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Edo Labour Party Suspends National Chairman, Julius Abure, For Alleged Anti-party Activities

National Chairman of Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure, has been suspended from the membership of the party in Ward 3 in Arue-Uromi, in Esan North-East Local Government Area of Edo State for alleged high-handedness and anti-party activities.

Abure’s suspension was consequent upon a rigorous deliberation by members of the ward who cited his “high-handedness and anti-party activities in the administration of the party and other myriads of allegations of fraud leveled against you, which are (currently) under investigation.”

A letter of suspension dated May 14, 2024, and another ketter of ratification dated May 15, 2024, both of which were ratified at a meeting of the state executive committee on Friday (May 24, 2024) night in Benin, stated that “while the suspension is with immediate effect, you are advised to restrain from holding out or parading yourself a a member of Labour p[arty, Ward 3, Arue, Uromi in Ean North-East LGA, Edo State.”

The letter of suspension was signed by the Ward Chairman, Thompson Ehiguese and Ward Secretary, Stanley Usiomoh.

The letter of ratification of his suspension, was forwarded to the State Executive Committee of the party through the State Chairman by the Local Government Chairman of the party in Esan North-East, Patrick Onogbeni and LGA Secretary, Ehikioya Eromosele.

Read the ketter: “Here forwarded to you and for your consideration is the ratification of the suspension of Comrade Barrister Julius Abure from the membership of Ward 3, Arue, Uromi, Ean North East LGA, Edo State.

“The LGA Executive met today, 15th of May, 2024 about 12 noon, to consider the matters presented on the suspension and accordingly found them weighty and the suspension ratified and upheld.”

The State Executive Committee endorsed the decisions of the Ward and Local Government Committee of the party at a well-attended meeting on Friday night in Benin.

The venue of the meeting was charged as leaders and members of the party chanted: “Abure must go!”

The State Executive Committee considered the letters, together with the issues contained therein, and ratified Abure’s suspension.

With the ratification of his suspension, the basis of his chairmanship of the party at the national level has been vitiated, and by implication, he stands suspended as the party’s national chairman.

Gombe Govt Approves Contracts For Gully Erosion Control, Road Projects, Others

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…As Govt Sets to Reticulate Malam Inna Water Project for Efficient Supply

Gombe State Executive Council (SEC) has approved contracts for gully erosion control and various road projects under Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya’s Network 1100 initiative.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner of Information and Culture, Mijinyawa Ardo Tilde, shortly after the 38th Executive Council meeting presided over by the Governor at the Council Chamber of the Government House.

According to a press release on Friday, 24th May 2024 signed by the Director-General (Press Affairs) Gombe Government House, Ismaila Uba Misilli, said that Hon. Tilde said the council ratified various projects, including building embankments along the Dogon Ruwa River to protect the town from erosion and flooding, and the gully erosion control project along the Nayinawa axis in Gombe Metropolis.

Shedding more light on the works approved under his ministry, the Commissioner for Works, Housing, and Transport, Engr. Usman Maijama’a Kallamu, explained that the approvals followed the washouts witnessed at various locations which threatened the integrity of the affected roads.

The roads involved in the repairs are: Todi-Tudu Kwaya Road in Billiri LGA, awarded at a contract sum of 839 million Naira, and Hina-Gwani East Road in Yamaltu Deba LGA, awarded at 754 million Naira. Both projects are to be completed in two months.

The council also approved the emergency construction of embankments along the Dogon Ruwa River in Kaltungo LGA due to severe erosion threatening lives and properties in Dogon Ruwa Town. The work was awarded to Datum Nig. Ltd at a sum of 1.6 billion Naira, and the contractor has already mobilized to the site.

The council appreciated the gesture by Triacta Nig Ltd for agreeing to construct an access road worth 1.2 billion Naira at the School of Nursing and Midwifery and EEC Nigeria Ltd who offered to construct a road and erosion control project worth 600 million Naira at Government Secondary School Dadinkowa in Yamaltu Deba as their Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR) for the Gombe people to complement Governor Inuwa’s infrastructural drive.

The council resolved to formally forward letters of appreciation to the two construction companies in response to their magnanimity.

He said “Construction works are still ongoing in all five upgraded Mega Schools across the state. In this respect, approval was given for the construction of an access road at Government Girls Secondary School, Doma, at a contract sum of 1.8 billion Naira”.

“Construction of another 1.4-kilometer access road and park was also granted for the Kwadon Rural Market constructed by NALDA for effective use of the facility towards boosting agricultural productivity in the region. The contract was awarded at a sum of 2.2 billion Naira”, he added.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Water, Environment, and Forest Resources, Mohammed Sa’idu Fawu, said that in the governor’s commitment to combat land degradation and control gully erosion, his ministry secured the council’s approval for the gully erosion control project starting from Gombe International Hotel, running through the Nayinawa axis up to Ganduje Road.

