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Umahi: Ebonyi indigenes reject handing-over of Uburu varsity to Catholic Church

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Umahi: Ebonyi indigenes reject handing-over of Uburu varsity to Catholic Church
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Umahi: Ebonyi indigenes reject handing-over of Uburu varsity to Catholic Church

…Warns against animosity between Presbyterian and Catholic Church

The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) has rejected the donation of King David University of Medical Sciences Uburu, which it described as “Greek offer” by the governor of the state, Dave Nweze Umahi, to the Catholic Church.

The group said if the situation is not properly managed it could lead to animosity between the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, who had claimed ownership of the new varsity and the Catholic Church.

At the Episcopal Ordination and installation of Rt. Rev. Msgr. Peter Nworie Chukwu as the 3rd Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki on Thursday, August 19, 2021, Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, announced the handing over of the King David University of Medical Sciences Uburu to the Catholic Bishops Conference for what he termed “optimum management and academic excellence.”

As reported via a statement made available through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Francis Nwaze, the Governor declared; “The contributions of the church to the Educational Development of Nigeria is unparalleled and for this, I, on-behalf of the State wish to give the King David University of Medical Sciences Uburu to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria to own and run.

Reacting through a statement signed by its President, Amb. Paschal Oluchukwu, on Sunday, the Ebonyi indigenes wondered how a governor such pronouncement “which is capable of not only pitching the mother church against her sister Presbyterian Church which has been in court challenging the forceful takeover of the said property but also further negate the provisions of our extant Laws, create chaos and confusion and deepen animosity between the Christian faith even as we yet see Ebonyi as a secular State only dominated by the Christian religion.”

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According to the statement, in public’s best interest, no law permits a Governor to build such a massive edifice with millions of unaccounted public funds and hand same over to a people of a particular faith in a multi-religious society like ours.

“Apart from the severe breaches of the law typified by the non-passage of any Law enabling the donation of the said institution which was built with public funds, unaudited and unaccounted for by the Ebonyi State’s House of Assembly- an ordinarily third arm of government that has been serially amputated and utterly neglected by the Governor, Umahi has by this pronouncement shown that he’s merely a desperate dealer trying to cover-up his suspected dirty tracks by currying the favour of the largest and most populous Catholic Church.

“No one, we repeat, no church or organisation for that matter therefore should accept any such compromised dealings from a Governor like Umahi. For we are certain that his motives on this particular offer are as ulterior as the majority of his dealings with Ebonyi people in his past six year’s on the saddle as Ebonyi Governor.”

Stating the controversies on the said Uburu varsity, the statement said: “First, the Presbyterian Church had alerted the general public that, on Friday, the 12th of July, 2019, it received a hint that the Ebonyi State exco approved Government takeover of the Presbyterian Joint Hospital, Uburu. Also announced on the same day on the State broadcast network, was the award of contracts for the construction of several blocks of buildings for the Ebonyi State Teaching Hospital on property the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria holds on lease and has developed over 107 years as the Presbyterian Joint Hospital, Uburu.

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Umahi: Ebonyi indigenes reject handing-over of Uburu varsity to Catholic Church

“We are aware that Umahi had sent a letter asking for approval to the State’s House of Assembly asking for the State’s takeover and acquisition of the oldest Hospital founded by a Missionary, Dr. John Hitchcock which his lackeys in the said arm of government readily granted without any due diligence or investigation, the head of Information Department and Public Affairs of the Presbyterian Church, Rt. Rev. Nnoke Ibe had in a detailed Press release accused the State Governor of forcefully taking over the hospital for which it still paid rents to the family and village donors of the land upon which it is situated.

“The release, made since July 2020 had asserted without a counter-claim from the Umahi-led government that, ‘The Church is also aware that the Government’s power of eminent domain confers a power to take land it requires for public purposes; but that power is made constitutionally subject to procedures which guarantee the rights, privileges and entitlements of occupiers and holders.

The Presbyterian Church release also stated ‘That now that Government is aware that the Hospital is a property of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, the Government should act in line with constitutional provisions to ensure that persons entitled to occupation of the property are given their legal entitlements; That though we are aware of our constitutional rights as a Church on this issue, the long-standing good relationship between the Church and Government, compel the Church to implore Ebonyi State Government to create a conducive platform for amicable resolution of the issues involved.’

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While condemning the governor’s “insensitive act” further, the statement said: “we haven’t also forgotten that the plan was actually to acquire and build the said institution as the new State’s University medical school. We are also knowledgeable about the fact that the Ebonyi State government recently released an outrageous fee regime of between N1 to N3M as annual School fees for the institution following the approval of it’s courses by the NUC and even announcements for job recruitments. From where and how then can the Catholic community fund, maintain and sustain such academic institution which could become a monumental waste if not properly-funded?

“If truly Umahi loves and wants academic excellence, why has he proposed the above monumental fee regime in a poor state like ours? Why has he also totally neglected the public education sector in Ebonyi without reasonable grants to the existing state-owned Primary, Secondary and especially, tertiary institutions in the State?

“Finally, AESID joins the rest of saner Ebonyians to kindly reject the offer and focus on fulfilling its spiritual and religious goals for the Church even as we wish the newly-ordained Bishop a successful Episcopal reign filled with great wisdom to handle the affairs of the mother church.

“And for Umahi, he should await his days of reckoning with the antitrust agencies for all his lawless actions, misconducts and unaccountability in governance which has made Ebonyi remain the poverty capital of the entire Southern Nigeria.”

