Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Photos: Late Akunyili's lie-in-state in Abuja

Fiancé Of Late Nurse Justina Free From Ebola, Discharged From Treatment Center

Dennis' story is a powerful one, he refused to abandon his fiancé despite her being diagnosed with Ebola.
The fiancé of a nurse who died of Ebola has been discharged from the Ebola treatment center in Lagos this evening after his third test came out negative.
Dennis, who was late Justina Obi Ejelonu’s fiancé had been quarantined and later admitted into treatment after two tests confirmed that he was positive.
However, yesterday Dennis was discharged from the treatment center with a certificate of clearance. He walked off the center in good health according top doctors who spoke anonymously.
A second spouse of a deceased doctor who had primary contact with Liberian -American Thomas Sawyer who was admitted yesterday with Dennis remains hospitalized at the center, currently undergoing treatment.
Dennis story is a powerful one, he refused to abandon his fiancé despite her being diagnosed with Ebola.
He said that Justina lost a two-month pregnancy, vomited severally on him while she collapsed and had to be carried to hospital by him. After, Justina was admitted he hung around the hospital , occasionally going into the Ebola ward cater for her as nurses and doctors abandoned the nurse to her fate at the treatment center.
Fourteen days after Justina died, Dennis had high temperature, instead of panicking he turned himself in to the treatment center for observation. An initial test led the center to quarantine him, and a second test came positive leading the center to admit him to treatment but this evening he was fully discharged after a third test carried out by international affiliates of the center came out negative....CKN

APC calls territorial gain by Boko Haram, Nigerian soldiers foray into Cameroon national embarrassment, urges Pres. Jonathan to rally nation

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as an unprecedented national embarrassment the increasing seizure of Nigerian towns by the terrorist group Boko Haram and the reported fleeing of 480 Nigerian soldiers to Cameroon during an attack on a military base in Gamboru-Ngala on Monday.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party called on President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently address Nigerians on the worsening security situation in the northern part of the country that has allowed Boko Haram to proclaim its rule over a part of the nation's territory.

It said in the face of the biggest threat to Nigeria's unity and territorial integrity since the country's civil war, President Jonathan must also put partisanship aside and rally the nation against Boko Haram, which by all indications seems to be getting bolder and stronger, to such an extent that the group is now hoisting its flag over parts of the nation's territory.

APC also restated its call for an urgent national stakeholders' conference on security that will cut across party lines to help fashion a solution to what has now become a clear and present danger to the survival of Nigeria, while pledging its unalloyed support for any sincere effort by the Federal Government to end the insurgency as quickly as possible.

As an immediate first step, the party calls on President Jonathan to immediately halt the illegal electioneering campaign by his Ministers, other appointees and supporters, saying Nigeria must survive as a nation before any party or individual can rule over it.

''These campaigns, ostensibly by the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) but in truth being bankrolled by the Federal Government, offends national sensibilities at a time our citizens are being daily slaughtered and our troops are struggling against the terrorists who are bent on balkanizing our nation. Needless to remind Nigerians that over 200 school girls remain missing more than 130 days after they were abducted,'' the party said, adding: ''The President must put politics aside for now and lead the nation to defeat Boko Haram.''
It also charged the military high command and its civilian leadership to quit politicking and fashion out ways for the military to live up to its constitutional responsibility of maintaining Nigeria's territorial integrity.

APC said it is a shame that while the Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro has been prancing around in Ekiti and Osun state marshaling troops to harass the opposition during the elections in those states, Nigeria has been losing territory after territory to Boko Haram.

Equally worrisome, the party said, is the development that has seen some defence chiefs Chief become the chief campaign managers to President Jonathan, an action that is a clear violation of the military's professional ethics and which has embroiled the military unnecessarily in politics, at a time they should be rallying the troops against Boko Haram.

''Nigeria has never had it so bad. The country's military that was being hailed worldwide for its sterling performance at global peacekeeping missions has now reached a level where its troops are deserting, engaging in mutiny or simply unwilling to fight.