“The project was awarded to Triacta Nig. Ltd at a sum of 3.9 billion Naira and will be completed in one year, despite the difficulty of the terrain during the rainy season.”

He explained further that Gombe State Government is taking drastic measures to provide lasting solutions to the aged-long water challenge in the state Capital and environs.

“Government is exploring other sources of water to complement the Dadinkowa regional water supply scheme, which is no longer sufficient to meet the growing demand of the metropolis. We are working to revive the abandoned Malam-Inna Water Scheme for improved efficiency”, he said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the briefing, the Director-General, Press Affairs to the Governor, Malam Ismaila Uba Misilli, gave an update on a series of activities planned to commemorate Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s fifth-year anniversary.

He explained that the anniversary activities would feature special prayer sessions, commissioning of important projects such as the Gombe Mega Park, inspection tours, and a symposium to be delivered by notable intellectuals, including Babatunde Raji Fashola, former Minister of Works, and Professor Umaru Pate, Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Kashere.

BRGIE Drags Nigerian Govt To AU Over Nnamdi Kanu’s Detention, Biafra Referendum

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Biafra Republic Government In Exile, BRGIE, has petitioned the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, an organ of the African Union in Banjul, Gambia, over the continued detention by the Nigerian government of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB and the declaration of the Restoration of independence state of Biafra.

Jonathan Levy, a BRGIE attorney and international legal consultant, made this known in a statement he issued on Friday during an online international press briefing.

In the letter, BRGIE, headed by Simon Ekpa, requested that the Commission appoint a Special Rapporteur to address alleged economic and human rights abuses in the Southeastern region.

BRGIE demands rectification of the ongoing Biafra Self-Referendum to avoid the calamity that may befall Nigeria.

The Commission acknowledged the petition in a letter dated May 23, 2024, addressed to BRGIE by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the ACHPR) in Banjul, Gambia.

“The Commission is asked to take jurisdiction over the matter of Biafra on an urgent basis owing to the state of near armed conflict in the region; the BRGIE Sit at Home civil disobedience campaign and the continued unlawful detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and pro-Biafra supporters. The BRGIE also informed the Commission of the ongoing Biafra Referendum, due to conclude at the end of November 2024, which is expected to result in the declaration of the restoration of Biafra’s independence and the need for a swift governance transition.

“The BRGIE has advised the Commission and Nigeria that despite its best efforts to prevent civil strife and bloodshed, the legitimate rights of the Biafran people to self-determination shall no longer be thwarted by Nigeria’s security operatives.

Recall that BRGIE, in a statement on May 8, condemned the alleged attack on the Igga community in the Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State by security operatives, where several persons were reported killed.

The statement followed a report by an online news platform alleging that a combined security operatives led by the Nigeria Police Force burnt down the community, killing some villagers.

According to the report, the attack followed the killing of two policemen and three members of the Enugu State Neighbourhood Watch Group by hoodlums in the area.

Reacting, BRGIE, in a statement issued on Tuesday by its Prime Minister, Ekpa, described the development as an act of terrorism and human rights abuses.

CP Abaniwonda Olufemi Presents CSP Aliyu Shaba To Delta State Governor

The Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Abaniwonda Olufemi on Wednesday 22nd May 2024 presented the DPO Ekpan Police Station, CSP Aliyu Shaba who won the award of DPO of the Year and Police Officer of the Year award at the maiden Nigeria Police Award and commendation that took place on 15th April 2024 in Abuja.

In a statement on Friday, 24th May 2024 signed by the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Edafe Bright, said that the CP noted that it is pertinent to present the DPO and the awards to his excellency as the Chief Security Officer in the State and also buttress the fact that the command and the DPO could not have recorded such achievements if not for the support of the Governor, and the good people of Delta State.

The Governor, Rt Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori in his remark congratulated the DPO for his achievement noting that there is always a reward for hard work. He also stated that Ekpan was a boiling zone and a comfortable place for criminals. Still, since the CSP Aliyu Shaba was posted there, complete sanity has been restored to the area, and residents in Ekpan can now sleep with their two eyes closed.

The Governor urged other officers to emulate CSP Aliyu Shaba’s dedication to duty. He also thanked the CP for giving CSP Aliyu Shaba and other officers of the command the necessary support and platform to perform.

