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Akwa Ibom Varsity to Community: Stop stealing our land

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Gov Udom Tinubu Akwa Ibom

Youths and community leaders in Ekpri Nsukara Offot, one of the host communities for the University of Uyo (UNIUYO), in Akwa Ibom State, have been protesting the alleged annexation and demolition of properties on a parcel of land by university officials. If the situation is not resolved quickly, tension could escalate into a full-fledged war, according to a leadership meeting yesterday.

The institution was advised to “stop forthwith the penchant to illegally acquire lands belonging to the village” by incensed community officials, who also urged on the teenagers to stage a nonviolent protest over suspected encroachment on communal lands.
Speaking against the backdrop of fresh destruction of property in parts of the village, allegedly carried out by the university on Monday night, the protesters lamented that “UNIUYO has constantly gone outside its boundaries to amass our lands.”
The chairman of the Village Council, Comrade Morris Bassey; the secretary, Elder Domingo Bassey Etim and the president of the Youth Council of Ekpri Nsukara, Otuekong Emem Asikpo, who spoke separately, noted that “UNIUYO has not reciprocated our friendly gestures as one of its host communities.”
“We are distressed that the authority of the University of Uyo has not respected the clearly demarcated boundaries with Ekpri Nsukara Offot community. We say so based on the ugly experiences with the institution for some years now.
“A case at hand is that on Monday, April 17, 2023 at about 11pm, the university moved in to trespass on our land. The authority sent Bulldozer into the adjoining lands which belonged to our community to destroy fences and houses under construction, which are owned by individuals.

“We have approached the University through the Chief Security Officer (CSO) Mr. Inyang Asuquo, to enquire about the latest action but they disclaimed the action as not coming from the institution. However, credible intelligence has it that the Bulldozer used in the operation emanated from the institution and also exited through the main campus. We see such action as a deliberate attempt by the University to forcefully acquire our land despite the large acreage of land already voluntarily conceded to the institution.
“We recall a particular instance in 2020 where similar actions of encroachments were carried out and properties belonging to several persons were destroyed by the University.

These despicable activities by the University of Uyo prompted our community to institute a Court action in suit no. HU/337/2015 against them. Surprisingly, despite the pendency of the litigation in the Court, the University has not stopped its illegal acts of infringing on our lands,” Morris Bassey said.

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ALHAJI MUJAHID ABUBAKAR DOKUBO-ASARI HOSTS UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN VISITING TEAM IN OBUAMA,RIVERS STATE

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Alhaji Mujahid Abubakar Dokubo-Asari on July 4th, 2024, welcomed a visiting research team from the esteemed University of Groningen, located in the Netherlands, to his residence in Obuama, Rivers State.

The University of Groningen, with a rich history spanning over four centuries, prides itself on excellence and has been associated with notable figures like Nobel Prize laureates Ben Feringa and Frits Zernike.

The university is renowned for its groundbreaking research that addresses contemporary social issues, bridging the gap between various fields of study and connecting science with society. Their current research areas include Energy, Healthy Ageing, and Sustainable Society, with recent studies focusing on topics such as environmental sustainability, conscious living, and the impact of climate change on wildlife.

Led by Dr. Dumebi Obute, the visiting team from the University of Groningen is conducting a comparative study on resource extraction, its environmental implications, and the adaptive strategies of indigenous communities affected by extensive resource exploitation. Their journey has taken them to various parts of Africa, including South Africa, Zambia, and Nigeria, to investigate large-scale extraction industries like mining and crude oil production.

Recognizing Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari’s prominent role in advocating for resource control and environmental preservation in the Niger Delta region, the research team sought his expertise and insights. Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari, known for his global advocacy on these interconnected issues, was seen as a valuable source of historical knowledge and practical experiences in handling resource-related challenges.

The collaboration between Alhaji Mujahid Abubakar Dokubo-Asari and the University of Groningen holds the potential to inform global resource policies, promoting the well-being of indigenous communities impacted by resource extraction activities. By integrating historical context and local perspectives, this research aims to contribute to more sustainable and equitable resource management practices worldwide.

