Over 200 houses and properties worth millions of Naria were last Monday destroyed by a violent rainstorm in parts of Port Harcourt.
Area worst affected includes the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Rumuola, the Rumuola Junction, , Iwofe, Ogbogoro, Eliparanwon and Ada George road where some buildings were also deroofed and vehicles damaged by the windstorm.
About 85 high tension poles belonging to the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, were destroyed by heavy wind, during the down pour that occurred in Port Harcourt on Monday evening and early yesterday morning.
The Tide gathered that as a result, damaged poles with other associated materials, such as 150mm aluminum conductors spanning over 32,000 metres, several cross arms, among others, have thrown a cross section of Port Harcourt metropolis into darkness.
It was also gathered that roofs of some buildings at Rumuokoro, Rumukwuta and some parts of GRA were destroyed.
Confirming the incident, the Manager, Corporate Communication of PHED, John Onyi said in the wake of the loss, two 33kv and five 11kv feeders namely; UST 33kv and Rumuola” 33kv, were affected.
“Others on 11kv were Rumuomoi, Federal, Wokoma, Bori Camp and Rumuola,” he said.
Reacting to the natural disaster that culminated to the loss of supply to the affected areas, OnyiI said the Acting Chief Executive Officer, PHED, Syed Taha has appealed to the residents to exercise patience, while the damaged poles are being replaced.
He assured customers in the affected areas that the management would do everything possible to ensure early restoration of power supply despite thousands of naira that it would cost PHED to do so.
According to him, ”It is regrettable that PHED is facing such a loss at this moment, due to natural disaster but I can guarantee that supply will be restored to the affected areas soonest, because we have taken stock of the extent of the damage and sourcing of materials for rehabilitation has started in earnest “.
In the same vein, the firm sympathised with the members of the public who may have lost one item or the other during the heavy rain.
He however, reminded the general public of the dangers of trading or erecting structures under high tension lines urging them to always obey safety rules especially during this raining season.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen, the Reactor of Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic Dr. Samuel Kalagbor said that over seven buildings in the polytechnic were devoured by the rainstorm. Dr Kalagbor who said that although no life was lost to the incident, said that the situation was affected the semester examination as students were in the hall writing examination when the incident occurred.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has confirmed that no life was lost in the incident. Commissioner for special duties, Emeka Onowunka said this in an interview with newsmen in Port Harcourt also cautioned residents of the state against trying to remove property during such an incident.
Onowu said that the issue of safety should be the paramount concern of all before thinking of property. Also speaking, the state commissioner for Education, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja said that the incident is a natural disaster, stressing that the Federal Government should assist the state
Worried by the devastating windstorm that wreaked havoc in some parts of the state, last Monday, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has directed the immediate assessment of the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Port Harcourt, to ascertain the level of damage done on the institution with a view to remedying the situation.
The state Commissioner for Education, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja stated this when he led the permanent secretary and other management staff of the ministry to pay an on-the-spot assessment visit to the polytechnic, yesterday.
Gogo-Jaja disclosed that the governor had directed the ministry and his special duties counterpart to immediately visit the school and other affected areas in the state for immediate action.
According to him, the state government would intervene within the shortest possible time to ensure that the destroyed infrastructures were put back in place in order not disrupt academic activities and programmes in the institution.
He averred that the governor was committed to addressing the present challenges as soon as possible, and urged the students to bear with the management’s decision to suspend the ongoing examinations due to the unfortunate natural disaster.
Over 100 houses and property worth millions of naira were destroyed by a windstorm which ravaged some communities in Dutse Local Government Area of Jigawa.
Two village heads, Alhaji Ado Musa and Alhaji Baffa Shehu, told newsmen in Dutse yesterday that the windstorm, which occurred on May 3, wreaked considerable havoc on the neighbourhoods.
Musa, who is the village head of Warwade community, said that the windstorm destroyed about 27 houses in Sayasaya, a village under Warwade, and blew off the roofs of some schools and mosques.
He added that the windstorm had rendered about 30 families homeless, while destroying several local silos containing assorted foodstuff.
“Each year, we experience cyclone, windstorm or rainstorm at the beginning, middle or end of every rainy season but the storms have not been as damaging as the recent one.
