Willie Obiano Sworn-in As Governor Of Anambra State

Obiano sworn inDr. Willie Obiano has been sworn in as the new Executive Governor of Anambra State.

The swearing-in held at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, and was conducted by the state Chief Judge, Justice Peter Umeadi, in front of a mammoth crowd.

The swearing-in brings to an end, the 8 years of Governor Peter Obi’s administration, as he bows out of office amidst chants of excitement from the people of Anambra State who commended his administration as having performed creditably well.

Taking the oath of office, the new governor, who was sworn in alongside his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, emphasized security, power, and agriculture as areas of priority.

Former Governor, Peter Obi, expressed pride in the Anambra he was leaving behind. He recalled that when he assumed office in 2006, there was no office for him to move into and no official car for him, adding that his successor, Obiano was lucky to have things in place.

Emphasizing the financial stability of the state to accommodate more development, Obi went further to solicit support from the people for the new governor.

The Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, among many other dignitaries from within and outside the country graced the occasion that was acclaimed to be the first time an outgoing governor would be witnessing the swearing in of an incoming governor. Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Inter-party Matters, Ndii Obi, represented the President at the ceremony.

Anambra’s new governor, a technocrat, who has worked as a banker, was sworn in to pilot the affairs of the state for four years.

Anambra Primary Schools Get 5 Billion Naira For Facility Upgrade

The Anambra State Government has released another 5billion Naira for continued rehabilitation of both public and mission schools in the state.

This comes one week after the presentation of 5billion Naira Conditional Grant Scheme for accelerated execution of projects in various Local Government Areas of the state, towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

In a ceremony at the Women Development Center, Awka, the State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, who presented the cheque alongside the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, Dr. Suleman Dikko, announced that his administration though gradually coming to an end, would ensure total transformation of the education sector in the state.

When in 2011, Anambra State Governor handed over schools previously owned by missions back to them; he resolved to provide continued financial resources to assist in the renovation and reconstruction of the dilapidated buildings in those schools.

According to the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Uju Okeke, the Governor further embarked on procurement of school buses, laptops and instructional materials, and presently, over 250,000 laptops and over 400 buses have been distributed to schools. All those the commissioner said were geared towards producing high quality brains and better leaders of tomorrow.

While the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Suleman Dikko, maintained that the educational policy of Anambra State was one to be copied because of its direct impact, the Country Director of United Nations International Children’s Education Fund, UNICEF, Charles Nzuki, urged all to invest in education.

While over 1.6billion Naira went to the Catholic mission primary schools, over 1.1billion Naira went to the Anglican; another 2.3billion Naira went to the public schools, the State Governor, before the disbursement of the cheques, said that he was not yet done with the educational transformation of the state.

UNICEF has selected Anambra State out of the states in the South East of Nigeria for Private Public Partnership, PPP, which will be launched in March 2014.

Obi Builds and Establishes First Maternities in Awba-Ofemili/Uru

The agrarian communities of Awba-Ofemmili and Urum, in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra state will in few months begin to receive medical treatment in their communities without trekking miles to Ebenebe community.

Awba-Ofemmili and Urum communities have a population of over a hundred thousand residents which consist of mostly youths, women of childbearing age and children.

The state government, in line with the vision of achieving the Millennium Development Goals in health, has commenced the construction of an ultramodern hospital and maternity homes in these rural areas which will gulp 60 million Naira with a three month target.

According to the people, malaria, cholera, cough, rheumatism and other diseases are big threats to them and they trek distances to get medical attention.

The commencement of the establishment of an ultramodern hospital and maternity in their locality was an answered prayer.

The governor concluded the assignment with the flag off of the 39 kilometer stretch of Amansea to Awba-Ofemmili road with two bridges which the government is constructing at over 10 billion Naira.

The Bailey bridge constructed by the military is almost collapsing. The governor said the effort is part of the measures to open up Awka North and give the people access to other communities as well as empower them to fight extreme hunger and poverty.

The state commissioner for Budget and Economic planning as well as the state chairman for MDG Projects implementation committee explained to the people that the state government’s partnership with the church would make the project a success.

Court Grants Ngige Permission To Inspect Anambra Election Materials

The Election Petition Tribunal  has granted the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Chris Ngige’s prayer to inspect the materials used in the conduct of the Anambra governorship election

The ruling, which was delivered by Justice G K Kaigama on Thursday in Awka, the Anambra state capital, gives Senator Ngige the express allowance to inspect and make copies of electoral documents used in the November 16th and 17th governorship polls in the state.

The ruling also permits Sen. Ngige to inspect all the voters register, including result sheets, used and unused ballot papers, list of all adhoc and permanent staff used in the election,.

It further permits him to scrutinise staff payment vouchers for settlement of allowances of adhoc staff.

Ngige is challenging the victory of Mr Willie Obiano of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) after he was declared winner by INEC’s chief returning officer in the election, Professor James Epoke.

