Connect with us

News and Report

Ogbunike Cave Carnival Holds In Anambra This December….

Published

on

Having hosted two editions of Ogbunikewalk4life, a Mini Carnival/Health Walk held every December 31, in Ogbunike Cave, Ogbunike, Anambra State, 90 Degrees Entertainment, organisers of the yearly event, has finally unveiled Ogbunike Cave Carnival (OCC).

Organised in collaboration with LIBDEZ Solution Services Ltd, the three-day festival aimed at celebrating the UNESCO World Heritage Site, will commence on December 30 and end on January 1, 2016.

According to Chuks Nwanne, the founder and Creative Director of the carnival, this year’s edition will set the tone for more innovations around the project, as well create platform for youths of the community and tourists to unwind during Xmas break.
OGBUNIKE-CAVE
“In 2013, when we came up with Ogbunikewalk4life, the idea was to use the health walk/mini carnival to set the tone for the main carnival. With the level of success we recorded in 2013 and 1014, it was obvious that the time has come for us to unveil Ogbunike Cave Carnival. What you will witness this year is the original format of the carnival, which has taken us three years to develop,” he said.

Based on the programme plan made available to the media, this year’s carnival will open on December 31 with Ogbunike Five Aside Tournament, a one-day football competition involving eight teams, who will slug it out for the carnival trophy. There will also be a Sport Parade, which will see football fans clad in their different club jerseys, as the parade to the market square (Oyeolisa Market) with traditional Ogene music leading the train.

On December 31, which is the day-two of the festival, the regular Ogbunikewalk4life will take the center stage. The carnival float will take off from the Ogbunike Town Hall, through the usual routes, to the Round Palace of Igwe Ogbunike, HRH John Ositadimma Umenyiora, where guests will pay homage to the King. From the palace, the train will move to the popular Ogbunike Cave, where visitors and tourist will have the opportunity of exploring the tourist destination that has put Ogbunike community on the world map. In the evening of the same day, there will be Carnival Concert/New Year Countdown at the Town Hall, with different musicians and comedians on parade.

 

Ada Ogbunike Beauty Pageant, the grand finale of the carnival, holds on January 1, 2016, at the Ogbunike Town Hall. The event, which will see 10 pretty Ogbunike ladies contest for the Ada Ogbunike crown, will be spiced with musical and comedy performance. Winners will be presented with prizes.

Speaking on the 2015 carnival, the Project Manager for OCC, Adaeze Uzodoh, informed that the team is doing everything possible to stage a successful event this year.

“When we came up with walk4life in 2013, many didn’t give the project a chance. But with what happened last year, it is clear that people are beginning to key into the initiative. So, this year, we are going to surprise guests with the package we are working on. As time goes on, we will update the public on the programme proper.”

Uzodoh, who is also the CEO of LIBDEZ also called on the Anambra State government, corporate organisation and well-meaning individuals to support the initiative.

“Let me use this opportunity to thank the traditional ruler of Ogbunike, Igwe John Ositadimma Umenyiora for his support to this project. From the first edition, he has been a pillar of support for us. Also, Ogbunike Progressive Union (OPU) has been very helpful in making this event a success.

“For corporate organisations, this is an opportunity to come in as sponsors; we will be glad to have you as partners in progress. We also solicit the support of the Anambra State government is growing this carnival to an enviable height. This project has the capacity of projecting the tourism potentials of the state,” she said.

Meanwhile, VISAGE Concepts Nigeria Ltd, a Lagos-based PR outfit, has been unveiled as the communications outfit for Ogbunike Cave Carnival 2015. The PR Company will be responsible for all communication about the carnival, including pre and post event.

“We are glad to be associated with this project, which I believe has the capacity of exploiting the tourism potentials of the cave,” the CEO of VISAGE, Iwuchukwu Chukwudi said.

“For three years that the Carnival has successfully held, we have observed with delight, the deep passion displayed by our young people, while showcasing their interpretation of their cultural identities through their dresses, songs and dance steps. Our joy knows no bounds when we see the joy and camaraderie radiating throughout the land.”

