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I predict vendetta! *Otti’s gvt may try to demolish my legacies in Abia – Ikpeazu



Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State, says he is already preparing his mind to a massive onslaught from the incoming government of Alex Otti, which he claimed could launch an attack to destroy the good deeds he left in Abia State in his eight years in office.

Ikpeazu, who spoke in an interview, listing some of them as leaving Abia as the safest state in Nigeria, said however no matter the line the government toed, he would remain quite proud of all those achievements, including the fact of also leaving the state as the third best in foreign direct investment.

“Let me say this and I’m going to be very predictive. There’s going to be a very massive attack to demolish my legacies and monuments in Abia. It’s going to be a lot of falsehood. There’s going to be a lot of petty vendetta and all those sorts of things, but I’ll be proud to say that, I’m handing over the safest and most stable state in the South East despite the fact that this election didn’t go my way, I’m proud to say that no life was lost and I’m proud to say that the government of the day was rather a victim.

“In some places, people from other political parties were unleashing mayhem on our supporters and dealing with them the way they love, but in all of these, like Jonathan would say, this election, victory or loss, is not worth the life of any Abian.

“Going forward, people will know that it’s when you have a secured state that you can become the third best in foreign direct investment. It’s also when you’ve created a better life for your people that you can become number three best when it comes to the poverty index in this country. These are world Bank parameters. In this place as I speak, the governors’ forum is doing a very serious review of our tele-health initiative. Abia State is the only state in Nigeria that has connected over 400 primary health care centres to a team of doctors in our call room online in real-time.

“The level of service we render in our primary health care centres today is comparable to the level of service some people render in general hospitals if not specialist hospitals. Today, in Abia State we’ve started the gradual establishment of laboratories in primary health care centres where a diagnosis can be done. Abia State runs a geriatric outreach for old people. We’ve built a specialist pediatric hospital and by the special Grace of God, we’ll deliver one of the biggest hospitals in the South-East before the 29th of May with a CT Scan that can do 265 slides.

“I think the best I’ve seen around us recently is 32 or 64 slides. There’s no other machine that’s better or that can do better in this environment. 71 per cent reduction in infant and maternal mortality is not easy. I was asked by some journalists about some months ago to tell them how I’ve been battered and kidnapped by some internet warriors and terrorists? When I tell them that the World Bank has published that we’ve reduced infant and maternal mortality by 71 per cent they wanted to know how did you do it? And I told them that the strategy is to bring everybody to loop in our primary health care centre and do whatever you can to stop people from running to quarks for delivery.

“So, how do you do that? We keyed into the Basic Health Care Provision Fund. We offered free delivery which is costing more than N120,000 in some private clinics. We give you free delivery pack needed to take care of the child. In addition to that, we also give you a token of N500 to go home with. The one that made news was that Ikpeazu is giving women that got delivered N500.

“When people ask me, how have you felt with the economy and how’s business in your state? I say to them, well before the statistics of being number three in foreign direct investment came, I told them, in 2015 when I became the Governor that fast food joints were closing because people were not investing in Aba.

“But today when you come, investment is growing , industries abound here, the Enyimba Economic City is almost taking off and people are building lubricant plants everywhere. But in addition, you have new Cinema, Chicken Republic (Fast Food that was nowhere in Abia before) and all these things for leisure and nightlife. The one that they picked is that I said that the achievement of my government is Chicken Republic. But I was very happy when the World Bank published that we were number three in foreign direct investment. If you look at the turnover of Kentucky Fried Chickens (KFC) there’s no company that does better except the oil companies and Dangote. They employ over 6500 people in a city. People don’t understand. I have added 700 brand new classrooms to our credit and four new model schools.

“We’ve migrated into digital learning. We have continuing teachers training institute that continually trains our teachers and interfaces them with the best from the rest of the world like Australia, India and Bangladesh. That’s why today, out of eight years we maintained first in four years in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) conducted West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). And we’ve not gone below fourth. We moved Abia State University from number 97th to number 26th in Nigeria and the number too best state university in Nigeria. These things are not easy feats.

