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‘I went to jail 40 times in six years’

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This boldness and self-confidence are amazing. He talks tough in spite of his condition as a blind man. His glowing dark skin combines with the artificial gold teeth in his mouth to reinforce his self-assurance.

On his neck, a golden crucifix dangles on his branded white T-shirt on which T.H.U.G.G. is inscribed. But behind this flamboyant image of Bishop Renold Bell, an African-American, is a life of drug trafficking and addiction from which he transitioned into missionary activities.

He said: ”My name is Bishop Renold Bell. I want you to publish my story to the world that drugs or crime does not pay. I am now a motivational speaker going from communities to churches, preaching against the use of drugs.

“I am a musician and also a publisher. I have published some books, among which is T.H.UG.G Journey, where I wrote about my life. I have been to jail 40 times as a result of drug addiction, women battering, fighting, gun charges and many more.

”I was born on December 26, 1972 in New York, and I am the only child of my parents, Gerald Price and Miriam. I went into drugs early in life. My mother died at age 22 when I was barely six years old. She died from
alcohol consumption.

”It was my father who introduced my mother to alcohol. The two were alcoholics on the streets of Queens, New York. I did not know my father as such because since age 11, I have not seen him till now.

“The last time I saw my father was in 1984 during my grandmother’s funeral. What really shocked me was that when I saw my daddy walk through the church doors to pay respects to grandma, I didn’t know how he knew that she had passed away.

“He did not look clean like others and was smelling alcohol. That was the last time I saw him till this day. And do you know that my father did not know I was shot and now blind or that he has grandchildren? I suffer mentally and spend everyday thinking whether my father is alive or dead.”

Bell also spoke about his mother whom he said he only knew faintly, saying “When I was six years old, my grandmother asked whether I would attend a funeral where family and friends gathered to view the remains of someone who was never leaving this world and I might not see her again. She also said that that would be the last time I would see my mother.

“I was confused because I didn’t understand it was my mother whom I saw. She looked as if she was just sleeping, and that was the last time I would see her.”

Summarising his relationship with his parents, he said he didn’t know a lot about his younger life “except how they (parents) had me posted up at liquor stores. I would always see liquor bottles in my baby pic.”

Bell said he did not complete his high school. ”In fact, I had only six months to go, but I would rather hang out in the streets with my friends, drinking, smoking, and having a good time with the girls and selling drugs.

“I became Chris Bell, the ‘Stickup man’ as I continued my nefarious activities. In the beginning of April 1991, I held up a man on Calhoun Street, dug my hand into his pocket and asked him to give me his money and then fled to a friend’s place.

“The guy I held followed me. He called the police, who surrounded the house to prevent me from escaping. The lady of the house let them in, and they found 38 special guns in the house.

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“But it wasn’t linked to me, because I never pulled out a gun to rob the man. But I went to jail for battery.

“At another time my friend Cedric and I robbed a drug house. But when we couldn’t find the drug money, we decided to take the two big concert speakers that I knew could bring some money. I sold the speakers.”

How I was shot in the eye at 18

Bell recalled how as an 18-year-old, his inebriated self requested his friend to shoot at him and he was shot in the eye.
He said: “I blame alcohol to this day as I allowed it to alter my mind and I asked my friend to shoot me.
“Alcohol is no one’s friend. And how stupid I was to get drunk on April 25, 1991 and asked a friend to shoot me.

”I was shot in the eye at age 18 over drugs money. We argued over the money realised from drug business, and the guy, Cedric, asked me for his own share of the money.

“I was drunk and laughing. I said to him, ‘Hold up! Don’t be fronting me like that. I’m going to pay you.’ But my friend hollered, ‘I’m going to get half of what you sold!’

“I declined and said I would give him twenty now and twenty later, after I had flipped the cocaine to make some more money.
“Already, I knew I was the get-paid man, so I already knew that he would agree to what I was saying. But he took offence to how I was going to break him off.

“In annoyance, he asked me to pack my clothes and my other stolen merchandise and leave his house just because I wouldn’t pay him at once. So I was upset, because he knew I had nowhere to go.

“So I said it’s like you want to shoot me or something, and he replied that it wasn’t a bad idea. I told him, ‘Then you can shoot me; get your gun and shoot me’.

