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Bayelsa Set To Overhaul, Upgrade Memorial Park -Says INC, Ijaws Now More United, Stronger

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The Bayelsa State Government has said it is prepared to upgrade the Ijaw heroes’ memorial park in Yenagoa, capital of the state to an international standard.
The Tide learnt this during an interview with the Commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs, Elder Erasmus Uche Owaji Patrick.
He described the State Governor, Douye Diri as a pan-Ijaw leader, saying he was conversant not only with issues concerning the development of the state, but the entire Ijaw ethnic nationality.
Patrick hinted that following governor Diri’s resolve to completing all projects inherited from previous administrations of the state, the governor during the 44th state executive council meeting held sometime in August, this year has approved the reconstruction and overhaul of the park to a more befitting standard for late Ijaw heroes, irrespective of state of origin, sex and clan.
He noted however, that the prerogative of who qualifies to be interred at the park solely lies with the governor, stating further that such persons must have attained the peak of their chosen careers with proven integrity.
“We’ve not abandoned the Ijaw heroes’ memorial park. Soon you ‘ld see us remodelling that project to international standard.
“The governor during the 44th state exco meeting has approved the remodelling and overhaul of the heroes’ memorial park at the Ijaw House in Yenagoa.
“It would be reconstructed with the state-of-the-art facilities. a football field would be there, a gallary for events would be there, a car park and lots of other recreational facilities. And so, very soon you would see us working there”, he said.
Meanwhile following the recent visit of the executives of the Ijaw national Congress (INC) and a other prominent Sons and daughters of Ijaw extraction to president Muhammadu Buhari, the Commissioner has said that the absence of the state governor, Diri in that delegation was due to other important state functions that he had had to attend to.
He however, described the visit as historic, saying as against insinuations that the governor’s absent at the visit was a sign that he was not willing to support the INC was just figment of imagination from those who envy the cordial relationship between the governor and the INC exco.
The Commissioner noted that governor Diri has more than ever demonstrated his commitment towards the peace, prosperity, unity and development of the Ijaw nation, saying that it was because of the governor’s believe in the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers of the INC which made him not to interfere in the Congress’ affairs before, during and after the elections of the extant executives.
“Governor Diri himself was a member of Congress. He was the INC’s National organizing Secretary, So he understands what it means to have a stronger, better united INC and Ijaw nation.
“And that is what he has done by not interfering in the conduct of the election that produced the current exco of the congress.
“To tell you how much the governor was committed to building a stronger and more united INC and Ijaw nation, just recently and he has since been doing, he approved and released funds for the running of the INC”, the Commissioner added.

By: AriweraIbibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Edo Immortalises Uwaifo

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Edo State government, last Friday, immortalised the late Sir Victor Uwaifo by naming the Edo Creative Hub after the late music maestro.
Governor Godwin Obaseki, who announced the gesture while paying his tribute at the lying-in-state for late Uwaifo, held in Benin City, described the passing of the music legend as the end of an era.
Obaseki said the government and the people of Edo mourn the death of Uwaifo, whom he further described as a living legend.
He added: “For us, the passing of Sir Victor Uwaifo marks the end of an era that produced some of the prolific artistes from Edo.
“It was a generation with creative minds, such as the late Erhabor Emopkai, Dr. Victor Eghareva and Sir Victor Uwaifo. Uwaifo’s passing marks the end of that era.
“As a mark of honour to the late Guitar Boy, the Edo State government has decided that our newly built Creative Hub will be named after Uwaifo. This Creative Hub, which is going to be commissioned by the second week of November 2021, has a multi-million-dollar studio to support artistes.”
Obaseki stated that the hub would promote creativity in Edo.
“It has editing suites. It will incubate state-based groups and artistes. It will be used for live shows. It has studios for Nollywood to rent for its productions.
“There will be spaces for artistes in the performing arts. That is the least we can do for a man who changed the face of music in Nigeria; that is the least we can do for the man who composed the song, Joromi. That was the first song from Africa and Nigeria to win a golden disc as at the time it did.
“We will always remember Sir Victor Uwaifo for what he meant and what he represented. He represented Edo values, which include hard work, creativity and innovation. It is going to be very difficult for us to imagine our entertainment scene and music space without Sir Victor Uwaifo. May his soul rest in perfect peace,” the governor said.