“We reversed enrollment back into public schools from 150,000 pupils to about 650,000 and above pupils on the account of our free meal programme started before that of the federal government and we employed about 5300 women to handle it, collaborating with Federal Government, as food vendors. I don’t want to talk about four Bridges and the first flyover in Abia. I don’t want to talk about connecting the major markets in Aba with good roads for the first time in 30 years.

“There are so many things I can beat my chest and say I’ve achieved. We have two industries for shoes and the other one for garments. By the special grace of God, I’ll be the Governor that’ll hand over a brand new government house. I don’t also want to talk about the completion of the International Conference Centre, the ASUBEB building and the JAAC Building started by my predecessor. Or the Abia Investment House, New ABSIEC and ASOPADEC headquarters. We’ve done a lot and there’s one that is very dear to my heart.

“People did everything to stop the intervention of the African Development Bank in supporting us to do 500 kilometres of rural roads. They wrote petitions against the project. But despite all these, I was able to get the project on course and I’ll do the ground breaking before I leave. Somebody else may take the credit, but put it on record that this government paid the counterpart funding, defended that project before the Senate, the ministry of finance, attracted it and we’re doing the groundbreaking.

“Before the end of this year, that project would have touched the lives of our people. So, as I leave on the 29th of May, I’ll leave a very proud man. There may be things I didn’t do well. I still have 3000 workers which I wasn’t able to attend to their needs as I would have loved to. I still owe pensioners and of course, I inherited most of it. Some doctors as well.

“I still have about three or four months of their money in their own account but I’m asking them that if they don’t resume from strike, I’ll not pay because, if they claim they are being owed 29 months, in all honesty, they’ve not worked for 15 months within this period. My Bible says that a worker deserves his pay but they’ve not worked. Each time I bargain with them, I remember one particular occasion they caused me to go and borrow N400 million on a Thursday and I paid them that Thursday, the next Tuesday, they embarked on a strike. So, I urge them to search their conscience and I pray that they get a better deal in the years ahead. In my first three months as governor, I paid them 11 months’ salary arrears. Those who were earning N500,000 went home with N5.5 million.

“So, I wanted to prove to them that I was a humane forthcoming leader but my relationship with them did not go, regrettably, as I would have loved it to. But I take solace in the fact that 29,000 of the rest of my workers and all the ministries were paid. As I said, there are a few things which I can say I didn’t do well, but I’m in a place where I can say I’ve given my best.”


Panic! Gunmen storm Anambra Assembly, attempt to bundle away lawmaker



Panic-stricken members of the Anambra State House of Assembly, watched in utter horror on Thursday as one of their colleagues was bundled into a waiting vehicle, by four gun-wielding men, preparatory to being whisked away, before mother-luck came calling.

It took the quick reflexes of security guards at the entrance who locked the gate, to prevent the armed men, who later turned out to be operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) from completing the operation.

The target of the operatives was Onyekachukwu Ike, the House of Assembly-elect member for the Nnewi North constituency, who had joined in the valedictory session for outgoing members, though it is not known why the members of the agency were after him.

Eyewitness account, said the operatives arrived the Assembly complex in three vehicles in a commando version, grabbed the member-elect as he emerged from the venue validectory thanksgiving mass for the seventh Assembly and forced him into their waiting vehicle.

However, it took the eagle-eyed members of the security team of the assembly to truncate the attempt to drive the lawmaker away, because they quickly locked the exit gate, thus halting the operation, as it gave people the opportunity to intervene.

Reacting to the incident, Acting Clerk of the Assembly, Esther Aneto, who bemoaned the manner the operatives carried out the operation, said neither the authorities of the assembly, nor the police was informed about it.

It took the intervention of the Speaker, Uche Okafor, and the Deputy Governor, Onyeka Ibezim, who came to represent the Governor at the Valedictory session before the member-elect was released from the vice grips of the DSS operatives, who however, explained that they had a court order to arrest him.


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Judge orders Yahoo-Yahoo student to clean EFCC premises for two weeks



Justice Aliyu Shafa, of the Federal High Court, Gwagwalada, Abuja, on Thursday ordered a student, Istifanus Irmiya, to clean the premises of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for for two weeks, after he was convicted for internet fraud.