He added that, “we believe it is a project that can showcase the tourism potential of Ogbunike cave while engendering peace and fraternity among the Ogbunike youths. Glad this is happening because it will go a long way to project the famous Ogbunike cave and its inherent potentials to the outside world. It is a project we are glad and excited to associate our brand with.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

News and Report

NASRE Advises FG On Food Crisis, Forex Shortage Amid Calls To Suspend Import Ban

Published

on

By

 

As Nigeria finds itself at a critical crossroads, grappling with simultaneous challenges of a food crisis and a foreign exchange (forex) shortage.

 

This is even as the nation seeks solutions to mitigate these pressing issues, the debate over whether to open its borders for importation has intensified.

 

The food crisis gripping Nigeria has raised concerns about food security and access to essential nutrition for millions of citizens.

 

Adverse weather conditions, supply chain disruptions, and other factors have contributed to dwindling food supplies and soaring prices, placing a significant strain on households and exacerbating the vulnerability of already marginalized communities.

 

Meanwhile, the forex shortage has hampered Nigeria’s ability to import essential goods and raw materials, further exacerbating supply chain disruptions and exacerbating inflationary pressures.

 

Industries reliant on imported inputs, including agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare, have been particularly hard hit, impeding economic growth and development.

 

In response to these challenges, some stakeholders advocate for opening Nigeria’s borders to facilitate the importation of food and other essential commodities.

 

Proponents argue that increased importation could help alleviate immediate food shortages, stabilize prices, and provide relief to vulnerable populations facing hunger and malnutrition.

 

However, others caution against the potential risks of opening borders amid a forex shortage. Critics raise concerns about the impact on domestic production and self-sufficiency, as well as the long-term consequences of relying heavily on imported goods. They emphasize the need to prioritize investments in domestic agriculture and infrastructure to build resilience against future crises.

 

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the government faces the daunting task of balancing short-term relief efforts with long-term strategies for sustainable development and economic resilience.

 

Proffering suggestion on how the government can address the unending inflationary pressures, Forex shortages, food prices hike and revitalise the nation’s economy, the Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors (NASRE), has advised the Nigerian government to adopt collaborative efforts involving policymakers, industry stakeholders, civil society organizations, and international partners to identify holistic solutions that address both immediate needs and underlying structural challenges.

 

On the debate over whether Nigeria should open its borders for importation amid the food crisis and forex shortage, the President of the advocacy group, Mr Femi Oyewale, underscores the urgency of coordinated action and innovative thinking.

 

According to him, now more than ever, solidarity, cooperation, and forward-thinking policies are needed to ensure the well-being and prosperity of all Nigerians.

 

“The question of whether Nigerian borders should be opened for food importation in the face of a food crisis is complex and multifaceted. However, there are factors to consider, which basically, Domestic Agricultural Capacity. Because opening borders for food importation could undermine domestic agricultural production by flooding the market with cheaper imported goods.

 

“However, if domestic production is insufficient to meet demand, importing food may be necessary to avoid shortages,” he said.

 

On the economic implications of borders opening, the President of NASRE, Oyewale, said: “Importing food can have economic ramifications, both positive and negative. On one hand, it can provide access to a wider variety of foods and potentially lower prices for consumers. On the other hand, it may negatively impact local farmers and exacerbate trade imbalances.”

 

The resourceful editors, while commenting on Food Security, pointed out that relying heavily on imported food leaves a country vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and price fluctuations in the global market. Therefore, it urged the federal government to develop a robust domestic agricultural sector, which is crucial for long-term food security.

 

According to Oyewale, the Nigerian government must consider its broader economic and agricultural policies when making decisions about food importation. This includes evaluating subsidies, tariffs, and investment in agricultural infrastructure.

 

“Importing food often involves long-distance transportation, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. Promoting local production can help reduce the carbon footprint associated with food consumption.

 

“Food is not just a commodity; it is essential for human well-being. Government policies should prioritize ensuring access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food for all citizens, particularly those most vulnerable to food insecurity,” he added.

 

The Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors, NASRE, therefore, noted that the decision to open Nigerian borders for food importation during a food crisis should be approached cautiously, taking into account the country’s domestic agricultural capacity, economic implications, food security goals, environmental concerns, and social welfare considerations.

 

“A balanced approach that supports both domestic production and responsible trade practices may be necessary to address immediate food shortages while also promoting long-term food security and sustainability,” the Association stated.

Continue Reading

News and Report

Lagos State Government to prosecute 11 suspects for extortion

Published

on

By

The Lagos State Government said 11 suspects arrested at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state will be prosecuted to serve as deterrents to others extorting residents and motorists in the state.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Olawale Musa, disclosed this while addressing journalists on Wednesday.

