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COVID19: Rivers LGA Palliative Committee Assures Transparency

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The Chairman COVID-19 Palliative Committee in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, Hon Ubile Jack, says the committee will reach all communities and vulnerable persons in the area.
Hon Jack, who is also the Vice Chairman of Ahoada West Local Government Area said this in an interview with newsmen shortly after her committee’s inauguration in Akinima, the council headquarters.
She said the committee would ensure transparency in the distribution of the items, adding that everyone will benefit irrespective of party’s affiliations.
Hon Jack also commended the council chairman, Hon. Hope Ikiriko, for putting the interest of the commoners above personal interest.
“I humbly appreciate the inauguration of the central working committee as well as the Food Stuff Purchasing Committee by the council chairman.
“This is in line with Governor Wike’s directive of cushioning the effect of the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
She said the inauguration would enable the committee to reach out to the downtrodden in all communities in the area, stressing that all farmers and fishermen in the various communities will also be reached with a view to purchasing their produce.
Also speaking, Chairman, Food Purchasing Committee, Hon Agri Ezekiel, said the committee would satisfy the yearnings and desires of the people as far as the programme was concerned.

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Bayelsa Communities To SPDC: Halt Dealings With Mein Cluster Board Chairman …Alleges Misappropriation Against Him.

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The leadership of Bilabiri 1 and 2 communities in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa state have called on the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, to withhold its dealings with chairman of the Mein Cluster Development Board over alleged misappropriation of funds by his leadership.

The communities leaders in a petition to SPDC and the Bayelsa State governmment, regretted that the autocratic leadership style of the chairman of the cluster board, Mr David Otiti was becoming unbearable, adding that the chairman has abused his office by suspending the rules and terms of the General Memorandum of Understanding, GMoU, agreements and protocols.

The petition which was signed by the Community Trust Secretary of Bilabiri 2, Mr. Ogbare Fun, Community Trust Secretary of Bilabiri 1 Community, Mr Akemey Benson, and the Community Trust Chairman of Bilabiri 2 Community, Mr. Endurance Deboh, stated that if the policy objective of the GMoU is to be achieved, the chairman of the Mein Cluster board has to be called to order.

Other allegations against the cluster board leadership made available to The Tide include, unilateral awards of contract to himself and his

cronies without due consultation with CDB since his assumption of office.

Others are, failure to constitute committees and sub-committees of the CDB, failure to call for board meeting since assuming office, lack of respect for traditional rulers, CDC Chairman, and other stakeholders, and keeping the communities in the dark with regards to the implementation of the GMoU.

“We hereby use this medium on behalf of our humble selves and the good people of Bilabiri 1 and 2 Communities that we represent in the cluster development board to intimate the management of SPDC of our grievances occasioned by the activities of the Mein Cluster Board Chairman, Mr. David Otiti”, they said.

“There have been a myraid of issues since the current CDB was inaugurated on the 9th,October, 2018, owing to the leadership style of the chairman”, the communities added.

“We can no longer tolerate his dictatorial leadership, this protest is coming to you by the reason that the SPDC management appreciate the core value of the GMoU system, thereby adopting same in your operational areas for maximum enhancement of community/company relations.” They noted

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FRSC Decries The Deplorable State Of Roads In C’River

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has decried the deplorable states of roads in Cross River State.
Chatting with correspondents in Calabar, the State Acting Sector Commander, Benedict Akunne lamented the state of roads at Odukpani junction in particular.
Akunne said, “presently we are having a pathetic gridlock along Odukpani junction. It is terrible, the place is too bad and today I have dropped a letter to the government of Cross River State, pleading to help us work on the deplorable state of the road so that this traffic gridlock will be over.
“One of our responsibilities or mandates in FRSC is to locate bad spots on the road and communicate with relevant authorities about the bad spot and urge them to come and effect repairs. We have an outpost at Odukpani but what is happening there is terrible, what is happening there overwhelmed our men, we have to move our men from other areas to ensure that traffic congestion and grid-lock is reduced,” Akunne stated.
The Acting Sector Commander explained that the new normal the FRSC has put in place after the lockdown was the reintroduction of Mobile Court in full force.
“The Mobile Court operation will be in full force, we are set to go out to the road because we don’t want people to die anymore. We will move from park to park and ensure that every driver obey the protocol, washing of hands, wearing of facial mask, sanitizing and fumigation of motor parks,” he said.
He said that there was no gain stating the obvious that road traffic crashes are on the increase in some part of Nigeria even here in Cross River State and now that the ban on the interstate travels has been lifted.

