Chief Of Air Staff Hails Mbah On Improved Security In Enugu

Chief Of Air Staff Hails Mbah On Improved Security In Enugu

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has commended Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State on improved security of lives and property in the state, saying Mbah’s commitment to maintain very good working relationship with the armed forces would continue to bring enhanced peace and security in the South East region.

He said the Nigeria Airforce had recently invigorated its operations for peace and security in the region through the air components of the joint task force, Operation Udoka II, headquartered in Enugu by injecting a fresh set of troops.

This was even as Governor Mbah separately assured the Chief of the Air Staff and visiting participants of the Senior Course 46 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, of his administration’s continued partnership with the security forces for the security and stability of Enugu and the South East region.

Abubakar gave the commendation when he led the top echelon of the service on a working visit to the governor at the Government House Enugu, noting that Mbah was the first governor to visit him upon his appointment to seek collaboration towards the security of his state.

He commended the governor’s vision and determination to eradicate poverty, noting that 75 per cent of crime eradication was non-kinetic and applauded Mbah for his “zeal and mission to deliver quality, people-focused governance by making Enugu State the preferred destination for tourism, business, investment and living.

“It has been empirically proven that poverty and issues of criminality are directly proportional. The more poverty you have, the more likely that people will go into criminal activities.

“The issue of insecurity is usually very complex, multifaceted, and requires multifaceted and very comprehensive approaches to resolve them; and we are very happy to identify with a lot of efforts at resolving some of these problems, particularly your plans to eradicate poverty in the state by addressing all the indices of poverty

“Again, we can continue to carry out our kinetic actions to address the issues of insecurity, but again, empirically, it has been proven that only 25 per cent of internal security issues can be resolved using kinetic means. The remaining 75 per cent can be resolved using the whole of government approach.

“This whole of government approach has to do with the eradication of poverty, illiteracy, good education, medical care, and all the issues. I am very happy to see that a lot of these issues you are already addressing; which means that your policies and plans align with this whole of government approach.”

The service chief equally applauded Mbah for ending illegal Monday sit-at-home and for waging war against fake news purveyors, especially on the social media, whom he described as “media terrorists”, who use fake news to stir tension and insecurity.

“I also want to commend your stand against the illegal sit-at-home order. You are taking a very strong stance against it. You have also resolved to take legal action against the perpetrators and facilitators of this illegal order”, he said.

Responding, Mbah said his administration needed to take hard stance against insecurity as it was impossible to grow the state’s economy from the present $4.4 billion to $30 billion in a state of insecurity, reiterating that the government was taking deliberate measures to create employment to fight the crime industry.

“The typical thing is that you cannot have sustainable development without security. Conversely, you cannot have security without sustainable development. So, they are both intricately intertwined and we need to address them frontally. So, we also thought that if we must deal insecurity, we must deal with the root causes.”

And dealing with the root causes requires that we address unemployment so we can get our young people constructively and gainfully engaged in other useful activities other than criminalities”, he said.

Meanwhile, receiving participants of the Senior Course 46 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, led by the Chief Instructor of the College, Col. Olurotimi Adejoro, Mbah said his administration was already implementing a “Cut-Off Point” policy, which was intended to catch Enugu children young from the age of three and expose them to holistic education, including digital skills and moral education up basic education level to ensure that they were fully equipped to be responsible and gainfully employed members of the society in future.

The Eastern Updates

Imo LP Candidate Asserts Confidence In Court For Justice

Sen Athan Achonu, the Labour Party (LP) candidate in the recently concluded gubernatorial election in Imo State, expressed confidence that he will attain justice through the legal system.

Achonu affirmed his complete trust in the judiciary, believing it will deliver justice and rectify the grievances suffered by the people of Imo State in the November 11, 2023, gubernatorial election.

Achonu, during an interaction with journalists at his Abuja residence, expressed strong disapproval of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for denying the party and its legal team access to BVAS records, contrary to an active court order.

‘I believe there are still judges in our judiciary who are still upright. My prayer is to come across one of them in my case.’

Read also: Imo Guber: Achonu Rejects Results, Indicts Security Operatives

‘There was no coalition at the ward level during the election, there was cluster voting in Osu; a government official took truck loads of thugs to vote.’

‘Bayelsa State with 8 local government areas took three days to collate the results of the elections held there, Imo State with 27 local governments collated its results within two hours. This is what Nigeria has become.’

‘INEC has refused to allow us to inspect the BVAS. President Bola Tinubu was in the streets protesting for justice during the June 12 (1993) crisis, he can’t allow this to happen.’

