Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-OwajiIbani, has charged Nigerian Women to maintain their rightful place in the society by adopting a more practical approach that would put their desires in their hands, instead of resorting to advocacy.
Ibani gave the charge last week, when members of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), led by the Chairperson, Susan Serekara-Nwikhana, embarked on a solidarity walk to the State House of Assembly to express their displeasure over the neglect of Nigerian women at the National Assembly for demanding for their rights, on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.
NAWOJ had used the occasion of the International Women’s Day program to appeal to the Rivers State House of Assembly to help convey their message on the bill of gender equality to the National Assembly for reconsideration.
Addressing the women, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-OwajiIbani, pledged the continuous support of the 9th Assembly towards Nigerian women’s struggle for better placement in the society, while promising to relate their message to the National Assembly (NASS).
Ibani described Chief NyesomWike’s led administration as Gender-sensitive, noting that his decision to have a woman as his deputy, as well the 23 local government vice chairmen as women is a unique record no other state has beaten.
He frowned at the insensitivity of some members of the NASS towards the women, while assuring members of NAWOJ Rivers State Chapter, of their support towards gender equality bill. He added that the Rivers State House of Assembly has carried out several measures to see how issues that concern women in the society could be given the priority attention they deserve.
The Speaker further called that women be given equal opportunity to occupy political positions, while still urging women in the state to go beyond the level of advocacy to a more proactive agenda in order to achieve gender equality, adding that women are the foundation of agrarian society and should rise up to take their place in the society.
“If the world acknowledges the need to celebrate women all over the world, then Nigeria can not be different. Our National Assembly members cannot be insensitive to the plight of women. Women are the foundation of agrarian society and If there be a transformation from what was, the women should be part and parcel of such, so there is no level of position women can not occupy,” He said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of NAWOJ Rivers State Chapter, Susan Serekara-Nwikhana, has called on women to get their permanent voter cards PVCs to vote in women massively into various positions come 2023 General election.
“We must use what we have to get what we want and our PVC is our power to vote massively for our women into positions of power.
“From research, statistically, we have the numerical strength to vote them out of those offices to allow our women occupy them and we don’t even need additional offices or positions to be created considering the high cost of governance which the country is already facing.
“Our children too will support us when we restrategise to support more women to be in position of power. We must restrategise to sponsor women, who are willing, well able to go into politics, to go and pick up forms to contest for positions of their choice.
“If we actually desire more women in positions of power, we must use what we have to get what we want as the 2023 General Elections draw closer,” Serekara-Nwikhana added.
She called on women who are financially capable, but not willing to contest to support the willing ones but not financially viable.
Serekara-Nwikhana cited other countries where women were in charge as prime ministers, adding that their leadership have ushered in growth and development to these countries, remarking that the longer it takes for women to be in positions of authority in Nigeria, the longer also it will take for the people to witness development and growth.
Don Seeks Faculty Libraries Establishment
A university teacher, Prof Anthonia Eghieso Omehia, has called for the establishment of Faculty Libraries in tertiary institutions for research effectiveness, specialisations, visibility, and ease of harnessing knowledge.
She made the call while delivering the 51st inaugural lecture of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE) on yesterday at the university auditorium.
The Professor of Library and Information Science disclosed that such libraries should be headed by qualified librarians or information professionals.
She also called for compulsory training and retraining of librarians for effectiveness, review of library school’s curriculum to attune with the future library where robots do most of the library activities.
Omehia challenged professional bodies, such as the Nigeria Library Association (NLA), International Federation of Library Association and Institutes (IFLA), and others to ensure that library budgets are released on time, library fully equipped with modern technology, and different areas of African knowledge harnessed and represented in the digital global sphere.
While hinting that harnessing knowledge in timeless catalyst is the pathway for innovation and creativity in Nigeria, the 51st inaugural lecturer urged Government and all stakeholders to attune with the knowledge society demands.
She advised the Nigeria as a nation to embrace knowledge creation and application for prosperity, adding that a nation that relegates information and knowledge is a lost nation.
According to her, untapped indigenous knowledge, poor harnessing of knowledge by librarians, intellectual property theft, the ills of plagiarism, misinformation and poor use of library information resources by students, researchers, industrialists and stakeholders in the timeless catalysts are the visible setbacks of this knowledge era.
Omehia emphasised that repositioning libraries as a learning hub is now because the library is a sanctuary for intellectual exploration, a catalyst for academic achievement and a cornerstone for lifelong learning.
Harnessing the intellectual output in a timeless library, Omehia said it is the way to remediate education and other developmental ventures.
She stated that failure to harness the knowledge resources in the timeless library makes one a very ignorant personality (VIP).
In his speech, the Acting Vice Chancellor of IAUE, Prof Okechuku Onuchuku, commended the 51st inaugural lecturer for what he described as a five star presentation.
He stressed the need to encourage absolute utilisation of knowledge and for people to use their discovery for societal problems.
Onuchuku, while declaring that knowledge-driven economy is what powers development in contemporary society, noted that the inability to utilise knowledge attained, or transform what we generate as knowledge in the university and research centres is a major setback in the country.
The Vice Chancellor advocated for the building and establishment of community library and rewarding academic excellence for reading culture to be taken more seriously and also for people to develop knowledge from which society can apply to solve problems.
Also speaking, the Acting Registrar of IAUE, Mr Donald Okogbaa, lauded Professor Omehia for her scholarly presentation.