The APC candidate is alleging that the umpire connived with the ruling APGA to rig the election.

Anambra Guber: Jega Promises Better Election As Units Open

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, has promised a better voting exercise as polling units open for the accreditation of voters for a supplementary election which holds today, in parts of Anambra state.

He also promised that the wrong of the first poll which held on November 16 will be corrected this time around.

The election is being conducted in Idemili North and Onitsha south local government areas, where the exercise according to INEC was bungled on the 16th of November .

The Nigerian Police has also assured of its readiness to ensure a peaceful election as the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, promised that the security arrangements made during the November the 16th poll are still in place.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, who is covering the supplementary election in Idemili North reported reported that there is heavy presence of security by members of the army, police and State Security Service (SSS).

However, “the atmosphere is peaceful and calm,” he said.

He also reported ttraffic jam in some areas owing to the roadblocks put up by security agents but residents in the areas where election will hold have been moving around and going about their normal daily affairs.

INEC has also arranged for senior officers of the commission in other states to assist in today’s supplementary election.

The resident electoral commissioners in charge of Ondo and Ekiti states said that INEC is prepared to conduct a hitch free poll.

INEC Accredited Observers Back Supplementary Polls

A group of Accredited Independent National Electoral Commission Observers in the Anambra governorship election have called on the electorate to come out en masse to exercise their right to vote at the supplementary elections scheduled to hold on Saturday.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the  November 16 and 17 Anambra Governorship election inconclusive, stating that the total number of cancelled votes is more than the difference between highest scorer of votes and the runner up.

The electoral umpire then announced that the supplementary election would hold on Saturday, November 30, 2013.

Although aggrieved parties in the Anambra governorship election have said that they would take no part in the supplementary election and have asked their supporters to boycott the supplementary election in some electoral wards in Idemili North and Onitsha South Local Government Areas, the group of accredited observers urged electorate to ensure exercise of their fundamental human right.

Speaking in an interactive forum with journalists in Awka ahead of the Saturday polls, the Director General of the Center for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness and the head of the group, Dr. Gabriel Nwambu, stated that supplementary election was not alien in the electoral process of the country as it had been done in Imo state in 2011.

He maintained that a supplementary election was the only medium that would pave way for the genuine declaration of the winner of the Anambra governorship polls as provided by the law.


Obi Grants Seventy Million Naira Intervention Fund To Farmers

The Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, distributed cheques worth 70 million Naira (about 449,000 dollars) to 153 Fadama users groups in 77 Fadama community associations in the state.

Speaking at an event which held at the ADP complex in Awka, the governor said that the donation was to reiterate the commitment of his administration to supporting farmers in the state towards achieving sustainable food production in order to reduce hunger and poverty in the state.

He said that his administration would ensure that the agricultural sector was totally transformed, as food was basic for continued sustenance of life.

The fund is expected to be used for the implementation of small scale community-owned infrastructure, income yielding assets and input support.

Obi enjoined the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the fund to achieve government’s vision of expanding and promoting agricultural activities for attainment of food security in order to fight extreme poverty and hunger.

The project is in line with the Millennium Development Goals.

Speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ndubuisi Menakaya, said that aside from the procurement of 100 tractors for farmers use and the resuscitation of the collapsed irrigation facilities for rice farming, the state was partnering with the Bank of Agriculture to provide one digit interest rate loans for farmers. In the partnership, the state is contributing 500 million Naira (about 3.2 million dollars) .

The farmers expressed their appreciation to the governor while the chairman of all Farmers Association of Nigeria, Anambra State Chapter, Nnamdi Meko, thanked the governor for his intervention in the agriculture sector which impacted directly on the farmers.


Anambra: Groups Reject Call For Poll Cancellation

Several individuals from the traditional institution in Anambra state as well as, political parties, youth organisations and some governorship candidates have rejected the call for the cancellation of the governorship election which was tagged ‘inconclusive’ by INEC.

Although the electoral umpire has said it would conduct a supplementary election in a bid to cover up lapses encountered in the first election, some groups as well as the PDP have called for the outright cancelation of the election.

They cited cases of financial inducement during the election and the non-conduct of the election in some wards in Idemili North as well as the issues of voters not finding their names in the register and as such were unable to cast their votes.

A former governor of Anambra state, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who monitored the election highlighted both the good and the ugly side of the election and maintained that it would be senseless to cancel it.

From the traditional institution, the traditional rulers of Nteje (Rowland Odigbo) and Awka (Gibson Nwosu) stressed that the election was peaceful and saw no reason for the call for cancellation.

They said that those insisting on cancellation should seek redress in the appropriate quarters without disturbing the peace of the state.

Representatives of the Ohaneze and the Association of Town Union, Innocent Onwubuya, Chris Eluemuno and Chinelo Okechukwu condemned the idea in its entirety.

