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Igala Unity Festival, Ocho, Holds Saturday

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Attah Igala, Dr Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni

Attah Igala, Dr Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni

The Igala Festival tagged Igala Unity Hunting Festival also known as OCHO will hold on Saturday 19 May 2018.

Chairman of the Central Planning Committee of the festival, Senator Ahmadu Ali, who conveyed the message of Ata Igala, Dr Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni, at a press briefing at the palace, said the festival would commence at 9 o’clock in the morning. All sons and daughters of Igala all over the world are expected to grace the event at Idah.

During the carnival-like event, royal cultural troupes and incarnate beings are expected to entertain the teeming crowd who would gather at the civic centre of Ata Igala’s palace in Idah.

Omachi Ata Igala, Professor Steven Ikani Ocheni, who is also the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, would be the Chairman of the Unity Hunting Festival. Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, would grace the occasion as the Special Guest of Honour; while the Administrators of Local Government Areas in Kogi East are expected as Hosts. During the Festival, the Ata Igala and President Kogi State Council of Chiefs, Dr Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni, would address the kingdom and use the occasion to pronounce blessings on the land.

Senator Ahmadu Ali said the Ocho would be an epoch-making festival as it had not been witnessed by many who had longed to see it. He said, this would be the beginning of an era in which the Igala nation would come together as one big family known for hard work, peace and determination. Ocho is a festival that shows the Igalas of old as great hunters. To mark it the Ata shot at a live antelope tied to a tree at a designated spot. If he shot on target, the Ocho had won or succeeded, but if he missed it, it meant the Ocho had failed and it spelled bad omen for the land.

Ata Idakwo would perform this symbolic action on 19 May with elements of modernity and exactness in the name of God. Ata had said any part of the Ocho outside unifying the people would be expunged.

He enjoined the public to attend the event in their large numbers. He also called on all religious bodies and groups to pray for a successful festival.

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Buhari presents 2019 budget to National Assembly next week

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President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed when he will present the 2019 appropriation bill to the National Assembly.

Buhari disclosed that the budget will be presented to the National Assembly on Wednesday next week, barring any last-minute change.

This was contained in a letter transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and read during Thursday’s plenary.

“May I crave the kind indulgence of the House of Representatives to grant me the slot of 11 hours on Wednesday, 19th December, 2018 to formally present the 2019 appropriation bill in a joint session and lay before the NASS the 2019 budget proposal,” the letter quoted Buhari as saying.

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RE-FG blames NASS over delay in presentation of 2019 Budget

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Senator Udoma Udo Udoma

Senator Udoma Udo Udoma


Going by the headlines in some news media today in respect of the presentation of the 2019 Budget to the National Assembly, it is obvious that some of the reporters misconstrued the response of the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, when he was asked when the budget would be submitted to the Legislature.

The Minister simply said that as is the procedure when the budget is ready, the Executive liaises with the National Assembly for a date which the Budget will be laid before the joint session of the Assembly; and that the process is on already.

The Minister at no time throughout the interaction with the media blamed the National Assembly for the delay in the presentation, nor gave the impression that there was any issue between the two arms of government over the 2019 budget.

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Harassment of opposition members: Frank urges US, UK, EU, UN, others to call President Buhari to order

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari


Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has appealed to the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, United Nations, and other members of the international community to urgently call President Muhammadu Buhari to order over his incessant intimidation and harassment of opposition figures in the country ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Frank specifically condemned in strong terms the plot to arrest the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, over frivolous charges simply because of the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Peter Obi, was a former chairman of the bank.

He also said apart from the indiscriminate arrest and freezing of bank accounts of many opposition figures, some businessmen suspected to be supporting the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are also being harassed by agencies of government on the orders of the presidency.

In a statement in Abuja on Thursday, Frank called on the international power blocs to come to the aid of Nigeria to prevent a revolt against the government by citizens who are now being pushed to the wall.

According to Frank, from all indications the current government is not ready for the general elections in 2019 as evident on its refusal to assent to the Electoral Act amendment bill meant to correct past lapses and ensure free, fair, credible and transparent elections.

He added that since electoral body lifted embargo on open rally, the APC and its presidential candidate have failed to organize political rallies to sell their programmes, hence their resort to intimidate and frustrate opposition members.

The former APC spokesman, who condemned the arrest of Doyin Okupe, the search of Atiku’s son’s residence in Abuja, unlawful freezing of the accounts of some PDP members, arrest of activists and Journalists among others, stated that such anti-people actions were reminiscent of past military dictatorship in the country.

He urged the international community to save Nigeria’s democracy, and said: “The APC’s government should not be allowed to create another monster. If nothing is done to halt this ongoing harassment, it will get to a state where people will begin to defend themselves and by that time the current Boko Haram insurgency will be child’s play.

“In a democracy, how can a President treat his country men and women as less than human? The APC’s government is using state apparatus like the Police and EFCC to intimidate innocent Nigerians, unlawfully. Nigerians are living in fear. Freedom of Speech has been put on hold under President Buhari’s government. Critics of the administration are increasingly being hurled into jail.

“Despite signing the Peace Accord, we believe that President Buhari will not abide by its tenets based on his antecedents. Unless the friends of Nigeria come to its aid, unless this government is put to check, it is not only the 2019 election that is endangered. The continued existence of the country is also in jeopardy.

“So, I urge the international community and all the lovers of democracy all over the world to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop all forms of intimidation and harassment of Nigerian citizens over spurious allegations,” Frank stated.

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