Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has arrived in Port Harcourt from the UK.
Wike was accompanied by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
They also met with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has arrived in Port Harcourt from the UK.
Wike was accompanied by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
They also met with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has described the recent killing at the newly relocated Omuma-Uzo Cattle Market/ Abattoir in Ukwa West as unfortunate but vowed that the perpetrators will be punished.
He stated this at the Governor’s Lodge, Aba while receiving leaders of the Hausa Community from Gombe and Adamawa states.
“This administration takes issues of peace and harmony very seriously because there cannot be any form of sustainable development in an insecure environment,” he noted.
“I want to let you know that I recognise the need for peaceful co-existence between Abians and those who have come to transact legitimate business in the state, and am assuring you that the security chiefs in the state are working tirelessly to fish out the perpetrators of that ugly incident, who will not go unpunished”.
The governor, who commiserated with them especially the families of those who died in the sad incident, hinted that setting up a conflict resolution committee was to help in resolving the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers. He said the state government pays some compensation to either the farmer or herdsmen who lose their crops or cattle after a proper assessment of the situation.
According to him, the government will support the families of those who lost their lives during the attack and pay the medical bills of the injured. Ikpeazu also assured that those whose cows and goats were killed will be assisted to help them carry on with their businesses. He noted that the attack affected not just Hausas but Igbos, faulting the impression that only Hausas were in the business of selling.
The governor equally regretted the increasing level of insecurity in the country, lamenting that lives no longer mean anything to some people. He, however, assured the Hausa Community to live in the state without fear as his administration will protect their lives and property.
The Chairman, Hausa Cattle Market, Ibrahim Njidda, who also spoke at the event, recalled the cordial relationship Governor Ikpeazu shares with them in the state but regretted the recent incident. He appealed to the governor to assist them, consider getting them an alternative location for their trade and provide adequate security for them.
Following the truck accident that left many feared dead in Aba, Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has ordered the immediate closure of the abattoir/cattle market and Ahia Udele market.
The Commissioner for Trade and Investment, John Kalu, disclosed this via a statement issued on Thursday.
He blamed the government’s action on the “sad and shocking incident” of a loaded trailer losing control and falling into the abattoir located at Waterside River area of Ogbor Hill, Aba.
“All those currently doing business in the above markets/abattoir should immediately relocate to the following locations: (1) New Omuma Uzor Abattoir in Ukwa West; (2) Good morning Market, Aba, for those currently in Ahia Udele,” the statement read.
“The governor also directed the Ministry of Homeland Security to work with relevant security agencies in ensuring compliance.
“While we mourn with those who lost loved ones in the unfortunate incident which occurred earlier today, it is important to state that the Ministry of Trade and Investment had long commenced processes to relocate the markets in line with public health advice received from the Ministry of Environment and other relevant agencies.
“This gave rise to the acceleration of processes for the completion of the new abattoir which should be ready later this month.
“The ministry wishes to appeal to those concerned to ensure full compliance with the directive to relocate without delay while we assure them that the ministry will do everything possible to ensure that they are properly settled to continue doing their businesses within a safer and healthier environment.”
The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu has said that the Southeast has a right to produce Nigeria’s next president because the people have a better understanding of Nigeria as a whole.
Ikpeazu made this assertion today after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in his office at the State House.
“I think that the southeasterners have a right to take a shot at the presidency of Nigeria and I dare say that our qualification starts from the fact that we understand and know Nigeria better than the other states of Nigeria.
“I dare say, this is my opinion. We go everywhere, we are everywhere, we invest everywhere, we are Pan-Nigerian people,” the governor declared.
On a lighter note, he added, “Today, a lot of people are afraid of Sambisa, but for an Igbo man, Sambisa is a business opportunity,” he grinned.
In a chat with State House correspondents, Ikpeazu listed some qualities that Nigeria’s next leader must possess and urged Nigerians and political parties to be magnanimous and consider the yearnings and aspirations of the southeast geo-political zone.
“The question of Nigeria president of southeast extraction is a national question that required negotiation, discussion, and conversation with all parts of this country and I am least qualified to determine what happened in 2023.
“I also want to spend my time supporting the incumbent president to do his time and do his best while we wait for what happens to begin to unfold. So, these are my views about the presidency
“In first place, anybody who wants to aspire to the highest post of the presidency, it doesn’t matter where you come from, must have what I regard as Pan-Nigerian mentality. He must be somebody who has an understanding of all the contending interests and influences in this country. He must understand that we are a country of diversity with the different persuasions, traditional, cultural, religious and all of these must be put at a place where you can understand and respect them.
