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Rivers

Palliatives: Cleric Wants More Attention For Physically Challenged Persons

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The Dean of Rivers State Ecumenical Centre, Prof Felix Ekiye, has tasked the Rivers State palliative sharing committee to look more in the direction of physically challenged persons in the sharing of the palliatives.
He said this in an interview with The Tide on the sidelines of a programme organised by “Lucky Star Foundation” to distribute palliatives to some physically challenged persons in Port Harcourt.
Lucky Star Foundation is a non-governmental organisation owned by Taribo Kayode Gege, a physically challenged person.
Ekiye said physically challenged persons need more attention from the government than other members of the society.
“I am not too happy that those who are giving all these are handicapped and disabled, they are not strong.
“My only concern is that let the government look at them and give them what they want.
“Some need scholarships, some need skills aquisition, some want shop where they can sell”, he said.
The cleric, who expressed his sympathy to the physically challenged persons in the society, urged those in charge of palliatives to carry them along in the sharing process.
“My concern is the palliatives they are sharing through local Government chairmen. I hear they are members of the committee, they should remember them in their Communities.
“Sincerely, some of them are married. They have husbands and wives”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Director of Lucky Star Foundation, Mr Gege, said his vision is to end the culture of begging among members of the physically challenged community.
He said to this end, he is planning a skill aquisition programm for over five hundred of them next year.
Gege said the palliative distribution was in line with the desire of the foundation to put smiles on the faces of those living with disabilities in the state.
“Today is set aside for persons with special needs to put smiles on their faces.
“Lucky Star Foundation is visionary, pragmatic, resourceful and results-oriented.
“It was founded on 25th September 2022 through God’s inspiration, for the purpose of ending street begging in Rivers State, and to empower them to full capacity of self-reliance through gainful skills training on 14th December 2023.
He said the foundation is soliciting financial support from both the Rivers State Government and philanthropists to enable it achieve its desires.
Gege said the foundation will not rest on its oars until the potentials in persons with disabilities are fully harnessed for the good of the society.
More than 500 physically challenged persons benefitted from the distribution exercise.
Items distributed include cartoons of indomie noodles, meat pies, cartoons of soft drink and others.

By: John Bibor & Mercy Nobert

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Rivers

Environmentalist Urges RSG to Revive Sanitary Officers

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Founder and Coordinator of the Street Neighbourhood Marshals and Volunteers, Sodin Akiaba, has urged the Rivers State Government to engage fresh personnel as Environmental and Health Officers in the State.
While speaking at the weekend on a live radio programme, “Viewpoint”, in Port Harcourt, Akiaba said many Environmental Health Officers have retired while others have aged.
He explained that the state needed a new environmental policy that will reflect the current growing population and urbanisation in the metropolis.
Listing the benefits of having environmental health officers, he argued that such personnel will help in improving sanitation in both rural and urban areas.
“As much as I know, government has not employed sanitary Officers in the past 15 years, and that is not going to help. I will advise government to employ new ones and this will improve sanitation in the state”, Akiaba said.
The head of the Sanitation Marshals stated that environmental health is key to the wellbeing of the people, and explained that the organisation was established during the tenure of former Governor Peter Odili to provide support in cleaning and improving environmental health.
Decrying the poor attitude of the public in disposing waste, Akiaba suggested need for stringent enforcement of laws to serve as deterrent to those who flout the laws.
He stressed need for sensitisation and enlightenment of the public on proper waste management, saying this will reduce indiscriminate waste disposal, assuring that the Sanitation Marshals were established as volunteers to close the gaps in poor waste management.
Urging more people to volunteer as members of the body, Akiaba stated that it was not a paid job but rather a selfless contribution to improve the environment and health of the society.
The body, he further stated, was planning to organise awards and recognition among streets and public agencies that kept their environment clean.

Kevin Nengia

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Rivers

Environmental Society Honours Fubara

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The Rivers State Chapter of the Nigerian Environmental Society has bestowed on the State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, the Environmental Appreciation Award as part of the celebration of the 2024 World Environment Day, and successful presentation of the First Distinguished Lectures Series, which was delivered by the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Prof. Ngozi Nma Odu.
Chairman, Rivers State Chapter of the Society, Sir Daminabo Amos Atuboyedia, who gave the commendation, said the programme was very successful and the turnout was overwhelming, because of the love and support the Society received from the Governor.
According to him, all the environmental practitioners in the State were present to deliberate on the Marine and Blue Economy to the Industrialisation of Rivers State, and discussions were held on what can be done to better the State at the event.
This was contained in a statement by the Head of Press, Deputy Governor’s Office, Owupele Benebo.
Atuboyedia also commended Fubara for what RIWAMA was doing in evacuating wastes on roads, stressing that everyone could see the improvement in that sector.
“As environmental professionals, we want the sustainability of our environment in Rivers State to be strong, because when our environment is conducive, everyone will feel it.
“If we take care of our environment, people living in Rivers State will enjoy the State, because they have clean environment where they can breathe fresh air. So, we thank him.
“You can see that black soot has reduced drastically, everyone can attest that it is no longer rampant as it used to be, all these are efforts of the present Government on ground”, he said.
Also speaking, the immediate past Chairman of the society, Dr. Kingsley Nwogbidi, said the society has received tremendous support from the Fubara-led administration, which manifested during the celebration of the 2024 World Environment Day, and called for greater collaboration with stakeholders.Environmental Society
Honours Fubara

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Rivers

Commissioner Seeks Team Work Among Staff

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The Rivers State Commissioner, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Hon. Prince Charles E.O Bekee, has charged the staff of the ministry to work as a team in the discharge of their duties.
Giving the charge recently during a meeting he held with staff in his office, he said “the objective of the meeting was to educate and let them know that the only way to move the Ministry of Local Government Affairs in the state to an enviable height was by collective cooperation from the staff, adding that as children of God they should hold God firm and shun gossip, backbiting, do their work, and allow the will of God to prevail”.
The Commissioner explained that as civil servants, especially staff of the ministry, they should see themselves as the light of the ministry, and abide by the rules by being punctual to their duty post and make transparency and a countability their watchword.
This, he said, was to project the image of the ministry and the administration of the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, in the State.
He declared that for him to be in the ministry as a Commissioner, God has a purpose, same for staff working in the ministry, urging them not to misuse the opportunity given to them by taking things for granted because none of them read Ministry of Local Government Affairs as a course in the university.
The Local Government Affairs boss, who noted that coming together was the beginning, said “staying together is progress, and working together is success”.
He, therefore, appealed to all the staff to cleanse themselves of all acrimony and discharge their duties effectively and efficiently, “because the Ministry of Local Government Affairs is a very sensitive ministry that determines the activities of the 23 Local Government Areas of the state”.
Bekee further urged them to be open to bring to his office rational criticisms that will promote and enhance the welfare of the ministry.
In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dame Itong Awani, thanked the Commissioner for his commitment and zeal to change the negative narrative of the Ministry, and assured him that the staff of the ministry will give him the maximum support to enable him succeed.
She also appealed to the staff to be diligent in their duties.

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