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Lecturer Killed As Policemen Struggles Steering with Driver over N100 Bribe

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A lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of Benin, Stella Okotie, has been killed by a commercial driver, Anu Adisa, around the institution located on the Benin-Lagos Expressway, Edo State.

The deceased’s sales boy identified simply as Amos, who was also knocked down by Adisa when he reportedly lost control of the vehicle, was rescued and rushed to hospital for treatment.

PUNCH Metro was given two accounts of the circumstances surrounding Stella’s death on Monday.

Eyewitnesses at the scene of the crash, who were seen in a video, blamed a yet-to-be-identified policeman for the accident, adding that Adisa lost control of the vehicle as the cop was dragging the steering wheel with him because of N100 bribe.

“Can you see what the police is doing in Benin, he was dragging the key with the driver, they have killed a innocent person but the guy is still breathing and has never died. Policeman was dragging the steering with the driver because of N100. How do you feel now? See what you have caused,” the recorder said in the footage posted by Instablog9ja.

Stella was said to be standing with her husband, Williams, and their son, Ochuko, when the tragedy struck around 7pm.

However, another account had it that Adisa attempted to evade a stop-and-search operation by policemen attached to the Ugbowo Division, and in the process, rammed into Stella and the other victim.

Stella’s son, Tega, told PUNCH Metro that his mother and her sales boy, Amos, were knocked down by the vehicle, adding he wanted justice.

He stated, “My mother was a lecturer at UNIBEN and was doing business on the side. She was facing the bus, which she used to supply water and was counting money, when Adisa’s bus ran into her and her sales boy, Amos.

“The police were dragging the steering wheel with the driver because of the N100 bribe that they wanted to collect from him, while the bus was in motion. Amos is recovering but my mother was killed and we want justice for her death.”

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, said Adisa was driving recklessly and tried to evade a stop-and-search operation when the tragedy struck, adding that the police rushed the victims to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, where a doctor pronounced Stella dead on arrival.

Nwabuzor stated, “On Monday, July 20, 2020, around 7pm, the command received a distress call about an accident around the University of Benin on the Benin-Lagos Expressway. While operatives of the Ugbowo Police Divisional were conducting stop-and-search, the team sighted a Suzuki bus with number plate TEN 461 ZY, being driven dangerously towards the point of the stop-and-search and the policemen flagged down the driver, but he refused and unfortunately hit one Mrs Stella Okotie, a table water seller and another person by the roadside.

“Mrs Stella Okotie was the one, who suffered the major impact and the police rushed the victims to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital for treatment, but on arrival, the medical doctor certified Mrs Stella Okotie dead.

“In reaction to this, miscreants took to the major highway, barricaded the road and stopped the movement of vehicle and pedestrians, and descended on the team leader, Inspector David Uwagboi, beat and inflicted injuries on him and held him hostage.

“It took the intervention of the inspector’s wife, who ran to the scene on receiving information and laid down her life for the mob to take instead of that of her husband. While on this, we mobilised operatives, in collaboration with military personnel, to the scene to remedy the situation.”

When asked about the N100 bribe allegation against the policeman, who allegedly dragged the steering wheel with Adisa, the PPRO stated, “In a scene, several videos may have been taken and people will always like to post the one of interest that will suit their purpose. The issue of asking for money, that I don’t know, but I know too well that when a motorist is flagged down to stop, the police have the right to do that.”

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Metro

World Tourism Day: WIBAT Concludes Successful Tour of Epe, Opens City to Tourism

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In celebration of the 2020 World Tourism Day, the Lagos chapter of Women in Business and Tourism (WIBAT), has taken a deserved tour of the ancient city of Epe in Lagos State, drawing out the hitherto uncharted tourism potential therein.

Leveraging on this year’s theme, “Tourism and Rural Development” the group, led by the CEO, Connoisseur Travel and Tours, Mrs Joana Owolabi, dared to bring Epe town to limelight in global tourism, giving it a head up as first choice in domestic tourism.

