Ugwuanyi Sends Names of 3 Commissioner Nominees To Assembly

Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Monday sent the names of three new commissioner nominees to the state Assembly for screening and confirmation.

The commissioner designates are Engineer Aloysius Sunday Ogbodo; Mr Geoffrey Emeka Ede, and Dr Fountain Chukwuemeka Ekochin.

Ugwanyi also sent the name of Mr Samuel Okechukwu Ngene, to be cleared as member of the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC)

Ngene was appointed to replace Mr Geoffrey Emeka Edeh, former chairman of Enugu North Local Government Area, who has been appointed to be a commissioner.

Leader of the House, Honourable Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, urged his colleagues to accept the governor’s letter for the confirmation of the nominess. He however said that their screening and possible confirmation would be done on Tuesday.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Honourable Edward Uchenna Ubosi, who read the governor’s message on the floor of the House, directed the Clerk of the House to inform the nominees to make available 25 copies of their curriculum vitae, CV, before the close of work yesterday or this morning to aid the members in the screening.

However, it was gathered that a former commissioner designate, Dr Donatus Ani, who had been cleared by the House was not given any portfolio because his people of Enugu South Local Government Area are averse to his appointment, hence Ugwuanyi was forced to appoint a replacement.

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.

No Bill On Grazing Reserves At National Assembly – Ekweremadu

The Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, says the National Assembly will not support the creation of grazing reserves anywhere in the country.

Addressing newsmen on Sunday after a meeting of the South East governors and stakeholders in Enugu, Ekweremadu said that there was no bill on the creation of grazing reserves before the National Assembly.

He, therefore, said that the purported bill for the creation of grazing reserves was a “hoax’’, adding that the press should strive to stop such rumours.

“There is no such proposal or bill on the creation of grazing reserves either in the Senate or House of Representatives.

“Nobody is considering it; not even at the executive level. I do not think they are considering it but we will not support it even if it has been considered,” he said.

Ekweremadu said that the meeting was convened in reaction to the attack on the people of Uzo Uwani by suspected herdsmen.

He said that the meeting reviewed all that happened since then and thanked all stakeholders who had shown sympathy to victims of the attack.

On the absence of Imo and Anambra governors, Ekweremadu said: “The South East governors proposed to meet today to review these matters but regrettably, the message did not get to Imo and Anambra governors.

“So you can see mainly the PDP governors are here. So, they had to review the matter and more importantly, ensure that every governor will be in attendance in the next meeting.

“The meeting is rescheduled within the week where all the governors are expected to be in attendance,” he said.

Ekweremadu said that the meeting looked at a more regional approach to curbing the menace of the herdsmen so as to ensure that it did not happen again.

“We are looking at a concrete and more coordinated approach on how to protect our people from this carnage,” he said.

Also speaking, Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi said that there was no disunity among governors in the South East zone.

Umahi said that the governors would take a cursory look at the federal budget, when signed into law, so as to ensure that the zone got what was due to it.

He said that the governors would ensure the rehabilitation of federal roads in the zone if such arrangements were captured in the budget.

““I am sure the Federal Government’s budget is not yet signed. So when it is signed, it will be the duty of all zones to start agitating for attention,” Umahi said.

Gov. Umahi, Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia attended the meeting.

Enugu Attack: Ugwuanyi Says Security Services Have Questions To Answer

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State yesterday reviewed last Monday’s invasion of the agrarian community of Ukpabi Nimbo in Uzouwani local government area of the state by suspected Fulani herdsmen where scores of people were killed and stated that security agencies had a lot of explanation to make in view of the prior assurances to forestall the attack.

In a related development, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase has declared that the current numerical strength of the Nigerian Police was far too inadequate to provide security to all Nigerians.

Addressing major stakeholders in the state including the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, members of the National and State Assemblies, council chairmen and members of the State Executive Council as well as PDP chieftains at the Government House, the governor said he was at a loss as to why the attack took place in the first place.

The governor who also gave an indication that he would constitute a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the immediate and remote causes of all the violent occurrences in the state associated with suspected Fulani herdsmen and recommend appropriate measures that would be put in place to prevent future occurrence.

“What happened between 6.30am and 7.30 am on Monday 25th April, 2016 despite assurances from the security agencies? Only the security agencies can answer this question,” he fumed.

Going down memory lane, the governor explained: “Four days ago on Monday April 25, 2016, many of our brothers and sisters in Nimbo, Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of the state were murdered in cold blood by suspected Fulani herdsmen who have been grazing their cattle in that area for a while now.

“On Sunday, 24, 2016, by 7 pm, the night before this carnage took place, I got security information from Uzo-Uwani Local Government’s

Transition Chairman, Cornell Onwubuya that such an incident was likely to take place in the state. I immediately summoned a meeting of the State Security Council which commenced by 10pmwith all the security chiefs in the state present.

