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A Jungle In The City

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Going by the pace of development in Rivers State, especially Port Harcourt, there are clear, unambiguous indications that Port Harcourt metropolis is underway to become a mega-city.

Already, some areas of the city have begun to wear new looks due to the reconstruction of some impassable roads, construction of drainage system, regular clearing of dump-sites and the general urban renewal policy of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s government, meant to return Port Harcourt to its past glorious status.

But while some new things are taking root, there are some structures and areas that still constitute eyesores within the Port Harcourt metropolis. One of them is the Jubilee Park.

Jubilee Park was a relaxation centre built by the colonial administration in the 1940s for people to relax and unwind after work and on yuletide seasons. The Park was one of the valuable legacies left behind by Harcourt, the first administrator of the then coast area of Port (now known as Port Harcourt).

For making his marks and for his general developmental efforts at turning the city  into an El-dorado of a sort, the then coast area of Port was named after him. It was for the same reason that his remains were interred inside the Jubilee Park.

Located between Bendel and Niger streets, the Park was a cynosure of all eyes between 1940s and 1980s. It played host to both adults and children who always clustered round the place to relax. Besides attracting new comers to the whole area of Bendel and Niger streets, residents around the Jubilee Park were living with joy and a sense of pride that could be compared with those living in Ikoyi in Lagos State or Government Residential Areas (GRA) in Port Harcourt.

Today however, the story has changed. Visitors now avoid the Jubilee Park area like a dirty ghetto, while residents around the place live with fear and sense of shame. The poor state of the Park makes the whole area looks like a slum.

Surrounded by low-standard restaurants and residential houses, the once famous Jubilee Park is now overgrown with weeds and brambles. It plays host to rodents, snakes and hoodlums who have made the whole area a danger zone. While the Niger Street side of the Park has been turned into car wash and football pitch, the other sides have been encroached by motor mechanics and bicycle repairers whose operations constitute noise pollution to the residents on daily basis.

The Park contains four small buildings, three of them have been overgrown with brambles; and one other structure that was cast in form of a dome and whose function is yet to be ascertained. Two of the buildings are being used as public toilets, while the other two are made up of dilapidated, non-functional restaurant and bar.

The left-over of the flowers and trees planted as decorative measure by the Fidelis Oyakhilome’s government are still there thickly covered with wild, thorny bushes.

The Jubilee Park, in a nutshell, constitutes an eyesore, not only to the residents in the area, but generally to the whole community. Besides the fact that the whole area is not attracting new comers, many residents are willing to relocate due to noise pollution caused by the illegal motor mechanics around the Park and the fear of possible attacks by hoodlums.

In fact, the poor state of the Jubilee Park would no doubt make even the dead beat sycophants, who make a career out of speaking in favour of ruinous, conservative trends, longing for some quick, immediate positive actions.

Mr. Tammy Ogan who lives directly opposite the Jubilee Park decried the neglect which the park has suffered from successive administrations in the State, and the danger its poor state was exposing residents of the area to.

He could not understand why such a place located within the main Port Harcourt City and where a distinguished man like Harcourt was buried would be left to become a dangerous zone where hoodlums smoke Indian hemp (Igbo) at night.

“You need to come here at night and see things for yourself. In fact, that tomb you are seeing over there (pointing at Harcourt’s tomb which is already covered with weeds) is where Harcourt, the man after who Port Harcourt was named, was buried. But it is sad and mind-boggling that this is the place where these bad boys use as hide-out at night to smoke ‘Igbo”, Ogan said.

Recalling with nostalgia that Jubilee Park was a place where he and his childhood friends including The Tide’s Group News Editor, Thomas Abbey (popularly known then as Sacramento) used to relax in the 1970s, Ogan lamented that “it is sad that our people, especially our modern-day political leaders can no longer maintain our rich cultural and political heritage”.

He continued: “I know that many of our people that belong to this generation are out of touch with this historical fact, and therefore may not know how Jubilee Park came into being basically because only handful of  them had been born in the 1940s. But many of our leaders in government today can not deny the knowledge about that historical Park”.

He therefore called on the state government to take over it and make good use of it.

“After all, Agbani Darego Hall over there (pointing at it) is in use and it is generating revenue for the government,” Ogan said.

