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ONELGA People Back Council Dissolution …Why Others May Go – RVHA

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The dissolution, last Wednesday, of the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Council by the Rivers State House of Assembly, has received commendation from the people of the local government area.

Speaking to newsmen, yesterday, Mr Nwabueze Stanley and Henry Emelike representing the Concerned Indigenes of ONELGA, described the dissolution of the council as a timely intervention to sustain the corporate existence of the state and the local government.

The organisation frowned at the administrative style of the deposed chairman, Mr Chris Okey Ochije, contending that instead of defending allegations of corruption level against him, he resorted to seeking legal cover and engaging in political bigotry that has put the local government area in a state of insecurity.

“Although there is nothing wrong for somebody to challenge his case in court, but the ex-council boss should have first of all defended the allegation of fraudulent practices leveled against him by the councillors.”

“Ochije should be bold enough to face investigations so that the world would know whether he is innocent or not. Public office holders should know that accountability is expected of them. He should defend himself rather than running to the courts to institute a case against Chief G. U. Ake who has no hand in his travail,” they said.

Thirteen out of the 17 councillors of the council had impeached Mr Ochije on allegation of misappropriation and embezzlement of council fund to the tune of over N2 billion.

Some of the allegations include the purported de-roofing of Okwuzi low cost housing unit valued at N95 million, the construction of Ebocha-Ndoni, Akabuka Roads at the cost of N16 million and N17 million contracts on the grading of Okwuzi-Ugada road at N29 million and N5 million.

The ex-council chairman is also accused of embezzling N24 million and the re-award of contract on over existing structures to the tune of over N15 million without budgetary approval.

When contacted, the ex-chairman, Mr Ochije said the allegations were non-issues and that he was not in the mood to give details on the situation.

Meanwhile, following the dissolution of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Council (ONENLGA) for security reasons, on Wednesday, the Rivers State House of Assembly has warned other councils in the state against unbecoming acts in governance that may attract the wrath of the law.

The dissolution of Hon. Chris Ochije-led ONELGA council followed a letter sent to the state House of Assembly by Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi requesting for the dissolution of the council.

Presenting the motion on the floor of the House, the leader of the House, Hon Chidi Lloyd stated that the governor’s request to the state legislature to dissolve the ONELGA council was in accordance with section 64(2) of the State Local Government Law, 1999.

According to him, “the law as amended by the House mandates the governor to take necessary steps against any defaulting council in accordance with the law and submit details of such misconduct to the state House of Assembly with a request for approval.

“The state House of Assembly, shall then consider the request, and if approved by two-thirds majority of the members, such council stands dissolved from the date of such approval,” he stated.

The House leader informed the lawmakers that the council chairman and the councillors were at war part and could no longer work together as a team noting that some newspaper reports had it that ONELGA councillors were lodged in an hotel in Port Harcourt for five months.

He therefore urged his colleagues to grant the request of the governor and dissolve the council so as to serve as a deterrent to other councils that disregard the law, adding that the ONELGA chairman and the councillors have all sinned and fallen short of glory.

In their own contributions, Hon Isaac Kamalu (Eleme), Henry Ogiri (Abua/Odual) and Ibim Ikumyi Onaji (Andoni) stated that the primary function of the legislature is to make laws that would promote peace and maintained law and order in the state.

The lawmakers had urged their colleagues to consider the request so as to avoid the extension of insecurity in ONELGA to other local government councils in the state.

However, in his own contribution, Hon Tamunosis Gogo-Jaja argued that as lawmakers, they are co-directors of the state and requested that the details of the report be given to them to enable them make proper debate on the matter.

In his ruling thereafter, the speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry divided the House with 23 lawmakers voting in favour of dissolution of the council.

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Mexicans Set Up Labs In Nigeria To Produce Meth, Reps Confirm

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House of Representatives, yesterday, explained that since 1990 the production of crystal meth had been hijacked by Mexican drug dealers, who set up laboratories in Nigeria for the production of Mkpuru Mmiri in 2016.
The lawmakers then mandated the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), to go after peddlers of Methampheramine nicknamed Mkpuru-Mmiri and other hard drugs in the country with a view to stamping them out.
The House also asked the agency to reintegrate and strategize further on its enforcement and enlightenment capacity to cover the mode and cure for meth addiction which, it said, has no medical treatment at the moment.
The resolution followed a motion titled “Urgent Need to Sensitize Nigerians on the Danger of Widespread Meth Epidemic and Effect of Crystal Meth on the Nigerian Youths”, moved by Henry Nwawuba at the plenary.
Presenting the motion, Nwawuba noted the widespread meth epidemic and the effect of crystal Meth on Nigerians, especially the youths.
He also noted the highly addictive street form of the pharma grade amphetamine and the ill-equipped handling or stopping of the spread.
“Many homes in the south east are currently facing the dangerous effect of Methampheramine nick-named Mkpuru-Mmiri which translates to seed of water.
“Crystal meth is a crystal narcotic hallucinogen that is capable of destroying a person mentally.
“An estimated 75percent of the users in our society are adversely affected and they have become a burden to their families and communities.
“Since 1990 the production of Crystal Meth has been hijacked by Mexican drug dealers who set up laboratories in Nigeria for the production of Mkpuru Mmiri in 2016.
“Methamphetamine also known as Crystal Meth or Mkpuru mmniri was developed in Japan in 1919 and grossly abused during World War II when it was issued to pilots on suicidal mission then called KamKaze.
“After the world war, it was used briefly as a medication for depression and for controlling obesity, but it was quickly abandoned and banned thereafter, especially in the 1970s.
“As a stimulant, it has a powerful euphoric effect similar to those of cocaine.
“Meth typically keeps users awake depriving them of sleep, making them react violently and takes a toll on the physical look of its users,” he said.
Contributing to the motion, the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu asked NDLEA to trace the manufacturers and others in the chain.
“Who are the manufacturers? Where is the factory? Where is it manufactured? Who are the traders?
“When you beat young people, it is like double jeopardy. Somebody is a victim of the drug and you are still beating them.
“NDLEA should trace, and we should ensure rehabilitation of the victims and make sure we take meth out of the market.
“That is the quickest thing we can do; after taking meth out of the market, then we will know what to do with our citizens who are already victims,” he said.
Also speaking, Lynda Ikpeazu said that many youths of young ages were involved in the consumption of the drug.
“It does sound like a joke, but it is actually very serious and killing a lot of people.
“In the next 10 years, if we don’t stop it, we are going to have a zombie society.”

