Four months after the bridge linking Elebele community of Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State with sister communities of the area collapsed, the people of the area have indicted O.K.I Nig.Ltd, a contracting firm with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB.
The community leadership who spoke to our correspondent through their youth president and Governorship standard bearer of the Peoples Redemption Party,PRP in the last Bayelsa State Governorship polls,Mr Azibola Okala in Yenagoa, last Friday alleged that several attempts at bringing OKI to evacuate the overloaded truck which was hauling materials to their construction site in Emeyal 1 community,Ogbia LGA which led to the collapse of the bridge, was abortive that vehicle is still stuck in the River,which according to him is their only source of water.
The Youth leader maintained that with the collapse of the bridge which used to join the densely populated community with Yenagoa, the state capital,commercial activities which were usually on the increase in the area are now at the lowest ebb.
Okala who alleged OKI of having deliberately collapsed the bridge in order to isolate the community from commerce which according to him is their major source of livelihood,saying from the day the bridge collapsed to date, the company has not made any significant attempt at coming to their aide not even during the last flood that sacked part of the community,retreiting that but for the collapse,the hitherto healthy bridge would have given them access to Yenagoa and other areas where they would have sought for refuge.
“OKI is not really serious with evacuating this truck.They told us they’ll be coming since.During the flood they came without doing much to evacuate it and left.Now they’ve told us they would be coming next week and just like that.This truck and chippings in it are hazards to this community, they are not even talking of how we could get on with things even if it means constructing a wooden bridge in the interim to enable people move to the other parts of the community let alone constructing a new bridge.” He said.
Our correspondent who visited the site of the collapsed bridge last Friday evening that the no fewer than 16 trucks tyres were is still left unattended to.
Meanwhile a representative of OKI Nig.ltd at their Emeyel II site. When our correspondent learnt was interfacing with Elebele Community on the ill-fated bridge.
Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
COVID-19: RSG Solicits Monarchs’ Support
The Rivers State Government has solicited the support of traditional rulers to check the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Chairman of the Rivers State Interministerial Committee on Coronavirus, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim who said this at the committee’s meeting with members of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt urged them to assist the government by monitoring social distancing and enforcing the closure of markets in their localities.
Nsirim who is also the state Commissioner for Information and Communications urged the royal fathers to help in enlightening their people on the importance of maintaining high level personal hygiene.
The commissioner said the present situation had shown the need for residents of the state to imbibe new set of values and orientations.
He said the prompt action by Governor Nyesom Wike on the closure of markets, night clubs, borders and drinking joints was responsible for the only one index case recorded in the state, while adding that the state government has singled out the traditional institution to be major players in curbing the spread of the disease.
Nsirim said it was the hope of the committee that with the help of the traditional rulers, information on the virus would be spread across the entire state.
The commissioner also urged them to discourage their people against the use of local herbs to cure the virus, adding that anyone with the symptoms of the virus should call the designated phone lines. Also speaking, the Commissioner for Environment, Dr Igbiks Tamuno urged people in the rural areas to practice elementary hygiene through regular washing of hands with water and soap and keeping their surrounding clean .
Dr Tamuno stressed the need for people to take responsibility for their health by ensuring social distancing and maintaining personal hygiene. He urged the traditional rulers to take the message to their domains.
COVID-19: Etche LGA Donates Palliatives To Indigenes
Determined to cushion the effect of the raging Coronavirus disease and the subsequent restrictions of movement by both the federal and state governments, Etche Local Government Council in Rivers State has come to the rescue of her people.
The Chairman of Etche Local Government Area, Hon Obinna Anyanwu, while giving out the food and sanitary items to indigent indigenes at the local government headquarters, Okehi, last Saturday, stated that it was a way of helping the people to lessen the burden of the outbreak of COVID-19.
Disclosing that all the 19 wards of the council were beneficiaries of the palliatives, he noted that as a responsible administration, he felt the pains of the people, hence the initiative.
The council boss called on the people of Etche to follow all laid down protocols as directed by the Rivers State Government and Ministry of Health, especially as it relates to constant washing of hands, social distancing, and reporting suspected cases on time.
“ I am calling on our people to follow all the directives of the state government. It may be inconveniencing but it is for the good of all of us. This is a disease that is affecting the whole world.
“As a border local government, we must remain vigilant and watchful. If you suspect any case, don’t fail to inform the Ministry of Health through the available phone numbers.
“My sincere prayers are for all of us to be alive and hope for better things to come. Our dear Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike is doing all he can to make Rivers State free of the disease,” he stated.
He reiterated that all the markets in Etche remain closed as ordered by Governor Nyesom Wike, just as all the borders with neighbouring states remain closed.
Several of the beneficiaries commended the council boss for his care and concern while praying God to continue to guide and bless him.
The council Chairman, Hon Obinna Anyanwu, joined by top local government officials, supervised the distribution of the items at the council secretariat, Okehi.
Items given out include rice, noodles, salt, tomato pastes, hand sanitizers, buckets fitted with tap, amongst other essential ingredients.
Lockdown: A’Ibom Doctors Threaten Strike Over Assault On Member
Resident doctors in the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), Akwa Ibom State, have threatened to down tools in the state over alleged assault on one of their members by a security operative.
This was contained in a statement, jointly signed by its President, Dr Paul Walshak, Secretary, Dr Ekemini Bassey and Publicity Secretary, Dr Ekomobong Udoh and made available to newsmen in Uyo yesterday.
The association condemned the brutalisation of Dr David Daniel Edet, while going to work.
According to it, the police Sgt. Alexander Edidiong, allegedly refused to let Dr Edet pass the road block mounted along Nung Oku junction to enforce the restriction of movement order.
It added that in spite of the fact that Edet produced his valid means of identification as a medical doctor on duty, the police sergeant still went ahead to assault the medical doctor.
“Despite appropriately identifying himself as a doctor with his Identity card and stating he was on his way to the hospital, Sgt. Alexander Edidiong, refused to let him pass the road block mounted along Nung Oku junction,
To enforce the restriction of movement order issued by the Akwa Ibom government which clearly exempts healthcare care workers on essential duties.
“Dr David Daniel Edet continued to impress on Sgt. Alexander Edidiong on the need to allow him go to perform his essential duty but instead, the officer got angry and using a big stick, struck Dr David on his left forearm leading to a fracture of the left ulna bone and dislocation of the left wrist which were confirmed by X-rays obtained last night.
“Based on the foregoing and following the resolutions of an emergency Exco meeting of the association of resident doctors, UUTH, we hereby make the following demands on the Nigerian police.
“They issue within the next 48 hours, a public release apologising on the action of their officer and guaranteeing the safety and freedom from molestation of our members who will be required to move around providing much needed healthcare services at this time.
“Publicly discipline the police officer who brutalised Dr Edet.
“Adequately compensate Dr Edet for the impact of the injuries he sustained on his career and defray the cost of all the medical bills that will be incurred in the course of his treatment,” it stated.
It also urged the police authority to commence the process of performing a psychiatry evaluation to determine the mental fitness of its officers and men that would be stationed at various road blocks in the state to save innocent public.
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