Umuahia, April 16, 2019 The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abia on Tuesday celebrated a veteran journalist, Mr Josiah Akwarandu, who recently turned 80 years.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that members of the union and people from different walks of life turned out en masse to mark the event in NUJ Press Center, Umuahia.
NNN reports that the celebrant, who was born on April 4, 1939, began practising in 1963 as a photojournalist in Daily Times Newspaper remained active in journalism till date.
He currently works as the state correspondent of Orient Daily newspaper based in Anambra.
In his speech, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia congratulated the octogenarian on his birthday adding that the state government would celebrate him in a special way.
Ikpeazu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, charged journalists in the state to make the celebrant their role model.
The governor described the celebrant as an `honest, diligent and good family man’ who had been able to make a positive impact through journalism, irrespective of the challenges that the job presented.
In his remarks, Mr John Emejor, Abia Chairman of NUJ, said that the union decided to celebrate their own for his hard work, commitment and contributions to the journalism profession.
The chairman said that Akwarandu was the oldest practicing journalist in the state and even in the South East Zone.
Emejor thanked God for keeping the celebrant healthy and strong to mark his 80th birthday, and wished him well in all his endeavors.
In his address, Mr Hyacinth Okoli, the Chairman of the occasion, said the life of the celebrant was a challenge to every practising journalist in the state as he grew from being a photojournalist to a fully fledged reporter.
Okoli said that it was interesting to note that the octogenarian was still covering events and filing news reports at his age, and thanked God for his life.
He described the celebrant as a `simple, jovial and outstanding man’ and urged his children to emulate the sterling qualities of their father.
Responding, Mr Akwarandu, said that he was overwhelmed with joy with the show of love from members of NUJ by celebrating him.
He disclosed that serving God and listening to gospel songs were the secrets of his good health, and prayed for God’s blessings to rest upon everyone that celebrated with him.
Police in Anambra arrest 3 suspects for alleged abduction, rape of job seeker
The Police Command in Anambra has arrested three suspects, who allegedly abducted and raped a 24-year-old woman under the pretext of securing a job for her.
The command’s Spokesman, SP Haruna Mohammed, disclosed this in a statement in Awka on Saturday.
Mohammed said the suspects allegedly raped the victim repeatedly while in thier custody, inspite of collecting N400,000 ransom from her relatives.
He identified the suspects as Ekwugha Chinazo, 25; Chidiebere Ogoegbunam, 24; and David Nnaemeka,19.
Mohammed however did not expose the identity of the victim.
He said: “On Sept. 19, at about 2:00p.m., police operatives attached to the Command Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) arrested the syndicate at Awkuzu in the Oyi Local Government Area.
“The suspects had on Sept. 13, lured a 24-year old lady residing at St. Micheal Hostel, Temporary Site, Awka, under the pretext of securing for her a beauty make-up job.
“They picked her at Ukpo Junction along Enugu-Onitsha expressway and took her to an isolated building at Awkuzu, where they allegedly raped the victim repeatedly while in captivity for two days.”
According to him, the suspects have voluntarily confessed to the crime and the victim taken to the hospital for medical examination.
He said investigation was still ongoing after which the suspects would be brought to book.
“Consequently, the command enjoins the public to be wary of this new trend of crime and report suspicious persons through the police emergency number 07039194332 or the nearest police station for prompt response please,” he advised.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Ejike Obeta
Anambra FA Caretaker Committee enrolls club owners in health insurance scheme
The Caretaker Committee of Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) has commenced the enrollment of club owners in the state into a health insurance scheme.
Emeka Okeke, Chairman of AnSFA Caretaker Committee, said on Saturday in Awka that the programme was part of the support provided for grassroots football development.
He added that it would also enhance their beneficiaries’ access to affordable health care.
“The enrollment is in fulfilment of my promise at a meeting with the club owners.”
Okeke had promised that the caretaker committee would do all that was possible to provide an enabling environment for them to thrive.
Anayo Obiako, proprietor of Awka City FC, said he was happy that for the first time, club owners in Anambra were enjoying a welfare programme courtesy of the FA.
Obiako, who described it as a promise kept, said it would help many of them to enjoy free medical services especially now that the cost of healthcare services was high.
“This is a welcome development. We are happy. Normally we should pay something to access services, but the FA caretaker committee is doing that on our behalf.
“For many years, we have been working and paying all the necessary fees to enable us participate in FA programmes, but we never enjoyed any benefit. So, this AnSFA caretaker committee is doing well,” he said.
Also speaking, Ikenna Osueke, proprietor of Ozalla FC, said the programme would ensure adequate protection of the lives of beneficiaries.
Osueke said it was a huge addition to football development in the state.
