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Annangs of Akwa Ibom demands new State, submits memorandum

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Annangs of Akwa Ibom demands new State, submits memorandum

The Annang speaking people of Akwa Ibom State have submitted a memorandum to the senate adhoc committee on constitution ammendment demanding the creation of Itai State out of the present Akwa Ibom State.

The Annang ethnic nationality led by Sir Emem Akpabio, who is the Chairman Board of Trustees of Ati Annang Foundation, presented the proposal to the Chairman of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo- Agege through the Senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district in the National assembly, Senator Chris Ekpenyong.
They observed that, following the call for the submission of memorandum on the review of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution by the Senate Ad- Hoc committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution, the people of the old Annang province led by representatives from Ati Annang, Afe Annang, Afe Nkuku Annang and Annang leaders of thought decided to submit a proposal and memorandum for the creation of a state to be called and addressed as ITAI STATE from the present Akwa Ibom state with its capital at Ikot Ekpene.

They pointed out that the Annang nation remain one of the oldest nation states or nationality having hemogeneous aborigines with a population of 1.1 million (projected from the provisional figures of the 1991 National census) covering the eight local government Areas of Abak, Etim ekpo,Ika, Ikot Ekpene, Essien Udim, Obot Akara, Ukanafun and Oruk Anam.
Hence they affirmed their confidence in the Ninth National Assembly to making their demand come to reality as they assured that the proposed state will be economically viable in the areas of agriculture, solid minerals, livestock and water resources.

According to the proposal when Itai state is created, it would bring development closer to the people of the old Annang province.

Speaking on the issue sir Akpabio said,
“The memorandum for the creation of ITAI state became necessary because over the years, the administration of Nigeria has been accomplished through the creation of units that make for Political and socio-economic development.”
He posited that it would only be fair, just and equitable for the people of the old Annang province that had been overlooked during the various state creation exercises to be granted their wishes just like other old provinces. He stated that
“The leaders and elders of the old Annang province reaffirm their confidence in the National Assembly to do the right thing at this right time”.
He explained that the Memorandum was endorsed by all members of the National Assembly from the zone led by His Excellency, Senator Chris Ekpenyong, all members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly from the zone and Paramount rulers from Annang extraction; the Itai Afe Annang and his executives.
Others  he said, are the President and executive members of Ati Annang, political and community leaders from the Area including but not limited to Senator Emmanuel Ibokessien, Obong M. A. Afangide, former deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom state Sir Michael Udofia, Former federal minister Chief Senas Ukpanah, PDP National Legal Adviser Barr Emmanuel Enoidem, Obong Eno Akpan, Engr Sam Inyang, Rt Hon Friday Iwok, Rt Hon Nse Ekanem, former commissioners, Academicians, Businessmen among others.

The Deputy Senate President while receiving the delegation said state creation is possible if proponent of such proposal lobby stakeholders from all the geopolitical zones of the country.

He thank the delegation for the memorandum they have sent the review committee that will help in repositioning the Nigerian constitution for the betterment of the country and her citizens.
Other members of the delegation includes, Sir Emem Akpabio ( BOT Ati Annang), Dr Arnold Udoka and representatives from Ati Annang, Afe Annang, Afe Nkuku Annang and Other Annang Socio- Political groups.

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Legislature

Communal Clashes: Senators Sue for Peace in Benue, Ebonyi

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Worried by the lingering communal Clashes among people of some communities in their States , Senators Abba Moro ( PDP Benue South) and Sam Egwu ( PDP Ebonyi North) , have sued for peace.

The two senators at a joint press conference on Wednesday in Abuja , said the warring communities across the two states should cease fire by allowing the National Boundary Commission to wage in as far as appropriate demarcation of territories are concerned .

The jointly signed press statenent by the Senators reads : ” As the Senators representing Ebonyi North Senatorial District and Benue South Senatorial District, we are here to brief you on recent security concerns that have substantially threatened the peace and development of the people of Ohaukwu and Ado LGAs in our Senatorial Districts.

