Social distancing and isolation as a result of the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic have almost stifled celebrations, a vital part of what makes us human, but it has not been all doom and gloom.
Observing the prevailing health rules and guidelines, family, friends, and political associates of Dr. Sam Sam Jaja have been in a festive mood since Sunday, celebrating a man they describe with a thousand kind words.
As an accomplished public servant, the Balolo of Opobo Kingdom and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress who turned 70 on Monday, August 3 continues to live footprints on the sands of time as he has served humanity in several capacities including as National Chairman, National Referee Association(NRA), Deputy National Chairman, People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He is currently the Board Chairman, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital
The celebration which happened at different parts of the country was flagged off in Port Harcourt with a Thanks Giving Church Service at New Covenant Anglican Church, Nzimiro Street, Port Harcourt even with the absence of the celebrant who is unavoidably outside of the state.
Former Chairman of Andoni local government area, Orom Nte thanked the Vicar in charge, Venerable Ifeanyi Amagboso for the prayers of the church which has kept Dr. Sam Sam Jaja to this ripe age of 70. He said the family, friends, and political associates of the celebrated statesman look forward to returning to the church to celebrate his 100th birthday.
On his part, Dave Okumgba, the South-South Zonal Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC said information about the event was managed to avoid a crowd, adding that the Opobo Chief has demonstrated again and again that he is a godly man.
Former Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Leyii Kwanee eulogized the septuagenarian. “He is an asset to Rivers people and that is why we have come to celebrate him”, he said. “He is a decent man. He is a man of integrity.”
The Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Professor Henry Ugboma told FR News on the Port Harcourt home of the celebrant where a quiet reception was organized in his honor that “Sam Sam Jaja means so much to me.” Scientifically, the year 70 is a year to remember.” “He is a father to all who come around him. We pray for more years so that he can continue empowering more people.”
Describing Dr Sam Sam Jaja as “a man in a million”, Madam Sussan Minimah an astute businesswoman and community leader told pressmen at the event that the excitements and fanfare everywhere marking his 70th birthday despite him not being available in person is a testimony of his unique and loveable personality. “Dr Sam Sam Jaja is a man who loves the rich, the poor and the downtrodden”, she said.
Evangelist Chris Jaja who is the President General of Opobo Youth Federation said Dr Sam Sam Jaja is the only person with the title ‘Balolo’ in the entire Opobo kingdom. He said, “all youths of Opobo across the country are celebrating him because of his love and respect for young people.”
On her part, the Acting Women leader of the APC in Rivers State, Beatrice Dappa said she has known no regrets since known Dr. Jaja. “I call him my bishop because of his love for God.” “I am where I am because of him. I pray that God will continue to keep him safe and may he never lack.”
For Fidelis Inyie Jaja, Dr Sam Sam Jaja’s youthful look at 70 is a reflection of the grace of God upon him. “He is a kindhearted man that is willing to embrace every soul that comes around him.” He helped to change me from Mr to Honourable, he has stabilized my life.”
PETROAN Calls for Truce on Proposed NLC Strike over Petrol Price Hike
President Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Dr Billy Gillis-Harry has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to consider dialogue as against the nationwide strike action billed from Monday, September 28, 2020
PETROAN is the second organized section in the oil and gas sector to take a position considered as capable of pulling the artery off the proposed strike action by the NLC and TUC. Last Tuesday, the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) surprisingly suspended the two-day warning strike which it commenced on Tuesday.
Although the protest of NARTO, an umbrella organisation of all commercial vehicles owners in Nigeria engaged in the haulage of petroleum products, general cargoes, and movement of goods and passengers nationwide, was unrelated to hike in petrol price hike, observers said the suspension of their strike, after a brief meeting with officials of government, was in order to ensure that their members will not participate in the NLC proposed strike.
Dr Harry said a dialogue Hon minister of state for.petroleum,Hon minister of Labour and organized labour between Saturday and Sunday, which he believes, the regulatory organs of government will be open to, will achieve a sustainable truce that will be in the interest of the common Nigerians in the street, than a mass action that will be largely destructive and worsen the hardship already inflicted by the Covid19 pandemic on Nigeria.
PETROAN is the umbrella body of over 400,000 members nationwide, who are petrol station owners and marketers. “Our members occupy the last stratum in the petrol distribution value chain. We have direct contact and final interaction with users of petroleum products. We have inflammable assets that are freely accessible to a possibly rampaging group. So, we are of the opinion that dialogue will achieve middle ground that will be favourable to the masses than a strike action,” the PATROAN President stated.
According to him, while PATROAN does not support the hike in petroleum pump price, and other tariffs, it believes that a strike action will only end up worsening things for Nigerians. “We want the Nigerian Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress, NUPENG and all sister unions and associations to consider this dialogue option in the interest of the ordinary Nigerians. Let us exhaust all possible avenues of peaceful solution. We believe the authorities will definitely shift,” the PETROAN boss said
The NLC’s Central Working Committee handed down a two-week ultimatum to the FG to reverse the price hike or face industrial action after the National Executive Council meeting on Tuesday in Abuja. The federal government through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, on July 1, raised the pump price of petrol to between N140.80 and N143.80 in July, one of the highest price movements in the last few months.
PHOTOS: Many feared dead in Kogi petrol tanker explosion
Tears flow freely on Wednesday morning in Felele the outskirts of Lokoja along Abuja – Lokoja highway as a tanker lorry laden with fuel caught fire and roasted over 40 people.
Most of those roasted are school children and they are parents who were going to school.
It was gathered that a family of five including three children and they are parents were affected which has led to the closing down of the Baptist college Lokoja which is the school of the students.
Meanwhile, the Governor Yahaya Bello has expressed shock over the unfortunate fatal tanker explosion which took place in the early hours of Wednesday 23, September, around the Felele area of Lokoja metropolis.
Governor Bello is very sad to learn of the tragic loss of lives, many vehicles, property and other valuables in the petrol tanker fire while expressing his deepest condolences to the family of those affected by the ugly occurrence. He said this is sadly the greatest tragedies the state has witnessed in recent times while describing the unfortunate accident as a sad development and shares the feeling of those who lost their loves ones in this incident.
The Governor also urged the students of Kogi State Polytechnic to remain calm and peaceful, stating that he equally shared in their grieving moment over the death of some of their colleagues in the disaster.
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