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Rivers

Monarch Hails OBALGA Boss’ Choice

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The Eze Gbakagbaka, Eze Oha Evo III of Evo Kingdom in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, has applauded the choice of Barrister George Ariolu as the Executive Chairman of the local government, describing him as a round peg in a round hole, as he has all the requisite qualities, pedigree, carriage and charisma to give the council area a tremendous facelift in the next three years. Consequent upon this, the first class traditional ruler gleefully sets some development agenda and milestones for the council chairman, which would invariably make him stand out among his contemporaries in the present political dispensation.
According to him, with the tutelage and mentorship he has got from no less a personality than the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, who has a knack for assessing the development needs of the people, and delivering on his promise and mandate, Barrister Ariolu is capable of meeting the yearnings and aspirations of OBALGA people.
Eze Eke, who gave this indication in an interview in Port Harcourt said having served under Governor Wike as Chief of Protocols at the council and also Special Adviser, the council chairman must have gotten a great deal from the Governor’s table to be able to turn around the fortunes of the local government, describing him as a very decent man, who is quite knowledgeable and highly educated, being an intelligent and vibrant lawyer.
“I could not have said that for his predecessor. Barrister G. T. Ariolu is somebody that has been groomed and trained, as it were, by the Governor of Rivers State. In other words, he has worked closely with the Governor and must have learnt one or two lessons from him because he has seen what he is doing and all the projects and all the good things that impact on the people from the Governor’s table.George has been around and seen those things. So,it behooves on him to regurgitate what he has gotten from the Governor’s table in Obio/Akpor and that I am very sure he will do”, he said.
The monarch said Ariolu being a grassroots politician, who has so much passion and love for the local government, as well as being a team player, is expected to carry along all the people of the local government both indigenes and non-indigenes, men, women and youths.
“He is a man I know can reach out to all and sundry. He has objectivity and will be able to tackle the myriads of issues that beset the local government,” he intoned.
In order to make a difference, Eze Eke advised the council chairman to have his hands off chieftaincy issues and be the chairman of everybody.
“George is not a one man bulldozer, as it were. His style is to carry all the people together. He is friendly. He understands the people and he understands governance. And he knew what his motives, intentions and his vision were before coming to power. We too we know who George is and that was why we were able to deliver him and voted for him in order to bring to bear those beautiful things in his heart that he wants to do for the people of Obio/Akpor. We should, therefore, continue to support him”, he pleaded.
In terms of projects execution, he said the Governor apparently ushered Ariolu’s coming to the helm of affairs with the recent commissioning and flag-off of several projects as if to welcome him into office, and urged the council chairman to tackle the flooding in front of the council secretariat in Rumuodomaya as well as take interest in the rehabilitation of internal roads in some communities in the local government, which still have bad roads.
Like Governor Wike, the traditional ruler enjoined the council chairman to complete all uncompleted projects started by his predecessors like the Swamp Road project within the Oroigwe axis of the local government as well as direct his attention to the abandoned Fish Farm project in Rumuekini Community and the jetty at Rumuolumeni started by his immediate predecessor, among others.
He said he was sure that Barrister Ariolu had his plans and vision for the local government before he emerged as the executive chairman, adding that “we are only asking him to give attention to these ones and then, feel free to execute the beautiful things in his heart for the people of the local government”.
In the area of security, he urged Ariolu to emulate his master, the Governor whom he described as “the champion of our security” by relating well with security operatives in the local government and create the enabling environment for them to effectively discharge their functions.
The monarch, who superintends over 33 communities within the Evo Kingdom in the local government urged his people, whom he described as peace-loving and hospitable to always support the council chairman to succeed, obey all government regulations and continue to love one another while at the same time remain peaceful.

By: Donatus Ebi

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Rivers

Rivers LG Crisis: APC Chieftain Declares Fubara’s Action Constitutional

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An All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Rivers State, Barr. Sogbeye Eli, has declares as constitutional the action of the State Governor, Sir Siminalaiyi Fubara, in the ongoing political crisis over the expiration of the tenure of chairmen of the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the State on Monday, June 17, 2024.
Speaking exclusively in a telephone interview, recently, in Port-Harcourt, Eli said there was nothing unlawful about the action of the Governor in directing the newly sworn-in Caretaker Committee Chairmen to take over the reign of affairs in the 23 LGAs.
He noted that the Law No. 2 of 2024 made by the estranged Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule, and the sacked 26 members of the Assembly, extending the tenure of the outgone  Chairmen by six months had been expunged from the laws of Rivers State by Justice DG Kio of the State High Court.
“That law has been expunged by Honourable Justice Kio from the laws of Rivers State, it means that it does not exist.
“So, the outgone Council Chairmen cannot rely on a law that is not in existence to continue to stay in office when their tenure had elapsed constitutionally.
“That law conflicts with the 1999 Constitution as amended, and  in Section 9(1) of the Rivers State Local Government Law No.5 of 2018.
“The Local Government system in Nigeria is more like a department of a state. Governors have a hand in the affairs of the Councils. The Constitution allows a 3 year tenure for the Chairmen and there is  room for second term.
“But the tenure of these guys elapsed on the midnight of last Monday, June 17, 2024. That is the law and the Constitution”, he said.
Eli, who was the spokesman of the APC Campaign Council in the 2023 general elections in the state, said he relyed on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of the Attorney -General of the Federation versus the Attorney -General of Abia State, which ruled on the tenure of the Council Chairmen in the state in 2021, adding that the judgment applies to all the states of the federation.
He, however, noted that there were few former Chairmen who are still eligible to seek re-election into the Councils whenever election is scheduled by the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC).
Bethel Toby
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Rivers

