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IPOB declares ‘no more sit-at-home’ in South East, says Igwe of Onitsha

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IPOB ESN members

Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, has abrogated its sit at home directive in South East Nigeria in order to embrace peace negotiations organised by the Anambra government.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports on Saturday from Awka that IPOB yielded to the appeal by the Anambra Government and traditional rulers to pave the way for peace, since all Igbo stakeholders and religious leaders have declared their intention to find a lasting solution to insecurity and incessant sit-at-home
directives in the South East.

NAN reports that the decision was disclosed by the chairman, Anambra Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, during a one-day peace building and security meeting held in Awka on Saturday.

Mr Achebe, who is also the Igwe of Onitsha, said that the stakeholders have continually held meetings on the way forward to lasting resolutions of the impasse with the agitators.

He said that after its meeting with the group on Friday, April 1, it was agreed that a call to release the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, would be a step to dousing the tension in the state.

He said that after the meeting, the group placed a call to all its members to sheathe their swords, put down their guns and go the way of dialogue.

“We call on all who had taken the way of gun to put down their guns and take up the olive leaf from the government to better themselves,” Mr Achebe said.

He said that the state government has set April 4 for prayers aimed at seeking God’s face to restore a lasting peace in Anambra and South East as whole.

NAN quoted Mr Achebe as indicating that it was agreed that on April 4, all churches in Igboland and South East will join in prayers to seek God’s forgiveness and to restore peace in the area.

“Igboland has lost so much in economic and social development of the zone and we are tired of the situation and want peace,” the traditional ruler said.

According to him, “It is agreed that on Sunday, April 3, all churches will announce the IPOB decision to their faithful to come out on Monday 11am to their various churches to offer prayers to God for the restoration of peace and economic development.”

NAN reports that lots of other speakers at the meeting spoke in line with the decision.

The speakers include Uche Okafor, Anambra Speaker, who assured assured that the legislators would partner with the state government to enthrone lasting peace and economic development of the state and the zone.

Damin Ogene-Okeke, the National Vice President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, urged the public to embrace the decision to establish peace building amongst “ourselves and work towards improving security sanity in the state”.

He called on the governors of the South East States to represent their people well and speak the minds of
the citizens who elected them into office.

NAN

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Corps member empowers ex-convicts in Ekiti, warns against stigmatisation

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A serving corps member in Ekiti State, Anuoluwa Elizabeth Balogun, has empowered ex-convicts in the state with tools in various skills, as her Personal Community Development Service (CDS) project in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Balogun, whose passion was borne out as a result of the numerous psychological challenges ex-convicts faced when released from prison, such as stigmatisation, discrimination, isolation, and instability, embarked on the seamless project to make an impact in her immediate environment.

The ex-convicts were presented with the tools at the one-day sensitisation programme tagged “Sensitisation of the Public Against Stigmatisation of the Ex-Convicts,” in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday.

Balogun said that the project is to rehabilitate, reform and reintegrate the ex-convicts, while urging the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders to map out programmes towards their proper reintegration into the society.

She added that during her pre-release counselling sessions with the ex-convicts, she discovered that the various offenses they committed were as a result of poverty and improper upbringing.

According to her, “This project is set to rehabilitate, reform, and reintegrate a sizeable number of ex-convicts in Ekiti State. It is a smaller version of the big institution I have in mind, which the Federal Government and the State Government should take up, being also ably supported by individuals in the society.

“During the one month pre-release counselling sessions with the inmates, with the professional services, I realised that most of the crimes committed was as a result of poverty, poor upbringing and a bad influence.

“It is on this note that I urge the government to have a well structured rehabilitation centre for them in the custodial centre, so that the psychology of the name is not just being changed but a lot being changed about them by getting them upskilled with also a lot of therapy sessions.”

On her part, the NYSC Ekiti State Coordinator, Mary Chikezie, lauded the efforts of Balogun noting that it is in tandem with the reasons behind the formation of the scheme.

Chikezie enjoined the public to assist corps members who are embarking in their personal CDS projects while urging them to desist from stigmatising ex-convicts.

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ECOWAS Youth Council appoints Osungbade youth ambassador

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The Youth Council of the Economic Community of West African States (EYC), has announced the appointment of Osungbade Akeem as its youth ambassador.

This was made known in a letter released recently by the president of EYC, Ambassador Seun Williams, and seen by Tribune Online.

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The letter stated, “This appointment is not unconnected to his laudable antecedents, hardwork and diligence in the area of service to humanity even in the face of oppression and intimidation.

“As a relentless crusader of promoting entrepreneurship for African youths, we are optimistic of his positive impacts in the region and organisation.”

Ambassador Osungbade Akeem, when reached for comments on his appointment, stated that, “Service to humanity is one that I’ve dedicated my life and this is just a call for more innovative actions that would create values among West African youths. I’m glad to accept this as a challenge.”

Akeem is the founder and CEO of Cyberxox, a remote website, application and logo designing agency. He is also the Head of Marketing of Cudium, a cross-border payment technology company.



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