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C’River Distributes Relief Materials To Fire Victims, Supports EndSARS

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The Cross River State Government yesterday distributed relief materials worth millions of naira to affected traders of the Marian Market fire disaster of June 4.
The items distributed were bags of rice, cement, zinc and mattresses, among others.
Addressing the traders at the Calabar Municipal Council, Governor Ben Ayade described the tragic incident as unfortunate, hazardous and tragic.
The governor was represented by the Chairman of Calabar Municipal Council, Mr Efeffiong Eke.
Ayade said that no life was lost but that properties acquired over the years by traders were destroyed.
“I know how painful it is to lose your source of livelihood after years of toil and dedication.
“It is on this note that we have brought in these relief materials to ameliorate your plight and to encourage you never to give up,” he said.
Ayade said that the relief materials could not erase the shock experienced by the affected traders, but can reduce the negative impact it might have created in their lives
He assured the traders that his administration would remain committed to improving the welfare of the people, especially those who contribute in no small measure to the growth and development of the state’s economy.
Also speaking, the Director-General, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, Mr Princewill Ayim, commended the governor for his timely intervention.
Ayim said that although the items might not be commensurate with the loss, they should be viewed from the intent rather than the quantity.
Responding on behalf of the traders, the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Traders, Cross River Chapter, Mr Ejike lgwe, thanked the governor for the prompt response.
Mr Igwe said the items would go a long way in mitigating the hardship experienced by the affected traders and their families.
He lauded the relationship between the state government and the traders.
Igwe promised that the association would continue to support the Ayade-led government to move the state forward.
Meanwhile, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State yesterday pledged support for the ongoing #EndSARS protest in the nation while inaugurating a seven-man Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution to investigate police brutality on residents of the state.
Speaking during the inauguration of the panel in Calabar, Ayade said that African leaders must be bold enough to admit the fact that they have failed the younger generation.
”Government must recognise the fact that it has to first provide that which was provided in our constitution in section 14(2) that the primary purpose of government is the security and welfare of its citizens,’’ he said.
He challenged the panel to come together and allow people who had been brutalised to speak out adding that the state would do all it could to ensure that victims were rightly compensated.

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Bayelsa Set To Inaugurate Environment Vanguard

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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

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Balyesa, United Nigeria Airline Sign MoU On Flight Operations

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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.

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Groups Alert On Rising Cases Of Gender-Based Violence In C’River

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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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