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ANAMBRA GUBER: ‘UMUNNA REVOLUTION’ , WHY WE ALL NEED TO KEY INTO THE MOVEMENT

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TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY DR HARRIS CHUMA ODILI ON THE MEDIA UNVEIL OF ‘UMUNNA REVOLUTION’, A DEMOCRATIC MODEL FOR INCLUSIVENESS AND WELL-BEING OF MAJORITY OF CITIZENS

All Protocols observed.

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Gentlemen of the Press, I wish to heartily welcome you to this press conference, inspired by the need to offer the people of Anambra a veritable option in the quest to make life more meaningful for a greater majority of our people.

As a concerned citizen of the state, I have been inundated with so many disturbing thoughts about the welfare of the people. I have been bugged by one recurring question: “If democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people, why does it benefit just a handful of the citizens?”

When we look around us, we see poverty written on the faces of the citizens, which resulted from factors that are above their control. Without citing statististics from renowned bodies in the world, there is no doubt that the present era, constitutes one of the worst times for our people ever. Yet, democracy has been promoted as the solution for our problems.

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Is democracy overrated? I will say a big NO. Democracy is still the way forward but governance must match democratic ethics to make it worthwhile for the people. I have a strong conviction that every society must evolve a system that works for it and adapt it for the wellbeing and harmony of her people.
In Nigeria today, it appears the beauty of democracy starts and ends at the Government Houses.

 

At the Federal level, we have that feeling when we see people who are privileged to visit Aso Rock Villa. While in our state, it comes with people’s ability to hobnob at Agu Awka, our Government House. But it is not supposed to be so. Every government in place must ensure that it rubs off POSITIVELY on the lives of majority, if not all of the citizens.

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While our findings indicate that this style, where a few benefit is not entirely intentional, it is obvious that governments can do more by evolving a model that brings inclusiveness in the dividends of democracy.

As Ndi Igbo, we understand the concept of Umunna and how it works. Short of the nuclear family as influenced by the Western World, Umunna in our society is the fabric on which every Igbo clan is built on, which is why the idea of ‘Umunna Revolution’, which we have gathered here today to talk about, is unique. Umunna is vital in fostering unity amongst the people, considering the fact that it is a group of people bound by one destiny, who by every stretch of imagination understands what their concerns and needs are.

Umunna Revolution therefore, not only aims at bringing governance down to the grassroots but down to every family, so that the geese and the ganders can be equally treated. This is different from a situation where one comes to a certain town and you notice that all the benefits usually accrue to one family or group. This is anti-people and breeds resentment and division as we have been witnessing so far.

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The greatest challenge of this model, I must confess is that it needs an accurate data to be functional, and that is where we have excelled because as I speak with you about 1.6million people have been captured for this which in our view, will be beneficial to the people. This concept will also act as the panacea for the growing insecurity in our land, because when governance touches every fabric of the society, agitations tend to go and like I always tell people, we will kill insecurity when we reduce the number of people wallowing in misery in our midst. If we can reduce misery to 5% with Umunna Revolution in one year, be rest assured that crime will also reduce by the same margin.

In essence this is where the INCOMING government of the African Democratic Congress, ADC has excelled. To be able to solve the problems of the people, you must be able to understand them and apply solutions that will transform their lives. While people say devolve power to the states or regions, ADC in Anambra is saying devolve governance to Umunna.
We are optimistic that by the time it begins to yield the positive results in Anambra State, a lot more states will be forced to replicate this model in their various states and beyond.

Gentlemen of the Press, I thank you for being here and for your attention and urge you to preach the word that something good is coming to the people through ADC. Something good is coming through Akachukwu Sullivan Nwankpo.

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Thank you!

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Nigeria

Queen Josephine Steps Down as Chairperson Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Wives Association after years of meritorious service

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It was a moment full of emotions, celebration, and expressions of love and gratitude as the tenure of the Queen of Twon Brass Kingdom, Her Royal Majesty Dr. (Barr) Dame, Evangelist Josephine Diete-Spiff, came to an end as the Chairperson of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Wives Association (BSTWA).

Queen Josephine, who also doubles as the President of the Niger Delta Royal Queens Initiative, subsequently handed over the Secretariat to the new leadership after occupying the Royal position for eight (8) years, from 2014 to 2022. The Royal Queens in Bayelsa State described her tenor as incredibly impactful and the best in leadership ever seen.

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She spoke during the handing over ceremony at the Traditional Rulers Council office complex in Yenagoa on Thursday, April 22, 2022. Queen Diete-Spiff expressed her profound gratitude to their Excellencies Senator Henry Seriake Dickson and Senator Douye Diri for their benevolence, adding that she stayed in office for eight years instead of the usual four years by God’s providence.

