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Publishers Solicit Assistance For Banner Newspaper

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The Bayelsa State Independent Publishers Association (BIPA) has appealed to the state government to assist in rehabilitating the management of Banner News.

The corporate office of the Yenagoa based local tabloid was gutted by fire in June this year.

During the incident property of the newspaper which includes computers, printing machines, office stationeries and fiscal cash estimated at millions of naira were destroyed.

Narrating the incident to the state Commissioner of Information, Strategy and Orientation, Chief Asara O. Asara, the chairman of BIPA, Mr. Ebi Ozegbe appealed to the state government to rehabilitate the publisher of the tabloid, Mr. Union Oyadongha.

Mr. Ozegbe pointed out that the physical and psychological trauma the incident has caused the publisher is such that needs the assistance of government, philanthropic organisations and individual.

He said Banner News is one of the local tabloids that has stood the test of time in promoting development journalism in the state by constantly publishing government activities.

The chairman used the occasion of the courtesy visit to intimate the commission about the associations 10th anniversary coming up very soon.

According to him, the association in the past had received a lot of encouragement from past administration but regretted that it had not been possible for them to have this co-operation from the present Sylva administration.

Responding, Chief Asara said government is doing its utmost best to responds to the yearnings of people but due to the present economic meltdown, it has not been possible to address all sectors.

This, according to him, was the reason why sourcing for N100 billion through capital market has became imperative.

“When the bond materialise government would be in a better position to address the issues of development and other social issue, he said.

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Niger Delta

Four Kidnapped UNIPORT Students Regain Freedom

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The four students of the University of Port Harcourt who were abducted by gunmen have regained their freedom.
The students were returning from the Ahoada area of Rivers State when the kidnappers struck and whisked them away.
Report Say the victims escaped on Wednesday when a team of security operatives invaded the kidnappers’ den and engaged them in a shootout.
The Public, Relations Officer of the University, Sam Kpenu, while confirming the development, said the students had been reunited with their families.
He said, “Four students of the University of Port Harcourt who were kidnapped last weekend have been released and reunited with their families.
“Gbaa Nenubari, Asumbo Elizabeth, Eze Chimezie and Onosigho Augustine were abducted on their way from the Orashi River where they had gone for a vegetation sampling for their final year project and postgraduate research work.”
Kpenu said the Vice Chancellor of the school, Professor Owunari Georgewill, who received the four students in his office, commended the Nigeria Police Force, the Chief Security Officer of the university and the entire security agencies in Rivers and Bayelsa states for their prompt intervention which led to the release of the victims.

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Police, Civil Defence Clash Over ‘Illegal Oil Bunkering Site’ In Rivers

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The police in Rivers State, have narrated how their operatives clashed with the personnel of a sister security agency – the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) over an alleged illegal oil bunkering site in the state.
The police spokesperson in the state, Grace Iringe-Koko, in a statement in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, said police operatives who visited the illegal refining site at Ogbogoro Community for an operation, were resisted by armed officials of the NSCDC.
Iringe-Koko, a deputy superintendent of police, said the Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, George Ariolu, visited the site with a detachment of police operatives led by Akika Solomon, an assistant commissioner of police.
She said armed civil defence officials, about 20 of them, prevented the chairman’s team from having access to the site.
“They were eventually disarmed and arrested by the police before Ariolu had access into the depot,” she said.
“We are fully committed to fighting the war against illegal oil bunkering to a logical conclusion,” she said.
In his reaction, Bature Aliyu, the NSCDC Commandant in Rivers State, dismissed claims that the site was used for illegal oil activities.
“The marine exhibit yard in Ogbogoro jetty is not an illegal bunkering site.
“It is a holding bay used by NSCDC to detain boats, vessels, barges and drums used for illegal oil bunkering,” he said.
Mr Aliyu, who spoke through an Assistant Commandant of Corps, Michael Oguntuase, said that NSCDC’s Commandant-General, Ahmed Audi, visited and endorsed the site in 2021.
“So, the yard is NSCDC’s marine exhibits yard and not an illegal dump.
“Most of the exhibits there were arrested by the Nigerian Navy and handed over to us, while some of the arrests were made by us.
“The Ogbogoro jetty is a no-go area for anybody because destroying the yard means destroying the exhibits,” he said.
Mr Aliyu urged members of the public to report any NSCDC personnel found culpable of oil theft, illegal bunkering and vandalism in the state.
The Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike has declared war on operators of illegal refineries in the state.
The governor recently accused the police and the civil defence of aiding and abetting the operation of illegal refineries in the state.

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Assembly Demands Probe Of Bayelsa Motel Collapse

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The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has passed a two-point resolution calling on the state government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the state-owned Creek Motel in the state capital.
It also urged the government to take steps to resuscitate the motel because of its strategic tourism value to the state.
The resolution was sequel to a motion moved by the member representing Kolokuma/Opokuma Constituency 1, Tonye Isenah, during plenary on Tuesday.
Isenah said the 90-room facility located along the Hospital Road in Yenagoa used to be the preferred hotel by businessmen, oil companies’ workers, top military personnel and politicians, among other clients.
According to him, the motel served the tourism and hospitality needs of the state and was a viable source of revenue to the government.
Isenah said, “Shortly after the Creek Motel was contracted out to foreigners to manage, it went moribund and subsequently closed down under circumstances that were not explained.
“Most worrisome is the fact that the once-popular Creek Motel has become a safe haven for criminals and all kinds of reptiles, not to talk of the significant loss of revenue to the state government as a result of its continued closure.”
Supporting the motion, the lawmaker representing Ogbia Constituency 1, Mitema Obordor, noted that it was within the legislature’s competence to institute a probe into the deplorable condition of the motel that also housed the first set of legislators and other top government functionaries after the creation of Bayelsa.
Other members, who took turns to speak on the motion, observed that the state was grappling with infrastructural deficit and there was a need to maintain and upgrade facilities instead of abandoning them.

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