President Jonathan appoints new Service Chiefs | The Citizen – Nigeria’s Leading Online Newspa perThe Citizen – Nigeria’s Leading Online Newspaper

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President Jonathan appoints new Service Chiefs

President Jonathan appoints new Service Chiefs

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria approved major changes in the nation’s Military High Command.

Air Marshal Alex Badeh takes over from Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim as Chief of Defence Staff;

Major-General Kenneth Tobiah Jacob Minimah takes over from Lt.-General Azubike O. Ihejirika as Chief of Army Staff;

Rear Admiral Usman O. Jibrin takes over from Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu takes over from Air Marshal Badeh as Chief of Air Staff.

All the changes are with immediate effect.

The new Chief of Defence Staff and former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Badeh was born on January 10, 1957 and joined the Air Force as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 21 Regular Course while the new Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Minimah was born on July 27, 1959 and joined the Army as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 25 Regular Course. Until his new appointment, Major-General Minimah was the Commander of the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps, Jaji.

The new Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin was born on September 16, 1959 and joined the Navy as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 24 Regular Course. Until his appointment as Chief of Naval Staff, he was Director of Training at Defence Headquarters.

The new Chief of Air Staff and immediate past Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet, Air Vice Marshal Amosu was born on August 1, 1958 and joined the Air Force as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 25 Regular Course. Until his new appointment, Air Vice Marshal Amosu was the Air Officer Commanding, Tactical Air Command, Makurdi.

President Jonathan has briefed the leadership of the National Assembly on the appointment of the new service chiefs and will, in keeping with the provisions of the law, request the National Assembly to formally confirm the appointments when it reconvenes.

KALU-ONUMA, I. A.

“We die when hope dies”

Aba

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Aba…

  1. The city is rough and dirty. It has no order and thrives on anarchy… To the unschooled eye.
  2. From PH, it is a short, now, stress free ride.
  3. The port holes are gone. The soldiers and police are still there.
  4. Along the express, filling Stations as they are called dot the road. Most out of buisness and completely collapsed.
  5. The touts are still there, locked in every KM junction, though in a new uniform, but still the same sly, violent and street wise animal.
  6. Mortuaries have appeared, every KM or so. With diverse often comic sounding names… “The PRINCE Mortuary”, The Paradise Motuary, and the “Easy Passage Mortuary”.
  7. They seem to have sprang up in the past few years when the short highway from PH to Aba was a death trap rather than a link road.
  8. Easing into Aba, one is hit by the noisy, rough, and dirty scene of the motor parts market in Alaojii.
  9. Planned as a site where their buisness ought to be conducted far from the metropolis, without being an obstruction to commuters and citizens.
  10. What hits your sight and psyche isn’t any thing of such but complete disorder, anarchy and madness.
  11. Yet they thrive, live, eat and manage to smile and laugh.
  12. Just before Ugwunabo, the heap of refuse slows you down, first because it has taken over more than half the road and secondly because it simply has become a visible welcome sign to Aba.
  13. Nothing seem to have changed. The lack of development, the silence of the masses and communities, all conspire invisibly.

