HON. CHIKE SAMUEL ODOJI’S FAREWELL SPEECH AS DUNUKOFIA APGA ,OUTGOING SECRETARY.

IMG-20180608-WA0021My fellow Dunukofia APGA faithfuls, I have been so touched by all the well-wishes that I have received over the past few hours. But, it’s my turn to say thanks. It is a deserved honour to have served the greatest party in south east and Nigeria in general, in the capacity of party secretary.

Whether i have knew you personally or rarely agreed at all in our deliberations, those deliberations are what have kept me honest, and kept me inspired, and kept me going. And every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better APGA secretary, and you made me a better man.

It was on these APGA where I witnessed the power of faith, and the quiet dignity of working people in the face of struggle and loss.

After many years as Dunukofia APGA secretary, I still believe that, and it’s not just my belief, It’s the beating heart of our party idea and our bold experiment in our able governors agenda.

It’s the conviction that we are all created equal, endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It’s the insistence that these rights, while self-evident, have never been self-executing, that we, the People, through the instrument of our party ideology, can form a more perfect party structure.

What a radical idea, the great gift that our party founders gave to us. The freedom to chase our party dreams through our sweat, and toil, and imagination and the imperative to strive together as well, to achieve a common good, a greater good of our great party.

My fellow APGA Dunukofia faithfuls, it has been the honor of my life to serve you as the party secretary. I won’t stop, in fact, I will be right there with you, as a party member and a stakeholder, for all my remaining days. But for now, whether you are new or old in the party or an aspirant or an executive, I do have one final ask of you as your out going party secretary, the same thing I promised you, when I took an oath of office as APGA Dunukofia ,few years ago.

I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours, to make APGA, the best political party in history of Nigeria.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God continue to bless APGA, our great party.
Thank you.

Hon. Chike Samuel Odoji….
Senior Special Assistant to Governor,
On Internal Generated Revenue and
Outgoing APGA Dunukofia Secretary.

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it would soon release the full report of its investigation into  alleged under-aged voting in the Kano election report

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this during  an interaction with political editors of media organisations on Saturday in Lagos.

 

https://morningstarnaija.com/2018/07/05/news-update-court-asks-apc-to-conduct-new-congress-in-imo-state/InShot_20180705_181225184

 

Yakubu recalled that the commission had earlier in Abuja disclosed that its voter register was not used by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) for the February local government poll.

He, however, said that based on the demand by some stakeholders, the commission would soon release the report submitted by the committee set up to investigate the allegations.

““INEC committee conducted investigation, submitted its report and we addressed the press on the matter that there was no connection between INEC voter register and the incidence of underage voting in Kano.

“In fact in many voting units they did not even use voter register to accredit anyone.

“Having said so, there is a demand that we should release the report of our investigation. I assure you we will soon release the full report of that investigation.’’

Yakubu, speaking on the clean-up of the voter register, said that the commission would continue to strengthen the register.

He said while the commission had been working on the clean-up of the register, no single Nigerian had officially complained to INEC about the inclusion of ineligible persons.

Yakubu said as part of measures to clean up the register, the commission pasted the details of new registrants nationwide as well as given each registered political party a copy of the register for claims and objections.

““As we speak the commission has  not officially received any complain of the registration of ineligible persons.

Only last week in Ekiti we made it available to 35 political parties contesting in the state elections, we have not also receive a single complaint.’’

Yakubu said that when the Kano investigation was conducted, the commission agreed to  give the register to civil society organisations and the media.

He said that would be done without infringing on the right of Nigerians to apply for the register once they paid to the commission the relevant fee stipulated by the law.

“I want to assure you that we will continue to do whatever we can to improve the voter register as we approach 2019 general elections.’’

Yakubu added that one of the innovations INEC had brought into the registration process was that registered voters could now check the status of their registration online.

Answering another question on allegation that officers of the commission demanded for money before they register voters, Yakubu said that the registration and collection of cards was free.

