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Igbo Cultural group applauds Buhari for protecting Air Peace against UAE strangulation



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The Igbo Centre for Education and Cultural , (IGBOCECA), has commended the Federal Government over its recent effort in protecting Air Peace, a Nigerian indegenous airline against the discriminatory regulations by UAE.

The executive secretary of IGBOCECA Barrister Abel Onyemaechi Ezeawula spoke at a press conference to acknowledge the roles of President Muhammadu Buhari administration, minister of aviation and the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation authority during the faceoff between Air Peace Nigeria and Emirates Airline.

IGBOCECA an NGO committed to reawakening Igbo Consciousness said, “In the last couple of weeks, we have witnessed the diplomatic brick-bat, between the Nigerian government and the United Arab Emirates, over landing slot for Air Peace, one of the most successful Airlines in Africa – run by an Igbo man.

“Air Peace had sought three landing spaces for the Airport in Sharjah, UAE, but was denied the request and offered one slot. 

“In response to the UAE Government’s refusal, the Nigerian Government withdrew the earlier winter schedule granted to Emirates Airline through the NCAA.

“Expectedly, the UAE Government, through the Dubai CAA, in protest of the Nigerian government directive, cancelled its flights’ operation to Nigeria and also stopped other airlines from airlifting Nigerians to Dubai. 

“The UAE Government had thought that the Nigerian Government would have buckled under pressure and rescinded their decision.
“But, in an unprecedented show of professionalism by the Director-General of NCAA and the Honorable Minister of Aviation, the duo refused to give in to the intimidation but insisted that the right things must be done and the Bilateral Air Services Agreement signed by both countries be respected. 

The cultural organization said they had risen in protest for the series of events that suggests that the current administration does not have the interest of the Igbos at heart.
“However, the events of the last few weeks have prompted a deeper reflection and review of our former position.
According to him, “As a Nigerian, I have never been more proud.  The Honorable Minister of Aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority have rekindled our hope in the strength and importance of this great country. 
“More importantly, as an Igbo man, I now see a government willing to go to any extent to protect a fellow Igbo man. 
“Unlike in the past when our businessmen and women are being made to feel like orphans, the events of the past few weeks have shown that we have a government that cares and is willing to stand by its people. 
“This particular action has ignited our sense of pride and provided us with talking points for those who quickly promote issues that quickly divide us. “Nigerians and Igbo men and women in particular can now do legitimate business across the globe with a sense of pride, knowing that the government will protect their legitimate interests.”
“Our findings have also shown that this is only one in many instances that the Director-General of the NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, will support local aviation businesses, doing businesses in other countries. “
He said Captain Nuhu had intervened and resolved issues between Nigerian airlines and aviation regulators in Togo, Rwanda, Cameroon, among others.
“We have also reliably gathered that his commitment to support local aviation companies interested in operating in other countries has been unparalleled in the sector’s history.” According to one of our sources, “he is simply pro-Nigeria in all ramifications, and we need more public servants like him.”  
He said, this particular noble act couldn’t have come at a better time, as the country continues to experience deep polarization across ethnic lines. 
“The southeast is currently in turmoil, with armed groups threatening to tear the peaceful region apart. “However, developments like this will no doubt provide opportunities for further positive reflection. 
“With Air Peace now granted seven landing slots for Dubai and Sharjah, this will help create more jobs and wealth across the country and inspire other businesses to pursue international collaborations, knowing that the government will not abandon them in times of need. 
“We want to commend the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu, the Honorable Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, for their selfless efforts in pursuing a pan-Nigerian agenda. 
“In Nigeria, where public officials are wont to treat every issue from the ethnic colouration and prism, these two have shown tremendous courage and forthrightness in leadership. 
“We, therefore, call on all public officials to emulate these two, who have consistently shown that professionalism can trump regional and primordial colorations. “The import of this singular act by the NCAA and the Ministry of aviation will appear more rewarding in the retelling. 

“As we speak, more Nigerians are discussing this development, albeit in hush-tones. But, in the coming months, we are hopeful that more groups will rise to commend the leadership of these agencies for their outstanding work. “This conversation has become imperative because, as you all may be aware, different groups have risen to condemn the government. 

“It is only proper that when the government does something noble, we should applaud and commend them in the same measure. 

“Global trends and prevailing realities suggest that when an indigenous business shows capacity to succeed, governments are meant to provide support and a platform to enable the business to grow and become a viable export. 

“That has not been the case in Nigeria. But, this particular development seems to be changing the narrative. 

“In a recent conversation with some friends, they had expressed optimism in Nigeria’s greatness if more people like the DG of NCAA and the Minister of Aviation are allowed to lead strategic organizations.”

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Young Artist tells government to encourage Art to boost Nigeria’s economy




Miss Ifunanya Anunobi and her work
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By Ekuson Nw’Ogbunka Abuja

A young artist, Miss Ifunanya Anunobi has advised the government at levels to encourage Art in order to boost the country’s economy.

Anunobi, a graduate of History and International Studies from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, who has chosen to go into her talent, art, addressed journalists recently in Abuja.

The Artist making explanations about her Artworks

Making her points, she said that Artists, if encouraged would not only be self-employed, but also train many others who, according to her would stand on their own, without depending on the government for employment.

Explaining why she ventured into the profession, she said: “At the age of 12, I tried replicating a cartoon I saw and discovered my knack for drawing. Over time, I developed a habit of drawing anything I saw, finding solace and joy in the process.”

She continued: “Encouraged by my uncle, the former Police Service Commission Chairman, Chief Simon Okeke, I decided to transition into a full-time artist after my youth service in Abuja in 2022. I received validation of my talent from my uncle, who emphasized that it was a gift from God.
“With his encouragement, I delved deeper into art, progressing from drawing to painting, allowing me to express myself fully.”

