Nwaorgu Faustinus

Nwaorgu Faustinus

Nwaorgu Faustinus is a citizen of Nigeria, Mass Communication graduate, freelance writer, columnist, blogger, who contributes articles, commentaries, interviews and news stories to media outfits. He worked as a trainee at NTA Yola, Adamawa State where he covered Seminars, workshops, news conferences as well as political rallies amongst others from 2000-2001. After his internship,  he went back to school to complete his education at the first private poly technique - OSISATECH where he obtained HDN Certificate with upper credit in Mass Communication in 2005.   He lives in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State one of the oil producing States in Nigeria.

A Chieftain of the APC, the governorship candidate of the then Action Congress (AC) in Rivers State in 2007 who also contested for same office in 2015, Prince Tonye Princewill, in this interview with select journalists speaks on the need to support President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 Presidential election.

 

Nigerians were taken aback when you decided to leave Labour Party to join the APC. What actually informed that decision? 

Common sense. For me, it was probably one of the easiest political decisions that I have ever made so I can’t imagine why anyone will be taken aback. I believe that all politics is local. And therefore, when you're playing politics or doing politics or observing politics, you have to look first at your local environment. I don't understand why so many people focus on national and international politics, and completely forget their local politics. To me, local politics is what matters the most, it isn’t that I am downplaying all other politics, but local politics matters most. So, what is the situation in Rivers State? We have a governor who has gone wild and we have an opposition that was not giving him the kind of opposition he deserves. 

My opinion was that, the opposition was still disjointed. We have an APC formidable as it is, we have a Labour party and we have other parties, and I thought to myself, we are all opposed to PDP and Wike, but our inability to work together is working in his favour. With my passion, the organisational skills of many of the APC members and the commitment that we all have to free the state, then all we need as like minds is to have an arrangement to join forces. Because if we don't join forces, it will make Wike stronger. 

I have said that we are not God, so, we cannot say we will definitely remove PDP. But by God, we are going to at least improve them. If in the process we are able to remove them, then may His name be praised. To sit back and do nothing, or leave the fight for APC alone, that is not an option. 

But you now find yourself being in the same platform with the likes of Magnus Abe, Amaechi who is seen as the leader of the party in the state now, considering the fact that you people had all sort of political battles in the past. How do you reconcile yourself with these people? Do you think you are comfortable being in the same platform with somebody like Rotimi Amaechi? 

Yes, I am. Let's not make any mistake about it. Even good friends have disagreements. I am a lot more comfortable with the APC platform than I could ever been in the PDP platform. I have an affinity to APC from my days, initial days in Action Congress, of course as the pioneer Action Congress governorship candidate in 2007. So, for me, as AC metamorphosed into the APC, I still have many friends there. The difference between the political parties is not really about anything more than the individuals within it. Especially the leaders. It is there they are different. So, if you are looking for leadership, go to the top of the party, you will see what type of party to talk about. So Amaechi for me is one million times better than Wike. Does he have faults, of course? We all do. Nobody is perfect, even I have my own issues, but the reality is, if you are looking to play politics, Amaechi is one million times, a better option than Wike. The likes of Magnus Abe, Dakuku Peterside, they are all big names but beside them and beneath them, there are so many other good people who may not be as well known to the national media, but they are just as effective and so I know that the APC team have the capacity to move the state forward. 

You aren’t a rookie in politics, having been the governorship candidate of Action Congress and the Labour Party in Rivers state. Do you think your decision to move to APC was well thought out? I am asking this, against the backdrop of the perception that the average south-south person doesn’t want to associate with the party. 

The reason it isn’t seen to be strong in the south-south is that the other party was in power in 2015 and rigged the election in favour of themselves. I think in 2019 we will get a clearer picture of who amongst us is truly in power. I never believe that principle that a region or state is owned by a particular party. I have never believed in that concept at all. Many times in our region we don’t really have elections so to assume that the peoples votes is what counted to put them in that place, I think is a misnormer. There are some things we just deceive ourselves about as if we don’t know the truth. I am not fooled by that script. I know that for instance in Rivers state in 2015 there was no election. The Supreme Court can say what it must, but if you go back home and you are in your bedroom and somebody outside proceeds to tell you that the colour of your green bed sheet is red, you will smile, because you know the truth. 

As far as I am concerned, free and fair elections and the decision of the people in the state have been missing. Hopefully in 2019, we will get a lot closer to reality and we will see whether PDP is truly on the ground.

But after the 2015 general elections, we have had senatorial elections in Rivers and PDP still won overwhelmingly. Does that not reinforce the fact that it is in charge there? 

Maybe you don’t have the full picture so let me remind you that thanks to the APC, Sen. Magnus Abe won and he is in Senate today. So PDP was defeated. There are many other examples. The reality of it is that in 2015, we had a 419 election in Rivers state that was supervised by the security agencies and INEC on behalf of PDP. That is why they are where they are. Let us see what will happen in 2019. Let us see whether Wike will come out and deliver PDP in Rivers state. By then you can come and ask me these questions again. 

You sound so confident that APC is formidable in Rivers but there has been intractable crisis which could undermine efforts to make it a potent force against the ruling PDP.  An example is the cold war between Senator Magnus Abe and Rotimi Amaechi Is that not a setback for the APC? 

