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Opinion: He who comes to Rivers State must come with a nose mask

Remain focused while chasing your dream—Ruth Kadiri

The veteran actress, Ruth Kadiri, reveals that in other to sustain success in the Nollywood industry, film makers have to remain focused on the business.

In an interview video with BBC Pidgin shared on Kadiri’s Instagram page yesterday, she spoke about her views concerning her production and achieving long-term success.

She explained further on the implications of shortcomings for some of her colleagues who seek to follow the short way to make money.

While speaking, she noted that she was not concerned about competition on the YouTube page because there were a lot of opportunities on the platform.

“Personally, I don’t worry about competition, and I feel like, as filmmakers, we are at the forefront and we hustle.

“YouTube is an opportunity for a lot of filmmakers to make money, and that’s what’s happening now. Because YouTube is what is feeding people now.”

The mother of two spoke about how she manages her home and how she was lucky to marry a man who understands production.

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Why did I start uploading my movie to YouTube?

She went further to narrate that she wanted a platform where she could express herself, alleging that the film industry has rules and regulations that govern the industry.

However, the movie producer, whose YouTube page has about 2 million subscribers, stated that the idea was conceived as she went on vacation to birth her child after she became bored and stormed into YouTube.

Ruth Kadiri
Source: Instagram

Although during her disclosure, she noted that there were a lot of critics from people who even told her she would not make any money from YouTube.

Kadiri said, “I have been a producer for a long time, but there are too many rules and regulations during production.”

“So I called my team and told them that I wanted an opportunity to express myself. For instance, if I see something online, I want to learn it, and after learning, I want to upload it somewhere.

“When I travelled to give birth, I was bored and started watching a lot of musical videos and noticed that some people put their films on YouTube.

I told myself that I’ll come back to try it. Some people discouraged me and told me that there was no money in it. But because I needed a platform to express myself and tell my stories, I decided to try it.

“I told my team that we should shoot, and if the film is not good enough, we will learn and use it as a learning process.

Amaechi has lost 70% of Goodwill and Political Followership in Rivers – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has declared that former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has lost over 70% of his political followership in the state.

Eric Nwibani, Secretary of the State APC Caretaker Committee, made this statement at a news briefing in Port Harcourt on Tuesday. Nwibani attributed Amaechi’s loss of support to his ineffective leadership qualities, which led to the party’s defeat in three consecutive elections between 2015 and 2023.

“Amaechi has lost over 70 percent of his followership. I’m done working with Amaechi. Let me tell you the type of leader Amaechi is,” Nwibani said.

He criticized Amaechi for his response to the departure of his supporters, saying, “He (Amaechi) carries bitterness over the years. I heard him say he was going to plan to win the next election. How? You were a super minister and you couldn’t win the last election, is it now that you are out of government that you can win an election?”

Nwibani also accused Amaechi of neglecting the families of party members who died during a presidential campaign rally in 2019. “During the presidential campaign rally of President Buhari in 2019 at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, 16 Rivers people died due to stampede… That is the kind of a leader Amaechi is,” he said.

Furthermore, Nwibani defended the character of party members who defected to work with Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, saying, “Amaechi cannot say those working with Wike are hungry. I don’t know where he worked before joining politics. We know he made money from the government and politics… I know that Chief Victor Giadom is not hungry. I know that Ojukaye Flag Amachree is not, Sampson Ngerigbari and many others are not hungry people.”

Nwibani expressed support for Wike, acknowledging his contributions to the state. “Yes, Wike is a PDP man. But he is Rivers’ son and is doing very well as an FCT minister working in the government of President Tinubu. We need to give him all the support he deserves.”

He concluded by emphasizing the need for effective leadership, stating, “You cannot run a party aground and lose three consecutive elections due to ineffective leadership qualities and expect people to still follow you.”

Meanwhile, the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Chibuike Ikenga, said the party is reviewing a court judgment that declared 27 Pro-Wike lawmakers led by Martin Amaewhule as still members of the PDP. Ikenga stated, “Well, the decision of the Court is what it is. Ours is to obey or appeal. But as we speak, our leadership is looking at it, and based on the advice from the legal department of our party, we will take a position on it.”

When asked about the timeline for the party’s decision, Ikenga replied, “I think the process is on now. We are in stakeholder engagement, so we will know the next line of action afterward.”

