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Towards Hitch-Free Poll In Anambra

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Barring unforeseen negative circumstances, the indigenes and residents of Anambra State will, tomorrow, November 6, turn out in their number from every nook and cranny of the state to elect a new governor that will take over from the incumbent, Willie Obiano, whose second tenure expires on March 17, 2022.
The off-season election has been generating so much anxiety among the people of the South-East following the wanton destruction of lives and property in that region by heartless and criminal elements in recent times. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been spasmodically named in connection with the orgy of violence, particularly because of its professed undertaking to make certain that the November 6 election does not hold.
In one of the most uncertain elections in Nigeria’s history, 18 candidates are lobbying the hearts and votes of the Anambra people. As a bargaining chip, IPOB has vowed that unless its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is released from detention unconditionally, on or before November 4, the entire South-East will be on lockdown from November 5 (a day before the Anambra governorship election).
Kanu is being tried on an amended seven-count charge of alleged treason, secession and terrorism for which he had pleaded “not guilty”; and the trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja has been adjourned to November 10, 2021, when his lawyers will be expected to raise objections to the charges.
IPOB has also warned the people of Anambra to remain indoors throughout the sit-at-home order for their safety. It is pertinent to note that the organisation has been enforcing the Monday sit-at-home directive in the South-East with ferocious venom since it became public knowledge that Kanu had been arrested by the Federal Government. 
Although the body has denied directing a boycott of the governorship election in a statement issued by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the proscribed group is too clever by half as it reiterated its warning on lockdown if Kanu was not released from custody. “For the sake of clarity, what we said was that the entire Biafraland would be locked down from November 5 to November 10, 2021, if the Federal Government failed to release our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, unconditionally”, he said.
INEC had expressed concerns about the Anambra gubernatorial election and warned against the constitutional crisis that might engulf the state if the situation persisted. Its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, affirmed the fears during a meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja recently. Recall that last May, the INEC office in Awka was attacked wherein non-sensitive materials and vehicles were wrecked.
Both the voters and the candidates are in a panic. The buildup is so unseemly that even contestants cannot openly campaign or make “empty or substantive” promises to voters. Some candidates held election campaigns in faraway Lagos, hoping that the information would spread more than 407 kilometres to reach people in Akwa and other areas. This is the dark atmosphere in the most important political and economic capital of the South-East.
Regardless, INEC has restated its commitment to go on with the election as scheduled. The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, has ordered a major overhaul of the security landscape in Anambra ahead of the election. Consequently, 34,587 police personnel, including two DIGs, five AIGs, 14 Commissioners of Police, 31 Deputy Commissioners of Police, 48 Assistant Commissioners of Police as well as three helicopters have been deployed to the state to ensure adequate security for the conduct of the poll.
It is worth noting that at this critical moment, the impact of IPOB cannot be quelled, because the group’s problem is pervasive in the South-East for the past few years, trying to discredit governance and authority in the whole area. This group of agitators, hastily proscribed as terrorists by the Federal Government, has consistently carried out violent protests in the entire region against Kanu’s incarceration. Hence, for peace to reign, the Federal Government should dialogue with the group to ensure a smooth election.
This ill wind will blow no one any good. A militarised Election Day by IPOB or the state is inharmonious with free and fair election and public interest. The tense atmosphere will only benefit dubious politicians, waiting to use the apathy of voters to seize the whole process and impose an unpopular candidate on the state. It has also set dangerous priorities for the entire region. IPOB and Anambra should not succumb to this hushed attempt to set the country back.
Contrary to the blanket iron-fit approach of the Biafran group and its probable effect on the election, the body should subject its campaign for a fair deal for the Igbo Nation and Nnamdi Kanu within the Nigerian corporate existence to the judicial process for peace sake. Bloodletting and crude aggression are neither in the interest of the group nor of the region at large. 
Also, IPOB and its supporters should be more cautious and trust the judiciary, because it is the last hope of the ordinary person. The continued siege of the people they vowed to defend has been socially and economically counterproductive, and the political turn of events is waiting to destroy their beleaguered fortunes for the worst.
Without a doubt, the Anambra election is a test case for the 2023 general election. This should not be a matter of life and death. It must be free, fair and credible, and the results must reflect the will of the people. Therefore, every effort must be made to ensure its success. Citizens must ensure that they come out to vote or live with the consequences.
Voters must exercise their privileges freely and fearlessly without intimidation. Politicians, their agents and supporters must maintain order and peace during the election. We believe that if all parties concerned follow the rules, the election will be successful. Most importantly, let the INEC ensure that the votes count.

