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RSG Beefs Up Security In ONELGA: Warns Kidnappers …Uncovers 8,000 Ghost Workers

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The Rivers State Government, says it has beefed up security in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) to stem the incessant kidnap cases that have rocked the area in recent times.

Permanent Secretary, Government House, Mr Fortune Oguru gave the indication on Monday when protesting lecturers and students of the Federal College of Education Technical, Omoku marched down to Government House over the frequent abduction of lecturers in the school.

Mr Oguru while assuring the protesters of  government’s prompt action, said government was on top of the situation since the state valued security of its citizens above everything.

The Permanent Secretary further assured, ‘ what you are going through, we know, but give us sometimes, and we would act.

He lauded the protesting students and lecturers for their peaceful conduct during the protest, while urging them to go back and support the security agents in fishing out the hoodlums in the area.

Mr Oguru submitted that so far, the state government had spent huge sums in strengthening the security of the state in the acquisition of equipment and training of policemen, and therefore assured them that their plight would be forwarded to the appropriate authorities for quick action.

Earlier, leader of the protesters and chairman of the college’s chapter of Academic Staff Union, Comrade Chima Geofrey decried the incessant abduction of lecturers of the institution.

“Just Tuesday last week, one of our senior colleagues, Director of Degree Programme, was also kidnapped but was released yesterday”, Comrade Geofrey lamented.

So far, he stated that no fewer than nine lecturers were abducted by the kidnappers, while the whereabouts of one Dr Ihua Maduenyi kidnapped last year was yet to be unravelled.

The Academic Staff Union chairman lamented that “we are only left to our fate. The local government and security outfits cannot do anything to check the menace”.

Comrade Geofrey, therefore, demanded that the security outfit of the area be overhauled, while calling on the governor to draft more security personnel to the area.

Meanwhile, Chairman of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Hon Raymond Nwokocha has called for calm over the incessant kidnapping in the area.

Hon Nwokocha while responding to allegations made by protesting staffers of Federal College of Education Technical, Omoku at Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday, explained that the council authorities had not rested on their oars over the security threat.

Said Nwokocha, ‘ we are not relenting in tackling the situation… the DPO and other security personnel have been tackling and arresting these hoodlums on a daily basis”.

The ONELGA chairman, while expressing sadness over the development, called on the residents of the area to support government’s efforts to check the malaise, stressing, ‘no human being has the right to tamper with the life of another human being”.

Meanwhile, the former Head of Service (HOS) in Rivers State, Mrs Esther Anucha, says the state government discovers 8,000 ghost workers in its service.

Anucha disclosed this in Port Harcourt on Monday at a send-forth ceremony organised in her honour by Etche indigenes in the state civil service.

She said she fought the ghost worker syndrome in the state civil service and reduced the work force from 54,000 to 46,000.

Anucha, who was the first female head of service in the state, said her administration was characterised by industrial peace and harmony.

She said she served the state wholeheartedly and meritoriously, saying “selfless service pays”.

Anucha said that she spare headed the building of the Public Service Institute (PSI) at Chokocho, in Etche Local Government Area of the state and also introduced inter-ministerial sports competitions.

According to her, she retired a fulfilled woman having laid a solid foundation for a vibrant state civil service, and advised Etche indigenes in the service to be good ambassadors of their community.

In his address, chairman of the organising committee, Mr Innocent Anyanwu said Anucha’s administration had brought many Etche indigenes into the state civil service.

Anyanwu said Anucha’s administration had also trained and retrained civil servants, and noted that training and retraining were very essential for success in every human endeavour.

He said that the retired Head of Service had worked hard and left a legacy of harmonious, robust and success-driven civil service and rewarded hard work in the state.

Anyanwu said that many Etche indigenes employed as cleaners, gardeners, security guards and messengers had retired on the same designation after serving for 35 years.

He said such development should be corrected in the state civil service.

Our correspondent  reports that Anucha retired in September, 2012.

