BRIEFSLAGOS State Governor Thursday visited and sympathised with Professor Ben Nwabueze and Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, two elder statesmen, among others, whose peaceful walk to the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Square in Ojota to protest the deployment of soldiers in Lagos State by the federal government was dispersed by policemen who fired teargas canisters.Obi Tasks Christian Pilgrims On ConductTHREE hundred persons have departed Anambra State for a holy pilgrimage to Israel. Another batch of 120 pilgrims will also depart the state on Saturday January 28, of bringing the number to 420. Addressing the pilgrims at Government House, Awka, Governor Peter Obi charged them to be good ambassadors of the state and avoid acts capable of giving it a negative image. Obi, while urging them to pray for the state and country, said they owe it a duty to always pray and project the state to the world in good light. The governor added that the administration was able to sponsor such a large number of pilgrims because of prudent and judicious management of resources.HIV/AIDS: GovtRefutes AllegationOf Poor PerformanceABIA State Government has countered claims credited to the Aba chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) accusing the administration of not doing enough to sensitise citizens on dangers of HIV/AIDS. Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor,Chief Ugo Emezue, argued that Governor TheodoreOrji's administration places high premium on the health of Abians as evidenced by numerous projects embarked upon since Orji took office.In a statement, Emezue said: 'The recent allegations by Adindu Uwaoma, Chairman Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Aba chapter is an attempt to rubbish the achievements of the governor in the health sector'. He noted that the State Action Committee on AIDS, whose programmes have received international commendation, is a clear manifestation of the governor's desire to ensure that HIV/AIDS is tackled headlong.He added that the office of the governor's wife has also done much in catering for persons living with the disease. He said jingles,sponsored by the office of Her Excellency towards sensitising the public, are aired on radio and televisionin Abia on daily basis. The Chief Press Secretary consequently urged the leadership of Aba NMA chapter to crosscheck facts and weigh its utterances rather than resort to wild allegations seemingly designed to disparage the government and deceive Abians and Nigerians.'Gordi Udeajah, UmuahiaAkwa MarketersInsist On N150 Per LitreSERVICE stations in Akwa, Anambra State, insist on selling fuel between N150 and N160 per litre, days after the price of petrol was reduced to N97. The situation is generating conflict between marketers and consumers, who accuse relevant agencies of not doing enough to protect users of the commodity. A driver, Izuchukwu Ezika, lamented that when the new pump price was announced on January 1, 2012, none of the marketers waited to get any further directive before adjusting their metres.As at the weekend, only the NNPC mega stations in Awka had adjusted their pumps to the current price. Sports promoter, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, called on the federal government to be more transparent in the management of petroleum resources. Ezeonwuka, who is the proprietor of the Rojenny Tourist and Games Village in Idemili council of the state, wondered why government focuses so much attention on petroleum. He called on government to account for proceeds from diesel, which has been deregulated long before now.'Chuks Collins, AwkaGov Proposes N174.3b BudgetGOVERNOR Rochas Okorocha of Imo State on Thursday presented a budget proposal of N174,316,400,000 to the Imo State House of Assembly.Recurrent expenditure is N47.066,428,000, while N127,250.972,000 is for capital projects.The governor noted that the total projected recurrent revenue for the year is N88,195,040,515, while projected capital receipts is N86,121,359, 489.Okorocha said his administration in 2012 would develop seven cities, in the three geo-political zones of the state and reintroduce a bus scheme.He also said that 100 per cent 'free and qualitative education at the primary and secondary school levels will be accorded high priority.''Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri51 Doctors GraduateA TOTAL of 51 students from the College of Health Sciences, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, graduated recently. Provost of the College, Prof. Charles A. Attah, noted proudly: 'In spite of incessant strikes in higher institutions, we have managed to keep pace with expectations in producing regular streams of doctors yearly'.He congratulated parents and guardians of the doctors for 'their doggedness in the pursuit of a worthy cause'. Attah urged the doctors not to stop at the MBBS level but to pursue specialisation to consultancy stage.According to the Provost, their oaths would embolden them to serve humanity with 'honour, dignity, certainty and authority'. He warned them against unethical conducts.'Leo Sobechi, Abakaliki'Why Varsity Was Relocated'THE Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dr. Obinna Duruji, at the weekend in Owerri, said it is the exclusive preserve of the governor to choose where the state university would be located. Duruji was reacting to concern among some members of the public over a planned relocation of the institution from its temporary site at Lake Nwebere, Aladinma to Ideato, South local council, which is home to Governor Rochas Okorocha.Duruji said there is no need for persons, especially from Owerri to bear grudges against Okorocha since past governors have made similar moves.'It is the exclusive preserve of the state governor to relocate a university. That is the politics of the state university,' he said.He added that Ideato South is blessed with a serene and conducive atmosphere for scholarship.'Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri Click here to read full news..