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Ebonyi Journalists Attack: NUJ Bans Media Coverage of Ezza North LGA 

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Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Ebonyi State Chapter has resolved to boycott all activities, assignments and press releases from Ezza North bbhh6local government area over the unwarranted attack and brutalization of members.

The union also resolved to sanction any member who flouts this directive.

The resolution was contained in a Communique signed and made available to The Voice, by the Chairman of the union, Samson Chinedu Nwafor, after rising from an emergency meeting held at Dr Sam Egwu press Center, on Tuesday.

The union resolved that all members were to boycott and stop reporting the local government’s activities because of the attack on the correspondent of Sun Newspaper, Uchenna Inya, Dr. Chinelo Okoro and Sir Godwin Oguta, both of FRCN, Unity FM, Abakaliki at Nkomoro Saturday, June 15, by suspected hoodlums.

Congress also condemned in strongest term the attack and described it as not just crude and barbaric, but a clear attempt to intimidate, subdue and force Journalists into self censorship.

Congress also congratulated the Governor for a successful and impactful one year in office and urged him not to relent in his administration’s avowed determination and uncommon passion to uplift our dear State to enviable heights.

The statement reads in parts: “Congress condemns in strongest term the attack on three members of the Union, namely: Mr Inya Uchenna of The Sun newspaper, Dr. Chinelo Okoro and Sir Godwin Oguta, both of FRCN, Unity FM, Abakaliki, at Nkomoro Community in Ezza North LGA of Ebonyi State, on Saturday, June 15, 2024, by suspected hoodlums during a coronation event in the area. Congress describes the attack as not just crude and barbaric, but a clear attempt to intimidate, subdue and force Journalists into self censorship.

“Congress therefore, directs Members of NUJ in Ebonyi State to henceforth desist from covering events in Ezza North LGA, pending when relevant authorities and Stakeholders of the Council Area prevail on the people of Nkomoro Community or better still, the perpetrators of this dastardly act to adequately compensate our Colleagues for their losses during the attack and tender unreserved written apology to them and copy NUJ as a body. Congress resolved to sanction any member who flouts this directive.

“Congress particularly took note of the role said to have been played in the dastardly act by one Oscar Nwafor and the members of his group, which include but not limited to the following: Samuel Nnoko, Livinus Eze, Obiora Ezaka, Cletus Igwe and Joseph Oganyi, and therefore, calls on the Ebonyi State Government and the Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Command to immediately arrest and prosecute them as well as other people who are directly or indirect involved in the wanton attack and destruction of property of innocent Journalists whose only offence was doing their constitutional duties.

” Congress appraised the one year in office of the incumbent administration in Ebonyi State ably led by Rt. Hon. Bldr Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru and unanimously agreed that the Governor has performed exceedingly well. Congress congratulates the Governor for a successful and impactful one year in office and urges him not to relent in his administration’s avowed determination and uncommon passion to uplift our dear State to enviable heights. Congress Pledges to continue to support the Governor to achieve his People’s Charter of Needs agenda.

“Congress also appeals to the Governor, Rt. Hon. Bldr. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, to please act on his administration’s promise to renovate the Ebonyi State NUJ Secretariat that’s currently in a deplorable condition. Congress strongly believes that the renovation of the secretariat will enhance the operations of Journalists in the State.

“Congress commends the Member representing Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo Federal Constituency, Hon. Nkemkama Kama for donating a borehole to Ebonyi State Council of NUJ; and urges other public spirited individuals to emulate the federal Lawmaker by assisting the Union on other areas of need to enable Journalists in the State function optimally

One Year in Office: President Tinubu Lauds Self, Flag Off ‘Old National Anthem’

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President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, assessed his performance in the last 366 days and gave himself a thumbs up, saying his government is walking the talk.

Tinubu, who also hailed Nigerians for 25 years of unbroken democratic rule, urged the citizenry to build a nation for generations unborn.

He, however, warned against risking the nation’s democracy, saying as Nigerians, “we must continue to collaborate, work together and build our country against the backdrop that we do not have another country we can call our own.’’

