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NANTS, ECOWAS Empower 300 IDPs, Share Success Story

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Three hundred internally displaced persons (IDPs) empowered with agricultural inputs in Kuje and Durumi camps by the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has said the support had improved their livelihoods.
They said this on Friday in Abuja when the Spanish Cooperation Agency in Madrid, led by its Director, Mr Anton Leis visited NANTS office.
It would be recalled that in 2019, NANTS in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) under the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF) embarked on an empowerment programme.
The programme, which is with the support of the Spanish International Development Agency (AECID), is aimed at providing succour to IDPs in Abuja.
Representatives of the beneficiaries said that the project had built their capacity for improved productivity in selected crops such as maize and groundnut.
The Chairman,  IDPs camp Kuje, Mr Chiroma Isaiah, said they were traditional farmers before they were displaced from their communities.
Isaiah said the project, however, rekindled their hope by fostering access to agricultural tools, thereby, improving the livelihoods of the IDPs.
“By the time I came to Abuja, I had nothing but this programme has facilitated the return of my eight children to school.
“Currently, three of them have finished secondary school while one has graduated from the college of education.
“Now I have built my house and I have bought land and through this project many of us have motorcycles they use for commercial purposes,’’ he said.
Malam Umar Gola from IDPs Durumi commended NANTS, ECOWAS and SIDA for the support.
Gola who lost his wife and two children to insurgency, said the project helped his capacity beyond what he originally knew of farming by providing training on improved technology that resulted in improved productivity.
“Now, I have about two tonnes of beans I kept. This project has impacted so much on us and has expanded to other commercial activities apart from farming,’’ Gola said.
He, however, expressed concern that they were still faced with the challenge of herders’ attack on their farms.
Similarly, Mrs Rufkatu Peter, said the project promoted her gradual exit from IDPs status.
Peter described the project as a landmark approach toward ensuring that food security was taken to the next level in terms of sustainability.
Earlier, the National President of NANTS, Mr Ken Ukoha said research showed that 90 per cent of people in IDPs camps were traditionally farmers before they were displaced from their communities.

Ukoha said that the project had enhanced food and nutrition security mechanisms for IDPs and host community households through agronomic training and agriculture extension service.

“We developed farms and took them there where we trained them agronomically and 300 households regained their livelihoods.

“We also have 1,800 tons of maize that we have produced and we also have about 1,000 tons of groundnuts then we have some lessons that we learnt.

“We procured farms where we did demonstrations for them to learn.

“They were originally farmers before they were displaced so we needed to buy everything they needed to start life so as to move them from the roads where they were begging.

“So, we bought hoes, machetes, fertilisers, groundnut seeds and maize seeds; we bought all that they needed including the sprayer,’’ he said.

Ukoha, however, solicited continued support for the project to capture more IDPs.

According to him, records show that there are 6,348 IDPs in Abuja and this project captured 300 IDPs.

The Spanish director, Leis said that Spain would continue to strengthen its cooperation with Nigeria.

According to him, this will enable us to finance and support more projects such as this one.

“Thank you to everyone involved for making a difference to the project as we have seen and we have the opportunity today to hear from the beneficiaries,’’ he said.

While recalling some challenges facing the world in the last four years, Leis urged the beneficiaries not to lose hope.

According to him, Nigeria is a country of hope.

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Rivers Crisis: PDP Chairman Hails Jonathan’s Call For Truce

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The Lagos State chapter Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Philip Aivoji, has described former President Goodluck Jonathan’s call to end the political crisis in Rivers as commendable.
Mr Aivoji commended Jonathan  in an interview with The Tide‘s source on Monday in Lagos.
Recall that Jonathan had on Monday implored Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers  and his predecessor, (the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT) Chief Nyesom Wike, to sheathe their swords in order to douse the political temperature in the state.
The former president, who spoke at the inauguration of the N222.1 billion Trans-Kalabari Road construction, emphasised the necessity for Fubara and Wike to collaborate to promote the  progress and prosperity of Rivers State.
He noted that the political tension in the state was excessive and worrisome, and would not contribute to  development.
Jonathan said that destabilising Rivers State would adversely impact the Niger Delta region and could also trigger crises across the country.
Reacting to Jonathan’s admonition, Mr Aivoji described the former President as a man full of experience in mediation and conflict resolution, even at the international level.
“Jonathan is a leader in the party and a leader from South South; there is nothing wrong stepping in to broker peace. It is a good one,” the PDP boss said.
He, however, said that the former President should go further to speak the truth to the warring parties and point out  to each of them where they had erred.
“This is the way to settle issues. If we want to resolve it, we must tell the truth to them.
“The ex-President is an elder, he is an experienced person, who has been meditating in international affairs. Let us see how it goes,” he added.
According to him, the former President, being experienced mediator, must dig deep and probe the cause of the crisis.
“He (Jonathan) has seen it all. Peace of graveyard will not help the matter, they should resolve issues.
“We hope that the nitty-gritty will be looked into and the constitution of the party will be followed if they are true members of the party,” Aivoji said.

