The celebration of two years in office of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State was eventful and the city of Port Harcourt literally stood still for the performing governor. The celebration apparently started last Saturday when the governor with stakeholders and other august visitors traversed the state, inspecting landmark projects executed by his administration within the past two years. While some of the projects have been completed, several of them are still ongoing. Those that have been completed were commissioned while those at various stages of completion were merely showcased to the stakeholders and members of the public. The second anniversary of the governor’s administration got to a resounding climax last Monday morning at the prestigious Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre along Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, when the governor gave his account of stewardship to the good people of the state as well as to residents of the state and some august visitors who were in the state to celebrate the excellent performance in office and good governance. It was at the event that the Port Harcourt metropolis and its environs literally stood to a stand still for the governor, as he dazzled and shone like a million stars. The mainbowl of the Civic Centre was filled to capacity as people started thronging the venue of the accountability forum as early as 8a.m. Even before the scheduled time of 9a.m when the event was expected to commence, the governor and his entourage including respected dignitaries drawn from far and wide had already taken their seats. Those outside the gates of the mainbowl were in their thousands, and security men had a hectic time controlling them. The crowd at the civic centre was as if all residents of the state, both men and women, young and old had turned up to listen to the governor and probably catch a glimpse of him, because in the past two years he has been on the saddle, he has been making a lot of waves, either for good or for ill. A mid way into the event when the governor ordered security men at the venue to allow those outside the mainbowl to move in, the tone of the event was clearly set, as that action in no unmistakable terms, proved succinctly that his administration was serving the ordinary people. It also proved beyond words that the Accountability Forum was targeted at the ordinary people in keeping with the tenets of democracy. Questions from these ordinary people including those from a young boxer who claimed that boxers from the state who won their championship bouts at a national contest were yet to be paid their entitlements, and a poor widow residing at one of the waterfronts in the city with her six children, marked the beauty of the Accountability forum. Their questions got instant response and attention from the governor. The young boxer in particular left the civic centre happier than when he came. Again, though the governor did not particularly address the concern of the widow and her six children, the administration’s stance on the planned demolition of the waterfronts was re-echoed, that such waterfronts must fall and the houses therein bought back by the government at their present commercial rates. Speaking with The Tide On Sunday shortly after the event, Hon. Augustine Ngo, the Special Adviser to the Governor on projects said the secret behind the success story of the present administration was the fact that it has remained focus. He further stated that in the coming months, the administration would be on the neck of contractors handling various projects across the state to ensure that they execute quality jobs, stressing that the administration would also ensure that all ongoing projects were completed next year. According to him, as a Rivers man, he was today proud of the achievements of the present administration. The Special Adviser also indicated that the remarkable achievements of the present administration would be clear to all Rivers people at the end of three years, as the government would intensify the supervision and monitoring of contractors handling various projects. Also commenting, Alhaji Ahmed Okiri, a Muslim leader in the state said going by the administration’s remarkable achievements, the governor deserves a second term mandate, but advised him to tread a middle course in the planned demolition of waterfronts in Port Harcourt. He explained that the Accountability Forum and various bold initiatives adopted by the present administration were novel to the state, and likened the achievements of Governor Amaechi to the achievements of Alfred Diete-Spiff. He, however, called on the government to concentrate on link roads across the state in the coming years to completely decongest traffic in Port Harcourt. Indeed, the Accountability Forum was a remarkable success as people came from all walks of life to grace it but the maiden edition of the NUJ platform which the governor featured as a special guest on Tuesday took the two years anniversary celebration of his administration to a different level. The event brought the governor face to face with media practitioners selected from different media organisations in the state. The fact that there were four panelists and a moderator at raised platforms, with the governor seated in the middle facing an audience which comprised senior journalists, made the NUJ platform different from a traditional press conference in which a public officer addresses members of the fourth Estate of the realm. From the blast of the whistle, starting with the moderator, our own, Editor of The Tide Newspapers, Mr. Soye Jamabo, the governor was asked a barrage of questions which he fielded without batting an eyelid. No