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Reps Deputy Speaker Make Moves for Kanu’s Release

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Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Benjamin Kalu has given indication that a political solution may be in the offing for the eventual release of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

The Deputy Speaker said he was in discussion with the President for a possible political solution, saying that while the court processes are ongoing, political solutions are being worked out.

Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Speaker, Levinus Nwabughiogu who disclosed this in a statement, said Kalu was speaking at the special edition of “The Ben Kalu’s Mandate”, a radio programme on FLO FM, Umuahia, Abia State on Monday.

There have been insinuations that despite the launch of the Peace In South East Project (PISE-P), Kanu may have been abandoned to his fate.

But the Deputy Speaker, who said he can never abandon the IPOB leader, also gave indication that Igbo leaders will soon meet with the President to discuss a number of issues, including the release of Nnamdi Kanu.

He said: “The Peace in South East Project (PISE-P) has reconcilation in the mix of what we are trying to achieve. We recognize  the importance of our brother, Nnamdi Kanu in the peace agenda we are pushing. That’s the truth.

“I have been very vocal about it. I am not hiding it. I have always told people that I will never deny Nnamdi Kanu. He’s my brother. We come from the same place and I will never be happy having him incarcerated when we can have him out and increase our pursuit towards peace.

“But we may not advance all the things we are doing backdoor but I can assure you that all the powers-that-be in this country know that people like us are not sitting on the fence. I don’t know about the next person but I am talking about Benjamin Okezie Kalu. I am not sitting on the fence about it. I am lobbying.

“We cannot go about this before the court. I am more interested in using a political solution towards resolving this. So, I am asking for one or two things from the federal government.

“The last time I was with Mr. President, I discussed with Mr. President on the need for the elders of Igbo land to come, sit and engage with him. And I know that one of the topics that will come up there is this our brother and also SEDC. We will also thank him for all the good things, the appointments he has been giving to Igbo people.

 “So, while  the court is doing what they are doing, I will not truncate legal processes but some of us are not afraid to identify with him and to ask for him to be released. Any other thing can follow up after that.

“So, that is what is going on at the moment and those  who are close to him will assure you we are working closely on this mandate. Is it achievable? The answer is yes

“And I am happy with the statement that he made the last time he was in court. He said all those who are causing violence are not IPOB people, that anybody who is using his name to be causing violence is a hater of Ndi Igbo.

“Look, Igbos are not known for violence. We are known for trade, being creative. Call it Nollywood, we are the engine room that started the creative industry. We are not thieves, not known for violence. We put our energy towards creating wealth.

“We are not life killers and anybody coming now to introduce what is strange to us, it’s either the person is not an Igbo man or we should question where he is coming from.

“Burning things down is not how we show our strength. How we show our strength is that when we enter your community, we make wealth to better our lives. That’s our strength.

“I am happy he sounded that warning. I am happy we are coming together to achieve it. And I want to thank the people. Since we launched this programme about 4 months now, there is a little bit of peace and it is the combined effort of everyone coming together, understanding that it is true we need peace.

“Let’s be calm. Let’s support this government. And I want to thank the people of the south east for not joining the protest. The I want to thank Ohaneze Ndi Igbo for sending out messages and saying no, we should not protest too. Number one reason: The President from the south. He didn’t create the problem. He’s also giving us appointments. So, we must give him the support.

“As we are asking Mr. President to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu for us and giving us South East Development Commission, we  must on the other show him loyalty by making sure that there is peace in our area. No violence, support his government.”

Speaking on the state of the South East Development Commission Bill, Kalu said that the piece of legislation is at the conference committee stage where some issues regarding the confirmation of the commissioners are being resolved.”

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I’m not Desperate for Super Eagles Coaching Job – Emmanuel Amuneke

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1996 Olympic gold medalist, Emmanuel Amuneke, has said that although he would love to coach the Super Eagles if given the opportunity, he was not desperate for the job.

Amuneke, a former Super Eagles player, said this while addressing newsmen in Owerri on Tuesday.

