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Host Communities Withhold Agric Varsity Land

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Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Prof. Ikenna Onyido, has expressed fears that the master plan of the university would be seriously altered due to the refusal of land donors to allow the school access to about 90 per cent of the original land space mapped out for the institution.

Onyido said in Umuahia, Monday, that the university was operating only within 10 per cent of its original land area, adding that the school authorities have dragged the “recalcitrant” landlords (some host communities) to the state government for amicable resolution of the problem without violence.

“Land mapped out for the school is very large but we are operating just within 10 per cent because some landlords have not allowed us access to significant portion of the land,” said the Vice-Chancellor who assumed office on March 1, 2006 .

Hosting journalists to a breakfast meeting to mark his four years in office, Onyido said that problems arising from this restriction, included limitation of the school to areas where there was no resistance.

This, he said,  would in due course, alter the school’s master plan because of population growth resulting in lack of space to install special training facilities and denial of internally generated revenue since the school lacks the space to farming and agro-processing.

Commenting on the efforts of the school authorities to recover the lands, he said “it is because we have been talking with them (host communities), that is why there is no blood shed.

“You know that the issue of land here is very emotive. Many communities are responding but there are some recalcitrant ones.”

He explained that the university authorities had to race to the Abia State government, which acquired and donated the land to the Federal Government to intervene so that the matter would be amicably resolved.

The Tide gathered that the State Government has directed the Ministry of Works and Housing to build perimeter fencing along the original boundary of the school.

The Ministry, he said, has warned all land speculators near the school boundary to stop erecting buildings forthwith until the fencing was completed.

The government said nobody, whose property was fenced into the school compound would be compensated.

Onyido said during the interaction, which also marked the beginning of his last year in office that his administration  has positively impacted on every aspect of the university.

According to him, 28 academic programmes of MOUAU have been accredited by the National Universities Commission, while a Research Policy and Plan  to drive the research efforts of the university has been created by his administration.

Also, a blueprint for implementation of the MOUAU Extension Centre has been created.

He added that his administration has built a state-of-the-art ICT Resource Centre and established a Centre for Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology.

According to him, an Abia-born, American-based Professor of Biochemistry have been attracted to it, stressing that MOUAU has established linkages for exchange programmes with many foreign universities which would take-off as soon as the security situation in the state improves.

On industrial relations, Onyido reported that MOUAU has been enjoying industrial peace as he has carried all the unions on campus along with transparency, adding that his administration has restored stability and cohesion on campus, as opposed to the discord it met on ground, through a novel MOUAU Family Meeting, which involves all staff of the university.

“We have in the past four years worked extremely hard to make this institution a frontline university, a Centre of Excellence, a first among equals where our students are given the best.           He continued that the students are also  “prepared for life outside the university as relevant and conscientious citizens of Nigeria and the world, not only  through the knowledge and skills acquired while here, but also through the positive attitudes and the character component in our training that are passed to them in preparation for life in the larger society,” he said.

Principal officers of the university, including the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Enoch Akobundu; the Registrar, Bernice Adeniji, the Bursar, Mr S.O.Sunmonu and Acting Librarian, Rev. O.C.Chukwu, were present during the breakfast meeting.

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South East

Corpse Of Woman Found In Ebonyi Hotel Room

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The police in Ebonyi State say they have discovered the body of a yet to be identified middle-aged woman in a hotel room in Abakaliki, the state capital. The spokesperson of the police in the state, Loveth Odah, stated this yesterday.
She said the body has deep cuts on the chest and neck and has been deposited in a mortuary. According to the spokesman, it was discovered at Crown Garden Hotel located along the ever-busy Afikpo road in the capital city.
Mrs Odah, who said that the victim was found in the pool of her own blood, said the suspect had been identified as one Uchenna Awoke.
She said the hotel manager, Emmanuel Eze, the supervisor, and other workers had been taken to the police station for questioning and accused the hotel management of negligence.
“The manager of the hotel, the supervisor and other staff of the hotel were taken to the station for questioning and I must confess to you that the whole thing is negligence on the part of the hotel management. How can a guest be murdered in a hotel room and days after, the management is not aware of the incident.”
“We will investigate the matter properly and I assure you, the perpetrator of the act must be arrested and prosecuted. All we are asking is for the members of the public to avail the police of useful information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect.”

