Enugu Increases NYSC State Allowance For Members Serving In Healthcare Facilities

The Enugu State Government has announced that it has increased the allowances of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving in primary healthcare facilities in rural areas in the state.

This was revealed through the commissioner for Information, Mr Ogbuagu Anikwe, in Enugu on Wednesday while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting.

Anikwe said that medical doctors serving in hospitals in rural areas would henceforth receive N30, 000 monthly from the state government as against N3,800 being given to them currently.

Similarly, he said, pharmacists, nurses, radiographers, laboratory scientists and statisticians would receive a monthly stipend of N20,000.

He announced that the government also planned to review the service condition and welfare of other set of corps members in the state.

The commissioner explained that the increase in allowances of the corps members serving in health facilities was to further ensure that health services were taken close to rural dwellers.

“The government has approved that each corps member selected to work as a medical doctor in government hospital in the rural areas will get a monthly stipend of N30, 000.

“All of these will cost the government extra N31.2 million per annum but it is an expense that is worth it. It is to ensure that health facilities are available at the door steps of our people,” he said.

Anikwe said that the government noted the challenges of getting medical personnel to work health facilities in rural communities and decided on the incentive.

According to him, the council decided that one sure way to solve the problem is to get health personnel from the NYSC who will be encouraged with an increased stipend.

The commissioner said that the state government had invested much in rural communities and would want such facilities to have direct impact on the inhabitants.

“Before now, Enugu had a peculiar problem because the state was paying a certain amount as allowance and it led to an influx of youth corps members from all over the country, wanting to serve here.

“It then became impossible for the state government to continue to sustain that stipend because we are not out of the woods yet.

“So, we are not unmindful of what to do for corps members but everything we are doing, we check our purse.

“I am sure that as the finances of the state government improves, we will come to a point where everybody is given an allowance that enables them cope with the condition of life in the country,” he said.

Anikwe said that the government was first looking at very critical sectors, adding that others would follow soon.

He said that the governor, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, was passionate about making residents of the state competitive and healthy “and that is why his economic blueprint traversed the entire state”.

Also, Commissioner for Works, Mr Greg Nnaji, said that the state government had approved the renovation and upgrade of eight district hospitals across the state.

Nnaji said that the gesture was to reduce the pressure on secondary health facilities in the state and to ensure that residents did not have to travel to the state capital for medical attention.

He said that such hospitals and clinics would now wear new looks while modern health equipment would be installed in them.

All youth corps members posted to rural communities of the state are paid monthly stipend of N3,800 each.


JUST IN: EFCC Arrests Innocent Chukwuma, Innoson Motors Chairman

The chairman of the Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM), Chief Innocent Chukwuma has been arrested by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Enugu.

The operatives of the anti-graft agency as well as armed policemen had stormed the residence of the IVM owner located at Savage Crescent, GRA, Enugu as early as 7:30am Tuesday to effect his arrest.

There was however an initial resistance by the security men at the residence as they refused the EFCC operatives entry resulting in the firing of teargas by the policemen accompanying the EFCC men.

They equally cordoned off all the exit routes from the residence creating gridlocks as most people who were involved in early morning activities experience delays.

The operatives later succeeded in gaining access to the building after overpowering Chukwuma’s security men as they eventually took him away.

Details late…….

Nnamani’s Corruption Trial Adjourned To Jan. 19

Corruption trial of former Enugu State Governor, Chimaroke Nnamani has be adjourned by the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

A charge of money laundering preffered against him and others was on Thursday, adjourned until Jan.19, 2018.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged Nnamani alongside his former aide, Sunday Anyaogu, over N4.5 billion money laundering.

Also charged are six firms namely Rainbownet Nig. Ltd, Hillgate Nig. Ltd, Cosmo FM, Capital City Automobile Nig. Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.

The ex-governor and his co-accused were said to have allegedly lodged the laundered sum, in a secret account, with the aim of concealing its source.

Justice Chuka Obiozor had on Dec. 4, issued a bench warrant for the arrest and production of Nnamani in court, to answer to the charges against him.

