General Elections: Umahi Alleges Plot To Bomb lNEC Council Offices In Ebonyi

I Wish Buhari To Recontest Presidency, Says PDP’s Umahi
File Photo: Dave Umahiahi


The Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi, has raised an alarm over an alleged plan by some politicians in the state to bomb some local government offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to the governor, the plan was to use thugs from outside the state, ahead of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly Elections.

Governor Umahi said this during a briefing on the security situation in the state at the Government House in Abakaliki, the state capital on Thursday, February 21, 2019.

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He, however, noted that security had been beefed up at all INEC facilities across the 13 local government areas in the state, following the report.

The Governor, therefore, called on all indigenes to go about their lawful duties and ensure they exercised their civic responsibility on Saturday without fear of molestation.

He also called on all stakeholders to play by the rules and ensure that the exercise is hitch-free.

Buhari Receives Chieftaincy Titles In Ebonyi

Source: Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari has been honoured with two chieftaincy titles in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, where he is currently on a 2-day working visit.

One of the titles, Ochioha NdiIgbo 1 (Igbo Warrior), was conferred on him by South East traditional council of rulers led by Eze Eberechi Dick, while the other, Enyioma 1of Ebonyi (A good Friend), was conferred on him by the Ebonyi traditional council of rulers led by Eze Charles Mkpuma.

The President who arrived in Ebonyi on Tuesday was received by the governors of Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia states.

He made a stop at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu after which he proceeded to Ebonyi. He is also expected to visit Anambra State.

This is the first time he is visiting the south-east region since he became president, a move which he hinted, is aimed at reassuring the region that his government does not discriminate against any part of Nigeria.

Read More: My Administration Won’t Discriminate Against Any Part Of Nigeria – Buhari



President Buhari conferred with the title of Enyioma 1 of Ebonyi by Ebonyi traditional council of rulers led by Eze Charles Mkpuma during his visit to Ebonyi State on 14th Nov 2017.
President Buhari conferred with the title of Ochioha NdiIgbo 1 by South East traditional council of rulers led by Eze Eberechi Dick during his visit to Ebonyi State on 14th Nov 2017.

My Administration Won’t Discriminate Against Any Part Of Nigeria – Buhari

Buhari Pledges Support For Niger Delta, Signs Petroleum University BillPresident Muhammadu Buhari, will on Tuesday, commence a 2-day working visit to Ebonyi and Anambra States.

In a statement on Monday, the president hinted that one of the aims of the visit is to reassure the south-east that his government does not discriminate against any part of Nigeria.

Read Also: Ebonyi, Enugu Governors Await Buhari’s Arrival

“Let me reiterate my words to Southeast Leaders who visited me at the State House last month: My administration will not discriminate against any part of Nigeria.

“I will again assure the people of the southeast that we are investing in infrastructure projects that are of critical importance to the region: the Second Niger Bridge, the East-West Road, the Coastal Rail, power projects – these and more will benefit the region and unlock economic potential.

“We are collaborating with the Chinese government to deliver these projects, and have taken very seriously our counterpart funding obligations.

“I look forward to my visit, and to continuing to work to ensure that every part of Nigeria benefits from our programmes and policies,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi state governors are currently awaiting his arrival at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

Truck Crushes Street Hawker To Death In Owerri

Truck Crushes Street Hawker To Death In OwerriA man identified as Chibueze Uguru who hails from Izinye in Ezi Local Government Area of Ebonyi state was on Thursday crushed to death by a heavy duty vehicle along Assumpta Avenue in Owerri the Imo state capital.

The victim who was said to be a street hawker was crushed to death by the heavy duty truck after losing control on the highway.

While narrating the incident to newsmen at the scene, eyewitness account says the truck with registration number, Lagos XY – 844 – EKS, lost control at the Holy Ghost Secondary School around Assumpta Avenue and hit a non-moving pay loader before ramming into the young man who was hawking on the road side.

The eyewitness account said that the truck which was conveying sharp sand stocked in cement bags, was coming into town from the Onitsha road before officials of Imo Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO) who were on duty preventing heavy duty vehicles from accessing the state capital in the day time tried to stop him.

