the development of the commercial potential of the zone.
The proposed legislation requires the concurrence of the House of Representatives to become a bill of the National Assembly, and the President’s assent to become a law.
Senators Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra) and Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) jointly sponsored the bill read in the Senate on June 22, 2016.
Its passage in the Red Chamber followed the presentation of the report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service by its former Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP-Bayelsa), on the floor of the Senate.
The bill, after Paulker’s presentation, was considered clause by clause by the committee of the whole, and amendments made by the lawmakers were read for the third time and eventually passed.
In his remarks, presiding Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, commended his colleagues for a job well done.
In his words, “Every morning we pray that God should give us the grace to do only those things that will promote the peace and unity of this country.
“I believe that we have shown today that we are committed to the unity of this country, and it is this unity that will give us faith in this country.
“This faith will in turn help us to pursue peace and progress,” he said.
Briefing newsmen after plenary, members the South East caucus of the Senate, led by Sen. Enhinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia), thanked their colleagues and members of the committee for their efforts.
Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, urged the President to sign the bill into law “as soon as we tidy it up and bring to him, in the interest of the unity and progress of Nigeria”.
“This will put to rest the long-drawn agitation in the South East, and the difficulties in the rehabilitation and reconciliation efforts that started at the end of the civil war.
“All things we see always will end up at the negotiating table, which is what we have done,” he said.
The lawmaker said he hoped the House of Representatives would give concurrence to the bill as it went in the Senate.
When established, the South East Development Commission would be the third zonal interventionist body in the country.
2019: Oyedepo Predicts Peace In Nigeria
Bishop David Oyedepo, the Founder and Presideng Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, on Saturday predicted that nothing would disturb the peace of Nigeria and its story would change for the better in the year 2019.
Oyedepo made the declaration at the just concluded annual prophetic gathering of the Winners’ family, christened the “Dominion”, in a satellite telecast of the church.
In the telecast monitored in Abuja, the cleric also declared that 2019 would be a year of “I have Dominion”.
“Nothing will tamper with the peace of Nigeria; the story will change for the better in the name of Jesus.
“Nigeria shall not see bloodshed, the Prince of Peace will continue to dominate in Nigeria, in Africa and Nigeria is declared blessed.
“Anywhere you step, accident is forbidden; death will not come near you and our nation.
“Anything that is of grace in my life, I freely release upon you today.
“God has opened the year 2019 to us, celebrate Him because its our year of “I have Dominion,” he said.
The Bishop added that the year 2019 would be a year of humbling testimonies for Nigeria and pace-setting testimonies.
He further declared that 2019 would be a colourful year for the nation.
According to the cleric, as long as Jesus has the final say on the issues of Nigeria, it will experience greatness.
Oyedepo said that there would be no more cause of alarm in any area of the nation and its citizens.
He advised Christians in Nigeria to delight themselves in the spirit of servant-hood, adding that the spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood.
“The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood. As you keep rising on the ladder of leadership, you must retain our spirit of servant-hood, constantly working to add value to others and be kingdom minded,” he said.
According to him, dedication is at the root of dominion, saying: “Sow yourself as a seed by being totally dedicated to God and His Kingdom’’.
He told his congregation that sacrificial giving guarantees the meeting of all their needs.
“When you engage in taking care of the well-being of others, God is also committed to your well-being,” he explained. The cleric admonished Christians would engage in meeting the needs of the needy, every barrier on their path of destiny would be crushed.
“Nobody tampers with your life, your career, your family and goes away with it because you are promoted to God’s kingdom.
“God will stand for your defence in the day of trouble. Every sacrificial giver has a defence around him in the day of trouble always have that in mind,” he said.
He reminded his congregation that the Church is not a building; the Church is a people and the Redeemed of the Lord.
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