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Mrs Amaechi Calls For Door-To-Door Campaign Against HIV/AIDS

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Wife of the Rivers State Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi has called for door-to-door campaign as a means of checking the transmission of HIV/AIDS by the end of 2010.

Dame Amaechi, who stated this yesterday in her speech as part of activities marking this year’s world AIDS Day celebration at the Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku, charged the state Commissioner for Health Dr. Sampson Parker to come up with an initiative for the state government to make the door-to-door campaign possible.

The Governor’s wife made the call following the upsurge in the prevalence rate of the epidemic from 5.4 per cent in 2005 to 7.3 percent in 2008 inspite of numerous efforts put in by various bodies to check its prevalence.

“Every effort must be made to increase prevention activities. As mothers, fathers, leaders in the church and society, we can lead campaign against indiscriminate sex, and the society needs to come back to our good old moral ways when virginity was a virtue, and premarital sex was also a taboo,

Mrs Amaechi, continued, “In the next week, I will launch the state chapter of the National Women Coalition on AIDS (NAWOCA). This platform will conduct vigorous advocacy against HIV in women.

On his part, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson  Parker, thanked the wife of the Governor for her encouragement and support in HIV/AIDS control.

According to him, because of the sudden increase in HIV prevalence in Rivers State, the state government has ensured that the 160 primary health centres will incorporate HIV activities in the centres.

Parker further stated that the theme for this year’s celebration, “Universal Acess and Human Rights” emphasises the critical need for universal access and draws attention to the link between violation of Human rights and HIV infection’s rate.

Also speaking, the Programme Manager of the Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS (RSACA), Dr. Chimeizi Okeh, stated that in a bid to ensure that people at the grassroot benefit maximally in HIV messages, a programme called community dialogue was introduced.

He, therefore, called on the council chairmen to pilot the affairs of the Local Action Committee on AIDS (LACA) to help check the virus in the various communities.

 

Segbeba Dokubo

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Rivers

RSUBEB Plans First Govt-Owned Secondary School In Woji

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The Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB) has disclosed plans to establish the first government-owned school in Woji Town in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
Executive Chairman of the board, Ven Fyneface Akah, said this during a courtesy call on him by the Woji Council of Chiefs and Elders led by the Paramount Ruler of the community, Eze Emeka Ihunwo, in his office in Port Harcourt.
Akah said construction of the 12-classroom school building will start once it is approved by the governor.
He said the proposal was in line with the mandate of Governor Nyesom Wike to the board to ensure that everyone has access to quality education.
The Executive Chairman, who promised to send an engineer to the proposed site for the school building this week, expressed regrets that Woji, which is one of the thickly populated urban centres in Rivers State, would remain without a government-owned school.
He noted that the school at Rumurolu is already congested with children, adding that a new school is needed in that axis of Port Harcourt because of its population density.
Akah further noted the economic implications of Woji not having a government school to the people.
He also commended the community for providing a conducive environment for the take-off of the school.
Earlier, the Eze Woji, Eze Emeka Ihunwo, had said the community has already acquired a site for the school, and also developed an architectural design of the new school building.
Ihunwo also described as worrisome the fact that his community has no government-owned school, noting that the situation is taking a toll on parents who have to send their children and wards to schools in far away places.
He said the community is ready to work with the government to ensure the realisation of the project.
The Woji monarch also commended the chairman for his leadership qualities at the board.

By: John Bibor

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Rivers

Group Head Cautions Against Membership Of Secret Cults

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The National President, Community Reformed Youth (CRY)Initiatives, Engr Danagogo Wenike-Briggs, has cautioned young people, especially politicians, against belonging to any secret cult in the quest to acquire wealth or fame.
Wenike-Briggs, who stated this while addressing his members in Port Harcourt at the weekend, said the advice became important in this era when most people are seeking for political relevance at all cost.
The CRY leader expressed regrets that even some Rivers people could think in such direction when there is no known secret cult operated by any Rivers individual or group.
He stated that those who may wish to join such cults are doing so at their detriment, saying that they will remain perpetual slaves to such owners.
“We can do a lot without belonging to any secret cult. For example, Governor Nyesom Wike has opened our eyes to firmness which is a powerful tool “, he said.
According to him, such firmness is what any government or individual needs to drive home his demand or policies.
Wenike-Briggs, who is the governorship aspirant of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), also said he had both the impetus and determination to take the State to its promised land, come 2023.
The Engineer-cum politician further said he will coast to victory regardless of the existing big wigs in the state’s political terrain.
“I don’t mind the big names in Rivers politics. I depend on God’s words to proceed. I am determined to bring a change to the state”, he said.
One of his change mechanisms, he revealed, is to operate a cashless economy, adding that a standard bank will be established and managed by the government.

By: King Onunwor

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NGO Charges Journalists To Stand For People’s Rights

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Journalists in Nigeria have been urged to always stand for the rights of the people in their day-to-day activities.
The Executive Director, Media Career Development Network, Lekan Otufodurin, gave the charge during a public show of a film on Joseph Pulitzer, to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day in Port Harcourt, recently.
Speaking to The Tide shortly after the programme, Otufodunri urged journalists to always discharge their duties professionally by giving voice to the people.
He emphasized the need for a free press in the country as well as the need for journalists to create the needed balance between government and the people in the society.
He cited the roles played by Joseph Pulitzer in the video watched by over 100 participants, saying he stood for the people till his death.
“One of the most prestigious award in journalism was named after Joseph Pulitzer and we can see from the video we watched that it is possible that we have publishers, who can stand for the rights of the people, who find a balance between professionalism and business.
“This is just a reminder that we need to do our job properly, we need to show that there is freedom of expression, we ask for our rights, do journalism professionally, so that we can hold government accountable to the people.
That is how we can be the voice of the people and not only the voice of government”, Otufodurin said.
One of the panelists and Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State Council, Stanley Job Stanley, highlighted the importance of the film, saying it is a reminder on how to practise journalism in the country.
“I think the video we watched will benefit a lot of us. As we can see from the video where freedom was given to the press even as far back as 1817, so we have a lot to learn from the American system. Joseph Pulitzer was allowed to practise journalism freely without the interference of anyone”, he said.
He urged Nigerian journalists never to be deterred nor discouraged despite threats, challenges and pains that confront them in the cause of discharging their professional duties to the society, adding that if they want positive changes in the country, they must keep on pushing till the change comes.

By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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