NLC Protest In Umuahia, Demand For LG Autonomy

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Abia State chapter has demanded the autonomy of the Local Government Area which will reduce urban migration and fast track rapid development of rural areas. 

The union made their demands known in a peaceful protest in Umuahia the state capital, where they took their request to the State House of Assembly where the National Vice President, Alikolo Alhaji handed over the flag and submissions to the Speaker of the House as the State Chairman of NLC Comrade Obigwe insisted that the demand is not negotiable.

However, the Speaker of the Abia State House Of Assembly, Rt.Hon Enyinnaya Chikwendu promised the protesting members that as soon as the National Assembly submits the bill for LG autonomy, the members at the state level will do the needful and commend them for the peaceful disposition.

Niger Delta Tour: Osinbajo Visits Abia State

Yemi Osinbajo Flags Off Lagos-Ibadan New Rail ProjectThe Federal Government says it is committed to equitable distribution of resources in the country.

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, said this in Umuahia, the Abia state capital, during a meeting with traditional rulers.

He stated that everything due to the oil producing communities would be given to them.

The Vice President’s visit is in continuation of his trouble-shooting tour of the Niger Delta region.

He was accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Niger Delta affairs, Usani Usani and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.

Before now, Osinbajo had visited the south south states of Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom, where he held town hall meetings with the people and pledged the commitment of the Federal Government to resolving the crises in the area peacefully.

NSCDC Intercepts Vehicles Carrying Suspected Adulterated Blue Gas In Abia

NSCDC, Abia State, Blue GasOperatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) have intercepted and recovered four vehicles in Abia State conveying various quantities of adulterated blue gas wrapped in polythene bags.

They were apprehended on Wednesday at Umumba-Umuire in Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State, southeast Nigeria.

The Abia State NSCDC Commandant, Walter Akubuiro, who paraded the vehicles before reporters, said they were abandoned by the suspects who took to their heels on sighting operatives of the command.

Mr Akubuiro exhibited the seized adulterated blue gas and the recovered vehicles with registered number DV908QBJ, BK61YAB, EM2355MK and ACH588AA at the NSCDC Headquarters in Umuahia, the state’s capital.

He maintained that the command would not relent in frustrating the activities of saboteurs, saying it has intensified the anti-vandalisation campaign to flush oil thieves out of the state.

The commandant hinted that unprecedented surveillance had been mounted on all the oil pipelines across the state and warned vandals to steer clear.

Kidney Treatment: FMC Collaborates With American University

doctors-free-surgeriesThe Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Chukwu Abali Chukwu has said that the hospital has concluded collaborations with the University of Toledo, Ohio, United State on the renal treatment.

Briefing Journalists on Monday, Dr. Chukwu stated that adequate medical facilities have been put in place to achieve the feat, hinting that this collaboration would also consider other areas that include research, training of health personnel and other areas of medical expertise.

According to him, the desire to initiate further and explore, collaborate, exchange of faculty, staff, and students for experiences involving health sciences; advanced studies; possible and collaboration in areas of research; and engaging in discussions on topics of mutual interest.

“This September, 2017, I wish to tell you that we would explore the area of kidney transplant in the medical centre, to make that possible, the University of Toledo, Ohio, United States of America has been supportive in accepting a Memorandum of Understanding.

“With the MOU, we hope to start with that area of kidney treatment and have concluded all that is required for the collaboration to yield the desired result”.

Meanwhile, the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, under President Buhari’s Rapid Results Initiative has concluded the arrangement that would offer 1000 screening of Hepatitis B Free of charge for inhabitants of Abians.

The aim is to create awareness on the deadly disease which is of public health concern and to bring health care services closer to the people.

Police Caution Politicians Ahead Of Abia LG Polls

abia-policeAhead of the Abia local government elections, the state Police has challenged politicians to play by the rules and avoid actions capable of disturbing the existing peace.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeleye Oyebade, asked political leaders to ensure that they do not allow their supporters to create mayhem before, during and after the exercise.

