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Diri Hails Teachers As Alumni Hold Fund Raising For Alma Mater

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said teachers play a very significant role in the moulding of their students to become leaders.
He said leaders and professionals could not have been successful in their careers without the discipline and tenacity of teachers.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said the governor spoke on Saturday night at the gala/awards of the alumni of his alma mater, Government Secondary School, Odi in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
The event held at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa, was to raise funds for the building and equipping of the school’s science laboratories as part of activities marking its 50th anniversary celebrations.
The Bayelsa governor urged the alumni members to remain united and committed to sustaining the association and to continue to give back to their alma mater, saying the school laid the foundation of who they have become in society.
He appreciated King Alfred Diette-Spiff, who as former military governor of the old Rivers State, initiated the policies that gave children in rural areas access to education.
The governor also thanked the principals and teachers of the school, who he said moulded the students of the school to become responsible and productive members of society.
Senator Diri urged members to reflect on their days as students in the school and thank God for who they have become, noting that in spite of the non-conducive learning environment, most of them have excelled in various fields of endeavour.
His words, “Let us hold this association very strong. What we have done in Odi today will produce more Professors, doctors and politicians. What you have done is giving back to our children by motivating them to have role models.
“The journey of 50 years from 1972, as we can all attest, is a worthwhile one. Some of us have left.
“Let us appreciate God for keeping us alive and allowing our alma mater, Government Secondary School, Odi, to continue to turn out very useful manpower for our society.
“I would like us to retrospect on our days at GSS where we drank stagnant stream water. There was no pipe-borne water, no electricity and we were using lanterns to go to prep.
“In spite of the difficulties we passed through, the school produced people who became Rear Admirals and Generals in the military, lawyers, doctors and legislators. Most of us have distinguished ourselves in one area or the other. It can only be God.
“I feel very happy that our secondary school was established under the leadership of King Alfred Diette-Spiff in the old Rivers State, who had the educational policy that children that were far from Port Harcourt, the state capital, and who did not have the opportunity to be admitted into schools, had access to education. Today, virtually all of us are what we are because of those policies.
“We are what we are because of the principals and teachers that moulded us during our stay in that school. I pay tribute to our principals and teachers that moulded us academically.
“On behalf of the alumni association, we say thank you for making us who we are academically. You moulded us very well.”
Earlier, chairman of the GSS alumni association, Professor Ebimieowei Etebu, stated that the golden anniversary celebration provided an opportunity for members to reunite and reminisce on their days in the school.
According to him, the school formed in the students the capacity to withstand difficult situations, which has resulted in their great exploits in different facets of life.
He further stated that the association was formed to motivate members to give back to the institution and urged members to work together to further develop the school.
Awards were presented to former staff and students including Governor Diri, former Speaker of the House of Assembly and member representing Kolokuma-Opokuma Constituency 1, Dr. Tonye Isenah, the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Moses Teibowei, retired Rear Admiral Geoffrey Yanga, Brig-Gen. Eric Angaye as well as former principal and teachers of the school among others.
More than N30 million was raised in pledges to support the school’s science laboratories project.
On Saturday morning, the governor was joined by past and current students of the school for a march past and novelty football match in Odi community by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Rear Admiral Yanga (rtd), Prof. Etebu, Gen. Angaye among other dignitaries.
The football game was between former students of the school and the All Stars International Football Club of Yenagoa, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Governor Diri scored the second equaliser for his alma mater from the penalty spot and was voted the most valuable player of the match.
Speaking to journalists, he said: “It feels very great to be back, to reunite with those I met at a very tender age. Now we are all fathers and some even grandfathers and mothers.
“I like to commend my school mates for this event. It is a take away for every other school. We believe that those who benefited from this school are what we are today because of the discipline. I am sure a lot of the young ones today will see models among us.
“We will act as a bulwark for galvanizing the students of GSS to let them know that wherever you are you can be what you want to be.”

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

N’Delta Ministry, NDDC, PAP Move To End Pipeline Vandalism

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Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Umana Okon Umana, has said the ministry was joining forces with the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to end vandalism of oil facilities.
Umana made the remark in a statement issued by Special Adviser, Media, PAP, Neotabase Egbe, in Yenogoa, on Friday.
The minister, who was speaking while receiving PAP’s Interim Administrator, retired Col. Milland Dikio, in his office, said Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the ministry would consolidate their efforts for a holistic development of the region.
According to him, it is high time the ministry, PAP and the NDDC worked in tandem to develop common practical templates to tackle the problems in the region, especially oil theft related activities.
Umana said such joint rescue plan was required because oil theft and pipeline vandalism were undermining the peace and security of the nation.
“Those of us in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the Presidential Amnesty Programme, the NDDC and other stakeholders, including community leaders, should work together to address the burning issue in our region.
“I would like all of us to sit down and come up with a solution to this problem. I challenge all of us to work together to assist the Federal Government to solve the problem,” Umana said.
He acknowledged that Dikio was right in his argument that the region would be better off if the various agencies charged with developing it worked in one accord.
The Minister offered to work with Dikio to achieve the objectives of the recovery plan, especially in training.
Earlier, Dikio informed the Minister that the leadership of PAP embarked on the visit to congratulate him on his appointment and to seek areas of support and collaboration.
He said it was time all the agencies established for the improvement of the region began to work together for optimal impact. Dikio identified infrastructure development as the key element in efforts to guarantee peace and stability in the region.
He added that the amnesty programme had developed a strategy to wean youths in the region from deviancy and militancy through an orientation plan, targeting the age of 13 years and above.
Dikio said the youth reorientation project was part of the stabilisation plan that would create the right atmosphere for development partners to engage with and assist the region in its quest for development.

