SPEECH DELIVERED BY RT HON YAKUBU DOGARA, GUEST SPEAKER AT THE APC NORTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERS SUMMIT, ABUJA 2022 ON THE THEME, “RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS A NATION, BUT SIN IS A REPROACH TO ANY PEOPLE”, HELD ON FRIDAY 29TH JULY, 2022 AT THE NICON LUXURY HOTEL, ABUJA

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SPEECH DELIVERED BY RT HON YAKUBU DOGARA, GUEST SPEAKER AT THE APC NORTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERS SUMMIT, ABUJA 2022 ON THE THEME, “RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS A NATION, BUT SIN IS A REPROACH TO ANY PEOPLE”, HELD ON FRIDAY 29TH JULY, 2022 AT THE NICON LUXURY HOTEL, ABUJA
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34
Protocols:
1. I consider it great honour and privilege to be invited as the Guest Speaker at this all-important August summit of eminent religious leaders and top-notch politicians from across all the States of the Federation. Permit me to start by profusely thanking all those involved in putting together this summit and all the delegates who have sacrificed time and their busy schedule in order to honour us with their presence, which we do not lightly esteem. I understand we are here to talk about our nation and how political choices may impact our faith and likely exacerbate the escalating parlous security situation and stymie our match towards an inclusive, peaceful and prosperous nation.
2. Not a few have expressed concerns about national outlook on all presidential tickets. Also, not a few worry that the debate was becoming corrosive, and of course, with this kind of spitting of bilious views into the political wind, there was bound to be lots of nerves in the air.
3. When we talk about a Muslim-Muslim ticket; God forbid that we should be understood to be objecting to Muslims or that we don’t want Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to be president. It is not about Senator Kashim Shettima either, but it about what is right and what is wrong. It is about justice, fairness and equity. It is about Nigeria; it’s diversity and how it can be harnessed in an inclusive manner for the greater good of all of us. Be that as it may, some of us really wanted Asiwaju to be president because he has sacrificed much for our Party, the APC and for what he represents to so many people. So, our position cannot be against Muslims or Islam. That fact cannot be denied in any way.
4. But when it comes to choosing between the love and admiration I have for an individual and what is right and what I believe represents my vision for Nigeria, my choice will clearly be for the latter. After all, my rise to the position of Speaker was never going to be possible without the support of some Muslim members who believe that our diversity must be reflected in national positions for the unity, peace and advancement of our dear country. What gives me more hope about the Nigeria project is that there are many of our Muslim brothers and leaders who did not only warn the APC, but have had to call out the APC for adopting a Muslim-Muslim ticket which resulted into the Party ructions we are witnessing today.
5. In 2015, when we were called “janjeweed party”, my response was usually very simple. I could then say that, HE John Oyegun was the chairman of my party and my Vice-Presidential candidate was Pastor Yemi Osinbajo. We don’t enjoy that luxury anymore as the President, Senate President, Speaker and his deputy; Senate and House Leaders; National Chairman and the Deputy National Chairman; Presidential and the Vice-Presidential candidates are all Muslims, leaving the Christians with just the position of VP Osibanjo and Deputy Senate President Omo-Agege at that level in a Country whose population is fairly split between Muslims and Christians. Granted this scenario, can any God-fearing Muslim, Christian nay even the amoral and the atheist say this is fair, just and righteous? Does this represent the act of a just God? This is the real context of objections from the Christian community not just the Presidential ticket and the VP slot.
6. For me, it is a rude awakening and I am so happy it happened sooner than later. The very fact that they said we should not worry about a Muslim-Muslim ticket while a Muslim-Christian ticket gave them sleepless nights should make you worry the more. To worry about a Muslim-Christian ticket while counselling others not to worry about a Muslim-Muslim ticket is the very textbook definition of cognitive dissonance and an attempt at gaslighting gullible Christians. Truth must be told that anyone who is not bringing us together is consciously tearing us apart.
7. Furthermore, I do not want to speak to the argument that there is no Christian competent enough to be Vice-President because as we all know, that is hogwash. It only speaks to the need to deliberately exclude – whereas the need now is for inclusion.
8. The other funny argument in the media is the claim that without a northern Muslim on the ticket, elections cannot be won. The implications of that argument are quite unambiguous; Northern Muslims don’t vote for the South – even if the candidate is a Muslim like them – and, of course, don’t vote for Christians. However, nothing can be further from the truth. If you stretch this argument further, it may lead to questions such as, “if Muslims in the North don’t trust a southern Muslim for any reason(s), why should Christians in Nigeria trust a Muslim from the South and North?” These are the kinds of arguments I hate to engage in and which we must avoid if we hope not to injure the health of our Republic.
9. Other unhelpful framings of the debate by the so-called pundits posits that Christians in the North are so small in number that their votes don’t count. This strange argument seeks to reinforce the satanic agenda of dividing the church in Nigeria into North and South, and also ignores the fact and reality that Nigeria is evenly split on religious lines. These pundits are still not smart enough to tell us what is in the Muslim-Muslim ticket for southern Christians. The argument also ignores the fact that our official policy excludes religious affiliation from census data. There is therefore no scientific basis for these bizarre conclusions. Let us now look at a model for managing diversity.
10. If the UK offers any example, in 2005, the Tories had only two non-White MPs. Just within over a decade, this has changed dramatically – all the way to the top ranks of the party, including the last three chancellors of the exchequer in a row: Javid, Sunak and Zahawi. In addition, Patel was home secretary; Javid – health secretary; Kwasi – business secretary and; Zahawi – education secretary.
11. Before the pruning down of candidates for the Conservative Party leadership to two; six of the candidates were members of ethnic minorities. Braverman, Sunak and Javid are the children of immigrants while Chisti and Zahawi were born outside of the UK: in Pakistan and Iraq respectively; and our own Kemi was partly brought up in Lagos. All these happened in the conservative UK where the entire population of minority ethnic group is a paltry 14% – thanks to David Cameron under whose leadership the Tories embraced the idea of “sponsored mobility” which was thought to be good for the country because it will help prevent politics from polarizing along racial lines.
