Ikpeazu Rejects Cattle Colony Plan For Herdsmen In Abia

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has rejected plans by the federal government to establish “cattle colonies” for Fulani Herdsmen and their cows in Abia State saying that the state will not cede any part of its territory to Fulani herdsman as cattle colony.
According to a press release issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary Mr Enyinnaya Appolos, governor Ikpeazu has indicated that Abia state will not accept that any of its land will be used to establish cattle colonies for herdsmen.

“We reject such plan . We don’t have enough land for our agricultural activities and our people want more land. “Giving away any part of Abia land as a colony to herdsmen, wherever they may be from, will be most unjust and unfair treatment to Abia State and her people who are largely farmers.

He added that “such alien land occupation will also cause unrest and crisis that may grow beyond what we can handle when it happens, so the best thing I think we should do is to reject such plans so that those behind it will know that Abia State is not a party to it.”, the press release concluded.

“How We Managed Paris Club Refund Bailout In Abia” – Ikpeazu

The Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has given a detailed account of how his state managed the bailout and Paris Club refunds for payment of backlog of salaries he inherited and also in improving the infrastructure of the state.

Ikpeazu’s depute gave the details while speaking at the Nigeria Governors Forum Media Conference for Chief Press Secretaries and Commissioners for Information from the 36 states in Abuja, yesterday, Ikpeazu, who was represented by his deputy, Ude Oko Chukwu, also said the state government enshrined transparency in the governance of the state, where every Abian was updated quarterly on the affairs of the state.

Speaking on the topic, “Application of the Paris Club Refund to State,’’ the governor said: “The receipt of the intervention funds has become a source of concern to some analyst, pundits, social critics and political commentators. Some comments have been made in the print and social media, which were half-truths and sometimes outright lies.

“May I use this opportunity to briefly state the facts. Interestingly, Abia State government received the following intervention funds from the Federal Government: Bailout fund of N14.2 billion, the first tranche of Paris refund of N10.6 billion and the second tranche of the Paris refund of N5 billion.

“In line with the transparency approach to governance of the current administration, after the receipt of the first intervention (bailout) fund, Abia State government constituted a committee made up of the different labour union leaders, namely NLC, TUC, NULGE, NUP, NUT and Joint Negotiating Council.

“The committee took charge of the disbursement of the funds to various areas of greater needs and exigencies.

“Indeed, the exercise was conducted, devoid of government intervention as 100 per cent of funds received were expended for the services of workers’ payments. This exercise was (by all known standards) transparent and applauded by ICPC, which singled out Abia and two other states for their transparency in the disbursement and utilisation of the fund.”

“50% of the first tranche of the Paris Refund to be dedicated to the payment of workers’salaries and wages. We also disbursed an additional N600m to augment the payment of workers’ salaries and wages. Thus a total of N5.9b was spent therein.

“The second tranche of the Paris refund received by Abia state was 100% spent on workers’ salaries and pensions. This has greatly curtailed the salary arrears responsibilities of the government.

“Overall, Abia received a total sum of N16.3B from the Paris Club refund and deployed N11.6B to service workers/pensioners wage bill. This translates to a commitment of more than 71% of total receipt to service workers’ salaries and pension.” The Governor said.

Explaining further on challenges, Governor Ikpeazu said: “The challenge has remained that while trying to clear the backlog of salaries, they keep piling as most of us can testify. This is as a result of the fact that allocations from the centre and the IGR have not been enough to carry the monthly wage bill and other responsibilities. “

The governor also spoke on the efforts made by his administration to ensure that workers get salaries as at when due, by introducing the verification and biometric exercise to curb ghost workers.

“With the introduction of the verification and biometric exercises some issues such as ‘ghost worker’ salaries, padding of salaries, multiplicity of people receiving salaries from various units of the government has been addressed.

“This has assisted the State greatly, as the monthly wage bill has been reduced from an average of N2.8b to N2.1b. Thus from this alone a savings ofabout N600m monthly has been achieved. When extrapolated in 34 months this amounts to about N16b that would have ordinarily gone into some individuals’ accounts.

On the issue of pensions he said: “Hitherto there were 19 Sub-treasuries through which Pensioners were paid. These sub-treasuries determined when and how to pay the pensioners. This brought about sharp practices in the system. The government therefore decided to abolish the sub-treasuries system.