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Niger Delta

RSG Warns Against Exposing Water To Sunlight

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The Rivers State Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development says washing of hands contributes to 40 percent of protecting one against disease.
The Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja made this known while commemorating the 2021 Global Handwashing Day and launching of campaign against exposure of bottle and sachet water to sunlight in Port Harcourt.
He noted that hand washing contributed positively during pandemic and enjoined everyone to inculcate the habit of hand washing.
The commissioner further said the state government was committed to enlightening the people of Rivers State on the danger associated with exposing bottle and sachet water to sunlight.
Also speaking, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information represented by a director in the ministry, Celestine Ogolo, said the ministry would continue to use its platform to enlighten Rivers people on the importance of hand washing and exposure of bottle and sachet water to sunlight.
On his part, the National president and Rivers State chairman of Water Producers Association of Nigeria, Egberi Oderi said with the support of the state government on the enlightenment drive on the dangers associated with the exposure of water to sunlight would go a long way to curb the practice.
The Tide reports that the theme for this year’s Global Handwashing Day is: Our Future At Hand: Let’s Move Forward Together.

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Police Parade Blind Woman With Human Skull In A’ Ibom

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Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Saturday, paraded a blind aged woman arrested by its operatives for allegedly possessing a fresh human skull.
The suspect was paraded alongside 138 others who were arrested across the state for various offences including murder, militancy, abduction, cultism, armed robbery, stealing, unlawful possession of firearms and vandalism, among others.
A breakdown of the number showed that 11 suspects were arrested for alleged murder, 47 for armed robbery and stealing, 10 for defilement and rape, 21 for alleged cultism, 16 for vandalism, seven for kidnapping and abduction, three for militancy and 24 for others crimes including child stealing.
The Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the State Police Command, SP Odiko Macdon, who paraded the suspects at the police headquarters in Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, said they were arrested in the third quarter of the year.
The aged blind woman, Mrs. Eseme James, was paraded with the human skull reportedly seen in her house at Nnung Oku Ibiet village in Oruk Anam local council of the state.
According to him, the woman was arrested with the aid of her daughter on October 12, 2021, about 6:45 p.m by soldiers of the ‘Exercise Still Water’ and handed over to the police for discreet and diligent investigation and prosecution.
He said the police was suspecting that the woman must have been involved in ritual activities even though she has told the police that her deceased husband was a native doctor and that her son took over the trade.
“The worry of the police is: What is she doing with a fresh human skull? It means murder has been committed somewhere recently,” Macdon said.
In an interview with journalists, the woman denied knowledge of the human skull allegedly found in her residence, saying she only heard from her daughter that the skull was exhumed by the police at the boundary of a disputed piece of land near her house.
“I don’t know anything about this skull. When they came to the house, I asked this girl what was going on since I cannot see. She told me that police exhumed a human skull from the boundary of that disputed land. They gave it to me to bring to the police station; that is why I’m here.
“When they came to the house, I was the only person they saw and they said, ‘take let’s go.’
“My husband was a native doctor; I have never seen him do anything with human parts. I don’t know who buried that skull there. The land has been in dispute even before he died,” the accused said in his native language.
Macdon, who stood in for the State Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, also disclosed that two suspected foreign militants and a Nigerian were arrested on September 13, 2021, with explosives.
According to him, men of AIG Border Patrol Monitoring Unit arrested the militants, two Cameroonians and a Cross Riverian, while on stop and search operation along Okobo-Oron highway in the state.
He gave their names as Adede De Black, Fombutu Tita, both males from the Republic of Cameroon and Bernard Mfam, a man from Ikom Local Council of Cross River State, adding that they had been charged to court.
“The suspected militants were arrested with two bags of dynamites, containers of incense powder, a bag containing items suspected to be talismans, some bottles of concoction, packets of incense oil, a piece of love soap, a bag of ground herbs and five new sets of walkie talkies,” he added.
He attributed the successes recorded by the Command in crime prevention to its gallant officers and men, effective collaboration with sister security agencies, support from the state government and cooperation from members of the public who always volunteer information.

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