Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has urged Ishiagu Community of Ivo Local Government Area of the state to cease farming on the disputed land with Lokpanta community of Umunneochi LGA of Abia.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the age-long land dispute between both communities came into focus on May 30, when two indigenes of Ishiagu were allegedly shot by Lokpanta indigenes as both sides abducted hostages.
Umahi, represented by his Deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, gave the advice on Tuesday while addressing the Ishiagu people, urging its traditional ruler to prevail on his subjects to cease farming on the disputed land.
“We realise that this is rainy season and people will engage in farm work but of what need will it be to plant and others will reap the proceeds.
“There is no gain to farm and in the process, you get shot and killed while other people still reap from the farm.
“I will call the deputy governor of Abia immediately to prevail on the Lokpanta people to cease further attacks on our people in keeping with the peace pact reached by both parties,” he said.
The governor said that overcoming the temptation of farming on the land would prove to the National Boundary Commission (NBC) that its peace directive reached in 2016 was still being complied with.
“It is true that the Coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on most part of 2020 but we will still activate the process for the NBC to permanently demarcate the boundary to ensure permanent peace.
“We know that the ownership of the land is not in dispute but continue maintaining your peace as true owners of the land,” he said.
He commended the people for shunning reprisal attacks despite the provocation and assured them that the state government would not watch ‘intruders and strangers’ possess their land.
HRH Moses Ngene, Traditional Ruler of Ishiagu thanked the governor for the visit and assured him that he would continue to restrain his people even though it was difficult.
“When our people were attacked on their way to the farm, we remembered the governor’s injunction that we should not retaliate and we held our youths from doing so.
“We seek a permanent resolution to the issue because we are convinced that the land belongs to us and farming is our means of livelihood,” he said.
SP Dan Nwonu, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Ivo division, said that he called for reinforcements when he received the report of the shooting of two people from Ishiagu on their way to the farm
“I rushed both of them to the hospital where they are currently receiving treatment and when the reinforcement from the police headquarters Abakaliki arrived, we stormed the disputed area.
“I learnt that the Lokpanta people were holding an Ishiagu man hostage and I called the DPO of that area to ensure the safety of the hostage.
“I also ensured the safety of the Lokpanta hostage held by the Ishiagu youths and when my colleague in Abia safely brought and handed the Ishiagu hostage to me, I equally handed the Lokpanta hostage safely to him,” he said.
Chief Onyebuchi Ogbadu, Caretaker Chairman of Ivo LGA, thanked the governor for the visit and called for a lasting solution to the age-long land dispute.https://nnn.ng/umahi-urges-community-to-cease-farming-on-disputed-land-in-ebonyi/
Ebonyi Bus Plunge: FRSC confirms 14 corpses retrieved from river
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ebonyi has confirmed the retrieval of 14 corpses from the Akeze-Ukwu river after a Mercedes Benz 608 model bus plunged into it on Friday evening.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the bus was conveying members of a particular church who attended their pastor’s burial and were returning to Enugu when the incident occurred.
The bus driver was said to have lost control of the vehicle while trying to overtake an articulated vehicle on the bridge but five victims were rescued unconscious on Friday.
“Seven males and seven females, all adults were inside the vehicle all and they were all dead.
“Their corpses have been deposited at the Mater Misericordae Hospital, Afikpo, but both professional divers from Port Harcourt and the local ones are still searching for more victims,” she said.
Uchegbu said that with five persons rescued on Friday and 14 corpses retrieved on Saturday, it was clear that there more victims still missing.
“This sums to 19 recovered persons as against the expected 32 passengers on board the bus.
“The FRSC personnel are still on ground, maintaining free flow of traffic with the road cordoned to motorists since Friday,” she said.
Chief Onyebuchi Ogbadu, Chairman of Ivo Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, disclosed that the state government hired divers from Rivers and Cross River to assist in the rescue efforts.
“The divers located the bus inside the river, pushed it to enable the crane pull it from the river,” he said.
