Tag Archives: Abia

Abia Govt release schools resumption timetable

Further to the recommendation of education stakeholders in the state to resume academic activities on the 10th of August, 2020, to enable exit students take part in local and international examinations, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has directed that primary and secondary schools in the state reopen on Tuesday, 4th August, 2020, to ensure that teachers, relevant education and health authorities put in place necessary measures prior to resumption of full academic activities.

The timeline for activities leading to the return of students in exit classes for academic activities on the 10th of August, 2020, are as follows:

1. Monday, 3rd August, 2020

a. Mobilization of leaders of fumigation teams in all the 17 LGAs of the State with each team including, at least, 3 environmental officers from the state ministry of environment and local governments to coordinate and monitor the fumigation exercise in all public primary and secondary schools in the state.

b. Private companies in the state engaged in fumigation business are hereby invited to a meeting at the International Conference Center, Umuahia, by 10am. They are to come with their operational equipment for display, review and possible approval to participate in the exercise.

c. All LGA Transition Council Chairmen and their education secretaries are also invited to attend the meeting at the International Conference Center.

2. Tuesday, 4th August, 2020

a. All schools in the state will reopen with Head and other teachers expected to resume in their various schools to commence a dry run for the resumption of academic activities. They are also expected to attend school from thence till the conclusion of examinations for exit classes in both primary and secondary schools.

b. The state ministry of health, in partnership with the ministry of education, is to commence sample collection and testing for COViD-19 of all head teachers, teachers and all those expected to be part of the management of the relevant examinations in our public and private schools. Only those who test negative to the virus will be expected to continue attending classes or interacting with students and others involved in the management of the examinations.

c. Head teachers and others are expected to monitor the clearing, cleaning and fumigation exercises in the various schools and send reports through the relevant education secretaries in the 17 LGAs to the Honorable Commissioner for Education latest by 10am on the 5th of August, 2020.

3. Wednesday, 5th August, 2020

a. Head teachers are to provide hand washing stations in all the schools as well as ensure that sick bays and isolation areas are readied prior to resumption of students.

b. The ministry of education is to provide detailed readiness evaluation report covering all primary and secondary schools in the State to the Governor for review.

c. State ministry of health, in partnership with the ministry of education, is expected to deliver pocket and table hand sanitizers, face masks and digital thermometers provided by the state government to all public schools in the state for free distribution to students, teachers and examination supervisors.

4. Thursday & Friday, 6th & 7th August, 2020

The state ministry of health is expected to conclude the teaching and training of all teachers on COVID-19 protocols as well as set up relevant monitoring teams that will ensure full compliance.

Finally, the Governor directs that all private primary and secondary schools in the state ensure compliance with the resumption regulations or risk immediate closure.

Thank you.

Chief John Okiyi Kalu
Honorable Commissioner for Information, Abia State
1st August, 2020.

BREAKING: Gov Ikpeazu sacks TIMAAS boss, LG chairmen of Umunneochi, Aba North and South,  Commissioner for Transport

The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D has approved the immediate suspension of the following

1. The General Manager of Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State (TIMAAS).

2. The Transition Committee Chairman of Aba South Local Government Area.

3. The Transition Committee Chairman of Aba North Local Government Area.

The Governor has also relieved the Commissioner of Transport, Barr. Ekele Nwaohammuo of his appointment as Honourable Commissioner.

The Transition Committee Chairman of Umuneochi LGA, Engr. Mathew Ibe has equally been relieved of his appointment.

The Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D has also approved the appointment of the following as Commissioner Nominees;

1. Tony Nwanmuo

2. Godswill Nwonoruo

The Governor has also approved the appointment of Barr. Ezechikamnayo as Transition Committee Chairman Nominee for Umuneochi Local Government Area.

The Deputy Chairmen of the affected Local Government Areas are to take over and together with their Heads of Service immediately set up a taskforce to check environmental indiscipline and other vices.

