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Former Editor Tipped For Varsity’s Image Maker’s Job

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Former  Editor The Tide On Sunday of the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation and Bayelsa State-born poet, broadcaster and journalist, Prince Nengi Josef Owei-Ilagha may have been tipped for the Office of Public Relations Officer, Maritime University, Okerekoko, Delta State.
Newly appointed Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Maureen Ongoebi Etebu, dropped the hint in a chat with newsmen, recently.
The former Commissioner for Special Duties under the late D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha government, says she is proud of her choice.
According to her, “I am putting together my own team, the people that will work with me. I have worked with Nengi before, and I saw what he did for the image of the Alamieyeseigha government.
“We want a good image maker for this new university, and I have no doubt that he will do well as Head of the Public Relations Department, Nigeria Maritime University, Delta State”, she said.
On his part, Nengi Josef Owei-Ilagha, said he felt honoured to have been named for the office.
“Besides, I have always wanted to be in a university environment, and am glad that events are turning out to endorse my passion for knowledge in and outside the Ivory Tower.”
Pope Pen served as Speech Writer and Special Adviser on Research & Documentation under the successive governments of Alamieyeseigha and Goodluck Jonathan in the heydays of the struggle for resource control and self-determination.
“I was in the thick of the resource control crusade in times past, and I am still deep in it. I wrote the body of speeches that served to galvanize that dream. I am well acquainted with the cardinal concerns of the Niger Delta people, and our wholesome quest for economic equity in the Nigerian nation, in the face of our long-standing record as an oil-producing region.
“I am grateful that someone took note of my humble efforts, and has seen it fit to recognise me for that. I pledge that I will do my best to promote the image of the Nigerian Maritime University in the days to come if given a free hand to do so,” said the royal poet.

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Niger Delta

Army Attacks On Rivers People In 2019 Never Dampened Our Spirit, Wike Insists

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says the killing of Rivers people by the Nigerian military in Abonnema Town during 2019 general election has not dampened the resolve of the people to always defend the nation’s democracy.
The Rivers State governor was speaking at the flag-off of reclamation of 52 hectares of land for the Abonnema and Obonoma towns in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state, last Wednesday.
Wike said the plan of the Nigerian military was to rig the election against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, but the people of Abonnema resisted it and paid the supreme price defending the interest of the state.
“They suffered it in 2019 when the military came and killed so many of our sons and daughters, because they wanted to rig the election through one of their own sons.”
The governor said, “They suffered because of their defence that PDP must not be rigged out. But, I can tell them that those who died did not die in vain. They died in defence of Rivers interest; they died in defence of Abonnema. They died in defence of Obonoma interest; they died in defence of Akuku-Toru interest. And that is why we will never abandon this LGA for what they have done for us.”
Wike restated the need for politics to be development-oriented devoid of hatred that often lie underneath the resolve by most politicians to kill their opponents.
“Politics shouldn’t get to the level we should kill our own people. That is not politics. Politics is what do I attract to my area for the entire benefit of my people?”
He stated that the people of the Abonnema and Obonoma communities should be grateful, first to God and then to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because of the opportunity to see result of their unalloyed political support.
According to him, but for PDP, it would have been difficult to witness the actualisation of the reclamation of vast land from the swamp for the benefit of future generations.
Wike said the people now have seen the difference between a party that tells them stories, and a party that fulfills whatever promise it has made to them.
“When the chairman of the council came, he said that I have a special interest in this local government. Special interest, yes, and it is because when we started this journey, this was one of the local governments that came out boldly and gave us all the necessary support.
“That is why we have said we will never abandon this local government for what they have done for us.”
Speaking further, Wike directed his Special Adviser on Special Projects, Kelly-George Alabo, to send an application for additional payment of 20 percent for the contractor.
This he said will make it 70 per cent of total contract sum paid to the Master Dredger, the company handling the project.
Wike said he wants the project to be completed in eight months instead of the proposed 12 months because he desires to map out the utility lines and eventual allocation of spaces within his tenure.
Performing the flag-off, former Senate President, Senator Adolphus Wabara, said he has never seen where a state government has championed development in local government areas as executed by Wike.
Wabara noted that the projects, as confessed by the benefiting communities, address their most pressing needs, which will be used by everybody, irrespective of their political party.
He acknowledged the immediate pains associated with the ongoing construction of the 10th flyovers as experienced by residence of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor councils, and urged them to be patient as there cannot be development without inconveniences.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to Governor Wike on Special Projects, Kelly-George Alabo, had recalled that a few months ago, Wike had made a promise of undertaking the land reclamation project for the people.
The governor, Alabo said, had thereafter directed commencement of the procurement process, adding that at the end, the contract was awarded with 50 percent mobilisation fee paid to the contractor.
According to him, because land means so much to the people, the contractor has mobilised to site with personnel and equipment to fast-track the completion of the project.
In his remarks, the Amayanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bob-Manuel, who commended Wike for fulfilling his promise to reclaim land for the community, disclosed that for decades, past administrations had made similar promises, which were never actualised.

