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Robbers, prostitutes take over Control Post Owerri

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Residents of Control Post, Owerri, want Imo State Government to save them from the activities of robbers, prostitutes and other forms of pick pocketers that have now infested the area.  There has been an upsurge in harassment from large number hoodlums since the demolition of Ukwuakpu along Assumpta Avenue, which forced the nocturnal men to relocate to Onitsha Road.

 

Some of the residents of the area who took their grievances to THE Leader Newspaper on Thursday, Nov. 14, said they now live in fear because the presence of fierce looking men and ladies.  One of the residents who owns a shop along Onitsha Road narrated how these robbers broke into her shop and snatched away her generator set. Her case became compounded she said, when she complained to one of the regular prostitutes. The prostitute agreed to help her retrieve her generator from her gang and demanded the sum of five thousand Naira from her.  In her quest to have back her property, she paid the money. She said after a few days of fruitless waiting, she saw the prostitute and reminded her of their deal.  The response she received was that the group which was in custody of the generator was a stubborn one and needed more money.  The victim had to release another cash of one thousand Naira.

 

At the time of this report, she had not got her generator back or seen the prostitute again.

When THE LEADER visited the Control Post, it was discovered that many residents and traders in the area have had similar experiences.  While some have had their money snatched from their pockets, others described how their shops have been burgled while others narrated stories of intimidation in the area from prostitutes and these brigands.

 

In a chat with the Community Government (CGC) Youth Leader, New Owerri II, Mr. Chimezie Ibe, he expressed regrets at the growing activities of hoodlums at the Control Post.  Mr. Ibe categorized these hoodlums into: prostitutes, robbers, touts, Indian hemp smokers and some resident-criminals.  He attributed the menace to the presence of illegal Motor Parks, which have attracted and also groomed most evils right in front of Assumpta Cathedral.

 

He noted that the demolished Ukwuakpu also led to the displacement of some of the robbers and prostitutes who relocated to the uncompleted shops and stalls under construction behind the NNPC Mega Station along Onitsha Road.  The Youth Leader said the place now harbours different sorts of criminals who come in from Anambra, Abia, Rivers and other neighbouring states to do their flourishing illegal business.

 

In a further investigation, THE LEADER reporter spotted the presence of one popular brothel in the area known as “Timaya” as a major boost to the presence of these criminals around the Control Post.  Most of the prostitutes, THE LEADER gathered are provided accommodation in the lodge from where they operate.  Our reporter gathered from authoritative sources that these prostitutes partner with the operators of Timaya who use them to patronize their customers.  While Timaya provides the official lodge for some, others rent houses inside Kalu Nwankwo and Akajiaku Estates whereas others hibernate in the uncompleted structures behind the Mega Filling Station.

 

When THE LEADER visited the police on the issue, the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Joy Elemoko, admitted awareness of the situation at the Control Post.  Asked why such illegality and lawlessness continue to flourish in the presence of law enforcement officers – police and army stationed in the area, she noted that the police cannot do it alone.  She remarked that the situation has been like that for long but seems to be getting worse now that Christmas is approaching.  The PPRO expressed regrets that the situation at the control post is a huge challenge which the police are finding difficult to deal with.

 

According to her, “We are powerless – if we go there and raid the place – as we did before, their brothers will come here to complain and bail them out.  The last time we raided the place, calls were coming from Abuja and everywhere asking for those arrested to be released”.  She went further to say, “Unfortunately, some of the prostitutes are being patronized by dignitaries who have a lot of power.  Even the baby factory we raided has put us under a lot of pressure”.  The police spokeswoman refused to attribute the menace to the issue of unemployment as she maintained, “There are bankers and working class people who are still armed robbers.  Some people are prostitutes, whether they have job or not”.  She however reiterated the resolve of the police to fight corruption as she promised that they will continue to draw the attention of those responsible to that alarming condition at the Control Post Owerri.

 

It should be recalled that the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha had earlier acknowledged the presence of prostitutes at the Control Post.  Governor Okorocha had stated at the time he was repealing the outrageous abortion bill that he was distressed by the presence of prostitutes in front of the Assumpta Cathedral. The Governor said it shocks his imagination that young ladies could be prostituting boldly right in front of an imposing sacred structure like Assumpta Cathedral.

 

Analysts say the government seems not to be bothered about the situation in the area since it has refused to ban all the motor parks at the control post.

 

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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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