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Flood Submerges Three Communities in Uyo

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Three communities in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State, have been submerged following days of heavy rain. The affected areas include Nung Obio Enang along Stadium Road, Urua Ekpa axis, and Afaha Oku in Uyo metropolis.

Reports indicate that the flood has displaced residents of Nung Obio Enang, with many buildings in the community submerged and residents seeking shelter in nearby facilities. Our correspondent observed that more than 32 houses were affected, with residents seen salvaging their belongings.

Etop Effiong, one of the affected residents, stated that flooding has been a perennial issue in the area for several years, exacerbated by the construction of Stadium Road during the administration of former governor Godswill Akpabio. Effiong explained that the road was built without adequate drainage, causing severe flooding during heavy rains.

“During heavy rains and throughout the rainy season, we have to leave our houses and stay with neighbors for one or two weeks until the flood water subsides. This has been our predicament for many years. This house can collapse anytime,” Effiong lamented.

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Second Woman Assumes Presidency of Rotary International

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One-year term will prioritize adapting to changing times and advancing peace

 

EVANSTON, Ill., 25 June, 2024 — Stephanie Urchick, member of the Rotary Club of McMurray, PA, will become the second woman to take office as president of Rotary International on 1 July 2024.

During her one-year term, Urchick will lead the 119-year-old membership service organization in adapting for future success as Rotary’s 1.4 million members around the world develop and implement sustainable, community-driven projects that fight disease, promote peace, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children, grow local economies, and protect the environment. More than US$5.5 billion has been awarded through The Rotary Foundation—Rotary’s charitable arm that helps clubs work together to perform meaningful, impactful service—to support these initiatives over the last 100 years.

In order to ensure that Rotary membership is a compelling option for those who have a heart for service and fellowship, Urchick is urging clubs to assess their strengths and areas for improvement while also encouraging them to embrace different meeting formats and membership styles as they work to mirror the communities in which they exist in terms of gender, age, culture, socioeconomic status, and more.

“Embracing different viewpoints and creating peaceful, welcoming, and inclusive societies is at the heart of Rotary’s work,” said Urchick. “As president, I will work with clubs to prioritize advancing peace by helping to create the conditions for stable and resilient societies in which people can thrive.”

As one of the world’s largest membership service organizations, Rotary has made peacebuilding the cornerstone of its global mission.   From carrying out service projects to supporting future leaders through youth programs and scholarships, Rotary is taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, discrimination, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.

Through academic training, practice and global networking, Rotary is helping professionals become effective catalysts for peace. Rotary partners with leading universities around the world to host Rotary Peace Centers that empower, educate, and increase the capacity of peacebuilders. Each year, Rotary awards 50 fully funded fellowships for master’s degrees and up to 80 fully funded fellowships for certificate studies to dedicated peace and development leaders from communities around the world.

Since 2002, the peace centers program has prepared more than 1,800 peace fellows working in more than 140 countries to create a more peaceful world.

To build on this momentum, Urchick will host a peace conference at the launch of Rotary’s newest Peace Center in partnership with Bahçeşehir University, in Istanbul, Turkey in February 2025.

As president, Urchick will also oversee Rotary’s top goal of eradicating polio. Alongside its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, Rotary has achieved a 99.9% reduction in polio cases, and contributed more than US$2.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect 3 billion children from this paralyzing disease.

About Stephanie Urchick 

Urchick holds a doctorate in leadership studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A Rotary member since 1991, Stephanie has served Rotary in many roles and capacities. Her service includes building a primary school in Vietnam; installing water filters in the Dominican Republic; mentoring new Rotary members in Ukraine; coordinating a Rotary Foundation grant project in Poland; and leading efforts to formulate and adopt Rotary’s Action Plan, a strategic road map that will help bring even more people together to create lasting and positive change in an evolving world.

About Rotary

Rotary unites a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges and creating lasting change. Rotary connects 1.4 million people of action from more than 46,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org.

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