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PHC, Oyigbo Monarchs Restate Support For Peterside

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The King of Port Harcourt City, Eze Victor Woluchem,  has charged governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside,  to build an altar for the Lord when he becomes governor, come May 29.
The monarch said he is happy that the APC candidate is driving his campaign on absolute faith in God, entering churches across denominations and seeking God’s help in places of worship in towns and communities.
He described Peterside as a man of faith who, despite his earthly accomplishments, continues to be humble, God-fearing and simple in his dealings with people.
The King made the remarks during a courtesy call on him by the Greater Together Campaign Organisation in Port Harcourt, the state capital
“I have seen a lot of posters in this election period but none compares to your own. I discovered from those posters and billboards that you are a praying man. I have also read and seen reports of how you pray in churches as you campaign in our towns and villages. I want to encourage you to build an altar for the Lord in Government House when you become governor.
“Today, you have come to the palace to seek blessing. If you leave here, your campaign will surely be energised. And let me assure you that the soil you are walking on now is the mother soil of the Government House.
“I am not about political parties; I don’t know their colours or logos. But I know about individuals. Anybody who knows Rivers State very well knows that after Okilo, we have not had any government that affected the state like we have today. Any traditional ruler that is sincere will say the same thing. We saw development like we have never seen in years. But the unseen hand, that unsung personality is somebody who was commissioner of works. If not for him, we will not have had this unprecedented development, and that person is Dakuku Peterside.
“When I heard about your entry into this governorship race, I concluded that there was no contest. Discerning Rivers people, irrespective of party affiliation, know that you are the most acceptable, and I know you are not surprised about the support you are receiving across the state.
“This is why we are all behind you, but please, don’t let politics change you. Be the man you have always been, be that man we have always known because politics will come and go. I assure you, success is yours. For other youth like you, the future is already here and I am happy you are taking the lead”, Woluchem said.
The royal father later prayed and blessed the candidate and handed a copy of the Holy Bible to him.
In his speech, Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Rivers State, Boms Wogu,  described Peterside as a blessing to the people of the state.
He said gradually, supporters and admirers of the APC candidate are moving from prayer to thanksgiving, an indication that God’s purpose for this state will be accomplished soon.
Responding, Peterside, who is also a preacher of God’s word, said he will do more than just building an altar for the Lord come March 29.
He added that his reign will glorify God, assuring that he will be fair and committed in his service to the people of Rivers State.
Meanwhile, the Eze Oba Oyigbo in Oyigbo LGA,His Royal Majesty, Eze Mike Nwaji, has described the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside,  as a humble and God-fearing man who is fulfilling God’s promise for the people of Rivers State.
He said the overwhelming support trailing Peterside’s campaign train today is divine, the reason he is the only candidate of choice and consensus in Rivers State.
The royal father, therefore, called on Rivers people to support God’s programme by avoiding any unholy act capable of circumventing God’s plan for them.    
He made the declaration when the APC candidate and Greater Together Campaign Organisation paid him a courtesy call during their ward rallies in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.
“Peterside is a humble leader who has a listening ear for everybody, irrespective of status. Everybody prays for leaders who care and listen, that is the direction the world is headed now. At a personal level, I can call Peterside at anytime and he answers. This is why I am calling on everybody to follow Peterside because God has ordained him”, he said.
“Anytime I talk about this forth-coming election, I insist on APC and their candidates because they are the people I know. Besides, we are not looking for a ruler, all we want is a leader, and Peterside is that leader, which is why everybody must support his candidature.
“We all appreciate the saying that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Today, we have spoken and God is a witness. It does not matter how many people go to battle with you because our God is a God of minority. What matters is God’s plan. Once your name is mentioned anywhere, God will protect you because He has chosen you for this race. Everybody wants you and I can assure you that you are already there.
“Let me give you a secret. Most people in PDP say they will vote their choices but for governorship, they will vote for that Peterside, the APC candidate who is humble and as beautiful as a woman.
“Your strength as far as I am concerned in this election is that you are humble, God-fearing, respectful and compassionate. Please may these qualities abide with you even in Government House”, he added
Peterside, in his response, said he cannot afford to disappoint traditional rulers and chiefs, men, women, religious leaders, professional bodies and young people who have supported him since he emerged as a candidate.
He promised to continue to uphold qualities of humility, respect, compassion and fear of God in his dealings with fellow men.
He contended that service at any level is a privilege, adding that for that reason, public office holders must be conscious of the fact that in the fullness of time, they will give account to God.