He urged Nigerians to report to the commission if any of its staff demanded for money. (NAN)

News Update : Court asks APC to conduct new  Congress in Imo state

The Federal High court sitting in Owerri Imo state has ruled that there was no Ward,LGA and state Congresses in the state just as it ordered the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Secretariat to conduct a new congress in the State. Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

This came as governor of Imo state Owelle Rochas Okorocha has hailed the Federal High Court Judgment confirming that there was no Congress of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and then ruled that the congresses should be conducted in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution. The governor remarked that the Judgment of the Court on the issue of APC congresses in Imo has only authenticated his sustained claim and that of patriotic leaders of APC in Imo that the congresses did not hold in the state with a lot of proofs to that effect. The governor argued that the judiciary has remained not only the last hope of the common man, but also the last hope of institutions and processes especially as they concern our democracy. The governor regretted that the former National officers of the party, had, for one reason or the other decided to mess up the congresses that would have taken place in the state and had also ignored his genuine concern and repeated appeal that the congresses should be conducted to enable party members in the state fully participate and elect officials of their choice. He said Imo is the only APC state in the South-East and should have been encouraged to have successful congresses, to show good example to other states in the geo-political zone but regretted that those who had the task of conducting free and fair congresses decided to submerge the whole venture for their selfish agenda.

The governor commended members of APC in the state for remaining calm and steadfast for all the time the controversies over the congresses were on and noted that the court has restored the desire of party members to elect officers of their choice at all levels in the state.imo-apc-boss

He said APC in Imo won’t tolerate those undue manipulations of electoral processes and alluded that anybody determined to play his or her politics in APC must do so in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution and also in line with approved democratic culture and practices.

Culled from http://www.vanguardngr.com

BREAKING: Adamu Ciroma, Ex-CBN Governor And Ex-Finance Minister, Dies At 84

Adamu Ciroma was a Nigerian politician and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, born in Potiskum, Yobe State. He was a member of the People’s Democratic Party.

 

 

Ciroma, a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), died on Thursday at the Turkish Hospital, Abuja, aged 84.

Brief history  late Ciroma

220px-Mallam_Adamu_Ciroma,_IMF_62ph020927tl

In 1979, Ciroma was one of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) presidential aspirants who contested in the party’s presidential primary,in which he was supposedly sponsored by the faceless Kaduna Mafia, a rumored group of northern intellectuals, serving officers and bureaucrats stationed around Kaduna.He came third in the primary, behind Shehu Shagari and Maitama Sule, his candidacy having been partly financed by Hamza Rafindadi Zayyad, the head of the New Nigeria Development Company.

Ciroma was briefly the secretary of the NPN and he later served at various times as Minister for Industries, Agriculture and Finance. As a senior cabinet minister in the Shagari administration, he played pivotal roles in the implementation of the president’s agenda especially in the areas of food production and working with international agencies to develop an Agricultural Development Project (ADP). In September 1983, he was made the chairman of a presidential transition committee, which further demonstrated the trust the president had in his capabilities. The committee was mandated to make proposals on how to re-structure the federal government which was going through a crisis of confidence.

Ciroma was a founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He served as Minister of Finance in the government of Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2003. Currently, his wife Maryam Ciroma holds the position of PDP National Women leader in Nigeria.

The APC government, has been a monumental disaster, even worse than the government it replaced. The political party that was a vehicle for enthroning the government was rendered powerless by manipulations and complete lack of due process in its operations.

THE FULL STATEMENT
PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY ALHAJI BUBA GALADIMA, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, REFORMED – ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (R-APC) AT SHERATON HOTELS ABUJA ON 4TH JULY, 2018FB_IMG_1530396447408


We are here assembled to address you on the state of our party, the APC, the state of the nation and the future of our experiment in constitutional democracy, in Nigeria.

2. You will recall that in the build up to the 2015 General elections, some political parties and groups came together, and formed a brand new political party, the All Progressives Congress, APC. This merger was based on the strong belief that Nigeria had come of age, but was severely underperforming and unable to meet its potentials for good governance. The Nigerian people entrusted power to the APC based on its promises and potentials.

