The people of Egbema Ethnic Nationality under the aegis of Ogbako Egbema Aliuso, recently converged at Mmahu Egbema and resolved that the 16 communities in the clan are one, united and indivisible entity despite their political balkanisation into Rivers and Imo States.
Rising from an extra-ordinary meeting attended by the 16 communities, leaders and stakeholders, Egbema people lamented that despite their abundant human and the natural resources, successive administrations in Nigeria had continued to relegate them to the background, not minding their immense contributions to national development and the economy.
The President of Ogbako, Francis Igwebuike in his opening remarks recalled efforts in the past to bring the people together under one political umbrella or state, but regretted that such moves were frustrated due to partisan interest by the powers-that-be.
“As a socio-cultural and non-political organisation, the Ogbako will strive to unite Egbema people at home and in diaspora with a view to taking the ethnic nationality to the next level of development”, he said, adding that already branches will sprout out in Lagos, Abuja, Owerri and overseas.
According to him, “our slogan is: Proudly Egbema” aimed at fostering peace, unity, development in all spheres of human endeavour”.
He denounced the stock-in-trade mentality propagated by some individuals which he said was to divide the people due to their selfish aggrandisement, and charged Egbema people to be wary of such personalities. “They are indeed the real enemies of our people,” he declared.
In his keynote address, the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) and an indigene of Egbema, Sir Mike Mbaama Okiro chronicled the history and evolution of Egbema ethnic nationality, and came to the inevitable conclusion that Egbema as unique as nature had made it, must endeavour to transit from one level to the other as other ethnic groups in the country.
Represented by a university teacher, Jason Osai, another Egbema son, he advocated for peaceful and united people with a common ancestry, history and geography.
Osai, Head of Department, Rivers State University said sons and daughters of Egbema must put their acts together and never to make mistakes of their forefathers by ensuring that Egbema develops economically, politically and culturally.
Other speakers and stakeholders who spoke included Chiefs Wilfred Ike, Christopher Ihedike, Rev Joseph Omaegbu, Engr. Wilson Nwaufa, among other prominent Egbema leaders who stressed the need for Egbema to be more relevant in the Nigerian project.
Egbema History Committee presented its report while a youth mobilisation committee was inaugurated by the Ogbako.
Highlights of the occasion were launching of Ogbako Egbema sticker, goodwill messages from critical stakeholders, free medical programme and exhibition by Kedi Healthcare Industries 178, Port Harcourt.
Delta Investment In Health Will Reduce Medical Tourism -Okowa
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has said his administration’s investment in the health sector would reduce medical tourism abroad by Nigerians.
The Governor stated this while speaking with newsmen after inspecting facilities at the Advanced Diagnostic Medical Centre and Mother and Child Hospital, Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area of the State.
According to Okowa, the huge investment being made by his administration in the health sector was to improve healthcare delivery in the country.
He said the twin medical facilities would, on completion, reduce medical tourism as it would provide first-class medical services to people who would have sought medical treatment abroad.
He said the Mother and Child Hospital would take care of every illness concerning women and children.
He added that the Advanced Diagnostic Medical Centre would take care of all manner of investigative procedures in radiology and other laboratory analyses.
“I am glad that we have gotten to this place. I had high hopes that by today, we would have inaugurated these projects.
“We are working behind time, there is no doubt about that but I have just been reassured that in the next one month, the projects would be ready.
“The equipment are fully on site and we are trying to get things fully sorted out and I am sure that in the next one month, it should be ready and open to the public for use.
“The two projects are obviously very important. The Mother and Child is supposed to take care of every illness concerning our women and children.
“While the Advanced Diagnostic Centre is going to take care of all manner of investigative procedures both in radiology and other laboratory analysis that they have to do.
“The Advanced Diagnostic Medical Centre is also going to be a centre that would be involved in treatments. There are so many equipment in here. But until they finish with this construction, they would not be fully installed”, he said.
Okowa also disclosed that key infrastructural projects being executed by his administration would be inaugurated between November and December.
2023: Ayade Challenges INEC On Free, Fair Polls
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure conduct of free, fair and credible elections in the State.
The Governor gave the challeng in Calabar when he received the new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the State, Dr Alalibo Johnson.
Assuring the new REC of peaceful atmosphere before and during the 2023 general elections in the State, Ayade noted that given the new REC’s track records and integrity, he had no doubt he would deliver.
“On behalf of the good people of Cross River State, l hereby give you that commitment that we will guarantee you free and safe elections.
“We also call on the INEC to please honour its pledge too so that we can have free, fair, credible, reliable and dependable elections.
“Government is not going to in any way influence your process, but we want to say that we are available and willing to support you at all times that INEC will so require our services”, the Governor said.
Ayade commended the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu who, he said, “has distinguished himself in this country”.
“Never before have we had an INEC Chairman who has enjoyed the mutual trust from both the ruling party and the opposition parties.
“This is one Chairman who has conducted his elections and results returned based on what is on the ground.
“He is not subject to any inducement, he is subject to the God that he serves and l want to say that his name would go down in history as one of the very best INEC Chairmen that we have ever had. God bless him and God will continue to sustain him”, he stated.
Earlier in his speech, the new REC, who harped on the need for a conducive atmosphere, noted that it is what is needed for free and fair elections to thrive.
“There is no way we can conduct a free and fair election without security. We call on you to use your good offices to ensure that we have peace in the State.
“Peace in the sense that people can move freely to vote for candidates of their choice, and also, we at the back end of INEC can do our job without intimidation,” he stated.
The REC disclosed that about 90,000 uncollected PVCs were listed across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State, and appealed to the registrants to come forward and pick up their PVCs.
He also said with the creation of new polling units, Cross River now had 3,281 Polling units.
Building Collapse: A’Ibom Gov Sets Up Investigative Panel
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has set up a panel of inquiry to investigate the unfortunate collapse of a four-storey building at Iman Street, off Aka Road in Uyo.
He announced this while commiserating with the families of relatives trapped and those who died in the building, saying the panel is to conclude its work within one month.
According to him, if it is found that the collapse of the building was due to any acts of negligence or wrongdoing, those responsible would face the full wrath of the law.
“The government has directed the Commissioner for Works and Fire Service to immediately set up a Panel of a Inquiry to investigate the unfortunate incident,” he said.
Emmanuel expressed his condolences to the families over the incident.
He wished the survivors a quick recovery and directed the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh, to immediately take over the management of the survivors.
The Governor also expressed appreciation to all the first responders, rescue and security agencies, government officials, voluntary organisations for their efforts.
Others are citizens who took part, especially construction companies that donated their equipment in the rescue operation which lasted many hours,” Emmanuel said.
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