“On Monday the 12th day of April, 2021, alleged herdsmen invaded Umuogudu Akpu Community, Ngbo, in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and gruesomely killed over 12 innocent indigenes, burnt/destroyed over 56 houses and kidnapped 5 persons.

” While we were mourning our people and trying to identify the extent of damage, we were surprisingly greeted with a statement by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, without any form of investigation, that the attack was carried out by Agila people, and not Fulani herdsmen.

” This claim, which has the potential of heightening the tension between the two communities has long been refuted and denied by the Chairman of Ado LGA and the Government of Benue State. The people of Ado LGA who have been victims of herdsmen attacks in recent times couldn’t have hired the same people to carry out an attack on their behalf.

“There have been sustained efforts on our part to finally settle the land dispute and restore lasting peace between Ngbo people in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and the Agila people in Ado LGA of Benue State, which have lingered over the years. Motions have been raised on the floor of the Senate, resolutions passed by the Senate and efforts sustained at the State and Federal levels to ensure that lasting peace is restored between the two communities.

“We urge security operatives to move into the affected communities and secure lives and property of the people. We know that both communities have embraced the proposed rebeaconing and delimitation exercise by the National Boundary Commission.

” We therefore urge that the exercise should be carried out with dispatch to finally put to an end all the boundary-related crises in our Senatorial Districts”.

The two federal lawmakers also proffered similar solutions for the Ezza/ Effium crisis .

They said : ” On the Ezza/Effium crisis, which started in Effium community in Ebonyi state and spilled into Ado LGA in Benue State because of the presence of Ezzas/Effiumites in Ado LGA, it is regrettable that the crisis is yet to be contained, leading to the relocation of some Efium and Ezza people to neighboring communities both in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and Ado LGA of Benue State, thereby creating apprehension in those neighboring communities.

“The alleged abduction of Five Elders from Odum Community of Ulayi District, Ado LGA before Easter Sunday has heightened the tension between the affected communities. However, the timely intervention of the government to contain the situation has prevented any form of retaliation or reprisal attack. It was resolved that the Traditional Council of Ado Local Government should reach out to the elders and traditional leaders of Ohaukwu LGA to broker more peaceful negotiations and resolution of the matter.

“We therefore call on the Governments of Benue and Ebonyi States to put in greater efforts and in collaboration with relevant Federal Government Agencies to take immediate practical steps to ensure immediate of all adopted persons and restoration of lasting peace between the affected communities.

“We urge our people in the affected communities to please apply restraint, avoid all forms of violence, maintain peaceful coexistence and rest assured that we will do everything within our power and influence to ensure the restoration of lasting peace in the affected communities” .

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Gbajabiamila wants anti-graft agencies to partner legislators in anti graft war

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By Aminci Audu

To ensure an effective fight against corruption in Nigeria organise capacity building programs for legislators
speaker of the House of  Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has urged anti-graft agencies.

Speaking at a workshop organised for House Committee on Anti-Corruption by Konrad Adeneur Stiftung Foundation on Thursday in Abuja tge speaker indicated that Nigerians are desirous of good governance, hence they are looking up to the legislature to serve as agents that would help combat poverty, corruption and other challenges in the country.

The workshop entitled, ‘The Fight Against Corruption: The Role of the Legislature’ Gbajabiamila said the House is working on plans for an anti-corruption legislation and the possibility of establishing special anti-corruption courts.
According to him, the House was also considering strengthening the fight against corruption through increased funding for anti-graft agencies and separation of powers through a constitutional amendment to separate the office of the Minister of Justice from that of the Attorney-General.
“To the anti-graft agencies here present, I wish to also encourage you to organise similar capacity building workshops or to collaborate with the committee on sensitisation programmes to curb or reduce corruption in the country.