12. As we speak, the UK may well be on the verge of becoming the second major Western democracy to have a non-White leader in Sunak. Sunak who took the oath of office as Chancellor with his hand on the Bhagavad Gita and placed Diwali candles on the steps of his office on Number 11 Downing Street, shares the same faith with just 1.03 million Britons representing just 1.6% of the U.K’s total population. This is how democracies all over the world are managing diversities within their borders. Compare this to the US under Trump where the Republican Party was and is still in danger of becoming the party of White grievances and White reaction against an increasingly diverse America. Is it in vain that the Democrats had to settle for a woman and a black VP in Kamala Harris? Women issues are treated as minority issues and what percentage of US population is black? Just 13.4% in case you don’t know. In these two, we have two models to borrow from; either to play the politics of exclusion which the Muslim-Muslim ticket represents or to make politics all-inclusive in order to heal our national fault lines and unite our disparate peoples for nation building. The latter must be the choice of every patriotic and sensible Nigerian.
13. Why do I consider the decision by the APC to settle for a Muslim-Muslim ticket not a bold but bad decision? There are ample reasons but I will highlight a few for want of time and space.
a) It is a bad decision because it fuels inequality. We must always bear in mind that the liberty we enjoy is as rare as it is fragile. Inequality has a way of upsetting the balance due to the universal law of cause and effect. Throughout history, every revolution has been waged to either consolidate or destroy inequality. Just like all revolutions, they first seem impossible and then improbable until they become inevitable.
i) When you think of revolutions, what comes to your mind? Is it the pictures of savage invasions, crushing battlefield defeats, sacked cities and unlucky rulers put to death or a cascading series of minor, individually unimportant failures which are now replete in our polity? You may not understand the structure of revolutions until you trace the progression of the Nazis from an unpopular fringe group to the most powerful political party in Germany. Those who are dismissive of those who built conflict generating structures such as the Muslim-Muslim ticket in a pluralistic society always end up as enablers of revolution or violent changes. That was how Nazism was dismissed as a fringe idea that will never make it into the mainstream of civilized Germany until it led to the death of an estimated 40 million people.
b) It is a bad decision because it breads division which is counter-productive to our collective aspirations for a united and prosperous nation. My last check reveals that the word division is a construct of the word “vision” with a prefix “di” which means double in Latin. Just imagine what double vision does to an individual, much more a Nation. Our national creed or motto if you like, is unity and faith, peace and progress. Embedded in this great idea is the fact that unity precedes peace and progress. The question therefore is, how do we unite our disparate peoples in a manner that ensures peace and progress? This is not the only question, it is every question.
i) Of course, our strength is not in numbers but unity. You are not strong because you are many, you are strong because you are united. Nigeria cannot survive if we merely tolerate each other or if the happiness of one group is the unhappiness of the other group. But if we are united, we will be indomitable. And if all of us: Muslims, Christians, atheists, the old, the young, women and men work together and pray together in unity: believe me; we will be invincible. On the corollary, many are the Nations and Empires that could not withstand divisions.
ii) The largest construction project ever on earth – the erection of the Tower of Babel came to an abrupt halt due to divisions. The almost 3200 years long recorded history of the Egyptian empire collapsed due to divisions when Cleopatra the last Pharaoh killed her brother Ptolemy the 13th who was a joint heir to the throne and married another of her brother, Ptolemy the 14th before she had him also killed so that her son can succeed her as the pharaoh. The all-powerful Roman Empire just like the British Empire after it, decayed and died not on account of invading armies but just because they could not withstand the contradictions within. Need we say more about Yugoslavia and the USSR?
iii) The US too is currently struggling and if they don’t invent ingenious ways to heal divisions, the US dominance, just like all the other empires before, might soon become history. If we think we can encourage divisions in the scale we are witnessing and not see what those Empires and Nations saw, then we are of all men and women most miserable.
c) In addition, the inability to distinguish the Nigeria of 1993 from 2022 gave me cause to fret the more. An indispensable attribute of a leader in crisis is to be able to recognize a departure of events from routine to novel. The inability to spot an infliction point in moments of gripping visceral fear across the nation represents an irredeemable fatal error of judgment. There has never been a time in our history that we are as divided. We are battling terrorism, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, secessionists and all manner of challenges.
Consequently, anyone who thinks that events in Nigeria in 2022 are not novel but routine as they were in 1993 is totally incapable of finding solutions to challenges currently ravaging our dear nation.
14. As for the nodding dogs who have sold themselves to lying spirits by deliberately believing in lies or are refusing to accept the truth, rebuke them in love. We may, after all, be dealing with fallen angels. We must never forget that every generation has its own Jannes and Jambres who withstood Moses; its prophets of Baal who withstood Elijah; its Sanballats and Tobiahs who withstood Nehemiah; it’s Esaus whose profanity will drive them to sell their birth rights; its Gehazis who will surrender to seducing spirits in order to feed their greed; its Hamans who will plot to annihilate Gods people: the list goes on. On this class of people, the scripture has already placed a curse, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20. But just as those they withstood overcame, we will also overcome if we faint not.
15. The harder they try to make us bow to the golden image of greed, the more we should chant to their chagrin the answer given by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – who said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up”.
16. In closing, let me reiterate the fact that we are here to talk about what is right and what is wrong. To my mind what is right is not just to win elections but to unite Nigerians both now and after the elections so that we can collectively build a Nigeria that works for all regardless of creed. As President Obama warned, “if you have to win a campaign by dividing people, you are not going to be able to govern them. You won’t be able to unite them later” This is spot-on because anyone who wins an election by dividing us would have to keep us divided in order to govern us. This is not what any reasonable and peace-loving Nigerian wants.
17. As long as God remains the God of justice, may we continue to resist injustice to our sinews, no matter who is for or against it because it is the requirement of the just God. Let us go out from this summit with the resolve to seek out our Muslim brothers and sisters who believe in unifying our people in order to usher in the much need peace and advancement for Nigeria to unleash her true potentials. I am sure we will jointly agree on a platform that would advance our collective search for unity, peace and development. Believe me, the only alternative is the road to Yugoslavia. God forbid! If we want to see Nigeria exalted, we must insist she does the right things.
18. Thank you for listening. God bless you and may God bless Nigeria.
Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara.
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives
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SOLUDO: A HARVEST OF MODEST ACHIEVEMENTS

