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Niger Delta

‘Traditional Rulers, Stakeholders In Dev’

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru (right) with the Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva (left) and his wife Alanyingi  at a function in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, recently.

Rivers State Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru (right) with the Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva (left) and his wife Alanyingi at a function in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, recently.

Traditional Rulers and institutions in the South South region have been described as integral stakeholders in the quest by the federal and state governments to implement sustainable development programmes for the peoples of the Niger Delta. This call was contained in a statement issued by the Ashcraft Centre for Democracy and Legislative Development, a civil society Non Governmental Organisation, to announce a planned retreat for traditional leaders of the South South scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State from 24th to 27th August, 2009. According to the statement, signed by the Secretary, Planning Committee, Dr Chiakor, Alfred Orkuma, the retreat is a signature event planned with the view to building the capacities of traditional royalties to enable them respond to operating challenges in a democratic dispensation especially in the areas of advocacy, mobilization, community development, conflict mediation and resolution. Dr. Chiakor said that, “The imperative of the retreat is predicated on the premise that as Nigeria seeks to build and strengthen its democracy, there is the compelling urgency to recognize the contributions and centrality of traditional institutions in the configuration of its democratic equation”. Speaking further the Ashcraft Scribe stated that, “The government, both at the Federal, state and local levels are conscious of the necessity of mainstreaming traditional institutions in its evolving democracy and at the same time consolidating mechanisms for grassroots development, advocacy and conflict mediation and resolution and has taken major steps in involving traditional institutions in the democratic governance project” adding that “This is manifested in the empowerment initiatives for the traditional institutions like procurement of automobiles and other welfare packages. It is therefore not enough that these welfarist initiatives are provided without definitive roles designed for the institutions. This informs the thrust of this retreat,” the statement said. Highlighting the importance of traditional rulers in nation building, the statement opined that, “traditional institutions can valuably orientate their different communities towards their respective values, cultures and histories, as basis on which politics can be construed.” Explaining the motivation for the retreat, the statement reported that the event will help to align and harmonize traditional governance institutions with the mechanisms of the modern state amongst other imperatives. “This retreat is imperative because it has a direct practical relevance in seeking to help shape the future of our collective identity, strengthen the ideals of our traditional institutions to our collective psyche and as well invest in it as a strategy for positive confidence building without forgetting our collective history and heritage” The idea behind all this, the statement continued, “is to keep the flame of our rich cultural heritage alive without losing the authority to interprete the meaning of concepts that are essential constituents of our unique traditions”. Speaking further, Dr. Chiakor also noted that, “This is principally borne out by a growing recognition that capable democratic states must be grounded on indigenous social values and contexts, while adapting to changing realities” According to him, the retreat also hopes to seize the opportunity to confront head on two grave problems: the considerable loss of confidence among citizens in the effectiveness and providence of our traditional institutions, and the profound insecurity of our people in a world that is changing more swiftly and fundamentally than ever before. The retreat, which is scheduled to take place at the Atlantic Hall, Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt Metropolis from the 24th to 27th August, 2009, is being put together by the Ashcraft Centre for Democracy and Legislative Development, a non- partisan, non profit making CSO which operates a neutral forum for open discussion and informed dialogue and whose core objective is to build capacities for good governance, human resources engineering and policy stimulation.

