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New Opobo Chief Installed Amidst Fanfare

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It is a new dawn now for the Chief Mac-Pepple War Canoe House in Opobo Town following the installation of a new Chief to head the royal house in Opobo Town, recently.

The 8th day of November 2009 would be evergreen in the hearts of the members of the house, when they rolled out their ancient Xylophones, War-Canoe drums to celebrate their new Chief or ‘Alabo’.

For one week, it was fanfare of festivities and ancient rites to usher in the new Chief, Prince Charles Douglas Mac-Pepple Jaja a scion of the legendary King Mac-Pepple Jaja, the third occupant of the King Jaja Stool.

Prince Mac-People was last year unanimously presented before the Alapu Council in Opobo town foreplace the late Chief Eugene Mac-Pepple.

The presentation marks the first level of installation rites since it represents the willingness of the war-canoe house to have a new head.

And just within a space of one year plans commenced in earnest to install him. First, there were activities to finally end the mourning of the late Chief Mac-Pepple, after which full installation rites would begin.

The rites begins with a memorial service of the late ‘Alabo’, after which several ancient masquerades would be displayed including a boat regatta which would be conducted to prepare ground for the real installation rites to be handled by the Amayanabo himself.

So it was not surprising that when all these activities are carried out, the new Alabo Mac-Pepple amid tumultuous crowd of indigenes and elated youths was again brought before the Alapu Council for final induction.

During the installation and administration of oath by the Amayanabo, King Dandeson Jaja V, the King admonished prince Mac-Pepple to be humble and diligent in his activities.

The Opobo Monarch noted that traditional rulers are meant to be servants of their people hence they are supposed not to be eratic in their decisions.

King Jaja V called on the new Chief to uphold justice and fairness in his dealings with the people, stressing that the Holy Bible on which the Prince swore abhors all acts of bribery and mischief.

In the king’s words, “there are a lot of temptations and provocations but you must stand firm in doing what is right. Speak the truth no matter the temptation.”

In his new position, king Jaja V, urged Alabo Mac-Pepple not to be sectional in his activities, adding that he is now the leader of all people in his domain.

Following challenges ahead of him, the monarch prayed God to guide Alabo Mac-Pepple in his activities and solicited for unremitted support from both Senibos and youths of the house to their new head.

Taking the oath of office, Alabo Mac-Pepple pledged to uphold the culture and traditions of the Opobo people, abide by the customs guiding the Alapu Council and to ensure that members of his house are given necessary lendership to move them forward.

Born 50 years ago in the royal house of Mac-Pepple Jaja, Chief Charles Mac-Pepple was the second son of late king Douglas Mac-Pepple Jaja.

As a blue blood his was bred in line with aristocratic leanings under the tutelage of his Christian father, late Eman M.T. Epelle.

Unlike other children of aristocratic background that would lose focus and tread the pleasure path, Alabo Mac-Pepple took education serious. Strangely he took technical education as opposed to the Grammar schools that most Princes would have chosen.

By 1976 he proceeded to the government technical College Abak, where he studied Electrical installation technology of the WAEC (London City and guilds.

He was at the Rivers State School of basic Studies, Port Harcourt in 1979 for a remedial course programme and obtained Diploma in Business Administration from the Sondore Institute of Management.

He went further to acquire academic knowledge when he got admission to read Public Administration and Political Science in the University of Port Harcourt in 1991.

Currently he is running a Post-Graduate Study in law at the Rivers State University of Science and technology and a fellow of the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Public Administrators.

President of International Federation of Public Administrators Academy (NCIPA), Prof Hensely Kirby said of him, “an accomplished public administrator to occupy this reverent ancient stool at this time which we are optimistic that your advent in the rulership of the historic chief Mac-Pepple War Canoe House will witness a new horizon.”

Indeed he would bring to bear his management qualities with which he had managed his father’s business, Messrs P.S. Mandrides Plc, Kano, a company where the late king Douglas Jaja served on the board over a period of time.

Congratulating him for the installation, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Hon. Dakuku Peterside remarked, “My dear Alabo, given your pedigree and antecedents in service to humanity, I have no doubt that this installation is a clarion call to redouble your efforts in the service of your people and Opobo kingdom”.

Secretary of Chief Mac-Pepple House, Senibo Chris Pepple wished their new head, “an eventful reign”, adding that, your ascension and installation as Head and Alabo of your grand-father’s stool” would bring good tidings and blessing to the people.

For Chairman of the Likeminds Board of Trustees, Sir Dinne Adafe Jaja, Alabo Mac-Pepple “has been a source of pride for many of us.”

The Adafe family Union Chairman expressed the hope that the War Canoe House would be lifted beyond the expectation of the people.

