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Imo Guber: Uzodinma  Spends N5bn On Owerri hotel Tooms to Block Opposition- Diala 

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From Marcel Duru Owerri 

The Director, Media and Publicity, Senator Athan  Achonu Campaign Organization, Chief Chibuikem Diala has said the attention of the  Campaign Organisation has been drawn to a document, which is an official circular, addressed to all chief executive officers and All General Managers of Hotels in Owerri metropolis with the bold headline” REQUEST FOR RESERVATION OF ALL YOUR HOTEL ROOMS FROM 4TH NOVEMBER -11TH NOVEMBER 2023″ written on the official letterhead of the said ministry and signed by the  Commissioner for Tourism,  Jerry Egemba.

In a chat with Journalists at    Labour Party Secretariat in Owerri I Diala disclosed that 

the release by the commissioner read: “I wish to refer to the above subject and inform you that the Ministry of Tourism intends to rent and occupy all the rooms in your hotel no matter the size and classification from Saturday 4th November to Saturday 12th November 2023 at your usual cost per room for full occupation.

“I therefore request you to submit to my office before 12 pm tomorrow Thursday 26th October 2023 details of your accommodation bills for all the rooms covering the period for settlement.”

Dials further stated that as a campaign organisation, we are concerned that the state government through its ministry of tourism is requesting all hotels in the metropolis to “reserve all their hotel rooms from  November 4, to 12, 2023 .” What could be the reason behind this request for all the hotel rooms in Owerri metropolis? 

With over 1500 hotels in the metropolis and an average of 50 rooms per hotel, this means the prodigal state government is trying to rent and pay for a minimum of 7,000 rooms for eight nights in the metropolis, amounting to a staggering sum of about N5 billion.  What a waste!

“The question that Imolites must ask Gov. Hope Uzodimma, as we approach the November 11 election is: Why do you want to spend 5B Naira of taxpayers’ money? Who are those that will occupy these hotel accommodations? Why this desperate, anti-democratic leadership style all in a bid to hold onto power? Must the blood of every Imolite flow because you want to be governor for another four years? Why not subject yourself to a free and fair contest, at least for once, and allow the people’s wishes to thrive”

Diala opined that widespread allegation that the government is already importing thugs from nearby APC states into the Imo State Capital ahead of the November 11 election to muzzle the opposition and rig the election is no longer a secret. “Could this bulk booking and blocking of rooms be to accommodate these political thugs?

He added that on the other hand, it is further alleged that the hierarchy of the federal security agencies is deploying special forces to Owerri for the election. Sources within state government circles are claiming to have strong control over these security men, including their accommodation and logistics. 

“Why would Governor Uzodimma, a candidate of the APC, be the one to provide accommodation for security personnel posted to oversee an election in which he is also a candidate? Where is the fairness?

“We want to alert the public, especially the CEOs and managers of hotels in Imo State of this possible government plan to use their facilities to hide criminal elements contracted to cause the breakdown of law and order in the state”

In his own comment, we urge them to resist any form of coercion (subtle or forceful) to harbor those who are here to cause anarchy in the state. 

“This is a government that has run the hospitality sector in Imo State aground with its policies and bloodletting inclinations that have put guests and businesses to flight, only to remember them to house its thugs for the perpetuation of its evil tendencies”

Diala revealed that they have encouraged the hotels to leave their doors open only to  responsible and verified guests, who are fit to stay and willing to pay, and not subscribe to the suspicious plans of the outgoing governor, who in almost four years in office never bothered to identify with the hospitality sector. 

“We also call on the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police, the DSS, and, indeed,  all security agencies to be aware of the alleged plans likely to cause disharmony and a breakdown of law and order in the state. 

He urged the head  security agencies to also clarify the role of Governor Uzodimma on the welfare and accommodation of security officers posted to the state for election duties. Is it that Governor Uzodimma is providing accommodation to these officers or he is trying to use the blocked accommodation as bait to compromise them.