“That individual must also be somebody who is ready to accommodate the youths of this country because turning it into a slogan the fact that youths are our leaders of our future have bit sever us correctly because we are drifting into an age that youths understand which many people may not understand, those who grew up before this era.
“So, that people must be willing to accommodate the youth without necessarily throwing away very experienced ones, he must be able to find a labyrinth of all the interests.
“He must also reflect an extreme women agenda. Such a must also be in investor-friendly, he must be and individual who understands the nuances of economics and what is the relationship between international politics and economy and the person must be strong enough to face up to the issue on the front burner, which is security.
“He must be able to create jobs, he must be able to not deploy the kinetic device all the time, he must able to also listen and negotiate peace.
“I’m a Christian and religion believes that you seek peace and you will find it. So, that which you seek is not commonplace. So, must be able to dredge up courage to listen to one another and then find a middle course all the time for the interest of our people.
“What the political parties need to do. Well, the political parties need to be sensitive to the feelings of the various contending ground because politics should not be a winners take all thing.
“It’s not at all times that you want to use your might, at times you listen even to those whom you think are weak or those whom you think may not be able to find themselves at the centre stage due to circumstances.
“Because of you don’t do that, you will bottle up sentiments that will implode the system going forward. So, you must be able to create ventilations from here and there so that you can accommodate diverse opinions and have strategies to help you run the country.
“So, all the political parties should be alive to this sentiments and feelings in taking decisions going forward. And we are at a critical point in our history and anything that is self-serving, anything that is selfish, anything that is leads to winner take all mentality should be jettisoned at this time. We need to rescue our nation; we need to work hard to put Nigeria in a strong footing before we can begin to look at other things.
“So, if we have this at the back of our minds, my thinking is that we will arrive at the fact that there is a geo-political zone that has been clamoring and yearning for an opportunity to lead.
“And we should be gracious and magnanimous enough to give consideration to such yearnings and aspiration.
“But as I said earlier it cannot not be done in isolation. It’s not a matter right, it’s not a matter of ‘I have to.’ It’s a matter of negotiation, conversation and discussion going forward.
“And I think Nigeria is alive to all of that. We can find people who listen,” Governor Ikpeazu enunciated.
He emphasized that he is not interested in the presidency, noting that he is very busy as governor and “thinking about what I will become now will amount to shortchanging my people who gave me a mandate for an initial four years and renewed it for another four years and it will terminate around May 2023”.
According to Ikpeazu, it will be self-serving for him to begin to think about what he will become instead of concentrating on serving his people for the period which he has been elected to serve.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has berated the Abia State Government over its alleged failure to pay the 19 months’ salary arrears to members.
NARD in a communique issued on Wednesday after its extraordinary National Executive Council meeting held at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital described the situation as disappointing.
“The NEC was disappointed but not surprised at the Governor of Abia State for failing to offset the nineteen (19) months’ salary arrears being owed our members in his state which he promised to pay over 23 days ago,” the communique partly read.
The doctors also “frowned at the actions of the governors of Imo, Ekiti and Ondo states who are still owing our members 10 months, 6 months and 4 months respectively.”
It also decried a situation whereby 114 House Officers were yet to be paid their one to six months salaries.
Despite the unanimous disapproval and calling for the withdrawal of the circular removing the HOs from the scheme of service, the association described as surprising a situation whereby the Lagos State Government would go ahead to implement the same circular in the state.
On the hazard allowance issued to medical practitioners, the resident doctors said the N5,000 sum given to doctors, nurses and other health care workers is paltry.
“NEC recognized the public outcry occasioned by the ongoing industrial action. The Association is however constrained as the families of the 19 members who died during the COVID-19 outbreak while providing health care services are yet to get their death in service insurance.
“The NEC noted that despite the ongoing strike action of twenty-three (23) days, her members in twenty-three (23) centers under the GIFMIS Platform are yet to be migrated and captured on the IPPIS Platform with payment of an outstanding backlog of 3-4 months.
“They observed with dismay that despite the express instructions given by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the FMOH to sidestep all technicalities in resolving the issues of dispute between us and the government, not one item on the table has been resolved,” the communique stated further.
See the full communique issued by the resident doctors below:
NARD/SG/2020-2021/250821/ 25th August 2021
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF AN EXTRAORDINARY NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (E-NEC) MEETING OF THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF RESIDENT DOCTORS (NARD) HELD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BENIN TEACHING HOSPITAL ON THE 25TH OF AUGUST 2021
The Extraordinary National Executive Council (E-NEC) Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) held at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) on the 25th of August 2021 at 1:00 pm. It was both physical and virtual. The meeting had in attendance over 60 member centres of NARD, to discuss the issues bedeviling her members.
