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• FG has met its own side of the MOU — Professor Chukwu 

THE Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu has appealed to the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to suspend the ongoing nationwide strike embarked upon by the Association on the 1st of July, 2014.

TOWERING presence of  Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu is sending jitters down the spine of some politicians who may want to occupy the Lion Building, in Enugu, come 2015, at the expiration of Governor Sullivan Chime's eight-year tenure.
The worst hit are politicians from Nsukka, Enugu North Senatorial Zone, whose turn to have a shot at the Government House will be 2015.
Already, Ekweremadu's billboards have started springing up at strategic positions in the area, thereby telling Nsukka people that 2015 would be “for the highest bidder, not for quota system or rotational arrangement.”
Although the Deputy Senate President has not come out to declare openly his intentions, his covert overtures are clear indications that “he has his eyes for the lofty seat at the Lion Building.”
For some years now, Ekweremadu has been giving scholarship to indigent students in Enugu West Senatorial Zone, apart from spreading his dragnets to Enugu East and Enugu North, as well as in the scholarship scheme tagged, 'Ikeoha Foundation.’
But, Chime had in 2011, promised the people of Enugu north that 2015 would be their turn to produce the next governor and urged them to support him, even though events have now shown that the rotation arrangement “may not hold water any longer.”
Already, political pundits are of the view that President Goodluck Jonathan “ might have destroyed the zoning arrangement, thereby forcing  Enugu Stat  not to be an exception.”



AS the April 18 National Convention of the Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN] draws closer, the chairman of the party in Cross River State, Mr Hilliard Eta, has alerted of an alleged orchestrated plot by a group to scuttle the arrangements and participation of delegates from his state at the convention which will hold in Lagos.
This outcry was contained in a statement issued by Eta and released in Calabar.
In the statement, Eta said as follows:-
“We have uncovered an orchestrated plot by an unscrupulous group parading as ACN members but who are unfortunately mobilized and sponsored by a chieftain and major financier of the party to thwart arrangements and subsequent participation by real party delegates at the April 18th National Convention of our great party to be held in Lagos.
''Apart from the plot to attack the delegates at the point of departure to Lagos, the group is also plotting to storm the Lagos convention ground with thugs and other miscreants to carry placards and protest their alleged non-inclusion as delegates for the national convention''.
“These same persons had penultimate week stormed our state working committee [swc] meeting in Calabar, where one of our members, Mr Francis Ekpenyong led in the efforts to scuttle the outcome of the meeting''.

…Over alleged N543.9m debt

THE Federal College of Education, Obudu in Cross River state, has been shut down following alleged indebtedness to the Government.
A statement from the Internal Revenue Service in Calabar, which also announced  the closer,  said the college was “owing the state government  over N543.9 million being Pay-As-You-Go-With holding Tax deductions from staff from 2004 to 2009,'' which it has failed to remit during the affected period.”
It also said, “as part of our mandate to generate revenue for the Government of Cross River State, voluntary compliance has been our watchword. However, we have been forced to effect a temporal shut down of the college since all peaceful and civilized means of resolving the impasse have proved abortive''.
The statement warned ''the college community and the students who are supposed to return to school soon to stay away until the matter is resolved''.
Confirming the development, in a telephone interview with National Daily, Chairman of the IRS, Mr. Chris Ogar, said “the amount follows an audit report for the period 2004 to 2009, for which the college has shown gross refusal to pay.”
Similarly, it said, “the period from 2010 to 2012 has not yet been audited.”
Ogar said series of efforts made by the IRS to negotiate the debt situation with the college, “have always been futile as the college management has always ignored the team of auditors sent there for that purpose.

RIVERS State Government has slammed a group which it described as “disgruntled and self-serving politicians” peddling a smear campaign against  Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi over the purchase of surveillance helicopters for official use.
An Abuja-based newspaper had reported that the governor might have used state funds to purchase a  luxury jet and two armoured helicopters for perceived presidential run in 2015.
The government has however denied the allegation in a statement by the Rivers State Commissioner for Information, Ibim Semenitari.

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