Court orders arrest of three Imo commissioners

A federal high court sitting in Owerri, Imo state, has ordered the arrest of three commissioners in the state for contempt of court.

The affected officials are Josephine Udoji, commissioner for works and transport; Lawrence Eburuoh, commissioner for lands, survey, and urban planning; and Chibuzor Iwuagwu, permanent secretary, ministry of works.

Others are C. E. Egbuka, director of works, ministry of works; and Emeka Duru, director of works Imo state government house, Owerri.

Lewis Alagoa, presiding over the civil suit number FHC/OW/133/2016 filed by Emmanuel Iheanacho, a former interior minister, against Imo government, gave the order on Monday due to the absence of all the defendants in court.

Alagoa ordered the inspector-general of police and his officers to arrest the Imo officials wherever they are sighted across the country.

The court had during its sitting on November 14, 2016, summoned all the defendants to appear before it on December 8, 2016; but none of them showed up.

The counsel to the defendants, J. C. Ibe, told the court that the respondents had filed an appeal against the earlier order of the court.

Ibe said that notices of the appeal and stay of proceeding, notice of preliminary objection and affidavit contesting the contempt order against the respondents had been served on the claimant.

However, counsel to the plaintiff, Ken Njemanze, said that his client was not aware of any appeal by the respondents as claimed by their counsel.

Njemanze said they looked up to the court on the earlier order made against the respondents, adding that their attitude amounted to total disrespect of court.

“What is discouraging to us in this suit my lord, is the intentional act of frustrating progress in the suit by the defendants,” he said.

Alagoa, hearing the arguments of the counsel, made the subsequent order and fixed May 2 for continuation of the matter.

Iheanacho had gone to court over the demolition of part of his property on Orlu Road in Owerri Urban by construction workers engaged for road expansion by the state government.

“Anambra has remained as Obiano met it”, Okorocha fires back.

Rochas Okorocha, Imo state governor, says his Anambra state counterpart, Willie Obiano, has not done anything of significance since becoming governor.

Okorocha, whose leadership qualities were questioned by Obiano, said governorship is not a “noise-making or name calling enterprise.”

Both governors have been involved in a running war of words for the past week .

It started after Okorocha hinted on the possible defection of three south-east governors to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

This is the second time Okorocha will be releasing a statement addressing Obiano through Sam Onwuemeodo, his chief press secretary.

The statement read: “The first attack was when he took on the Imo State governor over his claim that two governors in the Southeast would soon join APC. Obiano said the Imo governor was not what a good leader should be.

“To us in Imo, we saw that statement as callous, especially when it was from a governor. We had no option than to react to it, to prove that such careless statement was uncalled for. We then challenged Obiano to publish his achievements in Anambra State for four years and let Okorocha publish his in Imo for five years, since leadership is about service to God and humanity.

“But instead of doing that, Governor Obiano used the opportunity he would have appropriated to display his achievements in Anambra, if any, to call Governor Okorocha names; that is neither here nor there. We still maintain our challenge to Governor Obiano to publish his achievements as Anambra State governor and let Okorocha also do the same.

“Leveraging on his hard-earned popularity, Okorocha defeated an incumbent governor in 2011 on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which had no structure before he came on board and with the incumbent then enjoying massive federal might.

“In 2015, he joined the merger from a zone that could be regarded as the ‘headquarters’ of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He resisted all the storms, including the federal might that was deployed against him and was elected for second term. They could only give him the name ‘Alhaji in Douglas House’.

Obiano is a governor; Okorocha is also a governor. Let them begin the contest by publishing their achievements in their states for Nigerians to see. It is not a noise-making venture or name-calling enterprise.

“Anambra State has remained as Obiano met it. Awka, the state capital, has remained as Obiano met it. The Government House in Awka has remained like that. Let him prove us wrong. That is what we want to achieve.

“Owerri, the Imo State capital, today has eight-lane roads, courtesy of Okorocha in his urban renewal programme. Douglas (Government) House has been remodelled and given a facelift; two fly-over bridges, three tunnels, 500 kilometres of urban roads, International Convention Centre (IICC) and remodelling of premier schools, all in Owerri.

“Okorocha has built new universities, including Eastern Palm University at Ogboko as well as Aboh Mbaise/Ngor-Okpala University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Ihitte Uboma College of Education, Imo College of Advanced Studies, 800 kilometres of rural roads, 305 storey-building schools in the 305 wards across the state and 27 general hospitals.

“Sam Mbakwe Airport is today an international cargo airport, the free education programme in Imo State has remained productive, the state has maintained its lead in the Joint Admissions and Matriculation (JAMB) applications and admissions since 2012. The record is there for verification.

“The school enrolment has gone from 280,000 in 2011 to 800,000 in 2015 because of the free education. The poverty level in the state in 2011 was 57 per cent but in 2015, it came down to 19 per cent, according to United Nations (UN) report, because parents now channel the money they would have used to pay fees into other economic ventures.”


Source: The Cable

Rochas Okorocha is a Motor Park Governor – Willie Obiano

Willie Obiano, Anambra state governor, has questioned the leadership qualities of his Imo state counterpart, Rochas Okorocha.

The Anambra governor said Okorocha who cannot pay workers and pensioners has nothing but “destructive ideas” in his approach to governance.

Oliver Okpala, his senior special assistant on media, strategic communication and legislative matters, in a statement, said, “If a governor that has constructed countless number of roads and bridges, embarked on several rural electrification programmes, constructed uncountable number of schools, and health facilities as well as rid the entire Anambra State of crime and criminality, is being termed clueless by Okorocha, then there must be another meaning for clueless.

“Okorocha’s claim that there is a general impression that Chief Willie Obiano is an aggressive governor, who should have done better as a militant than as a governor, is laughable and it is clear to Nigerians who really is a motor park personality between them. Obiano has always been known and accorded the respect of a complete gentleman.

“Indeed, Okorocha is an example of what a leader should not be. Who is he to teach the virtues of leadership ideas and service to Governor Obiano?

“He talks of ideas when he cannot pay workers salaries and now tries to intimidate Imo retirees to forfeit 60 per cent arrears of their sweat. Are those the kind of ideas we need at this critical time? Those are destructive ideas, and a destructive idea cannot bring about constructive ends.

“Okorocha claimed that Obiano has taken Anambra State several kilometres backward, but the records are there to show who has taken his state backward. When serious Governors like Obiano are talking, the likes of Okorocha should keep quiet. This is a governor who has failed woefully to pay workers salaries.

“He is also heavily indebted to even pensioners, who have spent their youth and strength to labour for the state. In their old age, Okorocha’s government has abandoned them at this most critical time that they need the state. What an abomination,” the statement read in part.

The pair’s verbal altercation commenced when Okorocha claimed that three governors in the south-east zone would soon defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The World Igbo Summit Group (WISG), a think tank of south-east professionals and technocrats, had recently appealed to both men to sheathe their swords and work for the progress of the region.

Robbers raid Imo House of Assembly, steal valuables, documents

Some robbers, believed to be working as a syndicate, have reportedly raided Imo State House of Assembly and carted away cash, valuable documents and electronic equipment.

It was not clear at press time, how the rampaging hoodlums gained entrance into the complex and had all the time to break in and select their desired sensitive documents they stole.

Although no official statement has been issued by the Speaker, Chief Acho Ihim, on the crime, but it was gathered that the robbers broke into the offices of some lawmakers, where they wreaked havoc.

A staff of the legislature, who spoke to newsmen on strict grounds of anonymity, disclosed that “while some sensitive documents, video cameras and films were stolen from the Information Department, some sensitive files and documents were also stolen from the Legal Department”.

Already, stories making the rounds in the Assembly Complex, when Vanguard visited yesterday, had it that “an inkling into why the robbers struck can be deduced from the offices raided, as well as the documents stolen”.

When contacted on his mobile line, the member for Ikeduru state constituency and House Committee Chairman on Health, Dr. Uche Oguwuike, not only confirmed the incident, but also affirmed that his office was equally burgled.

“The robbers burgled my office and stole a number of things, including two plasma television sets and other electronic gadgets in my office”, Dr. Oguwuike said.

Asked to hazard a guess on how the robbers successfully made nonsense of the security network mounted in the Assembly Complex, the lawmaker said “it really beats my imagination.”

His words: “I am yet to come to terms with how and why the robbers outwitted the security personnel stationed in the House of Assembly. Honestly, it really beats my imagination. A proper investigation will reveal the intentions of the perpetrators of the dastardly act,” Oguwuike said.



WAEC bans Imo schools where officials were ‘locked out’, supervisor assaulted

Two secondary schools in Imo state have been barred from registering as examination centres for the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

The schools have also been barred from presenting their pupils as candidates in any of its examinations for a period of five years.

Demianus Ojijeogu, head, Public Affairs, WAEC, revealed this to Punch on Thursday but declined to name the affected schools.

Ojijeogu noted that a supervisor was assaulted in one of the Imo schools while WAEC officials were “locked out for more than 30 minutes in the second school obviously to perpetrate examination malpractice”.

