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Chibok schoolgirls in good condition, says Boko Haram Spiritual Leader

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A man claiming to be a “Boko Haram’s spiritual leader” has told the BBC World Service radio that the hundreds of girls abducted in Chibok on April 14 are “feeding very well” and in “good state of health.”

The man, who had his voice disguised in the interview, also said that although most of the Christians among the girls had been converted to Islam, those who objected were not forced.

However, he reiterated the sect’s previous position that unless the Federal Government frees members of the sect imprisoned in government facilities, the Chibok schoolgirls would not be released.

He said: “I joined the group in 2004. We are pushing for a Sharia state. We want the Nigerian government to release our members. If they release our members today, we will release the girls tomorrow. You will see all of them as AbubakarShekau, our leader, promised the media.

“Those who agreed to convert to Islam have been converted and those who refused have been left alone. There is no forced conversion in Islam.

“Allah commands us to treat everyone equally. We are not discriminating against them; we treat all of them equally. They all are healthy. They feed well.

“Under Islam, killing women and children is not acceptable. But if they are fighting you, then you must fight them. But if they do not attack you, you leave them. We only go after those who give information to our enemy.”

The report of the positive condition of the girls comes a day after coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri, said the abducted girls were close to regaining their freedom, as security agents have been obtaining useful information from the arrested chief intelligence officer of Boko Haram

 

…They will soon return home –  Ex-Nigerian leaders  assure

Former Nigerian leaders Tuesday assured that the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls currently being held by the Boko Haram sect will soon be rescued.

The ex-leaders gave the assurance at the National Council of State meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the Council meeting, which was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, AkwaIbom State Governor GodswillAkpabio said the girls will soon return to their parents.

Akpabio said the Council was happy that those security agents knew where the girls had been kept and that the soldiers were on top of the situation.

He said, “Top on the agenda of the meeting was the security of the nation. We were briefed by the President and the National Security Adviser on the steps that are being taken.

“Top on the security issue was the rescue of Chibok girls, which military authorities also confirmed that efforts were being made and that very soon, we will have good news.

“It is also heart-warming to note that the issue is not whether we can rescue the girls, but the issue is how can we rescue them in a way that we can ensure their safety so that we don’t end up endangering their lives in the attempt to rescue them?”

The governor called on Nigerians to bear with the military authorities as they battle to bring back the girls alive.

He said, “What also came out is the need for Nigerians to be patient because terrorism is a new challenge in Nigeria and it is not something that goes away immediately and we have to be meticulous in our approach and make sure that we take the best steps forward to reduce and minimise possible loss of lives in an attempt to curb the insurgents.

“We are very satisfied the security agents know very well where the girls are located and they are on top of the situation.”

The meeting was attended by ex-Presidents, OlusegunObasanjo and ShehuShagari; former Heads of state, Yakubu Gowon and AbdulsalamiAbubakar; former Military Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida; and former Head of the Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan.

Also in attendance were Vice President NamadiSambo; President of the Senate, David Mark; Speaker of the House of Representatives, AminuTambuwal; and some former Chief Justices of Nigeria among others.

DailyPost reports that  Maj.Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) was the only Head of state alive who failed to show up at the meeting.

 

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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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