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Amnesty Boss Pledges Prompt Payment Of Stipends

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The Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dikio (rtd), has vowed to resolve all bureaucratic bottlenecks hampering prompt payment of stipends to the beneficiaries of the programme.
Dikio, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at the weekend when he met with leaders of phases one, two and three of the scheme, said some persons tried to discourage him from touring the region citing security challenges.
The Amnesty boss said the reforms he had introduced into the scheme would stop series of protests by ex-militants that used to precede payments of their stipends.
Dikio, who has been on a tour of the region, insisted that his reforms had made prompt payment of the beneficiaries’ stipends possible.
“There were too many bureaucracy in the system which often resulted in the incessant delays in the payment of the N65,000 monthly stipend”, he said.
Dikio said his tour was aimed at returning the programme back to its owners insisting that PAP was designed for ex-militants only.
Addressing the ex-militant leaders, he said: “The PAP is a programme that was designed especially for ex-agitators. If you are not an ex-agitator you’re a stranger. I don’t see why it will be the other way.
“I was told by some people not to come that the region is not safe. Why should I be in this office and not visit my main area of operation? So I said I must come, so that we can see eyeball to eyeball, let me hear from you the issues so that together we can begin to discuss how to move on.
“I was in Okochiri in Okrika on Friday where I met with the Big 5 in the palace of King Ateke Tom and it was a fruitful meeting. Today, I am also meeting with you all to reinforce my vision for the PAP.
“Over time people have confused the programme for the package. They are different and it is good that you understand that so that we can all be on the same page.
“Since I came, I have been undertaking some reforms to ensure that we get it right. So the issue of your monthly stipends will be paid every 25th of the month. It’s not rocket science. All that was needed to do was to put the accounting process in order”.
Dikio appealed to the ex-agitators to work for the peace and development of the region by supporting the new direction and vision of the PAP under his watch.
He said: “If we learn the lessons of the past then we can do better. Our region has been left behind. Everything shouldn’t be about protest. The more we stabilize the region, the more we will attract businesses.
“I want you all to understand that you can be what you want to be. You can choose to be great and you will be great. It all depends on you. So for you to be great you must think great and begin to do great things not things that will be inimical to your growth”.
The ex-agitators expressed confidence in the new administrator and commended him for consulting them, an action they said was lacking in the past.
The leader of the first phase of the PAP, Pastor Reuben Wilson said the new vision of Dikio would make the programme run seamlessly.
He said it was a remarkable idea to host the meeting in the region saying it had further boosted their confidence in him.

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Rivers

Covid-19: Traders Move To Check Spread

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Eneka Market Association says it has taken some measures to tackle the spread of Coronavirus in the market.
Chairman of the association, Mr Christian Amadi said this in an interview with The Tide recently in the area.
Amadi who said he became aware of the spread of the virus in an internet on the radio also said that the association is holding series of meetings with all stakeholders in the market to work out ways of checking the spread of the virus.
According to him, the association has made it compulsory that both traders and customers coming to the market must use hand sanitizers, wear face masks while all the tables in the market will be spaced.
He also said that the traders are thinking of levying themselves to provide hand washing soaps and water for both traders and customers coming to the market.
The chairman however, regretted that most of the traders and customers are not conforming to the rules, especially the wear of face masks and the use of hand sanitisers.
He also declared that the association is finding it difficult to enforce the rules on social distancing as the market is too small.
Also speaking, Mrs Felicia Ejekwu, a food vendor said that it was during their meeting that they were made to know the lastest development as far as the Covid-19 pandemic is concerned.
She said the traders are doing everything possible to check the spread of the virus in the market.
Also, another trader commended the association for the provision of taps and hand sanitisers.
He also thanked them for making the wearing of face masks compulsory in the market.
He however said the role on social distancing will be difficult to achieve since the market is too small and called for more enlargement and sensitisation.
Other traders who also spoke with The Tide on the issue called for the creation of more awareness on the danger of the pandemic.

