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Odual Women’s Peace Mission

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A group picture of the women’s wing of Odual Peoples Assembly during the campaign

A group picture of the women’s wing of Odual Peoples Assembly during the campaign

These are not the best of
times for communities across Rivers State and other parts of Nigeria, following the tensions that have continued to build up as a result of the forthcoming general elections.
Indeed, there are palpable fears across the land that the elections may likely generate violence.
Consequently, many communities social groups and even the traditional institutions across the country are now mounting series of peace campaigns in their respective communities and kingdoms.
One of such groups is the women wing of the Odual People Assembly (OPA) which is not left out in the campaign to ensure peace in Odual Communities in the Abua/Odual Local Government Area.
The president of the women’s wing of the Odual Peoples Assembly, Mrs. Jessey Edeh told The Tide that the women who are all based in Port Harcourt decided that it would be better to go home and tell the youths of the dangers involved in electoral violence.
Edeh said that Odual Kingdom which is made up of nine communities is too small to lose any of its youths in election this time around as successive government  in which the people have worked for have not cared to develop the area.
“We felt that as mothers, there is no point sitting in Port Harcourt, so we decided to carry the campaign to the youths in the communities”, she said.
The campaign train which took of from Port Harcourt , the state capital, moved round the whole of the nine communities of Odual Kingdom in the Abua/Odual Local Government Area.
The first port of call was Odau, then Obedum Emiriopoko and Anya.
The campaign train also moved to Ekunuga Okolomade Emelogo, Adada and Ogboloma communities.
In each of the communities a drama sketch highlighting the dangers of electoral violence and youth restiveness was showcased.
The OPA women boss alerted the large gathering of the people in each of the communities of the dangers of electoral violence.
Explaining that the Association is apolitical and only interested in the welfare of Odual youths, Edeh warned against selling of their permanent voters cards (PVC) as doing that will amount to mortgaging their destiny  and  the future of their generations.
“We have been marginalized for too long and we are too small to lose my of you”, she pleaded.
She assured that the group will partner with Community Development Committees (CDCs) traditional rulers and chiefs and opinion leaders to pass the message to the youths.
“We have to tell our people to make wise decisions by voting for people that can charge our conditions”, she said.
Also speaking Mrs. Edna Abigo maintained that the mission of the women is for peace in Odual Kingdom “we don’t want any of you to lose your life Odual is too smale to lose you there must be peace during and after the elections”, on his port, the Oolema Odual HRM King Temple Jamalla said that no Odual youth must be used as a sacrificial lamb to advance the interest of any politician.
The monarch who gave the warming when the campaign train visited his palace at Emelego the headquarters  of Odual Kingdom described peace as the only anti dot for development in Odual Kingdom.
“Peace and development are intertwined my appeal is that there should be peace and development in Odual”, Jamala advised.
He described the mission of the women as very crucial to the peace and development of Odual Kingdom, adding that his palace would give them full support.
“You are in the right path this Kingdom is proud of you and would be ready to support you to achieve peace in Odual Kingdom.
“I urged you to continue with the path you have chosen to bring peace to Odual”, he said.
For Chief Deacon Tom Omeri Abigo, no bloodshed will be recorded in Odual during the election.
Abigo a former permanent secretary, governor’s office, Port Harcourt, spoke when the women visited Ekunuga his home town.
The senior citizen who is also the head chief of Ekunuga, said the Kingdom is too small to contain any act of violence and restiveness.
He said that for leaving the comfort of Port Harcourt to the communities for campaign, the women have indeed shown that they are the mothers of Odual.
Similarly, former member of the House of Representatives, Barrister Friday Abigo descried the campaign as first of its find in Odual Kingdom.
Abigo said that the issue of peace in Odual was a subject of discussion at the meeting of Odual council of chiefs and a directive has been issued to all town criers in the kingdom to tell the people to work for peace during the elections.
The Oolema of Okolomade, Chief Mondibo James said that the mission of the women would surely bring good things to Odual Kingdom, stressing that the same issue of peace was also disclosed during a meeting with the Divisional Police Office (DPO) incharged of Abua/Odual Division.
The Okolomade Monarch said that, he is happy that the women are on the same mission of peace, adding that indigenes of Okolomde have already been instructed to conduct themselves in  a peaceful manner during and after the elections.
The same message of support for peace during he elections was echoed by chairmen of the respective Community Development Committee (COC).
The chairman, community development committee of Odau, Mr. Sokari Ikechekwu led the pack of other CDC chairmen in the area to pledge their support for the peace campaign and the assurance to take the message to their people in their respective homes.
The other CDC chairmen include that of Obedum, Mr. Enoch Itoyo, his counterpart at Emirikpoko Stephen Amos and that of Anyu, Chief Godwin Gabriel.
The rest are the CDC chairman of Ekunuga, Mr. Anthony Isaiah Abigo, that of Okolomade Selemi I. Elogho, Emelego Mr. Heart Udidia; and that of Adada community.
They all pledged their support to the peace campaign.
However  in the eyes of the public, the mission of the women was a worthwhile venture but its effect will be put to test during and after the elections

