The President of Akwa Ibom Community in Abuja, Mr Aniefiok Ibah, has called for unity among the various groups in the state to enhance peace, progress and prosperity in the state.
Ibah made the call in his address at the maiden edition of the Akwa Ibom Cultural Fiesta in Abuja yesterday.
Speaking under the theme of the fiesta, “Celebrate the Culture that Unites us,” he said: “We need to guard our loins against negative propaganda, Pull Him Down(PHD) syndrome, blackmail, socio-political backstabbing and other tendencies that tend to threaten the fabrics of our unity.
”Akwa Ibom is a uni-cultural state where norms, taboos, customs and traditions are the same. Our folkways may vary from one ethnic grouping to another but the operational norms of the culture are the same.
”As the umbrella body of indigenes of Akwa Ibom residing in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), we have recorded enormous achievements in the past 31 years that the group was established.”
He said the FCDA had given the group approval to commence the construction of its 12-storey building, on a 5,000-square metre at Jahi District, to be known as ‘Ibom Bowl’ when completed.
“Other achievements are the formation of ’Ibom Choral Voices’ toward preserving our rich culture, through songs, ballad, local dance, costumes among others,”.
He said that the 2019 Akwa Ibom Cultural Fiesta in Abuja was initiated by the community in the FCT.
Liaison Officer of the Akwa Ibom Liaison office Abuja, Mr Edwin James, who represented the Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, said that the fiesta had brought unity among the Akwa Ibom people.
”This has gone to show that all of us in Akwa Ibom are one. I want to thank the organisers of this event and the 10 Federal Constituencies for coming together for this culture fiesta, “ he said.
Also speaking, Chairman of the occasion, Mr Ekpo Nta,, represented by Dr Ime Umoh said, “we are governed by cultural norms which are the pillars of any society.”
He said stressed that “If these pillars are not properly followed in our society, our culture will resemble a perfume with no smell.
”I believe that after this programme, the bond of unity, love and fruitfulness will prosper in us in Jesus’ name.
”I want to encourage all of us to show one another, love, and kindness and contribute positively to the development of Akwa Ibom.
”Whether you reside in Akwa Ibom, Abuja, Lagos or anywhere in the world, please do not abandon your culture.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Ita Enang, during unveiling of the symbol of the Akwa Ibom Culture Fiesta congratulated the leadership of the community.
”Even though we belong to different political parties, we are all one; if you are at the Federal level, support APC and bring development to Akwa Ibom.
”If you are in PDP at the state level, support the PDP to move the state forward,” he urged.
Highpoints of the occasion were cultural dances, parade by the 10 Federal Constituencies from the state, March pass by Akwa Ibom women, youth corps members and inspection of different delicacies from the constituencies.
No fewer than seven masquerades also put up scintillating cultural performances to the admiration of guests and participants at the occasion.
Awards of Excellence were also given to some dignitaries at the event.
The fiesta attracted cultural enthusiasts from the diplomatic community, FCT and other states of the federation.
Ensure Security Of Govt Projects, SSG Tasks Community Leaders
The Secretary to Rivers State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, has implored leaders of community associations in the state to monitor ongoing projects in their communities to ensure that the security of the contracting firms was not compromised.
Danagogo made this assertion when the leaders of a socio-cultural group, Nyemoni Awome Ogbo of Abonnema, paid him a courtesy visit in Port Harcourt, last Tuesday.
On the ongoing Trans-KalabariRoad project, Danagogo noted that the governor’s determination to deliver the first phase of the road in 14 months was unshakable as it was cash-backed.
“This is a crucial project to the development of Kalabari Kingdom. Every right-thinking Kalabari person must condemn, and avoid anything that will cause delays to the project delivery. What the governor is doing for us is unprecedented in the annals of the history of governance in this state.
“As Kalabari people, we must condemn every gang-up to sabotage the development of the Trans-Kalabari Road project. This road project is being executed to transform our communities, and this government is doing it for us. If our own people either by acts of omission are trying to sabotage this developmental effort, then, you must be proactive in condemning it and stopping them. You must as leaders commend what deserves commendation, and condemn what deserves condemnation”.
The SSG further condemned the recent kidnap of a staff of the contracting company, and particularly noted with dismay the sad comments made by notorious Kalabari group whose founder/leader is a known kidnapper and illegal bunkerer who owes Kalabari and Rivers State explanation and apology for several kidnappings, including the kidnap of the wife of the late High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs.
He urged Kalabari leaders not to allow people without meaningful source of livelihood or good intentions to speak on their behalf.
Earlier, the former President of Nyemoni Awome Ogbo of Abonnema, Prof. Adaye Orugbani, had said that the visit was to serve as an opportunity for the association to express its appreciation to Governor Nyesom Wike for his benevolence and love for the people of Kalabari Kingdom and Akuku Toru Local Government Area in particular.