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Keep Your Records Straight, Fubara Tells Newly Sworn-In Commissioners

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has charged eight newly sworn-in Commissioners to cultivate the culture of keeping accurate records of their dealings in their various Ministries of posting.
The Governor maintained that such culture was essential for the effective functioning of any organised system, particularly the civil service because they provide useful history of events, decisions and actions, including indices of productivity.
Governor Fubara gave the charge to the eight new commissioners shortly after they were sworn in at the Executive Council Chambers of Government House in Port Harcourt yesterday night.
The eight commissioners include: Hon Prince Charles Bekee; Barrister Collins Onunwo; Hon Prince Solomon Abel Eke; Dr Peter Medee; Hon Elloka Tasie Amadi; Hon Basoene Joshua Benibo; Mr Tambari Sydney Gbara; and Dr Ovy Orluideye Chinendum Chukwuma.
The Governor said it was regrettable how some commissioners, who had left the administration, ignored the culture of proper documentation because they had no record of activities in the Ministries that they served.
He said, “I know what I am saying. Some of them who left here as commissioners, there are no records in their Ministries. We’ve had a few meetings with people. We were looking for records which we could not find, but that is for them and their gods, I am not bothered about that.
“But, you that are coming in now, please, do this work as seasoned administrators. Work with your Permanent Secretaries, the things that you don’t know, ask questions from them, they will tell you, they will teach you too. It doesn’t reduce you as not being the head. But it helps you to succeed as a good administrator,” he said.
Governor Fubara enjoined them to emulate his work culture and pay attention to details, adding that it should reflect in the nature of records they keep.
The Governor said discipline is central to his administration, a work culture that has been nurtured while growing through the ranks in the civil service, saying that it must be the hallmark of anybody who is associated with his government.
He said, “Let me say this: this government is a government that is birthed by high level discipline.
“I don’t know about other people that are working with me, but as a person, from the time that I started working as civil servant, from the time I worked in the Office of the Accountant General with my boss, we didn’t play with keeping good records.
“I can boldly stand here to say that whatever that transpired, the records are there right from the time we worked from 2007 to date. They are there for anybody to go and see.
“Likewise, what happened from the time of the immediate past administration. I carefully kept my records clean. The records are there.
“So, I want you to understand that, while I am sitting here to pilot the affairs of this State, as a matter of fact, the records I am keeping are even more excellent because I have a day-to-day report of what I am doing.”
Governor Fubara further said: “So, I am not bothered or afraid. Call me any day, call me anytime, I will stand and defend every action, every decision that we have taken.
“So, I want you to stand on that premise, knowing fully well that whatever you are doing, in case you are called upon tomorrow to give account, you can do so confidently. Keep your records straight,” he added.
Governor Fubara stated that they have taken their oath of service and the content was sufficient charge to guide their conduct while they serve the State.
He urged them to appreciate the fact that it is God that had given them the opportunity to be chosen and so appointed, and therefore, should know that they owe God the responsibility to deliver to Rivers people.
According to him, “The oath you took is the charge. I am not asking you to be obedient to me. I am not asking you to do my biddings. But, I am requesting from everyone of you here to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the dignity of our dear State.
“Your position as a Commissioner today is not just for you to answer to me. It is to work for the interest of our State.
“But, I know that with what I have heard, with the few of you that I have related with, I know that you are men of integrity.
“You are not going to bring shame to our dear State, you are not going to bring shame to your families, you are not going to bring shame to your local governments. You will stand tall, no matter the situation,” he said.
Governor Fubara expressed the belief that as they are coming on board, they will add impetus to what has been done by his administration, urging them to ensure that greater success is achieved, while defending the interest of the State and what is right always.

