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No alternative to President Buhari – Akpabio insists

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The National Coordinator, Presidential Support Committee, Senator Godswill Akpabio has insisted that considering the achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari -led administration in office, Nigeria has no other better alternative than to give him another term.

Akpabio, who spoke with Journalists in Abuja, urged the South South people to reconsider their stand in planning to vote for the party that wants to sell the Nigeria National Petroleum Coporation(NNPC), and its other assets.

Atiku Abubakar, the PDP Presidential Candidate, has vowed to sell the NNPC, if voted into power, to break what he called ‘mafia’ in the corporation.

But Senator Akpabio said it will not be in the interest of the Niger Delta people for NNPC to be sold.

“Yes I believe Nigerians can compare the difference between apple and orange. The reality is that this president has done very well considering the fact that he was able to take Nigeria out of recession.

“He met ongoing projects on ground, such as the airports and the railways. He completed and put them to use. Nigerians are clamoring for change, better health care, better educational facilities and all those things cannot happen when you spend almost 80 percent of resources on recurring expenses like pension, salary arrears.

“So we must commend the President and of course, if you take a look at what is happening on the Lagos-Ibadan railway, you will be very impressed. Take a look at the Abuja-Kano railway, some people now travel with rail to the North.

“The power sector has improved from 2,500MW to 7000MW. So many things are visible and the enabling environment is there in terms of law and order. The fight against corruption has really been intensified and the good thing is that it has now become a deterrent to any public official that yes…, if you go out of your way to move your pocket forward instead of your country or state, you will be held accountable.

“We in the Niger Delta are very apprehensive. I don’t think that there is any person in the South South who will go and vote for PDP. Even some of them are trying to purchase votes because when you look at the major policy document of the PDP today, they are talking about selling the NNPC.

“What does the NNPC have? Is it the building? What NNPC controls is the oil of the Niger Delta, oil wells, oil fields and all those things come together with the land. I don’t see anybody from the South South or any Niger Deltan, who will agree that the same way we sold out Nigeria Airways and we became a laughing stock in the comity of states in Africa is the same way NNPC should be sold.

“Look at Kenya Airways, Ethopia Airline, Ghana Airline, South African Airways and Nigeria has no single plane now called its own. We sold out our Aluminium Smelter Company in Ikot Abasi, that provided thousands of jobs and today that place is totally bare with over 690MW of electricity.

“We sold out Oku Iboku Paper Mill in Akwa Ibom and our people are there jobless. That massive structure is a waste. All those things combined are things that frighten us when somebody talks about the sale of NNPC. The sale of NNPC on its own simply means that the Niger Deltans are going to be divested of not just their properties, not just the water that they fish in, but the fact that they will become tenants in their lands for the next 50 to 100 years. And people will come from outside, maybe friends of the government, and possess their land.

“The election also is between integrity and others. The President has shown that he can give what belongs to Niger Delta to Niger Delta. He is even refunding monies that were used during my tenure to repair Federal roads and what we use to call Paris Club refund.

“We tried everything under the PDP. We never had that money and I was a Governor and the FG was owing my state over 145 Billion on federal roads and the building of prisons and other things I had to intervene. I dualized federal roads, built airport and today, federal government is refunding those monies to the state.

“If you see a government that has shown sincerity, it simply means that we are now talking about a question of integrity and a question of postulation. We are postulating that if you bring in a government that will sell your father’s land, that will sell your oil wells and sell the waters that you use in fishing, then I can conclude that there is no alternative to President Buhari.”

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NEWS

Ekere to build new mechanic village in Uyo

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The Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Obong Nsima Ekere, has promised to establish a new mechanic village in Uyo, the state capital, if elected Governor on Saturday.

Speaking during a visit to the mechanic village located at Afaha Offot in Uyo on Thursday, Obong Ekere said the proposed mechanic village will be patterned after what is obtained in advanced countries of the world.

He decried the deplorable state of the present village, established more than 30 years ago, and promised to construct an access road to the village immediately after his inauguration on May 29, 2019.

The APC standard bearer criticised Governor Udom Emmanuel for failing to fulfill the promise he made, four years ago, to reconstruct the village and for coming recently to again deceive the occupants of the village after failing to ameliorate their suffering for nearly four years.

“Akwa Ibom State does not need a lying Governor. That is why we are embracing change. Change has come to Akwa Ibom State. Akwa Ibom State is getting to the next level,” he said.

Obong Ekere charged the technicians in the Mechanic Village to protect and follow their votes to the collation centres.

Senator John Udoedehe, a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who is an indigene of Afaha Offot, wondered why Governor Udom Emmanuel came to campaign in the Mechanic Village after failing to fulfill his promise to develop the village made four years ago.

“Any government that looks down on mechanics, that government is a fool because you are the employers of labour. Nsima Ekere’s government will retrain and equip you. I want you to be agents for Nsima Ekere because Nsima Ekere is your future. Politics is a game of development. If Udom had performed, we would have nothing to campaign with,” he said.

Senator Udoedehe commended Obong Ekere for awarding a contract for the expansion of the internal roads in Afaha Offot and condemned Governor Emmanuel for refusing to equip the Primary Health Centre which he attracted to the village.

He said that he had also attracted an electrification project from the Ministry of Niger Delta to Afaha Offot.

