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Wednesday, 27 October 2021

150+ Years Old Looted Bronze Returned To Benin Kingdom From UK

150+ Years Old Looted Bronze Returned To Benin Kingdom From UK

 His Royal Highness Prince Aghatise Erediauwa (centre) and Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola (second right) during a ceremony at Jesus College in Cambridge, where the looted Benin bronze, known as the Okukur, is set to be returned to Nigeria. 

The Legacy of Slavery Working Party concluded that the statue, which was looted by British colonial forces in the 1897 invasion of the then Kingdom of Benin and given to Jesus College in 1905 by the father of a student, "belongs with the current Oba at the Court of Benin". 

The sculpture was one of the hundreds of Benin Bronzes that were pillaged from the once-mighty kingdom, located in what is now Nigeria.

They are among Africa’s most culturally significant artefacts and Nigerian authorities have been calling for years for their return.

The return of the sculpture by Jesus College, part of Cambridge University, sets a precedent that will put pressure on other institutions to return stolen artefacts.

The college described the handover as “the first institutional return of its kind”.

Germany has agreed to start returning Benin Bronzes held in its museums in 2022, but the British Museum in London, which holds the largest and most significant collection of them, has made no such commitment.

New EFCC Scribe, Ekpungu Assumes Office

New EFCC Scribe, Ekpungu Assumes Office

 The new Secretary to the EFCC, Dr. George Ekpungu today, Wednesday October 27, 2021 formally assumed office. 

Welcoming him to the headquarters of the Commission at Jabi, Abuja, the Executive Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa expressed delight that Ekpungu is coming on board at a time of fundamental reforms at the EFCC, noting that the Commission, over the last few months, had reviewed and adopted a number of policy documents geared towards improving its efficiency and effectiveness. 

John Okiyi Hands Over As Abia Information Commissioner

John Okiyi Hands Over As Abia Information Commissioner

 Former Abia State Commissioner for Information Chief John Okiyi Kalu has handed over to his successor 

Okiyi has been appointed as the new Commissioner for Trade and Investment 

This was his parting post 

Change of baton 

Earlier today, I handed over to Barr Eze Chikamnayo as the new Commissioner for Information and Strategy, with the able assistance of the Permanent Secretary, hardworking staff of the ministry, and walked across to the Ministry of Trade and Investment to resume as the substantive Commissioner. 

Only God can clearly state how grateful I am to the staff, colleagues at the Ministry of Infornation and members of the media team as well as the staff of BCA, Government Press and Ambassador Newspapers. 

Thank you.

I will forever be indebted to the  journalists and bloggers in Abia State and across the country for showing me unprecedented support beyond my wildest expectations. 

God bless you real good. 

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD, his wife and children, relations and others who wish him well have shown tremendous love and support to me since I started my public service career but I guess this is not yet the time to speak to that beyond saying thanks a million for all your love and kindness. 

Same goes for my elder brother, Deputy Governor Ude Oko Chukwu, PhD, his family and team as well as my colleagues in the last state executive council who were immensely supportive of me in my previous assignment. 

Speaker Chinedum Orji, his family members, including my adopted Senator, Ochendo T.A. Orji, members of the State House of Assembly and Abia political stakeholders including our leaders in Abiriba have all been massive in supporting my work in information management. 

Thanks a million. 

Those who worked closely with me, I want to thank you specially and ask you to keep pushing because we are yet to apprehend. As disciplined infornation and media managers, I expect you to give equal and even more support to my successor. You guys are simply the best to work with and I will miss you all. Of course, you already know I won’t interfere with the work of my successor as that is not my style, so I encourage you to work diligently with him and avoid coming to tell me anything happening there. 

To my people my people, it is still Youth O’clock even in the ministry of trade and investment. Let’s keep the flag flying and achieve more together for our dear state and to the glory of God.