The Governor presented a cash gift to CSP Aliyu Shaba urging him to do more in line with the popular saying “The reward for hard work is more work”

Three Days To The 59th Birthday Anniversary Of Rt. Hon. Barr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, The Man Whose Administration Pioneered A Project To Eradicate Illiteracy

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By Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,

PREAMBLE

The highlight of His Feats in Education When He Held Sway as Rivers Governor as Captured in Chapter Five of the Historical Book Titled – “Amaechi: His Feats, Inspirational and Revolutionary Leadership Style”

CHAPTER FIVE

Amaechi’s Educational Revolution

On assumption of office in October 2007, the Chibuike Amaechi-led administration declared a state of emergency in the education sector and took over the payment of salaries of primary school and junior secondary school teachers. It was the statutory function of local governments. This was to ensure that education took its rightful place in the scheme of things. This intervention cost the state government about Two Billion Naira, monthly. To further strengthen and ensure qualitative education in the state, Amaechi signed five bills passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly into law. Among them were the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Amendment Bill 2012 and the Rivers State Senior Secondary Schools’ Board Bill 2012.

The government targeted building 700 model primary schools with 350 completed, each with 20 classrooms and equipped with ICT facilities, modern libraries, science laboratories, football fields, basketball and volleyball pitches and nursery playgrounds. A healthcare centre was built near each school for the benefit of pupils. These model primary schools were built to the standard of the United Nations as obtainable in developed parts of the world. The reason for the 750 world-class model primary schools to replace the decrepit 1,100 in the state was and many amenities for learning.

Another giant step taken by the Amaechi administration in the educational development of Rivers State was the construction of a new 20-classroom-block model primary school to commemorate the status of Port Harcourt as the World Book Capital. Known as World Capital City Model Primary School, the edifice is located in Port Harcourt Township and was already furnished and operational with the commencement of classes for the 2014/2015 school year. In addition to classrooms and teachers’ offices, the model school was equipped with state-of-the-art facilities like a demonstration science laboratory, library, ICT, sick bay and reception class. The then-former Commissioner of Education, Barr. Alice Lawrence-Nemi stated that the construction of the 20-classroom blocks was necessitated by the need to address the issue of out-of-school children in the state. The state government embarked on this project to ensure that every child in the state had easy access to the free education policy of the Amaechi-led administration.

The project was in line with the Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) vision of providing access to education to all children of school age by the year 2015. Samples of the 20 classroom blocks were built in all 23 local government areas of the state, which included demonstration science laboratories aimed at giving children the opportunity to visualise what they were being taught in class. The introduction of laboratories was in line with the New National Curriculum, which allows children from four years and above to be exposed to science education early so as to better understand science courses in the future. The demonstration class is where the teacher demonstrates to the pupils what they are learning. It makes teaching and learning easier for the teacher and the pupils.

Also, Home Economics was demonstrated in the Laboratory. The essence was to teach the pupils the basic ways of cooking, personal hygiene and general home-keeping. The schools were well-equipped with hard copy and e-books. Amaechi promoted reading culture among pupils and students. Every school had a reading period and pupils were made to pick a book. Each pupil was expected to summarise the book read during book reviews at the end of the period.

Throwing more light on his feats in the educational sector of the state, Amaechi stated, “Our educational system witnessed a transformation in infrastructure and service delivery. Although constrained by the reduction of our revenue by more than half, our administration is proud of undeniable successes in our educational sector such as infrastructure revolution: Building and equipping over 311 world class primary schools and five model secondary schools; The retraining and recertification of teachers with the involvement of the British Council in Port Harcourt; Total elimination of strikes and disruptions by takeover of payment of salaries of primary school teachers amounting to about N2Bn per month; Recruitment of 13,210 teachers; Establishment of the Quality Assurance Agency; Introduction of Free Education up to secondary school level; Abolition of all fees in schools; Annual oversees scholarships in strategic branches of knowledge; Establishment of skills acquisition institutions to draw attention to self-employment and entrepreneurship; and above all, the outsourcing of management of schools in the state.

“The icing on the cake perhaps is the transformation of the UST from 79th to the best state university in Nigeria and 12th overall best. There is also the establishment of a University of Education.

“As part of the Administration’s deliberate academic growth policy, we sent our children to schools overseas, while working on improving our facilities in the state. Back home, we sent others to rated secondary schools and universities. We are proud of our achievements in the education sector and are equally proud of our children who proved that given a conducive locale, they could compete with the best and brightest in the world. We have given over 3000 scholarships to our deserving children within and outside the country. Even with mounting pressure and competing interests, we made the education of our children a priority as indeed it should be. Eight hundred million Naira (N800m) has been released to the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency in this light to enable it to pay down some of its obligations to our scholars (as at that initial time).”

