The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State Council, has described the torture of a broadcaster with a Port Harcourt based radio station, the Nigerian Info, Mr. Koffi Bartels, by the Police as barbaric and an act of cowardice.
The NUJ, in a statement signed by its Secretary, Ike Wigodo, yesterday condemned in strong term the inhuman treatment meted out to Mr Bartels, while trying to save the life of a boy in his area on Tuesday.
According to the statement, Mr Bartels was held and beaten to stupor by the security agents while trying to capture a brutal scene in which a poor boy in his area was being beaten by men of the FSARS.
Narrating his ordeal in the hands of FSARS officials, Mr. Bartels said, “ I was given the beating of my life right on the road. They started by smashing my knees repeatedly with wooden bars. As I type this (complaint), my left knee is swollen and my right knee seriously bruised. I have pains on my head, neck and back”.
The radio broadcaster, in his official complaint to the Union, also said he was handcuffed like a common criminal and taken to the FSARS headquarters where he was given more torture and was even threatened to be wasted if he and his radio station did not desist from criticising the activities of FSARS in Rivers State.
The NUJ regretted that a security agency paid to protect lives and property could turn itself into a monster terrorising innocent citizens in the country.
The NUJ, therefore demanded an unreserved apology from the Rivers State Police Command within 14 days for the assault against Mr. Bartels or risk its activities boycotted by journalists in the state.
The council also demanded that all the FSARS officials involved in the brutal act be brought to book, while the agency be made to foot the hospital bill of Mr Bartels who is currently receiving treatment in an hospital due to injuries he sustained during the attack.
The statement further warned that any further assault on journalists in the state would be vehemently resisted by the NUJ.
“NUJ as a watchdog of the society will not fold its arms and watch any arm of security agencies in the state descend to barbarism and brutalisation of innocent citizens, let alone media practitioners. Enough is enough”, the statement warned.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists ( NUJ) Rivers State Council, Stanley Job Stanley was last Sunday given an award of Pioneer Excellence by St. Paul Anglican Church, Ihuaba Parish in Ahoada East Local Government Area, Rivers State.
Delivering the sermon at the Church service, Mrs Unoma C. Jerome advised christians all over the world to live a life that pleases God to enable them possess their possession.
Mrs Jerome, who took the sermon from the book of Joshua 1:3 said God had already prepared good things for all Christians to possess.
According to her, before any Christian enjoys the good things of God, “you must live the life that pleases Him.
“God has prepared good things for us. We are bonafide owners of all good things of life, i.e good health, security, success, peace, good job, financial breakthroughs etc.
“But we have to take practical steps to claim them and not on a platter of gold. So we have to be steadfast , live life that pleases God” Mrs Jerome said.
Responding, Stanley Job Stanley, said he feel honoured and elated to receive an award of excellence outside his professional colleagues.
According to him, the award will spur him to do more good things, because to whom much is given, much is expected from the person.
“ First I dedicate this award to God that had made it possible. I see this award as a challenge, I will contribute the little I can to the development of my community, Ihuaba.
I am happy because I did not know that today I will receive an award that will come from observers or watchers, I feel very honoured “ Job said.
SEEFOR Empowers 500 Youths With Starter Packs, Shops In Rivers
The State Employment and Expenditure for Result Project (SEEFOR) in Rivers State has issued cheques of N100,000.00 each to rent shops for over 500 graduates of the state’s craft development centres who earlier received its starter packs for self-employment in the state.
The State Coordinator of SEEFOR, Mr Kelcious Amos, who officially supervised the disbursement of the funds in Port Harcourt, said the process was the second phase of the empowerment programmes to the young graduates of craft development centres across the state.
According to him, the graduates who were selected from different schools including from technical colleges and school-to-land programmes centres in the state, were earlier provided with starter packs of all kinds of electrical, welding and mechanical.
“What we are doing here today is part of the process we started some years ago to skill-up youths from various governments craft development centres, technical colleges and school-to-land centres across Rivers State.
