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Open Grazing: Uzodinma embarrassed us with his comments – PDP scribe blasts Imo Gov

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The Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State and former member of the state House of Assembly, Nze Ray Emeana has lambasted Governor Hope Uzodimma for saying there is no law in Imo State banning open grazing.

Emeana in this interview with us  said it was most embarrassing and shameful for Uzodinma to say there is no anti-grazing law in Imo State when there is one.

The former university teacher said, come 2023 governorship position must come back to the Owerri zone adding that it is not negotiable.

”No amount of intimidation, harassment and arrest will stop it. Owerri zone will rise strongly, determined, united and wrestle power from this failed administration like never before, he averred.

The PDP scribe also gave his assessment of the ruling APC administration in Imo State among other burning issues.

Excerpts:

9JAFLAIR: How do you see the statement of Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma declaring that there is no anti-grazing law in the state?

EMEANA: It is unfortunate because I won’t say that the governor lied but I think this is the highest display of ignorance of law governing the state where Uzodinma is the governor. It also shows the kind of government that exists in the state. I would have thought that the governor was misquoted but having seen the video myself. I feel the Attorney General of Imo State by now would have come out clearly to correct the governor and guide him and Imo people appropriately.

It is most unfortunate that we have a system where there is no thought process, no engagement on the system of government in place of the key critical stakeholders and other arms and parts of government before a pronouncement of this magnitude is made. For the avoidance of doubt you know that the South Governors met and agreed to ban open grazing in the whole of the South and for our governor to come out open and absent Imo State from that agreement makes us a parallel state among committees of South States, even Northern states have come to say open grazing is outdated that the only way to go is ranching. The security crises we have in Imo State today, we can not go far without attributing it majorly to open grazing of cattle.

For the avoidance of doubts, Imo State Law No.9,2006 signed by Chief Achike Udenwa, former Governor of Imo State on 19th January 2007 made it very clear and the Law is called a Law to prohibit the grazing of cattle in restricted areas in Imo State and matter related thereto.

The law made it very clear that rearing of cattle means breeding of cows and others, taking cattle out on streets, and taking cattle out for grazing in Owerri Capital Territory within 5km radius measured from Douglas Road post office, Owerri and every part of Imo State is hereby prohibited.

A cattle rearer can not take his cattle into cultivated land within Imo State. Anybody who contravenes section 3 and some of these laws is guilty of an offence liable to a fine of N50,000.00. In the case of section 4, they will pay compensation to the crop owner to cover the total cost of crops destroyed by the cattle in addition to a fine which may be proscribed by the magistrate court.

This is completely clear and unambiguous. It shows that this grazing thing is not new. You and I know that this has been pervading in this state for many years back and to solve all these problems Imo State House of Assembly in 2006 passed this bill into law and it was assented by the governor of the state.

For a sitting governor of the state to wake up and say there is no such anti-grazing law beats my imagination and that of every right-thinking person. It is most embarrassing to say no anti-grazing law in Imo State.

It is most embarrassing that our governor on national television says there is no anti-grazing law when there is one in Imo State. He went further to say there is an agreement between the farmers and herders, so where is the agreement and with which farmers? Our people will take time to plant cassava, corn and yam, people will come with their hungry cows enter into their farms, ravage their crops and kill the plants and the owners of the crops goes home with nothing and the governor does not consider it a responsibility to protect the owners of the crops. It is most embarrassing where we find ourselves in the state.

Even the 1999 Constitution clearly gave the control of pests and animals as the responsibility of the Local Government. It is in the Nigeria Constitution that the Local Government should control the movement of pests and animals. This is why in a local government system there is a department called animal handlers. Their duty is to go from village to village and get animals that wander into other people’s farms. It is a fundamental function guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

9JAFLAIR: what is your assessment of the current administration of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC in Imo State.?

EMEANA: People can hardly have three square meals in Imo State today. We can’t even go home again once it rains. Owerri zone as a hub of entertainment and tourism can not even function because by the time it is 6pm everybody will start running home. Many people have lost their jobs especially those in the hotel or hospitality business. Even eateries where young men and women are employed have all sacked their staff because the patronage is no longer there and they can not pay staff salary.

