Lagos police clamp down on homosexuals

By Osarugue Idemudia

Investigation reveal that a case was reported to the Police in Egbeda division that a group of young men who allegedly belong to the outlawed Gay Society of Nigeria were at a club named Kelly Ann Hotel, Egbeda.

The Police in Lagos State, Sunday, commenced clampdown on homosexuals in the state. According to eye witnesses account and police sources, the raid occurred on Sunday (yesterday) at about 6.00pm in the Egbeda area of Lagos State.

Urhokpota Reporter’s investigation reveal that a case was reported to the Police in Egbeda division that a group of young men who allegedly belong to the outlawed Gay Society of Nigeria were at a club named Kelly Ann Hotel, Egbeda.

The Kelly Ann Hotel is reported to have been notorious for hosting homosexuals and their activities in the area, a situation that has led many people in the neighborhood to lodge series of complains to the Police in times past.

The Police went to the area and discovered that homosexual activity was actually going on thus decided to apprehend the suspects involved in the very act.

Three suspects escaped arrest while the Police was able to nab only two of the suspects. Mr Ewaen Peter Erhunmwunsee, Emeka Orji and Nonso Nwanchinemelo, according to Police sources, narrowly escaped arrest with the help of one Mr. Marco Bleve, a foreigner construction worker, who was also indulging in the same act.

Empowering entrepreneurs of tomorrow

Youths across Edo State this week, June 12-14 gathered at SIO Events Center, GRA,  Benin City, to explore entrepreneurial opportunities in Nigeria. The 3-days  workshop tagged Youth Empowered was organised by Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company. Urhokpota Reporers’ Richard Okundia was there and filed this report.
No fewer than 500 youths in Edo State have benefited from this year’s ‘Youth Empowered’, a training programme organised by the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company.
The workshop aimed  to equipping  Nigerian youths with life and business skills for their personal development as well as enable them to transition to meaningful job positions.
The first day of the workshop saw participants divided into groups of 20 participants, mentors assigned to them and grilled on life skills. In his welcome message, the Regional Public Affairs Manager, East/Central, Nigeria Bottling Company, Ekuma Eze, informed participants that Youth Empowered represents a wave of self discovery going on simultaneously across the 28 countries Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company is operating and that Nigeria is the only African country among them.
He urged  the participants to develop brilliant business ideas as the group with the best proposal will be funded to take off immediately.
Declaring the workshop open, the Executive Governor of Edo State charged participants to take the training seriously. He promised to support the initiative by sponsoring two additional business propoposals from the pool of best proposals from the workshop. Noting that of the two proposed firms, the state intends to support, one would be exclusive for women.
Lectures on the first day focused on career and life  skills  and was facilitated by Ekundayo Odele who took the participants on an introspective session on  having a short, medium and long term goal. She also focused on CV writing,  Interviewing and networking skills with some simulation exercises.
Samuel Obafemi facilited the days that followed.
 Day 2 focused on skills of project and time management,  identifying business opportunities, communicating the opportunity and using the business model canvas. With the help of the mentors, groups used the business model canvas to bring to life  their Various business ideas.
Day 3 started with a crash course on financial literacy, negotiation and sales skills where the facilitor used videos and simulations to help participants appreciate the course.
The workshop climaxed with the proposal  pitching challenge by representatives of the various groups.
At the end of the challenge, Group 4 under the mentorship of Esohe Esther Idehen emerged winner of the 2018 Youth Empowered Benin.
They sold the uniqueness of coconuts with their ‘Hetty Coconut Hub’ idea.
Some participants at the end of workshop expressed their opinions of the workshop.
Precious Ojike, a Business Administration and Management student of the Federal Polytechnic Auchi expressed satisfaction with the organisers, adding that the workshop has helped her grasp practical knowledge of her field of study. On self re-discovery she said, “I came here with the mentality that it is better to pursue employment careers. With this training, I am going back home well  equipped to set up events management firm”.
Justice Eromonsele, a graduate of Sociology said that the workshop has exposed him to the world of business. “I’m delighted to have learned how to work in a team and this knowledge has eluded me prior to this workshop” he said. Another participant, Tina Osagiede, a postgraduate student at the University of Benin said the programme has helped sparked off entrepreneurial traits in her. Commending the organzers she said, “This is a worthy project my NBC to curb youth unemploymen, I encourage other organizations to borrow a leaf from this initiative”. She planned to disrupt research laboratory industry with her newly acquired innovative ideas upon completion of her postgraduate degree. Ehi Ijie, a piggery farmer expressed delight with the organisers and solicit for increment in the number of ideas that receive funding. “It’s disappointing group seven did not get to win the challenge, we nonetheless hope to pursue to a logical conclusion the idea we conceived in this workshop” he said. Andrew Ogiamen, a cassava farmer who is also a member of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture thanked NBC for helping to reduce the weight of unemployment on government shoulder. “At a time like this, government can not do it all, I appreciate NBC for its capacity building efforts” he said. He promised to use knowledge gained to better position his business for greater success.