Port Harcourt Road…

  1. Turning into Port Harcourt road, one sees and feels the shame and faliure that is Aba and Abia State. Total collapse of roads and infrastructure. Unconcerned citizenry going about unperturbed.
  2. It appears that the whole conspiracy to ruin any effort towards development and decent living is hatched here.
  3. A freightning monument to faliure. Port Harcourt road best tells the story of a past long gone and a present ever painful with no hope of a future.
  4. They live, walk, trade, hawk and commute here with no visible qualms.
  5. The road, city and communities along this most busy, yet dilapidated street is completed collapsed. Chaotic is the word that simply defines it.
  6. Dirt is venerated here. By the standards of this country, Aba has no peer. Commotion and senseless high octane living is encoded in the DNA of the people.
  7. The street, the longest in the city, is a microcosm of the city. It defies order; defies understanding and pictures the trouble the city has had to contend with over the years.
  8. The street is a grater of pot holes, deep enough even in dry seasons to trouble even the toughies of tankers and trailers that ply the road constantly.
  9. It’s a grave yard of sorts. A graveyard of dreams, hopes, aspirations, motor vehicles, parts, humans, waste and ambitions.
  10. The heaps of refuse, dumped consciously and irresponsibly in the middle of the road is not an eye sore to the people, it’s like a permanent fixture. A landmark, used as a directional guide if you are giving out a descriptive address.
  11. Yet the people are unfazed, fussless and without any visible emotion. After all, the refuse are theirs.
  12. Along the collapsed thoroughfare, another city has grown. With no laws, and government presence. The new city is an antithesis of the old, whose original idea, was to use it a a front for expanding the city.
  13. Crystal Palace, Humphery Anumudu Motor shop and the Heavy duty spare part plant and big bonded Wharehouses were great idealistic investments, with visions of a city bread and ready to step into the 21st century.
  14. These are long gone. Dead on arrival. Discarded and rejected by a city too attached to its troubled past.
  15. Today, the noise is music. It echoes from everybody and everything. The trading is frantic and frenzied. None is impaired by the confusion… In fact, the confusion is orderly. It is the very blood of the city’s livelihood.
  16. There are no children here. Those you count as one would surprise you with their street smartness. They hardly function with a guide or nanny. Yet, they are optimistic, something you wouldn’t expect to see here.
  17. The context of the street is defined by its confusing outlook. It’s both hellish and aspirational. Hope is tendential here. Conspiratorially, this arcane, vexatious and criminally textured land is “gospel soaked”.
  18. The new city is confrontational, anti ideological, immoral and imbued with greed, avarice and a tendency toward cruelty. This is obvious, for the drive goes beyond the search for food, but for space and niche.
  19. There are more churches per square meter, per street, per building than anyother city in Nigeria. And they compete… You will assume for souls. But that’s an assumption that would hit you in the face.
  20. Posters, stickers, sign boards and loud speakers all compete against each other. They advertise all sorts of things. Sell all sorts of miracles, hopes, successes and hardly mention your soul.
  21. The place thrives on superstition. There is a comfortable marriage of the churches, folk native seers, and the funny imported “Indian gurus”. All seek the same thing: “Your Money”!
  22. Sleek, top quality billboards advertising the more sucessful “preachers” stand alongside signposts of schools, hospitals and businesses which are dwarfed by these billboards.
  23. The schools, hospitals and businesses are long gone. Total collapse is the word. Human, Capital and Resource Flight has been ongoing for long, and it has strangled the city and brought it to its knee.
  24. The houses, warehouses and structures are replaced and taken over by churches, prayer houses and dubious enterprises that reflects the new face of the city.
  25. The boldness, the vision and pushful creativity that built this city over the years is gone, replaced by a debilitating soullessness that is cold and unproductive.
  26. The artisans and enterprenuers have been replaced by pastors, herberlist and gurus pitching for your pockets and earnings. They preach wealth to a people burdened with poverty. Lost souls seeking respite, yet none seem to come. Quasi religious mysticism and surreptitious superstition envelopes the city and dictates its rhythm.
  27. There is no visible government presence. The collapse and decent to anarchy is final. Police presence is an eye sore and a rarity. There is no control.
  28. Every inch of the road is taken. Petty trading, ranging from street side fries, to phone card vendors, Vaulcnizers, mechanics, pot pouri of hawkers selling everything. The houses are either offices, storage spaces or churches.
  29. The off roads all the way inside is where people live… or appear to live. Living here is a paradox. Life appears endlessly to be receding. Randomly, awkward and unapproved buildings, built for occupying spaces and admitting more tenants are the vogue.
  30. The living conditions here is dirty, grim and dark. Ramshackles, in conducive for human living. Families of up to eight crammed into makeshift rooms, with none existent sanitary conditions. People bath, shit and urinate right in front of their homes. The block high rise houses are crammed next to each other, creating a hot cauldron, where little or no air and light gets into.
  31. The city is vibrant. The zeal is relentless and contagious. People live on very, very meager resources, yet unperturbed and unworried. They ply their trades on the streets, starting early and closing very late.
  32. There is neither rest nor holiday. Trading and its contingent activities happens round the year. They say in Aba, “whatever you can’t get here, you can get anywhere”. What they don’t have, they fabricate.
  33. Port Harcourt road, like Aba seem abandoned and under siege. There are no regulations, laws and order. The government is invisible, everything, yes everything is in a state of absolute disrepair. Dust, smoke, fumes from burning street refuses and tyre fill the air. The sight is obnoxious. Toxic rather. Madness is forged here.
  34. Yet, the government wastes resources painting the culverts and boulders that divides the road. Painting the culverts while the roads are in disrepair? Absurd. Totally insane. Crammed in this piece of real estate is a dark underworld of crime, gangs and tribes that thrives off the back of the population.
  35. There’re no investments of worth. No job creator and the aggregate of what is done here is translatable, but outside the indices of any economic margins. How can this be fixed and transformed? Asking this, you are asking for a long barrage of sermons, lectures, agitations, comic and very tragic monotonous views about the criminality of the government and it’s few accomplices.
  36. Everyone is a politician here. Everyone had an opinion. None has a solution. The dirt is created by all here, the chaos too and the abuse of scarce infrastructures are caused by residents, yet none takes responsibility. When I raised the question of the gross and blatant indiscipline, which every one here exhibits, rather than take responsibility for these, guess who’s to blame? The government. Which here means anyone, a bit above the average poverty line.
  37. The byline here is that this is a city in reL need of rethinking, reinvention and renewal. The spaces between odd and irresponsible is very marginal, and that’s where Aba and by extension Port Harcourt Road falls. The ebullient and aggressive spirit of the people must me managed to produce a living worth a city like this.