Atuekong Don Etiebet, the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State APC Caucus, described Obong Ekere as a quality person who will turn the mechanic village to a quality place.

He predicted total victory for the APC in the Governorship and House of Assembly elections.

Comrade Ufot Eno, the Secretary of the Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), Mechanic Village, Uyo, Branch, who represented the Chairman, said Obong Ekere would be elected Governor of Akwa Ibom State, come rain come shine, disclosing that President Muhammadu Buhari won in the Mechanic Village polling unit during the February 26, 2019 election.

Mrs. Iniobong Ekanem, the Women Coordinator of NATA, Mechanic Village Branch, predicted victory for Obong Ekere and appealed to him to build what she called “a digital mechanic village” when he becomes Governor.

Eteidung David Etuk, the Village Head of Afaha Offot, who was present during the visit, thanked Obong Ekere for constructing roads in the village during his tenure as the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and expressed the belief that the APC standard bearer will transform the Mechanic Village if elected Governor.

He assured Obong Ekere of the votes of Mechanic Village and the larger Afaha Offot Village, adding that they had a stake in Obong Ekere’s incoming government through Senator Udoedehe, an insider.

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Girls are no longer victims but survivors – Eno-Obong Nkereuwem

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An emerging social crusader and girl rights advocate, Ms. Eno-Obong Nkereuwem has said that girls are no longer victims but survivors who remain resilient in the face of daunting challenges.

Narrating a story of her recent work with Smartmothers Foundation – an Akwa Ibom based NGO that aims to educate 3,000 students on sexual education and reduce the menace of teenage pregnancy across high schools, she wrote on her timelime:

“Barely less than a week after joining Smartmothers Foundation founded by Sifon Udo, I was handed my first challenge of coordinating an outreach. I was initially jittery for two reasons. Firstly, I had never coordinated an outreach of this sort, and secondly, the timing for me was quite ‘short’.”

“Buoyed by my passion, I knew this was a project that must happen. Sadly, the narrative around the girl-child has been demeaning and sometimes, hurting. And maybe I’m convinced it’s time to challenge this norm and recognise the place of the girl-child. I have been pondering well on this.”

“It touches my humanity that young schoolgirls are subjected to various degrees of abuse for things they cannot control while the society continues to look away. She reaches puberty and because she cannot afford pad, she becomes vulnerable to men who entice them with ‘money’ and most times lure them to bed resulting in teenage pregnancy. It’s a simple but dehumanizing cycle!”

“We live in a society that distributes free condoms instead of teaching young people to appreciate their sexuality and stay away from early sex. But can’t the society donate free pads to teenage girls? Can’t the society initiate stronger policies that protects the girl-child and reduce the menace of teenage pregnancy across high schools in Akwa Ibom State? The questions are endless!”

“But in of all these, young girls must develop their capacities and realise that we’re no longer victims but survivors who remain resilient in the face of daunting challenges.”

“Thank you Mr Gideon Ekanem
Thank you Smartmomsfoundation for believing in me to deliver.”

“SESEP was a success and we have GOD to thank for that.”

She called on well-meaning Nigerians to join the movement and donate pads to support the cause.

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NEWS

NGO Targets 3,000 Students on Sex Education, Teenage Pregnancy in Akwa Ibom

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Smartmothers Foundation, an NGO based in Akwa Ibom State, on Tuesday said it had concluded plans to educate 3,000 students on sexual education and reduce the menace of teenage pregnancy across high schools in Akwa Ibom State.

The NGO disclosed this in a flyer exclusively obtained by Akwa Ibom INFO on its Sex Education Sensitization Programme organised for teenage students of Community Comprehensive Secondary School, Four Towns Uyo, tagged: “Sex Education is the Right of Every Teenager”.

The Program Director, Ms Eno-Obong Nkereuwem said that the sensitization programme is aimed at interfacing with young school children to reduce teenage pregnancy and also enlighten them on the basics of sex education.

Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom INFO learnt that the the founder of the NGO, Sifon Udo is targeting at empowering 3,000 teenage students in select schools across three Akwa Ibom senatorial zones.

According to her, pre-marital pregnancy in Nigeria is the highest in sub-Sahara Africa and is mostly prevalent amongst teenage girls in high school.

“The event slated for tomorrow, 28th February, 2019, will educate over 1000 teenagers and share pads to 200 vulnerable female students who cannot afford it and as a result resort to sex in order to get one”.

“Most young girls resort to sleeping with their peers or older men to give them money to buy pad. We are sharing the pads to them and giving them other options of getting pads instead of sleeping around.

“We are also educating young girls, ladies in particular and the public, about menstrual hygiene as well as breaking the stigma, clarifying myths and misconceptions around menstruation.

“There will also be pep talks on girl child empowerment, self esteem and confidence as a tool for nation building and donation of free sanitary pads and other hygiene products.

“Providing sanitary pads to young girls in schools will go a long way in supporting and dissuading them from keeping unhealthy relationships with the opposite sex. There’s reducing the rate of teenage pregnancy.” Eno-obong said.

Sifon stressed the urgent need for government at all levels to incorporate sex education into the school curriculum, so as to extend this sustainable value to teenagers in other schools in Nigeria.

The foundation calls on individuals and organizations to donate sanitary pads to support vulnerable teen girls in schools.

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METRO

BREAKING: Inspector caught helping PDP thugs to brand private vehicles in Police colour

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