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RSG Urged To Sustain RSNC

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The former President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Senibo Sofiri, Bobo Brown has appealed to the Rivers State Government to evolve policies that would promote the sustainability of the state-owned Newspaper Corporation (RSNC), “The Tide, so as to enable the newspaper serve the purpose for which it was established.

Senibo Sofiri Bobo Brown made the appeal during the lecture session of the programme of  events to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the newspaper corporation held at the Atlantic Hall of Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt last Friday.

The former NIPR boss who chaired the lecture session explained that the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation (RSNC), The Tide was established by the first Military Administrator of the old Rivers State, Commander Alfred Diete-Spiff as a platform to bear the identity of the state in the then contemporary Nigerian society.

He stated that The Tide was established to be the voice of the southern  minorities and served as an avenue for which the state could compete among other states in the country.

According to the former president of the NIPR, The Tide also serves as a torch bearer to the people of the state, adding that the Southern Nigeria used the establishment of various state print media to maintain their identity  in the country.

“Our people tried to be heard through political participation, struggle to exist but of no avail. We have The Chronicle, Observer and The Tide, all were created to bear the identity of the region and give life to the people,”  he stated.

He called on the state government to assist the corporation especially in the area of finance to enable it keep the faith of  the founding fathers alive, adding that the corporation reminds the people of their history in the emerging Nigerian nation.

The chairman commended the management and  staff of the corporation on the 40th anniversary celebration and urged them to continue to keep the spirit alive.

In his address at the event, the General Manager, Rivers State Newspaper Corporation (RSNC), Mr. Celestine Ogolo stated that the newspaper remains unarguably the only surviving and thriving state-owned newspaper in Nigeria.

Mr. Ogolo noted that the newspaper had operated in consonance with the dictates of modern information and communication technology, and had rightfully assumed its place as the authoritative voice of the Niger Delta which is a fulfillment of the dreams of the founding fathers.

The general manager disclosed that the RSNC was established by Edict No 11 of 1971 by the then Military Administrator, Commander Alfred Diete-Spiff which propelled the first launch of copy of the newspaper in Lagos on December 1, 1971 while the actual marketing and circulation of the newspaper started on December 4, the same year.

He recalled that the newspaper had led other newspapers in the early 70’s due to the robust government’s funding and the state of the art facilities it had,  adding that the corporation had over the years been the major lubricant, catalyst and driver of the development paradigm of the state.

Mr. Ogolo lauded the founding fathers for their dreams that led to the establishment of the paper, adding that at 40 years of its existence, both the government and the people of the state should be delighted and proud that the newspaper had survived and met its mandate to Rivers State.

The general manager, while thanking various successive governments of the state for their efforts in keeping the newspaper afloat at a time when all government-owned newspapers in the country had either gone under or were managing to retain their sizeable staff  assured that the newspaper would continue to fulfil its objectives to the people despite the huge challenges facing it.

Earlier in their separate lectures presentations, entitled “media-oil industry partnership for sustainable Development and the state media: the way forward presented by professor Ben Naanen and Mr. Ray Ekpu.

In his presentation, Prof Ben Naanen defined sustainable development as any development that meets the needs of the present without compromising he ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

He said given by the role of the media, the media would over has been vocal in exposing he environmental crimes of oil companies likening such relationship between the oil companies and the media as analogous to that between cat and the mouse.

However, he said the media can help in shaping and in generating awareness of oil companies especially in community solid responsibility programmes.