Speaking in the same vein, another resident who pleaded anonymity for fear of being attacked by the hoodlums, particularly pleaded with the state government to consider the health and the safety of residents around the place and make a turn around of the Park.

She drew The Tide’s attention to the rowdy and untidy state of affairs around the Park, especially the noise coming from the activities of motor mechanics and football players.

“You can see that this side of the Park (Bendel Street) has been turned into a mechanic workshop and a dump-site, while the other side (Niger Street) has become a football pitch and car wash. We have quarreled several times with these guys over the noise pollution they cause us . We have asked them to relocate, yet, they are still there”, she said.

She, however, said that the most dangerous aspect of the menace is the activities of some hoodlums who use the Jubilee Park as a hide-out to rape young ladies and rob innocent citizens.

“There was an attempt by these bad boys to rape two young ladies about two months ago around 8pm. It was the combined intervention of the residents and passers-by that rescued those ladies. That is how dangerous  this place is. We are just praying that the state government would come to our rescue and do something very urgent about this place”, she said.

Although, all efforts to get the reactions of either the State Commissioner for Urban Renewal or his Environment counterpart did not yield result, investigations by My City, My Soul revealed that Governor Amaechi had personally gone on an inspection tour of the place twice, and may have a plan action for the place.

But the question on the limps of most residents around the Park is: How long will it take the State government to reclaim and transform the place that has been constituting en eyesore within Port Harcourt for a long time?

Boye Salau

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Rivers LG Polls: We Are Satisfied With The Process – Respondents

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Going by the outcome of the April 17, 2021 local government elections in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State, which in the minds of some residents, it is an acceptable exercise, while to others, it was a charade, as they alleged that the outcome of the elections was already a public knowledge.
Our correspondent, Bethel Toby, who sampled the opinions of many eligible voters and residents about the elections, described it as, “satisfactory”, and commendable since the emergence of democratic rule over 20 years ago in Nigeria.
Excerpts:

Hon. Chamberlain Nwogu – Administrator- Afam, Oyigbo
I think the whole process is good; though, the polls were devoid of chaos, acrimony and the wanton destruction of lives and property, hence, it is satisfactory.
I also commend the retired Justice George Omereji-led Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) for conducting one of the freest, fairest and credible elections in the country. I returned all the glory to God Almighty.
For the elected officials in the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State, they should do something meaningful in the area of governance, where people-oriented development projects should “wear a human-face” to justify the huge investment of the state government in the local levels.

Comrade Juliet Ekeh –Economist, Rumuodamaya, OBALGA
Of a truth, the election was well planned and conducted and the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP)candidates emerged in the 23 council areas; it is a thing of joy, but there is need for the government in conjunction with the electoral umpire to give a level playing ground for other political parties to feel the impact of an election. As we can see in the entire exercise, only PDP candidates emerged, making the whole system to be a ‘one-party business’. I advised that in subsequent polls in the state, other registered political parties be allowed to produce winners, as is the wish of the electorate. Some voters came out to vote for candidates of their choice and not party.

Ms. Hope Johnson – Undergraduate-Nchia, Eleme LGA
I am satisfied with the conduct of the just concluded council polls in Rivers State, but I am appealing to the government to give free-hand to the elected chairmen and councilors to discharge their legitimate functions at the local government levels for the well-being of the people. The idea of government hijacking the duties of leaders at the grassroots as alleged previously should be addressed for good governance to thrive.
Above-all, I commend our indefatigable Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for ensuring that the whole exercise remained free, fair and most applauding. I congratulate the victors, and for the gallant losers, I urge them to keep the event of the polls at their backs and work in tandem with elected officers to move the Local Government Area forward.

Engr. Ben Nwaorehu – Tourism Expert – Omoku, ONELGA
One thing is certain in our life, that is, sincerity, equity and fairplay which must be allowed to be part of us in all ramifications. In this context, the polls have come and gone, but the issue here now is, how many political parties came out victorious if not only the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP)?
Let the government, for goodness sake, give room for equity, because, he that demands for equity must come with a clean hand”. Let Nigerians stand their ground and say no to injustice, lack of equity and the denial of opportunity.
Many political parties contested the elections, how come about that only PDP emerged victorious in both the chairmanship and councillorship polls, which to me, is very unfair. I, therefore, urge the government at all levels to distance themselves from electoral process of this nature for peace to reign.

