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Diri Hails Teachers As Alumni Hold Fund Raising For Alma Mater

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said teachers play a very significant role in the moulding of their students to become leaders.
He said leaders and professionals could not have been successful in their careers without the discipline and tenacity of teachers.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said the governor spoke on Saturday night at the gala/awards of the alumni of his alma mater, Government Secondary School, Odi in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
The event held at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa, was to raise funds for the building and equipping of the school’s science laboratories as part of activities marking its 50th anniversary celebrations.
The Bayelsa governor urged the alumni members to remain united and committed to sustaining the association and to continue to give back to their alma mater, saying the school laid the foundation of who they have become in society.
He appreciated King Alfred Diette-Spiff, who as former military governor of the old Rivers State, initiated the policies that gave children in rural areas access to education.
The governor also thanked the principals and teachers of the school, who he said moulded the students of the school to become responsible and productive members of society.
Senator Diri urged members to reflect on their days as students in the school and thank God for who they have become, noting that in spite of the non-conducive learning environment, most of them have excelled in various fields of endeavour.
His words, “Let us hold this association very strong. What we have done in Odi today will produce more Professors, doctors and politicians. What you have done is giving back to our children by motivating them to have role models.
“The journey of 50 years from 1972, as we can all attest, is a worthwhile one. Some of us have left.
“Let us appreciate God for keeping us alive and allowing our alma mater, Government Secondary School, Odi, to continue to turn out very useful manpower for our society.
“I would like us to retrospect on our days at GSS where we drank stagnant stream water. There was no pipe-borne water, no electricity and we were using lanterns to go to prep.
“In spite of the difficulties we passed through, the school produced people who became Rear Admirals and Generals in the military, lawyers, doctors and legislators. Most of us have distinguished ourselves in one area or the other. It can only be God.
“I feel very happy that our secondary school was established under the leadership of King Alfred Diette-Spiff in the old Rivers State, who had the educational policy that children that were far from Port Harcourt, the state capital, and who did not have the opportunity to be admitted into schools, had access to education. Today, virtually all of us are what we are because of those policies.
“We are what we are because of the principals and teachers that moulded us during our stay in that school. I pay tribute to our principals and teachers that moulded us academically.
“On behalf of the alumni association, we say thank you for making us who we are academically. You moulded us very well.”
Earlier, chairman of the GSS alumni association, Professor Ebimieowei Etebu, stated that the golden anniversary celebration provided an opportunity for members to reunite and reminisce on their days in the school.
According to him, the school formed in the students the capacity to withstand difficult situations, which has resulted in their great exploits in different facets of life.
He further stated that the association was formed to motivate members to give back to the institution and urged members to work together to further develop the school.
Awards were presented to former staff and students including Governor Diri, former Speaker of the House of Assembly and member representing Kolokuma-Opokuma Constituency 1, Dr. Tonye Isenah, the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Moses Teibowei, retired Rear Admiral Geoffrey Yanga, Brig-Gen. Eric Angaye as well as former principal and teachers of the school among others.
More than N30 million was raised in pledges to support the school’s science laboratories project.
On Saturday morning, the governor was joined by past and current students of the school for a march past and novelty football match in Odi community by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Rear Admiral Yanga (rtd), Prof. Etebu, Gen. Angaye among other dignitaries.
The football game was between former students of the school and the All Stars International Football Club of Yenagoa, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Governor Diri scored the second equaliser for his alma mater from the penalty spot and was voted the most valuable player of the match.
Speaking to journalists, he said: “It feels very great to be back, to reunite with those I met at a very tender age. Now we are all fathers and some even grandfathers and mothers.
“I like to commend my school mates for this event. It is a take away for every other school. We believe that those who benefited from this school are what we are today because of the discipline. I am sure a lot of the young ones today will see models among us.
“We will act as a bulwark for galvanizing the students of GSS to let them know that wherever you are you can be what you want to be.”

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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Niger Delta

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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