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Gov Otti Implores NDDC To Complete Abandoned Projects, Tackle Erosion Menace In Abia



  • Commission Iqnaugurates Aquaculture Centre In Umuahia To Advance SDGs On Poverty Eradication

Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has called on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to urgently intervene in controlling erosion menace ravaging parts of the state.

Governor Otti also urged the intervention agency to complete all abandoned projects it had embarked upon in the state.

The Governor made the call on Friday when he received the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Dr. Sam Ogbuku and some Directors of the Commission who paid him a working visit.

Ogbuku told Governor Otti that he and his team were in Abia for the commissioning of the Aqua Culture Training Center in Umuahia and deemed it necessary to visit him.
The Governor thanked Ogbuku and his team for their visit and congratulated the NDDC’s Chief Executive Officer for his appointment and subsequent confirmation.

He used the opportunity to draw the attention of the NDDC boss to some of the Commission’s uncompleted projects in the State and the problem of erosion ravaging some parts of the State.

“In Abia we have a lot of challenges. The major ones are in few places like Aba, Umuahia, Isuikwuato and Umunneochi area – erosion,” Governor Otti stated.

He informed the NDDC executives of how erosion, in Ovom, a community in Aba, had cut a road into two, creating massive gully which led to the collapse of buildings in the area.

“By yesterday (Thursday), I gave ultimatum that they should evacuate everyone because every day we are losing the road. So, we would approach you, if it is possible, you assist us in dealing with that.

“But there are also a lot of abandoned projects. One of them is very close here and links this place to the Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Headquarters. As at the last time I passed there, my estimate is that it was about 60% completed. Somewhere along the line funding ceased,” the Governor narrated.

He appealed to the NDDC to see to the completion of the projects otherwise all the works that had been done would amount to waste.

Governor Otti referred the visiting NDDC team to other projects in Aba, Arochukwu and Umuahia North which had also been abandoned as a result of the contractors being owed.
He, however, acknowledged the interventions by the NDDC in the state, saying, although the State may not have achieved all but that if we take away the projects that had been undertaken by the NDDC, we would also realise that we would have been several years backward.

The Governor expressed confidence in the capacity of Dr. Ogbuku and his team to lead NDDC to greater accomplishments.

The Directors that accompanied Dr. Sam Ogbuku to the visit were: Dr. Nosiri Godwin – Director Commercial and Industrial Development (CID); Nwankwo Chidi – Director Public Private Partnerships (PPP); Mr. Nelson Onwo – Director Project Monitoring and Supervision (PMS); and Engr. Evong M. Evong – Director Project Management Supervision (PMS).

There were also Engr. Uno O. Uno – Director Utility, Infrastructural Development and Waterways (UIDW); Okpozo Edgar – Director Security; Mr. Madumere Winifred – Director Agric and Fisheries; Frank Oputu T. – Director 2 Agric and Fisheries; Selina Dan Albert – Deputy Director New Media/Corporate Affairs; and Mr. Dimgba Eruba – Abia Representative on the board/Director Abia State.

Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Kenneth Kalu, joined Governor Otti in receiving the NDDC Managing Director and his team.
Gov.  Otti with NDDC's Dr.  OgbukuMeanwhile, the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has inaugurated an Aquaculture Training Centre in Elugwu-Umuntu, Olokoro community in Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State, as part of its efforts to boost agriculture in the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during the commissioning, the NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, stated that agriculture was one of the key agendas of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, noting: “This initiative is a strategic alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically targeting the eradication of poverty (SDG 1) and hunger (SDG 2).
“The Centre is poised to become a cornerstone in these efforts, addressing these pressing global issues by empowering local communities through sustainable agriculture and skill development.”
Ogbuku observed that agriculture was one of the sustainable means of empowering women and youths, through the creation of jobs in the country.” This approach reflects the broader SDG strategy of promoting sustainable economic growth, providing decent work for all, and supporting resilient agricultural practices that contribute to the overall health and stability of the community, ensuring no one is left behind in economic development,” he said.
He assured that the center would address the challenges of unemployment by offering relevant training in aquaculture, promising that 50 youths from the Umuntu community would be enlisted for training in the centre.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer announced that facilities at the centre would be improved upon and expanded to provide the necessary training, as well as enhance development in the adjoining communities. He said that the commitment to continuous improvement underscores the sustainability aspect of the SDGs, ensuring that initiatives introduced are not only beneficial in the short term but also contribute to long-term sustainable development.