doubt the general manager of the rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Mr. Celestine Ogolo who incidentally was one of the panelists actually gave a good account of himself, going by the quality of questions he threw to the governor. In all, the governor’s bluntness and his characteristic jokes and simplicity were not lost to the respected media practitioners. His comments on his Information Commissioner who apparently signalled him to adjust his posture while answering one of the questions, elicited laughter from the journalists. The point was clear. The governor has his own mannerisms, his idiosyncrasies if you like. Then, can you beat this? After the journalists finished firing from all cylinders, and the governor seemingly taking them to the cleaners, the amiable governor walked down the staircase, moved straight to the NUJ canteen and sat down with some media men sipping bottles of beer with which they were washing down plates of pepper soup. The governor ordered for a bottle of coke and gulped it down his throat before departing the Ernest Ikoli Press centre. Hold your breath because the gist has not ended. When he got to where his unmarked jeep was parked, he simply slided into the steering wheel and drove himself out of the press centre. He was also decked in a simple jacket with an ash-coloured shirt and a white pair of trousers to match, gestures from a governor out to demystify the office of governor. The platform was truly the journalist’s encounter with the governor, and it was truly remarkable. During the celebrations to mark the governor’s two years in office, Port Harcourt literally stood still for him. The city wore a festive hue. Pavements of roads particularly along the busy Aba Road were painted. The Rowland Cookey-Gam Drive, leading to the new Government House was adorned with colourful banners, eulogizing the governor. The terraces of the civic Centre revibrated with the echoes of his remarkable achievements and the hallowed chambers of the Evans osi hall ruptured with his principled stance on issues.
Oyigbo Gets New Health Fillip From Rotary
Thursday, 24th November, 2022 will remain green in the hearts of residents of Oyigbo urban in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State.
It was the day Rotary Club International donated sets of ultrasound scanner, incubator and a fetal doppler.
The Oyigbo Comprehensive Health Centre was filled to the brim with members of Rotary Clubs in Rivers State numbering over 20 who made contributions to the project.
Representative of Oyigbo Traditional Rulers Council and Secretary of Palace Council, Chief Precious Emeruka described it as a dream come true.
He said, “we are immensely glad that today our prayers have been answered because we have been hearing of the good works of Rotary and now we have seen one”.
Chief Emeruka described the donations as a dream come true, as it lauded the State Government for approving the project, as he assured that the community will do all within its powers to maintain and secure the multimillion equipment.
Speaking on why the equipment was donated, Rotarian Henry Eberechi, who is the Chairman of Presidents of Rotary Clubs in Rivers State disclosed that it was conceived few months ago after a thorough needs assessment.
“The incubator, fetal doppler and ultrasound scanner are what the people of Oyigbo need. We did a needs assessment and found out that many of them have to go to Port Harcourt to get these services, and most times they loss their women and children because there is no such equipment.
Eberechi maintained that the equipment will reduce both infant and maternal mortality and save the lives of children adding, “it will help to detect diseases and diagnose emergencies early.”
As far as he was concerned saving premature deaths will raise the status of the health facility in the area.
Therefore he thanked the clubs that have made contributions to make the vision come true.
The same view was expressed by District Governor (DG) of Rotary Club 9141, Mightyman Ayidukuro.
The Rotary DG who is incharge of four states of Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo and Delta States said he was excited over the project.
“For the past two weeks I have been on the roads unveiling and commissioning projects across the district, and I must tell you that this one is unique” Ayidukuro said.
He stated that the project falls within the Rotary goal of eradicating maternal mortality and improving welfare of children.
“As a community based organisation we have the ideal of service to humanity and this cuts across all vocations, beliefs and race”, he remarked.
He continued,” for the past 117 years Rotary has been existing we have been championing health development around the world. And today Rotary for over a decade has been awarded the most charity club all over the world.”
The District 9141 DG assured that the club is always ready to partner with government, organisations to impact on the society.
Calling on the community to secure and maintain the facilities, the Rotary DG said the host community has a huge task to ensure that the equipment serve the purpose which, it was given.
To ensure that there is sustainability, he hinted that a new Rotary Club of Oyibo has been established and will help drive charity and other humanitarian projects to improve the welfare of residents.
Speaking on behalf of the Rivers State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Victoria Ewoh, said the state government is not resting on its oars to provide medicare to the area.
She said what Rotary International has done was to collaborate and consolidate on the efforts so far shown by the government and that there is enough personnel to utilise the equipment.
