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Protest against postponment of February General Election

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WHY WE SHIFTED POLLS –JEGA

News Credit: Sunnewsonline

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof At­tahiru Jega, yesterday gave security reason for the postponement of the February 14 and 28 elections to March 28 and April 11 for the Presidential/National Assembly and Governorship/State Assembly elections respectively.

His words: “There are quite a number of issues in the conduct of elections, the most critical of which is security matter which is not under the control of INEC.”

Jega said the commission arrived at the decision after wide consultations with all the relevant stakeholders, including political parties, security chiefs, civil society organizations, the media, among others. Although Prof Jega who addressed the media last night said that INEC was ready with all election matters under its control, it expressed reser­vations that there were other variables not directly under its control and was therefore compelled to take the security advisory from the National Security Adviser and the Service Chiefs into consideration in adjusting the timetable for the polls. “INEC has cordial relations with all the security agencies, and we consider it imperative not to put our staff (ad hoc and regular staff) at risk if there are no security provisions for them”, he said.

He, however, advised the security agencies to ensure that security situation in the North East under which the shift was predicated were quickly resolved before the new date. In shifting the polls, he said the decision of INEC was in line with section 26, (1) of the 2010 Electoral Act, as amended.

Answering questions from journalists after his speech, Jega said that there were no cost implications in the adjustment, adding that the electoral body would use the extension period to intensify training of its staff on electoral guidelines and the use of card readers to add value to the process. He further assured the nation that the materials already procured would not waste as they were properly secured.

On the allegations of bias leveled against him by Southern leaders under the auspices of Southern Leaders Peoples Assembly (SLPA), he described the accusation as unfounded and vowed not to resign as demanded by the body. He said, “If there are grounds for me to resign I will do that, but if my conscience does not tell me to do that, I will not. I have never shown bias for any section of the country. Rather than do that, I will resign.”

He said but for lack of time, he would have gone to court to compel them to prove their allegation.

Speaking further on the postponement, Jega stressed that it was better to wait un­til normalcy returned to the Northeast so that the elec­tion would be conclusive, in line with constitutional provisions.

Yesterday’s announcement of the shift in the dates of this year’s general election was a confirmation of a report by our sister publication, Daily Sun last Thursday. The report had hinged the imminent post­ponement of the polls on pressure being mounted on the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commis­sion (INEC), Professor At­taihru Jega, who had earlier expressed the commission’s readiness to conduct the polls earlier slated for Feb­ruary 14 and 28.

Daily Sun had reported that the INEC boss, in re­sponse to the pressure, met with national electoral com­missioners for hours last Monday to analyse the read­iness of the commission for the exercise.

The meeting, it was gath­ered, was meant to give Jega information on the level of preparedness of his commission ahead of his scheduled appearance be­fore the National Council of State last week.

 

 

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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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