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NGO Urges Journalists To Amplify Success Stories In N’Delta

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A non-governmental organisation known as Search for Common Ground has appealed to media practitioners to amplify success stories in the Niger Delta to propel development in the region.
This is as the organisation has also urged Nigerian journalists to avoid spreading fake information that can put the country in danger.
The Head of Office/Programme Implementation of the organisation in the Niger Delta, Yacinthe Agbagadjan, gave the charge on the sidelines of a five-day training programme for journalists in Warri, Delta State, last Monday.
Tagged ‘Common Ground Journalism Training (CGJT)’, the training programme was anchored on community-based approach to curb criminality in the Niger Delta region through responsive reportage.
It was organised by the Community Centred Approach To Transforming Criminality And Violence In Niger Delta, in collaboration with its implementing partners, Foundation Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND), Stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN) and Academic Associates Peace Works, and funded by the European Union.
Agbagadjan said the organisation’s mission was to ensure that the right information are sent out to the public by media practitioners.
He said, “We want visibility and the right information sent out to the public.
“Peace journalism is reporting what is responsive. All of you are our ambassadors, so avoid any kind of mistake or error in your reportage that would affect the image and reputation of Search for Common Ground. We expect that you communicate more and give visibility on everything that Search for Common Ground is doing in the Niger Delta.
“For this project, we want to work closely with you to increase visibility and the community communication around the project, and as such, expect all the actors, including donors, humanitarian and development partners, to know more about what we are achieving in Niger Delta, the success we are recording and to also learn more about the realities and the context of Niger Delta. It is only then that they can come to form or support or initiate a new project in Niger Delta as well as address all other issues.”
Agbadadjan emphasised that peace building is neither a one-day action nor one-person action, but requires everyone’s positive approach to report responsively.
“We need everybody’s hand to be on deck in peace building, community and criminality prevention.
“Our expectation is to have your full attention, presence, contribution, so that by the end of this training, you should have a better understanding of the activities of Search for Common Ground in the Niger Delta”, he said.
Speaking earlier during the workshop, the Mass Media And Information Management Coordinator of the organisation, Mr Sunny Dada, stated that the training programme was meant to adopt correct community approach of interventionist from bottom-to-top instead of top-to-bottom approach to enable information trickle down to the generality of the people at the grass roots.
Dada noted that a lot of issues such as violence, criminality, including oil bunkering, cultism, piracy, intercommunal conflicts and clashes, among others, were under reported.
He also noted that women and youths in the Niger Delta were not being carried along in peace and development process, adding that despite their systematic marginalization, many women and youths have continued to mobilise for peace and development.
“Search for Common Ground is the major partner and has the objectives to empower diverse community actors to address social exclusion, lack of economic opportunity, and environmental degradation.
“Young women and men, especially at-risk and marginalised youths, will be empowered to make their voices heard in their communities and be resilient to call for violence and criminality”, he said.
On his part, the National Media Specialist for Search For Common Ground, Mr Temisan Etietsola, while discussing on ‘My Identity: Using the Identity Flower’, explained the multiple facets of identity, adding that humans’ identities are complex, but in spite of these complexities, humans share some common analogies.
He said, “Adversarial and collaborative humans naturally are competitive, but we should also try to see that a win-win approach to situation is always good. I’m a winner or loser situation always ends up with one side feeling offended or not satisfied, so ensure you always work towards building trust so that you are able to collaborate with each other better.”
Etietsola advised that no one should see him or herself as an adversary, but should see themselves as allies in building peace to have a conflict-free society.

