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Enugu communities pledge support for Ugwuanyi, PDP

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Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Peter Okonkwo (right); Enugu State Governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Enugu North Senatorial District, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Chairman, Nsukka Local Council, Walter Ozioko acknowledging cheers from the people of Nkpunano Community, Nsukka LG, when they visited the governor at the Government House, Enugu

As campaigns for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria commenced yesterday, more communities and groups have continued to declare their solidarity and support for Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State to represent Enugu North Senatorial District in the National Assembly on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

They have also endorsed PDP and agreed to vote for all candidates of the party at the polls, including the governorship candidate of the state, Peter Mbah, and his running mate, Ifeanyi Ossai.

Prominent among communities and groups were the people of Lejja and Uwani Lejja autonomous communities, Nkpunano Nsukka Ancient Kingdom, Obukpa community and The Face of Hope, among others.

Speaking when the people of Lejja paid a solidarity visit to Ugwuanyi at the Government House, Enugu, the leader of the group, Prof. Damian Opata, told the governor that they are solidly behind his senatorial bid in 2023, and that of other PDP candidates in the state.

Opata, who described Ugwuanyi as a humble and caring leader with a listening ear, said Lejja people are thankful to him that he paid an unscheduled visit, on two occasions, to their community to inspect the long-neglected Lejja-Aku road, and immediately commenced work on it.

Describing Ugwuanyi’s gesture as unprecedented, Opata told him: “The road, which has been in a pitiable condition for many decades, you came and made the difference.

“You have transformed the place; you have directed the immediate commencement of work on that road, and workers are currently working on it.”

Opata, on behalf of the people of Lejja and Uwani Lejja communities, appreciated the governor for appointing their sons and daughters into sensitive government positions.

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Ending Sit-at-home: Bishops Onah, Chukwuma, Enugu Town Unions back Mbah

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Enugu State Governor Dr Peter Mbah

•  Call for Kanu’s release

•  It’s bondage, let’s free ourselves – Bishop Chukwuma

•  Let’s give new governments benefit of doubt – Bishop Onah

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, the Anglican Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, and the Enugu State Association of Presidents-General of Town Unions, have thrown their weights behind the efforts of the Enugu State government to end sit-at-home in the state starting from Monday, June 5, saying it is long overdue.

They equally expressed total support for Mbah’s call for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention, saying it is the right path to national healing and stability in the South East region.

Speaking to reporters after leading a prayer session for a smooth end to sit-at-home in Enugu State and the entire South East at the the Chapel of Redemption, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC), on Sunday, Most Rev. Chukwuma, who also doubles as the Anglican Bishop of Enugu Enugu Diocese, appealed to the people to support the government’s move through compliance.

“Government has given directive. My advice and appeal is that they should comply so we can save the economy of Southeast.

“Now the Governor has said it is safe to come out; therefore people should come out to do their business, and be free and set ourselves free from this bondage. It is a bondage, and we must be set free from it”, he concluded.

Also, in his homily at the St. Theresa’s Cathedral Nsukka, Bishop Onah, while commending Dr. Mbah’s initiative to end the sit-at-home syndrome, noted that the suffering in the land was too much.

He, however, begged the people to give the new governors of the South East the benefit of doubt.

Bishop Onah traced the insecurity and restiveness in the region to the continuous detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and appealed to President Bola Tinubu to heed Mbah’s call for Kanu’s release.

“The suffering is too much. But, please, everybody should have mercy. Those that are angry should calm down. Many of us are angry, but we have to be careful how we express our anger or we may cause more problems.

“It’s in this spirit that I understand the initiative by some state governments in the South East, especially the newly inaugurated government in Enugu state, to try to restore normalcy in the South East.

“But I want to believe and I want to affirm that this initiative must of necessity include an increase in the effort to secure the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention”.

On their part, the Presidents-General (PGs) of Enugu State Town Unions wondered why Enugu State should continue to be on lockdown every Monday whereas “both private and pubic offices in the capitals of other states of the South East region had since resumed businesses.”

They wondered why Enugu’s case should be different.

In a statement by the Coordinating PG, Barr. Paully Ezeh, the association said the loss of Mondays since September 2021 had resulted in untold hardships and caused incalculable economic losses in the state and South East.

“The governor’s promise to transform Enugu from a public sector economy to a private-sector driven economy; raise the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the present $4.4 billion to $30 billion in eight years, make Enugu one of the top three economies, restore public water supply in Enugu metropolis in 180 days, and eradicate poverty can’t happen if we continue to sit at home on Mondays. It presents our state to investors as restive, insecure, and unproductive place.

“The Association, therefore, appeals to both private and public institutions and people of Enugu to support the government’s efforts to restore full days of work and productivity in the state.

“We urge aggrieved persons and groups to take the opportunity of dialogue advanced by the Mbah administration and we equally join the Governor in his call for Nnamdi Kanu’s release to engender organic peace and national healing”, the Association concluded.

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New State lawmaker appoints 14 aides

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Ondo lawmaker Chris Ayebusiwa
A first–time Ondo lawmaker Chris Ayebusiwa has announced the appointment of 14 aides.

Seven of the newly appointees are to work as legislative aides while seven others would work at the Ward level of the party.

Ayebusiwa was among the 26 lawmakers that took oath of office into the 10th Assembly at the weekend.

He said the appointments was to ensure smooth running of office.

Among those appointed were: Monday Akinsulere as Senior Legislative Aide; Femi Olawoye as Personal Assistant; Morayo Itiolu as Special Assistant Women & Girl Child Affairs; Kehinde Akinyemi as Special Assistant, Media & Advocacy; Joshua Akindoyo as Special Assistant, Youth & Mobilisation; Ayo Olowoselu as Special Assistant, Special Duties and Osedele Gbenga as Special Assistant, Party Affairs.

Others are: Adebayo Saheed, Obolo Morenike, Idowu Fasalejo, Simeon Adedeji, Atinuke Arikawe, Koya Mewaye and Mrs Ayebuola.

He urged the appointees to put communal interest above their personal comfort and advised them to work toward achieving improved status for the constituency.

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Gunmen kidnap UNIZIK student

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Revd. Fr. Stanislaus Mbamara, abducted
A student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State who is also a Catholic Priest, Revd. Fr. Stanislaus Mbamara, has been abducted by gunmen.

The student, who was abducted over the weekend, was said to be returning home from school when the gunmen ambushed and whisked him away to an unknown destination.

It was also gathered that the victim is a clergyman working with the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi.

Announcing the victim’s abduction in a press statement, the Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, Rev. Fr. Raphael Ezeogu identified the abducted priest as Rev. Fr. Stanislaus Mbamara.

He further called for insistent prayers to ensure the safety and immediate release of the abducted clergy.

“Our priest, Rev. Fr. Stanislaus Mbamara, a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, was kidnapped Friday evening, on his way from Awka to Nnewi.

“Let’s storm heaven with humble and insistent prayers for his quick release in sound health of mind and body. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Help of Christians, pray with and for us,” he said.

Efforts to receive the reaction of the Police Public Relations in Anambra State, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, proved abortive, as his phone number was not connecting.

It would be recalled that another UNIZIK student, Sylvester Mercy Chinomso (Mesi Sylvia) of the of Parasitology and Entomology Department, was sometime ago abducted  by unknown gunmen.  She was  abducted along with her sister.

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