Governor David Umahi of ebonyi State, has lifted the indefinite suspension he slammed on Commissioner for Solid Minerals, Engr. Francis Orji, and his counterpart who in charge of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Moses Ogodo-Ali.
The State Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Senator Emmanuel Onwe, disclosed their recall while briefing Journalists on the outcome of the state executive council meeting of Thursday this week.
Other members of the council who briefed Journalists alongside Onwe included the Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Prof. John Eke; Commissioner for Education, Rt. Hon. Sabinus Nwankwegu; Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Ikechukwu Nwobo; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Internal Security, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala and the Senior Special Assistant on Religion and Welfare Matters, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali.
Onwe said Orji is to return to his duty post with effect from Thursday, 2nd 2018, while Chief Ogodo-Ali is to reappear before the state House of Assembly to be rescreened and reconfirmed as a Commissioner.
It could be recalled that after the suspension of the two Commissioners some months ago by the Governor, he appointed the deputy Principal Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Obasi to oversee Ministry of Solid Minerals while a substantive Commissioner was appointed after some weeks into the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, fuelling speculations that he has been sacked.
Senator Onwe said: “It is my honour and privilege on behalf of the chairman and the members of council to welcome back the honourable Commissioner for solid minerals, Engr. Francis Orji, after weeks of suspension. He will appear in the next council meeting but he will officially resumed work with effect from today”.
“In respect of Hon. Ogodo-Ali Nomeh, it is misunderstood that he was sacked. He was suspended not sacked. But because of the misinterpretation that he was sacked, Council has resolved through the directive of chairman of council that he should now resubmit himself to the state House of Assembly to be reassessed and confirmed to return to the cabinet of Ebonyi state as a Commissioner”.
The information Commissioner further disclosed that council resolved that every stakeholder should go to their various wards or communities to ascertain the level collection of permanent voters cards within their area so as to ensure their the remaining PVCs are collected.
“Council resolved that all stakeholders within the state should retire to their respective Wards or communities to first of all seek to understand the number of voters card that still outstanding and uncollected and must do every within their powers to make sure that those PVCs are collected before the end of the month.
“This is apolitical and not partisan engagement. It is very important for the sake of the state. It is not about PDP. It is not about APC or any other party for the matter”, he noted.
On matters related to Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Commissioner, Ikechukwu Nwobo, told Journalists that council approved N744m for farmers’ land preparation for this year’s agricultural Programme; N500m for the purchase of rice Paddy for this year’s yuletide season; N46m for purchase of fertiliser and N10.5m for purchase of rice seedlings.
“Today’s council looked at the welfare of farmers especially those that have been profiled to participate in the 2018 farming season. Council approved the sum of N744m for the repayment of farmers what they must have expended for the land preparation of this year’s agricultural programme.
“So, in the next few days, farmers will start getting alert. Council also approved for the purchase of rice Paddy worth N500m. That means, we will be buying rice Paddy this month to enable prepare for the rice we normally use in yuletide season.
The rice Paddy will be milled and packaged by Ebonyi rice World. Also, a total of N46m for the procurement of more fertilizer for the rice farmers in the state while N10.5m was approved for the procurement of more rice seedlings for farmers”, Nwobo said.
On his part, the Commissioner for Education, Nwankwegu, said Council approved the request by his Lordships of Anglican Church, Abakaliki Dioceses, Bishop Monday Nkwegu, for the church to takeover the management of Urban Central School situated very close to the church.
The State Executive Council also approved for two days intensive training for the members of Ebonyi state neighbourhood watch and the training shall be taking place monthly to make them do their work better and effectively in line with the law, according to SSA on Internal Security, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala.
Ugbala further added that, “the training will start August 3rd and 4th 2018 at Pa Ngele Oruta Township stadium. Council directed that batch A as well as those undergoing process of training for recruitment into batch B are to attend. Council also directed that even those who applied but not shortlisted should also participate from there we will choose the best”.