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Goons On The Prowl

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With the renewed efforts of the security agencies to curb crimes in Port Harcourt and its environs, the men of the underworld are also devising measures and strategies to carry on their illicit trades.
With a palpable sense of apprehension, residents of the city and its environs are worried that their daily existence is ruffled by the prowling activities of hoodlums and goons that slice their pounds of flesh from their victims in a delirious order and get along with their insipid taste.
The city is perhaps under the siege of organised crimes, particularly as citizens battle with the covid-9 crisis, and taking the lessons of survival seriously.
While many battle with economic exigencies to make ends meet, their efforts are sabotaged by outlaws on the prowl of the city and its nooks and crannies.
The  Port Harcourt Metro investigations revealed that within the yuletide, hoodlums had a harvest of crime as they burgled into shops of residents and carted away their wares in night operations.
Some shop owners in the Elekahia axis of Port Harcourt who had their shops burgled, narrated their ordeals to the Port Harcourt Metro.
A shoe dealer simply known as Emeka, said he returned to Port Harcourt after the festive period and met his shop vandalised and robbed of goods worth N2 million.
“ I travelled to my community during the festive period and left my shop secured and intact, but when I came back early January, I found out that some people broke into my shop and looted all my goods, I was speechless and till this moment I haven’t recovered from the shock because there’s no money with me at the moment, things are very hard, I don’t know where to start from.”
His case is similar to that of Ikaba Wilson who sells jewelries along Rumu-omasi road.
Wilson said his shop was robbed while he was in his hometown for the new year celebration.
“ I went to my community and spent only four days and returned to Port Harcourt, but to my greatest surprise, I met my shop completely empty. My jewelries and other products worth N3.5 million were stolen, it’s very difficult for me to cope with this situation, especially this January that things are very hard, the most embarrassing aspect is that we pay some money on monthly basis to vigilantes in the area. the security agencies especially the police should put in more efforts to save the lives of the people.”
The merchants of banditry and organised crimes in Port Harcourt and its environs seem to have a sprawling network in the operations They inundate the city on sensitive surveillance of target areas and swing into action at odd hours, mostly nights to carry out their operations.
The Port Harcourt Metro investigation revealed that these bandits hibernate within areas like railway lines, sub-urban shanties and other bogey driven areas of their relative advantage where they trap unsuspecting passers-by  and strip them of their possessions, such as cash, phones, and other personal belongings.
Besides the outright displacement of people of their possessions at gun point, some of the hoodlums live by touting  and extortion of money from commercial motorists.
At the Rumukwurushi axis of Port Harcourt, a notorious tout operating under the name  ‘Stone’ is reported to have perfected the act of extorting money from commercial motorists through illegal charges.
‘Stone’ is said to be in unrelenting force in his mode of operation with some acolytes that use pseudo names on non-existing unions to defraud their victims.
Some motorists who spoke with Port Harcourt Metro, said the activities of Stone and his boys have inflicted pains on them.
A motorist, Godwin Itang, told the Port Harcourt Metro that hoodlums disguising as task force men extort money from them on daily basis.
“We, taxi drivers suffer so much in the hands of illegal task forcemen, they claim to be union officials and throw all manner of tickets into our vehicles, when we confront them, they threaten our lives, at least we can differentiate the government task force from the illegal task forces, the illegal task forces always escape when they sight the government task force. We want government to do something about this, it’s like we commercial motorists are working for the touts, it’s quite unfortunate, they also work with some police officers on the road,” he said.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Metro

Rivers, A Global Investment Hub

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Nothing could be more elusive and desirous as the special skills and talent of a wand and a midas touch. Dr Freeman O’ Freeman is one the few possessive of this rare gift. He has a penchant for the reorganization of ailing industries, organizations and institutions. The foremost technocrat and consultant was recently spotted by the Port Harcourt Metro at a public function in the Garden city. When his attention was sought for an interview he willingly obliged an the session was a deep insight into his experience especially his years of consultancy services with the Rivers state Government in the  early 1990s. During these period he recalled that 14 parastalals and government agencies including the three state owned media Houses were under his consultancy services for full reorganisation process. “We made the State Electricity Board to be the highest revenue earner after the Ministry of finance, we also made the staffs of Water Board, Super Board, and Rivers Marine to earn their salary after the reorganization processes, some of the moribond companies can still be revived.”  He said Rivers state was deeply blessed with potentials to host the business world through flourishing business activities, nothing that most black Americans business moguls were looking for opportunities of investing their wealth and knowledge. Dr Freeman who is also and author and religious counsellor emphasized the need for proper restructuring of the Nigerian state to address the needs and imperatives of justice in the country. He canvassed for the creation of a state owned insurance company to secure the wealth and investments of  Rivers state. “ Rivers state is global investment hub, their is need to decongest Lagos by tapping into the enormous investment potentials in Rivers state, it’s quite unfortunate that investments of Rivers state government are easing out without full privileges to the state government, despite hosting two federal terminals economic activities in the state is still low. I want the Rivers state government to reap the benefit of insurance before Governor Wike leaves office, it will count for him as one his greatest legacies for Rivers people. Commenting on the prevalence of ethno religious crisis in the country, he pointed out the very custodians of religious faith were the propellers of the evolving Crisis. “it’s very unfortunate that people don’t practice what they preach, the much resources in the hands of the ministers should be redirected for the interest of the followers, the early missionaries gave education virtually free. Ministers should allow their members to have leveraging access to their schools, this will reduced the loads of poor parents and help in producing an informed and better society”. With a deep sense of concern, he urged the federal government to address the growing spate of insecurity in country, particularly the “ incautious activities of herders.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Metro

Wife Battery: Man Forced To Undertaken By In-laws

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In a bid to restore the marriage of a certain couple in Port Harcourt, ( names withheld) the family members and parents of the wife has forced the husband to an undertaken that he will no longer used their daughter as a punch bag. The Port Harcourt Metro gathered the parents of the wife are relatively well to do very supportive to the upkeep of their daughters family. Their intervention came as a result of repeated cases of physical and psychological abuses of their daughter by her husband. It was also gathered that the parents of the wife had made moves to terminate the relationship to secure the life of their daughter but she bluffed their moves and stuck to the marriage based on her professed love for the husband. The husband was said to have been invited to an intense family session during which he was asked to sign an undertaken to be of good conduct and act as a responsible man or gets his wife forfeited. The session became dramatic when the repentant husband and in-law was said to have broken down in tears , with confessions that he was always propelled by some incontrollable forces to act the way he did.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Group Plans Grassroots Medical Campaign

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As part of measures of promoting effective medical care at the grassroots, a body under the auspices of Medical  Xray and Imaging Technicians Association of Nigeria says plans has been put in place for mass sensitisation on the need for greater access to medical services at the rural areas. National President of the body, Rev Akiene Nunyor who disclosed this during a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said the sensitisation was targeted at rousing the sensitivities of critical stakeholders towards improving health care at the rural areas as well as creating awareness among the rural dwellers. He pointed out that the absence of ultra sound facilities at rural communities was responsible for high mortality among pregnant women in rural communities, as they lacked access to the facilities. Its difficult for women to go for scan exercises for proper medical check at the rural areas. In times of emergencies before they get to the urban areas that have the facilities it becomes late. He called for a synergy between the private sector and government especially in the area of research, training and manpower development in the health sector,  He assured that the body was ready to provide the professional regulatory services for middle manpower development and standards in medical practice. While commending the Rivers state Government for its efforts in promoting care in the state he called for a “ Public/ Private sector  driven “approach in promoting effective health sector delivery.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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