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Niger Delta

C’River Laments Illegal Logging

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Considering the rate of climate change on the people, the Cross River State Government has decried the rate by which illegal loggers were ravaging its virgin forest.
This was in commemoration of its annual ‘Green Carnival’ which kicked off yesterday, so as to plant and replace thousands of trees degraded mainly by illegal loggers.
The Co-chairman of the Central Planning Committee for the 2021 Green Carnival, and Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Eric Anderson, in a press briefing in Calabar said the theme of this year’s Green Carnival would be ‘Go Green’ in line with government’s resolve to replenish the degraded forest.
“We need to go green to replenish our degraded forest stock, enhance aesthetics and by extension, mitigate climate change. I will not fail to bring to your attention the worrisome dimension forest exploitation, especially illegal timber logging, has assumed in our dear state,” he stated.
On the carnival costume, Anderson said “We are looking at 10,000 costumes to be used, the bulk of which will be produced by our own Calabar garment factory. We seek to use the Green Carnival to create awareness in the citizenry to imbibe the culture of tree planting. In the light of this, we are collaborating with the state Ministry of Health to provide guidelines for observing Covid-19 safety protocols during the carnival.”
Flanked by other Committee members, Anderson described Cross River State as nature’s gift to Nigeria, to Africa and the world at large and noted further that “Cross River holds over 50 percent of the last remaining tropical rainforest in Nigeria, it is listed as one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots. The state has five distinct ecotypes Mangrove, tropical rainforest, Montane, Guinea and Sahel Savanna.”
He lamented that the 5 million trees targeted by the Ayade-led administration when it came on board in 2015 had not been met.
“The target has not been achieved but a lot has been done in the area of tree planting and forest regeneration,” he said, and disclosed that the carnival would be staged in Calabar, the state capital, and all the 18 local government areas of the state.
Explaining the source for seedling for the carnival, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Afforestation/Biodiversity, Mr Bette Obi, said there were arrangements to source for the seedlings locally, noting that the state planted 100,000 trees last year but that government was looking at planting a little more this year.
The Committee pointed fingers at some elements in the law enforcement agencies for abetting logging despite efforts of the government to bring it to an end.
Meanwhile the people of Edondo, Okokon and Ekuri forest communities in Obubra and Akamkpa local government areas of the state, who were infuriated by what they described as ‘indiscriminate and brazen ravaging of special woods like Bobinga, Black Afara, Apa and others by illegal loggers for export purpose,’ have protested against the pulling down of their forest.
The protesters, who were armed with placards and banners chanted “our forest our lives, our lives our forest,” as they marched from their communities down to Ochon junction by Ugep-Ikom federal highway, demanding that something be done urgently over the matter.

By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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Niger Delta

Rivers Police Burst Car Snatching Syndicate

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The Rivers State Police Command says it has arrested an alleged member of car theft syndicate who specialises in robbing bolt drivers in the state and its environs.
In a press statement in Port Harcourt, the state capital, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Nnamdi Omoni said that operatives of Octopus Strike Force on September 15, 2021, at about 1750hrs, arrested one Nnali Osita, a 21-year-old member of a notorious car snatching syndicate that specialises in robbing Bolt/Uberdrivers in the state.
The statement said, that “while solving a case of car snatching reported by one Yusuf Ogunshola ‘m’, a Bolt driver who was hired from Effurun in Delta State to Port Harcourt, only to be taken to Abel Jumbo Street in Mile 2,Diobu, Port Harcourt, where two other members were already waiting”.
The statement further stated that the Bolt driver,on arrival, was attacked at gunpoint and dispossessed of his personal belongings, including withdrawing the sum of N87,000 from his bank account, adding that he was thereafter locked in a toilet belonging to a new generation church on the same street.
“In the course of our investigation, operatives got some clues which ultimately led them to Gambia Street in Diobu, where they had perfected plans to sell the said car. However, on sighting the police, they abandoned the car, and took to flight but the suspect; Nnali Osita was not lucky, as he was arrested, while others escaped.
“Meanwhile, efforts have been intensified to ensure that the fleeing gang members are arrested and their operational weapons recovered.
“The Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka has vowed to come hard on all miscreants in the state, and is hereby advising all Bolt/Uber or anybody in the transportation business to be circumspect and shun all mouth-watering offers; being the antics deployed by these criminals to attack their victims.” the statement added.

By: Akujobi Amadi

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Niger Delta

Federal Varsity Admits 2,423 Students,Holds 10th Matriculation

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The Federal University, Otuoke in Bayelsa State has admitted new 2,423 students for its 2021/2022 academic session.
This was made known to newsmen at the weekend during the 10th matriculation ceremony of the institution.
The Tide learnt that the Federal University, Otuoke was amongst the 12 universities established during the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
In his matriculation speech, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Teddy Charles Adias cautioned the matriculants against engaging in nefarious activities as students.
He charged students to be serious with their academics, noting that the institution is described as a ‘Family University, just as he added that the school has more than ever become a grooming ground for intellectuals.
“Students of this university are groomed and trained in both intellectual and in character. You’re here to learn, but that you’ve done your matriculation doesn’t mean it’s the end.
“As students members of this family university, you should be Ambassadors of this institution wherever you find yourselves in both learning and character”, he said.
“No nation can develop without a good and competitive intellectual base,. And that is why this Family University was set up to amongst others be part of sister institutions that would build and develop the needed intellectual capacities for our development as a nation”, he added.
The Tide reports that the university admitted freshers into all of its six existing Faculties of Management Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences as well as Engineering and Education.
“A total of 5,692 persons applied for admission for the session, but out of these, a total of 2,423 were selected and granted admission, after going through all the required academic processes needed as qualifications for admission as students members of the university”, the Vice Chancellor said.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Police Move To Secure Abducted Doctor, Ex-Senator’s Release

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The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 6, Usman Gomna, has ordered investigation into the abduction of a medical doctor, Nsidibe Umana and former-Akwa Ibom senator, Nelson Effiong.
The AIG’s order is coming even as the command said that it had put in place a crack team to trail the abductors of the two victims.
Nelson Effiong, a former senator representing Akwa Ibom South Senatorial district, was abducted on Sunday, September 5, 2021 while relaxing in his sit-out along Oron Road; while the medical doctor was abducted in his compound in Orukaman Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.
The AIG gave the charge last Friday while responding to a request by the chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Ime Sylvester Udoh, during a meeting with security stakeholders in the state.
Dr. Udoh had raised the alarm over the abduction of the medical doctor and had also called on the Police to rescue the victim alive.
Responding, the AIG said, “Before I came here, I have directed the CP of the command, Andrew Amiengheme, to intensify efforts to see how he can be rescued.”
He reiterated the commitment of the zone in tackling crime and criminality and called on stakeholders to continue to cooperate with the Police by revealing useful information that could help in tackling the crime rate in the states.
Speaking further on the kidnapped medical doctor, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, said a manhunt had already been put in place to effect the release of the doctor.
“Our men are in the field to ensure the release of that young doctor. Unfortunately, the abductors are asking for N20m and where will the family get that kind of money?
“That is part of the societal problems, and we are asking the stakeholders to quickly expose and not to give them a cover,” Amiengheme said.
On the abduction of the ex-senator, the CP said, “We’re very much on top of the situation. Care must be taken to protect his life in the first instance.
“We must not do anything that will jeopardise his life, a lot has been done, we are observing some restraints so that he is not killed and his perpetrators brought to book.”

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