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Mgbu-Osimini -Nkpor Road Enlivens Rumuolumeni, Boosts Traffic

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Anybody who plied the Mgbu-Osimini/ Nkpor Road in the past would be surprised to find out that the former dilapidated route is now smooth as a new nail.
From the Big Tree and St John’s axis of Rumuolumeni, it now takes about five minutes drive to get to Mgbudohia from where many residents board boats to Eagle Island and Agip, to avoid the trap and craters along the Mgbu-Osimini/Nkpor route.
Many commuters have to avoid the gridlock and bad road from Npkor to Mile 3, Diobu, which ordinarily would take 15 minutes to drive through. Rather, they prefer the boat crossing which takes five minutes to Agip or Eagle Island, even with the dangers associated with river crossing without life jackets and poorly navigated dug out boats.
The Mgbu-Osimini-Nkpor Road is a three kilometre road that links Rumuolumeni to Chinda and Agip on the South and Ogbogoro to the North and Rumueme to the East.
It harbours over four communities of Mkpikiti , Azumini, Mgbudohia, and Nkpor stretching from the St John’s and Big Tree Bus stops at Rumuolumeni, terminating into the river hosting the Naval base at Iwofe.
Nonetheless, last Wednesday, 2nd March, 2022 marked the end of their agony and will ever remain green in the memory of indigenes and residents of the area as they rolled out drums and the red carpet to welcome Rivers and Bayelsa States Governors who came to unveil the newly reconstructed Mgbu-Osimini -Nkpor Road.
As far as Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike was concerned, the road was a testament of his administration to give a facelift to the area that once hosted some companies.
Governor Wike said the project was to shame those who thought the area was fit for abandon over the years.
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri who inaugurated the road said he was surprised that few years after leaving Port Harcourt; he could not identify any of the routes because of the urban renewal efforts of Chief Wike.
He maintained that roads were landmarks that bring development and expressed hope that the people of Rumuolumeni will be transformed with the road project.
Apart from giving the area a facelift, a traditional ruler in the community, Eze Ikechi Wabara, said the reconstructed road has brought hope to the people.
He recalled that despite promises from previous administrations, the road was abandoned for many years.
The former State House of Assembly member in the Third Republic told The Metro Tide that plans to rebuild the road commenced in 1983.
Unfortunately, the plans were aborted during the Gen. Buhari-led coup that ousted the Shagari regime, and since then, the road had been in disrepair.
In the words of Eze Wabara,” we are quite happy, you can see it in the faces of everybody. I was surprised over the turn out, because it surpassed what I expected.”
He was optimistic that the road will open up and revitalise the economy in Rumuolumeni area, following the exit of many companies and businesses.
According to the traditional ruler, “As I am talking with you now, there are no more empty shops on the road. Those shops they abandoned two to three years ago have been taken up. There are no shops empty now.”
On the other hand, he pleaded that some of the dilapidated internal roads should also be given attention. They include Eliata, Mgbu-Alimini, Royal Highness and Onunwor Roads.
An indigene of Mgbu-Osimini, Collins Obasi, said he was elated because most of the companies that left the area will come back, “we used to host some companies here”, he said, “we had SAIPEM, Eagle Cement and the Aka Base and so many others will come back now that the road has been reconstructed.
Mr Obasi however wants the community to ensure the road was maintained, “they need to work out plans on how the road will be maintained in area of cleaning the drains and securing the infrastructure.”
A seamstress, Usoro Ekaete, said at a time they had to trek as commercial vehicles stopped plying the road. She told The Metro Tide that she had lived in the area for 10 years, as she expressed joy that their suffering has come to an end.
For many residents and business owners, the new road is an elixir. Jake Ogbowu, a shoe seller at Big Tree junction told The Metro Tide that they lost customers when the road was dilapidated.
Said Ogbowu, “before now, it was difficult to access Mgbodohia from here, even the Aka base road was also bad. So we are happy.”
In the view of a hair saloon owner, and barber at St John’s axis, Magnus Francis, more vehicular traffic along the road will improve patronage.
Francis recalled that few years back, it was difficult to get vehicles, except tricylce that charged N100 instead of N50 to Nkpor village.
As far as Fumilayo Mutiu is concerned, the road will reduce her stress of getting vehicles plying Mile 3 route from the area. “ We used to have the challenge of getting bus from here to Mile 3 since the road was bad.”
Mrs Mutiu who owns a grocery shop by the St John’s bus stop area, noted that since the road was reconstructed, most of the buses she boarded carried her with loads down to the front of her shop by the road side.
An indigene from the area, Comrade Miller Azunna, described the road as one of the best in the city, “In Rivers State now, this is the best road…The truth is that we will enjoy this road for at least 30years”.
But while the excitement and joy of the new road still hover, some residents have expressed fears over possible road mishaps that may trail the development.
Comrade Azunna said apart from the new road, some internal roads like the Royal Highness, Mgbodohia and Onunwor Road need attention as well in the area.
Mrs Mutiu observed that the road was too smooth and sought for construction of speed breakers, “a lot of us have children and school children cross the road to school. I will urge the government to build speed breakers to protect children from being hit by vehicles while crossing the road.”
Her fears were expressed by Francis, “if you notice, today many of the vehicles are driving without caution because the road is smooth. Imagine what happens if the road is without bumps. Let the contractor construct speed breakers to reduce road accidents.”
Already, the governor has ordered the contractor to lay the road with more asphalts and street lighting. This, he believed will further add to the beauty and improve safety on the road.