”To my chagrin, my friend went into his room and brought out a 12-gauge pump shotgun. Then I said, ‘You really have a gun?’ He replied in the affirmative. I said, ‘Well, use it! Shoot me!’ and he pulled the trigger.

“But the gun was on safety. I yelled at him that my name is Chris Bell, I am not scared. Then I was 18 and he was 17. He pulled out the gun, I asked him to shoot me, and I heard gboooooo. That was 32 years ago.

“The next thing I remember was waking up at the hospital after six weeks in coma. Thereafter, I could not see anymore. I was in coma for six weeks and my head was swollen like a pumpkin. I thought I was going to die.

“When I woke up from coma and asked where I was and I was told what had happened to me, I began to recollect every detail of the story from friend to drug money and when I asked him to shoot me.”

Bell said he did not realise the severity of his blindness until he wanted to watch the Chicago Bull Championship game.

He said: ”On the day of Chicago Bull, Lisa, my pregnant wife, was in hospital room with me and I told her to turn on the television in order to watch the game, but she said the television was on.

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“I told her to bring it closer because I couldn’t see it. She did, and I told her to tune into another channel, yet everything was totally dark.’’

Life as a blind man
He narrated how difficult it is to live without his sight, saying: ”Living with blindness was stressful and frustrating. I would wake up in the morning ready to eat when everybody was asleep. I became a burden.

“My family members were helping me to dress up. But I could eat on my own.”
Bell said he started eating bags of carrots, believing nutritionists who say that carrots can make one regain one’s sight.

”After a whole year of eating carrots with no signs of improvement, I removed carrots from my diet and started taking marijuana with the belief that I could regain my vision. But the marijuana didn’t last too long because all it did was to make me paranoid”

Asked what became of his friend who shot and blinded him, he said: ”The guy who shot me was 17 years old then. He went to jail but was later freed.

Asked whether he later met the man that shot him, Bell said he was on his way to Ozzie’s Club one day when he heard his friend’s voice calling him.

“The voice said, ‘Chris, come here’. The voice sounded so familiar. When I asked who was calling, the caller replied Cedric. It was the guy that shot me.

“We started chatting. “We drove to a liquor store and I bought a beer for him. We spent a couple of hours together but I didn’t bring up the shooting matter.

“But he told me that he was sentenced to 15 years but only served two and a half years.’’

I went to jail 40 times

When asked how many times Chris went to jail, he began by counting on his finger tips… ”91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96… I went to jail 40 times within six years.

“Before I got shot, I robbed a man. I saw him on the street, picked his pocket and started running. I was caught and jailed.

“I went to jail 40 times within six years before I met Christ; from misconduct and stealing to handgun and doing drugs. While I was blind,

I was still using a gun.

“I was thinking crazy. I had a gun and could shoot. If I heard your voice, I would target where the voice came from.
“I went to jail when I beat my girlfriend. I was crazy. Even when I was blind, I was still doing all those things: stealing, selling drugs
and fighting.

“The judge did not care whether I was blind. I never thought a blind man could go to jail but I went.”
My main message now is humility. Without humility, you cannot change your life. Accept Jesus Christ as your saviour.
“My message to everybody in the United States and Africa is humility. That is why I am sharing my story. I am now a motivational speaker, speaking the truth and realities of life.

The Bishop said he is married to a Ghanaian.

He said: ”My family is in Ghana. I married a lady who already had three children. I met the lady on Facebook. I went to Ghana to meet her and I will soon go back to Ghana to see my lover.”

Despite being blind, Bell did not stop committing crime.

He said: ”In 1992, I went to jail for punching a bouncer in the face at the club. I thought I would not be in trouble being a blind man, but I was wrong. I was charged to court and the Judge sentenced me to 60 days in the Allen County jail.

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“But my 30 days among the criminals was hell as some of the inmates were serving 60 years in jail. There was fighting, yelling and a lot of criminal activities where they were locked up.

“When I left jail, I went into drug business again. I would wait till end of the month when I would collect Social Security cheque of 200 dollars in order to turn it to 400 dollars and hereby buy dope.

“But I got cheated because of my blindness, as they give me less than what I was supposed to make. I got ripped off… I stopped using pager because people would hear my voice.

“I put up with a sister whom I paid 150 dollars per month out of my 400. I was happy because I could sell dope and drink, so I didn’t need to talk to a pager and call or receive calls from customers.