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As the 6th democratically elected governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, has literally brought governance from its high horse to the down-trodden. Within a short period of four months the people of Anambra State are feeling the positive impacts of Soludo’s people’s oriented government

  1. In Security, Law and Order. He Created a new Ministry of Homeland Affairs (for homeland security) to signal the emergency and utmost priority placed on homeland security.
  2. Massive consultation, mobilization and sensitization of the citizens and critical stakeholders— including security agencies, the clergy, traditional rulers, town unions, youths, civil society organizations, businessmen and women, agitation groups, etc.

  3. Worked with South East Bishops to organize prayers; offered amnesty/carrot to repentant outlaws; etc. The people are united in fighting against the lucrative criminal enterprise and its idolatrous energizer which had held the entire South senatorial zone plus Ogbaru local government hostage.

  4. The criminals masquerading as agitators have been exposed, and the nexus between crime, idolatry and hard drugs has become evident. The narrative is changing and the people are seizing the conversation and initiative.

  5. Declared zero tolerance for criminality and drug abuse. Took the war to the criminals in Anambra State.

  6. Put in a place a cohesive operational team with the State Security Council to enhance operational capabilities.

  7. Created Anambra State Vigilante Central Strike Force to complement the security forces to keep our forests and homeland free of the criminals.

  8. Successful deployment of Direct Labour Intervention to rebuild the washout section of Onitsha – Enugu Federal Highway opposite Chisco Park at Onitsha as well as the Amansea section of the Enugu – Onitsha Federal High way (entry section of Anambra), at a very cost effective rate.

  9. Engineering design and procurement process completed and contractors has completed the dangerous portions of two federal high ways which experience massive flooding each year, drowning unsuspecting commuters. The Ekwulobia- Nnobi federal road (Igboukwu/Isuofia boundary) and the Ogbunike – Ogidi section of the Enugu – Onitsha Road (old road) will follow soon

  10. De-silting of 1km of the Obodoukwu road, Okpoko to Idemili River end of the Sakamori storm water discharge. Same to the Fegge/Nwangene end of the discharge drain.

  11. Hydrological studies and hydraulic designs of storm water discharge channels as well as engineering designs almost completed for over 220 Kilometres of roads scattered all over Anambra state and these roads will all be flagged off for construction before the dry season commences.

  12. In Power and Water Resources: Thrre has been Reinvigoration of the Anambra State Power Committee, which also has the EEDC as a member. The Committee recently finished a Retreat and is finalizing details of the plans and programmes (including the legal/regulatory framework) to align all the stakeholders in the electricity market in Anambra and ensure optimal performance and delivery of government’s target.

  13. Rehabilitation of the water facilities at the Jerome Udorji Secretariat for civil servants. The Secretariat has not had water running in the offices for over eight years. Today water runs freely at the secretariat

  14. Completion of the Urban Water generation at Amuko-Uruagu, Nnewi.
    Achievement of Open Defecation Free (ODF) status for Aguata LGA. This is the second local government, after Anambra East LGA to achieve such a status.

  15. In Agriculture: Successfull launch of new Agro-economic transformation along the Oil-palm and coconut value chains, with the target of planting one million seedlings per annum. Over 30 Communities, institutions and investors have been profiled to plant over 2.5 Million seedlings, in partnership with the State government. This is designed to re-start from where Dr. M.I. Okpara stopped and to maximize our potentials in these highly profitable agro value chains – to create jobs, wealth and revenue to government.

