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Enugu Govt Approves N2.4bn For Road, School Projects

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Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

The Enugu State Executive Council (EXCO) in continuation of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi administration’s urban and rural development drive and commitment to improved living standard of the people, yesterday, took far reaching decisions aimed at actualizing fully the state government’s agenda for the state.

Briefing newsmen after the EXCO meeting, the Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, stated that the council awarded contract for the rehabilitation of Orie Market-Nkwo Ida-Afor Inyi road junction in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area at the cost of 295,377,187.88.

Aroh, who briefed newsmen alongside the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Greg Nnaji and their Budget and Economic Planning counterpart, Dr. David Ngwunta, added that the council also approved the rehabilitation/construction of Ekulumili Street, New Haven, Enugu and access/internal roads at St. Theresa’s Cathedral, Nsukka, at the sum of N69,470,940.00 and N80,198,233.50, respectively.

Also awarded was the Onuiyi Beach-Umuano-Ibagwa Road, Nsukka, which the information commissioner noted had been awarded earlier, but was cancelled and rewarded by the council at the cost of N275,774,481.29.

Aroh, who disclosed that the council specifically deliberated extensively on the 2020 budget proposal which will be present to the State Assembly soon, added that it also approved the sum of N1,518,682,000.00 as the state government’s counterpart fund for the Universal Basic Education scheme to enable it access the federal government funds for the construction and renovation of more primary and junior secondary school buildings in the state.

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Also approved according to the information commissioner was the sum of N100 million for the Ministry of Agriculture as logistics for the branding and marketing of Coal City Rice to be purchased from registered local farmers in the state at a standardized price, which will be sold to the public at a fair and affordable price “especially at this festive period”.

Aroh, who noted the state government has a long-term plan for massive rice milling and processing, explained that the council’s decision to act as “off-taker” for the rice produced by the farmers is to encourage and protect their businesses, stressing that “we have provided the enabling environment for the production of rice”.

He added that the council after discussion with the leadership of the Organized Labour in the state set up a joint committee to deal with the issues arising from the consequential adjustment of the new Minimum Wage, to be headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya.

According to him, “we have five representatives of the state government and five representatives of the labour. The committee is charged to immediately consider all issues arising from the new Minimum Wage; agree on consequential adjustment to the salaries and wages of workers and also consider the realities of implementation of this consequential adjustment in line with our known practice of paying salaries regularly and also the 13th month salary”.

The council upon consideration of a memo from the Ministry of Education, equally approved the immediate upgrade of facilities at Boy’s High School Orba and Youth Centre Mpu, Aninri LGA for the full take off as Army Command Science School and Army Command Technical College, respectively.

Aroh further disclosed that the council awarded contract for perimeter fencing of all the Magistrate and High Courts in the state and approved a proposal for infrastructural development of 24 hectares of land acquired by the State Ministry of Housing for housing projects “to be described as Independence Layout phase two extension, Enugu”.

The housing proposal, which is in line with the state government’s drive to provide more affordable houses for the people of the state, according to Aroh, was presented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Ikenna Nwodo together with the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Obiora Onugwu.

The information commissioner revealed that the council “considered with great joy and approved a reception in honour of Mrs. Josephine Ugwu, an indigene of Enugu State, Obukpa in Nsukka LGA precisely, and a staff of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) who recently received a presidential handshake and an integrity certificate award from the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) for her honesty and dedication to work, having returned various sums of money she recovered while on duty including the latest twelve thousand US dollars.

“In recognition of this good feat and in our commitment to continue to encourage people to live honest life, believing that honesty is rewarded in all things, the state government has approved the reception in her honour and to give her a certificate of honour and integrity to show its support and happiness with her display of honesty”, Aroh said.

On the budget, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Dr. Ngwunta, further explained that the EXCO will reconvene on Monday to tidy up the processes, pointing out that “we had a stakeholder forum, on Tuesday, where the stakeholders from the CSOs, the traditional rulers and presidents-general made inputs in the 2020 budget proposal”.

