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March 23, 2017

Rainstorm wreaks havoc in four mission schools in Owerri – Education Director appeals for help

Properties worth millions of naira were damaged in two separate rainstorms which swept across Imo State last week. At least four schools owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri were affected by the storms which occurred on Thursday, March 9 and Monday, March 13. The schools with dilapidated infrastructure due to age, were among those returned to the mission by Imo State Government. The first rainstorm affected Presentation Secondary School Ogbaku, Mbaitoli LGA and St. Columba’s Secondary School Amaimo, Ikeduru LGA. The second hit Owerri Girls Secondary School and Holy Ghost College Owerri. Our reporter who visited the affected schools…

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The numerous agencies on our roads

The idea of prompt and regular checks on the road worthiness of the vehicles and competence of drivers that ply our roads is good. Moreover, on the part of government, regular checks on vehicles provide opportunities for collecting the various fees and fines stipulated for contravening traffic regulations. What worries most road users however, is the multiplicity of the agencies that carry out this function as too many of them often cluster at a check point, obstructing rather than facilitating free flow of traffic. By constituting a nuisance, these operatives: the police, Federal Road Safety Corps, ENTRACO, Civil Defence Corps,…

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NMA: Crisis looms in Imo as doctors threaten to down tools if… …As 21 day ultimatum to Govt expires

The State Executive Council of the Nigeria Medical Association – NMA has threatened to shut down medical services in Imo State if the state Government fails to address the debilitating conditions militating against Imolites in assessing qualitative medicare in state-owned medical facilities. Addressing journalists at the NMA State Secretariat, on Tuesday  March  14, Dr Darlington Akukwu, State Chairman, hinged the reason for their agitation to include: the under-funding of Imo State Teaching Hospital Orlu which has led to the loss of accreditation of vital clinical departments and the College of Medicine where students no longer graduate after spending more than…

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Enugu State abolishes Osu/Ohu caste

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Wednesday, announced the abolition of ‘Osu’/‘Ohu’ caste practice in the state. The governor who described the practice as ‘satanic’ said the abolition takes immediate effect. The governor, during a protest by some indigenes of Obuno Ndi Uno community in Nkanu West Local Government Area of the state, said on no account should anybody be described as a slave (ohu) in the community. Osu or ohu is a practice in some parts of Igbo land which proscribes some individuals as outcasts. Such individuals who are also indigenes are referred to as slaves (ohu) in…

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XENOPHOBIA: Lessons for Nigeria as South Africa attacks again

Xenophobia: There is no better way to express it than to say: It is sad, so sad, that the former Big Brother is now an unwanted guest. Nigeria has clearly become a personae non gratae in Some African countries however the South African Government tries to explain it away. South Africans do not like Nigerians and would rather not have them in their country. When Nigerians are not being ridiculed in South African films, they are physically attacked in down town Johannesburg or other cities and their businesses destroyed. Call it Xenophobia or whatever you like. Nigerians and the Federal…

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Private school operators decry multiple taxation in Imo State

Members of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS Imo State branch have cried out against multiple taxation of private schools by the Imo State Government. Speaking to The Leader  at the Wetheral Road State Secretariat of the association on Tuesday March 7, 2017, the State President of NAPPS, Pastor Ineh Chris bemoaned the precarious plight of members of the association who are constantly coerced and forced to pay outrageous multiple taxes to various agents and contractors of the state government. According to him, some of the multiple taxes imposed on members of his association include, payment of…

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Pope’s Message for Lent 2017 ‘The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift’

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive (cf. Homily, 8 January 2016). Lent is a favorable season for deepening our spiritual life…

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Medical Tourism: Let the change begin

Beside food and shelter, man’s greatest need is health. Good health is vital and that is why people can give anything in exchange for it.  Those who are medically challenged and can afford it go the extra mile to get the best medical care for themselves and their loved ones.  This is why medical tourism is booming, and a nation like Nigeria, with poor infrastructure and medical facilities, is a prime target. Everyone knows Nigerians love life, comparatively, and try their best to live long.  Anything that spells ill health or untimely death is hated passionately.  If in doubt, cast…

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PDP sweeps elections in Taraba, Gombe, Rivers

The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, candidates have been declared winners of 13 local government chairmanship seats so far declared by the Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission. The PDP had also won all the local government chairmanship and councillorship seats in neighbouring Gombe State. The party also won the two parliamentary seats in the rerun election in Rivers State. Philip Duwe, the Chairman of the Taraba commission, announced the results of the February 25 council polls in Jalingo on Sunday. Mr. Duwe declared Mohammed Umar as Chairman-elect of Gashaka, Nicholas Waniyafiwani, Lau; Abdul Boboji, Jalingo; and Danladi Suntai as Chairman-elect of…

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JAMB announces sale of forms, includes 4th choice, scraps awaiting results

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has concluded all restructuring, transformation, reforms and other preparation for the 2017 UTME and is now set to commence the sale of its application forms in March, 2017. JAMB Head of Information, Fabian Benjamin, in a statement said the board appreciates the patience exhibited by Nigerians “in allowing us take time to add value to the services we have been offering to Nigerians for over three decades”. He said in the cause of conducting admission exercise, many institutions had admitted candidates on merit only for them to discover that such candidates do not…

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St. Francis Chaplaincy hands over N3.7m, 12 ultra modern toilets to Imo Sports Council