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Niger Delta

Missing Crown: Police Arraign Suspects

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The Police in Delta State have filed a three-count charge of burglary, stealing and felony against Chief Ayiri Emami and others at large before a magistrate’s court sitting in Warri.
The charge, MW/178 C 2021, the Commissioner of Police vs Chief Emami, reads: “That you Chief Emami and others at large on March 30, 2021, about 11.30p.m., at Olu of Warri Palace, Warri in the Warri Magisterial District did conspire among yourselves to commit felony, burglary and stealing.”
Count II: “That you Chief Emami and others now at large on March 30, 2021, about 11.30p.m., at Olu of Warri Palace, Warri in the Warri Magisterial District with intent to commit a felony, breaks into a dwelling house of the Olu of Warri.”
Count III: “That you Chief Emami and others now at large, on March 30, 2021, about 11.30p.m., at Olu of Warri Palace, Warri in the Warri Magisterial District did stole two crowns value at N2 billion.”
According to the charge sheet, the alleged stolen crowns belong to Itsekiri.
It also stated that the offences are punishable under certain sections of the Criminal Code Laws of Delta State.
Chief Ayiri pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Chief Magistrate, Ejiro Diejomaoh, granted bail to Ayiri in the sum of N2 million, with two sureties, who must not be persons lower than Level 15 and in like sum.

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Niger Delta

Obaseki Promises To Sustain Reforms, Projects

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The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has pledged to sustain ongoing reforms and projects to open up new towns and communities in the state for increased economic growth.
Obaseki gave the assurance on Wednesday, when he received the management team of Benin Club 1931, who were on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
Reiterating the need to improve the standard and quality of the club to meet the ongoing massive development across the state, the governor said, “We are opening up new areas and towns and there will be new clubs. You must ensure that you improve the standard and quality of the club. There will be competition, I can assure you.
“We need to do quite a bit in terms of rebranding and repositioning of the club. As you see, the city is growing tremendously; the growth trajectory will continue for many years to come.”
Obaseki commended the leadership of Benin Club 1931 for sustaining the Club since 1931, congratulating them for the 90th-anniversary celebration.
“Not many institutions in this country can celebrate or boast of celebrating 90 years or nine decades of existence. It’s quite a lot of achievement; it’s a significant milestone and should be celebrated significantly. Ikoyi Club was founded in 1938 and we are older; we should do things to reflect our importance and significance in this country,” he charged.
Noting the reason for the early set up of the Benin Club, Obaseki added, “British officers had to settle here and occupied the place for a while as they needed a recreation area. That is why we have the club before that of Lagos.”
In his response, President of Benin Club 1931, Fred Ejedawe Iboi commended the governor for the developmental strides being recorded across all sectors of the state.
He noted, “We have done our best to develop the club’s infrastructure, and now, the club is working on installing facial recognition to access the club. We have done our best to improve on the infrastructure we met.”

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Niger Delta

NSCDC Arrests Couple Over Children Sale

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Operatives of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Akwa Ibom State Command have arrested one Elisha Effiong for allegedly conniving with his wife to sell their two daughters aged six and four, respectively.
Effiong, who lives in Cameroon with his wife was arrested in Uyo on November 15, 2021, through an intelligence report while trying to sell their children, identified as Abasifreke Edet and Rachael Edet.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Umana Ukeme, the suspects said that their decision to want to sell the children was borne out of extreme hardship.
According to the statement, the suspect confided in a private security guard of his plans while the guard, in turn, notified the commandant of the corps, Mr Abidemi Majekodunmi who immediately ordered the arrest of the culprit.
“The suspect, Elisha Edet Effiong, ‘M’ was apprehended with his two children identified as Abasifreke Edet, 6, and Rachel Edet, 4, while attempting to sell them for M700, 000 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
“Effiong, 40 years was apprehended at FulCare Hospital along Ekpanya Street, where he notified the security guard of his intention to sell his two children to pay off his debt and meet other financial challenges.
“The security guard notified the NSCDC and immediately, Commandant Abidemi Majekodunmi detailed personnel of the anti-human trafficking unit of the corps who swung into action and apprehended the suspect alongside with his two daughters, “ the statement read in part.
According to Ukeme, preliminary investigations have been concluded while the case would be transferred to NAPTIP zonal office, Uyo for the prosecution of the suspect.
The commandant while commending the private security guard for the prompt release of an intelligence report that aided the arrest of the suspect, however, condemned the heinous act, describing it as a crime against humanity.
He called on the people of Akwa Ibom State to always avail personnel of the corps with timely and actionable intelligence that could lead to arrest and tracking of criminal elements in the state.

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