- The NEC appreciated the NOC for their effort concerning the welfare of members.
- The NEC noted the nonchalant attitude of appointees of the Government to the suffering of Nigerian Doctors.
- The NEC noted that despite the ongoing strike action of twenty-three (23) days, her members in twenty-three (23) centres under the GIFMIS Platform are yet to be migrated and captured on the IPPIS Platform with payment of an outstanding backlog of 3-4 months.
- They observed with dismay that despite the express instructions given by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the FMOH to side step all technicalities in resolving the issues of dispute between us and the government, not one item on the table has been resolved.
- The NEC was also embarrassed by the misinterpretation of the court ruling by the Federal Ministry of Labour, thereby misinforming the public that the National industrial court had ordered that the strike should suspended.
- The NEC noted that despite the health emergencies (COVID-19, Cholera and possibly Lassa Fever as we approach the dry season) ongoing in the Country, the supervising Minister of Health is yet to convoke an emergency meeting of the National Council on Health to look into the issues, in keeping with the National Health Act.
- The NEC painfully observed that issues bedeviling most of our State Tertiary Health Institutions are left unattended to despite the ongoing strike action. They noted that these issues can be solved through the National Council on Health.
- The NEC was disappointed but not surprised at the Governor of Abia State for failing to offset the nineteen (19) months salary arrears being owed our members in his state which he promised to pay over 23 days ago. They also frown at the actions of the governors of Imo, Ekiti and Ondo states who are still owing our members 10 months, 6 months and 4 months respectively.
- The NEC noted that one-hundred and fourteen (114) House Officers are yet to be paid their one (1) to six (6) months salaries.
- It was surprising to the NEC that despite the unanimous disapproval and call for the withdrawal of the circular removing the HOs from the scheme of service, the Lagos state government has gone ahead to implement same circular in the state.
- The NEC reiterated her displeasure over the paltry five thousand naira (5000) Hazard allowance given to Doctors, Nurses and other Health Care workers.
- NEC recognized the public outcry occasioned by the ongoing industrial action. The Association is however constrained as the families of the 19 members who died during the COVID-19 outbreak while providing health care services are yet to get their death in service insurance.
- After critical appraisal of the actions of both federal and state Government on all the issues affecting the welfare of our members as observed above and the perpetual insincerity from Government as evidence by the reckless exparte injunctions sought by the government and the ambiguity in the interpretation of the ruling of the National industrial court of Nigeria, NICN, the NEC unanimously agreed via vote to sustain the ongoing industrial action until her demands are met as contained in the MOA signed more than 140 days ago and the recent MOU signed between the government and NMA.
- The NEC reiterated her position that the circular from the head of service removing house officers from the scheme of service must be withdrawn
- The NEC demanded that an emergency meeting of the National Council on health be convoked to discuss these health emergencies and to fashion out ways to universally resolve all the issues affecting the state health institutions in the country.
On behalf of the entire 16,000 members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the President and the National Officers committee express their heartfelt gratitude to the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for understanding the plight of the Resident Doctors.
Long live NARD
Long live NMA
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has said that his administration is working closely with other southern states to tackle insecurity in the region, adding that the ban on open grazing would be enforced.
The ban on open grazing was part of the resolutions of the governors of the southern region after a meeting held last week in Asaba, Delta State.
Ikpeazu who spoke on Saturday during a zoom meeting organized by the Abia Media Forum said the state government would prioritise the needs of the people in terms of infrastructure development of the state.
We are tackling criminal herdsmen from other parts of the country and sub-region. We are enforcing the law,” he said.
“We are bringing together stakeholders in the security sector to help us evaluate the template we have; this will enable us to tackle the security challenges we are faced with. Our target is to create security architecture robust enough to secure our state.”
He also said his administration took proactive measures by enacting a bill through the State Assembly to ban open grazing in the state which has helped the state in addressing the issue of herders and farmers clashes.
The Abia governor called for the decentralisation of the nation’s security architecture and the creation of state police to enable states to tackle their peculiar challenges.
While reiterating the need to address the issue of perceived injustice in the country, Ikpeazu said there were complaints of injustice, lop-sidedness in appointments, lack of consideration of the feelings of those occupying the Nigerian territory in critical decision making of the country amongst many others.
Speaking further, the governor emphasised the need for inclusiveness in the appointment of security personnel, lamenting that the southeast doesn’t have any representative in the Security Council meeting.