''There is no way to spin what happened on Monday, when 480 Nigerian soldiers escaped to Cameroon. The Ministry of Defence called it 'tactical manoeuvre', but did not explain how soldiers fighting insurgents along Nigeria's border with Cameroon will foray 80 kilometres into Cameroon! Also, if the Nigerian troops' foray into Cameroon was in the spirit of the cooperation between the two countries in the fight against the terrorists, as some spin doctors have said, why were the Nigerian soldiers disarmed and then herded into schools in Maroua, 80kms from the Nigerian border?

''The issue that should agitate the minds of Nigerians now is whether our troops are adequately equipped to battle Boko Haram and, if not, what has happened to the funds allocated for such in the past. As we said in our earlier comments on this issue, between 2010 and 2014, a total of US$14 billion was allocated for defence, security and the police. What has happened to these funds?

''Nigerians must start asking questions rather than just blaming soldiers. Nigerians must ask why the alarm raised by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno concerning the low morale and lack of necessary fighting equipment by the military was dismissed on the altar of partisanship. Nigerians must ask what next, if a rag tag band of marauders are now carving out territories for themselves in our nation. Things cannot and must not continue like this,'' APC said.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress (APC)
Lagos, Aug. 26th 2014

Monday, 25 August 2014

Gov. Fashola, wife, others win awards at maiden Motivational Awards

Gov Fashola

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) and wife Dame Abimbola Fashola who won the Best Performing Governor of the year and Best First Lady of the year respectively, were among tens of inspiring Nigerians who won awards at the maiden edition of 2014 motivational awards.
Held on August 10, 2014, though it has come and gone but the euphoria and the memories of the event will linger for a long time in the memories of people. A beautiful weather complimented a beautiful environment and the ambiance of Golden Tulip Hotel, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, was indeed a great choice for such a glorious award.
The red carpet host Harper Ent. was at his best while popular comedian Seyi Law, who was the host stole the hearts of people and kept them reeling with laughter as he churned entertaining comedies.
Searching out the delectable amiable, focused, determined and passionate amazon called Amb. Chibuzo Patrick (Buzopat), the Chief Executive Officer of Meljenstin Nig. Ltd, President of many brands and the brain behind the award was easy because by their fruits, you shall know them.
Going through her profile one can't help but wonder where she draws the energy from, indeed it won't be wrong if we call her "Super Woman".
In her opening speech, she said that Motivational Awards 2014 was conceived as a follow up to various empowerment programmes targeted at youths for positive engagement under the platform of Meljenstin.
“This award aims at giving recognition to individuals, business and academic contribution to the development of Nigeria, despite numerous challenges and distractions,” said the organizer, Patrick.
Buzopat also re-emphasised that the criteria for the awards are merit and service. The primary objective is to promote the Nigeria optimism and celebrate dignity of labour. She summoned it up by saying that she doesn't just mouth radical slogan for popular change, she is for sure living the change she advocates. Her life indeed is true evidence of her words.
The hall went agog when they saw the choice of plaque that was chosen for the award, you will be happy being part of the history.
The awards event also saw Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, as the Best Local Government Chairman of the year, other dignitaries and organizations who won at the maiden awards include "Philly and Molly group(Brand of the Year), Charvet Nig. Ltd (Most Innovative Drink), Ms . Celine Loader ( Philanthropic Lady of the Year), Chief Ernest Uzokwe (Philanthropic man of the Year), Ali Baba (Legend of Comedy), Yaw of Wazobia Fm (Best On-Air Personality), Tiwa Savage(Best Female Music Talent Of The Year), Mr Hakeem Bello (Passionate and Dedicated Man of the Year) and Sabir Khan (Exemplary Leader).
Others also include Dr. Rotimi Oladele, Chellarms Plc, Nigeria Breweries, Chief Bolaji Akimboro, His Excellency Orji Uzor Kalu and Ramsey Nouah who won in other categories.
Those present at the awards include: Ado Alado of Ado Kingdom, HRH Oba Lateef Olayinka, The Baales of different Kingdoms, Dr. Bath of Challarams, Mr. Gurprit of Campe Drinks and Mr. Arul of Power Horse.
Comedians and musicians that performed the event were: Bowjoint, RayG, Ifective of Naija Fm, Korede Bello of Mavin Records, Papa B, Radical and Real One.
Representatives from Lagos State, Local Government Area, Metro Taxi company and so on also attended the awards.
Other guests include: Pastor Sunday and Team, Chief Nath Igbadi, Mamuzo of Centenary Lottery, Mr. Godfrey Osakwe (one of the conveners), Ada Dalyn Dike of Daily Newswatch (one of the judges) Barrister Jide Ologun who said the opening prayer, Barrister Amaka Mbaso, Barrister Iphy Uzokwe, Henry Mbaso and family, Mrs. Sally Roberts, The Tai-Solarin dancers, The 2side Models and a host of others.

