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Political autonomy: Ogonis launch National Identification Card.

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Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

The Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority (OCIA) has commenced issuance of Ogoni National Identification Card as part of its documentation policy for its political autonomy, saying no National ID is Superior.

The ID card which was distributed to more than 40 Provincial Leaders (Governors) of acclaimed Ogoni Nation, also possessed security codes, colours and imprints depicting the natural resources, weallth, and patriotism of the Ogoni people.
United States based President of OCIA, Dr Goodluck Diigbo in his remark via Skype in Bori, Khana Local Government Area in Rivers State, said the ID Card is focused on the people of Ogoni.

“This is a national identification card that gives the Ogoni people a solid sense of affinity, the ID Card project underscores our internal relationship; as it confidently conveyed a visible representation of kingship.

“Thus, the ID affirms our assertion that all of us, the people of Ogoni; indivisibly belong to this Distinct Ogoni Nation (DON),” he said.

Discribing the ID card issuance as timely, Diigbo said that the respect attached to an ID Card and its value paint a picture of an orderly, well-organized, and accountable society.

“The Ogoni National Identification Card is a confirmation that we are not strangers, observers or spectators in our land, but active citizens, ambassadors and stakeholders.

“By bearing the ID Card, we have pledged allegiance that we are here as custodians and defenders of our Great Ogoni Nation,” he added.

The President also noted that the Authority had funded 62.5 per cent cost on procurement to ensure affordability of the ID card.

According to him, the Ogoni National Identification Card would serve multiple purposes covering; Identification, Verification, Business registration and form of license.

Others are, Entry pass and Right to contest for political offices within the provinces of the Ogoni Central Indegenous Authority (OCIA).

He charged the locals to start operating their businesses using the Ogoni Nation ID card.
“You can now open your own business in your name without any formal business registration. All you will need is your ID Card number on your sign post,” Diigbo said.

Meanwhile, some recepients of the ID card applauded the President for the achievement, which they said has given them a sense of autonomy.

Mr Ezekiel Aji, Leader (Governor) of Eleme Province and Mrs Sorbarise Nwidum of Teyork Province were amongst beneficiaries.

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ASUU decries FG’s failure to implement demands twenty months after

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By Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has cried out that after 20 months of the suspension of their last strike that lasted for about 8 months, the Federal Government has not addressed any of their grievances that led to the strike.

The Chairman of ASUU, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) Chapter,Comrd Darlington Chima Uzoma disclosed this Tuesday in a press briefing shortly after a Special Congress of the Union, comprising Parents, students and other stakeholders at the University campus, Choba, Rivers State.

According to him, the FG only paid lip service to the contentious issues that triggered off the last ASUU strike.

“It is sad to note that over twenty months after the suspension of the last strike,the Federal Government has only paid lip-service towards addressing those core issues that led to the strike ab initio and others that emanated from the strike,” the Chairman said.

He itemised the grievances to include, funding for the revitalisation of public universities,based on FGN-ASUU Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of 2012, 2013 and Memorandum of Action(MOA) of 2017, replacement of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll  Information System (IPPIS) with University Transparent and Accountability Solution (UTAS), payment of promotion arrears to promoted professors. Others, he said, include, payment of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) and amendment of the National Universities Commission (NUC) Act to check proliferation of public universities, without adequate funding for the existing ones, among others.

Comrd Uzoma said the situation is more worrisome that attempts by the National leadership of ASUU to have an audience with the President to find solutions to these pending issues have yielded no result.

The Chairman however said that as intellectuals, they will never be tired of agitating for the government’s improved commitment to sustaining quality education, knowing the fact that quality education is indispensable for the development of the economy.

ASUU decried the paltry 7 percent budgetary  allocation to education in 2024, as against the UNESCO benchmark of 20 percent, when the ruling class are busy sending their children abroad to enjoy quality education.

The ASUU chairman also pointed out that salaries of lecturers have not been reviewed in the last 15 years, despite the galloping inflation and untold hardship inflicted on Nigerians by successive governments.