(ii)
Amaechi’s scholarship programme

Jean Piaget, a Swiss cognitive psychologist on education, probably having Amaechi and his exemplary leadership in Rivers State in mind, stated and I quote, “The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done.” In line with the stand of Piaget, the Government of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi not only offered free education to the people of Rivers State up to secondary school level, but scholarships in different universities in different parts of the world. They were as follows: Canada, 297; India, 202; Ireland, 30; Singapore, 136; United Kingdom, 384. Over 1,049 students were studying abroad under the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA)

(iii) Port Harcourt as UNESCO World Book Capital 2014

Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State of Nigeria, played a historic role when it hosted the US-Nigeria Bilateral Commission on October 16 and 17, 2012, thereby becoming the first city in Nigeria outside the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to do so. This event is was a top bill in international rating and the strategic relevance of the Gulf of Guinea area made the meeting in Port Harcourt even more important. The United States Deputy Secretary of State and two Assistant Secretaries led the US delegation. On the side of Nigeria, the US-Nigeria Bilateral Commission was viewed with seriousness, especially by the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) led by Amaechi. It would be recalled that UNESCO, moved by the revolutionary feats of Amaechi in the education sector, crowned Port Harcourt the 2014 World Book Capital City in April 2014, beating ten other great cities that including Oxford in England and Moscow in Russia. Amechi achieved that against all odds. It demonstrated his visionary and focused leadership

His administration had, in addition, promoted overall United Nations activities in the South-South geo-political zone, through the provision of an outstanding facility that can house over 15 UN agencies in Port Harcourt. As a result, there are five UN agencies in Rivers State at the moment.

Port Harcourt’s reign as World Book Capital 2014 began with the handover by Bangkok at an impressive ceremony at Hotel Presidential in the Rivers State capital. Dignitaries at the event included former Governor Amaechi, former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar; Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka; UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova; former World Bank Vice-President (Africa), Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili; wife of the former Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi; Engr Tele Ikuru, then Deputy Governor of Rivers State; Rt Hon O.D Amaechree, then speaker of State House of Assembly, members of Rivers State Executive Council, senators and members of the House of Representatives from the state. This feat by Port Harcourt in becoming the very first African city south of the Sahara chosen as World Book Capital based on public voting, beating ten other great cities though commendable marks Amaechi out as a hero of education in this generation.

(iv) Special Awards

The Rivers State Government has adjudged the best-performing state in the education sector within the South-South zone during this golden period of Amaechi. In recognition of this, the Federal Ministry of Education rewarded the state with the sum of N70 million for its performance.

The Rivers State Ministry of Education won the maiden edition of the Babs Fafunwa Education Prize for Service Delivery. The award was in recognition of the massive deployment of infrastructure, effective management of human resources, and productive educational policies and programmes that have made a huge difference in the overall development of the education sector in the state and in the lives of target beneficiaries.

(v) Global applause for Amaechi on education

The United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) commended Amaechi on the strides recorded by his administration in the health and education sectors. Country Representative of UNICEF, Ibrahima Fall, who described as tremendous the progress made in those sectors, said, “This is the most exciting news for every mother, for every child and for every family in Rivers State.”

In appreciation of the feats achieved by the administration, the former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, remarked, “The impression that I always get when I come to Africa is that these countries have enormous potential, and your country and your state (Rivers) have enormous potential and I think that you happen to have at this time in history also, a dynamic, energetic and capable leadership that can make the dreams of building up the state into a reality of life for the 5.1 million residents in Rivers State that want their lives to be of much higher and greater quality.”

In extolling this great revolutionist, United States Consul-General in Lagos, Mr Jeffrey Hawkins, told journalists: “I must commend Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State for embarking on numerous people-oriented projects and showing enthusiasm on Niger Delta issues. We are very appreciative of all that Amaechi has done. We are quite clear that addressing the issues of the Niger Delta, the challenges require focusing on things like education development, agriculture, health, all sorts of issues. And the governor was kind enough to show us, on the ground, some of the projects the government of Rivers State is working on, so we are very deeply appreciative of his support.”

(vi) Scholarship beneficiary writes Amaechi

One Dr Samuel Jonah Abbey, one of the beneficiaries of Amaechi’s policy on education, wrote: “It is with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation that I write to humbly say thank you for making me what I am today. The background story might be too long for you to read Sir, considering your busy schedule.

“Sir, I had lots of aspirations as a child but the demise of my parents almost crumbled the skyline of my world. As an orphan, I completed my first degree in Civil Engineering with the upper class in 2010 at the University of Port Harcourt.

“My horizons were then broadened when I heard about your overseas scholarship scheme during your term as the executive governor of Rivers State. Sir, the transparency of your administration gave me the opportunity to be assessed and awarded the RSSDA scholarship on merit to pursue an MSc in Civil Engineering, in the UK.

“I successfully completed my MSc with Distinction in 2013 and today your Excellency Sir, I have completed my PhD in Civil Engineering, at Coventry University, UK and am now addressed as Dr. Samuel Jonah Abbey.

“Sir, I just want to say thank you so much for giving my life meaning. Thank you so much. My entire family is ever grateful to you. May God bless you richly and protect you. May God shield you on every step and remain your pillar. May he protect your entire family in Jesus Name, Amen? I will keep praying for you. God bless you, my hero.