“To address this issue the State embanked on Pensioners Verification Exercise (PVE). This has helped the State to identify non-retirees in the system. Thereafter, the e-payment system was adopted. This led to the simultaneous payment of all pensioners through their banks. Today, pensioners receive their pay at the comfort of their respective homes.

“Through the verifications, about 131 teachers who were supposed to have retired were identified. From the original date of their retirement till the date of the discovery, the government had paid them a total sum of N496m. The government is determined to convert the monies paid them as either pension or gratuity due them in future.”

EDITORIAL: The Military And Internal Security

The lessons of the past week particularly in the South-east should not be lost on anyone desirous of a peaceful and stable future for our country. It started when the Nigerian Army sent notice of its preparation for ‘Operation Python Dance‘ (Egwu Eke 2), a supposedly normal routine of the Nigerian Army field training exercise meant to sharpen the skills of the participating troops in the conduct of Internal Security Operations (ISO). According to Col. Sagir Musa, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Nigerian Army, the exercise was being conducted to deal with the rising cases of kidnappings, farmers-herdsmen clashes, armed robbery, cultism, communal crisis, violent secessionist agitations, among others. The exercise was planned for September 15 to October 14.  

However, few days to the September 15 date, the military launched what appeared to be a limited police action against the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and its fiery leader, Nnamdi Kanu. As would be expected, the development would stoke a raging debate on the propriety of deploying soldiers for what is primarily a police responsibility.

Many of course have argued that the action of the military was overkill, a case of an overbearing military seeking to kill a fly with a sledgehammer. Others have questioned the constitutional basis of the action. While the debate rages, the military has since announced plans to stage a similar operation – Operation Crocodile in the South-south and parts of South-west purportedly to address the same challenges of insecurity. Earlier in the year, the military launched Operation Harbin Kunama II covering the North-west and parts of the North-Central.

Beyond the emotive reaction to the latest development, there are a number of issues that cannot be ignored. First, as distasteful as the current exercises might be to some, the underlying basis of the actions cannot be discountenanced. To deny that country is adrift, or that an unprecedented anarchy is being let loose in different parts of the country on a scale that the military can ill-afford to sit and watch, is to play the ostrich. While democracy thrives on freedom and civic engagement between the ruled and the rulers, it speaks to the mood of the times that cultural and institutional restraints that would have been expected in civic, democratic discourses have, over the course of the past few months, yielded to hate and treasonable behaviors. That cannot and should not be allowed to continue.

More fundamentally however is that we cannot be seen to endorse what appears to be a systematic invasion of the civic space by the military. That is being unwittingly promoted as the new normal speaks directly to the militarization of the nation’s psyche – an exigency that is tolerated only because the country has little choice in the circumstance of the abject neglect suffered by the Nigerian Police under the military in particular – and which the succeeding democratic administrations have done pretty little to redress.  

We certainly do not see the various crimes listed by the military as justifying the operations as anything that an adequate, well-equipped police cannot deal with. In fact, the operations are such that a restructured and well-resourced police would have rendered superfluous. The problem, as far as we can see, is straightforward: Both in terms of manpower and equipment, the Nigerian Police Force is worse than inadequate.  With 219 policemen for every 100,000 citizens, Nigeria currently falls below the United Nations recommended threshold of 222 per 100,000 people – a problem further compounded by the stifling structure of centralisation leading to wastes, inadequacy and misapplication of resources, and corruption. As for control, the current structure has become too distant from the grassroots for any operational efficiency.

These are issues that a new security architecture can help address. In other words, we harbor no illusions that the unbridled militarization of the civil space will guarantee security; it will rather create an atmosphere of siege, and possibly abuse of citizens’ rights and in the end, breed mass alienation. Contrarily, a new security architecture, which allows for multi-level policing across the board, and which aligns with the demands of a truly federal constitution in theory and practice, and also well attuned to local nuances and sensibilities seems likely to prove far more effective in the long run. We therefore see state police as an idea which time has come.

Abia Govt Extends Curfew Till Friday

Abia Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu has extended the three-day dusk to dawn curfew he imposed on Aba to Friday, Sept. 15.

Ikpeazu made this known in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Enyinnaya Appolos in Umuahia on Wednesday.

He advised residents and visitors to cooperate with security agents in order to ensure the maintenance of law and order within the commercial city and its environs.

Ikpeazu expressed displeasure that people were being compelled to raise their hands while passing through security checkpoints.