Uzodinma is almost 2years in office what can he show for it? Is it in the healthcare sector, is there any person in this state that go to government hospitals apart from Federal Medical Center? In the area of Agriculture, is there any striving farm? Look at Nekede zoo, the road has been cut off, completely unaccessible and people living around Old Nekede can not go home. We have a similar situation at MCC Road. Look at the heaps of refuse on our roads. We are even lucky there is no epidemic in the state today.

Look at the rate of burial happening every Thursday and Friday in our state what do you think is even responsible for it? When there are heaps of refuse in all parts of the state, no hospitals and people are not been paid salaries, pensioners are there dying without being paid. Which critical aspect of our lives is functional today and Uzodinma says it doesn’t matter why should we break our heads?

9JAFLAIR: Let’s talk about the zoning of governorship position in Imo, do you think Owerri zone indigene deserves a slot come 2023 or Uzodinma should be allowed to complete his 2nd term in office?

EMEANA: I attended a conference in Lagos organized by Ripples Nigeria two days ago where the governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa was the chairman of the event. The governor in his opening speech said Delta State has been consistent with its zoning arrangement. The zoning of governorship rotates among the three geopolitical zones and was unequivocal that after him governorship will move to the next zone. If you go to EnuguState, zoning is almost sacrosanct. You are aware that in Anambra State, one of the reasons why many did not get the ticket is because the people insisted on zoning. You go to Abia State it is the same story. Governorship rotates among three senatorial zones.

We are here shouting that we are being marginalised by the Hausas and Yorubas and yet by 2023 a particular zone or section in Imo State would have ruled the state for 24years. This zone called the Orlu zone became governor through the instrumentality of the Owerri zone that insisted that governorship should be rotated among the three zones in Imo State. It was ID Nworgu when he was the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and other leaders of Imo State that insisted that Sam Mbakwe had gone, Owerri had gone even though it was 18months, it has tested it, let it go to Orlu. After Orlu it will come back to Okigwe and back to Owerri. It got to Orlu and they have held it hostage. Is that fair, equitable and justifiably? Where are our consciences as a people in Imo State? Today in Imo State all the institutions of governance be it in education etc are all from the Orlu zone particularly Oru East, nobody cares about equity, fairness yet the Nigerian constitution provides for Federal Character. The shame of all these is that some of our brothers from Owerri zone because of a pot of porridge and crumbs that fall off the table have sold their conscience to the devil and they are busy saying it doesn’t matter. I want to tell you let them continue to be slaves to Orlu people, let their children and grandchildren continue to be slaves. I will not be and my children will not but come 2023 governorship must come back to the Owerri zone.

It is not negotiable and no amount of intimidation, embarrassment and harassment will stop it. Owerri zone will rise strongly, determined, united and wrestle power like never before. We are committed to it. Forget the fact that for every twelve there is a Judas like those sons and daughters of Owerri zone who are supporting Orlu to rule them forever. These are people without any roots. They have no followers. They always lose elections even in their booths and they know that if things are well done they will lose their livelihood which is likely illegitimate that is why they find it convenient to sell their conscience.

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Obadiah Mailafia, former CBN Deputy Gov is deadObadiah Mailafia, former CBN Deputy Gov is dead

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Obadiah Mailafia, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria is dead.

Mailafia, the 64-year-old reportedly passed away on Sunday morning at the National Hospital Abuja.

Recall that Obadiah Mailafia stirred controversy after he granted an interview accusing most top government officials of sponsoring terrorism in Nigeria.

Confirming his death, Fani-Kayode on his Twitter page wrote: “I am saddened by the passing of my dear friend & brother Mr. Obadiah Mailafiya who was one of the most powerful and progressive voices in our country. I was informed that he passed on this morning. He was a great nationalist, a believer in Nigeria, a kind and gentle soul.”

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APGA disowns Jude Njoku as Party National Chairman, insists on Oye

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The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), has refuted viral claims of a court pronouncement affirming Chief Edozie Njoku as the party’s national chairman.

The All Progressive Grand Alliance is currently battling a leadership crisis that has led to the emergence of several factions, coupled with court litigations among each of the factions claiming to be the authentic elected national working committee (NWC) of the party.

A party chieftain, Edozie Njoku had approached the federal high court and sought among other reliefs, a declaration of the court in his favour as the National Chairman of APGA.

He also prayed the court to mandate Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise him as the National Chairman of APGA and to stop recognizing Victor Ike Oye as the National Chairman of the party.

