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Rivers NUJ Complex To Gulp N364m …Amaechi Performs Groundbreaking Ceremony, Today



The new secretariat building of the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) would be completed in 44 weeks at the cost of N364million.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs Ibim Semenitari disclosed this during a special kick-off meeting for the ground breaking ceremony for the new secretariat complex billed to take place at Moscow Road in Port Harcourt, today by 11am.
Briefing journalists after the meeting with stakeholders, the commissioner said “he fund for the project which was not accommodated in the 2011 budget appropriation, was approved in 2012, and with clearance from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BoPP), the fund was ready and would be disbursed to the contractor accordingly”.
The commissioner, who described journalists as integral part of government, said government’s commitment to carry out the project was part of its corporate social responsibility to strengthen its partnership with the media for national growth.
Semeneitari thanked members of the Rivers State Council of the NUJ for their patience and resilience in the course of mapping out modalities for the project, and declared that the building would be  befitting the great of Ernest Ikoli.
She pointed out that part of the facilities in the project including the e-library and the resource centre would be open to the public, adding that a memorandum of understanding would be signed between the Rivers State Government and Rivers State Council of NUJ to secure the agreement.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Rivers State Council of the NUJ, Mr Opaka Dokubo, expressed gratitude to the state Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi for his concern and support to journalists in the state.
The NUJ chairman said the project would not serve journalists alone but the society in general, and tasked the contractor to show commitment in executing the project.
Meanwhile, the contractor handling the project, Arch Peter Ajiente has assured that the project would be completed and delivered in 44 weeks.
He said the project has a second phase, which is the furnishing, and assured that it would be completed according to specification.
In his remarks, the representative of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BoPP), Mr BatomBari Lezor, said a baseline should be provided for the maintenance of the facilities, and tasked all stakeholders on the monitoring of all on-going projects in Rivers State.
The National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mohammed Garba, Radio, Television and Theater Workers Union (RATTAWU), and the National President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), Femi Adesina, are expected at the ground breaking ceremony.


Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Otelemaba Dan-Amachree (left) conferring with Deputy Leader of the House, Hon Robison Ewor during the sitting of the House last Monday.

Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Otelemaba Dan-Amachree (left) conferring with Deputy Leader of the House, Hon Robison Ewor during the sitting of the House last Monday.

Taneh Beemene

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity



Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments



President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari



Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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