Construction work at the Agip flyover bridge along the busy Ikwerre Road in the Port Harcourt metropolis is going on at an increased pace.
The construction work is these days peaking, as the construction firm, RIVOC which is handling the project seems to have woken up from slumber to give the flyover project the expected push.
As it were, the flyover bridge is taking shape, as the Model Girls Secondary School axis of it is gradually been filled with sharp white sand on a daily basis. The pillars holding the fly over bridge in the midst of solid iron rods and powerful walls on both sides have been firmly put in place.
Equipment and machines driving heavy iron rods into the ground are daily found at the construction site doing what they know best, to give the flyover bridge the much-desired impetus. Men who are moving and operating the machines are equally putting hands on the deck to ensure that the flyover bridge takes shape.
While some of the men were busy directing tippers and trucks to pour loads of sharp white sand on top of the flyover bridge when The Tide on Sunday visited the site last Thursday, others were busy guiding machines to force down heavy iron pillars into the ground.
Caterpillars and bulldozers were also seen doing one thing or the other to increase the tempo of work at the site.
As was expected, the secondary school axis of the road, was closed for traffic that Thursday morning to enable construction work to go on with ease, and without interruption by road users especially motorists. The road remained closed till about 2 pm when it was opened for motorists and other road users. Closure of the road has, these days, been the trend, particularly during the morning hours of each day.
Work is equally progressing at an increased pace at the other end of the flyover bridge close to the office of the Rivers State Environmental Sanitation Authority (RSESA). Several workers were also seen at the site in the afternoon doing their jobs to ensure that the flyover bridge takes shape in no distant time.
The rate at which the construction work at the site has progressed in recent times may have confounded several residents of the city. This is because the situation today at the site is different from what it was a few months ago when work was apparently going on at a snail speed, giving the residents the impression that the construction firm handling the flyover bridge project may after all not be serious in handling the project.
For sure, those who had some negative comments for the firm and its workers may be forced to swallow their words going by the progress currently being made at the site as all hands seem to be on the deck to complete the project in record time.
Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi had during the Accountability Forum recently in Port Harcourt declared that several road projects going on across the state would be delivered in December. Nobody is however, sure whether the Agip flyover bridge would be among the government’s sponsored projects to be completed next month.
Also speaking with The Tide on Sunday in an exclusive interview recently, Hon Augustine Ngo, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Projects explained that the state government would as from November be on the neck of contractors handling various projects to ensure that they deliver quality jobs.
According to him, the administration was also poised to ensure that all ongoing projects across the state were completed next year.
The Special Adviser further indicated that the state government would intensify the supervision and monitoring of the various projects to ensure that quality jobs were executed. The Agip flyover bridge is unarguably one of the road projects embarked upon by the state government to decongest traffic around the Agip junction along the busy Ikwerre Road in the Port Harcourt metropolis. Right now, the roads around the construction site are in a bad shape as they are being literally taken over by bumps and potholes. As it is expected, the construction firm would do ample justice to the entire road as it works assiduously hard these days to complete the flyover bridge.
Another good point is that the Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi Drive which begins at the Rumueme Civic Centre and terminates at the back of Timber Shade within the Abuja By-Pass axis of the city is now handy and useful for vehicles diverted from the ongoing Agip flyover as the construction of the flyover enters a critical stage.
Whenever the Ikwerre Road and the site where the job is going on is closed for traffic, traffic is diverted to the Drive. Such traffic diversions, however, cause traffic jams every day within the Civic Centre axis, as cars and other vehicles scramble for space with each other.
The traffic jams particularly in the morning hours along the route are known to have given both motorists and commuters a hectic time as several residents of the city who go to their offices through the route are held up for hours to the point that they often get to their offices late.
For sure, the completion of the Agip flyover bridge would provide the expected panacea to the hydra-headed traffic bottle necks that were often noticed at Agip junction particularly in the past. There will be a big relief in the coming months when RIVOC delivers the flyover bridge to the government at the end of the day.
Asaramaija Installs Monarch Amid Fanfare
The colourful cultural displays that ushered in the coronation of Okangh Ama of Asaramaija Community in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State will for a long time stay green in the minds of the indigenes.
The ancient coastal community was alive for almost a week with various masquerade and cultural displays as part of the coronation ceremony.
The Tide Metro gathered that the salt making community picked one of its son, His Royal Highness (Dr) Inwon Joseph Isaac Urang for the unique stool of his fathers.
Urang is a medical doctor by training and is under the services of the Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board.
Investigations revealed that the community is one of the oldest Andoni settlements known for salt-making before the advent of Europeans.
Highpoint of the ceremony was done last Tuesday when the new king severed the head of a life bull and presented it to the people.
In the culture of the community, once the king-to-be successfully cuts the head of a bull smoothly that means he has been accepted by the ancestors.
Shortly after the ceremony, Dr Urang promised to work assiduously to ensure peace, love, unity and progress of the community.
On his part, Secretary General of Asarama Divisional Council of Traditional Rulers (ADCTR), Chief Ubokikwan Gabriel Ogbologwung, said the emergence of the new monarch was a welcome development.
Ogbologwung urged the people to embark on a fresh journey to promote peace, love and unity among themselves.
“All the subjects of the new King of Asaramaija should love and work in unison with their monarch.
“The elders and kingmakers should rally round him to provide wise counsels to the new king with which the community and kingdom would make progress,” Chief Ogbologwung stressed.