President Tinubu spoke at a joint sitting of the National Assembly, where he formally flagged off the recitation of the old national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

He had earlier signed into law the bill dropping the current national anthem, “Arise O Compatriots’’ for ‘’Nigeria, We Hail Thee,’’ that was passed on Tuesday by the Senate and last week by the House of Representatives.

The President assured that his address would be on June 12, which is Democracy Day.
Tinubu arrived the Green Chamber of the National Assembly exactly 12.31pm for the official take off of the anthem, which they all sang with the Brigade of Guards leading.

Also at the chamber to witness the joint session were National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje; Borno State governor, Prof Babagana Zulum; former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh; and a host of former lawmakers.

We must not risk this democracy– Tinubu
Speaking at the National Assembly, President Tinubu told the lawmakers that he would soon forward to them the 2024 Supplementary Bill for consideration.

He said: “Thank you for building up to this stage, building the institution, building the country. You are first and foremost leaders that speak for our people and you have been in the forefront of this struggle.

“This institution, the hallowed chamber, represents our consciousness for freedom and sense of belonging. You rang out the latest national anthem, ‘Nigeria we hail thee,’ this is our diversity, representing all characters and how we blend together to be brothers and sisters.

“Without this House, probably, I may not have found a path to the Presidency. I started all from here and that is why I have given respect to you. So, continue to collaborate, work together and build our country, we have no other choice.

“It is our nation, no one, no aid, no other institution or personality will help us except we do it ourselves. No amount of aid that will come in from foreign countries or any other nation that will solve our problems, they take care of themselves first.

“Let us work together as we are doing to build our nation, not only for us but for generations yet unborn.

“Charting a new path for development, I have submitted the last budget to you, you expeditiously passed it, and we are walking the talk. We will soon bring the year 2024 supplementary bill, that is just for your information, but we must not risk this democracy, build this nation so that the future of our great-grand children will be sure of prosperity, development and progress.”

Tinubu rounded off his visit to the National Assembly with the commissioning of the National Assembly Library built in the 9th Assembly but now named after him.
Akpabio, Abbas speak

Also speaking, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, told the President that the lawmakers will be expecting the 2024 Supplementary Bill.

He had earlier said: “This is your National Assembly. The senators and members have asked me to congratulate you on your first anniversary since you were sworn-in into office.

“Before you came, myself and my brother, Tajudeen Abbas, explained the purpose of this visit, that this is what we call in Nollywood, waka pass. You intend to celebrate Democracy Day, which is June 12 but out of honour and respect for the National Assembly, you said you must pass through the National Assembly on your first anniversary in office.

“Of all the significant things you have done, I think one of the most profound is to take us back to the genealogy of our birth, that though we may belong to different tribes, though we may have different tongues, in brotherhood we all stand.

“Henceforth, we will not refer to ourselves as mere compatriots, we will refer to ourselves as brothers. And as we go forth in battle, whether in the field of sports, politics, economic endeavours, we must hail Nigeria. And so we are all saying today, Mr. President, ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee!’

“There is no better place to commence this revolution of going back to our genealogy than the National Assembly, made up of patriotic, not just representatives, but elected representatives of the people of Nigeria. The voice of the National Assembly is the voice of Nigeria.”

Earlier, speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, apologised for the misinformation over the President’s visit, attributing the mistake to the National Assembly.

He said: “The President has said that whatever speech we have to give should be shifted to June 12, which is Democracy Day. So, to this effect, the president will flag-off recitation of the old national anthem after giving assent to it and, after that, proceed to other important engagements.”
Later in his vote of thanks, the speaker thanked President Tinubu for his support to the National Assembly in the last one year.

He described Tinubu as “a true democrat who has seen it all; a former governor; former senator; leader of the party; and now the President.

‘’I want you to know, Mr President, that we, in the National Assembly, are very pleased with your scorecard and with your performance so far.

“The National Assembly is very thankful for the partnership that has existed within the past one year. It has been a partnership that has been mutually beneficial to all of us. It is a win-win and that is how democracy is supposed to be played.