The December 21 polls which coincides with the run-up to the yuletide celebrations, follows the just concluded violence-ridden rerun elections in River state.

The police commissioner also led men and officers of his command into the streets and markets to create awareness on what he described as the “new form of policing” that frowns at bribery and corruption.

He warned that police officers have been stationed in critical areas to fish out miscreants set to foment trouble.

Police To Ensure Peace Ahead Of Abia Election

Police To Ensure Peace Ahead Of Abia ElectionAhead of the December 21, 2016 local government election, the Abia state Police has put measures in place that would entail signing a peace agreement by the political stakeholders.

Police Commissioner, Adeleye Oyebade, during an event held at Aguiyi Ironsi Conference Centre, Umuahia, which brought all the stakeholders in the election together, hinted that the proactive measure is aimed at preventing electoral violence before, during and after the elections.

According to him, all the political parties and other stakeholders participating in the election are mandated to sign the document and abide by the rules and guidelines as regards the conduct of the election.

Explaining the process, Mr Oyebade said; “we are going to use tags to identify the real policemen involved in the election duties and if there are allegations, we must investigate as long as the accuser can prove beyond reasonable doubt the allegations of what the policeman has done.

“Believe me, Information technology has done everything -All of us here have phones, if you record and show it, it can even be acceptable when it comes to the court of law but you have to proof yourself beyond reasonable doubt.

“As you have your fundamental rights, so also the police officers, everybody must come to understand that we are in a different environment where everybody must be accountable to his or her actions, either as a policeman, or contestants, or as a member of the commission.

“Each person has roles to play and we must work through the roles we are playing with respect to the rule of law.

“Do not be perturbed; if there are allegations labelled against the police and it is proven right, they would face the music because the police has a code of conduct that is guiding the conduct of our office.

“My advice is that everybody must follow the rules of law and not to engage in violence, that is why we have brought everybody here.

“We are going to have enough policemen on ground to make sure that whoever want to create any pandemonium or chaotic situation, we will get to attend to such people.

“I want to assure you that the police would be fair to all, we have no interest in one party or the other, the interest of justice is our business and will ensure fairness and justice,” Oyebade stated.

One after the other, the chairmen and representatives of all the political parties signed the agreement.

Meanwhile, Abians and inhabitants of the state are expecting to witness credible as well as violence free polls, if the agreement signed by the political stakeholders is anything to go by.

Nigerian Army To Partner Abia State On Made In Aba Products

Nigerian Army To Partner Abia State On Made In Aba ProductsThe Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, has hinted the intention of the Nigeria Army to partner Abia state in patronizing made in Aba products.

He dropped the cheering news during a visit at the Government House, Umuahia, where he acknowledged the receipt of the letter written by Governor Ikpeazu on the patronage of made in Aba products.

Lt Gen Buratai thanked the Governor for the excellent relationship between the government and people and the Nigerian Army hinting that the purpose of the training programmes by the Nigerian Army is to train the troops.

He gave the assurance that the Army do not intimidate the people as is alleged in some quarters.

“We are looking more inwards rather than going out, trying to conserve scarce foreign currency and do more things.

“I want to acknowledge and say that I received your letter sometimes back on the patronage of certain products that you produce as I can see them in my front.

“And I want to let you know that we have long queued into this. The Army has been partnering and been directing our suppliers to contact the producers to ensure that they get made-in-Nigeria products.

“And this move, I want to guarantee will continue, because we are channeling them home so that our local industries can thrive and serve us better,” the COAS said.

Governor Ikpeazu commended the Chief of Army Staff on his efforts at ensuring the unity of the country and for the various operations going on in the Army aimed at optimizing the capacity of his men.

He called for mutual respect for one another as a way of harnessing all the country’s attributes irrespective of tribe and religion in order to maintain the oneness of the country.

