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Rochas Okays Abortion in Imo State …Catholic Church, Doctors raise alarm



The Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna has expressed shock that “a bill in favour of abortion which was vehemently protested against by Imo state citizens led by the Catholic Church and other Christian groups, and which was withdrawn then was surreptitiously signed into effect on May 29, 2012 by the Governor of Imo state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha. This matter was not known until last week when a concerned medical doctor in Imo state brought the matter into public awareness”

Archbishop Obinna said “there has been out cries about such a move. They are demanding that the Law be immediately repealed. In addition it has also been made know that an earlier bill with the same abortion intent was passed by Udenwa on May 25 2007. Given the positive regard for human life traditional to Igbo people reinforced by  Christian teaching on life as a gift of God.” According to the Archbishop this is a sad development for which the legislators in Imo state are being asked to resign for not representing the welfare of the citizens particularly the unborn children.

Meeting last Thursday, the Catholic clergy in Owerri archdiocese and the Archbishop were dismayed with regard to this legalization of this obvious evil. They therefore called for the immediate repeal of these two laws under Udenwa and Rochas administrations.

This recent revelation that the Imo State Government has secretly passed a bill legalizing abortion in the state has continued to attract condemnation.

The bill which was signed into law by Governor Rochas Okorocha, on May 29, 2013 among other things, permits women to procure abortion at will.

Cited as “Imo State of Nigeria, Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law Number 12 of 2012” and sponsored by the Majority Leader and member representing Ahiazu Mbaise State constituency, Mrs. Adekunle Ihuoma, the obnoxious law states that:  “Every woman shall have the right to enjoy reproductive rights including the right to medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest and where the continued pregnancy endangers the life of the physical, mental, psychological or emotional health of the mother”. The law further states that: “Every woman shall have a right to take decisions about her health needs and requirements in particular; she shall have the right to determine the processes concerning reproduction in her body”.

Okorocha also approved that every woman should have a right to health, which should be understood to mean enjoyment of the highest level of physical, mental and social well-being and healthcare services, including those related to family planning.

It should be recalled that the same law had generated great commotion in 2009 when Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nanah Opiah was the Speaker of the House. The bill which came under the garb of

Women’s Reproductive Rights attracted stiff opposition from Catholics and Pro-lifers in the State who marched to the Imo House of Assembly on June, 2009 in resentment to the proposed bill. The House was forced to organize a public hearing during which the Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna led the anti abortion campaign. The Opiah led House had to drop the bill.

However, the current house led by Rt. Hon. Chief Ben Uwajumogu clandestinely passed the bill into law thus convincing the State governor to give it an executive fiat.

In a swift reaction, the Catholic Medical Practitioners Association has described the bill as criminal and evil. The Chairman of the Association, Dr. Phillip Njemanze, who was vehement with the bill, argued that “the law is anti-God, dehumanizing and totally unacceptable to the Association.

“The law is devastating. With its signing into law by Governor Okorocha, abortion has been legalized in the state and anybody, just anybody can now ask for abortion as a right in the State.”

While recalling that the National Assembly had earlier rejected the bill, especially as it was against humanity, Dr. Njemanze stressed that such law would encourage human egg trafficking.

Dr. Njemanze who is also Chairman, Global Prolife Alliance, Imo State Chapter, expressed grave concern that if the law is not repealed, it goes down in history that Imo State is the only State in Nigeria that encourages abortion. According to him, “The State will become a hub of harvesting aborted tissues. Our women will die in their numbers”. He insisted, “This is unacceptable. The Catholic Medical Association is against it. We condemn it in its entirety”.

Njemanze expressed shock that the present Imo lawmakers and the Governor could have the audacity to resmuggle such law in the State. He recalled how the issue came up during the Ikedi Ohakim’s administration and how the State House then had listened to the outcry of the people and had the bill repealed. “We are stunned that the issue was re introduced without any robust debate”, Njemanze maintained.

It should be recalled that the passage of the abortion bill into law in Imo State was first exposed during a two-day pro-life International Conference organized by the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, June 3-4, 2013. The pro-lifers had demanded that the portion that gives a woman right to medical abortion be expunged.

Prof. Anthony Anwuka, Secretary to the Government of Imo state (SGI) who represented Governor Okorocha at the conference condemned the inclusion of the portion which allows “medical abortion” in the body of the law, saying: “As a Knight of Saint Mulumba of the Catholic Church, I will ensure that this portion of the law is expunged and abrogated soonest”. However, three months after, how the law came to be signed by government is coming to light.




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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