Governor Obaseki declares Coca-Cola Hellenic’s Youth Empowered Workshop open in Benin

By Richard Okundia

L-R: Edo State Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Emmanuel Usoh; Regional Pubic Affairs Manager, East/Central, Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC) Ltd., Ekuma Eze; Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Chief Executive Officer, Unocasq and facilitator of ‘Youth Empowered’, Ekundayo Odele; Regional Public Affairs and Communications Manager, Lagos/West, NBC, Ifeoma Okoye; and Commissioner for Youth and Special Duties, Hon. Mika Amanokha, at the Youth Empowered workshop organised by Coca-Cola Hellenic in Benin City.

Governor Godwin Obaseki  has declared open the Youths Empowered Programme  of the Coca-Cola Hellenic in Benin City the Edo State capital.
The Governor  who was accompanied by the Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Barr. Emmanuel Usoh and host of others.
While declaring the workshop open the Governor said that the state government will support the setting up of two additional firms from the pool of best ideas from the participants. Noting that of the two firms the state intends to support, one would be exclusive for women.
He disclosed: “We have set aside some funds to support you. We will provide you with the opportunity to create two companies, with one of the companies to be exclusive for women.”
Noting that the state was poised for growth, Obaseki explained that the best way to achieve sustainable development is to put in place mechanisms that will engender entrepreneurial skills and  opportunities for people to realise their full potential.
He added, “Through the state government’s various skills development programmes, we will continue to support and encourage youths to improve talent required for sustainable development.”
According to the governor, “We are strenghtening education using technology, we don’t necessarily have to go through the stages developed countries went through. We can take advantage of technology.
Obaseki noted that the workshop by the Coca-Cola Hellenic was crucial, as his administration will continue to create opportunities for youths to acquire skills, and match them with existing job opportunities through the EdoJobs’ portal.
Affirmed his administration’s commitment to continue to support companies who are helping in developing youths’ entrepreneurial skills. “My administration has set up policies that will ensure that we take advantage of such skills, and create the atmosphere for our youths to have a better future for themselves,” he noted.
He charged the participants to take the 3 days training seriously and register on the EdoJobs portal through which they can be assisted and their progress monitored.
Regional Public Affairs Manager, East/Central, Nigeria Bottling Company Ltd, Ekuma Eze, commended the governor for finding time to encourage the participants, urging the participants, who have been divided into groups, to develop brilliant business ideas as those with best proposals will be funded.
In his address, Mr Eze said “We are gathered here today on a journey of self discovery. Youth Empowered is a wave of discovery going on simultaneously across the 28 operating countries of Coca-Cola Hellenic and Nigeria is the only African country among them.”

Child Labour: Obaseki decries widespread practice, warns of sanctions

The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has condemned the use of children as labourers by employers of labour and warned that his administration will not accept any form of exploitation of children in the state.

Obaseki gave the warning on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour, marked by the United Nations each year.

While acknowledging the influx of companies into the state, with the state government’s reinvigorated efforts at creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, the governor maintained that his administration will not be home to obnoxious labour practices such as the recruitment of children to work.

“We are committed to equipping our children with quality education for a prosperous future. We have robust laws and policies that guarantee the rights of children in the state and will activate these laws and policies in the event that children are being exploited or abused anywhere in the state,” he said.

The governor urged Edo people and residents to report any case of exploitation of children to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution as the state government has sensitised the enforcement agencies to treat such cases with dispatch.

He further warned that forced labour and human trafficking have no place in the emerging Edo State, and advised parents, guardians and caregivers to be alive to their responsibilities of educating their children.

“The International Labour Organisation in 2002 launched the day to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. Each year in June, the World Day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them,” the UN body said.

Enabulele charges private school owners to improve quality of education

By Osarugue Idemudia

Proprietors of private primary schools in Ovia South-West local government area have been charged to improve the quality of education they impact to the children in the LGA.