“We are here to thank the governor through the SSG for the immense developmental projects in our community. These projects are crucial to the development of our community, particularly the Ring Road. In a record time, he commenced and completed the project.
“As an island, it used to be difficult to access Abonnema Town, but today, we have easy access in and out of the town because of the Ring Road. As an island community, the land is scarce and expensive, but the sand-filling projects of 52 hectares of land also awarded by Governor Nyesom Wike will provide us with more land for other developmental projects and expansion,” he stressed.
Orugbani added that the ongoing Trans-Kalabari Road project was a goldmine that all sons and daughters of Kalabari Kingdom should be happy about.
Rivers Exco Approves N5bn To Resuscitate Health Institutions
The Rivers State Executive Council has approved over N5billion required for the revamping of the Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital, and the Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital located in Port Harcourt.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, presided over the meeting that held at the Executive Council Chamber of Government House, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike said, the approved sum would be spent on renovation, rehabilitation and installation of medical equipment at the health facilities.
“For the Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital in Port Harcourt, the civil work is to cost N1, 007, 205, 941, 51, while the equipping and furnishing and installation of medical equipment will cost N693, 570, 367, 25.”
The commissioner said the work at the Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital was expected to last for a period of 13 months, and when completed, would be an affiliate of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, to add to the training of medical doctors and medical personnel.
Chike also spoke about the approval given for the revamp of the Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital, which he said, when completed, would also be affiliated to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital for the training of medical personnel.
“The civil work is to cost N1, 789, 395, 743, 87 only, while, the equipping, installation and furnishing will cost N1, 590, 671, 047,31.”
Chike also provided explanation as to why the Mother and Child Hospital has not commenced full operations after it was officially inaugurated.
He said the Council had approved a committee which was working together with the Bureau for Public/Private Procurement, to make sure that the necessary processes for seamless take off of the hospital was put in place so that the facility can offer maximal service to the public.
Chike stressed that the State Executive Council was also briefed about the approval given by the Medical and Dental Council to the Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences to admit 100 students per session.
The commissioner said the cases of Covid-19 in the state have continued to grow because residents have refused to observe the Covid-19 protocols.
He called on residents in the state to avoid crowded areas like weddings, burial events, market places, wash their hands regularly, and also wear facemasks.
Also speaking to journalists, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said council approved that a bill be sent to the Rivers State House of Assembly for the enactment of a law for judicial officers to own their houses on retirement.
He explained that the approval was in line with policy of the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration to ensure that judicial officers who put in their best to ensure that justice was done in a very fair manner in the state were well housed after their service years.
“And to entrench this as its policy, a bill has been sent to the Rivers State House of Assembly for the enactment of a law,so that, at the end of this administration, subsequent administrations that will come will ensure that this policy is not toiled with”, Nsirim said.
Nsirim also said that Rivers State has been approved as the South-South Zonal Headquarters of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
According to him, the state was to also establish a Judicial Institute for the training of judges and magistrates which would complement the activities of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“The establishment of the institute is a way of helping to ensure that judges and magistrates who are in the state here have regular training as a way of updating them on their skills to complement what the National Judicial Service Commission does for them.”
On his part, the Special Adviser to Governor Nyesom Wike on Special Projects, Dax Alabo George Kelly, said the council ratified the approval given for the construction of Nabo Graham-Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt.
According to him, all the structures both on the campus in Rumueme community and at the staff quarters opposite the Hotel Presidential will be completed within the stipulated seven months, and ready as part of projects to celebrate the third-year of anniversary of Governor Nyesom Wike’s second tenure next year.
Scare As EFCC Chairman Slumps At Aso Rock
The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, reportedly slumped, and was rushed out of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
Bawa was giving his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking.
According to reports, Bawa was talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards when the incident happened.
Bawa had stopped talking and covered his face with his right palm, saying, “Please, excuse me, I can’t continue.”
However, in a swift reaction to the incident, the organisation’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said that Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa,was hale and hearty.
He said in a two-paragraph statement, yesterday afternoon that, while giving a goodwill message at an event at the Presidential Villa, yesterday morning, Bawa felt unwell and decided to return to his seat.
The statement reads in full, “The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa is hale and hearty.
“This clarification became necessary following an incident today September 16, 2021, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he was giving a goodwill message to the National Identity Day celebration, felt unwell and had to return to his seat.
“He has since received medical attention and is due back at his desk”.
Meanwhile, the reason the Chairman of the Economic and Crimes Commission, Abdurasheed Bawa, collapsed while delivering a goodwill message at the National Identity Day at Banquet Hall, State House Abuja, has been revealed.
Bawa was rushed to the State House Clinic for medical attention.
Reacting to the development, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, attributed the collapse to pressure and work burden.
He enjoined Nigerians to pray for Bawa, noting that he has regained consciousness.
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