Sources close to NAN revealed that the driver was one of the persons rescued on Friday and he disclosed when he regained consciousness that 32 persons were inside the bus.
“The driver said he managed to dive from the bus as it plunged into the river,” the source claimed.
Edited By: Peter Ejuiofor)
NiMet predicts cloudiness, rains Sunday to Tuesday
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), has predicted cloudiness and rains from Sunday to Tuesday across the country.
NiMet`s weather outlook released on Saturday in Abuja predicted cloudy morning over the north on Sunday with prospects of isolated thunderstorms over Southern Borno, Adamawa and Taraba.
According to it, few thunderstorms are expected over Borno, Sokoto, Kebbi, Yobe, Bauchi, Taraba, Adamawa and Gombe state in the afternoon and evening hours.
“The north central is expected to be cloudy during the morning hours with chances of a few thunderstorms and rains over Abuja, Niger and Benue.
“ Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms and rains are expected to affect Kogi, Abuja, Kwara, Benue and Plateau.
“ Cloudy atmosphere is anticipated over the inland cities of the south west in the morning, while moderate rains are expected over parts of the southeast inland, like Abakaliki, Awka, Cross-River and Imo.
The agency forecast moderate rains over the coastal cities of the south to include the coastal part of Ondo state in the morning.
NiMet predicted few thunderstorms and rains over most parts of the inland with chances of moderate rains over the coastal parts of Cross-River, Akwa-Ibom, and Rivers state in the afternoon and evening periods.
According to NiMet, cloudy skies are anticipated over the north western flank in the morning of Monday with prospects of few thunderstorms over the northeast to affect southern Borno, Adamawa, Taraba and Yobe.
“Progressing into the day, pockets of thunderstorms are expected to affect parts of Yobe, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi and Kebbi in the northwest, while a cloudy atmosphere should prevail over the north east.
“ The north central is expected to be dominated by cloudy atmosphere in the morning with prospects of isolated thunderstorms and rains over Plateau and Benue.
“ As the day progresses, pockets of thunderstorms are expected to affect parts of Abuja, Plateau, Kwara and Niger, “ it said.
It predicted the south to be dominated by cloudy atmosphere in the morning with chances of moderate rains over parts of the inland and coastal cities.
The agency envisaged moderate rains over most parts of the south later in the day.
According to NiMet, thunderstorms are expected to affect some places in the north, like Taraba, southern Sokoto, Gombe, Bauchi and Adamawa in the Tuesday`s morning.
The agency envisaged cloudy conditions over the north with chances of thunderstorms over Taraba in the afternoon and evening periods.
“Isolated thunderstorms and rains are expected to affect places in the north central region, like Niger, Abuja, Benue, Kwara and Kogi in the morning.
“ Later in the day, cloudy conditions are expected to dominate this region with prospects of isolated thunderstorms and rains over Niger and Kwara.
“Cloudy atmosphere is anticipated over most parts of inland of south with chances of moderate rains over Enugu in the morning.
“In the afternoon and evening periods, moderate rains are anticipated over most places, “ it sad.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
2023: NYC urges Gov. Umahi to consider running for Presidency
The Nigerian Youth Council (NYC), a socio-political organisation has urged Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi to consider running for Presidency in 2023 due to his developmental strides in the state.
The group made the call on Saturday in Abakaliki during the inauguration of the state’s chapter of the congress.
Mr Nasiru Adhama, the SSA to the President on Youth and Students Affairs said at the occasion that the group was impressed with the governor’s transformational strides and would be “favoured” to do so at the national level.
Adhama, represented by his Aide, Mr Aminu Isyaku, said the delegation inspected projects executed by the governor on Friday and got tired at a point during the tour.
He said: “We told the tour guide, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Information and Orientation to tell the governor that he has executed so many projects.
“We visited projects such as the modern rice mills across the state, the fertiliser plants which meet the need of the South-East zone and country, the ultra modern shopping mall that is a replica of the Dubai mall, among others.”
The president’s aide said with the realities on ground in Ebonyi, the state would be chosen to represent the south-east in the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme that would be launched soon.
