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Dialogue, key to development of Niger Delta - Bisalla

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Aminu Aliyu Bisalla, has called on the people of the Niger Delta region to toe the path of dialogue in resolving issues with stakeholders and government as development could not be achieved in the midst of rancour.

He revealed this at a community engagement on peace in the Niger Delta region held at Orogun town, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State on Thursday.

Bisalla disclosed that the interactive session, themed “Community Engagement and Dialogue for Sustainable Development”, was a fallout of one of the recommendations of the 3rd National Council on Niger Delta which took place in Umuahia, Abia State in 2018 as well as other stakeholders’ fora where participants had called on Federal Government to bridge the communication gap with Niger Deltans’.

Thus, he disclosed that the meeting was necessitated by the need of government to hear directly from the people of the Niger Delta region on what they want in the spirit of developing the region.

The Permanent Secretary, represented by Architect Oyelade Oyeleke David, the Delta State Coordinator of the Ministry stressed that this would guide the Federal Government in initiating programmes and projects that would impact positively on the lives of the people of the community and the region at large.

Bisalla also called on people of the Niger Delta region to sustain the prevailing peace in the region for sustainable development.

In his remarks, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege urged the Federal Government to provide more employment opportunities for Niger Delta youths as they were willing to work and contribute to the development of the region.

Omo-Agege, who was represented by Comrade Chuks Erhime, called on the Federal Government to pay more attention to Orogun Kingdom as it had been neglected for a long time. He lamented the ‘absence of Federal Government’s presence in the community.

Chief Francis Anigabou, a representative of Obugwe of Ezemu Kingdom, commended the Federal Government for organizing the interactive session, which indicated government’s interest of attending to the demands of the community and the Niger Delta region. Chief Anigabou added that Olorogun community was in dire need of hospitals, motorable roads, schools and other basic social amenities, which should be provided by the federal government.

In her remarks, Director Community Development and Education in the Ministry, Mrs. Lauren Braide, said that the interactive session was the desire of the Federal Government to adopt dialogue and community based approach in developing the region as similar sessions were held last year in Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Edo States.

Braide stressed the need for continuous dialogue and regular constructive engagements of critical stakeholders to ensure inclusive growth of the region. She revealed that plans were on to expand the interactive session to more communities in the Niger Delta region with a view to maximize its inherent benefits.

The people of Olorogun Kingdom thanked the Federal Government for the opportunity to hear directly from them through the interactive session.

Stephen Kilebi,
Dep. Director,
Press & Public Relations,
28th June 2019.

Another batch of 800 Niger Deltans benefit from Federal Government's free Medical Assistance

The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in collaboration with Vision Savers Eye Care, held a 3-day enlightenment campaign for the people of the Niger Delta region on HIV/AIDS, Roll Back Malaria, Cancer, and Eye Care at General Hospital Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State over the weekend.

Free medical tests, eye surgery, glasses and drugs were given to not less than 800 beneficiaries.

In his remarks at the event, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Aminu Aliyu Bisalla, said the enlightenment programme would afford the beneficiaries the opportunity to consult the doctors on communicable and non-communicable diseases, enlightenment on prevention and management of diseases.

The Permanent Secretary who was represented by Mr. Haman Ndahi, Director Reforms, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, said that 19 communities around Kiagbodo were sensitised to participate at the health intervention programme.

Bisalla assured that the Federal Government was committed to reach out to more communities in the Niger Delta region with the health outreach programme.

In the words of Bisalla: "What we are doing here today is a free health intervention programme from the Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs. This intervention is aimed at improving the quality of health of the people in this environment and beyond."

The Consultant of Vision Savers Eye Care, Dr. Murtala Muhammed Umar, while educating the people on eye care said, “The eye is an organ of beauty which is essential to good health and must be properly taken care of."

Another doctor on general health, Dr.Ajis Eleazar said that through the free medical consultations diseases like diabetes, hypertension, sickle cell, and brain tumours could be diagnosed and treated. Dr.Eleazar advised that that was one of the reasons the people had to make themselves available for the health out reach programme.

At the event High Chief Andrew Sigana Akpasele (The Tonkepa of Ngbilebiri-Mein Kingdom), Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State appreciated the Federal Government for the health out reach programme and called on other communities under is kingdom and neighbouring villages to embrace the programme. The Regent also appealed to the Federal Government to extend the kind gesture to the riverine areas who may find it difficult to reach Kiagbodo for the very important event.

One of the beneficiaries, Elder Johnson Ogberekoko, a retired civil servant said, “I am so happy, it was a great experience I just received my free drugs, and free eye glasses. I appreciate the Federal Government for this good gesture to our people."

The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs organised a similar health outreach programme at Nko in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State last week.

Plans are on to take the programme to other communities in the Niger Delta region.

Stephen Kilebi,
Dep. Director,
Press & Public Relations,
22nd June, 2019

Over 2000 people get free eye surgery, treatments, others from Federal Government

Not less than 2000 people in the Niger Delta region have benefited from the Federal Government's free medical outreach at Nko, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State over the weekend.

Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Aminu Aliyu Bisalla, represented by the Director Community Development and Education in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mrs. Lauren Braide, said the 3-day event was part of the Ministry's sensitization and enlightenment campaign programme on HIV/AIDS, Rollback Malaria, Cancer and Eye care in the Niger Delta region.

The Permanent Secretary called on stakeholders and Non-governmental organisations to support the Federal Government's efforts at meeting the health needs of the people of the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

"The turnout is quite beyond our expectations, we will ensure that very serious cases will be given referrers where necessary," he added.

Bisalla reiterated that similar events had taken place in some states of the region, Ondo, Edo, and Akwa Ibom saying that Delta and Bayelsa States were captured as the beneficiaries of the ongoing exercise.

The Permanent secretary hinted that the sorry state of the Community Health Centre at Nko had been noted, adding that necessary steps would be taken to upgrade the facility.

The event witnessed free eye surgery of over 100 people, children and the elderly, free test and distribution of drugs for people suffering from malaria, diabetes, high blood pressure and those living with HIV/AIDS, as more than 2000 people received free eye glasses and drugs, after being tested by medical personnel.

In his remarks, the traditional ruler of Nko community, His Royal Majesty, Obel Effifiom Ayomobi expressed gratitude to the Federal Government in attending to the medical needs of the people of the Niger Delta region, especially the people of Nko and its environs, saying, "A country where everybody is sick is not a country."

His Royal Majesty then prayed God to give President Muhammadu Buhari more opportunities to consolidate the feats he had recorded in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general.

Earlier, the leader of the facilitators of the medical outreach, Dr. Kamal Umar said his team was able to carry out effective treatments for the various ailments discovered on the people in the course of the exercise due to the cooperation of the people of the community. He added that all the eye surgeries carried out were successful and many who had almost lost their sights got them restored and they were happy.

One of the beneficiaries of the eye surgery, retired Sergeant Ibor Ibor Enang expressed happiness that his 22 years of suffering was put to an end with the Ministry of Niger Delta's free eye surgery.

Stephen Kilebi,
Deputy Director,
Press and Public Relations,
16th June, 2019

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