He said: “We don’t usually name the schools because we refer to them by their centre numbers. For the derecognised schools, examination can still hold in the school but we will not use their teachers as invigilator.

“There are 28 of those schools across the country and they can still reapply after two years, telling us what they have put in place to prevent a recurrence of examination malpractice.”

The Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC) of the WAEC recently approved recommended sanctions for cases of exam malpractice.

A communique was issued to this effect at the end of the 62nd meeting of NEC WAEC held in Lagos.

According to the communique, the recommendations of the committee should be implemented without delay.

Three siblings denounce Christianity in Imo, travel to Kaduna for Islamic education

Three siblings – Chinonso, Chika and Chibuzor, who hail from Chokoneze in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area, LGA, of Imo State have reportedly converted to Islam.


The news making the rounds on the social media has it that the siblings reportedly abandoned their Christian faith, embraced Islam, and headed straight to Kaduna State to undergo Islamic education.


According to a Facebook page, Islamic Calling Family, the siblings have been enrolled in Islamic school in Kaduna state to have basic Islamic education.


The statement of the page reads, “ISLAM MUST CONTINUE TO GROW IN IGBO LAND.


“Three brothers of same parents from Chokoneze in Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA Imo State accepted Islam 2 days ago.


“Chinonso now Hassan, Chika now Musa. Chibuzor now Abdulrahman. They are now in Islamic school in Kaduna state to have basic Islamic education.”

2019: I’ve not decided on my successor – Okorocha

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has said he is yet to decide on which of his loyalists would be his successor in 2019.

He said he would make his choice known to Imp people at the at the appropriate.

This was just as he described his deputy, Eze Madumere, as one of his diehard loyalists in the last 23 years, who has stood by him during his political travails and has proved to be a man who could be trusted no matter the circumstance.

Okorocha, who stated this yesterday during the public presentation of a book written on the deputy governor by Peter Clever Obi, entitled: “Eze Madumere: A True Manifestation of Loyal Prince,” disclosed that while he was yet to decide on his successor amongst his loyalists who he described as his true “children,” noted that the deputy governor has stood by him in all his political struggles even when others deserted him.

“I have known Madumere for 23 years, we first met in the United states and he followed me to Nigeria and ever since he has been dedicated. I don’t see him as the deputy governor. My relationship with him is like that of a son and a father,” Okorocha said.

He added that Madumere has always be there with him in all his political struggles since 1999 and even when others deserted Madumere did not.

“He never knew he would be the deputy governor, I gave him a letter to take to the state Assembly that it contained the name of the new deputy governor but Madumere never inquired to know who the person was but after he had submitted the letter and left he was called back by the speaker that he has been appointed the new deputy governor. That is the kind of person he is because he believes in me and never doubts me.”

The Imo State governor expressed delight on the honour done to his deputy by the author, saying “he is my son with whom I am well pleased.”

Also speaking at the event, the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, said being a deputy governor is very difficult and expressed happiness that the Imo State governor has confidence in his deputy.

He said: “I hope the endorsement of the Imo State governor of the book written on his deputy will translate to coronation because for your governor to have implicit confidence in his deputy is good.”

Similarly, chairman of the event, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) said the Imo State deputy governor is a lesson in humility and urged other deputy governors to emulate him.

Three young men roasted alive for kidnapping newborn baby in Imo

Three young men were on Wednesday roasted alive by angry youths in Ezelu Okwe in the Onuimo Local Government Area, LGA, of Imo State for allegedly kidnapping a newborn baby boy.

The Punch quoted a community source as saying that the suspects met their Waterloo when they whisked away the baby from the mother and were caught by youths in the area.

He said, “They kidnapped the baby boy and took to their heels immediately. The traumatised mother raised the alarm immediately, which caught the attention of some youths around. The youths quickly intervened, caught the three of them and burnt them alive.”

According to the source, the youths took law into their hand as they set the suspects on fire because a similar incident had taken place in the community penultimate week when kidnappers stole a baby from the mother.

“The youths were angered by the fact that a baby girl was stolen in the community two weeks ago. They wanted the killing of the kidnappers to serve as a deterrent to others,” he added.

The Police Public Relations Officer, in the state, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said he was awaiting full details from the Divisional Police Officer in the LGA.

Meanwhile, the Senate has moved against jungle justice in the country.

Court Freezes all Imo State Government Accounts

The Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, has ordered the freezing of all the accounts of Imo State Government and the confiscation of all monies domiciled in them. The court gave the order while delivering judgement on an appeal filed by the Governor of the state Rochas Okorocha, the Attorney General of Imo State, the Environmental Transformation Committee and the Ministry of Petroleum and Environment, Imo State.

The state government had approached the court to upturn earlier judgments delivered by Hon. Justice

Maryann Anenih of Maitama High Court, Abuja, and Hon. Justice Ijeoma Agugua, in suit numbers FCT/HC/M/9257/2016 and HU/538/2011, filed by one of its contractors, E. F. Network Nigeria Limited and Mr. Gideon Egbuchulam who the state owed N1 billion.

The Abuja courts had delivered judgments in favor of one of the state contractors. The Court of Appeal in its ruling yesterday ordered that the confiscated funds of the state be used to offset the N1 billion debt owed E. F. Network Nigeria Limited and Gideon Egbuchulam.

Imo lawmakers set to outlaw female circumcision

The Imo State House of Assembly has described female genital mutilation/cutting as obnoxious traditional practice, saying it is opposed to it and set to pass into law a bill “to eliminate violence in private and public life.”

It also said that it was hazardous to the health of girl children and women due to its attendant physical and mental consequences.

Speaking during the inauguration ceremony organised by the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha, the Speaker of the state Assembly, Acho Ihim, noted that the practice was in utter violation of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Girl Child.

He also said that it violated the African ethical principle of “Do no harm to anybody.”

While saying that the House of Assembly was opposed to FGM/C in all its ramifications, the Speaker maintained that the circumcision of the girl child was a violation of female fundamental human rights to life, physical integrity and health.

He said, “Under medical prerogatives, the practice subjects its victims to life-threatening hazards. We in the House therefore stand in unity with the wife of the governor, Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha, as well as UNFPA, UNICEF and other international organisations, to uphold the stance that there is no justification whatsoever for FGM.

“And to ensure the speedy implementation of eradication of this detestable traditional practice, the House of Assembly hereby promises to hasten all efforts aimed at passing into law the bill to eliminate violence in private and public life, to prohibit all forms of violence including physical, sexual, psychological and all domestic harmful traditional practices, discrimination against persons and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment for offenders.”

Earlier, Mrs. Okorocha had said that the intervention by the United Nations’ Population Fund Agency through the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development had focused on four council areas such as Ikeduru, Ohaji/Egbema, Ngor Okpala and Oguta.

Mrs. Okorocha said her pet project, Women of Divine Destiny Initiative, was partnering with UNFPA to fully address the problem.

Nigerian Army confirms death of ‘Charlie Boy’ in Imo State

The Nigerian Army 34 artillery has confirmed the death of a notorious cult leader Charles Ojeoru a.k.a Charlie boy.


This was after a gun battle between Army and cultists in Ohaji Egbema area of Imo State.


The Army, who described Charles Ojeoru as a cultist, said he was the gang leader of a notorious group that mainly operated In Awara, Imodube and Ogwewe communities of the oil producing Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.


In a statement by the Assistant Director Army Public Relations, Imo state, Lieutenant Haruna Tagwai, he said the cultist died during a gun battle between the strike Force of 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze, and cultists in the area.

The Ohaji Egbema Local Government and the environs appear to be a regular attraction to cultists and other miscreants due to its oil rich nature.


However, the Army says a clearance operation was being carried out to cleanse the area, as well as Imo state in general.


Lieutenant Tagwai stated that some other members of the notorious gang had also sustained various degrees of injuries while some are still on the run. Nevertheless, they would not rest on their laurels until the criminals are apprehended.


He urged the general public to report to security agencies or any relevant information on sighting anyone or group of persons with gunshot wounds.

Group asks FG to withdraw JTF from Imo oil communities

A pressure group, Imo Mass Movement, IMM, has called on the Federal Government, to quickly withdraw the men of the Joint Military Task Force, deployed to the Awarra Court Area in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, to avoid truncating the ongoing conflict resolution process in the area.

This was stated in a release yesterday in Owerri and signed by the Publicity Secretary of IMM, Comrade Marcellinus Enyia.

The group said the peace building process has already been threatened by the deployment of the military in the affected areas adding that, the use of military, which has opted for the use of “force” as alternative to peace would further displace the people in the oil rich communities as well as cripple their social lives and economic activities. They also expressed disappointment that at a point of recording commendable strides in restoring peace in the troubled areas, the military entered.

They also alleged that some disgruntled elements from the affected communities and government officials are bent on destroying the peace process which they said had long been initiated by the Conflict Prevention Committee, CPC, of Partners for Peace in the Niger Delta, (P4P), Imo State Network.

“The violent conflict in Awarra Court Area is cause by long period of neglect by the multinational oil companies operating in the court area.”