No, I won’t describe the situation as a setback at all. I think that when you see people pushing and fighting, which is often common in politics, it is because there is value in what they are pushing and fighting for. I think keen observers know that APC is well placed to win the 2019 elections. 

In Rivers therefore, there is a genuine fight for that ticket. Admittedly Magnus Abe might have shot his gun too early, that’s my opinion, but he is well within his rights to demand and push for the position. If it wasn’t viable, if it wasn’t valuable, he wouldn’t. But in the context of crisis I want to remind you that based on my little experience of having been involved in both parties, I can tell you that this isn’t a crisis. If anything, this is a mini display of friction. Why do I say that? It is because I have seen crisis in political parties in the fight for a ticket. In 2007, I fought for the ticket of AC against Sergeant Awuse and I know what crisis means. When in 2015, we fought for the ticket of PDP in Rivers, I know what crisis was. This isn’t a crisis; this is simply a man opting to push for a governorship ticket. I think Magnus may have wanted an early endorsement from Amaechi, but he refused to give it to him and so the man has decided to pursue his ambition regardless. I don’t see that as a crisis. Ultimately in Rivers state, APC will choose a candidate and everybody will rally behind that candidate. That’s just the way we work. Amaechi isn’t going to come and point and say, this is the person. No. Leaders of the party at different levels will sit down and a decision will be taken and we will all rally round that decision. At the end of the day, we will go forward and move to a general election. If Wike is unfortunate to present himself, then he will face the APC candidate. Simple. 

You have said there is no crisis but the perception out there is that Amaechi is the one bullying the others to fall in line (cuts in) 

Bully who? I am a chieftain of the party and I don’t see Amaechi bullying anyone. He is a democrat. He delegates. That is how Wike got his freedom to scheme. Some people say the Hon Minister is stubborn and all that. What they call obstinacy is because at the end of the day he takes a position and he stands by it. But it is often a principled position; for the greater good, if you watch, you will see. My argument has always been that we shouldn’t impose candidate. Let a candidate emerge and that’s also what Amaechi has committed himself to. We have all committed ourselves to that. If at the end of the day, Magnus Abe emerges, then we will all support him. The reality is that there will be a primary that will be transparent and a candidate will emerge. So this talk about bullying is being bandied by people that don’t like Amaechi. It is a little too early to start discussing who will be the candidate of APC in 2019. I understand that in the media, good news is not news, so where there is no crisis, it will be sought, even if it is friction.  There is a process for choosing candidate and that process will be followed. In politics, people will be amazed about how seemingly serious crisis are resolved and you see politicians enter the room, sit down and discuss and people will be saying, look at these people that were fighting. Tomorrow, they see them talking and laughing. Political crisis is many times, a disagreement played up in the media to mean something else. They enter the house, settle and discuss. At the South-south meeting the other day, I saw Amaechi and Magnus Abe discussing. It isn’t a crisis; there is a disagreement in timing and approach. Magnus has shown he doesn’t need Amaechi’s support, he is a serving Senator. Power belongs to God. 

If you insist there is no crisis, how come the national secretariat of the party recently summoned them? 

Well, it is perfectly legitimate to see two friends in disagreement in mediation to come together. I am not aware that they were summoned, but if the party HQ did, it isn’t out of place. 

The security challenge in the state has earned itself the name, Rivers of Blood.Why does it appear insurmountable? 

I think it is already being tackled. Of course, in the past few weeks a lot of progress has been made when the federal government decided to take charge. Unfortunately for our state we have a governor who entered by violence and has continued to condone violence. Maybe he cannot address the matter effectively, because his hands of course are tied. We hope and we pray that Rivers people will learn from mistakes of the past and that all politicians will learn that this kind of violence, this kind of association will not do us any good. I want to think that the signal has been sent by the killing of leader of the gang… and the taming of his team. It will be a message to everybody else that there is only one law and that’s the law of Nigeria and we won’t tolerate any other alternative laws in the land. If that message is heeded, I think there will be peace. But don’t let us lose sight of the fact that the administration entered by violence and the boys that they used have been left largely unattended. Therefore, they will seek to keep their heads above water. As best as they can. It is natural. 

You aren’t comfortable with the administration in Rivers but a lot of people are quick to applaud his developmental strides in the state. What really do you have against him? 

You are right when you say I am uncomfortable about him. I think, to put it diplomatically, I think he is the worst governor ever in Nigeria, not to talk of in Rivers state. You must compare resources versus development. You have to compare what he has achieved, compared to what he has had. You will then understand that he is building nothing. He believes, and he may be right, that everybody has a price, so he can pay for image, he can pay for perception and he can pay pay pay his way through anything. He has a lot of reasons to think it, having earned multiple awards for what I am not sure of. When you talk, people say you are bitter because you didn’t win the election.

I am not talking about just my opinion but the opinions across the length and breadth of the state. Wike is a one-man show. This man hoarded the budget for 3 years and everybody was quiet as if it was right. Now that the opposition has come together and found its voice, he is sweating. Just last week, he signed the 2018 budget into law, the last of his peers to do so. We simply haven’t seen anything like this before. On the security angle and the economic angle, people are leaving the state. 

Is that peculiar to Rivers? 