3. We are sad to report that after more than three years of governance, our hopes have been betrayed, our expectations completely dashed. The APC has run a rudderless, inept and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people. It has rather imposed dictatorship, impunity, abuse of power, complete abdication of constitutional and statutory responsibilities, infidelity to the rule of law and constitutionalism. It has failed to ensure the security and welfare of our people and elevated nepotism to unacceptable height. The APC has failed to deliver on its key promises to the nation. There is no evidence of any  political will to reverse the decline of our party, while leaders who have created these circumstances continue to behave as if Nigerians owe our party votes as a matter of right.

4. The APC government, has been a monumental disaster, even worse than the government it replaced. The political party that was a vehicle for enthroning the government was rendered powerless by manipulations and complete lack of due process in its operations.

5. The last straw, was the Congresses and Convention of the APC held recently. The Congresses were intensely disputed as it was conducted with impunity, total disregard for due process, disregard for the party Constitution and naked display of power and practices that have no place in a party we all worked the very hard to put in place.

6. There are countless cases in courts all over the country challenging the legality of congresses and even the National Convention itself. It is very likely that the judicial decisions on these cases will result in massive chaos, confusion and uncertainties.The fate of a party in this state with a few months to the elections is best left to the imagination, but it is not a fate we believe our millions of members should be abandoned to.There were parallel congresses in 24 States namely: Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Enugu, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto and Zamfara.
These congresses in Wards, Local Government Areas and States all over the federation produced different sets of delegates. We therefore had an unfortunate situation where the party has been seriously factionalised and divided in not just 24 States but the 36 States and Abuja FCT. 

7. The so-called National Convention of the APC was even worse. The National Convention of the party was ridiculed with constitutional infirmities that were so glaring and obvious that no fair minded person can claim that a legitimate and lawful executive emerged from that process. The Chairman of the organising Committee, Jigawa State Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, declared 18 seats unopposed and uncontested, since only one valid candidate stood at the end of the grossly manipulated nomination exercise for each of the offices. He therefore proceeded to declare them duly elected in flagrant abuse and violence to the Constitution of the APC.

Indeed, Article 20 of the APC Constitution is very clear and explicit. It envisages a situation where if at the close of nomination, only one person is nominated, the Convention must vote “Yes” or “No”, for each candidate before he is declared duly elected. For the avoidance of doubt, let us re-produce the article verbatim:

Article 20 (1) of the APC Constitution states “Unless otherwise provided for: All party posts prescribed or implied by this Constitution shall be filled by democratically conducted elections at the respective National Convention or Congress subject, where possible, to consensus, Provided that where a Candidate has emerged by consensus for an elective position, a vote of “Yes” or “No” by ballot or voice shall be called, to ensure that it was not an imposition which could breed discontent and crisis”.

We all witnessed on live television and at the venue, Eagles Square Abuja, that the Convention Chairman, only put the “Yes” question to all the delegates, using words to the effect: Do you affirm? Do you agree? There was no opportunity whatsoever given to the delegates to say whether they are voting “No” for any candidate as the “No” question was never put to them.
It may well be that it the convention Chairman put the “No” Question, the voice vote for the “Noes”, may have been more. We will never know, since it was never done, contrary to the express provisions of the APC Constitution. It is therefore unquestionably clear that the 18 officers of APC that was “Elected” through this process could not have been duly elected. This constitutional vice infected the offices of: 

1. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole   – National Chairman
2. Mai Mala Buni  – National Secretary
3. Alhaji Ibrahim Masari  –  National Welfare Secretary
4. Tunde Bello   –  National Financial Secretary
5. Babatunde Ogala  – National Legal  Adviser
6. Bankole Oluwajana – National Vice Chairman (South West)
7. Dr. Zakari Mohammed   – Zonal Secretary (North Central)
8. Abubakar Sadiq – Zonal Secretary (North East)
9. Hassana Abdullahi – Zonal Woman Leader (North Central)
10. Nelson Abba  – Ex-officio (North-Central)
11. Isa Azare – Ex-officio (North-East)
12. Tukur Gusau – Zonal Secretary (North West)
13. Nasiru Haladu – Ex-officio (North-West)
14. Rachael Akpabio – Zonal Woman Leader (South South)
15. Misbahu L. Didi – Representative of the physically challenged
and others.