He said the essence of the Special Congress was to inform the stakeholders that the federal government has neglected all the grievances that led to their last strike. This, he said, may result in another round of industrial disharmony in our public universities and the Federal Government should be held responsible if that happens.

Comrd Uzoma said ASUU interprets this as a deliberate attempt by the Federal Government to take university education out of the reach of the children from poor backgrounds.

“There seems to be a deliberate attempt by the ruling class to take university education out of the reach of the children of the common man by decimating the public universities to favour private universities of which they control ownership and where the common man cannot afford the exorbitant fees,” ASUU alleged.

Highlight of the Congress was a protest rally by ASUU members to register their dismay at the attitude of the Federal Government towards education.

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We’ve turned Delta into a construction zone — Oborevwori

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By Dave Okpogadie, Asaba

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State has said that his administration had turned the state into a huge construction zone, and his emergence as Governor had the divine touch of God.

Governor Oborevwori stated this at the first anniversary thanksgiving of his administration held at Living Faith Church, Ibusa Road, Asaba on Sunday.

The Governor said that, in spite of the strident opposition he faced as an aspirant and eventually flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2023 governorship poll in the state as typified by 38 legal challenges to his aspiration, his administration had turned the state to a potent construction site with a total of 317 projects across the state.

He said that out of the 317 road projects, 76 of them, spanning 171.49km and 85.30km length of drains, were initiated by his administration in the last one year, adding that his government had turned the entire state to a huge construction site.

Governor Oborevwori said; “A few days from now we shall commence the inauguration of some of these roads and other projects in other sectors for the world to see what we have accomplished in the last one year by the grace of God.”

“The past one year has been one of trials and triumphs, tests and testimonies and adversity and hope; through it all God has been very faithful.”

He commended his wife, his Deputy, his predecessors, former Governors Ifeanyi Okowa and Emmanuel Uduaghan, the National and State House of Assembly, the judiciary, Civil Service, Security Agencies, spiritual, traditional and political leaders for their support and unflinching loyalty, saying, “together we shall build Delta State of our dreams.”

Noting that the PDP governorship primary election of 2022 was the most keenly contested in the history of the state, he acknowledged that without the divine touch of God, he would not have been elected governor.

According to him, “There are several reasons for the thanksgiving, starting from the PDP gubernatorial primaries of 2022. I could sense the finger of God in my victory.”

“From the pool of eminently qualified aspirants and in what was clearly the most contested governorship primaries in the history of Delta State, I emerged winner by a wide margin.

“But, like I have always said, my emergence as the PDP governorship candidate for the 2023 general election was a product of divine choice.

“For, as the scriptures eloquently testifies, the race is not for the swift, nor the battle for the strong, neither yet bread to the wise nor yet riches to men of understanding nor yet favour of men of skill but time and chance happened to them all.

“The above scripture best captured my emergence and enthronement as Governor of Delta State. My victories at the primaries and general election were greeted with an avalanche of litigations that threatened to subvert God’s will.

“The state and the nation were shocked when I disclosed that I contended with 38 different lawsuits from persons determined to stop me, but in all, God saw me through.

“Looking back, I am reminded of Psalm 34:19 which said that many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivered him out of them all. This scripture describes the trials and temptations that I faced while the court cases lasted till January 19, 2024.”

The Governor, who gave glory to God for the successes recorded by his administration in the last one year, said his government had surpassed expectations and confounded his critics by keeping faith with his pledge to advance Delta State in all aspects of social economic development.

In a sermon, the State Mission Overseer of Living Faith Church, Pastor Adekunle Shiyanbade, said the only way up was giving regular thanks to God.

Pastor Shiyanbade said King David in the Bible excelled because he was a pathfinder in thanksgiving, while King Nebuchadnezzar was dethroned by God because he ascribed his victory to himself.

He commended Governor Oborevwori for deciding to thank God as his administration clocked one year and urged him not to relent in maintaining cordial relationship with God.

