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Benin Monarch Gets Documents On Returned Artefacts

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The necessary documents for two of the returned artefacts, a cockerel (Okpa) and Uhunwun Elao, looted from the palace of the Oba of Benin, have been formally handed over to the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, 124 years after.
The necessary documentations were done at a colourful ceremony as Oba Ewuare II and others involved in the process signed the necessary documents in line with the British laws on the return of artefacts and the objects would at a later day be handed over to the monarch for keeps by the federal government.
To safeguard the artworks and others expected to be returned in future, Oba Ewuare II announced Prof. Wole Soyinka as a member of the board of trustees of the Benin Royal Museum, where the returned artefacts would be kept and be opened to the public, including researchers and scientists.
He listed Aghatise Erediauwa, Nduka Obaigbena, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru among others to be members of the board of trustees for the museum.
Oba Ewaure II, who commended the role played by the federal government in the return of the artefacts, said Benin art and culture reflect the past and present glory as well as splendour of the kingdom.
He said: “As our treasures are returned, our youths will be able to establish a new relationship with the heritage bequeathed by their forefathers. The return of all the treasures taken away will begin a new era of Benin history and civilisation.
“International best practice and the rule of law dictate that restitution and compensation is the new discourse.
“We ask that friendly countries seeking to return our artefacts should do so directly to the Oba of Benin or to the federal government, who will hold them in trust and return the same to the Palace of the Oba of Benin Kingdom as was recently done in Cambridge and Aberdeen.”
In his remarks, Ngerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola, said the ceremony was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment that all stolen artefacts should be returned to Nigeria and sent to their original owners.
He said: “In 1897, when the Benin aretefacts were taken away from Benin Kingdom, sovereignty was vested in Benin Kingdom under the leadership of the then Oba of Benin, Ovonranmwen Nogbaisi, the same sovereignty was then vested in respective kingdoms and its respective traditional rulers in the present day Nigeria.
“This explains why these artefacts are still being referred to as Benin bronzes up till the present day. Sovereignty is, however, currently vested in the federal government by the 1999 constitution (as amended).
“Hence, the legal and physical possession of the artefacts by the federal republic of Nigeria under the leadership of Buhari, my presence in Benin Kingdom today is in fulfilment of the desire and the express directive of the president to return the repossessed artefacts to where they originally belong.
“The present administration places much emphasis on the return of Nigerian artefacts to their original home, hence the painstaking efforts of the federal ministry of information and culture, with the tireless commitment of the national commission for museums and monuments to attain this presidential directive and mandate.”
The event attracted personalities from all walks of life including the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Bayero; representative of the Ooni of Ife; representative of the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who is from Benin Kingdom.
Others were Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio; former governor of Edo State and immediate past National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole; Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu; Ken Imansuagbon; former Deputy Governor of the state, Lucky Imasuen; palace chiefs and traditional rulers from other parts of the state.

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Niger Delta

Delta, FG Partner On Mass Campaign Against Malaria

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Delta State Government, in partnership with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) has earmarked no less than 3.7 million Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) for distribution to tackle malaria in the State.
Permanent Secretary, Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency (DSPHCDA), Dr Jude Winful-Orieke, said this in his welcome address during the orientation programme for media workers in Asaba.
The partnership, with funding from the Global Fund Malaria Project, is a mass campaign that will provide treated nets to every household in the state through a door-to-door approach.
Winful-Orieke said the objective of the ITN mass campaign was to ensure that for every two persons in the state, there was one bed net to sleep in.
“We have earmarked over 3.7million ITNs to be distributed to the people through a door-to- door approach to all the populace of the State,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary said the ITNs Mass Campaign was led by the DSPHCDA, through the State Malaria Elimination Programme with technical support from the Management Sciences for Health as implementing partners.
He appealed to the media to propagate the campaign through proper and effective information dissemination, to enable the programme achieve its objectives.
Describing the media as a veritable platform for mass mobilisation, he urged the practitioners to join in the campaign for a malaria-free society.
NMEP representative, Miss Perpetual Ezediunor, on her part, said the ITNs campaign was one of the major strategies used in delivering nets to the entire populace.
She also urged the media to help educate the people on proper use of the nets to ensure that the fight against malaria succeeded.
Ezediunor said previous experiences of the mass campaign had revealed that a lot of people, especially in the rural areas, used the nets for fishing and farming.
“As media practitioners, we want you to help us create awareness and educate our people to use the nets for the purpose it is meant for”, she urged.
In her remarks, the State Programme Manager, Dr Julie Aniah, said the media orientation would provide an opportunity for journalists to gain insights into ITNs mass campaign.
Aniah urged the media to key into the campaign and use its platform to help achieve the objectives of the national programme on malaria eradication.
It is our belief that if the people use the nets for the purpose of sleeping, we will have a heathier Delta State that is free from malaria,” Aniah said.
The Tide’s source reports that journalists and information officers across the State attended the event.