TIMASS taskforce is also to be setup to further check these excesses.

SIGNED:

Dr. A.C.B. Agbazuere
Chief of Staff to the Governor.

COVID-19: Abia Students To Resume August 10

Final year students in Abia State may soon go back to school, as stakeholders in the state education sector are considering August 10, 2020, for reopening of schools to enable students in exit classes prepare and write their examinations.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the state governor on Media, Mr. Enyinnaya Appolos, said this was the outcome of a one-day summit held at the Government House in Umuahia, the state capital, where it was agreed that the planned school reopening was subject to verifiable compliance with all the proposed COVID-19 protocols, prevention and control measures.

In his opening remarks at the summit, the state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, insisted that while the state was desirous of ensuring its high flying students resume classes as quickly as possible, he maintained that his administration would not sacrifice the health of the children for anything.

He said: “We must find a balance between ensuring that they continue to enjoy good health and protection from this virus and continuing their education. I therefore urge all of us to take responsibility for our protection from this virus as well as the protection of our children and loved ones. Our lives cannot stop because of this virus, but we must take necessary measures to protect ourselves and loved ones from the pandemic.”

Addressing journalists after the summit, the Secretary to Abia State Government (SSG), Mr. Chris Ezem, listed some of the agreed pre-conditions to include clearing of school premises, decontamination/fumigation, provision of sick bays with relevant medical staff, compulsory provision of digital thermometers and hand washing stations as well as maintenance of social distance with maximum of 20 students in each classroom.

Ezem said the measures applied to both public and private schools in the state.

He also listed other conditions to include ban on gatherings among the students and ban on food vendors in the schools, however, assuring the state that the government would provide original pocket-size hand sanitizers for all the school children in the exit classes.

Head teachers were also directed to ensure that the students spend a minimum of 10 minutes daily to learn about COVID-19 and its prevention and control measures, while also charging parents to ensure that their children have and wear face masks to school always.

GOVERNOR IKPEAZU EXPRESSES SHOCK OVER DEATH OF ABIA PDP CHAIRMAN, CHIEF J ONUIGBO

The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD has received with deep shock and profound sadness, the news of the death of Chief Sir Johnson Onuigbo, the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Governor who described the Late Chief as a “close personal friend and long standing political associate” is deeply saddened by his death describing it as a major setback in the political development of the State.

The Governor recalls with sad nostalgia, the hardwork and passion shown by Late Chief Onuigbo in the administration of the ruling party in the State. In particular, the Governor recalls the efforts of the Late Chief in the 2019 elections that ensured his electoral victory and those of a majority of the members of the party. It will be correct to say that he was one of the major architects of our electoral victory in 2019.

“Chief Onuigbo had a peculiar pattern of administration which was a direct consequence of the warm personal relationships he built over the years with a cross section of the Abia populace and which ultimately rubbed off on how he ran the party producing solid victories and stability within the party”.

“Beyond politics”, the Governor continued, “Akinboard was a close personal friend of mine for many years and this relationship was one of the major reasons for the seamless and cordial relations between my administration and the party”.

He further described him as a man of principle and integrity who insisted that internal democracy must be institutionalized in the party.

“In all areas where he was privileged to serve our people, from the Chairmanship of Umuahia North LGA to the Abia Central Zonal Chairmanship and as State Chairman of our party, Chief Onuigbo exhibited uncommon passion and dedication”.

“My family and I, join the teeming members of our party and indeed the entire state to mourn the passage of this great man and iconic politician, and to pray the good Lord to grant his wife, family and the people of Ibeku Kingdom the fortitude to bear this very painful loss”.

“Abia State has lost one of her most outstanding and most committed political leaders. Akinboard will be sorely missed”, the Governor concludes.

SCHOOL RESUMPTION: Abia to hold Education Summit tomorrow

The Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, has approved the convocation of a special summit on education to deliberate on modalities for reopening of public and private schools in the state to enable our exit class students in primary and secondary schools as well as final year students of tertiary institutions write their relevant local and international examinations.