They are going somewhere else, they aren’t leaving the country. They are leaving Rivers to go elsewhere and we are losing business and jobs. To my utter surprise, people are leaving Rivers for Imo to do business. I don’t know of anybody in his right mind that will look at Wike and say he is developing Rivers. But he was not put there to develop the state. The people who put him there are not statesmen or stateswomen. They put him there for the few, not the many. 

Finally, former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in his special letter gave a damning verdict on Buhari administration, the PDP and the APC. He said the two dominant parties lack the capacity to bring the desired change Nigerians are craving for. What is your reaction? 

You know while some people were battling as to their response to the letter, Lai Mohammed gave an eloquent reply which I want to stand by. I don’t want to believe that our generation should start exchanging words with people of Obasanjo’s generation. He has ventilated his views, the government has responded and I think we should leave it at that. What amazes me though is that as damning as the letter was to PDP, they were quick to clap, forgetting that they too were also indicted. It just tells you the ineptitude in the system that they preside over. That they were actually clapping for Obasanjo while he decimated them. They were so busy, happy that APC was being attacked that they didn’t even realize that they were being attacked as well. It reminds me of Solomon and the two women. Only patriots are sober when the future of our children is at stake. 

Generality of Nigerians aren’t comfortable with President Buhari tardiness in responding to issues of urgent national importance, which almost borders on complacency. Sincerely, aren’t you disturbed with that attitude, considering the enormity of the challenges facing the nation? 

Look, I think people sometimes forget where we we’re coming from and more importantly they also forget that where we need to go also requires a lot of effort. Nigeria has been on the wrong track for a long time.

Like a tanker that is in the water, trying to turn, it will take an amazing effort to reverse the current trend. Now, did our party make promises that were unrealistic? Yes, we did. Either through enthusiasm or a lack of appreciation of the enormity of the problems on ground. But I think we should ask ourselves this question. Do they really have the intention to move the country forward? I think the answer is yes. The capacity might have been a problem, but slowly it is being built. For me, I am also a business man and so I asked myself, how can Nigeria continue like this. Things need to be done differently and so when somebody comes and tries to make a difference, do you think it is going to be easy at the beginning? No. if you have a bad tooth and somebody wants to pull it out the pain that you are going through is so that you can have less stress tomorrow. So, the pain that we are going through is so that we can place the country on a sound footing. Because of what the dentist will do to you, will say you will never vote for a dentist? Then you will continue to wallow in that pain until it slowly and eventually kills you. Let us go through that pain now so that we can have a brighter future tomorrow.

If Buhari was strictly concerned about the next election, he will avoid some of these hard decisions. There are things he could have done that have fast, quick solutions but they may not be lasting or sustainable. The man has decided that he is going to do what is lasting and sustainable as a result of that, electorally he is taking a hit. But I am looking for statesmen; I am not looking for politicians to lead me. That’s my position and I believe that we should recognize that and join the dentist to help pull out that bad tooth. I think Nigerians have two choices: to go back to the old ways of doing business and the other one is to go through this pain. Ultimately most economists are not disagreeing that this path is going to set us on a better platform. Coming from a state that is highest on the misery index, I know the real damage a leader can cause. Under Buhari Nigeria will be better positioned. Trust me. That to me is the message.

2019 Rivers Poll: Hausa community distance themselves from Wike's endorsement

Hausa community in Rivers State said yesterday in Port Harcourt that they are not part of the group that endorsed Governor Nyesom Wike for a second tenure in office.

A group of Hausa community led by one Alhaji Mesundu was among the hundreds of non indigenes resident in Rivers State that endorsed Governor Wike for second tenure on Wednesday in Government House Port Harcourt.

During the visit, Alhaji Mesundu said the entire Hausa community in Rivers is in support of Wike's second tenure and promised to mobilize Hausa community in the State to actualize the Governor's 2015 bid.

But the Rivers State liaison officer of Hausa community, Alhaji Musa Saidu said the Hausa community in the State has not endorsed anybody for 2019 governorship election.

Alhaji Saidu who spoke in Port Harcourt said that Hausa community in Rivers State has political and administrative structures headed by both traditional institutions and other leaders of thought saying that non of the bodies were consulted before the endorsement was made.

He said that Alhaji Mensudu endorsement of Governor Wike is his personal opinion and does not represent the interest of the entire northern community in Rivers State.

"I read in the media that a certain group of people led by one Alhaji Mensudu went to Government House on Thursday and endorsed Governor Wike for the- second tenure in office."

"I want to state here that Alhaji Mensudu does not have the mandate to speak on behalf of Hausa community in Rivers State. What transpired in Government House on Wednesday where Mensudu claimed that the entire Hausa community is in support of Wike is his personal opinion and does not in any way represent the interest of the entire northern community."

"Mesundu does not understand the political and administrative structure of Hausa community in Rivers State. We have an organised leadership structure headed by Sariki Hausawa who is our spiritual leader."

"I am the Chief liaison officer of Hausa community in Rivers State. If we want to endorse anybody we will meet and take decision on that. We have not discuss any issue concerning the endorsement of anybody."

"So we have not endorsed Governor Wike for 2019. If there is any need for that the entire leadership of Hausa community will meet and take decision on that."

