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Poor State Of Omoku Roads

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The progress of any area or state depends on the level of infrastructural development. There is a broad range of factors that help to transform society, but infrastructural development is always in the lead.

A survey of most communities in Rivers State and Nigeria at large indicates that, among other problem areas for development, infrastructure needs are the most important.

This is why the focus on the present state of roads in Omoku, headquarters of Ogba/Egbema/ Ndoni Local Government Area in Rivers State has become necessary. The deplorable state of the internal and federal roads in Omoku is driving massive and increased attention.

Members of the Rivers State House of Assembly recently summoned the Chairman of Ogba/Egbema/ Ndoni Local Government Council, Mr. Raymond Nwokocha to the House during which they resolved that the Commissioner for Works, Chairman of Road Maintenance Agency and the Council Chairman should meet with the speaker to address the deplorable state of internal roads and drainages in Omoku. This followed a motion brought before the House by Hon. Gift Wokocha representing the area in the State Assembly over the poor state of roads there in spite of the contributions of the local government to the nation.

Similarly, a body known as Ogba Lawyers Forum (OLF) decried the non-existence of federal projects in Ogba/Egbema/ Ndoni Local Government Area. Making the position of the body known in an interview, President, of the body, Mr Richard Aduche Wokocha said in spite of the huge contributions made by the local government to national development, the area was still grossly neglected by the Federal Government in terms of provision of basic infrastructure.

According to Mr. Wokocha, the people of ONELGA blessed with abundant oil and gas deposits and other natural resources are yearning for positive impact of Rivers and the Federal Governments in the area, pointing out that they had not fared well in the provision of basic infrastructure. He, therefore, appealed to both Federal and State governments to assist the people with people-oriented projects adding, “the time had come to address the developmental challenges facing the people.” The people of Omoku are well known for their industry and yearnings for self-development. The craving for development engaged the founding fathers of Omoku and Ogbaland in a courteous drive to put in place the structures that hold the town as a potential haven for clustered economics and natural resources. The economic potentials in Ogbaland propelled a massive scramble for the occupation of the land by the forefathers while the openness of the people exposed them to good fortunes that brought respite and speedy development to the area.

Omoku as the administrative seat for ONELGA  is an option that anyone, irrespective of religion, culture and ethnic background would like to embrace with both hands. The local government is blessed with oil and gas that are being explored and exploited by multinational oil companies and their subsidiaries.

The colonial administrators on discovering the economic potentials in Omoku and Ogbaland, established some companies in the area such as the Royal Niger Company and an Oil Mill at Kreigani, a few kilometers away from Omoku, which had a mini sea port for the exportation of palm oil and palm kernel. This trading potential made the place to be a full business town where people from all walks of life converged for business transactions on daily basis. It was later granted an urban status and headquarters of Ogba/Egbema District in the then Eastern region, until the creation of Rivers State in 1967.

The Local Government Area contributes immensely to the economic growth of not only Rivers State but also the country in terms of oil and gas production. It is quite worrisome that despite the huge contributions made by the local government to national development, there is still gross neglect of the area by the Federal Government in terms of basic infrastructure.

Earlier indices that could have favoured the town were altered by some greedy and selfish individuals of the area who do not seem to see the place as an important factor in the economic development of Rivers State and the nation. Omoku is currently like a beautiful bride between oil operators and the government which is once loved and abandoned after usage.

It is against this backdrop that the Chiefs, Community Development Committees (CDCs) and the entire stakeholders in ONELGA convened a meeting recently between the chairman of the council, Mr. Richard Nwokocha at Omoku to address the pathetic state of Omoku roads and other infrastructural roads of the area.

According to reports, the people of the local government at the meeting accused the chairman of non-performance since assuming office. He was blamed for not executing projects for the growth of the people. The chairman. Omoku city council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, HRH Eze Victor Ogidi told newsmen shortly after the meeting that the council chairman, Raymond Nwokocha had been in office for one year and seven months without any project on ground except two town halls, which are yet to be completed and  a public toilet, saying that these were the major projects he had done since he came into office. Echoing Eze Ogidi’s comment, the Chairman, Omoku CDC, Barrister Chris Amadike said the chairman, Nwokocha had performed below expectation.

But the council chairman in a swift reaction to the allegations said he had performed well in the execution of projects listing boreholes, town halls and public conveniences and promised to construct drainages along a street in Omoku.

In fact, the hue and cry of the people over the poor road network in Omoku has been on-going over the years which attracted the sympathy of some oil companies that tried to work on some of the roads which have now become deplorable and impassable. A visit or drive round the town shows that the allegations of non-performance and neglect against the present administration of the local government could be justified.

Given the role being played by ONELGA in the economic and national development of the country, there is every justification for government to come to the aid of the people by providing them with the necessary infrastructure and amenities such as good roads, constant electricity supply, potable water, good health care delivery, quality education for their children among others. It is no exaggeration to say that Omoku is the second city of Rivers State and deserves to be developed by the governments, both state and federal.

The town boasts of some state government offices, banks, the Federal College of Education (Technical) and attracts all categories of persons who go for one business transaction or the other as well as traders from Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Owerri, Imo, Aba etc. and houses people from all tribes of the federation.

