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Don’t Provoke us, we know your business Interests – Northerners warn Ndigbo



As if on a ding dong tit for tat approach, the Apex pan-northern organization, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has warned Ndigbo against maltreating the Hausa living in the region under the pretext of fighting Boko Haram.

Making reference to the alleged registration of Northerners living in the South-East, ACF said maltreating the Hausa could spell doom for Igbo investments, which it said amounted to over N45 trillion in just three northern states.

ACF expressed the fear that if the North should embark on a similar action by identifying the Igbo in the northern region, it could cause crisis that may lead to undeserved division of Nigerians on ethnic or religious consideration. Although, the Forum said there was nothing wrong with issuing identity cards, what was wrong was the fact that a segment of a community was the target, stressing that everybody deserved the identity cards if done in good faith to achieve a goal.

Addressing members of the South-South/South-East Arewa Coalition who paid a courtesy call on the Forum last week , the Deputy Secretary-General of ACF, Engineer Abubakar Umar said statistics available to the Forum indicated that Igbo investments in Kaduna, Kano, and Jos alone amounted to N45 trillion.

Umar said with such huge investments in just three states of the North, the Easterners have no reason to maltreat northerners doing businesses in the East, stressing that, “If the table turns round, it could be disastrous (for ndigbo) as these investments may suffer for it, but we are praying for understanding among the entire Nigerians to accept themselves wherever they live to earn legitimate means of livelihood”.

He explained that Yoruba and Igbo people in Jos, capital of Plateau State lost N480 billion and N410 billion investments respectively to the 2011 post election violence, adding that South-South also lost N970 billion in the same crisis.

“We know these statistics; we have these statistics, so we expect the Igbo to treat our kinsmen, our brothers and sisters in the East as kings and queens in view of the fact that they (Igbo) have more investments in the north than in (their home) the East.

“Take Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, for example, Igbo occupy over 73 percent of the land, so these are some of the reasons they should be everybody’s keeper in their place”, Umar said.

Earlier, the leader of the Coalition, Mallam Awwal Yusuf told members of the ACF that northerners were doing business under fear in the East, and called on the ACF to intervene because according to him, “every trader or Muslim from the north is considered Boko Haram”,

Yusuf said the Arewa Coalition has taken to court the issue of identity card in order to seek justice and be free from undue molestation in the hands of the people in the area.

In his remarks, the ACF Secretary-General, Col. John Ubah (rtd) reminded the visiting northerners from the East that ACF was established to protect the whole north and its people, saying that whatever happened to any northerner anywhere was always considered a serious issue.

Col. Ubah said, “It is very sad to brand our people as Boko Haram in the East, but we want to tell you that we have not been sleeping over your plight; we will go through the northern governors to address the issue”.

Meanwhile, a palpable panic has gripped non-northerners resident in Kano State following a threat by Arewa Youth Development Foundation (AYDF) insisting that southerners must obtain settlers permit to remain in the North.

Indication to this effect emerged after an emergency meeting of the Ethnic Traditional Leaders Forum in Kano, which consisted of traditional rulers of the South-west, South-east and South-south regions.

A press release signed by His Highness Alhaji Abdullahi Salihu, Oba Yoruba, Deacon Fred Akhigbe, and Igwe Boniface Ibekwe expressed their fears and also condemned the threat by the northern youth group that non-northerners residing in any part of the North should relocate to their various regions of origin within two weeks to give way for northerners coming back home.

The traditional rulers further declared that there is no iota of truth in the accusation of harassment of northerners in the south as contained in the statement signed by the AYDF National President, Aliyu Usman, a lawyer.

They, therefore, charged the Federal Government and the relevant security agencies to treat seriously the threats made by the Arewa Youth Development Foundation (AYDF) in the interest of all.

They advised southerners in the north to stay put and continue to do their lawful businesses even as they implored the southern governors not to join the mischief-makers working against the sustenance of a united Nigeria.

Irked by this flare of unpatriotic sentiments, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the immediate stoppage of deportation and registration of Nigerians within the 36 states of the federation. On this backdrop, he has called for a meeting of the National Council of State this week to discuss the seriousness and the implication of registration and deportation of Nigerians from one state to the other.

While noting that the action was “more potent than Boko Haram,” to disintegrate Nigeria, the President warned that any security operatives caught assisting in deportation and registration of Nigerians would be heavily sanctioned.

He also warned youth groups who are as a result of this act planning in some states to ferment trouble to desist or face severe sanctions.

The decision was taken at the National Security Council meeting, presided over by  President Jonathan which had in attendance all the service chiefs, Inspector General of Police, Director General, State Security Service (SSS), DG, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ministers of Interior, Foreign Affairs and Police Affairs.



USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas



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



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



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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