‘’We will always be there to support you, partner with you and collaborate with you. We want to thank you for bringing back our national anthem, the one we grew up with, especially those of us above 50.
‘’For the younger ones, when you read it, you will understand why it is good for Nigeria to revisit its former national anthem. If we can follow it to a logical conclusion, it will be better for this nation,” he added.

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.

 

 

Crisis Rocks Enugu Assembly as Gov.Mbah Allegedly Favors Defectors over PDP Faithfuls

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The plot by Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu state to force the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Ugwu sack Rt. Hon. Iloabuchi Aniagu, a 4th term member of the House who was the minority leader when PDP was minority in the House and should be majority leader now that PDP are in the majority suffered set back during the last plenary.

The Governor wanted Hon. Johnson Ani, the former majority leader of the House from Labour Party (who abandoned his Party and defected) to the PDP as the new PDP majority leader of a party he just joined few weeks ago .

During the plenary session of 16/5/2024, Hon. Onyechi raised a point of order, maintaining that the House was not properly constituted as both the majority and minority leadership are unknown. Though overuled by the speaker, the incident caused us to investigate deeper into the activities going on the State Assembly.

It was revealed that the Governor also wanted the Speaker to remove Hon. Ekwueme Chukwuma of Uzo-Uwani, who fought vigorously for the PDP to win the last election. To remove him as the Chief (Majority) whip and announce Hon. Ejike Eze of Igboeze North 1, who just joined the PDP as the new Chief Whip of the House. Among other changes.

This decision didn’t go down well with the Speaker who believe that the Governor, and rightly so, have a penchant for favoring the defected LP House members against the members of his own party, the PDP.

The Speaker rather informed the PDP principal officers to be removed of the plans and directive from the governor. Since then the House have been in chaos and the situation has not been easy to manage. Some staff and political appointees reveal that for the past 8/6 weeks, after every plenary, the members shout and fight over unknown issues during their executive sessions. Obviously, this matter has generated a lot of tension and the speaker is helpless on how best to handle the situation.

One of the PDP principal officers who spoke on a condition anonymity said “We are tired of Gov. Peter Mbah and his selfishness. I know how I fought for me and him to win this election. These LP guys fought him to a standstill and I have the videos. How can he turn around and choose them over us. Just how? Strangers do not come in and become kings in a kingdom they know nothing about. We cannot say for sure if we are still in the same party, may God help us.”

Another female member(name withheld) lashed out “If this is done Peter Mbah shall know no peace. Do you know we can hardly see this man but these LP guys see him at will. He has refused to see the House members since his Swearing-in. The PDP house members cannot even access him. He doesn’t listen to the speaker or the leadership, he does only his will as if we are intruders. He is not a good man but let’s see how it goes.

One of the Labour Party members have also argued that there was no basis for the Speaker to withhold the pronouncement of who the new Minority Leaders were. He said “we have submitted the list of our new principal officer/leadership to the speaker, we have even met with him and he told us to write which we did, yet he sat on it. The Assembly has become an Assembly of Chickens. We are planning to go to court to challenge the reason the Speaker and his party the PDP, will not allow us the minority to have our constitutionally guaranteed leadership in the State Assembly. If it’s the Governor that is behind this he should know that this is democracy and rule of Law not tyranny or dictatorship.”

Efforts to reach the Speaker has proved abortive and numerous of the other house members were evasive when we tried to get their perspective.

What is obvious is that there is no peace in the State Assembly but uneasy calm. The Governor seem to be suffocating the House and it’s only a matter of time, like a time-bomb, the House will definitely explode.

1 year in office : APC chieftain applauds Gov. Nwifuru over outstanding achievements

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By Kamsiyochukwu Okechukwu

A Chieftain in the All Progressive Congress, APC, Isaiah O Igwe, has lauded achievements of the Ebonyi state, Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru over his remarkable achievements in his one year in office.