Based on the foregoing, the following stakeholders are hereby invited to attend the summit holding at the Michael Okpara Auditorium of Government House, Umuahia, on Thursday, 30th July, 2020 at 11am prompt:

1. State Chairmen of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) and Association of Primary School Heads of Nigeria ( AOPSHON)

2. Three representatives of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Abia Chapter, drawn from the 3 senatorial zones of the state

3. Three representatives of National Association of Parent-Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) drawn from the 3 senatorial zones of the state.

4. Presidents of Students Union Government of State owned tertiary institutions

5. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education

6. Acting Executive Secretary, Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) and the Deputy Executive Secretaries

7. Acting Chairman, Abia State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB)

8. The EXecutive Secretary, Hospitals Management Board (HMB)

9. The Executive Secretary, Abia State Primary Health Care Development Agency

10. State Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA)

11. Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Abia State Chapter

12. The Registrar, Examination Development Commission

13. Rectors of all Colleges and Polytechnics in Abia State

14. The Vice Chancellor, Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu

15. The Chairman, Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers and his Deputies

16. The Honorable Commissioners for Education, Finance, Health, Justice, Works, Local Government and Information.

17. Chairman, Abia State House of Assembly Committee on Education

18. Chief of Staff to the Governor

19. Secretary to the State Government

20. The Deputy Governor of Abia State

All the invitees must be seated before the arrival of the Governor as well as ensure strict compliance to all relevant COVID-19 protocols.

Thank you.

Chief John Okiyi Kalu
Honorable Commissioner for Information, Abia State

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu recovers from Covid-19, returns to Abia

After a period of isolation, treatment and recovery from COVID-19, the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD is back home.

The Governor, his wife, his two daughters and a few of his aides went straight to the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Umuobiakwa for a brief Thanksgiving Service presided over by the President of the East Nigeria Union Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Nigeria, Pastor Dr. Bassey Udoh.

The Governor expresses his deep and profound appreciation to the Almighty God whose grace and loving kindness kept him throughout the difficult period as he battled with COVID-19.
According to the Governor, the mercy of God is the only reason he is alive today.

He thanked the team of doctors and other medical personnel who attended to him for their dedication and professionalism.

The Governor expresses his gratitude to the Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu for courageously holding the forte during his period of absence and commended him for his statesmanship in the running of the affairs of the State.

Governor Ikpeazu sends his appreciation to the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chinedum Orji and all members of the State Assembly for their display of patriotism during the period.

The Governor is also grateful to the Secretary to the Government of Abia State, Barrister Chris Ezem, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr ACB Agbazuere and all members of the State Executive Council, as well as Chairmen of the Transition Committees of the 17 Local Government Areas of the State.

The Governor is thankful to all religious leaders from different faiths and denominations who prayed fervently for his recovery and their unending messages of goodwill.

In addition, the Governor sends his sincere appreciation to all Traditional Rulers, Elder Statesmen, Political Leaders, Women and Youth groups from across the State and indeed all Abians across the globe who prayed for his recovery.

Governor Ikpeazu assures the people of the State that he is hale and hearty and fully prepared to resume duties and continue to discharge his divine mandate of leading the good people of Abia State.

While thanking God for His mercies, Governor Ikpeazu reminds Abians that the COVID-19 pandemic remains with us and this requires every single Abian to continue to take very seriously all the protocols enunciated by the NCDC. He reminds all Abians that the prevailing times demand the highest level of personal responsibility and asked our people not to let their guards down.

He sends his message of solidarity to all Abians who are still battling with the sickness, assuring them that they will come back better and stronger.

“Our administration”, the Governor continued, “will continue to provide the needed support in the fight against the pandemic in the State. I am pleased that our molecular laboratory is now fully in place and I therefore appeal to all Abians to avail themselves of the services of the laboratories and get tested in the strong belief that the disease is not a death sentence”.

