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The state government has charged the thirty-five Christians pilgrims from the state that would be departing for Israel next week Wednesday to be good ambassadors and shun abscondment during the journey.
The State Chairman Christian Pilgrim Welfare Board, Professor Steve Ibenta gave the charge during a one day workshop organized for the pilgrims at the Government House Awka by the Board.
The workshop was aimed at enlightening and educating the pilgrims on the rules and regulations guiding the journey, ranging from personal comportment to purpose of the pilgrimage.
Professor Ibenta who described pilgrimage as critical for moral and spiritual transformation, encouraged the pilgrims to use the period to seek the face of God in their lives and in the state.
He also enjoined them to ask for God’s mercy on Nigeria as the country is recently faced with numerous challenges that need divine intervention.
The Chairman disclosed that only thirty-five persons out of the about three hundred initial applicants for the trip scaled through after series of state and national screenings.
Earlier in a paper presentation on code of conduct and ethical behaviour during pilgrimage, a resource person, Lady Patience Anago warned the Pilgrims against any act that can drag the reputation of the state and the nation to the mud.
On the health of the Pilgrims, a Medical Practitioner, Dr. Mrs Nonye Ezeonyejiaku, advised those on medication among them to observe their medications and to avoid stress and other things that could serve as threat to their health.
The Secretary of the Board, Reverend Father Benedict Obiesi, and another Official of the Board, Mr Jerry Obodo called on government at all levels to encourage pilgrimage by sponsoring the trip to enable more people participate.
Some of the Pilgrims, including Reverend Father Raphael Agbanu, and Dr. Regina Okafor while expressing happiness for being among the selected few, said they decided to embark on the trip to enrich their spiritual lives and knowledge about Jesus Christ the saviour.

The Anambra State House of Assembly says it will commence immediate deliberations on the 2019 Appropriation Bill to ensure early passage of the bill.
The Speaker, Barrister Rita Maduagwu, gave the assurance during the presentation of 2019 Appropriation bill of One fifty seven point one billion naira to the House by Governor Willie Obiano during plenary.
Barrister Maduagwu expressed the hope that the 2019 Appropriation bill titled, “Budget for sustained Economic Growth and youth Empowerment “,will place the State on the part of economic growth and tackle unemployment amongst the youth.
The Speaker stated that the House welcomed the implementation of this year’s budget as it did not only sustain all the indices of meaningful development in the state but initiated avenues that improved the living standard of the people.
She assured that the House will continue to live up to their constitutional responsibilities through enactment of quality laws, effective representation, as well as oversight of Ministries for the
good governance of the State, even as she commended the House for passing over seventy bills and seven hundred people oriented motions.
In a vote of thanks, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Chief Obinna Emeneka, called on Ministries, Departments and Agencies to be ready for the bilateral budget discussion which will commence today.
On his part, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Legislative Matters, Chief Edozie Ezeugwa, noted that with the channeling of fifty nine percent of the 2019 Appropriation Bill to the
productive sector and forty one percent to consumption sector, the State will record tremendous improvement in internally generated revenue and infrastructural development next year.

Governor Willie Obiano has assured State citizenry who are willing to come back for the yuletide of adequate security.
The Governor gave the assurance at the Symbolic Switch on of the 2018 Christmas Decoration around the State at Upper Iweka Road Garden, Onitsha.
Government House Correspondent, Ejike Abana reports that Wife of the Governor, Deputy Governor, members of the State Executive Council, members of the State House of Assembly, among others witnessed the event.
With the symbolic switch on, shades of Christmas light decorations should be expected to spring up.
Increased security surveillance across the nooks and crannies of the State should also be expected.
Governor Obiano explained that the State has always being a safe haven for the citizenry, saying that the essence of the event is to officially flag off Christmas season in the State.
The Governor emphasized that law abiding citizens can sleep with their two eyes closed, as plans and measures have been perfected to handle criminal elements who are on the prowl, hoping to perpetrate crime.
While commending security operatives in the State for their gallantry and commitment,
Governor Obiano stressed that State government’s efforts in security has remained unparralled across the Country and the West Africa.
While urging the Governor not to relent in his vision for the State, the Commissioner for Public Utilities, Mr Obi Nwankwo said that the Governor’s light up Anambra project has added impetus to the security architecture of the State, commending the Governor for living up to his promises.
The Symbolic Switch on was performed by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Barrister Rita Mmaduagwu, flanked by the house members among others.
The Governor was taken round the Garden, while beautiful fire works displays added colour and glitz to the event.

women have been urged to monitor their children and husbands closely to discourage them from political thuggery.
the wife of the governor, chief mrs ebelechukwu obiano made the call during the maiden convention and fund raising ceremony of catholic women oraganisation of saint benedict parish, avomimi village enugwu-ukwu.
represented by the managing director and chief executive officer of tracas, mrs ifeoma mmadukasi, chief mrs obiano urged all to support the obiano administration to enable it sustain the peace and stability in the state. the member representing anaocha, njikoka and dunukofia federal constituency at the house of representatives, chief dozie nwankwo, advised ndi anambra to get actively involved in politics and vote for candidates with people oriented programs.
also speaking, the member representing njikoka one constituency at the state house of assembly, mr timothy ifedioramma, commended the st benedict parish women for the iniative to build a chapel for god, noting that it is a commendable venture which will attract divine reward.
earlier in a homily, a visiting priest, very reverend father valentine mgbemena, while thanking the women for their role in the house of god and called on all to sow in the house of god to attract
blessings .
in an address, the president general cwo of the parish, lady nonye okoye, thanked god for making the day a reality and commended governor willie obiano and his wife, chief mrs ebelechukwu obiano for their wonderful initiatives and achievements in the state.
prayers, thanksgiving, administration of sacrament of holy communion and fundraising featured at the event.