VC Makes Case For Technology-Based Human Capital Development 

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The Acting Vice Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Prof. Okechuku Onuchuku, has harped on the need for technology-based human capital development in Nigeria.
Onuchuku, who made the call while declaring open the 5th International Conference of the Faculty of Humanities of the University, midweek, charged stakeholders to focus on the development of citizens at all times.
Focusing on human capital development through Artificial Intelligence (AI), he said, “development without human capital development amount to a waste of valuable resources.
“No matter the sector, every development must be geared towards improving the welfare of citizens for progress and growth in that sector according to him”.
While referring to Artificial intelligence as computer systems capable of performing complex tasks that historically only a human could do, such as reasoning, making decisions or solving problems, he allayed fears that jobs of humans will be completely eroded.
The Acting Vice Chancellor added that though computers, through programming, are mimicking human intelligence processes and built to think, act like humans, and replicate problem solving abilities, they cannot completely take over the job of humans.
Humans, he said, “will use artificial intelligence to develop whatever Unit, Community, State and Nation that they find themselves in”.
Professor Onuchuku informed that it is for economic growth and development that humans are confronting the environment with a view to producing those services that can create comfort, stressing that Artificial intelligence is one way to do that.
In his welcome address, the Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Professor Kingdom Eke Orji, affirmed that in  the 21st century’s globalised society, “knowledge has been identified as the indisputable fifth factor of production and the pivot on which meaningful holistic development resolved”.
He stated that a knowledge-driven economy is a brand in the production, distribution, and exchange, while consumption of goods and services are anchored strategically on the threshold of intellectual property that dovetails into the acceleration of scientific innovation.
According to the Dean, “the integration of Artificial intelligence into the realm of the Humanities marks a watershed in repositioning erstwhile research mechanisms for digitalization and automation.
AI, he said, has the capacity of assisting scholars in the Humanities with data analysis and decision-making, breaking of communication barriers through Artificial intelligence powered language translation tools, the creation of functional robotic systems amidst others.
Professor Orji emphasized that the unique feature of the Conference is its noble attempt to mainstream the “Gown and Town” symbiotic relations.
He expressed gratitude to the Acting Vice Chancellor for what he described as his “steadfastness and unflinching commitment to the maximum successes of all conferences at the Departmental and Faculty levels”.
Speaking on, “The Promises of Artificial intelligence in the Humanities: An African Perspective and the Charge for IAUE”, the Acting Director, ICT Centre, Dr. Nathaniel Ojekudo, highlighted the gains of a high level understanding of Artificial intelligence concepts, applications and implications, particularly within the African context.
He explored the transformative potentials of generative Artificial intelligence and it’s impact on academia, governments, industries and society.
He also reflected on the ethical considerations and challenges associated with Artificial intelligence and identified opportunities for IAUE to leverage Artificial intelligence for innovation, education and societal benefits.
The Natural Ruler and Nyeweli Ali Rumuolumeni Kingdom, His Royal Highness King Chukwuemeka Victor E. N. Woji Okocha Olumeni, Olumeni XII, was conferred with an award of honour for his role in keeping peace and security which has translated in the giant strides recorded in the University Community.
In his response to the award received, the Nyeweli Ali, Rumuolumeni Kingdom, expressed gratitude to the Faculty of Humanities for the honour done him and pledged his support and that of his Council of Chiefs  towards all university activities.
He also stressed the essence of Artificial intelligence in the new world of technology and advised staff and students to key into it, adding that technology is the way to go.
Professor Tunde Ope Davies of the Centre for Digital Humanities, University of Lagos presented the lead paper at the conference which focused on “The Role of New Technologies in Reconfiguring and Retooling the Humanities: Exploring DH and AI”.
The theme for the conference was “AI and the Humanities” .
Sogbeba Dokubo
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Rivers

Rivers CP Vows To Protect Lives And Properties 

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The Rivers State Police Commissioner, Olatunji Disu, has declared his readiness to protect lives and properties in the  face of ongoing tension created by politicians in the state.
Reassuring the public of Force’s commitment to maintaining law and order in the state, while speaking to newsmen, on Tuesday at the State Police Command, CP Disu warned individuals against parties taking the law into their hands, emphasizing that anyone found doing so would face the full wrath of the law.
The police boss, in a passionate appeal, urged parents to caution their children against getting involved in the crisis, warning that they should not be used as “cannon fodder”.
He also vowed to protect all government property and human life in the communities, ensuring a safe and secure environment for all.
He said: “My job as a policeman is to protect lives and properties, and that is what we have gone out to do since morning.
“We are aware of the crisis that has to do with the tenure of the Local Government Chairmen and we have gotten one court order or the other, and the Court of Appeal has given an order for everybody to exercise restraints till the  20th of this month, just three days.
“So, we expect everybody to respect it and not take laws into their hands and allow peace to continue as it is”.
He assured that his officers are working around the clock to safeguard the property and lives of residents of the State.
He added: “Sincerely you know our officers have been out for the past three days.
“I just finished addressing them and I thank them for the good job they have done and because they have been out since 4qm, and they just came back.
“We are not taking it lightly,  we are ready to go,  our officers have been on a show of force and we have had additional men given to us from the Headquarters, the equipment has been serviced and we are ready to go.
“This is just to assure members of the public that so far as we are concerned we are ready to do our jobs of protecting lives and properties.
“We have warned anybody who would want to take laws into their hands. I want to use this opportunity to talk to parents to call their children to order and talk to them so that their children will not be used as cannon folders in this crisis.
“Everything that has to do with government property and every human being in this community would be protected”.
Kiadum Edookor
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