“The Imo Mass Movement (IMM) note with dismay the recent deployment of the joint military taskforce to Awarra Court Area in Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area (L.G.A) Imo State by the Imo State Government in connivance with some elites of Awarra Court Area of Ohaji-Egbema L.G.A.”

“Since July 2, 2016 after the Peace Building Consultative meeting of members of Conflict Prevent Committee (CPC) of Partners for Peace in the Niger Delta (P4P) Imo State Network with the leaderships and commanding hierarchy of the two armed militant groups – Niger Delta Rescue Force (NDRF) and Niger Delta Red Squad (NDRS) met in Ochia and Awarra Autonomous Communities respectively to agree on temporary cease fire. We note that the meeting was very fruitful because since after the meeting and cease fire agreement, members of the communities who were taking refuge in neighbouring communities started returning to the communities to commence their economic and social life.”

“IMM call on Imo State and the Federal government of Nigeria not to use military option to crush the upsurge of militancy in the Awarra Court Area which has crippled economic and social activities in the area since over three years the violent conflict got escalated.”

“On the foregoing, we call on the Imo State and Federal Government of Nigeria to compel the multinational oil companies operating in the area – Waltersmith Petroman Oil Ltd, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to stop the ongoing policy of divide and rule.”

“Finally, we call on the Imo State and Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately withdraw the joint military taskforce recently deployed to Awarra Court Area and to engage the services of the Peace building and mediation experts to continue the ongoing peace building process in the area. Violent cannot be a solution to violent – Awarra Court Area need peace.” they stated.

Militant Group Blows Up Agip Pipeline In Imo

Three months after it attacked its first target, Niger Delta Red Squad (RDRS), the new militant group operating in the oil bearing communities of Ohaji/Egbema council area of Imo State, said it has blown another facility belonging to Agip Oil Company at Umuonei in Awara community.
The group, which announced the attack in a Facebook posting, warned Agip personnel to keep away from the pipeline, as anybody found within the vicinity would be beheaded.
The group in the post by one General Don Wannie, claimed it struck because it has nothing to show for the operations of Agip, and other oil companies in their community since the creation of Imo State.  “We have seen enough marginalisation and it has to be stopped,” he said.
The militant group said it was forced to resume hostility as a result of the continued criminal neglect of the oil-bearing communities by oil companies.
“We are not happy with Agip because they have continued to neglect our communities. Since they have refused to change, we have equally resumed the attack on their pipelines and we are going to blow until they do the right thing. “
The group, which vowed to chase out the oil company from Ohaji/Egbema council area said if the state government failed to compel the oil company to do the right thing, it would have no option but to also attack the offices of the Imo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission  (ISOPADEC), the Niger Delta Development Community (NDDC) among others in the state.
It also threatened to attack Governor Rochas Okorocha’s Ogboko village if government deployed any military to their community.
“To Imo State government and their security agencies, we ask you to give our people what rightfully belong to them. You think the best thing you can do is to plan how to deploy security men to our area. No problem… we are assuring you that no security agent will come to any part of Awarra and go without being beheaded,” it threatened.
After it hit a facility operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company in Awarra, Ohaji/Egbema local council area of Imo State in June, the group vowed to inflict maximum damage to oil facilities, if Ohaji/Egbema communities were not given due benefits from their oil resource.

Read More: sunnewsonline

Okorocha Reads Riot Act To Opposition Over Relocation Of Owerri Main Market

The Imo State government, yesterday read riot act to indigenes of Owerri Municipal council opposed to the proposed relocation of the Owerri main market popularly known as Eke-Ukwu Owere, stressing that there is no going back on the exercise.


Governor Rochas Okorocha who stated this in a chart with journalists highlighted that the relocation which would soon be effected would entail total demolition of all structures in the market in line with his urban renewal and Imo my pride programme, even as he advised traders in the market to move their wares to the new site of the market at the out-sketch of the Owerri Capital City without further delay.


The governor, who similarly directed all mechanics in the city to relocate to the Avu Mechanic Village, said that henceforth all marooned vehicles not found at the mechanics village would be impounded and a penalty fee of N10,000 imposed on the owner.


Furthermore, he warned the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in the state still reluctant to embrace his novelty of three days for work and two days for farming for civil servants to have a change of heart, stressing that the measure was in the best interest of the workers and the state.

He regretted that most of the civil servants in the state are not computer literate and disclosed that 3,000 computer literate graduates who would be trained as experts from South Africa would be recruited into the state civil service to stimulate the civil service.


Okorocha who decried insinuation trailing his recent overseas trip and the rumours of death peddled against him by some faceless individuals said that he was neither slapped by an evil spirit nor suffered any strange illness abroad, saying that “I have a lot to accomplish for Imo people and it is God who, not only protects a man, but the vision in him.”


He accused the opposition in the state of master minding the rumours of death against him, describing the act as the height of enmity and opposition which he said both the late Dr NNamdi Azikiwe, Awolowo and Dr Michael Okpara never suffered.


We must never surrender our state to deities because these are some of the things that have continued to hold us down. Some people do not want to hear anything positive in the government but only the negative ones but I am prepared to change this with my rescue mission programme

NLC Condemns Okorocha’s 3-Day Work, 2-Day Farming Policy For Imo Workers

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has condemned in strong terms the Imo Government’s three-day work, two-day farming for workers recently introduced by Gov. Rochas Okorocha.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba gave this indication while fielding questions at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum on Sunday in Abuja.
Wabba said that the policy which implied forcefully sending workers to farm was against the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention and also against the rules and procedures in service.

“First, we have condemned in very strong terms what the Imo State governor tries to do by forcefully sending workers to the farm.

“Don’t forget that the public service rule is very clear about what trade a worker can actually do to join to his normal routine services.

“It provided that on your own volition, you can join farming as part of your normal routine activities and that is allowed by law.

“But to criminally now go to the State House of Assembly to pass a law overnight without public hearing, without consultation is against the ILO convention; against our rules and procedure in service.

“To say that you want to force workers compulsorily to go into faming two days a week is the height of not even understanding how governance and how public service is run.

“I am sure that is condemnable.’’

According to him, Okorocha’s policy is quite different from what other states are doing.

He explained that while other states were encouraging workers to embrace farming voluntarily, the Imo government’s policy on the other hand was compulsory.

He, however, explained that the ILO Convention and the International treaty made it clear that working hours should not be more than eight hours a day and 40 hours per week.

Wabba further noted that Nigeria is a signatory to the treaty prohibiting forced labour.

“What the governor is doing is forced labour; we are not slaves; even under slavery, you cannot force a worker to work against his volition.

“Employment is a contract between the employer and the employee and therefore, they are rules of engagement; even what you earn is through a collective bargaining process; it cannot be imposed or forced on you.’’

Therefore, Wabba said that the NLC directive, the law had been made ineffective as workers had ignored it and continued with their work normally.

“How can you for instance ask a teacher not to go to school to teach pupils for two days a week or a health practitioner; disease doesn’t give notice.

“You don’t give notice before you fall sick; so at the time when you are going to farm an epidemic can actually come up; how you can address all of this?

“Or you want to put two standards in place; you ask one category of workers to come to work three days a week and another category to go to farm.

“That is not done; there are better ways to do that; he can encourage farmers; he can allocate lands give them fertiliser, give them incentives.

“You can put laws in place and encourage workers to go into farming but not through a very cruel process of working against the law and forcing them to go to farm which is against our law; against our convention.’’

The NLC president stressed that the international labour law, which Nigeria had ratified was superior to the one passed by the Imo State Assembly.

“We have a superior law which Nigeria had ratified, which is also an international law that prohibits forced labour; what he is trying to do by that law, is forced labour.’’

He said that the NLC had already written officially to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, which statutorily has the responsibility to enforce the labour laws of the issue and would also forward it to the ILO.

Confusion as 4 PDP Chairmen Emerge In Parallel Congresses In Imo State

No fewer than four persons are currently claiming to have emerged from congresses by factions of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Imo State.


The claimants to the chairmanship seat includes Nnamdi Anyaehie, Charles Ezekwem, Greg Owuamalam and Chuks Ajaelu.


Investigation revealed that the impasse may not be unconnected with the palpable interests of some party bigwigs, who are allegedly eyeing the 2019 gubernatorial poll.


It was also gathered that some of the party bigwigs that are allegedly interested in the gubernatorial slot are Senator Hope Uzodinma, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, Senator Bright Nwanne and Charles Onyeagbako.


A party chieftain, who spoke on condition of strict anonymity, linked Uzodinma and Ohakim to the Anyaehie-led faction, while the Ihedioha group is supporting the Ezekwem faction.

“We equally understand that Senator Bright Nwanne and Chief Charles Onyeagbako are fully backing the Greg Owuamalam-led executive. What we have today, is a conflict of personal interests in the party,” the PDP loyalist said.


Feelers from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, at press time, showed that the Commission has recognized the Charles Ezekwem faction, even as the Anyaehie group described the news as false.


Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress, APC, loyalists in the state have started jubilating over the continuing discordant tunes coming from the PDP family.


