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30 years after, Sen Kalu constructs abandoned roads in Arochukwu

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From Kenneth Udeh

Relief has come the way of Aro residents in Arochukwu LGA of Abia North as Senator Orji Uzor Kalu on Monday commissioned two major communal link roads which he facilitated in their community.

According to communal residents, the newly completed asphalt 2km and 3km interlink roads have been neglected for 30 years, with the road having a negative impact on the communities within the axis. The newly commissioned asphalt roads form part of the 53 road projects expedited by Kalu, the Senate Chief Whip to the rural communities in Abia North senatorial district, some of which were recently inaugurated by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

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Addressing a jubilant gathering during the commissioning ceremony, Senator Orji Kalu, who was also a former governor of the state 23 years ago, explained that the road ought to have been built during his tenure as governor but for the paucity of funds allocated to states as at that period of time. The Senate Chief Whip praised President Buhari for the full implementation of the country’s budget. Kalu also thanked Buhari for acceding to his request to pay special attention to Abia North as a reward for voting massively for the president during the 2019 Presidential elections.

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‘I thank President Buhari for making the realisation of these projects possible . Abia North voted massively for President Buhari and now they are reaping its dividends. There is a saying that it will take a long distance to get to Aro but I will make it nearer when I’m done with the number of road projects which I will facilitate in this town. The truth is President Buhari is the brain behind the funding of these projects through the sovereign wealth fund,’ Kalu said.

‘The narrative that President Buhari dislikes the Igbos is false, because these projects were made possible through him; so he is a great man. For the first time in the history of this country under President Buhari’s dispensation our nation’s budget runs a complete cycle at 99% and he has ensured that every penny is released for implementation in the various sectors of our economy.

‘This road is just the beginning because we have more projects for Arochukwu in this year’s budget. Politics aside, I have a personal relationship with President Buhari for over 30 years, after the 2019 General elections I met with President Buhari and I told him that he must compensate Abia North for voting massively for him because we are the only is on record that Abia North senatorial zone is the only zone in the South East and South-South that gave Buhari 68 per cent votes in the 2019 general elections.’

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Shedding more light on the state of other uncompleted roads in the community, Kalu, a first-time senator, explained that the Arochukwu to Ihechiowa roads hasn’t been completed due to the death of a former contractor who was initially awarded the road contract by the Federal Government, making it hard to br re-awarded to a new contractor. He disclosed that he had a serious discussion with the Minister for Works, Babatunde Fashola, to resolve the matter to expedite the construction of the road.

The thrilled residents in their separate addresses heaped praises on Senator Orji Kalu and President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that Kalu had made them realise that legislatures have the capacity to facilitate infrastructural projects.

Hon Daniel Okeke, a House of Representative aspirant, said: ‘We never knew senators can build roads and also facilitate other key developmental projects, but we have a senator who has made sure that indeed senators can build roads. Be rest assured that your votes in Arochukwu are secured, just go and rest because we are solidly behind you.’

President, OUK for President, Joseph Udonkwo, on his part said: ‘We travelled all the way from Akwa Ibom to see for ourselves what we have been hearing about your good works in Abia North. You have set the pace with your track record. There have been governors in this state but none can match our record. In your first time at the Senate, you have done what others cannot do. If the presidency is zoned to the South East, you stand as number one amongst others.

Another community stakeholder, Ambassador Onu, thanking Kalu, recounted the difficulties experienced by the community prior to Kalu’s intervention: ‘For 30 years this road was not motorable, motorists had to use other longer routes to get access to the right destinations which takes a longer period of time. But now the road has been constructed we can now drive smoothly. Orji Kalu told me specifically that he was going to construct this road if elected and in less than 3 years after election he had fulfilled his promise.’

Principal, Technical Secondary School, Arochukwu, Mrs Comfort Onwuchekwa, expressed her gratitude to the Senate Chief Whip for his infrastructure projects which she said has been extended to the area of education.

‘This road is in addition to your works in the area of education,’ she said. We are grateful for the textbooks, school bags and other learning materials that you have supplied to all the schools in Abia North. We are grateful on behalf of all the teachers. I say thank you.’

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Nigeria Newspapers

JTF kills 6 IPOB suspects in Imo

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From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri

A Joint Task Force (JTF) of the Nigeria military and police yesterday averted danger at the palace of the Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Emmanuel Okeke, when it killed six suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who attempted to attack the premises.

Spokesperson of the State police, Michael Abattam, in a statement, yesterday, said the hoodlums, who were sighted in three Hilux vans, shot sporadically while advancing at the palace of the traditional ruler, in Orlu, at about 8am.

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But before the suspects could cause any havoc, according to Abattam, the police tactical team and the military, who got a hint of their operation, engaged them in a gun duel and, in the process, six of them were killed, while others escaped with serious bullet wounds. One of the vehicles of the team was bombed by the hoodlums who threw a petrol chemical bomb at it, Abattam said.

He said: “On their way, the hoodlums, on sighting the combined team, engaged them in a gun duel, throwing petrol bombs. The gallant team responded, positioning themselves professionally. In the exchange of gun fire that ensued, the hoodlums were overwhelmed due to the superior fire-power of the combined team and, in the process, six of the hoodlums were neutralised, while others escaped with various degrees of gunshot injuries. 

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“The combined team did not relent in their effort, they chased the hoodlums, recovering one pump action gun, three blood stained cutlasses and three Hilux vehicles suspected to have been snatched from innocent citizens,” Abattam said.

He added that efforts were on top gear to arrest other fleeing hoodlums, while security in Orlu and other areas have been beefed up to forestall any further attack.

However, normalcy has been restored in the area while the corpses of the neutralised bandits have been deposited in the mortuary, the police spokesperson said.

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Arsonists burn Anambra EEDC office, 32 vehicles

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From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi

The Ogidi District of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC) was, yesterday, set ablaze by unidentified arsonists, leaving about 32 utility and operational vehicles all burnt, including other assets and equipment within the premises.

The Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, made the disclosure in a release made available to Daily Sun.

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Ezeh lamented that efforts made to reach the Anambra State Fire Service at the time of the incident to rescue the situation did not yield any positive result.

He said members of staff who were on ground to assist in salvaging the situation were helpless, as they watched the office building and other assets go down in flames.

Mr Eze said it later took the intervention of the Hon Commissioner for Utilities, Anambra State, Engr Julius Chukwuemeka, at about 9.05am, yesterday morning, to bring the Fire Service team down to the scene of the incident. 

“The management of EEDC expressed shock over this ugly incident which is happening at a time the company has invested so much to improve on its operations and transform the socio-economic landscape of the area.

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“This is a big loss to EEDC and a great setback to the efforts being made by the company to strengthen its network and improve the quality of services to its customers within Ogidi and Anambra State at large. We have already brought this development to the attention of the relevant authorities and it is expected that proper investigation will be carried out and the perpetrators of this dastardly act brought to book.

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“There is no way a developing economy as ours can progress if we continue to record this kind of incident,” Eze said.

It was gathered that the arsonists gained access into the office complex by pulling down part of the wall as they attacked one of the security personnel manning the office and inflicted several machete wounds on his head, leg and arm, and demanded his gun, while his other colleagues ran for their lives. The victim is currently receiving treatment at a hospital.

(Continued on www.sunnewsonline.com)

The company’s spokesman thanked God that no life was lost as he condemned the act which he noted could not be justified by the perpetrators, and prayed that it did not reoccur.

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