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Rivers woman sells sister’s child for N600,000, police arrest suspects

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The police in Rivers State have smashed a child trafficking syndicate and rescued a five-year-old girl sold for N600,000 to an undisclosed buyer in Imo State.

The child was said to have been kidnapped from Omagwa community in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State after she went missing on May 20, 2022.

The state Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, disclosed this while parading 30 suspects arrested for various crimes at the police headquarters in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

Eboka said the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.

The CP said, “On May 20 this year, a lady called Peace Emmanuel reported that her five-year-old daughter was missing. The case was reported at the Omagwa Police Station.

“But later, it was transferred to the Commissioner of Police Monitoring Team at the Forces Avenue, Port Harcourt. They went into investigation and eventually, it was discovered that it was her sister who arranged to steal her child and she eventually sold the child to a lady in Imo State for the sum of N600,000.

“So, we went and we were able to rescue the little girl; we also arrested two suspects. The major suspect’s name is Ejike Edith, aged 30; she also mentioned others who did that crime with her. They are Prince Ugwu and Nkiruja Samuel, 26. These suspects were also arrested and are here with us. But the person who received the baby is in Imo State and we are making arrangements to ensure that he is arrested to face the law.”

He said men of the command also busted a kidnappers’ den in a forest in Kaani community, Khana LGA of the state, rescuing victims and recovering several AK-47 rifles used by the suspects.

“Similarly, on May 27, the same anti-kidnapping unit also arrested one Messiah Wisdom. The suspect would invite girls to his house, drug them, make love to them, video them and threaten them to bring the sum of N1m or risk the chance of the video going viral.

“This morning (Wednesday), we also got information that some people were looking for AK-47 rifles to buy. We worked on that piece of information, developed it and sent our men to go and pose as those wanting to sell the rifles.

“Eventually, two men came up to buy the rifles. They agreed to buy the rifles for N850,000 per rifle. They wanted to buy four pieces; they came with a boat and had with them the sum of N1.3m, which they wanted to pay as a deposit.

“They promised that when we follow them to the river, they would give us the balance in the river. But these two people were arrested and the money was recovered.

“The third person escaped with their boat. The suspects confessed and said they wanted to buy the rifles to protect their community. I don’t know who gave them permission to bear AK-47 rifles to protect their community,” Eboka added.

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Governor’s wife advises Jerusalem pilgrims on conduct

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The returnees who participated in the 2022 pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Jordan have held a thanksgiving service to appreciate God for the successful journey.

According to a statement issued by the state government, the service, held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, was graced by the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Represented by the wife of a former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji, Sanwo-Olu advised the returnees to be true ambassadors of Christ and allow their encounters during the pilgrimage to strengthen their relationship with God and the people around them.

The governor’s wife said, “You cannot afford to go back to your old ways and lifestyles. As you have been described as the light and salt of the world in the Holy Book, it means that you have a lot of tasks ahead of you.”

Sanwo-Olu then thanked God on behalf of the pilgrims for the successful completion of the exercise and the journey mercies experienced.

She said, “We bless the Lord that there was no report of any negative eventuality. It is fitting at this point to state that we are indeed peculiar people with a deep sense of appreciation and we show this trait in praises and thanksgiving to God who specifically called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

In her remarks, the Secretary, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mrs Yetunde Gbafe, said the thanksgiving service was in line with God’s injunction as recorded in Psalm 100 where believers were enjoined to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up oil spills – Report

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up decades-old oil spills in southern Bayelsa State over a 12-year period, a new report revealed on Tuesday, as it singled out two international oil companies, Shell and Eni, for being responsible for most of the pollution.

Oil majors in Nigeria have long faced legal challenges over Niger Delta spills, which they mostly blame on sabotage and vandalism of pipelines and illegal refining.

The Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission said in a report that it started an investigation in 2019 on the impact of spills and looked at evidence from forensic scientists, blood samples from people in affected areas and company data, according to Reuters.

The investigation discovered, among other findings, that toxic pollutants from spills and gas flaring were many times higher than the safe limits in samples of soil, water, air, and in the blood of local residents, the commission said.

“The report finds failures of strategy, prevention, response and remediation by oil companies,” it said.

Reuters stated that a spokesperson for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said the oil firm was not privy to the final report and could not comment.

An Eni spokesperson said the oil spills were due to theft to feed illegal refineries as well as illegal exports and sabotage but the company undertook to remedy all spills.

Most of the gas produced from Eni’s Nigerian unit was converted into LNG and fed local power plants, the spokesperson said, adding that “Eni conducts its activities according to the sector’s international environmental best practices, without any distinction on a country basis.”

Toxins that cause burns, lung problems and risk of cancer were widespread while oil company-led clean-ups were often poorly executed and could further contaminate soil and groundwater, the commission’s report said.

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Experts advise marketers to leverage technology

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Experts have advised marketing professionals to take advantage of technology to revamp marketing tactics.

The marketers were admonished at the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria Ikeja Chapter 3rd Annual Public Lecture held recently in Lagos.

Speakers at the event said due to the highly competitive marketing arena, marketers must be willing to adjust their approaches in response to shifting market trends and economic circumstances, to remain competitive and achieve success.

The Ikeja Chapter Chairman of NIMN and Chief Executive Officer of Procon Group, Adebayo Oke, noted that the conference was basically to review the position of things in the institute in the face of the country’s dynamic economy.

He said, “We all know that in terms of political economy, we are going to be having a change very soon. Where we are coming from, there are issues that have affected consumerism in terms of the power of a consumer, choices and whether it will get tougher or better that is why we are here. To also share knowledge among the top practitioners to floor it down.”

According to him, a lot of quacks are in the market and most companies believe marketing is anybody’s function.

“And going forward, we are going to be regulating the practice of marketing across all industries and in partnership with the international brands in the areas of marketing, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK, amongst others,” he stated.

He disclosed that the institute would be partnering with most companies to ensure that only certified marketer would be allowed to practice marketing, to enable the institute get rid of all the quacks.

The President and Chairman of Council for NIMN, Idorenyen Enang, in his keynote address, highlighted the significance of marketers harnessing the potential of technology while ensuring that they adhere to ethical principles of the profession.

He said, “The benefits of technology in streamlining operations are widely appreciated. However, concerns about job displacement due to AI have arisen. Marketers must strive for a harmonious implementation of these technologies, striking a balance that mitigates such disadvantages.”

He added that while automation greatly enhances efficiency, there is a potential loss of intellectual capacity as the current generation prioritises speed, brevity, and simplicity.

Also, the Head Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Media & Insights of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc, Ifeoluwa Obafemi, said, “In the phase of technological advancement and changes in consumer behaviour, as marketing professionals, we should set our organisation in a future forward mode. For businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the present-day business environment, undergoing a marketing transformation is a necessary process.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Intel Limited, Kolawole Oyeyemi, said, “Marketers should attract and retain their customers. Nowadays, customers are now more informed and know your business more than you do because they now compare your services to global best practices.

“There is a revolution in technology which has assisted in creating tools and devices and building platforms to allow customers to interact with companies across the world.”

According to him, it is a volatile environment and things one does not think will connect one’s business may connect from a very long distance.

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