By: Kevin Nengia

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Metro

Police Arrest One In Diobu Cult Clash

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One person was feared killed when suspected members of a cult group clashed in the Mile One Diobu axis of in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
It was gathered that the clash involved the D12 and BS members of the Degbam cult group.
A source, who narrated the incident to The Tide Metro said gunfire was heard within Akwuzu Street in Mile One, as residents scampered into their houses.
“Suddenly, people started running in different directions. Then, I heard gunshots. I think they shot someone. The man the suspected cultists shot ran some distance and later fell down. The people that shot him entered their vehicle and zoomed off,” the source who preferred anonymity added.
A member of a vigilante group, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Tide Metro that the suspected cultists were armed with dangerous weapons.
He described the attack as a reprisal, noting that the suspected cultists went in search of a rival group believed to be responsible for the killing of one of their members last week.
It was, however, learnt that some policemen from the Divisional Police Headquarters in Diobu went to the scene and reportedly evacuated the corpse of the slain suspected cultist.
Acting Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko confirmed the incident, saying investigation was on to apprehend the suspects.
She said, “Yes, we are aware of the incident. We are still investigating to apprehend the suspects and make them face justice.”
Meanwhile, the police have arrested a notorious cultist who robs bolt drivers and club girls in Diobu area.
The Azikiwe Police Division at Iloabuchi, Mile 2 had on Wednesday arrested the suspect called Tallest who was linked to Dewell cult group at Azikiwe Street.
Tallest or Collins was said to be on police watch list for allegedly committing crime ranging from cultism, robbing of bolt drivers and club girls.
A combined team of security operatives led by Azikiwe Police Division, acting on credible intelligence stormed his hideout at the early hours of Wednesday and arrested him with three others.
The Tide Metro gathered that security operatives intensified search for the suspect after his gang members three weeks ago, in a bid to ensure his escape from security operatives who arrested him for robbery allegation in a brothel popularly known as 49 at Ojoto, Mile 2, attacked the security operatives with guns and other dangerous weapons which led to his escape.
A security source who spoke to The Tide Metro on anonymity disclosed that the suspect’s modus operandi is to book taxi or bolt drivers and later takes his victims to ride around town on gun point, and dispossess them of their valuables.
The suspect, it was also learnt visits high profile clubs in Port Harcourt, where under the pretence of patronising female commercial sex workers lurking around clubs. Once his victim agrees on a price, he takes her to a secluded area and robs her of her valuables, after having rounds of sex with them without paying them.
When contacted on phone, State Police public Relations Officer, DSP, Grace Oringe Koko told The Tide Metro that she would get back to give more details of the incidence.
Tide Metro however learnt the suspect has been transferred from Azikiwe Police Station to the Force Tactical Police Unit for thorough investigations and possible prosecution.

