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Niger Delta

Dame Jonathan Wants Succour For Less Privileged

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Wife of the President, Dame Patience Jonathan has called on all tiers of government and the private sector to key into human development projects that would bring succour to the less privileged in the society.

Speaking at the Public Presentation of Master Care Foundation, on initiative of the wife of Delta State governor, Mrs. Shiela Roli Uduaghan in Asaba on Friday, Dame Jonathan noted that government alone cannot provide everything for the people, adding that it was in this spirit that other Nigerians should strive to impart values to the less privileged, aged and other vulnerable persons.

“This project is commendable because government cannot meet every need of its citizens, but as individuals and non-governmental organisations, we can instill hope and impart values in those people who have lost hope. I am an advocate of close partnership between government and charitable organisations to accomplish greater needs for the citizens. This is because many of our people depend on charitable hearts offered by kind-hearted Nigerians.

“It is in view of this that I commend the vision of the Master Care Foundation initiated by the wife of the Governor of  Delta State. She has taken succour, joy, good health, and sustainable empowerment to the door steps of the people of Delta State. It’s a demonstration of the will to serve the people who ordinarily will not have access to the care they now receive freely”, she said.

Mrs. Uduaghan in her welcome address said the foundation targets widows, orphans and neglected children in the state, saying that 2,500 out of 4,239 persons screened were provided with eye glasses under the free eye treatment programme across the state.

Other area of intervention, she stated include the provision of fishing equipment and canoes to 99 widows in riverine areas, 100 motorcycles with carriers and nine tricycles to their counterparts in northern part of the state while 2,500 women were given high yielding and insect resistant cassava and maize.

Mrs. Uduaghan disclosed that 15 toilet facilities have been provided in public primary schools in 12 local government areas even as free maternal care, was boosted.

Chairman of the occasion Prof. Alele Williams, was enthused with the project, which she said has been able to address problems confronting the helpless widows and children amongst others.

In his remark, the State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his keen interest in the state, saying that his government’s three-point agenda was still on course even as he vowed to deliver to Deltans more dividends of democracy.

The occasion which is the first major public assignment of the First Lady outside Abuja attracted dignitaries like wife of the Senate President Mrs. Hellen David Mark, wife of the Deputy Senate President, Mrs. Nneka Ekweremadu, Women Affairs Minister, Mrs. Josephine Anenih and wife of the Senate Majority Leader. Other dignitaries are, wife of the Minister of the Niger Delta, wife of Ebonyi state governor, wife of the Abia State governor, Professor Alele Williams and the Managing Director Bank of Industry, Mrs Evelyn Oputu, among others.

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Deputy Gov Advises Communities On Resolution Of Land Disputes

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Communities locked in protracted land and boundary disputes in Bayelsa State have been advised not to resort to armed violence, but rather seek resolution of such matters through the court of law or alternative dispute settlement mechanism.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, gave the advice at a meeting with community leaders from Ondewari and Korokorosei in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state in Government House, Yenagoa.
Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, stressed the need for the people of both communities to maintain the peace and abide by existing court judgements over disputed land property in the area, pointing out that the era of rule by might or physical strength has since been taken over by that of rule of law and therefore, cautioned the people to be circumspect in all their dealings to avoid the wrath of the law.
The Deputy Governor maintained that since judgement had been given over the land in dispute, any party that was not satisfied with the judgement should go for appeal and not seek self-help.
Throwing light on the position of government, Senator Ewhrudjakpo said the present administration would not take it lightly with any community that takes up arms against another in the state for any reason.
On the deployment of mobile policemen to Ondewari and Korokorosei, the Bayelsa number two man explained that the security agencies were sent to forestall breakdown of law and order in the area, following the court judgement.
He urged the Commissioner of Police, Mr Benjamin Okolo, to ensure the continued operations of police personnel in the two communities until normalcy was fully restored.
Also speaking, the Member representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 4 in the state House of Assembly, Hon. MacDonald Igbadiwe, stressed that Ondewari and Korokorosei were brothers and had maintained friendly relationship over the years.
Igbadiwe who thanked the present administration for its genuine concern to foster peace and development in the state, called on the two communities to embrace and live in peace as members of the Olodiama clan.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Southern Ijaw LGA, Chief Kia Ebidoughebofa Nigeria, highlighted the dire consequences of violence, stressing that “There is no positive reward for unnecessary violence and bloodshed.”
The meeting was attended by the paramount rulers, Community Development Committee, CDC chairmen, youth and women leaders of the two communities.
In a related development, the State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has spelt it out clearly that no individual or group would be allowed to dethrone any recognized traditional ruler without the approval of government.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo stated this during a reconciliatory meeting with stakeholders of Anyama-Ebeni Community in Sagbama LGA, including the Deputy Leader of the state House of Assembly, Honourable Benard Kenebai, in Government House,Yenagoa.
Stressing the need for people not to take the laws into their hands, the Deputy Governor ordered a factional leader and CDC Chairman of the community to apologise to the Paramount Ruler of Anyama-Ebeni for manhandling and attempting to dethrone the Amananaowei.