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South East

Senate Passes S’East Dev Commission Bill

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The Senate yesterday passed the South East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill 2018.
The proposed commission aims at enhancing the infrastructural development of the South East zone, which is grappling with huge ecological challenges.
It also seeks to act as a catalyst for the development of the commercial potential of the zone.
The proposed legislation requires the concurrence of the House of Representatives to become a bill of the National Assembly, and the President’s assent to become a law.
Senators Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra) and Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) jointly sponsored the bill read in the Senate on June 22, 2016.
Its passage in the Red Chamber followed the presentation of the report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service by its former Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP-Bayelsa), on the floor of the Senate.
The bill, after Paulker’s presentation, was considered clause by clause by the committee of the whole, and amendments made by the lawmakers were read for the third time and eventually passed.
In his remarks, presiding Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, commended his colleagues for a job well done.
In his words, “Every morning we pray that God should give us the grace to do only those things that will promote the peace and unity of this country.
“I believe that we have shown today that we are committed to the unity of this country, and it is this unity that will give us faith in this country.
“This faith will in turn help us to pursue peace and progress,” he said.
Briefing newsmen after plenary, members the South East caucus of the Senate, led by Sen. Enhinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia), thanked their colleagues and members of the committee for their efforts.
Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, urged the President to sign the bill into law “as soon as we tidy it up and bring to him, in the interest of the unity and progress of Nigeria”.
“This will put to rest the long-drawn agitation in the South East, and the difficulties in the rehabilitation and reconciliation efforts that started at the end of the civil war.
“All things we see always will end up at the negotiating table, which is what we have done,” he said.
The lawmaker said he hoped the House of Representatives would give concurrence to the bill as it went in the Senate.
When established, the South East Development Commission would be the third zonal interventionist body in the country.

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South East

2019: Oyedepo Predicts Peace In Nigeria

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Bishop David Oyedepo, the Founder and Presideng Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, on Saturday predicted that nothing would disturb the peace of Nigeria and its story would change for the better in the year 2019.
Oyedepo made the declaration at the just concluded annual prophetic gathering of the Winners’ family, christened the “Dominion”, in a satellite telecast of the church.
In the telecast monitored in Abuja, the cleric also declared that 2019 would be a year of “I have Dominion”.
“Nothing will tamper with the peace of Nigeria; the story will change for the better in the name of Jesus.
“Nigeria shall not see bloodshed, the Prince of Peace will continue to dominate in Nigeria, in Africa and Nigeria is declared blessed.
“Anywhere you step, accident is forbidden; death will not come near you and our nation.
“Anything that is of grace in my life, I freely release upon you today.
“God has opened the year 2019 to us, celebrate Him because its our year of “I have Dominion,” he said.
The Bishop added that the year 2019 would be a year of humbling testimonies for Nigeria and pace-setting testimonies.
He further declared that 2019 would be a colourful year for the nation.
According to the cleric, as long as Jesus has the final say on the issues of Nigeria, it will experience greatness.
Oyedepo said that there would be no more cause of alarm in any area of the nation and its citizens.
He advised Christians in Nigeria to delight themselves in the spirit of servant-hood, adding that the spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood.
“The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood. As you keep rising on the ladder of leadership, you must retain our spirit of servant-hood, constantly working to add value to others and be kingdom minded,” he said.
According to him, dedication is at the root of dominion, saying: “Sow yourself as a seed by being totally dedicated to God and His Kingdom’’.
He told his congregation that sacrificial giving guarantees the meeting of all their needs.
“When you engage in taking care of the well-being of others, God is also committed to your well-being,” he explained. The cleric admonished Christians would engage in meeting the needs of the needy, every barrier on their path of destiny would be crushed.
“Nobody tampers with your life, your career, your family and goes away with it because you are promoted to God’s kingdom.
“God will stand for your defence in the day of trouble. Every sacrificial giver has a defence around him in the day of trouble always have that in mind,” he said.
He reminded his congregation that the Church is not a building; the Church is a people and the Redeemed of the Lord.

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