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Yar’Adua Calls For Peace In N’Delta

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President Umru Yar’Adua has advised the Niger Delta region to embrace peace and support development initiatives in the region.

The president also reaffirmed his administration’s readiness to invest in power to eradicate poverty.

President Yar’Adua, who is on an official visit to Bayelsa State, arrived the peace park, venue of the civic reception held for him by his host, Governor Timpre Sylva, in company of the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mrs. Daezani Madueke and Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State.

However, both senators and members of House of Representatives representing the state in the National Assembly were absent. An Abuja source confided that the legislators did not accompany the president because they said they were not invited by the state government. But a top government official denied this saying they were sent letters of invitation.

Yar’Adua, who expressed his administration’s preparedness to transform the Niger Delta, urged those he described as merchants of violence to change their ways.

But to those who genuinely took up arms to draw attention to the sad situation to the region, he said, “we have heard you and we are ready to work with you to move the Niger Delta forward in the interest of its long-suffering people.

“But to those hiding under the cover of legitimate protest to feather private nests, those merchants of violence, I say to you: change your ways, the people of Niger Delta have seen through your antics and will soon expose you”.

He urged all the people to give the administration a chance to earn their trust.

The president expressed hope that soon, “the region will be transformed into a development hub not only for Nigeria but also for the West African sub-region, in a way that will surpass the recent post-conflict transformation of Angola. But this cannot happen without peace and partnership.

“This is why we are strongly committed to prompt payment of all statutory allocations due to the region and to continued support to interventionist agencies like the NDDC. This is also why we created the Ministry of Niger Delta to coordinate our holistic approach to he transformation of this region.”

He, however, noted that all these would come to naught without peace, without trust, and cooperation of stakeholders.

“Let me therefore use this opportunity to state categorically that our amnesty offer to militants is not a ruse. It is for real “he said, and stressed that the administration would continue to put in place every measure that would bring about peace.

He said the complaints of the people of the region have been noted and expressed his determination to work with them to uplift the state and the region.

Speaking on power, he said it would impact on the lives of Bayelsans.

According to him, regular supply of electricity would improve the productive capacities of Bayelsans and deepen opportunities for growth and prosperity.

The administration, according to him, believes power represents a principal pathway out of poverty for Nigerians.

“Clearly, we need to fix electricity as quick as possible”.

“This is why electricity is accorded a priority position under critical infrastructure in our 7-Point Agenda. And this is why we are not wavering in our commitment to generating and distributing 6,000 MW by the end of this year, and 10,000 MW by 2011. There are enormous challenges ahead but the targets will be met”.

Wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan (2nd leftt) in a handshake with some dignataries  while wife of Rivers State Governor, Lady Judith Amaechi,  watches at the Port Harcourt Airport, recently. Photo: Ike Wigodo.

Wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan (2nd leftt) in a handshake with some dignataries while wife of Rivers State Governor, Lady Judith Amaechi, watches at the Port Harcourt Airport, recently. Photo: Ike Wigodo.

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Make Army Strongest In Africa, Wike Urges FG