He called on the public to disregard such endorsement saying that Hausa community in Rivers State is yet to take decision on who to support in 2019. 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 08:45

Thousands of Rivers State Residents Back SARS

Thousands of Rivers State Residents Back SARS

Over 5000 residents of Rivers state took to the streets of Port Harcourt today to show Solidarityto the Nigerian Police and particularly for its embattled Special Anti-Robbery Squad SARS.

The sea of heads that marched from Polo Club on Tombia Street, GRA to Police headquarters, Forces Avenue in Port Harcourt carried several banners and placards with inscriptions such as:

“No to End SARS”, “SARS fighting criminals to see the state safe”, “SARS has reduced the mindless killings of Rivers people”, “if you end SARS you increase killings”, “to end SARS is to increase Beheading” “Governor Wike making criminals kings and attacking security agents.”

The ten kilometer walk culminated at the Headquarters of the Rivers State Police Command where leaders of the Solidarity Rally took turns to speak before handing over two copies of letters to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the Rivers State Commissioner of Police Ahmed Zaki Ahmed respectively.

Receiving the letters, the Rivers CP said the police is ever ready to carry out its core mandate of protection of lives and properties, prevention of crime and the arrest and protection of offenders.

He said security should be everybody’s business because without there can be no peace.
“Security is next to life. If we want peace the police must be allowed to carry out their constitutional duties” he said.

The Rivers police boss said a review of the performance from January till date shows that SARS had been doing a good job.

“More than 1000 armed robbers have been arrested with 500 currently facing charges in the Court of Law.”

CP ZAKI also commended SARS for the large number of vehicles recovered from robbers and car snatches. He said within this period, several arms and ammunition have also been retrieved from criminals.

 

Most of us are victims

Honourable Asita Honourable, speaking with an emotion laden voice at the gate of the Rivers State Police Command told the Rivers CP and the press that most of the over 5000 people who took part in the solidarity rally have been affected directly or indirectly by the heinous crimes that enveloped the state since 2015.

“Most of us here are victims of robbery, kidnappers and hired assassins”
“several families in Rivers state have been slaughtered.”

He said the attack on SARS and other security agencies by the Rivers State Governor is because the security agencies have refused to be compromised. “The government of Rivers state has taken it as a duty to frustrate SARS”

“We understand that they have made several futile attempts to bribe SARS and to compromise the police that’s why Rivers people have come to say thank you and also to tell you to do more because without police this place will be hell.”

The former federal lawmaker and governorship running mate to Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside in the 2015 elections blamed Governor Wike for the rise in violent crimes in the state. He said all the security infrastructure put in place by the former administration tackle crime has been deliberately dismantled by the Wike Government.

“Now you can see that the governor of Rivers state is funding and supporting criminals. He is recognizing criminals as Chiefs and Kings and attacking security agencies.”

Asita said Rivers people have come to beg the police not to waiver in their fight against crime but rather do more for Rivers people in the area of security.

“It is only criminals that are afraid of Police. SARS goes after robbers hence only robbers and their sponsors will be fighting against SARS.”

Governor Wike is a direct sponsor, beneficiary and enhancer of criminality in Rivers state

The executive director of marine operations in the Nigerian Ports Authority, Dr Sokonte Davies who also spoke at the rally said SARS and other units of the Nigerian Police have done a good job in improving the security situation in the state. He said before now there are manifold evidence of daily murder and beheading in every local government area of the state.

“You have statistics that clearly shows that since the coming of Akim Fakorode the number of beheading has drastically reduced in the state”

“They are fighting against SARS because they want to continue beheading people to use for rituals. Only ritualists behead people”

Blaming Governor Wike for the violence in the state, the Kalabari born politician stated that “the Rivers State Governor is a direct sponsor, beneficiary and enhancer of criminality in the state.”

Speaking further, Dr Sokonte alleged that some group of people are working to get the CP transferred out of Rivers state because of his refusal to be compromised.

“Even if you don’t say it we know that they want you posted out. They are using Rivers funds to mount a campaign against SARS and other units of the police.”

Support for IGs reform moves

Prince Tonye Princewill, former Labour Party governorship candidate in the 2015 elections who is now a chieftain of the APC wondered why Governor Wike didn’t call for the scrapping of SARS when his CSO was a Commander of SARS.

He said the complaints about SARS were not peculiar as all over the world people have complaints about the police but that calling for entire police unit because of a few bad ones is not sensible.

“We support the IGs pronouncement to reform SARS and to investigate the complaints from the public. Even SARS recognizes that every single complain must be Investigated.”

The crowd is a testimony of people support

Business mogul and chieftain of the APC, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs in his address to the crowd and the State CP said it is obvious that Rivers people are happy with SARS
“we have seen serious decrease in criminal activities in Rivers state and we want that to continue.”

“You can see the Mammoth crowds here, it is a testimony of support for the work that you are doing.”

He said those who have failed in their attempts to want to use SARS wrongfully will always complain.

We have suffered the most

The Chairman of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Davies Ikanya in his solidarity speech said the APC decided to identify with the rally because as a group that suffered the most loss in human and material terms the call by Gov Wike to end SARS gives them much concern.

Recalling the human losses of the party in 2015, he said “in 2015 over 300 of our members were killed. From 2015 till now we have lost over 400.”