He added, “There is a need to have an all-inclusive government in order to assuage the feelings of those agitating.”
“I want to be remembered as someone who came and tackled intractable issues; I want to be remembered as the Governor who tackled unworkable roads like Faulks, Ama Ikonne, and the governor who added to the road infrastructural stock of the state.
“Most of the roads we constructed are still standing and would stand the test of time. We have affected positively all facets of state infrastructure: education, health care, road, agriculture, SME, amongst many others. Our aim is to leave the state better than we met it.”
Hours after the Southeast region launched its own joint security outfit codenamed EBUBE AGU, Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has explained why the governors took the decision.
Ikpeazu who spoke from Umuahia, the Abia State capital during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, said the new security outfit would oversee and monitor the activities of vigilante groups in the region.
“Today we have come together to synergise and see how best we can protect lives and properties of citizens within this geopolitical zone,” he said.
“Security situation across Nigeria as it is today is dynamic. We are just trying to respond to our peculiar circumstances in the southeast.”
When asked if the new security outfit would bear arms and wear uniforms, Governor Ikpeazu neither confirmed nor denied it.
The Abia governor explained that he and his colleagues from Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu would cooperate to ensure that operatives of EBUBE AGU would be properly equipped.
“Ebube Agu would be a security outfit both in name, purpose and action. It will be properly equipped. I want to assure you that all the states in the southeast already has various vigilante outfits.
“In Abia, we call our own ‘the Homeland Security outfit.’ In Enugu, it is called the Forest Guards. But we want to call for a harmonised synergised system of action to be able to compare notes to be able to set up digital platforms that can respond to communication challenges,” he added.
Speaking further, Ikpeazu said the new outfit would be rural-based, adding “it is also going to be intelligence-based.
The governor also spoke on his administration’s strides in Abia, noting that the state since his assumption into office in 2015 “remains one of the safest states in Nigeria and we have statistics to show for that.
On his political future in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), under whose platform he was elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019, Ikpeazu reiterated his commitment to remain in the party.
His remarks come shortly after governors from the South East established a security outfit called EBUBE AGU as part of plans to checkmate the rising unrest in the region, stemming from an increase in criminal activities.
According to a communique put out by governors of the Southeast, the agency is to oversee and monitor the activities of vigilante groups in the region.
Chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum, Dave Umahi who read the statement after a meeting in Imo State, noted that the headquarters of EBUBE AGU security outfit will be in Enugu state.
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, on Thursday received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The personal physician to the governor, Dr Mike Enyinnaya, administered the vaccine to him at the Government House in Umuahia, the state capital.
In his remarks after receiving the vaccine, the governor encouraged all residents of the state within the recommended age bracket to avail themselves of the opportunity of being vaccinated.
He took the jab after he took delivery of the official consignment of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine to Abia State from the Federal Government.
“I’m happy to announce that I received a shot of the AstraZeneca vaccination against COVID-19 today in Umuahia.
“I was vaccinated alongside some other top government officials paving the way for other Abians (state residents) to also be inoculated against the virus,” the governor said on his Twitter handle.
He added, “I assure (you) that the vaccine is safe and beneficial in the continued fight against coronavirus. I encourage Abians to make themselves available for the vaccination at the nearest centre.”
I’m happy to announce that I received a shot of the AtraZeneca vaccination against COVID-19 today in Umuahia.
I was vaccinated alongside some other top government officials paving the way for other Abians to also be inoculated against the virus…
— Okezie Ikpeazu (@GovernorIkpeazu) March 11, 2021
Governor Ikpeazu took the vaccine following the assurance of the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Chinagozie Adindu, that the vaccine was safe for use.
Dr Adindu explained that after the first dose, those vaccinated would receive another shot in the next two months between eight and 12 weeks.
He said the quantity would be enough for the frontline health workers, and other health workers in the state – both in public and private hospitals, as well as members of the State COVID-19 Inter-Ministerial Task Force and law enforcement agencies, among others.
The healthcare agency chief noted that the second batch of the vaccines would target the vulnerable and those that have underlining ailments and the elderly.
He added that the state government has a target of ensuring that at least 40 per cent of the population in Abia was vaccinated by the end of the year.
Abia State governor Okezie Ikpeazu says the state government is not interested in profiling any tribe but clamping down on criminal elements violating open grazing law in the state.
Ikpeazu disclosed this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily. He also explained why open grazing is banned in the state.
“Abia State was one of the first states that came out with legislation banning open grazing and our argument is that Abia State is perhaps the smallest state apart from Lagos in land area in Nigeria and we have a lot of minerals and crude oil beneath the soil.
