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ISI-UZO SHOULD PRODUCE THE NEXT GOVERNOR OF ENUGU STATE – OKWESILIEZE NWODO

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Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo addressing the PDP rally at Ikolo, Igbo-Etiti local Government area

The former governor of old Enugu state, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo has said Isi-Uzo local government should be supported to produce the next governor of Enugu State come 2023.

Nwodo who spoke at the PDP state rally held at Ikolo, in Igbo-Etiti local government area, with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in attendance, said Isi-Uzo was the right place to go considering the way things have been in the state with regards to power rotation and zoning of the governorship position.

According to Nwodo, this rotation has made it the turn of Enugu East Senatorial zone, and of all the local government areas in the zone, Isi-Uzo was the one all the indices used for assessment favours.

Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo (right) welcoming the governor of Enugu state His Excellency Rt. (Hon) Dr. Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (left) at the rally in Igbo-Etiti

He said, “your Excellency, we want to say that as the clamour for who should succeed you gets louder, I wish to make clear what is my mind which is also the mind of our people, and indeed every Nsukka person. This is that the next governor of Enugu state should come from Isi-Uzo local government area!”

This immediately elicited a loud cheer from the crowd to which Nwodo said, “your Excellency, from the reactions of the people, you can see that is what they want.”

Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo of recent has also been speaking about the need for all the other parts of Nigeria to support the South East to produce the next president. He said this was the right thing to do considering the long marginalization the region had suffered despite supporting others who had produced the president in the past.

Dr Nwodo argued that apart from being the proper thing to do, it would also help to dispel the wide-held believe that there was a conspiracy against the Igbo in Nigeria, which had been behind the secessionist agitation he said a Nigeria president of Igbo extraction would go a long way to dousing

Photos: Ogechukwu Ozoemana

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TWO NABBED AS HOODLUMS PELT FIREFIGHTERS WITH STONES

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Map of Anambra

A fire incident occurred on Saturday at the Nkwelle Ezunaka area near Onitsha Anambra State when a tanker conveying petroleum product fell into a ditch in the community.

Eyewitnesses said that the tanker driver lost control and fell into the ditch, spilling its content which resulted in a fire in the area.

It was gathered that residents fled their homes for fear of being trapped in the flames.

Sunday PUNCH gathered that things got worse when firefighters deployed in the area were chased away by mob protesting their delay in arriving at the scene.

The mob was said to have pelted the fire-fighters with stones, causing the fire-fighters to make a U-turn and left the area.

Confirming the incident, Head, Anambra State Fire Service, Mr Martin Agbili, lamented the poor attitude of the community’s members towards the fire-fighters.

Agbili, however, said that police and members of Nkwelle Ezunaka community vigilantes were able to render assistance that helped the fire-fighters to return and do their job.

He added that two persons who were involved in pelting stones at his men had been arrested, while others fled the scene. He said, “It is an ugly action of people towards fire-fighters and fire service. My men and the first fire trucks got to the fire scene of T-Junction, Nkwelle and people started pelting them with stones. People should understand that fire-fighters are only coming to render help when there is fire outbreak and they are not the cause of the fire.”

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ARMY: GUNMEN HIDE UNDER BIAFRA AGITATION TO KILL IN SOUTH-EAST

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The Nigerian Army has disclosed that the gunmen terrorising the residents of the South-east geopolitical zone hide under the cloak of Biafran agitation to commit crimes in the region.

The new General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu, Major General Umar Musa, stated this at the weekend when he visited Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State at the Government House, Awka.This was contained in a statement by the governor’s spokesperson, Christian Aburime.

Musa took over from Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, who is now the GOC, 1 Mechanised Division, Kaduna.The new 82 Division GOC whose division superintends over Soludo’s Anambra, visited to inform the governor of his assumption of duty.Musa had also recently visited Governors Okezie Ikpeazu and Hope Uzodimma of Abia and the Imo states, respectively.

The GOC will work with the state governors in the South-east which is under the division on security. This explains his recent visits to the governors in the region.He commended Soludo for his assistance to the security agencies in their battle against gunmen operating in the state.

The GOC said the army was aware of the security situation in the South-east and promised to partner with the governor and other governors in the region to fight the situation.“We discovered that Anambra and Imo (States) are volatile and that gives us serious concern. The issue of (Biafra) agitation is there, but people capitalise on it to commit a crime,” General Musa said.

Musa said he has devoted two months of his stay in the division to studying the insecurity in the South-east to fashion out ways of tackling it.“Cases of attacks pose new challenges. I assure you of the total commitment of the Nigerian army,” he added.The GOC said drug abuse was a major contributor to the incidence of crime in the country.

Soludo, while welcoming the new GOC, expressed happiness over his visit to the state.He also congratulated him on his new assignment in the region.The governor told the new GOC to pay special attention to the Anambra-Imo Boundary, pointing out that the gunmen mostly attack from communities where the state shares boundaries with the other South-east states.

“If you cordon off the boundaries between Anambra and Imo in a joint operation, you squeeze and take them (gunmen) out,” Soludo said.The governor reiterated that those behind the insecurity in the South-east are criminals, insisting that the attackers have nothing to do with Biafran agitation.“Anybody in any camp in Anambra State is a criminal. We consider the person a kidnapper and we treat the person as such. There is no way light and darkness can co-exist. Without law and order, nothing else will work,” he said.

Soludo used the opportunity to commiserate with the new GOC over the killings of soldiers on Wednesday by gunmen in the state and expressed his readiness to partner with the army in tackling insecurity in the state and region.

The Chief of Staff to the governor, Ernest Ezeajughi and Special Adviser to Soludo on security, Ben Chiobi, were among those present at the event.Like other states in the South-east, security has deteriorated in Anambra State with frequent attacks by armed persons across the state.

The attack on the soldiers occurred less than three weeks after gunmen ambushed a senator’s convoy, killing about five persons including two police officers.The senator’s convoy was attacked in Enugwu-Ukwu, a community in the Njikoka Local Government Area of the state.

A serving lawmaker was also murdered by gunmen in the state.The attacks, mostly targeted at security officials and government facilities, have been attributed to the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra which is agitating for a sovereign state for the Igbo-speaking people in the South-east.

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TWO DEAD, FOUR INJURED IN LAGOS-ABEOKUTA EXPRESSWAY ACCIDENT

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FRSC officials at the scene of an accident

Two persons were confirmed dead while four others sustained injuries in an accident involving a Nissan Cabster and a Mack truck at Iyana Egbado, Itori on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway on Saturday.

The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps in Ogun, Mr Ahmed Umar, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Abeokuta.

Umar noted that the crash occurred at 6:00 a.m and it involved a Cabster marked KTU 142 XH and a truck with registration number T-12736 LA.

The sector commander explained that the Nissan vehicle rammed into the stationary truck which had a flat tyre.

He added that a total of seven men were involved in the accident, of which four were injured, two dead while one person was unhurt.

Umar said the deceased persons and injured victims were taken to General Hospital, Ifo for appropriate attention.

The sector commander commiserated with the family of the crash victims and enjoined them to contact FRSC Itori command for more information about the crash.

He advised motorists to avoid indiscriminate parking of vehicles by the roadside, adding that “If there’s a breakdown, proper placement of road signs should be put in order to alert oncoming vehicles.” (NAN).

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