(vii)

“Amaechi’s stellar leadership and the effect of the injection of N170bn into the LGAS”, by Achinike William-Wobodo

This article was written and published in July 2015. Some of the tenses will be in the present and might be awkward in the now. However, the message is an all-time recommendation for states grappling with primary education, even for the Federation.

Whereas in most states of Nigeria, the Chief Executives (Governors) were accused of misappropriating Local Government Councils’ funds, the case was different for the former Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon Chibuke Rotimi Amaechi. Former Governor Amaechi bequeathed and injected into the local government councils’ administration over N170 billion in his eight years in office as the governor.

Under the present Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, primary school administration and management are placed under the authority of the local government. Reports have shown that this was one of the major factors that led to the very poor foundation in the Nigerian education system. This was so because most of the Councils did not have the financial capacity to handle the number of primary schools within their areas. For some, once the salaries of primary school teachers were deducted, they were left with nothing for their operation, talk less of embarking on infrastructure development. For some others, they were not even able to pay teachers’ salaries. This was the situation popularly referred to as “Zero Allocation”.

This was the situation in Rivers State prior to the emergence of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as the Governor Teachers across the state were not motivated. They were not paid as and when due and the work environment was obviously not conducive. The most outstanding consequence of these was that the primary schools bequeathed to the secondary school system students that were inadequately prepared. That accounted for the poor performance of students.

But for former Governor Amaechi, that was not good enough for his people, so he immediately declared a State of Emergency in the Education sector. He commenced with the rebuilding of over 750 primary schools in the state. Each of the schools had a computer studio with not less than 30 computers; 14 classrooms with smart boards; each class had a teacher and a computer to teach with; the school had 16 toilets; a sickbay; a 700-capacity auditorium; internet wifi; headmaster’s office; a standby generator; open play area; a football field; a demonstration farm; etc. The Rivers School structure and policy received commendations both locally and internationally and then became the model for neighbouring states of Akwa Ibom, Delta, Bayelsa and Edo.

On account of the governor’s policies on Education, Rivers State Government, for four consecutive years, was adjudged the best state in education by the Federal Ministry of Education, and was rewarded with huge sums of money. Rivers State remained undisputed in that position for many years.

The same proactive policy on education took Rivers State from nowhere and made Port Harcourt City the UNESCO WORLD BOOK CAPITAL 2014, a feat that only a few cities in the world had enjoyed. The “state of emergency” also saw the upward spring of the State University of Science and Technology from its number 76th rating in 2007 to 12th in 2014 in the rankings of universities in the country.

Well, this is not the focus of this article. The focus here is the complete takeover of the primary school system from the councils by the Amaechi administration. Prior to the takeover, the salaries of primary school teachers paid by Councils were a little in excess of N2 billion. Former Governor Amaechi pursuant to the State of Emergency convened a meeting of the stakeholders in the primary school sector and announced the policy of the State Government to take over the administration and management of primary school education in Rivers State, which included payments of primary school teachers’ salaries.

Contrary to expectations of Council Chairmen, Governor Amaechi announced that the N2billion which was the monthly wage bill for primary school teachers, as at then, and which would have been the contribution of, or cost to, the Local Government Councils should be reverted and re-injected into the Local Government Council System. The implication of that was that the LGA council had an additional N2billion, monthly in their purse. Subsequently, that wage bill increased following the employment of additional primary school teachers during the popular Rivers State engagement of 13,200 teachers in one single employment process.

The consequence of that policy was enormous, as it put more resources in the coffers of the LGAs, which enabled them to reach out to the local needs of the people, better. The implication of that decision and policy was that the Government of Rivers State under Rotimi Amaechi made a grant of more than N2 billion monthly to the local government areas. This policy was initiated in the first quarter of 2008 and ran consistently till the former Governor left office in May 2015. A simple arithmetic shows that
amount in seven years at N168 billion.

Today, the Local Government Councils in Rivers State present a formidable tier. The takeover of the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries pulled some pressure off the wage bill of Councils and gave them a very robust capacity to address the basic and local needs of the people. This is to the credit of former Governor Amaechi.

Although Wike had not taken any overt steps to reverse this particular gain, but indications from his public speeches about the policies of the former Governor of the state; his present attitude and policy of “operation reverse Amaechi legacies”, tend to suggest that he might do so. Some schools of thought hold the view that for Governor Wike reverting the primary school teachers’ salaries to the Councils was an option and a matter of time.

It is interesting to observe that from that singular policy of the state by former Governor Amaechi to take over the payment of salaries of primary school teachers, two gains emerged for the state. First was the fact that it had created a sustainable primary education system for Rivers State that was then the envy of all in the country, and gladly so. It became a model for many other states.

The second was that it had put more resources in the coffers of the councils, which broadened their capacity to attend to the needs of the people. In all of these, Rivers people were the beneficiaries of this singular act of proactive good governance.