Protesters Demand End To Hardship Across Nigeria

On the occasion of the 2024 Democracy Day, citizens across Nigeria took to the streets to voice their grievances and demand relief from economic hardships, insecurity, and other pressing issues. From Lagos to Abuja, and Osogbo to Edo State, the chorus of discontentment reverberated as protesters called for meaningful change.

In Lagos, under the shadow of Ikeja Underbridge, demonstrators gathered, their voices rising above the city’s hum. Among them was Ayoyinka Oni, representing the Take It Back Movement. With determination etched on his face, Oni criticized the government’s policies, particularly the removal of fuel subsidies.

“The cabals ruling Nigeria are thrusting us into worsening economic hardship every now and then,” Oni declared, his words resonating with the crowd. “We are only paying more while the politicians and marketers are getting richer, so it must be reversed.”

Placards bobbed above the sea of protesters, bearing messages like ‘President Tinubu, let the poor breathe,’ ‘End Insecurity,’ and ‘Reverse Fee Hikes Now.’ Each slogan a testament to the growing frustration with the status quo.

Amid the throng, a protester clad in a nurse’s uniform raised her voice, calling for a revamp of the healthcare system. “Our nurses are leaving the system, fix the health sector!” she implored, her words carrying the weight of countless struggles endured by healthcare workers.

In Abuja, at Unity Fountain, a smaller yet equally determined group gathered. Human rights lawyer Deji Adeyanju stood among them, a beacon of resilience in the face of adversity. “The DSS and other security agencies do not have the right to tell Nigerians when or how to protest,” Adeyanju asserted, his voice unwavering. “Special appreciation to all Nigerians who came out despite the threat to protest in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, and other parts of the country.”

“We are hungry protest,” read a banner held high by demonstrators, a stark reminder of the daily struggles faced by ordinary Nigerians.

In Osogbo, a coalition of civil society groups led the charge, traversing the city streets with purpose. Waheed Lawal, chairman of the coalition, reminded the government of its duty to fulfill promises made to the electorate. “The promises remain unfulfilled till now. Nigerians are living in hardship,” Lawal declared, his words echoing through the crowd.

Similar scenes unfolded in Edo State, where members of the Civil Society Organisation rallied for an end to the suffering of the masses and the implementation of policies aimed at improving living

NDF Applauds House of Representative for Police Act Amendment Bill

The National Democratic Front has praised the House of Representatives for advancing a bill to amend the Nigeria Police Act of 2020. In a statement from its Secretary General, Dr. Abdulkadir Musa, the group described the bill as a crucial step towards creating a more community-oriented policing system in the country.

The Police Act Amendment Bill recently passed its second reading in the House. The proposed changes aim to extend the service years of police officers to enhance the experience and expertise within the force. Additionally, the bill seeks to reduce training and recruitment costs and address the shortage of experienced personnel.

Dr. Musa emphasized that the legislation will improve the Nigerian Police Force’s (NPF) effectiveness and overall performance. “This amendment bill, which aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the NPF, represents a significant milestone towards achieving a more robust, responsive, and community-friendly policing system in Nigeria,” Musa stated.

The bill’s provisions include extending the retirement age and service years for police officers, which is expected to boost morale, retain experienced personnel, and improve the Force’s overall performance. Musa commended Speaker Tajudeen Abbas and Representative Yalleman for their commitment to security sector reform and responsiveness to Nigerians’ demands for a more effective and accountable police force. “This reflects their dedication to fostering excellence, professionalism, and service delivery in our security agencies,” he added.

The National Democratic Front also urged the Senate to agree with the House of Representatives and called on President Bola Tinubu to promptly sign the bill into law.

The bill represents a significant effort to address several key issues within the Nigerian Police Force. By extending the service years of police officers, the bill aims to leverage the experience and expertise of veteran officers, thus enhancing the overall capability of the force. The reduction in training and recruitment costs is another critical component, aiming to make the process more efficient and less burdensome on resources.

Musa highlighted that the amendment would not only bolster the effectiveness of the NPF but also improve the morale and retention of experienced officers, which are essential for maintaining a high standard of policing. The bill’s focus on these areas is seen as a direct response to public calls for a more effective and accountable police force.

Government Warns of Potential Layoff as Labour Rejects Agreement

The Federal Government has raised concerns about the looming threat of mass layoffs as organized Labour disowns the purported agreement on a new national minimum wage. The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, cautioned Labour against insisting on an unfeasible N250,000 minimum wage, emphasizing its potential adverse effects on the economy and the welfare of Nigerians.