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31 States Lack Insurance Cover For Workers

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Thirty-one states in the federation have no insurance cover in place for workers as of March, despite the provision of the requirement in the Pension Reform Act 2014.
Figures obtained from PenCom on ‘Status of implementation of the CPS in states as at March 2021’, last Saturday, showed that only five states, including the Federal Capital Territory, have insurance in place for their workers.
Other compliant states are Lagos, Osun, Ondo and Edo, which also have pension schemes for their workers, according to PenCom.
A former President, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Peter Esele, said it was not appropriate that most states lacked insurance cover for their workers.
Esele stated, “It speaks volumes to the fact that when the private sector has not shown respect for group life insurance, they are actually borrowing a leaf from the state governments.
“Ordinarily, what you should expect is that respect for our laws should be what state governments should be all about, but what they have done now is to show lack of respect for the law and their citizens because, ordinarily, it is in the best interest of not only the workers but also the management, that is, the government.
“It is so that whatever happens, the families of the people working with them are safe. For them not to have done that is sad and discomforting.”
The Director, Centre for Pension Rights Advocacy, Ivor Takor, urged state and local governments to comply fully with the regulations in the CPS.
He expressed worry that most states had yet to comply with the law.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, Hon Darlington Nwokocha, said the lawmakers were reviewing the insurance laws which would enhance the sector’s performance and assist the implementation of the compulsory insurance laws.
The Director-General, National Pension Commission, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the commission was engaging states to ensure full compliance with the PRA.
She noted that it had continued to review the implementation of the scheme in the states.
Also, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, said the National Insurance Commission was seeking compliance on the compulsory insurance schemes.
Thomas stated that NAICOM had visited some of the state governors to solicit the support for compliance with insurance laws.
Also, PenCom, in a recent circular, ordered employers of labour to comply with the Group Life Insurance Policy as stipulated in the Pension Reform Act 2014.
PenCom also ordered employers to display a copy of the GLIP certificate in a conspicuous place within the premises before the end of July 31, 2021.
It stated this in a circular to all employers and employees titled ‘Re: Compliance with PRA 2014 on Group Life Insurance Policy for employees and display of insurance certificate for 2021’.
The commission said, “In accordance with the provisions of Section 4(5) of the Pension Reform Act 2014, every employer shall maintain a Group Life Insurance Policy in favour of all employees.
“The GLIP should be a minimum of three times the annual total emolument of the employees. Similarly, Section 5.5 of the revised guidelines on GLIP for employees provides that the employer shall display a copy of the GLIP certificate in a conspicuous place within its premises, for the information of the employees and as evidence of having taken such policy.
“Employers that have not displayed a copy of the GLIP certificate within their premises are advised to do so on or before 31 July, 2021. Failure to provide GLIP is a violation of Section 4(5) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014.”
PenCom disclosed that only 15,418 organisations got its clearance to do the business of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government between January 4 and May 10.
It said the clearance was given to them for having pension accounts and life insurance cover for their employees.
According to the commission, the clearance enables them to do the business of the Federal Government for the 2021 financial year.
PenCom said companies that had no insurance cover for their workers would no longer be allowed to do any government business.

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One In 100 Die By Suicide, WHO Alerts