  16. Creation of 14 task teams to aggressively drive the agro-transformation agenda of this new government at all levels

  17. Reactivation of the Ministry of Agriculture E-platform for data gathering, hosting and dissemination, to enable R&D, tech-driven monitoring and evaluation

  18. Restoration of the image of Anambra State as a responsible, trustworthy recipient of development programmes by World Bank, African Development Bank, UN, JAPAN, FGN etc by paying Counterpart funding

  19. Adoption and Declaration of Regenerative Agricultural Systems as a state policy.

  20. Embarking on the decongestion/removal of obstructions along major roads (Amansea to Head Bridge, Upper Iweka to Amorka & Awka to Ekwulobia, etc), market encroachments/trading activities on the roads & sustenance of free flow of traffic. To achieve this, state government has completed the cycle of Public Service Announcement and Town Hall meetings with Transport Unions/Associations

  21. Identification/Assessment of public parks in the State

  22. Central Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Teams at Zonal levels have been constituted.

  23. In Culture, Entertainment & Tourism:
    Hosted a high-profile research team from the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture for the possible enlistment of the Ogbunike Cave at the UNICEF World Heritage Site.

  24. Three designs from notable Architectural firms have been shortlisted for further consideration for the building of a world class Entertainment and Leisure Park, at Agulu Lake.

  25. Anambra State Executive Council (ANSEC) has given approval for the deployment of Anambra Tourism System Statistics, a globally approved strategy which will provide automated/digital monitoring and regulation of the Tourism and Hotel Industry among other sectors. This will boost and standardize Hospitality, Hotel and other related businesses.

  26. Lands: The Evaluation and Service Delivery Committee is a new innovation introduced under the present administration. The Committee is charged with the responsibility to, among other things; ensure expeditious action and quick service delivery in every documentation process within the time frame stated in the Ministry’s Timeline for Execution of tasks. The Committee also ensures strict compliance with the time limit assigned to every department/unit in the Timeline for efficiency and quick service delivery.

  27. Land Disputes Resolution Committee has been set up to review land disputes

  28. Issued public notice directing holders of Certificate of Occupancy issued on or before the 31st day of December, 2018 to pay up their outstanding ground rents. The Ministry also intends to announce the proposed revocation of the Right of Occupancy of those who fail to pay within a particular time.

  29. The implementation of Geographic Information Service (GIS) to enhance effective land administration and increase revenue has been approved by Anambra State Executive Council.

  30. The launching of Land Transparency Initiative and Setting up Partnership Forum with Private Sector Investors and Operators in Land and Property Sectors is ongoing.

  31. Begun to engage with host communities on acquisition of 1000 – 2000 acres of land for the building of the World Class Entertainment Resort akin to Disney World.

  32. A trial run on Implementing Fast Track Mortgage Transaction Acceleration Programme, in the Ministry of land has commenced.

  33. The Anambra State Land Reform Committee has been constituted. The Committee is to review the procedures, parameters and purposes for land acquisition, allocation and revocation.

  34. Technology—ICT: Anambra Digital Tribe; Initiative ready for launch and activities will commence within the next 90 days.

  35. Standardization of Internet Assets; the process of hosting all MDAs under the same domain has begun. All Government assets will gradually be migrated to the Internet domain name anambrastate.gov.ng as we finalize our Cloud Strategy.

  36. The Anambra Cloud; a public cloud service just finalized. It will consolidate the numerous cloud providers being used by MDAs today.

  37. State Digital Assets SOPs; Released the Digital asset SOP based on the naming convention approved by Mr Governor, which is currently being adopted by all MDAs.

36: Last-Mile High-speed fiber optic internet provision; In line with the Manifesto of providing high speed broadband, the State is in final negotiations with a PPP partner which would ensure a dig-once policy and the laying of fiber-optic cable in ducts. This project will attract thousands of direct and indirect jobs, as well as help launch Anambra fully into the global economy.

37: Public WiFi Proof of Concept; the concept and proposal for a public Wi-Fi for the state is being finalized and upon deployment would ensure that select Public areas would be powered with Wifi.

40: NITDA’s Planned Innovation Centre; the National Information Technology Development Agency ( NITDA) has expressed interest in launching an Innovation Centre in Awka – the First of its kind in the South Eastern Part of the Country. Land will be allocated for the project shortly.

  1. Baseline Study of e-government in Anambra State; the ICT Agency undertook the study, which showed the state of e-government infrastructure in the state. This will serve as a basis for the development of our Civil42 service into a Digital workforce.

GovTech preliminary strategy; The state participated in a World Bank subnational Government GovTech Maturity Index survey and based on the preliminary results of this survey and the baseline study, the state has designed a first draft gov-tech strategy which advises the government on the relevant infrastructure to put in place, for a transition to e-government.

  1. Education: Completed Phase 2 of screening of over 40,000 candidates who applied for teaching job in the primary and secondary schools. The next phase of interviews for the last 6,000 candidates will soon commence.
  2. Reviewing the state of Anambra tertiary institutions with a view to aligning them to global best practices and responsive to needs of the State and Nigeria..

  3. Launched “operation bring back our school/Adopt a School Programme” to support Government effort in improving our Educational system.

  4. Students successfully completed their WAEC exams despite the insecurity challenges

  5. Health: Ground breaking ceremony of Coordinated Wholesale Center, Oba has been achieved. The project was jinxed for six years. When completed, it will be the largest drug distribution hub in West Africa.

