Sultan, Obi Of Onitsha, Tinubu, Others Bag Honourary Degrees In ABUAD

Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) on Monday conferred honourary degrees on top individuals including the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar; the Obi of Onitsha Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe; and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.

The dignitaries were honoured during the seventh convocation ceremony of the institution in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital.

Sultan of Sokoto and Obi of Onitsha were decorated as Doctor of Letters while Tinubu was decorated as Doctor of Public Administration.

READ ALSO: Sultan Of Sokoto, Tinubu, Others Attend ABUAD Convocation Ceremony

During the reading of his citation, the Sultan of Sokoto is described as a serial honourary awardee who has received honourary degrees in over 10 universities. He is also the current chancellor of the University of Ibadan.

Tinubu was honoured by the institution for his political acumen and for being a true believer in federalism.

The honourary awardees were subsequently inducted into the alumni association of ABUAD.

Onitsha People Celebrate Colourful Culture With Ofala Festival

onitsha-ofala-festival-dance The Ofala festival is an annual ceremony that celebrates the rich culture of the Onitsha people in the south eastern part of Nigeria.

Channels Television was in Onitsha to capture the sights and sounds of the 2016 edition of the colourful festival which marked the 15th year reign of the traditional ruler of Onitsha.

Guests from within and outside Anambra state, dressed in various traditional attires, gathered at the palace ground of the Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Highness Alfred Achebe, with the arrival of the Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, marking the beginning of the celebration.

With the royal music called Egwu Ota, all the dignitaries moved to the venue of the celebration, where everyone waited patiently for the Obi’s grand entrance.

Dressed in his ceremonial robe, carrying a bronze sword in his hand, Obi Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe emerged to a cheering crowd, as he went round to greet everyone.

Onitsha, Ofala Festival, Anambra Onitsha, Ofala Festival, Anambra

There was also a moment for the guest to savour something that is rarely seen – the dance of the King, which drew the admiration of all present.

From the 16th century, the Ofala festival has been a season of harvest and prosperity. It marks the end of a period of retreat when the Obi undergoes purification for the good of the community.

At the end of the week-long retreat, he emerges during the Ofala to bless his subjects and say prayers for the community.

The yearly festival has indeed continued to promote community development in Anambra state and the people pray to celebrate more joyous moments like the Ofala, as they show the world the rich and colourful culture of the Nigerian people in the south east.

Traditional Rulers Join Anambra State’s Economic Diversification Drive

Traditional Rulers on Anambra's economy
Obi of Onitsha, HRM Alfred Achebe

The Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers say they are determined to contribute their quota in efforts to break the bounds of mono-economy and shift focus to a broadly creative, self-generating and diversified economy in the state.

The monarchs are optimistic that the step taken by the Council would enable them meet the varied needs of their various communities and that of the entire state population.

It was a decision made at their fifth annual seminar held at their Secretariat Complex within the Government House in Awka, the Anambra State capital in southeast Nigeria.

The theme of the discourse was “Diversification of the Nigerian Economy; a Sine Qua Non for Sustainable Socio-Economic Stability and Growth”.

Mechanised And Commercial Agriculture

Addressing the assembly, Governor Willie Obiano, represented by his deputy, Nkem Okeke, proposed industrialisation and agriculture, as the solution to the challenges of depreciating currency, dwindling national Gross Domestic Product and the sharp rise in the suffering of Nigerians.

Mr Okeke, who commended the organisers for their choice of the theme, highlighted the efforts of the government in agriculture.

He reiterated the commitment of the government to pursuing mechanised and commercial agriculture, saying that huge investment has been made in establishing industrial farms in over five communities in the state.

In their various remarks, the former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife; as well as the Chairman of the Council and Obi of Onitsha, Alfred Achebe, urged the people of the state to develop interest in agriculture and investment.

The Obi of Onitsha further called for conscious effort to be made by all traditional rulers of the 179 communities, to ensure that their subjects key into the vision of the state government in the area of agriculture and industrialisation.

Fashola Guarantees Completion Of Second Niger Bridge

Fashola, Niger BridgeThe Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has restated the commitment of the Federal Government to the completion of the ongoing Second Niger Bridge Project.

The Minister disclosed this during a 1-day inspection tour of the project in Anambra State, where he was received by the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, at the Bridge Head area of Onitsha.

The visit by Mr Fashola was to assess the state of work done on the project and to seek assurances from all the stakeholders of no hostilities and to convey the commitment of the Federal Government to its completion.