“This time around, the windstorm is so heavy that it completely brought down some houses and blew up roofs of schools, mosques and clinics.
“Over 20 villages are affected by the disaster but the worst-hit is Sayasaya where between 30 and 35 households are affected.
“‘No death was recorded in the incident; however, seven persons were injured by roofing sheets that were blown off by the wind.
“Some of the victims had multiple fractures in different parts of their bodies and were taken to Dutse General Hospital for treatment.
“At least, the value of what the people lost in Sayasaya is about N5 million and some of the affected families are currently taking refuge in the village primary school,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Shehu, the village head of Jidawa community, said that the windstorm destroyed over 80 houses in his domain.
He said that the windstorm which lasted for close to an hour, destroyed several fences and blew off the roofs of houses, schools, mosques and a clinic.
“The rainstorm began around 5:30 p.m. and lasted for about an hour.
“At least, 80 houses were affected and we thank God it did not injure or kill anyone here but it caused a lot of damage in Sayasaya and Warwade villages that are close to us.
“The windstorm could have destroyed the whole area if it continued for more than an hour; in fact we have never experienced such a severe windstorm before.
“It was accompanied by heavy rainfall and we started planting crops the following day because of the level of rainfall the previous day,’’ Shehu said.
Our correspondent, who visited the two villages, reports that the storm pulled down the roofs of several houses, forcing many families to vacate their homes.
Several fences were also affected, thereby exposing the belongings of the affected households.
Some of the affected residents, who look visibly devastated, told newsmen that they needed urgent assistance, in terms of shelter and food aid.
In Jidawa village, Alhaji Garba Adamu and Malam Kawu Yakubu, expressed concern about problems the residents would face following the impact of the rainstorm.
They said that the entire area had been thrown into confusion as a result of the damage done to the residents’ properties.
“Most of the houses suffer from one dent or the other, no matter how little it was. As you can see, some roofs were blown off, while some fences were completely brought down,’’ Adamu said.
In Sayasaya village, Malam Ali Beza, the head of a household, said: “We slept outside that day, as the wind blew and pulled down the roof of our house.
“Up to this moment, we have never been able to sleep comfortably; this is a large family house as you can see.
“We are 19 in the house: my family and the families of three of my children.’’
Malam Ibrahim Danjuma, another resident of Sayasaya village, said: “My two-year-old child was almost killed as the roof the building fell on him; three of my rooms as well as the silos containing foodstuff and one sheep were destroyed.
“Many people have vacated their homes due to the level of destruction caused by the windstorm because we cannot live in houses without roofs.
“‘In fact, we learnt that many households in neighbouring villages were similarly affected but we are happy no single death was recorded during the incident.’’
Malam Salisu Jigo, another resident, said that his wife and son were injured in the incident.
“As you can see, the roof was pulled down and the debris injured my wife and my son; I also got injured while trying to put out the fire caused by the windstorm and stop it from escalating and consuming the whole house.
“But we thank God, we only had minor injuries and cuts; we did not have fractures,’’ he added.
Jigo said that the affected families and other residents were calling for assistance from relevant government agencies.
“Government and other relevant authorities should immediately come to our aid, particularly in the area of shelter and food.
“This is because most of us have no place to stay again; we also have no food to eat, as most of our silos containing foodstuff have been destroyed,’’ he said.
However, Musa, the village head of Warwade, said that he had compiled a comprehensive list of the victims of the windstorm and had submitted it to the District Head of Dutse.
He added that the village head of Jidawa stated that he was still compiling the list of those affected in his domain.
“Due to the current economic situation, the government and other relevant authorities should expedite action to assist these villagers because they urgently need assistance, particularly food and shelter,’’ Musa said.
When contacted, Alhaji Sani Yusuf, the Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), confirmed the incident.
“I am sending my staff right now to conduct an assessment of the level of damage caused by the windstorm.
“We would have intervened since but there have been some delays but I assure you that within a couple of days, we will surely assist them,’’ he said.