 

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Group Carpets Amaewhule Over Political Crisis In Rivers 

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A group, Coalition of Rivers State Leaders of Thought (CORSLOT) has blamed the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Martins Amaewhule, for the escalation of the political crisis in the State.
The coalition, which stated this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, said Rivers State would not have been in its current political situation had Rt Hon Amaewhule played the sacred role providence bestowed on him.
The text for the briefing which was read by the Convener, High Chief Sunnie Chukumele, and co-signed by Prof (Mrs) Reginah Azunwena, Odinaka Osundu, George Ijoma and Elder Anuage Menegbo, also commended Governor Siminalayi Fubara for his peaceful disposition despite the crisis, adding that this disposition has marked the governor as a man of peace.
“Pitiably under him, the world saw a legislative arm of government that was vehemently out to frustrate the executive arm with all sorts of negative actions against the governor and the government of Rivers State.
“Had Martins Amaewhule seen the state as sacred, he would have mediated in whatever were the issues between our former governor, His Excellency, Chief (Barrister) Nyesom Wike. Amaewhule failed woefully to play a stabilizing role which his exalted office gave him ample role to play”, they said.
The Coalition also called on former Governor Nyesom Wike to have a rethink on the political crisis in the state as he has a cardinal role to play in the resolution of the impasse.
“CORSLOT wishes to advise trouble entrepreneurs and eye service politicians of Rivers State origin to take note that power belongs to God Almighty and the people.
“Rivers people are taking note of these political actors.
“Rivers State is owned by Rivers people and not  self seeking politicians”, they said.
“We begin by appreciating the governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalaye Fubara, for working assiduously for peace by embracing and working with the Presidential Peace Accord of 2023 and to state that it is in recognition of this that the governor has won awards and honours within the state and Nigeria”
The Coalition also thanked the Governor for attending to the needs and welfare of citizens of the state, particularly the welfare of civil servants and the planned employment into the Civil Service.
“CORSLOT further recognizes the governor’s attention on infrastructural development in the state with his continuation of projects he inherited from previous administrations and indeed his bold initiatives of new ones.
These come with spiraling advantages”, they added.
They also urged the governor to take immediate steps to fill his cabinet with men and women who have the capacity to add value to the State.

By: John Bibor

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Council Boss Hails Fubara Over Successful Project Commissioning

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Following the successful commissioning of the  Andoni Section of the Ogoni-Andoni- Opobo Unity Road by Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, the Chairman of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area, Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam has commended the number one citizen of the state for his multiple  infrastructural development projects that have direct bearings on the lives and well -being of Rivers people, especially in NgoTown, headquarters of Andoni Local Government Area and its adjoining environs.
The Chairman maintained that the road, as commissioned, will provide connectivity between coastal communities, cities, and hinterlands, facilitating the movement of people, goods and services, which enhances trade, commerce and tourism, and also contributes to local economic development and the local government area’s internally generated revenue (IGR).
On the event, Hon. CookeyGam lauded the efforts of the initiator of the project, 24 years ago, Dr.Peter Odili, former governor of Rivers State, for his determination and love for the people that found expression in the initiation of the Unity Road project which has been able to connect the catchment local government areas of Khana, Andoni and Opobo/ Nkoro, including the neighbouring states.
He described both Dr. Odili and Governor Fubara as beacons of infrastructural development.
The Chairman of Council also urged Andoni people to guard against vandalization and theft of the facilities that have been put in place for their betterment.
He further admonished the people of Andoni in particular, and Rivers people in general, to support the good work the Governor has come to do despite distraction from some politicians in the state who do not mean well for the people.

By: Bethel Toby

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