The contributions of women engineers to knowledge development and deepening of infrastructure profile of Nigeria, especially, Bonny Kingdom in Rivers State has received huge accolades from various personalities and stakeholders.
The Amanyanabo of Bonny Kingdom, King Edward Asimini William DappaPepple, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Nigerian Society of Engineers, amongst others, poured encomiums on the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) for upscaling the capacity of women engineers and enhancing their leadership potentials.
They spoke at the occasion of the inauguration of the new executive of its Bonny Chapter and the 5th Anniversary of APWEN with the theme: ‘Empowering Women to Break Frontiers in Engineering’.
Represented by the Chairman of the Bonny Chiefs Council (BCC), Se-Alabo Dagogo Claude Wilcox, the Amanyanabo acknowledged the profound inputs women engineers have been making in different facets of national life and in Bonny Kingdom, praising them for their tenacity and also mainstreaming the grooming of the next generation engineers through the catch-them-young initiatives.
Also speaking, NLNG’s Managing Director, Dr Philip Mshelbila, who was represented by the General Manager, Production, Adeleye Falade, praised the comitment of APWEN to engage with other stakeholders to expand the scope of opportunities for career growth and leadership roles for women engineers, explaining that NLNG was committed to escalating the involvement of women in its present and future business and operational objectives.
In her speech, President of APWEN, Dr Elizabeth Eterigho, stated that APWEN was determined to achieve a positive outlook for the future of the girl-child and to build future generation where everyone was an equal stakeholder.
She noted that APWEN aptly connects with that objective, praising the new Chairman, Linda Ogbu for her leadership qualities.
Eterigho thanked Mshelbila, and Chairman of NSE, Bonny Branch, Ahmed Abdulwahab, for their relentless support for the association, which she said has helped in no small measure to project APWEN and help her achieve set objectives.
She also commended the outgoing Chairman of APWEN Bonny Chapter, Mrs Edith Hart for her invaluable efforts in providing the right leadership for the chapter and the numerous achievements of the chapter since its inauguration.
Delivering her keynote address on the theme, “Empowering Women to Break Frontiers in Engineering”, Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Dr ErewariUkoha-Onuoha,advanced the need for empowering women engineers, and indeed all professional women, to aspire to the highest prospects in their chosen careers.
Ukoha-Onuoha, who is a registered engineer with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigerian (COREN), asserted that with the right atmosphere, support and motivation, women can break frontiers in the world of engineering.
On his part, Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Bonny Branch, Ahmed Abdulwahab, praised APWEN for the milestones it has achieved since its inauguration, explaining that the NSE would continue to support the association to realise its set objectives of empowering women engineers and raising the next generation of engineers.
President of the NLNG Residential Area Ladies Association (RALA), Victoria Obakpolor said “whatever is important to women is very important to RALA”, stressing that given that APWEN was populated by women, with most of them being members of RALA, her association connects with the passion of APWEN to empower women and its initiatives at reaching out to female students to inculcate in them the desire to pursue careers in engineering.
On her part, the newly inaugurated Chairman of APWEN Bonny Chapter, Linda Ogbu disclosed that under her watch, APWEN would amplify its catch-them-young drive to encourage the girl-child to not only study engineering but also excel in the profession, saying that as part of realising this goal, APWEN would visit schools, organise career talks and competitions and award scholarships, among other initiatives.
Outgoing Chairman of APWEN Bonny Chapter, Mrs Edith Hart thanked all stakeholders for the support the association enjoyed during her time in office.
The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) is a non-profit, non-governmental but educational service organisation and a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).
Inaugurated in 1983, APWEN currently has a membership of 3,500 registered female engineers, 39 chapters and 18 collegiate across the country.
RSHA: Amaewhule-Led Lawmakers Defy Court Order, Elect New Leaders
The crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly took a new twist on Wednesday as lawmakers loyal to the former Speaker, Martin Amaewhule, sat under tight security in the complex.
This is contrary to the court order asking the two factions of the State House of Assembly to maintain the status quo pending the determination of a suit filed by the Edison Ehie faction.
Recall that Ehie faction had obtained a court order that parties should maintain the status quo pending the determination of a suit seeking to sack Amaewhule as the House Speaker.
The Rivers Assembly had become factionalised following an unsuccessful move to impeach Governor Siminialayi Fubara.
The Amaewhule-led lawmakers are believed to be loyal to Fubara’s predecessor and political godfather, Nyesom Wike.
It was learnt that ahead of Wednesday’s sitting, cleaners had on Tuesday been deployed to clean up the Assembly complex, which had been under locks, since October 29, following an explosion in the complex the night before.
One of the cleaners said they were instructed to tidy up the complex ahead of a sitting on Wednesday.
It was gathered that the Wednesday sitting was held for about two hours as a team of riot policemen and security vans were stationed in front of the House to prevent any breaches.
It was gathered that the lawmakers elected a former Chief Whip as the new Majority Leader of the Assembly.
The member, representing Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Constituency 1, Frankline Nwabochi, was named the new Chief Whip.
An unsigned statement sent to the Assembly Press Corps obtained by The Tide said the two new principal officers accordingly took their oath of office.
Amaewhule congratulated them, charging them to be committed to their new responsibilities.
According to the statement, the lawmakers also passed the first reading of a Bill seeking to amend the Rivers State Local Government Law, No. 5 of 2018.
They also debated on the Rivers State House of Assembly Funds Management (Financial Autonomy) Bill, 2023, which passed second reading on Wednesday.