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Niger Delta

NAOWA President To Sponsor 30 Youths On Skills Acquisition In Edo

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President of the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA), Mrs. Salamatu Yahaya, has pledged to sponsor 30 youths for skills acquisition at the NAOWA skills acquisition centre in Benin.
Yahaya made the pledge midweek at the inauguration of the NAOWA skills acquisition centre at the Nigerian Army Cantonment, Ekehuan, Benin.
She also promised to purchase 50 admission forms for youths, including women, willing to take part in trainings to be carried out in the centre.
“I’m impressed by the skills acquisition centre and the quality of work done here by the zonal coordinator, NAOWA, 4 Brigade Chapter.
“It means she has keyed into my vision of sustaining legacies and upholding the tenets of unity and service.
“What she has done today is that she has added value to what was already existing.
There was actually a skill acquisition centre here before, but the focus was just tailoring and barbing saloon.
“So, value has been added to what is already on ground with an Information Technology Centre (ICT), tailoring and textile management centre and Catering and Hotel management centre.
“This is what is meant by sustaining legacies. You key into what your predecessor has done and improve on what they have left behind.
“Because of this, I will be sponsoring by paying the registration and course fees for 10 youths that will be willing to take course in ICT, 10 youths too for catering and hotel management and 10 others for tailoring and Textile management”, she said.
She stated that her vision on sustaining the legacies and upholding the tenets of unity and service placed premium on sustainable development and welfare of NAOWA.
The NAOWA President said the newly constructed skill acquisition centre would add value to the lives of the women and youths within the barracks.
“I believe the centre will enable our target audience, that is the youth and women, to learn skills and therefore make them become productive and functional citizens,” she said.
Earlier, the Zonal Coordinator, NAOWA 4 Brigade Chapter, Mrs. Saadatu Abdullahi, said her choice for ICT, Tailoring and Textile Management as well as Catering and Hotel Management was borne out of genuine desire to assist the youth.
She said these were areas where the trainees could easily make their money, thereby providing opportunity for them to support their spouses and the home.
She also said she decided to impact on NAOWA members in the State and add value to them through skills because the NAOWA President had emphasised on charity as an act of humanity.
The NAOWA President also used the opportunity of the visit to Edo to present relief materials to 50 widows of army personnel.
The widows were presented with foodstuffs, textile materials and some cash.

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Niger Delta

Cholera Kills Seven Children In C’River

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Director General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Care Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong, has confirmed the death of seven children from cholera in the State.
Ekpenyong, who confirmed the deaths in an interview with The Tide’s source in Calabar, said the agency recorded more than 600 suspected cases in the state between March and April.
“Over 600 suspected cases were detected and we had a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) conducted on them. We also did a microscopic test and culture to have a true confirmation of the cases.
“We confirmed that most of the cases were not cholera related, though we had three active cases of the disease in Ogoja Local Government Area (LGA).
“Whenever we go for medical outreach and detect suspected cases of cholera with symptoms such as diarrhoea, we take samples immediately.
“Thereafter, the rapid diagnostic test is carried out and treatment initiated immediately.
“Over the past two months, we have actually had seven deaths occurring as a result of cholera,” she said.
Ekpenyong said treatment was initiated after samples were collected for microscopic test, but that sadly, some of the children died before the results were out.
According to the DG, the children are the most vulnerable to diarrhoea, because they play mostly with dirt and still use their hands to eat without washing them.
On sensitisation, Ekpenyong told the source that her goal was working with the National Orientation Agency and other partners to sensitise mothers on the importance of maintaining hygienic habits and drinking clean water.
She noted that most of the cases were as a result of drinking unclean water that had been contaminated by faeces from open defacation, especially in rural areas without toilets.
She said that since most rural dwellers depended on water from the streams, it was important for people from such communities to boil such water before drinking.
The DG also told the source that the agency was partnering with relevant agencies for the sinking of boreholes in some communities, with a view to providing portable drinking water for them.

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