  6. Introduced andlactivated drug revolving fund in the State hospitals.

  7. Achieved a rapid response to measles outbreak in 13 LGAs. Currently the outbreak has been contained in 12 LGAs out of the initial 13

  8. Fixing of the State ambulances to aid emergency responses with a toll free number boldly displayed

51: Ongoing Massive recruitment of health workers in our General hospitals

52 Activation of Endoscopy unit at General Hospital, Onitsha.

  1. Activation of dental units in General hospitals, Enugwu-Ukwu, Umueri and Ekwulobia.
  2. Optimization of laboratory department of general hospital Agulu and general hospital Nnobi with haematology analyzers.

  3. Introduction of Anambra State hospital Inspection team.

  4. Zero Malaria Initiative: In collaboration with the Malaria Consortium flagged off the distribution of 3.8 million Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN).

  5. In collaboration with the State government, the Global Fund is building a new Oxygen plant at Onitsha.

  6. Women and Social Welfare; Rescued a total of 13 Children from agents of human trafficking.

  7. Establishment of a situation room for Sexual Gender Based Violence and Data collection in the State.

  8. Budget & Economic Planning: Submitted the 2022 revised budget to the State House of Assembly tailored to meet the state governemt’s ambitious infrastructural and other capital development, especially roads.

  9. Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS)
    a. Completely digitalized our revenue collection to remove leakages and widen the bracket to meet our set targets (ANSIDD has been replaced with ASIN which ensures a dynamic Biometric Data collation structure).

63.New Digital structure would ensure long term and user friendly channels and we have commenced pilot schemes on the use of POS , USSD, Web and App channels and the payments into Banks and Bank ordered agents which ensures that those within the informal sector especially, can make payments seamlessly.

  1. Commenced wide scale engagements with the various markets and Transport Unions to ensure that the leakages are plugged.
  2. Local Government, Chieftaincy and community Affairs
    a. PwC reviewed the operations of the local government and submitted report for
    government action

  3. Resolved 15 community disputes which include re-instating 4 Presidents General through the rule of law; resolved 11 community crises and successfully conducted 15 Town Union Elections

  4. Egagement with key stakeholders in the communities with a view to resolving the crises

  5. Environment.; Embarked upon the clearing/cleaning of mountainous waste dumps in Onitsha, Okpoko, Awka, Nkpor, etc which had impeded flow of traffic, undermined commercial activities and constituted health hazard.

b. De-silted over one kilometre of drainage preventing the impending flood that faced the residents of Okpoko and environs.

c. Revised and launched a framework for the collection and evacuation of solid waste within our state, and selected waste management contractors for the 31 zones specified in the State.

  1. Launched the tree planting campaign designed to make Anambra the greenest State in the country.
  2. Others
    Updating the social register which is a social protection net for the poor and elderly in
    Anambra state. It was last updated in 2017.

UNDP/UN System is back to Anambra and an office space has been given to them with other logistics support to enhance their functionality.

Ongoing engagement to implement the Ease of Doing Business programme in Anambra with support from the Office of the Vice President

Ongoing Development of Economic and Social Database with the Statistical Office

Establishment and inauguration of the Truth, Justice and Peace Committee to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the agitation and violence in Anambra/South East; seek a restorative justice approach for truth-telling or real facts; for the healing of the victims of the violence, accounting for responsibility and accountability of the actors, conditional mercy for the repentant perpetrators, restitution for certain losses and rehabilitation of the perpetrators, for the overall aim of restoration of peace and justice as well as the promotion of development in the State/region.

Declared zero tolerance for touting (Agbero) which has endeared the government to transport owners, operators and stake holders. More programmes and projects will be unveiled in due course particularly to retrain and empower the former touts.

Citizen participation has been emboldened. We have created an avenue for connecting with the people by the provision of seven phone lines for citizens to reach the security managers of the state. There is a flood of actionable intelligence and the security forces are prompt with response.

Declaration of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m curfew on motorcycles (okada), tricycles (keke), and shuttle buses in 8 Local Government areas is a short term security measure that will be lifted in no distant time.

Work is ongoing to restructure and strengthen the community security architecture and deployment of technology in security.

Declaration of emergency on traffic management and the Anambra Road Traffic Management Agency (ARTMA) is being strengthened to deliver.

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SOLUDO VISITS AWKA CORRECTIONAL CENTER TO MARK HIS 62ND BIRTHDAY, CALLS FOR SPEEDY TRIAL OF INMATES

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Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo has called for speedy trial of inmates in the nation’s Correctional Facilities

Governor Soludo made this call when he visited the Awka Correctional Centre to mark his 62nd birthday with the inmates. The Governor also used the occasion to announce plans to grant prerogative of mercy to three inmates in the Nigerian Correctional Service within the jurisdiction of the Awka Custodial Center, next week.

According to the Governor, who disclosed that the review is still ongoing, the pardon, he said is an offshoot of the review which ended in May. He stressed that another review will be concluded to pardon those who truly deserve it after spending a reasonable period of time in the Correctional Centre.

Governor Soludo also said that the Executive and Judiciary arms of Government are already synergizing to make for speedy trial by exploiting the option of virtual sessions, so that those awaiting trial could easily be served justice.

While pointing out that it is heartbreaking for people to await trial for many years in custody, without conviction, the Governor reiterated that justice delayed is justice denied.

He promised to fix the roof of the Center’s health clinic, provide a central solar power and cable television subscription, while the review of conditions of inmates continues.