One of the party loyalists said yesterday in Owerri, prayed fervently for the PDP to remain crisis-ridden till 2019.


“To tell you the truth, APC loyalists are very happy with what is happening in the PDP at all levels. It is our fervent prayer that the crisis should gain greater momentum in the days ahead”, the APC loyalist said.

Civil Servants Are Not Farmers – Onwubiko Emmanuel

It is strange to observe that some state governments are currently using their civil servants as guinea pigs for farming duties. Benue State governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, called this unknown practice a ‘novelty’, which he said could combat the downturn of the nation’s economy.


He was reported to have told civil servants in the state to embrace farming to augment their meager salaries, which may not come at the end of each month. The governor declared every Friday of the week, a public holiday to enable state workers till the land for agricultural produce. The Governor thereafter proceeded on two-week annual vacation, as he said, to enable him tend crops in his farm.


The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Odeh Ageh, who made the announcement, said the work- free day was approved by the the state executive council meeting chaired by Governor Ortom. Ageh explained that the idea would help workers to produce enough food to feed their families in the face of the current economic reality which has made the regular payment of salaries a major challenge.


According to him, the work-free day would commence from Friday, June 10 and would last till the end of July, 2016.


The Commissioner also announced that the governor would proceed on a two-week vacation as part of his annual leave to work on his farm while the Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, would act in his absence.


It is safe to argue that in Benue State, the government opted for persuasion and has set out a timeline when this practice of conversion of civil servants to farmers would end. But Imo State governor took his version of the modern day slavery practice to a ridiculous heights.


Governor Okorocha, who is also of the All Progressives Congress, with the Benue State Governor decided to declare two days work-free days to enable Imo State workers go to farms, to use his words, “to produce food to assist the State’s economy.” The governor said the practice will be for one year in the first instance.


The Imo State governor also looked at the rule book adopted by the then old Rivers State’s governor, Chief Clifford Okilo, to term his new agricultural rule “Back to land for Agriculture” even as he stated through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, that the policy of not working Thursdays and Fridays is meant to enable the state civil servants invest inagriculturalactivities.Butunlike his colleague, Mr. Okorocha did not lead by example by showing journalists his farm. But, he cancelled all annual leaves which are statutory entitlements of the state workers.

One is of the conviction that it is wrong for any state governor to use the parlous state of the economy as a reason to compel civil servants to start farming as part of their job specification. This pol- icy should be abrogated without further wasteoftime. Thepolicyisalsoabreach of the labour law since workers working for their states have valid employment letters specifying the duties expected of them. I am afraid that the conversion of workers to farmers is not part of these terms of contracts signed by them. Government cannot abridge, amend or alter the original terms of employment without proper, adequate and transparent agreement of all the parties to the employment contract. Let us consult the eighth edition of “Black’s Law Dictionary” edited by Bryan A. Garner to get some insights on the meaning of contract so as to situate it within the context of the illegality by the Imo and Benue state governors to convert their State Civil Servants to farm slaves.


“The term, contract, has been used to refer to three different things: (1) the series of operative acts by the par- ties resulting in new legal relations; (2) the physical document executed by the parties as the lasting evidence of their having performed the necessary opera- tive acts and also as an operative fact in itself; (3) the legal relations resulting from the operative acts, consisting of a right or rights in personam and their corresponding duties, accompanied by certain powers, privileges, and immunities. The sum of these legal relations is called ‘obligation.’


Apart from the fact that state governments are obliged to respect the employment contract it entered into with her workforce without unduly introducing some strange conditionality, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) has also made copious provisions making it a legally binding obligation that government is not allowed to turn its workers into agricultural “guinea pigs”.


Section 17(3)(a)(b) and (c) provide as follows: “ all citizens without discrimination on any group whatsoever, have the opportunity for securing ade- quate means of livelihood as well as ad- equate opportunity to secure suitable employment.” “The State shall ensure that conditions of work are just, and humane, and that there are adequate facilities for leisure and for social, reli- gious and cultural life” and “the health, safety and welfare of all person in em- ployment are safeguarded and not en- dangered or abused”.


Globally, the most salient aspects of employment laws state that workers must enjoy basic rights at work which must necessarily include getting a writ- ten statement of the main terms and conditions of employment within two months of starting work. Other basic rights of a worker are: The right to an itemized pay slip. This applies from the day the employee starts work; The right to be paid at least the national minimum wage. How did Governors Okorocha and Orthom arrive at the illegality of converting their workforce to farmers? If I may ask, particularly the Imo State governor, have you set up farm settlement centres and obtained good yielding lands for such an initiative?


Also, Benue state governor should tell Nigerians if his administration has succeeded in getting President Buhari to stop the rampaging armed Fulani herdsmen from destroying farmlands?


Currently, Benue, like most other farming communities across Nigeria is battling Fulani herdsmen.

Imo Workers Defy Govt’s 3-day Workweek Policy

Workers in Imo State yesterday reported for work in disobedience to a directive by the government that they take off Thursday and Friday every week from their respective offices after working Monday to Wednesday.
Imo State government recently announced the new policy introducing a three-day workweek effective Monday through Wednesday, a policy which officially commenced Monday, August 1st.

Government said it meant the two work-free days, Thursday and Friday, to enable the workers engage in farming.
But yesterday which should have been the workers’ first free day, workers at various ministries and parsstatals were in their usual offices working.
In a response to the development, Governor Rochas Okorocha has appealed to the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state to show understanding over the new policy.
The NLC leaders were reported to have ordered the workers to ignore the directive.
The governor in a statement issued in Owerri by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, urged them to appreciate that the policy was meant to allow workers to use Thursdays and Fridays to farm, except workers on essential duties like teachers, nurses, doctors, political appointees and IGR personnel.
He said the workers were not asked to go home to stay idle but to dutifully engage in farming, which would not only help their individual economies but would also boost the economy of the state.
The governor declared that the development was in the best interest of everyone and would not affect the salaries of the workers.

Credit: DailyTrust

US Declares Borno, Adamawa, Rivers, Imo, 16 Other States Unsafe

The United States government, in its latest travel advisory to its citizens living in Nigeria, has listed 20 of Nigeria’s 36 states as unsafe and advised them to stay away from them.
Among the 20, it cited Borno, Adamawa and Yobe as complete no-go areas as “the ability of the US Mission to provide assistance to US citizens” in those states remains severely limited.

The travel warning published on Wednesday on the website of the U.S. Department of State, replaced an earlier one of last February, reported Afrique News yesterday.

In addition to the three frontline states, the State Department also “recommends against all but essential travel to the following states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks: Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Zamfara.

“The Department of State also warns against travel in the Gulf of Guinea, because of the threat of piracy,” the advisory published online added.
It said based on safety and security risk assessments, the embassy maintains restrictions for travel by US officials to the states listed above.

Officials must also apply for advance clearance by the US mission for any travel to those states.
The statement also urged vigilance around government security facilities; churches, mosques, other places of worship; locations where large crowds may gather such as hotels, clubs, bars, restaurants, markets, shopping malls; and other areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

It added: “Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups, and U.S. citizens may encounter police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.

“Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have been displaced as a result of violence in the north.”
The U.S. State Department noted that kidnappings remained a security concern throughout Nigeria, as criminal elements across the country orchestrated kidnappings for ransom; Islamic extremists, operating predominantly in the North, also have been known to conduct kidnappings.

It said: “Separatist groups have staged demonstrations in Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, and Rivers States, some of which have turned violent.
“Militant groups have destroyed oil production infrastructure in Bayelsa and Delta states.

“U.S. citizens are advised to avoid the areas of these states where these incidents have occurred.
“Attacks by pirates off the coast of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea have increased substantially in recent years.

“Armed gangs have boarded both commercial and private vessels to rob travellers.
“The Nigerian Navy has limited capacity to respond to criminal acts at sea.”

Credit: thisday

APC Wins Imo North Senate District, 2 State Constituencies In Re-Run Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Mr Ben Uwajumogu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) winner of Imo North Senatorial District rerun election held on July 28.


Uwajumogu scored 56,076 votes to defeat Mr Athan Achonu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 43, 815 votes.


Prof. Arinze Agbogu, the INEC Returning Officer for Imo North Senatorial District, who announced the result in the early hours of Friday, said the outcome was a summation of scores of July 23 and that of July 28 exercise.


It will be recalled that Uwajumogu had scored 48,921 on July 23, while Achonu, of the PDP, scored 40, 142 votes which made INEC to declare the rerun inconclusive.


Agbogu said that available data before him showed that Uwajumogu had majority of lawful votes cast, and therefore returned elected for the Imo North Senatorial District.


Similarly, INEC declared Mr Nkenna Nzeruo of the APC winner of Oru East State Constituency, while Mr Collins Chiji also of APC was declared winner for Isiala Mbano State Constituency.


The two state constituencies’ elections were equally declared inconclusive due to reported cases of violence that marred the exercise in some communities in the two areas on July 23.


Uwajumogu told journalists in Owerri that he was highly elated over the victory, adding “my gratitude goes more to Governor Rochas Okorocha whose structure helped me to win this senatorial election’’.