He said that the driver of the truck, noticing that the ENTRACO officials were after him, sped off, but unfortunately lost control and went directly to the hawker killing him instantly.

Briefing newsmen at the scene of the incident, one Mr Lambert Ofordire, who identified himself as the chairman of Imo State Hawkers Association, described the incident as unfortunate and cautioned truck drivers to be vigilant and patient when driving within the metropolis.

Mr Ofordire, also cautioned ENTRACO officials whom he accused of always treating them with hostility and disdain in the course of earning their living.

He called on the State Government to help them by instructing the ENTRACO officials to allow them do their businesses, as their hawking does not constitute public nuisance nor a security threat to the state.

Ofordire, who confirmed the death of Uguru, disclosed that his remains have been deposited at the mortuary, as they were making efforts to contact his family in Ebonyi state.

FG Encourages Local Rice Production Towards Self-Sufficiency

Rice-Farming-In-NgieriaThe Federal Government of Nigeria, has endorsed the ban on the sale of foreign rice in Ebonyi State, with a view to encouraging local production, as the Nation strives towards rice self-sufficiency.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbe, gave the government’s position over the weekend.

He assured farmers in the state that the Federal Government would deploy agricultural equipment, including rice harvesters, threshers, and parboiling drums, to the state to encourage rice farming.

Mr Ogbe, however, asked youths to key into the initiative in order to diversify the economy.

Since recession hit Africa’s largest economy, there has been an upsurge in the cost of the staple food from about 12,000 Naira per bag of rice to over double that amount.

As a way of seeking solutions to the recession, the Federal Government as well as several economic analysts, have suggested a ban on the importation of products which the nation’s farmers can produce, though not in sufficient quantity.

The increase in prices has pushed many to resort to smuggling of rice to be able to sell cheaper to Nigerians.

Just last week, a tanker was intercepted by the Ogun State Area Command of the Customs.

Twenty-five other vehicles, loaded with smuggled bags of rice, were also intercepted along the land borders in some parts of Ogun State.

With the Federal Government’s intervention and full support in the area of local rice production, it is expected that the menace will be curbed while there would be increased supply of rice at subsidized rates.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, earlier in November, predicted that in less than five years, Nigeria would become self-sufficient in rice production, going by the actions and on-going support of the government to farmers and Nigerians


Six Killed In Abakaliki Attempted Jail Break, Prisons Boss Says

Dave-Umahi-and-Ja-afaru-AhmedThe Nigerian Prisons service has confirmed that six inmates were killed and 10 wounded during Thursday’s attempted jail break by inmates at the Abakaliki Prisons in Ebonyi State.

The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Ja’afaru Ahmed, gave the figure in Abakaliki the Ebonyi State’s capital when he visited the prisons on an on the spot assessment of the unfortunate incident.

The Comptroller General, who also visited the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, at the Government House said he had set up a three-man committee to investigate the true cause of the incident.

He said that the investigation would enable the government know the proper steps to take to prevent further occurrence.

After a one-hour closed-door meeting with the Governor, the duo came out to address reporters.

The Comptroller General confirmed the number of inmates that died during the unfortunate incidence while disclosing that he has set up a three-man committee to look into the actual cause of the incidence.

He further urged the criminal justice system of Nigeria to look into prison decongestion, as many of the inmates had been awaiting trial for a long time.

This situation, according to him, has increased the number of inmates that were originally designed for accommodation in the prisons.

In his response, the Ebonyi State Governor, who had earlier visited the Abakaliki Prisons, commended the leadership of the Nigerian Prisons for their quick response and expressed displeasure over the infrastructural state of the Abakaliki Prisons which made him declare a state of emergency on the prisons.

He said even though the state government would help solve some of its infrastructure challenges, the Federal Government would need to move in immediately and address the challenges of infrastructure and welfare in the Abakaliki Prisons for both inmates and prisons’ officials.

Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Police Command has asked all citizens of the state to remain calm and law abiding and go about their normal duties, as all measures were in place to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order in the state.

In the meantime, security has been beefed up in the prisons and its environs and one of the major doors damaged by the inmates has being repaired.