The Governor disclosed to the inmates of his administration’s plan to build a liveable and prosperous smart mega city, asking them to join hands with him in whatever way they can, to make the state and society at large, a better place to live, work and enjoy.

The Controller of Correctional Centre, Anambra State Command, Mr. Pat Chukwuemeka eulogized Governor Soludo as a man who honours his words whenever he makes promises.

The Controller reiterated that notwithstanding the fact that Governor Soludo came at a difficult time when the polity was troubled, he has made outstanding successes within the very short period

He pledged to keep supporting his administration’s policies for the overall development of the state.

Food items were distributed to the inmates during the visit which also witnessed the presence of the Governor’s wife, Mrs Nonye Soludo, among other dignitaries.

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SOLUDO’S TAX SOLUTION AS ANAMBRA’S KEY TO PROGRESS

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The importance of taxation cannot be overemphasized. And, the most important purpose of taxation is to raise resources for governments to deliver essential public services. Therefore, Governments use them to build or pay for many of the things that are fundamental for the good functioning of the countries, namely, health care, schools, roads, other government projects and social services. That’s the social contract, between the governments and their citizens. Most economists observe that “It is important to look at both sides of the equation – not only taxes collected, but also how the money is spent to improve lives and well-being of the citizenry.”

Anambra State’s new tax directions made news headlines within the past few days, following innovative tax policies initiated by the four-month-old administration of Gov. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR.

The tax reforms in a revolutionary manner made tax payment and collection easier, more accountable to the people and lesser challenging to the people. It also makes citizens pay lesser in a novel ‘win, win’ that favours the populace and the government.

The governor, a renowned professor of Economics and man of global repute and former Governor of the Central Bank, CBN who took the mantle in Anambra State on the 17th of March 2022 brings his experience and reputation to bear on the reforms. As one whose stewardship at the apex bank was marked by many ‘firsts’, administratively and economically, he shows his grasp of development and economic issues in the new directions in taxation in Anambra.

An informed peak into the reforms will enable better understanding and lampoon the reasons for the protests, which suddenly came almost simultaneously from two opposing groups on the matter under discussion. Good consideration of the larger picture of what Anambra really needs and the Soludo government’s determination to pursue its administrative dreams will buttress the grounds for the new policies.

The tax reforms for instance entail a complete overhaul of the tax payment method in the state, where individuals who often times are not even state actors gained the system. They were hired to collect and also enforce the payment of internally generated revenue from businesses, persons and others. Under the falsehood that they were “remitting the collected sum” to the government purse, they lined their pockets and defrauded citizens. The collectors or their agents either diverted part of the sum to some private accounts as well as other areas of their own interests or never credited the tax payers appropriately. Taxpayers did not even know what they were expected to pay and which government agency they were to pay to duly.

In a bid to cut off the practice that enthroned dubious proxies and multiple taxation that were existed before Soludo’s era, the new government took a bold step in the new order. First, the government published exact figures of taxes meant for bodies and groups such as transporters in the state. For instance, a breakdown of what the commuters will be paying as taxes henceforth is contained in an official release made by the Anambra State Internal Revenue Services (AIRS). In a release signed by Mrs Silvia Tochukwu-Ngige of the Head, Taxpayer Education and Enlightenment Team of AIRS, operators in the sector are expected to pay significantly lesser than what they used to pay. They are also saved from the brutality and bloody extortion of roadside, motor park thugs (Ndi Agbero) as well as the violence and accidents they are exposed to by the pre-existing situation. In a development that represents radical reduction in the amounts the operators pay, it is calculated that the commercial motorcyclist, Okada, rider will now pay N300.00 daily which a…

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Ụkwaka-Umudim Nnewi Bridge: Nonso Smart Okafor Urges Governor Soludo To Reconstruct Bridge

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Read Time:56 Second

The Lawmaker representing Nnewi North Constituency in Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Nonso Smart Okafor has called for the urgent intervention of the state government in Ukwaka bridge which has collapsed.

Hon. Nonso Smart Okafor made the appeal through a motion moved under ‘Matters of Urgent Public Importance’ urging the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Charles Soludo, to direct the Commissioner for Works to reconstruct the collapsed Ukwaka-Umudim bridge.

Moving the motion during the House of Assembly plenary of Thursday, 21st July, 2022, Hon. Nonso Okafor urged the Governor to come to the aid of the people of Nnewi by reconstructing the collapsed bridge.

He said that the bridge which was constructed during Dame Virgy Etiaba’s administration has collapsed thereby causing hardship for road users and affecting economic activities for residents of the area.

The Lawmaker who is seeking to represent his federal constituency under the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC) noted that the bridge when reconstructed will bring a sigh of relief to Nnewi residents, as the road is a very strategic in Nnewi.

Ụkwaka River Bridge is located at Umuezena Umudim Nnewi.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Tomorrow may never come, take over leadership now – Obasanjo urges youths

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has advised Nigerian youths to take over leadership positions right now.

Obasanjo said youths should not allow anyone to address them as leaders of tomorrow, saying the tomorrow may never come.

Obasanjo claimed some corrupt leaders would destroy the so-called tomorrow if the younger generation fails to rise and take their future in their hands.

The former president made the assertions on Saturday during a special interview with former Super Eagles star, Segun Odegbami, on his Eagles7 Sports 103.7 FM, Abeokuta.