Dr. Igwama Geneva – Ophthalmologist- Kalio-Ama, WALGA

I am satisfied with the conduct of the election half-way. Though, there were reported cases of lopsidedness in the entire process, especially, the late arrival of electoral materials, poor distribution management by the officials of RSIEC and other electoral problems which could not allow eligible voters to exercise their franchise and choose candidates of their choice.
Apart from that, I appreciate the performance of the electoral umpire in particular and the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike in general for providing what it takes for the polls. I also enjoined both the winners and losers to work in tandem with one another to develop the grassroots for posterity.
The chairmen and their councillors should use the opportunity to build bridges of even development for the good of the common man, and not see it, as “avenue to amass wealth for themselves at the detriment of the down-trodden masses in the Local Government Areas.

Dr. Marygold Amadi – Lecturer – Aluu, KELGA
I want the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to borrow a leaf of what happened in Rivers State recently and perfect all the grey areas in its electoral process in subsequent polls in Nigeria.
The election has come and gone, all we want from the chairmen and councilors is to settle down to the business of governance and ensure that the masses was catered for in terms of the provision of amenities, ranging from good motorable roads, potable drinking water, uninterrupted power supply, employment generation for the youths, women and other vulnerable groups in their domains, empowerment largesse of grants and scholarships for students in tertiary institutions in the country and other demanding needs.
I urge all of them not to scuttle the process by functioning outside their domains, and shun the temptation of operating from Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, even overseas.
This is grassroots government and all the council chairmen and their lawmakers, including other principal officers of the various councils should brace up and dispense good governance to allow for equity and fair-play to take its course.

Comrade Francis Nwieme – Unionist – Bori, KHALGA
There is need for our elected chairmen and councilors to think fast concerning the electorate that voted for them and ensure they are included in their administration mainstream for good results. This should not be business as usual. Previous governments in our local areas failed to deliver democracy dividends, where councils’ funds were diverted to private pockets, including, government properties in their care. While elected, let the reverse be the case. There is need for them to bring their best to serve the people and not their families, friends and political godfathers and mothers. I wish them all prosperous leadership ahead.

Mrs. Beauty Essi Voka – Educationist – Umuebule, II, Etche LGA
Hurray! The election has finally come to a climax. All I need to say, is that those elected should operate an open-door-policy administration, where everyone would contribute their quotas for productive governance.
In all, I congratulate them and wish them memorable tenure.

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Rivers AG Advises Labour Against Strike

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Below is the text of a press conference held by the Hon. Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Rivers State, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, at Government House, Port Harcourt on Staurday, September 5, 2020 on the legal aspects of the threatened strike action by organised labour in Rivers State.

PROTOCOLS.
Sometime on or about the
16th day of March, 2020 the Rivers State Councils of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria issued a “Notice of Seven (7) Days Ultimatum for the Commencement of an Indefinite Strike Action in Rivers State by the Organized Labour”. See Annexure “A”.