8. Even before these illegal exercises that have alienated millions of members, there has been widespread disenchantment with the manner the party has been run, and the conduct and performance of our governments.      The nPDP, a group that has made a major contribution to the emergence of the APC administration has made strenuous efforts to invite attention to inequities, injustice and poor management  in our party without any success.The nPDP had shown good faith and commitment to the party, but it has been rewarded with indifference and even contempt.It is obvious that the leadership of the APC has decided to shut out members of the APC, as well as other members who have raised genuine grievances and a desire to improve the responsiveness of the APC to the desire of members for a party founded on democratic principles.

9. Under the circumstances, patriotic elements and most of the original founders of the APC have found themselves in the opposing side of this charade. Most of the delegates who bought and paid for forms for the congresses and convention and were elected as delegates have come together to take control and give legitimacy to APC to be now known as and called REFORMED-APC (R-APC).
The R-APC as constituted have officers in all the wards, 774 Local Governments, and all the 36 States of the Federation including the FCT.
The R-APC also have National Executive Committee, the National Working Committee and other organs of the Party are properly constituted and functional.

10. Some of the National Officers of the R-APC  include:

1 Yobe State Buba Galadima National Chairman
2 Kano State Bala Muhd Gwagwarwa National Deputy Chairman, North
3 Abia State Chief Theo Nkire National Deputy Chairman, South East
4 Ondo State Hon. Eko Olakunle National Vice Chairman South West
5 Kaduna State Hon. Hussaini Dambo National Vice Chairman North West
6 Kogi State Mahmud Mohammed Abubakar National Vice Chairman, North Central
7 Benue State Hon. Godwin Akaan Deputy National Secretary
8 Oyo State Dr Fatai Atanda National Secretary
9 Edo State Kazeem Afegbua National Publicity Secretary
10 Adamawa State Daniel Bwala Financial Secretary
11 Jigawa State  Abba Malami Taura Deputy National Auditor
12 Kwara  State Hon. Kayode Omotosho National Treasurer
13 Anambra State Barr. Nicholas Asuzu National Youth Leader
14 Rivers State Barr. Baride A. Gwezia Legal Adviser
15 Katsina State Haj Aisha Kaita Haj Aisha Kaita
16 Bauchi State Mrs. Fatima Adamu National Welfare Secretary
17 Ogun State Alh. Isiak Akinwumi Deputy Financial Secretary
18 Zamfara State Alh. Bashir Mai Mashi Deputy National Treasurer
19 Abuja Hauwa Adam Mamuda Deputy Welfare Secretary
20 Sokoto State Hon. Shuaibu Gwanda Gobir Deputy National Publicity Secretary
21 Katsina State M. T. Liman National Organising Secretary
22 Niger State Dr Theo Sheshi Deputy National Organising Secretary

11. Some of the State Chairmen include:
1. Adamawa  – Dimas Ezra
2. Anambra – Sir Toby Chukwudi Okwuaya
3. Bauchi – Sani Shehu
4. Benue – Noah Mark Dickson
5. Jigawa – Hon. Nasiru Garba Dantiye
6. Kaduna – Col. Gora (Rtd)
7. Kano – Umar Haruna Doguwa
8. Katsina – Sada Ilu
9. Kogi – Alh. Hadi Ametuo
10. Ogun – Alhaji Adeleke Adewale Taofeek
11. Ondo –  Hon. Otetubi Idowu
12. Oyo – Alh. Ali Alimi Isiaka Adisa
13. Yobe – Mohammed Burgo Dalah
14. Zamfara – Alh. Nasiru Yakubu
15. Niger – Hon. Samaila Yusuf Kontagora
16. FCT – Adaji Usman

The R-APC includes all the progressive forces in APC, including most of the leading members of the defunct nPDP, CPC, ANPP, ACN and others.