Governor Ikpeazu thanked his Wife, Nkechi, their children and members of his family for being strong and steadfast throughout this period.

In the words of the Governor, “Throughout my life, my faith and confidence in the Almighty God has remained unshaken and will remain so. It is His grace that upholds me. This latest in the series of the intervention of God in my life will spur me to rededicate my life to the service of our people”.

COVID-19: MORE ABIANS GET PALLIATIVES AS PROF IBE CONTINUES PALLIATIVES SPREE (PHOTOS)

Prof Gregory Ibe Foundation(PGIF) has successfully concluded another round of the second phase of palliative distribution exercise.

The one-week distribution exercise was flagged off on Monday, July 13, 2020 by the Chancellor and Founder of Gregory University Uturu, Prof Gregory Ibe, who was represented by the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Augustine Uwakwe.

The one-week distribution exercise was flagged off on Monday, July 13, 2020 by the Chancellor and Founder of Gregory University Uturu, Prof Gregory Ibe, who was represented by the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Augustine Uwakwe.

Delivering an opening speech during the ceremony, the chairman of Prof Gregory Ibe Foundation(PGIF), Hon. Prince Emeka Okafor, stated that the palliative distribution is targeted at the less privileged members of the society.
He therefore charged representatives of the Local Government Councils and other invited organisations to ensure effective transmission of the palliatives to the needy members of the groups they represent irrespective of their social, religious, tribal or political leanings.

He retariated that as a non-partisan organisation, Prof Gregory Ibe Foundation was established “to cater for the well-being of all members of the society without recourse to their political or tribal affiliations”, emphasising that their interventions are usually targeted at improving the lives of the less privileged members of the society.

He therefore charged representatives of the Local Government Councils and other invited organisations to ensure effective transmission of the palliatives to the needy members of the groups they represent irrespective of their social, religious, tribal or political leanings.

He retariated that as a non-partisan organisation, Prof Gregory Ibe Foundation was established “to cater for the well-being of all members of the society without recourse to their political or tribal affiliations”, emphasising that their interventions are usually targeted at improving the lives of the less privileged members of the society.

The Coordinator of the PGIF second phase palliative distribution exercise, Surveyor Eze Ibe Aja stated that Prof Gregory Ibe initiated the second phase of the palliative distribution exercise due to the lingering effects of the pandemic, arising from his concern for the well-being of the poor masses in the face of the hardship caused by the global scourge. He therefore enjoined LGA Ambassadors of Abia Crusaders, Council Ward representatives, Leaders and other group representatives to “distribute the items judiciously and equitably, no matter the quantity, ensuring that each needy Abian receives something”.

Representatives of Abia chapters of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) , Online Media Practitioners of Nigeria (OMPAN),and Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) were joined by ward leaders from Umunneochi and Isuikwuato Local Government Councils in witnessing and partaking in the formal flag-off ceremony.
Sequel to the official flag-off, the palliative materials were subsequently taken to the people at their different wards through various Local Government Councils.

This exercise was done through the despatch of delegations of Prof Gregory Ibe Foundation to different Local Government Councils, on scheduled days to interact with the ward residents.

Thus deploying members of Abia Crusaders Organisation, the local arm of Prof Gregory Ibe Foundation, the palliative materials made up of bags of rice, beans, garri, salt, cartons of noodles and tubers of yam were distributed to residents of the 184 wards in the state.

This exercise was done through the despatch of delegations of Prof Gregory Ibe Foundation to different Local Government Councils, on scheduled days to interact with the ward residents.Thus deploying members of Abia Crusaders Organisation, the local arm of Prof Gregory Ibe Foundation, the palliative materials made up of bags of rice, beans, garri, salt, cartons of noodles and tubers of yam were distributed to residents of the 184 wards in the state.

