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Imo NLC Chairmanship aspirant cries blue murder – Threatens court action if election is not cancelled

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Nze Obinna Okafor, Imo State Chairman of Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), who contested the office of Imo State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), has cried out against alleged irregularities and manipulation that characterized the April 23 election which began at Hero’s Square Owerri but ended at an undisclosed hotel in Owerri.

Our correspondent spoke with Nze Obinna Okafor at his Odenkume Obowo LGA residence on May 2, 2015, where he lamented that the Nigerian Labour Congress elections were marred with over-inflated votes which were far and above the total number of expected voters.

According to him, he worked assiduously to endear himself to Imo State workers which led to the repose of great confidence on him by workers who turned out en mass for the exercise.  He observed that the process that saw the emergence of Comrade Austin Chilakpu as Imo State Chairman of Nigerian Labour Congress was at variance with Due Process, extant labour laws and therefore not acceptable to him.

Nze Obinna, who was the immediate past, Vice-Chairman of NLC Imo State criticized the conduct of the elections and threatened to institute a legal action against the Union if the elections were not cancelled.

Narrating the incident, he posited that the exercise started on a faulty premise as there was no accreditation of delegates as to determine the number of expected votes.

According to him, the Returning Officer, Mr. Marcus Omokhauale informed delegates that the total number of expected voters from all the industrial unions is 1,291.  He observed that some unions like RATTAWU did not vote in protest against the high-handedness of their leadership.

Obinna’s grouse is how come that a total of 1303 votes, which is higher and above the expected total votes, were declared at the end of voting.

Nze Obinna further postulated that members of his union NASU were not allowed to fully exercise their franchise, thus denying him of valuable votes.  He therefore called for the total cancellation of the results and requested for re-run so as to enable workers exercise their right of choice.

He advised members of NASU and other teeming supporters to remain calm in the face of obvious provocations, but assured that justice could only be delayed and not denied.  Nze Obinna promised to follow Due Process in seeking redress against the injustice and manipulation.

 

EVENTS

HRH Eze Peter Opara inaugurates cabinet

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HRH Eze Peter Opara  inaugurates cabinet

…As traditional leadership gets boost at Umunumo Ancient Kingdom

By Magnus Ibe

The Traditional leadership of Umunumo Autonomous Community, Ehime Mbano LGA of Imo State received a resounding boost on Sunday August 23, as the cabinet members were formally inaugurated by HRH, Eze Peter Chima Opara (Eze Udo II).

The assemblage of top brass personalities into the cabinet is indicative of robust prospects for the growth and development of the Ancient Autonomous Community.

Inaugurating the members of the Eze-in-Council, the Royal Father charged the inductees to shun personal interest and put the community in the front burner for a rapid transformation and development. He enjoined the cabinet members to be proactive, articulative and dogged about the welfare of the community, employment and empowerment of the youths so that a new chapter is enacted.

According to him, many are called, but few are chosen. He charged them to move the community to the next level by articulating right attitude and formulate policies that will accelerate the development of the community. He cautioned against indolence and insubordination that can retard the unity and development of the community.

HRH Eze & Ugoeze Peter Chima Opara with Monsignor Jerry Ofoegbu and other priests

HRH Eze & Ugoeze Peter Chima Opara with Monsignor Jerry Ofoegbu and other priests

In his remarks, the President-General of the Town, Chief Godwin Uwah working in synergy with the royal father advised that the various Town Unions leadership should synergize and work in one page with the cabinet members. Chief Godwin Uwah observed that membership of cabinet is subject to review every four years.

Among the cabinet members comprise Chief Godwin Uwah PG, Sir MCN Asawalam (KSM), Chief Chidi Ogueri, Chief Sir Emmanuel Ibe, Chief Aloka Alexander, Nze H.D. Eze, Mr. Emeto K. Michael, Nze Godwin Amaku, Mr. Columba Ohazurike, Chief Mel Daimeon Osuji (Omereoha), Hon Ononamadu Emeka Joseph, Chief Peter Crown Duru, Chief Romanus Ogueri, Comrade Godwin Ihekwoaba, Nze Romanus Chukwu, Nze Vincent Ukah, Chief E. Evaristus Okafor, Chief S. Okele, Nze Clement Iwueze, Hon Felix Iwuji, Chief S. Obikaonu, Hon Kelechi Iwueze, Mr. Joseph Obi Onyema (Deputy PG), ACP H. Agbiogwu, Chief M.C. Okoro, Nze Nneji Boniface, Nze Charles Nwokoro, Nze Edmund Nwokeke, Chief Joseph Anosike, Chief M. Dingwo, Chief Columbia Isikuma, Chief Oliver Agbaso, Ichie Bernard Nwohiri, Nze Titus Iwunze, Chief Romanus Ijejiobi and all village chairmen constitute members of the enlarged cabinet. HRH Eze P. Alozie, Abunumo I graced the event.

