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The Day Rivers Players Shone Brightest In Chess Open Championship

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Precisely from 20th – 24th April 2024 the attention of Nigeria Chess Federation ( NCF) was drawn to Port Harcourt the Garden City of Nigeria as it played host to the third edition of Naphtali Open Chess Tournament,

The five days competition was organised by Naphtali Chess Club, held at Vee Hotel, Trans Amadi ,in Port Harcourt and over 80 players in Nigeria had the opportunity to vie for honours, prizes and to showcase their talents in the tournament.

The championship was sponsored by Naphtali Physiotherapy and Wellness Clinic Ltd, and recognised by International Chess Federation (FIDE) with the view to rank chess players in the country.

The Championship was witnessed by huge crowd including notable chess players in the country, people from all walks of life, relatives and friends of the competitors.

The edition had an electrifying start as only eighteen (18) players emerged with a perfect score of 2/2 after the first two rounds, with only four players trailing by half a point.

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Categories that participated in the tournament were; Male, Female, Veteran and Teenage; all these have their different trophies and prizes at stake.

The atmosphere of the venue was captivated with excitement and can be compared to a Brazilian carnival as various fanfare took the stage while the tournament was on.

It was a keenly contested tournament because every player wants to make name for him/herself, most especially those competing for ranking.

There was absolute tranquility and concentrations in the midst of the fanfare as the competition was going on because chess required such serene environment.

One of the matches that drew much attention was between 16-year-old Ferdinand Tersee Nyiuma and seasoned player CM Omorere Benjamin. . The match saw a bold facing Tersee a resolute response from Benjamin .The game was breathtaking as both shared first position.

It was a clash of the titans between Rivers born Koko Obubele and IIouno Ikenna, both players displayed what could be described as top notch Chess artistry, showcasing skills and experience that saw Obubele , who eventually triumphed dubbed the “king of double knights’.

This win earned Obubele the coveted trophy even as both finished tops in the tournament.

It was another exciting and notable encounter between Emmanuel Idara and Dr. Onyekwere Donald, South-East representative of NCF Board. Despite Idara’s status as the top seed, Donald’s steadfast defense and calculated play denied his opponent a place at the summit.

In the female category Rivers State born Queen Dan-Jumbo, made an impressive performance as she emerged the best female player in the Open Championship.

Also special recognition was given to veteran participants, Dr. Apollos Akomaka also from Rivers and veteran female player Amadasun Rosemary, as they received the best veteran prizes.

It is worthy of note that Rivers State currently has the best chess players in Nigeria, following track records both in National Sports Festivals and National Competitions but it is worrisome that the game is not getting the desired attention as other Sports.

Consequently, the acting Chairman of Chess Association in the State, Dr. Appollos Akomaka has appealed to the Commissioner of Education in the State to make it mandatory for Chess to be included extracurricular activities of schools at all levels.

According to him, this will help to develop and promote the game at the grassroots level.

” Chess was a very easy game to play both the rich and poor can play but it requires commitment and determination to get to the peak. I personally started playing Chess as a teenager, it is good to start early.

“Honestly I am excited that I participated in the Open Chess Championship, and am also happy that I won the veteran category of the event”,Akomaka said.

Speaking shortly after the event the winner of the male category, Koko Obubele, said the victory did not come easily and noted that it was a very difficult competition but thanked God he won.

” I am really happy that I emerged the champion in the male category because most of the best chess players in Nigeria participated.

” Right now I am looking forward to international competitions because I have the zeal and talent.But want I really need is sponsorship that is the only way for me to excel and make Nigeria , especially Rivers State proud” Obubele said.

Koko Obubele, is one of the best Chess players in Nigeria, he has won several State and national championships, including West African Universities Games, National Sports Festivals, Shell Chess Championship etc.

Also speaking winner of the best female player award in the tournament Queen Dan-Jumbo , also expressed joy over her victory saying that her dream was to become a Chess Grand Master worldwide.

” I am happy that I won this championship this will spur me to do more and make Rivers State proud.

 

Tonye Orabere

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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