In a statement released to THE VOICE, Igwe highlighted Nwifuru’s unmavering dedication and commitment to transformative initiatives aimed at improving the welfare of the people.

The statement reads in parts : “As Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru celebrates 1 year in office, we extend our heartfelt congratulations for his outstanding accomplishments. Governor Mwifuru’s dedication and commitment to the welfare of the people of Ebonyi State have been truly commendable, and his transformative initiatives have already begun to make a positive impact on the lives of the citizens.

“Governor Mwifuru’s administration has made significant strides in various sectors, including healthcare, education, infrastructure, and public service. One of the notable achievements is the employment of more medical doctors, which has enhanced healthcare delivery and access to quality medical services for the people of Ebonyi State. This initiative is a testament to the governor’s strong commitment to improving the healthcare system and ensuring the well-being of his constituents.

He applauded the governor for his recognition of the valuable contributions of public servants and his commitment to promoting fair and just labor practices in the state.

“Furthermore, the governor’s administration has prioritized infrastructure development, with the construction of roads that will enhance connectivity and facilitate economic growth in the state. These road projects will not only improve transportation networks but also create opportunities for trade and commerce, benefiting the people of Ebonyi State.

Moreover, Governor Mwifuru’s administration has made education a top priority by providing scholarships to deserving students, thereby promoting access to quality education and empowering the youth to achieve their full potential.

This is a testament to his visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to the development and well-being of Ebonyi State”.it reads

One Year in office : I have made Ebonyians proud – Governor Nwifuru

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By Admin

The governor of Ebonyi State, Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, has pledged to embark on more policies and programmes that residents of the State would be proud of.

Nwifuru who clocked one year in office as governor of the state made the pledge at the weekend while fielding questions from Journalists shortly after inspecting some of the ongoing projects and commissioning some completed roads projects executed by his administration across the state.

The Governor who expressed satisfaction about the quality of the ongoing projects across the state, however, frowned at the slow pace of work in some of them.

“I felt very excited and proud of some of the projects we visited while I felt very bad in some of them due to slow pace of work.

“We frowned at the handlers of the projects. But all we can do for now is to engage in more supervision to ensure that those handling our projects keep to the terms.

Speaking on his experience in the last one year as 4th Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, Mr Nwifuru disclosed that the task of governance is herculian, but maintained that he was committed to delivering good governance to the people.

“What I’m seeing today is very compelling and tasking, totally different from what we thought would be the case when we were campaigning to be here. It’s truly difficult but those watching from afar may think it’s very easy.

“We’re doing our best, but I know our best may not be enough for the people we serve, but we are going to do more better things that the people will be proud of in the months and years ahead, “Nwifuru said.

Voice Correspondent reports that during the inspection tour which lasted for two days, the Governor commissioned the 13.327km Abakaliki internal roads done by his administration, which cuts across Emefor, Onamba, Police Junction, Goddy Ogbaga, Olisaemeka, Barr. Igweanu, Nnorom, Alo, Grace Ovu Nwagu, Mike Aduaka and Igwe Liga streets.

The roads are a trio-marriage of solidity, smoothness and beauty, having been done in 6 inches concrete and coated in 3cm asphalt.

Projects inspected by Mr Nwifuru include: Reconstruction of Chuba Okadigbo International Airport Runway; Ogbaga – Nwofe Road; Housing Estate for Amaeze/ Izzo Communities at Ezillo as well as Ebonyi State Pipe Production factory.

At the Chuba Okadigbo International Airport Onueke, the Governor disclosed that the project was awarded at the cost of 17. 8billion Naira out of which over 15 billion Naira had been paid, while the balance would be paid upon completion.

The Governor who expressed satisfaction with the quality of work on the Runway charged the Contractor to keep to his promise of completing the project within the next ten days

Ugwuka Favour’s Death: Ebonyi Varsity Disassociates Self

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By Admin

The Management of Ebonyi State University, (EBSU), Monday, disassociated the institution from death of Miss Favour Chinonye Ugwuka, a final year student of the Department of English and Literary Studies, who her to commit suicide last week.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chigozie Ogbu, stated this while briefing newsmen on issues surrounding the death of favour, who was reportedly found dead at the back of her hostel in Ishieke axis of the institution on May 22, dismissed claims that senior lecturer of the Ebonyi State University was the cause of her failure.