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60 -Year – Old Man Commits Suicide After Assaulting Daughter

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A sixty-year-old man (name withheld) has committed suicide after he was caught having sex with his biological daughter of 17 years old.
The incident occurred at Amaigbo in Nwangele Local Government Area of Imo State recently.
Report reaching The Tide, said the man denied when the news was making the rounds that he was having affair with his daughter for some years.
The Tide learnt that after his denial, the community set a close watch on him and set a surveillance on.
The cat was let out of the bag, when after about one week of his denial, he was caught on top of his daughter, having carnal knowledge of her.
According to the report, the members of his community descended on him and gave him thorough beating and stripped him naked and he was taken to the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, where they performed certain rituals to appease the land.
Apparently worried about the stigma and scandal involved, he decided to commit suicide to avoid the embarrassment he might face from the community.
When the sad news reached the wife of the man who was already in the market, out of shame, she decided to abscond.
When contacted on phone, the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro said that such report had not reached his table, adding that he would find out later. 

By: Joe Nwachukwu, Owerri

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Women Now Drink As Much As Men

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Research shows women suffer health consequences of alcohol liver disease, heart disease and cancer more quickly than men and even at lower levels of consumption. 
Researchers worry the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic could amplify the rise in alcohol and mental health concerns among young women.
For nearly a century, women have been closing the gender gap in alcohol consumption, binge-drinking and alcohol use disorder. What was previously a 3-1 ratio for risky drinking habits in men versus women is closer to 1-to-1 globally, a 2016 analysis of several studies suggested.
And the latest U.S. data from 2019 shows that women in their teens and early 20s reported drinking and getting drunk at higher rates than their male peers in some cases for the first time since researchers began measuring such behavior.
This trend parallels the rise in mental health concerns among young women, and researchers worry the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic could amplify both patterns.
“It’s not only that we’re seeing women drinking more, but that they’re really being affected by this physically and mental health-wise,” said Dawn Sugarman, a research psychologist at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts who has studied addiction in women.
Research shows women suffer health consequences of alcohol liver disease, heart disease and cancer more quickly than men and even at lower levels .
Perhaps most concerning is that the rising gender equality in alcohol use doesn’t extend to the recognition or treatment of alcohol disorders, Sugarman said. So even as some women drink more, they’re often less likely to get the help they need.
Although the gender gap in alcohol consumption is narrowing among all ages, the reasons differ. For people over 26, women are increasing their alcohol consumption faster than men. Among teens and young adults, however, there’s an overall decline in drinking. The decline is simply slower for women.
That may sound like progress, said Aaron White, a senior scientific adviser at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. But it may indicate larger underlying issues.
“We have a real concern that while there might be fewer people drinking, many of those who are drinking might be doing so specifically to try to cope,” White said. “And that is problematic.”
Research suggests that people who drink to cope as opposed to drinking for pleasure have a higher risk of developing alcohol-use disorder. And while every individual’s reasons for drinking are different, studies have found women are more likely to drink to cope than men.
From Kaiser Health.com.

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Woman Sells Two Daughters For N300,000 In Ogun

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A 35-year-old housewife, Blessing Agoro, has been arrested by men of Ogun State Police Command for allegedly selling her two daughters, Semilore Agoro (four), and Deborah Agoro (two).
The suspect was arrested, following a report lodged at Redeemed Camp Divisional Police Headquarters by her husband, Oluwaseyi Agoro.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi disclosed this in a statement, yesterday.
Oyeyemi said the husband reported that when he returned from travelling last Tuesday he couldn’t find his two daughters.
The PPRO said, “The man stated further that all efforts to make his wife tell him the whereabouts of the children proved abortive, hence his report.
“Upon the report, the DPO Redeemed Camp division, CSP Alabi Akinjide, detailed his detectives to apprehend the suspect, who had already been with the camp’s code of conduct department.
“On interrogation, the suspect explained to the police that her husband left home for the past two years, and while he was away, she found it difficult to cater for the two children with her other two children she had for another man.
“She stated further that while she was contemplating on what to do, one Kolawole Imoleayo introduced her to a couple in Port Harcourt who was in need of children. She sold the two daughters to the couple at the rate of N300,000.
“Her confession led to the arrest of the said intermediary, Kolawole Imoleayo. They are both assisting the police in their investigation.”
The Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, has ordered the transfer of the suspects to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCID) for discreet investigation.
Oyeyemi added that Ajogun directed that the children must be rescued and brought back to their parents as soon as possible.

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