“The NYC is an emerging youth group aimed at propagating and driving a ‘new youth agenda’ for the country to ensure that the present legacies of our leaders are sustained.
“Today’s inauguration is a milestone for the state as we will offer the state chapter, the necessary support to succeed and meet its aspirations,” he said.
Mr Blessing Akinlosotu, the National President of the council, thanked the Ebonyi Government for welcoming the group and declared that the delegation was impressed with its performance.
“We are trying to tell the world that the Nigerian youths have the zeal and capabilities to turn things around in the country and solve several political problems such as god-fatherism and mal-administration.
“Gov. David Umahi has proven to be a youth friendly governor with his cabinet dominated by youths thus emulating the influential countries of the world ruled by youths,” he said.
Dr Yakubu Shendam, Chairman, Governing Board NYC, said that President Buhari had always supported the youths to excel and Umahi was needed at the national level to replicate the feat.
Gov. Umahi represented by Dr Kenneth Ugbala, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), thanked the council for visiting the state.
“You should be planning to stay in the state for about two weeks when next you visit, to enable you to see the good work which is domesticated in all the 13 Local Government Areas of the state.
Chief Enekwachi Akpa, the Special Assistant to the Governor on State and Local Government Affairs, pledged that the council would be inaugurated in all the wards and local government areas of the state.
Mr Raymond Okoro, the newly inaugurated Chairman of the state chapter of the congress, pledged on behalf of the executive council to work assiduously to achieve the objective of the council in Ebonyi.
Edited By: Benson Iziama/Ejike Obeta
“Its your portion to die,’’ Clergyman tells Christians
A clergyman, Rev. Bassey Umoh, has advised Christians to live a good life as it is the portion of every Christian to die.
Umoh in his sermon at the funeral of Chief Kalu Okonta, at his country home, Igbere, Abia, on Saturday, said what was not the portion of Christians however, was untimely death.
The Minister-in-Charge of First Aba Parish of the Pesbyterian Church of Nigeria, stressed the need for people to enjoy life while alive.
The clergyman, who was represented by Rev. Onyeani Kalu, said that “ good life does not translate to wealth.
“Since life is unreliable, enjoy your life. You do not need millions to enjoy your life. The chicken of a poor man is his cow.
“Enjoy your life and glorify God.’’
The clergyman said that people should remember that life was brief, and that after life, something must follow.
“What follows depends of how you lived, and where you will spend eternity depends of how you lived on earth,’’ he stressed.
He decried giving prominence to prosperity in Christian sermons, stressing that there could be prosperity without diligence.
Speaking on the life of the deceased, Umoh said that Okonta prospered materially and spiritually because he conducted his affairs on earth with diligence.
Elder Ngozi Udogu, daughter of late Okonta, who read the father’s biography said that the deceased, who was born on Dec. 17, 1930, lived as a good Christian.
Udogu said that Okonta was ordained as an Elder by the First Aba Parish on Aug.11, 1996.
She said that as a result of his community service, he was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Oji Udo Eme Uwa 1 of Igbere on Dec. 28, 1993 by the late traditional ruler of Igbere, Eze Samson Ukaegbu.
Okonta’s first daughter, Mrs Nnenna Obike-Ukoh in her tribute, said that if death was not inevitable, her father’s good deeds would have prevented him from dying.
Prof. Ogwo Ekeoma Ogwo, former Vice-Chancellor, Abia State University in his tribute, said that Okonta was not the typical businessman, but was largely a self-effacing, low profile, but effective operator.
He said that the Okonta family should be satisfied that they had a worthy patriarch, who contributed to the growth of the family and the community.
The late Okonta, who died on Jan. 15, at the age of 89, left behind many relatives, including Mr Obike Ukoh, a Deputy Editor-In-Chief with the News Agency of Nigeria .
Senate Chief Whip Orji Kalu, was among dignitaries that were present at the ceremony.
Edited By: Nyisom Fiyigon Dore