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Otuokpoti’s New Monarch Breaks Silence …As Diri’s Appointed CDC Chairman Resigns

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Newly enthroned Acting paramount ruler of Otuokpoti Community of Ogbia Council Area of Bayelsa State, Chief Rescue Orisa Abi, has revealed why the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, dethroned the community’s former monarch and enthroned him in acting capacity.
The traditional ruler, who spoke with The Tide in the community at the weekend denied the insinuations making the rounds that his proxies in government lobbied for him to become a royal father.
He stated that against the allegations that he lobbied for the position,he was not interested in politics, noting however that his leadership trajectory as one time acting paramount ruler between 1988 -1989, and one time vice chairman of the Ogbia Kingdom Council of Chiefs, as well as his former positions as chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Ogbia Local Government Area, and one time Secretary of the Otuokpoti Community Council of Chiefs as well as his current position as Chairman of the Community’s Council of Chiefs prior to his elevation as acting monarch would have informed the state governor’s decision in making him the community’s acting royal father.
The Tide reports that a second-class paramount ruler of Otuokpoti Community in Ogbia Council area of the state, A.C.T. Wongo, was deposed by the state governor, following security reports which implicated him and others in an alleged illegal oil refinery business which security investigations further revealed, led to the kidnap of the state Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr Federal Otokito, whom reports said was against the illegal oil bunkering, popularly referred to as ‘kpo fire’ in the community.
Chief R.O. Abi who also reeled out his blueprint informed The Tide that though the government has not communicated him, the duration for which he would be in acting capacity pending when the community would have a substantive monarch, he intends to collaborate with the government and its security operatives to strengthen the security situation in the community, just as he also hinted that in line with government’s directive, plans have reached advanced stage for the community to have a database of all non-indigenes living in the community and their sources of livelihood, respectively.
“I never knew the state governor would appoint me as acting paramount ruler any day, I was surprised myself when I first saw it in the social media, so I called on the governor’s chief of staff to confirm. He told me he would get back to me and truely called me back later with the confirmation of the story. I’m not a politician and don’t intend to be one any day, anytime. I’m a retired teacher”.
“The Governor is called ‘miracle governor’ and so God has performed another miracle in this community through him. Like the governor, I’m also a ‘miracle’ acting paramount ruler.
Meanwhile there were palpable fears in the community as reports have it that security operatives during the week foiled attempts to stage protest by some members of the community believed to be relatives and sympathizers of the dethroned monarch, A.C.T Wongo during the commissioning ceremony of the newly upgraded Otuokpoti police post to station by the state governor.
The foiled protest, The Tide, gathered may not be unconnected to the resignation of the governor’s appointed CDC chairman, Mr Jerry Ofor, as either him and the protesters declined audience with newsmen.
However, The Tide gathered from the acting monarch that the failed protest was carried out by no fewer than 12 people.
He said the resignation of Mr Jerry Ofor earlier appointed by governor Diri to replace the sacked former CDC chairman, Mr Azibalua Amon would not threaten the peaceful coexistence of the community as the council of chiefs has since filled the vacancy created by the resignation with a replacement by one Mr Godspower Parapa.
The royal highness described the new CDC helmsman as one who is willing to work with the new community leadership, noting that the community has since kept the government and security agencies abreast of the new development.
“The CDC Chairman appointed by the governor came to me one day, saying that his inner man was telling him not to be the chairman and that he was resigning. I summoned a meeting of the council of chiefs and informed them so he tendered his resignation and has since been replaced by one Mr Godspower Parapa as new CDC Chairman. I’ve informed the government and security agencies”, the monarch said.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Reps Member Loses In Delta Primary

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A member of the House of Representatives from Delta State, Ben Igbakpa, has lost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary.
Mr Igbakpa, who represents Ethiope Federal Constituency, was defeated by Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu, the daughter of a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.
Mrs Ibori-Suenu scored 46 votes, while Mr Igbakpa scored 22 in a rerun.
Both aspirants had a tie, 34 votes each, during the Sunday’s primary, which caused a rerun to choose the party candidate for the 2023 election.
“I have lost my re-election bid,” Mr Igbakpa tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
“This is not the outcome we wanted. It is not the outcome the people of Ethiope Federal Constituency wanted.
“The cheers on Sunday, May 22, 2022, demonstrated that, but it does not satisfy the appetite of a few to revise our progress and blur the vision of our people,” he said, on the microblogging site.
The lawmaker said he gave his constituents a fair representation and that they had hope in his future representation, but that “all of these have been painfully stolen by the establishment.
“The grave silence on the streets amplifies the fatal setback for Ethiope Federal Constituency.
“My contest was never about me but for the people, hence their grief. Neither I nor the people prevailed in our hope for sustenance. We have now seen what force and intimidation can do”, he tweeted.
Igbakpa said serving his people in the House of Representatives is one of the greatest honours of his life.
“I feel proud of what we have built together in three years. We have touched the vast expanse of Ethiope Federal Constituency and given our people a loud voice. We have energised our resolve in this instance and vow to continue in the same spirit for progress and unity.
“I will always remain devoted to the development of the Ethiope Federal Constituency and continue to advance my belief in democratic good governance.
“I wish the winners of today’s re-run all the best and I pray that the losers (the people) can endure the outcome and the aftermath,” he said.

