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Niger Delta

Militants, JTF Face-off: Delta Gov Heads Rebuilding Committee

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In his determination to rebuild the destroyed towns of Okerenkoko and Ugborodo communities  and meet the deadline of March next year, the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has constituted a 12 man committee to implement the programme.

Dr. Uduaghan announced this when the consultant handling the project architect, Ezekiel Iyang Ekut visited him in Asaba.  The visit was to present the plan of the Housing Scheme to him.

The governor, who reiterated his administration’s commitment to the provision of social amenities and housing to Deltans in the rural communities, said that the constitution of the committee was to fast track the project.  

He explained that the project has been designed and called on the committee to work closely with the consultant to ensure that the project was completed on schedule.

Governor Uduaghan invited the Federal government, oil companies operating in the area and international agencies to partner with the state as the project was a gigantic one.

According to him “This is capital intensive.  We are committed to ensuring that it succeeds, we cannot do it alone, we call on the federal government, oil companies and international bodies to take interest in the project.  We believe we should replace the damaged towns by developing a new town as part of our past amnesty plan.”  

He said the project would create employment for the youths of the area and promised that the contractors will work hard to meet up the deadline.

In his presentation, the consultant of the project and the chairman National Social Housing Scheme, Architect Ezekiel Iyang Etuk commended the Delta State government for its preparedness to resettle the displaced people of Okerenkoko and Ugborodo. 

  He said, he has started the job of designing a befitting settlement for the people by assessing the area, surveying it and putting the necessary statistics in place to build 350 houses for the people.  

  Architect Etuk explained that the project which is in its 1st phase would contain about 150 units of one bed room apartment, 100 units two bed room apartment and fifty units of three bedroom apartment.

He explained that the committee would develop a sustainability plan to ensure that the occupants of the buildings are able to maintain them adding that he was also exploring the possibility of attaching a means of livelihood for them.

  The consultant outlined the challenges the committee would face to include spending much money in the difficult terrain, high cost of transport among others.

His words “We are building a 350 apartment in the area, we are using the conventional pattern to ensure that the houses look modern.  We will be faced with the challenge of building in a difficult terrain and it will cost much money than building in other areas in the country but we promised to deliver a good job.”

The implementation committee is to be chaired by the state governor. Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Chief Wellington Okirika, Chairman DESOPADEC as vice chairman, the commissioners for Housing, Water Resources, Power and Energy and Special Duties (DESOPADEC) among others as members.

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Niger Delta

Ayade Suspends Carnival Over Insecurity, COVID-19

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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Yesterday suspended the 2021 Carnival Calabar over fears of a renewed outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The governor disclosed the decision after a prolonged debate among his aides including Commissioners, special advisers special assistants, speaker of the House of Assembly, council chairmen, during an enlarged executive council meeting.
Announcing the suspension, Ayade cited the health concerns arising from the outbreak of Covid-19 variant, Omicron, as well as the prevailing security situation as reasons for the suspension.
He said he would not as a governor and leader compromise the lives and safety of the citizens for the fleeting excitement of the carnival.
Before announcing the suspension, Ayade had subjected the decision to popular votes, following which the majority of the stakeholders voted for the suspension of the carnival.
“We voted more than three times to arrive at No Carnival this year for the best interest of Cross Riverians!
“I’m sad of course as I wanted Carnival for 2021 but the majority carried the day. Dear Cross Riverians, we need to be alive first to enjoy Xmas and Carnival.
“The New Covid-19 Variant is dangerous and won’t portray a good image for the Governor who is the hero of Covid-19 prevention,” the governor told the people of the state.
One of the speakers and former Minister of Culture and Tourism, High Chief Edem Duke even opined that it would be a mockery for a state whose Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, is the Chair of Nigerian Commissioners of Health Forum to hold a carnival amidst the dangers of the new Covid-19 wave.

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Niger Delta

Lawmaker Empowers Edo Youths, Women

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Senator representing Edo South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Matthew Urhoghide, has trained and supported over 222 youths and women in the state with starter kits to commence businesses.
The training, facilitated by the senator, was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Cross River Basin Development Authority, as part of the lawmaker’s effort to improve livelihood of unemployed persons in the state.
Addressing newsmen at the training session in Benin City, the senator, who is the chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, said he had so far upgraded skills and empowered over 7,000 persons across the seven local government areas that make up the senatorial district in the state.
Urhoghide, represented by Pet Eghobamien, legislative aide to the senator, said: “The programme is facilitated by Senator Matthew Urhoghide. He promised all of these things during electioneering that he will improve lives and livelihood of Edo people.
“There are different classes of participants. For metal works, we have 200 and for barbing, hair making and fashion, we have 22 persons. Those that will be trained on metal works and local fabrication will go home with N50,000. We are not giving the other ones money but we have given them full complement of what they need to start their businesses.”
Ogbomo Tona, chief resident officer, Human Resources, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, who represented the Edo State controller of the ministry, congratulated the trainees, pointing out that capacity development is key to nation building.
Items distributed were generators, sewing machines, and dryers, among others.

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Pirates Kill Three, Abduct Seven Oil Workers

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Gunmen, suspected to be pirates, in the early hours of Sunday, attacked two oil installations, killing three and abducting seven oil workers in Bayelsa State.
The Tide learnt that the pirates ambushed their unsuspecting victims in Okoroma and Ogbokiri-Akassa communities of Nembe and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State.
Sources close to the affected oilfields said the gunmen reportedly shot dead two staff of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company and a personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The driver of their boat, an indigene of Okoroma community, is still missing, according to the local sources who witnessed the incident.
According to the sources, in the ambush that occurred at Ogbokiri-Akassa in Brass Local Government Area, six oil workers said to have been doing maintenance job close to their platform were abducted.
The Agip oil workers and their security guards, it was gathered, came under attack at about 6 a.m., while working close to a manifold in the deep swamp.
The NSCDC spokesperson in Bayelsa, Ogbere Solomon, confirmed the incident on Sunday evening.
Mr Solomon said a civil defense officer died in the ambush, while two others, who were missing, have been found and are currently receiving treatment at a medical facility in Yenagoa.
“Yes, our officers were ambushed and attacked by some unknown pirates while on their lawful duty of providing protection to some Agip oil workers close to Obama manifold in Okoroma community of Nembe Local Government Area.
“One personnel was killed while the other two that were missing have been found and are responding to treatment,” he said.
The youth president of the Okoroma Clan, Tarinyu Joseph, said indigenes of the area had recovered the corpses of those killed.
He said those injured were taken to the hospital while the boat driver is still missing.

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