Members of the Coalition of accredited civil society group and state chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, said that there won’t be total cancellation of the election.

Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, a civil society group led by Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi expressed surprise at the sudden lack of boldness by INEC under the law to conduct the election.

He reminded INEC that it has no power to cancel the elections as only the Tribunal has such powers. He also warned that Anambra people will never participate in any fresh poll.



Anambra: Police Disperses Group Of Women In Fresh Protest

Protesting women in Anambra StateOfficers of the Nigeria Police dispersed a group of angry women who staged a fresh protest in Awka on Wednesday as a means of airing their grievances on the Anambra Governorship Election conducted by INEC.

Although a group of women had initially protested the election and called for a cancellation, another set of women staged a demonstration march in Awka, the state capital, making the same demand.

The women, who carried placards with various inscriptions, marched through a 2 kilometer road and headed for the INEC office but were prevented from entering the premises by security men who were stationed nearby.

They said that they had been disenfranchised in the process.

One of the protesters who called themselves ‘Anambra Women’ described the election as a ‘scam’ and the ‘destruction of the Igbo land.’

The police officer had to deploy tear gas in a bid to disperse the crowd when the confrontation turned physical.

The electoral umpire, INEC, has admitted that there were several lapses in the election process and has announced that there would be supplementary governorship elections in areas where votes were cancelled.

The date is yet to be announced.

Obi Donates 2.65 Billion Naira For Microsoft Academy

Anambra state governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has donated the sum of 2.65 billion Naira (about 16.7 million dollars) for the establishment of an ICT based learning programme.

All public and mission schools in the state will benefit from the programme.

He has also commenced the distribution of laptops, printers and generators to all the public and mission secondary schools in the state valued at one billion Naira (about 6.2 million dollars) .

The distribution was flagged off with the formal launch of Secondary Schools Microsoft Connectivity and Education Programme at the Women Development Centre, Awka with a cheque presentation for 2.65 billion Naira for the project.

“The first batch of 520 power generators would be distributed to schools to ensure steady power supply,”  Obi said while speaking at the event, .

About 25,000 laptops, 1,400 colour printers and other internet connectivity facilities were distributed in a bid to ensure the success of the Microsoft Information Technology Academy in the schools.

The laptops are programmed with the national curriculum in all subjects.

The state commissioner for education, Mrs. Uju Okeke, commended the governor for investing substantial funds and resources to improve the standard of education in schools and reiterated the benefits of the project to students.

Representatives of the communication technology partners, Microsoft Africa (Marc Israel) and HP Nigeria (Ime Umoh), spoke on the impact of the project which would bridge the gap in education, especially in the 21st century. They noted that Anambra was setting the pace for others.

The governor said that the establishment of the Microsoft Academy would help produce better generation of well-informed future leaders.



Obi Donates Materials Worth N10 Million To Disabled Persons

The Anambra state governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has distributed empowerment materials valued at about N10 million to over 500 physically challenged persons at a ceremony marking the 2013 International Day for Persons with Disabilities at the Women Development Center in Awka.

At the event with the theme, “Breaking Barriers and Opening Doors to Realise an Inclusive Society for All,” items donated to the individuals included wheel chairs, grinding machines, hair dryers, sewing machines, braille machines and papers, hair clippers and others.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, led by Henrietta Agbata, thanked the governor and noted that his administration had shown commitment to the cause of persons with disabilities and had empowered them several times.

However, the Chairman of the Association of Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Lawrence Nwanolue, faulted the ministry for not carrying them along in policies, decisions and activities involving them. He however thanked the governor for the donation.

Governor Obi, who noted the complaints, promised to make up for lapses by the ministry in ensuring their welfare and happiness.

He also assured the people that he would ensure the availability of a micro credit scheme as well as the provision of a bus to the disabled before the end of November.

He added that their welfare would remain a top priority of his administration.

Ngige Campaign Team Accuses INEC Of Planning To Rig Anambra Election

The Ngige campaign organisation is raising the alarm of a purported attempt by some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to sabotage the conduct of the November 16 governorship election in Anambra state, by omitting the names of eligible voters from the voters’ register, especially in the areas it considers to be its strongholds.

At a press briefing in Awka, the Anambra state capital, the director-general of the organisation, Mr. George Moghalu alleged that there was also a plan to delay the arrival of voting materials on the day of the election.

The group said it received intelligent reports of a move to disrupt the election process.

The organisation also indicted the state signage agency of being Pro- Willie Obiano. Moghalu told journalists during the briefing that the agency allegedly organised thugs to remove its billboards and replace them with the face of Obiano, the APGA governorship candidate.

However, Commissioner of Information, who oversees the agency, Joe-Martins Uzodike has denied giving any directive to that effect.

Despite the accusations, the Ngige campaign team went further to say it still has confidence in INEC and other relevant agencies to ensure the conduct of a credible and peaceful governorship election.