By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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Niger Delta

Community Lauds NDDC, Cleric On Project Execution

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Ayama Community of Gbarain Clan, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has joined the league of communities which have been lit-up by the solar-powered street light projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The community has praised the successful completion of the project, while also thanking the Managing-Director/CEO of the commission, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, and the entire management of the interventionist agency for considering the community amongst many others which have benefitted from the ongoing projects being executed by the commission across the Niger Delta region.
The Tide learnt this, Sunday, while speaking with the Ayama Community leadership during a tour of select communities across Bayelsa State which have been impacted by the NDDC’s “Operation Light Up Niger Delta”.
Speaking with newsmen, the trio of the paramount ruler of the community, HRH Kawari Apina-Owei, his Deputy, HRH Jeremiah Selesai, and Chairman, Community Development Committee (CDC), Comrade Geseye Apina-Owei, commended the NDDC Management for not only awarding the project to the community, but for also awarding it to a contracting firm, Doncont Nig.Ltd, who, according to them, delivered the project timely and within specifications.
Ayama is one of the communities in the twin clans of Gbarain/Ekpetiama oil and gas hub of the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the State.
“Some relief came our way when the NDDC awarded the solar-powered street lights to this community. This is the first time we’re feeling the impact of the leadership and management of the NDDC from inception.
“We thank the Manging-Director/CEO of the NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, and the entire management of the Commission for remembering our community, Ayama, in the award of this solar light project.
“Before now, we’ve been in total darkness, and so snakes and other dangerous reptiles were roaming at night. We couldn’t move at night before the execution of this solar light project once it’s night in this community, but now from here to Okotiama, Ogboloma we can move at anytime of the night.
“This is the first NDDC project this community is benefitting. As we speak, we don’t have water, no health facility, no good school. We also need internal roads in this community.
“We call on the NDDC management led by Dr Samuel Ogbuku, the hardworking MD/CEO of the NDDC, to reconsider this community on these other infrastructure we don’t have”, the community said.
The trio, who also expressed their appreciation to the Vicar, St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Ayama, Rev. Paul Edidi, described him as God sent, noting that the clergy facilitated the award of the project by the NDDC to the community when they least expected.
“We also want to thank God for the life of Rev. Paul Edidi, who facilitated the award of this project by the NDDC to our community. Rev. Edidi is God sent to our community.
“We thank the contractor, High Chief Osigwe Bayefa, of Doncont Nig.Ltd for the timely execution of this project according to specifications.
“We’ll continue to pray that whenever the NDDC want to award other projects it should consider Doncont Nig. Ltd and High Chief Osigwe Bayefa, the contractor for this solar project for doing a great job”, the community added.
Similarly, in separate interviews, the Chairman, Gbarain/Ekpetiama Rural Development Authority (RDA), Hon.Tolumona Engedefa, the community’s Woman Leader, Mrs Kuro Apina-owei, and the community’s Youth President, Comrade Mieyeseigha Selesai, reiterated the resolve of the community towards continuous cooperation with contractors of the NDDC and others in the future for timely execution of projects in the community.
They emphasized that the seamless execution of the solar-powered project by the contractor was a direct result of the community’s cooperation and readiness to partner for development.
On their part, Rev. Paul Edidi, who the community described as facilitator for the award of the project, and Prof. Benjamin Teibowei, Senior lecturer, Bayelsa State Medical University (BMU), Yenagoa, have described the NDDC management headed by Dr Samuel Ogbuku as a committed institution with willingness to fasttrack the developmental processes of the Niger Delta region.
The duo noted that the award of the project by the NDDC to the community which they alleged do not have any known political or economic heavy weight to lobby a project of that magnitude to, has again demonstrated that the commission under the stewardship of Ogbuku was in for a paradigm shift.
In the same vein, the Operations Manager of the contracting firm, Doncont Nig. Ltd, Mr Pereowei Bayefa, who spoke on behalf of High Chief Osigwe Bayefa, Chairman Board of Trustees, Doncont Nig.Ltd, has said the firm was noted for executing projects within specifications and timelines, thanking the NDDC and the community for the confidence reposed on the firm.