Welcoming the delegation to Ugwunabor Local Government Council, the Transition Committee Chairman, Hon. Peter Aguwamba, thanked Prof. Gregory Ibe for the kind gesture.
He applauded him for having the welfare of the less privileged members of Abia society at heart which led him to undertake a second phase of palliative distribution after executing a resounding first phase. In his own remarks, the Chairman of Ugwunabor Stakeholders Forum, Hon. Chinwe Nwanganga, thanked Prof Ibe for remembering Ugwunabor people in particular and the entire citizens of Abia State at large with his ” charity and peculiar act of benevolence”.

He reassured the team that the items received will subsequently be delivered to the targeted indigent members of the Local Government Council, who according to him, need it the most.

He applauded him for having the welfare of the less privileged members of Abia society at heart which led him to undertake a second phase of palliative distribution after executing a resounding first phase. In his own remarks, the Chairman of Ugwunabor Stakeholders Forum, Hon. Chinwe Nwanganga, thanked Prof Ibe for remembering Ugwunabor people in particular and the entire citizens of Abia State at large with his ” charity and peculiar act of benevolence”.

He reassured the team that the items received will subsequently be delivered to the targeted indigent members of the Local Government Council, who according to him, need it the most.

Receiving the team in Ukwa West,the PGIF Ambassador for Ukwa West Local Government Area, Hon. Uche Enyioko, stated that Abia State is blessed to have a son like Prof. Gregory Ibe, who is “constantly touched by the plight of the needy” , and thanked the Chancellor for initiating what he termed as “Kitchen Palliative.”

Hon Enyioko further stated that representatives of the ten wards that make up the local government council were present to receive the items on behalf of the indigenes of the LGA.
Hon Enyioko further stated that representatives of the ten wards that make up the local government council were present to receive the items on behalf of the indigenes of the LGA.

At Umuahia South LGA,the PGIF delegation was received by a representative of Abia Crusaders in the area, Chief Ambrose Emezue. Speaking after receiving the palliative materials, Chief Emezue described Prof Ibe as “too benevolent and filled with a large tank of overflowing milk of kindness”. He lauded the initiative of the second phase of palliative distribution as a follow up to the largely successful premiere edition.

Correspondents report that apart from Umunneochi and Isuikwuato Local Government Councils who had the fortune of receiving their palliatives during the flag off ceremony, the remaining 15 LGAs were served their quota at their bases, as delegations of the Prof Gregory Ibe Foundation came calling, while arrangements are being concluded to extend the exercise to churches, markets and charity homes in Abia state.

Photos:

Ebonyi State Governor tests positive to COVID-19, as Abia Governor recovers

The Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Governor confirmed this in a statement personally signed by him on Saturday.

He and some of his close aides tested positive for the virus after carrying out the coronavirus test, the statement said.

Umahi further disclosed that, presently, they are not showing any symptoms but have since isolated, in line with protocols laid down by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The Governor directed the Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe, to take over the frontline coordination of the state’s fight against the pandemic to protect Ebonyi people.

Umahi appealed to the people of Ebonyi state to take the NCDC protocols more seriously while stating that he’s working from home and will conduct all meetings virtually.

In a related development, the Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has recovered from the virus after his sample result returned negative.

A statement released by the state’s commissioner for information John Okiyi Kalu, says “a repeat COVID-19 test conducted by Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) on samples submitted by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on Thursday, 2nd July, 2020, returned negative result on Friday, 3rd July, 2020”

“Governor Ikpeazu is therefore deemed free of the virus according to the extant guidelines of NCDC and the World Health Organization (WHO)” the Commissioner said.

I left APGA because of Its Incompetent Leadership  — Alex Otti

By George Samuel, Abuja

Former gubernatorial candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance( APGA) and former Managing Director of defunct Diamond Bank, Dr Alex Otti, OFR, in this interview with ‘The Nigeria Daily’ revealed his reasons for dumping his former political party, APGA. According to Otti, the executive Governor of Anambra State who doubles as the national leader of APGA refused to consider the complaints of party stakeholders against the national Chairman, Chief Victor Oye and returned him for a second term . The former Bank chief also discussed his new political party among other issues.

