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I am healed, COVID-19 not death sentence, says Ikpeazu

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CJ cautions ministry officials against taking over court roles

Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, who returned from a five-week treatment for the COVID-19 pandemic, has said coronavirus is real, but not a death sentence.

The governor spoke yesterday at a thanksgiving service at his Umuobikwa Town Adventist Church, urging those who had contracted the disease not to despair but observe all precautionary measures against the scourge.

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Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ururuaja Onyebuchi Ememanka, in a statement yesterday, assured the people of the state that Ikpeazu was hale, hearty and was prepared to continue to discharge his mandate of leading the state to its next level of development.

Ikpeazu, who thanked God for seeing him through the COVID-19 infection, said, “The mercy of God is the only reason I am alive today.”

He thanked the team of doctors and other medical personnel who attended to him for their dedication and professionalism and commended the Abia people and those who kept the state going during his absence.

The governor also commended his deputy, Ude Oko Chukwu, for holding forth in running the state’s affairs, saying, “I appreciate the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chinedum Orji, and members for their show of patriotism during the period.”

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Meanwhile, the Chief Judge of Abia State, Justice Onuoha Ogwe, cautioned officials of ministries and agencies against constituting themselves into trial courts for those who flout the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in the state.

Chief Registrar of the state High Court of Justice, Victoria Analaba, explained that the charge followed revelations that some group of persons had been arresting, detaining and extorting money from members of the public.

She said the fake agents were taking the supposed offenders to their offices disguising as ASEPA, Ministry of Environment or local government officials over environmental sanitation violations and collecting fines from them.

In a statement issued in Umuahia, she pointed out that the CJ warned such persons to desist and bring all such matters to the state Environmental Sanitation Court adding, “Anyone caught in the act henceforth shall be arrested and prosecuted according to the law.”

Also, Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Suleiman Ukandu, expressed concern over the danger posed to the public by unapproved locations and operation of cooking gas and petrol stations across the state.

He noted that the state government was determined to address the illegality and prosecute the culprits, insisting that the government’s decision was to forestall the dangers of explosions from such gas plants.

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