Ogbuku said further: “Coming on board the NDDC management, we decided as a policy to ensure that all projects initiated by the Commission are completed and not abandoned. As part of our policy, we are going to slow down on awarding contracts for new projects and focus on completing ongoing projects.”

In his speech, the NDDC Director, Abia State office, and Representative of the state on the Board of the Commission, Chief Dimgba Eruba, commended the Managing Director for demonstrating dedication to the Commission’s vision of providing the much-needed sustainable solution to the socio-economic challenges of the Niger Delta region. This vision is in line with the SDGs’ holistic approach, which recognises the interconnectivity between economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection.

He said: “This commissioning ceremony is a testimony of the fact that NDDC is fully committed to the developmental plans and commitment of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to a Renewed Hope Agenda for a greater and prosperous Nigeria.

“The Aquaculture Training Center Umuntu is envisioned to be a skill acquisition hub and an economic catalyst that will empower a good number of our growing population on how to breed, raise and harvest fish, and make a profit from the enterprise.”

Eruba charged the people of the Umuntu Olokoro community to protect the “valuable and viable” project, as it would attract other physical infrastructural development around it. He remarked that the project would benefit not only persons from Umuntu and the immediate environment but also others interested in fish farming in Abia state and Nigeria at large.

In an address read on behalf of the community by Hon. Ifeanyi Umekwe, they thanked the NDDC for siting the Aquaculture Training Centre in their community. They also extended the appreciation of their Traditional Ruler Eze Paul Ogwubunka. They said: “It is important to note that this project has suffered massive setbacks like vandalism due to the isolated nature of the site. We will want to appeal to the NDDC to take into consideration the plight of our community, which has a serious problem of bad road network which has made life unbearable for our people.”
Giving a brief on the project, the Head of Project Monitoring and Supervision in the NDDC state office, Engr. Kingsley Azu said that the Aquaculture Training Centre consisted of eight fish housing tanks; two hatcheries, two lecture blocks; a six-room staff quarters; a four-room office block; a generator house and a power generating set. The facility, he said, also had eight units of solar-powered street lights and a water supply system, consisting of a borehole, an overhead tank, and reticulation.

The NDDC Director, of Agric and Fisheries, Mrs. Winifred Madume, appealed to the benefiting communities to see the Training Centre as their own and protect it from vandals and thieves. She noted that the sense of ownership and responsibility was crucial for the long-term sustainability of the initiatives designed to help achieve the SDGs, ensuring that these developments remain operative and productive for generations to come.



Group Calls For Protection Of Journalists In Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi States



The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged for necessary measures to protect journalists and other media workers during this weekend’s off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States.

The group sent the request to the federal and state governments, as well as law enforcement and security agencies, stressing that the role of journalists in disseminating information about the electoral process is critical to ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.

In a statement issued ahead of the elections in Lagos and signed by the Communications Officer, Media Rights Agenda, Idowu Adewale, MRA also urged journalists to be cautious and to use its existing hotline (08138755660) to report any threat or attack they may encounter during the process, as well as any obstacle.

Adewale said in the statement: “Given the pattern of heightened attacks on journalists and the media during previous elections, including the recent 2023 general elections, as well as the tense political climate in the three states in the lead-up to the elections, measures must be taken to ensure general security during the elections and provide adequate protection for journalists covering the elections.”

“Access to information allows citizens and other members of the public to have the information they need about political and electoral processes, facilitating effective public participation in elections,” he says.

“Journalists and the media play an important role in ensuring residents and other members of the public have access to information and may participate in the process.

“As part of efforts to preserve the integrity of the polls, it is also critical that the safety and well-being of these interlocutors be assured and safeguarded.”

Lamenting the increased number of attacks on journalists in the run-up to the off-cycle elections, as well as earlier this year in the run-up to the general elections, he emphasised that “a free and vibrant media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear, coercion, or violence.” During this vital phase, MRA stands ready to assist them and assure their safety.”


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Police Nab Husband, As Mother Of ‘Mummy Be Calming Down’ Boy Takes Own Life



Men from the Edo State Police Command are said to have detained Mrs. Toluige Olokoobi’s husband after he allegedly murdered her.