“Here I met a lady named Vette, who became my girlfriend. Although I had a two-year-old son and she was three months pregnant with another man when I met her, that didn’t stop me from loving her. We loved each other.

”I went to jail again when two of my friends were fighting and a police was called but one of my friends handed a metal in my hands. When I felt what it was, it was a gun.

“I dropped it on the ground and it fell on our feet. The police arrested me over the gun, and since I had a bad reputation, I was charged and I went to jail again. The Judge gave me 90 days and a fine.

”When my old girlfriend Vette drove me around and I sold drugs, I kept the money with her. The following day, I found that she was spending the money I had given her with another man. I was mad.

“So I called Tommy, my cousin, to pick me up. I had a gun and my cousin was not aware. He took me to Vette to talk. I knocked on her door but she didn’t let me in. So I pulled out my gun and fired shots through the window.

“The police were looking for me everywhere, and I knew I had to leave Indiana.

“I started going to church because the only things that are hit in church are drums, clappings and beautiful voices and singing.

“In the church I narrated my story. I moved into my friend Terrance Cole’s place. He was once shot in the head with a .22 revolver that rendered him paralysed in his right hand and leg.

“My name became popular and my story made headlines in newspapers like ‘If you let me live , I’ll serve you’, Ex drug dealer is now blind THUGG IV Christ, Pavement pounding gives way to national TV spot’.

“I was featuring a once-in-a-month show called Examine Yourself Live. This time, I began to feel for Cedric who shot me. I started defending him when the media asked questions about him.

“I also went to the Judge to have him set free. Examine Yourself was hot that month because people didn’t want to see me help him. But I went as far as visiting him in jail for encouragement. I told him that I was on his side and that it was part of my project CPT (Change People Today).

“I did what I believed was right, and because of that, God, through my forgiveness, started opening more doors for me by giving me the chance to speak to communities and church groups”.

Credit: The Nation

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AfDB appoints Nigerian as Director of African Development Institute

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AFDB’s investments in Nigeria hit $4.4bn, says DG

The African Development Bank has appointed Eric Ogunleye, a seasoned macroeconomist, as Director of the African Development Institute, effective June 1.

Mr Ogunleye, a Nigerian national, has nearly 20 years of experience in macro and development economics, capacity development, public governance and regulatory reform, monitoring and evaluation, and policy advisory. His career includes designing and leading innovative, context-specific capacity development and policy advisory initiatives at the highest levels of national governance, achieving significant global partnerships and impactful results.

He previously served as the Officer in Charge of the African Development Institute and Manager of the Institute’s Policy Management Division. He was also previously an Advisor to the Chief Economist and Vice President of the Economic Governance and Knowledge Management Complex. He played a crucial role in developing and implementing the Bank Group’s Capacity Development Strategy (2021-2025) and related initiatives, such as the Public Finance Management Academy for Africa and the Macroeconomic Management Academy for Africa.

Mr Ogunleye has significantly enhanced the Institutional Capacity Building and Fiduciary Clinics, which now consistently cover 20 country portfolios annually, improving the quality of the Bank’s operations and portfolios in Regional Member Countries.

In December 2022, Mr Ogunleye successfully launched the Public Finance Management Academy for Africa, featuring an 18-month structured training program across the entire public financial and debt management cycle. This initiative has trained over 145 public officials from 45 African countries as Public Finance Management experts. He currently leads multiple technical assistance projects, including macroeconomic modelling and policy dialogues, to address entrenched and emerging development challenges in African countries. He has also forged numerous partnerships at global, continental, regional, national, and sub-national levels to support these initiatives.

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Before joining the Bank, he was Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on International Trade and Finance and later as Special Advisor to the Chief Economic Advisor to the President. He played a pivotal role in policy research, institutional capacity development, and monitoring and evaluation of socio-economic policies. He contributed to Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which lifted the country out of recession. Additionally, he served as a long-term consultant (Country Macroeconomist) in the Nigeria Country Department of the Bank Group, coordinating macroeconomic analysis in Nigeria and supporting the Bank’s diverse development projects portfolio.

Mr Ogunleye’s previous roles also include Research Fellow at the African Center for Economic Transformation, Doctoral Researcher at the United Nations University’s World Institute for Development Economics Research, Doctoral Research Intern at the World Trade Organization, and International Research Consultant at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. He has also taught and conducted research as a Lecturer at the University of Calabar, Nigeria.