‘I understand that he and the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma are members of the same party but justice and fairness should not be about party.’

‘INEC is collapsing under the current chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, if he is no longer in charge he should come out and tell Nigerians that his officers are no longer obeying his instructions.’

‘My appeal to President Tinubu is that please, don’t let us descend into chaos, halt this decline,’ he said.

The Eastern Updates 

Anambra: 98,960 Residents Living with HIV/AIDS, Official Says

The Anambra State Aids Control Agency (ANSACA) reports that there are no fewer than 98,960 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Anambra.

Afam Obidike, the Commissioner for Health in Anambra, during a media briefing in Awka on Thursday, ahead of the 2023 World AIDS Day, marked annually on December 1 since 1988.

World AIDS Day is observed worldwide to increase awareness about HIV and AIDS and to pay tribute to the individuals impacted by the epidemic.

This year’s commemoration had the global theme ‘Let Communities Lead” and domesticated in Nigeria as ‘Communities’ Leadership to end AIDS by 2030′.

Mr Obidike said: ‘With the national prevalence of 1.4 per cent, our state HIV prevalence is ranked 5th highest in the country and the highest in South East.’

‘It is estimated that 98,960 residents are living with HIV, out of which 58 per cent know their status and only 44,808 are currently on treatment.’

He said the state was making the needed progress towards attaining the Global 95-95-95 targets, ‘of which we are at 65:81:93.’

‘Worthy of note is the gradual decline in new infections which is at 46 per cent between 2021 and 2023 and AIDS related death which is at 32 per cent between 2021 and 2023.’

Read also: Anambra Now Fifth In HIV Transmission In Nigeria – Agency

‘We have scaled up Prevention of Mother-to-child Transmission services to ensure that no woman transmits this infection to her baby. The good news is that with the advent of Anti Retro-viral Therapy (ART), HIV is no longer a death sentence,’ he said.

The commissioner said the state was also scaling up access to HIV self-testing to tackle stigma and discrimination.

Dr Afam Anaeme, director, public health, described HIV/AIDS as one of the diseases of public health importance.

Mr Anaeme noted that the disease is transmitted from person to person through body fluids during sexual activities, mother to child during pregnancy, labour and delivery, breastfeeding, blood transfusion and risky sexual behaviours.

He said there was a need for community involvement in the planning, implementation and monitoring of HIV programmes as well as access to relevant prevention, treatment and care services.

‘Communities are people living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV and they need to lead the frontline of progress in the HIV response.’

‘With the participation of everyone, we can reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Anambra,’ he said.

In his remarks, the executive director of ANSACA, Johnbosco Ementa, urged residents to take advantage of the free testing centres across the state to know their status.

He said that the state government increased the number of HIV treatment sites from 104 to 1,182 with the collaboration of implementing partners.

‘ANSACA also deployed mobile testing units, home-based testing, and community outreaches, to significantly improve HIV testing coverage and accessibility.’

‘We appreciate our partners – Achieving Health Nigeria Initiative, AIDS Health-care Foundation, UNAIDS, CHAI and Global Fund for their support,’ he said.

The Eastern Updates

Otti Inaugurates ‘Mayors’ For Abia Local Government Areas

Abia State’s Governor, Alex Otti, administered the oath of office to mayors and deputy mayors, covering the entirety of the state’s 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs).

The governor tasked the officials with the crucial duty of serving their communities and ensuring their safety.

Otti, speaking at the Michael Okpara auditorium in Umuahia during the swearing-in of the 34 appointees, emphasized their immediate objective: reinforcing the security structure in their diverse local government areas.

Read also: No Tampering With Council Funds, Otti Declares

Reiterating his stance, he affirmed that Abia State would not compromise any part to criminals, ensuring that developmental initiatives extend to every region within the state.

Otti clarified that the recently designated LGA chairmen, locally referred to as Mayors in Abia, would be granted autonomy to administer their local governments. He encouraged them to adopt a servant-leader mindset.

He reminded them of the need to align their programs to be in tandem with the philosophy of the Labour Party (LP)- led administration in Abia.

In response to criticism directed at certain LGA bosses, Otti acknowledged the concerns, affirming that his administration had taken note while expressing confidence in the appropriateness of the chosen leaders for the councils.

Otti lauded the House of Assembly for their swift action in screening the LGA chairmen, expressing appreciation for their timely and effective process.

The Eastern Updates 

DSS Commended By Kanu’s Family Ahead Of Judgment

DSS Commended By Kanu's Family Ahead Of Judgment

The Department of State Services (DSS) received commendation from the family of the detained IPOB Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, for following court orders and permitting access to visitors.

