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Enugu 2023: Ohanaeze backs Gov. Ugwuanyi’s choice of successor, zoning



Members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu State Chapter, on Wednesday, reiterated their solidarity, loyalty and support to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the declarations by various groups and senatorial districts mandating the governor to choose his successor as was done by his predecessors.

Members of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, who made their position known when they paid a solidarity visit to Gov. Ugwuanyi at the Government House, Enugu, reassured the governor of their unalloyed support and solidarity, stressing that they are solidly behind him and his political decisions ahead of the 2023 elections.

Gov. Ugwuanyi, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Enugu North Senatorial District in the 2023 general election and the leader of the PDP in Enugu State and the South East geo-political zone, had endorsed the party’s governorship candidate in the state, Barr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, to succeed him in office, in 2023.

Speaking on behalf of the members of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu State Chapter, including the state and local government executives, the youth and women wings, the national officers from the state and Presidents-General of Town Unions, the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the state, Prof. Fred Eze, commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his numerous achievements in all spheres of development despite avalanche of challenges confronting the country.

Prof. Eze applauded the governor for the enduring peace he has entrenched in Enugu State, stressing that “it is not surprising that your remarkable signature of peace is emblematic of everything you touch including the ever contentious party politics”

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo President told Gov. Ugwuanyi that members of the organisation are impressed with the “thousands of kilometers of asphalted roads criss-crossing the nooks and crannies of Enugu State with state of the art bridges and drainages you have constructed.”

He pointed out that the governor “constructed new hospitals and courts of justice more than any other governor in the history of Enugu State,” adding: “You have also empowered thousands of Enugu State youths through exposure to training and skill acquisition.”

Further enumerating Gov. Ugwuanyi’s remarkable achievements, Prof. Eze said: “Our governor has capped it up with a world-class flyover bridge at T-Junction, Nike Lake Road; a new stadium at Nsukka and a brand new State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS), Igbo-Eno, Enugu State which has been fully licensed for operation by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

“We also acknowledge with gratitude the take-off of the Federal Polytechnic, Ohodo which you attracted from the Federal Government.”

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo President stated that the members of the organisation in Enugu State “voluntarily and deliberately” visited Gov. Ugwuanyi “to come and honour you and express our solidarity with you.”

Speaking on Gov. Ugwuanyi’s milestone achievements in the education sector, Prof. Eze revealed that the group is exceedingly delighted at the governor’s investments in the sector which he said have started yielding bountiful results.

“The report of the latest study by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and StatiSense indicates a stellar performance by the Enugu State students at the 2021 WAEC examination with a score of 93.9 percent coming tops of all the state in Nigeria in public schools. This is an outstanding performance and it is kudos to Your Excellency,” he said.

Throwing their weight behind the governor’s political aspirations and choice of successor, the state chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo declared: “Your Excellency, as the current political season draws nearer, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Enugu State followed with keen interest the declarations by various groups and senatorial districts mandating you to pick your successor as was done by your predecessors.

“There was an overwhelming agreement by all and sundry in Enugu State that you should also pick your successor from Enugu East Senatorial District. We therefore wrote Your Excellency in November 2021 amplifying and aligning ourselves with the popular mandate of our people on this issue.

“It is on this highly ennobling premise that the gamut of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Enugu State Chapter including our grand patrons, patrons, 17 local government chapters, women and youth wings hereby express our unequivocal solidarity with Your Excellency (Ugwuanyi) and restate our unalloyed loyalty and support to our Father, Mentor, Leader and Provider.”

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Izombe crisis: Panel received over 350 petitions — Chairman



Over 350 petitions were received and treated by the judicial panel of inquiry on security crisis that rocked Izombe, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo and other parts of the state in October 2021.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Fred Njemanze disclosed this when he presented a white paper on its inquiry to Gov. Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday at the Government House, Owerri.

Njemanze said the petitions received included 19 evidences from chairmen, traditional rulers, and some President-Generals of the affected communities.

They also included evidences provided by the Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Correctional Services.