In conclusion, transferring primary education from the local government Councils to the state was a worthwhile policy of the State Government under Rotimi Amaechi and a way to go if we must revamp our comatose public primary school system in the country and I am proud to recommend the Amaechi Example.

(viii) Roll-call of Amaechi’s feats in education

Employed over 13,000 teachers
Awarded over 3,000 foreign and local scholarships
Built about 10 world-class secondary schools with boarding facilities
Upgraded the status of Rivers State College of Education, RSCOE, to a university
Gave free school uniforms, bags, shoes, books and other writing materials to all primary school pupils
Made Port Harcourt the world book capital
Built modern primary
Built modern secondary schools
, Amaechi made school fees for undergraduate students in all Rivers State-owned higher institutions, uniform
Made free education from primary to secondary school level free.
Upgraded Rivers State School of Basic Studies to an ISBS to polytechnic
The automatic scholarship was given to all indigenous lectures at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, RSUST, to upgrade their education to PhD level
Direct payment of bursary to Rivers State students in tertiary institutions
Supported the University of Port Harcourt, a federal institution, a university with infrastructure and human capital development

Over 4 years back-log of unaccessed Universal Basic Education, UBE, and Education Trust Funds, ETF, were accessed without his interference. This made the board win an award as the Best UBE state in Nigeria which attracted N500m to the financial strength of the state. The board is still the BEST in Nigeria

I have done my best to justify the choice of Amaechi as the winner of the Golden National Merit Award for transforming the education sector during his days as the Governor of Rivers State

Conclusion:

Safe and except that while as Governor, Nyesom Wike deployed and maintained a dangerously vengeful posture that demonstrated to be antithetical to development, Rivers State would have been a reference State in the area of education and a challenge to other States in Africa.

Hopes are high that the incumbent Governor of the State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara seems to be committed to reviving all sectors of the economy destroyed by his predecessor Nyesom Wike during the years of his locust administration as Governor of the oil-rich State.

Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is a Port Harcourt-based Media Consultant & can be reached on: ezemediaconcept2020@gmail.com or 08022049770.

5th Anniversary: Governor Inuwa, Emir Of Gombe, Others Observe Special Jumma’at Prayer

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…As Gombe Governor Calls for Intensified Prayers for Peace, Development

Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya CON, has led top officials of his government and business leaders to join His Royal Highness, the Emir of Gombe, Alh. (Dr.) Abubakar Shehu Abubakar lll OFR, in observing a Special Jumma’at prayer as part of activities to commemorate the 5th Anniversary of the present administration in the State.

Speaking to newsmen after observing the two raka’at Jumma’at prayers and a special prayer session led by Imam Aliyu Hammari, Governor Inuwa Yahaya expressed his gratitude to Allah for enabling the significant achievements recorded during his five years of stewardship in Gombe state.

“We are here to express our deep gratitude to Allah for guiding us through these years. Without His support and guidance, our achievements would not have been possible. Our administration has successfully delivered good governance and impactful projects across all sectors, transforming the lives of our people and the state as a whole”, the Governor stated.

According to a press release on Friday, 24th May 2024 signed by the Director-General (Press Affairs) Gombe Government House, Ismaila Uba Misilli, said that Governor Inuwa Yahaya used the opportunity to appeal to all residents of Gombe State to intensify prayers for the sustained peace and the rapid progress and development of the state while acknowledging the invaluable support of the people to his administration.

“Let me take this moment to appeal to all the residents of Gombe State to intensify prayers for the continued peace, stability, and development of our beloved state. I recognize that without the prayers and support of the people, we would not have achieved the level of success we proudly showcase today. This peace is crucial, and it is necessary we all contribute to its sustenance, as it is the bedrock for all progress and development”, Governor Inuwa Yahaya said.

Also addressing the press, the Emir of Gombe, Alh. (Dr.) Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III, OFR, represented by the Ubandoman Gombe, Retired AIG Zubairu Mu’azu, expressed confidence in the leadership of Governor Inuwa, stating that all residents and visitors to Gombe can attest to the remarkable transformation taking place under the governor’s leadership.

The Emir further prayed for Allah to grant the Governor continued wisdom and strength as he leads the state forward, assuring him of his continued support in achieving the administration’s goals aimed at improving the livelihoods of the people and fostering the economic prosperity of Gombe State.

The Governor was joined at the prayer session by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, Chief of Staff, Alh. Abubakar Inuwa Kari, members of the State House of Assembly and those of the Executive Council, Chairman of GROCOL/ MD Lubell Nigeria Limited, Arc. Yunusa Yakubu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Jamilu Ishiyaku Gwamna, a Gombe-born business mogul, Alh. Auwalu Lawan among others.

