The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has appealed to the United States government to support programmes that would enhance peace and security in the Niger Delta to facilitate sustainable development in the oil-rich region.
The NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, made the appeal when a delegation from the United States Consulate in Lagos, led by the US Consul-General, John Bray paid him a courtesy visit at the Commission’s Headquarters in Port Harcourt.
A statement signed by the Director, Corporate Affairs, Ibitoye Abosede, last Tuesday, emphasised the need for an enduring peace in the Niger Delta region, adding that security was critical for development and growth.
According to him, “It is noteworthy that you are coming at the onset of our political season. We expect some assistance from the US government. We have specific concerns in the Niger Delta, especially during an election period like this, principally in the area of security.”
“The US government can use its influence to prevail on our politicians to allow democracy to thrive in Nigeria. If politicians can be made to play by the rules, it will help in the process of maintaining peace and security during and after the elections,” Ekere added.
Ekere lamented that “a lot of the youths because of the challenges of unemployment and poverty, lend themselves to be used by politicians as thugs.”
He remarked: “Most times what makes the political process explosive and dangerous is the attitude of some sit- tight- office holders who do not believe that the political process should be a referendum by the people on their performance in office.
“The reason the constitution allows us to have a chance to conduct elections every four years is so that those that did well could be considered to continue, while those that did not perform well should be kicked out. They should be honest enough to allow that process to evolve so that the citizens can have their say in the governance system.”
Commissioner Tasks RSNC Staff On Co-operation
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim has charged staff of the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation to join hands with him to make The Tide Newspaper the newspaper of choice in the South -South geopolitical zone of the country.
Nsirim, who gave the charge while addressing the staff, yesterday, when he paid an unscheduled visit to the corporation observed that only cooperation would bring about the desired change and progress
According to him “everyone here needs to co-operate with me, we’re going to make a difference collectively and when we make that difference collectively, all of us would be happy”.
Nsirim who inspected the ongoing renovation of the building, expressed satisfaction with the work done, noting that already the building looked like a place set to make a difference in the publishing environment, saying “we can make a difference if we decide to”.
The Information Commissioner commended the General Manager of the corporation, Mr Vincent Ake for taking the bold step to embark on the repainting of the building.
“I want to congratulate and commend the GM for listening to wise counsel and has taken it as a responsibility to change the face of this building”, he said.
He, however, frowned at the workers’ poor attitude to work as many of them were seen walking in as he addressed the workers.
He said, “we cannot afford to be doing things the way we used to do them last year. This organisation must make a remarkable difference’, especially under his watch.
The Information boss pointed out that hence forth, The Tide would be published five times per week as against the previous three times per week and stated his charge for commitment, dedication and co-operation to the staff.
“We used to publish three times a week but now we’re going to be publishing five times, Monday through Friday”, he stated.
Furthermore, he hinted that by the end of the first quarter of 2020, The Tide should be published daily. “At the end of this quarter we’re going daily. There’s no reason why we can’t go daily”, to which he said demands “extra sacrifice and dedication from all of you… this is the time to be committed and sacrificial, innovative and creative”.
He stated that there would be more unscheduled visits and enjoined workers to endeavour to resume duty early on a daily basis.
Group Sensitises Women, Others On Ethics, Integrity
Nigerians have been urged to uphold integrity and ethical standards that would promote and engender peace, development and progress in country.
Speaking during workshop session with women groups, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC), the Police and other anti-corruption agencies, organised by Kebetkache Women Development And Resource Centre in Port Harcourt, the Executive Director, Madam Emem Okon stated that her organisation, was committed to the fight against corruption as they affect women accessing social services accountability and transparency in order to address issues of corruption as they affect women assessing social services.
“We started last year creating awareness on open governance partnership, creating awareness about budget monitoring the need to promote accountability and transparency, but as a women right organization, we focused on promoting accountability and transparency in order to address issues of corruption as they affect women assessing social services.
“So this year we have decided to also work with the anti-corruption agencies to say what are they doing, how can CSOs and community members work with them to promote accountability and transparency and also to build integrity not only among public officers, but also us the citizens because if we have integrity and we are able to uphold it then we will be able to hold office holders or duty bearers accountable, so that is the essence of the meeting,” Okon added.
She emphasized that in order to put an end to the high level of corruption in Nigeria, every citizen needs to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner worthy of emulation and commendation.
She also stressed on the need for people occupying public offices to know that if they take the wrong actions that they stand the risk of been exposed and would be made to serve the penalty.
In her response she said it is only women that suffers corruption and social services in the society, she said: “Of course we know that it is not only women that requires social services: such as quality education, functional health facilities, access to clean drinking water, every community member requires that, but how corruption within the system is stopping people from accessing those social services is what our project is all about.”
She expressed optimism that corruption would be nipped in the bud if every body addresses it.
“There is no way we can achieve good governance without addressing issues of corruption and to begin to address that issue of corruption, we should begin with ourselves, local content and then the larger societal scenario.”
“So people need to be encouraged that it is good to have integrity, it is good to be ethical in your profession, I want to charge participants to take the message home that there is hope as there are institutions that are still upholding integrity.”
She called on both leaders and citizens of Nigeria to have a change of attitude, in their actions and inaction, adding that their actions should be able to build good governance and better society and not to mar it.
“I am not only calling on leaders, but on every citizen, because people takes bribe, because somebody gives bribe, so am calling on everybody to change attitude, mindset, behavior, so that we can have good governance. If we don’t have good governance, we cannot have those services that makes life meaningful.
The Tide reports that the theme of the workkshop is Gender and Accountability: Promoting Ethices and Integrity.
Death Of Naval Men: LG Chairman Urges Restraint
The Chairman, Ekeremor Local Government Council of Bayelsa State, Dr Bertola Perekeme, yesterday condemned the killing of four Naval personnel in December 2019 in the area.
Perekeme said no sane person would condone the killing of anyone, let alone military officers on the line of their constitutional duty.
He said that the leadership of the area was worried about the activities of criminals and has always collaborated with security agencies to protect law abiding citizens who were also victims of criminal activities.
He however, noted that invading communities and burning houses in the guise of searching for criminals is unfashionable in a democratic setting and highly unprofessional.
Sources told newsmen in Ekeremor that a joint military team arrived Bilabiri community in about 16 gunboats on Friday morning in search of those behind the murder of the four naval men.
Residents reportedly fled the community following the military operation and alleged that houses were burnt down by the military, leaving the coastal settlement deserted.
Reacting to the development, the local government chairman urged the military to exercise restraint and demonstrate professionalism in line with international best practices and their rule of engagement.
He regretted that communities, whose inhabitants live in fear and apprehension following activities of some criminal minded elements, were being invaded and destroyed by the military.
“These communities need help and protection from security agents because they live in fear and are constantly intimidated.
“The military should work closely with other security agencies in intelligence gathering and effect arrest to help our people,” Perekeme said.
He sympathised with the military over the loss of its four officers during exchange of fire with suspected sea pirates along the Ramos River and warned youths of the area to shun criminality.
Meanwhile, the outcome of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta with headquarters in Yenagoa on the on-going operation is being awaited.
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