The university expressed sadness over the action Favour took and commiserated with her family.

Ogbu said what the late student would have done was to demand for re-marking of the course if she felt that she passed and was failed by Uneke and not taking her own life, describing it as unfortunate.

He said: “The university has a system where, after exams, if a student feels that he or she is marked down or that the lecturer is victimising him or her, he has a record as to what to do.

“When a student is confident that a lecturer has deliberately marked him or her down, and that she is sure that she passed the exam, what the student does is to complain to the HOD or Dean and deserve to request for re-mark, which will be sent to the Vice Chancellor’s office, and it is usually sent to another university to re-mark and let us know. Some of them, on very rare occasions, have returned positive, and whatever the student gets here is usually what he gets from the other university after the re-mark, and that is the process.

“If, at the last exam and the late student felt that she was marked down by the lecturer, she would have complained to the Dean and asked for re-marking, and the paper would have been sent to another place for re-marking.

“But, from what is seen, it’s not that the student deserves to pass and she didn’t pass, and from the record, you will find out that this is not the only course that she didn’t pass”.

Meanwhile, the Dean, Faculty of Humanities in the university, Professor Ngozi Emeka Nwobia, released Favour’s academic status in the school. She disclosed that the late student failed many courses from her first year to final year.

She said: “I have the certified true copy of the results of Ugwuka Favour Chinonye with the registration number; EBSU/2018/89726, for the department of English Language and Literature who registered in the year 2018/2019, and that is her first year.

In the 1st Semester, she offered nine courses out of which she failed three courses and had a CGP of 1.78. Second semester of 1st year, she took eight courses. Out of the eight courses, she failed two and had a CGP of 1.75, thereby having a sessional CGP of 1.76.

“In 2019/2020, which is her second year, she registered a total of 10 courses and out of the 10 courses, she was absent in two courses; Intermediate English Composition (ENG 215) and Philosophy and Logic (GST 102). She was absent in the two courses. Out of the eight she wrote, she failed two. She had a GP of 1.41 in that first semester. In her second semester, she registered for 10 courses. Out of the 10 courses, she failed four and had a CGP of 1.82. Total CGPA in her second year was 1.62.

“In her first semester, third year; 2020/2021, she took a total of 10 courses and failed History of English Language (ENG 201). She also failed Advanced English Syntax (ENG 313) and African Heroic Literature (ENG 325) and she made a CGP of 1.83.

“In the year 2021/2022, she took a total of 11 courses and failed two courses making a GP of 1.83. In the second semester, she failed four courses, making a GPA of 1.18. Total CGP for the session -1.52. In her extra year, 2022/2023, she registered a total of six courses in the first semester. Out of the six courses, she passed all. In the second semester, she registered a total of six courses and failed one out of the six courses giving her a CGP of 2.84.

“After the extra year, she has outstanding courses; ENG 224, ENG 416, ENG 422. The bone of contention is ENG 416. In 2021, she scored 40 which is a fail. She took it the second time in 2022/2023 and had 21 which also failed”. She s

Ebonyi Healthcare Takes Center Stage: Over 136,000 Residents Insured in One Year

By Brenda Chidinma Imo-Eze

Ebonyi State is experiencing a healthcare revolution under the leadership of Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru.

The Ebonyi State Health Insurance Agency (EBSHIA), once dormant, has been revitalized, enrolling a staggering 136,831 residents within just a year.

This remarkable achievement signifies a significant shift towards a future where healthcare is accessible and affordable for all Ebonyi residents.

A Surge in Enrollment and Focus on Vulnerable Groups

Addressing Journalists the Executive Secretary of Ebonyi Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Divine Igwe, stressed on the agency’s commitment to inclusivity.

Adding “in all, 136,831 enrollees have benefitted from health insurance within one year of Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru being in office”.