Police Confirm Attack On Shell Facility In Imo

The police have confirmed an attack on a facility belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) at Awarra, Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo.

Andrew Enwerem, the police public relations officer in the state, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Owerri that the police received report of the attack in the early hours of Thursday.

Mr. Enwerem could not disclose the extent of damage done to the facility or the group that carried out the attack.

Precious Okolobo, spokesman for SPDC said “the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), which runs through Awara, Imo State at the Assa-Rumuekpe line, has been shut for repairs since June 8, following a leak at Okolo launch, Bonny in Rivers State.

“We are investigating the reported incident at Awara’’, he said.

A source in Awarra community told NAN that the incident occurred at about 5.30a.m.

It said the explosion created huge flame at the site and could not confirm if there was loss of life.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Credit: NAN

Gov. Okorocha Recalls Suspended Workers, Unions Suspend Strike

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo has agreed with the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), to immediately recall all suspended workers and stop everything about concession in the State.

The National President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, read the statement to the protesting workers shortly after the conclusion of their negotiation with the Imo State Government.

The statement was signed by A. N. Eluwa -Solicitor General of Imo, for the government, Chairman NLC in Imo, Austin Chilakpu, Chairman, TUC, Ezeji Ezeji and eight others for the NLC.

Mr. Wabba directed the workers to suspend the protest and go back to work.

The agreement stated that government would source for funds to pay workers which would be verified by the joint committee of government and labour.

According to the agreement, government would fund its operations with not more than 30 per cent of the verified revenue for the month.

The committee would apply the balance of 70 per cent in the settlement of salaries of public servants and pensioners.

Economic and social activities had come to a halt in Owerri following a mass protest organised by the NLC.

The organised labour had shut down the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, all ministries and offices, including the LGAs and the state Secretariat as workers trooped out for the protest.

Imo AGN Holds Candle Night For Late Nollywood Actor, Dede-One-Day

In preparation for the burial of late comedian turned actor, Peter Onwuzurike Onyehidelam popularly known as Dede One Day, members of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) have scheduled Friday, February 12, for the candle night to honour the late thespian in Owerri, Imo state.
Billed to hold at Freedom Square in Owerri, the candle night will be hosted by the Imo state chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria.

Regreting the sudden death of the actor is the Chairman of AGN, Mr. Conac Umez who explained how friendly Dede One Day was with the Guild while alive. He went further to describe him as one actor whose role may not be replaced by another within a long period of time.
Promising to support the family, Conac assured them that the Guild will be at his country home after the candle night to offer the late popular comedian a befitting burial.
Dede One Day, who became popular for his ‘Laugh With Me’ work, passed on after battling with high blood pressure in the early morning of December 14, 2015, after performing at an event in Aba.

Dede who anchored a program for the Abia state’s Peoples Democratic Party Secretary, Mr. Charles Esonu in Aba later left there for Ugwunagbo for another event he was contracted to anchor, but he couldn’t conclude it.

He was rushed from the event to hospital over blood pressure related issue and later died. Fixed to be buried on Saturday, February 13 in his country home, Umuduruori Umuarusilam Umuagwuru Mbieri, Imo state, Dede One Day is survived by wife, children and family.

Medical Doctor Shot In The Head During Protest In Imo

The planned peaceful demonstration by medical practitioners in Imo State turned awry, yesterday, as a Consultant Family Physician in the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Dr. Bende Azudialo, was allegedly shot in the head by a policeman.




The victim, Dr Bede Azudialor, a Consultant Physician with the Federal Medical Centre , Owerri, was allegedly shot in the head by anti-riot policemen drafted to monitor the demonstration by the doctors.



It was gathered that the victim was first rushed to the emergency unit of Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, from where he was moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) and thereafter relocated to an undisclosed hospital.



During a press conference in Owerri, State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Hyacinth Emele, ordered a three-day warning strike with effect from today. Emele said: “If the policeman that fired the shot is not identified and prosecuted, doctors will commence indefinite industrial action.” Emele, who displayed the blood-stained overall worn by the wounded doctor, said a team of medical personnel were working on Azudialo.



“Following the shooting of our member, doctors in Imo State will from today commence a three-day warning strike during which the Nigerian Police Force must name the policeman that shut our member.


The warning strike beginning from Feb. 4, will last for three days and if after the expiration of three days, the person who shut at our colleague fails to come out, doctors will start an indefinite strike action’’, Akukwu said.



He urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase to compel the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Taiwo Lakanu , to produce the culprit who perpetrated the act.



Akukwu further urged President Muhammadu Buhari to thoroughly investigate the matter.



It was learnt that the march was organised by the NMA in Imo, to protest what they described as the “anti-life’’ policies of Gov. Rochas Okorocha.



The march was said to have started from the NMA office on Port Harcourt Road, Owerri at about 12 noon.



It was gathered that when the doctors got to Orlu Road junction, Owerri, anti-riot police in about 10 Hilux vans started throwing tear gas canisters on the group during which a gun was suspected to have been fired, which injured the doctor.



It was in the process of tear gassing of the group that Dr Bede Azudiaro fell down and raised alarm that he had been shut in the head, with blood gushing from his head.



Earlier, the state chairman of NMA, Dr Hyacinth Emele, had told journalists that the association was protesting against the concessioning of public health institutions by the state government.



“Despite NMA repeated advice, government went ahead to concession virtually all the state public health institutions from primary to tertiary (health centre, general hospitals and Imo State Specialist Hospitals, and Imo State University Teaching Hospital) and their management.


The state will stand to lose completely from the assistance of donor agencies and partners like the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank, Global Fund among others that sponsor immunization, malaria, tuberculosis, family planning and HIV/AIDS services to these institutions.’’



The NMA chairman equally condemned the appointment of a non-doctor as Commissioner of Health and the merging of Ministry of Health and Women Affairs by Okorocha.


Emele also decried the use of armed thugs to attack workers at their duty posts.

“The use of task force to regulate medical practice in Imo is against Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.



The NMA chairman raised alarm over the illicit harvesting and trafficking of human organs currently on going in the state. “Lives of residents of Imo State are at great risk over this evil practice.’’


When contacted, the PPRO in the state (DSP) Andrew Enwerem said that the police only used tear gas to disperse the protesting doctors when they became riotous.


“Police did not shoot anybody and nobody who is shot on the head will ever remain alife.


“Let them produce a doctor’s report to confirm that it was a real case of shooting on the head. Anybody can pick any blood stained material from anywhere and claim that he was shot”, Enwerewhe said.




Man Kills Girlfriend For Rejecting Marriage Proposal In Imo

One Miss Onyinyechi Okegbulam of Egbu in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State has allegedly been killed by her boyfriend for refusing his marriage proposal.

A source said that the girl was shot in the head at close range by her supposed boyfriend in the village.

The source recalled that the deceased was, last Saturday, lured out of her family home by the boyfriend at about 7p.m.

“Some people, who were close to the scene of the crime that night, reported that as soon as the boy saw the girl approaching him, he fired at her,” the source said.

Another source claimed that soon after shooting the girl, the young man tried to smuggle Onyinyechi’s lifeless body into his car but scampered for safety when a woman raised alarm, which attracted several people to the scene.

Another story, however, had it that the boyfriend was responsible for the entire educational expenses of the girl, who later ditched him.

A resident of the area said: “We heard that the boy picked the bills for the girl’s education, but that the girl later abandoned the boy and opted to marry another man.

“We have even heard that the marriage has been fixed before the boyfriend struck.”

Credit: Vanguard

Supreme Court Upholds Election Of Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha

The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Rochas Okorocha as the Imo State governor. At a ruling this morning, the apex court dismissed the appeal filed by the PDP candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, challenging the election of Okorocha during the April 14th election. The court said the appeal lacked merit and consequently threw it away.

Catholic Priest Assassinated In Imo State

During the weekend, a Claretian priest of the Catholic Church was murdered in Owerri, Imo state.
The priest, whose full identity could not be ascertained at press time, was an academic staff of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the incident, he said the priest was murdered by assassins on a bush path.
Enwerem said:

“The police are suspecting that it was a clear case of assassination. The priest was gruesomely murdered along a very lonely bush path that would have led him into Port Harcourt Road.”

While noting that whatever happened to the priest might be connected with the bickering and happenings in Imo Polytechnic, Enwerem, however, wondered why the Catholic priest chose to use such a lonely bush path.

He said:

“The police are suspecting that whatever happened to the priest cannot be far from the ceaseless bickering emanating from the polytechnic.

“Again, I wonder why the priest chose to use the lonely bush path on his Toyota SUV.”

He confirmed that although the police have recovered the vehicle, no arrests had been made in connection with the crime.
The PPRO said that police patrol teams were despatched to the area as soon as the information was passed on to them.
He said:

“The youths of the community joined the police in combing the surrounding bushes. The hoodlums simply perfected and carried out their damnable act before vanishing into the thin air.”