He holds a PhD and MSc in Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, a BSc degree in Economics from the University of Calabar, Nigeria, a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced Programme on Rethinking Development Economics in Africa, and an Executive Certificate in Public Policy from Harvard University.

Expressing his gratitude for the appointment, Mr Ogunleye said, “I am truly humbled, honoured, and pleased by the confidence reposed in me by President Akinwumi A. Adesina for this appointment. I am deeply fascinated and appreciate his consistent penchant for excellence and recognition of talent. I use this opportunity to renew my commitment to the Bank, its leadership, and regional member countries in deepening my support for strengthening institutional capacities in all forms in regional member countries.”

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Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, commented: “I am pleased to appoint Dr. Eric Kehinde Ogunleye as Director of the African Development Institute. Eric is a focused and strategic leader with first-class expertise in key areas of institutional capacity development support to regional member countries. I am confident that he will continue to leverage his vast experience and global partnership across all spheres of capacity development for delivery at scale for our regional member countries.”

Source: Premiumtimes

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Armed men kidnap Fouani MD, three other foreigners in Lagos

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No fewer than three persons, including foreigners, have been abducted by armed men suspected to be kidnappers in Lagos State.

No fewer than three persons, including foreigners, have been abducted by armed men suspected to be kidnappers in Lagos State.

According to DAILY POST, the victims include the Managing Director of Fouani Company and three other Lebanese nationals.

The were reportedly kidnapped while traveling on a boat from Apapa to Victoria Island.

Details of the incident are still sketchy as at the time of filing this report.

However, when contacted by DAILY POST, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said the Command had received the report.

He said, “Yes we also got the report and we are already looking into it. I can’t confirm it to you yet because I don’t have the details for now.

“But when I’m done with my findings, I will come up with details and tell you their names and how it happened.”

 

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Tinubu stresses sacrifice, duty, and unity in Eid-el-Kabir Message

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President Bola Tinubu has called on Nigerians to reflect on the importance of sacrifice and duty in nation-building, as the country marks

President Bola Tinubu has called on Nigerians to reflect on the importance of sacrifice and duty in nation-building, as the country marks the joyous occasion of Eid-el-Kabir.

In a statement issued on Saturday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu underscored the profound meaning of the celebration, urging Nigerians to internalize its lessons for the collective good of the nation.

He highlighted that achieving great change requires a collective sense of purpose, will, and action from all citizens, calling on all Nigerians to pray for the peace and stability of the nation.

President Tinubu extended his congratulations to the Muslim Ummah, praying that Allah accepts their supplications and acts of obedience.

Eid-el-Kabir, a significant event in the Islamic calendar, symbolizes sacrifice, faith, and obedience to the will of the Almighty.

“President Bola Tinubu celebrates with the Muslim Ummah on the joyous occasion of Eid-el-Kabir, an event that denotes sacrifice, faith, and obedience to the will of the Almighty.

“The President congratulates the Muslim faithful and prays that Allah accepts their supplications and acts of obedience.

“President Tinubu enjoins Nigerians to reflect on the essence of the occasion, which bears strong meaning and significance for the nation.

“The President emphasizes that sacrifice and duty are essential ingredients to nation-building, noting that it takes collective purpose, will, and action to bring about great change.

“President Tinubu calls on citizens to spare a prayer for the nation for continuous peace and stability while working according to purpose in promoting unity, peace, and progress.

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“The President acknowledges the sacrifices that Nigerians have made in the past one year as his administration sets the nation on a firm pedestal of growth and development”, the statement said.

Acknowledging the significant sacrifices made by Nigerians over the past year, President Tinubu assured the populace that their efforts are beginning to bear fruit.

He noted that his administration’s dedication to setting Nigeria on a path of growth and development is starting to show positive results, with an improving economy and renewed vibrancy in critical sectors.

“President Tinubu affirms that the sacrifices and great expectations of citizens will not come to nought as already propitious outcomes are beginning to manifest with the economy strengthening and vibrancy returning to critical sectors.

“The President reassures Nigerians that his administration is prioritizing their physical, social, and economic security and will not relent on this noble endeavour.

“President Tinubu wishes Nigerians happy Sallah celebrations”, the statement said.

