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We didn’t banish anybody from Ekureku over tribunal case, says Community Leader

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We didn’t banish anybody from Ekureku over tribunal case, says Community Leader

 Chairman of the Ekureku Vigilante in the Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State, Mr Fidelis Nkata has described as untrue, information circulating on the social media, about the banishment of some of the natives for allegedly testifying at the elections tribunal in Calabar. Nkata told TNN over the telephone that contrary to the false information, the community decided to punish those who flouted the community’s instruction for them to get involved in community work. According to him, a certain person whose name he gave as Egbe was listed for punishment for not taking part in the sanitation works in and around the community. Specifically, he said Egbe’s father engaged his vigilante boys in a fight, leading to the injury of one for the vigilante boys. He said the injured vigilante person was receiving medical attention in the hospital. According to Nkata, it was the tradition of the Ekureku people to either flog or collect fine from any defaulter once anybody failed to get involved in the community labour.

Nkata said it was not true that anybody was banished from the community for testifying at the tribunal. He said he was not even aware that people were going to the tribunal to testify. According to him, the matter had since been reported to the police in the area and that the police had visited the place in respect of the face-off. A few days ago, some online publications reported that some Ekureku people were banished for going to testify at the tribunal case involving a member of the House of Representatives, Dr Alex Egbona and the immediate past speaker of the house of assembly, Mr John Gaul Lebo. Nkata was even listed among those who were involved in the banishment saga, an allegation that roundly denied, insisting that there was no reason to banish anybody from the community. He urged politicians in the state not to do anything that will provoke bad blood between the Ekureku and Adadama people. Egbona is from Ekureku while Gaul is from Adadama. Recently, Egbona has been speaking of his commitment to the restoration of peace between Adadama and some warring Ebonyi communities on one hand, and the Ekureku and Ebonyi communities on the other hand. He commended Egbona for his interest in resolving the crisis between Ekureku and the neighbouring Ebonyi State and urged Gaul to join hands with Egbona to bring peace into the area. Nkata said apart from Egbe, the community had a list of other defaulting youths who failed to participate in the community work and would be made to face the wrath of the community, saying none of them will go unpunished.

To him, the allegations of people being banished may have been peddled by the defaulters as a way of attracting the sympathy of the public. He insisted that the chiefs of Ekureku were committed to ensuring that the long standing law was obeyed by all.

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Widow, Son Lament Threat To Life, Vicious Attack By Legislator

A widow, Mrs. Eno Titus Ekpenyong and her only surviving Son, Joseph Titus Ekpeyong of Itiam Etoi, Uyo have petitioned security agencies in the state complaining about an alleged threat to their life by the Usoro Akpanuso, a member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, over a piece of land along Edet Akpan Avenue in Uyo which he is accused of employing his political position as a member of the state house of assembly to grab.

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Why Bassey Emerged A'Ibom Speaker

Facts have emerged, that the victory of the member for Uruan State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State house of assembly, Rt. (Hon). Aniekan Bassey as speaker of the 7th Assembly became possible because of some political and legislative intrigues.

Our correspondent gathered that one of such was that the new speaker, until his emergence, was not a popular choice among those favoured by the zoning arrangement and as such, the leadership of the 6th Assembly allegedly fought vehemently in secret to stop his emergence.

The TNN further gathered that Bassey was in a camp that did not enjoy the support of  bigwigs of the 6th Assembly, and therefore, there was no hope in sight that he would emerge as the Speaker of the Hallowed Chamber.

This, however, misfired and made him more popular, thereby increasing his chances of clinging to the number one seat of the hallowed chamber as more members routed for him on the ground that he would be a neutral candidate and nobody's candidate.

Another intrigue that played out in favour of Bassey, investigations revealed, was that the “preferred candidate”, Aniekan Uko, member representing Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency, whom the leadership of the 6th Assembly supposedly wanted, was however abandoned in the last minute, following the appointment of the new head of the civil service, Mr. Effiong Edem Essien, who incidentally hails from the same local government area with Uko. The development, observers said, was more than a coincidence.

Sources close to the state house of assembly alleged that the appointment of the head of service from the area was a calculated attempt to establish a premise upon which Uko could be rooted out in the race of the speakership.

The sources who pleaded anonymity further alleged that the leadership of the 6th Assembly that hitherto drummed support for Uko suddenly pitched tent with Bassey.

Feelers had it that the election of Bassey was to de-concentrate political offices on one local government – Ibesikpo Asutan – and compensate the people of Uruan who never tested the office of the speaker of the State House of Assembly.

It appears that although the Hilltop Mansion never expressed its preference for any of the candidates openly, it acted to forestall the situation where a cabal in the 6th Assembly supposedly hijacked the process.

Superior argument against over loading a section of the state with political offices acted against Uko.

Bassey's humility and simplicity also gave him upper hand in the speakership race. While others were busy campaigning, Bassey kept calm, claiming that he was not even worthy of the seat.

He strongly believes in service rather than power and ambition. The language of his acceptance speech attest to this: “We shall operate an open door policy that will welcome constructive criticism and ensure that decisions are reached with the full consent of members.

 “Today marks the beginning of a new dawn to the people's Assembly as the returning members and incoming members have reposed confidence in me and chosen me to be the speaker of this great Assembly; the aim of which is to provide this honourable House with excellent leadership. Although I do not proclaim to be the best but they all found me worthy to be the speaker of this honourable House.

“Let me assure my colleagues and the people of the state that I would not take the responsibility placed on me for granted. Let it be known that we all belong to one another. We all need one another, to serve one another by sacrificing for the common good of the people,” he noted.

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Why Rivers Students Should Strive For Excellence, Says Ehio

The Supervisor for Education, Rivers State University, Hon. Victor Ehio has called on Rivers state students schooling in and outside the state to embrace excellence as their only mechanism towards ensuring a better future outside the walls of the institution.

The supervisor made this calls after the 31st convocation ceremony of the university held Saturday, June 8, 2019 at the convocation arena of the institution.

Speaking with TNN Campus Gist, Ehio said: “It is of utmost necessity that we remind our Rivers state children, brothers and sisters, schooling in and outside the state, that education is not just about the certificate, it's not merely on registering your name in the register of an institution, it is not about answering a graduate with a certificate turned upside down because you neither can defend nor read what is stated in it”.

“Education is a foundation, a bedrock, it's a bridge, it's in fact everything you need to be able to accomplish and deliver in your tomorrow's future, you might not necessarily need your certificate or profession or to practice what you studied, but the truth is that the knowledge you acquire from your field is what you need to aspire for any opportunity”.

“I want to appeal to Rivers state students, please, be at your best. In fact, be more than your best, give it your best shot, pursue excellence, once you catch it, hold, embrace it vehemently. There is more to it when it's in you, than it appears, on that coloured printed paper”.

Speaking on the recent campus tour sponsored by himself, the special assistant to the Rivers state governor in the University of Port Harcourt, Chibuike Ogbu and executives of the Obio/Akpor Students Union Government, Ehio explained that the inspiration behind the tour:

“We just want to encourage them with gifts, cash, materials and most importantly words. We want them to understand that there is more to gain, achieve when you do the needful, so that they don't end up as job seekers rather employers of labour”.

“We have already visited UNIPORT and UST, we did not give so much but the cheers, appreciation and commendation the students expressed only proved that the initiative must have to continue”.

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