12. The R-APC, will work with like-minded political parties and groups to offer Nigeria qualitative good governance in 2019. Nigeria faces an existential threat arising from three years of near destruction of this country and the exacerbation of our ethnic, religious and divisive cleavages. We will in concert with others offer real change to Nigeria. Not fake change. It is clear that our party needs a leadership that will live by its founding ideals.We have therefore decided to legitimately lead those members to work  to rebuild our nation more firmly on genuine democratic principles, to enshrine good governance and restore the faith of Nigerians in the possibility of the existence of a prosperous, secure and peaceful nation

13. We call on all Nigerians, not to despair as a rescue plan is in the works and will be unfolded soon.

14. I thank you all for listening.

Three trailer loads of aliens headed to Ekiti obstructed in Lokoja

MorningStar Blogs

Three trailer loads of  aliens from a neighbouring country allegedly recruited to vote in the Ekiti governorship election are  travelling to Ekiti State have been obstructed in Lokoja, Kogi State by the Nigeria Immigration Service yesterday.

According Vanguard reliably gathered that the officers of the Nigerian Navy intercepted the trailers at the naval post in  Banda, a suburb of Lokoja before handing them over to the immigration officers. The illegal immigrants who were mainly young men, few women and young children were conveyed in three different trailer trucks with registration number XD 1464 LD, SRZ 148 XA, and KMC 514 ZV. Some of the aliens revealed that they were on their way to Ekiti State before they were cordoned off by the immigration staff. A source within the Immigration Service who corroborated the story said some of them confessed to the Command during interrogation that they were going to Ekiti…

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Three trailer loads of aliens headed to Ekiti obstructed in Lokoja

Three trailer loads of  aliens from a neighbouring country allegedly recruited to vote in the Ekiti governorship election are  travelling to Ekiti State have been obstructed in Lokoja, Kogi State by the Nigeria Immigration Service yesterday.

According Vanguard reliably gathered that the officers of the Nigerian Navy intercepted the trailers at the naval post in  Banda, a suburb of Lokoja before handing them over to the immigration officers. The illegal immigrants who were mainly young men, few women and young children were conveyed in three different trailer trucks with registration number XD 1464 LD, SRZ 148 XA, and KMC 514 ZV. Some of the aliens revealed that they were on their way to Ekiti State before they were cordoned off by the immigration staff. A source within the Immigration Service who corroborated the story said some of them confessed to the Command during interrogation that they were going to Ekiti to vote in the forthcoming governorship election as they allegedly displayed voter’s cards meant for the election. The source said some of the suspects disclosed to them that they had been mobilized for the forthcoming Ekiti State governorship election. However few others claimed to be traders heading to Okene where they sell foodstuffs. Confirming the arrest, the public relations officer of the Kogi State command of the Immigration Service, Mr. Olasunkami Salami told Vanguard on the phone that the command is still profiling the immigrants to ascertain where they were coming from and where they were going.

Culled from Vanguard inec-logo1

Nigerians lauded Mikel Nchekwube Obi for playing against Argentina despite father’s kidnap

Patriotics Nigerians urges Super Eagles Captain Mikel Obi to view  political position in 2019 and they went ahead  ahead campaigning for the Super Eagles Captain to run for a political position, noting that they would vote him in.

 

https://morningstarnaija.com/2018/07/05/breaking-police-rescue-abducted-mikel-obis-father-2/

Mikel Obi have won the heart of Nigerians following the release of his father(PA Michael Obi  from the den of kidnappers and his philanthropic life for years.

 

https://morningstarnaija.com/2018/07/04/pdp-chieftain-urges-fg-to-confer-cfr-on-mikel-obi-by-ike-klinsman/

@Rouvafe “John Obi Mikel plays for Nigeria against Argentina despite getting news that his Father had been kidnapped 4 hours before the match.Not all heroes wear capes.”

@Chydee “Signed for Chelsea instead of Man Utd because the future of 3 other Nigerians depended on it.Paid bills for the Nigerian Olympic team in 2016. “Played against Argentina even though his dad had been kidnapped.If Mikel Obi ever decides to run for Office, I will campaign for him.”