The Chairman said, “We could have received more than that but because of some sort of fears which so many were entertaining, including lawyers appearing for them.

“Some of them had to withdraw at certain stage out of fear.

“Unfortunately, the Army refused to appear before the judicial panel despite all we did to bring them.

“The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) also did not appear.

“But in all, we have four volumes of our reports; the first report is the main report where we made our findings and recommendations.

“Volumes two, three and four are the proceedings, exhibits and other materials,” he added.

He described part of their panel’s findings as “man’s inhumanity to man and acts of savagery.”

While presenting the report, Njemanze commended the governor for the opportunity given to the members of the panel to serve the state.

Responding, Uzodimma, who commended the panel for conducting a thorough work in a timely manner, promised to take into consideration, their far-reaching recommendations.

Uzodimma said they would be consulted whenever their services were required again.

He expressed confidence that when the recommendations were implemented, it would calm the nerves of aggrieved persons and restore lasting peace in the area.

The Governor further pledged the continued protection of lives and property of residents in the state.

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FEC okays N829m to rehabilitate Anambra-Enugu link road



The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved the sum of N829.8 million as revised estimated cost for the rehabilitation of a road linking Anambra and Enugu States.

Contract for the rehabilitation of the road was originally awarded in 2018 because it is a strategic inter-state road that had heavy traffic.

Minister of State for Works and Housing, Malam Umar El-Yakub, gave the revised contract figure when he spoke with journalists at the end of the council’s weekly meeting.

“The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing presented a memorandum seeking council’s approval for the revised estimated cost of the contract.

“It is for the rehabilitation of the Nkwo-Inyi-Akpugoze Road at Anambra’s border with Enugu State and is expected to be completed in six months.

“One of the essences of this augmentation is not only revising the rate, but to ensure longevity for the road, using asphaltic concrete binder,’’ he said.

On the dilapidated nature of the Ekpoma-Benin Expressway, the Minister assured that measures were being taken to fix the road but that the rainy season was delaying its completion.

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Anambra: 25-year-old man arraigned for raping four underage boys



…One other docked for allegedly assaulting teenage girl

A 25-year-old man, Chidiebere Okorie, was arraigned   before a Children and Sexual Offences Court in Amawbia, Anambra on Wednesday for raping four underage boys.

The victims are aged between eight years and 14 years.

Prosecuting Counsel, Mrs Amara Amilo, told the court that Okorie of Ogboji town in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra committed the offence on July 10.

She said the accused inserted his penis into the anuses of the boys and thereby committed an offence punishable under the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law of Anambra 2017.

Okorie pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge of sexual assault after which his counsel prayed the court to grant him bail.

Mrs Amilo, however, opposed the bail application and argued that the offence committed was a grievous one.

Presiding Chief Magistrate Genevieve Osakwe ordered that the accused be remanded at a correctional centre and adjourned hearing to September 21.

Similarly, a 35-year-old man, Odili Chukwuka, was arraigned before the Children and Sexual Offences Court sitting in Amawbia, Anambra on Wednesday for alleged sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl.

Chukwuka of Aguluezechukwu in Aguata Local Government Area of the state faced a nine-count charge of sexual abuse, unlawful assault, stealing and infliction of bodily injury.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Prosecuting Insp Anayo Nwano told the court that the offences were committed on July 28 at Aguluezechukwu.

“The accused and others still at large sexually abused a 17-year-old girl by touching and applying pepper to her private parts.

“He abused her emotionally and verbally, assaulted her unlawfully by stripping her naked, tying her hands and legs, and flogging her to stupor with peppered cane.

“Chukwuka also deprived his victim of her liberty and stole her phone and a bag containing unspecified sum of money,’’ Nwano told the court.

He said the offences contravened the Criminal Code of Anambra State 1991, the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law of Anambra 2017 and the Child Rights Law of Anambra State 2004.

The presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs Genevieve Osakwe, ordered that the accused be remanded in police custody and adjourned the case to September 21 for mention.

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