Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has charged the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Nigeria to redouble their efforts at protecting and projecting the rights of women and children in the country.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo gave the charge when the state chapter of FIDA led by its Chairperson, Barrister Deme Debrah Pamosoo, paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
The Deputy Governor, in a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Doubara Atasi, on Thursday, noted that though the activities of FIDA were laudable, the group still has a lot to do in protecting women’s rights at home, the workplace and society in general.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo said as female lawyers in the vanguard of justice for women and the girl-child, FIDA should do everything humanly possible to ensure that women get their rights in full in line with the principle of equity.
According to him, there are still a lot of repugnant cultural practices against women in society, which calls for sustained advocacy by all well-meaning organizations, including FIDA, to eliminate such demeaning practices.
The Deputy Governor noted that women suffer a lot of abuses ranging from sexual harassment, domestic violence to maternal assaults, which demand concerted efforts to stamp out from society..
He used the opportunity to also call on FIDA to counsel their junior colleagues to be patient in learning the ropes in the legal profession, noting that many young lawyers in contemporary times were too much in hurry to become expert professionals.
While commending FIDA for their achievements so far in the State, Senator Ewhrudjakpo assured the group that Government would look into their requests within the remits of available resources.
“You need to advocate for equity to enable women get the rights due them. The only way we can get this is for us to rigorously advocate for women’s rights. Let them get their rights before we talk of ameliorating the pains they suffer.
“There are still a lot of repugnant cultural practices against women that entail a clear violation of rights of women. For example, in some communities here in our state, women are not allowed to be buried in the town, no matter how highly placed the deceased was in her life time.
“Another example, which amounts to maternal assault is a situation where some institutions do not allow nursing mothers to bring their little babies to work because they don’t want to hear the baby cry in the office.
“I also want you to really talk to our younger ones in the profession. Some of them are too much in a hurry to become professionals, but they are not ready to patiently learn under their more experienced senior colleagues in the legal profession”, he charged.
Speaking earlier, the Chairperson of FIDA, Bayelsa State, Barrister Deme Debrah Pamosoo, said FIDA had been in the vanguard of championing the protection of the rights of women and the girl-child and handled several rape, defilement and abduction cases.
She appealed to the State Government to assist the FIDA with an official bus to enhance their operations, and logistics support to enable the body participate in the 2022 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Conference in Lagos.
Barrister Pamosoo also informed the Deputy Governor of FIDA’s intention to carry out an enlightenment campaign in some rural communities in the State later this year.
Police Kill Five Suspected Kidnappers, Rescue Victim
Police operatives in Edo State have rescued one Innocent Achebe, 38, from a kidnappers den, killing five suspects in the process.
Achebe was rescued on Sunday in Ughosi-Afe bush in Ibilo, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the State, where the victim was held in captivity for days.
This is contained in a statement by Deputy Public Relations Officer, Edo Police Command, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, on Monday in Benin.
She said that the operation was part od the command’s commitment to rid the state of violent crime, including kidnapping.
“This feat was achieved following credible information at the command’s disposal that hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers were operating in Ughoshi- Afe bush, Ibillo in Akoko Edo LGA, Edo State.
“On receipt of the information, the command immediately mobilised its tactical team of operatives from the Ibillo sector in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters to the scene.
“The kidnappers on sighting the operatives opened fire on them which led to a gun duel that left five of the kidnappers fatally injured and were later confirmed dead,” Iwegbu said.
She added that the victim, who was rescued unhurt, had been reunited with his family.
The police spokesperson said two locally made pistols, charms and cartridges were recovered from the scene.
Iwegbu said the Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, commended the gallantry exhibited by the operatives and pledged that the command would work with relevant stakeholders and law-abiding citizens to secure the State.
Bayelsa Spends N3.52bn On Debt Service
Bayelsa State Government said it spent N3.52 billion on servicing its loan obligations to commercial banks for the month of May.
The Tide’s source reports that domestic debt stock data from the Debt Management Office for Bayelsa as of March 31, stood at N151.41 billion.
Technical Adviser to Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on Treasury Matters, Mr Timipre Seipulo, stated this while giving an update of the state’s income and expenditure profile for the months of May and June in Yenagoa.
According to the financial highlights, the state generated some N1.68 billion from internal sources in addition to a gross inflow of N22.86 billion from the federation account to make a total of N22.91 billion for May.
Of the amount, derivation revenue, a 13 per cent of value of crude oil produced within the state for May stood at N17.82 billion.
On the other hand, non oil revenue of N124.69 million accrued to the state for the month under review.
According to Seipulo, the state’s wage bill for civil servants and political appointees gulped N6.2 billion.
For the month of June, Bayelsa got N18.67 billion after deductions at source from the federation account.
Oil derivation accounted for N14.02 billion, while the internally generated revenue was N1.99 million.
The total wage bill for the month of June was N6.14 billion.
Delta Seals Gas Plant Over Student’s Death
The Delta Government sealed a gas plant over outbreak of seizure leading to the death of a student in a close-by school.
The gas plant closure followed the report of an emergency committee, comprising representatives of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, officials of the Ministry of Health and the management of Mary Mount College.
It was recalled that on July 16, 10 students of Mary Mount College, near Handeskia Gas Plant in Boji-Boji, Agbor, were suspected to have showed signs of strange ailments and seizure due to gas emission.
One of the affected students died few weeks after her parents took her to the hospital.
Mr Godspower Asiuwhu, the state Commissioner for Environment, warned the gas company that stiffer sanctions would be meted on it, if the seal was broken.
“The activities of the company has posed ecological and health threat to students of Mary Mount College, Agbor, situated in the environs.
“The management of Handeskia Oil and Gas should desist from causing havoc to residents of the host community,” Asiuwhu said.
The commissioner frowned at the unruly behaviour of staff of the gas company, saying that the state government would not condone any attempt by the company to unseal the premises.
According to him, a task force will be set up to monitor activities of the gas company after it had been sealed to ensure they did not return back to business.
Also, Mr Victor Ebonka, the Chairman, Ika North East Local Government Area, said the council had earlier sealed the gas company twice, adding that they later went back to unseal the premises.
“Since the activities carried out by the company were endangering the lives of residents, there is every need to seal the gas company and put a stop to all their activities,” Ebonka said.
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