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Deportation of Ndigbo: Obi drags Fashola to Jonathan

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-As Igbokwe gives reasons

Obi Jona FasholaAnambra State Governor Peter Obi has formally complained to President Goodluck Jonathan over the dumping of 72 people at Onitsha by the Lagos State Government.

Last week, 723 people were conveyed in a truck and escorted by armed security men and dumped in Onitsha overnight.  The ‘deportees’ said they were picked up on Lagos streets, detained for months before being herded into the truck that was escorted to Onitsha overnight, where they were forced to disembark and abandoned.

In the protest letter, Obi stated that the ‘deportation” of people from Lagos to Anambra State was unconstitutional and disregard to the rights of those involved.

Recalling that the dumping of people at Onitsha by agents of Lagos State Government had been done twice.  Obi stated that the constitution provides that Nigerians are entitled to free movement and residence anywhere in the country, wondering why people would be forcefully and illegally taken from a state and dumped in another.

The Governor said the “deportation” of Nigerians from Lagos calls to question the ”validity of Nigeria and its federating components”.

In its defence, the Lagos State Government said that the 72 people “deported” to Onitsha, Anambra State last week constituted a nuisance.  Controversy has been trailing the government’s action.

Fielding questions from newsmen after the State Security Council meeting chaired by Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Umaru Manko, said the state government only rehabilitated and resettled the people.

The CP said: “What happened was that the state did rehabilitation and resettlement of the citizens from other states that came into the state and turned into destitute.  After the state government had reformed them.

“After that, they indicated their interest of going back to their hometowns to be resettled.  That was what happened.  There wasn’t any deportation”.

Meanwhile, as criticisms have continued to trail the alleged deportation of some South-Easterners to Onitsha by the Lagos State Government, an Igbo leader, Joe Igbokwe has said the action was strictly a security matter.

He stated that those taken to Onitsha were destitute picked along the roads and sunder bridges and rehabilitate.

Igbokwe, who is the Action Congress of Nigeria’s (ACN) Lagos spokesman, said the destitute were moved to reunite with their families following requests from the affected persons.

He noted that those sent to Onitsha were not the first, adding “Lagos has said it would not accept a situation where people enter buses from Sokoto, Ibadan, Onitsha or Aba to come and beg and in the night, sleep under bridges and road sides, thereby constituting danger to themselves and the society.

“Some women among them have been sexually abused; some of them have been recruited into armed robbery and other gangs, some used for rituals or killed and dumped.

“Most of them were picked up mentally retarded, terribly abused, sexually dehumanized and hungry.  What Lagos did was take them to rehabilitation centres until they were strong enough to talk and give account of themselves.

“Some of them after recovery decided to engage themselves by joining skills acquisition centres in the state, while others decided to join their families in their states of origin.

After interrogations, those willing to go were taken to a central place close to their towns to find their way.  They were provided with logistics for that even though they may not admit it just to get sympathy and attention.

The so-called Onitsha deportation is not the first time this has been done.  Lagos has taken destitute to Oyo, Osun and some states in the North in the past.  It has also gone to Akwa Ibom to pick up its destitute”, Igbokwe said.

He said a letter was sent to Anambra Governor, Peter Obi before the destitute were moved to Onitsha but the governor did not reply.

Igbokwe said: “Lagos does not deport people.  It is the home of all Nigerians but frowns at people who come to Lagos to become a threat to security of lives and property.  It borders on security.

“Politics at 2015 is fast approaching.  I know that ethnic chance takers, political opportunists and the rudderless opposition in the state have been taking advantage of the so-called Onitsha deportation to score cheap points.

“I have been in Lagos since 1986 and I know the situation here.  I work for Lagos in various capacities.  Ben Akabueze has been working for Lagos as Commissioner for Budget and Planning for years now.

“There are countless of Igbos working in various agencies and local governments.  I know the strength of my people here.  I know that they have made great successes here more than what they have in the whole of the South East.  Let us not play politics with the matter.  Let us show understanding.

 

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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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