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Niger Delta

C’River Disabilities Commission Bill Passes Second Reading

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The Cross River State Disabilities Affairs Commission Bill 2021, has passed the second reading on the floor of the state House of Assembly.
The commission bill seeks to safeguard people with disabilities against all forms of discrimination, while providing them with equal opportunities in all aspects of human endeavour.
Explaining the context and objectives of the bill, the sponsor, Mrs Regina Anyogo, representing Yala 1, said, “the Bill will promote multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary collaborations, that benefit persons with disabilities and encourage networking among the civil society organisations.
“The Bill will also implement and promote policies that encourage persons with disabilities to participate in the social, economic and political life of the society,” she said.

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Niger Delta

NDDC Operating Against The Law, States Losing – Okowa

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has stated that Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), was operating against the law to the displeasure and detriment of member states for over two years running.
The governor frowned at the unacceptable situation and urged the federal government to constitute a substantive board for the commission without further delay.
Okowa, who stated this at a media interaction in Asaba, said the slow pace of the presidency to constitute the NDDC board was detrimental to the development of the South-South region.
Recalling that the governors of the NDDC states have vehemently made their position known, during the intervening period that the commission has been without a board, he said: “Whatever situation the NDDC is operating with now is unknown to the law of this country.
“We have made our position clear as South-South governors. We have spoken about how we feel and it is very unfortunate that where we are at the moment, it ought not to be so. We have not had a proper board for over two years now and that is not right.
“The more important thing is that states are now being deprived of opportunity of having their representative at the board because, behind the managing director and the executive, you have state representatives who are able to understand that the budget of the NDDC is run in the way it ought to be run, with what is due to each state, getting to them.
“That has not been the sit-uation for quite some time. That is why we have always complained. We were told by the presidency that as soon as the forensic report was submitted, the board will be inaugurated.”
Okowa decried that the NDDC has been regulated on irregularities, lamenting that states have been deprived of their statutory representation due to the inability of the presidency to constitute a board to run the affairs of the commission.
On Asaba Leisure Park and Film Village, he said the project would be ready for inauguration in February, 2022, adding that the delivery timeline for the project was shifted from December 2021 to February 2022 because of fluctuations in exchange rate.
He said many of the equipment required for the leisure park and film village were coming from overseas, and fluctuations in foreign exchange rate have obviously delayed the delivery of the job.
He disclosed that his administration was still pushing hard on the contractor to ensure speedy completion of the job, and affirmed that there was a firm understanding that the contractor should be able to deliver the project by February 2022.
The governor expressed appreciation to the media for being good partners to his administration and said “we have continued to stay on course in our promises to deltans.
“We wish that we would have moved a little faster than we are doing at the moment but unfortunately, our resources are dwindling more and more every day.
“However, we have continued to ensure that the projects we already have ongoing, would be delivered.
“One of the major projects is the Asaba Leisure Park and Film Village. Unfortunately, there is a shift on the date of delivery”.
Continuing, he said work on sectors C1 and C2 of Asaba/Ughelli road dualisation was still on course, and pointed out that the contracting firm, CCECC Nigeria Ltd., had informed him that Asaba to Ogwashi-Uku stretch of the road would be delivered in April, 2022.
“From the latest report that l had from the contracting firm, CCECC Nigeria Ltd., the one running from Asaba to Ogwashi-Uku will be delivered by the end April 2022 in full (both lanes) while the other sector running from Ogwashi-Uku to Ossissa will be delivered at the later part of 2022 or early part of 2023.
“Work is still ongoing in sector A from Ughelli to Ozoro and l believe too that the contractor will finish that job in the early part of 2023”, he added.

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