Abia Police Launch Strategies For Festive Season

Abia Police Launch Strategies For Festive SeasonThe Commissioner of Police in Abia State, Adeleye Oyebade, has assured the citizens of the state of a crime-free festive season as officers have been directed to implement all the necessary plans to secure lives and properties.

While briefing newsmen in Umuahia, CP Oyebade warned that the command would not fold its arms and watch miscreants disturb the existing peace in the state and hinted that they would maintain a zero tolerance to crime and would not hesitate to bring to book anybody who tries to disobey it.

“For the incoming Christmas and the New Year, we have made our resolution that it is going to be free of any ugly incidents and hideous crime.

“That is why all the Police officers have been called and directed to map out strategies that would ensure that their area of responsibility is kept tidy for the Christmas.

“I want Abians in Diaspora in their large numbers to come and celebrate, and I want to assure them that we will cover all the areas before, during and after festivities.

“I urge everybody to please partner with us,” he said.

LG Polls: Abia Gov. Meets With Inter-Party Advisory Council

okezie ikpeazu LG Polls: Abia Gov. Meets With Inter-Party Advisory CouncilThe Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has challenged members of the Abia State chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) to join forces with his government to develop the state.

Ikpeazu made request at the Government House, Umuahia, when he received members of the Inter-Party Advisory Council.

The Governor expressed shock that IPAC has not been getting on well with the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC) and promised to engage the chairman of the commission to carry them along in their activities.

Ikpeazu promised to provide subvention to all the parties involved in the December local government polls as well as encourage women to participate in the elections.

He regretted that the desperation of some politicians has adversely affected the ideals of democracy in the state.

“My view on the use of transition committee chairmen in running the local governments is that it is definitely playing a negative role in deepening democracy in the country.

“And Abia State has lost a lot in terms of experience in the last 10 years that elections have not been conducted into the councils. Therefore, the decision to embark on local government election is the right thing to do.

“As stakeholders you have a lot to contribute towards the development of the state, which will lag behind except there is peaceful coexistence.

“I appreciate this delegation for the sentiments towards the development of the state and in my capacity as your governor I promised to assist you. This is because this administration’s policy is to engage strategic and critical stakeholders from time to time,” the Governor said.

Meanwhile, the chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council, Emeka Okafor, pleaded with the Governor to prevail on the chairman of Abia State Electoral Commission to drastically reduce the fees payable by the political party aspirants to enable them participate actively in the December 17, 2016, local government elections.

He said: “We are here to identify with you, our governor on the good works you are doing in the state.

“The duty of the Inter-Party Advisory Council is to work with the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission to enthrone fairness, objectivity in the electoral process.

“We are optimistic that the desire of all Abians to ensure their votes count during the LG Polls would be a reality.”

On his part, state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Donatus Nwankpa, promised the Governor that APC in the state would ensue peace and nonviolent polls.

“Abia State is our own. All we need is credibility on the part of the electoral umpire in the conduct of the local government election.

“We thank you, Governor Ikpeazu, for the promise to urge the ABSIEC Chairman to reduce the fees payable by parties, it would go a long way to resolve a lot of issues,” he said.

Police Nab Suspected Vandals Of Electricity Transformer In Abia

power-cable-vandalsPolice have arrested some persons suspected to have vandalised transformers of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Sub-Station in Abia State.

The Abia State Police Command said the suspects vandalised a facility at Omoba in Isilangwa South Local Government Area of Abia State.

According to the command, intensified anti-crime campaign with renewed vigour aimed to ridding the state of criminals led to the arrest of the suspected criminals.

About 20 suspects were paraded at the Police Headquarters in Bende Road, Umuahia.

Part of the figure were other suspects involved in various crime – armed robbery, fraud, faking and forging of vehicle license, proof of ownership and other sensitive government documents amongst others.

Also among them were four suspected cultist of Covenant Polytechnic, Aba, who are all final year students pursuing a National Diploma.

The police said that all the suspects have confessed to the crime.