“Out of this number, pregnant women in the current enrolment is 9,000. Children under 5 years is 15,000. Others include People with Disabilities and the Indigents.”

The Voice Newspaper scooped that the focus on vulnerable groups  such as pregnant women, children among others ensures a safety net for those who may struggle to afford healthcare on their own.

Pregnantwomen and young children can now access vital medical care without financial burden, while people with disabilities and the indigent receive much-needed support.

Beyond Enrollment: Delivering Free Healthcare Services

With Governor Nwifuru’s strong backing, the agency has gone beyond simply enrolling residents.

The agency has delivered a wide range of free healthcare services across all 171 political wards in the state. These include essential immunizations, deliveries, and treatment for common illnesses like malaria.

Some of the beneficiaries of the Scrotal Hernia free surgery appreciating the Agency for their good works
Some of the beneficiaries of the free Scrotal Hernia  surgery appreciating the Agency for their good works

“EBSHIA, through the support of the state government has offered so many free health services to beneficiaries across the 171 political wards of the state,” Dr. Igwe explained.

“The services included 4,608 free reserved immunization, 3,056 free normal deliveries, and 20,228 free malaria treatments.”

Additionally, the program offers crucial management programs for chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes, helping residents maintain their health and well-being.

A Holistic Approach to Healthcare Improvement

Governor Nwifuru’s commitment to healthcare extends far beyond enrollment and free services.

He has championed the digitization of EBSHIA’s operations, ensuring transparency and efficiency. Residents can enroll in the programme online at www.ebshia.eb.gov.ng and select any of their preferred packages.

Staff training programs have been revitalized through partnerships with international organizations, further strengthening the healthcare workforce.

The state is also fulfilling its financial obligations through the payment of counterpart funding for the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, showcasing a comprehensive approach to healthcare improvement.

The Governor’s commitment even extends to improving rural roads, facilitating easier access to healthcare facilities for residents in remote areas and investments in infrastructure include the revitalization of general hospitals, the employment of more health workers, and incentives for doctors.

Partnerships and Support: Building a Brighter Future
The Ebonyi State Health Insurance Agency (EBSHIA) through healthy partnership with the State government has facilitated the accreditation of 26 private healthcare facilities, with the National Obstetrics Fistula Centre, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching hospital, Abakaliki and the David Umahi Federal University Teaching Hospital, Uburu as supportive facilities.

“He also purchased ambulances for the general hospitals, and approved N11.5 billion for equipments and consumables in the general hospitals.

“He also approved N200 million for vulnerable groups’ health insurance insurance premium and released full monthly premium for State Civil Servants’ health Insurance to the tune of N37 million.

“He did not stop there, he started working on the rural roads to ensure quick access to facilities”, Igwe added.

The story doesn’t end there, as the wife of the State Governor,  Mrs. Uzoamaka Mary-Maudline Nwifuru through her pet project Better Health for Rural Women, Children and Internally Displaced Persons (BERWO) has also made a significant contribution through her foundation.

Over 4,000 pregnant women have received free enrollment and medical treatment, including major surgeries and cesarean sections, thanks to the foundation’s efforts.

“In EBSHIA’s partnership with the office of the wife of the Governor, out of the 4,076 pregnant women enrolled, 341 have delivered.

“Through the same office, EBSHIA harvested and performed free surgeries for 100 elderly males living with scrotal hernia across the 171 wards of the state” he enumerated.

The success of the Ebonyi State Health Insurance Scheme is a testament to Governor Nwifuru’s unwavering dedication to improving the health and well-being of all residents. By prioritizing healthcare access and affordability, Ebonyi State is paving the way for a more prosperous and healthy future for its citizens.

Group engages community on forest conservation, climate change

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A Non Governmental Organisation, Neighbourhood Environment Watch, (NEW) Foundation, in partnership with the Women Environmental Programme (WEP), under the Green Livelihood Alliance, has called on communities to resolve, mobilise and resist deforestation.

