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Obi bows out in glory

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SUNNEWSONLINE – As Peter Obi quits the stage as Anambra State governor, after a meritorious two terms of eight years, tomorrow, he leaves behind gaudy footprints in the sands of time.

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Before he assumed office in 2005, the state was in the hands of political buccaneers who ran rough shod over the people. It was indeed very difficult to make any distinction between the governance of the state and the activities of motor park touts. Anarchy reigned supreme. The state was permanently in the news for all the wrong reasons.

His emergence as governor was not smooth sailing as he fought a grueling three-year battle to reclaim a mandate he was overwhelmingly given but was confiscated by the political pirates. His successful retrieval of his stolen mandate would be the precursor of many trail blazing achievements that later redefines the country’s politics.

To stamp his authority, he drove away the touts that littered the state’s many motor parks especially the commercial hub of Onitsha. This move restored sanity in the cities and brought confidence to travelers who had lived in dread of traveling to that city. The park revenue, which hitherto went into private pockets found its way back into the coffers of the state government.

Through careful planning, the banker-turned politician posted a stellar performance that will reverberate for years to come. He procured a master plan for the three major cities of Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha from the U.N Habitat in Kenya so as to implant a solid foundation.

The state became the first and only state in Nigeria to produce a master plan for the development of cities. He also adopted the Millenium Development Goals (MDGS) as his vision. The MDGS have eight goals, which include: eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achievement of universal basic education, promotion of gender equality and women empowerment and reduction of child mortality.

Others are improvement of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and development of global partnership for development.

Together with health, the education sector was revolutionized by Obi. His interventions include releasing computers to 100 schools and N10 million to each of the 200 secondary schools for general rehabilitation, equipment of science laboratories in school, distribution of 120 buses to secondary schools.

He also splashed N1.5 billion on mission’s school while government schools got N2 billion. There were wide ranging equipment of 500 secondary schools with 500 pieces of electricity generating sets at N1.6 million each; provision of sick bays, installation of internet connectivity among others.

That was not all. He extended his magic to other vital areas, by establishing the Anambra state bank of industry, intervention funds for micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) and co-operatives in the state; construction of the Onitsha hotel and Ikenga Shopping mall. Altogether, he invested massively in infrastructure and the economy, including opening up remote areas with good network of roads, particularly in food producing areas.  More than 800 kilometers of roads were constructed.

To reduce the high unemployment ratio, he employed additional 3000 primary school teachers, additional 2000 secondary school teachers and 20000 civil servants. He covered every blade of development in the state using the ANIDS platform.

In sports, the Chuba Ikpeazu stadium in Onitsha was constructed to boost grassroots sports development. He also scored a first by the establishment of a stock exchange and business centre in Onitsha, the first in the East.

He encouraged local investors like Innoson motor plant, Chikason, Orange Drugs, Krisoral with access roads to their areas of operations and the streets named after them.

In the words of Emeka Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary and an indigene of the state, “Obi is a man of vision, mission, focus, compassion, piety and integrity”. His legacies will serve as a lasting guide for future leaders in the state.

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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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