“One day in ONELGA over 30 persons were killed and beheaded. the APC Chairman of ward 4 in ONELGA was killed alongside his pregnant wife, son and daughter in one day and we know that the sponsors of these crimes come from the PDP he alleged.

Chief Ikanya said the reason why the anti SARS campaign is loud in Rivers state is because they have plannedto invade the state with arms so as to resume the killings and Beheading ahead of the 2019 elections.

The leader of the Free Rivers Development Initiative, Chief Sampson Ngeribara said Rivers state has moved from its initial peaceful state to a level where human skulls are now used as decorative piece of art in the homes of people.

“I wonder what kind of leader will seat in the comfort of Government House sipping expensive cognac and watch a house in ONELGA saturated with human heads and then sleep fine." 

Imagine waking up one morning ready to start the day, then notice there’s a strange looking massive structure suspended in the sky. Curiosity lures you along the investigative path then you realize, yikes! It’s an alien ship! What!!! How did they sneak in? What do they want? Are we going to hear the famous words “Hello Earthlings”? 

Hold on to your horses because Hollywood’s ace director Denis Villeneuve beautifully adapts Ted Chiang’s short story titled "Story of Your Life" to produce the blockbuster Sci-fi film titled Arrival”.  

The film stars Amy Adams (one of the highest paid actresses in the world with two Golden Globe Awards, six BAFTA Awards and  five Academy Award nominations, starred in Batman v Superman:Dawn of Justice), Jeremy Renner (Captain America Civil war, Avengers :Age of Ultron), Forest Whitaker (Taken 3, Rouge One: A star wars story), Michael Stuhlbarg (Men in Black 3, Steve Jobs) and Tzi Ma (Rush hour 3). 

In Arrival, twelve mysterious UFOs touch down across earth in random locations. No violent act is made against mankind ‘yet’ but people are freaking out and want to know why they’re here! They need a versatile linguist in the art to communicate with these aliens a.k.a Heptapod and get answers from them. The US military enlists expert linguist Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to investigate these UFOs. They travel to one such landing site in rural Montana in search of the answers and what they discover will leave you speechless! 

The film takes us on an emotional ride unveiling humanity, time, memory, and all that is worth fighting for on planet Earth. Arrival stands out and is in a class of its own with sixteen Awards, one hundred and twenty seven nominations including nine nominations at the British Academy Film Awards and two nominations at the Golden globe awards. 

Even the hard hitting critics such as Robbie Collin have scored Arrival high saying it is “introspective, philosophical and existentially inclined – yet it unfolds in an unwavering tenor of chest-tightening excitement”.

It’s no doubt a fantastic, emotionally thrilling, mystery clad, action and suspense laced film. 

Arrival is distributed by Silverbird Film Distribution WA and opens in cinemas across the Nation from January 27th 2017.

Professor Nwaorgu Onyekwere Benjamin a specialist and seasoned otorhinolaryngologist in the department of Ear, Nose and Throat (E.N.T) of the University College Hospital of Ibadan, Oyo State has recommended accurate diagnosis in the treatment of diseases  that affect the ear, nose and  throat.

Prof. Nwaorgu gave the recommendation during his inaugural lecture held at Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan with the title "STEADY NECK, STABLE HEAD, AND UNOBSTRUCTED THROATH: THE OTORHINOLARYNGOLOGIST AT WORK.

According to him, "the treatment modalities for head and neck cancers include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Their successful management depends on accurate diagnosis, tumour stage, and selection of appropriate treatment modality with close post-operative follow-up.

He identified late disease presentation and acceptance of surgical treatment by patients and their families, initial self-medication, poverty and illiteracy as major challenges confronting the management of their patients, and called for:

1 A targeted and well co-ordinated health education and awareness programme for ORL diseases and their prevention at community level, through the various media and even religious organizations should be pursued with the support of appropriate and relevant agencies.

2 Inclusion of therapy for head and neck cancers in the existing National Health Insurance Scheme in Nigeria will likely encourage early presentation to ORL Specialist while also reducing default of treatment.

3 The establishment of world class functional centers for the management of head and neck cancers in the six geopolitical zones of the country. The creation of awareness programmes and encouraging immunization against Human Papilloma Virus and other infective agents will go a long way in prevention of the infection, and other agents that may result in neck infections and abscess.

Earlier in his lecture, Prof. Nwaorgu revealed that it was as a result of the frequent illness in his family that propelled him to study medicine.

The inaugural lecture which dwelled copiously on diseases of the nose, neck, and head with their medical nomenclature, the findings/discoveries made on the diseases, management/treatment of the diseases ended by 6pm yesterday.

The event which witnessed a large turnout of invitees/guest was honourably graced by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Olayinka Idowu represented by his deputy, Professor Aiyelari Ambrose, the Registrar Mr. Victor Adegoroye among other academic and non academic staff of the university.

Nwaorgu Faustinus sent in this piece from Ibadan the ancient City of Oyo State

The name Prince Tonye Princewill does not need any introduction to any person who has been a keen observer of the political milieu or terrain in the Niger Delta region and to be more specific the Rivers State political game.

Born into the famous Princewill's family in Buguma of the ancient Kalabari Kingdom in Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, Tonye who is fondly called 'TP' has made a name for himself not only as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, politician but also as a producer of home movie in collaboration with other famous and seasoned movie producers such as Izu Ojukwu and Adonijah Owiriwa.