Dr Kelechi Okezie, Executive Director of NEW-F stated this during a community dialogue on forests management and conservation held at Ohatekwe-Edda community, Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi.

Okezie said that the dialogue which was aimed at  raising awareness about climate change and forest conservation, also featured training on production of alternative and wood efficient stoves.

The community dialogue brought to the fore the need to conserve the remining forests in the area especially ‘Ndiode and Ofia Eze’ forests.

According to participants the two major forests in the area were seriously threatened due to population pressure on land for agriculture, building materials and fuel wood.

Okezie educated the community on sustainable forest management practices and climate change impact mitigation and adaptation strategies.

He stressed that with climate change, rural communities such as theirs, the elderly, sick, children and women were most vulnerable to climate change impact.

He listed the benefits of forests to include; fresh air and sequestering of carbon dioxide, home to many animals and organisms, provides incomes, herbs for medicines.

The environmentalist said that other benefits of forests include; mitigation in impacts of climate change, serves as revered traditional religious centres with eco-religious memories, prevents soil erosion and conserve soil nutrients among others.

“I charge the community members to be intentional in safeguarding their forests and ensure yearly planting of trees,” Okezie said.

Meanwhile, the traditional ruler of Ohatekwe-Edda, Ezeogo Godwin Nwankwegu, said that changes in the climatic conditions were already affecting the people adversely.

“Our livelihood, health and economic wellbeing are seriously affected by climate change due to impact of the peoples activities through cutting down of trees without replanting and other negative activities of the people,” he said.

The traditional ruler urged his subjects to collaborate to preserve the existing forests in the area and warned against bush burning.

“The existing byelaws that prohibit unauthorised access to the forests and bush burning will be strengthened to punish offenders,” he added.

Another participant, Chief Michael Udenwe, former Coordinator of Enyidda Development Centre, said that the area was once blessed with thick forests canopies and how the people enjoyed all the gift of nature unhindered.

He, however, lamented the extinction of indigenous plant species that provided roots and herbs for their health and wellbeing.

He lamented that lots of the trees had been cut down and that the people were suffering the adverse effect of climate change.

“Now, hunger, malnutrition and poverty have set in due to the unsustainable practices and use of lands in the area,” Udenwe said.

He urged the people to go back to tree planting as a panacea to survive the adverse effects of climate change.

Others who spoke at the occasion stressed the importance of tree planting and shunning all acts that could endanger the remaining existing forests in the community.

Meanwhile, Ms. Cynthia Oru, Gender Communications Officer (GCO) , of NEW-F highlighted the negative health impact of indoor cooking with fuel wood stressing the dire health impact of such indoor cooking.

She stressed that indoor cooking with limited ventilation was a silent killer especially of women and children who are exposed to respiratory diseases such as asthma.

She listed other health effects to include pneumonia, headache, dizziness, heart disease and cancer.

“Cooking in ill ventilated areas especially with the use of firewood should be discouraged,” Oru said.

The highlight of the dialogue was the training of the participants in the use of wood conservative cooking alternatives such as use of rice husks, saw dusts and solar cooking stoves to prepare their meals.

AE-FUNAI Releases Programme of Activities for 7th, 8th Convocation Ceremony

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Convocation

Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (AE-FUNAI) has released line up of activities for 7th and 8th convocation ceremony.

The combined convocation is slated to hold on Thursday 23rd May, 2024.

Find programme below:

The Vice-Chancellor, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, PROF. SUNDAY OGE ELOM, on behalf of the Chancellor, Governing Council, Senate and the entire university community has the pleasure to invite the 2020/2021and 2021/2022 sets of graduating students and the general public to the 7th and 8th Combined Convocation Ceremony of the University scheduled to hold on Thursday, 23rd May, 2024.

