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NON-COLLECTION OF PVCS IN SOUTH-EAST: GAMES ARE WON BY GOALS, NOT DRIBBLES – OHANAEZE TELLS NDI IGBO

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The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has expressed worries over a large number of uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) by eligible voters in the Southeastern region. 

In a statement issued by the spokesperson, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, Tuesday, the group condemned political apathy among the residents of the region shown already in their unresponsiveness to the collection of PVCs. 

Ohanaeze warned that it is goals that win games in football, and not dribbles, saying a lot of people only make empty noise on the internet without exhibiting political behaviour at the polls, despite the extension of the collection of PVCs by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The statement read, “Ohanaeze expresses concern that there are thousands of permanent voters’ cards that are yet to be collected by their rightful owners. 

“To this end, Ohanaeze draws a distinction between robust campaigns and social media activism on one side and voting during an election on the other. 

“While the modern campaigns cannot be delinked with the Internet, in what some call technological determinism: that is, the thinking in some quarters that the Internet drive the historical, economic, political and cultural changes, in reality, it is the voting behaviour of the group that determines electoral outcome at the polls. 

“In other words, while dribbling the opponent in a football match is key, it is the number of goals scored that will ultimately count. It is therefore very strange that an Igbo of whatever class or creed will be reminded of the need to vote in the forthcoming general elections.”

Meanwhile, the group applauded Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi for declaring two days as a public holiday for people of the state to collect their PVCs.

Ohanaeze also urged other governors to follow suit in allowing their people to go to INEC offices and collect their PVCs ahead of the general elections which begin with the presidential election on February 25.

“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide commends Engr. Dave Umahi, the Governor of Ebonyi State and the Chairman of South East Governors Forum over his decision to declare a two-day public holiday to compel all the public servants in the State to obtain their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC). This is as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) extends the collection until Sunday, January 29, 2023.

“While commending Governor Umahi for his pragmatic sensitization of the Ebonyi populace towards the forthcoming elections, Ohaneze Ndigbo calls on all the Governors of Ohanaeze states to apply the Ebonyi paradigm in their respective jurisdictions,” Ohanaeze said.

“Similarly, the Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) led by Chief Emeka Diwe is also requested to deploy their grassroots prowess to implement a policy of “no PVC, no community rights” in all the Igbo communities across the entire Igboland.

“Emphasis is hereby made that no genuine Igbo should allow local, private or selfish interests to override the Igbo collective interests. Every Igbo should therefore realise that the PVC and voting on the election day are the sinequanon for the actualisation of the Igbo collective desideratum for 2023,” it added.

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BE DECISIVE ON FUEL CRISIS, JERRY GANA TO BUHARI

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•Don’t ruin economy, extend deadline for new naira not

Former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, has asked the Federal Government to put an end to the ongoing fuel shortages and price hike in the country.

Gana said the avoidable long queues in the filling stations are unacceptable and no longer tolerable.

He said this in Akure, the Ondo state capital, during the anniversary of the Archbishop Vining College of Theology.

According to him “the unnecessary fuel scarcity has crippled the economy of the country while motorists and commuters are subjected to untold suffering across the country as a result of poor supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

“We expect them to perform their duty because the fuel shortage is a serious problem and we know the government of the day should certainly do something decisively about the fuel crisis. 

“And so, we request them and urge them on behalf of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do something urgently. It is not an appeal but the people of the nation is calling on government to do something urgently” he said. 

Also, the former Minister, frowned at the current unnecessary hardship being faced by the citizenry in accessing the new redesigned Naira notes in the country. 

According to him, a lot of people across the country could not access the new redesigned Naira notes despite the closeness to the deadline as stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He, however, called for immediate extension of the due date in order to allow the people to access the new redesigned Naira notes and nib the crisis in the bud.

 “The issue of new Naira notes, people are going through very serious difficulties, this is not a joke, we are speaking from what we see on the field and therefore they should not ruin this economy 

“Ordinary people cannot get access to the new notes and therefore we are very much in support for the extension of the date. 

“This is very important, it is not for elite but for people living in thousands of area within the country and don’t have access and they are the economy and they should therefore listen to those people. 

“People are against the policy, particularly, the limits in terms of withdrawal. There must be some logistics, moving around, it’s not a matter of buying votes or not.”

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KIDNAPPER SENTENCED TO DEATH BY HANGING FOR MURDER

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A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has convicted and sentenced a man to death by hanging for killing four persons and using their intestines to prepare pepper soup meal in Okwalie community in the Khana Local Government Area of the state.

The convict, Bestman Lekia, also known as Biggie was found guilty of murder, armed robbery, burglary, kidnapping and cultism.

Lekia and others now at large were reportedly killed Gbodu Nobaale, Etim Ekpe, Nenalebarri Mmeabe and Loveday Mmeabe, after they were kidnapped and taken to an undisclosed location.

One of the victims, Mmeable’s stomach was said to have been ripped open and his intestines used to prepare pepper soup and plantain meal by the abductors in 2019.

The trial Judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, in his judgment found Lekia guilty of murder, kidnapping, cultism and armed robbery.

Justice Enebeli stated that the prosecution counsel was able to prove his case with the necessary evidence and presentations.

He said the attitude of the convict throughout his trial proved that he was a hardened criminal, cultist and terror who if possible was supposed to be hanged four times and die four times.

Justice Enebeli ruled that he should be hanged by the neck until he was confirmed dead.

Speaking to journalists outside the courtroom, the state prosecution counsel, Chidi Ekeh, expressed happiness with the judgment, saying it had taken a threat out of society.

Ekeh stated, “As a human being, I do not take delight in the fact that he (Lekia) is going to die. But I feel happy that the law and the state did not fail society. That Ogoni community will know peace that they will never see him again. So to me, it was a hard-nose judgment. The judge has demonstrated once again that he is worth his salt.”

The defence counsel, N. O. Megwari, declined to comment on the judgment.

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BUHARI INAUGURATES 12 PROJECTS IN KATSINA

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The projects inaugurated by the President include 10 selected projects executed by the Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, the Meteorological Institute of Science and Technology, Katsina, constructed and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities by the federal government and a 400 tons per day capacity producing Darma Rice Mill constructed by Alhaji Dahiru Bara’u Mangal, a Katsina-based business mogul across the three senatorial zones of the state

Buhari, who began his official duty in the state last Thursday, inaugurated the Kofar Kaura Underpass, Katsina Water Supply Booster Station, Revenue House, Kofar Kwaya Underpass and remodelled Katsina General Hospital.

He inspected the ongoing work on the state’s first flyover at the Government Reserved Area, which is 90 per cent completed.

On the second day (Friday), Buhari traversed some local governments and communities of the state where he inaugurated General Hospital, Musawa, Government Day Secondary School, Musawa, Gora-Makauraci-Malamawa Road, rehabilitated and asphalted Sandamu-Baure-Babban-Mutum Road as well as the Gurjiya-Sandamu-Karkarku Road executed by the state government.

However, in all places where Buhari inaugurated the projects, he did not make a speech as he only read the plaques that carried the inscription of the date on which the projects were inaugurated.

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