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Residents, Motorists Decry Failing Eleme Axis Of East-West Road

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The deplorable state of the East-West Road has compelled residents and commuters travelling through Aleto-Alesa section in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State to raise the alarm.
Many of them are describing the route as a death trap.
Some of them who spoke with The Tide Metro lamented the deplorable condition of the road, calling on the relevant authorities to act quickly to save them the agony of travelling through that section of the road.
One resident, who gave his name as Godknows Osaro regretted that for 15 years, the road has been in that bad shape, explaining that the failed section of the East-West Road, which is connected by a bridge from Eleme to Port Harcourt, is stressed by the weight of several vehicles including heavy duty trucks belonging to companies there traversing it.
Said Osaro, “Multinational companies are operating in Eleme. The high degree of vehicular movement is due to the presence of multinational companies. In Onne, we have Nigerian Ports Authority, Chevron, and Nigerian Customs, among others. In Eleme, we have
the refinery, and the biggest fertilizer producing company in West Africa, Indorama Petrochemicals.”
“That failed section of the East-West Road is a death trap to humans. On a daily basis, people die; either a container falls on a vehicle or failed vehicles run into the river.”
Osaro said the state of the road is near “comatose”, as he highlighted some factors responsible for the deplorable situation.
“The very first reason why that road is still like that is bad leadership both at the federal and state levels. Rivers State is regarded as the best State because of the presence of crude oil, and the centralisation of the multinationals.”
“Both past and present administrations failed to realise the importance of that road and the plight of the people, not just the company staff members, but the business people and market women.”
He noted the issue of poor community relations, asserting that companies in that axis should have taken the reconstruction of the failed section as a corporate social responsibility since their vehicles are commuting there on a daily basis.
“What they have been doing over time is a remedial work; some parches which can only bear for months”.
He believed that some of these companies can come together and fix the road because they are the major commuters of the road.”
Osaro blamed the communities for failing to draw the attention of the government and multinationals to their plight, noting that inducements, which are mostly handouts to these community leaders by the companies, have remained a major cog in the wheel of mobility for development.
“Many community leaders’ children are outside the country and so they are not bothered about what is happening; whether people are dying on a daily basis; not looking at the common good of the road.”
He recalled that last year, while Senator Godswill Akpabio was Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, the contract for reconstruction of the East-West Road was awarded, but alleged that some selfish politicians frustrated the efforts of the contractor to mobilise to site.
The Tide Metro learnt that the contract for reconstruction of the road has been awarded to RCC for full commencement of work on that road, but the problem is that the rate of the work is too slow.
Speaking also on the issue, an indigene of Akpajo who preferred anonymity, said the road has been like that since she was born, stressing that “till now,
nothing has been done. My mum cannot go to Agbonchia to sell because too many times she has been involved in different accidents”.
A market woman, who also pleaded anonymity, begged the relevant authorities to come to their aid, saying that “there’s never a day that road does not get busy. I have tried leaving my house as early as 4am so that I don’t have to encounter traffic on my way to the market because it can be so tiring”.
“But hoodlums have taken advantage of the damaged road to snatch people’s phones and bags. I don’t know what or which one to even complain about”, she said.

By: Kevin Nengia

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Illegal Refineries : Rivers NSCDC Parades Suspects, Impounds Vehicles

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The Anti-Vandal Unit of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Rivers State Command has arrested five suspects for their alleged involvement in illegal petroleum products.
Briefing newsmen at the Command Headquarters in Port Harcourt, the State Commandant, Basil Igwebueze hinted that the command under his watch will continue to fight relentlessly the activities of illegal oil bunkerers in the State.
He relayed that it is high time the perpetrators turned a new leaf by engaging in legal ventures instead of engaging in sabotaging the nation’s economy.
Igwebueze said the arrests were made in different locations across the State, noting that the five suspects named: Abdulrasheed Nuhu a male, 25years; Hussaini Ciroma, a male, 24years; Shamsudeen Umar, a male, 23years; Al-Amina Ismaila(M), 19years; Ibrahim Usman, male and 23years, were arrested at Alesa-Eleme-Okrika road, Eleme Local Government for laying galvanised pipes close to NNPC/PPMC line/right of way. The suspects were caught with some galvanised pipes to be connected and used for tapping crude oil.
Preliminary investigation report however revealed that the suspects carried out the act with the intention of siphoning petroleum products from the pipeline at late hours of the night.
The State Commandant said other arrests were made at East-West Road in Eleme LGA, Iwofe road, Rumuolumeni in Obio/Akpor LGA, Station Road, Water Font in Elelenwo Community, Okehi Town in Etche LGA, Location Flyover Mgbuoba Community, New Road off Ada George and Eagle Island Jetty, Port Harcourt.
Consequently, some vehicles were impounded that include Toyota Camry Car Lagos EJ297LSD with 1600 litres of AGO,and a red Mazda Saloon Car Lagos DN 30 APP while conveying 1,000 litres of AGO concealed in cellophane bags.
Also, a Toyota Sienna car with registration number Rivers NDN 797 GM conveying 2,500litres of AGO, together with a white tricycle bus with registration number BRR 553 XA conveying 500litres of AGO, together with a blue selica saloon car Rivers PHC 506 HK abandoned with 1,700 litres of AGO concealed in a cellophane bag.
Another blue and white coloured Volkswagen saloon car RIVERS PHC KNM 111 XA with 1,200 litres of AGO, a black Nissan Pathfinder Jeep RIVERS PHC 853 KK WITH 3,000 litres of AGO, a dark grey Volkswagen car RIVERS PBT 531 SY with 1,000 litres of AGO and a green colour Toyota Camry ABUJA ABJ 611 JN laden with 2,500 litres of AGO were all impounded same time.
The Command helmsman said that the suspects would be charged to court at the end of a thorough investigation while the contents and the mode of conveyance would be forfeited and proceeds remitted to Proceeds Of Crime Account (POCA).