The former Nigeria U-17 national team coach and former coach of the Tanzania national team, said the job of coaching Nigeria’s national team should be given on merit and to whom with the interest of football and Nigeria at heart”.

The Spain based former striker, who played for Sporting Lisbon football club in Portugal and Barcelona football club, expressed confidence that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) would eventually appoint the ideal coach for the Super Eagles top job.

He said that with a plethora of Nigerian talents scattered across the globe, a lot of professional capacity, technical expertise and consultation would be required to harness the talents, combine them and achieve the needed balance.

“The Super Eagles’ upcoming World Cup qualification matches against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa and their counterparts from Benin Republic would necessitate the appointment of a substantive coach who would also need some time to put the house in order for best results.

 “I am not desperate to be Super Eagles coach, though I nurse the ambition to coach.

 “If I have the opportunity to serve my fatherland , I will accept it and deliver my all,” he said.

He however, called for the development of football at the grassroots for further development of the Nigerian league for harnessing of more talents. (NAN)

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BUA Group Kicks off N250m Projects for Al-Qalam University, Katsina

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Abdul Samad Rabiu (ASR) Africa, an affiliate of BUA Group of Companies, turned the sod of a N250 million Administrative Block and Conference Room at Al-Qalam University, Katsina, on Thursday.

In 2022, ASR Africa announced the launch of its 2023 Tertiary Education Grant Scheme to cover 22 institutions, one of which is Al-Qalam University, a private Islamic institution.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Dr Ubon Udoh, Managing Director, Abdul Samad Rabiu (ASR) Africa, said education remained one of the priority areas of its interventions.

Udoh said that the Chairman of ASR Africa, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu was committed to supporting quality education in tertiary institutions in Nigeria and in Africa as a whole.

He commended the management of the university for providing prompt feedback and required documentation on the project to ensure its speedy take-off and advised it to endure judicious use of the facilities.

Udoh also assured the university of speedy completion of the projects.

In his remarks, the varsity’s vice-chancellor, Prof. Nasiru Musa-Yauri commended the Chairman of ASR Africa and the BUA Group for finding the institution worthy of the grant.

Musa-Yauri said the project was one of the university’s priority needs, adding that the university was set to launch its College of Allied Health Sciences for the 2023/2024 academic year.

“Upon completion of this project, staff and students in Bachelors’ degree programmes in the sciences for the 2023/2024 academic year will have lecture rooms and offices for their programmes.

“They include those in Nursing Science, Public Health, Radiography, Physiotherapy, Optometry, and Medical Laboratory,’’ he said.

BUA Group of Companies is one of Africa’s largest food, mining, manufacturing, and industrial conglomerates.

Its affiliate, Abdul Samad Rabiu (ASR) Africa was initiated in 2021 to provide sustainable impact-based home-grown solutions to issues affecting health, education and social development in Africa. (NAN)

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Impeachment: Shuaibu Urges Panel to Obey Court Order

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The Deputy Governor of Edo, Mr Philip Shaibu, on Wednesday prayed the seven-member investigative panel on his planned impeachment, to obey an interlocutory injunction of a Federal High Court, Abuja.

At its  maiden sitting on Wednesday in Benin, Shaibu, through his lawyer, Prof. Oladoyin Awoyale, SAN, said the panel’s sitting to investigate him would amount to fait accompli.

He argued that there was a subsisting order of interlocutory injunction granted by an Abuja Federal High Court and further hearing had been adjourned to April 8.

Awoyale argued that with the court’s order, all parties are advised to obey the ruling.

However, counsel to the House of Assembly and Deputy Clerk, Legal Department, Joe Oaifi, argued that the panel’s sitting was supported by Section 188 (10) of the constitution which foreclosed any court from preventing the House of Assembly and the panel from discharging its constitutional responsibilities.

The State Chief Judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa,  constituted a  panel headed by retired Justice S. A. Omonuwa.

The panel has the mandate to investigate the allegation of misconduct levelled against the deputy governor by the Edo State House of Assembly.(NAN

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