He, therefore, urged security agents and all authorities concerned to ensure that such acts and other forms of inhumane and barbaric treatment of people were discontinued immediately.

Okezie Ikpeazuon Tuesday clamped a three-day dusk to dawn curfew in the state’s commercial nerve centre beginning 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The curfew has now been extended to Friday.

Abia @26 Still Crawling Like Baby – NLC Chairman

The Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abia, Chief Uchenna Obigwe, say at 26 “the state is still crawling like a baby,” in terms of development.

Obigwe spoke in a telephone interview in Umuahia, on the 26th anniversary of the state and level of progress so far recorded.

“At 26, Abia is still crawling like a baby because previous administrations failed to develop the state,” he said.

Abia was created on Aug. 27, 1991, by then military President Ibrahim Babangia.

According to Obigwe, the extent of decay in infrastructure is enormous and that it will take time for any meaningful development to be achieved in the state.

On the fate of workers, the NLC chairman said that it had not been easy for civil servants in the state, owing to the delays in the payment of salaries.

“You know that this is my constituency, so I can safely say that this administration is doing well to better a lot of the civil servants in the state.

“Today, the governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has paid workers in the ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) up to date.

“We only have issues with the local government workers, teachers in primary and secondary schools, some parastatal agencies and pensioners.

“If the government can take care of the salaries of this category of workers like those in the MDAs then our problem is over,” he said.

Also, the pioneer chairman of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Ogbonnaya Iheaka, shared a similar opinion that at 26, Abia had not done well in the area of development.

Iheaka told Reporters in a telephone interview that the state had come of age, but lagged behind in terms of development.

He expressed worry that past administrations failed to put the basic things that would propel development.

“Certain basic things that ought to be done to drive development in the state were not done.

“For instance, it was only during the last administration that workers’ secretariat was built yet it was far below the standard you find in other states,” Iheaka said.

He also said that the state had not experienced the required federal presence and that past administration did not do much to attract federal and international development agencies to the state.

He said that the state had achieved a milestone in power sharing, particularly the governorship position, among the three senatorial districts.

Iheaka, however, said that the development of the state was seriously threatened by sectional tendencies amongst the political leaderships.

He said: “Since the return of democratic rule in 1999, political leaders have concentrated development in their own areas and paid little or no attention to other sections of the state.

“Governors always reserved strategic political and civil service appointments for people from their area.

“What this means is that place of origin has taken the position of merit,” he said, adding that the “ugly trend had destroyed the state civil service.”

To further buttress his point, he said that the administration of Sen. Theodore Orji introduced an eight-year age limit for directors and permanent secretaries.

He said that the policy swept many people out even before their mandatory retirement age.

Iheaka regretted that after filling the vacancies created by the policy, the administration quickly reversed the policy and returned to status quo.

“This unwholesome sectional tendency had been the trend since 1999 to date and it is dangerous for the state,” Iheaka said.

According to him, the attitude of successive administrations is one of “the winner takes all” to the detriment of the interest of the greater majority of the people.

Abia Police Parades Man Who Raped 5year Old Girl, Suspected Cultist, Others

The Abia State Police Command have arrested suspected rapists, kidnappers, cultists, armed robbers, fraudsters and other crime suspects.
The State Commissioner of Police, CP Adeleye Oyebade, who disclosed this yesterday, May 15th, at the State Police Headquarters, Umuahia while parading the suspects before newsmen, also said arm and ammunition, stolen vehicles, motorcycle, other items were recovered from the suspects.