Let’s just say I thank all the good people who supported us to succeed even though I can’t name them one by one for obvious reasons but most especially I thank the good people of Abia State who daily pray for and support the government of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu. He will never disappoint you. Though our beloved Governor might not solve all the problems of our state within his tenure, I assure you that he will solve many problems and most importantly continue putting the good of our people first and foremost. 

On that I can bet everything I have.

Permit me to stop and get to work in the ministry of trade and investment where very wonderful people are already waiting for us to work together and deliver on a remodeled Ariaria International Market and Ahia Ohuru Market, among others,  without unduly punishing our hardworking people. 

Let’s move now!!!

Chief John Okiyi Kalu

Honorable Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Abia State.


Breaking : Former Minister Of Agriculture Dies In London At 59

Breaking : Former Minister Of Agriculture Dies In London At 59

 A former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abba Sayyadi Ruma is dead.

59-year-old Abba Ruma was minister under the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration.

Ruma died in a London Hospital on Wednesday after a brief illness.

He left office in March 2010 when acting president Goodluck Jonathan dissolved his cabinet.

He was preceded by Adamu Bello and succeeded by Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah.

He was the chairman of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development headquartered in Rome, Italy.

In May 2008, Ruma denied reports that Nigeria was suffering from a food crisis, saying the only problem was with the rising cost of rice.

He defended his ministry’s decision to centralize distribution of fertilizer rather than relying on private enterprise, and noted that the government was taking action to improve access to credit by farmers and to supply more tractors.

But the government would import rice if needed to cushion cost increases.

How I Escaped From Boko Haram Camp In Sambisa Forest After Marrying Two Different Commanders ..Lady Narrates Her Experiences

How I Escaped From Boko Haram Camp In Sambisa Forest After Marrying Two Different Commanders ..Lady Narrates Her Experiences

In 2017, Aisha Yerima shocked her family when she willingly returned to Boko Haram captivity after she had been freed by the military.

Four years on and the 30-year-old has now escaped and returned to her parents' home in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

She was kidnapped by Boko Haram at the age of 21 from a town south-east of Maiduguri and went on to marry one of the group's commanders, whom she said won her heart with romance and gifts.

He had gone off to battle when the military attacked their camp in the Sambisa Forest, rescuing Aisha and dozens of other wives.

The women were all put through a one-year de-radicalisation programme, but barely four months afterwards, Aisha decided that life with Boko Haram was better.

"It was hard for me to make a living," she told me. "Things were tough and I had to depend on my parents."

She also found it difficult to feed her two-year-old, rescued along with her, the son from her marriage to the commander.

"I phoned my husband and he was very happy to hear from me," said Aisha.

"He told me when next he would be coming to Maiduguri to purchase some fuel and gas, and we agreed that I would join him," she said.

On the agreed day, she left her parents' home with her little son, telling no-one and taking just a few possessions.

Gunfire celebrations

She met her husband at a secluded location and he gave her some money to shop for new clothes. She re-joined him at around 19:30 at a separate location where he was waiting with about 20 militants in a bus.

"They were all heavily armed with guns," she said.

They then began the long drive towards the Sambisa Forest, abandoned the bus at a remote garage from where it was to be picked up by a man from whom the militants had hired it, and continued the rest of the journey on foot.

Aisha immediately resumed life as a commander's wife - treated with respect, with other captives assigned to her as slaves, and more than enough for herself and her son to eat"

"When we arrived at our camp in the forest, there was celebration. Everybody was happy to see me back and they were firing guns in the air," she said.

Aisha immediately resumed life as a commander's wife - treated with respect, with other captives assigned to her as slaves, and more than enough for herself and her son to eat.

Shortly after returning, she was glad to discover herself pregnant, but the child died at birth.

Image caption,The military has had difficulty securing Borno state, which is about the same size as the country of Sierra Leone

When she was two months pregnant with another child, her husband was killed in battle.

The militants believed that her unborn child was entitled to a portion of its father's wealth and so waited until the baby was delivered before dividing the inheritance.

"They wanted to see if it was a boy or girl because a boy is entitled to double the portion of a girl," Aisha explained.