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Monarch Recommits To Peace, Security Of Ekpeye Land

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 Eze Ekpeye Logbo III, His Imperial Majesty, Eze Kelvin Ngozi Anugwo, has reiterated his commitment to peace, security and development of Ekpeye land.
Eze Anugwo stated this last Saturday, during the 2nd anniversary of his coronation, in his palace at Ula – Upata Community, in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State.
 Anugwo who recalled  the painful incident that led to the detention of all the first class traditional rulers in Ekpeye land, appealed to Police authorities not to arrest any other traditional ruler.
Eze Ekpeye Logbo III called for a minute silence in honor the  slain Divisional Police Officer, SP Bako Angbashim and prayed  that the ghost of Bako should continue to haunt those responsible for his death.
He also hinted how he scaled through the keenly contested election of Eze Ekpeye Logbo held in 2022, at Ahoada, the administrative headquarters of Ekpeye Kingdom and thanked his guests for honouring him.
In their separate solidarity speeches, Ada Ekpeye Logbo, Dr. Patricia Wudhiga Ogbonnaya; the President- General of Uzugbani Ekpeye, Dr. Michael Ukechukwu Nyemenim; His Royal Highness, Eze Macauley Esonwo among other speakers extolled the virtues of the celebrant.
While pledging their unalloyed support to the administration of Eze Ekpeye Logbo III, they equally charged him to be stronger.
High points of the occasion include visitation of the ancestral home of Ekpeye people Ula-Ubie Community in Ahoada West Local Government Area, where the King was crowned;  thanksgiving service at the First African Church Ula-Upata and presentation of assorted drinks by the people of Igbu Orlukowor clan.
Recall that Anugwo, a business mogul, who beat three other contenders to emerge as the Eze Ekpeye Logbo III, in an election conducted on April 9, 2022 and was crowned on May 4, 2022  following the demise of His Imperial Majesty, Eze (Flt. Leut.) Robinson O. Robinson (rtd.).
The Tide learnt that Eze Anugwo, until his emergence as the Eze Ekpeye Logbo III, was occupying other traditional offices such as the Nye-Udu (King) Ede I, Agida Ekpeye II, and a member of corporate and professional bodies.
Present at the colourful occasion include the  Rivers State Commissioner for Housing, Dr. Gift Worlu, who represented Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara; His Majesty, Eze (Hon.) Cassidy O.W Ikebhidhi, Eze Igbu Akoh II; His Majesty, Eze Chinemerem Idoke, regent of Igbu Ehuda;  High Chief (Prof.) Kingsley Beke Kalagbor; High Chief Peter Wobeareri Wagbara, (Nye Weli Elele); ACP Cecy Brown, Ahoada Area Commander; among other dignitaries.
 Agimo, Emenike Benson
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Delta Attorney-General Laments Hike In Human Trafficking

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Delta State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ekemejero Ohwovoriole (SAN) has lamented the increasing rate of human trafficking, especially the girl child in the state.
Ohwovoriole decried the increase in his office in Asaba when the zonal commander of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mr Nduka Nwawenne paid him a courtesy visit.
The Attorney-General stated that it was against the dignity of the state and disheartening to see that Delta State now ranked first in human trafficking, overtaking Edo State.
He stressed the need for stakeholders to tackle the menace, adding that if it was one single victim that was rescued, they would be rewarded for their efforts.
Ohwovoriole stated that young girls were the most vulnerable ones in the issue of human trafficking, stressing that children from poor family backgrounds also fall victim to human trafficking.
While saying that their request for an office space in the state would be looked into, to see how the government could be of assistance to them, he assured them of his ministry’s partnership in the fight against human trafficking.
He said that the Task Force on human trafficking and irregular migration, which he chairs, should be having regular meetings.
Earlier, the Zonal Commander of Naptip, Mr. Nwawenne informed the commissioner that Delta state had overtaken Edo state as the foremost state in human trafficking in nigeria.
He told the Attorney-General that their Zonal Command was the first to be established in Nigeria because of the prevailing issues of human trafficking in the area, noting that ika south was the highest in cases of human trafficking as a result of its proximity with edo state.
Nwawenne appealed to the Commissioner and the State Government to provide office accommodation for their officials to operate in Asaba.

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