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How widow, six children Died after meal in Ngor-Okpala

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– Please help me bury them: Only son appeals to Govt, Individuals

When Mr. Masky Nwosu, 29, entered THE LEADER office in Owerri on Wednesday, there was a haunted look in his eyes.  He looked harassed, worried and extremely terrified.  He was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Mr. Eugene Emeana and his cousin, Ikechukwu Emeana.

Pictures of the deceased family members.

Pictures of the deceased family members.

Masky lost his mother and six sisters in mysterious circumstances within two days, May 30–31, 2013.  He probably would have been a victim if he was at home.  He escaped the tragedy because he was at Onitsha, where he was looking for a job.

Narrating the incident, Mr. Ikechukwu Emeana said, the tragedy started on Wednesday, May 30, 2013 in their family house at Umuezeukwu, Egbelu-Nguru, Ngor-Okpala LGA.

Their mother, Mrs. Gladys Nwosu had on that day engaged three labourers at her farm.  In appreciation for the work the labourers did, she prepared good meal for them – garri with egusi soup and ugba delicacy.  The labourers enjoyed the meal and went home happily.

At night the family of seven, comprising Mama Gladys, her three children, three grand-children and a family friend  for their supper, ate what remained after the labourers had been served.  It turned out to be their last supper.

The next morning (Thursday), Emeana continued, Mama Gladys woke her children up to prepare them for school.  However, she noticed that Ijeoma (18-years-old) and Amaka (10) were weak and could not stand up properly.  Suddenly they started foaming in the mouth.  Mama Gladys felt it was a spiritual attack and took them to their church – Cherubim and Seraphim.  While pastors were casting away the evil spirit, another of her child, Chinelo (25), a final year Sociology student of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, brought another child who was also showing the same symptoms.  At the church, Chinelo herself suddenly took ill too and became unconscious inside the church.

Noticing that the situation was getting out of hand, the police were alerted.  The three – Ijeoma, Amaka and Chinelo, were rushed to the  Ngor-Okpala General hospital, Umueneke where they were confirmed dead.  Their mother who was still okay at that time accompanied them to the hospital.

Already, Chidera (20) and Njideka (23) all WASC candidates, had been admitted in the hospital while their mother and three sisters were still in the church.

In the hospital the situation did not get better as their mother, Mama Gladys also developed the same symptoms.  She was talking, then suddenly became weak and unconscious and then died.

Worried by the development, which appeared to defy both spiritual and medical solutions, Njideka and Chidera, who were earlier admitted in the hospital, were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre Owerri, where they too died on Friday.

Another grand-child, Chizitere (4), whom everybody thought would survive the mysterious deaths as she was playing about when the tragedy was unfolding also took ill suddenly and died.

Osinachi Iwuala (25), a family friend who joined them in the meal also died in another hospital.

Masky Nwosu During the interview

Masky Nwosu During the interview

According to Emeana, doctors at Okpala suspected food poisoning while there were rumours at the FMC that they were suffering from lassa fever, a claim, he quickly dismissed, arguing that if it were lassa fever, more people, including the labourers would have been affected.  But they are still living, hale and hearty.

Emeana said both ugba and garri/soup were prepared by Mama Gladys and it was not the first time they ate the ugba.

Meanwhile, the family has appealed to both the State Government and Public Spirited Individuals to assist them bury the dead.

Masky Nwosu, the only son of the deceased, said he is an applicant and that the burden of burying the mother and six sisters is too much to bear both emotionally and financially.

At the moment, Masky and his two sisters, Ifeoma and Promise are taking refuge in the house of their in-law Mr. Eugene Emeana at Naze, Owerri West L.G.A.  Mr. Emeana is husband to the elder sister of late Gladys Nwosu.

The Leader learnt that some notable personalities in the State as the sole Administrator Ngor- Okpala LGA, Hon. Ugochukwu Blacky Okere, the member representing Ngor Okpala in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Emeka Offor,  the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Barr. Soronnadi Njoku  and a representative of the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, the traditional ruler of the Community, HRH Eze A.A. Onanka  have visited the scene of the incident.

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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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