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Bayelsa Deputy Gov Solicits Support For LGAs

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The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has thrown his weight behind calls for the sustenance and adequate support to local government councils in the country.
He also allayed the fear in some quarters that the present administration was planning to scrap the 32 Rural Development Areas (RDAs) in the state.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who spoke at a meeting with principal officers of the 32 RDAs at his office in Yenagoa, said government is taking steps to strengthen the local government system through some reforms.
He urged those clamouring for the scrapping of local councils as the third tier of government to properly diagnose the challenges affecting the functionality of local government areas.
Underscoring the importance of councils and RDAs as the nearest level of government to the people at the grassroots, the Deputy Governor called for concerted efforts to rejig the system for effective service delivery.
He expressed hope that ongoing reforms in the eight local government councils would also positively impact on the RDAs and improve the quality of life in rural communities.
Responding to the requests of the G32 leaders, Senator Ewhrudjakpo said that government would tackle their demands based on priority and availability of funds.
The Deputy Governor said, “The local governments were created to achieve a purpose, If they are not achieving the intended purpose, I am of the strong opinion that we must do a critical evaluation and see if the RDAs have been aided and motivated enough before we talk about scrapping them.
“Meanwhile, let me use this opportunity to assure you that this government appreciates the pivotal role councils and the RDAs are playing, so we have no intention whatsoever to scrap them.
“Our intention is to address the financial hemorrhage in the local government areas. Our idea is to try to rejig the system and give them all the support they need to achieve their responsibilities.”
“We must work together, both the 8 local government councils and the state. The benefits are enormous because if the local governments are working, you are making a direct impact to the communities and the people within the localities.
Earlier, Chairman of the G32, Mr Singer ThankGod, thanked the state government for the ongoing reforms in the local governments, and appealed for the completion of uncompleted secretariat projects n all the RDAs.
The group also pleaded for increment of allowances for principal officers, payment of promotion arrears and provision of office spaces for workers in the councils.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Accidents Claim 70 In Edo, Delta, Anambra

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says no fewer than 70 people died in road accidents in Edo, Delta and Anambra States in April and May.
The Commanding Officer of Zone 5 of FRSC, Mr Ayodele Kumapayi, disclosed this in an interview with The Tide source in Benin.
The zone comprises the three states.
Kumapayi said that the deaths were recorded from 41 fatal accidents out of a total of 131 accidents which occurred during the period.
He attributed the accidents to speeding and other forms of indiscipline by motorists.
Kumapayi noted that some motorists failed to install in their vehicles, Speed Limiting Device (SLD) introduced by the corps.
He said that from January to May, 1,910 motorists were arrested in the zone for failure to install the device in their vehicles.
According to him, 136 defaulters were arrested in January and 494 in February.
“Similarly, 471 defaulters were arrested in March, 363 in April and 446 in May,’’ Kumapayi said.
He advised motorists to install SLD, warning that the corps would not compromise on any policy that would ensure safety.

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