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Celebrating The Irrepressible Chioma Ohakim

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For the dark and lovely wife of former Governor Ikedi Ohakim, March 23rd every year is set aside to celebrate the birth of the matriarch, Barrister (Lady) Chioma Ohakim (mni).

Born to the family of Mr & Mrs Christopher Ahamefule of Umuneke Anara in the same Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State. She is the third child and the first daughter in a family of ten. The then little Chioma left no one in doubt that she is an achiever who will not give in to the restrictions imposed by a typical Ibo society, where many felt restricted from achieving their dreams due to the perceived impression that the place of the woman is the Kitchen.

Undoubtedly a thorough bred nwafo as Ndigbo love to be described, Barrister Chioma always wows everyone with her thoughts no matter the topic.

She is not given to pretences because according to her “We are sojourners here on earth, why belabour oneself with what is unnecessary”.

To describe Barrister Chioma Ohakim as a person would be quite a herculean task. No one word best describes her. To many she appears as strong, others committed, but you can never miss the attribute of humility in her. Not given to pretences, she always speaks her mind on any issue no matter whose ox is gored, that is irrepressible Chioma for you.

You may not be wrong if you describe her as tough, perhaps she comes off as one. But beneath the hard stance is a woman with the compassionate heart of a mother or how else do I describe the four years I worked for her as Chief Press Secretary or image maker if you like.

The first day I was ushered into her office, she said ” Wow, young lady, you are beautiful. I love ladies who are comfortable in their dark complexion and make no attempt to tone or bleach their skin. I love the fact that you did not tamper with your colour. Can I be your friend?”

Here she was, wife to the most brilliant Governor of Imo state then and asking to be my friend! Of course, I agreed, who would not? And since that day in June 2007, Barrister Ohakim became my boss, friend, and quite naturally mother.

She is a stickler to details, while you may hoodwink her on anything, it can never be what relates to details, am still waiting for who can. Thus many joke that while you can cheat her husband out of anything, she is a hard-nut to crack.

A grandmother already, (unfortunately I can’t remember her age now so indulge me), Barrister Ohakim rocks motherhood well, she can give other women a run for good health. When asked her secret she said “You know am a water addict! I can drink water for Africa! I avoid serious chemical products because like I always say, the manufacturers don’t have exactly my Anara genes, so anything they produce can do damage, its better I avoid them or use very minimally”.

You can’t meet her and not notice what I call ‘her wicked command of Igbo language’, she will simply leave you enamored!

Barrister Ohakim is probably the first woman who has an Igbo adage to anything she says, and I mean it to the letter!

My favourite remains “anaghia gpo meeting nelu nmayan onye ozo”, (You don’t use another person’s drinks to host your meeting). That is vintage Barrister Ohakim for you, she definitely will not suffer gladly just so you invade her space for meaningless issues.

An avid reader (actually you can’t be associated with Dr Ohakim without being a lover of books) Barrister Ohakim stays up late nights just to cross her tees and dot her iis, and if she is not satisfied with the concept of a thing, she does not hesitate to seek assistance and if need be, change it entirely so long as it will benefit humanity.

A committed wife who works hard at shielding her family from the eyes of invaders, she is one of the reputed few women who despite being in public office has a grip on her husband, children, and home. How she achieved that is a lesson to many. Call her Thatcher Chioma and you may not be far from the truth because while her husband embarks on a mission outside, she keeps the home balanced.

As the First Lady of Imo State between May 27, 2007 to 2011, she was Chairperson, South East Governors’ Wives Forum; Leader, Imo State chapter of National Women Coalition on AIDS (NAWOCA); Patron, Women for Change Initiative (W4CI) Imo State; and Convener, New Face of Imo Family Prayer Project.

She also founded the Empowerment for Women and Youths Initiative (EWAYI) NGO with headquarters in Owerri, Imo State, a platform she used to reach out to many indigents in Imo State via start-off capitals for small businesses; houses for indigent widows; scholarships for indigent students, and education of the girl-child.

A stickler for decent dressing, she champions proper dressing for girls and women, condemning all forms of obscenity under any guise. Like she says “you are dressed the way you wish to be addressed”.

She holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Business Administration and Management from Yaba College of Technology in Lagos; a Law degree from the Imo State University. She is also a graduate of the Nigerian Law School, Bwari, Abuja; a Law Masters degree from the Abia State University; and a graduate of the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) and thus has the coveted Member National Institute (MNI) attached to her name.

Come Saturday, March 28, all roads will lead to the commissioning of the EWAYI ultra modern centre almost along the busy Port Harcourt road, Owerri.

Her Excellency is married to His Excellency, Dr (Sir) Ikedi Ohakim, the immediate past Governor of Imo State. They are blessed with five children, two males and three females, and now grandchildren. Her hobbies include meeting people, reading, researching, and engaging in community services.