Her baby turned out to be a boy, but tragedy struck again. He died at birth. Aisha was devastated.

Forced to remarry

Her share of the inheritance allowed her to continue to live well - though this made others jealous.

"They started asking why I should be enjoying and living on my own. I didn't want to marry anyone else but they forced me to."

Her new husband was equally wealthy, a businessman responsible for supplying goods to Boko Haram, which entailed regular trips to Maiduguri. When she got pregnant with his child, Aisha was terrified of losing yet another baby in the forest.

"I begged him that we should move to Maiduguri, but he refused," she said.

Her desire to leave became more urgent when the military intensified attacks, with regular bombings that forced the militants and their families to be constantly on the move.

In addition, bitter infighting had led to Boko Haram splintering, with the two factions increasingly attacking each other. Afraid for her life and that of her unborn child, Aisha decided to escape.

At 03:00 one morning in August, she set off into the forest with her son and with two other wives who desired a different life.

But they were all captured along the way by Boko Haram, and returned to their camp. To keep her from attempting to run off again, Aisha's husband and the militants seized her six-year-old and took him away to an unknown location.

"While they were dragging my son away, he was holding on to me and screaming: 'Mama, please, don't leave me here! Please, don't leave me here!'" Aisha said.

For several days, she begged the militants to return him and tried searching for him. It eventually dawned on her that her efforts would be fruitless. She decided to escape without him when another chance came.

Escape and kindness

For a price, a militant who knew a clandestine route through the forest was willing to assist her and more than a dozen other women who wished to flee.

Aisha gave him all the money she had. A week later he led them away from the militants' base, past remote towns and left them at a point where they were able to continue on their own to a military post.

"The soldiers were very kind," Aisha said.

"They praised me for being bold enough to escape and contributed money to put me in a vehicle to take me home to my parents. They didn't think there was any need to escort me."

When they got to Maiduguri, she had to ask the driver to stop so she could call her mother and ask for directions as the city had changed so much in her absence: "There were new flyover bridges and tarred roads everywhere."

The entire family was waiting when the oldest of eight siblings walked through the front gate. They rushed towards Aisha and hugged her.

Everyone had been kind and supportive since she returned, Aisha told me, with some neighbours contributing money for her upkeep. But the baby she gave birth to in early October has died.

So far, Aisha has not heard from the husband she abandoned in the forest. She learnt from some women who escaped more recently that he was apprehended by an opposing faction of Boko Haram, with his fate unknown.

Determined to create a new life for herself, Aisha hopes to raise funds to begin trading in perfume and incense.

"I pray to Allah to rescue my son, but I will never go back to Boko Haram," she said.

Source : Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani / BBC

Gov Umahi's Donation Of University To Church Will Shake Haven ..Father Mbaka

Gov Umahi's Donation Of University To Church Will Shake Haven ..Father Mbaka

The Founder and Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry Enugu (AMEN), Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka has commended Governor David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State for the donation of the King David University of Medical Sciences, Uburu to the Catholic Church and prayed to God to continue to bless him.

Fr. Mbaka who made the commendation on Sunday during the 2021 AMEN's Harvest, Thanksgiving and Bazaar service, said that Governor Umahi's donation of the university to the Church of God shook Heaven.

Hear him: "Last few weeks ago, I heard that this Governor here, Apostle Umahi handed the key of a University to the Church, the Catholic Church. You have done something that heaven is shaking.

“I want to appreciate you, on-behalf of the Adoration Family and the Mother Church, we thank you, God bless you.

"Governor Umahi is a very secret sower, if you follow him without sowing, he will be succeeding and you will be decreasing. 

"This is the best Governor Ebonyi ever had, if you doubt it go to Ebonyi.

"The easiest and fastest way to connect with God is to invest in Virgin Ministries such as this."

The Catholic Priest also commended Governor Umahi's developmental strides in Ebonyi State.

'We welcome His Excellency and Her Excellency, Engineer and High Apostle Dave Umahi who has turned Ebonyi into a contemporary Dubai of Africa. Behind every successful man, there is a secret woman of virtue so I ask His Excellency to hold unto that beautiful woman," Mbaka said.

