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Don’t Scrap Maritime Varsity, IYC Tells Buhari

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, addressing market women at Oroigwe Market after inspecting the Rumunduru-Oroigwe Road on Friday.

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, addressing market women at Oroigwe Market after inspecting the Rumunduru-Oroigwe Road on Friday.

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), yesterday, passionately appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, against taking any decision to scrap the Maritime University at Okerenkoko, Delta State.
In their letter to the President, the youth argued that the university would address the age-long marginalisation of the Niger Delta region; develop manpower in the maritime sector and help the Federal Government in its efforts to diversify the economy.
They told the President that they were disturbed by the proposed cancellation of the university by the Minister of Transportation and former governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
In the letter signed by the President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) (Worldwide), Mr. Udens Eradiri, and the council’s Secretary, Mr. Eric Omare, the youth faulted the reasons for the university’s cancellation adduced by Amaechi.
They said the reasons which Amaechi gave when he briefed the Senate Committee on Marine were weak, mischievous, misleading, highly provocative and inciting.
The youth noted that scrapping the university would portray Buhari’s government in negative light and provide justification for fresh militancy in the region.
They said: “The university would, no doubt, open up the area where it is sited, which is in the hinterland of the Niger Delta, and help in positively impacting on the lives of the people of the area concerned, especially the youth.
“We cannot be talking of addressing problems of militancy and other associated challenges in the Niger Delta region without giving the people education. The Maritime University, Okerenkoko is part of the post amnesty development plan of the Niger Delta region.”
They said Amaechi’s position that the country already had similar institutions in Zaria and Oron was not tenable, adding that the university in Okerenkoko was designed to play different roles in the sector.
The youth further posited that instead of relying on allegations of corruption to cancel the university project, such allegations should be investigated and resolved in line with the rule of law.
They said: “The institutes in Oron and Zaria are meant to train medium class manpower in the maritime sector while the Maritime University, Okerenkoko would train world class technical and managerial manpower.
“This would obviously address the problems of capital flight in Nigeria where Nigerians are sent to universities in countries like Philippines, Romania, Egypt and other countries to train at great cost to the country. The existing institutes and university are expected to play complimentary roles in the development of the maritime sector.
“Mr. President, the most ridiculous reason advanced by the Minister is the assertion that parents would not send their children to school at Okerenkoko because of the terrain. This comment is not only ridiculous but also highly provocative and inciting.
“It would interest your Excellency to note that Okerenkoko Community, Gbaramatu Clan, Delta State is surrounded by several oil installations and platforms such as Egwa 1 Flow station owned by NPDC, Abiteye owned by Chevron, Makarava, Odidi 1 & 11 owned by NPDC, the Chevron Escravos Terminal and several other oil installations.
“And these oil installations and platforms have several oil workers including foreign expatriates who have been working for several years in that environment even during the period of hostilities in the Niger Delta region.
“The question is, if oil workers can go to this same environment to explore and exploit oil, why can’t the same place play host to a university that would develop the people and environment?
“Contrary to Mr. Amaechi’s assertion, the Okerenkoko environment is a natural location for a maritime university. It is ridiculous for the minister to suggest that one of the maritime institutes in Zaria be upgraded to a maritime university.”
They added: “Is Mr. Rotimi Amaechi saying that the Niger Delta environment is only good for oil exploration and exploitation but not good enough for education and infrastructural development?
“Is Amaechi saying that the people in the creeks of the Niger Delta region unlike other Nigerians have no right to acquire education and live a decent life? Whose interest is Mr. Amaechi serving or promoting?
“Mr. President, Mr. Amaechi is obviously not promoting the interest of your government! He has only succeeded in painting your government as an anti-Niger Delta administration.
“We of the IYC are shocked that a suggestion not to build a university in the hinterland of the Niger Delta is coming from Mr. Amaechi who is from the same region.
“We wish to also point out that if allegations of alleged corruption are one of the reasons for the decision, such issues be handled in accordance with the law. It should not be a reason for cancellation of a laudable project”.
The youth further said it was not true that there was no work done at the permanent site of the university apart from the feasibility studies.
According to them the tragedy of the country had been facilitated and often repeated by politicians driven by sectional, ethnic and other primordial sentiments.
They lamented that the policies and decisions needed in the march to greatness had been sacrificed on the altar of personal and egoistic indulgence to the detriment of the greater good of the nation.
“Mr. President, we call on you to reject the proposed decision of the Ministry of Transportation to cancel the Maritime University, Okerenkoko. If it is a decision that already has your blessing, we appeal for the reversal of the decision.
“It is not in the interest of the country and your administration. The decision would only provide justification for hostility in the Niger Delta region towards your administration,” they said.