Eze Expresses Concern As PDP Surreptitiously Approaches Court, Seeks Joinder In Defense Of 27 Defected Ex-Rivers Lawmakers

…Says Damagun is a Looming Calamity; Must Be Detonated With Utmost Urgency

….States that any effort to reinstate the 27 Ex-Lawmakers to PDP for them to achieve their sinister aim against Rivers State will be an exercise in futility

…Commends Hon Ikenga and his group for standing tall as true Defenders of our Nascent Democracy

Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, says it is grossly offensive to morality and reprehensive to manners of sane society for an adult at the age of the Ag. National Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Umar Damagun laboriously lobbied to survive the last NEC meeting of the party only to contrive some stealth schemes with some avowed adversaries of the PDP to sabotage the party for some meagre incentives from FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike.

Reacting to a recent revelation by opposition Lawmakers in the House of Representatives led by its Spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, where it became public knowledge that the Umar Damagun-led National Working Committee of the People’s Democratic Party has surreptitiously applied to be joined in the matter between the remaining members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and their former colleagues over the defection of the later despite initial denials by the party’s Legal Adviser, Chief Eze said Umar Damagun is a calamitous tinderbox that must be detonated before it eventually explodes as his continued stay as Ag. The National Chair of the party portends grave danger to stability in the People’s Democratic Party and our Nascent Democracy.

In a statement made available to the media, Chief Eze said the Nigerian political arena has turned into a safe playground for men of low pedigree with defective moral compass including money mongers like Damagun who was fortunate to climb to the exalted office of Chairman of a political organization like the PDP that requires strong characters with proven record of integrity in all respects.

Drawing attention to Damagun’s use of subterfuge to superimpose on the PDP Wike’s scheme of using Judges to corrupt the law to create a false reality of reinstatement for the former Lawmakers whose exit from the state legislature was sealed with their departure from the People’s Democratic Party under which platform they were elected, to the All Progressives Congress, the APC Chief stressed that the law is trite in the light of Section 109(1)(g) of the Constitution which plain wording remain categorical on the subject and no amount of judicial rascality, bribery or favouritism will reinstate the ex-lawmakers. They are gone and gone forever unless they will recontest their seats at the appropriate time when INEC decides a period for the election.

He said the target of Damagun and Wike in their struggle to arm-twist the law to return the defected lawmakers is to deploy the legislative arsenal of impeachment against Gov. Siminialayi Fubara and hoodwink Rivers people into believing that the Governor committed an infraction even when it is public knowledge that the man is pro-people.

Eze noted that the People’s Democratic Party is too big a political organization to be stocked like a piece of furniture and receive orders and prohibitions on the prompting of the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike and called on party stakeholders to rise to the occasion, recapture and remodel the party to properly serve the country and her people as a veritable opposition to the ruling APC administration that has battered the soul of the country.

Eze regretted that the PDP, a party that once prided itself as the largest political organization in Africa has been reduced to a congregation of hungry fiefs and saboteurs under Damagun, a habitual lier and double agent on the mere ground that someone somewhere who has some inordinate interests to protect and some selfish, private vendettas to pursue.

He said the action of the Ag. The National Chairman and everyone in the NWC conspiring with them and receiving kickbacks from everywhere to scheme against the PDP to advance Wike’s rancorous, self-serving escapades smacks of monumental disgrace to the party as a house divided against itself cannot stand.

The APC Chief hinted that the leadership of the party must brace up quickly to address Damagun’s madness and restore sanity within the ranks of the party as the Ag. National Chairman, frolicsome adventure cannot be tolerated till the next National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting of the party scheduled for his final exit.

Accordingly, Eze stressed the need for thorough scrutiny of the alleged corrupt endeavours of some Lawyers who are always on standby to receive bribes and serve as middlemen between profane individuals and Judges to subvert the wheel of justice and tilt the same in their favour even when they do not merit same, stressing that such regime continuing unabated will further erode public confidence in the judiciary that should serve as hope to genuine seekers of justice.

Finally, Eze commended Hon Ugochinyere Ikenga and his group for standing tall as true Defenders of our Nascent Democracy at this perilous time in our chequered history as a nation praying God to continue to grant them the wisdom, boldness and strength in their defence of our Nascent Democracy not minding the obvious challenges.

BGFT, BSFA Holds A Capacity Building Seminar And Refresher Course For Football Referees

Bayelsa Governor’s Football Tournament, in partnership with the Bayelsa State Football Association, holds a capacity building seminar and refresher course for Football Referees in Bayelsa State to better equip them & improve the quality of officiating in this year’s Prosperity Cup.

According to a press release signed by the Technical Director, Prosperity Cup 2024/ Secretary BFA, Diseye Nwankwe, said that the seminar will take place on Saturday 25th May,2024 by 10am Prompt at the NUJ Press Center.