By: Kevin Nengia
Youths March In PH For PDP Governorship Candidate
As part of the build up to the 2023 governorship election, millions of youths marched through some streets of Port Harcourt to sensitise the public, while crusading for a violence- free election.
The youths were made up of a coalition of various groups including Rivers Equity Group and the National Youth Council of Nigeria(NYCN) forming part of the majority of the participants
Clad in white T-shirts and blue jeans, the youths took off from Christmas Village Hotel in Eagle Island and marched through Illoabuchi to Ikwerre and Azikiwe Roads.
The acting state coordinator of the “Two Million Youth For SIM”, Ibim Daminabo said Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Siminialayi Fubara is generally accepted by the youths, hence, they are drumming support for him as a young man who wants to govern Rivers State.
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers, Siminialayi Fubara had earlier assured that he would be a governor for all the people of the state if elected into office in 2023.
Aside the youths, the rally also witnessed the presence of party stalwarts and statesmen who joined in the walk round parts of the city.
Some of the eminent Rivers indigenes under the aegis of “Rivers Equity for 2million Youths for SIM” include former Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs, Sir Clapton Ogolo; Alabo Pawariso Horsfall, two former Permanent Secretaries, Sir J. P. Nalley and Sir Hart.
Others are Sir Emeka Ichoku and Mrs Tari Ningi Wari.
Speaking to newsmen, Sir Ogolo told newsmen that the event was to sensitise youths in the state to abstain from violence during the 2023 elections.
Ogolo, who was one of the conveners of the event, said violence was not only destructive but limits development and progress.
He said at this time, Rivers State needed a youthful governor to continue with the developmental aspirations of the present administration.
Ogolo warned those throwing stones to desist as the days of ignorance were over, “Peace is development and it gives joy”, he said.
The former commissioner said the rally would be taken round the 23 local government areas of the state.
Also speaking, Alabo Pawariso Samuel Horsfall said the Rivers Equity for 2million Youths For SIM, has come to join forces with Rivers youths to say no to violence during the 2023 general elections.
According to him, Rivers youths have always set the pace in the country, adding that such enviable position must be sustained in next year’s election.
Counselling youths to take the message round the state, Horsfall said Rivers youths were lucky that Sir Fubara was one of them.
He described the PDP guber candidate as peace-loving, a character he exhibits in all his activities.
The keynote speaker, Sir Emeka Ichoku, who spoke on the “Role of Youths on Violence In Free Election”, said the Peoples Democratic Party guber candidate knows what empowerment is all about.
Ichoku urged the youths to join the moving train by fully participating in the electoral process by getting their permanent voters’ cards and abstaining from violence during the elections.
For Hon. Norman Iboroma, the time for youths to take over has come, as he canvassed for a violence-free election in 2023.
By: Kevin Nengia
Democracy Day: Stakeholders Brainstorm In PH
This year’s Democracy Day celebration in Port Harcourt witnessed a gathering of religious and public-spirited individuals on a one-day forum to chart course for the nation’s leadership in next year elections.
The event was organised by the Men’s League of Christ Church, Port Harcourt tagged, “What Do Nigerians Want?” as stakeholders drawn from all walks of life in the metropolis brainstormed on the kind of leadership the country needs.
Speakers and experts drawn from the academia, church and the general public all shared views on how to pull the country out of its current debacle.
President of the Men’s League of Christ Church Port Harcourt, Barrister Sotonye Inyeinengi-Etomi set the tone of the forum, when he spoke on the need for a new leadership paradigm shift considering the state of the nation.
He stated that the church as key player in both spiritual and social needs of the nation has risen to the challenge to sensitise and to awaken the citizenry on the need to make the nation better.
Worried by the worsening insecurity and economic challenges, Inyeinnengi-Etomi submitted that the forum was put together by the men in the church as their contribution to nation building.
The Christ Church Men’s League Chairman stressed the need for participatory citizenship and improving governance.
In his paper titled, “The President Nigeria Needs”, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo harped on the need for leadership change.
He argued that what the country needs now are leaders who have vision and are ready to sacrifice for the common man, saying” things must be done differently”.
Pastor Ighodalo was of the opinion that leadership remain the bane of Nigeria’s transformation, stressing that once we get good leadership other things will fall in place.
Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo while speaking on the topic “Restructuring and True Federalism” was of the view that some responsibilities need to be decentralised like the police, power provision and railway.
Once there is decentralisation, he believes that the state will have less dependence on the centre, “rebalancing of the constitution in terms of power and security. So, there is reason for state police.”
Oyewo maintained that regions are closer to the people, thus it will boost security, the economy and sense of belonging by the populace.
He also identified data and planning as key factors in ensuring that programmes are tailored towards the people.
The state of insecurity in Nigeria was addressed by Dr. Victoria Ekhomu, a security expert, who narrated how her husband was killed by kidnappers years back.
Dr. Ekhomu blamed security challenges on poor leadership in the country, as she warned that if the current insecurity in parts of the country persists then next year’s elections may be hampered.
Chairman of the forum’s Organising Committee, Engr Stanford Tasie said this year’s forum was a success and assured that the communique will be forwarded to appropriate authorities as a way to support national development.
He recalled that this year’s forum was the second in the series and that by next year when another one will be organised, the country must have concluded its elections.
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