He said that the project would not only bring improvement but will accelerate economic prosperity and give relief to the first Niger Bridge.

He acknowledged the effort of the traditional ruler of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, towards the realization of the project in the areas of resolving issues of land ownership, court cases, compensation, and issues concerning environmental impact assessment which were part of the problems hindering the progress of the work on the project.

While the contractor handling the project maintained that non-release of  funds was a major setback in the completion of the 1.5 kilometer bridge and 10 kilometer road project, the Chairman of Anambra State Traditional Council and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, urged the Minister to help sort out the challenges and see to the completion of the project which is a major priority to all Nigerians as it is a unifying factor.

He also appealed to the Minister to also consider the completion of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe Mauseuleum, which has been a 20-year-old embarrassment to the federal government.

The Minister assured the stakeholders that it is President Buhari’s priority to see to the completion of the project because it would accelerate transportation, exchange of goods and services across the country.

Governor Obiano expressed hope that the bridge would be completed on record time to boost commercial activities and living condition of the people.

He raised complaints on the Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe Mausoleum, the appalling state of the Enugu-Onitsha road at Umunya axis and appealed for immediate intervention.

The Governor also appealed to the Federal Government to help fix the power project at Nnewi which he said would cost less than 200 million naira to fix.

He finally appealed to the Federal Government to refund Anambra State 43.8 million naira spent on roads and erosion interventions.

He explained that the refund would go a long way in sorting out many infrastructural problems in the state.

Obiano Tasks Anambra Traditional Rulers On Sustainable Development

Obiano Tasks Anambra Traditional Rulers On Sustainable DevelopmentGovernor Willie Obiano has tasked the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council to ensure that the developmental strides of his administration are sustained in their various communities.

The commission was given during the opening ceremony of the fourth edition of the annual seminar of the Traditional Rulers’ Council held at Government House in Awka, the Anambra State capital, South-east Nigeria.

Governor Obiano praised the traditional rulers for their ability to maintain unity and steady support for his administration.

He urged them to remain focused and ensure that the developmental strides his administration has brought to bear are enjoyed and sustained in the 177 communities in the state especially in the area of security.

The Governor asked them to articulate and present to him, a resolution on how to approach the issue of the agitation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) with a view to ensuring permanent peace and stability in the Igbo nation.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Council and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, commended the Governor for his support to the traditional institution as well as his giant strides in the development of the state in the area of education, health and youth empowerment.

He said that the seminar would help refresh their minds on their roles in their communities and urged his colleagues to adapt to the changes of the 21st century to help move Anambra State and Nigeria forward.

The Obi of Onitsha also expressed concerns on the agitation of the IPOB and the questions that had raged on the minds of the traditional rulers in the state. He concluded that caution, instead of rash judgment would be applied.

The seminar is expected to help deepen the knowledge of the traditional leaders on their functions and roles in their communities as well as sharpen their minds on contemporary issues on nation building.

The two-day seminar with the theme: “Impact of the Four Pillars of Economic Development and their Enablers in the Development of the Communities of Anambra State, the Role of the Traditional Rulers”, also featured the launch of a book consisting of seminar papers presented in previous seminars and conferences of the Council in the past three years.

Obi Of Onitsha Condemns Protests By Pro-Biafra Agitators

Obi of Onitsha Condemns Protests By pro-Biafra AgitatorsThe paramount ruler and Obi of Onitsha in Anambra State, Igwe Alfred Achebe, has condemned the widespread protests by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who are calling for the separation of the entire south-east region from Nigeria.

The condemnation came on the heels of agitations and protests for Biafra nation across parts of the country, especially as the protesters clamoured for the release of the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, who had been in detention since October.

Speaking in an interview shortly after his inauguration as the Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Igwe Achebe told the protesters to shelve the idea of secession from the rest of Nigeria.

He said that such agitation would only amount to violating the constitution of the country and the principles of democracy.

The traditional ruler reminded the pro Biafra agitators of the inherent dangers involved in their action, emphasising that Nigeria remained a united and indivisible country irrespective of the numerous challenges.

He urged them to channel all their grievances to their elected representatives in the National Assembly for consideration, rather than embarking on violent protests that could result into breakdown of law and order in the region.

The new Chancellor also expressed regret over the renewed agitation for a Biafran state, stressing that such protests in the name of Biafra would not solve the various economic and social problems confronting the south-east zone or add any value to the development and progress of the entire country.

According to him, the south-east remained an integral part of Nigeria and the leaders from the area so much believed in the unity of the country and would always work towards sustaining such bond.