Stressing that their response will help douse fears that Gov Uzodimma already has security agencies in his kitty.

“Above all, we implore President Bola Tinubu to consider the plight of the Imo people and listen to their cries.  We believe the president will ensure that the right things are done”

“We also state categorically that the outgoing government’s plan to subvert the will of the people in this election must fail, as Imolites are ready for the election and shall elect a leader of their choice”

NEWS

Tinubu Mourns Ex-Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu

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President Bola Tinubu has extended his deepest condolences to the Onu family over the passing of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, a former Minister of Science and Technology in the Buhari administration.

Chief Onu passed away on Thursday at the age of 72.

“The President mourns a luminous star in Nigeria’s political firmament.

The first civilian governor of Abia State; former minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, a principal draughtsman in the founding of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a valiant partner in the victory of the party in the 2015 elections.
 

“Most importantly, the President celebrates the life of an accomplished scholar, first-class engineer; a man of proven integrity; defiant to indiscipline, but ever yielding to the highest standards of rectitude,” a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesman quoted the President to have said.

The statement said Tinubu affirmed that the late Onu epitomized Nigeria in concord; in wholeness, as the late statesman believed in and defended Nigeria’s unity, advocated peace, and promoted fellowship across the Niger.

The President also condoled with the friends and associates of Chief Onu, Ebonyi and Abia State Governments, and all Nigerians grieving this gaping loss.

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POLITICS

PDP Appoints Chinda as Chairman for Ondo LG Congress, Ahead of Primaries

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has appointed Rep. Kingsley Chinda as the Chairman, Local Government Congress Electoral Committee for Ondo, ahead of Saturday’s governorship primaries.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Ologunagba said that the constitution of the committee was approved by the National Working Committee (NEC) of the party.

“The committee members are to serve on the local government Congress Electoral Committee to conduct National Delegates Congress for the purpose of electing one national delegate per local government area in Ondo,” he said.

Ologunagba said that the congress would hold at the Collation Center of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in each of the local government areas of the state.

Ologunagba advised all the governorship aspirants, leaders, critical stakeholders and members in Ondo to take note and be guided accordingly.(NAN)

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POLITICS

Gov. Idris Cautions Against Using Pulpit for Political, Personal Interest

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Gov. Nasir Idris of Kebbi has urged Islamic scholars to stop using the pulpit to advance their political and selfish interest.

Idris gave the advice when he received the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Bashir, who paid him Sallah homage at the Government House in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday.

“It is glaring that some Ulama mount the pulpit or use Tafsir sessions to castigate leaders and cast aspersions on their persons for smear campaign or self fulfilment.

“I am also not immuned from such acts; such unholy attitude must cease, to safeguard the sanctity of religion and protect the dignity of leaders,” the governor said.

The Ulama, he emphasised, should uphold their value as moulders of good character and morality and stop soiling the faith because of their personal aggrandisement.

Idris, who holds the traditional title of Kauran Gwandu, acknowledged the support and cooperation of Gwandu Emirate Council to his administration.

He urged the traditional institution in the state to sustain prayers for peace and prosperity in the country.

The governor also expressed happiness with the resuscitation of the annual Durbar,  which was suspended for many years.

“For a long time, Durbar has not been staged by the Gwandu Emirate Council until now while I am the governor of the state.

“Being my first observance of the Eid-el Fitr as sitting Chief Executive, I am highly impressed with the colourful event,” he said.

Idris assured people of the state that his administration would pursue ongoing reforms aimed at economic growth and development of infrastructure in the state.

Earlier, the Emir, reprsented by Alhaji Abdullahi Umar, the Wazirin Gwandu, pledged the support and loyalty of the emirate council to the state government.

He commended the governor for the remarkable achievements being recorded across the state, including turning the state capital to a modern city.

The emir led an enchanting durbar procession from the palace to the government house, watched by thousands of residents.

(NAN)

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