More than 42 years after the end of the Nigerian civil war, land mines, bombs and other explosive ordnances still litter the nooks and crannies of Imo state. These ordinances are said to have killed many people.
Our reporter gathered that more than 17, 000 bombs of various kinds can be found in many parts of the state waiting to explode and kill citizens of the state.
A visit to the Ministry of Defence Humanitarian De-mining Project Center, Owerri by the State Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Charles Onuoha last Thursday revealed that more than 600, 000 explosives were removed from Thomas Aquinas's Secondary School, Osu Mbano and St Patrick's Secondary School, Ekwereazu, Ahiazu Mbaise.
The spokesman of the Defence Ministry, Dr. Emeka Uhegbu who confirmed this while taking the Honourable Commissioner round the project site noted that many Imolites and people living in neigbouring states are ignorant of the existence of these war remnants like hand grenades, Ojukwu bucket, bullets, etc.
According to him, some people especially children play with some of these dangerous weapons left after the Nigeria-Biafra war at various places.
Dr. Uhegbu also disclosed that 513 victims have been remunerated in 12 states affected by the war. He said “it will be a disaster in Imo state if the ministry of Defence Humanitarian De-mining Project Group fails to remove the explosives and remnants any moment from now”.
Our reporter gathered that the United Nations has given Nigeria up till 2014 to remove all the explosive remnants in the country or face sanctions.
Reacting to the situation, the Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Prince Charles Onuoha assured the Defence Group that his visit will change a lot of things as government will in no distant time partner with them to see how all the bombs of varying dimensions will be removed in Imo state without further delay.
He said that the passion the group displayed in the discharge of their duties was highly commendable. “It would be a disaster to build on top of these explosive remnants,” the Commissioner declared.
The De-mining Center is an offshoot of the Federal Ministry of Defence. The Nigerian Mine Action Center is situated in Imo state at the back of Concorde Hotel, Owerri. The center displayed some of the bombs and other explosives removed from various parts of the state in front of their office for people to see.
Imo state Governor, Owell Rochas Okorocha has inaugurated the newly constituted governing councils for Imo State University (IMSU) and Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo.
Performing the inaugural ceremony at the State Expanded Exco chambers Government House Owerri, Governor Okorocha charged the members of the councils to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice and ensure conservation of funds. Okorocha identified education and agriculture as the cardinal objectives of his Rescue Mission administration, and urged members of the councils to uphold the success recorded so far in the two sectors. Governor Okorocha further disclosed that the State University will soon be relocated to its permanent site, pointing out that the institution is facing infrastructural challenges which largely necessitated its relocation.
The governor who recalled that the Imo State University subvention was recently increased from 52 million to 252 million monthly also enjoined the governing council to ensure good managerial conduct of the funds so as to bring the university to good academic performance standard. The governor recounted the efforts of his administration in ensuring that Imo children are given quality education through the free education policy and warned against any attempt to frustrate government gesture.
He warned against the university embarking on any industrial action irrespective of the circumstances, noting that since his inception as governor in the state, the schools have performed creditably without strike action, While urging members of the councils to exhibit commitment in discharging their duties, Governor Okorocha disclosed that their appointment was made based on their track record as such advised them not to derail.
In response, the chairman governing council of Imo State University, Mazi Clement Owunna pledged that they would do their best to uphold the confidence reposed on them. Also the chairman governing council of Imo state Polytechnic Umuagwo, Prof. Victor Kogha said he was familiar with academic terrain of the state polytechnic and assured the government and people of the state quality representation.
Members of the governing councils include Mazi Clement Owonna (chairman), His Royal Highness, Eze Thomas Obiefule, prof. Akabukwe, Bishop Chijioke Oti among others.
Chinenye IwuagwuThis year's Imo Children's party organized by the wife of Imo State Governor, Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha for Imo children has taken place at the Heroes' Square, new Owerri.
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