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Anokam Receives Award Of Excellence

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My desire to help people is not borne out of my desire to join politics or become a politician….”

The above were the exact words of Estate Surveyor Sam Anokam, a community leader and a native of Ihiagwa Autonomous Community in Owerri-West Local Government Area of Imo State shortly after he was bestowed with a distinguished Award of ”Excellence” for his service to mankind, by the Imo Media Observers Forum,” on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at his Anokam Associates Estate Surveyors and Valuers Office, at Wetheral Road in the state capital.

He informed his guests that his desire in championing the causes of the masses is to contribute his own quota towards moving society forward.

As he put it, “It is actually because I want to contribute towards rebuilding society. I have made that contribution within the period of my life to leave my footprints in the sands of time.”

He noted that his philanthropy dates back to his secondary school days when following a book that he read which says, “One must leave one’s foot prints, positively,  in the sands of time,” adding that one will always be remembered by what good things one did right.

“Your offspring will benefit from it, one way or the other,” he said.

He gave instances of situations in which people not closely known to him have equally benefited immensely from his benevolence and for which he did not even ask for a reward.

“Let me give you another example. In the South East after the Nigeria/Biafra Civil War there was poverty. It was supposed to be that Southeasters were not paid to rise again by the Federal Government. And the people were discriminated against.

“General Yakubu Gowon promulgated a decree after the war that wherever the soldiers occupied they must pay a rent. And the entire South East was occupied during the war. They didn’t pay one Kobo. But in the North they paid. I sat down in my office here prepared a report too… So I followed it up. I used Amakohia as my case in point where they had two barracks with all the facts. There were no doubts about it. I wanted to sue the Federal Government. At the end of the day, the Federal Government had to pay N100 million then for all the South East states.  That was between 1993 and 1994, during the time of the late General Sani Abacha… In the end, I was happy that the military paid something… That is the way I do my things for people, for posterity because that is the essence of education, the essence of knowledge. You don’t use it selfishly. As long as God gives me life I’ll do more for society.”

Anokam enjoined media practitioners to fish out others like him in society and project them too, believing that they too would do more.

He commended Governor Hope Uzodimma over the role he played in the repossession of some pieces of land from the Federal Government at the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) , describing the governor as a selfless person who asked him to give the land to their owners.

“The Governor told me about the FUTO land: Sam, go and do it for the interest of the people, you know I’m not a land grabber. Do it well. I have given it to you. So he did not say: Sam, bring it and give it to me or how do we share it, or how do we do it?”

He also spoke glowingly about the investigative capacity of the publisher of Daily Nigerian Horn newspapers, Chief Bright Chimezie Njoku long before he even established the paper and commended him for that singular journalistic effort.

Chief Anokam, therefore, urged practicing journalists to crosscheck their facts before going to the press.

“Investigate properly,” he stated.

In their separate remarks, the coordinator and secretary of the forum respectively, Chuks Nwokeji, and Kelechi Uzomah spoke on the reasons for bestowing Anokam with the prestigious award.

According to Nwokeji, the award was in keeping with ‘World Humanitarian Day’ –set aside to honor and celebrate those who have rendered selfless service to humanity but cannot blow their own trumpet.

“Sir, we’ll be bold to say you’ve written your name in the hearts of many. They may not know you but we’ve been observing you. We only urge you to keep on doing the good work because posterity will not forget you. We’re proud of you. You’re one of those making a silent but powerful impact on society. Thank you very  much.”

Uzomah noted that the prestigious award was due to Chief Anokam’s antecedents: his contributions for his community, his sincerity of purpose, for ensuring that what is due for his community is given to the community and as an elder statesman who has done so much for humanity. To celebrate him alive, to show the world that Anokam is a man who has given his best, who has never indulged in any illegal dealings; for his philanthropic gestures which are second to none. The Icon of human and society development, who has been committed to rendering selfless service to his community and to the people.

“And we as a group, as a body, as an organization, as a watchdog of society, we’ve come to tell you, that it is not only your community, it is not only your immediate Local Government (Owerri West) that are seeing all your good work, that Imo people and indeed the world at large are taking notice and cognizance of all your activities. A man whose word is indeed his bond. We want to thank you. Once again, accept our congratulations.”