Some of the items at CRIMMD Museum

CRIMMD Library


“Awesome!” is the word that would come out of anyone’s mouth visiting the Center for Research, Information Management and Media Development (CRIMMD), for the first time. This is due to the array of items that can interest anyone that wants to know more about the history of Nigeria.
The centre has a “Photo Museum of Nigeria History” and also specialized in managing information; media and political research; biographical and autobiographical writings; documentations, exhibitions and script editing.
 Founded by Dr. Raphael James, CRIMMD, which is a non-political, non-governmental and non-profit making but standard research developmental institution, is situated at 138 Idimu-Ejigbo Road, Idimu Lagos.
To a young Nigerian, shells are found by the shore of beaches, so one wonders why James kept the in the museum. Asked what the shells represent, he said: “This section of the museum contains Nigerian currencies. In the past, many West African countries used shells as a means of exchange, representing money. We have different sizes of shells depicting different amount of money.
 “We have old currency and coins – dating to the period, prior to the establishment of the West African Currency Board: samples of used various forms of money including cowries and manilas and other strange commodities that were also used as a form of exchange known as barter. I discovered that there were five sizes of the manila currency, originally. We have been able to get four and we are searching desperately to get the last size.
“We have samples of the West African coins of 1930’s; the July 1, 1959, Central Bank of Nigeria currency notes and coins; the 1965 denominations; 1968, Nigeria civil war currency denominations; 1973, decimal currency; February 11, 1977 currency denominations; the July 2, 1979, currency notes of three denominations and the February 2007 redesigned currency notes. I am a researcher so I go out of my way to search for these items. Once I have an idea about something, I go the extra mile to get it and keep it in the museum.”
Where do people get cowries from? He was asked: “They come from the sea. I was at the Badagry Beach, Lagos some weeks ago and some young men were swimming. One of them brought out something from the sea and called it ‘Sea tongue’. He said he was going to sell it for N3, 000.00. Though I didn’t know what it was, I jokingly told him to sell it to me at N1, 500.00 but he refused. I laughed. Interestingly, the moment he moved, I turned and saw exactly the same thing so I picked it and asked him to buy it. He said he would pay N500. I have kept it and I am also trying to find out what it is meant for,” he said.
The founder of CRIMMD has served as Administrative Officer, Ondo State University Ado-Ekiti (NYSC) from 1992 to1993. He was part of what was called “Newswatch Dream Team” after he joined Newswatch magazine in 1994 and they were specifically working on “Who Is Who In Nigeria” then and provided research materials for the editorial team.
He worked as a Media Assistant to Abia State Governor, Government House Abia, 1999-2000. James has received many awards from different quarters in recognition of his works. The museum is powered by CRIMMD which established a free public library that was commissioned to the public on December 16, 2004, by the former Federal Minister of Information, Chief Sir, Alex Akinyele JP.
On December 28, 2008, CRIMMD commenced, visited and donated books worth one million Naira to 33 media organizations in Nigeria, as its contribution to boost the reading culture in Nigeria.
Shedding light on the importance of the photographs in his museum, he said that everything they have in the museum tells a story about Nigeria to the younger ones that are coming up. “For example, there is a photograph of a Mercedes Benz with soldiers standing behind it that is hung on the wall. I want to assume that that car belonged to General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd). That was the day of the handing over note of Biafra back to Nigeria was signed at the booth of the car. We also have the original copy of the handing over note of Biafra to Nigeria.  The pictures we have here remind us where we are coming from and enable us to prepare ourselves where we are going to,” he explained.