Addressing the issue, Minister Idris stated, “The Federal Government is not opposed to increasing wages for Nigerian workers, but we advocate for a realistic and sustainable wage system that avoids mass layoffs and safeguards the welfare of all Nigerians.”

The dispute stems from the recent Democracy Day broadcast by President Bola Tinubu, where he announced plans to submit an executive bill to codify the purported agreements reached in the minimum wage negotiations. However, Labour unions swiftly refuted these claims, asserting that no agreement had been reached as of the last negotiation session on June 7.

Prince Adewale Adeyanju, the Acting President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, clarified the stance, stating, “As negotiations concluded on June 7, there was no agreement reached by the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage.”

The prolonged negotiations saw Labour unions pushing for a N250,000 minimum wage, while the Federal Government and the Organized Private Sector offered N62,000. However, state governors expressed their inability to sustain any wage higher than N60,000.

In response to the offers, Labour deemed them inadequate, refusing to negotiate what they termed as a ‘starvation wage.’ Chris Onyeka, Assistant General Secretary of the NLC, reiterated Labour’s rejection of the N62,000 offer and dismissed the proposed N100,000, labeling them as insufficient.

Minister Idris emphasized the importance of holistic measures beyond wage adjustments to alleviate the cost of living. He highlighted initiatives like the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas program, aimed at reducing transportation costs by 50%.

“We advocate for measures like the Presidential CNG initiative to reduce transportation costs and ensure more money stays in the pockets of Nigerians,” Minister Idris emphasized.

The minister also called upon religious leaders to assist in raising awareness about government initiatives and ongoing efforts. He acknowledged the influential platforms of religious leaders in disseminating vital information to the public.

Archbishop Leonard Kawas, the National President of the Charismatic Bishop Conference, reiterated the organization’s support for the government’s agenda, emphasizing collaborative efforts to achieve national aspirations.

In response to President Tinubu’s broadcast, Labour leaders expressed disagreement, asserting that no agreement had been reached on the national minimum wage. They maintained their demand for a N250,000 minimum wage, considering the government’s offer of N62,000 as inadequate.

Adeyanju criticized the alleged intimidation of Labour leaders during negotiations, urging the President to demonstrate his commitment to Nigerian workers and the masses.

Additionally, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA) disputed the claims of a consensus on the national minimum wage. NACCIMA President, Dele Oye, stressed that negotiations were ongoing, cautioning against premature statements that could jeopardize the process.

The tripartite committee, inaugurated in January, was tasked with recommending a new national minimum wage. However, the inability to reach a consensus brought about the indefinite strike on 3 June.

Governor Fubara Pledges Restructure of Rivers State Public Schools

Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has committed to revitalizing the state’s educational system, aiming to encourage parents to move their children from private to public schools. This pledge was made during a solidarity visit by members of the Rivers State Parents Teachers’ Association for All Government Schools at the Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

The Governor’s statement, released by Chief Press Secretary Nelson Chukwudi, emphasized plans to improve both infrastructure and educational content in public schools. Represented by Dr. George Nweake, Head of Rivers State Civil Service, Fubara highlighted that these efforts aim to alleviate financial burdens on parents, many of whom spend a significant portion of their income on private school fees.

“We are going to transform the school system in Rivers State,” Fubara stated. “School supervision will be strengthened. Many people are forced to take their children to private schools. We will make our schools models, encouraging a shift from private back to public schools.”

He continued, “The current minimum wage isn’t enough for many families because they have to cover private school fees. By improving government schools, both in terms of infrastructure and content, we will attract students back to public schools. This shift will lower living costs for parents and improve overall economic conditions.”

Governor Fubara also addressed the issue of parents harassing teachers who discipline students, declaring that his administration would not tolerate such behavior. He called for a cooperative relationship between parents and teachers to support the proper education and discipline of children. “Parents, please allow your children to be taught. Some parents go to schools to molest teachers, which we will not tolerate. Discipline is crucial for a child’s upbringing,” he asserted.

Fubara emphasized the government’s efforts to support teachers, contrasting his administration’s approach with the previous government’s neglect. “The Government has significantly supported teachers. All teachers are civil servants, and I can confirm that we each received ₦100,000 in December 2023, in addition to our salaries. We have also released ₦250 million to complete a long-standing teachers’ union building project,” he noted.

