Seventy beneficiaries of the Omega Power Ministries (OPM) scholarship programme, yesterday departed the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa for Cyprus to undertake various courses of studies in Final University.
The highly elated beneficiaries were decked in white and sky blue track suits, with white pairs of canvas to match.
Among them were a physically challenged person, Miss Harcourt Ruth Imaoyani, who hails from Abua/Odual Local Government Area of Rivers State; an only child of his parents, 18-year-old Master Daniel Okezie; and two sacked security guards of an eatery in Aba, Abia State as well as a blogger who brought their plight to limelight through the social media. One of the beneficiaries is also going to pursue a Master’s Degree in Political Science.
Some of the parents, loved ones, friends and well-wishers of the beneficiaries were on hand to bid them farewell, and some of them were seen shedding tears of joy and even praying for them.
Incidentally, the General Overseer of OPM, Apostle Chibuzor Gift Chinyere was very busy at the airport, shuttling from one point to the other, to ensure that the beneficiaries had a smooth and hitch-free trip.
Chinyere, while speaking with newsmen, gave an insight into his decision to extend the free school programme of OPM outside the shores of Nigeria by offering scholarships to young people.
According to him, he had observed that most of the graduates churned out of the country’s universities yearly, at the end of the day, do not secure gainful employment.
He said for this singular reason, he decided to go international, and expressed delight that the beneficiaries of the foreign scholarships sponsored from the church’s tithes and offerings, were doing pretty well.
The General Overseer further explained that the essence of sponsoring the beneficiaries abroad was for them to be able to help others after their graduation, and hinted that the church had fully paid the tuition fees of all the 70 beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries are heading to Cyprus to study courses like Nursing, Pharmacy, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Accounting, Banking and Finance, Computer Engineering, International Law, Software Engineering and Civil Engineering, among others.
Also speaking with newsmen, the Chairman of the Association of Persons with Disabilities, Rivers State Chapter, Mr Kie Obomanu thanked Apostle Chibuzor Chinyere for extending the scholarship gesture to a member of the association, Ruth, and appealed that more slots be given to persons with disabilities in the state in future, describing Apostle Chinyere as a wonderful man of God.
Obomanu equally appealed to the Rivers State Government to also remember members of the association in terms of provision of scholarships and political inclusion. He specifically thanked Governor Nyesom Wike for recently granting a N50 million lifeline and automatic employment to a member of the association who recently bagged a Doctorate Degree.
A mother of one of the beneficiaries, Mrs Chioma Beatrice Okezie said his only child, Daniel Okezie was barely one-year-old when his father, Fabian Nnamdi Ogam, who was a lecturer of Mathematics and Statistics at the Rivers State University died in 2005.
According to her, it was when she joined OPM in 2008 that Apostle Chinyere started catering for her and her only son uptill this day. Daniel will be 18 years in July.
While thanking the man of God profusely, she prayed God to grant him more blessings and long life.
It would be recalled that six other persons accompanied the beneficiaries on the trip to do business in Dubai under the sponsorship of OPM.
By: Donatus Ebi
RSUBEB Plans First Govt-Owned Secondary School In Woji
The Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB) has disclosed plans to establish the first government-owned school in Woji Town in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
Executive Chairman of the board, Ven Fyneface Akah, said this during a courtesy call on him by the Woji Council of Chiefs and Elders led by the Paramount Ruler of the community, Eze Emeka Ihunwo, in his office in Port Harcourt.
Akah said construction of the 12-classroom school building will start once it is approved by the governor.
He said the proposal was in line with the mandate of Governor Nyesom Wike to the board to ensure that everyone has access to quality education.
The Executive Chairman, who promised to send an engineer to the proposed site for the school building this week, expressed regrets that Woji, which is one of the thickly populated urban centres in Rivers State, would remain without a government-owned school.
He noted that the school at Rumurolu is already congested with children, adding that a new school is needed in that axis of Port Harcourt because of its population density.
Akah further noted the economic implications of Woji not having a government school to the people.
He also commended the community for providing a conducive environment for the take-off of the school.
Earlier, the Eze Woji, Eze Emeka Ihunwo, had said the community has already acquired a site for the school, and also developed an architectural design of the new school building.
Ihunwo also described as worrisome the fact that his community has no government-owned school, noting that the situation is taking a toll on parents who have to send their children and wards to schools in far away places.
He said the community is ready to work with the government to ensure the realisation of the project.
The Woji monarch also commended the chairman for his leadership qualities at the board.
By: John Bibor
Group Head Cautions Against Membership Of Secret Cults
The National President, Community Reformed Youth (CRY)Initiatives, Engr Danagogo Wenike-Briggs, has cautioned young people, especially politicians, against belonging to any secret cult in the quest to acquire wealth or fame.
Wenike-Briggs, who stated this while addressing his members in Port Harcourt at the weekend, said the advice became important in this era when most people are seeking for political relevance at all cost.
The CRY leader expressed regrets that even some Rivers people could think in such direction when there is no known secret cult operated by any Rivers individual or group.
He stated that those who may wish to join such cults are doing so at their detriment, saying that they will remain perpetual slaves to such owners.
“We can do a lot without belonging to any secret cult. For example, Governor Nyesom Wike has opened our eyes to firmness which is a powerful tool “, he said.
According to him, such firmness is what any government or individual needs to drive home his demand or policies.
Wenike-Briggs, who is the governorship aspirant of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), also said he had both the impetus and determination to take the State to its promised land, come 2023.
The Engineer-cum politician further said he will coast to victory regardless of the existing big wigs in the state’s political terrain.
“I don’t mind the big names in Rivers politics. I depend on God’s words to proceed. I am determined to bring a change to the state”, he said.
One of his change mechanisms, he revealed, is to operate a cashless economy, adding that a standard bank will be established and managed by the government.
By: King Onunwor
NGO Charges Journalists To Stand For People’s Rights
Journalists in Nigeria have been urged to always stand for the rights of the people in their day-to-day activities.
The Executive Director, Media Career Development Network, Lekan Otufodurin, gave the charge during a public show of a film on Joseph Pulitzer, to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day in Port Harcourt, recently.
Speaking to The Tide shortly after the programme, Otufodunri urged journalists to always discharge their duties professionally by giving voice to the people.
He emphasized the need for a free press in the country as well as the need for journalists to create the needed balance between government and the people in the society.
He cited the roles played by Joseph Pulitzer in the video watched by over 100 participants, saying he stood for the people till his death.
“One of the most prestigious award in journalism was named after Joseph Pulitzer and we can see from the video we watched that it is possible that we have publishers, who can stand for the rights of the people, who find a balance between professionalism and business.
“This is just a reminder that we need to do our job properly, we need to show that there is freedom of expression, we ask for our rights, do journalism professionally, so that we can hold government accountable to the people.
That is how we can be the voice of the people and not only the voice of government”, Otufodurin said.
One of the panelists and Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State Council, Stanley Job Stanley, highlighted the importance of the film, saying it is a reminder on how to practise journalism in the country.
“I think the video we watched will benefit a lot of us. As we can see from the video where freedom was given to the press even as far back as 1817, so we have a lot to learn from the American system. Joseph Pulitzer was allowed to practise journalism freely without the interference of anyone”, he said.
He urged Nigerian journalists never to be deterred nor discouraged despite threats, challenges and pains that confront them in the cause of discharging their professional duties to the society, adding that if they want positive changes in the country, they must keep on pushing till the change comes.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
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