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Rivers Monarchs Begin Another Round Of COVID-19 Vaccination, Today

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Members of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers will, today, begin another round of COVID-19 vaccination exercise in the state as part of the state government’s policy of ensuring that all Rivers people and residents of the state get fully vaccinated from the pandemic.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the council, Dr. Ogwuokwa Jonah, and made available to The Tide, last Monday, invited all government recognised traditional rulers to turn up at the council’s secretariat in Port Harcourt, for the crucial exercise.
The statement reads in part, “I am directed to invite you to take part in the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccination exercise scheduled for Wednesday,January 19 through Friday, January 21, 2022, at the council’s secretariat.
“Vaccination begins at 10.00am each day. Please, note that there are other free medical examinations that have been arranged for you during the period.
“You are entitled to 15 persons either from your family or area/district council. Kindly attend during the turn of your LGA”, the statement added.
According to the statement, Abua/Odual, Akuku-Toru, Ahoada-East, Ahoada-West, Andoni, Asari-Toru, Bonny and Degemawould receive their vaccinations today.
To be vaccinated tomorrow are traditional rulers and members of their families from Eleme, Emohua, Etche, Gokana, Khana, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor and Oyigbo local government areas.
However, monarchs and their families from Opobo/Nkoro, Ogu/Bolo, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Okrika, Omuma, Port Harcourt and Tailocal government areas are due to get their shots on Friday.
The statement appealed to all affected traditional rulers to take the exercise seriously, and come along with the required number of persons to enable government reach as many Rivers people as possible.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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PDP’ll Surely Produce Next President -Ayu

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The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu has urged Nigerians to keep faith with the party as it was poised to produce the next president of the country.
He maintained that the current inept rule of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government, which has pulled the country backwards economically, has to be changed.
Ayu gave the assurance at the gala night hosted by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for PDP governors at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt, last Sunday night.
The PDP national chairman emphasised that the APC leadership has been unable to harness the rich diversity of Nigerians into better fortunes that should strengthen the bond of brotherhood and promote peaceful coexistence.
“Unfortunately, a very poor leadership has presented Nigeria at home and abroad as an extremely divided country.
“We must change this narrative, and the only way to change this narrative and harness not just the culture, but the environment and the richness therein, is to back the Peoples Democratic Party which is determined to produce a new leadership for this country.”
Ayu also enthused that Nigeria would bounce back again with the PDP at the saddle because the project of rescuing the country and making it great was realisable.
The PDP national chairman stated that the expected leadership they would offer at the national level would change the negative characteristics associated with the APC that have been used to deepen the divide among Nigerians in the country.
“The PDP will definitely produce the next president and take the country back to the days when we were in power, when we cleared all foreign debts, when we were developing this country at reasonable speed.
“At a time, we became the richest country on the African continent. But today, we are the poverty capital of the world. All that will change”, he said.
In his welcome address, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike said the gala night was a pride to the usual meeting of PDP governors, adding that it was rotational.
He stated that such meetings have always been used to discuss salient issues of economy, politics and others that bother on how to chart a virile Nigerian society.
“It has been ritual for PDP governors to gather and meet and discuss about the welfare of the party. And this has been rotating from one state to the other.”
On his part, the Chairman of PDP Governors Forum and Governor of Sokoto, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal said the PDP governors and other party leaders were already working in synergy towards rebuilding the party.
He said the focus was to rescue Nigeria, which would also require all Nigerians of goodwill to join forces with the PDP to achieve that goal.
“All Nigerians of goodwill who believe in this country, who believe Nigeria is going the wrong direction, ought to join us.
“And like I always say, there are two divides in Nigeria today. Those who are happy with the confusion because they are benefiting from what is happening at the centre, and those of us who are truly patriotic enough to disagree with the way our country is being governed and being run.
“I appeal and beseech every Nigerian, even those in APC that are patriotic enough, to join hands with us as we continue to march towards rescuing Nigeria together.
“I believe it is our responsibility to do so, not for ourselves but for our younger ones and generations unborn.”
Governors present at the gala night were, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Mohammed Bala (Bauchi); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
Also in attendance were the deputy governors of Rivers and Zamfara, Dr Ipalibo HarryBanigo; and Aliyu Gusau; PDP National Secretary, Senator Sam Anyanwu; and several other dignitaries.

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UPTH Begins Transplant Procedures In 2023 …Launches Five-Year Strategic Dev Plan

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The management of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) has said that the hospital would begin transplant procedures in 2023.
The UPTH said it was its desire and dreams to transform the hospital to a five-star hospital in the region.
The management said the infrastructure for the transplant procedures and Cardiac Unit would be completed soon.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD), UPTH, Prof. Henry Arinze Ugboma stated this during the official Hospital Strategic Development Plan Implementation Workshop and Roll Out held in the hospital Auditorium, in Choba, near Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Ugboma said the Amenity Ward project was also mapped out in its five year strategic plan, which began from June, 2021 to 2026.
He noted that the hospital was ready to begin the transplant procedures as arrangements had been concluded for its take off next year.
Ugboma said as part of the commencement of the project, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited had donated $500,000 to support the hospital.
“Transplant procedures are an important area we need to invest, as a hospital, such will be beneficial to the hospital and the society”.
The CMD said, as part of its capital projects in 2022, the hospital would change its aesthetics and make the hospital more beautiful.
“We shall change the aesthetics of the hospital to attract investors and beautify the environment”.
On the problems faced by the hospital, Ugboma said workers’ poor attitude to duty was a great challenge to the management.
“Work ethics, relationship to patients and visitors are not encouraging and must improve for a better hospital.
“If workers change, UPTH will grow faster.People come to work whenever they like and leave whenever they also like”, Ugboma said.
“You look for files, you will not see, most of our consultants are not always on duty call, there is no handover note amongst them”, he lamented.
He also said that part of the plan was to build residential quarters for staff of the hospital to enhance efficiency and productivity.
Earlier, the Board Chairman, UPTH, Muktar Anka, had appealed to the staff of the hospital to be diligent to duty and shun truancy.
Anka noted that a change in the attitude to work would enhance productivity and efficiency in the hospital.
The chairman insisted that idleness and truancy on duty promote bad attitudinal behaviours and tarnish the corporate image of the organisation.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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