Monday, March 17, 2014, Anambra State Governor Peter Obi’s tenure ended with him handing over to his successor, Chief Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). And weeks before then, rumour was rife that Obi, may likely emerge the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), in the ongoing reorganization of the federal cabinet, which President Goodluck Jonathan started a few months ago.
But his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, in a signed press release has described the report/rumour as a figment of imagination.
The epidemic of speculations surrounding Obi’s next move after handing over to his successor is understandable, and the latest scoop from a very high authoritative source along the corridors of power is that the cabal that parades as the Governor Liyel Imoke-led-South South Governors Forum (SSGF) is intensely lobbying President Jonathan and the Presidency to get Obi appointed the next minister for aviation, thus, filling the lacuna created by the sack of Anambra-born-Princess Stella Oduah.
We heard the lobby equally has the tacit support of all the South East governors (except Gov. Rochas Okoroacha of Imo State), led by Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, who succeeds Obi as the Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum. And that Mr. President has given into the lobby. Thus, any moment from now, Obi will be stepping into the equally-large shoes of heading the aviation ministry.
But all these are contrary to Obi’s declaration two weeks ago at the thanksgiving service and award ceremony to mark the end of the second session of the 15th Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Enugu at the St. Bartholomew’s Church, Asata, Enugu, that he was going to retire from active politics.
In the last couple of years, Obi, the man whose administration has posted an end-of-tenure figure of N75 billion in savings, investment, expected bank balances and FGN approved refund for Anambra State, has maintained a robust relationship with the President, despite political parties’ differences, and is a member of the federal government’s Economic Team.
GOVERNOR IMOKE REDEEMS PLOTS OF LAND PLEDGE TO EAGLES
Senator Liyel Imoke has once more proven that he is not only a true lover and supporter of Nigeria football, but a man of his words. After their impressive draw with Mexico in an international friendly last week, players, backroom staff and coaches and officials of the Stephen Keshi-led Super Eagles were at W. Buckhead Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, handed the Certificates of Occupancy (Cs of O) of plots of land promised them by Imoke, for clinching last year’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Presenting the document to the players, president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Aminu Maigari, lauded Governor Imoke for his gesture, and also revealed that the CRS administrator has notified officials of more goodies in store for the senior national team should they keep up their impressive feat at the Brazil 2014 World Cup Tournament.
The Governor made the now-redeemed pledge last year when he hosted the players and officials at the Government House, Calabar, where the team presented him with the glittering trophy of the Eagles’ third-time triumph. Then he gave out cash reward. The Cs of O were delivered to the NFF President in USA by NFF’s Director of Technical Matters, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme.
Most of the players invited for the friendly against Mexico were part of the 23-man squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations for Nigeria for the third time ever last year.
GEJ/AMAECHI WAR POLARIZES UNIPORT ALUMNI
There is no end in sight for the political war between President Goodluck Jonathan and Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi. And with every passing day, the battlefield is expanding at a very fast speed, and in the process tearing apart hitherto closely-knit ties. The latest is that the fallout of the war has crept into the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association, as members are currently divided on whom to support between the duo.
While Hon. Ike Chinwo, a former House of Representatives member, representing Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, who is the association’s national president, is supporting Governor Rotimi Amaechi, the first national vice president, Chief Edward Ngene is solidly behind President Goodluck Jonathan.
Trouble started late last month when the Ngene faction passed a vote of no confidence on the Chinwo-led- executive, over what has been described as “inability to pilot the affairs of the association along a non-partisan path”. But the Chinwo camp, however, has issued a statement saying that the vote of no confidence cannot be enforced as he remains the national president, and dismissed it as not following due process.
As we speak, every activity of the once-brotherly and friendly association has been suspended, and no one can say when peace will return.
UNVEILING ELSIE IJOROGU-REED
Amiable and hard working. That is Elsie Ijorogu-Reed. She means different things to different people. But for those who have never heard of her, she is the founder and chief executive officer of a non-governmental organization (NGO), Delta women. Reed devotes her time and talent to make Nigeria a better place through her empowerment programmes, radio show, online publishing, and so on.
Her NGO, Deltawomen, was set up in 2010, because helping people has always been her passion. Today, it provides skills acquisition programmes, free eye tests and free eyeglasses for women in Edo and Delta States; on-ground vocational training and micro financing at several centres; a pay-it-forward empowerment and training scheme in Adeje; her weekly radio talk-show, Deltawomen Drumbeat, currently runs on Crown FM covering Warri and neighbouring cities, with plans to move to Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS), which covers the entire Delta State.
Her online publishing and the soon-to-hit-newsstands quarterly magazine, Drumbeat, are some of the channels through which she strives to ensure that her target audience are empowered, informed and educated about societal issues, including business, health, relationships, etc, and are able to make informed decisions or choices.
From Oku-Ijorogu village in the Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State, she was born in London to an electrical engineer-father and a late businesswoman-mother. She holds a degree in Banking and Finance and an MBA in Information System Manag-ement as well as several IT certifica-tions: MCP, MCSE, MCDBA, and IBM Expertise and so on.
In few weeks, she is set to embark on an exercise that entails a free medical check-up, free eye tests, and eyeglasses giveaway to the entire Okpe Kingdom of Delta State. Lest one forgets, her plan in five years is to do at least 10,000 free eye tests within and outside Delta State.
This is a puzzle shared by two naughty boys – Police and bribe, ASUU and strikes, Obama and speech, Goodluck and committees, Aunty Pepe and Grammar, Politicians and Ghana-must-go, Ramsey Nouah and love, Olu Jacobs and kingship, Ibu and stupidity, House of reps and throwing of chairs, Road Safety and fire extinguishers, Amaechi and K-leg, Nigeria and second-hand (Tokunbo) items…you and what?
Have a swell week ahead