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Sallah: Ex-Senate president Lawan shares N222.5m cash gift, foodstuffs to constituents

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President of the 9th Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, has distributed N222.5 million cash gift to households drawn from across 60 wards in the six Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Yobe North Senatorial District to celebrate the upcoming Eid-el-Kabir Muslim festival.

The distribution, which was carried out through a committee set up by Senator Lawan, targeted households and individuals in need within the district and beyond.

The six LGAs that benefited from the gesture include Bade, Jakusko, Karasuwa, Yusufari, Machina and Nguru.

The cash gift ranging from 100,000 to 20,000 was distributed to each household, including individuals, with a total of 3,430 households and individuals benefitting from the initiative sponsored by the Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (SAIL) Foundation.

Other beneficiaries captured are traditional leaders, party executives, and stakeholders in Yobe North.

Also to be distributed are food items such as 1500 carton boxes of spaghetti, 1,140 bags of maize and guinea corn, 1,500 clothings for children, 800 wrappers for women, 2,000 blankets, 2,000 mats etc. Beneficiaries under this category were also drawn from the six LGAs, and extend to orphanages within the Senatorial District.

According to the chairman of the Selection and Distribution Committee, Alhaji Suleiman Jamo, the gesture was aimed at cushioning the economic hardship faced by many constituents owing to the high cost of living as Muslims celebrate Eid-el-Kabir.

“We understand that many of our constituents are going through difficult times, and this gift from Sen. Ahmad Lawan is a token of his support to help them celebrate with joy and peace,” Jamo said.

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Senator Lawan, while commending the committee for a job well done, urged the beneficiaries to use the gift wisely as they enjoy the Eid celebration.

“I wish all my constituents a blessed and peaceful Eid-el-Kabir celebration. May the spirit of the season unite us and bring us closer together”, he said

Source: The Nation

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Nigeria working hard to eliminate terrorism, cybercrimes, Tinubu assures FBI

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Nigeria working hard to eliminate terrorism, cybercrimes, Tinubu assures

Tinubu said his administration has prioritised education as a tool against poverty which is generally believed to be a driver of criminal activities.

President Bola Tinubu receives FBI Director, Christopher Asher Wray, at the State House on June 14, 2024. Credit: State House.

President Bola Tinubu on Friday received the director of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher Asher Wray, assuring him that Nigeria is working hard to eliminate terrorism, cybercrime, and other criminal activities.

Tinubu spoke during a meeting with the FBI director at the State House in Abuja, calling for collaboration between Nigeria and other countries in West Africa to rid the region of crimes.

“We are working hard to eliminate terrorism, cybercrimes, sextortion, and I am glad that we have a good number of agencies that are involved in reducing these crimes to the barest minimum, and they are also well represented at this meeting,” Tinubu was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale.

“’We cannot achieve this important feat of eliminating crimes without collaboration. Incidentally, as the Chairman of ECOWAS, Nigeria is also collaborating with other West African countries to fight economic and other related crimes.

“It is an honour for me to receive Director Christopher Wray, the leader of an organization that has demonstrated consistent procedural sophistication and a reputation for excellence over several years. Your visit conveys the importance of Nigeria and Nigerian partnership in the work of America’s law enforcement institutions and vice-versa. For us, it is a recognition of what stage we are at, who we are, and the level of interest both countries share in eliminating crimes locally and globally.”

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Tinubu said his administration has prioritised education as a tool against poverty which is generally believed to be a driver of criminal activities.

Noting that no country can combat financial crimes in isolation, President Tinubu called on the United States to support developing countries with the requisite technology and knowledge transfer required to combat complex international crimes.

In his remarks, Director Wray said he was in the country to enhance the “outstanding partnership” that exists between the government of Nigeria and the government of the United States.

Source: Channels

 

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Anambra Rep knocks proposal for Orlu State

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The House of Representatives has further rescheduled its resumption date earlier slated for Tuesday, April 23 by one week.

The member representing Nnewi North/Nnewi South/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency of Anambra State, Hon Uzokwe Peter Ifeanyi, has knocked the proposal for the creation of Orlu State.

He said though he was not against the creation of another state for the Southeast, proper consultation was not made.

Penultimate Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill for first reading for the creation of Orlu State.

The bill was sponsored by the member representing Ideato North/Ideato South Federal Constituency, Imo State, Ikenga Ugochinyere.