The trip, which spanned four days, was full of adventure, fun and education, and took the group to and through the innermost parts of the endowed town.

Among places visited included the beautiful Palace of the Paramount ruler of the town, the Oloja of Epe, HRM, Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun.

The Oloja was full of praises and prayers for women, who happened to be the first women group to tour the ancient city in history. He commended the women for choosing his domain as a tourism potential to promote, especially to mark a special occasion.

”I’m very pleased to have you in our midst, especially on this special day. Let me assure you of our willingness to partner with you on future initiatives,” the Oba was quoted as saying.

The women appreciated the Oba’s reception with a surprised gift.

The team’s next port of call was the office of the Executive Chairman of Epe Local Government, Hon. Adedoyin Adesanya, whose enthusiasm at the honour knew no bounds. He thanked the women for choosing to position Epe as a tourism destination in Lagos State.

While admitting that tourism is very close to the heart to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, especially efforts to open up suburbs like Epe, he extolled the virtues of WIBAT for taking up the challenge.

The Supervisor, Envinroment and Tourism in the local government, Princess Surah Animashaun, who masterminded the adventure, also expressed her profound gratitude to the women for agreeing to explore Epe to commemorate the 2020 edition of World Tourism Day.

The team also visited many cultural, historical and educational destinations such as the popular Epe fish market where they were well received by the market women leader-Iyaloja of Oluwo Fish Market, Folashade Ojikutu, who took them on a tour of the market.

The highpoint of the tour was the visit to the town’s ancient tree, which stood majestically by the road, and decked around with a cloth, symbolising its cultural and communal importance. At the site, residents, who were happy to see tourists in their town, expressed their joy at the visit.

One of them even joked at the tourists, saying “I hope you people will not allow them to be carrying out traditional monuments and totems abroad.”

Other prominent citizens of Epe, who were on ground to receive the women group are Chairman, Active Hunters Association, Epe Division, Mr. Adeleke Adesada; legislative members representing the town in the Lagos State House of Assembly and Senate, Hon Abiodun Tobun and Senator Segun Agbaje respectively, among many other dignitaries.

The first ever women tourism adventure as recorded, has been adjudged a huge success, devoid of rancour and well conducted by a professional guide.

In her vote of thanks, Princess Animashaun expressed gratitude to the women for the bringing global attention to Epe town.

The gains of the trip is expected to resonate in the coming days, surely.

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Travel Writers Urge Gov Diri to Launch Endowment Fund, Master Plan, for Tourism Development

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In comomeration of this year’s World Tourism Day celebrations across the globe, Chairman of Bayelsa Travel Writers’ Corps, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo, has called on Bayelsa State government to launch Bayelsa State Culture and Tourism Endowment Fund and tourism masterplan to drive the development and promotion of the tourism sector in the state, saying that “tourism is a catalyst that could be used to drive the local economy with a view to achieving the goals of sustainable peace and job creation”.

Mr Kiyaramo described the theme of the 2020 edition of World Tourism Day: “Tourism and Rural Development”, as appropriate, nothing that the unique role that tourism plays in providing opportunities outside of big cities and in preserving cultural and natural heritage all around the world, makes it an extremely labour intensive and significant source of employment for many global economies, informing that “the tourism sector therefore is not only an engine for economic growth, but also an effective tool for poverty alleviation among the marginalised segments of the society.

According to the travel journalist, tourism is one such activity which impacts also extends to various other sectors, making it responsible for creating direct and indirect employment and requiring varying degrees of skills which facilitate quick entry into the workforce for youth, women and poor.

Mr Kiyaramo, said the economic potentials of tourism, being the world’s largest and fastest growing industry, creates one in every eleven jobs, contributes to international and regional economic growth, adding that tourism would contribute to the protection of one of the oil state’s key assets, biodiversity, being a critical responsibility of all business sectors.