Fielding questions from Odegbami, Obasanjo said, “My advice for Nigerian youths is, never let anybody tell you that you are the leaders of tomorrow. If you wait for tomorrow before you take over leadership, that tomorrow may not come. They will destroy it.

“This is the time, youths get up and make it happen,” he said.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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The confirmed list of the Transition Committee Chairmen of the 21 Local Government Councils in Anambra State

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Read Time:1 Minute, 52 Second

The Anambra State House of Assembly today Tuesday 21st July, confirmed the appointment of twenty-one Transition Committee Chairmen and members to  the twenty-one local governments of the state.

Earlier in the plenary, the Speaker Rt. Hon. Uche Okafor read the letter from the State governor, Chief  Soludo requesting the House to look at the list of the Transition Committee and confirm them in accordance with the position of the law.

In the letter, the governor noted that the appointment will be for three months as stipulated by the law. Governor Soludo’s letter to the House of Assembly reads in part;

“I wish to forward herewith names of persons to be considered for an election by the honourable House members as chairmen and members of the transition committee for local governments in the state. This will be for a period of three months, in consonance with the provisions of the law. The names of the said persons are stated in the attached list. As always, please be assured of my highest regards”.

A look at the submitted list which was later confirmed by the House however reveals that about seven out of the twenty-one Transition Committee Chairmen  reconfirmed today  have been serving in the same position for over three years. An indication that they have been reconfirmed by the House of Assembly every three months, for more than three years now.

 

The confirmed list of the Transition Committee Chairmen of the 21 Local Government Councils in Anambra State

1) AGUATA: Prince Chibuike Ofobuike

2) ANAMBRA EAST: Dr. Anselem Onuora

3) ANAMBRA WEST : Mr. Felix Ikechi

4) ANAOCHA: Mr. Gerald Ikechukwu Ozo

5) AWKA NORTH: Mr. Emmanuel Ucheze

6) AWKA SOUTH: Mr. Thankgod Aniago

7) AYAMELUM: Hon. Livinus Onyenwe

8) DUNUKOFIA: Mr. Augustine Onyemaobi Nonyelum

9) Ekwusigo: Mr. James Chimezie Obi

10) IDEMILI NORTH: Mr. Chucks Brown Igboanua

11) IDEMILI SOUTH: Mrs. Immaculata Amaka Obi

12) IHIALA: Mr. Kingsley Obi

13) NJIKOKA: Mr. Clems Aguiyi

14) NNEWI NORTH: Hon. Mbazuluike Iloka

15) NNEWI SOUTH: Mr. Ikenna Oluchukwu Aniagbaoso

16) ONITSHA NORTH: Mr. Charles Ozoma

17) ONITSHA SOUTH: Mr. Emeka Orji

18) ORUMBA NORTH: Engr. Ogochukwu Ekwueme

19) ORUMBA SOUTH: Mr. Sunday Uchendu

20) OYI: Mr. Emmanuel Nweke

21) OGBARU: Mr. Paschal Chidiebere Aniegbuna

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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My personal opinion about Buhari, Osinbajo, Atiku, Tinubu and Peter Obi

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Read Time:3 Minute, 25 Second

BUHARI

My opinion about Buhari in 2015 and now has not changed. He is not a corrupt politician, he will not steal Nigeria’s money, my only problem with him is that I feel he is not in charge of his government, and he is too ethnic conscious.

He seems to appear unaware and lost in his environment. He is excessively tolerant, he even finds it difficult to sack confirmed thieves in his government. In my judgement, he would have done better as a traditional ruler after he retired from the military, rather than attempting to rule a tumultuous country like Nigeria.

OSINBAJO

Osinbajo in my thinking would have been the most qualified to be President if he had emerged successful in the primaries. It was unfortunate that most youths blamed him for failures in BUHARI’s government and called him an accomplice. Well, If you understand the politics and intrigues within the presidency, you will not blame Osinbajo for staying quite.

He was never given an opportunity. Eight years understudying the system is not an experience to throw away. If Tinubu had stepped down for him and thrown his weight behind him, the conversation today would have taken a different tone.

ATIKU

Atiku is different from all the aspirants. He understands the issues, Atiku knows exactly what we call the nigerian problem. Atiku can comfortably discus power supply because he knows the real problem, he understands the central bank, he understands Nigeria. He knows how to manipulate the national assembly to get his way.

One reason I refused to support Atiku as president is because he is part of the reason Nigeria failed. He is an elite, he thinks like an elite, he belongs to the big boys club, he does not understand poverty, he does not know what it means to sleep without light amidst mosquitoes, he does not understand the discomfort, in my thinking he does not have a solution for changing the conditions of the poor. This explains why I did not support him.

TINUBU

Tinubu is a great Nigerian leader. My problem with him is that he built a man, good enough to be president but chose to bring him down rather than promote him to the highest office.

I consider it love for self and power at the detriment of the nation. I listened to Tinubu’s speeches, I really do not think he understands the Nigerian issues from a technocratic point of view.

Tinubu I think has a lot of political capacity and decisiveness, he will be a very tough president if elected, but again, I think age is not on his side and in my thinking he embodies what we call the Nigerian problem. I don’t see him as a reformist, I rather see him as a godfather, or kingmaker, than as a president.

