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Registration of Northerners in Imo: There is Nothing Like that – Rochas



There has been a considerable furore over the purported plans to provide special ID cards for Northerners living in Imo state. The Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha has vehemently denied this. But when politicians become weird, politics get dirtier.

In a televised interview on Wednesday, the governor said he was disgusted  with the way and manner the issue is being discussed even in the Senate. “You don’t just talk on something that doesn’t exist, there is nothing of that sort. My pains lie in the fact that my Senate could not place a call to a sitting governor, to find out whether this allegation is right or wrong; and the allegation came from nowhere”, Okorocha said.

The Senate had, during the first week of July, waded into the controversy involving the Imo State Government’s alleged plan to register northerners in the state. Lawmakers, including the representatives of the state’s senatorial district vehemently condemned the plan, even lawmakers from Imo State.

The Leader learnt that the registration of Northerners scheme was originally designed by members of the Hausa community in the state to keep away people with strange ideologies from their midst. The scheme it was learnt was bought over by an aide of the governor who is himself a non-indigene, a development that seemed to give it government approval.

The Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi from Bauchi Central who brought a motion to that effect last Wednesday condemned the policy. In his motion titled: “The Issuance of Identification Card to Northerners residing in Imo State – Urgent call for policy reversal”, he argued that the policy contravenes the provisions of section 41(1) and 42(1) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended which guarantee amongst others, free movement of Nigerians from any part of the country to the other and right of residence without any inhibition or condition whatsoever.

Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba supporting the motion, described the policy as foolish, unconstitutional and discriminatory. He ridiculed the governor for even contemplating such a policy at this level of our nationhood.

The fiercest criticism came from Senator Chris Anyanwu, a one time political ally of the governor, both of whom were elected in 2011 on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, in Imo State before they separately dumped the party.

She described the governor as a stranger who has brought shame to the people of the state. According to her Rochas lacked the knowledge of the country’s constitution, and said that the governor’s action was part of the arrogance and disrespect she claimed he is known for.

“Our people are the best travelled and most liberal minded in the World.   We are highly accommodating. We are a people that are very friendly to the extent that we have a settlement for the Hausa people in Owerri who have been living there for generations.

Senate called on President Goodluck Jonathan to direct security agencies not to partner with Imo State government in the implementation of the policy and also urged the Imo state government to rescind the policy.

Reacting to the Senate resolution, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the governor, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo denied the existence of the policy. Governor Okorocha’s government  he said,  “has not begun to register northerners in the state and does not have any plan to do that.” He accused the governor’s political opponents of being behind the report as he stated, especially where those behind the malicious claim could not mention where the claimed registration involving human beings is taking place, since it could not be done in vacuum.”

Governor Okorocha used his appearance during the week to draw attention again to the abandoned Owerri Portharcourt expressway and said the Senate should have better used their time to discuss the project rather than on a gossip.



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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