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BREAKING: Akpabio Dissociates Self From Rerun In Essien Udim

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Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio has dissociated himself from any happenings at the rerun election in Essien Udim local government area.

Akpabio said his decision and that of his party, the All Progressives Congress(APC) to stay away from the supplementary election was sacrosanct, and therefore should not be linked to the exercise in any way.

The minister was responding to insinuations in the social media linking him to pockets of violence and irregularities at the rerun in his area.

A statement issued to journalists by his Chief Press Secretary, Anietie Ekong, said, “The news flying about linking Senator Godswill Akpabio to any rerun election in Essien Udim Local Government Area is fake.

“It is well known that because of higher national responsibilities as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio had withdrawn his candidature from the said election. He was replaced by the APC with Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo.

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“The other candidates who were scheduled for the elections, Rt Hon Nse Ntuen and Rt. Hon Emmanuel Akpan have written to announce their withdrawal from the elections.

“And just yesterday, the State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Hon Ini Okopido at a widely publicized press conference announced that the APC will not participate in the rerun elections.

“So on what basis would any sane human being link Senator Akpabio to whatever is happening in Essien Udim Local Government Area.

“As I write Senator Akpabio is not even in Essien Udim. He’s in Uyo. He has no interest whatsoever in what is going on there and had advised his supporters to heed the call of the State APC and boycott the elections”, he said.

Ekong in the statement said reliable information indicates that there is a plot by the PDP to use it’s thugs to cause mayhem and link it to Akpabio, who is not even at Essien Udim.

“We have however gathered that PDP some sponsored thugs were planning to carry out a sinister plot during the rerun elections and link it to Senator Akpabio. Security agencies should be on the watch out for miscreants and sponsored thugs, apprehend them and visit the full weight of the law on them.

“We urge the general public to ignore infantile propaganda linking Senator Akpabio to anything that is going on in Essien Udim LGA in the name of rerun elections”, he maintained.

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Atiku: Wike Lobbying To Join APC — Rivers APC Leaders Allege

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The major stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 20 wards of Port Harcourt City council area (PHALGA) of Rivers State have accused Governor Nyesom Wike of desperately lobbying to join the APC, since the former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is not allowing him (Wike) to take over the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

They also disowned ‘the foot-soldier’ of Wike in APC, Igo Aguma, a two-term member of the House of Representatives, who hails from Ward 2 of PHALGA, accusing him of being a mole and a traitor, who had been pursuing personal interest.

The PHALGA stakeholders of APC, yesterday during a news conference, after their crucial meeting at Orogbum Civic Centre in Ward 2, Ogbunabali Road, Port Harcourt, insisted that the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, a former Rivers governor, remained the leader of the main opposition party in the state, with the members completely loyal to him and the APC.

The six-page communique was read by the leader of APC in PHALGA, Nnamdi Wuche, a lawyer, who was accompanied by a former member of the Rivers House of Assembly, Victoria Nyeche, and other critical stakeholders of the party.

The communique read in part: “The leadership of APC in PHALGA hereby dissociates the chapter from the reckless, ill-conceived and malicious conduct of one Igo Aguma against the leader of APC in Rivers State (Amaechi) and the APC. We wish to state that Aguma’s reckless behaviour in recent times came to us as a rude shock. Consequently, we hereby disown Aguma, Lasbry Amadi and their cohorts.

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“We know as a fact that the Minister for Transportation has favoured Aguma in the areas of political appointments, contracts and financial support. It beats our imagination that the same Aguma will unleash such attacks on his benefactor (Amaechi) on the pages of newspapers.