He highlighted that instructional and educational materials had been funded and that teachers had received overdue promotions and arrears payments. “Teachers, you were not promoted for many years. This Governor came, and you were promoted and paid arrears. Now, let every teacher and parent cooperate to achieve our educational goals,” he urged.

Governor Fubara concluded by assuring that, with collective effort and support, the administration would leave the state’s children a better educational system than they inherited.

During the visit, Boma Watson Allison, State Chairman of the Parents Teachers’ Association, praised Governor Fubara’s achievements and people-centric programs in his first year. He cited several infrastructure projects, including the Andoni section of the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road and the Trans-Kalabari Road, as notable successes. Allison also highlighted pressing needs such as the recruitment of teachers, payment of school administrators, and further infrastructural development, appealing to the Governor to address these issues.

Onabe, SPEO Confirms Road Accident in Anambra State

Source: Punch

The Sector Public Education Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps has confirmed that an accident occurred at Obenetiti Awkuzu along the Onitsha-Nteje-Awka Motorway.

This was published in Punch: the incident occurred at a different location in the state and claimed the lives of four people, injured eleven, and occurred between Monday and Tuesday, bringing the total to 15 casualties.

Onabe mentioned that the two people dead yet to be identified have been deposited at the mortuary, and another at Ukpo junction by the Onitsha-Nteje-Awka Motorway between yet-to-be identified drivers, a commercial Toyota Delica bus with registration number NZN116LK and a private Toyota Diana, with registration number ACA529XA, were also part of the casualties.

Further disclosure revealed that three male adults and three female adults were involved in the crash in another location.

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It was learned that the accidents were allegedly as a result of break failure, overtaking, and speeding, and those who survived were rushed to a nearby hospital.

Source: Punch

Furthermore, the State Sector Commander, Adeoye Irelewuyi, expressed sympathy to the bereaved families and prayed for a quick recovery for the injured victims, as he confirmed that the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) carried out their duties diligently.

Added to that, people who are road users should take precautions while plying the road to avoid road accidents, especially at night.

Meanwhile, another incident occurred along the Nteje-Awka-Onitsha Motorway, which claimed the life of one person and left one person injured with a commercial Mack tanker with registration number LSD760XL and a private Toyota Camry with registration number JRV358HKa.

In a separate incident, a Mack tanker with registration number AAA877XR and another driver of a commercial Toyota Diana with registration number AGL627XC were also involved in an accident.

Rivers First Lady Awards N10M Cheques to 20 Women Farmers

Lady Valerie Fubara, wife of the Rivers State Governor, has awarded cheques totaling N10 million to 20 women farmers in the State.

These women are the initial recipients of the Renewed Hope Initiative (RHI) Women Agricultural Support Programme.

The presentation of the cheques took place at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday. Lady Fubara urged the beneficiaries to use the funds to enhance their agricultural production.

Explaining the significance of the event, the Governor’s wife stated that this marks the beginning of a critical phase of the Renewed Hope Initiative (RHI) in Rivers State, a project spearheaded by the First Lady of Nigeria, Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

” I, therefore, bring you the felicitations of the Founder of this initiative, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who is working assiduously to bring smiles to the faces of families in our dear nation.,” Lady Fubara said.

Sen. Remi Tinubu
Nigeria First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu [PC: X]

Lady Fubara highlighted that in addition to the 20 women who received cheques, 80 more will benefit from the programme in future phases as directed by the board.

She reminded the recipients that while the financial support might not cover all their needs, it is a genuine effort by a caring leader to alleviate their struggles.

“This is an investment in your agricultural endeavors, blessed with the prayers of the founder for your success. I urge you to make the most of it,” she said.

Lady Fubara further emphasized the importance of using the funds wisely to increase and improve farm yields in the coming months. “Treat this seed money with care and see it as a call from the First Lady of Nigeria to support the agricultural revolution in our country,” she added.

Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s administration, she noted, is reviewing agricultural policies to address sector challenges. The State Government is also committed to revitalizing State-owned agricultural schemes like the Songhai Integrated Farms and encouraging private investment in the sector.

Lady Fubara encouraged the women to be part of this transformative process. “Though times are challenging, do not divert this seed money to other ventures. This investment is a sign of better things to come in 2024 and beyond,” she said.

She urged the women to ensure this investment leads to significant progress in the State’s agricultural sector.

In her goodwill message, Rivers State Deputy Governor Ngozi Odu praised Lady Fubara for her efforts to improve the economic status of women in the State. She expressed confidence that the beneficiaries’ success would positively impact the State, their personal lives, families, and communities.