It has taken him about five years to put the photographs together and his sources are wide because he doesn’t restrict himself. “As you observed, I have a collection of biographies which are up to 156 and most of these biographies have different pictures. So I lift some of the photographs from those books. I got some of them from magazines, old newspapers and so on. I go to the National Libraries and take shots of old newspapers and also buy a couple of the photographs from people. For example, there is a photograph of a champagne wine here for Sir Adisa Akinloye. I remember buying it for N5,000.00 because I needed it desperately. Prof. Wole challenged me to see if I could get that photograph so I got it to prove to him that it is possible.
 “It is very difficult to cover in writing the treasure on display in ‘the Nigeria at 100’ Archi-Seum; historically, it is the making of Nigeria in full measure. The collection is awesome; it is a timeless treasure of Nigeria on the move to the next level. You have to visit us to appreciate us.
 “We have about 10,000 photographs of everything that has to do with Nigerian history in our internal hard drive.” James revealed while giving the estimate of the numbers of photographs he has in his museum of his good works to preserve Nigerian history.
“Our museum of photo history is rich with photographs and portraits of the slave trades and its relics, through to the famous Berlin Conference of 1884/85; the era of Explorers (Expedition) of Dr. Mungo Park, Richard Landers and others. The onset of the merchants of the Royal Niger Company of Sir George Goldie through to Lord Fredrick Lugard who amalgamated Nigeria in 1914 and his wife, a former colonial secretary of great Britain, Flora Shaw, who historically invented a name for us-from ‘Niger-Area’ to Nigeria.
“We have outstanding landmark personalities: the likes of King Onyeama, King Jaja of Opobo, Queen Amina of Zaria and Bishop Ajayi Crowther, among others. Protectorates governors and all former Governor Generals; fire brand die-hard Nationalist from Sir Herbert Macaulay through to Mazi Mbaonu Ojike; indigenous Governor General; Regional premiers and Regional Governors; Military Head of States and their deputies; Military governors and the Military Administrators that ever ruled in the making and shaping of Nigeria. Civilian elected presidents and vice presidents; and all the first ladies from Mrs. Flora Ogbeyalu Azikiwe to Dame Patience Jonathan; elected civilians governors up to the present time, including Senate presidents and the Speakers of House of Representatives from the pre-independence era to the present time.
“A pictorial roll call of Chief Justices of Nigeria; Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administrators/Ministers; Inspector General of Police (past and present); Secretaries to the Federal Government; Chiefs of Army Staff, Naval Staff; Air Staff, Chiefs of Defense and the Ministers of Defense; Comptroller General of Customs Service; Chairmen of Electoral Commissions; Central Bank of Nigeria Governors; notable people in the News; Nigeria women of substance and achievers; Events of the century; the Nigerian Civil War and personalities.
“There is a section on “The 12 hour revolution of Isaac Boro”; “The June 12 Saga” The Second World War; The Nigerian Civil War; Biafran Republic, including emblems like stamps, currency, coat of arm and many others – relics of historical significance.
“There are in addition, some historical relics like stamps - as well as the history of stamps dating back to the era of the first post office in Nigeria, a branch of the British General Post Office in 1851, to the era when the Royal Niger Company operated a parallel post office and postal administration in the Oil Rivers Protectorate of the Niger Coast territories in 1887, to the period when Thomas De La Rue Coy Ltd of London was awarded the first contract for printing the definitive Postage Stamps for the colony of Lagos in 1868 by the Crown Agents. Our museum has on display hundreds of stamps printed in the last 100 years.
“We also have National symbols past and present and a lot more, including different maps of Nigeria displaying state creations from the protectorate era to the present 36 states, old and new national anthem and the composers, amalgamations speeches and all coup speeches, symbols of coat of arms, flags and the personalities behind them. All photographs we have in our museum have profiles. There is also the book section, hosting great biographies of Nigerians, Nigeria history books, Military books, Civil war books and Who’s who in Nigeria books.”
He gave an estimate of the number of books you has in his library by saying that they have over one million and twenty four (1,000, 024) books and over a hundred (100) bundles of magazines.