“God did not endow us with sufficient land to permit open grazing and leaving our land for cattle grazing.
“Our interest is not to generally profile the Hausas or the Fulanis, we are interested in the criminal elements,” Ikpeazu said.
According to the governor, the problem of farmer-herders clashes can be solved after proper diagnosis and when the Federal, State and local governments come up with a joint policy to tackle the problem.
“Nigeria is supposed to do a proper diagnosis of the problem and treat it accordingly. We are not diagnosing the problem properly; we are just diverting the attention of serious-minded people in this country.
“We have people who are interested in creating anarchy and confusion so that opportunist anarchists like ISIS who are interested in destabilising the country will come in.
“The Federal government down to the local government should come on one page and have a policy dealing with criminal elements wherever they may be found irrespective of the state of origin or background.”
It will be recalled that Southeast governors recently announced that they have banned open grazing and the movement of cows by foot in the region in a bid to tackle the security challenges confronting the zone.
Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi disclosed this on Monday during the inauguration of the All Progressives Congress in Abakaliki.
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has reacted to the controversy trailing the recently conducted election of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, describing some Igbos as restless characters.
Ikpeazu, who spoke from Umuahia during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, stated this on Monday, condemning the existence of factional leadership of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation.
“Some Igbos are restless characters. They can try to throw up all kinds of things within the polity to see how they can either truncate or have it their way.
“The beauty of leadership and succession is the ability of those that could not have the ability to lead at that time to be able to queue behind the person that is leading now.
“The good thing is that Professor Obiozor (President-Elect) is not from Chad or Sudan, he is an Igbo man. You cannot be more Igbo that Professor Obiozor.”
When asked what he meant by restless, the governor explained that the Igbos are found everywhere even in Sambisa forest, adding that the easterners are known to be hardworking.
The Abia governor asked the Igbo people to drum support for the newly elected President-General of the Ohanaze Ndigbo, noting that the move would lead to development in the south-east region.
Speaking further, Governor Ikpeazu said the emergence of Professor Obiozor is linked to the survival of the Igbos.
On whether the Igbo umbrella body has the ability to promote unity in the south-east following the crisis that rocked the emergence John Nwodo and Professor Obiozor in 2017 and 2021 respectively, the governor replied in the affirmative.
“Oh yes, there is no question about that. If you take a retrospective look at the leadership and track record of Chief John Nwodo from then up till now, you will notice that the Igbos for the first time in many years are more cohesive now than before.
“We want to see how can explore to the fullest our potential and capacities to make meaning contributions to the unity of Nigeria,” the governor added.
Ikpeazu’s remarks come 24 hours after Nigeria’s ex-Ambassador to the United States, Professor George Obiozor emerged the President-General of the Ohanaze Ndigbo.
He scored 304 votes to beat two other contestants to emerge the winner in the exercise held at the Dan Anyiam Stadium Owerri.
Following his emergence, the outgoing Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the body, Chief Chuks Ibegbu lamented that the election process was faulty and lacked proper democratic rules of engagement.
Ibegbu, who was one of the leading contestants for the post of Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, regretted that he purchased the nomination form at an unacceptable sum of N300,000.
Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has suspended his Chief of Staff, ACB Agbazuere from office.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Sunday by the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Chris Ezem.
“Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has directed the immediate suspension from office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr ACB Agbazuere,” he said.
The governor ordered the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Alozie Odoemelam, to perform the duties of the office of Chief of Staff until further notice.
This development might not be unconnected with a viral video where Agbazuere was seen spraying cash on Prophet Chukwuemeka Odumeje, popularly known as Indaboski.
The date the video was shot is unknown but it appears to have been in Agbazuere’s office where the suspended aide was dancing.
The Abia State Government has relaxed the curfew imposed on some cities after hoodlums hijacked the #EndSARS protest in the state.
According to a statement issued on Saturday by the Commissioner for Information, John Kalu, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu directed that the curfew in the state be relaxed to now take effect from 8 am to 5 pm from Sunday.
While asking residents of the state to go about their normal businesses within the relaxation window, the governor warned that they should return back home during the new curfew time.
“We wish to inform members of the public that the planned relaxation of curfew in the state will now be from 8 am-5 pm starting from Sunday, 25th October 2020,” the statement partly read.
“Members of the public are free to move and go about their normal businesses within the relaxation window but ensure they are back home during the new curfew time of 5 pm to 8 am daily.”
The Commissioner, however, said that workers on essential duties including medical and paramedical personnel, journalists, men of fire service etc are exempted from the curfew.