For the sake of time, and because of Prince Tonye Princewill's entrepreneurship activities as well as his political incursions and philanthropic works are issues that are in the public domain, which can easily be scooped even from the internet, suffice it say that this piece is going to dwell briefly on Princwill's currently found love – movie making.

Apart from TP's initial hand in the sponsorship and production of NNENDA and Kajola, another breathtaking, awe-inspiring, suspense-filled, sit-on-the-edge and top-notch movie that is currently trending is '76.

'76 is a romantic movie which tells the story of a young military officer from Nigeria's Middle Belt region who gets entrapped in a steaming relationship and eventually marries a beautiful student from the South-Eastern part of Nigeria.

The couple blossoming romance is jeopardized by endless military transfers, and they face the ultimate test when news of the soldier's involvement in a botched coup attempt hits the headlines of newspapers.‎

When the movie was initially screened to select viewers in Lagos early February this year, the satisfaction of the viewers was glaring as the movie brought tears coursing down the chicks of everyone in the hall including one of the star actresses, Rita Dominic.

According to TP, "76 is about Nigeria. My hope is that as people watch this powerful film, they see what I saw, escape from the day to day hassles and then immerse them in how life should be. If we succeed, we will get more youths empowered and that is the ultimate goal. Over 200 cast and crew were used in '76.

"76 is a deeply emotional movie, and it resonated deeply with me as I am sure it will do for viewers not just in Nigeria, but around the world.

"The movie's message presents a number of questions including how we got here, amongst many other issues.

"No doubt, '76 is the first movie we did on celluloid, first movie to be shot in an army barracks, first blockbuster in our pack, first movie to do a private screening within post production. First this, first that. But as it was challenging, it has also been very rewarding. To see the child grow into a man leaves a smile on the face. All in all it took us seven years to get here. I am my own worst constructive critic, but I can look back on '76 and say, wow, we tried!" TP commented.

'76, directed by award winning director, Izu Ojukwu, is also inspired by events that culminated to and followed the failed 1976 coup d'état, and features real life, archived, actual footage that contributes to the movie's overall authenticity.

For Izu Ojukwu, "'76 is a tale of love in a time post war."

"The movie deals with a range of issues including the plight of the African woman, and the usually invisible pain of a soldier's wife," he said.

"76 highlight the enduring Nigerian cultural values of courage, resilience, patience, loyalty, faith and family and the nation's ability to surmount all challenges."

'76 set at the Mokola Army Barrack in the ancient city of Ibandan, Oyo State, the movie features famous Nollywood names including Rita Dominic, Ramsey Nouah, Chidi Mokeme, Ibinabo Fiberesinma, Memry Savanhu, Ada Ofoegbu, Daniel K. Daniel and a host of others.

The movie which is scheduled to be release officially by the 4th Quarter of this year, promises to be one of the turning points in the movie making industry or rather Nollywood as many awaits its formal release with much expectation.

Faustinus wrote in via  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The news about the directive or rather order by the senate on the 11th of this month to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend the fixed charge of N702.00, which it has been collecting from electricity consumers across the federation following unending complaints against the policy by Nigerians has been greatly applauded as the right step in the right direction, given its anti-people oriented and exploitative coloration.

When this good news filtered into the public domain, many a consumer of power supply heaved a profound sigh of relief having been subjected to the fixed charge without proportionate benefit to show for the money they pay, especially for those who do not make use of pre-paid meters. Again, the Senate in a landmark resolution from a motion entitled: Unfair Trade Practices of Electricity Distribution Companies in Nigeria, which was sponsored by the duo of Senator Sam Egwu and Senator David Umaru, directed the NERC to urge Discos to discontinue the practice of compulsory bulk metering of villages and communities in the rural areas.

As commendable as these directives are, it is only when the various private power/electricity distribution companies that cut across the geo-political zones of the federation are forced to implement and comply with the order will fairness be restored to the power sector as regards the outrageous, extortionate, slavish and exploitative electricity bills paid by consumers of electricity.

Apart from the issues of bulk metering and fixed charge of N702.00, another issue that is giving the public a great source of concern, anger, and sadness is the continuation of the charge of electricity bills on services not rendered for. For example, there are places and residential homes that have been disconnected for months and the wires used for the connection taken away by the various private power/electricity distribution companies' electricians for one reason or the other but the end users (electricity consumers) have continued to receive electricity bills for services that have not been offered. This is a clear case of daily light robbery, thievery, consciencelessness, and man's insensitivity to man by these exploitative companies and its allies. Had it not been that majority of Nigerians who consume electricity are docile even when pushed to the wall especially on this issue of having one's source of electricity disconnected and wires taken away by these power supply companies' electricians or taskforce on disconnection, we would have been inundated with news of untoward actions meted out to those who deliver these undeserving electricity bills to those who do not supposed to pay for the bills.

Similarly, there are homes and places that are connected to power supply but have not had electricity for months but these electricity companies still bill them for services not rendered. I believe the practice of making consumers pay for meters, poles and transformers, which by law, are properties of the electricity companies should not be paid for. No wonder the senate directed NERC to make a regulation to mandate the Discos to discontinue the practice of making consumers pay for meters, poles and transformers, which by law, are properties of the Discos, adding however that where consumers purchase those items, they should give notice of the purchase to the Discos, and should be entitled to recover their expenses from subsequent consumption of electricity.