By: Community Lauds NDDC, Cleric On Project Execution

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No Failed Accreditation Record In UNICAL – Registrar

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The Registrar of University of Calabar, (UniCal), Mr Gabriel Egbe, has said the institution had no record of failed accreditation.
Egbe, in a statement on behalf of the university’s management, was reacting to a warning allegedly made by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in a publication.
He said the alleged warning was over the accreditation of engineering courses in the university.
According to the Registrar, the title of the alleged publication credited to COREN is “Get Properly Accredited or Risk Blacklisting, Engineering Council warns UniCal, Adamawa Varsity”.
The Registrar noted that the publication was untrue and also wondered why COREN should allegedly be credited with such publication.
He stressed that this was more pertinent as COREN was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring professional accreditation of Engineering programmes in Nigerian Universities.
According to him, when COREN’s agitation for professional accreditation last came up, the professional body was duly informed that the National Universities Commission (NUC) must first conduct its accreditation before any professional body.
Egbe said this was in line with the established procedure.
“In November 2023, NUC visited the institution for accreditation of all programmes that were due for the exercise including programmes in the five departments of the faculty of Engineering.
“The result of that exercise is still being awaited. The University has no record of failed accreditation with its engineering programmes as COREN is making people believe.
“It is on the strength of the outcome that COREN will be officially invited by the university to come for its professional accreditation.
“If COREN feels that it cannot wait for the NUC results then it should write to the University like other professional bodies are doing, giving us dates for their visits”, he said.
The Registrar asserted that using the public space to promote a campaign of ill-will and damage to the name of UniCal under the guise of rolling out a recommendation at its 181st Ordinary Council Meeting was not acceptable.
He called for caution from COREN adding that as a professional body they should be more concerned with promoting and nurturing their would-be professionals.

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Niger Delta

Vet Praises Diri, Predecessor On Functional Hospital

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The Principal Veterinary Officer, Bayelsa State Ministry of Agriculture/Medical Director of the state-owned Veterinary Hospital, Yenagoa, Dr Maxwell Philips, has commended the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, for his desire to continuously improve health infrastructure across the state.
Dr. Philips, who also lauded the Governor’s predecessor, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, for his foresight in establishing the hospital, described the two leaders as worthy Ambassadors of the Medical and Health profession.
He gave the commendations Tuesday during an interview with newsmen in Yenagoa, the state capital, during an assessment tour of the animal health infrastructure.
According to him, upon the establishment of the facility, through its awareness and sensitization activities, more members of the public, especially owners of pets and farm animals, have become more aware of the importance of animals’ health in connection with their personal health.
The Veterinarian noted that from 2014 to date when the facility was established, the hospital has attended to over 4000 registered patients (animals).
It would be recalled that the Bayelsa State Governor’s predecessor in 2014 built a Veterinary hospital in the Edepie axis of Yenagoa, the state capital.
The animal health Doctor, who also described the facility as the biggest and first state-owned veterinary hospital in the entire South-South zone, warned unsuspecting members of the public against the consumption of meat produced from uninspected and unapproved abattoirs in the state.
According to him, this became necessary because about 90% human diseases were contracted from animals, saying also that humans obtain over 80% of their food stuffs from animals, hence the need to thread with caution in the patronage of abattoir operators.
“Animals serve as pets and foods, so people need to be very careful in their relationships with animals, especially when these animals are sick or bought for consumption.
“In Bayelsa State, there’re currently only two Government approved abattoirs. One is the Bayelsa Palm abattoir, while the other is the Swali ultra-modern market abattoir. We want to advise against meat patronage from uninspected and unapproved abattoirs in the state.
“Veterinary Drs from the state-owned Veterinary hospital visit the Swali and Bayelsa Palm abattoirs on daily basis as early as 6am for inspection of the health statuses of animals and give approval if certified fit for human consumption before they’re butchered for sale around 7am”, he said.
He continued that “it’ll interest you to note that as a direct result of the importance the Government places on establishing this facility, the Bayelsa State College of Health Technology, Otuogidi, during the past one year has been bringing its students of the Department of Public Health for studies on animal health and diseases to this hospital.
“And, currently, the Niger Delta University’s (NDU) Faculty of Pharmacy has also made an arrangement with the management of the hospital in which it would be bringing its students to under study animal pharmacy in this facility.
“So, the effort the Government of the state has put in building this veterinary hospital is yielding very positive result. We thank His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri, Governor of the state, for his commitment and dedication towards ensuring that this hospital remains functional”, he added.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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