Items recovered from them include, one locally made double barrel shortgun, two live cartridges, one machete, two rolls of heavy armoured cables worth thousands of Naira and two jacks as well as some substance suspected to be cocaine.

One of the suspects, Prince Okoroafor, an indigene of Amaekpu ,Ohafia and a car washer at Aba, claimed that it was his first attempt at vandalising government’s installation.

He also said that he was lured into the business by a friend – an indigene of Omoba where the heavy armoured cables were stolen – but was unaware that his friend was notorious for vandalising government’s infrastructure.

”My friend called me to escort him to his village that he has a business for us but I did not know that it involved vandalising, as soon as I got close to the armoured cable with the okada man, the villagers quickly surrounded us and I looked around but my friend was gone,” he told reporters.

His friend is currently on the police list as a wanted criminal and all efforts are being put in place to track him down and arrest him for the crime.

The Police Commissioner in the State, Adeleye Oyebade, said that the strategies put in place by his management team in combating crime yielded the desired results.

He told reporters that the Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers had been mandated to explore intelligence-led policing, community policing and involvement of Eminent People’s Forum in tackling crime.

These efforts, according to the Commissioner of Police, require the involvement of citizens and would assist to chase away the criminals from the state.

He warned hoodlums to stay clear, as all the exit and entry points to the state were secure, with officers strategically positioned to checkmate any criminal activity.

Once Flourishing Maiduguri Railway Terminal Now In Ruins

borno-railway-in-ruinsThe once flourishing railway terminal of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, now lies in ruins after years of closure.

Residents recount the good old days when trains were the backbone of their local economy.

The railway terminal and the abandoned trains have now been overgrown by grasses while internally displaced persons occupy some parts.

A middle aged widow of a retired railway worker says life was a lot easier in the days when the railway transport was functional.

railway-borno-abandoned
Coaches of a train has been abandoned for years

The railway transportation came with several business opportunities for locals and provided able bodied young men with gainful employment culminating into the creation of a railway village.

It was a major means of transportation in Nigeria before poor maintenance culture and lack of attention to the sector brought it to an almost comatose situation.

Few meters away from the office terminal lies the rubbles of the birthplace of Boko Haram under the leadership of the late Muhammad Yusuf, a beneficiary of the railway himself.

Many idle youths living in the area were reportedly lured and recruited by the group, according to the community leader who recounts his childhood days when everyone was gainfully employed.

The revival of the Kaduna and Gombe State train station gives hope to residents of Maiduguri yearning for the reopening of their own train station.

At the moment,the Nigerian government is looking at concessioning the railways

It has opened negotiation with GE to concession the Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, aba, Umuahia, Enugu, Bauchi, Gombe and even Borno among others, the Minister in charge of the sector told Channels Television.

The Minister of Transport, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, hopes the concession will be concluded by March 2017.

tain-in-lagos-nigeria

While these train coaches are abandoned in northern Borno, in the southwest region, Lagos State is Nigeria’s commercial nerve and train coaches appear not to be enough for train users.

Daily, users of train, most of whom have paid for tickets but could not get a place to sit, resort to hanging on the body or climbing to the top, a situation that calls for government’s quick intervention in the sector that holds huge potential of serving as an alternative and reliable means of transportation in Nigeria.

Health Care Delivery: Stakeholders Call For Accessibility

health careIdentifying the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the health care system, is one of the strategic plans aimed at improving the sector and making health care services very accessible to all citizens.

This was made known at forum held by stakeholders on health at the Micheal Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia, Abia State, to mark the physicians’ week.

However, those who spoke at the forum noted that monitoring, regulation and funding, play a critical role in tackling issues which has been considered as a key factor that can change the health care delivery in Nigeria.

However, efforts are being put in place to bridge the gap and minimize the emergency in health care, but may require the participation of all and sundry because the health sector needs a collective effort and strong partnership.

The stakeholders also believe that change in the health care delivery, may take a while because of corruption and the Nigeria system that permits compromise and allows citizens to seek alternative health care services.