Ireke A. Kalu-Onuma

January, 2014

Aba.

My Creed

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My Creed

KALU-ONUMA, I. A.

“We die when hope dies”

Ohanaeze meets with Jonathan over National Conference, Boko Haram, 2nd Niger Bridge – DailyPost Nigeria

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http://dailypost.com.ng/2013/12/11/ohanaeze-meets-jonathan-national-conference-boko-haram-2nd-niger-bridge/

Ohanaeze meets with Jonathan over National Conference, Boko Haram, 2nd Niger Bridge

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Monday night, met with Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja and engaged the President in a discussion that revolved round terrorism, insecurity, national conference and poor state of infrastructure in Igboland.

Addressing the President and his delegates, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo , Chief Gari Nnachi Igariwey, said that, ”when the Igbo’s gave you full support in 2011, it was without fear or favours. We believed in you and our expectations were high .We had others specific expectations that are yet to be addressed by your administrations.”

The group lamented that ”it was our expectations that by now, your administration would have completed a few under listed projects that would have effectively integrated the South East Nigeria with the rest of the country”. Ohanaeze leadership listed the projects begging for attention to include, ’’the Second Onitsha Niger Bridge, Enugu- Onitsha Federal Highway, Enugu Port Harcourt Federal highway, Master Plan for Erosion Control, Petro-Chemical Plant, Coal Powered Power Generating Plants, Dams” among others.

Ohanaeze also congratulated the President ” on the success recorded in the sports ministry. The President was congratulated for the Super Eagles victory as the current champion of Africa, the under-17 Eaglets who are the current world champion and the recent qualification of the Super Eagles for the FIFA world cup scheduled to hold in Brazil next year”.

Ohanaeze further commended the President for his boldness towards initiating a national conference and pledged the support of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide.

The group also commended the President on his efforts to combat Boko Haram, expressing optimism that the nation will come out of the fever of terrorism soon.

The 50 man Ohanaeze delegation included; Chief Joe Nwaorgu, Senator Hope Uzodimma, Barrister Emejulu Okpalaukwu, Dr Dozie Ikedife, Prof Joe Irukwu, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, Eze Njemanze, Eze Uzu of Awka, Prof Anya O Anya, Prof Mrs Uche Azikiwe, Mrs Maria Okwo, Chief Ralph Uwazurike, Senator Ben Obi, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi among others, while the presidency delegation included Vice President Namadi Sambo, Chief of Staff, Mike Ogiadhome , Secretary to Government of the federation, Pius Anyim and Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah.

Briefing concerned clerics led by Rev. Obinna Akukwe on the outcome of the meeting, the Ohanaeze delegation led by the Assistant Publicity Secretary , Barrister Emejulu Okpalaukwu, described the meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan as very strategic and hoped that the president would listen to the demands of the group, especially on the state of infrastructure.

The Ohanaeze spokesman told the clerics that the meeting with Jonathan was facilitated by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremmadu and Senator Hope Uzodimma.

Responding to the briefing, Rev Obinna Akukwe charged the Ohanaeze leadership to mount pressure on the President to ensure that the 2nd Niger Bridge and the said roads are repaired before 2015 election because nobody knows whether Ngeria will survive 2015.

Reliable sources within the State House informed the clerics that President Jonathan entered into a closed door meeting with five members of the delegation. The clerics were also informed that Jonathan told close aides that some Igbo elements within the corridors of power had for months discouraged him from holding audience with the new Ohanaeze leadership and expressed gladness that he eventually ignored them and engaged the Igbo group in a fruitful discussion.

KALU-ONUMA, I. A.

“We die when hope dies”

Ireke A. K. Onuma is still waiting for you to join Twitter…

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