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Wike Scores Diri High On Performance

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has described as outstanding the performance of his Bayelsa State counterpart, Senator Douye Diri, in just two years in office.
He stated that Governor Diri’s achievements on his second anniversary surpassed that of some governors, particularly in the opposition party, that had been in office for almost eight years.
The Rivers State Chief Executive, fondlyrefered to as ‘Mr Project’ by his admirers and party faithful stated this in Yenagoa,theBayelsa state capital at the weekend while inaugurating projects at the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences of the Bayelsa Medical University (BMU).
Governor Wike commended his Bayelsa colleague for putting in place road infrastructure and other meaningful projects that would impact positively on the lives of the people,just as he saluted the Diri’s administration on the projects at the BMU, which include lecture halls and a pathology laboratory, saying the requirements for such a facility costs billions of naira.
The Rivers state Chief Executive promised that his administration would support the building of the university’s teaching hospital with the sum of N500 million as the institution was strategic in serving the people of both Bayelsa and Rivers states, applauding the governor Diri’sexamplary leadership in running an inclusive government, which he noted has given everyone a sense of belonging.
“Whatever problems we have we would resolve them amicably. We need to support one another as people of the Niger Delta. We need to be our brother’s keeper.Just two years in office, Governor Diri has performed exceptionally well compared to some governors on the other side that had done almost eight years.
“It is when you have something to show that you invite people to come. Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party is telling people from Sokoto in the North and people in the South-South, South- East and South-West to come and see what his government has done”, Wike said.
“That is why when God gives you the privilege and opportunity to serve, you need to thank God. While PDP governors are busy executing and inaugurating projects, others are giving excuses.Till now, Nigerians do not understand the modus operandi of the ruling All Progressives Congress, because everyday they find excuse not to sign the amended Electoral Act.
“After all that the National Assembly has done, Buhari keeps refusing to sign the amended Act. I know it is because they are afraid of the provision on electronic transmission of election results in the Act. Mark my words, Buhari won’t still sign the amended Electoral Act”, governor Wike added.
Speaking, Governor DouyeDiri said his administration was building on the vision of his predecessors in the late Chief DiepreyeAlamieyeseigha, who initially proposed a 500-bed hospital, and Senator Seriake Dickson, who later converted it to a medical institution.
Diri said the BMU was one of the best medical facilities in the country with a crop of distinguished medical professionals,just as he directed directed the Commissioners for Health, Education and Finance to ensure completion of the building project of the University’s Teaching Hospital so as to make it become functional before the end of this year.
In his welcome address, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. EbitimitulaEtebu, said the institution was established in 2018 and approved by the National Universities Commission to commence academic work in the 2019-2020 academic session,noting that the BMU, which initially offered nine academic programmes in the faculties of Science and Basic Medical Sciences through the support of Governor Diri now offers 18 programmes, which according to him, include Medicine and Surgery, Nursing Science, Dentistry, Optometry and Medical Laboratory Science amongst others.

By: AriweraIbibo-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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