A similar view was held by the President of Mina-Ogbo Ikina Cultural Society, a club which the new Chief has remained glued to despite his tight schedules.

President of Mina-Ogbo Ikina, Senibo Bond Accra-Jaja said the new Chief, “has been captured young, and we are entirely convinced that your wealth of experience, generosity and leadership style will contribute to the advancement of your house and indeed Opobo Kingdom.”

Describing her fondness to her husband, Princess Boiya Jaja called him, “Old boy”, saying, “Now you are called Alabo meaning my father or my Chief … your entire relationship with people signified the dignity in fatherhood.”

Known for his diligence and commitment to anything he sets his mind at, Alabo Charles more than anything else, values development of human capital to paltry handouts to the less economically endowed.

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Multinational Troops Eliminate Terrorists, Rescue Abducted Victims

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Troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), have eliminated scores of Boko Haram terrorists and rescued abducted victims in recent encounters in the Lake Chad Basin region.
The Chief of Military Public Information Office for MNJTF, Lt.-Col. Kamarudeen Adegoke, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in N’Djamena, Chad.
Adegoke said the troops of MNJTF Sector 4 in Niger, while on patrol along Kara–Diffa Road on Jan. 9, 2023, intercepted four persons suspected to be Boko Haram/ISWAP logisticians conveying about 1,000 litres of fuel.
He said the fuel was cleverly concealed in plastic bags inside a Toyota Highlander Jeep and was being transported from Maine Soroa to the Lake Chad Islands, possibly to suspected terrorists.
He added that the sum of N650,000 was also recovered hidden in the vehicle, saying that suspects and exhibits were in custody of MNJTF Sector 4 for further investigations.
Adegoke said the troops of Sector 3 (Nigeria), had in another incident on January 11, 2023, repelled an attempted infiltration by the Boko Haram/ISWAP criminals due to superior firepower.
He said that two terrorists were killed at the end of the encounter and one Rocket Propelled Grenade, seven bombs, two 60mm mortar bombs, 36 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, seven mortar chargers and two wooden canoes were recovered.
According to him, the canoes were promptly destroyed.
“Similarly, on Sunday, unspecified number of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists also attempted to infiltrate Monguno in MNJTF Sector 3 (Nigeria) in the early hours of the morning but met the gallant and alert troops.
“Troops engaged the criminals in a fire fight forcing them to withdraw in disarray.
“The unrelenting troops pursued and engaged the criminals along their withdrawal routes neutralising three criminals while many fled with gunshot wounds.
“The troops also recovered one AK 47 rifle and 2 magazines after the encounter.
“Regrettably, a soldier paid the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty in this encounter.
“Five young men suspected to have been abducted were rescued by the troops while five brand new boxer motorcycles were also captured from the terrorists during the encounter.
“Efforts are being made to ascertain the origin of the motorcycles and how they were smuggled into the Lake Chad Islands while the rescued young men are being profiled in the Sector Headquarters before further processing,” he said.
MNJTF spokesman further said that a total of 70 terrorists surrendered to troops of Sector 4 MNJTF (Niger) and troops of Sector 1 (Cameroon).
He said the surrendered terrorists would be treated in line with standard procedures for such surrenders which would include interrogation and profiling by the relevant authorities.
He added that the Force Commander (FC), Maj.-Gen. Abdul-Khalifah Ibrahim, had enjoined the troops to continue to maintain resilience and offensive posture until the criminals surrendered totally or are defeated completely.
According to him, the force commander reaffirmed the fact that the terrorists have been severely degraded and there is need to finally finish them off.
“He reminded the Force of the obligation they have to observe international humanitarian laws and to be professional at all times.
“The FC praised the courage and determination of the troops of the MNJTF and their commanders and paid tribute to the fallen hero and passed his deep condolences to the soldier’s family.
“He called on the people of Lake Chad basin region to continue to support the MNJTF and other security forces with useful information to help bring this conflict to an end.