Enwerem confirmed that the command had not only expanded its dragnet to all corners of the state, but were following all available leads.
Enwerem said: “There is the likelihood that the assassins carefully monitored the priest’s movement and laid ambush for him on his track. Honestly, it was a gruesome murder.”

Teenager Commits Suicide In Imo

A 15-year-old senior secondary school student, identified as Paschal Egbosimba, committed suicide in  Imo State. Before his death the teenager was living with his mother and siblings, and was a senior secondary school student of Passion Model Secondary School, Egbu.

 He used an electric extension cable to hang himself from a ceiling fan, when his mother was away for a night vigil. The late boy’s mother, who wept uncontrollably, was heard saying she never scolded the deceased, adding that there was no reason for him to have hung himself.

Read More: Vanguard

Imo Assembly Bans Sale Of Locally Brewed Gin

The Imo State House of Assembly has adopted two motions urging ministries, departments and agencies to improve the sanitation of the state and banning the sale of locally brewed gin.

Presenting the motion on sanitation on Wednesday, Mr Chukwuemeka Lloyd (APC-Owerri-North) stressed the need for the offices charged with environmental sanitation and food hygiene to step up their activities to stop the spread of diseases.

The motion also urged public health officers to inspect market places, abattoirs and the means of conveying animals slaughtered in the market to their retail outlets.

The motion also called for sanitation trucks to be covered with tarpaulins to prevent littering the roads with garbage.

Similarly, the assembly adopted another motion banning the production, sale, distribution and consumption of locally brewed gin in the state.

Presenting the motion, Mr Innocent Egwim (APC-Ideato North) noted that the consumption of locally brewed gin posed a danger to the lives of its consumers.

He prayed that the state health ministry be compelled to trace the producers for possible prosecution while the brewing, sale, distribution and consumption of the product without legal approval be banned.

The motion also called on the Imo Orientation Agency to educate the residents on the dangers of the product.

Following the unanimous adoption of the motions by the lawmakers, the Speaker of the assembly, Mr Iheanacho Ihim (APC-Okigwe) ruled in favour of them.

How Okorocha, Ikpeazu, Ishaku Won In Imo, Abia, Taraba- Report

Imo State governor and candidate of All Progressives Congress, Chief Rochas Okorocha, was early this morning declared winner of the governorship election in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Meanwhile, In the other two states where supplementary governorship elections also held on Saturday, the governorship candidates of Peoples Democratic Party in Abia and Taraba states, Dr Victor Ikpeazu and Mr. Darius Ishaku, respectively,  won, after results were collated and declared by INEC.

Okorocha scored 416,996 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, who polled 320,705 votes. Okorocha was declared winner by the State Returning Officer, Professor Ibidapo Obe, who is Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Ikwo, Ebonyi State.

In the senatorial election in Delta Central, Ighoyota Amori of PDP won the election, polling 115, 000 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Ovie Omo-Agege, of Labour Party, who scored 53, 000 votes. Amore was declared the senator-elect. Amori polled 2, 981 votes in Ughelli South, while Omo-Agege polled 681 votes. In Sapele, Amori got 8, 864 votes, Omo-Agege got 1, 541. In Udu, the PDP candidate got 9, 194 votes, while his LP challenger got 3, 956 votes. In Uvwie, Amori got 4, 819 votes, while Omo-Agege got 2, 366 votes. In Okpe, the PDP candidate scored 8, 613, while the LP candidate got 2, 022 votes. In Ethiope West, Amori got 172, while Omo-Agege had 12 votes. Also in Ethiope East, Amori scored 14, 142 votes, while Omo-Agege scored 7, 168 votes.

The results announced early this morning by INEC showed that Okorocha led Ihedioha in 20 of the 23 local government areas where the supplementary polls took place in Imo State. Okorocha won in Nkwerre (APC 255, PDP 164), Oru west (APC 395, PDP 129), Okigwe (APC 603, PDP 76), Orlu (APC 687, PDP 179), Ihitte Uboma (APC 131, PDP 66), Nwangele (APC 271, PDP 55), Orsu (APC 471, PDP 218), Njaba (APC 1095, PDP 236), Obowo (APC 697, PDP 505), Ow. North (APC 674, PDP 620), Onuimo (APC 412, PDP 207), Ohaji/Egbema (APC 1210, PDP 996), Owerri West (APC 1342, PDP 793), Ehime Mbano (APC 604, PDP 393), Mbaitoli (APC 3997, PDP 2422), Oru East (APC 7154, PDP 1168), Ngor Okpala (APC 416, PDP 323), Isu (APC 2773, PDP 979), Isiala Mbano (APC 1415, PDP 1000), and Oguta (APC 5030, PDP 1378). Ihedioha won in three local governments, namely, Ezinihitte (APC 213, PDP 715) and Aboh Mbaise (APC 686, PDP 939), Ikeduru (APC 786, PDP 1022).

Okorocha had polled 385, 671 votes, while Ihedioha scored 306, 142 votes at the main election on April 11. That gave a difference of 79, 529 votes between the highest scorer and the runner-up, and the number of cancelled votes was 144, 715. The election was declared inconclusive by the INEC Returning Officer in the state, Obe. After the supplementary election, APC had 31,326 votes while PDP had 13,624.

The Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) stipulates that where the number cancelled votes exceeds the difference between the number of votes polled by the candidate who comes first and the person in second place, a winner cannot be declared until the conclusion of a supplementary election in the areas affected by the cancellations.

Results, as announced by INEC, from the eight local government areas of Abia State where the supplementary governorship elections held showed that in Aba North PDP got 754 while APGA polled 857; in Ikwuano PDP 1,748, APGA 2179; Ohafia, PDP 2,479, APGA 326; Isiala Ngwa North, PDP 60, APGA 60; Aba South, PDP 722, APGA 2536; Ogwunagbo, PDP 1893, APGA polled 1289; Umuahia South, PDP 1377, APGA 4184; Umuahia North, PDP 1,899, APGA 2,376, and Osisioma, APGA 5,322, PDP 1668.

The Collation/Returning Officer for the Abia State governorship the election, Professor Benjamin Ozumba, had on April 12, announced that the governorship elections were inconclusive and subsequently rescheduled in some polling units where either did not hold or were cancelled due to irregularities. But Ikpeazu had polled 248,459 votes against Otti’s 165,406 votes after the first election on April 11, making a difference of 83,053 votes, while 177,000 votes were cancelled – which was more than the vote difference between the top candidate and the runner-up. This had necessitated the supplementary election.

In Taraba State, as results of the supplementary election continued to trickle in, the governorship candidate of the PDP, Darius Ishaku, was steadily consolidating his lead in the April 11 gubernatorial election, which was declared inconclusive by INEC. Going into yesterday’s supplementary election which was conducted in 218 polling units, Ishaku was ahead of his main challenger, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan of APC by 54, 812 votes.

Results announced from the various polling units across the 10 local government areas indicate that PDP won in Kofar Sarki in Takum local government by 588 votes against seven votes polled by APC.
In Daka polling unit in Takum, PDP polled 378 while APC scored 110 votes just as PDP scored 178 against APC’s five votes in Rafin-Kada ward in Wukari local government.

At Asibiti ward in Donga local government, PDP scored 4,412 while APC scored 604 and in Akete ward still in Donga local government, PDP polled 2,065 votes in 11 out of the 12 polling units collated while APC scored 1,506.

Also at Suntai Daaji in Donga local government, PDP garnered 1,139 votes against APC’s 74 votes, while at Nyitan ward in Donga, PDP scored 4,304 while APC scored 199 votes.  In the only polling unit where election was held in Yorro local government, PDP scored 469 while APC polled 34 votes.

At Muhammed Tukur polling unit which was the only polling unit where election was conducted in Jalingo local government, APC polled 362 votes while PDP polled 90 votes while in 17 out of the 20 polling units in Bali local government, PDP polled 5,370 votes while APC polled 750 votes.

The PDP candidate is also leading in Karim Lamido local government where the acting governor of the state, Alhaji Sani Danladi, hails from just as PDP is leading in all the four polling units in Ussa local government.

The total number of registered voters in the 218 polling units where the election was conducted is127, 125 and based on the low turnout of voters, the number of accredited voters in the election is not expected to be more than 50 per cent of the registered voters.
The local governments where the additional elections were held are Donga, Bali, Takum, Karim Lamido, Kurmi, Yorro, Ussa, Wukari and Zing.


Election Re-Run: What You Need To Know

The April 11 governorship elections in Abia, Imo and Taraba states were  declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission. Today, INEC is holding supplementary elections in areas in those states where elections either did not take place or results were cancelled due to irregularities.

The supplementary elections will hold in 51 Registration Areas (RAs) in nine Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Abia State; 79 RAs in 23 LGAs in Imo; and 32 RAs in 10 LGAs in Taraba. Already, the electoral agency has deployed three National Commissioners to each of the states on supervisory duties. The National Commissioners will be assisted in each of the states by three Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs). These are besides the substantive RECs for the affected states.