Police Foil Attempted Jail Break In Abakaliki Prisons

Ebonyi Police foil jail breakThe Ebonyi State Police Command on Thursday foiled a jailbreak attempt at the Abakiliki Prisons fueled by hours of intense protest by prison inmates.

They staged a protest, alleging maltreatment and poor welfare by the prison officials.

Confirming the incident, the Ebonyi State Comptroller of Prisons, Mrs Adaobi Oputa, said that the situation had been brought under control.

She further told reporters that the incident, which occurred around 9. 30am, on Thursday happened as a result of some inmates refusing the early morning routine search in their cells.

Although she did not confirm if lives were lost, she denied the allegation that the riot was triggered by inmates protesting poor quality of food and welfare.

Other sources, who spoke to Channels Television, claimed that at least four people were killed in the process including two prison officials while several others were wounded.

According to the source, the inmates were trying to take advantage of the chaotic situation to escape but unfortunately the police arrived to foil the attempt.

Unconfirmed reports also have it that one of the armed prison official was disarmed by the inmates.

In a telephone conversation with Channels Television via telephone, the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State, Peace Abdallah, said she could not confirm yet if lives were lost but but there was a fracas between prison officials and inmates on Thursday morning, after a protest by the inmates.

The Commissioner of Police said that the protest almost led to a jailbreak but “fortunately, the rapid response and anti-riot team of the Ebonyi State Police Command responded swiftly after a call by the prison officials”.

She, however, said the environment and all roads leading to the prison had been cordoned off to ensure that peace and stability in the area.

The Abakaliki prison is located beside the Ebonyi State Police Command adjacent the Ebonyi State Government House and the state cabinet office.

Ali Modu Sheriff Annuls Plateau State PDP Congress

Ali Modu Sheriff, PDP, PlateauThe former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has nullified the party’s congress in Plateau State.

The embattled PDP Chairman made the annulment when aggrieved members of the party visited him to ask for a fresh congress to elect a chairman in Plateau State.

The delegation led by a former member of the House of Representatives from the state, Mr Bitrus Kaze, alleged that the congress which was conducted in April was not credible.

In his response, Senator Sheriff told the gathering that a new committee would be inaugurated to conduct a fresh congress that would elect principal officers for the PDP in Plateau State.

In a related development, he had on Thursday set up another committee to conduct primaries for three PDP governorship candidates in Edo State, who have bought forms from his faction.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had sent the party their guidelines for the primaries, expressing preparedness to meet up with all the requirements set by the INEC for the September election.

Cripple The PDP
In a swift reaction to this, the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee condemned the move by Senator Sheriff, after Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu had emerged winner of the party’s primaries held on Monday.

MakarfiThey accused him of working with the enemies of the PDP to completely cripple the party in the interest of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The committee insisted that the Edo primary election and all the processes leading to it thereof, were properly conducted, monitored and observed by the INEC.

The emergence of the two factions of the PDP is a fall out of the party’s Governors Forum meeting where some leaders of the party removed Senator Sheriff and set up a caretaker committee.

However, the embattled Chairman told reporters when he was refused entrance into the PDP National Secretariat that he remained the chairman of the party until 2018.

Edo PDP Governorship Poll: Makarfi Committee Condemns Sheriff Committee

PDP,Ahmed Makarfi, Ali Modu Sheriff, EdoThe Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the move by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to set up a primary election committee for the Edo State governorship election.

The newly constituted committee, chaired by Senator Hope Uzodinma, was inaugurated after the Monday exercise which produced Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the PDP candidate in the coming election.

In a swift reaction, the Makarfi committee said Senator Sheriff was working with the enemies of the PDP to completely cripple the party in the interest of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The committee insisted that the Edo primary election and all the processes leading to it thereof, were properly conducted, monitored and observed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“No Trace Of Any Court Order”
The Makarfi committee made their stand known on Thursday evening in a statement by its publicity secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, titled “Senator Sheriff & Co: Too Desperate To Destroy The PDP”.

They said Senator Sheriff had connived with some former and serving governors of the APC to deceive unsuspecting members of the PDP, security agencies and the general public to support his ambition to remain as Chairman of the party by claiming he has a court order.