The cleric outlined the seven wonders of thanksgiving to change of level, divine preservation, multiplication, divine intervention, access to divine secrets, change of condition and favour.

Present at the thanksgiving were his deputy Sir Monday Onyeme, two former governors of the state, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan. Others include former deputy governors, Chief Benjamin Elue and Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Arthur Akpowowo, members of the National Assembly, Hon Thomas Ereyitomi, Hon Jonathan Ukodhiko, Hon Nnamdi Ezechi, Hon Benedict Etanabene and former House of Rep. Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.

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Rivers to fund N222bn approved Trans-Kalabari road project with IGR

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By Barth Ndubuwah, Port-Harcourt

The Rivers State Executive Council has approved the award of contract for the construction of the main Trans-Kalabari Road project at the cost of N222.1billion.

The approval was given Wednesday during its meeting, presided over by Governor Siminalayi Fubara, and attended by his Deputy, Prof Ngozi Odu, and other members of Council at Government House.

Briefing journalists after the Council meeting, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Warisenibo Joseph Johnson, said the project will be funded with savings from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Hon Johnson stated that 30 percent mobilisation fee has already been paid for the project that has a completion period of 32 months, adding that the contractor is expected to mobilise to site immediately.

“We have awarded a contract to the tune of N222,114,563,830.2 kobo only for the commencement of the Trans-Kalabari Road. This is the main Trans-Kalabari Road. The one that had happened in the past was building of bridges.

“But here, we are doing a Trans-Kalabari Road that is going to run from NSS Pathfinder immediately after Mgbuodohia Community and extends to about 2 KM to the Aker Base Road in Rumuolumeni Community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

 ”That road will pass through the swamps behind the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education in Rumuolumeni, moving southwards towards the first bridge crossing. The road continues through a series of bridges. That road will run, connecting many communities up to Tombia Town.

“That project will be completed in 32 months, and we are paying from our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). We are not going to be borrowing money for that project.

“That is about the third phase is generating fund internally for our road projects without going anywhere to borrow money,” the Commissioner said.

Hon. Johnson pointed out that the contractual sum of N222.1billion is bigger than what is being spent on the Port Harcourt Ring Road project.

“This is because the Trans-Kalabari Road is traversing very difficult terrain of swamp and across rivers and creeks upon which a series of bridges, decking and piling works will be executed.”

The Information Commissioner said the State has recorded some giant strides in the sporting sector with Rivers United defeating Katsina United 4-2 to become champions of the maiden Nigeria Premier Football League U17 Youth League.

“And we also came first in the Male and Female National Beach Volleyball competition. While the male team emerged as first, the female clinched second position.

“We also came tops in the National Open Chess Competition. We have our daughter, Queen Dan Jumbo, she came first and was the best women player.

“On the National Open Table Tennis Championship, Rivers State came first, with 3 gold medals and best overall team.”

Hon. Johnson also said that Rivers Hoppers Basketball Club has also qualified for the final phase of the NBA competition in Kigali, Rwanda.

“It’s actually an exploit we’ve made on the continent. We came top and the team will be here from the 24th May to 1st of June for us to face Rwanda,” he explained.

In her briefing, the acting Director General of Rivers State Bureau of Public Procurement (RSBOPP), Dr. Ine Briggs, explained that the Bureau diligently managed the proceedings leading to the award of the contract.

“Having reviewed the submissions of the Ministry of Works; having examined all the supporting documents presented by the ministry; having fulfilled all the necessary procurement procedures, guidelines as prescribed by the Rivers State Public Procurement Law 2008 as amended.

“Having satisfied that the value for money proposition, fitness for purpose, value for money has been adhered to. Having been convinced that this project will stimulate economic activities socially and bring about development in these areas, the Bureau is satisfied that all the elements leading to this award are sufficient to issue a certificate of no objection.

“Therefore, in consideration of all the relevant documents submitted by the Ministry of Works pursuant and the construction of Trans-Kalabari Road and bridges, the Bureau has issued the certificate of no objection, and that the contract be awarded to Lubrick Construction Company Limited,” she posited.

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