The Onu Political Organisation (TOPO), has faulted claims by a group, Hope Ambassadors which alleged marginalization of Abakaliki bloc in federal appointments as well as in siting of federal institutions in Ebonyi.
Hope Ambassadors in a social media publication by one Mr. Jeremiah Onyibe, accused Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology of deliberately marginalizing the Abakaliki bloc in federal appointments and sitting of institutions in favor of his zone.
However, TOPO in a briefing on Wednesday in Abakaliki dismissed the allegations as a figment of the imagination of the group.
Chief Egwu Chima, National Publicity Secretary of TOPO, who briefed newsmen, said that TOPO was not disturbed by the unfounded allegations.
Chima, a former Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in Ebonyi, said that Onu remained an acclaimed detribalised Nigerian whose political ideology which spanned nearly four decades was founded on equity, fairness, and justice for the oppressed and marginalized.
He condemned the publication, noting that it was capable of engendering political distrust and disunity in the state.
The publication captioned: ‘Wake up Oh Abakaliki People’ read in part:
“Let the strong leaders of Abakaliki bloc arise now, we can’t keep quiet again, while your keeping calms the position given to our son, late Chief Tobias Okwuru was taken from us to old Ohaozara.
” Instead of sourcing immediate replacement from his immediate family or even community, the position was taken away.”
Chima said that the divisive utterances by individuals or groups were despicable, noting that the nomination of late Okwuru as a member of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) was not done on senatorial sentiment.
“There have been so much misunderstanding and rumors on the appointment of a man from outside Ezza to replace the late Okwuru who died before he was inaugurated.
“The limited understanding is that the slot should have been given to his wife, member of the family, or any person from his zone.
“The limited understanding of such people is that the position was meant for Tobe Okwuru; or that it is meant for the family or for the community he came from.
“This is politically untrue. The position is for Ebonyi and the one chosen to replace Okwuru is eminently qualified and a retired federal permanent secretary.
“His choice was made to eliminate anything that can disqualify Ebonyi from assuming the position after the demise of Okwuru.
“The area the position went to is not out of place in the political allocations of Ebonyi,” Chima said
He said that Abakaliki bloc has had fair representation in both federal political appointments and the sitting of institutions.
“Ambassador Jonah Mkpuruka is a serving ambassador covering Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil and he is from Ikwo, Ebonyi Central, Sen. Julius Ucha is a member of National Assembly Service Commission, from Ishielu, Ebonyi Central.
“Chief Enyi Enyi from Ezza in Ebonyi Central is Chairman, Federal University Teaching Hospital, Gombe, Governing Council, Chief Austin Edeze, from Ebonyi North, is Chairman, Governing Council, Federal Polytechnic, Ado- Ekiti in Ekiti.
“Chief Elias Mbam from Izzi in Ebonyi North zone is the Chairman Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation, and Fiscal Commission, while Mr. Patrick Mgbebu, is a member representing Ebonyi in the Commission, among others.
“All the above-mentioned appointees are from the Abakaliki bloc.
“No man from Ebonyi South zone is heading any commission, board or agency and we wonder where or how the cry of marginalization of Abakaliki bloc by the group is coming from.
He noted that Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ikwo, and the newly established Federal Science College, Ameka in Ezza South were all sited in Ebonyi Central.
“Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, and Federal Government College, Okposi were institutions established long before the advent of the current democratic dispensation.
Ebonyi is made up of two major political bloc-the Abakaliki bloc comprising Ebonyi North and Ebonyi Central senatorial zones.
The Ebonyi North zone is made up of Izzi, Ebonyi, Abakaliki and Ohaukwu local government areas, while Ebonyi Central senatorial zone comprises, Ikwo, Ishielu, Ezza South, and Ezza North local government areas.
The Afikpo bloc comprises Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Ohaozara, Onicha, and Ivo local government areas.
Lagos to decide reopening of schools in two weeks
The Lagos State Government says the decision to reopen schools in the state will be taken in two weeks.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said this during a televised press briefing on Thursday.
Sanwo-Olu said the decision would be taken after an extensive meeting with stakeholders in the education sector.
“I know we are all eager to know the plans we have for the reopening of our learning institutions. There is still a lot more works to be done in this regard and we are looking at the educational sector very differently.
“However, we will continue to have our online learning at our seven higher institutions.
“On primary and secondary schools, we will be engaging with the Ministry of Education and Lagos State Safety Commission, and we will be coming out with a full and specific pronouncement in two weeks’ time.”
Gov. Makinde constitutes Oyo Credit Corporation, Sports Council
Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has appointed Afees Jimoh, a former House of Representatives member, as Chairman of the state’s Agriculture Credit Corporation.
Special Assistant on Print Media, Moses Alao, announced to the appointment in a statement on Thursday.
“Jimoh, the newly appointed chairman of the state’s Agriculture Credit Corporation, attended Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin; University of Lagos, Akoka; Federal University of Technology, Owerri and Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos State.
“Where he obtained NCE Technical, HND, PGD and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical/Electronics and Computer Engineering, respectively.
“He was a Reps member for Irepo/Olorunsogo/Oorelope Federal Constituency between 2011 and 2015.
“He served as the Deputy Director-General of the PDP Campaign for Oyo North Senatorial District in 2019,” the statement reads.
He said that the governor also approved the composition of the Oyo State Sports Council, with former Chairman of Ibadan North-East Local Government, Gbenga Adewusi, as chairman.
According to the statement, other members of the Oyo State Sports Council are Bello Tajudeen, Ogundele Quadri, Oguntoye Issac, and Ogungbenro Fatai.
Others are Miss Omolabake Alabi, Makinde Adegboyega as General Manager and Director, Policy Coordination, Governor’s Office.
“Adewusi is a graduate of Human Kinetics from the University of Ibadan and a former Sports Trainer to President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“He is the current chairman of the Oyo State Handball Association and served as chairman of the state’s Badminton Association,” he said.
Kano: Federal High Court nullifies suspension of five Kano lawmakers
A Federal High Court sitting in Kano has nullified the suspension of five lawmakers of Kano State House of Assembly suspended for allegedly flouting the rules of the House.
The lawmakers whose suspension were voided by the court included Isiyaku Ali Danja, Salisu Ahmed Gwangwazo, Garba Yau Gwarmai and Mohammed Bello Butu Butu.
Justice Lewis Allagoa, while consenting to the prayers of the plaintiffs yesterday held that their suspension was a clear violation of their rights to participate freely in the affairs of the House.
The judge directed the Kano House of Assembly and the Speaker to pay the suspended legislators all their withheld entitlements and dues.
The plaintiffs in an originating summons had implored the court to invalidate their suspension on the grounds that it amounted to a violation of Section 109 of the 1999 Constitution( as amended), which had stipulated and guaranteed their tenure in office. They also argued that their suspension was a contravention of the African Charter on human and peoples’ rights.
On the contrary, the defendants through their lawyer, M.N. Duru had prayed the court to disregard the prayers of the plaintiffs.
The suspension of the lawmakers was announced at the plenary by the Speaker, Alhassan Gabasa in March, who accused them of leading the House to a rowdy session which was witnessed in the last minute bust that erupted in the House in the push to dethrone former Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammad Sanusi.
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