PETER OBI

Peter Obi is personally rich, but he reasons like a poor man. It is not bad to reason like a poor man. His type is what we need now in Nigeria. He is not wasteful, because he understands the importance of money and places value in little things. We need a president who will question every project, and Obi fits the bill.

Obi will not be a president that any aide can control or lead him astray. He will ask questions and expect answers that make sense. As at today, our total national revenue equals the interest we pay on loans. Obi will not take unnecessary loans without asking about the long-term implications, Buhari failed here. Buhari was deceived and led astray to take loans without thinking of the long-term implications on national revenue.

Obi will not tolerate corrupt ministers and will not serve as an ethnic leader. Obi is an Igbo man, but he is more a Nigerian. In times like these, Nigeria needs a leader to unite the country, a leader who will be truly Nigerian, a leader who understands global markets, Industrialization and commerce.

Atiku and Tinubu are great, but truth be told, of the three without mincing words, Nigeria needs a leader like Peter Obi.

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Innoson Vehicles Sues Imo State Government over N2.5B Debt

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Read Time:3 Minute, 4 Second

Nigeria’s indigenous vehicle manufacturing company, Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing (IVM) has filed an over N2.5B lawsuit against the Imo State Government under the headship of Senator Hope Uzodinma over its failure to pay or service the debt of N2,547,666,435.00 (Two Billion, Five Hundred and Forty-Seven Million, Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Thousand, Four Hundred and Thirty-Five Naira) being the purchase price of the various IVM Vehicles including their parts which IVM manufactured, sold and delivered to the State Government but Imo State Governor or its government has refused and failed to pay same despite repeated demands and appeals.

The lawsuit which was filed by Prof Joseph N Mbadugha, SAN, FCPA of McCarthy Mbadugha & Co, the counsel to Innoson Vehicles coming against repeated attempts made by the Chairman of Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing, Chief Dr. Innocent Chukwuma OFR, to the Governor urging him to pay the company on the vehicles sold, and delivered to the State Government.

For the avoidance of doubt, sometimes in April 2021, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma invited the Chairman/CEO of Innoson Vehicles, Chief Dr Innocent Chukwuma to the Imo State Government House, Owerri where they discussed and agreed that Innoson Vehicles would sell and supply various specifications of its brand of Vehicles to the State Government which includes, inter alia;

  1. 70 units of Innoson 5 Seater double cabin pick-up (IVM Carrier) 4WD
  2. 10 units of Innoson 5- Seater double cabin military pick up (IVM G12)

  3. 10 units of Innoson 5 seater single cabin military pick-up (IVM G12)

  4. 100 units of a complete siren with public addressing system, revolving light, and street police light;

  5. 2 Units of IVM Ambulance Vehicles

  6. 20 Units of IVM G12 MS11

  7. 20 sets of B. Canopy

The above vehicles which were valued at over N2.5B ($6.3M) were supplied in good faith to the Imo State Government based on an understanding with the Governor which arose after a special request that Innoson Vehicles grant the State the favour of paying for the vehicles after deliveries to them and which request was granted and honored.

The special and privilege request granted to the Governor turned into a nightmare for Innoson Vehicles and Its Chairman after Chief Chukwuma had at various times through several visits, phone calls, messages, and submission of letters requesting payment appealed to the Governor and his conscience to make total payments or set up a payment plan that will offset the debt.

The inability of the State Government to pay the aforesaid purchase price of the vehicles supplied has resulted in Innoson Vehicles having difficulties in fulfilling its loan repayment obligations to Keystone Bank Limited and Bank of Industry. These Banks granted their credit facilities at the rate of 10% interest and other fees therein. More so, it has led to the loss of profit arising therefrom and the accruing interest.

It is also interesting to note that as of July 27th, 2022, the over N2.5B worth of vehicles supplied to Imo State Government in April 2021 under the leadership of Hope Uzodinma with a dollar value of $6.3M is now worth $3.8M. Even if the money is paid today, the value of the money has depreciated by over 40%.

It is therefore based on this premise that Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Ltd has begun the process of recovering its debts against the Imo State Government by slamming a lawsuit of over N2.5B with an interest rate of 10% on the entirety of the sum claimed at the High Court of Anambra State, Nnewi Division.

Cornel Osigwe
Head Corporate Communications and Affairs
IVM Innoson Group.

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Nokia CEO ended his speech saying this “we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”.

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Read Time:1 Minute, 12 Second

During the press conference to announce NOKIA being acquired by Microsoft, Nokia CEO ended his speech saying this “we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”. Upon saying that, all his management team, himself included, teared sadly.
Nokia has been a respectable company. They didn’t do anything wrong in their business, however, the world changed too fast. Their opponents were too powerful.

They missed out on learning, they missed out on changing, and thus they lost the opportunity at hand to make it big. Not only did they miss the opportunity to earn big money, they lost their chance of survival.
The message of this story is, if you don’t change, you shall be removed from the competition.
It’s not wrong if you don’t want to learn new things. However, if your thoughts and mindset cannot catch up with time, you will be eliminated.

Conclusion:
1. The advantage you have yesterday, will be replaced by the trends of tomorrow. You don’t have to do anything wrong, as long as your competitors catch the wave and do it RIGHT, you can lose out and fail.
To change and improve yourself is giving yourself a second chance. To be forced by others to change, is like being discarded.
Those who refuse to learn & improve, will definitely one day become redundant & not relevant to the industry. They will learn the lesson in a hard & expensive way

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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