In a citation, Uzomah said, among others “…Ladies and gentlemen, may I, at this point, present to you a man who has empowered so many youths and given scholarships to so many brilliant students in Ihiagwa and beyond. This philanthropist of our time has contributed greatly to the overall development of Ihiagwa as a community and Owerri West Local Government, Imo State in particular.”

Chief Anokam appreciated the gesture.

“I feel happy and honored. An Igbo man would say, ‘aturu kwam anya nke a!” I wasn’t expecting this award. But since you say okay: you’ve been close to me watching and then as somebody qualified to be given this honour I want to thank you all. I know that all that we do as human beings do register in the minds of our neighbours whether it is positive or negative. And hardly do people show appreciation to it.

“You probably might think they’re not taking note but at the appropriate time they’ll express themselves to you, one way or the other. In your case you’ve actually done your own so timely,” he said.

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Eid: Put politics aside, pray for Buhari, Tinubu urges Nigerians

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All Progressives Congress chieftain, Bola Tinubu, has urged Nigerians to put politics aside and pray for the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) for strength and wisdom to protect the nation.

He made this call on Wednesday in his Eid-el-Fitr message titled, ‘Let righteous acts, efforts of Ramadan continue to guide our actions’.

Tinubu, who joined Muslims in Nigeria and across the world to mark the completion of this year’s Ramadan fast, stressed that the fasting is a sign of complete devotion to God.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to remember the lessons of Ramadan.

He said, “We must never condone and tolerate the works and words of those who would do evil or who would pit brother against brother, Nigerian against Nigerian.”

Read Also: FG careful with kidnappers not with #EndSARS protesters, Omokri slams Lai Mohammed

He also urged Nigerians to put politics aside and continue to pray for Buhari and his government.

“Let us put politics aside and continue to pray to Almighty Allah for our country and all its people.

“Let us remember President Muhammadu Buhari and his government in our prayers that they may be given the requisite strength and wisdom to protect the nation, defeat the challenges that confront us and help establish Nigeria as a more prosperous and just land,” he stressed.

Tinubu also emphasised that Nigerians should pray for soldiers and those that are in the frontline against the war on terrorism and coronavirus pandemic.

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FG careful with kidnappers not with #EndSARS protesters, Omokri slams Lai Mohammed

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An ex-aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, has slammed the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, for saying that the Federal Government and its security agencies know the whereabouts of kidnappers and bandits but only being careful.

According to Omokri, the government was not careful with #EndSARS protesters last October when soldiers allegedly opened fire on youths at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, injuring over 30 protesters and allegedly killing some youths.

It was reported that the minister at a briefing on Tuesday said the government indeed knew the locations of kidnappers, adding that security agencies were only being careful to avoid civilian casualties.

“One of the most difficult things to do, for a democratically-elected government, is to use the instruments of coercion against its own people. For example, while the nation’s military have superior firepower over the rag tag band of Boko Haram and ISWA, the terrorists most often than not operate among the populace, either in our villages or towns, hence the military, in tackling them, is usually careful to avoid collateral damage.

Read Also: Eid: Buhari asks Nigerians to pray against banditry, kidnapping

“The same applies to the kidnappers who abduct our school children. Usually, the location of the kidnappers is not unknown to security forces, but they still have to exercise caution in order not to hurt the same children they are trying to rescue. Despite these inhibitions, the security forces have the wherewithal to decisively tackle the challenges,” Mohammed had said.

Reacting, Omokri, in a string of tweets on Wednesday, wrote, “Lai Mohammed says the Buhari government knows where kidnappers are, but are only being ‘careful’. But why was the Buhari administration not careful during #LekkiMassacre, or when they massacred Nigerian Shiites? Why is their mercy only reserved for kidnappers?

“Lai, why is your government now appealing to bandits and herdsmen? Did you ‘appeal’ to #EndSARS protesters before massacring them, or to the people of Orlu before slaughtering them? The Buhari administration is a useless embarrassment!”

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Eid: Buhari asks Nigerians to pray against banditry, kidnapping

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday asked Nigerians to pray against kidnapping, banditry and blackmail.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President made the call in his Eid-il-Fitr message.

The statement was titled ‘On the occasion of Eid, President Buhari calls for unity and solidarity’.

Shehu quoted the President as saying, “On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all.

Read Also: Six things you didn’t know about India COVID-19 variant

“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.

“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.

“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.

“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”

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