With the equipments on ground, she assured that all kinds of fetal mortality will be cut to the barest minimum,” adding that the effort of Rotary will fill the gap and is commendable”.
Timi Bubagha, President of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt West said the project was conceived by majority of the clubs in Port Harcourt after diligent study and assessment.
Bubagha who chaired the project conception stated that what the club had done was to fulfill it major aim and objective in improving health care delivery and community development.
He expressed optimism that the community would utilise the equipment to improve lives and well being of its people.
By: Kevin Nengia
Day Royal Fathers Showered Love On Flood Victims
Royal fathers in Rivers State recently visited flood victims’ camps at Ahoada Town, headquarters of Ahoada East Local Government Area.
The delegation was led by Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, Amanyanabo and Natural Ruler of Opobo Kingdom, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja.
Other royal fathers who joined to express their pain and support to the flood victims included, Amanyanabo of Abonnema, Eze Gbaka Gbaka and Amanyanabo of Ogu, among other first class traditional rulers.
As at last week, the flood that affected over four local government areas in the state had begun to recede as experts have warned of impending hardship that may trail the disaster that pulled over 500,000 persons out of their villages, homes and hamlets.
For almost two months the flood ravaged, the victims were accommodated in various camps while the state government donated N1billion to alleviate their plight
Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom and Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, King urged the Federal Government to be proactive in its efforts in tackling flooding across the country.
Speaking when he and other members of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers (RSCTRC) visited flood victims’ camps at Ahoada to donate food and medical supplies, King Jaja, said there is need to find a lasting solution to such disasters that dislocate people from their homes and livelihoods.
“I believe if measures were taken, it will prevent the rivers from going over their banks. So there is need to stop this periodic or yearly flooding of our paths and homes,” King Jaja remarked.
He praised the efforts of the state government and other agencies that have since intervened to ameliorate the sufferings of those displaced by the flood.
King Jaja who was visibly moved by the plight of Rivers indigenes who were displaced by the ravaging floods in the past two months said the relief materials were one way they could support and lift their subjects and loved ones out of the hardship that had been inflicted upon them by the disaster.
In his words, “We are here on a mission to see what you have been suffering all this while. We have seen the devastation and we feel we can’t sit idly and watch our people suffer.”
The Rivers State Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council said the pains and shock of the flood were bound to affect food production and health, and expressed fear of the hunger that would trail the situation.
In the light of this, he said the council in addition to food stuffs provided also medical supplies to alleviate the plight of the flood victims.
Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Council, Barrister Ben Eke who spoke on behalf of the three other LGAs’ chairmen thanked King Jaja and the royal fathers for their kind gesture.
He assured them of equitable distribution of the relief materials that included over 100 bags of garri, potatoes, plantain, noodles and medicines.
For his part, Eze Igbu Upata, His Royal Majesty Nye Udu Felix Otuwarikpo, Nye Udu Upata Kingdom, speaking for the traditional rulers in the four Orashi regions, said they were overwhelmed with joy, as the gesture had given them hope.
By: Kevin Nengia
PH Executive Order 22 To Restore Garden City Status
As part of measures to reduce the defacing of public structures and places with campaign posters and other signages, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has signed an Executive Order 22, banning political parties from the use of buildings in residential areas as campaign offices without approval.
According to the order, such approval must come from the Rivers State Commissioner for Urban and Physical Planning.
The order, which the governor said would back the enforcement of Rivers State Outdoor Signage and Advertisement Law (RISAA), also banned the posting of bills or posters or any other material in unauthorised places.
Speaking while signing the Executive Order 22 in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike condemned the incessant defacement of expensive public properties, particularly in Port Harcourt through indiscriminate posting of handbills, banners, posters and all sorts of unauthorised materials.
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Information and Communications, Senibo Chris Finebone has explained the rationale behind the order, saying no sane society allows such to happen.
According to him, government prohibits such acts and that what the Wike administration is doing is to invoke those laws and bring them to force.
Against this backdrop, he argued that the opposition and critics are ignorant of the law as government action does not contradict or amount to suppression of opposition, while insisting that everything should be done according to law to restore order and sanity in the urban space.
By: Kevin Nengia
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