CRIMMD photo museum

Dr. Raphael James


Untold hardship Ndi Ebe Abam citizens face over collapsed bridge

Stranded people trying to cross the bridge

By Ada Dike
Over 9,500 citizens of Ndi Ebe Abam community in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State, whose bridge collapsed, have cried out to both the state and federal governments to build a concrete bridge and tar their roads to ameliorate the hardship they are facing.
We however, learnt that their standard of living has dropped after the collapse of the bridge.
According to the Eze Ogo (Chief) of Ndi Ebe Abam, Chief Dike Iroegbu, their problems started when the bridge collapsed around 4.45 pm on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, when a 25-ton truck conveying chippings to a building site in Ndi Ebe Abam tried to pass through it. He added that he’s glad that no life was lost when the bridge collapsed, though the driver of the truck and his conductor sustained minor injuries.
 The Igwu Bridge was first constructed on May 7, 1960. But on August 1, 1984, it collapsed when a caterpillar tried to pass through it and the weight gave in. It was reconstructed on August 24, 1984 through the combined efforts of Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd), and his cousin, Chief O. O. Awah, retired Deputy Director of Nigerian Customs Service.
“Our problem is how to go about reconstructing it, because we are hopelessly helpless as we are totally neglected by the government and we do not know who and how they will come to our aid.
 Since the collapse of the bridge in July, we have been suffering and this has inflicted huge economic loss to the community since we cannot transport our farm produce to markets with ease. In fact, all commercial activities have been halted at a standstill. Our women cannot go to Afor-ukwu market at Ozu Abam and Afor-Bende market to buy and sell. They cannot go to Orie-Amuru market, and in fact, all the foodstuffs that were in the community before the collapse of the bridge have all been bought/utilized, and so we are about entering into a period of famine,” said Chief Iroegbu.
He however, appealed to the Abia State Government, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Ministry of Works to come to their aid by rebuilding their bridge and construct their roads in a modern form.
“All we the elders are asking and begging is that this bridge be reconstructed for us as soon as possible and our road tarred.”
The monarch further revealed that Ndi Ebe Abam, mostly agrarian society with a population of about 9, 500 people are known to be producers of rice, garri, cassava, yams, plantain, pineapple and vegetable which are sold in Abam, Bende, Umuahia and other markets. In a nutshell, some of her citizens residing in the village are farmers, teachers and petty traders.
Chief Dike Iroegbu
“Ndi Ebe Abam has common boundaries with Abiriba, Ozu Abam, Ndi Ojiuwo Abam, Amuru Abam and Umuhu Ezechi. Road networks from the town to other neighbouring towns are bad so Ndi Ebe Abam has been cut off from her neighbours due to collapse of some bridges, pot-holes and flood as commuters have deserted the roads.
“In the 1980s, many Abiriba indigenes and visitors plied Ndi Ebe Abam roads to Abiriba. But since 1999, after elections, the roads have become havens for reptiles and wild animals because Abia State Government abandoned the road and could not even grade it as the military governments used to do on a regular basis.
“According to a source, Abia State Government’s view is that the road leads to nowhere important for the government. Besides, His Excellency, Chief T. A. Orji is planning to leave office and not to engage in any projects again. I was informed that if we are waiting for the state government, we are going to wait for another two years for the incoming government,” he said.
 Speaking to us, Ndi Ebe Abam National Union Chairman, Mr. Francis Okorie Iroegbu, said that as soon as he heard about the collapses of bridge and saw some pictures of it on the Facebook, hundreds of phone calls woke his mental self.
“So I set out to the community from my place of abode (Lagos State) to ascertain the extent of the collapse. When I got to the village, I could not get across to the other side (inside the community itself). So I wrapped my valuables in a polythene bag (nylon) and swam across.  However, I have checked all avenues to ensure that a quick/speedy construction of a new bridge is done, due to the sufferings of my people, but all seems like a mirage to me.  So, all I can say is to appeal to well-meaning Nigerians to speak with our able governor, Chief T. A. Orji and the Federal Government to come to our rescue. Without which even further or other activities concerning outside world coming to our community and vice versa is totally defeated and the hardship we are facing right now may continue,” Iroegbu said