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has challenged the Federal Government on the need to strengthen the combat capability of the nation’s Army.
The governor said the goal of such investment should be to make the Nigerian Army the strongest and the best in Africa.
Wike gave the challenge while delivering a keynote address at the Nigerian Army Combat Support Arms Training Week 2021, christened, “COSAT WEEK 2021”, in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The governor spoke on the theme of the event entitled, “Building capacity of the combat support arms towards optimising the utilisation of indigenous technology in support of Nigerian Army operations.”
According to Wike, there should be increased commitment to national defence with robust security budgetary allocation that would engender adequate mobilisation of resources to support the implementation of strategic initiatives in developing indigenous defence technology.
“All over the world, countries are rapidly modernizing their armies, increasing their weapon systems lethality and strengthening the efficiency and combat readiness in response to the increasingly changing nature of the modern times battlefields.
“Nigeria cannot be different if we are interested in having a military force that can easily deter external aggression, meet our international and regional military objectives as well as defeat internal insurrections and existential threats to national security.
“Our national strategic goal in this regard therefore, should be, to create and have an entirely self-reliant defence industrial sector that is driven substantially by local technological inputs that meet the needs for assembling modern military weaponry, equipment, including missiles and other combat capabilities.
“Nothing should, therefore, be spared by the Federal Government to build the most modern and strongest Army in Africa and restore our country and the black race to the position of strength, pride, and prosperity.”
Wike noted that the Nigerian Army, since its formation, has worked so hard with other components of the armed forces, to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and internal security of Nigeria.
According to Wike, aside the challenges of political crisis of the first republic, the 30-month needless civil war that would have made Nigeria relics of history, Boko Haram has remained a huge threat over a decade now.
“Consequently, countries whose superior military technologies are better placed to outperform others, and win the battle than others who do not have, and have to depend on the support from the advanced countries.
“Unfortunately, Nigeria is among the countries that are currently lagging behind advancements in science, technology, and innovation.”
Speaking further, Wike asserted that the quality, operational capacity and competence of Nigerian Armed Forces is contingent on the ability to provide impregnable fortress and safeguard to the sovereignty, security, development and the interest of Nigeria.
He said that as a government, great satisfaction is taken in the presence of the Army in Rivers State defending the foundations of Nigeria, the nation’s democracy, securing lives and property similar to what they do across the country.
“That is why we have always been available to render whatever support we can give to advance the professional capability of the armed forces to perform its external and internal constitutional duties, both within and outside Rivers State.
“As a matter of fact, the 11 new armoured-plated gun boats we recently committed to procuring for the Army and Navy formations in the state are underway.
“We will soon invite the Chiefs of Army and Naval Staff to come over and take physical possession of these boats as part of our contributions to strengthen their offensive and defensive operations capabilities on our waterways.”
Declaring the COSAT WEEK 2021 open, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Farouk Yahaya said the training week was an avenue for participants to brainstorm and re-strategise towards providing effective support to all operations of the Nigerian Army.
According to him, one of the key enablers to the recorded success in their operations was the undaunted support of the Combat Support Arms in providing effective counter-insurgent operations in the North-East as well as other operations across the country.
“I am glad to observe that the significant progress made by the Combat Support Arms in patronising local vendors. A case in point is the domestication of production of some of our equipment currently deployed for operational use.
“This, alongside other innovations and inventions, has further enhanced the Nigerian Army’s capacity and capability at defeating the adversary.”
In his welcome address, the Corps Commander Signal, Maj-Gen Abiodun Owolabi, expressed optimism that the 2021 Combat Support Arms Training Week would contribute significantly to achieving the vision of the Chief of Army Staff’s vision of building a professional Army that is ready to accomplish assigned missions within a joint environment in the defence of Nigeria.

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WAFU Zone B Qualifier: Rivers Govt Throws Weight Behind Angels FC

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Rivers State Governor, NyesomWike, has placed a marching order to accord the necessary support needed to aid the Jewels of Rivers, Rivers Angels FC  qualify from  the  West African Union(WAFU) B and ultimately win the CAF Women’s Champions League Cup.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye  disclosed this, Monday, in a press statement signed by the state government’s press officer, Daniel Nwankwoala.
The commissioner commended the team for its victory over Hasaacas Ladies of Ghana in the opening match of their group qualifier, played at the weekend.
He promised to give the necessary support needed, as ordered by the State Governor, to enable the team get the desired results, playing their CAF Women’s  qualifier and win the cup as well.
“The Governor has placed an order to ensure that the team lacks nothing needed,  to help boost their morale, help them perform optimally and aid victory, as they embarked on this maiden competition,”  Iyaye said.
Earlier, head coach of the team, Edwin Okon,  has expressed optimism that his team will perform even better, having prepared adequately for the competition.
“We will fight to the end, my girls will do even better job. I can assure you that, the(players) are  in high spirit and determined to win.
“I am glad that we don’t have injuries worries, so, we are set and ready to do Nigeria proud,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Port Harcourt, Nigeria representatives started  their campaign in the WAFU Zone B qualifier  with a 2-0 win against their Ghana opponents, Hasaacas Ladies on Saturday, to get closer to qualification for the semi-finals.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Sports

Sports Minister Hails Anyanacho,Offiong

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has described Elizabeth Anyanacho as a future star.
Anyanacho lost 12-7 to Turkey’s Nur Tatar in the Round of 16 of the women’s 67kg taekwondo event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday morning.
Dare, who watched the bout, congratulated the 22-year-old despite the defeat.
“You’ve done well against a world champion. Keep your focus. The world will soon rise to salute you in the near future,” Dare told Anyanacho.
Tidesports source reports that he was also on hand to encourage Edem Offiong, who lost 4-1 in the second round of women’s table tennis to the USA’s Lily Zhang.
“You exhibited strength and talent. Nigeria thank you for making the country proud at the Olympics,” Dare told Offiong.
The pair of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori also lost their second Group B match in the men’s doubles badminton event against Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen, while Dorcas Adesokan was beaten 2-0 by Spain’s Clara Azurmendi in the opening Group B match of the women’s badminton singles.

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