On 22nd, February 2016, the chaplain, Rev. Fr. Gasper Anamelechi Ibe, together with the chaplaincy council of St. Francis of Asisi, Dan Anyiam Stadium Owerri, celebrated the handing over ceremony of the 3.7million naira, 12 ultra modern toilet facility project built by the chaplaincy, to the management Imo State sports council, led by the Acting director of the sports council, where St. Francis Chaplaincy is situated. Proceeding after the opening prayer led by the chaplain of the chaplaincy Rev. Fr. Gasper Ibe, the chaplaincy council chairman Sir Ferdinand Emeanaa established the fact that the commissioned project will foster a lasting…

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Louisaify Foundation visits Okigwe prisons to mark Valentine …We all are prisoners – Fr Val Njoku

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the LOUISAIFY Memorial Foundation took love to the inmates of Okigwe federal prisons on Valentine day, 14th February 2017, in solidarity with its founder Very Rev Fr Valentine Ogechukwu Njoku, Rector St Michael’s Church Umueze 1 Ehime Mbano as he celebrated his birthday and patron Saint feast same day. The august visitors were happily received by the Deputy Comptroller of Prisons, Mr Valentine Nwosu, who said the visit was both divine and inspired as the visitors could have chosen any 5-star hotel for their feast and not in a prison yard, and described it as a…

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JUST IN: King of Morocco calls President Buhari in London

President Muhammadu Buhari has received a call from King of Morocco Mohammed VI, the presidency has said. The president received the call at the Abuja House in London where is presently on vacation. According to Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the North African monarch called Buhari, on Wednesday, to know about the Nigerian leader’s state of health. The King, who initiated the call, asked after the President’s health and expressed satisfaction at his rate of improvement. The two leaders also discussed the current stage of the Morocco-Nigeria Atlantic crude oil pipeline project. King Mohammed…

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FUTO sets up committee to probe students’ riot

The management of the Federal University of Technology Owerri – FUTO has set up a Committee to probe the immediate and remote causes of last week’s violent demonstration in the institution. The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Francis Eze who disclosed this on Thursday during a press briefing on the riot said the committee was empowered to find the immediate cause of the riot, identify those involved and make recommendations in line with their findings. Professor Eze expressed shock at the destruction of the University’s property by the demonstrators even as he denied the claim that the riot was caused…

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It’s not your Business to Build Chapels …Anglican Church tells Imo Government

The Anglican Church is shaking its head in objection, over government’s style of using state money to build chapels, when the state has more than enough churches. This was contained in a communiqué issued by the Anglican Communion Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, at the end of its 29th Regular Meeting of the Provincial Council, held at Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Mgbidi diocese in Oru-West L.G.A and presided over by His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Caleb A. Maduoma, Archbishop of the province. “That religion is a veritable tool in nation building is not in doubt. However, the effect of its misuse can…

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Religion is NOT the Problem: Revisiting Prof. Soyinka’s Stigmatization of Religion (3)

This means that the African leader’s pro-African stance to dare and question the past mistakes against his or her country is at the root of modern African problem, and NOT religion. Read from the previous page here The African leader who choose not to address the historical mistakes in his country and correct it in the light of the present suffering of his people, has never received any rebuke from any of the centres of power that still regard themselves as friends of Africa. Even when such an African leader or Head of State is committing various kinds of crime…

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Southern Kaduna Killings: How Governor El-Rufai can end crisis – Bishop Bagobiri

The Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, Kaduna State, Bishop Joseph Bagobiri, has highlighted measures the state government can use to resolve the lingering crisis in Southern Kaduna. Addressing journalists in Kaduna, Bagobiri advised the Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led government to develop the political will to sanction perpetrators of violence in the state. Bagobiri said, “Those who abuse the sanctity of innocent lives and abuse human rights must not be allowed to go scot-free,” he said. “While one cannot rule out the positive side of dialogue, things such as these require proactive actions from the state government. “I have been involved in initiating…

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‘I’m getting better’ – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, February 22, assured Nigerians that his health condition has improved. The President stated this in a three-minute telephone conversation with the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje. Buhari, who spoke in Hausa, replied “Alhamdulillah (all praise be to Allah)” when Ganduje asked “How are you feeling now, Your Excellency?” The conversation took place while a prayer session, which was broadcast live on some radio stations, was ongoing at the Kano state government house. It was gathered that about 300 imams and Islamic leaders from all Islamic denominations across the state attended the prayer session. The…

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Reviewing the Monetary Policy

The new foreign exchange monetary  policy put out by the Central Bank on Monday may ease the burden of a few well-to-do Nigerians, including those who have their children in schools overseas and those going for medical treatment outside our shores. But for most of us, it is as good as doing nothing because the cost of living is still rising and hitting the roof while the living standard has fallen to an all-time low. As far as the majority of us are concerned, Nigeria has yet to design an effective monetary or foreign exchange policy – one that is…

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“GAMBLING: THE NEW SOCIAL ILL” – A REJOINDER

Let me use this medium to react to the editorial in The Leader newspaper of Sunday, June 5 2016 (p.2) with the above caption. After a careful perusal of the write-up, I quickly deduced that the writer wrote from the point of view of gambling and not lottery. Gambling and lottery are quite opposed to one another. For the sake of clarity, let us try to define the two concepts. The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defined gamble as playing games of chance, etc. for money. It further described gamble as risking money by investing in something. This same source defined…

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