Deputy Governor of Rivers State
Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Ngozi Odu [PC: Instagram]

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Retired Justice Mary Odili (JSC), Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of Rivers State University, lauded Lady Fubara for her collaboration with Senator Oluremi Tinubu to attract benefits for women and youth in the State. She urged the beneficiaries to use the grants effectively to ensure the State is positively evaluated in future assessments.

Mrs. Tonye Briggs Oniyide, Rivers State Coordinator of the Renewed Hope Initiative, welcomed the attendees and noted that the cheque presentation marks a significant milestone in realizing the initiative’s vision. She explained that the financial grants are aimed at less privileged individuals, with the first 20 women chosen to overcome funding challenges in agriculture.

She called on Rivers women to continue supporting the State’s First Lady and Governor Siminalayi Fubara, to drive the State towards greater prosperity and progress for all its residents.

World largest canvass painting portrait of Tinubu unveiled

On June 12, 2024, during the Democracy Day celebration parade at Eagles Square, the National Troupe unveiled a monumental portrait of President Bola Tinubu. Claimed to be the world’s largest canvas painting portrait, this striking artwork is set to earn President Tinubu a spot in the Guinness World Records.

The unveiling of this impressive portrait comes seven months after President Tinubu expressed his belief that he deserves recognition in the Guinness World Records for his significant contributions and past achievements. Speaking at the 10th German-Nigerian Business Forum on November 21, 2023, Tinubu highlighted his influential role in shaping Nigeria’s political and economic landscape, suggesting that his efforts had paved the way for his presidency.

The giant portrait, created by a team of talented artists, serves not only as a celebration of Tinubu’s leadership but also as a symbol of national pride and unity. The choice of Eagles Square for the unveiling is symbolic, reflecting the nation’s democratic values and the president’s commitment to fostering a prosperous Nigeria.

This unprecedented artistic endeavor underscores the government’s support for the arts and its recognition of their power to inspire and unite people. The National Troupe’s achievement in creating the world’s largest canvas painting portrait is a testament to the creativity and dedication of Nigerian artists.

As the world’s largest canvas painting portrait, this artwork is expected to attract global attention and solidify President Tinubu’s legacy. It stands as a tribute to his vision for Nigeria and his belief in the country’s potential to achieve greatness on the world stage

Nollywood actor Sule Suebebe is dead

Nollywood actor Dayo Adewunmi, popularly known by his stage name Sule Suebebe, passed away on Wednesday morning at an undisclosed hospital in Ibadan, Oyo State. His death was announced by Pastor Ademola Amusan, also known as Agbala Gabriel, a notable cleric based in Ibadan who had been caring for the actor in recent months. Pastor Amusan shared the sad news on his Facebook page, expressing his condolences and praying for Suebebe’s soul to rest in peace.

Sule Suebebe had gained significant recognition in the Yoruba film industry for his memorable performances. Last year, he gained viral attention when he openly reflected on his past life, admitting to having led a reckless lifestyle in his youth.

He said “Please, I want to ask for forgiveness. Please, I want everyone I have offended to forgive me. Because when I was young, I was a musician. I enjoyed life. I don’t repeat clothes. My house was like a textile factory, to tell you how much I had clothes and shoes.

I was just living life recklessly. I engaged in minor activities, and I was making money constantly. However, I didn’t have a mentor to warn me about my lifestyle. None of my relatives advised me. So, I saw myself as the Don.

So, Nigerians, please. Anyone I have wronged, knowingly or unknowingly. Please forgive me. I should prostrate while begging, but my health won’t allow me. Please forgive me, especially all the women I have offended. I know I have stepped on toes regarding the issue of women.”

This candid revelation endeared him further to his fans, showcasing a different side of the actor beyond his on-screen persona.

His passing has left a void in the Nollywood community, where he was respected for his contributions to the industry. Colleagues and fans have taken to social media to mourn his loss and celebrate his legacy. The actor’s death is a reminder of the challenges many Nollywood veterans face, including health issues and financial difficulties, highlighting the need for better support systems within the industry.

Suebebe’s death also underscores the importance of personal growth and redemption, themes he touched upon when he reflected on his life. His story serves as an inspiration to many, illustrating that it is never too late to change and seek a better path. As the community mourns his loss, Suebebe’s life and career remain a testament to his talent and resilience in the face of adversity.