He said the Bayelsa Travel Writers’ Corps was ready to partner with government and other critical stakeholders to create tourism demand in the state, through well articulated marketing networks, intended to jumpstart critical economic trickle-down effect that would facilitate the growth of community based enterprises, which would lead to job creation and poverty alleviation.

The travel journalists’ chairman, stressed that in the light of the developmental challenges in the state, there was need for synergy and collaboration to expand institutional support for tourism development and promotion.

He also proposed a “One Village, One Product” pilot scheme to assist local communities in the state to discover their rich cultural tourism resource with a view to regenerating their cultural infrastructure, which will lead to social transformation and civic renewal, through various conservation initiatives for the vast ecological and cultural heritage of the state.

The tourism activist and media consultant who spoke to travel writers in Yenagoa, capital city of Bayelsa State in comomeration of this year’s World Tourism Day, reiterated the urgent need to develop the huge coastal tourism potentials in the oil rich littoral state.

He regretted that, though the state boasts of fine beaches comparable to any one in other parts of the world in addition to the rich wetlands, no attention has been paid to the huge marine tourism potentials in the area, pointing out that the state government could leverage on tourism to explore the potentials, with a view to creating job opportunities in rural communities.

Mr Kiyaramo, popularly known as “Mr Tourism in Bayelsa state”, was of the view that these fine beaches located in Koluama, Akassa, Odioma, Okpoama, Agge, Foropah and Ekeni-Ezetu, could provide huge investment opportunities in the the travel and tourism sub sector of the local economy, pointing out that the beaches in the state.

He maintained that the beaches which spread across several local governments should boast of standard hotels and marine recreational facilities to cater for the leisure needs of tourists among other tourism infrastructures that would boost the local economy.

He said Bayelsa Travel Writers’ Corps, a beat association under the Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), which comprises travel reporters, photographers, cameramen, film editors and tour guides was willing to collaborate with government to promote tourism, through the promotion of arts, crafts and festivals, including creek boat shows to create opportunities for the local populace, particularly the youth to develop talents, in order to sustain the growing peaceful atmosphere in the state.

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Metro

Gas Explosion Injures 30, Destroys 23 Buildings, Event Centre, Vehicles in Lagos

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30 persons were injured and about 15 vehicles reportedly destroyed by fire on Thursday after a tanker conveying gas exploded at Balogun Bus stop, in the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State, .

PUNCH Metro learnt that two gas tankers were being offloaded at a gas station in the area when one of the tankers, a 30 tonnes LPG tanker, exploded around 3pm.

It was gathered that the discharging valve of the tanker, which was compromised, led to leakage and ignited fire.

The fire, which spread to adjoining buildings, affected 23 buildings and 35 shops, destroying property worth millions of naira.

Our correspondent learnt that officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Red Cross were at the scene of the incident.

The Head of Public Affairs of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor, said no life was lost.

He said, “It was discovered that a 30 tonnes LPG tanker being operated by Manna Gas Ltd was involved in an explosion which destroyed several vehicles, X and Y Event Centre and a plank market.

“It was discovered that a compromised seal device by the truck driver led to gradual leakage, which then ignited when the tyres burst. The impact of the explosion led to fire at adjoining buildings and several vehicles were burnt.

“Thirty people were found to have serious injuries and were taken to various hospitals, while two in critical conditions were referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.”

However, the Acting Coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office of the National Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Farinloye, said 15 people were injured.

He said, “One of the gas tankers wanted to enter into Manna Gas Refiling Plant and before it could get access inside, it exploded and affected the second gas tanker and other domestic gas cylinders in the gas plant also exploded.

“The explosion affected 18 buildings housing 35 shops; no residential building was affected.

“Fifteen people had various degrees of injury and were taken to Iju Waterworks Clinic, while two were referred to the general hospital; 16 vehicles were burnt.”

The Acting Head of the State Fire Service, Margaret Adeseye, said the Ajuwon, Agege and Alausa Fire stations were mobilised to the scene.

The Punch

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