In a vote of thanks, Chief Mel-Daimeon Osuji, promised on behalf of the members of the Eze’s cabinet to live above board like Caesar’s wife. He observed that he was humbled to speak on behalf of the top brass personalities who constitute the Eze-in-Council and also made a personal donation of one million naira.

Centre: HRH Eze & Ugoeze Peter Chima Opara (Ezeudo II) with the cabinet  members, Monsignor Jerry Ofoegbu & Eze & Ugoeze P.O. Alozie (Ebunumo I)

Centre: HRH Eze & Ugoeze Peter Chima Opara (Ezeudo II) with the cabinet
members, Monsignor Jerry Ofoegbu & Eze & Ugoeze P.O. Alozie (Ebunumo I)

In his contribution, Hon. Emeka Joseph Ononammadu, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Enugu State, who is also a member of the cabinet made a mouthwatering financial support and others including Sir. M.C.N. Asawalam donated handsomely.

Inducting the new cabinet members, Msgr. Jerry Ofoegbu prayed for God’s guidance and wisdom for the Royal Father and the cabinet members.

He eulogized the royal father for putting God first in his nascent leadership. He admonished the PG and the members of the Eze-in-Council to ensure peace and unity in their various domain. He spoke against injustice, insubordination and manipulative divisive tendencies that will sow seed of discord in the community. He prayed God to bless the royal father with the Wisdom of Solomon.

Msgr. Ofoegbu prayed for longitivity, peace and development of Umunumo Ama-Iri community. He cautioned against sectionalism and maltreatment of widows, orphans and the less privileged in the society.

Traditional cuisine of palm wine, Ugba with stockfish and other local delicacies were served to all and sundry. Eze & Ugoeze Ekwunno, Eze Umuezeala Oguara graced the event amid pomp and pageantry.

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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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Aham Umukwu-Odenkwume Bridge, a death trap – Eze Iwuoha

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Aham Umukwu-Odenkwume Bridge, a death trap - Eze Iwuoha

…As truck survives crash into river

By Magnus Ibe

The Traditional Ruler of Odenkwume Autonomous Community, HRH, Eze Iwuoha Austin (Nkwume II) has cried out against the deplorable and deadly condition of the Aham Umukwu-Odenkwume bridge which he described as a death trap and an accident waiting to happen.

According to him, the very narrow and dilapidated bridge pose serious threat to lives of natives and commuters plying the only route leading through his domain to their kits and kins in Obowo Local Government Area.

Nkwume (II), disclosed that several persons have lost their lives through accidents occasioned by the porous and deadly bridge. He narrated a chilling experience of how two occupants of a car drowned in the Aham River when their vehicle which could not climb the high hill, descended and crashed into the river, killing the two occupants before any help could come.

Corroborating their nasty experience, Hon. Julius Ogoke, the Palace Public Relations officer narrated how an Okada rider crashed and died on the very deadly bridge.

A near fatal accident occurred on the same bridge on the afternoon of Thursday August 27th when a truck with Registration No Lagos AGL 504 conveying crates of beer crashed into the same bridge. It was only through divine intervention that children who were swimming at the time cheated death by whiskers and were lucky as the truck hung on the base of the bridge.
Concurring to the views of Hon. Ogoke, Okenze Gerald Kekeocha and Nze Augustus Ibe observed that the leaders of the community are contemplating shutting down the bridge to heavy duty trucks and trailers to avoid the collapse of the bridge.
The duo posited that the community began the construction of the bridge in 1977 through communal efforts. They expressed worry at the present state of the bridge which is a smooth ride from Orieagu and Aguneze axis.

Investigation reveals that the construction of the bridge which was allegedly part of the design awarded under the defunct Ikedi Ohakim administration was abandoned by contractors after was ousted by former Governor Rochas Okorocha.

A road user, Dr. Bonaventuru Chukwu described the bridge as a flash point for criminal activities as hoodlums capitalize on the porous nature of the bridge to snatch cars kidnapp, rob and fleece commuters of cash and valuables.

It was observed that natives of Odenkwume Community embarked on remedial measures of dropping stones on the craters on both sides of the bridge. They also tried to rehabilitate the bridge with make-shift support of bamboo sticks with mixture of cement and chippings.

The leaders of the community made a compassionate appeal to the state government to quickly intervene before the bridge caves in.

Vehicular traffic on the rout increases daily as a result of the immotorable road networks at Ihitte-Uboma, Ehime-Mbano, Mbaise and Obowo as commuters divert through the road which is a smooth ride.

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