“In the meeting, we received assurances from the Commissioner of Police (Nwodibo Ekechukwu) that the Area Commander of SARS was on ground in Nimbo; that the Anti-Terrorism Unit was at Nimbo; that he was in contact with the Kogi State Commissioner of Police and reported suspected herdsmen grouping at Odolu in Kogi State preparatory for an attack on Nimbo and Abbi communities; that Police mobile force and conventional police were already drafted to Nimbo and Abbi communities; that he was in touch with the Area Commander, ldah, ACP lkegwuonwu and had linked him with the Area Commander, Nsukka, ACP Monday Kuryas.

“Both men, according to the CP, reported that there were no traces of suspected herdsmen in Nsukka or Idah; that he ordered the Area Commander, Nsukka to redeploy to Nimbo; That the Enugu Garrison Commander ( Brigadier General Olufemi Akinjobi) on his part assured the meeting that Military was already deployed to Nimbo.

“After receiving these assurances of deployments to Nimbo, I felt quite confident that we had done everything possible to forestall an attack

on Nimbo. I have deliberately narrated what transpired at the Security Council Meeting fully conscious of the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution pertaining to my oath of office. I am doing this in due discharge of my duties as Governor.

“Sadly, in the early hours of Monday, reports of this carnage reached me. More disturbing was the report that the attack on innocent and defenceless citizens were carried out at about 6 30 am. Further reports available to me indicated that apart from the killing and maiming of innocent and defenceless citizens of Nimbo, a Church was also burnt. Following this development, I engaged the security agencies in order to ensure that the Nimbo area was secured from further attacks that might escalate the situation.

“On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, I visited Nimbo in order to establish firsthand the extent of carnage. My visit to Nimbo was revealing. I came face to face with the wounded and bereaved. I saw burnt and damaged personage of Christ Holy Church. I saw a traumatised community in shock and despair. I saw a dead body. I wept. I wondered what had become of our quest for a united, peaceful and prosperous nation. Our first national anthem had a phrase which went thus: ‘though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand.’

“Now in less than three months, violent clashes have occurred in Enugu State in Awgu, Nike, Abbi and Nimbo between suspected Fulani Herdsmen and our people. This situation cannot be allowed to continue.”

The Enugu State Director of the Department of State Security (Abdul Malik) was also at the emergency security meeting summoned by Ugwuanyi, a day before the attack.

The governor further explained that he had audience with President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that their discussion was frank and cordial.

“I thank the president for his prompt and decisive reaction to the incident in Nimbo. The President came out with a clear and unmistakable condemnation of this dastardly act and gave clear and definite directives to the security agencies to fish out these criminals and bring them to justice.

“So long as we are Nigerians, we cannot live in isolation but those who come to Enugu must respect our values and not engage in such dastardly act as we have witnessed recently.” he said.

Ugwuanyi Declares Three Days Fasting In Enugu Over Herdsmen Attack

Tears flowed on Tuesday morning as Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State visited Ukpabi, Nimbo, in Uzo-Uwani local government area of the state.

Ugwuanyi, who could not hold back his tears was in the company of Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Nwodibo Ekechukwu, the GOC 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, as well as the Enugu State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.

The Governor, thereafter, declared two days fasting and prayer in the State, asking residents to commit the situation into God’s hand.

The visit coincided with the recovery of one more dead resident, who was slaughtered by the herdsmen.

This is as many survivors, with varrying degrees of injuries on the head, neck, and other parts of the body are currently receiving treatment in different hospitals in Nsukka.

As at the time of filling this report, some of them are being moved to the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu.

Obasanjo Charges Governors To Do More

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged state governors to raise the bar of their performance in order to give new lease of life to the people.

Mr. Obasanjo made the call on Friday in Enugu, when he called on Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, after attending the burial of Ebonyi governor’s mother.

The former president said good governance would boost the economic growth of the nation.

He, however, commended Mr. Ugwuanyi on his good works in the state and urged him to do more as posterity would judge him.

“From the reports I get, you are doing well. If out of the 36 states of the country, you can get one that is doing well, it will be encouraging to continue to work on others to do well.

“By the time you can get up to 50 per cent of the states doing well, it means the country will be better. So, keep it up,’’ Mr. Obasanjo said.

Responding, Mr. Ugwuanyi thanked the former president for his visit and promised to tap from his wealth of experience.

“We are, indeed, very grateful. We will continue to benefit from your wealth of experience so that we can continue to serve our people better,’’ Mr. Ugwuanyi said.

Mr. Ugwuanyi also played host to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sherriff, and other political stalwarts who were on transit to Ebonyi for the burial.