Olokoobi was the mother of Oreofeoluwa Lawal-Babalola, the tiny boy whose video went viral in 2020 after he pleaded with his mother, “Mummy be calming down.”

Oreofeoluwa rose to prominence on social media after a video of him crying in an attempt to confidently appeal to his mother, who chastised him, went viral.

The film inspired Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who used it to deliver an Eid-el-Kabir appeal to Muslims and Lagos people in general to remain calm during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Following that, the youngster and his family met with the governor, who praised his bravery and poise.

While little has been heard about the family in three years, heartbreaking news broke on social media on Tuesday that the boy’s mother had committed suicide.

According to an X user, Olokoobi committed suicide in Benin, the capital of Edo State, for unknown reasons.

The X user, who stated that he was present at the site on Monday afternoon, went on to say that she had refused to disclose her difficulties with anyone before committing herself.

“The woman in the viral Mummy Calm Down video has just committed suicide here in Benin,” he stated in an email.

“She refused to discuss her problems with anyone.” She abandoned three children for her husband, including the well-known Mummy Calm Down boy.”

Meanwhile, confirming Olokoobi’s death in a chat with BBC Pidgin, the spokesperson of the Edo State police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said her husband has been arrested and detained for questioning.

Nwabuzor said the husband reported the matter to the police.

The police spokesperson quoted the husband to have said that “he came home from the market when he saw his wife hanging with rope on her neck”.

Nwabuzor said she was rushed to the hospital and then to the mortuary after she was confirmed dead. (Adapted from a Vanguard report).

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Anambra: CP Aderemi Adeoye Decorates Promoted Officers With New Ranks



The Anambra State Police Command Headquarters Conference Hall was a hive of activity Thursday as CP Aderemi Adeoye took turns decorating around 18 promoted officers of the command with their new titles.

The delight of some of the officers whose wives assisted the CP in decorating their husbands with their new ranks knew no bounds, as their husbands duly saluted their wives and the CP for their new positions and responsibilities.

Obi Innocent, one of the officers elevated to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whose wife joined CP Aderemi Adeoye in adorning him with his new rank, said it was wonderful that the Inspector General of Police thought him worthy.

CSP Obi Innocent, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13, Police Zonal Headquarters Ukpo, stated that his new rank was a call to service and that he would do his best to uphold the charge given to them by CP Aderemi Adeoye to respect and protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights in the discharge of their new assignments.

Charity Akharame, who was honoured with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and was the only female officer among the 18 promoted officers decorated with new ranks, said it was not an easy feat but she was grateful to be among those who were decorated with their new ranks.

DSP Charity Akharame, the officer in charge of stores in the Anambra State Police Command, recalled how she began as a Police Constable and worked her way up to her current position as Deputy Superintendent of Police.

She stated that as a very disciplined police officer, she would follow the Police Commissioner’s directions regarding respect for all and sundry in the fulfillment of her constitutional obligations.

Jane-Frances Obi, one of the spouses of the officers elevated to the level of CSP, stated that being the wife of a police officer was not an easy assignment. As a result, she recommended any lady who is married to a police officer to be patient and understanding because the job is quite demanding.

Jane-Frances Obi, whose husband is Innocent Obi, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13 Ukpo, believes the promotion is a reward for years of being patient, understanding, and standing in for them when they are not present.

Meanwhile, Emenike Chinenyenwa, who was decorated with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and presented a vote of appreciation, expressed deep gratitude to the IGP and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission for considering them worthy of being adorned in their new ranks.

ACP Emenike, the officer in charge of Medicals, stated that the elevation comes with increased responsibility and that they will work harder in their new tasks.

CP Aderemi Adeoye praised the current promotion winners in his remarks, noting that two aspects make the police career very interesting and eventful. He stated that one is for promotion and the other is for positions.

CP Adeoye, on the other hand, urged the newly honored officers to develop more empathy, compassion, care, and dedication in the performance of their jobs.

The police chief insisted that newly promoted officers must first recognise that they share the same humanity as others, and as a result, they must treat all people with dignity and protect their fundamental human rights at all times.

CP Aderemi Adeoye stressed that without the enormous roles of spouses, they wouldn’t have been successful in their careers. He therefore congratulated all the promoted and prayed that God gives them good health to enjoy the new ranks and the energy to discharge the responsibilities of their new offices.

  • Source: Independent


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