Speaking with newsmen following his visit to Kanu at the DSS headquarters in Abuja, Prince Emmanuel Kanu, the family spokesman, expressed contentment that the secret police adhered to court approval, allowing Kanu the full complement of authorized visitors.

He clarified that, unlike recent visits where the DSS restricted access, all three individuals authorized by the court were granted unrestricted access to Kanu.

He noted the family’s decision to appreciate the DSS’s compliance with court orders and urged them not to deviate during future visits.

Recall that the family had previously lodged vehement complaints about the DSS’s failure to comply with court orders pertaining to Kanu.

Read also: For Peace Sake, Release Nnamdi Kanu, Nwosu Begs Tinubu

Prince Emmanuel shared that Kanu tasked him with warning both Biafra agitators and security agents to exercise utmost security consciousness in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s judgment on the case against the Federal Government.

In clarification, he mentioned that Kanu’s advisory message is prompted by the looming possibility of fifth columnists trying to create scenarios that could inaccurately depict Kanu and IPOB as a violent group.

He insisted that Kanu and IPOB believe in peaceful restoration of Biafra through non- violence, and should not be associated with anyone fomenting trouble.

‘I met with my brother today, and I want to commend the DSS for allowing the family full access to him unlike before.’

‘I have a message from my brother for all our people and also for security operatives. He asked me to tell everybody to be very watchful and careful because some bad elements might decide to be funny just to make things difficult for him as the Supreme Court judgment on his matter is coming up on December 15.’

‘He made it clear that he does not support violence and should not be associated with such. He also told security agents not to hide under any guise to cause confusion. Security agents have problems among themselves and can cause problem and blame it on IPOB. He said everybody should be careful’.

The Eastern Updates

No Tampering With Council Funds, Otti Declares

No Tampering With Council Funds, Otti Declares

Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has assured that he will not meddle with the funds earmarked for the Local Government Councils in Abia State, as he remains dedicated to fiscal responsibility.

Governor Otti, while inaugurating new Transition Committee Chairmen for the 17 LGAs in Umuahia, assured them of a “free hand” to manage the affairs of their LGAs, underscoring his commitment to decentralized governance.

The Governor urged them to create environments in the local communities that foster active production and rapid development.

In his speech at the occasion entitled ‘Expanding the Frontiers of Development’ Otti tasked the new TC Chairmen and their deputies on agricultural revolution.

‘Your primary task as mayors and deputies shall be to make the local communities and towns conducive for active production and rapid growth.’

‘We expect you to quickly develop holistic frameworks for improving agriculture and light scale production in ways that enhance outputs and attract domestic and foreign investors.’

Gov Otti further charged them to hit the ground running, stressing that their appointment is a call to serve and not to be served.

‘We do not expect you to get everything right on the first day but you must be willing to learn, keeping your mind open to new ideas and possibilities.’

He promised that his administration would give each of them freehand to manage the affairs of the council responsibly.

Read also: Governor Alex Otti Swears In 24 Permanent Secretaries

He said further charged them to design their programmes in ways that align with the general development philosophy of the ruling Labour Party administration in the state.

Otti also tasked them to enhance security of their various LGAs.

‘Your first task as leaders of the various LGAs shall include strengthening the security architecture in the towns and villages within your domain, especially as the yuletide approaches.’

Otti explained that he chose them because he needed to work with people with capacity to deliver.

‘We need the best hands and heads to drive the development of the state. We are in a hurry to elevate the standards of leadership to accommodate strictly those who have something to offer.’

He congratulated them and urged them to bring their extensive wealth of experience in various fields of human endeavours to bear in the service of their communities and urged them to serve as the vanguards of the New Abia in the 17 LGAs.

Earlier in his speech, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Uzor Nwachukwu said the need to accelerate development in the rural areas infomed the choice of the Mayors and their deputies.

He expressed confidence in their ability to deliver.

Addressing newsmen later, the Mayor of Umuahia North LGA, High Chief Victor Ikeji, declared war on touting especially at Isi- gate.

He said his administration ‘has zero tolerance for corruption and ineptitude’, vowing never to engage touts in revenue drive or taskforce but use only legitimate staff of the council.

The Council boss further promised to be prudent in managing the resources of the council saying he will ‘account for every kobo’ received for the council.

He promised a holistic and integrated approach to the provision of Infrastructure especially rural roads, rebuilding of schools and health centers.

The Mayor committed to providing a better welfare package for both council workers and traditional rulers, emphasizing the call for diligence and hard work among the council employees.