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Commissioner Advises Rivers Youths To Respect Authority

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Rivers State youths have been charged to respect constituted authority and traditional institutions in order to be veritable tools of change in enhancing community development.
Commissioner for Youth Development, Hon. Prince Obi Ohia who made the declaration during a town hall meeting at Akinima in Ahoada West Local Government Area said that the youths who constitute over 60% of the population of any nation, had the responsibility of renewing, refreshing and maintaining societal values in any given community.
Ohia advised youths to show high level regard for traditional stools stating that the youth bodies are not autonomous entities but are under the local government councils and traditional institutions.
He made it categorically clear to the youths that if they must operate in the State, they must have absolute respect for the traditional rulers because the state government would not tolerate any disrespect for the traditional institutions.
The commissioner however, urged traditional rulers to be unbiased and desist from wielding overbearing influence on the Youths bodies, which may cause an incursion on youths activities.
Ohia, advised traditional rulers to play fatherly and advisory roles to youths in their communities rather than interfer with their activities especially in choosing their leaders in order to reduce crisis in their localities.
While delivering the youth education pep talk, the commissioner urged the youths to embrace the value of time in the area of technological and educational advancement and also, adequately carry out the role of community surveillance and security in accordance with laid down guidelines while liaising with security agencies in their localities.
He said youths in carrying out their security and surveillance roles could give vital information to security agencies and aid arrest of criminal elements in their communities as long as it is done lawfully.
Ohia hinted that the state had established a symbiotic relationship with youths, the local government, and the communities in order to gain total control of youth bodies to forestall any security breaches in the state.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Roland Obed Whyte stressed the need for Community.
Ethnic based youth organisations in the area to key into the ongoing revalidation exercise by the Ministry, warning youth groups which have not been revalidated that they remain proscribed until they have fulfilled and completed the revalidation obligations as stipulated by the ministry.
Chairman of Ahoada West Local Government Council, Dr. Hope Ikiriko warned that traditional rulers would be held responsible in any community where there are youth crises in the local government.
Dr. Ikiriko appealed to youth leaders to ensure that they are revalidated and registered with the Ministry of Youth Development as that is the prerequisite for being recognised as a Youth body in the State.

By: Ike Wigodo

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Rivers

KYC Alleges Sabotage Over Trans Kalabari Road

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Warns Criminals To Steer Clear

The Kalabari Youth Council (KYC) Worldwide, says the recent kidanap of an expatriate working on the ongoing Trans Kalahari Road may be a sabotage to stall the project.
President General of the KYC , Ambassador Ipalibo Madodoye in a statement signed and made available to The Tide on Thursday said no amount of sabotage will derail the project.
Madodoye said, “this project displays good intention of the State Government to the Kalabari people. It’s something that will open Kalabari land. No amount of sabotage will derail it.”
He expressed hope that the 14 month time line for the project will be achieved, noting that the state governor, Chief Nyesom Woke has never abandoned any project he has started.
The KYC president general called on parents and guardians to warn their wards from being used to cause chaos and disaffection in the area and the entire Kalabari land.
“For us we see it as a challenge to ensure cordiality and peace within the project communities stressing tjat, “we strongly warn strangers and all agents against Kalahari land and Rivers State to stay far from all project sites and facilities.”
The KYC further condemned statement by Kengema Youth Forum (KUF) over the kidnap of the expatriate describing it as a mockery and tantamount to hypocrisy.
The statement said, “We condenm the dastardly kidnap and for the umpteenth time call for the immediate and unconditional release of the expatriate, while we state very clearly that KUF’s media display is rather too hasty, a mockery to Kalabari land where the project is cited and to the Rivers State Government”.
As far as KYC is concerned, the Kengema Unity Forum has never seen anything good in the present administration of Chief Wikem
The body further challenged KUF over its sincerity to condemn other kidnaps in Kalabari land including other criminal activities if really it meant well for the area..
We hereby strongly warn any other person, persons or group that would present itself or themselves as tool or decoy to distract or forestall the Trans-Kalabari Project or any other projects in our land to steer clear even as we call on all community youth bodies to be on the red alert and report suspicious moves to the appropriate quarters” the statement further declared.

By: Kevin Nengia

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