Dozie Okpalaugo, coordinator of the AnSFA programme, said no fewer than 30 club owners would be captured in the first phase.
Okpalaugo said with just 1,000 Naira monthly and an annual 12,000 Naira premium, the enrollees would be able to access medical services in about 350 hospitals across the state.
“It covers a number of medical conditions, including malaria and minor surgery, Okpalaugo, who is the Senior Special Adviser to Gov. Willie Obiano on Health Scheme and Pension Matters, said.
He therefore urged the enrollees to take advantage of the gesture, assuring that the Anambra Health Insurance Scheme would ensure that health care providers render the expected services.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan and Olawale Alabi)
“Its your portion to die,’’ Clergyman tells Christians
A clergyman, Rev. Bassey Umoh, has advised Christians to live a good life as it is the portion of every Christian to die.
Umoh in his sermon at the funeral of Chief Kalu Okonta, at his country home, Igbere, Abia, on Saturday, said what was not the portion of Christians however, was untimely death.
The Minister-in-Charge of First Aba Parish of the Pesbyterian Church of Nigeria, stressed the need for people to enjoy life while alive.
The clergyman, who was represented by Rev. Onyeani Kalu, said that “ good life does not translate to wealth.
“Since life is unreliable, enjoy your life. You do not need millions to enjoy your life. The chicken of a poor man is his cow.
“Enjoy your life and glorify God.’’
The clergyman said that people should remember that life was brief, and that after life, something must follow.
“What follows depends of how you lived, and where you will spend eternity depends of how you lived on earth,’’ he stressed.
He decried giving prominence to prosperity in Christian sermons, stressing that there could be prosperity without diligence.
Speaking on the life of the deceased, Umoh said that Okonta prospered materially and spiritually because he conducted his affairs on earth with diligence.
Elder Ngozi Udogu, daughter of late Okonta, who read the father’s biography said that the deceased, who was born on Dec. 17, 1930, lived as a good Christian.
Udogu said that Okonta was ordained as an Elder by the First Aba Parish on Aug.11, 1996.
She said that as a result of his community service, he was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Oji Udo Eme Uwa 1 of Igbere on Dec. 28, 1993 by the late traditional ruler of Igbere, Eze Samson Ukaegbu.
Okonta’s first daughter, Mrs Nnenna Obike-Ukoh in her tribute, said that if death was not inevitable, her father’s good deeds would have prevented him from dying.
Prof. Ogwo Ekeoma Ogwo, former Vice-Chancellor, Abia State University in his tribute, said that Okonta was not the typical businessman, but was largely a self-effacing, low profile, but effective operator.
He said that the Okonta family should be satisfied that they had a worthy patriarch, who contributed to the growth of the family and the community.
The late Okonta, who died on Jan. 15, at the age of 89, left behind many relatives, including Mr Obike Ukoh, a Deputy Editor-In-Chief with the News Agency of Nigeria .
Senate Chief Whip Orji Kalu, was among dignitaries that were present at the ceremony.
Edited By: Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
COVID-19: NCDC announces 221 new cases, total infections rise to 56,956
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Friday.
According to it, the new cases are confirmed from 18 states in the country.
The new infections brought the total number of confirmed cases to 56,956 in Nigeria.
The public health agency said that Lagos had 59, the highest number of cases, followed by Abia with 46 cases and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 22.
Among others were; Rivers, 11, Bauchi, 7, Benue, Ekiti and Imo, 6 each, Kaduna, Kwara and Ondo, 4 each, Ogun and Osun, 3 each, Bayelsa, Edo and Kano, 1 each.
According to it, those discharged on Friday include 100 community recoveries managed in Oyo State in line with new case management guidelines.
The health agency sadly recorded one more death, which brought the national death toll to 1,094.
It noted that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3 had continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
It cautioned that the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 was higher when people did not wear face mask in public places.
“Wear your face mask properly at all times. Adhere to all non-pharmaceutical preventive measures of COVID-19,” it urged Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that as the people of Edo State prepared to vote their preferred candidates at the governorship election on Saturday, Sept. 19, NCDC urged all to observe the COVID-19 guidelines recently released.
It noted that relevant stakeholders must take actions that would reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the election.
“Ensure there is hand hygiene and temperature checks at the campaign ground, polling stations; providing additional polling stations or booths to ensure physical distancing, with clearly marked floors to enforce spacing on queues.
”Mandating the use of face mask for everyone, regular cleaning of polling stations, tables and other surfaces highly essential because those are the areas that are easy to contract the virus.
”Multiply hand-washing points or alcohol-based hand sanitiser, while staff at the polling units should practice hand hygiene frequently,.”
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu