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Imo Polls characterised by rigging … Supplementary election awaiting results



registered voters INEC 2019 elections


Days after most of the states in Nigeria have put the 2015 general elections behind them; Imo State is still grappling with uncertainty.

This follows the outcome of the Guber polls held, April 11, 2015, in the state and the subsequent declaration of the elections as ‘inconclusive’ by the National Electoral Commission (INEC)

Justifying the decision, INEC’s Returning Officer in the state, Ibidapo Obe, who made the announcement said that the vote margin (79,529) between the frontrunner, Governor Okorocha of the APC and his archrival Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP was less than the number of registered voters (144,715) in the wards across the state, where elections did not hold or were cancelled due to violence.

Imolites are surprised. The mood is generally unease. People are disappointed that a state whose conduct of the Guber-elections in 2011 was adjudged the best and most democratic, could not in 2015 successfully elect a Governor without resorting to supplementary elections, which kills time and money.

Observers have described last week’s Imo Guber-polls as flawed, with wide-spread irregularities, violence and bare-faced rigging across the board and with the use of fake election results sheets.

The contesting parties have, on their part, been trading accusations among themselves with regards to the number of votes won and the level of violence meted to their agents and supporters.

Governor Okorocha, who was said to be the frontrunner at the polls, told journalists that there was no need for a supplementary election as, according to him, the handwriting was on the wall.

“It is common knowledge that the APC has already won the elections and INEC should have declared the winner of the governorship elections by now.

“When you look at the number of PVC collected in the affected units, you find out that there is no need for this supplementary election because the number of PVC collected will be less than the 79,000 vote-difference between me and the PDP candidate”.

PDP youths staged a protest along Okigwe road, last week asking INEC to declare the result in favour of Emeka Ihedioha, arguing that the results reaching INEC were manipulated.

They are of the view that the Guber elections should be totally cancelled as the figure of 79,529 votes being used as the difference between APC and PDP candidates is untenable.

Chief Olisa Metuh, national publicity secretary of the PDP, also called for a cancellation alleging massive electoral irregularities. He said the PDP was demanding immediate cancellation and fresh polls that reflected the will of the people.

He named certain local government areas, including Oru East where he said the electoral officers and  other officials of INEC had confessed that the APC forced them at gun point to rewrite the result. His other allegations included the use of “fake policemen” at Ezinihitte, Mbaise,  massive violence at Ideato North and South LGAs as well as violence, snatching of ballot boxes and falsification of figures in other places.

In a protest letter to INEC, Barr Peter Ezeobi, state chairman of APGA also called for an outright cancellation, calling the recent Imo polls “the most –rigged elections in the history of elections in the state”.

He said, “the elections were characterized by voter intimidation, violence including the shooting of guns which facilitated the snatching of election materials by PDP and APC leaders aided by security agencies including police, the  Army etc.”

Similarly, Dr Osmond Ukanacho of the UPP who also called for cancellation said the elections were marred by malpractice and manipulation.

The common people are just keeping their fingers crossed hoping that their votes would count. People turned up reasonably well to cast their votes at the guber-polls despite the rains, long wait and other inconveniences. However, rigging and other manipulations obviously make nonsense of these efforts. Unfortunately accusing fingers are being pointed at INEC. Many have accused  the electoral umpire of compromising in the Guber elections.

How Imolites as a whole would show their pleasure or displeasure at another round of voting will be seen in the supplementary election scheduled for next Saturday, 25th 2015.



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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