This unpalatable situation of things in the power sector should be investigated holistically by the National Assembly with a view to finding permanent remedies to the ripping off of consumers of electricity and to restore sanity in the system. A stitch in time saves nine.

Nwaorgu Faustinus writes from, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The abysmal inadequacy of public primary school teachers in Ngor okpala local government area should be a source of concern to all who holds the education of their wards close to the heart. A situation whereby a single teacher is charged with the responsibility of handling three classes from Monday to Friday could be best described as tedious, energy sapping and uninspiring. 

Truly, the above situation is what most public primary school teachers are going through in Ngor Okpala, particularly in Umuodagu Ntu primary school. This scenario according to sources who wouldn’t want their names mentioned in print most times make it difficult for some teachers to prepare adequate lesion notes that will take care of the multi-classes they have to teach in a day. 

As a result of this, some teachers now bring the various classes together to teacher. But the question on the lips of many is: When will this development come to an end? What is the Imo State government doing to bring this ugly trend to its logical end in order to save the educational future of pupils in the public primary school? 

I recall quite vividly at the time I attended primary school, each class; say primary one, has a teacher that teaches the class the various subjects that is assigned to him or her on that day. With what is currently happening in some public primary schools in the council area, the one teacher one class that was the hallmark of teaching in early 80’s is now being greatly eroded. 

The governor Rochas Okorocha government needs to expedite urgent action on this. This he can start doing by carrying out massive recruitment of qualified teachers through the appropriate body that sees to the recruitment of teachers that will fill in these obvious vacancies of shortage of teachers in public primary schools. If this is done, the great burden and pain teachers go through in preparing their lesion notes, delivering their lesion in the classroom and marking of take-home-work, test and examination answer scripts will be greatly reduced. 

Furthermore, in the event of recruitment and deployment of teachers to public primary schools not only in Ngor/Okpala or Umuodagu Ntu but also in all the local government areas that makes up Imo State, concerted effort should be made or geared towards ensuring that those posted in rural areas are monitored to forestall them from effecting their posting back to the capital city (Owerri metropolis).

It is only when this is done will the underhand dealing that characterize the effecting of one’s posting from rural public primary schools back to urban schools will be nipped in the bud.

Though I have done some opinion pieces on the current administration in Imo State, led by the peoples’ Governor – Owelle Rochas Okorocha in connection to infrastructural development, particularly in the area of road construction, it would not be out of place to draw the attention of Imo State government to the lapses observed by this writer in the construction of the road that runs through Umuocham Ntu to Elelem all in Ngor/Okpala LGA. 

During my last visit to Umuodagu Ntu in Ngor-Okpala LGA, I was able to gather from a reliable source who does not want his name mentioned which this writer also confirmed of how the contractors handling Umuocham, Umuhoko, Umuogba, Umuolokoche and Umuaku axis road all in Ntu community forgo the construction of culvert at Aforegbe a weekly market in Umuogba Ntu and another at St. Paul’s Catholic Parish which is located at the boundary between Umuogba and Umuolokoche Ntu. However, information available to ngorokpalaresercher a few hours ago indicated that a solidarity club which goes by the name Otu Ama led by its leader took it upon themselves to dig and lay big pipes across the two flood spots that has eased free flow of flood into a bush through these pipes. As commendable as this gesture by the Otu Ama Club is, that has resulted in the complete reduction of flood which gathers at the two spots, the state government must compel the contractors to construct the culverts just as the one that was constructed at Umuocham Ntu, near their weekly market. What the solidarity club has done is a temporary act of concern to mitigate the situation.  Apart from erecting the culverts, the state government should make sure that the contractors handling the road project build drainage systems by the sides of the road. 

It has therefore become necessary to draw the attention of the state government to this negligence on the part of the contractors to put in place “standard culverts” as captured in the design of the road in the above mentioned places as this will ensure the durability of the road if it is duly completed. The above spot for the avoidance of doubt is seen by many as the converging point of flood. If nothing is done to put these culverts in place, the contractors and the state government should take the blame. Many are of the view that, the flood which is a common sight at the spots whenever rain falls will lead to the speedy deterioration of the road if eventually completed. 

Furthermore, the haphazard erection of drainage system (gutters) along the road, given the all-important role it plays should be completed holistically before the current asphalting from Umuocham Ntu to Umuagwu Eziama if those handling the road construction want the road to last for appreciable time frame. The factor that can result in the timely depreciation or weakening of the road which is currently undergoing asphalting is flood, intractable weeds and grass that grow constantly along the road. 

Though it is the constitutional responsibility of any democratically elected and responsive administration to provide such dividends of democracy to those who voted them into elective positions, I must therefore commend the Rochas Okorocha’s led administration for the ambitious development projects it has embarked upon (both the on-going and completed ones). Mention need to be made of the completion of the road that runs from the main gate of the council secretariat through Umukabia to Ihitte as well as the asphalting and building of gutters of a selected portion in Ngor-Okpala council secretariat which was never attended to by previous administration. 

Indeed, Owerri, the capital of Imo State among other places is wearing a new look. Keep up the good work you are doing.