The vow to eradicate ghost workers includes the firm stance that any staff not personally recognized will be removed promptly from the council’s payroll.

The Mayor, signaling a departure from routine, stated his commitment to assisting Governor Otti in materializing the change agenda within the council.

He called for the support of all, emphasizing his commitment to fairness for everyone during his tenure.

Addressing security concerns, the Mayor issued a quit notice to criminals utilizing tricycles for nighttime robberies, firmly pledging to create an inhospitable environment for them in the council.

The Eastern Updates

Imo Guber: I’ll Get Justice In Court, Athan Achonu Vows

Imo Guber I'll Get Justice In Court, Athan Achonu Vows

The candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the just concluded governorship election in Imo State, Sen Athan Achonu, has declared that he is confident that he will get justice in court.

Achonu asserts that he has all faith in the legal system to uphold the law and make amends for the wrongs done to the Imo State populace on November 11, 2023, the day of the governor’s race.

Speaking to journalists at his residence in Abuja on Wednesday, Achonu expressed disappointment over the role of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which he claimed has so far denied the party and its lawyers access to records contained in the BVAS despite a subsisting court order.

“I believe there are still judges in our judiciary who are still upright. My prayer is to come across one of them in my case.

“There was no coalition at the ward level during the election, there was cluster voting in Osu; a government official took truck loads of thugs to vote.

Read Also: INEC Denying Achonu Access To CTCs Of Documents – Imo LP

“Bayelsa State with 8 local government areas took three days to collate the results of the elections held there, Imo State with 27 local governments collated its results within two hours. This is what Nigeria has become.

“INEC has refused to allow us to inspect the BVAS. President Bola Tinubu was in the streets protesting for justice during the June 12 (1993) crisis, he can’t allow this to happen.

“I understand that he and the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma are members of the same party but justice and fairness should not be about party.

“INEC is collapsing under the current chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, if he is no longer in charge he should come out and tell Nigerians that his officers are no longer obeying his instructions.

‘My appeal to President Bola Tinubu is that please, don’t let us descend into chaos, halt this decline.

The Eastern Updates

NPFL: Stubborn Remo Stars Shock Enyimba In Aba

NPFL Stubborn Remo Stars Shock Enyimba In Aba

In another home loss, Remo Stars recorded a stunning 1-0 victory against holders Enyimba in Aba on Wednesday night.

Former Lobi Stars forward, Samad Kadiri, nodded home the winning goal from Sodiq Ismail’s cross in the 34th minute.

Enyimba fought hard to get back into the game but Remo Stars goalkeeper, Kayode Bankole made a number of superb saves to deny the hosts.

Read Also: How Enyimba Defeated Heartland For First Time in 8 Years

Remo Stars became the first team to win two away games this season

Daniel Ogunmodede’s side moved to second position on the table with 19 points from 10 games.

Enyimba remain in fifth position with 16 points from 10 games.

Recall that for the first time in almost eight years, Enyimba defeated Heartland 1-0 in their Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Oriental derby clash at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri over the weekend.

Stephen Chukwude grabbed the winning goal for George Finidi’s side seven minutes from time.

The Eastern Updates reports that the win moves the People’s Elephant to fifth position on the NPFL table ahead of today’s matches in the Nigerian topflight.

The former African champions will take on Remo Stars in a rescheduled game on Wednesday.

The defeat leaves Heartland at the bottom of the log after extending their winless run to 10 matches.

In Ikenne, Doma United extended their unbeaten run to six games after playing a goalless draw with hosts Remo Stars.

It was the first time Remo Stars have failed to win at home in the NPFL this season.

Coming from a home and away loss to the Umuahia side last season, coach Fidelis Ilechukwu and his wards have their work cut out to do a double over their eastern neighbors in this ‘Oriental Derby’ slated for the Umuahia Township Stadium this afternoon.

With fifteen points from nine matches played thus far, coach Ilechukwu and his  lieutenants appreciate the task at hand.

The Eastern Updates

Soludo’s Rare Visit To Olumbanasa Not Pollical – APGA

Soludo’s Rare Visit to Olumbanasa Not Pollical – APGA

National Coordinator, All Progressives Grand Alliance Media Warriors Forum, Evang. Chinedu Obigwe has asserted that the recent visit of Governor Chukwuma Soludo to the interior parts of Olumbanasa in Anambra West riding on a tricycle, bike and speed boat was a pure display of the fact that he can go to any length to bring peace and transformation to the nooks and crannies of Anambra State.

The media consultant to the ruling party who made the above clarification in a statement in Awka on Wednesday pointed out that Governor Soludo is a man that does things for the good of the masses and not just to play politics.