He added that the suspects parade themselves as enforcement officers to extort unsuspecting motorists and residents in the state.

Musa said, “Lagos State Government has declared zero tolerance for extortion of unsuspecting residents, especially motorists, by miscreants parading themselves as enforcement officers at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state.

“We have announced severally that nobody is allowed to collect money for the local government on the street of Lagos, and the government has set up a team to ensure that anybody that does that is picked up and from that Lekki axis.

“They will be charged to court to explain themselves, and I want to sound a note of warning to others that do the same thing that we will not relent; the government is all out for them.”

He noted that it is unlawful for any local government area within the state to place personnel to conduct such operations on the highways.

“If you have any issues, you call us, and we will come and address them, but when you have people coming on the road on the guise that you want to have revenue at this hard time, collecting money from motorists on the road is not fair, and it is illegal in Lagos State to resist it.

“It is illegal for any local government area in the state to deploy people on the roads as it negates the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, Section 18, 2018, which empowers only the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority to carry out such operations on the roads,” he added.

In March 2023, The PUNCH reported that the Lagos State Government arrested four suspected hoodlums in some parts of the state over extortion.

The suspects were arrested in the Amuwo-Odofin area of the state while attempting to extort motorists.

 

Continue Reading

News and Report

N10bn fraud: EFCC to arraign Abdulfattah Ahmed, ex-Kwara Governor Friday

Published

on

By

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will arraign the immediate-past governor of Kwara State, Abdulfattah Ahmed, for alleged N10bn fraud on Friday, The PUNCH has learnt.

Credible sources in the anti-graft agency said the ex-governor would be dragged before the Federal High Court in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

“He is going to be arraigned on Friday at the Federal High Court in Ilorin for diversion of funds, amounting to N10bn,” the source told our correspondent.

The ex-governor has been detained by the EFCC since Monday when he honoured an invitation for interrogation.

His Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji AbdulWahab Oba, confirmed his principal’s visit to the EFCC office on Monday, stating that it was only “procedural and routine”.

“Dr Ahmed’s visit to the EFCC is procedural and routine. He was invited and he honoured them as he’s always done. He’s always ready to respond to any query or question regarding his tenure as a governor of the state.”

On Tuesday night, Oba lamented that the EFCC was still holding on to Ahmed, saying he was given stringent bail conditions.

“Yes, he is still with the EFCC and we are now in a dilemma over the issue because they keep changing the goalpost during the match. The case is taking a new dimension, which we don’t really understand for now.

“Initially they said they wanted him to produce two sureties who are federal directors. The sureties came and were asked to provide landed properties in Abuja. We see this as a contradiction. The case was initially handled by the EFCC office in Abuja before it was transferred to Ilorin over the issue of jurisdiction. Additionally, he has been denied access to his doctors, medication and direct access to his cook,” Oba said.

Meanwhile, members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara State on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest to the EFCC zonal office in Ilorin, where Ahmed was being detained.

The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, expressed displeasure over Ahmed’s detention.

Led by the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olusegun Adewara, the party members alleged that the All Progressives Congress in the state was behind Ahmed’s troubles.

Some of the inscriptions on their placards read: “EFCC should stop being a tool in the hands of Abdulrazaq led-APC”, “Governor Ahmed was very transparent”, “EFCC is not a department in the APC, EFCC, stop the harassment”, “The opposition cannot be silenced”, “Maigida will not join the APC no matter the persecution”, “EFCC, don’t instigate political crisis in Kwara State”, “No to illegal detention. Respect the rule of law”, among others.

But addressing the protesters, the zonal commander of the EFCC, Michael Nzekwe, said Ahmed had been given an administration bail but he could not meet the conditions.

“We’re wrapping up. Once we wrap up, the law will take its course. The anti-graft agency, being a creation of law, would not go contrary to law.

“Everything we’ve done is within the ambit of the law. The former governor is cooperating with us and we’re making good progress following rules of law. As I speak, he’s with his lawyer, a SAN; he attends to everyone who comes to see him, and he has a doctor who has attended to him. He eats what he wants to eat. I urge us to allow the law take its course. We’re not partisan nor prompted by anybody. This body is solely sponsored by the Federal Government,” Nzekwe said.

 

Continue Reading

Trending