The local government council should therefore, make the people enjoy the benefits of the revenue generated from there while ensuring that its monthly Federal Allocation is judiciously invested for their welfare to give them a sense of belonging.

Efforts should be made towards providing the people with decent environment, housing, employment for the youth, adequate health care services and modern schools and scholarship.

The local government council is expected to provide democracy dividends for the people. The chairman should not allow or give way for any strained relationship with the people because, one good turn they say, deserves another.

From the out set, Omoku has been an attractive city despite administrative and political disagreements among the leadership.

The situation in Omoku now calls for the state and federal governments to address the deplorable state of the roads and general development of the local government area considering its economic and socio-political viability. It is a very fertile ground for investment due to its peaceful and geographical disposition in the South South and the Niger Delta. In view of the economic viability of the area, it has become pertinent to call for creation of more local government areas from the three ethnic autonomous groups of Ogba, Egbema and Ndoni to give room for easier administration and development.

With the step taken by the State  House of Assembly, it is hoped that something positive would soon be done to rehabilitate Omoku roads and provide other advantages to give the people a humane attention. The time is ripe for the local government council to articulate an appropriate master plan for the development of Omoku and other communities in the area while the state and federal governments should make their presence felt by the people as they voted massively for the present administration of Governor Chibuike Amaechi and President Goodluck Jonathan.

A swift response in a way of embarking on the reconstruction of the roads within the dry season will be appreciated, just as it would be advised that contractors to handle the rehabilitation or reconstruction jobs should be closely monitored to ensure efficient delivery.

 

Shedie Okpara

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WAFU Zone B Qualifier: Rivers Govt Throws Weight Behind Angels FC

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Rivers State Governor, NyesomWike, has placed a marching order to accord the necessary support needed to aid the Jewels of Rivers, Rivers Angels FC  qualify from  the  West African Union(WAFU) B and ultimately win the CAF Women’s Champions League Cup.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye  disclosed this, Monday, in a press statement signed by the state government’s press officer, Daniel Nwankwoala.
The commissioner commended the team for its victory over Hasaacas Ladies of Ghana in the opening match of their group qualifier, played at the weekend.
He promised to give the necessary support needed, as ordered by the State Governor, to enable the team get the desired results, playing their CAF Women’s  qualifier and win the cup as well.
“The Governor has placed an order to ensure that the team lacks nothing needed,  to help boost their morale, help them perform optimally and aid victory, as they embarked on this maiden competition,”  Iyaye said.
Earlier, head coach of the team, Edwin Okon,  has expressed optimism that his team will perform even better, having prepared adequately for the competition.
“We will fight to the end, my girls will do even better job. I can assure you that, the(players) are  in high spirit and determined to win.
“I am glad that we don’t have injuries worries, so, we are set and ready to do Nigeria proud,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Port Harcourt, Nigeria representatives started  their campaign in the WAFU Zone B qualifier  with a 2-0 win against their Ghana opponents, Hasaacas Ladies on Saturday, to get closer to qualification for the semi-finals.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Sports Minister Hails Anyanacho,Offiong

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has described Elizabeth Anyanacho as a future star.
Anyanacho lost 12-7 to Turkey’s Nur Tatar in the Round of 16 of the women’s 67kg taekwondo event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday morning.
Dare, who watched the bout, congratulated the 22-year-old despite the defeat.
“You’ve done well against a world champion. Keep your focus. The world will soon rise to salute you in the near future,” Dare told Anyanacho.
Tidesports source reports that he was also on hand to encourage Edem Offiong, who lost 4-1 in the second round of women’s table tennis to the USA’s Lily Zhang.
“You exhibited strength and talent. Nigeria thank you for making the country proud at the Olympics,” Dare told Offiong.
The pair of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori also lost their second Group B match in the men’s doubles badminton event against Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen, while Dorcas Adesokan was beaten 2-0 by Spain’s Clara Azurmendi in the opening Group B match of the women’s badminton singles.

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We Won’t Give Up On Playing For Nigeria – Ogwumike Sisters

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Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams say they haven’t given up their dream of representing Nigeria in the future after they were denied the opportunity to play for the country women’s basketball team at the Tokyo Games.
The three WNBA stars, who all have American and Nigerian citizenship, would have strengthened D’Tigress squad at the Olympics, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled they were ineligible to represent Nigeria at the moment after having played for the United States.
“I still have a lot of pride and high hopes for the Nigerian team as it is composed now,” Nneka Ogwumike said.
“So, maybe this time around, I won’t be a part of it directly, but I certainly do hope that I can be in the future.”
“I think the fight has just begun,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “I cannot accept to being called a naturalised citizen, when I have full citizenship.
“People don’t know the extent to which my family, and myself in particular, ever since I was at Stanford, has been going back to Nigeria to help. So to have someone say that I am not Nigerian is not fair to my family or my heritage or myself. It just does not feel right at all.”
Williams, who plays for the Atlanta Dream said, “It’s really about the principle now. We’re still going to keep appealing and fighting because I think people need to understand there are a lot of us that have dual citizenship. Even if we grew up here, our households look very different than what people think, and that part of us is very real.

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