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Group Hails Buhari’s Achievement In Fight Against Insurgency

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Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism, Insurgency and Terrorism (BRAVEIT), a Non-governmental Organisation, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari over the successes of the military in the fight against insurgency.
The Director of Operations, BRAVEIT, Mr Lawrence Audu, gave the commendation while briefing newsmen on “Counter Terrorism and Maritime Safety Under Buhari: Encomium for the Nigerian Navy” on Tuesday in Abuja.
Audu said that Nigeria had made landmark achievements in various strata of the polity particularly in the area of security in spite of some daunting challenges, which he said he described as deliberately inflicted.
He said that almost 19 local government areas in the North East were under the control of the Boko Haram terrorists prior to 2015 when President Buhari came to power.
He said that the once dreaded terrorist group had been reduced to mere ragtag groups who only preyed on selected soft targets in the region.
According to him, it took the foresight of President Buhari to appoint one of Nigeria’s war tested and most decorated Generals in person of Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai as the then Chief of Army Staff to lead an onslaught against the criminals.
“Within five years the result is there for every unbiased eye to see.
“A more professional and organised army expanded units and commands in addition to morale boosting welfare for troops not to talk massive infrastructural development in all formations across the country.
“Buratai, we are proud to say, left an indelible footprint on the sands of time.
“In the Northeast Theatre of Operations, there has been a sustained push by our gallant troops, it has been one success story or another.
“Following the introduction of home-made solutions to tackling insurgency in addition to the acquisition of platforms and equipment to prosecute the war as well as training exercises for troops who are now fully acquainted with this nature of asymmetric warfare.
“Today, over 83,000 terrorists have surrendered to troops in various locations following sustained push by the military to root out remnants who still hibernate in some locations of the northeast,” he said.
Audu said the military had also improved the security situation in the North West, where bandits held sway for some times, displacing villages, killing innocent civilians and kidnapping for ransom.
He said the achievements were made possible by the existing synergy among security agencies with the massive support being given by President Buhari.
The group also commended the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, for his dynamic and pragmatic leadership that had changed the landscape of operations for the better.
According to him, a recent visit to Baga road fish market in Maiduguri witnessed a heightened activity as business has resumed fully with traders from all across the country converging for the purpose of trading.
“This has been made-possible by the presence of the of the Navy’s elite Special Operations Forces (SOFs) and the Nigerian Navy’s elite Special Boat Service – which is unmatched among SOFS in Africa, at the Lake Chad basin who have completely rooted out terrorists operating in the region.
“Baga in Borno is now safe now and people are fishing. This is the Same with the issue of pirates along Nigeria’s coastal waters where the Nigerian Navy has continued to frustrate the efforts of economic saboteurs.

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Police Burst Baby Factory, Rescue 10 Pregnant Women In Rivers Community

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The Rivers State Police Command says it has arrested three women operating baby factory for child trafficking in Igwuruta community, Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state and subsquently rescued ten pregnant young ladies found in the area.
A statement signed by the police spokesperson in the state SP. Grace Iringe-Koko, and made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt and reads thus:
“On Saturday 7th January 2023, at about 1645hrs acting on credible intelligence available to the Rivers State Police Command, C4I Intelligence Unit Operatives, raided two houses at Igwuruta and Omagwa communities respectively, where victims of child trafficking were being kept in the operation.
The suspects who were arrested by the police operatives: include; Favour Bright ‘f’, 30 years old, from Umudioga Community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, and Peace Alikoi ‘f’, 40 years old, from Igwuruta Community in Ikwere Local Government Area, who is the leader of the trafficking syndicate, Noble Uzuchi ‘m’ 17 years old and Chigozie Ogbonna ‘m’ 29 years old.”
“The victims rescued in the operation are ten (10) most of them pregnant. They include: Gift Saviour 19, from Umudioga Community in Emohua Local Government Area, Favour Charles, 23, from Abale Community in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, Joy Monday, 21, from Bumy Community, Gokana Local Government Area Rivers State, Chiagoro Nice, 19, from Ndas Community Etche Local Government Area, Blessing Francis, 28, from Ngwa Community Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Joy Emmanuel, 29, from Ikot Obiom Community in Nsit Ibiom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Precious, 25, from Omudioga, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.”
“Others are: Cynthia Ekeh, 27, from Okpuala Community Ngor Okpuala Local Government Area of Imo State, and Queen Amos, 28, from Owase 7Community in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State. Chika Nwosa, 15, from Umudioga Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chigozie Ogbonna, 29, From Abale Community Obingwa Local Government Area Abia State, and Noble Uzochi, 17, from Omuobasa Community in Osisioma Local Government Area of Abia State.”
The statement further said investigation into the case so far revealed that when the victim delivered, the syndicate leader would keep the baby while she paid the victim a sum of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000:00). All the victims confessed that they had been lured to the illicit sale of children because of the need to meet some financial challenges. Honda Pilot Jeep with Reg. Number, Lagos, FST 607 AX, white was recovered from the syndicate leader.
The case has been transferred to the State CID and efforts are being intensified to track and arrest the buyers of the children already sold out.
“The Command wishes to reaffirm its commitment to reducing crimes in all its forms to the barest minimum. While painstaking effort is being deployed to ensure the above, members of the public are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police at the following emergency numbers: 08039213071, 08098880134.”

By: Akujobi Amadi

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