According to the FRSC boss, “the first thing we will do is to check how we will stem the rising tide of road traffic crashes, known fully well that people have been hungry, people have been indoors, people have not been travelling and now the roads have been opened, we will experience a whole lot of travels,” he stressed.

“We must ensure that there is social distancing, we will also ensure that people that are entering the vehicles do not contact coronavirus just because they want to travel,” he stressed.
From Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
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COVID-19: No Resumption Date Yet For Schools, Says Bayelsa Ministry Of Education …Warns Private Schools Proprietors, Commences e-Learning

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Permanent Secretary Bayelsa state Ministry of Education,comrade Walton Liverpool says no date has been slated for the resumption of schools in the state.

Liverpool hinted The Tide this during an interview held with him in Yenagoa.

According to him,that the Federal Government has slated part reopening of schools for 3rd August is not a yardstick that the state must do so.

He noted that due to the peculiar nature of the state in terms of having more far-flung communities in all the Local Government Areas,the Government is being meticulous in resuming schools without adequate preparations, saying that before doing so the state Government through the Ministry of Education would work out appropriate and sustainable modalities to ensuring that Covid-19 is contained in the Education sector within the requisite National centre for disease control,NCDC stipulated guidelines.

Liverpool restated his commitment towards ensuring an unimpeded school curricular,emphasizing that the Ministry has since introduced various e-learning platforms comprising the social and electronic media to

cushion the learning deficit occasioned by the pandemic.

While reacting to the recent feud between the State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers,NUT and the Academic staff union of secondary schools,ASUSS the Education Permanent Secretary who served as the pioneer state chairman of the NUT berated ASUSS,saying they took the laws in their hands.

He described ASUSS as an association and not a registered trade union,advising that they desist from further parading themselves as such,just as he restated that under his leadership in NUT years ago a similar splinter group sprung up, reassuring however,that there was a solution to the problem which can still be applied today to amicably resolve the lingering issues rather than parade as a splinter group.

“We’ve not taken a date to resume schools in the state.Even though the Federal Government has taken and again reordered,due to our peculiar problems we’ve not slated any date”, he said.

“Before we reopen we would have to provide measures to containing the spread in and amongst our schools”, he added.

“But to bridge the learning vacuum created by

Covid-19 the Education Ministry has commenced e-learning programmes on different social media platforms and on Radio too for schools and students in both primary and secondary schools in the state”, he stated.

“For ASSUS, my advise for them is that they stop parading themselves as a trade union henceforth.They’re an Association under the NUT and not a trade union as they claim. I’ve been the NUT state chairman and I know this very well” he concluded.

Meanwhile in a press statement made available to The Tide by the Ministry,the permanent secretary has warned owners and the management of private schools in the state to desist from resuming schools.

The pioneer State NUT chairman restated that even though the West African Examinations council has fixed 3rd August and 5th September as the date for the commencement and rounding up of the 2020 WASSCE the schools in the state may not resume until the state is certified fit by the NCDC to reopen schools.

In another development it seems not yet Uhuru with the proposed schools reopening date in Nigeria as the Federal Government has again reordered its earlier decision on the resumption

date.

In the same vein there are indications that in consonance with dissenting opinions on a possible resumption date as earlier expressed by some state Governments and stakeholders in the Education sector, the Federal Government may no longer be willing to permit Nigeria’s participation in the regional examinations this year following the resurgence of more cases of the novel Covid-19 pandemic.

The Tide learnt that the Federal Ministry of Education has expressed concerns on the safety of Nigerian students when schools are resumed amidst rising number of the Coronavirus infections in the country.

You would be recalled that penultimate week the Federal Government announced August 3rd as the resumption date of schools in Nigeria, while the West African Examinations council,WAEC also followed suit by giving 3rd  August through 5th September as dates for kick-starting and ending up of this year’s WASSCE.

Inset:comrade Walton Liverpool, PS Bayelsa state Ministry of Education.

By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.

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