Following the confirmation of the index case of Coronavirus in the state by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the concurrence of the proactive government of Governor Nyesom Wike, of the positive case, last Thursday, the administration of Mayor Victor Ihunwo of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, has keyed into the subsisting policies of the state government to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.
Consequently, the Mayor of Port Harcourt City, Hon Victor Ihunwo has swung into action by enforcing the directives of the governor on the closure of more than 18 markets within the jurisdiction of the council administration.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Mayor of PHALGA, Bob Abayomi, quoted Hon Victor Ihunwo as saying that, “It is regrettable that this disease has unusually found its way into our dear state.
“In line with the new directives of the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, that all markets in the state should remain closed effective Saturday, March 28, 2020, Mayor of Port Harcourt City, Hon Victor Ihunwo, has announced the closure of all markets in Port Harcourt City with effect from the aforementioned date.
“The following markets in Port Harcourt City must remain closed from Saturday, 28th March, 2020, till further notice.
“The markets include Rumuwoji Ultra Morden Market, Nkpolu Oroworukwo Market, Ogubum-Nu-Abali Fruits &Vegetables Garden Market, New Market, Garri Market, Creek Road Market, Trans Amadi Maami Market, all community-based markets, Goat Market, and all markets in abattoirs.
“All staff of Port Harcourt City Council from Grade Levels 1-10 are to stay at home from Friday, 27th March, 2020, till further notice.
“The Mayor of Port Harcourt City, Hon Victor Ihunwo, will lead a high-powered task force of the council to move around and ensure that this directive is carried out effectively.
“Any trader that violates this directive will have his goods confiscated and that trader will be summarily dealt with.
“The mayor reiterates that the earlier ban on public activities subsist, all public burials, weddings, child dedications, religious crusades remain prohibited while activities of night clubs, public parks, cinemas, lounges, and public drinking bars of over 10 persons without proper social distancing remain banned till further notice.
“Hon Victor Ihunwo appeals that residents of the city should continue to maintain proper personal hygiene and observe proper social distancing.
Bayelsa Set To Inaugurate Environment Vanguard
The Bayelsa State Government is set to establish a new body charged with the responsibility of protecting the environment from degradation and other environment related causes.
This was made known to newsmen, Tuesday during the celebration of the 2021World Environment Day by the state government in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The Tide gathered that the United Nations had declared 5th June every year as World Environment Day, necessitating the Bayelsa State government to commemorate the 2021 Environment Day Tuesday, 15 June, 2021 following other activities which had earlier caused its postponement penultimate week by the state government.
Giving approvals to demands made by the State Commissioner for Environment, Iselema Gbaranbiri, as contained in his welcome address for the occasion, the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, restated government’s commitment towards protecting the state’s ecosystems and all matters relating to the environment within the available resources of the state.
Diri noted that following his willingness to promote policies and make decisions aimed at protecting the state’s Ecosystems from further degradation, the state government recently had made approvals for the shore protection work of Obogoro community in the Yenagoa council area of the state.
He promised to do same subsequently for other affected communities of the state, assuring that government would soon work on an executive bill to set up the state ‘Environment Vanguard’.
“The prosperity government shall soon work on a legislation to set up the state Environment Vanguard”, he said.
“This vanguard, when established would work with the ministry of environment and other relevant stakeholders in the environment sector to protect our Ecosystems and environment from continuous degradation”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Environment, Honourable Gbaranbiri, has said the ministry of environment intends to deal decisively with those who were in the habit of flagrantly disrespecting nvironmental safety rules and guidelines in the state.
Gbaranbiri cautioned people to desist forthwith from ecosystem and unfriendly environmental phenomena, just as he stated that the ministry of environment had recently apprehended some persons,(names withheld) whom he said were involved in some unfriendly activities on the environment.
He commended Governor Diri for making funds available to the ministry for the execution of various environmental functions, pleading that the governor shore up the financial provisions made available to the ministry due to rising environmental challenges.
“ I commend the executive governor, his excellency, Governor Douye Diri, for making funds available for the ministry of environment, for the execution of its functions and programmes. But I also want to plead that you increase the funding coming to the ministry, because of the increasing environmental challenges”, he said.
The Tide learnt that the theme of the 2021 world Environment Day was tagged: ‘Join the Campaign to Restore our Ecosystem’
Similarly, guest lecturer for the occasion and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Niger Delta University, professor, Ibaba, S. Ibaba has called on government to implement guidelines and rules governing the environment to the letter, noting that the lack of political will by state actors in managing the environment was the bane of a clean, healthy and safe environment for all.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Balyesa, United Nigeria Airline Sign MoU On Flight Operations
The United Nigeria Airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bayelsa State Government for the commencement of direct scheduled flight operations into and out of Bayelsa International Airport.
The Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, confirmed the agreement in a statement in Lagos yesterday.
Uchegbu explained that according to the terms of the agreement, United Nigeria would operate four daily flights in and out of the airport.
“United Nigeria will service the Bayelsa International Airport daily from the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MM2) in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“With the MoU, the airline will commence direct flight operations to Bayelsa International Airport in July,” he said.
Uchegbu said that the MoU was signed in the presence of Gov. Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State and the state’s executive council.
Speaking, Diri noted that with the signing of the MoU, Bayelsans would begin to reap the benefits of the government’s investment in infrastructure.
The governor said that the venture would open Bayelsa, the resource base of Nigeria to the world.
Diri said the airline was chosen as partner because of its quality of service and efficiency.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO), United Nigeria Airline, Mr Osita Okonkwo, thanked the government and people of the state for choosing it.
He gave assurance that the airline would continue to offer the quality service that the airline was known for.
Groups Alert On Rising Cases Of Gender-Based Violence In C’River
The Cross River State Government, has raised alarm against the rising cases of gender-based violence including rape and sexual assaults in the State
To this end, the Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) as well as Girls Power Initiative have raised an alarm to the effect that cases of rape have rather increased in the State.
In a chat with newsmen in Calabar, FIDA Chairman in the state, Ann Alorye Awah, said they received reports of young girls being raped daily in the state.
She said the issue of wife’s battery is equally rampant as well as children abandonment.
She stated that they were following up on all the reports and did not encourage attempts by interested persons to stop them.
The FIDA boss however said that it was only funds and occasional withdrawal by survivors or their parents that dissuaded them.
According to her, they have secured four convictions yet in 2021.
In her contribution, the Director of Social Welfare in the state Ministry of Social Welfare and Humanitarian Affairs, Ms Elizabeth Uquak, said there were 1,026 cases of rape and gender-based violence in three local government areas of the state, namely, Akamkpa, Calabar South and Calabar Municipality.
“Between January to May this year, there are yet 395 rape cases which we are handling. As it looks,, more will still come in as we have not received reports from many other local government areas.”
Apparently, corroborating her statement, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation in the State General Hospital, Mrs Stella Asuquo Bassey said within one year, they had handled 89 rape and assault cases.
By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
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