The Executive Chairman of LGA, Comrade Destiny Oghayerio Enabulele, gave the charge on Thursday, during a meeting with the proprietors and other stakeholders in the education sector of the LGA.

Present at the meeting were the the Chief Inspector of Education in the LGA, Mrs. Gladys Fred-Osunde, the Education Secretary of the local government area, Mrs. Ifueko Aiguobarueghian and owners of 18 of the 24 registered private primary schools in the LGA.

“The reason for this meeting is not to witch-hunt anybody. The purpose is to appeal to your inner mind to do the needful, because, at that level, you are grooming the future of this country. Any defect at that level cannot be corrected at the university or anywhere.

“Why we decided to pick interest in the education of our citizens is because our success as a local government depends on the quality of the citizens we produce. If we have a vibrant and informed citizenry, we will produce a vibrant and informed local government.

“We want to create the enabling environment for us to have more private schools. Let us know your challenges, we will look at it and see how we could intervene, so that you could strive to make an impact

“We will colaborate with the ministry of education and the local education board to see how we can revive extra curricular activities, in the areas of inter-school debate, essay writing and quiz competitions,” Enabulele said.

He bemoaned the situation whereby primary school pupils are already involved in cultism.

The Chief Inspector of Education in the LGA, Mrs. Gladys Fred-Osunde, gave assurances of her willingness to cooperate with all stakeholders to revamp education in the LGA.

“I assure you that we will work together, since you have the vision, to bring back extra curricular activities, to bring back old values again,” Fred-Osunde assured.

On her part, the Education Secretary of the local government area, Mrs. Ifueko Aiguobarueghian, lammented the many unregistered private schools operating in the area, adding that some of the proprietors of such schools do threaten her staff for daring to complain about the state of their schools.

“Whenever I go on monitoring and supervision, I see so many unregistered private schools in mushroom buildings like poultry,” she lammented.

Also speaking, Mr. Ofurie Godson, the proprietor of Gilgal Education Centre, Iguobazuwa, described the meeting as a “sooting balm” to the nerves of the private school owners, adding that it would motivate them to do better.

“We are also poised to ensure that we do the local government proud and we will also take the charge given to us by the Chairman seriously, to improve the quality of education in the local government area,” he said.

The Supervisor for Education, Miss Tessy Omoyemwen Ekhator, disclosed that the Council has concluded arrangements to commence monitoring of the over 30 private primary schools operating in the LGA.

A committee to be chaired by the Vice Chairman of the Council, Hon. Fred Aimienwanwu, was set up to investigate a private school currently operating at Udo in a very dangerous environment.

Also present at the meeting were Mr. Monday Osagunmwenwan who tutored Comrade Enabulele in primary 4 at Ozolua Model Primary School, Iguobazuwa, and Rev. Olubiyi Oluwajuoshin, who also tutored the wife of the Council boss from JSS 1 through SS 3, but are both private school owners today.

Highlight of the meeting was the presentation prizes to Master Solomon Wisdom, an SS 2 student of Gilgal Education Centre, Iguobazuwa, who won a trophy and a medal after coming 3rd in the essay writing competition organised by the State to mark this year’s Children Day celebration.

Enabulele said the performance of Wisdom “has made us proud, that is to tell you there is hope, “just as he announced a full scholarship for the victorious student for his SS 3.

A meeting with head teachers of all primary schools in the LGA with the Council boss has been scheduled to hold next week.

Okowa is a responsible leader – Ned Nwoko …Congratulates the Governor on 3 years in office

Delta North leading senatorial district’s aspirant, Prince Ned Nwoko says Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has enthroned a responsible regime of service in the past three years in Delta state.

In a goodwill message to the Governor on his third anniversary on the saddle , Nwoko said Okowa’s track record as a leader is inspiring to all well meaning Deltans.

The prince of Idumuje Ugboko kingdom, in Aniocha North local government area of the state, said Okowa governorship brought pride to Anioma people and equity to multi ethnic Delta.

According to Nwoko, former member house of representatives, (1999 – 2003), Okowa came to power unique, as the first Anioma elected governor in the history of the state and proved a competent and accountable pathfinder with a pan – Delta agenda.

He said the administration of Okowa is marked with a liberal climate of participatory democracy haven promoted peace, unity and enterprise among Deltans through coordinated policy thrusts .