“Precisely today, we are supporting them with N100,000.00 each to get a workshop, where the starter packs will be used to start their own businesses.
“They should use the opportunity to get themselves workshops to earn a living in life.
“Our next step of action is to disburse working capital of N50,000.00 each to enable them operate in the workshop but that will be after they might have rented the shops” the SEEFOR Coordinator explained.
Amos said that the project would ensured that the young school leavers in the state have their own businesses even before they further them education.
He also advised parents and guardians to monitor their wards and children to ensure proper management of the fund provided for their.
Also speaking, the Director Crafts, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mr Obisike Anthony, commended SEEFOR for providing starter packs and fund for the youths to start their life after schools.
Anthony urged the young graduates to take the project serious, saying that the project was to ensure that they live a better life in the state.
Also speaking at the occasion the Principal Government Craft Development Centre, Port Harcourt, China Ameka, and Director, Planning,Research and Statistics Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mr Samuel I. Nwokugha commended SEEFOR for the projects.
They urged the recipients to ensure the money is judiciously used for the purpose it was provided.
Mr Nwokugha appealed to SEEFOR to extend the projects to the youths in the rural areas as means to reduce restiveness and social vices in the state.
2019: NDDC Trainees Protest Over Neglect In PH
Some youths of Niger Delta region undergoing the 2019 NDDC ICT training have alleged of being shortchanged by consultants handling the programme.
The youths who said this during a demonstration in Port Harcourt also alleged of being brutalized by secretary Agencies at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.
The alleged of being denied accommodations, especially those from Rivers State after being forced to sign the accommodation paper, while starter packs and other post training Assembly was denied them.
The protesters also alleged that the training was not allowed to run its full course of three months as proposed, adding that they were only given three weeks tutorials and asked to go.
The youths numbering over 200 further demanded for post training benefits and starter packs to enable them start up businesses after the training, and for their transport allowances and accommodation benefits be paid to them.
Reacting to the protest, a consultant to the commission on the programme, Mr. Ebi Chimezie, denied that the trainees were short-charged in the programme.
Chimezie, who was in charge of trainees from Abia, Delta and Cross River States, said all the trainees who sat for the final examinations have recivered their allowances.
He also expressed the commission’s willingness to reaccommodate those who embarked on the protest adding that the programme was designed by the commission to create opportunities for graduates from the region to become employers self employed with a view to contribute to the development of the region.
Community Lauds Wike Over Market Completion
The Rumuwoji Community Council (RCC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State have commended Governor Nyesom Wike for keeping his promise of rebuilding the Mile One Market, which was gutted by fire over a decade ago.
They however faulted claims that the Rumuwoji Market popularly called Mile 1 Market may be renamed by the State Government and urged the people of the State to continue to support the Governor in his vision of a New Rivers State.
The Chairman of the RCC, Hon Isaac Chibueze Wigodo who disclosed this in a statement said such claim of renaming the market is misleading, saying though he was not speaking for the State Government it is not true that renaming the market is being contemplated.
The RCC is the apex decision making body of Rumuwoji Community of Abali, Rebisi in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Wigodo in his statement issued on Monday was reacting to a publication in a local tabloid that the State government may have the market renamed, just as he urged the public to disregard such misleading information which he said was concocted to create confusion amongst the people.
“Although, i do not hold brief for the state government, it has not come to our notice and the government we know will not think in that direction,” adding that the writer was only trying to cause confusion between the chiefs of Port Harcourt and Rumuwoji the community, Wigodo said.
He further said that the place has been named Rumuwoji Mile Market even before the civil war, alleging that the author of the said publication who is from a neighbouring community probably wants the name of his community to be added.
”The report is misleading and fall short from the ethics of journalism profession. Nobody from the state government or chiefs as stated in the story spoke of the purported move to rename the market,” Wigodo noted, noting that the aim of the author was clearly to create confusion.
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