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National Assembly may take over Rivers State Assembly …As police seal off chamber



The political crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly persists, House of Representatives, Wednesday, passed a resolution urging the National Assembly to take over the legislative functions of that House of Assembly immediately.

The Lower Chamber also asked the Inspector General of Police to re-deploy the State Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, accusing him of compromise.  Both the House and the Senate must concur before the House can take over any State Assembly.

However, two lawmakers from the embattled state, Hons. Ken Chikere and Kingsley Chinda opposed the decision saying the resolution was hasty and unpopular.

RiversState has been engulfed in hydra-headed political crises for the past two months, engineered from within and outside the state. It worsened on Tuesday as five of the 32 member assembly moved to impeach the Speaker, Hon Otelemaba Amachree. The attempt resulted to a free-for –all fight in the chamber.

National-AssemblyThe situation worsened the following day as pro and anti Governor Chibuike Amaechi clashed in front of the Assembly complex and other areas in Port Harcourt.  Meanwhile, police and soldiers have taken over strategic areas of the capital city.

Reports said hundreds of supporters of the five lawmakers who attempted to remove the House Speaker, Otelemaba Dan-Amachree openly brandished dangerous weapons chanting anti-Amaechi slogans and shooting into the air. The pro-Amaechi supporters had mobilized and stormed the Assembly complex to stop the lawmakers opposed to the governor from sitting.

While the confrontation raged in front of the complex, the police intervened, ordering everybody including staff of the Assembly to vacate the premises before locking the gate.  A detachment of soldiers also arrived to disperse people from the area.

Civil servants deserted the State Secretariat as they could not get access to their offices.

A statement from the Police Command appealed to the public for co-operation as they were out to protect life and property of all citizens.

Meanwhile, the Presidency has said that President Goodluck Jonathan has no hands in what was happening in the Rivers State House of Assembly.  The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar has assured Nigerians that he would investigate the role of his men in the crisis while the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has urged restraint and for court adjudication.

Also the Senate President, David Mark has described the crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly as unacceptable to lawmakers in the country saying that they were prepared to sacrifice their blood, if necessary, to uphold the constitution.

His words: “Clearly, what is happening in RiversState is an embarrassment to legislators across the length and breadth of this country and it is in the interest of Assemblies not to do anything that will portray legislators as irresponsible because that is not what we are.  Clearly also, what is happening is totally unacceptable and it must be condemned in the strongest possible terms and in its entirety, irrespective of who is behind it”.

For the first time in the history of the Seventh Senate, the lawmakers had to rely on Order 73(1-4) of the Senate Standing Orders, where each members cast his/her vote on whether the chamber should urge the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar to wade into the crisis or not.

With a vote of 50 against 47, it was resolved that the senate should urge the IGP “to take immediate steps to address the issue of the broken relationship between the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu.  But behind closed doors it was gathered that a section of the chamber had actually argued that the senate should urge the IGP to remove CP Mbu.



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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