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Why Eke Ututu market was burnt —Uzodimma



The Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma has given reasons why the popular Eke Ututu market in Orsu Ihitte Ukwa Local Government Area was burnt, saying the place was discovered by security agencies as a haven for the production of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by bandits and other criminal elements.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at Government House Owerri the Governor called on all Imo indigenes – leaders, men, women, youths, both those resident in the State and those visiting, who have information that can lead to where bandits are hiding or operating within the State to avail government of such information in the interest of all.

Governor Uzodimma said security report revealed that Eke Ututu was turned into a hiding place for bandits and kidnappers who, not only compelled the traders to pay taxes to them before they could open their shops for business, but also use the market to manufacture IEDs with which they operate within and outside the area.

According to the Governor, report indicated that an Army Major working in the State recently fell victim to the IED planted at Eke Ututu as he was killed instantly after stepping on the locally manufactured explosive unknowingly.

But luckily enough, one of the bandits arrested at their Camp at Orsu Ihitte Ukwa gave the military hint about their mode of operation within the vicinity, including where they maintain shops for fertiliser and other gadgets at Eke Ututu where they manufacture the IEDs.

Unfortunately, on the day the military went to the market with the arrrested bandit, the Captain who led the team also mistakingly stepped on an IED that was carefully hidden at the place and in the process he was badly injured that he had to be admitted at the intensive care unit of the Federal Medical Centre Owerri.

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Angered by these developments, particularly the loss of their senior officer and the wounding of another, the Armed Forces authorised a combined operation involving their men from Imo and Anambra States at Orsu Ihitte Ukwa, mainly the Eke Ututu axis and its neighbouring state of Anambra.

The Governor said that it was in the process that the security agencies razed the market.

The Governor emphasized that his government will stop at nothing in the fight against terrorism, banditry and kidnapping in Imo State and that it will be pursued to a conclusive end.

“This is not politics, it is about the security of lives and property of our people. And anybody who wants to play politics with this should be ready to face history that will judge all of us

He regretted that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and their members have been trying to make a political capital of the incident, howbeit ignorant of what transpired, noting that it is not in doubt they have a hand in the spate of banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminality in Imo State.

The Governor said from the behaviour of the PDP members in Imo State they want to frustrate the conduct of elections in Imo State.

Governor Uzodimma however pledged to continue to support the security agencies to do their work, notwithstanding the collateral damage that may go with it.

The Governor explained in details how Eke Ututu at Orsu Local Government Area Imo State was burnt last Saturday.

His words: “Last month soldiers on duty around Orsu, Awo Idemili area lost an Army Major to illegal and locally manufactured explosives.

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“Only last Saturday the Joint Security Forces who arrested one of the bandits took him to where they operate from to go and visit where the local explosives are manufactured. It turned out to be at Eke Ututu market where four shops were stocked with fertilizers, ammonia sulphate and other electrical gadgets used in manufacturing explosives were packed.

“Unfortunately, the Army Captain that led the operation to the market is now lying critically at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Federal Medical Centre Owerri as a result of attack he sustained in the operation.

“Consequent upon the above, the soldiers were able to recover all the weapons and the fertilizers meant to manufacture the local Improvised Explosive Device. In the process of this operation the Military burnt down the shops as this is consistent with their policies.

“The Good news, however, is that they were careful and so tactical that no live was lost. They were only able to destroy the shops where they met these items and came back.

“It pleased some citizens of the State, most of them who are candidates running for elections in some political parties, to condemn the activities of the security agencies, some brazenly blackmailing the security agencies on why should they go there at all, when none of them made any attempt to visit the scene (Eke Ututu).

“These are Imo people, some are at Abuja speaking to the Media while others are in Owerri ranting while Imo State is bleeding.

“In the same Eke Ututu market, some natives and traders cannot go to the market without paying illegal taxes to the bandits and unknown gunmen to enable them open their shops. This, unfortunately, is what government had been fighting all through.”

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Governor Uzodimma promised that “Government is in a position to deal with any collateral damage that may go with the security agencies operations as it concerns the destruction of shops and historical significance of Eke Ututu market, but lives lost can never be recovered.”

He added: ” When Eke Ututu is destroyed to give Imo people peace, Imo government can rebuild the market and if in the process properties and items are lost government can work out compensation, but government has the responsibility to fight crime.”

The Governor recalled how insecurity had tried to envelop Imo State for nearly three years now and how Government has made efforts to contain the situation in addition to the clarion call on communities and Local Governments to support the security agencies in their efforts to contain the level of insecurity.

He equally recalled Government’s call on the bandits and the unknown gunmen to seize fire, surrender and lay down their arms, discuss with government so that government can work with them in terms of rehabilitation and empowerment.

“Why some answered the call, surrendered and are talking with government, the adamant ones continued visiting mayhem and destroying properties of innocent Imo citizens.