Responding, Governor David Umahi thanked Fr. Ejike Mbaka for making himself a rallying point for spiritual rejuvenation of Nigeria.

"You are truly an anointed man of God and the Spirit of God is speaking through you," he hinted.

Umahi also thanked his counterpart of Enugu State, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the construction of the internal road leading to the adoration ministry and other sundry interventions meant for the spiritual growth of Nigerians.

 He called on the political, religious, and traditional rulers of Igbo land to intensify efforts to actualize absolute peace in the South East region of the country.

"Let me assure that every aspect of the concerns of our youths, our elders, our women, we have articulated them and we will engage with the center to address those demands.

"We need peace in South East, we believe that this Adoration ground would provide solutions to all our problems in Jesus name.

"We have been making efforts together with Governors of the South East, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and Stakeholders to ensure that our brother Nnamdi Kanu is released as soon as possible," Umahi said.

Recall that Governor Umahi attended the event called Bazaar of Mega Health and Mega Prosperity in the companies of his Deputy, Barr Kelechi Igwe, the Chief Judge, Justice Elvis Ngene, and the full compliments of the state executive council alongside the government functionaries.

I Visited EFCC Uninvited But Got Detained..Pius Anyim

I Visited EFCC Uninvited But Got Detained..Pius Anyim

 A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, has explained he went to the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abuja, on his own volition, on Sunday, when he heard that his name was mentioned by someone who was being investigated by the anti-graft agency.

According to Anyim, who was also a former President of the Senate, the anti-graft agency never invited him, adding rather, he went there himself when he got information that someone under investigation mentioned his name.

A Peoples Democratic Party’s Chieftain, Anyim observed he was, however, surprised that after his engagement with the EFCC officers, he was not allowed to return home.

Anyim narrated his encounter with the EFCC in a statement by his Media Adviser, Sam Nwaobasi, on Tuesday evening.

The statement, said, “Anyim had been inundated with inquiries from friends, associates, PDP faithful and the general public.

“These were with regards to media reports that he was invited and detained “as part of an investigation in a case of alleged corruption and diversion of public funds.”

“It has, therefore, become necessary to put the records straight on what went on between Sunday, 24, to Tuesday, 26 of October.

“Senator Anyim got information that some person invited by the EFCC in connection with some matter it was investigating mentioned his name in the statement made to the EFCC.

“Determined, as always, to ensure that the truth prevails, Senator Anyim reached out to the officer handling the matter and offered, of his own volition, to come over to the EFCC to clarify any issues around which his name was mentioned.

“The officer was delighted and they agreed to meet in his office at the EFCC by 3p.m., on Sunday, October 24.

“At the agreed time Senator Anyim arrived at the EFCC office. He was never invited by the EFCC.

“After his engagement, during which Senator Anyim was as candid as could be, to his utter surprise he was told he would not be going home that day.

“By the next day, the EFCC gave the conditions for his release, which were met promptly.

“It took up to Tuesday, 26, for EFCC to complete their processes after which he was allowed to go home

“Senator Anyim, as a law-abiding citizen, will always submit himself to any process required by any agency of the government in the discharge of its duties.

“Senator Anyim, though not disturbed or worried by his encounter with the EFCC, after all he went to their office by himself, has however noted some reports in some social media platforms that deliberately distorted the facts just to call his integrity to question.

“Senator Anyim remains steadfast in his commitment to join hands with men and women of goodwill to unite, heal and advance the cause of our dear country Nigeria.

“He will continue to offer himself and services to the pursuit of same, notwithstanding the blackmail, falsehood, misinformation and misrepresentation that some opportunists will seek to make out of such episodes like his recent encounter with the EFCC.

“Senator Anyim is very humbled and touched by the spontaneous responses and concern shown by his numerous friends, associates, supporters, especially PDP faithful and the general public.

“He believes that together we shall all build a better Nigeria.