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Group Celebrates Ikwerre Cultural Day In PH

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The Ikwerre Day celebration organised by Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide last Saturday, at Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Rumuola, Port Harcourt, was successfully held and was declared open with a short prayer by Bishop Boms Chuks, the President of Ikwerre Gospel Ministers Fellowship.
In his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Eze Mike Elechi, the Chief Executive Officer of Vintage Farms and Products Limited, the President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture and the Head of Organised Private Sector in Rivers State, ably represented by Prince Charles Beke, appreciated members of Ogbakor Ikwerre for continuing the dreams of their fore-fathers in keeping their heritage intact.
He thanked everybody for maintaining the identity which speaks about the character of Ikwerre people, and urged the body to focus more on the economic visibility of the people and encourage entrepreneurship development by turning it into an economic hub where people can be trained to be economically viable. Eze Elechi advised Ogbakor Ikwerre to continue to be neutral in politics and that they will assist the leadership of Ogbakor Ikwerre to build another befitting Obiri Ikwerre.
The President General of Ogbakor Ikwerre, Eze Godspower Onuekwa, in his welcome address, described Ikwerre Day as “a bi-annual institutionalised cultural fiesta” and “a period of home-coming, cultural reflection and renewal among others, essentially designed to sustain and showcase our rich cultural heritage, identity and core values.” He also said that “it is intended to tell the world who we are, what we do, where we are, etc to ensure that we are relevant in the comity of ethnic nationalities.” He welcomed everyone to the epoch-making occasion, especially the “Ochi Ohnas” and other prominent sons of Ikwerre present.
In recognition of his contributions in Ikwerre land, Eze Onuekwa adopted one of the awardees, Prof. Allswell Osini Muzan, as an Ikwerre son.
The immediate past President General of Ogbakor Ikwerre, Prof. Emenike Wami was honoured with the position of Ochi Ohna Ikwerre XIV. In his acceptance speech, he promised to be a good ambassador of Iwhuruohna people and urged everybody to work harmoniously and support the current PG, Eze Godspower Onuekwa.
Among those honoured with awards were Rt Rev Blessing Enyindah; Barrister Emmanuel Mark; Miss Mary Kekwaru; Queen Immaculate Chimzi Osai; Amb. Goodnews Igali; and Prof Allswell Osini Muzan.
There was march past by the branches of Ogbakor Ikwerre and their cultural groups, except Esila branch that was very few in number and they did not come with any cultural group.
The occasion was also garnished with a wrestling competition. Idris Assor Kelachi, Ndubuisi Ogbonda and Godpower Dimkpa took the first, second and third positions respectively during the wrestling competition among the four branches of Ogbakor Ikwerre.
The Guest of Honour, His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who was represented by Engr. Emeka Woke, thanked Ikwerre people for their support when he was the Governor of Rivers State. He also appreciated them for their support during the 2023 general elections and promised to have a heart-to-heart discussion with members of Ogbakor Ikwerre very soon.
The President and members of Tiv community in Rivers State also sent their warmest greeting to Iwhuruohna people, expressing gratitude for the relationship between Tiv people of Benue State and the Ikwerre people of Rivers State which started many years ago. They maintained that they will continue to be peace-loving people and also sustain the relationship between them and Ikwerre people. As their name implies (the food basket of the nation), they donated 100 big yams to the occasion and thanked God for the success of the occasion.
Other dignitaries who graced the occasion were Senator Andrew Uchendu, the Chairman of the Governing Council, University of Port Harcourt; Prof. Aaron Ojule, former Chief Medical Director of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH); Prof. Chinedu Mmom, Commissioner of Education; CP Peter Wagbara (rtd), Nye Nwe Ali Elele-Alimini; Eze Chike Worlu Wodo, Eze Ohna Apara IV; the Chairman, Supreme Council of Government recognised Ikwerre Traditional Rulers; Emeritus Prof. Otonti Nduka, Ochi Ohna Ikwerre XI; Prof. Augustine Onyeozu, Ochi Ohna Ikwerre XIII, and others.
In his closing remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Prince Charles Beke condemned the absence of prominent Ikwerre sons and daughters at the Ikwerre Day celebration. He advised Iwhuruohna people not to put all their eggs in one basket and that they should not bring their brothers down in the name of politics.
The memorable event ended with several cultural displays from different groups.

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Niger Delta

Diri Suspends Twin Kingdom Youth Election 

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has directed the immediate suspension of the election of a new executive of the twin clans of Epie-Atissa, popularly referred to as the Oguan Youth Congress (OYC).
The Tide learnt that the Governor’s directive was sequel to the factional crisis that has engulfed the kingdom’s youth body, resulting in tension in the state capital, Yenagoa.
A statement made available to newsmen by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah, on Wednesday, noted that the Oguan Kingdom comprises 29 Epie and Atissa communities in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
The statement added that the suspension was indefinite, pending the resolution of the impasse by the State Government.
Alabrah also said the Governor has directed the police and other security agencies to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order as a result of the feud.
Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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Niger Delta

US Consulate Trains 25 Girls On STEM In Edo

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The U.S. Consulate says it is training 25 girls in underserved secondary schools in Edo State on STEM initiative (Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics).
The Tide’s source reports that the training is called the GirlLEAD STEM Talent Accelerator Programme, and was inaugurated recently.
Addressing the female students at the Benin City Window on America, in Benin, the Consul-General, US Consulate in Lagos, Will Steven, said  the programme was aimed at bridging the gender divide in STEM.
Stevens said:  “We want to see more of female founders in the tech space as well as doing well in STEM.
“Technology is one of the drivers of the Nigerian economy, and it holds a lot of opportunities for job creation.
“The job opportunities are there but not to be filled only by boys”.
According to him, the STEM programme prepares secondary school girls for possible scholarships in universities in the U.S. or for the students to continue in Nigeria universities or other universities in the world.
He also talked about the AI (Artificial Intelligence) conference to be organised in Lagos by the United States in collaboration with the Nigerian government.
He said the conference would encourage both countries to work together to talk about the framework as well as the safe environment for AI.
“We want to bring in AI training to the 27 American spaces across Nigeria”, he added.
Earlier, Dr. Georgina Erifeta, Director, Benin City Window on America, said the U.S. space had contributed to making the tech ecosystem in Edo to emerge as a major player in Nigeria’s tech landscape.
“By equipping young people with digital skills, we empower them to innovate, solve problems, and drive economic growth, fostering a brighter future for our community and beyond”, he said.
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Niger Delta

Impeachment: Security Operatives Take-over C’River Assembly Complex

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Security personnel have taken over the Cross River State House of Assembly complex, following the impeachment of the Speaker, Mr Elvert Anyambem, recently.
The Tide’s source  reports that the Speaker’s removal almost resulted in a clash between his supporters and other members of house.
The State Commissioner of Police, Gyogon Grimah, was sighted in the midst of other security personnel around the Assembly Complex.
Analysts say the presence of the security personnel is to forestall breakdown of law and order around the complex.
It would be recalled that the Speaker was impeached on Wednesday on grounds of  gross misconduct, high-handedness and misappropriation of funds.
Anyambem’s impeachment was carried out at a sitting of the Assembly in which he was presiding.
The impeachment notice was singed by 17 out of the 25 members of the Assembly.
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