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Niger Delta

CARNIRIV Will Export Rivers Culture – Commissioner

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Rivers State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon Marcus Nle-Ejii has flayed critics of the state cultural festival (CARNIRIV) saying the exercise was not a waste of public funds.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the flag-off of the opening ceremony yesterday by Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Hon. Nle-Ejii said the festival is a window for exporting the rich culture and traditions of Rivers People to the outside world.

Aside that, he argued that it would in the long run de-emphasise over-dependence on oil hence diversify the economy of the state.

He remarked that this year’s CARNIRIV was billed to consolidate on the success of last year’s event, expressing the hope that Rivers people would see it as a platform to promote peace, unity among others.

In the same vein, consutant to the Minsitry of Culture, Mr. Yibo Koko has expressed hope that this year’s CARNIRIV would record more success than last year’s event.

Mr. Koko who is the Managing Director of Yib Assemble, said going by the huge participation  and interest displayed by the people of the state, the festival was set to attract international attention in the future.

One unique dimesion to the event this year, he declared was in the area of the African Village, which in his view has brought colour aethetics for the programme.

He believed that arts is an expressive way of displaying culture and that culture is key to the existence of everyman.

Mr. Koko lauded the Rivers State Government for reviving the cultural festival since it was one path to unifying the people and create harmony in the state.

Meanwhile, chairman from Ahoada West and Andoni local government areas have expressed hope that groups from their areas would come out tops following their programme on Monday.

Acting chairperson of Andoni Local Government Council, Hon. Emilia Gilbert Nte stated that the various cultural groups that performed was a plus for the area.

Hon. Nte commended the Culture and Tourism Ministry for the effort made so far to make the exercise a success. She assured that the same would be replicated at home during the Christmas and New Year festivals, stating that her administration is poised to promote culture and tourism.

Similarly, her counterpart from Ahoada-West, Barrister Miller Awoye said that despite the pausity of funds, the local government had been able to put up a sintillating performance at the festival.

Asari-Toru, Bonny, Degema, Eleme, Emohua, and Etche Local Government Areas displayed yesterday with a massive turnout at the African Village Elekahia.

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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