RESOURCE PERSONS: FIFA and CAF Certified instructors Mr Calistus Chukwudi Chukwujekwu & Mrs Felicia Okugbawa Okonji

Special Guest of Honour: Hon (Dr) Daniel Igali, Commissioner for Sports Development.

Chairman of the Occasion: Barr. Poubeni Ogun, Chairman BFA & Chairman, NFF Referees Committee

Guests of Honour:
Mrs. Grace Alagoa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports Development,

Mr. Kelechi Mejuobi, Deputy President Nigeria Football Referees Association

Chief Patimidi Tukuru, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Special Projects

Host: Mr. Perela Aboroson, Tournament Director, Prosperity Cup 2024.

Chief Host; Ono Akpe,DG , Prosperity Cup.

NNPC Ltd, Schlumberger (SLB) Sign Agreement to Boost Upstream Operations

…..As Kyari Reiterates Company’s Resolve to Create Value for Nigeria

As part of strategic reforms aimed at unlocking opportunities in the nation’s oil and gas industry, NNPC Energy Services Limited (EnServ) and Schlumberger (SLB), a renowned global technology company, have signed a technical partnership agreement towards bolstering upstream operations.

According to a press release on Thursday, 23rd May 2024 signed by the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Ltd, Abuja, Olufemi Soneye, said that the agreement was signed at the NNPC Ltd.’s Corporate Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, with senior management teams from both companies in attendance.

Speaking shortly after the signing, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd., Mr. Mele Kyari, described the ongoing reforms within the industry as a trigger for potential release of investments in the short term.

“Quite a number of reforms are unfolding, and at the back of it is a potential release of investments that we are seeing in the very short term. Our physical environment is excellent today; contracting processes have been reviewed by virtue of the clear reforms Mr. President has put in place; and ultimately, we are already seeing substantial energy going into unlocking opportunities of today,” Kyari stated.

Highlighting the numerous benefits of the partnership, Kyari said it would lead to increased activity and more drilling campaigns that would add value to the two organisations.

He revealed that NNPC was working on a rig share platform with a definite plan around well drilling activities and associated operations in the coming years, which, he further explained, would increase crude oil production and support the ongoing plan to deepen gas utilization within the country.

Kyari, who expressed confidence in the long-standing relationship between NNPC Ltd and Schlumberger (SLB), said the NNPC would leverage the assets within its control to accelerate the values that will come from this partnership.

“We are counting on Schlumberger (SLB) as our partners of 70 years. We are in business; we see the opportunities and strategic need to work with you and ultimately, we will create value for our country,” the GCEO noted.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Schlumberger (SLB), Mr. Olivier Le Peuch, said the agreement was poised to accelerate the achievement of Nigeria’s exploration and production targets, which will foster Nigeria’s economic growth and prosperity.

“We are here to celebrate the strategic partnership that we signed with EnServ as a technical partner. This agreement is geared towards unlocking the capacities of EnServ for Nigeria, which potentially will help NNPC Ltd. to achieve its exploration and production targets. We look forward to using this technical partnership as a springboard to accelerate the vision that the industry needs,” Le Peuch added.

He noted that as a company that has been on the shores of Nigeria for 70 years, Schlumberger (SLB) remains committed to investing in local talents and building capacity through technology and performance.

“We are pleased to be at the centre of this transition and are in a position where we can bring our technical capability, technology, and capacity to the country so as to support the operations of NNPC Ltd,” he concluded.

NASENI Makes Strategic Investment In Powerstove To Boost Production, Carbon Credit Initiatives

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The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) is proud to announce its first-ever investment in Powerstove, a pioneering Nigerian company specializing in the production of cookstoves, that has significant experience in carbon credit projects.

This strategic investment marks a major milestone in NASENI’s ongoing efforts to combat global warming and foster a sustainable ecosystem by Nigerian companies dedicated to decarbonization.

As part of this investment, NASENI will provide both capital for growth and technical assistance to Powerstove, enabling the company to scale its production from 100 thousand units to over one million units per year.

L-R; EVC/CEO of National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Mr Khalil Suleiman Halilu and Founder/CEO, Powerstove Energy, Okey Esse, during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

This substantial increase in production capacity will not only meet the growing demand for clean and efficient cookstoves but also significantly contribute to reducing carbon emissions in Nigeria.

Powerstove boasts as the largest local carbon credit project for a private company in Nigeria, currently valued at 4.5 million carbon credits.

With this investment, NASENI is not only supporting an impact-driven enterprise but also positioning itself to benefit from carbon credit revenue, thereby reinforcing its commitment to sustainable development.

This investment underscores the strong commitment of NASENI’s leadership to address climate change proactively and to build a resilient and sustainable ecosystem of innovative Nigerian companies with the potential to drive decarbonization efforts.

NASENI’s Management looks forward to witnessing the positive impact of this partnership on Nigeria’s environmental and economic landscape.