The court had issued the orders following the absence of the accused in court.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, Nnamani’s lawyer, Mr Abubakar Samusudeen informed the court of an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

His application which was brought pursuant to sections 6(6) and 36 of the constitution, is seeking a declaration that the court lacked jurisdiction to determine the offences contained in charge No. FHC/L/90c/07.

In his response to Nnamani’s application, the prosecutor, Mr Kelvin Uzozie, told the court that he was just served with the application, by defence counsel, adding that he required time to respond.

He prayed for a short adjournment.

Justice Obiozor, consequently, adjourned the case until Jan. 19, for hearing of Nnamani’s application as well as to take the plea of the accused.

Nnamani was earlier arraigned before Justice Tijani Abubakar and re-arraigned before Justice Charles Archibong when Tijani Abubakar was elevated to court of appeal and later re-arraigned before Mohammed Yinusa when Justice Archibong retired.

The former governor was re -arraigned on a 105-count charge of money laundering and economic crime to the tune of N4.5 billion.

The case has just been reassigned to Obiozor to start afresh.

According to the commission, their alleged offence contravened the provisions of the Money laundering (Prohibition) Act, and the EFCC Act, 2004.


Police Investigate Alleged Explosion In Enugu

The Police Command in Enugu State has commenced an investigation into an alleged explosion that rocked a former New Artisan Market on the outskirts of Enugu.

The command’s Spokesman, SP Ebere Amaraizu, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Enugu.

Amaraizu said that the explosion took place at the former New Artisan Market along Enugu-Port Harcourt Road on Monday at about 8 p.m.

He said that the police command had dispatched its crack team of investigators, mainly from its Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD), to the scene of the incident.

The spokesman said that the EOD team was currently combing the entire area and its environs in order to ensure that it was safe and secure for all.

Amaraizu, however, said that no life was lost in the incident.

“The command through its operatives has commenced full-scale investigation into the alleged incident of an explosion at the scrap site of the former New Artisan Market in Enugu.

“The cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained and no life was lost.

“However, the incident is alleged to have caused minor destruction in a nearby food shop, including two vehicles parked near the said shop,’’ he said.

He advised residents of the state and travelers along the road not to panic as “the command is on ground and on top of the situation to unravel the causes of the incident’’.

“The command is advising the good people of the state, particularly residents of that axis not to entertain fear or panic, but to go about their normal lawful businesses.

“All hands are on deck, the command is working in partnership with relevant sister security agencies and stakeholders to ensure a safe and secure Enugu and its environs,’’he said.

Adeola Mourns Enugu Senator’s Wife, Ann Nnaji

The Lagos West Senatorial District senator and Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee of Communications, Senator Solomon Adeola has expressed deep sadness on the demise of Mrs. Ann Nnaji, the wife of Senator Gilbert Nnaji,  the Chairman of Senate Committee on Communication over the weekend.

Adeola, in a condolence message to Senator Nnaji, signed by his media adviser, Kayode Odunaro and made available to OSUN DEFENDER, said he received the news of the demise of the better half of his chairman with great shock and deep sadness adding that the untimely exit of the matron of the Nnaji family will not only be felt by his immediate family but the entire constituents of Enugu East Senatorial District as well as the people of Enugu State.

“No doubt she dutifully played the role of a wife, a mother, a great planner for his husband when she was alive in the tradition of behind every successful man there is a woman. And it is on record that the served humanity and God while alive” Senator Adeola remarked.

He prayed to God for the peaceful repose of her soul and for fortitude for the immediate family and other beloved left behind to bear the irreparable loss.


APC Sacks PDP in Enugu

The All Progressives Congress has taken over the office of the Peoples Democratic Party in Enugu State.

The Punch reported that a building on Chime Lane, a street in the GRA part of the Enugu metropolis, which had served as the secretariat of the PDP in Enugu State for several years, is now the office of the Enugu State chapter of the APC.

Flags, posters, banners, billboards and other paraphernalia of the PDP, which hitherto adorned the duplex, had been replaced with an APC signboard that proclaimed ‘All Progressives Congress, Change Has Come.’

The development followed the recent defection of a former Enugu State governor, Sullivan Chime, from the PDP to the APC.

Chime, who served as the governor of Enugu State on the platform of the PDP from 2007 to 2015, recently joined the APC after pronouncing the PDP ‘dead and buried.’