He said the massive development of social infrastructure , sustainable youth empowerment programmes and meticulous management of public resources established Okowa as a governor that defers to good governance.

He enjoined Deltans to overlook ethnic and political cleavages and work with the governor as he charts a positive future for all.

While wishing Deltans and Nigerians an eventful anniversary under civil rule , Nwoko assured that his tenure if elected senator would unfold a new dawn of socio economic development for the people ,which aligned with the populist stewardship of Governor Okowa.

Dozens injured as rapists attack a girls secondary school in Abia State

By Richard Okundia 

Many students were seriously injured after a suspected rapist attacked the Ovim Girls Secondary Secondary in Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia State early this morning.

Urhokpota Reporters gathered that reports the rapists came into the school armed with dangerous weapons like cutlass, iron rod and other weapons.

As at the time the writing this report, the girls were receiving treatment at a nearby hospital.

ASUU says Buhari led Government is very irresponsible

By Richard Okundia 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has condemned the Federal Government over its incapability to arrest the spate of killing in the country, saying that the government has demonstrated an act of irresponsibility towards its constitutional responsibility.

The Union maintained that a government that allowed her people to be murdered daily was totally irresponsible and has failed to fulfill the social contract of protecting lives and properties. Conveying this position to the public, the ASUU Chairman of the University of Ibadan, UI, Dr Deji Omole, in an interview with newsmen shortly after the congress of the Union in Ibadan demanded adequate security of lives and properties of Nigerians from the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Union also called for the de-politicization of security by heads of security agencies, saying loyalty must be to Nigeria and not to Aso Rock residents. Omole, who noted that Nigerians who were already battling with poor economic conditions were now afraid that their lives could be terminated anyhow, pointing out that the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government had been issuing ineffective condemnation speeches.

According to Omole, it was a sign of irresponsibility for the government to fold its arms while people were being killed only to approve N10 billion for rebuilding affected communities, saying “a serious government would have prevented destruction from happening but the government allowed the carnage to happen.”

The ASUU boss noted that while land transportation was hellish for Nigerians, it was now more deadly to travel since criminals had positioned themselves on major roads, kidnapping, raping, dispossessing and killing people at will. Omole said food production was now threatened because communities affected were farming communities while those displaced were farmers who were supposed to be farming during raining season but that the herdsmen had allegedly taken over their lands.

He said, “every day you open newspaper and what you read is news of killing and some people will sit inside air conditioner offices in Abuja and issue condemnation speeches which have not done anything in the last three years since they came to power. If Nigerians are already denied quality health facilities, quality education, quality social services, they must not be denied right to life.

This is the worst form of treating the governed by a government that promised hope to the masses but which the rich have continued to benefit from. We demand security of lives and properties from the Muhammadu Buhari government. Only the living can demand for their rights. It is sad that one state claimed to have lost about 500 persons to herdsmen terrorism and nobody has been prosecuted for this”.

Bill for the establishment of a University in Ogoniland read at the Senate

By Richard Okundia 

A Bill for the establishment of the Federal University of Environment, Science and Agriculture in Ogoni land was yesterday read on the floor of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the first time.

The Bill which was sponsored by Magnus Abe, Senator representing Rivers South-East.

Abe had suggested during the visit of the Senate Committee on Environment to Ogoniland for oversight December last year that it would make sense if the Federal Government of Nigeria considered converting the Center of Excellence, a key recommendation in the UNEP report on Ogoniland into a Federal University of environmental and agricultural studies that would be in a reference, not only in Niger Delta , but in Nigeria and Africa at large.

Senator Abe followed that up with an article published in Thisday where the same opinion was canvassed.

The Bill with the title Federal University of Environment, Science and Agriculture Ogoni, Rivers State (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 680) underwent first reading yesterday.

The presentation of the Bill and first reading of same today on the floor of the Senate is therefore seen as the first step in a long journey to actualize that lofty ideal for the benefit of Niger Delta.

Peace Corps: Peace Corps Bill dies as Reps fail to veto Buhari

By Richard Okundia

The controversial nongovernmental organization, Peace Corps of Nigeria’s Bill today failed to pass the second reading in order to veto the President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection, at the House Of Representatives.

The Bill, which had been passed by the National Assembly was also rejected by the President Muhammadu Buhari, who refused to sign the bill into law.

Unfortunately, on Thursday, the bill also suffered another set back as the House of representatives couldn’t achieved the “Veto Power” on the passage of the Peace Corps Bill.