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More APC Members Decamp To PDP In Rivers …As Obuah Assures Equal Opportunities For All

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The wave of defection currently hitting the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has swept Ward 11 in Egbema, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) as the Ward Chairman, Mr. Sheriff Onyenwibeya, his vice, Kingsley Obiye and scores of other members have left the party to join the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The handover ceremony which held at Egbema Community Primary School field, Okwuzi last Saturday, was graced by chieftains of the PDP in ONELGA including the State Chairman of the PDP, Bro. Felix Obuah who arrived the venue with his entourage.  Also present were traditional rulers and opinion leaders of Egbema community.
Speaking while presenting the decampees to Obuah, leader of the defectors and former Ward 11 Chairman of APC, Sheriff Onyenwibeya thanked the leadership and members of the PDP for the warm welcome accorded them.
“We were deceived into believing that APC would change our lives for the better. They fed us with tissues of lies and promised to turn Nigeria to another Dubai and Japan.
“APC leaders in ONELGA operate only from Port Harcourt and never return home to know how we are faring.  All we got in the end was regrets and disappointment.  APC is a failed political party. We are worse off in APC than we were then in the PDP”, he lamented.
The decampees who later surrendered their brooms and the APC flag, laid the materials on the ground, threaded ‘angrily’ on them before setting them ablaze.
The State PDP Chairman, Bro. Felix Obuah while receiving the decampees, assured that the party would give equal opportunity to all of those who have decided to join the PDP.
He stated that the success of the PDP in the State lies in its policy of sincerity, openness and generosity, adding that prejudice does not exist in the PDP.
Obuah said the party thrives on transparency and does not treat members as old or new, stressing that the PDP umbrella was large enough to accommodate all members who pledge their loyalty to the party and State.
He congratulated the leader of the decampees, , Sheriff Onyenwibeya, his deputy, Kingsley Obiye and their numerous supporters over what he described as a bold and courageous decision to quit a failed political party, the APC.
He noted that Governor Wike had stretched project execution to all nooks and crannies in the  State, and had awarded the renovation of Okwuzi General Hospital.
Earlier, the former APC Ward 11 chairman, Mr. Sheriff Onyenwibeya, had apologized to the State PDP for working against them, saying that they were deceived.
He appealed to Obuah to re-admit them into PDP, saying that they were former members of the party before APC leaders deceived and lured them.
Onyenwibeya expressed: “I want to apologize on behalf of the teeming crowd of APC members in Ward 11. We were deceived to abandon our home (PDP) to join them.
“Now, we have realised that we were deceived. We are sorry, we have realised our mistake. We have realised that PDP is the party on ground in this area. We have gone back to our land, our home, PDP. We are appealing to PDP family to please receive us”, he appealed.

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Niger Delta

Minister Urges NDDC Board To Be Unique

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The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Umana Okon Umana, has called on the newly inaugurated Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to ensure they make a difference for the development of the region.
Umana said this in his keynote remarks, while declaring open the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board and Management retreat in Uyo, at the weekend.
He said the inauguration of the board was meant to enhance the development of the Niger Delta Region and charged them to live above board in the discharge of their duties.
He urged them to strictly adhere to the rules of due diligence and transparency in line with the Establishment and Public Procurement Acts.
He said the inauguration of the board was meant to enhance the development of the Niger Delta region, adding that the region, which has suffered neglect and deprivation for so long, needed a new lease of life
The minister called on the board to focus on key areas like the establishment act and public procurement act as Nigerians expect a turnaround of the commission to reflect the core mandate of developing the region.
Umana called on the participants to set a template that would facilitate rapid development of the niger delta and Nigeria in general.
“This retreat is principally to ensure that the new board are properly equipped to provide a new direction for the development of the Niger Delta region,” he said.
Earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NDDC, Chief Samuel Ogbuku, in his address of welcome, said the board was expected to do something differently to take the Niger Delta region to greater hight.
Ogbuku said the new board had a template for sustainable programme for youths and every citizen of the region.
He said the commission would endeavour to create partnership with International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other stakeholders through public private partnerships initiative.
He urged participants to evolve ideas, programmes and blueprints towards taking the region to a new level of development.
“We will soon unfold our packages for the development of the region. The Niger Delta Development Commission Board is expected to make great difference this time around,” he said.
The Tide’s source reports that the three-day retreat for NDDC board and management is with the theme; “NDDC: Making a Difference.”
The source also reports that a communique is expected at the end of the retreat to address issues affecting the niger delta region and proffer possible solutions.

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Niger Delta

FG Trains 50 Farmers On Agroforestry Model In Edo

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The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has trained 50 coconut farmers and processors on agroforestry system-based plantation model, to improve the livelihoods of the farmers in Edo State.
The capacity building was organised under the coconut value chain of the ministry, in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) in Benin.
Declaring the training open, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said the exercise was part of efforts of the Federal Government to attain food security and self-sufficiency in Nigeria.
Represented by Chukwuemeka Ukattah, a Director in the ministry, Abubakar said President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to turn around the nation’s economy through agriculture by its unwavering support for farmers and empowerment of women and youths.
He said it was an effort to attain food security, self-sufficiency as well as improve the livelihood of coconut farmers and processors.
“The government, through the coconut value chain, decided to provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain a successful coconut plantation.
“We will cover topics such as nursery establishment, field development, harvesting and processing to meet local and international markets standard and demand.
“With the right training, coconut value chain has the potentials to contribute significantly to the nation’s GDP and generate employment,” Abubakar said.
The Executive Director of NIFOR, Dr Celestine Ikuenobe, who welcomed participants to the workshop, said Nigeria’s coconut production was far below the demand.
“I am sure that if the National Coconut Producers Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN) works with this agroforestry based plantation model, the value chain will be on a scale to contribute significantly to our economy.
“We suddenly got a huge demand for coconut seedlings in the last three to four years and we were caught napping because we did not prepare for the fact that there was going to be an upsurge in the demand for coconut seedlings,” he said.
Ikuenobe explained that NIFOR was strengthening its capacity to meet the sudden upsurge in the demand for the seedlings.
“We are working to invigorate our coconut gardens in addition to other identified seed trees,” he added.
According to him, in the last two years, “we have replanted our coconut germplasm and in the next five years, there will be enough to provide nuts and materials for the industry.”

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Niger Delta

Council Re-Proclaims Ekpo Abasi-Otu As Obong Of Calabar

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The Etubom’s Conclave of the Obong of Calabar Palace has re-proclaimed Edidem Ekpo Abasi-Otu V, as the Obong of Calabar.
This was in compliance with the Supreme Court Judgement of January 13, which ordered the Etubom’s Conclave of the Obong of Calabar’s Palace to conduct fresh selection process for the throne of the Obong of Calabar.
Chairman, Etubom’s Conclave, Etubom Ntiero Effiwat, stated this recently while reading a document signed by 13 of the conclave members before the others at the palace of the Obong of Calabar.
According to Effiwat, Abasi-Otu of Adiabo Ikot Mbo Otu House, having fully satisfied with candidate qualifications and eligibility, the Etubom’s Conclave therefore, declared him the successor.
“He is hereby on this day, Jan. 18, 2023 been proclaimed as successor to the throne of the Obong of Calabar.
“The qualified Etuboms who fall under this group were communicated to and directed to produce and present their nominee to the Etubom’s Conclave by Jan. 18, 2023.
“The most senior Etubom of Atai Iboku group, Etubom Otu Efa-Otu, presented thier selected nominee for the throne of Obong of Calabar in person of HRH, Ekpo Abasi-Otu of Adiabo Ikot Mbo Otu House,” he said.

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