“Aguma’s sojourn and success in politics were made possible by the Minister for Transportation through his appointment as the Commissioner for Sports in Dr. Peter Odili’s government. Aguma’s commissionership slot, otherwise known as ‘compensation slot,’ was given to his father, the late Sir Emmanuel Wonukwuru Aguma. Aguma’s presence in the 5th and 6th National Assembly as a member of the House of Representatives was also made possible by Amaechi, whom he now desperately seeks to destroy.

“Aguma has nothing to offer other than his desperation to destroy the APC in Rivers State, to pave way for his sponsor, Governor Nyesom Wike, who is desperately lobbying to join and take over the APC in Rivers State, which machinations we are now determined to nip in the bud.

“Aguma’s penchant for betrayal, insubordination and disloyalty to party leadership is legendary and dates back to the 2011 general elections, which ultimately led to his replacement by Hon. Ken Chikere. Rt. Hon. Amaechi remains the leader of APC in Rivers State, as severally acknowledged by Aguma and his cohorts.”

The former member of the House of Representatives (Aguma), while reacting yesterday evening through his media aide, Minikwu Samuel, described Wuche and other stakeholders of APC in PHALGA as impostors.

Aguma, who described himself as the leader of Rivers APC Third Force, alleged that Wuche and others who were at yesterday’s news conference were Amaechi’s praise singers.

He said: “APC in Rivers State, from the units to the state level, is structurally dead and non-existent in any way, executive and leadership-wise. APC in Rivers State has no functional executive at all levels known to law or the constitution of the party. The tenure of the former leadership of the party at all levels in Rivers state has elapsed. Congresses that should have produced a new set of executives, in line with the party’s constitution, have not been conducted and matters related thereto are proceeds of judgment of the Supreme Court and current litigation, which I (Aguma) am prosecuting.

“I wish to renew my call to the APC leadership to follow the constitution of the party and save Rivers APC from destruction by Rotimi Amaechi. This I state as a law-abiding member of our great party.”

Aguma also maintained that he remained a bonafide member and a statutory executive committee member of the APC from Ward 2, Unit 25 in PHALGA.

Wike’s reaction was sought through Rivers Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, from 4:13 p.m. yesterday, through text and WhatsApp messages, which he read, but he declined to react.

Calls were then put to the MTN line of the former Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers Council (Nsirim), from 5:25 p.m., but the line was later switched off.

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Nobody Can Unseat Obaseki, Says Umahi

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David Umahi - Chairman South East Governors Forum

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi on Friday assured Godwin Obaseki will be re-elected Governor of Edo state.

He said nothing will stop the Governor’s re-election because he has done well and deserves to continue in office.

Obaseki is a member of the All Progressive Congress(APC) while Umahi is a member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Umahi was addressing Obaseki’s wife, Betsy and other Southern Governors’ Wife’s who were on a courtesy call to him in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State Capital.

The Governor’s Wives were in the state for the Southern Nigeria Governors’ Wifes’ Forum quarterly meeting.

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Umahi said: “Power belongs to God and no matter what anybody will dot is God that has the final say and I can assure you Ma, you know as an apostle of the most high God I also prophesy . And because of the good work your husband is doing for the people of Edo State no man can unseat him.

“Power belongs to God and no matter what anybody will do, it is God that has the final say and I can assure you ma, you know as an apostle of the most high God I also prophesy. And because of the good
work your husband is doing for the people of Edo state, no man can
unset him.

“I made this statement so that the glory of God will become larger. It happened here in Ebonyi.

”I have a testimony of what God can do. Even in our NEC meeting, when Obaseki speaks, you see Economics.

“You see a man that came from private sector background. And so, we can’t wish that away. So, congratulations to you in advance and to all of us.

“You know the Governors; we have so many elections. First is the primary, second one is the poll, then the third one is the tribunal. Then another one is the appeal and then the election of the elections is the supreme court.

“So, it is not an easy thing and if the hand of God is not upon you, you can’t scale through all these hurdles. And so, it is God who has brought all of us to leadership and I say double congratulations to all of us”.

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