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Body Takes Breast Cancer Awareness To PH Schools

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As the world marks Cancer Awareness Week from the February 4 annually, a non- governmental organisation (NGO), that labeled itself as Engraved Life Foundation has taken breast c ancer campaign to some schools in Port Harcourt.
So far, female students at Government Secondary School Orominike in D-line Port Harcourt and Community Secondary School at Nkpolu Oroworukwo were schooled on care and dangers of breast cancer.
The campaign covered special speeches, demonstrations and sharing of pads and accessories to the young female students aged between 12 -17 years old.
Rivers State Coordinator of the Engraved Life Foundation, Joy Roberts told The Tide Metro that the annual campaign had been over four years, and that the target this year was to reach 200,O00 students across three states of Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Lagos States.
“ So far this year in Rivers State, we have covered over 1,500 students and by the time we round up other schools of our target, the coverage will increase,” she said.
The target of the campaign she revealed is to “catch them early” – those young girls who may be vulnerable to Cancer.
Unfortunately, it’s not just Breast Cancer that is common among women. Cervical and womb cancer are also more prevalent among the female folk.
A medical doctor who joined the campaign, and who served as one of the spokeswomen, Dr. Stella Jerry said the campaign is very crucial at a time breast cancer has grown.
Dr. Jerry told the school girls to be on the alert of any changes, growth or pain in their breasts.
She related her experience years ago when she discovered a young girl of 13 years who had breast cancer.
In her words,” one of the things that put girls or women at risk is that they are black , because this kind of cancer is prevalent among black people.
“ And if you have any of your relatives with breast cancer either mother or aunty, that puts you at risk as well,” she declared.
The young medical doctor urged them to always feel their breasts for lumps or growth,” if you see any thing that is not part of the breast, please, talk to somebody or go to a health centre.”
For her, early detection is very important in the cure for cancer as she emphasised,” Breast cancer is treatable if it’s discovered early.”
Some of the students were excited after the lectures and told The Tide Metro that they will serve as ambassadors to the campaign.
Naomi Madufo, a Senior Secondary Three student of Orominike Girls said,” today I have learnt a lot, on how to care for my breasts and I will tell my sisters at home.”
Beatrice Egali, another student said her grandmum had been battling breast cancer and that from what she learnt, she would be more cautious and be on the watch out.

Kevin Nengia

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Bonny-Nembe-Bille Jetty Inferno: Frantic Search For Bodies …RSG Plans Fire Station At Waterfront

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Search for bodies of a driver and four passengers drowned last Monday during Bonny/Bille/Nembe waterfront fire outbreak has commenced, according to Chairman of the Maritime Workers, Comrade Israel Waribo Pepple.
He told The Tide Metro that the boats that were affected by the fire had been fully loaded with passengers and goods about to sail before the incident occurred.
According to him, the driver of the affected boat had not been found and they were still watching the tide to see if the drowned person(s) will float up from the depths of the river to the surface to ascertain the number of deaths.
Meanwhile, Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara says government will ensure that such incident does not occur again as it plans a fire service station at the waterfront.
Governor Fubara further expressed his determination to work with the operators of the jetty to streamline measures that will end the occurrence of these annual infernos in the area.
The governor gave the assurance through the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Tammy Danagogo, who represented him with top government officials on a visit to the scene of the inferno.
“Governor Fubara would have been here himself but was on another engagement. He has directed us to be here to get a first-hand report from us before he returns.”
“We have seen the situation on the ground. We have heard from the maritime workers’ chairman; the complaints and of course the recommendations he has made concerning a quick reaction time in terms of fire service response.”
“We will assess the situation in terms of what has been damaged; the building that has been completely burnt down, the damaged jetty and other items that were damaged. Be assured he will take every possible step to assuage your feelings and loss,” said Dr. Danagogo.

 

Kevin Nengia

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