PROGRAMME OF EVENTS
FRIDAY, 17TH MAY, 2024: Pre-Convocation Jumat Service
Venue: AE-FUNAI Central Mosque
Time: 2. 00 pm

SUNDAY, 19TH MAY, 2024: Pre-Convocation Interdenominational Church Service
Venue: Abubakar Adamu Rasheed Auditorium
Time: 10. 00 am

MONDAY, 20TH MAY, 2024: Pre-Convocation Press Conference by the Vice-Chancellor
Venue: Vice-Chancellor’s Conference Room, Chinedum Nwajiuba Senate Building
Time: 11. 00 am

b. Music and Convocation Command Performance
Venue: Theatre Arts Auditorium
Time: 3.00 pm

TUESDAY, 21ST MAY, 2024: Research Faire and Arts’ Exhibition
Venue: Quadrangle, Opposite the Old Library Block
Time: 10. 00 am

b. Vice-Chancellor’s Get-together with Graduating Students/ Award Night
Venue: Abubakar Adamu Rasheed Auditorium
Time: 12 noon

WEDNESDAY, 22ND MAY, 2024: CONVOCATION LECTURE
Lecturer: PROF. BART NNAJI, Chairman/CEO, Geometric Power Group and Former Minister of Power, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Topic: “CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVING POWER AVAILABILITY IN NIGERIA”.
Venue: Abubakar Adamu Rasheed Auditorium
Time: 11. 00 am

b. Chancellor’s Night
Venue: Osborn La Palm Hotel and Suites
Time: 6. 00 pm

THURSDAY, 23RD MAY, 2024
Conferment of Honourary Degrees
Award of Postgraduate Degrees
Admission to First Degrees
Award of Academic Prizes
Venue: Nnamdi Azikiwe Convocation Arena
Time: 11. 00 am


NOTE:
Academic gowns are to be collected at the faculties from Monday, 21st May, 2024.

Graduating students must present evidence of clearance before the collection of academic gowns
All hired gowns must be returned to the collection point not later than Friday, 25th May, 2024. Failure to return the gown on time attracts a fine of N20, 000 while damage or outright loss of the gown shall attract a penalty of N50, 000.

It is compulsory for all graduating students to participate in the academic procession. They are to converge in front of the G.O. Chukwu Administrative Block for procession at 10.00 am.

All graduating students are to be properly and appropriately dressed for the event. Indecent/improper dressing will not be cordoned.

Enquiries

Prof. Abel Ezeoha
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration/
Chairman, Senate Ceremonials Committee

Nwifuru’s wife pays N25m surgical bill for 100 scrotal hernia patients in Ebonyi 

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By Chinwe Imo-Eze

Ebonyi State governor’s wife, Mary-Maudline Ogbonna Nwifuru on Thursday, paid a total of N25 million as Medical bills for the surgery of 100 Scrotal hernia patients in the state.

Nwifuru stated that her pet project, Better Health for Rural Women and Internally Displaced Persons Foundation (BERWO) is collaboration with the state Health Insurance Agency (EBSHIA) to sponsor the operation.

while performing the inauguration exercise for the operation, the wife of the governor appreciated the present administration, led by her husband, Gov Francis Nwifuru for his support to BERWO.

She expressed gratitude to God for her pet project, BERWO, through which the health interventions of patients were approved, maintaining that her passion was to reduce the burden of health challenges among the people if the state.

On his part, Mr Divine Igwe, the Executive Secretary, Ebonyi State Health Insurance Agency, stated that the surgical operation would be conducted at government accredited hospitals between May 10 to 23.

Igwe said the state government had also spent N50 million for 100 sicklecell anemia patients while pregnant women had being enrolled with the agency for free antenatal and delivery.

He commended wife of the governor for her passion to reduce health challenges in the citizens.

In their separate remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Moses Ekuma and the Team Leader of BERWO foundation, Mrs Nkechi Echiegu urged beneficiaries to be vanguard in disseminating the good interventions of Mrs Nwifuru to the rural communities to capture others.

Beneficiaries who spoke to THE VOICE, Mr Ogodo Ugoru and Emmanuel Chukwu, both, stated that they have lived with the condition since 2012 and 2014 respectively .

They expressed satisfaction over the kind gesture and urged government to continue health interventions in the state.

 

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