As widows in Rivers State joined their counterparts worldwide to mark the 2009 International Widows Day on Tuesday, wife of the State Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi, has called for a review of obscene native laws and customary practices which impinge on the interest of the widows.
Dame Judith Amaechi in a statement to commemorate the 2009 International Widows Day lamented that harmful and inhuman customary practice against the widow is on the increase, in the society.
She asserted that this inhibition has impeded the growth of widows who succumb to abject poverty due to such practices. According to her, “it is ufair that most widows who are reeling in pains over the death of their beloved husbands are still subjected to harmful practices arising from cultural and customary dictates of the society.”
The Governor’s wife described as injustice a situation where about 100 million widows worldwide are still suffering from dreadful discrimination and charged female lawmakers to rise against such situation.
“It is very sad and unforuante that about a hundred million widows worldwide still suffer dreadful discrimination including obnoxious traditional practices in most parts of the globe. Our female representative in parliament must rise to the challenge of saving the womanhood.”
Mrs Amaechi who is the founder of the Empowerment Support Initiative, ESI, a non-government organisation said that the widow requires the care and love of every one and their rights must be respected. “The International Widows Day is aimed at celebrating and intensifying campaign for the promiton and improvement of widows whose right must be respected.”
She added that the micro credit scheme initiated by the Rivers State Government is intended to empower and give them a sense of belonging.
“The Rivers State Government, realising the special status of widows began this first phase empowerment scheme with widows, with a view to giving them a pride of place.”
The Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI) recently organised a soap making training for youths and women including widows and initiated a commercial tax loan scheme to cushion the effect of the death of their husbands.
Vandals Destroy Transmission Towers In Rivers
Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has said it has lost six transformers and a vigilante to vandals in Rivers State.
The company’s media adviser, Mr. Santa Adejokun, said the unrelenting attacks on power infrastructure by economic saboteurs have continued unabated.
He said several projects being embarked upon by NDPHC Limited have been attacked and contractors either killed or maimed by attackers.
According to him, on September 3, 2022, some miscreants attacked and vandalised the 330kV DC Afam-Onne Transmission Line in Gbake community of Ogoniland, River State.
The vandals, he said, cut down four Transmission Towers (T19, T20, T21 and T22), dismantled and carted them away.
The statement added that again, on October 10, 2022, the vandals attacked and vandalised two additional towers on the same 330kV DC Afam-Onne Transmission Line. During a third attempt, nine of the miscreants were arrested.
The medai adviser said they have since been charged to court to face the full wrath of the law.
Continuing, he said during routine patrol in the night of November 25, 2022, vigilantes again encountered vandals along the same Afam-Onne 330kV DC Transmission Line. The vigilantes called for military reinforcement but before help came, one of the guards was shot and later died.
Commissioner Warns Residents Against Combustible Materials
The State Commissioner for Special Duties, Ndubuisi Okere, has advised residents of the State to be more careful in their use of electrical appliances and gadgets and other fire igniting materials, especially during the dry seasons, to avert fire incidences.
Mr. Okere who made the call as he went to inspect a scene of fire that gutted some buildings around Wimpey – Elioparanwo axis of Port Harcourt, said that if residents put off their sockets and other electrical appliances before leaving their homes and offices, the incidences of fire will be minimal.
The Special Duties Commissioner however expressed gratitude to men of the Federal Fire Services for promptly responding to the distress call, saying their quick arrival to the scene to ease movement and traffic flow that the roads and flyovers built by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike have made possible.
Speaking also at the scene of the fire incident, the Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Barr. George Ariolu, decried the attitude of residents of the state attacking men of the fire service anytime they come around to perform their duties, saying such attitude will not help anyone.
Barr. Ariolu however called on Ministry of Information and other relevant agencies to carry out massive sensitisation of the people on things to do to avert fire outbreak in the state.
One of the victims of the Wimpey-Elioparanwo link road fire incidence, Meshack Chukwu, said the fire has gutted everything in his house by the time he got the call and got home and the only thing left in his apartment was a rosary.
Some eye witnesses who chose to be ananimous said that the fire suddenly started when public power was restored, suspecting that there may have been a electrical surge from either a sucket or appliance.
NUC Lauds IAUE Over Manpower Improvement
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has lauded Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE) for conscious efforts towards the improvement of quality manpower needed for the growth and development of the country.
Leader of the NUC accreditation team for Accounting, Management and Office and Information Management (OIM) B.Sc programmes of the University, Professor Muftan Adeniyi Ijaiye, lauded the University recently, when he led the NUC delegation for the three programmes on a courtesy visit to the Vice Chancellor at the Council Chambers.
He stated that the exercise is a peer review mechanism put in place by the Commission to ascertain the claims by the University on what is available to run the programmes.
The team leader, who is from the University of Ilorin, expressed optimism that from what they had seen of the University, they had no doubt that what they would meet on ground would be in tandem with the standards of the Commission.
Also speaking, the NUC representative, Mr Omogo Moses, emphasised that the exercise is strictly to strengthen the programmes and not to witchhunt the University.
He thanked the Vice Chancellor and his Management team for the warm reception accorded them since their arrival and assured to carry out their duties fairly.
Earlier,the Vice Chancellor of IAUE, Professor Okechuku Onuchuku, expressed appreciation to the group for accepting the responsibility from the Commission and for being at the University for the accreditation exercise.
He promised that they would be given maximum cooperation for the improvement of the programmes and for the training of manpower needed not just for the immediate environment but for the globe.
By: Sogbeba Dokubo
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