The commission says it has also deployed three Directing staff from the Headquarters to each of the affected states to coordinate the operations, while some other staff from the headquarters have been deployed to the states as monitors. In addition, Electoral Officers (EOs) from neighbouring states will be on ground to assist the EOs of the affected LGAs.

The Commission says it is “determined to ensure that the supplementary elections are free, fair credible and peaceful; and it urges voters in the affected areas to conduct themselves peacefully and in accordance with set procedures of the elections, so that the process is crisis-free and concludes in good time”.

It added, “We also call on the Police to ensure compliance by political actors with the restriction on movement in places where the elections are holding.

“INEC reassures the public that it is investigating allegations of misconduct by some officials during the recent general elections, and will ensure that anyone proven to have violated the rules is brought to book.”


Jega Sends 6 INEC Commissioners To Coordinate Imo Guber Re-Run

Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has deployed six national electoral commissioners to Imo State for Saturday’s supplementary governorship election.

Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Dr. Gabriel Ada, at a news briefing yesterday stated that the deployment of the national electoral commissioners from Abuja was to strengthen the existing staff of the commission in the state to ensure that the conduct of the supplementary governorship poll was hitch-free.

He also said ad-hoc staff would not be used in the re-run election, adding that sensitive materials for the poll had arrived the state.

Read More: dailypost

16 Imo INEC Officials Arrested For Electoral Fraud

16 members of staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo State have been arrested for altering the result sheets of the governorship election to suit the figures that were dubiously allotted to political parties.

They were arrested by men of the Department of State Security (DSS) on Tuesday. The INEC officials were caught while thumb printing ballot papers in favour of a political party.

The head of operations and other electoral officers, who presided over the governorship and House of Assembly elections were among those arrested. The officials are currently being detained at the DSS State headquarters in Owerri.

Read More: The Nation.

Rochas Okorocha Blasts INEC, Declares Himself Winner!

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state has reacted bitterly after INEC declared the state’s gubernatorial election inconclusive .
Yesterday,Returning Officer in Imo state, Prof. Ibidapo Obe,declared the election inconclusive because Mr. Okorocha’s 79,529 margin against his rival  Emeka Ihedioha of PDP was less than the 144,715 number of registered voters in wards where elections did not hold or were cancelled.

While speaking to news men at the Government House in Imo State today Monday,Okorocha said

“The electoral act has talked about registered voters and in the workings of that act and in the spirit of the law, you cannot not make use of number of registered voters, you have to make use of number of PVC collected.

“When you look at the number of PVC collected you find out that there is no need for this supplementary election because the number of PVC collected will be less than the 79,000 votes difference between me and the PDP candidate. But now they are basing on the number of registered voters. Number of registered voters do not cast the vote; it is the number of PVC collected that does,” You can only change the date of a burial but you cannot change the burial. From the results available, the fact speaks for itself, we have won this election despite all the irregularities, I am the winner”

“Let me say that there is no basis for comparison when I’m told that I’m in contest with the PDP candidate and he scored some votes it is not true. I think I’m in contest with more unseen elements than the candidate himself. If this election is conducted in the way it should be conducted in a free and fair manner, my opponent would have up to 100,000 votes. Never. Not in Imo State; not at all,”

“If you look at what has happened in his areas of jurisdiction and his local government, Mbaise local government, Ahiazu, Ezinnite, Aboh Mbaise, where he gave himself almost 80,000 votes. Can you imagine in Aboh Mbaise, you have 51,000 voters when the actual PVC collected is about 60,000 and in Mbaitoli where you have over 100,000 PVC collected the total votes there is about 30,000 so that tells you the manipulation. What we saw in those areas was simply the militarisation of the entire process – snatching of ballot boxes and violence and what have you.

“But because of these manipulations and writing of results and taking result sheets and going to somebody’s house – escorted by security agencies- to write the result and come in the private car to INEC headquarters, that is why many people think there is a contest. So I’m not in contest with that gentle man, I’m in contest with the entire manipulation of the system and the election,”

Okorocha Claims Victory, Says Supplementary Election Unnecessary

Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has faulted the independent Electoral Commission for declaring the state gubernatorial election inconclusive and announcing supplementary elections in some wards across the state.

Mr. Okorocha, who spoke to journalists at the Government House in Imo State early Monday, said the supplementary election would have been unnecessary if INEC had considered the number of Permanent Voters Card distributed in the affected areas instead of the number of registered voters.

INEC Returning Officer of the State, Ibidapo Obe, announced that the election was inconclusive because the margin (79,529) between the frontrunner, Mr. Okorocha and his contender, Emeka Ihedioha of Peoples Democratic Party, was less than the number of registered voters (144,715) in wards across the state where elections did not hold or were cancelled due to violence. He said a new date would be announced for a supplementary election.

Though Mr. Okorocha recognised the provision of the electoral law in respect of the number of registered voters, he said INEC should have considered distribution of PVC in the affected areas instead of registered voters as only voters with PVC can vote.

“The electoral act has talked about registered voters and in the workings of that act and in the spirit of the law, you cannot not make use of number of registered voters, you have to make use of number of PVC collected…”

Read More: premiumtimesng

History Repeats As INEC Says Imo Guber Election Inconclusive

The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the governorship election in Imo state inconclusive.

Due to the number of cancelled votes (144,715) in relation to the margin of win (79,529) by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Rochas Okorocha, the Returning Officer, Professor Ibidapo Obe, declared the election inconclusive.

He said a new date would be announced for a supplementary election in the cancelled wards spread across several local government areas.

Mr. Okorocha was initially thought to have won the election after he garnered 385,671 votes compared to the 306,142 votes scored by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Emeka Ihedioha. The APC candidate is ahead of Mr. Ihedioha by 79,529 votes, which is by far lower than the 144,715 votes cancelled by INEC as a result of irregularities in some wards.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Violence, Electoral Malpractices Mar Elections In Imo

The governorship and House of Assembly election in Imo State was Saturday marred by violence, shortage and late arrival of electoral materials, among other electoral malpractices in most of the Local Government Areas.

There were heavy shootings in most of the Polling Units in Owerri North, Aboh Mbaise, Onuimo, Oguta, Oru East and Ohaji-Egbema Council Areas, as well as  ballot box snatching.

At Okwele, in Onuimo Council Area, no fewer than three persons suspected to be hired thugs were feared dead in a car accident, while trying to escape with ballot boxes and sensitive electoral materials.

In another place in Aboh Mbaise Council Area, hoodlums dressed in fake Army uniforms and armed with AK47 Riffles, were arrested by Soldiers, while attempting to snatch electoral materials.

Imo State Governor and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rochas Okorocha, condemned the violence that marred the elections, stating that a Panel of Inquiry will be set up to investigate the involvement of some of the politicians.

The governor, who briefed newsmen at his Polling Unit in Ogboko, shortly after casting his vote, blamed the growing violence in some parts of the state, especially Oguta, Ohaji-Egbema, Aboh Mbaise Council Areas, among others on the desperation of some of the politicians.

He however noted that there was significant improvement in the operations of the security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to him, “there is a remarkable improvement in the conduct of the security operatives. For instance in this election, there is no Armoured Tank in the front of my house. But the indiscriminate arrest of APC supporters including my Media aide is worrisome.

“Even though the Card Reader rejected me four times, I will say that there is great improvement in accreditations generally”.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the exercise, especially the performance of the Card Readers.

According to him, “the turnout is impressive and peaceful. You can see the people waiting to be accredited”.

Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, shortly after voting in his Polling Unit at Isiebu in Isiala Mbaise Council Area, noted that there was remarkable improvement in INEC preparations in the governorship election compared to the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Guber Battle : The Fight In Rivers, Kaduna, Imo, Lagos, Etc

Process in the governorship and State House of Assembly elections have kicked off across Nigeria.

But the governorship elections will hold in only 29 states in the country excluding Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Kogi, Anambra, Bayelsa and the Federal Capital Territory. The elections will be a follow-up to the presidential and National Assembly polls which held two weeks ago and threw up a lot of surprises.

The biggest surprise was the unprecedented defeat of the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP by General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC, this is the first time in the history of the country’s young democracy that a sitting president would lose in an election.

Of the 29 states where governorship elections are expected to hold today, 17 are in the hands of PDP while the remaining 12 are under APC governments. But things have now changed…

PDP used to be the dominant party in the country until a merger between the Action Congress of Nigeria, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, the Congress for Progressive Change and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance brought up APC.

The last elections showed the increasing popularity of APC in the country. Therefore, there are indications that the governorship elections will throw up stiff competitions across the country, with some states having stiffer battles than others based on the strengths of candidates and the dynamics of the states.

Lagos State is Nigeria’s economic capital and is expected to have one of the most keenly contested polls. The state has never been won by the PDP.

It is home to a national leader of the APC, Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu, and therefore seen as a stronghold of the party.

The two main candidates in the contest are APC’s Akinwunmi Ambode and PDP’s Jimi Agbaje. There were originally 15 governorship candidates in the state but only five are left after 10 others stepped down for Ambode.

Although, in the 2011 governorship election in the state, Agbaje lost out to the incumbent governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who will be rounding off his second term in office by May 2015. However, his chances look brighter this time around against a fellow rookie.