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Prophetess, woman sentenced to life imprisonment for killing lover with poison

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Prophetess, woman sentenced to life imprisonment for killing lover with poison
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Prophetess, woman sentenced to life imprisonment for killing lover with poison

A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has convicted and sentenced two women, Onyema Worlu, and Edina Lovelyn-Worleru, to life improvement for causing the death of a man, Israel Georgewill.

Lovelyn-Worleru, a prophetess in a church in Rumuche community, in the Emohua Local Government Area of the state, was said to have prepared a poisonous substance in the name of love portion for Worlu to put in the food of her boyfriend, Georgewill, in 2012.

The trial judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, in his judgment after over nine years of legal battle, found the two guilty of the crime and convicted them.

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Justice Enebeli convicted them for manslaughter, instead of the murder charge in an earlier suit on the incident.

Prophetess, woman sentenced to life imprisonment for killing lover with poison

The judge held that the prosecution proved its case and that the statements of the first defendant, Worlu, at the police station were voluntarily given.

In the statement, the convict admitted that she administered the love potion as prepared by the prophetess in order to get financial assistance from Georgewill, adding that never knew it would result in his death.

Enebeli, after considering the facts presented by the parties, convicted and sentenced the two women to life imprisonment without any fine option.

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The prosecutor, Chidi Ekah, said the judgment was not only justice for the deceased and his family, but also for the state and Nigeria at large.

He said, “I am happy that this matter has come to an end. It does not mean that I am happy that somebody’s life will be wasted in prison. We do not take delight in that, but the law must take its course. After all, somebody was killed and so the law says if you kill, this is the punishment for you.

“The court was even magnanimous enough to reduce it from murder to manslaughter. I am happy that justice has been served.”

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But counsel for the first defendant, Vincent Chukwu, said his team would appeal the judgment.

“The fight is not over; it will certainly get to the Supreme Court,” Chukwu stated.

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Religion

CAN Suspends Sunday Congo For Congratulating Pantami

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CAN Suspends Sunday Congo For Congratulating Pantami

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN has suspended its Gombe State Caretaker Chairman, Rev. Sunday Congo.

Congo was suspended after he wrote a congratulatory letter to the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, without the approval of the association’s National Executive Committee.

CAN State Secretary in Gombe, Apostle John Adedigba, in a letter on behalf of all the members of the caretaker committee congratulated Pantami on his recent reported “promotion to the rank of a Professor of Cyber Security” by the Governing Council of Federal University of Technology, Owerri.

They stated in the letter that they were “proud” of Pantami as a “son”.

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However, CAN in a letter by its General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, dated September 15 2021, titled: ‘Letter of Suspension’, sent to CAN caretaker committee chairman in Gombe, stated that the congratulatory letter was issued without the consent of the mother body.

Part of the letter read, “Following the recent publications of your congratulatory message to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, CAN writes to inform you that your action has generated a lot of concerns amongst members of the Christian Association of Nigeria.

CAN Suspends Sunday Congo For Congratulating Pantami

“This action of yours in publishing on behalf of the association is tantamount to unilateral decision of you and overzealousness on your part, which was done without authorization and clearance.”

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CAN described the letter without its executive’s permission as provocative, adding that he does not represent their position.

“It is not only provocative but undermines the CAN NEC executive. It does not in any way represent their position.

“In view of this, you are hereby directed to relinquish your position in Gombe CAN executive with immediate effect and hand over all CAN’s property to your next in line in your bloc.”

CAN further advised that the body be consulted in future and an approval obtained from the authority of CAN national level in order for everyone to speak with one voice.

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Religion

Sheikh Gumi Promoting Banditry In Northern Nigeria

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Sheikh Gumi Promoting Banditry In Northern Nigeria
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Sheikh Gumi Promoting Banditry In Northern Nigeria

The Christian organisation demanded a thorough probe on the activities of Sheikh Gumi, expressing concerns that the security crises and banditry in the north would be prolonged as the Almajiri system continued unchecked.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has accused Kaduna State-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, of being responsible for the increasing activities of bandits in the northern part of the country.

The Christian organisation demanded a thorough probe on the activities of Sheikh Gumi, expressing concerns that the security crises and banditry in the north would be prolonged as the Almajiri system continued unchecked.

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The Imo State CAN Chairman, Rev Dr Divine Eches, raised the concerns in an interview in Abuja ahead of its 45th anniversary and Founder’s Day scheduled for Friday in Owerri.

He advised that the Nigerian government should caution Sheikh Gumi whose utterances, he said, had emboldened the bandits, thereby promoting their inhumane acts in the North.

Sheikh Gumi Promoting Banditry In Northern Nigeria

He maintained that except drastic measures were taken to curb the Almajiri system, banditry would remain in northern Nigeria for a long time with devastating effects on the socio-economic lives of the people.

He said, “You can’t have the Almajiri system of life and government in the last 40 years in our nation, bringing up people without any trace to families, hometowns or nationalities. These children are scattered all over the streets, without you knowing that someday, they would leave the streets and go to the bush where they would begin to do the trade of kidnapping.

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“Also, you can’t, in a sane nation, have the likes of Sheikh Gumi, a religious scholar, going about promoting banditry and you don’t think that this will continue. Yet, that is what we are seeing today. We are not seeing anything more than what we have planted.

“We allowed this thing (insecurity) to continue and it is now going to consume the nation if drastic measures are not put in place to take them (Almajiri) out of the streets. Give them a sense of belonging, put them in school, and help them realise their potential.

“These bandits were the Almajiri who used to be in front of our houses and begging. Howbeit, we are praying and that is why God is still sustaining our nation. I trust God will continue to sustain us in Jesus name.”

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