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Join Campaign To End Violence Against Women, Girls, Banigo Tells Nigerians

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has called on all well- meaning citizens, especially the male folk to join the campaign to end violence against women and girls.
Banigo made this call in her goodwill message in Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, to commemorate the 2021 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.
The deputy governor, who urged the male folk to be strong advocates in the quest to eliminate violence against women and girls, noted that violence against women and girls increase in the society during crises.
She said it manifests in physical, sexual and psychological means and most times perpetrated by trusted family members, while the rest of society look the other way, adding that sometimes women are also culpable when it comes to violence against fellow women.
Banigo said the state government under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike takes the security and wellbeing of women as top priority with zero tolerance for violence against women.
It would be recalled that November25 each year is set aside to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
It also marks the launch of 16 days of activism that would end on December 10, 2021, which is the International Human Rights Day.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”.
Similarly, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has said that every girl-child must be intentional and focused in order to achieve success in life.
Banigo stated this while speaking during the Girl Child Initiative, Just Girls Talk Programme at the Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta (UBE), last Wednesday, organised by the Youth Church of the Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries in Port Harcourt.
Speaking through the Coordinator, Protect the Girl Child Initiative of the Deputy Governor’s Office and Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor, Barrister Inegogo Fubara, Banigo said women are leaders created by God to solve problems.
“We are problem solvers, do not ever think of yourselves as being little because you are wonderfully created for a purpose. We are here to tell you that you can be whatever you want to be, but you have to work it out, education is very important and you must take it very seriously and be diligent in what you are doing”, Banigo said.
The deputy governor, who described Wike as the most gender friendly governor in the country said apart from having a female deputy, he has continued to appoint women into positions of trust and has encouraged women to run for elective positions.
Banigo commended the school authorities and the Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries for the putting up the Just Girls Talk Programme.
In his remarks, the Regional Overseer of the youth church, Pastor Chinedu Udechukwu said the Just Girls Talk Programme, has been going on in the church for years, noting that after the pandemic they decided to re-strategize and take it off to schools to talk to young girls about their vision and expose them to our Lord Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Also speaking, the Coordinator of the Just Girls Talk Programme, Mrs. Esther Udechukwu said the Just Girl Talk was organised to enlighten young girls on the consequences inherent in premarital sex, the physical and spiritual aspects, as well as to empower and sharpen them for the future.

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Police Smash Four Deadly Kidnappers In Rivers

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Operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in collaboration with policemen from the Rivers State Police Command, have arrested a kidnap syndicate that specialised in using Facebook and WhatsApp to lure their victims, in Port Harcourt.
The suspects admitted during interrogation to have kidnapped, tortured, raped and robbed their victims.
They admitted that their targets were usually female and that they have successfully collected ransoms from at least ten 10 female since January, 2021, with N5million their highest ransom.
The nabbed suspects are: Izunna Fidelis, 21; Humble Unity Okeregwu, 24; Izuchukwu Nwaobiri, 22; and Chibeze Nwike,23.
They were arrested in Choba and Etche areas of Rivers State.
According to the police, for suspects to get the attention of their victims, they take to their respective Facebook pages posing as foreigners working in multinational oil companies in Rivers State and professing love as well as proposed marriage to their Facebook girlfriends, all in a bid to trap them.
The police said their arrest followed report of kidnapping for ransom and the gang-rape of a 27-year-old lady identified simply as Happiness, on August 28, 2021.
According to leader of the gang, Nwaobiri, “The first thing we do is to check Facebook profiles for beautiful girls. Then, we would add them to our friend lists. Each of us works on different persons. I would start up a conversation with my supposed girl, exchange pleasantries and tell her that I worked with an oil company. I also asked if she was married or single.
“It takes time to familiarize with them, say two to three months. Thereafter, we would progress to WhatsApp chats and then telephone calls and when friendship has been established, we will invite them over to the company’s base which is a bush where they would be blindfolded and calls put across to their families.”
Nwaobiri added: “I started earlier this year because of circumstances. My mum is late, my dad has a stroke and I have been the one catering for everything. I have been involved in seven cases but succeeded in four.
“We only rape our captives if they don’t cooperate. That is, if they don’t mount pressure on their relatives to pay ransom.”

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