The contest is unpredictable as reactions from a cross section of residents in the state show that voters are almost evenly split between the two main candidates. But APC’s Akin Ambode is still in the lead.

In Adamawa State, the incumbent governor, Bala Ngilari will not be participating in the election, leaving room for Senator Jibrilla Bindo of the APC and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of the PDP, who are seen as the main contenders.

Incidentally, Ribadu was the presidential candidate of the defunct ACN in the 2011 elections after becoming famous as the pioneer Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, an anti-graft agency.

In August 2014, Ribadu defected to the PDP from APC with the intention to run for the governorship of Adamawa State. Ironically, his foremost contender, Bindo, was formally a member of the PDP who went the other way.

Ribadu may be more popular than his foremost contender but Bindo is not without political clout having won the senatorial seat for Adamawa North district under the PDP platform in 2011. Bindo is currently the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence and Army.

The battle between these two politicians is also expected to be a close one.

Rivers State has probably been in the news for political reasons more than any other state in the last two years and its governor, Rotimi Amaechi and the presidency are often at the centre of such reports.

Following a dispute between Amaechi and the presidency, particularly President Jonathan and his wife, Patience, there has been political tension in the state.

Although Amaechi, who has since defected from the PDP to APC, is not contesting in the governorship election, he is rooting for his party’s candidate, Dakuku Peterside. The PDP candidate, Nyesom Wike, was Amaechi’s Chief of Staff before the two fell out.

APC is the ruling party in the state but Wike, who is also a former Minister of State for Education, is expected to pose a strong challenge to Amaechi’s candidate, having had the backing of Mrs. Jonathan, who announced him as the next Rivers State Governor several times.

Mrs. Jonathan, who is also from Rivers State, has been involved in partisan politics in the state.

On the other hand, Peterside, a native of Biriye, Opobo Kingdom, is a member of House of Representatives and also the Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream).

In spite of APC being the ruling party in the state, the last Presidential and National Assembly elections showed that the PDP still has overwhelming popularity in the state.

However, like Amaechi and the governor before him, Dr. Peter Odili, Wike is also of Ikwerre ethnic nationality and this may count against him in some quarters. Some people in the state have been calling for rotational governorship as only Ikwerre persons have governed the state since this democratic dispensation commenced in 1999.

The contest in Oyo State will also be tough with two former governors of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja (Accord Party) and Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala (Labour Party), vying to return to the position by scuttling APC’s Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s second term bid.

A two-time senator, who rose to become Senate leader between 2007 and 2011, Teslim Folarin of the PDP and Seyi Makinde of the Social Democratic Party are also in the race, but residents of the state are generally of the opinion that the election will be won by one of the other three candidates mentioned.

Alhaji Mukhtar Yero, who used to be the deputy Governor of Kaduna State, was sworn in as governor in December 2012 after the death of Governor Patrick Yakowa in an air crash.

Today, he will be contesting under the platform of the PDP against Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and staunch member of the APC.

El-Rufai and his party are becoming increasingly popular in Kaduna but running against a sitting governor in Nigeria is always a tough task. Therefore, the contest in Kaduna State is expected to be close even though Buhari won with a wide margin in the Presidential election in the state.

The governorship election in Sokoto State is expected to be intriguing with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal (APC) battling it out with his brother-in-law, who is also a former senator and senate leader, Ambassador Abdallah Wali (PDP).

Wali reportedly introduced Tambuwal to national politics when he appointed him as senior legislative assistant in 1999.

The two candidates are the strongest contestants in the election and it is expected that one of them becomes the state’s next governor. Although, Tambuwal enjoys the support of Governor Aliyu Wamakko, who is also an APC member, Wali has been in politics longer than Tambuwal.

The contest is also expected to be stiff.

In Imo State, the popularity of Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha (APC) has had some question marks lately, but residents still expect a keen governorship contest in the state. Okorocha’s biggest contender is Hon. Chukwuemeka Ihedioha, who is currently the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.

Ihedioha contested and won as a member representing Aboh-Mbasie-Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency of Imo State in 2003.

Between 2003 and 2007, he served as Chairman, House committee on Marine Transport. The two contestants stand tall above the rest but there appears to be no clear gap between them, making it another close one.

Abia State has three main candidates: Okezie Ikpeazu (PDP); Alex Otti (APGA) and Anyim Nyerere (APC).

With PDPs stronghold in Abia, Ikpeazu is seen by residents as probably the strongest of the three.

Otti, an economist, banker, investor and the immediate past Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc, is however expected to give the PDP candidate a run for his money in spite of a recent setback he suffered in his party.

Earlier in the week, a faction of APGA in the state dumped Otti and instead adopted Ikpeazu, citing some internal crises in the state chapter of the party. Some political analysts say this may affect Otti’s chances but no one knows if it will be enough to cost him the governorship seat.

Nyerere, a former PDP chieftain in the state before his defection to the APC, is also expected to make the contest stiffer.

More to come…

Buhari Visits Owerri On Thank You Tour

In the absence of any last minute changes, the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will visit Owerri, the Imo State capital today on a thank you visit.

According to a Government House statement signed by Governor Rochas Okorocha’s media aide, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, and made available to journalists in Owerri, the visit will serve as avenue for Mr. Buhari to meet people of the state and thank them for contributing to his resounding victory at the recently concluded presidential polls.

“His Excellency, General Muhammadu Buhari, the President-elect on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, will be visiting the state to thank the people and government of the state for their unalloyed support that contributed greatly to his resounding victory at the polls on March 28”, Onwuemeodo said.

While noting that God used Gov. Okorocha to make the state and the South-East geo-political zone to be part of the success story of Mr. Buhari’s victory, Onwuemeodo assured the people that they would be carried along in the unfolding dispensation.

“In the new emerging order, everybody will be carried along and people will not be discriminated against on ground of their political leaning”, Onwuemeodo said.

Although the state government described the president-elect’s visit as a thank you tour, some political analysts are of the view that it is meant to be a campaign tool for the re-election bid of Mr. Okorocha.

Okorocha Provides Free Buses for Imo Indigenes in Lagos, Oyo at Christmas

To encourage Imo State indigenes in Lagos and Oyo states to return home for the Christmas celebration, Governor Rochas Okorocha, has provided buses that will convey them free of charge to Owerri, the state capital on Wednesday, December 24, 2014.

The Imo State Liaison Officer, Lagos State, Mr. Alfred Ononugbo, who disclosed this in a statement, urged Imo indigenes residing in Lagos who intended travelling home for Christmas celebration to assemble at National Stadium Surulere, Lagos tomorrow by 8am for the trip.

Ononugbo urged Imo indigenes in Oyo State, to assemble at Saint Gabriel Catholic Church, Mokola, in Ibadan at 8am tomorrow for the journey.

He assured that adequate security had been provided in all Imo communities, adding that the homecoming would afford them the opportunity to see and feel the dividends of democracy provided by the Okorocha administration.

Credit: Vanguard Nigeria

#MorningTeaser: Is Rochas Broke???

It is funny how people define the outcome of people’s predicaments… that is if this one is a predicament.

Well here is a morning teaser to begin your Saturday, but the question is, do you think Rochas is broke after the purchase of the APC presidential form and do you think he will secure his seat as governor of Imo State come 2015???

I Want To Unseat Okorocha For Good Governance Of My People – Ararume

An aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo State, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, has given reasons why he wants to unseat the incumbent governor of the state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.

According to Senator Ararume, the inability of past governments in the state to resolve development issues facing the state made him enter the race once again.

He said: “I really want the opportunity to be able to salvage the heartland of Igboland. For me, I had the aspiration first in 2007 but it didn’t work out that time.
“I strongly believe that Imo State being the heartland of the South East will work well and serve its people if the right leadership is in place.


Okorocha Eyes Presidency


Recent rumors coming from the South Eastern parts of the country says Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, says he is seriously considering the option of taking a shot at the Presidency, following pressure from indigenes of the state he made this known at the weekend  .

Mr Okorocha, who stated this while fielding questions from journalists in Owerri, equally boasted that he was sure to record victory for All Progressives Congress, APC, if he is given the party’s ticket ahead of the 2015 general elections.

The Governor described the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as an embodiment of unprogressive minds who have taken the country several years backward because of poverty of vision.

“I am considering taking a shot at the Presidency because the pressure is too high and I believe I have the capacity to transform our country for the better”, Okorocha said.

He gave a graphic account of monies accruing to some states from the federation account in the past three years said that “only N179 billion had so far accrued to Imo State”.

Continuing, Okorocha described it as “a sharp contrast to the intimidating and unbelievable figures that accrued to such states as Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Lagos States”, adding that over 60 to 70 percent of the federal allocation to Imo, went into recurrent expenditure.

After brandishing what he called “the score card” of his administration, insisted that he had through effective and judicious use of the lean resources, salvaged the state from stagnation.

He denied allegations that his administration has no respect for rule of law and to due process in the award of contracts and pleaded with Imo people to shun unwarranted criticism against his administration.