Oyebade said these achievements were made possible by harnessing the various strategies identified in crime prevention and control.  Beneath are some of the achievements.
On 07/05/2017 at about 2330hrs, a report was received from one Ibe Torty Kalu ‘m’ of Aba at the Police Control Room in Aba that his Peugeot 504 Saloon Car with reg. no. AJ 72 AAA dark blue in colour was snatched by three (3) armed men at Okigwe road by Rail at about 2315hrs. Consequent upon the report, patrol teams in the area were placed on alert. Then on 08/05/2017 at about 1530hrs, the said vehicle was recovered by detectives attached to Ndiegoro Division at Ibadan road by Ibere road where it was abandoned. Investigation is in progress.
On 08/05/2017 at about 1100hrs, following a report at CPS Aba that one Chibueze Agunwa ‘m’ of Osunkwo Triangle Road Aba, defiled 5 years old girl on 22/4/2017 at about 1800hrs and ran away. The suspect has been arrested and will be arraigned in court soonest.
-On 08/05/2017 at about 1630hrs, a case of defilement was reported at CPS Aba against one Ugochukwu Oleka ‘m’ of Iroanusi Road Aba. The suspect committed the act on an unknown date against a girl of 13 years old in her house. Investigation has been concluded and medical report reveals that the victim is two months pregnant.
Upon intelligence gathered by detectives from CPS Aba about the activities of notorious syndicates that specialized in snatching exotic vehicles from neighbouring states; the operatives from CPS Aba on 08/05/2017 at about 1540hrs, recovered one Toyota Highlander Jeep with Reg No. SSM 631 TP from where it was hidden. The owner has been contacted and he affirmed that the vehicle was snatched from him in Lagos in the year 2015. While the operatives equally recovered one Lexus RX 300 Jeep with Reg. No. ABC 472 LK on 04/05/2017. Efforts are on ground to apprehend the fleeing suspects.
On 09/05/2017 at about 0130hrs, at Gasline Osiokpo Osisioma, surveillance team from Osisioma Division arrested one Chinaza Nwaigwe ‘m’ aged 22 years and Kelechi Kalu ‘m’ aged 22 years both of Nwachukwu Street Aba, who stole a Honda little cub motorcycle with Reg. No. SSM 409 QBX Ash in colour from one Ukadike Godslove ‘m’ of Osisioma. Investigation is in progress.
On 08/05/2017 at about 0630hrs and 1000hrs, upon a tip off, detectives attached to Mike Okiro Police Station Ubani led by the DPO arrested the duo of Chukwuemeka Adiele and Chinedu Ikoro both males of Emede Ibeku and members of ‘ARO CULT’ after their ‘sailings’ on 05/05/2017 and 07/05/2017 at Ubani area. Suspects have made useful statements that would aid in arresting their fleeing cult members.
On 10/05/2017 at about 0700hrs, upon a tip off patrol team attached to Isuochi Division led by the Divisional Police Officer arrested one Chijioke Okeke ‘m’ of Lokpanta, Umunneochi LGA with bullet wound inside the bush close to a popular spot called ‘BETTER LIFE’ junction. The said suspect confessed to have been shot by escort Policeman on 09/05/2017 at about 2130hrs when he and others blocked the Enugu/Port Harcourt Express way to rob motorists. A lead from the suspect, subsequently led to the arrest of John Nwankwo ‘m’ of same address and recovery of one Locally made pistol with a live cartridge. Effort is on top gear towards the arrest of other members of the gang.
On 09/05/2017 at about 0300hrs, patrol team attached to Central Police Station Aba while on patrol along Ibere Street, Aba accosted the duo of Wisdom Benjamin ‘18yrs’ and Okoro Isaac ‘23yrs’ both males in possession of a 100 kg bag containing clothing materials already cut for boxer shorts, value yet unknown. The suspects upon interrogation confessed to have burgled the tailoring factory of one Christopher Okeke, their employer. Investigation is in progress.
On 09/05/2017 at about 2125hrs, Operatives attached to Central Police Station Aba upon intelligence, recovered one Nissan Sunny Saloon car with reg. no. BU 258 LSD reported stolen on 05/05/2017 at about 2330hrs through the Police Control Room Aba. The vehicle was recovered at the Shopping
Plaza along Asa road, Aba and efforts are intensified toward tracking down the perpetrators.
On 10/05/2017 at about 1230hrs, team of Safer HighWay patrol positioned along old Umuahia road Amakama intercepted the duo of Francis Maduka John and Innocent Chigbu both males of Ntigha and Eziala Nsulu Isiala Ngwa North respectively, with one Victoria Chijioke ‘f’ of Amuzukwu. The suspects, riding on a Tricycle upon interrogation, disclosed that they are fraudsters and were conveying their victim, Victoria Chijioke to their hide-out at Nvosi, Isiala Ngwa where they intended to defraud her. Investigation is in progress.