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Niger Delta

Edo To Employ 1,000 Teachers, Extends Reform To Sec Education

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The Edo State Government is to recruit 1,000 teachers for secondary schools in the State under the EdoSTAR fellowship as part of the reform in the post-basic education sector.
The State Commissioner for Education, Dr Joan Osa-Oviawe, announced this on Friday in Benin while briefing newsmen on the launch of reform into secondary education in the State.
This recruitment, she said, would be in addition to the 3,000 teachers already engaged for the primary and junior secondary schools in the State.
According to her, the action is to address the existing shortage of teachers towards a provision of high quality education.
The commissioner said the reform was meant to prepare students to meet performance expectations in a constantly changing workplace so as to remain relevant.
Under the reform, she said, 60 per cent of the activities in the schools would be for teaching, learning and instructional time, 24 per cent for co-curricular activities, while 16 per cent shall be devoted for brain stimulating activities for students.
She also disclosed that model digital learning would be introduced across the State, commencing with 40 pilot schools in partnership with the UNICEF.
“The quality of education students receive in schools has come under scrutiny recently in Edo State, due to the high rate of malpractice and misconduct reported during major examination exercises in the State, as well as lack of personnel to effectively deliver training across 307 schools dispersed across the State’s 18 Local Government Areas.
“In order to build on the achievements already seen in the Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) Programme, the State Government has been compelled to take decisive action under the EdoBEST 2.0 reform agenda in order to address concerns with secondary education,”she said.
Osa-Oviawe explained that school calendar had been designed in a way to ensure students learn for at least 400 hours/450 class periods each term.
“The reform will implement a uniform timetable that guarantees lectures are delivered just about anywhere, reduces the possibility of instructors’ classes conflicting, and maximises the use of the limited teaching staff and resources.
“Implement a uniform scheme of work and scripted lessons to direct teachers in the universally dispensing lectures throughout the state and uphold a high standard of teaching and learning.
“Make it easier to set up in-class libraries in all the state’s classrooms with the goal of enticing students to use the libraries more and learn how to manage books,” said the commissioner.
On the deplorable state of schools in the state, Osa-Oviawe said the present government inherited large inventory of dilapidated schools, but seeking collaborative efforts to strengthening education funding, particularly in the area of infrastructural renewal.

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Niger Delta

2023: Group Blasts Abati Over Outburst Against PDP Leaders

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A group, the Niger Delta Youth Leadership Forum (NDYLF) has slammed the former Presidential spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, over outburst against leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for purportedly condoning the alleged excesses of Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike.
The group stated that Abati’s outburst is a clear attempt to malign and denigrate Governor Wike and the PDP leaders, noting that the former’s description that the party’s leaders were ‘hungry men who allowed Wike to take over the party’ was one insult too many on both the Rivers state Governor and the party’s leaders.
President of the Niger Delta Youth Leadership Forum (NDYLF), Richard Akinaka, said the position of Reuben Abati was an hatchet job and a clear indication that it was a case of vendetta against Governor Wike.
This was just as the NDYLF President also added that Abati’s outburst against the duo of governor Wike and the party’s leaders amounted also to his unholy political affiliation and alliance with those who may have commissioned him to use his platform to disparage the character of supposed political enemies.
“Reuben has so far in his conduct not just on Wike but other previous altercations with guests on his programme, demonstrated his partisanship, hence, he is not fit to be on such platforms anymore. His attitude so far is a demonstration that he has failed to remove the sweetness of the lollipop attached to his former office as presidential spokesman where he performed woefully and would want to return to such office to correct his previous failures.
“Wike’s records as a successful career lawyer and politician are an open book for even the blind to read and deaf to hear, having risen to a member of the body of benchers, from council Chairman to Chief of staff, Government House and then to Minister, and finally to one of the best governors in the history of Nigeria and above all, a presidential aspirant who was an embodiment of the aspiration of the entire South as evident in the widespread support he enjoys which is clear frustration to Reuben’s interest.”
“But unfortunately for Abati, there is no record if advancement of progress in his decorated media career of about three decades as he has just been an employee to younger colleagues of his. Abati employed as a TV anchor, mere news reader and columnist by a junior colleague, since all these decades in his profession, he has failed to set up his own structure, should be one of the umpires to feed the Nigerian populace a balanced and unbiased analysis on issues”, the group said.
“A successful Abati in his career at this point should have been an employer of labour in his field to mentor other younger ones, or maybe he like the people he promotes want to perpetuate himself and deprive younger ones from growing.Reuben Abati as a presidential spokesman was not a match to the opposition led by Lai Mohammed who deflated and incapacitated him to the extent that Nigerians never knew Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency was perhaps the best.”
“Reuben’s activities in recent times could be perceived as though he did not work for his former boss – Jonathan from the South in 2015 because some of us are just coming to terms with how he was unable to inform Nigerians on the good things of the Goodluck’s presidency. Maybe it was part of his failure.In politics, his only achievement was an attempt to be a factional deputy governorship candidate of the PDP in Ogun State which he failed.”
“If Arise TV wants Nigerians to take it serious and value their services, they must urgently purge the station of blackmailers and Public Relations Contractors.To some of us unlike the Abati’s, what Wike did for the PDP was an act of excellent leadership to keep our democracy competitive”, the NDYLF added.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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