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Jonathan condemns irregularities in Oguta rerun election – As PDP, APGA trade Accusations

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Nigerias-President-Goodluck-Ebele-JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday in Abuja, condemned the irregularities that characterized the rerun election to the Imo State House of Assembly in Oguta on Saturday, June 29, saying that the conduct of certain persons and groups involved in the election negated the spirit of one man, one vote, which his administration was trying to foster in Nigeria.

Speaking at an audience with a delegation from the Nigerian Senators’ Forum, President Jonathan urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and the nation’s security agencies to take immediate steps to bring all those who played any role in the violence and irregularities that marred the election to justice.

The President said it had become apparent that to successfully achieve his administration’s objective of entrenching a culture of consistently free, fair and credible elections in the country, it must be made clear to all stakeholders that any unlawful conduct during elections would be punished.

“Those who made it impossible for the rerun election in Oguta to be conclusive must be brought to book.  We must make it clear that impunity in the perpetration of violence and irregularities during elections will no longer be tolerated.  Sanctions, promptly imposed on guilty persons will deter others from engaging in such acts in future”, he declared.

Why election was inconclusive – INEC

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Commission (INEC) in Imo State had declared Saturday’s re-run election for the state House of Assembly held in Oguta State Constituency inconclusive.

Prof Celina Okoh, the state REC stated that no winner had emerged following violence and irregularities that marred the conduct of the elections in some wards.

She discovered that a lot of prospective voters were disenfranchised from voting as a result of violence while in some polling units, number of votes cast were more than the number of registered voters.

Okoh said in such a situation, INEC had no option but to declare the result inconclusive.

She also disclosed that already the report of the election had been submitted to the National Headquarters of INEC, Abuja, adding that they were the right authorities that would determine when the election would be concluded.

The election, it was gathered, was marred by violence, a situation, which scared away many prospective voters as rival thugs engaged each other in a battle of supremacy.

Meanwhile the Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to redeem its integrity and issue certificate of return to the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Addressing newsmen at the Government House on the development, Governor Okorocha said there was no basis for the declaration by INEC that the election was inconclusive since the document/report of the conduct of the election had already been signed by the local government returning officer, Dr. Cynthia Oguike appointed by INEC.

He argued that from the results already collated and signed, the APGA candidate Walter Uzonwanne led with 9595 votes against PDP Eugene Dibiagwu’s 7584 votes and wondered why INEC would want to declare such election inconclusive because the result of eight polling booths were not there.

He accused leaders of PDP in the state of masterminding the problem that attended the election, even as he said the rerun was the first real election in Oguta.  He said there were 129 polling units out of which election was conducted in 121 units, saying that even if the result of the eight remaining booths were added to PDP, the APGA candidate would still win.

The Governor further noted that it was at the point of announcing the result that a phone call came from “oga at the top” to stop the announcement and wondered why INEC should permit that to happen in a democracy against the will of the people.

However, the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in the State, Chief Blyden Amajirionwu debunked the allegations of the APGA, saying that contrary to the alleged misinformation and falsehood being peddled by the Imo State Government about the rerun House of Assembly election held in Oguta last Saturday, it was inconclusive.

The PDP spokesman accused the State Government of deploying army of thugs in all the eleven wards in Oguta.  In Osemoto Ward the thugs engaged the police in a gun battle and that the electoral officials and ad hoc staff ran away to save their lives as no election took place there.

 

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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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