@IamOkon “We don’t respect this guy enough. He was called four hours before Nigeria faced Argentina to be told about his father’s abduction. Still played out his heart in that WorldCup game.John Mikel Obi. Our Captain. Our Leader. LEGEND.”

@Biolakazeem “Mikel Obi out here showing leadership & responsibility more than any Nigerian political leader alive but it is Babagana Kingibe they will remember to give a national honour for sabotaging the same ticket he ran on. Nigeria is a real tragicomedy.”

@Abangmercy “Nigeria will break you… Nigeria will break any patriotism left in you. Nigeria will test your faith in life, humanity, and mankind – Mikel Obi went through all that phase and stood tall.”

@Iambolar “A true leader. It’s what captains do. Your crew first, no matter what. More power to your elbow John Mikel Obi.”

@Shawnife “So Mikel Obi was called four hours before the Nigerian game against Argentina about his father’s abduction by kidnappers. Still played his heart out in that⁠ game, even with a wrist injury. “I’ve got so much respect for this man. He’s the definition of a leader.”

@SanRomeo “Mikel Obi is the selfless leader we’re yet to have in this country. It takes a HERO to put his country above his family. Despite knowing his father has been kidnapped, he still went ahead to play for Nigeria. We thank him enough.”

@Umehoma “Despite the fact that Mikel Obi was called 4 hours before Argentina match, he led the Super Eagles and fought hard in the game.

“Shame on the Kidnappers and Accolades for this man, for this exceptional level of Patriotism.”

@IamfemiJoseph “Mikel Obi is a patriotic Nigeria. Not only a Patriot but a legend who deserves the national honor.”

Breaking: Police rescue abducted Mikel Obi’s father  

ENUGU state police command has rescued Chief Michael Obi, father to Nigeria’s soccer skipper, Mikel Obi. Chief Obi who was abducted on June 29 along Enugu- Makurdi road was rescued inside a forest in Udi local government area of the state on Monday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The state police spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu said the police through its operatives of the 9thmile Division on Monday at about 2.30pm rescued Chief Obi and his driver, Ishaya John, unhurt in Egede-Udi forest, along old Egede Affa road in Enugu state. “They were rescued hale and hearty and pa Michael Obi and the driver have rejoined their family,” said Amaraizu. The police spokesman said both men were allegedly abducted on their way from Jos Plataeau, in a grey colored Toyota pardon jeep with registration number MUS 604CG and taken to unknown destination through the thick forest part of the area. Amaraizu said that the abductors started making calls to demand a ransom of 10 million naira before the operatives acting on intelligence information swooped on them where a gun duel ensued which forced the hoodlums to abandon their victims inside the forest and they were promptly rescued.

He further stated that Chief Obi extolled the response and efforts of the police which led to their rescue. “He thanked the commissioner of police Danmallam Mohammed and his operatives insisting that he is happy with the operatives performance. “I am alive and healthy.I thank the commissioner of police and the police operatives on their efforts which led to our rescue,” Amaraizu quoted Obi. He said that at the office of the commissioner of police, a team of doctors from the police medical unit conducted medical check on Chief Obi and also confirmed that he is hale and hearty. He appealled to members of the public particularly hospital owners and operators to watch out for any one with injury or wound believed to be that of bullet for prompt necessary action, adding that full scale investigations have commenced into the incident .
Screen-Shot-2018-07-03-at-06.12.43.png Culled from http://www.Vanguardngr. Com

Nnewi Afia Olu Festival: The Need for Rebranding by Ebubechukwuzuloke Brown.

Nnewi Afia olu festival appears to be the only surviving traditional festivals among the 14 yearly festivals peculiar to Nnewi. It is a festival designed to mark the end of the year’s farming season and also offer thanksgiving to God for a bountiful harvest which is done across various communities in Igbo land. It comes up in the Month of August or early September.

Although little documentary evidence exist about the origin of Nnewi Afia olu festival, however it is believed that Nnewi Afia Olu festival started with Uruagu and Nnewichi owning to their contiguity to Ojoto and Ichi, historically, Ojoto and Ichi started the festival before Nnewi, since then, it has remained part of Nnewi custom and tradition.