However, APGA, in a statement by its Chairman in Imo State, John Iwuala, while clarifying the outcome of court proceedings in the matter between Oye and Njoku held Friday, said Njoku breached part rules by appearing in court with a new lawyer.

“Trouble started in the court when he, (Edozie Njoku) in his usual way brought a lawyer for APGA as against the National legal adviser of the party, Sly Ezenwoke Esq. The question now is: who is to represent APGA as lawyer among the duo? he asked.

“After series of deliberations, the court later asked both lawyers to file briefs and decided to pronounce the authentic lawyer at the end of the matter on judgement. This decision did not go down well with Dr Oye and APGA, hence they approached the court of Appeal.

“On Friday, 17 Sept. 202, the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division directed that the matter be sent back to the Federal High Court for continuation. There is nothing beyond this.

“The court of Appeal has every right to invoke the authorities of Order 47 of the court of Appeal Act to assume jurisdiction as the court of first instance but didn’t want to do so as the substance of the case has already been dealt with by three appeal court judgements via Kano, Awka and Enugu respectively.

“It baffled the leadership of APGA Imo State Chapter how these fake news peddlers behave in a myopic way of feeding the public with fake news. This calls for a cry of reasoning and ecology of reasonableness.

“It must be recalled that this matter emanated from Bauchi State, where the plaintiff and his co-travellers went for “forum shopping’ to deceive the judge who on sighting danger that both plaintiff and defendant are same persons, sponsored by the same person, just trying to mislead the court, washed his hands off from it, the case was transferred to Abuja and Dr Victor Ike Oye was notified of the ongoing matter. What they specialize in is to sue, bring their lawyer and bring a lawyer for the defendant without the knowledge of the defendant until judgement is secured. That was what they did in Jigawa. Though the court of Appeal Kano division has set it aside and declared *Dr Oye as the duly elected and authentic National Chairman of APGA in a well organized and INEC monitored National Convention held on 31st May 2019.

“With the return of this matter to the High Court yesterday (Friday) from the court of Appeal Abuja, the matter is as good as dead as the High court lacks jurisdiction to hear any matter of which substance has already been heard and finally determined by the Court of Appeal. This one, three appeal court judgements in favour of Dr Oye including the award of N10m against Edozie Njoku for disturbing APGA and the courts of the land.

“I am seeing another N10m award against him soon. I wish with this, the reading public, especially our Anambra indigenes resident here in Imo State can remain calm and unperturbed over the fake news.

“We all know the pains you pass through when this fake, fabricated and malicious news came up as it has to do with the emergence of Prof Chukwuma Soludo as the next Governor of Anambra State, come November 2021”.

APGA accused political jobbers of peddling the fake viral news to mislead the reading public as part of their failed strategies to truncate the party’s chances for the November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra state.

 

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Nigerian health workers issue fresh strike notice, lists demands

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The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) have issued a fresh notice of industrial action.

The notice confirms negotiations with the government is still ongoing as the recent strike notice expired the night of September 17.

JOHESU Acting General Secretary, Matthew Ajorutu, said an Expanded National Executive Council (NEC) emergency meeting of the unions was held on Friday.

In attendance were the Presidents and General Secretaries of affiliate unions and professional associations, NEC members of affiliate unions and JOHESU Chairmen and Secretaries at the state and branch levels.

The session appraised the reports of JOHESU negotiation and conciliation meetings with the federal government since the declaration of the trade dispute through the 15 days strike notice issued on September 2.

Ajorutu noted that NEC discussed the appeal by President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to show understanding with his administration and the pledge to pay any debt owed to health workers.

The scribe disclosed NEC received and examined reports of congresses held at various health facilities across the country on the mobilisation for the fresh strike notice starting September 18.

Ajorutu asked the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure speedy circularisation of all establishment and welfare matters as agreed during negotiation meetings.

The unions urged that the computation of the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for JOHESU members be completed and submitted to FG’s High-Level Body (HLB) not later than September 22, as agreed.

”NEC-in-session urges the Federal Government to ensure that the High-Level Body (HLB) completes and submits the computation of the adjusted CONHESS for inclusion in the 2022 budget within the Sept. 30th, submission window.

”NEC urges the Federal Government to reciprocate the patriotic humanitarian gesture of JOHESU in the interest of the larger Nigerian masses to expeditiously resolve all the demands within the fifteen days window”, the joint statement added.

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