She also thanked and appreciated the Royal Queens of Bayelsa State for their support throughout her tenure as the Chairperson.

Queen Diete-Spiff said, “I have called this meeting to let you know that I am stepping aside; my tenure ought to have ended four years ago, but by God’s providence and the pleasure of their Excellencies, Senator Seriake Dickson and Senator Douye Diri to whom I am grateful, I have stayed this long as Chairperson of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Wives Association. I have occupied this position for eight years.

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“Thank you, my Queens. I appreciate you all for the period you served with me and the support you gave me. I cannot thank you enough. My special thanks to our Secretary, Her Majesty Tecy Diongoli, for her kindness, for being fantastic at her job, and for superbly holding her position. For without her, the ride would have been more turbulent.

“I thank you all who showed up today and those who gave their apologies because of the short notice. Your collaboration made things easy for the secretariate. The association could not have functioned without you because if meetings and programs are called and no one shows up, there will be no leadership. I urge you to give the same support to the new Chairperson of our organization because the administration cannot be offered in isolation from the people. Meanwhile, I appreciate you all for all you did that made my tenure as Chairperson of BSTWA successful.

“Going forward, as the President of the Queens of the Niger Delta, I hope to still carry you, my Queens, along with me at that level. As Bayelsa Queens, you all will still be part of our occasions, programs, and events. So, I am still with you all, a part of you. After all, I am a Bayelsa woman, I am a Bayelsa Queen.

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“Nonetheless, I am still here to encourage the new Chairperson if she desires, and I pray that you all will also give her the needed support. If you ever need any advice or need my collaboration, please don’t hesitate to call me. I will be glad to give you as much support as you require.”

Highlighting her legacies while in office, the Twon Brass Queen said she created a slogan and an anthem for the organization, instituted a constitution and registered the organization in the state as a social and developmental organization.

According to her, she enlarged the organization from only first-class to include other classifications, giving every Royal home recognition in the organization, instituted a financial system, dress code that befits Royalty and held seminars and conferences that taught the Queen ethical behaviour, trade, self-esteem, self-reliance, public conduct, harnessing peaceful domains, supporting women and children development.

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The Royal Queen further noted that she created government recognition for the organization, gave widowed queens a pride of place by retaining their recognition in the organization, supported Queens that needed legal, financial, and social help, free and gave some disadvantaged children from their domains free scholarship to study in her school.

She instituted and formed the Niger Delta Royal Queens Initiative, where she is presently the pioneer President and caters for widows and the physically challenged through her foundation and office.

In a goodwill message, Secretary BSTWA, HRM Queen Okpoitari Diongoli, said the Royal Queens feel so bad that Queen Josephine is stepping aside, adding that they know the great impact she has created in their lives.

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“We are grateful for your support, showcasing us as royal queens of Bayelsa State. Your coming on board made the state government recognize the Queens. Ordinary, before now, the queens are never invited to State events and programs, except they attend with their husbands, their King. But today, the reality is different, as the Queens are now rightly recognized.

The Queen of Ikianbiri in the Bomo Kingdom, HRH, Dr Justina Lere Zalakoro, noted that Queen Josephine is a woman that wants every other person to have the knowledge she has and appealed to her to always guide the new Chairperson on areas she may miss.

She said, “We pray that you stay much longer, but it is not within our reach to say so. You carried us along; you exposed us. Those of us that were in the Creeks without anybody knowing us, you brought us out, and today, we are recognized in the state.

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“We have made many friends outside the state. Especially me, I have up to five queens from other states as friends. It is your doing. The ideas you brought, the knowledge you gave us, we shall continue with it and learn from you.”

In her speech, the Queen of Anyama, Ogbia Community, HRH Queen Pat Agala, said that all the good works Queen Josephine had done for the Royal Queens of Bayelsa State cannot be overemphasized, adding that God is lifting her higher as she is leaving as the Chairperson.

“We appreciate you for making us to feel like somebody in the society, for making our husbands to love us the more. These days, our husbands are no more going out with friends because you brought us out; you made us to know our rights, teaching us how to dress, personal conduct, and how to speak in public.

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“You never segregated anybody; you never discriminated against anybody. You didn’t look at our status, but you loved us. You believed in us; you worked with us”, she added.

Also, the Queen of Gbarain kingdom, HRM Queen Faye Frank Okiakpe, said that Queen Josephine had been a good chairperson who made herself available for the queens to have access to and has treated everyone equally.

“I know with the testimonies of her works, she will be a great leader to the whole Niger Delta, and I know she will do well, she emphasised.”

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