Journalists in the state have been called upon to follow up reported cases of brutality on them by law enforcement agents.
The call was made by the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Police Command, Barr. Bala Hassan, during a courtesy call on him by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Dr Godwin Mpi, in his office recently.
The commissioner emphasised that it was wrong for people to assume that the police authorities covered their men when they harass or brutalise innocent citizens, adding that journalists should ensure that proper investigation is carried out on cases of brutality by the Police.
On the part of the Police, the commissioner promised that feedback would be sent out to complainants.
He stressed that people should make distress calls to Police Control Room phone numbers, which are placed on bill boards located at strategic places in the state whenever there is threat or danger of criminals, in emergency situations and when they are unduly harassed by law enforcement agents.
He advised interested members of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) and the general public to join the Police Officers Mess for which membership forms are currently available, adding that such association would form a forum for better interaction between the Police on one hand, and media practitioners and the general public, on the other hand.
Earlier, the permanent secretary, had asked the commissioner to find ways of stopping harassment of journalists on duty by policemen, adding that for reported cases, the police should ensure that justice is done and feedback communicated to complainants.
He noted that efforts should be made to promote cordial relationship between media practitioners, police, governemtn and the general public.
Dr. Mpi stated that he had been informed by NUJ that efforts are on the way to provide identity cards for genuine journalists in the state which will be made known to the police and appealed to the police boss to assist the union to fish out fake journalists after the identification process would have been completed.
In his speech the State Chairman of the NUJ, Mr Opaka Dokubo, appealed to the commissioner to ensure that justice is done in the case of Ken Donatus, a staff of The Tide newspaper who was brutalized by some law enforcement agents on April 2, 2009.
In the entourage of the permanent secretary, were the State Chairman of NUJ, State Chairman of RATTAWU, Mr Saro Ginale, Director of Public Enlightenment Department of the Ministry, Mr Rufus Diri and others.
Council Boss Calls For Unity Among Okrika Indigenes
The Chairman of Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, Hon Akuro Tobin, has enjoined the people of the local government area to work in unity among every community and interest group in order to advance the development of the area
Akuro stated this when he organized a special luncheon to host traditional leaders, elected representatives, and other stakeholders of Okrika extraction held at the council premises over the weekend
The council boss spoke on the need for peaceful coexistence amongst the people and the need for all hands to be on deck in order to maintain the existing peace and security being enjoyed by all in the area, adding that no community can develop without peace and security.
He assured the people that his administration would collaborate with everyone to bring the desired development in the area, saying that his administration would embark on people-oriented projects that will impact positively and improve the well-being of the people
Akuro used the opportunity to call on the people to support his administration, adding that he will always interface with the people at all times and thanked the traditional institution for their efforts in maintaining absolute peace and tranquility across communities in the local government area.
In their remarks, Hon. Bright Gogo, a member of the federal House of Representatives and Alfred Abam assured the council boss of their readiness to give him the much-needed support and cooperation to enable him to move the council to greater heights.
Those who attended include the Amanyanabo of Okrika, King Alfred Seminitari Abam, Amanyanabo of Ogoloma, King E.T. I Obudibo, Amanyanabo of Kirike Town, King Air Commodore T. E. O Ogube (rtd), Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, King Ateke Michael Tom.
Others include the member representing Okrika/Ogu Bolo Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon Bright Gogo, the member representing Okrika State Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Linda Somiari-Stewart and the former Minister of Transport, Chief Abiye Precious Sekibo.
By: Michael T. Abraham
Wike Commissions 350 Shop-Ultra-Modern Market In Etche
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike at the weekend commissioned an ultra-modern market with 350 shops at Ulakwo in Etche Local Government Area.
The market is one of the projects of the council chairman, Dr Obinna Anyanwu.
Wike, represented by the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Desmond Akawor, said the project will improve the economy of the area.
He also said the execution of the project was indication that the council chairman was following in the footsteps of Governor Wike.
While stressing that Etche Local Government Area was a major beneficiary of the present administration, warned the people of Etche against being misled by members of the opposition.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Urban Development and Physical Planning, Mr Austin Ben Chioma said the people of Etche are happy with the development programmes, of the council chairman.
Chioma, however, urged the chairman to replicate the project in other parts of Etche.
Also speaking, a former Commissioner in Rivers State, Chief Alwell Onyesoh said the project will have direct bearing on the economy of the area.
According to him, the project is significant as it will help farmers in the area with a place to sell their goods.
Earlier, the council chairman, Dr Obinna Anyanwu said the project was to provide a place for the people who are predominantly farmers to sell their produce.
He said the market before now was as a shanty but that his administration had turned it into an edifice that people can see.
By: John Bibor
NULGE Hails Steps To Instil Discipline In Emohua Council
The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Rivers State says the union is in support of the policy of the current administration of Emohua Local Government Council to instil discipline among workers.
The State President of NULGE, Comrade Clifford Paul who made the statement when the leadership of NULGE visited the Emohua Local Government Chairman, Dr Chidi Lloyd at the council secretariat last Thursday said they were at Emohua council secretariat to rub minds and see areas they could work together for the interest of workers and government.
Paul said the policy to sanitize the system and instil discipline among workers was a genuine intention to correct the irregularities in the nominal roll of the council staff.
The union boss commended the council chairman for using his wealth of experience in handling the issue of workers salaries in the local government area.
He pleaded with the council chairman to facilitate the payment of primary healthcare workers in the local government area who are yet to receive their salaries.
The council chairman, Dr.Chidi Lloyd further reassured the union that the legitimate council workers and the staff of primary healthcare who have not received their salaries are going to receive theirs before the end of the week.
Lloyd noted that the council was paying salaries to those who do not go to work, stating that the policy was aimed at instilling discipline amongst workers.
By: Ike Wigodo
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