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Metro

PHALGA, OBALGA Battle Waste In PH

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As the city of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Area face waste management challenges, the Chairman of Obio/Akpor Council, Barrister George Ariolu is under serious pressure to curb the menace of poor waste disposal by residents.
Not fewer than 50 persons were arrested on Monday by the council authorities for violating the rules, place and timing for disposing waste. The Obio/Akpor Council Chairman said the action is to check the indiscriminate disposal of waste by residents.
The Obio/Akpor Local Government Council is currently facing huge challenge of prompt waste evacuation and many dumpsites are reeking with wastes in the past weeks.
The Tide Metro had during the week monitored situation in some parts of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor and from indications, Rumuolumeni and some parts of Rumueme are worst hit. As at yesterday, heavy duty trucks were seen around Rumuigbo, Rumuokwuta axis of the Port Harcourt metropolis clearing mountain of refuse along the road.
River State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike had on April 29 directed council chairmen of PHALGA and OBALGA to take over the management of wastes in their domains. The state government had terminated the contracts of refuse providers and directed the Chairmen of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor to ensure the cleanliness of the environment was maintained.
A statement from the Governor’s Special Adviser on Media said the termination of the contracts was because of the providers’ inability to perform the duty in the cleaning of the environment.

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Metro

Taking Copyright Campaign To PH Streets

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The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) last week took to the streets within Rumuola and Aba Road areas of Port Harcourt to enlighten the populace about issues on copyright.
The campaign which turned into a sensitisation programme was to mark the World Intellectual Property Day which is observed every 26th of April worldwide.
Staffers and officers of the NCC Zonal Office in Port Harcourt had to march to the streets to enlighten members of the public on the need to secure and utilise their creative works.
Rivers State Acting State Coordinator, Mr. Joseph Ojika said this year’s theme, “Youth: Innovation For A Better Future” targets the youth.
He said, “Nigeria is fortunate to have a very talented, innovative and energetic youth population that has excelled in virtually all spheres of endeavours”.
With many youths now into the music industry, Ojika said there is need to sensitise them to know how to reap from their talents, reasoning that it is not enough to record music and expect it to bring returns from the market and promotion.
Today, many youths have turned into millionaires as a result of sales and marketing of their recording talents.
Some of the youths include Rivers State-born, Burna Boy; Whizkid; Timaya; and Davido. Said Ojika, “These creative young persons are leaving their marks on international scene.”
A recent global report shows Nigeria among the top five African countries having the most developed start up ecosystem while Lagos was named as the number one start up city in Africa.
Said he, “In order to help these young persons turn their raw talents to protected innovations and creativity, it is important that they understand the technology, the business and the legal framework, especially the benefits of the intellectual property system.”
As far as he was concerned, youths must imbibe a culture of respect for the rights of others, use the IP system as a catalyst for growth and enforce their rights against predators.
It is against this backdrop that he said the campaign was being taken to the streets, as staffers of NCC were busy sharing handbills to passers-by.
The NCC state coordinator said once an individual is able to know his copyright, then, he or she can utilise his or her creative work to better the society.
So how can the youths tap from their creative works?
The NCC official explained to newsmen after the street procession that creative works cover all recorded works like audio, music, art works or drawings, patents, trademarks, books and any material made by any individual from his creative mind.
Failure to register such works and get a legal cover, Ojika explained makes the work vulnerable for someone else to use it to make money.
Few days before the copyright day, the NCC had in collaboration with the National Library commemorated the World Book Day.
The State Deputy Director of National Library, Mr. Kingsley Egbulonu harped on the need for authors to protect their works from piracy.
Egbulonu said books fall under intellectual property such that anybody caught pirating books that are legally covered is liable to face the law.
Asked what authors should do to protect their books from piracy, Egbulonu said, “Act 29 of 1970 of National Library law empowers authors to send at least three copies of their books. These books are called literary works and they include music, tables, charts, dramatic works, newspapers and periodicals.”
The National Library official noted that once these copies are deposited, they are called legal deposits and they serve as records.
He added, “Legal deposits are only true copies to be admitted in law courts and such services are provided by the National Library.”
Meanwhile, the NCC has taken its intellectual property campaign to schools and universities.
Against this backdrop, it developed a model IP policy for Nigerian universities such that students and researchers are put on sustainable use of intellectual property.
It is expected that with this innovation, youth creators that include musicians, authors and other innovators will exploit this opportunity to protect their works from being poached and pirated by those with criminal intention.

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