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2013 Flood: RSG Identifies Relief Camps

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Following this year’s flood prediction by the Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in some parts of the country, Rivers State is now reassessing the flood camps in the state.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Special Duties, Barr Dickson Umunakwe during a tour to some flood camps at Ahoada East Local Government Area, said the state was prepared to reduce the impact of the impending flood as plans were also in top gear to deploy a marine ambulance and six flying boats in each of the flood prone LGAs for prompt evacuation.
The commissioner represented by the Director of Administration in the ministry, Mr Victor Charles said the state government was working round the clock to ensure that the flood relief camps were habitable.
Corroborating, one of the Administration officers in the ministry, Mr Anthony Oghani said the aim of the identification of the flood relief camps was to take stock of the basic amenities at the camps for the comfort of the would-be flood victims should the disaster finally step in.
A press release by the ministry’s Press Officer, Mrs Martha Igbiks said the exercise would continue in Abua/Odual, Ahoada West and Ogba/Emgbema/Ndoni LGAs.
It would be recalled that the Ministry of Special Duties had earlier embarked on sensitisation to the flood prone LGAs where the inhabitants were enjoined to identify higher grounds in their various communities as muster points for easier evacuation and ensure the safe keeping of their vital documents, including birth and  marriage certificates, Certificates of Occupancy or other title deeds before the flood.
Meanwhile, The Rivers State Ministry of Education says the study of French will provide the students in the state an opportunity to learn other foreign languages outside English Language.
The Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi stated this while on an inspection tour of facilities at the new site of Alliance Francaise at the Amadi Flats in Port Harcourt.
The commissioner said the world was now a global village and the need to give our students an alternative was necessary.
The Commissioner said the project when completed would enable Rivers people to have access to the facilities in the institute especially those who want to learn the French Language.
She also said that the Ministry of Education had been collaborating with the French Institute in the area of teacher training and organising of summer holiday school for pupils and students in the state.
“We have been working with them since I became the Commissioner for Education. We have sent quite a number of our teachers for courses and also have sent our students on holiday tours and summer schools to enable them speak the French language. You know the world is now a global village and the need to give our students the opportunity to learn an alternative foreign language outside English was necessary”, she said.
The Consul General of France in Lagos, Francois Sastourne said the French Institute has very good relationship with the Ministry of Education and believe that the partnership will bring positive results.
He said that partnership with the Rivers State Government would bring a new face in teaching of French Language in Port Harcourt and the Eastern Nigeria.
“It is a good thing that we have very good cooperation with the Government of Rivers State and the Commissioner for Education on this issue of developing French Language.
There has been a long standing cooperation but in the years past, there have been few hitches especially on the location of the premises of Alliance Francaise but this has been resolved. We now have a new place which is going to be completed soon and we should bring new face to the teaching of French Language in Port Harcourt and the Eastern Nigeria”, he stated.
The Director Alliance Francaise in Port Harcourt, Helene Geneau-Okutue said the partnership with the Ministry of Education had been very fruitful.
She said that the French Institute had trained some French teachers in the Rivers State-owned schools and stated that they would continue to promote the study of the language in the state.

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Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court

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The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.

Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.

The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.

It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.

They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.

According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.

The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.

However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.

Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.

The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.

Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.

He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.

More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.

Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.

The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.

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World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.

The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.

The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.

“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.

“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?

“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.

“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.

“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”

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Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation

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Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.

The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.

“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.

Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.

It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.

It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.

“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’

“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.

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