According to the draft bill, the creation of Orlu State will alter the 1999 Constitution (as amended), increasing the number of states in the federation from 36 to 37

The new state will be carved out from Imo, Abia, and Anambra states, with Orlu as its capital city, it proposed.

But reacting to the development, Ifeanyi, expressed displeasure that his constituency was carved into the proposed new state even without letting him as representative of the people know.

He posited that the call for a new state was germane but should be done through the appropriate channels, especially through the Igbo leadership, Ohaneze Ndigbo.

He said his position did not reinforce any stereotypes about the Southeast not being united as disagreements on issues in any community is normal.

His words, “The issue of state creation has been the problem of Igbos, the South easterners. No Igboman will say that the Igbos don’t need a state to make up for the inequality of states in the country. Inasmuch as we need that state, the issue becomes where will the state be carved out from?

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“It’s only Anambra people that don’t because of the location of Anambra State. The best you can do is just to carve out something small. I don’t think between Enugu and Anambra, there is a place you will carve out. But from Abia, coming down to Owerri, Imo State, you can carve out between Abia and Imo, between Abia and Ebonyi, and lastly between Imo and some parts of Anambra State. So that has been the issue.

“What happened today was that last Thursday, my brother and honourable member colleague submitted a bill proposing Orlu State. I don’t have anything against Orlu State but the issue is that if you want to carve out any state, you have to do due diligence, you have to consult widely. Can you imagine the embarrassment? My Igwe called me and asked me what happened. Were you there when Ozubulu was carved into Orlu? I said nobody consulted me.

“I’m in the House with you. As a matter of fact, since I was elected, I have not missed more than three sittings, so I’m not an absentee honourable. You see me every day, you people can bear me witness. I have never been in the House five minutes past eleven. I must be seated five minutes to eleven. As a matter of fact, the Speaker had not entered that chamber before me and I was seated or standing to welcome him.

“So it is not a matter of you did not see me. But because you wanted to bypass me. I don’t know the reason. And taking Ozubulu out of Ekwusigo, are you taking the whole of Ekwusigo? Ozubulu has been the Local Government headquarters of Ekwusigo. You just came to Ekwusigo and picked out Ozubulu. Where will the headquarters of Ekwusigo be now? Will Ozubulu which has been the headquarters of a local government now go into Orlu to be a minority? Is it possible?

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“If he had approached me and consulted with me, we would sit down. But let it not be what happened in 1884/1885 which was the scramble for and the partitioning of West Africa, where somewhere in Berlin, Germany, you sat down, brought the map of West Africa on the table, and started carving. That was exactly what my honourable colleague did. Put that Anambra map, put that Imo map, and started carving it out as it pleased him. Will he have taken it if I come to his local town and pull it out? What explanation would be given to his people? Nothing. Just to embarrass me.

“My thinking is simple and short. That we are here, our being here does not give us any superiority over the people who sent us. We have Ohaneze Ndigbo. They have been championing the cause of the creation of an additional state for Igbos. Shift it back to them. They are the elders. They will do it and bring it to us and tell us to push it. That is our job.

“Ohaneze Ndigbo will do it, bring it to us as Southeast Caucus in the parliament. We have leaders. Then with one voice, we push on what is agreed on. But for us to come here as lawmakers because we have the power to make laws, then we start tinkering with the laws, creating new ones to suit the imagination we want. No! Things are not done like that.

“I am not against the creation of an additional state but there should have been proper consultation. I would advise him to withdraw the bill and re-present it so all of us would support it. But the people of Ozubulu have taken a stand that they would not go under Orlu.”

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He said the Speaker of the House, Tajudeen Abbas, was passionate about the creation of an additional state for the Southeast.

He also said his position did not reflect any stereotype that the Southeast cannot work together.

He said, this is not a stereotype that the Southeast cannot work together. We would disagree to agree. Forget about that stereotype. Which ethnic group in Nigeria speaks with one voice? Igbo people speak with one voice more than other ethnic groups in Nigeria. Anybody that says Igbos don’t speak with voice is a lie. It is just stereotyping and labelling for them to get what they want. Is speaking with one voice the absence of disagreements? No. It is not. We can disagree. But so long as two human beings are into anything there must be disagreements.”

Source: The Nation

 

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