It is pertinent to note that a native of Ndi Ebe Abam, St Kingsley Uzoaru JP, raised an alarm over the bridge on Facebook in 2013 that: “Anybody who travelled last December, and every visitor to Ndi Ebe Abam last Christmas will bear me witness that we do not have a road from Ndi Ojiugwo Abam to Ndi Ebe Abam. The once popular and beautiful Igwu Bridge is now a death trap. We are waiting for the first victim to fall inside it in his car, probably with his family. …This bridge has started rusting. Why won’t it rust when it was hastily re-constructed in 1984 after the collapse of the former one when a heavy vehicle tried to pass through it? Igwu Bridge is a death-trap which may collapse any moment from now. Its concretes have cracked and almost fallen while the irons have rusted so the bridge shakes when a vehicle is passing through it. Also, The Ogbuebulu and Ogbele bridges made with concrete and built in 1960s have holes in them and may soon collapse,” Uzoaru lamented.
Ndi Ebe Abam citizens struggling to cross the river
He stressed that: “Ndi Ebe Abam is housing many governmental projects like the Anambra-Imo River Basin Authority, Rice/Irrigation Project, as well as World Bank. The bridge links Ndi Ebe Abam to the outside world. “Through the bridge, Ndi Ebe Abam gets access to other Abam communities in Abam (26 in numbers). It also links Ndi Ebe to Bende, Umuahia and the world at large. The bridge is also a link between the world to Ndi Ebe, Abiriba and Amuru Abam, as well as over 20 equally industrious settlements (plantations/clans).
“Our reaction is that of despair, anguish and hopelessness, especially, when it happened, those that drove out for their businesses could not drive back in, and some were forced to drive back to where they were coming from, some were forced to sleep outside, because it rained so the river (Igwu River) overflowed and was yet to recede.
“It has greatly paralyzed business activities like those traders, palm oil producers, teachers and so on cannot even go about their businesses anymore, because there is no canoe to ferry people across, because Abam people are not used to ferries/canoes.”
Commenting on the collapsed bridge, an indigene of Cross River State who is doing her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Ndi Ebe Abam, Miss Victoria Okwong, shares her experience: “Since the collapse of the bridge, we the youth corpers serving in this community have not been able to go to Umuahia and Ozu Abam respectively where we carry out our Community Development (CD) every Wednesday.  We have also been suffering undue hardship due to the fact that we cannot go to the bank which is situated at Bende, Ohafia and Umuahia.  Please we are suffering untold hardship, as we cannot even buy soup ingredients to cook what to eat. All we are compelled to eat is yam with the ordinary red oil as the sauce.  Let the government help us to repair this bridge.”
“Ndi Ebe Abam is one of the four most populous communities in Abam Onyerubi in Arochukwu LGA of Abia State. It is pertinent to note that Ndi Ebe Abam has produced many lawyers, journalists, Customs and Excise officers, policemen, teachers, pharmacists, medical doctors, politicians and so on, who have sacrificed their time, lives and resources for the development of Abia State and Nigeria. The mother of Hon. Agwu U. Agwu, the immediate past Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly is from Ndi Ebe Abam,” said Mr.  Ibem Dike Ukara, another native of the community.
He shares his childhood experience while growing up in that village. “When I was growing up in a popular but quiet town called Ndi Ebe Abam, I was excited whenever anybody asks me my place of birth because a lot of tourists visited our community. I could remember we used to swim in Igwu River in 1980s and 1990s, which later became a tourist centre as some white men and women visited there on weekends to watch teenagers and young men jump from the bridge and swim to the shore. They parked their vehicles beside the Igwu Bridge, and drove round the town for sight-seeing. This and the beautiful houses that sons and daughters of Ndi Ebe Abam built made the town to be regarded as small London in Abam.”
In addition, he said that: “Apart from Igwu River, Ndi Ebe Abam is surrounded by beautiful rivers and streams namely: ‘Ogbu-ebulu,’ ‘Ogbele, Ogbele-aga,’ ‘Iyi Elu-ogo,’ ‘Okpu-ufie,’ ‘Ogbu-Ocha,’ ‘Nfia-anyi’ and so on. Many of these rivers usually overflow its banks and cover the roads which sometimes hinder Ndi Ebe Abam natives from going to farms or market.