  1. From the Notice of Seven (7) Days Ultimatum (Annexure “A”), the indefinite strike action was scheduled to commence midnight of Monday, 23rd March, 2020.
    3.It is important to mention that in issuing the Notice of Seven Days Ultimatum for the Commencement of Strike Action in Rivers State, the Rivers State Councils of the Nigeria Lacour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, failed, refused and/or neglected to fulfil the condition precedent for the declaration of strike action as prescribed in sections 4, 6 and 18 (1) (a) of the Trade Disputes Act, Cap. T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
    4.Consequently, the Government of Rivers State through the Honourable Attorney-General instituted Suit No. NICN/PH/41/2020 (Attorney-General Rivers State v. Comrade Beatrice Itubo, JP) at the National Industrial Court Port Harcourt by way of Originating Summons seeking the interpretation of the provisions of the Trade Disputes Act, Cap. T8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 and the Trade Unions Act, Cap. T14 LFN 2004 in relation to the threatened strike action by the defendants. The Honourable Attorney as claimant seeks declaratory and injunctive reliefs against the defendants on records.
    5.Given the extreme urgency of the matter, the Attorney-General also filed an Ex-parte Application for interim injunction restraining the defendants in Suit No. NICN/PH/41/2020 from commencing, embarking on or proceeding with the strike action. The Ex-parte Application was heard and granted by the Honourable Court on 23rd March, 2020 and the Court issued an interim Order of Injunction restraining the defendants either by themselves or through their servants, agents, privies, officers or otherwise howsoever called from embarking on a strike action on Monday, 23rd March 2020 or any other day thereafter pending the hearing and determination of the substantive Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction filed in the suit. The Honourable Court also restrained the defendants from interfering with the provision of service and other works by their members in the civil service of the Rivers State Government pending the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction. See Annexure “B”.
    6.By the agreement of the parties, the Originating Summons in the said suit was heard by the Honourable Court on the merits on Thursday July 23, 2020 and judgment in the suit has been reserved to Tuesday, September 29, 2020.
    7.Surprisingly, while Suit No. NICN/PH/41/2020 is still pending and the Interim Order of Injunction issued therein still subsisting, the defendants therein acting in collusion and concert with the national leadership of the Organized Labour (NLC and TUC) issued another threat of fresh strike action in Rivers State based on the same grounds canvassed in Annexure “A” and without complying with the mandatory statutory procedure for commencing strike action under the provisions of the Trade Dispute Act.
    8.In the face of the overt and unmitigated illegality, the Government of Rivers State being one committed to the observance of the Rule of Law, again approached the National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Lagos (as a Vacation Court) vide Suit No. NICN/LA/305/2020 (Attorney-General Rivers State v. Nigerian Labour Congress & 5 Ors) seeking the interpretation of the provisions of the Trade Disputes Act and Trade Unions Act in relation to the threatened strike action in Rivers State by the national and State Councils of NLC and TUC. See Annexure “C”.
    9.The claimant also applied for an Order of interim injunction restraining the defendants from embarking on a strike action in Rivers State on 5th, 6th or 7th September, 2020 or any other date whether earlier or later pending the hearing of the motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction.
  2. The trial Court after hearing extensive legal arguments from the Honourable Attorney-General of Rivers State granted an Order of Interim Injunction restraining all the defendants on record whether by themselves or through their servants, agents, privies, officers or otherwise howsoever called from embarking on a strike action in Rivers State on 5th, 6th or 7th September, 2020 or any other date whether earlier or later, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction filed in then suit AND/OR from stopping, hindering, preventing, disrupting or interfering in any manner whatsoever with the provision of service and other works by their members in the civil and public service of Rivers State pending the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction. See Annexure “D”. The Honourable Court also ordered that the Order of Interim Injunction, the Originating Summons and other processes issued in the suit be served on the defendants through publication in two (2) national Newspapers circulating in Nigeria and thereafter fixed Tuesday 8th September, 2020 as the return date.
    11.That I can confirm that all the defendants have been duly served with the enrolled Order of Interim Injunction and they cannot purport to claim ignorance of it. The affidavits of service have been duly filed in the registry of the court. See VANGURD NEWSPAPER of Thursday, September 3, 2020 at pages 24-30 and DAILY SUN NEWSPAPER of Thursday, September 3, 2020 at pages 14-20.
    12.It is important to mention that in law, once an Order is issued by a Court of Law, the party against whom the order is issued is legally bound to comply with the terms of the Order until same is set aside and it is not open to him to disobey the Order. The only remedy available to him is to apply either to the same court to vacate/vary the order or appeal against same to a higher court.
    13.That is also not open to a party against whom an Order has been made by a court of law to determine whether or not the Order was validly made. That power appertains to an appellate court and the appellate Court does not share that power with the party against whom the Order was made.
    14.In the circumstance, the defendants in Suit Nos. NICN/PH/41/2020 and NICN/LA/305/2020 are bound to comply strictly with the terms of the subsisting Orders of interim injunction issued by the court and they are bound to refrain from carrying out or purporting to carry out, embark upon or proceed with the strike action in Rivers State whether on 8th day of September, 2020 or on any earlier or later date.
    15.That every disobedience of an Order of Court constitutes Contempt of Court and the Court that issued the Order possesses both statutory and inherent powers to punish for disobedience of its Order by committing the party in default to prison until he purges himself of the contempt. This is the settled principle of our law.
    16.The Organized Labour is therefore warned against any act of overt or subtle disobedience of the subsisting Orders of the National Industrial Court because there shall be consequences for disobedience.
    17.That we will be moving the Honourable Court on the return date to issue FORM 48 (Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to Court Order) for service on the defendants.