“This will surely assist the committee to broaden its know-how on anti-corruption matters,’’ he said.
He encouraged the lawmakers to make maximum use of the opportunity to participate and to increase their knowledge.
The speaker expressed the optimism that at the end of the workshop, its aims and objectives would have been realised by helping the lawmakers to come up with legislation that would stand the test of time.
The Chairman of the Committee on Anti-corruption, Rep. Shehu Garba (APC-Kaduna) indicated that the workshop was to help the committee to effectively discharge its duties.
Garba, represented by the Deputy Chairman, Rep. Bagos Dachung (PDP-Plateau) said that the importance of capacity building in human life cannot be overemphasised.
He said that the target was to broaden the knowledge of the participants.
“We all know the dynamics of corruption; hence we need to try every available means to tackle it.
“This capacity building for lawmakers on Anti-Corruption is a crucial component of this 9th House of Representatives Legislative Agenda on Anti-Corruption.
“At the inaugural meeting of the Committee, an ad hoc committee was set up to design a work plan to assist it in the discharge of its mandate, and one of the proposals from the ad hoc committee was to collaborate and seek support from organisations of like minds in order to tackle the menace anti-corruption.

“We all know the crucial role the parliament has to play in the fight against corruption and to be able to do so, she needs not only to be well informed but also to be well-armed,’’ he said.
Prof. Suleiman Abubakar, Director-General, National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies stressed the need for a change of narrative of the legislature.
According to him, there is a need to change the narrative that the parliament aims to undermine the strength of anti-graft agencies.
“The legislature is doing so much to assist the anti-graft agencies in achieving their mandate through oversight activities and other processes of the National Assembly.
“It rests on those agencies to work well with the National Assembly by ensuring that those procedures are carried out appropriately and Legislature performs its role, especially in oversight which is key and cumbersome.
“Not only by cooperating but also canvassing for the National Assembly to get all the support it needs and requires to perform its duties,’’ he said.

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Investigate alleged human rights abuses in Taraba, Senate asks IGP

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Senate has asked Acting Inspector-General of Police (I-GP) Usman Alkali and the Police Service Commission (PSC) to investigate the alleged violation of human rights by police in Taraba.
The upper chamber also urged them to investigate the officer, the Commissioner of Police in Taraba, who allegedly authorised the unlawful arrest and detention of 14 residents in the state without bail.
These resolutions were sequel to a Point of Order raised by Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba) at the plenary on Wednesday.
Other resolutions by the senate included the directive on the National Judicial Commission (NJC) in collaboration with their state counterpart to investigate the acting Chief Registrar of Taraba High Court, Bartholomew Kaigama, over judicial abuse.


Raising on Orders 42 and 52 of Senate’s Standing Rules, Bwacha, who is the Senate Deputy Minority Leader, raised concerns over continuous abuse of human rights and violation of Nigerian citizens with impunity by some institutions within Taraba.
“These are very visible institutions, individuals in the judiciary and of course in the police.
“The Senate is worried that Nigerians are yet to forget in a hurry the danger that involved this country by our youths, originating from the EndSARS demonstration.
“That the Taraba judiciary has been on strike to press home their demand for independence of the judiciary and, so the state judiciary has been on strike for quite some time now.
“I am concerned that 14 members of my senatorial district were on April 23, bundled out of their domain and taken to Jalingo, detained in a police cell and all entreaties to get them on bail fell on deaf ears.
According to him, the alleged offence made against them was actually a quarrel between them or an exchange of unpleasant words between them and a younger brother of the state governor.
“It is common knowledge that the Nigerian Constitution demands in a matter of this nature, the suspect shall be charged to court within 24 hours, will be released on bail and can be seen in Sections 35(4) and (5A)of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“In spite of the bail application served on the police on April 29, that was exactly one week after they had been detained, the police now hurriedly went to see a judicial officer.
“I think the Chief Registrar of the state judiciary or high court, one Bartholomew Kaigama, who issued a warrant of detention without hearing out the accused.
“From the police cell, they were taken straight to prison. This is judicial rascality of a monumental proportion and it is condemnable.
“It is unwarranted and must be investigated and whoever is found trying to drag the name of the judiciary into the mud must be punished accordingly,” he said.
Supporting the motion, Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi, said that the matter was quite unfortunate.
“Unfortunate in the sense that if this is true, it shows clearly that some people are using the privilege of their own power to oppress young people, who perhaps have said something negative.
“These issues that are presented here may require further investigation.
“If this is true, it clearly shows one of the reasons people are opposed to the idea of state police where a governor will have unfettered power to do and undo.

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