Obigwe claimed that it is a common sight to see Nigerian politicians ride in a tricycle or Okada during campaign period but such cannot be associated with Governor Soludo whom he said does not shy away from telling people that he is not a typical Nigerian politician.

He disclosed that Soludo went to Olumbanasa for a serious assignment that has to do with the signing of a peace accord between two warring communities of Alla, Onu-gwa and Odekpe.

Read Also: Soludo Condemns Attack On Anambra Community, Issues Orders

‘The fact remains that to bring everlasting peace to these warring communities, Governor Soludo decided to put his life on the line for them by being physically present to witness the signing of the peace accord.

‘Another thing is that Governor Soludo is a man that loves seeing things by himself hence his reason for deciding to go personally and see with his two eyes the condition of the displaced people of Alla and Onu-gwa communities.

‘It is on record no Governor since the history of Anambra State creation deemed it necessary to pay a visit to these warring communities. What most Governors would have done is to send a representative to visit them. Governor Soludo embarked on the peace mission in company of Bishop Denis Isizor and some of his appointees,” he said.

He disclosed that the displaced people of Alla presented their demands to the Governor and he promised to do it for them to enable them return to their father land.

‘He promised to build Holding camps for the displaced people of Alla and Onu-gwa to enable them return to their father land.He also promised to build Health centre , school and place of worship for them. He further promised to provide water and solar energy powered electricity for them. Governor Soludo’s promise can be likened to an open cheque and what I mean by this is that he cannot be associated with promise and fail. He will fulfil the promise he made to the warring communities of Olumbanasa.’

Obigwe said Governor Soludo is truly living up to the expectations of the people of Anambra that nicknamed him the solution provider Governor. This he said is the hallmark of a good leader.

Africa Today News, New York

Landlords Protest Killings, Destruction, Levies In Anambra

Landlords Protest Killings, Destruction, Levies In Anambra

Hundreds of landlords and residents of Iyiowa Odekpe in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, under the umbrella of Iyiowa Community Landlords/Residents Association, yesterday protested alleged killings, destruction of their properties, imposition of multiple levies and extortions from the host community.

The demonstrators, who included old people as well as men and women, marched to the state capital of Awka, the Government House, carrying banners with various inscriptions expressing their complaints and pleading with the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to intervene on their behalf.

Some of the inscriptions include, ‘Iyiowa community is a hostile community’, ‘Odekpe leadership is sponsoring terrorism’, ‘Odekpe is home of touting’, ‘Stop illegal collection of levies’, ‘We are under siege of multiple taxations’, among others.

Stressing the need for the intervention of the state government, the leader of the protesters, Dr Okolie Chukwunonso, who was flanked by the chairman of the embattled community, Chief Sunday Obinze, claimed that hoodlums sponsored by the host community invaded their community on 7th of November, killed two persons, destroyed goods and properties worth over N30m.

Read Also: Soludo Condemns Attack On Anambra Community, Issues Orders

Chukwunonso said, ‘On November 7, 2023 over N30 million worth of goods and properties, including over 30 cars and scores of buildings were destroyed when some yet-to-be-identified hoodlums invaded our community at about 7.30am. The hoodlums also shot two persons dead on that day. This is unacceptable to us anymore.

‘Again, landlords and residents were always imposed with N10,000 monthly levies by various groups of Odekpe indigenes, who always come to extort us on a daily basis.

‘We are using this medium to resist this obnoxious imposition because we are not in a banana republic. We are refusing those impositions but not by physically fighting but by reporting them to the state government and that is why we are here to report them.

‘On that November 7, the Odekpe youths, led by their President General stormed our community and started burning cars, houses, shops and other possessions of non-indigenes resident in the area.’

In a swift response, the Chief of Staff to the state government, Ernest Ezeajughi, who received the protesters on behalf of the state governor condemned the alleged mayhem in the community and vowed to bring the perpetrators to book, reiterating that Soludo’s administration was not in support of hooliganism.

“It is unfortunate that the destructions were done by our own people. We have to invite the President-General of Iyiowa Odekpe to the Government House within the week, to come and explain because we can’t tolerate this mayhem.

“Just give us time, probably two weeks, we will look into the matter, we will invite the PG within the week. We say no to such mayhem, we want every community to be peaceful,” he stated.

On November 7, two persons were reportedly killed during the mayhem and properties estimated into N30 million destroyed which included the properties of the chairman of the community, Chief Obinze, his secretary, and that of the vice chairman, among others.

The Eastern Updates