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Effective Reading Culture, Panacea For Social Vices -Stakeholders

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One of the greatest disincentives to full maximisation of youth potentials in our society is the depletion of creative values through the abuse of the mind which is the fundamental resource base. The fragility and vulnerability of the mind therefore require conscious efforts to cultivate it for positive impact. Unfortunately, most youth today seem to have lost their minds to boredom which is evidently the disease of the age.
The consequences of this social misadventure are not farfetched; unbridled crime, craving for lawlessness, culpable indolence, brain drain among other social vices.
As part of measures of curbing the menace of boredom and other attendant vices, stakeholders have called for the rejuvenation of the faltering reading culture among youths.
A cross section of stakeholders who spoke with The Tide Metro in a random interview, traced the rot in our social systems to dearth of intellectual acumen on the path of youth.
Consequently, the stakeholders want the reading culture to be actively revitalised to make our youth productive and economically viable. Andy Akpotive, a Public affairs analyst, who spoke with The Tide Metro decried the decline in the reading culture in the society.
He pointed out that today’s youth have been carried away by some trappings that they neglect the key objective of developing themselves for the challenges of the future.
According to the analyst, the absence of a good reading culture has produced half baked graduates in the society who could barely write a good sentence or communicate effectively.
To avert the rot in our educational system, Akpotive, said debating and reading clubs should be fully reintroduced in schools.
He said, “greatness cannot be attained through loyalty to a political system, or cutting corners, greatness comes through diligence, and hard work, the secret of greatmen are buried in books, and only by reading and acquiring knowledge can one be truly great.”
Akpotive also called for the offering of special grants to writers as incentives to enable them develop good literary works. He regretted that although Nigeria was fecund with literary creativity in the world of arts, particularly in writing was yet to be fully developed.
On his part, the founder and Director of Garden City Library Project, Mr Austin Nwaeze, called for investment in library services to boost reading culture among youth. Nwaeze who runs a free library services with a huge collection of books, called for Public/Private sector partnership in the promotion of reading culture; ‘I’ve been at the forefront of promoting the reading culture for the past decades through my personal efforts, I am passionate about mobilising young minds to read because the future lies in their abilities to develop their minds, but my personal efforts has some limits, I want to use this opportunity to call government and key stakeholders, particularly the multinationals to complement our private efforts to revive the reading culture”.
Nwaeze, who is also Director of Project Read advocacy, said he had over the years floated a mobile children and adult libraries in Port Harcourt and its metropolis, and solicited for partnership to reach out to more people, particularly within the rural areas.
Dr Mbee Daniel, a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, who spoke with The Tide Metro, called for the proper equipping of public libraries across the state with recreational facilities to create good ambience for people to read.
Daniel said the advent of the social media has to a large extent, impeded the art of writing and reading, as most people now resort to abbreviations, making them to barely write good essays.

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B’Haram, Miyetti Allah, Bandits Are Terrorists, OPU Tells FG

