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Borno Burns Again as Boko Haram declares War

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… We’re fighting tough enemy-FG

Another indication, that terrorism in Northern Nigeria is not dead and Boko Haram is far from subdued, is here again, following a blood bath in Maiduguri, Monday.

Many people were killed and several seriously wounded, as suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked army and police barracks, destroying three military aircrafts and two helicopters. Property worth millions of naira was also destroyed, including petrol stations and fuel tankers which were set ablaze.

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) and the Director of Defence Information (DDI) Brig. Gen Chris Olukolade confirmed the attack. They also said 24 terrorists were killed and many of them injured. Three airforce men were also wounded during an exchange of gun fire with the attackers.

Eyewitnesses said the insurgents came in fortified armored tanks in the early hours of Monday, and shattered the relative peace which the state capital had experience for the past six months when six Boko Haram members were apprehended by armed youths.

Residents said they started hearing heavy bombardment around 2 am.

“ I started hearing sounds like bomb blast and shooting at about 2:30 am which continued until this morning. Everybody around my area was awake and terrified because we didn’t even know what was happening. It was later about 5am that a military helicopter started hovering around our areas and it continued till about 8 a.m,” a resident said.

“A police source said the insurgence were dressed in airforce camouflage adding that they were armed with  sophisticated weapons, including armored personnel carriers –(APCs) They operated till about 8 am and it was a military fighter jet deployed from Yola, Adamawa state that dislodged them right in front of the airforce base. They would have continued moving into the city if they had not been curtailed, “the source said.

Schools, markets and commercial institutions were forced to close as Government imposed a 24 hour curfew on Maiduguri metropolis.

A statement signed by the secretary to the state government, AMB Baba Amed Jida, said the state government in consultation with the army decided to impose the curfew.

The government pleaded for calm, asking the citizens to be law abiding until the situation is put under control.”

Governor  of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, described the attack as “satanic” and promised to rebuild all structures burnt or destroyed by the insurgents.

“We are going to replace all buildings destroyed by the insurgents even if they destroyed them 100 times,” the Governor said.

Reports said President Goodluck Jonathan and his service chiefs held an emergency security meeting.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has admitted that the country is in a state of war following the Monday’s attack of Maiduguri,

Revealing the dispatch of top military officers to Borno, the Supervising Minister for Defence, Mr. Labaran Maku, said that Nigeria is facing a very stubborn enemy that is bent on destabilizing the peace of the country.

He however said the Federal Government was moving closely to identify the bases of the terrorists, their international operations and the network they were deploying against our country.

Maku, while describing the incident as painful, said: “The point must be made that Nigeria is facing an international enemy that has a long line of supply and that we are not taking lightly.  Insurgencies of this type are not easy to overcome”.

 

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USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas

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USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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