A PDP member in Enugu State, who pleaded anonymity, informed our correspondent that the building actually belongs to Chime.

According to him, when Chime became governor of Enugu State, he ‘donated’ the building to the PDP, to serve as the party’s secretariat in the state.

Having left the PDP, after completing two terms as governor, Chime withdrew the building from the party and gave it to the APC, his new political party.

Shedding light on the development, the PDP source said, “Chime gave us (Enugu State PDP) the building when he became governor. We used the building as the Enugu State secretariat of the PDP all through the eight years that Chime served as governor of Enugu State.

“Now that he is no longer the governor, and having also joined another political party, he has taken the building from us and given it to the APC.

“He has the right to do what he did; we (PDP) already have a new secretariat, it is nothing to worry about,” the source said.

However, an APC member, who did not wish to be named, said the ‘takeover’ of the building would serve as a prelude to the party’s “imminent conquest of the seat of power in Enugu State in the 2015 governorship election.”

“The APC has come to stay in Enugu and we are going to take over the state in 2019, there is no going back,” the APC member added in a chat with our correspondent.

Enugu State, home of the highest-ranking PDP member, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, is generally regarded as a ‘PDP state.’


Meet Female Vulcanizer Who Works With Her Husband

Below is an interesting, yet encouraging story of a Female Vulcanizer who is making a name for herself after learning the job from her husband.

Read the story below as shared by Jeff Unaegbu:

“Every day, except on Sundays, the energetic Mrs. Chinelo Ogbonna comes to work at Mechanic Village, dons her work wear and sets out many types and sizes of vehicle tyres one atop the other in front of her husband’s vulcanizing workshop. She rushes at stopping vehicles, wheel spanner in one hand, ever ready to begin the loosening of a deflated tyre for repair. Her husband, a wiry fair youth, does not stand akimbo watching in front of his number 40, New Parts Section shop.

He does not assume the pride of a man whose wife is at work with him. No, Mr. Ifeanyi Ogbonna is busy already working on a flat tyre, determined to patch it by fire, not with a cold sealant. He makes as if it is a common virtue in women, to behave like his wife. Don’t be fooled. He knows he has a unique wife, and he asks me to soften my wonder at this rare form of feminism, and to make-belief she were an ordinary apprentice, else it will get into her gait and slow the turn of work!

But not me. I step out of my SUV, looking to quietly observe the whole drama, scratching my eyebrows in measured curiosity. I buy a fairly-used tyre and sit like other clients to await my turn for service, if only to catch this out-of-the-box situation.

A big tyre rolls at her command of hand. She stops it beside the press. And I think the man of the shop will take over to excavate the wheel from the tyre. My eyes almost bulge to see her sit the large ring on the tyre flange and jump upon the big handle of the press to free the wheel. I want to remonstrate by reflex. But something stops me. It is her deftness, like one just tearing apart a paper. She does not care that men are watching. The reflexive but pretentious effeminacy that shows up in some ladies whenever they are in the presence of men, knows no place in her life.

It is not that she is not well-endowed as to mesmerize the world if she wants. But she has packaged all the voluptuousness of her body into that work wear.

The matter at hand is money. The money to feed her family of a hardworking husband and four children must be fought for. Yes, she has four children and she is still in the side of youth. But here she is, vulcanizing, for the good of the society.

Her way of life is a decision she made herself. She is not forced by her husband. There are moments of disagreements between the two. But the quickness with which they settle their differences is beyond public comprehension.

I go on in my mind about the standing values we peddle around and which of them affects us negatively or positively, until she calls my attention to tell me she is through…

I reveal to them that they are news. I educate them how this is so. They consent to a public view such as this you see. It may bring more clients, who knows. Welcome, again, to Nigeria….

(c) Jeff Unaegbu, May 3, 2017.

NB: This is a true story. The address and all names are real. Patronize them if you are in Nsukka.”

Former Enugu Governor Defects To APC

Enugu State former Governor, Chime Sullivan, has dumped PDP to join APC.