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In the past, the festival was celebrated independently by the four quarters, but as events unfolded, the desire to come together to evolve greater strength, love and unity became generally accepted.

However, it appears that the festival has become a shadow of it’s past, this is due to the poor participation by indigenes of the community and also the inefficiency of the organizers. In terms of content as it concerns activities, it is no where near that of other major festivals of large towns like Nnewi. The festival has become dominated by non-indigenes which have added little or no value to it.

The Afia olu festival which usually held at Nkwo triangle which is the rallying point for all the people living in Nnewi is no longer available as the state government in collaboration with few individuals have taken over the land for a commercial venture.

There is urgent need to rebrand Nnewi Afia olu festival to ensure it’s sustenance in other to preserve, promote and project Nnewi rich cultural heritage.
The rebranding and repackaging of Nnewi Afia Olu festival will increase participation and attract tourist from other parts of Nigeria and in the world.

Nnewi Afia Olu should grow beyond a situation whereby masquerades are seen flogging people or each other. It should enter into a full rounded entertainment rich in cultural display, dance, singing, different kinds of masquerade parades, theatrical performance etc.

To rebrand Nnewi Afia Olu festival, there is a need to set up a committee to facilitate the planning, this committee should be made of men and women of ideas and integrity across board.

The Committee should focus on the following objectives;

1. To organize the festival through Public-Private Partnership arrangement. They should reach out to corporate organisations, Nnewi billionaires and millionaires, government agencies and culturally inclined groups of individuals to join us in the process of rejuvenation of our cultural heritage.

2. Since Nkwo Nnewi triangle which is a holy ground handed to us by our ancestors is no longer available (Ka Chineke mere anyi ebere) they should carefully find a befitting arena to celebrate the event.

3. A conference or summit should always be organized in one the conference centers in Nnewi during the festival. The Conference will provide a platform to
facilitate discussions around the history of Nnewi people across the centuries, our identity, ideology, through the sharing of experiences, research and ideas. It will also open discussion on the need to reposition some of our cultural practices and the need to document and preserve the history, heritage and culture of Nnewi People.
The conference should also discuss Nnewi economy, political, social development and governance.
It should also feature exhibition of historical artefacts.
The conference should be attended by Nnewi historians, development experts, entrepreneurs, local stakeholders, professionals, archivists and the general public.

4. They should raise the public knowledge of Nnewi Afia Olu festival through increased publicity and press conference before and after the festival.

5. The football competition in memory of our great heroes should be expanded to accommodate all the villages that make up the four quarters in Nnewi.

6. They should introduce cultural pageantry with full participation of Male and female of the four quarters. This will produce Mr. and Mrs. Nnewi.

7. Free medical outreach should also be introduced.

8. Cultural dancing and Singing(Nnewi Songs) competition should be considered.

9. Award Night or Award day will feature different categories of award to Nnewi sons and daughter who are doing well in different sectors of the economy.
Award and Prizes should be given to winners of the pageantry, dancing, singing and football competition and also the most colourful cultural troupe,
The award day or night should features different kind of activities like music concert and the rest.

10. The committee should review critically the issue of masquerading, part of what has have caused poor participation in Nnewi Afia Olu festival is the issue of masquerading. During the festival, most churches organize programmes on all the days of the festival to ensure that members do not participate in the festival.
Personally for me, contrary to religious belief, the Nnewi Afia Olu (New yam festival) has nothing to do with diabolic practices. It is simply the Igbo traditional way of thanking God for a bountiful harvest.

11. They should also introduce fundraising to facilities community development and also sponsor children of the poor in the town in Education through scholarship award.

12. The festival should be rounded up with an Interdenominational Service of Thanksgiving and Prayers for Nnewi in a neutral ground.

Nnewi Afia Olu if rebranded willl attract people from all over the world to our Nnewi, the festival provide a platform to call home Nnewi sons and daughters abroad to renew and reaffirm the bond of brotherhood, it also brings to mind a sense of belonging and to plan for community development.
The festival will also generate business opportunities especially for small medium enterprises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Ebubechukwuzuloke Brown*Nnewi, Anambra State*