By: Sogbeba Dokubo
Group Calls For Investigation Into Rivers Political Crisis
Following the alleged recent attack to assassinate the factional Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Edison Ehie, a group, “Coalition of Rivers State Leaders of Thoughts”, has called for full investigation.
The group said the political crisis is “troubling and manifestly unacceptable to Rivers State”.
In a statement jointly signed by Chairman of the group, Chief Sunnie Chukwumele, and Secretary, Josiah Onoriode, it said Rivers State enjoyed relative peace until the ugly political incidence that engulfed the State on the 30th of October 2023, which “pitched the State House of Assembly against itself, and a faction of the legislators against the Governor manifesting on the serving of the Governor with an impeachment notice.
“This, we find repugnant, odorous and offensive to Rivers people”.
The group noted that “the conduct and rascality of the ruling political class in the State shows a propensity to plunge the State into unwarranted bloodshed and anarchy, thereby endangering the lives and properties of the citizenry”.
It called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to be weary of ensuring that there is peace in Rivers State by continuing in his fatherly mediatory and conciliatory role in ensuring real and lasting peace by speaking truth to the situation in the State.
The group further called on the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to investigate the men in police uniform who were pictured to have been involved in the gun attack on the premises of the factional Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
According to the statement, “We want to state that there is beginning to emanate what the Rivers people suspect as conspiracy theory, and called on the Director General of the State Security Service, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, to use his good offices to wade into the crisis in Rivers State to reign in and bring the culprits fermenting trouble to book.
“We reiterate our call to the fathers of the State like HRM, King Alfred Diette Spiff (the 1st Military Governor of old Rivers State), His Excellency, Chief Rufus Ada George, HE, Dr. Peter Odili, HE, Chief Barr. Celestine Omehia, HE, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, HE, Sir Gabriel Toby, HE, Engr. Tele Ikuru, former Speakers of the State Assembly, former Chief Justices and Rtd Justices, former Ministers of the Federal Republic, former members of the National Assembly, former SSGs, retired Federal and State Permanent Secretaries, former Presidential Candidates of Rivers origin, Captains of Industry of Rivers origin, etc, to come together as a team to wade into this time bomb in the State before it detonates with its catastrophic consequences”, the statement noted.
By: Ike Wigodo
‘Leadership, Beyond Accolades, Awards’ …As 17 Bag Leadership Awards
The Country Director, Doctors on Call (Nigerian), Dr. Jude Mmone, says leadership is beyond mere accolades and awards to identified stakeholders.
Mmone, who stated this, recently, during the maiden “Global Leadership and Philanthropy Awards” presentations by Doctors on Call (Nigeria) in Rivers State, said leadership, amongst others, is a commitment to making a difference.
Urging the awardees in his address, the Country Director said, “As we celebrate tonight, let us remember that leadership extends beyond accolades and awards, it is a relentless pursuit of excellence, a commitment to making a difference and a dedication to living a legacy and transient time.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the nominees and awardees. Your unwavering dedication and outstanding contributions inspired us all. Together, let us continue to lead with courage, compassion, and a shared vision for a better world.
Mmone, who represented by the Coordinator, Doctors on Call, Amb. Sylvester Okoduwa, explained that the award, titled, “Global Leadership and Philanthropy Awards”, covers various categories.
According to him, the event is, “a testament to the power of leadership, the power to inspire, influence, and ignite positive transformation.
“Each nominee and awardee here today represents a beacon of hope, a driving force behind initiatives that create a tangible and lasting impact on a global scale”.
Speaking on the essence of the award, the Admin Director, Doctors on Call (Nigeria), Dr. Goodness Ene-Bongilli, said it is, “to honour those who have worked with the under-served, carries humanity in their hearts.
“We are here to tell them thank you, and also tell them to continue the good work they are doing in our society”.
According to her, underserved persons/areas are the hard-to-reach areas, “where the government may not go to, where people may not want to go to”, adding that Doctors on Call has reached over 5,000 people.
One of the awardees, HRM, Sir, Ohna Sergeant Awuse, Nne-Nwe-Eli-Emuoha XIII (Oloah IV), said a true leader earns respect through his rightful actions and mass following without any dictatorship.
“He inspires others to follyhos footsteps and become the guiding light for the community”, he said.
Awuse, who was represented by his wife, stated further that “the great leader is someone who carries the torch of wisdom and enlightens the society, thereby leading people to the path of progress and growth”.
Also speaking, another awardee, and the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Prince Chinedu Mmom, eulogized Doctors on Call for their gesture, saying, it will spore him to do more.
Mmom, whose award was titled, “Face of Quality Education on Rivers State”, said, “I assure you that I’ll keep playing part and ensuring that we have quality education in Rivers State. It’s a call for all to join hands together to actualise it”.
The other fifteen awardees are Michael Jordan; Late Dr. Stella Adedavoh; Hon. High Chief Anthony C. Okocha; Amb. Elijah Onyeagba; and Prof. Owunari A. Georgewill.
Others are Hon. Hope O. Ikiriko; HRH, Sir Benson M. Egwenre; HRM, King Ateke M. Tom; Faith Adole; Dan Mbamala, Dr. Beatrice Igwe; Rufao Oseni; Eze Golden Owhonda; and Chief Uchenna Ukemwo; and Chinweike Echie.
By: Sogbeba Dokubo
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