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The World Health Organisation (WHO), has said, suicide remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide and responsible for one in 100 deaths globally.
In its latest estimates entitled, “Suicide worldwide in 2019”, WHO noted that every year, more people die as a result of suicide than HIV, malaria or breast cancer or war and homicide.
The latest estimates noted that in 2019, more than 700 000 people died by suicide: one in every 100 deaths, prompting the WHO to produce new guidance to help countries improve suicide prevention and care.
The WHO guidance is to help the world reach the target of reducing the suicide rate by 1/3 by 2030.
Speaking on the new estimates, Director-General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the world cannot and must not ignore suicide.
“Each one is a tragedy. Our attention to suicide prevention is even more important now, after many months of living with the Covid-19 pandemic, with many of the risk factors for suicide 6 job loss, financial stress and social isolation still very much present.”
He said the new guidance would provide a clear path for stepping up suicide prevention efforts.
“Among young people aged 15-29, suicide was the fourth leading cause of death after road injury, tuberculosis and interpersonal violence. The rates vary, between countries, regions, and between males and females.”
The report also explained that more than twice as many males die due to suicide as females (12.6 per 100 000 males compared with 5.4 per 100 000 females).
“Suicide rates among men are generally higher in high-income countries (16.5 per 100 000). For females, the highest suicide rates are found in lower-middle-income countries (7.1 per 100 000).
Suicide rates in the WHO African (11.2 per 100 000), European (10.5 per 100 000) and South-East Asia (10.2 per 100 000) regions were higher than the global average (9.0 per 100 000) in 2019. The lowest suicide rate was in the Eastern Mediterranean region (6.4 per 100 000).
Globally, the suicide rate is decreasing; in the Americas, it is going up. Suicide rates fell in the 20 years between 2000 and 2019, with the global rate decreasing by 36 per cent, with decreases ranging from 17 per cent in the Eastern Mediterranean Region to 47 per cent in the European Region and 49 per cent in the Western Pacific.
“But in the Americas Region, rates increased by 17 per cent in the same time period. Although some countries have placed suicide prevention high on their agendas, too many countries remain uncommitted.
“Currently only 38 countries are known to have a national suicide prevention strategy.
“A significant acceleration in the reduction of suicides is needed to meet the SDG target of a one-third reduction in the global suicide rate by 2030.”
However, WHO has released comprehensive guidance for implementing its LIVE LIFE approach to suicide prevention. The four strategies of this approach are: limiting access to the means of suicide, such as highly hazardous pesticides and firearms; educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide; fostering socio-emotional life skills in adolescents; and early identification, assessment, management and follow-up of anyone affected by suicidal thoughts and behaviour.
WHO further recommended the banning of the most dangerous pesticides given that pesticide poisoning is estimated to cause 20 per cent of all suicides while national bans of acutely toxic, highly hazardous pesticides have shown to be cost-effective.
Other measures recommended by WHO include restricting access to firearms, reducing the size of medication packages and installing barriers at jump sites.
On responsible reporting by the media, the guide highlighted the role the media plays in relation to suicide.
“Media reports of suicide can lead to a rise in suicide due to imitation (or copycat suicides) – especially if the report is about a celebrity or describes the method of suicide.
“The new guide advises monitoring of the reporting of suicide and suggests that media counteract reports of suicide with stories of successful recovery from mental health challenges or suicidal thoughts. It also recommends working with social media companies to increase their awareness and improve their protocols for identifying and removing harmful content.”
WHO also noted that support for adolescence (10-19 years of age) was a critical period for acquiring socio-emotional skills, particularly since half of the mental health conditions appear before 14 years of age.
“The LIVE LIFE guidance encourages actions including mental health promotion and anti-bullying programmes, links to support services and clear protocols for people working in schools and universities when a suicide risk is identified.
“Early identification, assessment, management and follow-up apply to people who have attempted suicide or are perceived to be at risk. A previous suicide attempt is one of the most important risk factors for future suicide.
“Health-care workers should be trained in early identification, assessment, management and follow-up.
“Survivors’ groups of people bereaved by suicide can complement the support provided by health services. Crisis services should also be available to provide immediate support to individuals in acute distress.
The new guidance, which includes examples of suicide prevention interventions that have been implemented across the world, in countries such as Australia, Ghana, Guyana, India, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, Sweden and the USA can be used by anyone who is interested in implementing suicide prevention activities, whether at the national or local level and in the governmental and non-governmental sectors alike.
On his part, suicide prevention expert at the World Health Organisation, Alexandra Fleischmann said, “While a comprehensive national suicide prevention strategy should be the ultimate goal for all governments, starting suicide prevention with LIVE LIFE interventions can save lives and prevent the heartbreak that follows for those left behind.”

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Wike, Others Grace Prof Antonia Omehia’s Thanksgiving

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and other eminent personalities were among personalities that graced the thanksgiving ceremony in honour of Professor Antonia Celestine Omehia, yesterday.
The thanksgiving organised by former Governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia was to mark the conferment of his wife, Professor Antonia with the rank of Professor of Library and Information Science by Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni.
Professor Antonia Omehia is a lecturer in the Library and Information Science Department of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rivers State.
Governor Wike, his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt Hon. Austin Opara, former Presidents, Nigeria Bar Association ( NBA) Onueze C.J Okocha (SAN), and Okey Wali (SAN) were among other dignitaries who attended the thanksgiving ceremony at Omehia’s residence in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Former Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia said his family decided to organise the thanksgiving to honour God for his wife’s unparalleled academic excellence and passion for scholarly research.
He acknowledged that it is not an easy feat to attain the rank of an academic professor. According to him, his family will remain eternally grateful to God for granting his wife the grace of academic excellence.
Former NBA President, Okocha, who spoke on behalf of Rivers’ elders, said Professor Antonia Omehia has indisputably distinguished herself in academics, because professors are scholars that are experts in their fields and teachers of the highest rank in the university.
He heaped praises on Sir Omehia for allowing his wife to soar in her academic pursuit, because most men often feel intimidated when their wives excel in life.
The legal luminary said when women excel in academics, they should be celebrated.
He commended Professor Antonia Omehia for making her husband and children proud by virtue of her unquestionable commitment to academic excellence.
”We are proud of you for honouring our brother.”
Eminent personalities that also attended the thanksgiving included: Chairman of Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Anabraba, former Minister of Transportation, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Senator (Dr) Bennett Birabi, Davies Ikanya among several others.

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