On 05/05/2017 to 07/05/2017 within the night hours, Criminal hide-outs / black spots identified in the Area of Responsibilities of Central Police Station Aba were raided by detectives attached to the Station. A total of nineteen (19) persons were arrested and screened. Those without any indicting materials or items were released thereafter while eight (8) persons in whose possessions, wraps of weeds suspected to be Indian Hemp were recovered, were subjected to investigation and eventually arraigned.
On 09/05/2017 at about 2200hrs, Operatives attached to Ikwuano Division, acting upon a tip off, arrested the duo of Nnamani Chukwuebuka and Temple Ekpereamaka both males behind the Administrative Block of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, after robbing at gun-point the trio of Ulu Okoro, Okorie Samuel Chukwuemeka and Mba Amaechi Kalu of their valuables at their Private Hostels. The suspects who are non Students of the Institution had in their possession, one locally made pistol with its two rounds of live ammunition used in the robbery and one Laptop, four GSM Phones, one Perfume and Bible robbed from the victims which were subsequently recovered. Investigation is in progress to unravel their accomplices from the Institution.
On 11/05/2017 at about 1500hrs, following a report made by one Dr. Henry Ogba ‘m’ of World Bank Housing Estate Umuahia, that his Toyota Highlander Jeep with reg. no. LND 791 BT was snatched from him by three armed men along Clifford Street by Awolowo Road Umuahia; a team of detectives attached to Central Police Station Umuahia led by the DCO 1 swung into action and went after the hoodlums who eventually abandoned the vehicle between Nkwoegwu Market and NNPC Mega Station along Aba/Enugu express way. Efforts are intensified toward tracking down the hoodlums.
On 02/05/2017 at about 2230hrs, unknown thieves broke into ONYEKA FILLING STATION Port-Harcourt road Aba and carted away the following items: N847,000.00; one MCL Decoder Machine valued N25,000.00; two 32 inches Plasma TV valued N300,000.00; two DVD Player machine valued N22,000.00; two Motor batteries valued N54,000.00; CD Head valued N50,000.00 and two 5000 Watts Stabilizers valued N62,000.00. Total value N1.36million. Shortly after, following an intensive intelligence, one Oti Oliver ‘m’ was arrested at MCL Office in attempt to recharge the stolen Decoder. His arrest resulted in the arrest of Chimezie Paul who he claimed sold the Decoder to him. More intelligence is put in place to track down other accomplices of Chimezie Paul and to recover more of the stolen items.
On 12/05/2017 at about 0010hrs, along Aba/Owerri road, Patrol team attached to Central Police Station Aba while on routine patrol of the Area, intercepted two men walking along the road in a suspicious manner with a bag. The men on sighting the patrol team immediately jumped into the adjoining street and following a hot chase, one Justice Charles ‘m’ aged 21years was arrested. A dagger and knife were recovered in the bag found with him and he confessed that they were going to attack someone who bought a stolen Phone from them but refused to pay. Investigation is on top gear to arrest others at large.
On 14/05/2017 at about 0600hrs, Operatives attached to Isiala-Ngwa South Division while raiding possible criminal hide-outs in their Area of Responsibility arrested Chuoba Ogbonna, Paul Anaba, Ebenezar Ujo and Chinweoke Chinenye all males of Nvosi, whose stock and trade it is to pick unsuspecting innocent passengers from cities like Umuahia, Aba, Port-Harcourt, Okigwe etc in their private cars posing as taxis and divert to their hide-out. The victims are usually hypnotized before they are taken to their den where they will be dispossessed of monies and other valuables. Meanwhile, a female victim from Umuahia has identified one of the suspects as among those that recently defrauded her of the sum of N50,000.00. One Volkswagen Gulf car and a motorcycle used in their operation have been recovered while more efforts are in progress to arrest other members of the syndicate.
On 14/05/2017 at about 1620hrs, a team of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) Umuahia, acting upon a tip-off while on patrol, that some members of VIKINGS cult were having a gathering at ROTZEBERG Hotels along Ochendo By-Pass Umuahia. The team led by a Police Sergeant proceeded to the venue where nine (9) persons were arrested and two locally made pistols with a live cartridge recovered. Those arrested are: Victor Nwoko ‘ m’, Christian Chukwu ‘m’, Ogumka Ikechukwu ‘m’, Onyeabor Ihechiluru ‘m’, Chinedu Ogbuehi ‘m’, Ikoro Obianuju ‘f’, Chidimma Okoronkwo ‘f’ and Kelechi Emenike ‘f’ while others fled. Investigation is in progress toward arresting the fleeing members of the cult group.


More photos below…