Thank you.
Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, MCIArb, ksc
Hon. Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Rivers State.

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Marketing Tricks That Make You a Loyal Customer

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Seeing the full pattern of strategies that are meant to lure you in is some form of art. A lot of work goes in before the promotion content is masqueraded as candy and before you know it, you have been captivated in a trap. The bait that marketers use is appealing to all your senses with new twists that will have you bend the knee as their loyal customers.

Under the blanket of the fun and flattery that come in with bonus rounds and free points are carefully designed ways that are the fuel to customer retention. To prune out competition in a market space that is rather crowded, companies have invented authentic ways and features that will control your experience and have you come back for more.

One-Stop Shop

The convenience that comes with finding all that you need in the same space is liberating. This notion has been used by marketers to curb the likelihood of people moving from one place to another in search of services. It is for this reason that spaces in malls appear illuminating as entertainment, food and rest are all under one roof.

This has been incorporated to a great extent by companies keen to retain their customers. It is no wonder then that casinos offering gambling pools also have the snack arena set aside so that you can enjoy delicious treats as you try out your chances.

More for Less

Rivals are the biggest threats to a company’s customers whether old or new. To be able to appeal to the masses, the deals that are offered by its competition. Such strategies include free trial rounds before officially becoming a member, offering a counter deal that doubles the tokens and also having enhanced features for the free rounds.

This trick serves to lure people by having advanced features in the free rounds. On being captivated by the mesmerising experiences, you will drool for a repeat of the same and for that reason you will sign up for membership. What they do not tell you is that your membership has to be upgraded for such an experience and because this is what had drawn you in the first place. Such services are a mockery and are seen as a hoax, but by the time you discover this, you will be hypnotised by the excellent features.

Every Story Counts

Companies have also been observed to appeal to the emotions of potential business drivers by customising the marketing schemes to fit an individual’s preferences. The enforcement of better rewards is conveyed to the unsuspecting customer who then sees that all the mentioned qualities fit the bill.

The twist in this would be during the viewing or opening of an account where your email is a mandatory prerequisite. Based on these ideas, your search history is tracked and the concepts that are more interesting are used as a weapon for targeting. That is when you fall victim because they offer you exactly what you need. Above all, most casinos rely on the use of extensive data for marketing and only alter a few things to fit an individual’s story.

A Good Dog Deserves a Bone

To engage loyal customers that keep coming back for either new or old services, companies change conversations and boost the retention rates through loyalty programs. Most of the players will receive such a commendable treat with open hands and within no time, the casino, for instance, will be at the top of their list. What’s more is that a game can be complemented by a snack preventing the company from suffering huge losses. It is a win-win situation and a very effective technique.

The Contests

Marketers have the art of selling an idea in a nicely packaged manner without truly showcasing their pursuits. Game contests are one of the ways that they have employed the marketing strategy to a great audience. Essentially, what players are buying when participating in contests is the chance to win big and with this comes the necessity to play big.

Offers are relayed in such an exciting way that the hype completely blinds gamers of the large stake involved. It is during such contests that VIP features and merits are brought forward, and by participating in the contest, vivid descriptions of the enhanced upgrades are made known to many.

The Topping on the Ice

The fun and thrill of gambling is multiplied by incentives such as the welcome bonus roulette offered by the house. On some specific days, points are doubled up, and monthly draws are seen to be quite enticing. This kind of classic promotions has been used as a marketing platform on the scheduled time and days. By enabling specific features to be available at a particular time, the revelation is set ahead and only by advancing can one enjoy the feature exclusively.

Relationship with the Big Wigs

To foster the relationship that the house has with members in the premium category, the company maintains a close relationship where the feedback is responded to, and the other features are conveyed. In as much as this as appears as having the clients’ interest at heart, it is a technique developed to facilitate brand loyalty by the conniving marketers.

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