“It is now a clarion call for all Imolites, both those residents and those visiting to volunteer information that will lead to managing insecurity in Imo State.”

Oguwike Nwachuku

Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor

September 21, 2022

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Angel

    September 22, 2022 at 2:16 am

    May God help Imo State

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Supreme Court to deliver judgement on Kogi APC guber primary Oct 23



• Usman Ododo and Smart Adeyemi
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, adjourned an appeal filed by Senator Smart Adeyemi against the judgments of the lower courts, on the Kogi APC Governorship primary election, to October 23, 2023, for judgment.

Adeyemi had filed a suit at the Federal High Court seeking to nullify the primary election of the All Progressive Congress, which produced Usman Ododo as the party’s flagbearer for the state’s governorship election slated for November 11.The case was dismissed by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal for lacking in merit.

The apex court, while hearing his appeal, on Thursday, told his lawyer, Musibau Adetumbi, SAN, that his client was appealing against concurrent findings of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, which stated that primary elections were held in Kogi State but that he had failed to challenge these concurrent findings.

However, the appellant’s counsel said he would go ahead to argue the appeal.

The Supreme Court therefore adjourned the appeal to October 23, 2023, for judgment.The representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission, All Progressives Congress and Usman Ododo include Chief Anthony Adeniyi (SAN) Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN) and M.Y. Abdullahi, SAN; respectively.

The Court of Appeal had, on August 18, 2023, held that the appeal argued by Adekunle Otitoju on behalf of Adeyemi was completely bereft of merit.

In a unanimous judgment of a 3-man panel of Justices of the Court, Adeyemi was said to have failed to establish all grievous criminal allegations made against the conduct of the primary election by APC and its leaders.

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50 poisoned at wedding party



No fewer than 50 people were poisoned at a wedding in Iraq’s northern province of Kirkuk due to spoiled food, local media reported.

According to the report, the incident occurred in the town of Hawija, west of Kirkuk, the capital city of the cognominal province.

The provincial health chief, Ziyad Khalaf, said some of the cases were mild while some were serious.

He added that all the patients have received the necessary medical treatment in the hospital.

The incident came a day after a deadly fire ripped through a wedding hall in a predominantly Christian town in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, killing 114 people and injuring more than 200. (Xinhua/NAN)

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Make a difference in Niger Delta, Ogbuku charges new directors



The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has enjoined the newly promoted Directors of the Commission to make a difference in the discharge of their duties and take the Commission to greater heights.

Ogbuku, who gave the charge at the closing session of a two-week course on Leadership and Performance Management for directing staff of the NDDC in Abuja, said that the provision of quality services to the people of the Niger Delta was a collective responsibility and should be given priority.

According to him, the reason for sending the new Directors for training was to ensure they took the administrative knowledge acquired back to the Commission in order to make a difference for the overall benefit of the region.

He said: “We are supposed to be training and retraining our staff. This is just the beginning. I want the directors to take back the knowledge they have gained to others in the NDDC to better appreciate their roles and understand the expectations from them.

“We want to do things differently. We want to improve on our services. We want to take up challenges. We want to start with the staff first to ensure that all the staff are properly trained and they understand their roles.”

Ogbuku urged the directors to ensure they utilised the experiences gathered from the training to improve the administrative processes in NDDC to ensure that things were done differently.

He said further: “As new directors, you need to understand your roles and understand your boundaries. You also need to understand your strengths and understand when to use them and when not to.

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“You need to understand that you are public servants and not civil servants. So, these are some of the things we thought you ought to be equipped with.”

“Over the years we have seen a situation where the staff of the NDDC seem to act as politicians, but as directors who have been inducted into Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), I believe that you are not only going to be ambassadors of NDDC, you are also going to be worthy ambassadors of ASCON,” he said.

He stressed that his expectation was to work with directors who understood that they were career civil servants, and aspiring to get to their peak as professionals, not those who want to be nepotic or tribalistic.

Ogbuku noted that directors should be wary of their actions, adding that some of their actions could mislead their subordinates who are looking up to them as role models.

In her address, the Director General of ASCON, Mrs. Cecilia Gayya noted that training was essentially an activity that was designed to make an employee more efficient and productive in the performance of their functions.

She said that the focus of training was to ensure efficient and effective application of knowledge, skills and attitude for improved performance, noting: “The programme was carefully designed and implemented to provide the needed knowledge, skills and capacity to adequately and promptly discharge their responsibilities and thus, make meaningful contributions towards the attainment of the mission and vision of the NDDC.

“The conscientiousness with which you participated in this programme for the past two weeks is a testimony to your preparedness for the challenges ahead and thus gives us hope that this training will impact positively on your performance, especially as you rise higher in the strategic realm of the management of the Commission.

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