Irmiya, who was docked by the EFCC on a two-count charge, boarding on cheating and impersonation, was also ordered to pay a fine of N100,000, while the phone he used in committing the offence was to be destroyed and burnt.

This was after the culprit, pleaded guilty to the charges and begged the court for leniency, which the court accepted, but insisted that he must carry out the punishment of cleaning the EFCC premises from 9 a.m. to 12 noon daily for two weeks, to teach him a lesson.

Frowning at the rate internets fraud were being committed, Shafa, said: “I have carefully listened to the plea of allocutus made by the convict and the defence counsel. The rate of internet fraud through Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, among others in the society is so alarming.

“That he is a first time offender is not an excuse to go scot-free. The rate of Yahoo-Yahoo among youths is alarming. “Many who resort to crime always have ‘I want to get rich quick’ mindset. Sending him to prison might make him more hardened,” the judge ruled.

Irmiya, who pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy, promising that he would not indulge in such acts again, said: “I want to beg the court for mercy. I’m deeply sorry for what I have done. I’m a changed person now knowing fully well the consequences of my offence.”

Chibuike Chima, his lawyer, who echoed his pleas, told the court that Irmiya had no previous conviction record and was also remorseful, saying: “Irmiya is the only son of the family and he is seeking admission into the university. He has spent one month in EFCC custody.
“The convict has shown remorse and genuinely repented over the crime he has committed by way of expressing genuine repentance, he has restituted the proceeds of crime which is the sum of 250 Euros. The convict is a first-time offender. He has not be convicted for any other crime of whatever kind. We urge my lord to tamper justice with mercy. We assure this court that going forward, the convict will be of good behaviour.”

The EFCC Counsel, Taiwo Aromolaran, who told the court that Irmiya had sometime in 2022 within the jurisdiction of the court cheated by personation, said that the convict deceived his victim while pretending to be one mistress Clara a female Caucasian.

She said that the convict carried out an illegal act, making one Alex Lexis, a German, to send him the sum of 250 Euros which he received via PayPal and Nosh Apps before transferring the money to his own account domiciled with Polaris Bank.

She said that the convict sometime in 2022, also had in his possession documents containing false-pretence, where he represented himself as a German on his Facebook and KK accounts, created by him with the intent to induce Alex Lexis to deliver money to him.

She said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 321 of the Penal Code Act of the Federation (Abuja), 1990 and punishable under Section 324 of the same Act, adding that Section 6 in conjunction with Section 8 of the advance-fee fraud and other related offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

Pleading with the court that the cell phone being the instrument used for the crime should be forfeited, Aromolaran urged the court to take into consideration the increase in the menace of internet frauds in Nigeria.

Bewailing the menace fraudsters had caused to the image of the country and to their victims, she told the court that Irmiya and his group, operated as syndicates, saying: “They believe that merely coming to court and pleading guilty is enough to attract the sympathy of the court.”


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BREAKING: Tinubu, hosts G-5 govs at Villa *Intensifies moves to break PDP



It is becoming obvious that President Bola Tinubu, may be working hard to break the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as he is currently hosting the five former Governors of the party who former the G-5 Integrity Group, a very powerful bloc in the main opposition party that fought against the ticket of the party.

Nyesom Wike, former Governor of Rivers State, who was the arrowhead of the G-5, comprising Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and Seyi Makinde of Oyo, was seen leading the other members to the Presidential Villa, for a meeting with Tinubu, on Thursday afternoon.

The group had vehemently opposed the ticket of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 presidential election and refused to join the campaigns on the ground that the former Vice President did not support the ouster of Iyorchia Ayu, then National Chairman of the party on the ground that he came from the same North as him.

Incidentally, the meeting is coming few hours after Caleb Mutfwang Governor of Plateau State and Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom, both PDP governors at the same State House Abuja, in what observers are already interpreting as an attempt to woo the top echelon of the opposition party.

The meeting with the G-5 governors, shortly after that of Tinubu with the two PDP governors, is coming as the party and Atiku Abubakar, are trying to prove before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), sitting in Abuja that Tinubu did not win the 2023 presidential election.

Details later…

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