Amaewhule who described the Bill as important, expressed his conviction that Governor Fubara would assent to it after the lawmakers finally pass it.
He hinted that the governor had withheld funds meant for the Assembly for the month of November.
He said the lawmakers were determined to perform their constitutional duties despite the distractions.
He thereafter referred the Bill to the House Committee on Public Accounts for public hearing and further legislative scrutiny.
The other faction of the Assembly led by Ehie, and loyal to Fubara, had yet to react to the Wednesday development as of the time of filing this report.
Ogoni Group Mulls Recall Of Lawmakers Over Foiled Fubara’s Impeachment
An Advocacy group in Rivers State, Ogoni Development Drive (ODD), says it has begun the process to recall four Ogoni lawmakers from the Rivers House of Assembly over their alleged roles in the botched impeachment of Governor Similanayi Fubara.
The lawmakers are Dumle Maol (PDP, Gokana constituency), Barile Nwakoh (PDP, Khana), Aforji Igwe (PDP, Eleme) and Bernard Ngba (PDP, Tai).
The group’s Convener, Comrade Solomon Lenu, made this known at a news conference in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Recall that Fubara survived an alleged impeachment plot on October 30.
ODD said it had on November 10 issued a seven-day ultimatum to the four Ogoni lawmakers who partook in the plot that attempted to serve an impeachment notice to Governor Fubara.
The four lawmakers, now suspended, were asked to apologise to the Ogoni people whom they represent and to Gov. Fubara for denigrating his exalted office or risk being recalled.
“Instead of heeding this advice and embracing the olive branch extended to them, they rather embarked on an egocentric escapade,” the group said.
Lenu further said the lawmakers rather than heed to the advice by ODD, engaged in various meetings that purportedly plotted to unseat the governor.
“Governor Fubara was collectively voted for by the entire Rivers people, and as such, the action by the lawmakers has not gone well with all men and women of conscience.
“It is illogical for the erring assembly members to think it is right to impeach an innocent governor for no just cause but wrong to recall them for erring against their constituents.
“The suspended lawmakers called a bluff of ODD ultimatum, and so, we have decided to carry out this recall process in earnest, to put our democracy aright,” he said.
Lenu said the group had already reached an advanced level in sensitising and mobilising the lawmaker’s constituents to recall them.
He said that ODD had also obtained the comprehensive voters’ register of all voters in the four local government areas and constituencies.
According to him, an electronic capture form has also been created to make the petition process easier for students at various tertiary school campuses and those on holiday to sign the petition.
“So far, the response from the aggrieved constituents has been very impressive, and we shall in a few weeks’ time complete the compilation of the required signatures.
“The signatures are required for INEC to call for a referendum, which shall be carried out in branches with strict security guidance, to abort any sinister counterplot against democracy.
“We know this process is not going to be easy, but we are ready to go all the way, to create a sense of responsibility in our elected leaders,” he said.
Lenu said instilling a sense of responsibility in politicians and elected leaders would further entrench democratic tenets in the country.
The ODD convener called on the people of Ogoni to come forward and sign the petition, to end political “jamboree and illicit godfatherism” in the state.
The Tide reports that 26 lawmakers on Oct. 30 proceeded to impeach Fubara but were stopped by four pro-Fubara lawmakers led by Ehie Edison (PDP-Ahoada East II).
Mr Martins Amaewhule (Obio Akpor constituency), a close ally of a former governor, was later ousted as Speaker and Ehie sworn in as the new Speaker.
However, Amaewhule insists that he is still the Speaker of the House of Assembly, resulting in some form of confusion over the office of the Speaker.
FRSC Commander Faces Sanction Over Unauthorised Comments
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), yesterday, disowned the Unit Commander, Central Business District Unit Command, Assistant Corps Commander IL Ibrahim, over his recent statement on Vehicle Inspection Officers, otherwise known as Directorate of Road Traffic Services.
Ibrahim was quoted to have said that VIO officials did not have the right to arrest road traffic violators, including overloaded vehicles and motorists caught using phones while driving.
But Deputy Corps Marshal, Bisi Kazeem, in a statement, yesterday, said Ibrahim’s comment was not the position of the Corps.
Kazeem added that the concerned official had been recalled to the national headquarters for necessary disciplinary action.
The statement read, “The Federal Road Safety Corps wishes to make a pertinent clarification regarding the pronouncement by the Unit Commander, Central Business District Unit Command, Assistant Corps Commander IL Ibrahim, that Vehicle Inspection Officers, otherwise known as Directorate of Road Traffic Services, do not have the right to arrest road traffic violators, including overloaded vehicles and motorists caught using phones while driving.
“The general public is advised to disregard the statement as it had no approval of the Corps Marshal, Dauda Ali Biu, and does not in anyway reflect the corporate or general position of the Corps.
“It is important for the public know that the laws establishing VIOs/State Traffic Management Agencies give them the statutory mandate to make arrests on different offences depending on the state within which they operate. As such, the agencies should be given the maximum cooperation for the enhancement of safety on our roads.
“On this note and in line with sustaining the Corps’ resolve that road safety is a collective responsibility, and in acknowledgement of the roles the State Traffic Management Agencies like the Vehicle Inspection Officers play in complementing the statutory responsibilities of the FRSC through enforcement of traffic laws, the Corps Marshal has ordered the immediate withdrawal of the Unit Commander to the national headquarters for necessary administrative and disciplinary actions.
“The public is admonished to always comply with all established traffic regulations and cooperate with security agencies deployed to maintain law and order on the highways, irrespective of their corporate mandate.”
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