Anambra State Government has adopted the December 28, 2018 date set by major traditional rulers in the South-East to abolish the controversial Osu caste in the region.
Chairman of Eri Dynasty Traditional Rulers Forum, Eze Nkeli Nzekwe Kelly (The Great King Kelly and Okalakwu Igbariam Ancient Kingdom), Regent of the Ancient Nri Kingdom, Prince Ikenna Onyesoh, convener and President of Celibacy International Initiative, Nollywood actor, Joseph Okechukwu and other traditional rulers had announced that the abolition would take place at the Nri Palace in Anambra State on December 28, 2018.
They warned that there would be far-reaching consequences for those wishing to continue the obnoxious practice after the symbolic exercise.
In a letter of endorsement by the Commissioner, Anambra State Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artwork, Culture and Tourism, Sally Mbanefo, to the Director, Celibacy International, made available to newsmen yesterday, she assured of the state government’s unflinching support to abolishing the practice in Igbo land.
“Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artwork, Culture and Tourism has been inundated with your efforts in raising awareness on the traumatic stigma of Osu/Ohu/Ume Caste system. As a ministry, we also commend your selfless and bold commitment to the abolition of this demeaning caste system in the land.
“Consequently, we wish to express our unflinching support to abolishing the scourge of this unfortunate practise in Igbo land. We, therefore, have no
reservation, whatsoever, in endorsing your project to abolish the Osu practise,” the statement said.
Also endorsing the December 28 deadline for Osu abolition, Bishop Obi Onubuogu of The Rock Cathedral, Enugu, is leading a cross section of high profile South-East religious leaders to Agukwu Nri for the abolition exercise. Bishop Onubuogu said the proposed abolition exercise couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We will ensure the exercise is a huge success,” he said.

Police on Sunday said they arrested 33 people persons suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who clashed with the force in Anambra on Friday.
DCP Jimoh Moshood, Force Public Relations Officers, who spoke with newsmen in Awka, said those arrested were allegedly responsible for the killing of a police inspector and inflicting injury on a divisional police officer.
He said the people also injured other police personnel, setting ablaze a police patrol vehicle in Nnewi, Anambra, on Nov. 23
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that 20 of the suspects were from Anambra, two from Abia, three from Imo, two from Ebonyi, three from Enugu, one from Delta and two from an unknown state.
Moshood said that the arrested members were suspected IPOB members.
He said they allegedly committed the crime under the terrorism prevention amendment act 2013, adding that exhibits recovered from them included eight motorcycles, five IPOB Flags and five IPOB Caps.
According to the Police, IPOB is a proscribed terrorist group and all activities of the group are therefore unlawful, illegal and terrorist act.
“The 33 suspected IPOB members were arrested for the killing of the Police Inspector, inflicting injury on others and setting ablaze a Police patrol vehicle are now in police custody, they are undergoing investigation.
“The Inspector General of Police has directed the Commissioner of Police, Anambra to carry out intense search operations for the recovery of the two AK47 rifles.
“They are also to recover one Beretta Pistol with the ammunition snatched from the slain Police Inspector and other Police Officers wounded by the proscribed IPOB members.
“They will all be arraigned in Court on completion of investigation under Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act 2013,” he said.
IPOB, through its Media and Publicity Secretary, Mr Emma Powerful in swift reaction, says none of their members was in Police net.
Mr Sunday Ilonze, one of the suspects, said he was arrested in his shop.
“I was in my shop in new motor spare parts when some police men said I should come out and join the vehicle.
“I don’t know what happened, I am an innocent businessman, and they arrested me.
I am a preacher and I can’t lie, they are just intimidating us, I am a good citizen and cannot run,” he said.
Also, Mr innocent Okoroafor said he just returned from the burial of a Rev. Father in Nnewi when he was hounded alongside his apprentice.
Okoroafor, who said he was the chairman of St Michael’s Catholic choir, added he was arrested while trying to close his business for the day.

The 2018 Press week of the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ has kicked-off with a Church service, at the Cathedral Church of Saint Faith Awka.
Speaking during the event, Governor Willie Obiano represented by the Commissioner for Information and Public enlightenment Mr. C- Don Adinuba while recounting various achievements of his administration maintained that his government will continue to partner the church for enhanced development of the State.
The Governor commended the Anglican Church for providing succour to people displaced by flood which he said is a clear mark of humanitarian service which should be emulated by others.
In a remark, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists Mr Emmanuel Ifesinachi said that Press Week which is an annual event always affords the council the opportunity to assess its performance and chart a way forward.
While wishing the State council of the NUJ a fruitful Press Week, the Archdeacon of the Cathedral Church of Saint Faith Awka and Vicar of the Church, Venerable Samuel Okonkwo acknowledged the contributions of journalists to the society, urging them to remain stead fast in the discharge of their duties.
Venerable Okonkwo used the opportunity to reassure Governor Willie Obiano of the prayers of the Church at all times.
Earlier in a sermon, Reverend Charles Chukwurah cautioned Nigerians against unbridled quest for materialism.
He charged Nigerians to turn to God for solution to the series of problems facing the country.
The Secretary of the State Council of the NUJ Mr Emma Udeagha, the Director of News and Current Affairs Department of the ABS Mr. Gab Okpalaeze, Controller of News at the Radio Nigeria Purity FM Awka, Mr. Chris Obileri, Managing Director of Anambra Newspapers, Printing and Publishing Corporation the Publishers of National Light, Sir Chuka Nnabuife and a Veteran Journalist Mr Victor Agusiobo, were among those that attended the event.
The event featured thanksgiving by the members of the NUJ family and prayers for the State and Nation.
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