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Winners Emerge At JCI Poetry Competition

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Teens For Teens Excellent Wisdom International Secondary School representative, Mr Nduka Chisom, has emerged tops at a Poetry Competition organised by the Junior Chambers International, Garden City in Port Harcourt.
The second position was clinched by Miss Honey Vera Essien of Goman International School, while the third position went to Mr Baridura Charles of Community Boys Secondary School, Elelenwo.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony over the weekend in Port Harcourt, the 2021 local President of JCI Garden City, Uchechukwu Okorie, said the competition christened Philips Akpobiri Poetry Competition is a signature project of the body for this year and was in honoure of a JCI member who dedicated tremendously to the organisation and also doing much to strengthen service to humanity.
Okorie, explained that the theme of this year’s edition of the poetry competition, “Nigeria: A Giant Dwarf” captures the present socio-political reality in the country and that 12 schools drawn from public and private sectors participated in the contest.
“ We are not happy with what is happening and the best way is not to attack the authorities but to look inwards for solutions that would reposition the country to its pride of place in the globe.
“ We in JCI are out to promote good governance and civic actions that are sustainable. We are there to promote people who would emerge tommorow as leaders . Nigeria is bereft of leaders that are in tune with what we are presently going through”
“ The competition is a signature project for 2021 of JCI Garden City in partnership with MALT Foundation and ASA Foundation . They provided virtually everything from scholarship to the award money. We remain grateful to them”, he said.
Founder and chairman of Philips Akpobiri Poetry Competition, Ayoola Abiodun, expressed delight with the quality of works done by participants, stressing that they were able to prove that Nigeria is indeed a giant, but a dwarf.
He said that winner of the first prize will go home with a cash prize of N25,000.00 . The second position gets cash prize of N15,000.00 while the third best gets the sum of N10,000.00.

By: Chris Oluoh

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Gov Bags Gombe Traditional Title

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The Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu the 111, has honoured Governor Inuwa Yahaya with the traditional title of First Dan-Maje.
The newsmen reports that an eight-man delegation from the Emir‘s Palace, led by Alhaji Ahmed Mu’azu, a former Bauchi State Governor,  conveyed the message to Yahaya yesterday.
Mu’azu said the emir was honouring the governor because of his excellent performance.
Presenting the letter conveying the award, the Emir’s Courier, Alhaji Usman Adamu, said “the emir is impressed the governor’s performance in the areas of healthcare, education, road construction and erosion control.
“We have witnessed a reduction in the destruction of houses by floods.
“Our coming to present this message is not political but traditional as a result of your numerous accomplishments,” he said.
In his response a senior member of the governor’s extended family, Alhaji Mohammed Umaru, thanked the emir for the honor done to the family.
He said the family had had a robust relationship with the palace over the years.
In his response, Gov. Yahaya said “ I thank God for this and for giving me a wonderful opportunity to get this honor from His royal Highness, the Emir of Gombe.
“The honour would inspire me to do more, it means more service, more dedication and more delivery of good service to the people of Gombe State.
“This is a mark of honor, I will not disappoint His Highness and the entire people of Gombe,” he said.

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Contraception Averts 44% Female Deaths – RSPHCMB

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The Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board (RSPHCMB), says contraception intervention helps avert 44% of maternal deaths around the world by reducing the number of high-risk and unwanted pregnancies among citizens, thereby also preventing unsafe abortions, a leading cause of deaths among women and girls.
The Permanent Secretary, RSPHCMB, Dr Agariye Harry made this known at a press briefing to mark this year’s World Contraception Day, which is celebrated on September 26 every year.
Harry, who was represented by the Director, Community Health, RSPHCMB, Dr Joy Tonye Wihioka noted that World Contraception Day, which has the theme, “It’s Your Life, It’s Your Responsibility”, is a day set aside to commemorate a vision where every pregnancy is wanted and planned through the use of contraceptive also known as family planning that allows the family to either space or limit the number of pregnancies, thereby reducing the risk to life.
He said, “it is among the four pillars of safe motherhood initiative to reduce maternal deaths especially in developing countries and cities as ours,” stressing that according to World Health Organisation (WHO) findings, “contraceptive use has been found to have important implications for maternal health as well as adolescent health too”.
He restated the state government’s commitment to ensuring the reduction of maternal deaths to its barest minimum in the state.
He pointed out that there is no better time to celebrate the importance of family planning than now since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic with its attendant social and economic uncertainties and called for all hands to be on deck and support policies and practices that support the uptake of family planning services in the state.
Meanwhile, the Family Planning Desk Officer, RSPHCMB, Mrs Theresa Timothy, at a review meeting of Rivers State Media for Health and Family Planning in Port Harcourt at the weekend observed that family planning services could be accessed free of charge at all the Model Primary Health Centres and government hospitals in the 23 local government areas of the state.

By: Tonye Nria-Dappa

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