Akujobi Amadi, Ike Wigodo
UBEC, RSUBEB Begin Digital School Construction In Rivers
As part of government’s efforts to realize its dream of making the nation’s educational system a global digital community, the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), have commenced the construction of a modern digital Smart Basic School in the state, with 14-month completion schedule.
The school, which is a pilot modern basic education facility, is designed by UBEC in collaboration with RSUBEB to entrench digitization of ICT-driven basic education system across the 36 states and FCT, Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at a brief handover ceremony of the proposed smart school site to UBEC by RSUBEB at the Community Primary School, Uzuoba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, over the weekend, the National Consultant, UBEC Smart School Project, Prof Masud Abdulkarim, said the school was designed to incorporate digital technology into the basic education system in the country, which he said, has been in practice in advanced countries for years.
Abdulkarim stated that the desire of the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerian children were not left out in the digital space, saying that the school would have great impact on the youth and give them equal opportunity to compete globally in the technology world.
He described the school as the first of its kind in the history of the country, adding that the school would have four categories that would take care of the nursery, handicapped, primary as well as junior secondary students with a maximum of 35 persons per class of two streams.
Abdulkarim noted that with the strategy, no fewer than 700 children would be enrolled into the school.
According to him, the school would afford the children the opportunity to become robotic engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and ICT engineers, and added that as future leaders, they need to be equipped and encouraged.
The UBEC consultant commended the state government for the provision of the school for the construction of the smart school, and described the site as the most suitable across the 23 states so far visited.
“Let me thank the RSUBEB for the site, in fact, it is the best and most suitable site among the 23 states we have so far visited. Because it has an existing school structure with a fence to protect our equipment and infrastructure. Moreso, the project will impact on the schools around because they will benefit from our Wi-Fi”, he stated.
Abdulkarim called on the host community to jealously guard the project as a growing child, till its maturity to adult stage, saying that they were important stakeholders in the project.
Also speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Ven Fyneface Akah, a commissioner in the board, Chief Faith Amaso, called for synergy between the contractors and host community in other to remove every impediment that may affect the delivery of the project on schedule.
Akah opined that the project, when completed, would improve basic education in the state, and expressed happiness over the commencement of the project in the state.
Rivers United Beat Young Africans Of Tanzania 1-0
Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, yesterday, at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Football Stadium, trounced the Young Africans Football Club of Tanzania 1-0 in a return leg match of the ongoing Confederation of African Football Club Champions League competition.
The stadium, which was filled to capacity, witnessed a trilling encounter, which saw the crowd craving for more.
It would be recalled that Rivers United had defeated the Young Africans of Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg of the championship at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, last Sunday.
Reacting to the feat, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, expressed joy over the victory of the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt against the Young Africans of Tanzania in the ongoing Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
The match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the Rivers United FC, took place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Rivers State, yesterday.
Top government officials in the state, including Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; LG council chairmen and commissioners, amongst other sports enthusiasts, graced the event.
Speaking on the outcome of the match, Williams stated that the Rivers United players exhibited the Rivers team spirit, which culminated in their victory.
The political heavyweight in Degema LGA, noted that nothing would be impossible for Rivers people to achieve when they work together in unison and firm determination.
He added that the massive support and huge investment in the sports sector by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, also motivated the Rivers team, who worked hard to secure a back-to-back victory.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
NJC Okays Six Chief Judges, 30 Others For Appointment
The National Judicial Council (NJC), has recommended the appointment of chief judges and 30 others as judicial officers to beef up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee, and recommended the 36 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.
They are Hon. Justice Richard O. Olorunfemi as chief judge, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Hon. Justice Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Hon. Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom, and Hon. Justice J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe; Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Hon. Justice Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Hon. Justice Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abass as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State; and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi State.
Three judges are recommended for High Court of Gombe, and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad, and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.
Akwa Ibom has Effiong Asukwo Effiong; Bauchi has Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna High Court has Abdulkarim Mahmud.
The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande, while Prof Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.
Four successful candidates for Oyo State are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Prof Taiwo Elijah Adewale, and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun.
Kogi State has three candidates, and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman, as well as Aminu Ali Eri.
Two Kadis for Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala, while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in the person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.
A statement by the NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, and released in Abuja, yesterday, said that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors, and confirmation by the respective state Houses of Assembly.
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