Excerpts:

Your article on the mismanagement of monies saved by former Governor of Anambra state, Mr Peter Obi by his successor Gov. Willie Obiano was controversial, considering you belong to the same polital party with him. Is there any rift with the governor?

First of all, the article in question did not mention Governor Willie Obiano and I am not in a position to discuss the management of Anambra funds by Obiano. The article was on Leadership and the six ‘Cs’ of leadership. I used the example of Peter Obi to celebrate Prudence as against Profligacy.

As a former CEO of Diamond bank I knew about the money Peter Obi invested in Nigerian banks for Anambra State. The money were in Tier 2 capital of three banks: Access Bank- 50 million dollars, Diamond bank- 50 million dollars and Fidelity Bank- 55 million dollars. I concentrated on dollars only to drive home my point. I chose to ignore the Naira savings for the purpose of the write up.

The exchange rate at the time of these investments in 2014 was about N160 per dollar. In 2019 when the investments would have matured, because they were Tier 2 capital of these banks exchange rate had moved to about N360. If you add the Naira equivalent to the interest rate of about 9%, the net balance would be about N95B.

So, what was I trying to say? My point was that if you are able to cut your coat according to your cloth, you will be able to save. There is no need pretending that we are rich when we are poor. I gave an example with Peter Obi, he could have been flying private jets, but you will see him all the time in the economy cabin of planes both local and international and he would travel alone, I was not saying that everybody should do that. I was just saying that you need to look at the resources available to you, and that applies to the federal and local governments too not only the state governments.

Today we spend over 70% of our budget on recurrent expenditure so we have less than 30% for capital expenditure and I dare say that that is why we have infrastructural decay everywhere. We can’t develop with that kind of arrangement. Today we are owning about N79.3billion dollars, we are still going to borrow anywhere between 10 and 15bilion dollars this year to fund the budget, even though it has been reviewed. We are spending close to 60% of our revenue on servicing debt, no economy runs that way.

So, the essence of that article is that we need to hit the reset button and think of our economy again, can we afford funding up to 469 legislators in National Assembly. Can we cut it down, can we even afford 36 states? Why can’t we re-organize ourselves into regions and save on the cost of governance? It is the cost of governance that wouldn’t let us breath and the corona virus has given us the opportunity to look at it again. Look at healthcare, we spend about 6%-7% of our budget on healthcare. World Health Organization requires us to spend a minimum of 15% of our budget on public healthcare. I had written extensively on this.

Today we are all on lockdown, nobody can go anywhere, people are dying daily, and the public healthcare is decrepit , so we just need to change things. That my article was about leadership and unfortunately people have left the issue I was talking about and they are talking about governors, I am not interested in that narrative.

You ran for governor twice under All Progressives Grand Alliance ( APGA) , What’s your relationship with Governor of Anambra state who is the leader of the party?

I don’t have any issue with Governor Obiano as a person, I only disagreed with him on the way he returned the former chairman of the party, Victor Oye who messed up the last primaries in some states, particularly Imo and Abia. Many people complained about being extorted by the former Chairman promising to hand them tickets which he failed to do. There were a lot of protests against the former Chairman and but the leader of the party insisted on imposing him for a second term. That action led to the factionalisation of the party. Unfortunately, two other people are laying claims to the Chairmanship of the party at the moment. I sincerely believe that if we sat down to organize ourselves, the party wouldn’t be having the problems it has today. But he insisted that he wanted to give Victor Oye a second tenure as the leader of the party, so it’s for members of the party to decide how they want to react to that. I have taken my own decision. There is an election coming up in Anambra soon and I believe that if the party continues to carry on with impunity ignoring many voices that have raised objections against the way things are done, it will be a miracle for the party to hold on to the State. Other than that, Obiano and I have great relationship, we are friends, we were in the banking industry together and I gave my little support to his second term bid.