“Another reason why this small London is a tourist centre is because of their popular bi-annual celebration known as ‘Ekpe-aka’ which can be likened to a unique, tall masquerade of about 50 feet tall, in which a boy below nine years of age would be on top, waving and dancing to the rhythm of songs rendered by young men and women.  This celebration attracts thousands of visitors from many parts of the country to Ndi Ebe Abam. There are other celebrations which among others include Uri-Agha (War dance), ‘Ekpe,’ ‘Ukwanyiri,’ ‘Ukpokporo’ and ‘Obogo’ Ukara added, giving reasons why Abia State Government should not neglect the economic and tourism aspects of Ndi Ebe Abam.
“I know quite well that our hard working governor of Abia State, His Excellency Theodore Orji wants to leave a lasting legacy that will linger in the minds of Abians through infrastructural good governance and development.
“His Excellency, people from this community voted for you en masse. Let it be on the record that it was during your time that this community got asphalt (tarred) roads and concrete bridges.  We want to feel the dividend of democracy in this community. So I hereby appeal to him to build concrete bridges for ‘Igwu,’ ‘Ogbu Ebulu’ and ‘Ogbele’ rivers and also tar our roads. Ndi Ebe Abam has been cut-off from her neighbouring towns and villages which hinders her indigenes from interacting with others in terms of trade, education and so on.”
Meanwhile, Abia State House of Assembly has passed a resolution, urging the Ministry of Works to carry a palliative works on the bridge to lessen the untold hardship the people in the community are going through.
According to a citizen of Ndi Ebe Abam based in Abuja, Mr. Mbaka Onyekachi, “It grieved me to see the situation in which my beloved home Ndi Ebe Abam is in, due to the collapsed of the Igwu Bridge which has left us in a state of despair and total isolation from the rest of the community and the country at large. So a four-man-delegate was on Monday, July 7, 2014, mobilized and led by me (Mr. Mbaka Onyekach) to visit, call, plead and cry out to the representative of Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives in the person of Rt. Hon. Prince Arua Arunsi. 
 “Rt. Hon. Arunsi, who was moved by the plea took it as a matter of urgent public importance, drew the attention of the House of Representatives to the collapsed Igwu bridge which in-turn has caused untold hardship to the people of Ndi-Ebe Abam in Arochukwu/Ohafia Fed. Constituency he represents.
Hon Arunsi then urged the House to consider the matter as one of urgent public importance and suspend a standing Order VIII, Rule 46(3) as the matter was debated on immediately.
“The good news is that the House on July 8, 2014 resolved to: 1. Mandate the Committee on Works to prevail on Ministry of Works and Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to urgently intervene by reconstructing the Bridge.
2. Urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to visit Ndi Ebe Abam urgently with relieve materials to alleviate the suffering of my people (Hon. Arua Arunsi - Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency).
In addition, it was proposed by (Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta) that:-
3. Urge the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to accommodate the reconstruction of the collapsed Igwu Bridge that links Ndi Ebe Abam to other communities in Abia and the rest of the world in 2014 budget under the Regional projects (HR. 15/2014). (You can get the full details on "House of Representatives Federal Republic of Nigeria Votes and Proceedings Tuesday, 8 July, 2014" pg 96-97.)”
We reliably gathered that Rt. Hon Arunsi sent three people with a crew of newsmen with cameras to Ndi Ebe Abam to see for themselves, and asked questions, after which the leader of the team said he was going to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) immediately to see the NDDC boss.
 “NEMA came and promised us that they were going to do something about getting us relief materials but we are still waiting for them. We commend the efforts of Rt. Hon. Arua, who has paid us a visit as regards the fallen bridge that links us with the outside world. We need urgent reconstruction of the bridge because we are suffering untold hardship as we now trek for 25 kilometres to a nearby community to board vehicles. I hereby implore both the state and federal governments to construct our bridge and roads,” Chief Iroegbu added.