As you advance in years today, I join your innumerable children across the world to celebrate you.

Eight years after government house, you have remained true to your values and family. Happy birthday my own irrepressible dark and lovely ma!

Angela Nkwo-Akpolu, a Journalist served as Barrister Ohakim’s image maker when she was the First Lady of Imo State.

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#EndSars: Unfreeze Accounts of Protesters-Court

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been ordered by a Federal High Court in Abuja to unfreeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS protesters who were alleged to be the influencers of the 2020 #EndSARS cum Anti-Police brutality and End bad governance Protests.

Ahmed Mohammed, Judge of the High Court on Wednesday, issued the order, unfreezing the accounts after the legal teams of both the CBN and the 20 defendants decided to end the case.

The 20 #EndSARS protesters targeted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after the 2020 anti-police brutality demonstrations were still being deprived access to their bank accounts despite the expiration of the court’s freezing order of November 4, 2020.

Read Also: Lekki TollGate: Nigerians Plans Fresh Protest

The CBN had on November 4, 2020 obtained an ex parte order of the Federal High Court in Abuja freezing the protesters’ accounts for 90 days. By this calculation, the freezing order expired on February 2.

One of the affected protesters, Bolatito Oduala, popularly known as Rinu, confirmed in a twitter  message on Saturday that the restriction placed on her accounts and those of her colleagues had not been lifted.

Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who is also their lawyer confirmed this.

Mr Falana said with the expiration of the order, his legal team “will file a motion to set the order aside.”

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Features and Highlights

Buhari seeks Senate confirmation of new Service Chiefs

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After persistent clamour by Nigerians, Buhari appointed new service chiefs to take over from the ex-service chiefs to be able to bring in their security expertise towards combating terrorism, especially in the North-East part of the nation.

This was done, without getting the constitutional endorsement of the National Assembly. However, human rights lawyers including Femi Falana had said the President lacked powers to appoint the new generals without the constitutional endorsement of the National Assembly.

Read Also: Buhari appoints new Service Chief – Femi Adesina

On Tuesday, the Senate received a request from the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for the confirmation of the newly appointed service chiefs.

“The appointees for confirmation are: Maj. Gen. Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea lrabor – Chief of Defence Staff; Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru – Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo – Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Amao – Chief of Air staff.

“They are to replace the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.”

Read Also: IGP: Tenure Extension, not paid for – NPF

The request which was contained in a letter dated 27th January, 2021, was read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary on Tuesday.

According to a statement by Lawan’s aide, Ezrel Tabiowo, the letter from the President, read in parts, “In compliance with the provisions of Section 18 (1) of the Armed Forces Act. Cap A20 Laws the Federation of Nigeria 2004, I hereby forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the under listed officer as the Chief of Defence Staff and Services Chiefs of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Herdsmen attacks: Seyi Makinde seems to be paralysed by fear, says sports minister

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Following the various alleged attacks in various parts of the states in Nigeria wherein Oyo state is experiencing the same heat, Mr  Sunday Dare,  Minister of Youth and Sports Development, has advised Seyi Makinde the Governor of Oyo State, to be more proactive and decisive in tackling the security situation in the state.

In a statement on Monday, Dare implied that the governor is too scared to take a decision that would protect the indigenes of his state from attacks.

Read Also: Fulani Herdsmen Ultimatum: Sunday Ighoho responds to his arrest order by Presidency

There had been reports of alleged attacks, that some Fulani were kidnapping, killing, and raping residents in Ibarapa area of the state

Sunday Dare urged the governor to seek assistance from states and non-state actors and stop “responding out of fear that his political status is being damaged”.

Part of the statement termed, ‘Minister wants Makinde to be more decisive on security’, read, “For several months, citizens of Oyo state have watched with increasing concern as the security situation in our beloved state degenerated. Troubling accounts about killings, kidnappings, and herdsmen versus farmers conflicts abound.

Read Also: South West warning over Fulani Treatment by Coalition of Northern Groups

Like all the people of Oyo State, I expected the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde to act fast and prudently but with reasonable dispatch to quell the security situation before it got out of hand.

We all waited for proactive steps and responses from the state authority, but certainly in vain.

“Governor Makinde seems to be paralysed by fear regarding this important security situation. This is the first serious test of his leadership in the state.

“Instead of tackling it, he has retreated. His policy has not been proactive enough to resolve the issues so that the protection of lives will be guaranteed and our people spared the mourning over dead ones.

Instead, his policy has been to act as if nothing was happening in forlorn hope that all would simply go away as if it were a bad dream.”

“The worsening developments in the state in the area of security are a direct result of a temporizing fiddling leader.

The Governor has paid more lip service to the issue of security instead of offering solutions or taking proactive steps to stem the attacks and chart the path of resolution.

For this is a complex issue that requires political courage and vision to resolve.”

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