 

Nwaorgu Faustinus wrote in via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Apart from the role he played during the first ever musical reality show for orphanages organised by Melody Shelters in collaboration with Adonis Productions, to being a major facilitator of NNENDA, Prince Tonye has nonetheless showed unwavering love to the youth, indigent undergraduates, and rural women among others. For instance, in June 2012, Prince Tonye sponsored ten Nigerian youths from the “Change Nigeria Group (CNG)” on a tour of South Africa and Dubai where the youths met with members of UAE royal family, institutional investors and leaders from far and wide so that they could find for themselves the secrets of their success.

In the educational sector, he has through his brainchild – Princewill Trust Fund sponsored the annual Amachree Scholarship Fund for poor students from the 23 LGA’s in Rivers State and about 150 Rivers indigenes in higher institutions in Nigeria. In furtherance of his acts of charity, he donated 23million naira Skill Acquisition Scheme to LGA’s for the training of rural women in the state by empowering them via skill acquisition programme to uphold the saying “do not give me fish but teach me how to fish”. Relatedly, he facilitated the sponsorship of the likes of Miss Mercy Akudo in Acting, Mr Valentine Ohu in Broadcast Journalism, Stanley Kotey in 3D Graphics, Crystabel Goddy in Acting and Telema Senibo in 3D Graphics to the Del-York Film Academy. Today, these youths are proud owners of multi-million naira equipped studios.

It is therefore imperative at this junction to enumerate some of the commendable deeds of this man to humanity as captured by one Chief Chukwueme Eze a media consultant based in Port Harcourt.

-Assisted his alma-mata UNIPORT Alumni when he donated the sum of N5M to the Leadership of Engr. Sampson N. Adumu led Exco to aid them in their activities during the launching of the Association in Port Harcourt on July, 2012.

- Sponsored and organized football competitions with some past football stars based in Port Harcourt, female and U-18 Soccer Tournaments in his drive to continue to give succor to our youths.

- Recently intervened and assisted people in Rivers and Bayelsa States that were affected by the damaging floods in the land.

- Has touched hundreds of the lives of the widows in Rivers State through his “New Life For the Widows in Rivers State”

- He followed it up with the premiering of the International award winning “The Figurine” anchored by the famous Kunle Afolayan in 11thOctober, 2009 at the Silver Bird Cinemas, Port Harcourt. This movie was the second Nigerian movie to hit box office status after Stephanie Okereke’s ‘Through the Glass’.

- The Prince premiered Kajola the most expensive film ever produced in Nigeria at the silver bird cinema Abuja on 3oth july, 2010 with a whooping production cost of One Hundred and thirty Million Naira (N130M) The plot of the movie set in Nigeria 2059, which is expected to appeal to all Nigerians in the sense that it explores the implications of the continuous neglect of the poor and the widening gulf between the rich and poor and the ensuing catastrophic outcomes stemming from such neglect.

- He is currently sponsoring the production of the first movie in Nigeria on celluoid Camera titled “76” hinged and anchored on the coup of 1976 in Nigeria aimed at recreating history for the incoming generation and preserving a remarkable part of the history of our nation. The post production is on-going in Germany. The second is Valor, a movie that deals with the Niger Delta and Boko Haram issues and is also at post production stage.

- The RIVMAP which is the brainchild of Prince Tonye Princewill to serve as a platform for the emancipation of our youths from poverty and hopelessness by discovering, nurturing and grooming talent in the arts to stardom had during its inaugural outing that cost him the sum of N20M had Mr. Timi Julius carting away the N5M Record Deal in Music with the Dancing group of the Thrillers winning the N2M Prize in the Dancing Group and Mr. Jacob John a Welder/Fabricator based in Port Harcourt from Akwa Ibom winning the N1M meant for the Comedy group.

Away from the above, Prince Tonye played a praise-worthy part in the resolution of the Buguma crisis that engulfed the ancient city. For him, it was the Buguma crisis that made him get involved in Rivers State politics. He was a member of the Niger Delta Committee who drew up the Niger Delta Technical Committee Report during the heydays of militancy in the Niger/Delta region, before amnesty was granted the freedom fighters but nothing much was done about it on the part of the FG by way of implementing it (the report) to the last letter. At the time he held sway as the sub-Committee Chairman of the Niger Delta Subcommittee on Vision 2020 set up by the late President, Umar Yar’Ardua, Princewill did what most present crop of politicians would not have done by resigning his position - Sub-committee Chair of the Niger Delta Subcommittee as a result of the bombardment of Guaramatu Kingdom by Federal Government forces to demonstrate his protest.

As a thoughtful democrat, Prince Tonye has billboards located at strategic points in Port Harcourt with different soul-searching and thought provoking inscriptions which include; “Have a forgiving spirit …. We all make mistakes, that’s why pencils have erasers”, “remember the youths because the young shall grow”, “remember the elderly because you too will grow old”, “you are blessed to bless others”, “free food dey run bele, work for your money”, “if you truly believe, the unbelievable becomes not only possible but popular” etc.

From the foregoing, it is clear that this humane business mogul cum politician has lived up to some of the inscriptions captured in his billboards even though he does not hold any political post. Keep up the good work you are doing.

 

Nwaorgu Faustinus wrote in via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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