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Obiano seeks Nov 16 national holiday in honour of Zik

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  • Promises to rehabilitate roads, intensify security

GOVERNOR Willie Obiano has called on the federal government to declare the birthday of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, a national holiday, to honour the great nationalist and first President of Nigeria.

The governor, who made the call at Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, to mark Nigeria’s 59th independence celebration noted that some African nations like Ghana and Tanzania had honoured their pan Africanist leaders like Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere.

The governor, who described Doctor Azikiwe as the greatest Nigerian, who has lived in the last few centuries, said when recognised , it would enable the people have a better understanding of the black and African race.

The governor said that the first President of Nigeria also inspired notable Nigerians and nationalists like Chief Obafemi Awolowo with his intelligence, eloquence, public oratorical skills as well as stupendous literary gift.

He announced that the state will start to observe Nov. 16 annually as work-free day in commemoration of birthday of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.

He said that the day would be for reflection on the contributions of Dr Azikiwe to the growth of the country at large.

The governor also assured the people of the state of his administration’s determination to pay adequate attention to roads after the rainy season.

Governor Obiano maintained that his government would not relent in investing in the education sector, as well as pay attention to youth empowerment.

Meanwhile, the spiritual leader of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Remmy Ezeonwuka, who also called on the president to honour Dr. Azikiwe on his patriotism, advised Nigerians to always eschew bitterness in their dealings with one another.

He equally advised Nigerians to be proud of their culture and train their children in the way of God.

He said that the key problem militating against the development and peace was sin which among others include hate speeches.

“We must as a nation pray and fast for God to intervene in the challenges confronting our country. That is the only way we can make progress as one Nigeria,” Ezeonwuka said.

Also speaking during the event, the Chief of Staff to Governor Obiano, Premius Odili, urged Nigerian leaders to deploy available natural resources in the country to create jobs for the teeming youths and to allow the young ones between the ages of 30-35 years take off the affairs of the country, as President Buhari, Col. Gowon, Col. Ojukwu did during their youthful days.

He said that the country had been blessed with enough natural resources which if well harnessed by our leaders, would create a viable economic growth for the betterment of the people.

However, the celebration was peaceful with match past by school children and other uniform organisations in the state.  The state cultural troop and children calisthenics performed to the admiration of the people.

The governor had earlier inspected a police guard who matched on the occasion with the FRSC, NSCDC, Ocha Brigade and ATMA.

In a related development,Governor Willie Obiano has advocated for the continued progress, peace and unity of Nigeria.

The governor said this during a church service, Sunday, at St Patrick’s  Catholic Cathedral, Awka, to herald the 59th independence anniversary celebration of Nigeria.

During the service, Govetnor Obiano assured intensified security and massive road rehabilitation in Anambra State as soon as the rains abate.

He reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to providing adequate security and safety for Ndi Anambra, revealing that the government has concluded arrangements to re-equip the security agencies with facilities to prevent and combat crime.

Gov Obiano paid special tribute to the heads of security agencies present at the church service in recognition of their selfless service and unflinching commitment to ensuring that Anambra State remains safe and secure.

On roads, the governor regretted the present condition of roads in the state. He observed that the roads deteriorate as a result of blocked drains which cause flooding and consequently erode the roads.

“It is difficult to do any meaningful work on roads during the rains. Whatever you put on ground will be washed away easily because of the nature of our soil and flooding caused by blocked drains”

Gov Obiano promised to rehabilitate roads as soon as the rains are over. He urged Ndi Anambra to desist from disposing garbage into drains and also ensure that silt is removed from drains running through their homes, shops or offices.

“I assure you that the roads will receive urgent attention once it is dry season. You will witness major interventions on road and other areas of infrastructural development.

“However, the citizens must assist government by ensuring that drains are free. You must endeavour to remove silt from drains in front of your house, office or shop. We must take the sanitation days serious and desist from throwing garbage into the drains.

“We need to work together to achieve the progress, safety and unity that we all desire.”

The presiding bishop and Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Dr Paulinus Ezeokafor, lauded the governor for his achievements and urged him to do more for Ndi Anambra.

He prayed for the peace and unity of Anambra State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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