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Niger Delta

Nigerian Idol: Okowa Congratulates Winner, Promises More For Youths

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Delta State Governor,Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated the winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7, Progress Chukwuyem, describing him as a true son and proud ambassador of the State.
Chukwuyem emerged winner of the Reality TV show after defeating fellow finalist, Zadok on Sunday.
Okowa said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, that the 21-year old songwriter, performer and music minister, was impeccable throughout the competition.
He lauded the organisers of the show and the panel of judges for what he called perfect organisation, leading to the emergence of Chukwuyem.
The winner of the competition, Chukwuyem, hails from Ekwueze-Abavo, Ika South Local Government Area of the State.
Okowa noted that the people of Delta were known for great exploits in reality shows, having won on several occasions in different platforms, adding that the State was gifted with abundant talents.
He said his administration had continued to support youths with talents to realise their potentials, stressing that news like Chukwuyem’s would continue to inspire him to do more for them.
“As a State, we are very delighted that our son, Progress Chukwuyem, won the #NigerianIdol Season 7 competition.
“He has portrayed the Delta character of true patriotism and worthy ambassador of the State, especially with the re-orientation of our youths, through our various schemes and programmes, which have been acknowledged as highly meaningful and successful.
“As a government, we will continue to support talents in sports, creative entertainment and even in business and we are glad that Chukwuyem has added to our pride.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Delta, I thank Deltans and indeed, all Nigerians that supported our son Chukwuyem, to clinch the prize money, as winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7.
“Indeed, beyond the prize, Chukwuyem reached greatness with his God-given talent and distinguished himself as a role model and we are very happy to have him bring honour to our state,” Okowa said.
The Tide’s source reports that the show started with 12 top contestants who emerged from the preliminary stage.
It was premiered on February 6, with the weekly shows covering the auditions that led to the theatre week, before the commencement of the live shows in March.

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UNICAL Hosts African Universities On Online Teaching, Quality Assurance

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University of Calabar (UNICAL) in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU) is jointly hosting a three-day workshop in Calabar on Quality Assurance and Online Teaching.
The workshop, which drew participants from some African countries, including Ghana, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe, has in attendance lecturers from over 20 Federal and State universities in Nigeria.
Speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi, said the institution was pleased to host the workshop for the very first time in the 47 years of its existence.
Noting that the theme of the workshop, “Quality Assurance in Higher and Tertiary Education: Online Teaching and Learning in the Post Covid-19 Era in the University of Calabar” was apt, she said the workshop was coming at a time when UNICAL was making efforts to adopt the dual mode of teaching and working assiduously with a view to stabilise her quality assurance directorate.
“This training workshop offers the opportunity for strengthening the capacity of stakeholders in higher education institutions in Africa for global relevance.
“The theme is carefully selected in line with contemporary times of post Covid-19 era and the clamoring of higher education institutions in Africa to meet global standards in terms of academic excellence.
“Online teaching is not only necessary but urgently needed to accommodate millions of Africans desirous of further studies, especially in the post Covid-19 era.
“It is on this note that I commend the AAU for keeping tab with her objective of providing a forum for cooperation and exchange of information on higher education and research in Africa,” she said.
She told the participants that UNICAL has a rich alumni profile, showcasing state governors, ministers, captains of industries, world ranking academics, legal gurus, top medical experts and educationist, among others.
According to her, UNICAL with over 40,000 students population is ranked 15th best university in Nigeria and the 64th best in Africa.
On her part, the Project Officer/Workshop Coordinator, Association of African Universities, Dr Violet Makuku, said the association came to Calabar due to the commitment of Prof. Obi towards online teaching and quality assurance.
Makuku said, the AAU, which serves as the apex body for higher education in Africa, seeks to impact practical knowledge and skills on the participants toward enhancing online teaching and learning.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, we came out to say no more face-to-face teaching in classrooms; hence we needed to adopt new methods of teaching.
“Everything has been digitalised, so we need to digitalise online teaching also,” she said.

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