His defection is considered to be a preparatory ground for a looming political battle for the senatorial seat between him and the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

Before the 2015 general elections, Chime and Ekweremadu battled for the Enugu West Senatorial seat, but Chime later withdrew as Ekweremadu gained the upper hand. Latest developments however hint that the former governor has not given up on the Enugu West Senatorial seat.

The spokesman of the APC in the South-East, Hyacinth Ngwu on his Facebook page, on Thursday night, gave an indication of Chime’s next political movement. “Breaking News: Today, His Excellency Barr. Sullivan Iheanacho Chime, immediate past governor of Enugu State, joins APC,” he wrote on his Facebook timeline.

Passenger Hacks Okada Rider To Death In Enugu

A 40- year old commercial motorcyclist, Sunday Eze, has been killed by his passenger at Enugu Ezike in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed this in a statement in Enugu said that Eze was killed by one Michael Gabriel, whom he was conveying to an unknown destination at about 9 pm on Saturday, February 11, 2017.

Amaraizu’s statement read, “The now deceased, identified as one Sunday Eze of Umuogbo-Agu, Enugu Ezike Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, never believed his life would have been cut short at 40 years by his motorcycle passenger whom he was conveying on that fateful day.

“It was gathered that on that fateful day being February 11, 2017, at about 9 pm, the deceased person was conveying a passenger, later identified as one Michael Gabriel (from same Enugu Ezike).

“While the deceased was conveying the suspect, he was allegedly suddenly hit with an iron rod on his head over a yet to be established issue/issues which made the motorcyclist to fall down; unconscious.

“The victim was however rushed to St Marys Hospital located within the axis where he was later confirmed dead by the medical doctor on duty.

“Meanwhile, a full scale investigation has commenced into the unfortunate incident as the suspect is helping the operatives of the command in their investigations.”

Credit: Today

Police Deny Sacking Former Enugu CP

The Nigeria Police Force on Tuesday dismissed reports that the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Nwodibo Ekechukwu, has been sacked.

In a brief telephone conversation with The Nation on Tuesday, the Force Spokesperson, Olabisi Kolawole, said the CP was not sacked, but redeployed elsewhere.

“No, the CP was not sacked. He was only redeployed and we didn’t issue a statement on it because it is a normal procedure in the Force.

“He has been redeployed to Eastern Port Authority in Port Harcourt and it has nothing to do with herdsmen attack in the state,” Kolawole stated.

She added that Ekechukwu has been replaced by the Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, Emmanuel Ojukwu.

(The Nation)

Aregbesola, Other APC Governors Pay Enugu Solidarity Visit Over Herdsmen Killings

All Progressives Congress (APC) governors were in Enugu State yesterday to condole with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on the killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen at Ukpabi Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area.

About 50 residents were killed when suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded the community last week.

Several others were injured.

Led by the Chairman of APC Governors’ Forum and Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, the delegation include Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa) and deputy governors of Kogi and Yobe states, Simon Achuba and Abubakar Aliyu.

The APC governors, who spoke through Okorocha, hailed Ugwuanyi for handling the herdsmen’s attacks with maturity and stopping reprisals.

Okorocha said the government and people of Enugu State exhibited uncommon restraint, adding: “If it were elsewhere, the story would have been different.”

The governor noted that though the invaders of Nimbo were common criminals, the incident should not be seen as an ethno-religious attack.

He said: “A criminal in Borno State is the same thing with a criminal in Enugu State or any other state.”

Okorocha philosophised that “death is death and very painful, but it is most painful if it is man-made”.

The Imo governor told Ugwuanyi that political differences pale out in matters of death.

“We are APC governors and you are in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But in death, there is no party. That is why we are here to commiserate with you,” he said.

Okorocha said the APC governors were also in Enugu to display the need for Nigeria’s unity.

The governor urged all to always think of the nation’s unity. He said the Nimbo attack would not happen again anywhere in Nigeria.

Shettima likened Ugwuanyi’s maturity to that of the late first President of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who always called for peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.

He said the perpetrators were criminals who could be found in any part of the country.

Ugwuanyi thanked his guests for commiserating with him and his people.

The governor described the visit as heart-warming.

He said his administration had set up a judicial panel of enquiry on the attack and as well established Neighbourhood Watch to prevent future attacks.