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Polls:Group Cautions Against Use Of Under-Aged Children

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Worried over purported recruitment of underaged children as voters and political thugs, an alliance of non-governmental organisations known as the Children Protecting Network (CPN) in collaboration with United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) have warned politicians to desist from such trend.

It also warned parents to ensure that their wards do not become victims of electoral related offences and violence in the upcoming elections.

Project Coordinator of the scheme and Head of Women Rights and Empowerment Initiative (WORI), Kaine Bobmanuel, in a chat with pressmen in Port Harcourt said the project was aimed at promoting an environment of Peace and Security in the 2011 electioneering period.

She noted that by their age, mental and psychological State, children below 18 years of age are not qualified to vote or be voted for.  She observed that some politicians have violated this principled over the years.

“Unexpected emergencies are often thrown up as unscrupulous politicians engage children, persons below the age of 18 years, particularly teenagers, to risks and electoral related offences.”

While condemning  the trend, the WORI Project Cordinator sand the body has commenced series of sensitisation campaigns  to enlighten stakeholders on the dangers of such attitude.

She further disclosed that the body monitored  the voters registration exercise and plans to monitor the general elections in April, with the view to checking politicians from using underage children in their activities.

Aside kicking against registration by underage children, and voting, she stated that CPN has commenced campaigns against violence in the forthcoming elections, having met with the different political parties and aspirants.

The body consequently urged parents to counsel their wards, especially those under 18 years to avoid being used by politicians, while urging children to shun all forms of thuggery  and politicking in the elections.

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Rivers

Council Boss Calls For Unity Among Okrika Indigenes

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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

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Rivers

Wike Commissions 350 Shop-Ultra-Modern Market In Etche

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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

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Rivers

NULGE Hails Steps To Instil Discipline In Emohua Council

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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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