“We have concluded our investigations and discovered that there is no trace of any court order obtained by Senator Sheriff or any of his cohorts either at FCT High Court or the Federal High Court in Abuja or any court in Nigeria,” the statement read.

The Makarfi committee then sent a stern warning to members serving in any committee set up by Senator Sheriff, saying such members would be engaging in anti-party activities and would face disciplinary action.

FG Sets Up National Task Force On Rice, Wheat Production

Rice-Production-in-NigeriaThe Nigerian government has established a National Rice and Wheat Task Force to set up targets that will yield comprehensible and self-evident results in rice and wheat production.

At the inauguration of the Task Force on Tuesday Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said: “What we are trying to achieve is that agriculture is our main stay and we are trying to evolve a strategy for our economy, a strategy for employment and a strategy for feeding our people”.

Professor Osinbajo said that feeding the nation’s population was the focus of the Buhari administration.

“Rice and wheat is our main focus, and making sure that in one year we can show the world that we are serious,” he stressed.

Emphasising on the need to develop strategies to rejuvenate the whole value chain, he gave terms of reference to the panel.

The panel is to set up production targets for rice and wheat in the participating states, determine the scope and particulars for government support needed towards the attainment of the set targets and consider and proffer the best off-take and marketing arrangements that will encourage maximum effort among farmers  and millers.

They are to also determine the rice and wheat value chain deficiencies and recommend solutions for addressing them, mobilise farmers and millers in identified target states to engage the Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and other available support facilities and establish timelines for the delivery of goals set by the Task Force.

After the Vice President listed the terms, the Chairman of the Task Force and Governor of Kebbi State, Mr Atiku Bagudu, thanked the Vice President for the consideration and stated that the disconnect between farmers and millers must be addressed.

He added that the two bodies in the value chain needed to be mobilised for maximum results.

A statement by a spokesman for the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said members of the task force include Governors of Kebbi State Senator Abubakar A. Bagugu, Dr. A. U. Ganduje of Kano State, and Mr David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

Others are the Minister of State for Agriculture, Lokpobiri Heineken, the President of Rice Farmers Association, Mr Aminu Goronyo and the President Wheat Farmers Association, Saliu Mohammed.

From Ebonyi To Lagos, Humblesmith Shares Life’s Untold Story

HumblesmithNow in the spotlight, a place he has toiled several years to arrive at, Humblesmith, born Ekene Ijemba, shares his untold story of struggling in Ebonyi state, eastern Nigeria, where he started out as a dancer.

He also worked as a producer and songwriter but was forced to move to Asaba, where he believed he would be able to establish himself as an artiste.

After several years of moving around in the entertainment industry, taking up different opportunities, no matter how little, Humblesmith wrote and released the song ‘Osinachi’, which shot him into the limelight.

Ebonyi Police Parade Suspected Murderer And Pipeline Vandals

police -oyoThe Ebonyi State Police Command have arrested Benjamin Ibiam, who is suspected to have killed one Chijioke and buried him in a shallow grave at Ugbonna forest in the state.

Mr Ibiam, who is 29 years old, is from Ugbona Isieke Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

While parading the suspect at the Command Headquarters In Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State, in southeast Nigeria on Saturday, the Commissioner of Police, Mrs Peace Abdallah, said: “Following a tip off of a robbery gang activity, the suspect, who is the leader of a notorious armed robbery gang upon arrest at his residence, confessed that he and his gang had just came back from an armed robbery operation in Anambra State after which an argument ensued between him and his colleague over the sharing formula of the loot that later resulted in him killing his colleague and burying him immediately”.

The Commissioner of Police also said that in determination to fight crime and other criminality in the state, the Command arrested 11 suspects including a Civil Defence officer involved in pipeline vandalism at Amaeze, in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State following a tip off from members of the community.

Mrs Abdallah said that the matter was under investigation and that if found guilty, the suspects would face the full wrath of the law as pipeline vandalism was a high economic sabotage.

Meanwhile, CP Abdallah reassured law abiding citizens of the state that the Command would not leave no stone unturned in a bid to protect life and property of indigenes of the state.