When asked, if she was being coached by any expert, she said: “I seek advice concerning Art from people like the president of Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA), Mr Mohammed Suleiman and I do also talk to some Artist friends I met in Abuja here for guidance.”

She acknowledged the challenges of the profession, including emotional strains and financial instability but has decided to remain dedicated to her craft, by planning a solo exhibition in Abuja to showcase her works.

When pressed further, she responded thus: “I can say yes, because this is a passion and talent and it gives me joy. Although, I like what I studied in the university, but as you can see, this is my talent and the passion I have for it has overtaken what I studied in the university.”

When asked if she was being assisted by the government, having been able to come out with such beautiful Artworks, she responded thus: “I haven’t, but what I have been doing is participating in competitions, if you are lucky, you get it, if you aren’t, you won’t. However, what I would like the government to do is to encourage the art market, because the market is poor and thus affecting the upcoming Artists.

“And if there is an exhibition opportunity, we the upcoming artists won’t be able to participate, because most of us don’t have money to pay for spaces in a gallery. Even if you are able to participate, most Nigerians would just come, look at the Artworks and go without buying any. So to that, I urge Nigerians to become more interested in art and support artists, because art is also an investment. The Artwork you bought at say, N100 thousand can be resold at N2 million in about four to five years time.

Reiterating why the government should come in to empower those in the profession, the young artist has this to say: “If empowered, we shall contribute immensely to the economy, in the areas of teaching and training people who will be on their own. “By so doing, you have generated employments and the economy will be growing. So I advise Nigerians and the governments at all levels to encourage art and emerging artists who try their best to bring in colours to our turbulent society.”

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Elu Ohafia elders denounce election by Elu Development Union




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***Describe it as violation of Native customs, traditions

The Commity of Elders (Nde Ichin-Ukwu) and Ikwu of Elu Ohafia a community in Abia State has disclaimed the election conducted by the Elu Development Union (EDU) on the 30th day of March, 2024.
The elders described the election as a violation of the Native customs and traditions of the Elu Ohafia community.
A joint communique issued by the elders indicated that, “The electoral committee led by Lekwa Ezuta Udonsi was constituted by a Regent (Engr. Uma Agbai Olugu) without lawful authority in violation of customs on the 24th day of March.
The Communique which was signed by Iroha Kalu, Paul Emetu and others on behalf of the Nde Ichin-Ukwu while Oko Agwu Anaga of Umu-Nnechi, Agbai Oti of Umu-Unadu and others signed on behalf of Ikwu Nwo Ali
The Communique indicated that at a time the community was mourning Ezie Prof. E. U. L. Imaga, “It is unfortunate that the conduct of some persons suggest that they are not mourning with the community.

“We call on all indigenes of Elu Ohafia to remain law abiding and continue to give their unalloyed support to all institutions of governance established by and during reign of Ezie Prof. E. U. L. Imaga and remain focussed on giving our departed Monarch a befitting funeral
The elders denounced and dissociated themselves from the election and by this declare the outcomes of no effect.

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US Govt moves to initiate programmes that will boost Nigeria’s Creative Economy




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The United States government has indicated its readiness to collaborate with the Ministry of Art, Culture, and the Creative Economy to roll out initiatives that will bring about creative success in music and television script writing.

The US Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Lee Satterfield made this known when she paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Art Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa Musawa in Abuja on Thursday.
Special Adviser on media and publicity Nneka Ikem Anibeze in a statement quoted Satterfield to have indicated that the US government will use public diplomacy platforms, including people-to-people diplomacy, to revolutionize the growing opportunities in the music, art and literary fields.

“The Education and Cultural Affairs Bureau at the State Department plays a lead role primarily in building relationships and people-to-people diplomacy across a wide variety of sectors, education mostly, but also in cultural heritage.

“So in addition to the robust programs we already do in the culture space, we have announced 3 new initiatives. One is for television production, to bring Nigerian TV production directors to the University of Southern California to work directly with American executive producers and directors.
This she said will help them to create the shows, and to be mentored and use the American network to help bolster that sector.

“Secondly, with the recording academy, we announced a music program where the Recording Academy will find American mentors who are members of the Recording Academy to bring Africans from the continent.
“I think 5 of the participants out of 20 will be Nigerians. And this is to bolster the music industry, not just musicians, but those who want to be in the business. It is exactly what you’re talking about, wanting to be in the business so we can pair them with Americans to talk about best practices and how to go into the field of music.

“We want to really create this ecosystem in the music space with these recording academy members. Secretary Blinken announced that the program will take place in October of this year. So we are really excited”.

Earlier, the Minister cited Intellectual Property securitization on copyright, lack of infrastructure, and the need to industrialize the sector as key grey areas that yearn for collaborations and investment in order to bring value into the country.

“Infrastructure is key. Part of our road map and strategy is to build the Abuja Creative City, which is going to be a one-stop shop for everything creative. “In addition to the creative city, we are willing to work with different governments, organizations, and institutions to see how we can bring value both ways and really monetize the sector. So in a nutshell, we are looking at 3 key pillars.; Cultural expansion, Economic expansion, and job creation.

“The fourth is our robust initiative called Destination 2030 which we hope to use to reposition Nigeria on the global stage. We really want to get input from you and see how you can help us to invest in this industry, to help Nigeria and these generations through job creation.
“So, really, the door is open for business, for discussions, for collaborations, areas of alignment, and to continue the conversation on how we can also contribute our quota and our content to America.”

In attendance also was Peter Burba First Secretary, US Embassy, Catherine Collins, Director of Film, TV and Digital Media Programs US Department of State, Ali Nuhu, Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation and Obi Asika, Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture.

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