Mercy Awari & Beauty Abraham

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Rivers

PH Lawyer Drags FG To Court Over Soot Epidemic, Demands N500m Damages

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A lawyer, Okparaolu Chioma Chris, has sued the Federal Government over the black soot epidemic in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, and its devastating effects on the health and wellbeing of residents of the state.
Chris, in a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, is asking the court to compel the Federal Government to pay N500million as damages for gross violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights.
The suit also wants the court to mandate the government to take “bold and reasonable steps to stop or minimise to the barest minimum the emission of black soot in Rivers State and to begin the process of cleaning the air space and environment of the state”.
Available document revealed that the applicant is praying the court for the following reliefs; “A declaration that the applicant and indeed other indigenes of Rivers State, Nigerians and all human beings living and resident in Port Harcourt and in Rivers State and its environs are entitled to the best attainable state of physical and mental health and a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development as guaranteed by Articles 16 and 24 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ratification and enforcement) Act laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004.
“A declaration that the act of the respondent in neglecting several pleas and petitions from the Government of Rivers State and her citizens, to urgently intervene, stop and remedy the hazardous atmospheric condition of Port Harcourt and other neighbouring areas and local governments of the state affected by the dangerous airborne particulate commonly known as black soot amounts to a gross violation of the applicant’s right and indeed that of other indigenes of the State, Nigerians and all human beings living and resident in Port Harcourt and its environs to enjoy physical and mental health.
“An order of this honourable court mandating to pay to the applicant, the sum of N500million only as damages for gross violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights as guaranteed under Articles 16 and 24 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ratification and enforcement) Act laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“An order of this honourable court directing the respondent to immediately take bold and reasonable steps to stop or minimise to the barest minimum the emission of black soot in Rivers State and to begin the process of cleaning the air space and environment of Rivers State. And for such order to orders that this honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.”
In the affidavit in support of the application, the applicant explained that, “sometime in the month of April 2016, many Nigerians including myself living in Port Harcourt began noticing the presence of an airborne particulate now commonly called “black soot” within the city of Port Harcourt and its environs.
“Black soot then was visible on white clothes spread outside and on the body of cars parked outside and it even increasingly began to affect the paint especially white colour used in the painting of houses in Port Harcourt.
“When the emission of the black spot continued unabated, and began to be seen in peoples’ living homes and that of myself, I and other residents of Port Harcourt began raising the alarm to both the government of Rivers State and the respondents on the dangerous effects of black soot.
“It has been widely reported that top government functionaries, politicians and general persons of influence have started using the M95 nose mask that filters the air. This mask is very expensive and it is far from my reach and those of ordinary Rivers people and Nigerians living and doing business in Rivers State.”

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Rivers

Obuah Gives Reasons For Wastes In PH

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The Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, Bro. Felix Obuah, has attributed the presence of wastes in some parts of Port Harcourt, the State Capital and its environs from Friday, January 14, 2022, to challenges the agency has with its dumpsites.
Bro. Obuah shortly after an official visit to the affected dumpsites, revealed that the agency’s dumpsites have been closed down, but that efforts are being made to acquire new dumpsites, so as to commence full evacuation of wastes in Port Harcourt, and its environs, within 48 hours.
In a statement made available by his media aid, Jerry Needam, the RIWAMA boss explained that evacuation of wastes will be delayed due to the permanent closure of the agency’s major dumpsites
Bro. Obuah appealed to residents in Port Harcourt and its environs, especially from the affected areas where wastes would be noticed, to bear with the agency as everything humanly possible is being done to ensure that new dumpsites are acquired and put back to use without delay, and evacuation of wastes would commence in earnest.
The RIWAMA Sole Administrator further called on residents in the affected areas to observe sanitary decorum and not to take undue advantage of the situation to dump their wastes indiscriminately.
While expressing thanks to them for their understanding, Bro. Obuah assured that the agency would not relent in its effort to ensure that the State is kept clean at all times.
He reminded residents and those doing business in the State that dumping of wastes on the median of the road, remains prohibited, warning that anyone caught dumping wastes on the median and outside government approved hours of 6pm to 12midnight, would be arrested and prosecuted.

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NUJ Rivers Council Election Holds, ’Morrow

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The rescheduled 7th Triennial Conference of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State Council, originally announced by the state council’s credentials committee, to hold Thursday, January 13, now holds tomorrow, Tuesday, January 18, 2022.
It was gathered that the conference which was expected to elect officers to pilot the affairs of the council for the next three years, could not hold last Thursday due to some unresolved issues on the voters list.
However, with the resolution reached on the list of voters in the state’s council election, by stake holders/leades in the council, the national secretariat has approved Tuesday, January 18, 2022, as the date for the conduct of election in the council.
The national secretariat thus, noted some observations concerning membership status of some persons in six chapels. It enjoined members whose names were affected to go to the election ground with their valid NUJ membership ID cards as well as ID cards of their respective work places.
A statement jointly signed by the chairman of the credentials committee, Victor Tew and secretary, Comrade Ogboka Chris Umeda said the conference will hold at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt at 9am prompt.
The statement advised delegates to arrive the venue of the conference promptly for accreditation.
The statement further advised delegates to conduct themselves orderly as all the necessary machineries have been put in place to ensure a free, fair, credible and orderly poll.
The Credentials Committee warns that it will not condone any disorderly behaviour from any quarters.
It advised all those who have no business with the conference to steer clear of the venue to avoid unpleasant consequences.

By: Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi

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