Your Excellency, you are a political leader in Abia state, you are very popular and people are still looking up to you for this leadership we are talking about. Recently there is this rumour that some of your loyal members from APGA decamped to APC and there is this rumour going around that Alex Otti is now an APC member. Is it true? Are you now an APC member?

Well, when I’m going to join any party, I’ll be the one to make the announcement. Until that announcement is made, people should not railroad me into any political party. Everybody has the right to join any political party that they wish to join , some of my members that joined APC have the right to. When the time comes for me to make a public announcement about my future politically, I’ll do that. That is where I’ll leave for now.

So, are you trying to say your loyalists decamped without consulting you?

If you understand politics, it is about choice and freewill. People decide what they want to do, you can advise them but at the end of the day, they take their decisions. So, if anybody has joined APC based on their dissatisfaction with the present party, I can’t hold them. So at the appointed time like I said, I’ll make an announcement. But what I know is that I have already indicated my intention to leave APGA, that one is clear. Where I’m going to, I’ll make the announcement at the appointed time.

Are you satisfied with the current leadership in Abia? You have ran for governor twice and came out unsuccessful. Would you still run for governor in 2023?

As a mark of respect for the governor who had been sick in the last few weeks, I will make no comment on the leadership of the state.

On 2023, it is a whopping 3 years from now. Nobody knows what is going to happen in 2023, I think it is still too early to decide . For now, we are contributing our little quota by giving advise and suggestions in our fortnightly column, “Outside The Box”. We also give pieces of advice both solicited and non-solicited to ensure that our governments work. That is what we are doing. So, when the time comes for decisions to be made, you will be amongst the first to know.

COVID-19: Abia takes sensitization to the church

In her bid to ensure greater citizens’ participation in the war against COVID-19 pandemic, Abia State Government has launched a new public sensitization drive through the churches in Aba, the commercial nerve center of the state.

Speaking to a gathering of Christian leaders of Pentecostal leaning on Saturday at the Assemblies of God Church, 124, Tenant Road, Aba, the State Commssioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, appealed to them to use their pulpits to sensitize their members on the realities of the disease which according to him is threatening to disrupt the lives and livelihood of the people living in the town.

“The Church must partner with the government to halt the spread of COVID-19 and protect our people, as this is one sure way we can all win the war and quickly get back to our normal lives”, he said.

Chief Okiyi who expressed the appreciation of the government for the fervent prayers of the Church following the infection of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu with the virus assured that the Governor is recovering well from the infection and is expected to return to work soon. He tasked the church on abiding by the regulations issued by the government and health authorities particularly with regard to safe worship, regular hand washing and compulsory wearing of face masks during church service and while outside their homes.

He said, “We do not wish to be compelled to shut down Churches that are not complying with the relevant protocols hence the need to come here and seek your buy in as well as self regulation to ensure that we collectively win this war as God’s own people. It is Biblical for the Church to work with the government for greater good and in this war against COVID-19 there should be no conflict between us. This government is your government and will not want to impose compliance on you or your members but rather prefers to dialogue with you to strengthen compliance within and outside the church.”

In her remarks, the State Epidemiologist, Lady Peace Nwaogwugwu, who highlighted the current trends in the spread of the disease in the state as well as the efforts of the government to halt the rampaging virus, assured that adequate resources are on ground within the state to manage those who come down with the disease back to health. She further informed that the state has established facilities to test suspected cases of the virus and appealed to those who experience symptoms to visit the sample collection centers in Aba and Umuahia or call 0700 2242 362 to get help.

Responding, the former Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Abia Chapter, Bishop Goddy Okafor, expressed appreciation to the government for carrying the church along in its fight against COVID-19 through sensitization and distribution of palliatives to the members and assured of their readiness to take up the message in their various churches as well as ensure compliance with the relevant protocols for safe worship. He also called for review of some aspects of the protocols on worship and promised that the members will make their position known to the government in writing after their meeting.