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The O’odua Progressive Union (OPU) has told Federal Government to be sincere with itself by calling a spade, a spade in addressing myriad challenges facing the country.
OPU, in a statement by its Director of Communication, Alhaji Akeem Apena, stated that it was inappropriate for Federal Government to describe Yoruba nation agitators as terrorists when their action had nothing to do with such description.
OPU held that the description of terrorist only fit Boko Haram, Miyetti Allah, bandits and not the Yoruba nation agitators who are back by law to agitate for secession.
The group, however, urged the Federal Government to address the various security challenges in the country, and leave the Yoruba nation agitators alone.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent attack by government on Yoruba nation agitators, for keeping association with the proscribed Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), the group said it was most unfortunate for Federal Government to judge the Yoruba nation agitators by the company they keep.
OPU stated that the Yoruba nation agitators had committed no offence by joining other like-minded groups in driving home their self-determination agenda.
He pointed out that the Federal Government, rather than addressing pertinent issues bordering on insecurity across the country, has shifted its focus to attack agitators and trample upon their civic rights.
“Garuba Shehu is always in the media for the wrong reason. He should be told that the call for self-determination was not accidental. It came up as a result of the growing tension, including kidnappings, killings ,and banditry, spreading across the country,
“The United Nations rally was to raise our voices against the unjust nepotism, corruption, kidnappings and killings in the country. And we have strategically approached the UN to lend our voices against the Federal Government’s failures to tackle the security challenges in the country”.
Apena, however, dismissed Shehu’s warning against Yoruba nation agitators, insisting that the UN is a global meeting arena reputed for its purposeful agenda, and cannot fall for the Federal Government’s subterfuge.
“Garuba Shehu needs to check his dictionary very well before calling the Yoruba nation agitators terrorists. The Federal Government has embarked on using blackmail as a tool to denigrate all the groups by calling them names and also urging the UN to ignore our demand for justice, safety and peaceful approach towards achieving the best for our race.
“But it is also sad that the Federal Government has never tagged Boko Haram, Bandits and killer herdsmen, Miyetti Allah and other terrorists’ groups.
“Yoruba nation agitators are Free-minded people that have taken the right step by going to the UN to press home their demand.
“It is their legitimate rights because they didn’t take up arms against anybody. They go about their demands legitimately.
“Terrorists are dangerous elements that are terrorising the people. Boko Haram, Miyetti Allah, Bandits and their cohorts have on several occasions shook and still shaking the very foundation of this nation.
“The Yoruba, right from the beginning will never mortgage their future to ordinary blackmail. Whether the FG likes it or not, the Yoruba nation agitators will continue to seek the international support in ensuring that our request is granted by the global communities,” he stated.

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Rivers Community Cries Out Over Flooding

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Some parts of Rundele community in Emohua Local Government Area have been reportedly devastated by flood.
According to the reports, residents of Mgbuogbakari Community Rundele are now writhing in pains following the destruction of their houses, farmlands, and other economic trees by flood.
Community sources said claim that even the only source of drinking water for the people has also been affected, adding that the community may experience outbreak of cholera, if something urgent was not done.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide, an indigene of the community, Innocent Chikwem, said that the village was in dire need of assistance as all sources of livelihood have been affected.
According to him, all economic crops such as yam, cassava, cocoyam, plantain, banana, oranges and many more, have been destroyed.
Chikwem said hunger and starvation now stir the people in the face.
According to him, hunger and starvation may even kill faster than disease.
“The people are in dire need of palliatives now, makeshift toilet facilities are needed urgently”, he said.
Chikwem said that over 1, 000 persons are affected by the incident.
Meanwhile, the National Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMAGS), Mr. Prosper Ogbunie, said that constant dredging of rivers and desilting of drainages were needed to check the perennial cases of flooding in the state.
Speaking in a telephone interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, Ogbunie said that constant cleaning of drains would ensure free flow of water, especially at the peak of the raining season.
He advised government to discourage people from dumping refuse into drainages or building in water rights of way or channels.
Ogbunie also stressed the need for the construction of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps for those displaced by the flood.

By: John Bibor

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Wike’s Educational Policy Thrust Fruitful, Banigo Affirms

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The Rivers State Deputy Governor ,Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has said that Governor Nyesom Wike’s policy thrust in education was yielding positive results for all to see.
Banigo made this assertion in a statement in Government House, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, in reaction to the emergence of the Rivers State University as the University of the Year 2021 by the International Achievements Research Centre in Canada.
According to the deputy governor, “It is gratifying to note that the accreditation exercise carried out by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) as well as the National Universities Commission (NUC) in the Rivers State University was a huge success”.
Banigo, who assured Rivers People that the governor would continue to invest in massive human capital development in the state, congratulated the university management for keying into the governor’s dream of making Rivers State the educational hub of Nigeria.
In a related development, the Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has felicitated with the former Governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia as he marked his birthday, last Wednesday.
In a goodwill message in Government House, Port Harcourt, Banigo said as a former commissioner for education and former governor of Rivers State, Omehia’s contributions to the holistic development of the state were highly commendable.
According to the deputy governor, Omehia remains a strong pillar of support to the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration.
The deputy governor wished the former governor many happy returns, and prayed the Almighty God to continue to bless, protect and keep him in good health.

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